The Message in the Dye 3 Data

Guest post by David Archibald

The story so far: in this recent post – Ap Index Neutrons and Climate, we had looked at the Dye 3 oxygen isotope-derived temperature record to see how big climate swings have been over the last few thousand years.

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Figure 1: Dye 3 Temperature Record from Oxygen Isotope Ratios

As Figure 1 shows, the raw Dye 3 data shows plenty of noise and rapid swings in temperature.

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Figure 2: Dye 3 Temperature Record 22 Year Smooth and less Millennial Cooling Trend

Applying a 22 year averaging to the data (the Hale Cycle) and taking off the millennial cooling trend that averages 0.00010915°C per annum produces the data in Figure 2. It is evident that the Medieval Warm Period and the Roman Warm Period occurred as a result of few excursions to the lower bounding line of activity.

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Figure 3: Dye 3 Normalised Temperature Distribution

Figure 3 shows the result of sorting the normalised Dye 3 temperature record from lowest to highest and then plotting that up. The vertical lines are deciles of 377 years. What is striking is that the temperature range in the 2nd and 9th deciles is almost the same as that of the 5th and 6th deciles, which means that the average isn’t normal. What is normal is change. If temperature dwelled in the middle of the range and was subject to excursions up and down, then the curve would be flatter in the middle. In fact the temperature is only in the middle if it is on its way to somewhere else, either hotter or colder. Which means that there is no Arcadia of normal bliss – growing ranges are constantly either contracting or expanding like a concertina.

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Figure 4: Lagged Dye 3 and CET Temperature with Inverted Be10 Data 1659 – 1750

Nobody lives on top of the Greenland icesheet so how does the Greenland data affect the affairs of Men? Figure 4 plots the Dye 3 temperature data, lagged three years, in red (plus 36°C) against the Central England Temperature (CET) Record in blue with the Dye 3 Be10 data in green. The interval 1659 to 1750 was chosen because this includes the fastest change in the CET record and the biggest spike in the Dye 3 Be10 record. There is a very good correlation between the Dye 3 temperature record and the Dye 3 Be10 record. There is good correlation between the Dye 3 temperature record and the CET record apart from the decades 1690 to 1710.

There is another good reason for looking at the decades 1690 to 1710 and that is that the decades 2010 to 2030 might be a re-run of them. Famines caused by the cold killed roughly 10% of the population in France 1693-94, Norway 1695-96 and Sweden 1696-97, 20% in Estonia 1696-97 and 33% in Finland 1696-97 (Elizabeth Ewan, Janay Nugent (2008) ”Finding the family in medieval and early modern Scotland” Ashgate Publishing. p.153).

Humans expand to fill the habitable zone, but the habitable zone can shrink too. This is a link to the Arbor Day Foundation’s animation of the changes they made to their hardiness zone map in 2006: http://www.arborday.org/media/mapchanges.cfm

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Figure 5: Hardiness Zones Map

Figure 5 shows the current hardiness zones map. The 10°F width of these zones just about equates to the 5°C drop in temperature due to the length of Solar Cycle 24 over that of Solar Cycle 22.

The lesson from the Dye 3 temperature data, and that late 17th Century Finnish famine, is this: exploit the expansion in the habitable zone as the Sun becomes more active, but be prepared to run back towards the equator because it isn’t going to last.

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95 thoughts on “The Message in the Dye 3 Data

  1. Excellent article but one nitpick:
    The “Dye 3″ label in figure 4 points to the same line as the CET, which was rather confusing at first.

  2. On your graph Dye 3 label is attached to the CET record in blue. From the text, I believe it should be attached to the red curve. To lesson confusion I would put the font in red and attach it to the red curve.

  3. This is all very interesting, and I am a huge believer that the sun plays a major role in modulating our climate, but now is likely being trumped by the rapid build-up in greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, but increasingly methane and N2O as well. Seems at least some solar experts and models indicate that even were we to have a Maunder type minimum over the next century (they give it an 8% possibility), the impacts on overall global temps will be very minimal.

  4. “which means that the average isn’t normal”

    Which means that typical statistical methods are likely to return misleading results.

  5. It’s an interesting theory, but over baked. Call me crazy, but a graph with a note identifying the date of “The neutron flux that killed a third of Finland” in the 1690s hardly engenders confidence (figure 4).

    If you want to try to establish a connection between neutron flux and temperature, that’s one thing, and a good thing too. But prematurely claiming without sufficient evidence that neutron flux killed people in Finland in 1696? Not science in my book, we’ve had enough of that alarmism from the AGW crowd already/

    w.

  6. seriously unconvincing. Have you done a proper statistiacl correlation between Dye 3 and CET. It fails my eyeball test. And we all know temperature is not random in the snese that a trend tends to continue at least for a while.

  7. As I said in the other thread, I don’t doubt that the trend shown in Figure 2 is present in the data shown in Figure 1, but the conclusion drawn from these figures is closer to pure speculation than scientific prediction.

    In general, conclusions based on extrapolations in time [“the past shows a trend, so the trend must continue”] and space [“it’s happening in one place, so it’s probably happening elsewhere”] without additional supporting data or attribution to the underlying physical cause are unlikely to be robust.

  8. R. Gates:
    Fantasized “This is all very interesting, and I am a huge believer that the sun plays a major role in modulating our climate, but now is likely being trumped by the rapid build-up in greenhouse gases, mainly CO2…”

    Perhaps you meant to write:
    “This is all very interesting, and I am a huge believer that the sun plays a major role in modulating our climate, [since the] trumped [up affect of] rapid build-up in greenhouse gases, mainly CO2 [does not seem to be causing any increase in global average temperature for the last 13 years]”

    Year Deviation from the base period 1961-90, degrees C
    1998 0.529
    1999 0.304
    2000 0.278
    2001 0.407
    2002 0.455
    2003 0.467
    2004 0.444
    2005 0.474
    2006 0.425
    2007 0.397
    2008 0.329
    2009 0.436
    2010 0.470
    2011 0.356

    Source: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3vgl.txt

    Carbon Dioxide goes up and the Temperature remains the same

  9. Mike Bromley the Canucklehead says:
    January 24, 2012 at 10:52 am
    R. Gates: Puh-leeeeeze. Either put a figure on it or stuff a cork in it.

    _____
    Solar output likely to decline over the next 90 years from 20th century averages, but would onnly result in a 0.08C decline in global temps for a Dalton Type minimum, and a 0.13C decline in temps for a Maunder type decline. Either of these small declines would be more than offset by a much larger increase in temps from increasing greenhouse forcing:

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-decline-solar-output-offset-global.html

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/solar-output-research

    I know even the smallest suggestion that the much anticipated (by some skeptics) big cool-down may not happen, and that the world will continue warming will cause much angst among those skeptics. While Mr. Archibald does an excellent analysis for what it is, and I whole-heartedly support the notion that the sun was largely responsibly, directly or indirectly, for most of the sub-Milankovitch modulations of Earth’s climate over the past few million years, the underlying assumption that Earth 2012=Earth 1600 is simply that, an assumption, and not supported by the extensive changes to atmosphere, hydropshere, and biosphere by human activities in that time frame.

  10. @Willis
    I believe that the remark on the graph was intended to imply correlation rather than causation. But given the type of science reporting that we have these days, it might be reported as causation if another third of Finns croak.

  11. Solar output likely to decline over the next 90 years from 20th century averages, but would onnly result in a 0.08C decline in global temps for a Dalton Type minimum, and a 0.13C decline in temps for a Maunder type decline. Either of these small declines would be more than offset by a much larger increase in temps from increasing greenhouse forcing:

    That assumes the only change in climate is from the small variation of TSI. If Svensmark is correct, a change in the behavior of the sun could be amplified by changes in Earth cloud cover which would cause larger changes in climate than the variation of TSI itself could produce. In other words, an indirect effect resulting from solar change may provide more climate impact than any direct effect of actual solar energy variation. If you are electronically inclined, imagine the climate being the current flow through a transistor. If you change the supply voltage a tiny bit on the collector, your signal on the collector varies only a tiny bit. But if you apply the same amount of variation to the base, the collector current varies considerably. The ability of the sun to modulate the quantity of GCR in the inner solar system may have more impact than the change in surface energy emitted by the sun.

    There *IS* a striking correlation between solar cycle length and climate going all the way back to the 1800’s. There is NO such correlation between CO2 and climate save for one 30 year period of the record.

  12. Andrew30:

    Well, we’ll certainly all get to see how a Dalton or Maunder Minimum compares to a 40% increase in CO2 over the next few decades. As 9 out of 10 of the warmest years on instrument record have been since 2000, and 2012-2015 look to continue as warm, guess the skeptics are holding out for the next solar cycle for the cooling to begin? What an exciting time to be studying the climate!

  13. R. Gates says:
    January 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Both of your posts are modeled climatic projections. Note the “projection” and not prediction.

    It is obvious when looking at historical climate data that we are missing a large piece of the clmate puzzle. As a Skeptic, i have no more faith in the models which show a modest cooling than the models which show a large warming.

  14. @R.Gates: It´s funny, so you are not going to follow the advice: be prepared to run back towards the equator because it isn’t going to last.
    You will be frozen like Lot´s wife, turned into a block of salt… :-)

  15. R. Gates says:
    January 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

    “the underlying assumption that Earth 2012=Earth 1600 is simply that, an assumption, and not supported by the extensive changes to atmosphere, hydropshere, and biosphere by human activities in that time frame.”

    As is the underlying assumption, and it is just an assumption, by the crystal-ball modellers that there is going to be this huge temperature increase in the future. Referring to Met Office propaganda is not really going to convince anyone. Their ongoing recital of the meme in the face of evidence to the contrary–summarized above by Andrew 30–is not what I would accept as soundly-reasoned projections. Their estimates are only that. And while they may teem with juicy scientific precision (“0.08″), that is inestimable fluff…and immeasurable as well. So, please, try again, R.

  16. Don B says:
    It is remarkable!: Oulu cosmic rays:

    2007.12.31 00:00:00 2007.9972603 5264 6670 1031.75
    2012.01.19 00:00:00 2012.0493151 6024 6407 1008.33

  17. crosspatch said:

    “There *IS* a striking correlation between solar cycle length and climate going all the way back to the 1800′s. There is NO such correlation between CO2 and climate save for one 30 year period of the record.”
    ____
    Agree completely. And hence why it will be so interesting to see how the 40% increase in CO2 stacks up against whatever forcings (direct, indirect, or otherwise) the sun can deliver over the next few decades. The correlation between SCL and climate is one of my favorite natural cycles to look at, but it’s existence in no way precludes the possibility that at some point during the past century, that correlation might be broken by the forcing caused by increases in CO2. Again, what an amazing time and opportunity to be studying the climate!

  18. Gates,

    Your harping about “9 out of 10″ & etc. is making you sound stupid. Here, let me help:

    The planet has been emerging from the LIA along the same trend line for hundreds of years. There has been no acceleration in the warming despite rising CO2.

    Conclusion: Going back to the LIA, every decade will tend to be the warmest. And despite the ≈40% increase in harmless, beneficial CO2, the most recent decade has shown no warming.

    Thus, even if CO2 causes some minor [and completely beneficial] warming, its effect is insignificant. It is not even measurable. Because your CO2 conjecture doesn’t stand up to real world evidence, your comments sound like science fiction and fantasy. Wise up. CO2 is only a bit player. If even that.

  19. R Gates – you are really struggling now, and have been for a while. Time to give up, I think, and open your mind to actual possibilities.

    You say “I am a huge believer that the sun plays a major role in modulating our climate, but …“. This is obviously a direct lie, given all your posts.

    You then say “Seems at least some solar experts and models indicate that even were we to have a Maunder type minimum over the next century (they give it an 8% possibility), the impacts on overall global temps will be very minimal.“. You later confirm that this is the source of that comment:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/solar-output-research

    New research has found that solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years but that will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases.
    Carried out by the Met Office and the University of Reading, the study establishes the most likely changes in the Sun’s activity and looks at how this could affect near-surface temperatures on Earth.
    It found that the most likely outcome was that the Sun’s output would decrease up to 2100, but this would only cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08 °C. This compares to an expected warming of about 2.5 °C over the same period due to greenhouse gases (according to the IPCC’s B2 scenario for greenhouse gas emissions that does not involve efforts to mitigate emissions).
    “.

    The problem (sorry, A problem) with this argument, and all others like it, is that the figures being produced by the Met Office and the University of Reading and their fellow travellers are way way too small to be able to explain the Dalton Minimum by solar (in)activity. Therefore either (a) something else caused the Dalton Minimum, or (b) solar activity has more influence on global temperature than is being allowed for.

    If (a), then that “something else” is not allowed for by the climate models, and thus the models are completely useless for predicting anything today.
    If (b) then solar activity is absurdly unrepresented in the climate models, and thus the models are completely useless for predicting anything today.

  20. And hence why it will be so interesting to see how the 40% increase in CO2 stacks up against whatever forcings (direct, indirect, or otherwise) the sun can deliver over the next few decades.

    As the response to CO2 is logarithmic, most of the change has already happened. We will get diminishing increases in temperatures with linear rises in CO2. In other words, the next 10 ppm has less impact than the previous 10ppm had and the following 10ppm will have even less impact on climate.

    But what is most interesting to me is what little impact human emissions have on global atmospheric CO2 increase. For example, in 2009 the amount of human emissions declined in absolute terms. There was less CO2 emitted from human activity in 2009 than there was in 2008 but it had no impact on atmospheric CO2 rise. I don’t mean that the rate of increase of human emissions declined, I mean the total emissions actually declined. Global atmospheric CO2 increase was unchanged. It didn’t flatten, it didn’t drop, it just kept increasing as if nothing at all had changed. This is also interesting in another context, too. As you increase atmospheric CO2, the rate at which it is scrubbed out increases. So in order to increase atmospheric CO2 at a nearly linear rate, CO2 must be added to the atmosphere at a greater than linear rate of increase. So we really should have seen a decline in atmospheric CO2 in 2009 if human emissions play a significant role in that increase, but we didn’t.

    All of this tells me that CO2 is being added to the atmosphere at an increasing rate and the rate at which that CO2 is increasing is greater than the change in human emissions; so much so that a complete reversal in human CO2 emissions in 2009 had no impact on the CO2 content as measured at Mauna Loa.

    So all in all I would say that 1: we aren’t likely to have any change in atmospheric CO2 by any reductions in emissions mandated by policy since reductions in CO2 mandated by economics had no impact and 2: we aren’t likely to see any real impact on climate from that CO2 rise. But it would be interesting to know where all that excess CO2 is coming from.

  21. Figure 3 shows the result of sorting the normalised Dye 3 temperature record from lowest to highest and then plotting that up.

    This looks like a textbook cumulative normal distribution to me. The temperature differences are not the same in the 2nd and 9th deciles as within the 5th and 6th (nor would they be with a normal distribution). You can make one yourself, put -5 to +5 in about 0.1 increments in one column. In the next column use =normdist(first column cell,0,1,true). Plot the result. Try it again with the cumulative parameter set to false.

    I’ll take a look tonight, but this looks totally normal to me, no pun intended.

  22. Camburn says:”Both of your posts are modeled climatic projections. Note the “projection” and not prediction.

    Let me explain it for you very simply:-

    A projection is a prediction.
    Except when referred to by a sceptic.
    Then it is only a projection.

  23. Smokey says:
    January 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Gates,

    Your harping about “9 out of 10″ & etc. is making you sound stupid. Here, let me help:

    Smokey, I just did this 2 nights ago… Yes, it is a silly and meaningless claim. Anytime you have an uptrend, it is very likely that the last years will be among the top 10.

    With GISTEMP, looking at annual average only, and starting at the beginning, 62.9% of ALL years in the 132 year record are in the top 10. Obviously, each of the 1st 10 years are in the top ten. There is nothing unusual at all about having the last years in the top 10. 14.4% of ALL years (of 132) were ranked as #1. Have a look:

  24. R. Gates says:
    January 24, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Considering the fact that a 40% increase in CO2 over the last century has had a barely discernable impact on climate, why should anyone worry about the next 40%?

  25. Luther Wu says:
    January 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm
    I’m not going to feed the troll.

    Go ahead, it’s the only attention he gets all day.

  26. And yet, one of the “facts” they use to define Global Warming is that plants and animals are moving their habitats further north.

    Kinda makes you wonder where their habitats were during the last Ice Age…

  27. Looks like R. Gates is riding a natural warming earth trend and claiming it has mankind’s fingerprints all over it.

    I submit from the evidence that R. Gates is wrong, fingerprints notwithstanding.

    (Sorry, Lurther Wu–I just had to feed the troll.)

  28. I understand the phrase “the distribution isn’t normal”.

    But what does the phrase-

    “the average isn’t normal” mean?

    TIA

  29. R Gates, as the A Gores of this world (and the IPCC) insist on fighting global warming by taxing northern hemisphere manufacturing industry to extinction and subsidizing unregulated factories in the southern hemisphere and thus producing unheard of pollution there can you explain to me how it helps the atmosphere in general?

  30. @David What is striking is that the temperature range in the 2nd and 9th deciles is almost the same as that of the 5th and 6th deciles, which means that the average isn’t normal.

    What is striking is that the distribution looks far more normal than it looks lognormal or any thing else. You have to do more work to invalidate a normal distribution assumption, like actually comparing the normalized curve to an equally scaled theoretical normal distribution with the same mean and std. deviation. Then you have to show not only the curve fails f-test or t-test statistics, but that you have found a better distribution to use. Show that the third moment is significanltly different from zero (skewness). Show that the 4th moment (kurtosos) is very different from normality (3σ^4).

    ” which means that the average isn’t normal” I’ll take it you meant, “the distribution isn’t normal”

  31. henrythethird says: And yet, one of the “facts” they use to define Global Warming is that plants and animals are moving their habitats further north.

    Yes, and all the while, life in the tropics, where there is the greatest diversity of species, seems to go happily rolling along, (wherever we didn’t invade their habitat this is). So while some plants and animals can be said to be moving pole-ward, there have to be a great number of species that are not just moving but probably expanding pole-ward as well. When plants do better – generally so do the animals.

  32. ,i>What does the average isn’t normal” mean?

    The average is only normal when you have a normal distribution (bell curve).

    On average a human has one testicle, but this isn’t normal.

    But as a commenter above noted, the graph looks like a normal cumulative distribution.

  33. The much-ignored Japanese satellite measurements of CO2
    showed its highest concentrations were over the tropics,
    so look there for the true source of emissions, not fossil fuel consumption.

    I predict that the third NASA attempt at a CO2 satellite will also crash.
    Can’t have actual CO2 data impede the Warmista party line,
    such as the silly lie about recent years being the warmest on record.

    Warmistas: Come back after you’ve fixed all your ill-sited surface stations,
    and all the cells in your stupid global temperature grids have actual stations,
    as if second decimal place changes mean anything in that quagmire of Team statistics.

    The recent warming wasn’t global anyway, since much of the world didn’t warm at all,
    and it’s not going to be global anytime in this century.

  34. R. Gates appears to miss the point that, for whatever reason, there is indeed clear cut evidence of natural climate cycles which have periodicity in the vicinity of 900 to 1100 years, tending to suggest a maximum somewhere between the years 2000 and 2200, followed by cooling for about 500 years.

    If we look only at measured temperature data for the last 120 to 200 or so years the trend tends to appear near linear in any particular location, as would be expected when considering only 10% to 20% of the above cycle. One of the longest records for any one location is that dating from 1796 for Northern Ireland as shown on my Home page at http://climate-change-theory.com – a nice linear trend without any hint of a hockey stick. There is a similar linear trend since 1880 for US National Surface Temperatures (48 states) shown here: http://earth-climate.com/image318.gif . Then note that records since 1880 for the Arctic show absolutely no correlation with carbon dioxide levels. http://climate-change-theory.com/arctic1880.jpg . For my part, I would rather place my confidence in the Northern Ireland and US data than in spuriously constructed global temperature data much of which came from doubtful sources and could easily have been “adjusted” to create a hockey stick effect. I suggest that there is no hockey stick in any measured temperature data for any fixed location since 1880. Prove me wrong!

    None of this is surprising in light of the computational physics now published by Prof Claes Johnson and also, in December, by Joseph Reynen – see http://www.tech-know.eu/uploads/IR-absorption.pdf

    The above papers each demonstrate that there is no warming effect caused by so-called backradiation. Hence we have computational proof that an atmospheric “greenhouse effect” is a physical impossibility.

    If people like R.Gates (and the IPCC) wish to convince me that AGW is a possibility they will need to show me empirical evidence that radiation from the sky at night is causing warming of the surface. Experiments with metal plates (one shielded from such radiation) would be quite easy to devise. Experiments have already been carried out by Prof Nahle to show that the lower atmosphere cools faster than the surface at night. According to a post by DeWitt Payne on SoD, another experiment has shown that gases only start to absorb radiation when the source becomes warmer than the surrounding gas. It seems one small step to assume that the (solid and liquid) surface also acts in the same way as gases and thus, as Johnson proves, only absorbs (and converts to thermal energy) radiation from a warmer source – that is, the Sun, but not the colder atmosphere.

  35. Mike M says:
    January 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Yes, and all the while, life in the tropics, where there is the greatest diversity of species, seems to go happily rolling along,
    ————————————————————————————–
    You are clearly misinformed.

    With all the vegetation and animals moving north/south, there is now a total “dead zone” around the equator from which all life has fled. You can’t catch fish in the oceans around the equator and migratory creatures such as birds, whales etc can’t pass through this zone.

    We’re all doomed, I say!

  36. Stephen Rasey has made some excellent comments on normal distributions, and what might be required to validate of refute the hypothesis that a given data set is (or is not) reasonably represented by a true normal distribution. First I must point out that NO real distribution is ever actually normal, though some do indeed show a very good approximation to it. For the Pye3 data, used as they are presented – thus without doing a linear fit and working with its residuals – here are some statistics that anyone can confirm. There are 3771 data items, whose mean is -27.8229, standard deviation 0.910651, its skewness is -0.143982 and its kurtosis is 0.15098. The resulting Jarque-Bera statistic is 16.611, and the probability of such a value coming from a truly normal distribution is very low indeed, probably less than 10^-5. If you make a normal plot of the data, on a suitably scaled x axis (thus going from -3.647 to 3.647) the plot is remarkably straight apart from about the first and last 15-20 points. Thus despite the above statistics, the normal curve is an adequate practical approximation. By binning the data into 40 equal sized bins (width 0.2) the familiar bell-shaped curve emerges very strongly. A superimposed normal curve of the same parameters also fits the histogram very nicely, though is slightly displaced towards the left (negative) end of the distribution. Again, I’d be happy to call it normal for any practical purpose. If anyone wants to see the statistics of the residuals of a linear fit I’ll be happy to supply them.

    Lest there be any doubt about the general trend of the Dye3 numbers, the annual coefficient is -9.729*10^-5, with standard error 1.353*10^-5, giving a t ratio of 7.192, probability below 10^-7. R-squared, for those who like this statistic, is 0.0135376, and adjusted r-squared is 0.0132759. In practical predictive terms the regression is enormously significant, but totally useless for predicting a future observation of Pye3. That’s statistics for you!

    I hope this will help get things straight (pun intended).

    Robin

  37. crosspatch says:
    January 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm
    And hence why it will be so interesting to see how the 40% increase in CO2 stacks up against whatever forcings (direct, indirect, or otherwise) the sun can deliver over the next few decades.

    As the response to CO2 is logarithmic, most of the change has already happened. We will get diminishing increases in temperatures with linear rises in CO2. In other words, the next 10 ppm has less impact than the previous 10ppm had and the following 10ppm will have even less impact on climate.
    ———
    This is one of the biggest fallacies that skeptics seem to want to keep putting out there. The Earth’s climate system has not even finished reaching equIlibrium temperture from the current level of CO2, and won’t for many decades (if somehow the level locked in around the 392 ppm mark). To suggest “most the change has already happened” shows either extreme ignorance or a deliberate attempt to deceive. The Earth has not seen this kind of jump in CO2 levels in at least 800,000 years, and most likely far lomger as it is akin to a large continual CO2 volcano going off, and it is well beyond the natural feedback processes to balance. Saying “most the change has already happened” is laughable.

  38. Doug Cotton says:
    January 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm
    R. Gates appears to miss the point that, for whatever reason, there is indeed clear cut evidence of natural climate cycles which have periodicity in the vicinity of 900 to 1100 years, tending to suggest a maximum somewhere between the years 2000 and 2200, followed by cooling for about 500 years.
    ——–
    As I’ve stated, I completely agree that there has been a relationship between sub-Milankovitch climate cycles and solar variations. This is no way precludes anthopogenic forcings from now playing a factor. I tend to trust the general tenets of the multiple attribution studies that clearly show the degree to which different forcings effect average global temperatures. This is a most exciting time to watch a grand solar minimum on the potential Maunder level scale occur at the same time CO2 is at the highest levels in at least 800,000 years and probably several million.

  39. R. Gates says:
    January 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    This is one of the biggest fallacies that skeptics seem to want to keep putting out there. The Earth’s climate system has not even finished reaching equIlibrium temperture from the current level of CO2, and won’t for many decades (if somehow the level locked in around the 392 ppm mark).

    The atmosphere’s time constant is fast enough to say that it is for all practical purposes in equilibrium at any moment (given the enormous diurnal temperature changes in comparison to any “signal”, which is still, obviously, not detectable). So what you are saying is that there is another reservoir out there that is not finished storing energy that is being absorbed from the atmosphere, since the atmosphere must have increased in temperature? Correct?

  40. R.Gates: You need to read a bit more of my post than the first paragraph. Solar variations may or may not be the cause of natural cycles: there are many other plausible explanations, some relating to planetary cycles.

    I do not depend upon temperature records to debunk the greenhouse effect. I depend upon physics. Radiation from the (cooler) atmosphere cannot be converted to additional thermal energy in the (warmer) surface. Reasons and linked supporting documents are on my site. Fullstop.

  41. R. Gates – Cold kills, warm does not. Pray that we do have some chance at moderating the cold. But don’t bet your life on it.

  42. Honest question. If CAGW CO2 amplifications of climate are so crock, why are Svensnmark amplifications taken as read?

  43. If Gates or others wish to discuss natural cycles, then this* plot of rates of increase is most illuminating. It shows a clear indication of the 60 year cycle as well as what is really happening regarding rates of increase. This is consistent with a 900 to 1100 year cycle – having now passed a flex and approaching a maximum within the next 200 years perhaps.

    * http://climate-change-theory.com/360month.jpg

    Source: http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/17-year-and-30-year-trends-in-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies-the-differences-between-observed-and-ipcc-ar4-climate-models/

  44. Michael D Smith says:
    January 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm
    R. Gates says:
    January 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm
    This is one of the biggest fallacies that skeptics seem to want to keep putting out there. The Earth’s climate system has not even finished reaching equIlibrium temperture from the current level of CO2, and won’t for many decades (if somehow the level locked in around the 392 ppm mark).

    The atmosphere’s time constant is fast enough to say that it is for all practical purposes in equilibrium at any moment (given the enormous diurnal temperature changes in comparison to any “signal”, which is still, obviously, not detectable). So what you are saying is that there is another reservoir out there that is not finished storing energy that is being absorbed from the atmosphere, since the atmosphere must have increased in temperature? Correct?
    ———-
    It really comes down to slow feedbacks. These “earth system” feedbacks are not storage of energy, but long term responses to the additional energy retained in the system every year. The cryosphere and biosphere are examples of earth system changes, both of which take decades to reach an equilibrium after changes to the energy balance has reached some relative stability. Given that the energy balance continues to change from the continual increases in CO2, methane, and N2O, it will be many decades, and perhaps centuries before all the earth system feedbacks have stabilized and an equilibrium temperature range is found.

  45. Doug Cotton says:
    January 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm
    R.Gates: You need to read a bit more of my post than the first paragraph. Solar variations may or may not be the cause of natural cycles: there are many other plausible explanations, some relating to planetary cycles.
    ———
    True enough, Solar variations are not “the” cause of natural cycles, as natural cycles is a much more broad category of which solar variations are just one. It still appears to me that solar cycle length was the best single correlation to sub-Milankovitch climate change, prior to the rapid build up of greenhouse gases. If solar cycle length has astronomical origins in planetary cycles, then SSL is good proxy for those cycles and the result is the same. The real question (which we will find an answer to in the near future), is to what degree has the build-up of greenhouses gases to levels not seen in 800,000 or more years trumped the solar influence, whatever the source that causes the sun to change on long or shorter cycles.

  46. Further to the above post regarding the plot of rates of increase*, it is clear that the mean rate of increase of Sea Surface Temperatures is a little less than 0.06 deg.C per decade. But, more importantly, it is decreasing, and so, purely on the basis of this plot, would appear to be dropping towards a mean value of about 0.055 or maybe 0.05 deg.C/decade between now and 2100. So we would expect about 0.5 deg.C above current temperatures by 2100. There is absolutely no grounds for projecting any upturn in the mean rate of increase based on this plot. And there is clearly no evidence whatever of any anthropogenic effect, because the mean rate of increase is actually decreasing in post WWII era.

    I have always considered SST to be a much better guide than the means calculated by weighting land measurements by about 30%. The weighting ought to be based on thermal energy content, not surface area, and ocean content is about 15 times that of the land surfaces.

    * http://climate-change-theory.com/360month.jpg

  47. R.Gates: You still didn’t get past the first paragraph. Anyway, I posted some more on temperatures for you to peruse.

    Pity, though, that you don’t wish to read about why carbon dioxide cannot warm the surface at all.

  48. What the hell is the Dye 3 Ice Core?

    Not defined in your article:

    Download Data via FTP: Dye 3 Ice Core Data
    The Dye 3 ice core was part of the GISP initiative. It was the deepest of the 20 ice cores recovered from the Greenland ice sheet as part of the GISP at 2037 meters. The original GISP fieldwork began at Dye 3, Greenland in 1971 where a continuous 372 meter deep, 10.2 cm diameter core was recovered. This operation was followed by other drillings at various geographical locations (see table at the GISP Homepage). In 1979 drilling began at Dye 3. Drilling from surface to bedrock was completed in 1981 and Dye 3 became the longest core recovered from Greenland to that date. Dye 3 was the primary core of the GISP initiative and much research has been conducted on that core.

  49. R. Gates said @ January 24, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Well, we’ll certainly all get to see how a Dalton or Maunder Minimum compares to a 40% increase in CO2 over the next few decades. As 9 out of 10 of the warmest years on instrument record have been since 2000, and 2012-2015 look to continue as warm, guess the skeptics are holding out for the next solar cycle for the cooling to begin? What an exciting time to be studying the climate!

    Well R Gates, Gits are a bit parochial and this one can’t see any significant trend in Southern Hemisphere temperatures over the last 120 years. We are still well below temperatures in the 1890s. Your global warming isn’t global if half the globe is static.

    It’s extremely frustrating wanting warming, and being told it is warming when it manifestly is not warming.

  50. “Pity, though, that you don’t wish to read about why carbon dioxide cannot warm the surface at all.”

    GHGs do not warm the surface. GHGs cause the earth to radiate from a higher colder point in the atmosphere. This is known as the ERL. When the earth radiates from a higher colder point, the rate of energy loss is decreased. That means the surface responds by cooling less rapidly. In short the surface is warmer that it would be otherwise. C02 plays a role in this as does water vapor, methane and other GHGs.

  51. Gee David,

    My eyeballs go into apoplectic fits just looking at your wild crazy dancing data graphs. Couldn’t you just replace the whole darn thing with a nice straight line somewhere; that seems to be the recipe for successful climate science reporting. You take a whole lot of actual real world experimental observational “data” and then you statisticate it, and get a nice straight line; so much better and easier to understand.

    I’m totally amazed that you chaps in “the business” can actually get you hands on data like this, gathered over a sufficient period of time, to actually present a story about. And if I look at it long enough, so my eyes stop jumping around, even I can start to see things going on.

    I never have understood the penchant for starting with data like this, and throwing it all away to substitute some nice well behaved ho-hum line.

    When I worked at Tektronix in the arly 1960s, I tried to tell them that what the world really needed, was much narrower bandwidth oscilloscopes; because the wide bandwidth ones that they manufactured had a habit of taking some beautiful smooth signal input, and adding all sorts of kinks and wrinkles to it, so even its own mother wouldn’t recognize it.
    I never did succeed in convincing them to do it.

    George

  52. Steven Mosher:

    You explain nothing of the supposed mechanisms leading to your claims. The “official” IPCC explanation is that “backradiation” warms the surface, which it doesn’t. So called GH gases actually help to radiate away the thermal energy in the atmosphere, most of which is originally transferred by diffusion from the surface into oxygen and nitrogen molecules which can do very little radiating themselves. These GH gases also absorb some of the Sun’s infra-red incident radiation, and re-radiate it to space, effectively increasing albedo and thus having an additional cooling effect. There is no physical mechanism (neither convection nor radiation) which can cause warming of the surface due to GH gases. The evidence that this does not happen in the real world is there in the plot of temperature gradients since 1880 at the foot of my Home page http://climate-change-theory.com

    The Earth doesn’t have to radiate from a “higher colder point” – some higher points are warmer anyway in the stratosphere. Water vapour has a broad spectrum of radiation and can thus radiate from a wide range of altitudes. It can always radiate more if there isn’t enough carbon dioxide, though more carbon dioxide will help in this cooling process. You and the IPCC have it all mixed up, and the temperature evidence shows absolutely nothing but long-established cyclic natural trends which cannot be interpreted as indicating a rise of more than about 0.5 deg.C by 2100 with subsequent declines starting sometime in the next 50 to 200 years and continuing for about 500 years after that maximum. The rate of increase has been decreasing this last decade or so, just as it did (from a higher level) about 60 years earlier. The trend in the rate of increase is slightly downwards (ever since 1880) from about 0.06 deg.C/decade, heading for about 0.05 deg.C/decade by the end of this century. When you have a spare hour, study my sites.

    In the meantime, please at least read all my posts above before posting any response – and perhaps you would like to be the first to explain why gases do not absorb radiation from cooler emitters.

  53. Ach… I got about half way through these comments and gave up in disgust. Can anyone explain to this layman how CO2 in the atmosphere, which is always, always colder than the surface of the earth below, WARM that surface by any amount? Because the warmer surface does indeed warm the CO2 therefore we would have a positive feedback system that would make life unbearable in just days, never mind centuries. Phooey to all this talk of CO2 warming anything.

  54. PS Steven:

    You seem to be thinking that the lapse rate is dependent upon GHG content. It is not. See: http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/the-lapse-rate-is-independent-of-greenhouse-gas-content/

    In other words, not only does no warming of the surface occur, but neither is the rate of surface cooling slowed. In fact the atmosphere cools faster than the surface at night anyway as Prof Nahle measured in September 2011.

    Even if some layer of the atmosphere were warmer (let’s say -30 deg.C instead of -35 deg.C) this does not cause some sort of traffic jam that extends down to the surface. Instead an analogy would be a creek flowing down a mountain which has a small dam at the base. The dam may fill and overflow (with more radiation) but it will never cause a flood at the top of the mountain. But any such warmer layer is unlikely to be due to carbon dioxide because it actually helps to radiate thermal energy out of the atmosphere – energy that it can acquire by collision processes with warmer oxygen and nitrogen molecules that don’t radiate themselves, but get cooled in the collisions.

    Who cares if the atmosphere somewhere way up there is slightly less cold anyway? It will not affect anyone except a few skiers on high mountains who may find less snow I suppose.

    PPS A correction to my previous post: that plot is from 1900, not 1880. However we know temperatures declined from 1880 to 1900, so the statement I made is still correct since 1880. Also, the trend is heading for less than 0.04 deg.C/decade by 2100, but the mean would be higher between now and then. Because of the cyclic nature, I would expect a slight downward curve in that trend anyway, so that it might get to zero within 150 to 250 years, if not sooner, this representing the long-term (~1,000 year maximum) prior to a 500 year decline towards another Little Ice Age. Hence it is unlikely that the world will see the long-term trend go more than about 1 deg.C above current levels, at least in the current ~1,000 year cycle. I repeat that there is no evidence of any effect due to carbon dioxide as you can see for yourself.

    .

  55. Doug Cotton says:
    January 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    R.Gates: You still didn’t get past the first paragraph. Anyway, I posted some more on temperatures for you to peruse.

    Pity, though, that you don’t wish to read about why carbon dioxide cannot warm the surface at all.

    I’ve read the ‘explanation’ on your blog of why “carbon dioxide cannot warm th surface” and I think it’s wrong. You use a “coffee in the flask” analogy but the earth is not like coffee in a flask. The earth has a constant (or almost constant) heat source, i.e. the sun. The coffee in the flask doesn’t.

    Unless the flask is a perfect insulator, the coffee will still lose energy so it will still cool – albeit at a slower rate than it otherwiswe would in a cup.

    The earth, on the other hand, continues to receive energy 24 hours a day. If the rate at which it loses energy is reduced then the earth will warm. This is basic thermodynamics, i.e.

    incoming > outgoing -> warming
    incoming cooling
    incoming = outgoing -> stable temperature

    I’m afraid yours is yet another web-site which does nothing for the credibilty of the reasonable sceptic argument.

  56. Re: my earlier post

    I used the right angle bracket to denote ‘less than’. For obvious reasons this was not accepted. In the post

    “incoming cooling” should read “incoming less than outgoing -> cooling”

    Does anyone know if it works in quotes?

  57. Doug Cotton says:
    January 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    If we look only at measured temperature data for the last 120 to 200 or so years the trend tends to appear near linear in any particular location, as would be expected when considering only 10% to 20% of the above cycle. One of the longest records for any one location is that dating from 1796 for Northern Ireland as shown on my Home page at http://climate-change-theory.com – a nice linear trend

    You’re using the Armagh record – rather misleadingly I would suggest.

    1. You’re using a 2 deg interval for each increment on the vertical axis. Clearly that would reduce the visual effect of any rise.
    2. The graph only goes up to 2002. The 5 warmest years in Northern Ireland have all occurred since 2002.

    There has been a strong warming trend at Armagh since ~1975. In fact it’s warming faster at Armagh than it is at Aldergrove airport (Belfast).

  58. Michael D Smith said: “This looks like a textbook cumulative normal distribution to me. ”

    The tails are pointing the wrong way for that aren’t they? Looks like a cumulative inverse normal distribution but that isn’t what it is given the description.

  59. CO2 was flat over this period, at 275 ppm for almost the entire period.

    So any changes in the climate over the period were not caused by CO2.

    In fact, CO2 exhibits almost no correlation to the climate over any time period you look at.

    R. Gates and the pro-AGW people think it is one-for-one, mostly because they just believe it rather than see if it actually does so.

  60. I would also like some elaboration to the notation about a neutron flux that resulted in deaths in Finland. See bottom middle of Figure 4.

  61. R. Gates:

    Most of us don’t agree with you, but I do find the back and forth exchange entertaining.

    Keep your powder dry (and your facts straight)!

  62. Jeroen B. says:
    January 24, 2012 at 10:11 am
    Thankyou for the kind words and the correction.
    Don B says:
    January 24, 2012 at 10:30 am
    Yes, Oulu neutron count looks like it wants to flat-line. Solar wind flow pressure remains below levels of previous minima.
    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 24, 2012 at 10:53 am
    The reference to Finland remains in. They were killed by famine, the famine was caused by cold, the cold was caused by an inactive Sun with a big spike in C14 and Be10 in the record. All the other cold periods in the last 600 years are associated with a spike in Be10.
    Robin Edwards says:
    January 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm
    Thanks for doing the work.
    Michael D Smith says:
    January 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm
    Thankyou also for providing guidance.

  63. R. Gates says:
    January 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Take a closed container of air at room temperature and inject into it sufficient CO2 to raise the CO2 concentration to 5,000 PPM. After two weeks time what will be the temperature inside the container? After one month? One year?

  64. Bill Illis says:
    January 25, 2012 at 4:07 am
    CO2 was flat over this period, at 275 ppm for almost the entire period.

    So any changes in the climate over the period were not caused by CO2.

    In fact, CO2 exhibits almost no correlation to the climate over any time period you look at.

    R. Gates and the pro-AGW people think it is one-for-one, mostly because they just believe it rather than see if it actually does so.
    ————-
    I know of no model that shows or climate scientist who thinks the “fit” between CO2 and climate is “one-for-one”. Given the complex and chaotic nature of the climate system, such a linear relationship would not be just impossible, but illogical. You should really check your facts before making such nonsensical statements.

  65. Re: Neutron Flux that killed 1/3 of Finland population. ??

    Sources?

    I think what you have picked up on here, is actually a 17th century prohibition act. The trouble was that the government gave 2 years warning of impending prohibition, and so many people took the opportunity to turn their grain into alcohol that 1/3 of the population starved to death. The Nordic lands have always had a problem with alcoholism.

    I tried to find a web entry for this 17th century event, but it is not to be found. But it was in the history book in Finland last time I was there.

    .

  66. R. Gates

    Yes, well, it seems that, because climate (when considered over periods of about 100 to 150 years) is currently increasing approximately linearly by about 0.06 degrees C per decade (this rate itself gradually reducing and expected to be about 0.04 degrees C per decade by 2100) and because levels of carbon dioxide are also more or less increasing linearly, then carbon dioxide MUST be controlling climate. LOL.

    (For proof of the above figures see the plot at the foot of my Home page at http://climate-change-theory.com and, while you are there, read the “Radiation” page to learn why backradiation cannot warm the surface, nor slow its rate of cooling.)

  67. John Finn

    You wrote: “There has been a strong warming trend at Armagh since ~1975. In fact it’s warming faster at Armagh than it is at Aldergrove airport (Belfast).”

    Indeed there was a strong warming trend between 1975 and 1998 in most places in the world in the lead up to the biggest (natural) El Niño on record. Just North of Northern Ireland, the Arctic also warmed strongly then, but not as strongly as its 4 degree rise between 1919 and 1939. Nor is the Arctic as warm yet as it was in WWII years. (Plots on my site.)

    For a better understanding of what’s happening, see the plot of rates of change of temperatures (entirely due to natural cycles) at the foot of my Home page http://climate-change-theory.com and, while there, patch up your knowledge on why backradiation can neither warm the surface nor slow its rate of cooling – because it is not absorbed and converted to thermal energy. The IPCC has never been able to prove empirically that it does, even though they claim so in their explanation of their greenhouse effect.

  68. R Gates:

    You now need to move on to the “Radiation” page on my site and then study the computations by Professor Claes Johnson if they are not above your head.

    The Earth at any one point does not have a constant source of energy as you say. Have you noticed the Sun is not visible at night? Do you know the air you stand in at night cools faster than the ground under your feet? Do you feel all that backradiation warming your face – after all, it’s supposed to be at least a quarter as strong as direct sunlight. To check more carefully, hold an umbrella covered in metal foil over your head at night and see if it then feels a touch cooler.

    Finally, explain why (as proven by spectroscopy) a gas does not absorb spontaneous radiation from a cooler emitter, but it does absorb when that same emitter is warmer than itself. This is a proven fact, so don’t argue about it – just explain it. (Hint: You will be able to after you read my “Radiation” page http://climate-change-theory.com/RadiationAbsorption.html )

  69. Bill

    “In fact, CO2 exhibits almost no correlation to the climate over any time period you look at.”

    Just as the theory predicts. The theory predicts that temperature is a result of many factors.
    Not just c02. Further the effect is lagged, so you have to

    1. account for other forcings besides c02
    2. use the proper lag

    The easy way to do this is to run a GCM with and without c02 forcing.

  70. Doug

    “You explain nothing of the supposed mechanisms leading to your claims. The “official” IPCC explanation is that “backradiation” warms the surface, which it doesn’t. ”

    That is not the official explanation.

    The science is simple. Its measured and proven. Radiation escapes to space from the ERL
    The ERL is determined by the concentration of GHGs above the ERL.
    When you increase GHGs you increase the concentration. That drives the ERL higher.
    Higher is colder.
    A cold body radiates more slowly than a hot body.
    When the earth radiates from a higher ERL, the surface will “warm”

    Start here:

    http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~aos121br/radn/radn/sld001.htm

    pay attention here:

    http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~aos121br/radn/radn/sld012.htm

    more resources for you:

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=ERL+effective+radiating+height&source=web&cd=6&ved=0CEcQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmeteo04.chpc.utah.edu%2Fclass%2F1020%2FLecture2.20100205.pdf&ei=V3cgT_fUFMKeiQKh2IHICw&usg=AFQjCNEYQIllxqMd8h4icSR0pqHmaF9_-A

    http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap7.html

  71. steven mosher said @ January 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Bill

    “In fact, CO2 exhibits almost no correlation to the climate over any time period you look at.”

    Just as the theory predicts. The theory predicts that temperature is a result of many factors.
    Not just c02. Further the effect is lagged, so you have to

    1. account for other forcings besides c02
    2. use the proper lag

    The easy way to do this is to run a GCM with and without c02 forcing.

    OK Steve, I’ll take you up on that. Lend me your Cray, I’ll ask my drinking buddy who writes numerical weather forecasting software to write the code and I’ll ask the good folks here at WUWT to put their hands in their pockets to help out with the electrickery bill. That should work :-)

  72. Steven Mosher

    You claim: “When the earth radiates from a higher ERL, the surface will “warm”

    Why? If it’s not radiating away enough energy, just add some more carbon dioxide and that will help radiate more energy away, and thus cool. Carbon dioxide will also absorb some of the incoming Solar radiation that is in the infra-red part of the spectrum, thus reducing the warming effect of the Sun. (The official calculated warming effect is only 13% of this cooling effect.)

    By what physical process does the surface end up with more thermal energy? Why isn’t such energy just accumulating a bit somewhere up in the atmosphere until some humid day when there’s plenty of water vapour to radiate it away?

    After all, in any one location it can cool at night and between summer and winter. How could it do this in a particular hemisphere if your warming process is the only thing happening?

    How could the world cool for a full 30 years as it did, for example, from mid 1938 to mid 1968, and will again?

    Regarding what they say, read their website and by all means post a link to some page on the IPCC site, not that anything they say proves the point.

    Here’s my link to what the IPCC says.

    All the IPCC would have to do is show empirically that backradiation warms anything at night. No-one has.

    Have you not seen all those Energy Balance diagrams that show retention of about 0.5% of the Sun’s radiative flux? So accurate – LOL. Could it NEVER be -0.5% rather than +0.5%?

  73. All signs point to a triple whammy of continued demographic (and hence economic) collapse, a cold (and therefore, lower midlatitude and tropical regions, dry) period, and, great war. The great war will seal the deal, adding a kicker to the cooling.

  74. SteveSadlov says:
    January 25, 2012 at 7:43 pm
    All signs point to a triple whammy of continued demographic (and hence economic) collapse, a cold (and therefore, lower midlatitude and tropical regions, dry) period, and, great war. The great war will seal the deal, adding a kicker to the cooling.
    ——–

    Wow, there’s a cheery fellow. But, Nostradamus Jr., I think your tea leaves my be a bit stale…

  75. Doug Cotton says:
    January 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm
    R Gates:

    “Have you noticed the Sun is not visible at night?”

    ——
    Is this a new revelation to you? You really need to get outside more…

  76. Doug Cotton,

    To be fair, let’s take this little tidbit from your website:

    “If there were no sun, the atmosphere would still “dam” the heat flow from the core and create a base temperature at the surface.  The sun adds daily thermal energy which is mostly dissipated away each night as the temperature falls back towards the base temperature   The greater the warming, the faster will be the cooling as we can all observe when sand and rocks on a beach get hotter on a warmer day than on a cooler day, but still cool off to similar temperatures at night.”

    ——
    First, if there were no sun, Earth quickly turns into a little frozen snowball floating in space, as all the water vapor quickly condenses from the atmosphere as it gets colder and colder. No amount of heat from the core is available to prevent this. Second, you are discounting the great amount of residual heat stored in the oceans of the planet and that is stored over long and short time frames. 70% of the surface of the planet is water, and no where close to all that is absorbed each day is released each night. But of course, if you take away the sun, the ocean surface freezes over from the poles to the equator, and that heat would be locked up for a very very long time, though under the frozen ocean surface it is very possible that life in some form would go on, even without a nearby star for the Earth, possibly of the type we find living near the hydrothermal vents deep in the ocean. But as for the surface of the planet above the frozen oceans and ice capped land…no life would be seen in the dark, frozen wasteland.

  77. Steven Mosher

    If you are genuinely interested in learning why your linked Slide 12 etc is misleading I will endeavour to explain …

    Emission of a photon is not a once only thing – up to space or back to Earth. There will nearly always be a series of random captures and emissions, quite often with less energy on emission. New emissions will also take place as a result of carbon dioxide et al absorbing thermal energy (by collision) from oxygen and nitrogen molecules as well as absorption of IR solar radiation and photons from the surface. Hence it is not just all about energy radiated from the surface.

    As Prof Johnson has proved, and I have demonstrated with two empirical examples, radiation from the atmosphere that hits the surface will not be converted to thermal energy but will, instead, be re-emitted (or just deflected) back into the atmosphere. The net result is equivalent to reflection as far as energy and intensity are concerned.

    Hence we have series of multiple captures and re-emissions (including those off the surface) until photons happen to escape to space. The energy they then carry may well have made hundreds of random “journeys.” It doesn’t matter. The radiation will, and does, get to space – at least 99.5% of it, even when the world is warming.

    Such radiation can start at almost any level and, I repeat, it will make many random “journeys” between air molecules and also the surface. But probabilities dictate that it will (with high certainty) get to space, even if it did start out at a low altitude. After all, some of it has to re-start from the surface.

    Absolutely nothing in this process has any effect on the rate of cooling of the surface. The surface will continue warming in the morning and cooling at night by diffusion (conduction), evaporation and, yes, some radiation. These processes will not be affected by the (additional) “bouncing off” of those stray low energy photons from the atmosphere. Nor will the temperature gradient (lapse rate) in the atmosphere be affected by this radiation because any local temporary warming just leads to extra radiation. There is no constraint on the amount of radiation in this sense, just because carbon dioxide is capturing more photons. And don’t forget, it also has a cooling role as I have explained in other posts.

  78. R. Gates

    Firstly, how about you go back to the first post and address the serious points I made there, rather than just the sarcastic one-liner.

    Secondly, I didn’t say the equilibrium temperature of the surface would not be colder in the absence of the Sun – I just said there would still be some damming effect by the atmosphere. Yes, the whole world would be a bit like the poles in winter, but nowhere near absolute zero. There would be a slightly higher heat flow from the core due to the steeper gradient, but this is not a major factor. The atmosphere would still act like a blanket, even without any carbon dioxide. It would just be a case of far less energy going into the atmosphere and far less radiating out. There is no point in discussing this off topic subject any more.

    Please consider answering my questions about why gases only absorb when the emitter is warmer, and why frost is not melted during the whole day by all the backradiation.

  79. R Gates

    PS Of course, without the Sun, you are wrong in saying “it is very possible that life in some form would go on.” Where would it get the energy? How would even plants survive without photosynthesis? I’m surprised you make such a point of the energy in the oceans: that would be a drop in the bucket compared with all the energy under the surface, down to the core. We simply don’t know if the rate of generation of energy in the core and mantle would keep up with the increased outward flow (due to the steeper gradient) but that outward flow would actually determine the mean temperature of the Earth + atmosphere system as S-B would still have to apply. Probably over millions or billions of years the core would cool down quite a bit and the surface a little more in response. I guess the surface would be a fair bit colder than the poles in winter, but the lapse rate is still a function of gravity, so the surface would be somewhat less cold than the above mean – which was basically my point in the first place.

  80. R. Gates said @ January 25, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Doug Cotton says:
    January 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm
    R Gates:

    “Have you noticed the Sun is not visible at night?”

    ——
    Is this a new revelation to you? You really need to get outside more…

    Others may ignore your every post, but the Git finds many of them amusing. This is your best effort yet. Please keep it up :-)

  81. Doug Cotton – the problem that I have with your explanation of how CO2 cannot (does not) heat the surface is that it addresses only radiation and ignores conduction and convection.

    This issue has been around for a long time, and I have thus far seen no fully credible explanation either way, the most stunning omission being the IPCC report, where the mechanism of AGW is not explained at all. The picture I have in my mind is of outward radiation from the tropical surface warming atmospheric CO2, which thus transfers heat to surrounding air as well as re-radiating. Rain originating in or passing through that air thus arrives at the ocean slightly warmer than it would have been. Thus over time the ocean’s surface layer warms.

    In other words, there is a possible mechanism by which the CO2 can warm the surface. I don’t know whether the amount of warming would be trivial or significant. The fact that the tropical troposphere does not warm faster than the surface suggests that it is trivial (or less than other effects not recognised by the IPCC), but nevertheless there is a possible mechanism.

    You say that the oceans are only a small part of the total heat in the planet, but wrt climate they do seem to me to be more important. Heat does not seem to flow well through land thus the core heat may have little influence, whereas the major heat flows of the oceans obviously do affect climate.

  82. Mike Jonas

    My view is that carbon dioxide plays a far greater role in cooling the atmosphere. If there is any warming in some layers, then there is immediately a greater propensity to radiate that energy away, probably before it rains. Once it is radiated it will find its way to space, even if captured and re-radiated many times, as does happen. The radiation will never warm the surface which rejects it. It doesn’t even melt frost on the ground, let alone warm the oceans.

    In regard to cooling, thermal energy from warmer oxygen and nitrogen molecules diffuses to carbon dioxide which then radiates it away. Also, carbon dioxide absorbs (and re-radiates to space) some of the incoming solar radiation which is in the IR band.

    Even if the oceans and/or land surfaces warm temporarily (as they do every sunny day, and every summer), it would take a far greater amount of energy to maintain them at that temperature for hundreds or thousands of years because the extra energy would seep into the crust and would have to raise the whole (near linear) plot of the temperature gradient all the way from the core to the surface. There’s a lot of area under that line to fill in with extra energy, but it would have to happen because (as we observe) underground plots (from up to 9km down) all tend to extrapolate to base surface temperatures anywhere in the world.

    Finally, the temperature records show only a ~1000 year natural trend for which the rate of increase is declining and there is no influence of carbon dioxide – see yellow trend line in the plot at the foot of my Home page http://climate-change-theory.com

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