Jim Hansen’s balance problem of 0.58 watts

From NASA Goddard, Jim Hansen reports on his balance problem:

Earth’s Energy Budget Remained Out of Balance Despite Unusually Low Solar Activity

conceptual image of the sun

A prolonged solar minimum left the sun's surface nearly free of sunspots and accompanying bright areas called faculae between 2005 and 2010. Total solar irradiance declined slightly as a result, but the Earth continued to absorb more energy than it emit throughout the minimum. An animation of a full solar cycle is available here. Credit: NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio

A new NASA study underscores the fact that greenhouse gases generated by human activity — not changes in solar activity — are the primary force driving global warming.

The study offers an updated calculation of the Earth’s energy imbalance, the difference between the amount of solar energy absorbed by Earth’s surface and the amount returned to space as heat. The researchers’ calculations show that, despite unusually low solar activity between 2005 and 2010, the planet continued to absorb more energy than it returned to space.

James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, led the research. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics published the study last December.

Total solar irradiance, the amount of energy produced by the sun that reaches the top of each square meter of the Earth’s atmosphere, typically declines by about a tenth of a percent during cyclical lulls in solar activity caused by shifts in the sun’s magnetic field. Usually solar minimums occur about every eleven years and last a year or so, but the most recent minimum persisted more than two years longer than normal, making it the longest minimum recorded during the satellite era.

graph of the sun's total solar irradiance

A graph of the sun's total solar irradiance shows that in recent years irradiance dipped to the lowest levels recorded during the satellite era. The resulting reduction in the amount of solar energy available to affect Earth's climate was about .25 watts per square meter, less than half of Earth's total energy imbalance. (Credit: NASA/James Hansen)

Pinpointing the magnitude of Earth’s energy imbalance is fundamental to climate science because it offers a direct measure of the state of the climate. Energy imbalance calculations also serve as the foundation for projections of future climate change. If the imbalance is positive and more energy enters the system than exits, Earth grows warmer. If the imbalance is negative, the planet grows cooler.

Hansen’s team concluded that Earth has absorbed more than half a watt more solar energy per square meter than it let off throughout the six year study period. The calculated value of the imbalance (0.58 watts of excess energy per square meter) is more than twice as much as the reduction in the amount of solar energy supplied to the planet between maximum and minimum solar activity (0.25 watts per square meter).

“The fact that we still see a positive imbalance despite the prolonged solar minimum isn’t a surprise given what we’ve learned about the climate system, but it’s worth noting because this provides unequivocal evidence that the sun is not the dominant driver of global warming,” Hansen said.

According to calculations conducted by Hansen and his colleagues, the 0.58 watts per square meter imbalance implies that carbon dioxide levels need to be reduced to about 350 parts per million to restore the energy budget to equilibrium. The most recent measurements show that carbon dioxide levels are currently 392 parts per million and scientists expect that concentration to continue to rise in the future.

Climate scientists have been refining calculations of the Earth’s energy imbalance for many years, but this newest estimate is an improvement over previous attempts because the scientists had access to better measurements of ocean temperature than researchers have had in the past.

The improved measurements came from free-floating instruments that directly monitor the temperature, pressure and salinity of the upper ocean to a depth of 2,000 meters (6,560 feet). The network of instruments, known collectively as Argo, has grown dramatically in recent years since researchers first began deploying the floats a decade ago. Today, more than 3,400 Argo floats actively take measurements and provide data to the public, mostly within 24 hours.

Argo float and ship

Data collected by Argo floats, such as this one, helped Hansen's team improve the calculation of Earth's energy imbalance. Credit: Argo Project Office

Hansen’s analysis of the information collected by Argo, along with other ground-based and satellite data, show the upper ocean has absorbed 71 percent of the excess energy and the Southern Ocean, where there are few Argo floats, has absorbed 12 percent. The abyssal zone of the ocean, between about 3,000 and 6,000 meters (9,800 and 20,000 feet) below the surface, absorbed five percent, while ice absorbed eight percent and land four percent.

The updated energy imbalance calculation has important implications for climate modeling. Its value, which is slightly lower than previous estimates, suggests that most climate models overestimate how readily heat mixes deeply into the ocean and significantly underestimates the cooling effect of small airborne particles called aerosols, which along with greenhouse gases and solar irradiance are critical factors in energy imbalance calculations.

“Climate models simulate observed changes in global temperatures quite accurately, so if the models mix heat into the deep ocean too aggressively, it follows that they underestimate the magnitude of the aerosol cooling effect,” Hansen said.

Aerosols, which can either warm or cool the atmosphere depending on their composition and how they interact with clouds, are thought to have a net cooling effect. But estimates of their overall impact on climate are quite uncertain given how difficult it is to measure the distribution of the particles on a broad scale. The new study suggests that the overall cooling effect from aerosols could be about twice as strong as current climate models suggest, largely because few models account for how the particles affect clouds.

map showing global reach of Argo floats A chart shows the global reach of the network of Argo floats. (Credit: Argo Project Office)
› Larger image

“Unfortunately, aerosols remain poorly measured from space,” said Michael Mishchenko, a scientist also based at GISS and the project scientist for Glory, a satellite mission designed to measure aerosols in unprecedented detail that was lost after a launch failure in early 2011. “We must have a much better understanding of the global distribution of detailed aerosol properties in order to perfect calculations of Earth’s energy imbalance,” said Mishchenko.

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189 thoughts on “Jim Hansen’s balance problem of 0.58 watts

  1. The researchers’ calculations show that, despite unusually low solar activity between 2005 and 2010, the planet continued to absorb more energy than it returned to space.

    Then why is the slope for this period negative using their own data?

    #Time series (gistemp) from 1880 to 2012
    #Selected data from 2005
    #Selected data up to 2011
    #Least squares trend line; slope = -0.000918387 per year

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2005/to:2011/plot/gistemp/from:2005/to:2011/trend

  2. “…the reduction in the amount of solar energy supplied to the planet between maximum and minimum solar activity (0.25 watts per square meter).”

    But the chart shows the 365 day mean ranging from about 1365.25 to 1367.5. Maybe my calculator is broken, but the ol’ chompulator says that’s a range of 2.25 W/m2, not 0.25. I guess the Sun is a lot brighter than I am. :)

  3. “Climate models simulate observed changes in global temperatures quite accurately…” by being wrong about ocean mixing and wrong about aerosols. But our findings are accurate to the hundredth of a watt. Except for cloud estimates. And…
    Credibility alert!
    How many watts go into biomass carbohydrate bonds and are actually stored chemically? I think he confuses storage with equilibration.

  4. So if the land temps are not cooperating, then we use the Argo. And if Argo stops cooperating, then we use the satellite. And if the sats stop cooperating, we do something else. Rinse, repeat.

  5. In the “Decimals of Precision – Trenberth’s missing heat” post, Willis Eschenbach mentions that “the error estimate for their oceanic heating rates (measured by the Argo buoys) … is on the order of about plus or minus one watt/m2″. Yet, this post states that Hansen claims “0.58 watts of excess energy per square meter.” So, the error in the measurements by the Argo buoys would seem to be greater than the claimed warming. WUWT?

    (P.S. The time periods for the claimed error and warming aren’t clear to me.)

  6. According to my eyeballing, isn’t the difference between max and min solar cycles around 1.25 W/m2 and not 0.25 as specified by Hansen?

    Anthony, seems like you’re not the only Watt that Hansen has a problem with.

  7. Hunting for a mere 0.58 W/sqm is a clarion sign of desperation,
    much like their instant glomming onto bad-weather news.
    Thirty years ago they predicted catastrophe by now,
    and they expected the ‘greenhouse signature’ to have shown up already.
    Now that it hasn’t, you don’t hear that phrase much.

    Worse yet, the Japanese CO2 satellite
    has its highest reading over jungles, not cities.
    That’s probably why ours conveniently crashed.

    From space, the CO2 line is no colder, so ignore it.
    Hell, that’s supposed to be the damned forcing they wail about,
    but in spite of higher CO2, it’s not there, so there’s nothing
    for their precious positive feedback to eat.
    Anybody who truly loves the Earth
    would be glad to hear there’s nothing to worry about.

  8. Much more likely that Hansen’s calculations are out of balance than the earth. Where are the double blind controls to prevent Hansen’s and other scientist’s personal expectations from contaminating the records? Unless these are in place the entire GISS record is in question.

  9. “…carbon dioxide levels need to be reduced to about 350 parts per million…”

    They want us to believe that “climate change” is bad, so why are they so anxious to change the climate themselves by reducing CO2? Where’s the evidence that cooling the climate is any better than warming it? Climate can change in two directions. So if one direction is “good” and the other “bad”, there was no reason to change the term from “global warming” to “climate change”. They did that to hedge their bets, which is not only evidence of a lack of confidence in their climate predictions but undermines any notion of a consensus. Not only can they not tell us how much the climate is going change, they seem to have little confidence in which direction the change is going to occur. This branch of science seems more concerned with deceiving people with propaganda to keep the grant money flowing than discovering truth.

  10. This is watch the pea time. They are switching from temperature measurements to energy estimations. Hanson knows that the temps aren’t cooperating with his predictions, so he and Trenberth are producing models that predict that the energy is going into the oceans for now, for a delayed more powerful warming effect about 20 years from now or just before any important budget considerations.

    The deep oceans are almost the perfect hiding place for Hansen’s missing heat. There are almost no temperature records for them.

  11. Something is wrong with Hansen’s fuzzy math! If the sun’s output has decreased how come the 0.58 watts excess hasn’t changed?? Hansen’s fuzzy math is wrong!!

  12. There is nothing Mother Nature could possibly do that Jim Hansen would not bend, through tortured calculations, into evidence of man-made global warming. The real mystery is why “we the people” keep paying his salary. I think the answer to that one is that “the the pirates have captured the counting house”.

  13. Max,
    To get global radiative forcing you have to divide by 4 because the Earth is a sphere and remove about 30% to account for albedo. Presumably he’s using annual averages too.

  14. Werner Brozek: The ocean has a vastly greater heat capacity than the ocean, and it is storing the great bulk of the the excess energy. Max, from the paper in question: “The amplitude of solar irradiance variability, measured perpendicular to the Sun-Earth direction, is about 1.5 W m−2 (left scale of Fig. 17), but because Earth absorbs only 240 W m−2, averaged over the surface of the planet, the full amplitude of the solar forcing is only about 0.25 W m−2.” Phil: So Willis Eisenbach is an expert on these studies? On this blog on 31 Dec 2011 he authored an error-riddled post (one could spend days debunking it, but what a waste of time that would be). Near the end of that post Willis criticizes von Schuckman et al. (2011) for not kriging the Argo data, but the objective analysis they use is mathematically equivalent to kriging. The terminologies are just different, geologists call it kriging, meteorologists and oceanographers call it objective analysis, optimal interpolation, or objective mapping. By the way Hansen et al. (2011) is available at http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/13421/2011/acp-11-13421-2011.html for anyone to download, read, and learn something.

  15. One feature of modern life, especially in the US during the last half century, is the great expansion of paving and maintaining of roads, parking lots, sidewalks, and driveways. One estimate that I saw recently suggests that this amounts to over 60,000 square miles of paved surfaces today.

    During the wintertime, snow covers much of the US, including those paved surfaces. The NCDC says that the snow covered almost ¼ of the US during December 2011, and by extension, that’s around 15,000 square miles of those paved surfaces. Cities and towns, as well as businesses and homeowners spend a lot of money and effort in snow removal, to keep those paved surfaces usable during the winter.

    Since snow has a much higher albedo than non-snow covered surfaces, it is reasonable to expect that plowed road would absorb more heat, which would contribute a small amount to rising temperatures. Here’s a chart from Wikipedia showing relative albedos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Albedo-e_hg.svg , with snow in the 0.6 range compared to land in the 0.2 range.

    15,000 square mile times 2.5 million square meters per square mile is a little less than 40 billion square meters. My guestimate is that this gives about 2 trillion Watts of heat absorbed by those plowed, paved surfaces every year, which wasn’t the case 50 years ago. And, that’s just in the US.

    It seems to me that that should cause a measureable increase in winter temperatures. Can anyone out there put a number to it?

  16. “Earth has absorbed more than half a watt more solar energy per square meter than it let off throughout the six year study period.”
    I read it as 1/2 watt per square meter IN a six year period, not 1/2 per square meter per year for six years. Meaning 1/12 of a watt per square meter per year!

    To claim that level of precision is incredible (not credible), the guy has lost it completely.

    I wonder how close this amount of energy if compared to the human population increase in the 6 years times total energy (biomass) of an average human?

  17. “From NASA Goddard, Jim Hansen reports on his balance problem”

    It’s likely a very, very deep inner ear infection, large and centered between both ears.

  18. Come back when you understand how gases radiate, Jim. Until you’ve realized that you can’t apply S-B surface area equations to three dimensional gaseous matter without integration and that mixtures involving water with its continuous state change processes modify, bypass and constrain that behaviour at the molecular level you’re just having a laugh. Quit playing spherical “Rubik’s Cube” shell games and snakes and ladders, I’m tired of reading this nonsense!

  19. @The Elf

    You stated:

    The ocean has a vastly greater heat capacity than the ocean

    I presume there is a typo, but it isn’t clear to me what you meant to write.

    It is Willis Eschenbach (ashcreek, as in European ash, the tree), not Eisenbach (ironcreek). Are you German?

    Willis I don’t believe was claiming expertise on the observed error of 1 watt/m2. He was referring to a figure in Observed changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty, whose authors are Norman G. Loeb, John M. Lyman, Gregory C. Johnson, Richard P. Allan, David R. Doelling, Takmeng Wong, Brian J. Soden & Graeme L. Stephens. Presumably they would be the experts. I apologize for not linking the reference directly. I assume my oversight was the cause of the misunderstanding.

  20. Genghis: “This is watch the pea time. They are switching from temperature measurements to energy estimations. Hanson knows that the temps aren’t cooperating with his predictions, so he and Trenberth are producing models that predict that the energy is going into the oceans for now, for a delayed more powerful warming effect about 20 years from now or just before any important budget considerations.”

    The consensus is that molecules have a catch and release program for photons that preferentially directs re-emissions to large bodies of water. Only large bodies of water. Spitting on the sidewalks won’t stave off boiling planetary doom. Learn 2 physics before you speak.

  21. The Elf says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Werner Brozek: The ocean has a vastly greater heat capacity than the ocean

    You really should proofread your work better before submitting it. But I knew what you meant.

    I did some calculations with the following numbers:
    Mass of air is 5 x 10^18 kg;
    Specific heat capacity of air is 1 kJ/kgK
    Assume a 3 C rise in air temperature due to AGW. (I do not agree with this scenario, But I am just crunching numbers assuming that is the case.)

    Mass of oceans is 1.4 x 10^21 kg;
    Specific heat capacity of ocean water is about 4 kJ/kgK
    The question I am trying to answer is that IF we for the moment assume the air temperature were to potentially go up by 3 degrees C, but IF we then assume ALL this heat goes into the ocean instead, how much would the ocean warm up?

    Using mct(air) = mct(ocean), I get an answer of 0.0027 C is the increase in the temperature of the ocean. Of course, this cannot be measured, nor would the ocean expand to any noticable degree with this added temperature. But IF Trenberth is right that the heat can go into the ocean, what are we worried about?

  22. “Climate models simulate observed changes in global temperatures quite accurately, so if the models mix heat into the deep ocean too aggressively, it follows that they underestimate the magnitude of the aerosol cooling effect,” Hansen said.

    So Hansen wants to change the Aerosol fudge factor again. Probably so he can say that Chinese or other pollution masks the CO2 greenhouse effect. This way he tries to save the high CO2 doubling climate sensitivity estimates of the IPCC ; unchanged since 1990, ranging from 2 to 4.5 deg C; and falsified by observations (temperatures rising too slowly). A correction downwards would be overdue; so the warmists need to use the Aerosol card again to prevent that.

    Liberal science.

  23. The Elf
    Hansen needs to quit the hand jiving and out gassing. How many watts go into the biomass?
    Energy in, carbohydrate out. That is the only energy *storage* in the system, and it has no temperature value. Every thing else is equilibration and energy *flow*. It’s easy. Measure TSI, measure total Earth irradiance. Argo only scratches the surface of ocean heat content.
    More CO2 = More Sugar!!!

  24. The Elf says: “The ocean has a vastly greater heat capacity than the ocean (I’m sure you meant land), and it is storing the great bulk of the the excess energy. ”

    If the ocean is storing all that excess energy, then it has to be warmer and therefore it must be expanding. However, as Envisat shows ( http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/fileadmin/images/news/indic/msl/MSL_Serie_EN_Global_NoIB_RWT_NoGIA_Adjust.png ) the sea level since 2005 has been flat-to-falling (especially if you take into account the rather large peak due to the strong 2010 El Nino). I don’t think the ocean has been storing much excess energy in the past 6 years…. looks more like it is slowly losing energy to me, based on this sea level data from the most advanced and newest satellite in orbit that measures sea level.

  25. Hey Elf – Does all that kool aid give you gas? Myself, I get gassy just laughing at the sheer arrogance it takes to believe Hansen has even a clue… But keep chugging, I’m sure it’s delicious.

  26. From the paper:

    “The amplitude of solar irradiance variability, measured
    perpendicular to the Sun-Earth direction, is about 1.5Wm−2
    (left scale of Fig. 17), but because Earth absorbs only
    240Wm−2, averaged over the surface of the planet, the full
    amplitude of the solar forcing is only about 0.25Wm−2.”

  27. As a non scientist that tries to understand how science works, should I be disturbed by a NASA dude that says: “this provides unequivocal evidence that the sun is not the dominant driver of global warming”

    It appears to me that he is done doing science if he has come to that conclusion. I thought a real scientist looked for really cool ways to prove he/she was wrong. Isn’t that what science is all about?

  28. I think it is going to be hilarious when they finally prove that the “A” in “AGW” is the environmental movement for cleaning up the air in the west and Gorby for watching the Soviet bloc disintegrate around him.

  29. The “lost energy” is hidden in layers of obese human fat @ 3,500 calories per lb equaling 13.978btus equaling 4 watts, times 7 billion people equals 28,000,000,000 watts per pound per population.

    If we are all an average 10 lbs overweight that would be 280,000,000,000 watts of heat hidden in fat.
    There, that should cover the mystery.

    ps: for god’s sake don’t try to exercise it off, it would release extra CO2 into the atmosphere, and the heat, my god, the heat….!!! Sequestered heat in fat is good for global warming. We are all saving the planet pound by pound. Sleep well. sarc/off.

    The energy has to go somewhere… why not us.?

  30. I was only joking above but as Richard G points out: solar energy can be stored the biomass.

    After all, the global warmers are complaining about our burning of the “old biomass” which they claim is causing all our worldly problems.

    The earth, like a machine, processes whatever little sticks we throw at it. Just like when I eat food, my body breaks everything down and uses what it needs via complex conversions well beyond our current understanding in many of those intricate chemical reactions.

    Earth will re-balance herself in due time.. for Hansen’s balance, it may take him a little longer.

  31. I think it is going to be hilarious when they finally prove that the “A” in “AGW” is the environmental movement for cleaning up the air in the west and Gorby for watching the Soviet bloc disintegrate around him.

    That’s my view too.

    Decreased tropospheric aerosols causing increased surface warming due to increased solar insolation. With a particularly large effect in the early morning increasing Tmin.

    Otherwise, most people won’t understand the significance of measured versus calculated versus estimated.

    Aerosols, which can either warm or cool the atmosphere depending on their composition and how they interact with clouds, are thought to have a net cooling effect.

    Their aerosol fudge factor has no basis in reality. Global aerosol levels have declined over the last 20 years. Thus causing a net warming.

  32. I’m just going thru this paper right now, but the thing that immediately jumps out is the blatantly political/religious advocacy language used throughout. Multiple references to “humanity’s faustian bargain”. In a scientific paper? Really?

    “Peer review” doesn’t require even the appearance of scientific objectivity any more, evidently.

  33. The paper is nonsense when it says – “but because Earth absorbs only 240Wm−2, averaged over the surface of the planet,”

    The Earth does not absorb only 240 W/sq m “average” – you can’t average out the Sun’s irradiance.

    It is either daytime with much higher levels than 240 W/sq m over a large part of the globe or it is zero.

    It is the ole divide by 4 nonsense based on the so called blackbody radiation balance and the geometry of a disk versus a sphere.

    This stupidity is impossible – we all know the Earth is not at a static equilibrium for either temperature or energy balance. The Earth does no behave anything like a “superconducting” blackbody.

    They get the so called “effective temperature” wrong – it is the temperature associated with the outgoing IR radiation yet they claim it is OK to cut the solar insolation by 4.

    If they had half a brain they would concede the Sun can heat the Earth up to much higher temperatures and the really amazing thing about the atmosphere is how it protects us all from the intense energy barage during the day (convection being the major component) and yet the oceans and atmosphere slow down heat loss at night.

    I just wish these fools would simply give up – I certainly do not accept their voodoo science with their unbelievable precision.

  34. TSI is just not a good measure of how all the different solar component outputs change, and how these different solat componenets effect the earth’s climate and weather…so therfore proves little at all in the debate imo.

  35. [quote] Juraj V. says: I do not believe even Argo. It is still run by NASA.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/

    All sensors with supposed cooling bias have been deleted from the dataset, because.. because it can’t be so that it is cooling.[/quote]

    Indeed, It appears from a quick reading of that web article, that when Josh Willis noticed cooling ocean temps from the Argo floats, and he could not reconcile those results with the climate models, he presumed the float measurements must be wrong, not the climate models. He assumed the actual measurements were wrong, because climate models could not possibly be wrong. He went out on the ocean and took futher measurements with XBT instruments (question, was he measuring the same ocean by then?) and decided his new measurements were too high. So, now some magic number appears that discounts the cool temps from Argo by taking some arbitrary fraction from the “wrong” XBT high temps to adjust all the data upwards from floats that showed cooling, and all in order to match the climate models. And then he Willis reports “everyone was happier.” Good God! Am I misreading this article? If not, then why are these people still being paid by taxpayers?

    [quote] From NASA’s “Correcting the Cooling” web site, subsection “Smoothing the Bumps”:
    In mid-2008, however, a team of scientists led by Catia Domingues and John Church from Australia’s CSIRO, and Peter Gleckler, from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, revised long-term estimates of ocean warming based on the corrected XBT data. Since the revision, says Willis, the bumps in the graph have largely disappeared, which means the observations and the models are in much better agreement. “That makes everyone happier,” Willis says.[/quote]

  36. “FrankK says:
    January 31, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    More Fairy Tales from Hansen Christen Anderson.”
    If you refer to the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen it should properly be “Hansen Christian Andersen”.

  37. Just what is a layman supposed to believe? Here in Milford Haven, Wales UK, since late November through December and most of January the day/night air temperature barely
    changed from +10C. Today, as I type at 8:00am local, the temperature is -2C.
    And still no tutorials anywhere to explain to the interested layman how radiation from
    6kg of CO2 in the atmosphere of a 1m^2 column of air over water can change the
    temperature of the first 6mm of that water when the first 2mm of that water evaporates
    every day. The numbers don’t add up.

  38. Thank God the planet absorbs more energy than it returns to space. If it didn’t we’d all starve to death.

  39. I can understand how incoming could be accurately measured by an orbiting satellite. The Sun’s rays will be fairly constant across the circular plane which the Earth’s face presents so a sensor reading at one location in space can be extrapolated across the sphere.

    Outgoing is a completely different story though. The outgoing varies across the entire sphere so the “looking down” approach can only be accurate at that spherical location.

    Perhaps an averaging approach using an orbiting argo like network would provide accuracy? I’m interested in knowing how they manage to estimate the outgoing figure with such accuracy to make these imbalance deductions.

  40. I thought at least 17 years where needed to make claims about the climate, I guess that rule is only used if there is no significant warming,

  41. i’m just an interested bystander and am hoping someone will explain how all those floats stay in position.

  42. “Climate models simulate observed changes in global temperatures quite accurately…”

    Since when? The models haven’t been able to make verifiable predictions yet.

  43. Gosh, an energy balance of 0.58 watts per meter sure doesn’t seem like much.

    But rational skepticism always wants to get a better feel for the numbers.

    Natural Question: Over what time span does a sustained energy imbalance of 0.58 watts per meter supply enough excess energy to melt all of the ice-caps on earth, and thus raise ocean heights by two hundred feet? Is that ice-melting time span most nearly:

               (A) one year, or
               (B) one thousand years, or
               (B) one million years?

    I’ll post my own answer this evening (to give people a chance to check the numbers for themselves), so for now here is a hint as to the results: the prediction by James Hansen and his colleagues of an coming acceleration in sea-level rise rates is not thermodynamically crazy.

    More broadly, it is not rational for skeptics to underestimate the scientific foresight of James Hansen and his colleagues: their thirty-year predictions from 1981 in ‘Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide’ are looking pretty solid right now.

  44. Hansen go back and do the observations again, unless this was a model prediction in which case retire gracefully.

  45. I have a garden and it is absorbing huge quantities of both CO2 and calories or BTU’s or watts, in fact the entire continent of Australia has been sucking in calories. Our biomass has grown beyond belief in the last two years, Trenberths missing heat is stored in biomass in the paddocks, fat on the lambs and grain in the silos. Not to mention the huge growth in our forests and the explosion in wild life. Dear Mr Trenberth if what is occurring is a problem for you, for us in Oz our country looks like the garden of Eden and we are more than pleased.

  46. So if I take a glass tube and fill it with 100% CO2 then it will become so unable to release heat that it will be as hot as the sun by noon.

    I love this story. Hansen clearly doesn’t understand the greenhouse effect at all. Its about the rate of flow of heat energy, not the actual magnitude of an (impossible) heat energy imbalance.

  47. I figured it out.

    It is the increase in greenery, caused by more warmth and more CO2 and human activities, (i.e. people wanting more crops, trees and gardens), that could trap some heat, causing some contributory warming, on top of the natural warming.
    Namely, I did pick up a few interesting results:
    if you cut forests, like they did in the south of Argentina, you will find COOLING.

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/de-forestation-causes-cooling

    I have also been able to establish that the opposite, i.e. planting of trees and/or more natural vegetation, does cause WARMING, like I found in Grootfontein (Namibia), in the “Kgalagadi Basin”, referred to in this report here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/24/the-earths-biosphere-is-booming-data-suggests-that-co2-is-the-cause-part-2/

    I think it was the warming not interrupted by wars in the years before the turn of 19th century (mostly because man did not have seriously destructive weapons) that could account for the red areas in the graph here, and that caused a natural increase of greening…

    The blue areas in the above graph were caused after the general destruction of – and the total absence of care for – the natural environment during and after the 2nd world war, due to the whole of mankind basically going into survival mode and having to live from whatever they could cut. The profiliation of atomic weapons and the testing of these after the war, could also be a cause of great destruction to the greenery and the natural environment (i.e. destruction due to unwanted radiation such has been reported from the islands in the Great Pacific)

    I might even be able to find a correlation coefficient between the leaf area index (LAI ) and warming if I could get hold of those three Liu’s who wrote the paper that I quoted above. ( I need the actual figures for the LAI)

    So there is your 0.58 watts. My thanks to Mr.Hansen for working that one out for me.
    More CO2 is OK, ok?

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

  48. If my memory is correct the solar irradiance satellite data is based on several different instruments over time and has been stitched together. There is some disagreement on whether the last couple of minimums should have been held constant or if there was some increase in the irradiance. Looks like Hansen chose the stays constant version. Also it is interesting to note the variations in the amount a irradiance drops in the beginning proxy portion of the data, if we get rid of all the sat data he could have a much cleaner looking graph.

  49. NASA can “underscore” their garbage as much as they like, but they would be more convincing by a country mile if they (and all warmists) used correct physics in the first place.

    Any radiation from a cooler atmosphere heading for the surface (at some angle in practice) has absolutely no effect on the surface. It does not get converted to thermal energy and so cannot affect the rate of thermal energy leaving the surface. It is merely immediately radiated out again with the same frequency and intensity, never having been converted to thermal energy. How could it possibly affect radiation coming out at different angles from other molecules? When you shine two torches towards each other, but not directly – just so the beams cross – they have no effect on each other’s beams. This I suggest would be a close analogy if backradiation even exists – there are solid reasons why “measuring” techniques may not be measuring backradiation at all, but just making deductions about its intensity from temperatures calculated from frequencies. They don’t measure a warming effect.

    The surface does not need to radiate at all to lose heat – it can do so by diffusion, conduction, convection, evaporation and chemical processes. The surface does not act like a blackbody because it is not surrounded by a vacuum or insulated from losses by these other means.

    I suspect that most radiation actually starts in the atmosphere, not the surface. But then I also suspect that any backradiation is extremely small compared with upward radiation, because I do not believe radiation has an equal probability of going towards warmer areas than towards cooler areas due to the higher energy of molecules “blocking” it in the warmer direction. If there are numerous captures and re-emissions, then even a slightly higher probability than 50% will, in the limit, ensure the vast majority heads for cooler regions. There are no experiments to my knowledge which demonstrate backradiation warming something, or slowing its rate of cooling.

    But whatever happens, the end result (if any gets to the surface) as far as energy and rates of cooling are concerned is just the same as if it had been reflected by a mirror. A mirror neither warms nor cools more slowly when it reflects IR radiation.- it, like the surface, is not affected at all because the radiating energy is never converted to thermal energy. You can only add and subtract like things such as thermal energy. Radiation does not cancel out other radiation as there are different angles involved for a start. The transfer of all thermal energy is in one direction, and the reason it only takes place in one direction is because only the cooler body “receives” it and converts it back to thermal energy.

    Hopefully this will help all to understand why an atmospheric greenhouse effect resulting from radiation is a physical impossibility.

  50. Mickey Reno says:
    January 31, 2012 at 11:55 pm
    [quote] Juraj V. says: I do not believe even Argo. It is still run by NASA.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/

    All sensors with supposed cooling bias have been deleted from the dataset, because.. because it can’t be so that it is cooling.[/quote]
    /////////////////////////////////////////////
    I was dumbfounded when I read that article.

    If it turns out that this AGW theory is nothing more than natural variability measured on a decadal or centenial scale, then criminal charges should be pursued against anyone caught adjusting data including adjusting data to better fit with model projections.

    This type of fudging of the divergence problem is completely unacceptable and an affront to science.

  51. The whole thing might be more believable if temperatures were actually rising to match his direct forcing and the hidden forcing.

    Solar irradiance, however, is not the answer since it has NOT gone down. SORCE TIM has recently measured TSI just as high as its highest readings from 2003 (the 2003 value would have been on the downslope of the last solar cycle but it was still close to the peak). So the newer non-degraded satellites have TSI near the top of Hansen’s chart shown above.

    Being a top climate scientist, I’m assuming he already knew that. So this is another attempt at propaganda, trying to explain the lack of warming predicted by his theory.

    Hiding, Sun, Aerosols, burglars. He keeps trying out different excuses.

  52. “Today, more than 3,400 Argo floats actively take measurements and provide data to the public, mostly within 24 hours.”
    WOW !!
    Why doesn’t that apply to ALL OF THE DATA !!!

  53. 44.common sense says:

    “…TSI is just not a good measure of how all the different solar component outputs change, and how these different solat componenets effect the earth’s climate and weather…so therfore proves little at all in the debate imo…”

    Exactly. If they’re using the SORCE data, they (NASA) has discovered that while the TSI may not vary much, parts of the spectrum can vary wildly. They’ve been looking at SORCE data since 2003.

    “…Some of the variations that SIM (Solar Irradiance Monitor) has measured in the last few years do not mesh with what most scientists expected. Climatologists have generally thought that the various part of the spectrum would vary in lockstep with changes in total solar irradiance.

    However, SIM suggests that ultraviolet irradiance fell far more than expected between 2004 and 2007 — by ten times as much as the total irradiance did — while irradiance in certain visible and infrared wavelengths surprisingly increased, even as solar activity wound down overall.

    The steep decrease in the ultraviolet, coupled with the increase in the visible and infrared, does even out to about the same total irradiance change as measured by the TIM (Total Solar Irradiance Monitor) during that period, according to the SIM measurements.

    The stratosphere absorbs most of the shorter wavelengths of ultraviolet light, but some of the longest ultraviolet rays (UV-A), as well as much of the visible and infrared portions of the spectrum, directly heat Earth’s lower atmosphere and can have a significant impact on the climate…”

    From here: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/solarcycle-sorce.html

    So they need to go back and track SPECTRAL changes, and see if the 0.58 watts of excess energy per square meter is still there.

  54. Doug Cotton says:
    February 1, 2012 at 4:33 am
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Doug

    A good post.

    It is central to the entire GHE theory to know precisely what we are measuring when we point an IR meter up at the sky and precisely what work that ‘signal’ or ‘heat’ or ‘energy’ can in reality perform. I have made this point many times to Willis, and recently he suggested that it appears that I deny the existence of DLWIR.

    I do not deny the existence of a signal, but what that signal really is, and what effect it has in terms of doing real work or even in delaying/hindering the rate of cooling from the warmer surface to the cooler atmosphere is in my opinion a moot point, and one that requires experimental testing before we can even begin to get some proper understanding of it.

    Too many people, in my opinion, get blinkered by radiation. Many people think that a BBQ cooks by radiation simply because the hot coals radiate heat. A BBQ cooks by convection and to the extent that one sears a steak by conduction. It does not cook by radiation. That is why you can cook food 9 to 12 inches above the hot coals but not 6 inches from the side of the hot coals. Any IR going sideways is wisped away by convection such that a BBQ does not generate sufficient heat in a sideways direction to cook food.

    I have had many arguments with those that post comments about the effectiveness of radiation blankets. In my opinion, these work primarily by cutting down on heat loss through evaporation and convection. If they worked by radiation then in theory they would be as effective (or nearly as effective) if they were made like a large toilet roll say with a 1m or 2m or 3m or 10 m diameter and the person stood inside the roll. However, if they were set up like this, the person would lose heat by evaporation, conduction and convection and any ‘heat’ backradiated would be of no (or little) real effect.

    It is really crucial to know what we are measuring and what work it can in reality perform.

  55. The aerosol optical physics in the climate models is wrong. You can prove it just by looking at rain clouds which darken as droplet size increases, the opposite of what is predicted.

    There is a second optical process and it accounts for the end of ice ages and much modern warming [Arctic melting, now reversing in its 50-70 year cycle].

    The days of these charlatans are over…….

  56. Mickey….good catch! I read that article until I came to this as well:

    From NASA’s “Correcting the Cooling” web site, subsection “Smoothing the Bumps”:
    In mid-2008, however, a team of scientists led by Catia Domingues and John Church from Australia’s CSIRO, and Peter Gleckler, from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, revised long-term estimates of ocean warming based on the corrected XBT data. Since the revision, says Willis, the bumps in the graph have largely disappeared, which means the observations and the models are in much better agreement. “That makes everyone happier,” Willis says.

    I had to stop, and knew everything else in the article was meaningless. Quite like Mann smoothing out the “bumps” of the MWP and LIA.

  57. These guys use simple energy calcs. There are chemical, biological, fluids, thermodynamics, heat transfer, solar, and numerous other variables simultaneously. Their models are flawed and are incapable of catching MOST of this as illustrated by their poor predictive ability the last 10 years. If their models are wrong about the last 10 years, then their models are wrong forever. There is no reason to even listen to them, until they come clean and admit their failures, why they failed and how they have improved their models and how the new changes can at least predict the past with better precision. Until they admit this, there is no reason to listen to them.

  58. Natural Question: Over what time span does a sustained energy imbalance of 0.58 watts per meter supply enough excess energy to melt all of the ice-caps on earth, and thus raise ocean heights by two hundred feet? Is that ice-melting time span most nearly:

    (A) one year, or
    (B) one thousand years, or
    (B) one million years?
    No need to wait folks! The answer is 1095 years (approximately). Of course this to assume that there’s any ice left to melt, which with an average surface temperature 15C above the melting point there clearly isn’t. That would explain the absence of 9cm per annum sea level rise.

  59. James Hansen’s Science Brief report does not show how the 0.58 W/m2 was calculated, only “WE FOUND…”. What the report states is:

    “…We used other measurements to estimate the energy going into the deeper ocean, into the continents, and into melting of ice worldwide in the period 2005-2010. We found a total Earth energy imbalance of +0.58±0.15 W/m2…”

    Then the whole report relies on the calculated number.

  60. Doug Cotton says:
    February 1, 2012 at 4:33 am

    “The transfer of all thermal energy is in one direction, and the reason it only takes place in one direction is because only the cooler body “receives” it and converts it back to thermal energy.”

    and then Richard Verney says:

    “A good post.”

    Please do not push this tripe on this website. The volume of nonsense that accompanies any attempt at a thermodynamics discussion is enough to put off anybody trying to learn. This disease has infected even PhD level physicists, who develop a selective blind spot as soon as their wallets are involved.

  61. Well, I took some time this morning to actually read the paper (ugh). I encourage everyone to read this tome for themselves here:

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/13421/2011/acp-11-13421-2011.pdf

    In particular, notice all of the politically-tinged alarmist language sprinkled liberally throughout, which is totally inappropriate for a scientific journal (but what else is new?). Climate “science” journals apparently have different standards in that regard versus other branches of (real) science.

    I want to call everyone’s attention to Figure 7. The left hand side plot is supposedly the modeled global temperature anomaly versus “observations”. What happened to 1998?? The “hottest” year has disappeared! Compare this with the satellite data:

    As has already been mentioned, the entire paper is primarily an exercise in handwaving and modeling. Even his “Green’s Function” calculation approach is not documented adequately. I’m still trying to figure out what the point of the “Green’s Function” calculation is (maybe someone can educate me on that). But again, as with Model E, proper documentation of numerical methods is not something they take seriously at NASA-GISS.

  62. Bogus.

    It’s physically impossible (as in ‘would violate the known laws of physics’) to determine the energy emitted from the Earth from within the Earth itself.

    Remember that the Earth also includes the gaseous envelope that surrounds the solid and liquid surface where we live.

    Mike.

  63. A physicist asks:

    Natural Question: Over what time span does a sustained energy imbalance of 0.58 watts per meter^2 supply enough excess energy to melt all of the ice-caps on earth, and thus raise ocean heights by two hundred feet? Is that ice-melting time span most nearly:

               (A) one year, or
               (B) one thousand years, or
               (C) one million years?

    A paleophysicist answers: No need to wait folks! The answer is 1095 years (approximately).Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner! :)

    The point of this question is to remind folks that seemingly insignificant energy imbalances (of order one-or-two watts/meter^2), when sustained over time, deposit enough energy to wreak vast changes upon our planet.

    That’s the common-sense reason Hansen and his colleagues now are focusing their scientific predictions upon the following three new “hockey sticks”:

               (A) accelerating seal-level rise, and
               (B) accelerating ice-mass loss, and
               (C) accelerating energy imbalance.

    In coming decades, Hansen and his colleagues are planning on being proven correct in these three predictions. And given the solid historical track record of Hansen’s 1981 predictions, and the check-for-yourself sensible thermodynamics of Hansen’s new predictions, rational skepticism must now focus its doubt upon those who assert “Hansen’s new predictions are wrong.”

    Hansen is confident that by the end of the present solar cycle (in 15 years or so), high-quality observations of the predicted three accelerations will constitute overwhelming evidence that his climate ideas are correct.

    And who’s to say Hansen isn’t justified in this confidence?

  64. I never did read the whole paper,
    but I did find that 0.58W/m2 that went missing!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/31/jim-hansens-balance-problem-of-0-58-watts/#comment-881571

    I don’t trust Hansen, period. When I started my own investigation, I asked him if he had ever worked out how much, exactly, the cooling effect was of each of the GHG’s. Do you think I ever got a reply?

    Just like all those other clever people who claim to have PhD’s in physics and what not, could not tell me either….

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/27/sixteen-prominent-scientists-publish-a-letter-in-wsj-saying-theres-no-need-to-panic-about-global-warming/#comment-878388

  65. Note that it was A.Physicist who does not know how much the cooling effect is of each of the GHG’s either. In fact, I doubt if he understands why a GHG is both cooling and warming the atmosphere.

  66. Elf says:”…but because Earth absorbs only 240 W m−2,…”

    This has got to be the silliest statement or part of a statement ever put forth. The earth will aborb whatever amount arrives at the surface there is no limiting switch that stops it at 240.

    Mr. Cotton again I concur.

  67. @APhysicist
    “And who’s to say Hansen isn’t justified in this confidence?”

    Maybe, but here’s a question for you: what does his use of erroneous TSI data for the period in question (as commented above) do to his calculation? Genuine question, no snark :-)

  68. Let’s look at the reality of measuring 0.58 W/M^2 delta and what effect that has on temperature.
    Let average solar input = 1366 W/M^2, so, 0.58/1366 = 0.0425% increase in energy input.
    Using the S-B relationship (delta radiation energy is proportional to Tn^4/To^4), the new temperature needed to get rid of Hanson’s excess energy, using an average temperature of say 15°C, or 288°K is…… 288.03°K.

    That’s an increase of 0.03°C!!!!! and that’s not 0.03° per day or year or decade it’s just that a 0.03°C rise is sufficient to dissipate an additional 0.58W/M^2. Can we measure that?? Is it meaningful?

    My head hurts!!
    BC

  69. HenryP says: In fact, I doubt if he understands why a GHG is both cooling and warming the atmosphere.

    With respect, HenryP, one of the best and clearest accounts of the mathematical and physical foundations of the link GHG \Leftrightarrow GHE \Leftrightarrow AGW is found in arch-skeptic Richard Lindzen’s 1989 review article ‘Some Coolness Concerning Global Warming’.

    Heck, if skeptics can’t trust Richard Lindzen’s physics, then whose physics can they trust?

    All that Hansen and his colleagues are doing, is tuning-up Lindzen’s physics, with a focus on reducing modeling uncertainties, then making specific (bold!) predictions of:

               (A) accelerating seal-level rise, and
               (B) accelerating ice-mass loss, and
               (C) accelerating energy imbalance.

    For everyone who reads Lindzen’s article, it will be plainly evident that Hansen and his colleagues have thoroughly embraced Lindzen’s criticisms.

    This is (IMHO) a good example of science-and-skepticism each strengthening the other … to the benefit of all.

    As for Hansen’s predictions, by the end of this solar cycle (in 15-18 years or so) humanity will have a very good idea whether Hansen’s ideas are essentially correct … and Lindzen-style rational skepticism most definitely will accommodate that possibility.

  70. pochas says:
    February 1, 2012 at 6:35 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////////
    If you read my post you would have observed that I am questioning the precise effect, in the real world conditions encountered in the planet’s atmosphere, of what we are measuring when taking note of DWLWIR.

    The misappreciation of its nature and effect (in particular its affect pn and over oceans) may well explain why there is no correlation between CO2 emissions and temperature during the instrument period, whether one looks at data sets produced by GISS or the UEA or satellite sets

    .

  71. To get some perspective on error potential, a recent discussion topic:

    1. Present NASA TOA solar irradiance, 340.25+/-22.74 W/m2, based on an orbital eccentricity of 0.0167; i.e. a 6.682% difference in irradiace between aphelion and perihelion positions. This orbital variation results in a 45.48 W/m2 total variation in TOA IS, which means that at a static albedo of 0.30, the non-reflected energy naturally varies during the year by 31.84 W/m2, a difference that is 55X the difference Hansen is looking for.

    2. Despite the higher TOA SI during summer in the Southern Hemisphere, the Northern Hemisphere is about 2C warmer over the year than the Southern, as a result of different land mass configurations, water and air currents. So a 32 W/m2 difference in TOA SI is MORE than compensated for by geometry and heat redistribution systems.

    3. The variance in TOA IS over an 11-year cycle is 0.1% of average TOA, or 0.34 W/m2, or 59% of what he says is “missing”.

    4. The amount Earth reflects, the albedo, is “approximately” 0.30, or 102.08 W/m2, i.e. the Earth does not reflect 238.17 W/m2 (though a small percent is refracted). Note that an a 2007 WUWT showed that from 1995 to 2007 the albedo rolled around +/- 5.0 W/m2, or +/-2.5 W/m2 on a day + night basis. This means the Earth is absorbing 31.84+/-5.0 W/m2 over the last 30 year period. This variation is 46X to 64X the amount Hansen et al can’t find.

    5. The average TOA IS varies by 0.1% over an 11 year cycle, amounting to 0.24 W/m2 of non-reflected energy, or 41% of the missing energy.

    Hansen et al claim to be able to determine the Earth’s energy balance sufficiently to identify a “missing” 0.58 W/m2. The Earth demonstrates an ability to move around more than 32 W/m2 during the year already, and has to move around up to 36 W/m2 at 100% efficiency JUST TO STAY THE SAME year-to-year. This movement must be consistent to 0.29 W/m2 for Hansen’s extended calculations to be meaningful by itself, a feat of 99.2% efficiency. His calculations of input AND output have to be each accurate within 0.12% as well (0.29 W/m2 out of 238.17 W/m2).

    Errors accumulate. Where and when the solar input and albedo changes are significantly effect how much energy is received. There is huge variation in the Earth’s system, and enough uncertainty in where (because of “when”) energy goes to question the REALITY of an accuracy to 0.58 W/m2.

    I don’t believe this stuff. It’s all a bridge too far.

  72. A physicist says @ February 1, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Heck, if skeptics can’t trust Richard Lindzen’s physics, then whose physics can they trust?

    Only those who produce stuff where the units are manifestly appropriate to the purported mechanism.

  73. The latest accurate measurements of the solar constant are from SORCE TIM and give a value of 1360.8 watts/m2. This is lower than previous value of ~1367 watts/m2 still quoted on Wikipedia and used by most climate models. It is also 5 watts/m2 less than that used by Hansen in the above graph. This is important also for energy balance calculations since the average incident average solar radiation on Earth is 340 watts/m2 and not 342 watts/m2. So to quote that there is a missing 0.58 watts/m2 “missing” when using a too high value of TSI value seems a bit too ambitious.
    See: Kopp, G. and J. L. Lean, A new, lower value of total solar irradiance: Evidence and climate significance, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38

  74. I wasn’t aware that people claimed that changes within the 11 year cause either global warming or global cooling. Perhaps this is just a red herring put out by GISS. I would think that scientists would look for longer term solar oscillations such as the DeVries cycles and see if there are any climate correlations.

  75. It only needs the ocean surface to heat by ~0.1C for it to radiate 0.58W/m2 more, not to mention the extra energy flux from evaporation, convection etc.
    And the imbalance of 0.58W/m2 over 6 years is sufficient to heat the ocean by 0.1C to a depth of over 200m, let alone just the surface.

    So how come the imbalance still exists, if it ever did?

  76. Here’s how this story is being played in the MSM:

    NASA: Global warming caused mostly by humans

    Jan 31, 2012
    By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY

    “A new NASA study tries to lay to rest the skepticism about climate change, especially vocal this year on the GOP presidential campaign trail. It finds, like other major scientific research, that greenhouse gases generated by human activities — not changes in solar activity — are the primary cause of global warming.”

  77. A physicist says

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/31/jim-hansens-balance-problem-of-0-58-watts/#comment-881771

    I am sorry, the link to the PDF does not work. The other info is useless.
    But if you know the balance sheet between the warming and cooling properties in the right Si units of each of the GHG’s why don’t you just give it to me?
    Note that in the case of the CO2, you must also give me the cooling figures for taking part in photosynthesis.

    The other issues you raise I have addressed,
    i.e.
    1) surveys show that sea levels in South Africa were up to 30 meters higher than now, some time during the past 20000 years
    2) the north west passage was open before, 1000 years ago. The vikings used it…

    3) the energy imbalance is most probably due to inaccurate methods/ & testing
    as reported by Clive Best, earlier,
    I suppose it depends whose test and methods you trust

    in my 40 year old book the solar constant is given as 1353 W/ m2 (1940 cal/min/cm2)
    so how did they get that result, and why is it different now?

  78. their thirty-year predictions from 1981 in ‘Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide’ are looking pretty solid right now.
    ———————————————————————-
    Sure, in the same manner a broken clock is right twice a day! Are you counting all of the corrections that have since been made, or just their random half educated guess from thirty years ago?

    Or how about his predictions from twenty years ago? Ten? What do [i]they[/i] look like right now? Got any other REALLY selective bits to present?

  79. Max says:
    January 31, 2012 at 8:15 pm
    “But the chart shows the 365 day mean ranging from about 1365.25 to 1367.5. Maybe my calculator is broken, but the ol’ chompulator says that’s a range of 2.25 W/m2, not 0.25. I guess the Sun is a lot brighter than I am. :)”

    Max, your calculator is right, these guys live and talk about their flat world located further then Mars where the sun shines all day long but with 1/4 of the Earth insulation, no night and day.

  80. So then, A physicist, does that mean you concur that all current de-carbonisation measures should be suspended until 15-18 years have elapsed, by which time we might have some idea of exactly what problem it is we are trying to solve?

  81. Richard111 says:
    February 1, 2012 at 12:08 am
    Just what is a layman supposed to believe? Here in Milford Haven, Wales UK, since late November through December and most of January the day/night air temperature barely
    changed from +10C. Today, as I type at 8:00am local, the temperature is -2C.
    And still no tutorials anywhere to explain to the interested layman how radiation from
    6kg of CO2 in the atmosphere of a 1m^2 column of air over water can change the
    temperature of the first 6mm of that water when the first 2mm of that water evaporates
    every day. The numbers don’t add up

    Actually, the radiation from C02 will not penetrate even 2MM into the ocean, the the warming effect of C02 radiation on the ocean is zero for all practicle purposes. The optical depth of the radiation from C02 evaporates before the photons can actually warm.

    Rather complicated process, but a chemical certainty that C02 radiation cannot warm water.

  82. As far as the energy imbalance:

    We may have an energy imbalance. However, the reason for that is not as straightforward as Dr. Hansen proclaims.

    We do not yet have the ability to measure how much H20 vapor is in the mesosphere. H20, even at reduced pressure, far outweighs C02.

    When we can get an accurate handle on strat and meso H20 vapor quantities, let’s talk. Till then, a great deal of supposition without qualification.

  83. igsy says: So then, A physicist, does that mean you concur that all current de-carbonisation measures should be suspended until 15-18 years have elapsed, by which time we might have some idea of exactly what problem it is we are trying to solve?

    Igsy, the principles of rational skepticism suffice to answer your question as follows:

    Q: Might a rational citizen quit smoking now, to diminish a chance of lung cancer in 15-18 years? A: Absolutely, yes.

    Q: Might a rational investor discount the market value of 20-year bonds in carbon-based power plants, in proportion to the probability that Hansen’s predictions may be proved right? A: Absolutely, yes.

    Q: Can climate-change skeptics rationally assert “The probability that Hansen’s climate-change predictions are right is negligible?” A: No, they cannot.

  84. Richard G says:
    January 31, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    How many watts go into biomass carbohydrate bonds and are actually stored chemically? I think he confuses storage with equilibration.

    I agree. This is a vitally important part of the equation, and one that is almost impossible to work out to any relevant degree. It could be the real ‘missing heat’, after all. If so, that is great! More plants = more food, more raw materials, etc. All we are really doing is turning all that useless (at least where it is) black stuff into useful things again.

  85. Dennis Ray Wingo January 31, 2012 at 8:03 pm says:

    “Anyone who claims that they can measure the difference between incoming and outgoing radiation to three significant digits is already beyond recovery.”

    I could not agree more! Clearly, if you assigned these wackos a simple task of detailing the energy budget of a city or a neighborhood or a single street or even a house (test it on a small greenhouse!), they could not complete the task within single degrees let alone thousandths of a degree. They are off by an order of magnitude of accuracy before they even begin.

    There are several human foibles that are becoming clear now. For one, the astonishing arrogance that the Earth’s so-called energy budget can be thoroughly measured, accurately quantified and then modeled and plotted! Not today or 500 years from now folks! And we can forget today especially because of the politics that are infesting every molecule of these megalomaniac AGW Scientologists, every single one of them.

    Beyond this stunning arrogance lies something else, I don’t know, gullibility or ignorance of those willing to play along with this shark jumping. Whatever the underlying reason, even entertaining this madness is doing one thing, enabling them to continue. That’s right, if you humor a psychopath, you are not helping them. Just like supplying a junkie or alcoholic with heroin or booze cannot ever be helpful.

    Finally, consider the absolute conflict of interest right in front of our eyes. The same people that take the supposedly objective measurements or are in charge of maintaining the objective databases, are also busy subjectivelyadjusting them and interpreting them. And then these same people are leading the advocacy charge to pass legislation to alter policy, and/or using existing FedGov agencies to force policy, and/or using lawsuits to block activities, and/or picketing and getting arrested doing the same!

    Honestly, it is impossible to imagine how climate research and policy could be any less Scientific than it is today. And it is our own fault because long ago, Sagan, Ehrlich, and Hansen were for some reason taken seriously and never humiliated like they should have been. Now Science, and the Scientific Method, and Logic, and Common Sense are all in dire straits.

  86. Maybe one has to ask the question this way?

    Did the earth cool from 1940-1970? Or was it warming then as well?

    Or…..what is an AGW person mean when they say it is warming. Is 10.0C warmer than 9.0C?

    I just don’t get it why it is so hard to just admit it isn’t warming and get on with life.

    When it does start warming again, which I really would like to see, I will admit it as to me 10.0C is warmer than 9.0C.

  87. From a physical point of view, the analysis of Hansen et al. (2011) is senseless stuff. Their Eq. (1) given by

    S = DT_eq/F (1)

    is based on the so-called climate feedback equation which has its origin in the global energy balance model of Schneider & Mass (1975). Here, S is the so-called climate sensitivity parameter, DT_eq is the change of the global surface temperature, T_s, from the equilibrium of the undisturbed system to that of the system disturbed by the anthropogenic forcing F.
    This global energy balance model reads

    R dT_s/dt = Q – T_s/S , (2)

    where R is the thermal inertia coefficient only valid for a layer, but not for a surface, and Q is called the radiative forcing. The term on the LHS of this equation is not entirely correct. It must read R dT_m/dt, where T_m is the volume-averaged temperature for this layer (Kramm & Dlugi, 2010). Generally, to replace T_m by T_s is invalid. Furthermore, Eq. (2) is based on the assumption that the atmosphere is always in a stationary state. This means that the energy flux balance must fulfill following condition (Kramm and Dlugi, 2010, 2011):

    R_L(TOA) = A S_o/4 + H(ES) + E(ES) + DR_L(ES) . (3)

    Here, A S_o/4 is the absorption of solar radiation by the atmosphere (where S_o is the solar constant and A the planetary absorptivity in the solar range), and R_L(TOA) is the outgoing infrared radiation at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). Furthermore, H(ES), E(ES), and DR_LES) are the fluxes of sensible and latent heat as well as the net radiation in the infrared range at the earth’s surface (ES), respectively. If the planetary radiation balance at the TOA is fulfilled as suggested by Trenberth et al. (2009) and many others (see Kiehl & Trenberth, 1997; Kramm and Dlugi, 2011), i.e.,

    (1 – alpha_S) S_o/4 – R_L(TOA) = 0 , (4)

    where alpha_S is the planetary albedo of the entire earth-atmosphere system in the solar range, then the energy flux balance at the ES is given by

    (1 – alpha_S – A) – H(ES) – E(ES) – DR_L(ES) = 0 . (5)

    If the outgoing infrared radiation is reduced by F due to the anthropogenic effect, Eq. (3) may be written as

    R_L(TOA) – F = A S_o/4 + H(ES) + E(ES) + DR_L(ES) – F (6)

    This would mean that the net radiation at the ES would be reduced by F. However, this does not automatically mean that the surface temperature must increase to re-establish a planetary radiation balance at the TOA (see Eq. (4)), as already argued by Ramanathan et al. (1987). Since the flux terms H(ES), E(ES), and DR_L(ES) are global averages of the corresponding local quantities, none of these flux terms is a function of the global surface temperature. Furthermore, there is no constant ratio between the H(ES) plus (E(ES) on the one hand and DR_L(ES) on the other hand. A reduction of DR_L(ES) by F can easily be compensated by H(ES) and/or E(ES) to fulfill the energy flux balance (5). The same is true in case of any other of these flux terms. Moreover, the uncertainty inherent in the determination of the fluxes of sensible and latent heat is so large that F may be assessed as peanuts.

    In the capture of their Figure 17 Hansen et al. (2011) repeated here by the first figure stated:

    “Recent estimates of mean solar irradiance (Kopp and Lean, 2011) are smaller, 1360.8±0.5 W/m^2, but the uncertainty of the absolute value has no significant effect on the solar forcing, which depends on the temporal change of irradiance.”

    This argument is highly awkward. If R_L(TOA) is reduced by F, Eq. (4) must be written as

    (1 – alpha_S) S_o/4 – R_L(TOA) + F = 0 . (7)

    Thus, the amount of F = 0.58±0.15 W/m^2 is notably smaller than that of the quantity

    alpha_S (S_o,old – S_o,new) /4 = 0.88 W/m^2 .

    Here, S_o, old = 1366 W/m^2 and S_o, new = 1361 W/m^2.

    Finally, it is worthy to take a look on the 240 W/m^2, according to Hansen et al. (2011), the solar energy averaged over the planet’s surface. First of all, this the amount of the solar radiation that affects the entire earth-atmosphere system, i.e., (1 – alpha_S) S_o/4. According to Trenberth et al. (2009) and many others the solar radiation reaching the earth’s surface is much smaller. Customarily, a value of alpha_S = 0.3 for the planetary albedo is used. This means that the solar constant that corresponds to 240 W/m^2 must be:

    S_o = 1371 W/m^2

    This is a value which was delivered by early satellite observations (NIMBUS7/ERB; see http://www.acrim.com/).

    The accuracy in the quantification of the global energy flux balance as claimed by Hansen et al. (2011) is, by far, not achievable. This is a simple fact that is based on physics, rather than on faith in anthropogenic global warming.

  88. A Physicist and I suspect others: What are you suggesting we do to avert the coming catastrophe? Convert the worlds entire energy supply to low density sources (windmills etc.)? Since you are convinced this is going to happen if we do nothing, why don’t you and others suggest alternatives that don’t involve subjecting the whole of Western civilisation to abject poverty?
    Jim

  89. JimJ says: A Physicist and I suspect others: What are you suggesting we do? Jim

    James Hansen is a huge fan of nuclear power in general, thorium reactors in particular: see for example Hansen’s Why America Needs Nuclear Energy.

    It’s not that Hansen fantasizes that nuclear power is perfectly safe, but over the long haul, it’s a whole lot safer than messing with the planetary biosphere.

    Yeah, tough decisions are coming. In fact, they’re here now.

  90. @ a physicist: Q: Can climate-change skeptics rationally assert “The probability that Hansen’s climate-change predictions are right is negligible?” A: No, they cannot.

    Q: Can you rationally aassert that the probability of the Svensmark hypothesis being correct is negligible? No. Several very legitimate experiments, including CERN CLOUD (71 scientists from 17 countries) show a possible mechanism if not detailed methods.

    It seems to me that your question is an argument from authority. We should believe and act upon Hansen, but ignore Svensmark, for example.

    In grade school, my teachers asserted that geological science was settled, and the continents were fixed and immovable. Out of school I was reading about Wegner and continental drift.

    IMHO, we are all a bunch of Newtonian physicists trying to explain time dilation. The depth of the chaotic influences on climate are not at all well understood by ANYONE in the field, despite the hubris imparted by so called modern technology and government funding. The rise of the Inca civilization in the Urubamba Valley in Peru is suspiciously correlated with the Medieval Warm Period in Europe. Any casual visitor today can see the incredible irrigation systems built high on the mountains that are today desiccated highlands. The high priests were the incontrovertible masters of the earth and when the rains stopped coming, metaphorically demanded that the climate Gods be appeased by throwing another virgin in the volcano. How is your suggestion different? Or more effective?

  91. Gerhard Kramm says:
    February 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Absolutely great analysis. I can find nothing wrong with your methodology, and certainly nothing wrong with your conclusion.

    Thank you.

  92. JimJ says:
    February 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    “A Physicist and I suspect others: What are you suggesting we do to avert the coming catastrophy?”

    I suggest they collectively give up ALL petroleum products. TODAY. NOW. To not do otherwise would make them hypocrites of the first degree. And also please do NOT use energy derived from fossil fuels either. Find your own alternatives, and leave the rest of us trying to make a living in the private sector alone!

  93. A physicist says:
    February 1, 2012 at 5:38 pm
    JimJ says: A Physicist and I suspect others: What are you suggesting we do? Jim

    James Hansen is a huge fan of nuclear power in general, thorium reactors in particular: see for example Hansen’s Why America Needs Nuclear Energy.

    It’s not that Hansen fantasizes that nuclear power is perfectly safe, but over the long haul, it’s a whole lot safer than messing with the planetary biosphere.

    Yeah, tough decisions are coming. In fact, they’re here now.

    ————————

    Yes thorium is a shining possibility. But that is a facile and incomplete suggestion. To understand the magnitude of the problem, fly over any large city, LA, Bejing, London, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, or a thousand others, and look down at the millions of cars, homes with heating systems and industries that depend on fossil fuels. That is he real problem. What does Hansen have to say about how to economically and politically make the transition? Nothing? Didn’t think so.

    One of the reasons that many of us are skeptics, apart from the infantile state of the science, is that the “climate conferences” seem to represent nothing more than the resurgence of the Bolshevicks, intent on punishing the bad (energy intensive) societies for the benefit of the have-nots, without suggesting positive and progressive ways forward for humanity as it exists today and guided by an unelected global bureaucracy of high priests.

    In the next hundred years, LOTS of things will change in our use and understanding of energy. I for one am not willing to throw my virgin daughter into the volcano, live in an unheated cave (no fires allowed) and ride a bicycle just because some God of Climate says I have to but can’t explain demonstrably why. /rant off

  94. Mind you, according to my book, apparently also reported in Nasa report R-351
    the solar constant varies by 2%.
    I reckon that that variation could be applicable at anytime, depending on the activity of the sun?
    So the reported 1.940 cal/min/cm2 +/- 2% (in R-351) translates to 1353 W/m2 +/- 2%,
    meaning, at any given time it fluctuates between 1326 and 1380 W/m2
    So incoming (above the atmosphere) also varies between 332 and 345 W/m2
    I donot know if it varies by that much, that you can simply work on an average.

    I therefore agree with what Clive Best has suggested in his earlier post:

    “So to quote that there is a missing 0.58 watts/m2 “missing” when using a too high value of TSI value seems a bit too ambitious.
    See: Kopp, G. and J. L. Lean, A new, lower value of total solar irradiance: Evidence and climate significance, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38″

    Eitherway, even if there is a missing 0.58 W/m2, I know where it went: less de-forestation and destruction of the environment and increasing greenery.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/31/jim-hansens-balance-problem-of-0-58-watts/#comment-881571

  95. HenryP says:
    February 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm
    Mind you, according to my book, apparently also reported in Nasa report R-351
    the solar constant varies by 2%.

    Actually not, you are off by a factor of ten.

  96. Henry@Leif

    Another book gives the solar constant also 1360 W/m2 like also reported by Clive Best,
    but it does not give me a range of variation.
    Where did you find the variation reported as 0.2% ?

  97. Henry@Leif

    BTW, I checked Nasa R-351
    On pg 73 it reports the error as 0.03 cal/min/cm2
    which on the 1.94 cal/min/cm2 works out to 1.6%
    I suppose subsequent books on physics have therefore rounded this value to 2%

    I am stating what R-351 has reported. If it has been superseded, please let me know.

  98. Gerhard Feb 1 4:49pm

    Excellent post: if others don’t like reading equations they may find my explanation of the same thing helpful at http://climate-change-theory.com

    Hansen’s hopeless error is perhaps the single most important, and yet easiest to pinpoint problem (meaning blunder) in the whole AGW debate. He left out those terms for conduction, convection, evaporation etc instead of subtracting them from the energy left for radiation.

  99. Marcoinpanama says: What does Hansen have to say about how to economically and politically make the transition? Nothing? Didn’t think so.

    Marcoinpanama, rational skepticism appreciates that the following two questions are separate:

        Q1 Is the Hansen-style link GHG \Leftrightarrow GHE \Leftrightarrow AGW a sobering scientific reality?

        Q2 How can we best make a transition to a safe planetary energy economy?

    Thus, to the extent that skepticism is rational, the answer to Q1 has nothing to do with the answer to Q2.

    Whereas, the answer to Q2 has everything to do with the answer to Q1.

    A considerable proportion of arguments here on WUWT posit a reverse dependency Q1 \Leftarrow Q2: these arguments are skeptical to be sure, but they are not rationally skeptical.

  100. @ Gerhard Kramm

    Thank you for that logical and clear analysis.

    I would be interested in an alarmist’s thoughts on Gehrhard’s post.

  101. A physicist says:
    February 2, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Have you stopped using petroleum products yet?? And energy from fossil fuels…

  102. This is the first paper I’ve read from Hansen in years that might have a chance of advancing the science. Rather than just asserting the debate is over, he seems to be conceding they have yet to make the case and addresses problems with the models. He concedes some important points. The models have correlated errors in their ocean components, and it is because they are not independent as is assume and required for ensemble statistics:

    “One plausible explanation for why many models have sim- ilarly slow response functions is common ancestry. The ocean component of many atmosphere-ocean climate mod- els is the GFDL Bryan-Cox ocean model (Bryan, 1969; Cox, 1984). Common ancestry of the ocean sub-model is true for some of the principal models contributing to the IPCC (2001, 2007) climate studies, including (1) Parallel Climate Model (PCM), which uses the NCAR CCM3 at- mosphere and land model with the Department of Energy Parallel Ocean Program ocean model (Washington et al., 2000), (2) GFDL R30 coupled climate model (Delworth et al., 2002), which uses version 1.1 of the Modular Ocean Model (Pacanowski et al., 1991), and (3) HadCM3 with at- mosphere model described by Pope et al. (2000) and ocean model described by Gordon et al. (2000).”

    Hansen even speculates about how the models can be so right, when they are so wrong, quite and intellectually honest concession, but he could have benefited from a more expansive review of the diagnostic literature than just aerosols. The correlated positive surface albedo bias of Roesch (2007) could fill the role on its own, with enough left over to balance the correlated under representation of the increase in precipitation seen in the observations Wentz (2007).

    To Hansen: a tentative welcome back to the effort to actually move the science forward. If the model community will admit and conscientiously address the diagnostic issues, our understanding of this nonlinear dynamic system may be in a much better state in a couple more model generations. Perhaps it is too much to hope that this a harbinger of a time when scientists are once again on the same skeptical, no-holds-barred “team”. These should be such exciting times for climate science.

  103. Dr. Hansen,

    If “assessment of the imbalance requires measurement accuracy approaching 0.1 W m−2″, shouldn’t at least level of accuracy also been needed for model based attribution of the warming to various forcings and projection of the climate based upon future scenarios? I believe you have just conceded as much. I offer you a simple, heartfelt thank you. The last time I teared up about climate science was back at the initial climategate revelations, and it was for quite the opposite reasons.

    I know, I know … I’m over reacting, but it is tough not to be emotional when one has had a lifelong love affair with science.

  104. Henry@Leif

    The link

    http://st4a.stelab.nagoya-u.ac.jp/nagoya_workshop_2/pdf/1-1_Lean.pdf

    is like a piece of propaganda for AGW.
    Leif, you disappoint me.

    You should read again my latest results (which is not propaganda)
    and try to follow my thinking why I say your carbon foot print is good for earth.

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

    I hope you realize that the margin for error (variation) must actually be measured, 3 x M’s
    man (various people), if there are none, then that is better,
    method (various methods, if avalaible)
    machine
    in fact there are at least two machines here,
    the one doing the actual measurement and the sun itsself, which also has variation.

    Unless you come to me with actual results on how the error margin that you claim is 0.2% ,
    was arrived at,
    I have to go with the 1.6% that was actually compiled and measured in R-351.
    That means of course that the raving and ranting of the missing 0.58 watts is a bit of a joke,
    is it not?

  105. If that TSI graph is real; and I just presume that it is, why did NASA recently suggest that current TSI best value is actually 1362 W/m^2, and maybe some change. It was reported here at WUWT, and 1362 is the value I currently use to replace the old historic 1353 W/m^2 of my school days.

  106. HenryP says:
    February 2, 2012 at 8:47 am
    Unless you come to me with actual results on how the error margin that you claim is 0.2% ,
    was arrived at, I have to go with the 1.6% that was actually compiled and measured in R-351.

    R-351 is so old that it is a joke that you go with that. The error margin is actually “provided with a relative standard uncertainty (absolute accuracy) of approximately 0.01% (100 parts per million, ppm) based on SI units and with a long-term precision (relative accuracy) of 0.001%/yr (10 ppm).”
    Here is how TSI is measured: http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/data/tsi_data.htm#quality
    The solar cycle variation is of the order of 0.15%.

  107. Frther on the above, I have seen a variety of reported satellite measures of TSI, going back about three total solar (half) cycles, but unfortunately no continuous three cycle record from any one.
    And those numbers were more in the 1366-7 range, similar to the first graph above. Yes the various partial satellite records, had some offsets; but that’s a natural result of technology improvement, and I don’t put much significance to those (three) different satellite figures.

    What I really would like to know, is HOW GOOD was that old 1353 number; probably a result from rockets or balloons (likely with corrections.)

    Some name like Thekaekara comes to mind. Maybe Dr Leif could tell us “who dat ?”

    I don’t think current climate is too closely linked to TSI.

    ” It’s the WATER ! “

  108. “”””” Dale says:

    January 31, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    According to my eyeballing, isn’t the difference between max and min solar cycles around 1.25 W/m2 and not 0.25 as specified by Hansen? “””””

    Well no it isn’t. You are looking at the blue line. The red line is the actual TSI data, and it clearly has at least a 1.5 W/m^2 range.

    If you want to pick a number, it would seem that TSI is 1366 W/m^2, and what is with that “proxy data” before 1978. Why not just leave that out, since it is not real data, or at least he could have predicted it; excuse me, that’s projected it back to before the first minimum, which might have shown his most recent minimum is simply “ho hum-yawn”

    Perhaps the “proxy data” comes from Briffa’s Christmas tree, in Yamal.

  109. Are the Argo buoys tethered to some solid place, that has a lat/long co-ordinate or do they simply drift around the ocean; or do they drive themselves to some fixed GPS location ?

    How do we know that and particular Argo buoy, is always in the same block of water at watever depth it is at; because the water is certainly not locked to any GPS location ?

    And remember, they are looking for extremely small Temperature variations, so even with 3400 buoys, Nyquist aliassing noise must be a concern. So how often does any buoy take some Temperature reading, or some location fix ?

    I agree the buoys are better than nothing; but I wonder about the reliability of the numbers, specially the “proxy data”

  110. Seems to me there are only two ways to measure the earth’s energy budget:

    1. Measure energy entering vs energy leaving. TOA satellite measurements.

    Fail: Instrumental accuracy.
    (CERES) data is adjusted from the measured 6.4 W m−2 gap to match the modelled 0.85 ± 0.15 W m−2 gap (Hansen et al. (2005) (now,above, it is more recently a 0.58 W m−2 gap?) …. using …taDAH! …modelled data ……
    (Loeb etal 2009 ‘Toward Optimal Closure of the Earth’s Top-of-Atmosphere Radiation Budget’ J. Climate, 22, 748–766)

    2. Measure the temperature change of ‘the planet’ accurately over a set time period. Then show that any change is significant taking into account all positional and seasonal variations over the set time period, compared with other set periods of time.

    Fail: Statistical inaccuracy. We need more replicates. Some ‘slight’ difficulty in choosing suitable ‘control’ comparison periods.
    Fail: Measurement accuracy/inadequate time period.

  111. The only way to measure radiation imbalance through satellites is to give the raw data to a statistical agency staffed by real mathematicians who have no incentive system in the results.

    Keep Hansen away from the data.

    The Argo data was like this for a period of time. Now Hansen’s co-authors are interpreting it. Of course, it has now been adjusted to CO2 = MC^2.

  112. Henry@Leif

    The paper you now quote says: (data quality description)
    Present absolute accuracy is estimated to be 0.48 W/m^2 (350 ppm), largely determined by the agreement between all four TIM radiometers. The 4.5 W/m^2 by which the TIM reads lower than prior instruments has been resolved as being largely due to internal instrument scatter in those prior instruments causing erroneously high readings (see Kopp & Lean, GRL, 38, L01706, 2011).

    The [0.48] works out to [0.04]% to which we must still add the [0.15]% that you say is measured as the variation coming from the sun.
    That brings us now to about 0.2%.
    That is indeed a lot better.
    However, the statement that it reads 4.5 W/m2 lower than previous instrumentation raises my eyebrows again. He quotes a very recent paper where presumeably the errors of the previous equipment were explained.

    Which instrumentation did Hansen use?

  113. A Physicist says: More broadly, it is not rational for skeptics to underestimate the scientific foresight of James Hansen and his colleagues: their thirty-year predictions from 1981 in ‘Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide’ are looking pretty solid right now.

    I have a model called the AMO that works quite well from 1981 also.

  114. “”””” Leif Svalgaard says:

    February 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    George E. Smith; says:
    February 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm “””””

    Thanks Leif, I presume that those earlier earth bound scientists applied whatever corrections seemed to make sense to them at the time; but I can see it was a difficult task in those days. Given what we have learned about earth’s outer atmosphere since then, it is surprising they were able to do as well as they did.
    The article you pointed to mentioned that they measured the “entire solar spectrum” Realistically, about what wavelength range does that cover. I can see how a “cavity” sensor, can capture pretty much any wavelength, but I wonder how much of it actually registers on the sensor. If the sensor, is completely Temperature responsive, it would seem that ANY wavelength can cause heat. It would be the exception for any wavelength to NOT cause heat.

  115. HenryP says:
    February 3, 2012 at 5:27 am
    That brings us now to about 0.2%.
    As I said.

    However, the statement that it reads 4.5 W/m2 lower than previous instrumentation raises my eyebrows again. He quotes a very recent paper where presumeably the errors of the previous equipment were explained.
    Indeed, the early errors are understood as coming from light scattered back into the instrument.

    George E. Smith; says:
    February 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm
    If the sensor, is completely Temperature responsive, it would seem that ANY wavelength can cause heat. It would be the exception for any wavelength to NOT cause heat.
    ALL wavelengths are indeed measured, that is why it is called TOTAL solar irradiance.

  116. “”””” Leif Svalgaard says:

    February 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    George E. Smith; says:
    February 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm
    If the sensor, is completely Temperature responsive, it would seem that ANY wavelength can cause heat. It would be the exception for any wavelength to NOT cause heat.

    ALL wavelengths are indeed measured, that is why it is called TOTAL solar irradiance. “””””

    How poetic; who would have thought that the best way to measure the totality of everything arriving, was to simply WASTE all of it as “heat” ; surely the lowest form of energy life. I hope they designed the cavity to be silent so it didn’t make any noise by converting EM radiation into sound or some other heat “leakage”.

    Years ago, HP made some sort of fancy thin film “black gold” Bolometer, that had a tiny thermal mass so it was decidedly rapid reponding for a thermal gizmo. That had to be over 30 years ago, so I can’t imagine what the moden bolometer technology is.

  117. And as a footnote, our reluctant friend Myrrh, still believes that visible light can’t heat anything. Just yakking on your cell phone can heat things.

  118. Well, either way,
    in case there are some who missed my logic,
    0.58 W/m2
    works out on the 1361 as 0.04%
    And if the combined variation of equipment (0.04) and sun (0.15) = 0.19%
    then the 0.58 W/m2 is actually very well within the variation of the whole measuring system and could not possibly be taken as a significant result to draw any conclusions all…

    Not least the blaming of CO2 for the missing 0.58 W/m2

    Most recently I have discovered that it is more likely that some warming on earth occurs due to the increase in greenery.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/31/jim-hansens-balance-problem-of-0-58-watts/#comment-881571

  119. HenryP says:
    February 4, 2012 at 1:26 am
    And if the combined variation of equipment (0.04)
    You got this basically wrong. There is a difference between the absolute calibration and the relative calibration. The latter [which is what matters] has much smaller variation: 0.001%/yr (10 ppm).

  120. A physicist says:
    February 1, 2012 at 7:23 am

    “In coming decades, Hansen and his colleagues are planning on being proven correct in these three predictions. And given the solid historical track record of Hansen’s 1981 predictions, and the check-for-yourself sensible thermodynamics of Hansen’s new predictions, rational skepticism must now focus its doubt upon those who assert “Hansen’s new predictions are wrong.”

    Zadoc the Priest and Nathan the Physicist anointed Hanson King.

  121. Henry@!Leif

    The variation of equipment is 0.04% as they reported.Don’t confuse that issue.

    I think there are two problems that are causing some other confusion for me here:
    I quote from the post:

    “The calculated value of the imbalance (0.58 watts of excess energy per square meter) is more than twice as much as the reduction in the amount of solar energy supplied to the planet between maximum and minimum solar activity (0.25 watts per square meter).”

    The missing 0.58 W/m2 presumably from TSI is compared with 2x the variation coming from the sun.
    If the variation of the sun between max and min is only 0.25W/m2 that works out to 0.02%.
    But you said the variation from the sun was 0.15%

    The other problem could be: are they talking about a missing 0.58 W/m2 from the 240 going back to space from earth? It seemed to me they had recalculated the “missing” 0.58 W/m2 in terms of TSI.

  122. HenryP says:
    February 4, 2012 at 8:07 am
    The variation of equipment is 0.04% as they reported.Don’t confuse that issue.
    No, the variation of equipment is not 0.04%. the equipment is stable to 0.001% per year. The uncertainty in the total is 0.04%, but that is a constant and does not vary with time.

    If the variation of the sun between max and min is only 0.25W/m2 that works out to 0.02%.
    But you said the variation from the sun was 0.15%

    The variation between min and max is at most 2 W/m2 or 0.15%, but is cyclic so does not a long-term trend.

  123. Henry@Leif

    I quote both the relevant sections

    “Data Quality Description

    On-orbit instrument characterization is an on-going effort, as the TIM team regularly tracks instrument degradation and calibrates the instrument servo system on-orbit, periodically updating the data processing system with new calibration values. Only minor corrections are anticipated at this phase in the SORCE/TIM mission. To date the TIM is proving very stable with usage and solar exposure, and long-term relative uncertainties are estimated to be less than 0.014 W/m2/yr (10 ppm/yr). Present absolute accuracy is estimated to be 0.48 W/m^2 (350 ppm), largely determined by the agreement between all four TIM radiometers. The 4.5 W/m^2 by which the TIM reads lower than prior instruments has been resolved as being largely due to internal instrument scatter in those prior instruments causing erroneously high readings (see Kopp & Lean, GRL, 38, L01706, 2011).

    Measurement Objectives

    The primary objective of the SORCE Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) instrument is to make precise and accurate measurements of Total Solar Irradiance (TSI), adding to previous TSI measurements in order to continue the long-term climate record. Once on-orbit instrument characterization is complete, these TSI measurements will be provided with a relative standard uncertainty (absolute accuracy) of approximately 0.01% (100 parts per million, ppm) based on SI units and with a long-term precision (relative accuracy) of 0.001%/yr (10 ppm).”
    end quote

    With due respect,

    the data quality description is: as it stands, not what we want or hope it will be (objectives).
    As it stands it is: 0.48 W/m2. (0.04%). Remember also the 4.5 W/m2 by which previous results must be reduced. (0.33%)
    Once in use, they hope to re-calibrate to get better precision. If they can or have achieved that, and how they did that, is a matter for another report, which you did not yet quote to me.
    Personally, I think to reach 0.01 is perhaps a bit over optimistic, in my opinion.

    About the variation coming from the sun:I read the same what you said somewhere else. If the rate of change every year is more or less constant, or follows a curve, it could be tracked;
    however, if you look at the first graph in this post, there is (still) an awful great variation in the 31 day running mean, even in the blue area.

    Referring to that first graph in this post, I understand now that the 0.25 applies to solar forcing (i.e. outgoing from earth);
    sorry about me misunderstanding that.

    However, for the blue area (period analysed) it is not clear to me if, how and when the correction of 4.5 W/m2 was applied. (I believe the average for TSI should now be 1361.5 W/m2)

  124. HenryP says:
    February 4, 2012 at 11:50 am
    the data quality description is: as it stands, not what we want or hope it will be (objectives).
    As it stands it is: 0.48 W/m2. (0.04%). Remember also the 4.5 W/m2 by which previous results must be reduced. (0.33%)

    You do not appreciate the difference between accuracy and precision, or absolute and relative calibration. No amount of quoting what you do not understand will change that. Let me give you an example: The amount of heat measured depends on the size [the area] of the entrance hole to the cavity. The accuracy of the measurements depends then on the accuracy with which that area is measured. But since the area does not change the error in determining its size is constant and therefore has no bearing on the error in the variation from day to day or from year to year of the TSI measured. For the variability of the climate, the absolute accuracy [set by the error of the area of the entrance hole] is irrelevant. What matters is how precisely the variation from day to day or from year to year is measured, and that is to 0.001%/yr.

    Once in use, they hope to re-calibrate to get better precision.
    Again you confuse precision with accuracy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accuracy_and_precision

  125. HenryP says:
    February 4, 2012 at 11:50 am
    it is not clear to me if, how and when the correction of 4.5 W/m2 was applied. (I believe the average for TSI should now be 1361.5 W/m2)
    The 4.5 W/m2 difference is due to the earlier instruments construction which allow stray light to enter the cavity so is not a function of time, but of instrument. It is not an ‘uncertainty’, but a straightforward systematic error that can be corrected simply by subtracting the 4.5 from all readings by instruments with that error, no matter when they were made.

  126. Sorry Leif

    Miracles do happen, but what with errors being recently discovered in the order of 4.5 W /m2, on a total of 1361, you are not going to make me believe that they now you can easily achieve a variation of <0.01% with your measuring equipment.

    In fact, the mystery of the 4.5 (not coming inwards) could help explain the 0.58 that they claim is not going outwards. It has almost got the correct ratio.

  127. HenryP says:
    February 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm
    Miracles do happen, but what with errors being recently discovered in the order of 4.5 W /m2, on a total of 1361, you are not going to make me believe that they now you can easily achieve a variation of <0.01% with your measuring equipment.
    It’s 0.001%. You may have some ulterior motive not to believe what the experimenters themselsves find.

    In fact, the mystery of the 4.5 (not coming inwards) could help explain the 0.58 that they claim is not going outwards. It has almost got the correct ratio.
    It is not a mystery. It is totally understood. And was due to a mistake in the construction of the earlier instruments allowing stray light to enter the cavity, thereby registering more heat than there actually should have been given the area of the entrance aperture. A mistake not repeated in the SORCE/TIM instrument.

  128. Leif Svalgaard says:
    February 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm
    u.k.(us) says:
    February 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm
    All this dancing around the truth, which is, it is not fully understood.
    You cannot transfer your ignorance to others…
    ====================
    So. ignorance is me, and Leif can not tell when he is being played for a response.
    Ignorance is an uninformed intellect.
    Take your pick.

  129. u.k.(us) says:
    February 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm
    So. ignorance is me, and Leif can not tell when he is being played for a response.
    I don’t play with this [or like being play with], just report the best I can in the interest of educating.

  130. Leif Svalgaard says:
    February 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm
    “I don’t play with this [or like being play with], just report the best I can in the interest of educating.”
    ===========
    I know you do Leif.
    I am ignorant, yet enjoy winding you up :)
    Keep us informed !

    [Moderator’s Note: Poking at lions through the bars is not nice and occassionally ends very badly. -REP]

  131. “”””” Leif Svalgaard says:

    February 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    HenryP says:
    February 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm
    Miracles do happen, but what with errors being recently discovered in the order of 4.5 W /m2, on a total of 1361, you are not going to make me believe that they now you can easily achieve a variation of <0.01% with your measuring equipment.
    It’s 0.001%. You may have some ulterior motive not to believe what the experimenters themselsves find.

    In fact, the mystery of the 4.5 (not coming inwards) could help explain the 0.58 that they claim is not going outwards. It has almost got the correct ratio.
    It is not a mystery. It is totally understood. And was due to a mistake in the construction of the earlier instruments allowing stray light to enter the cavity, thereby registering more heat than there actually should have been given the area of the entrance aperture. A mistake not repeated in the SORCE/TIM instrument. """""

    Given that thermal detectors inherently can respond from down to but not including DC (let's you turn the power on), and up to but not including infinity (frequency), the optical design of a cavity trap essentially permits "nothing" to exist in the hemisphere in front of the capture aperture, because any such thing will reflect some sort of energy that can enter the aperture. That even includes the rim of the aperture itself. So how do you stop the sun from heating the rim of the aperture, which will result in the capture of solar energy that is actually outside the area of the aperture itself.

    The inverse problem of building a good black body emitting cavity has the same kinds of almost insoluble problems.

    It doesn't surprise me a bit, that the people making these things are constantly discovering "gotchas" that need to be revised later.
    I don't believe that anything I have ever designed (and had built) wasn't immediately improvable as soon as it was made. The old Silicon Valley saying: "If it works; it's obsolete." is just as true today, as it has ever been.

  132. George E. Smith; says:
    February 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm
    So how do you stop the sun from heating the rim of the aperture, which will result in the capture of solar energy that is actually outside the area of the aperture itself.
    By having ‘nothing’ in front of the aperture and by not letting light from the rim enter the cavity. Figure 4 of http://www.leif.org/EOS/2010GL045777.pdf shows the design. What is more, one can calibrate the instrument [at NIST] by exposing it to a known amount of radiation. This calibration is key to the measurement.

  133. Leif Svalgaard says:
    [this] error that can be corrected simply by subtracting the 4.5 from all readings by instruments with that error, no matter when they were made.

    Henry@Leif
    I suppose you can do that and it looks simple enough, until of course somebody forgets or somebody new steps in who does not know.
    The fact remains that in the (NASA) graph that accompanies this story, the 4.5 has not been substracted.
    Do you agree with me on that?
    So the graph is wrong.
    It looks to me like they did not want to throw away their old plots, so they carried on with the higher values. Possibly somebody new started working with this and he collected the data from the argo floats.
    He went with the the old sun plots as being the gospel truth. Nowhere in the graph does it say that you have to subtract 4.5 W/m2.
    0.6/4.5 is almost equal to 240/1361
    So there is your missing 0.58 W/m2.
    It was the error that was forgotten/ignored
    i.e. the argo floats cannot measure what is not there in the first place.

    Are we all agreed?

  134. HenryP says:
    February 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    The fact remains that in the (NASA) graph that accompanies this story, the 4.5 has not been subtracted.
    As long as one is consistent, it doesn’t matter if the 4.5 has been subtracted. It is often convenient to stay with the old value [as long as it doesn’t matter]. I do it too.

    So there is your missing 0.58 W/m2. It was the error that was forgotten/ignored
    i.e. the argo floats cannot measure what is not there in the first place.
    Are we all agreed?

    No, I don’t think that is the explanation. Nobody would make such an error: scientists are not morons.

  135. Leif says:
    No, I don’t think that is the explanation. Nobody would make such an error: scientists are not morons.

    Henry@Leif
    It is nothing to do about being morons. It could be about having to justify your salary by deliberately ignoring the mistake that you knew your collegue made. It could be that the guy who did the argo floats knew nothing about the 4.5 W/m2 error in the TSI charts. I mean, I and all who are reading this story probably also knew nothing about this until yesterday. I happened to pick in on it purely by accident.

    Anyway, the fact remains that the graph that accompanies this story is not correct. Remember: here we are in the court of public opinion. You cannot simply say whether this statement is right or wrong?

    The next question of the lawyer in me is: how would you know 100% for sure that the guy who compiled the results of the Argo floats, and probably compiled the rest of the report as well, knew about the 4.5 W/m2 error?

  136. HenryP says:
    February 5, 2012 at 1:29 am
    The next question of the lawyer in me is: how would you know 100% for sure that the guy who compiled the results of the Argo floats, and probably compiled the rest of the report as well, knew about the 4.5 W/m2 error?
    Everybody in this business knew about the 4.5 since about 2003. What is new is that now we know why. And the TSI value is not used for the Argo floats anyway.

  137. HenryP says:
    February 5, 2012 at 5:26 am
    Leif, read the whole post again. It is all about the difference about what goes in and what goes out.
    But this has nothing to do with whether TSI is absolutely correct as only differences are considered. So what is the point?

  138. Henry@leif

    1) the graph is wrong
    2) we don’t know who put the whole report together (the plusses and the minuses) and if he was (made) aware of the error in the values for TSI

    so how can you say: what is my point?

  139. HenryP says:
    February 5, 2012 at 8:42 am
    1) the graph is wrong
    The graph shows that the solar cycle forcing is 0.25 W/m2. This is not wrong as it is derived from a difference between two TSIs.
    2) we don’t know who put the whole report together (the plusses and the minuses) and if he was (made) aware of the error in the values for TSI
    As per my response to 1) the errors cancel out.

  140. Henry @ leif

    the solar forcing of 0.25 is shown to illustrate how it compares with their 0.58 that is missing from the budget, i.e it stayed on earth and it cannot be due to the variation in the sun….so it must be us. That 0.25 is not used in their calculations!
    the 0.58 missing is calculated using
    TSI/4 minus the various observations in W/m2 on earth
    but the TSI reported in the graph is wrong and we donot know if the compiler knew that….
    on top of that,
    the error of 4.5 on TSI is exactly in the range of the missing 0.58 forcing in the budget.
    Does that not make you suspicious?

  141. HenryP says:
    February 5, 2012 at 10:03 am
    the 0.58 missing is calculated using TSI/4 minus the various observations in W/m2 on earth
    The observations on earth are not W/m2 but temperatures… and TSI/4 was not used, temperatures were used.

    Does that not make you suspicious?
    No

  142. HenryP says:
    February 5, 2012 at 10:03 am
    the 0.58 missing is calculated using TSI/4 minus the various observations in W/m2 on earth
    If you care to actually read the paper http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/13421/2011/acp-11-13421-2011.pdf you’ll see the caption to Figure 17:
    “Radiation & Climate Experiment normalized to match means over the final 12 months of the Frohlich and Lean data. Recent estimates of mean solar irradiance (Kopp and Lean, 2011) are smaller, 1360.8±0.5 W/m2, but the uncertainty of the absolute value has no significant effect on the solar forcing, which depends on the temporal change of irradiance. ”
    As I said, in the change of irradiance the 4.5 W/m2 difference cancels out.

  143. HenryP says:
    February 5, 2012 at 10:38 am
    your units don’t work out, T – T = 0,58 W/m2
    You can express [as Hansen does] a temperature difference in W/m2. No problem with units.
    Let “but the uncertainty of the absolute value has no significant effect on the solar forcing, which depends on the temporal change of irradiance” sink in. For conversions of units see the paper.

  144. One watermelon on a forum told me that AGW had to be true as he saw the Mythbusters test on global warming theory: Does CO2 warm air? So there, proof of CAGW as far as he/she was concerned! It has to be true as Mythbusters said so. And Frank Zappas Studebacher Hoch said the lords prayer could be written on the head of a pin, so it has got to be true too! Lol, Ha ha . Good one eh?

  145. Henry@Leif

    Looking only at a quick glance,
    do you think I am right in judging that all the forcings shown in fig 18 were the only ones that were evaluated?

  146. HenryP says:
    February 7, 2012 at 9:40 am
    do you think I am right in judging that all the forcings shown in fig 18 were the only ones that were evaluated?
    Those were the bigger ones worth looking at.

  147. Leif, for one thing, there is no forcing included for the change in earth’s albedo,
    which we know varies a bit and can be a cause of a considerable difference of the W/m2 coming in.
    There is a way they can measure that, via the dark side of the moon, if I remember correctly.
    The last report I saw (2007?) was that it was increasing in the past decade. (MORE CLOUDS). That means less W/m2 coming in. A small variation in the 30% can easily account for the 0.58 W/m2.
    Without this parameter included, the discussion we had before was a waste of time.

    He (Hansen) also conveniently forgot to work out how much energy is consumed by photo synthesis and how much that increased in the past decades, both on land and in the sea….
    I refer back to my first comment on this thread.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/31/jim-hansens-balance-problem-of-0-58-watts/#comment-881571

    to which I did not have any responses.

    So unless he or you (if you want to defend his report) can come with testable evidence to prove that, for example, these 2 forcings and the differences noted in these over the past decade are “very” small in relation to the others, I have to conclude that his report is a load of nonsense all based on the nonsense he wrote in previous years….

    Never mind the fact that I have clearly proven that the warming of the planet is not caused by an increase in CO2 or GHG’s because the mechanism he (Hansen) proposes in this report would imply that the warming would have to be caused by increasing minima pushing up the average temp.
    That does not happen, e.g.

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

    In fact, I just finished analysing all the daily results since 1976 from the weather station at the airport in Cape Town, and found very much the same pattern as that here in Pretoria, and indeed the rest of the southern hemisphere (SH):
    On average,
    Maxima rising at 0.07 degrees C/ annum
    Means (average temp) rising at 0.006 degrees C/annum
    Minima going down at –0.009 degrees / annum

    Now, if it had been the other way around, minima pushing up the means, I would have to agree that it was the “greenhouse” gases that did it. As it stands, anyone with brains can understand that it was more sunshine and/or less clouds that pushed up the average temperature.

  148. HenryP says:
    February 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm
    Without this parameter included, the discussion we had before was a waste of time.
    My only concern was to correct your flawed ideas and numbers about TSI. If you have taken to heart and mind what I said, the discussion was not a waste of time.

  149. Leif, I am amazed that you did not challenge me at all on my last comment where I actually brought 3 arguments.
    Anyway, thx. It was an interesting discussion.

  150. HenryP said:

    So how do you know for sure that the CH4 is warming more then what it cools?

    I don’t.

    From what I’ve learned on GHGs, methane is ~25x more potent a GHG than CO2.

    As such, it just seems kind of odd to me that this moon, which gets 0.1% the TSI of Earth and has lots of methane in its atmosphere can be affected by the solar cycles. It’s not what I expected based on what I’ve read about Earth, solar cycles, and CO2

  151. kramer says: From what I’ve learned on GHGs, methane is ~25x more potent a GHG than CO2.

    Henry@kramer
    here we will ask you to prove this, by physical measurements in the right dimensions.
    Warming of the planet(s) by GHG’s is a myth,
    it is not supported by the results from actual measurements.

    As I said earlier on this thread:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/31/jim-hansens-balance-problem-of-0-58-watts/#comment-887210

    “Never mind the fact that I have clearly proven that the warming of the planet is not caused by an increase in CO2 or GHG’s because the mechanism he (Hansen) proposes in his report would imply that the warming would have to be caused by increasing minima pushing up the average temp.
    That does not happen, e.g.

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

    In fact, I just finished analysing all the daily results since 1976 from the weather station at the airport in Cape Town, and found very much the same pattern as that here in Pretoria, and indeed the rest of the southern hemisphere (SH):
    On average,
    Maxima rising at 0.07 degrees C/ annum
    Means (average temp) rising at 0.006 degrees C/annum
    Minima going down at –0.009 degrees / annum

    Now, if it had been the other way around, minima pushing up the means, I would have to agree that it was the “greenhouse” gases that did it. As it stands, anyone with brains can understand that it was more sunshine and/or less clouds that pushed up the average temperature.”

  152. Kramer said

    As such, it just seems kind of odd to me that this moon, which gets 0.1% the TSI of Earth and has lots of methane in its atmosphere can be affected by the solar cycles. It’s not what I expected based on what I’ve read about Earth, solar cycles, and CO2

    To all, there is an error on my part in this comment of mine above. The article does not say anything about solar cycles. The main gist of the story is that faint sunlight (0.1% of what Earth gets) is enough to drive weather and clouds on Titan.

  153. Kramer says
    The main gist of the story is that faint sunlight (0.1% of what Earth gets) is enough to drive weather and clouds on Titan.

    Henry@Kramer
    but we don’t know how much heat ( driving weather) is coming from the core of Titan?

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