# Numeracy in Climate Discussions – how long will it take to get a 6C rise in temperature?

Note: This essay is a result of an email discussion this morning, I asked Dr. Happer to condense and complete that discussion for the benefit of WUWT readers. This is one of the most enlightening calculations I’ve seen in awhile, and it is worth your time to understand it because it speaks clearly to debunk many of the claims of temperature rise in the next 100 years made by activists, such as the 6c by 2050 Joe Romm claims, when parroting Fatih Birol in Reuters:

“When I look at this data, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius (by 2050), which would have devastating consequences for the planet,” Fatih Birol, IEA’s chief economist told Reuters.

Graph source: IEA.org scenarios and projections

– Anthony

Guest post by Dr. William Happer

For any rational discussion of the eﬀects of CO2 on climate, numbers are important. An average temperature increase of 1 C will be a beneﬁt to the planet, as every past warming has been in human history. And the added CO2 will certainly increase agricultural yields substantially and make crops more resistant to drought. But in articles like “Scant Gains Made on CO2 Emissions, Energy Agency Says” by Sarah Kent in the Wall Street Journal on April 18, 2013, we see a graph with a 6 C temperature rise by 2050 – if we don’t reduce “carbon intensity.” Indeed, a 6 C temperature rise may well be cause for concern. But anyone with a little background in mathematics and physics should be able to understand how ridiculous a number like 6 C is.

The temperature change, ∆T , from the mean temperature of the present (the year 2013), if the concentration N of CO2 is not equal to the present value, N = 400 ppm, is given by the simple equation

(1)

Here ∆T2 is the temperature rise that would be produced by doubling the CO2 concentration from its present value, and ln x denotes the natural logarithm of the number x.

The proportionality of the temperature increment ∆T to ln N is widely accepted. But few know that this is a bit of a “miracle.” The logarithmic law, Eq. (1) comes from the odd fact that the average absorption cross section of infrared light by CO2 molecules decreasesvery nearly exponentially with the detuning of the infrared frequency from the 667 cm1 center frequency of the absorption band. More details can be found in a nice recent paper by Wilson and Gea-Banacloche, Am. J. Phys. 80 306 (2012). Eq. (1) exaggerates the warming from more CO2 because it does not account of the overlapping absorption bands of water vapor and ozone, but we will use it for a “worst case” analysis.

Recalling the identity for natural logarithms,   , we write Eq. (1) as

(2)

The only solution of the equation ln x = ln y is x = y, so (2) implies that

(3)

Recent IPCC reports claim that the most probable value of the temperature rise for doubling is ∆T2 = 3 C. Substituting this value and a warming of ∆T = 6 C into Eq. (3) we ﬁnd

(4)

But the rate of increase of CO2 has been pretty close to 2 ppm/year, which implies that by the year 2050 the CO2 concentration will be larger by about (5013) years×2 ppm/ year = 74 ppm to give a total concentration of N = 474 ppm, much less than the 1600 ppm needed.

The most obvious explanation for the striking failure of most climate models to account for the pause in warming over the past decade is that the value of ∆T2 is much smaller than the IPCC value. In fact, the basic physics of the CO2 molecule makes it hard to justify a number much larger than ∆T2 = 1 C – with no feedbacks. The number 3 C comes from various positive feedback mechanisms from water vapor and clouds that were invented to make the eﬀects of more CO2 look more frightening. But observations suggest that the feedbacks are small and may even be negative. With a more plausible value, ∆T2 = 1 C , in Eq. (3) we ﬁnd that the CO2 concentration needed to raise the temperature by ∆T = 6 C is

(5)

This amount of CO2 would be more than a warming hazard. It would be a health hazard. The US upper limit for long term exposure for people in submarines or space craft is about 5000 ppm CO2 (at atmospheric pressure). To order of magnitude, it would take a time

t = 25, 600 ppm/(2 ppm/year) = 12,800 years.

(6)

to get 6 C warming, even if we had enough fossil fuel to release this much CO2.

A 6 C warming from CO2 emissions by 2050 is absurd. It is a religious slogan, a sort of “Deus vult” of the crusade to demonize CO2, but it is not science.

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

Dr. William Happer is the Cyrus Fogg Brackett  Professor of Physics at Princeton University, and a long-term member of the JASON advisory group,where he pioneered the development of adaptive optics. From 1991-93, Happer served as director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

UPDATE: Dr. Happer has contacted the author of the paper cited, and he has graciously setup a free link to it: http://comp.uark.edu/~jgeabana/gw.html

## 238 thoughts on “Numeracy in Climate Discussions – how long will it take to get a 6C rise in temperature?”

1. RCSaumarez says:

Sadly belief is not influenced by numeracy.

2. OldWeirdHarold says:

“But anyone with a little background in mathematics and physics should be able to understand how ridiculous a number like 6 C is.”

You’d think, but…

3. michael hart says:

Alas, the cited paper is paywalled.

4. ByGollyNotAClimateScientist says:

Doesn’t matter how ridiculous it is, I’m sure it’s coming soon to a billboard near you…

5. The POTUSA promise was….”to restore science to it’s proper place”. That ‘place’ is to provide credit default science to FORCE Carbon Commodity Markets….therefore Carbon IS TO BE a climate forcing agent. Wasting \$100 billion in tax dollars for ‘research’ into Carbon endangerment findings, does not require proper science….or correct math….or a functional conscious.

6. tz2026 says:

He’s using natural logarithms but global warming is man-made.

7. Brian H says:

All increases due to CO2 doublings are absurd. The negative feedback of water equals or exceeds the original effect. Total sensitivity is 0 or so close as makes no nevermind.

8. Brian H says:

Joseph A Olson says:
April 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm
…or a functional conscious.

“Conscious” is not a noun. Which word are you misusing it for, ‘consciousness’ or ‘conscience’?

9. Andrew says:

Doesn’t it get ever more difficult to increase the ppmv of CO2 in the atmosphere? CO2, as I understand it, partitions at a ration of 50:1 between water and air.

If correct, this would mean that to actually double the ppmv of CO2 in the air, a release of 51 times the CO2 in the air would be required.

Incidentally, if anyone out there can explain the alleged mechanism by which CO2 molecules “trap” heat, I’d be all ears. Somebody is having a laugh, for now.

10. TerryS says:

You can also use it to calculate what the current rise should be:

With 3C sensitivity: 3 x log2(400/270) = 1.7C
With 2C sensitivity: 2 x log2(400/270) = 1.1C
With 1.5C sensitivity: 1.5 x log2(400/270) = 0.85C

NOTE: log2(x) = ln(x)/ln(2)

What the foundation claim of AGW boils down to –

Does anyone believe this?

12. As Dr. Happer points out, the claim of a 6 C temp increase fails even when the greenhouse effect of CO2 is assumed to increase in linear proportion to concentration in the atmosphere. It fails even more badly when you consider that the incremental greenhouse effect drops off rapidly as the CO2 concentration increases, so that doubling the concentration increases the greenhouse effect by only a few percent, and doubling it again increases the effect by a few percent of that few percent. And as other posters here point out, any such incremental effect that is observed is more than canceled in any event by negative water vapor feedbacks.

It’s apparent that the alarmies will go right on with their lies no matter how much they are confronted with the truth. They will stand there with the evidence against them right in their faces and keep on lying. It’s as though they have a black cat in their arms and insist on saying the cat is white.

Of course this should come as no surprise when the alarmies ascribe the [recent] record cold temperatures, severe winters and growing Antarctic ice cap and sea ice as due to global warming. They’re very good at saying that water freezes into ice when you heat it.

13. Werner Brozek says:

(2.56%) amount of CO2 would be more than a warming hazard. It would be a health hazard.

However in the short term, 4% or 40,000 ppm can revive a person via artificial respiration.

14. Joseph Bastardi says:

Bravo Dr Happer. I am still blown away by having the chance to talk to you.
Next time though, the dinner is on me!

15. Reed Coray says:

Andrew says: April 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Incidentally, if anyone out there can explain the alleged mechanism by which CO2 molecules “trap” heat, I’d be all ears. Somebody is having a laugh, for now

That’s two of us.

16. geran says:

Record low predicted here tonight. At least I’m doing my part to “heat the planet”–I burned leaves for three consecutive days, a few weeks ago.

Come on CO2, do your thing!

So they’re blind. Why?

I think the whole thing is a desperate effort to raise a new tax (carbon tax) and thus get more tax dollars from a tapped-out private sector.. Those promoting the scare are primarily politicians ((e.g. Al Gore, Senator, Vice President, son of a Congressman) and secondarily University professors (whose funding comes mostly from taxes).

It will not work. Tapped out is tapped out. Adding these additional burdens to the private sector has resulted in economic collapse.

18. Reed Coray says:

Andrew says: April 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Incidentally, if anyone out there can explain the alleged mechanism by which CO2 molecules “trap” heat, I’d be all ears. Somebody is having a laugh, for now

“Trap heat” or variations thereof is a phrase often used by AGW proponents. It sounds scary. But I’m not sure what it means. I’d be grateful if someone would define what is meant by “trap heat”. Does it mean “heat that can never escape, or heat that can escape but only under certain conditions”; and if so, “what are the conditions necessary for the “heat to escape”?

19. Schitzree says:

you can also reverse this.

to get 6C by 2050 with a CO2 raise by then of 74ppm from 400ppm would require a Climate Sensitivity per doubling of what?

I don’t have the math to figure it myself but I think it would be between 12C and 18C.

Anyone up to figuring this precisely?

20. OldWeirdHarold says:

I think their scenario analysis is also a bit daffy, but that’s a whole nuther subject.

21. geran says:

-CO2 TRAP HEAT

In response to several questions above, here is the quick low-down:

An CO2 molecule in the atmosphere can be heated by infrared light from the Sun. Once the molecule is heated, it can lose heat by molecular collisons, or by re-emitting infrared.

The heat gain is not long term, as the “hotter” the molecule becomes, the faster it loses the heat energy.

22. graphicconception says:

“He’s using natural logarithms but global warming is man-made.”

Well spotted. Outstanding!
Luckily, I had just finished my coffee.

23. Jeff L says:

TerryS says:
April 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm
You can also use it to calculate what the current rise should be:

With 3C sensitivity: 3 x log2(400/270) = 1.7C
With 2C sensitivity: 2 x log2(400/270) = 1.1C
With 1.5C sensitivity: 1.5 x log2(400/270) = 0.85C

FYI of those that didn’t get what Terry was alluding to , 270 ppm is the pre-industrial CO2 level & 400 is the current CO2 level. Reference :

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/26/co2-ice-cores-vs-plant-stomata/

And over that time, the rise in temps is about 0.85 C :

http://ete.cet.edu/gcc/?/resourcecenter/slideshow/3/1

So, using our most fundamental & best documented data (temp vs time & CO2 vs time), we come up with roughly +/- 1.5 C per doubling. This is why I consider myself a luke warmer – this calculation is fundamental , simple & has no reliance on any computer model – it is solely based on data. Could it be more simple?

We can take this one step further in this post & the 6 deg C question.

If we use 1.5 for deltaT2, we can substitute that into equation (4) & get :

N= 400 x 2^(6/1.5) = 6400 PPM

or we would have to increase CO2 concentration to 6400 PPM to get the 6 deg C “warming of worry” using the warming & CO2 data we have seen over the last 100 + years

And we can continue with this calculation using the 2 PPM / yr rate of increase to see how long (L) it would take to get 6 deg C of warming :

L = (6400-400) PPM / (2 ppm/yr) = 3000 YEARS !!! …. or in the year 5013 !!!!!

…. just a little different than 2050.

So next time you encounter a CAGW alarmist – ask them to tell you what they think the sensitivity is & how they can defend it. If they throw a high number at you, ask them to justify it with the observed data (270 PPM to 400 PPM & ~ 0.8 to 0.95 C increase in temps, depending on dataset). I don’t care what feedbacks are put into models – this is the data & if the feedbacks don’t fit this data, the model is wrong. Period.

If they don’t know, do the math for them & ask them what they think CO2 concentrations will be in the future – pick a date. Use the 2 PPM / yr & do the math. We don’t need any stinkin’ computer models to tell us the answer. We have ~ 130 years of data & the fundamental equations to calculate sensitivity from that data – and we are all doing it here using hand held calculators.

The fact that we even have to go further to de bunk the CAGW hypothesis is absurd.

…. wow, that turned into a bit of a rant ;))

24. davidmhoffer says:

geran;
An CO2 molecule in the atmosphere can be heated by infrared light from the Sun. Once the molecule is heated, it can lose heat by molecular collisons, or by re-emitting infrared.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Not quite. The vast bulk of light from the sun is short wave which goes right through CO2. It gets absorbed by the earth which then radiates toward space in the infrared range. That’s when it gets “trapped” by CO2:

Of course “trapped” is the wrong word for it and what the sequence of events is after that is rather complex.

I suggest searching this site for articles by Ira Glickstein who did a very detailed series on the issue.

25. John F. Hultquist says:

Those of you questioning the role of CO2 & heat might note that is not the subject of this posting. Why not start here:

The comment (#comment-133173) by Harold Pierce Jr @ 5:52 is of interest as are many others. The post at CA is from 2008. The problem is that it is not possible to move forward in these postings. However, with the CA post and the comments there are lots of things to read and search on that can bring you forward.

About that time, I went to the head of the Physics Department at our local University and asked for a beginning textbook. It was willingly given. Therein was much information and I learned all the appropriate search terms. Lots of reading later, I was well aware of the CAGW scam.

Dr. Happer’s essay is excellent and concise. The information is not new while the presentation is.
The linked paper has a cost to rent of \$3.99. Is there something available free?

26. Jeff L says:

Schitzree says:
April 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm
you can also reverse this.

to get 6C by 2050 with a CO2 raise by then of 74ppm from 400ppm would require a Climate Sensitivity per doubling of what?

I don’t have the math to figure it myself but I think it would be between 12C and 18C.

Anyone up to figuring this precisely?

————————————————–
Schitzree actually under-estimates this :

Use equation (3)

N= 400 x 2^(∆T/∆T2).

N is your target concentration in 2050 (474 PPM, from the post); ∆T is our target warming (6 deg C) and we solve for ∆T2, our sensitivity.

When I solve for ∆T2, I come up with 25.7 °C/ doubling to get 6 deg C warming with the current rate of increase of CO2 increase by 2050.

25.7 °C / doubling …… Completely Absurd , even by alarmist standards

27. John West says:

@ Reed Coray

To “Trap Heat” is nonsensical because heat is energy being transferred, therefore if you trapped heat it wouldn’t be heat anymore.

What they’re actually referring to is the ability of certain gas molecules (GHG’s) to absorb IR (infrared radiation) into vibration.

Energy of vibration could be gained by absorbing IR or by collision and then could be released through either collisions or IR emission; thus a GHG can act as a cooling or warming agent with respect to the surrounding mass of gas.

Note that temperature of a gas is a measure of translational motion ONLY. The energy of vibration in a gas (unlike in a solid) does not contribute to the temperature of the gas.

Personally, I tend to tune out anyone who uses the term without quotation marks, but this might not be entirely fair as the term “Heat Transfer” is often used in science and engineering (& me too) even though this is literally say “Energy Transfer Transfer”.

28. OssQss says:

Yet another great example of logic, scientific analysis and ultimate truth to combat propaganda in a post on WUWT. Thank you!

One can only stifle the truth for so long through disinformation.

Just like the information Dr. Darko Butina, Dr. Spencer, and dozens of others bring to the forefront on this site.

I have a proposal for all who view this site. A proposal that will mimic that of other groups who cannot see things aside from their finely tailored vision.

You see, the climate alarmists are well organized, government funded, and sponsored by the media in all forms. The skeptics are not as well organized, not government funded and have limited funding from sponsors, and virtually no media exposure.

What if we could form an unified front and fight for truth in science as a group?

A union if you will.

Perhaps we could call it the “Union of Concerned Skeptical Scientists and Citizens” ?

Now, we would have to develop some standards around membership, but would certainly allow Kenji to join too ( on purpose )!

Perhaps it would be a good excuse for a formal meeting that could also be a fund drive to help improve what, how, and the way things are communicated on the “known science” of climate science.

I certainly realize that there are other organizations out there trying to do the same thing, but not many. The visibility and detail of this site provide a unique opportunity to take advantage of assets that may normally not be available to other groups.

It is obvious to me that many knowledgeable persons who are truly “in the know” are finally (with confidence) stepping up and out to expose the myths and untruths that are being purveyed as facts on climate, in an unchallenged manner, in too many instances.

If people can’t see or hear your reply, they simply don’t. That is why it is called mass media, no?

I can only hope to see on my cable guide one day the “WUWT-TV special with the Union of Concerned Skeptical Scientists and Citizens”

Hey,,,,, remember that you miss 100% of the shots that you do not take !

This world grows from opportunity, innovation, and most importantly, initiative! :-)

Regards, and thanks again for the opportunity to be part of this revolution.

29. davdmhoffer: “The vast bulk of light from the sun is short wave”

“Sunlight in space at the top of Earth’s atmosphere at a power of 1366 watts/m2 is composed (by total energy) of about 50% infrared light, 40% visible light, and 10% ultraviolet light.”

30. geran says:

davidmhoffer says:
April 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm
‘Not quite. The vast bulk of light from the sun is short wave which goes right through CO2. It gets absorbed by the earth which then radiates toward space in the infrared range.’
>>>>>>>>
“Not quite”! LOL, you just love to be argumentative. Okay, let’s have at it.

During daylight, does an atmospheric molecule of CO2 receive more IR from the Sun or from the Earth?

31. It best to remember that with CAGW you need to use post-normal math:
2+2=8 (+/- 6)

32. Robert of Ottawa says:

This provides me with an opportunity to present my thoughts on averting future calamity.
[Rant mode on]
Oh No! scream the Warmistas, if we continue our behavior as is, we will all die; in fact, everything will die. Well, I got news you Warmistas: Whatever we do, we, and all current living things, will die in the future.

If there is any way of avoiding this calamity, then please let me know. Until then, let me alone in comfort and allow the birds sing and not be chopped up by your bird mincing propellors.

I predict that 6 billion people, or more, will die by the end of the 21st. century.
[Rant mode off]

33. LdB says:

I can not seriously believe that rational people can not understand how the greenhouse effect works any basic science readings will fix that issue up and you can avoid the whole climate change science go to a hard physics site.

For absolute proof read up on CO2 lasers there you deliberately pump CO2 with energy to get a specific wavelength of light emitted at 10,600 nm which is mid-IR.

CO2 is a quantum active gas that is a fact that can be readily shown and it may be hard to explain using classic physics and people with only that level of science may struggle understanding but the ridiculous comments that people “want to be shown how CO2 traps in heat” should be attacked for the science ignorance they show.

Water is by far the most potent greenhouse gas which is also a fact for the people who don’t understand what the termed trapped heat means. You can even read up on the physics of water as a greenhouse gas that also isn’t difficult to show with simple science,

I agree with Anthony that 6 degrees by 2050 is impossible and Joe Romm or anyone else who says that it is needs to be taken to task for there science understanding. However we need to also take to task those commenting who also fail basic science.

Bad science from either side of the stupidity that is climate science debate is still bad science.

34. Robert of Ottawa says:

Yes, and how long will it take to melt the glaciers. I believe that Greenland and Antartica is well bellow -6 Centigrade.

35. CodeTech says:

FYI of those that didn’t get what Terry was alluding to , 270 ppm is the pre-industrial CO2 level & 400 is the current CO2 level. Reference :

And over that time, the rise in temps is about 0.85 C :

So, using our most fundamental & best documented data (temp vs time & CO2 vs time), we come up with roughly +/- 1.5 C per doubling. This is why I consider myself a luke warmer – this calculation is fundamental , simple & has no reliance on any computer model – it is solely based on data. Could it be more simple?

Except that completely ignores ANY OTHER CAUSE OF TEMPERATURE CHANGES. That is why this belief is in error. Your belief relies on CO2 being the ONLY cause of any change.

Could that be more simple?

36. Jimmy Haigh. says:

Has Tamino “debunked” this yet?

37. “Except that completely ignores ANY OTHER CAUSE OF TEMPERATURE CHANGES. That is why this belief is in error. Your belief relies on CO2 being the ONLY cause of any change.”

That’s exactly my view. How can the Warmists be so sure the 0.7C warming of the 20th century was caused by increases in man-made CO2? Forget the juiced climate models. Where’s the empirical evidence? For all we know, an active sun was the main contributor to the temperature increase. Or perhaps some of the increase was simply the artifact of poorly sighted thermometers.

There is plenty of research challenging the man-made-CO2-is-warming-the-earth theory. And that’s all it is: a theory.

38. Rosco says:

As far as I can see the only way “heat” or energy is trapped on Earth is through :-

1. “Conversion” to mass by plants, algae etc. Mass obviously contains vast quantities of energy as burning wood for example amply demonstrates.

2. Melting ice into liquid water. The latent heat of fusion is thus “trapped” as long as the water remains liquid. Any latent heat of vapourisation is merely a temporary “trap” as it is released and radiated to space during condensation – ie rain or snow. Any increase in the temperature of liquid water is also likely to be transitory but may involve long timespans – besides it is likely to result in increased evaporation which is a very effective cooling mechanism as we animals demonstrate by our cooling mechanism – sweat.

The latest catchphrase is that GHGs “slow down” the radiative heat loss by “scattering” a portion – some say half – and therefore the Earth’s surfaces do not cool down as much as they would during the night as they would with less GHGs.

The problem with this argument is twofold :-

1. It requires the energy from the Sun to cause the extra heating as the Earth is starting from a warmer initial value next morning – and this contradicts the whole insolation is a quarter of the solar constant argument.

2. It requires consideration of the period of rotation of the Earth as cooling occurs when the Sun has set – ie at night. Unfortunately this brings up the comparison with the Moon which has a 14.75 Earth day long night. During the 531 Earth hours from lunar noon to the next dawn the Moon goes from ~390 K to ~100 K. This results in a cooling rate of 290/531 K per hour – about 0.55 K per hour.

There is little reason to suspect that the Earth’s gaseous radiative layer at close to 255 K would lose energy at anywhere near that rate.

In a 12 hour night the Earth would never cool to anything like the Moon – NEVER.

Both the Moon and Mercury – planetary surfaces subject to significant radiation both have extremely long nights.

The only other places we know about that get extremely cold – the poles – have long “nights” of some months and receive low levels of incident radiation.

Yet the period of rotation – obviously a major factor in explaining the loss of energy by a surface radiating to space – the Moon and Mercury for example have similar minimum temperatures – does not seem to have any place in this discussion yet it is one of the few real facts about planetary surface temperatures and heating and cooling we have.

The theoretical blackbody temperature is meaningless when the temperature varies from 390 K to 100 K for the Moon or from 700 K to 100 K for Mercury.

Mercury has a night time of 115.8 Earth days or 2779.2 Earth hours – even at the fastest rate of cooling observed for the Moon Mercury would only require 600 Earth hours to reach 100 K – less than one quarter of the night or about 1/7 of the time from noon to the next dawn.

39. Theo Goodwin says:

Dr. Happer writes:

“A 6 C warming from CO2 emissions by 2050 is absurd. It is a religious slogan, a sort of “Deus vult” of the crusade to demonize CO2, but it is not science.”

Dr. Happer is far too kind. It is a slogan used by people who are playing the citizenry for suckers. And there are some very big names who have recently endorsed this slogan once again. Trenberth is the biggest name that comes to mind.

40. atarsinc says:

“..with no feedbacks.”

Then Dr. Happer has absolutely no one to argue with. No one. JP

41. Mark Luhman says:

It has always made me wonder how people make such claims when a pencil and a piece of paper would show them how stupid their claims are. Oh I forgot the computer replaced pencil and paper with the ability for people to think.

42. Reed Coray says:

John West says: April 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm

@ Reed Coray

To “Trap Heat” is nonsensical because heat is energy being transferred, therefore if you trapped heat it wouldn’t be heat anymore.

What they’re actually referring to is the ability of certain gas molecules (GHG’s) to absorb IR (infrared radiation) into vibration.

Energy of vibration could be gained by absorbing IR or by collision and then could be released through either collisions or IR emission; thus a GHG can act as a cooling or warming agent with respect to the surrounding mass of gas.

I agree–especially do I agree that under certain circumstances a GHG can act as a cooling or warming agent with respect to the surrounding mass of gas. I believe that many AGW proponents (a) use the term “heat-trapping gas” to connote the IR absorption/IR emission properties of some gases, and (b) then argue that everything else being equal the heat-trapping nature of a gas is by itself sufficient to conclude that material possessing an internal source of thermal energy will when surrounded by a heat-trapping gas be warmer that it would be in the absence of the heat-trapping gas. There may be cases where this is true, but I believe there are cases where the opposite is true–i.e., surrounding material possessing an internal source of thermal energy will result in a lower material temperature.

43. Jeff L says:

CodeTech says:
April 18, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Except that completely ignores ANY OTHER CAUSE OF TEMPERATURE CHANGES. That is why this belief is in error. Your belief relies on CO2 being the ONLY cause of any change.

Could that be more simple?
——————————————————
Fair enough , but I think you missed the point of my comment.

I agree that there are certainly other forcing mechanisms out there, BUT CAGW alarmist do not think this way. It’s all about CO2 to them. So what’s the easiest way to dismantle this argument – do the math as presented. The conclusion you have to come to is it is not all about CO2.

I should have been more specific that the set of calculations presented can be used to completely dismantle the CAGW hypothesis. It does nothing to address other forcing – which I agree with you certainly exist.

There are a couple interesting side thoughts to this as well. If there are other positive forcings in the system, to get a net forcing of 1.5, it by definition implies that the forcing of CO2 is even smaller than this and even further de bunks the CAGW hypothesis.

Alternatively, if there are negative forcings at work, which would then imply that CO2 sensitivity is greater than 1.5 to get a net “observed” 1.5, then CO2 is actually preventing us from cooling, maybe even from harmful cooling (ie an ice age ??) in which case we should continue to push as much CO2 in the air as we can. No matter how you slice it, there is no valid argument in this framework as to why we should cut CO2 emissions.

44. Sam the First says:

We have a public meeting tomorrow night in our local market town where Tim Yeo – my MP – who is Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee responsible for climate and energy matters, is going to speak about the necessity to continue with aggressive pursuit of green policies.

Can anyone suggest some pertinent questions I can ask, without getting too technical so that other attendees can’t follow the import of them?

The man is a fanatic, and has invested heavily in green technology – a clear conflict of interests as many have remarked on WUWT before

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/08/tory-mp-amendment-energy-bill

45. ferd berple says:

Indeed, a 6 C temperature rise may well be cause for concern.
==========
since most of the rise is calculated to be at the poles, even 6 C is not going to be an issue. There is a reason there are very few people in the high latitudes. it is bloody cold.

Does anyone truly believe that emperor penguins are going to be unhappy if temperatures are only -50C instead of -60C?

46. geran says:

Sam the First says:
April 18, 2013 at 7:30 pm

1) How much money will you make from your “green” investments?

2) Why haven’t the last 15-16 years shown any “global warming”?

3) Why are polar bear populations increasing?

4) What “green” policy has been financially successful AND reduced CO2 emissions?

5) Do scientists and engineers, non-salaried by green or gov, agree with AGW?

There you go….

47. joeldshore says:

Let us enumerate a few of the errors and logical fallacies in Will Happer’s argument:

(1) The entire argument being attacked is essentially a “strawman” since in the very article of Joe Romm’s that Anthony linked to, Romm says he was talking about a 6C rise by 2100, not 2050.

(2) He assumes that CO2 levels will continue rising at their current rate of 2 ppm per year. However, historically, the rate of increase of CO2 has been accelerating over time: 40 years ago, it was rising at only about 1 ppm per year ( http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/co2_growth_rate.PNG ). Hence, it is unlikely that 40 years from now it will still be rising at 2 ppm per year, especially under assumptions of no constraints on CO2 emissions. And, if the rate of rise keeps doubling every 40 years, it will be going up ~8 ppm per year by the end of the 21st century.

(3) He computes the necessary CO2 level for a 6 C rise from current temperatures (i.e., that with a 3 C sensitivity, one has to quadruple CO2 from 400 ppm to 1600 ppm). If we talk about from pre-industrial levels, a quadrupling of CO2 only means going up to ~1100 ppm.

LdB says:
April 18, 2013 at 6:32 pm
“I can not seriously believe that rational people can not understand how the greenhouse effect works”
—————————————————————————————————————–
LdB,
There is nothing wrong with radiative physics, it has just been incorrectly applied to atmospheric physics. This has lead to radiative gases being wrongly called “greenhouse”gasses.

Can radiative gases intercept surface IR and heat the atmosphere? Yes.
Can radiative gases emit IR to the surface (land only) and slow it’s cooling rate? Yes.

The radiative green house hypothesis has a fundamental flaw. The basic calculations that predict warming are based on modelling the atmosphere as a static body or mathematical layer. However the gases in our atmosphere are free to move and this invalidates all AGW calculations. At first glance, failing to model a moving atmosphere does not look like a huge error. Radiative flux to and from the earth and space is the big concern right? Why would the movement of gases in the atmosphere need to be modelled? The answer is atmospheric temperature.

Failing to model a moving atmosphere leads to two fundamental errors in AGW calculations.

1. Conductive flux between the atmosphere and the surface.
In an atmosphere with moving gases, gravity keeps cooler gas near the surface during the day maximising conductive flux. At night gravity keeps cooler gas near the surface, minimising conductive flux. Basically for a moving atmosphere the surface is better at conductively heating the atmosphere than it is at conductively cooling it. Static atmosphere calculations give entirely the wrong answer for surface to atmosphere conductive flux. While land surface Tmin may be lower under a non-radiative atmosphere, this does not translate to a significantly cooler atmosphere.

2. Convective circulation.
Radiative gases play a critical role in convective circulation below the tropopause. Rising warm air masses lose energy at altitude by IR radiation to space from radiative gases. If the only way atmospheric gases could lose energy is by conductive contact with the night surface, tropospheric convective circulation would stall and our atmosphere would heat dramatically. Radiative cooling at altitude is critical for continued convective circulation. It is a common mistake to believe that adiabatic cooling will allow continued convective circulation, but this is matched by adiabatic heating on decent and plays no role in convective circulation. Energy loss at altitude is just as important for convective circulation as energy input near the surface.

When you take a moving atmosphere into consideration, radiative gases cool at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will only speed up convective circulation and tropospheric cooling. At 0.04% there is no hope of measuring any such effect from CO2. This is why the models keep failing.

49. geran says:

davidmhoffer says:
April 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm
‘Not quite. The vast bulk of light from the sun is short wave which goes right through CO2. It gets absorbed by the earth which then radiates toward space in the infrared range.’
>>>>>>>>
“Not quite”! LOL, you just love to be argumentative. Okay, let’s have at it.

During daylight, does an atmospheric molecule of CO2 receive more IR from the Sun or from the Earth?

>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>

David will not be re-appearing tonight. He is quietly “not quite” available. He is “not quite” quiet. Quietly, he is “not quite” amongst us. Quietly, he is “not quite” certain why he is “not quite” right.

Sadly, it’s “not quite” not my bedtime….

50. davidmhoffer says:

geran says:
April 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm
davidmhoffer says:
April 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm
‘Not quite. The vast bulk of light from the sun is short wave which goes right through CO2. It gets absorbed by the earth which then radiates toward space in the infrared range.’
>>>>>>>>
“Not quite”! LOL, you just love to be argumentative. Okay, let’s have at it.

During daylight, does an atmospheric molecule of CO2 receive more IR from the Sun or from the Earth?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The greenhouse effect is a function of SW from the sun (which isn’t absorbed by CO2) being absorbed by the earth and radiated back out as LW (which is absorbed by CO2). In answer your question, I posted the link to atmospheric transmission, you can see for yourself. I also suggested reading more detailed explanations by Ira Glickstein. If you think you’ve scored some points by mocking me, you done nothing of the sort. I attempted to help you out with an error that you made, nothing more.

51. ferd berple says:

April 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm
Radiative cooling at altitude is critical for continued convective circulation… Energy loss at altitude is just as important for convective circulation as energy input near the surface.
=========
correct. without ghg the atmosphere would be isothermal and there would be no vertical circulation.

Instead the vertical circulation removes heat from the surface, where GHG radiates 1/2 this energy to space and returns 1/2 to the surface. This removes a net 1/2 of the energy that would otherwise not be removed, and balances the radiative transfer for no net warming long term. This yields the minimum energy solution that nature always seeks in dynamic systems.

52. A characteristically elegant and beautifully simple analysis by Will Happer.

53. Richard D says:

kirkmyers says:
April 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm
“There is plenty of research challenging the man-made-CO2-is-warming-the-earth theory. And that’s all it is: a theory.”
______________________________________________________________
I disagree. As demonstrated by empirical data, It’s a failed hypothesis.

54. RoHa says:

kirkmyers says:
April 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm
“There is plenty of research challenging the man-made-CO2-is-warming-the-earth theory. And that’s all it is: a theory.”
______________________________________________________________
Richard D says: I disagree. As demonstrated by empirical data, It’s a failed hypothesis.

I say it isn’t even that. I don’t think it was well-formed enough to be a hypothesis. It was an overblown speculation.

55. GeeJam says:

Sam the First says:
April 18, 2013 at 7:30 pm
We have a public meeting tomorrow night . . . . can anyone suggest some pertinent questions I can ask [Tim Yeo] without getting too technical so that other attendees can’t follow the import of them?

Response: Suggest you ask “If CO2 is the main cause of climate change, in ppercentage terms, how much CO2 is in the atmosphere when compared to all other gases in the air, and what proportion of this total CO2 amount is man-made?”

To support you (if you haven’t already seen it), the following non-scientific simple analogy may help (first posted Feb 26 on WUWT) . . . .

“If the Earth’s atmosphere were represented by a large swimming pool filled with 3,200 gallons of water:
2,498 gallons would be Nitrogen (78.084% of atmosphere by volume),
670 gallons would be Oxygen (20.9476% of atmosphere by volume),
30 gallons would be Argon (0.934% of atmosphere by volume),
1 gallon would be a mixture of Methane (0.002%), Neon (0.001818%), Helium (0.000524%), Krypton (0.000114%), Hydrogen (0.00005%) and Xenon (0.0000087%)
and
1 gallon would be Carbon Dioxide (0.0314% of atmosphere by volume).

Of the SINGLE GALLON of Carbon Dioxide, SEVEN and THREE QUARTER PINTS are naturally occuring. This leaves a QUARTER OF A PINT (5 fluid ounces) which is man-made. If this amount was a small 5 fl.oz. bottle of Red Food Colouring and we poured it in to the other 3,200 gallons of water in the pool, how much will it affect the colour of the water? We’ll even give you a big whisk so that you can mix it up as much as you like. Go on, have a go.

Unfortunately, some people visualise that all the water in our swimming pool has now turned an intense shade of bright red – so a reason for taxing people (including CO2 emmisions based vehicle excise duty in the UK).

Meanwhile, the rest of us all huddle patiently around the edge of our swimming pool looking puzzled as we stare through the transparent depths of beautifully clear water to the bottom – and wondering why the world’s political figures continue to spend billions trying to prevent the screw cap coming off the top of a small 5 fl.oz bottle of red food colouring.”

Best of luck for the meeting.

56. rgbatduke says:

When you take a moving atmosphere into consideration, radiative gases cool at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will only speed up convective circulation and tropospheric cooling. At 0.04% there is no hope of measuring any such effect from CO2. This is why the models keep failing.

An interesting argument. However, I’d like to see more than just a verbal argument. Do you have any computations or numbers to support it? Or even a very simple model?

I agree with a lot of your assertions, e.g. the practical irrelevance of the adiabatic and hence essentially reversible ALR — the only mechanism that actually cools the atmosphere (permanently removes heat from it) is radiation, and that occurs in the upper troposphere where the atmosphere ceases to be opaque to e.g. LWIR (although it is more complex than this, this process occurs in depth and at different depths in different frequencies). But I find it somewhat difficult to believe that all of the climate models in the climate modeling universe ignore heat bulk transport either vertically or laterally. After all, it isn’t just dry air that carries up the heat — a lot of energy gets lofted up in the form of latent heat of vaporization of water, for example.

So, any papers, computations, models, actual evidence to support your assertion? I don’t have a good enough feel for the numbers to be able to assess whether or not to take this seriously, so you’ll have to help me out if you want me to believe it.

rgb

57. ScepticKnitter says:

CO2 absorbs a specific bandwidth of light.
Is there an article or paper somewhere that discusses the percentage of that bandwidth that is absorbed by CO2 and what percentage of that bandwidth escapes the Earth’s atmosphere?

If x ppm of CO2 would absorb 100% of the bandwidth of light…then x +1 ppm CO2 or 10x ppm CO2 does not make a bit of difference. Right? This article talks about the potential to reach 1600ppm in the distant future…would it matter? At how many ppm would CO2 absorb 100% of the energy/light available?

….Or, does the current CO2 level of 400 ppm absorb such a small percentage of the available bandwidth of light, that this is a silly question?

This is a great site and I would really appreciate a link to some further reading. Those of us who got a college degree is a less than hard science are trying to keep up! :)

58. rgbatduke says:

“If the Earth’s atmosphere were represented by a large swimming pool filled with 3,200 gallons of water:
2,498 gallons would be Nitrogen (78.084% of atmosphere by volume),
670 gallons would be Oxygen (20.9476% of atmosphere by volume),
30 gallons would be Argon (0.934% of atmosphere by volume),
1 gallon would be a mixture of Methane (0.002%), Neon (0.001818%), Helium (0.000524%), Krypton (0.000114%), Hydrogen (0.00005%) and Xenon (0.0000087%)
and
1 gallon would be Carbon Dioxide (0.0314% of atmosphere by volume).

I’m puzzled. First, 3200 gallons of water is a tiny, tiny swimming pool — about six feet by nine feet by six feet deep, or a bit wider if you want to make it shallower.

Second, slightly over one gallon is then not CO_2, but CO_2 and ALL THE REST of the trace gases put together. See e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atmosphere_gas_proportions.svg.

Of these trace gases, there is no point in listing any of them but CO_2. But OTOH, this list leaves out the highly variable but roughly 1% of the troposphere that is water! As for what proportion of the gallon-plus that is CO_2 is “man made” or attributable to humans — that is debatable, but the debate is not served by presenting a pretty metaphor as if it is a fact. Pre-industrial CO_2 was around 300 ppm. That’s a fact. It is around 400 ppm now. That, too, is a fact. One argument, then, might make a full quart of your gallon human contributed CO_2. Another one — arguing that the bulk of the additional CO_2 is actually oceanic CO_2 released by warming — might make it less, but then one would have to explain how it appears that the actual measured concentration of CO_2 in the ocean appears to be at the very least holding its own if not increasing, if it is simultaneously the cause of more CO_2 in the air. At the very least, you should justify any number you cite, and be prepared to defend it, because ANY number that gets cited, either way, is highly dependent on the model used to compute it and the interpretation of measurements that are not at all straightforward to interpret.

Finally, at the end, after one gets through the entire tedious metaphor (correcting it along the way) one is forced to say — so what? It is a simple, measurable, observable fact that the one “gallon” of CO_2 in the “pool” is sufficient to be totally opaque to IR in its absorption bands from the surface all the way up to near the top of the troposphere, where the “murkiness” of the pool finally diminishes enough so that IR in this channel can escape to space. And what of the 30 gallons of the water that are — um — water?

Note well that I’m not asserting that CO_2 is or is not damaging or deadly, only that this metaphor might not be what one wants to present at any meeting or public discussion where you want to actually convince somebody that it is harmless, or that there is no such thing as the GHE, or whatever.

rgb

59. rgbatduke says:

CO2 absorbs a specific bandwidth of light.
Is there an article or paper somewhere that discusses the percentage of that bandwidth that is absorbed by CO2 and what percentage of that bandwidth escapes the Earth’s atmosphere?

David referenced Ira Glickstein’s article earlier. I keep the link handy:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/10/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-emission-spectra/

Petty’s book is awesome, BTW. Well worth \$25. But you have to know some physics to get through parts of it and get much out of it. Other parts (in particular the pictures Glickstein reproduces) are self-explanatory and constitute direct empirical evidence for the GHE in action.

60. tjfolkerts says:

There are just too many errors in the top post for me to be comfortable.

WATT: “… such as the 6c by 2050 Joe Romm claims”
No. The very link included there shows that Romm is talking about 2100, not 2050. And that 6 C is a generous estimate — the original was 5.1 C. The 2050 number was an error introduced by the reporter.

HAPPER: “… we see a graph with a 6 C temperature rise by 2050 …”
No. The article is not very clear, but the graph suggests that projections of a 6 C rise “in the long term” (which in context is pretty clearly 2100, not 2050) are possible. This projection supposes that energy demands continue to increase and that each joule of energy produced continues to require the same amount of CO2 (the so-called “carbon dependency”).

HAPPER: “The temperature change, ∆T , from the mean temperature of the present (the year 2013) … ”
While I agree with the math, I disagree with some of the numbers chosen. The original projections seem to be for a 5.1 C increase from 1990-2100 (with 6 C being a high-end estimate), when CO2 was ~ 355 ppm., By choosing to start 23 years later and 10% higher in CO2, the results are inflated. Throwing in ~ 0.2 C warming already from 1990 – 2013, the CO2 numbers become a much lower 1100 – 1400 ppm, rather than ~ 1600 ppm.

HAPPER: “But the rate of increase of CO2 has been pretty close to 2 ppm/year, which implies that by the year 2050 the CO2 concentration will be larger by about (50−13) years×2 ppm/ year … ”
First, as has been show already, the year should be 2100, not 2050. Dr Happer chose a linear increase, which would be ~ 575 ppm by 2100. The original projections choose a more exponential increase, growing to almost 900 ppm.

Projecting ahead is difficult, but projecting a continued upward trend in CO2 is certainly not outlandish. Suddenly a projected increase to ~ 900 ppm is not so far off from ~ 1200 ppm needed for the “simple model” to get to reasonable values by 2100.

(Furthermore, the original paper for the 5.1 C projection (rounded up to 6 C) (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2009JCLI2863.1) also included increases in N2O and CH4, so not all of the warming was from CO2. So really we are looking at perhaps a 4 C increase from CO2 itself.)

HAPPER: “A 6 C warming from CO2 emissions by 2050 is absurd. It is a religious slogan …”
Yes it is absurd. It is an absurd meme that apparently has become a strawman by skeptics, not a view held by even the wildest of alarmists. It is a shame that these numbers detract the other points made by Dr Happer.

rgbatduke says:
April 18, 2013 at 10:15 pm
“So, any papers, computations, models, actual evidence to support your assertion?”
———————————————————————————————————

Yes, these claims are backed by empirical experiments. I have designed simple versions so other climate bloggers can build and run them for themselves. A list was posted at WUWT here –

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/05/a-comparison-of-the-earths-climate-sensitivity-to-changes-in-the-nature-of-the-initial-forcing/#comment-1267231

Experiment 1 demonstrates that incident LWIR on the surface of liquid water does not have the same effect on cooling rate as it does on other materials.

Experiment 2 demonstrates the ability of CO2 to radiate energy it has acquired by conduction. Most of the net energy being radiated to space by radiative gases was acquired by surface conduction and the release of latent heat.

Experiment 3 demonstrates that convective circulation in fluid in a gravity field can be driven by removing energy from the top of the fluid. Radiative gases do this in our atmosphere. Adiabatic cooling of ascending air masses does not represent a loss of energy from an air mass and therefore does not create a loss of buoyancy.

Experiment 4 demonstrates two important things. First, the relative height of energy input and output for a gas column in a gravity field determines whether convective circulation develops. Secondly, in box 2 where strong convective circulation does not develop, the average gas temperature is higher. Heated gases rise to the top of box 2 and do not descend. Cooling in box 2 is limited to the speed of gas conduction. The bigger you build the experiment, the better it works (scale and speed of gas conduction issues). Heating and cooling a gas column in a gravity field at separate locations at the base results in a higher average temperature than heating at the base and cooling at the top.

Experiment 5 demonstrates the folly of treating gas as a static body when calculating surface to gas conductive flux. The two tubes cool at different rates. In tube 1 with the cling film at the top, convective circulation develops, bringing the hottest air against the cooling surface and maximising conductive flux. In tube 2 with the cling film at the base, gravity keeps the coldest gas against the cooling surface, minimising conductive flux. The same effect works in our atmosphere. Gravity moves the coldest gases against the surface during the day, maximising conductive flux into the atmosphere. Gravity moves the coldest gases against the surface at night, minimising conductive flux out of the atmosphere. This experiment also demonstrates why conductive flux between the surface and atmosphere should not be calculated from surface Tav. Land surface Tav may be lower under a non radiative atmosphere, but this does not translate to a cooler atmosphere.

Experiments 3 to 5 cover the issues raised concerning moving gases in my post above. Experiment 4 and 5 are scale dependant. The bigger you build them the better they work.

AGW calculations only show warming when you treat the atmosphere as a static body. Moving gasses are the stake through the heart of AGW.

62. David Cage says:

No pay walled document should be allowed to be cited in any action involving public policy. In effect it is giving a free hand for lies and corruption if information cannot be readily checked.

63. Jon says:

“Incidentally, if anyone out there can explain the alleged mechanism by which CO2 molecules “trap” heat, I’d be all ears. Somebody is having a laugh, for now

“Trap heat” or variations thereof is a phrase often used by AGW proponents. It sounds scary. But I’m not sure what it means. I’d be grateful if someone would define what is meant by “trap heat”. Does it mean “heat that can never escape, or heat that can escape but only under certain conditions”; and if so, “what are the conditions necessary for the “heat to escape”?”

A better Word could be “delay”? But Earths atmosphere is mostly water vapour and air density driven in this context. To get 6 deg warming you need more sunlight to the surface or globally more air density?

rgbatduke says:
April 18, 2013 at 10:15 pm
————————————————————————————————————–
Further to Experiment 4 above, here is a graphic of what happens in the two boxes –
http://tinypic.com/r/zmghtu/6

The following graphic shows what that means for the atmosphere –

It should be noted that the panel on the right listed as non radiative atmosphere only shows what would happen shortly after radiative cooling was “switched off”. As Ferd Berple pointed out in a post above after this the atmosphere would go isothermal. Without radiative gases, atmospheric temperatures above the near surface layer would slowly rise to temperatures close to surface Tmax.

To observe the unusual characteristics of an atmosphere without radiative gases you only need to look at the stratosphere. Here there is no strong vertical convective circulation, the lapse rate reverses and molecular energy rapidly rises. It is also important to note that there are no planets or moons in the solar system that have managed to retain an atmosphere without radiative gases.

65. David Cage says:
April 18, 2013 at 11:48 pm

No pay walled document should be allowed to be cited in any action involving public policy.

Agreed; the government or UN should buy out the copyrights on all climate-related papers and put them in the public domain.

66. Dr. Happer, I hope you’re taking questions.
I would be interested to hear your take on this:
I understand your analysis, but the major underlying assumption of the classical theory is that pure black body radiative equilibrium is the primary method of heat rejection on earth, while ignoring an important distinction.
1) With the classical analysis, one simply measures the albedo of the earth, and with known incoming radiation, we can calculate the radiative balance temperature easily. We see the difference and attribute that to the greenhouse effect. Then we add the effect of a CO2 doubling to that to see what the impact is. And then we imagine that albedo will stay the same if more water is evaporated with the higher temperature, which will result in a still higher temperature, and that is why we use a feedback that is >0. We do not assume that albedo will increase on average to reject more heat, both through cloud SW rejection, and reduction of the distance water droplet LW needs to travel to escape to space.
2) This is backwards. The albedo is an output of the system, not an input, and is not stable. It is a result or property of the atmosphere and water vapor in a given volume under different conditions. The correct approach would be to take the albedo of the earth everywhere that there are not clouds, then with the given solar input, calculate the non-cloud radiative balance using this much darker albedo. Now you have the starting conditions of a planet that has no ability to use H20 convection processes. This temperature is much higher since more LW is absorbed. Now we see the difference and attribute the difference to the effect of (1) albedo due to clouds, and (2) all other GHG’s (including water vapor). Not much left for “all other” is there?
3) Planets that are like ours but that are more distant from the sun will have fewer cloud processes than ours (less power delivered, less to reject). Planets that are closer will have more. In other words, all else being equal, a rock / water planet closer to the sun will be brighter, one more distant will be cooler and won’t require active heat rejection.
4) there is an equilibrium distance to the sun for a given baseline (rock & water) albedo at which convection begins to occur at lower latitudes. As the distance to the sun decreases, (and more power is delivered to the planet) the convection will move up the latitudes (and probably form bands), but the albedo will increase with cloud activity. Planets farther than this distance are controlled purely by the classical blackbody equilibrium equations. Planets closer are actively managed via active H20 albedo control, which flattens the temperature profile and creates temperature stability at the surface. Planets very much closer have even more stability and higher albedo. The very fact that albedo changes is indication of a very strong heat rejection mechanism. I don’t want to call it a feedback because I think the entire feedback argument suffers from this same fundamental flaw in thinking. But the fact that the system has a wide band of stability at the surface over a wide range in power input indicates a system in negative feedback control.
5) This active cooling process works in concert with, but certainly would overwhelm CO2’s tiny signature. So, as Willis points out, the effect might be earlier onset or later dissipation of a convective event. Longer duration = higher average albedo over a day. I would also add that the altitude to which water droplets are delivered so that they LW radiate out faster may increase with added CO2.
6) Combining 3,4, and 5, albedo is the system output that manages temperature when planets are close to the sun. The heat capacity of the earth can cause the albedo output to overshoot and undershoot, creating chaotic or cyclical change in temperatures. Likewise, polar regions may contain ice which both insulates LW from the oceans and reflects SW. It’s not hard to imagine a stable planet that has quite a bit of natural variation simply due to other processes kicking in that contribute to under damp the system. For example, we are seeing that after the most recent warm period, stratospheric water vapor is in decline, which is effectively shunting even more LW to space. This process may take years or decades to reverse, which could produce a long cool period before this shutter cycles back to a higher level IR blocking state, and warming would begin again. There are probably countless of these unknowns acting on the system.
7) If you buy that albedo control buys stability at the surface, this means the H20 feedback is negative.
I suspect it is also incorrect to average the 1/2 earth’s input facing the sun with the dark half radiating to space, since these have much different properties and temperatures and this is also a big problem for the classical analysis. Each grid area on earth needs to be integrated to find the values over a day and year (and on and on) for the radiative exchanges going on.

I just saw an article today that mentioned in one sentence that NASA now seems to understand this albedo difference (or at least has me convinced they have an inkling of it). This also means that the classical radiative balance theory that starts with albedo and calculates the effect of CO2 on top of it, then water vapor on top of that (which is absurd) is being abandoned by even the big pro-warmers, something even most skeptics still largely accept, just with low feedback. I’m thinking the whole feedback issue is a result of poorly defining the problem. It gives me hope that NASA might start learning something about this planet now that Hansen is gone. That the classical theory has failed is now beyond dispute, everyone is doing the climb down.

Do you think my order of looking at the problem is more correct than the classical (static albedo) view ? What flaws do you see? Any insights? THANK YOU !!!

67. Peter Miller says:

I suspect there is a natural law we are about to discover, which states something like: “The more observations refuse to demonstrate AGW/CAGW, the more alarming the climate model forecasts will have to become to receive ‘research’ funding.”

68. Andrew says:
April 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm
Doesn’t it get ever more difficult to increase the ppmv of CO2 in the atmosphere? CO2, as I understand it, partitions at a ration of 50:1 between water and air.

You are confusing total amounts in the oceans with the changes observed at equilibrium.
The oceans indeed contain 50 times more CO2 than the atmosphere, but that is not important. What is important is what happens when the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases (by whatever cause). With increased CO2 (partial) pressure in the atmosphere, according to Henry’s Law, the same increase in CO2 pressure in the ocean surface must occur to reach a new equilibrium. Thus the 30% increase over the past 1.5 century increased the free CO2 level in the oceans with 30%. So far so good and simple.

But free CO2 is only 1% of all CO2 in the oceans. Most are bicarbonates and carbonates, which don’t count as free CO2. What happens next? Somewhat more difficult: free CO2 is in chemical equilibrium with bicarbonates and carbonates, thus more CO2 gives more of the other and at the same time more hydrogen ions (that is acidity, or in this case less alkalinity). But more hydrogen ions push the equilibrium back to free CO2.

The total result is that a 30% change of CO2 in the atmosphere indeed gives a 30% change of free CO2 in the oceans surface, but only a 3% change in total dissolved CO2 (called DIC, that is free CO2 + bicarbonate + carbonate) in the oceans surface. As the oceans surface contains about 1000 GtC, the increase over the past 1.5 century was not more than 30 GtC.

Thus instead of a 50:1 ratio, the real ratio is 1:10 for the ocean surface/atmosphere partitioning.

The absorption of any CO2 increase in the deep oceans is where the bulk of CO2 change can go (together with long term capture of carbon by land plants). The difference is in timing: the equilibrium between ocean surface and atmosphere is reached in 1-3 years half life time, but the deep oceans-atmosphere exchanges are limited in flux and need much longer periods to reach equilibrium (half life time ~40 years).

69. Richard111 says:

“”rgbatduke says:
April 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm
……
As for what proportion of the gallon-plus that is CO_2 is “man made” or attributable to humans — that is debatable,…””

That is a problem that bothers me. I read that “man made” CO2 in the atmosphere is calculated on the basis of the absence of C-14. But C-14 is continuously produced in the upper atmosphere by cosmic ray activity and there is no acknowledged level of production. So if they can’t measure C-14 production, how do the measure C-14 absence? Also current solar activity is low thus cosmic ray activity is high so it should then show a reduction in “man made” CO2.
Oh, well. Time will tell (I hope).

70. tokyoboy says:

For the past 20 years the Mauna Loa CO2 concentration trend is almost perfectly linear.
If, as usually postulated, a fixed fraction (ca. 50%) of anthropogenic CO2 remains in the atmosphere, a linear trend is generated ONLY WHEN THE YEARLY CO2 EMISSION IS CONSTANT THROUGHOUT.
However, we know that the emission has been increasing for those 20 years throughout, and hence the CO2 concentration curve should be superlinear.
This is an all-time enigma for me.

71. Martin A says:

“The proportionality of the temperature increment ∆T to ln N is widely accepted. ”

It has become climate science folklore with essentially the status of a physical law..

Everybody “knows” it is true and believes it – even global warming skeptics. Yet tracking down its origin is difficult – it seems to have originated by fitting a log formula to some numerical results from a radiative forcing model, not from the analytical solution of a physical model.

72. tokyoboy says:

“Martin A says: April 19, 2013 at 1:14 am ……”

I guess the ∆T ~ ln C is an empirical formula from the fact that the 15-micron O2 band is practically saturated at the peak, and hence the additional CO2 causes essentially slow band broadening, which is approximated by the ∆T ~ ln C formula.

73. Andrew says:

LdB says: “… it may be hard to explain using classic physics and people with only that level of science may struggle understanding but the ridiculous comments that people “want to be shown how CO2 traps in heat” should be attacked for the science ignorance they show.”

I’ll tell you what “science ignorance” is LdB, it is having the notion in your head that a greenhouse and a greenhouse without a roof aren’t different.

Konrad “gets it”, as do many other contributors here. The “science ignorance” is not helped by widespread, lazy and slack terminology. CO2, which doesn’t change state, is called a ‘greenhouse gas’ along with the heavy lifter in the heat transport and surface cooling business, namely water, which does change state. Heat transfers in the atmosphere involving the water cycle utterly dwarf any possible contribution from CO2, if that were even +ve, and if it could be measured. Tell you what – I’ll replace all those air gaps in your double glazing with your super heating agent, CO2, at the special “science ignorance” price of only \$10,000.

74. Happer seems to be the only person estimating how much CO2 is needed to get a 6C rise from 2013 concentrations of ~400ppm rather than pre-industrial concentrations of ~270ppm. This makes a substantial difference in the answer (1600 vs 1080ppm).
In assuming that CO2 concentrations will continue to rise at 2ppm/yr, he is making some very strong assumptions about future emission scenarios. Without strong intervention, it is much more likely that the increase in CO2 concentrations per year will continue to rise (tokyoboy April 19, 2013 at 12:42 am – don’t just eyeball the data, calculate the slope – it is superlinear).
The Happer argues that a climate sensitivity of 1C per doubling is more plausible. This is a fantasy not supported by the empirical evidence. Nic Lewis’s paper had a modal sensitivity of 1.6C. Happer’s suggestion that climate sensitivity might be negative is a joke. If he really thought this plausible, it should scare him, as increasing CO2 concentrations would cool the planet! Has he really thought this through?

75. TerryS says:

Re: joelshore

(1) The entire argument being attacked is essentially a “strawman” since in the very article of Joe Romm’s that Anthony linked to, Romm says he was talking about a 6C rise by 2100, not 2050.

The argument he presents still holds for 2100. At 2ppm/year you get a CO2 concentration of 574, still much less that the required 1600ppm (630ppm with accelerating rate of CO2).

(2) He assumes that CO2 levels will continue rising at their current rate of 2 ppm per year. However, historically, the rate of increase of CO2 has been accelerating over time: 40 years ago, it was rising at only about 1 ppm per year ( http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/co2_growth_rate.PNG ). Hence, it is unlikely that 40 years from now it will still be rising at 2 ppm per year, especially under assumptions of no constraints on CO2 emissions. And, if the rate of rise keeps doubling every 40 years, it will be going up ~8 ppm per year by the end of the 21st century.

The rate of increase of CO2 is expected to accelerate as countries like China and India industrialise, however, it isn’t expected to be exponential (that would require industrialisation rates to be exponential). If we take a linear acceleration of 1ppm/40 years then it would still take 240 years to reach the 1600ppm in the article.

(3) He computes the necessary CO2 level for a 6 C rise from current temperatures (i.e., that with a 3 C sensitivity, one has to quadruple CO2 from 400 ppm to 1600 ppm). If we talk about from pre-industrial levels, a quadrupling of CO2 only means going up to ~1100 ppm.

The CO2 sensitivity is irrespective of the starting point. If the sensitivity is 3C then doubling CO2 from today’s levels would still result in a 3C rise. His computation using today’s CO2 levels and temperature is just as valid and accurate as using CO2 and temperature levels from 150 years ago.
To get to ~1100 at 2ppm/year would still require 355 years, or, with an accelerating CO2 increase 171 years.

As for the accelerating rate of CO2, do you seriously believe that it will take China, India etc anywhere near a 100 years to industrialise? Once they have industrialised their CO2 emissions should level off (they same way they have in the industrialised nations).

76. tokyoboy says:
April 19, 2013 at 12:42 am

For the past 20 years the Mauna Loa CO2 concentration trend is almost perfectly linear.

It is slightly exponential, but you better look over the full period:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960/to:2013/plot/esrl-co2/trend

The increase in the atmosphere near perfectly follows the increase in CO2 emissions with a fixed ratio between 50-55%. That means that the sinks follow the increase in the atmosphere at a near fixed ratio to total CO2 in the atmosphere.

77. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
April 19, 2013 at 1:55 am

Sorry,

That means that the sinks follow the increase in the atmosphere at a near fixed ratio to total CO2 in the atmosphere.

must be:

That means that the sinks follow the increase in the atmosphere at a near fixed ratio to total CO2 in the atmosphere in excess above the (temperature controlled) equilibrium.

78. Richard111 says:
April 19, 2013 at 12:28 am

I read that “man made” CO2 in the atmosphere is calculated on the basis of the absence of C-14.

The absence of 14C in fossil fuels is one of the ways to calculate the contribution of anthro CO2 to the increase in the atmosphere. There are many others, like the 13C/12C change in ratio, the oxygen balance and last but not least the mass balance. See:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html#The_mass_balance

79. joeldshore and tjfolkerts:

I am responding to your comments at April 18, 2013 at 7:57 pm and April 18, 2013 at 10:57 pm, respectively.

With one exception, your complaints at the above article are the same. The exception is that tjfolkerts claims the considered temperature projection should be 4 deg.C and not 6 deg.C. Perhaps so, but it is a trivial point because it would make no real difference to the result of Happer’s calculation; i.e. millennia are required to achieve 4 deg.C or 6 deg.C.

joeldshore provided the first of your two posts so I will quote each statement in his post and address it in turn.

Let us enumerate a few of the errors and logical fallacies in Will Happer’s argument:

The irony of joeldshore mentioning “logical fallacies” is enhanced by the fact that he states none made by Happer. The “errors” are knit-picking trivia which do not alter Happer’s conclusions.

I am addressing in turn each and all of the points made by joeldshore.

(1) The entire argument being attacked is essentially a “strawman” since in the very article of Joe Romm’s that Anthony linked to, Romm says he was talking about a 6C rise by 2100, not 2050.

This entire statement by joeldshore – and later repeated by tjfolkerts – is a “strawman” and is ‘knit-picking’.

Whether Romm claims “6C rise” by 2050 or by 2100 is of no importance when the calculation shows 6C rise cannot occur for several millennia.

(2) He assumes that CO2 levels will continue rising at their current rate of 2 ppm per year. However, historically, the rate of increase of CO2 has been accelerating over time: 40 years ago, it was rising at only about 1 ppm per year ( http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/co2_growth_rate.PNG ). Hence, it is unlikely that 40 years from now it will still be rising at 2 ppm per year, especially under assumptions of no constraints on CO2 emissions. And, if the rate of rise keeps doubling every 40 years, it will be going up ~8 ppm per year by the end of the 21st century.

This is so wrong it is risible.

Happer accepts the assumption – and it is only an assumption – that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is induced by the trivial anthropogenic emission of CO2. And he does not “assume” the present rate of CO2 rise in the atmosphere will continue: he extrapolates the ~2ppm p.a. rate of that rise which has existed since 1958 when measurements began at Mauna Loa.

Over that period the trend is near to linear but has a few wiggles. Within the variation of seasonal oscillation, the annual rise is linear. This is a graph of the data

joeldshore makes a ridiculous assertion when he claims the rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 has doubled from 1 to 2 ppm “over the last 40 years”.

And his assertion that the rate of rise will quadruple over the next 90 years is fantasy beyond belief. It is based on his falsehood that the rate of rise is doubling each 40 years. It is NOT: it is approximately constant.

(3) He computes the necessary CO2 level for a 6 C rise from current temperatures (i.e., that with a 3 C sensitivity, one has to quadruple CO2 from 400 ppm to 1600 ppm). If we talk about from pre-industrial levels, a quadrupling of CO2 only means going up to ~1100 ppm.

This is more irrelevant knit-picking by joeldshore.

The calculation explained by Happer indicates that it would take millennia to reach4 deg.C, 5 deg. C or 6 deg. C rise in global temperature whether one calculates atmospheric CO2 rising to ~1100 ppm or 1600 ppm.

In conclusion, joeldshore and tjfolkerts, your attempts at damage limitation are pathetic.

Richard

80. johnmarshall says:

Those calculations are only important if you are a true believer in the GHE. I believe in the laws of thermodynamics which do not seem to be within Dr Happer’s sphere of thought.
Increased atmospheric CO2 will increase the atmospheric density this increasing temperature by a miniscule amount. BUT that increased CO2 will increase the heat loss from the atmosphere thus cancelling the adiabatic increase. NO OVERALL EFFECT.

April 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm

This is a great explanation of why “greenhouse effect” does not work.
Consider this – surface of the Moon in sunlight is over 100deg Celsius. Surface of Earth in sunlight is not 100deg C anywhere on the planet, therefore, whatever atmosphere we have, has cooling effect.
Greenhouses on Earth work only by stopping heated gases rising, i.e. by literally trapping heated gas, and not by trapping radiation. Your “greenhouse” can be a shipping container made of steel, and it still will be warmer inside even on a dull day than outside. CO2 is not a rigid structure with a roof.
If our atmosphere was “trapping heat” then the Sun will have even easier job of heating the surface in the morning, (i.e not starting with minus 150, or whatever, as it is on the Moon), then you would expect Earth surface temperatures to be significantly higher than on the Moon.

82. johnmarshall says:

LdB CO2 lazers are pumped with external energy to get the lazing. They do NOT generate that energy within the lazer from nothing which is what the GHE tries to get. Greenhouses work by cutting convection not any self induced energy input. Any greenhouse will only get to the radiative equilibrium temperature which with surface insolation at ~1000W/m2 gives a temperature of 88C and that is it regardless of how long in the sun. Conductive and external radiative losses will reduce the above temperature considerably.
If you doubt my words DO THE EXPERIMENT. Get a greenhouse, close it up and measure the temperature rise and its plateauing.
Most surface heat is lost by convection not radiation. Atmospheres do not prevent convection in fact convection is a major part of heat loss and weather.

83. richardscourtney says:
April 19, 2013 at 2:18 am

joeldshore makes a ridiculous assertion when he claims the rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 has doubled from 1 to 2 ppm “over the last 40 years”.

Dear Richard,

The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere indeed was rising near linear from slightly less than 1 ppmv/year to near 2 ppmv over the past 40+ years:

The question is if this linear increase will be maintained over the next 50-100 years or will flatten when industrialisation reaches maturity in developing countries and/or new types of non-fossil production of cheap energy will emerge.

84. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

I am replying to your post at April 19, 2013 at 2:58 am.

At April 19, 2013 at 2:18 I made the true and accurate statements

Over that period the trend is near to linear but has a few wiggles. Within the variation of seasonal oscillation, the annual rise is linear. This is a graph of the data

joeldshore makes a ridiculous assertion when he claims the rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 has doubled from 1 to 2 ppm “over the last 40 years”.

Those two paragraphs are true and indisputable except by – as you provide – arm waving assertion. The truth of my statements is apparent to anybody who clicks the link and looks at the graph.

However, the ‘wiggles’ and the range provided by the seasonal variation enable almost any curve to be fitted to the data because the data only exists for the short time since 1958. This enables anybody to choose a curve which fits their prejudice and to apply it to the data: this is what you and joeldshore have done.

The important point is that Happer has adopted the assumption of extrapolating the linear trend which has existed since 1958, and for his calculation that is the ONLY reasonable assumption because is not an expression of any prejudice.

Richard

85. David says:

April 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I agree with RGBs call for the numbers, and I do understand that a GHG both warms and cools. I like to charterize it as a function of time; ie, “the only way to change the energy content of any system (in this case the atmospher, the earth, and the oceans) in a radiative blance is to change the residence time of some aspect of those energy, or to change the input.”

So the only way to quantify all this is to produce the engineering quality paper Steve McIntyre has called for, but never recieved. How much of the energy within the atmosphere is other then radiative, conducted from the surface to convection currents, and or latent heat moved via evaporation? I have never seen the numbers.

Furthermore, what are the relative percentages of energy to and from CO2, conducted, vs radiative? How often does the CO2 molecule recieve energy through collision via the establishment of a LTE? (Local thermodynamic equalibrium) If a GHG recieves energy via conduction, then radiates to space, its net effect is cooling. If it recieves same energy from surface emitted LWIR, and redirects said energy downwards, then it is warming. If it recieves energy via conduction, from the latent heat of evaporation released via condensation, then it is cooling. If it recdieves said energy via conduction, and releases via conduction, then it acts just as any othe non radiative gas. I imagine that the chances of a GHG both recieving and releasing energy via conduction accelerates relative to the density of the molecules it is encountering, but think it likely more complicated then that.

I imagine that the physical location, both latitude, longitude, and altitude of any GHG affects the warming cooling properties of said gas. In a non GHG world, where would all the conducting energy go. Would it not have to conduct back to the surface, in order to radiate to space? However, would not it first continuesly conduct to cooler molecules above it, untis the majority of said molecules reached an equalbrium, establihing a fairly even enrgy vibrational rate, only registering a different T due to the relative, per SQm density of molecules? (Lapse rate based primarily on atmospheric density) Yes, of couse convection, evaporation, and relative conduction spreads would continuesly conduct said atmosphere.

86. David says:

I have been asking the above questions for a long time, so would appreciate any thoughtful answers.

87. Martin A says:

Wilson and Gea-Banacloche, Am. J. Phys. 80 306 (2012).

The paper is paywalled. Is it available anywhere for those without library facilities nor budget to access paywalled info?

88. David:

At April 19, 2013 at 3:31 am you refer to your good post at April 19, 2013 at 3:30 am and say

I have been asking the above questions for a long time, so would appreciate any thoughtful answers.

The reason you have not been obtaining answers is because nobody really knows the answers.

As you say, the effects vary temporally and spatially. (What is happening in two places is not the same at any time, and it varies throughout the year at each of them). And these differences interact. This complexity is why climate models have been constructed.

However, real data for input to the models is sparce and incomplete, so the models are not much use. For example, how and why clouds form, behave and disperse is poorly understood. Furthermore, clouds are too small to be modeled in climate models so effects of clouds are ‘parametrised’ (i.e. guessed). But clouds affect incoming and outgoing radiation, precipitation, and convection.

Sorry, to be so negative. But ‘them’s the facts’.

Richard

89. David says:

Thanks Richard, and “we do not know” is actually an excellent answer. Without humility we have very poor science.

90. Jimbo says:

So I see we have at least 2,000 years before we ‘panic’ about co2 in the air. Such levels have been exceeded greatly in the past and Latam neotropical vegetation thrived in high co2 and warmer world during the PETM.

I doubt we will still be burning fossil fuels in 2,000 years let alone 1,000 years. I wish these pant wetters would stop panicking over the trace rise of the trace gas co2.

@David
If you build and run the experiments linked above, you should find the results so robust (tm climate science) that you will not require precise numbers. They have gotten the “basic physics” of the “settled science” so wrong it beggers the imagination.
Experiment 3 shows the importance of energy loss at altitude to convective circulation. Experiment 4 shows what happens when radiative cooling at altitude is not occurring. Build the columns tall enough and use 1C cooling water and 80C heating water and you should achive a 30C+ differential between gas columns. AGW? Game over man! Game over!

I think we should dust off and nuke “climate science” from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure ;)

92. richardscourtney says:
April 19, 2013 at 3:26 am

Those two paragraphs are true and indisputable except by – as you provide – arm waving assertion.

Dear Richard,

I don’t agree with many points that Joel Shore does say, but one need to be honest for what is true, no matter who says it. When Joel says that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere increased from about 1 ppmv/year to 2 ppmv/year in 40 years time, he is correct and you are not (pointing to a graph which doesn’t show the details of interest is not the right answer). That is what is measured as average increase of the increase. Even significant if you include the year by year variability in increase rate (of +/- 0.5 ppmv) around the trend. The seasonal variability is here of no interest at all.

But as said before, it is questionable if the linear increase in increase rate will remain the same in the future. That will make a huge difference in CO2 levels over the next 50-100 years.

93. lurker passing through, laughing says:

AGW is based on, as was eugenics, bigotry, ignorance and a thin veneer of science. All combined with rent seeking and self promotion.
That 6.0o is both ridiculous and embraced by the loudest of the AGW hypesters is not surprising.

94. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

re your post addressed to me at April 19, 2013 at 4:56 am.

I consider information on its worth and not who presents it.

You say

But as said before, it is questionable if the linear increase in increase rate will remain the same in the future. That will make a huge difference in CO2 levels over the next 50-100 years.

Que sera sera, whatever will be will be.

There are only three pertinent points and I stated them, viz.

Over that period the trend is near to linear but has a few wiggles. Within the variation of seasonal oscillation, the annual rise is linear. This is a graph of the data
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/graphics/SIOMLOINSITUTHRU2008.JPG

and

However, the ‘wiggles’ and the range provided by the seasonal variation enable almost any curve to be fitted to the data because the data only exists for the short time since 1958. This enables anybody to choose a curve which fits their prejudice and to apply it to the data: this is what you and joeldshore have done.

and

The important point is that Happer has adopted the assumption of extrapolating the linear trend which has existed since 1958, and for his calculation that is the ONLY reasonable assumption because is not an expression of any prejudice.

Richard

95. joeldshore says:

TerryS says:

The rate of increase of CO2 is expected to accelerate as countries like China and India industrialise, however, it isn’t expected to be exponential (that would require industrialisation rates to be exponential). If we take a linear acceleration of 1ppm/40 years then it would still take 240 years to reach the 1600ppm in the article.

The history of such growth processes has generally been that they are roughly exponential. Doubling every 40 years assumes a modest growth rate of about 1.8% per year in CO2 emissions. At the rate China and India are currently industrializing, that may well be an underestimate.

To get to ~1100 at 2ppm/year would still require 355 years, or, with an accelerating CO2 increase 171 years.

Again, that depends on the acceleration. You are assuming a low acceleration. That also assumes that no saturation occurs in the sinks that are currently sequestering about half of our emissions. Many scientists find that assumption to be implausible.

As for the accelerating rate of CO2, do you seriously believe that it will take China, India etc anywhere near a 100 years to industrialise? Once they have industrialised their CO2 emissions should level off (they same way they have in the industrialised nations).

In general, CO2 emissions have continued to grow in industrialized countries over the last several decades, although not as rapidly as in the industrializing ones.

I will leave it to Ferdinand Engelsteen to correct the blatant falsehoods that Richard S Courtney is spewing (and, unfortunately, continuing to spew) in this thread.

96. David Cage says:
April 18, 2013 at 11:48 pm
No pay walled document should be allowed to be cited in any action involving public policy.
Especially the IPCC assessments

97. richardscourtney says:
April 19, 2013 at 5:05 am

Come on Richard,

The seasonal variation has nothing to do with the year by year variability in rise of CO2 levels nor with the trend itself. For the same year by year variability and trend one can use the South Pole data or one of the other SH stations, where hardly any seasonal variability is visible. The seasonal cycle simply is a false argument, as that doesn’t influence the trend (neither do the tides for sea levels…). Only the change over a full seasonal cycle is of interest. See:

and

Joel was discussing the year by year rise in CO2 over the past 40 years. That significantly doubled over that period, even taking into account the year by year variability in increase rate. That is undoubtedly true, no matter how you try to hide that by choosing a graph that doesn’t show the important details. If you can provide another curve of the year by year CO2 increase rate that doesn’t show a linear increase over time, I am very interested to see that.

Thus the choice of Happer for a constant increase rate is his assumption, probably based on the expectation (as is mine) that CO2 emissions in the future will flatten with maturing industrialisation and/or newer energy production techniques. But it is an assumption, not more reasonable than expecting an ongoing increase in CO2 emissions / increase in the atmosphere for the next 50-100 years.

98. David Jay says:

Re: Mark Besse 6:29pm: 8 (+/- 6)

Does that mean the result is statistically significant???

99. Richard M says:

Dr. Brown asks: So, any papers, computations, models, actual evidence to support your assertion

I have been mentioning the cooling effect of CO2 for years now. One of things I often ask is why I’ve never seen a paper attempting to determine this value. To me, that says a lot about climate science. Something so obvious and so basic to the net impact of increased CO2 has NEVER, I repeat NEVER been quantified? Just how strange is that?

I love the fact that Konrad has gone beyond my base assertions to try and put a little meat on the bone. This is not the first time he has provided a description of his experiments and yet still not a single climate scientist has attempted to repeat them.

For me it gets very basic. At one time we had a perfectly happy O2 molecule buzzing around the atmosphere. Whenever it collides with a N2 molecule an energy transfer might occur but no radiation would result. Hence, all the energy stayed in the atmosphere.

Now, we turn that O2 molecule into a CO2 molecule by burning some fossil fuel. The brand new CO2 molecule now collides with one of those N2 molecules and not only does an energy transfer occur, but some energy gets radiated away on occasion. At least 50% of that energy heads towards space. Statistically, we should see a net increase in the flow of energy to space.

The change from having added CO2 to the atmosphere must lead to extra energy transfers to space. This is evident by simply looking at the molecular interactions. So, the only question is how much? Without knowing the answer to that question there is no way for climate scientists to understand the impact of adding CO2 to the atmosphere. The fact they have ignored this issue says they really aren’t interested. They have an agenda and it is not science.

100. ferd berple says:

David says:
April 19, 2013 at 4:04 am
Thanks Richard, and “we do not know” is actually an excellent answer. Without humility we have very poor science.
=============
Take the total sum of what all human beings on earth know to be true. This is a finite value. Now take the total sum of all that is yet to be discovered. It is fairly simple to show that this value must be infinity, because if it isn’t then what outside of the set of things known and yet to be discovered? This must also be part of the set of the unknown ad infinitum.

So, when one decides how much we really know, we get finite/infinite = 0.0% of the true total. And no human being knows more than this, no matter how many fancy letters after their names.

101. geran says:

-ddavidmhoffer says:
April 18, 2013 at 8:24 pm

The greenhouse effect is a function of SW from the sun (which isn’t absorbed by CO2) being absorbed by the earth and radiated back out as LW (which is absorbed by CO2). In answer your question, I posted the link to atmospheric transmission, you can see for yourself. I also suggested reading more detailed explanations by Ira Glickstein. If you think you’ve scored some points by mocking me, you done nothing of the sort. I attempted to help you out with an error that you made, nothing more.
>>>>>>>>

Sir, I see you finally responded last night after I had left. Your response helps me to understand your confusion now, so let me see if I can help:

Your link has a presentation of “transmission”. I think you are confusing transmission with total solar energy the atmosphere receives, ie, the atmosphere receives more energy from the Sun than does the Earth, due to the losses/heating/reflections of the atmospheric layer. Your link presents what “gets through” the atmosphere. Here is a link to total solar output:

And a relevant pasting from the iink:

“Sunlight in space at the top of Earth’s atmosphere at a power of 1366 watts/m2 is composed (by total energy) of about 50% infrared light, 40% visible light, and 10% ultraviolet light.[3] At ground level this decreases to about 1120–1000 watts/m2, and by energy fractions to 44% visible light, 3% ultraviolet (with the Sun at the zenith, but less at other angles), and the remainder infrared. Thus, sunlight’s composition at ground level, per square meter, with the sun at the zenith, is about 527 watts of infrared radiation, 445 watts of visible light, and 32 watts of ultraviolet radiation.”

Hope that helps.

Oh, and as to “mocking” you–you blindsided me with a non-constructive comment trying to start an argument. When I asked one question that you realized lost your case for you, you then did not respond for hours. When you finally responded, you tried to fake victory, while at the same time claiming “victimhood”. Hint: The perp is the victim only in unside-down justice systems.

102. joeldshore says:
April 19, 2013 at 6:02 am

That also assumes that no saturation occurs in the sinks that are currently sequestering about half of our emissions. Many scientists find that assumption to be implausible.

I know of that assumption of a few years ago. Meanwhile there were studies showing that the “airborne fraction” from the extra induced CO2 still is the same over the years.

The main point is that saturation does occur in the oceans surface at 10% of the atmospheric changes, but that is far less the case for the deep oceans, simply because the ocean waters are far undersaturated at the sink places. Even if all CO2 emissions since 1850 mixes into the deep oceans, that would give an increase of 1% (3 ppmv) in the atmosphere at equilibrium (with a half life time of ~40 years). For semi- to permanent storage in plant debris (peat/brown/coal) there is no limit at all and only depends of CO2 levels in the atmosphere (for equal other necessities like water, temperature, fertilizers, minerals,…).

The “Bern” model and similar models used by the IPCC may be right if we burn 10-20 times the total amount of carbon as used until now, but that is not the case for the next 50-100 years…

103. geran says:
April 19, 2013 at 7:46 am

sunlight’s composition at ground level, per square meter, with the sun at the zenith, is about 527 watts of infrared radiation, 445 watts of visible light, and 32 watts of ultraviolet radiation.

Be careful, the incoming infrared radiation of the sun and the outgoing IR radiation of the earth are quite different in wavelengths. CO2 has only a small absorption band in solar IR, water has a lot more. Most IR captured by CO2 is in the earth radiation band, not in the solar one.

See page 4 of 7 in:
http://www.nat.vu.nl/CondMat/rw/DuEnSBI/DuurzEn4HeatBalanceOfEarth.pdf

104. Mark Bofill says:

geran says:
April 19, 2013 at 7:46 am

And a relevant pasting from the iink:

“Sunlight in space at the top of Earth’s atmosphere at a power of 1366 watts/m2 is composed (by total energy) of about 50% infrared light, 40% visible light, and 10% ultraviolet light.[3] At ground level this decreases to about 1120–1000 watts/m2, …
——
That’s odd. No problem with TOA 1366 W/m^2, but then I’ve always read that you have to adjust for surface area of a sphere as opposed to a disk (disk RPI, sphere 4RPI, so divide by 4), and then adjust again for albedo (1-0.3), which gives about 240 W/m^2 at the surface. Is this wrong?
This said, I’ve always thought this adjustment a bit odd as well. It’s only half a sphere during the day when solar radiation is coming in after all. Also, obviously solar power varies substantially with the cos of the zenith angle; I.E., time of day and date. And the prevailing weather. etc.

One of these days I’m going to spend the time and effort to actually measure the solar radiation in my backyard….

105. geran says:

Mark Bofill says:
April 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

One of these days I’m going to spend the time and effort to actually measure the solar radiation in my backyard….
>>>>>>>>>

You are correct about the sinusoidal relations, but generally between 40 degrees and the equator, 1000 Watts/meter squared is accepted as a close average/approximation, especially in solar panel work.

106. ralfellis says:

Can someone go through CO2’s logarithmic absorption of long-wave in the atmosphere again. As I understand it, the CO2 ‘greenhouse effect’ reduces anyway, with less and less response as CO2 levels increase.

.

107. Richard111 says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
April 19, 2013 at 2:07 am

Thank you for the link. Lot of useful information there. I have posted the link on another forum.
Sadly I failed to find any information on the ‘heat trapping’ capability of CO2 and why this is a problem if the current levels of CO2 double.
Also puzzled as to why atom bomb generated C-14 has a half life of 5 years but natural C-14 has a half life of 6,000 years which is useful for carbon dating.

108. Tim Folkerts says:

Richard M postulates: “The change from having added CO2 to the atmosphere must lead to extra energy transfers to space. “

Sort of ….

The extra CO2 radiates to space in the 15 um band from somewhere near the top of the troposphere where it is quite cool (220-240 K). Any radiation from warmer CO2 below this layer is absorbed by the CO2 above it. And any 15 um radiation from the even warmer ground is ALSO absorbed by the intermediate layers.

But remember that the IR radiation is a function of temperature. The cool CO2 radiates poorly; the warm ground radiates well. So there is indeed an extra energy transfer to space from the atmosphere due to the presence of CO2, as you realize. But there is a REDUCED transfer to space from the ground. The net result is that the “bright” 15 um radiation from the ground is absorbed and the “dim” radiation from the atmosphere escapes –> LESS total radiation escapes.

Lots of things happen between the surface and the top of the troposphere, but the net result is that the CO2 cools the top of the atmosphere, but warms the bottom.

(There is a program called MODTRAN that models the spectra quite well: http://forecast.uchicago.edu/Projects/modtran.html . You can play around with CO2, viewer location, clouds, etc and see the effects. For this case, the most instructive might be to start with the default settings (looking down from 70 km) and then remove all the CO2. The IR emitted to space INCREASES, which would cause the earth to cool until balance is restored.)

109. Werner Brozek says:

joeldshore says:
April 18, 2013 at 7:57 pm

However, historically, the rate of increase of CO2 has been accelerating over time: 40 years ago

That is true, however in the last 16 or 17 years when temperatures have flattened on several data sets, the rise in CO2 is no longer accelerating. See the slopes below. They are virtually identical over the last 17 years as over the last 9 years.

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1996/plot/esrl-co2/from:1996/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:2004/trend

110. davidmhoffer says:

Geran;
Oh, and as to “mocking” you–you blindsided me with a non-constructive comment trying to start an argument. When I asked one question that you realized lost your case for you, you then did not respond for hours. When you finally responded, you tried to fake victory, while at the same time claiming “victimhood”. Hint: The perp is the victim only in unside-down justice systems.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I did not realize that you are such an important person that I must sit attentively at my desk, doing nothing else for an entire day, waiting in breathless anticipation of a comment from you to respond to.

Your initial response to how CO2 traps energy was wrong. The GHG effect has nothing to do with CO2 absorbing LW from the sun. Get over it. Check out the links I provided to you and follow closely the responses of this thread by rgbatduke, richardscourtney, Ferdinand Englebeen, Joel Shore and others. Perhaps you’ll figure out your mistake or perhaps you’ll continue you’ll continue to spout drivel while insulting and mocking those who make an honest effort to help you understand.

111. davidmhoffer says:

Geran;
I suggest also that your read Tim Folkert’s last comment as well:

Tim Folkerts says:
April 19, 2013 at 9:36 am

112. Richard M says:

Tim, I agree with everything you said … almost. Keep in mind that even the radiation at the low levels of that atmosphere will move higher due to more CO2 before it is absorbed. From there that energy has a higher probability of radiating to space in the future.

I’ve always said the warming effect of CO2 (the GHE) should be stronger at low concentrations of CO2. However, as CO2 increases the GHE is a log function while the cooling effect should be linear. Where these might balance out is a good question that I don’t believe anyone has answered.

Also keep in mind that he GHE is the strongest closest to the surface which should promote more convection. The cooling effect is strongest in the upper atmosphere where there is less water vapor. This also promotes more convection. So, the feedback is basically enhanced at both ends.

What is the net? Can modtran really answer that question? I doubt it.

113. Phil. says:

Richard111 says:
April 19, 2013 at 9:34 am
Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
April 19, 2013 at 2:07 am

Thank you for the link. Lot of useful information there. I have posted the link on another forum.
Sadly I failed to find any information on the ‘heat trapping’ capability of CO2 and why this is a problem if the current levels of CO2 double.
Also puzzled as to why atom bomb generated C-14 has a half life of 5 years but natural C-14 has a half life of 6,000 years which is useful for carbon dating.

That means that the atom bomb generated C14O2 has a lifetime in the atmosphere of ~5years, because it exchanges with the oceans (predominantly), in equilibrium for every molecule of CO2 that enters the ocean another one leaves the ocean. So inject a spike of C14O2 into the atmosphere and watch its decay in concentration and you can determine the rate of exchange between the two reservoirs. It’s not the radioactive halflife.

114. davidmhoffer says:

Richard M;
Also keep in mind that he GHE is the strongest closest to the surface which should promote more convection. The cooling effect is strongest in the upper atmosphere where there is less water vapor.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Agreed with all your comments save this last one. With water vapour hitting 40,000 ppm over ocean in the tropics, CO2’s effects are pretty much lost in the noise. As you rise in altitude, temps drop and water vapour precipitates out while co2 concentrations stay the same, and so become more significant in terms of their ratio to water vapour. Hence I think your statement is correct, but that point much occur at an altitude above the water vapour layer rather than close to earth surface. Then it gets more complicated when we consider that the water vapour layer gets thinner by latitude, and also by season (winter vs summer) and also over deserts.

so my expectation is that where CO2 becomes significant enough to promote a measurable amount of convection varies by altitude, latitude, season, and geography. I expect also that this is almost impossible to measure.

115. Henry Galt says:

First time for ages I have ticked the ‘Notify me of follow-up comments via email’ box – the exchange between geran and davidmhoffer looks like it may be a doozy ;)

116. Phil. says:

Richard M says:
April 19, 2013 at 6:43 am
Dr. Brown asks: So, any papers, computations, models, actual evidence to support your assertion

I have been mentioning the cooling effect of CO2 for years now. One of things I often ask is why I’ve never seen a paper attempting to determine this value. To me, that says a lot about climate science. Something so obvious and so basic to the net impact of increased CO2 has NEVER, I repeat NEVER been quantified? Just how strange is that?

You’re laboring under a misunderstanding, this has indeed been quantified, notably by Clough and Iacona, published inter alia in J Geophysical Research, vol 100.

Suppose you are a ‘chief ecoomist’ like Fatih Birol; suppose you are also ignorant of statistical regression analysis – but I repeat myself…

118. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

My post at April 19, 2013 at 6:16 am only consisted of accurate statements.

The first sentence in your reply (at April 19, 2013 at 5:05 am) says

Come on Richard,
The seasonal variation has nothing to do with the year by year variability in rise of CO2 levels nor with the trend itself.

Bollocks! The rise of any year is the residual of the seasonal variation in that year.

Again, this is a graph of the data

If the seasonal rise equalled the seasonal fall then there would be no annual rise.

In other words, your statement is the opposite of the truth. In reality
Imbalance in the seasonal variation CREATES the year by year variability in rise of CO2 levels AND the trend itself.

You continue saying

For the same year by year variability and trend one can use the South Pole data or one of the other SH stations, where hardly any seasonal variability is visible. The seasonal cycle simply is a false argument, as that doesn’t influence the trend (neither do the tides for sea levels…). Only the change over a full seasonal cycle is of interest.

I used the Mauna Loa data because it is the longest time series. Using the measurements from any other site does not reduce the clear and absolute truth and validity of my statements.

Your statement that “The seasonal cycle simply is a false argument” is pure arm-waving intended to ignore the fact that rise of any year is the residual of the seasonal variation in that year. You are metaphorically putting your fingers in your ears and shouting, “La, la, la..” when you say the seasonal variation “that doesn’t influence the trend (neither do the tides for sea levels…). Only the change over a full seasonal cycle is of interest.”

The imbalance in the seasonal variation CAUSES the trend. In fact, it IS the trend.

You go on saying

Joel was discussing the year by year rise in CO2 over the past 40 years. That significantly doubled over that period, even taking into account the year by year variability in increase rate. That is undoubtedly true, no matter how you try to hide that by choosing a graph that doesn’t show the important details. If you can provide another curve of the year by year CO2 increase rate that doesn’t show a linear increase over time, I am very interested to see that.

Perhaps Joel was doing that. Indeed, it is reasonable to suppose he was ignoring the seasonal variation because he has a ‘track record’ of ignoring information which refutes his assertions.

I provided the graph which shows ALL “the important details” but you are arguing for use of graphs which do not include the important seasonal variation which YOU – not me – “try to hide”. It is hiding that variation which enables you to choose a curve which suites your assertions.

But I did not ignore anything. I merely stated the truth and I wrote

Happer accepts the assumption – and it is only an assumption – that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is induced by the trivial anthropogenic emission of CO2. And he does not “assume” the present rate of CO2 rise in the atmosphere will continue: he extrapolates the ~2ppm p.a. rate of that rise which has existed since 1958 when measurements began at Mauna Loa.

Over that period the trend is near to linear but has a few wiggles. Within the variation of seasonal oscillation, the annual rise is linear. This is a graph of the data

joeldshore makes a ridiculous assertion when he claims the rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 has doubled from 1 to 2 ppm “over the last 40 years”.

And his assertion that the rate of rise will quadruple over the next 90 years is fantasy beyond belief. It is based on his falsehood that the rate of rise is doubling each 40 years. It is NOT: it is approximately constant.

And when you questioned the matter I made the true and accurate reply

However, the ‘wiggles’ and the range provided by the seasonal variation enable almost any curve to be fitted to the data because the data only exists for the short time since 1958. This enables anybody to choose a curve which fits their prejudice and to apply it to the data: this is what you and joeldshore have done.

The important point is that Happer has adopted the assumption of extrapolating the linear trend which has existed since 1958, and for his calculation that is the ONLY reasonable assumption because is not an expression of any prejudice.

Thus the choice of Happer for a constant increase rate is his assumption, probably based on the expectation (as is mine) that CO2 emissions in the future will flatten with maturing industrialisation and/or newer energy production techniques. But it is an assumption, not more reasonable than expecting an ongoing increase in CO2 emissions / increase in the atmosphere for the next 50-100 years.

Yes, I repeatedly said “the choice of Happer for a constant increase rate is his assumption”. But, unlike you, I did not ascribe any motive for that assumption except scientific propriety; i.e.

that is the ONLY reasonable assumption because is not an expression of any prejudice.

Your choice of curve is based on your prejudices which cause you to expect emissions to increase and to induce additional atmospheric CO2 increase. In reality, nobody does know or can know how atmospheric CO2 concentration rise will vary in future, so Happer’s extrapolation is the ONLY correct assumption.

Richard

119. geran says:

davidmhoffer says:
April 19, 2013 at 10:00 am

At first, I recognized your confusion. Often, confusion can make folks angry. I tried to help your confusion, but it appears you are just getting angrier.

I will leave it at that, and have a great day!

120. Tim Clark says:

“joeldshore says:
April 19, 2013 at 6:02 am
Again, that depends on the acceleration. You are assuming a low acceleration. That also assumes that no saturation occurs in the sinks that are currently sequestering about half of our emissions. Many scientists find that assumption to be implausible.”

Give me a break Joel. As a physiologist I’ve seen no data that plants will not increase sequestration of soil CO2. Unless of course, you confound the data with assumptions of increasing temperature and/or less rainfall. Those scientists you allude must be climate scientists…………….

Increased production of stover in response to co2 enrichment:

http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?SEQ_NO_115=245953

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/effects-of-rising-atmospheric-concentrations-of-carbon-13254108

Leads to increased sequestration of carbon in the soil:

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2845980?uid=3739672&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21102066143131

http://www.bio.anl.gov/environmental_biology/terrestrial_ecology/CO2.html

The results indicated that CO2 enrichment increased soil carbon by an average of 5.6% over 2-9 years, at a median rate of 0.19 Mg C ha‑1 y‑1. We also observed increases in soil carbon, at rates exceeding 0.4 Mg C ha‑1 y‑1 for 5-8 years, in Tennessee sweetgum forest and Kansas prairie exposed to elevated CO2. Carbon accrual in both systems was measurable because the vegetation responded to CO2 enrichment with large increases in the production of root litter.

121. davidmhoffer says:

geran;
At first, I recognized your confusion. Often, confusion can make folks angry. I tried to help your confusion, but it appears you are just getting angrier.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

You think I am angry? You must be confused.

122. davidmhoffer says:

Henry Galt says:
April 19, 2013 at 10:28 am
First time for ages I have ticked the ‘Notify me of follow-up comments via email’ box – the exchange between geran and davidmhoffer looks like it may be a doozy ;)
>>>>>>>>>>

Nah. Courtney, Englebeen and Shore. That’s turning into a doozy.

123. Phil. says:

ferd berple says:
April 18, 2013 at 8:34 pm
April 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm
Radiative cooling at altitude is critical for continued convective circulation… Energy loss at altitude is just as important for convective circulation as energy input near the surface.
=========
correct. without ghg the atmosphere would be isothermal and there would be no vertical circulation.

Not true, the surface on the night side would cool and cause convection currents.

124. Richard111 says:
April 19, 2013 at 9:34 am

Thank you for the link. Lot of useful information there. I have posted the link on another forum.
Sadly I failed to find any information on the ‘heat trapping’ capability of CO2 and why this is a problem if the current levels of CO2 double.

Maybe the following link and the next pages from Clive Best is of some help:
http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=1169

Also puzzled as to why atom bomb generated C-14 has a half life of 5 years but natural C-14 has a half life of 6,000 years which is useful for carbon dating.

Different half lives: the 5 year calculated from the bomb spike is about how fast 14C (natural or not) disappears out of the atmosphere, but is not destroyed: it simply is gone into other reservoirs (oceans and plants) and/or replaced by stable carbon (12C and 13C) from the other reservoirs. The 6,000 years is for the real destruction of 14C when it radiates a beta ray (an electron) and converts into 14N. That is the base for the carbon dating.

125. ret says:

In respnse to joeld, folkerts: just do the obvious arithmetic: CO2 levels are rising at a current rate of about 70% per hundred years. Assuming a similar rate in the future is an aggressive assumption, and gets you to 672ppm from todays 395 in 100 years. That’s 2.5X pre industrial and 1.7x today, or 1.32 doublings/0.76 doublings. The temperature rise with sensitivity of 3 degrees is 4 degrees from pre-indstrial, or 2.3 degrees from today. A six degree rise from today is just nonsense, and six degrees from pre-industrial is highly tendentious.

Face tacts – six degrees is just a scare story!

126. joeldshore says:

Tim Clark says:

Give me a break Joel. As a physiologist I’ve seen no data that plants will not increase sequestration of soil CO2. Unless of course, you confound the data with assumptions of increasing temperature and/or less rainfall. Those scientists you allude must be climate scientists…

Yes, the confounding effects of climate change do indeed play a potentially important role. However, your whole argument does not even address my point. The question is not whether sequestration increases as the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases. Rather, it is whether sequestration increases linearly…i.e., whether it continues to increase at the same rate or whether it eventually starts to slow down. Since there are likely rate-limiting factors affecting sequestration other than atmospheric concentration of CO2, such a slow-down seems likely.

127. Richard111:

You may not be aware that Ferdinand Engelbeen and I have a long-standing disagreement which has been raging for over a decade. This disagreement is that I don’t know the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration while he is certain the rise has an anthropogenic cause.

Hence, I think you can trust my opinion when I say that Ferdinand has an exceptional knowledge of CO2 issues. If you – or other WUWT readers -want info. on CO2 (e.g. 14C residence time, e-folding time and half-life) then I would be very, very surprised if you cannot find everything you want on his excellent web site.

Richard

128. richardscourtney says:
April 19, 2013 at 10:58 am

Richard, are you really so obtuse?

Of course the trend in CO2 is the difference over a full seasonal cycle, as I said before, but the seasonal cycle doesn’t cause the trend, doesn’t influence the trend and simply has nothing to do with the trend, whatever the real cause of the trend is.

With your type of reasoning, you would say that the waves and tides are the cause of any trends in sealevel.

Any change in CO2 levels should be calculated from calendar year averages or 12 month moving averages to remove the seasonal cycle. That is the only way to see the real trend not disturbed by a seasonal cycle which is of not the slightest interest in this case, it is only noise.

BTW, the measurements at the South Pole started before Mauna Loa, but as they miss a few years of continuous measurements (but still had regular flask samples), the Mauna Loa series are mostly used as longest continuous series.

129. Richard111 says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
April 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Ah! Understand! The 5 years is time in the atmosphere and NOT the radioactive decay rate.
Many thanks. Off to read Clive Best.

130. Richard111 says:

richardscourtney says:
April 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Thank you Richard. I have been aware of the contretemps for some years and read with interest. My position is I believe CO2 has no effect on the climate whatsoever. :-)

Do you know snow is reported in Soweto, South Africa, weeks before it normally appears?
http://snowreport.co.za/

131. tjfolkerts says:

Below are the 10 year slopes of the annual Mauna Loa CO2 concentrations (hopefully the formatting will not get too messed up). So the first data point tells us that from 1959-1968, the slope was 0.75 ppm/year. For 2003-2012, the rate was up to 2.00 ppm/year.

The slope of the slope (ie the acceleration) is 0.025 ppm/yr/yr. In other words, in the 44 years from 1968-2012, the slope increased by at total of ~ 1.1 ppm/yr (From ~ 0.9 ppm/yr to ~ 2.0 ppm/yr). This linear fit has R^sq = 87%, so it explains most of the change in the slope. p=0.000, so this increase is most definitely statistically significant.

Of course, this does not allow any great certainty about the future — there are so many variables in energy use and energy efficiency. But it is very clear that the PAST trend is for CO2 to increase at an increasing rate (which should have been obvious from an “eyeball fit” that shows that the raw data curve up in general). This suggests that projecting an increase above a linear 2% increase in the CO2 concentration is not at all unreasonable. Indeed, having the increase maintain a mere 2% rate of change would require a distinct departure from past trends.

************************************

YEAR SLOPE
1968 0.75
1969 0.81
1970 0.88
1971 0.92
1972 0.98
1973 1.09
1974 1.13
1975 1.13
1976 1.13
1977 1.15
1978 1.17
1979 1.23
1980 1.31
1981 1.36
1982 1.39
1983 1.48
1984 1.53
1985 1.55
1986 1.52
1987 1.51
1988 1.56
1989 1.59
1990 1.62
1991 1.62
1992 1.56
1993 1.47
1994 1.41
1995 1.38
1996 1.35
1997 1.33
1998 1.44
1999 1.57
2000 1.66
2001 1.73
2002 1.79
2003 1.83
2004 1.85
2005 1.90
2006 1.95
2007 1.95
2008 2.00
2009 2.03
2010 2.05
2011 2.02
2012 2.00

132. Tim Clark says:

“joeldshore says:
April 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm ”

Yes, of course. But the only RLS I know of at this time is the upper concentration cap where increasing [CO2] doesn’t induce heightened plant growth. Which, of course, is >1000 ppm.

133. Richard,

For your convenience, I have plotted the full MLO data with 10-year linear trends. They show an increasing slope in trend, except for 1990-2000 and as Werner Brozek showed not increasing over the past years. Thus while Joel was anyway right for the first 40 years, we indeed don’t know what the future will bring, if the economical crisis is over and developing countries catch up with the West (if the West still has some industry left…):
http://preview.tinyurl.com/chdslc8

BTW, thanks for your kind words about my knowledge, but sometimes you make it difficult to maintain my normal calmness…

134. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

I am responding to your post at April 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm.

I am not “obtuse”. I am realistic.
You say

Of course the trend in CO2 is the difference over a full seasonal cycle, as I said before, but the seasonal cycle doesn’t cause the trend, doesn’t influence the trend and simply has nothing to do with the trend, whatever the real cause of the trend is.

And you accuse ME of being obtuse!? Unbelievable!

The “difference over a full seasonal cycle” is the residual of the seasonal variation. The trend is the imbalance between the rise and fall of atmospheric CO2 concentration in each year. That rise and fall is an order of magnitude more than its residual each year.

Furthermore, the dynamics of the rise and fall indicate that the system is NOT saturated such that some of the total (natural and anthropogenic) CO2 emission cannot be sequestered by the natural sequestration processes. The dynamics indicate that the natural sequestration processes can easily sequester ALL of the total emission.

Hence, the only question of interest is why the natural sequestration processes do not sequester all the emission when the clear evidence is that they can. And this failure to sequester all the emissions is seen as the residual of the seasonal variation which is the annual rise.

In this circumstance, ignoring the seasonal variation is to ignore the only truly quantified data we have which pertains to the cause of the trend in atmospheric CO2 concentration since 1958.

But you assert the seasonal variation “has nothing to do with the trend”. Frankly, for the reasons I have here stated, that assertion is plain daft.

And you are being ridiculous when you say to me

With your type of reasoning, you would say that the waves and tides are the cause of any trends in sealevel.

You are comparing apples to cricket bats.

Any change in CO2 levels should be calculated from calendar year averages or 12 month moving averages to remove the seasonal cycle. That is the only way to see the real trend not disturbed by a seasonal cycle which is of not the slightest interest in this case, it is only noise.

“Should be”?
Any change “should” exclude the only information we have on causality?
Ferdinand, that kind of assertion has no place in science.

The seasonal cycle is NOT “noise”.
Imbalance in the seasonal cycle IS the annual rise in atmospheric CO2.
It can only be a result of a changing equilibrium state of the carbon cycle. And that change can be modelled in many ways which each leads to a different forecast of future atmospheric CO2 concentration.

There is no way to determine which – if any – of the possible forecasts of future atmospheric CO2 concentration is correct.

And that returns us to the subject of this thread.
You and Joel Shore each process the data – e.g. by smoothing – then fit a curve to the processed data. But many curves can be chosen and there is no way to know which – if any – is correct. However, within the seasonal variation a linear fit is as good as any other.

Hence, Happer is correct to use linear extrapolation because that fit is the only extrapolation which does not represent a prejudice concerning how atmospheric CO2 concentration change is likely to vary in future.

Richard

PS Thanks for pointing out about the Antarctic data but – as I am sure you were aware – I knew that, and I cited MLO data because it is the longest continuous data set. However, your point may be useful information for onlookers.

135. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

Thanks for your post at April 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm.

Unfortunately, your link does not give me access to the graph, but this is not a problem because I know what it would look like. Indeed, you say

For your convenience, I have plotted the full MLO data with 10-year linear trends. They show an increasing slope in trend, except for 1990-2000 and as Werner Brozek showed not increasing over the past years.

Yes. And that demonstrates my point which I have repeatedly stated; i.e.

Happer is correct to use linear extrapolation because that fit is the only extrapolation which does not represent a prejudice concerning how atmospheric CO2 concentration change is likely to vary in future.

And I am ignoring your assertions concerning anthropogenic causality because they are not pertinent to this thread.

Richard

136. george e. smith says:

While I don’t doubt the way the amount of IR absorption by CO2 increases due to spectral detuning (I’ll accept the quantum mechanics expert’s opinions on that), for the life of me I can’t see why that should carry over to the average surface Temperature of the whole planet.

So I for one do not accept the supposed logarithmic relationship.

Besides, I know what a logarithm is, and if going from 280 ppm to 560 ppm of CO2 is a “doubling”, so is going from 1 ppm to 2 ppm, or one molecule of CO2 in the whole atmosphere to two molecules of CO2 in the whole atmosphere.

So maybe the theoretical relationship, can at best be claimed to be non-linear.

Unfortunately, we have no experimental data to show that logarithmic is any better than linear is.

We DO know that CO2 and Temperature do NOT even go in the same direction (always) simultaneously. And no time offset, will make them go in the same direction (always).

So something else must override any effect CO2 has.

So I agree with Prof Happer, that the 6 deg C claim is silly. I just don’t think one needs to invoke, ANY kind of CO2-Temp relationship. I can directly observe what cloud variations do to Temperature.

137. george e. smith says:

“””””…..Mark Bofill says:

April 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

geran says:
April 19, 2013 at 7:46 am

And a relevant pasting from the iink:

“Sunlight in space at the top of Earth’s atmosphere at a power of 1366 watts/m2 is composed (by total energy) of about 50% infrared light, 40% visible light, and 10% ultraviolet light.[3] At ground level this decreases to about 1120–1000 watts/m2, …
——
That’s odd. No problem with TOA 1366 W/m^2, but then I’ve always read that you have to adjust for surface area of a sphere as opposed to a disk (disk RPI, sphere 4RPI, so divide by 4), and then adjust again for albedo (1-0.3), which gives about 240 W/m^2 at the surface. Is this wrong?…..”””””

Of course it is wrong.

TSI is 1362 W/m^2 (recent NASA / NOAA assertion ). And with atmospheric scattering and absorption (clear sky) it comes down to something around 1,000 W/m^2 at the surface. If you go out in your back yard on a clear sky day, say anywhere in the USA lower 49 (sans Alaska), with a calibrated radiometer that can measure surface Irradance, and point it roughly at the sun, that is the number you will likely read on your radiometer.

If you EVER go outside in the lower 49 between say 10 AM and 2 PM on a clear sky cloudless day, and observe a surface irradiance of 240 W/m^2, and you are not in the shadow of anything overhead; then I would say, you should put your head down between your knees and kiss yourself good bye. Well I suppose it is possible that you are pointing your radiometer at a near full moon, instead of the sun. In that case, you are too stupid to understand the problem.

TSI is 1362 W/m^2, not 240 w/m^2, or even 341 W/m^2

138. richardscourtney says:
April 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Richard, we may go again over our longstanding discussion, to not much avail, except for entertaining (or boring) others here.

– according to Richard, the seasonal cycle does show that the earth can accept a lot of CO2 in short term, thus also the (relative) tiny amounts that humans emit each year. Thus it is not necessary that humans are the cause of the increase. It may be humans. but there may be other causes.

– according to me, the seasonal cycle indeed does show what fast processes can do with CO2, as result of temperature changes. The flows involved are huge (about 90 GtC exchange with the oceans, 60 GtC with the biosphere), but the effect is very limited: about 5 ppmv (10 GtC) global change in CO2 for a global change of 1°C over a year, where oceans vs. vegetation and NH vs. SH work in countercurrent for temperature changes.
– the seasonal change of 5 ppmv/°C is caused by fast processes: leaves growth an decay and ocean surface warming and cooling. Both are fast but limited in capacity. Thus it is not obvious that the extra release of CO2 by humans is captured by oceans or trees, as these processes are mainly temperature dependent, if there is no extra pressure in the atmosphere to do that work.
– any extra CO2 above the old time equilibrium will cause an extra uptake by plants and oceans. But that is not a doubling for a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. Currently the extra uptake is about 2 ppmv/year while the extra CO2 is already 100 ppmv above the temperature controlled equilibrium.
– humans currently emit about 4 ppmv/year CO2. That is about twice the observed increase and about twice the year by year variation in increase rate. Thus nature is a net sink over the past 50+ years from about 1 ppmv/year in the 1960’s to 2 ppmv/year in the latest years, not a net source.
– while the seasonal fluxes completely dwarf the human input, the latter is a one-way addition and the seasonal fluxes near completely compensate each other with slighlty more sinks than sources.

Thus in my informed opinion, supported by all available data, humans are the sole cause of the increase in the atmosphere, except for a small contribution of the temperature increase since the LIA (in the order of 8 ppmv/°C).

See further for more detailed arguments:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html#The_mass_balance

The effect of the increase of CO2 on temperature is a complete different topic and is the main topic of what Dr. Happer wrote…

139. george e. smith says:

As a corollary to my previous post (above), if you have learned from your life experience, that you can, on average, jump a horizontal distance, given a running start; 0f say 4 metres, or 12 feet, I would strongly discourage you from always trying to jump across every gap you come to, given the assurance that those gaps, on average, are only 3.5 metres or 11 feet wide.

But on average, you ought to make it across.

140. Ferdinand:

If you agree then I am willing to let your comment at April 19, 2013 at 2:46 pm be the ‘final word’ on this thread concerning our discussion of Happer’s use of linear extrapolation of atmospheric CO2 concentration.

I think our different views are clear for onlookers to assess, and continued discussion is likely to only be repetition.

Richard

141. tokyoboy says:

richard telford says: April 19, 2013 at 1:32 am
“………Without strong intervention, it is much more likely that the increase in CO2 concentrations per year will continue to rise (tokyoboy April 19, 2013 at 12:42 am – don’t just eyeball the data, calculate the slope – it is superlinear).”

No, it’s not eyeballing. Please place your ruler on the 1992-2012 portion of the graph:

142. Arno Arrak says:

Nicely done. But while you prove that 6 degree rise is ridiculous you fail to give a reason why there is a standstill at all. It is not just a slowing down of warming but a complete standstill that cannot be explained by any formula that contains carbon dioxide in it. And empirical observations show that the current standstill is not the only one. Satellite temperature data indicate that since 1979 there have been two temperature standstills. The first one was from 1979 to early 1997. It overlapped with an active ENSO oscillation. As I described in my book in 2010, there were five El Nino peaks during that period but global temperature remained constant for 18 years. But in standard temperature graphs that standstill was wiped out and a fake warming called “late twentieth century warming” substituted for it. I have been complaining about that, and lo and behold, all three standard temperature sources (GISSTEMP, HadCRUT & NCDC) changed their eighties and nineties last fall to eliminate that fake warming! That nice red triangle that NOAA shows should now have a horizontal 18 year step carved into it. The second standstill started at the beginning of the 21st century, according to the satellites, and is still going strong. This leaves only a very short period of the satellite era for any warming at all. It includes the super El Nino of 1998 which brought so much warm water across the ocean that it created a step warming. In four years, global temperature rose by a third of a degree Celsius and then stopped. There has not been any warming since. This, and not any imaginary greenhouse warming, is responsible for the very warm first decade of our century. Hansen places nine out of ten warmest years into this period and later, implying that global warming did that. That is complete nonsense because it is quite impossible for any step warming to be caused by the greenhouse effect. Those temperatures are high simply because they sit on top of that step warming of oceanic origin. He also cheats when he uses the 2010 El Nino peak temperature for defining global temperature. The mean temperature of an ENSO oscillation is the average temperature of an El Nino peak and its adjacent La Nina valley. The La Nina of 2008 is the one nearest to the El Nino of 2010 and their average lines up perfectly with the standstill temperature of our century. That La Nina, by the way, is the one that confounded Trenberth in that well-known Climategate email. There was no other warming during the entire satellite era that began in 1979. This of course is something entirely impossible to explain with any kind of carbon dioxide warming. But Ferenc Miskolczi can easily explain it. Using NOAA weather balloon database that goes back to 1948 he studied the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere and discovered that absorption had been constant for 61 years. At the same time carbon dioxide went up by 21.6 percent. This substantial addition of carbon dioxide had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed. That is why there is a standstill now and why there was one in the eighties and nineties, and also before. With this track record it becomes extremely likely that there has been no greenhouse warming at all any time in the past and that any warming we do know of has a natural cause. It is also clear that all predictions of warming based on use of the greenhouse theory have been wrong. It follows that any laws and regulations passed as a result of such false predictions were passed under false premises and have to be nullified.

143. joeldshore says:

Michael D Smith says:

http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/pdf/Understanding_the_Atmosphere_Effect.pdf

I sure did. Thank you Richard, that is most insightful on a detailed level. It makes the notion of a major controlling influence of CO2 on temperature even more preposterous than I thought it was. That’s saying a lot.

You have unfortunately just revealed the fact that you are unable to distinguish real science from scientific-sounding gibberish.

144. Ryan says:

The Romm piece specifically denies that 6C by 2050 was ever claimed. Why is so much effort being put into debunking a typo?

145. Henry Galt says:

davidmhoffer says:
April 19, 2013 at 11:57 am

Yeah – looks like he ran away – and after accusing you of doing so. Whoda thunkit.

146. Tsk Tsk says:

tjfolkerts says:
April 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm

The slope of the slope (ie the acceleration) is 0.025 ppm/yr/yr.
——————————————————-
But you didn’t actually plug those values in and see the effect, did you? As Ret pointed out your acceleration works out to a 70% increase per century. The only way to achieve even the most generous 5.1C rise by 2100 that Joel was claiming (Romm is all over the map and consistently references 6C so the 5.1C is, well, not his claim) is to assume a sensitivity of 6C per doubling or a magic additional increase from CH4, CFC’s, and, presumably, unicorn farts.

The problem with that 6C assumption is that the temp increase to date from pre-industrial levels is consistent with a far lower number than that. 3C is really the outside upper limit based on data we already have. The fact that Joel wants to believe that the carbon sinks are going to saturate real soon now makes me suspect he doesn’t truck much with inductive reasoning. Perhaps he also frets about whether the sun will rise every morning. We’ve heard these concerns about saturating sinks for years now and we’ve seen absolutely no evidence of it. Until he can provide something more compelling than an appeal to authority I remain confident that the sun will still rise in the morning and plant food will continue to be produced at an ever slowly increasing rate for a little while longer.

147. Richard111 says:

(sarc) I have this sudden desire to spout some scientific sounding gibberish. I can’t help it. Really. (/sarc)

How does a CO2 molecule, somewhere up in the middle troposphere, KNOW that it is only allowed to absorb upwelling radiation photons from the surface and must ignore all the other photons coming at it from all around in the atmosphere?

Well, it can’t know. It will absorb a suitable photon when it is good and ready, the direction it arrived from is irrelevant. It will then emit a photon in any direction. Again when it is good and ready.

Thus the temperature profile up the atmosphere, set by gravity, will direct the flow of photons in the 15 micron band up through the atmosphere. The flow rate of that specific IR band has been slowed somewhat, but there has been minimal loss of the ‘bulk’ of photons, not much heat transfer into the atmosphere. And back down on the surface the ‘back radiation’ from the lower CO2 molecules has reduced the surface emission in 15 micron band, reduced not stopped, which again is not a heating effect. So the surface at 15C, radiating a total of 390W/m^2 had some 8% of the IR reduced by some fraction. If that fraction went into heating the air, so what? The air loses temperature at a much, much higher rate. See here: http://www.milfordweather.org.uk/atmospheric.php

My local air temperature dropped over 9 degrees in just 12 hours. Calculate that loss of energy in a metre square column of air and then see how energy was replaced by 4% of 390W/m^2. No contest.

End of gibberish,

148. Andor says:

Can I please wake you gentleman up here? Hello……?
There is no increase in warming……there is no increase in warming
Can you hear me?………helllllloooooooooooo?
Go outside look around, listen and feel and stop writing things to try and
impress……………………………..its cooling!!
There is no global warming…helllllooooooooo….nerds!!

Tim Folkerts says:
April 19, 2013 at 9:36 am
“Lots of things happen between the surface and the top of the troposphere, but the net result is that the CO2 cools the top of the atmosphere, but warms the bottom.”
———————————————————————————————-
Yes, Tim. Absolutely correct. And then?

What happens to a free moving body of gas in a gravity field when you heat at the bottom and cool at the top?

Could it be strong vertical convective circulation?

Does all the strong vertical convective circulation in our atmosphere occur below the tropopause? Where are 99.99% of all radiative gases?

Is our lower atmosphere cooler or hotter due to radiative gases and their critical role in tropospheric convective circulation?

Radiative gases are critical to tropospheric convective circulation and atmospheric cooling. There is no escape. You got the “basic physics”of the “settled science” totally and utterly wrong.

150. Dry air DLR as measured by IR thermometer pointed at the sky (-40F) iirc is about 180w/sq m, the rest is from water vapor, which easily varies to regulate DLR.

151. RACookPE1978 says:

MiCro says:
April 20, 2013 at 12:15 am

Dry air DLR as measured by IR thermometer pointed at the sky (-40F) iirc is about 180w/sq m, the rest is from water vapor, which easily varies to regulate DLR.

So, if air temperature at 1 meter height is 10 C, and the ocean’s water temperature is 4 degrees C, what temperature (degrees K of course) should be used to calculate the energy lost by radiation into the air? The (clear sky) temperature of -40 C ?

• RACookPE1978 says:
April 20, 2013 at 1:18 am

So, if air temperature at 1 meter height is 10 C, and the ocean’s water temperature is 4 degrees C, what temperature (degrees K of course) should be used to calculate the energy lost by radiation into the air? The (clear sky) temperature of -40 C ?

Yes, this is why clear sky night time temp drops like a rock once the Sun goes down. But note, I haven’t measured clear sky temp on a warm day, it is suppose to be much closer to surface temp, but at warmer temps there’s much more water vapor in the air.

152. LdB says:

@JohnMarshall
Last I looked the sun was definitely outside the earth and its energy is most definitely entering from outside the system because there is an almost perfect vacuum isolating earth. So I am sorry the situation in every reguard is identical to a CO2 laser tube the fact you can’t even realize that says a lot about your science understanding.

@kretchetov
I guess you at least worked out that one side of the earth would be several hundred degrees and the side away from the sun would be several hundred below zero .. the situation that exists on the moon and the international space station. So you are at least one step up from the lunatics who think there isn’t any such thing as a greenhouse effect. Ok so you have at least worked out the atmosphere does something a fact some of the other pseudoscience lunatics haven’t so now follow the science properly you cant say it just cools because that is true only of the side facing the sun it is heating the reverse side to stop it going massively negative so your logic breaks down. What you have correctly worked out is it moderates the temperature somewhere between the two possible extremes NOW GO AND FIND OUT HOW IT DOES IT.

153. Mark says:

Jeff L says:

FYI of those that didn’t get what Terry was alluding to , 270 ppm is the pre-industrial CO2 level & 400 is the current CO2 level. Reference :

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/26/co2-ice-cores-vs-plant-stomata/

And over that time, the rise in temps is about 0.85 C :

http://ete.cet.edu/gcc/?/resourcecenter/slideshow/3/1

Note that this calculation assumes that all observed warming is due to carbon dioxide. Effectivly it’s a “worst case senario”.
There could be other causes for the observed warming, including “heat island” effects. Even if the warming is “real” assuming that the only possible cause can be the concentration of a trace gas in the atmosphere is a mighty big assumption.

154. Tsk Tsk:

Re your post at April 19, 2013 at 10:17 pm. I completely agree.

I draw your attention to the post of Ferdinand Engelbeen at April 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm which makes your point very clear.

Ferdinand there says to me

For your convenience, I have plotted the full MLO data with 10-year linear trends. They show an increasing slope in trend, except for 1990-2000 and as Werner Brozek showed not increasing over the past years. Thus while Joel was anyway right for the first 40 years, we indeed don’t know what the future will bring, if the economical crisis is over and developing countries catch up with the West (if the West still has some industry left…):
http://preview.tinyurl.com/chdslc8

I cannot get Ferdinand’s link to work and I do not accept his assertions concerning anthropogenic cause of the variations (why not temperature, or etc.), but he accurately states the nature of the curve.

As he says;
“an increasing slope in trend, except for 1990-2000 and as Werner Brozek showed not increasing over the past years.”
So, he agrees the data indicates there is NOT an accelerating increase to atmospheric CO2 concentration: recent decades show a DEcelerating increase. Indeed, Ferdinand uses different words but they agree with my comment (at April 19, 2013 at 2:18 am) to joeldshore and tjfolkerts. I said there of the data since 1958

Over that period the trend is near to linear but has a few wiggles. Within the variation of seasonal oscillation, the annual rise is linear. This is a graph of the data

joeldshore makes a ridiculous assertion when he claims the rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 has doubled from 1 to 2 ppm “over the last 40 years”.

And his assertion that the rate of rise will quadruple over the next 90 years is fantasy beyond belief. It is based on his falsehood that the rate of rise is doubling each 40 years. It is NOT: it is approximately constant.

The data says that, and I accept the data.

Richard

155. Tsk Tsk::

In addition to my recent post addressed to you, another way to see the truth of the matter is to observe the graph of Annual Mean Growth Rate (it is the third graph down) at
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

The growth rate is NOT following a consistent curve of “doubling each 40 years”. Joel D Shore is plain wrong.

Richard

156. richardscourtney says:
April 20, 2013 at 3:13 am

Dear Richard,

The NOAA graph you linked to clearly shows that the CO2 increase 2000-2010 more than doubled compared to the 1960-1970 average, that is over a 40 years span.

That is what Joel and I said, nothing else. That some periods show a temporary sink doesn’t make that untrue. Where we differ in opinion is that I expect a flattening of the increase rate in the future and Joel doesn’t. But there is no more scientific reason to expect that there will be no increase in increase rate in the near future than that the increase in increase rate will linearly go up unabated…

157. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

Thankyou for your post at April 20, 2013 at 4:31 am.

Sorry but you are displaying a distorted and blinkered view of the data.

I have repeatedly said in this thread

Over that period the trend is near to linear but has a few wiggles.

.

some periods show a temporary sink

.
In other words, I describe the data but you put an interpretation on the data.

The “wiggle” at the start of the short (available) sample period does provide a low rate.
But to say that this fluctuation from the trend indicates an accelerating rise is extremely misleading.

The last decade was the warmest on record but that does NOT mean we now have global warming.
The implication does not follow from the stated fact
The rate of rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration was lower in 1960-1970 than in 1990-2000 but that does NOT mean the rate of rise is accelerating.
The implication does not follow from the stated fact.

And the use of that implication by Joel Shore was barmy.

The best that can be said of the rise in atmospheric CO2 is – as I have repeatedly said –

Over that period the trend is near to linear but has a few wiggles. Within the variation of seasonal oscillation, the annual rise is linear.

Richard

158. Andrew says:

@ LdB says:
April 20, 2013 at 1:44 am

LdB – Your 1:44 post beautifully highlights the danger of lazily and wrongly sprinkling the term “greenhouse effect” in exchanges such as these. By your own words, you acknowledge that the atmosphere cools the surface. Bizarrely, you seem to think this only happens during daylight. Let me know what the mechanism is that makes this behaviour flip twice per day, from acting as a fridge, to acting as a blanket, rinse and repeat.

Your temperature predictions by lunar comparison are useful, in principle. Sadly, they are fatally flawed in your claim that diurnal temperatures would vary by 2 x ‘several hundreds of degrees’. This can’t happen on Earth, as there simply isn’t time, given that the Earth rotates 29.5 times faster than the Moon. This same error generates the specious need for a ‘greenhouse effect’, to explain why the dark side stays so ‘surprisingly’ warm overnight. Hence, a multi-trillion \$\$\$ scam is born and gets sustained by people like you, for now.

[snip – see point #17 here http://wattsupwiththat.com/about-wuwt/policy/ ~mod]

159. tjfolkerts says:

@KONRAD April 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm

You rather confused me with your post. Other than asking questions, you only stated three things:
1) “Yes, Tim. Absolutely correct.” I’m glad that we are on the same page so far.

2) “Radiative gases are critical to tropospheric convective circulation and atmospheric cooling.” — which I agree with.

3) “You got the “basic physics”of the “settled science” totally and utterly wrong.”. hmmm .. somewhere between you agreeing with me, and me agreeing with you, you have concluded that I am not just slightly wrong, but utterly and completely wrong!

Since the rest of your post is questions, we are all left to “read between the lines” to figure out your intent. Rhetorical questions can be quite powerful in political speeches or philosophical debates, but don’t work so well in scientific discussions.

My reading-between-the-lines answer would be “in the troposphere”. But my understanding is that only ~80% of all gases and ~99% of water vapor is in the troposphere (and that most of he ozone is in the stratosphere). If these numbers are even close to correct, there would be no way that 99.98-100% of radiative gases are actually in the troposphere.
Thus there is no “correct” answer to this rhetorical question.

KONRAD: “Is our lower atmosphere cooler or hotter due to radiative gases and their critical role in tropospheric convective circulation?”
Now I suspect there are TWO “correct” answers! The answer hinges on asking “hotter or cooler than what?”

Convection cools gases as they rise. So the air 1 km up typically will be ~ 6.5 K cooler than the air at the surface. So the first correct answer is “the lower atmosphere is COOLER than the SURFACE due to convection.”

But (in very broad strokes), the surface is ~ 288 K, so the lapse will reduce that temperature to ~ 281 K @ 1 km altitude. Without radiative gases, the surface would be ~ 255 K — which is much cooler than the surface or lower atmosphere with radiative gases. Thus the 2nd correct answer is “the lower atmosphere is WARMER than A SIMILAR ALTITUDE on a planet without radiative gases.”

Or put another way, the “effective radiating temperature” of the earth as a whole is ~ 255 K. The upper troposphere is cooled BELOW 255 K by radiative gases. By conservation of energy, somewhere else (ie the lower troposphere & surface) must be warmed ABOVE 255 K. Radiative gases will tend to increase this temperature gradient; convection will try to limit this

160. Gary Pearse says:

Galileo: ““Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.”

161. Steve Keohane says:

Cart, Horse? Funny how a warming ocean releases CO2 and more ends up in the atmosphere.

162. richardscourtney says:
April 20, 2013 at 5:27 am

Richard,

The NOAA graph clearly shows a near linear increase in year by year CO2 increase rate from 0.85 ppmv/year in 1960-1970 to 2.0 ppmv/year in 2000-2100.
To help you out, here the 10-year moving average 1969-2012 where the average is taken from the preceding 9 years and the year where the data are plotted (data taken from T.J. Folkerts April 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm):

It doesn’t make anyimportant difference if you plot the linear trend, the logarithmic trend or a polynomial trend. All trends look near identical and don’t flatten at the end.

Dr. Happer used the last increase rate as a constant for estimating the future increases in the atmosphere.
Joel Shore used the slope in increase rate for estimating the future increases in the atmosphere.
Both are arbitrary and both have good arguments pro and con.

But if you think that a more than doubling in the increase rate over 40 years is a “constant” increase rate, then sorry, there is no real discussion possible.

163. Steve Keohane says:
April 20, 2013 at 8:42 am

Cart, Horse? Funny how a warming ocean releases CO2 and more ends up in the atmosphere.

Yes, but that doesn’t say anything about the cause of the trend, only that temperature has a direct influence on the sink rate (NOT the source rate!). Human emissions are twice the average increase in the atmosphere, only about halve of that remains (as quantity, not as original molecules) in the atmosphere. Thus nature is a net sink for CO2, not a source. If one plots emissions and increase in the atmosphere together, one can see how the (mainly temperature dependent) natural sink capacity changes over time:

164. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

The Mauna Loa atmospheric CO2 data runs from 1958 to 2012. The rate of increase is not constant over the period (it is up and down like a yoyo). And the period is only 54 years during which time temperature has risen and other changes have occurred.

The rate of increase has recently slowed to nothing as temperature rise has stalled, the rise in anthropogenic emissions has stalled (as a result of economic recession), and many other changes may have happened..

At April 20, 2013 at 9:11 am you provide a graph showing a 9-year running mean of the data with a linear trend through it and no significance limits; i.e.

Even that smoothed graph shows the increase rate was negative from 1974 to 1976, from 1985 to 1987, from 1990 to 1997, and since 2010 (although you don’t say how you obtained a 9-year mean for data before 1967 and after 1999). Ignoring end effects, your data runs for 34 years from 1967 to 1999 and is negative for 11 of those years.

So, having processed the data to smooth it, you still have not obtain a consistently increasing rate of rise over the short (available) sample period.

THERE IS NO CLEAR CURVE WHICH CAN BE FITTED TO THE DATA AND/OR HAS THEORETICAL JUSTIFICATION.

In this circumstance, the ONLY reasonable extrapolation of the data is linear.

But you conclude your post saying to me

But if you think that a more than doubling in the increase rate over 40 years is a “constant” increase rate, then sorry, there is no real discussion possible.

No!
I say only a linear fit to the data can be accepted as being justifiable for extrapolation of the data because any other curve is an expression of prejudice. And if your prejudices about the causation of the rise in atmospheric CO2 prevent you accepting that, then sorry, there can be no discussion.

I yet again repeat

The important point is that Happer has adopted the assumption of extrapolating the linear trend which has existed since 1958, and for his calculation that is the ONLY reasonable assumption because is not an expression of any prejudice.

Richard

165. Ooops! Sorry, Ferdinand, I now see I typed “34 years” but intended “43 years”.
Richard

166. LdB says:

@Andrew

Seriously think about things before you respond … it doesn’t matter how fast the earth rotates 50% of the atmosphere will be exposed to the sunlight you know the half the world that currently has daylight .. pretty basic.

Now go and look at the amount of energy coming from the sun to earth per second the answer is 120000000000000000 joules per second or 120,000 TW.

Doesn’t matter how fast you turn a pig on a spit the pig still cooks doesn’t it.

So you have a basic problem you have energy coming in and the earth isn’t heating up like the moon and the ISS to several hundred degrees so how is it balancing the temperature and no amount of earth spin speed is going to solve that problem because half the earth is always facing the sun.

Somehow the earth by magic is managing to do something that a planet without an atmosphere can’t and you may want to look at how they cool the ISS here is a start point.

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast21mar_1/

At the moment you have a big problem energy coming into earth and none going back out.

167. LdB says:

@Andrew

I forgot to say that the International Space Station travels in orbit around Earth at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour much faster than the earth and they see a sunrise every 92 min.

So based on your great logic they shouldn’t need to cool the ISS at all because it’s spinning around in orbit much faster than the earth.

But yeah they do have to cool it because it like earth is a closed system in space and you have to balance incoming and outgoing energy.

See that’s my problem with you anti greenhouse effect types you think that any of this level of science is somehow in dispute. I have no problem if you want to attack some of the stretches of science in AGW but please stop trying to tackle hard normal physics that is well known and understood.

168. richardscourtney says:
April 20, 2013 at 9:53 am

The rate of increase has recently slowed to nothing as temperature rise has stalled

The rate of increase of the increase (that is not the same as the rate of increase itself, which is about constant over the past decade) did stall in the past decade, as good as in a few other periods, but in adjacent periods, the rate of increase of the increase doubled. That is what the trend does: showing the slope of the rate of increase in increase over the full period. If you prefer to look at only the past years, that is your good right, but that is as discutable as simply using the trend over the full period.

I say only a linear fit to the data can be accepted as being justifiable for extrapolation of the data because any other curve is an expression of prejudice.

The linear fit of the increase data shows a slope with a doubling per 40 years. What do you mean with your “linear fit”? A linear fit only over the past 10 years? Why not the past 3 years, which show a decellerating? Who’s prejudice is that?

The important point is that Happer has adopted the assumption of extrapolating the linear trend which has existed since 1958

Richard, for the last time, the trend in atmospheric CO2 levels since 1958 is not linear, it is slightly exponential with a lot of ups and downs, but no matter what curve you may use to fit the real trend, the increase rate per year doubled over the past 40 years. See how badly your linear fit follows the data:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960/plot/esrl-co2/from:1960/trend
The linear trend is even outside the seasonal variability…

169. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

At April 20, 2013 at 11:12 am you say to me

Richard, for the last time, the trend in atmospheric CO2 levels since 1958 is not linear, it is slightly exponential with a lot of ups and downs, but no matter what curve you may use to fit the real trend, the increase rate per year doubled over the past 40 years.

Ferdinand, for the last time, almost any curve can be to the data over the period,

the ‘wiggles’ and the range provided by the seasonal variation enable almost any curve to be fitted to the data because the data only exists for the short time since 1958. This enables anybody to choose a curve which fits their prejudice and to apply it to the data: this is what you and joeldshore have done.

and

The important point is that Happer has adopted the assumption of extrapolating the linear trend which has existed since 1958, and for his calculation that is the ONLY reasonable assumption because is not an expression of any prejudice.

Richard

170. richardscourtney says:
April 20, 2013 at 11:39 am

Richard,

If you don’t want to see that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is NOT linear, that is up to you. I am still waiting to see your linear fit which is within the seasonal band at Mauna Loa over the full period. Until then, here it stops for me.

171. Andrew says:

@ LdB

Here’s your problem LdB, taken from your attempted patronization of ‘kretchetov’ on April 20, 1:44 am (my bold):

“you cant say it just cools because that is true only of the side facing the sun it [presumably you mean the GHE] is heating the reverse side to stop it going massively negative”

Whether a hemisphere is in sunlight or shade, both hemispheres are always cooled 24/7. Are you seriously stating that the hemisphere in shade ceases to shed energy, not least by radiation? Why would the hemisphere in shade suddenly stop radiating? Hence, there is no basis for your assertion that I “have a big problem energy coming into earth and none going back out”. You are aware that ice cubes radiate, as does anything with temperature >0K, aren’t you?

I’m still awaiting your explanation of how the atmosphere knows how to flip from fridge mode to blanket mode and back again (reaching for popcorn). Try to patronise a little less and punctuate a little more.

Thanks.

172. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

At April 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm you say to me

If you don’t want to see that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is NOT linear, that is up to you. I am still waiting to see your linear fit which is within the seasonal band at Mauna Loa over the full period. Until then, here it stops for me.

1.
I do not need to provide a linear fit. Throughout I have been saying that Happer was right to use a linear extrapolation because that is the ONLY extrapolation which is not a reflection of prejudice. THAT IS TRUE. You have not addressed it in any way.
2.
You claim it is “not linear”. OK. Demonstrate that with a fitted curve which is supported by theoretical understanding and is not merely an expression of your prejudice.
3.
It stopped for me when I gave you the ‘last word’ but you re-started it.

Richard

173. tjfolkerts says:

Richard says: “Throughout I have been saying that Happer was right to use a linear extrapolation because that is the ONLY extrapolation which is not a reflection of prejudice.”

I disagree. The ONLY “unprejudiced” projection of anything into the future is “I don’t know”. I might even accept that “it will stay the same” is an unprejudiced projection.

Any other projection requires judgement about what happened in the past and judgement about what you expect to happen in the future. And in this case, it requires some rather sophisticated judgement to decide on an appropriate fit into the future.
* how long of time frame should we look at?
* what caused the past changes?
* what might be different in the future?
None of these are trivial questions.

I would even argue that Happer’s linear fit requires MORE judgment, since he is are arbitrarily saying that some data (ie the last ~ 10 years) is more important that other data,. The “impartial” analysis would treat all 40+ years of data the same — which clearly indicates an accelerating trend.

Now his judgement may well be correct, but it is still a judgement. BOTH the linear AND the exponential projections are pretty reasonable judgements, and both are worth considering.

174. richardscourtney says:
April 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I do not need to provide a linear fit. Throughout I have been saying that Happer was right to use a linear extrapolation…

You can’t provide a linear fit, because it doesn’t fit the data. Thus the use of a linear extrapolation is in no way justified by the data.

You claim it is “not linear”. OK. Demonstrate that with a fitted curve which is supported by theoretical understanding

Even without any theoretical understanding of the cause, it simply follows from the linear increase in year by year increase rate that the trend is slightly exponential, with disturbances, but certainly not linear.

But if someone needs some theoretical understanding: any physico-chemical system in dynamic equilibrium responds to a disturbance by counteracting the disturbance. In this case, any increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (whatever the cause), is counteracted by decreasing some sources and increasing some sinks within the many natural cycles, as far as possible.

In this case, human emissions are a disturbance of the equilibrium. The emissions initially give a small increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (= more pressure), which is counteracted by less natural emissions (from the warmer oceans) and/or more natural sinks (in colder oceans and vegetation). The balance of these changes is an increase of net CO2 capturing in direct ratio to the increase of the atmosphere above the (temperature controlled) equilibrium.

Human emissions were increasing slightly exponential over time. That resulted in a slightly exponential increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and thus in a slightly exponential increase in sink rate. The net result is an almost perfect fit in the ratio between human emissions and increase of CO2 in the atmosphere over the past 50+ years (and before, but that is based less perfect data). See:

or as direct comparison over the past 160 years:

it is clear that both emissions and increase in the atmosphere are going up slightly exponential.

If you know of any natural process that can or does mimic the human emissions in such a perfect way, I am very interested to hear about it.

175. Myrrh says:

There appears to be some confusion with the infrared percentages here. In the AGW Greenhouse Effect energy budget the main wavelengths from the Sun are visible, a bit of shortwave uv and 1% near infrared. In other words, shortwave in longwave out.

There is no longwave infrared direct from the Sun in the AGW Greenhouse Effect energy budget and two reasons are given. The first is the original “invisible something barrier” at the top of the atmosphere, TOA, like the glass of a greenhouse, preventing the longwave infrared from the Sun from entering, but allowing the mainly visible light to reach the surface and directly heat it and the second is that the Sun produces insignificant amounts of longwave infrared and none of this gets through TOA.

This is in all the models and is taught at university level, now. It used to be taught that the heat we feel from the Sun was longwave infrared, and that we couldn’t feel shortwave from the Sun. This has been changed for AGW’s Greenhouse Effect and is not now in the general education system.*

Because of AGW is been changed to “shortwave only in” in order to claim that any real world measurements of downwelling longwave infrared are from “backradiation from greenhouse gases in the atmosphere”, because there is no other source in the AGW Greenhouse Effect energy budget.

“On the contrary, the enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence (eg – satellite measurements of infrared spectra, surface measurements finding more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface).”

Usually referred to as “shortwave”, “solar”, “sunlight” or “visible”; the visible and two shortwaves either side. Most often uv and near infrared are not bothered with, mentioning only visible which makes up the bulk in the AGWGE energy budget. So, descriptions like “some reflected from clouds” refer to the visible, and of course in heating the ocean AGWGE says that blue visible reaching deeper heats the water deeper down.

The wiki quote some have given of greater infrared than visible and uv from the sun is from traditional science and most of that is the Sun’s direct heat, longwave infrared, which the AGW Greenhouse Effect energy budget has excised. This change is now “official”. Wiki likes to confuse this point, as do some here..

Examples:
(A) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

The Greenhouse Effect
“Solar radiation at the frequencies of visible light largely passes through the atmosphere to warm the planetary surface, which then emits this energy at the lower frequencies of infrared thermal radiation. Infrared radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases, which in turn re-radiate much of the energy to the surface and lower atmosphere. The mechanism is named after the effect of solar radiation passing through glass and warming a greenhouse, but the way it retains heat is fundamentally different as a greenhouse works by reducing airflow, isolating the warm air inside the structure so that heat is not lost by convection.”

“Figure 2: The diagram above illustrates the greenhouse effect. This process begins with the absorption of shortwave radiation from the sun. Absorption causes the solar energy to be converted into sensible heat at the Earth’s surface. Some of this heat is transferred to the lower atmosphere by conduction and convection. After the heating of the ground and the lower atmosphere, these surfaces become radiators of infrared or longwave radiation and they begin to cool. This emission of energy is directed to space. However, only a portion of this energy actually makes it through the atmosphere. About 70% of the longwave radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface is absorbed by the atmosphere’s greenhouse gases. (Source: PhysicalGeography.net)”

American Heritage Dictionary: greenhouse effect

“1.The phenomenon whereby the earth’s atmosphere traps solar radiation, caused by the presence in the atmosphere of gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane that allow incoming sunlight to pass through but absorb heat radiated back from the earth’s surface.”

(D) – http://www.merriam-webster.com/concise/greenhouse%20effect
greenhouse effect

“Some incoming sunlight is reflected by the Earth’s atmosphere and surface, but most is absorbed by …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.
Warming of the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere caused by water vapour, carbon dioxide, and other trace gases in the atmosphere. Visible light from the Sun heats the Earth’s surface. Part of this energy is radiated back into the atmosphere in the form of infrared radiation, much of which is absorbed by molecules of carbon dioxide and water vapour in the atmosphere and reradiated toward the surface as more heat. (Despite the name, the greenhouse effect is different from the warming in a greenhouse, where panes of glass allow the passage of visible light but hold heat inside the building by trapping warmed air.) The absorption of infrared radiation causes the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere to warm more than they otherwise would, making the Earth’s surface habitable. An increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by widespread combustion of fossil fuels may intensify the greenhouse effect and cause long-term climatic changes. Likewise, an increase in atmospheric concentrations of other trace greenhouse gases such as chlorofluorocarbons, nitrous oxide, and methane resulting from human activities may also intensify the greenhouse effect. From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution through the end of the 20th century, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased 30% and the amount of methane more than doubled. It is also estimated that the U.S. is responsible for about one-fifth of all human-produced greenhouse-gas emissions. See also global warming.”

“greenhouse effect, a warming of the Earth’s surface and troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere), caused by the presence of water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, and certain other gases in the air. Of these gases, known as greenhouse gases, water vapour has the largest effect.

The atmosphere allows most of the visible light from the Sun to pass through and reach the Earth’s surface. As the Earth’s surface is heated by sunlight, it radiates part of this energy back toward space as infrared radiation. This radiation, unlike visible light, tends to be absorbed by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, raising its temperature. The heated atmosphere in turn radiates infrared radiation back toward the Earth’s surface. (Despite its name, the greenhouse effect is different from the warming in a greenhouse, where panes of glass transmit visible sunlight but hold heat inside the building by trapping warmed air.)

“Without the heating caused by the greenhouse effect, the Earth’s average surface temperature would be only about −18 °C (0 °F).”

McGraw-Hill Science & Technology Encyclopedia: Greenhouse effectTop Home > Library > Science > Sci-Tech Encyclopedia

“The ability of a planetary atmosphere to inhibit heat loss from the planet’s surface, thereby enhancing the surface warming that is produced by the absorption of solar radiation. For the greenhouse effect to work efficiently, the planet’s atmosphere must be relatively transparent to sunlight at visible wavelengths so that significant amounts of solar radiation can penetrate to the ground. Also, the atmosphere must be opaque at thermal wavelengths to prevent thermal radiation emitted by the ground from escaping directly to space. The principle is similar to a thermal blanket, which also limits heat loss by conduction and convection. In recent decades the term has also become associated with the issues of global warming and climate change induced by human activity. See also Atmosphere; Solar radiation.”

Official – as taught throughout the general education system.

*It used to be taught generally that the heat we feel direct from the Sun is longwave infrared, also known as thermal infrared, aka radiant heat, or just simply heat. Thermal infrared to differentiate it from the non-thermal shortwave infrared which is classed in with Light and not Heat, and in Reflective and not Thermal.

NASA used to teach: “Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared.
Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you cannot even feel them. These shorter wavelengths are the ones used by your TV’s remote control.”

This has been an ess see a em from the beginning.

Very cleverly done and now a generation in the education system. Forty years in the global warming runaway global warming desert.

Bring back the Water Cycle.

tjfolkerts says:
April 20, 2013 at 6:35 am
“You rather confused me with your post.”
—————————————————–
Tim, my apologies, my comment was flippant and carelessly written. 99.99% was intended as a figure of speech and “You got..” was not directed at you personally and should have read “AGW believers”

I am very pleased to see that you acknowledge that radiative gases are critical to tropospheric convective circulation. Few others on the pro AGW side of the debate are prepared to even acknowledge this fact.

The next step to understanding why AGW is a physical impossibility is to consider tropospheric temperatures with and without convective circulation.

Convective circulation transports energy in a fluid with a pressure gradient such as our atmosphere by the physical movement of the fluid.

On earth convective circulation continuously brings cool air in contact with the surface, conductively cooling it. To see the cooling power of this effect you only have to compare earth surface temperatures (in a desert region with no cloud) with moon surface temperatures in the first 6 hours after sunrise.

For an atmosphere containing radiative gases, convective circulation continuously transports energy above the level of maximum IR opacity. This allows the energy acquired by surface conduction, release of latent heat and interception of surface IR to be radiated to space, cooling the atmosphere.

Five simple experiments WUWT readers can build and run are shown here –
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/05/a-comparison-of-the-earths-climate-sensitivity-to-changes-in-the-nature-of-the-initial-forcing/#comment-1267231

Experiment 3 shows how energy loss at altitude in a fluid column in a gravity field is important for convective circulation. Radiative gases do this in our atmosphere. Remember that cooling by expansion of rising air masses (adiabatic cooling) does not represent energy loss from the air mass.

Experiment 4 shows the effect of convective circulation on the average temperature of gas columns in a gravity field. Box 1 with convective circulation driven by heating at the base and cooling at the top runs cooler than box 2 with cooling and heating at the base.

Experiment 5 shows why greater radiative cooling of the night land surface will not result in significantly greater conductive cooling of an atmosphere in which the gases are free to move.

Because of their critical role in radiating energy to space and driving convective circulation, radiative gases act to cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. Without radiative gases, tropospheric temperatures would rapidly rise towards surface Tmax.

The flawed AGW calculations that show radiative gases heating the atmosphere are all based on treating the atmosphere as a static body or layer. For a classic example of this mistake see Willis’ article here – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/17/the-steel-greenhouse/
The mistake of treating the atmosphere as a static body or layer is the very foundation of the AGW hypothesis.

For an atmosphere with a pressure gradient in which the gases are free to move, adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will only speed up convective circulation and tropospheric cooling. At 0.04% there is no hope of measuring any such effect from CO2.

In these, the last days of the AGW scare, climate scientists will be franticly looking for a more “sciency” explanation of why they got it wrong. After all, forgetting that hot air rises and cool air descends doesn’t sound too bright does it?

177. joeldshore says:

Konrad: It has long been understood that convection cools the surface…and that adding convection to a purely radiative model of the atmosphere reduces the greenhouse effect. (I believe that in the absence of convection, the natural greenhouse effect would be about twice the 33 C value.)

However, convection can only reduce the greenhouse effect so much and the reason is precisely because the atmosphere is only unstable to convection if the environmental lapse rate is greater than the appropriate (moist or dry) adiabatic lapse rate. Hence, convection drives the lapse rate down to the adiabatic lapse rate but no further. If you believe that convection will drive the atmosphere all the way down to an isothermal structure then you will indeed get rid of the greenhouse effect entirely (as Nikolov and Zeller did by doing just that), but alas both empirical evidence and basic physics tell us that this is not what happens in the real world.

This sort of thing is well understood by scientists in the field, e.g., the necessity of having a lapse rate in order to get the greenhouse effect is discussed in Ray Pierrehumbert’s book. Unfortunately, people like you and Nikolov and Zeller who seem to lack the humility to learn from those scientists who have already thought about and hashed out these issues are condemned to stumble over these basic facts.

178. tjfolkerts says:

Konrad, we are getting a bit off on a tangent compared to the original post (which DOES agree that GHGs warm the surface). I don;t want to say TOO much more on this topic, but let me add a few quick things.

* Models with static layers ARE very simplistic, but they show that “back-radiation” can raise the temperature of a planet’s surface. Many people do not even agree with that.
* I agree that convection works to limit greenhouse warming. I once half-seriously called convection the “anti-greenhouse effect”. The shell model (without convection) could have any pretty much any amount of surface warming and any lapse rate. With convection, the lapse rate is pretty well capped by the adiabatic lapse rate (somewhere between 5-10 K/km depending on humidity), so surface warming is also severely limited.
* Without IR gases, I think the rotation of the earth would still drive convection. This should also maintain something like the adiabatic lapse rate, and should still allow the air near the surface to be approximately the same temperature as the the ground below it .. NOT the temperature of the hottest place on earth. But I strongly suspect that this this is not something that can be hashed out with “back of the envelope” calculations on a blog.
* I think that more greenhouse gasses will MOSTLY just speed up convection, but that they will also drive some warming. The top post and most scientists seem to agree, so you have a lot of work to do to convince people that changing the radiative properties will have NO effect on temperature.
* You are not giving scientists their proper due when you say things like “The flawed AGW calculations that show radiative gases heating the atmosphere are all based on treating the atmosphere as a static body or layer.” The climate models have various shortcomings, but they do NOT treat the atmosphere as a static layer.

joeldshore says:
April 20, 2013 at 7:55 pm
“Konrad: It has long been understood that convection cools the surface…”
——————————————————————————————–
Joel,
You are still missing the point. Radiative cooling at altitude is critical for continued vertical circulation in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar tropospheric convection cells. Full vertical circulation would stall in these cells without radiative cooling at altitude. Without radiative cooling at altitude, tropospheric temperatures above the near surface layer would rise to near surface Tmax.

All strong vertical convection is occurring in the layer of the atmosphere where almost all the radiative gases exist, the troposphere. It does not occur above this level. Radiative gases are critical to continued tropospheric circulation. Convective circulation both cools the surface and transports energy high above the level of maximum atmospheric IR opacity, where it can be radiated to space. Radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm, with water vapour doing the bulk of the work.

I should also add that the ERL (effective radiating level) argument also fails for a moving atmosphere. In an atmosphere with moving gases, hot air masses rise and are radiating more strongly than the gases at the altitude they are moving through.

Basically, for an atmosphere in which the gases are free to move, the cooling effect of radiative gases far outweighs their warming effect.

180. davidmhoffer says:

Joel and I have had some knock ’em down fights about physics over the years, we don’t see eye to eye on a host of issues (to put it mildly). But in his discussion with you, I would support his comments. The radiative effects happen at the speed of light. Yes they can produce an opposing feedback due to convection, but they cannot produce an aooposing feedback that exceeds the initial input.

tjfolkerts says:
April 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm
———————————————————————————————————
Tim, a few responses –

“Models with static layers ARE very simplistic, but they show that “back-radiation” can raise the temperature of a planet’s surface. Many people do not even agree with that.”
– Incident LWIR can slow the cooling rate of materials. I have confirmed this by empirical experiment. You could try Experiment 1 linked to above. It shows that this effect is negligible for liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool. That would be 71% of the earth’s surface.

“I agree that convection works to limit greenhouse warming. I once half-seriously called convection the “anti-greenhouse effect”. The shell model (without convection) could have any pretty much any amount of surface warming and any lapse rate. With convection, the lapse rate is pretty well capped by the adiabatic lapse rate (somewhere between 5-10 K/km depending on humidity), so surface warming is also severely limited.”
– The tropospheric lapse rate is a complex atmospheric phenomenon to explain. It should be never treated as a given parameter in atmospheric modelling. If the troposphere contained radiative gases but was held static, it would still exhibit a small lapse rate. The dramatic lapse rate exhibited below the tropopause is due the the pneumatic cooling and heating of vertically moving air masses and horizontal conduction.

“Without IR gases, I think the rotation of the earth would still drive convection.”
– convection is driven by air masses changing buoyancy and energy loss at altitude is critical to this. The rotation of the earth and the diurnal solar wave will create circulation, but not strong vertical circulation over 10 to 15 km of the troposphere.

“I think that more greenhouse gasses will MOSTLY just speed up convection, but that they will also drive some warming. The top post and most scientists seem to agree, so you have a lot of work to do to convince people that changing the radiative properties will have NO effect on temperature.”
– I believe I have been reasonably clear on this. My claim is that radiative gases have a very definite effect on atmospheric temperatures. They cool at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

“You are not giving scientists their proper due when you say things like “The flawed AGW calculations that show radiative gases heating the atmosphere are all based on treating the atmosphere as a static body or layer.” The climate models have various shortcomings, but they do NOT treat the atmosphere as a static layer.”
– Climate models such as GCMs do indeed model moving gases. The basic AGW calculations that lead to the claims that “the atmosphere is 33C warmer than it would otherwise be without radiative gases” are all static atmosphere calculations. They do not involve energy flux calculations applied iteratively to discrete moving air masses. In fact some early calculations tried to combine the surface and atmosphere into a single pseudo surface.

Tim, the situation is actually worse than I have indicated here. It is not just that there is a critical flaw in the foundation claims of AGW, but that some of those defending the hypothesis have known about it for years. In 2010 AGW supporters furiously attacked the Makarevia meteorology discussion paper. This paper proposed that rising moist air masses may be more diabatic than dry warm air masses. One idea was that increased IR radiated from water vapour in these air masses could off-set expansion due to release of latent heat, and ad drive horizontal circulation This had to be attacked as it showed a role for radiative gases in atmospheric circulation.

Prior to this the period 2000 to 2005 saw a few papers emerge claiming stratospheric ice clouds could cause atmospheric warming. The proposed mechanism was that these ice cloud would bounce back IR to the upper troposphere. This would reduce radiative cooling of the upper troposphere, slow convective circulation and cause surface warming. Sound familiar? Ever wondered what happened to that idea? A cynic might speculate that certain scientists were told “shut up, you’re not helping” ;)

182. davidmhoffer says:

If radiative processes interacted with convection the way you claim, then deserts would cool off very slowly at night while tropical jungles at the same latitude would cool off quickly at night. The exact opposite is true.

davidmhoffer says:
April 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm
————————————————————————————
David,
Radiative process may occur at the speed of light, but convection does not. Convection transports energy acquired by release of latent heat, surface conduction and intercepted surface IR high above the level of maximum IR opacity before emitting it as IR.

Convective circulation below the tropopause is dependant on radiative gases. An atmosphere in which heated gases can rise to altitude, but cannot lose energy and descend runs far hotter than an atmosphere in which energy loss at altitude can occur. Experiment 4 linked above gives a clear demonstration of this. Trying to conductively cool a non radiative gas column from the base is ineffective.

Energy loss at altitude is critical for atmospheric cooling and tropospheric convective circulation. Land surface Tmin would be lower under a non radiative atmosphere. No IR heating of the lower troposphere would be occurring in a non radiative atmosphere. However as conductively heated gases would be rising to altitude and not releasing energy, average tropospheric temperatures would rise to surface Tmax.

David, I am not sure which of Joels’ points you are agreeing with. Do you believe radiative gases are critical for tropospheric convective circulation or not?

184. davidmhoffer says:

David, I am not sure which of Joels’ points you are agreeing with. Do you believe radiative gases are critical for tropospheric convective circulation or not?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I suggest you read and consider my comment about deserts and jungles again. Sorry, but the data produces the exact opposite of your claims.

davidmhoffer says:
April 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm
———————————————————-
David,
actually if you read though my posts above you will note that I do indicate that land surface Tmin would be lower under a non radiative atmosphere. DWLWIR slows the cooling of most materials. This effect is not significant over the oceans as demonstrated by Experiment 1 above.

Deserts under a dry atmosphere radiately cool more rapidly than other areas due to less DWLWIR. You should note this has little effect on desert day temperatures. On clear still night in a desert another effect occurs which is significant, night temperature inversion. This effect is why a lower surface Tmin has less effect on atmospheric temperatures that static atmosphere AGW calculations would indicate. The surface is far better at conductively heating a free moving atmosphere in a gravity field than it is at conductively cooling it. This is demonstrated in experiment 5.

If it were possible to switch off the radiative properties of the atmosphere the land surface would suffer far more dramatic diurnal temperature variations but the troposphere would heat dramatically. The role of radiative gases in atmospheric cooling and tropospheric convective circulation far out weighs their role is slowing the cooling of the land surface. Without radiative gases the troposphere would go isothermal and convective circulation would cease.

David, could I please have a yes or no answer to the following –
Do you believe that strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation would continue without radiative gases?

186. Myrrh says:

The AGW Greenhouse Effect does not have real gases, but ideal, (pre Van der Waals). Their molecules of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide have no mass therefore no gravity, there is nothing for gravity to work on. Their gases are not buoyant in air, have no attraction, no weight, no volume, hence no convection, no weather, no rain in their carbon cycle, no sound. The AGWGE molecules are as per descriptions of basic ideal gas, travelling at great speeds under their own molecular momentum spontaneously diffusing through empty space miles apart bouncing off each other in elastic collisions. The AGWGE atmosphere doesn’t exist, it goes straight from the surface to empty space, from which all the radiation arguments. There is no internal consistency, no joined up logic in their imaginary ideal gas fisics so their claims about properties and processes contradict each other.

So, for example, there is nothing to keep their carbon dioxide “accumulating for hundreds and thousands of years”, nothing to keep their atmosphere “stratified”, because their gases have long gone, diffused to outer space way beyond the solar system.. Their ideal gases create pressure by “bouncing off the container”, but where is the container? It’s as imaginary as their gases, but within this imaginary container their ideal gases are “well-mixed” as per ideal gas, and cannot be unmixed, so they cannot separate out.

Their other imaginary container , maybe it’s the same one, stops the direct thermal energy in transfer from the Sun at TOA. They have no heat in their world just as they have no atmosphere, because their physics is strange. In the real world visible light from the Sun cannot heat matter, but they have given it the effect of thermal infrared and excised thermal infrared from the sun..

Hope this helps.

One needs to bear this in mind in discussions about AGWGE, you’re arguing against a completely different physics, impossible in the real world.

187. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

But at April 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm you rebound with another diatribe which expresses your prejudice that calls for an extrapolation other than the linear extrapolation used by Happer.

Try to understand that ONLY a linear extrapolation avoids a prejudice so Happer was – and is – right to use it.

But you display your prejudice when you conclude saying to me

If you know of any natural process that can or does mimic the human emissions in such a perfect way, I am very interested to hear about it.

Ferdinand, that is beneath you.

The only way the human emissions of CO2 can be made to match the rise in atmospheric CO2 is by use of completely unjustifiable 5-year smoothing.

You know that Arthur Rorsch, Dick Thoenes and I published a paper that provided six models based on natural processes. Three of the models assumed an anthropogenic cause and the other three assumed a natural cause of the rise to atmospheric CO2. Each of our six models provides a perfect match to the rise in atmospheric CO2 without use of any smoothing.
(ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005) )

Richard

188. Ferdinand:

And in the context of this debate, I should add that you also know our six models are examples of possibkly many other similar models.

You know that each of our models provides a different projection of future atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Happer’s use of a linear fit avoids the prejudice of cfhoosing the Bern model, your model, one of our models, or any other model.

Richard

189. richardscourtney says:
April 21, 2013 at 2:54 am

Richard,

You know from previous discussions that 6 theoretical models that do match the trends don’t say anything about which one is matching reality.

Only one model fits all observations: human emissions increasing the amounts in the atmosphere as I described in my previous comment. All other models I heard of fail one or more observations.
Only one failed observation is sufficient to discard even the nicest theorical solution…

– any extra input from the oceans would increase the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere, but we observe a an accellerating decrease in perfect ratio with fossil fuel burning.
– any extra input from the biosphere would use extra oxygen, but we observe a net deficit in oxygen use calculated from fossil fuels burning.
– both oceans and the biosphere are proven sinks for CO2 and all other natural CO2 sources are either too small or too slow to be the cause of the increase.
– last but not least the mass balance: I haven’t seen any mathematical solution for the problem that adding both extra CO2 from natural sources and from human emissions would result in a higher increase in the atmosphere than from human emissions alone. But we obeserve a smaller increase in the atmosphere than from the human emissions…

BTW, there is no multiyear smoothing in the perfect match in ratio between the total emissions and increase in the atmosphere in the graph I provided: all comparisons are based on yearly emissions and yearly averaged CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa and the South Pole.

190. Ferdinand:

You are plain wrong – and you know you are plain wrong – when you write

Only one model fits all observations: human emissions increasing the amounts in the atmosphere as I described in my previous comment. All other models I heard of fail one or more observations.
Only one failed observation is sufficient to discard even the nicest theorical solution…

Many models – and very many possible models – fit all observations.

However, only one model fits your interpretations of the observations.

You are entitled to your prejudices but you have no right to insist that others accept them.

Happer’s use of a linear fit avoids the prejudice of choosing the Bern model, your model, one of our models, or any other model.

Richard

191. joeldshore says:

Without radiative cooling at altitude, tropospheric temperatures above the near surface layer would rise to near surface Tmax.

No, without radiative cooling (but assuming the same albedo for simplicity), the temperature of the Earth’s surface would not be average 288 K but rather only ~255 K (really the average of the square of the temperature over the surface).

Radiative gases are critical to continued tropospheric circulation.

So is the sun. Does the sun then cool the atmosphere?

Basically, for an atmosphere in which the gases are free to move, the cooling effect of radiative gases far outweighs their warming effect.

Infrared satellite images show that you are wrong. In bands where greenhouse gases (or clouds) absorb a lot, there is less, not more, infrared radiation escaping into space. If you were anywhere close to correct, pretty much the entire field of remote sensing wouldn’t work because it is based on the actual science of radiative transfer and convection in the atmosphere, not Konrad’s science.

192. Steve Keohane says:

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:April 20, 2013 at 9:22 am

Steve Keohane says:April 20, 2013 at 8:42 am
Cart, Horse? Funny how a warming ocean releases CO2 and more ends up in the atmosphere.

Yes, but that doesn’t say anything about the cause of the trend, only that temperature has a direct influence on the sink rate (NOT the source rate!).

Looking at the chart I posted at 8:42, either the ocean instantly responds to increased CO2 and a warmer atmosphere, or the atmosphere instantly responds to a warmer ocean that is out-gassing CO2. I have to pick the latter, as the atmosphere is not warming the ocean, and certainly not without a time lag. If the ocean is warmer, it is indeed less of a CO2 sink, and will also be a source of CO2 from out-gassing of the same, without a time lag. SO I have to disagree with your last. that temperature does have a direct influence on the source rate when a sink becomes a source.

193. LdB says:

@Andrew

You now sort of accepted that any object in space without an atmosphere at our earth distance from the sun will get very hot on one side and and very cold on the other. You have even now realized that things even iceblocks will radiate energy so you have now worked out that earth has to be emitting energy.

I am puzzled by your statement “I’m still awaiting your explanation of how the atmosphere knows how to flip from fridge mode to blanket mode and back again (reaching for popcorn).”

Why would you think there are modes blanket and fridge????????

You have the basics there is no cooling and heating modes it is a simple equilibrium of the same energy in and energy out components.

So now lets see if we can get you to go the next step remove the silly and wrong classic physics and replace it with the true quantum reality that you have a very similar situation to a sealed laser tube. If the mixture is completely quantum energy transparent then it would basically looks like the atmosphere isn’t there and earth would go hot one side and cold the other. If the atmosphere is quantum active the incoming energy will pump the gas and the temperature will be the difference between the incoming and outgoing energy.

It really really is that simple you can quantum pump a gas by any energy source we have done it with most (Try the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_pumping\)

You will find we even state:
Microwaves or radiofrequency EM radiation can be used to excite gas lasers.

You will also see our little favourite:

A solar-pumped laser uses solar radiation as a pump source, you might want to actually read the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar-pumped_laser. Commercially when building them we don’t use air because we have much better gas mixtures to select from.

See the earth looks to all intensive purposes like a laser tube it is a closed environment surrounded by the vacuum of space with energy pouring in on it. How much laser pumping occurs depends on the mixture and properties of the gas and the filtering applied to the incoming and outgoing radiation. In a true laser you refer to them as the partial mirror characteristics.

You have probably not seen it presented in this way because we don’t like to talk about scary Quantum Mechanics and a lot of the stupidity on comments is because they are trying to apply classic physics to a quantum mechanical problem. You can’t understand or describe a laser tube with classic physics either and if you tried you will also try and tell me that a laser tube doesn’t work.

Sorry it works like that and no amount of stupid classic physics is ever going to help your understanding … we already know classic physics is wrong …. has been for 100 years.

As I said the actual hard sciences have no misunderstanding of what is going on the pseudoscience lunatic fringe that missed that memo because they got it mixed up in the whole AGW science argument.

194. Steve Keohane says:
April 21, 2013 at 6:58 am

Looking at the chart I posted at 8:42, either the ocean instantly responds to increased CO2 and a warmer atmosphere, or the atmosphere instantly responds to a warmer ocean that is out-gassing CO2.

Indeed the ocean’s surface immediately responds to temperature changes by adjusting the CO2 releases (near the equator) and CO2 uptake (near the poles) and inbetween, depending of its own temperature (like El Niño, Pinatubo,…).

The point is that this is fast but limited in capacity: the ocean surfaces are in fast equilibrium with the atmosphere (1-3 years), but the equilibrium only changes with 4-5 ppmv/°C over the seasons to a few decades. Thus what you see as wiggles in the increase per year is the direct result of temperature changes in ocean surface and vegetation (for the latter, precipitation also plays a role).

On (very) long term, both the deep oceans and carbon sequestering in plants/peat/brown/coal plays a temperature dependent role: about 8 ppmv/°C over multi-decades (MWP-LIA) to multi-millennia.

The MWP-LIA cooling is visible in the Law Dome ice core as a drop of 6 ppmv for a cooling of ~0.8 ppmv. The warming since the LIA should have given a similar increase in CO2, but we measure an increase of over 100 ppmv…

195. davidmhoffer says:

April 21, 2013 at 12:02 am
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Now you’re just coming up with new physics to patch over the holes in your original physics. Here’s a quick check on your physics:

If you were correct, then the tropics, which have the highest concentrations of ghg on earth, would have the lowest net energy absorption on earth. But the opposite is true. The tropics absorb much more energy than they radiate back out. The only exception to this stands out in this graphic as that great big green patch in the north part of Africa. Big desert in that spot, a dearth of water vapour, the dominant ghg.

The arctic regions on the other hand, which have the lowest ghg concentrations on earth, radiate for more energy than they absorb. Where do they get the extra energy from? Why from the tropics of course. Transported how? Well on wind and ocean currents driven by the very convection processes you’ve been talking about.

But the point is that regions with high ghg’s absorb more energy than they radiate, and regions with low ghg’s radiate more energy than they absorb. We have nearly 30 years of ERBE data now, it all says the same thing.

196. davidmhoffer says:

Andrew;
I’m still awaiting your explanation of how the atmosphere knows how to flip from fridge mode to blanket mode and back again (reaching for popcorn). Try to patronise a little less and punctuate a little more.
>>>>>>>>>>>

How does a thermos know to keep your coffee hot but your ice tea cold? If you can figure that out you can answer your own question.

197. richardscourtney says:
April 21, 2013 at 5:13 am

Many models – and very many possible models – fit all observations.

As an example, take the three models of E&E that say that an increase of a natural flow (probably from the oceans) is the cause of the increase.

Of course, that is (theoretically) possible, but…
– the mass balance needs to be obeyed, thus an extra input from the oceans need to be balanced by an extra output. That is the first problem: both are natural fluxes, thus all what you have done is increasing the turnover (the throughput) of natural CO2 and still zero increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
– an extra throughput from the oceans, whatever the cause (temperature, upwelling,…) gives an increase in 13C/12C of the atmosphere. That would be visible in the rate of decrease caused by human emissions, but there is no change in rate: a constant 1/3rd of the decrease remains in the atmosphere.
– an extra througput by whatever cause, would increase the decay rates of e.g. the 14C bomb spike and influence a lot of other indications of the turnover. But there is no such change obeserved. The turnover rate over the most recent decades even shows a slowing turnover…

And insisting that Happer’s choice of a linear extrapolation is less biased than an exponential one, while the data show an exponential increase? See:

198. Ferdinand Engelbeen:

re your post at April 21, 2013 at 9:23 am.

For the third time in this thread, I am willing to allow your last post to be the ‘last word’ because people can assess our different views on the basis of our existing posts.

I am convinced you are wrong and – as you know – I am familiar with all your arguments. Indeed, trying to start another debate about your flawed ‘mass balance argument’ is silly.

Posting more and more of your assertions will not change my opinion. Only clear data which provides an unambiguous indication will change my considered view.

Richard

199. richardscourtney says:
April 21, 2013 at 9:32 am

Richard,

I know your opinions and most of my reactions were written for newbees that aren’t aware of our longstanding discussions. But I doubt that
Only clear data which provides an unambiguous indication will change my considered view.
as even the clear non-linear behaviour of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere doesn’t change your view on that point…

joeldshore says:
April 21, 2013 at 6:48 am
——————————————————————————
Joel, some responses –

“No, without radiative cooling (but assuming the same albedo for simplicity), the temperature of the Earth’s surface would not be average 288 K but rather only ~255 K (really the average of the square of the temperature over the surface).”
– Joel, this is the mistake of thinking temperatures in a deep body of free moving gas in a gravity field are set by surface Tav. They are set by surface Tmax. This is demonstrated quite clearly by Experiments 4 & 5 linked above. Modelling a static atmosphere without diurnal cycle always gives the wrong answer.

“Radiative gases are critical to continued tropospheric circulation. So is the sun. Does the sun then cool the atmosphere?”
– convective circulation in the troposphere is driven by heating at low altitude and energy loss at high altitude. Heating at low altitude occurs by surface conduction, release of latent heat and interception of surface IR. Energy loss at altitude only occurs through IR radiation to space from radiative gases, mainly H2O. The sun heats the surface and thereby the atmosphere. The net effect of radiative gases is to cool the atmosphere.

Joel could you please give me a direct yes or no answer to the following question –
Do you believe that strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation would continue without radiative gases?

davidmhoffer says:
April 21, 2013 at 9:06 am
—————————————————————————————————————–
David,
that like appears to be blocked, however I did find this little gem at the main site –

“Deep convective cloud systems in the tropics provide the primary mechanism whereby solar heating of the ocean is moved upward into the free troposphere where it can be transported poleward and eventually emitted to space. In the process, these great engines of the global climate produce precipitation and drive the global-scale circulation.”

Sound familiar?

Could you please give me a direct yes or no answer to the following question –
Do you believe that strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation would continue without radiative gases?

202. Andrew says:

@LdB

You have an amusing trait, when presented with new thinking by another poster, of writing an introductory paragraph in your reply, congratulating the other poster on understanding that new thinking.

Well, I think congratulations are in order. Are you a Bot?

Give us another laser story. When you are done with that, please explain how a system which has energy continuously entering and leaving it is a closed system. After that, please explain how there is anything meaningful to be learned from the behaviour of gases in an actual greenhouse compared to the same gases in a greenhouse with no roof. Or walls.

You appear to agree that the Earth’s atmosphere cools the surface, predominantly via the water cycle. This clashes with your other apparent belief that Hansen ‘back radiation’ and the GHE is preventing temperatures from going “massively negative” – filling the legendary ’33K’ void. I’m all for ‘delayed cooling’ in appropriate circumstances, but I see it as unlawful that a cooler object, such as the atmosphere, can actively cause net warming in an already warmer object, such as the surface.

I look forward to your congratulatory opening paragraph and a laser story or two.

203. joeldshore says:

Joel could you please give me a direct yes or no answer to the following question –
Do you believe that strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation would continue without radiative gases?

Trying to figure out the temperature structure and convective behavior for the bizarre case (singular limit) of an atmosphere with absolutely no radiative gases always makes my head hurt, which is why I have tended to avoid the arguments about what that structure would be. (And, as Ray Pierrehumbert points out, at some point, when you have really dramatic temporal & spatial temperature variations, the average temperature fails to be a very meaningful quantity anymore.)

However, it is much easier to figure out what happens when you add more radiative gases to an atmosphere that already has them: And, the answer is that it increases the IR opacity of the atmosphere, which increases the altitude of the effective radiating level and hence means the emission is occurring from a lower-temperature layer, leading to a reduction of emission that is eventually remedied by the atmosphere heating up so that radiative balance at the top-of-the-atmosphere is restored.

In the absence of convection, the effect would be even larger because the increase in greenhouse gases would also tend to steepen the lapse rate. In the presence of convection, the lapse rate is limited by convection (because lapse rates greater than the adiabatic lapse rate are unstable to convection) and hence this steepening of the lapse rate does not occur. So, the way to picture it is that convection essentially reduces the warming effect due to the addition of greenhouse gases. But, it does not eliminate it…because the increase in the effective radiating level still occurs…and the temperature at the surface is determined by extrapolating down from this level using the lapse rate.

204. davidmhoffer says:

Could you please give me a direct yes or no answer to the following question –
Do you believe that strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation would continue without radiative gases?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Not interested. I’ve provided data that refutes your hypothesis as a whole. You want to ignore that and argue one tiny aspect of the system as a whole that you believe supports the rest of your argument. To what end? The ERBE data still refutes your position.

205. davidmhoffer says:

Andrew;
but I see it as unlawful that a cooler object, such as the atmosphere, can actively cause net warming in an already warmer object, such as the surface.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

It can’t. The claim that it does is not made by ghg theory. Only that the atmosphere slows down the cooling of the surface. The temperature of space is -270 degrees C. The atmosphere has an average temperature of -18 C. Take away the atmosphere and what you have left is earth surface exposed to -270 C instead of -18 C.

davidmhoffer says:
April 21, 2013 at 7:22 pm
K- “Do you believe that strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation would continue without radiative gases?”
D- “Not interested.”
————————————————————————-
David,
that was pretty much the non answer I was expecting. The critical role of radiative gases in atmospheric circulation is never something AGW believers wish to discuss. Joel will also avoid giving a clear or direct yes or no answer to the question as well. However you have certainly answered the sleeper / sceptic question ;)

Answering “yes” to the critical role of radiative gases in tropospheric convective circulation would of course destroy the entire foundation to the AGW hypothesis.

Without radiative gases emitting IR to space at altitude, strong vertical convective circulation below the troposphere would cease. Hot gases would still convect to height, but they could not lose energy and buoyancy then descend. As empirical Experiment 4 shows, such an non-radiative will run far hotter than an atmosphere with radiative cooling at altitude.

The radiative exchange between the surface and atmosphere exists. Radiative gases do slow the cooling of the land surface and heat the lower troposphere. However their role in tropospheric convective circulation and energy loss at altitude is far more important. The Tav of the surface may be lower under a non radiative atmosphere, but the atmosphere itself would be dramatically hotter. The net effect of radiative gases is to cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

The role of radiative gases in atmospheric circulation is never something AGW believers wish to discuss.

207. davidmhoffer says:

The net effect of radiative gases is to cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

LOL. The ERBE data says exactly the opposite. You can reason around in circles, but you can’t change the facts.

208. davidmhoffer says:

The role of radiative gases in atmospheric circulation is never something AGW believers wish to discuss.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

And I’m not a believer, I’m a skeptic, and I resent the implication otherwise.

davidmhoffer says:
April 21, 2013 at 8:55 pm
——————————————————————
David,
I can assure you I am not reasoning around in circles. My argument is very straight forward. It has not changed. The five basic empirical experiments supporting it have been available for you and others to replicate for quite some time.

As to the ERBE data, it cannot possibly answer the question. The issue I am raising is the foundation claim of AGW that the atmosphere would be 33C cooler in the absence of radiative gases. This claim is incorrect. ERBE data will not help as there are no empirical observational data for a non radiative atmosphere. The closest empirical data for a non radiative atmosphere would be the reversed lapse rate and super heating in the stratosphere.

Climate scientists made a fundamental mistake in calculating the temperature of a non radiative atmosphere. They did not properly model the critical role of radiative gases in tropospheric convective circulation. They ran basic linear flux equations on what is essentially a two shell mathematical model of surface and atmosphere. The only way to make a correct calculation would have been to run these flux equations iteratively on discrete moving air masses.

Climate scientists got one thing right, land surface Tmin would be lower under a non radiative atmosphere. However they got the more important issue, atmospheric temperatures for a non radiative atmosphere, totally and utterly wrong. For a non radiative atmosphere, average tropospheric temperatures would be close to surface Tmax.

Lets review the do nots of atmospheric modelling –

A. Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”
(experiments 1 to 5)
B. Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or layer
(See experiment 4 & 5)
C. Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle
(See experiment 5)
D. Do not model conductive flux to and from the surface and atmosphere based on surface Tav
(See experiment 5)
E. Do not model a static atmosphere without moving gases
(See experiment 4 & 5)
F. Do not model a moving atmosphere without Gravity
(See experiment 4 & 5)
G. Do not model the surface as a combined land/ocean “thingy”
(See experiment 1)

Have a look at the climate science you are supporting –
– does it assume that the tropospheric lapse rate would remain without radiative gases?
– does it assume that tropospheric convective circulation would continue without radiative gases?
– does it assume that non radiative atmospheric temperatures would be set by surface Tav?
Empirical experiment shows all these assumptions to be incorrect.

Empirical experiment shows that a lower surface Tmin does not lead to lower average tropospheric temperatures for a non radiative atmosphere. Because of a lack of radiative cooling at height and a lack of strong vertical convective circulation, a non radiative atmosphere would be dramatically hotter than our current atmosphere. A non radiative troposphere would be isothermal and exhibit temperatures close to surface Tmax (just like box 2 in experiment 4). This mean that the net effect of radiative gases is to cool the atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

joeldshore says:
April 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm
—————————————————————————————–
Joel,
not exactly a yes or no answer, but…

“Trying to figure out the temperature structure and convective behaviour for the bizarre case (singular limit) of an atmosphere with absolutely no radiative gases always makes my head hurt […] However, it is much easier to figure out what happens when you add more radiative gases to an atmosphere that already has them”
– The basis for understanding what adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will do to atmospheric temperatures should be a solid understanding of a non radiative atmosphere. In a non radiative atmosphere there would be no tropospheric convective circulation. A non radiative atmosphere should not be considered a “bizarre case” but rather the base line for all modelling of levels of radiative gases in the atmosphere.

“which increases the altitude of the effective radiating level and hence means the emission is occurring from a lower-temperature layer”
– The ERL argument does not hold for a moving atmosphere. The most strongly radiating air masses are the hottest air masses. These are rising and are radiating at a temperature far higher than other gases at their altitude. “Thou shalt not model the atmosphere as a static body or mathematical layer”

An atmosphere without radiative gases will not exhibit strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation. Hot gases will rise to height, but they will not lose IR energy to space and descend. These hot gases will have temperature set by surface Tmax not surface Tav (Experiments 4 & 5). A non radiative troposphere would go isothermal and heat to close to surface Tmax (Experiment 4). Climate science however claims that a non radiative atmosphere would be 33C cooler. The only way this claim could be made is through the incorrect modelling of the fluid dynamics of a moving atmosphere and the critical role of radiative gases in convective circulation.

211. davidmhoffer says:

I can assure you I am not reasoning around in circles.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

But you are. As seen from space, the temperature of earth really is -18C. As measured at earth surface, it really is +15C. You can argue all day long that the 18 gears in a clock mechanism can’t possibly combine to make the hands go in a circle, but wind the clock up and the hands go in a circle. You can argue all day long about how the pieces fit together and how they can or cannot work in a certain way, and all I have to do is wind the clock up and see if the hands go in a circle.

If you can prove that the earth as seen from space actually isn’t -18C or that earth’s surface actually isn’t +15 or that the ERBE data is wrong and the earth doesn’t actually absorb more energy than ist radiates in areas of high ghg concentrations and that it does actually absorb more than it radiates in areas of low ghg concentration, then there might be some value in figuring out why via your experiments.

Good luck with that.

Perhaps you’ll consider at some point that all the data is exactly the opposite of what you propose, and do what a good scientist does in that case. Return to his experiments and his logic and find the mistake.

• davidmhoffer says:
April 22, 2013 at 4:45 am

But you are. As seen from space, the temperature of earth really is -18C. As measured at earth surface, it really is +15C.

If you can prove that the earth as seen from space actually isn’t -18C or that earth’s surface actually isn’t +15 or that the ERBE data is wrong and the earth doesn’t actually absorb more energy than ist radiates in areas of high ghg concentrations and that it does actually absorb more than it radiates in areas of low ghg concentration, then there might be some value in figuring out why via your experiments.

I want to comment on High.Low GHG areas, AIRS found CO2 to be ever equally distributed around the global, with only about a 7ppm diff between the min and max areas.
Water on the other hand varies significantly. I think we have to keep these separate in such discussions.

Looking at ERBE data, I’m not sure what to make of it, but in about Feb, on a clear sky 35F day (asphalt driveway was ~50F), I measured the zenith temp with a IR thermometer, so the DLR at a little lower than -40F, which is ~158 W/sq M DLR. At 35F, there about 4 g water/kg of air, and at -40F, there’s 0.1g/kg.
So, is ERBE showing the atm, or the atm and surface summed together. I also saw the clouds were much warmer, some of the papers I’ve read say that I am measuring the surface temp of the cloud when measuring it in IR.

Which BTW means at at least under some conditions, this well know drawing is wrong.

davidmhoffer says:
April 22, 2013 at 4:45 am
———————————————————————————————-
David,
you are still not getting it. My experiments are only dealing with known physics. It just happens to be the physics missing from the “basic physics” of the “settled science”. Radiative gases have a critical role in the fluid dynamics of the atmosphere and this has a significant effect on atmospheric temperature. To understand what adding radiative gases will do to atmospheric temperatures, first you need to understand the temperature state of a non radiative atmosphere.

Joel has basically admitted he hasn’t worked this out.

I have.

You have told me you are “not interested” in answering the basic question –
Would strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation occur without radiative gases?

Perhaps you could have a go at the more basic question –
Would average tropospheric temperatures be higher or lower than current in the absence of radiative gases?

April 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm

An atmosphere without radiative gases will not exhibit strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation. Hot gases will rise to height, but they will not lose IR energy to space and descend.

Why would they not lose IR to space? Everything warmer than 0K radiates IR. Elements without absorption/emission bands in the IR spectrum radiate as a blackbody.

MiCro says:
April 22, 2013 at 6:45 am
—————————————————————–
MiCro,
Correct. N2 and O2 are generally called non radiative gases in climate science, but they do absorb and emit IR. However their ability to do this is poor and has little effect on convective circulation. In the troposphere N2 and O2 can conductively transfer energy to strongly radiative gases such as H2O which then emits the energy as IR to space, allowing tropospheric convective circulation. In the stratosphere and above there are few strongly radiative gases. Here N2 and O2 absorb IR and UV and this results in super heating as their radiative ability is poor. While temperatures measured with a standard thermometer may read low in the mid stratosphere, molecular temperatures are hundreds of degrees. It should be noted that strong vertical convective circulation is not occurring in the stratosphere.

A non radiative atmosphere should not be considered a “bizarre case” but rather the base line for all modelling of levels of radiative gases in the atmosphere.

It is bizarre for a number of reasons, including the fact that it is unrealizable in any practical way (since even N_2 and O_2 will radiate a little bit at non-zero densities). It also might be that the behavior of such an atmosphere does not correspond to the behavior in the limit that you remove radiating gases from the current atmosphere. [In the same sense that the function defined by f(x) = sin(x)/x for x not equal to zero and f(x) = 0 for x=0 does not have the same value exactly at x=0 as its limit as x -> 0.] Or it might not be the case. I have no strong opinion on this.

Understanding what happens in this case is something worthy of consideration but the answer will not change our understanding of the role of greenhouse gases in our current atmosphere at all.

Climate science however claims that a non radiative atmosphere would be 33C cooler.

Would average tropospheric temperatures be higher or lower than current in the absence of radiative gases?

You seem to be fixated on this notion of “average tropospheric temperatures” and yet I have not seen any claims made by climate scientists regarding “average tropospheric temperatures”. The claim is that the surface temperature would be 33 C cooler in the absence of the greenhouse effect.

216. davidmhoffer says:

Let me dumb it down for you.

1.. Water vapour is the dominant ghg on earth.
2. In the tropics, water vapour reaches as much as 40,000 ppm.
3. Over deserts and over the coldest areas of earth, water vapour approaches zero.
4. Over the tropics where water vapour is high, the earth absorbs more energy than it radiates. This is the very definition of “warming”.
5.; Over deserts and cold areas where water vapour is low, the earth absorbs less energy than it radiates. The is the very definition of cooling.

Your claim is that ghg’s result in cooling. The ERBE data, the satellite data, the weather balloon data, the thermometer record, every data set we have says the opposite. Direct measurements of downward LW and upward LW at points where there is a large difference in water vapour concentration show the opposite. Temperature fluctuations in high water vapour areas versus low water vapour areas show the opposite. Every direct measurement we have of high ghg concentrations versus low ghg concentrations shows physics directly opposite to your claim.

You don’t have to like what the data says, but you do have to listen to it. Nit picking to death the processes within the system won’t change how the system as a whole behaves, which is to be warmer where there are large concentrations of ghg, and colder where the ghg concentrations are low, and that’s at identical latitudes as well as disparate latitudes.

217. Bill Illis says:

The Greenhouse Effect is only 21C.

Greenhouse gas clouds lower the Albedo of the Earth resulting in a lower effective emission temperature – you shouldn’t count the greenhouse effect of clouds and then not count the solar reflecting impact of the same clouds.

————————–

The atmosphere is far too complex to calculate what happens from CO2 doubling.

We are still talking about calculations from very simple models here, not real measurements of actual photons in the actual atmosphere over actual time (always missing from the greenhouse effect calculations – time is a fundamental component of it).

One can put all their faith in simple models (including the radiative transfer examples) if one wants to. But why have so much faith in simple models that are failing in just about every prediction made?

One shouldn’t be or do “too” much of anything. Don’t be too angry, or too stubborn or to supplicating or too boring or eat too many vegetables. And don’t have “too much” faith in something.

218. joeldshore says:

Bill Illis says:

The Greenhouse Effect is only 21C.

Greenhouse gas clouds lower the Albedo of the Earth resulting in a lower effective emission temperature – you shouldn’t count the greenhouse effect of clouds and then not count the solar reflecting impact of the same clouds.

You should if the question is what the magnitude of the greenhouse effect is. Your claim it is only 21 C is simply wrong as an answer to that question. If you want to answer the question, “What is the net effect of all the elements in the atmosphere [greenhouse gases and clouds] that contribute to the greenhouse effect?” then the answer would be 21 C, smaller because clouds contribute both to the greenhouse effect and to the albedo.

Two different questions; two different answers.

The atmosphere is far too complex to calculate what happens from CO2 doubling.

Pretty much everything left to study in science is complex. That doesn’t seem to stop people from generally believing that science is still the best way to get answers to such questions except when the answers that scientists get happen to disagree with what said people want to believe. It is fascinating to see how anti-science people become when they scientists don’t give them their preferred answer!

davidmhoffer says:
April 22, 2013 at 8:41 am
——————————————————————————————

“Let me dumb it down for you.”
– I shall defer to your skills in this area ;)

“Your claim is that ghg’s result in cooling. The ERBE data, the satellite data, the weather balloon data, the thermometer record, every data set we have says the opposite.”
– you have no data for the most basic condition, an atmosphere without radiative gases. Empirical experiment shows that such an atmosphere will be dramatically hotter than present.

“You don’t have to like what the data says, but you do have to listen to it.”
– you may not like what Experiments 1 to 5 show, but every reader is free to replicate them for themselves. I note you have not challenged the results of any of the experiments shown.

“Nit picking to death the processes within the system won’t change how the system as a whole behaves”
– You have indicated that you are “Not interested” in discussing the critical role radiative gases play in atmospheric circulation. I would suggest that tropospheric convective circulation has a dramatic effect on tropospheric temperatures. Raising the issue that tropospheric convective circulation cannot continue without radiative gases could hardly be considered “nit picking” by any stretch of the imagination.

Does the surface emit IR? Yes.
Does the atmosphere absorb some IR? Yes.
Does the atmosphere radiate some IR back to the surface (land only) slowing it’s cooling rate? Yes.
Does the interception of IR heat gases in the lower troposphere? Yes.
Is the NET effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere warming? NO!

joeldshore says:
April 22, 2013 at 7:01 am
—————————————————————————–
N2 and O2 absorb a small amount of UV and IR and radiate a small amount of IR? Shure. This leads to super heating in the stratosphere and mesosphere. No escape there.

“You seem to be fixated on this notion of “average tropospheric temperatures” and yet I have not seen any claims made by climate scientists regarding “average tropospheric temperatures”.”
– the claimed deleterious effects of AGW are all related to raised atmospheric temperatures.

“The claim is that the surface temperature would be 33 C cooler in the absence of the greenhouse effect”
– as can be clearly seen in many of my comments on this thread, I do not dispute that land surface Tmin would be lower under a non radiative atmosphere. This will not have any significant effect on tropospheric temperatures. Experiments 4 & 5 clearly demonstrate why surface Tmax is the dominant factor in surface to atmosphere conductive heating.

The reality is that “basic physics” of the “settled science” is in error. The critical role of radiative gases in tropospheric convective circulation has not been properly considered. Without radiative gases the upper troposphere has no way to cool and convective circulation cannot continue. Gas conduction to the surface is too slow compared to the diurnal solar heating cycle. Without convective circulation there is no way for gases to return from altitude to conductively cool against a night surface with lower Tmin. An atmosphere without radiative gases would be dramatically hotter than present. The Net effect of radiative gases is therefore cool at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

Joel, have a look at AGW believer Tim’s comment above. Why was he trying to invoke “planetary rotation” as a method for getting buoyant air masses down from altitude in the absence of radiative gases? What did he realise? If Tim can see the problem, so can others.

I can suggest some other AGW defenders who are aware of the critical role of radiative gases in atmospheric fluid dynamics and would prefer no discussion of it. The Makarieva 2010 discussion paper. Every touch leaves its trace.

221. Tim Folkerts says:

Is there someplace where you have a complete write-up of your experiments all in one place? I see some incomplete descriptions of the equipment, some incomplete data, and some incomplete conclusions scattered throughout a few different threads.

It would be much easier for all involved if there was someplace we could go to see more precisely what you did and what you observed. That would allow proper defense and proper critique of your experiment. For example, you talk about an “aluminum water block”, which would presumably be a water-cooled block of AL that you used to radiate into the water in various experiments. But such things are typically used to cool by conduction. Al is a very poor IR radiator (emissivity less than 0.1 typically), so whether the Al surface is hot or cold, most of the IR from it could well be REFLECTED IR from the water below, not EMITTED IR from the water block itself. Furthermore, your 100×100 mm water block covers less than 1/2 of the area above your 150×150 mm water surface, so a lot of IR will come from the room, which is the same for all experiments.

As it is, i see hints of some good experiments that might shed light on the actual behavior of oceans and atmosphere, but not enough detail or control for me to come to any definitive conclusions.

222. davidmhoffer says:

– you may not like what Experiments 1 to 5 show, but every reader is free to replicate them for themselves. I note you have not challenged the results of any of the experiments shown.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

But I have. I’ve shown you that areas with high ghg concentrations are warmer than areas with low ghg concentrations despite being at the exact same latitude. That is the end result of the system as a whole, period. More ghg =warmer. Go find your mistake. I’m not going to do it for you.

Tim Folkerts says:
April 22, 2013 at 6:54 pm
—————————————————————-
Tim,
you are correct, the experiments mentioned above –
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/05/a-comparison-of-the-earths-climate-sensitivity-to-changes-in-the-nature-of-the-initial-forcing/#comment-1267231
– have been described in more detail in a number of other threads and on other sites.

I am slowly working toward a full thread to cover these in detail at the Talkshop (the “Reign of Willis” continues at WUWT). Dimensioned diagrams, renderings and materials lists to be included. Building instructions are important as the hope is that others will replicate the work for themselves. There is just too much cut&paste and linking on the web these days. Everyone wants an answer they can get from behind the computer ;)

As to the aluminium water block for Experiment 1, you can use a aluminium electronics “jiffy case” enclosure, however I use a plastic block with a serpentine water channel engraved in the face and then sealed with a thin aluminium plate. The exterior of this black plate should be sprayed with matt black BBQ paint. This design emits a grater amount of IR from the lower face of the block. Silicone model aircraft fuel tube is better than PVC for supply and outlet tubes as it insulates better.

davidmhoffer says:
April 22, 2013 at 8:49 pm
——————————————————-

“ I’ve shown you that areas with high ghg concentrations are warmer than areas with low ghg concentrations despite being at the exact same latitude.”
– David nothing in this contradicts what I have been saying. If look look back over my comments on this thread, you will note that I repeatedly state that radiative gases can slow the cooling of land surface and by intercepting surface IR they can heat gases in the lower troposphere. However strong vertical convective circulation in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar tropospheric cells is continuing for all regions of the globe you could point to at this time. The issue I am discussing is bigger, more fundamental and more important than radiative exchange between the surface and atmosphere. It is IR radiation to space and it’s role in strong vertical convective circulation. Without this, our atmosphere will heat dramatically.

“That is the end result of the system as a whole, period. More ghg =warmer.”
– No that is only the result for near surface regions, assuming continued strong vertical convective circulation under the tropopause. The result for the system as a whole is atmospheric super heating in the absence of radiative gases.

– perhaps the mistake would be being “Not interested” in discussing the critical role of radiative gases in convective circulation in the troposphere? Was that my mistake or yours ;)

225. davidmhoffer says:

It is IR radiation to space and it’s role in strong vertical convective circulation. Without this, our atmosphere will heat dramatically.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If there were no IR active gases in the atmosphere, then the system as a whole would still reach equilibrium with the energy absorbed equal to the energy radiated out. The effective black body temperature of the earth would still be -18 C. The difference would be that the vast majority of the energy flux to space would come directly from the earth surface, resulting in a surface temp close to -18C as well. With the atmosphere now heated exclusively by conduction from surface to atmosphere, the highest temperature that the atmosphere could reach under such conditions would be -18C.

It is clear to me that you have a lot of personal investment in your experiments and their results. I’ve been there, it is tough to “let go”. But one of the fundamental aspects of verifying your results is to determine if the sum total of the individual pieces when combined together gives the same answer as system as a whole. What I have been trying to show you is that the system as a whole behaves differently than the sum total of your experiments. The ERBE data is not about surface temps as you seem to have assumed. It is about net radiation across the atmospheric column. Areas with very high (40,000 ppm) of water vapour can easily be compared to areas at the same latitude with very low (nearly 0 ppm) of water vapour and the net radiation across the atmospheric column is precisely opposite to what you insist your experiments prove.

davidmhoffer says:
April 23, 2013 at 9:25 am
—————————————————————————————————
David, your last post offers some potential for progress.

First up –
“The ERBE data is not about surface temps as you seem to have assumed”
-No, this is not the case. I believe I was quite clear in pointing out that this data did not exist for an atmosphere without radiative gases. Without data of this type for several different moving atmospheres with radically different radiative gas concentrations, it cannot answer the issue I am raising.

“If there were no IR active gases in the atmosphere, then the system as a whole would still reach equilibrium with the energy absorbed equal to the energy radiated out. The effective black body temperature of the earth would still be -18 C. The difference would be that the vast majority of the energy flux to space would come directly from the earth surface, resulting in a surface temp close to -18C as well.”
– This statement is essentially correct, but it contains the basic mistake of almost all early AGW modelling – “Thou shalt not model the earth without a diurnal cycle”. -18C is not surface Tmax under a non radiative atmosphere.

“With the atmosphere now heated exclusively by conduction from surface to atmosphere, the highest temperature that the atmosphere could reach under such conditions would be -18C.”
– This statement is entirely wrong. Here is where the critical flaw in the foundation of all AGW calculations lies. For an atmosphere in a gravity field with a vertical pressure gradient in which the gases are free to move, the gas temperature set by surface conduction will be close to surface Tmax, not Tav. This would be moderated very slightly by gas conduction.

The core problem with the AGW hypotheses is one of fluid dynamics. Experiment 4 & 5 give a clear demonstration of the problem.

In Experiment 4 –
http://i48.tinypic.com/124fry8.jpg http://tinypic.com/r/zmghtu/6

– The gas column in box 1 has a lower average temperature, but the average “surface” temperature at the bottom of the box is high
– The gas column in box 2 has a far higher average temperature, but the average “surface” temperature at the bottom of the box is low.

Experiment 5 gives a clear demonstration of why the surface is far better at conductively heating a column of moving gases above it than it is at conductively cooling it.

Climate scientists have made small mistakes in radiative physics (Experiment 1) however these do not invalidate the AGW hypothesis.
Climate scientists have made critical mistakes regarding fluid dynamics and gas conduction. These mistakes are in the very foundation of the AGW hypothesis. These mistakes totally invalidate the AGW hypothesis. Radiative gases act to cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

Experiments 4 & 5 clearly demonstrate that this statement –
“With the atmosphere now heated exclusively by conduction from surface to atmosphere, the highest temperature that the atmosphere could reach under such conditions would be -18C.”
– is completely wrong.

227. davidmhoffer says:

LOL.

No Konrad, we don’t have ERBE data that compares ghg to no ghg. But we do have ERBE data that compares massive amounts of ghg to near zero amounts of ghg, and we can draw conclusions from that. You’d like to ignore those conclusions because they don’t fit with your belief system.

Second, your argument that the atmosphere would come to a different equilibrium temp than -18 is valid. Temp being linear with the 4th root of the energy flux, a simply average of Tmax and Tmin doesn’t yield the same number as averaging the 4th root. But come up with any means of describing the average temperature that you would like, and the atmosphere in the absence of ghg’s has to vary with that value, and the highest value it can reach is the surface temp, however you calculate it.

Lastly, an atmosphere heated exclusively from the bottom will have higher convection than an atmosphere heated in part from the bottom and in part from the middle. That’s exactly what ghg’s do. They intercept radiance from the surface resulting in heating at altitude via radiative processes as well as at the bottom from conductance and evaporation. A lower temperature gradient must result in lower convection or everything we’ve learned since Archimedes is wrong.

You could argue the last paragraph from a number of perspectives (and probably will) that have some validity. But at day’s end, we do in fact have the data to compare very high levels of ghg to very low levels of ghg, and the conclusions we can draw from that data are opposite to yours. The system is making a statement very different from your experiments. You can argue that almost zero isn’t the same as zero, but seriously, almost zero makes a pretty bold statement.

davidmhoffer says:
April 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm
—————————————————————————-

LOL, David?
“With the atmosphere now heated exclusively by conduction from surface to atmosphere, the highest temperature that the atmosphere could reach under such conditions would be -18C.”
– Now that comment was amusing, especially as it cannot be erased from the Internet.

“No Konrad, we don’t have ERBE data that compares ghg to no ghg. But we do have ERBE data that compares massive amounts of ghg to near zero amounts of ghg, and we can draw conclusions from that.”
– The ERBE data says exactly what it should say and in no way contradicts my conclusions.

“You’d like to ignore those conclusions because they don’t fit with your belief system.”
– My conclusions are based on empirical experiments you do not understand and have not bothered to replicate. My belief system is based on the traditional scientific method. You seem to have a problem with this.

“Second, your argument that the atmosphere would come to a different equilibrium temp than -18 is valid. Temp being linear with the 4th root of the energy flux, a simply average of Tmax and Tmin doesn’t yield the same number as averaging the 4th root. But come up with any means of describing the average temperature that you would like, and the atmosphere in the absence of ghg’s has to vary with that value, and the highest value it can reach is the surface temp, however you calculate it.”
– Wrong again. As experiment 4 clearly shows surface Tmax is the driving factor in a deep atmosphere with a pressure gradient in a gravity field. A “ different equilibrium temp than -18” does not cut it. Try a dramatically different equilibrium temperature. Better still try building and replicating empirical Experiment 4. You know, Science.

“You can argue that almost zero isn’t the same as zero, but seriously, almost zero makes a pretty bold statement.”
– No David, I was intentionally being conservative when I suggested that tropospheric temperatures would rise to surface Tmax and the troposphere would go isothermal. MiCro raised the issue of super heating of N2 and O2 due to their small response to IR and UV. The issue is not how many angles can dance on the head of a pin. The issue is not a few degrees here or there. The real issue is that without radiative gases, most of our atmosphere would boil off into space. Yes, you and the AGW believers have gotten the role of radiative gases in our atmosphere that badly wrong.

Try naming one planet or moon in our solar system that has managed to retain an atmosphere without strongly radiative gases.

I have a good understanding of radiative physics. You do not appear to understand fluid dynamics. I suspect you are going to very, very annoyed when you work out what Experiment 6 was ;)

229. davidmhoffer says:

The real issue is that without radiative gases, most of our atmosphere would boil off into space.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>

ROFLMAO

davidmhoffer says:
April 24, 2013 at 8:27 am
———————————————————————————
“ROFLMAO”

When you finally realise what the core problem with with the AGW hypothesis is, you will be wincing so hard while biting your fist you will find that you have swallowed your eyes and are missing fingers.

Sleeper! Ex 6…..Gotcha!

231. davidmhoffer says:

less 30% for albedo = 938 w/m2

Via SB Law, max surface temperature at the equator at high noon assuming zero heat loss from conduction/convection/evaporation and zero heat capacity:

358.8 degrees K
85.8 degrees C

Not enough to boil water!
And that’s at the equator, assuming ZERO cooling processes from conduction, convection, and evaporation. That’s assuming a heat capacity of zero meaning the the earth at that point would have to heat up to that temperature instantly.

If you think that 85.8 degrees at the equator as an absolute Tmax could boil away the atmosphere, you have descended from physics that is just wrong to completely absurd. Throwing in the fact that heat capacity isn’t zero alone would reduce that number by several tens of degrees. Throw in evaporative processes, conduction/convection and circulation via hadley cells and other process from higher latitudes (which will be even a lower temperature) and the number drops further still.

In other words, your statement is preposterous, just like those of Al Gore, Bill Nye, Michael Mann and James Hansen. You’re presenting evidence that supports your belief and you simply ignore any facts that get in the way. Give your head a shake. You’re no better than they are at this point, and you will simply be used by warmists as evidence that skeptics don’t know what they are talking about.

davidmhoffer says:
April 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm

“Via SB Law, max surface temperature at the equator at high noon assuming zero heat loss from conduction/convection/evaporation and zero heat capacity:”
– Was there anywhere I suggested surface conduction would be the factor that would cause atmospheric super heating in the absence of radiative gases? No. I quite clearly indicated that surface conduction would drive a non-radiative atmosphere isothermal and close to surface Tmax. It will of course be obvious to those reading previous comments that heating above the boiling point of water would occur due to IR and UV heating of N2 and O2 at the top of the former troposphere in the absence of strong vertical convective circulation.

Maybe I should add another “do not”. Thou shalt not apply the SB equations to a moving atmosphere.

“You’re no better than they are at this point, and you will simply be used by warmists as evidence that skeptics don’t know what they are talking about.”
– Not concerned David. Previous attempts to link me with warmist assault clowns or get me to engage with them have failed. However the point you raise, “evidence that sceptics don’t know what they are talking about”, is worthy of mention. Unable to find sufficiently crazy sceptics, warmists had to make them up. Hence the assault clowns M and G.H. Assault clowns, popcorn warriors, snowstormers, proxies and sleepers. Have sceptics ever engaged in that on warmist blogs? Does this speak to the character of character of warmists? Why do they feel it is ok to cheat and lie? No one with the truth on their side needs those tactics.* No one believes they are saving the planet any more. Warmists are now just fighting to save their skins.

In fact if you, as a sleeper, needed to try that argument, it is simply adding weight to my science. The more workable tactic would have been to concede that initially radiative gases cause cooling, but after a certain point they cause warming and argue that we are well beyond this point. That would have brought the ERBE data back into play.

*interesting tactics in the short term, poor strategy long term. Sceptics will never forgive and the Internet will never forget.

233. davidmhoffer says:

Konrad, I’ve had 4 shots of bourbon this evening and you are starting to make sense to me. I suspect however that in the morning I shall once again be sober and you will still be wrong.