Climate models go cold

Carbon dioxide

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Carbon warming too minor to be worth worrying about

By David Evans (excerpts from a special to the Financial Post)

The debate about global warming has reached ridiculous proportions and is full of micro-thin half-truths and misunderstandings. I am a scientist who was on the carbon gravy train, understands the evidence, was once an alarmist, but am now a skeptic. Watching this issue unfold has been amusing but, lately, worrying. This issue is tearing society apart, making fools out of our politicians.

Let’s set a few things straight.

The whole idea that carbon dioxide is the main cause of the recent global warming is based on a guess that was proved false by empirical evidence during the 1990s. But the gravy train was too big, with too many jobs, industries, trading profits, political careers, and the possibility of world government and total control riding on the outcome. So rather than admit they were wrong, the governments, and their tame climate scientists, now outrageously maintain the fiction that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant.

Let’s be perfectly clear. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and other things being equal, the more carbon dioxide in the air, the warmer the planet. Every bit of carbon dioxide that we emit warms the planet. But the issue is not whether carbon dioxide warms the planet, but how much.

Most scientists, on both sides, also agree on how much a given increase in the level of carbon dioxide raises the planet’s temperature, if just the extra carbon dioxide is considered. These calculations come from laboratory experiments; the basic physics have been well known for a century.

The disagreement comes about what happens next.

The planet reacts to that extra carbon dioxide, which changes everything. Most critically, the extra warmth causes more water to evaporate from the oceans. But does the water hang around and increase the height of moist air in the atmosphere, or does it simply create more clouds and rain? Back in 1980, when the carbon dioxide theory started, no one knew. The alarmists guessed that it would increase the height of moist air around the planet, which would warm the planet even further, because the moist air is also a greenhouse gas.

This is the core idea of every official climate model: For each bit of warming due to carbon dioxide, they claim it ends up causing three bits of warming due to the extra moist air. The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three — so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.

That’s the core of the issue. All the disagreements and misunderstandings spring from this. The alarmist case is based on this guess about moisture in the atmosphere, and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.

Read the full article here

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118 thoughts on “Climate models go cold

  1. I am easily convinced that if you added molecules to the atmosphere, you would increase it. If you doubled the total # of molecules in the atmosphere, would you double the heat retained?
    I am also easily convinced that in order to anthropogenically double the atmosphere of Earth, you would need to install something like a giant vacuum hose and siphon off another planets atmosphere.
    Simply turning O2 into CO2 doesn’t fit the bill. Burning fossil fuels also does not conjure up a reasonable way to double the Earths atmosphere. Since 75% of our atmosphere is N2, there isn’t enough O2 around, for starters.

  2. Nice to hear the truth but don’t expect the BBC and other MSM to admit anything anytime soon.

  3. Great article that spells out the facts. This one quote alone is worth a 1000 words.
    Take note all who have signed onto the IPPC theory/myth!

    “climate science” stopped being a science. In science, empirical evidence always trumps theory, no matter how much you are in love with the theory. If theory and evidence disagree, real scientists scrap the theory.
    Not a truer word has been spoken
    Thank you Professor David Evans.

  4. Did you forget to include some science in your rant. Or you still smarting from being BESTed?

    REPLY: Did you forget to read the name of the author before you shot your mouth off? – Anthony

  5. Technically, CO2 impedes the cooling of the planet. Trivial in the everyday conversation, but a more accurate fact.

  6. “carbon dioxide is the main cause of the recent global warming ”

    Alice Springs , Australia
    23.8 S 133.9 E 501943260004 18,000 1880 – 2011
    D-J-F M-A-M J-J-A S-O-N metANN
    2010 27.9 20.1 11.9 19.1 19.75

    Only 1904 19.39
    1908 19.23
    1921 19.58
    1949 19.56
    1975 19.73
    1976 18.37
    2001 19.74

    were colder years. So where do we see Global Warming?

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=501943260004&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/gistemp/STATIONS//tmp.501943260004.1.1/station.txt

    Not in Alice Springs

  7. David, I know you know as much about what I’m going to say as anyone….

    They keep trying to explain CO2 with physics, etc…the easy way.

    CO2 is required for life on this planet, and they will never be able to explain it until it’s explained biochemically.

    But biochemistry is hard, much more difficult than simple formulas………..

  8. I read the full article and I think it’s an excellent summary of where we are in climate science, and how we got here. It mentions the corruption of data from most thermometers and gives an unnamed hat tip to surfacestations.org. I heartily recommend everyone send a link to anyone in need of a global warming science summary.

  9. I doubt that the climate change is issue is “making fools out of politicians”. What it is doing is revealing that they are in fact fools. This may be the only upside to this whole stupidity.

    Don’t worry about David Evans and unlisted numbers, Pat. He’s married to Jo Nova. I’m sure they’ve got all that covered.

  10. “Most scientists, on both sides, also agree on how much a given increase in the level of carbon dioxide raises the planet’s temperature, if just the extra carbon dioxide is considered.”

    More Co2, more green , less heat.

  11. I noted his speech at Joanne Nova’s site last week. It pretty much says all that needs to be said about this scam.

    Who is Dr. David Evans?

    Dr David Evans consulted full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, and part-time 2008 to 2010, modeling Australia’s carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products. Evans is a mathematician and engineer, with six university degrees including a PhD from Stanford University in electrical engineering.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/03/david-evans-carbon-modeler-says-its-a-scam/

    Dr. David Evans is a former Warmist who had gone cold. R. Gates, where are you?

  12. “And to curb emissions on a world scale might even lead to world government — how exciting for the political class!”

    ohoh! tin hats for everyone.

  13. jcrabb says:

    “ohoh! tin hats for everyone.”

    Crabb, you are truly a fool if you don’t believe the corrupt, totalitarian UN fully intends to be the world’s government. They have said as much.

    But I don’t believe you’re a fool, so WUWT comment?

  14. Mike Borgelt says:
    April 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm
    I doubt that the climate change is issue is “making fools out of politicians”. What it is doing is revealing that they are in fact fools.

    ____________________________________________________________

    Politicians may be cowards, but they are certainly not fools……

    …One of the major reasons that alarmists have so much political influence is by playing the “Do you want to go down in history as the people who stood by and did nothing to avert impending global disaster, despite being warned by scientists of the possible dire consequences of doing nothing” card.

    It is a very powerful weapon ; the very thought of this is probably enough to have any politician waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night.

    If, on the other hand, the science turns out to be wrong, who is going to be slaughtered in the history books? The politicians who trashed previously prosperous economies on the basis of bad scientific advice, or the scientists who gave them that advice.

    My money is firmly on the scientists.

    On that basis, perhaps the politicians are not as foolish as you think………

  15. “Every long-lived natural system behaves this way, counteracting any disturbance. Otherwise the system would be unstable.”

    Everyone who understands even basic linear control theory knows this to be true. This simple observation is what led me to question the orthodoxy many years ago. The first time I realized that our impending doom relied on positive feedbacks I realized just how empty this theory might be. I believe Lindzen called it “intuitively implausible”.

  16. rbateman says:
    April 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    “I am easily convinced that if you added molecules to the atmosphere, you would increase it. If you doubled the total # of molecules in the atmosphere, would you double the heat retained?”

    Yes, in the same manner the filling a bucket of water twice as high will increase its heat capacity as well. Left out in the sun it will be able to hold twice as much solar energy. The hitch is that won’t translate into a higher temperature because the doubled heat retention capacity is distributed over a doubled volume of water. It’s a wash.

    Heat capacity of the atmosphere has little to no influence. The first 10 meters of the ocean surface has the same mass and twice the heat capacity of the atmosphere. Adding insult to injury the ocean absorbs essentially all incoming radiation from the sun whereas the atmosphere absorbs very little sunlight and only a fraction of the radiation moving from earth to space.

    In the big picture the sun heats the ocean and the ocean heats the atmosphere. Always keep that in mind. The next thing to keep in mind is that the only important difference between CO2 and nitrogen is that CO2 is an insulator and nitrogen is not. CO2 and nitrogen are both transparent to most of the solar spectrum (centered around visible light). Nitrogen is transparent to most of the earth’s spectrum (centered in the far infrared). CO2 is translucent in the far infrared. This effectively makes it an insulator. In response to the insulation the surface temperature rises higher than it would be otherwise until the larger delta between surface temperature and cosmic microwave background (3K) serves to transport energy faster through the insulation so that once again a balance is restored where energy in from the sun equals energy out to space.

    This is really how it works and anyone who knows beans about the thermodynamic properties of water and atmospheric gases knows it works in exactly this way. This has been known for 150 years which is somewhat longer than the OP claim of 100 years but the point remains. This is old knowledge that predates quantum mechanics. It’s classic stuff and is beyond refute to anyone who knows just a bit of the physics that 19th physicists knew. It ain’t rocket science.

  17. rbateman says:
    April 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm
    there isn’t enough O2 around, for starters.
    There is, in the oceans, for example, and half of the Earth’s crust is oxygen. But O2 is a dangerous pollutant. If the concentration increases above some 30% many things will burn too readily. They stopped using pure oxygen in the space program after the disastrous Apollo 1 accident where three astronauts burned to death. Even the later Apollo flights had too much oxygen, so they had to be very careful with not causing sparks. In nature, there are enough natural sparks [lightening] that more than 30% O2 becomes a problem.

  18. This is also a good opportunity to clarify the difference between quantum and classical mechanics. Classical mechanics, also called statistical mechanics, deals with the properties of matter in bulk. Quantum mechanics deals with the properties of matter in individual molecules or smaller. An axiom of quantum mechanics is that it must faithfully reproduce the behavior of matter in bulk i.e. it must be in agreement with classical mechanics. Quantum mechanics extends classical mechanics. It does not change classical mechanics.

    There is absolutely no need to discuss the atmosphere in individual molecules except perhaps at the far fringes where the density approximates a vacuum. Other than that isolated circumstance classical mechanics, which is much easier to understand, is totally sufficient in explanatory power. Quantum mechanics in atmospheric physics is very well in the first place and try to bluff their way into making the reader think it somehow trumps classical mechanics and so the simpler classical explanation of atmospheric physics is then pronounced wrong. That is nothing more than ignorant hand waving. Quantum mechanics never trumps classical mechanics. If a quantum explanation disagrees with the classical explanation the quantum explanation is wrong.

  19. Bravo to Mr Evans for this excellent summary of what’s wrong with CAGW. Bravo to the National Post (Go Canada!) for running it. And bravo Anthony for the post!

  20. I must disagree on a commenter point. Politicians are indeed scientific dolts, and frequently ignoramuses in general. Ron Paul, Pelosi, Kerry, Waxman, Obama, Durbin, Reid, all show an ignorance of science, mathematics, economics, that boggles the mind and makes one wonder what they took in college.

  21. Making fools out of our politicians? No. They’re all crooks trying to use this issue, one way or the other, to enrich themselves and their cronies at our expense.

  22. Perhaps I am missing something.
    CO2 is an absolutely essential gas for life on this planet. Plants eat CO2. Plant growth rates and yield increase roughly 30% to 40% with a doubling of CO2 from the current level of 0.038% to 0.076%.
    Increasing CO2 is positive for the biosphere. The Green Party members appear to be incapable of reading and thinking for themselves. (Sheep?) CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Commercial greenhouse operator’s inject CO2 at 1000 ppm to 1500 ppm to increase yield and plant growth.

    http://www.advancegreenhouses.com/use_of_co2_in_a_greenhouse.htm

    Plants can make more effective use of water as CO2 levels increase, as they can reduce the number of stomata which reduces water lost to the atmosphere rather than helping the plant grow. Desertification is reduced as CO2 levels increase.
    When the planet warms there is more cloud cover and more precipitation.
    Most of the warming is at high latitudes where the growing season is restricted by the number of frost free days.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/w7gy1cyyr5yey994/

    Carbon dioxide effects on stomatal responses to the environment and water use by crops under field conditions
    “Reductions in leaf stomatal conductance with rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) could reduce water use by vegetation and potentially alter climate. Crop plants have among the largest reductions in stomatal conductance at elevated [CO2]. The relative reduction in stomatal conductance caused by a given increase in [CO2] is often not constant within a day nor between days, but may vary considerably with light, temperature and humidity. Species also differ in response, with a doubling of [CO2] reducing mean midday conductances by 50% in others. Elevated [CO2] increases leaf area index throughout the growing season in some species. Simulations, and measurements in free air carbon dioxide enrichment systems both indicate that the relatively large reductions in stomatal conductance in crops would translate into reductions of <10% in evapotranspiration, partly because of increases in temperature and decreases in humidity in the air around crop leaves.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218135031.htm

    “Published today in Nature, the 40 year study of African tropical forests–one third of the world's total tropical forest–shows that for at least the last few decades each hectare of intact African forest has trapped an extra 0.6 tonnes of carbon per year.

  23. pat says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm
    makes one wonder what they took in college.
    doesn’t matter much. Read and watch:

    http://www.learner.org/resources/series28.html

  24. Anthony,

    I have found a great deal of science is just guess work with very little substance.
    Interesting how this solar system travels at 300 km/sec in forward motion, yet this is not included in the understanding of gravity. It would be like having a bug(us) on the windshield of a moving vehicle. It would also explain quite a bit on material having a different density that is not magnetic and hence pulled by the Earth’s core.

    The evidence I have accumulated is that our atmosphere has stretched due to heat and has changed the sea level atmospheric pressure. In doing so, this explains many of the current atmospheric and planetary activity we are currently experiencing.

  25. jcrabb says:
    April 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    ““And to curb emissions on a world scale might even lead to world government — how exciting for the political class!”

    ohoh! tin hats for everyone.”

    Be my guest:

    http://www.wbgu.de/fileadmin/templates/dateien/veroeffentlichungen/hauptgutachten/jg2011/wbgu_jg2011_kurz_en.pdf

    Warning: 6.5 MB download
    “World in Transition – A Social Contract for Sustainability”
    WBGU – Federal German Advisory Board for Environmental Change
    “…The WBGU analysis also shows that current global governance institutions are not very well prepared for the transformation….”
    “…It also counts on the cooperation of the international community and the establishment of global governance structures as the indispensable driving force for the intended transformation momentum…”
    “…On an international level, central arenas for global governance of energy, urbanisation and land-use would have to be established for the transformation (bundle 10)….”

    and so on and son on… Heute dekarbonisieren wir Deutschland, morgen die ganze Welt.

  26. Dave Springer says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm
    “This is also a good opportunity to clarify the difference between quantum and classical mechanics.”……
    =====
    I’m ready when you are.
    Oh, did you just explain it in two paragraphs??
    I thought it would be more difficult. ;)

  27. My inner empathet tells me Michael “It’s hocky sticks all the way down” Mann’s feelings are going to be hurt and my inner voices tell me Mr. Evans will be getting a note from Vancouver, courtesy David Suzuki’s deep green pockets.

  28. What is the latest on the hot spot?

    The latest I have seen from the Warmists is
    (a) it isn’t part of AGW theory, so it doesn’t matter that it isn’t there, and
    (b) it is sort of there anyway.

  29. Murray Grainger says:
    April 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    Great article. Does anyone know of any skeptic that has considered the evidence and changed sides to pro-AGW and the alarmist camp?

    If you allow that evidence includes the financials you might start your search in the boardrooms of Solar Panel and Wind Turbine manufacturers. Not suggesting anything – just saying…

  30. Leif Svalgaard says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Are you speaking of water & rocks, as in O2 locked in H2O and minerals, as the abundance of O2 on Earth? That oxygen is not free. Unless burning fossil fuels is adding O2 to the atmosphere, there’s no danger that I am aware of.

  31. Slightly off topic… at the top of this comments section I see Canadian politics sneaking in:

    “Taking on Climate Change ndp.ca/climate_change Jack Layton will work to fix the environment. Find out how.”

    How could this not be featured in an extensive article here? That guy knows how to “fix the environment!” Now that’s significant. What kind of tax would that be?

  32. pat says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    “Politicians are indeed scientific dolts… and [it] makes one wonder what they took in college.”

    I wonder what Hansen, Mann, Jones et al took “in college.” Not ethics, apparently.

  33. Anything is possible says:
    April 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    If, on the other hand, the science turns out to be wrong, who is going to be slaughtered in the history books? The politicians who trashed previously prosperous economies on the basis of bad scientific advice, or the scientists who gave them that advice.

    The scientists who gave that advice will slide under the bus faster than a greased pig through smooth rubber gloves on a hot day. The Politicians will undoubtably make it so.

  34. William says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Perhaps I am missing something.
    CO2 is an absolutely essential gas for life on this planet. Plants eat CO2. Plant growth rates and yield increase roughly 30% to 40% with a doubling of CO2 from the current level of 0.038% to 0.076%.

    That’s what I remember from elementary school, too bad all of the AGW actors don’t remember as well.

  35. Until we reach some higher standard of transparency regarding climate models, we will never know the real impact Co2 plays at a global level.
    As this story suggests here, Main Stream Media is only concerned about pumping out misinformation than reporting the facts.
    I had asked about a week ago for some help regarding this exact issue involving media, models and misinformation.
    There was a story written in Anchorage Daily News, by Dan Joling, called, Warming brings unwelcome change to Alaskan villages.
    The story didn’t sit right with me and I was hoping to find help from some of you more educated types to address this, rather than me.
    As it turned out, I think I did ok in my own investigations and proudly posted my story on my blog.
    Please, feel free to comment on my story. I would love the feedback.
    It’s a story about permafrost, bad journalism, and climate models.
    Enjoy !

  36. “That guy knows how to “fix the environment!” Now that’s significant. What kind of tax would that be?”

    When I see a link like that, I click on it. Anthony needs the money more than Layton.

  37. Mark Luedtke says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm
    Making fools out of our politicians? No. They’re all crooks trying to use this issue, one way or the other, to enrich themselves and their cronies at our expense.
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    That’s one way of thinking about it…. But it doesn’t let us off the hook for electing them. Considering that an elected government is supposed to be representative of the people who elected them….. The real fools are us then, for choosing them….So lets choose more carefully in future, these representatives we elect to lead us.

  38. “What is the latest on the hot spot?

    The latest I have seen from the Warmists is
    (a) it isn’t part of AGW theory, so it doesn’t matter that it isn’t there, and
    (b) it is sort of there anyway.”

    One of the commenters in the FP refers to this to answer the missing hotspot problem:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot-advanced.htm

    Wonderfully informative misdirection!

    First, it refers to the evidence stratospheric as the “real” fingerprint for “global warming”. Stratospheric cooling might indeed be a fingerprint for CO2, in that it suggests that more heat is being retained in the lower atmosphere. But as David Evans in his article is correct in pointing out, the lack of an tropical upper tropospheric hotspot suggests that water vapor amplification of CO2 (or any other) induced lower atmospheric warming is small or absent. The main point of Evans’ article is that without water vapor positive feedback, the case for alarmism about CO2 increases is vastly weakened.

    The remainder of the quoted rejoinder is a veiled admission of how inconvenient the missing hotspot actually is, and basically claims that their must be something wrong with the observations!!

    “It’s not a case of trying to reconcile the observations with climate models, but rather trying to reconcile observational data (which often have well known biases) with our physics-based understanding of the climate system.”

    An almost incredible indictment of the “climate science” consensus.

  39. I guess this all boils down in the end to whether you believe in Goldilocks.

    I do not think any reasonable observer would contradict the fact that CO2, like water vapour, methane and other gasses have a ‘greenhouse’ effect within the atmosphere. It is a moot point whether the rise in temperature over the last century is empirically well established or statistically significant but let us agrees it is. Let us all agree that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen, which they have. I presume that we can all agree on the fact that the models of climate change although showing some structural similarities in their output with observed climate changes are ‘running hot’ in their predictions. So the argument boils down to this: are there feedback mechanisms that are likely to enhance the modest warming effect of CO2 or not?

    Ice core samples suggest that CO2 has varied over a significant range historically for whatever reason, but what evidence there is suggests that the planet’s overall climate range has remained stable. So, is there a homeostatic factor at work? Is the climate self correcting? Life on planet earth has flourished in all its forms and some would argue that this, with all the inevitable perturbations that the universe can throw at it, is plausible evidence that natural systems are self correcting and tend towards stability. The runaway warming that many climate scientists fear is, as Lindzen says, intuitively implausible.

    It appears to me that many climate scientists are pessimists. They are like the old men who used to silently walk the streets of London carrying boards on which was printed ‘repent, the end is nigh’. In their own way they have tried to sustain a theoretical logic within their models which fails to fully capture the crucial homeostatic effects of clouds and precipitation. As I have commented on WUWT before the relationship between changes in temperature and changes in CO2 level is very weak. This suggests that the models are in some fundamental way misspecified. However, if climate scientists ever manage to fully capture the homeostasis in the climate system then I suspect that those models will tell them what wiser – and often older heads have known for a long time – Goldilocks is alive and well.

    Ps: if anyone is really confused try the ‘anthropic principle’ in Wikipedia.

  40. Thanks, Kasmir. I had seen the SkepSci article, and it made my non-specialist brain hurt. Hence my summary as (a) and (b). You have made it a lot clearer.

  41. Professor Bob Ryan says:
    April 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm
    “However, if climate scientists ever manage to fully capture the homeostasis in the climate system then I suspect that those models will tell them what wiser – and often older heads have known for a long time – Goldilocks is alive and well.”

    I agree; but IMHO the scientists have no interest in finding negative feedbacks or homeostasis – “no cause for alarm” would mean less funding. Given the armies of climate scientists under pay now, this would result in serious culling. Just a little confirmation bias towards the catastrophic outcomes, and they can all go on happily in their nicely funded positions… and the politicians will continue funding it because it gives them excuses for tax hikes…

  42. Again the Bears asks, if it is all so simple and straightforward, where the hell are the rest (non-climate-change) of the world’s scientists/professional academies in this?

    Why are they not shouting this rubbish (if that is truly what it is) down?

    Again, please don’t offer excuses along the lines of institutional/funding inertia, etc.

    The proportion of the world’s scientists who are not involved in climate-change (or whatever the current PR tag is) far outweigh those who are. What effort is being made to mobilise the gr8 majority of the profession, to, at least, protect the integrity of the scientific method and call time on this nonsesne – again, if that is what it actually is? Do they not realise that by their silence they are taken to acquiesce in this stuff? Or do they not give a stuff.

    The Bear remains confused.

  43. >>
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    doesn’t matter much. Read and watch:
    <<

    It’s a sad commentary on science education. This reminds me of Jay Leno’s Jaywalking bit on the Tonight Show.

    The Earth is actually closer to the Sun in January.

    Jim

  44. Mr. Bateman’s views on atmospheric science reflect a laudable success in eliminating CO2 production by the human cortex. If his muscles follow suit, he may become the beau ideal of a WUWT commentor.

  45. Even the “lab experiment” data is problematic. Pure CO2 in a gas flask behaves differently from CO2 thinly dispersed in a thermal mass. To be brief, the energy pathways change drastically.

  46. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be obnoxious, but a question about wording:

    This is the core idea of every official climate model: For each bit of warming due to carbon dioxide, they claim it ends up causing three bits of warming due to the extra moist air.

    First time through I read this as one bit plus three bits, but:

    The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three — so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.

    Which would mean, instead, one bit replaced by three bits except that the one bit is still there and the additional three bits are now only two bits. Not criticizing, just saying that, as is, it doesn’t come across quite right.

  47. ‘……Let’s be perfectly clear. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and other things being equal, the more carbon dioxide in the air, the warmer the planet. Every bit of carbon dioxide that we emit warms the planet. But the issue is not whether carbon dioxide warms the planet, but how much.

    Most scientists, on both sides, also agree on how much a given increase in the level of carbon dioxide raises the planet’s temperature, if just the extra carbon dioxide is considered. These calculations come from laboratory experiments; the basic physics have been well known for a century….”

    I take it from all the ‘thumbs up’ etc, that you all agree with these points from the article? If not, why not?
    If not, why not?

  48. question = I am sure many climate scientists know they are pedaling B S and d,ont know how to get off the gravy train without having a red face and being called a fraud only time will tell, I only hope the world wakes up to the greatest fraud in mankinds history

  49. after all this global warming crap is over ,there should be world trial set up the same as after the 2nd world war and put the fraudsters in jail

  50. A discussion here on the ABC (Adelaide) who for once broadcast both sides of David Evans hot spot argument and more (although neither side was able to explain clearly to me as to what was really happening – moreso Evans rival Barry Brooks). A bit out of date but still relevant. I got the impression that Brooks had a lot more time:

    [audio src="http://blogs.abc.net.au/sa/files/dr_david_evans.mp3" /]

    [audio src="http://blogs.abc.net.au/sa/files/prof_barry_brook.mp3" /]

  51. Ed Dahlgren says:

    “…Which would mean, instead, one bit replaced by three bits except that the one bit is still there and the additional three bits are now only two bits.”

    ———————
    The various climate models used have a varying range of warming projected, and the 3 number was just the average amongst them, so whether its 3 or 4, its as high as 6 or more with some of the models, the main idea is that the calculated feedbacks are far higher than the science, through observation, suggests them to be.

  52. The alarmists keep up the pressure: Roger Harrabin BBC’s environmental analyst writes, the BBC website of 11 april 2011, on the next atmospheric pollutant: Nitrogen. mainly caused by agricultural(!) activities costing the EU alone around 320 bn Euro per year. Apparently the intent is to have a stranglehold on all human emissions. Amazing!

  53. I can’t get the link to work to read the full article, both on IE and Firefox. Anyone else, or is it just my computer?

  54. dorlomin says:
    April 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm
    Did you forget to include some science in your rant. Or you still smarting from being BESTed?

    So what science did you have in mind?

    This peice is a narrative pointing out the falacy of CAGW. In the begining they knew co2 caused a small amount of warming, this warming would cause extra moisture. What they didn’t know was would this moisture cause +ve feedback by remaining as vapour, or -ve feedback by forming cloud.
    They also knew that if it was the former that a moist air warm spot would occur in the trophosphere, it has not ergo no +ve feedback, no CAGW! Its very straight forward, no extra science is needed to explain it, no “peer reveiwed” paper is required, its simply plain for all with any ounce of logical ability to see.
    As Feynman said, if your physical theory doesn’t produce results that fit observation of nature, the theory is wrong. Even a single observation outside the theoretical predictions is enough to throw it away and start again.

    Perhaps you should start again?

  55. ‘……and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.’

    The “amplification” is nothing more than an accounting trick. Something you would expect from Enron folks.
    At the same time the earth was “heating up” the south pole of Mars was melting. I wonder if it is still melting?
    Can’t find the “Hot Spot”, “no problemo”, change the “goal post”- It’ the cooling of the Stratosphere.
    Can’t find the “heat in the oceans”-recalibrate the instrument until they match “expected temperatures”.
    The atmosphere is”cooling down”?-It must be do to “aerosols”-just add more aerosols “input” to the “climate computers models”.
    See how easy it is to “Balance the Books” Enron Accounting 101.

  56. Joe Lalonde says: Interesting how this solar system travels at 300 km/sec in forward motion, yet this is not included in the understanding of gravity. It would be like having a bug(us) on the windshield of a moving vehicle.

    No, it’s not like that. The bug on the windshield is held there by air pressure. In a vacuum he would not be held (unless the vehicle was accelerating).

  57. orion says:
    April 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm
    ‘……Let’s be perfectly clear. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and other things being equal, the more carbon dioxide in the air, the warmer the planet. Every bit of carbon dioxide that we emit warms the planet. But the issue is not whether carbon dioxide warms the planet, but how much.

    Most scientists, on both sides, also agree on how much a given increase in the level of carbon dioxide raises the planet’s temperature, if just the extra carbon dioxide is considered. These calculations come from laboratory experiments; the basic physics have been well known for a century….”

    I take it from all the ‘thumbs up’ etc, that you all agree with these points from the article? If not, why not?
    If not, why not?

    Orion, whats your point?

  58. Leif Svalgaard says:
    [pat] makes one wonder what they took in college.
    [Leif] doesn’t matter much. Read and watch:

    http://www.learner.org/resources/series28.html

    I don’t find it surprising that many college graduates don’t know why it’s colder in the winter etc. The “trouble” is (1) that you can pass exams in a narrowly focused way, and (2) that a good deal of understanding comes months or years or many years later, from mulling over and reasoning about what you’ve learned, but most people don’t do any of that.

    There are things I wouldn’t know if I weren’t an impractical muller-over (no Richard Muller pun intended). I’ve found that I know some things in subjects in which I was not formally educated which some people who were formally educated in those subjects don’t know, and this is not because I’m a superb auto-didact. Actually I’m lazy.

  59. tango says: question = I am sure many climate scientists know they are pedaling B S and d,ont know how to get off the gravy train without having a red face and being called a fraud only time will tell, I only hope the world wakes up to the greatest fraud in mankinds history.

    I’m not informed enough to be sure of it, but I am informed enough that I sure wouldn’t bet against it. :-)

  60. I blame Lovelock.
    All that hippy nonsense about ‘GAIA’ promoted the idea that the Earth has incredible systems that stabilise the climate for the convinience of its inhabitants.
    Although to be fair Hutton probably started the uniformitarism belief.

    After 6000 years of an incedibly stable climate perhaps mankind is inevitably going to make the assumption that the climate is NOT unstable and capable of rapid and significant change. That there are feedback mechanisms that promoted stasis and stability…
    But deeper historical knowledge rather contradicts this. The transition from a glacial period involves warming of several degress in a few centuries and sea level rise of many feet in a few decades.

    To claim that the major rise in CO2 to levels unseen since before the ice-ages will have little effect because undefined feedbacks will impose a homestatic process seems a matter of faith trumping reality when there is no good observational evidence for such convenient systems. And the long-term historical record indicates that radical change of the climate is certainly possible.

    I prefer the insight that comes from another field of science that investigates complex interactive systems – biological ecologies. I suspect it is equally true for the complexities of the climate system, and precludes any confidence that homeostasis is to be expected.
    “You can never change just ONE thing.”

  61. Many thanks to David Evans. That is the most concise explication of the basic scientific problem I’ve ever read.

    I was aware that that was the heart of the pseudo-science behind AGW but was having trouble summarising it clearly without going into detail.

    As a quote from an authoritative source, I think this one deserves prominent exposure.

    Excellent post.

  62. Global warming due to CO2 is a political effect not a scientific one. Hence if we want to “save the planet” we’d do better to look at what is going on in politics than to stare at the sky.

  63. tango says:
    April 11, 2011 at 12:14 am
    after all this global warming crap is over ,there should be world trial set up the same as after the 2nd world war and put the fraudsters in jail

    ————-

    I don’t think the likes of Monckton should go to jail for rubbish he keeps talking about, he just got it wrong that’s all. Everyone can make mistakes.

  64. oebele bruinsma says:
    April 11, 2011 at 12:33 am

    The alarmists keep up the pressure: Roger Harrabin BBC’s environmental analyst writes, the BBC website of 11 april 2011, on the next atmospheric pollutant: Nitrogen. mainly caused by agricultural(!) activities costing the EU alone around 320 bn Euro per year. Apparently the intent is to have a stranglehold on all human emissions. Amazing!

    OMG! Do you realise that about there’s about 700,000 ppm of nitrogen in the atmosphere already? This far worse than CO2 !

    Harrabin has just proved, to anyone who had not already noticed , that he does not understand in the slightest what he is talking about. Please don’t do anything stop him, this is priceless.

  65. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13025304

    OK, it seems the article is talking about REACTIVE nitrogen , not N2. Oebele bruinsma should probably not have removed that rather important qualifier.

    I seems nitrogen will soon mean any molecule containing that element just like “carbon” now seems to embrace the whole of carbon-based, organic chemistry.

  66. Anthony, the poster Dolormin is one of the Moonbat’s ‘attack pack’ who is obviously frustrated that the Grauniad’s CiF has gone a tad quiet over recent weeks on CAGW topics. He is always quick to lash out with gratuitous personal insults but does not read stuff carefully first.
    The Moonbat has also caused much angst on the same CiF with his change of heart and mind evidenced in his new and enthusiastic espousing of nuclear generation of electricity, along with other former anti-nuke activists. At least he has had the cojones to admit his past error in one area.

  67. Jim Masterson says:
    April 10, 2011 at 10:24 pm
    >>
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm
    doesn’t matter much. Read and watch:
    <<
    It’s a sad commentary on science education. This reminds me of Jay Leno’s Jaywalking bit on the Tonight Show.
    The Earth is actually closer to the Sun in January.
    Jim
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Had that been pointed out to the graduates, no doubt one or more of them would have responded, thats why it is summer in the SH in January!!
    What was so depressing about the graduates' answers to the first question was that it was so obvious that the answer could not possibly be correct given that the NH and SH experience opposite summers and winters. Their answer just could not explain the differences between seasons in the SH, equatorial regions and NH.

  68. I mentioned to a friend that the scientists themselves say the big warming isn’t the CO2 but the warming from water feedbacks.

    They were like, “WHAT? WHY isn’t that made clear? Why do they keep saying CO2??”

    (I wondered also if I’d gotten the story wrong so good to see this article printed using simple terms for general readers.)

  69. Now now let’s not accuse climate science of perpetuating the largest fraud in mankinds history. Its the second biggest fraud.

  70. Smoking Frog says:
    April 11, 2011 at 1:22 am
    No, it’s not like that. The bug on the windshield is held there by air pressure. In a vacuum he would not be held (unless the vehicle was accelerating).

    But it does carry energy and has some effect.
    Stopping suddenly shows the energy has been carried.
    Circular motion throws a whole new set of dynamics as well.
    When you suddenly stop that circular motion, energy will fly off again.

  71. Leif Svalgaard brought up the instability of Oxygen in our atmosphere. That reminded me of some newspaper articles I have read in the last year on giant flying insects during the Carboniferous period. Oxygen DID get up to 30% back then, and that’s why those giant insects could exist. As plants spread to land, there was more opportunity for fires, and ultimately Oxygen stabilized around the current 20 or 21%.

    http://bill.srnr.arizona.edu/classes/182h/Climate%20More%20Refs/Paleo/HighO2.pdf

  72. P.Solar

    The story about nitrogen pollution was also on the Beeb radio news this morning. It was quite clear that the news reader (or the writer of the story) didn’t understand any of the science behind the story (indeed, the scientific illiteracy almost had me screaming). As you said, they simply used ‘nitrogen’ to mean all the various NO- and NH-based species that do cause some problems. However, the way it was presented suggested that 78% of the air is going to kill us all…

  73. Leif Svalgaard says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:06 pm . “In nature, there are enough natural sparks [lightening] that more than 30% O2 becomes a problem”.

    Stick to the day job,Leif. This is classic case of reverse causation for chemists. The reason for the atmospheric oxygen content being below 30% is that it reacts before its gets so high.

    In part, it’s related to the reason that soils have not become 100% carbon from decaying and burned organic matter. The carbon is consumed by oxygen. This in turn puts a big ??? over remediation by increasing the C content of soils. In the long term it is not a sustainable answer. That’s why we measure that natural, unfarmed soils have a few percent carbon and the air has below 30% oxygen. (Not the only reasons, but illustrative).

    Overall, for a chemist, it’s simply the jostling for equilibium by a number of competing chemical reactions. Which, taken to the extreme, is the Meaning of Life.

  74. Excellent article.

    The AGW movement is all about controlling behavior. The political/environmental class wants to force consumers to support those portions of the economy that they’ve considered are the best choices for us. Thus we have expensive mercury light bulbs, plug-in cars that underperform, and proposals for massive spending on high-speed rail, to name just a few. We, the ignorant masses, just do not have the capacity to decide what is best.

  75. Orion,
    I doubt you would find one poster in ten who would disagree with those points. Do you hang out here a lot? How could you not know that? What is your point?

  76. Joe Lalonde says:
    April 11, 2011 at 5:25 am
    “…Circular motion throws a whole new set of dynamics as well.
    When you suddenly stop that circular motion, energy will fly off again.”

    Hmmm there might be some misconceptions about circular motion creeping in here….

    Without a constant centripetal force anything travelling in a circular path would depart from that path at a tangent. Energy is required to provide a force to accelerate anything remaining in a circular path.

    So with a flywheel spun up to high speed on frictionless bearings WHERE does the energy come from to keep it rotating, why dosn’t it slow down (except for friction/air resistance losses) ???

  77. @-P. Solar says:
    April 11, 2011 at 2:26 am
    “Global warming due to CO2 is a political effect not a scientific one.”

    You seem to be taking issue with DAvid Evans and the essay here.
    He acknowledges that science has firmly established that the rise in CO2 will cause some warming. But in contradiction to the vast majority of scientists who study this subject he opines that the feedbacks are negligable and are as likely to reduce the known amount of warming from a CO2 doubling as amplify it.

    You seem to be going one step further and are rejecting the generaly recognised effect of the CO2 alone on raising surface temperature.
    Do you have any basis for this?

  78. Geoff Sherrington says:
    April 11, 2011 at 6:14 am
    “In nature, there are enough natural sparks [lightening] that more than 30% O2 becomes a problem”.
    Stick to the day job,Leif. This is classic case of reverse causation for chemists. The reason for the atmospheric oxygen content being below 30% is that it reacts before its gets so high.

    I think it once was that high IIRC, but in any case my argument still holds should it become higher. Perhaps soil chemistry back then was not exactly the same as today [different soil]. Extrapolation is always dangerous.

  79. An article on ‘The Missing Hotspot’ by David Evans in an Australian newspaper began my journey from concerned warmist to some one sceptical of climate science,( or rather the lack of it) …’The Missing Science.’ This beginning led me to the evidence based science of John Daley, Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watt and Freeman Dyson. And so to the climate team’s dramatic exposure when Climategate revealed …
    ‘The Missing Objectivity’. Thank you David.

  80. A warmist acquaintance of mine is telling me that Evans does not have the bona fides, and is/was not a credible “climate scientist”. (In typical alarmist fashion, my friend went after the messenger, instead of the message.)

    My Internet searches did not turn up much at all on him (there are a lot of David Evanses out there). Can anyone point me to more about him?

  81. As CO2 stimulates plant growth this stimulation ought to also increase the amount of oxygen emitted by plants. As such more CO2 ought to increase the volume of the atmosphere (i.e. the tropopause ought to go higher.) I’m unconvinced that the CO2 ppm figures we see are accurate, at least until I get a really good description of how this number is derived. If it’s derived from a fixed constant, this is wrong since the constant isn’t actually fixed, is it?

    What does the change in tropospheric height do to the models?

  82. izen says:
    April 11, 2011 at 2:04 am

    To claim that the major rise in CO2 to levels unseen since before the ice-ages will have little effect because undefined feedbacks will impose a homestatic process seems a matter of faith trumping reality when there is no good observational evidence for such convenient systems. And the long-term historical record indicates that radical change of the climate is certainly possible.

    There may or may not be negative feedbacks. And there may or may not be positive feedbacks. They are conceptually separate matters. This thread is arguing the second matter, not the first.

  83. I think the following passage from Dr. David Evans article needs further discussion, rather than being stated as fact…

    “…Let’s be perfectly clear. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and other things being equal, the more carbon dioxide in the air, the warmer the planet. Every bit of carbon dioxide that we emit warms the planet. But the issue is not whether carbon dioxide warms the planet, but how much…”

    Water vapour accounts for ~95% of average total ‘green house’ gases (GHGs), with CO2 accounting for only ~3.6% with other non-water vapour GHGs ~1.4% (the biggest amount in others is N2O at ~0.9%).

    In the final analysis, GHGs produced by man through burning of fossil fuels e.t.c. comprises only ~0.28% of the total ‘green house’ effect and this tiny amount has an insignificant and immeasurable effect on global climate.

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

    The other significant factor is that the amount of water vapour can vary over very short time scales as it changes phase from vapour –> liquid –>solid (or vice versa). The paper Greenhouse Effect in Semi-Transparent Planetary Atmospheres by Ferenc M. Miskolczi shows that the current greenhouse effect equations are incomplete because they do not include the correct boundary conditions. The new theory presented in Miskolczi’s paper shows that the atmosphere maintains a ‘saturated’ greenhouse effect, controlled by water vapour content. Full paper here…

    http://www.met.hu/idojaras/IDOJARAS_vol111_No1_01.pdf

    An easier to digest simplification of basics, that even I can understand, here…

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/The_Saturated_Greenhouse_Effect.htm

    The other contradiction in the above passage is the phrase, “…Every bit of carbon dioxide that we emit warms the planet…” This should be restated that total GHGs slow the rate of cooling, a subtle but important point which the author has clearly missed.

    No surprise, perhaps, that observation has failed to confirm any sign of CAGW and the computer climate models used by the IPCC continue to drift further and further from reality despite the IPCC gatekeepers of the various GMT data sets best efforts to confirm a significant warming signal. Like the Dodo, their conjecture is dead!

  84. HFC says:
    April 11, 2011 at 2:10 am
    “And now our hated EU masters want us to become vegetarians; but I understood the methane we will emit as a result is a dangerous pollutant.”

    No; it’s a precious renewable source. Wait for the presentation of the new functional underwear for EU citizens.

  85. Murray Grainger says:
    April 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    “Great article. Does anyone know of any skeptic that has considered the evidence and changed sides to pro-AGW and the alarmist camp?”

    Murray, good question.

  86. I too congratulate David on boiling his message down to a concise statement that can have a very positive effect on the AGW debate.

    What I want to add is a bit of commentary on the often-read criticism of his education in the alarmist blogs, which includes a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, that he is merely an Electrical Engineer and what could he possibly know about climate science?

    I had the pleasure of knowing David when he was finishing his PhD at Stanford. Saying that he is merely an EE is like saying that Einstein was merely a patent clerk. His specialty area was signal processing, specifically Fourier transforms, the incredibly arcane branch of mathematics that makes things like cell phones and wi-fi work by analyzing the multiple paths that the radio signals take, extracting information from the “noise” and matching them up to make a single strong signal. His dissertation was a thousand page treatise on an improved method for solving these equations. I hardly think that he would be daunted by anything that climate science data could throw at him. There is a very good reason why he was hired to work for the Australian government – because he is incredibly competent to analyze the data coming out of climate science. And as it turns out, incredibly ethical and independent as well.

  87. TBear:

    At April 10, 2011 at 9:49 pm you ask:

    “Again the Bears asks, if it is all so simple and straightforward, where the hell are the rest (non-climate-change) of the world’s scientists/professional academies in this?

    Why are they not shouting this rubbish (if that is truly what it is) down?

    The Bear remains confused.”

    OK, I assume that you are asking a genuine question and not making a ‘warmist’ disingenuous misleading assertion. So, I provide a proper answer.

    The best analysis of the usurption of the scientific institutions’ organisational leaderships that I have read is by Richard Lindzen. His very readable and shocking account is
    Lindzen RS, ‘Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?’ Physics and Society (2008)

    That paper can be downloaded as a pdf from

    http://arxiv.org/vc/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762v1.pdf

    Anybody with any interest in the science and/or the politics of AGW needs to read it.

    Richard

  88. dorlomin says:
    April 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Did you forget to include some science in your rant. Or you still smarting from being BESTed?

    What exactly is that supposed to mean? Is this supposed to be a reference to Anthony giving BEST the benefit of the doubt? You’re saying this like it’s a bad thing? Yes it turns out BEST has gone the way of science-by-press-release at this point. It remains to be seen if they’ll offer any sort of apology for that misbehavior in the future by turning out great science, or go the way of science-attached-to-the-teat-of-government. That doesn’t mean Anthony, or anyone for that matter, was wrong in giving them the benefit of the doubt first. It would be nice if the warmist/alarmist side knew how to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, but I see your comment is proving me wrong on that front.

    I’m also curious about the reference to “science” in any singular post. Have all Anthony’s posts been about the science except this one? That’s kind of a ridiculous position to take considering all the deliberate humor posts, and the personal-situation posts he’s made.

    It is also quite humorous to me that all Anthony has to deal with at this point is the random troll-attack post that only tangentially relates to anything, and whose originator simply makes one post and then abandons the thread. It’s like the alarmists have conceded the game, and at this point are little more than a peanut gallery with almost no control over where the debate is headed.

    That makes me happy. :)

    REPLY: I appreciate the thought, but from experience I can say that trying to reason with “dorlomin” is generally an exercise in futility. – Anthony

  89. Well I think the good Dr is on the right track. I have never been convinced, that somehow, CO2 is likt the kindling wood you use to start a fire to get the logs burning.
    We know that H2O IS a GHG, and there is plenty of H2O in the atmosphere, even if the Temperature was below the Black Body equilibrium Temperature at earth’s orbit location; 255 K or whatever it is.
    And we know that to the extent that H2O causes heating of the atmosphere; which in turn results in LWIR emitted to the surface; where on the ocean surface, prompt evaporation of more H2O can occur; that there already is a positive feedback effect due to H2O alone; even if CO2 were completely absent. Now that does not mean that we have a runaway thermal event; simply that there is some regenerative gain, but the loop gain doesn’t exceed unity, so it is stable. Yes CO2 can cause more atmospheric heating, and therefore more LWIR surface heating which in turn can result in more CO2 outgassed from the oceans. So CO2 induced warming also has a regenerative gain due to itself, and the CO2 amount is further enhanced by H2O caused warming of the atmosphere and surface.

    So labelling CO2 as a GHG (lighter fluid) and H2O as simply an amplifier, is quite arbitrary and fits the BS definition.

    What H2O can and DOES do, that CO2 CANNOT do, (in earth atmosphere), is form clouds; and the negative feedback cooling of clouds simply overpowers any positive feedback from either H2O or CO2; it is a clamping mechanism that depends pretty much on the Physical properties of the H2O molecule.
    Whatever can or may cause cloud modulation; either the Svensmark Cosmic ray concept, or aerosols or whatever; those things will result in changes to the cloud cover; but one way or another the cloud cover will adapt to the combination of all those perturbations, and ultimately bring further warming to a stop. And don’t forget, that positive feedback or no, ANYe xtra H2O (or CO2) added to the atmosphere, MUST result in a reduction of the ground level solar (spectrum) energy insolation, so even without clouds, there already is a significant H2O vapor negative feedback effect. The CO2 one is considerably reduced, because CO2 is not absorbing in the far read, and NIR region, where H2O is quite prominent, so CO2 negative feedback due to incoming solar absorption, is at most dealing with a couple of percent of solar energy, whereas H2O is dealing with a part of the solar spectrum that contains abpout 45% of the soalr energy (700 nm to 4.0 microns) Of course the H2O absorption bands don’t address more than about half of that spectral range. I wish someone would do the actual integration of the real H2O spectral lines, that make up the H2O band spectra under real atmospheric conditions. Is there some reason why people doing research in “climate science” can’t bring themsleves to actually do the calculations of one of the most important fundamental phenomena of earth climate. Is it that much easier to get grant money to look for pollens in ancient muds, or bore a hole in a Siberian tree, and then describe the complete geological History of Asia ?

    Now that is something that Gavin could use his Terracomputer to actually calculate; well maybe Peter Humbug should do it; that is his forte isn’t it ? Just take the standard atmosphere (STP) and nominal average global moisture content at sea level, and calculate how much solar spectrum energy gets absorbed by H2O.

  90. Ted Wagner,

    “A warmist acquaintance of mine is telling me that Evans does not have the bona fides, and is/was not a credible “climate scientist”.”

    This is from the article. This guy has more bona fides than your friend, I think. Or you could take the argument the opposite way and ask “If he is so unqualified,what was he doing working from the Australian Government Office of Climate Change?” He was no denier then, and that office is alarmist to the core.

    “David Evans consulted full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, and part-time 2008 to 2010, modelling Australia’s carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products. He is a mathematician and engineer, with six university degrees, including a PhD from Stanford University in electrical engineering. “

  91. @Leif Svalgaard says:
    April 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Now that is frightening. These – “the best and brightest” – aren’t really very good or educated (they may in fact be bright, but they never exercised it). One wonders what would happen if they were also tested on, say, history and economics. My guess is you would get the CIA or perhaps, the Goddard Space Agency.

    Houston, we have a problem!

  92. Dave Springer:
    “Classical mechanics, also called statistical mechanics,…”
    Statistical mechanics is a branch of classical mechanics.

    “Quantum mechanics never trumps classical mechanics. If a quantum explanation disagrees with the classical explanation the quantum explanation is wrong.”
    Does the classical explanation of black body radiation trump the quantum explanation of black body radiation? No! The two explanations are not the same with
    the quantum explanation being the correct one. The quantum explanation disagrees with the classical explanation of black body radiation but is the right explanation and the classical explanation is the false one, not the correct one.

    Classical mechanics, which is a branch of classical physics, deals with concrete bodies and ensembles of concrete bodies that have definite measurable properties, such as, mass, velocity, position, energy, temperature, volume, pressure, and many others. Quantum mechanics, which is a branch of quantum physics, deals with abstract bodies and ensembles of abstract bodies which have no definite values of properties. If a definite body or ensemble is selected, there will be only a probability predicted by quantum mechanics as to what a concrete measurement of a property will give for that body or ensemble while an actual measurement gives the definite value that the body or ensemble has in objective reality. The belief that an abstract body has a superposition of all possible values for a property is only a metaphor for not having knowledge of the actual values of the properties of the concrete bodies from which the abstraction was formed. Much mischief is done by not distinguishing between the concrete and the abstract.

  93. Its kinda depressing to see the same egregiously wrong information get wheeled out yet again when a little effort would have found the real data.

    Tenuc says:
    April 11, 2011 at 9:48 am
    “Water vapour accounts for ~95% of average total ‘green house’ gases (GHGs), with CO2 accounting for only ~3.6% with other non-water vapour GHGs ~1.4% (the biggest amount in others is N2O at ~0.9%).
    In the final analysis, GHGs produced by man through burning of fossil fuels e.t.c. comprises only ~0.28% of the total ‘green house’ effect and this tiny amount has an insignificant and immeasurable effect on global climate.”

    The error perpetuated here is counting the volume or mass of gas present rather than its energy absorption effect. The other mistake is in apparently assuming that the composition of the atmosphere is the same at all altitudes.

    But most people are aware that it gets colder as you go up. When the atmospheric temperature drops to freezing the water vapour content also drops to negligable amounts and in no way can be responsible for over 90% of the energy absorption of the ‘GHG’ effect at those higher altitudes.

    But a full and excellent explanation of the role of CO2 and its relationship to H2O is easily accesable from the links on this sight at the top right. I would recommend the ‘scienceofdoom’ site which covers the topic very well in the “CO2 – An Insignificant Trace Gas?” series.

    George E. Smith says:
    April 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm
    “I wish someone would do the actual integration of the real H2O spectral lines, that make up the H2O band spectra under real atmospheric conditions. Is there some reason why people doing research in “climate science” can’t bring themsleves to actually do the calculations of one of the most important fundamental phenomena of earth climate.”

    Of course someone has, actually as part of military research into heat sensors during the cold war in the mid-50s. Try looking up Gilbert N Plass.

  94. The author, David Evans, has made a good summary of the situation but not proven or demonstrated his last point:

    The alarmist case is based on this guess about moisture in the atmosphere, and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.

    Ask yourself this: Why have so many atmospheric physicists for more than 50 years concluded that water vapor will amplify any warming, including from CO2?

    The “standard answer” from commenters on this blog will be that climate science doesn’t know anything.

    But why praise Lindzen, Spencer and Christy and not Held, Soden and Dessler?

    The science needs to be understood. But it is complex. See Clouds and Water Vapor – Part Four and the preceeding parts.

    Why conclude that specific humidity is constant rather than relative humidity? If anything, there is more reason to believe that relative humidity is conserved rather than specific humidity.

    How many of the people applauding the author of this article have read the relevant papers of the last decade?

  95. “The alarmist case is based on this guess about moisture in the atmosphere, and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.”

    A few things about this:

    (i) Yes, the case that global warming is very serious does rely on the amplifying effect of water vapour/lapse rate feedback.
    (ii) The IPCC models cover a wide range of strength of this feedback. The climate sensitivity for the IPCC models ranges from about 1.5-4.5 K/doubling of CO2 and I think most of that range is due to different strengths of water vapour and lapse rate feedback, with the rest from cloud feedback.
    (iii) Consequently, it’s not true to call it a guess – the uncertainty about this is built into the modelling process.
    (iv) Further, the strength of this feedback is an emergent property of the models, it’s not a tunable parameter. This doesn’t mean that the models are necessarily right, but it does mean that they haven’t been fixed to give the “right” answer. Basic physics has been put in, and this is the answer that’s come out. So, it’s not the “guess” of the modellers.
    (v) The observational evidence is not strong enough to discount either of the strong water vapour feedback or no water vapour feedback hypotheses. That’s a data problem common to a lot of climate science. We could pay climate scientists a ton of money to collect the necessary data to settle this problem over the next 50 years, or we could simply play safe, do ourselves a lot of favours in terms of moving away from fossil fuels, and then be able to forget about the issue.

  96. Alistair Ahs says:

    “The observational evidence is not strong enough to discount either of the strong water vapour feedback or no water vapour feedback hypotheses.”

    Well, that’s completely wrong. There is no ‘strong water vapor feedback’ because if there was, temperature would closely track CO2. It doesn’t.

    Direct observational evidence shows conclusively that CO2 has a negligible effect on temperature. The reason is because sensitivity to CO2 is much lower than claimed by the IPCC. Observation trumps climate models, which have been repeatedly debunked.

  97. “Dr. David Evans is a former Warmist who had gone cold. ”
    Well, he’s not a professor, but an engineer and a consultant. His argument for years has been that the main (sole?) signature of CO2 warming is an atmospheric “hot spot”, as he claims again in this piece. Then he states that it doesn’t exist (as of 1995), and therefore feedbacks are negative. People were complaining about his statements on this back in 2007! I love this bit — “The official thermometers are often located in the warm exhaust of air conditioning outlets” so he should then be quite interested in BEST results. And he again invokes “The satellites say the hottest recent year was 1998, and that since 2001 the global temperature has levelled (sic) off.” arguments too. And the alarmist fear-mongering — “Governments gleefully accept their advice, because the only ways to curb emissions are to impose taxes and extend government control over all energy use. And to curb emissions on a world scale might even lead to world government ” And etc.

  98. jakers:

    Those who “complain” at Evans’ comments on the missing ‘hot spot’ should complain to the IPCC and not him.

    See Chapter 9 of IPCC AR4 Section 9.2.2 titled “Spatial and Temporal Patterns of the
    Response to Different Forcings and their Uncertainties”
    You can read the Chapter at

    https://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/ar4-wg1-chapter9.pdf

    Please note Figure 9.1 on Page 675.

    Anybody who checks the link I provide can see (within seconds) that Evans’ comments on the ‘hot spot’ are merely reports of the IPCC’s statements together with correct statements that the ‘hot spot’ is missing according to independent measurements using
    (a) radiosondes on weather balloons available since 1958
    and
    (b) microwave sounding units on satelites since 1979.

    The remainder of your post at April 12, 2011 at 10:36 am consists of equally wrong and scurilous nonsense.

    Apologise then go away.

    Richard

  99. I have a question for people who know more about science than I do.

    If CO2 has a positive feedback and amplifies temperature, doesn’t that mean that the Earth’s atmosphere would thus unsustainable and could not support life on Earth?

    In my mind, a major volcanic blast or meteor hit would unleash a massive amount of co2 and other pollutants in the atmosphere. The positive feedback would warm the planet, the oceans evaporate releasing even more co2 into the atmosphere and warm further to dangerous levels. It would seem then that the Earth should have never recovered from the meteor hit that killed the Jurassic Period and life on this planet now is impossible. Logically, the Earth would need negative feedback mechanisms to sustain itself as a single incident could create a chain reaction turning this planet into a barren rock once again. Life needs a sustainable environment to flourish. Just a question that came to mind while I was reading the article.

  100. SS81;
    Basically correct; it wouldn’t even need a trigger, just ordinary incoming radiation would do it.

    But the Warmistas have put a qualifier on it, saying that the positive feedback is logarithmic, self-limiting. So there’s negative feedback on the amount of positive feedback. Maybe, unless there’s a “tipping point” at which stage it becomes accelerating positive, presumably because there’s some negative feedback on the negative feedback.

    As you might intuit, it’s all bushwah, as a positive-feedback system runs once, and then self-destructs. Which the “climate” has yet to do, despite huge variations in virtually every possible “external driver”.

  101. scienceofdoom says: Ask yourself this: Why have so many atmospheric physicists for more than 50 years concluded that water vapor will amplify any warming, including from CO2?

    Except that, with all other things equal, it seems to be eminently logical, I don’t know, but the question interests me in that I’ve never heard of a warmist speaking to the press or the public and making that sort of statement with the words “any warming,” and I think this shows incompetence, because the amplification claim is far easier to understand and believe when it is made clear that it applies to any warming, not just warming from CO2. Here I am, a skeptic, criticizing the warmists for not making their best case.

  102. @Smokey – “Well, that’s completely wrong. There is no ‘strong water vapor feedback’ because if there was, temperature would closely track CO2.”

    No, your supposition is not right. There are many reasons why temperature does not closely track CO2. They are:
    (i) Thermal inertia of the oceans. It takes a long time to warm up the oceans, and consequently a long time for the climate to respond to CO2 [and other forcings].
    (ii) While CO2 does effect the climate, it’s not the only variable that does so. There are other GHG [eg methane which mysteriously stabilised during much of the 2000s], sulphate aerosols [ which cause a cooling], solar effects, ENSO variability, other sources of internal variability.
    (iii) Further the global near-surface average temperature is not particularly well observed, so there’s a large amount of sampling uncertainty.

    Consequently the lack of a one-to-one relationship between temperature and CO2, particularly on a year-to-year basis, tells us very little about how strong a GHG CO2 is, or how strong the water vapour feedback is.

    Scientists have shown this by analysing the observed temperature trends, combined with information about CO2, solar changes, etc, to try to calculate the climate sensitivity. Look up papers by people like J Gregory, for example.
    Perhaps here:

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0442%282002%29015%3C3117%3AAOBEOT%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    Gregory comes up with a 5th percentile lower bound of 1.6K, but doesn’t quote an upper bound, since the data isn’t strong enough to do so. The median, ie 50th percentile, climate sensitivity comes out as over 6K, which is way above the range given by the models.

    The observations provide an even weaker constraint than the supposedly fiddled models.

    How’s that for confounding your expectations, eh?

  103. lrshultis says:
    April 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    “Does the classical explanation of black body radiation trump the quantum explanation of black body radiation?”

    Unless the “black body” is so small that it doesn’t have a measurable temperature then yes statistical thermodynamics rules the day. Thanks for asking.

  104. lrshultis says:
    April 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    “Quantum mechanics, which is a branch of quantum physics, deals with abstract bodies and ensembles of abstract bodies which have no definite values of properties.”

    Nonsense. Offhand I can think of at least several concrete (not abstract) technologies which have no classical explanation but which are explained by QM: flash memory, tunneling electron microscopy, quantum computing, and low temperature super conductors. Then there are a number of experiments such as the double slit which don’t have a classical explanation for the results.

  105. re: Richard S Courtney says:
    April 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Hilariously weak. The so-called “hotspot” is indicative of any warming not just from CO2, and instead of being missing, it is there, if you check the literature. And so I stand by my entire post, and you can try to spin the original quotes from Evans any way you care if you want to make them seem even half reasonable.

  106. Joe Lalonde says:
    April 11, 2011 at 5:25 am

    “But it does carry energy and has some effect.”

    It does not change the “force” of gravity, it merely balances it out on a curved orbit path via centrifugal, azimuthal, and coriolis “forces”. These effects are well understood and included in calculations of orbital trajectories.

    Alistiar Ahs says:
    April 12, 2011 at 7:53 am

    “Further, the strength of this feedback is an emergent property of the models, it’s not a tunable parameter. “

    It is an “emergent property” of models (CGCMs) which are parameterized based on their agreement with models in which it is a directly tunable parameter (AGCMs). So, in the end, they all effectively depend on this tunable parameter.

    “The observational evidence is not strong enough to discount either of the strong water vapour feedback or no water vapour feedback hypotheses.”

    Incorrect. There is strong observational evidence that cloud feedback is dominant, and negative.

    StrongStyle81 says:
    April 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    “If CO2 has a positive feedback and amplifies temperature, doesn’t that mean that the Earth’s atmosphere would thus unsustainable and could not support life on Earth?”

    It would, if the positive feedback were dominant. But, the idea is that there is an inner positive feedback loop which is dominated by an outer negative feedback, in particular, the T^4 radiation which radiates heat from the Earth more rapidly as the temperature increases. It is very difficult to overcome stabilizing feedback which increases this rapidly. In such conditions, the inner positive feedback loop simply acts to amplify the output.

    Brian H says:
    April 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    “As you might intuit, it’s all bushwah, as a positive-feedback system runs once, and then self-destructs.”

    See above answer to StrongStyle81 .

    Alistair Ahs says:
    April 14, 2011 at 7:17 am

    “Consequently the lack of a one-to-one relationship between temperature and CO2, particularly on a year-to-year basis, tells us very little about how strong a GHG CO2 is, or how strong the water vapour feedback is.”

    Were that true, the whole signal would be too uncertain to draw any conclusions from it.

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