## “Climate Deniers” Are Giving Us Skeptics a Bad Name

By S. Fred Singer

Gallia omnia est divisa in partes tres.  This phrase from Julius Gaius Caesar about the division of Gaul nicely illustrates the universe of climate scientists — also divided into three parts.  On the one side are the “warmistas,” with fixed views about apocalyptic man-made global warming; at the other extreme are the “deniers.”  Somewhere in the middle are climate skeptics.

In principle, every true scientist must be a skeptic.  That’s how we’re trained; we question experiments, and we question theories.  We try to repeat or independently derive what we read in publications — just to make sure that no mistakes have been made.

In my view, warmistas and deniers are very similar in some respects — at least their extremists are.

They have fixed ideas about climate, its change, and its cause.  They both ignore “inconvenient truths” and select data and facts that support their preconceived views.  Many of them are also quite intolerant and unwilling to discuss or debate these views — and quite willing to think the worst of their opponents.

Of course, these three categories do not have sharp boundaries; there are gradations.  For example, many skeptics go along with the general conclusion of the warmistas but simply claim that the human contribution is not as large as indicated by climate models.  But at the same time, they join with deniers in opposing drastic efforts to mitigate greenhouse (GH) gas emissions.

I am going to resist the temptation to name names.  But everyone working in the field knows who is a warmista, skeptic, or denier.  The warmistas, generally speaking, populate the U.N.’s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and subscribe to its conclusion that most of the temperature increase of the last century is due to carbon-dioxide emissions produced by the use of fossil fuels.  At any rate, this is the conclusion of the most recent IPCC report, the fourth in a series, published in 2007.  Since I am an Expert Reviewer of IPCC, I’ve had an opportunity to review part of the 5th Assessment Report, due in 2013.  Without revealing deep secrets, I can say that the AR5 uses essentially the same argument and evidence as AR4 — so let me discuss this “evidence” in some detail.
Read the full essay here:  http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/climate_deniers_are_giving_us_skeptics_a_bad_name.html#ixzz1nn0SciyO

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### 296 Responses to “Climate Deniers” Are Giving Us Skeptics a Bad Name

1. JAWilson says:

IMO, Singer is trying to thread a needle that isn’t necessary. He should man up and declare himself a full blown denier. How hard could that be?

2. jack morrow says:

From the article
“To bring about justice and equality in the world” There you have it. The real reason in a nutshell. To take from some and give to others. Meanwhile the takers take their share first ,then dribble out what’s left. They “feel good” and this make everything OK. What a bunch of phooey!

Never should we let them get away with this.

3. O2BNAZ says:

Spare me the cr#@ Singer. Folks like you conjured the pejorative to subvert anyone who dared ask questions. Now you try to create nuances of “Denier” hate to save face.

4. Nonoy Oplas says:

The term “denier” should be qualified. Most if not all skeptics recognize that global warming was true, and so was global cooling. That climate change is true, but it is mainly natural climate cycle of warming-cooling-warming-cooling. So skeptics are not “warming deniers” or “climate change” because they recognize that both global warming and climate change did happen, and will happen again. What is being denied is the “man-made” aspect of global warming and climate change, because there are natural factors (the Sun, GCRs, volcanoes, clouds, water vapor, etc.) that affect the climate, not just human emission of CO2.

5. Rujholla says:

I think like most fields you cannot box people under general labels like that as their beliefs vary widely. However people that aren’t open to reviewing the facts from whichever side they may come probably shouldn’t be called scientists.

6. dearieme says:

I first took an interest in the whole shemozzle knowing that my wee patch of the world seemed to me to be in a mild spell (as my parents had suggested to me in the 50s – “you’ve never been able to skate on the river but we did at your age”) and expecting to see the effect neatly quantified for the whole planet. Imagine my surprise to find that the temperature measurements seemed to have been fannied about with, in a manner that seemed to be often stupid and sometimes dishonest. Once I realised that I was dealing with duds and crooks I became even more sceptical than usual. But I still suspect that we are in a mild spell – compared to, as I now know to call it, the Little Ice Age. But if the measurements are conclusive, why do the warmistas fiddle and lie so much? It’s a mystery.

7. HenryP says:

What is your point.
There is not really an in-between argument.
Either there is warming caused by manmade additions of CO2 or there is not any.
Clearly there ism’t any
as evidenced by the results
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

Are you saying I am a denier because my results are telling me that the warming is due to natural causes?

8. DesertYote says:

The AWG side is made up of political radicals who want to destroy western civilization so that they can bring to fruition their dream of a great socialist utopia. It has nothing to do with science. Equating the sins of the lefties with those trying to thwart their goals is like equating someone who stole a candy-bar as a kid, with an armed bank robber. How come its always the lefties who talk about compromising. Compromising truth is always results in false. If a robber wants to take all my money, I don’t say “How about half” as a compromise. I get sick and tiered of the “Well they all do it” argument. Lefties lie because it is in their DNA to lie. It is a direct corollary of the “ends justifies the means”. The must believe that because otherwise they would not be able to justify the theft that is implicit in statist socialism.

9. cotwome says:

“I am going to resist the temptation to name names.”

I would like the name of at least one person who ‘denies climate’ as S. Fred Singer puts it.

In the article he states that ‘deniers’ think, “the greenhouse effect does not exist”, and “argue about the cause and effect of the observed increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide”, and “CO2 is so small that they can’t see how it could possibly change global temperature.”

No examples of people denying climate!?

10. hunter says:

Interesting. Thanks.
If only the alleged academics on the warmista side would have the integrity to do what you are doing now.

11. DaveR says:

I was a denier before it was cool. :P~

12. ag economist says:

Singer says in the essay in the American Thinker:
“But what if there is little to no warming between 1978 and 2000? What if the data from thousands of poorly distributed weather stations do not represent a true global warming? The atmospheric temperature record between 1978 and 2000 (both from satellites and, independently, from radiosondes) doesn’t show a warming. Neither does the ocean.”

I am bit surprised about this assertion. On which data is it based?
Thanks, Ag Economist

13. Steven Mosher says:

Interesting positioning by Singer.

here is the sad truth. Until the “skeptics” as Singer describes thems, take on the “deniers” as Singer describes them, then Warmista will continue to successfully lump “skeptics” with “deniers”

According to singer their are certain positions that are clearly contradicted by the science, cheif among them is the disbelief that GHGs can cause warming

Here is a simple phrase you can use to “self identify” as a skeptic:
“GHGs cause warming, the question is how much”

Unless “skeptics” make strong statements about the mistakes of people who deny any GHG effect whatsoever, you’ll forever be lumped in with the kooks. As for the rest of what Singer says, I beg to differ. But he has this point right. Its important to not be lumped in with those who are anti science

14. Ed_B says:

I am skeptical about the claim that the deniers are wrong.. The more hard data we get the more they appear correct, ie, we have no statistically significant measurable net warming definatively attibuted to human added CO2. It is still conjecture. There are competeing theories. Of course, there is lots of warming due to agriculture clearing forests and urban heat islands warming the atmosphere, and soot melting the arctic ice.

15. Dave D says:

Some of us deniers are balanced, it is just a matter of degree and term preference.

I always, specifically use the terminology denier, I am 48 years old – older than the average person – and it doesn’t mean or con-notate the holocaust, it means what I say. “I deny the assertions on man made global warming.” Clearly global temperatures go up, clearly they go down, I don’t deny warming trends – the issue is the cause.

Pure scientists say well CO2 must have some (small effect), my position is 0.03% of the atmosphere is CO2 (small effect). Man made CO2 is 3% of natural emissions that lead to this 0.03%. I think even the most precise, egg headed scientist, who insists on exact correctness would have a hard time to defending 1 degree total change in over 120 years – a remarkably stable data set, then attribute the major cause (I’ve seen estimates at 50%) to 3% of a 0.03% TRACE GAS.

If skeptics speak in clear, concise ways, like this simple logic, there is no room for Warmistas to wiggle. I am a denier. When we say, man made contributions lead to slight warming (in a fair-minded, correct, scientific way), you lose people not comfortable with Math. When you say the CO2 contribution will only have a logarithmic effect – needs to go up a factor of 10 to double impact, you lose them again. I’m not advocating intellectual dishonesty, by any rounding curve you like, whatever infinitesimal impact (only man-made) emissions have, it is below our ability to measure and can be, reasonably reported as going to zero in any fair rounding method.

Rant, off.

16. Jay Davis says:

I am a “denier” that man is causing climate change. I believe the earth’s climate does whatever it wants to do, and man can do nothing but adapt or die. Until I can see real proof to the contrary (computer models don’t count), my opinion won’t change. And with all due respect to Dr. Singer, his affiliation with the University of Virginia taints anything he may write on climate change. Anyone associated with a university shielding M. Mann is guilty through association.

17. mat says:

Seriously I have never met a ‘D’ worder? I have met those who use power and influence based on a perception of threat to change society to their will and those who fight against them !
Neither holds the truth [no one does!] but one side holds all the levers!

18. philw1776 says:

Good point. Denying that CO2 is increasing or that increased CO2, water vapor, whatever do not absorb heat (lower frequency, high entropy photons) re-radiation back into space ignores basic physics. The scientific debate should be “How much does an increase, say of CO2 affect climate?” Us skeptics say some but do not invoke the magic multipliers of effect that the hysterics invoke. The political debate is over what degree of action should be taken given that CO2 levels have been measured to be rising. The skeptics answer is not to take any drastic actions that crashes the economy. Western economic and scientific strength gives us the best tools to attack any unforeseen events. It’s prudent for all sides to explore energy alternatives to coal and oil like nuclear and solar, but somehow the climate hysterics just can’t bring themselves to back clean nuclear as a source of much needed electricity.

19. Larry says:

I think these terms have been so abused as to be recognizable. Yes, the classical definitions are still correct, but in the vernaculars, they are so bent as to be completely unusable.

20. greg copeland says:

The real question is: How much warming does co2 cause, if any?

21. Jim Cripwell says:

I am a denier, and proud of it. When the hard measured data shows that adding CO2 to the atmopshere causes a discernable temperature rise, I will cease to be a denier. Until then, I will not change my mind. And there is no CO2 “signal” in the global temperature/time graph; none whatsoever.

22. Jim Cripwell says:

That should be “no CO2 “signal”"

[ Fixed. -ModE ]

23. DirkH says:

Steven Mosher says:
February 29, 2012 at 9:30 am
“Here is a simple phrase you can use to “self identify” as a skeptic:
“GHGs cause warming, the question is how much””

That question is already loaded. Negative feedbacks probably reduce it to an unmeasurable value; but if I answer “zero” to your question, I negate the premise of the question “GHGs cause warming”.

24. To reply to Mosher, I agree with you, but I’m always more worried about incompetent doctors than total charlatans. And especially about incompetent doctors that try to describe me as a charlatan.

25. _Jim says:

Steven Mosher says:
February 29, 2012 at 9:30 am

Here is a simple phrase you can use to “self identify” as a skeptic:
“GHGs cause warming, the question is how much”

No problem here; the question is how much.

26. Anopheles says:

What deniers? Might I ask somebody, anybody, to name them? The SkyDragon people? Do they really believe that the CO2 makes no difference, or is their stance that it doesn’t in real observed conditions?

27. Robert Brown says:

I absolutely agree with this. Skeptics need to be just as aggressive at policing, and schooling as necessary, “deniers” as they are doing the same with “warmists”. The debate has no room for true religious ideologues.

I’ve certainly done my bit — note well my sustained hammering of Jelbring’s nonsense and Nikolov and Zeller’s equal nonsense — but there is still plenty left to hammer on.

There is absolutely no question that the GHE is real, and that it is a (possibly unknown) function of GHG concentrations. Anyone who argues otherwise should indeed be labelled a kook, as one can take the most cursory glance at TOA IR spectroscopy and see the damn thing in operation. That leaves plenty that one can legitimately argue about, but it establishes a sort of lower bound of sanity.

IMO there is also very little question that solar state has a significant impact on global temperature, again through mechanisms that are quite possibly not fully understood. People that “deny” this on the warmist side are, to be quite frank, kooks. Unless and until global climate models can fully explain the observed variability of the Earth’s thermal record over millennia where CO_2 concentrations were not a factor without recourse to solar state, it is silly to state that its recent thermal record is “only” due to CO_2. In my opinion, they cannot come close to this; they don’t even do a good job of short range predictions or hindcasts, let alone provide a plausible explanation for century scale variations.

rgb

28. Richard M says:

Steven Mosher says:
February 29, 2012 at 9:30 am

Interesting positioning by Singer.

here is the sad truth. Until the “skeptics” as Singer describes thems, take on the “deniers” as Singer describes them, then Warmista will continue to successfully lump “skeptics” with “deniers”

There are also two types of warmers. Those who believe unquestioning that man is evil and destroying the planet and those who are open to scientific arguments. So, I think the warmers have just as many problems as the skeptics.

Here is a simple phrase you can use to “self identify” as a skeptic:
“GHGs cause warming, the question is how much”

I agree. I believe the GHE has been maxed out at current concentrations by an opposing effect of the GHGs themselves. More GHGs increase heat flow through the atmospheric system. This counters the delay in heat leaving the system by absorption and radiation back towards the surface. I’m still waiting for any climate scientist to look at the combined effect.

29. RICH says:

Mosher says…

“GHGs can cause warming” and followed that up with “GHGs cause warming, the question is how much”

So which is it — can or does?

30. Laws of Nature says:

Hi there,
well, as a skeptic, I believe it is okay to ask questions until there is a good answer.
To be called a denier for that is not okay.
The pharses
“Another subgroup [of deniers] accepts that CO2 levels are increasing in the 20th century but claims that the source is release of dissolved CO2 from the warming ocean.[..] it does not apply to the 20th century: isotopic and other evidence destroys their case.[..] Another subgroup says that natural annual additions to atmospheric CO2 are many times greater than any human source; they ignore the natural sinks that have kept CO2 reasonably constant before humans started burning fossil fuels.”
are in my opinion stigmatized as denier phrases without proper arguments to support this claim!

First of all, the isotopic evidence I have seen only supports that humans indeed burn fossil fuel and does not give any additional information beside that (well you can measure how CO2 diffuses into the deep ocean).
Secondly F. Singer seems not to be aware, that CO2-sinks during a little ice age might change naturally once this LIA comes to an end.
Last not least there are studies by T. V. Segalstad and R. H. Essenhigh suggesting, that the short residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is at odds with the attribution of the long term slope of CO2 in the atmosphere for the last 100years to anthropogenic causes.

These phases won’t go away just because a F. Singer calls anyone who uses them a denier.

31. robmcn says:

Deniers don’t exist, as in:

1. Climate Denier, never heard of a person that denies the existence of climate.
2. Climate Change Denier, never heard of a person that denies that the climate does not change.

There are no extremes on the skeptic side, only varying degrees of what people believe to be man’s influence over climate. But only in the area of climate science is such ridiculous inaccurate language of denialism allowed to be used.

32. DesertYote says:

Hmmm, My comment has been awaiting moderation for a half hour. Maybe I should have dialed back the anti-socialist rhetoric a bit?

33. John Silver says:

As if you can find anyone who is anti science.

34. Elmer says:

35. Michael Larkin says:

Stephen,

Aren’t you aware that sceptics have already taken on deniers here at WUWT and other sceptical blogs re: GHG theory? It would help if the MSM and Warmist blogs actually bothered to listen to the opinions of sceptics. I think you are confusing cause and effect: because sceptics and deniers are a priori lumped together, they are not paid enough attention.

36. steveta_uk says:

Poor Jeff over at the Air Vent has been trying in vain to take on a denier (Doug Cotton) in a thread that is approaching 100 entries – to no avail.

37. Anopheles says:

Ignore my last. If this is a debate, either side only needs to put its own case and argue against the best arguments of the other side. You win nothing by besting the idiots and nutcases on the opposing team. But it really is not a debate about the science any more.

However if somebody who gets the wrong end of the stick about the 2nd law is to be called anti-science? By Mosh? Maybe we ought to see whether the anti-science phraseology is a fingerprint of authorship..

38. kuhnkat says:

Moshpup says,

“According to singer their are certain positions that are clearly contradicted by the science, cheif among them is the disbelief that GHGs can cause warming

Here is a simple phrase you can use to “self identify” as a skeptic:
“GHGs cause warming, the question is how much””

Of course, even believing that radiative transfer warms there is still the likelihood that it is overwhelmed by all the other factors that make up our climate. Saying GHG’s cause no warming is technically wrong, but, realistically the effect is too small to do much of anything in the big bad universe and the effect so far is not directly measurable in our system.

39. ChE says:

Part of the problem is that many of what Singer describes as “deniers” don’t see themselves as such. Singer identifies a real issue. Too many pet theories, and they usually contradict each other.

There’s actually a crisp distinction between a skeptic and a “denier”; the skeptic doesn’t believe anything but the basics of the Tyndall effect, whereas the “denier” believes his own pet theory. Singer’s right. But who has the energy to argue with that many pets? I gave up a long time ago.

Having said all of that, the “warmistas” are still responsible for their sloppy thinking in not recognizing the difference. And in many cases, it’s not sloppy thinking, it’s deliberate confusion.

40. Steven Mosher said @ February 29, 2012 at 9:30 am

Unless “skeptics” make strong statements about the mistakes of people who deny any GHG effect whatsoever, you’ll forever be lumped in with the kooks. As for the rest of what Singer says, I beg to differ. But he has this point right. Its important to not be lumped in with those who are anti science

Singer wrote:

I have concluded that we can accomplish very little with convinced warmistas and probably even less with true deniers. So we just make our measurements, perfect our theories, publish our work, and hope that in time the truth will out.

I agree with Singer; doing good science is most important for scientists. I’m surprised that you would disagree with that statement Steve.

41. MAVukcevic says:

A bit of nonsense, all of us are individuals and as such for all of us our outlook on the climate science and associated psychology are different.
As for me personally I am not wormista, I am not denier and I am not sceptic, and I don’t agree on most important matters of climate with anyone, I am trying to find out what is moving climate change for myself. I grew up and was educated in a society which classed its citizens into: those for, those against and the sheep. I hope you aren’t doing the same.

42. Charles.U.Farley says:

Makes no odds what you or i say.
The warmistas have got their god and they are gonna pray to him.

43. dp says:

In a thread titled “The Myth of Backradiation” at Tallbloke’s blog I wrote this epistle in a conversational tone (thus lacking scientific precision) but presenting the ideas as well as a mindstream jot can be expected (http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/stephen-wilde-the-myth-of-backradiation/#comment-18561) and which is entirely a summary of views of other writers on the subject and not based on any science I turned over. That means I’m only the messenger, btw, and am not obligated to defend the content. But I am curious about the content because it would appear that if true it flies in the face of the notion of back radiation being mythical. The meat of the post is that the atmosphere is opaque to some frequencies of light and so that energy is completely absorbed by the atmosphere and that there are knock on effects of that.

Since it failed to attract discussion there I thought I’d try again with a larger audience. I do emphatically believe GHG’s can and do absorb and re-radiate energy and that has consequences for the climate and weather. What happens next with that energy is debatable and that is Singer’s point.

44. Gary Palmgren says:

from Mosher, ““GHGs cause warming, the question is how much”

Really? is there a real experiment that shows that?
I have been doing a series of bench top experiments in a large tube where I have a pool of water at the bottom heated by an internal incandescent lamp at the midpoint of the tube and a bucket of ice at the top. I keep the pressure constant with a water lock and add CO2 to >10%. I get warming that lasts for no more than 10 minutes before the temperature goes back to the original equilibrium. Even when I run the system without water, I cannot get more than a momentary temperature increase when I add the CO2. I’ve been trying hard, but I cannot get a lasting temperature increase from CO2 in my bench top experiment.

I challenge you to come up with a paper or experiment using a dynamic system such as my little experiment where CO2 causes a lasting temperature increase. This is still an unproven hypothesis (to my limited knowledge). And yes my experiment does prove CO2 absorbs IR by the short term temperature increase, but we knew that. The question is what happens in a dynamic system has not been answered. I’ll be writing up the results after I figure out how the dry system goes back to the original temperature. I’m going to have to try to measure the convection air movement somehow.

45. Steve from Rockwood says:

Scientists tend to be the least skeptical group because they passionately believe that they are right. So the middle is almost never filled with skeptical scientists.

46. John J. says:

The three groups mentioned, warmists, skeptics and deniers, are all less important than the group that does not seem to exist; the realists. Those are the ones who say, “Maybe AGW is a potential problem, so let’s work on some realistic solutions that will protect the Earth without totally destroying our economies.” It may be difficult to effect the earth’s albedo, be it would be far less expensive and disruptive than what is being pushed by the warmists.

47. Jimbo says:

I know that Co2 is a greenhouse gas. It was possibly responsible for some of the most recent warming. The basic argument boils down to how much of the recent warming was due to natural causes and how much was man made? I cannot recall this question having ever been answered along evidence (excluding models).

48. ChE says:

Really? is there a real experiment that shows that?

Yeah.

49. Here is a simple phrase you can use to “self identify” as a skeptic:
“GHGs cause warming, the question is how much”

A stupid and unscientific statement. GHGs don’t cause warming any more than insulating my house causes it to heat up.

50. RKS says:

How can rabid believers in the ‘recently invented hypothesis back-radiation’ from GHGs – causing surface warming, claim to be ‘sceptics’ of the IPCC pseudo-scientific propaganda.

“It’s global warming Jim, but not as we know it!

Get your radiative physics hats of and learn to think laterally. Just because someone doesn’t ride your particular hobby horse, it doesn’t make them a science ‘denier’.

51. _Jim says:

Gary Palmgren says:
February 29, 2012 at 10:20 am

from Mosher, ““GHGs cause warming, the question is how much”

Really? is there a real experiment that shows that?
I have been doing a series of bench top experiments in a large tube where I have a pool of water at the bottom heated by an internal …

You would do well to consider an EM experiment closely mimicking sun(source)–earth/atmosphere–space(sink) scenario than one where only the four laws of thermodynamics would seem to apply …

.

52. Jimbo says:

Robert Brown says:
February 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

I absolutely agree with this. Skeptics need to be just as aggressive at policing, and schooling as necessary, “deniers” as they are doing the same with “warmists”. The debate has no room for true religious ideologues.

Sorry, but ‘deniers” views don’t matter much. It is the Warmists’ ‘evidence’ and policies that are potentially economically damaging. Policies are being formulated based on Warmists’ computer models etc. Focus on the real danger; people who deny that co2 is a greenhouse gas don’t matter in the big scheme of things as policies are not being based on their arguments.

53. son of mulder says:

The antonym of believer is sceptic. The antonym of deny is agree. So in the context of the impact of anthropogenic activity on climate one either believes that business as usual is dangerously bad (believer) or one does not believe that (sceptic) and allows both sound or poor reasoning.

Or one agrees (agreer) that it is dangerously bad or one denies that it is dangerously bad (denier) similarly with both sound or poor reasoning.

All very simple, more dancing on a pinhead caused by believers to divide non-believers, to generate parallels with the phrase ‘Holocaust denier’ with all its connotations, so that less effort has to be put into defending their belief from the attack by sceptics. And while sceptics have to defend themselves against the ‘Holocaust denier connotations’.

54. BravoZulu says:

Do we really need to be legitimizing the use of the obnoxious word by defining what it should mean when that isn’t how it is used by most alarmists?

55. Greg, from Spokane says:

Until we start referring to the Al Gore crowd of CAGW believers as “deniers” and “anti-science” then I think those term should be dropped. At least by our side. Leave the insults to the CAGW side, it just further discredits them. Or call them extremists, which they clearly are.

I don’t think there are many on the non-CAGW/skeptic side arguing that we’re heading into an ice-age in the immediate future, so extremism seems to be firmly in the CAGW camp.

“There is no global warming” seems to me to be far closer to the whatever the truth of the matter is than anything coming from the CAGW camp, so to be insulting to them, but not the CAGW side, seems… odd. And since this IS a political issue, let’s keep in mind that the “no warming” crowd isn’t demanding restructuring of the world’s economies to the benefit of a few.

As Linzen says, “Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition.”

Regarding lack of understanding of the science: In other sciences, such as Chemistry, how to they refer to people who don’t believe the standard models? As deniers? Uneducated? Ignorant? Stupid?

By all means, discuss the science. Educate those of us who don’t know. Try throwing a bone to us who don’t have advanced degrees in the subject, or work as engineers, and explain it in English. Some of us will learn something.

Thank you.

56. Hexe Froschbein says:

I’m not too sure that classification helps very much, especially if it’s missing the largest group;’The confused’.

57. Bob Tisdale says:

S. Fred Singer: There are a multitude of erroneous claims in your essay.

Example 1: You claim, “IPCC-AR4 uses only the global surface temperature (GST) record (shown in fig. 9.5 on page 648).”

Fred, scroll a few pages to page 696 in chapter 9 and you’ll find Figure 9.12, which compares models to observations with the continental land masses subdivided.
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9.html
It also has comparisons of models versus global land surface temperature and global sea surface temperature. Scroll a few more pages to page 703 to FAQ 9.2 Figure 1, for comparisons for each continent.

Example 2: “But what if there is little to no warming between 1978 and 2000? What if the data from thousands of poorly distributed weather stations do not represent a true global warming? The atmospheric temperature record between 1978 and 2000 (both from satellites and, independently, from radiosondes) doesn’t show a warming. Neither does the ocean.”

Fred, you should check the data before you claim TLT didn’t rise between 1978 and 2000. The UAH TLT anomalies from Jan 1979 to Dec 2000 have a linear trend of 0.093 deg C/decade.
http://i42.tinypic.com/95x5xz.jpg

And HADISST sea surface temperature anomalies between Jan 1978 and Dec 2000 have a linear trend of 0.095 deg C/decade.
http://i40.tinypic.com/15hyf7a.jpg

Fred, it’s bogus claims like those by skeptics that give skeptics a bad name.

58. oldephartte says:

No. Warmist models and ‘evidence’ are being made along lines promoting political ends. ‘Denierism’ is a conflatonary term lumping alternative thought into one preplanned pipe, the easier to debunk the homogenized blend with false comparisons to the false argument.
It’s easy to lie about what someone says and ‘rebut’ it because it’s a Logical Fallacy called Strawman Argumentation.
But applying scientific argument to political b.s. is like expecting math rules to apply in English class. The name of the joint is your tipoff: InterGOVERNMETAL Panel on Climate Change.

59. RKS says:

Jimbo says:
February 29, 2012 at 10:49 am

Sorry, but ‘deniers” views don’t matter much. It is the Warmists’ ‘evidence’ and policies that are potentially economically damaging. Policies are being formulated based on Warmists’ computer models etc. Focus on the real danger; people who deny that co2 is a greenhouse gas don’t matter in the big scheme of things as policies are not being based on their arguments.>>>>>

Very well put. The IPPC ‘team’ must be laughing their socks of whilst sceptic ‘purists’ squabble among themselves for bragging rights.

60. biff33 says:

Singer:

“Another subgroup says that natural annual additions to atmospheric CO2 are many times greater than any human source; they ignore the natural sinks that have kept CO2 reasonably constant before humans started burning fossil fuels.”

Does anyone know whatever happened to Murry Salby’s paper, announced in August for last September, and his book, announced in August for this year?

Lindzen, at House of Commons, February 22, 2012:

• “Carbon Dioxide has been increasing.
• “There is a greenhouse effect.
• “There has been a doubling of equivalent CO2 over the past 150 years.
• “There has very probably been about 0.8 C warming in the past 150 years.
• “Increasing CO2 alone should cause some warming (about 1C for each doubling).

“[None of these statements] is controversial among serious climate scientists.

“[None of these statements] implies alarm. Indeed the actual warming is consistent with less than 1C warming for a doubling.

“Unfortunately, denial of [these facts], has made the public presentation of the science by those promoting alarm much easier. They merely have to defend the trivially true points [above]; declare that it is only a matter of well- known physics; and relegate the real basis for alarm to a peripheral footnote – even as they slyly acknowledge that this basis is subject to great uncertainty.”

Lindzen presents examples of this by the American Physical Society and by Martin Rees and Ralph Cicerone.

I think he’s right, and I prefer the way he puts it, over the way Singer puts it, with all due respect to Singer.

61. JJ says:

Several posters have left comments indicating that they are misidentifying Singer as a beligerent warmist. Given that he has adopted their offensive vocabulary, this is understandable.

62. HenryP says:

Philw1776 says
It’s prudent for all sides to explore energy alternatives to coal and oil like nuclear and solar,

Henry@Phil
No nuke energy, please!!
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/nuclear-energy-not-save-and-sound
that is why I started investigating if there really is something wrong with CO2.
In the process I found out that more CO2 is better
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok
OK?

BTW what’s with the no. 1776?

63. klem says:

I call myself a denier, I wear the moniker as a badge of honour. I enjoy it when self righteous alarmistas call me a denier. It tells me I’m on the right track.

64. Laws of Nature says:
February 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

First of all, the isotopic evidence I have seen only supports that humans indeed burn fossil fuel and does not give any additional information beside that (well you can measure how CO2 diffuses into the deep ocean).
Secondly F. Singer seems not to be aware, that CO2-sinks during a little ice age might change naturally once this LIA comes to an end.
Last not least there are studies by T. V. Segalstad and R. H. Essenhigh suggesting, that the short residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is at odds with the attribution of the long term slope of CO2 in the atmosphere for the last 100years to anthropogenic causes.

That was discussed already many times here and elsewhere by several others and me. Point by point:
- The isotopic evidence shows that the oceans can’t be the source of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere: their isotopic composition is too high. Any huge release from the oceans would increase the 13C/12C ratio (in fact the oceans are a measured net absorber of CO2). Land vegetation could be the source, if lots of land were burned down without replacement, but the oxygen balance shows that land vegetation is a net absorber of CO2, not a source (the earth is greening).
- The CO2 levels of seawater in steady state with the above air shows a change of 16 ppmv for each °C change. Even with a huge cooling by 1°C of the ocean surface, that wouldn’t give more than 16 ppmv of the 100+ ppmv we are above the previous steady state.
- Segalstad and Essenhigh talk about the residence time, which is short, but that has nothing to do with an excess decay time, which is a lot longer. The first can be compared to how long some goods stay in a factory (the throughput in capital), the latter is the loss or gain of a factory for the shareholders’ money. Quite distinct time constants…
See further:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html

That humans are responsible for the CO2 increase is based on a lot of evidence, real evidence, measured in the oceans and atmosphere… Some skeptics don’t like that and still insist that humans are not responsible. I don’t think that is wise, as that makes it far more difficult to discuss other aspects of the “consensus” which are far more on shacky grounds: what is the real effect of our 100+ ppmv CO2 increase…

65. Tom Rowan says:

Forget the contrived terminology of “warmista, skeptic, and denier.”

The simple fact of the matter is that there are government paid liars and then there are the rest of us.

For the rest of us the “globalony” issue is just a global IQ test. If you believe mankind can affect the global climate either way, you fail the test. And really, there is no need to get into the weeds on this issue. If you believe man can affect the global climate, you are an easily fooled imbecile.

66. Scottish Sceptic says:

Deniers …. are like communism/nazisim. For me politics is a circle … go far enough left or right and you will meet people from the opposing wing coming round from the other way. So, by the time you get to communism and nazism, there isn’t a lot of difference.

Likewise climate deniers … there are solar activity deniers, and apparently CO2 deniers, and as far as I am concerned they most inhabit the same crackpot asylum.

67. MarkW says:

I recognize that according to the records, the world has warmed by approximately 0.7C in the last 100 years.
My first problem with this number is that the temperature measuring network is not of sufficient quality to measure an amount this small. It was never designed to measure tenth of a degree changes over a century. It was designed to give a “good enough” input for local, daily, weather forecasts.
The record is contaminated with UHI changes, and a huge multitude of micro site, and even equipment changes that for most part are poorly, if at all, recorded.

My personal WAG is that as much as half of the 0.7C increase is not a real increase, but rather the result of instrumentation problems.

Of the remaining warming that is real.
Some of it is due to changes in the sun. TSI, which pretty much everyone agrees on, as well as Cosmic ray influences, which is still subject to debate.
Some of it is due to cyclical changes in the climate. (PDO, AMO, etc.)
Some of it is due to CO2.

The ratio of these three factors, (and others) is still hotly debated.

My personal WAG is that CO2 is an extremely weak player in the climate system. Does this put me in the skeptic, or the denier camp?

68. MarkW says:

I forgot to add that the existing temperature network is poorly distributed geographically as well. Outside the US, southern Canada, and Europe, the number of land based sites is woefully inadequate. The number of ocean based sites is pretty close to non-existant.

69. Gary says:

Mosher, what Singer and you are advising happened with the Conservative movement in the early 1960s. The mainliners (centered around Bill Buckley’s National Review magazie) purged the extremists (John Birch Society) and eventually won the Whitehouse in 1980. The problem for this happening today on the climate spectrum are several: 1) too many “extremists” with every nutcase having his own blog, 2) no mainline skeptic group that can do the purging, 3) a diffuse press with much reduced journalistic integrity, 4) too many bloggers with mouthpieces out of proportion with their credibility. This is going to be a long adventure. Watch out for stobor.

70. Mike H. in Spokane says:

Skeptics –> deniers –> anti-science – came from where? Which ‘side’ is calling who those terms?

Why is the impugned side accepting those terms as descriptive? What’s with the self casting?

To take on the oppositions labeling only works if it’s represented as humorous. e.g. Devildogs, jarhead etc.

71. Gary Palmgren says:

ChE and Jim
I really am trying to run a good experiment. I would like to include any good references in my write-up if you have any. Admittedly my experiment is only an analog of the troposphere where convection dominates and temperature declines with height. I would like to try something inverted, cold at bottom and warm on top as an analog for the stratosphere, but I cannot figure out where to put the thermocouple. : ) Looking for a description any real dynamic experiment that has been performed at constant pressure where the addition of CO2 causes a stable increase in the max temperature. Until then all I have is Miskolczi’s paper.

72. Anything is possible says:

If you are accused of being a denier, how are you supposed to deny that you are a denier without confirming the accusation that you are a denier?

Catch 22.

73. HenryP says:

Henry@dp

here is my take on it,
I am not sure if it will help you or confuse you more.
Especially, do take some time to study the paper I mentioned and quoted in the footnote.
Otherwise you will never get it.

http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

Obviously my acknowledgement that a GH effect exists does not change my observations that I could not discern any effect from an increase in GHG in the temperature records.
Namely if warming is caused by an increase in GHG or by an increase in volcanic activity (more warmth produced by earth in the oceans), you would expect to find mean temps rising as a result of increasing minima.
that is not happening, at least not for the past 3 to 4 decades.
In fact, if you look carefully in fig. 3.38, of the AR4 report, you will note with me that from 1979 to 2003 colder nights have been increasing and warmer nights have been decreasing.

that is exactly what I am finding: the warming of the past 3-4 decades has been caused by increasing maxima (that happen during the day) pushing up the average temperatures.
either it was more intense heat from the sun and/or there were less clouds, and/or there was less ozone shielding, etc.

But it was not the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere that did it, any of it.

Unless you want to blame increasing greenery as a result of more CO2, which I found does trap some heat.
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

74. Ken Harvey says:

I m convinced that “the greenhouse effect does not exist”. Does that make me a “denier”? Like the Late Lord Keynes my opinions change when my information changes. Does that make me a skeptic? When someone demonstrates to my satisfaction that the earth’s atmosphere can be reduced to a single number and that this has any meaning, and that that number has been calculated from fully appropriate data that has been tolerably accurately measured, and that any use of statistics has been vetted by by a statistician of eminent standing to ensure that no first or second order variables have been omitted nor bias included, and that the division by two of a daily minimum and maximum temperature gives a result of any consequential meaning, and that the invalidity of the first and second laws of thermodynamics can be satisfactorily demonstrated; then, and only then, will I be prepared to review my opinion.

You speak, Dr. Singer of ‘everyone working in the field”. Am I to infer from that that only those can have a valid opinion? Are amateurs who have given the matter long consideration to be lumped in with those who gain their opinions from the popular press – from propaganda? Is my considered opinion really of lesser value than that of, say, Hansen? Are all scientists truly skeptical to the bitter end? Einstein was highly skeptical in his approach but it did not stop him making his definitive declaration of what E equaled at the end of the day.

75. John Greenfraud says:

Are you just playing word games here Dr. Singer? Lots of us read Mr.Solomons book, ‘The Deniers”, many years ago, that book really defined the term, so trying to recast it now is just counter-productive. Many people, unlike you apparently, wear the term like a badge of pride, standing up for sound scientific principles and the scientific method, not some obtuse denial of science. If you’re hypersensitive from having the term used against you, as a pejorative, that’s understandable. I would ask you to consider the sources (unscientific political hacks like Gleick and Revkin). Some of your statement reads like a confirmation that anyone disagreeing with phony CAGW conclusions is a nut-job. The statement only adds fuel to the fire and does nothing to help restore the scientific method and some sense of validity and integrity to climate science. Placating these eco-bullies helps no one.

76. JJ says:

Steven Mosher says:

here is the sad truth. Until the “skeptics” as Singer describes thems, take on the “deniers” as Singer describes them, then Warmista will continue to successfully lump “skeptics” with “deniers”

No, the sad truth is that even if the “skeptics” take on the “deniers”, the Warmistas will continue to successfully lump “skeptics” with “deniers”.

The sadder truth is that Mosher implictly supports that conflation by making the assertion he has, without offering any judgement of the Warmista’s guilt by association tactic.

According to singer their are certain positions that are clearly contradicted by the science, cheif among them is the disbelief that GHGs can cause warming

According to the Warmistas, their are certain postions that are clearly contradicted by the science, chief among them is disbelief in any Warmista conclusion. Those that disbelieve are dismissed summarily as “deniers”. This is not scientific behavior, and not a tactic that sceptics should adopt. Using the tactic endorses the tactic, and the same people who gleefully argue guilt by association will have no problem using Tu quoque to continue the practice.

Here is a simple phrase you can use to “self identify” as a skeptic:
“GHGs cause warming, the question is how much”

No. That statement is not rigorous, as it is unintelligible when “how much” is very low. Rather:

GHGs can cause warming, the questions are – is this happening and if so by how much.

Unless “skeptics” make strong statements about the mistakes of people who deny any GHG effect whatsoever, you’ll forever be lumped in with the kooks.

If the truth happens to be that the effect of anthro CO2 is swamped by some combination of natural effects and/or negative feedbacks, those having the accurate view will be held to be among the “kooks”.

As for the rest of what Singer says, I beg to differ. But he has this point right. Its important to not be lumped in with those who are anti science

That matter must be addressed with the lumpers. The basis of warmist lumping is not agreement amongst the lumpees, but disagreement with the warmists.

77. RKS says:

Gary Palmgren says:
February 29, 2012 at 11:41 am

ChE and Jim
I really am trying to run a good experiment. I>>>>>>It might be worth taking into account that the atmosphere, without a lid on it, is able to expand and cool [ideal gas laws] with the introduction of more energy. Maybe your model can be modified to allow for this.

78. Scottish Sceptic says:

Are some people here really suggesting (not joking) that CO2 doesn’t cause warming?
- I think its a tenable position that there are massive negative feedbacks (but I’ve yet to see conclusive evidence)
- I think its a tenable position that not all the CO2 is manmade
- I think its reasonable to say that any warming is so small it cannot be seen
- I think its reasonable to say any warming will have negligible or even postive benefits

But I really can’t believe that sensible people could say that manmade CO2 doesn’t cause heating. If that’s true of anyone here, then to be frank, you are doing those who want to get rid of this sham religion a lot of damage by making us look like we base our views on a sham religion.

79. Leonard Weinstein says:

The present writeup, and many of the comments seem to be putting people in groups and supporting the rightness or wrongness by the number of people or their qualification in the groups. I am sorry but the only point of the issue is not that some skeptics are or are not deniers, or even correct on what they say. The AGW and CAGW supporters have to propose falsifiable claims to support their hypothesis, and EVERY ONE of these falsifiable claims has to have not been falsified. Einstein exactly made this point. If even one of the critical claims, showing why human activity burning fossil fuels and producing so much CO2 causes dangerous temperature increases, is falsified (even by one person), either the hypothesis has to be modified to not need that claim, or the hypothesis is falsified and invalid. It matters not at all what many uninformed people say, as they are not making the hypothesis. They do not have to prove anything, or agree with each other. The burden of supporting a hypothesis and eventually elevating it to a theory has to be do by the claimers. Any other position than this is not science.

80. Bomber_the_Cat says:

Yes, a very nice article by Fred Singer. As I have said here many times before, I believe the sceptic cause is severely jeopardised by those claiming to be sceptics who espouse anti-science. Their hearts may be in the right place but, by their ignorance, they do harm. To quote Fred.
“Now let me turn to the deniers. One of their favorite arguments is that the greenhouse effect does not exist at all because it violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics — i.e., one cannot transfer energy from a cold atmosphere to a warmer surface. It is surprising that this simplistic argument is used by physicists, and even by professors who teach thermodynamics. One can show them data of downwelling infrared radiation from CO2, water vapor, and clouds, which clearly impinge on the surface. But their minds are closed to any such evidence”.
Indeed! – but how many times do you see this sort of anti-science argument being made? It no doubt appeals to the scientifically illiterate and their cheerleaders, but it is totally unsustainable in front of a scientific audience.
I am a sceptic. I would like other sceptics to go into battle armed with some knowledge other than pseudo-science. A prerequisite for that is that they understand how the greenhouse effect operates. We have actual measurements of downwelling radiation from the atmosphere. By analysing that ‘back-radiation’ we see that it bears the unmistakable finger print of CO2 emission, i.e peaking at around a wavelength of 15 microns.
http://scienceofdoom.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/longwave-downward-radiation-surface-evans.png
There is a whole network of stations around the world measuring this ‘back radiation’ – the BSRN network. It is not something that can be plausibly denied. These are not computer models, these are real measurements – and therefore precious.
Do people who wish to dispute the greenhouse effect understand the significance of the linked graph? The evidence is undeniable.

81. Wayne Delbeke says:

From Neither a “Warmer or Denier” :

Why does it always come down to CO2? That is a question I always wonder about as I read WUWT. Who died and made CO2 king? There are so many variables that affect climate as to make development of a suitable equation pretty much undefinable. We simplify things so we can “calculate” a theoretical impact and possibly miss the important and possibly unknown variables.

Humans produce heat. We affect the micro-climates where we develop – Urban Heat Island Effect; deforestation around Kilimanjaro; any power producing or power using facility produces heat; living in a place like I do where it was 20 below C last night requires that I produce heat to survive and since my main heat source is wood from my wood lot, I produce some miniscule amount of CO2. Why deny we have an impact? When I drive to the city, I watch the thermometer on my car go up 3 degrees C and have observed that for 40 years. Not a new phenomenom. Every mechanical or electrical device we use produces heat. Electric cars produce heat. Nuclear submarines produce heat. Wind farms and solar panels produce heat. Look at videos from space and the night lights from our cities and you can get an idea of how much heat we produce. Anyone who has flown over the prairies and hit heat rising off a summer fallow field next to a crop knows the impact of land use.

I would hope that everyone can agree that humans have an impact. Just being alive, eating and defecating produces heat.

But how much do we produce relative to natural forces? And how much cooling have we caused? We push tons of water vapour into the atmosphere that most likely results in cooling. Anyone who has had the pleasure of flying through a thunderstorm at 30,000 feet or seen the effect of a tornado or hurricane knows how powerful nature is compared to man.

Every living thing produces heat – decaying detritus on the forest floors produces heat. Volcanoes and geothermal vents produce heat. The sun provides energy and heat for a large portion of life on this planet. Even the life forms that never see the light of day produce heat – be it deep in the ocean or in caves or aquifers deep below the earth’s surface. We keep finding new life forms where we don’t expect them and they all produce heat as a by-product of living.

And while we know a lot about the orbit of the earth and changes in the magnetic fields and other things in the cosmos, we really have only one life time of current technology in a time line of millions of years and we can only guess at the possible effects.

I graduated in the “Water and Pollution” discipline of Civil Engineering a long time ago. I have been retired for many years. I find the focus on CO2 to be sad. There are so many more important things that we could work on to make life better than fret about a trace gas.

Some of my friends would call me a “denier” but I am not. I know humans have an impact. But CO2?!! Really. What a waste of time and money when there are so many more pressing issues to deal with in the world.

The Environmentalist movement has been totally derailed with this CO2 nonsense IMHO.

I think I’ll go ride a horse over the ridge and make some deposits in the CO2 bank and fertilize some trees.

Wayne, from Oily Alberta, Canada ;-)

82. Werner Brozek says:

The atmospheric temperature record between 1978 and 2000 (.. satellites ..) doesn’t show a warming.

Was that a typo or is it the argument that
slope = 0.010411 per year and
slope = 0.0145149 per year
are not significant?

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1970/plot/uah/from:1970/to:2000/trend/plot/rss/from:1970/plot/rss/from:1970/to:2000/trend

P.S. Bob Tisdale’s numbers in an above post were slightly different however it is not clear if “2000″ meant January 1 or December 31.

83. Lubos Motl says:

OK, I mostly disagree with Fred on the need to initiate a civil war among the skeptics, see
http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/02/fred-singer-and-skeptics-vs-deniers.html

84. Chris Watson says:

The problem is, so many people want to hijack this quite important issue as part of a broader Right Wing agenda. The bad science and policy around AGW matters to me, but I don’t have an anti-Socialist viewpoint, I don’t hate Obama, I’m not a libertarian, I’m don’t see a world full of conspiracies, etc.; it’s both offensive and counterproductive that skepticism about AGW is so often needlessly tied with other fringe, partisan ideas.

85. Laws of Nature says:

Dear Ferdinand,
I remember some discussions with your here some years ago, AFAIK, you stopped at a similar point as you made in this post. Starting in reverse order:

- Segalstad and Essenhigh talk about the residence time, which is short, but that has nothing to do with an excess decay time, which is a lot longer. [..]
disagree with you on the meaning of these time constants:
R. Essenhigh [Atmospheric Residence Time of Man-Made CO2, 2009]
“[..]With the short (5−15 year) RT results shown to be in quasi-equilibrium, this then supports the (independently based) conclusion that the long-term (100 year) rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is not from anthropogenic sources but, in accordance with conclusions from other studies, is most likely the outcome of the rising atmospheric temperature, which is due to other natural factors. This further supports the conclusion that global warming is not anthropogenically driven as an outcome of combustion.”

- That humans are responsible for the CO2 increase is based on a lot of evidence, real evidence, measured in the oceans and atmosphere…
Well, then I presume it would be a good time to show this evidence instead of only talking about it!

- The isotopic evidence shows that the oceans can’t be the source of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere: their isotopic composition is too high. Any huge release from the oceans would increase the 13C/12C ratio (in fact the oceans are a measured net absorber of CO2). Land vegetation could be the source, if lots of land were burned down without replacement, but the oxygen balance shows that land vegetation is a net absorber of CO2, not a source (the earth is greening).
Not true! The shift in the isotope ratio only shows, that we burn fossil fuel and indeed this CO2 is brought into the atmosphere and the ocean.

- The CO2 levels of seawater in steady state with the above air shows a change of 16 ppmv for each °C change. Even with a huge cooling by 1°C of the ocean surface, that wouldn’t give more than 16 ppmv of the 100+ ppmv we are above the previous steady state.
This sensitivity is derived from ice cores not directly measured.
However, I probably should clarify, my main concern:
Anytime someone claims that the isotope ration would prove anything but we are burning fossil fuel, I have the feeling that we are leaving the fields of science!
This is probably where we should start, if you want a serious discussion.
What do you say to the following statement:
As long as we burn fossil fuel, the isotope ration will drop, regardless if the absolute CO2-level in the atmosphere is raising or not (for example if there would be a massive cooling of the oceans in the next 20years while we still burning a lot of fossil fuel).This is like the yellow river is tainting the ocean measurably yellow, which has little to do raise of the sea level.
And to then reeverse this argument:: Thus the isotope ratio cannot tell you anything about the CO2-level.

86. Toto says:

the universe of climate scientists — also divided into three parts. On the one side are the “warmistas,” with fixed views about apocalyptic man-made global warming; at the other extreme are the “deniers.” Somewhere in the middle are climate skeptics.

Yes, but … that is not the real issue. The people commonly known as “deniers” are not denying climate science, they are denying that the case for CAGW is not proper science. It is not totally honest and transparent. It is not the “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

Yes, there are three divisions, as in triage. Those that will believe no matter what, those that will not believe no matter what, and those whose opinions can be changed. For the science, only the last group counts. For the politics, the more pawns the better.

87. kramer says:

Anybody know if this is a change in the views of Singer?

88. MFKBoulder says:

F.Singer: in case you cannot quote Latin, just don’t do it.
Funny that this essay starts with an error in the second word. Doing his resaerch hard or hardly researching, wasn’t it like this (I am not a native speaker).
Made my day.

89. Bart says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
February 29, 2012 at 11:23 am

“”- The isotopic evidence shows that the oceans can’t be the source of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere: their isotopic composition is too high. Any huge release from the oceans would increase the 13C/12C ratio (in fact the oceans are a measured net absorber of CO2). Land vegetation could be the source, if lots of land were burned down without replacement, but the oxygen balance shows that land vegetation is a net absorber of CO2, not a source (the earth is greening).”

The isotopic evidence is bunk. We’ve been over this too many times and I haven’t kept the links, so I’m just going to make the assertion.

“- The CO2 levels of seawater in steady state with the above air shows a change of 16 ppmv for each °C change. Even with a huge cooling by 1°C of the ocean surface, that wouldn’t give more than 16 ppmv of the 100+ ppmv we are above the previous steady state.”

That is a sensitivity for short term fluctuations. CO2 uptake is a low pass filter process. Short term fluctuations are attenuated. The gain for longer term fluctuations will naturally be substantially larger.

“- Segalstad and Essenhigh talk about the residence time, which is short, but that has nothing to do with an excess decay time, which is a lot longer. The first can be compared to how long some goods stay in a factory (the throughput in capital), the latter is the loss or gain of a factory for the shareholders’ money. Quite distinct time constants…”

What is that excess decay time? Nobody knows. It is all speculation based on an assumed model for what is going on.

90. Robert Brown says:

Sorry, but ‘deniers” views don’t matter much. It is the Warmists’ ‘evidence’ and policies that are potentially economically damaging. Policies are being formulated based on Warmists’ computer models etc. Focus on the real danger; people who deny that co2 is a greenhouse gas don’t matter in the big scheme of things as policies are not being based on their arguments.

The point is that just as the “warmist agenda” has been seriously damaged by the idiocy and actions of some of its greatest proponents recently because policy makers do tend to use a perfectly reasonable (if imprecise) process of association to judge claims they cannot otherwise judge for themselves, so is the point of view advanced by skeptics damaged by the idiocy and actions of some of the greatest proponents of the “there is no GHE” school.

When anyone advances an argument that can be refuted in around ten seconds by looking at a single (set of) measurements that can be presented in such a way that even policy makers can often understand, it causes those same policy makers to take even more reasonable arguments less seriously.

The science supports:

a) Yes, there is a GHE. It helps to warm the Earth relative to the greybody temperature it would have with no atmosphere or an atmosphere with no GHGs;

b) the effect of CO_2 in particular is saturated — not “a trace gas that can be ignored” but saturated — in the atmosphere. Saturation in context means that the atmosphere is already optically thick, and indeed the optical thickness of CO_2 is much less than the height of the troposphere. Consequently, increasing CO_2 has a very weak effect on the overall GHE, one that is by itself definitely not responsible for much global warming. That’s just the physics of it. CO_2 increases over the last 100 years alone, regardless of how you attribute their cause, are not sufficient to explain more than perhaps 0.3-0.7K of the post-Dalton temperature increase. How much precisely is debatable, because the overall system is highly nonlinear and there are confounding processes and coupled processes that cannot easily be linearized or ignored.

c) The “Catastrophic” claims of the warmists come strictly from two things. One, they ignore any possibility that the sun’s variability modulates climate more than strictly through variable insolation, in spite of direct evidence to the contrary. Two, they allege large positive feedback from CO_2 induced warming due to increased H_2O vapor in the warmer atmosphere. It’s that simple. From one they justify using numbers at the highest possible range for the GHE itself — even over the top of that range, 0.8 t 1K, post-Dalton. From two they multiply the projected increase by a minimum of 2 to a maximum of, well, there isn’t really a maximum. 5. 10. Who knows? The warming oceans trigger massive methane outgassing and we turn into Venus and the oceans themselves boil. But usually around 5.

d) The data categorically excludes number two already. A sane upper bound — upper, mind you — on positive feedback from e.g. increased water vapor is around 2 (and remember, the rules require that as they increase this feedback they actually decrease the direct effect of CO_2 because there are only a certain number of post-Dalton degrees (like 1.5 or thereabouts) to split up among all causes). If you numerically admit the influence of the sun empirically into the models, it strictly decreases the net effect of CO_2 and again further limits the possible feedback. There is no real limit on the lower bound. It could be anything from “no feedback at all” to “negative feedback overall” because of the complexity of the water cycle. It could even be different things at different points in the decadal oscillation cycles.

So when a “denier” argues that “a trace gas” cannot have a large effect, they are simply ignoring the physics. When they argue that its effect cannot be observed, they are ignoring the top-of-atmosphere IR spectroscopy that directly measures it and observes it in action. When they try to claim that static isolated atmospheres are warmer at the bottom than at the top absent all forcing, they are asserting things that directly contradict physics. All of these things weaken the skeptical case by association in the minds of people that cannot follow the details of the arguments for themselves. This is sad, because the well-made skeptical case is overwhelming, actually, that there is no likely catastrophe and that the sun is directly responsible for a larger fraction of the observed post-Dalton warming than CO_2, with or without any feedback at all.

rgb

91. Bart says:

I am very tired of those who deny that the greenhouse effect exists based on a misunderstanding of the 2nd law and, usually, a failure to view the system as dynamic with continual influx of energy from the Sun. The GHGs do not heat the surface, per se, they merely impede the outflow so that extra energy, relative to what would be the case without the GHGs, accumulates before equilibrium is established.

There are two particular GHE disbelievers who like to post here on WUWT who always seem to swoop in when I am having a serious discussion with someone with opposing views and embarrass me. I wish they would stop.

92. RKS says:

Robert Brown says:
February 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm

So when a “denier” argues that “a trace gas” cannot have a large effect, they are simply ignoring the physics. >>>>>What do you mean by “large”, I need to get a sense of proportion. and how, precisely, do you quantify it in terms of climate temperature. If it’s tiny, then what on earth is the infighting about?

Typo’s corrected from above.

93. Gary Hladik says:

Gary says (February 29, 2012 at 11:33 am): “This is going to be a long adventure. Watch out for stobor.”

Heinlein fan? :-)

94. Coach Springer says:

I guess Dr. Fred is positioining himself as a skeptic IPCC reviewer for AR5. He seems to be trying to buy himself extra credibility even as he is skeptical of the IPCC science. They don’t give a carp about his credibility.

I think he’s a little too focused on what might bring the IPCC view into reality than what is reality. It views the science much too strongly through modeling and closed mindedness about relevant factors, competing explanations, and the “likely” presence of unknowns. He also buys into their climate denier argument, but he doesn’t like them doing the classification and tries to elevate himself by using his own classification.

I still find it hard to believe, (denier in Fred’s parlance), that it can’t be much colder with higher CO2 and warmer with lower CO2 when reviewing the planet’s history as currently measured.

At the end of the day, though, arriving at any conclusion based only on a judgement that it is the most likely or only the slightly most reasonable is not proof of anything. I require proof and the null hypothesis (it takes many more than one by the way to get to catastrophe) is considered true. Call me a denier based on that. But this null hypothesis defender has a legitimate say in what should be done if anything if, in the unlikely event, the time comes.

95. Phil. says:

Greg, from Spokane says:
February 29, 2012 at 11:09 am
Regarding lack of understanding of the science: In other sciences, such as Chemistry, how to they refer to people who don’t believe the standard models? As deniers? Uneducated? Ignorant? Stupid?

You mean like the many who post on here that homonuclear diatomics like O2 and N2 absorb in the IR, in contravention of many years of detailed spectroscopic measurements and well established (and tested) theories of molecular structure and dynamics? Or those who don’t understand phase diagrams (i.e. of CO2 and H2O in particular)? Those who insist that Kirchoff’s Law equates absorption and emission rather than the correct absorptivity and emissivity.
These are all fundamental errors in physical chemistry which are prevalent here.
There are others, related to the Gas Laws, diffusion, Henry’s Law, Clausius-Clapeyron, etc., how would a physical chemistry Prof. refer to those who espoused these views? Well if they took his undergraduate course in Phys. Chem, as an F-student!

96. I deny that human-caused increases in CO2 in the atmosphere can cause any measurable increase in global temperature. The resulting increase will be, at best, “in the noise.”

97. 1DandyTroll says:

I’m a proud dandy denier for the simple reason that a CAGW slug called me a denier, a couple of years ago, for asking for the proof of what he was stating, and I’ll continue to deny them for the mere fact that the CAGW crowd felt they needed to muddy the water with propaganda rhetoric and subterfuge and outright lies and threats to indoctrinate people to do the “right” thing.

And it’s very foolish to buy the oposition’s tradmarked word and use it like it has a value. That’s high level indoctrination complete.

98. benfrommo says:

So I see mr singer and others are equating some people with different interpretations on science as people who deny that the holocaust occurred. Please tell me how this compasison is in any way similar or apt.

I for one do not fall under this category as I seem to be one of those sceptics who simply thinks that the human signiture via CO2 is too small to measure seeing as we have yet to do so, but I am still failing to see how politically and rather low-browed insults further any cause.

So as a sceptic leave me out of this one. What is the point of this article? If you want to make a point about sceptics who do a dis-service to the rest of the rest of us leave the insults out of it. If you can not make your point without comparing people to pond-scum then I would probably assume you have no point to make.

99. JJ says:

“Gallia omnia est divisa in partes tres.” This phrase from Julius Gaius Caesar about the division of Gaul nicely illustrates the universe of climate scientists …

It was Gaius Julius Caesar, and the relevant Roman concept was known to the Caesars (and the Senates) as divide et impera. It is an effective tactic, and one we should not be postioning ourselves to fall prey to.

100. AndyG55 says:

I question just how much warming there was over the 1976-2000 period. I look at the surface station record and see it as being way too crrupted by possible effects of UHI, loss of remore stations, and data manipulation to put ANY faith in it at all.

I query how back radiation from a very minor trace compound can have any effect on a system which is dominated by convective and conductive effects (air movement). CO2 has zero effect on these two methods of heat transfer. and even if the back radiation does cause a teensy amount of heating near the surface, the only effect will be a tiny increase in convective activity.

The Earth’s atmosphere is NOT a blanket, it is a mechanism to remove excess heat from the surface, so that it can be radiated into space. It is a temperature regulator.

101. RichieP says:

I’m a denier and I deny their right to the vandalism and the destruction and the waste they are already causing and will continue to cause to all of us. But I think Autonomous Mind has it right:

http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/forget-climate-change-we-must-focus-on-the-real-issue/

“Sceptics, and scientists who dissent from the ‘consensus’, could falsify, debunk and disprove every element of the AGW narrative and see off every member of the ‘team’ and make a laughing stock of the ’cause’, but we will still come under assault. For this is all about politics and ideology, even if the prominent actors don’t realise it.

Ultimately if it is not climate change it will be some other vehicle connected to ‘sustainability’ that will be used as a means of controlling the population and redistributing wealth from the industrialised world to the developing world in a way that enriches the corporates.”

And, forgive me, Prof. Singer, but it’s ‘Gallia omnis’.

102. Merovign says:

YAY! A purity war!

Mind you, it will only help the warmists. I am quite sure they are jumping with joy at the thought of their opposition, who mostly agree with each other, are finding time to use their differences to declare each other “untouchable.”

Great job, things were looking bleak for the power-mad warmists, but they’re sure looking up now!

103. Laws of Nature says:
February 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Well, we can repeat the over a thousands comments in the previous discussions here, but I have the impression that it is difficult to convince someone who doesn’t want to be convinced… And indeed it is tempting to undercut the first pillar of AGW, because if humans are not responsible for the increase, there is no base for AGW at all…

Further in reply:
The “residence time” of which Essenhigh speaks is about how much of the CO2 in the atmosphere is exchanged with CO2 from other reservoirs (oceans and vegetation) within a year. That is about 20%, which gives a residence time of ~5 years. But that has not the slightest influence on how much CO2 is in the atmosphere. Even if all CO2 in the atmosphere was exchanged 5 times a year, that wouldn’t change the total CO2 content. Only the difference between what is coming in and going out is of interest, as that gives the net material balance. And that is a measured increase of 4 GtC (2 ppmv CO2) per year. As humans add a calculated 8 GtC (4 ppmv) per year, the net absorbance by nature (oceans + vegetation) is about 4 GtC/year. On a total of 800 GtC in the atmosphere that is a loss of only 4 GtC/year. That makes that the excess (100+ ppmv or 210 GtC above the steady state) has a decay rate1/e of 210/4 or ~52 years. Or a half life time of ~40 years.

Not true! The shift in the isotope ratio only shows, that we burn fossil fuel and indeed this CO2 is brought into the atmosphere and the ocean.
Sorry, but the isotope ratio shows that the oceans can’t be the source at all. The atmosphere has a d13C of -8 per mil, the oceans are at 0 to +4 per mil, and fossil fuels are average -24 per mil. Only 1/3rd of the d13C decrease calculated from fossil fuel burning shows up in the atmosphere. There are two possibilities: either the ocean dilutes the fingerprint from fossil fuel burning by replacement, or the dilution is in addition. To have the latter effect, you need to add ~40 GtC CO2 from the oceans to the 8 GtC from human emissions, thus the increase in the atmosphere would be 48 GtC (22 ppmv) per year (!). As the figures show a smaller increase in total CO2 than what humans release, only the former can be true: there is a huge oceanic CO2 flow at work, but that is slightly more into than out of the oceans (~2.5 GtC/year). The same for land vegetation: the oxygen balance shows that currently vegetation produces more O2 than it uses (for decay). Thus plants use more CO2 and preferentially 12CO2 (~1.5 GtC/year), leaving relative more 13CO2 in the atmosphere. Thus not responsible for the d13C decline. Other sources are not fast enough to have any impact in such a short time span.

This sensitivity is derived from ice cores not directly measured.
Sorry, that is measured in seawater at a lot of places. A direct result of Henry’s Law. Ice cores show only half that change in steady state, because land vegetation in general grows harder with elevated temperatures, thus working in opposite direction of the oceans.

And to then reeverse this argument: Thus the isotope ratio cannot tell you anything about the CO2-level.
Agreed, but in this case it effectively does eliminate two possible sources: the oceans and land vegetation. The first because of too high 13C level, the latter a proven absorber of CO2.

The Yellow river BTW is part of the residence time of water in the atmosphere (counted in days!): it is part of the outflow out of the atmosphere, while at the other side water evaporates from the ocean surface. But that doesn’t change the water (vapour) content of the atmosphere, as long as as much evaporates as condenses…

104. Eric (skeptic) says:

Fred Singer says ‘One can show them data of downwelling infrared radiation from CO2, water vapor, and clouds, which clearly impinge on the surface. But their minds are closed to any such evidence.”

That may be a bit simplistic. Some folks believe there is downwelling radiation, but that it does not warm the surface. This is partly from a Second Law argument (which has been argued to death) and partly from physical processes at the surface impacted by the IR. That surface has vibrating atoms (like any surface above absolute zero) and those atoms may resonate with the downwelling radiation in such as as to reflect or scatter that radiation. (I am repeating an argument I have heard and may not be characterizing it correctly).

It is always good and important to have constant ongoing discussions that challenge the status quo, but those should take place in the smokey back room. What is not good is to project various alternative views as all supportable to the public and proclaim that the science is not settled due to the presence of alternative views. The science is never 100% settled, but as far as general public consumption goes, it should be.

Another thing to consider is that if we did not have such “deniers” on our side, then the CAGW side would likely invent them. So we might as well keep those we have as a resource in the proper perspective.

105. AndyG55 says:

@1DandyTroll
“I’m a proud dandy denier for the simple reason that a CAGW slug called me a denier, a couple of years ago, for asking for the proof of what he was stating”

And that is the real crux of the matter.. If you even dain to query any part of their religion, you are branded a “denier”.. just for asking a question or for proof !!!

If you don’t immediately accept every part of their story as unassailable fact.. you are a denier. !!

106. Richard G says:

Thank you Dr. Singer for your invaluable contribution to the climate debate. In the interest and spirit of Climate Taxonomy I forthrightly declare that I am a Climate Optimist, which is a subspecies of Climate Realists. Warmer is better than colder. I refuse to be a Climate Prognosticator, preferring to be a Climate Observer.
CO2+sunlight = Sugar.
More CO2 = More Sugar.
This truth should make dentists and those who have a sweet tooth happy, not fearful.

107. kwik says:

Scottish Sceptic says:
February 29, 2012 at 11:26 am

“Deniers …. are like communism/nazisim. For me politics is a circle … go far enough left or right and you will meet people from the opposing wing coming round from the other way. So, by the time you get to communism and nazism, there isn’t a lot of difference.”

I respectfully disagree.

A nazi; Remember that saying “nazi” is a convenient way to hide that what you really are saying is “national Socialist”. A variant of socialism, in other words.

A “national socialist” wants a strong state. A communist wants a strong state. A social democrat wants a strong state. They are, in other words all on the left; They all want a strong state.
So you never went into a full circle. You stayed in the same spot.

Now, this indicate that “extreme right” really cannot exist. Because if “left” is “I want a strong state”, or a “Statist”, then the right surely must mean, “I want a minimum state”, a libertarian, in other words. So, surely if you are extremely libertarian, you want an extremey minimum state.

Surely not what the “Statists”, or the left means, when they talk about “extreme right”, a label they like to put on e.g. a “nazi”.

Just to cover up that a “nazi” is really one of their own kind, fighting to take control over us all via a strong state.

108. Bart says:
February 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Undeed some time ago now, but the same arguments are repeated again and again…

The isotopic evidence is bunk. We’ve been over this too many times and I haven’t kept the links, so I’m just going to make the assertion.

See my reaction on “Laws of Nature”…

That is a sensitivity for short term fluctuations. CO2 uptake is a low pass filter process. Short term fluctuations are attenuated. The gain for longer term fluctuations will naturally be substantially larger.

Partly very fast for the ocean surface (1-2 years half life), partly slower (~40 years for the deep oceans and vegetation), partly very slow for other processes. Besides a rapid steady state (if CO2 in the atmosphere wouldn’t change) for the ocean’s surface, absorbing ~10% of the change in the atmosphere, the ~40 years half life time is what is measured and doesn’t show signs of decline or increase over the past 50+ years of direct measurements. The very long term (centuries to millenia) steady state is about 8 ppmv/°C, including all possible sinks and sources. There are no observations at the decade to century scale, but it would be quite strange to have some very different scale over that time span.

What is that excess decay time? Nobody knows. It is all speculation based on an assumed model for what is going on.

The IPCC uses models (e.g. the Bern model) which shows different decay times for different reservoirs. That may be true to a certain extent, but is wrong for the deep oceans, as these are by large undersaturated and wrong for vegetation, both showing no sign of decline in uptake rate. In contrast, the above half life time of ~40 years for an excess CO2 level above steady state is based on observations over the past 50 years.

109. Rational Db8 (used to post as Rational Debate) says:

Er, hello? Singer starts off on a tilted playing field from the get go. Warmists aren’t the opposite of ‘Deniers’ as portrayed in this article. The opposite would be either ‘Alarmists” or “True Believers.”

Putting that aside and moving on, Singer says:

many skeptics go along with the general conclusion of the warmistas but simply claim that the human contribution is not as large as indicated by climate models. But at the same time, they join with deniers in opposing drastic efforts to mitigate greenhouse (GH) gas emissions.

Are you kidding? How twisted is that? Of COURSE skeptics who believe the human contribution isn’t significant – or that the likely amount of warming won’t be significant – won’t support costly drastic efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Why in the world would they? In doing so, they aren’t ‘joining with deniers’ so much as following a logical conclusion to their estimate of what the science actually does or doesn’t support – and what the proposed mitigation efforts are or aren’t able to actually accomplish versus the high costs involved in terms of \$\$ and effects on our society, freedoms, and standard of living.

As I understand it and assuming the arguments and logic of the ‘warmists,’ and ‘alarmists/True Believers,’ the best estimates even by the likes of the IPCC and US EPA tell us that even heavy mitigation efforts (e.g., full compliance to the Kyoto treaty) would have a miniscule effect on temperatures by 2100 at a cost of trillions of dollars and resources diverted from far more productive endeavors that could have a far more immediate benefit to mankind (e.g., addressing cancer, malaria, starvation, poverty, etc.). We know however, that the costs (again, not just in terms of \$\$s) would be massive.

Considering this, the question should be why in the world the ‘warmists’ join with the ‘True Believer/Alarmists’ in continuing to support such draconian and essentially useless ‘mitigation’ efforts?

Try putting the shoe on the other foot for awhile. Or at least starting on a level conceptual playing field.

110. AndyG55 says:

The accidental burying of much of large quantities of carbon based material took the CO2 levels down to dangerously low levels.
For 100,000′s of years the CO2 level was balanced with the amount of plant life at a percentage just above that which the plant life is sustainable.
Man has found that releasing this buried CO2 by burning coal provides him with a cheap efficent energy source, while at the same time increasing the level of plant food in the atmosphere.
Plant life is happy, it can now flourish, the CO2 restriction is lifted. !!

111. E.M.Smith says:

@Bart:

Try:

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/the-trouble-with-c12-c13-ratios/

synopsis: Each fossil fuel source has a different isotope ratio. We don’t know what they were for what was burned. Bacteria (and other stuff) eat natural oil and gas anyway, so loads of “fossil” type carbon isotopes enter the “natural” food chain. Loads of CO2 from rock decomposition in subduction / volcanoes – care to guess what the isotope ratio is on that rock (often of biologic origin, but on the ocean bottom how long getting subducted? Oh, yeah, a guess…

How much Methane and CO2 comes from: Mid ocean ridges, underwater volcanoes (far more than land volcanoes), methane seeps from methane clathrate decompostion, etc etc etc. Yeah, we don’t know what it is NOW let alone what it was in the past. And isotope ratios? Yeah, good luck with that…

C3 metabolism plants have a different isotopic preference to C4 plants (which only evolved recently) so good luck with all that pre-C4 plant data…

We only in the last couple of years found out fish excrete “Gut Rocks” of carbonates. What is the isotope ratio? Uh, can I get back to you on that?…

In essence: There is no base data for most carbon sources and sinks to be able to quantify any historical changes or even present mass flows and changes. The idea that the C12 / C13 ratio says anything about human activity is a BALD ASSERTION to which a fantasy story of what they would like to think happens is appended. The data to do real science does not exist.

112. Doug Cotton says:

Neither “skeptics” or “deniers” are appropriate names. Perhaps “truth-seekers” would be more appropriate.

The greenhouse conjecture will not be debunked for a long time by actual climate data. But it can be debunked right now by new physics which is extending the work of Einstein and Planck.

Firstly we must recognise that radiation from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface is comprised only of standing (or stationary) waves which may be thought of as opposing waves along the same path between two particular points, one on the surface and one in the atmosphere. These opposing waves interfere iff they have the same frequency and amplitude.

In Wikipedia we read …Iit can arise in a stationary medium as a result of interference between two waves traveling in opposite directions. In the second case, for waves of equal amplitude traveling in opposing directions, there is on average no net propagation of energy.

In addition to the standing (or stationary) wave, there is also one way radiation from hot to cold and its frequencies are represented by the area between the Planck curves, which is the same as SBL effectively calculates by subtracting the area under the smaller (cooler) curve from the area under the larger (warmer) curve.

Standing waves cause resonant “vibration” between energy levels and the energy required to excite = energy emitted on relaxation for such standing waves.

So how could any extra energy appear from nowhere and get converted to thermal energy? A whole new and different process is required for that conversion. Climatologists seem to keep imagining physical vibration causing friction or something. It’s not like that. Energy cannot be created in the process of resonance associated with standing waves.

All radiation from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface comprises standing waves transferring no net energy either way. Only the additional “top portion” of the radiation from the warmer surface is separate radiation which does cause heat transfer from warm to cool.

I warned you at the outset that Claes Johnson’s Computational Blackbody Radiation is ground breaking physics extending the work of Einstein and Planck. You are not going to find it in textbooks, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. There is far more to it than just imaging a lot of identical mass-less photon particles crashing into surfaces and transferring thermal energy.

Any textbook which tells you that radiation between two plates transfers the full SBL amount in each direction is wrong, because there simply cannot be any transfer of thermal energy along a different path from cold to hot as it violates the Second Law. “Net” radiation has no corresponding physical entity and is thus meaningless.

Only standing waves have an identical path and can thus interfere with each other if they have equal frequency and amplitude, as explained in Wikipedia.

The Second Law applies to every individual path between two particular points. Standing waves may be considered as two opposing waves, but they do of course have the same path, and that makes all the difference. It’s up to you whether you want to take an interest in these new developments in physics or stick to your old beliefs so you can feel good trying to prove the IPCC wrong using climate data and yet still agreeing with them that heat transfers from the atmosphere to a warmer surface. It doesn’t..

113. Adpack says:

Wow, what an amazing thread!! Dr. Singer has received such a wild response. Have these people read his entire article? Or his history of achievements? And his efforts to this moment to try to deal rationally and effectively with questions, problems, and issues, by means of scientific measurement, study, reason, communication and debate? I hope that some of these “reactors” will read about what he has done and what he is still doing for the cause of truth and science that most WUWT followers care so much about.

In case you want a summary of his past: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Singer#Early_life_and_education

114. AlexS says:

Fred Singer proves he is not a skeptic.

If he thinks Global surface temperature (GST) is relevant and means anything other than we don’t know where have been the temperatures in last 100 years except they have been apparently stable then he is a Warmist or a Glaciarist or even both.

115. CodeTech says:

Personally I find this to be one of the most offensive posts and subsequent batch of comments that I’ve yet seen on WUWT.

Here’s my definition of anti-science:
1) The belief that we have an accurate record of “global temperature”. Consider the massive loss of reporting stations after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the inherent inaccuracy of manually read mechanical (ie. mercury in glass tube thermometer) temperatures, Urban Heat Island and the ridiculous failure to acknowledge it (by the warmists), then failure to use the correct sign ffs when attempting to incorporate it into temperature records. The constant downward adjustment of past temperatures should be the first clue that… simply… WE HAVE NO TRUSTWORTHY TEMPERATURE RECORD. Believing otherwise is delusional. The best we have is a rough estimate with large error bars, with nothing like the precision required to make most of the claims being made about climate.
FACT: Claims of precision in past AND current temperatures are illusory.

2) The absolute claim that all CO2 increase is from human activity. I realize and recognize that most people believe this is a self-evident fact, but it’s not. Our emissions are a very small part of the normal ongoing flux of the “CO2 cycle”, and certainly within the realm of the amount that can be, and likely is, absorbed by simple increases in plant growth. This is NOT a closed system, LIFE is in the equation. When there’s more food available, more life survives long enough to consume it. If Earth’s atmosphere was actually this sensitive to change then it would be highly unlikely that the atmosphere could ever have maintained anything like the gas balance we see today, especially given some of the massive volcanic events in the past and known incidents of, for example, massive forest fires and coal fires.
FACT: Claims that we have accurately and definitively mapped “the Carbon Cycle” with all of its sources and sinks are arrogant beyond belief.

3) Claims of dramatic or unusual polar ice growth/shrinkage. The fact is, we have no serious records of past activity on either pole. Ice cores are interesting, and can tell us a lot, but only about one teeny tiny pinprick of locale. There are anecdotal writings from ancient and historical times showing both amazing ice growth and ice loss in the Arctic, which demonstrates that what we have seen since we started really looking over the last century or so is well within the realm of “normal” variability. Since the polar regions contain a large amount of water, this is tied to the entire Sea Level question as well.
FACT: we cannot extrapolate sea level or Polar ice trends when we have no reliable, accurate long-term data to extrapolate from.

4) The continued and ongoing belief that we are approaching a tipping point. There is no such thing, the claim that it is happening is ridiculous and absurd, and completely political.

Some of these points push me out of “Skeptic” and into “Denier” territory by Dr. Singer’s post, which is ridiculous.

My point is, and has always been, that we simply DO NOT KNOW most of what we THINK we know. Sure, the whole “CO2 as a GHG” theory makes sense, but it crosses to “BELIEF” once you try connecting a grossly imprecise temperature record with a marginally understood CO2 record.

I am a SKEPTIC because I am SKEPTICAL. I’ve been in the world of “Show Me” since I can remember, which is before I started school. I’ve seen so much absolutely horrifically BAD science masquerading as “Climate Science” that, honestly, I have almost zero faith in anything the warmists say or do. If they told me they wrote something in blue pen I’d want to see the original to confirm it.

I am a SKEPTIC because I DO NOT ACCEPT ACTIVISM PARADING AS SCIENCE. Over the last few decades I’ve watched so much political activism being justified or performed under the banner of “Science” that I can’t and won’t accept anyone from either “side” telling me something is so, when I can see for myself that it is not so. Prove it. Prove it with real, genuine empirical evidence, and falsifiable predictions, followed by an adjustment of the hypothesis when the predictions don’t come to pass.

I agree with Lindzen’s statements, summarized by biff33, February 29, 2012 at 11:17 am:

Unfortunately, denial of [these facts], has made the public presentation of the science by those promoting alarm much easier. They merely have to defend the trivially true points [above]; declare that it is only a matter of well- known physics; and relegate the real basis for alarm to a peripheral footnote – even as they slyly acknowledge that this basis is subject to great uncertainty.

One more thing: I’ve made this observation before. Some years back my online car community had a massive, fragmenting and eventually destructive argument which, on the face of it is funny. It was about whether an Intercooler should be black or white. Which color causes the best radiation of heat from the Intercooler into the passing air stream? It went on for months. It resulted in people leaving, being banned, best friends in real life not talking anymore.
Do you know the answer?
The answer is: it doesn’t matter. The best color is the natural metal of the Intercooler, since any paint is an insulation layer. Yes, the color makes a difference, but that difference is OVERWHELMINGLY swamped by the insulation effect of the paint.

How different is that from the CO2->climate change debate?

116. Alberta Slim says:

How about this???
Stephen Wilde:
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=9206
I prefer this over Dr. Singer

117. Rational Db8 (used to post as Rational Debate) says:

re post by: John J. says: February 29, 2012 at 10:26 am

The three groups mentioned, warmists, skeptics and deniers, are all less important than the group that does not seem to exist; the realists. Those are the ones who say, “Maybe AGW is a potential problem, so let’s work on some realistic solutions that will protect the Earth without totally destroying our economies.” It may be difficult to effect the earth’s albedo, be it would be far less expensive and disruptive than what is being pushed by the warmists.

It seems to me that realists would work on determining if AGW is or isn’t a potential problem before moving on to any asoect of costly ‘solutions’ to a hypothetical. Thus far the AGW hypothesis hasn’t even managed to get beyond the Null Hypothesis of natural variation,let alone determining if some additional warming would even be harmful vs. beneficial — but you think it’s being a realist to ignore that and move on to possible mitigation efforts?? Doesn’t seem very realistic to me at all, quite the contrary. Begging the question and then defining such as stance as realism actually appears to be pretty Orwellian.

118. Jer0me says:

Whatever I am (I am kind of teflon-coated where labels are concerned), these are my broad views;

The concept of a ‘global’ temperature is too awkward a concept to define or use. I will accept that a rough approximation exists, as the argument for and against is tedious.

The likelihood that measurements going back hundreds of years is accurate and can be related well to today’s measurements from very different sources is fairly small. I will accept that a rough approximation exists, as the argument for and against is tedious.

The likelihood of our ability to account for and remove the signal of the Urban Heat Island effect on temperature records is fairly small. I will accept that a rough approximation exists, as the argument for and against is tedious.

OK, so we have some warming. Some of that is likely from CO2. I accept that, but I have extreme doubts about the actual total effect of, say, doubling CO2, and of the contribution to any observed warming over an above natural cycles.

I have extreme doubts about ANY positive feedbacks that could render this observed and predicted warming as a threat or danger to us. My immediate ‘educated guess’ would be that feedbacks are generally negative, since the climate does not veer off into massive warming and cooling binges. I accept that ice ages and interglacial periods (like the current) are the exception, but these are largely cyclical and probably due to orbital variations and the sun. There are are a few other periods where temperatures have been exceptionally high, for example, but if, as often claimed, CO2 was to blame, it would happen all the time, and never end, surely? So I reject the ‘positive feedback’ ‘tipping point’ scaremongering as they are based on flimsy speculation and no evidence.

What do we have left? Well, CO2 seems good for plant life, and it will ‘green’ the planet. The expected warming, even if entirely caused by CO2 so far, which I very much doubt, is likely to be another degree, perhaps two. Is that something to be scared of? I think not. The last nearly one degree has not caused any problems that I can see, despite the global hysteria surrounding any and all ‘extreme’ weather events.

Do I deny anything? I guess so, but it ain’t climate!

119. Jeff says:

Fred, I didn’t think you were among those who supported “drastic efforts to mitigate greenhouse (GH) gas emissions”. You don’t need me to tell you whose side that puts you on :-)

Could’ve done a lot better with this article, I feel.

And just out of curiosity, where does Roy Spencer fit into all of this? Is he a “denier”, or only a “skeptic”? Is he “anti-science”? I’ve been wrestling with my own position on this issue for some time, and it’s beginning to bug me. I’d like for someone to produce a basic overview of what is true, what isn’t true, and what remains to be discovered. Kind of like Don Rumsfeld’s “Known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns”. I have an interest in the debated about Ruddiman’s “early human emissions” hypothesis because there are problems with it, and trying to work out analogues between our current interglacial and past interglacials is difficult.

It’s unfortunate that such an interesting field of study has become this politicized. Really screws things up, muddies the waters. One of these days the whole truth will out. I just hope it gets here sooner rather than later.

120. Laws of Nature says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
[..]

See my reaction on “Laws of Nature”…

What reaction, if I may ask? That you keep repeating old arguments?
My citation of Essenhigh was clear: He ruled out, that anthropogenic CO2 could be responsible for the long term rise of the last century. I must have overlooked your reaction to that.

Also we seem to be in an agreement, that the isotope level cannot tell you anything beside that we burn fossil fuel:
“LoN:And to then reeverse this argument: Thus the isotope ratio cannot tell you anything about the CO2-level.
FE: Agreed, but in this case it effectively does eliminate two possible sources: the oceans and land vegetation. The first because of too high 13C level, the latter a proven absorber of CO2.”
But it does no such elimination, neither effectively nor otherwise.
It tells you we burn fossil fuel (as if we wouldn’t know that already), the rest is a smoke screen and unscientific at that.

121. Jer0me says:

CodeTech says:
February 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm

One more thing: I’ve made this observation before. Some years back my online car community had a massive, fragmenting and eventually destructive argument which, on the face of it is funny. It was about whether an Intercooler should be black or white. Which color causes the best radiation of heat from the Intercooler into the passing air stream? It went on for months. It resulted in people leaving, being banned, best friends in real life not talking anymore.
Do you know the answer?
The answer is: it doesn’t matter. The best color is the natural metal of the Intercooler, since any paint is an insulation layer. Yes, the color makes a difference, but that difference is OVERWHELMINGLY swamped by the insulation effect of the paint.

How different is that from the CO2->climate change debate?

[oddly enough, I used to have a turbo intercooler - I never cared about the colour, just the sound (loved that) and the effect ;-]

That in itself highlights one of the central scientific issues. Convection trumps Radiation every time. You just have to hold you hand in front of a ‘radiator’ and then above it to see the difference. Gasses getting warmed will cause them to rise, thus taking heat upwards. Does this reduce, overwhelm, or have no effect on radiation? I do not know, but I have never seen a study done. If anyone knows of one (that is comprehensible to a mere mortal), do let me know. It could blow the whole ‘greenhouse’ effect out of the greenhouse window.

122. E.M.Smith says:
February 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm

As said before: the 13C/12C decline doesn’t prove that fossil fuels are the cause of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. It does prove that ocean’s CO2 is not the cause. Neither are rocks or volcanoes: subduction volcanoes use mainly carbonate sediments which are all around zero per mil d13C. Deep magma CO2 is less in d13C, but in general still above atmospheric.

Natural oil and methane releases, burning coal seems, peat and forest fires, alle add natural low d13C CO2 to the atmosphere. But the point is: why should that increase from 1850 on in exact ratio with the use of fossil fuels?
Over the Last Glacial Maximum to Holocene transition, the d13C ratio increased some 0.3 per mil over 3 kyr, followed by a 0.2 per mil decline (thanks to changes in plant growth and releases from the oceans):
http://medias.obs-mip.fr/paleo/taylor/indermuehle99nat.pdf
The d13C ratio varied with +/- 0.02 per mil over the period 650-150 year ago, but dropped more than 0.5 per mil in the past 150 years:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/sponges.gif
Thus the current drop in d13C is larger than the influence of all known and unknown natural processes together over the past 20,000 years…

That different plants show different preferences for 12CO2 is true, but not relevant, because all plants show a low d13C content, below atmosphere, and the oxygen balance shows that all plants together use more CO2 than that they (and animals, including humans) produce, thus plants are not the cause of the d13C decline in the atmosphere.

123. E.M.Smith says:

kwik says:
February 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Scottish Sceptic says:
February 29, 2012 at 11:26 am

“Deniers …. are like communism/nazisim. For me politics is a circle … go far enough left or right and you will meet people from the opposing wing coming round from the other way. So, by the time you get to communism and nazism, there isn’t a lot of difference.”

I respectfully disagree.

A nazi; Remember that saying “nazi” is a convenient way to hide that what you really are saying is “national Socialist”. A variant of socialism, in other words.

The National Socialist Workers Party was tossed into the “right wing” by Stalin who didn’t want competition with his Soviet Socialists. The “difference” was that Maxist/Stalinist Socialism believes in the inevitable Class Struggle (think ‘class warfare’ today) and that it will be International (Thus the anthem of a similar name). The German National Socialists had 2 major differences:

1) They rejected the “international” for a National flavor. This spits in the eye of the Marxists and their INTERNational.

2) They adopted the “Third Way Socialist” idea of Fascist Italy (yes, Fascism is a socialism flavor, unless you are a Communist, then it’s it ‘right wing’ as defined by Stalin) that you didn’t need to abolish the corporation as long as you could control it. This is held by all good International Socialists as being the hallmark that makes them Evil Right Wing. It isn’t. But it does spit in the eye of “Class Struggle” if you don’t struggle, but grab them by, er, throat and tell them what to do. We see this returning today when Clinton said we wanted to use “Third Way” policies. That was what Mussolini called his flavor of economics (but with a ‘militarism’ aspect grafted on).

All of them believe in Central Planning, Central Control, and Authoritarian Policies. The Nazis and Stalinists also agreed on killing Jews, so sometimes you see the Nazi held different via being ‘racist’. That isn’t true (as both didn’t like their Jews). Besides, Hitler was far more broad minded than that. He followed the whole Progressive Eugenics Agenda (being slowly reborn today as “family planning” and “genetic screening”) and was happy to lump Gypsies, Jews, Blacks, The Deaf, and dozens of others with illness in the same bucket. Not based on race so much as being “less than perfect”

The present versions try to vilify Nationalism, Racism, and Militarism as they think those were the three bits that caused Socialism to fail in the past and If Only we’d try the pure stuff it would work just fine. This Time For Sure! Thus the hard press to vilify those aspects as “right wing”.

(The thing missing from all the Left vs Right metaphor is that it is just choosing between Kings, Emperors, The Church, Socialist Authoritarians of various flavors, Dictators… Nowhere is “Free Individuals” on the list. The Classical American system of limited government and Individual Liberty is not on the European centric Left-Right scale. Thus it is a trap to the mind. Step off the Left-Right dogma and choose Liberty Of The Individual. Choosing my Left Wing Dictator vs my Right Wing Dictator is not a real choice…)

There’s a load of evidence for all of that, and I’ll not be arguing any of it here (as it tends to result in endless “does so does not is so is not, you’re Mama” strings. If you want to argue that “right” and “left” mean anything post Stalin or that the National Socialists were not Socialists or that the Fascists (from the Italian word for their labor unions – you know, pro-labor Socialism) were not Socialists, please do some research first. I did. And read the words they said about themselves.

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/some-quotes-on-socialism-and-fascism/

Modern terms have been widely corrupted (largely by the Socialists in their various flavors trying to hide their roots or kinship) so “right vs left” and “liberal” have very sloppy, nearly useless muddled meanings.

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/i-am-a-liberal/

So you must distinguish “Classical Liberals” as in the UK vs American Social Liberals in the USA. The Clasi-Liberal vs the ASo-Liberals. The ASo-Liberals trace their roots back to the Progressive Movement that comes for a Socialist taproot. After W.W.II that was kind of “hot potatoes” so they hid behind the more conservative flavored Liberal term, which worked for a while until folks figured out is was the same stuff and now the term is nearly synonymous with Socialist in the USA.

They hate being found out, so holler loudly that Obama is NOT a Socialist. That’s slightly correct. His is “Socialist Lite” (Technically “Lange Type Socialism” once GM was effectively nationalized and the Banks too. Two tenets of Lange Type: 1) Don’t do a bankruptcy process, have the Government Take Over and Fix. 2) Government ownership and intervention in major industries. So about those stock ownerships in GM and The Banks… and the wet kiss to the Labor Unions by having GM Bondholders wealth stolen and given to them…)

So Madam Hillary lately tried to resurrect the Progressive label saying She was ‘Not a Liberal but a Progressive!”… Run, hide, it’s the same bad wine in a new bottle.

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/liberal-fascism/

The latest embodiment is as NGOs. No given name of any sort. 1000 different names. Money is sucked out of various “charities” and even the NSF, NASA, et. al have been parasitized to hand out money as “Grants” to activist NGOs; or taken via the UN and then used to implement the Socialist Agenda without all that bothersome voting and representation and ‘will of the people’ stuff:

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/marx-progressives-socialism-and-agenda-21/

So, as I’ve pretty much beaten the whole thing to death, I’d suggest sparing Anthony the “IS TOO, IS NOT” does so does not wars and if you really want to haggle the points, hit some of the links above. You will find most of the arguments already “up” and can save everyone a lot of time…

Oh, and one “easy check”: Read Marx Communist Manifesto and pick out his key points. Ten of them IIRC. Then just match them against any other organization key points. Degree of match is proportional to, well, degree of similarity… ASo-Liberal / Progressives will find this a discomforting experience. Libertarians (that in America are close to Clasi-Liberals) will find it enlightening.

Then take each “ism” and trace back it’s roots. By person. By founding books. It’s a pretty strait set of links in the chain. Hint: Mussolini spent his early days translating the Communist Socialist works as a true believer before making his own flavor of it. His family were hard core socialists all the way.

Final note: I do not come at this from any particular political agenda. I’m more interested in just making a ‘tidy map’ than advocating any side. Emotionally I lean Libertarian, but intellectually (and by training – I’m an Economist and these are Economic Systems…) I can make a better case for Lange Type Socialism than any of the others. The age of “Robber Barons” was not good… I often toss sniditudes at the current crop of ASo-Liberals, but mostly for their desire to HIDE what they believe. If you believe something, don’t make it dirty and hide, be proud of it and take your lumps if needed. Why they want to run from Socialism Lite is beyond me. Darned near every economy in the world today is what we used to call a “mixed economy” – i.e. some markets and some social programs. (Now being ‘relabeled’ as “Market Socialism” in some corners). So please, no rock tossing. I’m just trying to get the dance card straight. (And have no desire to return to the age of Robber Barons and Trusts and oppressed Joe and Jane Sixpack as I am one…)

124. Robert Brown says onFebruary 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

“I’ve certainly done my bit — note well my sustained hammering of Jelbring’s nonsense and Nikolov and Zeller’s equal nonsense — but there is still plenty left to hammer on.
There is absolutely no question that the GHE is real, and ——“
========
Well, hammer a bit on me Robert. Your real GHE is dependent on, at least three things:

1) There is Electromagnetic “heat- or thermal radiation” from the Earth’s surface.
2) The surface does not lose any heat as this thermal transfer from surface to atmosphere takes place.
3) The GHGs in the atmosphere are sending at least one half of this heat radiation back to the surface causing, at the moment, 33 deg. Celsius (or Kelvin) of warming.

Explain how any of the three points above are possible. If you cannot explain them then don’t rely on Singer to do so either.

If you really believe in the fable that heat can radiate then tell my why a 100 Watt light bulb has a larger glass bulb than a 60 or 40 Watt one has. – The answer to that one is simple:
The reason is that heat can only be moved away from its source by conduction and consequent convection. A light bulb suspended in a vacuum will melt soon after it is turned on.

If you have a large jar and a pump (most pumps can become vacuum pumps) and the ability to make the “test-rig” you can make the experiment yourself. You will realize that heat does not radiate, therefore heat has got no Electromagnetic wavebands.

By the way heat is not energy, but it will take too long to explain that one here.

125. Laws of Nature says:
February 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm

To repeat the obvious:

Essenhigh didn’t rule out the human influence, because his reasoning was based on the high throughput (short residence time) of CO2 in the atmosphere. But that is completely irrelevant for how much CO2 is added to or removed from the atmosphere.
Please, think about the difference between your cash flow in/out your bank deposit (that is throughput) and what is on your account at the end of the year, compared to the previous year (the gain or loss).

But it does no such elimination, neither effectively nor otherwise.
It tells you we burn fossil fuel (as if we wouldn’t know that already), the rest is a smoke screen and unscientific at that.

I made a career by eliminating the impossible. That was much faster in finding the cause of trouble in chemical processes than looking at the possible causes.
If oceanic CO2 has a too high level of d13C, it is impossible that it is the cause of the DEcrease of 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere. That is as good as a suspect who has a perfect alibi. The same for vegetation, for a different reason. That is what one calls falsification of an hypothesis, as far as I know also called “science”.

126. Neo says:

For far, the body count for this climate catastrophe seems rather small.
I think more people die each year by choking on children’s marbles than are dying from this climate catastrophe. In the US, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) considered some time back requiring that a warning label be etched into each child’s marble, but it was deemed unworkable and set aside.
This climate catastrophe deserves the same treatment.

127. Smokey says:

Back radiation is a hypothesis. Is it a testable hypothesis via a reproducible experiment? It has been neither falsified nor proven [at least to my knowledge].

But AGW not a hypothesis, it is simply a conjecture with no supporting empirical evidence. And it will remain a conjecture until it’s testable.

. . .

Mike Smith:

Nice rundown of the -isms. They are all Authoritarian, both left and right. Their antithesis is the Constitution and Bill of Rights. That’s the only form of government that supports individual freedom. The others are all coercion at gunpoint.

. . .

Ferdinand Engelbeen,

It’s very likely that the rising CO2 level is due to human emissions. But what, exactly, is the problem? That’s the real question.

There is zero evidence of any global or regional harm from more CO2, and plenty of evidence that the rise is very beneficial. Even if CO2 were to double from here [very unlikely], it would still be a tiny trace gas. And the biosphere would love it as much as we would love the added ≈1°C of warmth — which as we know, would occur primarily at night, and in the higher latitudes, and in the winter, and it would tend to raise low temperatures, not high temperatures. Plus, it would open up new land to agriculture. What’s not to like?

128. Chris Watson says:

Comments on this site always seem to degenerate into diatribes on ‘Socialism’. No wonder the world still thinks Climate Skeptics are all Right Wing nuts…

129. Smokey says:

Chris Watson:

You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you. [Originally attributed to Pericles, but since then attributed to Leon Trotsky].

There are plenty of folks from the Left who comment here, and all of them seem to understand that the AGW conjecture isn’t about science, it is about money and control:

“One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”
~ Ottmar Edenhofer, IPCC WG-3 Co-Chair

130. Eric (skeptic) says:

Above we are to understand that there is no such thing as blackbody radiation and if there was, such impossible radiation from the earth would not impact any CO2 in the atmosphere because there is so little. If it did the impossible and impact some CO2, it would not produce thermal energy (warm the atmosphere) and none of that increased energy would ever reradiate towards the earth in increasing amounts. If it did radiate towards the earth it would not warm the earth. If it did warm the earth it would negligible (e.g compared to UHIE).

While any of these ideas may be true they would overturn a lot of physics which would need to be reconciled. But it is obvious that all these ideas cannot be true. I stand by my statement above that these are all worth studying. Science is always worth redoing and very much worth overturning when it is wrong. But it is one thing to do that in forum dedicated to critical thinking (this forum is a good example although there are better) and quite another to disseminate to the general public as a “refutation” of greenhouse theory.

131. Jack says:

The warmers use the term denier about anyone who disagrees with the greens determination to create social justice as they see it in the world.

No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” -Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

Sceptics swing from the perjorative and bigotted word denier to some agreement as new research comes to hand and is disseminated and discussed. There is no call for Singer to use the term denier simply because it is derogatory and has no relevance to examining issues at hand. The use of the term shows a closed mind. not an investigative mind open to new discoveries.

Singer should answer a simple question, Would Climategates,1&2 have ocurred if there was no scepticism?
Further, would the expose of the IPCC by Donna Laframboise have been so devestating if the concerted PR campaign from the warmists was not such compelling rubbish?
Falling for the use of the term denier, which is reprehensible, indicates Singer should step back for a while.

132. Bomber_the_Cat says:

O H Dahlsveen says:
February 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm
You ask to be hammered on a few points and since you wrote such an amusing piece of fiction I think you deserve it. So, if you don’t mind. You say….
1) There is Electromagnetic “heat- or thermal radiation” from the Earth’s surface.
2) The surface does not lose any heat as this thermal transfer from surface to atmosphere takes place.
3) The GHGs in the atmosphere are sending at least one half of this heat radiation back to the surface causing, at the moment, 33 deg. Celsius (or Kelvin) of warming.
Explain how any of the three points above are possible. If you cannot explain them then don’t rely on Singer to do so either.”
——————————————————————————————————
Let’s take them one at a time.

1) There is Electromagnetic “heat- or thermal radiation” from the Earth’s surface.
- Yes….all bodies above absolute zero emit electromagnetic radiation. The energy they emit is proportional to the 4th power of their absolute temperature. The Earth is no exception. It emits over a wide range of wavelengths with most of its energy in the infrared region, peaking at about 10 microns.

2) The surface does not lose any heat as this thermal transfer from surface to atmosphere takes place.
- Radiation transports energy. Any object that radiates is losing energy and, as a result, it would cool down unless there was some other heat source keeping it warm. In the case of planet Earth, there is an external heat source called the Sun. So the Earth doesn’t cool down; it simply adjusts to a temperature where its heat loss due to radiation is balanced by that received from the Sun.

3) The GHGs in the atmosphere are sending at least one half of this heat radiation back to the surface causing, at the moment, 33 deg. Celsius (or Kelvin) of warming.
- Essentially correct. See how it happens…..
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/17/the-steel-greenhouse/
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/20/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-a-physical-analogy/

“If you really believe in the fable that heat can radiate …”
For accuracy, that particular fable is called the Stefan-Boltzmann Law.

“By the way heat is not energy, but it will take too long to explain that one here”.
Shame. I was having a good laugh – but heat is a form of energy.

133. Werner Brozek says:

I believe we should not argue against the fact that we humans are contributing to the increase in CO2 over the last few hundred years. After all, the CO2 we produce has to go somewhere. As well, we cannot blame warming oceans for the increase in CO2 since they have not been warming for the last 15 years. But even between 1975 and 1998, oceans absorbed more CO2 than they gave off. As proof that humans are responsible for the increased CO2 due to burning of fossil fuels, the O2 content should decrease approximately as much as the CO2 increases. And it does. See:
http://www.disclose.tv/forum/atmospheric-oxygen-levels-fall-as-carbon-dioxide-rises-t29534.html

A quote from here:
“It is roughly true that the oxygen depletion is equivalent to a displacement by carbon dioxide. But it is not exactly true. First, some of the carbon dioxide produced has been absorbed by the oceans.”

134. wayne says:

Doug Cotton says:
February 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Neither “skeptics” or “deniers” are appropriate names. Perhaps “truth-seekers” would be more appropriate.

The greenhouse conjecture will not be debunked for a long time by actual climate data. But it can be debunked right now by new physics which is extending the work of Einstein and Planck.

Firstly we must recognise that radiation from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface is comprised only of standing (or stationary) waves which may be thought of as opposing waves along the same path between two particular points, one on the surface and one in the atmosphere. These opposing waves interfere iff they have the same frequency and amplitude.

In Wikipedia we read …Iit can arise in a stationary medium as a result of interference between two waves traveling in opposite directions. In the second case, for waves of equal amplitude traveling in opposing directions, there is on average no net propagation of energy.

In addition to the standing (or stationary) wave, there is also one way radiation from hot to cold and its frequencies are represented by the area between the Planck curves, which is the same as SBL effectively calculates by subtracting the area under the smaller (cooler) curve from the area under the larger (warmer) curve.

Standing waves cause resonant “vibration” between energy levels and the energy required to excite = energy emitted on relaxation for such standing waves.

So how could any extra energy appear from nowhere and get converted to thermal energy? A whole new and different process is required for that conversion. Climatologists seem to keep imagining physical vibration causing friction or something. It’s not like that. Energy cannot be created in the process of resonance associated with standing waves.

All radiation from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface comprises standing waves transferring no net energy either way. Only the additional “top portion” of the radiation from the warmer surface is separate radiation which does cause heat transfer from warm to cool.

I warned you at the outset that Claes Johnson’s Computational Blackbody Radiation is ground breaking physics extending the work of Einstein and Planck. You are not going to find it in textbooks, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. There is far more to it than just imaging a lot of identical mass-less photon particles crashing into surfaces and transferring thermal energy.

Any textbook which tells you that radiation between two plates transfers the full SBL amount in each direction is wrong, because there simply cannot be any transfer of thermal energy along a different path from cold to hot as it violates the Second Law. “Net” radiation has no corresponding physical entity and is thus meaningless.

Only standing waves have an identical path and can thus interfere with each other if they have equal frequency and amplitude, as explained in Wikipedia.

The Second Law applies to every individual path between two particular points. Standing waves may be considered as two opposing waves, but they do of course have the same path, and that makes all the difference. It’s up to you whether you want to take an interest in these new developments in physics or stick to your old beliefs so you can feel good trying to prove the IPCC wrong using climate data and yet still agreeing with them that heat transfers from the atmosphere to a warmer surface. It doesn’t..

Doug Cotton, after quickly scanning this thread your comment stands out as the one very close to what I now believe is happening in this topic of climate “science”. There is now propaganda emitting from both camps and no one is really portraying the correct science… on both sides… except yours comment. I sure am glad there are a few like you that are able to stay firmly planted in reality. I just had to stop and give you my support in your views for to me that is the real<science science. You are right, there is a duality in radiation and both aspects have to agree at the macroscopic level.

So much of this has to do with pure spherical geometry of planetary bodies and it that aspect that is actually being ignores and to make me sick doing it in the name of science. It never ceases to amaze me.

The “greenhouse effect” of the raising mean temperatures above the simplified Stefan-Boltzmann global calculations seems at this point to be purely geometry of curved spheres with maximum radiation power always over exactly one point and I now have the data matrices on my machine that confirms this (still in verification). For other’s “out there”, I would be very careful just whom you call a “denier”, you may have the players reversed.

135. Philemon says:

Chris Watson says:
February 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm
Comments on this site always seem to degenerate into diatribes on ‘Socialism’. No wonder the world still thinks Climate Skeptics are all Right Wing nuts…
_______

That’s okay. It could be Communism. Then, we’d all be Red-Baiters! Or maybe Trostkyites… I’m not sure. How far left can you go and still be right of somebody? Were the Bolsheviks right Marxists? Stalin was going for Socialism in one country. In Soviet Russia, Stalinists didn’t quite buy into the Eugenics thing because of the Lysenko thing.

136. Kevin says:

What is latin for ‘false dichotomy’? I want to use it to sound smart :). It’s being used here. A ‘denier’ is simply a skeptic who, though skeptical about it, has come to the conclusion that the world really isn’t getting hotter. He’s still just a skeptic and open to changing his mind when new info arrives on the scene.

137. Biff33 says on February 29, 2012 at 11:17 am:

“Lindzen, at House of Commons, February 22, 2012:
• “Carbon Dioxide has been increasing.
• “There is a greenhouse effect.
• “There has been a doubling of equivalent CO2 over the past 150 years.
• “There has very probably been about 0.8 C warming in the past 150 years.
• “Increasing CO2 alone should cause some warming (about 1C for each doubling).
“[None of these statements] is controversial among serious climate scientists.”

=========

• “There is a greenhouse effect. – Yes, I too agree with that, but not as it is being advertised by CAGWarmists or those you describe as serious climate scientists.

Even the GHE in greenhouses bear no resemblance to their so called GHE, which is probably why there are so many different explanations for it.

The best explanation I have ever read is from Dr. Roy Spencer Ph.D. -
Under the heading ‘Global Warming 101′ he writes a story called “Global Warming Theory in a Nutshell” – a brilliant and believable piece. However as an epilog comes:

“This is the basic explanation of global warming theory. (The same energy balance concept applies to a pot of water on a stove set on “low”.”

Here I can only assume the pot of water represents the Atmosphere, the top of the stove, or hotplate – takes the place of the Earth’s surface and the electric current that of the incoming solar irradiation. –Spencer continues:

“The water warms until the rate of energy loss through evaporation, convective air currents, and infrared radiation equals the rate of energy gain from the stove, at which point the water remains at a constant temperature. If you turn the heat up a tiny bit more, the temperature of the water will rise again until the extra amount of energy lost by the pot once again equals the energy gained from the stove, at which point a new, warmer equilibrium temperature is reached.)”

If he is tweaking up the electrics to further warm the water, then he is – of course – explaining how solar heating works -. But I’ll let Spencer continue:

“Now, you might be surprised to learn that the amount of warming directly caused by the extra CO2 is, by itself, relatively weak. It has been calculated theoretically that, if there are no other changes in the climate system, a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration would cause less than 1 deg C of surface warming (about 1 deg. F). This is NOT a controversial statement…it is well understood by climate scientists. (As of 2008, we were about 40% to 45% of the way toward a doubling of atmospheric CO2.)”

========

So, it is all theoretically calculated with the “Piltdown man” as factual data.

138. And as of the end of January 2012 we have lost all the warming previously gained. Where does that leave the AGW Theory, let alone the CAGW one?

139. Keith G says:

Two points. First, the terms ‘warmist’, ‘skeptic’, and ‘denier’ have been so over-worked, and carry so much baggage, that attempts to define clear boundaries using these terms seems futile. Second, frequently one sees references to the term ‘the basic physics’. The physics may indeed be ‘basic’ in the sense that an understanding of that physics is fundamental to making judgements concerning future climate. However, application of ‘the basic physics’ to the real world is a subtle business, is rarely unequivocal, and always requires an abundance of clear thinking to get it right. For those choosing to stand on the solid ground of ‘the basic physics’: when standing on a lofty tower, it pays to make sure that the foundations are robust.

140. Rhoda Ramirez says:

I’ve always had a bit of a problem with the isotope arguments. I don’t remember that isotopes can change over time as in: Plants die. They get sequestered for millions of years. They are mined and then burned for energy. So this is the question: How did the isotopes change from being natural to being unnatural? Also, are the oceans only able to take up one kind of isotope? What happened to all the bad isotopes from the petroleum released during WWII submarine warfare? Do the bacteria process only one isotope?

141. Bart says:

Werner Brozek says:
February 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm

“After all, the CO2 we produce has to go somewhere.”

But, we may not know all the places it can go. The fluxes are so enormous that a small change in sources or sinks can easily overwhelm the fossil fuel contribution. The pat answers by guys like Ferdinand project more confidence in quantifiables than we actually have.

For example, here we recently learned that plants take in more CO2 than was thought. And, this quantity is dynamic. Sequestration of atmospheric CO2 via weathering or minerals is an area of active research.

“As well, we cannot blame warming oceans for the increase in CO2 since they have not been warming for the last 15 years.”

All that may indicate is that the response is not immediate, and the time constant is fairly long. A time constant of perhaps 30 years could easily produce little discernible change for a couple of decades or more after cessation of the warming input.

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
February 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

“If oceanic CO2 has a too high level of d13C, it is impossible that it is the cause of the DEcrease of 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere.”

Much too much certainty on display here, and ruling out potentially viable alternatives based on personal preference for what “feels” right. Your narrative here is consistent with a certain set of assumptions which may or may not be a fair representation of what is currently known, but our knowledge base is growing all the time, and the Earth is a very complex system. We are dealing with very small quantites here, and though current measurement technology allows us to obtain accurate measurements to the required level, it does not take a lot of perturbation to the underlying assumptions to radically alter the interpretation of the data.

It is a bit of a sideshow and a moot topic, I’ll admit, because there currently appears to be insufficient contrary evidence to sway those who are firmly convinced of the anthropogenic culpability, and the action in the climate debate is where reality is unequivocally diverging from the AGW consensus, i.e., in the sensitivity of the climate to CO2 in the atmosphere. But, I have well grounded theoretical reasons for believing that the narrative is wrong, and that likely will become evident somewhere down the road in the years or decades ahead.

142. Chris Watson says:

Well, I’m moderately on the Left, and I find the bad science of AGW very disturbing.
Equally disturbing is the thought that being a skeptic means giving support to extreme right wing ideas I don’t support. Honest skepticism would benefit if it skeptics could forget about their political baggage.
For example, Andrew Bolt in Australia does more harm than good to the skeptical cause. He does promote it, but he also connects it to all his other horrible causes.

143. Chris Watson says:

For example, I’m opposed to AGW, but I’m not opposed to most other environmental legislation. In fact I think the focus on CO2 has distracted from other much more important environmental issues. I don’t like the fact that AGW skeptics are so rabidly anti-environmentalist. I don’t want to be seen to be giving tacit support to that, nor to many other ‘anti-Socialist’ ideas.
If you really care about the bad science, you should pay attention to this criticism.

144. Smokey says:

Chris Watson says:

“I don’t like the fact that AGW skeptics are so rabidly anti-environmentalist.”

“Fact”?? Whatever gave you that idea? It is not a fact. You must be new here. In fact, the purveyors of “environmental policy” use that canard as part of their cover story for hijacking the wealth of productive citizens, sending it through the totally corrupt UN [which takes its usual hefty cut], and then it goes into the pockets of dictators. The poor stay poor as always. Skeptics are probably more environmentally friendly than alarmists, because skeptics at least know the difference between CO2 and black carbon. As for the bait-and-switch scammers:

One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.
~ Ottmar Edenhofer, IPCC WG-3 Co-Chair

145. Jeff Alberts says:

I think there is a sub-faction of the “warmista” that Singer missed. The faction that WANTS major catastrophe just so they can say “i told you so”. It wouldn’t even matter if the catastrophe was wholly human caused or not.

146. AndyG55 says:

Werner Brozek says:
February 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm

“After all, the CO2 we produce has to go somewhere.”

We do not produce any CO2 except by natural means,
Burning coal is not producing CO2, it is releasing CO2 that was once available, but got buried.

We are NOT creating something new, that wasn’t once here.

147. AndyG55 says:

Werner Brozek says:
“I believe we should not argue against the fact that we humans are contributing to the increase in CO2 over the last few hundred years”

yes, Well done humans.. keep up the good work.

148. Agile Aspect says:

Phil. says:
February 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

You mean like the many who post on here that homonuclear diatomics like O2 and N2 absorb in the IR, in contravention of many years of detailed spectroscopic measurements and well established (and tested) theories of molecular structure and dynamics?

;——————————————————————————————————————–

For nitrogen and oxygen, look up rotational collision induced absorption – the collision induces the dipole moment.

Note, 2400 cm^-1 is equivalent to 4 microns. These results have been around for over 20 years.

Also, the dipole moment in CO2 is induced by vibrations where as in H20 the dipole moment is permanent.

Since water has permanent dipole moment, if it’s rotating, it’s radiating something.

149. AusieDan says:

Because I am old, I’m not so much a believer as an observer of climate change.
The climate cycles on every conceivable time frame.
These interact.
It’s chaotic.
But it is NOT directional.

Now I must not mention certain names, or I’ll be banned again, it seems.
But there is a paper floating around the internet that examines the long term temperature of eight solar planets and moons and explains what determines their long run equilibrium.

All else is just fluctiation.
But to we weak humans, the weather is sometimes terrifying.
The gods must be angry.
They must be appeased.
Tax Tax Tax until it hurts and then tax some more.
There’s nothing like a good taxing tax to keep the climate away.

150. E.M.Smith says:

OK, I’ve pondered this a while.

While I’ve proudly called myself a “Denier” (after having it applied by others in an “I Accuse!” way…) based on my interpretation of “I Deny your claim is valid” (that there is AGW). I see in this ‘essay’ a different twist. “I deny that IR happens”. (As the limit case – yes, argument to the absurd) To that I must protest.

Why?

For the simple reason that it PRESUMES that the “IR MODEL” is the operative one, and to deny that it [matters / works] is to deny some kind of basic truth.

Same “raspberry” to the notion that one must say “IR works, the argument is only over how much”.

For the very simple reason that it can be a complete and utter Red Herring. Yes, IR happens between molecules and atoms. It can also be completely and utterly irrelevant to the heat transfer regulation.

In a ‘nut shell’: If I say “Infrared radiation is irrelevant and orthogonal to the earth heat flow system.”, I fit neither the “Skeptic” definition of “Sure it works we are just haggling over how much” nor the “Denier” definition of “IR between molecules does not happen so I must be an ignorant denier of known physics.”

I do not need to either say “God IS” or “God IS NOT” to say “Um, I think life just evolved on its own. God may have started it and admiring evolution is admiring His Work, or there may be no God at all, I just don’t know nor care much.”

So, for me, I’m sure all the IR radiative functions by all the great physicists of time (at least up until about 1970 when science became abnormal postnormal) work just fine. I’m also quite sure they are entirely irrelevant to how heat flows off the surface of the planet. That little gem is driven by the Hydrological Cycle. Water evaporates, rises to great altitude, condenses and dumps heat, then rain falls to pick up another load. More incident solar heat makes the cycle run faster. More CO2 might make it run faster, but not hotter. IR is 100% blocked at the surface for the wavelength of interest anyway (per the warmistas), so it just isn’t going to matter… The air will just convect faster and by the time it’s late afternoon the heat is on a fast boogy out of here.

(That daily convection move has been measured in Africa. Yeah, field measurement of the rate of heat flow. There’s a couple of HOUR lag from max sun to max heat leaving. Not years, months, weeks. Not even days. Hours… Also one look at global rainfall shows where the planet has max heat gain, the equator, it has max precipitation. More heat makes more hydrologic cycle speed. Places with low heat load have a slow water cycle. Alaska gets thunderstorms in summer, but they tail off in spring and fall… )

Now, move to the Stratosphere and the IR function matters. But at those altitudes, more IR radiation means more heat LEAVES the planet. Oh Dear…

So, in short, I “Deny that IR Matters below the stratosphere but accept the physics of IR between gasses and from gas to space”. So I don’t fit your buckets.

I’m NOT going to argue over “how much surface IR matters” as that is chasing Red Herrings, and I don’t do that if at all possible. I deny it’s worth.

So is it appropriate to castigate me as an unwashed “Denier”? To have the washed “Skeptics” call me names because I’m unwilling to fish in the Red Herring Pond and argue about who caught the biggest nothing? Does it make me “unscientific” to assert that another non-IR mechanism is the right, proper, and controlling one? Or does that actually make me “Skeptical” of the unsettling “AGW Settled Science” as I think they have completely ignored the giant Elephants In The Room of the hydrological cycle: Rain, Snow, Evaporation, Cloud formation, Hadley cells, Polar Vortex, Cyclonic Storms…

In summary:

You are measuring on a broken axis, arguing over the size of the Angels on the Pin. I’m asserting there are no angels, and the pin is just a pin, so any pain you feel is from the pointy end…

I deny the God CO2 matters and that the Arc Angle InfraRed does anything of interest below the Stratosphere. All hail the hail, and snow, and rain, and clouds, and evapotranspiration, servents of the God Convective Heat Transfer and his Arc Angel Enthalpy.

So I’m not a Denier, I’m a “CO2 / IR Heretic” and believer in the Gods Hydrology and Convection…

Oh, and as solar changes happen, the UV level shifts, that changes the ocean heating at depth as UV is what goes to depths. It also changes the Ozone at altitude and lets the total air column hight compress. That gives much colder downward air flow at the polar vortex and we get both a “loopy jet stream” (aka Rossby Waves) and those remarkable cold patches folks up north have been having lately… We also get warm air excursions further north so places like the East Coast of N.A. get warm wet air from the Gulf while out West gets more cold dry air.

Playing mathematical games of averaging the Rossby Wave temperature excursions to find a ‘Global Average Temperature” during “Flat Jet Stream” PDO state vs “Loopy Jet Stream” state and claiming it means something is a fools errand. I’ll leave that to Hansen, UEA/CRU and NOAA/NCDC. They seem well suited to it.

So, as much as I’ve loved Singer’s books, I have to give the thesis that we ought to divide up into “Skeptic washed” and “Denier Unwashed” and toss rocks at each other over IR / CO2 models and sizes to be a wasteful and self defeating idea.

I’d rather work on showing how UV changes / solar wind changes modulate the stratosphere and polar vortex (and thus the AMO / PDO / AO and Rossby Waves and clouds) and on how the Hydrological Cycle moves all the heat to the Stratosphere. ( The “IR Rules” guys can have it from there on up, IMHO. It’s likely to be the right model once above ALL clouds, even the stratospheric ones and the noctilucent ones. Above the Stratopause…

So put me in the orthogonal camp of “CO2 Heretic” or “Worshiper of Aquarius”…

151. Bart says:

Chris Watson says:
February 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

…”I think the focus on CO2 has distracted from other much more important environmental issues.”

Indubitably.

“… I’m not opposed to most other environmental legislation.”

I’m certainly not opposed to all of it. But, beware! Observing how the AGW faction manipulates data, and takes other shortcuts to push its cause by any means fair or foul, might open your eyes to similar shenanigans taking place in less publicly prominent environmental controversies.

A large portion of people who evince an overweening concern about the environment suffer from an OCD neurosis which compels them to strive for unattainable perfection in a world where choices between good and bad are not so clear cut, and the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. These are people for whom the phrase “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” actually makes sense.

152. Werner Brozek says:

Bart says:
February 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I fully agree that there is lots we do not know about where CO2 can come from and go to. And during a very cold year, it is certainly possible for the oceans to absorb more CO2 to give a slight decrease in a given year. As well, I agree it takes time to reach equilibrium, especially with regards to the deep ocean, but not so much for the top 200 m. “Surface temperature” seems to be very imprecisely defined, but if it is not too deep, equilibrium should occur in a matter of months. While some details may need refining, I believe Ferdinand Engelbeen has an excellent overall grasp of things.

153. HenryP says:

BombertheCat says

We have actual measurements of downwelling radiation from the atmosphere.

Henry says:

You really seem to think that everything has been “tested”.

So how much W/m2/m3 {in the range 0.03-0.06% CO2} /0.01% CO2/ 24 hours was that exactly for the CO2?

More importantly, how much was the upwelling radiation caused by the CO2 that causes cooling by re-radiating in the near infra red (1-2 um) and infra red (4-5) and at various places in the UV?
I need that also in the same dimensions please, and if you can show me where those test results are and how the tests were done?

Finally, the increase in greenery fed by the increase in CO2 also uses energy. I am sure most here are aware of the reaction
UVlight + CO2 + chlorophyl => O2 + leafs, fruit, sugar (wine, food, etc.)
So how much was that (in the right dimensions please)?

Be sure to read the paper quoted at the footnote, so that at least you will understand why I am saying that CO2 is also cooling the atmosphere:
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011
otherwise you will never get what I am saying.
i.e. nobody did any such relevant testing, they all relied on the “closed box” experiments from ages ago.

Simple observations do not confirm that the increase in average temps. over the past 3-4 decades was due to an increase in GHG’s.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/29/climate-deniers-are-giving-us-skeptics-a-bad-name/#comment-908519

154. Werner Brozek says:

AndyG55 says:
February 29, 2012 at 8:25 pm
Burning coal is not producing CO2, it is releasing CO2 that was once available, but got buried.

While matter cannot be created or destroyed (ignoring E = mc2), I believe “releasing CO2″ would apply more to what happens when you open a bottle of pop and gas fizzes out. But when you take any carbon or hydrocarbon or carbohydrate and burn it, you are producing new chemicals. Of course, CO2 is plant food so there is no problem with humans producing it as plants grow better because of it. And yes, we will “keep up the good work” as you allude to in your following post.

155. JPeden says:

Chris Watson says:
February 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I don’t like the fact that AGW skeptics are so rabidly anti-environmentalist…If you really care about the bad science, you should pay attention to this criticism.

I suggest instead that if you really do care about nailing the bad CO2CAGW science, then you should forget about your own mind’s “political baggage”.

156. AndyG55 says:

Werner.

I guess it all depends on how you look at it ;-)

Coal is part of a cycle of carbon, just as plants are, just as the bugs are that create the CO2 in beer are, just as………

Its just that coal has be buried for a long time.

If you look at the level of CO2 over the last many 1000′s of years you will see it sitting just above the plant subsistence level. CO2 has been limiting plant life !!

Fortunately, we are now releasing that sequestered carbon from its tomb, by combining it with oxygen, to make more of the essential CO2 gas.

And for Chris Watson.. I am an AGW sketic, but in no way am I anti-environmental. I do not advocate lowering the levels of plant food in the atmosphere. I’m not trying to starve plant life, I cherish plant life, its feed and nourishes me, physically and psychologically.. !!

You want anti-environmental, just look at the mess created by the manufacture of wind turbine magnet, and by the shocking environmental damage done by the turbines themselves.. then think..

……. who are the ones that are really anti-environmental. !!!

157. Eric (skeptic) says:

E.M.Smith, I agree with what you say and would add that the overall weather patterns you talk about (regulated by solar) are what modulate ENSO and other ocean current “weather”. What that does it determine how much CO2-sucking cooler water comes to the surface and how much warm water gets sequestered in the deep ocean (never to be seen again for time scales we care about).

As for the GH effect and back radiation, every now and then I point my IR thermometer at the sky. Clear sky with dry air can give me a -34F reading. In light rain last night I got a +38F reading (air temp was 45). I know to the best of my knowledge that back radiation exists. But I also know that CO2 is a bit player on the local level. It is more important when integrated across the planet, but I don’t know how important.

158. Allan MacRae says:

“Another subgroup accepts that CO2 levels are increasing in the 20th century but claims that the source is release of dissolved CO2 from the warming ocean. In other words, they argue that oceans warm first, which then causes the CO2 increase. In fact, such a phenomenon is observed in the ice-core record, where sudden temperature increases precede increases in CO2. While this fact is a good argument against the story put forth by Al Gore, it does not apply to the 20th century: isotopic and other evidence destroys their case.

______________

Much as I like and respect Fred, I’m not sure I like being classed as a denier. This term was originally concocted to link climate skeptics to Holocaust deniers – all part of the dirty politics practised by the global warming alarmists. I also think this categorization is overly simplistic and anti-intellectual. Sorry Fred – I really do like you, but …

I used to be a skeptic as defined by Fred, as evidenced by our 2002 paper at http://www.apegga.com/members/Publications/peggs/Web11_02/kyoto_pt.htm

Then in early 2008 I discovered that atmospheric dCO2/dt varied ~contemporaneously with average global temperature T, and CO2 lagged temperature by about 9 months.
http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

This observation is very interesting, and correlates with the ice core data that shows a 600-800 year lag of CO2 after temperature on a much longer temperature-time cycle. I don’t claim to have it all figured out, and frankly no longer have the time to play with this idea, but I have a strong hunch that all the necessary information is there to sort out the big picture, and there is a reasonable probability, based on fundamentals such as Occam’s Razor and the Uniformitarian Principle, that the warmists and Fred’s skeptics have got the cart before the horse.

As far as the isotopic data that Fred mentions above, I thought this argument had been tossed out some time ago. It is not necessary that the lag of CO2 after temperature is caused simply by exsolution of CO2 out of warming sea water – there certainly is a huge biological component as well – one simply has to look at the seasonal CO2 ”sawtooth” of ~6ppm per year – It is also obvious that the natural seasonal CO2 flux greatly outweighs the humanmade component from burning fossil fuels.

I suggest that the entire CO2-H2Ovapour system is probably driven primarily by global temperatures, and that atmospheric CO2 is mostly a result, not a cause. That does not mean that humanmade emissions of CO2 have no influence – they may or may not have – they are small compared to the seasonal biological flux, but not necessarily insignificant.

One final clue for anyone out there who wants to win the Nobel Prize in 20 years:
Here is the 15fps AIRS data animation of global CO2 at
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4

It is difficult to see any impact of humanity in this impressive display of nature’s power. There is no evidence of CO2 plumes around industrial centers – but huge annual CO2 increases occur in the Arctic, every Spring.

Go figure!

159. Eric (skeptic) says:

Allan MacRae, your detrend graph is interesting, but those signals are rather small compared to the trend signal. To show that the primary trend of CO2 is due to ocean warming, there would have to be a lot more ocean warming (like 16K warming per atmospheric CO2 doubling).

160. Brian H says:

Since fluctuations in human CO2 output are invisible in the Mona Loa graphs, it is impossible that human output currently controls or measurably affects atmospheric concentrations. You can’t have it both ways: if you attribute the increases to humans, you have to falsifiably predict variation, too. And that’s a Fail.

I think the evidence is going to continue to accumulate that the oceans and flora of the planet conspire to set CO2 wherever they want, and “swallow” human contributions pretty much without trace. Which is too bad. It would be lovely to be able to ramp it back up to a nice healthy 1,000-2,000 ppm. Maybe flaring off a few of the world’s larger subsea methyl hydrate deposits would do it, though. Hmmmmm …

161. E.M.Smith says on February 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm:

“OK, I’ve pondered this a while. ———– Aquarius”
… “
=========

Well written, you are describing my thoughts quite accurately. I may for a long time have been wrongly understood as I assume everybody automatically know that if I talk about global warming = climate change, I am always talking about what happens in the Troposphere – unless I specifically state otherwise.

It is my fault entirely and I shall have to change my tack – a bit.

162. Henry Galt says:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/29/climate-deniers-are-giving-us-skeptics-a-bad-name/#comment-908476

What Bob says ^p thread….

… and – I have yet to be dissuaded that the majority effect of doubling CO2 likely happened around the 22ppmv point. Maybe when it doubled to 44ppmv. Far less when it doubled, once more, to 88ppmv. Ah, it seems so long ago now…..

When I use the word ‘majority’ I mean very nearly ALL of CO2′s GHE capability. Does that make me a denier Fred?

163. Doug Cotton says:

E.N.Smith & Eric (Skeptic)

As you know, I also deny that carbon dioxide “matters.” But I do consider it important to understand the physics which makes it very clear why it has totally insignificant warming effects, but more significant cooling effects due to absorbing solar-IR and sending it back to space.

What it does not do is capture photons and fire them back at the surface where they crash land and warm us all up a bit. CO2 might seem to have the ability to do that much faster than water vapour, so, even though there’s less than 5% as much of it, it is supposed to have a comparable effect.

Well, as I have explained in other posts (and on my site) the process is totally different. These so-called GH molecules are setting up standing waves with the surface, and WV can do so just as effectively as CO2. In fact, it can do it more effectively because it can radiate in a far wider frequency range, so it supports many more standing waves in all these extra frequencies. The end result may be that all the CO2 has less than 0.5% of the effect of all the WV, but don’t quote me on that because I have not done accurate calculations.

But doing calculation like this is also pointless because, even though radiation from the atmosphere can slow the rate of cooling of the surface (but never warm it) the other processes – evaporative cooling, diffusion,, chemical processes – will start to cool the surface at a faster rate. (Reasons for this are on my ‘Explanation’ page.)

It is my hope that scientists who are against AGW will focus on the false physics in the IPCC “explanations” and models, rather than continually argue about temperature trends. Such trends are following a ~1,000 year roughly sinusoidal natural cycle which probably has another 0.5 to 1.0 degrees of rising to do before reaching a maximum in perhaps 150 to 250 years from now. In any data extending for over a century you should see a trend of about half a degree per century, but with a slight decline in the gradient, as in the yellow line in the plot at the foot of my Home page http://climate-change-theory.com It is for this reason that I have submiited an article which hopefully may be published within a week or so.

.

164. Allan MacRae says:
March 1, 2012 at 2:18 am

It is difficult to see any impact of humanity in this impressive display of nature’s power. There is no evidence of CO2 plumes around industrial centers – but huge annual CO2 increases occur in the Arctic, every Spring.

The increase of CO2 in the Arctic and subsequent decline in spring comes not from the Arctic itself but from the mid-latutudes where the spring gives a huge change in CO2 levels because of the start of growth of leaves and wood. That is forwarded to the Arctic by the atmospheric Ferrel cells. The seasonal changes over e.g. the Black Forest (Southern Germany) measured at Schauinsland above 1000 m altitude shows larger swings than in the Arctic.
The point is that the increases in fall/winter/spring are followed by near equal decreases in spring/summer/fall. The huge flows in/out don’t matter, it is the difference between both that matters. And that is going up with about half the amount of what humans emit. Even the year by year temperature fluctuations are giving changes in dCO2 less than halve the human emissions.

BTW, dCO2/dT shows the influence of temperature on CO2 growth rate, but that doesn’t say anything about the cause of the growth itself…

I don’t call anyone a denier, it is a laden word and I regret that Fred Singer uses that. On the other hand, if one doesn’t have firm evidence that humans are not the cause of the increase that stands the test of the observations, it is a distraction from the real discussion about the (lack of) impact of the increase on temperature…

165. Brian H says:
March 1, 2012 at 3:22 am

Since fluctuations in human CO2 output are invisible in the Mona Loa graphs, it is impossible that human output currently controls or measurably affects atmospheric concentrations. You can’t have it both ways: if you attribute the increases to humans, you have to falsifiably predict variation, too. And that’s a Fail.

Some problems with this. Compare that to: Since fluctuations in local sealevel are invisible, it is impossible that there is a sealevel rise (or drop).

All depends of the signal/noise ratio and the detection limits. In the case of the tide gauges the signal is very small compared to the tides, thus one need at least 25 years to be sure that there is a change. In the case of the CO2 levels, 2-3 years are sufficient to separate the increase in CO2 levels from the “noise”, the influence of temperature on the CO2 sink rate. The increase is about halve the emissions, but the year by year changes in emissions are quite small (even during an economical crisis), compared to the noise and in general under the detection limit of the CO2 measurements.

166. Bomber_the_Cat says:

HenryP says:
February 29, 2012 at 11:04 pm
“So how much W/m2/m3 {in the range 0.03-0.06% CO2} /0.01% CO2/ 24 hours was that exactly for the CO2?”

Henry, the graph I provided ,,,,
http://scienceofdoom.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/longwave-downward-radiation-surface-evans.png
…..had power units marked on the vertical axis and so, if you can read a graph, you can find the answer for yourself. This would be a good exercise.The graph is very instructive in that it shows the contribution of the various greenhouse gases to the total downwelling ‘back-radiation’. Notice that there is no contribution from the bulk gases in the atmosphere, oxygen and nitrogen, because they do not radiate in these IR wavebands. An intelligent question to ask would have been – Where is the contribution from water vapour? Good question, for the answer read the whole article on back radiation that this graph was taken from – it’s very educational.
http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/07/24/the-amazing-case-of-back-radiation-part-two/
It will also save you having to integrate the CO2 contribution from the first graph to get the answer you want. The total downwelling radiation is typically about 340 watt per sq.metre. This does not vary very much between day and night.

“More importantly, how much was the upwelling radiation caused by the CO2 that causes cooling by re-radiating in the near infra red (1-2 um) and infra red (4-5) and at various places in the UV?”.

The wavelength distribution of emitted radiation depends on the temperature of the emitter. At typical Earth ambient temperatures of about 300K there is very little emission at short wavelengths below 4 micron. So CO2 in the atmosphere does not emit significantly in the bands that you enquire about. Was that your question?
http://scienceofdoom.com/2009/11/28/co2-an-insignificant-trace-gas-part-one/

As for CO2 causing cooling, at higher altitudes it does do that. The greenhouse gases are able to radiate at atmospheric temperatures whereas oxygen and nitrogen do not (perceptibly). So greenhouse gases cool the upper atmosphere. But we don’t live in the upper atmosphere. We live on the surface and there, greenhouse gases cause warming.

“If you can, show me where those test results are and how the tests were done??”
http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/07/17/the-amazing-case-of-back-radiation/

You see Henry, it has all been measured and attacking empirical measurements is not a fruitful way to attack greenhouse gas theory. So read the articles this time and become an informed sceptic – and help give us sceptics a good name.

167. beng says:

I have to agree w/Singer. Just here on WUWT I see otherwise intelligent people going off established physics into unsupported “theories”. I’ve learned I have to restrain myself from doing the same sometimes. And no, that doesn’t make one a “warmist” — I think 1000-1500 ppm CO2 would be ideal for the biosphere & people. That might even help delay the inevitable slide into the next glaciation, but I doubt it.

168. Allan MacRae says:

Eric (skeptic) says: March 1, 2012 at 2:35 am

Allan MacRae, your detrend graph is interesting, but those signals are rather small compared to the trend signal. To show that the primary trend of CO2 is due to ocean warming, there would have to be a lot more ocean warming (like 16K warming per atmospheric CO2 doubling).

I agree Eric – that is why I said IN THE SAME POST:

“It is not necessary that the lag of CO2 after temperature is caused simply by exsolution of CO2 out of warming sea water – there certainly is a huge biological component as well – one simply has to look at the seasonal CO2 ”sawtooth” of ~6ppm per year – It is also obvious that the natural seasonal CO2 flux greatly outweighs the humanmade component from burning fossil fuels.”

BTW, the dCO2/dt vs. T relationship holds with or without detrending – see my Fig.1.
_______________________________

Ferdinand Engelbeen says: March 1, 2012 at 5:05 am
Allan MacRae says: March 1, 2012 at 2:18 am

It is difficult to see any impact of humanity in this impressive display of nature’s power. There is no evidence of CO2 plumes around industrial centers – but huge annual CO2 increases occur in the Arctic, every Spring.

Ferdinand says:

The increase of CO2 in the Arctic and subsequent decline in spring comes not from the Arctic itself but from the mid-latutudes where the spring gives a huge change in CO2 levels because of the start of growth of leaves and wood. That is forwarded to the Arctic by the atmospheric Ferrel cells. The seasonal changes over e.g. the Black Forest (Southern Germany) measured at Schauinsland above 1000 m altitude shows larger swings than in the Arctic.

The point is that the increases in fall/winter/spring are followed by near equal decreases in spring/summer/fall. The huge flows in/out don’t matter, it is the difference between both that matters. And that is going up with about half the amount of what humans emit. Even the year by year temperature fluctuations are giving changes in dCO2 less than halve the human emissions.
BTW, dCO2/dT shows the influence of temperature on CO2 growth rate, but that doesn’t say anything about the cause of the growth itself…

Thank you Ferdinand, you may be right, and you may be wrong. Richard Courtney and you have had this argument for years. I have difficulty with your “material balance” argument, which seems to assume that everything else is static, so the humanmade component is making up most or all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 growth. I question this – human CO2 emissions are a small part of a large, DYNAMIC system.

You correctly point out that “dCO2/dT shows the influence of temperature on CO2 growth rate, but that doesn’t say anything about the cause of the growth itself”, and I agree. I see unanswered questions that fall outside the “mainstream argument“ between the “warmists” and “Fred’s skeptics”, who both accept that CO2 drives global warming but disagree on the magnitude and sign of the feedback.

You correctly say: “And that (CO2) is going up with about half the amount of what humans emit.” Right again – but why half? To me, half proves nothing except that the two numbers are of the same approximate magnitude. Note that in some cooler periods such as the twelve months from midyear-1973 to midyear-1974, atmospheric CO2 did not increase at all. Global industrial activity did not shut down for a year in ~1974.

I am not only a skeptic of the warmist position (OK – maybe I’m a “denier of the warmist position”, since there has been no net global warming for a decade or so); Since 2008 I am also a skeptic of the skeptic’s position.

There are too many unanswered questions, too much contrary evidence. I certainly do not claim to have it all sorted out – if I did, I would have written it down and moved on.

I suppose over time, as the evidence mounts that the world is cooling, not warming, both sides of the “mainstream argument” will conclude that feedbacks are moderately negative, and CO2 is an small and not a dangerous driver of global warming. OK – we wrote that in 2002. That agreement will solve the political argument, but not the scientific one. Perhaps that is Fred’s objective – it certainly would be a relief to stop squandering scarce global resources on global warming mania. Regrettably, a trillion dollars has been wasted to date on global warming hysteria.

Then, in ten or twenty years as the world cools, we’ll see further evidence that proves or disproves your or my hypotheses. The science will win.

I wish you well. And thanks for not calling me a denier. :-)

169. HenryP says:

Henry@BombertheCat

1) …..had power units marked on the vertical axis and so, if you can read a graph, you can find the answer for yourself

Henry says
If we are talking about trapped heat per 0.01% CO2 increase, which was the increase in CO2 over the past 56 years,
then clearly your units in this graph are wrong.

I has also asked you for the test procedure and the actual test results.
So where are they? Why”hide” them? I have been at “Science of Doom”. All they have is “calculations”. I need to see the actual test procedures and test results.

Oxygen/ozone and water vapor both absorb in the same band 14-16 as where CO2 absorbs.
Can I suggest you look at the irradiance graphs from the sun and earth to check that.

2) At typical Earth ambient temperatures of about 300K there is very little emission at short wavelengths below 4 micron

Henry says

You did not get what I was saying because you did not read the paper that I quoted in the footnote.
In hindsight, sorry, perhaps it was I who used the wrong words. I was not talking about it coming from earth. I was talking about the deflection (back radiation) of sunlight by the CO2. We can measure it coming back to us via the moon.
So how much cooling does that cause?

So it is same story here. I need that cooling in the correct dimensions.
You don’t have them?
(I have never seen any figures on this, never mind with time brought in, which should be a factor, because we only have 12 hours sunshine per day!)

3) Finally, the increase in greenery fed by the increase in CO2 also uses energy. I am sure most here are aware of the reaction
UVlight + CO2 + chlorophyl => O2 + leafs, fruit, sugar (wine, food, etc.)
So how much cooling was that (in the right dimensions please)?

Bomber, you did not even bother to try and answer this last question.

So, all in all, in all of this, how can you be sure that the net effect of more CO2 is that of warming?
You do not have the proof of how much warming and how much cooling is caused by the CO2.

Simple observations of the pattern of the warming do not confirm that the increase in average temps. over the past 3-4 decades was due to an increase in GHG’s.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/29/climate-deniers-are-giving-us-skeptics-a-bad-name/#comment-908519

170. John Marshall says:

Sorry Dr Singer but I am one of those you despise because I think that the 2nd law is sacrosanct. I do not deny that CO2 adsorbs IR radiation strongly in the laboratory but how many times have laboratory results had to be modified after looking at the real world. In the atmosphere there are other energy exchanges/reactions going on. When an object is heated, by whatever means, its temperature rises and simultaneously that body must share that heat with surrounding objects that are cooler whether that is done radiatively or kinetically that exchange must take place, otherwise 2nd law is meaningless. I do not argue with the outgoing radiation from the atmosphere which must take place to maintain a given temperature level on the surface. I am arguing about the exchanges in the troposphere. You claim that downwelling radiation proves the GHG theory. OK so some incoming radiation has been observed. I will not argue with that but, and it is a big but, has that radiation actually come from radiating water or CO2 molecules at cooler areas or from the energy exchanges between molecules in the atmosphere that solar radiation goes through on its way from space to the surface, or energy exchanges in the lower say 30m of atmosphere. We know from actual greenhouse experiments that glass is opaque to IR radiation but IR is found inside and the temperature rises for two reasons lack of mixing and the imprisoning of the IR that cannot escape through the opaque glass. That IR inside comes from energy exchanges inside by visible light loosing energy in those exchanges. This will happen in the atmosphere.

There is new evidence that makes the GHG theory questionable. Currently temperatures are falling, slowly but still falling, but CO2 is rising. Not what this theory predicts. The mid troposphere temperature anomaly has never been found. Another prediction fails. Radiation from the top of the atmosphere, for which data starts in 1979, has remained constant for the past 30 odd years despite rising CO2 levels. The theory predicts a fall in radiated heat with rise in CO2.

So Dr Singer, there is much wrong with the beloved theory and, to my questioning mind, much to review with current research that insists that the GHG theory covers it all.

171. RKS says:

beng says:
March 1, 2012 at 5:27 am

I have to agree w/Singer. Just here on WUWT I see otherwise intelligent people going off established physics into unsupported “theories”. I’ve learned I have to restrain myself from doing the same sometimes. And no, that doesn’t make one a “warmist” — I think 1000-1500 ppm CO2 would be ideal for the biosphere & people. That might even help delay the inevitable slide into the next glaciation, but I doubt it.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Back-radiation was never even mentioned as “established physics” when I studied the subject in the 1960′s.

It appears to be a concept cobbled together to enable a correlation between CO2 content and temperature that bog standard classical physics did not.

It is not ‘established science, but smells heavily of dogma and politics.

172. G. Karst says:

When climate and all it’s variation, feedbacks, forcings, bio modifications, galactic influence, are perfectly understood and accurately projected, then we can start labeling the opinion holders. Until then we should refrain from poo-poing any splitting contrary opinion as skeptic or denial. Continuing to point out error, is the only way forward, for skeptic and denier alike. GK

173. anticlimactic says:

I think there is a problem with the word ‘skeptic’ as this implies AGW is a valid claim but you are just not convinced. As one reads more (with an open mind) then you realise there is no credible science to support AGW. In the context of this article one would be described as a ‘denier’ – an inelegant propaganda word as it implies AGW is still valid but you refuse to believe it. We need better words!

Another problem is that people in the skeptic area tend to be more scientifically literate and fair so would have to agree that any increase in CO2 caused by humans will have a warming effect, the question is whether it is significant, and the answer is ‘no’. I have a similar problem with the ‘Greenhouse Effect’ – when Woods investigated this in the 1920s he found that although almost non-existent there WAS a slight effect of about half a degree. This means I can not say there is NO AGW, nor can I say there is NO greenhouse effect, it is just that the effects are minimal. But I am reminded of the phrase ‘if you give an inch they’ll take a mile’.

AGW proponents claim to have science on their side, but this is obviously not true in key areas. The main claim that additional CO2 creates forcing through water vapour of about three times the warming of the CO2 alone. This figure was simply made up and has not been shown to be true. Also why doesn’t the heat from the water vapour create more water vapour and increased warming, in a loop, until the seas boil!? Have they discarded this idea of forcing – no – not scientific.

Next consider the climate models – global temperatures are well below any forecast so all these climate models are false. Have they been discarded – no.

Next are all the wild claims in the last IPCC report – mostly shown to be made up. Have they been discarded – I suspect not.

Now they resort to unsupported claims and suggest that if you don’t disprove it (with no resources) it must be true! Aerosols suppressing global temperature rises comes to mind, but there are many others : climate change, extreme weather, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc…

Another question is if AGW had not been invented when it was – could it be invented now. With the lack of rise in global temperatures and falling sea-levels the answer would be no. AGW is simply something that seemed plausible a couple of decades ago but no longer does.

Unfortunately none of this matters – so many people are making so much money from it, or rely on it for their jobs, that only when the West can no longer afford it will it finally die. Obviously that time is approaching rapidly. It is just a bit sickening to think that without AGW the financial state of the West would not be so critical.

174. HenryP says:

BTW
the common answers when I asked this question:
How much cooling is caused by the CO2 by re-radiating sun light in the near infra red (1-2 um) and infra red (4-5) and at various places in the UV?

was:
“we already counted that. it is in earth’s albedo”
“it means it is simply not counted at incoming SW i.e. the 342 W/m2 we get on average on earth”

Obvioulsy such reasoning defies all logic.
As the CO2 goes up, so must both its cooling effect and its warming effect?
If we do not have any figures on that cooling effect, you really have no proof that the net effect of more CO2 is that of warming.

Anyway, seeing that nobody had those results was the reason why I decided to shoot some pool. Looking at the results of the balls on my pool table,
it seems likely that it is pretty much evens with the cooling and warming of the increase in CO2.
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

175. RKS said @ March 1, 2012 at 7:08 am

Back-radiation was never even mentioned as “established physics” when I studied the subject in the 1960′s.
It is not ‘established science, but smells heavily of dogma and politics.

Earliest reference I came across is Rotty, RM & Mitchell, JM 1974, Man’s energy and the World’s climate, a paper delivered to the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Rotty and smelly seem to be similar terms… I suppose.

176. John Kettlewell says:

Interesting discussion. It seems most do not like Mr. Singer’s article. They biggest problem I’ve seen is the adjectives (believer, skeptic, denier) are missing that which they qualify. A denier of what? A skeptic of what? It seems one can be both by denying a warming of Earth via GHGs, while accepting the premise that there is a GHE from specific gases.

Specific points of contention are missing from the above disparagements, and that will cause resentment. I would hope in the future, name-calling or other labels might be used more judiciously. I had read most of the comments, perhaps a hundred-plus. If I had to pick one, I would choose CodeTech’s comment as the best. Maybe it’s time to be skeptical skeptics. You are working with multiple levels of chaos, well chaos atleast until it’s understood, that interact on a scale that is beyond current comprehension.

I’m thankful for what you folks, and your collegues elsewhere, do every day. I believe there is balance in everything within life. Without ‘your side’, there would be an imbalance. Man is free by birthright. Whatever anyone else says about you is only true if you accept it. Always ask the opposing person to define their words and position; if their standing is untenable, they will crumble; yet the only other outcome would allow you to pick apart their arguement. It’s win/win.

177. Robert Brown says:

What do you mean by “large”, I need to get a sense of proportion. and how, precisely, do you quantify it in terms of climate temperature. If it’s tiny, then what on earth is the infighting about?

Quantifying it is the one part of Nikolov and Zeller’s paper that isn’t completely wrong. The usual basis is to compute the Earth’s so called “greybody temperature” where a certain formula is used to determine where insolation is balanced by outgoing blackbody radiation, completely ignoring atmosphere and assuming that the Earth is basically a large perfectly (thermally) conducting sphere at a uniform temperature.

N&Z do a better job of computing the baseline temperature, although they then make assumptions and do things that are simply incorrect.

Either way, one take $T_{gb}$ the theoretical greybody temperature and compare it to $T_{av}$, the actual average global temperature, and the difference is the differential warming due to all causes — the Greenhouse effect and anything else that might be going on. The usual assertion is that it is ballpark of 30-40K for the Earth, but the exact amount is arguable (N&Z hold that it is properly much larger, but they also make egregious errors so their estimates of HOW large it is are themselves no better — in my opinion).

It’s the “anything else that might be going on” that is a major issue. The GHE isn’t just CO_2 and it isn’t just radiative — the solution to the Earth’s energy balance formula is properly speaking the world’s (literally) largest Navier-Stokes problem, or set of coupled N-S problems (as the ocean is a second one, in some sense) — open, highly nonlinear, and nasty as all hell. The planetary “bond albedo” that is used as an input into $T_{gb}$ is itself a variable, one that seems to be modulated by solar activity, so all the naive linearized arguments one might try to make about the GHE are probably wrong.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the GHE doesn’t exist and isn’t responsible for the bulk of the warming of the Earth relative to a greybody baseline. It just means that how the total GHE varies as a function of e.g. CO_2 concentration is not anywhere near as simple as the CAGW crowd pretends that it is. Which is why their global climate models, built with the assumption that it IS simple and that solar state can be ignored, suck.

rgb

178. beng says:

****
RKS says:
March 1, 2012 at 7:08 am

Back-radiation was never even mentioned as “established physics” when I studied the subject in the 1960′s.

It appears to be a concept cobbled together to enable a correlation between CO2 content and temperature that bog standard classical physics did not.
****

I & others (Robert Brown) have stated that the term “back radiation” is unfortunate & even misleading.

If you took physics in the 60s, then I’d assume you understood the physical effect of heat loss of a “hot” object to cooler surroundings. And applying “insulation” to it would reduce the heat loss & result in hot object’s surface remaining warmer than it was w/o the insulation, & the outer surface of the insulation remaining cooler than the hot object’s surface. If you have such a hot object in the vacuum of space, it will cool (albeit more slowly as convection is more efficient) as it radiates to frigid space. Simply placing a metallic shield (or regular insulation) in that case will act as insulation by blocking the radiation loss. The space station’s habitable areas are a good example. OK?

GHG effects are qualitatively no different. If GHGs (O2 & N2 don’t emit/absorb significantly) are present at the tropopause, where radiation can finally escape freely to space, they will act as a sort of wavelength-dependent Swiss-cheese insulation. Instead of the solid surface below radiating to space (and at a max heat-loss rate), the GHGs act just like the above-mentioned metallic shield in the vacuum of space (except not all IR frequencies, just the characteristic ones). Not the most efficient insulator, but one none-the-less. And thus the surface will not cool as fast, and will end up “warmer” than it would be w/o the GHGs, as its temperature was always dependent on both heat input AND heat loss. Of course when we look at the IR spectrum from orbit above, the overall view is a combo of “surfaces”, much from the tropopause, but also some thru the IR “windows” directly from the surface (which the GHGs do not emit/absorb).

The “back radiation” meme is correct, but unfortunate.

179. Robert Brown says:

1) There is Electromagnetic “heat- or thermal radiation” from the Earth’s surface.
2) The surface does not lose any heat as this thermal transfer from surface to atmosphere takes place.
3) The GHGs in the atmosphere are sending at least one half of this heat radiation back to the surface causing, at the moment, 33 deg. Celsius (or Kelvin) of warming.

It does nothing of the sort. There is electromagnetic radiation from the Earth’s surface directly to space. In fact, the bulk of the heat loss from the Earth’s surface leaves via this channel. The surface loses heat as this thermal transfer takes place. That’s why it gets cold after the sun sets. That’s why it gets REALLY cold FAST in the nice, dry desert. Finally, I make absolutely no assertion about the GHG’s “sending heat back down to the surface”. That’s as silly a way of viewing it as asserting that the insulation in your attic “sends heat back down” into your house. Slowing heat loss in a radiative channel is not at all the same thing as “sending” heat anywhere.

Your problem is that you object to the silly pictures of the GHE as they are often published, with all sorts of upwelling and downwelling radiation. So do I. They are an heuristic explanation at best for a complex phenomenon. However, the phenomenon itself is directly evident in top of atmosphere IR spectroscopy. Outgoing radiation in the CO_2 band is emitted from the cool top of troposphere, not the warm surface of the earth. Consequently there is less total outgoing flux in these bands. To maintain thermal equilibrium with constant insolation, there has to be more outgoing flux in the non-CO_2 bands. The only way that can happen is for the temperature of the emitter to rise. So it does until equilibrium is reached.

I don’t care how energy is moved around to accomplish this. This is what photographs of TOA IR spectra tell us is happening. Make up your own favorite heuristic to explain it. Just make sure that the heuristic includes that “IR from cold CO_2 at the top of the troposphere”, a.k.a. “the GHE” or it is bullshit.

rgb

180. Laws of Nature says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
February 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm
“To repeat the obvious:
Essenhigh didn’t rule out the human influence, because his reasoning was based on the high throughput (short residence time) of CO2 in the atmosphere. But that is completely irrelevant for how much CO2 is added to or removed from the atmosphere.
Please, think about the difference between your cash flow in/out your bank deposit (that is throughput) and what is on your account at the end of the year, compared to the previous year (the gain or loss). [..]”

This seems to be a distortion of what he actually says, I can repeat my cite, which is quite clear:
R. Essenhigh [Atmospheric Residence Time of Man-Made CO2, 2009]
“[..]With the short (5−15 year) RT results shown to be in quasi-equilibrium, this then supports the (independently based) conclusion that the long-term (100 year) rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is not from anthropogenic sources but, in accordance with conclusions from other studies, is most likely the outcome of the rising atmospheric temperature, which is due to other natural factors. This further supports the conclusion that global warming is not anthropogenically driven as an outcome of combustion.”

Since you are repeating yourself, I tell you once more, that the isotopic signature is only telling us, that we burn fossil fuel, nothing more. Earlier you mentioned that there is prove, now we are down to very likely, sooner or later you have to either disprove or accept the papers by Essenhigh and Segalstad.

It is possible that there are natural reasons for the recent increase of atmospheric CO2 (see Essenhigh for example), the isotopic signature does not prove anything about the reason of the CO2-rise in the atmosphere.

181. HenryP says:

Henry@Beng

I think the term back radiation makes sense
because if you look here:
http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec
you see the radiation specific to a number of GHG’s coming back to us
via the moon
(compare fig. 6 bottom with fig.6 top and fig.7)
So the radiation went from sun-earth-substance (in atmosphere)-moon-earth
An effect that is similar to this, although more related to the optics field,
is also observed when car lights are put on bright in humid, moist and misty conditions:
your light is returned to you!!
Because the gas molecule is very small and behaves more or less like a sphere, (I think) we may assume that ca. 62,5% of a certain amount of light (radiation)in the absorptive region is sent back in a radius of 180 degrees in the direction where it came from. (comments , please!)

Ignoring this GHG cooling effect
which is prevalent at almost every GHG
(for example: CH4 absorbs 2.2.-2.4 um and therefore back radiates there as well)

would be the same as ignoring the GHG warming effect.

http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

182. Phil. says:

Robert Brown says:
March 1, 2012 at 9:56 am
Your problem is that you object to the silly pictures of the GHE as they are often published, with all sorts of upwelling and downwelling radiation. So do I. They are an heuristic explanation at best for a complex phenomenon. However, the phenomenon itself is directly evident in top of atmosphere IR spectroscopy. Outgoing radiation in the CO_2 band is emitted from the cool top of troposphere, not the warm surface of the earth. Consequently there is less total outgoing flux in these bands. To maintain thermal equilibrium with constant insolation, there has to be more outgoing flux in the non-CO_2 bands. The only way that can happen is for the temperature of the emitter to rise. So it does until equilibrium is reached.

Glad to hear Robert that I’m not the only one writing recommendations!
Agree with your description above, for all that outgoing radiation in the CO2 band there is an approximately equal quantity heading towards the Earth though. I noticed that Tallbloke shut you down by requiring an explanation of complex numbers as a posting requirement, I was banned sine die for quoting N&Z!

183. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 1, 2012 at 11:13 am
Because the gas molecule is very small and behaves more or less like a sphere, (I think) we may assume that ca. 62,5% of a certain amount of light (radiation)in the absorptive region is sent back in a radius of 180 degrees in the direction where it came from. (comments , please!)

Not a chance! Light in the “absorptive region” is absorbed according to the absorption coefficient at that wavelength, then the excess energy is either transferred to the surrounding molecules via collisions or radiates in all directions (4π sr). Other incident light can be scattered by Rayleigh scattering according to it’s scattering cross-section (about 10^-5 of the light/m), since blue light is more strongly scattered than red the sky is blue.

184. Bart says:

Werner Brozek says:
February 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm

“…equilibrium should occur in a matter of months.”

This is merely the short time needed to establish oceanic/atmospheric equilibrium. The question is, how long does it take for ultimate sequestration?

At what rate does CO2 in the atmospheric diffuse to the surface? How long does it take added CO2 to stimulate significant new plant growth? At what rate does the ocean absorb, diffuse, and sequester it? How elastic are these reservoirs?

“…I believe Ferdinand Engelbeen has an excellent overall grasp of things.”

I believe Ferdinand has a vastly oversimplified narrative which claims greater confidence in quantities and models than is merited, and relies on spontaneous equilibrium without opposing force gradients to establish it, a happenstance which simply does not occur in nature.

Stable equilibria do not exist without opposing forces which combine with net positive curvature at the equilibrium point. As a consequence, a system in stable equilibrium will always resist external perturbing forces which attempt to shift it from the equilibrium. If the CO2 balance were so precarious as to satisfy Ferdinand’s narrative, it is highly unlikely that the level would have been as stable as indicated by the ice core data. And, the narrative is founded on the fidelity of that ice core record, so there is an unresolved internal conflict in the storyline

anticlimactic says:
March 1, 2012 at 7:29 am

“…when Woods investigated this in the 1920s he found that although almost non-existent there WAS a slight effect of about half a degree.”

If you are talking about R.W. Wood’s experiment in 1909, I think it is important to keep in mind that pressure and Doppler line broadening is what makes the GHE possible. Otherwise, the absorption lines would be infinitesimally narrow, and very little outgoing radiation would be intercepted. So, a static, ground based experiment is not likely representative of the actual system in question.

185. Phil. says:

Robert Brown says:
March 1, 2012 at 9:42 am
What do you mean by “large”, I need to get a sense of proportion. and how, precisely, do you quantify it in terms of climate temperature. If it’s tiny, then what on earth is the infighting about?

Quantifying it is the one part of Nikolov and Zeller’s paper that isn’t completely wrong. The usual basis is to compute the Earth’s so called “greybody temperature” where a certain formula is used to determine where insolation is balanced by outgoing blackbody radiation, completely ignoring atmosphere [attenuation by the atmosphere, not its other attributes-a good approx for Venus-Phil.] and assuming that the Earth is basically a large perfectly (thermally) conducting sphere at a uniform temperature.

N&Z do a better job of computing the baseline temperature, although they then make assumptions and do things that are simply incorrect.

I disagree with the first part but agree about their assumptions, they do as bad a job (arguably worse for Earth), the conventional method calculates the largest possible average temperature for the body assuming only that the GHGs have been removed. N&Z calculate the lowest possible average temperature for an atmosphere-less planet with zero heat capacity which none of the planets come close too (the Moon is closest but no cigar!) Conventional methods are somewhat high for Earth, N&Z are way too low.

186. Paul says:

the term “denier” is wrong
and has nothing to do with science

paul

187. Bart says:

HenryP says:
March 1, 2012 at 11:13 am

“Ignoring this GHG cooling effect… would be the same as ignoring the GHG warming effect.”

As I understand it, the idea is that the CO2 acts like a diode in an electrical cicruit. It allows the bulk of sunshine, which peaks at higher wavenumber than the CO2 absorption band(s), to get to the surface. At that surface, that light is absorbed, and re-emitted with the peak in the IR. The CO2 then intercepts a portion of this outgoing radiation, momentarily delaying the exit of that energy from the system, until the surface heats up so that the outgoing flux sans the intercepted equilibrates with the incoming solar flux.

I have, though, come up with an additional kink in the system which I find plausible, and which I believe indicates that addition CO2 could, in fact, produce cooling. Here is the idea:

1) The planet radiates with a Planck distribution.

2) The tails of that distribution extend theoretically to infinity, so some portion will be absorbed by atmospheric gases.

3) Intercepted outgoing radiation will then warm the planet, however infinitesimally, which will beget more surface radiation, which will beget more atmospheric interception, and so on in a self-reinforcing cycle until the surface temperature reaches a point where the outward surface flux plus the outward atmospheric flux equals the incoming solar energy flux.

4) Now, suppose you have two substantial emitters like CO2 and CH4. As the planet warms up, the tails of the radiation distribution reach into both absorption spectra. The CH4, emitting at higher wavenumber, will pull the surface temperature toward the point where it would achieve equilibrium, which is a higher temperature than the CO2-alone equilibrium point.

5) The combined equilibrium point is between the lower level to which the CO2 is pulling it, and the higher level to which the CH4 is pulling it. Add more CO2, and you get pulled more toward the lower level CO2 equilibrium.

188. Paul says:

cooling in history always started on the maximal CO2 level,
who wants to deny ?

paul

189. Paul says:

before infrared irradiation wants to get out of earth (through the atmosphere),
it has to get in (through the atmosphere).

who wants to deny ?

paul

190. Laws of Nature says:
March 1, 2012 at 11:01 am

With the short (5−15 year) RT results shown to be in quasi-equilibrium, this then supports the (independently based) conclusion that the long-term (100 year) rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is not from anthropogenic sources

As said before, the RT (residence time) is not of the slightest interest here. That only shows how much CO2 is exchanged, but that doesn’t give us any clue what the total CO2 mass in the atmosphere over time is doing. One can have a tenfold increase of the troughput (thus a ten times shorter RT) while the atmospheric CO2 levels increase, decrease or stay level over the years. Thus the short RT does NOT support his conclusion.

Essenhigh in the abstract of the same article says:
Additionally, the analytical results also then support the IPCC analysis and data on the longer “adjustment time” (100 years) governing the long-term rising “quasi-equilibrium” concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
It is the “adjustment time” which is important, that gives the time needed to reduce an extra amount of CO2 (whatever its source) to 1/e of the original excess. The IPCC 100 years in this is exaggerated, as they include a saturation of the deep oceans, which still is far from happening.

in accordance with conclusions from other studies, is most likely the outcome of the rising atmospheric temperature, which is due to other natural factors.

Rising ocean temperatures give, according to Henry’s Law, an increase of 16 ppmv/°C in the atmosphere. Rising land temperatures, together with more precipitation, give an unknown decrease of CO2 in the atmosphere. The net result of all natural influences caused by temperature changes is 8 ppmv/°C over the past few million years, except for the past 160 years. The temperature drop from the MWP to the LIA did give the same 8 ppmv/°C. Since the LIA we may have had maximum a 1°C temperature rise or 8 ppmv extra. Not 100+ ppmv extra.

the isotopic signature is only telling us, that we burn fossil fuel, nothing more. Earlier you mentioned that there is prove, now we are down to very likely
My proof was that the two mainpossible natural sources: oceans and vegetation can’t be the source of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Oceans, because the 13C/12C ratio is too high. Vegetation, because there is more growth than decay as proven by the oxygen balance. Both are based on observations. You may not accept that as proof, that is up to you. If my deduction is wrong, please give me a note where I am wrong,
All other possible sources are either too slow or too small. But if you have knowledge of such possible sources with the right fingerprint and releases, I am very interested.

What rests are the human emissions, which are twice what is observed as increase in the atmosphere. That itself is already sufficient proof that humans are the cause of the increase, because nature as a whole is a net sink for the difference:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em.jpg
But that caused over 600 comments in the past…

191. Bart says:

“Add more CO2, and you get pulled more toward the lower level CO2 equilibrium.”

Please note again the importance of equilibrium dynamics in all of this. The surface temperature of the planet is set by a complex interaction of all the relevant variables establishing an, at least quasi-, stable equilibrium point. A point where powerful oppositional forces balance out, and resist forces tending to displace the equilibrium.

In the standard GHE explanation, we hear none of this. The temperature of the Earth just happens to be what it is, and so the acolytes believe it can be catastrophically swayed by minor forcing. But, nature just doesn’t work this way. If an equilibrium is not maintained forcefully, then random events will cause it to drift like particles in a beaker (Brownian motion) to arbitrary extremes. Nature is like Jason Borne:

Nicky:
It’s not a mistake. They don’t make mistakes. And they don’t do random. There’s always an objective, always a target. If he’s in Naples, on his own passport, there’s a reason

192. Bart says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
March 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

“What rests are the human emissions, which are twice what is observed as increase in the atmosphere. That itself is already sufficient proof that humans are the cause of the increase, because nature as a whole is a net sink for the difference.”

I do SO hate it when you trot out that transparently faulty logic, Ferdinand. I boggles my mind that you cannot see how specious it is.

193. Werner Brozek says:

Bart says:
March 1, 2012 at 11:54 am
The question is, how long does it take for ultimate sequestration?
How long does it take added CO2 to stimulate significant new plant growth?

I would say plants use it right away as long as the other nutrients are there as well. As for the deep ocean, that may take 800 years to reach equilibrium.

194. kwik says:

Doug Cotton says:
February 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Claes Johnson is a Professor in Applied Physics. I can think of no other area within Science that can be more difficult than just that.

The most difficult thing within physics, is to understand when and where you can apply a certain formulae. And this guy is a Professor within Applied Physics.

I did notice Fred S. sending an arrow in the direction of the science of Thermodynamics.
He will regret that, I am afraid. You know, regret it, scientifically.

195. Bart says:
March 1, 2012 at 11:54 am

I believe Ferdinand has a vastly oversimplified narrative which claims greater confidence in quantities and models than is merited, and relies on spontaneous equilibrium without opposing force gradients to establish it, a happenstance which simply does not occur in nature.

I do think that quantities and observations are very important here, but I have little confidence in models, until proven right. But what does you think that I believe in a spontaneous equilibrium without opposing force gradients? The discussion with LoN shows that the same cause (temperature) gives opposite forcing gradients for oceans and vegetation, which gives a change in steady state level of 8 ppmv/°C. And any extra addition of CO2, be it from volcanoes or humans, need to build up an extra force gradient in the atmosphere (increased ppm’s), or that extra would remain there forever.
At one side the human emissions are the cause of the increase, at the other side, nature (oceans and vegetation) react by an increased uptake which reaches (by coincidence) half the emissions. The height of the uptake in the oceans is the direct result of the partial pressure differences between pCO2(atm) and pCO2(aq), where wind speed is the stirring factor which influences the speed of uptake (diffusion alone is much too slow). Something similar may be at work in plant alveoles…

196. Werner Brozek says:
March 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I would say plants use it right away as long as the other nutrients are there as well. As for the deep ocean, that may take 800 years to reach equilibrium.

Unfortunately not that fast for plants: a 100% increase in CO2 gives a 50% increase in plant (carbon) growth, not 100%. And even that needs time, besides the other constraints. Realitiy is that plants currently take some 1.5 GtC/yr extra and the oceans some 2.5 GtC/yr extra away due to the extra pressure by 100+ ppmv (210 GtC) CO2 in the atmosphere above equilibrium. That gives a half life time of CO2 of ~40 years.

The deep oceans are far from saturated. Any extra CO2 is mixed into a large mass of carbon. The result coming out indeed some 800 years later. The total mass of CO2 emitted by humans until now, once in equilibrium with the deep oceans, would induce a 1% increase in the atmosphere.

197. Bart says:
March 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I do SO hate it when you trot out that transparently faulty logic, Ferdinand. I boggles my mind that you cannot see how specious it is.

The same faulty logic that says that:
increase in the atmosphere = human emissions + natural sources – natural sinks
or
4 GtC/yr = 8 GtC/yr + natural sources – natural sinks
or
natural sources – natural sinks = -4 GtC/yr

With other words: the net contribution of all natural causes together to the increase in the atmosphere is negative…

198. Allan MacRae says:

John Marshall says: March 1, 2012 at 6:46 am
“Sorry Dr Singer but I am one of those you despise…”

John, Fred Singer is a true gentleman – he does not despise you.
______________

Bart says: March 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm

“I do SO hate it when you trot out that transparently faulty logic, Ferdinand. I boggles my mind that you cannot see how specious it is….”
______________

Bart, can you please be more specific? I would like to understand your scientific viewpoint (especially if it agrees with my own prejudices).
______________

To be clear, I like both Fred and Ferdinand – they make me think… … and I think more deeply after I have read their comments.
______________

199. Allan MacRae says:

Bart says: March 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Apologies Bart – I just read your earlier post. Good stuff (aka “we agree”).

I think Ferdinand’s “material balance argument” is incorrect because it inherently assumes that the climate-CO2 system is static, but it is dynamic, and the relatively small humanmade fraction of total CO2 flux may not be significant in this huge system, as it continues to chase equilibrium into eternity.

200. Anything is possible says:

Phil. says:
March 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm
Robert Brown says:
March 1, 2012 at 9:42 am

N&Z do a better job of computing the baseline temperature, although they then make assumptions and do things that are simply incorrect.

I disagree with the first part but agree about their assumptions, they do as bad a job (arguably worse for Earth), the conventional method calculates the largest possible average temperature for the body assuming only that the GHGs have been removed. N&Z calculate the lowest possible average temperature for an atmosphere-less planet with zero heat capacity which none of the planets come close too (the Moon is closest but no cigar!) Conventional methods are somewhat high for Earth, N&Z are way too low.

___________________________________________________________________________

I’m in a very similar place with respect to N & Z.

My thought is that to get the true answer, we would need to deduce what proportion of incoming radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere and surface and needs to be radiated back to outer space to maintain an equilibrium temperature, and what proportion is reflected or scattered and returns to outer space without ever having affected the Earth’s temperature.

If the true effective temperature of the Earth (or any planet with a significant atmosphere for that matter) “just happened” to be very close to the temperature at the top of the troposphere then, conceptually at least, that would make perfect sense to me…

Actually proving it of course, would be a whole different matter. Any volunteers? (:-

201. Bart says:

Werner Brozek says:
March 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm

“I would say plants use it right away as long as the other nutrients are there as well.”

They use some additional, which stimulates production of new plants, which removes more CO2, which stimulates more plants (the rate being proportional to population and dependent on availability of CO2 and other nutrients), and so on. This is a process of many years ongoing. The process does not stop until opposing processes which tend to limit population growth force an equilibrium.

The ocean, too, has long term sequestration processes which respond to increases in incoming flux, and the same argument holds mutatis mutandis.

This is a dyanmic system. Simple real-time accounting is not up to the task of analyzing it.

Allan MacRae says:
March 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

“Bart, can you please be more specific?”

Look at Ferdinand’s equation: natural sources – natural sinks = -4 GtC/yr. That gives us a difference of two variables. But, it does not tell us what the variables are individually. We can divide “natural sinks” into two components:

natural sinks in response to human emissions

other natural sinks

Set “natural sinks in response to human emissions” = 8 FtC/yr. Now, we have

natural sources – other natural sinks = +4 GtC/yr

Presto! Through mere manipulation of language, we have made the source of the increase wholly natural.

This is a dynamic system. The sinks expand in reaction to an increase in the inputs from whatever source. We cannot, on the basis of such word games, establish how much of the increase is natural, and how much is anthropogenic.

202. Bart says:

Allan MacRae says:
March 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm

“I think Ferdinand’s “material balance argument” is incorrect because it inherently assumes that the climate-CO2 system is static, but it is dynamic…”

Precisely.

203. Bart says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
March 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm

“The discussion with LoN shows that the same cause (temperature) gives opposite forcing gradients for oceans and vegetation, which gives a change in steady state level of 8 ppmv/°C.”

That is the gain at the frequency of the yearly cycle. Gain in dynamic systems is generally frequency dependent, e.g., as in this plot.

If, e.g., the true frequency response of the temperature-to-CO2 system were -20 dB down at the frequency of 1 year^-1, then the gain for a dc (zero frequency) input would be 80 ppmv/°C. If -40 dB, 800 ppmv/°C.

We have no measure of the gain for a dc input, which includes steps, ramps, quadratics – any monotonic input.

204. Bart says:
March 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm

What you are saying and with you several others, is that the human emissions disappear rapidely in the natural system, but to make up the (carbon) material balance, the rest of the natural flows compensate for that by adding quite exactly around 55% of the human emissions.

First, I don’t know any natural process which should follow the human emissions in such an exact rate and temperature is certainly not the cause of that (too noisy) and why should it?
Second, you may split the natural flows in any theoretical way you want, that doesn’t change the fact that nature as a whole is a net – and proven – sink for CO2.

Further:
That is the gain at the frequency of the yearly cycle. Gain in dynamic systems is generally frequency dependent, e.g.,

The gain at a frequency of a year^-1 is about 5 ppmv/°C (seasons). For multiyears^-1 it is about 4 ppmv/°C. For frequencies of centuries^-1 to multimillennia^-1 it is 8 ppmv/°C. Thus very little influence from the frequency of temperature changes from seasonal to near DC (glacials/interglacials) on the gain.

205. Bart says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
March 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm

“What you are saying… natural flows compensate for that by adding quite exactly around 55% of the human emissions.”

It’s not so exact, it just looks similar when you integrate the year-to-year flux into total concentration. This is particularly not unlikely when you include the fact that you are biasing and scaling the integration to get a match. As we have discussed before, it is usually possible to make two increasing signals with same sign weak curvature look similar via biasing and scaling – you just do a linear least squares regression of the one series against the other to determine the bias and scaling coefficients.

“…temperature is certainly not the cause of that (too noisy),,,”

It’s a low pass filter response, so of course it attenuates the noise.

“Second, you may split the natural flows in any theoretical way you want, that doesn’t change the fact that nature as a whole is a net – and proven – sink for CO2.”

But, that is meaningless. It is a dynamic system.

“The gain at a frequency of a year^-1 is about 5 ppmv/°C (seasons).”

OK, change my previous figures to 50 and 500 ppmv/°C, respectively.

“For multiyears^-1 it is about 4 ppmv/°C. For frequencies of centuries^-1 to multimillennia^-1 it is 8 ppmv/°C.”

Based on the ice core proxies, I presume. But, ice cores provide temperature data at only particular locations at particular latitudes. Like I said, your narrative depends on the fidelity of those ice core data. I think your trust is misplaced but, in any case, it leads to internal conflicts in the storyline which appear, IMHO, difficult to reconcile with what we know of how natural systems evolve.

206. Bart says:

How about we call it quits, Ferdinand? You and I both know we’re not going to agree. We’re just having the same argument we always have. At the least, you and I both agree that this is not the topic that is going to prove AGW wrong in anything like the near term, and we should be focusing on that which already appears to be doing so, that being the accumulating evidence for low sensitivity of the global climate to CO2 concentration, the current hiatus in warming, and the likely cooling we are going to see accelerating into the next decade.

207. Philemon says:

Isn’t “denier” just another word for skeptic?

I’m with Elmer!
What a tribute to Davy Jones!

And CodeTech, Merovign, and Lubos, for that matter.

208. Mr Lynn says:

I’m out of time to finish reading this long thread, but must say I am dismayed to see the eminent Fred Singer using the term ‘denier’ (which, if I recall correctly, Anthony at one point wanted to ban from this site). Jack (February 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm) correctly points out that,

The warmers use the term denier about anyone who disagrees with the greens determination to create ‘social justice’ as they see it in the world. [my quotes]

. . . There is no call for Singer to use the term denier simply because it is derogatory and has no relevance to examining issues at hand. The use of the term shows a closed mind. not an investigative mind open to new discoveries.

The epithet ‘denier’ is used by Alarmist acolytes and ideologues to suggest an analogy with ‘Holocaust deniers’, bigots who deny an obvious historical truth. The Alarmist usage makes no distinction between ‘skeptics’ like Prof. Singer and other students of the Earth’s climate who pursue independent lines of inquiry, such as those that dispute the hypothesis that CO2-caused ‘back radiation’ is important or even correctly described.

Real science should espouse no dogmas, and should welcome competing hypotheses about such complex phenomena as climate. To adopt the nasty insult ‘denier’ and apply it to theorists who propose alternative explanations of how Earth’s climate works is to effectively co-opt the close-mindedness of the agenda-driven Alarmists.

I hope Prof. Singer will withdraw the suggestion, as ill-conceived and contrary to scientific inquiry.

/Mr Lynn

209. Philemon says:

My dear Mr. Lynn, you can close all the stable doors you like, but that horse has already bolted.

210. PhilJourdan says:

Steven Mosher says:
February 29, 2012 at 9:30 am

Interesting positioning by Singer.

here is the sad truth. Until the “skeptics” as Singer describes thems, take on the “deniers” as Singer describes them, then Warmista will continue to successfully lump “skeptics” with “deniers”

I find 2 faults with your position (not necessarily your statement). The first is that one must be accountable for everything that is not “in”. Skeptics are no more responsible for the behavior of deniers than are the warmistas, and a better argument can be made that the warmistas are actually more responsible. Extremes beget extremes.

The second is the mentality of “if you are not with us, you are against us”. This position, evidenced in politics frequently – is the poor man’s argument of superiority. When you arguments of logic fail due to lack of evidence, you resort to a herd mentality of good vs evil. Clearly, while that is prevalent, it only serves to demonstrate the lack of intellectual discourse on the side using it.

So, while your statement may be true in the respect it is happening, I disagree that skeptics need to fight a 2 sided battle. Regardless of what the skeptics do, the warmistas are going to tar them with pejoratives and lies. They have to in order to keep their herd loyal. Deniers are the barbarians at the gates of Rome, while Skeptics are the Centurions warning of the inevitable downfall due to the false facade warmistas present.

211. Laws of Nature says:

Faulty logic:
FE: ” With other words: the net contribution of all natural causes together to the increase in the atmosphere is negative…”
I would agree to that (as long as we still burn fossil fuels), but do we learn from that beside that in the presence of additional anthropogenic CO2 the mass balance is different?
Does is really tells us anything about the driver of the increase in the last 100years?
Essenhigh concludes that it does not!
And my point in that discussion was, that if he is right (the increase during the last 100+ year is due to a natural cause), the isotope ratio cannot be used to falsify anything!

Yes we burn fossil fuel and yes it has a special isotopic signature, but
the rate CO2 is exchanged with the oceans is basically the same (about 1/5 every year), regardless what the reason for the increase is, so this isotope signature cannot tell us anything about the reason of the increase.

You tell me, that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere cannot be caused by the oceans, because we would see a different isotope signature, so my question is: What would this difference be?
I tell you, that regardless of the cause for this increase, all isotopic signals are sequestered with about 5years (up to 20years if you figure in biological “delay” according Solomon) and thus this signature only tells you that we burn fossil fuel.
I don’t think it is up to me to falsify your idea, but to you to make this idea into a hypothesis.

212. HenryP says:

HenryP says to Beng
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/29/climate-deniers-are-giving-us-skeptics-a-bad-name/#comment-909590
Phil. says: NOT A CHANCE
the excess energy is either transferred to the surrounding molecules via collisions or radiates in all directions (4π sr).

Henry@Phil
I happen to be familiar with spectrophotometry. You have to understand what actually happens when we put a beam of light of certain wavelength on a sample of liquid or gas.
We have various spectrophotometers that can measure the various ranges of UV-visible -IR etc. Usually you have the option to vary the wavelength of the beam of light, either manually or automatically.
If the gas or liquid is completely transparent, we will measure 100% of the specific light that we put through the sample coming through on the other side. If there is “absorption” of light at that specific wavelength that we put through the sample, we only measure a certain % on the other side. The term “extinction” was originally used but later “absorption” was used to describe this phenomenon, meaning the light that we put on was somehow “absorbed”. I think this was a rather unfortunate description as it has caused a lot of confusion since. Many people think that what it means is that the light of that wavelength is continually “absorbed” by the molecules in the sample and converted to heat. If that were true, you would not be able to stop the meter at a certain wavelength without over-heating the sample, and eventually it should explode, if the sample is contained in a sealed container. Of the many measurements that I performed, this has never ever happened. Note that in the case of CO2, when measuring concentrations, we leave the wavelength always at 4.26 um. Because the “absorption” is so strong here, we can use it to compare and evaluate concentrations of CO2.
So my observation is that the transfer of excess energy to neighbouring molecules is limited to saturation
of those neighbouring molecules, and only to those who would be “willing and able” to accept those photons of the applicable absorptive region, because of their own specific absorptive behavior pattern,
agreed?

Next, we have to first agree that the only way it is possible for us to measure radiation specific to CO2 coming back to us via the moon, must mean that in the absorptive region, the molecule starts acting like a little (round) mirror. IMHO I have to see the CO2 molecule as infinitely small and therefore approaching a spherical like structure. The moment the molecule is hit by radiation, the absorptive regions fill up until saturation and the molecule then starts his behavior as a little round mirror (in the absorptive regions). Now, assuming it (the molecule) was a pure sphere, (which it probably isn’t), then I have to calculate that when it is hit by light and it starts acting like a little round spherical spinning mirror, its immediate and continuous return in a radius of 180 degrees must be 62,5% in the direction where the light came from. The rest is going the other way.

213. HenryP says:

Bart says
As I understand it, the idea is that the CO2 acts like a diode in an electrical cicruit. It allows the bulk of sunshine, which peaks at higher wavenumber than the CO2 absorption band(s), to get to the surface.
Henry says
people can have many ideas, but the proof of the pudding lies in the …. testing?
Bring me your test results that prove that the net effect of more CO2 is one of warming rather than cooling, and remember that CO2 also cools by taking energy from the atmosphere by taking part in photo synthesis. There is also proof from investigations done by the University of Helsinki that Earth has been greening quite a bit lately.Paradoxically, once greened, it traps heat, i.e. where there has been de-forestation there it has been cooling and where it has been very much greening, there it is warming, more than on average.
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/de-forestation-causes-cooling
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming
e.g. compare Tandil (Argentine) with Grootfontein (Namibia)

214. HenryP says:

I note that Bomber the Cat has gone quiet.

215. HenryP says:

henry@ferdinand engelbeen

It appears from my data (from 1974) that it was maxima pushing up mean temepartures on earth,
maxima rising globally at ca. 0.05 degree C per annum since 1974….
i.e. 38 x 0.05= 1.9 degrees C
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming
that means:
1) more intense sunshine
and/or
2) less clouds
and/or
3) less ozone shielding
(seeing that most extra heat goes into the SH oceans but it does not stay there)
and/or
4) etc (solar wind?)

Under these conditions the reaction:
heat+HCO3 =>CO2 +H2O
(whereby pH goes up, which is good for life and the environment)

seems more likely then the opposite reaction of that equilibrium.

I don’t think it is possible to differentiate between this CO2 being released in the atmosphere with that of that being released by humans and/or natural disasters i.e. fire and burning in general

216. Laws of Nature says:
March 2, 2012 at 5:19 am

Humans have added some 370 GtC as CO2 over the past 160 years. We measure an increase of about 210 GtC since 1850, of which 150 GtC since the accurate measurements at the South Pole and Mauna Loa started. As there is no escape to space, the difference must go somewhere and no room is left for additional natural sources, except if the natural sinks increased too, removing all natural sources + half the human emissions. Thus at least over the past 50+ years there was zero net contribution from nature to the total amount of atmospheric CO2.

The isotope ratio is additional info that strengthens the mass balance: if you have different sources with different isotope ratio’s, one can exclude these which have a isotope ratio that goes in the wrong direction: oceans do exchange a lot with the atmopshere, but that would increase the 13C/12C ratio, while we see a decrease. Together with the input of humans, the measured ratio needs some 40 GtC/yr from the deep oceans, but that can’t be additional, as we measure an increase of only 4 GtC/yr, while humans emit 8 GtC/yr. Thus these 40 GtC are throughput, not additional. The ocean surface and vegetation also play a limited role, but the input to the deep oceans near the poles receives the changed composition, while the output at the Pacific equator reflects the deep ocean composition of 800 years ago. The 40 GtC is based on the calculation of the difference between the measured and observed effect of fossil fuel burning in the atmosphere:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/deep_ocean_air_zero.jpg

There was a pre-industrial equilibrium around -6.4 +/- 0.1 per mil d13C in the atmosphere.That includes all known and unknown exchanges beween the atmosphere and other reservoirs, including the (deep) oceans, vegetation, rock weathering,… Without interference of humans, that wouldn’t have changed much (temperature has some influence but not that much). That dropped to -8 per mil in only 160 years, unseen over the past 800,000 years.

Essenhigh is right and wrong: in itself, the isotope ratio doesn’t prove that humans are to blame for the increase, but it excludes the oceans as source and it does exclude vegetation as source. As that are the only known huge, fast, possible sources, only the human emissions can be the source.

Moreover, that fits all known observations, while all other theories which I have heard of fail one or more observations…

217. HenryP says:
March 2, 2012 at 7:35 am

Under these conditions the reaction:
heat+HCO3 =>CO2 +H2O
(whereby pH goes up, which is good for life and the environment)
seems more likely then the opposite reaction of that equilibrium.

There is indeed a change in dynamic equilibrium by temperature. That is measured and an increase of 1°C in seawater temperature increases the equilibrium setpoint of seawater with the atmosphere with about 16 ppmv. The measured increase in the atmosphere is 100+ ppmv, while the temperature increase since the LIA at maximum is some 1°C (0.2°C of you trust Mann’s HS!). Thus the net result is that more CO2 is pushed into the oceans (about 2.5 GtC/yr as calculated from d13C and oxygen balances).

218. Bart says:
March 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm

How about we call it quits, Ferdinand? You and I both know we’re not going to agree.

Agreed… Time will tell.

219. klem says:

You know, I’ve been called a denier on many occuasions and I’ve never associated it with holocaust denial. I’ve never found the term offensive, I’ve found it rather encouraging.

I’ve always felt beng called ‘denier’ was like being called ‘blasphemer’.

220. RKS says:

As with the Cretaceous period, extra CO2 will result in increased coccolith population converting carbon into calcite, which then forms sedimentary chalk.

As CO2 is claimed by most sceptics here to have only a minor effect on climate temperature, I think we should be prepared to look for alternative reasons for extra heat at the surface with an open mind.

221. HenryP says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
That is measured and an increase of 1°C in seawater temperature increases the equilibrium setpoint of seawater with the atmosphere with about 16 ppmv

Henry says:
In theory I think it might be possible to do some testing and get such a result (reference please?)
In practice: that is not what is happening.
I live in a warm country.
If I leave the pump on my pool off for one day, and I dive in the pool at the end of that day,
I will find a big layer of warm water on the top and very cool water on the bottom/
so (I think) what happens is that most of the hot IR from the sun is re-radiated (‘back radiation” )in the top layers of the water.

furthermore, why would you think that you can distinguish a signal from d13, if it could have dissolved in the same waters where it is cold and just moved and became gas CO2 where it is warmer?

As I said

I don’t think it is possible to differentiate between this extra CO2 being released in the atmosphere by natural warming with that of that being released by humans and/or natural disasters i.e. fire and burning in general

222. HenryP says:

Klem says
I’ve always felt beng called ‘denier’ was like being called ‘blasphemer’.

Henry says
I don’t know why anyone would feel proud abouyt being called a blasphemer.
please, wake up.
it is midnight and the oil is almost finished.

223. HenryP says:

BTW
Does anyone know what the average carbonate content is in the oceans/
Surely they should track this like they do the CO2 in the air?

224. Laws of Nature says:

Dear Ferdinand,

your argument is getting a bit aeh .. I am not sure how to put it .. crazy ..
Please stop repeating yourself and start proving things!
Maybe you are not clear what a scientific proof is!?
FE: “The isotope ratio is additional info that strengthens the mass balance: if you have different sources with different isotope ratio’s, one can exclude these which have a isotope ratio that goes in the wrong direction: oceans do exchange a lot with the atmosphere, but that would increase the 13C/12C ratio, while we see a decrease. ”
I am not sure if I follow here..
Are you really saying that the atmosphere and the oceans are not exchanging CO2, because of the isotope-ratio!?
- we burn fossil fuel
- CO2 is exchanged between the atmosphere and the oceans (about 1/5 of the atmospheric amount per year)
This leads to an isotopic-signature, which is visible in the atmosphere and the oceans.

But beside that your repeated posts do not shed any light on the question, is it the natural equilibrium which has changed and thus is responsible for the increase (a point Essenhigh and Segalstad are making) or is the anthropogenic CO2 the main driver for the increase.

As I said, as long as we burn fossil fuel and about 1/5 of the atmospheric CO2 is exchanged with the oceans, the isotopic signature will continue to change as it did for the last 50years, regardless and this is my point, regardless if the total level of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing or not (perhaps due to some strange cooling event). This tells us, that the isotopic signature does not hold any information about the source of the increase.
If the raise in the last 100years is 100% natural or 100% anthropogenic or any number in between makes no measurable difference to this isotope signature.

225. HenryP says:
March 2, 2012 at 9:21 am

Does anyone know what the average carbonate content is in the oceans/
Surely they should track this like they do the CO2 in the air?

In the surface layer, the total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC = CO2 + bicarbonate + carbonate) is about 1000 Gt. In the deep oceans about 37000 GtC. The surface is frequently monitored by ship surveys and at a few places (Bermuda and Hawaii) there are longer term measurements:
http://www.bios.edu/Labs/co2lab/research/IntDecVar_OCC.html

The Bermuda time series – and ships surveys – show that the nDIC increased over time. Thus the ocean surface is a net sink for CO2.

226. Bart says:

klem says:
March 2, 2012 at 8:41 am

“I’ve always felt beng called ‘denier’ was like being called ‘blasphemer’.”

Well, that’s the problem. The epithet “blasphemer” is almost comical to us in this day and age. When “denier” gets the same connotation, it turns the unfathomable suffering of those who died in the German concentration camps into a joke.

But, I like that turn of phrase. I am not a “denier”, I am a blasphemer!

227. HenryP says:

thanks, Ferdinand!
I do see a (very, very) wide variation between top and deep
which would make me very, very hesitant to draw any conclusions, as far as yet.
I do no longer believe that CO2 is a player in climate
but I spent quite a bit of time figuring that out
so I might as well look at the carbonate figures from the seas, when I get some time.

Laws of Nature says
This tells us, that the isotopic signature does not hold any information about the source of the increase.

Agreed.

228. HenryP says:

BTW,
@Ferdinand
I take it you agree with me now on this,
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/29/climate-deniers-are-giving-us-skeptics-a-bad-name/#comment-910541

(Remember: he who remains silent, agrees)

229. Laws of Nature says:
March 2, 2012 at 10:42 am

This tells us, that the isotopic signature does not hold any information about the source of the increase.

Last attempt to explain things:

The isotopic signature, in combination with the mass balance does show that the oceans are NOT the source of the increase. The isotopic signature, in combination with the oxygen balance, does show that vegetation is NOT the source of the increase.

We have added some 370 GtC to the atmosphere. That amount is sufficient to give a 4.5 per mil drop in d13C of the atmosphere. In reality we see an increase with 210 GtC (100 ppmv) and a drop of 1.5 per mil in d13C. To reach the latter we need an exchange or an addition of 40 GtC/year from the deep oceans to reduce the d13C decrease. There is no one-way addition from the deep oceans possible, as that would give an increase (much) larger than measured in the atmosphere. In fact the oceans are net sinks for CO2, as measured by ships surveys and longer time series at a few places. There is no one-way addition from vegetation either, as the oxygen balance shows: vegetation is a net sink for CO2.

Thus if the two main sources of fast changes in atmospheric CO2 can’t be the source, what then is the cause of the rise?

About the mass balance: if the natural equilibrium has changed, adding more CO2 to the atmosphere and humans also add to the atmosphere, regardless of the equilibrium, both will be additive, thus the total increase in the atmosphere would be natural + human which is more than what humans alone emitted. But we observe that the increase in the atmosphere is less than what humans emitted… You simply can’t have it both as long as the increase in the atmosphere is less than the human emissions.

230. HenryP says:

Henry@Ferdinand

You never took the increase of greenery into consideration?
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/24/the-earths-biosphere-is-booming-data-suggests-that-co2-is-the-cause-part-2/

231. HenryP says:
March 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I take it you agree with me now on this

I don’t think it is possible to differentiate between this extra CO2 being released in the atmosphere by natural warming with that of that being released by humans and/or natural disasters i.e. fire and burning in general

See my previous comment to LoN, but specifically about the 13C/12C ratio:
When CO2 enters the oceans, there is a shift in ratio. That gives that the ratio in water increases with +2 per mil. The opposite also happens: when CO2 leaves water, the atmospheric ratio is reduced with about -8 per mil. The net effect of all the CO2 exchanges in the past pre-industrial 400 years is that the ocean surface is at about 0 to +4 per mil, the deep oceans are at 0 to +1 per mil and the atmosphere at -6.4 per mil. An increased circulation from/to the deep oceans wouldn’t substantially change that ratio. An increase in ocean surface releases (no matter the cause) without increased absorption elsewhere would slightly increase the 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere. That excludes the oceans as source.

For vegetation decay/burning, it is impossible to make the differentiation with fossil fuel burning. But there is a way out: if more oxygen is used than calculated from fossil fuel burning, then vegetation is a net source of CO2. But the calculation shows that slightlly less oxygen is used, thus vegetation is a net source of O2, thus a net sink for CO2 (the earth is “greening”) and preferential 12CO2, thus increasing the 13C/12C ratio. That excludes vegetation as source.
BTW, the current increase of CO2 is the equivalent to burning 1/3rd of all land plants…

Volcanoes, rock weathering, etc. can be ruled out because of their high d13C level.
Natural seeping and oxydising of fossil fuels like methane, oil, burning peat and coal seems can’t be ruled out, but need to increase enormously since 1850 in lockstep with human emissions…

232. HenryP says:
March 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

You never took the increase of greenery into consideration?

Of course I did, that gives that the overall increase of vegetation growth makes it a net sink for CO2, not a source, neither the cause of the d13C decrease. See further:
http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf

233. Bart says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
March 2, 2012 at 12:46 pm

“That excludes the oceans as source.”

You are assuming more comprehensive knowledge of the isotopic distribution in the oceans than we, in fact, have.

234. Myrrh says:

S. Fred Singer said: Another subgroup simply says that the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is so small that they can’t see how it could possibly change global temperature. But laboratory data show that CO2 absorbs IR radiation very strongly.

So? And so what the rest of your diatribe answers against ‘deniers’ with equally non-sequitur ‘proofs’.

How does carbon dioxide drive global warming, of any soddin’ degree? Where is this shown? Where is the method? Where is the empirical evidence?

In principle, every true scientist must be a skeptic. That’s how we’re trained; we question experiments, and we question theories. We try to repeat or independently derive what we read in publications — just to make sure that no mistakes have been made.

So where the proof that carbon dioxide drives global warming? Let’s see the work. Show and tell.

Did you notice what just happened? That’s a true sceptic’s response. You’re just a warmista in sceptics’ clothing. You’ve appropriated the name and claim the quality, but, like the warmista you really are, you believe without proof that carbon dioxide drives global warming. You and your ilk have produced not one iota of proof that it is physically even capable of doing such a thing. Do you really believe it?

The third problem may be the most important and likely also the most contested one. But first let me parse the IPCC conclusion, which depends crucially on the reported global surface warming between 1978 and 2000. As stated in their Summary for Policymakers (IPCC-AR4, vol 1, page 10): “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

But what if there is little to no warming between 1978 and 2000? What if the data from thousands of poorly distributed weather stations do not represent a true global warming? The atmospheric temperature record between 1978 and 2000 (both from satellites and, independently, from radiosondes) doesn’t show a warming. Neither does the ocean. And even the so-called proxy record — from tree rings, ice cores, ocean sediments, corals, stalagmites, etc. — shows mostly no warming during the same period.

Wrong question. The question should be directly addressing: “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

Proof? Even, for pity’s sake, some reasonable stab at physics?

Because you can’t. Because, for example, dramatic changes in global climate happen regularly in and out of glaciations and carbon dioxide lags 800 years behind – clearly showing what? That it is irrelevant to these massive rises in temperatures that take us into interglacials every 100,000 years.

First show that carbon dioxide can do such a thing.

Besides magically 800 years into the future..

But, not a problem for the warmists like you – they just keep repeating the memes and the funding keeps flowing while they argue amongst themselves about the degree of change of a non-existant effect built on an unsubstantiated claim that carbon dioxide drives global warming.

The warmistas, generally speaking, populate the U.N.’s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and subscribe to its conclusion that most of the temperature increase of the last century is due to carbon-dioxide emissions produced by the use of fossil fuels.

And elsewhere …

Why don’t you put the whole of the Water Cycle back into your comic cartoon energy budget?

Because you’d have nothing to argue about? No, I think because you’d have no vehicle for what you’re really pushing here, that the science doesn’t matter:

I have concluded that we can accomplish very little with convinced warmistas and probably even less with true deniers. So we just make our measurements, perfect our theories, publish our work, and hope that in time the truth will out.

•”The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.” -Prof. Chris Folland, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
•”The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.” -Dr David Frame, Climate modeler, Oxford University
•”It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” -Paul Watson, Co-founder of Greenpeace
•”Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” -Sir John Houghton, First chairman of the IPCC
•”No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” -Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

Spreading the memes is not a substitute for real sceptical inquiry, and you’ve shown none of that being the warmista believer that a trace gas fully part of the Water Cycle ‘drives global warming’.

Produce the physics.

You’re giving real sceptics a bad name..

235. Bart says:

Laws of Nature says:
March 2, 2012 at 10:42 am

“This tells us, that the isotopic signature does not hold any information about the source of the increase.”

Consider the following thought experiment. You are pouring water at a steady rate into a bucket with a hole in the bottom. The water level has stabilized at a point where the pressure at the hole is driving water out at the same rate it is flowing in at the top.

Now, you add blue dye to your inflow, but the rate remains the same. Thus, the level in the bucket remains the same. But, at any time before the dye has thoroughly diffused and the blue water has replaced the original volume, there is a color gradient established whereby the upper levels are bluer than the lower levels.

This by itself shows that Ferdinand’s assumptions are too simplistic. But, we can make the analogy even better. Now, we make the hole at the bottom slightly smaller. This causes the water to flow out slower, which causes a rise in the level of the bucket, and slows the diffusion of the dyed water even more, until equilibrium is reestablished through higher pressure at the hole.

Ferdinand, the weakness in all of your arguments is that you do not take account of time, and the dynamical nature of the system you are observing.

236. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 2, 2012 at 5:25 am
HenryP says to Beng
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/29/climate-deniers-are-giving-us-skeptics-a-bad-name/#comment-909590
Phil. says: NOT A CHANCE
the excess energy is either transferred to the surrounding molecules via collisions or radiates in all directions (4π sr).

Henry@Phil
I happen to be familiar with spectrophotometry.

Your posts appear to contradict this statement

You have to understand what actually happens when we put a beam of light of certain wavelength on a sample of liquid or gas.

I do, arising out of several decades of research work using spectrometry, publishing papers on that work and teaching the subject to the graduate level!

We have various spectrophotometers that can measure the various ranges of UV-visible -IR etc. Usually you have the option to vary the wavelength of the beam of light, either manually or automatically.
If the gas or liquid is completely transparent, we will measure 100% of the specific light that we put through the sample coming through on the other side. If there is “absorption” of light at that specific wavelength that we put through the sample, we only measure a certain % on the other side. The term “extinction” was originally used but later “absorption” was used to describe this phenomenon, meaning the light that we put on was somehow “absorbed”. I think this was a rather unfortunate description as it has caused a lot of confusion since. Many people think that what it means is that the light of that wavelength is continually “absorbed” by the molecules in the sample and converted to heat.

Well that’s what happens, not always converted to heat as I pointed out above, sometimes there’s fluorescence for example.
If that were true, you would not be able to stop the meter at a certain wavelength without over-heating the sample, and eventually it should explode, if the sample is contained in a sealed container. Of the many measurements that I performed, this has never ever happened.
I’m not surprised the light power used in a spectrometer is not very high and there is heat loss from the cell, some cells are temperature controlled.

Note that in the case of CO2, when measuring concentrations, we leave the wavelength always at 4.26 um. Because the “absorption” is so strong here, we can use it to compare and evaluate concentrations of CO2.
Indeed, similar to the NDIR cells frequently used to monitor emissions from car exhausts.

So my observation is that the transfer of excess energy to neighbouring molecules is limited to saturation
of those neighbouring molecules, and only to those who would be “willing and able” to accept those photons of the applicable absorptive region, because of their own specific absorptive behavior pattern,

How did you observe that your spectrometer only allows you to monitor how much is absorbed, not what happens to that energy subsequently?

agreed? No, during the lifetime of the excited state of say, CO2, it will experience 1,000s of collisions with other air molecules, those which have appropriately spaced energy levels will be able to transfer some of that energy more efficiently. That’s why N2 is used as an energy transfer medium in a CO2 laser, it has an excited state energy level that matches the desired excited vibrational state of CO2, the N2 can be excited using an electric discharge but can’t radiate so it transfers the energy efficiently to CO2 by collisions, thus setting up a population inversion and lasing.

Next, we have to first agree that the only way it is possible for us to measure radiation specific to CO2 coming back to us via the moon, must mean that in the absorptive region, the molecule starts acting like a little (round) mirror.

No we don’t it’s nonsense!

IMHO I have to see the CO2 molecule as infinitely small and therefore approaching a spherical like structure. The moment the molecule is hit by radiation, the absorptive regions fill up until saturation and the molecule then starts his behavior as a little round mirror (in the absorptive regions). Now, assuming it (the molecule) was a pure sphere, (which it probably isn’t), then I have to calculate that when it is hit by light and it starts acting like a little round spherical spinning mirror, its immediate and continuous return in a radius of 180 degrees must be 62,5% in the direction where the light came from. The rest is going the other way.

This just doesn’t happen, the CO2 either absorbs or it doesn’t there’s no ‘little mirror’ activity.
The CO2 light you see reflected from the moon is emitted from excited molecules high in the atmosphere and leaves the atmosphere because it doesn’t encounter an absorbing molecule on the way.

237. RKS says:

Just a thought……..

TSI is accepted to be 240Wm^2 mean over the 24 hour cycle, adding energy to the globe at the rate of 240 Joule.sec.m^2 over 24 hours.

TSI in = TSI out.

Over the same time period the Earth’s surface is accepted to be dissipating power at the rate of 390Wm^2 – 390 joule.sec.m^2.

I have a closed electrical circuit, which is subject to the same physical laws as the atmosphere where energy is concerned, which draws a current of 1 amp from a 240V dc supply – 240W.

I can even include switched capacitors to simulate absorption and emission in GHG’s.

If anyone can suggest any way of dissipating 390W within that closed circuit, without the addition of a secondary source of energy, they could well be on the way to a Nobel prize.

Of course, Nikolov and Zeller offer a perfect way to account for the increased energy level at the surface, but somehow I don’t think that fits in with those whose intellects have been skewed by the radiative physics concept.

238. Bart says:

RKS says:
March 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm

“Over the same time period the Earth’s surface is accepted to be dissipating power at the rate of 390Wm^2 – 390 joule.sec.m^2.”

The power is not all being dissipated. If you want an electrical analogy, read up on cavity resonators.

239. R Kcin says:

Simplified models are useful up to a point. But do any of the models replicate the temperature profile of the atmosphere? Robert Clemenzi’s theory makes a strong case for no green house effect from CO2. http://mc-computing.com/qs/Global_Warming/EPA_Comments/TheGreenhouseEffect.doc In light of this theory one has a strong foundation for fundamentally doubting the GHE.
Another piece of data is the chemical method of CO2 measurement showing early 19th century levels above the current values at a time when the average temperature was lower. http://www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/ (see Figure 2) So no correlation of temps and CO2; as Willie Soon says: no correlation, no causation.
Now who is denying what?

240. HenryP says:

Phil. says >>>….<<<>>>This just doesn’t happen, the CO2 either absorbs or it doesn’t there’s no ‘little mirror’ activity.
The CO2 light you see reflected from the moon is emitted from excited molecules high in the atmosphere and leaves the atmosphere because it doesn’t encounter an absorbing molecule on the way<<<>>>>You have to understand what actually happens when we put a beam of light of certain wavelength on a sample of liquid or gas. I do, arising out of several decades of research work using spectrometry, publishing papers on that work and teaching the subject to the graduate level!>>>>>

>>>>>I happen to be familiar with spectrophotometry.
Your posts appear to contradict this statement<<<<<

Geewish, you must be feeling bad for not teaching your children well, hence your need to fall back on insulting me. Now is the time to put things right.

241. Laws of Nature says:

Bart wrote
“[..]Now, you add blue dye to your inflow, but the rate remains the same. Thus, the level in the bucket remains the same. But, at any time before the dye has thoroughly diffused and the blue water has replaced the original volume, there is a color gradient established whereby the upper levels are bluer than the lower levels.
This by itself shows that Ferdinand’s assumptions are too simplistic. But, we can make the analogy even better. Now, we make the hole at the bottom slightly smaller. [..]”

This is close to what I am trying to say.. Beside that we add blue dyed water (which Ferdinand is not getting tired to point out) and the level is increasing and Essenhigh would point out that someone has tampered with the hole in the bucket as well (his data proves it) and this has the far bigger effect.

Thus I said the isotope signature does not hold “any” information about the increase but marks one source. (If we wouldn’t know how much fossil fuel we burn, this might actually be valuable information)
Thanks BTW for your post supporting my point, I was wondering if my English is not clear enough, since FE kept repeating himself. My conclusion is, that whatever FE wrote here so far does not prove anything and he will seriously have to deal with Segalstad and Essenhigh instead of brushing them of with “we produced additional CO2, thus it must be the reason”.
It is not in a bucket experiment because numbers telling half the story are not good enough.

242. HenryP says:

lessons
not@Phil.

Definition, GH effect
“The Earth’s surface and the clouds absorb visible and invisible radiation from the sun and re-emit much of the energy as infrared back to the atmosphere. Certain substances in the atmosphere, chiefly cloud droplets and water vapor, but also carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, and chlorofluorocarbons, absorb this infrared, and re-radiate it in all directions including back to Earth.”

The best way to experience re-radiation for yourself is to stand in a dark forest just before dawn on a cloudless night. Note that water vapour also absorbs in the visible region of the spectrum. So as the first light of sun hits on the water vapour you can see the light coming from every direction. Left, right, bottom up, top down. You can see this for yourself until of course the sun’s light becomes too bright in the darkness for you to observe the re-radiated light from the water vapour. This is also the reason why you will quickly grab for your sun glasses when humidity is high, because even with the sun shining for you from your back and driving in your car, you can feel on your eyes that the light from the sun is being re-radiated by the water vapor in the atmosphere.
A third way to experience how re-radiation works is to measure the humidity in the air and the temperature on a certain exposed plate, again on a cloudless day, at a certain time of day for a certain amount of time. Note that as the humidity goes up, and all else is being kept equal, the temperature effected by the sun on the plate is lower. This is because, like carbon dioxide, water vapour has absorption in the infra red part of the spectrum.
We can conclude from all these experiments that what actually happens is this:

in the wavelength areas where absorption takes place, the molecule seems to be acting like a little mirror, (=re-emission), the strength of which depends on the amount of absorption taking place inside the molecule.
The question I asked was if it is 50% or 62.5% being sent back in the direction where it came from, and if anyone knows, why do you say it is 50% or why do think it is 62,5%?

Unfortunately, in their time, Tyndall and Arrhenius could not see the whole picture of the spectrum of a gas which is why they got stuck on seeing only the warming properties of a gas (i.e. the closed box experiments).
If people would understand this principle, they would not singularly identify green house gases (GHG’s) by pointing at the areas in the 5-20 um region (where earth emits pre-dominantly) but they would also look in the area 0-5 um (where the sun emits pre-dominantly) for possible cooling effects. For comprehensive proof that, for example, CO2 is (also) cooling the atmosphere by re-radiating sunshine, see

http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec

They measured this re-radiation from CO2 as it bounced back to earth from the moon. So the direction was sun-earth-moon-earth. Follow the green line in fig. 6, bottom. Note that it already starts at 1.2 um, then one peak at 1.4 um, then various peaks at 1.6 um and 3 big peaks at 2 um. You can see that it all comes back to us via the moon in fig. 6 top & fig. 7. Note that even methane cools the atmosphere by re-radiating in the 2.2 to 2.4 um range.

This paper here shows that there is absorption of CO2 at between 0.21 and 0.19 um (close to 202 nm):
http://www.nat.vu.nl/en/sec/atom/Publications/pdf/DUV-CO2.pdf
There are other papers that I can look for again that will show that there are also absorptions of CO2 at between 0.18 and 0.135 um and between 0.125 and 0.12 um.
We already know from the normal IR spectra that CO2 has big absorption between 4 and 5 um.

So, to sum it up, we know that CO2 has absorption in the 14-16 um range causing some warming (by re-radiating earthshine) but as shown and proved above it also has a number of absorptions in the 0-5 um range causing cooling (by re-radiating sunshine). Unlike what Phil. wants us to believe, (“just a few molecules re-emitting in the upper atmosphere”) this cooling happens at all levels where the sunshine hits on the carbon dioxide same as the earthshine. The way from the bottom to the top is the same as from top to the bottom. So, my question is, again: how much cooling and how much warming is caused by the CO2? How was the experiment done to determine this and where are the test results?
Obviously I could not get any such results, so I went and found my own answers here:
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

If in fact an increase in GHG’s were to be blamed for warming, you would expect to find the pattern of warming being that minima are pushing up the average temperatures.
I find the opposite is happening: increasing maxima are pushing up the average temps and the minima at a ratio of 7:3:1.
that means: more intense sunshine and/or less clouds and/or less ozone shielding and/or….
Either way, carbon dioxide is clearly not a factor in our climate.

243. RKS says:

Bart says:
March 2, 2012 at 8:07 pm

RKS says:
March 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm

“Over the same time period the Earth’s surface is accepted to be dissipating power at the rate of 390Wm^2 – 390 joule.sec.m^2.”

The power is not all being dissipated. If you want an electrical analogy, read up on cavity resonators.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The surface is behaving as a bog standard heat sink.

It is dissipating power at the rate of 390Wm^2 [mean] day in, day out.

If it’s not doing that, it can’t be measured.

Even cavity resonators require a source of energy!

I find it odd that Earth’s atmosphere alone is thought by some to be somehow exempt from the universally held physical laws. When we talk of power we are describing work done by a quantity of energy over time. 10W requires more energy than 5W – 390W requires more energy than 240W, the extra energy has to come from somewhere – and gases don’t create it out of thin ‘air’.

244. Bart says:

RKS says:
March 3, 2012 at 3:43 am

“The surface is behaving as a bog standard heat sink.”

You’ve been hanging out with Myrrh too long. Either that, or you are Myrrh. I’ve never known anyone else to use that curious phrase.

You clearly do not understand how to do an energy balance, and what the difference is between energy and energy flux (more precisely, energy time flux or power). This sort of gobsmacking display of supremely confident know-nothing-ism is precisely what gives true skeptics a bad name.

245. Bart says:

Laws of Nature says:
March 3, 2012 at 12:04 am

“…I was wondering if my English is not clear enough, since FE kept repeating himself.”

I don’t think it was a language problem – I did not even realize that English was not your native tongue. You just needed to illustrate your point explicitly. But, I understood what you were saying. It is something I have been considering for a long time.

Ferdinand and I have gone back and forth on this issue for I do not know how many years. I try repeatedly to explain to him that his thinking is static, ledger based accounting, and this is a dynamic system for which that is inappropriate, but he never gets it. I’m sure his absence now is not because he finally understands it, but because this thread is growing stale, and he has moved on. No doubt, we will argue the same points all over again at a later date.

Not that he’s a bad guy, or intellectually lacking, or is trying to pass off something underhandedly. He obviously believes earnestly that he has closed the case. He just does not understand where his case falls short. I hope you stick around to help me remind him that there are serious-minded people who understand that his analysis is, at best, inconclusive, even if he does not. Maybe, one day, we will get him to think it through more carefully.

246. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 2, 2012 at 11:52 pm
Phil. says “This just doesn’t happen, the CO2 either absorbs or it doesn’t there’s no ‘little mirror’ activity.
The CO2 light you see reflected from the moon is emitted from excited molecules high in the atmosphere and leaves the atmosphere because it doesn’t encounter an absorbing molecule on the way”
You have to understand what actually happens when we put a beam of light of certain wavelength on a sample of liquid or gas.
“I do, arising out of several decades of research work using spectrometry, publishing papers on that work and teaching the subject to the graduate level!”
I happen to be familiar with spectrophotometry.
“Your posts appear to contradict this statement”

Geewish, you must be feeling bad for not teaching your children well, hence your need to fall back on insulting me. Now is the time to put things right.

My first answer to this got lost so I’ll try again:

It’s not an insult, it’s a statement of fact based on your posts here, for example molecules don’t behave like little mirrors! Do yourself a favor and read up on the subject, don’t just make things up.

247. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 3, 2012 at 12:50 am
in the wavelength areas where absorption takes place, the molecule seems to be acting like a little mirror, (=re-emission), the strength of which depends on the amount of absorption taking place inside the molecule.
The question I asked was if it is 50% or 62.5% being sent back in the direction where it came from, and if anyone knows, why do you say it is 50% or why do think it is 62,5%?

As stated before any re-emitted light will be emitted in any direction, so from geometric considerations it will be neither of those, ~0%

If people would understand this principle, they would not singularly identify green house gases (GHG’s) by pointing at the areas in the 5-20 um region (where earth emits pre-dominantly) but they would also look in the area 0-5 um (where the sun emits pre-dominantly) for possible cooling effects.

Apart from the thermosphere the atmosphere isn’t hot enough to emit in that wavelength range.

For comprehensive proof that, for example, CO2 is (also) cooling the atmosphere by re-radiating sunshine, see

http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec

They measured this re-radiation from CO2 as it bounced back to earth from the moon. So the direction was sun-earth-moon-earth. Follow the green line in fig. 6, bottom. Note that it already starts at 1.2 um, then one peak at 1.4 um, then various peaks at 1.6 um and 3 big peaks at 2 um. You can see that it all comes back to us via the moon in fig. 6 top & fig. 7. Note that even methane cools the atmosphere by re-radiating in the 2.2 to 2.4 um range.

Those are absorption features in the reflected ‘earthshine’, it’s not cooling, in fact it’s an indication of absorption by the atmosphere!

This paper here shows that there is absorption of CO2 at between 0.21 and 0.19 um (close to 202 nm):
http://www.nat.vu.nl/en/sec/atom/Publications/pdf/DUV-CO2.pdf
There are other papers that I can look for again that will show that there are also absorptions of CO2 at between 0.18 and 0.135 um and between 0.125 and 0.12 um.
We already know from the normal IR spectra that CO2 has big absorption between 4 and 5 um.

Yeah which warm up the atmosphere.

So, to sum it up, we know that CO2 has absorption in the 14-16 um range causing some warming (by re-radiating earthshine) but as shown and proved above it also has a number of absorptions in the 0-5 um range causing cooling (by re-radiating sunshine).

They don’t!

Unlike what Phil. wants us to believe, (“just a few molecules re-emitting in the upper atmosphere”) this cooling happens at all levels where the sunshine hits on the carbon dioxide same as the earthshine.
It’s conventional to use quotation marks to indicate what someone has posted, not make it up!

248. HenryP says:

Phil. says
As stated before any re-emitted light will be emitted in any direction, so from geometric considerations it will be neither of those, ~0%

Henry@Phil.
You keep on confusing things by making it zero now; although this is perhaps not incorrect, clearly the evidence of all my examples prove that it is re-radiated in all directions, so it is better to say: 360 degrees. In that case, if you are right, the back radiation represents at least 50% of on-coming light, once the moleculae are saturated with photons.
In the case of say 100 photons of light of 15 um wave length coming from earth, hitting on a CO2 molecule, that is already filled up until saturation 14-16, (which it should be because earth emits 24 hours per day), 50 photons will be returned to earth, leading to a delay in cooling (i.e a delay in reaching the top of the atmosphere), leading to a warming effect.

Phil. says:
Those are absorption features in the reflected ‘earthshine’, IT’S NOT COOLING, , in fact it’s an indication of absorption by the atmosphere.

Henry@Phil.
Clearly this idea comes from your bagage of the past that you donot want to let go off because this is what you taught your children wrong.
In the case of say, 100 photons of wavelength 4.5, for example, coming from the sun, hitting on a CO2 molecule, that is already filled up until saturation 4-5 (which it should be after a few seconds of sunshine), 50 photons will be returned to space. Clearly, apart from H2O, there not many substances in the air that can also absorb at between 4 and 5 um. Chances are that it may hit on another H2O or CO2 molecule on the way back up to space, but that one will also already be filled up, so it moves higher. Eventually it leaves the atmosphere, leading to cooling, i.e never reaching earth. Hence the reason why we can measure it after it bounced on the moon and came back to earth.
So, in fact, there was really nothing wrong in trying to visialize what happens by comparing the molecule acting like a little round mirror in the absorptive region. Clearly if the CO2 was not there on top of me, more light of 4-5 um from the sun would hit ME on my head.

Now, I know there are those who say: we already counted that in earth albedo, or: we already discounted that in the measurement of incoming SW. Obviously that kind of thinking defies all logic. If you want to prove that CO2 is a GHG you have to come to me with test results that will show me exactly as to how much cooling and how much warming is caused by the CO2.
Agreed?

Anyway, clearly nobody had the answers to this question, so I had to find it myself.
It appeared that carbon dioxide is clearly not a factor in our climate.
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

249. Somebody sent me the link to this page and ruined my day: according to Dr. Singer, I am the kind of “denier” that “gives skeptics a bad name”. And I will admit it freely.

You see, I have actually written a book about the misconceptions of anthropogenic global warming; I took pains to substantiate every claim with news sources and scientific articles (ended up with 425 footnotes – which some regard as an overkill). And yes, I have claimed (and still claim) that “CO2 levels were much higher in the 19th century” – with sources, e.g. “180 Years accurate CO2 – Gasanalysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short version); Dipl. Biol. Ernst-Georg Beck, Merian-Schule Freiburg, 8/2006” (http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/180_years_accurate_co2_chemical_methods1.pdf) and “Gas Analysis in Air 1800 –1961” (http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2/CO2databaserev3.pdf). Also, aerial concentration of CO2 derived on basis of stomata clearly indicate that carbon dioxide varies considerably more that indicated by the smooth handle of IPCC’s “hockey stick” (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/26/co2-ice-cores-vs-plant-stomata/).

I have also claimed (and still claim) that “CO2 levels are increasing in the 20th century … the source is release of dissolved CO2 from the warming ocean”. And unlike Dr. Singer I do not believe that this “does not apply to the 20th century: isotopic and other evidence destroys their case”. As far as I could ascertain, the only “isotopic evidence” is the article Prentice et al. (2001) “The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide”— in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (TAR, 2001). It is based on the assumption that CO2 outgassed from the ocean
can be differentiated from CO2 contribution of fossil fuel combustion by ratio of carbon isotopes 12C v.13C. Prentice et al notes that plants with C3-type metabolism exhibit a “bias” in favor of 12C. Therefore, when C3-type plant material is burned – like with coal – the resulting CO2 is somewhat 13C deficient and will eventually reduce the share of 13C in atmospheric CO2, which has been observed.

But Prentice et al seems to ignore the fact that 95% of all living (and dying) green plants have C3-type metabolism. So decay of leaves or grass or marine algae inject into the atmosphere the same 13C deficient CO2 as burning of fossil fuels – and plant decay accounts for over 10-times the CO2 emitted by combustion of fossil fuels. So the conclusion of Prentice et al is wrong – there is no “isotopic signature” of human emissions of CO2 – which might explain why it was published in IPCC TAR (but not in any peer-reviewed magazine).

I could attest to more of my “denier sins” (as castigated by Dr. Singer), but this response is already too long. I just want to add that at times like this I wish I could join the other side: they pay better, and they are not (publicly) “embarrassed” by their allies.

250. Bart says:

Mišo Alkalaj says:
March 6, 2012 at 1:40 am

Moreover, as I pointed out above, it takes time for our input at the top of the system to diffuse throughout, so you would expect the ratio to be altered whether we are responsible for the overall rise or not. That is the point “Laws of Nature” was trying to get across, and it is a valid one.

251. HenryP says:

Henry@bart

Hi Bart, I was just wondering: do you know the principle of carbon dating?
Not that I disagree with anything you have said,
I also believe the ratio of C12/13 cannot possibly tell us how much of the CO2 in the air is human induced or natural – i.e coming from the oceans : heat + HCO3=> CO2 + H2O.
I just cannot remember how they do carbon dating on bones and articles and stuff from the past.

252. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 6, 2012 at 11:05 am
Henry@bart

Hi Bart, I was just wondering: do you know the principle of carbon dating?
Not that I disagree with anything you have said,
I also believe the ratio of C12/13 cannot possibly tell us how much of the CO2 in the air is human induced or natural – i.e coming from the oceans : heat + HCO3=> CO2 + H2O.
I just cannot remember how they do carbon dating on bones and articles and stuff from the past.

C14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon, which has a halflife of about 5000 years. The age of an artifact is based on the residual activity due to C14. Doesn’t work in some situations, near volcanic vents for example.

253. Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of carbon containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons in its nucleus. It is generated constantly in upper atmosphere, by absorption of thermal neutrons (coming from space) by Nitrogen-14. The half-life of 14C is 5,730 ± 40 years (it decays back into Nitrogen-14), so the generation and decay keep its atmospheric content in balance at 0.0000000001% of the carbon in the atmosphere.

Green plants absorb atmospheric CO2 and incorporate it in their structures, including 14C. So as long as they live and grow, the ratio of 14C to other C in their structures will be (app.) the same as in the air. Ditto for animal life (including us) which in the final instance live on plant produce. But when a plant or animal dies, it ceases to incorporate new 14C and what is in its body just decays. So the age of a dead biological structure can be determined by measuring the ratio of 14C v. other C in it.

The reason this does not work “near volcanic vents” (actually near any sources of subterranean CO2 such as springs of naturally carbonated mineral water) is that “underground” CO2 has typically been sequestered for so long that all its 14C has decayed. Plants growing near such vents therefore incorporate 14C-free CO2 – if a fresh leaf of such a plant is analyzed by radiocarbon dating, it will appear to be over 60.000 years old.

However, we did increase aerial concentration of 14C in 1950-60s: during the period of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons these contributed additional thermal neutrons which about doubled the amount of 14C in some areas (the peak of atmospheric 14C was in 1960-1965). Plants growing in that period therefore incorporated more 14C, so unmodified radiocarbon dating would classify them as younger than they actually are. So radiocarbon labs apply corrective factors for that particular period.

Which is relevant to IPCC assumption that CO2 remains in the atmosphere for over 100 years. In fact, measurements of aerial 14C have demonstrated that over 80% (of additional 14C generated by atmospheric nuclear tests) was absorbed within 25 years (given the half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years it could not have decayed).

254. HenryP says:

Henry@Phil.&Miso

Thanks for the info, this helps me quite a bit,
it makes sense to believe that C14 generation stops when the plant/animal is dead,
as explained.
Do you know how they measure that ratio, C12/C14
especially with that much accuracy?

Henry@ those who followed my argument with Phil.

I am still not convinced the back radiation is only 50% of oncoming light.
I think the form of a molecule more or less approximates that of a sphere,
therefore the second the molecule is hit by radiation,
and it is filled to saturation,
I think it returns ca. 62.5% of oncoming light in a radius of 180 degrees, at the absorptive regions,
and the rest goes the other way.
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

255. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 7, 2012 at 6:59 am
Henry@Phil.&Miso

Thanks for the info, this helps me quite a bit,
it makes sense to believe that C14 generation stops when the plant/animal is dead,
as explained.
Do you know how they measure that ratio, C12/C14
especially with that much accuracy?

For large samples the number of counts/gram of carbon measured by scintillation counter is sufficiently accurate. For very small samples mass spectroscopy is used. Because the level of C14 in the air fluctuates a calibration curve is applied which compensates for this using samples of known age. Measurements are made relative to the levels in 1950 (before present) the reference standard being sugar harvested in that year if I recall correctly, (this is to avoid the nuclear testing contamination referred to above.

Henry@ those who followed my argument with Phil.

I am still not convinced the back radiation is only 50% of oncoming light.
I think the form of a molecule more or less approximates that of a sphere,
therefore the second the molecule is hit by radiation,
and it is filled to saturation,
I think it returns ca. 62.5% of oncoming light in a radius of 180 degrees, at the absorptive regions,
and the rest goes the other way.

Well you’re wrong, a molecule that has absorbed a photon doesn’t become a reflector it either absorbs another one or there’s no interaction and that photon keeps on going. Any emission from the excited molecule has an equal chance of going in any direction, near the surface a large fraction of the excited molecules ore collisionally deactivated anyway.

256. HenryP says:

Phil. says
a molecule that has absorbed a photon doesn’t become a reflector it either absorbs another one or there’s no interaction

Henry says:
You are still not getting it. I was hoping you did see it. I am getting desperate (with you).
Obviously it must be filled with many photons at the absorptive region, before it becomes reflective,
cq. deflective
hence, how else would you explain same radiation coming back to us via the moon?>
see fig 6 top and fig 7 here:
http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec

257. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 7, 2012 at 10:22 am
Phil. says
“a molecule that has absorbed a photon doesn’t become a reflector it either absorbs another one or there’s no interaction”

Henry says:
You are still not getting it. I was hoping you did see it. I am getting desperate (with you).
Obviously it must be filled with many photons at the absorptive region, before it becomes reflective,
cq. deflective
hence, how else would you explain same radiation coming back to us via the moon?>
see fig 6 top and fig 7 here:

OK Henry I’ll try to explain what you’re seeing.
Lower part of Fig 6:
This is the clear sky spectrum i.e. no cloud effects.
The sunlight passes through the atmosphere and some weak absorptions occur (red, green, orange lines). That sunlight minus the absorptions reflects from the Earth and passes through the atmosphere again and more absorption occurs in the same lines. It then reflects back from the moon and executes a third pass through the atmosphere and then is detected by the telescope. So what you’re seeing is the spectrum resulting from a triple pass through the atmosphere. If any of those features were strong absorption features you’d detect zero signal at the line. The upper part of the figure includes the effect of clouds and ground reflectivity, you can see the dark bands from the molecular species there too.

258. HenryP says:

Phil. says:
So what you’re seeing is the spectrum resulting from a triple pass through the atmosphere

Henry says:
I think you do not understand what they are doing. I quote from the paper:
the current bestway to study the spectral characteristics of planet Earth is to
observe earthshine, the faint light seen on the night side of the
crescent Moon. Earthshine is light reflected from the sunlightilluminated
(day side) Earth onto the night side of theMoon and
back again into our telescopes on the night-side Earth.

So here is what really happens:
Sunshine falls on the earth, a number of substances (mostly GHG’s) absorb this sunlight, namely, especially water and CO2, leading to re-radiation or back radiation.
The earthshine (FROM THE SUNLIGHT ILLUMINATED) dayside of earth falls on the night side of the moon. From the moon it travels back, now to the night side of earth where the absorption spectra are picked up. Note that we are only looking at near infra red spectra and earth does emit this at night.
So, there is no “triple” by-pass or anything like that.
You are seeing happening what I have been saying from the start: In the absorptive region of the substances sun light is re-radiated or back radiated or deflected or reflected, whichever term you prefer, leading to cooling, i.e. if the CO2 were not there for us, more light of 2 and 4 um would hit us on our heads.

Please tell me that you understand it now.

259. HenryP says:

Sorry,
Note that we are only looking at near infra red spectra and earth does emit this at night.

should be
Note that we are only looking at near infra red spectra and earth does NOT emit this at night.

260. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 7, 2012 at 11:13 pm
Phil. says:
So what you’re seeing is the spectrum resulting from a triple pass through the atmosphere

Henry says:
I think you do not understand what they are doing. I quote from the paper:
the current bestway to study the spectral characteristics of planet Earth is to
observe earthshine, the faint light seen on the night side of the
crescent Moon. Earthshine is light reflected from the sunlightilluminated
(day side) Earth onto the night side of theMoon and
back again into our telescopes on the night-side Earth.

I understand it very well, it’s as I outlined above.

So here is what really happens:
Sunshine falls on the earth, a number of substances (mostly GHG’s) absorb this sunlight, namely, especially water and CO2, leading to re-radiation or back radiation.

There is no re-radiation at those frequencies, look at fig 6, you’ll see the absorption in those bands compared with the clouds.

The earthshine (FROM THE SUNLIGHT ILLUMINATED) dayside of earth falls on the night side of the moon. From the moon it travels back, now to the night side of earth where the absorption spectra are picked up. Note that we are only looking at near infra red spectra and earth does emit this at night.

The earth emits IR at both day and night, but not in the 0.7-2.4 μm range!

So, there is no “triple” by-pass or anything like that., it’s triple pass not bypass!

You are seeing happening what I have been saying from the start: In the absorptive region of the substances sun light is re-radiated or back radiated or deflected or reflected, whichever term you prefer, leading to cooling, i.e. if the CO2 were not there for us, more light of 2 and 4 um would hit us on our heads.

The CO2 is absorbing which is why there is less reflected light in the CO2 bands of the light reflected from the moon, read the paper carefully.

Please tell me that you understand it now.
I do!

261. HenryP says:

Phil.

You don’t understand. You are still being confused by the term “absorbs”;
unfortunately many people are. I wished they had stayed with the term “extinction”.
let’s try this:
in the solar spectrum below you see the yellow (TSI) measured on top of the atmosphere.
The red is what actually lands on earth at sea level, on a cloudless day.
Now, according to your thinking, where did the difference go, exactly?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png

262. HenryP says:

Well, Phil,
Why so quiet? You are the “expert”. But I know your thinking, because I heard it many times before,
and I know you were going to say that the odd 30% of sunlight not reaching earth is somehow “absorbed” in the atmosphere and mostly passed on as “heat” to neighbouring molecules….
But now how can that be,
if earth’s albedo has also been calculated as 30%?
Clearly, that does not add up?
How is it possible for a tiny bit of ozone in the upper atmosphere to strike off almost 20% of all incoming sunlight, especially in the UV region?
We know that ozone absorbs in the UV region (as also evident from the previously referred-to paper)
The only way for this to be is if things happen exactly as I told you: the Ozone absorbs UV light and re-radiates it, at least 50% of all on-coming light in a radius of 180 degrees the direction where it came from…
(I still think it is 62,5%, if the molecule approximates a sphere – I was hoping for an expert to tell me, but clearly I am the only expert here).

“Absorbed” was the wrong term to have been used by the analytical chemists. They should have continued with the term “extinction”, meaning the light is lost – it went the other way.

Please tell me that you do understand it now.

BTW you might have picked up on the way (if you really studied the paper and graphs ) that O2 also absorbs (and therefore re-radiates). Last time you still argued with me that oxygen does not have any absorptions.

263. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 9, 2012 at 8:03 am
Well, Phil,
Why so quiet? You are the “expert”.

Yes I am, but I also have a life and only just saw this post!

But I know your thinking, because I heard it many times before,
and I know you were going to say that the odd 30% of sunlight not reaching earth is somehow “absorbed” in the atmosphere and mostly passed on as “heat” to neighbouring molecules….
But now how can that be,
if earth’s albedo has also been calculated as 30%?
Clearly, that does not add up?

Sorry, your mind-reading failed you this time, the Bond Albedo is “is the fraction of power in the total electromagnetic radiation incident on an astronomical body that is scattered back out into space”, so I would have told you that it was scattered back unchanged into space.

How is it possible for a tiny bit of ozone in the upper atmosphere to strike off almost 20% of all incoming sunlight, especially in the UV region?
We know that ozone absorbs in the UV region (as also evident from the previously referred-to paper)

It’s a very strong absorber of UV. Below 240 nm O2 is a very strong absorber of UV which causes the O2 to disintegrate into two O atoms. Note that the O2 is unable to re-radiate because it no longer exists! One of those O atoms can form a molecule of O3 if it collides with an O2 molecule but it needs to collide with another molecule (e.g. N2) to remove some of the excess energy so that the O3 molecule doesn’t rapidly fall apart. The O3 is extremely effective at absorbing UV around 250nm, however that causes the O3 molecule to fall apart into O2 + O.
Yet again the O3 will not re-radiate because it no longer exists! This process is known as photodissociation, I suggest you look it up.

The only way for this to be is if things happen exactly as I told you: the Ozone absorbs UV light and re-radiates it, at least 50% of all on-coming light in a radius of 180 degrees the direction where it came from…

As shown above chemists who know what they are talking about find the Chapman mechanism more persuasive.

(I still think it is 62,5%, if the molecule approximates a sphere – I was hoping for an expert to tell me, but clearly I am the only expert here).

You have been told you just won’t listen. What exactly is meant by “in a radius of 180 degrees the direction where it came from…”, is not very clear, radii are distances, not angles. In any case you should be using solid angles. 50 % of the re-radiated light will be emitted within 90º of the direction of the incident photon. Where on earth you get 62.5% from is a mystery.

“Absorbed” was the wrong term to have been used by the analytical chemists. They should have continued with the term “extinction”, meaning the light is lost – it went the other way.

No, they knew what they were doing!

Please tell me that you do understand it now.

I always did, you on the other hand…..

BTW you might have picked up on the way (if you really studied the paper and graphs ) that O2 also absorbs
Yes, some rather weak bands in the visible and near IR which are orders of magnitude weaker than neighboring water bands, the ones that show up in the reflection spectrum happen to lie in gaps in the water spectrum.

(and therefore re-radiates). Last time you still argued with me that oxygen does not have any absorptions.

In the IR appropriate to the Earth’s energy budget it does not, the solitary band at around 6.46 microns is swamped by many orders of magnitude by CO2 (hundreds of billions of times weaker) and similarly by water. I’ve posted about this here before.

264. HenryP says:

Henry@Phil.
The formation of ozone from UV and O2 is clear
UV + 3O2 => 6O => 2O3
Then same ozone turns against the UV sunlight absorbing it, until saturation, and starts deflecting it, when the UV falls on it..
Why now turn this into some kind of different process as those when a certain type of radiation bounces off the absorptive regions of water and CO2?
The reason I say 62.5 % has to do with the fact that the molecule is probably more likely to be shaped as a sphere, so that, when it has absorbed photons to capacity, it must start emitting back at least 62.5 of incident radiation in a radius of 180 degrees. It is a similar effect to putting your car lights on bright in misty/humid/mosit conditions: your light is returned to you

265. Gail Combs says:

“Divide and Conquer” Mr. Singer?

But then again that is a tried and true method for dealing with the “Enemy” and we should not fall for it. Unfortunately it works so well that it is used very often by those craving power. The attack by other horsemen on Rodeos and Carriage horses come to mind as an example. Also the recent successful attack on small farmers in the USA when it is Corporate practices that are to blame for food poisoning.

There are many many other examples of “Divide and Conquer” so I guess it should not be a surprise that “Deniers” are now subject to this method of attack.

266. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 9, 2012 at 10:52 am
Henry@Phil.
The formation of ozone from UV and O2 is clear
UV + 3O2 => 6O => 2O3

It is clear, but that’s not it, the Chapman mechanism is well established and tested:
O2 + hν ➔2 O k1 (s-1) (1)
O + O2 + M ➔O3 + M k2 (cm6 molecule-2 s-1) (2)
O3 + hν ➔O + O2 k3 (s-1) (3)
O + O3 ➔ 2 O k4 (cm3 molecules-1 s-1) (4)
M is any non-reactive species that can take up the energy released in reaction (2) to stabilize O3.

You’ll find a good account of this at:
http://www.columbia.edu/itc/chemistry/chem-c2407/hw/ozone_kinetics.pdf

Then same ozone turns against the UV sunlight absorbing it, until saturation, and starts deflecting it, when the UV falls on it..

No, your concept of tiny mirrors isn’t correct! Even more so in this case since the O3 falls apart once it absorbs the first photon.

Why now turn this into some kind of different process as those when a certain type of radiation bounces off the absorptive regions of water and CO2?
The reason I say 62.5 % has to do with the fact that the molecule is probably more likely to be shaped as a sphere, so that, when it has absorbed photons to capacity, it must start emitting back at least 62.5 of incident radiation in a radius of 180 degrees.

Why must it?

It is a similar effect to putting your car lights on bright in misty/humid/mosit conditions: your light is returned to you

You are confusing elastic scattering from particles of size greater than the wavelength of light (Fraunhofer scattering) with elastic scattering from molecules which are much smaller than the wavelength (Rayleigh scattering). Neither relates to the absorption and re-emission which we are discussing here. In either case the ratio of back scattering to forward scattering is not 5/3 as you assert, in the molecular scattering case it’s 1 (i.e. 50% each way). Note that under the conditions you describe if a car with its headlights on approaches you then a lot of the light is scattered towards you, as well as backwards.

267. Gail Combs says:

I am most definately with CodeTech on this:

“Personally I find this to be one of the most offensive posts and subsequent batch of comments that I’ve yet seen on WUWT…..”

Not only that I would make the three catagories, Warmist, Skeptic and Trojan Horse.

It is the Trojan Horses and not those Singer calls Deniers who are the real threat. Unfortunately we see them here at WUWT all the time. So much so that I sometimes wonder if a different Trojan Horse is assigned a specific topic and paid to write comments that refute skepticism on that particular topic.

268. HenryP says:

Henry@Phil.

Nevermind how the ozone layer is formed, the important thing is to remember that there is a thin layer of ozone on top of (most) of earth to shield us from the harmful UV; BTW ozone is also formed by electrical storms, and countless human processes, like pumps, electro motors, vacuum cleaners, etc..
Now on to the next graph:
http://www.google.co.za/imgresmgurl=http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/userimages/Sun2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/page11.htm&h=965&w=963&sz=341&tbnid=I4bPEwmMiTNtKM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=90&zoom=1&docid=Y0dkNn0-Wh0hUM&sa=X&ei=OOtaT8WOK8LMhAeXx8yoBA&ved=0CEoQ9QEwBQ&dur=2256

On the bottom below we see the spectra and infra red spectra of the individual components. This is what you must study carefully. See how the absorptions of the spectra affects the outgoing radiation of earth and see how it affects the incoming radiation. For example, let us look at the absorption of ozone at around 10-11 um? It makes a dent in earth’s out going radiation at 10-11.Do you see that?
In other words what happens: Radiation from earth of 10-11 goes up, hits on the ozone, which is already absorpbed to capacity and therefore a great percentage (at least 50%, probably more) is sent back to earth, leading to entrapment of heat, leading to a warming effect.
Also look at water vapor and CO2 around 2 um and see how that makes a dent in the incoming solar radiation.

The only explanation that is possbile is that when the absorptive regions are filled, it starts re-radiating.
It starts behaving like a little mirror in the absorptive regions.
As per the definition of the GH effect (trapping of heat on earth), look here
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/29/climate-deniers-are-giving-us-skeptics-a-bad-name/#comment-911368

Similarly, you also have a cooling effect (re-radiation & subsequent deflection of radiation to space), because that definition can also be applied for substances reacting under incoming sunlight.

Now if those people who figured out there is a warming effect (i.e. earth emmission bouncing back from clouds, CO2, water vapor, ozone etc) can also figure out how much each of he GHG’s are cooling the atmosphere?

269. HenryP says:
270. HenryP says:

Henry@Phil
I have updated my own blog a bit,
Please do let me know if there is anything there that you (still) do not agree with
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

271. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 9, 2012 at 10:41 pm
Henry@Phil.

Nevermind how the ozone layer is formed, the important thing is to remember that there is a thin layer of ozone on top of (most) of earth to shield us from the harmful UV;

Well it does matter in the context of your ‘explanation’ of its formation and hypothesis of ‘re-emission’ of UV radiation.

Now on to the next graph:
http://www.google.co.za/imgresmgurl=http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/userimages/Sun2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/page11.htm&h=965&w=963&sz=341&tbnid=I4bPEwmMiTNtKM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=90&zoom=1&docid=Y0dkNn0-Wh0hUM&sa=X&ei=OOtaT8WOK8LMhAeXx8yoBA&ved=0CEoQ9QEwBQ&dur=2256

On the bottom below we see the spectra and infra red spectra of the individual components. This is what you must study carefully. See how the absorptions of the spectra affects the outgoing radiation of earth and see how it affects the incoming radiation. For example, let us look at the absorption of ozone at around 10-11 um? It makes a dent in earth’s out going radiation at 10-11.Do you see that?

Yes, O3 has absorbed IR radiation from the earth.

In other words what happens: Radiation from earth of 10-11 goes up, hits on the ozone, which is already absorpbed to capacity and therefore a great percentage (at least 50%, probably more) is sent back to earth, leading to entrapment of heat, leading to a warming effect.

The highlighted statement has no basis in fact, where did you get it from?

Also look at water vapor and CO2 around 2 um and see how that makes a dent in the incoming solar radiation.

Yes, H2O and CO2 are absorbing incoming solar radiation and rapidly transferring the energy to the surrounding air molecules.

The only explanation that is possbile is that when the absorptive regions are filled, it starts re-radiating.
It starts behaving like a little mirror in the absorptive regions.

No, this does not happen, the explanation is as I gave it above, in fact in this case there is clearly no re-emission, look at the graph! The absorptive regions do not fill.

As per the definition of the GH effect (trapping of heat on earth), look here
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/29/climate-deniers-are-giving-us-skeptics-a-bad-name/#comment-911368

Similarly, you also have a cooling effect (re-radiation & subsequent deflection of radiation to space), because that definition can also be applied for substances reacting under incoming sunlight.

Only if those substances are at ~5000K, see S-B law.

Now if those people who figured out there is a warming effect (i.e. earth emmission bouncing back from clouds, CO2, water vapor, ozone etc) can also figure out how much each of he GHG’s are cooling the atmosphere?

They can, it’s been done by Clough and Iacono, see for example http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1995/95JD01386.shtml

272. Phil. says:

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1995/95JD01386.shtml

Henry, it’s still wrong starting from where you argue that it should be extinction not absorption.

273. HenryP says:

Phil. says
4) “Well it does matter in the context of your ‘explanation’ of its formation and hypothesis of ‘re-emission’ of UV radiation.”3) “The highlighted statement has no basis in fact, where did you get it from?”
2) Yes, H2O and CO2 are absorbing incoming solar radiation and rapidly transferring the energy to the surrounding air molecules.
1) They can, it’s been done by Clough and Iacono, see for example http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1995/95JD01386.shtml

Henry@Phil.

Well, Phil. answering you backwards to forwards on your reply:

1) Quoting that paper you are now contradicting yourself. Are you saying you now believe that there is back radiation of sunshine by the GHG’s? I suggest you read the paper. The paper does not measure or calculate a cooling and warming rate for each of the GHG’s.

2) You still don’t get it. You keep thinking that “absorption” must be some kind of magical thing that continuously passes the light as energy on to neighbouring molecules. That is not happening, mostly. You still donot understand it. Why don’t you do the experiment with a spectrophotometer that will show you that this does not happen? Remember the O2 and N2 lets most radiation through. Let’s take one molecule CO2. There is a constant beam of light falling of 4 um on it, 12 hours per day. CO2 is used as fire retardant and does not conduct heat. In fact it insulates. How many substances in the air can take the re-radiated 4 um except the water? So it is re-radiated back to space. Hence we are able to measure as it bounces off from the moon back to earth.. Amazing actually, if you consider that the CO2 is only 0.04% of air.

3) Earth emits 24 hours per day 5-20 um, so it means that the (very thin) ozone layer at 10-11 microns must be filled up to capacity all of the time. Hence the 10-11 bounces back to earth, causing a delay in cooling.

4) Clearly, the graph/reprsentation that was quoted here
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/29/climate-deniers-are-giving-us-skeptics-a-bad-name/#comment-918080
shows that without the ozone and CO2 and H2O and other GHG’s you will get a lot more radiation on your head. In fact, you would probably fry.

Henry, it’s still wrong starting from where you argue that it should be extinction not absorption.

Henry@Phil.
Phil. I have given you many examples that you can actually do for yourself to experience how re-radiation works. You keep hanging on to a theory that does not make sense with the observations.
I feel bad that you did not teach your children well. You have a thick head.
Let us agree to disagree on this, as I think we did before.

274. Phil. says:

Mods, my reply to this appears to be in limbo.

[REPLY: There is nothing in the queue. Your last post was yesterday. Try entering again. -REP]

275. Brian H says:

Henry, sometimes you’s sensible, but …

CO2 is used as fire retardant and does not conduct heat. In fact it insulates

Um, nope. Nothing to do with insulation. It doesn’t support combustion, already being “combusted”. It stifles the fire, by excluding O2. So would pure N2, or Argon, or …

276. HenryP says:

Henry@BrianH
OK, you are right of course. I think I meant to say that air insulates, which is why you leave a strip of air between a double walled house. Phil thinks that if you put a beam of 2 or 4 um on CO2 (where CO2 absorbs), then that radiation is being continuously “absorbed” and “passed on” to neighbouring molecules as heat. Clearly this happens only up until absorption is complete (saturation). Subsequently the 2 and 4 is back radiated in all directions including back to the sun.
You agree?

277. Brian H says:

Henry;
I don’t think the concept applies. Each CO2 molecule is either activated by incoming IR at a particular instant, or has radiated or themally passed on the energy “load”. It is a transmitter, in other words. So is H2O, which is much more abundant. In any case, the sun warms the ground, the ground warms the air and radiates somewhat to space through the “window”, and the air radiates to space from various altitudes at various frequencies. All in all, the presence of GHGs facilitates transmission.

If there is any incremental warming of the surface, it would be only a result of “overlap” of incoming solar and a small portion of the energy it emitted towards the atmosphere being redirected by GHGs. Balancing that is the hastening of thermal energy into space by heightened OLR emission by the GHGs, after picking it up conductively from the non-GHGs. Spenser’s satellite findings that OLR varies directly and immediately with temperature means that some such mechanism is operating very efficiently. This is in contradiction to the “pure” GHG-GW models and theories. Monckton and others make much of this; the observed OLR rises with GHGs, in direct contradiction to the model results.

278. Brian H says:

Edit:”Monckton and others make much of this: the observed OLR rises with temperature, in direct contradiction to the model results.
This is thermostatic behavior, not “blanket” behavior.

279. HenryP says:

Henry@Brian

Don’t worry about the Gh effect caused by GHG’s. It does not feature as a cause for global warming
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming
We all know that./

Please see this paper here:

http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec

The direction of the radiation was: sun-earth (day)-moon(unlit by sun) -earth (night). Note that earth does not emit 0 – 2 um during the night. For CO2, follow the green line in fig. 6, bottom and see it all come to us via the moon in fig 7.

the question we had is by what mechanism – exactly – we are able to see radiation specific to the absorptive regions of CO2, H2O and others bouncing back to us via the moon.(fig 6 top, fig 7. )

I am saying it must be like this (the same as the GH principle):
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

I would very much appreciate if you can give me your opinion on this.

280. Brian H says:

HenryP says:
March 26, 2012 at 11:34 am

I would very much appreciate if you can give me your opinion on this.

I haven’t absorbed all the detail, and don’t consider myself necessarily qualified to judge the lunar reflection info.
But I have questions in my mind about the H2O vapour reflectivity, etc. That doesn’t sound right to me.

And this:

In the case of CO2, I think the actual heat caused by the sun’s IR at 4-5 could be underestimated, e.g. the radiation of the sun between 4 and 5 may be only 1% of its total energy, but how many Watts per m2 does it cause? Here in Africa you cannot stand in the sun for longer than 10 minutes, just because of the heat (infra-red) of the sun on your skin.

seems to me absolutely incorrect. Don’t make the Myrrh-mistake of identifying heat with IR. ALL light which is absorbed becomes heat. What else can it do? Heat is the bottom state for all entropy increase.

Here’s an African sun experiment for you. Find some glass rated to be IR opaque, and some mylar or plexiglass (?) which passes IR and visible light equally. Stand with your back to the sun for 10 minutes with someone holding one sheet in the way, then repeat with the other. Write down your guess afterwards which was which, without getting feedback until you’ve repeated the experiment about 10X. (Yeah, I know that will take almost 7 hrs. But it’s for science!) See if you’re right much more than 5X.

In any case, I assure you that you will feel considerable heat through the IR-blocking glass!!

281. Brian H says:

Correction: almost 4 hrs. (I downgraded the count from 20X to 10X and forgot to adjust the time. ;) )

282. HenryP says:

Well, Brian, I have such a mirror coated sliding door. I just measured the temperature on the first sunlit tile before I opened the door. It was 27 degrees C. I then opened the door. After 5 minutes I measured on the same tile, at the same spot (in the middle). It was 30 degrees C. After 10 minutes it was again 30 degrees C. And again 30 after 15 minutes.There was no wind. I used an infra red temperature gauge.
You say:
ALL light which is absorbed becomes heat. What else can it do?

What else can it do? The beam of sunshine is constantly flowing but the tile did not heat up higher than 30 after I had opened the door. My conclusion from this test is that it only goes to 30 because after that it changes wavelength or it deflects (same warming) sun rays back in the direction where it came from.
What do you think?

283. Brian H says:

?? I didn’t say anything about mirrors. The mirroring just cuts the overall intensity. I was talking about IR-opaque and IR-transparent panes.

The 30° ceiling is evidently the temperature at which the tiles can re-radiate as much energy as they are receiving. That’s 303K, vs 300K. The energy out varies as the 4th power, so (303/300)^4 = 1.0406; the floor gets 4% more energy with the door open. That’s how much the mirroring was blocking.

284. HenryP says:

BrianH says:
The 30° ceiling is evidently the temperature at which the tiles can re-radiate as much energy as they are receiving

Henry says
Well I do like that because that is what I have been saying=
assuming the tile is a CO2 molecule:
You cannot put continuous (sun) energy on the CO2 molecule (either 2 um or 4 um) and think that it will continue to “pass on” the heat to neighbouring molecules. This is what Phil. was claiming.
What is in fact happening is that that radiation is then being re-radiated,in all directions, including back to the sun,
which is why we can measure it, coming back from the moon.
Strangely enough.

Brian says;
the floor gets 4% more energy with the door open. That’s how much the mirroring was blocking.

Henry says
I am still thinking about that. I am inclined to think the difference of 3/30 = 10%

I must tell you Brian, you are great.You helped me seeing things clearly.

285. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 28, 2012 at 8:45 am
BrianH says:
The 30° ceiling is evidently the temperature at which the tiles can re-radiate as much energy as they are receiving

Henry says
Well I do like that because that is what I have been saying=
assuming the tile is a CO2 molecule:
You cannot put continuous (sun) energy on the CO2 molecule (either 2 um or 4 um) and think that it will continue to “pass on” the heat to neighbouring molecules. This is what Phil. was claiming.

Of course you can because during the lifetime of the excited CO2 molecule it is colliding with thousands of air molecules which remove some of the excess energy. Near the surface such collisional deactivation is a major factor.

What is in fact happening is that that radiation is then being re-radiated,in all directions, including back to the sun,
which is why we can measure it, coming back from the moon.
Strangely enough.

That isn’t what the paper you referenced describes.

Brian says;
the floor gets 4% more energy with the door open. That’s how much the mirroring was blocking.

Henry says
I am still thinking about that. I am inclined to think the difference of 3/30 = 10%

You apparently don’t understand absolute temperature or that emission depends on T^4.

I must tell you Brian, you are great.You helped me seeing things clearly.

Unfortunately not!

286. HenryP says:

Phil. says

Of course you can because during the lifetime of the excited CO2 molecule it is colliding with thousands of air molecules which remove some of the excess energy. Near the surface such collisional deactivation is a major factor.

Henry@Phil.
There is no radiation continuously absorbed and passed on to neighbouring molecules as heat as proven in my experiment with the tile and numerous other experiments. Never mind the facts that air is much less dense than tiles and that on a cloudless day the atmosphere is 99% transparent to radiation. Where there is absorption inside the molecule, radiation is only being absorbed until saturation point and then, as Brian and myself observed, it is being re-radiated. That means in the case of a gas, at the absorptive regions, at least 50% is being back radiated in a radius of 180 degrees where it came from. That also means that some of the 2 and 4 um from the sun that hits on the CO2 during the day, is going back to the sun and even to the moon. Which is why we could measure that radiation coming back from the moon.
If it were not so then the definition of the GH effect would make no sense. That the GH effect exists is easily to prove here (in South Africa). During a cloudy night in winter it is much warmer than during a cloudless night.
I have given you the example to look at, of the ozone at 10-11 microns.
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

Unfortunately it is you who does not understand or who does want to understand.

287. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 30, 2012 at 4:40 am
Phil. says

“Of course you can because during the lifetime of the excited CO2 molecule it is colliding with thousands of air molecules which remove some of the excess energy. Near the surface such collisional deactivation is a major factor.”

Henry@Phil.
There is no radiation continuously absorbed and passed on to neighbouring molecules as heat as proven in my experiment with the tile and numerous other experiments.

Your experiments prove no such thing.

Never mind the facts that air is much less dense than tiles and that on a cloudless day the atmosphere is 99% transparent to radiation.

More like 75% of upward Longwave is transmitted.

Where there is absorption inside the molecule, radiation is only being absorbed until saturation point and then, as Brian and myself observed, it is being re-radiated.

Not true

That means in the case of a gas, at the absorptive regions, at least 50% is being back radiated in a radius of 180 degrees where it came from. That also means that some of the 2 and 4 um from the sun that hits on the CO2 during the day, is going back to the sun and even to the moon. Which is why we could measure that radiation coming back from the moon.

No as is clearly explained in Turnbull et al. which you cited light is reflected back from the Earth’s surface and clouds and some of that light is absorbed by the over-lying gases. Their figure 6 to which you have referred is a model synthesis of the Earth’s reflectance spectrum from high cloud, low cloud, ground and overlying absorption.

If it were not so then the definition of the GH effect would make no sense. That the GH effect exists is easily to prove here (in South Africa). During a cloudy night in winter it is much warmer than during a cloudless night.
I have given you the example to look at, of the ozone at 10-11 microns.

Yes I recall that, in that figure the absorption at the location of the fairly weak O3 band at 10-11μm is about 50% rather than the ~10% that there would be in the absence of O3. Reflection has nothing to do with it.

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

288. HenryP says:

Phil;. says;“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

Henry@Phil.

your remarks in your previous post
all of them
make no sense
other than to confuse
and sow division:
better go back to my original paper
which holds true:
more carbon dioxide is better
life as we know it depends on it
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

289. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 30, 2012 at 11:55 am
Phil;. says;“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

Henry@Phil.

your remarks in your previous post
all of them
make no sense
other than to confuse
and sow division:

Not to you maybe, but they are the correct science as opposed to the non-science you post.
You’re the one proposing a unique and incorrect theory of saturated molecules reflecting incoming radiation which is totally at variance with the existing science, who’s sowing division?

290. HenryP says:

Phil. says
You’re the one proposing a unique and incorrect theory of saturated molecules reflecting incoming radiation which is totally at variance with the existing science
Henry@Phil..
You keep hanging on to the past as if everything they did, including for example, MANY people like you, who are blaming man for global warming, were correct. As if people like Galileo, Newton or Einstein kept looking behind their backs to make sure “their” science fitted in with the general accepted science of the day.
Go home Mr. Phil. Do your own testing, like I did,
@22 weather stations
x 12 months
x 30 days
x 37 years (in the past)
x 5 variables; maxima, means (= daily averages), minima, (
average daily) humidity, total monthly precipitation
= 1456200 data

and come back to me on the results that you got on that.
Not really that difficult.
It just takes time.
A LOT.
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

Time to go to sleep for me.

291. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
March 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm
Phil. says
“You’re the one proposing a unique and incorrect theory of saturated molecules reflecting incoming radiation which is totally at variance with the existing science”
Henry@Phil..
You keep hanging on to the past as if everything they did, including for example, MANY people like you, who are blaming man for global warming, were correct. As if people like Galileo, Newton or Einstein kept looking behind their backs to make sure “their” science fitted in with the general accepted science of the day.

To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, You Henry are no Galileo, Newton or Einstein!

Go home Mr. Phil. Do your own testing, like I did,

I have done on many occasions, using spectrometry, which is what we’re talking about, not global warming, the experiments you describe have no relevance to the mechanism of the interaction of radiation with gas molecules. and you idea that a saturated molecule becomes transformed into a ‘small mirror’ is pure fantasy.

292. HenryP says:

Phil. says:
and you (sic) idea that a saturated molecule becomes transformed into a ‘small mirror’ is pure fantasy

Henry says
Please do explain to me and Brian why the tile heated from 27 to 30 and did not get warmer than 30 degrees C after I had opened the door?

Phil. says:
have done on many occasions, using spectrometry
and you idea that a saturated molecule becomes transformed into a ‘small mirror’ is pure fantasy

Henry says:
Well, I suggest you do it again. Perhaps try some liquid that absorbs at a wavelength in the visible? Then you will be able to see where the “absorbed” light goes to, won’t you? IT IS BEING RE-RADIATED.

293. HenryP says:

Henry@all
For all those that are still following this thread:
Please note that Phil.dot does not have any answers to my questions raised in my previous post.
He couldn’t find what I say in his books, so (he thinks) it cannot be true.
Poor Phil.
As I said before: They should have stuck with the word ‘extinction” rather than introducing the word “absorption” which only sowed confusion ever since.
extinction means: here it stops, the radiation goes elsewhere. It is not going “through”
the term “absorption” implies that the radiation is continuously being “absorbed” by the substance which is of course inpossible, if the supply of radiation does not stop.. …

294. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
April 4, 2012 at 8:21 am
Henry@all
For all those that are still following this thread:
Please note that Phil.dot does not have any answers to my questions raised in my previous post.
He couldn’t find what I say in his books, so (he thinks) it cannot be true.

Mind reading again Henry, I only come here occasionally, your education isn’t my prime focus.

Poor Phil.
As I said before: They should have stuck with the word ‘extinction” rather than introducing the word “absorption” which only sowed confusion ever since.

It was wrong when you said it the first time and it’s still wrong.
Regarding your questions, we’re discussing absorption by gases, not solids or liquids, different physical chemistry entirely. Using visible light involves electronic transitions so again different phys. chem. I did do some work on Laser Induced Fluorescence of OH once and the collisional quenching in that case accounted for ~99.9% of the absorbed flux with the remaining 0.1% being the fluorescent signal.

extinction means: here it stops, the radiation goes elsewhere. It is not going “through”
the term “absorption” implies that the radiation is continuously being “absorbed” by the substance which is of course inpossible, if the supply of radiation does not stop.. …

Which is why ‘absorption’ is the correct term, the absorbed light being transferred to the buffer gas in the form of heat and thence to the surroundings.

295. HenryP says:

Phil. says: we’re discussing absorption by gases, not solids or liquids,

Henry@Phil.
In as far as a substance is concerned it all comes down to molecules, whether it is gas, liquid or solid. Either the substance is transparent to radiation or it absorbs.Think of Roentgen. X-rays.
As we observed with the test on the tile, the radiation is absorbed immediately until it reaches a saturation point after which the molecule starts re-radiating. We all note again that you did not answer the question that we asked you before:
Please do explain to me and Brian why the tile heated from 27 to 30 and did not get warmer than 30 degrees C after I had opened the mirror coated door?

Phil. says
Which is why ‘absorption’ is the correct term, the absorbed light being transferred to the buffer gas in the form of heat and thence to the surroundings.

Henry says:
As I said,the molecule can only be filled up until saturation. Then it starts re-radiating. That is why we are able to measure all radiation specific to the absorptive regions of GH gases coming back via the moon.
http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec

The newly found UV absorptions of CO2 can also be used to determine if there is CO2 on other planets, e.g.
http://www.nat.vu.nl/en/sec/atom/Publications/pdf/DUV-CO2.pdf
This means, as concluded in the above report, that CO2 at high altitude behaves similar to Ozone in the UV range, shielding us. Similarly it also shields us from (some) IR radiation in the 2 and 4 um region, at all levels where the sun’s rays hit on the CO2 molecules.
This back radiation of the GH gases is what is keeping us cool, as it cuts out almost 20-25% of all incoming light!!

296. Phil. says:

HenryP says:
April 4, 2012 at 11:28 pm
Phil. says: we’re discussing absorption by gases, not solids or liquids,

Henry@Phil.
In as far as a substance is concerned it all comes down to molecules, whether it is gas, liquid or solid. Either the substance is transparent to radiation or it absorbs.Think of Roentgen. X-rays.

Not true the absorption of the three phases is quite different.
See for example water:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Water_absorption_spectrum.png
http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cgi?ID=C7732185&Type=IR-SPEC&Index=0#IR-SPEC

Your tile experiment is therefore irrelevant and furthermore is so poorly described that it defies explanation.

Henry says:
As I said,the molecule can only be filled up until saturation. Then it starts re-radiating.

And as I said that is an incorrect idea of what happens, as soon as a molecule absorbs a photon it’s able to lose energy via collision or emission.

That is why we are able to measure all radiation specific to the absorptive regions of GH gases coming back via the moon.

No it’s not as has been explained to you before, you have completely misread that paper.

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