An Engineer’s Take on Climate Change #2

Guest essay by Ronald D. Voisin

High Atmospheric CO2 is Good for All Life on Earth

At an atmospheric concentration of 380ppm and higher the limited long-wave spectral absorption of CO2 is essentially saturated. Consequently, yet more atmospheric CO2 becomes vanishingly less relevant to a greenhouse effect (if at all). And when more atmospheric water vapor is objectively evaluated its net-effect is found to be a negative-feedback rather than a positive one (in direct contradiction to the presumption of the Models). However, enhanced atmospheric CO2 clearly stimulates the proliferation of all forms of life. You might best call it Vitamin C…(O2).

Some believe that the reason our immediate celestial neighbors (Venus and Mars) don’t have life is that they have high concentrations of atmospheric CO2. But the reality is entirely upside-down from this notion. The primary reason our neighbors have high concentrations of atmospheric CO2 is simply that they have no life. Earth started the very same way (with high atmospheric CO2). But life evolved here. We humans and all other life here on Earth are part of Earth’s naturally sequestered CO2. The “non-life” CO2 that we humans “un-sequester” with fossil fuel consumption, is CO2 beneficially returned to the immediate opportunity to become life once again. Life on Earth is exploding just now but we humans seem to want to deny it. However, it is true. And our CO2 release is one for the things we are favorably contributing to this highly desirable process. These are exceptionally good times for life on Earth.

CO2 + H2O + photons = CH2O + O2

carbon dioxide + water + light energy = carbohydrate + oxygen

Here is an important fact: CO2 is a fundamental building block required by all life. Its availability, in large part, regulates the maximum level at which any and all life can proliferate. All life on Earth is booming just now and it could not do so without elevated atmospheric CO2. Photosynthetic processes require three primary ingredients: sunlight, water and CO2. We have known for a very long time that the abundance of sunlight and water are critical to the growth of vegetation. But now, not so surprisingly, we have discovered that the abundance of CO2 is critical also. Vegetation on Earth is exploding just now due to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2. This is supported by innumerable agricultural studies of CO2 effects while commercial greenhouses intentionally spike their internal CO2 (internal CO2 spiking is well known by greenhouse managers to stimulate growth and therefore improve profits – here in “progressive” California, our burgeoning greenhouse marijuana entrepreneurs spike the internal Vitamin C(O2) to well over 1000ppm to speed growth and enhance yields).

And then there is the food chain: omnivores feed on carnivores that feed on herbivores that feed on vegetation (both terrestrially and in the oceans). There is only one organism on Earth today that is limiting its prolific celebration of the currently enhanced atmospheric CO2 levels. And it’s the only organism intelligent enough to be entirely confused. There is no replacement that we might beneficially “migrate to” for this functionality. CO2 is required for this life-benefit regardless of that we might think to imagine or otherwise pass into law. This inevitable cycle will continue. And no matter how diligently some might confusedly think it should be arrested, we cannot arrest it. It should not be arrested. And it will continue to climb (naturally) so long as the Earth continues to warm (and likely for some time thereafter owing to the thermal delay of the oceans). Elevated CO2 is factually stimulating the proliferation of all life on Earth (including, of course, polar bears).

So if, as is so commonly assumed, the current spike in atmospheric CO2 is substantially or entirely anthropogenic, one then needs to ask what has inhibited the natural spiking that would normally accompany this 150 year long warming trend (actually 400 years of warming since the coldest depths of the Little Ice Age) such that our anthropogenic release could act as the sole (or primary) source of the current spike? A partial answer to this important question may be largely or at least substantially explained in my prior posting. i.e. We have inhibited insect and microbial emission and substituted a smaller quantity of our own. Then, is the current spike anthropogenic? Certainly it is not. The current atmospheric CO2 spike would be similar, most likely larger, if we were never here.

But a primary difference remains in that our emission is largely of long-time sequestered CO2 while insect/microbial emission is largely not. Regarding this difference it must be recognized that the notion of a steady-state 1:1 pairing of natural CO2 sources and sinks is wholly unjustified when natural release events regularly produce huge and large-scale, long-duration disruptions. And if 1:1 pairing of natural sources and sinks did exist, why do we observe the habitual interglacial CO2 spiking and glacial CO2 dips (is this not simple proof that they are not 1:1 paired)? The CO2 that we humans emit has the most life-generating-value of all CO2 to be emitted, for the very same reason that it is erroneously “perceived” to be the most detrimental. i.e. The “long time” sequestered CO2 that we emit is, in fact, an incremental amount that becomes available to stimulate an additional abundance of life on Earth just because it was “long-time” sequestered (and the same is true for most all naturally released carbon which is mostly “long-time” sequestered itself).

It is extraordinarily difficult to imagine that the natural sources, described in a prior posting, are not at play during this current period of warming. They most likely are the primary cause of the currently observed CO2 spike. However, much conventional thinking posits that this current spike is entirely anthropogenic. And even further, that human emission is so extreme that Mother Nature can only choke down half of it while the other half accumulates in the atmosphere to produce the observed spike. This notion is a monumentally incredible “leap of dis-faith and misunderstanding”.

Erroneous 12C/13C/14C ratio analysis is said to confirm this notion but this single study very much lacks reasonable scrutiny and more recent studies dispute it entirely. Erroneously long atmospheric CO2 residence time is required to support this notion but many recent studies all show a very short residence time. Erroneous 1:1 delicately balanced pairing of natural CO2 sources and sinks is required to support this notion when the Earth regularly absorbs huge natural disruptions and current studies show an enormous Earthly ability to rapidly sink and source additional or incremental CO2. Wholesale disregard of all prior interglacial CO2 spiking is required while it is obvious that our estimates can only be lower than reality. Disregard of the warming stimulation of all natural CO2 sources is required. Circular thinking of the “missing heat” accumulating in the oceans is required. Dismissal of the fact that additional oceanic heat would necessarily stimulate enormous scale oceanic out-gassing of CO2 is required. Thousands of pre-industrial measurements of atmospheric CO2, measured to be substantially higher than today, have to be disregarded. Enormous evidence of recent climate variation, far greater than any observed in the last 100 years, has to be disregarded. The implications of seasonal atmospheric CO2 variation, being several multiples of anthropogenic release, have to be ignored. Satellite maps showing little to no spatial correlation of elevated atmospheric CO2 to centers of industry have to be disregarded. Belief that the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period, each lasting several hundreds of years, were nonetheless small-scale regional phenomena is required. The fact that atmospheric CO2 spiking might reasonably be more than now observed, if we were never here, has to be ignored. And finally, the obvious life-stimulating benefits of enhanced atmospheric CO2, have to be disregarded to the point of being assailed.

Individually each of these notions is a significant oversight. Collectively they make a compelling case for additional scrutiny. Can it really be rationally argued that all these natural sources are not being stimulated by the current warming; that these enormous natural sources are all in quiescent stasis? Or that there is some predetermined, delicately balanced 1:1 pairing with identically stimulated sinks (why then did CO2 ever spike or dip in prior climate transitions?). And that our growing tiny contribution has taken control of a much larger growing flux whose variability dwarfs what we know to be our small fractional contribution?

For all the legitimate argumentation regarding an enormously exaggerated role for CO2 in forcing climate change, little attention is being paid to the so easily argued and overwhelming likelihood that we are contributing a vanishingly tiny (and fundamentally beneficial) percentage of the observed naturally occurring atmospheric CO2 variation – a contribution that would most likely be larger if we were never here.

image

Here in Figure 1 is a simplistic yet accurate and useful “big-picture” de-convolution of the observed temperature variations over the last million+ years. During this most recent interglacial, the only time that literate humans have existed, there is a stunning correlation of enhanced human prosperity, and very presumably of all life, to low-amplitude, warm, high CO2 periods. CO2 is rightfully shown to be, at best, a bit-player in a bit-player regime as regard to influencing climate.

Truly draconian measures to our fundamental means of wealth generation (use of energy) could, say, diminish this tiny contribution by half – from 2% to, say, 1%. But then aren’t we still left with the vast majority (99%) of the current natural trend? It is not only so that the currently observed spike in atmospheric CO2 has little to do with future climate change; but our opportunity to meaningfully affect its future course is simply non-existent; and there is a great deal of evidence that all life on Earth is prolifically celebrating the conditions that we are confusedly committing ourselves to stop. You might best call it Vitamin C…(O2). Meanwhile, it is profoundly so that energy use is identically equal to human accomplishment and prosperity. Nikolai Kardashev and Freeman Dyson found it most useful and logical to classify potential intelligent alien life based on their level of mastery of energy. At the highest and most salient levels, CO2 as a prime driver of climate not only fails, but it fails miserably and, quite frankly, inexcusably for so long.

Summary

 

1. Climate science is very complicated and very far from being settled.

2. Earth’s climate is overwhelmingly dominated by negative-feedbacks that are currently poorly represented in our Modeling efforts and not sufficiently part of ongoing investigations.

3. Climate warming drives atmospheric CO2 upward as it stimulates all natural sources of CO2 emission. Climate cooling drives atmospheric CO2 downward.

4. Massive yet delayed thermal modulations to the dissolved CO2 content of the oceans is what ultimately drives and dominates the modulations to atmospheric CO2.

5. The current spike in atmospheric CO2 is largely natural (~98%). i.e. Of the 100ppm increase we have seen recently (going from 280 to 380ppm), the move from 280 to 378ppm is natural while the last bit from 378 to 380ppm is rightfully anthropogenic.

6. The current spike in atmospheric CO2 would most likely be larger than now observed if human beings had never evolved. The additional CO2 contribution from insects and microbes (and mammalia for that matter) would most likely have produced a greater current spike in atmospheric CO2.

7. Atmospheric CO2 has a tertiary to non-existent impact on the instigation and amplification of climate change. CO2 is not pivotal. Modulations to atmospheric CO2 are the effect of climate change and not the cause.

8. Elevated atmospheric CO2 is best recognized as elevated Vitamin C…(O2) in that it stimulates all life on Earth to the great benefit of all life on Earth.

9. Human use of fossil fuels beneficially returns sequestered carbon to the life-cycle of the planet.

10. Increased energy consumption is identically equal to increased human prosperity. However, warm climate periods with relatively high atmospheric CO2 are also historically required to enable human prosperity.

11. The Sun clearly imprints several high-frequency but low-amplitude signatures on climate (ones that dwarf any signature that might be attributable to an atmospheric CO2 effect as this effect is, so far, immeasurable).

12. We do not yet know the drivers of major low-frequency but high-amplitude climate change. However, these powerful drivers overwrite all other consideration including, for example, solar induced stable latching states.

Dr. Murry Salby’s recent analysis of the Mauna Loa CO2 record has confirmed that the current spike in atmospheric CO2 is largely, if not essentially entirely natural. His work also confirms CO2’s minimalist, if not non-existent, climatic effect. Meanwhile, solar scientists are making great progress at explaining the natural causes of high-frequency but low-amplitude climate variation during this most recent and current interglacial.

However, when it comes to low-frequency but high-amplitude climate change, there is a dearth of acceptable scientific explanation. Many are trying to extend the high-frequency but low-amplitude effects of solar and cosmic ray influences into this low-frequency but high-amplitude domain – but with limited to marginal success, at least so far. And CO2 is rightfully no longer in the running for such a possible explanation. We now debate exactly how minimalist CO2’s influence so obviously is and whether or not its influence can actually be detected. Meanwhile solar drivers are easily validated with their substantial influence (at least solar drivers are substantially influential during an interglacial but not likely the prime-driver for major transitional events).

Yet it appears manifest that these major climate swings are caused by an overriding and truly “pivotal” driver – one whose influence handily overrides the substantial albedo modulations of solar and cosmic ray influences. I submit that there must be another yet far more consequential driver whose investigation warrants exceptional attention and investigation.

In a future posting I hope to share a hypothesis of low-frequency but high-amplitude major climate change. The hypothesis may be correct or not. However, as good science is practiced, I will make quantified predictions that will, if untrue, invalidate the hypothesis.

About the Author

Ronald D Voisin is a retired engineer. He spent 27 years in the Semiconductor Lithography Equipment industry mostly in California’s Silicon Valley. Since retiring, he has made a hobby of studying climate change for the last 7 years. Ron received a BSEE degree from the Univ. of Michigan – Ann Arbor in 1978 and has held various management positions at both established equipment companies and start-ups he helped initiate. Ron has authored/co-authored 55 patent applications, 24 of which have issued.

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180 Responses to An Engineer’s Take on Climate Change #2

  1. Robber says:

    Your argument starts with the statement: At an atmospheric concentration of 380ppm and higher the limited long-wave spectral absorption of CO2 is essentially saturated. Consequently, yet more atmospheric CO2 becomes vanishingly less relevant to a greenhouse effect (if at all).
    Are you able to substantiate that statement?

  2. AndyG55 says:

    Its about time we got more of that sequestered carbon out of the ground.

    An accident put it there, its up to us to fix the problem.

    The Earth desperately needs more CO2 in the atmosphere.

    How this moronic idea that CO2 is somehow bad, and causes catastrophic warming, ever gain any traction at all is totally beyond me. Its IDIOCY !!!!

    Money and power speak very loud, I guess. !!.

  3. Peter Miller says:

    As a geologist, I agree with everything except the part about most of the recent CO2 level rise being natural, not anthropogenic.

    I am sorry, but that makes a thoroughly good and thought provoking article sound a bit cranky.

    Higher temperatures undoubtedly stimulate natural CO2 production, but not on the increased levels we have seen over the past half century.

  4. Ken Hall says:

    “There is only one organism on Earth today that is limiting its prolific celebration of the currently enhanced atmospheric CO2 levels. And it’s the only organism intelligent enough to be entirely confused.

    I love that phrase. Sooooo true!

  5. Jimbo says:

    Here are a few studies that indicate that co2 is a fertilizer and not a toxin.

    Randall J. Donohue et. al. – 31 May, 2013
    Abstract
    CO2 fertilisation has increased maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments

    [1] Satellite observations reveal a greening of the globe over recent decades. The role in this greening of the ‘CO2 fertilization’ effect – the enhancement of photosynthesis due to rising CO2 levels – is yet to be established. The direct CO2 effect on vegetation should be most clearly expressed in warm, arid environments where water is the dominant limit to vegetation growth. Using gas exchange theory, we predict that the 14% increase in atmospheric CO2 (1982–2010) led to a 5 to 10% increase in green foliage cover in warm, arid environments. Satellite observations, analysed to remove the effect of variations in rainfall, show that cover across these environments has increased by 11%. Our results confirm that the anticipated CO2 fertilization effect is occurring alongside ongoing anthropogenic perturbations to the carbon cycle and that the fertilisation effect is now a significant land surface process.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract

    May 2013
    Abstract
    A Global Assessment of Long-Term Greening and Browning Trends in Pasture Lands Using the GIMMS LAI3g Dataset

    Our results suggest that degradation of pasture lands is not a globally widespread phenomenon and, consistent with much of the terrestrial biosphere, there have been widespread increases in pasture productivity over the last 30 years.
    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/5/5/2492

    10 APR 2013
    Abstract
    Analysis of trends in fused AVHRR and MODIS NDVI data for 1982–2006: Indication for a CO2 fertilization effect in global vegetation

    …..The effect of climate variations and CO2 fertilization on the land CO2 sink, as manifested in the RVI, is explored with the Carnegie Ames Stanford Assimilation (CASA) model. Climate (temperature and precipitation) and CO2 fertilization each explain approximately 40% of the observed global trend in NDVI for 1982–2006……
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/gbc.20027/abstract

  6. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    As my simple mind sees it.

    What is carbon dioxide. It’s 2 bits of oxygen attached to a bit of carbon.
    How does the sun heat the earth. The rays heat the soil which heats the air.
    Now surely if the sun heats the soil then it must also heat the carbon of the CO2 molecule on the way down. Which in turn will heat the air.

    CO2 must therefor prevent some of the suns rays reaching the ground as soon as the rays encounter it.
    Ah but you say the CO2 will radiate 50% of the heat it acquired back to the ground.
    Yes but that is 50% of the heat that would have reached the ground if there were no CO2.

    Water vapour in the atmosphere is doing the same thing.

    The Sun is actually heating the air and here is the proof:

    http://www.shadowchaser.demon.co.uk/eclipse/2006/thermochron.gif

  7. Jimbo says:

    Robber says:
    June 14, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Your argument starts with the statement: At an atmospheric concentration of 380ppm and higher the limited long-wave spectral absorption of CO2 is essentially saturated. Consequently, yet more atmospheric CO2 becomes vanishingly less relevant to a greenhouse effect (if at all).
    Are you able to substantiate that statement?

    http://www.ipcc-data.org/ddc_reporting.html
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/4-carbon-dioxide-is-already-absorbing-almost-all-it-can/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/08/the-logarithmic-effect-of-carbon-dioxide/

  8. Keith says:

    Free Air Carbon dioxide Enhancement (FACE) experiments with eCO2 conducted at Duke University under the auspices of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) provide mixed results based on the types of trees and the tree growth being measured.

    See
    http://www.annualreviews.org/eprint/wJxDadSqMz2VupKBxZay/full/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-102209-144647

  9. michel says:

    @ Robber
    Its just a function of logarithmic effect. You get the same 1C rise from every doubling. Go from 300 to 600, that’s one degree. Go from 600 to 1200, its also one degree.

    Assuming, and its a big if, that there are no feedback effects negative or positive.

    Diminishing returns. Its just physics.

  10. Frans Franken, MSc Mechanical Engineering says:

    Great post. I’ve been wondering how photosynthesis is presented in today’s biology class books. Are highschool students taught about of the essence of CO2 for all life, or do they perceive it as a “pollutant”?

  11. AndyG55 says:

    Ask yourself. When there is a bushfire, where does all that heat go?

    Upwards , of course !

    The atmosphere is controlled by the pressure/temperature/density gradient. End of story.

    If there is excessive heating for ANY source, the atmosphere immediately reacts to remove that heat. That is what the atmosphere does.

    Any minor heating from mythical back radiation must be immediately countered.

    The ONLY substance that can significantly alter the pressure/temperature/density gradient is dihydrogen monoxide.

  12. AndyG55 says:

    for.. = from.

  13. johnmarshall says:

    Come on Peter Miller look at the data, ie. that data that the warmists ignore because it negates their arguments. Scientists in Victorian times measured atmospheric CO2 levels, using the same chemical methods in vogue today, and found European levels at up to 490ppmv. We seem to believe that one measurement made on an active volcano known to spew out CO2 is the real atmospheric figure. This is total rubbish as the real figure changes diurnally, annually, seasonally, hemispherically and positionally. It is easy to calculate the CO2 produced annually by fossil fuel use and that is 3-4% of the total annual budget. So 97% of the CO2 produced is natural.
    Ice core data for proxy historic CO2 levels is not very good, to say that figures produced are an underestimate of the true figure would not be streaching a point. Past figures are higher that we are led to believe by warmists but then they are trying to peddle a political wish not live with reality.
    I too am a Geologist.

  14. Bloke down the pub says:

    ‘Vegetation on Earth is exploding just now due to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2.’

    Oh noes. It’s worse than we thought.

  15. AndyG55 says:

    “Oh noes. It’s worse than we thought.”

    Too right it is, darn mower should be working overtime… (but it isn’t , because I’m lazy)

    grass is getting tad long, though..

    wonder if I should buy a sheep !!

  16. Bob says:

    CO2 + H2O + photons = CH2O + O2
    The formula used is for the production of formaldehyde which isn’t a primary product of photosynthesis. Try (CH2O)n. Also, what happened to CO2 deposition as Ca(CO3)2 ?
    As a chemist, the equation stopped me there. Now, I’ll go back and read the article.

  17. Bob says:

    Some chemist. CaCO3.

  18. Ben Wouters says:

    “I submit that there must be another yet far more consequential driver whose investigation warrants exceptional attention and investigation.”

    I’m pretty confident I’ve found that driver. It’s called “Mantle Plumes”.
    These are convection driven magma eruptions, that deposit huge amounts of magma on top of the crust. When they hit an ocean (> 70% chance ;-) ) all this magma heats the ocean and influences our climate for millions of years. The biggest eruption I identified poured ~100 million km^3 magma into the Pacific, enough magma to cover the USA plus Canada under ~5km of magma and capable of heating all the oceans some 15 – 20K.
    Since these plumes are convection driven, it takes time to “reload” for the next one.
    Looking at past temperature reconstructions it seems they occur every 150 million years or so.
    In between the Earth cools down to a period of ice ages, possibly even a Snowball Earth situation.

    See http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/124-real-global-warming.html
    for some details.

    Ben Wouters

  19. Alan D McIntire says:

    A red light went on in my head when I read Ferdinand Engelbeen’s critique of Georg Beck’s CO2 figures. Englebeen argued that Beck was measuring CO2 near sources and sinks, while the Mauna Loa figures measured actual “background” CO2. As Ronald Voisin points out, the “natural” background would be close to zero O2 and about 28% CO2 in our atmosphere. The only way to get a “natural” atmospheric balance of gases would be by destroying all life on earth.

  20. Tom in Florida says:

    Perhaps it is the natural evolution of an Earth like planet to eventually sequester so much CO2 that life stops. In a sense, the planet kills itself by uncontrolled plant growth. Perhaps in a very small number of these planets intelligent life (excluding the subspecies humanus politicianus) arises quickly enough to counter this runaway death spiral. We may have saved ourselves in spite of ourselves.

  21. more soylent green says:

    Robber says:
    June 14, 2013 at 12:31 am
    Your argument starts with the statement: At an atmospheric concentration of 380ppm and higher the limited long-wave spectral absorption of CO2 is essentially saturated. Consequently, yet more atmospheric CO2 becomes vanishingly less relevant to a greenhouse effect (if at all).
    Are you able to substantiate that statement?

    I’ve seen this claim before and I, too, would like to see more of the science that supports this claim. If it’s true, it’s another nail in the AGW coffin.

  22. wws says:

    comment: “Higher temperatures undoubtedly stimulate natural CO2 production, but not on the increased levels we have seen over the past half century.”

    That is a purely faith-based statement, and has not one shred of science behind it.

    Climatism is the fundamentalist religion for people who tell themselves they’re too smart to fall for fundamentalist religions.

    Evidence can help change someone’s mind about a scientific facts, but evidence will never make a dent in the mind of one who holds the One True Faith.

  23. Patrick says:

    “Tom in Florida says:

    June 14, 2013 at 5:11 am”

    Or literally rusts to death. Large areas of Aus and Africa are red due to this event (I don’t usually link to Wiki, but this contains in one place what seems to be ok).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Oxygenation_Event

    I am not sure if “life as we know it” would survive such an event

  24. michel says:

    “I’ve seen this claim before and I, too, would like to see more of the science that supports this claim. If it’s true, it’s another nail in the AGW coffin.”

    Its obviously true, and its commonplace. Its just the consequence of basic physics, the forcing effect is constant with doubling of ppm. So going from 300 to 600 has the same effect as going from 600 to 1200. Or going from 50 to 100. Which is 1C assuming no feedbacks either positive or negative.

    However, this is not a nail in the coffin for AGW. Because the argument is that this forcing effect is magnified by feedback. 1C is trivial. But if its magnified by 3 or 4 by feedbacks, its quite serious. On the other hand if its damped by negative feedback its even more trivial.

    This is all very well known stuff. The interesting argument is that it seems only to be the last doubling that is magnified by positive feedback. This is interesting and I agree that it seems odd.

  25. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Yet it appears manifest that these major climate swings are caused by an overriding and truly “pivotal” driver – one whose influence handily overrides the substantial albedo modulations of solar and cosmic ray influences. I submit that there must be another yet far more consequential driver whose investigation warrants exceptional attention and investigation.”

    I’d be interested to hear more about that.

    As I currently see it cloudiness and albedo variations from changes in solar induced Jetstream behaviour between poleward zonality and equatorward meridionality are all we need to explain observed climate changes.

    I also distinguish the ozone related mechanism behind such climate shifts from solar magnetic effects and cosmic ray influences on cloud nuclei availability.

    What else is there?

  26. ebkennel@yahoo.com says:

    You are right that the earth’s atmosphere is saturated with IR absorbing gas, but wrong that this contradicts the mainstream opinions. You need to review the literature on lapse rate and effective radiating level, to understand that additional CO2 will change the ERL but not the lapse rate or the effective radiating temperature,, and that is the proposed mechanism for heating of the earth. It is not the same mechanism as heating of a glass walled greenhouse.

  27. Patrick says:

    “michel says:

    June 14, 2013 at 6:31 am

    However, this is not a nail in the coffin for AGW. Because the argument is that this forcing effect is magnified by feedback.”

    Where is the “magnifying” (Shall we say amplifying?) energy coming from?

  28. John Law says:

    “AndyG55 says:
    June 14, 2013 at 4:12 am
    “Oh noes. It’s worse than we thought.”
    Too right it is, darn mower should be working overtime… (but it isn’t , because I’m lazy)
    grass is getting tad long, though..
    wonder if I should buy a sheep !!”

    Come on Andy, think it through. The sheep farting. will only compound your problem

  29. BioBob says:

    Not bad, thanks for the article, Ronald D. Voisin.

    The important thing is time – it takes time for a disturbed natural system to equilibrate. I don’t believe anyone is arguing that humans have “disturbed” the environment. Instead we disagree on the significance & consequences of the perturbation.

    If scientists want to stop wasting money and actually do some science about CO2 they could do worse than to ACTUALLY QUANTIFY NATURAL CO2 SOURCES AND SINKS. You know, like learn exactly where and how much 97% of all the CO2 comes from and why it’s concentration is currently rising because they sure as hell don’t know now. You all do realize that nobody actually KNOWS how much CO2 is absorbed and generated by a square kilometer of forest, river, plain, ocean, desert, etc ? Nor do they KNOW what each CO2-relevant process generates and how that process behaves in the natural world. So how about we actually learn something ?

    I realize this can be kind of difficult, but I have faith if they can find a way to conclude AGW, they can do anything, ROFL.

    But NO, that would be too much like work. It’s easier to make models in the lab. Just a sign of the times; if we humans can corrupt politics, there is no reason why we can’t corrupt science as well. Monkey see, monkey do !!

  30. Rod Everson says:

    As a casual reader of WUWT, I’ve got to say that Richard Voisin’s two recent posts have been very interesting, and I look forward to his third when he claims he will propose a theory regarding the cause of the transition to/from the ice ages.

    Also, it seems that his first two posts are withstanding criticism reasonably well thus far. My question to those who understand all this far better than me is: “Which of his positions do you take issue with the most?”

  31. Rod Everson says:

    I’m sorry, Ronald Voisin, not Richard. Meant to double-check, but didn’t.

  32. mpainter says:

    This post underscores the the fact that atmospheric CO2 is entirely beneficial, and that the
    so-called warming effect of increased CO is a theorectical notion that has been refuted by observations.

  33. Barry Cullen says:

    RDV – THANK YOU! Your first paragraph contains the same arguments I have been using for years, usually resulting in glazed over stares but I still use them, along with “do the calculations!” because together they reveal the fallacy of this AGW fraud.

    Note; Tens of millions of years ago some plant life evolved pathways of concentrating CO2 internally so that RuBisCo, THE molecule that fixes CO2 in photosynthesis, is exposed to a higher ratio of CO2 to O2. This is the C4 photosynthetic pathway (vs. the “normal” C3 pathway which takes place after RuBisCo fixes the CO2). C4 likely evolved to save water but 6 – 7 million yrs ago when the cyclic ice ages likely started and CO2 concentrations dropped well below 200 ppm the number of C4 species exploded because C3 plants were at a serious CO2 disadvantage.

    Today, with most food crops being C3 plants (exceptions; corn/maize, sorghum, sugar cane, + a few others) and CO2 rising, primarily because the oceans are degassing due to the warming since the LIA, we are in good shape to feed the estimated 9 – 10 billion people projected to be on earth at the end of this century.

    Warm is good! So is higher CO2 (which always follows warm).

  34. James at 48 says:

    RE: Perhaps it is the natural evolution of an Earth like planet to eventually sequester so much CO2 that life stops.

    I truly fear this. We may be fooling ourselves due to our temporary liberation of carbon as CO2. We needed to be in an all out space colonization effort yesterday.

  35. Barry Cullen says:

    @michel The strong negative feedback is due to the fact that black body (Earth) radiation of energy, in this case back into space, is related to the absolute temperature raised to the 4th power. So, one can see that a tiny increase in Earth’s temperature will result in a humongous increase in energy radiated into space. As pointed out by Voisin here, CO2 absorption bands are essentially saturated, so only water vapor and cloud formation can counter this energy loss.

    Once the warmists realize this, they will start calling for water vapor emission controls too. :-))

  36. Alan D McIntire says:

    “Tom in Florida says:
    June 14, 2013 at 5:11 am
    Perhaps it is the natural evolution of an Earth like planet to eventually sequester so much CO2 that life stops.”

    That won’t be a problem because plants also breathe oxygen: photosynthesis is separate from this. If there’s not enough CO2 in the atmosphere, photosynthesis slows downs, but the plants would continue breathing in O2 and breathing out CO2, replenishing the CO2 in the atmosphere.

  37. Lou says:

    Vitamin D would be much more accurate rather than vitamin C when comparing CO2 being essential to plant’s health. We get much more vitamin D from the sun rather than food which is very limited. Thanks to junk science, we’re led to believe that the sun is bad for you… just like that we’ve been led to believe CO2 is bad for you…

  38. Emerson says:

    ““Higher temperatures undoubtedly stimulate natural CO2 production, but not on the increased levels we have seen over the past half century.” that is something that can be seen in following article : “CO2 fertilisation has increased maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments.” Geophysical Research Letters, 2013 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract). The authors developed a model to analyze the specific CO2 fertilization effect and tested it for regions like southwestern corner of North America, Australia’s outback, the Middle East. These (warm, arid) regions were chosen because their total leaf cove change could be very accurately estimated by satellites and it is where the CO2 fertilization effects were expected to better observed.
    The model made an estimation of 5% to 10% increase in the total leaf cove which agreed WITH THE 11% DETECTED, once it was adjusted for precipitation. The model was successful in isolating others factors like increase in precipitation by correlating the soil greenness with soil wetness for three years and establishing upper limits for the total leaf cove. The satellite’s data regarding the foliage surpassed these uppers limits and were attributed to the CO2 fertilization effect.
    This other article here form the Kansas State University Research and Extension: “Elevated Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Trims Wheat, Sorghum Moisture Needs” (http://www.ksre.k-state.edu/news/story/carbon_dioxide032513.aspx) points to the fact that an increase in the CO2 air concentration seems to compensate the drought has on winter wheat and sorghum. “Our experiments showed that higher carbon dioxide compensated for reductions in growth of winter wheat due to drought. Wheat that grew under elevated carbon dioxide (2.4 times ambient) and drought yielded as well as wheat that grew under the ambient level carbon dioxide and well-watered conditions.” and “Due to the increased carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, it now takes 55 milliliters (mL) less water to produce a gram of sorghum grain than it did in 1958,…” what means a possible economical gain.

  39. jai mitchell says:

    From the very first line of this blog,

    “At an atmospheric concentration of 380ppm and higher the limited long-wave spectral absorption of CO2 is essentially saturated. Consequently, yet more atmospheric CO2 becomes vanishingly less relevant to a greenhouse effect (if at all). ”

    It became clear to this engineer that the person invited to write on this webpage has zero understanding of the physics involved with climate change. As an engineer, I am sure that the engineer-author of this piece is familiar with logarithmic functions.

    The logarithmic function of CO2 absorption-readmission (without feedbacks) is

    RF = 6.6*ln(C/Co) Where C is concentration and Co is 100 ppmv

    this means that the heat energy produces by the greenhouse effect of co2 in the atmosphere is a logarithmic function. and that each doubling of concentration will lead to an identical amount of heating.

    At a heartland institute debate between Roy Spencer and Scott Denning this was addressed in a question and both agreed that we are still far away from saturation.

    for additional review:
    http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=4697
    Conclusion

    Most of the confusion about “saturation” of CO2 comes from a lack of understanding of how both absorption and re-emission are linked in the atmosphere.

    The confusion also arises because atmospheric physics uses the term “saturation” to mean something more technically defined – that the atmosphere is “optically thick” at that wavelength. Two groups of people using the same word with a different (but related) meaning inevitably leads to confusion.

    The radiative transfer equations are the basic and proven equations for the absorption and radiation of energy in the atmosphere. Solving these equations using line by line calculations shows that most of the additional effect from more CO2 occurs in the “wings” of the band and not in the band center.

    Doubling CO2 from pre-industrial levels will lead to an increased “radiative forcing” of around 3.7 W/m2, and this part of climate science at least, is well understood.

    ———————————

    The fact that this false information is being put up on this site puts all of the other data being put up here into question. Do you guys have some kind of scientific review of the things put up on the front page here?

  40. jai mitchell says:

    Weird, the link did not go to the point in the question on youtube: to see the question answered about saturation by denning and spencer at the heartland inst. meeting, skip ahead to 1:00:50

    (questions at the end)

  41. Barry Cullen says:

    Alan D McIntire says:
    June 14, 2013 at 7:58 am
    snip>
    You may be confusing photorespiration & photosynthesis. Plants need just a little photorespiration to grow but more than that “little” it is a destructive process. Breakeven, where they stop growing, i.e. photoresp = photosyn, for C3 plants is at about 21% O2 and below 170 – 180 ppm CO2 and above 27% O2 at ~280 ppm CO2. Photorespiration predominates during the day when plants are under stress, e.g. excessive heat and/or light or deficiencies in water, CO2, and/or nutrients.

  42. jai mitchell says:

    I didn’t realize this before but in reviewing the answer by Dr. Roy Spencer he says,

    “Well, Fred, it’s the pressure broadening”

    And since the off-camera speaker is an older-sounding gentleman with an Austrian accent, I can only assume then that the question was posed by Dr. Fred Singer, lead skeptic. It seems very interesting to me that this question was posed by someone so much in the forefront of the skeptic community and showed such an obvious lack of basic understanding of the physics involved.

  43. Thanks, Ronald. Very good analysis.
    It should be easy for people to understand that CO2 is the gas of life for carbon-based creatures.
    But it is easier for people with no understanding of physics to believe otherwise.

  44. Barry Cullen says:

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 8:44 am
    Snip>

    CO2 absorption will only be saturated at 100% CO2, 1,000,000 ppm. And the 3.7 W/m^2 for doubling of CO2 to 560 ppm appears to be a significant figure but there appear, from the data not from the hysteria, to be so many interacting non-linear feedbacks involved here that that number is really inconsequential, just like the “missing heat”. Main among the negative feedbacks is the radiation being related to T^4. It doesn’t take much of a temp increase to piss that additional 3.7W/M^2 off into space or even twice that rate if you are thinking CO2 radiates half back down to earth.

    Satellite data shows NO tropospheric warming for tens of yrs as required by GHG theory. The theory is wrong or incomplete.

  45. Gary Pearse says:

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 8:57 am
    Jai, the log function is, for all practical purposes essentially equivalent to a limiting factor. Current increase is 2ppmv a year, 200ppm a century. Lets say over the present century we double this increase on average to 4ppmv – a heck of a jump in industrial activity you’ll agree, then we are talking about a doubling in a century to 800ppmv (highly unlikely but lets go for it) this means we can look forward to another 1C into by 2100 or so. Since we are finding so much unconventional natural gas (even a couple of hundred years worth in UK) we can assume that the CO2 output for a unit of industrial production will be much lower than the present high coal-based energy situation. This is “depressing” log limiter is what motivated the now crumbling notion of high positive feedback – it was too puny on its own to sell disaster. I, too, am an engineer.

    Also, on your evidence for Fred Singer being ignorant of the basic physics from his question, you must be aware of the attorney’s redirect tactic of asking a question he/she already knows the answer to to correct notions left by questions put forward by opponents.

  46. Bart says:

    Peter Miller says:
    June 14, 2013 at 12:57 am

    “Higher temperatures undoubtedly stimulate natural CO2 production, but not on the increased levels we have seen over the past half century.”

    This is a misconception based on static models. For example, the oceans are dynamic, continually upwelling waters which, at this time, happen to be rich in CO2. The resulting outgassing of that CO2 acts as a continuous, temperature dependent pump into the atmosphere. While the process is temperature dependent, the primary mover is the continual upwelling of CO2 rich waters, for which temperatures would have to drop significantly to inhibit outgassing and amplify absorption so that the CO2 in downwelling waters balances.

  47. J Martin says:

    Peter Miller said on June 14, 2013 at 12:57 am . As a geologist, I agree with everything except the part about most of the recent CO2 level rise being natural, not anthropogenic.

    Then you need to watch the Murry Salby youtube video. You will find it to be a fascinating and worthwhile and rewarding time to spend an hour of your time.

  48. J Martin says:

    In parts of the oceans there is known to be increased volcanism and one side effect of this would be to warm the ocean which may be one of the primary contributors to the increase of co2 in our atmosphere.

  49. Chad Jessup says:

    I submit that the greening of the world seen through the eyes of satellites is mainly caused by the increased application of fertilizers to broad expanses of agricultural land coupled with more land being tilled, the insignificant increase in atmospheric CO2 being a very minor player.

  50. assman says:

    [Invalid email account. — mod.]

  51. Sabertooth says:

    “e current spike in atmospheric CO2 would most likely be larger than now observed if human beings had never evolved. The additional CO2 contribution from insects and microbes (and mammalia for that matter) would most likely have produced a greater current spike in atmospheric CO2.”

    Can you unpack that a bit? How does the evolution of humans inhibit the CO2 contribution of insects, microbes, and mammals?

  52. DGP says:

    Fossil fuels eventually breakdown and migrate back into the carbon cycle to some degree. Much of what we now combust for energy would have eventually been respirated by microbes and returned to the life cycle.

  53. jai mitchell says:

    Gary,

    annually, CO2 increased by 1.4% last year.

    compared with CO2 concentrations at the beginning of the industrial revolution this is an annual increase in CO2 concentration of 2% per year. At that rate, we would reach 100% in 50 years (doubling).

    under high emission scenarios we are expected to double our CO2 atmospheric concentration (from pre-industrial levels) at around 2060. we are currently on track for doing that.

    this doesn’t include the fact that atmospheric moisture vapor content goes up with temperature and land and summer sea ice levels go down with warming (increasing absorption levels). So a 1 degree per doubling is much less than the absolute minimum we can expect between now and 2060. In addition it will take some period of time before the heat energy reaches equilibrium (it takes a lot of time to warm up the planet. . .)

  54. Charles Perry says:

    I’ve long been saying I’m proud of my large and vigorous carbon footprint — it’s a way of feeding my plant brothers and sisters. I see using fossil fuels as a way of returning to the biosphere carbon that was stolen from it millions of years ago by evil geological process.

  55. Hans Erren says:

    Ronald

    Are you familiar with the superposition principle of CO2-fluxes?

    To my knowledge CO2 in the atmosphere is perfectly following the Fick diffusion law, and also the airborne fraction seem to be in agreement with that.

    Looking at the ice cores the maximum contribution from ocean outgassing due to temperature increase since the little ice age I estimate at 10 ppm, also very visible in the medieval warm period at the law dome measurements and stomata in medieval trees.

    http://members.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/co2time.gif

  56. Ryan says:

    Is it normal for this blog to have posts that doubt the anthropogenic nature of the rise in CO2? I’m pretty new here, and I was told it was a place of serious, scientific questions.

  57. john robertson says:

    Trolls can tolerate no doubt.
    Doubt is the duty of all free men.

  58. Margaret Hardman says:

    All of these plants are bursting out all over, yet still carbon dioxide increases. Isn’t that a problem? I don’t see the commenters noting that. If the sequestration by plants is not taking up all the extra carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels then the problem still remains (unless your head is in the sand). As Chad Jessup says, there are plenty of factors involved in greening of parts of the planet, not just carbon dioxide. What recent research shows is that science is filling in the pieces of the puzzle. The God of the gaps style argument used by many “skeptics” will become less and less tenable. That’s even if this post had any real credibility in the first place.The truly appaling “cartoon” graph has no place in serious discourse. It is beneath contempt. Draw a real graph or don’t bother.

  59. Barry Cullen says:

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 10:51 am
    Blah, blah,…

    Jai,
    Apparently, from your written concepts, you’re a young engineer who hasn’t read ALL (ok most) of the literature. To those of us who have, it is intuitively obvious that the data does not (yet) support increasing CO2 driving up the moisture content of the air. If it does then there is a system, in place for billions of years, to handle that, i.e. the adiabatic lapse rate. As warm, humid air (I’m from N.H., it feels hot to me) rises it cools about 5.5°F/1000 ft. At some altitude the relative humidity reaches 100% and a cloud forms releasing the latent heat of moisture as it condenses, further warming the air and driving ever higher. As the air continues to rise and cool it radiates that energy into space.

    IF the moisture is driven a little higher by CO2 then the cloud will form at a lower altitude, more heat will be released and that will drive the air even higher where the released energy is radiated into space. Another self-regulating system, so the level of CO2, whether from burning coal or oxidized methane from cow farts, it matters little.
    BC

  60. Bob says:

    AndyG55 says:
    Its about time we got more of that sequestered carbon out of the ground.
    An accident put it there, its up to us to fix the problem.

    You gotta love that attitude. My favorite fix is to make larger SUV’s, and pump all the oil out of the ground we can in the shortest time available. More SUV’s, the more CO2, the better the crops and vegetation, and the better life we all have. If we run out of oil, well, as they say, Stuff Happens!

  61. Ian W says:

    Alan D McIntire says:
    June 14, 2013 at 4:53 am

    A red light went on in my head when I read Ferdinand Engelbeen’s critique of Georg Beck’s CO2 figures. Englebeen argued that Beck was measuring CO2 near sources and sinks, while the Mauna Loa figures measured actual “background” CO2. As Ronald Voisin points out, the “natural” background would be close to zero O2 and about 28% CO2 in our atmosphere. The only way to get a “natural” atmospheric balance of gases would be by destroying all life on earth.

    I really never understood the vitriolic attacks on Georg Beck. He collated CO2 measurements made by multiple scientists including several Nobel Laureates. I presume it was easier to ad hom attack him rather than the people who did the measurements. The claims that the measurements were near sources and sinks is incorrect, as we see from the satellite sensors now the sources of CO2 are the forests (plants respire as well as transpire) the amount of CO2 from human industry seems to be swamped in the background noise. But people don’t like to know that humanity even with all its industry produces less CO2 than insects or plankton.

  62. Ronald Voisin says:

    Ryan and Margaret,

    I would like to bet you each a beer regarding atmospheric CO2′s natural vs anthropogenic origin.
    But first take in a rigorous explanation:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ROw_cDKwc0&feature=player_embedded
    It starts in German but the presentation is in English.
    Then a more intuitive explanation:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/04/an-engineers-take-on-major-climate-change/
    And then you’ll decline the bet if you have any sense.

  63. Ian W says:

    ebkennel@yahoo.com says:
    June 14, 2013 at 7:05 am

    You are right that the earth’s atmosphere is saturated with IR absorbing gas, but wrong that this contradicts the mainstream opinions. You need to review the literature on lapse rate and effective radiating level, to understand that additional CO2 will change the ERL but not the lapse rate or the effective radiating temperature,, and that is the proposed mechanism for heating of the earth. It is not the same mechanism as heating of a glass walled greenhouse.

    And people need to review the literature on lapse rate and realize its links to the latent heat of condensation and fusion of water. When water condenses or freezes it releases the same amount of heat regardless of the outside air temperature. So a fast convective updraft of the type found in the tropics can be as much as 100 kts or more vertical speed carrying liquid water which then freezes at say 40,000 or 50,000 ft where the outside air temperature may be minus 60C.. It is still the same amount of latent heat released – totally ungoverned by the ambient temperature and not subject to Stefan Boltzmann. Look at GOES East http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/flash-rb.html and do not confuse temperature with heat.

  64. jai mitchell says:

    Barry Cullen

    increased warming causes increased evaporation, increased temperatures reduces condensation. For every degree warmer the cloud layer must rise. This has been observed and documented very well by the 500mb height anomalies.

    saying that the 7% of increase in atmospheric humidity since the early 1900s is not caused by CO2 is simply wrong.

  65. jai mitchell says:

    Ryan,

    yes, I thought so too. I have to tell you though, there really isn’t any filter around here. I have seen some pretty preposterous theories about why AGW isn’t real and, as long as they go against the climate change consensus they are tolerated (and even supported).

    Like the discussion about the atmosphere being in CO2 saturation. I mean, this is a common myth put out by the denialists and has absolutely no scientific basis whatsoever. In fact, Dr. Roy Spencer, a climate skeptic himself states unequivocally that since we can measure the infra red radiation wavelengths coming from the earth in the spectrums that are absorbed by CO2 then we CANNOT be experiencing saturation. It is a scientific impossibility, but you won’t find that, very simple, fact here.

  66. jai mitchell says:

    Barry Cullen

    “no tropospheric warming in tens of years”

    Really???

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1993/mean:12/plot/uah/from:1993/trend

    Even using the satellite data that is much less than the realistic surface temperature data put out by non-climate change skeptics we get a rise of .25C in 20 years

  67. Patrick says:

    “jai mitchell says:

    June 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    In fact, Dr. Roy Spencer, a climate skeptic himself states unequivocally that since we can measure the infra red radiation wavelengths coming from the earth in the spectrums that are absorbed by CO2 then we CANNOT be experiencing saturation. It is a scientific impossibility, but you won’t find that, very simple, fact here.”

    Really? Care to back that statement up with some facts?

  68. Margaret Hardman says:

    Ronald

    Sorry, teetotal. Won’t take the bet on those grounds. But then I wouldn’t deny you the chance of drowning your sorrows.

    Can you answer me one thing? Where do all these insects get their carbon from? And where do those organisms that the insect eat get their carbon? And what happens to the carbon once those insect die, or are themselves eaten? You have not, so far as I can see, explained how insects and microbes would have increased the “natural” spike we see now since an increased biomass would surely have reduced the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But then deomposers would have returned that carbon to the atmosphere.

    Oh, hang on, this climate thing is complex. That’s why it is easy for you to pick out something where there is some vagueness in the data or variability and make it look as if the edifice of climate science is actually falling down. I’ve seen the same thing, equally badly done, amongst evolution deniers and intelligent [sic] design proponents and they don’t overturn the consensus either. Science doesn’t proceed by consensus. It accretes a consensus when the evidence convinces those that know what they are talking about of its truth.

    Now, forgive me, my speleology awaits. I’m off potholing tomorrow.

  69. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..Robber says:

    June 14, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Your argument starts with the statement: At an atmospheric concentration of 380ppm and higher the limited long-wave spectral absorption of CO2 is essentially saturated. Consequently, yet more atmospheric CO2 becomes vanishingly less relevant to a greenhouse effect (if at all).
    Are you able to substantiate that statement?…….””””””

    Well so what if it is “saturated” ? That just means, that all of the CO2 band photons, will get absorbed in an even thinner layer of air close to the ground. That layer will warm, and ultimately re-emit an LWIR spectrum (iso-tropically), and the upward portion of that, will in the CO2 band, be absorbed in the next overlying layer of CO2 bearing air. And so on. The result is the delay in final escape, keeps on increasing any way. If the atmosphere gets warmer, it loses heat energy faster by conduction, and convection to higher altitudes, and also loses energy faster by radiation.

    Doesn’t mean the atmosphere quits warming, or the ground necessarily gets much hotter; a small change in cloud cover can negate the entire effect.

  70. R. Shearer says:

    I agree with Chad Jessup regarding his statement of “the insignificant increase in atmospheric CO2″ but disagree with him and Margaret Hardman of the role of increased fertilizer applications. One can look at where “greening” is occurring and in many cases this land is not impacted by fertilizer application in the least.

    On the other hand, all carbon based life forms (basically all life) require more carbon stoichiometrically.

  71. Ryan says:

    To be frank, Ronald, we could never collect. If you can believe that increased insect and microbe respiration rates could have driven CO2 as fast as human CO2 emissions over a century or more timespan then you have zero connection to reality. You may as well be telling us that graboid farts melted the Arctic last year. If you aren’t already convinced, you never will be.

    I think the deleted post about Greenland ice being 650 years old was as reasonable as this insect nonsense.

  72. goldminor says:

    Margaret Hardman says:
    June 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm
    ————————————
    Margaret points out that despite all the ‘new’ green growth expansion, this new growth is not consuming enough of the rising amount of co2. To that I would say that you have to take into account the massive deforestation that is still ongoing. What is going to lockup more co2, a new rosebush or a 50 year old tree that has 200 more years of natural life in it? There are many aspects to consider.

    Another thought in line with the topic of this post is “Wouldn’t more co2 be highly desirable for a population of humans that are numbered above 7 billion and will grow to approximately 9 billion in the not too distant future?”. How much of the Indian jungle range is left as compared to 60 years ago, when i was a young child? How much will be left in the burgeoning nation of Indonesia by 2050? Loss of trees in the tropics has a greater impact on the cooling budget of the globe as that is where much of the heat cycle starts for the globe. Yet that is exactly where the greatest escalation of deforestation has taken place since the mid 70s, in particular.

  73. Dazza says:

    Gave up as soon as the author assumed to be fact high concentrations of CO2 was around in the beginning. Unprovable so junk science, the rest may be great but he lost me second paragraph.

  74. Bart says:

    Ryan says:
    June 14, 2013 at 11:25 am

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Anyone who still believes that humans control atmospheric CO2 levels in the face of now overwhelming evidence is an idiot who has no idea what he is talking about.

  75. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..Gary Pearse says:

    June 14, 2013 at 9:56 am

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 8:57 am
    Jai, the log function is, for all practical purposes essentially equivalent to a limiting factor. …..”””””

    Well maybe so; maybe not.

    Anthony’s gizmo, says that CO2 is currently 398.4 ppm, presumably ML data. In 1957/58 IGY, when ML started, the value was 315 ppm.
    398.4/315 =1.264762 and Ln of that is 0.23488
    it is well known that Ln(1+x) = x – x^2 / 2 + x^3 / 3 – …… so that Ln (1+x) is not very different from x for small values of x.
    Also e^x is 1+x /1! + x^2 /2! etc. so for small values of x there is not much difference between Ln(1+x), x, and e^x – 1. they all are close in value to x.

    So based on what ML CO2 data has done since 1957/58, and what the measured mean global Temperature has done since then, I don’t see how anyone could distinguish between a logarithmic, or linear, or exponential relationship between CO2 abundance, and mean global surface Temperature.

    And I am quite sure, the data can equally well be fit to the form: y = exp (-1/x^2) also with xy in either direction (CO2 and T).

    CO2 and Temp, have not even gone in the same direction all the time since 1957/58, so lets stop trying to squeeze them into some mathematical relationship; there is none.

  76. Margaret Hardman says:

    Bart
    “Anyone who still believes that humans control atmospheric CO2 levels in the face of now overwhelming evidence is an idiot who has no idea what he is talking about.”

    Control? I wish. Affect I think is the verb you were searching for there.

  77. AndyG55 says:

    @ Tom in Florida.

    The subsistence balance state of CO2 v plant life seems to be around 280ppm, where it was before humans, THANKFULLY, started releasing buried carbon in the form of coal and oil.
    It is unlikely to drop below this value because plants start struggling and dying this putting CO2 back into the system. Its a predator/prey scenario. By releasing carbon from its buried state, we are altering this balance, and the biosphere is starting to respond as expected. :-)

    This carbon SHOULD be in the biosphere, aiding LIFE, not buried and useless.

  78. Gary Pearse says:

    Margaret Hardman says:
    June 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    “All of these plants are bursting out all over, yet still carbon dioxide increases.”

    But not accelerating. And so will the greening keep going. The little plants grow and consume more and the marginal areas newly become green. The limitation might be moisture, but everyone is telling me higher temps mean more moisture in the atmosphere. CO2 has been growing for a long time. A logical explanation of the greening is that a certain level had to be reached before this thing could get into gear. We don’t have to argue the point when greenhouse vegetable operations pump over 1000ppm into the greenhouse and get better yields.

  79. Margaret Hardman says:

    AndyG55

    This carbon SHOULD be in the biosphere, aiding LIFE, not buried and useless.

    Is there any justification for this other than that you believe it? Are you going to dig up all limestone and thermally decompose it because that is effectively fossil carbon dioxide (and in the case of chalk is effectively fossils)? Or did you not think about what your fingers were typing? What rubbish.

  80. jai mitchell says:

    bart,

    if you don’t think that humans cause CO2 emissions, then I can’t possibly discuss this with you.

  81. Ronald Voisin says:

    Ryan,

    Get out of the minutia. The atmosphere is not yet fully saturated at CO2 absorbing wavelengths. Neither is it fully saturated at H2O absorbing wavelengths.

    It’s still relevant that 1ppm increase today is less consequential than 1ppm yesterday.

    And in the larger scheme of things, atmospheric CO2 concentration is irrelevant to climate yet significantly relevant to the proliferation of all life of Earth.

    We have several hundred years of fossil fuel left that we know of, and possibly much more than that. And if you look at the progress being made with Traveling Wave Reactors, Thorium Reactors, U238 Reactors and Modular Reactors it becomes clear that we’ll have all the energy we want long before exhausting the available fossil fuel.

    Quit imagining that you might improve humanity’s condition by choking it…or blood-letting it. It’s best improved through expanded energy use. And that just happens to be best for the environment. Only rich prosperous societies can afford to worry about the environment. And they get rich with energy use.

  82. jai mitchell says:

    Patrick says:

    June 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Really? Care to back that statement up with some facts?

    sure:

    go to 1:01:52 (end of video)

  83. AndyG55 says:

    EnvionMENTALists that HATE plant life.. and love to destroy avian life. Gotta wonder.

    Are you one of those Margaret.. I’m guessing so.

    Plants evolved in times of MUCH higher CO2 concentration. Live with it. !!

    And your suggestion about limestone is stupid and a total red herring, and you know it,

    You are just trying to be a fool !!! And succeeding admirably.

    Get off the CAGW bandwagon, and start to use your brain for a change. !

  84. AndyG55 says:

    Its going to be fun watching the CAGW bletheren over the next few years as the world temps start to ease back down.

    HadCrud and GISS will be constantly trying to invent “adjustments” to further corrupt the surface records.

    The disciples will be getting shriller and shriller, and coming out will more and more unsubstantiated claims about hidden heat,

    Gotta buy a pop-corn machine ! :-)

  85. Ronald Voisin says:

    Here’s what we might imaging of AndyG55 in a 1:1 conversation with Margaret

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg

    OK…OK, it’s cheap but a little levity at CAGW expense can help us with the pain they want to inflict.

  86. AndyG55 says:

    And if you are going to do the right thing and put carbon back into the system , you obviously don’t start with such an inefficient process. You start with the most efficient one. Coal and other fossil fuels, that also provide cheap reliable and efficient energy as a bi-product.

    I’ll leave expensive, unreliable , and inefficient , to the alternative energy sector, thanks.

  87. AndyG55 says:

    @Ronald.

    Yes, pointing out the blatantly obvious to CAGW devotees, does go something like that !! :-)

  88. Margaret Hardman says:

    Andy G55

    I shall not resort to capitals to explain that you said that sequestered carbon dioxide should be in the atmosphere to aid plant life. Of course limestone is a red herring but it also illustrates the absurdity of your point. Fossil fuels are not there to be recycled into atmospheric CO2. They are there by an accident of geology. Live with it.

    As for your assumptions about me and those people that call themselves environmentalists, don’t bother. It just shows your prejudices rather than illuminates anything about me. I think I’ve said before that I am not an environmentalist. I have studied woodland ecosystems however, which might taint me with that brush but is just one of those things that scientists do, study things. Destroying avian life? Unworthy of comment. I don’t have anything to defend myself against and certainly having no trouble not looking like an idiot.

    As for plants evolving in times of higher CO2 concentrations. I’ve lived with that for decades. I’ve studied plant palaeontology too. So what? What matters is the conditions that plants are presently adapted to. Plants do grow better at higher CO2 concentrations, at least C3 plants do.

    As I said before, you are speaking utter rubbish and trying to show me up with a few damp squib comments, some of them with the caps lock on. You are starting to sound like Norman in that famous Python sketch, know what I mean?!!!!!!!!!!!!

  89. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Those arguing the (mainly) anthropogenic source of the rise of CO2 concetration are somewhat misguided IMHO. Sure, human emissions must of course be contributing some small amount to the overall biospheric ‘CO2′ content – but the natural emitters and sinks are by far greater emitters and reducers in terms of scale. The whole co2 follows temp issue illustrates this beyond any real question within the ice core data (no suv’s in prehistory!). The only ‘issue’ with the current observations (of CO2 increase) is to decide whether they are man made (i.e now) – or from some previous warm period some 900 or whatever years ago? We simply do NOT know at this moment in time! The Mauna loa measurements are NOT a guarantee or definitive of actual SOLE human contribution. In fact, it is argued that some 50% of the human contribution is allegedly ‘taken in’ by sinks based on carbon ‘budget’ calculations (which themselves are extremely rough estimates!). The annual variabilty of the co2 measurements clearly illustrates the scale of the seasonal up/downs of the sinks/emitters, yes? Well – Duh! – if that is the case, why can’t it simply be that some of the natural emitters OR sinks are working more or less as efficiently than in the past – which returns us to the whole CO2 follows temp argument, etc…..
    Take a silly example (but entirely plausible) , of the Amazonian rainforest – if it is cold there (for a few months) the rain forest will struggle to ‘sink’ its normal amount of CO2 – this amount alone could probably exceed the supposed human CO2 emissions (WAG ?). Similarly, if the oceans have warmed a smidgen – they could give up more co2 – probably more than all human emissions?. The origin of the observed CO2 rise is not actually PROVEN to be anthropogenic as far as I can see. Heck, the alleged carbon residency in the atmosphere is still not agreed either AFAIK.
    I can see, easily, as can anyone, that deforestation causes a co2 rise – so how much of the current co2 level is due to deforestation? how much is due to oceanic temp changes? or that natural sinks have stopped sinking? etc, etc
    To my mind, there is no more merit in arguing that current co2 rises are definately anthropogenic anymore than the current temp rises are anthropogenic – it is simply impossible to define the situation based on current data/knowledge.
    I am not disputing that human co2 is a reality – but I am disputing that the observed (M.Loa) rises are solely human caused. As I have said before, a (CO2) sneeze of the oceans is likely far more serious a source of co2 than humans – as the co2 content of the oceans is simply vast by comparison. (remember here, that a ‘sneeze’ is in terms of geologic timescale – i.e possibly millenial !) similarly a weak (or series of) summer, with low growth, prevents trees and plants ‘sinking’ as much co2 as ‘normal’? so where are we on the ‘real’ co2 natural variability cycle? – and more importantly, can we be sure, that we are the cause of the observed rise?. In my humble opinion this has yet to be demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt.

  90. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Margaret Hardman says:
    June 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    With respect I say No ! – perhaps you miss my point. And with regard to ice core data as mentioned in the start of your link, so I stopped reading there TBH – even that is a proxy and has no real, direct and demonstrable (proven) context to todays ‘assumed’ values. – that’s why they are called ‘proxies’ – we don’t actually know the co2 value hundreds of thousands of years ago – it’s still a ‘best’ guess.

    Please actually READ the sinks/emitters graph in your link – the estimate emitters/sinks are in the order of 440GT per year – with humans being 26 GT per year – let’s call it 5%. BUt co2 is rising at say 0.5% per year – so you immediately have a 10 fold discrepancy. my simple question is WHY? if the 440GT sink from photosynthesis is reduced by 5% – that EQUALS the human/industrial output of co2 !
    The assumption is based on ALL the other vast sinks and emitters being constant – which clearly they are not, and cannot be (otherwise why have we had varying co2 in the palaeo-past?)!

    But we KNOW (ok, perhaps, strongly infer is a better description) that co2 follows temp by several hundred years – yes? Now, I want someone to prove to be me – beyond reasonable doubt – that the CURRENT observed co2 rises are not the result of some past temp change – such as the MWP. AFAIK, such ‘proof’ is unavailable – but I am happy to be corrected.

  91. Bill Illis says:

    Is it just me that sees this or does jai mitchell have serious problem with numbers. Every single number he/she has used in the last 2 weeks has been wrong. Sometimes slipping a digit, sometimes just making stuff up, sometimes no clue.

    Let’s take the first example in this thread of =6.6*ln(C/Co) where Co is 100 ppm.

    First of all, noone has ever seen this formula before. Second, the Earth has never, ever, ever had 100 ppm of CO2 – all the plants would have died so what is the point. Third, today’s CO2 level produces a temperature increase since CO2 was at 280 ppm (1760 or so) of +1.85C which is a little ridiculous.

    So, I imagine one can safely ignore every number he/she quotes.

  92. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Margaret Hardman says:
    June 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm
    One other glaring mistake contained within your links ‘graph’ -
    it says ‘before the industrial age – co2 sources were balanced by sinks’
    WHAT a LOAD of complete Bulldust !! The earth has NEVER been in actual equilibrium, for co2, temperature, solar irradiation, visits by extra terretsrials, the value of the pound vs the dollar, or anything else you care to think of! As a geologist of many years, I can assure you that the history of the earth, has, at no state, represented a period of equilibriium – sure , there have been relatively stable epochs – but they ALL changed, for some reason or other (and none of them were human induced!)

  93. Barry Cullen says:

    @RDV Thanks again! That ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg ) is about the funniest thing I’ve watched in years..”..all I want you to do is listen!”

    BC

  94. jai mitchell says:

    Bill Illis

    The RF value isn’t temperature it is radiative forcing.

    the fact is that CO2 is NOT in saturation, that there IS a heating effect for increased concentrations.

  95. jai mitchell says:

    Kev in UK

    you said,

    To my mind, there is no more merit in arguing that current co2 rises are definately anthropogenic anymore than the current temp rises are anthropogenic

    so you think that it is just a suspicious coincidence that as soon as we began burning a hundred billion tons of hydrocarbons, that happen to produce CO2 and emit it into the atmosphere that the atmospheric CO2 concentrations began to rise?

    really?

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~dennis/CO2_Vos-ML2.gif

  96. Ronald Voisin says:

    The not-so-suspicious coincidence is that rising Earthly temperature causes rising atmospheric CO2.

  97. Konrad says:

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 8:44 am
    “Doubling CO2 from pre-industrial levels will lead to an increased “radiative forcing” of around 3.7 W/m2, and this part of climate science at least, is well understood.”
    ———————————————————————————-
    All 73 climate models that have assumed that the net effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is warming have failed against empirical radiosonde balloon and satellite observations.

    The simple answer is that the radiative GHE hypothesis is in error. The net effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is cooling.

    To answer the AGW question you must solve for atmospheric temperatures for a moving gas atmosphere over a surface exhibiting a diurnal temperature cycle. Solving for radiative flux only using a two shell model without diurnal cycle gives the wrong answer.

    The reason is that radiative gases play a critical role in driving tropospheric convective circulation. This circulation would stall without radiative cooling at altitude allowing the subsidence of air masses in the Hadley, Ferrel and polar cells. The speed of convective circulation is altered by the concentration of radiative gases in the atmosphere.

    The low to mid atmosphere is heated in three ways, conduction, interception of surface and solar IR and release of latent heat. The upper atmosphere is cooled by only one mechanism, IR radiation to space. The net radiative flux out to space from the upper atmosphere is more than TWICE the net radiative flux into the lower atmosphere. The role of radiative gases in driving the speed of mechanical energy transport from the surface cannot be ignored.

    The calculations in the “basic physics” of the “settled science” have not solved for radiative flux and speed of mechanical energy transfer simultaneously. In the age of the internet, this error is a matter of permanent record.

  98. Bill Illis says:

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm
    Bill Illis
    The RF value isn’t temperature it is radiative forcing.
    ——————————-

    Maybe you should tell the climate modellers and the IPCC that.

    They use –> Equilibrium Temp C Increase = 0.81C/W/m2 * RF increase W/m2

    I know “math again!” which isn’t your strong suit.

  99. jai mitchell says:

    Bill Illis,

    The equilibrium temp increase is expected to be 1.5 times the value of the climate sensitivity value The expectation that raising CO2 from 280ppmv to 400ppmv causes a 1.25 C increase in temperature is well within the uncertainty of the climate change analysis. The point is that the RF is logarithmic and we are no where near saturation as this article says.

    Can you quote the algorithm where you got the .81C/W/m2 link? from a site other than this one?

  100. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..Konrad says:

    June 14, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 8:44 am
    “Doubling CO2 from pre-industrial levels will lead to an increased “radiative forcing” of around 3.7 W/m2, and this part of climate science at least, is well understood.”
    ———————————————————————————-
    All 73 climate models that have assumed that the net effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is warming have failed against empirical radiosonde balloon and satellite observations.

    The simple answer is that the radiative GHE hypothesis is in error. The net effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is cooling.

    To answer the AGW question you must solve for atmospheric temperatures for a moving gas atmosphere over a surface exhibiting a diurnal temperature cycle. Solving for radiative flux only using a two shell model without diurnal cycle gives the wrong answer.

    The reason is that radiative gases play a critical role in driving tropospheric convective circulation. This circulation would stall without radiative cooling at altitude allowing the subsidence of air masses in the Hadley, Ferrel and polar cells. The speed of convective circulation is altered by the concentration of radiative gases in the atmosphere.

    The low to mid atmosphere is heated in three ways, conduction, interception of surface and solar IR and release of latent heat.

    “””””…..The low to mid atmosphere is heated in three ways, conduction, interception of surface and solar IR and release of latent heat. ….”””””

    Well I understand how conduction heats the very bottom of the atmosphere; but air is a very poor conductor of heat energy, so I would say convection trumps conduction, when it comes to transporting heat energy to the middle or upper atmosphere; but then that “release of latent heat” method really intrigues me.

    Now I understand how extracting “latent heat energy” to a cooler lower Temperature material from say liquid water to phase change to ice (80 cal / gm), or from water vapor to form liquid water (539 cal / gm) in that phase change, take place , but now from where comes this “latent heat release” that “heats the low to mid atmosphere.” ?

    That is a new one on me. Freezing water actually heats something up ??

    When the arctic ocean surface water starts to freeze, it only does so after something colder (lower Temperature) sucks out the latent heat energy that permits the phase change to occur. Absolutely nothing gets hotter than the freezing water (fresh) during the process. Remember, heat energy of its own free will only flows from hot to cold, and the water that is freezing, or the steam that is condensing, is hotter (higher Temperature) than where the latent heat energy flows to.

  101. Jeff Alberts says:

    You all do realize that nobody actually KNOWS how much CO2 is absorbed and generated by a square kilometer of forest, river, plain, ocean, desert, etc ?

    But Cisco says one tree can absorb as much CO2 as my car generates in 11,000 miles.

  102. jai mitchell says:

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    http://www.physics.rutgers.edu/ugrad/140/lectures/lecture_6.pdf

    the IPCC change in temperature for a change in forcing is

    Change in Temperature = .3 X Change in Forcing

    the change in forcing for going from 280 ppmv to 400 ppmv is 2.35 watts per meter squared

    this equals .71 K of warming

    Maybe you should try to get some information from sites other than this one. and watch your tone please, you don’t have to be a jerk, (especially when you are wrong!)

  103. Jeff Alberts says:

    Jai Mitchell: so you think that it is just a suspicious coincidence that as soon as we began burning a hundred billion tons of hydrocarbons, that happen to produce CO2 and emit it into the atmosphere that the atmospheric CO2 concentrations began to rise?

    I think it’s a suspicious coincidence that as soon as we start scrutinizing something closely we become alarmed at what has been happening all along. Example: Ozone “hole” discovered over Antarctica in the mid 1950s and is determined to be completely natural. In the 1970s/80s it’s suddenly something alarming, even though the cyclic characteristics of the “hole” haven’t changed since the 50s.

  104. jai mitchell says:

    Jeff Alberts

    I suppose you are suspicious of all that strontium-91 that has been found in the bones of children who used to drink milk from pastures located downwind from Los Alamos back in the late 50′s too eh????

    or maybe the sudden and inexplicable linkage of Thalidomide to birth defects. . .or maybe the linkage of Aids to the HIV virus. . .

    anyways, I is pretty basic to understand that we are putting a holy &%$%-tonne of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere and have been doing it more and more, especially since the 1940′s and that the global concentration of CO2 has gone up accordingly. That isn’t rocket science.

  105. jai mitchell says:

    Konrad

    if what you say is true then the warming we have experienced over the last 45 years should have been increased by over 300% at the upper troposphere. It hasn’t

    Your theory also doesn’t show why the arctic has been warming 3X faster than the tropics.

  106. Count_to_10 says:

    ” jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    bart,

    if you don’t think that humans cause CO2 emissions, then I can’t possibly discuss this with you.”

    So, here is the thing — human contribution to CO2 emission is about 4%. In order to believe that the current rate of increase is due to that 4%, you have to believe that the other 96% of emission and absorption processes are insensitive to the, what, 30% increase in CO2 concentration, to the level of less than 5%. In other words, the natural emission and absorption processes have to be balanced to the percent level independent of CO2 concentration.
    Otherwise, you have to conclude that the natural absorption and emission balance would quickly adjust to the minor perturbation offered by humans, and that the current rate of increase must be the result of a natural imbalance.

  107. dbstealey says:

    jai mitchell,

    Global warming since the LIA has risen [naturally] by ±0.35ºC per century. That rate of increase has not changed, despite the ≈40% rise in [harmless, beneficial] CO2. Further, global warming has not accelerated, which would be the case if CO2 had the claimed warming effect.

    Therefore, CO2 has nothing measurable to do with global warming. In fact, the rise in CO2 is the result of global warming, not the cause. That is shown in empirical observations: ∆T is the cause of ∆CO2 — not vice-versa.

    There are no comparable charts showing that ∆CO2 is the cause of ∆T. If that is wrong, post your chart here. Otherwise, the facts speak for themselves.

  108. u.k.(us) says:

    jai mitchell says:

    June 14, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    “…That isn’t rocket science.”
    =====================
    So, what is ?

  109. dbstealey says:

    jai mitchell says:

    “Your theory also doesn’t show why the arctic has been warming 3X faster than the tropics.”

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

    And your Conjecture ignores the inconvenient fact of the multi-year, record setting cooling in Antarctica.

  110. Konrad says:

    george e. smith says:
    June 14, 2013 at 7:06 pm
    ————————————–
    The release of latent heat I am referring to is the release of the latent heat of evaporation as water vapour condenses in the mid troposphere. This is energy being mechanically transported to altitude where it is released and radiated to space. Rising moist air masses exhibit a temporary increase in buoyancy due to thermal expansion during the release of this energy.

    The critical point of my post is this -
    “The calculations in the “basic physics” of the “settled science” have not solved for radiative flux and speed of mechanical energy transfer simultaneously.”

    If you alter the quantity of radiative gases in the atmosphere, you alter the speed of mechanical energy transport. Radiative cooling at altitude is critical for continued convective circulation.

  111. DonV says:

    I know it was already mentioned, but most of the CO2 consumed by plants results in carbohydrates. I’ll repeat what Bob said, “Your chemical equation is incorrect.” CH2O is the chemical formula for formaldehyde – or methanal. This molecule has oxygen double bonded to carbon — can’t happen during photosynthesis.

    The correct equation is: 6 CO2 + 6 H2O —> C6H12O6 + 6 O2. Plants make glucose from CO2 not formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a poison.

    On a separate note: concerning the steady increase in the world wide circulating concentration of CO2. I am convinced that it can’t possibly be caused by the burning of fossil fuels, the numbers don’t add up. However, has anyone ever undertaken a simple study to compare the loss of Amazon rain forest acreage to the increase in world wide CO2. The mass balance of many natural sources and sinks need to be investigated to determine where all the CO2 excess is coming from. If burning off fossil fuels isn’t the source perhaps one of the largest sinks is missing a little of it’s past capacity to reabsorb CO2? It seems to me that this loss would also be integrated (ie. additive) over time. . . . kind of like what Dr. Salby pointed out. It would be kind of ironic if it turns out that destruction of the Amazon created the needed increase and sufficient CO2 just in time to improve crop yeilds to feed the increasing world population. If this plus the massive burning of wood in Africa turn out to be the cause, then we have discovered another law —> the conservation of biotic mass. For every piece of wood, gallon of gasoline, or hunk of coal burned there will be an equal but opposite return of biomass somewhere else in the world.

  112. Ronald Voisin says:

    I stand corrected.
    Let’s just go with:
    carbon dioxide + water + light energy → carbohydrate + oxygen

  113. Phil. says:

    DonV says:
    June 14, 2013 at 7:57 pm
    I know it was already mentioned, but most of the CO2 consumed by plants results in carbohydrates. I’ll repeat what Bob said, “Your chemical equation is incorrect.” CH2O is the chemical formula for formaldehyde – or methanal. This molecule has oxygen double bonded to carbon — can’t happen during photosynthesis.

    The correct equation is: 6 CO2 + 6 H2O —> C6H12O6 + 6 O2. Plants make glucose from CO2 not formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a poison.

    That is the correct overall equation but the primary sugar produced by the Calvin cycle is Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, which most assuredly does contain a C=O

  114. Dan Pangburn says:

    Another engineer, who has been researching this issue for several years, has four papers on line that you may find of interest. They provide some eye-opening insight on possible cause of change to average global temperature. The papers are straight-forward calculations using readily available data through up to May, 2013.

    The first one is ‘Global warming made simple’ at http://lowaltitudeclouds.blogspot.com/ . It shows, with simple thermal radiation calculations, how a tiny change in the amount of low altitude clouds could account for half of the average global temperature change in the 20th century, and what could have caused that tiny cloud change. (The other half of the temperature change is from net average natural ocean oscillation which is dominated by the PDO)

    The second paper is ‘Natural Climate change has been hiding in plain sight’ at http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html . This paper presents a simple equation that calculates average global temperatures since they have been accurately measured world wide (about 1895) with an accuracy of 90%, irrespective of whether the influence of CO2 is included or not. The equation uses a proxy which is the time-integral of sunspot numbers. A graph is included which shows the calculated trajectory overlaid on measurements.

    A third paper, ‘The End of Global Warming’ at http://endofgw.blogspot.com/ expands recent (since 1996) measurements and includes a graph showing the growing separation between the rising CO2 and not-rising average global temperature.

    The fourth paper http://consensusmistakes.blogspot.com/ exposes some of the mistakes that have been made by the ‘Consensus’ and the IPCC

  115. Jeff Alberts says:

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Jeff Alberts

    I suppose you are suspicious of all that strontium-91 that has been found in the bones of children who used to drink milk from pastures located downwind from Los Alamos back in the late 50′s too eh????

    or maybe the sudden and inexplicable linkage of Thalidomide to birth defects. . .or maybe the linkage of Aids to the HIV virus. . .

    anyways, I is pretty basic to understand that we are putting a holy &%$%-tonne of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere and have been doing it more and more, especially since the 1940′s and that the global concentration of CO2 has gone up accordingly. That isn’t rocket science.

    Quite excitable, aren’t you.

    Your examples have nothing to do with mine, which relates a natural process. Nuclear testing in Los Alamos, Thalidomide, are human endeavors. Not sure what your point was about HIV/AIDS. Are you attempting to suggest I think those linkages are false?

    Your “&%$%-tonne of Carbon Dioxide” is barely a drop in a very large bucket. Your problem is that there is little to no correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and temperature, except where CO2 lags temperature.

  116. Ryan says:

    [snip - not interested in your rant Mr. Gainey, take it elsewhere - Anthony]

  117. gymnosperm says:

    Ronald,

    You are essentially correct. Unfortunately you write like an engineer. It is like reading three pages of technical journal abstract, or listening to someone who has not practiced their violin play a beautiful concerto. The medium can undermine the message. Read RGB’s posts. Practice.

  118. DonV says:

    Phil. says:

    June 14, 2013 at 8:23 pm
    “That is the correct overall equation but the primary sugar produced by the Calvin cycle is Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, which most assuredly does contain a C=O”

    You are correct sir, I forgot that CO2 provides two C=O ‘s! (Been a long time since I cracked Lehninger. Should have checked before I hit Send). I stand corrected. However, I stand firm on the fact that formaldehyde is not formed in the Calvin reaction. In the first half of the reaction ATP and NADH capture energy from the sun and oxygen is released from 2 water molecules, in the second half (that does not require sunlight), that energy is use to reduce CO2 . The second half involves ribulose biphosphate which scavenges CO2 from the air to form two 3-phosphoglycerate molecules which is subsequently reduced to 2 glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate molecules.

  119. Ronald Voisin says:

    RGB??

  120. Bart says:

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    “if you don’t think that humans cause CO2 emissions, then I can’t possibly discuss this with you.”

    Obviously, we cause emissions. But, they are rapidly diverted into sinks, and have little effect on overall atmospheric concentration. Salby confirms this irrefutably in his lecture. 

    I don’t “think” this, in the sense of having a belief or faith like you. I know it. Otherwise, I trust your assessment of your ability to engage in knowledgeable discussion, and appreciate your notification as to the ultimate futility of that endeavor. 

  121. Margaret Hardman says:

    Bart

    Can you answer a question? If human produced CO2 is rapidly diverted into sinks, why doesn’t the naturally produced CO2 do the same? After all, CO2 levels are rising.

    Now I’m off to do some potholing just north of Glossop.

  122. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Count_to_10 says:
    June 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Well said. But this kind of ‘other possibilities’ thinking isn’t available to warmist/alarmist types!
    Any (old school) real scientist, producing the AGW hypothesis and data today, would have had all the other possibilities and errors ‘ruled out’ to leave only AGW as the remaining ’cause’. In the actual current situtation, we have the warmista holding up AGW as the holy grail of human destruction, allegedly proven by consensus, and every week further analysis shows that there is much that has been ignored, discounted, fiddled and manipulated, in order to produce a desired result.
    And after all this lack of warming, with ever increasing CO2 – they still will not look away from their precious gravy train, and act like real scientists to find the real answers.

  123. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Margaret Hardman says:
    June 15, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Enjoy your speleological adventures. Whilst you are down there, you might like to ponder at all the CARBON locked up in the limestone around you – and also what happened to the carbon dioxide released when it was munched away by water. When the limestone was formed (usually in shallow warm seas, etc) it was a CO2 SINK. Now – it is a CO2 emitter – but also a bloody big storage vault of carbon too, that used to be in the atmosphere. The change from one to the other takes many millions of years and is ONGOING. This is one of many other millions of such examples.
    Now, pick a point, any point you like, in time, where you think the earths co2 has been in equilibrium ! Obviously you can’t – it is in a constant state of change !
    This cannot be stressed enough to non-geology types. Ditto for the oceans, the biomass (all life) on land, the atmosphere, etc, etc. Add all these ‘unknown’ states together and there is no way you can confidently announce that a recent rise of CO2 is definitively anthropogenic. Even more entertaining is the lack of pre-industrial co2 levels (there are no real measurements), for all we know co2 could have started rising at a significant rate a few hundred years ago? I am not saying it DID – I’m simply saying that we do not know for certain what it happening to cause the co2 rise.
    A few of the (many) natural sinks have maybe become less efficient, or a few of the (many) natural emitters have started chucking out more co2. We are dealing with massive natural processes that we know nothing about !
    hope you have a safe day out!

  124. Frans Franken, MSc Mechanical Engineering says:

    Konrad says:
    June 14, 2013 at 5:38 pm
    “The role of radiative gases in driving the speed of mechanical energy transport from the surface cannot be ignored.”
    ____________________
    Very interesting. It might provide an explanation for Miskolczi’s finding that increased CO2 drives water out of the atmosphere. With all fluxes remaining constant (as in Miskolczi’s theory), and under the assumption that the average altitude of H20 molecules in the atmosphere remains unchanged, increased speed of convection implies reduced average residence time and therefore reduced total amount of water in the atmosphere. Which has been shown by measurements since 1949 (NOAA, lower part of atmosphere >300 mb).

  125. Bill Illis says:

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm
    Yeah, that’s what I thought.
    http://www.physics.rutgers.edu/ugrad/140/lectures/lecture_6.pdf
    the IPCC change in temperature for a change in forcing is
    Change in Temperature = .3 X Change in Forcing
    —————————

    You stopped reading the lecture at Page 27 and didn’t get to the “actual” numbers on Page 28.

    Read the last several pages.

  126. goldminor says:

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm
    the fact is that CO2 is NOT in saturation, that there IS a heating effect for increased concentrations.
    ———————————————————————————————————————————
    Then explain why the CET temperature record does not correlate with the huge increase of co2 over the last 20 years or so. We have seen a huge increase since the early 90s, mainly from China and India. Why has the globe not risen above +1.0C from the effects of this increase? http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/graphs/HadCET_graph_ylybars_uptodate.gif

    The above graph shows an approximate 0.5C drop in UK temps since 2005.

  127. Dr Burns says:

    Excellent article. I find it surprising that so many sceptics fall for the alarmist trap of believing that rising CO2 levels are our fault and go on to try to calculate sensitivity numbers to predict how much their CO2 will cause warming.

  128. goldminor says:

    Jeff Alberts says:
    June 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Jai Mitchell: so you think that it is just a suspicious coincidence that as soon as we began burning a hundred billion tons of hydrocarbons, that happen to produce CO2 and emit it into the atmosphere that the atmospheric CO2 concentrations began to rise?
    ———————————————————————–
    Jai forgets to consider that the globe was rebounding back to the 0.0C line during it,s initial rise in the late 1800s. Looking at CET, 1772 to present, take note of 1775, 1895, and 2004/5. These 3 years are all 0.0C points and seem to fit as a longer cycle of approx 115 years. This would explain why the CET is showing that steady drop ever since the last peak. What a wonderful tool the CET has become.

  129. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..@Konrad…..”””””

    “””””…..The low to mid atmosphere is heated in three ways, conduction, interception of surface and solar IR and release of latent heat. …..”””””

    Konrad, this is your statement that I objected to; that low to mid atmosphere is HEATED by “release of latent heat”

    The release of latent heat energy NEVER heats anything (beyond the Temperature of the material undergoing the phase change).

    If the release of latent heat from water vapor say, raised the Temperature of the surrounding atmosphere above that of the water vapor, then the flow of heat energy would reverse, and heat energy would flow from the warmer atmosphere to the cooler water vapor, and the condensation would stop dead in its tracks.

    The cooler atmosphere conducts latent heat energy, from the warmer water vapor, off to some other atmosphere that is cooler still; and only with the extraction of that latent heat, can the water molecules snuggle closer together, and form liquid water.

    Now when you stick your hand into 100 deg. C steam, you will get very badly burned; so don’t do it, but at no time will your skin Temperature ever exceed 100 deg. C.

    BUT !! your skin will be pumped full of 593 calories, per gram of steam, at around 100 deg. C, before the steam liquefies, and then has to drop off about another 63 calories per gram, for the Temperature to fall down to 37 deg. C which is normal body Temperature..

    It is the 656 or so calories of “heat energy” (excuse my rod/stone/fortnight units; one day I’ll learn the Joules equivalent) that burns your flesh, not some super high Temperature over 100 deg. C

    You can prove this by simply dunking your hand into boiling water, at STP. It will cook pretty good; I know, because I routinely cook fish in aluminium foil in boiling water.

    Release of latent heat is NOT a method of warming the atmosphere, or anything else.

  130. Khwarizmi says:

    Ronald Voisin says:
    June 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm
    I stand corrected.
    ================

    No you don’t! You stood correctly in the first place:

    “Now let’s divide the photosynthetic equation by 6 to put it in its simplest possible form:
    CO2 + H2O —> CH2O + O2
    Here, CH2O is not an actual sugar but represents the general formula for a carbohydrate [my emph]. In other words, we are imagining the synthesis of a sugar molecule one carbon at a time. Six repetitions would produce a glucose molecule.”
    Biology, Campbell, Reece, Mitchell, 5th Ed., Ch10 (Photosynthesis) p. 171

  131. PiperPaul says:

    Once the warmists realize this, they will start calling for water vapor emission controls too. :-))
    Part of the problem is people using computers thinking that they are “scientists” just because they are using advanced technology. For example, you can see a lot of up-modded comments at Slashdot that indicate a lack of understanding of the real world.

  132. Alan D McIntire says:

    ” Barry Cullen says:
    June 14, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Alan D McIntire says:
    June 14, 2013 at 7:58 am
    snip>
    You may be confusing photorespiration & photosynthesis”

    I wasn’t even aware that photorespiration existed until I did a websearch after your post. I was referring to Aerobic respiration .

    glucose + oxygen = water + carbon dioxide + ENERGY

    C6H12O6 + 6O2 = 6H2O + 6CO2 + ENERGY

    Aerobic respiration is the same in animals and plants. Too little CO2 and photosynthesis drops, , but plants continue breathingin O2, breaking down their glucose, and breathing out CO2- mainting some kind of balnce.

    Without living things, as I posted before, we;d still have that Nitrogen in the atmosphere, but we’d have zero oxygen- it’d all be replaced by CO2. Our atmosphere is unstable in a “natural” sense. It’s current makeup is solely due to current life on earth.

    Back in the Carboniferous era, oxygen levels shot up way past current levels- that’s why the planet was able to support those giant insects. When O2 got too high, close to 30%, even WET woold could burn- the spread of land based forests and high levels of O2 was unstable- that led to fires and a reduction in O2 below the “safe” level”.

    The current O2, CO2 mix in our atmosphere and oceans must be controlled mainly.by plant and animal life.

  133. Bill from Nevada says:

    As usual, you sound too intoxicated to be in public.
    ==========

    jai mitchell says:
    June 14, 2013 at 8:44 am

    From the very first line of this blog,

    “At an atmospheric concentration of 380ppm and higher the limited long-wave spectral absorption of CO2 is essentially saturated. Consequently, yet more atmospheric CO2 becomes vanishingly less relevant to a greenhouse effect (if at all). ”

    It became clear to this engineer that the person invited to write on this webpage has zero understanding of the physics involved with climate change.

  134. Eli Rabett says:

    Since this appears not to be clear to the author and those commenting on this piece, the greenhouse effect operates by moving the level at which greenhouse gases radiate to space higher in the troposphere, where the temperature is lower, and thus the rate of radiation slower. The net is that to achieve radiative balance with incoming solar the surface has to warm.

    Somewhat less tersely, as has been remarked, the temperature of the atmosphere falls as one rises in the troposphere. A greenhouse gas molecule at any level radiates at a rate determined by the temperature of that level. The average distance that photon can travel depends first on the concentration of the greenhouse gas molecules, and secondarily on the populations of different energy levels which depends on temperature. As a general rule increasing temperature will preferentially populate more levels, thus increasing the range over which the molecule can absorb IR photons. Also, as Roy Spencer points out, increasing pressure, broadens the absorption lines, however all of these effects are secondary.

    The distance the IR photon can travel before being reabsorbed is primarily a function of the concentration of the emitting/absorbing molecule. For CO2 at the surface it is about 10 m. While we can have splendid hare splitting arguments about emission up/down/sideways, etc. the practical net is that emission in the CO2 (and H2O) absorption/emission windows to space is blocked from the surface to up to a few km.

    It is only from levels high enough up that the concentration becomes low enough for emission to space to become probable that the radiation can escape. Since this level is much colder, the amount of emission is lower. As concentrations of greenhouse gas molecules increase, the radiating level moves upward to where the radiation is colder, and thus slower, forcing the surface to warm in order to restore radiative balance.

    Eli has a post which discussed this in some more detail with figures. He will try and post one of them here.

  135. Mark Bofill says:

    Eli,

    This might be the first post I’ve seen by you that I find myself agreeing with. The thing is, what does any of this have to do with Voisin’s article? I don’t seem to read anything that stands in conflict with what you’re saying.

  136. gymnosperm says:

    Eli,
    “forcing the surface to warm in order to restore radiative balance.”

    How do you explain why it has very evidently NOT forced the surface to warm?

  137. Richard M says:

    Eli rabett says: “As concentrations of greenhouse gas molecules increase, the radiating level moves upward “

    You forgot the key words … all else being equal. This is the standard level of critical thinking we see from true believers. They can’t seem to get past the fact that nothing ever remains the same in a complex system like our atmosphere.

  138. Ask yourself. When there is a bushfire, where does all that heat go?

    Upwards , of course !

    The atmosphere is controlled by the pressure/temperature/density gradient. End of story.

    If there is excessive heating for ANY source, the atmosphere immediately reacts to remove that heat. That is what the atmosphere does.

    Any minor heating from mythical back radiation must be immediately countered.

    This is ridiculous. It goes upwards, but can be trapped/delayed by other layers of the atmosphere. It doesn’t just instantly vanish into the Andromeda galaxy.

  139. Eli Rabett says:

    Mark, first sentence “At an atmospheric concentration of 380ppm and higher the limited long-wave spectral absorption of CO2 is essentially saturated. Consequently, yet more atmospheric CO2 becomes vanishingly less relevant to a greenhouse effect (if at all). ” also several of the comments.

    Richard M, care to suggest some caveats to the proposition that the radiating level moves up with increasing concentrations of a greenhouse gas?

  140. Frans Franken, MSc Mechanical Engineering says:

    Eli Rabett, can you substantiate the proposition that the radiating level moves up with increasing concentrations of a greenhouse gas? For CO2 up from, let’s say, 0.03% pre-Industrial to 0.04% today?

  141. Mark Bofill says:

    Eli,

    Mark, first sentence “At an atmospheric concentration of 380ppm and higher the limited long-wave spectral absorption of CO2 is essentially saturated. Consequently, yet more atmospheric CO2 becomes vanishingly less relevant to a greenhouse effect (if at all). ” also several of the comments.

    Okay, good. I think you’re correct on that point.
    Thanks.

  142. Bart says:

    Margaret Hardman says:
    June 15, 2013 at 12:28 am

    “Can you answer a question? If human produced CO2 is rapidly diverted into sinks, why doesn’t the naturally produced CO2 do the same?”

    It does, but the naturally produced CO2 is overwhelming. It is too much for the sinks to handle. This is what the data tell us.

    Eli Rabett says:
    June 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    “… the greenhouse effect operates by moving the level at which greenhouse gases radiate to space higher in the troposphere, where the temperature is lower, and thus the rate of radiation slower.”

    Bzzt. Wrong. Radiation due to ambient temperature is not what the GHE is about. The GHE is about intercepting ground emitted radiation and re-radiating part of it back to the surface. It does not matter where the CO2 is when it receives that radiation and reemits it.

  143. Eli Rabett says:

    Frans Franken, just as soon as Eli launches his Tardis equipped for specral observations he will let you know. . .however Chen et al is a place to start, not perfect but a place to start.

  144. Eli Rabett says:

    Bart, chicken – egg problem

  145. Bart says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    June 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Nice try, but no. CO2 warming works by a specific mechanism. What you are suggesting is an additional amplifying feedback effect, one that presumes CO2 at lower altitudes gets depleted, and so there is less collisional activity leading to lower net outward radiation. But, CO2 content is increasing and, all things being equal, the “base” should only get wider as the “peak” rises, just like a pyramid. And, besides, radiation due to collisions is a second order effect.

  146. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 18, 2013 at 9:17 am
    Eli Rabett says:
    June 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Nice try, but no. CO2 warming works by a specific mechanism. What you are suggesting is an additional amplifying feedback effect, one that presumes CO2 at lower altitudes gets depleted, and so there is less collisional activity leading to lower net outward radiation. But, CO2 content is increasing and, all things being equal, the “base” should only get wider as the “peak” rises, just like a pyramid. And, besides, radiation due to collisions is a second order effect.

    You have it backwards Bart, the CO2 is ro-vibrationally excited by the absorption of IR radiation emitted from the surface. The radiative lifetime of this excited state is orders of magnitude longer than the mean time between collisions near the surface so most of the energy is transferred to the neighboring molecules by collisional deactivation rather than being lost via emission. As the CO2 is raised to higher altitudes the balance between collision and emission shifts towards emission.

  147. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    June 18, 2013 at 10:10 am

    “As the CO2 is raised to higher altitudes the balance between collision and emission shifts towards emission.”

    But, not along the entire column, and the increased density at lower altitudes will intercept an increasing share of the IR heading to the higher altitudes. Furthermore, it is the vibration modes which define the IR bands of interest. Vibrational modes are only slightly affected by kinetic collisions. All in all, any such feedback effect is going to be second order at best.

  148. DirkH says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    June 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm
    “… the greenhouse effect operates by moving the level at which greenhouse gases radiate to space higher in the troposphere, where the temperature is lower, and thus the rate of radiation slower.”

    Obviously you don’t know the difference between blackbodies and gases. Maybe it isn’t taught that deep down the rabbitthole.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/05/co2-heats-the-atmosphere-a-counter-view/

  149. mkelly says:

    Eli Rabett says:

    June 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm
    “A greenhouse gas molecule at any level radiates at a rate determined by the temperature of that level.”

    Would please expound on this in regard a CO2 molecule. Specifically what you mean by “rate”. Hertz is a rate of vibration, but has nothing to do with temperature. Since, CO2 is limited in its capability what is it you mean?

  150. Eli Rabett says:

    The rate of radiation is simply the number of photons emitted per second by a molecule. Radiation competes with collisional de-excitation in the atmosphere. Here is a brief introduction. to the key concepts.

    One can incorporate the spectral characteristics of a molecule into the Stefan Boltzmann law by noting that the SB constant σ can be a function of the wavelength/frequency, written as σ(ν) as long as there is a local thermodynamic equilibrium (so you can talk about the temperature of a given volume).

    Eli is a gentlebunny after a nice snack.

  151. dbstealey says:

    I can’t get past what an idiot “Eli” sounds like: speaking in the 3rd person — and as a rabbit!

    ‘Eli’ needs to grow up.

  152. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 18, 2013 at 11:55 am
    Phil. says:
    June 18, 2013 at 10:10 am

    “As the CO2 is raised to higher altitudes the balance between collision and emission shifts towards emission.”

    But, not along the entire column, and the increased density at lower altitudes will intercept an increasing share of the IR heading to the higher altitudes. Furthermore, it is the vibration modes which define the IR bands of interest. Vibrational modes are only slightly affected by kinetic collisions. All in all, any such feedback effect is going to be second order at best.

    No Bart, the lifetime of the vibrational modes is several orders of magnitude greater than the mean time between collisions, collisional deactivation dominates at atmospheric pressure, it is the emission that is the second order effect!

  153. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    June 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    You need to read DirkH’s link, and understand it.

  154. Eli Rabett says:

    DB says: ‘Eli’ needs to grow up.

    Eli says: Naw, no fun

  155. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 18, 2013 at 9:49 pm
    Phil. says:
    June 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    You need to read DirkH’s link, and understand it.

    Do I indeed? Actually I read it when it was first posted, unfortunately as I and others (incl. Roy Spencer) pointed out at the time it is seriously flawed.
    By Vonk’s analysis the much used Stern-Volmer relationship wouldn’t work!
    http://photochemistryportal.net/home/?cat=11

  156. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    June 20, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Do you even realize what you are arguing? You are saying that lower level CO2 loses its excitation from ground emitted IR to its ambient surroundings, while higher altitude CO2 loses its excitation in random directions, with half going out to space.

    In the former, according to your claim, the energy is retained in the atmosphere. In the latter, half is emitted to space. Which one cools more?

  157. Bart says:

    Do you even know what a luminophore is?

  158. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm
    Phil. says:
    June 20, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Do you even realize what you are arguing? You are saying that lower level CO2 loses its excitation from ground emitted IR to its ambient surroundings, while higher altitude CO2 loses its excitation in random directions, with half going out to space.

    Exactly, which is why increased CO2 in the stratosphere causes cooling. The seminal work in the area is by Clough and Iacono, e.g. Cooling rates by different gases in the atmosphere:
    http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/media/archive/1460.jpg

    In the former, according to your claim, the energy is retained in the atmosphere. In the latter, half is emitted to space. Which one cools more?

    It’s not my claim, that’s basically what happens!

    Bart says:
    June 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm
    Do you even know what a luminophore is?

    Indeed I do, although most of my work in laser diagnostics has been with fluorophores I have occasionally used phosphors.

  159. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    June 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    “Exactly, which is why increased CO2 in the stratosphere causes cooling.”

    I have your word on that? Now, please read the quote from Eli over which we are arguing:

    “… the greenhouse effect operates by moving the level at which greenhouse gases radiate to space higher in the troposphere, where the temperature is lower, and thus the rate of radiation slower.”

    So, you agree that Eli is wrong?

    “Indeed I do, although most of my work in laser diagnostics has been with fluorophores I have occasionally used phosphors.”

    Do these exist in significant quantity at tropospheric heights?

  160. Bart says:

    You see, Phil, I was arguing the conditions which would have to hold for Eli to have been right. As you so clearly show, these conditions do not exist. Thank you for your help.

  161. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm
    You see, Phil, I was arguing the conditions which would have to hold for Eli to have been right. As you so clearly show, these conditions do not exist.

    Really! Optically dense near the surface becoming thinner with altitude is exactly what it takes.

  162. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    June 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    You just agreed that moving the gases higher results in cooling. That is the exact opposite of what Eli says. You got so caught up in your opposition, you lost sight of the argument, and didn’t even realize when you pulled the rug out from under poor Eli. Now, you’re going to change your argument? Have a little respect for yourself, and don’t make such a spectacle.

  163. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 21, 2013 at 8:55 am
    Phil. says:
    June 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    You just agreed that moving the gases higher results in cooling. That is the exact opposite of what Eli says. You got so caught up in your opposition, you lost sight of the argument, and didn’t even realize when you pulled the rug out from under poor Eli. Now, you’re going to change your argument?

    No Bart I did not change any argument and what I said was perfectly consistent with Eli.
    I didn’t refer to changing CO2 concentration with time at all, I just addressed the mechanism of the loss of the IR excitation energy with altitude. Low down collisional deactivation dominates high up radiation dominates, at some altitude there is a switch over to radiation. Eli’s point, with which I agree, is that this altitude is dependent on the CO2 concentration and as [CO2] increases so does this altitude. This is also shown in the Clough & Iacono paper which I referred to.

    Have a little respect for yourself, and don’t make such a spectacle.

    Good advice, you should take it!

  164. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    June 21, 2013 at 10:31 am

    “Eli’s point, with which I agree, is that this altitude is dependent on the CO2 concentration and as [CO2] increases so does this altitude.”

    Which then, by your arguments, leads to cooling. Only, now you are claiming it leads to warming, even though you clearly stated before it leads to cooling. Frankly, I can’t keep track of your ever-changing opinions. The only unifying thread appears to be opposition to whatever I say.

  165. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 21, 2013 at 11:13 am
    Phil. says:
    June 21, 2013 at 10:31 am

    “Eli’s point, with which I agree, is that this altitude is dependent on the CO2 concentration and as [CO2] increases so does this altitude.”

    Which then, by your arguments, leads to cooling. Only, now you are claiming it leads to warming, even though you clearly stated before it leads to cooling. Frankly, I can’t keep track of your ever-changing opinions. The only unifying thread appears to be opposition to whatever I say.

    I haven’t changed a thing, you appear to be incapable of understanding elementary science.
    It’s quite straightforward, CO2 absorbs IR emitted from the Earth’s surface, near the surface that energy is exchanged with the rest of the atmosphere. Higher up in the atmosphere CO2 is able to radiate light into space but because it is at a lower temperature than the surface less IR is emitted from the CO2 than was emitted from the surface. The net effect is that the Earth must warm up due to the presence of CO2 because less energy is leaving the Earth than is arriving from the sun. Once a balance has been reached the Earth has reached its new temperature, the difference in temperature is termed ‘the Greenhouse Effect’. The effect of adding more CO2 according to Eli is to increase the effective radiative height and therefore reducing the temperature from which the CO2 is emitting to space, therefore reducing still further the loss in that region of the IR spectrum and requiring further warming at the surface.
    Note that the troposphere is heated from below whereas the stratosphere is heated from above which appears to be one of your problems.

  166. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    June 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    “Higher up in the atmosphere CO2 is able to radiate light into space but because it is at a lower temperature than the surface less IR is emitted from the CO2 than was emitted from the surface.”

    Insofar as the GHE is concerned, we do not care about normal thermal emission. What we care about is the interception of outbound IR photons from the Earth’s surface, and the retention of that intercepted energy within the local Earth system, when it otherwise would have dissipated into space.

    The primary mechanism for retention is reemission, with half of the reemited photons returning toward the surface, and their energy remaining within the local Earth system until otherwise liberated. Ambient temperature only influences how many of those surface excited CO2 molecules reemit, versus how many shed their vibrational energy via interaction with other molecules.

    You have said it yourself: higher altitude CO2 molecules are more likely to reemit, sending roughly half that energy into space.Otherwise, the energy remains within the local system of the Earth until otherwise liberated. Higher altitude absorption presents less of an obstable to dissipating the intercepted energy.

    From earlier exchange:

    Bart: You are saying that lower level CO2 loses its excitation from ground emitted IR to its ambient surroundings, while higher altitude CO2 loses its excitation in random directions, with half going out to space..

    Old Phil: Exactly, which is why increased CO2 in the stratosphere causes cooling.

    Now:

    New Phil: The effect of adding more CO2 according to Eli is to increase the effective radiative height and therefore reducing the temperature from which the CO2 is emitting to space, therefore reducing still further the loss in that region of the IR spectrum and requiring further warming at the surface.

    So, New Phil says higher altitude CO2 decreases the rate of emissions to space, while Old Phil says higher altitude CO2 increases the rate of emissions to space. Which is the real Phil?

    “Note that the troposphere is heated from below whereas the stratosphere is heated from above which appears to be one of your problems.”

    Irrelevant to the discussion.

  167. Bart says:

    “Ambient temperature only influences how many of those surface excited CO2 molecules reemit, versus how many shed their vibrational energy via interaction with other molecules.”

    And, not only are vibrational states not strongly influenced by collisions but, as Vonk discussed, there are as many exciting them as de-exciting them.

    But, that’s neither here nor there. By your own “expert” opinion, as expressed before you realized you were contradicting him, Eli is wrong.

  168. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm
    Phil. says:
    June 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    From earlier exchange:

    Bart: You are saying that lower level CO2 loses its excitation from ground emitted IR to its ambient surroundings, while higher altitude CO2 loses its excitation in random directions, with half going out to space..

    Old Phil: Exactly, which is why increased CO2 in the stratosphere causes cooling.

    Now:

    New Phil: The effect of adding more CO2 according to Eli is to increase the effective radiative height and therefore reducing the temperature from which the CO2 is emitting to space, therefore reducing still further the loss in that region of the IR spectrum and requiring further warming at the surface.

    So, New Phil says higher altitude CO2 decreases the rate of emissions to space, while Old Phil says higher altitude CO2 increases the rate of emissions to space. Which is the real Phil?

    In the stratosphere the temperature increases with altitude, I guessed you missed that?
    Eli is referring to the troposphere where the CO2 is excited where the heating is by IR from the surface.

    “Note that the troposphere is heated from below whereas the stratosphere is heated from above which appears to be one of your problems.”

    Irrelevant to the discussion.

    Actually it’s not, it’s very pertinent to the discussion, and you apparently just don’t get it!
    Higher altitude in the stratosphere, higher temperature, higher emission.
    Higher altitude in the troposphere, lower temperature, lower emission.
    Below a certain altitude in the troposphere atmosphere is optically thick in the CO2 emission band, and collisional deactivation dominates.

    http://pcall001-environmentalbiology.blogspot.com/2012/04/unit-3-compilation.html

  169. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 21, 2013 at 6:20 pm
    “Ambient temperature only influences how many of those surface excited CO2 molecules reemit, versus how many shed their vibrational energy via interaction with other molecules.”

    And, not only are vibrational states not strongly influenced by collisions but, as Vonk discussed, there are as many exciting them as de-exciting them.

    And as pointed out before Vonk is wrong. As he himself pointed out collisional activation of CO2 vibrational states by collisions with N2 is the basis of the CO2 laser. He was mistaken however in thinking that it was vibration-translation whereas it’s actually vibration-vibration. It is a factor that he doesn’t consider in his faulty analysis, the relative lifetimes of the states, which allows the laser to work, his flawed application of symmetry would prevent the laser from working!

    But, that’s neither here nor there. By your own “expert” opinion, as expressed before you realized you were contradicting him, Eli is wrong.

    No Eli is right, your inexpert interpretation is wrong as pointed out in the post above.

  170. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    June 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    “Higher altitude in the stratosphere, higher temperature, higher emission.
    Higher altitude in the troposphere, lower temperature, lower emission.”

    I see. So, your argument is entirely based on temperature. Not pressure or density or volume or any other variable which affects the rate of collisions. Just temperature.

    And, you think CO2 receives and reemits IR photons from the Earth based on how hot its ambient surroundings are.

    And, you believe that quenching excited states of CO2 molecules by transferring the energy to neighboring molecules so that it remains Earthbound cools the planet, or at least heats it less than free radiation into space.

    Hmmm…

    And, you believe these contradictory claims are proven because, well, several other people think so, too.

    Hmmm…

    Tell me… if CO2 heats the planet by moving to higher altitude, and it moves to higher altitude by heating the planet… by what means do you see this positive feedback cycle reaching an equilibrium?

    Evidently, you need to give this problem more thought.

    ” As he himself pointed out collisional activation of CO2 vibrational states by collisions with N2 is the basis of the CO2 laser.”

    So, you are saying the atmosphere is an active lasing device? Did you read the part about “LTE”?

  171. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 22, 2013 at 12:10 am
    Phil. says:
    June 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    “Higher altitude in the stratosphere, higher temperature, higher emission.
    Higher altitude in the troposphere, lower temperature, lower emission.”

    I see. So, your argument is entirely based on temperature. Not pressure or density or volume or any other variable which affects the rate of collisions. Just temperature.

    No it doesn’t, which I guess is why you didn’t include the next sentence, very disingenuous of you!
    I had assumed from your previous posts that you had a working knowledge of science, evidently I was mistaken or you are being deliberately obtuse to cover up your errors.
    One effect of altitude as I pointed out is to effect the collision frequency, which is a function of number density (P) and Temperature.
    The effect that Eli is eluding to and which I commented on above is that the emission of radiation from the CO2 molecules which are not collisionally deactivated is limited by the Stefan-Boltzmann which in case you didn’t know depends on T^4.

    And, you think CO2 receives and reemits IR photons from the Earth based on how hot its ambient surroundings are.

    It absorbs depending on the absorption coefficient at that wavelength, it’s emission is subject to the S-B law.
    Here’s a good source which will explain it to you:
    http://forecast.uchicago.edu/chapter4.pdf

    And, you believe that quenching excited states of CO2 molecules by transferring the energy to neighboring molecules so that it remains Earthbound cools the planet, or at least heats it less than free radiation into space.

    No I have never said that, it appears to be some wacky idea of yours!
    The planet cools by emitting IR to space, GHGs intercept some of that radiation and cause the surface and lower troposphere to warm up, in the stratosphere cooling occurs when the GHGs increase because of enhanced cooling there.

    And, you believe these contradictory claims are proven because, well, several other people think so, too.

    There are no contradictory claims, just your misconceptions.

    Tell me… if CO2 heats the planet by moving to higher altitude, and it moves to higher altitude by heating the planet… by what means do you see this positive feedback cycle reaching an equilibrium?

    This appears to be a delusion of yours, increased CO2 concentration (everywhere in the atmosphere) increases the effective emission height and therefore reduces emission to space.
    See Fig 4-8 in the above link.

    Evidently, you need to give this problem more thought.

    No, you do!

    ” As he himself pointed out collisional activation of CO2 vibrational states by collisions with N2 is the basis of the CO2 laser.”

    So, you are saying the atmosphere is an active lasing device? Did you read the part about “LTE”?

    No it is not a laser because it is not in a laser cavity, however the physics of the collisions is no different in the cavity, it’s what happens to the emitted light that’s different. LTE is only concerned with particles which have mass, as Vonk himself said in the discussions referred to above.

  172. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    June 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

    “The effect that Eli is eluding to and which I commented on above is that the emission of radiation from the CO2 molecules which are not collisionally deactivated is limited by the Stefan-Boltzmann which in case you didn’t know depends on T^4.”

    You appear to be very confused. We are not talking about blackbody emission here. We are speaking specifically and solely about mechanisms which would tend to heat the Earth when additional greenhouse gasses are introduced, above and beyond what happens naturally whether there is increased CO2 or not.

    “…however the physics of the collisions is no different in the cavity…”

    No, no, no (chuckle). In a CO2 laser, N2 is continuously and artifically excited by an electric current. It is about as far from LTE as you can get.

  173. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 22, 2013 at 3:37 pm
    Phil. says:
    June 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

    “The effect that Eli is eluding to and which I commented on above is that the emission of radiation from the CO2 molecules which are not collisionally deactivated is limited by the Stefan-Boltzmann which in case you didn’t know depends on T^4.”

    You appear to be very confused. We are not talking about blackbody emission here.

    No we’re talking about grey body emission, I suggest that you read the link I provided.

    We are speaking specifically and solely about mechanisms which would tend to heat the Earth when additional greenhouse gasses are introduced, above and beyond what happens naturally whether there is increased CO2 or not.
    “…however the physics of the collisions is no different in the cavity…”

    No, no, no (chuckle). In a CO2 laser, N2 is continuously and artifically excited by an electric current. It is about as far from LTE as you can get.

    Explain how the means of raising the N2 to its first vibrational level effects the collision between the CO2 and N2?

  174. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    June 22, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    “No we’re talking about grey body emission…”

    It is irrelevant. These transitions are not accomplishing anything that would not be happening anyway with or without the increase in CO2.

    Even if the average height of CO2 molecules is increasing, there is still more below than up above, and that quantity is always increasing in absolute measure as the amount of CO2 increases, just as the base of a pyramid increases with its height. Hence, adding CO2 does not reduce the number of collisions at low altitude, and therefore does not reduce the cooling effect on tropospheric N2, such as it is. On the contrary, it should increase it.

    “Explain how the means of raising the N2 to its first vibrational level effects the collision between the CO2 and N2?”

    Because it is being pumped to that level by an applied flow of electrons, which creates a fundamental asymmetry. Without such pumping, in an LTE environment, why would you not expect that there would be as many collisions of CO2 exciting N2 as of N2 exciting CO2?

  175. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 23, 2013 at 12:57 am
    Phil. says:
    June 22, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    “No we’re talking about grey body emission…”

    It is irrelevant. These transitions are not accomplishing anything that would not be happening anyway with or without the increase in CO2.

    Totally wrong Bart, these transitions are the ones that actually allow the small amount of IR that is emitted by CO2 to leave the atmosphere. Note the CO2 band near 700cm-1:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/gw-petty-6-6.jpg

    Even if the average height of CO2 molecules is increasing, there is still more below than up above, and that quantity is always increasing in absolute measure as the amount of CO2 increases, just as the base of a pyramid increases with its height. Hence, adding CO2 does not reduce the number of collisions at low altitude, and therefore does not reduce the cooling effect on tropospheric N2, such as it is. On the contrary, it should increase it.

    This is gibberish!

    “Explain how the means of raising the N2 to its first vibrational level effects the collision between the CO2 and N2?”

    Because it is being pumped to that level by an applied flow of electrons, which creates a fundamental asymmetry. Without such pumping, in an LTE environment, why would you not expect that there would be as many collisions of CO2 exciting N2 as of N2 exciting CO2?

    You stated earlier that: “And, not only are vibrational states not strongly influenced by collisions”
    However Vonk’s reference to the collisional activation and deactivation in the CO2 laser clearly shows your statement to be false.

    There are not “as many collisions of CO2 exciting N2 as of N2 exciting CO2″ because each excited CO2 molecule is surrounded by thousands of N2/O2 molecules with which it collides, the vast majority of which are less energetic than the CO2. Also unlike in Vonk’s simplistic analysis the excited N2 molecule is much more likely to collide with another N2 molecule than a ground state CO2 molecule. There is also an asymmetry present in terms of the lifetime of the states involved, the radiative life time of the excited CO2 is orders of magnitude greater than the lifetimes of the excited states of the N2.

  176. Bart says:

    Phil. says:
    June 24, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Well, you finally came up with a comeback. Took you long enough. I guess you had to convince yourself you were somehow right despite the obvious holes in your logic.

    “You stated earlier that: “And, not only are vibrational states not strongly influenced by collisions”
    However Vonk’s reference to the collisional activation and deactivation in the CO2 laser clearly shows your statement to be false.”

    It requires a resonance condition, so it is generally true most of the time. There happens to be a resonance condition with N2 and CO2. Meh. Just alter the statement slightly, and it is still true: “…not only are net vibrational states not strongly influenced by collisions”

    “…the vast majority of which are less energetic than the CO2…”

    Which, of course, means that there is not a lot of heat there for the CO2 to dissipate. Either way, I win, and you lose.

    Look, Phil, you’re just flailing now. We’ve gone as far as we can, AFAIAC. I’ll let you have the last word, and simply issue a preemptive “No, you are still wrong”.

  177. Phil. says:

    Bart says:
    June 25, 2013 at 9:55 am
    Phil. says:
    June 24, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Well, you finally came up with a comeback. Took you long enough. I guess you had to convince yourself you were somehow right despite the obvious holes in your logic.

    No Bart, unlike you I have a life and spent time with the family! I have better things to do than sit around a computer waiting for a troll like you, who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, to respond.

    “You stated earlier that: “And, not only are vibrational states not strongly influenced by collisions”
    However Vonk’s reference to the collisional activation and deactivation in the CO2 laser clearly shows your statement to be false.”

    It requires a resonance condition, so it is generally true most of the time. There happens to be a resonance condition with N2 and CO2. Meh. Just alter the statement slightly, and it is still true: “…not only are net vibrational states not strongly influenced by collisions”…

    The excitation by N2 is a near resonance condition, however that is a v-v exchange (as I pointed out earlier) and involves a different vibrational state of CO2 than the one we’re interested in in the atmosphere. That one, 010 first excited state, is depopulated to the ground state by v-t exchanges with surrounding molecules exactly like in the atmosphere. The natural radiative lifetime of that state is order 1 sec whereas collisions reduce the lifetime to order 10 microsec!

    “…the vast majority of which are less energetic than the CO2…”

    Which, of course, means that there is not a lot of heat there for the CO2 to dissipate. Either way, I win, and you lose.

    The number of potential collision partners says nothing about how much energy there is to dissipate that depends on how much IR there is in the absorption band.

    Look, Phil, you’re just flailing now. We’ve gone as far as we can, AFAIAC. I’ll let you have the last word, and simply issue a preemptive “No, you are still wrong”.

    Considering the source I don’t pay much attention to your statements!
    Here’s the last word from earlier this week by ‘rgbatduke’ on the subject:
    “It, like the Earth itself, has to shed heat the only way it can, via radiation. Because it is optically opaque in a significant chunk of the LWIR band associated with blackbody radiation from objects in the ballpark of 250-300K, the only place it can radiate heat away is high up, where the gas thins to the point where it is no longer optically opaque. Convection maintains a temperature difference between the surface and that altitude (the dry adiabatic lapse rate) and the fact that most of the cooling of the atmosphere occurs at this (range of) heights is what causes the formation of the tropopause at the top of the troposphere (above in the stratosphere and beyond, the atmosphere warms with height). The cooling rate of the Earth’s surface is substantially reduced because the warmer lower atmosphere returns a lot of the heat it would otherwise radiate directly through an atmosphere that was transparent instead of opaque in the LWIR band. It is consequently warmer, due to greenhouse gases.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/20/if-things-continue-as-they-have-been-in-five-years-at-the-latest-we-will-need-to-acknowledge-that-something-is-fundamentally-wrong-with-our-climate-models/#comment-1345828

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