A note about temperatures

Guest commentary by John Coleman
(reprinted from KUSI-TV by Mr. Coleman’s request)

Was July 2012 the hottest July in United States history? Was the last 12 months period the warmest ever? NOAA,the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, says “Yes”. The agency released a map and statement in early August stating without reservation that July 2012 and the last 12 months were the hottest ever. The national media gave the report a “headline play” as we say in the media business. And, many of the media stories linked this hot weather with global warming.

However, skeptical scientists have produced studies that show that the last 15 years have seen a cooling in the United States. This is the NOAA NCDC Climate at a Glance US annual mean temperature trend the last 15 years.

No doubt it has been very, very hot and very, very dry. But if you check the facts behind these reports the claims are not all that certain. Consider this; the data behind the NOAA claims shows the average temperature in July 2012 was only 2/10ths of one degree warmer than July 1936. And there are several papers posted on the internet that claim that if the temperatures and the means of processing the data had not been “adjusted” several times in the past 50 years, 1934 would still be the warmest year ever, considerably warmer that the last 12 months. I conclude that while there is some basis for the NOAA record warmth position those who challenge NOAA’s claims also make good cases. And it seems to me that while the recent hot, dry weather is clearly out of the ordinary, as it stands for now, it is not the sort of extreme event that might prove global warming. And, any connection between the hot, dry weather and warming caused by the activities of mankind remains totally unproven.

Global warming is about a predicted dramatic increase in the temperature year after year leading to the melting of the polar ice caps resulting in a dramatic rise in ocean water levels producing coastal flooding. It also predicts non-stop droughts, massive world-wide, killer heat waves and super storms. Were the conditions that have developed in the United States this summer to become world-wide (which they have not) and continue to increase in intensity for year after year for a decade, that would be the sort of global warming event that would lead to the devastating results predicted by Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The runaway heating predicted by the global warming advocates’ computer models, is predicted to occur as a result of the activities of our civilized society, primarily the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity and to fuel internal combustion engines in cars and trucks and power jet airplanes. The theory is that carbon dioxide (CO2) in the exhaust from burning fossil fuels is an extraordinary greenhouse gas that amplifies the greenhouse effect in our atmosphere. Even if the predicted warming of the climate occurs, that does not prove the CO2 causative theory. So far efforts to prove that theory with computer models are totally off of the mark.

Mankind began to burn coal extensively in around 1770 and to use oil extensively starting in the 1880s. The use of fossil fuels greatly increased between 1945 to 2000. A measure of the atmospheric CO2 known as the Keeling Curve (named for the Scientist who set up the measuring system) shows a steady rise in atmospheric CO2 as a result. (Despite the increase, the total of CO2 remains much less than 1% of the atmosphere.)

Carbon Dioxide Concentration at Mauna Loa, Hawaii

The Keeling Curve

So a key question in the global warming debate has been “How much warming have we experienced so far as a result of our use of fossil fuels and the related release of carbon dioxide exhaust into the atmosphere?”

This seems as though it would be a very simple question to answer. To get the answer you just simply look at the chart of average temperatures through the years and measure the warming. Compare the warming since man has been using fossil fuels with the warming in a similar period before that and bingo, the influence of mankind’s activities should be clear. You might be surprised to hear that there are lots of complications that make this seemingly simple exercise impossible.

So what are the complications? After all, despite what anyone else has said or done, shouldn’t anyone be able to take all of the temperatures recorded across the nation, average them out to get the temperature for each hour and then average all 24 hours at the end of the day, resulting in the average for that day, and so on?

Well, it turns out that is not possible because only a few pre-selected long term observation records have been saved on a raw, long term, hour by hour and day by day basis. The great mass of long term temperature records are not available. Basically the historical data available is not in a format that lends itself to basic, start-over analysis.

There has been a long series of competing research reports, papers, charts and documents on historical temperatures and the long term trends. There is no consensus on what they show and why, just prolonged and spirited debate among the scientists. In the end, I fear, neither side is going to “win” this argument.

My friend Anthony Watts,  a Chico, California based Meteorologist and the man who hosts the Wattsupwiththat website, which is the most popular climate website in the world, and several other scientists have recently released a draft version of a new paper detailing a re-analysis of the temperature data for the United States. They applied a recently developed but well accepted international process, to separate long term U.S.temperatures from a pre-selected set of “official” weather observation points. They concluded that the temperature adjustments used by the National Oceanographic and Ocean Administration produce a temperature increase of 0.30 degrees Celsius per decade, while this new method results in half as much of an increase; 0.15 degrees Celsius per decade. This paper has met with both cheers and jeers in the meteorology community. It is a big deal. But, in the end, I fear it will be countered by a paper that uses still another method of analysis and the debate will only go on and on.

Let’s look at the history. There were no actual thermometers until after 1724 when a man named Fahrenheit made the very first one. All temperature data before that is calculated using such methods as analyzing tree rings and ice cores. While the scientists who do that work are certain that they produce accurate data, there are all sorts of issues such as what type of tree rings to use, the geographic distribution of the trees, how to figure the temperature since other issues such as the amount and time of rainfall also influence the tree’s growth. And ice cores are clearly only in the polar regions and mountain glaciers, and don’t represent the entire world temperature pattern. I can accept basic trends from these systems, but I have trouble believing they produce temperature records with the accuracy of greater than ±2 or 3 degrees.

As for the thermometer, the early ones were crude; tubes of colored mercury were stapled onto wooden backboards with degree markers printed on them. How accurate a temperature reading can you get from looking at something like that? I conclude that you should not regard those readings to be accurate within a tenth of a degree. And actually I am skeptical of even ±one degree.

In the early days of the Weather Bureau here in the United States,the thermometers were housed in little wooden, louvered boxes with legs that held them five feet above the surface. A study by Watts several years ago showed that whether the boxes were painted white or white-washed actually had a measurable impact on the temperatures on the thermometers inside.

For many years some of these measurements were made on the roof tops of buildings in the middle of cities, while others were in rural pastures. Very often the temperatures were so affected by the siting of the observation point that they had little to do with the average temperature of the surrounding region. This led to studies, again a major one under the direction of Mr. Watts, showing that the “siting” of thermometers is a major issue in producing reliable temperature readings. His volunteer field observers and Anthony himself visited 1007 of the 1221 observations stations in the United States. They found some located near asphalt parking lots, and others near air conditioner exhausts. A trash burning barrel was just a few feet from another official thermometer. So when you look at historical temperature records, it is difficult to know the accuracy of the readings, and how representative they are of the area.

For decades the number of thermometers was rather limited. Weather observation points followed the migration of the population. For years, the thermometers that were used to produce official, written down logs of readings over the long-term were mostly in cities and towns. As aviation developed many official weather observation points moved to airports which were mostly on the edge of the cities or even out in the nearby country side. All of this impacted the temperature readings. Now most major airports are surrounded by extensive business centers, with the heat sink of the expanding runways and the exhaust of the departing jet aircraft affecting the air temperatures as well.

As the United States Weather Bureau was established and evolved, standards for making observations were adopted the data became more reliable. Eventually a National Climate Data Center (NCDC) was established in 1934. Each official observation center then sent a monthly report of temperatures and other weather data from its official weather observation station via a form paper report to the NCDC. In the 1970’s this data was entered into computers for the first time. The monthly paper mailed reports continued for decades, however, and on some level continues today.

As the sites changed and the system of data collection became organized, the thermometers themselves were evolving. Mercury thermometers were replaced with thermocouple thermometers at some weather observation stations in the mid 1900’s. And eventually platinum resistance thermometers [PRT’s], which use a length of platinum wire in series with a resistor to measure temperature, replaced thermocouples. And at many locations those louvered instrument sheds were replaced by metal tubes with fans to circulate the air over the thermometer inside.

Meanwhile, inexpensive battery-powered automated weather stations began to spring up at homes, schools and business everywhere. When the home computer and the internet swept the world, these automated stations hit the world wide web. Soon there were tens of thousands of them. All sorts of websites now display these readings. Eventually even the successor to the Weather Bureau, the National Weather Service (NWS), began to link to them, plot them on maps and redistribute them on official NWS websites. Then came the smart phones and their widgets picked up these automated internet stations. They were eventually organized into an official National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA/NWS) group called Madis (Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System). However, these observations are not saved or used in any official climate data base.

So while hundreds of thousands of temperature records are now available worldwide, the NCDC continues to use only a network of government weather stations. And in recent years it has made extensive data adjustments. In one of these, it altered the older data to supposedly match the current data produced by the newer instruments. This change results in a cooling of the temperatures in the previous decades which has the net effect of making more recent temperatures comparatively warmer and therefore increases the long-term warming of temperatures.

I don’t doubt that there has been a general slow increase in atmosphere temperatures. You must understand this is a natural warming trend, a natural result of the continuing interglacial period that began with the melting of the great ice sheets 12,000 years ago. This warming trend has nothing to do with mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

In the 1980’s NCDC and other agencies that have sprung up as offshoots of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) began to greatly reduce the number of reporting points used in their temperature calculations. So as tens of thousands of new thermometers came on-line,they trimmed these government agencies were greatly reducing the number observations used in their world-wide temperature calculations. The number used dropped from 6,000 in the 1970s to just 1,500 a decade later. And, the new system averaged these temperatures to produce readings on spaced grid points. As these changes took effect, the average annual temperature produced by their systems, rose quickly as compared to their own temperature charts in previous years. NCDC and supporting researchers have presented numerous scientific papers to justify these changes. Others have produced papers, reports and charts to strongly refute the government agencies claims.

Essentially, much of the distortion may come from the selected observation points not being representative of the average for the grid box in which they are located. The problem of using a relatively few temperatures to represent regions gets very complex in coastal and hill and valley, rural and city complexes. As an example, if a grid box is in west-central Colorado and the observation at Grand Junction is used to present the area. Mountainous terrain that surrounds Grand Junction averages 10 degrees cooler. Think about San Diego County, California where the weather zones range from cool, Pacific coastal 60’s to 80’s in inland valleys, from 40’s to 90’s in mountains ranging up to 7,000 feet high (mountain temperatures vary enormously depending on season) to below sea level desert where temperatures are regularly over 100. How do you pick one or two temperatures to represent this county? Those who have put together and use these grids based on a relatively small set of observations have done studies that they say prove that is all averages out and adding more points to the observation network has little impact on the final averages. I might consider their argument but am totally sure they are out-of-bounds when they start to base claims of record warmest or record increases on measurements based on fractions of a degree or even a degree or two.

In this discussion, so far, I have looked at the temperature issues mostly from the viewpoint of only my home country, the United States. But the matter of temperatures is global. Elsewhere across and around the planet the problems of coming up with reliable data explodes. The United States constitutes less than 4% of the surface of the Earth. On the other hand, the Oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface. Deserts, unpopulated mountain ranges, tropical forests and the polar regions cover significant parts of the planet. Historical and even current temperature measurements from these regions remains skimpy to non-existent.

Take the case of the oceans. For 100s of years, we depended on measurements made by freighters and passenger ships to lift a bucket of water from the ocean along their routes and measure the temperature and make reports when they reached port. Later buoys would be used to collect temperatures. The ship buckets were eventually replaced by sensors in the ship intake valves of the ships, a method that measured temperatures at different levels. Ship intake values were slightly warmer than the buoys. Later these buoys placed at intervals off shore radioed in temperatures. In recent years, sophisticated buoys that communicate via satellite have been deployed worldwide. This data from them so far, does not show any significant warming of the ocean water and is being discounted by global warming advocates. In any case, there is not a long-term useable ocean temperature data base to use to produce a meaningful long term data base.

In the past forty years there have been measurements of the total atmospheric temperatures on a global basis from satellites. It system is being used to build a new data base that in a hundred years will make a significant data base for measuring climatic changes. For now, however, forty years is too short-term to be hugely significant. What is does show, for now, the satellite data shows a rather steady, gradual increase in global temperatures in line with the long-term increase over the last 12,000 years. It does not support the dramatic increases predicted by the global warming advocates models.

My friends who are climate change skeptics would say the lack of a dramatic rise is the final “nail in the coffin” for global warming alarmists. I have to hold back on reaching that conclusion. I simply hold to my skeptical position. I don’t believe that carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas and our use of fossil fuels is creating a climate crisis now and it will not do so in the future as well. I don’t see any evidence that there is a CO2 “tipping point” when temperatures will go out of the control. In fact, there is evidence that CO2 has been much higher in the historic past.

I also point out that CO2 is fertilizing our crops producing a food supply significantly greater than it would be if we were not adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

I conclude the temperature data does not prove global warming. The alarmists are wrong. But the temperature data is so unreliable and garbled that neither alarmists or skeptics can use it to conclusively prove they are right.

About these ads

93 thoughts on “A note about temperatures

  1. I don’t understand the first chart. How can the “average temperature” be lower than any “actual temperature” shown? (Similar comment about the “trend”.)

  2. I’m sure plenty of people will jump on this but it says: “….a temperature increase of .3 degrees Celsius per decade while this new method results in half as much of an increase, 1.5 degrees Celsius per decade” when I believe it should say “0.15 degrees Celsius per decade”

  3. John Coleman, you write “I conclude the temperature data does not prove global warming. The alarmists are wrong. But the temperature data is so unreliable and garbled that neither alarmists or skeptics can use it to conclusively prove they are right.”

    This has been my contention for some time, though not based on anything like the depth of analysis you have provided. But the point is that if the empirical data does not prove CAGW, then the IPCC is wrong to claim in the SPMs to AR4 that there is a high degree of certainty that their conclusions are correct.

  4. @needlefactory

    The horizontal “Average Temperature” line is the average over the period 1901 – 2000.

    The “Actual Temperature” values are only for the past 15 years.

  5. A few minor typos: effected for affected; plutonium for platinum.

    [Fixed, thanks. — mod.]

  6. Global warming is about a predicted dramatic increase in the temperature year after year leading to the melting of the polar ice caps resulting in a dramatic rise in ocean water levels producing coastal flooding.”

    1. There isnt a single model that predicts year after year warming. In Ar4 around 20 models were used. They produced about 60 runs total. if you look at the individual runs you will see that some years go up and some years go down, but over long periods of time, the general trend will be up
    ASSUMING:
    a) the emissions follow the paths suggested.
    b) other forcings remain constant.
    If you are going to criticize a scientific position it is best to represent what the science actually claims. There is no claim that temperature will increase MONOTONICALLY. If fact, the opposite is claimed. There will be, there must be periods of retreat, periods of pause, in the march to a higher global average. There will be and there must be some places that warm more than others and some places that experience temporary cooling.

    2. The coastal flooding predicted is not simply a function of the polar caps melting. In fact the melting arctic has little to no impact. melting from the South pole is not even predicted in the short term. So wrong on two counts. The increased sea level in the next 100 years comes from the steric rise ( warmer water takes up more space ) and increased melting of greenland. Sheesh.

    There is so much more wrong with the piece that one doesnt know where to start.

  7. A few years ago I had the pleasure of having lunch with John Coleman. I pulled some strings and he was the speaker at a Rotary luncheon in San Diego. For the first time this group was given real information because Scripps Institute had made a partnership with the Rotary to stop Global Warming. Needless to say, people were astounded to hear real information. Scripps went nuts! Who authorized this? This will never happen again! Love you John Coleman.

  8. I cringe whenever I see “believe” used in an article: “I don’t believe that carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas ….” Your critique is about quality of the data and conclusions drawn from those data. Your conclusion is that the uncertainty / unknowns are too great to reach any conclusions: “I simply hold to my skeptical position.” I agree! Thank you.

  9. Jim Cripwell says:
    March 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm
    “But the point is that if the empirical data does not prove CAGW, then the IPCC is wrong to claim in the SPMs to AR4 that there is a high degree of certainty that their conclusions are correct.”

    It would look bad if they said there were a high degree of certainty that their conclusions are wrong. So they don’t do that.

  10. Perhaps I missed it, but the U.S. contains a small fraction of the land mass covering the globe. What the U.S. does by itself is nothing from which to draw global conclusions. If that’s not mentioned, I suggest including it now.

  11. Jim Cripwell says:

    March 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm
    ===========
    May I echo the good Mr Cripwell’s comments?

    Climate changes.
    We know that, and we know some of the reasons why.
    It is not likely, yet, that we know, in detail, all the mechanisms why climate [the integral of weather, if you like] continues to change.
    Here in the UK we get weather.
    “If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour, and we’ll have a couple more seasons to show you!”
    But – why?
    I have not yet been persuaded that the science is, in fact, “settled” – not totally, perhaps not largely.

    Auto

  12. Steven Mosher says:March 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm
    ……………………………..The increased sea level in the next 100 years comes from the steric rise ( warmer water takes up more space ) and increased melting of greenland.
    ——————-
    So, do you like Al Gore, expect the warmer water to increase sea level 20 meters?
    I’m not sure sea level was a problem the last time they raised animals in Greenland.
    I wonder when they’re going to start farming Greenland, again?
    I hope it doesn’t take much longer. I’m hoping to visit the unfrozen Viking farms.
    CAGW……..Sheesh
    cn

  13. Satellite measurements will eventually tell the story. A much saner way to measure temperature. Just keep the tamperers away from the satellite data.

  14. It would seem that the BOM in Australia reads from the same Hymn book.

    “So while hundreds of thousands of temperature records are now available worldwide, the NCDC continues to use only a network of government weather stations. And in recent years it has made extensive data adjustments. In one of these, it altered the older data to supposedly match the current data produced by the newer instruments. This change results in a cooling of the temperatures in the previous decades which has the net effect of making more recent temperatures comparatively warmer and therefore increases the long-term warming of temperatures.”

    http://joannenova.com.au/

    Mystery black-box method used to make *all new* Australian “hottest” ever records

  15. What the heck, here’s a spanner for ya.

    Dr. James Hansen – NASA – June 16, 2000
    Global warming in the twenty-first century: An alternative scenario
    “A common view is that the current global warming rate will continue or accelerate. But we argue that rapid warming in recent decades has been driven mainly by non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as chlorofluorocarbons, CH4, and N2O, not by the products of fossil fuel burning, CO2 and aerosols, the positive and negative climate forcings of which are partially offsetting. The growth rate of non-CO2 GHGs has declined in the past decade. If sources of CH4 and O3 precursors were reduced in the future, the change in climate forcing by non-CO2 GHGs in the next 50 years could be near zero.”

    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/18/9875.full

  16. On the one had Hansen says Earth to be Venus, on the other hand he points to soot and on the other hand the IPCC says Earth becoming Venus is highly unlikely. This whole thing is an utter mess. Yet they make projections about the temperature in 2100!!! Crock.

    Dr. James Hansen – NASA – 2003
    Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos

    …..Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The “efficacy” of this forcing is ~2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/101/2/423.short

    “Some thresholds that all would consider dangerous have no support in the literature as having a non-negligible chance of occurring. For instance, a “runaway greenhouse effect” —analogous to Venus–appears to have virtually no chance of being induced by anthropogenic activities…..”

    http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session31/inf3.pdf

  17. Thanks Mr Coleman, I see Jennifer Marohasy is active again and posts a very similar, adjustments to data, post.

    At what point does data stop being data and become product?
    Those adjustments are damning, if I pulled that kind of evasion in my business I would be in court regularly and be shunned by my peers.
    What is the accuracy range of the electronic sensors?
    Calibrated for 0-20mA or 0-10mV for -40 to +30 C?-20 to +20C?
    What is the actual error? Sensor, power source, reader and transmitter?

    I am still snickering about Environment Canada’s response in 2010, so their stations are FUBAR from 1990 but no money or manpower to address problem.
    But this is the biggest threat to Canada’s security ever.
    But $4 billion on computer modelling and researching the possible effects is spent instead.

  18. Am I correct in saying that we don’t know to within a degree centigrade what the global mean temperature was in 1700, 1650, 1600, 1550, 1500 etc………..???

    And since when did alleged record temperatures in the USA represent the planet?

  19. Steven Mosher says:
    March 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    “1. There isnt a single model that predicts year after year warming. In Ar4 around 20 models were used. They produced about 60 runs total. if you look at the individual runs you will see that some years go up and some years go down, but over long periods of time, the general trend will be up
    ASSUMING:
    a) the emissions follow the paths suggested.
    b) other forcings remain constant.
    If you are going to criticize a scientific position it is best to represent what the science actually claims. There is no claim that temperature will increase MONOTONICALLY. If fact, the opposite is claimed. There will be, there must be periods of retreat, periods of pause, in the march to a higher global average. There will be and there must be some places that warm more than others and some places that experience temporary cooling.”

    Mosher has achieved something new in the arena of “ad hoc” hypotheses, namely, “pre-ad hoc” hypotheses. According to Mosher, if temperatures go up then that is in accordance with what the models “predict” (No model has ever predicted anything and none ever will.) If temperatures do not go up then that too is compatible with the models (note that he does not say that the models predicted the existing 17 year pause). Regardless of what the temperature does, there is no basis for criticism of the models.

    So, Mosher, what ties the models to reality? Do they need a tie to reality? If they have no tie to reality then how are we to understand the claims that you and others infer from them. Those claims are not about reality, right?

    Maybe we are to treat models as providing “insights,” as literary criticism does, rather than treat them as serving some scientific purpose. What do you think, Mosher?

  20. “You might be surprised to hear that there are lots of complications that make this seemingly simple exercise impossible (seeing an AGW signal.)”

    It should be simple. If we are going to have increases of 3-6C over this century as was thought, there is no need to be shaving and clipping a tenth here and there. As an example of the silliness, they have adjusted “sea level” measurements up 0.3mm a year to account for elastic rebound (rendering the measurement no longer a sea level measurement). This is 1 1/2 inches a century! and they are predicting from a metre to 3 metres increase by 2100 (some “experts” are talking up to double this). If this is what we are facing, select 100 well-sited thermometers from around the world and plot their temps. If we are headed for deep trouble, a signal this size can be seen by a high school science student.

  21. Steven Mosher says:……………..1. There isnt a single model that predicts year after year warming. In Ar4 around 20 models were used. They produced about 60 runs total……………

    I read your comment and it basically boils down to MODELS and PREDICTIONS. Nothing of substance there, sorry. Sheesh!

  22. Chuck Nolan says:
    March 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Steven Mosher says:March 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm
    ……………………………..The increased sea level in the next 100 years comes from the steric rise ( warmer water takes up more space ) and increased melting of greenland.
    ——————-
    So, do you like Al Gore, expect the warmer water to increase sea level 20 meters?
    I’m not sure sea level was a problem the last time they raised animals in Greenland.
    I wonder when they’re going to start farming Greenland, again?
    I hope it doesn’t take much longer. I’m hoping to visit the unfrozen Viking farms.
    CAGW……..Sheesh
    cn

    And do not forget that Amsterdam was founded as a fishing village at sea level at the time the Vikings were on Greenland. Amsterdam is still here – and remained as a busy port at sea level and is still at sea level all despite the Little Ice Age.

  23. Steven Mosher says:
    March 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I agree, there will be periods of pause in the global temperature anomaly and even a reverse of a warming trend, that is the nature of measuring real-world temperatures. Mr Colman Mentioned (in not so many words) the statistical trickery, accumulative temperature values are not representative of any position. Your opinion as a ‘warmest proponent ‘ is one of very few people who’s work I like to think I can trust on the Man Made climate as a Global Issue, Because you know, you or anyone else can not attribute any weather event where any individually is responsible it.
    You can NOT attribute blame on any individual people, Still, unrepentantly Man Made global warming Proponents seek to attribute widespread global blame. And doing so proponents are shifting the weight of the worlds problems onto the poorest peoples of our planet. I’d bet for example, a multimillionaire will produce more so-called ‘dangerous Carbon dioxide’ than millions of poorer people do. Is it therefor right that multimillionaires can setup a tax-brake company for themselves, where they pay their carbon offset to themselves? No, it is a scam, it is wrong and most likely in most countries an unlawful fraud.

    A Global Temperature Anomaly does not Attribute blame to people, that is the point. Let that sink in.

  24. @Jimbo

    NASA data suggests that changes in non CO2 Greenhouse gases are having little effect on their calculations of overall climate forcings.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/

    Which apparently are still rising inexorably. Strange they are not having continued impacts on global temperatures.

  25. This is such a bad article its funny.

    Here we are told that we “must understand” (why must ?) that its all a natural trend – a bounce from the last glaciation. Really ? Where is the evidence for a steady increase in temperature throughout this period ? There is strong evidence that the Holocene Optimum was followed by gradual cooling, not warming.

    Its good to know that Mr Coleman believes in his science:

    “I don’t believe that carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas”

    Apart from the religious tendency there, tell us what the global mean temperature would be if you take the CO2 out. It would be little different from now on that basis – which is plainly rediculous. Yet again, a skeptic trying to rewrite nearly 200 years of science.

  26. I don’t doubt that there has been a general slow increase in atmosphere temperatures. You must understand this is a natural warming trend, a natural result of the continuing interglacial period that began with the melting of the great ice sheets 12,000 years ago.
    Except that the long-term trend has been downward the past 6000 years.

  27. The lack of complete temperature data for past eras doesn’t really matter – the periods of warmth and cold are well documented in the historical record. CAGW alarmists can’t get around the well-attested fact that wine grapes were grown in England and even in Norway and Newfoundland during the MWP (try doing that today). CAGW alarmists can’t get around the fact that at the height of the Roman Empire, many harbors all around the Mediterranean were flourishing that are now high and dry, due to drops in sea level since then.

    The obseassion with temperature data seems to tie in with the osession of models. Models will nevereget it right because there are too many variables with too wide variation and too many statistical outliers in that variation.

    It’s time that everyone recognized that climate models are a total artificiality, intended solely to manipulate uninformed pepole, mistakenly relying on the modelers’ credentials, into buying a totally false hypothesis, to use as a pretext for a malicious and destructive agenda.. Models prove nothing, except that their makers have compromised their scientific integrity and have abused thr public trust.

  28. My comment at; March 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm Should be.
    Because you know, you or anyone else can not attribute any weather event where any individual is responsible for it.

  29. Bad article. The Holocene optimum was warmer and there has been gradual cooling since then.
    The issue isn’t whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas it is whether adding more at current levels will make any measurable or noticeable difference.

  30. James Abbott,

    Mr Coleman writes: “…skeptical scientists have produced studies that show that the last 15 years have seen a cooling in the United States… In this discussion, so far, I have looked at the temperature issues mostly from the viewpoint of only my home country, the United States.”

  31. D.B. Stealey

    Yes he talks about the US in the first half and then goes off on a global ramble in the second half.

    Anyway, his central argument is that temperatures have been rising steadily on a long term rebound from the last glaciation.

    Unfortunately for Mr Coleman – (a) they have not as many have posted and (b) the US would not have been insulated from that.

    I think this is his best bit of science:

    “But the matter of temperatures is global. Elsewhere across and around the planet the problems of coming up with reliable data explodes.”

    Apart from the glorious hyperbole there, its a daft and transparent attempt to junk all data to weaken the case for global warming. The problem for Mr Coleman is that worldwide, temperature records show similar trends. So they must be all wrong then ? Probability of that ?

    What in his article is actually true ?

  32. James Abbott says:
    March 3, 2013 at 3:54 pm
    Anyway, his central argument is that temperatures have been rising steadily on a long term rebound from the last glaciation.
    Which is not true. Temperatures have been trending down the last 6000 years [on their way to the next glaciation in 50,000 years].

  33. I have a question on “The Keeling Curve” that’s been bothering me for some time. How do we know that the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is attributable to human activity?

    It seems odd to me that the CO2 increase looks so linear, when human CO2 emissions have risen exponentially over the same period. And yet everyone, believer and skeptic alike, seems to accept that the rise in atmoshperic CO2 from 1960 on is due to human activity.

    What am I missing? Is it terribly obvious?

  34. James Abbott says:
    March 3, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    I think Mr Coleman is saying. (In my words) Take a step back. Both sides need to understand this global temperature anomaly and it’s origin and be open and honest about it.

  35. James Abbott says:
    March 3, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    “What in his article is actually true?”

    At first, I suspect that Mr. Coleman’s essay was written too quickly and may suffer from some needed peer review. Many grammatical errors suggest this.

    There are a few premises which stand reversing. Yes, we warmed from the end of the Younger Dryas to the hypsithermal, within which timeframe the 8.2k event is to be found. But since that time “…a natural result of the continuing interglacial period that began with the melting of the great ice sheets 12,000 years ago” is not correct. I suggest that since the end of the Little Ice Age the warming we have experienced is not anomalous. Certainly not on a par with the two thermal excursions at the end of the most recent interglacial, the Eemian (MIS-5e), which may have recorded a sea level highstand on the order of +6 to +52M AMSL.

    IPCC 2007 AR4 reports worst case of +0.59M by 2100, or “consensus” worst case “signal” coming in at just under 10% of the last end-extreme interglacial normal, natural noise.

    However, Mr. Coleman extends, and provides historical context for, eminently reasonable arguments related to the state, and evolution, of whatever primary data sets can even tell us about just a century or two of the post-gunpowder age.

    I think the issue Mr. Coleman is driving at could be one of the most vexing of present hominid times. Or do we really get science…….

    “We” can, yes, we absolutely can, now well into the 21st century, MANNipulate even raw data such that only a pittance even realize it might have ever even happened. It takes more than the attention span of a gnat for apparently even well-educated hominids to, at the very least, be aware of their perceptual efficiency.

    Meaning that you indeed can, in supposedly modern times, grille-master the data as many times as can be slipped to (and by) the BBQ inclined. That is what makes all of this so interesting!

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Tonto, cleverly disguised as an extreme weather event, gussies up some Sand(y) in your late-Holocene eyes. Being that was many months ago now, and not particularly enigmatic even at this ostensibly late extreme interglacial time, we are left to irrationally ponder, with the attention-span of a gnat:

    “The largest boulder is about New South Wales, Australia (14,000 km away) to the Lanai 10 times the size of the largest Holocene ones moved by waves in wave event about 105,000 yr ago. Jones (1992), however, the area. Tsunamis are a reasonable possibility as a transporting disputed the Hawaiian source of the tsunami, citing problems mechanism of the Pleistocene boulders. However, if deposited in- with wave attenuation and evidence of uplift of the Hawaiian
    stead by storms during the last interglaciation, the storms were of Islands to explain the Lanai deposits. In reply, Young and much greater intensity than those occurring in the region during Bryant (1992) appropriately noted that, despite some debate the late Holocene.”

    — Hearty, 1997, Boulder Deposits from Large Waves during the Last Interglaciation on North Eleuthera Island, Bahamas, http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@sci/@eesc/documents/doc/uow014953.pdf

    Which means, Houston, we might very well have, a not materialized yet, end-extreme interglacial problemo………….

    But………but………., did you recently hear that Jimmy Fallon may succeed the late Holocene Jay Leno in the year of our most attuned mindset 2014?

  36. William McClenney says:
    March 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    William, you’re such a fool, your comment is twisted to the point of inaccuracy. why bother when skeptics have been insulted by so-called better people than you, yawn.

  37. OssQss says:
    March 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm
    Even if so, his point was about retreating ice. .
    Which stopped several thousand years ago. Since then the climate has steadily cooled.

  38. Sparks says:
    March 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    William McClenney says:
    March 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks. I appreciate the reference(s)……………..

  39. lsvalgaard says:
    March 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm
    Which stopped several thousand years ago. Since then the climate has steadily cooled.
    ——————————————————————————————————————–
    I certainly don’t disagree, but it depends upon the frame of reference in time, no?

    Now, why have you not posted anything on the double dip solar item theory?

    Cheers!

  40. William McClenney says:
    March 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    “I’m sarcastic look at me”

    Be honest!

  41. Yes,
    it has been a downward trend from the Holocene Climate Optimum. Now I wonder why the climate scientists named it the Holocene Climate Optimum? They could have called it the Holocene Climate Bicycle… or the Holocene Climate Tragedy… or the Holocene Climate Catastrophe. It seems that they have changed their tune. I’m guessing for political purposes.

  42. If the climate cools, regardless of the carbon dioxide content, it is quick and painful, just like frostbite. when the climate warms, these are the good times. Co2 follows the good times.

  43. OssQss says:
    March 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm
    “Which stopped several thousand years ago. Since then the climate has steadily cooled.”
    I certainly don’t disagree, but it depends upon the frame of reference in time, no?

    No, time is time.

    Now, why have you not posted anything on the double dip solar item theory?
    If you refer to http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/01mar_twinpeaks/ then I have not commented because the story is not quite true [and is not all that important]. Cycle 14 had half a dozen peaks [not two] and cycle 24 will also have more peaks than two. I did publish a paper on double peaks http://www.leif.org/research/Asymmetric-Solar-Polar-Field-Reversals-talk.pdf with explanation of the slides here: http://www.leif.org/research/Talking_Points_for_Asymmetric_Reversals.pdf

  44. Sparks says:
    March 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    William McClenney says:
    March 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    “I”m sarcastic look at me’

    Be honest!”

    Well, you know, when your worst-case 2007 AR4 by 2100 scenario traps below 10% of the last interglacial, there might be some actuarial interest.

    Just sayin’

    We will (or we won’t) have the 2nd post-MPT eccentricity minimum extended interglacial.

    Which, more or less, depends on what you believe.

    Sarcastic?

    Not really.

    But I am obviously interested in your take

  45. William McClenney says:
    March 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Sweet! you’re in. If you are honest! you have my support.

  46. Sparks says:
    March 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm
    Leif, are you watching the southern hemisphere of the sun?
    Our motto is “all the Sun; all the time”. So, yes.

  47. lsvalgaard says:

    March 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Sparks says:
    March 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm
    Leif, are you watching the southern hemisphere of the sun?
    Our motto is “all the Sun; all the time”. So, yes.
    ==============
    Please define “our”, Leif.

  48. u.k.(us) says:
    March 3, 2013 at 9:50 pm
    Please define “our”, Leif.
    You may know that the department where I work at Stanford is a partner in the Solar Dynamics Observatory Satelite [if not: http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sdo/ ]. That is ‘our’.

    Sparks says:
    March 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm
    Is it “sole omni tempore” or “Solis omni tempore”?
    I think that just ‘Sol’ will do.

  49. lsvalgaard says:
    March 3, 2013 at 10:16 pm
    “You may know that the department where I work at Stanford is a partner in the Solar Dynamics Observatory Satelite [if not: http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sdo/ ]. That is ‘our’.”
    ==========
    Nice one, Leif.
    Walked right in to it.
    Checking for intelligent life, and found it.

  50. Steven Mosher says:

    March 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Global warming is about a predicted dramatic increase in the temperature year after year leading to the melting of the polar ice caps resulting in a dramatic rise in ocean water levels producing coastal flooding.”

    1. There isnt a single model that predicts year after year warming. In Ar4 around 20 models were used. They produced about 60 runs total. if you look at the individual runs you will see that some years go up and some years go down
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Steven

    Looking at each of the 60 runs of each of the 20 models, which models correctly predicted a period of falling temperature and/or stasis of temperature rise, and what component in that model caused it to correctly predict the fall in temperature, or stasis in temperature as the case may be, ie., what did the model take into account which correctly over powered the warming that would otherwise have occurred as a consequence in the continued rise in CO2.

    Identifying this component (eg., aerosols, ENSO, more cloudiness, less TSI etc etc) and testing it against empirical observation for the component (s) in question would help us learn a lot more about climate what drives it and how it works, AND, of course, about the correctness and usefulness of the models themselves.

    We need to make sure that these models have not simply predicted periods when there would be no warming simply because of some randomness programmed into them, and we need to see whether they are ‘predicting’ on the basis of correct components, or is it just fluke coincidence of GIGO.

    I would like to see the auditing of each of these model runs

  51. Thanks john.
    The GHG theory is a total failure. It violates the laws of thermodynamics, surface radiated energy is within the emission spectra of the so called GHG’s so could not have any effect on already energy saturated molecules. This theory was drempt up to cover poor thinking about the earth’s energy budget. The model used for this poor thinking is a flat earth with no night/day just cold sunlight. This model is nothing like reality but introduces the GHG theory to make up a supposed energy shortfall. There is no energy shortfall the sun is hot enough.

  52. My emphasis,
    “Mankind began to burn coal extensively in around 1770 and to use oil extensively starting in the 1880s. The use of fossil fuels greatly increased between 1945 to 2000. A measure of the atmospheric CO2 known as the Keeling Curve (named for the Scientist who set up the measuring system) shows a steady rise in atmospheric CO2 as a result. (Despite the increase, the total of CO2 remains much less than 1% of the atmosphere.)”

    This is a bit ambiguous to my mind. It implies that the burning of so called fossil fuels was what caused the whole of the rise in CO2 levels. Was this intended?

    SteveT

  53. You can see the problem when a skeptic makes a small error that doesn’t have much to do with an essay. Immediately, the small error gets attacked and then the claim is made the entire essay is wrong. You can see this with Mr. Coleman’s reference to warming since the last glaciation. I suspect he meant the warming since the Little Ice Age for the last 300 years. Replacing the error with that factual warming does nothing to change the rest of the essay. And, it has little to do with temperature data, questionable adjustments and the lack of recent warming. It does point out the mindset of alarmists. They are in full panic mode.

    It should be corrected but it’s kind of humorous to watch the mental gyrations of people like James Abbott

  54. The entire argument that “this year was the warmest ever” is just purely foolish. Any scientist who claims this nonsense and claims it means something needs to go back to STAT 101 before they are qualified to post nonsense like that. I can not believe how seemingly such intelligent people can claim that nonsense and not realize its meaningless. In Statistics, there is a tool to test whether the data is increasing or decreasing and this tool is called linear regression as used in the post above. Any questions about warming or lack of warming due to “records” is just obfuscation from a true fool. To think the NOAA itself represents itself with this STAT 101 error is almost pure comedy, and then we remember that this is our tax dollars at work paying fools big bucks to post obfuscation. What nonsense!

    What we truly need is honest scientists at NOAA, NASA etc who are willing to post the truth no matter what it says about their pet theories and their pet computer models. How in the world can we truly understand the climate if the “most authoritative source” the US has is making such simple STAT errors and misleading people?

    Its truly horrendous when you think about it.

    And then its even worse when you look at the data we have. I don’t think its truly necessary to show how bad the temperature data is to prove anything. Just look at the general slope of the data and ask yourself this:

    We have been warming since we came out of the Little Ice Age and it appears we have stopped warming over the last 15 years. So therefore, wouldn’t you expect to see record highs in the data over the previous 15 years? And to think people at NOAA are surprised to find these record highs and then repeat it like it means something….

    That is like having our own NOAA going to the top of Mount Everest and yelling to the world: “Hey, this is the top of the elevation on the planet.” Well duh, everyone knows that. Thank you Captain Obvious (err NOAA)….we truly learned nothing today except that you are clueless.

  55. A note about Greenland in the Eemian. Listen up Mosher.

    24 January, 2013
    Abstract
    Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core
    Efforts to extract a Greenland ice core with a complete record of the Eemian interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) have until now been unsuccessful. The response of the Greenland ice sheet to the warmer-than-present climate of the Eemian has thus remained unclear. Here we present the new North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (‘NEEM’) ice core and show only a modest ice-sheet response to the strong warming in the early Eemian. We reconstructed the Eemian record from folded ice using globally homogeneous parameters known from dated Greenland and Antarctic ice-core records. On the basis of water stable isotopes, NEEM surface temperatures after the onset of the Eemian (126,000 years ago) peaked at 8 ± 4 degrees Celsius above the mean of the past millennium, followed by a gradual cooling that was probably driven by the decreasing summer insolation.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v493/n7433/full/nature11789.html

  56. Why did Mr. Coleman leave out 2012 in his analysis of the last 15 years of annual data?? That’s an egregious error.

    How dumb does he think people are?

    Come on….

  57. Eric Huxter says:
    NASA data suggests that changes in non CO2 Greenhouse gases are having little effect on their calculations of overall climate forcings.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/

    Which apparently are still rising inexorably. Strange they are not having continued impacts on global temperatures.
    ————————————————-
    The data doesn’t say that at all — they say 30% of the increase in noncondensing GHG radiative forcing since 1979 is due to gases other than CO2.

    There was a well known flattening in average global methane levels over the last few years of the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s, perhaps due to industry changes in Russia. That flattening ended around 2008, and atmospheric methane levels are increasing again.

  58. Phobos says:
    March 4, 2013 at 8:00 am
    Why did Mr. Coleman leave out 2012 in his analysis of the last 15 years of annual data?? That’s an egregious error.
    Perhaps 2012 was too hot…

  59. Mike Borgelt says:
    March 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm
    Bad article. The Holocene optimum was warmer and there has been gradual cooling since then.
    The issue isn’t whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas it is whether adding more at current levels will make any measurable or noticeable difference.

    You see this is the part I have a problem with.

    How can a gas (CO2) that is less than 1% of the atmosphere release enough energy at just the right quality and quantity to keep the other 99% from cooling?

    When a parcel of air that has a volume of 1 cubic mile cools, how much energy is released, how much of the energy that is released from that parcel of air comes from CO2 and what is the amount of energy that is available to re-warm that parcel of air?

  60. Box of Rocks says: “How can a gas (CO2) that is less than 1% of the atmosphere release enough energy at just the right quality and quantity to keep the other 99% from cooling?”

    1. Do you accept that the Earth’s surface emits infrared radiation upward?
    2. Do you accept that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation at certain frequencies?
    3. Do you accept that CO2 re-emits infrared radiation at certain frequencies?

    If so, then it’s just a matter of calculating how much heat is effectively trapped by CO2. Scientists have been perfecting that calculation for over 100 years. It’s a difficult calculation because the absorption spectrum of CO2 is so complicated, and pressure and temperature influence the absorption and reemission, but the calculation is doable by numerical methods.

  61. Phobos says:

    “1. Do you accept that the Earth’s surface emits infrared radiation upward?”

    Outgoing longwave radiation has not changed much, either up or down, in decades. Therefore, your argument fails.

  62. lsvalgaard says:
    March 4, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Perhaps 2012 was too hot…

    Not in England it wasn’t ;-)

  63. @DB Stealey: Here we are discussing the basics of the greenhouse effect and how to calculate it, not whether it is increasing. Try to keep up.

  64. Mr Green Genes says:
    March 4, 2013 at 10:18 am
    “Perhaps 2012 was too hot…”
    Not in England it wasn’t ;-)

    Coleman was talking about the US.

  65. Phobos says:
    March 4, 2013 at 10:03 am
    Box of Rocks says: “How can a gas (CO2) that is less than 1% of the atmosphere release enough energy at just the right quality and quantity to keep the other 99% from cooling?”

    1. Do you accept that the Earth’s surface emits infrared radiation upward?
    2. Do you accept that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation at certain frequencies?
    3. Do you accept that CO2 re-emits infrared radiation at certain frequencies?

    If so, then it’s just a matter of calculating how much heat is effectively trapped by CO2. Scientists have been perfecting that calculation for over 100 years. It’s a difficult calculation because the absorption spectrum of CO2 is so complicated, and pressure and temperature influence the absorption and reemission, but the calculation is doable by numerical methods.

    You left out these items:

    4. Do you accept that CO2 is thermally activated by collisons with other particles?
    5. Do you accept that this radiation can then be radiated to space?

    If so, then it’s just a matter of calculating how much heat is effectively released from the atmopshere by CO2. Maybe you should try it. Just possibly you’ll then understand why Stealey’s chart shows no change. The warming effect of items 1-3 are countered by the cooling effects of 4-5.

  66. Richard M says:
    “4. Do you accept that CO2 is thermally activated by collisons with other particles?”

    What does “thermally activated” mean?

    “5. Do you accept that this radiation can then be radiated to space?”

    It can be if it’s not absorbed by another molecule, or the planet.

  67. 1. Do you accept that the Earth’s surface emits infrared radiation upward?
    2. Do you accept that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation at certain frequencies?
    3. Do you accept that CO2 re-emits infrared radiation at certain frequencies?

    See below:

    1. Do you accept that the Earth’s surface emits infrared radiation upward?

    YES

    2. Do you accept that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation at certain frequencies?

    Yes

    3. Do you accept that CO2 re-emits infrared radiation at certain frequencies?

    Yes. Is it Long wave or short wave radiation? If is long wave radiation, what is it’s effect?

    If it is shortwave radiation what happens to it. When a molecule is presented with additional energy but has absorbed all that it can hold, what happens to the energy?

    So, can the any molecule that is cooling simultaneously absorb energy? Why or why not?

    I have more …..

  68. Pretty low credibility in this post. Leaving out the really hot year of 2012, then talking about global warming after presenting data for the US. The green house effect has been well know for over 100 years. Do some people really think that scientists simply accepted the analysis from the 1890’s without question, or do you think that the 1000’s of scientists who have studied the effects of green house gases over the last, say 50 years have actually done the analysis, experiments and calculations. If you have every met a scientist or taken a science course taught by one, you would know the answer. Check out Tamino for calculations of how extreme the cherry picking is in this report.

  69. Box of Rocks says:
    “3. Do you accept that CO2 re-emits infrared radiation at certain frequencies?
    Yes. Is it Long wave or short wave radiation? If is long wave radiation, what is it’s effect?”

    Infrared radiation is longwave radiation.

    “When a molecule is presented with additional energy but has absorbed all that it can hold, what happens to the energy? So, can the any molecule that is cooling simultaneously absorb energy? Why or why not?”

    When CO2 absorbs infrared radiation it goes into a higher energy state, and then quickly (a tiny fraction of second) drops back down to the lower energy state by emitting infrared radiation, usually of the same wavelength. The direction of the emission is random.

    If a CO2 molecule is already in this higher energy state, probably because it just absorbed an infrared photon, it won’t absorb again (at this IR wavelength) until it returns to the lower energy state by emitting an infrared photon.

  70. Phobos says:
    March 4, 2013 at 11:36 am
    Richard M says:
    “4. Do you accept that CO2 is thermally activated by collisions with other particles?”
    What does “thermally activated” mean?

    I should have just said “thermalized”. That is, at least some of the energy from the collision is transferred to the CO2 molecule.

    “5. Do you accept that this radiation can then be radiated to space?”
    It can be if it’s not absorbed by another molecule, or the planet.

    Bad wording again. I meant to say the energy can be radiated to space.

    Now, think a little deeper. When fossil fuels are burned a O2 molecule is basically turned into a CO2 molecule while we gain some energy in the process. When the O2 molecule was zipping around the atmosphere and hit another O2 molecule pretty much nothing happened. The energy stayed in the atmosphere contributing to what we call temperature. Now, the replacement CO2 molecule causes some of that energy to be lost to space forever. The more CO2, the more the atmosphere cools.

  71. @- Richard M
    “Now, the replacement CO2 molecule causes some of that energy to be lost to space forever. The more CO2, the more the atmosphere cools.”

    Your mistake is that the extra energy that the extra CO2 molecule absorbs, thermalises into the atmosphere, and then radiates is not ALWAYS lost to space. There is a fifty percent chance that it will return to the surface providing more energy to heat the surface than if that same energy had exited to space without the intervention of the extra CO2.

    The GHG effect is science that is well over a century old and not in doubt. Calling it into question reveals far more about the scientific grasp of the poster than the validity of the science.

  72. I’m stunned so many of you here believe this rubbish. It’s simply incorrect – and a classic example of cherry picking

    If you don’t look at ALL the data – but instead choose what points you want to give the answer your want, it’s called cherry picking.

  73. Izen:

    The earth is round, how can the re-radiated energy amount to 50%? I could see maybe 25% since the radiation that is emitted to the side will in fact make it to space due to the curvature of the earth.

    Also, if short wave radiation is absorbed then long wave radiation is re-emitted, what is the real warming effect since the no other molecule can absorb it?

    Help me with the grasp… Just saying something exist and be unable to quantify it does not mean it is correct.

  74. Phobos: If I understand you correctly when you state -“When CO2 absorbs infrared radiation it goes into a higher energy state, and then quickly (a tiny fraction of second) drops back down to the lower energy state by emitting infrared radiation,…”

    Since for that tiny fraction of a second it dropping to a lower energy state, it also, means that it can not absorb energy then too, right?

  75. @- Box of Rocks
    “The earth is round, how can the re-radiated energy amount to 50%? I could see maybe 25% since the radiation that is emitted to the side will in fact make it to space due to the curvature of the earth.”

    No, on the scale of the photon path in the atmosphere the possibilities are sky or earth with a fifty-fifty split. Do the maths on the geometry, the amount of radiation that skims the horizon is negligible, rather like the chance of a coin landing on its edge.

    @- “Also, if short wave radiation is absorbed then long wave radiation is re-emitted, what is the real warming effect since the no other molecule can absorb it?”

    It is long wave radiation that is absorbed and radiated. That is absorbed, and warms almost all materials, look up the albedo. Or absorbtion coefficient of soil, water, skin etc for long wave photons.

    @-“Help me with the grasp… Just saying something exist and be unable to quantify it does not mean it is correct.”

    Try science of doom linked to on the right, it gives a good simple overview in the section on CO2 a trace gas…. Although you do need to do a fair bit of calculus to follow the radiative transfer equations.

  76. Box of Rocks says: “Since for that tiny fraction of a second it dropping to a lower energy state, it also, means that it can not absorb energy then too, right?”

    No — such transitions are essentially instantaneous.

  77. Phobos:

    Nothing is instantaneous. The process of absorbing/releasing energy is binary. It is one process or the other.

    The question is the amount of time of one process.

    And actually there are three state. Absorbing, emitting or at a steady state doing neither.

  78. izen says:
    March 5, 2013 at 3:26 am
    @- Richard M
    “Now, the replacement CO2 molecule causes some of that energy to be lost to space forever. The more CO2, the more the atmosphere cools.”

    Your mistake is that the extra energy that the extra CO2 molecule absorbs, thermalises into the atmosphere, and then radiates is not ALWAYS lost to space. There is a fifty percent chance that it will return to the surface providing more energy to heat the surface than if that same energy had exited to space without the intervention of the extra CO2.

    The GHG effect is science that is well over a century old and not in doubt. Calling it into question reveals far more about the scientific grasp of the poster than the validity of the science.

    Hilarious … one can only chuckle at a person mentioning “scientific grasp” as they totally miss the point of the discussion. I was not referring to the GHE effect. Can’t you read simple English?

    I was not talking about energy radiated from the surface. I was talking about the energy already in the atmosphere. That energy exists in the form of the kinetic energy of the various molecules (temperature). When collisions occur between a CO2 molecule and another molecule, the CO2 molecule will sometimes emit radiation which decreases the overall temperature in that region of the atmosphere. While half that radiation may head toward the surface that is irrelevant. That energy is staying in the planetary energy budget just like it would have if two O2 molecules collided. However, if it heads out to space then the energy is lost and that would not have happened without the increase in CO2.

    Next time you attempt to sound smart I suggest you take the time to read what was written or risk looking foolish again.

  79. Richard M,

    izen is still confused. He thinks there is a 50/50 chance that a photon from CO2 will strike the earth. That is wrong, as a simple gedanken experiment will show:

    Imagine a CO2 molecule at an altitude of 12 kilometres. It emits a photon. But due to the earth’s curvature, the photon has less than a 50/50 chance of hitting earth. [If you really want to go to an extreme, imagine the molecule at 10,000 kilometres altitude. How likely is an emitted photon to hit the earth — which is just a ball in the distance?]

    Photons emitted exactly horizontally will all go into space. Even photons emitted below the horizontal plane will go to space; the greatwer the altitude, the greater the percentage of photons escaping [disregarding collisions with other molecules; the end result is the same].

    So the net effect of CO2 may well be cooling, not warming.

  80. Izen’s problem is even worse than DB Stealey demonstrated. When photons are radiated down they will often be absorbed by other GHG molecules in the atmosphere. Same is true when they are radiated up. However, the average path length between emittance is absorption is smaller on the downward path due to density.

    The bottom line when you average out all the radiation events across the entire atmosphere is a continuous upward path of radiation for a shorter distance. Of course, some radiation does make it back to the surface, however, it is below 50%.

    The overall effect of CO2 is probably different based on the concentration. I can see the warming effect being stronger at lower concentrations (<200 ppm). However, as it saturates in its absorption frequencies, the cooling effect may catch and eventually surpass it.

  81. The first figure is a tribute to cherry picking right? Or is it pure dishonesty?

    REPLY: this lecture on honesty is brought to you by a person with an email address of aasdsadsa@kujhkj.com which is of course, fake.

    Thanks for playing Name That Hypocrisy!

    -Anthony

Comments are closed.