New study claims to confirm water vapor as global warming amplifier – but other data says no

Just because something is said to be an amplifier doesn’t mean it actually is doing so, plus other datasets don’t show an increase in water vapor.  See below. Also, you gotta love the big burning ball of hot they included with the press release.

From the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

Scientists suggest that water vapor will intensify future climate change projections

This is a color enhanced satellite image of upper tropospheric water vapor.

MIAMI – A new study from scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues confirms rising levels of water vapor in the upper troposphere – a key amplifier of global warming – will intensify climate change impacts over the next decades. The new study is the first to show that increased water vapor concentrations in the atmosphere are a direct result of human activities.

“The study is the first to confirm that human activities have increased water vapor in the upper troposphere,” said Brian Soden, professor of atmospheric sciences at the UM Rosenstiel School and co-author of the study.

To investigate the potential causes of a 30-year moistening trend in the upper troposphere, a region 3-7 miles above Earth’s surface, Soden, UM Rosenstiel School researcher Eui-Seok Chung and colleagues measured water vapor in the upper troposphere collected by NOAA satellites and compared them to climate model predictions of water circulation between the ocean and atmosphere to determine whether observed changes in atmospheric water vapor could be explained by natural or man-made causes. Using the set of climate model experiments, the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces, such as volcanoes and changes in solar activity, but can be explained by increased greenhouse gases, such as CO2.

 

IMAGE: This is an illustration of annual mean T2-T12 field that provides a direct measure of the upper-tropospheric water vapor. Purple = dry and Red = moist.

Greenhouse gases raise temperatures by trapping the Earth’s radiant heat inside the atmosphere. This warming also increases the accumulation of atmospheric water vapor, the most abundant greenhouse gas. The atmospheric moistening traps additional radiant heat and further increases temperatures.

Climate models predict that as the climate warms from the burning of fossil fuels, the concentrations of water vapor will also increase in response to that warming. This moistening of the atmosphere, in turn, absorbs more heat and further raises the Earth’s temperature.

###

The paper, titled “Upper Tropospheric Moistening in response to Anthropogenic Warming,” was published in the July 28th, 2014 Early Addition on-line of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The paper’s authors include Chung, Soden, B.J. Sohn of Seoul National University, and Lei Shi of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Ashville, North Carolina.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/07/23/1409659111.abstract

Full paper: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/07/23/1409659111.full.pdf

Supporting Information: http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2014/07/23/1409659111.DCSupplemental/pnas.201409659SI.pdf#nameddest=STXT

Abstract

Water vapor in the upper troposphere strongly regulates the strength of water-vapor feedback, which is the primary process for amplifying the response of the climate system to external radiative forcings. Monitoring changes in upper-tropospheric water vapor and scrutinizing the causes of such changes are therefore of great importance for establishing the credibility of model projections of past and future climates. Here, we use coupled ocean–atmosphere model simulations under different climate-forcing scenarios to investigate satellite-observed changes in global-mean upper-tropospheric water vapor. Our analysis demonstrates that the upper-tropospheric moistening observed over the period 1979–2005 cannot be explained by natural causes and results principally from an anthropogenic warming of the climate. By attributing the observed increase directly to human activities, this study verifies the presence of the largest known feedback mechanism for amplifying anthropogenic climate change

Significance

The fact that water vapor is the most dominant greenhouse gas underscores the need for an accurate understanding of the changes in its distribution over space and time. Although satellite observations have revealed a moistening trend in the upper troposphere, it has been unclear whether the observed moistening is a facet of natural variability or a direct result of human activities. Here, we use a set of coordinated model experiments to confirm that the satellite-observed increase in upper-tropospheric water vapor over the last three decades is primarily attributable to human activities. This attribution has significant implications for climate sciences because it corroborates the presence of the largest positive feedback in the climate system.

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

I note this graph from their SI, the trend seems tiny, and one wonders if they have done all the appropriate orbital drift corrections that people often like to mention about Christy and Spencer:

wv_trend_upprtropo_figS1

Fig. S1.Decadal trends of observed brightness temperatures as a function of time span for (A) HIRS channel 12 (T12), (B) MSU channel 2 (T2), and (C)MSUchannel 2–HIRS channel 12 (T2–T12). Years specified on abscissa denote the end year of time period starting from 1979. Error bars denote ±2 SE of the linear trend.

However, this dataset below of relative humidity, from reanalysis of in-situ radiosonde measurements (not from remote sensing) suggests water vapor has not been on the increase in the upper troposphere, nor in the middle, nor in the lower troposphere.

Atmospheric Relative Humidity from NOAA ESRL data:

NOAA%20ESRL%20AtmospericRelativeHumidity%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1948%20With37monthRunningAverage[1]

Relative atmospheric humidity (%) at three different altitudes in the lower part of the atmosphere (the Troposphere) since January 1948 (Kalnay et al. 1996). The thin blue lines shows monthly values, while the thick blue lines show the running 37 month average (about 3 years). Data source: Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA). Pre-1973 data from the United States is not homogeneous according to Elliot and Gaffen (1991). See also data description by Kalnay et al. (1996). Last month shown: June 2014. Last diagram update: 12 July 2014.
Click here to download the raw data used to generate the above diagram. Use the following search parameters: Relative humidity, mb, 90N-90S, 0-357.5E, monthly values, area weighted grid.

Specific Humidity (the ratio of the mass of water vapor in air to the total mass of the mixture of air and water vapor) also shows no increase in the upper troposphere. In fact it shows a down-trend, opposite of what would be expected from a water vapor feedback amplifying mechanism.

Atmospheric Specific Humidity from NOAA ESRL data:

NOAA%20ESRL%20AtmospericSpecificHumidity%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1948%20With37monthRunningAverage[1]

Specific atmospheric humidity (g/kg) at three different altitudes in the lower part of the atmosphere (the Troposphere) since January 1948 (Kalnay et al. 1996). The thin blue lines shows monthly values, while the thick blue lines show the running 37 month average (about 3 years). Data source: Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA). Pre-1973 data from the United States is not homogeneous according to Elliot and Gaffen (1991). See also data description by Kalnay et al. (1996). Last month shown: June 2014. Last diagram update: 12 July 2014.
Click here to download the raw data used to generate the above diagram. Use the following search parameters: Specific humidity, mb, 90N-90S, 0-357.5E, monthly values, area weighted grid.

h/t to Ole Humlum at http://climate4you.com/GreenhouseGasses.htm#Atmospheric%20water%20vapor

Interestingly, the 300 mb level (~9-10km above the surface), is the level most commercial airlines fly. Some folks worry that all that water vapor coming from those jet engines each day might have an effect on the upper troposphere, and I’m not talking about the “Chemtrail” loonies. I wonder if their remote satellite sensing was tuned to deal with that?

Contrails-NASA-Langley-Research-Center-1024x809[1]

Satellite image of jet contrails over the southern U.S. on January 29, 2004. Credit: Langley Research Center

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132 thoughts on “New study claims to confirm water vapor as global warming amplifier – but other data says no

  1. The IPCC states –
    8.6.2.3 What Explains the Current Spread in Models’ Climate Sensitivity Estimates?
    In AOGCMs, the water vapour feedback constitutes by far the strongest feedback followed by the (negative) lapse rate feedback.

    Because the water vapour and temperature responses are tightly coupled in the troposphere models with a larger (negative) lapse rate feedback also have a larger (positive) water vapour feedback.
    =====================================================
    Negative lapse rate feedback has not occurred according to RSS data, and you can’t have one without the other!

    Temperature Mid Troposphere – Tropics (-25,25) Trend = 0.085 K/decade
    Temperature Lower Troposphere – Tropics (-25,25) Trend = 0.103 K/decade

    http://images.remss.com/msu/msu_time_series.html

  2. Funny how the first graphs are plotted. The y axis is not the data for that year, but for a data period ending that year. It doesn’t say the duration of the time period. If it’s 10 years, the latest value is for 1995-2005, which is terribly old, especially when you remember the last mega ElNinio of 1998, which must have made the tropospheric humidity go bonkers

  3. If they actually DID find an increase in the satellite data, one wonders how much of it is actually from ‘feedback” and how much of it is simply added moisture due to water vapor in jet exhaust?

    Even if they DID find an increase, surface global warming is at a hiatus for over 16 years. It’s not responding, it is a dead parrot. It’s all a mess, poorly understood, and modeled to death.

    Abstract
    Possible Climatic Effects of Contrails and Additional Water Vapour

    http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-51686-3_8

    ===============================
    Abstract
    Modeled impacts of stratospheric ozone and water vapor perturbations with implications for high-speed civil transport aircraft

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/95JD00196/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

  4. Louis Frank, et al, at the University of Iowa observed a continuous flux of small comets entering the atmosphere. Comets big enough to appear on the images taken from the Dynamics Explorer Satellite, later confirmed by observations from the NASA Polar Spacecraft and ground-based telescopes detailed in a paper published in Journal of Geophysical Research, March 2001 Space Physics.

    It would be interesting to consider the water vapor being continually added to the upper atmosphere by these small comets. But it would be hugely disruptive to a lot of “settled” science.

    http://smallcomets.physics.uiowa.edu/

  5. Of course the outcome states that only manmade carbon is essentially the cause, and it cannot be explained by natural forces. So let’s forget the fact that solar cycles and solar activity have a far stronger correlation to weather than any existing carbon climate models and let’s all support the obvious end-game here – a UN regulated global climate tax.

  6. Anthony’s diligence in offering reportage on all these “It’s worse than we thought” papers is to be commended. I must admit, I rarely get beyond the first paragraph, but it’s good for the historical record.

    I have to tell you all that the underground bunker I’m planning for the impending climate catastrophe is still very much at the concept stage, so if any of you are further ahead than me in terms of implementation then my family and I will be very grateful to receive your hospitality.

    I’m still torn between the vision of a proper bunker or something more akin to Noah’s Ark.

    Difficult choices. I wonder what Dana Nuccitelli would advise?

  7. I am pretty sure if you used these models you could show that global human population rise is not natural and solely the artifact of increased CO2. Junk parameters in = junk results out. Those Godlike Models have temps still going up up and away while real world temps have flatlined, it is amazing how they think some junk parameters = proof. I am going to make a Model to predict the hypotenuse and I will use the formula 2A2 + B2 = C2. When the results in the real world do not work out I will call skeptics of my Model and formula deniers and change the real world results in my favor.
    When will these scientists understand the parameters in their formula are wrong? The feedbacks in the real world do not match the parameters in their formula, hence the reason real world temps have remained flat while their formula says it should be accelerating even faster than it was in the 1990’s. Junk in, junk out. Fix the equation because it is incorrect, how many years must pass before they understand this?

  8. Again and again, it’s ‘models all the way down’.

    If reality doesn’t confirm your hypothesis, models certainly will.

  9. Jimbo says:
    July 28, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    If they actually DID find an increase in the satellite data, one wonders how much of it is actually from ‘feedback” and how much of it is simply added moisture due to water vapor in jet exhaust?

    Even if they DID find an increase, surface global warming is at a hiatus for over 16 years. It’s not responding, it is a dead parrot. It’s all a mess, poorly understood, and modeled to death.

    ——————————–

    It’s not dead, Sir, it’s sleeping!

  10. They used “climate models” to “show” that CO2 can be the only cause for increased moisture. The same old nonsense of using climate models to prove what the climate model assume. Another FAIL by government funded science research.

  11. We have had a series of El Nino driven evaporation events over the study time period. That they used climate models to study volcanic and solar influence confirms to me they did not consider evaporation from El Nino events. This appears to me to be another case of climate scientists dismissing weather pattern variations that have long term oscillations. I also question whether or not adequate measures were obtained in order to determine normal variation. Was one of the scientists a meteorologist? Was one of the scientists a statistician? These two disciplines are absolutely central to these investigations.

  12. If they have managed to detect a water vapour feedback trend (although they leave off nearly 10 years of the latest data), which would be expected, this paper therefore suggests that at least in the short term, the tropical tropospheric vapour feedback is not as important as assumed by the models.

  13. Any increase in land surface and sea surface temperatures will result in more water vapor in the lower atmosphere. There have been none of these.
    More water vapor in the atmosphere will make the energy transfer from the surface to the Tropopause faster. Models that they use, are based on BS and yield garbage results. Computer generated results are no replacement for real facts based on observed results. pg

  14. This alleged co2 induced positive water vapour feedback has NEVER overwhelmed the system. Negative feedback exists too, that is why we are here commenting. I think we need to forget this shite.

  15. We are here for a reason. Carry on typing and don’t worry about water vapour overheating your neighborhood. Dangerous co2 induced warming is based on garbage. Water vapour induced dangerous warming does not exist.

    Science Daily – 2 February 2014
    Nature can, selectively, buffer human-caused global warming, say scientists
    Can naturally occurring processes selectively buffer the full brunt of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activities? Yes, says a group of researchers in a new study.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140202111055.htm

    ——————————-
    Abstract
    C. I. Garfinkel, D. W. Waugh, L. D. Oman, L. Wang, M. M. Hurwitz. Temperature trends in the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere: Connections with sea surface temperatures and implications for water vapor and ozone. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 2013; 118 (17): 9658 DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50772

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jgrd.50772

  16. William Abbott says:
    July 28, 2014 at 3:57 pm
    ======================================
    I remember reading an article, likely in SA, about 20 years ago which proposed a similar thought that this is in part how the Earth gained it,s water mass.

  17. Let me be clear. Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas, but it has not and will not cause dangerous warming today, tomorrow or in 2100. It never has.

    Co2 is a greenhouse gas. Without it we would be freezing chaps. We are here today and alive. This is a con job.

    IPCC – Climate Change 2007: Working Group I
    Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas, and carbon dioxide (CO2) is the second-most important one. ”

  18. “New study claims to confirms water vapor as global warming amplifier – but other data says no”

    Ain’t settled science great?

  19. The change illustrated in their Fig. S1.Decadal trends of observed brightness temperatures as a function of time span is laughable! With those error bars, the changes could just as well be strongly negative and they would still be within the error bars drawn. Any supposedly detected change is swamped by noise—just like the claim of CO2 heating the atmosphere.

  20. “The fact that water vapor is the most dominant greenhouse gas underscores the need for an accurate understanding of the changes in its distribution over space and time.”

    There it is. The money request. I knew it would be in there somewhere.

  21. [snip if you have something to say, say it and show your work, citations, etc. rather that just a "Mosher says so" No more drive by from you, sorry. - Anthony]

  22. Weird…. Anthony you compare reanalysis data to actual observed values.
    Reanalysis derives from models

    REPLY: next you’ll tell me I deny weather forecast models. Sheesh. Reanalysis of data in a model is one thing, forecasting using models 3-5 days in advance (where they can constantly be verified and improved, as has been done for years) is another. I use and accept both of these daily. Forecasting years in advance in a highly chaotic system and not being able to verify the output for years, then improve it based on skill/performance is something else. I don’t accept that and neither should you. This is why: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/cmip5-73-models-vs-obs-20n-20s-mt-5-yr-means11.png

    Do you actually have a point here Mr. Mosher? No, I don’t think you do. – Anthony

  23. Observations are terrifying. Model experiments are even worse, we must act now! The MODEL evidence is clear, and we must help the grand children. It’s all for the littleuns.

    Using the set of climate model experiments, the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces, such as volcanoes and changes in solar activity, but can be explained by increased greenhouse gases, such as CO2.

    Abstract
    Water vapor in the upper troposphere strongly regulates the strength of water-vapor feedback, which is the primary process for amplifying the response of the climate system to external radiative forcings. Monitoring changes in upper-tropospheric water vapor and scrutinizing the causes of such changes are therefore of great importance for establishing the credibility of model projections of past and future climates. Here, we use coupled ocean–atmosphere model simulations under different climate-forcing scenarios to investigate satellite-observed changes in global-mean upper-tropospheric water vapor……

  24. Man-Made Global Water Vapor Up!
    Man-Made Global CO2 Up!

    Global Surface Temperature FLAT!

    This paper debunks the CAGW Hypothesis!

  25. They have to know what the natural variability is before they can say with any credibility that the increase is due to man. They are basing their results on models, models which so far have shown very little skill. The most they can reliably say at this point, is that some of the increase in water vapor in the troposphere measured over the past 30 years (if real) MAY be due to human influence, and depending on what it does to cloud cover, may either act to cool the earth or possibly to enhance the green house effect. However, since the warming has stopped so far this century, this would suggest the warming influence is either insignificant or is possibly slightly negative.

  26. The question which always comes into my mind on the water vapor feedback mechanism is: If 1 deg C of warming can trigger the water vapor feedback warming, wouldn’t it already have been triggered by some other cause? One deg C is well within natural variation, so why doesn’t any upward fluctuation in temperature move the water vapor to whatever its natural limit is with respect to warming. After all, water vapor induced warming could provide its own feedback. This has never made sense to me.

  27. “Skeptical Science Syndrome” continues to rear its ugly head. The used models, which have not been validated, to come to a conclusion which is not born out by observation.

    And they think they have discovered something? About the only thing they have discovered is another case of “Skeptical Science Sydrome”

  28. the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces…..

    …and yet we know enough about natural forces to predict the future

    head wall…………

  29. From the abstract:
    Our analysis demonstrates that the upper-tropospheric moistening observed over the period 1979–2005

    Why, does a paper published in 2014, ignore nearly 10 year’s worth of data? More importantly, the most RECENT 10 years of data?

  30. Katherine says:
    July 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm
    The change illustrated in their Fig. S1.Decadal trends of observed brightness temperatures as a function of time span is laughable! With those error bars
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yikes! Thanks for pointing that out. We’re so used to garbage papers that don’t include error bars that I’ve ceased looking for them. Anyone who missed it, scroll back up and take a look. The error bars are there, and they essentially invalidate the paper all by themselves.

  31. “Here, we use coupled ocean–atmosphere model simulations under different climate-forcing scenarios to investigate satellite-observed changes in global-mean upper-tropospheric water vapor.”

    So they used a climate model to confirm what climate models are right.

    Circularity?

  32. The ENSO is the main driver of global water vapor levels. This chart is the precipitable column water vapor (in the total atmospheric column versus at the specific upper troposphere level but this is the more accurate measure of what is predicted). The ENSO is the main driver in terms of variability so all these climate science water vapor studies need to be perused to see how they are taking advantage of the ENSO conditions at the beginning and end of the record they are studying.

    (Note water vapor took a big jump last month). This PNAS study starts in neutral/La Nina conditions in 1979 and ends in neutral/El Nino conditions in 2006. But why end in 2006?

    So how does PCWV compare to the IPCC forecasts. Off by a mile. In this chart, I’ve also added in the RSS satellite water vapor measure which is being updated every month now. Very similar in the overlap period to the NCEP Reanalysis data shown in the previous chart.

    And then let’s compare surface temperatures of Hadcrut4 to what global warming science and the climate models have assumed (7.0% increase in water vapor per 1.0C increase in surface temperatures – the Classius Clapeyron Relation). 2.4% per 1.0C is the actual value to date (the lower troposphere is a little higher at 4.0% per 1.0C but then they have a lower temperature increase than Hadcrut4). So no one should be able to show that the actual data supports the theory.

    If we used 2.4% per 1.0C as the water vapor feedback, the temperature increase per doubling of CO2 would fall from 3.25C per doubling to 1.5C per doubling. That is why this measure is important.

  33. Let me get this straight.. Along comes a group of clowns playing with models and they exclaim that it must be CO2 causing that rapid increase in H2O vapor that our models say is present.. But reality shows there is no such increase… They are so busy playing with themselves they forgot to check with the earth and reality before making their gloom and doom predictions…

    Has our academic scientific community fallen so far from reality that they are useless? The Organ is playing send in the clowns and I fear they are already in the house and they are scrambling about to try and light a fire.

    Forgive me, but the last week of endless gloom and doom exaggerations and outright lies from these people is killing me.. Honor and Integrity is now a thing of the past..

  34. Does anyone here seriously consider that airplanes change upper tropospheric water vapor levels more than factors affecting global temperature do? The above satellite photo appears to me to show that cirrus type clouds concentrate their formations to where jetliners fly, possibly at the expense of elsewhere. I see jet contrails spreading out into cirrus-type clouds only when I see overhead or nearby weather conditions causing cirrus-type clouds to form on their own.

    What about the fact that increase of greenhouse gases *cools* the atmosphere above largely-roughly the 400 millibar level? It is possible to add enough greenhouse gases to reverse the cooling of the 400 millibar level to warming, but the 300 millibar level will still continue to cool with more greenhouse gases. I state this on a global basis, because the tropics, at least within 15-20 degrees or so of the equator, have had the 300 millibar level holding close to steady. (Models of predicting global warming to a catastrophic extent are being shown to fall short, because these models have been predicting a hotspot of tropical upper troposphere warming, which has hardly and very weakly [at best] happened.)

  35. Water exists in the atmosphere as a gas (vapor), liquid (fog, rain), or solid (ice, snow). The study apparently concentrated on water vapor, which is a primary greenhouse gas, they don’t mention liquid or solid water – clouds – which has an opposite effect. Any specific reason for that omission?

  36. “Using the set of climate model experiments, the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces, such as volcanoes and changes in solar activity, but can be explained by increased greenhouse gases, such as CO2.”

    Do their computer models of volcanic impacts show this? A 0.5K drop TLS subsequent to each eruption, rather than a steady decline not related to volcanic events.

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=902

    or this? An increase in SW entering the lower atmosphere following major eruptions.

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=955

    If not, their models are seriously failing to model the effects that volcanoes have on climate and any conclusions they are drawing from them are invalid.

  37. I was amazed and amused when the first claims of CO2 of a pollutant came out. How clever, I thought. The enemy of true pollutants had been defeated, and so the army of activists needed a new enemy or else the army must disband and the Generals lose their jobs. In CO2, I thought, they had found an enemy who could never be defeated as long as mankind drew breath.

    Now, when the army of true believers is slowly learning that they have been fighting a mythical enemy, a new enemy is sighted on the horizon!’

  38. See! The upper troposphere hot spot exists! They’ve got full colour photographs of it, and it’s glowing red! Before long it will come down and GET us!

    We’re doomed, I tell you! Doomed! DOOOOOOOOOMED!

  39. Since the beginning of the global warming scare, the alarmist predictions have been that humidity — both relative and specific — would increase. The reason is simple: a warmer world would result in more evaporation.

    Has this happened?

    No. Both relative humidity and specific humidity have gone down. Thus, the model-based alarmist predictions are wrong, as usual.

    [Referring to Donald Klipstein's comment above, regarding the 400 mB level, we see that at that altitude specific humidity has been falling sharply.]

    Question: Given that none of the alarmist predictions have ever happened, when will they finally admit that their runaway global warming scare was a false alarm?

  40. Donald L. Klipstein says:
    July 28, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Does anyone here seriously consider that airplanes change upper tropospheric water vapor levels more than factors affecting global temperature do? The above satellite photo appears to me to show that cirrus type clouds concentrate their formations to where jetliners fly, possibly at the expense of elsewhere. I see jet contrails spreading out into cirrus-type clouds only when I see overhead or nearby weather conditions causing cirrus-type clouds to form on their own.

    ====

    The immediate contrail is both emitted water vapour plus condensation triggered by the depression caused by the wings. I have seen a jet fly over and it looked like a four engined plane at first. but then I realised two of the contrails were from the wing tips.

    Later, in the half hour that follows and, as you say, when conditions close to cloud forming anyway, there can be a general formation of cloud along the plane’s track. This formation of persistent cloud is probably more to do with cloud nucleation around the other particulate and sulphate aerosols emitted by the plane than to water vapour of combustion.

    Most commercial flights are in the stratosphere, not the troposphere for as much of the flight as possible.

  41. “Greenhouse gases raise temperatures by trapping the Earth’s radiant heat inside the atmosphere.”

    Ah, yes the old “trapped heat” simplistic explanation again, sigh. No engineer with any accomplishments joined to their name EVER speaks of “trapping” heat. I’ve learned how to create heat (from electrical or chemical or nuclear energy), and I’ve learned how to “pump” heat (into or out of an enclosure), and I’ve learned how to slow down the velocity of heat (insulation),and I’ve learned how to speed up the velocity of heat (copper heat sinks), and I’ve learned how to absorb heat and convert it into electricity (Peltier junctions). But I must have missed the lecture in thermodynamics about “trapping heat”. And all the application notes from manufacturers about how to use their products to “trap heat”. Engineers that routinely think that they have “trapped heat” either get fired or promoted into management.

    Oh, but they are trapping “radiant heat”, yes, I must have missed that when studying Maxwell’s equations that explain how EMR (Electromagnetic Energy, i.e. IR light) gets “trapped”. Cracking a dusty old textbook I see the refractive index, a measure of the velocity at which light travels through a material. I do not see a “radiative resistance” term. Of course light travels the fastest in a vacuum, but in air it travels at a velocity of ~ 1/1.000293 (refractive index of a vacuum divided by the refractive index of air). Yes, I can see now how “radiant heat” that is traveling at 99.97 % of “full speed” has been “trapped”, or can I ?????

    It is in fact possible to measure the speed of light in air with an interferometer, and it does vary (slightly, way out in the 6th and 7th digit) when the temperature, pressure and humidity changes. Research “Edlen’s equation” for the details of an empirical model (yes models are useful, and this one has been “verified”).

    Cheers, Kevin.

  42. Greg Goodman says:

    July 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    So they used a climate model to confirm what climate models are right.

    Circularity?

    Uh, “Circlejerkularity”.

    /grin

  43. Anthony
    You might also have fun with air traffic graphs. e.g.,
    Aviation more adequately accounts for global temperature change since 1940 then do earthbound CO2 concentrations, furthermore aviation and ships account for recently stalled warming and new trend towards cooling by Dr Chris Barnes Bangor Scientific and Educational Consultants
    Contrast
    Air-traffic moratorium opened window on contrails and climate 8 August 2002 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news020805-7

    Travis’s team compared the average daily high and low temperatures over North America from 11 to 14 September 2001, with climatic records from 1977 to 2000, matching the weather over those three days with similar weather in September from historical records.

    They found that the difference between daily high and nightly low temperatures in the absence of contrails was more than 1 oC greater than in the presence of contrails. Comparing the three-day grounding period with the three days immediately before and after, the impact was even larger – about 1.8 oC.

  44. This study is a classic example of hide the pea. Please folks, archive recorded history, as Warmunist assertions morph like in Orwell’s novella 1984. The CMIP3 and CMIP5 models have UTrH roughly constant. See final AR4 Black Box 8.1 for confirmation. They cannot disappear that no matter how much IPCC now tries to hedge in AR5.

    So this new study purports to show that UTsH increased. Maybe, maybe not. But in any event not as much as constant UTrH requires. Which means the ‘positive’ water vapor feedback cannot be as strong as warmunists insist including AR4 and AR5. My present comment point is only that unless it also observationally increased as much as AR4 said instant UTrH required, all CMIP3 models are still provably falsified to statistical ‘certainty’ (95%) by the now undeniable pause.

    Plus, an alternative Eschenbach governor/regulator explanation is at hand. (The recent blogosphere semantics of that are an irrelevant dispute not worthy of any posts whatsoever.) It is worth commenting that Willis’ logic was originally proposed by Lindzen of MIT back in 2001 IIRC? His original peer reviewed paper was titled An Adaptive IRS? What Willis has done is provide additional subsequent empirical support. Kudos to both. A very simple ‘outsider’ judgement.
    Or maybe not…
    But still on the right track through this murky climate jungle.

  45. The CAGW hypothesis entirely depends on CO2’s induced warming creating a “runaway positive feedback loop” involving water vapor.

    Without this water vapor induced “runaway positive feedback loop”, the CAGW hypothesis is dead, as CO2’s forcing effect of 3.7 watts/M^2 is only capable of reaching a GROSS Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) of around 1.1C by 2100. If the negative feedbacks from increased ocean evaporation (a cooling effect), which leads to increased cloud cover (a cooling effect) from this CO2 forcing are factored into Earth’s energy balance equation, then NET ECS becomes around 0.5C by 2100….

    In addition to global Relative Humidity and global Specific Humidity trends, which show NO increasing trend in atmospheric water vapor, NASA’s NVAP Project also shows no increasing trend in water vapor concentrations:

    http://nvap.stcnet.com

    The CAGW grant hounds will do absolutely ANYTHING before admitting there is no empirical evidence showing water vapor concentrations are increasing. As long as the CAGW grant hounds can wave some flawed pal-reviewed paper showing water vapor is increasing, they feel they’ll NEVER wave the white flag of surrender, which is why bogus papers like this one are absolutely essential to keep “The Cause” going…

    Once the CAGW grant whores finally admit there is no increasing trend in water vapor, the CAGW hypothesis is dead and buried, because the MAXIMUM amount of ECS just based on CO2’s logarithmic forcing is 1.1C, which isn’t anything to worry about and about…

  46. “Scientists suggest that water vapor will intensify future climate change projections”

    What, the projections aren’t intense enough already?

  47. Note the second paragraph of the paper:

    “Changes in upper-tropospheric water vapor have been examined based on satellite-observed radiances of 6.7-μm water-vapor channels (3, 7, 8), which are closely related to the layer–mean relative humidity in the upper troposphere (9). Decadal trends in upper-tropospheric relative humidity exhibits distinct regional patterns associated with changes in the atmospheric circulation, but the decadal trends over larger domains are small due to opposing changes at regional scales (8). Analyzing the globalscale changes in 6.7-μm water-vapor radiances reveals little change over the past three decades. However, when the 6.7-μm radiances are examined relative to microwave radiance emissions from oxygen, a distinct radiative signature of upper-tropospheric moistening can be revealed (3).”

    In other words, the data didn’t show any increase in water vapour so we tortured it until it did.

  48. So nice that the “Geographers” at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have discovered …. gasp … space space physics or rather the near under belly.

    “the researchers showed that rising water vapor in the upper troposphere cannot be explained by natural forces”; well that is because the geographers at NOAA fudge the “data” in order to arrive at a pre-determined value that fits the EPA and Obama demands darling.

    :-D

  49. “As I have blogged about before, there is a correlation between the SSM/I cloud water and the CERES net radiative flux variations, so the recent elevated cloud water amounts lead to less sunlight entering the oceans, which is consistent with the recent hiatus in warming.”

  50. ‘ By attributing the observed increase directly to human activities, this study verifies the presence of the largest known feedback mechanism for amplifying anthropogenic climate change’

    Damn and I attributed the observed increase to Aunt Martha’s cat.

  51. two statements:
    1. more water vapor = more clouds = increased albedo.

    2. more vapor in tropics = more convection = IR heat dump to space

    models do not effectively, if at all, deal with those two physical feedbacks.

    on an aside, didn’t Hanson made a water vapor –> runaway GH effect prediction in early 70s only to later backtrack?

  52. Will Nitschke says:
    July 28, 2014 at 4:20 pm And dbstealey further down.
    The paper analyses water vapour levels, the most recent being nine years ago which makes it a bit obsolescent.
    Since then they are falling despite increases in atmospheric CO2.
    Perhaps with the GFC and more efficient jets, H2O emissions have fallen from airliners and that is why the levels of water vapour flattened after 2005.

  53. davidmhoffer says: July 28, 2014 at 5:33 pm
    “The error bars are there, and they essentially invalidate the paper all by themselves.”

    Those are plots of trends calculated over quite short time periods. The 2σ error ranges shown are not large compared with surface temperature trends, say.

    “Why, does a paper published in 2014, ignore nearly 10 year’s worth of data?”
    from the paper
    “Unfortunately, the continuity of the 6.7-µm water-vapor record ends in 2005 due to the shift of central wavelength from 6.7 µm (HIRS/2) to 6.5 µm (HIRS/3), which also coincides with the end of the CMIP5 historical experiment. We therefore limit our observational analysis to the 27-y period 1979–2005.”

  54. Frankly, I don’t know what to make of the decline in specific humidity at 300 mb. Anyone have any ideas? If it’s CO2 displacing water vapor, how does it do that?

  55. Lewis P Buckingham,

    You may be on to something there. See David Hagen’s comment above. RH & SH have been declining for decades, as jetliner travel has increased.

  56. Just been watching a BBC tv science programme “Operation Cloud Lab”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01hn0cq

    The lead scientist stated there were now more hurricanes because the removal of pollution from the atmosphere led to less clouds which led to warmer seas from direct sunlight.

    Love this consensus science!

  57. “Interestingly, the 300 mb level (~9-10km above the surface), is the level most commercial airlines fly. Some folks worry that all that water vapor coming from those jet engines each day might have an effect on the upper troposphere…. I wonder if their remote satellite sensing was tuned to deal with that?”

    The study of the behavior of jet contrails seems to me to be one of the most tragic missed opportunities. They do exhibit wonderful morphology, which changes from day to day. I live close enough to an airport to see that if I had a way to determine the altitude of every plane and every cloud, I would be able to make meaningful comparisons and to note the varying conditions which cause clouds and jet trails to form, enlarge, and remain coherent, or not to form. As it is, I cannot even guess heights from the ground, and all that detail is lost. There may be varying conditions which relate to space weather, and also fluctuations in both the magnetic field of earth and the efield. I do think it varies from day to day, and how much may be where the surprise lies.

    At what other time in history could so many droplets at different altitudes be studied every day? And also, no crystal has ever been captured from a cirrus cloud. Great picture of jet trails from orbit.

  58. Are we really expected to treat this as “serious science” when it uses a false colour image depicting something like the Eye of Sauron?

    At least when Astronomers use false colour images they are doing so to entertain and enthrall us, not terrify the living cr*p out of us.

  59. Just last night I measured the Ocean surface temperature (thermal skin layer) here in Marsh Harbour, under both clear and overcast conditions and guess what? No temperature difference. An overcast sky even though it emits 100 more watts than a clear sky doesn’t warm the surface of the ocean at all.

  60. 2001 to 2005 is right in the middle of the pause.
    So now we have CO2 rising AND water vapor rising, but still no increase in temperature.
    How do they explain that?

  61. BTW, Dr. Soden is one of the group of Florida academics who are trying to box Gov. Rick Scott in on the question of global warming.

    http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2014/07/university-scientists-ask-scott-for-chance-to-meet-to-talk-about-climate-science.html

    No doubt when he gets his one-on-one time with Scott he will push this study and there will be no one there who will question his findings.
    Also I note that this was published in PNAS. That journals rep is pretty tarnished, esp. in regards to CAGW hooey.

  62. KRJ Pietersen
    I have to tell you all that the underground bunker I’m planning for the impending climate catastrophe is still very much at the concept stage

    ———————-

    Best follow Al Gore and David Suzuki, buy as many houses as you can, as big as you can and by the sea or any beautiful spot you can find. As you gather more properties do tell everyone else to cut back for the forthcoming armageddon.

  63. Ćlimate will change in 2 degrees during the next 100 years. We still don’t know the sign, though. :P

  64. “No global warming for over 16 years.”

    Decade C Delta
    ===========================
    1880s 13.80
    1890s 13.73 -0.07
    1900s 13.67 -0.07
    1910s 13.65 -0.02
    1920s 13.78 +0.13
    1930s 13.92 +0.14
    1940s 14.01 +0.09
    1950s 13.96 -0.05
    1960s 13.98 +0.02
    1970s 14.03 +0.05
    1980s 14.21 +0.18
    1990s 14.37 +0.16
    2000s 14.57 +0.20

    Min 13.65
    Max 14.57
    Delta +0.92

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1997/plot/rss/from:1997.9/trend

    I don’t see any pause in the anomalous increase in global average temperature. Huh. Nor do any scientists.

    Meanwhile, the increasing water vapor feedback is observed to be positive, not negative:

    Water Vapour

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-2.html

    Stratospheric Water Vapour

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-3-7.html

    Water Vapour and Lapse Rate

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8s8-6-3-1.html

    Changes in the Water Cycle: Water Vapour, Clouds, Precipitation and Tropical Storms

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/tssts-3-1-3.html

    http://coelho.mota.googlepages.com/RadiationBudget.pdf

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clausius-Clapeyron_relation

    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2FJCLI3799.1

    http://maths.ucd.ie/met/msc/ClimSyn/heldsode00.pdf

    http://atoc.colorado.edu/~dcn/ATOC6020/papers/Soden_etal_727.pdf

    http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf

    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/0702872104v1.pdf

    http://xweb.geos.ed.ac.uk/%7Edstevens/publications/penner_ngeo10.pdf

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/330/6002/356

    Water Vapor Feedback and Global Warming

    http://www.dgf.uchile.cl/~ronda/GF3004/helandsod00.pdf

  65. “Ćlimate will change in 2 degrees during the next 100 years.”

    That is only if increasing atmospheric CO2 stays at about 400 ppmv: it will not. Without any additional greenhouse gases, and all feedbacks suddenly stopping at this moment (i.e., the gods perform a miracle), the global average increase would be about 2.62c by year 2100.

  66. “So now we have CO2 rising AND water vapor rising, but still no increase in temperature. How do they explain that?”

    They (the world’s experts on the subject) explain “that” by pointing out your assertion is false. See the problem now?

  67. “Does anyone here seriously consider that airplanes change upper tropospheric water vapor levels more than factors affecting global temperature do?”

    Since the evidence shows that aircraft do in fact modify high altitude cloud formations, then yes, the answer to your question is “Of course.” In fact the effect has been measured during time periods when air craft in large numbers were grounded during various human-caused crises. When thousands of air craft stop flying, night time temperatures cool faster than when those air craft are not grounded.

    (Note that one of several reasons why the USA’s commercial aircraft industry did not build its high altitude super-sonic aircraft fleet was because of the major impact those aircraft would have.)

  68. “Why, does a paper published in 2014, ignore nearly 10 year’s worth of data?”

    Er…. because the data series ended 10 years ago. How can scientists study data that have not been collected?

  69. Water vapor as a serious feedback multiplier is a joke. Effects of changing the entire atmospheric column absolute humidity would need a temperature increase of 5 deg C to increase the content by 30% which is a far cry from a doubling. Water vapor is very similar to co2 in effect but 2 to3 times more potent and accounts already for 2 to 3 times the amount of IR blocking as co2. In clear skies, a co2 doubling results in about 3.7 w/m^2 increase in absorption and an h2o doubling would result in 2 to 3 times that amount but at constant relative humidity (a fairly acceptable assumption) it would take 5 deg C rise to give just a 30% increase in absolute humidity. This much increase in h2o would be similar to blocking to the co2 doubling which without feedbacks would cause around 1 deg C temperature rise – so of this supposed 5 deg C rise in T, we have enough added blocking to accommodate 2 deg C and nothing to cause the added 3 deg C needed for that 5 deg C rise.
    The net result of this is that if Earth warms 1 deg C due to CO2 increases (a doubling), h2o vapor can contribute only an additional small fraction of the amount.
    Of course the added h2o present is going to want to create more clouds which result in higher albedo and more blocked incoming solar than increased upward IR blocking. The added IR will help to increase the convection rates and transfer more heat upward. It’s really a great negative feedback system for temperature regulation and heat transfer.

  70. Nice timing on this. I was recently showering the hair-on-fire alarmist loonies with the water vapor reduction problem for AGW and I brought it up in a WUWT thread.
    I had some success with the loons in local news comments who demanded sources.
    This worked well.

    http://www.climate4you.com/GreenhouseGasses.htm

    And this.

    http://www.c3headlines.com/2012/02/climate-scientists-confirm-that-actual-atmospheric-water-vapor-levels-invalidate-global-warming-tipp.html

    Some alarmists appeared disturbed by the importance.

    In my layperson opinion the water vapor problem may be the most significant,and useful AGW flaw for fellow laypersons, editorial boards and skeptical politicians.

    This new attempt to distort the status of water vapor also displays the willingness to deceive by researchers.
    I am finding myself thinking the clarity of the role of water vapor, trend observations and the new lying about it could be the stake in the heart of AGW.
    It’s great this new study and distortion his surfaced.
    Anthony has crushed it in grand fashion.
    This thread will be my lead in new story comments.

    It’s The Water.

  71. I’m so confused, we have some trolls on here saying there is no pause and no scientist believes there is one. Yet I’ve read plenty of scientific papers recently trying to explain the pause. Could that troll explain?

  72. Desertphile says:
    “(Note that one of several reasons why the USA’s commercial aircraft industry did not build its high altitude super-sonic aircraft fleet was because of the major impact those aircraft would have.)”
    care to back that claim up with evidenced?

  73. Eui-Seok Chung and colleagues measured water vapor in the upper troposphere collected by NOAA satellites

    Now, there’s a low earth orbit!

  74. Desertphile says:

    …the global average increase would be about 2.62c by year 2100.

    In your fevered dreams.

    Earth to Desertphile:

    Global warming has stopped. Accept reality.

  75. I have been coming here for quite some time and I am curious about one thing: What would convince people on here that AGW is real and does present a serious threat to civilization? What would be the evidence that would finally push each skeptic over? I do not intend to be inflammatory, I am just curious as to how you WUWT readers would see it.

  76. Desertphile says:
    July 29, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Curious which of the many recently published papers trying to explain this lack of warming do you value?

  77. Variation since 1960 of global sea surface temperature (HadSST3), observed sunspot number (Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC), and Specific atmospheric humidity (g/kg) at 300 mb altitude (Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA)). Base period: 1961-1990. The thin lines in the diagram represent the monthly values, while the thick lines is the simple running 37 month average, nearly corresponding to a running 3 yr average. Last month shown: March 2014. Last diagram update: 1 May 2014.

  78. Andrew Clark says:

    I have been coming here for quite some time and I am curious about one thing: What would convince people on here that AGW is real and does present a serious threat to civilization? What would be the evidence that would finally push each skeptic over?

    You are turning our oft-asked question on it’s head:

    What would convince the alarmist crowd that CAGW exists? There is no scientific evidence to support runaway global warming. There is no testable, measurable evidence showing that human emissions cause global warming, so…

    …what would it take to convince you that CAGW exists?

    Not to mention the fact that every wild-eyed alarmist prediction has turned out to be flat wrong. Really, what would it take for you to be the least bit skeptical? Anything? Or are you an evidence-free True Believer?

  79. Vilify CO2, Then vilify water..
    Life causes climate change,END LIFE NOW!!
    Save Earth as a nice dry rock just like the Moon,
    It’ll never change.

  80. Observations show something in our atmosphere negates the IR absorbtion, greenhouse effect from CO2..
    This is proved by the fact that ever increasing atmospheric CO2 level has not increased temperature for 17+ years. No co-relation.
    If not clouds and H2O vapor then what?

  81. ren says:
    July 29, 2014 at 4:14 am
    The disturbing condition the Gulf Stream.

    “Disturbing”? really?
    You’re disturbed by the Gulf Stream?
    Stimpy hangs his head.
    Me, I’m ROFLMAO.

  82. Andrew Clark,
    I suspect your question is a juvenile stunt.
    But did you read and grasp the information above?
    Do you understand the water vapor problem for AGW?

    If so how do you then follow with such an obtuse question?
    Plus if you are going to ask such a question you should preface it with at least one thing that has YOU so convinced.

    To answer your question, “What would convince people on here that AGW is real and does present a serious threat to civilization?”, if any of the climate models and countless other predictions and baseless attributions to AGW were actually coming true that would be convincing.
    How is it that you have failed to assess or recognize how inconsistent and contradictory to reality AGW assertions have been?
    The real world atmospheric water vapor reduction destroys the theory of CO2 emissions=AGW.
    There is no getting out of that box.
    The IPCC has made it clear that AGW must have increased water vapor for their hypothesis to hold up. They have never claimed that trace greenhouse gas CO2 alone can warm the planet.
    The AGW theory must have increased water vapor for the IPCC greenhouse effect to occur as defined.
    This is an easy get for any layperson.

  83. Oh dear. Another ‘dumb ass’ paper that misses out atmospheric physics.
    Firstly, 50% of incoming solar is in the form of infra red. Increasing GHG concentrations reduces the intensity of surface heating by solar irradiance whilst simultaneously increasing the heat capacity and therefore reducing the temperature increase for increased direct atmospheric absorption.
    Secondly, if upper tropospheric water vapour increases then that water has ALREADY cooled the surface through moist convective heat transfer. The most significant form of heating of the upper troposphere is moist convection which is simultaneously the major surface cooling process with current atmospheric composition. A simple diagram projecting adiabats from an altitude shows that for a given energy the surface equilibrium temperature is REDUCED by its water content.
    Thirdly, increasing GHG content at upper tropospheric heights increases atmospheric emissivity enabling more heat to be radiated to space for the same temperature or an equal amount from a lower temperature. Maintained upper tropospheric moisture requires a continuously increased heat transfer from the surface due to circulation and precipitation.
    From the effective radiative height the surface equilibrium temperature supported by the atmosphere is given by a projection of the environmental lapse to 0m. The greater the water content the lower the surface temperature and equally significantly the heat capacity buffers the thermal response to heat uptake.
    As ‘Kevin K’ above has stated, resorting to ‘heat trapping’ as a descriptive summation of complex processes is a give away.

  84. Steve Oregon says:

    July 29, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Andrew Clark,
    I suspect your question is a juvenile stunt.
    But did you read and grasp the information above?
    Do you understand the water vapor problem for AGW?

    If so how do you then follow with such an obtuse question?
    Plus if you are going to ask such a question you should preface it with at least one thing that has YOU so convinced.

    To answer your question, “What would convince people on here that AGW is real and does present a serious threat to civilization?”, if any of the climate models and countless other predictions and baseless attributions to AGW were actually coming true that would be convincing.

    Well, not exactly, Steve.

    Even if some of the models were more accurate and many of the attributions to AGW came true, that is not evidence that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are the cause.

    Just one example: Mt. Kilimanjaro. The loss of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s ice cap was attributed to AGW by CO2 back when the ice was clearly becoming less and less.

    Sounds convincing, except:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/07/kilimanjaro-glaciers-just-wont-die-nowhere-near-extinction/

    it is not a warming global climate that is the culprit.

  85. Andrew Clark says:
    July 29, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I have been coming here for quite some time and I am curious about one thing: What would convince people on here that AGW is real and does present a serious threat to civilization? What would be the evidence that would finally push each skeptic over? I do not intend to be inflammatory, I am just curious as to how you WUWT readers would see it.

    See Matt Ridley thread here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/28/matt-ridley-a-lukewarmers-ten-tests/

    First paragraph:

    I have written about climate change and energy policy for more than 25 years. I have come to the conclusion that current energy and climate policy is probably more dangerous, both economically and ecologically, than climate change itself. This is not the same as arguing that climate has not changed or that mankind is not partly responsible. That the climate has changed because of man-made carbon dioxide I fully accept. What I do not accept is that the change is or will be damaging, or that current policy would prevent it.
For the benefit of supporters of climate change policy who feel frustrated by the reluctance of people like me to accept their assurances, here is what they would need to do to change my mind.

  86. Yeah… let’s look at the water vapor at that altitude… and neglect the sub-visible cirrus, as always.

  87. Andrew Clark says: July 29, 2014 at 9:26 am I have been coming here for quite some time and I am curious about one thing: What would convince people on here that AGW is real and does present a serious threat to civilization? What would be the evidence that would finally push each skeptic over? I do not intend to be inflammatory, I am just curious as to how you WUWT readers would see it.

    It is a well-understood principle of argument — at least up until the last few decades, anyway — that the burden of proof is on the positive. From that perspective, the question you ask is perfectly appropriate.

    Everybody’s answer to your question will be different, but in my mind, the first simple question to be asked, before we start asking any other questions, is this: Have we seen similar increases in temperature within the past several hundred years, occurring at similar rates of increase as we see today; and if so, what were their effects?

    If we make a perfectly defensible assumption that the Central England Temperature (CET) record is valid as a rough proxy for historical global mean temperature, we see that similar increases in temperature have occurred several times within the past three hundred years and that these increases in temperature were not accompanied by impacts which were of such a magnitude that they were of documented concern to the people who were experiencing them at the time.

    Not that the public perception of the magnitude of these impacts might not have been different had there been an 18th Century version of the BBC in existence.

    Climate scientists can perform any number of climate model runs and can write any number of papers about what those model runs indicate to them personally as climate scientists. But if those scientists don’t know enough about how the earth’s heat capture processes and its heat transfer processes actually work so as to be able to explain with good confidence just why these past increases in temperature occurred in the absence of elevated levels of carbon dioxide, then on what basis should we as the scientifically-informed public trust them to make accurate predictions about the magnitude and effects of future increases in CO2 concentration?

  88. Greg Goodman says:
    July 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm
    “Here, we use coupled ocean–atmosphere model simulations under different climate-forcing scenarios to investigate satellite-observed changes in global-mean upper-tropospheric water vapor.”

    So they used a climate model to confirm what climate models are right.

    Circularity?
    ++++++++++++
    You nailed it. A circular argument. They use GCMs to show GCMs are correct. Huh???

  89. From Andrew Clark on July 29, 2014 at 9:26 am:

    I have been coming here for quite some time and I am curious about one thing: What would convince people on here that AGW is real and does present a serious threat to civilization?

    That’s a two parter. The evidence is pretty good that AGW is real. Some portion of the CO2 increase is attributable to humans thus some increase of the global average temperature, but as the logarithmic greenhouse effect of CO2 is effectively saturated it’s not much.

    But we humans have done things that increase regional temperatures thus are said to cause global warming when it’s all averaged together. Land use changes mainly, from farming to paving roads to the use of concrete and other materials that excessively warm in sunlight when compared to natural vegetation.

    Dr James Hansen, formerly of NASA GISS, has done lots of work on black carbon, aka soot from burning carbon-based materials. Our sprinkling with fine ashes of the northern territories may be responsible for about 1/2 or so of the Arctic warming and increases in the melting of snowpack, glaciers, sea ice, etc. It’s likely there’s a similar effect in the South Hemisphere.

    So accepting AGW, even if it’s just regional effects on land that get averaged into the global average temperatures, is easy.

    But we are in a “pause” that is growing quite lengthy. There is growing evidence we have entered a global cooling phase.

    After reviewing the evidence, the greatest one being the planet continues to robustly support diverse life after very many millenia of natural disasters and naturally-occurring long-term disruptive influences, we have concluded Earth’s biosphere is resilient, and can handle the minor irritation that is humanity. The evidence is mounting that the planet has adapted to us. At best we may have increased the baseline global average temperature a small amount, which likely is temporary as we naturally shift to energy sources like nuclear which are less carbon-intensive and increase our overall energy efficiency over the coming centuries.

    With the temperatures not cooperating, and the alarmists reduced to shrieking about “Extreme Weather Events!” that history reveals are not extreme in either intensity or frequency, the second part of your question, convincing us AGW is a serious threat to civilization, appears impossible.

    Indeed, as seen on the news from the Middle East to the Ukraine to Europe to the White House, the most serious threat to civilization is civilization. Nothing else comes even remotely close.

  90. I’m having some difficulty agreeing the T2 satellite observation trends in the paper to the RSS data. They say T2 is MSU/AMSU channel 2 brightness temperatures. My understanding is that AMSU channel 5 is the equivalent of MSU channel 2, and that the merged MSU ch. 2 / AMSU ch. 5 record is used to compile the RSS TMT temperature series (see http://www.remss.com/measurements/upper-air-temperature).

    The paper gives a global-mean T2 trend over 1979-2005 of 0.17 K/decade. But the RSS TMT data I downloaded shows a global (-82.5 to 82.5 deg.) trend of 0.10 K/decade over that period (0.08 over 1979-2013). And the UAH TMT global data I have shows a trend of only 0.05 K/decade over 1979-2005 (same over 1979-2013). By comparison, the CMIP5 multimodel mean T2 trend is 0.20 +/-0.10 K/decade over 1979-2010. Unless I am going wrong somewhere, this seems to cast doubt on the paper’s findings that CMIP5 coupled models produce decadal trends consistent with satellite observations (except at a sufficiently low probability level).

    Moreover, the HIRS data seems to reflect humidity over a much wider pressure range (200-500 hPa in the tropics, and 350-700 hPa at mid-latitudes) than that most important for water vapour feedback. The paper states that WV absorptivity scales with fractional changes in WV (which therefore are key for WV feedback strength). Model Historical simulations show ~2x higher fractional changes at 200 hPa than over 500-700 hPa (Fig. S2). It is unclear to what extent the HIRS data used will reflect changes in WV in the part of the range where models show the greatest fractional increase in WV. The absolute amount of WV in the 200-400 hPa range is only a fraction of that in the 500-700 hPa range.

  91. Donald L. Klipstein says:

    Does anyone here seriously consider that airplanes change upper tropospheric water vapor levels more than factors affecting global temperature do? The above satellite photo appears to me to show that cirrus type clouds concentrate their formations to where jetliners fly, possibly at the expense of elsewhere. I see jet contrails spreading out into cirrus-type clouds only when I see overhead or nearby weather conditions causing cirrus-type clouds to form on their own.

    IIRC closing the airspace over North America in September 2001 did apparently cause a temperature change.

  92. As they are measuring from 600mb upwards, they are including a lot of middle troposphere too. Interestingly the 600mb specific humidity increases from around 1995, from when the AMO went positive, which would be the wrong sign to be associated with increased GHG forcing.

    Probably more important is the differential in the regional variability. From the paper:

    “Decadal trends in upper-tropospheric relative humidity exhibits distinct regional patterns associated with changes in the atmospheric circulation, but the decadal trends over larger domains are small due to opposing changes at regional scales.”

  93. “jmorpuss says:

    July 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm”

    You provided a Wikipedia link that talked of microwave ovens. I don’t see the connection you are trying to make.

  94. How many times have we been told that water in the atmosphere accounts for about 95% of the greenhouse heat effect (GHE)? We have heard it countless times.

    This means that the remaining 5% of the GHE is attributed to the greenhouse trace gases. Right?

    Carbon dioxide is responsible for about 72% of that 5% … in other words, 3.6% (5% x 72%) of the GHE can be attributed to carbon dioxide. Right?

    The IPCC AR4 asserted that only 3% of CO2 entering the atmosphere each year is from human activity, the overwhelming 97% of CO2 coming from natural sources. Right?

    This means that approximately 0.11 of 1% (3.6% x 3%) of the GHE can be attributed to human-induced CO2. Right?

    Can someone give me one scientific reason why the world has gone mad over something that has no discernible effect on the GHE, and certainly cannot be driving climate change?

  95. @ Patrick try reading the link ,it has nothing to do with the oven , it’s about atmospheric microwaves .

  96. “jmorpuss says:

    July 31, 2014 at 2:19 am”

    Fine. Without an EXTERNAL AMPILFYING source beyond the Sun, where does the extra energy come from to AMPLIFY atmospheric “warming”? Its not there!

  97. @ Mervyn don’t blow a valve there buddy . You do know it’s about disttribution of wealth isn’t it. The only thing is everything has cost so much for so long that we can’t go back and just give away to porer nation free energy . Over the last 100 years man has invested billions if not trillions of dollars in high voltage power lines , if we were to use tech’s that already exist we could run our homes off grid right now . Nano tech’s and the capacitor /battery have improved over the last 50 years that there’s no need for high voltage at home . Now big buisness and industry are 3 phase hungry and would need a AC network, so let them lead the way getting of the grid by funding free energy. If their going to put up all these microwave towers ,then at least let rectenna tech’s advance in the public sector for recharging . People like Tom Bearden will be remembered as leaders in overunity and free energy. I read somewhere years ago thet in a perfect world there could be 24 billion of us living here together. Won’t happen if we don’t get our shite together and put the monopoly game away for another rainy day. Long live us humans .

  98. From jmorpuss on July 31, 2014 at 3:48 am:

    Over the last 100 years man has invested billions if not trillions of dollars in high voltage power lines , if we were to use tech’s that already exist we could run our homes off grid right now . Nano tech’s and the capacitor /battery have improved over the last 50 years that there’s no need for high voltage at home .

    Actually there is still plenty of need for high voltage distribution to individual homes. Running an individual home generation system is normally expensive in comparison. Even when the kWh cost looks cheaper, it is you who has to come up with quick cash for repairs. And at 2AM in the dead of winter, it is you who has to either get it working then or get someone else whom you will pay handsomely to get it working ASAP. With your own system it is you who has to worry 24/7/365.25 if the system will keep working and if it needs fuel or servicing. With a utility, your major worry is simply paying the bill.

    Then there’s the insurance issue. As in paying even a little bit more per kWh is insurance against repairs. But also your home insurance company may frown on home generation and demand more to cover the risk.

    People like Tom Bearden will be remembered as leaders in overunity and free energy.

    Bearden is already recognized, in the Wikipedia History of perpetual motion machines entry, for building a device that reputedly extracted “vacuum energy” from “the immediate environment”.

    I’m sorry, I thought I was conversing with at least a semi-rational person. But when you rail against “Big Electricity” and hold up yet another promoter of “Zero-point energy” as a shining example of genius, the evidence says otherwise.

  99. “jmorpuss says:

    July 31, 2014 at 4:12 am”

    Again, where does the *EXTRA ENERGY* come from to *AMPLIFY*?

  100. “jmorpuss says:

    July 31, 2014 at 3:48 am

    Now big buisness and industry are 3 phase hungry and would need a AC network…”

    3 phase power is about energy transport efficiency. Its the best way we know to dated to transport power over distance. Unlike DC power. Your alternator in your car is 110vac 3 phase, regutlated to 12vdc to charge the battery!

  101. Our analysis demonstrates that the upper-tropospheric moistening observed over the period 1979–2005 cannot be explained by natural causes and results principally from an anthropogenic warming of the climate. By attributing the observed increase directly to human activities, this study verifies the presence of the largest known feedback mechanism for amplifying anthropogenic climate change

    First, note the gratuitous claim that the post-1978 warming can not be due to natural causes. It is irrelevant to their paper.

    Second, the increase in upper tropospheric moistening by itself may be a negative feedback to temperature increase, because the of the energy necessary to vaporize the surface water and raise it to the upper troposphere.

    Third, unanswered in the paper, is whether the upper-troposphere moistening is a part of an increase in the rate of the hydrologic cycle, or accompanied by an increase in upper tropospheric clouds.

    Fourth, also unanswered in the paper, is whether the increase in upper troposphere moistening is cause by the increase in tropospheric CO2 concentration, with its attendant increase in downwelling LWIR.

    Fifth, the paper provides no evidence that the upper troposphere moistening does in fact provide a positive feedback to CO2-induced warming. It could increase the rate of radiation of energy from the upper troposphere to space and the upper atmosphere.

    Despite the gratuitous references to man-made warming, it looks like a good paper.

  102. Anthony: However, this dataset below of relative humidity, from reanalysis of in-situ radiosonde measurements (not from remote sensing) suggests water vapor has not been on the increase in the upper troposphere, nor in the middle, nor in the lower troposphere.

    On the whole, do you think these are more reliable or less biased than the remote sensing? It’s something that I don’t know anything about.

  103. Matthew Marler,

    You give many reasons why this paper is no good, but then you say it looks like a good paper.

    It appears to be a series of assertions made to generate grant income. Because as of now, there still is no credible evidence of any “fingerprint of AGW”. So without such evidence, the authors resort to assertions. That isn’t good enough.

  104. Pamela Gray: We have had a series of El Nino driven evaporation events over the study time period. That they used climate models to study volcanic and solar influence confirms to me they did not consider evaporation from El Nino events. This appears to me to be another case of climate scientists dismissing weather pattern variations that have long term oscillations.

    You amplified my comment nicely. Their consideration of “natural processes” was limited to a selection of models, overlooking much of what happens in the system..

  105. Jimbo: ——————————-
    Abstract
    C. I. Garfinkel, D. W. Waugh, L. D. Oman, L. Wang, M. M. Hurwitz. Temperature trends in the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere: Connections with sea surface temperatures and implications for water vapor and ozone. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 2013; 118 (17): 9658 DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50772
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jgrd.50772

    Thank you for the link.

  106. dbstealey: You give many reasons why this paper is no good, but then you say it looks like a good paper.

    A few, not “many”. It has a modest empirical contribution. Other people will follow it up with more; by, for example, extending the data record through 2014.

  107. “jmorpuss says:

    August 1, 2014 at 3:47 pm”

    Nothing you have posted demonstrates how relatively steady state input of EM energy from the Sun can be “amplified” by a gas in our atmosphere.

  108. @ Patrick you can create this with 1000 watts at a frequency of 2.4 gig http://m.youtube.com/results?q=plasmoid%20in%20a%20microwave&sm=1
    Don’t you think man has tried to replicate this by amping up nature .
    Here’s something you may like http://pierretristam.com/Bobst/library/wf-241.htm .
    Science was around before the 21st century ,the difference is they didn’t need a cat walk to strut their stuff , they worked quietly behind the seens and didn’t have big egos they knew how important they were to our way of life … And then came the big bucks , and we all know man will sell his soul if the prise is right , and propaganda was born . The best way to control the masses IS to control information ( knowledge) . One thing most t

  109. So you post a link to vidoes that shows an electrical appliance we call a microwave oven, being used to not cook food. And another link to a Ronald Regan speach but you cannot post any material that shows how a gas, water vapour, in an open chaotic system we call the atmosphere, can amplify energy it receives from the Sun.

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