The Revkin-Gavin debate on lower climate sensitivity

Lower climate sensitivity is getting some mainstream discussion. Last week at WUWT, we had this story: BREAKING: an encouraging admission of lower climate sensitivity by a ‘hockey team’ scientist, along with new problems for the IPCC which is now the most read story on WUWT in the past week.

This morning, WUWT carried this essay from Chip Knappenberger: The yearly lukewarm report which spurred some communication from Andrew Rekvin at NYT about the similar story he just posted today: A Closer Look at Moderating Views of Climate Sensitivity.

Andy just sent me a fascinating exchange from Gavin Schmidt of NASA and the Realcimate blog. Gavin sent sent this note as part of a group e-mail exchange and this is what Revkin forwared to me (and has now posted at Dot Earth):

Andy, I think you may be slightly misrepresenting where the ‘consensus’ on this issue has been. While there have been occasional papers that have shown a large tail, and some arguments that this is stubborn – particular from constraints based on the modern tranisent changes – there has always been substantial evidence to rule these out. Even going back to the 2-11deg C range found in the initial cpdn results in 2005, many people said immediately that the high end was untenable (for instance).

Indeed, the consensus statements in the IPCC reports have remained within the 1.5 – 4.5 range first set by Charney in 1979. James’ work has helped improve the quantifications of the paleo constraints (particular for the LGM), but these have been supported by work from Lorius et al (1991), Kohler et al (2010), etc. and therefore are not particularly radical.

By not reflecting that, you are implying that the wishful thinking of people like Ridley and Lindzen for a climate sensitivity of around 1 deg C is tenable. It is not, and James’ statement was simply alluding to that. For reference, James stated that his favored number was around 2.5 deg C, Jim Hansen in a recent letter to the WSJ quote 2.5-3.5 (based on the recent Palaeosens paper), and for what it’s worth the CMIP5 GISS models have sensitivities of 2.4 to 2.7 deg C. None of this is out of the mainstream.

I sent Schmidt and the group this reply:

In policy circles, including popular calculations of emissions trajectories necessary to avoid a high change of exceeding 2 degrees C. of warming, the hot tail has not been trimmed (unless I’m missing something?).

To me, that says the climate science community — including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change science working group — has not adequately conveyed the reality you state here.

======================================================

Anthony: This essay from Pat Michaels is relevant also:

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123 thoughts on “The Revkin-Gavin debate on lower climate sensitivity

  1. So…for us beginners…does Gavin think there is a possibility the correct number is less than 2.0 already?

  2. Let them debate all they want. The practical impact is along the lines that the WEATHER experienced in Portland OR may move north to Seattle in the worst case. It is well known that Portland has no growing season and is in perpetual drought, right? Good Grief.

  3. I find it funny that these guys are allowed to ‘favour’ certain values, and that is ok. I personally favour the lower range of CS, probably less than 1.5 – but presume I will now be chastised by others for not backing that up!
    Seriously though – the lower range in the first graph looks far more realistic and that is based purely on the fact that earth today ‘may’ have warmed by around 0.5degC since the industrial revolution (and I am not 100 percent convinced of that, due to the vagaries of the station record, etc). Nevertheless, I am still skeptical about the whole CS issue and it being basically ‘assigned’ or ‘correlated’ to being due to CO2.

  4. Wait… Hansen said 2.5-3.5? Where did he say that? That’s incredibly tame compared to his previous statements.

    Also, Gavin Schmidt is gabbin’ sh!t as per usual, since he was riding the 3+ train hard until just recently.

  5. This observation by Revkin is highly significant. This is what I attempted to point out in my reviews of the drafts of the IPCC 2013 report regarding the apparent absence of any visually obvious trend in the latest NVAP-M time series of global water vapor. While the influence of the IPCC has been diminished for all the well known reasons, it’s still relied on by governments around the world. Scientific integrity demands that the IPCC present objective facts untouched by political or other agendas.

  6. Oh, and as a fun side note the global SIA is above baseline for the first time in awhile, which is neat since Gavin, Mikey, and crew love pointing out lows all the time.

  7. I have my own version of the above chart which shows where the actual observations to date are and that which takes into account Gavin’s comment about the transient warming timeline.

    This one goes out to the year 2100 when CO2 will be about 700 ppm and is several years past the time when equilbrium temperatures are reached in the 3.0C per doubling proposition.

  8. Going from memory, the IPCC AR4 estimate was 2.0 to 4.5. I don’t recall an estimate of 1.5 to 4.5.

  9. Gavin’s statements:

    ..“I think you may be slightly misrepresenting where the ‘consensus’ on this issue has been

    ..the consensus statements in the IPCC reports have been….

    Gavin should know better. Climate scientists in general should know better. “Consensus” is not a tenet of the scientific method.

    Michael Crichton once stated:

    I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    He went on further to say:

    Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What are relevant are reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

  10. So…for us beginners…does Gavin think there is a possibility the correct number is less than 2.0 already?

    yes. the only people who are certain about the number are the people who think it is certainly below 1.

    ‘Wait… Hansen said 2.5-3.5? Where did he say that? That’s incredibly tame compared to his previous statements.”

    In a new paleo paper. Not sure if it is out there for everyone to read. Its broadly consistent with what he has said before in his LGM work.

    There is a debate in climate science. That debate is about sensitivity. If you want to join that debate you can. specifically the debate is over the range of estimates.

  11. All warming before 1950 (including the 5 previous periods of greater warming than now – Holocene Climatic Optimum (9,000 to 5,000 years ago), Egyptian, Minoan, Roman, and Medieval (850 to 1250 AD) was natural, and all warming since was anthropogenic? The Eemian warming 125,000 years ago was natural, and the current warming which is 8 degrees C cooler with sea level 10 meters lower is not? With all the much greater warming of the past obviously due to natural climate change, why is not the current much more moderate warming also a part of that natural cycle? I can’t recall anything special after 1950, although the remarkable cooling through the mid-1970s while CO2 increased steadily triggered the short-lived “Global Cooling” panic. So there it is, the recent history of CO2 driven warming after 1950 – mostly cooling for the first 25 years, then moderate warming, but not as much as fast as in the 1930s, for the next 20 years, and finally no warming for the last 17 years.
    “Me thinks global warming panics should be made of sterner stuff.”

  12. I think Gavin Schmidt is misrepresenting Annan’s estimate.

    Annan’s 2.5 deg estimate appears to have been made before including the halt in temperature increase, the reduction of aerosol forcing the increase of black cabon forcing and the discovery of statistics errors in multiple papers.

    “Yeah, I should probably have had a tl;dr version, which is that sensitivity is still about 3C.

    The discerning reader will already have noted that my previous posts on the matter actually point to a value more likely on the low side of this rather than higher, and were I pressed for a more precise value, 2.5 might have been a better choice even then. But I’d rather be a little conservative than risk being too Pollyanna-ish about it.”

    http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=9959776&postID=1573684829816144955

  13. When the history of science masquerading as politics is written, this episode will warrant a chapter. That scientific mistakes have been made is not the issue (science is all about identifying mistakes and moving forward), no the more interesting aspect is how and why the known scientific uncertainties were misrepresented to the public. When a scientist involved in the IPCC process calls out his colleagues for lying about inflated climate sensitivities to help motivate political action, that is far more damning than making a simple math-error.

  14. majormike1 says:
    February 4, 2013 at 10:57 am
    ”All warming before 1950 (including the 5 previous periods of greater warming than now – Holocene Climatic Optimum (9,000 to 5,000 years ago), Egyptian, Minoan, Roman, and Medieval (850 to 1250 AD) was natural, and all warming since was anthropogenic?”
    of course! How else can you forcefully describe a CO2 based climate sensitivity and correlate it to human growth/emissions! Thats what I love about the warmists – it’s only natural when it suits them, but anthropogenic at all other times!

  15. It is increasingly clear that the earth has entered a cooling trend which will last until 2030 and probably beyond. It is also clear that the climate sensitivity is below the low end of the model ranges.The models are simply structured incorrectly so that their average range is an average of improperly structured models. For a discussion of this see my post “Global Cooling -Timing and Amount.” on my blog

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/

    an earlier post on that site on 11/18/12 “Global Cooling Climate and Weather forecasting” provides links to the relevant data suggesting cooling.
    The best discussion of climate sensitivity is seen in John Kehr’s The Inconvenient SKEPTIC on page 230 he persuasively estimates the sensitivity to a doubling from 380 ppm to be 0.7 degrees. Look at the Eemian Interglacial cooling phase ice core temp v CO2 for example. and also the SST temp trend trend v CO2 for the last ten years which would both produce negative sensitivities. The modellers simply picked a time frame which produced a sensitivity to match their preconceptions.

  16. Steven Mosher says:
    February 4, 2013 at 10:50 am
    >>yes. the only people who are certain about the number are the people who think it is certainly below 1.<<
    But logically Steven, and taking the ice core records as 'read' – it must be less than one, possibly even negative! – because CO2 increase always lags the temperature in the ice cores. Until it precedes it (or can be seen to definately accelerate the initial warming, i.e provide a positive AND increasing feedback), logically (on a pure CO2 based CS assumption) actual CS to CO2 must be very small! (and I am ignoring the logarithmic effect of CO2 too!).

  17. Absolutely the climate crowd has not rejected the high end of the spectrum. I had a spat with GS in January of 2011 in which I referred to CAGW, which he denied he was saying. But CAGW is the basis of all proposed action, and requires in excess of 3C of heating by 2100. You cannot say that a >3C rise is unrealistic and claim that we have to act now to stop the world from burning up and the biosphere dying.

    The alarm coming from >3C of rise is politically and socially useful. If the IPCC and Hansen and Gore had to admit that the chances were slim to none for a big temp rise, all the steam would go out of their whistle, and the monies out of their grants.

    Fig. 4 of the draft AR5 report keeps the blue-gray colour around the Scenarios for the same reason, to make the potential disaster still a possiblity with current observational data. It is a visual trick equivalent to Mann’s Nature Trick. It has the same effect as the non-denial of catastrophic temperature rises: it keeps the alarm up.

    If the IPCC were forced to drop its Scenario A from AR5, we’d be a long way towards the end of the Global Warming hysteria. That is what would happen if >2.5C were considered unrealistic.

    After 25 years you’d think the “scientists” at the IPCC would have to modify their projections. In any business, scientific or otherwise, additional work is used to tighten projections. Apparently climatology is not a business of any kind – but we knew that: it is politics, where nothing that happens is ever different from what you said would happen.

  18. So…for us beginners…does Gavin think there is a possibility the correct number is less than 2.0 already?

    It would seem to me that with every passing year that the temperatures don’t rise, their sensitivity numbers have to be adjusted downward. Of course, they could have done that by including the period from 1945 to 1975 in their calculations where temperatures were falling as human CO2 emissions were ramping up.

    To my mind their entire notion of climate sensitivity to human CO2 emissions goes right out the window when a few questions are asked:

    1. What was responsible for the warming from 1912 to 1940? It clearly could not have been human CO2 emissions. Most of the rural areas of the US weren’t even electrified until the 1930’s and then most of the power was hydro. Why do we have significant warming without significant increases in CO2 emissions?

    2. What was responsible for the cooling until the 1940’s to 1970’s when global human CO2 emissions were ramping up? Why do we have significant cooling while we have significant increases in global CO2 emissions?

    3. Why have temperatures not risen since 1998 when we have a period of both increased air clarity due to emissions controls across most of the world and CO2 emission rates continuing to increase?

    4. Why did the temperatures cool so drastically from the early 14th century to the late 19th century while world population was increasing and our CO2 emissions generally increasing? This is also a period of rather massive deforestation and land use change from forest / plains to agricultural.

    5. Why have we still not “recovered” fully to the climate of the Medieval Warm Period despite massive amounts of human CO2 emissions generated since that time?

    There is only one roughly 30 year period where temperature rise correlates with CO2 emissions. Why are data changed retroactively in such a way as the trend of the changes (in every database of surface temperatures) always act to validate the AGW hypothesis? Why do we have several hundred years of temperature data that show no correlation of temperature change with atmospheric CO2, one roughly 30 year period when they do correlate, and a global alarm sounded that the CO2 is going to cause grave consequences?

    Why are the people sounding the alarm that industrial activity and its requisite energy production will cause temperatures to rise to catastrophic levels the same ones who were claiming in the 1970’s that industrial activity and its requisite energy production was going to trigger another ice age?

    From a person on the sidelines looking at what is going on, it appears that the goal is to reduce industrial activity and energy production in certain areas but not other areas and then finding some grave economic consequence in order to justify those policy decisions. In other words, it appears that there is an attempt to develop problems that can be used to justify the desired course of action.

  19. It’s the climatology version of the old Jon Stewart “clown nose on, clown nose off” game.

    “Look at meeeeee! I turned off the air conditioning at a Senate hearing! I got arrested at a coal plant! I called for war crimes trials for skeptics! I compared coal trains to Auschwitz! Wheee! What fun!”

    “Oh, but now I’ve taken off the clown nose, and so I am a Very Serious Person full of Integrity and Reason and Rigorous Intellectual Honesty. I practice Science — and nothing is more important than my work, I’m Saving the World, and so my Gravitas causes the very Earth to shake beneath my irreproachable feet.”

  20. ‘But logically Steven, and taking the ice core records as ‘read’ – it must be less than one, possibly even negative! – because CO2 increase always lags the temperature in the ice cores. ”

    Nope.cant be less than 1 or you cant get out of an iceball earth.
    The lag has nothing to do with it. The lag was predicted before it was discovered and is what one would expect if AGW is true.

    • Mosher: “cant be less than 1 or you cant get out of an iceball earth.”

      I would agree, but at the same time I’ll point out that Earth’s atmospheric system is quite dynamic, and there’s no evidence to suggest that I seen saying climate sensitivity is absolutely static with time.

      Climate sensitivity to CO2 might have be different in the past and may be in the future, depending on ambient conditions of the time….and there are many factors that change with time. Then there’s feedbacks, which are also not static/linear with time.

  21. When “sensitivities” get below the “no-feedbacks” sensitivity of 1.2 then that will be a sign that the climate alarm hucksters are beginning to face reality. Convection is a cooling phenomenon with a negative feedback factor on surface heating, a fact which should be blatantly obvious to any qualified scientist. Time to stop the charade.

  22. “Also, Gavin Schmidt is gabbin’ sh!t as per usual, since he was riding the 3+ train hard until just recently.”

    It’s like how some leaders in the Mideast will release one version of a statement in Arabic and another in English, each telling the audience what it wants to hear, often in direct contradiction.

  23. “Isn’t it possible that [the first day] could have been 25 hours? It could have been 30 hours, could have been a week, could have been a month, could have been a year, could have been 100 years, or it could have been ten million years!” – Spencer Tracy in Inherit the Wind.

    “Isn’t it possible that [climate sensitivity] could be less than 3 degrees? It could be less than 2.5 degrees with solar influences, could be less than 2 with black carbon, could be less than 1.5 as the years pass with no warming, could be less than 1, could be less than 0.5, could be nothing at all!” – future movie with an alarmist of your choice getting pummelled in a courtroom.

  24. I smell rats trying to leave the sinking ship in an orderly fashion. They know even the “low” 2 degree is [unsupported] by the evidence. I bet it’s maximum 1.5 and could be lower then 1 at the point where we are now.

  25. I have to say though, after reading his blog I quite like this Annan fellow. If only he had Hansen’s job.

  26. Kev in UK.

    Let me explain why it cannot be negative.

    Definitions:

    Sensitivity: the change in temperature per change in Watts.

    So, for example if the sun increases by 1 watt, and the earth warms by 1 watt you have a
    sensitivity of 1. If the sun goes up by 5 watts and the earth warms by 1 C you have 1/5 or
    a sensitivity of .2

    By studying the relaxation response to volcanos, for example, you can estimate this to be
    lets say .7 +- .3 or .4 to 1. ( just for example ). Note that this estimate has nothing to do
    with C02. it describes how the system responds to forcing. This is all definitional work.

    More watts = higher C.

    The next step is to calculate how many additional watts an increase of C02 will cause.
    This is straightforward using known, tested, verified physics.

    Watts = 5.35ln(x/y) where x is the concentration after change and y is before the change.
    For doubling c02 from pre industrial to today you get around 3.7 watts.

    So. If your estimate was .5 for sensitivity ( from your volcano study for example ) you
    can then say that doubling C02 from pre industrial to today will get you 3.7* .5 or 1.85C

    you cant get negative values unless you deny that c02 blocks IR. Since C02 does block IR, it is a positive forcing.

  27. Steven Mosher says (February 4, 2013 at 11:29 am)

    (1) The Snowball Earth is a hypothesis.
    (2) CO2 concentration posited to exit it has been estimated at 130,000 ppm.

    It’s a bit of a stretch to use this as a constraint on sensitivity now.

  28. I expect that if the catastrophiceffects of climate change fail to appear, then there will be a concerted effort along the lines of, “We never said it would be catastrophic”. It may be possible to get away with that line as the doom and gloom will often be by bloggers, radio and TV commentators, Suzuki, Gore, and governmental groups. The `scientists’ will say, “We never said that.” However they routinely implied it and failed to correct the prophets of doom ..i.e. guilty by omission.

  29. How does Gavin’s claim “Indeed, the consensus statements in the IPCC reports have remained within the 1.5 – 4.5 range ”

    relate to this from IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007?

    “Since the TAR, the levels of scientific understanding and confidence in quantitative estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity have increased substantially. Basing our assessment on a combination of several independent lines of evidence, as summarised in Box 10.2 Figures 1 and 2, including observed climate change and the strength of known feedbacks simulated in GCMs, we conclude that the global mean equilibrium warming for doubling CO2, or ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of about 3°C. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is very likely larger than 1.5°C. ”

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-5.html

  30. Sorry Steve, had to pop out for a while.
    re climate sensitivity – I am referring to it only in relation to CO2 – which is what I thought was usually meant by the figures bounded about? Have I got that wrong? (I am fully aware that it is a generic term for forcing – but in the climate debate it seems exclusively reserved for forcing from CO2). So, in this context, high CS means a large effect from CO2, yes? Low CS means little effect from CO2? By negative, sure – it probably isn’t negative, but it is feasibly as close to 1 as makes it negligible.
    re considering forcing from volcanoes, that’s surely comparing apples to oranges in any case? You cannot mix one type of forcing with another IMHO, as the nature of the forcing ‘action’ is different, for any number of reasons, distribution, height in the atmosphere, etc, etc. e.g cloud forcing from high clouds is not the same as cloud forcing from low clouds. My understanding of the CO2 forcing, is that it is an assumed value in all the climate models, and is usually a high value. This is shown clearly wrong from the predictive models themselves!

    as for the denying CO2 blocks IR – the experimental work is not the same as the atmosphere (IMHO) – and if you cant have a snowball earth (which as Cui bono correctly says – is a hypothesis anyway) then you equally can’t have earth recovering from the hot temps and high CO2 of the past!

    As a geologist I have to stand back and say the CO2 theory for past, present and future warming cannot be reconciled with the geological record, ice cores, etc….

  31. Steven Mosher says:
    February 4, 2013 at 10:50 am
    So…for us beginners…does Gavin think there is a possibility the correct number is less than 2.0 already?

    yes. the only people who are certain about the number are the people who think it is certainly below 1
    ——————————————-

    This is another disturbing misrepresentation.

    AR4 mainstream position was:
    “Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range 2°C to 4.5°C with a most likely value of about 3°C, based upon multiple observational and modelling constraints. It is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C.”

    Lindzen, Spencer and others who computed sensitivites below 1 never expressed certainty and to my knowledge not even likelyhood to the level of the IPCC

  32. cui bono says:
    February 4, 2013 at 11:42 am
    “Steven Mosher says (February 4, 2013 at 11:29 am)

    (1) The Snowball Earth is a hypothesis.
    (2) CO2 concentration posited to exit it has been estimated at 130,000 ppm.

    It’s a bit of a stretch to use this as a constraint on sensitivity now.”

    You fail to understand Mosher. Hypotheses, aka guesses, from CAGW proponents of the consensus count as tested and verified empirical evidence. To him it is all one grand, beautiful narrative that should not be addressed on a hypothesis by hypothesis basis by critics. To do so is to speak with the vulgar.

  33. Mosh

    I don’t think you can get a 2.5 to 3.5 C climate sensitivity from CO2 from Palaeo evidence unless you assume a large part of the temperature change comming out of the LGM is due to CO2. The evidence that CO2 is the primary or even one of the primary drivers is not entirely convincing.

  34. Steve Mosher, ” The lag has nothing to do with it. The lag was predicted before it was discovered and is what one would expect if AGW is true.”
    Do you have a link or two for this?

  35. Steven Mosher says:
    Nope.cant be less than 1 or you cant get out of an iceball earth.

    ————————————–
    I think you mean “negative” and not “less than 1″, because less than one is perfectly possible with a solar amplifier and/or exaggerated temperature trends and/or unknown internal climate forcings.

  36. Steve Mosher, ” Watts = 5.35ln(x/y) where x is the concentration after change and y is before the change.”

    X and Y are CO2 concentrations. Since on a molecule for molecule basis, CH4 is ~30 more potent than CO2 (potency=ability to absorb IR, nothing do do with quantity), the same equation cannot be true for CH4, right?

  37. The problem here, isn’t that they were wrong about the sensitivity. Scientists are wrong all the time. The problem is that admitting they were wrong would be politically disastrous. Because CAGW was sold to the wider world on the basis, ‘scientists say this and scientists are always right’.

    Otherwise, Gavin is well aware that differences in output from the climate models are just quantified differences in the opinions of the modellers. And the opinions of scientists are only science when they derive from well articulated and falsifiable theories. If they derive from theory, then clearly there is no consensus. If not, then they are just numbers picked out of the air.

    And don’t let Mosher mislead you. Sensitivity is net of feedbacks, and we know almost nothing about feedbacks over all timescales.

  38. “Nope.cant be less than 1 or you cant get out of an iceball earth.”

    Yet Earth has emerged from ice ages where CO2 levels dropped. Try again.

  39. Kev-in-Uk says:
    February 4, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Seriously though – the lower range in the first graph looks far more realistic and that is based purely on the fact that earth today ‘may’ have warmed by around 0.5degC since the industrial revolution (and I am not 100 percent convinced of that, due to the vagaries of the station record, etc).

    Proff. Peter Cox below, shows his climate model with CO2 forcing excluded, green line.

    Second graph graph shows tree ring study

    http://s446.beta.photobucket.com/user/bobclive/media/attenborough_zps1fdbe055.jpg.html?sort=6&o=0

    http://s446.beta.photobucket.com/user/bobclive/media/800px-Briffa-tree_ring_density_vs_temperature_1880-2000_zps39423dee.jpg.html?sort=6&o=1

    The model without CO2 forcing appears to agree with the tree ring data. does that indicate CO2 forcing is insignificant.

    UNEP state,

    It is now thought, is that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have reached levels which are affecting tree growth.
    Carbon dioxide acts as a fertiliser to many tree species, making gas concentrations beyond a certain level uncouple the relationship between temperature and tree growth.

    Has there been any substantial temperature rise since the 60`s and I thought trees grew more
    vigorously with increased CO2.

    Can someone explain.

  40. Anthony Watts says:
    February 4, 2013 at 11:34 am

    You stole my thunder. There is no reason that the sensitivity would be linear. So, it can heat things up initially, and then lose its potency as an equilibrium with all the other processes going on is established.

    Steven Mosher says:
    February 4, 2013 at 11:42 am

    See above. As the usual disclaimer goes, all things being equal, more CO2 should heat the Earth. But, all things are not equal. Thanks anyway for foregoing your usual driveby style.

  41. @Bill Illis
    “I have my own version of the above chart which shows where the actual observations to date are and that which takes into account Gavin’s comment about the transient warming timeline.”

    How different would the data be if charted unadjusted?

  42. Steven Mosher says:
    February 4, 2013 at 11:29 am

    “Nope.cant be less than 1 or you cant get out of an iceball earth”

    Steve, tell me then, if the earths warm temps depend so much on CO2 concentration, how come the earth didnt turn into a snowball when recently CO2 was closing in on 200ppm??

    .If you dont need CO2 to stay warm, then maybe you DONT need CO2 to get warm.

  43. We can always hope the day comes when Mosher reads about unknown unknowns … until then we will probably have to put up with his proclamations.

    As for Gavin and company all we need is logic. It is well known that research bias is a given. We all know that the warmists runs climate change research. Hence, it is almost 100% certain that the research is biased to have a higher sensitivity than reality. Every time we see a trimming of the sensitivity we can still be assured they are biased on the warm side.

    From this logical viewpoint only it’s looking more and more like the the sensitivity is much less than 2.

  44. Steven Mosher says:
    February 4, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Kev in UK.

    Let me explain why it cannot be negative.

    Definitions:

    Sensitivity: the change in temperature per change in Watts.

    you cant get negative values unless you deny that c02 blocks IR. Since C02 does block IR, it is a positive forcing.

    I see large problems with this interpretation:

    1. Climate sensitivity is an inversely proportional function of temperature for several reasons.
    • Radiation is a function of T^4.
    • Parasitic losses increase with temperature.
    • Emergent cooling mechanisms (thunderstorms, dust devils, rain) are temperature based with high numbers above a threshold of emergence.

    Clearly, climate sensitivity is inversely proportional to temperature, falling as temperature rises.

    2. Climate sensitivity varies over both space and time. In the early morning in the all-critical tropics where the energy enters the planet-sized heat engine we call “climate”, the temperature rises rapidly because of the lack of clouds—a high change in temperature per change in watts (high sensitivity). In the late morning the watts are still rising but the clouds greatly reduce the temperature rise—smaller change in temperature per change in watts (low sensitivity). And indeed, certain areas at certain times can show negative sensitivity, and some areas of the planet are not sensitive to the forcing at all.

    Now, the global average climate sensitivity that Steven is discussing is no more than the average of these highly varying sensitivities. But the average is greatly misleading, because it is taken as constant or semi-constant. In the real world, however, climate sensitivity not constant in any sense. It is both inversely proportional to temperature and highly non-linear.

    As a result you can’t just say well, because the global average surface temperature doesn’t vary much, we can treat it as a constant. The average is not real, it is a mathematical chimera. In the real world, we don’t see an average temperature. If the “average temperature” goes up by one degree, and it happens to be evenly spread out, let’s say the morning temperature goes from say 7°C to 8°C, while the afternoon goes from 22°C to 23°C.

    But both the climate sensitivity, and the change in climate sensitivity with temperature, are very, very different in the two temperature regimes of morning and afternoon. It takes much, much more energy to go from 22°C to 23°C than it does to go from 7°C to 8°C. So while the average temperature doesn’t change much, that is highly deceptive. In reality, the dependence of sensitivity on temperature makes a huge difference in how the system actually reacts to changes in forcing.

    Regards to all,

    w.

  45. Mr. Mosher

    “Nope.cant be less than 1 or you cant get out of an iceball earth.
    The lag has nothing to do with it. The lag was predicted before it was discovered and is what one would expect if AGW is true.”

    There has been a natural mechanism to get out of “ice ball Earth” as well as its opposite that has been demonstrated clearly during the past 900,000 years of monotonously regular cycles of 100,000-year glacials and 15,000-year interglacials. These periods of natural climate change obviously had nothing to do with the activities of humanity – the ending of the preceding interglacial of the Eemian (125,00 years ago, when it was trending cooler from its high of 8 degrees C warmer and sea level up to 10 meters higher than now) closely resembled our current modest warm period which follows five other warmer periods of the past 10,000 years following the end of the Ice Age (glacial period). Regardless of changes in CO2, these glacials and interglacials demonstrate the natural climate changes that have occurred in some form or other for billions of years. Most recently they have featured, among other characteristics, low atmospheric CO2 and persistent ice at high latitude and glaciers at high altitude. The Greenland ice cap survived the Eemian warming with 75% of its mass intact, and the much warmer than now Holocene Climatic Optimum (9,000 to 5,000 years ago) with very little less loss off mass (most of which is at high altitude and remains frozen the year around).

    None of this supports the concept of AGW, and all of it supports the concept of natural climate change.

  46. So how much heat does CO2, 035% of the atmosphere, need to reradiate to warm the other 99.965% of the atmosphere by 1 degree C? 2777 times as much?

  47. Philip Bradley says:
    February 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    that is my understanding too – that it is a net value, irrespective of all other feedbacks in the context of my assumption that it is (as per this article) a CS value for CO2 component only. I believe this because they also add the other forcings separately (aerosols, albedo, etc) in the models – but if I have misunderstood I’ll be happy to stand corrected.

  48. Willis Eschenbach says:
    February 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    I agree with your points – but on calling something a negative sensitivity, as I see it, that is when a feedback ‘overwhelms’ the positive part of the ‘original’ forcing making the net value negative. The actual sensitivity to the original paramter remains the same, yes?

  49. One of the biggest negative feedbacks appears to be clouds. Increasing water vapor as the atmosphere warms resulting in more clouds. This wouldn’t have been the case during a snowball earth period.

  50. Steven Mosher says:
    February 4, 2013 at 10:50 am
    ———————————————————————–
    No, Sir Mosher. The Knights of Consensus no longer get to “frame the debate”. The Knights of Consensus were routed at Radiative Ridge.

    Despite the nondescript black helmets and lowered visors, I was able to identify Sir N.S., J.S. and E.R. in the fray. Was the fourth Black Knight Sir J.D.?

    I thought you might enjoy your own cryptic drive by ;)

    Steven, the “basic physics” of the “settled science” is wrong. Climate sensitivity to addition CO2 would be indistinguishable from 0.0C. This sorry hoax is all but over. The rubenesque diva is reaching into the props box for the hat with the horns and the buses are warming up.

  51. If his account of the consensus on sensitivity is true, one would think Gavin would be much more infuriated by assertions of high sensitivity (running to 11 degrees C or more) than he is by “deniers” estimating sensitivity in the range of 1 degree C. I expect Gavin will soon begin denouncing sensitivity estimates exceeding 4 degrees C as hysterical and “anti-science”.

  52. MarkW says:
    February 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    “This wouldn’t have been the case during a snowball earth period.”

    Precisely. That is exactly the kind of thing I was referring to here which could cause different behavior in different regimes.

  53. This discussion of “climate sensitivity” is interesting, but it seems that the actual definition of the temperature is remarkably vague (as well as the absurdly narrow assumption that a single global average temperature trend can characterize “climate sensitivity”).

    As a starting point for all of these discussions, someone should define where this temperature is measured (e.g. the skin radiating temperature, the 2m temperature, etc). As we have shown, there is quite a bit of uncertainty in finding temperatures that actually could be used to quantify the radiative imbalance of the climate system; e.g. see

    Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-321.pdf

    McNider, R.T., G.J. Steeneveld, B. Holtslag, R. Pielke Sr, S. Mackaro, A. Pour Biazar, J.T. Walters, U.S. Nair, and J.R. Christy, 2012: Response and sensitivity of the nocturnal boundary layer over land to added longwave radiative forcing. J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2012JD017578, http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/r-371.pdf

    As we have repeatedly urged, global warming (and cooling) should be diagnosed from changes in Joules not a dry bulb temperature.

  54. The breakup has commenced. The cracks in the consensus will widen the longer the temperature standstill continues or cools. All in slow motion, where is my family sized popcorn pack?

    Seriously, if we continue to get a widening of the gap of projected and observed temps / new revisions downwards (without major volcanic eruptions) then they are going to have own up and say they were wrong on climate sensitivity. I just can’t see how they can carry on spinning this over the next few years.

    Judith Curry is a smart lady. She could see the writing on the wall.

  55. I’m beginning to wonder what Mosher’s connections to Gleick might be?. He was out gaining skeptic street cred within minutes of the Heartland fraud. The silliness he’s been spouting lately is too much for a rational person to take.

  56. As Kuhn pointed out, most scientists don’t question the paradigm, they just work within it.

    The paradigm in climate science is the Forcings Model or as I prefer to call it the Forcings Theory.

    I think its likely the Forcings Theory is a poor predictor of climate change – in the jargon, it has limited utility.

    I have several reasons for thinking this. One of those reasons has already been raised in this thread – forcings are non-linear and can result in negative sensitivity. In fact, I think zones of negative sensitivity are necessary for the climate to be as stable as it is.

    The other main reason is I think factors that affect feedbacks may be a better predictor of climate change than changes in forcings. Specifically, things that affect the phase changes of water – aerosols, black carbon, GCRs and potentially others. This relates to the previous point as these factors would change the non-linear feedbacks and shift the zones of negative sensitivity.

  57. As a mere mechanical engineer, I hesitate to venture into the wonderland of ‘climate change’. However, in looking at the graphs at the beginning of this post I have to ask myself why anyone would believe that there is any kind of mathmatically-straightforward relationship between CO2 levels and ‘global temperature’. Climate is such a chaotic system, and we are barely beginning to understand the inputs and their myriad interactions. In reality, who knows what kind of zig-zaggy relationship may exist? Hubris is a sin, especially in scientists. Engineers tend to be more practical, by necessity.

  58. Annan sent an e-mail to Revkin that the latter posted”

    “Anyway, there have now been several recent papers showing much the same – numerous factors including: the increase in positive forcing (CO2 and the recent work on black carbon), decrease in estimated negative forcing (aerosols), combined with the stubborn refusal of the planet to warm as had been predicted over the last decade, all makes a high climate sensitivity increasingly untenable. A value (slightly) under 2 is certainly looking a whole lot more plausible than anything above 4.5.”

    Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:30 a.m.
    –http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/weaker-global-warming-seen-in-study-promoted-by-norways-research-council/?comments#permid=20

    Stubborn Refusal! Bad planet. No dessert for you.

  59. My psychic friend, Miss Cleo scolded me for asking about Gavin. She says any fool can see ‘Real Climastrologists’ will progressively downgrade their projections as the climate continues to refuse to cooperate. No psychic abilities are necessary: Bjorn Lomborg, James Lovelock and James Annan have already abandoned this sinking ship, and the rest of the smart rats will soon follow.

    Natural selection will deal with the rest. Let the back-pedaling continue!

  60. Willis Eschenbach says:
    “But both the climate sensitivity, and the change in climate sensitivity with temperature, are very, very different in the two temperature regimes of morning and afternoon. It takes much, much more energy to go from 22°C to 23°C than it does to go from 7°C to 8°C. So while the average temperature doesn’t change much, that is highly deceptive. In reality, the dependence of sensitivity on temperature makes a huge difference in how the system actually reacts to changes in forcing.”

    Willis, I almost always agree with you completely, although in this case while I agree what you say is true, it is kind of like looking at individual trees when instead you should be looking at the whole forest, I would prefer to define climate sensitivity this way, which is the way it is being portrayed to the general public and that is “Given the earths current average temperature and the way it is measured, what will be the increase in the average temperature (measured in the same way) above current temperature if the CO2 concentration is doubled? Or perhaps what will be the “measured temperature increase when CO2 hits 600ppm as compared to when it was 300ppm?

  61. Jimbo says:
    February 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm
    Yes, I think JC started her gradual withdrawal some time ago – but to be brutally honest the vast majority of the ‘team’ still need to be hung drawn and quartered in my humble opinion. I am not interested in their motives, peer pressure, government instruction, conspiracy, or anything else – my anger is derived solely from the perspective of science. A real scientist does not make WAG’s or accept the WAG’s of others verbatim. More importantly, a scientist does not ‘sit quietly in the corner’ if they know or even remotely suspect something is not right. These people knew full well that the science they were promoting was not fully sound (I avoid saying it was BS deliberately!) and it is/was BEHOLDEN on them, as scientists to bring this to their peers attention, and, if necessary to blow the whistle on the poor science. To my mind, these people are no better than ‘doctors’ failing to adhere to the hypocratic oath. They sat and watched whilst the scientific method was thrown under a bus, covered in eco-fuel and burnt to a crisp!
    Sorry, but as far as I can see – there is absolutely no frickin excuse! This isn’t something like the Mars rover, with limited data, and no chance of checking – this is a subject poured over by thousands of scientists, at vast expense, time and time again – and all the while ignoring or downplaying the unknowns! Net result = bad science.
    Finally, we need to remember what might have been if it were not for the valiant efforts of a very few number of skeptics – and I bet a pound to a penny that those ‘team’ members coming out of the woodwork now, would still be in there, burrowing away and still lining their own nests!

  62. @Steven Mosher

    >>‘But logically Steven, and taking the ice core records as ‘read’ – it must be less than one, possibly even negative! – because CO2 increase always lags the temperature in the ice cores. ”

    >Nope.cant be less than 1 or you cant get out of an iceball earth.
    >The lag has nothing to do with it. The lag was predicted before it was discovered and is what one would expect if AGW is true.

    Steven that is too far off the mark. There are times when the CO2 does no relate to ice at all. Good heavens. There are well reasoned postulations for coming out of ice ages including but not limited to orbital changes. CO2 leading warming then following it works how exactly? Why does CO2 wait for 1000 centuries before showing us its magic?

    The idea that CO2 initiates then lifts the Earth out of ice ages is not tenable. If anything is clear from ice cores it is that the Earth warms first then CO2 rises – from very low levels. Yes it is possible (but unproven) that the following CO2 provides an additional forcing. How much? It is not clear at all. If it was, we would know the forcing value for CO2, which we do not.

    Having a negative value is unlikely but also not yet ruled out. On the positive side, feedback mechanisms are necessarily limited based on what we know about feedbacks in quasi-stable systems capable of reaching equilibrium states. The postulated ‘CO2 lag’ supposed that the ocean will be warmed and emit CO2. The oceans are in a permanent state of CO2 deficit because of the many mechanisms that subtract CO2 from it permanently. That is why fresh water in equilibrium (24 hours open to the air) has twice as much CO2 per g than sea water.

    Perhaps the ice cores are wrong after all and we are all being misled.

  63. Steven Mosher: Sensitivity: the change in temperature per change in Watts.

    Is that universally recognized? Everyone but you seems to be writing about a change in mean temperature per doubling of CO2 concentration.

  64. Steven Mosher says:
    February 4, 2013 at 11:29 am
    ‘But logically Steven, and taking the ice core records as ‘read’ – it must be less than one, possibly even negative! – because CO2 increase always lags the temperature in the ice cores. ”
    Nope.cant be less than 1 or you cant get out of an iceball earth.
    The lag has nothing to do with it. The lag was predicted before it was discovered and is what one would expect if AGW is true.
    ———————————-

    The assumption is that low CO2 caused the Snowball Earths and then high CO2 levels ended them? Climate science can’t think past CO2 causes everything. That is the entire problem.

    The last two Snowballs were caused by super-continent Rodinia/Pannotia moving over the south pole 750-715 Mya and 650-615 Mya. Think Antarctica times 15 with only a few small continents not in this grouping near the equator.

    The second last Snowball ended with CO2 at 8,000 ppm because super-continent Rodinia broke-up and moved off the south pole – continental drift. The last Snowball ended with CO2 at 12,000 ppm because super-continent Pannotia broke-up and moved off the south pole (they were really the same super-continental grouping, they just had a few different arrangements that drifted across the south pole).

    CO2 levels were too low to break up the Snowballs. It was continental drift and Albedo.

    Now what was the Earth’s Albedo during these Snowballs. It was close to 50% but climate model simulations are always built assuming Albedo is almost constant at 29.8% (even in the last ice age – believe or don’t).

    When you can get your head around the fact that Albedo over glaciers is 60% to 70% to 80%, even the ice age temperature changes and the Snowballs start to make sense and CO2 sensitivity calculations fall to where it is looking today – around 1.25C per doubling.

  65. Will Nitschke says:
    February 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm
    @Bill Illis
    “I have my own version of the above chart which shows where the actual observations to date are and that which takes into account Gavin’s comment about the transient warming timeline.”
    How different would the data be if charted unadjusted?
    ——————————————-

    Its not really different, there is just more up and down ENSO variability etc. I’m not really changing the basic trendline but just removing some of the internal variability.

  66. “This assumes all warming is due to CO2.”

    Which we are nearly 100% certain is NOT true. Which leads us to believe the actual sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is somewhat less. My guess is somewhere between .6 and .9C. There are negative feedbacks that have kept a lid on rising temperatures in the past and those feedbacks have not ceased to exist now….

  67. Well it would be nice if they could admit, that there also is no data supporting a logarithmic relationship in the first place, specially since Temp is up and down and sideways, while CO2 is monotonically upward (plus the 6 ppm annual cycle at ML)

  68. On the WeatherBELL site, Dr. Ryan Maue has an interesting post about January’s worldwide surface temperatures. He uses the data that is put into the models, before they run the computer and come up with our long range forecasts. Although the forecasts are often wrong, especially once you get more than five days into the future, the data the use as a starting point is from top-of-the-line satellites, and is 100% correct. (Or one would really really hope it was correct.) From this data he can get the average worldwide surface temperature on a monthly, weekly, daily and even hourly basis.

    What blows me away is how much the average temperature rises and falls, just during the course of a month. I am not talking about a single place, such as Boston. I’m talking about the average 2m temperatures across the entire planet.

    If you take the 2m temperatures averaged across the lower 48 states of the USA, it jumped up and down between .5 above normal and .5 below normal five times during January, and averaged out….average. (Or actually, according to Ryan, one one-thousandth of a degree above normal.)

    While the yo-yoing of temperatures across the entire earth may not be so extreme, I have seen it vary nearly a degree in a single month. Then we get the average for the entire month, which this past January comes to a tenth of a degree above the 1981-2010 average.

    In other words, on a monthly basis we currently are a measly tenth of a degree above “normal.” Our planet is not “running a fever.” If my body temperature was 98.7 rather than 98.6, I doubt my boss would let me skip work.

    However, on a weekly, a daily, and even an hourly basis, our planet’s average temperature goes shooting up and crashing down, without any uproar. Nothing goes extinct and the sky doesn’t fall.

    The fuss about the average surface temperature of our planet is getting so old even Chicken Little is starting to yawn.

  69. Dr Burns says:
    February 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm
    “Theory. Zero evidence that CO2 has ever caused any warming.”

    Exactly. It seems that those who persist with invoking the “radiative greenhouse effect” THEORY still don’t understand the results of Robert Wood’s 1909 greenhouse study, which showed that not even the glass in a glass greenhouse has the ability to heat through “backradiation” of IR. If the glass can’t do it, the atmosphere certainly cannot.
    Nor do these people seem to understand the ideal gas law. If I add one atmosphere (1000 mb) to a planet the size of the earth, I have raised the temperature of that planet by 273K. Of course, I have to keep adding heat each day to the gas to maintain this temperature (to make up for the losses to space), but that is easily accomplished (and easily demonstrated) by simple heat storage in the water and the atmosphere. The Sun heats the planet directly, and we don’t need to resort to backradiation of IR to explain the warmth on Earth’s surface.

    Perhaps this would help understanding of the gas law: The ideal gas law is: PV = nRT, where P is pressure, V is volume, n is the number of moles of gas, R is the gas constant and T is the temperature (degrees K). You can rewrite this as: T = PV/nR. Let’s choose R as 0.082 (L)(atm)/(K)(mol). Let’s look at one mole of air at one atmosphere, which is 22.4 l in volume. Thus,
    T = (1)(22.4)/(1)(0.082)
    T = 273 K

    Please note, radiation freaks, that the equation has no variable relating to IR or whether the gas is a “greenhouse gas.”

    Also please note that the lapse rate is dependant upon ONLY the acceleration due to gravity and the heat capacity of the gas (lapse rate = g/Cp). Sooo, IF back radiation was capable of doing ANYTHING at all WRT temperature, then the lapse rate for IR-interactive gases would be lower than the lapse rate for such gases as oxygen and nitrogen. But the lapse rate for pure CO2 is actually MUCH HIGHER, at about 9.5/0.8 = 11.9 K/Km!

    But, I will probably AGAIN get no feedback that takes me to the task on facts. I’ll get more strawmen and unrelated junk….

  70. Mosher writes “you cant get negative values unless you deny that c02 blocks IR. Since C02 does block IR, it is a positive forcing.”

    If you lived in the Stratosphere you’d have a very different view of what CO2 did and you’d call it a negative forcing. So simply put, if the weather in the troposphere flattens out the possible temperature gradient increase due to CO2 and the increased cooling in the Stratosphere remained, then that could accelerate the cooling.

    I’m not saying thats what happens and it doesn’t match our measurements but on “physics alone” without special reference to our measurements I dont think you can categorically rule it out either. I dont think any level of forcing claimed is a slam dunk.

  71. Anthony said,
    “Climate sensitivity to CO2 might have be different in the past and may be in the future, depending on ambient conditions of the time….and there are many factors that change with time. Then there’s feedbacks, which are also not static/linear with time.”

    Indeed, there is no reason to believe that sensitivity inferred from the paleo record is in any way representative of the current sensitivity. It is completely plausible, in fact logical, that the sensitivity to any forcing during an ice age is positive as water vapor rises from the very low levels then present. It is completely plausible that climate sensitivity is near zero or negative now. It is implausible IMO to believe that sensitivity is significantly above 1 now. We perhaps can know what sensitivity was based on observation, we can never know what sensitivity will be in the future. That is the nature of non-linear dynamics.

  72. So the climate models are not working quite right. No problem. Dial down the sensitivity. Good.

    But they still don’t know what the hell the Earth is doing. Why? They don’t study that. They only study the models. Besides, what does Earth have to do with this little exercise?

  73. @Bill Illis

    >”Now what was the Earth’s Albedo during these Snowballs. It was close to 50% but climate model simulations are always built assuming Albedo is almost constant at 29.8% (even in the last ice age – believe or don’t).”

    Surely they are not that stupid? Really? Really, really??

  74. Crispin in Waterloo says:
    February 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm
    “Surely they are not that stupid? Really? Really, really??”
    —————————————————————————–
    Oh no, it’s far, far worse than that. They never correctly modelled the role of radiative gases in a moving atmosphere. It turns out these gases are critical for continued convective circulation below the tropopause. If the atmosphere was not able to radiate IR to space from the mid to upper troposphere, convective circulation would stagnate and our atmosphere would heat dramatically. They have not just gotten the magnitude of the effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere wrong. They have gotten the sign of their effect wrong.

  75. After he went all in with Peter Gleick, I could give a rat’s ass what Revkin does or thinks. Orwell described his type in his editorial from Sept. 1, 1941.

  76. Crosspatch, well said …….. Post of the year IMHO. The one with the questions that is, can’t seem to cut and past it. Oh well!

    Tommy Boy

  77. Steven Mosher states the definition of Climate Sensitivity at 11:42 am:

    “Sensitivity: the change in temperature per change in Watts.
    So, for example if the sun increases by 1 watt, and the earth warms by 1 watt you have a
    sensitivity of 1. If the sun goes up by 5 watts and the earth warms by 1 C you have 1/5 or
    a sensitivity of .2”
    —————————————–
    Mr. Mosher is using a different definition of Climate Sensitivity than is generally agreed on. Climate Sensitivity is usually defined as the temperature change that the Earth should experience due to a doubling of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.

    When Mosher states that “you can’t less than 1” he is using a different definition than scientists such as Spencer or Lindzen.

  78. Thank you to the various commenters making the point that climate is a chaotic system and it is unlikely this number is stable over a variety of variables.

    OT: I always find it amusing that I first read about chaotic systems in James Gleick’s Chaos. And James is Peter’s brother. Too bad Peter couldn’t understand the implications of James’ book to climate science.

  79. Stepher Mosher says:
    “Nope.cant be less than 1 or you cant get out of an iceball earth.
    The lag has nothing to do with it. The lag was predicted before it was discovered and is what one would expect if AGW is true.”

    =====================================
    I suspect another Hansen misadventure into Geology. Havn’t seen the new one but the last was hanging his hat on some paper alleging that the collision of India and the uplifting of Tethys sediments accelerated weathering and sucked the CO2 from the air to produce the long temperature slide from the Eocene to the Pleistocene.

    Sure, a bit more weathering but nothing new in tectonic history. All of this supposes that India simply took a notion to sail up there when it was actually shot like a cannonball between two transform faults in an exorcism of seafloor spreading that surely must have spewed oxides of Carbon and Sulfur and…

    Some guys could screw up a shoot sandwitch.

    There has never been a snowball earth,even during the Young Dim Sum the egg did not freeze, although it came closest then is spite of massive atmospheric Carbon.

  80. KevinR says:
    February 4, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Steven Mosher states the definition of Climate Sensitivity at 11:42 am:

    “Sensitivity: the change in temperature per change in Watts.
    So, for example if the sun increases by 1 watt, and the earth warms by 1 watt [should be 1°C] you have a
    sensitivity of 1. If the sun goes up by 5 watts and the earth warms by 1 C you have 1/5 or
    a sensitivity of .2”
    —————————————–

    Mr. Mosher is using a different definition of Climate Sensitivity than is generally agreed on. Climate Sensitivity is usually defined as the temperature change that the Earth should experience due to a doubling of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.

    When Mosher states that “you can’t less than 1” he is using a different definition than scientists such as Spencer or Lindzen.

    Matthew R Marler says:
    February 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Steven Mosher:

    Sensitivity: the change in temperature per change in Watts.

    Is that universally recognized? Everyone but you seems to be writing about a change in mean temperature per doubling of CO2 concentration.

    Several units of measurement are used, with the temperature change per doubling of CO2 being equal to 3.7 * temperature change per watt/metre^2. I prefer the units Steven is using, temperature change per 1 W/m2 change in forcing, it avoids one assumption (that doubled CO2 leads to 3.7 W/m2 change in forcing).

    However, the use of either definition is fine, it makes no more difference than expressing a weight in tonnes or kilograms, it’s just different units.

    w.

    PS—Note the typo in Steven’s statement (highlighted)

  81. And yet George Monbiot wrote as recently as 27 August 2012;
    “As I’ve warned repeatedly, but to little effect, the IPCC’s assessments tend to be conservative. This is unsurprising when you see how many people have to approve them before they are published.” Bold is mine.
    Reference: http://www.monbiot.com/2012/08/27/the-heat-of-the-moment/

    So the activists don’t care that the science has moved on.
    They still believe it’s the end of the wrold.

    Tin-foil hats all round.

  82. Note that any claimed “sensitivity warming” must be ON TOP OF the LIA-rebound trend line. About, say. 0.6°C/Century. WHERE is this trend subtracted from the “observed” sensitivity warming? Show your work.

  83. CO2 doubling sensitivity can be easily calculated from the two sets of data:
    GISS temp: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.txt
    NOAA geomagnetic http://ngdc.noaa.gov/geomagmodels/IGRFWMM.jsp
    while for the CO2 rise only two reference points 1940 = 305 ppm, 2010 = 403 ppm are required as shown here

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/00f.htm

    which even predicts (correctly) that the current global temperatures plateau will last at least another 6 years.
    Hansen ‘may got it right for the wrong reason’, but Gavin with his maths degree from the UCLhas no excuse; should have gone to the other side of the town to the Imperial where they use to teach proper engineering (ask Joanna Haigh).

  84. vukcevic:

    Your post at February 5, 2013 at 3:23 am says

    CO2 doubling sensitivity can be easily calculated from the two sets of data:
    GISS temp: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.txt
    NOAA geomagnetic http://ngdc.noaa.gov/geomagmodels/IGRFWMM.jsp
    while for the CO2 rise only two reference points 1940 = 305 ppm, 2010 = 403 ppm are required as shown here

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/00f.htm

    which even predicts (correctly) that the current global temperatures plateau will last at least another 6 years.

    I don’t know whether or not ” the current global temperatures plateau will last at least another 6 years”. Please explain how you know that the prediction is “correctly” predicted when the next 6 years have yet to occur.

    Richard

  85. george e. smith says:
    February 4, 2013 at 5:42 pm
    Well it would be nice if they could admit, that there also is no data supporting a logarithmic relationship in the first place, specially since Temp is up and down and sideways, while CO2 is monotonically upward (plus the 6 ppm annual cycle at ML)

    George E. Smith for Leader! This comment is profound, unlike most on here. Any trained thinker new to this debate would look at a chart of temps vs CO2 concentration and immediately see that they are completely unrelated.

    Mosher, let’s see your red herring response to Smith!

  86. Konrad says:
    February 4, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    “It turns out these gases are critical for continued convective circulation below the tropopause. If the atmosphere was not able to radiate IR to space from the mid to upper troposphere, convective circulation would stagnate and our atmosphere would heat dramatically. They have not just gotten the magnitude of the effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere wrong. They have gotten the sign of their effect wrong.”

    Interesting. I gather that someone has put together a radiative/convective model that captures this. I hope it gets peer-reviewed and published quickly.

    Question: In the absence of CO2, wouldn’t water vapor do the trick?

  87. Steven Mosher says:
    Nope.cant be less than 1 or you cant get out of an iceball earth.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Sorry Steve I would rather look at the theories of scientists who do not have a dog in the fight or a ‘political agenda’. Never forget that the whole basis for the existence of the IPCC is to condemn the human race and make us pay ‘Indulgences’ for our sins against GAIA. The IPCC mandate states:

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of human induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for mitigation and adaptation.

    http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/

    This means the IPCC and the scientists on the taxpayer teat are not only not looking for any other possible climate influences, they are actively and aggressively suppressing those ideas because if any other climate influences are identified the CO2 climate sensitivity must be modified and the politicians and social reformers lose their whip for driving humanity. See Comment

    Dr. Nir Shaviv has a decent interpretation of what is going on in CAGWland.

    On IPCCs exaggerated climate sensitivity and the emperor’s new clothes Mon, 2012-01-09 08:00
    Normal science progresses through the collection of observations (or measurements), the conjecture of hypotheses, the making of predictions, and then through the usage of new observations, the modification of the hypotheses accordingly (either ruling them out, or improving them). In the global warming “science”, this is not the case.

    What do I mean?

    From the first IPCC report until the previous IPCC report, climate predictions for future temperature increase where based on a climate sensitivity of 1.5 to 4.5°C per CO2 doubling. This range, in fact, goes back to the 1979 Charney report published by the National Academy of Sciences. That is, after 33 years of climate research and many billions of dollars of research, the possible range of climate sensitivities is virtually the same! In the last (AR4) IPCC report the range was actually slightly narrowed down to 2 to 4.5°C increase per CO2 doubling (without any good reason if you ask me). In any case, this increase of the lower limit will only aggravate the point I make below, which is as follows.

    Because the possible range of sensitivities has been virtually the same, it means that the predictions made in the first IPCC report in 1990 should still be valid. That is, according to the writers of all the IPCC reports, the temperature today should be within the range of predictions made 22 years ago. But they are not!….

    …Clearly then, earth’s climate sensitivity should be revised down, and the upper range of sensitivities should be discarded and with it, the apocalyptic scenarios which they imply. For some reason, I doubt that the next AR5 report will consider this inconsistency, nor that they will revise down the climate sensitivity (and which is consistent with other empirical indicators of climate sensitivity). I am also curious when will the general public realize that the emperor has no clothes……

    The longer answer is that even climate alarmists realize that there is a problem, but they won’t admit it in public. In private, as the climategate e-mails have revealed, they know it is a problem….

    …climatologists are in a rather awkward position. If you exclude the denial option (apparent in the above quote), then the only way to explain the “travesty” is if you have a joker card, something which can provide warming, but which the models don’t take into account. It is a catch-22 for the modelers. If they admit that there is a joker, it disarms their claim that since one cannot explain the 20th century warming without the anthropogenic contribution, the warming is necessarily anthropogenic. If they do not admit that there is a joker, they must conclude (as described above) that the climate sensitivity must be low. But if it is low, one cannot explain the 20th century without a joker. A classic Yossarian dilemma…..

    This joker card is of course the large solar effects on climate.

    An alternate theory of Ice Ages is presented by Dr. Nir Shaviv

    The Milky Way Galaxy’s Spiral Arms and Ice-Age Epochs and the Cosmic Ray Connection
    Different empirical evidence convincingly support the existence of a link between solar activity and the terrestrial climate. In particular, various climate indices appear to correlate with solar activity proxies on time scales ranging from years to many millennia. For example, small but statistically significant temperature variations (of about 0.1°C) exist in the global temperature, following the 11 year solar cycle. On longer time scales, the climate system has enough time to adjust, and larger temperature variations arise from the secular variations in the solar activity.

    One mechanism which can give rise to a notable solar/climate link was suggested by the late Edward Ney of the U. of Minnesota, in 1959. He suggested that any climatic sensitivity to the density of tropospheric ions would immediately link solar activity to climate. This is because the solar wind modulates the flux of high-energy particles coming from outside the solar system. These particles, the cosmic rays, are the dominant source of ionization in the troposphere. Thus, a more active sun which accelerates a stronger solar wind, would imply that as cosmic rays diffuse from the outskirts of the solar system to its center, they lose more energy. Consequently, a lower tropospheric ionization rate results. Over the 11-yr solar cycle and the long term variations in solar activity, these variations amount to typically a 10% change in this ionization rate. Moreover, it now appears that there is a climatic variable sensitive to the amount of tropospheric ionization – clouds. Thus, the emerging picture is as described in figure 1.

    If this is true, then one should expect climatic variations while we roam the galaxy. This is because the density of cosmic ray sources in the galaxy is not uniform….

    A record of the long term variations of the galactic cosmic ray flux can be extracted from Iron meteorites. It was found in the present work that the cosmic ray flux varied periodically (with flux variations greater than a factor of 2.5) with an average period of 143 ± 10 Million years. This is consistent with the expected spiral arm crossing period and with the picture that the cosmic ray flux should be variable. The agreement is also with the correct phase. But this is not all.

    The main result of this research, is that the variations of the flux, as predicted from the galactic model and as observed from the Iron meteorites is in sync with the occurrence of ice-age epochs on Earth…..

    A second agreement is in the long term activity: On one hand there were no ice-age epochs observed on Earth between 1 and 2 billion years ago. On the other hand, it appears that the star formation rate in the Milky way was about 1/2 of its average between 1 billion and 2 billion year ago, while it was higher in the past 1 billion years, and between 2 to 3 billion years ago….
    [links to several papers included]

    I took a look at the UV and EUV/ozone influence on the climate HERE (lots of links as usual)

    Graph C14 vs O18 (Cosmic Ray Flux vs Temperature)

    Graph low cloud cover (%) vs Cosmic Ray decrease (%) 1980 to 2006 (Wiggle Matches a heck of a lot better than CO2 vs temp over the same period)

    Graphs from:
    Cosmic Rays and Climate

    Another interesting Article by Dr. Shaviv: The oceans as a calorimeter “I few months ago, I had a paper accepted in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Since its repercussions are particularly interesting for the general public, I decided to write about it….”

  88. What do our temperature records look like when adjusted for ln (CO2 concentration) and ln (CO2 equivalent concentration)?

  89. “Any trained thinker new to this debate would look at a chart of temps vs CO2 concentration and immediately see that they are completely unrelated.”

    I would rephrase that – remember the unknown unknows- as: from available information and knowledge is impossible to find any relation…

  90. richardscourtney says:
    February 5, 2013 at 4:09 am
    Please explain how you know that the prediction is “correctly” predicted when the next 6 years have yet to occur.

    How do I know?
    Mr. Courtney, that is a very tall question.
    Any prediction declared ‘incorrect’ by its author at the time of making is just plain rubbish.
    1. Let’s say that my analysis is a unique contribution, which shows no ‘global warming’ with CO2 proceeding in the upward direction (thanks to China) with the Hansen / Schmidt 3 degree C sensitivity applicable.
    2. Let’s say that it is conclusively shown that the CO2 AGW ‘theory’ is the utter rubbish, than it is likely that the virtual community evolved around the WUWT blog would be on a slow extinction path.
    Thus: aim of 1. is to prevent occurrence of 2.
    My calculations are reproducible, hopefully someone might have a go at it.
    As always, one is advised to read the small print:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/00f.htm

  91. Robuk says:
    February 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm
    UNEP state,

    It is now thought, is that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have reached levels which are affecting tree growth.
    Carbon dioxide acts as a fertiliser to many tree species, making gas concentrations beyond a certain level uncouple the relationship between temperature and tree growth.

    Has there been any substantial temperature rise since the 60`s and I thought trees grew more
    vigorously with increased CO2.

    Can someone explain.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Trees are C3 while grasses and weeds are C4. Most crops are C3 while some like corn and sugar cane are C4. Explanation of C3, C4 and CAM Photosynthesis

    A Graph of C3 and C4 plants response to CO2.

    A photo of plant response to CO2

    Another Graph with actual examples of C3 and C4 growth. Article the graph came from.

    Remember plants are not dealing with just the % CO2 in the air but with the partial pressure of CO2 that decreases with elevation.

    Glacial trees from the La Brea tar pits show physiological constraints of low CO2
    Laci M. Gerhart1, John M. Harris2, Jesse B. Nippert3, Darren R. Sandquist4
    and Joy K. Ward1

    …While [CO2] does not vary with elevation, CO2 partial pressure decreases in proportion to total atmospheric pressure. Under modern conditions, partial pressures of CO2 at high-elevation sites are 10–30% lower than at low-elevation sites, producing an even more conservative comparison between glacial and modern conditions….

    And another paper:

    Impact of lower atmospheric carbon dioxide on tropical mountain ecosystems
    Street-Perrott FA, Huang Y, Perrott RA, Eglinton G, Barker P, Khelifa LB, Harkness DD, Olago DO.
    Abstract

    Carbon-isotope values of bulk organic matter from high-altitude lakes on Mount Kenya and Mount Elgon, East Africa, were 10 to 14 per mil higher during glacial times than they are today….. Carbon limitation due to lower ambient CO2 partial pressures had a significant impact on the distribution of forest on the tropical mountains, in addition to climate. Hence, tree line elevation should not be used to infer palaeotemperatures.

    A wealth of information about CO2 concentration and nitrogen activity can be found here:

    http://www.co2science.org/subject/n/nitrogenefficiency.php

    I am assuming you are interested in the topic descussed here WUWT: Now it’s more CO2 that will threaten crops from what you said. That UC Davis study of wheat and mustard going only so far as to analyse the nitrogen content of the leaves is borderline fraud if you ask me especially in light of this peer reviewed article from 2005.

    That paper found that in durum wheat the nitrogen level in the leaves decreased with higher CO2 but at the same time the nitrogen level in the stems and seeds increased. Both biomass and grain yields increased under all nutrient and water regimes where CO2 was higher. The authors measured the leaf nitrogen content and found it lower with increased CO2. However, they failed (purposely?) to grow the plants to maturity and measure the nitrogen content in the seed. It appears that the plants in the higher CO2 regime are able to use less nitrogen to generate more leaf mass and then deposit the excess nitrogen in the seeds where it will be of benefit to the next generation.

    Atmospheric CO2 and Syrian Wheat Production

    Reference
    Kaddour, A.A. and Fuller, M.P. 2004. The effect of elevated CO2 and drought on the vegetative growth and development of durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) cultivars. Cereal Research Communications 32: 225-232.
    What was done
    The authors grew three commercial cultivars of durum wheat… from seed… half of which compartments were maintained at an atmospheric CO2 concentration of approximately 400 ppm and half of which were maintained at a concentration of approximately 1000 ppm. Half of each of these treatments were further subdivided into two soil water treatments: well-watered, where available water content (AWC) was replenished to 90% of full capacity when it had dropped to 60%, and water-stressed, where AWC was replenished to 70% of full capacity when it had dropped to 45%.
    What was learned
    Averaged over the three cultivars, the extra 600 ppm of CO2 supplied to the CO2-enriched compartments led to total plant biomass increases of 62% in the well-watered treatment and 60% in the water-stressed treatment. Also of interest was the fact that the extra CO2 led to increases in the nitrogen concentrations of stems and ears. In the case of ears, nitrogen concentration was increased by 22% in the well-watered plants and by 16% in the water-stressed plants.
    What it means
    “These results,” according to Kaddour and Fuller, “have important implications for the production of durum wheat in the future.” They state, for example, that “yields can be expected to rise as atmospheric CO2 levels rise,” and that “this increase in yield can be expected under both water restricted and well irrigated conditions.” Hence, as they continue, “where water availability (irrigation) is a prime limiting economic resource, it can be distributed more effectively under higher CO2 conditions,” and “for countries such as Syria where average national production is well below the physiological maximum due largely to drought stress, the predicted rise in atmospheric CO2 could have a positive effect on production.”

    Actual paper: http://wheat.pw.usda.gov/cgi-bin/graingenes/report.cgi?class=reference;id=2904

    Weed Science – North Carolina State University
    …Most of the world’s flora (> 99%) are C3 plants. However, the C4 pathway is well represented in agricultural weeds; many of the world’s worse weeds are C4 plants….

    C3 plants:

    …About 85% of plant species are C3 plants. They include the cereal grains: wheat, rice, barley, oats. Peanuts, cotton, sugar beets, tobacco, spinach, soybeans, and most trees are C3 plants. Most lawn grasses such as rye and fescue are C3 plants…

    Moore, et al. say that only about 0.4% of the 260,000 known species of plants are C4 plants…

    Moore, et al. point to Flaveria (Asteraceae), Panicum (Poaceae) and Alternanthera (Amarantheceae) as genera that contain species that are intermediates between C3 and C4 photosynthesis. These plants have intermediate leaf anatomies that contain bundle sheath cells that are less distinct and developed than the C4 plants….

    The drawback to C4 photosynthesis is the extra energy in the form of ATP that is used to pump the 4-carbon acids to the bundle sheath cell and the pumping of the 3-carbon compound back to the mesophyll cell for conversion to PEP. This loss to the system is why C3 plants will outperform C4 plants if there is a lot of water and sun.….

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/biology/phoc.html

    …. Elevated CO2 mitigated the degree of change in all physiological factors under drought or heat stress and resulted in increases in A (162%) and RWC (19%) and a reduction in EL (21%) under the combined stress. These results suggest that elevated CO2 could improve tall fescue tolerance to drought and elevated temperature by enhancing plant water status, cellular membrane stability, and photosynthesis capacity and by suppressing gs for water loss and C consumption through lowering respiration rate…..

    https://www.crops.org/publications/cs/abstracts/52/4/1848?access=0&view=pdf

    So it looks like an evolutionary transition from C3 to C4 was taking place because of carbon dioxide starvation combined with drought during glacial periods. Graph: CO2 solubility in water
    EPA: Sea Surface Temperatures

    … these wide grasslands are an extremely recent feature in the region’s history. There isn’t solid evidence of animals consuming C4 plants until a scanty 10 million years ago (mya), and grasslands did not become widespread until the late Pliocene and Pleistocene. This recent birth of what is now a dominant feature of the landscape brings to mind many important questions. Specifically, after C4 plants started to become a food source in the Oligocene, how long did it take different herbivore species to adapt to eating this new type of greenery? Which species were early adopters, and which made the most complete shift from C3 to C4 plants? The process of adapting to a new resource—the relatively young C4 plants—had profound effects on community ecology of eastern Africa, as it provided new ways for large herd animals to both exploit new food sources and partition resources in order to facilitate coexistence and/or higher densities….

    http://www.scilogs.com/endless_forms/2011/04/07/im-going-to-take-a/

    The CO2 fallacy:
    The ice core values for CO2 are too low. See this synopsis for an explanation.

    …The CO2 concentration found in air bubble and in secondary air cavities of deep Vostok and Bryd cores range from 178 and 296 ppm…

    According to Barnola et al (1987) the level of CO2 in the global atmosphere during many tens of thousands of years spanning 30,000 to110,000 BP were below 200ppm. If this were true then the growth of C3 plants should be limited at the global scale because their net Photosynthesis is depressed as CO2 concentration in air decreases to less than about 250ubar (less than about 250ppmv) (McKay et al 1991) This would lead to the extinction of C3 plant species. This has however not been recorded by paleobotanists (Manum 1991).

    http://www.co2web.info/stoten92.pdf

    As CO2 is a critical component of growth, plants in environments with inadequate CO2 levels – below 200 PPM – will cease to grow or produce. …Plants use all of the CO2 around their leaves within a few minutes leaving the air around them CO2 deficient. Without air circulation and ventilation the plant’s stomata are stifled and plant growth stunted…. https://greenair.com/old/pdf/efs/co2-efs.pdf

    A related topic is the C12/C13 ratios that are used as a ‘fingerprint’ to point to human emissions as the culprit. E.M. Smith has an interesting take on that. Seems “C4 metabolism plants absorb more C13 than do C3 metabolism plants. Over the last 100 years we’ve planted one heck of a lot more grasses world wide than ever before. Grasses are often C4 metabolism”
    The Trouble With C12 C13 Ratios

  92. It needs to be reiterated that a very small change in sensitivity has enormous implications over time… in fact this is what allows these predictions of catastrophic, civilization ending, climate change to exist. If Gavin now thinks 2.5dC is likely, and it ends up being 2.2, thats a small difference in the range of what has been argued, but has massive implications in potential repercussions (hundreds of billions of dollars).

    But in the meta-analysis, there really is a slight of hand (or gamblers fallacy) going on here. Yes, the IPCC have typically embraced relatively conservative sensitivities between 1.5 and 4.5 (in fact, such a prediction is about equivalent to suggesting climate change with kill between 0 and 3 billion people, not particularly useful), but the heavy hitters in the field have a track record of much higher assumptions (didn’t Hanson’s 2008 study suggest 6.0?). The IPCC science never matched up particularly well with their conclusions- a lot of ‘assuming we’re at the upper end of the sensitivity’, when it turns out we are likely not. Bottom line- the IPCC isn’t the canon of climate research, and there ought to be a lot of questions raised about the high profile researchers that appear to have come up with astonishingly bad sensitivities. Instead it seems likely that the projections that used the mid 2’s will be lauded and the 3+ flushed down the memory hole. Thats all well and good, but again, we’re constantly beat over the head with the ‘consensus’ argument and you can either argue that the consensus was so wildly open ended as to be functionally meaningless (per the IPCC), or badly mistaken in many cases. But the ‘we knew it all along, none of this is a surprise’ cover is weak sauce.

  93. Jimbo says:
    February 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm
    ….. I just can’t see how they can carry on spinning this over the next few years.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    All that is needed is to keep the spin going until Obummer manages to get a carbon tax through Congress and the EPA manages to shut down more coal plants. 10% are already to be shut down.

    Texas is already showing the face of the future.

    Wind and solar DESTABILIZE THE GRID. Renewable sources accounted for 3.9% of all energy consumed in Texas in 2010 This has been disruptive enough that that “On April 17, 2006, ERCOT was forced to use 1,000 MW of involuntary demand response and 1,200 MW of voluntary demand response to successfully prevent a system-wide blackout.”

    Energy InSight FAQs

    …. With smart meters, CenterPoint Energy is proposing to add a process prior to shutting down whole circuits to conduct a mass turn off of individual meters with 200 amps or less (i.e. residential and small commercial consumers) for 15 or 30 minutes, rotating consumers impacted during that outage as well as possible future outages.

    There are several benefits to consumers of this proposed process. By isolating non-critical service accounts (“critical” accounts include hospitals, police stations, water treatment facilities etc.) and spreading “load shed” to a wider distribution, critical accounts that happen to share the same circuit with non-critical accounts will be less affected in the event of an emergency. Curtailment of other important public safety devices and services such as traffic signals, police and fire stations, and water pumps and sewer lifts may also be avoided.

    On top of that

    Obama’s war on coal hits your electric bill
    The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt. In the mid-Atlantic area covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and DC the new price is $167 per megawatt. For the northern Ohio territory served by FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt…. These are not computer models or projections or estimates. These are the actual prices that electric distributors have agreed to pay for new capacity. The costs will be passed on to consumers at the retail level.

    NO ENERGY = NO JOBS and that means you have destroyed the USA’s prosperity and most likely her sovereignty as planned. Pascal Lamy of the World Trade Organization made it clear that the prosperity of the USA, Australia and the EU was targeted when he said
    “Can we balance the need for a sustainable planet with the need to provide billions with decent living standards? Can we do that without questioning radically the Western way of life?” Pascal Lamy: Whither Globalization?

    Remember it was President Clinton who pushed the USA into the WTO and brought China into the WTO. Clinton also approved the transfer of sensitive missile technology to China…[that] enhanced the accuracy of China’s ballistic missile arsenal. I often question whether or not Clinton was actually working for the USA or for China… OH WAIT…

    Clinton’s China Policy
    …To defeat the Republicans, the Democratic party needed a quick infusion of cash to pay for campaign ads. Clinton turned to his Chinese connection, old friends Johnny Chung, John Huang, and Charlie Trie. They headed a shadowy cast of characters that funneled millions of dollars into democratic campaign coffers.

    Bill Clinton took contributions he knew came from China, and played another angle as well. US companies wanted to sell China military technology, but the sales were prohibited by law. Economic sanctions for the Tiananmen square massacre and restrictions on technology exports prevented these companies from selling China the armaments they wanted.

    In return for campaign contributions, the President shifted regulation of technology exports from the State Department to the free-wheeling Commerce department. The administration also relaxed export controls and allowed corporations to decide if their technology transfers were legal or not. When easing restrictions wasn’t enough, Clinton signed waivers that simply circumvented the law. The President’s waivers allowed the export of machine tools, defense electronics, and even a communications system for the Chinese Air Force….

    It is very clear the ultimate goal of the Regulating Class is “a new international order” based on the European Union Model ( Also see Global Governance: Lessons from Europe )

    Pascal Lamy: Whither Globalization?
    …All had lived through the chaos of the 1930s — when turning inwards led to economic depression, nationalism and war. All, including the defeated powers, agreed that the road to peace lay with building a new international order — and an approach to international relations that questioned the Westphalian, sacrosanct principle of sovereignty — rooted in freedom, openness, prosperity and interdependence.

    …The profound shock of the recent financial crisis, our inability to face (let alone solve) global warming, the failure to halt nuclear proliferation, even the WTO’s stalled Doha negotiations illustrate that the status quo is no longer good enough….

    In the same way, climate change negotiations are not just about the global environment but global economics as well — the way that technology, costs and growth are to be distributed and shared. Can we maintain an open trading system without a more coordinated financial system?

    At the same time, globalization is blurring the line between national and world issues, redefining our notions of space, sovereignty and identity.

    To improve the way the international system works, we must “network” global governance in a better way…. To improve policy coherence, we need to build consensus.….To achieve consensus, we need to strengthen the system’s legitimacy by better reflecting the interests and concerns of citizens…. civil society and citizens need to ensure that the issues debated on the global stage are echoed and explained at the grassroots….

    The money quote is “…To improve policy coherence, we need to build consensus…..To achieve consensus, we need to strengthen the system’s legitimacy by better reflecting the interests and concerns of citizens…. civil society and citizens need to ensure that the issues debated on the global stage are echoed and explained at the grassroots…” That is where the Global Warming and the environment come in. As Mencken said
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. “

    CAGW has to be placed into the context of UN/WTO politics so it’s aims can be understood. Another key phrase is interdependence they hope to get the economies of all countries inter-tangled.

  94. Meyer’s graph inspired me to make an animated GIF:


    REPLY:
    Nicely done, if you’ll provide a comment on methodology and data source, I’ll make a post from it. – Anthony

  95. Willis Eschenbach: I prefer the units Steven is using, temperature change per 1 W/m2 change in forcing, it avoids one assumption (that doubled CO2 leads to 3.7 W/m2 change in forcing).

    It may be a matter of personal preference. Steven Mosher wrote as an adjudicator, it seemed to me, and used his definition to support his assertion that the sensitivity can not be negative. if you avoid the assumption that doubled CO2 leads to 3.7 W/m2 change in forcing, then it may turn out that, starting with the climate as it is now, doubling of CO2 concentration may lead to little or a negative mean temperature change. If it is to be a matter of personal preference, then I prefer sensitivity to doubling CO2, because that is what everyone tells us we must not allow to happen; CO2 is the “control knob”, etc. Your thermostat hypothesis seems more in line with my preference than yours — forgive me please if I have misunderstood.

  96. I view this whole question of “Climate Sensitivity” as an exercise in self flagellation.

    Let’s suppose there IS a mechanism whereby LWIR radiation can warm the atmosphere; I believe there surely is; call it the “Greenhouse Effect” if you like.

    We assume that there is some source of LWIR radiation in the system. Surely, that mostly is the liquid/solid surface of the planet. We are often told quite vehemently that gases do not emit infra-red radiation, so what else is left but the far more massive liquid and solid surface of the planet. This is where most of the radiant energy from the sun is deposited, so it is also the hottest part of the climate system; we ignore volcanic activity here.

    So the earth surface emits a roughly Planckian thermal spectrum, that first order we approximate as a black body radiation spectrum. Absent that simplifying assumption, what the hell else could you take as a starting guess ?

    Well now we have a problem. Seen any thermometers stuck in the ground near you lately, or in the ocean surface ? Well evidently there are at least a few ocean ones, and the satellite scanners can evidently monitor ocean surface by some remote sensing means. But not a lot of on site ground thermometers; they seem to put those a couple of metres off the surface, which means they aren’t measuring the ground Temperature.

    Well the total radiant emittance goes as T^4, so any error in measuring the surface Temperature has a big effect. The peak spectral radiant emittance goes as T^5 , so it is even further off kilter, because they don’t measure the ground, which can be as much as +60 deg C in tropical deserts, and may get to +90 deg C on artificial blacktop surfaces.

    The popular media suggest that the earth heats during the sunlit hours, and then cools during the dark of night.

    Not so ! Certainly the surface heats during the sunlit hours; but that is also when the surface is doing its best cooling job; sometimes at more than twice the rate it does in the cool of night.

    Forget the polar regions when it comes to keeping the earth cool. The cooling rate in the Arctic, and Antarctic is often less than one tenth of what the cooling rate in the tropical deserts is.

    Worse yet, in the polar regions, the LWIR emission spectrum peaks right around the 15 micron absorption band of CO2, which according to prevailing theories, further slows down the cooling rate at the poles. In contrast, in the tropical deserts the peak spectral radiance occurs at around 8.8 microns or so, which is a long way from the CO2 15 micron band, and may even dodge a bit of the Ozone dip at 9.6 microns. In any case it is further into the atmospheric window, and given the lower desert humidities, even the water absorption is subdued.

    So deserts are great for cooling the earth; but we don’t do a lot of surface Temperature sampling there.

    The long geologic time Temp and CO2 proxies from ice cores etc, show similarities in behavior, as if there is a link, but the CO2 data is always delayed from the Temperature data, by times from several hundred years to a few thousand years. 800 years is an often cited typical number.

    So 800 years ago was the mediaeval warm period, which could be the genesis of today’s rising CO2. The geologic time data also shows that the Temperature falls, much faster, than the subsequent CO2 does, and the CO2 fall times are considerably longer than their rise times.

    This does seem to fit a mechanism whereby Temperature rise DRIVES a CO2 increase, such as by ocean outgassing, or increased vegetation decay rates., followed by cooling and a somewhat passive uptake of CO2 in the oceans or biologic system.

    I’m NOT claiming that this explains what is going on. It’s just one concept that is consistent to some degree with the facts. But if you are going to apply the climate sensitivity concept, just WHAT temperature sequence are you going to match with WHAT CO2 sequence of purported data. The whole notion of doing that is sheer lunacy.

    Now the incoming solar energy, also is partly absorbed by the atmosphere; which simultaneously warms the atmosphere BUT cools the surface, since that solar spectrum energy never reaches the oceanic storage system.

    What I find sadly lacking, are any thermal processes that seem to be effective in getting the atmosphere to warm the surface; which after all is where living things live.

    The surface heats the lowest atmosphere by conduction, but then convection quickly removes the warmer air from the surface so that reverse conduction from air to surface is minimal. The warmed air rises, but must shed its heat energy at higher altitudes, before the circulatory system can bring that cold air back to the surface, sans the heat it got from the surface. The oceanic surfaces, also cool by evaporation which conveys huge amounts of latent heat to the upper atmosphere.

    Finally, despite all the protestations, the atmospheric gases do radiate EM radiation in a continuum thermal spectrum, just like any material hotter than zero Kelvins. That energy loss is isotropic, so about half escapes to space, and about half can return to the surface. Because of the mean atmosphere being cooler than the mean surface (288K) , the atmospheric radiation spectrum is also in the LWIR region, which is very strongly absorbed by water, so over the 70%+ of the earth that is ocean, that returned energy is better at causing further evaporation, than it is in getting stored deep in the ocean.

    So the GHG effects, to the extent that they exist (which I don’t deny), seem quite inept at affecting the surface Temperatures of the earth; which we aren’t really measuring much anyway.

    So to argue that Earth’s surface Temperature follows a formula like:-

    T2 -T1 = (cs) log2(CO2,2/CO2,1)

    Is just plain silly.

    I have never been able to find definitive proof that this formula was given to us by the late Stephen Schneider of Stanford, or not; that just seems to be the rumor.

    The Beer’s Law theory says that the absorption of a specific radiation wavelength in a dilute solution of some solute, is proportional to the logarithm of the solute concentration.. If 10% of the radiation is absorbed in 1 cm of the solution, the next cm will absorb 10% of the remainder, and so on.

    But Beer’s law is a law of absorption of a particular species of radiation; it IS NOT a law of transmission of EM energy. Beers law assumes that photons stay dead; they are not reincarnated as some different species of EM energy.

    And many many substances that do absorb just as Beer’s law predicts, also incubate brand new photons of a different, and most usually lower energy, that can propagate in the medium.

    These reincarnated photons are virtually always emitted as isotropic radiation, so even an input laser beam can be converted to a multispectral isotropic radiation propagating in all directions in the medium, so much of the energy can eventually escape from the medium.

    If it doesn’t escape as some new fluorescence emission line, it ultimately will raise the Temperature of the medium, and the whole medium will radiate a continuum thermal spectrum.

    No matter what ! The photons simply refuse to stay dead. The energy gets out by one means or another. And that defeats the entire foundation of Beer’s law.

    ONLY if you monitor just the original input species, and ignore any offspring, does Beer’s law apply to the ABSORPTION of that species.

    Forget about applying Beer’s law to atmospheric effects.

    And when you figure out what 30 years of atmospheric CO2 you want to match with what other 30 years of atmospheric Temperatures, to show a logarithmic climate sensistivity relationship; please do let us all know what that magic recipe is.

  97. Matthew R Marler says:
    February 5, 2013 at 11:45 am (Edit)

    Willis Eschenbach:

    I prefer the units Steven is using, temperature change per 1 W/m2 change in forcing, it avoids one assumption (that doubled CO2 leads to 3.7 W/m2 change in forcing).

    It may be a matter of personal preference. Steven Mosher wrote as an adjudicator, it seemed to me, and used his definition to support his assertion that the sensitivity can not be negative. if you avoid the assumption that doubled CO2 leads to 3.7 W/m2 change in forcing, then it may turn out that, starting with the climate as it is now, doubling of CO2 concentration may lead to little or a negative mean temperature change. If it is to be a matter of personal preference, then I prefer sensitivity to doubling CO2, because that is what everyone tells us we must not allow to happen; CO2 is the “control knob”, etc. Your thermostat hypothesis seems more in line with my preference than yours — forgive me please if I have misunderstood.

    Matt, it’s just units. It’s like pounds and kilos. One is 2.2 time the other, makes no difference which you use. Same here. CO2 doubling units are 3.7 times the units Steven is using. If one is negative, the other is negative. The choice of units is immaterial to his argument.

    Thanks,

    w.

  98. george e. smith says:
    February 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I view this whole question of “Climate Sensitivity” as an exercise in self flagellation.

    Let’s suppose there IS a mechanism whereby LWIR radiation can warm the atmosphere; I believe there surely is; call it the “Greenhouse Effect” if you like.

    We assume that there is some source of LWIR radiation in the system. Surely, that mostly is the liquid/solid surface of the planet. We are often told quite vehemently that gases do not emit infra-red radiation, so what else is left but the far more massive liquid and solid surface of the planet.

    George, I have never, ever heard anyone make the claim, and certainly not “vehemently”, that

    gases do not emit infra-red radiation

    Some gases most assuredly absorb and emit infra-red, some gases don’t. In a mixture of the two, those that do absorb infrared immediately (nanoseconds) pass that energy on via collisions to the other gases that do not absorb or emit infrared and thus warm the mass of air. The reverse is true when they emit infrared, within nanoseconds they absorb energy from the other gases and cool the mass of air.

    I fear I have not even read the rest of your long comment, given that you have gases this wrong.

    w.

  99. I note that they are assuming that 100% of the warming since CO2 was at 270, is due to CO2.

    I was under the impression that the GCMs showed that increasing GHG concentrations had no effect on the earth’s temperature until about 1950. Which means that any warming before then was natural, and only the warming after that could be considered man-made. However, I also think they’ve suggested that without the human influence, the earth would actually have cooled since then, so there claim is that even more than 100% of the recent warming is due man, not just all of it. A very nice trick indeed.

  100. Willis says directly above:

    “George, I have never, ever heard anyone make the claim, and certainly not “vehemently”, that

    gases do not emit infra-red radiation”

    You DO need to read more of the post before going overboard…He is probably a physicist and DOES understand this stuff…

  101. Well, IN FACT, W, you might also explain where I’m wrong in MY post above. Nobody else has, and I doubt that you can, either, because it’s just pure, simple basic physical science 101, without any post-modern “climate science” radiation magic added!

    Basic physics and empirical evidence trumps the “radiative-greenhouse-gas-warming-by-IR-backradiation CARTOON SCIENCE ” that you engage. And the real proof is the manifest empirical evidence that is accumulating: (1) the current lack of warming for 16 years despite rising OCO levels; (2) the Antartic ice core data that shows…a lag… (you know very well); (3) Wood’s 1909 experiments; (4) the Atlanta/Phoenix paradox that you refuse to understand; (5) the absence of any “radiative” variable in the lapse rate equation; (6) the absence of any “radiative” variable in the ideal gas law.

    You are on thin ice, man. And considering your bio, you’ve been there before and have survived!

  102. @jae,

    Lets see how much of the following you can agree with.

    You say “If I add one atmosphere (1000 mb) to a planet the size of the earth, I have raised the temperature of that planet by 273K”

    The temperature due to the one atmosphere offset is the surface temperature less the radiating zone temperature, or about 30K. Add an atmosphere and you will have 60K difference.

    You say “T = (1)(22.4)/(1)(0.082) = 273K”

    What you have done is substitute standard conditions of pressure and volume into the gas law and come up with the standard temperature. This is trivial.

    And I do agree with Willis (this time only) that greenhouse gasses do emit infrared. That is the definition of a greenhouse gas.

    You really do need to know what you are talking about before you bleed all over the place in public.

  103. jae says:
    February 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Willis says directly above:

    “George, I have never, ever heard anyone make the claim, and certainly not “vehemently”, that

    gases do not emit infra-red radiation”

    You DO need to read more of the post before going overboard…He is probably a physicist and DOES understand this stuff…

    If you have a citation to someone making that claim, produce it. Your post is content-free.

    w.

  104. jae says:
    February 5, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Well, IN FACT, W, you might also explain where I’m wrong in MY post above. Nobody else has, and I doubt that you can, either, because it’s just pure, simple basic physical science 101, without any post-modern “climate science” radiation magic added!

    I assume you were referring to this:

    jae says:
    February 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Dr Burns says:
    February 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    “Theory. Zero evidence that CO2 has ever caused any warming.”

    Exactly. It seems that those who persist with invoking the “radiative greenhouse effect” THEORY still don’t understand the results of Robert Wood’s 1909 greenhouse study, which showed that not even the glass in a glass greenhouse has the ability to heat through “backradiation” of IR. If the glass can’t do it, the atmosphere certainly cannot.

    I guess I’ll have to write a post about the Wood experiment … thanks for the push …

    w.

  105. pochas says:
    February 5, 2013 at 8:32 pm
    @jae,

    “What you have done is substitute standard conditions of pressure and volume into the gas law and come up with the standard temperature. This is trivial.

    And I do agree with Willis (this time only) that greenhouse gasses do emit infrared. That is the definition of a greenhouse gas.”

    Yeah, that is exactly what I did, but it is not trivial. It is solid PROOF that you cannot have a standard atmosphere without ALSO having a temperature of 0 C. Now, you can use all sorts of radiation cartoons to explain how the atmosphere KEEPS this temperature, but me, I’m going with Occam’s Razor–it’s nothing but thermalization and heat storage.

    And of course “greenhouse gases” emit (and absorb) IR. That’s critical to the thermalization.

    I’m looking forward to Willis’ post on the Wood experiments.

  106. Willis Eschenbach: CO2 doubling units are 3.7 times the units Steven is using. If one is negative, the other is negative.

    You did point out that there is a big assumption in that statement of equivalence.

  107. “””””…..Willis Eschenbach says:

    February 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    george e. smith says:
    February 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I view this whole question of “Climate Sensitivity” as an exercise in self flagellation.

    Let’s suppose there IS a mechanism whereby LWIR radiation can warm the atmosphere; I believe there surely is; call it the “Greenhouse Effect” if you like.

    We assume that there is some source of LWIR radiation in the system. Surely, that mostly is the liquid/solid surface of the planet. We are often told quite vehemently that gases do not emit infra-red radiation, so what else is left but the far more massive liquid and solid surface of the planet.

    George, I have never, ever heard anyone make the claim, and certainly not “vehemently”, that

    gases do not emit infra-red radiation

    Some gases most assuredly absorb and emit infra-red, some gases don’t. In a mixture of the two, those that do absorb infrared immediately (nanoseconds) pass that energy on via collisions to the other gases that do not absorb or emit infrared and thus warm the mass of air. The reverse is true when they emit infrared, within nanoseconds they absorb energy from the other gases and cool the mass of air.

    I fear I have not even read the rest of your long comment, given that you have gases this wrong……”””””

    Willis,

    I accept without question, your admission that
    “””””…..I have never, ever heard anyone make the claim, and certainly not “vehemently”, that

    gases do not emit infra-red radiation…..”””””

    And also your admission that you then read no more of my “long comment”.

    So In view of those claims of yours, I then reread the small part pasted above, that you apparently did read; at least you have not claimed to have not read it.

    I reread it looking for comments (of mine) directly related to gases, since you say I “have gases this wrong.”

    I can find no comment of mine relating to gases ( in that portion you purportedly read); only a comment relating to what others have said relating to gases; comments which you assert you have not heard; and even if you have not, not heard them ,certainly not vehemently expressed.

    If you had read just a little further on, in my long comment that you did not read, you will see where I mentioned black body like thermal radiation emitted by solids and liquids.

    Just imagine that I was talking about that same kind of radiation in connection with the comments, sometimes vehement, that gases do not emit such radiation.

    Now you assert that some gases emit IR radiation and some do not.

    Why don’t you cite just a single case, of just one ordinary gas that does not emit such infra-red radiation; assuming it is above zero Kelvins of course; and yes of course you should give a peer reviewed reference for that assertion..

  108. And Willis, why don’t you read your post out loud, and then you will be able to say that you have heard that gases (some) do not emit infra-red radiation. Try to not read your own words vehemently, lest it disturbs you.

  109. Matthew R Marler says:
    February 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Willis Eschenbach:

    CO2 doubling units are 3.7 times the units Steven is using. If one is negative, the other is negative.

    You did point out that there is a big assumption in that statement of equivalence.

    Indeed I did … which is why I prefer Steven’s units. But they are defined as one being 3.7 times the other, so I can convert any time.

    w.

  110. george e. smith says:
    February 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    And Willis, why don’t you read your post out loud, and then you will be able to say that you have heard that gases (some) do not emit infra-red radiation. Try to not read your own words vehemently, lest it disturbs you.

    BZZZZZT! Next contestant, please …

    Why on earth should I converse with someone writing such unpleasant innuendo and snark? No profit for me in talking to you,

    Bye …

    w.

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