New research in Antarctica shows CO2 follows temperature “by a few hundred years at most”

The question of “which comes first, the temperature or the CO2 rise?” has been much like the proverbial “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” question. This seems to settle it – temperature came first, followed by an increase in CO2 outgassing from the ocean surrounding Antarctica.

“Our analyses of ice cores from the ice sheet in Antarctica shows that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere follows the rise in Antarctic temperatures very closely and is staggered by a few hundred years at most,” Sune Olander Rasmussen

Fig. 2. Lag histograms for the two methods of determining the lag of atmospheric CO2 after regional Antarctic temperature changes (direct correlation and correlation of derivatives), using each of the two CO2 data sets (Byrd and Siple Dome). The gray background histograms are based on the complete Tproxy composite, the same as in Fig. 1b. The superimposed curves show the corresponding lag histograms when excluding in turn each of the 5 records from the Tproxy composite (jack-knifing): excluding Siple (red), excluding Law Dome (green), excluding Byrd (blue), excluding EDML (cyan), and excluding Talos Dome (magenta).

From the University of Copenhagen - Rise in temperatures and CO2 follow each other closely in climate change

The greatest climate change the world has seen in the last 100,000 years was the transition from the ice age to the warm interglacial period. New research from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen indicates that, contrary to previous opinion, the rise in temperature and the rise in the atmospheric CO2 follow each other closely in terms of time. The results have been published in the scientific journal, Climate of the Past. 

The Australian ice core drilling camp at Law Dome in Antarctica.

In the warmer climate the atmospheric content of CO2 is naturally higher. The gas CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a green-house gas that absorbs heat radiation from the Earth and thus keeps the Earth warm. In the shift between ice ages and interglacial periods the atmospheric content of CO2 helps to intensify the natural climate variations.

It had previously been thought that as the temperature began to rise at the end of the ice age approximately 19,000 years ago, an increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere followed with a delay of up to 1,000 years.

“Our analyses of ice cores from the ice sheet in Antarctica shows that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere follows the rise in Antarctic temperatures very closely and is staggered by a few hundred years at most,” explains Sune Olander Rasmussen, Associate Professor and centre coordinator at the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

An ice core from the deep drilling through the ice sheet at
Law Dome in Antarctica.

Deep-sea’s important role

The research, which was carried out in collaboration with researchers from the University of Tasmania in Australia, is based on measurements of ice cores from five boreholes through the ice sheet in Antarctica. The ice sheet is formed by snow that doesn’t melt, but remains year after year and is gradually compressed into kilometers thick ice. During the compression, air is trapped between the snowflakes and as a result the ice contains tiny samples of ancient atmospheres. The composition of the ice also shows what the temperature was when the snow fell, so the ice is an archive of past climate and atmospheric composition.

“The ice cores show a nearly synchronous relationship between the temperature in Antarctica and the atmospheric content of CO2, and this suggests that it is the processes in the deep-sea around Antarctica that play an important role in the CO2 increase,” explains Sune Olander Rasmussen.

Figure 1 – The research results show that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere followed the temperature in Antarctica closely throughout the shift from ice age to interglacial in the period 19-11,000 years before the present. The green curve shows the temperature from measurements from the 5 ice cores marked on the map. The red and blue curves show the atmospheric CO2 content in the air bubbles in the ice cores from the two bores at Siple Dome (red) and Byrd (blue). The analysis shows that the CO2 concentration follows the increase in temperature with a delay of no more than a few hundred years. That the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere follows the Antarctic temperature so closely suggests that processes in the ocean around Antarctica play an important role in the rise in CO2.

He explains that one of the theories is that when Antarctica warms up, there will be stronger winds over the Southern Ocean and the winds pump more water up from the deep bottom layers in the ocean where there is a high content of CO2 from all of the small organisms that die and fall down to the sea floor and rot. When strong winds blow over the Southern Ocean, the ocean circulation brings more of the CO2-rich bottom water up to the surface and a portion of this CO2 is released into the atmosphere. This process links temperature and CO2 together and the new results suggest that the linking is closer and happens faster than previously believed.

Climatic impact

The global temperature changed naturally because of the changing solar radiation caused by variations in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, the Earth’s tilt and the orientation of the Earth’s axis. These are called the Milankowitch cycles and occur in periods of approximately 100,000, 42,000, and 22,000 years. These are the cycles that cause the Earth’s climate to shift between long ice ages of approximately 100,000 years and warm interglacial periods, typically 10,000 – 15,000 years. The natural warming of the climate was intensified by the increased amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

“What we are observing in the present day is the mankind has caused the CO2 content in the atmosphere to rise as much in just 150 years as it rose over 8,000 years during the transition from the last ice age to the current interglacial period and that can bring the Earth’s climate out of balance,” explains Sune Olander Rasmussen adding “That is why it is even more important that we have a good grip on which processes caused the climate of the past to change, because the same processes may operate in addition to the anthropogenic changes we see today. In this way the climate of the past helps us to understand how the various parts of the climate systems interact and what we can expect in the future.”

Tightened constraints on the time-lag between Antarctic temperature and CO2 during the last deglaciation

J. B. Pedro1,2, S. O. Rasmussen3, and T. D. van Ommen2,4
1Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
2Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
3Centre for Ice and Climate, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
4Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania, Australia

Abstract. Antarctic ice cores provide clear evidence of a close coupling between variations in Antarctic temperature and the atmospheric concentration of CO2 during the glacial/interglacial cycles of at least the past 800-thousand years. Precise information on the relative timing of the temperature and CO2 changes can assist in refining our understanding of the physical processes involved in this coupling. Here, we focus on the last deglaciation, 19 000 to 11 000 yr before present, during which CO2 concentrations increased by ~80 parts per million by volume and Antarctic temperature increased by ~10 °C. Utilising a recently developed proxy for regional Antarctic temperature, derived from five near-coastal ice cores and two ice core CO2 records with high dating precision, we show that the increase in CO2 likely lagged the increase in regional Antarctic temperature by less than 400 yr and that even a short lead of CO2 over temperature cannot be excluded. This result, consistent for both CO2 records, implies a faster coupling between temperature and CO2 than previous estimates, which had permitted up to millennial-scale lags.

Final Revised Paper (PDF, 463 KB)   Discussion Paper (CPD)

Citation: Pedro, J. B., Rasmussen, S. O., and van Ommen, T. D.: Tightened constraints on the time-lag between Antarctic temperature and CO2 during the last deglaciation, Clim. Past, 8, 1213-1221, doi:10.5194/cp-8-1213-2012, 2012.

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116 thoughts on “New research in Antarctica shows CO2 follows temperature “by a few hundred years at most”

  1. In other words, increased CO2 levels are a ‘lagging indicator’ and not a cause. There is no correlation with increased CO2 levels increasing any thermal levels on the earth’s surface. While the sun heats the earth, CO2 levels increase as a cause and effect relationship and that cause is the increased sun radiation and heating of the earth. NOT the other way around, PERIOD!

  2. Given that only about 3.5 percent of annual atmospheric CO2 emissions are man-made (96.5 percent are from natural sources), I doubt it very much that “mankind has caused the CO2 content in the atmosphere to rise as much in just 150 years as it rose over 8,000 years during the transition from the last ice age to the current interglacial period and that can bring the Earth’s climate out of balance.

    The tail does not wag the dog.

  3. Well it looks like everywhere you read in the scientific literature it is constantly the same story. CO2 causing warming and the climate to change. The amount of warming and what impact it will have is still a mystery, but a change will come.
    Nice piece by the way.

  4. I don’t quite see why getting more precision on the temperature -> CO2 timeframe casts more light on the debate of chicken and egg. That temperature rise precedes CO2 rise in Antartica is accepted. It was Shakun et al (2012) who came up with the most egregiously Heath Robinson (sorry, Rube Goldberg) ‘get out clause’ for this, which was well-covered here. Am I missing something?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/06/a-reply-shakun-et-al-dr-munchausen-explains-science-by-proxy/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/07/shakun-redux-master-tricksed-us-i-told-you-he-was-tricksy/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/11/shakun-the-last-i-hope/

  5. “……..“What we are observing…..is the mankind has caused the CO2 content in the atmosphere to rise as much in just 150 years as it rose over 8,000 years …. and that can bring the Earth’s climate out of balance,…..” – the “we won’t get published unless we h/t to CAGW” moneyshot.

    “……that can bring the Earths’ climate out of balance….” – what balance?, scientific credence please. Correlation is not causation. Basic, simples.

  6. The graph leaves little room for the hypothetical positive feedback of additional temperature rise from increased CO2.

  7. Hmmm… interesting headline on that press release. Makes as much sense as, “Tractors and trailers follow each other closely on highways.”

  8. He explains that one of the theories is that when Antarctica warms up, there will be stronger winds over the Southern Ocean

    I’d expect the opposite for 2 reasons.

    The winds over Antarctica are katabatic. That is they are driven by the density of the air and colder is denser. These katabatic winds drive air circulations over the adjacent ocean and in particular the upwelling near the coast.

    Secondly, it’s generally accepted that the temperature differential between the tropics and the poles influences the strength of the mid to high latitude circulation systems. A warmer Antarctica would reduce this temperature difference, reducing wind strength in the mid-latitude circulations.

  9. The accuracy of CO2 measurements in ice cores has never been established. In any case, cause preceeds effect not the other way round, Robbie.

  10. @Robbie
    ‘CO2 causing warming and the climate to change’
    You just scored an F on reading comprehension mate. Try again (Hint – get a responsible adult to help)
    :)

  11. If I remember the sequence correctly, an interstadial starts as the alignment of the Milankovich cycles increases solar insolation in high Northern latitudes.
    This increases the temperature in that region, triggering changes such as thawing of tundra and subsequent decay of previously frozen organic matter.
    Decay releases CO2 and this amplifies the temperature change.
    At the end of the interstadial slow cooling due to orbital realignment reduces temperatures and respiration, reducing CO2 and, once again accelerating the cooling trend.
    CO2 is not the driver of the temperature changes , but an amplifier of the Milankovich changes in both directions.
    You would expect the CO2 concentration to follow the temperature, which is what Rasmussen has found.

  12. When people I really like like Paul McCartney use the carbon devil to rustle up converts to save the Arctic, I get depressed. I was fantasizing about the arctic and antarctic when I was 5 or 6 in the late 50′s when he didn’t know what it was. But now that he’s spouting some absolute nonsense about saving the north pole.I find it just dead depressing.
    I find it extremely depressing to see people I really like and admire so thoroughly brain-washed. I learned so much from him about music and other things, that it feels churlish to beef about his need to save people, After all didn’t that ex-wife with the stump cost him about $250M?:] I felt badly about that. After all, when I was 12 I tried to move heaven and earth to get to the airport to see the Beatles land their first visit to the US. Murray the K and Cousin Brucie were exhorting us all to go. Alas, I didn’t get there. So I guess Paul McCartney gets a pass because I just can’t make myself be angry at him, no matter what he says.
    But I wish that skeptics had a cause so we could look cute and fuzzy, on google+ or Facebook or wherever instead of looking like the heartless bastards we are standing by and watching while the planet fries in its own grease!:]

  13. “”What we are observing in the present day is the mankind has caused the CO2 content in the atmosphere to rise as much in just 150 years as it rose over 8,000 years during the transition from the last ice age to the current interglacial period and that can bring the Earth’s climate out of balance,” explains Sune Olander Rasmussen adding….””

    That’s right folks, a greening biosphere is a bad thing. A very tiny rise in temperature coming out of the Little Ice Age has lead to more (less) famines. Prepare for calamity and Thermarmageddon.

    Robbie says:
    July 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Well it looks like everywhere you read in the scientific literature it is constantly the same story. CO2 causing warming and the climate to change. The amount of warming and what impact it will have is still a mystery, but a change will come…..

    Yaaaawn! Can you let me know right now when the climate never changed???? This is your opportunity. Or do you mean the lack of warming caused by co2 over the past 15 years??? Take your pick but give me an answer. By the way far higher levels of co2 failed to stop ice ages. So much for runaway global warming and tipping points.

  14. David G says: @ July 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    … But I wish that skeptics had a cause so we could look cute and fuzzy, on google+ or Facebook or wherever instead of looking like the heartless bastards we are standing by and watching while the planet fries in its own grease!
    _____________________________________
    But we do have a “Cause” that cause is trying to prevent little old ladies from freezing to death and babies from starving while the Banksters make money hand over fist and so does the Ag Cartel and the World Bank funds the theft of land from peasant farmers. All moves disguised as “helping fight CAGW”

    Heck we are even fighting the Meglomaniacs trying to take over the world!

    See all you have to do is frame your message correctly and WUWT are bloody HEROES!

    (I wish I could add the /sarc tag but I can’t because the above and the links are the truth.)

  15. If CO2 follows temperature and it certainly appears so and given that CO2 is a green house gas then it is also has a positive (undesirable) feedback effect. I do not see this issue mentioned in the literature. With both CO2 and water vapour being positive feedback, where is the negative feedback that leads to moderate short term stability?

  16. Imagine if we lived in a time of free scientific inquiry. This scientist would be saying that this data throws doubt on the central role of CO2 in raising temperature.

    I have only previously seen scientific dissembling on a massive scale like this during the IQ and race debates of the 1960′s. After failing in their goal , the people who had confidently predicted the “gap” would be closed had the IQ tests banned. But, they never admitted they were wrong, and never apologized to the people they vilified for speaking the truth. And, no “respectable” social scientist ever spoke up to criticize this effort. Because, like global warming, if you criticized the effort you were expelled from respectable social science circles. The intolerance then was no different from the intolerance now. And, the outcome will be the same. Failure, and many, many lives blighted, all in the name of vanity.

  17. I hear ya. Sean Connery, who is still hot, hot, hot, is a green watermelon. I cried for days. And I DO mean loud wailing and gnashing of teeth! I was even ready to cut my long red locks in mourning but was afraid my fellow Irish elves and leprechauns would have a fit.

    Long live Charlton Heston. One of the few hollywood stars with cojones.

  18. A few years after the first core was analyzed and found CO2 preceding the temperature rise , a second core was analyzed showing that many times CO2 lagged the temperature. I don’t know why this second core never appears to be cited, even by the skeptics.

  19. Do we know how much the atmospheric pressure and consequently the partial pressure of CO2 has changed over that period of time?

  20. Anthroprogenic CO2 today has caused global warming several hundred years in the past. Proven. This is sooooo cool. Cool? Sorry. Think of the lives we can save in 1816 by pumping out a few gigatons at the right moment sometime in the next few hundred years.

  21. When it warms up and starts to rain on parched ground after a cold spell, everything blooms and everything has babies. I would totally expect resultant CO2 increase to be rapid.

    That aside, this article seems to be saying that the error bars tell us there is no way we can say that CO2 was a driver of increased temperature in the past.

  22. ”What we are observing in the present day is the mankind has caused the CO2 content in the atmosphere to rise as much in just 150 years as it rose over 8,000 years during the transition from the last ice age to the current interglacial period and that can bring the Earth’s climate out of balance,” explains Sune Olander Rasmussen adding…

    What bullshit.
    Was not the Medieval Warming Period as warm or warmer than present?? Did not the MEWP PRECEDE the Industrial Revolution??
    If CO2 increase follows temperature well then, so much for the AGW (total BS) thesis.

  23. the conclusion is astounding..natural CO2 intensified warming.. and then she goes off the reservation where there is no evidence to support her hypothesis.. got to love the CWAG crowd.. take promising science and bind it with political crap.

  24. That result seems to fit perfectly with the notion that the poles feel the effects of any global warming more strongly than equatorial regions. It is the downward slide that AGW proponents need to adequately cover and IMO and they completely ignore it.

    So “something” causes the earth to warm and the poles warm quickly. The rest of the earth is lagged behind and increasing ocean temperatures eventually alter their balance to have more CO2 in the atmosphere as well as increased life causing larger CO2 cycles.

    And then on the downward slide that “something” reverses and now causes cooling which the poles feel first and there is a lag before the rest of the planet feels it and the oceans readjust their CO2 balance to be less in the atmosphere as well as decreased life causing smaller CO2 cycles.

    By comparison AGW explanations of CO2 being the driver “after a point” are contrived and feel very wrong IMO.

  25. Rob Dawg says:
    July 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm
    Anthroprogenic CO2 today has caused global warming several hundred years in the past.

    Tele-connections.

  26. But Al Gore is so backwards in his science he’ll still use this as evidence that CO2 drives temperature. I wonder–does Al drive his car backwards; does Al walk backwards?

    Good questions all.

  27. Could alarmists say that a small increase in CO2, such as what mankind is capable of emitting, can drive a small temperature increase, which then results in a series of effects that dramatically increases CO2 content? If you believe in multiplicative forcings, it seems possible that it wouldn’t matter which came first, the warming or the CO2. Either one could lead to much more of both.

    No, I’m not an alarmist. I just don’t want to use arguments that can be easily rebutted.

  28. The fairest way to see the lag of CO2 and temperature in the ice core is to use the Ar/N2 ratio as your, gaseous, temperature sensor.
    There is only one good Ar record in the Antarctic, Caillon et al. (2003).
    This gives 800 years, +/- 200 years.

    http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/CaillonTermIII.pdf

    It is a real pity they didn’t look at Ar/N2 in the high resolution Law Dome core.

  29. The AGW CO2-acceleration meme attempt to rationalize the cause → effect inconvenient sequencing has always been a desperate attempt to cover the hypothesis’ sucking chest wound. The article is a fine example.

  30. “””””…..From the University of Copenhagen – Rise in temperatures and CO2 follow each other closely in climate change….. “””””

    How in the hell can Temperature rise and CO2 rise “follow each other closely.” ? That’s got to be just about the stupidest thing I have ever read in what purports to be a “scientific study report.”

    Make up your minds; which one is leading and which one is following ??

  31. Rasmussen said….”“What we are observing in the present day is the mankind has caused the CO2 content in the atmosphere to rise as much in just 150 years as it rose over 8,000 years…”

    Yet despite that increase in CO2…. There is no solid observations that show that dramatic rise in CO2 causing any significant rise in global temperatures, either in itself or as feedback on watervapour…. Indeed the last 15 years have shown a pause in warming despite that much increased rise in CO2.

    It would seem that when it comes to GHG’s and their effects on temperature…. Water vapour is the essential gas and it is entirely driven by the energy of the sun… not CO2′s small insignificant and trailing effect.

  32. What a nice confirmation of Shakun, et al

    Shakun et al. find that at the end of the last ice age temperature increased immediately in the Arctic but only slightly, probably as a result of increased radiation during the northern hemisphere summer. As a result a small portion of the Arctic ice melted. The melt water had a lower salt concentration and thus was less dense than the surface water and sank although mostly not to great depths. The result was that the AMOC and thus the associated redistribution of heat between the Arctic and the tropics was interrupted. This meant that the temperature in the high northern latitudes no longer rose, but may, in fact, have even decreased slightly. This is exactly what was found in the data. As a result, the temperature rose in the southern tropics and then the southern temperate latitudes and finally in Antarctica. Only then did the data show an increase in CO2. So somehow warming of the southern latitudes leads to increased emissions of CO2. Simultaneous determination of the isotopic ratio (for example, according to RF Anderson, S. Ali, LI Bradtmiller, SHH Nielsen, MQ Fleisher, BE Anderson, and LH Burckle, Wind-Driven Upwelling in the Southern Ocean and the Deglacial Rise in Atmospheric CO2, Science, 323 , 1443-1448 (2009).) suggests that the CO2 source is a consequence of biological fixation of carbon residues, for example in plankton deposited on the ocean floor. This increase in CO2 concentration is more than twice as strong as expected from outgassing of CO2 from warmer sea water alone. It indicates that the exchange with the Southern Ocean deep water became more intense and carbon deposits were transferred from the depths to the surface. Only after a significant temperature increase in the south and an increase in CO2 concentration, did the temperature rise again in the northern hemisphere. This is interpreted as providing a feedback mechanism for for greenhouse gases to drive global warming. The temperature data shows that after temperatures initially rise in the north they drop again. Apparently, the collapse of the AMOC, cuts off the flow of heat to the north from warm tropical sea water.

  33. Just goes to show that when given the opportunity to demonstrate superior reasoning skills global warming alarmism proved us humans laid an egg.

  34. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/29/an-observational-estimate-of-climate-sensitivity/#comment-996002

    [Excerpt]

    Some Thoughts Regarding the Evidence of Longer Cycles and Lags:

    We know there is a ~9 month lag of atmospheric CO2 concentration after temperature on a ~~4 year cycle of natural global temperature variation.

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/

    We also know that CO2 lags temperature by ~800 years on a much longer time cycle (ice core data).

    … there is probably at least one intermediate lag, and quite possibly several, between these two – perhaps associated with the Wolf-Gleissberg Cycle, Hale Polarity Cycle, etc., AND-OR with the PDO, etc.

    The lag of CO2 after temperature observed in these longer cycles is probably mostly physical in origin, related to ocean solution and exsolution of CO2, but also includes a long term biological component.

    Willis’s analysis deals with the seasonal (annual) cycle, in which the biological component of the CO2 lag is comparatively much greater.

    I have the opinion that we are looking at several natural cycles of varying duration in which there are external natural drivers (Sun, Earth orbits, stars), then some randomization associated with large ocean phenomena (PDO, etc.); these drive Earth’s natural temperature cycles at all time scales, and result in a series of related CO2 lags after temperature.

    Finally:
    Atmospheric CO2 variation is primarily a result, not a driver of temperature, and human fossil fuel combustion is probably NOT causing the recent increases in atmospheric CO2 – it is more likely the result of the cumulative impact of all these aforementioned natural cycles – for example, the Medieval Warm Period was ~~800 years ago.

  35. @Merovign says:

    >Pro hoc, ergo propter hoc…?

    Or, “First the temperature rose, so it caused the rise in CO2″

    That at least is only bad logic (correlation, not causation).

    They really mean: Pre hoc, ergo propter hoc…
    “First the temperature rose, so it was caused by the CO2 that followed.”
    That is plain ridiculous.

    Re the comment above that CO2 drove the temperature rise once it ‘got going’. When the tundra thaws, it allows the same tundra to absorb much more CO2 in the form of plants and underground stored carbon. Methane is quickly broken down to CO2 and taken up by plants. The “CO2 made it continue’” is not supported by science, even though it is a socially attractive tale. It remains unproven and even might, one day, be shown, however there is nothing physical yet to support such a CO2-accelerated rise in temperature. The reason is simple: CO2 does not appear to have a strong warming effect and quickly tapers off when it has any at all. There is no proven feedback effect that is definitely positive, and some evidence that if there is one, it is negative.

    I agree that the wording ‘they follow each other’ is weasel-wording hoping to support the confused view that CO2 leads or drives the recorded increase in temperature.

    One day, there may be empirical evidence that CO2 drives global temperatures but that day is not this one. So far the evidence points to CO2 being a consequence of temperature.

  36. More science by press release.

    It’s a shame that whoever got to write spin version for the press release does not even know the difference between a glacial period and an ice age. Perhaps they should have read the paper.

    The paper is in fact a strong confirmation that temperature drives CO2 and reduces the rather large uncertainty of the previous estimates of the lag ( 800 +/- 600 from memory).

    It also rejects the recents sloppy attempt to reverse the dependancy by shifting time scales and comparing temperature and CO2 from difference sources.

    “He explains that one of the theories is that when Antarctica warms up…”
    They also don’t seem to know the difference between the terms theory and hypothesis.

    It would appear that whoever wrote the press release has a degree in media communications rather than a science based subject.

  37. To my inexpert eye this does look exciting but I’m a bit concerned that so many commenters on here are allowing their exuberance to get carried away. This is something we rightly accuse many warmists of. Remember what happened to Gerghis.

  38. It is worth noting that this “lag effect” is asymmetric. If one studies ice cores from the beginning of the last ice age about 100 000 years ago it is obvious that the CO2 decline lags temperature by as much as several thousand years. At times temperatures and CO2 even go completely out of phase, e. g. at the end of the MIS 5d stadial and beginning of the mild MIS 5c interstadial, when temperatures go up while CO2 goes down. Strangely I’ve never seen this phenomenon mentioned in the peer-reviewed litchurchur.

  39. The ipcc claimed a causal correlation between CO2 & temperatures, This claim served as the bedrock foundation of AGW theory. But the ipcc claim was debunked, and yet the theory still stands as if nothing has changed.
    See the three minute excerpt from The Great Global Warming Swindle where algor repeats the ipcc deception on CO2 (neglecting to mention the temp / CO2 lag, and what that means). I say it’s a must see (and promote) video as perhaps 98% of the public doesn’t know this about CO2, and sharing or linking to the video is a good way to get the word out about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg&descrip=GreatGlobalWarmingSwindle_CO2_Excerpt

  40. Alan Smith says:
    July 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm
    If CO2 follows temperature and it certainly appears so and given that CO2 is a green house gas then it is also has a positive (undesirable) feedback effect. I do not see this issue mentioned in the literature. With both CO2 and water vapour being positive feedback, where is the negative feedback that leads to moderate short term stability?

    Climate contrarians like Willis Eschenbach have argued that the earth has a natural thermostat in the form of tropical thunderstorms. Here are Willis’s WUWT threads on thermostatic effects that I referred to above. The first and last are the most important.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/14/the-thermostat-hypothesis/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/14/the-tao-that-can-be-spoken/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/25/taotriton-take-two/

    Willis: “This [below] is the third in a series of occasional posts regarding my somewhat peripatetic analysis of the data from the TAO moored buoys in the Western Pacific.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/15/cloud-radiation-forcing-in-the-tao-dataset/

    Willis: “I hold these results out as strong support for my hypothesis that the temperature of the tropics is regulated by the combined action of clouds and thunderstorms. The difference in the temperature response of the warm and cool days shows the homeostatic mechanism in action, with warm mornings having cooler afternoons, and vice versa. All of this shows the clouds and thunderstorms at work.”

  41. If the fall in temperatures preceded the fall in CO2 levels, the argument would be watertight. Does it? The argument that the rise follows the rise in temperature is not decisivie because the counter is that the rise in CO2 then leads to further temperature rises. This also affects your view of the merits of lowering CO2. Has there ever been a fall in CO2 in the past that has produced a fall in temperature?

  42. Despite the spin in the press release , the paper is well worth the read. It looks very thorough and is realistic and clear about its own limitations. They use both time series and rate of change and look at the effects of removing various segements of data, varying the lengths of the filters (real ones not just running-mean “smoothing”) and varying the period analysed.

    It compares their results to other studies of which it does a good resume.

    If all climate science was conducted like this we’d be much better off.

    It’s a shame the press release is totally misleading. The paper does not “contract” previous studies it confirms them.

  43. Eli,

    Yes they had a nice section at the end of the paper, devoted to that.
    Its nice to have papers free to read..

    Folks: C02 causes warming. It doesnt cause all the warming we find in the record. For example, if c02 is at 240 ppm and you get a change in orbital forcing ( like + 6 watts in some configurations) that 6 extra watts of solar will increase the temperature. and then… more c02 is released from the ocean. we know C02 lags a temperature rise. That fact has nothing whatsoever to do with whether c02 causes warming. it does. so do other things

  44. Caillon et al in 2003 showed an 800-year lag. This fits nicely with the Medieval Warm Period and the thermohaline cycle. However, oceans are complex. I personally think the recent large CO2 increase (which has to be from the oceans, by Henry’s Law) is a combination of MWP from deep water rising, and surface water warming with the recent warm period. I therefore expect the CO2 “ladder to heaven” to reverse some time.

    Gail Combs says: July 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon…” One reason I use my handle is it helps me remember, helps me see the real nature of our issues.

    Mason P Wilson, Jr, Ph.D

    Do you have a reference for this “unmentioned” second ice core?

    What we are observing in the present day is the mankind has caused the CO2 content in the atmosphere to rise as much in just 150 years as it rose over 8,000 years

    The notion of a recent “unprecedented” CO2 rise is rubbish, and the mother of the whole CAGW scare IMHO.

    Steve O says: July 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm [re. CO2 having a delayed warming effect]

    When I investigated, I found zero evidence.

    George E Smith: How in the hell can Temperature rise and CO2 rise “follow each other closely”?

    That way of talking is in Al Gore, Earth In the Balance 1992

  45. This is probably good research, but once again the authors feel compelled to state their touching belief in the AGW orthodoxy. In fact their research, and other research that demonstrates CO2 lagging after temperatures, is a huge blow against AGW.
    .
    The believers’ response is this: yes, the CO2 follows the temperature. But we’re still doomed because this means that CO2 warming will cause a positive feedback.
    They seem to miss an important point: if CO2 does cause warming then it should show clearly in these records. But it doesn’t. There are actually many occasions when CO2 is rising as temperature falls, and vice versa.
    .
    As far as I can tell, in all records that show both temperature and CO2 going up and down, there is no evidence whatsoever for the claimed positive feedback due to the warming effect of CO2.
    As Richard Lindzen showed in his paper a couple of years ago, it’s almost as if the greenhouse effect simply isn’t working in the climate system. I assume it can be demonstrated in a laboratory, but it appears to be impossible to demonstrate in the real world. Having said that, I do recall that Gore appeared to resort to trickery in his ‘demonstration’ of the greenhouse effect.
    .
    This demonstrable lag between temperature and CO2 is one reason why I’m extremely sceptical of AGW, let alone CAGW.
    Chris

  46. @Eli Rabett, July 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm
    You seem to be in dire need of one of these:

    but only slightly …
    probably as a result of …
    As a result a small portion of …
    although mostly not to great depths …
    The result was that …
    This meant that …
    but may …
    As a result …
    Only then did …
    So somehow …
    suggests that …
    This is interpreted as …
    Apparently …

    … you’d be better off starting out with one of these.

  47. They need to add Mann to their team. He’d just use the cores upside-down, and PRESTO!, CO2 would lead warming.

  48. Are you trying to confuse people Anthony? The denizens here aren’t sure what to make of this paper, although there is the high level of distrust we’ve come to expect.

  49. Steve O says:
    July 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm
    “If you believe in multiplicative forcings, it seems possible that it wouldn’t matter which came first, the warming or the CO2. Either one could lead to much more of both.”

    This is one of the things people argue about here

    . At the start of our interstadial,20,000 years ago the orbital changes began a temperature rise which then led to an increase in CO2 from 200ppm. The increased CO2 increased the temperature more, leading to a positive feedback cycle which increased both until the system reached a new equilibrium some 5C warmer and with about 280ppm of CO2 after 10,000years. You can see that in graph A above. Smaller effects have bobbed the temperatures up and down a bit around these values for the last 10,000 years.

    The concern now is that we have increased the amount of CO2 by at least as much again in the last century, from 280ppm to 390ppm.

    If the physics of the greenhouse effect is correct, this is likely to reset the equilibrium temperature higher, though how much higher is under discussion by IPCC, posters here and a lot of others.

  50. Allan MacRae says: July 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    “We know there is a ~9 month lag of atmospheric CO2 concentration after temperature on a ~~4 year cycle of natural global temperature variation.

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/

    We also know that CO2 lags temperature by ~800 years on a much longer time cycle (ice core data).

    … there is probably at least one intermediate lag, and quite possibly several, between these two – perhaps associated with the Wolf-Gleissberg Cycle, Hale Polarity Cycle, etc., AND-OR with the PDO, etc. “
    ______________________________________________

    Is it possible that there is another intermediate cycle with a lag time of ~~200 years, IN ADDITION to the one observed at ~~800 years. Do these two cycles need to be mutually exclusive?

    We have observed several temperature-lagged-by-CO2 cycles, with lags of ~800 years, 9 months and a few months (the annual seasonal cycle) – it seems entirely possible that there are more such cycles with lags somewhere between ~800 years and 9 months.

    I have previously speculated that there is another cycle at a shorter time scale of ~~60 to 90 years, with a lag time of perhaps ~8 to 10 years.

    If temperatures cool in the next few years as we’ve predicted, perhaps we’ll see.

  51. It looks to me like this paper is intended to help the argument that the eventual rise in CO2 leads to even more temperature increases than would occur otherwise. With the 800 year lag that is more difficult. With 200 years it is now easier to claim. Of course, we can see seasonal responses of CO2 which makes one wonder how any 200-800 year lags make any sense at all.

    I get a good chuckle out of Mosher once again asserting that increased CO2 leads to increases in temperature despite all the correlation problems in the temperature record. Sorry, but that is not a fact. We know the GHE exists, however, this only affects radiation from the surface. What about the energy in the atmosphere? What is the effect of increased CO2 on that energy? Mosher conveniently ignores that question as do all the other folks supporting the warming meme.

    My own opinion is that increased CO2 leads to increased radiation of that energy to space which is a negative feedback to the GHE. I also believe the two effects are not equal across all concentrations of CO2. The fact that the measured outgoing TOA radiation does not match the models is evidence that something is happening and I believe this cooling effect is likely part of the cause.

  52. Isn’t a few hundred years “at most” essential confirmation after further study of the previous “as much as 600 or 800 years?” To a CAGW promoter, this is a pig so they dressed it up with the lipstick of diminshing language and a few assertions having nothing to do with the study (e.g., more increase in CO2 in 150 years than …) The study is also raising the notion that any small change attributable to man would be bad and the spectre of ever increasing CO2 concentrations when even that seems unlikely. Then, in the end, the science part of the study postulates that milankovitch cycles are primary drivers and that CO2 is not while trying to draw attention to CO2 as much as possible with maybes and could-bes.

    Is the worst case scenario that the climate will be unable to absorb the effects of a 3.5% fluctuation (the man-made part) in one of the trace gases that always flucuates by – well, quite a lot – which might and might not lead to a temporarily and theoretically slightly warmer world than it might have been (but not warmer than it often has been) and a greener place before becoming deadly cold again? And the climate – and sea levels – will still change on and on and on? Bottom line from the study and its contribution to the body of knowledge: CAGW continues to be a lot of fuss over a benign worst case scenario of a pig with lipstick actually taking flight.

  53. Richard M says: July 24, 2012 at 6:31 am

    “It looks to me like this paper is intended to help the argument that the eventual rise in CO2 leads to even more temperature increases than would occur otherwise. With the 800 year lag that is more difficult. With 200 years it is now easier to claim. Of course, we can see seasonal responses of CO2 which makes one wonder how any 200-800 year lags make any sense at all.

    I get a good chuckle out of Mosher once again asserting that increased CO2 leads to increases in temperature despite all the correlation problems in the temperature record. Sorry, but that is not a fact. “ …
    _______________

    Let’s have some sympathy for the authors of this paper and also for Steve.

    They both feel obliged to kneel before the CAGW icon and render obeisance to it.

    And why not? Failure to do so is the ultimate mortal sin in the Church of Global warming, and punishment is swift and severe:
    No more “pal-review” of your papers, no more research grants, even loss of your hard-earned university post – the academic equivalent of excommunication.

    It is not surprising that ~only older tenured and/or retired professors have the courage to speak out against global warming mania.

    It is not surprising that so many educated commentators here feel the need to comment here under aliases.

    This is what we have become. Our universities have become closed-minded and repressive “group-think tanks”. Open disagreement with an obviously false and probably fraudulent “CAGW religion” is punished with shunning, loss of funding, and even banishment.

    This disgraceful situation is the result of lack of intellectual competence, but also lack of courage – we have allowed ourselves to be bullied by scoundrels and imbeciles.

    A trillion dollars of scarce global resources has been squandered on this nonsense.

    It is past-time for a change – it is time to make this right.

  54. Help!
    I wish I could get a logical answer to questions I have asked before with no result. I am a very interested lay person who reads widely and can see when things defy common sense and logic.
    As natural emissions of CO2 vary greatly either seasonally (Autunmn in the Northern Hemisphere) or randomly (volcano & vents) and this ‘extra’ CO2 does not end up joining the residual CO2 8 miles up or so (if it did there would hugely more there) why would our paltry emissions defy gravity and do that?

    I understand and fully believe that the temperature has been taken in the CO2 area regularly since the early 50s and sporadically before that.and all this shows that the temp. has not changed at all there which would indicate that GHW does not occur there – except for a tiny amount that has always been there. Clearly CO2 does not absorb all wavelenghts of IR as thie higher energy IR direct from the sun are invisible to it. So just what does it absorb? In other words, if a scientist was using Spectral Analysis to decide what elements or molecules were present, how would CO2 be recognized?

    It seems:
    ‘Extra’ CO2 does not add to residual CO2 – unless that CO2 comes from us and
    Rises in CO2 follow rises in air temperature – unless the CO2 rises are attributed to us.

    Please, no verbal pats on the head – I am in my 60s and have been interested since childhood and have found that when things defy common sense or are illogical they are usually untrue. Also the mob at the centre of CAGW have frequently lied and are still doing so. When I am lied to I find it almost impossible to believe anything they say unless it is accompanied by proof that makes logical sense..
    Genuine answers welcomed

  55. [snip . . content free posts aren't helpful in adding to what we know . . perhaps you could repost your insights in a less opaque way . . thanks . . kbmod]

  56. Entropic man says:
    July 24, 2012 at 6:28 am
    “At the start of our interstadial,20,000 years ago the orbital changes began a temperature rise which then led to an increase in CO2 from 200ppm. The increased CO2 increased the temperature more, leading to a positive feedback cycle which increased both until the system reached a new equilibrium some 5C warmer and with about 280ppm of CO2 after 10,000years. You can see that in graph A above. Smaller effects have bobbed the temperatures up and down a bit around these values for the last 10,000 years.

    The concern now is that we have increased the amount of CO2 by at least as much again in the last century, from 280ppm to 390ppm.”

    How much of the 5 C temperature gain is directly attributable to the 80 ppm increase in CO2 and how much is directly to orbital changes?

    Since we are not to 400 ppm yet, CO2 can only account for 1.2 C of any temperature change since the bottom of 200 ppm. We’ve gone up over 5 which includes any gain from CO2 and feed backs. So we are safe.

    Oh ya the “Smaller effects..” that you mention that have “bobbed temperatures up and down” how do you know we are not a “Small effect” now causing a little bit of bobbing up with no assist from CO2?

  57. @Mosher,

    But then why doesn’t it cause more warming in the records? I guess the question to ask is, at what rate does the temperature rise before CO2 starts to follow, and at what rate does temperature change after CO2 is increasing as it outgasses from water?

  58. “””””…..Eli Rabett says:

    July 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    What a nice confirmation of Shakun, et al

    Shakun et al. find that at the end of the last ice age temperature increased immediately in the Arctic but only slightly, probably as a result of increased radiation during the northern hemisphere summer. As a result a small portion of the Arctic ice melted. The melt water had a lower salt concentration and thus was less dense than the surface water and sank although mostly not to great depths. …..”””””

    Well Shakun must have had his/er brains shaken as a child; The melt water was less dense so it sank. Well I learn something new every day.

  59. >>
    Entropic man says:
    July 24, 2012 at 5:57 am

    Try this link
    <<

    I not only tried that link, but I was involved in the conversation. Besides being called a “kook,” I was told that integration calculus was beyond my skill set (or words to that effect).

    Jim

  60. Why does it have to be either/or? I thought all climate scientists accepted that rising temps will cause some increased CO2 in the atmosphere, and that rising CO2 levels will cause some rising temps. I know the specifics as to the amount of influence one has on the other, and the speed with which it acts, are still being debated, but hasn’t the basic fact that rising CO2 levels cause warming, and that warming causes rising CO2 levels, been settled?

  61. Peridot says:
    July 24, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Help!
    I wish I could get a logical answer to questions…
    ____________________________________________
    Perhaps these graphs will help.
    Sun’s radiation: http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/images/instruments/sim/fig01.gif

    The sun vs the Earths radiation. I like this graph because it shows how sharp and high the incoming solar energy is vs how low and flat and spread out the outgoing radiation is: http://www.udel.edu/Geography/DeLiberty/Geog474/geog474_energy_interact.html

    This is the chart I think you are looking for. :http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/atmospheric_transmission.png?w=640
    Note that O3 (ozone), H2O (water) and CO2 all absorb at the higher wave lengths and therefore absorb incoming solar energy.

    CO2 spectra: http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cgi?ID=C124389&Units=SI&Type=IR-SPEC&Index=1#IR-SPEC
    H2O spectra: http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cgi?ID=C7732185&Units=SI&Type=IR-SPEC&Index=1#IR-SPEC

    This is a listing of class, (visible, Ultraviolet …) for Frequency, Wavelength and Energy that can help sort out some of the ‘hidden’ parts of global warming vs ‘It’s the Sun’ note how little actual energy is in the infrared wavelengths compared to visible and higher. These wavelengths that vary the most in the solar spectra and are absorbed by the ocean. NASA link TSI does not tell the whole story but it is the only thing warmists talk about.

    Also of interest:
    The solar radiation absorbed by the oceans: http://www.klimaatfraude.info/images/sverdrup.gif

    Vukcevic’s graph of total solar Insolation (TSI) and the earths magnetic field (South Pole): http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-dBzA1.htm

    Old NOAA chart of changes in the sun’s energy: http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/ThesunNOAA.jpg

    Abstract on changes in the sun’s energy: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/308/5723/850.abstract

    TSI monitoring results: http://acrim.com/

    A good general paper: http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20070611/20070611_04.pdf

  62. Sounds as if they are trying to find a smaller and smaller lag and eventually get to the point where they will ‘find’ that the CO2 preceded the temps.

  63. mkelly says:
    July 24, 2012 at 9:50 am
    Entropic man says:
    July 24, 2012 at 6:28 am
    “How much of the 5 C temperature gain is directly attributable to the 80 ppm increase in CO2 and how much is directly to orbital changes?
    Since we are not to 400 ppm yet, CO2 can only account for 1.2 C of any temperature change since the bottom of 200 ppm. We’ve gone up over 5 which includes any gain from CO2 and feed backs. So we are safe.”

    One slight misconception there. Over the first 10,000 years since our interglacial started to warm the temperature rose by 5C and the CO2 rose by 80ppm from 200 to 280ppm, this was then more or more or less constant up until 1880. The two rose more or less together, which is why one of the debating points here is “cause and effect”
    In the last 100 years CO2 has risen again, by 110ppm from 280ppm to 390ppm. The last time CO2 changed this much it accompanied a 5C temperature rise. What evidence do you have to reassure me that another 5C rise is not going to happen?

  64. Jim Masterson says:
    July 24, 2012 at 11:17 am
    >>
    Entropic man says:
    July 24, 2012 at 5:57 am

    Try this link
    <<

    I not only tried that link, but I was involved in the conversation. Besides being called a “kook,” I was told that integration calculus was beyond my skill set (or words to that effect).

    Jim

    Sorry about that. The link was to another post on this website. Perhaps you should refer your complaint to the webmaster.

  65. CO2 follows temperature, bandwagon follows CO2, money follows bandwagon, power follows money. Too simple?

  66. Entropic says:

    “In the last 100 years CO2 has risen again, by 110ppm from 280ppm to 390ppm. The last time CO2 changed this much it accompanied a 5C temperature rise.”

    Did you read the article? Or even the headline? Rises in CO2 follow rises in temperature, on time scales from months to hundreds of millennia. And most of the effect of CO2 has already occurred, as you can see here.

    Explain why temperature is no longer rising along with CO2. Seems to be a disconnect in the CO2=AGW conjecture, no?

  67. Smokey says:
    July 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm
    Entropic says:
    “In the last 100 years CO2 has risen again, by 110ppm from 280ppm to 390ppm. The last time CO2 changed this much it accompanied a 5C temperature rise.”

    “Did you read the article? Or even the headline? Rises in CO2 follow rises in temperature, on time scales from months to hundreds of millennia. And most of the effect of CO2 has already occurred, as you can see here.
    Explain why temperature is no longer rising along with CO2. Seems to be a disconnect in the CO2=AGW conjecture, no?”

    You are conflating two different events.

    20,000 years ago a rise in temperature due to orbital changes led to a rise in temperature, then a rise in CO2, fopllowed by a complex positive feedback interaction between the two.

    In the 19th century an ongoing increase in CO2 began. In the 20th century an increase in temperature followed. Of the possible causes for the temperature change investigated, increased back radiation due to increased CO2 is the hypothesis which best fits the data, with a possible resumption of the positive feedback interaction to come.

    Since it may be a long time before a new equilibrium is reached, I would reserve judgement on the “no temperature rise ” argument until we have a longer baseline than 12 years.

  68. >>
    Entropic man says:
    July 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Sorry about that. The link was to another post on this website. Perhaps you should refer your complaint to the webmaster.
    <<

    No. I have no complaints about my treatment here. It’s just that your reference to the other thread doesn’t make the point you seem to be trying to make.

    I happen to agree with Chris Wright: “it’s almost as if the greenhouse effect simply isn’t working in the climate system. I assume it can be demonstrated in a laboratory, but it appears to be impossible to demonstrate in the real world.”

    The other thread you referenced is a mishmash of concepts.

    Jim

  69. Jim Masterson says:
    July 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    >>
    Entropic man says:
    July 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Sorry about that. The link was to another post on this website. Perhaps you should refer your complaint to the webmaster.
    <<

    No. I have no complaints about my treatment here. It’s just that your reference to the other thread doesn’t make the point you seem to be trying to make.

    I happen to agree with Chris Wright: “it’s almost as if the greenhouse effect simply isn’t working in the climate system. I assume it can be demonstrated in a laboratory, but it appears to be impossible to demonstrate in the real world.”

    The other thread you referenced is a mishmash of concepts.

    Websites for the Met office, NASA Goddard, the Hadley Centre, the Environment Agency and many others, (even Wikpedia) give clear descriptions of the processes underlying the greenhouse effect. I hesitate to give links here, since the ethos of this site automatically assumes that such sites are, to use a term I saw here today, untrustworthy.

    [REPLY: Nice try, but don’t try it again. If you have links, post them. Expect criticism if they really are untrustworthy. Expect argument if the descriptions are shonky. Very little gets snipped here and it has to be pretty egregious. The moderators will let you know if it is. Stay civil, obey site policy, and everything will be fine. Casting aspersions is a cause to be snipped. Please don’t do it again. -REP]

  70. Ok correct me if I’m wrong, but does this paper not confirm that a) temperature rises leading to b) increase in c02 levels. Therefore co2 is not causing the temperature rise (at least is not the driving force behind it) and therefore the only way we can have further “apocalyptic” warming is if there is a yet to be discovered positive feedback that increases the temperature rise.

  71. Peridot says: July 24, 2012 at 8:07 am Help …!

    Hope this helps.
    ______________

    My Summary – The “Mainstream” Catastrophic Humanmade Global Warming Debate:

    Conventional climate theory, assuming zero feedback, suggests that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 would result in ~1 degree C of global warming.

    Warming alarmists say there are positive feedbacks to increasing CO2 (and build this assumption aggressively into their climate models), whereas climate skeptics say there are negative feedbacks.

    The skeptics easily win this mainstream debate, because there is no evidence of net positive feedbacks to increased CO2 in the climate system, and ample evidence of negative feedbacks.

    Also, despite increased atmospheric CO2, there has been no net global warming in about a decade.

    The probability therefore is that “climate sensitivity” to a hypothetical doubling of atmospheric CO2 is significantly less than 1 degree C.

    Furthermore, I suspect that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is unlikely to happen due to human activity – so we can expect much less than 1 degree C of global warming.

    The above ASSUMES that one accepts the premises of the mainstream debate.

    BUT there is perhaps a bigger problem with the mainstream debate:

    Atmospheric CO2 LAGS temperature at all measured time scales, from hundreds of years on a long cycle, to 9 months on a short cycle;
    SO
    the hypothesis that CO2 is a significant driver of global temperature, core to the mainstream debate, apparently assumes that the future is causing the past.

    The popular counterarguments are:
    a) The lag of CO2 after temperature is a “feedback effect”,
    OR
    b) It is clear evidence that time machines really do exist.

    Both counterarguments a) and b) are supported by equal amounts of compelling evidence. :-)

    This thorny point may not be resolved in my lifetime, but I’ll just remind you of some of the assumptions that are near and dear to the hearts and “logic” of the global warming alarmists:
    1. They apparently assume that the Uniformitarian Principle has been especially exempted for their particular brand of “science”.
    2. The also assume that Occam’s Razor can similarly be ignored, apparently again, just for them.

    The increasing desperation of the warming alarmists is evidenced by their evermore Byzantine explanations of the observed flat or cooling global temperatures in this century. What is it this week – aerosols, dust, volcanoes. the appalling scarcity of buffalo farts… the list of farfetched apologia is endless and increasingly pathetic.

    Earlier, there was Mann-made global warming, the “Divergence Problem” and “Hide the Decline”. The list of global warmist chicanery is increasingly long and unprincipled.

    It is notable that not one of the very-scary global warming predictions of the IPCC has materialized. The IPCC has demonstrated negative predictive skill. All its scary predictions have proven false.
    __________________
    If the above post is too political, try this one:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/06/a-reply-shakun-et-al-dr-munchausen-explains-science-by-proxy/#comment-948287

    CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales from ~~600-800 years in the ice core records on a long temperature-time cycle, to 9 months on a much shorter time scale.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

    We really don’t know how much of the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 is natural and how much is manmade – possibilities range from entirely natural (~~600-800 years ago was the Medieval Warm Period) to entirely manmade (the “mass balance argument”). I lean towards mostly natural, but I’m not certain.

    Although this questions is scientifically crucial, it is not that critical to the current “social debate” about alleged catastrophic manmade global warming (CAGW), since it is obvious to sensible people that IF CO2 truly drives temperature, it is an insignificant driver (climate sensitivity to CO2 is very low; “feedbacks” are negative) and minor increased warmth and increased atmospheric CO2 are beneficial to both humanity AND the environment.

    In summary, the “climate skeptics” are trouncing the warming alarmists in the “mainstream CAGW debate”.

    Back to the crucial scientific question – is the current increase in atmospheric CO2 largely natural or manmade?

    Please see this 15fps AIRS data animation of global CO2 at

    [video src="http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4" /]

    It is difficult to see the impact of humanity in this impressive display of nature’s power.

    All I can see is the bountiful impact of Spring, dominated by the Northern Hemisphere with its larger land mass, and some possible ocean sources and sinks.

    I’m pretty sure all the data is there to figure this out, and I suspect some already have – perhaps Jan Veizer and colleagues.

  72. THX, it’s not a binary situation, where either x causes y or vice versa. Both can be true in a feedback scenario. This is a point that many people here either can’t compass mentally, or are disinclined to credit (often mistakenly assuming that ‘feedback’ = ‘runaway effect’).

    For the last 20 years or so, since we had the technology to examine timings of the temperature and gas/aerosol loadings from ice cores, the story has CONSISTENTLY been that orbital variation is the trigger for temperature changes, which cause GHGs to outgas, which operate as feedbacks to the temperature rise. This has been the understanding for about two decades.

    This paper does nothing to change that broad understanding on ice age transitions. Like many studies in the last 20 years, what is being attempted is to get tighter constraints on timings and contributions from various components involved in the transistion process. This paper refers to a recent one, also posted about at WUWT. As usual, there is no conflict with the long-held broad understanding.

    A brief comparison with the recent work by Shakun et al. (2012) is also warranted. Their study evaluates the phasing between the EDC CO2 record and multi-proxy hemispheric and global (rather than exclusively Antarctic) temperature reconstructions. They report a CO2 lag behind their Southern Hemisphere temperature reconstruction (620±660 yr), a lead of CO2 over their Northern Hemisphere reconstruction (720±330 yr), and a short lead of CO2 over their full global reconstruction (460±340 yr). The southern lag and northern lead is attributed to an anti-phased hemispheric temperature response to ocean circulation changes (as also discussed further below) superimposed on globally in-phase warming driven by the CO2 increase. This emphasises the role of CO2 as both feedback and forcing in the deglacial warming. Within the quoted uncertainty bounds, the 620±660 yr lag for the Southern Hemisphere is not inconsistent with our Antarctica-based result; also, considering the aforementioned 1age issues for EDC, their Southern Hemisphere lag is likely somewhat overestimated (and the northern and global lead are likely underestimated). The larger uncertainty range around the Shakun et al. (2012) result must be expected given the challenges of synchronising records from multiple proxy types. In our view, the remarkable similarity of the Antarctic temperature and CO2 curves and the independent evidence that the high latitude Southern Ocean was a centre of action in the deglacial CO2 release make the lag determination from an Antarctic perspective critical for constraining the mechanisms involved in the CO2 increase.

    http://www.clim-past.net/8/1213/2012/cp-8-1213-2012.pdf

    It is somewhat astonishing to me that the perversion of the 20 year-old understanding of ice age transitions has such traction. Reading comments here you could be led to believe that the story has changed, or that this study puts paid to the notion of CO2 contributing to deglaciation events. But it is simply the wishful thinking of the commenters. “CO2 lags not leads!” is a simplistic meme, but obviously an attractive one for decidedly unskeptical thinkers.

    For an excellent history of the study of ice age transitions via ice cores (etc), see Spencer Weart’s site. He is an historian of science.

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/cycles.htm

  73. From the History of Climate science page, Weart makes what I think is one of the strongest points regarding atmospheric contribution to glacial transitions:

    The changes in the atmosphere also answered the old persuasive objection to Milankovitch’s theory — if the timing of ice ages was set by variations in the sunlight falling on a given hemisphere, why didn’t the Southern Hemisphere get warmer as the Northern Hemisphere cooled, and vice-versa? The answer was that changes in atmospheric CO2 and methane physically linked the two hemispheres, powerfully warming or cooling the planet as a whole.

    Understanding the intricacies of timing and contribution is the focus of papers such as the one that is the subject of this thread. But the overall picture is pretty straightforward and has been the same for many years.

  74. Entropic man says:
    July 24, 2012 at 6:28 am

    ….. At the start of our interstadial,20,000 years ago the orbital changes began a temperature rise which then led to an increase in CO2 from 200ppm. The increased CO2 increased the temperature more, leading to a positive feedback cycle which increased both until the system reached a new equilibrium some 5C warmer and with about 280ppm of CO2 after 10,000years. You can see that in graph A above. Smaller effects have bobbed the temperatures up and down a bit around these values for the last 10,000 years.

    The concern now is that we have increased the amount of CO2 by at least as much again in the last century, from 280ppm to 390ppm.

    If the physics of the greenhouse effect is correct, this is likely to reset the equilibrium temperature higher, though how much higher is under discussion by IPCC, posters here and a lot of others.
    ___________________________________
    I think Mother Nature disproved your scenario in this graph. Take a good hard look at the Eocone and the Holocene on the right. Either the Ice Core CO2 data is incorrect as Dr. Jaworowski and others have stated or your conjecture is flat out wrong. That of course does not stop the ‘true believers’ from trying to come up with ways to promote CO2 from the bit player it is back to ‘Control Knob’ status.

    (Graph shows temp from the Vostok and CO2from the Vostok, Law Dome and Mauna Loa.)

  75. Chris Wright says: @ July 24, 2012 at 4:05 am
    ” it’s almost as if the greenhouse effect simply isn’t working in the climate system. I assume it can be demonstrated in a laboratory, but it appears to be impossible to demonstrate in the real world.”
    __________________________________
    I can think of good reasons for that. I have not seen them discussed here although Sleepalot did bring them up.

    First one of the bits of information the Warmists always seem to leave out is that the wavelengths from the sun are higher in energy then the infrared energy from the earth.

    The second bit of information is the spread of the wavelengths from the sun vs earthshine: graph

    And the third bit is both water, carbon dioxide, methane as well as oxygen and ozone absorb in the solar energy band as well as the earthshine band. This means what ever physics the Warmist claim for Carbon Dioxide’s interaction with the earthshine energy band must also hold true for the solar energy band. graph

    Trenbeth in his cartoon shows that solar band atmosphere physics to equate to 67 Wm2 he shows the earthshine as 390 Wm2 and the ‘Back radiation’ physics as 324 Wm2. (note that convection is only 24 Wm2 and latent heat from water change state is only 78Wm2)

    Sleepalot looked at temperature and humidity data for a rain forest and a desert. The data indicates that water vapor increases the low temperatures and decreases the high temperatures, effectively smoothing out the daily temperature swings. The diurnal variation is 10C for the high humidity area and 30C for the desert. I looked at sunny days only in the rain forest and found the same. Also when altitude is taken into account the net temperature effect of humidity (and other variables) is to drop the temperature by 8C in the rain forest compared to the desert. link and link So it would seem the water vapor might be blocking a bit more than the 67 Wm2 trenberth is showing.

    This graph of the air and ground temperature as recorded during a solar eclipse in the North Africa (desert) shows how fast the earth’s air and surface react to changes in solar energy with no humidity mucking up the works. http://www.shadowchaser.demon.co.uk/eclipse/2006/thermochron.gif

    As E.M. Smith said

    …there are large amounts of gases containing vast numbers of molecules in collision, thereby exhibiting a measurable Temperature, and therefore able to radiate and absorb EM radiation of ANY frequency or wavelength, including the the range from 0.7 microns to 100 microns, commonly referred to as Infra-red….

    …. particle Physicists, along with Radio Astronomers; and other Radio Physicists (such as me), are mindful of the fact that accelerated electric charges; aka variable electric currents travelling any non zero distance must radiate EM waves as shown eons ago, by the likes of Heinrich Hertz, and James Clark Maxwell.

    Spector brings up an interesting point as shown in this graph.

    davidmhoffer? also brought up the point that even if the global temperature did increase by 1C it would not be a uniform increase across the earth. And then there is Willis’ Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis that makes a joke out of Trenberth’s measly 24Wm2 for thermals (Think Hadley cell, Ferrel cell, and Polar cell as well as thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes)

  76. OH, and I might add that if Trenberth’s is correct about that measly 24Wm2 for thermals aka wind, then we can completely forget about Wind Power as a commercial source of energy. (Snicker)

    The top conversion efficiency is 70% (computed numerical values possible) and only in the 15 to 20 mph window http://k0lee.com/turbineeff.htm

    Someone may want to wave that information in front of the nose of the city council when the subject of windfarms comes up.

  77. Entropic man says:
    July 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm
    mkelly says:
    July 24, 2012 at 9:50 am
    Entropic man says:
    July 24, 2012 at 6:28 am
    “How much of the 5 C temperature gain is directly attributable to the 80 ppm increase in CO2 and how much is directly to orbital changes?
    Since we are not to 400 ppm yet, CO2 can only account for 1.2 C of any temperature change since the bottom of 200 ppm. We’ve gone up over 5 which includes any gain from CO2 and feed backs. So we are safe.”

    “One slight misconception there.”

    Don’t think I had a misconception at all, but even if I did you failed to answer the questions. How much of the 5 C is directly attributable to CO2 and how do you know we are not in one of you little “small effects” that is causing the temperarture to be bobbing around?

  78. barry says:
    July 24, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    THX, it’s not a binary situation, where either x causes y or vice versa. Both can be true in a feedback scenario…. This paper does nothing to change that broad understanding on ice age transitions… This paper refers to a recent one, also posted about at WUWT. As usual, there is no conflict with the long-held broad understanding.
    “… Shakun et al. (2012) is also warranted….” and just like this paper Shakun et al. (2012) got debunked too.
    A new paper in Nature suggests CO2 leads temperature, but has some serious problems

    Shakun, Not Stirred, and Definitely Not Area-Weighted

    A reply to Shakun et al – Dr. Munchausen Explains Science By Proxy

    Did Shakun et al. really prove that CO2 preceded late glacial warming? [Part 1]

    More fatal flaws in the Shakun et al. Nature paper claiming that CO2 preceded late glacial warming [Part 2]

    And that is only part of the discussion on the Shakun paper. You can web search for the rest.

    As far as “….that the perversion of the 20 year-old understanding of ice age transitions has such traction….” I suggest you read In defense of Milankovitch and follow the links to the peer reviewed paper. (I did not know that 2006 was 20 years ago)

  79. You know, I tend to trust Scandinavian scientists more when it comes to ice, They love the stuff. Norwegians know more about both the Arctic and Antarctic than the rest of the world added together – at least their love of the stuff and their history in exploration makes it sacred ground that they are not going to desecrate by fraudulent manipulation of data. Yeah I know “Copenhagen summit” and all that, but I believe their temp graph of the above 80N lat, and I trust the Norwegian ice extents more than anyone else’s.

  80. @How in the hell can Temperature rise and CO2 rise “follow each other closely.” ? That’s got to be just about the stupidest thing I have ever read in what purports to be a “scientific study report.”

    Make up your minds; which one is leading and which one is following ?@
    @They really mean: Pre hoc, ergo propter hoc…
    “First the temperature rose, so it was caused by the CO2 that followed.”
    That is plain ridiculous.@
    Couldn’t they happen practically simultaneously? Shouldn’t we judge the past by the present? Can’t we conduct a laboratory test on how much CO2 is released by sea water for any increment of warming? When sea water is heated CO2 is immediately released.

  81. Gail,

    As far as “….that the perversion of the 20 year-old understanding of ice age transitions has such traction….” I suggest you read In defense of Milankovitch and follow the links to the peer reviewed paper. (I did not know that 2006 was 20 years ago)

    The notion that orbital variations ‘trigger’ ice age transitions is older than two decades, and has underpinned the understanding of ice age dynamics since the 1980s. There’s no need to isolate Milankovitch theory, as it is part and parcel of the suite of processes that cause glacial changes. You seem to be positing opposing viewpoints where there is no opposition.

    The objections to Shakun et al and the current paper are based on muddled thinking and misunderstandings. It’s not worth trawling through all the junk there, but let’s take the first objection from the first WUWT article you linked.

    1. They assume that CO2 is capable of causing climate changes, even though 95% of the greenhouse gas (GHG) effect is from water vapor.

    Denying the greenhouse effect of CO2? Instantly dismissable. Water vapour accounts for about 66 to 80%, not 95% of the greenhouse effect. Not to mention that atmospheric water vapour content is a feedback process and short-lived in the atmosphere, whereas CO2… well, the memes supporting this first assertion are plentiful.

    If rebutting Shakun relies on denying the greenhouse effect of CO2, then it’s useless taking the discussion seriously. Complete waste of time. Accepting that CO2 has an effect (you can include Richard Lindzen, Roger Pielke Jr and Sr, Roy Spencer, John Christie, and any other actual climate scientist amongst those who have no doubt CO2 is a greenhouse gas that shoulod cause some warming if atmospheric content is increased) leads to the understanding that CO2 will amplify warming during the transition from glacial maximum top interglacial. The only poit worth discussing is how much it will contribute. The lead/lag argument is an ideologically driven distraction. CO2 could lag at all times and in all places, but can still amplify the warming effect. And this is the point – not whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas, which is the notion Easterbrook and Essenbach base their arguments on, whether or not they come right out and say it.

  82. And where is the current paper “debunked”? All they’re suggesting is that CO2 began accumulating after Antarctic warming by ~400 years or less, which is a tighter lag than estimated previously (but within confidence bounds of some earlier studies, eg Monnin et al 2001). It changes nothing of the bigger picture, and I can only assume skeptics have taken an interest due to some red-flag phrases or something.

  83. >>
    barry says:
    July 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    The lead/lag argument is an ideologically driven distraction. CO2 could lag at all times and in all places, but can still amplify the warming effect.
    <<

    There’s an old post by Frank Lansner that should have put a stop to this “distraction.” Although alarmists like to blame CO2 with a lag time of hundreds of years as responsible for raising the temperature of the Earth, they completely ignore the temperature/CO2 relationship on the downside. The CO2 on the downside should fall long before the temperature starts to drop, but it doesn’t. It not only stays high (where it should be causing massive warming), but it lingers there longer. Why aren’t we looking for the real controlling actor instead of always blaming CO2 when CO2 appears to be a reluctant player in the temperature/concentration dance?

    Jim

  84. The CO2 on the downside should fall long before the temperature starts to drop

    No. That is an assertion without any logic. Just as in the initial warming process, changes in temperature can occur first, with CO2 following. One could as easily posit that the long tail of cooling is exactly what is expected due to the long residence time of CO2. It takes longer for warming oceans to outgas CO2 than it does for geological absorption. One could posit that the long tail of cooling is a result of the long residence time of atmospheric CO2. Even now terrestrial sinks (incl oceans) only take up half the excess CO2 that is emitted into the atmosphere, and this has been the case for as long as there have been measurements of ocean CO2 uptake. Perhaps the bipolar process posited by Shakun occurs in reverse during glaciation – or some other process that brings down temperature leads CO2 absorption by terrestrial sinks.

    But all this speculation is beside the point I’m making. Either one agrees CO2 is a greenhouse gas and will play a part (of whatever magnitude) in glacial transitions, or one distrots the scientific understanding by funneling a complex suite of processes into a binary either/or cause/effect argument.

    Deglaciation takes 5k to 8k year. Even if CO2 accumulation lags temps for all places on Earth by 1000 years (ie, lags both Southern and Northern Hemisphere temp rise), the CO2 will contribute to warming (and cooling, possibly delaying it). You may argue about the magnitude of CO2 contribution, but trying to dismiss CO2 contribution outright by using the lag/lead argument is the same as denying CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

  85. ***
    barry says:
    July 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Accepting that CO2 has an effect (you can include Richard Lindzen, Roger Pielke Jr and Sr, Roy Spencer, John Christie, and any other actual climate scientist amongst those who have no doubt CO2 is a greenhouse gas that shoulod cause some warming if atmospheric content is increased) leads to the understanding that CO2 will amplify warming during the transition from glacial maximum top interglacial.
    ***

    The paper (Roe) that Gail refers to shows a remarkable correlation between 65N summer insolation and ice-mass changes — something above 90%. If you assume ice-mass changes are a proxy for temperatures (dang good assumption), then that tight correlation means that little else (including CO2) is having an effect on temperatures. If CO2 had a significant effect, it would reduce that correlation, unless CO2 levels were exactly in step with the solar insolation changes. Obviously they don’t.

    Roe’s paper IMO is strong evidence that CO2 changes & ice-mass changes (as a proxy for temps) have no significant correlation.

  86. beng,

    All I’m seeing is a litany of suggestions that rest on the idea that CO2 isn’t really a greenhouse gas. Your comment implies the same.

    There are a slew of comments above that pit the issue as an either/or, lag/lead argument, as if chickens could not possibly lay eggs because they have been observed hatching from eggs. (“Eggs cause chickens, not the other way around!”) From my POV, no one is interested in correcting a very common meme that has been dropped all over this thread, ignoring what I’m saying in order to hop on to whatever pet paper/hypothesis/argument kills the CO2-contributes-to-glacial-shift notion. Care to join me in saying that the lag/lead argument suffers from the logical fallacy of assuming a single cause? At least I’d feel someone was actually dealing with what I’m saying here.

    I doubt the Roe paper is going to change the picture very much, but please link to it if you think it’s really worth pursuing.

  87. ****
    barry says:
    July 26, 2012 at 8:06 am

    beng,

    All I’m seeing is a litany of suggestions that rest on the idea that CO2 isn’t really a greenhouse gas. Your comment implies the same.
    ***

    How did you get that? I agree w/the basic, non-feedback CO2 pure radiation “theory”.

    ****
    I doubt the Roe paper is going to change the picture very much, but please link to it if you think it’s really worth pursuing.
    ****

    Look it up yourself if you have any basic curiosity. Takes a whole 10 seconds.

  88. >>
    Entropic man says:
    July 26, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Some of you might find this of interest.
    <<

    I remember the argument that other proxies (such as leaf stoma count) indicating higher levels of CO2 were in error, because ice cores showed a lower CO2 level. The argument then was that CO2 is a “well-mixed” gas and ice cores were as accurate as Mauna Loa readings (in fact, the Mauna Loa record was glued on to the ice core record).

    Now that the ice core record is proving problematical in the area of CO2/temperature timing, the ice cores have to be discredited. I guess CO2 isn’t “well-mixed” after all.

    Does this mean that the leaf stoma count proxy is now more accurate? You can’t have it both ways.

    Jim

  89. >>
    barry says:
    July 26, 2012 at 2:25 am

    No. That is an assertion without any logic.
    <<

    It’s always interesting to see the individual with a complete disconnect from reality and logic accusing everyone else as being illogical.

    >>
    But all this speculation is beside the point I’m making. Either one agrees CO2 is a greenhouse gas and will play a part (of whatever magnitude) in glacial transitions, or one distrots the scientific understanding by funneling a complex suite of processes into a binary either/or cause/effect argument.
    <<

    The one who is “distrot-ing” scientific understanding is you. If a GHG works at level x, then it should also work at all levels greater than or equal to x. I’ll ask this again, if CO2 can lift the Earth out of the doldrums of an ice age, then why doesn’t it stop the temperature drop when its concentration is far higher?

    >>
    You may argue about the magnitude of CO2 contribution, but trying to dismiss CO2 contribution outright by using the lag/lead argument is the same as denying CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
    <<

    You’re setting up what is called a “straw man.” I don’t deny the GHE of CO2; it’s just a very weak GHG. I happen to be more realistic about it. Evidence shows it doesn’t play a major role in temperature control and probably doesn’t play a minor role. Even the IPCC tends to agree, because it gives CO2 the GWP of 1 (by definition). All other GHGs have a higher GWP. The IPCC even leaves out two major GHGs–water vapor and ozone. Try as you might, you won’t find a GWP value for either gas–the IPCC has conveniently excluded them in their definition of GWP.

    Jim

  90. Greenhouse is a THEORY. Only when a theory is replicated independently then it become LAW. Everyone will agree that water freezes at 32′ F/0′C. That is a law because it can be replicated with the same conclusion. The earth has heated and cooled for 7+ BILLION years. What was the cause in the past? I think Al Gore should be tried for fraud, misrepresentation and any other charges that can be brought against that yahoo.

  91. Look it up yourself if you have any basic curiosity. Takes a whole 10 seconds.

    I’ve been following links here, beng, and commenting on them. As no one has addressed my links or even my central point, you can understand that I don’t want to search gogle scholar for a paper by Roe without the publication date, title or anything else that might narrow down the search.

    But perhaps as no one has gainsaid my argument on lag/lead, then I might hope that next time a dozen commenters make the same illogical case, the people who have been replying to me will leap in and correct them.

  92. Jim,

    I’ll ask this again, if CO2 can lift the Earth out of the doldrums of an ice age, then why doesn’t it stop the temperature drop when its concentration is far higher?

    The mistake in thinking here is to imagine that CO2 is the only driver of climate. If orbital variations are the lead forcing for ice age shifts, then by definition other processes wil lag. We’re talking about a cooling process that happens slowly over tens of thousands of years. A < 1k year lag in CO2 is not an impediment to it playing a part in glacial transitions.

    Much of the discussion on transition to stadial is based on Vostok ice core data. I have yet to come across a paper that addresses a multi-regional analysis (a la Shakun).

  93. barry says:

    “The mistake in thinking here is to imagine that CO2 is the only a driver of climate.”

    There. Fixed it for you.

    [CO2 is a GHG, but it does not 'drive the climate'.]

  94. Just a ley person question. Why would the uplift of temperature be the same as the downshift in temperature. If there is a lag in co2 and it apparently helps the temperature to go up further, then why wouldnt there be a lag in cooling along with the lag in co2 dropping.

    Shouldnt the drop in temperature be slower than the rise. This is assuming they even know what caused the temperature rise in the first place and the drop being from said driver going away.

  95. It seems that a lot of people here has problems with the notion that CO2 lags temperature. That doesn’t prove that CO2 has no effect on temperature, it can be both. The only point is that the back and forth feedback factors can’t be high, as that would give a runaway effect, which is not observed at all.

    The main problem, as already mentioned by others, is that there is a huge overlap of several thousands of years between temperature and CO2 levels, no matter if the lag of CO2 is 200 or 600 years. That allows the climate modellers to implement a relative huge positive feedback from CO2 on temperature. But the other way round is more difficult to explain:

    At the end of the previous (warmer) interglacial, the Eemian, CO2 levels remained high for thousands of years, while temperatures already reached a new minimum (and ice sheet buildup reached a new maximum), before starting to decline. The subsequent drop of 40 ppmv didn’t have a measurable effect on temperature. That points to a small effect of CO2 on temperature:

    Where two different methods were used for interpreting the temperature proxy (dD) and the d18O in N2O of the gas phase proxy was used to interprete ice sheet buildup, all measured in the Vostok ice core.

  96. Jim Masterson says:
    July 26, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Now that the ice core record is proving problematical in the area of CO2/temperature timing, the ice cores have to be discredited. I guess CO2 isn’t “well-mixed” after all.

    Does this mean that the leaf stoma count proxy is now more accurate? You can’t have it both ways.

    The problem with ice cores is not the accuracy of the CO2 measurements: these are accurate to +/-1.2 ppmv (1 sigma) in the same ice core and up to +/- 5 ppmv for several cores taken at different places with a huge variety in accumulation rate, average temperature, etc… The real problems are that the CO2 levels measured at a certain depth are the average of several years to several centuries, depending of the accumulation rate and that the age of the average CO2 levels measured lags the age of the ice layer where these are found from a few decades to several millennia. The cause for both is that the pores between the densifying snow are still open for many years, exchanging air and thus CO2 with the open air above it, slower and slower, until the pores are too small to give any exchange anymore.

    Thus where the slow closing of the pores and bubbles give a lag, the estimates for the amount of lag in average age and thus the estimates for a real lag in CO2 after temperature (the latter is measured as proxy in the oxygen or deuterium isotopes in the ice layer) is a huge challenge.

    Thus the CO2 levels measured in ice are quite reliable, but averaged over a short (8 years for the past 150 years for 2 out of 3 Law Dome ice cores) to very long period (550-600 years for the Vostok and Dome C resp. 420 and 800 kyr).

    Stomata (index) data have their own problems: they reflect the average CO2 level of the previous growing season over the regional area in the main wind direction over land where the plants grow. That gives already a positive bias, which can be accounted for by calibrating them over the past century against… ice cores and direct measurements. But that is no guarantee that the bias didn’t change over the centuries as result of huge changes in landscape (natural or human driven) in the main wind direction, even a change in main wind direction over specific periods of time…

  97. Peridot says:
    July 24, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Help!
    I wish I could get a logical answer to questions I have asked before with no result. I am a very interested lay person who reads widely and can see when things defy common sense and logic.
    As natural emissions of CO2 vary greatly either seasonally (Autunmn in the Northern Hemisphere) or randomly (volcano & vents) and this ‘extra’ CO2 does not end up joining the residual CO2 8 miles up or so (if it did there would hugely more there) why would our paltry emissions defy gravity and do that?

    I hope that I can help somewhat with your questions…

    Natural emissions do vary hugely with the seasons, but don’t vary that much over the years:
    For an average global temperature change over the seasons of about 1°C, a lot of CO2 is exchanged between the oceans and the atmosphere (about 50 GtC as CO2) and the biosphere and the atmosphere (about 60 GtC). Besides that, there is a near continuous exchange of CO2 (about 40 GtC) between the deep oceans and the atmosphere: out of the upwelling in the warm Pacific and down into the NE Atlantic and returning via the THC through the deep oceans.
    The continous exchange has no effect on the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, as long as there is an equilibrium between the sinks and sources. The seasonal exchanges also have a limited effect on CO2 levels, as ocean releases/uptake and biosphere uptake/release are working countercurrent. The net global effect is about 5 ppmv/°C, where the largest effect is from the spring uptake of land vegetation in the mid-latitudes of the NH. Besides that, at the end of the year, the seasonal exchanges cancel each other out, except for any difference in in/outflows over that year.

    Volcanoes and volcanic vents over land are a minor source (estimates are 1% of human emissions). Even a huge VEI 5 volcanic explosion like the Pinatubo in 1992, does show a drop in CO2 increase rate, as the cooling as result of the ash cloud absorbed more CO2 (in the oceans) than the volcano released.
    Underwater volcanoes are far more unknown, but most of that CO2 is dissolved in the already huge mass of CO2 of the deep ocean waters.

    The human emissions today are about 8 GtC/year. The measured increase in the atmosphere is about halve that, with a variability of the same order, halve the human emissions. Thus the year by year natural variability is rather small and mainly temperature related:

    Nature was a net sink, at least over the past 50 years.

    Thus while the human emissions are rather small, they are the main cause of the increase in the atmosphere at least over the past 50 years, with a small contribution of the increase in temperature since the LIA. See further:

    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html#The_mass_balance

    A note on the mixing of CO2 into the rest of the atmosphere: Except nearby huge point sources and the first few hundred meters over land, CO2 is well mixed in 95% of the atmosphere, but that takes time. The seasonal changes give a 20% exchange of all CO2 in the atmosphere. The regional changes need days to weeks to distribute within one latitude/altitude layer, weeks to months between altitudes and latidudes of the same hemisphere and months to a few years between the hemispheres.
    CO2 is heavier than air, but wind and convection mixes it in and brings it everywhere and Brownian motion keeps it mixed…

  98. barry says:
    July 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Gail,
    …. There’s no need to isolate Milankovitch theory, as it is part and parcel of the suite of processes that cause glacial changes. You seem to be positing opposing viewpoints where there is no opposition.

    The objections to Shakun et al and the current paper are based on muddled thinking and misunderstandings. It’s not worth trawling through all the junk there, but let’s take the first objection from the first WUWT article you linked.

    If rebutting Shakun relies on denying the greenhouse effect of CO2, then it’s useless taking the discussion seriously….
    __________________________________
    No it does not rely on “..denying the greenhouse effect of CO2…” and I am not going to recap it here.

    As far as water goes, when you take into account 70% of the surface of the earth is water, a large chunk of high energy TSI penetrates the oceans and to a depth as great as 100 meters Then add in the heat capacity of the oceans is much larger than the atmosphere, and more importantly CO2 is more soluble in cold water than in hot, I am afraid that trying to make CO2 the Control Knob of the climate is really laughable.

    Then you add in CO2 is 200 – 400 ppm while H2O varies up to 4%. The latent heat from water turning into vapor and back into rain and snow, the albedo from clouds, snow and ice. and the fact that rainforest (80 – 90% humidity) Have much less temperature swing and a lower over all temperature than an equivelant desert, you really lost the battle. link

    Is CO2 a “Green house gas? Sure but water in all its variations beats CO2 to death when it comes to its effect on climate. Also there is no way you can over look the influence of the sun. Only by stating that TSI must be held constant and NOT looking at the variations in the wavelengths of TSI especially the variation in the wavelengths above visible light (up to 6%), the same wavelength that most effect the oceans, could the CAGW hoax hope to be advanced.

  99. barry says:
    July 26, 2012 at 8:06 am

    beng,

    …I doubt the Roe paper is going to change the picture very much, but please link to it if you think it’s really worth pursuing.
    _______________________________
    It was right there at the top of the blog linked to.
    Try this PDF/a>

  100. Jim Masterson says: @ July 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    …..Even the IPCC tends to agree, because it gives CO2 the GWP of 1 (by definition). All other GHGs have a higher GWP. The IPCC even leaves out two major GHGs–water vapor and ozone. Try as you might, you won’t find a GWP value for either gas–the IPCC has conveniently excluded them in their definition of GWP.
    __________________________________________
    Yeah that is the BIG CLUE that the whole thing is really a hoax.

    This is the other BIG CLUE when the true motives come out.

    Thursday, 18 November 2010 13:16
    Neue Zürcher Zeitung
    Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated….

    Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War.

    http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/IPCC_Edenhofer__Climate_Policy_Is_Redistributing_The_World__s_Wealth_.pdf

    From NoTricksZone

    You just can not separate UN politics from CAGW.

  101. gav says:
    July 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    how many times does the cause and effect have to be proven!

    That the CO2 levels lag the temperature changes doesn’t prove that CO2 has no influence on temperature, only that the influence can’t be extreme, as that would give a runaway effect. I have made a graph that shows the difference between CO2 having no effect on temperature and CO2 giving a 10% increase in temperature as a positive feedback. In both cases with the same lag for CO2. In the case of a positive feedback, both temperature and CO2 levels increase with 21% over time:

  102. >>
    FerdiEgb says:
    July 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    The problem with ice cores is not the accuracy of the CO2 measurements: these are accurate to +/-1.2 ppmv (1 sigma) in the same ice core and up to +/- 5 ppmv for several cores taken at different places with a huge variety in accumulation rate, average temperature, etc…
    <<

    After taking measurements, it would be nice if we could look in the back of the book and find the correct answer. Then we could determine the accuracy of our measurements. The Universe, unfortunately, doesn’t provide the answers in the back of the book. What you should say is that the CO2 measurements have a “precision” of ±1.2 ppmv (I’m surprised it’s not far better). Of course, measuring the gas concentrations in a test tube is the final step in a long series of steps that may upset that precision. (See, for example, the criticism of Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski.)

    The Entropic man pointed to a reference where local CO2 levels may not represent the global average. As the first step in the ice core process was that CO2 had to be well-mixed in the atmosphere, this would affect the entire ice core process (from initial gas capture by the snow/ice to final measurement).

    So my question should become clearer since accuracy is a subjective vice objective call. Does this make leaf stoma count more accurate? The number of stomata on a leaf compared to CO2 levels is calibrated to a precision of about ±30 ppmv. The actual overall precision of the ice core measurements is unknown. As said previously, only the last step has a precision of ±1.2 ppmv.

    Jim

  103. Jim Masterson says:
    July 31, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Sorry for the late reply…

    The actual overall precision of the ice core measurements is unknown. As said previously, only the last step has a precision of ±1.2 ppmv

    The overall accuracy of the ice core measurements were tested for three Law Dome ice cores, as stated in the 1996 work of Etheridge e.a. The three ice cores had overlapping dates for the average age in CO2 content of the bubbles in the ice, the CO2 measured in still open pores at closing depth (independently measured directly from the pore gas and from the ice core bubbles with the same GC) and an overlap of ~20 years with the direct measurements at the South Pole.
    All multiple measurements for the same average gas age depth in the different cores and the South Pole measurements were within 1.2 ppmv (one sigma):

  104. Replication is the scientific explanation of a law or fact of science. In other words, if two or more independant parties replicate the experiment and get the same conclusions, then that theory can be proven to be a fact or law of the scientific method. I could be wrong, but that is the way I understand it.

  105. David Larsen says:
    August 3, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Replication is the scientific explanation of a law or fact of science. In other words, if two or more independant parties replicate the experiment and get the same conclusions, then that theory can be proven to be a fact or law of the scientific method. I could be wrong, but that is the way I understand it.

    Wow! No, waaayyy too squishy.

    A “law” requires prolonged, probing, competent, ingenious attempts to replicate/falsify — which fail to defeat the proposed phrasing. I.e., everyone has to pretty much exhaust their alternatives and attempts to disprove, and give up for a while. But it can still happen that later on someone finds a better, more inclusive and general formulation which permits a distinguishing test to be done, which the supposed “law” fails.

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