Study: Climate 460 MYA was like today, but thought to have CO2 levels 5-20 times as high

This image provided for timeline reference and is not from the study cited below

From the University of Leicester press office: An ancient Earth like ours

Geologists reconstruct the Earth’s climate belts between 460 and 445 million years ago

An international team of scientists including Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz of the Geology Department of the University of Leicester, and led by Dr. Thijs Vandenbroucke, formerly of Leicester and now at the University of Lille 1 (France), has reconstructed the Earth’s climate belts of the late Ordovician Period, between 460 and 445 million years ago.

The findings have been published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA – and show that these ancient climate belts were surprisingly like those of the present.

The researchers state: “The world of the ancient past had been thought by scientists to differ from ours in many respects, including having carbon dioxide levels much higher – over twenty times as high – than those of the present. However, it is very hard to deduce carbon dioxide levels with any accuracy from such ancient rocks, and it was known that there was a paradox, for the late Ordovician was known to include a brief, intense glaciation – something difficult to envisage in a world with high levels of greenhouse gases. “

An ancient Earth like ours

A specimen of the chitinozoan species Armoricochitina nigerica (length = c. 0.3mm). Chitinozoans are microfossils of marine zooplankton in the Ordovician. Their distribution allows to track climate belts in deep time, much in a way that zooplankton has been used for climate modeling in the Cenozoic. A. nigerica is an important component of the Polar Fauna during the late Ordovician Hirnantian glaciation.

The team of scientists looked at the global distribution of common, but mysterious fossils called chitinozoans – probably the egg-cases of extinct planktonic animals – before and during this Ordovician glaciation. They found a pattern that revealed the position of ancient climate belts, including such features as the polar front, which separates cold polar waters from more temperate ones at lower latitudes. The position of these climate belts changed as the Earth entered the Ordovician glaciation – but in a pattern very similar to that which happened in oceans much more recently, as they adjusted to the glacial and interglacial phases of our current (and ongoing) Ice Age.

This ‘modern-looking’ pattern suggests that those ancient carbon dioxide levels could not have been as high as previously thought, but were more modest, at about five times current levels (they would have had to be somewhat higher than today’s, because the sun in those far-off times shone less brightly).

“These ancient, but modern-looking oceans emphasise the stability of Earth’s atmosphere and climate through deep time – and show the current man-made rise in greenhouse gas levels to be an even more striking phenomenon than was thought,” the researchers conclude.

Reference: Vandenbroucke, T.R.A., Armstrong, H.A., Williams, M., Paris, F., Zalasiewicz, J.A., Sabbe, K., Nolvak, J., Challands, T.J., Verniers, J. & Servais, T. 2010. Polar front shift and atmospheric CO2 during the glacial maximum of the Early Paleozoic Icehouse. PNAS doi/10.1073/pnas.1003220107.

Contacts: (Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz at the Department of Geology, University of Leicester: Respectively tel. 0116 252 3642 and 0116 2523928, and e-mails mri@le.ac.uk and jaz1@le.ac.uk).

About these ads

136 thoughts on “Study: Climate 460 MYA was like today, but thought to have CO2 levels 5-20 times as high

  1. Error in title: The report says that CO2 levels were not 20x higher, more like 5x higher

    Was the sun really that much dimmer ?

    REPLY: Actually both 20x and 5x were stated in the article, but I’ve added emphasis so that readers see both points – Anthony

  2. If anyone can find a statistically significant correlation on that graph between CO2 and Average temperature, then be my guest.

    There is not a single direct correlation over the past 500 million years directly linking the two imho.

    There are times when they move in the same direction and times when they move in opposite directions.

    I’d love to have a look at the raw statistical data and do a full statistical analysis.

    I’d bet that mathematically speaking there would be no significant correlation.

  3. First, their conclusion was that the pCO2 was five, not 20, times as high as today. Plus their gratuitous green comment that the current rise is more extraordinary than realized, is both irritating and nonsensical. The variance of 1850 and 2010 is not possible to detect through geological studies of even “shallow” time: the mechanisms are not that good (even glacial ice is questionable over thousands of years, due to possible changes in pCO2 in ice-encased bubbles). As a geologist, I am very aware of the plus/minus of geological conclusions. But the gratuitous comment places this fellows in a chummy camp and shows their social concerns and values. Bully for them.

  4. Completely clueless paper.

    They assume that the difference in temperature during the Ordovician was due to “5X CO2″ and negate their own reasoning about the Ordovician ice age.

    How is it that all the corals and sea shells didn’t dissolve? Romm tells us that a few ppm is all that is needed to turn their shells soft. Have the chemical properties of Aragonite changed?

  5. CO2 does not warm the planet, the sun does.
    CO2 can only help to insulate the planet, and that is only very little.

    Obviously it’s not even good at it, because when CO2 levels were sky high, the planet still went into ice ages.

    You couldn’t even find 0.038% of anything.

  6. They have fallen into the oldest trap in science. “The hypothesis is right therefore the data must be wrong.”

    Sorry chaps – try again.

  7. “How is it that all the corals and sea shells didn’t dissolve?”
    ===================================================
    Steve, because corals are lazy. They let their symbiotic algae/dinos change the pH which makes CaCarb precipitate out of solution.
    They don’t have to do a thing but sit there and let it happen.

    Changing the ambient pH, either up or down, will have very little effect on them at all.

  8. lol, CO2 levels have to be lower than thought to fit our preconceived notions regards CO2 and the effect it has on our climate. Nice bit of science work there. How many CO2 molecules can dance on the tip of a needle?

    The study was even more brilliant in that now we can apparently quantify CO2′s effect by comparing the temps and CO2 levels of then to the solar radiance of then compared to now. Very nice.

    This ‘modern-looking’ pattern suggests that those ancient carbon dioxide levels could not have been as high as previously thought, but were more modest, at about five times current levels (they would have had to be somewhat higher than today’s, because the sun in those far-off times shone less brightly).

    My question is, did these people get paid for this? Did we foot the bill?

  9. Tabulate corals occur in the limestones and calcareous shales of the Ordovician and Silurian periods, and often form low cushions or branching masses alongside Rugose corals. Their numbers began to decline during the middle of the Silurian period and they finally became extinct at the end of the Permian period, 250 million years ago. The skeletons of Tabulate corals are composed of a form of calcium carbonate known as calcite.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coral#Evolutionary_history

  10. That was THE LOST PARADISE And we lost it because somebody ate from the tree of WRONG KNOWLEDGE, and some levogyred people gave him the Paleo-Nobel-prize!!…
    Scientists of that time investigated the issue and determined that all those who ate from the fruit of that wrong tree, drinking its juice, since then called Kool-Aid juice, got their DNA chain turned to the left in them and in all their descendants. That peculiarity of theirs was afterward known as the “Original Sin”.

  11. It seems that they moved down to 5 times current CO2 on the basis that CO2 is such a villain that the climate couldn’t have been as they found it to be, with 20 times the CO2. That is, they buy the CO2 story totally, and adjust other estimates in light of the CO2 orthodoxy.
    Proves nothing, given the estimation difficulties around all this, except that we find what we want to find, and/or want our grants to continue….?
    How long I wonder before that graph – from 2001 – gets changed….

  12. Yet another paper attempting to report on important research but is shackled by its funding source: Likely provided by “green grants”, which specify what the grants can be used for. If you wish another grant, your published research must show that the grant was used for its stated purpose: investigations into global warming. It is most likely the only large sums of money available so you play the game to continue working in your chosen field.

    Which leads me to this issue: Pacs and politicians on the stump are supposed to declare where they get their money, and money sources can’t be in the form of “laundered fronts”. Why? Because we have the right to know what compromises might be possible between these bed partners. Science has now also shown its willingness to compromise based on who is funding it. Therefore it may be time for laws to be passed about declaration of funding sources for any published paper providing research results, peer reviewed or not. Notice that currently, we must pay in order to read most research articles, including the bottom of the article that usually includes gratuitous mention of funding sources. The tax paying citizen is being forced to accept and even pay for a horse without being given the chance to look at its teeth before forking over money. A simple solution? Require published abstracts to also include funding sources.

  13. Those who hate CO2, should consider the following:
    They eat CO2 everytime they swallow that junk food of their choice., as carbohydrates, made by plants which breathed in CO2 making it react with water and sunlight.
    They eat CO2 everytime they enjoy candies and chocolates, coffee,etc.
    They eat CO2 while they eat meat, the muscles of cattle which ate grass, in turn, made of water, sunlight and CO2.
    They wear CO2 everyday, as the polymer of glucose called Cotton,
    They exhale CO2, after every breath of oxygen. The CO2 YOU exhale is breathed by plants to give you back oxygen you breath.
    Without CO2 NO F## YOU….!!!!!!!!

  14. Doug Proctor says:
    August 10, 2010 at 8:31 am
    Plus their gratuitous green comment that the current rise is more extraordinary than realized, is both irritating and nonsensical.

    Glad it was not just me. This final sentence struck me as completely incongruous with the rest of the article, sticking out like a sore thumb. It seems there is very little modern science that doesn’t get tainted with by the AGW cult.

  15. “These ancient, but modern-looking oceans emphasise the stability of Earth’s atmosphere and climate through deep time – and show the current man-made rise in greenhouse gas levels to be an even more striking phenomenon than was thought,” the researchers conclude.

    Man-made CO2 a more striking phenomenon? A natural rise in CO2 levels of, say, 1200 ppm more striking than 80 ppm of anthropogenic rise?

    And no “runaway effect”, neither.

  16. Lenin re-wrote history, Stalin did it, Hitler did it, all Socialists of sorts & anti-capitalist/free-enterprise! What’s new when money is on the table. Heck, if they paid me enough I’d believe in AGW, but they haven’t got enough money!

  17. Below the graph, it reads: “This image provided for timeline reference and is not from the study cited below”. Hmmm. Ok. Perhaps it should be emphasized a bit more?

  18. > latitude says:
    > August 10, 2010 at 8:41 am

    > You couldn’t even find 0.038% of anything.

    My house is approx 250 cubic metres.

    Therefore 0.038% of my house of approx 95 litres.

    95 Litres is approx 180 bottles of beer.

    I’m sure I could find 180 bottles of beer.

  19. Gee, a huge cycle in global temperatures every 150 million years…..sounds like something to do with the solar system and the rotation of our galactic arm and the presence or absence of cosmic fields and forces.

    [CO2] can go where it wants to, apparently, without major consequence as far as the planet’s temperature is concerned. Unless we increase our atmospheric density a few dozen times or so, temps won’t depend on [CO2].

    The fault, my friends, may be in the stars and not in ourselves…

  20. ….and show the current man-made rise in greenhouse gas levels to be an even more striking phenomenon than was thought…..
    So Professor, let me see if I have this correct: Your saying a 100ppm “man-made” rise in CO2 (if the “man-made” CO2 IS what has caused the “rise”) coupled with a .6C degree rise in temp, compared to a 1500ppm “natural” decrease in CO2 coupled with a 10.0C rise in temp during the Silurian Period – is a “striking phenomenon”??
    Well, who am I to disagree???

  21. There are some items that are inferred or directly mentioned that require some clarification.

    Re: “Climate’s changed before”
    2. Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time, which now is dominated by humans.

    Re: “It’s just a natural cycle”
    21. Ancient natural cycles are irrelevant for attributing recent global warming to humans.

    Re: “There’s no correlation between CO2 and temperature”
    43. There is long-term correlation between CO2 and global temperature; other effects are short-term.

    Re: “CO2 was higher in the late Ordovician”
    104. The sun was much cooler during the Ordovician.

    These succinct and true rebuttals are courtesy of:

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/08/09/rebutting-climate-science-disinformer-talking-points-in-a-single-line

    They are therefore complete and un-contestable.
    For the uneducated and ignorant among you, please consult realclimate.org for the supporting diatribes.

    This discussion is over, move along.

    /sarc

  22. Slightly off-topic, but isn’t EVERYBODY (warmists in particular) missing the point about CO2…?
    If you read Kyoto, it talks about reducing CO2 EQUIVALENT – it doesn’t actually require CO2 itself to be reduced. However, the ‘alarmists’ have jumped on CO2 as the ‘bete noir’ and all the politicians have followed like lambs – or tax opportunists, if you like – because its pretty difficult to tax water vapour, etc.
    So now we have the loony situation where we all have to suffer artifial reductions in a gas which is essential to plant growth, etc – because, like speed and speed cameras, it can be MEASURED – so therefore becomes a soft target. Never mind whether it will have the slightest effect on the climate…

  23. The position of these climate belts changed as the Earth entered the Ordovician glaciation – but in a pattern very similar to that which happened in oceans much more recently, as they adjusted to the glacial and interglacial phases of our current (and ongoing) Ice Age.
    This is interesting as it is the same phenomenon as Stephen Wilde’s observation about the equatorward displacement of the jet streams position.
    A “Goredician” glaciation coming?

  24. Enneagram,
    would you please refrain from derogatory comments at the end of your posts?
    please and thanks

  25. “The position of these climate belts changed as the Earth entered the Ordovician glaciation – but in a pattern very similar to that which happened in oceans much more recently, as they adjusted to the glacial and interglacial phases of our current (and ongoing) Ice Age.”

    Well of course. As I keep saying the latitudinal movement of the air circulation systems provides the mechanism for the variable speed of the hydrological cycle which regulates tropospheric temperatures whether during or between ice ages regardless of whatever disuptive events are thrown at the system. Otherwise the oceans could never have remained liquid.

    Climate change in any given location on the Earth’s surface is simply a reflection of the changing position of that location in relation to the air circulations above or near it.

    The flexibility of the hydrological cycle and the phase changes of water simply will not allow a change to the temperature equilibrium set by the pressure and density differentials between oceans, air and space and not therefore set by the greenhouse effect.

    A change in the strength of the greenhouse effect simply involves a miniscule change in the speed of the hydrological cycle and a miniscule latitudinal shift in the air circulation patterns.

  26. ” James says:
    August 10, 2010 at 8:29 am

    If anyone can find a statistically significant correlation on that graph between CO2 and Average temperature, then be my guest.

    There is not a single direct correlation over the past 500 million years directly linking the two imho. ”

    When I look at the chart it appears to me that every time you have a spike in CO2 you see a decrease in temp. that’s the only correlation I can come up with.

  27. Oh, and note that persistent topping out of temperatures at 22C.

    That is a consequence of evaporation at that temperaure (and therefore the speed of the hydrological cycle) always being fast enough to remove any further or extra energy thrown at the system.

    That temperature of 22C is pressure and density dependant and therefore an illustration of the power of the phase changes of water and not CO2 or GHG dependent.

    Once one knows what is happening the evidence is everywhere but it has been ignored in favour of the simplistic CO2 theory of AGW.

  28. This seems the end of the Anglocinian period as transpires from the decaying of scientist-mamals. :-)

  29. The chart does not show the error envelope of estimated atmospheric CO2 contents. The current preferred estimate is the Geocarb series – I think Geocarb III may be the most recent – which estimates fairly high levels of CO2 in the early Phanerozoic. Other estimates are lower. The black curve in the chart is the Geocarb mean estimate. See http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/Geocarb_III-Berner.pdf for the most recent revision. The fact remains that there is no evidence of any strong correlation between CO2 levels and estimated global temperature over geological time spans.

  30. Well you can see just by eye; without any computation necessary that the Earth Temperature exactly matches the logarithm (base 2) of the CO2 level; thereby proving Schneider’s Law which is taught to every climate science student in the very first lecture.

    It always helps to have data to back up your claims

    I particularly like that period from 600 myr ago for the next 125 m yrs where the Temperature stays absolutely fixed at about 22 deg C.

    You might have some difficulty finding a book of log tables to base 2; but if you can find one; then you can look up the ranges of values for CO2 ratios where the log base 2 doesn’t change at all with the argument which is why the Temperature doesn’t change for that range of CO2 ratios.

    But watch out; by 2100 per the IPCC the earth Temperature is finally going to break through that 22 deg C ;”do not exceed” ceiling that it has been stuck below for 600 million years. That will be something to watch; and I plan on staying around to see that historic event.

  31. Somehow that reminds me of the late Soviet Union, where there was that annoying and stupid tradition of referencing the “decisive role of the Party” everywhere where it was possible or even impossible. So you had a decisive role of the Party in opening a new factory, a decisive role of the Party in paving another road in the town et cetera ad infinitum.

    People even coined a humorous short poem about this. “Uzhla zima, nastalo leto – spasibo Partii za eto!” (“Winter has passed and summer has come – all thanks to the Party!”).

    But I wonder… Why this research made me remember this? Ah, never mind.

  32. I forgot to mention:- Notice how we are currently enjoying the lowest CO2 levels that this planet has ever had; well at least in the last 600 myr; and before that who cares what it was.

  33. It is not hard to see how there was intense glaciation at the South Pole between 460 Mya to 430 Mya and then from 360 Mya to 290 Mya.

    CO2 at 4,500 ppm (4 doublings or +12.0C less about -2.0C for the cooler Sun) and there shouldn’t have been glaciers then? I don’t know, put 5 continents on top of the South Pole and I think there is going to glaciers there (especially if the CO2 sensitivity is lower than 3.0C per doubling).

    Basically we have to rewrite all of history just to conform with this theory.

  34. My house is approx 250 cubic metres.

    Therefore 0.038% of my house of approx 95 litres.

    95 Litres is approx 180 bottles of beer.

    I’m sure I could find 180 bottles of beer.

    pour the bottle of beer into your pool, and try to find it :grin:

  35. “These ancient, but modern-looking oceans emphasise the stability of Earth’s atmosphere and climate through deep time – and show the current man-made rise in greenhouse gas levels to be an even more striking phenomenon than was thought,” the researchers conclude.

    Interesting conclusion. Make sure the research grant money continues to flow.

  36. As an afterthought. These guys de-facto claim that current scientific methods for extraction of CO2 archeological record are off the target by the power of 4? In other words, that we can throw the entire CO2 archeological record out of the window? Because this seems to be the direct conclusion from their paper.

  37. steveta_uk says: > latitude says: “> You couldn’t even find 0.038% of anything.”

    My house is approx 250 cubic metres. Therefore 0.038% of my house of approx 95 litres. 95 Litres is approx 180 bottles of beer. I’m sure I could find 180 bottles of beer.

    Then you couldn’t find your house.

  38. My dumb question of the day, “Was the sun really 1/5th as energetic 450 My ago, or is that crass supposition to support their claims?”

    My understanding is the sun’s output stabilized much before that.

  39. Robert says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:51 am

    “Enneagram,
    would you please refrain from derogatory comments at the end of your posts?
    please and thanks.”

    I thought Enneagram’s previous comment was more sarcasm than derogatory.

  40. George E. Smith says:
    August 10, 2010 at 10:46 am ” That will be something to watch; and I plan on staying around to see that historic event”

    Could you reveal your forecast for those of us who won’t be here then?

  41. Argh, what I hate about graphs like the one from the article is that they give the impression that there is a linear relationship between CO2 concentration and warming caused by the greenhouse effect. While this article certainly spikes the idee fixe of the CAGW crowd that atmospheric CO2 is the primary driver of terrestrial temperature, it doesn’t really disprove that CO2 GH effect is not a component of terrestrial temperature because (as George E Smith noted while I was dealing with life instead of writing this post) the relationship is logarithmic not linear. Nor does it prove that a CO2 driven GH Effect is not the primary driver of the current warming trend, although it does cast doubt on the concept. This article will help in the millimeter by millimeter movement of the scientific portion of the CAGW crowd towards the denialist position that human CO2 emissions may not be the primary driver of the current (500 year) warming trend.

  42. Pamela Gray says: “…Currently, we must pay in order to read most research articles… The tax paying citizen is being forced to accept and even pay for a horse without being given the chance to look at its teeth before forking over money….”

    The teeth are located at the front ends of horses, Pamela. Post-modern climate science has very few horse front ends.

  43. Bill Illis says:
    August 10, 2010 at 10:59 am

    …Basically we have to rewrite all of history just to conform with this theory.

    Don’t put ideas into their heads!!!

  44. How much faster did the Earth rotate on axis 450 million years ago? Faster rotation rate will always lead to more rapid heat transfer between the low lats and poles, yielding a more uniform global temperature.

  45. I about fell out of my chair on that last quote!

    Could somebody please tell me…how such horrific and juvenile circular reasoning, could pass the Peer Review process?????

    Oh yeah….I forgot….

    Might as well change the name to Political Review process.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  46. See, according to the super-cool enlightenment principles of the PNAS’s Post Normal Science, if you just keep repeating the hallowed CAGW “tenets” as mantric chants, they become “true”!*

    *a.k.a., “The Monkeys know it is true, because they always say it is true.” – Mogli, The Jungle Book movie.

  47. Also in this whole CO2 EPA demonization scheme, it is somehow forgotten that during the past Ice Age Co2 levels plummeted to 180 ppm.

    Plants cease production at 150 ppm.

    Talk about a mass extinction.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  48. Robert says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:51 am
    The Devil, the proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked
    Tomas More

  49. I think we are all missing the point, clearly man made CO2 has far more affect on the temperature than naturally occurring CO2, so even if historical levels were many times today’s level, it could still be considered an unprecedented rise in modern times due to the man made effect

    /sarc

  50. “intense glaciation – something difficult to envisage in a world with high levels of greenhouse gases.”

    Of course, since there is no such thing as a greenhouse gas as our atmosphere is not a greenhouse and CO2 cannot trap heat (just as picket fences cannot hold back water), this is easy to envisage.

  51. Of course, during the late Ordovician, there were no land animals and very few (if any) land-living plants. The continents were in quite different locations as well. None of today’s major mountain ranges existed. The biosphere and the carbon cycle were quite different than today. So it is really rather pointless to compare the Earth 460 million years ago with the Earth today in the context of global warming. (Maybe, though, it is instructive to remember that the Ordovician did actually end with one of the greatest mass extinctions in the history of the Earth.)

  52. It’s not worth $10 to actually be able to read this paper; the abstract is enough to make that decision. They appear to have had the audacity to “model” the temperature decline from 8x to 5x “pre-industrial” level and declare that the drop was proportional to the fall in partial pressure of CO2! Proportional? They need to check their equations. Then they proceed to blame this temperature drop for a mass extinction from the cold! Absolutely incredible.

    Polar front shift and atmospheric CO2 during the glacial maximum of the Early Paleozoic Icehouse
    Our new data address the paradox of Late Ordovician glaciation under supposedly high pCO2 (8 to 22× PAL: preindustrial atmospheric level). The paleobiogeographical distribution of chitinozoan (“mixed layer”) marine zooplankton biotopes for the Hirnantian glacial maximum (440 Ma) are reconstructed and compared to those from the Sandbian (460 Ma): They demonstrate a steeper latitudinal temperature gradient and an equatorwards shift of the Polar Front through time from 55°–70° S to ~40° S. These changes are comparable to those during Pleistocene interglacial-glacial cycles. In comparison with the Pleistocene, we hypothesize a significant decline in mean global temperature from the Sandbian to Hirnantian, proportional with a fall in pCO2 from a modeled Sandbian level of ~8× PAL to ~5× PAL during the Hirnantian. Our data suggest that a compression of midlatitudinal biotopes and ecospace in response to the developing glaciation was a likely cause of the end-Ordovician mass extinction.

  53. steveta : I’m sure I could find 180 bottles of beer.

    But really, it would be better if you didn’t – think of all the CO2 that might be released!

  54. OK… GeoCarb puts the Ordovician CO2 between 4,000 and 5,000 ppmv. GeoCarb is a model based on weathering rates and other geological process estimates. Pedogenic carbonates indicate a CO2 level of about 5,600 ppmv 447 mya – Right in in the middle of the Ordovician ice age.

    So… We just assume that the data are wrong during the Ordovician ice age because the GHG-driven AGW model says CO2 levels had to be down around 1,500 to 2,000 ppmv.

    Where have I seen this sort of “fitting-the-data-to-the-theory” before… Can you say Ptolemaic Solar System? I didn’t actually “see” the Copernican-Ptolemaic debate; I just read about it. I’m old, but not than old… ;)

  55. “…and show the current man-made rise in greenhouse gas levels to be an even more striking phenomenon than was thought,”

    This statement makes no sense. I’ve looked at it repeatedly. I have guessed at missing words. I’ve tried to rearrange the words. I can’t tell what it says (if anything), nor what they wanted it to say. While “it is 5 o’clock somewhere” I haven’t started drinking yet today.

  56. Tom C says:
    August 10, 2010 at 11:30 am
    How much faster did the Earth rotate on axis 450 million years ago? Faster rotation rate will always lead to more rapid heat transfer between the low lats and poles, yielding a more uniform global temperature.

    21.2 hours per day and 414 days per year

  57. Well you can see just by eye; without any computation necessary that the Earth Temperature exactly matches the logarithm (base 2) of the CO2 level; thereby proving Schneider’s Law which is taught to every climate science student in the very first lecture.
    Exactly George. The most important part of the course should be left to the end of the course!
    Think back to the average state of a first year student, in any neigh all subjects.
    Hungover, i’d guess, and thus totally impervious to logical sensitivity.
    I vaguely remember my alcohol level 460′ish million years ago. As to the CO2 environment that I co-existed with, forget it. It was all just a blurr!

  58. “…[carbon dioxide levels] would have had to be somewhat higher than today’s, because the sun in those far-off times shone less brightly.”

    They had to be, I tell you. They just had to be!

    And what would be the implication to the CAGW hypothesis if it were discovered that CO2 levels were not so high? That there are actually a zillion other factors (including negative feedbacks) influencing the temperature maybe? But let’s be fair. In the absence of knowledge, we can’t account for the high temperature (then as now) without the attributing it to CO2. I’m sold.

    NOT.

  59. steveta_uk says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:19 am

    > latitude says:
    > August 10, 2010 at 8:41 am

    > You couldn’t even find 0.038% of anything.

    My house is approx 250 cubic metres.

    Therefore 0.038% of my house of approx 95 litres.

    95 Litres is approx 180 bottles of beer.

    I’m sure I could find 180 bottles of beer.

    0.038% would be .ooo38 x 250 = .095 litres or a little over 3 ounces, not even worth finding!

  60. Ian L. McQueen: August 10, 2010 at 1:29 pm
    An Aussie researcher opines that increased CO2 will reduce the nutrition in our food and also increase the content of cyanide. Another one for the list of 3000 problems due to CO2.

    Ah, yes — the cassava kerfluffle we had here a couple months back.

    I’ll bet the researcher didn’t reveal that the folks who eat a lot of cassava know enough to cook the stuff (which breaks down the cyanide) and they *prefer* the taste of the tubers that normally have higher concentrations of cyanide — it’s *spicier*.

  61. The graph doesn’t go with the article does it? It’s been around for years. Someone took graphs from two different studies and C&Ped them together. Ain’t photoshop great?

    Where were the (4) continents located in the Ordovician compared to today?
    What was solar output in the Ordovician compared to today?
    How much volcanism was there during the Ordovician compared to today?
    Where are the error bars?

    REPLY: Apparently you are unable to read captions, where’s your reading glasses? – Anthony

  62. wsbriggs says:
    August 10, 2010 at 11:11 am
    My dumb question of the day, “Was the sun really 1/5th as energetic 450 My ago, or is that crass supposition to support their claims?”

    My understanding is the sun’s output stabilized much before that.

    Your understanding is wrong. The sun’s brightness has been steadily increasing ever since the plant formed and it continues to do so.

    It was dimmer 460 Mya, although definitely not at 1/5th the current level.

    Anders L. says:
    August 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm
    Of course, during the late Ordovician, there were no land animals and very few (if any) land-living plants. The continents were in quite different locations as well. None of today’s major mountain ranges existed. The biosphere and the carbon cycle were quite different than today. So it is really rather pointless to compare the Earth 460 million years ago with the Earth today in the context of global warming. (Maybe, though, it is instructive to remember that the Ordovician did actually end with one of the greatest mass extinctions in the history of the Earth.)

    Correct, continental masses were in a completely different configuration than now.

    It is extremely dishonest to claim “See, CO2 was much higher 460Mya, and the climate was similar to now, therefore AGW is BS” (seems to be a pattern in this blog). If someting is BS, it is that argument, not AGW.

    CO2 is hardly the only thing influencing the climate, there are many many other factors. The point is that none of those other factors has been changing now other than CO2.

  63. The 600 million year Berner-Scotese composite CO2-Temperature graph is simply understandable by everyone, and should be required reading in every public school.

    The Beck 2007 graph depicting CO2 levels between 1820 and 2000, showing CO2 at 425 ppm in 1825 higher than it is today, should also be required reading in public school.

    Then there is the teeny weeny Mauna Loa graph showing 52 years of CO2 increasing from 315 to 390 ppm, from 1958 to today. A dot on a graph of geologic time. No, not even a pixel of data on said graph. How pathetic!

  64. “”” RoyFOMR says:
    August 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm
    Well you can see just by eye; without any computation necessary that the Earth Temperature exactly matches the logarithm (base 2) of the CO2 level; thereby proving Schneider’s Law which is taught to every climate science student in the very first lecture.
    Exactly George. The most important part of the course should be left to the end of the course!
    Think back to the average state of a first year student, in any neigh all subjects.
    Hungover, i’d guess, and thus totally impervious to logical sensitivity.
    I vaguely remember my alcohol level 460′ish million years ago. As to the CO2 environment that I co-existed with, forget it. It was all just a blurr! “””

    Well I hope that not everybody failed to notice that I had tongue firmly implanted in cheek.

    Even with the rather poor scales on those two graphs; there is not the slightest chance that that data fits a straight line plot of earth Temperature versus log base 2 of the CO2 abundance in the atmosphere.

    For most of the time; the Temperature is locked at a ceiling of about 22 deg C while the CO2 goes through about five doublings; or is it halvings.

    remember that in the modern record since 1957/58 when the Mauna Loa data stream was started we have had about 1/3 of one doubling of CO2; and according to the IPCC the value of the slope of the Temperature Versus Log CO2 graph is uncertain by about 3:1.

    Now would some of you mathematical geniuses please tell me how you can distinguish between a linear relationship, and a logarithmic relationship when the slope of the best fitting line is uncertain by a factor of three.

    The claim of a logarithmic relationship between CO2 abundance and earth Temperature is just plain silly. Show me any data set where the log relationship is more likely than a simple linear relationship.

    Then there is that other problem.

    We have (T2 -T 1) = (cs).logbase2(CO2,2/CO2,1) where T2-T1 is evaluated over some climate times scale of say 30 years; while logbase2 (CO2,2/CO2,1) is evaluated over some DIFFERENT time period maybe also of 30 years and the two time periods over which the data is plotted may differ by say +/- 800 years or more; as is evident in the data in Nobel Laureate Al Gore’s pivotal book; where the Temperature changes occur about 800 years before the CO2 changes which cause them.

    The whole idea is totally ludicrous.

    And remember that the original input FORCING that starts off this logarithmic relationship is the emittance of LWIR from the earth surface; that gets intercepted by the GHG (say CO2); and that surface emittance varies from place to place on earth by more than a factor of 10:1 from the hottest deserts at +60 deg C or more to the coldest reaches of Vostok and surroundings that can be as cold as about -90 deg C; so you have a circular relationship right from the start in that you are trying to detect a small fraction of a degree change in a logarithmic graph with a background Temperature noise of as much as 150 deg C range; and you have to figure out what time differential to have between the Temperature data and the CO2 data.

    Well never mind gathering the data; why not just construct a Physics cause and effect model which predicts; excuse me; projects, a logarithmic connection.

    Yet climatologists continue to proclaim such a logarithmic relationship when there is neither data; nor theory to support such a connection.

    So look at the pretty pink graph above again and see if you can discern where the logarithmic connection is between those two lines. There isn’t any; or any other connection. Something much more powerful than mere CO2 is REGULATING the maximum Temperature that earth can reach through thick and thin for the last 600 million years.

    My vote goes to the Physical and Chemical properties of the H2O molecule in all of its three phases.

    IT’S THE WATER !

  65. Doing the math:
    5000 ppm is 4650 ppm higher than today.
    The 100ppm recent rise in C02 is equated by AGW to result in 0.6C rise in global temps.
    There are 46.5 100ppm rises between today and 500 million years ago, with each on worth +0.6C
    That is 46.5 x 0.6 = +27.9C.
    So, today’s global temp of 13C equates to 13+27.9 = 40.9C in the Cambrian. (105.6 F).
    Now, that would be a hothouse Earth. But the graph says it was 22c (71.6F).
    Both cannot be right. The discrepancy is 21.1C (34 F).

  66. Can we establish a new convention for reference and annotation? Anyone writing a paper or article that has to include a gratuitous AGW sentence in order to satisfy a grant requirements, get the paper past a tenured board, or just to cover your ass in the next round of budget cuts – please annotate this unsupported material with a common reference. I suggest: “as required by convention”

    We can trim them out later and not question your underlying work.

  67. “”” Enneagram says:
    August 10, 2010 at 11:23 am
    George E. Smith says:
    August 10, 2010 at 10:46 am ” That will be something to watch; and I plan on staying around to see that historic event”
    Could you reveal your forecast for those of us who won’t be here then? “””

    My forecast is that the mean global surface Temperature of planet earth will NOT be in excess of +22 deg C in the year 2100 AD.

    Some IPCC projections say it could be 10 deg C hotter than today which would put it as much as about 25 deg C. Ain’t gonna happen.

  68. Actually, I could read it quite well, once I saw it….. it doesn’t show up very well in firefox on my monitor – real faint.

    And the other questions?

    REPLY: Since I did not write the paper, or the university press release citing it above, I’ll refer you to the author contact info is at the bottom of the article, I’m sure they will appreciate your line of questions about their paper. Feel free to report back what they say. – Anthony

  69. Warmists can’t stand it when you bring up past co2 levels. I wonder why? Venus runaway warming tipping point comes to mind and I tell them so.

  70. According to Astrophysical theory, the sun originated with a luminosity of about 70% of the current value about 4.5 billion years ago, and has been increasing in luminosity ever since. In another billion years or so, we’ll have a runaway greenhouse and wind up just like Venus- that’s long before the sun reaches the end of the main sequence in about 5 billion years.

    Assuming a constant increase in luminosity, the sun had a luminosity of about
    0.7 + (8/9)*.3 = 0.967 about 500 million years ago. Temperature varies roughly as the 4th root of luminosity, so temperatures would have been about
    (0.966)^0.25 = 0.991 about 500 million years ago. Antarctica wasn’t covered in
    ice yet, so that little albedo change could more than make up for the difference in sunlight.

    Hsien-Wang Ou thinks that cloud feedback kept the earth’s temperature relatively stable over the last 4.5 billion years

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0442%282001%29014%3C2976%3APBOTES%3E2.0.CO%3B2

  71. CO2 is to climatology what gravity is to cosmology…greenhouse theory is to climatology what relativity is to cosmology.

    they have to couch their paper in these terms to get funding and publishing, ignoring everything else

    like the position of the continents. orbital changes. and the sun.

  72. “”” Alan McIntire says:
    August 10, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Hsien-Wang Ou thinks that cloud feedback kept the earth’s temperature relatively stable over the last 4.5 billion years “””

    No idea who he is; but I’ve been saying that it’s the water for about as long as I have ever heard of global warming; and I didn’t need any fancy thermal models; just the back of an envelope, and some ordinary common sense.

    Don’t plan on any runaway greenhouse until you boil off all those oceans; and I am sure we will be long gone well before that time.

    What might happen in another billion years is of no help to this Congress, and this administration in deciding on US policy.

  73. One can calculate the solar irradiance at Earth over time with a fairly simple formula:

    TSI 440 Mya = 1366 W/m2 * (1-(0.3*440/4550) = 1325 W/m2

    (Kastings 2003 is the final word on this and it is not quite a linear change over time but it is close enough).

    So, Surface Temp with no extra feedback from CO2 at 4 doublings (and Albedo the same as today) =

    Surface Temp 440 Mya = [(1325 *(1-0.3)/4 + 150 + 4*3.7)/5.67e-8] ^.25 = 289.2K or +1.2C higher than today.

    There are three estimates of the temperature at the time (+2.0C Berner and Royer 2004), (-4.0C Shaviv and Veizer 2003) and (-3.0C from Scotese).

    Now the Albedo was probably higher at the time because glacier covered at least the top half of Africa (which is twice as big as Antarctica) and it could have covered parts of South America as well.

    So the CO2 estimates for the period work fine (close to right down the middle) if one assumes there is no secondary +200% feedback from CO2. Hence the need to rewrite the CO2 estimates down to two doubling only.

    But there are two compilation estimates of CO2 for the period (4500 ppm Berner 2001) and (5800 ppm Royer 2004 and used in IPCC Ar4) which should not be considered as sceptical sources.

  74. [The findings have been published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA – and show that these ancient climate belts were surprisingly like those of the present.]

    The position of the landmasses on the planet have everything to do with the resulting oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns. The position of the land masses was very different 450Mya:

    It would be some kind of miracle for the climate belts 450Mya to be like those of the present. I’m throwing the B.S. flag on this claim.

  75. George E Smith,

    Nothing snarky about this, honest – just a genuine question. Why do you often use semicolons instead of commas? Or is there a problem with your keyboard? I only mention it because I find it affects the readability of your posts, which is a shame.

  76. REPLY: Since I did not write the paper, or the university press release citing it above, I’ll refer you to the author contact info is at the bottom of the article, I’m sure they will appreciate your line of questions about their paper. Feel free to report back what they say. – Anthony

    Gotcha. Answers aren’t important.

    Anyway, my questions were about your graph. Not the paper.

  77. I can just hear the plaintive response from the watermelon politics crowd:

    “But, but, but … That was then, and this is nooowwww!”

    :o)

  78. rbateman says:
    August 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm
    Doing the math:

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

    Nothing like that anti-spin-doctor, “Math” to set the record straight!

  79. @Andrew30 says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for stopping by, Andrew. In a single line, don’t bother to come back, particularly with links to Real Climate . Ta ta!

  80. “groper says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:45 am
    460 MYA the earth was probably in a different orbit, continents as we know it didn’t exist.”

    And too, as little as 150 years ago, the Atlantic was narrower, the Pacific was wider, Australia was further south, the Moon was closer, albeit not by much in every case, but still, not the same.

  81. Is it my eyes but the chart seems to show 2 stable states, 22 c and 12 c irrespective of CO2 levels? doen anyone know if the cooler times coincide, with some lag with ice ages?

  82. Did anyone else notice the huge drop in temperatures every 150M years, as in NOW, 150MYA, 300MYA, and 450MYA. Is there some cause for this repetitious event?

  83. Infer Ordovician CO2 levels from proxied temperature based on a theoretical model. Use the relationship of the resulting values to support the validity of the model. Rinse and repeat.

  84. GM says at 3:10 pm:

    “CO2 is hardly the only thing influencing the climate, there are many many other factors. The point is that none of those other factors has been changing now other than CO2.”

    That in a nutshell is the CO2=CAGW conjecture: the climate doesn’t change, and nothing else changes except the CO2 level. Alarmists actually believe that nonsense — while scientific skeptics understand that the climate’s parameters are always constantly changing.

    And as usual, GM provides no references like the rest of us do for his wild-eyed speculation.

  85. stevengoddard says:
    August 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Tom C

    Venus barely rotates and has a completely uniform heat distribution.
    Reply;
    Neptune rotates lying on its side, and the pole that is away from the sun (at the time sampled) is the warmest part.

  86. GM says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:29 pm
    “Why is that I am the only one realizing the deep irony of a bunch of anti-science lunatic wackos criticizing me for not providing references for well known facts when in the rare cases that they do provide references, it is from other anti-science lunatic wacko blogs and sites. ”

    Way to make friends and influence people, GM!

  87. GM says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:29 pm
    Reply;
    You managed to say “lunatic wacko” twice in one run on sentence, I am impressed.
    But I just think you are projecting, blaming others for the lack of a continually expanding knowledge base.

  88. Stevengoddard,

    Yes, because of a highly efficient greenhouse effect and incredible atmospheric pressure.

    On Earth, however, the heat sink isn’t the atmosphere, it’s the oceans. Rate of rotation effects heat transport immensely here.

    The faster Earth rotates on axis the greater the Coriolis force the stronger ocean currents flow. Meridional currents would carry heat to the high latitudes at a much faster rate. Jet streams would move faster. Tropical waters wouldn’t be as warm at depth. There’d be less hurricanes and more in the way of derecho-like thunderstorms (think of the shear the atmosphere would have).

  89. GM:

    Your series of postings are inflammatory, insulting and juvenile. Importantly, they are completely mistaken.

    At August 10, 2010 at 9.29 pm, you say:
    “Why is that I am the only one realizing the deep irony of a bunch of anti-science lunatic wackos criticizing me for not providing references for well known facts”

    OK. If that is your view then – in hope that you will start to discover the magnitude of your misunderstanding – I will present a series of “well known facts” and leave you to find the pertinent references (but I can provide them to you if finding them proves too difficult for you).

    In science the null hypothesis is that nothing has changed unless a change is observed to have occurred.

    The null hypothesis is the governing assumption unless and until empirical evidence of a change is obtained. Adoption of any other assumption is not science.
    (In fact, adopting an assumption other than the null hypothesis in the absence of empirical evidence of a change is a denial of the scientific method).

    So, what do we observe concerning climate change?

    The global temperature seems to vary in cycles that are overlaid on each other. The cause(s) of these cycles is not known but some are associated with known phenomena (e.g. ENSO, NAO and PDO) although the causes of these phenomena are not known.

    There is an apparent ~900 year oscillation that provided
    the Roman Warm Period (RWP),
    then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP),
    then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP),
    then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and
    the present warm period (PWP).

    And there is an apparent ~60 year oscillation that provided
    cooling from ~1880 to ~1910,
    then warming from ~1910 to ~1940,
    then cooling from ~1940 to ~1970,
    then warming from about ~1970 to ~2000,
    then cooling since.

    These oscillations form a pattern of climate change over time.

    And if this pattern continues then either
    (a) cooling will continue until ~2020 when the ~60 year oscillation will change phase and warming will resume until global temperature reaches the levels it had in the RWP and the MWP
    or
    (b) the ~900 year oscillation will change phase and the globe will start to cool to the temperatures it had in the DACP and LIA.

    There is no observation that indicates there has been any change to this pattern.

    And, therefore, the only scientific conclusion is that the null hypothesis applies:
    i.e. nothing has changed global climate behaviour in recent decades or centuries.

    Only “anti-science lunatic wackos” and the mentally deranged would dispute this conclusion.

    Richard

  90. GM says:
    August 10, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    ^
    Mods – how did you let this guy through? Please remove – obvious issues here.

  91. Estimations of atmospheric CO2 levels over the past millions of years is fraught with problems, all adding errors. Some Ordovician level estimates are 8000ppmv. CO2 levels had to be higher because it is plants which convert CO2 to oxygen and they had to evolve, after the cyanobacteria, to reduce this to any extent. CO2 levels in the archaen were 20%. There was no free oxygen in the atmosphere, it is far too reactive to have survived the fiery start of the planet’s formation. There was also a substantial anoxic event during the proterozoic, removing atmospheric oxygen to form the banded ironstone layers from the iron in solution in the oceans. This iron would have been poisonous to plant development so it was after this that plant evolution would have taken off.
    The estimates that recent atmospheric CO2 levels have been 285ppmv for 1000 years. This is a pure guess and not held to be true by measurements taken in the 1800′s showing CO2 levels to be up to 500ppmv. They used the same system of CO2 measurement that is used today, though not by NOAA which use an infra red system not accepted by all.

  92. Roy Weiler says:
    August 10, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    0.038% would be .ooo38 x 250 = .095 litres or a little over 3 ounces, not even worth finding!

    Roy, that’s 0.95 cubic metres, not litres, i.e. you’re out by x1000.

  93. NS says:
    August 11, 2010 at 1:21 am
    GM says:
    August 10, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    ^
    Mods – how did you let this guy through? Please remove – obvious issues here.

    Add yourself to the list of those mentioned in the deleted postes

  94. groper says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:45 am
    460 MYA the earth was probably in a different orbit, continents as we know it didn’t exist.”

    A very relevant remark .
    The right formulation being “was certainly in a different orbit .
    The planetary orbits in the solar system are chaotic and the Lyapounov time (time beyond which no prediction can be done) is around 10 millions of years .
    This is 46 times shorter than the time periods considered in this paper .
    Our luck is that even if the Earth’s orbit is chaotic , all different orbits are qualitatively similar .
    For those who want to know more about the Chaos in the Solar system and in the Earth’s orbit : http://chaos.if.uj.edu.pl/~karol/pdf/solar.pdf

  95. Richard S Courtney says:

    In science the null hypothesis is that nothing has changed unless a change is observed to have occurred.

    The null hypothesis is the governing assumption unless and until empirical evidence of a change is obtained. Adoption of any other assumption is not science.

    Thank you for your concise definition of the null hypothesis. Essentially, it is the same as Dr Roy Spencer’s:

    “No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability.”

    The scientific method is the only way out of the self-serving fog generated by the promoters of climate pseudo-science. To the extent we abandon the scientific method, we abandon rationality to the Elmer Gantrys ensconced in their positions of self-imposed authority.

  96. Again, words are insufficient to accurately describe the situation where a bunch of global warming (and probably other things too) [SNIP] are trying to educate me about the scientific method. Simply unbelievable. That’s coming from people who are violating the first lesson of proper scientific practice a few hundred times a day, namely, that you do not decide what the truth is before you have seen the evidence. The same people who use alleged political affiliations 3/4 of the time to discredit climate science, and who aren’t even trying to hide their own political agenda.

    Absolutely disgusting

  97. GM is going out with a whimper. And as usual, by hurling his impotent invective, rather than by providing verified observations and empirical evidence. Does GM even understand the concept of testable, empirical evidence? Or the Scientific Method? Based on his previous posts, he demonstrates that he does not understand. Karl Popper shows the way for those interested in the best method extant for prying the truth out of a world of false assumptions.

    The only ‘political agenda’ is that of the climate alarmists, who always have their eyes on the wallets of taxpaying citizens. Scientific skeptics have nothing to prove, and make no profit from their insistence that the assertions of runaway global warming must be backed by convincing evidence based on the Scientific Method.

    But the climate alarmist crowd consistently fails to provide any testable evidence to support their belief system. The challenge to provide such evidence is unmet for a very good reason: there is zero testable, reproducible evidence showing that an increase in a harmless and beneficial trace gas will lead to climate catastrophe.

    Despite that, the challenge is still there; the gauntlet has been thrown down by scientific skeptics at the feet of the alarmist contingent. But the craven alarmists will not pick up the gauntlet. They must provide real world evidence of their CO2=CAGW conjecture — or admit that they are trying to sell an increasingly skeptical world a pig in a poke.

  98. The following is pure conjecture and musings…

    After doing some thinking about why the CO2 lags behind precipitous temperature drops I would propose that this is due to plant decomposition. That fraction of CO2 and hydrocarbon that is not buried decomposes and becomes part of the atmosphere. By reduced plant uptake due to cooler temperatures the CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere. This would be true of both terran and aquatic organisms, including corals utilizing CO2 for their carbonate structures.

    Just a thought.

  99. ““These ancient, but modern-looking oceans emphasise the stability of Earth’s atmosphere and climate through deep time – and show the current man-made rise in greenhouse gas levels to be an even more striking phenomenon than was thought,” the researchers conclude.”
    ________________________
    Anyone can be intimidated, bought, sold, cowed into submission. Is the ‘Human Nature’ Bell Curve turning upside down?

  100. GM:

    It seems I owe you an apology for a misundertanding.

    Your post at August 11, 2010 at 4:44 am says:

    “Simply unbelievable. That’s coming from people who are violating the first lesson of proper scientific practice a few hundred times a day, namely, that you do not decide what the truth is before you have seen the evidence. The same people who use alleged political affiliations 3/4 of the time to discredit climate science, and who aren’t even trying to hide their own political agenda. ”

    Clearly, you are complaining at Messrs Al Gore and James Hansen. My error was to think that your earlier posts were complaining at people who have posted here. Obviously, none of what you have asserted (above) matches people who post here (they have a wide range of political views form right-wing libertarians to left-wing socialists) so my misundertanding was profound.

    Richard

  101. Just so everyone knows the error bars for the CO2 level on the top chart are HUGE.

    Here is the exact same graph with uncertainty shown:

  102. I ran some numbers for fun.

    According to the unrelated graph, T was 22 deg C, 7 deg C warmer than 1976, and co2 was about 4200ppm. Clear sky co2 absorption increased by about 15 w/m^2 due to the increased concentration over the 1976 value. Putting in a doubling of h2o vapor – that seems to be rather generous with the temperatures and absolute humidity, the absorption increased to 23w/m^2. Using 0.22 deg C per w/m^2 sensitivity (based on todays overall average sensitivity of 33 deg C per 150 w/m^2 total cloud+ghg absorption), this results in a 5 deg C expected warming – leaving 2 deg C in need of some additional ‘forcing’ of 9 w/m^2. One might expect a lower albedo due to melted polar caps and higher sea levels (albedo for h2o tends to be below 0.04 while current surface albedo tends to be 0.08 with 0.22 cloud albedo making up the difference). A reduction in overall albedo loss of 0.028 would make up for the extra 9w/m^2. This loss could come from loss of snow and ice areas and from a loss of land area due to ocean rise and from a loss of desert area – such as the sahara – were it lush and green, it’s albedo could drop by a third.

    Other potential contributors to the needed 9w/m^2 include much higher methane levels (relatively speaking) and additional relative humidity levels which could further increase the absolute humidity.

    Of course, if one want’s to drop the amount of co2, it becomes even more difficult to account for the missing forcings.

  103. Anthony,
    There is a much more complex and complete graph of the various aspects of paleoclimate in Veizer and Shaviv, 2003, which can be found here:

    ftp://rock.geosociety.org/pub/GSAToday/gt0307.pdf

    The chart also shows planetary climate states (Icehouse v Greenhouse) and periods where there is evidence of continental glaciation and polar ice caps. Curiously, a copy of the paper is also available at Stephen Schneider’s web site.

  104. Here is a few other charts showing the South Pole:

    at about 460 Mya:

    at about 450 Mya:

    Two simulations of how much glacier built up at about 440 Mya:

    And then a previous climate model simulation of ocean conditions:

  105. Duster says:
    August 11, 2010 at 10:11 am

    IPCC, do you DENY the implications of the paper by Shaviv and Veizer?

  106. I find the figure with the caption: “Global Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time ” at the site: http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html especially interesting. Does anyone have the skills to superimpose on to this figure the data for the sun’s 11 year and 206 year cycles of solar variability ( sunspot activity ), the 21,000 year cycle of earth’s combined tilt and elliptical orbit around the sun ( precession of the equinoxes ), the 41,000 year cycle of the +/- 1.5° wobble in Earth’s orbit ( tilt ), the 100,000 year cycle of the variations in the shape of Earth’s elliptical orbit ( cycle of eccentricity ), and the time periods of the different ice-ages ??

    I would like to see if there is an obvious connection.

  107. GM says:
    August 10, 2010 at 9:29 pm
    “Why is that I am the only one realizing the deep irony of a bunch of anti-science lunatic wackos criticizing me for not providing references for well known facts when in the rare cases that they do provide references, it is from other anti-science lunatic wacko blogs and sites. ”

    whew. i am with you man. it sure is tough putting up with a bunch ignorant people who believe in silly things like continents moving, solar variability, and worst of all, that the earth itself actually moves! preposterous!

    what a bunch of lunatic anti-science wackos allright!

    /sarc

    and welcome to WUWT, joe.

  108. I get tired of repeating this: addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere does not cause temperature rise. This is an empirical observation that follows from the work of Ferenc Miskolczi. Let me go through this one more time. Ferenc Miskolczy [E&E 21(4):243-262 (2010)] has shown that further addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere cannot change the already-existing greenhouse effect that keeps the earth habitable. He did that by using NOAA weather balloon database to show that the global average annual infrared optical thickness of the atmosphere has been unchanged for 61 years, with a value of 1.87. It will be inferred that CO2 does not affect the Earth’s climate through the greenhouse effect, he concludes. The optical thickness he speaks of is a logarithmic measure of the transparency of the atmosphere to heat radiation from below. This means that constant addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere for 61 years straight has not changed its transparency or its optical thickness would have increased, and this did not happen. And this is a stunning result: it means that the greenhouse absorption signature of the added carbon dioxide simply isn’t there. Hence, the runaway greenhouse effect that IPCC models thrust upon us is physically impossible. These modelers have discovered that if they used only carbon dioxide in their climate models the warming predicted was modest and did not lead to any dangerous warming. So they juiced up these models by assuming that water vapor provides positive feedback that increases warming. This is how they get those fantastic predictions of five or six degree warming. And these outrageous predictions are then used in proposals to Congress to justify emission controls. But their juiced-up models are all wrong. That is because Miskolczy has shown that water vapor feedback is strongly negative and suppresses warming instead of increasing it. And as the present article points out ,in Ordovician time when CO2 was five or more times higher than now the climate was not particularly warmer. And that is exactly what Miscolczi’s work would predict: increased carbon dioxide in the air does not mean increased global temperature. It is simply physics, and it applies to Ordovician times just as it applies to our time.

  109. “”” Michael Larkin says:
    August 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm
    George E Smith,

    Nothing snarky about this, honest – just a genuine question. Why do you often use semicolons instead of commas? Or is there a problem with your keyboard? I only mention it because I find it affects the readability of your posts, which is a shame. “””

    Well Michael call it a problem of idiom confusion. I grew up on a Colonists diet of movies from Hollywood and J. Arthur Rank which gave me two species of the English language to add to my native tongue.

    In my final year of high school which was the final instance of ANY formal training in the English Language or any other subjects covered under the general heading of English I actually was awarded the classs prize for the best score in the English final exam. Memory serves me to suggest that my score was 60/100 which I am sure was by far the highest score I ever got on any English exam. Actually the score is printed inside my prize “Standard Stories From the Operas.” which is howcum I remember it.

    But bottom line is that I was taught to use commas whenever I needed to take a breath and to use semiccolons when there was a change in subject matter such as between major clauses.

    Having not so much as an English Dictionary now in my technical library I am quite out of touch with modern English usage but I do from time to time consult with Dr Richard Lederer the foremost authority on the English language also the father of Annie Duke and Howard Lederer two of the slickest Professional Poker players on the circuit.
    Annie Duke is of course the lady who cleaned the clock of Joan Rivers that old bag who won that rigged Donald Trump Celebrity Apprentice program a year or two ago on the T&V.

    I can remove all the commas and semicolons if that would make you happier.

    So what are YOUR roolz for punctuation ?

  110. @Doug McGee, GM

    The argument that “temps and CO2 levels from deep time are not relevant to the present” due to differences in continental layout, volcanism, solar output e.t.c., while politically convenient for CAGW, are false and illogical.

    CAGW theory revolves around atmospheric radiative balance and the IR transmission / absorption of IR. This over-riding factor is supposed to sweep everything else aside. So the “Ordovician paradox” does indeed challenge the core of CAGW. Arm-waving about these other climate factors is not a counter-argument. Lets look at some of these factors anyway.

    Different continental layout. How should that afffect climate? Ocean currents? This leads on to oceanic oscillations and phenomena succh as ESNO, PDO, AMO, more in the skeptical than the AGW lexicon. Orthodox CAGW rhetoric ignores such phenomena, or alternatively ascribes e.g. ENSO pattern to CAGW. So pleading continental / oceanic factors to escape the Ordovician paradox is illogical and inconsistent. How exactly would the Gondwanaland world map negate an otherwise huge CO2 forcing?

    What about volcanism? How does volcanism affect climate and temperature? O yes – by CO2! So this introduces nothing new. There were no flood basalts in the Ordovician.

    What about the dim sun? As Alan McIntire showed above (Aug 10, 4:20 pm), in the 4.5 billion year earth history, 460 mya is relatively recent, and the solar effect negligible in terms of temperature forcing (0.991 compared to today).

    So I’m afraid that CAGW really does have to confront the Ordovician paradox. And after it has done that, it can move on to an even “worse” one. There were still more severe, global ice ages around 600-700 mya, of the “snowball earth” variety. And during which atmospheric CO2 was higher still, at 5000 – 10000 ppm or higher.

    CAGW? “Its dead, Jim.”

  111. Read all about it!

    Episodes of much higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in the geological past.

    Without being accompanied by runaway greenhouse effects.

    No obvious increases in oceanic acidity.

    Continued flourishing of corals and other marine invertebrates!

  112. Tom C says:
    August 10, 2010 at 11:30 am
    “How much faster did the Earth rotate on axis 450 million years ago? Faster rotation rate will always lead to more rapid heat transfer between the low lats and poles, yielding a more uniform global temperature.”

    Can you explain your thinking here? I would have expected a higher rotation rate to lead to less rapid heat transfer, and less uniform temperature (because the Coriolis effect stops the wind flowing directly where it wants to go, and turns it sideways, so that it has to rely upon friction with the ground to overcome the deflection). Day to night extremes would presumably be less, but tropics to poles should be more.

  113. Arno Arrak says:
    August 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm
    I get tired of repeating this: addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere does not cause temperature rise.

    In the absence of negative feedback it certainly will indeed cause a temperature rise at the surface as surely as putting a blanket over a hot rock at night will keep its surface warmer than without it. That just elementary statistical thermodynamics. Questioning it puts one in the same crank category as those who think perpetual motion machines are possible.

    Whether there are negative feedbacks that nullify the insulating effect of CO2 is a legitimate matter of debate but it appears that the best empirical evidence (scant and unreliable as it might be) is that there are no feedbacks, either positive or negative, that diminish or increase the net result. The correlation of actual temperatures vs. CO2 content both in recent history and over geologic time is just about perfect. The thing to note is that, because it takes a doubling of CO2 to acheive fixed increments of warming at this point in time there isn’t enough fossil fuel on the planet to get two more doublings from current level and at 1 degree C per doubling that is a good thing not a bad thing. The whole CAGW fright-fest is built upon baseless positive feedbacks causing far more warming, catastrophic melting of Greenland and Antarctica, excessive droughts and floods and extreme weather, failure to acknowledge the benefit to the biosphere of a warmer earth with more atmospheric CO2, and other assorted but still baseless FUD factors.

  114. Dave;
    I noticed you didn’t address the rock-solid 1.87 optical transparency of the atmosphere through a period of significant (almost the entirety of modern industrial output) rise in CO2 levels.

    How does that permit any form of CO2 increase in downwelling IR hitting the surface? Or any other putative CO2 effect?

  115. George;
    Your own comma-semicolon rules are OK. But you must use them.

    “by eye; without any” — no subject change.
    “CO2 level; thereby proving” –no subject change.
    “tables to base 2; but if you can find one; then you can” — no subject changes.
    “that 22 deg C ;”do not exceed” ceiling ” — no punctuation needed at all.
    “to watch; and I plan on staying” — no subject change.

    And so on and so forth.

  116. Dave, CO2 is referred to as a greenhouse gas because it is used in greenhouses to promote growth, it has a insulating factor given to it of 1, freon is12 and the new super eco refrigerant gas R123 is 123! there is no honest evidence to show CO2 has any talents as a greenhouse!
    The AGW crowd have to resort to corrupt practices to create the illusion of warming, they spend vast sums of taxpayers money on this scam while real problems go unseen.

  117. Dave Springer

    In view of the figure at the top of this thread, how can you possibly describe the correlation between global temp and CO2 as “just about perfect”? A more appropriate description would be “nonexistent”. Over the last half billion years CO2 has declined but temperature has not – it instead shows a preferred stable level (attractor?) of 22 deg C with periodic dips to 17 or 12 C every 150 Myr. We are in one such periodic dip now – to find a declining temperature trend on this basis would be cherry-picking.

    Do you have other data on temps and CO2? Shaviv and Veizer 2003 seems to show the same picture.

  118. It is funny what creepy-crawlies slither out of the wood work when some common sense data is produced. You have to perform some major sleight of hand to any data to support the AGW scam. Without some serious “correction” there can be no connection between CO2 and temprature, get the CO2 down sufficiently and you will find a direct connection between CO2 and human life, cutting out the fabrications the only effect that has been scientifically demonstrated (as in the ild , correct definition of scientific) is that plants grow faster, this is an effect known for a long time, in fact CO2 got its name from its use in greenhouses to promote growth.

Comments are closed.