NASA climate model shows plants slow Global Warming by creating a new negative feedback in response to increased CO2

 

Click to View animation - This animation shows seasonal vegetation changes on Earth in 2004, created using NASA satellite data. It is an animation of what is called the Normalized Vegetation Difference Index, which provides an indication of the health of plant life on Earth. Source: Scientific Visualization Studio, Goddard Space Flight Center

From NASA Earth Science news: A new NASA computer modeling effort has found that additional growth of plants and trees in a world with doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide levels would create a new negative feedback – a cooling effect – in the Earth’s climate system that could work to reduce future global warming.

The cooling effect would be -0.3 degrees Celsius (C) (-0.5 Fahrenheit (F)) globally and -0.6 degrees C (-1.1 F) over land, compared to simulations where the feedback was not included, said Lahouari Bounoua, of Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Bounoua is lead author on a paper detailing the results that will be published Dec. 7 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Without the negative feedback included, the model found a warming of 1.94 degrees C globally when carbon dioxide was doubled.

Bounoua stressed that while the model’s results showed a negative feedback, it is not a strong enough response to alter the global warming trend that is expected. In fact, the present work is an example of how, over time, scientists will create more sophisticated models that will chip away at the uncertainty range of climate change and allow more accurate projections of future climate.

“This feedback slows but does not alleviate the projected warming,” Bounoua said.

To date, only some models that predict how the planet would respond to a doubling of carbon dioxide have allowed for vegetation to grow as a response to higher carbon dioxide levels and associated increases in temperatures and precipitation.

Of those that have attempted to model this feedback, this new effort differs in that it incorporates a specific response in plants to higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. When there is more carbon dioxide available, plants are able to use less water yet maintain previous levels of photosynthesis. The process is called “down-regulation.” This more efficient use of water and nutrients has been observed in experimental studies and can ultimately lead to increased leaf growth. The ability to increase leaf growth due to changes in photosynthetic activity was also included in the model. The authors postulate that the greater leaf growth would increase evapotranspiration on a global scale and create an additional cooling effect.

“This is what is completely new,” said Bounoua, referring to the incorporation of down-regulation and changed leaf growth into the model. “What we did is improve plants’ physiological response in the model by including down-regulation. The end result is a stronger feedback than previously thought.”

The modeling approach also investigated how stimulation of plant growth in a world with doubled carbon dioxide levels would be fueled by warmer temperatures, increased precipitation in some regions and plants’ more efficient use of water due to carbon dioxide being more readily available in the atmosphere. Previous climate models have included these aspects but not down-regulation. The models without down-regulation projected little to no cooling from vegetative growth.

Scientists agree that in a world where carbon dioxide has doubled – a standard basis for many global warming modeling simulations – temperature would increase from 2 to 4.5 degrees C (3.5 to 8.0 F). (The model used in this study found warming – without incorporating the plant feedback – on the low end of this range.) The uncertainty in that range is mostly due to uncertainty about “feedbacks” – how different aspects of the Earth system will react to a warming world, and then how those changes will either amplify (positive feedback) or dampen (negative feedback) the overall warming.

An example of a positive feedback would be if warming temperatures caused forests to grow in the place of Arctic tundra. The darker surface of a forest canopy would absorb more solar radiation than the snowy tundra, which reflects more solar radiation. The greater absorption would amplify warming. The vegetative feedback modeled in this research, in which increased plant growth would exert a cooling effect, is an example of a negative feedback. The feedback quantified in this study is a result of an interaction between all these aspects: carbon dioxide enrichment, a warming and moistening climate, plants’ more efficient use of water, down-regulation and the ability for leaf growth.

This new paper is one of many steps toward gradually improving overall future climate projections, a process that involves better modeling of both warming and cooling feedbacks.

“As we learn more about how these systems react, we can learn more about how the climate will change,” said co-author Forrest Hall, of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and Goddard Space Flight Center. “Each year we get better and better. It’s important to get these things right just as it’s important to get the track of a hurricane right. We’ve got to get these models right, and improve our projections, so we’ll know where to most effectively concentrate mitigation efforts.”

The results presented here indicate that changes in the state of vegetation may already be playing a role in the continental water, energy and carbon budgets as atmospheric carbon dioxide increases, said Piers Sellers, a co-author from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.

“We’re learning more and more about how our planet really works,” Sellers said. “We have suspected for some time that the connection between vegetation photosynthesis and the surface energy balance could be a significant player in future climate. This study gives us an indication of the strength and sign of one of these biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks.”

Patrick Lynch
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

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106 thoughts on “NASA climate model shows plants slow Global Warming by creating a new negative feedback in response to increased CO2

  1. The amazing thing to me is the hubris of people who believe that they can accurately model something as complex as the climate of the Earth. It seems that almost everyday we hear of another factor or feedback that is not part of the model. No clouds? No problem! No vegetation? No problem!

    As a scientist myself, I am just baffled as to how any of this is considered to be good science or to follow the scientific method.

  2. Now, lets see how well this new model correlates with known temperature measurements in the past…. Until this is done, I will give this model just as much weight as any other prophecy of the future.

  3. ding ding ding

    “Danger Will Robinson, Danger!”

    “new NASA computer modeling effort”

    Another attempt to muddy the waters just about covers it.

    “Scientists agree that in a world where carbon dioxide has doubled – a standard basis for many global warming modeling simulations – temperature would increase from 2 to 4.5 degrees C (3.5 to 8.0 F). (The model used in this study found warming – without incorporating the plant feedback – on the low end of this range.) ”

    Always nice to know where they are starting from, in their assumptions while constructing the model.

  4. 1.94 degrees C? Seems to me that they are still fudging the numbers to make it look like a doubling causes more than 1 degree C….oh well, they are at least starting to back away from the vehicle (runaway train meme).

  5. Bounoua stressed that while the model’s results showed a negative feedback, it is not a strong enough response to alter the global warming trend that is expected. In fact, the present work is an example of how, over time, scientists will create more sophisticated models that will chip away at the uncertainty range of climate change and allow more accurate projections of future climate.

    Sorry, stopped reading there. They have their meme and they aren’t going to let go!

    DaveE.

  6. Anthony,
    And NASA think this is ‘New’! We have been saying it for years – but I would put it more strongly: Plants through photo-transpiration cooling, which is enhanced by more CO2, VETO any CO2 claimed atmospheric warming (by whatever mechanism).
    See pdf in WA2010News27 via comments in ClimateRealists thread –

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3307

    or via news archive on http://www.weatheraction.com
    Cheers Piers from COLD UK

    REPLY: See also this story –

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/08/surprise-earths-biosphere-is-booming-co2-the-cause/

  7. wonder what this Guardian story was – it should be in Guardian’s “money” section, but can be found nowhere and has no cached version:

    A working life: The climate change consultant
    14 hours ago
    The map was created by running a climate prediction model, HadCM3. Out of a total of 34 model runs, 23 showed the global average temperature rising above 4C …The Guardian

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/dec/07/working-life-climate-change-consultant

    clicking on the URL gets the Guardian site with:

    “Sorry – we haven’t been able to serve the page you asked for”

    could it have been related to this?

    30 Nov: Reporting Climate Science: Leon Cliffard: Models warn of 7C dangerous climate change by 2090
    The researchers used two computer climate models, HadCM3-QUMP and MAGICC, to run multiple ensemble simulations. “The evidence available from new simulations with the HadCM3 GCM and the MAGICC SCM, along with existing results presented in the IPCC AR4, suggests that the A1FI emissions scenario would lead to a rise in global mean temperature of between approximately 3C and 7C by the 2090s relative to pre-industrial, with best estimates being around 5C,” the researchers conclude in their paper…
    CITATION:
    Citation:”When could global warming reach 4C?” by RICHARD A. BETTS, MATTHEW COLLINS, DEBORAH L. HEMMING, CHRIS D. JONES, JASON A. LOWE AND MICHAEL G. SANDERSON
    Published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2011) 369, 67–84 doi:10.1098/rsta.2010.0292

    http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/models-warn-of-7c-dangerous-climate-change-by-2090.html

    30 Nov: Royal Scoiety Publishing: When could global warming reach 4°C?
    Richard A. Betts1,*, Matthew Collins2, Deborah L. Hemming1, Chris D. Jones1, Jason A. Lowe1 and Michael G. Sanderson1
    Author Affiliations
    1Met Office Hadley Centre, Fitzroy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, Devon, UK
    2College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
    *Author for correspondence (richard.betts@metoffice.gov.uk).

    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1934/67.full

  8. I trust “computer models” like i trust “camwhores ” on 4 chan.
    (A lied to Canadian reporting in)
    [d]

  9. OK. I went back to it & reached this…

    The authors postulate that the greater leaf growth would increase evapotranspiration on a global scale and create an additional cooling effect.

    which again stopped me in my tracks!

    I thought that one of the things that happened with increased CO2 was that stomata closed leading to increasing efficiency of water usage, ie a decrease in transpiration.

    So many contradictions.

    DaveE.

  10. Nice. Very nice. And some pinhead is going to take credit for some new original thought? Well, at least they’re only a decade or so behind poor dumb laymen bloggers and commentators.

    “We’re learning more and more about how our planet really works,” Sellers said. “We have suspected for some time that the connection between vegetation photosynthesis and the surface energy balance could be a significant player in future climate.”

    I hate to be reduced to schoolyard vernacular, but with this, I’ve got to say, ‘no $hit, Sherlock, what was your first clue?’

    Are they really this slow? Or are they just milking the grant gravy train?

  11. Why the Hell was this not a given from day one?

    I mean … greenhouses … you pump them full if CO2 for a reason.

  12. I have noticed that is quite cool and pleasant under may shade tree during the hot summer months.

    If anyone else has a shade tree you might think about the idea of co-authoring a paper with me on how vegetation cools down the planet, …and leads to pleasant afternoon naps.

    The statistics part may be a little tough as we track how hot it is in the sun compared to the shade and how fast the nap phase sets in as a function of full sun – vs full shade temperature differential– but if we do enough test cycles we can tough it out and get the numbers. …and it will be real data. We can even do a cold beer test to see how fast it affects the nap cycle…

    Serious science — for serious folks! We don’t need no steenking models!

  13. Damn, got up to get another beer and rid myself of one and Piers Corbyn beat me too it! I should learn to refresh before I post. At least I can reinforce what Piers stated. This thought has been posited in many skeptical sites for a long time. I can’t be sure, but I think it has been posited here on a few occasions. I suppose I could go look, but I’m betting someone will have it at the ready before I could find it.

  14. More modelling. Keeps plenty of families in govt. employ, good luck to them.

    An example of a positive feedback would be if warming temperatures caused forests to grow in the place of Arctic tundra. The darker surface of a forest canopy would absorb more solar radiation than the snowy tundra, which reflects more solar radiation. The greater absorption would amplify warming.

    Seems reaonable that if you change a highly reflective surface to a dark surface you’d expect positive feedback.
    So how come, when vegetation (dark) encroaches on the Sahara (light) the area actually gets cooler?
    The problem is, mother nature doesn’t play XBox games and she refuses to conform.

  15. FTA: ““This feedback slows but does not alleviate the projected warming,” Bounoua said.”

    Wrong. By their own words, it alleviates it by -0.3 deg globally and -0.6 deg over land. He could have said “does not alleviate significantly“, or “does not stem the tide of…”, but it does alleviate it, the only question being, to what extent?

    From dictionary.com:

    al·le·vi·ate
       /əˈliviˌeɪt/ Show Spelled[uh-lee-vee-eyt] Show IPA
    –verb (used with object), -at·ed, -at·ing.
    to make easier to endure; lessen; mitigate: to alleviate sorrow; to alleviate pain.

  16. The results presented here indicate that changes in the state of vegetation may already be playing a role in the continental water, energy and carbon budgets as atmospheric carbon dioxide increases, said Piers Sellers, a co-author from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.

    Now I get it! They’re trying to explain why they’ve failed to model climate before!

    Guess what chasps! You’ve failed again!

    DaveE.

  17. WillR:
    I ave made a few such studies myself. I have tested different types of trees with different concentrations of foliage. I also found with certain types of trees it is warmer under them than the surrounding area during the cold months. I would need an observer to monitor the sleep states I am able to reach during my experiments though!

  18. Is the question before the jury whether or not Earth is warming?
    Or is the question whether humans will cause disastrous warming by emissions of carbon dioxide?

    Someone (who?) has decided to focus on the consequences of humans causing a doubling of the atmospheric concentration of CO2. Does anyone know that it is possible to cause a doubling? At what rate would we have to use coal, oil, gas, wood (others?) to accomplish this? Is it realistic?

    Can models such as the one discussed work with lesser concentrations? Assume the concentration were to be cut to 200 ppm; what then?

  19. Funny how stable our bimodal climate has been during this ice age period…surprisingly stable for such a runaway prone planet. Also funny how everyone is suddenly finding negative feedbacks as the climate models diverge from reality…LOL! Even more funny is how cold it is Cancun…who would have guessed, GAIA has quite the sense of humour! I will laugh with her…

  20. Mike Davis says:
    December 7, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    WillR:
    I ave made a few such studies myself. I have tested different types of trees with different concentrations of foliage. I also found with certain types of trees it is warmer under them than the surrounding area during the cold months. I would need an observer to monitor the sleep states I am able to reach during my experiments though!

    I’m excited! I think we have a basis for collaboration here. I too have noticed that during the winter months it is warmer under say a dense pine or cedar tree here in our cold climate. I never thought of monitoring the sleep states — that is a great idea! Will that prove anything about the climate — or should we not be concerned about that? Data is data right? A bit of statistical analysis could prove something I’m sure! PCA is a good technique I’m told… No signs, no decimals though I have enough trouble with the Natural Numbers… ok?

    We just need a couple more “researchers” to widen the data pool…

  21. tregembo says on December 7, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Funny how stable our bimodal climate has been during this ice age period…surprisingly stable for such a runaway prone planet. Also funny how everyone is suddenly finding negative feedbacks as the climate models diverge from reality…LOL! Even more funny is how cold it is Cancun…who would have guessed, GAIA has quite the sense of humour! I will laugh with her…

    Indeed. And when South America joined with North America and prevented the flow of water from the Pacific to the Atlantic that must have caused a big change in climate, yet it found a new (possibly bimodal) state.

    It is clear that the work wanker applies to climate alarmists …

  22. WillR & Mike Davis. I would be more than willing to join in your research. My tree however has brick-built walls with an internal heat source which may invalidate it. On the other hand; the level at which my hands are normally poised, desk top, is about 5°C warmer than the floor, (best case), and the internal heat source cannot maintain greater than 18°C in daytime & less at night.

    DaveE.

  23. “…plants are able to use less water yet…increase evapotranspiration on a global scale.”

    Darn clever stuff!

    …said co-author Forrest Hall, of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and Goddard Space Flight Center. “Each year we get better and better….”

    There there. Just lie down quietly for a bit and you’ll be fine.

  24. Raw forcing per CO2 doubling is 1C. Assuming the IPCC is right.

    Any estimate above that is including positive feedbacks. At this point there is zip evidence for and preliminary evidence against positive feedbacks.

    Plus, climate has been on a warming trend for 350 year. Where’s the positive feedback? At 40% increase in CO2, we have an “adjusted” (i.e., probably exaggerated) warming of +0.7C. Over a time span that starts in a PDO/AMO cold phase and ends in a PDO/AMO warm phase. So where is there “room” for any positive feedback? Overall negative feedback fits those numbers better.

  25. D’Oh!!! … Look out, NASA scientists doin’ press release science again….. Handle with care… Could be toxic, explode, fail or just go splat…. LOL.

  26. WILLR; Mike Davis, I have the beer, now do we use hammacks, lounge chairs or standard chairs. We definitly need to get together on this might i suggest taking turns on the napping to monitor sleep patterns.

  27. What I just love is how they seem to manage, with all sincerity, to say “Look! We screwed up and totally missed this major negative feedback that probably accounts for 15% of the postulated temperature at CO2 doubling.”

    And then turn around and say, without dying of shame or at least stuttering and turning bright red “This discovery just shows how GREAT we are, and we’re getting BETTER ALL THE TIME!!!”

    Sheesh.

    If these people had been in charge of the moon mission, we’d STILL not be there, and gawd knows how many astronauts and engineers associated with the project would have died in the meantime. Hoover Dam would be about 2 ft. high and they’d still be modeling it. But we’d be getting regular press releases about their amazing progress and how much they’d miraculously managed to advance the state of knowledge! They’re closing in on something that’ll work, just you wait and see (and send money).

  28. Translation?

    Our computer models turned out to be so wrong and inaccurate and flawed we needed to find some kind of mechanism we discarded in the beginning because it contradicted the CAGW dogma while still being able to blame CO2 and still claim rising temperatures despite the reality.

    Even though the models that we claimed were perfect and infallible were badly designed and included false assumptions and bad data which did failed to predict the climate, the weather, the global temperatures we cannot do without them because the whole CAGW house of cards would collapse and with it the reputations of NASA and its staff and so we have to search around desperately for any mechanism that we can attach to the models instead of binning the models and admitting failure.

    NASA cannot admit the truth and they cannot go back to the beginning and start over, they cannot admit errors and mistakes and incompetence and cover ups and made up trash science and fiddled figures, they have painted themselves into a corner and there really is no way out for them other than to bluster and hope the paint eventually dries.

    I suspect that if NASAs books were opened up by auditors and if the house and senate get around to launching a full inquiry and start taking names and kicking some ass the stink emanating from NASA will make ENRON look like a non event. I would like to see Sen Inhofe come before the press and announce a full investigation into NASA.

  29. MAGICC? What an appropriate name for a climate model:

    mag·ic (mjk) n. 1. The art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural.

  30. My guess is that the sowtware in those computers are now so full of bug-fixes and modifications that noone can understand anything of whats going on in there.

    Soon they will need billions to re-make the whole thing.

  31. Hmm, all I heard was blah blah Model blah blah .. I couldn’t really get much more than that out of it.

    Sorry, I just can’t seem to pay much attention to phrases that contain the word “model” anymore.

  32. “…Scientists agree that in a world where carbon dioxide has doubled – a standard basis for many global warming modeling simulations – temperature would increase from 2 to 4.5 degrees C (3.5 to 8.0 F)….”

    The effect on forest growth of a 2.5° to 7.0°C increase in the Arctic temperature (presumably without any increase in CO2) can be seen in tree line studies of northern Russia and Canada.
    For instance a study by Glen M. MacDonald et al. (March 1999) concluded that “the mean July temperatures along the northern coastline of Russia may have been 2.5° to 7.0°C warmer than modern” during the Holocene Optimum (9000-7000 yr. B P):
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Lxqre8hMG3M/SeaQl9E0ozI/AAAAAAAAALo/V0bPCy44D9s/s400/weatherformerTreeline.jpg (google to find pdf).

    A quick google search came up with other more recent studies which put the temperature no greater than + 2°C, but there is ample evidence of the pressure on scientists to conform to IPCC orthodoxy which, like its ‘hockey stick’ counterpart, is incredible:

    You would think that the ‘greening’ of the Earth would please our friends at ‘Fiends of the Earth’, ‘Greenpreach’ etc. but of course you would be wrong.

  33. Me been a iggorunt bugger, I ‘ave ta ask this 2 kwestshuns!

    I can’t keep that up LOL

    1) If you go out in the Arizona desert, you will find rock-pools which are perpetually frozen, is the GHG effect not strong enough to work even when the air temperature is above 30°C?

    2) I have noted in my travels that generally…
    a) humid areas are cooler but maintain their temperatures overnight
    b) arid areas heat up quickly & also cool quickly.

    I know the argument for 2) a) It’s the GHG H2O preventing the cooling!

    What about it’s the specific & latent heat of water preventing the cooling?

    The more I look, the more I think that surface radiative energy loss is irrelevant

    DaveE.

  34. Mike Davis says:
    December 7, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    WillR:
    I ave made a few such studies myself. I have tested different types of trees with different concentrations of foliage. I also found with certain types of trees it is warmer under them than the surrounding area during the cold months. I would need an observer to monitor the sleep states I am able to reach during my experiments though!

    I’m with you both. I like to perform this test by the pool under a nice shady palm tree, or even a fern (ferns are trees downunder where it is warmer – warmer being better). The Cold Beer test is also a jolly good idea!

    I also have a ‘trained observer’. This is my wife: I have trained her not to throw things at me when I start snoring….

  35. “We’re learning more and more about how our planet really works,”

    Here’s an idea. Finish learning enough about how our planet really works AND THEN tout your models.

    Stop doing it backwards!!!!

  36. NASA to all staff could you all go home tonight and think up anything that will result in a very big grant as we need it . we may have a surprise for anybody that comes up with the biggest untruths

  37. Like I’ve said in several comments on previous threads – CO2’s effect on climate is about biology first, physics second.

  38. I think I finally understand how all these adjustments work. Its cyclical. First they did all the positive adjustments and now they’ve started working on the negative adjustments.

    Assistant; Sir, I just finished that computer model you wanted. Its bang on sir. I put the accelerated warming trends in just like you said, and boy, every single run it produces an accelerated warming trend. This is scary stuff. One problem sir…

    Professor; No problem, look at these graphs! Excellent! And exactly the same every time no matter what data we use. Proof! Proof!

    Assistant; …uhm, but, they ACTUAL temperatures don’t match…

    Professor; Nonsense. Impossible. Let me see those….. Hmmmm. These temperatures can’t possibly be right. There’s something wrong with them.

    Assistant; But those are the temperature records we’ve been using for decades, perhaps the model….

    Professor; Proof! The model is proof! Therefore these temperature records must be wrong. Adjust them.

    Assistant; …uhm, adjust them? How will I know how much to adjust them?

    Professor; Until they match the proof you idiot.

    Assistant; Sir, I’ve adjusted the temperature data until it fits the… uhm, model. But its getting harder and harder to adjust them sir. The divergence problem keeps getting bigger, and frankly sir, I think we may have accidently hidden the decline with our adjustments and its sort of becoming obvious that we’ve tricked the data out like this…

    Professor; Nonsense. You’re never going to get a PhD that way. The model is proof. That’s why we had to adjust the temperature data. But you see we didn’t adjust it enough. Take the last 5 years of adjustments, apply them again, but this time with a negative sign but call it a different name. Just make something up. Write a paper. Get published. Then do another five years, make up another name and apply that negative too.

    Assistant; Uhm, OK. And I keep doing that until….

    Professor; Moron! Until it matches the original data of course! We’ll just keep on adjusting and adjusting until all the adjustments cancel each other.

    Assistant; But… wouldn’t it make more sense to just start with the original data and never adjust it at all?

    Professor; Dolt. Who’s gonna publish a peer reviewed paper that is just a photocopy of the data? You want a degree, you got to adjust things, justify them, make them increasingly accurate, until you’re right bang on and then its proof.

    Assistant; But you said the very first one was proof…

    Professor; Sigh. You just don’t understand science boy. Sorry. You’re fired.

    Assistant; Fine. I’ll clean out my desk. And I’ve got a bunch of files on the server that are mine, I’ll just download them onto this gigantic usb hard drive over hear. Ooops, they shut off my account already. Look, I’ve done good work for you and those are my files, what did you say the admin password was? Take me an hour and then I’m out of here…

  39. Piers Corbyn says:
    December 7, 2010 at 7:01 pm
    Anthony,
    And NASA think this is ‘New’! We have been saying it for years – but I would put it more strongly: Plants through photo-transpiration cooling, which is enhanced by more CO2, VETO any CO2 claimed atmospheric warming
    ———–
    Sorry but an argument along the lines of “I want AGW to go away, transpiration cause cooling, therefore transpiration must produce so much cooling that it vetoes CO2″ does not fly.

    Certainly everyone and his fog knows that transpiration cause cooling and the scientists know it better than you. But there are a zillion confounding factors and no one knows what the sum total result is.

    For you to claim that you knew the answer all along because your belly button fluff said so is bogus.

    Let’s throw a dice, I bet heads, I win the bet, I boast that I knew all along that it was going to be heads. Am I telling the truth?

  40. Given the criticism of their work on arsenic-based bacteria, I would be quite leery of another climate computer model from NASA. Even though, as Piers Corbyn notes above, that there is nothing new about the idea that more trees and plants should have a negative feedback on warming.

  41. Mike O says:
    December 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm
    The amazing thing to me is the hubris of people who believe that they can accurately model something as complex as the climate of the Earth.

    As a scientist myself
    ————
    Well it looks to me like you are not keeping up to date.

    The trend in science is to try and solve more and more difficult problems. Many of those problems involve complex systems with lots of moving parts. Typically they are becoming too complex for an individual person to describe or reason about. That’s why computer models are the only way forward.

    The obverse of what you describe inaccurately as hubris is defeatism, stagnation and lack of imagination.

  42. More CO2, more plants and trees, more sunshades for land surface, more biosols, more clouds, more cooling. Nature is notorious for self-regulation of the planet’s climate. No need for global climate junkets and meetings to “fight man-made warming”.

  43. LT I thought your nom-de-plume was a disguise for an old git, but judging from your last two posts it seems you really are a teenager. A grown-up would know that computer models can never replace real science in this sector, as they do not deliver real information about the environment, and that claiming they do so, without being candid about the gaps in the models or the range of assumptions on which they depend, is indeed hubris.
    The opposite (not obverse, which means the other side of the same coin, for your information) of hubris is not defeatism but realism; understanding one’s own limitations and working within them to produce work that is, dare I say, sustainable.
    Go get an education and come back when you have learned something about life. You will need to stop being lazy, though, if you want to learn anything – trolling on websites is no life for an active young person.

  44. LazyTeenager says:
    December 8, 2010 at 12:44 am
    “The trend in science is to try and solve more and more difficult problems. Many of those problems involve complex systems with lots of moving parts. Typically they are becoming too complex for an individual person to describe or reason about. That’s why computer models are the only way forward. ”

    Okay, let’s ignore that.

    The NASA people do what any propagandist would do when seeing their methods of persuading the populace failing – scale back their claims one way or the other to regain some trust, to be able to attack again later.

    You can fudge the numbers any way you like with the models.

  45. Ah so they added another fudge factor into their model and it gave the wrong answer so they decided it had to be the plants because they had not included them. /sarc off

    you poor americans, you pay for this €rap.

  46. LazyTeenager says:
    December 8, 2010 at 12:44 am

    You said it “try” to solve. Models are one way forward but they are not a solution and they have to be rigorously VV&T’ed. None of the current climate models is any of this.

    Lazy Teenager is about right.

  47. LazyTeenager says:
    December 8, 2010 at 12:32 am
    Piers Corbyn says:
    December 7, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Mon dieu vous êtes un idiot. Piers Corbyn has more usable brain up his backside than you have demostrated here in total. You are so incredibly stupid as to be not worth this reply but I’ll struggle on. Do you understand or even know of Piers? Many of the people who read and comment on this site ( Anthony included) are highly intelligent, very high qualified and hugely respected scientist. Take your bile and stupidity elsewhere you are adding no value here.

  48. Interesting modelling. It looks like they are counting only on land-based increased bio-mass. What about the oceans?
    Another thing. The large forrests of the north have increased during modern times if they increase even further, it is not a wild guess that also their aerosol production will increase similarly. What about the efect of these natural aerosols, = cooling? Anyone knows?

  49. Cripes I step out for a minute and the trolls creep back in
    You have no credibility here lazy teen and Watts should ban you after he burns through
    your proxy IP
    MOMMA’S BOY
    [d]

  50. So, ignoring the modelling aspect completely, the picture here is exactly what we and NASA ought to be looking at to identify climate change. If the plants are responding to CO2, we should see a global greening. If there are actual climate changes (NOT temperature rises alone) then surely we will see the movement of climate zones. If the climate is changing without affecting the actual climate zone anywhere on the planet, then it ain’t changing much.

  51. Wow. Its time to drop the pretense, and the gloves, and come out swinging at these fraud artists. Seriously. Time to cancel PhD degrees, time to start pulling public funding from campuses that perpetuate the sleaze, time to start charging scientists and bureaucrats with a litany of crimes against public order. Carpetbagging is still a crime.

  52. LazyTeenager says:
    December 8, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Piers, like the scientist he most assuredly is, made public this knowledge many (many) moons ago.

    So, yes, if you had written down, in a public forum at the very least, that you predicted “heads” before the event then you would be afforded some respect by your peers and others.

    As it is; FAIL.

  53. Having re-read the rot…

    “there are a zillion confounding factors and no one knows what the sum total result is”

    yet….

    “computer models are the only way forward”

    CFD? Chaos? Much?

    Here endeth the piling on.

  54. “Without the negative feedback included, the model found a warming of 1.94 degrees C”
    which is 1.64 deg with the feedback.
    Finally they have a model for this planet. In todays world the solar input is amplified 2.45 by the climate system. A CO2 doubling, 3.7 W/m2, then becomes 9 W/m2 at the surface, which drives the temperature 1.65 deg C.
    So here is all the model you need: Output = Input * 2.45

  55. There is something wrong here.

    Ultimately, this model result is saying increased evapotranspiration (evaporation by plants) results in a cooling feedback.

    This is not what the current climate models assume. They are are assuming that increased evaporation puts more water vapour into the atmosphere, rainfall and clouds increase by less and, on net, there is an increased water vapour level overall – which increases temperatures by close to 2.0C (per 1.0C increase caused by GHG doubling).

    Don’t tell me this is the first climate model to include the initial cooling effect of evaporation. Otherwise, why are they going against the current theoritical consensus.

    [The result says that plants use water more efficiently (less evapotranspiration per individual plant) but the vegetation grows more efficiently and we end with an increased level of vegetation which then results in more evapotranspiration overall].

  56. @ phlogiston, December 8, 2010 at 12:23 am
    “Like I’ve said in several comments on previous threads – CO2′s effect on climate is about biology first, physics second.”

    Yeah – but for biology, one’s gotta get one’s hands dirty at some stage, and even go out into raw nature, yeccch, so that’s out.
    And physics is waaayyy too hard – everybody knows that.

    So why not nice computer modelling, like playing on X-Box: we all know how to do that, and one can write lots of e-mails while working …

    ;-)

  57. The prediction of lesser effect over the ocean than over land makes me suspicious that the net cooling is understated. Most photosynthesis on earth is done by marine phytoplankton.

  58. LazyTeenager says:{December 8, 2010 at 12:44 am}
    ” Typically they are becoming too complex for an individual person to describe or reason about. That’s why computer models are the only way forward.”

    If individuals cannot describe or reason about a system, how can they accurately write a program for a computer model? You miss the simple point that computers do things faster than what can be done by hand but can only do them as good as the program itself. Always remember GIGO.

  59. Plants capacity to absorb CO2 as a sink must increase with a lag effect as plants increase in number or size follows the increase in CO2. Does anyone know how long this lag is?

  60. Why use models? A: They’re cheap and easy to manipulate. Easy to find enough space for a desk, monitor and keyboard, just need a bit of a.c. power. Real experiments need a lab, equipment, workshops, field time, calibrations, someone with some practical ability. And after all that money you get awkward data that often doesn’t make any clear sense so you can’t publish it. It’s so much neater if you run a model.

    Wobble – you’re right. It IS back to front. That’s because they know what the solution is!

    And Lazy Teenager – if the problem is too complex for an individual to describe or reason about then it isn’t a problem worth bothering anyone else about.

  61. I speculate, though could be wrong, that this is, knowingly or otherwise, the first stage of the retreat from catastrophic global warming ideology.

  62. “An example of a positive feedback would be if warming temperatures caused forests to grow in the place of Arctic tundra. The darker surface of a forest canopy would absorb more solar radiation than the snowy tundra, which reflects more solar radiation. The greater absorption would amplify warming.”

    In my experience the last snow to melt, in spring, is found in forests and not open country. This makes me question the idea that forest canopy acts only as a positive feedback.

  63. LazyTeenager says:
    December 8, 2010 at 12:44 am
    Mike O says:
    December 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm
    The amazing thing to me is the hubris of people who believe that they can accurately model something as complex as the climate of the Earth.

    As a scientist myself
    ————
    Well it looks to me like you are not keeping up to date.

    The trend in science is to try and solve more and more difficult problems. Many of those problems involve complex systems with lots of moving parts. Typically they are becoming too complex for an individual person to describe or reason about. That’s why computer models are the only way forward.

    The obverse of what you describe inaccurately as hubris is defeatism, stagnation and lack of imagination.
    ——-
    Hey, LazyTeenager welcome back!
    First: ‘Mike O’ makes a valid point of hubris towards the modeller’s of Earths’s climate, it is in fact a point of debate among many people (scientists and non-scientists) as to whether the climate system is just too chaotic, non-linear, etc, etc, etc, to be modelled with our current neophyte understanding. This also extends to our ability (or lack thereof) to create a meaningful “code”, equations, or computer language to encompass our climate, what some would argue is an ‘unbounded’ process/system.

    Second: we have been repeatedly told, since the late 1990’s that these models are “robust” and can accurately represent past climate when hindcasting, and do offer reliable projections of future probablities/possibilities (all evidence to the contrary). So much so that $$$Billions$$$ have been spent globally. None of the “predictions” or “probabilities” have come to pass; the “hubris” comment by ‘Mike O’ stands validated. No self respecting person (let alone scientist) familiar with GIGO would have ascribed the veracity to their climate projections that these guys have. I’m sorry (or not) but this has just been going on for too long and methinks you come to the game too late (if in fact you are a teenager).

    Third: your “obverse” comment, seeing how the models were/have never been validated/accurate/reliable, on many levels, should not be ‘defeatism’ but pragmaticism (ok I just made that word up), should not be ‘stagnation’ but mobilization as data and methods were openly shared, and as shortcomings/errors were acknowledged and corrected instead of being denied and hidden. Lastly: ‘lack of imagination’ would be replaced with collaboration of imagination between sceptics, modellers, et al from many disciplines ensuring that the scientific method was adhered to and that the results were actually supported by observational data.

    On my planet you don’t make extrodinary claims without extrodinary evidence and it is this modelling evidence that is extrodinary, in the obverse: extrodinarily lacking.

    Now I’m going to hop back into my hot-air balloon and head back to OZ, as the climate there is much more stable, see ya there! ;-)

  64. LazyTeenager says:
    December 8, 2010 at 12:44 am
    The trend in science is to try and solve more and more difficult problems. Many of those problems involve complex systems with lots of moving parts. Typically they are becoming too complex for an individual person to describe or reason about. That’s why computer models are the only way forward.
    ========================================================
    What Tom said, LT.

    A collection of computer game programmers, will not make them any smarter.
    As soon as the ‘collection’ knows enough to program it, all of the individuals will also.
    You can’t program the computer games either.

  65. The more we learn the less we know. What began as a well defined problem – insolation, albedo and greenhouse gas forcings – is diverging in all directions. It is like pulling a thread, then watching as the thread bifurcates into 2, then 4, then 8 smaller threads. Pretty soon you are pulling at a barely countable tangle of threads hanging off threads hanging off threads.

    A quick recap of climate influencing parameters so far, include: TSI which varies differently at different wavelengths, solar wind, cosmic ray flux, black soot, white aerosols, high level cloud feedback, low level cloud feedback, the interaction of aerosols on cloud genesis, the interaction of GCR’s on cloud genesis, water vapour cycles, effect of warming on water vapour cycles and the effect of this on cloud formation, effects of co2 on plant growth, on transpiration and water vapour cycles and the effects of all these on temperature patterns and cloud formation, shifts in ocean conveyor systems that may or may not result from climate changes, effect of changing ozone levels. . .

    And while all these (and much more) are interacting in ways only dimly understood, the earth is still rotating on its axis, the insolation still sweeps the surface from a few hundred to over one thousand watts per square meter; temperatures rise and fall in myriads of places from -60c to +120c. Yet we are attempting to smooth all this into averages of averages of averages, and by examining temperature anomalies measured in hundreths of a degree, forecasting what the climate will be a hundred years into the future.

    It is time these modellers came clean and admitted it will be decades, if ever, before they can confidently predict the future climate.

    [NASA's earth model here does not even rotate about an inclined axis. Nor do they vary cloud cover over the years as humidity is (claimed to change), much less over a year's climate cycle. But that may be "accurate enough", do their climate models rotate at at? Do they vary their distance from the sun annually? Vary the local albedo regionally, monthly, annually as we see in this animation? Robt]

  66. Sorry for all of the warm mongers but I have been saying this!
    I specifically mentioned the cooling effect of Co2 caused by increased vegetation. The other cooling effect of CO2, namely the radiative cooling effect is still also being largely ignored. There is apparently even another cooling effect due to some interaction in the upper atmosphere.
    The question is: what is the net effect of the warming and cooling of Co2?
    I CAN GUESS THAT IT IS ZERO OR CLOSE TO ZERO….
    For example, if you look at the development of the temperatures of the average yearly minimum temperatures at weather stations and if you put all the evidence together:

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

  67. The guys at NASA are VERY slow on the uptake. This effect has been known for years.
    Photosynthesis is a COOLING process. Water drawn up into the leaves to react with CO2 to produce starch and O2 is then transpired as water vapour through the stomata of the leaves. This is of course a cooling effect – like evaporating alcohol on the skin. The global cooling effect is massive.
    Not only is it a cooling effect but exactly counteracts increasing CO2 – more CO2 more photosynthesis more cooling!

  68. Including plant growth as a negative feedback in models means nothing. One would need to program it in for it to be in the model which means this is a created effect.

    It is not surprising that there would be a negative effect, but the effect needs to be detected and described in the real world before it has any meaning in a model. Creating a negative feedback in a model says absolutely nothing about the real world.

    Which came first, the real world or the model? The real world.
    Which one carries and weight scientifically? The real world. The model = 0.

  69. Amazing, plants use less water with higher Co2, yet increase evapotranspiration on a global scale and create an additional cooling effect.

    Others have pointed this out as well above. It brings this to mind:

    From Canada to the Caribbean: Tree leaves control their own temperature
    June 11th, 2008

    The temperature inside a healthy, photosynthesizing tree leaf is affected less by outside environmental temperature than originally believed, according to new research from biologists at the University of Pennsylvania.
    Surveying 39 tree species ranging in location from subtropical to boreal climates, researchers found a nearly constant temperature in tree leaves. These findings provide new understanding of how tree branches and leaves maintain a homeostatic temperature considered ideal for photosynthesis and suggests that plant physiology and ecology are important factors to consider as biologists tap trees to investigate climate change.
    Tree photosynthesis, according to the study, most likely occurs when leaf temperatures are about 21°C, with latitude or average growing-season temperature playing little, if any, role. This homeostasis of leaf temperature means that in colder climates leaf temperatures are elevated and in warmer climates tree leaves cool to reach optimal conditions for photosynthesis. Therefore, methods that assume leaf temperature is fixed to ambient air require new consideration.

    From: http://www.sciencecentric.com/news/article.php?q=08061131

  70. So climate sensitivity to a CO2 doubling is coming down (1.9 C) and then you add in one known negative feedback (-0.6 C) to get a sensitivity of 1.3 C net. But the science is settled.

  71. co-author Forrest Hall : “We’ve got to get these models right, and improve our projections, so we’ll know where to most effectively concentrate mitigation efforts.”

    Are you sure? Mitigate what? Has it occurred to you that what was happening with CO2 might be exactly the right thing for the planet and humans without any mitigation at all? Increasing population needs increasing food production from limited cropland and limited water. Remember the big flap over food production and predictions of mass starvation a while back? Worldwide agricultural yields per hectare have increased dramatically in the last several decades. Very few give any credit to the increase in atmospheric CO2. Like Rodney Dangerfield, CO2 gets no respect. If CO2 was much of a warming factor, we sure could use some more of in down here in Florida right now. Our reputation is almost ruined. Another couple of years like this and I may as well move back north.

  72. “pat says:
    December 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    wonder what this Guardian story was – it should be in Guardian’s “money” section, but can be found nowhere and has no cached version:

    A working life: The climate change consultant”

    Google has it pat – I suspect it was taken down as it’s a shooting gallery for sceptics :)

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http%3A//www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/dec/07/working-life-climate-change-consultant

    h/t Fran Codwire @Bishops Hill

  73. LazyTeenager says:
    December 8, 2010 at 12:32 am

    “Let’s throw a dice, I bet heads, I win the bet, I boast that I knew all along that it was going to be heads. Am I telling the truth?”

    Whose heads are rolling on those dice?

  74. So essentially something is amiss right?

    Since 1750 CO2 levels have gone from 280 to about 390 ppmv. Apparently back in the hay day of life was a partyyy temperature was normal. I kid you not it says so on longrangeweather.com historical graphs. 230 years later, around 1987/88, we were back to normal again, albeit a higher normal, apparently.

    Back in 1880, however, temperatures wasn’t normal, but below normal, apparently.

    280 times 2 equals 560. So in about 170 ppmv more we should see these abnormally high average global temperatures. It only took us 260 years to get to 390 ppmv and going from -.04 in 1880 to +.04 (the latter is from our trusty albeit manipulated wikipedia) 2010.

    Since every climate hobnob seem to be using the linear crap, like NOAA uses in their graphs, it’ll take several hundred years to get a doubling of CO2.

    But since the temperatures didn’t get back to normal, from the “normal” of 1750, in 1988 which happened to be at about 350 ppmv CO2 levels (and how arbitrary isn’t that IPCC chooses the levels the same year IPCC was spawned the new hippie church) and slightly above normal (1961-1990) temperature levels.

    So which doubling is everyone meaning when they say a doubling of the CO2 levels? IPCC at one time meant from about 1990 levels and temperatures which included the already about 1° C from, first 1750, then 1850, then 1880, now about around 1900.

    If we scrap the linear crap and go by the logarithmic stuff with CO2, it’ll take us a frakking eternity to raise the temperature another puny °C.

    But of course I forgot to take into account the only non-linear function of CO2, which, apparently, is that human emitted CO2, from coal and oil but not breath, is mysteriously different and frakking super charged as an infrared, probably whole spectrum, emitter. o_O

  75. Whatever solar radiative energy a leaf’s photosynthesis uses to chemically convert into potential energy is solar energy that does not and cannot contribute to global warming.

  76. “do their climate models rotate at at? Do they vary their distance from the sun annually? ”

    DAFS : do a search. This code has been available for years now. The code browser
    is very nice and people should do more reading and less speculation. I cannot be the only person on WUWT who knows how to read code. It’s only 100K or so LOC
    doesnt take very long.

    SUBROUTINE ORBIT (OBLIQ,ECCN,OMEGT,DAY,SDIST,SIND,COSD,LAMBDA) 1,1
    !@sum ORBIT receives the orbital parameters and time of year, and
    !@+ returns the distance from the sun and its declination angle.
    !@+ The reference for the following calculations is: V.M.Blanco
    !@+ and S.W.McCuskey, 1961, “Basic Physics of the Solar System”,
    !@+ pages 135 – 151.
    !@auth Gary L. Russell and Robert J. Suozzo, 12/13/85

    C**** Input
    !@var OBLIQ = latitude of tropics in degrees
    !@var ECCEN = eccentricity of the orbital ellipse
    !@var OMEGT = angle from vernal equinox to perihelion in degrees
    !@var DAY = day of the year in days; 0 = Jan 1, hour 0

    C**** Constants:
    !@param VERQNX = occurence of vernal equinox = day 79 = Mar 21 hour 0

    C**** Intermediate quantities:
    !@var PERIHE = perihelion during the year in temporal radians
    !@var MA = mean anomaly in temporal radians = 2 JDAY/365 – PERIHE
    !@var EA = eccentric anomaly in radians
    !@var TA = true anomaly in radians
    !@var BSEMI = semi minor axis in units of the semi major axis
    !@var GREENW = longitude of Greenwich in the Earth’s reference frame

    C**** Output:
    !@var SDIST = square of distance to the sun in units of semi major axis
    !@var SIND = sine of the declination angle
    !@var COSD = cosine of the declination angle
    !@var LAMBDA = sun longitude in Earth’s rotating reference frame (OBS)
    USE CONSTANT, only : pi,radian,edpery
    IMPLICIT NONE
    REAL*8, PARAMETER :: VERQNX = 79.
    REAL*8, INTENT(IN) :: OBLIQ,ECCN,OMEGT,DAY
    REAL*8, INTENT(OUT) :: SIND,COSD,SDIST,LAMBDA

    REAL*8 MA,OMEGA,DOBLIQ,ECCEN,PERIHE,EA,DEA,BSEMI,COSEA
    * ,SINEA,TA,SINDD ! ,SUNX,SUNY,GREENW
    C****
    OMEGA=OMEGT*radian
    DOBLIQ=OBLIQ*radian
    ECCEN=ECCN
    C****
    C**** Determine time of perihelion using Kepler’s equation:
    C**** PERIHE-VERQNX = OMEGA – ECCEN sin(OMEGA)
    C****
    PERIHE = OMEGA-ECCEN*SIN(OMEGA)+VERQNX*2.*PI/EDPERY
    C PERIHE = DMOD(PERIHE,2.*PI)
    MA = 2.*PI*DAY/EDPERY – PERIHE
    MA = MOD(MA,2.*PI)
    C****
    C**** Numerically solve Kepler’s equation: MA = EA – ECCEN sin(EA)
    C****
    EA = MA+ECCEN*(SIN(MA)+ECCEN*SIN(2.*MA)/2.)
    110 DEA = (MA-EA+ECCEN*SIN(EA))/(1.-ECCEN*COS(EA))
    EA = EA+DEA
    IF (ABS(DEA).GT.1.D-15) GO TO 110
    C****
    C**** Calculate the distance to the sun and the true anomaly
    C****
    BSEMI = SQRT(1.-ECCEN*ECCEN)
    COSEA = COS(EA)
    SINEA = SIN(EA)
    SDIST = (1.-ECCEN*COSEA)*(1.-ECCEN*COSEA)
    TA = ATAN2(SINEA*BSEMI,COSEA-ECCEN)
    C****
    C**** Change the reference frame to be the Earth’s equatorial plane
    C**** with the Earth at the center and the positive x axis parallel to
    C**** the ray from the sun to the Earth were it at vernal equinox.
    C**** The distance from the current Earth to that ray (or x axis) is:
    C**** DIST sin(TA+OMEGA). The sun is located at:
    C****
    C**** SUN = (-DIST cos(TA+OMEGA),
    C**** -DIST sin(TA+OMEGA) cos(OBLIQ),
    C**** DIST sin(TA+OMEGA) sin(OBLIQ))
    C**** SIND = sin(TA+OMEGA) sin(OBLIQ)
    C**** COSD = sqrt(1-SIND**2)
    C**** LAMBDA = atan[tan(TA+OMEGA) cos(OBLIQ)] – GREENW
    C**** GREENW = 2*3.14159 DAY (EDPERY-1)/EDPERY
    C****
    SINDD = SIN(TA+OMEGA)*SIN(DOBLIQ)
    COSD = SQRT(1.-SINDD*SINDD)
    SIND = SINDD
    C GREENW = 2.*PI*(DAY-VERQNX)*(EDPERY+1.)/EDPERY
    C SUNX = -COS(TA+OMEGA)
    C SUNY = -SIN(TA+OMEGA)*COS(DOBLIQ)
    LAMBDA = 0. ! just to keep the compiler happy
    C LAMBDA = ATAN2(SUNY,SUNX)-GREENW
    C LAMBDA = MOD(LAMBDA,2.*PI)
    C****
    RETURN
    END SUBROUTINE ORBIT

  77. How is that possible that more trees means less CO2.

    Neither the USA, nor New Zealand, both of which have extensive forest farming, are allowed to offest their animal farts against growing more trees; so I don’t see how the Kyoto folks could be wrong on this; maybe this is another NASA GAFF, to go along with their GISS, and of course their latest ARSENILE paper.

  78. This new paper is one of many steps toward gradually improving overall future climate projections,

    Zuh? How can they be improved if they’re already completely accurate?

  79. While it’s nice they are beginning to get a clue about the negative feedbacks (perhaps sensing a cold shift in the future funding winds…) they are still a couple of orders of magnitude off kilter.

    A quick survey of some simple data shows that plants can suck all the CO2 out of the air down to the limits of their ability to live in fairly short order. Plants rule:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/got-wood/

  80. Adolf Goreing (ze denier) says:
    December 8, 2010 at 2:54 am
    “Another thing. The large forrests of the north have increased during modern times if they increase even further, it is not a wild guess that also their aerosol production will increase similarly. What about the efect of these natural aerosols, = cooling? Anyone knows?”

    The influence of aerosols can be positive or negative, noone knows for sure. They are used by the climate modelers as a wildcard and parameterized, so that the value of the parameter maximizes the hindcasting fit. (No joke.) To justify the value you chose, you just have to find the right peer-reviewed paper and say -“Our experiment (read model run) has provided evidence that this author was right in his assessment of the influence of aerosols.” (Obviously, because it made your model fit the temperature history better, this author must be right.)

    Perfect post-normal logic.

  81. NASA should develop a computer model that determines the ratio of feces to nerve tissue in the heads of climatologists.

  82. “We’ve got to get the models right. We’ve got to improve our projections…”

    If we are confident of improvement, could we not have the courage to upgrade the label to “predictions”.

    Well no, it would be unwise to do so. Almost every month a new factor emerges affecting climate and fundamentally challenging the assumptions underlying global climate models. Methane, clouds, ENSO, PDO/AMO, solar cycles now plant metabolism. It is well known that in the past e.g. Devonian, Carboniferous, plant and tree physiology and anatomy – such as leaf width – have responded and interacted dynamically with atmospheric CO2 levels (Beerling and Berner 2005, pnas, sorry no link). There is no reason why such interaction should not be a continuing factor in climate today.

    The whole concept of an all inclusive all singing all dancing global climate model is unrealistic and unachievable, vacuous and built on hubris. This point has been articulated frequently here and bears repeating.

    Real climate science bites off a chewable chunk, such as Bob Tisdale’s masterly analysis of the Pacific ENSO system, Paul Vaughan’s discovery of climate correlatons with astrophysical cycles, Tsonis’ development of nonlinear chaotic models which predict climate’s interaction with oceanic cycles, and testable hypotheses about global temperature regulation by latitudinal movements of ITCZ cloud bands by Stephen Wilde and Willis Eschenbach.

    In a knowledge structure like any structure the foundations must be built first.

  83. We get here all the time people claiming that with CO2 only about one molecule in 2500 in the atmosphere; it couldn’t really do anything. Well a million divided by 390 is actually 2564, and the cube root of that is about 13.7.

    So a CO2 molecule has to look past about 13.7 layers of molecules in any direction to find another one like it.

    Or think of a thin “plane” of atmospheric atoms, the CO2 molecules in that plane are about 13.7 molecules apart. So imagine if all other atmospheric gas molecules were totally transparent; and all CO2 molecules were totally black and opaque. Well it seems that a photon shooting up from the surface might never hit anything opaque in that layer; mostly they would go right through in between the CO2 black spots. But what about the next layer, and then the next ?

    So if you looked upwards, would the sky be bright or would it be black. This is sort of like the question; why is the night sky dark instead of bright; with all those infinities of bright stars out there, there must be one in every direction. So why would CO2 block anything ?

    Well it’s time to hit the beach; as in sandy beach; and bring your stick, so you won’t get swept off your feet in the surf; and you might want to scratch some doodles in the sand.

    So if you go down to just below the high water line, where the waves occasionally wash up the beach, look and see if you can find a grain of sand, that is still dry, where the water just squeezed in between the grains, and didn’t hit some sand grains.

    So aren’t we forgetting that LWIR Radiation is a wave just like the ocean waves on the beach.

    Just picture this; the LWIR radiation that is looking for a CO2 molecule to absorb some 15 micron wavelength energy.

    Now that is 15,000 nano metres wavelength.

    If you are reading this on a new Intel i-7, six, or maybe 4-core processor computer, the Intel chip in there has about 32 nm minimum dimensions, like gate length. Drain to source distances might be down in that size range.

    That means you can fit about 470 of those gate lengths into the space of one wavelength of CO2 ready LWIR radiation.

    To those chip transistors, those waves lapping on the silicon beach look like ordinary radio waves. The AMD 6-core chips are done with about 45 nm critical dimensions.

    Now radio waves are easily described in terms of Maxwell’s equations for the Electromagnetic Field, and like the shore waves lapping on the beach, they can wash over all those sand grains, and not leave a single one of them dry.

    Well you only have to scale this picture down; not even to the Intel chip scale, to realize that the EM wave that represents the LWIR radiation emitting from the earth surface is not going to leave any of those CO2 molecules dry either; they are way smaller than the Intel transistors, that themselves see the surface radiation waves as huge in wavelength.

    So you see that it is only a matter of scale; that LWIR radiation has a very well defined energy density that you can calculate from Maxwell’s equations, and it is going to hit every single one of those CO2 molecules in the amosphere.
    Now when the molecule grabs some of that wave energy, it is certainly going to take it in the form of a quantized energy “packet”; but it is going to grab some.

    I have a very interesting Optics Text Book, called “Optics of the Electromagnetic Spectrum.” And this whole Text book discusses all of the well known Optical phenomena described by ray optics, and the Fresnel reflection laws, and Snell’s Law, but it discusses and experiments with them in the laboratory, using microwave sources, and cm wave “optical” structures, so you can actually observe the wave interractions of long wavelenght “light” at a scale that the student can actually see.

    We shouldn’t get too set in our ways of thinking; sometimes another view is more illuminating.

    All of the standard optics text book stuff on geometrical optics, Polarisation and the like can be experimented with at microwave frequencies, so you can actually poe around in it at laboratory scale dimensions

  84. “Without the negative feedback included, the model FOUND a warming of 1.94 degrees C globally when carbon dioxide was doubled.”

    There’s something wrong with this sentence, but I cant quite put my finger on it …

  85. BTW, LT, there is no such thing as “a dice”. It’s “a die”, and a pair are “two dice”.

    GCM skill is zero. Maybe less: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a928051726&fulltext=713240928

    It is claimed that GCMs provide credible quantitative estimates of future climate change, particularly at continental scales and above. Examining the local performance of the models at 55 points, we found that local projections do not correlate well with observed measurements. Furthermore, we found that the correlation at a large spatial scale, i.e. the contiguous USA, is worse than at the local scale.

    Basing policy on these things is beyond dangerous.

  86. That 1.94°C figure is spooky. It started in 1990, instantly after the number of reporting stations was slashed:

    (I did the arithmetic, and the trend jumped exactly 1.94°C.)

  87. Re: above graph. You will note that correcting this bias demotes 1998 to about 224th warmest year. Give or take.

  88. From the now hidden Guardian article linked above:

    “Kirsty Lewis delves into the future not by gazing into a crystal ball but with the help of an IBM supercomputer that takes up the whole of a basement at the Met Office’s Hadley Centre in Exeter.”

    In the basement? In a flood plain close to a major river, known for flooding in recent years.
    Duh. Failed already.

    Have these morons no clue?

  89. The process is called “down-regulation.”

    No, it’s not.
    We’ve known about this for 50 years. Physiologists call it water use efficiency. The mechanism has been used exhaustively to screen plant cultivars in traditional breeding programs and in molecular genetics experiments. There are experiments from the 60’s and 70’s involving the interaction of leaf area index, stomatal conductance, and water use efficiency. These idiots just incorporated it into a model.
    People that write codes based on previous actual experimentation and believe it’s a novel concept irk me.

  90. I’m not a botanist but even an engineer knows that creation of biomass has to be an endothermic (cooling) reaction or it would violate the laws of thermodynamics (energy is being stored (fossil sunshine) and it is precisely this fact that creates coal from which this stored energy can be recovered). In addition, vegetation creates shade for the ground surface. This cooling shade arises in part from albedo of the “canopy”(commonly pointed out to be not large but it is there) plus the absorbtion of energy by the creation of biomass. So when you walk under a tree, think of it as a refrigeration unit.

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