Cleaner air may result in increased solar insolation and therefore warming.

This makes me wonder if the temperature dip in the 1970′s where everyone was worried about global cooling wasn’t partially driven by atmospheric aerosols. With the advent of pollution controls, certainly we have cleaner (and more optically transparent) skies since then.

From the National University of Ireland, Galway comes this:

Cleaner Air but a Warmer Europe, Research Finds

New research initiated jointly by NUI Galway and the University of Helsinki reveals the true rate of greenhouse gas induced global warming has been masked by atmospheric aerosols (otherwise known as Particulate Matter), through their formation of reflective haze and cloud layers leading to an aerosol cooling effect.

The new investigations show that the present-day aerosol cooling effect will be strongly reduced by 2030 as more stringent air pollution abatements are implemented both worldwide and at the European scale and as advanced environmental technologies are utilised.

These actions are projected to increase the global temperature by 1°C and temperatures over Europe by up to 2-4°C depending on the severity of the action. This is one of the main research outcomes of the recently concluded EUCAARI (European Integrated project on Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air Quality Interaction) project funded by the European Commission.

The EUCAARI project, originally initiated by Professor Colin O’Dowd at NUI Galway’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, who resided on the project’s management team, and led by Professor Markku Kulmala of the University of Helsinki, has provided new understanding of the impacts of aerosols and trace gases on clouds and climate.

According to Professor O’Dowd:“The quantification of the effect of aerosols on the radiative balance (cooling or heating) of the planet has been one of the most urgent tasks to underpin more informed projections of future climate change. Now that we have this data we need to reinforce European political decision-making to develop new strategies and implementation plans for global air quality monitoring and to take Europe a leading role in developing and applying environmental technologies. Furthermore, it is urgent that higher-resolution EU-scale projections are conducted using a new generation of regional models nested within the global models.”

EUCAARI has been the most extensive atmospheric aerosol research project in Europe so far. The total budget of the project was € 15 million, of which € 10 million was provided by the European Commission Framework Programme 6. In all, 48 research institutes from 24 countries participated in this project over the period 2007-2010. The project has led to significantly more information on the whole physics background related to aerosol formation and impacts at all scales; from nanoscale to global, and from milliseconds to centuries.

The project performed extensive studies from ground-based, aircraft and satellite platforms, not only in Europe, but also in China, South-Africa, Brazil and India (i.e. significant developing countries). These studies have improved the theoretical understanding of the aerosol life-cycle, enabling scientists to make major improvements in climate and air pollution models and present new air pollution scenarios over Europe.

Professor O’Dowd added: “The positive impacts of aerosols are partially off-setting global warming while the negative effects impact on public health. Abatement of the negative health impact is complicated due to the diversity of sources, even within Europe.”

EUCAARI found that the reduction in ammonia emissions is one of the most effective ways to reduce aerosol mass concentrations in Europe. Reduction in nitric oxides is also effective, but might lead to higher ozone levels, thereby leading to another negative impact on air quality. Reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions will reduce particulate air pollution especially in the Eastern Mediterranean area.

Reduction of organic aerosol concentrations is a lot more challenging and will require reductions of gas and aerosol emissions from transportation and biomass burning. Furthermore, it is now shown that a large fraction of organic aerosols in Europe is of modern origin (as opposed to fossil fuel origins), for which the main sources are biogenic secondary organic aerosol (boreal forests), biomass burning and primary biogenic aerosol particles.”

Professor O’Dowd concluded: “All these emission sources are expected to respond to climate change, although we are presently unable to gauge the strength of the multitude of feedback mechanisms involved. The uncertainties in feedback highlight the need for improved Earth System Climate models to encapsulate feedback processes generally lacking in current projections.”

-Ends-Author: Press Office, NUI Galway

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116 thoughts on “Cleaner air may result in increased solar insolation and therefore warming.

  1. “Professor O’Dowd concluded: …The uncertainties in feedback highlight the need for improved Earth System Climate models…”

    Translates into we need more funding.

  2. So have particulates over Europe actually increased since the 1970s? Let’s see some figures. I think the opposite is true.

    Those who argue that particulates are masking warming need to explain why there is more warming since 1980 in the Northern hemisphere (lots of partculates) than in the Southern hemisphere (low particulates). If the particulates theory is viable, there would need to be obsevable regional effects.

  3. These actions are projected to increase the global temperature by 1°C and temperatures over Europe by up to 2-4 degrees C

    Is that before feedbacks? I mean, could it be worse than they are currently thinking? Time to start panicking and showing our wallets to anyone who can save us, I say.

  4. And yet Douglas Hoyt found that a century of pyrheliometry results found almost no change in the optical depth of the atmosphere. As did Miskolzi for 1948-2006 in his study of the radiosonde data, which are probably a lot better than Steve Mosher tries to makes out. Interesting that he never quantifies the claimed error, just says they are useless. Show us the data Steve.

    To quote Rajendra Pachauri:

    “This is voodoo science”.

    Douglas Hoyt Says:
    February 11th, 2007 at 8:00 am
    At the AGU Symposium on Oceans in a Changing Climate: Global Heat and Freshwater Budgets at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting held on December 11-15, 2006, Stephen E. Schwartz had a paper entitled “Empirical Determination of the Time Constant, Heat Capacity, and Sensitivity of the Earth’s Climate System”. That paper used Levitus’s erroneous results and derived a climate sensitivity of 2.2 +/- 0.75 C for a CO2 doubling. Substituting the recent Lyman and Gouretski results, his climate sensitivity becomes 1.3 +/- 0.75 C for a CO2 doubling.

    Schwartz claims that aerosols are masking about half the warming which would be 1.4 C in the twentieth century vs the 0.6-0.7 C observed warming. We dispute this claim on several grounds.

    Measurements of aerosols did not begin in the 1970s as some people claim. There were measurements before then, but not so well organized. However, there were a number of pyrheliometric measurements made and it is possible to extract aerosol information from them by the method described in:

    Hoyt, D. V., 1979. The apparent atmospheric transmission using the pyrheliometric ratioing techniques. Appl. Optics, 18, 2530-2531.

    The pyrheliometric ratioing technique is very insensitive to any changes in calibration of the instruments and very sensitive to aerosol changes.

    Here are three papers using the technique:

    Hoyt, D. V. and C. Frohlich, 1983. Atmospheric transmission at Davos, Switzerland, 1909-1979. Climatic Change, 5, 61-72.

    Hoyt, D. V., C. P. Turner, and R. D. Evans, 1980. Trends in atmospheric transmission at three locations in the United States from 1940 to 1977. Mon. Wea. Rev., 108, 1430-1439.

    Hoyt, D. V., 1979. Pyrheliometric and circumsolar sky radiation measurements by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory from 1923 to 1954. Tellus, 31, 217-229.

    In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly. There are other studies from Belgium, Ireland, and Hawaii that reach the same conclusions. It is significant that Davos shows no trend whereas the IPCC models for anthropogenic aerosol increases show it in the area where the greatest changes in aerosols were occurring.

    There are earlier aerosol studies by Hand and Marvin in the Monthly Weather Review going back to the 1880s and these studies also show no trends and all the astronomical observations show no trends.

    A second argument against aerosols being a cooling agent that masks warming is that the claimed aerosol increases occur where the strongest warming is being observed, namely the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes and Europe. If anything, aerosols are an additional source of heating through soot which warms the atmosphere or soot on snow that will also warm.

    Finally the Northern Hemisphere where the aerosols presumably are located is warming faster than the Southern Hemisphere where there are fewer aerosols.

    In short there is no experimental evidence that increasing aerosols are masking any greenhouse warming or that they caused the 1940-1975 cooling.

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=87

    I’ll take non-politically driven research from the late seventies/early eighties over 15 million euro studies paid for by us via the unelected European Commission any day of the week thanks.

  5. Oops. Biomass renewable fuels are the major source of aerosols?

    Cleaning the air will result in warming?

    So many hoists! So many petards! KaBOOOM!(S)

  6. This makes me wonder if the temperature dip in the 1970′s where everyone was worried about global cooling wasn’t partially driven by atmospheric aerosols.

    I doubt it.
    Since I do not think that the global temperature is relevant, I only consider the CET, because it refers to a small climatically relatively uniform region.
    I have produced three different correlation based on the data relating to the well known physical processes, considered to be independent from climate, and all three show exactly the same result, the drop of temperatures in 1960-70s was due to the natural causes.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NO.htm

  7. Henry@Tallbloke

    I admire your knowledge – can I ask you a few questions about my latest findings, here

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

    After reading the texts, and looking at the values, especially the differences now apparent between NH and SH,

    1) do you agree with me that my findings so far support the argument that the observed warming of the past 3 or 4 decades was natural?
    2) where do you think does the difference between NH(apparently warming) and SH (apparently cooling) originate from? Any idea??

  8. Dear Antthony -

    “This makes me wonder if the temperature dip in the 1970′s where everyone was worried about global cooling wasn’t partially driven by atmospheric aerosols.”
    *****************************************************************
    You may be right, you may be wrong. But please beware of the trap of thinking that the main driver of warming and cooling is mankind. I have no doubt that the government of the EU would love you and its citizens to believe that.

    All the best.

  9. tallbloke. I imagine you are referring to my criticism of your chart that uses NCEP reanalysis data for specific humidity ( and sun spots.. oy vey)

    Can you tell me, do you know how reanalysis data is generated?
    And can you tell us, what class of variable you used. There are 4 classes of data; a,b,c,d.
    The class for your variable is listed in the appendix of the documentation. you did read
    the documentation before you used the reanalysis data?
    You did note the warnings about using the data ?
    Let me put it this way to you. If you didnt bother checking the class, then just say so.
    If you did check the class then you should have known better.
    If you’ve never heard of class A, B, C,D in dealing with NCEP reanalysis data,
    then honestly son, you need to do more reading before you make another plot

  10. Professor O’Dowd concluded: “All these emission sources are expected to respond to climate change, although we are presently unable to gauge the strength of the multitude of feedback mechanisms involved. The uncertainties in feedback highlight the need for improved Earth System Climate models to encapsulate feedback processes generally lacking in current projections.”

    Do I read, “We don’t really understand what is going on!” Words like “expected”, “unable”, “multitude”, “uncertainties”, “need”, “improved”, “lacking”! Such positive reinforcing words to suggest that current GCMs are in fact seriously lacking & unable to mirror climate, clearly settled science! Out of the mouths of babes? Why are these emission sources “expected to respond to climate change”? I thought they were the cause of it according to some, ie UNIPCC, Wet Office, GISS, Royal Society, USNAS, UEA, NOAA, BBC, Gore, Porrit, Attenborough, Monbiot, et al? Can someone please clarify???? Or is it just little ol’ CO2?

  11. Recyclable saying, already proven suitable for many environmentalist endeavors with many more potential usages already in progress:

    We have done such a great job,
    We are completely screwed!

  12. So if we reduce aerosol pollution even more, we get healthier air AND we make the earth warmer (according to AGW theory, mostly at night, in the winter, at high latitudes). Sounds like a win-win to me!

  13. New research initiated jointly by NUI Galway and the University of Helsinki reveals the true rate of greenhouse gas induced global warming has been masked by atmospheric aerosols (otherwise known as Particulate Matter), through their formation of reflective haze and cloud layers leading to an aerosol cooling effect.

    The new investigations show that the present-day aerosol cooling effect will be strongly reduced by 2030 as more stringent air pollution abatements are implemented both worldwide and at the European scale and as advanced environmental technologies are utilized.”
    So what they are saying is rampant environmentalism causes global warming? I always knew those fellows at GreenPeace were up to something, but really, the subtly of the plan astounds me. /sarc

  14. I think only a second rate Uni now would dare stick its neck with this blancmange of wishful thinking and uncertainty. The smarter ones have realized that there is a rapacious swarm of scientifically literate skeptics waiting for their next blunder.
    The Galway/Mayo/Donegal Atlantic Coast is a truly beautiful place.
    And the ClimateChange department there clearly needs more students!
    Go!

  15. “This makes me wonder if the temperature dip in the 1970′s …wasn’t partially driven by atmospheric aerosols.”

    That doesn’t fit with the sinusoidal signal in the temperature record which is pretty obvious.

    On the other hand diesel use has expanded enormously over the last couple of decades, with accompanying PM10 soot.

    (Must not say PDO, must not say PDO wash my mouth out with soap…)

  16. Warren Meyer points out in Forbes that climate models have different characteristics, but the model creators come up with similar answers by blaming aerosols. They pile in aerosol adjustments until the models behave like past records, then assume aerosol pollution is being reduced… allowing the models to wander into imaginary projection territories.

    http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2011/06/climate-models-2.html

  17. There is a detectable fever associated with living under a dark cloud of environmental doom.
    One could go Enviro Mental.
    The cure is to get out of the smoke-filled model rooms and get some fresh air.
    Good grief, some of the stuff they come up with sounds like a bad acid trip.

  18. The aerosol theory of cooling is wrong. Cooling was the strongest in mid to polar latitudes (as was the warming before and after) where sun does not shine that much, and especially in winters when it does not matter. The clue is on the oceans and their warm and cool cycles.

  19. More, if the aerosol theory is correct, industrial areas like Ruhr in Germany would be significantly cooler, which is not the case.

  20. Braddles;
    Isn’t he reason there’s been more warming in the 1980s in the Northern Hemisphere, because there’s been more burning of wood and other biomass from China, India and Indonesia over that time?
    The Asian brown cloud was ever-present year after year, while the Indonesians burnt the rainforests to make way for the palm oil plantations to feed the demand for palm oil from Europe.
    Brazil was burning the rainforests , during the same period to plant soy crops etc, and it still is, but that produced less soot.
    There doesn’t seem to be any mention of black carbon in the story of this research, —although they did mention aerosols from burning of biomass from China, India, Brazil etc, but seemingly in the context of cooling aerosols.
    The thing is, NASA research [ Dr Drew Shindell and others, including James Hansen ], has concluded that ~50% of the Arctic, glacier and permafrost warming is from black carbon—and they testified to Congress on that and on the urgency of mitigation of that

    http://www.igsd.org/documents/PR_JacobsonBCstudy_29July2010_000.pdf

    The advice:
    [ "We will have very little leverage over climate in the next couple of decades if we're just looking at carbon dioxide," Shindell said. "If we want to try to stop the Arctic summer sea ice from melting completely over the next few decades, we're much better off looking at aerosols and ozone."]
    So are these other researchers taking into account the warming aerosols , mitigation of which will stop some of the warming—or are they only taking into account the cooling aerosols, mitigation of which will have a net warming effect, and would be useful for warmists once again to say ‘it’s worse than we thought’?
    I can’t understand why there’s so little written and spoken about the black carbon warming effect, when they’re obsessing about loss of the ice—-if they want to stop the melt.

  21. 2Kevin wrote: “Is it just me, or is everything viewed as a no win situation by environmentalists?”

    I call it AAS – Asymmetric Apocalypse Syndrome. The vocabulary of scaremongering is much richer than that of, er, finding no cause for alarm (what’s the word I’m looking for?). Timebombs, ozone holes, biblical floods, melting icecaps, acid rain, global climate disruption, carnage, plague…. all rich colourful words to strike fear into the people.

    What are the chances of newspaper headlines saying “Coral Reefs in Robust Health” or “Reservoir Water: Nice and Pure” or “Next July We Will Not Collide with Mars”?

    There used to be strange individuals wearing sandwich boards proclaiming “The End is Nigh!” I’ll maybe try reviving this practice in my town: my sandwich board will read “The End is Not Nigh!” Might get some funny looks, though…

  22. So, essentially, now we should worry of the same emission polutants volcanoes spew out in the sea and air. But not only that, we’re supposed also paying for research that leads to us being able to control those emissions with political policies where EU is starring in a leading roll.

    How is it that when a volcanoe blast stuff into the atmosphere it has to be of a certain magnitude to reach a global impact, but not so for the man made combustion engine who just has to idle to make acid rain on the other side of the planet?

  23. Chas says:
    July 1, 2011 at 1:42 am
    According to a Metoffice analysis, annual Sunshine Hours (Campbell Stokes) are the highest they have ever been in SE and Central England. They rose steeply in the 1980′s (see Fig 15) in:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/about/UK_climate_trends.pdf

    ———————————————————–

    Well thats interesting…..so why have we had 4 (maybe soon to be 5) of the coldest, and most miserable summers I can recall, in Southern England? Are increasing sunshine hours related to orbital changes?

    On BBC Breakfast on Monday this week, there was a piece about temperatures in the UK (unfortunately I did not catch the beginning of it) where the interviewee, who seemed to have been recording daily temperatures for 30+ years, was asked about the current hot spell. I think he said that we were about to have 4 or 5 days in a row, where the temperatures were going to peak at 30C. This was, he said, exceptional in the last few years….BUT…. was nothing like the famous 1976 summer when we had 18 (?) days in June, which exceeded 30C.

    I think at this point the BBC interviewer decided he should change the subject….

    I expect the interviewee was taken away and shot, as soon as the piece ended…

  24. 2kevin says:
    July 1, 2011 at 1:07 am
    Is it just me, or is everything viewed as a no win situation by environmentalists? ))

    Thats the problem with being part of a larger demographic phenomenom. The good ol Marxist Hippie trash of the 60′s & 70′s and their sycophants can only see the world through eye’s that were trained to hate the society they were raised in. Remember, these Eco clowns were the Uni students who on graduation took up work that was a continuation of their training. So they became the sociopaths that are demanding the whole world bend over or, the world will end in fire & brimstone. Standard religious ratbags. Nothing new here.

    regards

  25. rbateman: There is a detectable fever associated with living under a dark cloud of environmental doom.
    One could go Enviro Mental.

    Sweet!

  26. David Suzuki was talking about global dimming quite a lot in the mid 1990s. This was one of the reasons I switched from being an alarmist to a skeptic. I wanted to know how much of the warming was due to reduced aerosols. The fact that the IPCC largely ignored this issue frustrated me at first. — John M Reynolds

  27. Hmm. I thought the cooling in the 70′s was pretty much proven from sulphate-based aerosols. It was all that smog work that led to the proliferation of atmospheric science. But then I’m a child of the current atmospheric chemical thinking and might have swallowed that line a little uncritically! I do know enough about aerosol chemistry and physics to know it could have an effect and that it’s hard to study it in a real-world system, they’re sticky, react with surfaces and allow all kinds of seemingly improbably chemistry to happen. All these annoying feedbacks and cross overs. So much easier just to model it. It’s a shame if the science is settled we feel the need to look harder at this stuff though. you’d think at least the grant bodies would swallow the line?

  28. Of course aerosols cause cooling, and of course that was the reason why some (a minority) in the 70s were predicting cooling. We’ve known of the cooling effect of aerosols for some time, though our ability to accurately measure their radiative forcing value is limited (Hansen has been pushing for a relatively inexpensive piece of satellite equipment that would do just that for more than 20 years). I thought the cooling effect of aerosols was well known by those who follow the climate issue. It is somewhat ironic that the success of the Clean Air Act was to remove much of the aerosol and particulate matter (ond ozone) pollution from the atmosphere. We knew both the cooling effect of aerosols and the warming effect of GHGs in the 1970s. The scientific debate then was over which would become a dominant forcing. By a 7-to-1 margin, peer reviewed articles from that decade which made a predicition one way or the other were predicting warming (a couple mainstream magazine covers notwithstanding). One of the proposed ‘fixes’ for AGW (short-sighted in my view) is to inject additional aerosols into the atmosphere).

  29. This sentence is especially revealing:
    “All these emission sources are expected to respond to climate change, ”

    For these people, warming is not only unquestionably real, it’s the ONLY REALITY. No other causes are conceivable. Everything that happens in the world is either a cause or a result of warming.

  30. Perhaps the use of electronic communications devices are now hiding the cooling..

  31. Global temperature does not exist. The sooner science takes this red herring out of the literature and stops making the general public fear about a mythical number the better.

  32. Its frustrating, as a member of the ‘sceptic’ community, to write a whole book on this issue that so few people in this community appear to read! As far as I know, Anthony, you have never mentioned it! Any reasons? In ‘Chill: a reassessment of global warming theory’ you will find all of this rehearsed with full references to the peer-reviewed literature. You wonder whether the ‘dip’ from 1970 wasn’t created by aerosols….it was, but not by human sources as in the IPCC range of models (mostly sulphates) – see below:

    yes, to Henry P. – there is clear evidence that the recent global warming is largely natural – and it comes from three papers in Science during 2005 (Wild, Pinker and Wielicki – referenced in Chill) which found:

    * that ‘global dimming’ was truly global and occurred in pollution free zones such as the southern Pacific – this was later admitted in IPCC-2007, though well-buried, hence all the models that used anthropogenic sulphur to explain the dip were erroneous;
    * the ‘brightening’ was also global and even occurred in China, despite the pollution there – and it began BEFORE the major initiatives to reduce sulphur emissions took effect…these were only ever of local significance in relation to atmospheric budgets – the brightening (increased insolation at the surface of the earth and oceans) occurred also in cloud-free measurements, hence indicating increased transparency of the atmosphere (there were also lower cloud levels…4% reducation from 1980-2000).
    * sulphur abatement was in any case only regional, the emissions of Asia made up for the reductions in the West….global sulphur flatlines from 1980-2000, and in any case is it is emitted effectively at about 100m it is not likely to affect the relation of atmospheric/surface temperatures as in the case of a major volcanic eruption (as per the models).

    The 1950-1980 ‘dip’ in global temperatures and the erroneous treatment in models represents a huge error on the part of ‘warmist’ thinking and modelling, yet it is effectively covered up…even more effectively when none of the critics reads the critical science!!!

    You will find detailed analysis of the surface insolation data…due to lower reflective cloud cover and more transparent atmosphere, there was a roughly 4 watts/square metre excess Short Wave radiation running from 1980-2000 compared to 1 watt/square metre Long Wave computed for CO2. Being generous, the extra GHG could account for 20% of the warming – unless you argue that CO2 managed to thin the clouds as a feedback…which has been argued, despite the improbability. If that were the case, then post 2000 you would expect the trend to continue – it did not, cloud cover came back by 2%, ocean heat storage flatlined and so did sea-level rise.

    And regarding the reason why the northern hemisphere heats up more than the south – that is also in the book: it is because 80% of global warming heat is held in the upper 200m of the ocean and then released to land…to be ‘held’ it has to be stored and this takes place in two major gyres in the north Atlantic and north Pacific…these are formed as the ocean’s coriolis force is constrained by the northern continents. In the souther hemisphere there is no such constraint and the circumpolar current dissipates the heat as it moves southward from the equatorial regions.

    This heat storage is therefore not global, but regional. It is subject to long term cycles such as in the MWP/LIA dictated I suspect by the location of the jetstream, insulating cloud, and heat-extractive vortices (cyclones). The location of the jetstream is sensitive to the solar magnetic cycles as a proxy for UV output.

    Carbon dioxide is, of course, a GHG and will contribute to these natural cycles but there is little empirical evidence that it amplified natural cycles in the Holocene, and no statistical treatement yet published to show that it did so during the glacial/deglacial episodes either – its effect is too weak. As we enter what may become the next Maunder Minimum (also treated in the book), CO2 ‘s weak effect might just save us from tipping into the next ice-age! But don’t try and tell Greenpeace!

  33. An alternative interpretation would be that the “unprecedented rate of temperature rise since the 1970′s” was actually part of a natural fluctuation, which was artificially suppressed by particulate pollution – take away the particulates, and the temperature returns to the natural fluctuation curve that’s been in place since WW2

    just a thought like!

  34. Braddles says July 1, 2011 at 12:22 am ” If the particulates theory is viable, there would need to be obsevable regional effects.”

    That assumes there is no rapid dispersal of the aerosols

  35. China, India, Russia, etc don’t give one squat what the EU says……

    When the GCM’s do not forecast sea level, it’s because the sea floor is sinking and the land is rising….
    When GCM’s do not forecast the temperature, it’s because of the sun, oceans, whatever
    When GCM’s can’t find the troposphere heat, it’s hiding
    When GCM’s do not forecast the snow, it’s warmcold wetdry….

    Now it’s dust in the air………………………………

    Every day we learn they don’t have a clue, can’t even figure out what’s happening right now….
    …and claiming certainty about predicting the future

  36. The only problem with the theory that it was aerosols that led to the cooling seen in the 70′s is that the areas with the most aerosols did not see the greatest cooling.

  37. “The uncertainties in feedback highlight the need for improved Earth System Climate models to encapsulate feedback processes generally lacking in current projections”

    I could have sworn the alarmists have been claiming that the climate models are perfect? After all, the “accurately predicted” past climates based on past data. If there are such significant unknowns, how could the models have made such “accurate” predictions. And why should we believe their “projections” of the future?

  38. rbateman: There is a detectable fever associated with living under a dark cloud of environmental doom.
    One could go Enviro Mental.

    Over on Junkscience there is an article on how environmentalists are driving themselves crazy. Written by a psychologist who has been treating prominent environmentalists.

  39. Here in the US, the something like 90% of the pollution has already been removed from the air. I suspect that Europe is similar. How much more reduction do they expect to get between now and 2030?

  40. That assumes there is no rapid dispersal of the aerosols

    What would be the mechanism behind this rapid dispersal? Remember these pollutants are confined to the lowest level of the atmosphere. Also remember that the first rain storm will almost completely wash these pollutants out of the atmosphere.

  41. Good stuff, Peter Taylor.

    Anthony, aerosols have always been the fudge factor and you’ve just tasted a perfected recipe.
    =========================

  42. Hmmmmm! Trying to figure out then why the southern hemisphere, with a much smaller share of global industry, showed less warming than the more polluted north during the 20th century!

  43. @Anthony

    “This makes me wonder if the temperature dip in the 1970′s where everyone was worried about global cooling wasn’t partially driven by atmospheric aerosols. With the advent of pollution controls, certainly we have cleaner (and more optically transparent) skies since then.”

    I wrote the same thing here months ago except I phrased it more like:

    If it weren’t for the environmentalist whackos ginning up an acid rain catastrophe back in the 1970′s we’d still be burning our fossil fuels as God intended with greenhouse CO2 accompanied by anti-greenhouse sulfate particulates which nullify the GHG component. But noooooo… those sulfate particulates were evil incarnate so now they are filtered out of smokestacks and tailpipes.

  44. Particulates over Central Europe have decreased since about 1990 due to introduction of (true, not CO2) pollution controls on Warsaw Pact-era industries. One familiar with situation in Czech and Poland in the 1980′s vs. today would know that this a major difference (I am sure that relative particulates in EEC countries at that time, even industrial giants like then West Germany, were far less). My feeling about the stated interpretations cited by the WUWT piece is that these may be used to account (in a disingenuous way perhaps) with lack of warming since ca. y2000

  45. “This makes me wonder if the temperature dip in the 1970′s where everyone was worried about global cooling wasn’t partially driven by atmospheric aerosols. ”

    I thought this was understood by all.

    I worked in engineering on quite a few air, water and emissions cleanup for heavy industry, starting in 1972, just after the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act were passed. Industry cried to high heaven that it made American industry non-competitive in the world marketplace. That may, in fact, have been true to some extent; it sure didn’t help. But what it DID do is clean up our then really dirty, polluted air.

    When I heard (here on WUWT, probably) that that “pollution” was aerosols that have a cooling effect – perhaps 5 or more years ago – this quoted point seemed 100% an obvious explanation (though needing verification) for why the temps from about 1940 to 1970 were dropping. And why the temps since that time have been rising; The world was cleaning up its act.

    I strongly suspect that Hansen recognized that this was a likely bet and built it into his reasoning when he claimed very early on that temps would be rising.

    The post-WWII world ran on soft coal more than anything. Besides industry, I recall all the homes with coal furnaces. I played in one, even.

    The air quality was TERRIBLE then. If the level of aerosols was proportional to the visible pollution, it certainly had to be a factor in reducing the solar insolation. It is good to see studies that can support this. It is certainly a factor that must be taken into account. Quantifying it would be a wise move, so our climate record has the proper adjustments being made.

    It is simply amazing how many factors are not included in the AWG meme. Counter factors, that is. Any factor that supports it is touted to high heaven. All others are swept under the proverbial rug.

  46. Central Europe (sp.) to include former DDR, Poland, former Czechoslovakia, Hungary as well as W. Germany.

  47. Mark Wilson says:
    July 1, 2011 at 6:18 am

    “The only problem with the theory that it was aerosols that led to the cooling seen in the 70′s is that the areas with the most aerosols did not see the greatest cooling.”

    As I recall aerosols back then weren’t blamed for global cooling. Instead there was a scare ginned about the aerosols making rain more acidic which was going to destroy all the world’s forests in a few decades. As it turned out the acid rain was only a nuisance in the high industrial density northeastern US. Actual damage to forests was minimal and confined to the immediate area around huge emitters like Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna, NY. Fifty miles from Lackawanna where I grew up there was no detectable effect from so-called acid rain. Nonetheless the federal government in and under the authority of the Clean Air Act of 1963 and later revisions forced all emitters large and small to scrub the sulfates out of smokestack and tailpipe emissions. Then the warming started a couple of decades later and we have another fine example of unintended consequences from environmental mania. The choicest one perhaps will forever remain the virtual castration of the nuclear power plant industry which could, if not for the environmentalist whackos, be providing enough power so we would have to import foreign oil. But noooooooooooo… nuclear power is another evil incarnate that could not be tolerated.

  48. I just happen to have these cartons of crystal balls, packaged in Taiwan – place of manufacture not precisely stated. Any reader here can have a carton of six for $59.99, free at my front gate, you assume all liability from there. Do they work? I think that they may do as long as they are operated with the considerable skills that this class of equipment requires. What I can guarantee is that they work every bit as well as any (any at all) future predicting climate model ever constructed and just as well as any such model which might be devised at any time to come. Less than $10 each. What a bargain!

  49. Buzz Belleville:

    Sorry, but your comment at July 1, 2011 at 4:19 am is plain wrong. My investigation of the AGW ‘aeosol excuse’ was published in the last century.
    ref.
    Courtney RS, ‘An assessment of validation experiments conducted on computer models of global climate using the general circulation model of the UK’s Hadley Centre’, (Energy & Environment, Vol. 10, No. 5, pp. 491-502, Sep. 1999)

    Simply, the issue was – and is – as follows.

    The Hadley Centre’s computer model of global climate provided too great a rate of global warming from 1900 to 1990. It was postulated that this resulted from anthropogenic aerosols negating some warming from anthropogenic GHGs. So, it was decided to test this postulate.

    The degree of cooling provided by the aerosol is not known (i.e. it has large uncertainty which provides a wide range of possible values from very slight warming to very large cooling).

    But
    1.
    the degree of total cooling from the aerosol needed to compensate for the degree of too much global warming was known, and
    2.
    the aerosol stays in the air for only a few days so its concentration over the Earth’s surface is similar to the concentration of industrial activity.

    Therefore, the models were input with
    a)
    an amount of cooling that would compensate for the degree of too much global warming, and
    b)
    the distribution of the input cooling over the Earth’s surface was set to mimic the concentrations of the anthropogenic aerosol over the Earth’s surface.

    And the model was again run to emulate the global temperature change from 1900 to 1990.

    This was a good test.
    If anthropogenic aerosol were responsible for the model indicating too much global warming
    then
    the pattern of warming over the Earth’s surface indicated by the model with arosol cooling would match the observed pattern of warming over the Earth’s surface.

    Unfortunately, this match did not occur.
    The two patterns were very different. For example, the computer model indicated the highest warming in the world where observations indicated least warming had happened. And the computer model indicated the lowest warming in the world where observations indicated most warming had happened.

    Thus, the test proved that anthropogenic aerosol was not the cause – at least, it was not the sole cause – of the model’s failure to emulate change to global climate from 1900 to 1990.

    The modellers did not like to present this result so, with much hype, they proclaimed the agreement of the test with the observed change to global temperature from 1900 to 1990.
    BUT THIS AGREEMENT WAS FIXED AS AN INPUT TO THE TEST.

    Other modellers have adopted the same aerosol excuse but each uses a different value of aerosol cooling because they each use a unique value of assumed climate sensitivity to GHGs.

    In summation, the aerosol excuse is bunkum.

    Richard

  50. @Juraj V. 3:11 am:

    More, if the aerosol theory is correct, industrial areas like Ruhr in Germany would be significantly cooler, which is not the case.

    There is no specificity to this last statement. Cooler than what? The rest of the world? Cooler than the rest of Europe? The rest of Germany? And in what period? What is the time period when Germany cleaned up their pollution (aerosols)? The Ruhr didn’t cool off when aerosols were abundant (they had huge coal reserves there and nearby (that being the reason it was so heavily industrialized in the first place)? And it didn’t warm up when air cleanup time came?

    If the Ruhr has been consistently “not cooler,” than whatever region you compare it to, but it climbs and drops with other regions, then what you call “not significantly cooler” would have to rest on some other factor, probably geographic.

    You mention “industrial areas like the Ruhr.” London was one, and its heyday of industrial development – like the Ruhr’s – was the last 3/4 of the 1800s. That is precisely the period that is used as a baseline for CO2 and its possible relationship to temperatures. But it is also precisely the period when the world was beginning to come out of the LIA. Therefore, there are two opposing forcings, making it the wrong period to use as a baseline, since no one has quantified (and may never) which was doing how much over time.

    Based on industrialization, the year 1800 would be a better baseline – but that was still within the LIA. It was also a moment when very few thermometers were in use, so the data is too spotty. Prior to the LIA, thermometers didn’t exist at all. We are left with no good time to use as a baseline.

    This lack is both a handicap and a boon, all at the same time. Not having one, it makes it that much more difficult to get our feet on the ground. And not having one, all kinds of claims can be made, and different baselines can be used to serve one’s purposes and message – to take advantage of the lack.

    I think pointing at any one place and making across-the-board generalities is easy to do, but gets us nowhere.

    Personally, I grew up in St. Louis, in the 1950s and 1960s, right in the middle of the “cooling,” and what I recall of it is that it was a freaking HOT period. But the air was filthy with aerosols. Contradictory? Yes. Yet the big studies all claim that it was a very cool time. Was it location specific? My poor recall of the climate of the period?

    Nah, it is all too compound and complex to point at one place and conclude – or refute – this point.

  51. Since the 70′s farming practices in the US have changed substantially. There should be less particulate from farming because of chisel plowing rather than moldboard plowing, less cultivation and more use of herbicide, more drilling rather than rowing of soybeans, and generally faster operations in the spring.

  52. This is something new from the Warmista. If they are going to claim that aerosols can reduce the effects of global warming that is caused by manmade CO2 then they are making a claim that is testable. Unbelievable! The first ever testable claim from Warmista! In fact, the first claim from Warmista that can be explored through active experiment! Just select the “best” aerosol, start pumping it into the air and check the results!

    How can this be? Is there no downside to this Warmista position?

    Well, as usual, yes there is. They “candidly” admit that they know nothing about forcings, such as changes in cloud cover, and that fact would over-ride measurements of aerosols.

    The upside for critics of the Warmista is that some Warmista has stated in print that Warmista know nothing about forcings. They have not one reasonably well-confirmed physical hypothesis that can be used to explain and predict the existence and effects of some forcing. Given that admission, there is no point in their Gaia Models. All their efforts must be turned to the environmental research necessary to create the necessary physical hypotheses about forcings or they should close up shop entirely.

  53. Brent Hargreaves says:
    July 1, 2011 at 3:30 am
    There used to be strange individuals wearing sandwich boards proclaiming “The End is Nigh!”

    They still exist. They are called “climate scientists”.

  54. Anthony said “This makes me wonder if the temperature dip in the 1970′s where everyone was worried about global cooling wasn’t partially driven by atmospheric aerosols.”

    CRS reply Absolutely, Anthony. That seems to be the consensus of the environmental scientists I know, which is also a reason that DOE Sec. Chu advocates geoengineering such as release of sulfur aerosols in order to shade the planet.

  55. AEROSOL COOLING : There is one notable test case – the one month grounding of aircraft in the US after 9/11.

    A few years after the event I read that this lead to a 2 degrees C rise in temperatures over America. More recently I read that in fact it lead to a 1 degree rise in daytime temperatures and a 1 degee fall in nighttime temperatures.

    The first story would give credence to the idea that aersols cause cooling.

    The second story would suggest that although aerosols cause an effect, it is neutral overall – they may prevent some sunlight reaching Earth during the day, but also trap the heat overnight.

    Can someone clarify what was actually discovered about this event?

  56. Feet2theFire says:
    July 1, 2011 at 7:04 am

    “The post-WWII world ran on soft coal more than anything. Besides industry, I recall all the homes with coal furnaces. I played in one, even.”

    In 1950, the majority of homes were heated with coal. For those of us who had a choice, hard coal was strictly preferred over soft coal. Soft coal is one huge mess to handle, regardless of what comes out the chimney. In about 1959, the cost of hard coal was pennies, about $8 a ton I believe, if you had the truck to pick it up yourself.

    The US and Europe were awash with coal for heating during the first two-thirds of the 20th century.

  57. Chas says:
    July 1, 2011 at 1:42 am

    According to a Metoffice analysis, annual Sunshine Hours (Campbell Stokes) are the highest they have ever been in SE and Central England. They rose steeply in the 1980′s (see Fig 15) in:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/about/UK_climate_trends.pdf

    The maps at the end say it all.

    London and the South East are pushing up temperatures which are radiating out into the rest of the country. Increase in population = increase in heat!

  58. I have no doubt that aerosols have an impact – the acid rain of the 70′s was from aerosols forming nuclei and getting rained out of the system bring down the sulphates with it – a natural cleaning system depending on the altitude of the aerosols. Thing I have noticed in the notes to date is that no one has mentioned the proportion of anthropogenic aerosols to natural aerosols. Anthropogenic aerosols are estimated to be between 3% and 12% of the total according to this http://cloudbase.phy.umist.ac.uk/people/dorsey/Aero.htm

    Mother Nature is just so much more powerful than man. Now, 12% consisting entirely of sulphate aerosols would be a disaster, but that is the total. and the break down is shown in the article. The article also says aerosols have a life of a few days to a week before they get rained out.

    However, this article is from 1998 and maybe the physics have changed since then.

    It is noted in other articles that biogenic aerosols promote the large rainfalls in tropical areas.

    A Colorado paper says it is uncertain whether aerosols warm or cool the earth:

    http://cires.colorado.edu/jimenez/AtmChem/CHEM-5151_S05_Aerosols_all.pdf

    and their ratio of anthropogenic to natural aerosols is about the same.

  59. Urban air is definitely cleaner than it was when I was a kid. You could see where cities were by the brown cloud overhead, and not just Denver, but smallish cities on the East Coast. This smog is long gone.

    Maybe UHI is what is getting the shot in the arm? NAaah!

  60. anticlimactic says:
    July 1, 2011 at 10:02 am

    The testing you are refering had to do with contrails from jet liners. Jet fuel has little to no sulfur in it.

  61. Mark Wilson says:
    July 1, 2011 at 6:27 am
    Tony B (another one) says:
    July 1, 2011 at 3:47 am

    “gaken away”

    Is that a British thing?
    *******************************

    Nooooo, its an Apple thing.

    Bloody ipad keyboard…….

  62. From the 15th to the early 20th century smog levels were so high that children often developed rickets from of a lack of vitamin D because of less exposure to sunlight.

  63. “All these emission sources are expected to respond to climate change, although we are presently unable to gauge the strength of the multitude of feedback mechanisms involved. The uncertainties in feedback highlight the need for improved Earth System Climate models to encapsulate feedback processes generally lacking in current projections.”

    Translation: “Our study concluded nothing and the clowns writing climate models are even more in the dark.”

  64. Mr sleepalot said;
    “”48 research institutes” – I read that as 48 research prostitutes.”

    Would that make the IPCC, Satan’s Brothel ?

  65. Doesn’t pass the “sniff test.” Go outside at night. Look up. Unlike CO2, particulates in concentrations sufficient to significantly impact TSI at ground level have visible effects. Do you see stars or haze? I told you they were making it up as they go along.

  66. @Brent Hargreaves:
    July 1, 2011 at 3:30 am

    “[...] There used to be strange individuals wearing sandwich boards proclaiming “The End is Nigh!” I’ll maybe try reviving this practice in my town: my sandwich board will read “The End is Not Nigh!” Might get some funny looks, though…”

    I like your idea except I’m going to add, “See you tomorrow!”

  67. The other interesting thing about the ’70s was that the amplitude of the sunspot cycle was about 50% of the two that preceded it, and the two that came after it (check out Anthony’s great solar reference page).

  68. Perhaps the decreases in particulates that has occurred a few times since Industrialisation – for example the reduction and near elimination of London Peasoup fogs created by widespread use of coal which were deliberatley targetted by reducing coal burning – can go a long way to explaining the mild temperature increases experienced which sparked AGW panic ?

    Just a thought – the world reduced air pollution smog up to the dominance of the motor vehicle. The temperature started to go up. We invented more aerosols and noticed a temperature decrease.

    We noticed problems with aerosols – acid rain, ozone depletion etc – the world responded by reducing emissions and the temperature began an upward trend.

    Perhaps there is no greenhouse effect but aerosols reflecting insolation reducing what otherwise would be the “true” temperature.

    We know extreme volcanic activity causes cooling, the “scientists” of the IPCC seem to love the idea of “geoengineering” to prevent “climate collapse” so there may be something to this.

    I want my funding now.

  69. Peter Taylor says:
    July 1, 2011 at 4:47 am
    Its frustrating, as a member of the ‘sceptic’ community, to write a whole book on this issue that so few people in this community appear to read!

    While I confess I haven’t purchased the book (sorry Peter), I would recommend for readers to check out Peter’s contributions to the debate via his website (and then purchase the book :->). As a dyed in the wool proponent and active campaigner of CAGW a few years back, Peter played a part in triggering my own AHA! experience. It can be extremely difficult for those who would class themselves as ‘progressives/on the left/liberals (in the American sense)’ to recognise confirmation bias when it comes to such a commanding shibboleth as AGW. Through Peter, who has been actively involved in many areas of environmental science, and others, I was able to question, for the first time, some of the tenets that had become a bedrock of my belief system.
    Best wishes, Ian

  70. This makes me wonder if the temperature dip in the 1970′s where everyone was worried about global cooling wasn’t partially driven by atmospheric aerosols.
    ————–
    I thought climate scientist believed this already. For decades.

    If memory serves aerosols were speculated to be the cause of a rate of warming over the USA, Europe and China that was considerably less than expected based on the CO2 increase.

  71. CRS, Dr.P.H. @ July 1, 2011 at 9:04 am
    As far as I’m aware, the consensus that you assert on the effects of various partially global clean air acts, is based on pure speculation. (unless you could perhaps refer to some empirical data). Regional considerations, increasing world population, and industrialization also complicate the issue.

    Also, if you believe HadCru3 temperature records:

    There was a bigger cooling period between ~1880 & ~1910, followed by a bigger pre WWII warming period than that recently.
    Are you able to explain that too? Obviously there was no clean air act involved. Looks suspiciously like a predominant natural ~60-year cycle to me

  72. Talk about grasping at straws.

    If you follow the IPCC (International Prognostication and Climate Conspiracists) reports over time, they’ve steadily had to reduce their sensitivity estimates or else look like total and complete fools instead of just regular old charlatans. They’ve missed so badly in their predictions, that even if we attribute 100% of the warming in the last century to CO2, the sensitivity and the logarithmic nature of CO2 suggests we could go to thousands of ppm of CO2, let alone an extra hundred or so, and not much would happen.

    The only way to restore the “power” of CO2 to alter the climate is increase estimates of negative contributors dramatically in order to then attribute higher sensitivity to CO2. Read this report and that’s pretty much what it says. Their claim is our estimates of CO2 sensitivity are low because they’ve found evidence to increase the cooling effect of aerosols, so CO2 must be….. dare I?

    Worse than we thought.

  73. As I understand the article, it is saying that aerosols (particulate matter) in the atmosphere over the past 30 years have caused the atmosphere to be cooler than it would be without them. Thus, part of the reason the measured surface air temperature is lower than model predictions is because they didn’t correctly take aerosols into account in models. And while they project an increase in temperature of 2 to 4 degrees in Europe as aerosols decrease, what they really mean that the DIFFERENCE between what the CO2 models predict and what the measured temperatures show will decrease by 2 to 4 degrees. It is not an increase of 2 to 4 degrees on top of the temperature predicted from CO2 increase.

    In the U.S., aerosols have been decreasing steadily since the late 1960s. The recent trends in particulate concentrations in the U.S. are presented at this EPA site:

    http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/pm.html

    The EPA figures show a 27% decrease in national average atmospheric concentrations of PM2.5 (particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter) from 2000 to 2009, and a 38% decrease in PM10 (particles less than 10 microns, but greater than 2.5 microns in diameter) from 1990 to 2009.

    It should also be noted that the national average concentrations of both PM2.5 and PM10 are below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for these pollutants during the entire period. So, over the past 20 years, even with low, and decreasing, aerosols in the U.S., the U.S. measured temperatures are still well below those predicted by the models

  74. Aerosols, how about these? They cause cooling until they come down, or if they never made it to high altitudes in the first place.

    http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcanocriteria.cfm

    Two thirds of the volcanoes are in the northern hemisphere and only about one fifth are between 10°S and the South Pole. The northern hemisphere concentration reflects the fact that two-thirds of the world’s land area is also north of the equator, but nevertheless indicates the greater vulnerability of the northern hemisphere to volcanically induced climate change.

  75. I don’t believe this idea that we are going to get warmer as we clean up the atmosphere although there is probably some truth in the idea that it was cooler when we had industrial smog before the 1950s ,at least locally.Some of us also worry about the effect soot pollution is having on the arctic ice extent which would get worse if we started drilling for oil in the arctic.I have not yet read Peter Taylor’s book but I intend to get it in the near future.

  76. don penman

    “Some of us also worry about the effect soot pollution is having on the arctic ice extent which would get worse if we started drilling for oil in the arctic.”

    How does drilling for oil produce soot? I thought burning it is what produced soot. Some of us need to put our thinking caps on.

  77. Mark Wilson says:
    July 1, 2011 at 11:21 am

    “The testing you are refering had to do with contrails from jet liners. Jet fuel has little to no sulfur in it.”

    I don’t know where you get the idea that jet fuel has little to no sulphur in it. The limit is 3000ppm (0.3% by weight) for jet fuel. Compare this to the 15ppm limit for highway diesel in the U.S. Historically the limit was 0.5% for highway diesel which was lowered to 0.05% in 1993 and to 0.0015% in 2006. No such reductions were imposed for jet fuel. Your mileage may vary.

  78. The Russian high flier volcanoes were pretty active in the early and middle 1970s and the solar cycle was lower. Does that remind you of the eruptions since 2008? Just how active we don’t really know. The monitoring was poor back then.

  79. steven mosher says:
    July 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

    tallbloke. I imagine you are referring to my criticism of your chart that uses NCEP reanalysis data for specific humidity ( and sun spots.. oy vey)

    So you’re not going to discuss error bars then dad?

  80. HenryP says:
    July 1, 2011 at 1:20 am

    1) do you agree with me that my findings so far support the argument that the observed warming of the past 3 or 4 decades was natural?
    2) where do you think does the difference between NH(apparently warming) and SH (apparently cooling) originate from? Any idea??

    Henry, I like your empirical approach to the issue, and it has helped you put your finger on the issue of importance. Co2 is ‘well mixed’ globally, yet it seems to have a bigger effect in the northern hemisphere. Odd that!

    It all gets easier to understand when you look at the movement of energy in the oceans and disregard the alleged effects of increased co2 on the ‘back radiation’ levels worldwide. These alleged effects are swamped by natural variations in the convectional transports of heat-energy, and the variation in cloud albedo as the Earth responds to changing external stimuli (Sun and space-weather environment). My tentative hypothesis is that multi-decadal changes in ocean tidal currents inducxd by Lunar nodal cycles, and the fact that the southern ocean is free to circulate through the strait between Cape Horn and Antarctica may have a lot to do with it.

    Seems to me we need to work towards a more integrated understanding of cyclic oceanic changes driven by polar sea level pressure changes, in turn caused by Solar and Lunar variation if we are going to get to the bottom of the mystery.

  81. “This makes me wonder if the temperature dip in the 1970′s where everyone was worried about global cooling wasn’t partially driven by atmospheric aerosols.”

    And the contribution that the sustained levels of GCR’s had on those aerosols.

  82. “This makes me wonder if the temperature dip in the 1970′s where everyone was worried about global cooling wasn’t partially driven by atmospheric aerosols.”

    Wow, Watts is where Stephen Schneider was 40 years ago. Keep going, maybe you’ll catch up eventually.

    “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate” (Science 173, 138–141)
    “…If this increased rate of injection… should raise the present background opacity by a factor of 4, our calculations suggest a decrease in global temperature by as much as 3.5 °C. Such a large decrease in the average temperature of Earth, sustained over a period of few years, is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.”

  83. Peter Taylor says – in my book Chill…

    Great book, Peter, but why do you keep trying to inject science into the argument?

  84. This one reminded me of a stunt the geniuses at California’s South Coast Air District pulled in the early 90′s. After having forced all the large corporations in the district into funding expensive “car pooling” plans to reduce the number of vehicles on the freeways, the Air District abruptly issued a press release breathlessly announcing their new calculation that “fewer cars going fast” created more air pollution that “more cars going slow”.

    The most frightening sound on earth is a government bureaucrat on your doorstep saying, “I’m here to help you.”

  85. Chris G @ July 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm wrote in part:

    Wow, Watts is where Stephen Schneider was 40 years ago. Keep going, maybe you’ll catch up eventually.

    Chris, I’m not sure what you are suggesting. Do you claim that the late Stephen Schneider was correct in his hypothesis 40 years ago?
    Perhaps too, you could respond to a question I asked of a wise Dr above, in which he is tardy in clarification. I repeat it in full for your convenience and consideration:

    CRS, Dr.P.H. @ July 1, 2011 at 9:04 am
    As far as I’m aware, the consensus that you assert on the effects of various partially global clean air acts, is based on pure speculation. (unless you could perhaps refer to some empirical data). Regional considerations, increasing world population, and industrialization also complicate the issue.

    Also, if you believe HadCru3 temperature records:

    There was a bigger cooling period between ~1880 & ~1910, followed by a bigger pre WWII warming period than that recently.
    Are you able to explain that too? Obviously there was no clean air act involved. Looks suspiciously like a predominant natural ~60-year cycle to me

    Please feel free, either of you, to ask for aditional explanations if you no understand

  86. From Chris G on July 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm:

    Wow, Watts is where Stephen Schneider was 40 years ago. Keep going, maybe you’ll catch up eventually.

    “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate” (Science 173, 138–141)

    Well, the paper is paywalled but the abstract and the opening paragraphs are available on John Daly’s site:

    http://www.john-daly.com/schneidr.htm

    Here’s two:

    We report here on the first results of a calculation in which separate estimates were made of the effects on global temperature of large increases in the amount of CO2 and dust in the atmosphere. It is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next several thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2 deg. K.

    However, the effect on surface temperature of an increase in the aerosol content of the atmosphere is found to be quite significant. An increase by a factor of 4 in the equilibrium dust concentration in the global atmosphere, which cannot be ruled out as a possibility within the next century, could decrease the mean surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg. K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!

    Note: This wording is significantly different than the blurb you posted, for example your bit uses Celsius while this quoted section uses Kelvin. However this section from John Daly’s site is the same as that which was verified by Gavin Schmidt as coming from the Rasool and Schneider 1971 paper (link to Google cached version, see comment 1), thus its authenticity is confirmed. If your blurb comes from elsewhere in the paper then please provide a link to an un-paywalled viewable copy for confirmation, as among other things a switch from Kelvin to Celsius in the same paper seems somewhat unlikely.

    So 40 years ago Schneider knew that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations eight times would only yield a less than 2K increase. And you want Anthony Watts to “catch up” to Schneider? Well, the way the real climate science, that not pathologically certain that increasing CO2 will unquestioningly lead to CAGW, has been evolving in our understanding of how the climate really works, you just might get your wish.

  87. Ed Mertin @ July 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm you wrote in part:

    Two thirds of the volcanoes are in the northern hemisphere and only about one fifth are between 10°S and the South Pole.

    Yebbut, the really really big ones have been down south, like Krakatau (1883) and Pinatubo (1991). But anyway it is just complicating noise, along with ENSO and stuff on top of the topic of this thread.
    However, there are some interesting comparative considerations. Big volcanic eruptions eject particulates high into the atmosphere and it is generally agreed that they mix across both hemispheres because of their long suspension life. On the other hand, industrial particulates tend to have a short suspension life what with their modest max altitudes, and have rather regional effects predominantly in the NH (Northern Hemisphere) affected partly by wind patterns etc.

    If you believe HadCru3 temperature records:

    Perhaps you could gander at the differences between NH and SH?

  88. Ahh,, Bob, CET is the only one that’s not a monkey puzzle.

    Well it’s looking more and more like the 1930′s extreme volcanic activity … there’s a new one in Indonesia, possibly to 46,000 ft. Unless we do get a big stratosphere honker I do believe our turn at dust bowl could be coming in the next 5 years, because I do believe the low altitude gasses and particulate do cause warming in summer. And cause cooling at the poles related to the dimming of the distant sun. Russia had their scorcher last summer so … what 2005 or ’06 we looked a bit like a dust bowl. The volcanoes have been more active since Pinatubo & Cerro Hudson in 1991. There was a decade or so lull before them.

    New eruption at Indonesia’s Soputan | Eruptions | Big Think

    http://bigthink.com/ideas/39129

  89. kadaka;
    nice commentary but … you embarrass me as a supporter when you demonstrate that you don’t know that one degree K is the same as one degree C. Only the zero points differ; the former is absolute zero, the second is water’s freezing point.
    In the spirit of KISS, a rise of 1K is the same as a rise of 1°C. (And yes, the placement of the degree symbol is deliberate. A “Kelvin” is a degree Celsius. It’s a noun. A “Celsius” is meaningless, unless referring to a person. It’s an adjective, otherwise.)

  90. From Brian H on July 3, 2011 at 5:21 am:

    kadaka;
    nice commentary but … you embarrass me as a supporter when you demonstrate that you don’t know that one degree K is the same as one degree C. (…)

    I’m sorry, but the only one who has embarrassed themselves is you. My comment referred to the style of the writing. If one has deliberately selected the “more scientifically formal” Kelvin units when degrees Celsius will suffice, then why switch mid-paper to the “less formal” Celsius scale? Moreover I had just previously talked of both scales in a comment on a different thread where I demonstrate that I do know what you have claimed that I do not know.

    You also just said “degree K” so no smiley for you.

  91. Curious to see if, for example, there is a corelation in a world economic downturn realizing a hotter worldwide climate and economic uptake resulting in a cooler climate?

  92. 15 million and they still don’t get it.

    The warming that has occured since 1970 is mostly in winter minimum temperatures and this is almost certainly an artifact of reduced near horizon particulate pollution from domestic burning of coal (and in some places peat).

    The reason is simple. Daily minimum temperatures usually occur some time after dawn when solar heating exceeds radiative cooling. 50 years ago it would have been a morning ritual to light a coal fire around dawn in winter in a couple of hundred million households in Europe alone. Creating a thick smoke haze blocking early morning sunlight. Thus allowing longer for radiative cooling to exceed solar heating.

    For those of you who have not seen an open hearth coal fire lit, it is an incredibly smokey operation.

    Domestic burning of coal was progressively banned across Europe and elsewhere starting in the 1960s.

  93. HenryP says:
    July 3, 2011 at 10:35 am

    thanks to you all for your comments to me, I will come back to you a bit later with individual responses
    I just wanted to throw another piece of wood (log) on the fire:

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/ooops-global-cooling-is-coming

    What do you think of this?

    The difference between average daytime max and nighttime min temperature in June in Tandil steadily increased from 8C in 1974 to 13C in 2010.

    The only thing I know of that make such a radical change is water vapor. Tandil is undergoing desertification. I’d bet on anthropogenic land use change, particularly deforestation, as being the root cause.

  94. From Brian H on July 3, 2011 at 5:21 am:

    kadaka;
    nice commentary but … you embarrass me as a supporter when you demonstrate that you don’t know that one degree K is the same as one degree C. (…)

    It’s not good to interchange them willy nilly even if 1K is the same increment as 1C but I sometimes do it when writing for a lay audience. In many cases you have to use Kelvin or you get wrong results. One particular case that comes to mind because I recently wrote about it is Carnot Efficiency of a heat engine which is expressed as E = 1 – Ta/Ti where Ti is the intake temperature in Kelvin and Ta is the ambient temperature in Kelvin. If you substitute degrees C you get ridiculously wrong answers.

  95. What does desertification do to airborne particulate load? Seems like it would increase the load as plants wouldn’t be holding back soil with their roots and wind would pick it up easier.

  96. Peter Taylor says:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/01/cleaner-air-may-result-in-increased-solar-insolation-and-therefore-warming/#comment-692233

    thanks for your explanation, it makes a lot of sense, the only point where I differ is:
    “Carbon dioxide is, of course, a GHG”
    I donot think that that fact is really proven, i.e. that the net effect of more CO2 is warming rather than cooling. It could be that the net effect of more Co2 is zero or close to zero.

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

  97. Henry@DaveSpringer

    the max temps. increasing in Tandil is in line with what I expected, for the SH, namely +0.04C per annum. Humidity in June is virtually unchanged there, and for the whole year it is up +0.035 %RH per annum increasing since 1974
    Precipitation is also up, on average 0.6 mm per month per year more since 1974.
    see here: http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

    So, I don’t think that theory of desertification holds any water?

    You don’t see clear sun cycle activity in those graphs from winter there?

  98. tallbloke says:

    “Henry, I like your empirical approach to the issue, and it has helped you put your finger on the issue of importance. Co2 is ‘well mixed’ globally, yet it seems to have a bigger effect in the northern hemisphere. Odd that!”

    Why yes, that “oddness” is in fact a good observation. That also proves that the observed global warming is not due to an increase in GHG’s…

    ed mertin says
    “that 2/3 of earth’s volcanoes are in the NH”

    That could help explain to me why the NH is warming more than the SH and also why I initially regarded the Honululu result with some sceptism… (Hawaii is one big vulcano?)

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

  99. Funny.

    Just spent a week hiking and trailing inside the Great Smokey Mountains.

    Up there, despite the proof above from the EPA website for national aerosol levels between 1980 and 2010 declining, and the specific aerosol level count for the official monitoring nearest the GS Mountain park also declining – but ALWAYS remaining below the national level, and the “evidence” being used here about justifying “cooler temperatures since 1998 being accounted (by the self-serving” enviro’s) by decreasing aerosol counts, every sign above 1500 foot elevation waxed nearly hysterical about “decreasing visibility in the mountains” … due to increasing (man-made) aerosol and sulfates and particulates from burning coal outside the Park.

    But, the further in distance (and elevation!) from every nearby city (Knoxville, Chattanoogna, Atlanta, Asheville, etc.) one measures ozone levels, the worse they get.

    Maybe we should cut all the pine trees in northwest GA, SW Carolina’s, and TN to reduce smog and ozone levels back to “safe levels”?

  100. HenryP says:
    July 4, 2011 at 11:31 am

    “You don’t see clear sun cycle activity in those graphs from winter there?”

    None at all. Nightly lows have been falling constantly since 1974 and daytime highs rising for the same period resulting in little net change in the average temperature. A characteristic of deserts is a large difference in nightly low and daily high temperature compared to other land at the same latitude. Average temperature of deserts is not much unlike non-desert land at the same latitude. Rest assured Tandil is undergoing desertification. The reason is more speculative but I’d still bet heavily on anthropogenic land use change as forests are cooler by day and warmer by night than cultivated fields of short height crops.

  101. HenryP

    You mention that relative humidity has been on the rise in Tandil.

    Low relative humidity is not what makes a desert have large day/night temperature swings. Low absolute humidity does that. Dew forms every night in a desert and most of the time that dew is the only source of water for the things that live there. By definition the relative humidity is 100% when dew forms. Low absolute humidity is what makes deserts heat up faster during the day and cool off faster at night.

  102. don penman says:
    July 4, 2011 at 10:16 am

    “Dave Springer
    What about all the people involved in the drilling.
    http://arcticcircle.uconn.edu/ANWR/arcticconnections.htm

    Drilling doesn’t produce excessive particulate emissions into the atmosphere. Maybe some if they dispose of methane by burning it off at the wellhead but otherwise nada. Oil refining and combustion of the end products produces the particulates but there isn’t much of either of those happening in Alaska. It leaves the state as crude oil.

  103. HenryP

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=&q=%22desertification+in+argentina%22&sourceid=navclient-ff&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS290US290&ie=UTF-8

    Desertification in Argentina is a BIG problem. I wasn’t really aware of that but I accurately guessed it just from a 35 year graph of June average daily high and nightly low temperatures from a single location near Buenos Aries. I was also right about the cause. Argentina has lost 70% of its forests in the last 100 years. Soil erosion problems are a huge concern as a result and sand dunes are marching across the country due to the reduction in forest cover.

    Some things can be deduced with little data. Desertification is one of them and all you really need is average day/night temperature. Anywhere undergoing desertification will see hotter days and colder nights. There’s really nothing else that mimics that particular effect.

  104. Henry@DaveSpringer
    Well, I finished doing Christchurch in NZ.

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

    Again look at the enormous difference between Christchurch and Tandil
    I think I must agree with you now that de-forestation must be a big factor that causes this difference.

    http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/country_profiles/for_cou_032.pdf

    However, do you realize what the implication is of that finding?
    It means that the opposite, forestation, causes global warming. And whereever I look and listen people are planting trees and reports are showing that earth is getting greener….

    now, is that an interesting finding, or not?

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