CO2, Temperatures, and Ice Ages

Guest post by Frank Lansner, civil engineer, biotechnology.

(Note from Anthony – English is not Frank’s primary language, I have made some small adjustments for readability, however they may be a few  passages that need clarification. Frank will be happy to clarify in comments)

It is generally accepted that CO2 is lagging temperature in Antarctic graphs. To dig further into this subject therefore might seem a waste of time. But the reality is, that these graphs are still widely used as an argument for the global warming hypothesis. But can the CO2-hypothesis be supported in any way using the data of Antarctic ice cores?

At first glance, the CO2 lagging temperature would mean that it’s the temperature that controls CO2 and not vice versa.

Click for larger image Fig 1. Source: http://www.brighton73.freeserve.co.uk/gw/paleo/400000yrfig.htm

But this is the climate debate, so massive rescue missions have been launched to save the CO2-hypothesis. So explanation for the unfortunate CO2 data is as follows:

First a solar or orbital change induces some minor warming/cooling and then CO2 raises/drops. After this, it’s the CO2 that drives the temperature up/down. Hansen has argued that: The big differences in temperature between ice ages and warm periods is not possible to explain without a CO2 driver.

Very unlike solar theory and all other theories, when it comes to CO2-theory one has to PROVE that it is wrong. So let’s do some digging. The 4-5 major temperature peaks seen on Fig 1. have common properties: First a big rapid temperature increase, and then an almost just as big, but a less rapid temperature fall. To avoid too much noise in data, I summed up all these major temperature peaks into one graph:

lansner-image2

Fig 2. This graph of actual data from all major temperature peaks of the Antarctic vostokdata confirms the pattern we saw in fig 1, and now we have a very clear signal as random noise is reduced.

The well known Temperature-CO2 relation with temperature as a driver of CO2 is easily shown:

lansner-image3

Fig 3.

Below is a graph where I aim to illustrate CO2 as the driver of temperature:

lansner-image4

Fig 4. Except for the well known fact that temperature changes precede CO2 changes, the supposed CO2-driven raise of temperatures works ok before temperature reaches max peak. No, the real problems for the CO2-rescue hypothesis appears when temperature drops again. During almost the entire temperature fall, CO2 only drops slightly. In fact, CO2 stays in the area of maximum CO2 warming effect. So we have temperatures falling all the way down even though CO2 concentrations in these concentrations where supposed to be a very strong upwards driver of temperature.

I write “the area of maximum CO2 warming effect “…

The whole point with CO2 as the important main temperature driver was, that already at small levels of CO2 rise, this should efficiently force temperatures up, see for example around -6 thousand years before present. Already at 215-230 ppm, the CO2 should cause the warming. If no such CO2 effect already at 215-230 ppm, the CO2 cannot be considered the cause of these temperature rises.

So when CO2 concentration is in the area of 250-280 ppm, this should certainly be considered “the area of maximum CO2 warming effect”.

The problems can also be illustrated by comparing situations of equal CO2 concentrations:

lansner-image5

Fig 5.

So, for the exact same levels of CO2, it seems we have very different level and trend of temperatures:

lansner-image6

Fig 6.

How come a CO2 level of 253 ppm in the B-situation does not lead to rise in temperatures? Even from very low levels? When 253 ppm in the A situation manages to raise temperatures very fast even from a much higher level?

One thing is for sure:

“Other factors than CO2 easily overrules any forcing from CO2. Only this way can the B-situations with high CO2 lead to falling temperatures.”

This is essential, because, the whole idea of placing CO2 in a central role for driving temperatures was: “We cannot explain the big changes in temperature with anything else than CO2”.

But simple fact is: “No matter what rules temperature, CO2 is easily overruled by other effects, and this CO2-argument falls”. So we are left with graphs showing that CO2 follows temperatures, and no arguments that CO2 even so could be the main driver of temperatures.

– Another thing: When examining the graph fig 1, I have not found a single situation where a significant raise of CO2 is accompanied by significant temperature rise- WHEN NOT PRECEDED BY TEMPERATURE RISE. If the CO2 had any effect, I should certainly also work without a preceding temperature rise?!  (To check out the graph on fig 1. it is very helpful to magnify)

Does this prove that CO2 does not have any temperature effect at all?

No. For some reason the temperature falls are not as fast as the temperature rises. So although CO2 certainly does not dominate temperature trends then: Could it be that the higher CO2 concentrations actually is lowering the pace of the temperature falls?

This is of course rather hypothetical as many factors have not been considered.

lansner-image7

Fig 7.

Well, if CO2 should be reason to such “temperature-fall-slowing-effect”, how big could this effect be? The temperatures falls 1 K / 1000 years slower than they rise.

However, this CO2 explanation of slow falling temperature seems is not supported by the differences in cooling periods, see fig 8.

When CO2 does not cause these big temperature changes, then what is then the reason for the  big temperature changes seen in Vostok data? Or: “What is the mechanism behind ice ages???”

This is a question many alarmists asks, and if you can’t answer, then CO2 is the main temperature driver. End of discussion. There are obviously many factors not yet known, so I will just illustrate one hypothetical solution to the mechanism of ice ages among many:

First of all: When a few decades of low sunspot number is accompanied by Dalton minimum and 50 years of missing sunspots is accompanied by the Maunder minimum, what can for example thousands of years of missing sunspots accomplish? We don’t know.

What we saw in the Maunder minimum is NOT all that missing solar activity can achieve, even though some might think so. In a few decades of solar cooling, only the upper layers of the oceans will be affected. But if the cooling goes on for thousands of years, then the whole oceans will become colder and colder. It takes around 1000-1500 years to “mix” and cool the oceans. So for each 1000-1500 years the cooling will take place from a generally colder ocean. Therefore, what we saw in a few decades of maunder minimum is in no way representing the possible extend of ten thousands of years of solar low activity.

It seems that a longer warming period of the earth would result in a slower cooling period afterward due to accumulated heat in ocean and more:

lansner-image8

Fig 8.

Again, this fits very well with Vostok data: Longer periods of warmth seems to be accompanied by longer time needed for cooling of earth. The differences in cooling periods does not support that it is CO2 that slows cooling phases. The dive after 230.000 ybp peak shows, that cooling CAN be rapid, and the overall picture is that the cooling rates are governed by the accumulated heat in oceans and more.

Note: In this writing I have used Vostok data as valid data. I believe that Vostok data can be used for qualitative studies of CO2 rising and falling. However, the levels and variability of CO2 in the Vostok data I find to be faulty as explained here:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/17/the-co2-temperature-link/


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RW
January 30, 2009 8:42 am

[snip – no valid email address given, rw.org does not exist, no further posts from you since you keep changing names, email address, none of which appear valid. You have been banned, -Anthony]

Richard M
January 30, 2009 8:56 am

Very nice work, Frank. Isn’t it amazing what can be extracted from data when one doesn’t go into an analysis with preconceived ideas. One wonders why climate scientists haven’t attempted this kind of analysis.
Oh wait, they probably did based on computer models and it showed temps following Co2. 😉

Bill Yarber
January 30, 2009 8:56 am

I’m having difficulty understanding the relationship of CO2 and temp in Fig 2. You start out saying that CO2 lags temp but it seems to me that Fig 2 shows just the reverse – CO2 leading temp. What am I missing?
Otherwise, I completely agree with your analysis.
Bill

Bill Yarber
January 30, 2009 8:59 am

Sorry, it was Fig 4 that confused me. After another review I now understand what you were showing.
Bill

P Folkens
January 30, 2009 9:01 am

The Vostok cores and subsequent papers coming from that important work provide a much needed interpretation of the long term climate. They are so much more valuable and relevant than the various Hansen, Mann, and other IPCC models that are based on a relatively small data set. They provide a picture back in climate time that the AGWers would rather not have come to the attention of the general public and their politicians.
Frank Lansner’s post provides a concise interpretation of the Vostok data and valuable weapon in the fight against climate ignorance. It’s the type of thing AGWers would rather ignore than confront. This time around, I’d like to see the AGW supporters address the substance of the posted message rather than pick at the messenger.

Bernie
January 30, 2009 9:04 am

This seems a pretty significant piece of analysis with major potential consequences: It is simple and very elegant. Surely someone has taken a similar approach to Frank’s before now? I would be interested in references to similar pieces of analysis using the same data.
Anthony:
Any additional bio information on the author – Frank Lansner?

Bob Buchanan
January 30, 2009 9:04 am

This is a great analysis!
One question … how was Graph 2 created? It is at the heart of the presentation, so I would like to understand it.

Steve Keohane
January 30, 2009 9:10 am

Thank you Frank for your clear representation here, and that of 12/17. It is too bad the climate ‘scientists’ cannot do the same to illustrate their argument pro CO2. Hand-waving, desperate theories and climate models fail in light of data.
Congradulations, Anthony on your fine blog.

Jim Thomas
January 30, 2009 9:11 am

Very interesting piece – thank you. Fig. 5 was especially illuminating for me.

Mike Davis
January 30, 2009 9:11 am

I appreciate your view and the support you are providing.

Phil's Dad
January 30, 2009 9:13 am

Frank Lansner says; “So when CO2 concentration is in the area of 250-280 ppm, this should certainly be considered “the area of maximum CO2 warming effect”.”
Does this imply that the logarithmic “sensitivity” curve has reached the near horizontal at these levels?

P Folkens
January 30, 2009 9:16 am

Bernie (09:04:30) : “Surely someone has taken a similar approach to Frank’s before now? I would be interested in references to similar pieces . . .”
Yes, Bernie. Quite a bit of work has been done. The understanding that CO2 lags temperature has been around since soon after the first Vostok papers entered the literature. A search of Nature, Geophysical Letters, and elsewhere will reveal similar conclusions. If you have trouble with your search, I can provide a number of papers for your review.
That Frank’s take has been posted here underscores the immense value of Anthony’s blog. It’s kind of like a Hawaiian volcano where the hot magma of science oozes to the surface for all to see and admire. Occasionally, we get a pyroclastic event like we’ve seen this week.

George Tobin
January 30, 2009 9:21 am

Is it possible to generate an estimated CO2 forcing factor from the “temperature-fall-slowing-effect” alone?
Some time back I read an alarmist analysis of Vostok that said the changes in slope of the temperature curve as the temperature reached peak levels proves the effect of CO2–i.e., if you picked just the right corresponding spots on the curves you could pretend that a forcing factor of 3+W/m2 was in effect throughout. The fact of the emergence of the temperature peak while CO2 was reduced and temperature’s subsequent decline in the face of increased CO2 would suggest to the less devoted that CO2 was a passenger rather than the driver. But for those willing to overlook hard enough, there is AGW confirmation everywhwere.
Lately, I was under the impression that the high church alarmists were backing away from trying to spin the Vostok data, instead arguing that the current levels of CO2 are (a) so much higher and (b) accumulated so much faster that the Vostok patterns are somehow no longer relevant. The new thinking is that current conditions are unique, therefore it is OK to cherry-pick historical comparisons and project novel climate outcomes. Then again, just about any interpretation is ultimately “consistent with” AGW so I should probably not fret about whether such things are au currant and orthodox.

Rhys Jaggar
January 30, 2009 9:24 am

Based on this very interesting paper, I guess the question of interest to our moderator and others is this:
Although this data appears to show that carbon dioxide doesn’t DRIVE temperature RISES, is there any reason to suppose that, having elevated carbon dioxide levels via human activity, will there be any effect on any subsequent COOLING in the next century or so?
The data you present would imply NOT for <300ppm of carbon dioxide.
Is there any reason to suppose that, say, 500ppm+ might have a different effect?
Questions of interest, not criticism of your very interesting paper……..

gary gulrud
January 30, 2009 9:27 am

“I believe that Vostok data can be used for qualitative studies of CO2 rising and falling.”
I concur, it reliably shows changes in the direction of change, nothing else.

socalmike
January 30, 2009 9:28 am

_This_ is good science – no name calling, no baseless assumptions – just taking the data and analyzing it. Nice work. I wish all science could be like this.

Bernie
January 30, 2009 9:33 am

P Folkens:
Thanks. I will see what I can find on Vostok data analysis that is as straightforward as Frank’s.

Luis Dias
January 30, 2009 9:39 am

Many things in this post are merely asserted and unproven. Others, simply ignored. Allegedly, CO2 lags temperature by 800 years, but in Fig.2 we see temperature peaking exactly the same time that CO2 peaks. This is also problematic:
The differences in cooling periods does not support that it is CO2 that slows cooling phases. The dive after 230.000 ybp peak shows, that cooling CAN be rapid
No one argues that it can’t. The argument is that it slows the curve in the back end. And in every curve drawn in fig 8, the back end curve is in fact slower than the climbing period.
Notwithstanding, I generally agree with the fact that the Vostok graph is a very weak evidence for AGW. But I also don’t see it as evidence against it.

January 30, 2009 9:40 am

I have posted here before about Ernst Beck. Frank has had his disagreement with him but seems to think he has some valid points (see the link at the very end of Franks post.
Personally I think the ice core co2 levels are contradictory. If they show a constant 280ppm what has been the driver for the numerous periods of warmth and cold the earth has experienced- many captured on instrumental records?
I originally joined this forum by posting a number of graphs showing the measurements of becks data against the actual temperatures from Hadley CET back to 1660. This appeared to show that co2 could only have something to do with temperature changes if there were similar levels of co2 to today in our recent past, which Becks data appears to show.
http://cadenzapress.co.uk/download/beck … hadley.jpg
The graph is repeated above-the blue line is man made co2 since 1750. The green dots are Becks data. THe red line hadley CET to 1660-unadjusted or smoothed. Most of the action related to co2 -according to the readings-seems to occur between 270 and 350ppm.
Some people believe that 90% of co2 has a life of around 50 years and the remaining 10% stays around for much longer. Other people estimate around 5 years to several hundred (the IPCC) with Susan Solomons apparently believing it is there for 10,000 years. This ‘decomposition’ is not shown on the graph as it would be impossible tro represent it accurately on this scale.
As I say, Frank Lansner has had his disagreements with Ernst Beck in the past but essentially there appear to be a large number of contradictions if we accept co2 at a constant 280ppm. Either the ice cores are wrong, Mauna Loa readings are wrong or co2 is not the major driver it is believed to be.
TonyB

January 30, 2009 9:43 am

Simon Evans
If you have migrated to this thread I apologise for not replying to your post on this subject on another thread which I have only just seen-the threads are moving so fast it is sometimes difficult to keep track of comments.
TonyB

January 30, 2009 9:45 am

MY post 09 40 43
Lets try that link again to Becks data
http://cadenzapress.co.uk/download/beck_mencken_hadley.xls
http://cadenzapress.co.uk/download/beck_mencken_hadley.jpg
The first goes to an excel spread sheet the second to a jpeg of the same information.
TonyB

Jim Steele
January 30, 2009 9:54 am

Excellent. It is exactly this analysis that made me a skeptic when I was teaching Global Warming to my students.
The alarmist have always dismissed the lag period (and RealClimate deleted posts when it is brought up) by accepting the initial warming is due to such things as solar but then they suggest the remaining rise in temperature is due to feedback by increased CO2 that keeps temperatures rising.
As you point out that logic only makes sense when the temperatures are rising. When the temperatures are falling however the exact same amount of CO2 can not stop the plunge towards a new glacial period. The warming due to CO2 is either overwhelmed by other forces or the effects of CO2 are negligible. Either way clearly something more powerful than CO2 is driving climate change.

January 30, 2009 9:54 am

Thank you Frank and Anthony, this is very timely as I have just been looking for graphics that show the time lag. There are a good view papers that estimate it at 600-800 years – but the graph of original data doesn’t show it very clearly, except for one of the peaks, obviously because of the long timeline of hundreds of thousands of years. Mr Gore was able to use this graph in his film without drawing attention to the fine gap and its implications!
I guess Leif will have something to say about the possibility of much longer spotless sun periods – but these should show up in the be-10 profiles and I am not sure they do. Perhaps others could look at this too.
We in the UK already had a harbinger of colder times – a lovely Snowy Owl from Iceland or Greenland in Cornwall for a long stay, but we have also just received a visit from an Ivory Gull in the Hebrides. And another Arctic high pressure system is developing! If someone tells me how, I will send a photo of the owl!

Flanagan
January 30, 2009 9:55 am

Not much to say about this “study”. Nobody ever said that CO2 was the only climatologic driver.
Moreover: can you find a situation in the past where CO2 went up to 350 ppm and see what happens? This would be relevant…

Gray P
January 30, 2009 10:07 am

Great work.
Thanks

Ellie in Belfast
January 30, 2009 10:10 am

Frank, great work and excellent use of graphics to illustrate your point. I can’t wait to try this on a few waivering friends.

Rejean Gagnon
January 30, 2009 10:12 am

Re: Luis Dias comment 09:39:26:
The fact that CO2 peaks at the same time as temperature is entirely consistent with temperature being a driver. There is no consistency there, give it some thought.
As far as “Many things in this post are merely asserted and unproven. Others, simply ignored.” – of the only two points you bring up, only the second has any merit…
I think this is a valid and elegantly simple argument against CO2 as a driver – at least on the upswing. I do agree that higher concentration could have greater effect (although with logarithmic importance seemingly proven elsewhere), and that we have no indication from this work that CO2 does not slow the cooling process.

Frank Perdicaro
January 30, 2009 10:12 am

This is a lovely bit of analysis that takes advantage of some mathematical
properties and some human properties.
First human trick: Switch to an absolute temperature scale
Second human trick: Years are a human construction. If there is a signal
independent of human activity, setting the peak points of the signal as
zero points is valid idea. (No humans were around in the past to change
CO2 concentrations, so this is valid). This is basically the same trick as
describing a circle as having pi radians instead of 360 degrees.
The notion of 360 degrees is an arbitrary human assignment.
The mathematics here end up being a lovely non-Cartesian,
non-Euclidean sinusoidal geometry. You can take advantage of commutativity and associativity of the data, and the graph falls right out
of the data. The asymmetry of the data when plotted on a sinusoidal
geometry is EXACTLY consistent with elliptical orbits. If you apply
Kepler’s laws and Occam’s Razor, variations in CO2 here on earth
are associated with the sun’s orbit in the galaxy.
Oh, and it looks like we all better move to warmer parts of the earth.

eric anderson
January 30, 2009 10:22 am

Related to R Jaggar’s question…
Much depends on the curve at which CO2 level generates greenhouse effect. “Pushing on a spring” is a good analogy for rising CO2 because as you compress the spring more and more, it requires greater force to move the spring an equivalent distance — and at some point the spring is fully compressed and more force will not move it. We say there is a “logarithmic” response of CO2 and greenhouse effect. At some point, more CO2 will have little further effect because the it has reached a saturation point.
How much argument is there on this saturation level? We certainly hear little to nothing about it in the MSMM (mainstream moron media). I want to know more. How were current models of this saturation effect derived? Are they mathematical, or is there some way to actually measure the slope of the “dose-response” curve?
On what basis does the author of this piece conclude that maximum warming effect of CO2 occurs @ 250-280ppm? Is it a guess based on his graph? If maximum warming effect is in this range, the entire argument of AGW as it relates to CO2 is moot if we are long past the maximum warming effect.

Symon
January 30, 2009 10:26 am

I don’t see how Fig.2 necessarily shows temperature leading CO2. The arbitrary scales on the Y axes could be changed to show CO2 leading temperature, i.e. I could pick a left hand Y-axis scale to just move the red line up. The derivative of the data would be a more useful thing to graph.

foinavon
January 30, 2009 10:29 am

If anyone gets the opportunity to read some of the fascinating science on this subject, it’s worth exploring the relationship between ice core temperature proxies and CO2 levels in more detail.
For example, while it seems quite well established that the CO2 rise in the Vostock core lags the temperature rise by 800 (+/- quite a bit) years, the evidence indicates that the CO2 rise leads the warming in the tropics and certainly in Greenland (Greenland cores have quite high temporal resolution but don’t go back as far as Antarctic ones):
e.g.:
Caillon, N et al. (2003) Timing of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature changes across termination III. Science 299, 1728-1731
L. Stott et al. (2007) Southern Hemisphere and Deep-Sea Warming Led Deglacial Atmospheric CO2 Rise and Tropical Warming. Science 318, 435 – 438.

Of course the ice age cycles are driven by the slow, slow, slow variations in the orbital properties of the Earth (Milankovitch cycles). Deglaciation is likely driven by enhanced Spring insolation in the deep Southern hemisphere which results in very slow warming, and as the Southern Ocean ice melts and the oceans start to warm, CO2 is released (thus the lag represented in the Vostock cores). The enhanced CO2 effectively enhances and transmits the deep Southern warming to the Northern latitudes. Thus the temperature rise in Greenland cores follows the Milankovitch-induced rise in CO2 that lags warming in the Antarctic cores…

Robert Wood
January 30, 2009 10:40 am

For those who argue that these Vostock data do not apply to today’s environment as the current 380 ppm is much greater:
The relationship between the theoretical “warming” due to CO2 is logarithmic wrt concetration; so, no, the effect should be MORE marked at lower concetrations.

Luis Dias
January 30, 2009 10:48 am

The derivative of the data would be a more useful thing to graph.
Agree.

Robert Rust
January 30, 2009 10:54 am

RE: Luis Dias (09:39:26) :
Notwithstanding, I generally agree with the fact that the Vostok graph is a very weak evidence for AGW. But I also don’t see it as evidence against it.
——-
I’m trying to recall… This temp/CO2 graph was pretty much the only evidence Al Gore used to argue his AGW point in his movie “An Inconvenient Truth”. I don’t recall any other evidence in his video that helped start this whole thing into motion. I suppose that computer models are the only other sources of evidence available.

Freddie
January 30, 2009 10:54 am

Great, great work. The Vostock ice core graph tells us 2 things very clearly. 1. The normal case is the climate is and allway will be changeing. 2. Over the last 500’000 years there where only 10’000 years (2%) what Al Gore says the climate should be!
Regards from the cold snowy Swiss mountains. Freddie

Jeff Alberts
January 30, 2009 10:56 am

Question, and maybe this was mentioned and I missed it.
Is the CO2 rise at the very end from the ice cores as well, or is it from current observational data?

John Edmondson
January 30, 2009 10:56 am

Great post.
Timing of Ice ages is driven by the Milankovitch cycles. These cycles are related to the Earth’s orbit and axial tilt. Cycles range from 20,000 to 100,000 years. i.e. nothing to do with CO2.
Regards,

Ray
January 30, 2009 10:57 am

In any case, the earth will cool down and go through a glaciation period and looking at the graphs it is nothing to get nervous about. As the graphs clearly show, it will take many thousands of years to get there. To think that humanity won’t have better technologies to deal with this is simply stupid and lacks vision. Surely even in a few hundreds of years we will have technology in place to regulate (cool or warm up) the earth’s climate. The sun will not just go away!!! We could even have technology then to melt the advancing glaciers (Microwave walls or something!). For certain, humanity will have better food production systems. In any case, as the last graph shows, heating up the ocean will slow down the rate and give more time. But certainly, it will take a long time. So, it might not be a bad idea to keep the oceans warm…

George E. Smith
January 30, 2009 11:09 am

The people who have the raw data from these ice cores, say the correlation coefficient is highest when the temperature data is delayed 800 years; and this is the origin of the statement that the temperature leads the CO2 by 800 years.
But this isn’t the whole story. If you look carefully at the graphs above you will see two things that are omitted from this simple picture.
1/ The rising edges are close together than the falling edges. So a separate correlation of rising data and falling data (major excursions) would show that the rising edges correlate better at less than 800 years delar, while the falling edges correlate better at more than 800 years delay.
2/ On the rising edges, the CO2 edge is about the same steepness as the temperature edge; but on the falling edges, the CO2 fall timing is much slower than the temperature fall timing.
Note that the amplitude of the CO2 changes (in this data) is about 150 ppm, which is of the same order as the present rising CO2 data from Mauna Loa; but the temperature changes are about 8 deg C, which is considreably more temperature change than occurred during the Mediaeval warm period; which just happens to be 800 years before the present Mauna Loa CO2 rise.
But we should not lose sight of the fact that the reconstructed history of the temperature during the MWP is a global mean.
There is NOTHING at all global about these Vostok Ice Cores. The entombed temperature record is a record of temperatures at the coldest known place on earth, which can get doen to -90 C, and where temperature excursions of tens of degrees C are common.
At Vostok Temperatures, the atmosphere has to be essentially devoid of water vapor or water in any form, and quite often it can be devoid of CO2 as well, with CO2 ice on the ground.
So one lesson we should learn from all of this, is that Vostok Station is not at all representative of global climate, and we shouldn’t be using these data to imply any global behavior.
Another consequence of the extreme low temperatures at Vostok, and the consequent virtual absence of water in the atmosphere, is that CO2 (and ozone) are the only GHGs of any consequence in that atmosphere, in which case, the effect of CO2 is exaggerated compared to global typical atmospheres where much of the IR spectrum that CO2 can absorb, is already absorbed by water vapor.
No matter how they try to argue it, any possible kind of (physical) amplification has to be delayed by the propagation delay of the amplification process. No physical causal relationship, can have a negative propagation delay; the output of the process, always has to follow the input to that process, otherwise we would have what Analog engineers describe as the “guesser circuit”
So the notion that a CO2 triggered temperature excursion (either up or down), can then sudeenly switch and have the CO2 take over as driver, is sheer nonsense.
And if such processes were possible; in the global sense, who needs the CO2, because water vapor by itself is perfectly capable of starting a temperature excursion, without any coaxing from CO2.
The argument that feedback either from ocean outgassing of CO2 or evaporation of water enhances CO2 induced warming; is tantamount to grabbing hold of the branch of a tree, while you and the tree are falling down a cliff.
In my view, the incontrovertible delay of the Vostok CO2 response to the local temperature changes, is a fatal blow to the claim of CO2 caused global climate change.
And no; I do not claim that CO2 does not intercept earth surface thermal radiation, and warm the surface and the atmosphere (at all). The Physics is very real; but if you don’t properly allow for the evaporative response to surface warming, and the negative feedback due to clouds, then you cannot claim to be modeling this planet on which we live.
George

Rick Filkins
January 30, 2009 11:11 am

Hi: very interesting. Could anyone look at this data and make an argument that CO2 is still driving temperature? In other words, what would a global warming alarmist argue after looking at these graphs?
Rick

January 30, 2009 11:12 am

Jim Steele’s post notes that in the Vostok data, when CO2 levels are high, temperature plunges still occur, which suggests strongly that CO2 isn’t an important driver of warming (it can’t keep the planet warm when other factors are at work).
We see the same process over tens of millions of years in the excellent graph, entitled “Global Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time,” at http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html. It is based on R.A. Berner’s CO2 estimates and C.R. Scotese’s estimates of temperature.
In this graph, over the past 120 million years or so, temperatures remain high while CO2 steadily plunges. Clearly, both in the Vostok cores of the past 500,000 years and over much longer periods of time, the relationship of CO2 and temperature is tenuous. Why the AGWers are incapable of seeing this is a mystery.

January 30, 2009 11:15 am

Frank, excellent work, very readable and understandable. Thank you!
I find it very interesting that the CO2 rises around 5500 to 7500 years after temperature peak. Is there any explanation for this?
Slightly OT, but still in the arena of GW, California snowpack’s second measurement results are in, and we have only 61 percent of “normal,” with little expectation of more snow this late in the season. This is being blamed on AGW, of course. The consequences are severe, as agriculture will receive far less water than normal, perhaps 15 percent of the usual amount. The state allocates water to users in California. Farmers will cease many operations, and the adverse economic impact to the state will be quite large.
A secondary impact, not often mentioned, is that formerly-irrigated land will become dry and dusty, creating large dust clouds as the wind whips across the land. Whether this have a measureable impact on global temperatures is way beyond my small skills.
A further impact is that it is a bit difficult to grow crops for bio-fuels when there is no water for irrigation. It appears California will be importing up to 10 percent of its gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel to meet the state-mandated bio-fuel percentage.
This is not what the state needs, a reduction in tax revenue from a significant part of the economy, at a time when the state’s budget deficit is $14 billion, and growing at a rate of nearly $1 billion per month. In addition, having to purchase the bio-fuel component from other states.
I look for a reversal of the 1930’s dust-bowl induced migration, with out-of-work California farmers moving east back to Oklahoma or other wetter states! Perhaps the new book written on this event will be called The Wrath of Grapes. 😉
Roger E. Sowell
Marina del Rey, California (75 degrees, sunny, and cloudless)

George E. Smith
January 30, 2009 11:15 am

“” Luis Dias (10:48:48) :
The derivative of the data would be a more useful thing to graph.
Agree. “”
Differentiation always increases the noise to signal ratio. If climate is the integral of weather, then the derivative of climate is simply weather, and we already know that weather does not represent climate.

realitycheck
January 30, 2009 11:17 am

I think this is a neat and objective bit of analysis and suggests that, at least in the past, CO2 does not influence atmospheric temperature, simply that a warming world temporarily pumps up atmospheric CO2 (presumably by a lagged liberation of CO2 from the Oceans and Soils).
It also shows a lack of evidence for positive feedbacks in the atmosphere (otherwise I think it would show temperatures increasing beyond the peak for some time while CO2 began to naturally dissipate – presumably back into the Oceans and Soils)

George E. Smith
January 30, 2009 11:22 am

“” Frank Perdicaro (10:12:49) :
<>
The mathematics here end up being a lovely non-Cartesian,
non-Euclidean sinusoidal geometry. You can take advantage of commutativity and associativity of the data, and the graph falls right out
of the data. The asymmetry of the data when plotted on a sinusoidal
geometry is EXACTLY consistent with elliptical orbits. If you apply
Kepler’s laws and Occam’s Razor, variations in CO2 here on earth
are associated with the sun’s orbit in the galaxy. “”
Frank, have you considered calling up George Noori to speak to him about this on his “Coast-to-Coast AM” late night radio talk show ? You’d be a smash hit with his audience.

Randall
January 30, 2009 11:27 am

Have any of you looked into the analytical methods to measure CO2 in ice cores? I’ve have a little and as a practicing analytical chemist (with considerable experience in gas measurements, including CO2) I can say that something does not look right.
First, before the “new and improved” procedures were developed (early 80’s) CO2 measurements routinely showed levels from 300 to 700 ppm or higher. The new procedures dropped those results by a factor of more than 2. I’ve read a few of the early papers (Delmas, et. el.) and I have to say, having been a judge at several science fairs, that high schoolers demonstrate a more rigorous use of scientific methods.
In any case, my experience tells me that the precision claimed is unrealistically good and the CO2 measurements are likely biased low. I hope to look into this further.

george h.
January 30, 2009 11:29 am

That CO2 is a relatively weak player is evident from any reasonable examination of the geologic record. In Miocene times the climate was about 10°F warmer than it is today and CO2 concentration was significantly less, counter to goracle / Mannian assumptions. Miocene warmth must have resulted from mechanisms other than any excess CO2 in the atmosphere. During the Pleistocene, the evidence indicates CO2 increased and was accompanied by global cooling. In no time scale, decadal, century, milenial or larger is there any evidence that CO2 has played a significant role . It’s only in GCM-Nintendo land that CO2 drives climate. Frank’s analysis is a welcome contribution.

Neil Crafter
January 30, 2009 11:30 am

“Flanagan (09:55:04) :
Not much to say about this “study”. Nobody ever said that CO2 was the only climatologic driver.”
Well then, why bother saying anything?
Excellent post Frank, very clear and concise.

Steve M.
January 30, 2009 11:34 am

Luis: “Allegedly, CO2 lags temperature by 800 years, but in Fig.2 we see temperature peaking exactly the same time that CO2 peaks. This is also problematic:”
Not really problematic. First, this is a study of trends…not peaks. Even so, looking at Fig. 5, (where he’s trying to show CO2 leading temperature) the temperature drops before CO2. Now, do this: Print one of the graphs, and grab a pencil. (this isn’t very scientific, but it will make the point) Use the pencil and smooth out the peaks, and you’ll see that CO2 peaks after the temperature.

January 30, 2009 11:35 am

Frank, great to see you posting here. I saw your post on ICECAP and liked it so much I copied and reported from it to add to my Skeptics’ Climate Science Primer and my page on Arctic/Antarctic issues. I wanted to check that you were ok with my work! I changed your red to green, to help convey the message that CO2 = happy plants!
This is an old issue that keeps on coming up. But the problem is the twist: “Yes, we already know that CO2 follows temperature initially in the ice records. But the thing is, it then ADDS an amplifying factor”. Now I’ve found that this is no more than bluster and assertion by RealClimate mainly. It’s GOOD YES GOOD to have these beautiful graphs to counter even those assertions.
Why is the cooling period slower??? I’ve had thoughts about this. The cosmos (black holes etc) often operates by (1) explosive bang (2) period of settling-down. We heat saucepans fast and they cool slowly. It’s just natural, well, it feels like that. But WHAT OH WHAT are the specific factors that slow the cooling? CO2 is about like a fat lady going out into a blizzard wearing a nightie. You need far more robust mechanisms for a delay that takes thousands of years.

John Galt
January 30, 2009 11:39 am

The Vostok data has been frequently misrepresented as “proof” that rising atmospheric CO2 causes global warming. But the inconvenient fact is the data shows first it gets warm, then CO2 goes up. Future CO2 levels can’t cause warming.
Then we’re told CO2 is a greenhouse gas and it must be contributing to the global warming. Fair enough (it’s possible), but doesn’t this mean CO2 is not causing the warming? Isn’t that the crux of the matter — stop man-made CO2 emissions in order to save the planet from some future run-away climate catastrophe? If CO2 is not causing the warming, then why do we need to control it?
The fallback position is always CO2 is a greenhouse gas, so it must be affecting climate somehow. This is a valid, but unproven, hypothesis. the climate just isn’t that simple, nor is CO2 a powerful greenhouse gas. You can’t discard the Vostok data without also discarding the entire AGW GHG hypothesis along with it.

Robert
January 30, 2009 11:43 am

Is the temperature in the recent past from the ice core or other readings? If it can be compared to the temperature peaks recorded in the other interglacials, then I conclude that one of two things is true:
1. The current interglacial is naturally cooler than prior interglacials and we will resume cooling soon (in geologic terms).
2. The current interglacial has not achieved its natural interglacial peak temperature and can be expected to warm another degree or so due to non-anthropogenic causes.
It appears that the Vostok core results are generally accepted. I would be more comfortable if samples from other areas confirmed the Vostok temperature/CO2 record.
In particular, is there another method to determine the maximum temperature achieved in the prior interglacials?
It has always bothered me that I do not see a discussion on when the current interglacial warming (natural) starts to be dominated by anthropogenic warming.

Bill D
January 30, 2009 11:44 am

Few of us are familiar enough wih the literature on this topic to really judge whether the assumptions hold and the analysis is new and valid. It this is a valid study, it should be submitted to a scientific journal for peer review.

deepslope
January 30, 2009 11:48 am

George E Smith:
I have been enjoying your well-reasoned, detailed and wise contributions. Suspect that behind that is more than book learning and lab practice – an apogee perspective?

January 30, 2009 11:49 am

Figure 2 looks like the key to me – has this been independently verified?

Gerry
January 30, 2009 11:50 am

Gore’s above-and-below two-chart Vostok data presentation and the fabricated hockey stick curve are the two main things that shocked me two years ago, when I noticed that Gore had (1) reversed cause and effect for the Vostok temperature and CO2 data and (2) plotted two different variables on one chart to make it look like temperatures have risen off-scale during the short period at the end of his chart where he was plotting tree ring data instead of surface temperature measurements. Remember that scene in his movie where he climbed a tall ladder to emphasize the panic-inducing exaggeration?
The Mann-Gore hokey hockey stick schtick has been thoroughly discredited for some time now and most climate scientists also acknowledge that satellite measurements of tropospheric temperature are much more accurate than Hansen’s buggered ground station temperature measurements, which Gore gleefully used.
However, Hansen and Gore’s Vostok cause and effect reversal, though commented on frequently, never seemed to me to capture the attention it deserves – until now. I was outraged three years ago, and even more so now that Hansen and Gore are still trying to deceive people on the simple cause and effect question. If Hansen and Gore had ever been willing to have an honest debate about this I would have given them the benefit of doubt instead of having to conclude that they were deliberately trying to deceive everybody.
I do note the very low temperature crossover of the temperature/CO2 curves. If that had ever been the basis of Hansen and Gore’s arguments I would have given them some credit for at least trying to explain it. Obviously they are not using that to support their argument because they know it doesn’t hold water. Whatever mechanism might explain this at six deg C below the interglacial temperatures of the last few thousand years can’t credibly be used to make a case for global warming predictions from anthropogenic CO2 now. Whenever I see the initials AGW, I feel that really must stand for Al Gore Warming, since there seems to be more hot air from him than there is from any anthropogenic CO2 global warming.

Tamara
January 30, 2009 11:59 am

Much has been said about the difference in the slope of CO2, i.e. a sharp rise versus a delayed fall. I am no expert, but we might intuitively expect this due to biological activity. CO2 rise would be caused by off-gassing as temperature increased, which is a fairly fast process. This increased CO2 also stimulates the biosphere, which stores CO2 through primary production. This stored CO2 would release more slowly through decomposition, and uptake of CO2 by plants would slow gradually due to the changing climate. I wonder if anyone can confirm this mechanism?

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 12:05 pm

I think I see a ‘tipping point’ but it goes in the colder direction…
Beautiful work. Just beautiful. The symmetry test in particular. If CO2 has an effect in a direction at a temperature, ought not it be symmetrical (same effect on opposite side of the peak)? Had not thought of that…
And the max effect ‘tipping point’ falsification! If we’ve been there before and got colder, much colder; there is no tipping point to the hot side (but sure likes some other driver making a ‘tipping point’ to the down side…)
Thank you. Danke. Gracias. Merce. Milli grazi…
Side note: I think it would add some interest to have some threads that were bilingual. I find it easier to figure out some of the finer points if a poster uses both their native language and English. Sometimes the flavor of the original language can add some insight, and the seasoning always makes the stew a bit better.

Julie L
January 30, 2009 12:06 pm

Bravo, Frank, on an astute analysis!
My first reaction upon seeing the first graph is to notice how infrequently the temperature on earth is this warm, and to realize that this recent warm period is why humanity has thrived.
My second reaction: fear and trembling for those who will be living when the temperature drops so precipitously in the future. I know that I won’t be around, but really. Brrrrr.

Daniel Mayes
January 30, 2009 12:09 pm

The idea that the changing CO2 capacity of oceans as they warm and cool explains much of the variability in atmospheric CO2 seen in the ice core data is straightforward enough. What processes have been proposed to account for these changes in atmospheric CO2 if CO2 is the cause, and not the consequence of the temperature variability?

coaldust
January 30, 2009 12:15 pm

Both the lag time from temperature change to CO2 change and the shape of the curves suggest that temperature is driving CO2.
As well understood and mentioned on this thread, CO2 drives temperature in a logarithmic relationship. However, when temperature drives CO2 (into/out of the oceans), the relationship is linear.
If CO2 is driving temperature, then on a graph of CO2 and temperature vs. time, the temperature and CO2 curves should be parallel when CO2 is graphed on a log scale and temperature on a linear scale.
If temperature is driving CO2, than on a graph of CO2 and temperature vs. time, the temperature and CO2 curves should be in parallel when CO2 is graphed on a linear scale and temperature on a linear scale.
Examine figure 2, which is a graph on linear scale of both CO2 and temperature. Since the curves are about parallel during the rise of CO2 and temperature, I must conclude that the temperature is driving the CO2 at that time.

gary gulrud
January 30, 2009 12:17 pm

“Some people believe that 90% of co2 has a life of around 50 years and the remaining 10% stays around for much longer. ”
As the cosmogenic production of 14C precedes its peak in life-forms by 60 years this has to be near the limit of residence time, the extreme outlier.
Spencer, here at WUWT a year ago, compared the 13C:12C variance of MLO seasonal signal with that of the long-term trend under F-Test. The graphs were identical. Keeling believed the seasonal signal biogenic and the trend anthropogenic.
Both surmises cannot be true, therefore the anthropogenic signal is not visible at all. Looking at the October minimum in the seasonal signal leads me to question its origin as well.
Who could scrub the effect of both fluences and also produce the seasonal signal? How about the temperature controlled partial-pressure of CO2 in water? 40 years ago that answer was orthodox Earth Science re: the Carbon Cycle.
Progress? Progress? Don’t talk about progress. My daughter is $55 trillion in debt before her first birthday.

Rob
January 30, 2009 12:28 pm

“Bill D (11:44:33) :
Few of us are familiar enough wih the literature on this topic to really judge whether the assumptions hold and the analysis is new and valid. It this is a valid study, it should be submitted to a scientific journal for peer review.”
If it’s to pass peer review, then it must be expanded to include the effects of ice sheet size and atmospheric methane concentration. In fact, if all three are considered, then the temperature vs time graph is explained very well.
(e.g., see Hansen, J., Mki. Sato, P. Kharecha, D. Beerling, R. Berner, V. Masson-Delmotte, M. Pagani, M. Raymo, D.L. Royer, and J.C. Zachos, 2008: Target atmospheric CO2: Where should humanity aim? Open Atmos. Sci. J., 2, 217-231, doi:10.2174/1874282300802010217.)

January 30, 2009 12:37 pm

Randall my experience tells me that the precision claimed is unrealistically good and the CO2 measurements are likely biased low. I hope to look into this further.
Then I hope to see a paper from you like this one on that subject. We need another look at what Jaworowski claimed. I too, and I guess Frank Lansner and many here, also suspect the CO2 record levels, but don’t have the means etc to investigate.

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 12:38 pm

Luis Dias (09:39:26) : Allegedly, CO2 lags temperature by 800 years, but in Fig.2 we see temperature peaking exactly the same time that CO2 peaks.
This just looks like ‘peak clipping’ to me. Look at Fig. 1 and notice that CO2 seems to always hit the same level then plunge. That kind of consistent peak argues for a mechanism that stops the rise and the ‘flat top’ on the curve in Fig. 2 also argues for ‘hitting the ceiling’. Mechanism? It would be highly speculative… but I would only point out that both plants and chemical processes are highly accelerated with temperature…
So when I look at #2 I see CO2 lagging temperature right up ’till it hits a ceiling and holds. Then as temperatures plunge, it starts following down.
I could easily see a warming planet being gradually covered with more and more plants that then suck the CO2 out of the air just in time for the interglacial to end and a plunge into an ice age to slowly cover the plants in ice.
Related to this is one of the ‘other’ GHG sources that “the CO2 did it” folks like to ignore on the downside. Methane Clathrate. (Methane ice on the ocean floor at great depth. It is only stable under pressure when cold.)
The theory I’ve heard is that as the ocean level drops in an ice age glacial, the methane clathrate on the ocean floor destabilizes at lowered pressures.
Methane floods into the air (slowly oxidizing to CO2) leading to the temperature spike up (melting glaciers and exposing long buried C in permafrost). The feedback to interglacial dominates. At the top, plants flourish (slowly taking CO2 out) and the detritus of life takes the (CH20)n down to the ocean floor to form methane clathrates again. Feedback now runs to glacials.
If this theory were operative, the ‘top’ would simply be as the CH4 sources are gone (ocean floor re-pressurized as water rises; permafrost melted / gone) and the CO2 => (CH20)n is in full force. The feedback to glacial can now dominate. The CO2 peak would look rather like that in Fig. 2.

gary gulrud
January 30, 2009 12:56 pm

“notice that CO2 seems to always hit the same level then plunge. That kind of consistent peak argues for a mechanism that stops the rise and the ‘flat top’ on the curve in Fig. 2 also argues for ‘hitting the ceiling’”
Very nice. Must be an EE.

January 30, 2009 12:56 pm

Frank,
What process did you use to create Fig 2?

ET
January 30, 2009 1:05 pm

Anybody have CO2 data for the GISP2 Ice core so we can see how the Northern Pole behaves (at least for the one cycle)?

Bill Illis
January 30, 2009 1:20 pm

This is a great analysis. I like it a lot.
Just to add one more little point to the issue.
The CO2 changes are also only capable of explaining a maximum of 2.0C of the temperature change while the Vostok record shows 10C of change (5C globally with the poles showing more temperature reduction in the ice ages).
180 ppm increase to 280 ppm in CO2 is not even one doubling.
So not only is there big discrepancies in the trends, CO2 can only explain a small part of the temperature changes in the ice ages even if the maximum global warming numbers are used.

Frank Lansner
January 30, 2009 1:23 pm

It was my goal with this writing, to give a useful tool in the debate. A tool I have been looking for myself. If some of you super fine debaters will use some of this, honestly I will be very happy.
Thankyou all for your feedback!!!!! Really.
Yes, what I show is truly banal, and some of it is not at all news. Just a tool to illustrate the obvious so simple that it hopefully will break some stonewalls down in the debates.
Thankyou Anthony for the courage to puplish my writings.
@Bob Buchanan (09:04:33) :
“ how was Graph 2 created? “
Thank you for interest! Graph 2 illustrates average values for the big tops from the Vostok data. This way for instance a typical AGW-argument about “cherry picking” can be avoided. For instance, if you ´have 4 values for a CO2 point from 4 tops, you take the average value. This gives a middle-curve including all cherries.
@Phils dad
The max values from fig 5. just illustrates the CO2 concentrations highest for the Vostokdata.
@Luis Dias (09:39:26) :
“Allegedly, CO2 lags temperature by 800 years, but in Fig.2 we see temperature peaking exactly the same time that CO2 peaks.”
It was in no way my intention to prove that CO2 lags temperature, because this is commonly accepted long ago by al parts in the debate. (The graphs are sligthly too rough to show it 100% clearly)
I wrote :” The dive after 230.000 ybp peak shows, that cooling CAN be rapid”
When the heating period has been only short, temperature dive seems faster. This could imply, that the slowing of cooling might be explained by accumulated heat in oceans and more – so it seems that cooling pace might be controlled by other things than CO2. Unless that it’s a coicidence that longer varmperiod leads to slower cooling phases…? Hardly 🙂

January 30, 2009 1:24 pm

Conclusions similar to Frank’s can be advanced from another angle. The rise of CO2 from ice age to interglacial is some 280-180 = 100 ppm. The rise of CO2 due to industrialisation is some 380-280 = 100 ppm, a similar increment. Yet the temperature rise at the end of an ice age is an order of magnitude higher than the 0.6 deg C at most due to industrialisation. This argument is complicated by the non-linear logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature, but the argument still seems qualitatively sound: CO2 is not a strong driver of global temperature.

January 30, 2009 1:25 pm

Antony,
Your graphs would be more effective with crossbars i.e. x level of CO2 causes temperatures to rise while a little later the same x of CO2 causes temperatures to fall.

Mick
January 30, 2009 1:30 pm

Lucy Skywalker (11:35:59) :
Why is the cooling period slower??? I’ve had thoughts about this. The cosmos (black holes etc) often operates by (1) explosive bang (2) period of settling-down. We heat saucepans fast and they cool slowly. It’s just natural, well, it feels like that. But WHAT OH WHAT are the specific factors that slow the cooling? CO2 is about like a fat lady going out into a blizzard wearing a nightie. You need far more robust mechanisms for a delay that takes thousands of years.
…can it be caused by the Earth’s moltan core…ie like putting a very low heat back under the saucepan?
ps I have no scientific background.

January 30, 2009 1:31 pm

Very nice Frank, I had not seen an analysis of the delta between CO2 and Temperature on the falling edge.
Regarding your final hypothesis: “It seems that a longer warming period of the earth would result in a slower cooling period afterward due to accumulated heat in ocean.
If this were true, wouldn’t the oceans tend to dampen the leading edge (rise) in temperature as well? I’m assuming that the ocean absorbs heat at the same rate that it gives it up, but perhaps this is not the case.
Thank you for the enlightening article.

Steven Horrobin
January 30, 2009 1:31 pm

Flanagan (09:55:04) :
“Not much to say about this “study”. Nobody ever said that CO2 was the only climatologic driver.
“Moreover: can you find a situation in the past where CO2 went up to 350 ppm and see what happens? This would be relevant”
Well, CO2 has averaged in the region of ten times this figure for the entire phanerozoic. It has only been as low as that at all very recently indeed. See:
http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide_png
For interesting commentary on the implications of this, and of major historical anomalies wherein it appears CO2 and climactic temperature are significantly disconnected, see:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006AGUFMPP23E..01F
So, Flanagan, simply put, apart from very recent history indeed, it is rather difficult to find a situation in the past where CO2 was BELOW 350ppm!

Francois O
January 30, 2009 1:31 pm

A couple or remarks.
For those who find this a nice piece of work, good. But in all this debate, the actions and attitudes of a few scientists (Hansen, Mann) may have convinced some that ALL scientists are ideologically biased, and utterly stupid. One problem, of course, is that most people do not have access to scientific journals (Open Access is stil an unrealized goal). So most people are not aware of the sheer size of the scientific literature on the subject. So if you think this post is good science, go read some of those papers, and you’ll see that there is a lot of good science being made by professional scientists as well. In fact, I found that the field of “ocean carbon cycle” studies is much less ideologically tainted than, say, paleoclimate, or modeling. Researchers are, for example, much more honest in acknowledging their ignorance.
Now, I’ll add that the “Goresque” view of the interaction between CO2 and temperature in glacial ages is far from being the mainstream view in the scientific literature. The mechanisms underlying the dynamics of temperature and CO2 in glacial and interglacial ages are still pretty much unresolved.
In particular, the real big riddle is not that CO2 rises with temperature, but how it can get so low when it’s cold. Models simply can’t explain it. There are subtle effects here. when the ice melts, it frees up space for forests to grow. So while the ocean and the melting ice may release CO2, the growing forest will take it up, and thus limit the growth of CO2. However, when the cold sets in again, the dying forest should, in principle, release all that stored CO2, keeping the concentration high. Maybe that’s what we’re seeing here, as CO2 stays high while temperature drops. But then other effects are at play. Cyanobacteria in the ocean are a major player in the CO2 game. Their ability to eat up CO2 and dump it at the bottom of the oceans is highly temperature dependent. What is unknown is how these bacteria expand and contract as the oceans freeze over and melt again.
I’ve commented here before (and that’s after I got interested in the subject and read a lot of the papers), that though much is known about ocean circulation, and how this can affect CO2 through the thermohaline circulation, very little is known of the influence of the marine biota on CO2, but the researchers in the field have come to realize that this is a big (unknown) part of the equation. So our knowledge could radically change in coming years, as more and more is learned about this.

MattN
January 30, 2009 1:43 pm

“Pushing on a spring” is a good analogy for rising CO2 because as you compress the spring more and more, it requires greater force to move the spring an equivalent distance ”
Except that is not true. A 300 lb/in spring requires 300 lbs to compress 1 inch, another 300 lbs to compress another inch, another 300 lbs to compress another inch, and so on until it is completely compressed.

Wondering Aloud
January 30, 2009 1:45 pm

Flanagan
You ask “Moreover: can you find a situation in the past where CO2 went up to 350 ppm and see what happens? This would be relevant…”
I can’t find the original source for this graph though I remember back checking it the first time I saw it. Here is a widely reproduced graph of CO2 vs temp going back 650 Myears. There are ice ages with CO2 levels several times greater than today and warm periods like the present with low CO2.
http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/2005-08-18/dioxide.htm

P Folkens
January 30, 2009 1:46 pm

We seem to be looking so closely at the bark that we can’t see the forest.
Consider the first graph and notice the dramatic, periodic swings from lows to highs. This is the Pleistocene paleoclimate from deep ice ages to interglacials. The Vostok ice cores simply confirmed what we already knew from dozens of previous studies. It was my awareness of those previous studies that made me skeptical when the AGW folk began making noise back in the late 80s. Nothing Hansen, Gore, Mann, or the rest made any sense in the context of an interglacial period’s natural variation. Gore’s often-made statements of recent years being the “warmest in history” work only if history goes back no more than 750 years. The increases in CO2, indeed the increase in temperature, are miniscule in terms of the natural glacial-interglacial natural variation.
If AGW wonks want to suggest that CO2 drives the increase in temperature, then tell us the source of the CO2 that caused the the amount of CO2 to rise from 160 ppm in the depths of the glacials to the 350 ppm during the interglacials. I’ve searched the paleoanthropological record and could not find any autoparts associated with Homo erectus artifacts. In fact, there are no auto parts in any anthropological dig older than about 120 years.
To put a fine point on it, the worst case scenarios postulated by the IPCC, Hansen, Mann, and the rest are well within the natural variation of an interglacial. The worst case scenario will attain only the average in both temperature and sea levels during the past 6,000. Reducing CO2 emissions to some ridiculous percentage of 1990 levels (as the government is now seeking) will have no affect on world’s temperatures, locally or globally.
If you are afraid of CO2, stop deforestation and clean up the oceans.

TJA
January 30, 2009 1:51 pm

“we see temperature peaking exactly the same time that CO2 peaks.”
That is a resolution problem. You probably saw similar low res graphs in AIT where Gore deliberately distorted this info, which is your first problem, believing Gore who thinks that he has to decieve you to save the planet. There is an 800 year lag in the data. You can believe it or don’t.

Frank Lansner
January 30, 2009 1:53 pm

@TonyB (09:40:43) :
“I have posted here before about Ernst Beck. Frank has had his disagreement with him”
Beck is presently updating and adjusting for more and more inputs. The compilation of CO2 data Beck did was obviously a very relevant thing to do. Becks data are important although the precision is sometimes not perfect. I hope Beck will go on and on making the best of these data. Its very interesting what he´s up to, and I can only support him for his truth seeking project.
@Jim Steele (09:54:25) :
“It is exactly this analysis that made me a skeptic when I was teaching Global Warming to my students. “
Yes, I can follow you on that one!!
@Flanagan (09:55:04) :
“ Nobody ever said that CO2 was the only climatologic driver. “
The illustrations above not only shows that CO2 is not the reason for the big temperature changes of ice ages. They show that CO2´s role is rather small, if any.
So who cares, is that what your saying? Just let the big companies fill up the underground with CO2 under pressure even though CO2 has little if any effect? In a time of crisis? Using endless dollars on CO2? – because as you say, there are probably other climatologic drivers? That’s not a convincing argument to focus on CO2, is it?
@Ellie in Belfast (10:10:55) :
“I can’t wait to try this on a few wavering friends.”
Thankyou thankyou, you make my day!!

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 1:57 pm

foinavon (10:29:42) : Of course the ice age cycles are driven by the slow, slow, slow variations in the orbital properties of the Earth (Milankovitch cycles). Deglaciation is likely driven by enhanced Spring insolation in the deep Southern hemisphere which results in very slow warming, and as the Southern Ocean ice melts and the oceans start to warm, CO2 is released (thus the lag represented in the Vostock cores).
Unfortunately, you have your hemispheres exactly backwards.
From “Ice Age” by John and Mary Gribbin (a wonderful read, gives the richness of the characters in the discovery of the ice ages, the history of the process, and a gentle introduction to some of the science involved.):
Pg.53: […]the single most important thing to emerge from these discussions was Koppen’s realization of the key season in the Ice Age saga. Adhemar and Croll had thought that the decisive factor in encouraging Ice to spread across the Northern Hemisphere must be the occurrence of extremely cold winters, resulting in increased snowfall. At first, Milankovitch had shared this view. But it was Koppen who pointed out that it is always cold enough for snow to fall in the Arctic winter, even today, and that the reason that the Northern Hemisphere is not in the grip of a full Ice Age is because the ‘extra’ snow melts away again in the summer.
[EMS: Note that the Southern Hemisphere is similarly irrelevant to the ice age cycle since it is always cold enough for snow to stay frozen. It just doesn’t change enough to matter.]
Pg 54: He reasoned that the way to encourage the ice to spread would be to have a reduction in summer warmth, because then less of the winter snowfall would melt. If less snow melted in summer than fell in winter, the ice sheets would grow – and once they had started to grow, the feedback effect of the way the ice and snow reflect away incoming solar energy would enhance the process.
Pg 57: It isn’t so much that Ice Ages occur when the astronomical influences conspire to produce particularly cool summers, rather what matters is that Interglacials only occur when the astronomical influences conspire to produce unusually warm summers, encouraging the ice to retreat. Without all three of the astronomical rhythms working in step this way, the Earth stays in a deep freeze.
End Quote.
So, to summarize:
1) The south pole doesn’t matter to the process, it’s always frozen.
2) We are normally in a long ice age and only pop out for short intervals when conditions are just right.
3) The ‘just right’ is Northern Hemisphere summers warm enough to melt the snow and ice.
4) Warm enough is when the N. hemisphere: must be pointed at the sun in summer when: at close approach to the sun with the right elliptical shape, with the pole tilted over far enough, with… or we freeze.
I would add a note that I think it is particularly illuminating that we are near the end of an Interglacial (next stop is an ice age), the only thing that keeps it away is the summer Arctic ice and snow melt. So what is the AGW crowd in histrionics about? That the Arctic ice and snow are not sticking through the summer… Think about it… As I asked my pooch once: “And just what will you do with that car once you catch it and bite the tire?”

foinavon
January 30, 2009 2:06 pm

Daniel Mayes (12:09:49) :

The idea that the changing CO2 capacity of oceans as they warm and cool explains much of the variability in atmospheric CO2 seen in the ice core data is straightforward enough. What processes have been proposed to account for these changes in atmospheric CO2 if CO2 is the cause, and not the consequence of the temperature variability?

The changes in CO2 are due to warming of the Southern oceans initially. The sinusoidal variations of the properties of the Earth’s orbit result in enhanced Spring insolation in the early stages of glacial to interglacial transitions. The deep Southern oceans slowly, slowly warm, sea ice slowly melts and the oceans begin to release CO2 into the atmosphere.
Although the Antarctic ice cores indicate that the rise in atmospheric CO2 lags warming in Antarctica, the Greenland cores indicate that Greenland warming follows the rise in CO2. So the rise in atmospheric CO2 during ice age transitions (glacial –> interglacial) is both a consequence and a cause.
Remember that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. However it gets into the atmosphere it causes warming, completely independently of how it got there. If its rise in the atmosphere is the result of enhanced solar warming, then it amplifies the latter. Alternatively, the rise in CO2 can be the primary driver of warming. That has occurred in several (perhaps most or all) of the extinction events in the deep past.

George E. Smith
January 30, 2009 2:15 pm

“” Tamara (11:59:33) :
Much has been said about the difference in the slope of CO2, i.e. a sharp rise versus a delayed fall. I am no expert, but we might intuitively expect this due to biological activity. CO2 rise would be caused by off-gassing as temperature increased, which is a fairly fast process. This increased CO2 also stimulates the biosphere, which stores CO2 through primary production. This stored CO2 would release more slowly through decomposition, and uptake of CO2 by plants would slow gradually due to the changing climate. I wonder if anyone can confirm this mechanism? “”
Well Tamara I can’t confirm your hypothesis; but I believe you are on the right track.
There’s another effect as well relating the the exchange with the ocean.
The entire ocean surface is in direct contact with the atmosphere (ok get pedantic and say the bottom surface of the ocean is in contact with the land). So when the ocean warms up, the CO2 outgassing goes straight into the atmosphere, so it’s a fairly prompt process.
However the converse is not true. The entire atmosphere surface (bottom) is NOT in contact with the ocean. Therefore if the ocean cools down and starts taking up CO2, some of that excess atmospheric CO2 now has to diffuse from over the land to over the ocean before it can dissolve i9n the ocean, so that would slow down the CO2 uptake in the ocean. But I couldn’t say that the time scales involved in such delays are commensurate with the 800 year offset.
But I tend to believe your thesis that biologic processes are heavily involved.
There is also a notion that since the ocean surface is warm, it does not contain a whole lot of CO2 anyway. The lower layers are cooler, so they have a greater CO2 capacity, and there should be a sort of segregation coefficient that is constantly depleting the warm surface waters of CO2 and driving it deeper into the colder depths; and this process keeps the warm surface waters depleted of CO2.
So when the ocean surface warms up, there isn’t a whole lot of surface CO2 to outgas, so the prompt outgassing would be somewhat limited, and to get at the deeper stores of CO2 the ocean basically has to turn over and bring those cold deep waters to the surface. I’ve been told by floks who should know, that this oceanic turnover is the main source of the 800 year delay on the rising edge.
I tend to go along with your idea that biological growth processes tend to rule the CO2 decline process; but I can’t prove that either.

Ray
January 30, 2009 2:16 pm

Have ever noticed that their famous temperature curve suddently changes slope around the 60s and 70s. This can also be correlated to the bulk of atomic tests that were done during that time. According to some new gravity/magnetic theory, the blasts sent and magnetic pulse to the core of the earth, this pulse and changes in magnetic flow lines are also the reason for the well known shape of nuclear explosions. The theory does not say by how much the core of the planet has heated up but if you think about it, if the core heats up, it would in return heat up the ocean, thus also driving more release of CO2.
What is even more interesting is that magnetic/gravity theory could help explain sunspots and solar flares and apparently there is correlation with the perturbations in magnetic fields around the sun, caused by the planets, and solar activity, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.
see: http://www.allanstime.com/UnifiedFieldTheory/Planets_Alignment/UFT_excerpt.htm

Ray
January 30, 2009 2:22 pm

foinavon (14:06:49),
I would think that once we hit the minimum temperature, of the maximum in glaciation, as the earth tilt;s back and things are slowly starting to heat up, the north ice cores will show CO2 rising first because the south is heating up more first.
Another plausible explanation of course is once the earth starts warming up, the polar bears take out their snowmobiles and spew tons of CO2 in the atmosphere.

January 30, 2009 2:25 pm

Frank, I only have one word for you and everyone else “Bravo”

foinavon
January 30, 2009 2:31 pm

david elder (13:24:52) :

Conclusions similar to Frank’s can be advanced from another angle. The rise of CO2 from ice age to interglacial is some 280-180 = 100 ppm. The rise of CO2 due to industrialisation is some 380-280 = 100 ppm, a similar increment. Yet the temperature rise at the end of an ice age is an order of magnitude higher than the 0.6 deg C at most due to industrialisation. This argument is complicated by the non-linear logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature, but the argument still seems qualitatively sound: CO2 is not a strong driver of global temperature.

We’ve had a round 0.8 oC of warming since the start of the industrial age.
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/
it’s easy to calculate that a rise of atmospheric CO2 from 280-385 ppm should give around 1.2-1.3 oC of warming at equilibrium within a simple model of a climate sensitivity of 3 oC of warming per doubling of atmospheric CO2.
The warming during the glacial to interglacial transition was very, very, very slow (around 5 oC of warming during 5000 years, for example during the last glacial interglacial transition 15000-10000 years ago). So we’re warming around 15-20 times faster than that now. Since the climate system has very significant inertias to temperature change (largely due to the massive heat capacity of the oceans) and the atmospheric CO2 levels are rising now around 100 times or more faster than during the ice age transition, the climate system hasn’t quite “caught up” with the forcing from the current levels of atmospheric CO2. So we still have quite a bit of warming “in the pipeline”. Within a climate sensitivity of 3 oC of warming per doubling of atmospheric CO2, the extraordinarily slow rise in CO2 from 180-280 ppm gives almost 2 oC of amplification of the Milankovitch-driven total warming in the glacial to interglacial transition (around 35-40% of the total warming).
So when CO2 is an amplifier of a primary driver of warming (solar insolation changes due to Milankovitch cycles), CO2 is a secondary driver of warming (it’s an amplifier). When CO2 is pumped into the atmosphere directly it’s a primary forcing. Its properties can be understood uniformly by our understanding that the Earth has a warming response to enhanced CO2 equivalent to something near 3 oC of warming per doubling of CO2, however it gets into the atmosphere.

George E. Smith
January 30, 2009 2:36 pm

“” deepslope (11:48:29) :
George E Smith:
I have been enjoying your well-reasoned, detailed and wise contributions. Suspect that behind that is more than book learning and lab practice – an apogee perspective? “”
Well deepslope, I appreciate the sentiment; but don’t be fooled. I really don’t know didley about what I regard as climate; which is how what we coloquially think of as climate, varies over the globe. Why is Australia so dry ? How did the Sahara becoem desertified? How the hell does the PDO work. I know nowt about such stuff; but I’m sure there are people who do.
so I pretty much have to constrain myself to the bigger picture question:- “Is planet earth radiating the right amount of thermal electromagnetic radiation to keep the surface temperatures in a comfortable range.”
That’s pretty much pure Physics, and mostly thermodynamics; and that stuff I do know.
In addition, I have no axe to grind; I am Teflon coated. I don’t work for any energy, or other resource industry company; I don’t invest in their stocks, unless my totally blind IRA mutual funds do so without my knowledge or direction. And I don’t get so much as a brass Razoo in grant money to do any research on any of this, from either government or other institutional money bags.
So all I care about, is that we get the science correct; and that we do that before a bunch of damned fools do some actual real damage to this planet; its environment, and its economic ability to support at least the population we have on earth today, at a reasonable level. Naturally, I would wish we had fewer people, and I wish we had much fewer really poor people; and for sure it is going to get a heck of a lot worse than it is, if we don’t put the CO2 genii back in the bottle.
My bottom line belief, which I am not presently able to prove beyond doubt, is that so long as the earth has its oceans, we cannot change the temperature either up or down, even if we wanted to. And if we could; where would we set it ? The hydrologic cycle of evaporation, cloud formation, and precipitation is in total feedback control of the average global temperatures. Things like CO2 and Svensmark’s Cosmic rays, are not drivers of the climate, but they do contribute, in that CO2 can augment water vapor absorption of thermal radiation, and Svensmark’s cosmic rays, can affect the ease of cloud formation, and more importantly where clouds form, and so modify the cloud regulation process.
I think the mistake people are making with regard to Svensmark, is that they are either trying to prove that this is what drives the climate; or that this has nothing to do with the climate, and I don’t think he ever said anything like that. But I think it is an important cause of variation in climate, that is linked to the sun behavior, and gives the sun more effect than just the 0.1% P-P change in the solar constant. Leif seems to say the sun is not a big driver; but it’s offspring are having bigger effects than it has directly. The total energy linkages between sun and earth are somewhat more than a simple EM radiation beam.
George

January 30, 2009 2:41 pm

Antony,
My apologies. I still think having the arrow tails at the same level for figure 3 and figure 4 would be more information rich.

January 30, 2009 2:43 pm

Remember that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
I also remember that water vapor is a 20X more effective greenhouse gas and no one is trying to do a darn thing about it.

William
January 30, 2009 2:51 pm

foinavon
You Said: “Alternatively, the rise in CO2 can be the primary driver of warming. That has occurred in several (perhaps most or all) of the extinction events in the deep past”
Is it really your position that most or all of the deep past extinction events are a result of CO2 driven global warming? I have not seen that in the literature. Please provide a few links to this assertion and how explain the mechanism on how CO2 warmed the planet enough to kill the dinosaurs after the meteor induced “nuclear” winter.
thanks
Ed

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 2:52 pm

Roger Sowell (11:15:18) : I find it very interesting that the CO2 rises around 5500 to 7500 years after temperature peak. Is there any explanation for this?
The easy suspect would be plants. As the ice age sets in, lots of plants die. Decay leads to CO2 (until the plants remains are sequestered under glaciers)
The consequences are severe, as agriculture will receive far less water than normal, perhaps 15 percent of the usual amount.
Since cities account for about 5% of total water usage, they are completely irrelevant to any discussion of drought. (Despite all the nanny nags to stop flushing for #1..) This also means that substantially all the reduction in volume of consumption must come from Agriculture (EPA et. al. will require continued ‘natural’ flows to the ocean for wildlife… See Oregon as an existence proof.)
This is not what the state needs, a reduction in tax revenue from a significant part of the economy, at a time when the state’s budget deficit is $14 billion, and growing at a rate of nearly $1 billion per month. In addition, having to purchase the bio-fuel component from other states.
Financial flogging will continue until monetary moral improves…
I look for a reversal of the 1930’s dust-bowl induced migration, with out-of-work California farmers moving east back to Oklahoma or other wetter states! Perhaps the new book written on this event will be called The Wrath of Grapes. 😉
Oh! The imagery! I love it!! ( I can feel the hangover now as Califonians down their last saved Napa Reds on the long sorry trek to Texas… 100 miles at a time, asking folks along the way if they can borrow an outlet to charge there e-car… Brother, can you spare a Watt?)
Unfortunately, the last time we had a cycle like this it was The Dust Bowl in Oklahoma… So if you subscribe to “the sun did it” theory we have:
See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunspot_Numbers.png
Notice that the dip at the Dalton has a similar though more shallow dip at 1/2 the Dalton ago from now? Our choices are basically: A Maunder, Dalton, or half Dalton low (in order of most comfort for us).
When you are rooting for The Dust Bowl as a relatively ‘good thing’ it’s time to stock up on Scotch, Napa Reds…
So I’m rooting for “the sun did it” to be proven wrong by events… Or a line connecting the minima of the Maunder, Dalton, Great Depression sunspot lows and temperature lows to continue the upward slope to define our modern lows… (i.e. we’re on a much longer up trend and these are dips on a faster frequency with ‘higher lows’)

Ray
January 30, 2009 3:06 pm

Gore is pointing to Venus and Mercury to show how CO2 is warming Venus and not Mercury. Where the hell is he taking his science?
According to this guy ( http://www.whiteworld.com/non-fic/Venus-temp.htm ), and if we want to compare apples with apples, the 96% CO2 contained in Venus atmosphere is only responsible to about 20 C more than our pitty little 350 ppm here on Earth. Of course the guy corrected for the pressure and the distance from the sun (apparently Venus is getting almost 2 times more radiation from the sun than Earth, but according to Gore, the distance is not important).
So, one can ask if during glaciation, the atmosphere could get thinner enough (lower pressure) to even cool it more?

timbrom
January 30, 2009 3:11 pm
January 30, 2009 3:15 pm

@E.M.Smith (13:57:14)
Pg 57: It isn’t so much that Ice Ages occur when the astronomical influences conspire to produce particularly cool summers, rather what matters is that Interglacials only occur when the astronomical influences conspire to produce unusually warm summers
Two questions arose for me from the excerpt:
1) when the Earth switched over from the Hot to the Freeze epoch, and why?
2) how much closer to the Sun the Earth should be now to be in a state of climatic equilibrium favorable to us (with summer/winter cycles and w/o glacial/interglacial periods)?
Regards

foinavon
January 30, 2009 3:15 pm

E.M.Smith (13:57:14)
Gribbin and Gribbin is a very nice book. But it is a book by science populizers describing 10 year old and more science from a time before much of the polar ice core data was available or had been analyzed in detail.
Your comment:
Note that the Southern Hemisphere is similarly irrelevant to the ice age cycle since it is always cold enough for snow to stay frozen. It just doesn’t change enough to matter.
…is an erroneous conclusion based on a false premise. During the glacial period of the ice age cycles, sea surface ice obviously extends extensively from the Antarctic towards the lower latitudes of the Southern hemisphere. Enhanced insolation in the Spring/Summer, if this forcing is persistent over hundreds of years, will cause this sea ice to retreat. The reduction in albedo enhances sea surface warming. Eventually the Southern oceans will lose their ice cover, warm and begin to release CO2 into the atmosphere.
Since you’re quoting the very nice (but somewhat outdated) book by the Gribbins, I’ll quote from some more recent science:
L. Stott et al. (2007) Southern Hemisphere and Deep-Sea Warming Led Deglacial Atmospheric CO2 Rise and Tropical Warming. Science 318, 435-438.
The rise in Southern Ocean temperatures coincided with the retreat of Antarctic sea ice and high-elevation glaciers in the Southern Hemisphere (36, 37). The explanation for the early warming in the Southern Hemisphere could involve increasing springtime solar insolation, which is well correlated with the retreat of sea ice and with the history of sea-salt accumulation in the Antarctic Dome C ice core (fig. S5). We suggest that the trigger for the initial deglacial warming around Antarctica was the change in solar insolation over the Southern Ocean during the austral spring that influenced the retreat of the sea ice (38). Retreating sea ice would have led to enhanced Ekman transport in the Southern Ocean and decreased stratification due to stronger air-sea fluxes.

(n.b. “Ekman transport” is a phenomenon promoting mixing of ocean layers and enhances CO2 efflux from the deep oceans as a result of surface warming…)
It’s increasingly well established that deglaciation is driven by insolation changes in the deep Southern hemisphere, and that the resulting rise in CO2 due to warming-induced efflux from the Southern oceans, amplifies the Milankovitch warming and promotes Northern hemisphere warming. That accounts for the observation that the CO2 rise, which follows warming in Antarctic cores, precedes warming in the Greenland cores.

davidc
January 30, 2009 3:23 pm

Frank,
Above Figure 4 you write: “Below is a graph where I aim to illustrate CO2 as the driver of temperature:” This is potentially confusing, since I think your aim is to show that CO2 can’t be the driver. I think you should reword that to make it clearer what you are doing. (eg “that CO2 is not”)

Mary Hinge
January 30, 2009 3:24 pm

This is a brave attempt by Frank but is basically an intensely simplistic argument with no grasp of the complexities involved. Frank has been guilty of this previously with his very strong assertion that because the SOI was high back in September then a La Nina was inevitable. I did point out to him there were other factors involved and that these were indicating a la Nina was a low probability event. He was however still convinced that this one particular fact meant that a La Nina was inevitable. We now know he was wrong then and I’m afraid he is once again very wrong here.
He must learn that climate science is not the simplistic two dimensional process he thinks it is.

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 3:32 pm

Moderator: Fixed italics…
Robert (11:43:11) : If it can be compared to the temperature peaks recorded in the other interglacials, then I conclude that one of two things is true:
1. The current interglacial is naturally cooler than prior interglacials and we will resume cooling soon (in geologic terms).
2. The current interglacial has not achieved its natural interglacial peak temperature and can be expected to warm another degree or so due to non-anthropogenic causes.

If you look at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ice_Age_Temperature.png
You will notice that the ice ages often have a very brief peak, then as the drop begins, sometimes a ‘ledge’ of relative stability before the plunge into the next glacial. Notice that we are sitting on the edge. Notice that it has been one of the longest ledges…
We are sitting on the edge of a plunge into an ice age. (This is geologic time, so the plummet could be 5,000 years away…) The notion that we have anything to fear to the upside is falsified by all those peaks that hit a hard ceiling of “something” and halt dead in their warming tracks. Just as we did about 10,000 years ago…
It has always bothered me that I do not see a discussion on when the current interglacial warming (natural) starts to be dominated by anthropogenic warming.
Perhaps that is because it can not. At best, IMHO, any CO2 driven warming can keep us ‘on the ledge’. It is also clear from the above graph that at the +1C to +3C range something dramatic does a ‘slap down’ of temperatures. This leads to four conclusions:
1) AGW has a hard lid at a degree or two.
2) We are exiting the special conditions that lead to an Interglacial. The natural forces are moving toward an ice age. Slowly. Very Slowly.
3) Therefor AGW can at most partly offset #2 and has little risk (#1). To the extent the AGW thesis is right, it can at most explain the extraordinarly length and stability of our present “ledge”.
4) WARM is GOOD. COLD is BAD.

Bob Dennis
January 30, 2009 3:34 pm

Thanks for the analysis Frank and a rejoiner to Luis Dias’ comment that there can be sharp falls in some heating/cooling events and this refutes Frank’s argument.
What often is confused is that heat and temperature are two different things, heat being a quantity and temperature being a level. What Frank was pointing out was a greater amount of heat is transferred to the ocean with longer periods of temperature rise therefore longer periods of cooling are needed for the heat to be released and therfore the temperature to fall. This is a classic example of hysteresis and can be observed in many natural phenomena. The assymetry is indeed intriguing.
Frank presents a hypothesis on why heat can enter the oceans more quickly than it can be released. Although not explicity stated I think he is saying that the mixing delay is the key, with less mixing the hot water (containing much heat per volume of water) is only at surface and it’s higher temperature leads to rapid heat loss through evaporation of water and radiance. However, if there is more time to achieve greater mixing the averaged temperature is lower even though more total heat may be absorbed (because of the greter water volume involved). Because it is a lower temperature there is both a slower heat loss and this as well as the larger amount of total heat contained means it takes longer.
Makes sense to me Frank.

January 30, 2009 3:42 pm

Timbrom.
Welcome!
One of the first posts I ever made on acidification was over at Climate audit which eventually drew 55 comments-some of them about the subject 🙂
http://www.climateaudit.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=317
You might find it helpful to browse through them as I suspect the answer is there.
Keep on posting
TonyB

barry moore
January 30, 2009 3:43 pm

Frank Lansner’s paper elegantly demonstrates the relationship between CO2 and temperature however without detracting from the overall theme of the paper I would like to point out that the assumption has been made that the ice core sample CO2 data is accurate. There are many eminent scientists in this field who challenge the accuracy of this data. Some of the these are Prof. Jaworowski, who was a pioneer in this field, J.J.Drake et. al.
Basically the air trapped in the snow becomes compressed as the build up occurs and the air goes into solution with the pressure build up. Since the solubilities are different the rate of absorption occurs at different rates for different gasses. At a certain depth there are no “air” bubbles left contrary to the IPCC’s numerous declarations. Once in solution the CO2 migrates or combines with the ice crystals to form calthrates. When the ice core is drilled and brought to the surface the pressure is released and the gasses come out of solution however the reconstituted gas is not the same as the original air.
Page 446 of the IPCC 4AR has the following interesting text, “ Ice core records show that atmospheric CO2 varied in the range 180 to 300 ppm over the glacial-interglacial cycles of the last 650kyr …. The quantitative and mechanistic explanation of these CO2 variations remains one of the major unsolved questions in climate research.”
The answer to this is simple the level never got to 180 ppm if it had for the period of time shown on the ice core charts the plant life on the planet would have been decimated and most animals would have starved, basically plants stop growing at 200 ppm. Stomata data by Wagner, Aaby and Visscher prove conclusively that the ice core data is seriously in error. The ice core data can be corrected using J.J.Drake’s correlation, the profile does not change but the ppm values do so the analysis is still valid.

Robc
January 30, 2009 3:48 pm

Can someone enlighten me as to the runnerway effect of water vapour as a positive feedback within this study.

January 30, 2009 3:51 pm

@P2O2 (15:15:12) :
I would add a third question:
3) When the Earth cools the evaporation decreases and the oceans should freeze. In the meantime, the ice grows over the land as well. Does it mean there must be areas of increased evaporation to push the gigantic amount of water onto the land?
Simply speaking I put the CO2 issue aside from any “global” conciderations. Isn’t the CO2 issue a dead end street in the climate disputes?

davidc
January 30, 2009 3:53 pm

foinavon (15:15:46)
“The discrepancies between the CO2 profiles from Greenland and Antarctica can be explained by in situ production of excess CO2 due to interactions between carbonate and acidic species. Since the carbonate concentration in Antarctic ice is much lower than in Greenland ice, CO2 records from Antarctica are much less affected by such in situ-produced CO2.”
Citation: Anklin, M., J. Schwander, B. Stauffer, J. Tschumi, A. Fuchs, J. M. Barnola, and D. Raynaud (1997), CO2 record between 40 and 8 kyr B.P. from the Greenland Ice Core Project ice core, J. Geophys. Res., 102(C12), 26,539–26,545.
So no need to joust with Occam’s razor and causality.

maksimovich
January 30, 2009 3:54 pm

foinavon (15:15:46) :
It’s increasingly well established that deglaciation is driven by insolation changes in the deep Southern hemisphere, and that the resulting rise in CO2 due to warming-induced efflux from the Southern oceans, amplifies the Milankovitch warming and promotes Northern hemisphere warming. That accounts for the observation that the CO2 rise, which follows warming in Antarctic cores, precedes warming in the Greenland cores.
And then again
” The temporal coincidence of glacial epochs on the Earth and Mars during the Quaternary and latest Amazonian would suggest a coupled system linking both [Sagan, C., Young, A.T., 1973. Nature 243, 459″

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 3:57 pm

gary gulrud (12:56:01) :
“notice that CO2 seems to always hit the same level then plunge. That kind of consistent peak argues for a mechanism that stops the rise and the ‘flat top’ on the curve in Fig. 2 also argues for ‘hitting the ceiling’”
Very nice. Must be an EE.

Thanks! Not an EE but I’ve stared at my share of o-silly-scopes 😉
Starting with the radio club in high school. (Well, maybe before that: I built my first crystal set when I was about 8, and was SWLing about 10, and built an oscilloscope from an old TV with a friend at about 16 and… you get the picture). Built one of the first personal computers from a kit (MITS Altair) in college. Took some engineering classes, things like transistor theory and circuit design, (along with engineering calculus, physics, FORTRAN, and ALGOL) and was on the EE track until I found that I really liked Economics… I know, sick puppy 😉
So I’m a very technical Economist with a teaching credential for “Data Processing and Related Technologies” at the college level. Go figure. And most of my professional employment had me up to my eyeballs in computers (software and hardware). (Except when I was working in hospitals, but that’s another thread…)
So thanks for the ‘honorary EE’ by fellow recognition, I cherish it more than any government issued one.

January 30, 2009 3:58 pm

foinavon (14:31:43) :
The warming during the glacial to interglacial transition was very, very, very slow (around 5 oC of warming during 5000 years, for example during the last glacial interglacial transition 15000-10000 years ago). So we’re warming around 15-20 times faster than that now.

Remember that the ice cores have a heavily smoothed signal due to CO2 diffusion and other factors in the ice. We know that heating and cooling rates similar to those of today’s more precise measurements have to have been present in the recent past, due to the fact we can find tree stumps in the arctic, LIA, MWP, etc. Real data explaining the exact rates is not available owing to the recent invention of the thermometer (and language), but plenty of evidence exists to surmise peaks and valleys in the recent past not much different from today’s cycles. One only needs to look at the last 150 years of real data to see these steep variations in both directions. So to argue that high rates of change in either direction didn’t exist before doesn’t make much sense, we just can’t see the signal due to the gaussian filter effects present in the ice core data.
The original signal can’t be put back into the data, but it is certainly no stretch of logic to assume that the climate had short term variations much like the present, on top of the long term trends you see, since many of the same drivers were present (ocean cycles, solar, whatever). If the data could be somehow recovered and shown in the charts above, it would simply be overlayed on top and appear as noise on top of the signal you see (and we would probably filter it out again so we can see it easier for this presentation).
There is no evidence of a flat temperature profile for any length of time anywhere on earth (except maybe the center). If you have found one, it is reasonably safe to assume it either suffers from a filtering effect, or it is a Mann made signal :-).

KlausB
January 30, 2009 4:00 pm

@Anthony
can you provide my e-mail-address to:
(Frank Lansner)
and
(superDBA)
I’ve some thoughts about the thread item and
would like to contact them – if they agree, of course.
Thanks ahead
KlausB

Paul Schnurr
January 30, 2009 4:01 pm

Thank you, Frank for pointing out some of the benefits of increased CO2. I had an aquarium with a simple CO2 bubbler which was the fad back then, and the plant growth was indeed lush. So I have a residual positive feeling toward CO2. The AGW side never consider this and it has always made me feel uncomfortable since a realistic cost/benefit analysis of increasing CO2 would have to include the positive aspects along with the negatives. Where is this analysis?
Frank’s approach and other common sense empirical approaches such as “Cold Facts on Global Warming” by T.J. Nelson, lead me to believe that a lot of money has been wasted trying to forecast scenarios that are impossible to begin with. Nelson calculates a maximum possible increase of less than 2 degrees at CO2 doubling mainly due to the logarithmic nature of CO2 wavelength absorption. He also points out that if CO2 concentrations continue to increase along the straight line trend they are on now since 1975, doubling will occur in 2250. Not exactly around the corner. Frank introduces the increasing biosphere as another negative driver to keep CO2 increase on or below that trend.

Mike McMillan
January 30, 2009 4:06 pm

MattN (13:43:25) :
“Pushing on a spring” is a good analogy for rising CO2 because as you compress the spring more and more, it requires greater force to move the spring an equivalent distance ”
Except that is not true. A 300 lb/in spring requires 300 lbs to compress 1 inch, another 300 lbs to compress another inch, another 300 lbs to compress another inch, and so on until it is completely compressed.

———
Except that it is true.
300 lbs for the first inch, 600 lbs for the second, 900 lbs for the third inch.
Thanks, Frank. Very enlightening post.

barry moore
January 30, 2009 4:06 pm

Timbrom, very simple answer … It does not. CO2 radiative forcing flattens out at about 50 ppm thereafter it has no effect on temperature reference Dr. John Nichol’s paper which in my humble opinion is the best analysis using the fundamental laws of radiation physics. On the other hand increasing CO2 accelerates the growth rate of all green plants hence to total hypocrisy of reducing CO2 is “going green” If the atmosphere ever got to 1000 ppm CO2 the productivity of the worlds agriculture would be doubled with no effect on temperature, just ask a greenhouse operator, some of them spend a lot of money installing CO2 enrichment equipment.

Frank Lansner
January 30, 2009 4:07 pm

@eric anderson (10:22:33) :
“On what basis does the author of this piece conclude that maximum warming effect of CO2 occurs @ 250-280ppm? “
The 250-280 is just the highest level of CO2 seen for prehistoric vostok data, and thus the max CO2 forcing of the period.
@Robert Rust (10:54:27) :
“ This temp/CO2 graph was pretty much the only evidence Al Gore used to argue his AGW point in his movie”
Yes… the 2500 leading scientists should take a little look at these graphs?
@Lucy Skywalker (11:35:59) :
Thankyou so much, Lucy, I looked at your brilliant sites and will checkout all the interesting contents!
Yes, the green is good to illustrate CO2. ((A little off topic, but you like illustrations, so check my illustration here where the biosphere with the green area in the trend curve: http://www.klimadebat.dk/forum/attachments/co2hadcrut.jpg ))
You write: “… It’s GOOD YES GOOD to have these beautiful graphs to counter even those assertions. “ Thanks again.
You write “Why is the cooling period slower???” . Well I think what we see reflect how fast Oceans (and possibly upper layers of rock due to magma activity created by solar changing magnetic fields?) cools down. This is supported by the trend, that longer warming period leads to longer cooling period. Warming seems to be accumulated. – And yes, that why the next ice ages may come a little slow as the present warming period has been on for very long time.
@PaulHClark (11:49:33) :
“Figure 2 looks like the key to me “
As I mentioned, Fig 2 is the average curve. In fact, if you only focussed on the 110.000 ybp peak, things would look even worse for the CO2-hypothesis…!
@E.M.Smith (12:05:04) :
Hi mr Smith, just want to say thankyou for your kind words!
@ Julie L (12:06:32) :
“My first reaction upon seeing the first graph is to notice how infrequently the temperature on earth is this warm, and to realize that this recent warm period is why humanity has thrived.”
– yes, and more: Isnt it funny, that from the short warmperiod (today) we should fear that temperature should explode upwards? That’s a courageous idea…
@ Jeff Id : – I made the fig 2 graph straight forward: Find the peak year, then taking average values of the different major peaks for both CO2 and temp corresponding to the year before and after peak. The worst peak for the CO2 hypothesis is peak 110.000 ybp. I could just have used that, but by making an average, there should be no claim of “cherry picking”.

January 30, 2009 4:08 pm

E.M.Smith (14:25)
“The easy suspect would be plants. As the ice age sets in, lots of plants die. Decay leads to CO2 (until the plants remains are sequestered under glaciers)

I also considered that, but plant decay is a temperature-sensitive rate process. If it is cold enough for substantial plant die-off, perhaps it is cold enough to supress the plant decay organisms, too. OTOH, there may be increases and decreases in temperature after plant die-off, so maybe the decay organisms do their work during the brief warm episodes.
re city water usage and droughts
We already have a few water issues in the cities related to the drought. Voluntary conservation measures are urged on the populace, and a citizen “water police” was authorized to report water wasters (washing the car with a free-running hose, overwatering the lawn, etc). Still, these are nothing like we should have, such as bans on washing cars, bans on washing driveways and sidewalks, and watering lawns only on alternate days.
But I agree with your statement that agriculture will take the hit. Domestic use of water is the first priority, farming is around last priority. Industrial and commercial use are somewhere in the middle, and are decided case by case.
re The Wrath of Grapes *grin*
Brother, can you spare a Watt? to charge up their e-car on the cross-country trip. Marvelous…
Unfortunately, I suspect migrating Californians will get very little sympathy from those in other states…witness the Enron traders and their recorded statements as they exacerbated the power crisis a few years ago!

January 30, 2009 4:12 pm

Interesting article: “Global Warming The Greatest Fraud In History?” click

Syl
January 30, 2009 4:12 pm

Rob (12:28:00) :
“If it’s to pass peer review, then it must be expanded to include the effects of ice sheet size and atmospheric methane concentration. In fact, if all three are considered, then the temperature vs time graph is explained very well.”
Red herring.
It’s irrelevant what ELSE may cause temp rise/fall, the point of Frank Lansner’s piece was that CO2 is NOT the primary driver of temperature and other effects can and do overwhelm CO2’s forcing. So identifying other factors does not refute this.

January 30, 2009 4:15 pm

barry moore (15:43:55) :
Basically the air trapped in the snow becomes compressed as the build up occurs and the air goes into solution with the pressure build up. Since the solubilities are different the rate of absorption occurs at different rates for different gasses. At a certain depth there are no “air” bubbles left contrary to the IPCC’s numerous declarations. Once in solution the CO2 migrates or combines with the ice crystals to form calthrates. When the ice core is drilled and brought to the surface the pressure is released and the gasses come out of solution however the reconstituted gas is not the same as the original air.
It would probably not be that difficult to get a small core at a known depth, compress it in situ with a known gas we’re not interested in (Xenon would probably be good, since it’s inert, big and heavy (not likely to diffuse much)), then extract the compressed core, then release it in lab conditions…? Then compare that sample with one from an adjacent sample of the same depth using conventional techniques. I can’t think of a device with which to do that off hand, but… it might work and shed some light on the subject.

maksimovich
January 30, 2009 4:16 pm

Mary Hinge (15:24:54)
“This is a brave attempt by Frank but is basically an intensely simplistic argument with no grasp of the complexities involved. Frank has been guilty of this previously with his very strong assertion that because the SOI was high back in September then a La Nina was inevitable. I did point out to him there were other factors involved and that these were indicating a la Nina was a low probability event. He was however still convinced that this one particular fact meant that a La Nina was inevitable. We now know he was wrong then and I’m afraid he is once again very wrong here.
He must learn that climate science is not the simplistic two dimensional process he thinks it is.”
A rather ubiquitous problem eg.
DRAFT March 29, 2006
Spotlight on Global Temperature
by James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Reto Ruedy, Ken Lo, David Lea and Martin Medina-Elizalde
Early model predictions of global warming proved accurate, the Pacific Ocean seems charged for a potential super-El Nino, and global temperature is poised to reach record, perhaps dangerous, levels….
SUPER EL NINO IN 2006-2007? We suggest that an El Nino is likely to originate in 2006 and that there is a good chance it will be a “super El Nino”, rivaling the 1983 and 1997-1998 El Ninos, which were successively labeled the “El Nino of the century” as they were of unprecedented strength in the previous 100 years (Fig. 1 of Fedorov and Philander 2000). Further, we argue that global warming causes an increase of such “super El Ninos”. Our rationale is based on interpretation of dominant mechanisms in the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) phenomenon, examination of historical SST data, and observed Pacific Ocean SST anomalies in February 2006

January 30, 2009 4:17 pm

@Bob Dennis (15:34:12) :
Doeas it mean that the more heat energy is absorbed by the oceans the more CO2 concentration in the air (in terms of ppm) should be observed? Is that proved on the charts?

Mike McMillan
January 30, 2009 4:18 pm

maksimovich (15:54:35) :
” The temporal coincidence of glacial epochs on the Earth and Mars during the Quaternary and latest Amazonian would suggest a coupled system linking both [Sagan, C., Young, A.T., 1973. Nature 243, 459″
Glacial epochs on Mars? From what little we knew about Mars in 1973, I’d guess TV personality Carl Sagan got his data from several lengthy papers by noted scientist E. R. Burroughs, and a 1936 study by Gordon, F., Zarkov, H., and Ming.

davidc
January 30, 2009 4:26 pm

Ah, the BBC. I first heard this one a few years ago
“This [CO2]has lowered its pH by 0.1
pH is the measure of acidity and alkalinity
The vast majority of liquids lie between pH 0 (very acidic) and pH 14 (very alkaline); 7 is neutral
Seawater is mildly alkaline with a “natural” pH of about 8.2″
In practice pH precision is about +/- 0.1 in a lab, without special precautions. No idea what it is in practice in “the ocean” but no doubt they will make thousands of measurements and report the mean to four “significant” figures. And it looks like they will need them all. When I first saw data a few years ago the pH was lower by … 0.1. That is, no change since then in spite of the “acceleration” reported by the BBC.
More work for Anthony, pictures of pH meters, expiry dates of buffers …

January 30, 2009 4:31 pm

Francois O (13:31:35) :”…In particular, the real big riddle is not that CO2 rises with temperature, but how it can get so low when it’s cold. Models simply can’t explain it…while the ocean and the melting ice may release CO2, the growing forest will take it up, and thus limit the growth of CO2. However, when the cold sets in again, the dying forest should, in principle, release all that stored CO2, keeping the concentration high. Maybe that’s what we’re seeing here, as CO2 stays high while temperature drops…
i’ve seen logs that are 200 million years old. Admittedly, there’s not much carbon left in them, but the point is that wood doesn’t decay very fast, especially if it becomes buried in sediment where air can’t get to it. As temperatures drop, the oceans will (re)adsorb the CO². This is a contact-area-limited, mass-transfer process and should, I think, be an order of magnitude slower than the degassing process. Note: If it gets cold enough (~ minus 80°C) at the poles, CO² will snow in winter, just like on Mars. Vostok Base reached −89.2 °C in 1983. How cold did the poles get on the historic T downslope, and how fast?

English Phil
January 30, 2009 4:35 pm

I am no scientist, merely a fascinated observer, thankful for, and in awe of the analyses presented in your pages, but surely, step back and look. Which precedes which is irrelevant. You have a clear roughly 100,000 year natural cycle of warming and cooling, of which none could possibly be attributed to man. Game over.
We happen to be living during the upper part of an up-slope, but the time scales are immense, so zoom-in on the slope and expand the lifetime of the average man you are bound to see a ragged, and more likely than not, overall very gradual increase.
I am all for cleaning up the environment and less waste of resources, but AGW has become a tax-raising convenience for politicians and a milch cow, for green groups and some sections of the scientific and business communities who are either stupid or, wickedly, continue the charade for personal gain.

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 4:35 pm

P2O2 (15:15:12) :
1) when the Earth switched over from the Hot to the Freeze epoch, and why?
2) how much closer to the Sun the Earth should be now to be in a state of climatic equilibrium favorable to us (with summer/winter cycles and w/o glacial/interglacial periods)?

Well, those are good questions. The basic problem is that we are trying to think about geologic time scale events with human time scale values. Their are randomizing impacts on the whole process that make it +/- thousands of years error band. So we might have entered a cooling phase 10,000 years ago, or it might take another 10,000 to get going. Why? Take a look at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles
It does a pretty good treatment. Down at the bottom you will notice a part about present conditions. The estimates range up to 10’s of thousands of years from now to start. I’d put my money on the past that shows the peaks don’t last long. If I had to bet my beer money, I’d bet that AGW is good and put the brakes on the ice age that already began in the Little Ice Age. We were on our way, and it stopped. But that’s a beer bet 😉
Per #2: It’s not just closer. The pole ‘tip over’ is important (it has to be tipped over more so the N.pole gets a hotter summer), pole tip has to be timed such that it’s pointed at the sun during summer at the same time the earth is closest to the sun in it’s orbit, and the orbit has to be of the right ‘out of roundness’ to make that happen at a warmer, closer time. That we had those conditions enough to get us out of the last ice age says that they are already changing to a ‘worse’ condition. But the good news is that even the fastest of these is on a 19,000 year cycle: So don’t sell your ski cabin just yet!
On another thread I pointed out that the ice accumulation is more or less a straight line. For the next ice age glaciers to reach NYC will take about 100,000 years, so measuring from the Arctic ice cap that works out to about 800 FEET per year. Not exactly the stuff for Hitchcock movies…
But the bottom line is that we want answers precise to decades, when nature is working on a 10,000 year scale. We just can’t know that precisely.

January 30, 2009 4:35 pm

The post is disheartening. I sincerely hoped that increased atmospheric CO2 would stave off the coming glaciation. Based on Lansner’s analysis, however, it appears that increasing CO2 emissions won’t do diddly.
Glaciations are no fun. Warmer is Better. It appears that Science, if it is to be useful, will have to find some other climate driver we can utilize to keep the globe bathed in perpetual interglacial warmth.

Editor
January 30, 2009 4:37 pm

Frank Perdicaro (10:12:49) :
I enjoyed your non sequiteurs. I hope you don’t mind if I add a few.
> First human trick: Switch to an absolute temperature scale
Huh? I see only a scale relative to some baseline. Frank did use Kelvins instead of degrees Celcius, but that’s perfectly reasonable and even preferable.
> Second human trick: Years are a human construction. If there is a signal
independent of human activity, setting the peak points of the signal as
zero points is valid idea. (No humans were around in the past to change
CO2 concentrations, so this is valid).

Except for figure 1, he did that. BTW, aren’t years an astronomical construction? Various popes and astronomers have spent a lot of time trying to sync calendars with Earth’s orbit. The Gregorian calendar at 365.2424 days is pretty good, but the Russian one at 365.2422 days is even better.
> This is basically the same trick as
describing a circle as having pi radians instead of 360 degrees.
The notion of 360 degrees is an arbitrary human assignment.

On my polar graph paper, circles have 2 x pi radians. Again, he’s not using degrees, he’s using Kelvins.
> The mathematics here end up being a lovely non-Cartesian,
non-Euclidean sinusoidal geometry. You can take advantage of commutativity and associativity of the data, and the graph falls right out
of the data. The asymmetry of the data when plotted on a sinusoidal
geometry is EXACTLY consistent with elliptical orbits. If you apply
Kepler’s laws and Occam’s Razor, variations in CO2 here on earth
are associated with the sun’s orbit in the galaxy.

It looks more like a sawtooth than something I’d expect from an elliptical orbit, even one with an extremly high eccentricity. You’ve rendered Kepler and Occam speechless, which will be proven when they don’t post here.
> Oh, and it looks like we all better move to warmer parts of the earth.
You first. I’ll follow 3.14159 degrees later.

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 4:41 pm

foinavon (15:15:46) :
Gribbin and Gribbin is a very nice book. But it is a book by science populizers describing 10 year old and more science from a time before much of the polar ice core data was available or had been analyzed in detail.

Ah yes, the ‘attack the messenger’, appeal to authority, and endless flogging of ‘only peer reviewed counts – especially if it is our reviewers’ begins. BORING.
I don’t give one whit about your endless flogging. Milankovitch has not been falsified and the book is an attainable read for the average person. Truth has no expiration date and beauty of writing has no shelf life.

Frank Lansner
January 30, 2009 4:48 pm

@Mary Hinge (15:24:54) :
Oh Mary 🙂 I was afraid that I was the only sceptic blogwriter on Watts that would not have you say something bad about me. I would not feel that I had been on Watts without a little dose Mary Hinge! Thanks.
Then this La Nina talk of yours: Hmm as far as I remember, you thought there would be an El Nino in dec 2008? I said La Nina… and we got La Nina… not huge, but…?? And NOAA predicted moderate La Nina..
Well if this is “what you got on my person”, i suppose it could be worse :-))
You write: “He must learn that climate science is not the simplistic two dimensional process he thinks it is.”
Anyways, You write as though you have learned much. Then enlighten us, what is it you actually think of the subject? How about commenting the subject also?

barry moore
January 30, 2009 4:51 pm

Michael .. an interesting thought but I think you are forgetting the law of partial pressures. Remember the phoney device where you resealed a half empty pop bottle then pressurized it with air to keep it carbonated, guess what the CO2 still came out of solution because of the law of partial pressures. You have to think of a way to maintain the physical pressure on the contained ice sample to keep the gasses in solution. The paper I quoted by J.J.Drake actually age dated the O2 in the ice and CO2 using the 18O concentration and they found a difference of between 1000 and 7000 years with the CO2 level dropping as the age difference increased.

Bill Illis
January 30, 2009 4:53 pm

The changes in CO2 concentration is better explained through absorption by the oceans rather than plants.
A cooler ocean absorbs more CO2 and to change the numbers by 100 ppm, the deep oceans needs to be fully in play as well since the surface does not have enough volume to account for the change.
For the deep ocean to become fully in play, an entire over-turning of the Thermohaline Ocean Circulation is required which just happens to take about 800 to 1000 years – just the right timeline.
When CO2 drops to 200 ppm and 180 ppm, grasses become the dominant plant species since they can still grow efficiently at these levels while most bushy plants and trees can’t. During the ice ages, the giant grass herbivores become the dominant species as well not surprisingly. So there is still vegetation processes going on during the deep ice ages (just not under the ice of course).

DocMartyn
January 30, 2009 4:53 pm

I suspect that the rises and drops in the CO2 steady states are due to changes in the biotic CO2 influxes. When it gets colder, the ability of plants to fix CO2 drops. This is more pronounced at altitude and as you near the poles.
Let use take a mountain. Trees and plants grow up to the tree line, mineralization and trapping carbon in the soil.
When it gets colder, the treeline drops a thousand feet. The result is less CO2 being fixed; hence a higher steady state level of CO2.
Now we have a warming spell. The ice melts and the frozen top soil is carried down the mountain. It takes many centuries for the trees to begin their climb up the mountain, VERY slowly. First lichen colonize the rocks, then moss, then grass, than scrub, and only after a long time can trees gain a purchase. The carbon is only rapidly fixed in a diverse and mature ecosystem, and in this context you might want to take note that there is more living organic matter below the surface of the soil than there is above it. The mass of a tress roots is greater than its branches.

Robert Wood
January 30, 2009 4:58 pm

Ultimately, whatever the science or facts or arguments or models and equations, I am with English Phil (16:35:08) :
Clearly temperatures have fluctuated in the past; so what’s the big deal now?

Jim Steele
January 30, 2009 5:00 pm

Mary Hinge (15:24:54) said:
“He must learn that climate science is not the simplistic two dimensional process he thinks it is.”
It appears that the CO2 advocates are more likely to believe in a single simplistic cause for recent warming. Although they give a quick mention to the myriad of factors affecting climate, they do an about face and point to the linear correlation of CO2 and temperature over the past 30 years as their main proof. They ignore time periods when the relationship is not linear.
The explanations for the lag time by “climate scientists” at RealClimate offer explanations that are the height of simplicity not to mention half-baked as they only addresses the period of rising temperatures. Frank’s analysis here is much more in depth, and in my opinion more accurate.

Frank Lansner
January 30, 2009 5:02 pm

@Bob Dennis (15:34:12) :
I cut out a part of the Article as it was too speculative.
I think that if the earth “only” akkumulated warmth in the oceans, its still a little hard to explain 20-25.000 years of cooling. Oceans take 1000-1500 years to mix. So here is the uncut pure speculation part I believe its ok to put it in a blog entry, and many seems to talk about these things today:
Heres some interesting info.
Geomagnetic field follows sunspot number:
http://www.usc.edu/CSSF/History/2007/Projects/J0713.pdf
Magma melting Greenland Ice:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071212103004.htm
Many more ocean volcanoes than imagined:
http://www.scienceupdate.com/show.php?date=20070906
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12218
More earthquake when earth is warmer:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/06/18/tech/main4191556.shtml
Bigger warming from the depth than expected:
http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=110976
One hypothesis: Due to these findings among others, I find it rather likely that it the suns magnetic field causes slight friction of the Fe containing mantle under the earths crust. This friction would cause heat. This way the sun might also generate heat from below the surface of earth. If so, we might see higher volcanic activity in periods with high solar activity, and thus it is even easier to explain why CO2 compared to temperature is raising faster than it drops.
If so, then it is not only the earth oceans that are heated up in warmer periods, it is also in some regions layers of rock. It would take long time to cool down, and the shape of the Antarctic temperature data (Fast rising temperature, slower cooling) seems to fit well. Especially one would expect that a longer warming period of the earth would result in a slower cooling period afterward due to accumulated heat in ocean and rock:
Fig 8.
Again, this fits very well with Vostok data: Longer periods of warmth seems to be accompanied by longer time needed for cooling of earth.
The differences in cooling periods now have a logical explanation. The differences in cooling periods does not in any way support that it is CO2 that slows cooling phases. CO2 should have same effect on all cooling phases.
Heat from under the earths surface – under the oceans – will also explain how oceans can expand even though we see a build up of ice in the Antarctic: http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2006/12/05/sea-level-rise-not-from-antarctic-melting/
@KlausB (16:00:43) :
Hi Klaus, perhaps find me at http://www.klimadebat.dk ?
K.R. Frank

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 5:16 pm

Michael D Smith (16:15:39) : I can’t think of a device with which to do that off hand, but…
Drilling mud is used to maintain pressure at depth in gas and oil wells to prevent blowouts. I think maintaining pressure is ‘a solved problem’. All you need is a drill bit that has a sealable pressure vessel on the end. Not sure how to do that one…

January 30, 2009 5:21 pm

barry moore (16:51:29) :
Nope, I know about partial pressures… I was imagining just such a device that could drill in a highly pressurized condition and contain the ice in that state, with the sample being released in lab conditions later. The sample would be small and would probably be a one-shot per core since the entire thing would outgas as soon as the pressure is released, but, it still might be useful if such an apparatus could be made. But imagining one and designing such a device I suppose is an entirely different matter… Good info to have if you could really capture the ice without so many of the sampling errors that plague the science… I can’t remember the reference, but there are some great articles on the many obstacles to getting reliable ice core data – even then it’s iffy. There is probably a good physical reason why nobody has captured much ice with high CO2 levels, yet…

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 5:30 pm

E.M.Smith (16:35:15) :
P2O2 (15:15:12) :
1) when the Earth switched over from the Hot to the Freeze epoch, and why?
2) how much closer to the Sun the Earth should be now to be in a state of climatic equilibrium favorable to us (with summer/winter cycles and w/o glacial/interglacial periods)?

P2O2, I took your questions to mean “what would stop our present Interglacial from becoming a glacial” when an equal interpretation could be “We are in an Ice Epoch of multiple glacial / interglacial cycles; what would get us out of the whole Epoch?”
If the second of those was your question, then the answer seems to be “We are already on our way”. We have transited a galactic arm (that even correlates with a time lag with ice epochs) and our present ice epoch is on the way out. Unfortunately, it could take a few millions years to do so… Geologic time scales are, um, er, different 😉
See: http://www.sciencebits.com/ice-ages
for more on that. There is a particularly nice graph a ways down showing galactic arms, ice epochs, etc.
Unfortunately, by the time anything of interest happens all of human civilization will be long gone, either from our extinction or because we are still subject to evolution and will have become something else! Aren’t geologic time scales fun?

Robert Rust
January 30, 2009 5:32 pm

Mary Hinge (15:24:54) :
This is a brave attempt by Frank but is basically an intensely simplistic argument with no grasp of the complexities involved. …. He must learn that climate science is not the simplistic two dimensional process he thinks it is.
————
Well, Geez. I normally look past these kinds of comments, but I’ll ask on the off chance that there’s something more here. I don’t mind listening to what anyone has to say, as long as it’s more than name calling.
OK – so can you, Mary, give me one other dimension to consider that would disrupt the logic in Frank’s post so that his discussion becomes less meaningful? Seriously – people worried about CO2 have little evidence of a CO2 generated problem other than this ice core data and overly simplistic climate models. I guess I find it strange that the only actual evidence used in Gore’s movie to prove that CO2 causes devistation is now considered way too simple minded to be of any value whatsoever.

Oxana Lansner
January 30, 2009 5:32 pm

Sweet, you have all my support!
Jeg elsker dig!
Your wife.

foinavon
January 30, 2009 5:33 pm

Michael D Smith (15:58:40)
That’s a fair point. There’s no doubt that the ice core data is smoothed in the time domain due to the diffusion of air during the process of “sealing off” of the trapped air in cores. So the air in cores is always a bit younger than the ice that encloses it and the composition of the air is smoothed over significant periods.
However we can make some conclusions about the nature of smoothing. We know that the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are pretty constant over decades. After all we’ve got a large amount of very detailed CO2 data for over 50 years. We can observe smooth rises due to the massive release of our emissions into the atmosphere. But the CO2 levels simply don’t jump around up and down willy-nilly. We can see that they don’t since we’ve been monitoring them for many decades! And there’s no physical mechanism that might give rise to massive jumps or drops of CO2 over short periods other than terrestrial impacts into limestone-rich deposits (like the end-Cretaceous impact) or truly awesome forest fires and such-like…
So the fact the we can look at the ice cores and observe a very regular glacial-interglacial-glacial transition from close to 180-270-180 ppm back and forth gives us confidence that we’re monitoring real transitions in atmospheric CO2. We’e got rather high resolution cores for the past 2000 years (Law Dome) that again indicate that CO2 levels don’t jump around much at all.
How about the temperature profile? I’m not sure I agree with you that temperatures rise that much up and down due to natural variation without very significant extraneous forcing. The paleoproxy data, averaged globally or hemispherically, over the last 1000-1500 years before the early 20th century indicate otherwise.
However one swings it, glacial-interglacial transitions over the last few cycles covering 350,000 years gives a rather consistent set of data showing very, very slow temperature rises encompassing ~ 5 oC of global warming over 5000ish years and an increase of atmospheric CO2 of 180-270 ppm over the same period. No doubt there was some significant temperature “noise” during these transitions (we can see some of these very clearly in the cores- e.g. Dansgaard–Oeschger events in the very high Northern latitudes!).

Ed Scott
January 30, 2009 5:39 pm

A new car company with no emission products. The insanity is just getting underway.
————————————————————-
Obama Motors!
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/8027
On top of that, the U.S. government is requiring automakers to make cars that very few people can afford or even want. Pretty soon we’ll have a new auto company, Obama Motors!
Isn’t it communism when the central government gets to decide what must be manufactured?
The next politician who, like Al Gore, tells you that the Earth is facing a global warming calamity because of greenhouse gas emissions, should be voted out of office and into the nearest soup kitchen line.

Rob
January 30, 2009 5:40 pm

Syl (16:12:48) :
“It’s irrelevant what ELSE may cause temp rise/fall, the point of Frank Lansner’s piece was that CO2 is NOT the primary driver of temperature and other effects can and do overwhelm CO2’s forcing. So identifying other factors does not refute this.”
and Jim Steele (17:00:55) :
“The explanations for the lag time by “climate scientists” at RealClimate offer explanations that are the height of simplicity not to mention half-baked as they only addresses the period of rising temperatures.”
Guys, read the Hansen et al article (Atmos. Sci. J., 2, 217-231). They show that CO2, though not the only driver during Milankovitch glacial/nonglacial cycles (albedo and methane are also used), precisely DOES affect climate with the same sensitivity we see during the past half century and, furthermore, the “lowering” temperatures are also explained well. So, adding 100 ppm to today’s climate does make a difference and, again, this difference is consistent with its partial role during the Pleistocene. What AGW proponents do NOT claim, despite what you say, is that CO2 is the only driver throughout geologic history.

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 5:42 pm

Bill Illis (16:53:11) :
The changes in CO2 concentration is better explained through absorption by the oceans rather than plants.

Um, has not the ocean plants? I see the two topics (plants and oceans) as joined at the hip and not separable…
BTW, I have this nagging suspicion that the differential heats of water, vaporization, and crystallization ought to come into this somehow… just can’t put my finger on it. Faster warming from heat out of ocean as steam / vapor? Slower in from heat transport as water? Heat transport from ice absorbing 80 cal / gm from rain at 1 cal / gm. Anyone here a ChemE? They deal with these heat transport problems all the time…

foinavon
January 30, 2009 5:46 pm

E.M.Smith (16:41:53)
Milankovitch has not been falsified and the book is an attainable read for the average person. Truth has no expiration date and beauty of writing has no shelf life.
E.M. all of my posts on this thread are entirely consistent with our understanding of Milankovitch cycles. I can’t imagine how you could think otherwise! To be entirely clear, there is very little doubt that the Milankovitch cycles involving achingly slow changes in insolation patterns are the primary drivers of the ice age cycles. I hope we’re not going to disagree on that basic point!
I agree that the book is a fine one. I said so before. However it’s a bit out of date. The beauty of writing indeed has no shelf date (very nicely put btw!). However scientists (and science publicizers that write books) are forced to recognize that all scientific knowledge is conditional and subject to modification/reinterpretation as knowledge advances. Our understanding of glacial transitions in 2000 was simply not so well advanced as now, since much of the spectacular coring was obtained and published after that period…
..in science we should be basing our understanding on knowledge as it advances, even if we should also maintain an interest in aesthetics…

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 5:47 pm

Robert Wood (16:58:59) :
Ultimately, whatever the science or facts or arguments or models and equations, I am with English Phil (16:35:08) :
Clearly temperatures have fluctuated in the past; so what’s the big deal now?

Oh, I’d guess about a $Trillion+ taken from your pocket and put into the Friends of AlGore & Hansen fund… starting with the recent $140 Million minimum with much more to come. At least, that’s the big deal to me 8-\

Lance
January 30, 2009 5:52 pm

Answer me this,
How does a gas(CO2) twice as heavy as air get up into our atmosphere?
Does it go up with the water vapor or is it from stacking or filling from the ground up?
And if it’s in the water vapor(which I doubt) shouldn’t it stay in the water vapor in rain coming back down? CO2 is very water soluble
Or could it be coming in from outside our atmosphere or being created just like ozone and carbon 14 is.

Mike Bryant
January 30, 2009 6:00 pm

Mary Hinge (15:24:54) said:
“He must learn that climate science is not the simplistic two dimensional process he thinks it is.”
Frank, Mary will be giving classes on three AND four dimensional climate science processes. Be sure to sign up for the classes. You must learn.
Mike

Ozzie John
January 30, 2009 6:02 pm

Great Article….
If CO2 was a leading driver in atmospheric warming then we would expect to see a gradual warming lagging CO2 rise and then a continued rise of CO2 as the warming oceans released CO2. This would lead to a warmer atmosphere and the cycle would continue and so on …..
I think this article puts this thinking to bed once and for all !!!!

Robert Bateman
January 30, 2009 6:18 pm

Jim Steele (09:54:25) :
Excellent. It is exactly this analysis that made me a skeptic when I was teaching Global Warming to my students.

Exactly the ‘not understoody why’ that I saw in the UCSD course.
If I remember right, it was a mystery. Why does the CO2 lag temp rise when coming out of Ice Age?
I suspect that melting Ice Caps help keep the upper layers of the oceans cold and enable it to retain the CO2 in solution.
When cooling after a Warm Period, the upper layers of the oceans readily take on CO2, but would they sink or stay afloat (a density question)?
Anyone?

Syl
January 30, 2009 6:22 pm

foinavon (14:06:49) :
“Although the Antarctic ice cores indicate that the rise in atmospheric CO2 lags warming in Antarctica, the Greenland cores indicate that Greenland warming follows the rise in CO2. So the rise in atmospheric CO2 during ice age transitions (glacial –> interglacial) is both a consequence and a cause.”
It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, isn’t it? I think what you’ve pointed out is a correlation. Now what could be the lurking variable in this case? I’d say you discovered the, wait for it, ocean!. CO2 is well mixed, no? If as you say the SH oceans warmed first, then the rise in CO2 from the SH ocean mixes in the atmosphere long before the ocean heat reaches Greenland.
Thus the warming in Greenland was due to the warmer ocean even if a rise in CO2 preceded it and may have had a slight effect.

January 30, 2009 6:43 pm

foinavon (17:33:01) :
Thanks for pointing out the D-O cycles. I hadn’t seen that before. I don’t know how to translate O18 to temperature, but the correlation is there, and obviously something significant was going on there! That looks like a heck of lot of variation to me, especially compared to the more recent past.
To my earlier point, these recent cores will record much higher detail than the older ones. It’s not so much an effect of trapping air, it’s that the gases actually are in solution in a semi-permeable material. Granted, the diffusion process is very slow, but given enough time, the gases will move through the ice after being trapped from one layer to adjacent layers, thus smoothing the signal, with the rate being proportional to the differences in concentrations between layers or sections. Newer ice will show a more jagged signal than older ice due to this effect (and on the time scales we are talking about, it means the diffusion process is very slow). This doesn’t mean necessarily that more recent climate has more signal, it has less loss of signal… I’ll bet these same jagged O18 signals were present in the longer time scale cores (same climate phenomena present), but have been washed out over time. Speculation, no data… Interesting stuff…

Alan D. McIntire
January 30, 2009 6:49 pm

In reply to E.M. Smith and P202: Right now Earth is nearest the sun during northern winters, farthest from the sun during northern summers. If E.M. Smith’s theory is correct, we’re headed for another ice age in the near future.

January 30, 2009 7:13 pm

foinavon (14:31:43) in reply to me basically argues that CO2 can have some warming effect. I never doubted it. But the amount of CO2 warming deduced by foinavon himself is a good deal lower than the impression created by Gore in his movie. That is my point.

Editor
January 30, 2009 7:46 pm

Oxana Lansner (17:32:57) :

Sweet, you have all my support!

Please forgive Frank for all the time he has spent working on this and
other submissions here. I’m sure there have been some long nights in
there, but everyone here appreciates his work.

January 30, 2009 7:51 pm

Your method of data aggregation invalidates the analysis. These are serial, and serially correlated data. They are not independent, replicated data points. Moreover, none of the relationships you seek to explain, e.g. solar insolation, CO2 conc. and global temperature are linear relationships. The CO2 lag is one that developed as the glacial-interglacial cycles proceeded from their approximate initiation 2.4 million years ago. This is expected because CO2 is influenced by other factors, such as carbonate burial are recycling, and rates of erosion associated with, e.g. orogeny. None of this new. Observation of the lag is not new. It fits quite well with the temperature-greenhouse model, and this was recognized long before the problem of modern anthropogenic global warming was brought the to the attention of the broader scientific community.

Robert Bateman
January 30, 2009 7:53 pm

Alan D. McIntire (18:49:15) :
In reply to E.M. Smith and P202: Right now Earth is nearest the sun during northern winters, farthest from the sun during northern summers. If E.M. Smith’s theory is correct, we’re headed for another ice age in the near future.

Which means that efforts to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere en masse will ultimately hasten the onset of another Ice Age. This is the part that really gets under my skin. They don’t understand the process yet, but are fully prepared to go through with the sequestration and climate cooling doomsday efforts.
Full speed ahead, boys, this ship is unsinkable !!

January 30, 2009 7:56 pm

E.M.Smith (17:42:33)
Yup, I’m a ChemE. Will have a look at this.
Although, on an earlier thread (cannot remember which one, but seems like maybe a couple of weeks ago), this was discussed. My sceptism as a Chemical Engineer is that CO2 absorbed into the ocean does not have the requisite conditions for effective mass transfer.

john stubbles
January 30, 2009 8:01 pm

From a simplistic standpoint, if the 100 ppm increases in CO2 in the interglacial eras are associated with temperature increases of about 10C, then why haven’t we seen such a temperature rise in the 20th century as CO2 levels soared another 100 ppm? Why don’t the alarmists claim that rising CO2 levels are actually postponing another glacial period and should therefore be increased ? Personally, I believe that CO2 has very little to do with climate change but I wonder what Obama actually thinks when talking to Hansen and Gore on this issue.

Editor
January 30, 2009 8:03 pm

Alan D. McIntire (18:49:15) :

In reply to E.M. Smith and P202: Right now Earth is nearest the sun during northern winters, farthest from the sun during northern summers. If E.M. Smith’s theory is correct, we’re headed for another ice age in the near future.

Thst shift is called the precession of the equinoxes and has a period of 26,000 years, not long enough the graphs in question here. In only 12,000 years the perihelion will be in July.

Joel Shore
January 30, 2009 8:14 pm

david elder:

foinavon (14:31:43) in reply to me basically argues that CO2 can have some warming effect. I never doubted it. But the amount of CO2 warming deduced by foinavon himself is a good deal lower than the impression created by Gore in his movie. That is my point.

This is certainly true in the sense of the appearance from those graphs that Gore shows. However, when he quotes IPCC projections and such, those are done using the best estimates of the climate sensitivity…which I believe amount to CO2 being responsible for only about 1/3 of the temperature change seen between the glacials and interglacials (rising to about 40% of the temperature change once you add in the other greenhouse gases).
At least one way that the fraction of 1/3 is arrived at is by estimating the fraction of the contribution of the radiative forcing due to the change in CO2 levels between the glacial period and now to the total estimated radiative forcing between the glacial period and now. (The bulk of the rest of the forcing is understood to be from the change in albedo from the growing and shrinking ice sheets, with a smaller contribution from changes in aerosol levels in the atmosphere. The Milankovitch oscillations themselves cause very little net radiative forcing…They just change the distribution of the solar radiation hitting the earth, but this change is still very important since it is what is ultimately responsible for the ice sheets starting to grow or shrink.)
Since the radiative forcing due to CO2 levels is known to quite good accuracy, the only way to hypothesize that CO2 has much less of an effect is to come up with some big honkin’ radiative forcing that is being left out of this calculation…or is being vastly underestimated. I haven’t heard many suggestions for what such a large radiative forcing could be. (And, even then, you would still be faced with the fact that other independent empirical estimates of the climate sensitivity, such as those derived from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, also seem to favor about the same sensitivity as is obtained from looking at the change from glacial to interglacial conditions.)

Joel Shore
January 30, 2009 8:22 pm

john stubbles says:

From a simplistic standpoint, if the 100 ppm increases in CO2 in the interglacial eras are associated with temperature increases of about 10C, then why haven’t we seen such a temperature rise in the 20th century as CO2 levels soared another 100 ppm?

First, see what I wrote in my previous post…that CO2 is only believed to be responsible for about 1/3 of the rise. Second, the 10C change from ice cores is an estimate of the temperature change at at high latitudes and is roughly double what the global temperature change is believed to be. Third, as foinavon noted, some of the warming from the current very rapid rise in CO2 is still “in the pipeline”. And, fourth, the expected rise in temperatures from CO2 alone over the past 100 years has been offset to some degree by the cooling effects of pollutants (sulfate aerosols) [although admittedly, there are also some warming effects due to the other greenhouse gases].

Katlab
January 30, 2009 8:27 pm

Thank you so much for having a website dedicated to the truth. These past six months I have been reading have shaken me to the core. I feel like I have dropped down a rabbit hole, and I cannot believe anything the MSM tells me.
I once had a phisophy teacher state that the only valid reason to believe something is because it is true. As a child you may believe in Santa Claus. It makes you happy and you behave better. As an adult, you don’t believe in it because it is not true, even though believing in it might make you happy and better behaved.
Al Gore and others want people to believe in AGW because of the effect it has on people. It is to manipulate them into doing things they wouldn’t do otherwise. They view the net effect as good because it advances their agenda. It is the utter hatred and fear of the truth that has shocked me to the core. People do not want to know the truth, they hate you for it.
I love the truth, I would rather know the truth and find out I was wrong, then swallow a lie and believe I am right.
In the end, the truth wins, because they will huff and puff, but they cannot command the sun and the oceans to do their bidding. Thank you. Thank you for opening my eyes to world not matter how shockingly painful it has been.

Jim Steele
January 30, 2009 8:35 pm

Rob (17:40:04) :
I have read the Hansen et al article (Atmos. Sci. J., 2, 217-231). It is not a scientific paper , but an advocacy paper for policy. Not too long ago the scientific community would not publish advocacy papers because it poisons your scientific objectivity. Too bad that has been abandoned.
Hansen is simply painting a climate of fear based on his stated opinion that “CO2 thus becomes a primary agent of long-term climate change, leaving orbital effects as‘noise’ on larger climate swings.” Everything else is circular reasoning.
There was no discussion that explains my criticism. Only a snow job from a blizzard of questionable caluclations. So perhaps Ron you can explain it for me.
Lets refer to Figure 5 in Frank’s post and look at the horizontal green line for experiment 1 representing 264 ppm. If CO2 is responsible for maintaining the temperature why is the same amount of CO2 only able to maintain a temperature that is 4 degree colder as we approach a glacial minimum? And if, as Hansen claims, that CO2 is he main driver, why at the same amount of CO2 is the temperature rising at A and then again falling at B?
You can’t have t both ways.

Robert Bateman
January 30, 2009 8:41 pm

Since the radiative forcing due to CO2 levels is known to quite good accuracy, the only way to hypothesize that CO2 has much less of an effect is to come up with some big honkin’ radiative forcing that is being left out of this calculation
Why, certainly. The backing off of solar wind leading to increased cosmic rays which interact in the lower atmosphere in the UV to reflect off incoming sunlight and the 1/3 shrinkage of the upper atmosphere that equates to loss of “R” value. Ask Corning Insulation rep what “R” value means. Ask a Mars scientist what the thin CO2 atmosphere of Mars can hold vs incoming. Ask a Venus scientist what the thick CO2 atmosphere of Venus can hold vs incoming.
Since we are on C02 life support.

Steve Hempell
January 30, 2009 8:51 pm

I don’t know if anyone else has commented on this. It is hard to read all the comments.
What I notice- and this is just from eyeballing Figure 1 – is how sharp the raise AND FALL is initially of the temperature. Then there seems to be an increase of temperature which is much different from the initial spike which in turn decays much more slowly until the next sharp upward spike in temperature. The CO2 rises and begins to fall sharply too, but is interrupted in its sharp fall by the secondary raise in temperature.
This is obscured in the subsequent figures – which show the temperature gradually tapering off.
Seems to me there are a number of mechanisms at play here. It is hard to work with the scale here, but I wonder if the oceans degassing might be a part of the second period of warming each cycle.
I would be interesting to play with this. Any way Frank that you could post the raw data for Figure 1? I went to the link you provided, but it seems on reading it that the data has been worked over in a number of ways.

ET
January 30, 2009 8:56 pm

I’ve been looking for the elusive CO2 data from the GISP2 ice core for quite a while. The files that I have seen only contain samples from cold periods during the last glacial period (lots of data points at 300ppm during cold periods). Seems rather hard to believe that no one has taken samples of CO2 from either GRIP or GISP2 during the interglacial. I would love to see a plot of temperature vs CO2. I would suspect it would be much more variable for the northern hemisphere than the southern hemisphere.

Lance
January 30, 2009 8:57 pm

“I haven’t heard many suggestions for what such a large radiative forcing could be”
……..The sun maybe? lol!
Oh and I forgot to add to my other post,
CO2 is sequestered in the formation of calcium carbonate in our oceans, needed for most living things in the ocean. Clams, oysters, etc to build their shells. Something that’s been done for a billion years, give or take a billion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide
The only form of calcium carbonate for the formation of a shellfish for fresh water clams or mussel is out of the fresh water. Where do think they got that calcium carbonate from? Hmmmm?

Robert Bateman
January 30, 2009 9:00 pm

Here we are sending up all these probes and satellites for Earth and the rest of the planets. Why not use the other planets to help us get a firm grip on the question of solar forcing via complicated mechanisms?
Do we see changes in other planets recently?
I suspect we do. Let’s solve for Earth.

Squidly
January 30, 2009 9:16 pm

The worst part of this is the fact that Obama is now going to spend $170 billion on foolish attempts to sequester CO2. This, while our economy dips lower than a Maunder Minimum.
Now that is change we can all believe in!

barry moore
January 30, 2009 9:25 pm

Joel “Since the radiative forcing due to CO2 levels is known to quite good accuracy”
I have been searching for over 10 years for any scientific proof to support this statement if you have it please post it.
I have read many papers by eminent scientists which prove with meticulous mathematical precision the opposite to your statement. The justification for the formula F=5.35 ln(C1/C0) which is the one I assume you are referring to is 100% empirical and if you apply this formula to the individual periods over the past 130 years when the temperatures were rising then falling you will find the formula does not even begin to past the simplist validation test.
If you wish I can post this analysis since I have done the calculations.

January 30, 2009 9:32 pm

This is not, as someone said above, good science.
But can the CO2-hypothesis be supported in any way using the data of Antarctic ice cores?
The ignorance of the above statement is astounding. That it comes from a non-climate scientist – as so much anti-AGW “science” does – just reinforces the doubt that sentence alone engenders. That statement is akin to saying the study of genes is irrelevant to understanding traits.
And, pray tell, why is this great science not found in a science journal?
Now that we are done with what would be ad hominems were they not accurate, lets’ look at the rest of this “science”….
One problem: there is no science in the article. Do you people not know what science is? Taking others work and reinterpreting it no *doing* science. BTW, did anyone notice the CO2 line in the third graph was altered from the other two?
All this is is an exercise in opinion with zero research done to back it up. And the conclusions are silly. It pays lip service to CO2 having an effect, but just to pretend at objectivity. Claiming the argument is that CO2 drives temps is a strawman that ignores the nature, and the very meaning, of positive feedbacks.
Meh… more garbage in to get your garbage out.
Call us when you’ve got some science.

January 30, 2009 9:38 pm

Joel Shore (20:14:53) :
The Milankovitch oscillations themselves cause very little net radiative forcing…They just change the distribution of the solar radiation hitting the earth
The 100,000 yr Milankovitch cycle delivers an estimated 25% reduction in TSI at its most elliptical point in the orbit cycle. And I cant help but remind everyone, this is another cycle brought to you by our friendly Jovian planets.

AnonyMoose
January 30, 2009 10:02 pm

superDBA (13:31:24) :

… If this were true, wouldn’t the oceans tend to dampen the leading edge (rise) in temperature as well? I’m assuming that the ocean absorbs heat at the same rate that it gives it up, but perhaps this is not the case.

There is an obvious explanation: Hot water rises. If the warming is taking place at the surface, warm water will tend to stay at the surface and get warmed further. When cooling happens, chilled water will tend to sink in many places, tending to leave warmer water on the surface. Atmospheric temperatures are affected by the surface of the water so the atmosphere is warmed by the warmest ocean water, not by the average temperature of all ocean water.
Surface ocean currents are wind-driven, so in some places warm water gets blown against the edges of continents just as it now does. Cold water upwells upwind of those flows, so there is a smaller surface area of cold water exposed to atmosphere than there is warm water. There will be downwelling at edges where warm water currents encounter cold (polar) conditions, but the warm water stays in contact with the atmosphere until the entire volume of the end of the current cools below the temperature of the underlying water. The entire surface tends to warm, while deep water is warmed at only a few places — places where the atmosphere cooled the water (and the atmosphere was warmed).
The sudden-rise behavior is consistent with either a global warming of the surface or with a few intensely hot underwater sources. Heating of the bottom of the ocean would tend to also heat the deep cold water, which is not consistent with the steep rise-steep fall tendency unless underwater heat sources are isolated enough to create plumes of hot water which reach the surface quickly enough to not warm most of the ocean. This seems unlikely (such sources would probably be due to geothermal heating which would leave several geological and chemical traces), so the sudden-rise behavior suggests widespread heating of the surface.

Robert
January 30, 2009 10:14 pm

Re: E.M.Smith (15:32:27) :
4) WARM is GOOD. COLD is BAD.
Bravo!
Re: barry moore (15:43:55) :
I would like to point out that the assumption has been made that the ice core sample CO2 data is accurate. There are many eminent scientists in this field who challenge the accuracy of this data.
Is there a competing hypothesis for the CO2/other GHG peak in the earlier interglacial periods?
re: barry moore (16:06:12) :
It does not. CO2 radiative forcing flattens out at about 50 ppm thereafter it has no effect on temperature reference Dr. John Nichol’s paper which in my humble opinion is the best analysis using the fundamental laws of radiation physics.
Link? I have searched for and not found experimental verification of the GHG theory. I recall reading one description of a very basic experiment that claimed that the CO2 green house effect damped out very quickly with length of column. Maybe this is so basic and long ago that no one points it out. Since we are dealing with very subtle effects, I hope that the underlying physics has a strong experimental basis.
re: Rob (17:40:04) :
What AGW proponents do NOT claim, despite what you say, is that CO2 is the only driver throughout geologic history.
Do they claim that it is the primary driver? If not, what?

Pag48
January 30, 2009 10:23 pm

Hi Anthony – I frequently read the posts and comments on your site. Is there any way you can number the comments? I don’t have time to sit down and read them all in one sitting (plus they are always expanding), and it’s hard to find my place if I read some and then come back.
Keep up the good work. Thanks

peter_ga
January 30, 2009 10:32 pm

It’s entirely possible to have a positive feedback system where one state variable (e.g. CO2) lags another state variable (e.g. T). The fact there is a delay does not mean there is no link between them, so to use the delay as an argument against a mutual causal relationship is invalid. Presumably the driver of the system is neither of the state variables involved, so it is irrelevant whether one is triggering the other. For me the CO2/T graphs neither prove nor disprove causal relationships.
If CO2 and T do force each other, surely the positive feedback only ceases when levels are reached where the positive feedback gain ceases, and there is no more dependence. Otherwise the warming spike would continue. So if, as is argued by some, CO2 and T are mutually reinforcing coming out of an ice-age, then that is not an argument to indicate that they are currently affecting each other, because they should be in the “saturated” regions at their current levels.
If CO2 and T are the variables involved, what happened “suddenly” 3 million years ago to start the ice ages off? Surely the laws of physics did not change? The only possibility is continental drift, which cannot possibly affect the relationship between CO2 and T. Continental drift can only change the course of ocean currents, so ocean currents have to be a primary mechanism causing the ice ages.
I also had a symmetry argument against CO2/T relationship, but Jorgekafkazar has provided me with a reason why there may be asymmetry, with different rates for degassing and re-gassing.

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 30, 2009 11:19 pm

Oxana Lansner (17:32:57) :
Sweet, you have all my support!
Jeg elsker dig!
Your wife.

Ah! So it’s Danish is it?
Jeres husband er mange!
From someone who long ago derived from your shores, via Britain …
(and I desperately hope I got the translation right for ‘your husband is a great man!’ )

George B
January 30, 2009 11:31 pm

Thank you for this analysis. I have sent this to all on my email list.
Question:
Isn’t the anthropogenic CO2 in our atmosphere a gnat on the windshield as compared to the volcanic activity on our planet? Isn’t that the real driver of CO2 concentrations and our contribution a drop in a very very large bucket? Doesn’t THAT make all this futile exercise? Not to mention that water vapor is a more important green house gas than CO2

January 30, 2009 11:55 pm

Robert Bateman (20:41:04) :
Why, certainly. The backing off of solar wind leading to increased cosmic rays
The station best suited to observe the cosmic rays is Thule very close to the geomagnetic pole. Here is the last 40+ years of Neutron Counts at Thule: http://www.leif.org/research/thule-cosmic-rays.png As you can see there has been no long-term changes in cosmic rays over that time. The count at every solar minimum always returns to the same value [with a very small systematic – and understood – alternation between minima]. This minimum is no different. Here http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/realtime/thule.html#levels is a real-time plot. The bottom panel is the count to compare with my plot. We are just now seeing the minimum values play out as the cosmic rays lag solar activity by 6 months or so [it takes 12 months for the solar wind to go from the Sun to the heliospheric boundary]. In assessing the long-term trend, one can see that it is much smaller than the solar cycle variation, so if the solar cycle variation gives us a barely noticeable [0.1 degree] effect due to cosmic rays, then the effect from the much smaller trend is correspondingly smaller.

January 30, 2009 11:56 pm
Jim Steele
January 31, 2009 12:05 am

ET (20:56:30) : said, “Seems rather hard to believe that no one has taken samples of CO2 from either GRIP or GISP2 during the interglacial.”
Interesting. I always wondered how much of the ice core data was missing due to meltIng of snowpack during the interglacials.

Frank Lansner
January 31, 2009 12:11 am

@Mike Bryant (18:00:31) :
****
Mary Hinge (15:24:54) said:
“He must learn that climate science is not the simplistic two dimensional process he thinks it is.”
Frank, Mary will be giving classes on three AND four dimensional climate science processes. Be sure to sign up for the classes. You must learn.
****
Yes, i also now have this vision of these weather people are simply 4-dimensional people in their own Einsteinish universe. My good, it must be hard to go through this examin for meteology! Much harder than the physics and chemistry i took as civil engeneer, im sure.
In Denmark we have H.C.Andersen, and he wrote about the emperor with no clothes. It only worked because the tailors assured everyone that the emperor indeed had clothes on. It was only the “simple people” that could not see this. And thus everybody says nothing…
It seems that the crowd of peoble just telling the obvious is getting bigger and bigger. Some day soon the emperor will be embarresed? And I would not like to be in the shoes of the tailor.
Its striking that nothing has changed since H.C. Andersen died.

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 31, 2009 12:27 am

foinavon (17:46:23) :
I agree that the book is a fine one. I said so before. However it’s a bit out of date. The beauty of writing indeed has no shelf date (very nicely put btw!). However scientists (and science publicizers that write books) are forced to recognize that all scientific knowledge is conditional and subject to modification/reinterpretation as knowledge advances. Our understanding of glacial transitions in 2000 was simply not so well advanced as now, since much of the spectacular coring was obtained and published after that period… ..in science we should be basing our understanding on knowledge as it advances, even if we should also maintain an interest in aesthetics…

@Foinavon: Your usage of English here shows some non-Anglicisms. Are you a non-native English speaker? If so, please forgive me. I’ve assumed otherwise. Do you have a preference?
I’m OK in Spanish & French (several years of formal classes in both), can read some German & Portuguese. I have a smattering of several others including Latin, Greek, Swedish & Norwegian and can ‘kind of’ pick out bits of Danish & Icelandic (but they use too many cases!) & Russian (which I took a class in but ‘had issues’…) Ido, Esperanto and Interlingue are relatively readable to me since they are roughly based on Romance principles. If you would prefer one of these (given my limitations!) please feel free to post in a bilingual format.
(The perils of being borderline Aspergers with an interest in languages… but I digress…)
Perhaps I have not understood you correctly due to a language issue… Do you have a preference? If it is not English, please, again, forgive me! (I’m a native speaker of English, but Spanish and French are close behind, and the Nordic languages have a historical affinity for me – family history includes Amish (German of a sort) and Irish (Gaelic is, er, not my best, but I’m working on it… )
But back to Ice Ages. Is it not a fact that every interglacial only happens when all the conditions are aligned such that the N. pole gets heat? Is it not the case that the S. pole can be in the ‘hot mode’ (precession, obliquity, eccentricity etc.) and we do not get an ice age?
It seems to me that as long as Milankovitch is shown true, we are sitting on a ledge of ‘just past the peak of an interglacial’ and waiting to fall off. In that context, I see little to fear from AGW and in fact, think it may well be our saviour from a (literal!) Frankenstein outcome…
(Frankenstein was written during the Little Ice Age, and the introductory paragraphs are oriented toward a frozen hell of a world. The story was written as folks on holiday were faced with a terrible cold and snowy ‘vacation’ and decided to scare each other as a diversion from the cold that blighted their outing…)

January 31, 2009 12:31 am

Note to Simon Evans
Firstly, Frank has articulated much better what I have been posting for some time in a number of places-thanks Frank!
Regarding my conversation with you and Smokey on the other thread I need to put things into context as I originally shared your scepticism on variable co2 levels.
I first became interested in Beck after looking at co2 against past known Hadley CET to 1660 and became aware of higher and lower temps in the past.
This graph;
http://cadenzapress.co.uk/download/menken_hobgoblin.jpg
was created with the correct unsmoothed temperatures and correct time scales overlaid with IPCC co2 data-not to same scale- but graphed to greatly exaggerate the levels so time scales and variations could be better seen.
After looking at it my thoughts were that temperature rise preceded co2 increases and co2 seemed to have nothing to do with anything as temperatures have fluctuated greatly in the past at only 280ppm (ice cores) well before we came on the scene. Alternatively the ‘correct’ co2 levels were missing prior to 1958 and a constant 280ppm was wrong.
This graph
http://cadenzapress.co.uk/download/beck_mencken_hadley.jpg
is to correct scales and introduced the levels of man made co2 (blue line at the bottom) and some previous readings (green dots) from Beck. All the co2 action seems to take place between around 260-370ppm after which perhaps the logarithmic effect made little difference to temperatures.
I became aware of Beck’s work and independently researched the history of co2 and discovered that taking readings was very common from around 1820 for a variety of purposes connected with measuring levels (for ventilation purposes) from mines to medical to factories. Agricola was aware of co2 2000 years ago, as was Florence Nightingale in the 1850’s who I believe took readings , together with thousands of scientists- some of them Nobel winners. These readings are available in a variety of documents from ‘Air and water’ in 1872 to Frances Benedict in 1912 and Giles Slocum in 1956. There is also a complete bibliography of references to readings.
I subsequently corresponded with Beck (who puts his work on the web in a manner that would shame certain IPCC scientists) and I subsequently closely examined a small number of readings as regards the person, methodology, equipment, circumstances and likely accuracy. The only conclusion I could come to was that although by no means all of the 90000 readings ( a fraction of those taken that remain) were accurate, a significant proportion could not be easily dismissed.
Taking co2 readings was commonplace in previous times and was mentioned in Gaskells ‘North and South’ and a UK Factories act was put in place in 1889 which set a limit in factories and mines, enforced by the relevant inspectorate. The British do not put in place legislation unless it can be enforced (and people fined!) After looking at the various methods used- including the Haldane analyser, it was impossible to conclude anything other than that previous levels prior to 1958 and back to the first reliable readings-Saussure in 1820-were similar to today.
Looking in detail at the politics of the situation and the belief system of GS Callendar and Charles Keeling -who in effect ‘decided’ that 280ppm was the pre industrial level without any proof whatsoever (other than the formers highly selective use of the measurements to support his own theories) I looked at the ice cores. This is a highly technical area and a new science open to wide interpretation of what a tiny number of cores are telling us, and to me is unconvincing .
I had much the same questions as you put to me over on the other thread. I answered them myself, then thought why not ask Ernst Beck to confirm my thoughts. His reply to me was far more detailed than mine so I have-with his permission reproduced them. I have seen the second document he mentions-but this is only generally available on payment. It adds a fair bit to our understanding but the new work he is compiling will be more comprehensive.
That Co2 flux and sources/sinks is a complex and largely unknown area is apparent-the idea that we are thinking of transforming our lifestyles and economy based on such flimsy evidence as has emerged so far claiming our supposed culpability is astonishing. I do not pretend to have the answers but two things remain that to me are unresolved.
Temperatures in the past have fluctuated greatly without the mechanism of co2 fluctuation, suggesting that at best it is a weak driver as evidenced by the constant ice core measurements. Or that co2 is some sort of driver-albeit still weak- and past levels have always fluctuated around modern levels. In this case blaming man and proclaiming doom and gloom seems misplaced.
I am further concerned that the ‘evidence’ for man made co2 being the cuplrit is based on highly theoretical and therefore unproven hypotheses backed up by computer models that even the IPCC say should not be relied on.
This is a long post so I will stop here and put up your original and highly pertinent objections shortly, together with the reply from Ernst Beck.
TonyB

Trevor Cooper
January 31, 2009 12:58 am

I don’t understand why in Fig. 2 the CO2 levels do not drop down as far as their starting level. They do in the original data.
And I note that you have shifted the vertical scale of the CO2 chart so that 300ppm is now roughly level with 3 degrees C rather than 2 degrees C.
And I think you have expanded the CO2 scale vertically from the original graph.
Do these changes affect the analysis? Could you perhaps show us the data underlying the composite graph, and how it was formed.

Alan Wilkinson
January 31, 2009 1:00 am

re Francois O (13:31:35), it is high time that in all countries taxpayers insist that all tax-funded science be published where all taxpayers can read it.

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 31, 2009 1:20 am

Michael D Smith (18:43:08) :
Ok, and we have a Mike Smith too… (Guess what the M stands for in E. M. Smith…) so it looks like we are ‘triple teaming’ them…
Reminds me of the time the company put out a “know your Mike Smith ” edition of the company newspaper…(there were 5 of us!)
For what it’s worth, there has been one Mike Smith for each 2000 of working population at every company at which I have worked.
Thanks for pointing out the D-O cycles. I hadn’t seen that before. I don’t know how to translate O18 to temperature, but the correlation is there, and obviously something significant was going on there! That looks like a heck of lot of variation to me, especially compared to the more recent past.
To my earlier point, these recent cores will record much higher detail than the older ones. It’s not so much an effect of trapping air, it’s that the gases actually are in solution in a semi-permeable material. Granted

anna v
January 31, 2009 2:22 am

I am tired of epicycles. This note is going to generate even more of them in order to turn the Temperature/CO2 correlation into a plausible cause: CO2 effect:temperature rise.
Nobody disputes there is a correlation, it is the direction and the magnitude of the role of CO2 in temperature rising that is crucial for AGW climate models that is at risk here.
It is instructive to think of the epicycles: Scientists of that time added more and more epicycles as more and more planetary objects were discovered. They were discarded when the causative arrow became clear, planets go around the sun and not the sun around the earth. Even now, if you take a geocentric system, epicycles will appear, but what is their use except in astrology ( a correlation is causation industry too)?
Scientists should aim for the clear, simple and illuminating explanation. This post helps in this direction.
I think it is time for real scientists in the climate community to take stock and decide that the GCM models do not work: CO2 is dominantly effect and not cause, there are no errors with the scenaria,(1) just fuzzy logic, the tropospheric temperatures do not behave, except if one presumes large errors, temperatures have plateaued It seems the PDO etc ( storing and releasing heat) together with changes in albedo ( the Plame plot) can simply describe what we see as global temperatures.
CO2/water feedback was an interesting hypothesis that has not panned out. A true scientist lets go, and looks for the next challenge ( I would suggest models like Tsonis et al are building).
In my field, Particle Physics, we had the really great scientist Feynman sticking to his parton model for quite a while. He had to give in to QCD, in the end . Data said differently and he accepted it.
*******
(1) Only a 1 sigma change in the assumed albedo of the GCM models will make a 1C error about any scenario line

Mike Bryant
January 31, 2009 3:11 am

Frank,
“In Denmark we have H.C.Andersen, and he wrote about the emperor with no clothes. It only worked because the tailors assured everyone that the emperor indeed had clothes on. It was only the “simple people” that could not see this. And thus everybody says nothing…”
I believe that our only hope now is simple people with simple common sense. Ab honesto virum bonum nihil deterret.
Thanks for your work on this.
Mike

Wondering Aloud
January 31, 2009 3:23 am

foinavon
Where is this evidence that the CO2 rising preceeds warming in the north? If true it still doesn’t make sense because than the order would be South warms CO2 rises North warms. That wouldn’t be good evidence that CO2 was the cause of the warming more like CO2 has little to do with it.
In addition when I first saw the ice core data from Greenland at a presented paper in a 1990 ACS meeting this was not the case. In other words it was clear from the Greenland data as well that the warming had happened first though the time lag was less.

January 31, 2009 3:24 am

My Post 00 31 16
Simon (I also hope Frank-and others- can comment
Please refer to my post of 00 31 16 and my reservations and caveats to put this current post into context. As I say I had composed a reply to your original questions, but after checking some details with Ernst Beck I felt his reply was much more comprehensive than mine so I have posted it with his permission.
Your very pertinent questions are in speech marks. Becks comments are not;
“Ok, I’ll run through my reservations with the Beck paper (E&E 2007) (with apologies to others for this being OT in respect of the original post).
1. Beck refers to 90,000 analyses of C02 since 1812. Of these, 64,000 were taken at Giessen (not Bremen, as I mistakenly said last night) over an eighteen month period. So, some 79% of the data from which he draws conclusions about global C02 concentrations over a 150 year period is from one location over 18 months.”
I have compiled from literature at the moment ~95 000 CO2 data from more than 300 000 analyses because of double to quadruple measurements and then averaging.
I do NOT draw global conclusions. All CO2 measurements near ground are local and also the so called background CO2 data are local for instance in about 4 km altitude (MLO) they differ in latitude and continent or marine location.
If we compare famous ice core data concerning CO2 e.g. Vostok 1999 (petit et al), we have 200 years. They all take them globally!
“2. Beck states that “The longest single time series was determined in Paris’ Montsouris laboratory, and comprises 12,000 measurements over the 30 years from 1876 until 1910″, but we don’t have any detail of these measurements beyond that. He then graphs details for four locations, none of which cover the same periods. I cannot see what validation of one location against another applies.
“Looking to my webpage http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2_supp.htm you can find every resources and information you will find.
I´m writing a large monograph concerning in detail all information on the historic measurements since 2006. At the moment I do statistical analysis of my data using Maximum Entropy Spectral Analysis and Wavelet Spectral analysis. I hope I have finished the discussion about the results soon so that I can implement the results in my monograph.
After that the whole thing will be published. My website, publications and presentations are parts of this work.
The montsouris data had been investigated in detail by Stanhill, please see my website: http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/literatur/montsouris/stanhill1-23.pdf.
The four locations in my first paper are examples of very well done measuring series giving all necessary information to evaluate the data. More in my presentations and my second paper and the rest >140 in my monograph. It was not possible to do this in a 23 page paper.
The validation of one location against another is common in modern CO2 measurements. The WDCGG lists the data of the global network. If you compare the different locations you will see mostly the same data. But this is impossible because of very local data. E.g: CO2 on Mauna LOa ( ~4km volcano, no vegetation) or Schauinsland (1200 altitude, forested area, much vegetation) . The graphs are nearly identical. The explanation is a filtering of raw data and a statistical processing at both locations to get the predefined graph . At Schauinsland they had taken only the values at night, by the way. This is data picking to get the graph you want!!! All data are taken as globally important.
“My” historical data are near ground and typical for the vertical profile of CO2 in the atmosphere at that location. Near ground we have about 35-50 ppm seasonal variation on continent and about 12 ppm at an altitude of about 4 km (background). Please see here: http://www.purdue.edu/climate/pdf/Gurney%20Science.pdf
The averages in 4 km (background) and near ground (local influenced) are within about 4 ppm the same. Thats all. I will include a picture out of the chapter in my monograph on that issue. http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2/surgut-hom.jpg
“3. Looking at the Kreutz/Gissen record as an illustration, we see very large variations in C02 measurements from one month to the next, e.g. c.300 to 430 between 9/39 and 10/39, and 340 to 550 over two months from 6/40 to 8/40. If such measurements were indeed representative of global CO2 concentration, then how could such quantities of C02 be moving in and out of the atmosphere at such a rate? This is equivalent to between a third and two thirds of all the CO2 contained in land plants globally. He refers to “monthly cycling” and suggests this is evident in Mauna Loa measurements, but not on that extraordinary scale! We have no evidence from ground observation or satellites to confirm such flux – are we to presume this is something that stopped happening in the 1950s?”
“(Perhaps the questioner) who asked this has no idea of the daily and seasonal variations of atmospheric CO2 at a real location. Real fluctuations during a day can be more than 100 ppm without human influence. It is simple vegetation or wind. Of course they are not globally representative. We should stop these crazy thinking of a global climate or weather. Neither temperature nor any other parameter locally measured is globally representative. This is the result of the Keeling procedure of filtering data, cutting the outliers and processing the data. Take a look at the temperature data (Giss or HADCRUT). They are processed every month the old and the new one to fit the ideas of rising temperatures because of global warming.
The oceans easily emit such high CO2 every year. A warm water current will release per 1°C warming up to 70 ppm more CO2. This had taken place in the Northern Atlantic ocean during the 30s.
The monthly cycling ( about 28 days) I have observed is the fingerprint of lunar phases and part of the lunar nodal cycle. We can see it in all CO2 series also MLO (see my website)
The only thing we have to do is spectral analysis of the CO2 data. Please ask the questioner why nobody has done this? I will give you the answer below.
“4. Seeing, then, the enormous and rapid variations in supposed global atmospheric C02 concentration as measured at Giessen and other locations, he then presumes that this can be fitted to the monotonic annual variation and steady rise in concentrations measured at Mauna Loa from the 1950s. How could this be plausible?”
“The answer is given above. The Giessen data are typical for Giessen, latitude ~ 50 on continent. MLO is typical for a volcano at 3800 m altitude in a marine surround. Please ask the questioner why they do not publish raw data from MLO with the volcanic degassing?
1950 there were a sudden drop in atmospheric CO2 which can also seen in other data series. During the 50s the CO2 is rising again, but not as MLO will pretend. CO2 was higher on continent.
“5. Even if the measurement stations were entirely free from any contamination from human influence, and even if they were representative of a geographically ‘averaged’ location (that is, free from natural variability), they would not be able to measure background CO2. You can’t do that reliably close to sea level, owing to variations in atmospheric mixing (consider the build up of smog at certain times), or at least you can’t do it meaningfully without being able to apply corrections for bias.”
No measurement station is free from “contamination”. This is the wrong term and given by the AGW prayers to dismiss typical natural fluctuations. Of course the Giessen data are not free from typical influence of humans, which was clearly outlined by Kreutz. (see here: http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2/bayreuth/localinf_giessen1939.jpg)
Of course they have not measured “background level” at Giessen. Background CO2 is a special atmospheric concentration on some marine stations and stations at higher altitudes (MLO) or by processing the real measured data to fit the background rules (e.g. Schauinsland, WDCGG). Background is not typical for the world because the atmosphere is not typically well mixed. But we can do a background estimation by the windspeed-CO2 test for not well mixed locations . ( see here: http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/literatur/kreutz/kreutzwspapprox.gif and for modern stations (Diekirch Lux) see here: http://meteo.lcd.lu/papers/co2_patterns/co2_patterns.html.
“Beck is concerned to stress the accuracy of the instrumentation. I have no knowledge of that, so will take his word for it. But accuracy is of no use unless you know that you’re measuring what you want to be measuring.”
I have investigated the chemical methods in detail. If the English word “accuracy” is the wrong term please take the right one. The Pettenkofer method delivers a precision of +-1% of the reading value at it´ s best.”
I hope that is a good and straightforward reply to your very reasonable questions Simon. In my experience Ernst Beck is very willing to answer questions direct. Like me he does not pretend to have all the answers but I certainly believe our understanding of co2 levels and its behaviour is very limited at present, and that additional information will eventually come to light that will further question the established version of events.
TonyB

Michael Smith
January 31, 2009 3:59 am

Thank you for the article and the analysis. Very interesting.
Setting aside all the technical issues, what I find most disturbing — and revealing — about the pro-AGW crowd is the extent to which so many of them desperately WANT it to be true that mankind is facing an enormous disaster that will require us to abandon modern industrial technology and suffer a drastic reduction in our living standards. Many of them are positively SALIVATING over the prospect of seeing us shivering in the dark, with drastically curtailed travel privileges, severely rationed food and water consumption, draconian restrictions on electricity usage, etc.
Of course, there are some who buy into the fantasy that we can restrict CO2 emissions to the levels of 50 years ago and not suffer anything other than a mild inconvenience. But that’s just a story to assuage the fears of the less extreme members of the movement. The core believers — the Hansen’s, the Mann’s and their followers — would be absolutely emotionally devastated if some way were found to easily counter the effects of CO2 or if some evidence were uncovered that overwhelmingly and undeniably refuted the AGW claims.
I can’t imagine what sort of corruption of the soul can leave one hoping that mankind suffers such a calamity. I can only hope against hope that they will not succeed in convincing the rest of us to commit suicide for the sake of the mosquitoes, the polar bears and the snail darters.

M White
January 31, 2009 4:31 am

I’ve seen this story a few times
“Carbon trading may be the new sub-prime, says energy boss”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/30/eu-carbon-trading-scheme

Sean Houlihane
January 31, 2009 5:02 am

Mike McMillan (16:06:06) :
Except that it is true.
300 lbs for the first inch, 600 lbs for the second, 900 lbs for the third inch.

Thanks for confirming your level of understanding of basic physics. If you are going to claim someone is wrong, you should try and provide supporting evidence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooke%27s_law
(yes, I know wiki is not proof, but if you care, you can find a basic physics textbook)

idlex
January 31, 2009 5:06 am

First a solar or orbital change induces some minor warming/cooling and then CO2 raises/drops. After this, it’s the CO2 that drives the temperature up/down. Hansen has argued that:
Quite rightly.
It’s exactly the same as with a horse and carriage. Something startles the horse into moving, and this sets the carriage rolling. But once the carriage has got under way, it thereafter drives the horse forward. When you see a horse and carriage careering down a road, you’re not seeing the horse “pulling” the carriage, but instead the horse desperately fleeing from the speeding carriage at its heels.
You see, carriages only need horses to give them a little nudge to set them rolling. After that the horses aren’t really needed at all, and just gallop along in front. The only reason the horses are there is so that when the carriage stops (e.g. for its passengers to buy some pizza or something), there’s something there to give it a nudge to start rolling again.
And this is why we have horseless carriages these days. It’s one of the great advances of our time that we have ended wholly unnecessary cruelty to horses. The modern motor car dispenses with the horse. But it still needs something to give it a nudge to start it moving. And this is what ‘starter motors’ do.
It’s all quite obvious, when it’s downhill whichever way you go.

pyromancer76
January 31, 2009 5:21 am

Frank Lansner, thanks for the post and all the efforts to help us clarify. I now have a new way of conceptualizing the cause:effect issue. From Figure 4 on, many minds should be jiggle and jogged; yes, the emperor is naked and we simple-people-Alice’s have been living in the rabbit’s hole. It is time for a breath of fresh air filled with all that life-giving CO2. Kudos to WUWT.

January 31, 2009 5:29 am

Rob (17:40:04) : Read the Hansen et al article (Atmos. Sci. J., 2, 217-231). They show that CO2, though not the only driver during Milankovitch glacial/nonglacial cycles (albedo and methane are also used), precisely DOES affect climate with the same sensitivity we see during the past half century and, furthermore, the “lowering” temperatures are also explained well.
Rob, is it available free online? IMHO, something this important should not be paywalled. I’ve been pointed frequently to the RealClimate articles on the CO2 “amplification” but even they are, when I look closely, nothing but… hot air… assertions, no evidence. Whereas Frank’s composite graphs are powerful evidence, especially when you add the non-presence of the logarithmic effect (parallel lines).
Katlab (20:27:13) : These past six months I have been reading have shaken me to the core. I feel like I have dropped down a rabbit hole, and I cannot believe anything the MSM tells me.
Have you read my own story? Click on my name.
Frank, det er så godt å ser aktiv diskusjonen i Klimadebatt. Men det er vanskelig for meg å forstår!
I love your references to volcanic and seismic warming factors; have you also considered that the Sun itself might undergo periodic intensifications of warming that take more time to cool?

January 31, 2009 5:36 am

Its worth pointing out that Petit et al 1999, (Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica: Nature 399, p 429) actually provide an excellent overview of the Vostok data. Their postulation of the role of CO2 feedback forcing climate will not be the to taste of every reader of WUPT, but they do make many good observations.
Amongst those they argue that the CO2 rise at terminations is likely within error of aligning ice age and gas age and I happen to agree with that (there are large uncertainties in both). The time lag at terminations therefore is likely an artifact, but the time lag during cooling is very real, as this article points out.

basrihasan
January 31, 2009 5:37 am

Excellent explanation Frank, the role of CO2 is clear to me, my next search is how to produce energy with minimum CO2.
Cheers, I will refer green energy to to you.

Editor
January 31, 2009 5:50 am

Katlab (20:27:13) :

Thank you so much for having a website dedicated to the truth. These past six months I have been reading have shaken me to the core. I feel like I have dropped down a rabbit hole, and I cannot believe anything the MSM tells me. …

I’m working on a presentation for a “State of the Climate” report, and I’d like to use your post in the public perception section at the end. Yours is one of the best comments since Lucy Skywalker stuck her head above the propaganda and took a new look at the scene.

Editor
January 31, 2009 5:58 am

Pag48 (22:23:22) :

I frequently read the posts and comments on your site. Is there any way you can number the comments? … it’s hard to find my place if I read some and then come back.

What I do in Firefox is to keep each article in a separate tab. When I have time to try to catch up (getting harder and harder) I’ll note the time stamp of the last posrt (e.g. your 22:23:22), type Ctrl-R to reload the page, then search (with ‘/’ or Ctrl-F) for the hh:mm part of the timestamp. Works pretty well, though there are a number of things WordPress (not Anthony) could do. If the timestamp had a link to itself, then we could just click on it for an update.
I gotta figure out a way to only read some of the posts for some of the articles, growth here is just swamping my free time.

Steve7
January 31, 2009 6:06 am

Looking at the graphs it occurred to a mechanism that might explain them, it relies on heat from the planets core. As the planets core is hot there must be a flow of heat to the planets surface ( including the sea bed ). Given open water conditions this heat flow can probably be considered negligible but if all the sea surface becomes frozen, the ice would act as an insulating layer which would allow the oceans to become warmer. When the water temperature or some outside influence caused the ice to melt this would allow large amounts of water vapour in to atmosphere via tropical storms and create a large green house effect slowing the cooling of the oceans. When the oceans had lost sufficient heat they would freeze over again and the cycle would repeat. The length of the cooling would depend how much heat the oceans contained at the time of melting. Probably far to simple an explanation but worse than AGW.
Steve

January 31, 2009 6:26 am

Simon Evans
This is the follow up to a post I made in 00 31 16
I tried to post this here early this morning but it seems to have got lost, so here goes again. It relates to Ernst Beck and is the contunation of the discussion on the other thread.
Hopefully Frank and others can comment as well
This reply was in answer to a series of questions from Simon about Becks work. I had composed a reply to your original questions but after checking some details with Ernst Beck I felt his reply was much more comprehensive than mine, so I have posted his reply in full with his permission.
Simon’s very pertinent questions are in speech marks. Becks comments are not
“Ok, I’ll run through my reservations with the Beck paper (E&E 2007) (with apologies to others for this being OT in respect of the original post).
1. Beck refers to 90,000 analyses of C02 since 1812. Of these, 64,000 were taken at Giessen (not Bremen, as I mistakenly said last night) over an eighteen month period. So, some 79% of the data from which he draws conclusions about global C02 concentrations over a 150 year period is from one location over 18 months.”
I have compiled from literature at the moment ~95 000 CO2 data from more than 300 000 analyses because of double to quadruple measurements and then averaging.
I do NOT draw global conclusions. All CO2 measurements near ground are local and also the so called background CO2 data are local for instance in about 4 km altitude (MLO) they differ in latitude and continent or marine location.
If we compare famous ice core data concerning CO2 e.g. Vostok 1999 (petit et al), we have 200 years. They all take them globally!
“2. Beck states that “The longest single time series was determined in Paris’ Montsouris laboratory, and comprises 12,000 measurements over the 30 years from 1876 until 1910″, but we don’t have any detail of these measurements beyond that. He then graphs details for four locations, none of which cover the same periods. I cannot see what validation of one location against another applies.”
Looking to my webpage http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2_supp.htm you can find every resources and information you will find.
I´m writing a large monograph concerning in detail all information on the historic measurements since 2006. At the moment I do statistical analysis of my data using Maximum Entropy Spectral Analysis and Wavelet Spectral analysis. I hope I have finished the discussion about the results soon so that I can implement the results in my monograph.
After that the whole thing will be published. My website, publications and presentations are parts of this work.
The montsouris data had been investigated in detail by Stanhill, please see my website: http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/literat … ll1-23.pdf.
The four locations in my first paper are examples of very well done measuring series giving all necessary information to evaluate the data. More in my presentations and my second paper and the rest >140 in my monograph. It was not possible to do this in a 23 page paper.
The validation of one location against another is common in modern CO2 measurements. The WDCGG lists the data of the global network. If you compare the different locations you will see mostly the same data. But this is impossible because of very local data. E.g: CO2 on Mauna LOa ( ~4km volcano, no vegetation) or Schauinsland (1200 altitude, forested area, much vegetation) . The graphs are nearly identical. The explanation is a filtering of raw data and a statistical processing at both locations to get the predefined graph . At Schauinsland they had taken only the values at night, by the way. This is data picking to get the graph you want!!! All data are taken as globally important.
“My” historical data are near ground and typical for the vertical profile of CO2 in the atmosphere at that location. Near ground we have about 35-50 ppm seasonal variation on continent and about 12 ppm at an altitude of about 4 km (background). Please see here: http://www.purdue.edu/climate/pdf/Gurney%20Science.pdf
The averages in 4 km (background) and near ground (local influenced) are within about 4 ppm the same. Thats all. I will include a picture out of the chapter in my monograph on that issue. http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2/surgut-hom.jpg
“3. Looking at the Kreutz/Gissen record as an illustration, we see very large variations in C02 measurements from one month to the next, e.g. c.300 to 430 between 9/39 and 10/39, and 340 to 550 over two months from 6/40 to 8/40. If such measurements were indeed representative of global CO2 concentration, then how could such quantities of C02 be moving in and out of the atmosphere at such a rate? This is equivalent to between a third and two thirds of all the CO2 contained in land plants globally. He refers to “monthly cycling” and suggests this is evident in Mauna Loa measurements, but not on that extraordinary scale! We have no evidence from ground observation or satellites to confirm such flux – are we to presume this is something that stopped happening in the 1950s?”
(Perhaps the questioner) who asked this has no idea of the daily and seasonal variations of atmospheric CO2 at a real location. Real fluctuations during a day can be more than 100 ppm without human influence. It is simple vegetation or wind. Of course they are not globally representative. We should stop these crazy thinking of a global climate or weather. Neither temperature nor any other parameter locally measured is globally representative. This is the result of the Keeling procedure of filtering data, cutting the outliers and processing the data. Take a look at the temperature data (Giss or HADCRUT). They are processed every month the old and the new one to fit the ideas of rising temperatures because of global warming.
The oceans easily emit such high CO2 every year. A warm water current will release per 1°C warming up to 70 ppm more CO2. This had taken place in the Northern Atlantic ocean during the 30s.
The monthly cycling ( about 28 days) I have observed is the fingerprint of lunar phases and part of the lunar nodal cycle. We can see it in all CO2 series also MLO (see my website)
The only thing we have to do is spectral analysis of the CO2 data. Please ask the guy why nobody has done this? I will give you the answer below.
“4. Seeing, then, the enormous and rapid variations in supposed global atmospheric C02 concentration as measured at Giessen and other locations, he then presumes that this can be fitted to the monotonic annual variation and steady rise in concentrations measured at Mauna Loa from the 1950s. How could this be plausible?”
The answer is given above. The Giessen data are typical for Giessen, latitude ~ 50 on continent. MLO is typical for a volcano at 3800 m altitude in a marine surround. Please ask the questioner why they do not publish raw data from MLO with the volcanic degassing?
1950 there were a sudden drop in atmospheric CO2 which can also seen in other data series. During the 50s the CO2 is rising again, but not as MLO will pretend. CO2 was higher on continent.
“5. Even if the measurement stations were entirely free from any contamination from human influence, and even if they were representative of a geographically ‘averaged’ location (that is, free from natural variability), they would not be able to measure background CO2. You can’t do that reliably close to sea level, owing to variations in atmospheric mixing (consider the build up of smog at certain times), or at least you can’t do it meaningfully without being able to apply corrections for bias.”
No measurement station is free from “contamination”. This is the wrong term and given by the AGW prayers to dismiss typical natural fluctuations. Of course the Giessen data are not free from typical influence of humans, which was clearly outlined by Kreutz. (see here: http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2/ … en1939.jpg)
Of course they have not measured “background level” at Giessen. Background CO2 is a special atmospheric concentration on some marine stations and stations at higher altitudes (MLO) or by processing the real measured data to fit the background rules (e.g. Schauinsland, WDCGG). Background is not typical for the world because the atmosphere is not typically well mixed. But we can do a background estimation by the windspeed-CO2 test for not well mixed locations . ( see here: http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/literat … approx.gif and for modern stations (Diekirch Lux) see here: http://meteo.lcd.lu/papers/co2_patterns … terns.html.
“Beck is concerned to stress the accuracy of the instrumentation. I have no knowledge of that, so will take his word for it. But accuracy is of no use unless you know that you’re measuring what you want to be measuring.”
I have investigated the chemical methods in detail. If the English word “accuracy” is the wrong term please take the right one. The Pettenkofer method delivers a precision of +-1% of the reading value at it´s best.”
In his reply above Beck makes mention of several documents that I have seen but are not yet in the public domain.
In my experience Ernst Beck is very willing to answer questions. Like me he does not pretend to have all the answers but I certainly believe our understanding of co2 levels and its behaviour is very limited at present and that new information being compiled will question further the established version of events.
TonyB

January 31, 2009 6:27 am

Frank, one of your volcanic URL’s seems to be a right fraud, we’ve just had some fun exploring here. Upshot is, it’s as I thought, no recent seismic activities increase, rather, the correlation appears to be with solar low activity.

cal
January 31, 2009 6:44 am

I am sorry if someone has pointed this out before. It is a long blog I may have missed it. To those who argue that temperature and CO2 look as though they peak together I would point out that even if this was true (which is not to my eye) it would not matter. If CO2 was the driver one would expect the peak in CO2 to correlate with the maximum rate of change in temperature, not temperature per se. In other words it would be good to plot a derivative (as has been pointed out already) but only for temperature. For me the killer argument is that the same level of CO2 is consistent with both rapidly rising and rapidly falling temperatures. As was pointed out in the (brilliant) original this proves that any contribution from CO2 is swamped by other factors.
There is one further thought however and it is not impossible. What if CO2 is a coolant? The reason for mentioning this is that CO2 is indeed a coolant in the stratosphere. I believe it is the most important one (but i stand to be corrected). The concept of increasing levels of CO2 contibutiing to warming is based on the concept that higher concentrations reduce the mean free path of photons in CO2’s absorption band and increases the altitude at which molecules can radiate into space. Since higher altitude means lower temperature less is radiated and therefore the surface has to increase in temperature to compensate. However this is only true if the radiating band is below the tropopause. Whilst Hadley state that this is the case I have satellite pictures which seem to show that the radiation is mainly in or even above the tropopause. Can someone put me right on this. If this radiation layer is below the tropopause for low concentrations and above it for higher concentrations one could actually get the forcing changing sign.

January 31, 2009 7:09 am

Moderator
I have tried twice today to post a long item from Ernst Beck which is a reply to Simon Evans and a continuation of my post-00 31 16
Has it got caught in a spam filter or does it reject items over a certain length? Your help is appreciated.
TonyB
Reply: There are only two people moderating, and at times there is no coverage, so comments remain in the queue. Your comments are now posted. My apologies, I will try to check in more often. ~ dbstealey, mod.

Bernd Felsche
January 31, 2009 7:20 am

The hypothesis of CO2 “warming” is a bit silly when one considers all the heat transfer mechanisms available to the atmosphere.
Increasing the levels of CO2 has a tiny effect that probably (on balance) enhances the atmosphere’s ability to accept and to transport heat from hot spots to cold ones.
If you look at the cooling system of a car, the coolant moderates temperatures throughout because it is flowing. As does the atmosphere. If you stop the coolant flow, then you quickly get (over-)heating.
Improve the ability of the coolant to accept and to reject heat, and temperatures are moderated even further; hot spots get less hot, and cooler spots would tend to get slightly warmer; but only if the heat hasn’t already been lost before it gets to them; the coolant getting slightly warmer at the same flow rate and therefore able to dissipate heat better to the surroundings.
In the free atmosphere, the flow rates increase because there is more expansion of the “coolant”; the air, whenever it accepts more heat either directly from the sun or by conduction from the ground or the “greenhouse gases”. Greenhouse gases are physically incapable (in our nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere) of producing a “blanket” to keep in the heat. They act more as a coolant enhancer than a blanket.

Rob
January 31, 2009 7:20 am

Robert (22:14:16) :
and Jim Steele (20:35:21) :
“Lets refer to Figure 5 in Frank’s post and look at the horizontal green line for experiment 1 representing 264 ppm. If CO2 is responsible for maintaining the temperature why is the same amount of CO2 only able to maintain a temperature that is 4 degree colder as we approach a glacial minimum? And if, as Hansen claims, that CO2 is he main driver, why at the same amount of CO2 is the temperature rising at A and then again falling at B?”
Please read the article again, Jim. Hansen et al. only claim that CO2 is the main driver when averaged over tens to hundreds of millions of years. For the Pleistocene glaciations, they note that CO2 (plus all the other greenhouse gases) have an influence that is actually slightly less than the albedo effect of the changing ice masses. Makes sense. When you melt back ice that covers half of NAm and much of Eurasia, you’re going to lose a lot of reflectivity (i.e., albedo). So, elevated greenhouse gases can accompany lower temperatures if other drivers are in play (e.g., the albedo is high). There are other things going on in the Pleistocene as well like thermohaline current changes.
Once again, paleoclimatologists do not claim that GHGs are the only way to change climate, just that, for the last 50 years, they’re the only climate forcings that happen to be increasing commensurately. You’re not going to argue that global warming is being caused by ice sheet albedo changes are you? If so, you’d have a hard (i.e., impossible) time showing that the oxygen isotope values changed over the past 50 years like they did in the Pleistocene.
So, the subject of this blog entry, because it ONLY looks at CO2/temperature relationships and ignores all others (especially albedo), cannot invalidate GHGs as an important agent of climate change.

Robert Bateman
January 31, 2009 7:32 am

Leif: The pressure corrected data from Oulu Neutron Monitor since 1964 shows the cosmic ray count a good deal higher than Thule, and it’s not coming down.
Both Thule and Oulu show a 6 mo. trend that is headed up. The corner does not appear to me to have been turned yet.
Looking at the last 6 mos. of 10.7 flux is not giving me any concrete indications that the neutron counts will drop 6 to 12 months from now, according to the lag you mention.
If there is an impending ramp to SC24 just around the corner, I do not see it based on 10.7 flux or neutron count.
That makes me a skeptical observer who refuses to be taken in by things that disappoint on a regular basis. I freely admit it.

Psi
January 31, 2009 7:34 am

Excellent and provocative article. Anthony could use some help with the editing for grammatical correctness.
Like other posters, I would like to know just what Mary Hinge means by calling Mr. Lansner’s approach “simplistic.” Without specification, that’s just mud.

Robert Bateman
January 31, 2009 7:40 am

I be one of those simple, common, everyday observers who rushes out with his scopes to check on the latest sunspots (while supplies last). The sunspots I now see are every bit as tough as small galaxies in a 16″ scope.
The scintillation had better be as steady as you’re patience.
Don’t try to impress your neighbors with them, they’ll think you’re nuts.

Joel Shore
January 31, 2009 7:41 am

barry moore says:

Joel “Since the radiative forcing due to CO2 levels is known to quite good accuracy”
I have been searching for over 10 years for any scientific proof to support this statement if you have it please post it.

It is sometimes hard to find the references for things that are such settled science. I would suggest looking here for historical references: http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm
This is something that even skeptics like Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer seem to accept.

if you apply this formula to the individual periods over the past 130 years when the temperatures were rising then falling you will find the formula does not even begin to past the simplist validation test.

That makes no sense whatsoever. This formula has nothing to do with temperature. To get from it to temperature change, you would have to know the climate sensitivity (or, more precisely, what is called the transient climate response)…And, you would also have to isolate the temperature changes due to CO2 from those due to other causes.
Robert Bateman says:

Why, certainly. The backing off of solar wind leading to increased cosmic rays which interact in the lower atmosphere in the UV to reflect off incoming sunlight and the 1/3 shrinkage of the upper atmosphere that equates to loss of “R” value.

It is hard to know even where to start with this “hypothesis”! But, I will just point out that I don’t see the mechanism for what would cause this “backing off of solar wind” at the intervals that correspond with the Milankovitch oscillations.
Lance says:

……..The sun maybe? lol!

As I noted, the Milankovitch oscillations barely impact the solar forcing at all. They only influence the distribution of sunlight (which is very important because the resulting growth in ice sheets then does caused albedo changes, but that is already accounted for).
If you mean that the sun somehow changes it intensity, there is no evidence to support such large changes…let alone to explain why such changes would happen with the same sort of period as the Milankovitch oscillations.
nobwainer says:

The 100,000 yr Milankovitch cycle delivers an estimated 25% reduction in TSI at its most elliptical point in the orbit cycle. And I cant help but remind everyone, this is another cycle brought to you by our friendly Jovian planets.

25%, really?!? I don’t suppose you have some sort of reference for that estimate?

Brian Macker
January 31, 2009 7:41 am

Luis Dias (09:39:26) :
“Many things in this post are merely asserted and unproven. Others, simply ignored. “
Name some more since for the ones you pointed out you were wrong.
“Allegedly, CO2 lags temperature by 800 years, but in Fig.2 we see temperature peaking exactly the same time that CO2 peaks. “
The 800 year lag is well know. It’s obvious in the graph. You have to compare slopes of the lines not their heights. The slope at -9 thousand years is upward for temperature and flat for CO2. It’s not until about -5.5 to -5 that CO2 slopes upward. So CO2 lagged temps.
The rest of the upward slope is meaningless for comparison purposes because you can make the blue or red line appear in front or in back merely by increasing or decreasing the scales relative to each other. That changes the height, which, as I said does not show what leads or lags.
Clearly at 0 thousand years the temperatures slope downward. CO2 levels off at that point but does not slope down. Not till ~1000 years later does C02 start dropping. So again temperature is leading the downward trend.
Again at +17.5 thousand years temperatures reverse their slope and CO2 mirrors this around +18.75. Of course by eyeball.
The only point the seems to have synchronized shifts is at 22.
BTW, the degree of slope cannot be used as a base of comparison either because that depends on choice of axis scale.
“The argument is that it slows the curve in the back end. And in every curve drawn in fig 8, the back end curve is in fact slower than the climbing period.”
Absolutely WRONG. The 400,000 ybp line drops significantly faster and farther in temperature, than it rises.
“Notwithstanding, I generally agree with the fact that the Vostok graph is a very weak evidence for AGW. But I also don’t see it as evidence against it.”
That’s because you can’t see the math behind a graph. It’s obvious to the math savvy you need to look at all the peaks and valleys but you only pick one. It’s obvious to the math savvy that leveling off is a delayed trend to sloping downward.
You don’t see the evidence because you are not competent to do so.

TFN Johnson
January 31, 2009 7:45 am

How reliable are the CO2 concentration data in the ice cores. I’ve read that CO2 is more soluble in ice than is O2/N2 (air). Can CO2 migrate out of small air bubbles, under pressure, in the long timescales involved?

January 31, 2009 8:14 am

ccpo (21:32:18) :
The ignorance of the above statement is astounding. That it comes from a non-climate scientist – as so much anti-AGW “science” does – just reinforces the doubt that sentence alone engenders.

I don’t understand what you are trying to say. To believe climate science can only be done by climate scientists is just plain ignorance beyond belief.

Jim Steele
January 31, 2009 8:23 am

Rob (07:20:39) :
Well first you didn’t answer my question, so I am not expecting much more. But I fail to see your logic or Hansen’s, and it won’t matter how many times anyone reads his policy statements. You both mention albedo effects and the lack of albedo ice causing more warming. So lets now follow this crystal clear logic. At the height of the interglacial (you might look at Fig 5 again) where albedo is lowest and CO2 is highest, so that your proposed main warming drivers are both at their peak, yet still the climate plunges into an ice age.
And you really think that makes sense?
Maybe there is another climate driver you have failed to recognize?

Mike Bryant
January 31, 2009 8:42 am

OT…
After ice storm in Marion, Ky. people were told, “…Pack a suitcase and head south… We can’t service everyone in our shelter.”
Google “Kentucky ice storm” for numerous articles… At least 42 dead in ice storm.

Brian Macker
January 31, 2009 8:58 am

“2/ On the rising edges, the CO2 edge is about the same steepness as the temperature edge; but on the falling edges, the CO2 fall timing is much slower than the temperature fall timing.”
The steepness is merely because of scaling. You could scale ( and chop) so that the falling edge of the CO2 line was closer in slope to the temperature line. which would make the leading edge of the CO2 much steeper than the leading edge of the temps.
There are a few ways to size the the temperature and CO2 axises of the graph that wouldn’t be completely arbitrary. Two are: 1) Resize so the minimum CO2 concentration aligns with the min temp, and the max with the max. 2) Resize so the the area of deviation from the average temperature on the temp graph matches the area of deviation from the average CO2 concentration on the CO2 graph. It’s clear that Fig. 2 doesn’t use method 1) but it’s close. I’m not sure if it uses method 2. Probably it was done by eye in an attempt at 1).

Brian Macker
January 31, 2009 9:02 am

“Please read the article again, Jim. Hansen et al. only claim that CO2 is the main driver when averaged over tens to hundreds of millions of years.”
Great, then we have nothing to worry about. In fact the opposite is true. Short term during the interglacial the CO2 will have minimal effect but over the very much longer period of the next ice age we will get a moderating effect. Beautiful, bring on the CO2.

Dennis Sharp
January 31, 2009 9:12 am

It’s easy to tell the global warming folks on this thread. They are the ones who start their post by discrediting somebody else and end by saying the climate is so much more complicated than any scientist could possibly imagine. Except, of course, the all knowing global warming people and the IPCC.
I’ve seen this before with religious zealots. They start by making assumptions for you, and if you protest, you are moved from the “lost and need to be converted” to the “heretic and need to be avoided” class. Facts make very little difference to them, as well.

Psi
January 31, 2009 9:20 am

Robert Bateman (21:00:08) :
Here we are sending up all these probes and satellites for Earth and the rest of the planets. Why not use the other planets to help us get a firm grip on the question of solar forcing via complicated mechanisms?
Do we see changes in other planets recently?
I suspect we do. Let’s solve for Earth.

Good idea:
Mars
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1720024.ece
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/04/070404-mars-warming.html
Mars, Pluto et al:
http://seoblackhat.com/2007/03/04/global-warming-on-mars-pluto-triton-and-jupiter/
But then, no doubt, this is just “astrological correlation without cause.” All members of the Church of AGW will safely confine their gaze to Gaia.
To deprogram yourself from your condition of stepticism induced by reading the above, visit:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11642-climate-myths-mars-and-pluto-are-warming-too.html
And be bathed in the bliss of absolution from your Carbon footprint.

January 31, 2009 9:21 am

Robert Bateman (07:32:10) :
The pressure corrected data from Oulu Neutron Monitor
Different stations show slightly different counts for various reasons [geomagnetic activity dependent cut-off, atmospheric conditions, …]. You have to look at an ensemble of stations and not cherry pick the one that matches your thesis. Moscow has had a good stable counter since 1958. Here is that count: http://www.leif.org/research/Moscow-1958-now.png.
But that is not the important point, which is this: all stations show a 15-20% variation [depending a bit on station] decrease from solar minimum to maximum. Some people claim that that makes for a few [one or two] tenths of degrees of warming. The variation at minimum from station to station is at least ten times smaller than that and may [by the same argument] make for, at most, a few [one or two] hundredths of a degree temperature difference. What we need to get away from is the misconception that ‘weaker solar wind’ has had any measurable effect.

Mike Bryant
January 31, 2009 9:32 am

idlex (05:06:29) :
First a solar or orbital change induces some minor warming/cooling and then CO2 raises/drops. After this, it’s the CO2 that drives the temperature up/down. Hansen has argued that:
Quite rightly.
It’s exactly the same as with a horse and carriage. Something startles the horse into moving, and this sets the carriage rolling. But once the carriage has got under way, it thereafter drives the horse forward. When you see a horse and carriage careering down a road, you’re not seeing the horse “pulling” the carriage, but instead the horse desperately fleeing from the speeding carriage at its heels.”
Wow, that is great!!! We can get rid of horses and motors all together then! All we need is someone to give our motorless cars a gentle shove and we’re off!!!
Kinda like the Flintstones. 🙂

Robert Wood
January 31, 2009 9:32 am

Brian Macker (07:41:49)
Luis doesn’t see the evidence because he is in denial. MMGW is true, therefore all evidence to the cotnrary is wrong.

Psi
January 31, 2009 9:37 am

Paul Shanahan (08:14:08) :
ccpo (21:32:18) :
The ignorance of the above statement is astounding. That it comes from a non-climate scientist – as so much anti-AGW “science” does – just reinforces the doubt that sentence alone engenders.
I don’t understand what you are trying to say. To believe climate science can only be done by climate scientists is just plain ignorance beyond belief.

This is what the philosopher or sociologist of knowledge would call the cult of the expert. Only people with credentials are allowed to discuss the topic, and when the pronouncements of these experts are questioned, the answer is that the questioner does not understand because he or she is not qualified. Thus, what began as science ends as little more than religion in a white lab coat.
One of the remarkable and hopeful things about the internet is the tools is provides for ordinary people participate and insist that so-called experts justify their conclusions in terms that ordinary educated people can understand. If they cannot do that, ordinary people are justified in questioning the legitimacy of the paradigm. It is evident to me that such a process is developing, here and elsewhere. The insular nature of much so-called “climate science” has not escaped public notice, thanks to people like Anthony and the discussants here.

Dennis Wingo
January 31, 2009 9:39 am

Several years ago, when a major defense contractor left Huntsville Alabama, I was able to purchase their library from a surplus sale. Since this company built rocket engines their library had a lot of theoretical books on radiative transfer theory, especially in the infrared.
In the book “Quantum Theory of Light” by Loudon there are two major and one minor method whereby CO2 absorption bands widen (which if you read the explanation on http://www.realclimate.org) is what is happening.
Both Doppler Broadening and Pressure broadening, the two major means whereby CO2 absorption wavelengths broaden, have a temperature dependent term in the equation. Furthermore, the equation for collision (pressure) broadening, has to be taken with regard to the entire atmosphere, not just CO2 molecules. There is even experimental evidence along with a nice graph that illustrates this relationship.
I simply don’t understand why we don’t just lay this argument out and drive a stake in the vampire of CO2 based global warming for all time. Steve McIntyre talks about an engineering quality exposition on the subject and the theoretical underpinnings for that exposition exists.
It will take some time to do the step by step but it is possible.

Rob
January 31, 2009 9:42 am

Jim Steele (08:23:14) :
“Well first you didn’t answer my question, so I am not expecting much more.”
No need to get snarky. I thought I did answer your question. As I said, yes, there are other climate drivers. Also, yes, there is a few thousand-year window where, after initial deglaciations, temps appear to drop before recovering (e.g., OIS Stage 5b). Who knows, maybe this is a precursor to a younger Dryas event caused by a change in the thermohaline current. Also, both methane concentration drops and albedo rises during this few thousand-year event explaining at least part of it. Why do you insist that the few thousand-year event has to be explained by CO2 only?
But most important, if you look at the entire record (sorry, you’ll have to go back to the Hansen et al. paper), CO2, methane, and albedo explain the temperature exceedingly well except for this event. In fact, it’s really hard to explain the Pleistocene swings without CO2 as an important climate forcing agent.
What are you proposing? That CO2 has no effect on climate and that there’s some mysterious forcing agent causing warming over the past half century that modern instruments can’t detect? Do you really think THAT makes sense, especially given the fact that the entire set of Pleistocene swings can’t be explained without CO2 using the same sensitivity demanded by radiation physics? For that to be true you have to engage in a lot of open field running, tap dancing.

Robert Bateman
January 31, 2009 9:54 am

Maybe there is another climate driver you have failed to recognize?
Might be that the Sun uses up fuel faster than convection currents can replace it. If the latter reminds you of CO2 getting into the lower layers of the oceans over time, it should.
Suffice to say it that I agree that there are climate drivers not yet recognized by concensus or even discovered that defy proprietary AGW C02 forced modeling.
The Sun won’t be ordered around by computer models, and it most definately won’t be refueled by anybody. You can’t send up a mechanic for repairs or a Doctor with smelling salts.
Maybe we can talk Oral Roberts into saying a prayer for the Prodigal Sun.

January 31, 2009 10:31 am

DB Stealey-moderatror
Thanks for taking the time to reply. It was just that normally the message appears on screen with the words’Waiting for moderation’ As nothing at all appeared I thought it might have been over your limit or something. You do a great job-thanks for your time.
TonyB.

DaveE
January 31, 2009 10:37 am

Raises head above parapet waiting for sniper fire.
A possible reason for heating being faster than cooling.
Heating is by EM radiation from the Sun to a depth 50 to 100 metres.
Cooling on the other hand is from the surface to a depth of millimetres.
Ducks back behind parapet waiting for return of fire 😉
DaveE.

RichardM
January 31, 2009 10:39 am

Frank, thanks for this, another poke at attmepting to understand our climate system.
The utter certainty with which some you post is staggering. To state some of what you do, when we understand so little is simply breathtaking. This is what lays at the heart of my skepticism. I KNOW just how little we understand what is happening, but some of you pronounce in a way that allows no room for questioning. That is what lays at the heart of too many of an AGW proponents position.
I see lots of talk about a trace gas, but in all my oceanography courses and some practical applications, I also know the effect and capacity of our ocean system in it’s impact, locally and globally, has been vastly understated. Paradoxically, I can say this with certainty because WE KNOW so little about that subject as well.
Anthony and moderating team – my apologies. This is frustrating.

Shawn H.
January 31, 2009 10:53 am

Just a brief thought here, my understanding is that the mainstream pro-AGW view is that heating the atmosphere by 1C will cause somewhere around 2C in feedback heating. (A doubling of CO2 will lead to about a 1C in direct heating and 2C from things like changes in ice albedo, water vapor). It seems to me that the lack of symmetry in the response to heating and cooling is germane here too.
The above changes should happen(if they do happen) much more quickly than changes in the CO2 level, and they should also cause a symmetrical response.
At least that’s how it lloks to me on first glance.
Cheers, 🙂

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 31, 2009 11:05 am

FWIW, what Milankovich says is that the melting of the ice and snow at the North Pole is the critical factor in creating an interglacial, like now. This only happens when the earth is tipped sideways more than ‘usual’ and the North pole is pointed at the sun at closest approach to the sun.
This also means that summers will be warmer in the Southern hemisphere, just not to the extent that the Northern hemisphere warms. This also means that winters will be ‘worse’ (i.e. more of pole in darkness longer) especially at the South pole, so trying to sort out the CO2 processes will be interesting, but they are not causal in creating an ice age, nor in removing one.

January 31, 2009 11:11 am

Hello,
I have found that when drawing corelations of any kind, or examining the corelations drawn by others, to first examine the agendas of those drawing the corelations, or, as for instance, in the case of students studying poverty alleviation in MIT’s poverty alleviation labs, to understand the overarching agenda of the institution under which such work is carried out that might lead to creating/focussing on specific corelations and not on others.
Just FYI: The NB “On Global Warming” in this “Response to Financial Times Gideon Rachman’s ‘And now for a world government'”
http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2008/12/responseto-ft-gideon-rachman-worldgov.html
examines why “global warming” is actually a necessity, and this might rationally explain the pursuit of eveny plausibly justifying corelations such as this CO2:
begin excerpt:
Applying that prioritizing, or weightage if you will, principle to this topic of “Global Warming”, one observes that the coefficient, or the bit position, or weightage occupied by the planetary level changes in the solar system due to sun’s activity is actually a higher order bit position, than the contribution to the measurements from human activity.
And as is entirely obvious from Mr. Gideon Rachman’s article why this is politically motivated, the reasons become clear why this confusion is deliberately being created. If you accept the Capitalist conspiracy for world government, as I have described it, and if you accept the NSSM-200 agenda for population reduction as I have also described it, tying in the hand of Rockefeller to the UN and their agenda for population reduction (citations for these statements are in my various essays), then you must realize why the ruling elite wants to control ‘life activity’, and carbon-credit is their architecture of control!
It is somewhat akin to acquiring control of a nation’s money supply in the guise of managing the economy better. Few in the public understand why such a control is bad anyway, but those who do try to understand it are thrown layers upon layers of obfuscation. Something similar is happening here. Think of acquiring control of ‘carbon-credits’ almost equivalent to acquiring control of a nation’s money supply! This will control every aspect of sustaining life, just as control of money determines every aspect of sustaining the economy. You name it, between the two of them, it will control it in a world-government. And the first recipient of these controls, the carbon-credit specifically, is the developing world, the Global South, because that is where development must be arrested, and populations thinned out! Just as control of money was first exercised where there was a superfluity of industry and commerce, control of ‘carbon-credit’ is intended to be exercised where there is a superfluity of populations aspiring to grow their nascent economies!
end excerpt
I fear that many well meaning scientists and those with great scientific acumen are getting bogged down by rebutting the global warming mantra without realizing that “it takes a sentence to construct a lie, considerably more space to unravel it”.
Since an infinite numbers of lies are always possible, and more to the point, believable by an indoctrinated public, one can spend one’s lifetime refuting them and still not be done with them. That conveniently neutralizes doing anything useful in disturbing the agenda, when one can hardly see the agenda.
Therefore, it would seem logical, to attack the motivation which seeds the lie, and repeatedly exposing that motivation alongside each lie, which might have a bit more efficacy.
Thank you.
Zahir Ebrahim
Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

Allan M R MacRae
January 31, 2009 11:24 am

Finally, an on-topic post (by me, repeated from previous WUWT):
It is interesting to note that the detailed signals we derive from the data show that CO2 lags temperature at all time scales, from the 9 month delay for ~ENSO cycles to the ~600 year delay inferred in the ice core data for much longer cycles.
My paper on the 9-month delay was posted Jan.31/08 with a spreadsheet at http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/
In my Figure 1 and 2, global dCO2/dt closely coincides with global Lower Tropospheric Temperature LT and Surface Temperature ST. I believe that the temperature and CO2 datasets are collected completely independently, and yet there is this clear correlation.
After publishing this paper, I also demonstrated the same correlation with different datasets – using Mauna Loa CO2 and Hadcrut3 ST going back to 1958. More recently I examined the close correlation of LT measurements taken by satellite and those taken by radiosonde.
Further, there are papers by Kuo (1990) and Keeling (1995) that discussed the delay of CO2 after temperature, although neither appeared to notice the even closer correlation of dCO2/dt with temperature. This correlation is noted in my Figures 3 and 4.
This subject has generated discussion among serious scientists. Almost no one doubts the dCO2/dt versus LT (and ST) correlation. Some go so far as to say that humankind is not even the primary cause of the current increase in atmospheric CO2 – that it is natural. Others rely on a “material balance argument” to refute this claim – I think these would be in the majority. I am officially an agnostic on this question, to date.
The warmist side also has also noted this ~9 month delay, but try to explain it as a “feedback effect” – this argument seems more consistent with AGW religious dogma than with science (“ASSUMING AGW is true, then it MUST be feedback”). 🙂
It is interesting to note, however, that the natural seasonal variation in atmospheric CO2 ranges up to ~16ppm in the far North, whereas the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 is only ~2ppm. This reality tends to weaken the “material balance argument”. This seasonal ‘sawtooth” of CO2 is primarily driven by the Northern Hemisphere landmass, which is much greater in area than that of the Southern Hemisphere. CO2 falls during the NH summer due primarily to land-based photosynthesis, and rises in the late fall, winter and early spring as biomass degrades.
There is also likely to be significant CO2 solution and exsolution from the oceans.
See the excellent animation at http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4
For more on this subject, see
Increasing Atmospheric CO2: Manmade…or Natural?
January 21st, 2009 by Roy W. Spencer
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/01/increasing-atmospheric-co2-manmade%e2%80%a6or-natural/
Also Veizer (2005) and the classic Veizer and Shaviv (2003), if you can find them online. Veizer used to be at http://www.gac.ca/publications/geoscience/TOC/GACgcV32No1Web.pdf
Many scientists who believe that the theory of catastrophic humanmade global warming is invalid still do believe that humankind is driving increased atmospheric CO2 through combustion of fossil fuels.
I used to be accept without question the role of fossil fuels in driving increased atmospheric CO2 – now I am leaning towards being an agnostic on this very interesting scientific question.
The really important question is whether the world is undergoing catastrophic global warming or NOT.
It is apparent to me that there has been no significant warming for many years, and sharp cooling since January 2007.
The shift in the PDO from warm to cool mode suggests we can expect, on average, 20-30 years of global cooling (with upward and downward natural variation).
In summary, I think the alleged catastrophic humanmade global warming crisis does not exist in reality.
Regards, Allan

Robert Bateman
January 31, 2009 11:30 am

Psi: from your link http://seoblackhat.com/2007/03/04/global-warming-on-mars-pluto-triton-and-jupiter/
‘So there is Global Warming on at least 4 other bodies in our Solar System that co-insides with the recent warming on Earth. Doesn’t this point strongly towards the Sun or some other Cosmic force as the cause?’
If it ain’t the Sun, it’s sure as heck not manmade on other planets.
And for the the cult of the expert.
I have a different name for this: Minimalism. Your concerns do not justify a response, therefore these present conditions are “normal”, and that’s about as political as it gets.

Robert Bateman
January 31, 2009 11:46 am

Leif: I know I am hard on you, and I know you have not predicted a big SC like the rest of the normalizers.
I checked the Moscow Neutron Monitor. I see no sign of the neutron count going down at this point, the same as the other monitors. I chose 6 mos because it was in your graph. Apples to apples, fair is fair.
Are there any other monitors that have generated graphs on the net?
I hope you are right in your upcoming predicted ramp, because if you are not, next winter is going to be something awful. And that is when it really hits the fan for Hansen/Hathaway/IPCC.

Fernando
January 31, 2009 11:46 am

Frank, Great work.
I do not read any comments above…… (Avoiding influences)
Time is not thermodynamic variable.
Then the quasi-thermodynamic equilibrium of the atmosphere is delayed (or advanced) in time.

Bob B
January 31, 2009 11:54 am

Anthony, being an electrical Engineer I would like to have your comment on how the signals are aligned to determine the time delay. I am sure as you know most good electrical engineers align two signals on an oscilloscope so their peak-to-peak maximums are laying on top of the other signal. Then the time delay, lag or lead is measured. I am puzzled how many of the papers and analysis I have seen do not align the peak-to-peak amplitudes. I would like you to comment if you get a chance on what you think the proper way to align the CO2 and temp data from the Vostok Ice cores?

Allan M R MacRae
January 31, 2009 11:59 am

Addendum to above:
There has been much discussion about diffusion of gases in ice over time – some say the results are not at all reliable – I would suggest they are directionally correct, but not absolutely correct – probably the peaks have declined – thus modern atmospheric CO2 levels may not be any higher than the historic maxima.

Ross
January 31, 2009 12:19 pm

Mr. Lansner, thank you very much for a lucid and informative presentation.
Other than some problems interpreting figure 3, I think I understand your work.

ccpo (21:32:18) :
Taking others work and reinterpreting it no *doing* science.

One assumes that you meant ” …reinterpreting it (is) no(t) “doing” science. …”
If that was your intent, it follows then that one would have to say that the explanation of the photoelectric effect by reinterpreting the data [from earlier researchers] was not doing science?
Actually, much good science ISdone by giving a new and different interpretation to data gathered by others.

Alan Chappell
January 31, 2009 12:28 pm

A little bit off subject, I was on the Shell Brent Delta in the North Sea when it was towed out from Norway and spent 2 years on it, It was in 460ft of water, a 3 leg concrete fixed platform with a 80ft air gap. Shell Petroleum Co. not known for taking chances, had placed buoys and survey ships on the site for years to collect information on the weather, tide drift etc., the results were incorporated into the platform design.
It was calculated that the 60ft air gap was for the hundred year wave, ( once in one hundred years.) the first winter on site we were shaken by the hundred year wave so many times that it became, a oh, hum, the point being even Shells trillions and experts could not predict the weather

Mary Hinge
January 31, 2009 12:31 pm

Frank Lansner (16:48:18) :
@Mary Hinge (15:24:54) :
Oh Mary 🙂 I was afraid that I was the only sceptic blogwriter on Watts that would not have you say something bad about me. I would not feel that I had been on Watts without a little dose Mary Hinge! Thanks.
Then this La Nina talk of yours: Hmm as far as I remember, you thought there would be an El Nino in dec 2008? I said La Nina…

To correct your memory…I actually said that the highest probability was for ENSO to stay neutral with a small chance of La Nina and also a very small chance of El Nino.
You were the one that insisted quite forcibly that because of high SOI a La Nina was inevitable.
Your article above is based on the tenous link between sunspot numbers and temperature. Time and time again there has been shown to be no link yet you persist in repeating this nonsense. Also you delight in misquoting (dodgy memory again?). For instance “Hansen has argued that: The big differences in temperature between ice ages and warm periods is not possible to explain without a CO2 driver.” becomes only a couple of paragraphs later “This is essential, because, the whole idea of placing CO2 in a central role for driving temperatures was: “We cannot explain the big changes in temperature with anything else than CO2″.
This gives a totally distorted view.
Thankfully we have peer review for real science, as for this…well, as I said before it was a brave attempt.

Shirley Anne
January 31, 2009 12:34 pm

It’s all about the money and a way of generating an industry. I have been an amateur astronomer for many years and I am always interested in these sort of reports. I have never believed the whole CO2 argument and I based that on data previously accumulated but this new data provides a more consolidated argument against CO2 being a cause of rising temperatures.

Jim Steele
January 31, 2009 1:01 pm

Rob (09:42:09) :
“albedo rises during this few thousand-year event explaining at least part of it.”
Your response is an example of the circular reasoning that abounds in Hansen’s paper.
How does the albedo increase? What is the driver of this increase? You throw that out without explanation and then go on “tap dancing.”
When you ask “Do you really think THAT makes sense, especially given the fact that the entire set of Pleistocene swings can’t be explained without CO2 using the same sensitivity demanded by radiation physics?” If you assume a solar constant, if you assume we understand everything and there are no mechanisms yet to be understood in which variation in solar output can be amplified, then you demand CO2 explains the Pleistocene swings.
But again, the ice core records show that the 2 main forcings of CO2 and albedo that you and Hansen hold dear, are in direct opposition to observable drops in temperatures. So it would be then be foolish to assume that there is not another forcing agent. And it is the height of vain conceit to think we already know everything. Almost every month NASA announces a new surprise such as magnetic ropes connecting the sun and earth, unexpected holes in the magnetosphere, they even have unexplained gravitational effects on their satellites.
If the drop in solar activity continues and the temperatures continue to drop as well, more attention will be given the more likely driver of climate.
Because warming by any other forcing can cause increased CO2 it is easy to confuse cause and effect. And is not I that claims CO2 is the dominant driver it is Hansen. I am claiming the evidence shows CO2 can not explain the drop in temperatures and there is nothing that Hansen ever said that explains that. I personally think climate changes is affected by combination of solar, ocean and landscape factors.Perhaps you should ask Hansen the same question you misapplied to me and oddly threw out here? “Why do you insist that the few thousand-year event has to be explained by CO2 only?”
Only I would re-word it to ask you and Hansen “why do you think only 3 decades of recent rising temperatures can be explained by CO2 only.” ONce again you can’t have it both ways, as much as you try.

DAV
January 31, 2009 1:05 pm