New paper claims a value one seventh of the IPCC best estimate for Climate Sensitivity for a CO2 doubling

Paul Ostergaard writes via email:

Here is an interesting new paper that Miklos Zagoni has pointed me to via Judith Curry’s blog. This researcher in Germany has carried out a spectroscopic analysis of the impact of CO2 and other greenhouse gases’ contribution to warming.

It arrives (surprise!) at a value one seventh of the IPCC best estimate for Climate Sensitivity for a CO2 doubling. Looks intriguing at first blush…

The climate sensitivity CS as a measure for the temperature increase found, when the actual CO2-concentration is doubled, assumesCS = 0.41 ̊C for the tropical zone, CS = 0.40 ̊C for the moderate zones and CS = 0.92 ̊C for the polar zones. The weighted average over all regions as the global climate sensitivity is found to be CS = 0.45 ̊C with an estimated uncertainty of 30%, which mostly results from the lack of more precise data for the convection between the ground and atmosphere as well as the atmospheric backscattering…. The values for the global climate sensitivity published by the IPCC [3] cover a range from 2.1 ̊C – 4.4 ̊C with an average value of 3.2 ̊C, which is seven times larger than that predicted here.

Here is the link to the abstract:
http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/EGU2011-4505-1.pdf
The paper is being presented at the EGU General Assembly 2011 in Vienna.
Perhaps our WUWT readers can dissect this and see how well it holds up. It is important to  verify if the paper’s methodology is sound.

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

How much CO2 really contributes to global warming? Spectroscopic
studies and modelling of the influence of H2O, CO2 and CH4 on our
climate

Hermann Harde
Helmut-Schmidt-Universität Hamburg, Germany

Based on the actual HITRAN’2008 database [1] detailed spectroscopic studies on the absorbance of the greenhouse gases water, carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere are presented. The objective of these investigations was to examine and to quantify with these newly available data the influence of these gases on our climate.

The line-by-line calculations for sun light from 0.1 – 8 m (short wavelength radiation) as well as those for the emitted earth radiation from 3 – 60 m (long wavelength radiation) show, that due to the strong overlap of the CO2 and CH4 spectra with the water vapour lines the influence of these gases is significantly reducing with increasing water vapour pressure, and that with increasing CO2-concentration well noticeable saturation effects are observed limiting substantially the impact of CO2 on the warm-up of the atmosphere.
For the water vapour, which in its concentration is considerably varying with the altitude above ground as well as with the climate zone, separate distributions for the tropes, the moderate zones and the polar regions are presented.

They are based on actual GPS-measurements of the water content in these zones [2] and are applied for calculating the absorbance in the respective regions. The vertical variation in humidity and temperature, in the partial gas pressures and the total pressure is considered for each zone separately by computing individual absorption spectra for up to 228 atmospheric layers from ground level up to 86 km height.

The propagation length of the sun light in these layers, which depends on the angle of incidence to the atmosphere and therefore on the geographic latitude, is included by considering the earth as a truncated icosahedron (bucky ball) consisting of 32 surfaces with well defined angles to the incoming radiation and assigning each of the areas to one of the three climate zones.

To identify the influence of the absorbing gases on the climate and particularly the effect of an increasing CO2- concentration on the warming of the earth, a two-layer climate model was developed, which describes the atmosphere and the ground as two layers acting simultaneously as absorbers and Planck radiators. Also heat transfer by convection between these layers and horizontally by winds or oceanic currents between the climate zones is considered.

At equilibrium each, the atmosphere as well as the ground, delivers as much power as it sucks up from the sun and the neighbouring layer or climate zone.With this model for each climate zone the temperature progression of the earth and the atmosphere is calculated as a function of the CO2-concentration and several other parameters like ozone and cloud absorption, short- and long-wavelength scattering at clouds as well as the reflection at the earth’s surface.
The simulations for the terrestrial and atmospheric warm-up show well attenuating and saturating progressions with increasing CO2-concentration, mainly caused by the strongly saturating absorption of the intensive CO2 bands and the interference with water lines. The climate sensitivity CS as a measure for the temperature increase found, when the actual CO2-concentration is doubled, assumesCS = 0.41°C for the tropical zone, CS = 0.40°C for the moderate zones and CS = 0.92°C for the polar zones. The weighted average over all regions as the global climate sensitivity is found to be CS = 0.45°C with an estimated uncertainty of 30%, which mostly results from the lack of more precise data for the convection between the ground and atmosphere as well as the atmospheric backscattering.
The values for the global climate sensitivity published by the IPCC [3] cover a range from 2.1°C – 4.4°C with an average value of 3.2°C, which is seven times larger than that predicted here.

How much CO2 really contributes to global warming? Spectroscopic
studies and modelling of the influence of H2O, CO2 and CH4 on our
climate
Hermann Harde
Helmut-Schmidt-Universität Hamburg, Germany (harde@hsu-hh.de)
Based on the actual HITRAN’2008 database [1] detailed spectroscopic studies on the absorbance of the greenhouse
gases water, carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere are presented. The objective of these investigations
was to examine and to quantify with these newly available data the influence of these gases on our climate.
The line-by-line calculations for sun light from 0.1 – 8 m (short wavelength radiation) as well as those for the
emitted earth radiation from 3 – 60 m (long wavelength radiation) show, that due to the strong overlap of the CO2
and CH4 spectra with the water vapour lines the influence of these gases is significantly reducing with increasing
water vapour pressure, and that with increasing CO2-concentration well noticeable saturation effects are observed
limiting substantially the impact of CO2 on the warm-up of the atmosphere.
For the water vapour, which in its concentration is considerably varying with the altitude above ground as well as
with the climate zone, separate distributions for the tropes, the moderate zones and the polar regions are presented.
They are based on actual GPS-measurements of the water content in these zones [2] and are applied for calculating
the absorbance in the respective regions. The vertical variation in humidity and temperature, in the partial gas
pressures and the total pressure is considered for each zone separately by computing individual absorption spectra
for up to 228 atmospheric layers from ground level up to 86 km height.
The propagation length of the sun light in these layers, which depends on the angle of incidence to the atmosphere
and therefore on the geographic latitude, is included by considering the earth as a truncated icosahedron (bucky
ball) consisting of 32 surfaces with well defined angles to the incoming radiation and assigning each of the areas
to one of the three climate zones.
To identify the influence of the absorbing gases on the climate and particularly the effect of an increasing CO2-
concentration on the warming of the earth, a two-layer climate model was developed, which describes the atmosphere
and the ground as two layers acting simultaneously as absorbers and Planck radiators. Also heat transfer by
convection between these layers and horizontally by winds or oceanic currents between the climate zones is considered.
At equilibrium each, the atmosphere as well as the ground, delivers as much power as it sucks up from the
sun and the neighbouring layer or climate zone.With this model for each climate zone the temperature progression
of the earth and the atmosphere is calculated as a function of the CO2-concentration and several other parameters
like ozone and cloud absorption, short- and long-wavelength scattering at clouds as well as the reflection at the
earth’s surface.
The simulations for the terrestrial and atmospheric warm-up show well attenuating and saturating progressions with
increasing CO2-concentration, mainly caused by the strongly saturating absorption of the intensive CO2 bands and
the interference with water lines. The climate sensitivity CS as a measure for the temperature increase found, when
the actual CO2-concentration is doubled, assumesCS = 0.41°C for the tropical zone, CS = 0.40°C for the moderate
zones and CS = 0.92°C for the polar zones. The weighted average over all regions as the global climate sensitivity
is found to be CS = 0.45°C with an estimated uncertainty of 30%, which mostly results from the lack of more
precise data for the convection between the ground and atmosphere as well as the atmospheric backscattering.
The values for the global climate sensitivity published by the IPCC [3] cover a range from 2.1°C – 4.4°C with an
average value of 3.2°C, which is seven times larger than that predicted here.
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90 Responses to New paper claims a value one seventh of the IPCC best estimate for Climate Sensitivity for a CO2 doubling

  1. Bulldust says:

    How long before RC ramps up to “debunk” this one? Surely they won’t let a paper like this stand unmolested.

  2. Ron Cram says:

    I’ve often heard this argument made before, but I have never seen it in the literature before. It is interesting to see that it made it through peer-review. Of course, that does not mean the paper is accurate, but it will certainly stir the debate. Thank you for the find!

  3. Al Tekhasski says:

    It looks like a big progress. I like “228 layers” and “86 km”, not “up to tropopause” only. The model also has 3 climate zones and includes polar zone (instead of having only two zones in infamous Myhre-1997 study). I like accounting for horizontal transport between zones, and account for clouds (I hope their parametrization is individual for each zone). Sounds very good. I’d like to see their equivalent of “radiative forcing”, although it seems like the article uses more physical approach and evaluates the state of new balance for each increment in CO2, so the illusory “radiative forcing” simply does not enter the picture.

  4. syphax says:

    If someone published a paper that found a sensitivity of 5 degrees C, and the paper abstract included the phrase “considering the earth as a truncated icosahedron (bucky ball) consisting of 32 surfaces”, how well would that fly around here?

    Can we at least agree to perform calculations with a spherical earth?

  5. Ryan Maue says:

    Maybe the Union of Concerned Scientists can trot out Jeff Masters and waste everyone’s time with a conference call on this paper. They seem to be experts on cutting edge research topics.

  6. George Turner says:

    The modelers can just add
    FEEDBACK = FEEDBACK * 7

    Whew! That was almost a funding crisis.

  7. Ron Cram says:

    George Turner makes a good point. It appears the paper is calculating the no feedback sensitivity. This normally calculated by IPCC types as somewhere between 1.0 – 1.1C. Instead of being 1/7 of the IPCC estimate, it is really 40-45% of the IPCC view for no feedback sensitivity.

  8. MikeAinOz says:

    It’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges as the IPCC figure includes feedbacks, if you exclude the feed backs the result is in the lower range. I think they need to fix the abstract before it goes any further. I think this figure may even be in agreement with IPCC for C02 alone.

  9. Braddles says:

    If this is a conference paper, it has probably not been peer reviewed. Give it the same intensity of scrutiny we would expect for papers we disagree with, and let the chips fall as they may.

  10. Mike McMillan says:

    syphax says: March 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm
    If someone published a paper that found a sensitivity of 5 degrees C, and the paper abstract included the phrase “considering the earth as a truncated icosahedron (bucky ball) consisting of 32 surfaces”, how well would that fly around here?

    Not ideal, but it does eliminate rounding errors.

  11. Alexander says:

    Doesn’t surprise me in the slightest: 3K climate sensitivity in AR4 depends on imaginary ‘cloud albedo effect’ cooling. By 2004, NASA knew it couldn’t be proved experimentally so it’s purely theoretical but the aerosol optical physics is wrong.

    This goes back to the 1950s when Van de Hulst explained greater than expected backscattering from sols as a form of directed diffuse backscattering driven by strong asymmetry. Sagan picked it up and his analysis was used by Lacis and Hansen at GISS. The equation [and variants] apparently fits albedo-optical depth data but when used to predict albedo change when pollution reduces cloud droplet size, goes the wrong way for thicker clouds.

    It’s because there’s a second optical process, direct backscattering at the upper cloud boundary, strongly dependent on droplet size. You can easily prove it by looking at clouds about to rain: they get very much darker underneath due to the shielding so smaller droplet size reduces the albedo of thicker clouds.

    Therefore, all the climate models are broken. In 2004, apparently to justify incorporation of the cooling in AR4, NASA claimed a ‘surface reflection’ argument: http://geo.arc.nasa.gov/sgg/singh/winners4.html

    This replaced Twomey’s partially correct physics which he had warned couldn’t be extrapolated to thicker clouds. As any competent person should have known, there’s no such physics. AR4 was known by some to be incorrect before it was published.

    What appears to have been the biggest scientific fraud in History is being challenged.

  12. Keith Minto says:

    considering the earth as a truncated icosahedron (bucky ball) consisting of 32 surfaces …….. or 20 surfaces ? as icos means 20.
    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Icosahedron.html
    [Comment : Back in my schooldays, I think the object referred to (truncated icosahedron) was called an icosidodecahedron. It has 32 faces - 20 triangular and 12 pentagonal. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Icosidodecahedron.html - mj]

  13. The 0,45K CS matches the simple finding, that it takes around 9,25 “doublings” of CO2 to match the total CO2 effect:
    http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/925—a-factor-that-could-close-the-global-warming-debate-193.php

    9,25 * 0,45 = 4,2 K for total CO2 contribution. This is around 13% of the supposed total green house gas effect of the Earth (33K) and thus the 0,45 K sounds physically possible unlike the IPCC/Hansen estimates.

    K.R. Frank

  14. Edvin says:

    This problem has an easy and convenient solution.

    fudge_factor = 7

  15. Al Tekhasski says:

    syphax asks, “Can we at least agree to perform calculations with a spherical earth?” after complaining about “truncated icosahedron consisting of 32 surfaces”

    Would you feel better if the author would use climatardant jargon “using T31 grid”?

    http://thenerdiestshirts.com/images/thumbs/math-shirt-t-icosahedron-white-325px.gif

    [Comment - I stand corrected, it appears this is indeed the "buckyball". http://www.angelfire.com/rachelgladstone/football.html - mj]

  16. Brian H says:

    Hint to European scientists publishing in English: dig up a native speaker co-author. The text to understand easier much could be would, likely very!
    Thanks.

  17. ZZZ says:

    It sounds like the author of this paper thinks that the standard IPCC models do not combine the atmospheric heat-trapping effects of multiple green-house gasses correctly — specifically, that these models do not correctly allow for the interaction of the water vapor and CO2 absorptions. If he’s correct, this could be a big “gotcha” for the standard IPCC climate models, because it would mean that the standard IPCC approach is “over-counting” the combined effect of CO2 and water vapor absorption by assuming that each gas is absorbs as if the other gas was not present instead of — as this author does — calculating how each gas takes away some of the radiation the other gas needs in order to reach its full greenhouse efficiency.

  18. Baa Humbug says:

    If I understand the abstract correctly, water vapour is included.
    So what other feedbacks are commentors refering to?

  19. cal says:

    I fear this model has some of the same limitations as the AGW ones but it does seem to be no worse. Those who complain about the icosidodecahedran simplifiction are clutching at straws. The effect of this approximation has got to be tiny. Those who compare this paper’s findings with the IPPC’s estimate ‘without feedback’ may have a valid point but in the linked abstract they say they have used actual measured figures for the amount of water vapour at each altitude so it sound like the biggest feedback is included. Since the IPPC modelled feedback is very contentious and yet unverified this objection also looks a bit deperate.

    My personal doubt is whether they have included the temperature of the tropopause in their model and whether they have considered it to be constant. If the ‘well known saturation effects’ result in an increase in height of the tropopause and reduction in its temperature the amount of energy radiated from the top of the troposphere (particularly by CO2) will fall. I feel that this can only be determined by measurement. Some of you may remember the time when we did research which included measurement and model validation.

  20. John Kehr says:

    This result is interesting. It isn’t a pure climate sensitivity study, but is a merged CO2 forcing and sensitivity combined effect. I have to admit that it gives very comparable results to what I have gotten from my analysis.

    I do like the latitude based results as the impact of water vapor is dominant.

    Using his results it can be estimated that the north pole has experienced 0.3 C warming as a result of CO2. The world as a whole about 0.15C. I will do a full analysis and post in the next few days.

    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/

  21. confuse says:

    It’s all a load of rubbish…..its not a pal reviewed paper therefore it’s voodoo science.

  22. Sean Houlihane says:

    The fact that the paper misses the point of feedback mechanisms in comparison with the IPCC range is telling. What I would like to see specifically identified is the specific points where this model differs from others – rather than a ground up construction with no reference points. As it stands, I think this has very little value. In effect, it says your other models are broken because I have one here which disagrees.

  23. Mike Borgelt says:

    Yes, BaaHumbug and ZZZ . Water vapor is the predominant greenhouse gas by far. CO2 is a bit player at best. Not only that but low clouds are clearly a large negative feedback keeping the system stable. As CO2 doesn’t change phase at temperatures/pressures that exist anywhere in the atmosphere it simply cannot compete.

  24. Coldish says:

    Harde is not alone in finding a value much less than 1 degree C for the increase in average global earth’s surface temperature per doubling of atmospheric CO2. A number of studies which have included empirical as well as theoretical arguments have also come up with values in the <<1 degree C range. For instance Newell and Dopplick, 1979 (J. Applied Meteorology, 18, 822-825), using a radiation flux model, suggested around 0.25 degrees C (without H2O feedback). This compares with the value of 1.2 degrees adopted by the IPCC.

  25. Jimbo says:

    It’s funny how each week it seems to get worse and worse for the IPCC / Warm.

    Estimated CO2 Warming Cut By 65%
    http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/estimated-co2-warming-cut-65
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n9/full/ngeo932.html

    “Amplification of Global Warming by Carbon-Cycle Feedback Significantly Less Than Thought, Study Suggests”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127134721.htm
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/full/nature08769.html

  26. John Marshall says:

    Still based on a model I see. Still a better result than the IPCC.
    All models depend on radiation as the prime heat loss from earth. It is not. The prime heat loss process is convection. proof being the large Cu and Cb clouds that build in the hottest parts of the planet where you can still get hail storms, still more proof of heat loss in the convecting air.

  27. Stephen Richards says:

    It’s models again.

  28. Mark Petersen says:

    I find it quite interesting, but I would also like to read the rebuttal.

    regarding the awkward wording: In German people prefer the passive form, because they consider it more professional, while the active form sounds juvenile to them. Many Germans (including myself) find it very difficult to avoid the passive form when writing in English, and most are not even aware of this difference between the languages, as it is not being taught in school.

  29. Roger Longstaff says:

    An interesting abstract. I hope the authors make the data and code available, in order that others can attempt to falsify the method or conclusions – this is how science is supposed to work.

    Concerning politics however, this conclusion, if it cannot be falsified by “climate modellers”, would be catastrophic to the CAGW industry. I expect the sparks to fly!

  30. Svein S says:

    I find it amazing that people and those responsible for these blogs place faith in an abstract submitted for a meeting that is not even held yet. a)It has not been presented to the meeting in Vienna. b)It has not been checked through any peer review. c) It is not even a paper submitted to a reputable journal. d)It remains unclear wether the analysis include the feedbacks that normal assessments in other papers and summarized by the IPCC includes. If you wish to pinch a hole in the consensus view of climate sensitivity, please apply some elements of scientific thinking, rigour and analysis.

  31. ZZZ says: March 3, 2011 at 12:13 am

    ” If he’s correct, this could be a big “gotcha” for the standard IPCC climate models, because it would mean that the standard IPCC approach is “over-counting” the combined effect of CO2 and water vapor absorption by assuming that each gas is absorbs as if the other gas was not present instead of — as this author does — calculating how each gas takes away some of the radiation the other gas needs in order to reach its full greenhouse efficiency.”

    No doubt the response would be to say: “the double counting has been dealt with by reducing the scale of the (think-of-anything-you-like-to-get-a-grant) climate multiplier, and the result would not significantly change if you took this model and simply used an adjusted (think-of-something-bigger-get-a-grant) climate multiplier

  32. thingadonta says:

    Water evaporation is endothermic. Negative feedback.

    Catastrophic AGW RIP.

  33. Ryan says:

    In effect the “feedbacks” are included. What the author is saying is that the water vapour is already acting as such a powerful greenhouse gas at the particular frequencies where CO2 absorbtion is relevant, that in fact the atmosphere is almost completely saturated with absorbtion gases at those specific frequencies and therefore the addition of further CO2 will have a negligible effect. So if additional CO2 has limited effect on climate due to saturation, the feedbacks will be irrelevant.

    However, it is a simulation based on a computer model and has the same underlying flaws as all climate modelling using computers. In fact you can see here that you can use the same climate models but the initial assumption is only changed – in the IPCC they assume that the amount of IR being absorbed is a long way from the maximum possible, whilst in this research they claim we are already close to the maximum possible, when you consider the absorbtion due to water vapour.

    Of course the question then simplifies to “Is there enough water vapour in the atmosphere to totally negate any additional absorbtion from CO2?”. What these researchers have done is looked in detail at the absorption lines for each molecule and then measured the level of each gas in the atmosphere at different points to calculate how close we are to saturation at least in terms of how the temperature at ground level will be affected.

    It’s not an unreasonable thing to do but in the end it is just another opinion put in the form of algebra.

  34. David S says:

    So to summarise, if zero feedback sensitivity were 1.0ºC per doubling, effect of water vapour and other factors is a negative feedback of just over 50%. Seems eminently reasonable if you overlay the last 50 years’ trend over the earlier years’ warming since the LIA. Indicates effect of CO2 (manmade and otherwise) about 0.2ºC so far.
    However before we get excited someone with the relevant atmospheric physics knowledge needs to give it a good going over.

  35. WOW

    I was just writing this up on my own blog and it struck me how much of a body blow this will be for the warmists if it sticks. The single undeniable fact: the reason they call us “deniers” is that you can’t deny the evidence of the science that CO2 causes warming

    Well, now it appears that you can deny over 50% of this “undeniable fact”.

    If this paper holds water, then at the very least all the climate estimates halve. The policy implication is obvious: the rate of reduction of CO2 necessary is half that before, i.e. the “critical” time periods for any reductions are doubled, which now takes any concept of serious global warming or need for action well beyond the period of supposed fossil fuel depletion (my back of the fag packet if oil ran out in 30 years, and we started using coal, was that it would only last 60 years).

    Climategate would be a mere splash compared to the overwhelming tsunami this paper could create.

    Has the unsinkable Global warming Titanic hit its iceberg?

  36. Mr Green Genes says:

    syphax says:
    March 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Can we at least agree to perform calculations with a spherical earth?

    A pedant responds: Wouldn’t it be better to use an oblate spheroid earth? :-)

  37. Frango says:

    @Baa Humbug: Yes water vapour but not water vapour feedback, thats a difference! The author cant even comare two number (his 0,.4 with IPCC) so the study is likley nonsense.

  38. Joseph says:

    OK, I have an experiment idea.

    Suppose one was to build a hot-house (or use one at any farm that will let one use it) but don’t put a roof on it. Now, put very sensitive equipment in there and measure the CO2 levels and temperature. Once you have the levels and temperature measured, then double the amount of CO2 and see how that effected the temperature. The bottles of compressed CO2 needed could be inside the unit and at the unit’s temp to prevent the addition of CO2 from unduly effecting the inside temperature.

    Has this been done?

  39. FerdinandAkin says:

    Mike McMillan says:
    March 2, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    syphax says: March 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm
    If someone published a paper that found a sensitivity of 5 degrees C, and the paper abstract included the phrase “considering the earth as a truncated icosahedron (bucky ball) consisting of 32 surfaces”, how well would that fly around here?

    Not ideal, but it does eliminate rounding errors.

    The modeling with 32 surfaces is to appease the “Flat-Earthers”

  40. Joseph says:

    A CO2 question.

    If the world’s CO2 level goes from 380 ppm to 420 ppm, how do we know what percentage of that is due to man’s various activities? Are we certain that CO2 would stay at some “perfect” all the time if there was no mankind?

  41. Don Keiller says:

    A number for contributors have said that the Harde paper does not parameterise feedbacks?

    My question is why should it? Most IPCC papers on climate sensitivity postulate a positive water vapour feedback,
    yet measurements of the Earth’s atmosphere since 1948 show no such evidence.

    See here http://icecap.us/images/uploads/SPECIFICHUMIDITYSINCE1948.gif

  42. commieBob says:

    John Marshall says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Still based on a model I see. Still a better result than the IPCC.
    All models depend on radiation as the prime heat loss from earth. It is not. The prime heat loss process is convection. proof being the large Cu and Cb clouds that build in the hottest parts of the planet where you can still get hail storms, still more proof of heat loss in the convecting air.

    Actually, radiation is the only way the planet loses heat to outer space. Convection and evaporation move the heat around. In particular, they move the heat up through the atmosphere to a greater altitude where it can then radiate into space.

    Given that something like thirty percent of the heat is removed from the earth’s surface (to higher altitudes) by evaporation and convection, and given that this isn’t particularly controversial, I would bet a week’s worth of coffee that the authors didn’t forget to include it.

    The paper doesn’t seem to be any kind of paradigm change. Even the AGW folks will agree that catastrophic, runaway global warming can only happen because of positive feedback. They really have to prove that there is a plausible mechanism for global warming and they have to prove that it actually exists. Even though they haven’t proven the existence of such positive feedbacks, they will argue that this paper ignores those positive feedbacks. Otherwise, I suspect that they will not find much to quibble about (unless there is an obvious glaring error in the methodology).

    Bottom line: This isn’t going to be the paper that convinces the AGW folks to fold up their tents and slip silently away into the night.

  43. paulhan says:

    I like this paper.

    Number one because I can understand where it’s coming from directly from the abstract.

    Number two because I never liked the idea that an increase in CO2 which is said to cause a 1.2K rise in temperatures would cause feedbacks that would increase temperatures by between 0.6K and 3.6K, which to my mind is utter bunkum. This paper bypasses all that by including all greenhouse gasses, therefore the idea of feedbacks is nullified. If there were feedbacks to the extent we are told there are, it would be possible to enclose a lake in a biodome, fill it with CO2 and extract all the extra heat created as a result, profitably.

    Although it uses a model, it is based on actual measurements of the greenhouse gasses at the various layers of the atmosphere, not some figures finessed to show the right message.

  44. Ryan says: March 3, 2011 at 2:38 am

    In effect the “feedbacks” are included. What the author is saying is that the water vapour is already acting as such a powerful greenhouse gas at the particular frequencies where CO2 absorption is relevant, that in fact the atmosphere is almost completely saturated with absorption gases at those specific frequencies and therefore the addition of further CO2 will have a negligible effect. So if additional CO2 has limited effect on climate due to saturation, the feedbacks will be irrelevant.

    Are you sure?

    There’s not enough in the paper for me to draw any conclusion about feedback. My assumption is that if the direct CO2 forcing gives 1C, the IPCC climate multiplier is 2-5x so if the new direct forcing is 0.45C then the overall expected temperature change on IPCC estimates would be 0.9 – 2.3C.

    I presume what you are saying, is that because a lot of this presumed positive feedback is from H2O and additional absorption, then as the absorption by H2O has already been to some extent “double counted” then the multiplier itself will also reduce by perhaps 50%.

    So, would this give e.g. if we assume a halving of feedback it would result in an overall new estimate of 0.45C – 1.1C of warming for a doubling of CO2

  45. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Ron Cram , aah, yes, the magical feedbacks. And what would they be … research grant funds?

  46. hunter says:

    It will be interesting to see how it holds up under scrutiny.
    Robert of Ottawa,
    Brilliant! Best description of feedbacks yet. ;^)

  47. Roger Longstaff says:

    With reference to the finite element modelling: “…it does eliminate rounding errors” and “The modeling with 32 surfaces is to appease the “Flat-Earthers””.

    No problem – just progressively increase the number of surface elements (by reducing thier sizes) until the results approach asymptotic convergence. All you need is a supercomputer (hint: the MET Office has one that is not doing much useful work nowadays – maybe they can borrow that?)

  48. Dave Springer says:

    syphax says:
    March 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    If someone published a paper that found a sensitivity of 5 degrees C, and the paper abstract included the phrase “considering the earth as a truncated icosahedron (bucky ball) consisting of 32 surfaces”, how well would that fly around here?

    Can we at least agree to perform calculations with a spherical earth?

    32 surfaces approximating a sphere seems reasonable for this kind of analysis to me. What do you believe would be gained by using more surfaces? It isn’t computationally practical to use a perfect sphere, by the way, so all you can do is pick a smaller panel size to approximate your sphere.

  49. This is an improved model which should give us a better estimate of climate sensitivity, but it is not a direct measure. The calculated sensitivities for the different regions are still “fudge factors” that allow the model to agree with observations. If the concentrations of CO2 are uniform globally, why should the actual reduction of OLR by CO2 vary between regions? I f the effect is measurable, it would show up at the poles where atmospheric water is at a minimum. My analysis does not show a statistically significant effect. Click on my name.

  50. tallbloke says:

    syphax says:
    March 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    If someone published a paper that found a sensitivity of 5 degrees C, and the paper abstract included the phrase “considering the earth as a truncated icosahedron (bucky ball) consisting of 32 surfaces”, how well would that fly around here?

    Can we at least agree to perform calculations with a spherical earth?

    Any idea how much difference it would make to the sensitivity calc? Or are you just nit-picking?

  51. son of mulder says:

    The temperature data since 1880 suggests a sensitivity of about 1 degK assuming all is due to CO2 and feedbacks. But as we’ve been coming out of the Little Ice age this lower result is not unreasonable particularly if the overlap of CO2/H2O/CH4 absorption has previously been underestimated.

    Prof Lindzen etc need to give this a good going over and compare and contrast with his results for outgoing radiation with Choi from 2009.

  52. David Middleton says:

    Ron Cram says:
    March 2, 2011 at 11:01 pm
    George Turner makes a good point. It appears the paper is calculating the no feedback sensitivity. This normally calculated by IPCC types as somewhere between 1.0 – 1.1C. Instead of being 1/7 of the IPCC estimate, it is really 40-45% of the IPCC view for no feedback sensitivity.

    From the abstract of the paper…

    The weighted average over all regions as the global climate sensitivity is found to be CS = 0.45°C with an estimated uncertainty of 30%, which mostly results from the lack of more precise data for the convection between the ground and atmosphere as well as the atmospheric backscattering. The values for the global climate sensitivity published by the IPCC [3] cover a range from 2.1°C – 4.4°C with an
    average value of 3.2°C, which is seven times larger than that predicted here.

    If you compare Moberg’s NH Medieval Warm Period reconstruction to HadCRUT3 NH, it might currently be 0.1°C to 0.2°C warmer than it was during the MWP… Which is right about where if ought to be if the sensitivity is ~0.5°C and CO2 really was only ~285ppmv back in the MWP.

    Science…

    Idso (1980) 0.26°C – Experimental
    Lindzen & Choi (2009) 0.5°C – Observation
    Spencer & Braswell (2010) 0.6°C – Observation
    Harde (2011) 0.45°C – Model

    If you assume that all of the warming since 1850 is due to CO2, the maximum possible sensitivity (including feedbacks) is ~2.0°C.

    Junk Science…

    Trenberth, et al. (2010) 2.3°C – Modification of LC09
    Hansen et al. (1988) 4.2°C – Hallucinogenic drugs (/sarc)
    IPCC 2.1°C – 4.4°C – WAG (/double sarc)
    Penner et al.. (2010) “It is at present impossible to accurately determine climate sensitivity…” (actual quote)

  53. Mike Abbott says:

    Jimbo says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:29 am

    It’s funny how each week it seems to get worse and worse for the IPCC / Warm.

    Estimated CO2 Warming Cut By 65%
    http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/estimated-co2-warming-cut-65
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n9/full/ngeo932.html

    In your first link, the author has posted a correction saying that the estimated CO2 warming cut is 39%, not 65%.

  54. Anthony,

    Thanks for this. Almost each month that passes we are seeing that claims for the so-called ‘feedback’ from CO2 are increasingly negligible. Slowly we are getting towards the null hypothesis.

    Very soon the entire scientific community will agree with the authors of ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory’ that there is no atmospheric GHG effect and such claims were borne from junk science all along.

  55. John_in_Oz says:

    I’d like to respond to:
    Svein S says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:58 am

    I find it amazing that people … responsible for [this blog] place faith in an abstract [that is unclear in some areas and unchecked]. If you wish to pinch a hole in the consensus view of climate sensitivity, please apply some elements of scientific thinking, rigour and analysis.

    I think that’s a fair precis of the comment.
    My response is to ask ‘what people’, ‘what faith’ and ‘what wish’?
    A propos of my question ‘What people?’:
    When you speak of ‘the people responsible for the blog’ I infer that you perceive WUWT as a conspiracy of Science Deniers. People who will have faith in anything except for the revealed truths of Science, which we dogmatically refuse to accept, due to prejudgment by reason of politics, religion or insanity.
    Insofar as that ‘conspiracy’ goes, Svein S you are now a poster at WUWT. How well does that description fit you? It’s my judgment that it fits everybody else here as badly as it does you. But if I’m wrong, even if there were some such here, it does not impact on the rest of us. I mention that last possibility, simply because the very liberal policies of the site are that anyone can post comments, subject to reasonable restrictions against incivility and relevance. ‘Anyone’ would include a ‘Science Denier’ blinded by prejudice, although the next time I see one will bee the first time, and the other commentators will at best charitably ignore him if not outright ridicule him.
    The people responsible for this post on this blog is one person, Anthony Watts. It’s no secret; he spells it out clearly. He tells us who told him, what that person had to say, where and how he got it. There is no conspiracy here.
    Apropos of ‘what faith?’:
    Faith is the domain of religion, not science. Nobody here places faith in the paper. What you see before you shows we do the exact opposite. Note that the person who e-mailed it to Anthony Watts, Paul Ostergaard writes ‘Perhaps our WUWT readers can dissect this and see how well it holds up. It is important to verify if the paper’s methodology is sound.’ This is not the wording of a believer.
    We do indeed dissect it. See how many commentators criticise it for being model-based. (I admit, I didn’t interpret it that way, and must re-read it.) Others criticise it for not being based on a round earth. Others, including yourself, point out that it has not been subject to peer review. These are just the early comments.
    See that the post’s heading itself states that it is a claim.
    We (Anthony, in this case) are informing each other of the existence of the paper. We’re hypothesising the implications if it should turn out to be true. We’re subjecting it to what criticisms we’re currently able to make. None of this is ‘placing faith’.
    Apropos of my question ‘What wish?’, your assumption that this site ‘wish[es] to pinch a hole in the consensus view of climate sensitivity’ is mistaken. This blog does not hold a pre-determined position. Admittedly, most of us are unpersuaded by the consensus viewpoint. However, you will note that Anthony links to pro-AGW sites, though they don’t return the courtesy. He has often invited their representatives to post or comment here.
    He does not censor posts with which he disagrees, a fact that cannot be said about some of the advocacy sites. (That practice, combined with their advocacy, seems to me to be anti-scientific.)
    This site exists to comment on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology and recent news., not to deliver ‘the truth’ from any one viewpoint. Many of those interesting or puzzling things do not support the ‘consensus view’. This means that you can only learn about them from the sceptic blogs, such as WUWT.
    Not all of those things pan out, of course. But many of them do. Without Anthony Watts, the surfacestations project, and the Alarmists’ counter-project would not exist.
    Without sceptics’ blogs, people would believe the ‘hockey stick’ was statistically valid, and that the medieval warm period didn’t exist. Hansen’s records would incorrectly cobble together two data sets, etc.
    Now that you’ve become a WUWT poster, you’ve seen some of what this blog is about. Do stick around and do it again. If we’re factually in error, tell us so. Do try and avoid being trapped by faulty assumptions. And enjoy the site. It offers a lot of interesting things.
    And we’ll all aspire to meet your call for scientific thinking, rigour and analysis.

  56. I was interested to learn more about this paper and the author, so I’m posting what I found:

    Paper is for this Event
    European Geosciences Union
    General Assembly 2011
    Vienna | Austria | 03 – 08 April 2011

    Aims & Scope of event

    The EGU General Assembly 2011 will bring together geoscientists from all over the world into one meeting covering all disciplines of the Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences. Especially for young scientists the EGU appeals to provide a forum to present their work and discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of geosciences. The EGU is looking forward to cordially welcome you in Vienna!
    URL: http://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2011/

    This paper comes under:

    Poster Programme CL2.6
    Earth radiation budget, radiative forcing and climate change
    Convener: Martin Wild
    Co-Conveners: Rolf Philipona , Paul Stackhouse
    URL: http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/poster_programme/6420

    Dr. Hermann Harde
    URL: http://www.hsu-hh.de/laser/index_xf8dd16rfJ6hg6A6.html

    Other work:
    A New Tool for Computation and Display of Spectra from the HITRAN Database (HITRAN is an acronym for high-resolution transmission molecular absorption database.)
    http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/hitran/HITRAN_conf06_presentations/Session5/5.5-Harde.pdf

  57. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    His theortical calculations are probably wrong

    Go to “Climate at Glance” at the NCDC’s website. Plot the annual mean temp for Texas. The trend for the 1895 to 2010 interval is 0.00 deg F.

    The conc of CO2 in dry air has increased by ca 38% since ca 1900.

    It this trend continues, doubling the conc of CO2 will have no effect on Texas annual mean temperature.

    I really do like Texas cherry pie!

  58. Anything is possible says:

    I have to say I like this study – not only does it confirm what I have thought all along, but it also seems to tie-in nicely with observed temperatures while leaving room for some of the recent warming being caused by other factors ( Solar maximum, ENSO and other human-driven influences like land-use changes and UHI.)

    It will be interesting to see how well the methodologies and interpretations stand-up to the closer scrutiny they will undoubtedly get from the warmists should this study achieve any sort of prominence in the media (if it doesn’t, it will simply be ignored). If they can’t refute the results, then “SS Increasing levels of CO2 are going to cause major changes to the Earths climate” is going to be holed below the waterline.

  59. conradg says:

    Re the issue of computer climate models, we have tended to be skeptical of all such things because of how they get manipulated and are obviously prone to GIGO. But it’s important to remember that computer modelling is actually a very good tool scientists use in many fields with good results – when the models are comprehensive enough, the underlying science is understood, that science is applied correctly, and most importantly when there is a real data feedback system that keeps it empirically sound.

    The question with computer model used in this study should merely be “does it accurately reflect the underlying physics of the system under study?” And, of course, does its results conform to observed data? On the first issue, we can only say that the researcher has made a serious effort to create a model which reflects the actual physics of the earth’s atmosphere and the interactions of the dominant hydrolic cycle with the radiative effects of CO2. Is it perfect? Undoubtedly not. It will take a lot more investigation to see how well it takes all the physics involved into account. But off the bat, it sounds like a sound approach. And the results do have the clear advantage of conforming to the observed data. Remember, the IPCC results do not conform to observed data, but require that we assume the 20th century would have gone through a rather sever cooling period if not for CO2 greenhouse gas effects. This result requires no such magical thinking. It merely requires that we infer some small effect on the existing period of otherwise natural warming.

    Point being that computer models are not inherently bad ideas. They really can be useful tools in science when used with integrity and awareness of their limits. One goal of climate science really would be to create computer models that actually do take into account the total physics of the earth’s atmosphere and thus reflect relatively closely its actual functional variations and workings. It doesn’t always have to be GIGO. It’s possible that over time we will have TITO (truth in, truth out).

  60. MikeN says:

    Could someone explain the assumesCS, in that first excerpt?
    Assume global warming therefore global warming is not a valid argument.

  61. conradg says:

    Also, regarding the criticism “wouldn’t it be better to use a spherical earth than one broken into 32 surfaces”, this simply isn’t how computer models work. As in every “calculus” of a sphere, one always breaks the surface down into a series of flat planes. The more planes one uses, the closer it resembles a sphere. At no point does it ever become a true “sphere”. So all computer models do this. If there is a criticism to be made here, it’s that using only 32 surfaces is a very rough model. The bigger climate models have supercomputers and use grids with much smaller areas.

    So one can say that this model is still a bit on the rough side, and might benefit from a more intensive calculative process with a tighter grid. Follow up work could certainly be done if this fellow can get further grant money and access to faster computers and more complex modelling. But that is probably only going to refine the uncertainty the researcher already has stated of +/30%, not dramatically alter the outcome. The more serious issues are the underlying scientific assumptions about how atmospheric physics works. That’s where the model needs to be rigorously examined and tested.

  62. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    RE: Weather Noise for Feb in Utah is 2 deg F.

    I downloaded tbe Utah Feb monthly mean temperature for the interval 1900 to 2010 from the NCDC site just mentioned.

    For each decade I computed Tmean +/- AD, where AD is the classical average deviation from the mean. I then computed the average Tmean +/- AD and got 31 +/- 3 deg F.

    I propose that AD = weather noise (WN) + resolution of field therometer (RFT). Since RFT = 1 deg F, WN = 2 deg F.

    If you all have any objections to this simple but powerful method of computinf weather noise, I want to them.

    Responders get coffee and Texas cherry pie al a mode!
    I serving coffee

  63. 4 says:

    I would love to see more on this. I know some people have reservations about any model. But these guys need a model to explain spectroscopy data. The surfacial difference between this and the IPCC models is this: A CLEAR QUANTIFICATION OF UNCERTAINTY, AND IT’S SOURCE.

  64. jorgekafkazar says:

    The verbiage from CAGW proponents here indicates panic, given the early status of this paper. Those who attack it primarily because it is still early in the process reveal their closed mindedness. Those who attack it because of some imagined geometric imperfection are ignoring the fact that the deviation from sphericity is insignificant. Almost 3/4 of the earth is ocean, for which finer gridding is pointless. Current GCM’s use a grid that is nowhere near as fine as the observed microclimate pattern over the remaining 1/3 of the globe. The difference between an icosahedron and a sphere in this application is trivial and will not affect the estimated sensitivity significantly.

    “When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” –anon

  65. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    @Jimbo says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:29 am
    It’s funny how each week it seems to get worse and worse for the IPCC / Warm.
    ——
    Yeah, really! Do I hear the sounds of rats leaping off of a sinking ship? Maybe disputing CAGW models will be the newest research funding scam!

  66. I feel sorry for Hermann.

    Now that the climategate team know how big the threat is, they will be pulling out the stops to “keep (it) out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!” . No doubt they’ll already be starting to pull strings to get this “delayed” indefinitely or “revised” to include so many caveats that it is meaningless.

    I also wouldn’t want to be in his shoes at the conference because he is bound to be heavily attacked.

  67. Rob Honeycutt says:

    Has anyone here yet figured out that this is not an abstract for a paper?

  68. Darell C. Phillips says:

    Re: Keith Minto @ March 2, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    The polyhedron mentioned replaces your example using 20 triangles with 20 hexagons.

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/TruncatedIcosahedron.html

    Why “bucky ball” was mentioned along with truncated icosahedron is because of its connection to carbon 60- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckminsterfullerene
    It can also be thought of as this- http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Football_Pallo_valmiina-cropped.jpg

  69. jonjermey says:

    This paper clearly has no credibility: he omitted to say at the bottom: “BTW, AGW is reely trooly happening!”

  70. DaveH says:

    syphax says: March 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    “If someone published a paper that found a sensitivity of 5 degrees C, and the paper abstract included the phrase “considering the earth as a truncated icosahedron (bucky ball) consisting of 32 surfaces”, how well would that fly around here?”

    If you are prepared to accept interpolation of temperatures from stations 1,200 km apart then you may as well be modelling the earth as a truncated icosahedron.

  71. Rob Honeycutt says:

    Before everyone gets all worked up into a conspiratorial tizzy… please go here to put this abstract into context.

    It’s an abstract for a talk that Dr Harde is giving at the EGU meeting. As yet there are no papers by Dr Harde with the same title. That doesn’t mean there won’t be one forthcoming but science takes time to run its course.

  72. Chris S says:

    Getting closer, but I think they are still overestimating.

  73. Mike Borgelt says:

    MikeN says:
    March 3, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Could someone explain the assumesCS, in that first excerpt?
    Assume global warming therefore global warming is not a valid argument.

    MikeN, I think that is “lost in translation”. What he likely means is that when the model is run the CS is found to have VALUES of xx.x deg C

  74. art johnson says:

    John_in_Oz says:
    March 3, 2011 at 8:43 am
    I’d like to respond to:
    Svein S says:
    March 3, 2011 at 1:58 am

    I find it amazing that people … responsible for [this blog] place faith in an abstract [that is unclear in some areas and unchecked]. If you wish to pinch a hole in the consensus view of climate sensitivity, please apply some elements of scientific thinking, rigour and analysis.

    I think that’s a fair precis of the comment.
    My response is to ask ‘what people’, ‘what faith’ and ‘what wish’?

    >>>

    Nicely done John. JUst beautiful. I’m guessing that Svein won’t be responding, though I really wish he would. Anthony W. put this up with all appropriate qualifications and caveats, which Svein evidently did not read in his eagerness to be dismissive.

    Easy to dismiss. Much, much harder to actually think.

  75. Because of the huge interest in this paper, I’ve delved further into the subject to see if I can make more sense of it.

    It’s a long post so for a full analysis please see my blog:

    http://scottishsceptic.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/how-much-co2-really-contributes-to-gw-further-analysis/

    Conclusion
    From this investigation, the main reason for a difference in calculated warming appears to be the more sophisticated modelling of trace gas absorption using the improved ability of the HITRAN database.Moreover as they also model the effect of temperature and pressure(?), the absorption spectra will change for each layer of the atmosphere being modelled even if they contain the same gas proportions.

    However, whilst the paper mentions cloud and H20, there is no explicit mention of feedback such as additional atmospheric H20 and there is no reason to suggest from the known background of the Author that he would have incorporated such feedback which would seem to be outside his field of expertise.

  76. D. J. Hawkins says:

    tallbloke says:
    March 3, 2011 at 7:26 am
    syphax says:
    March 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    If someone published a paper that found a sensitivity of 5 degrees C, and the paper abstract included the phrase “considering the earth as a truncated icosahedron (bucky ball) consisting of 32 surfaces”, how well would that fly around here?

    Can we at least agree to perform calculations with a spherical earth?

    Any idea how much difference it would make to the sensitivity calc? Or are you just nit-picking?

    Based on an equitorial circumference of 24,901.55 mi the difference in the surface area of a sphere of said circumference and an icosidodecahedron of 32 faces (not truncated) whose edge “a” is 1/10 of the equitorial circumference is a hair over 7.9%. Close enough for “government work”, I’m sure!

  77. Theo Goodwin says:

    John_in_Oz says:
    March 3, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Extremely well said! Bravo!, Sir. (Paraphrasing Orwell again: In these times, it is a duty to point out the obvious – well, what should be obvious.)

    The paper suffers from the many problems that you identified. What I find intriguing in the paper is that it “combines” the GHGs and attempts to calculate their impact on one another. If such calculations prove to be important then they show the folly of treating CO2 as randomly distributed throughout the atmosphere. Why? Because water vapor is far from randomly distributed and if the calculations require the combined GHGs then the values for CO2 will vary between those areas where there is no water vapor and those waters where water vapor is found. See, the values for CO2′s effects on the climate are not randomly distributed throughout the atmosphere.

  78. Charles Higley says:

    Zagoni’s 0.47 is certainly closer to the 0.10 that the IPCC should have predicted if they had not unilaterally multiplied the effect 12-fold to produce 1.2 before adding their positive forcing factor, water vapor.

    If course, it should be asked about the effects any heating would have on the convectional circulations and this negative feedback heat engine.

  79. Tilo Reber says:

    If I remember right, Roy Spencer came up with one climate sensitivity number of about 0.6 C per CO2 doubling and Richard Lindzen came up with about 0.5C. So this is right in that ballpark.

  80. mike g says:

    Well, we already know the IPCC is nonsense. Any good study can only take us in one direction from there.

  81. Arnold Ramsland says:

    This article is very interesting, however even if it is completely accurate it will not be a show stopper for the global warming crowd.

    Has anyone placed a series of very intense light sources (visible through IR) on the surface of the earth and aimed them at a satellite equipped with a detector capable of measuring absorbance in the near IR and IR range? I realize the light would be significantly reduced in intensity when it reached the satellite, however if you used non-absorbing wavelengths as a reference, perhaps you could directly measure the additional absorbance due to carbon dioxide and methane in the presence of the entire atmosphere.

    Perhaps you could develop a real model of the effect of carbon dioxide using multivariate analysis of a host of variables, such as
    1. location on earth
    2. altitude
    3. season of measurement (and hence level of carbon dioxide)
    4. temperature
    5. humidity and cloud cover
    6. levels of airborne particles and other pollutants

    Perhaps what I suggest won’t work, however I simply do not know why we don’t get better data and fast since the EPA is now itching to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and cause major disruptions to our economy.

  82. chuck Bradley says:

    The 32 faces of the truncated icosahedron seems like a soccer ball. It is not a sphere, but the error from that approximation is probably smaller than any other factor involved in the calculation.

  83. Arnold Ramsland says: March 3, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    This article is very interesting, however even if it is completely accurate it will not be a show stopper for the global warming crowd.

    Arnold, having examined the background of this scientist and worked out the way he has come at this problem through his expertise in the radiative absorption of trace gases in the atmosphere, and the fact this is new research stemming from an improved modelling technique for trace gases which has been proven in other areas and then applied to modelling the atmosphere. (see: http://scottishsceptic.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/how-much-co2-really-contributes-to-gw-further-analysis for details)

    Well, how do I put this? Climategate undermined the scientific credibility of the people, but not the fundamental science, this has undermined not only the fundamental science, but as a result the financial credibility of investments in renewable energy and carbon trading. A few sharp people are going to make an awful lot of money out of this!

  84. Roger Longstaff says:

    Scottish Sceptic says:
    March 4, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Am I understanding this correctly – the model removes the requirement for “forcings” and “feedbacks” because it calculates them internally? (accepting, for the moment, your question about clouds). And that the spectroscopy is being refined and updated against experimental data? If this is indeed the case this could be a “whole new ball game”.

    While many questions remain (eg. clouds, element size, rotating planet, etc.) It would be very interesting to see this paper submitted for peer review (hopefully not by the usual suspects!) with all of the data and codes necessary for other researchers to attempt to verify or falsify the methodology. If the initial conclusions can be independently replicated and verified we would have a situation where this (seemingly much more scientific) model directly contradicts the models that have been the sole “evidence” relied upon by the CAGW industry.

    Interesting times indeed!

  85. Roger Longstaff says: March 4, 2011 at 4:09 am

    While many questions remain (eg. clouds, element size, rotating planet, etc.) It would be very interesting to see this paper submitted for peer review (hopefully not by the usual suspects!) with all of the data and codes necessary for other researchers to attempt to verify or falsify the methodology. If the initial conclusions can be independently replicated and verified we would have a situation where this (seemingly much more scientific) model directly contradicts the models that have been the sole “evidence” relied upon by the CAGW industry.

    Interesting times indeed!

    As you say, very interesting!!! At the very least this person knows his stuff about radiative transmission and absorption of trace gases in the atmosphere, and so I’d say it is about 90% certain that the accepted level of direct CO2 heating will come down as a result. And, although not explicitly stated in the paper, it would also appear that the scale of the feedback mechanisms will also have to be reduced.

    That’s irrespective of whether his global atmospheric model holds up!!!!. But given his skill in modelling using the HITRAN database of the atmosphere, I’m not expecting to get major problems in the direct radiative heating and IR blocking.

    Where I do think he may be struggling is in characterising the atmosphere, particularly dynamic aspect like air movement. Like him, I’m not very familiar with atmospheric models in this area, but from what little I know, it does appear most models assume a static atmosphere and probably use the same database of gas and H2O concentrations.

    So, assuming he has used a well known and accepted source for atmospheric gas levels, and dynamic effects are either small or well modelled, and that he hasn’t made any gross errors in his model. About the only criticism to be levelled is his apparent comparison of his direct warming with the IPCC direct + indirect … for which he will no doubt be slaughtered, but I don’t think it will fundamentally undermine his work outside the climategate community.

    The only worrying thing that comes to mind, is that it all seems too good to be true! Could it all be some kind of “set up”? A little known academic publishes an earth shattering paper … widely acclaimed by the sceptics … only to publish a correction making it very much in line with the “consensus” … and though it might seem far fetched, with the huge stock market values and personal reputations riding on this whole thing, who knows?

    Interesting times … but I can’t wait to see the details, nor if it holds water to watch the reaction of the warmers!

  86. Arnold Ramsland says:

    A seven-fold difference in the predicted values for the impact of carbon dioxide leads me to question both the IPCC model and the new model. Hopefully, the Scottish Sceptic is correct in his analysis, however I think a thorough comparison of the two models is called for in order to find out the source of the discrepancies. After finding the discrepancies, actual experimental studies should be carried out in order to find out which data or which assumptions are more accurate.

    Are the IPCC data and models available for review?

  87. Roger Longstaff says:

    Scottish Sceptic says:
    March 4, 2011 at 6:20 am: “…it all seems too good to be true!”

    Perhaps, but this is all based upon HITRAN database of the atmosphere. If this is a scientifically robust model, tested against reality, then at least the foundation of the methodology must be correct. A very brief search of the web indicates that HITRAN is not a hoax – or have I missed something?

  88. Roger Longstaff says: March 4, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Scottish Sceptic says: “…it all seems too good to be true!”

    A very brief search of the web indicates that HITRAN is not a hoax – or have I missed something?

    You haven’t missed anything.

    All I’m saying is that there is an awful lot of money riding on convincing the public of global warming. There’s no doubt that many people with an expertise in psychology/psychiatry have been consulted (they even ran a seminar specifically on this subject). What kinds of strategies would an imaginative group of such people come up with?

    One possible scenario is to fabricate a result that we trumpet to the public as “disproving global warming” and then they spring the trap and the author “corrects” their paper to fit the established status quo, leaving the sceptics appearing to support the status quo or looking like a right load of twats.

    We just know too little at the moment to be anything other than sceptical (although I must admit I had a celebration whisky last night!)

    I think the saying is “beware Greeks bearing gifts” … for footballers I think the saying is: “beware sheiks “(… working for newspapers). Likewise, we should beware “Germans bearing papers” particularly when they appear to be a gift to the sceptics, and we really know very little about the source of that gift.

  89. Paulie Two-o-one says:

    Ahah!
    Now we’ve got them!

    A badly translated and totally cryptic abstract for a poster session at an EGU meeting, if read in a certain way, absolutely CRUSHES everything the warmist have been writing in peer reviewed lit for decades! (And poster sessions is where the beer is, and it’s German beer! So you know it’s good.)

  90. Paulie Two-o-one says: March 5, 2011 at 6:13 am

    “Ahah! Now we’ve got them!

    A badly translated and totally cryptic abstract for a poster session at an EGU meeting, if read in a certain way, absolutely CRUSHES everything the warmist have been writing in peer reviewed lit for decades! “

    But if like me you have just translated the full 50 page paper and can actually see that goes into considerable depth and so far it seems to be everything it said on the lid!

Comments are closed.