Negative feedback in climate – empirical or emotional?

Here’s an interesting paper that breaks with consensus. The only problem is that it is being ignored for the most part by the mainstream climate community, even going so far as to having a debate over the paper’s source of data (NCEP reanalysis of radiosonde data) and declaring the data to be too “iffy”. You can read all about that debate at Climate Audit called “A peek behind the curtain“.  It is a firsthand account of the attempt at publishing from one of the authors, Garth Paltridge.  Here is how he characterized the debate at a conference:
Those ‘against’ (among them a number of people from GISS) simply said that the radiosonde data were too ‘iffy’ to report the trends publicly in a political climate where there are horrible people who might make sinful use of them. Those ‘for’ simply said that scientific reportage shouldn’t be constrained by the politically correct.
Since most of the objections seemed to be coming from GISS, who has a surface data set that one could also describe as “iffy”, I find their argument rather humorous.
What is really interesting though is this graph presented in comments at CA by Ken Gregory:
Global relative humidity 300 - 700 mb

Ken writes:

“The relevant discussion of the water vapour effect from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (Chapter 8 page 632):

The radiative effect of absorption by water vapour is roughly proportional to the logarithm of its concentration, so it is the fractional change in water vapour concentration, not the absolute change, that governs its strength as a feedback mechanism. Calculations with GCMs suggest that water vapour remains at an approximately constant fraction of its saturated value (close to unchanged relative humidity (RH)) under global-scale warming (see Section 8.6.3.1). Under such a response, for uniform warming, the largest fractional change in water vapour, and thus the largest contribution to the feedback, occurs in the upper troposphere.

This means that changes in specific humidity in the upper troposphere (300 – 700 mb) may be very significant even though the amount of water vapour there is low due to the cold temperatures.

If relative humidity remains constant, CO2 induced warming would cause increasing specific humidity and a strong positive feedback. But if relative humidity is actually falling (due to water vapour being displaced by CO2 as per Miskolczi) then water vapour may cause a negative feedback. The specific humidity has declined dramatically in 2008 at ALL levels in the troposphere.

I do not know the accuracy of the NCEP reanalysis data on upper tropospheric humidity, but the direct measurement of humidity by weather balloons seems preferable to the very indirect determination from satellite data.”

I agree.  Here is more on the paper and it’s conclusions. – Anthony

New Paper Suggests Long-Term Water Vapour Feedback is Negative

A new paper has been published in the journal of Theoretical and Applied Climatology entitled: ‘Trends in middle- and upper-level tropospheric humidity from NCEP reanalysis data’ by Garth Paltridge1 , Albert Arking2 and Michael Pook3
(1)  Environmental Biology Group, RSBS, Australian National University, GPO Box 475, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia

(2)  Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

(3)  Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Hobart, TAS, Australia

The Abstract states:
The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis data on tropospheric humidity are examined for the period 1973 to 2007. It is accepted that radiosonde-derived humidity data must be treated with great caution, particularly at altitudes above the 500 hPa pressure level. With that caveat, the face-value 35-year trend in zonal-average annual-average specific humidity q is significantly negative at all altitudes above 850 hPa (roughly the top of the convective boundary layer) in the tropics and southern midlatitudes and at altitudes above 600 hPa in the northern midlatitudes. It is significantly positive below 850 hPa in all three zones, as might be expected in a mixed layer with rising temperatures over a moist surface. The results are qualitatively consistent with trends in NCEP atmospheric temperatures (which must also be treated with great caution) that show an increase in the stability of the convective boundary layer as the global temperature has risen over the period. The upper-level negative trends in q are inconsistent with climate-model calculations and are largely (but not completely) inconsistent with satellite data. Water vapor feedback in climate models is positive mainly because of their roughly constant relative humidity (i.e., increasing q) in the mid-to-upper troposphere as the planet warms. Negative trends in q as found in the NCEP data would imply that long-term water vapor feedback is negative—that it would reduce rather than amplify the response of the climate system to external forcing such as that from increasing atmospheric CO2. In this context, it is important to establish what (if any) aspects of the observed trends survive detailed examination of the impact of past changes of radiosonde instrumentation and protocol within the various international networks.
The paper concludes:
It is of course possible that the observed humidity trends from the NCEP data are simply the result of problems with the instrumentation and operation of the global radiosonde network from which the data are derived. The potential for such problems needs to be examined in detail in an effort rather similar to the effort now devoted to abstracting real surface temperature trends from the face-value data from individual stations of the international meteorological networks. As recommended by Elliot and Gaffen (1991) in their original study of the US radiosonde network, there needs to be a detailed examination of how radiosonde instrumentation, operating procedures, and recording practices of all nations have changed over the years and of how these changes may have impacted on the humidity data.
In the meantime, it is important that the trends of water vapor shown by the NCEP data for the middle and upper troposphere should not be “written off” simply on the basis that they are not supported by climate models—or indeed on the basis that they are not supported by the few relevant satellite measurements. There are still many problems associated with satellite retrieval of the humidity information pertaining to a particular level of the atmosphere—particularly in the upper troposphere. Basically, this is because an individual radiometric measurement is a complicated function not only of temperature and humidity (and perhaps of cloud cover because “cloud clearing” algorithms are not perfect), but is also a function of the vertical distribution of those variables over considerable depths of atmosphere. It is difficult to assign a trend in such measurements to an individual cause.
Since balloon data is the only alternative source of information on the past behavior of the middle and upper tropospheric humidity and since that behavior is the dominant control on water vapor feedback, it is important that as much information as possible be retrieved from within the “noise” of the potential errors.
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153 thoughts on “Negative feedback in climate – empirical or emotional?

  1. Well there you go. The entire argument for CO2 induced warming is out with the bath water. CO2 needs the water vapor feedback to induce the “catastrophic” warming visioned by Hansen et al. CO2 on it own can not cause the warming more than it has to date due to its logarithmic nature.

  2. “The specific humidity has declined dramatically in 2008 at ALL levels in the troposphere.”
    Are we sure? Isn’t that what the data debate is about?

  3. Don’t worry, Michael Mann, et al., will valiantly ride in to the rescue of AGW hypocrisy with their “peer reviewed” data invention mechanism known as RegEM to make sure they can couple their hockey stick derived from tree-rings in North America to redefine what we know about humidity in the atmosphere.
    Mark

  4. “The radiative effect of absorption by water vapour is roughly proportional to the logarithm of its concentration, so it is the fractional change in water vapour concentration, not the absolute change, that governs its strength as a feedback mechanism.”

    Can someone provide an explanation in simple terms why this is so? And how rough is “roughly”? Is the correlation R2 = 0.9 or 0.3?
    Also, as I understand it, the data from radiosondes are even more tangled and questionable than the surface temperature record. How does this make them more preferable than satellite data? Maybe neither are adequate for the purpose they are being used.
    Just trying to understand this.

  5. Jim Arndt (08:49:52) :
    Well there you go. The entire argument for CO2 induced warming is out with the bath water.
    ———————
    I read a similar comment at CA. Went along the lines of “No positive feedback, game over for AGW”. To this longtime scientist, but relative newbie to the quantitative and pseudoquantitive aspects of AGW theory, I always thought that “water vapor positive feedback” was likely to be a convenient invention. Is there a single paper in the history of the evolution of AGW theory where it became clear, quantitatively, that CO2 couldn’t do it alone, and where an accomplice had to be invented ?? Anyone ??
    I’m sure that there are many others, besides me, who would be interested in this, so thanks in advance.

  6. The only problem is that it is being ignored for the most part by the mainstream climate community, even going so far as to having a debate over the paper’s source of data (NCEP reanalysis of radiosonde data) and declaring the data to be too “iffy”.

    One wonders how much publicity this paper would have gotten if the “iffy” data resulted in positive feedback.

  7. Bit off topic, about the protest on Monday at Capitol Hill.
    We observed the protest live and recall clearly that the protestors were anti-gas. They were against the coal powered plant being converted to gas and even shouted down one elderly politician when she said the plant could be converted to gas quickly.
    Well, it looks like more dirty tricks as history is being rewritten:
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1882700,00.html
    QUOTE:
    As it turned out, the action may have been almost too successful. On Feb. 26, just a few days before the protest, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid called for the 103-year-old plant to switch from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas, a move long pushed for by environmentalists but blocked by representatives from coal-heavy states. Protesters claimed an early victory. “Getting the plant to switch shows the power of popular pressure,” said Steven Biel, the director of Greenpeace’s global-warming campaign.

  8. Calling the surface data “iffy” is too generous by far.
    Criminal is closer to the adjective that I would use.

  9. It would certainly be more interesting to see the same graph but in term of Absolute Humidity. I can’t believe they measured the relative humidity only. Are they playing the same game as that of the Climate Change Cheerleaders by only showing graphs with negative slopes? Showing that the Absolute humidity has gone up would not undermine the real cause of global warming.
    The present graph only shows that the air at those different levels can in fact pick up more water.

  10. Leif Svalgaard (09:02:44) :
    It has warmed, so even with the same amount of water vapor, RH will go down. The change [a couple of per cent] looks reasonable for ~1 degree warming.
    —–
    That it has warmed in the last 100 years has never been contested. The cause of that warming is the core of the debate.
    If water vapor does not increase, then RH will go down as temperature increases. Again, basic science. Also completely missing the point.
    ALL, and I do mean ALL of the models predict that RH will remain constant as temperatures rise, which is the source of the positive feedback that turns the very modest temperature increases due to CO2 alone into the catastrophic predictions that justify massive govt take overs of the economy.

  11. Leif Svalgaard (09:02:44) :
    It has warmed, so even with the same amount of water vapor, RH will go down. The change [a couple of per cent] looks reasonable for ~1 degree warming.
    True, but the author claims that climate models tend to keep RH constant which means absolute humidity must increase. It’s this increase in absolute humidity that drives the positive feedback. If you believe the NCEP data (and the author is very cautious about that), the increase in absolute humidity that is at the heart of global warming theory is absent or much lower than predicted. It has warmed, but maybe not as a result of the process described in the climate models.

  12. Gary (09:23:12) :
    Also, as I understand it, the data from radiosondes are even more tangled and questionable than the surface temperature record. How does this make them more preferable than satellite data? Maybe neither are adequate for the purpose they are being used.
    I believe the distinction is that the satellites can only infer this data through indirect measurements whereas the radiosondes, with all their apparent warts, are performing direct measurements. Don’t quote me on this, however.
    Mark

  13. “One wonders how much publicity this paper would have gotten if the “iffy” data resulted in positive feedback.”
    Ross, if this analysis resulted in positive feedback, and water vapour was established as the catalyst for CO2 to create catastrophic warming, then I suppose that Hansen, Mann et al would be wanting a ban on humanity’s production and use of evil Dihydrogen Monoxide as well as CO2. Kettles would be banned and anything else that causes water to evaporate into vapour…

  14. Tropospheric…but over which continent?, over Australia?, then it is weather…
    This article remembers me of an ancient observational practice of the Incas: They used to observe the pleiads, if they were blurry to the sight, there was water up there and rain would come.

  15. DB2 (08:52:13) :
    ” “The specific humidity has declined dramatically in 2008 at ALL levels in the troposphere.”
    Are we sure? Isn’t that what the data debate is about?”
    I am sure that the NCEP reanalysis data shows the specific humidity has declined in 2008 at all levels in the troposphere.
    What debate? The issue is that there should be a debate about this, but the mainstream jounals avoid it.

  16. philincalifornia (09:24:51) :
    ” Is there a single paper in the history of the evolution of AGW theory where it became clear, quantitatively, that CO2 couldn’t do it alone, and where an accomplice had to be invented ?? Anyone ??”
    There is a vast volume of physical research on the actual heat trapping capasity of CO2. The best description I’ve seen is by Lubos Motl, a terrific physicist who perhaps is discounted by some because they assume his views on AWG are just part of his strongly held right wing beliefs.
    Lubos, like many people are convinced that CO2 can, and has warmed the climate, but the feeedbacks needed for serious warming appear to be lacking. If only CO2 is considered, we’ve already seen 2/3 of the warming we will ever induce anthropogenically.
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/06/realclimate-saturated-confusion.html

  17. Leif, buddy, noboby is dispiting that is hasn’t warmed. The data here clearly tells me that humidity has not increased with increasing CO2 and temp, like the almighty models say it should be doing. *THAT* is what we’re saying…

  18. Ray (09:55:39) :
    “It would certainly be more interesting to see the same graph but in term of Absolute Humidity. I can’t believe they measured the relative humidity only.”
    In the interest of full disclosure, here is an Excel spreadsheet with the NOAA data. Scoll down to row 72 to see a series of graphs of specific humidity.
    http://members.shaw.ca/sch25/Ken/Optical%20Depth%20Data.xls

  19. The fact that there is even a question about water vapor feedback shows how shaky the science behind alarmism is. Water vapor feedback is a pillar supporting the AGW structure.
    If the warming is constrained by negative water vapor feedback, sounding this alarm is akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater where the fire is nicely contained inside a fire box.

  20. The journals and MSM will not respond to this because “climate change” is about advocacy now and no longer about science.
    “Any further debate will only distract us and delay needed action on CO2 reduction.”

  21. For some perspective on the numbers in the above RH chart above versus the global warming models, from 1948 to 2003, GISS Model E simulations has built-in:
    – a decline in RH of 0.45% at 760MB,
    – a decline in RH of 0.26% at 630MB,
    – a decline in RH of 0.76% at 470MB,
    – an increase in RH of 0.18% at 337MB, and,
    – an increase in RH of 0.74% at 180MB.
    So, the data above is showing a decline in RH of 4.0% to 8.0% depending on height while the models have very small changes in RH built-in/assumed at these levels (with a very slight decline in the overall weighted average of RH as temperatures increase).
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/modelEt/lat_height/work/tmp.3_E3Af8aeM20_1_0112_1948_2003_1951_1980_-L3AaeoM20D_lin/mean.txt
    So, the chart and data above is very inconsistent with the models and with global warming theory so it is no wonder they don’t want the data shown (and why they don’t believe the numbers in the first place).

  22. Gary (09:23:12) :
    “The radiative effect of absorption by water vapour is roughly proportional to the logarithm of its concentration, so it is the fractional change in water vapour concentration, not the absolute change, that governs its strength as a feedback mechanism.”
    Can someone provide an explanation in simple terms why this is so? And how rough is “roughly”? Is the correlation R2 = 0.9 or 0.3?”
    The way I think of it myself is to assume that there are a finite number of photons available to be absorbed by a finite number GH gas molecules. Thus, if in the first X meters of travel 75% of the photons are absorbed, then in the second X metres 0.75*(1-0.75) will be absorbed and so on and so forth.
    Water differs from other GH gasses (like CO2) in that it varies dramatically by altitude, hence the “roughly” part.
    Cheers, 🙂

  23. Leif Svalgaard (09:02:44) :

    It has warmed, so even with the same amount of water vapor, RH will go down. The change [a couple of per cent] looks reasonable for ~1 degree warming.

    That was my first thought as well. The 700 hPa plot suggests a warming of about 1 C. But the 400 hPa plot drops from about 42% to 37% and the 300 hPa plot drops from about 47% to 37%. If we assume that temperatures at those altitudes are roughly in the -30 C – -40 C range, we need a temperature increase of at least 2 C (if my calculations are right) to see those drops in relative humidity if the amount of water stays the same. Has there been a 2 degree warming at those altitudes since 1948?

  24. Need the absolute humidity, or temperature at those mb levels. Anyone have the data source?
    philincalifornia (09:24:51) : The “no positive feedback = game over for AGW” is correct. Nailing down the level of negative feedback is extremely important, probably THE most important aspect there is. Spencer has a paper on it, but he doesn’t explain the movement of his squiggly lines well enough to have a lot of people “get it”. I’ve discussed it with him and offered to write a program to show atmospheric conditions & maps as you move along the lines, but he didn’t bite. Doing the study with a smaller focused area (column of air) in dynamic conditions (sun, clouds, convection, etc truly separating radiative and non-radiative feedbacks, would I think put the final nail in the positive feedback coffin.
    There is no doubt in my mind that the feedback is negative. I think the IPCC knows it, and they’re determined to undermine any evidence that comes along. The stakes are truly life or death for them because positive feedback is THE single factor that underpins the whole supposed catastrophe (and the largest single factor that causes all GCM’s to fail).
    Take away +feedback, then only minor temp increases are possible, no need for mitigation, economic study of impacts, tax revenue from CO2, lobbyists, transfer of wealth, etc. The entire manufactured calamity and everything surrounding it (the livelihood of thousands) implodes.
    Talk about a bailout that could actually have a positive ROI…
    I personally think there is no single more important element for the economic future of the planet than determining the direction and magnitude of this feedback. If it’s negative and we can prove it, we might be able to stop the madness and ward off the economic carnage that is about to happen through CO2 regulation. We could probably save science in the process.

  25. If the NCEP data is correct, then it is interesting that RH continued to fall even while the globe wasn’t warming during the ’50s, ’60s, and part of the ’70s; this suggests that changing H20 concentration is not dependent on temperature, but perhaps on CO2 concentration, as suggested by Miskolszi.

  26. Thanks Ken for the graphs.
    So it seems that the absolute humidity at high altitude has decreased but increased at very low and ground level. From the relatively stable high altitude temperatures, we can guess that generally it has rained more, thus maybe helping in cooling down the atmosphere. The increased humidity and temperature at ground level or near ground level seems to be the good ol’ blck body experiment. Is it a coincidence that the ground and humidity increased with the sun’s increased in activity since the LIA? The upper atmosphere does not look like it has problems getting rid of the excess heat.
    Too bad the concentration of CO2 is not reported at the different altitudes. It would be surprizing that it’s concentration is homegenous in the atmosphere since it is usually relative to the other species.

  27. Can someone who is more familiar with the numbers post what percent of forecast warming is due to positive water vapor feedback? My recollection is that it was somewhere around 2/3rd’s of the forecast warming. So just by going neutral, you would eliminate 2/3rds of the the forecast warming. And of course, if the feedback is actually negative, you loose even more of the warming – you might even loose it all and find that CO2 has no net effect on atmospheric temperatures.
    The importance of this research can not be over-emphasized if it is correct.

  28. Ross (09:39:10) :
    “The only problem is that it is being ignored for the most part by the mainstream climate community, even going so far as to having a debate over the paper’s source of data (NCEP reanalysis of radiosonde data) and declaring the data to be too “iffy”.”
    One wonders how much publicity this paper would have gotten if the “iffy” data resulted in positive feedback.

    Am I the only one that finds it odd that real recorded data are claimed to be too “iffy” yet artificial synthetic dare I say it, fabricated, data are fine in GIStemp?
    Oh, and I’m also one of the folks struggling with why RH and absolute would behave as described. I would have thought it was just the number of water molecules, not their relationship to the carrying capacity of the air… but maybe it’s not intuitive.
    And I’m still peeved that GISS can’t even get their heads around the fact that data recorded in whole degrees F can not compute accuracy in 0.01 C. How can they criticize real data and use fantasies to do it?
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/mr-mcguire-would-not-approve/

  29. Re
    Shawn H. (10:58:57) :
    Gary (09:23:12) :
    “The radiative effect of absorption by water vapour is roughly proportional to the logarithm of its concentration, so it is the fractional change in water vapour concentration, not the absolute change, that governs its strength as a feedback mechanism.”
    Can someone provide an explanation in simple terms why this is so? And how rough is “roughly”? Is the correlation R2 = 0.9 or 0.3?”
    The way I think of it myself is to assume that there are a finite number of photons available to be absorbed by a finite number GH gas molecules. Thus, if in the first X meters of travel 75% of the photons are absorbed, then in the second X metres 0.75*(1-0.75) will be absorbed and so on and so forth.
    Water differs from other GH gasses (like CO2) in that it varies dramatically by altitude, hence the “roughly” part.
    Cheers, 🙂
    The logarithm growth has to do with the line profile of the spectral lines (spectral lines aren’t sharp, they’re bell shapped like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voigt_profile )
    Once the concentration is sufficient so that the center of the line is 100% opaque (absorbs light completely) the center of the line can’t absorb more, however the wings can absorb more with increased concentation of the molecule. As more molecules are added, the wings grow deeper and wider logarithmically with the concentration, so the total opacity of the molecule increases logarithmically with concentration.

  30. Michael D Smith
    I personally think there is no single more important element for the economic future of the planet than determining the direction and magnitude of this feedback.
    I agree whole heartedly with this. What I find difficult to understand is why, apparently, so few scientists are giving the subject their attention. Is it lack of data? It couldn’t be because the IPCC (and followers) knows it, as you say?

  31. Also, as I understand it, the data from radiosondes are even more tangled and questionable than the surface temperature record. How does this make them more preferable than satellite data? Maybe neither are adequate for the purpose they are being used.

    It doesn’t much matter if the radiosondes are accurate or not, as long as any errors consistent and they have the trend right.

  32. Well I haven’t digested the above to the point where I can say I know what they are talking about; BUT (sorry about the caps foinavon) !!
    I just go back to Wentz et al, July 2007 SCIENCE.
    “How much more Rain will Global Warming bring ?”
    According to Wentz (RSS, Santa Rosa CA), a 1 deg C increase in mean global surface temperature results in a 7% increase in global evaporation, total atmospheric water content, and total Global precipitation.
    The GCMs on the other hand agree with Wentz on the 7% increase in total atmospheric water content; but claim that the increase in global evaporation and global precipitation (which must be equal) is only 1-3%, as much as seven times lower than the total atmospheric water increase.
    Now that does not sound to me like a formula for declining relative humidity, having the total increasing 7 times faster than the rate of input and output?
    But all that aside; whether water vapor can itself produce negative feedback (as well as positive feedback); water in the form of clouds (solid and liquid) can most certainly lead to negative feedback (surface) cooling. Seen any peer reviewed papers on the warming observed when a cloud passes in front of the sun, lately ?
    So if water vapor too can produce negative feedback as well as clouds; that doesn’t hold out much hope for a positive feedback enhancement of puny CO2 effects.
    At least one mechanism where water can produce cooling, is in the direct absorption of incoming solar spectrum radiation starting at about 750 nm in the (very) near IR. Something like 45% of the total air mass zero solar spectrum energy is above 750 nm, and with all the water bands starting out there and continuing to beyond 20 microns, the water may take out fully half of that 45%. (I can’t integrate by eye).
    That leads to warming the atmosphere directly; which presumably also leads to convective transport into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, were condensation and maybe freezing will dump out huge amounts of latent heat to radiate to space.
    CO2 on the other hand only has very weak molecular absorptions in the tail of the solar spectrum; so has little direct effect on the incoming solar energy.
    I’d sure like to know more about this above report and research.
    Well I’ve always believed that water is king and has full control of the earth’s temperature (other than the sun bringing the food).
    George

  33. coaldust (10:43:10) : If the warming is constrained by negative water vapor feedback, sounding this alarm is akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater where the fire is nicely contained inside a fire box.
    I like your analogy, but given that the ‘fire’ is a simulated one in a computer, I’d change it to “nicely contained on the movie screen”…

  34. Ross wrote:
    “One wonders how much publicity this paper would have gotten if the “iffy” data resulted in positive feedback.”
    A million times more, give or take an order of magnitude.

  35. “…as suggested by Miskolczi.”
    Ferenc Miskolczi’s equations got a lot of attention for a brief time last year, but there seems to be nothing in his work to explain why CO2 would displace H2O or otherwise cause its concentration to be reduced. If it remains a “just so” story, then Miskolczi’s equations remain as an indication of a place to look but not a solution to the question.

  36. Steinar Midtskogen (10:58:58) : If we assume that temperatures at those altitudes are roughly in the -30 C – -40 C range, we need a temperature increase of at least 2 C (if my calculations are right) to see those drops in relative humidity if the amount of water stays the same. Has there been a 2 degree warming at those altitudes since 1948?
    If I’m following this right, you are saying that as the temperature goes up, the RH goes down, and the GHG potential goes down with it, all else held static.
    Isn’t that, on the face of it, negative feedback? THE dominant GHG drops in activity as temperatures rise? It can’t be that simple…

  37. This is all well and good, but there’s one question I’ve never heard adequately addressed.
    Let’s stipulate for the moment that more Co2 absorbs radiation, which warms the atmosphere, which increases evaporation rates, which increases the humidity, which increases the radiative absorption potential from the surface.
    However, isn’t the most significant effect of increased evaporation and humidity increased cloud formation?? Doesn’t the reduction of radiation reaching the surface by clouds more than overwhelm any minor increased capacity for absorption?
    Are these not the same people that warn us of the danger of nuclear winter?? Do they not need some ‘nuclear summer’ scenario for consistency?
    Is it not on balance cloudier in tropical regions than arid desert regions? And this makes it hotter??
    It seems entirely plausible to my simple mind that increased temperature leads simply to faster cloud formation, more frequent rainfall, more plant growth, more oxygen, et cetera.. Hawaiification, if you will.. 🙂
    Isn’t that really more likely than humidity induced deserts?

  38. By the way, NCDC has the February numbers for North America. This February was a bit warmer than last February.

  39. It would be interesting to see the integral of the total vertical water amount on that graph as well as well as the integral of the heat of vaporization.

  40. How about we change relative humidity to dewpoint? That would tell us if there was actaully more or less vapor in the atmosphere, independent of temperature.

  41. This chart shows the greatest water concentration losses at the least pressures highest altitudes therefore suggesting a warming and evaporation to the even less water populated lower stratosphere.
    Interestingly and a a bit of an aside. water levels in the lower to higher stratosphere are supposed to have Risen over this time scale or certainly the last thirty years. it has been deemed responsible for cooling in the lower and mid stratosphere as a result of the development of clouds and the prevention of ozone formation. this chart shows the greatest water concentration losses at the least pressures therefore suggesting a warming and evaporation to the even less water populated lower stratosphere.
    perhaps these stratospheric clouds (formed at lowest temperatures eg 2008)are affecting whats below and/or (in warmer times) secondly have been enjoying the enhanced transportation of moisture from the trophosphere upwards as a result of a warmer trophosphere.
    other effects can be large scale volcanic eruptions apparently obviously these are obviously more imortant for the stratosphere although there may be a diffusion down to the top levels of the trophosphere.
    as for a cooler 2008 proably less moisture reaching any part of the upper atmosphere.
    some papers for startospheric water vapour ….
    Increase in lower-stratospheric water vapour at a mid-latitude Northern Hemisphere site from 1981 to 1994
    by S. J. Oltmans & D. J. Hofmann
    also there seem to be many works by Forser and Shine amongst others on this topic in the stratosphere

  42. Gary (09:23:12) : Also, as I understand it, the data from radiosondes are even more tangled and questionable than the surface temperature record.
    Can someone educate us on radiosonde data, i.e. what they are and why the data are so tangled?
    –Mark

  43. Ken, check your claims and wording-it is indeed true that your graphs (in the excel sheet) show declining specific humidity at many levels, but near the surface they do show an increase (which is exactly what the paper the study we are talking about says). However, I suspect you meant Relative humidity, which your graphs do show as decreasing at all levels (BTW, are the RH data smoothed? They seem unnaturally unchaotic for weather/climate data).

  44. Leif Svalgaard (09:02:44) :
    It has warmed, so even with the same amount of water vapor, RH will go down. The change [a couple of per cent] looks reasonable for ~1 degree warming.

    I looked at UAH data. At 600 mb 2009 is colder than the 20yr average and approaching the “record” coldest year of 2008. Doesn’t agree with the above.

  45. MarkW (09:57:21) :
    Mike Abbott (10:03:03) :
    So? it simply means that models don’t work. What is so earthshaking about that? Didn’t you assume that from the outset?

  46. D Werme (10:40:16) :
    philincalifornia (09:24:51) :
    ” Is there a single paper in the history of the evolution of AGW theory where it became clear, quantitatively, that CO2 couldn’t do it alone, and where an accomplice had to be invented ?? Anyone ??”
    —————————-
    Thanks for the link. I will read avidly. I was, however, looking for something a little different – more psychiatry than physical chemistry. Is there an IPCC-type paper (preferably somewhat readable) where the authors explain how there has to be positive feedback from somewhere, because the CO2 calculations don’t cut it, and because water vapor was the nearest bystander, it was arrested and charged as an accomplice of that dastardly CO2 for its crimes against humanity ?? In other words, something akin to a “we-must-get-rid-of-the-MWP”-moment ??

  47. E.M.Smith (12:04:02) :
    I like your analogy, but given that the ‘fire’ is a simulated one in a computer, I’d change it to “nicely contained on the movie screen”…

    Was that movie perhaps starring Al Gore?

  48. Wow, within your first sentence you set the tone with an ad-hominem. Good job chriscolose! You are obviously just as objective as we all would suspect.
    Mark

  49. The rainforests, however, will dry out and cause enormous positive feedbacks…
    NPR: A Drying Amazon Could Speed Climate Change

    Nepstad says as the climate warms, the Amazon could be caught in a feedback loop, whereby warmer Atlantic waters continue to dry out the Amazon, which in turn contributes more carbon to the atmosphere and accelerates warming.
    Phillips is cautious about predicting whether the slip from carbon sink to source will become more frequent. But he notes that computer models of how climate may change in the future do predict a drying of the Amazon and says this latest research confirms those models, at least for one year.
    The findings are published in this week’s issue of the journal Science.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101422948

  50. Mark T,
    I don’t know what you expect. This is science, not pre-K anymore. We can’t just go around saying whatever we feel like because “we have the right to” and not expect people to be critical. I was critical (maybe overly so)…get over it.

  51. I’m sure that the AGW side can some up with some upper wind related measurement to shows that the humidity is actually increased not decreased as observational evidence would strongly say, and we shall have radiosone data consigned to the box as “evil observations” calculated with “death balloons”!
    Sorry, could not resist that!
    Now back to these very serious results that have placed another very large hole in the CO2 positive feed-back theory.

  52. So if there’s an iffy study that shows global warming will cause hurricanes to jump out of smokestacks and attack New Orleans, that is ok to publish and terrorize the public with. But if there is an iffy study that shows a this type of feedback in the climate system is a scientific possibility, it must not be released to the public at all!
    Now with arguments like this going on, what does this say about the claimed confidence intervals on IPCC studies. THey can’t even get the signs of major components right, but they’re 95% certain we are all doomed 100 years from now anyways. I’m guessing this means their 95% confidence intervals are BASED ON THEIR ASSUMPTIONS HAVING NO ERROR. What an amazing and utter lack of humility!

  53. I don’t know what you expect. This is science, not pre-K anymore. We can’t just go around saying whatever we feel like because “we have the right to” and not expect people to be critical. I was critical (maybe overly so)…get over it.
    Wow, you do it again.
    I don’t expect anything, but if you wish to sling ad-hominems don’t expect people to treat you with any more respect than you give out.
    If you don’t like Anthony’s site, then leave. If you think the paper is wrong, then post your review. It was reviewed by others that apparently disagree with you, though I don’t know one way or another. However, by beginning your review with an ad-hominem, you instantly cast a shadow on your objectivity. By following up with yet another, you seal the deal.
    Mark

  54. Well chriscolose that link added less than nothing to the debate. Why did you think linking to what is clearly a religious screed would illuminate a scientific issue.
    Models are not data, they are not science, if they don’t match the data they are garbage pure and simple. Seriously do you expect people to hold on to “improvede theoretical and model based approachs” after they are proven to be without merit. The models need a lot more improving at the moment, right now the actual data suggests that water vapor feedbacks are most likely negative overall. The huge positive water vapor feedback assumed by the IPCC scenarios is clearly not supported by the data. Just because we thought it should happen doesn’t mean it is happening. You need either real data to show that the feedback is as you claim or you need a new model.
    Everything you reference goes back to models and as to the specific models… Garbage in garbage out.

  55. Leif Svalgaard (13:14:14) :
    MarkW (09:57:21) :
    Mike Abbott (10:03:03) :
    So? it simply means that models don’t work. What is so earthshaking about that? Didn’t you assume that from the outset?
    —–
    If the models don’t work, then there is nothing supporting the position of the alarmists.
    If there is nothing supporting the position of the alarmists, then there is no reason to commit to limiting CO2 in the atmosphere.
    That is a very big acknowledgement, given how much political capital has been sunk into these schemes the last few decades.

  56. Leif Svalgaard (13:14:14) :
    MarkW (09:57:21) :
    Mike Abbott (10:03:03) :
    So? it simply means that models don’t work. What is so earthshaking about that? Didn’t you assume that from the outset?

    “Don’t work” is one thing; generating results that may be ass backwards (i.e., putting the wrong sign on the most important feedback) is another…

  57. “”” Bill (12:22:06) :
    This is all well and good, but there’s one question I’ve never heard adequately addressed.
    However, isn’t the most significant effect of increased evaporation and humidity increased cloud formation?? Doesn’t the reduction of radiation reaching the surface by clouds more than overwhelm any minor increased capacity for absorption? “””
    Well you haven’t been reading my stuff Bill; because I have been harping on that very point for ages.
    Go and read SCIENCE July 2007. “How much more rain will global warming bring. ” by Wentz et al.
    They report from actual real observational satellite measurments (data) that a 1 deg C rise in mean global (surface) temperature gives 7% increase in total global evaporation, total atmospheric water content, and total global precipitation.
    In meteorology and climate science there is a tradition to have precipitation usually be accompanied by clouds; and those clouds are more often than not somewhat dark underneath, which has been ascribed to a combination of reflection of sunlight off the top (albedo increase), and absorption of additional sunlight in the middle of the cloud.
    From that, one can deduce that more clouds mean less sunlight reaching the surface, which means surface cooling (negative feedback).
    Globally over the long haul, the total evaporation and the total precipitation have to be equal, or else we would end up with the oceans over our heads; or the mother of all droughts.
    Cloud scientists keep on insisting that there is no increase in clouds when it gets warmer; they omit saying that there is no known method (in use) for monitoring total global cloud cover all over the planet 24 hours a day (at every point on earth); and there certainly isn’t any system in use for measuring the ground level solar irradiance at all points on earth 24 hours a day. Nor is there even a good sampling process for doing that.
    The best they can do is gaze at the backside of the moon (not sunlit); which only reports the sunlight reflected from a part of the earth, part of the time.
    All that extra rainfall (when its warmer) has to be blocking some sun somewhere sometime.
    George

  58. So I’ll bite !
    Just what the blazes is 300-700 mb ? Would that be millibarns, or is that some other unit; and unit of what ? and how does it relate to relative humidity ?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

  59. Those ‘against’ (among them a number of people from GISS) simply said that the radiosonde data were too ‘iffy’ to report the trends publicly in a political climate where there are horrible people who might make sinful use of them.

    I hope to hell the people on this board are not surprised that this kind of attitude not only exists, but controls much of what they read or see in the media about MANY issues.

  60. My question might be a stupid one, but here goes nothing. 🙂
    Sure, the data source is iffy – there have been equipment and methodology changes through the years. But the results show a clear downward trend. If the changes in results through the years could be pinned on equipment changes, measuring bias, or other such things, wouldn’t you see step changes in the data? Or is it homogenized over a number of sources that changed gradually at different rates so that the steps are “hidden” in the blend?
    Even so, why is there a clear downward trend – wouldn’t all these changes add up to noise with just as much chance as going up as down? I think the real story here is the forest, not all the little factors involved with each tree.

  61. I think I am missing something from Ken;’s comment.
    “the specific humidity has declined dramatically in 2008 at ALL levels in the troposphere”
    The graph in the post only goes through 2006, how dramatic is the decline in 2008? And do we have a better measurement of atmospheric humidity in the last few years that might give us some new insights into a dramatic decline? Can the recent data be linked somehow with a dramatic decline in solar activity and provide a causal explanation for reduced midwest stream flows after solar minimums?

  62. A new paper by Falvey and Garreaud, from the University of Chile, looking at surface and radiosonde temperature data along the Chilean coast has been published in JGR. The conclusions may be of interest here. The abstract is given below. The results show marked cooling along the coast over the period 1979-2006.
    Regional cooling in a warming world: Recent temperature trends in
    the southeast Pacific and along the west coast of subtropical South
    America (1979–2006)
    Mark Falvey1 and Rene´ D. Garreaud1
    Received 30 May 2008; revised 13 November 2008; accepted 9 December 2008; published 18 February 2009.
    [1] While it is widely accepted that the global mean atmospheric temperature has
    increased in recent decades, the spatial distribution of global warming has been complex.
    In this study we comprehensively characterize the spatial pattern, including vertical
    structure, of temperature trends along the subtropical west coast of South America
    (continental Chile) for the period 1979–2006 and examine their consistency with
    expectations based on the CMIP-3 ensemble of coupled ocean-atmosphere simulations for
    the late 20th century. In central and northern Chile (17_–37_S) the most notable feature is
    a strong contrast between surface cooling at coastal stations (_0.2_C/decade) and
    warming in the Andes (+0.25_C/decade), only 100–200 km further inland. Coastal
    radiosonde data imply that the coast-Andes variation is largely due to strong vertical
    stratification of temperature trends in the atmosphere west of the Andes. The coastal
    cooling appears to form part of a larger-scale, La Nin˜a-like pattern and may extend below
    the ocean mixed layer to depths of at least 500 m. Over continental Chile the CMIP-3
    GCM ensemble predicts temperature trends similar to those observed in the Andes. The
    cooling along the Chilean coast is not reproduced by the models, but the mean SST
    warming is weaker there than any other part of the world except the Southern Ocean. It is
    proposed that the intensification of the South Pacific Anticyclone during recent decades,
    which is also a simulated consequence of global warming, is likely to play a major role in
    maintaining cooler temperatures off the coast of Chile.
    Citation: Falvey, M., and R. D. Garreaud (2009), Regional cooling in a warming world: Recent temperature trends in the southeast
    Pacific and along the west coast of subtropical South America (1979–2006), J. Geophys. Res., 114, D04102,
    doi:10.1029/2008JD010519.

  63. OT but it is about water:-
    Cubbie given more time to pay
    Cubbie Group, whose accounts show the June book value of its land, improvements and water rights was $410.2 million, breached covenants on $269 million of bank loans midway through last year. It has $380 million in liabilities.
    It had until December to repay a short-term loan of $63 million and fix its situation but was unable to, leaving it at the mercy of its bankers.

    Looks like they are overleveraged and may have serious problems in the near future!
    This is the company that, with the connivance of the QLD gov, has managed to block the Murray-Darling catchment area and keep all the water for themselves (as long as they can pay the license)!
    See the area between St George and Dirranbandi, Qld on Google maps/earth, whatever –
    Here I hope

  64. Steinar Midtskogen (10:58:58) : If we assume that temperatures at those altitudes are roughly in the -30 C – -40 C range, we need a temperature increase of at least 2 C (if my calculations are right) to see those drops in relative humidity if the amount of water stays the same. Has there been a 2 degree warming at those altitudes since 1948?
    No. Download the excel sheet linked above. Air temp in C is listed in a table. Most I looked at (easiest to chart and hover over the lines) have warmed about 0.7°C.
    I would also say looking at the data, that any errors in the method must be quite consistent to produce such smooth lines in each measurement. Can’t speak for bias or accuracy, but in terms of noise, there doesn’t seem to be much, which indicates either smoothing (likely over many radiosondes over many places at many times of year), or a pretty good method of joining all the data together. I would have expected a lot more noise just due to the nature of the beast.
    Any method which does that makes me think the instrumentation and the method can’t be that bad or errors would be evident as noise (like the surface record). These curves are too consistent to have a whole lot of error that is not explainable or fixable if someone claims a bias or other measurement issue.
    I don’t see any step changes or other weird artifacts that anyone could point to to trash the entire data set, so if there are any specific arguments against the data I’d sure like to know what they are so the impact of the errors can be evaluated.
    Almost looks too perfect. Even the 1000mb data (near surface, like 100+m) looks unlike the surface record. If this data is right, then maybe the surface temp noise is nearly ALL UHI!

  65. AKD – good thing there is the Pacific Ocean on the other side to replenish the water losses.

  66. Regional cooling in a warming world:

    Doesn’t anyone else see the problem with this? The abstract seems to essentially state that warming causes cooling. Once again, it aint “global” is it.

  67. ” Ian Holton (14:54:59) :
    300millibars is 30,000ft above MSL and 700mbs is 10,000ft above MSL.”
    There is considerable variation with latitude and season.

  68. “a drying of the Amazon and says this latest research confirms those models, at least for one year.”
    Really preposterous. The trouble right now it is the opposite!. La Nina dries the west coast of south america, and wets the east side- except for a part of argentinian “pampa”-(in between there is a high mountain chain: The Andes), ”
    We are prepared for supplying you all the food the hungry GWrs will need (specially a very fat one :))

  69. Sorry it’s OT but a British Government Minister, Douglas Alexander, has just been in BBC TV’s Question Time commenting on out beloved leader’s recent address to Congress. Apparently, the main imperative driving the climate change debate is jobs….

  70. MarkW @ 13:59:00
    Look at Ken’s charts and data @ Ken Gregory 10:42:30
    In the interest of full disclosure, here is an Excel spreadsheet with the NOAA data. Scoll down to row 72 to see a series of graphs of specific humidity.
    http://members.shaw.ca/sch25/Ken/Optical%20Depth%20Data.xls

    NOAA’s very own data show specific humidity is decreasing, although all the climate models predict (or assume) that this should be increasing under Mann Made Global Warming. Is it time to use the F***d” word?

  71. George E. Smith (11:56:06) : According to Wentz (RSS, Santa Rosa CA), a 1 deg C increase in mean global surface temperature results in a 7% increase in global evaporation, total atmospheric water content, and total Global precipitation.
    Reminds me of a counter current stripper. Shower cold water droplets through the air column to strip out the cold water soluble CO2.
    Are there any papers / data / whatever about CO2 stripping via rainfall? If more CO2 just cranks up the rain stripper, it’s self limiting.

  72. chriscolose (13:19:34) :
    From your link:
    “So, if RH were actually declining, it could simply be that the water vapor feedback is positive but less powerful than the mainstream science suggests.”
    It is an interesting choice of words “mainstream science…” since by all appearances, discussion and understanding of climate feedbacks of all manner, especially water vapor is at its infancy. Your argument strikes me as the equivalent of statements like, “because of global warming, it is less cold.”
    It seems somewhat straight forward – if RH declines so must the GH effect.
    Mark Nodine (12:54:10) :
    Can someone educate us on radiosonde data, i.e. what they are and why the data are so tangled?
    Don’t know about the recent equipment but here is an interesting history of radiosondes: http://tinyurl.com/b67a9n

  73. Leif Svalgaard (09:02:44) :
    It has warmed, so even with the same amount of water vapor, RH will go down. The change [a couple of per cent] looks reasonable for ~1 degree warming.
    Leif, my Q is…
    If the models need RH to stay constant so that AH goes up with the warming induced by CO2/H2O, then we can only assume that CO2 has not caused the warming, and that there is another cause ?
    If RH has in fact gone down proportionally to rising temperature, then this means that the entire CO2 AGW model is completely wrong. No wonder GISS is looking for a faulty sensor explanation. Otherwise, it’s game over !

  74. Roger (11:41:52) :
    Perhaps the models should also factor in some relative humility

    I would rather see absolute humility, rather than relative humility.

  75. George E. Smith (14:20:59) :
    So I’ll bite !
    Just what the blazes is 300-700 mb ? Would that be millibarns, or is that some other unit; and unit of what ? and how does it relate to relative humidity ?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    George, “bar” is a unit of pressure measurement, roughly equivalent to one atmosphere or 14.7 psia (pounds per square inch absolute). A millibar (mb) is one one-thousandth of a bar. It is merely a way to measure small changes in pressure without resorting to lots of decimals.
    Thus, 500 millibar is roughly 7.35 psia.
    Hope this helps.

  76. In the meantime, it is important that the trends of water vapor shown by the NCEP data for the middle and upper troposphere should not be “written off” simply on the basis that they are not supported by climate models
    Did he really say that? I guess you really have to do some serious sucking up to get a paper published these days…

  77. crosspatch (12:35:07) :
    By the way, NCDC has the February numbers for North America. This February was a bit warmer than last February.

    That’s amazingly counter-intuitive. massive snowfalls, record local cold – and yet warmer – what are they actually measuring?

  78. oops, make that 300 mb is roughly 30,000 feet above sea level. I ought to be able to read a table better than that, after all these years!
    [grin]

  79. CO2 + H2O = H2CO3
    this bicarbonate then falls in the rain stripping both CO2 and H2O?
    Oh God save me from another carbonate chemistry thread… but … is anyone looking at the chemistry of cloud formation and what it might mean for both H2O and CO2 residence?
    (and I just know it will end up dragging in whatever that stuff was the plankton put into the air that increases rainfall … and NH4 and … )

  80. Anthony,
    We shall see whether the Paltrige et.al paper survives not only the scientific but more importantly the very political meat grinder because the implications of its [careful] conclusions are clearly far reaching.
    You might want to take a look a Willie Soon’s [ at Harvard Smithsonian] latest paper published in Physical Geography which shows a high correlation between solar activity and changes/fluctuations in surface temperatures in the Arctic, also showing that no such correlations exist for CO2.
    Regards and keep up the good work.

  81. Jeff Alberts (15:42:42) :
    Regional cooling in a warming world:
    Doesn’t anyone else see the problem with this? The abstract seems to essentially state that warming causes cooling. Once again, it aint “global” is it.

    Fits a framework of explanation based on cyclic ocean currents – warm in one area – cool in another… But not a framework based on well mixed CO2 driving global temperature rises everywhere.

  82. “”” novoburgo (15:42:45) :
    ” Ian Holton (14:54:59) :
    300millibars is 30,000ft above MSL and 700mbs is 10,000ft above MSL.”
    There is considerable variation with latitude and season. “””
    Wunnerful ! simply wunnerful. Measure something else and then assume a relationship (quite arbitrary) between that and what you wanted to know. Seems like typical climate science though.
    Those Japanese Ancient Astrologers are looking better all the time.

  83. Bob S. Thank you for the Chilean paper… perhaps those who are familiar with Marcel Leroux work are not so surprised by this observation “In central and northern Chile (17_–37_S) the most notable feature is a strong contrast between surface cooling at coastal stations (_0.2_C/decade) and warming in the Andes (+0.25_C/decade), only 100–200 km further inland. Coastal radiosonde data imply that the coast-Andes variation is largely due to strong vertical stratification of temperature trends in the atmosphere west of the Andes.”

  84. Regarding “problematic” radiosonde data due to difference in methodology and countries over time, surely it should be possible to sample a few of the best cases against themself to see if they support the overall trend or not?
    Sounds like a perfect case for Steve McIntyre to ply his skills on to me.

  85. Re the above, by “best” I mean most internally homogeneous and best understood as to what/how it was done and over what time frames, and preferably minimizing local contamination over the history.

  86. Does anybody have a brief description of why the radiosonde data is considered iffy? There seems to be a “consensus” that the data is flawed.
    I hope they didn’t send them aloft with the bar-b-que attached.

  87. You can have a pair of system, water/hot dry air and water/cold damp air that have IDENTICAL heat contents. A classically trained physicist will hate the former and conclude that it is a disequilibrium; but that is the point. The Earth is not an equilibrium it is a whole set of quasi-steady states. If air temperature is up, but water content is down, the system is thermally the same.

  88. George E. Smith (14:20:59) :
    So I’ll bite !
    Just what the blazes is 300-700 mb ? Millibars, George. Same as hectoPascals. Unit of pressure in MKS system. 1 bar approximately is standard atmospheric pressure. Actually 1.01325 bar.
    Interesting, the Michael Pook who is one of the co-authors seems to be the same as the bloke who was my predecessor as base meteorologist at RAAF Pearce in 1972.
    For the sensible people here, ignore chriscolose. He’s an utter troll who made a lot of noises over at Jennifer Marohasy’s blog a while back.

  89. Gary P (17:20:19) : “Does anybody have a brief description of why the radiosonde data is considered iffy? There seems to be a “consensus” that the data is flawed.”
    As far as I can tell, it is because the measured data doesn’t find a ‘hot-spot’ in troposphere near the tropics as predicted by warming theory. More than 200,000 radiosonde reports over several decades from various countries fail to show it.
    For those who want to know more about how radiosondes actually measure the atmosphere, and what they measure and report, google “FMH3” to find and download the Federal Meteorological Handbook 3. All you want to know, and more is right there.
    By the way — these RAOBS are not produced by untrained volunteers — this is professionals doing a job, not the joke that USCHN is.

  90. From the spreadsheet linked above which covers almost the entire troposphere,
    http://members.shaw.ca/sch25/Ken/Optical%20Depth%20Data.xls
    I calculated the weighted average water vapour numbers and there is more-or-less constant Specific Humidity over the period for every year – ie. there is NO water vapour feedback AT ALL (either positive or negative).
    The weighted average relative humidity numbers show a decline of 4.0% (percentage points) about the same as the temperature increase of 3.5% – ie constant specific humidity.
    This is for the surface at 1050 MB all the way up to near the top of the troposphere where the vast, vast majority of the water vapour is. And the numbers are not very far off the figures from Andrew Dessler’s paper for the changes from 2007 to 2008.
    That means the global warming models are not correct with respect to relative humidity and specific humidity and the increase in temps from a doubling of CO2 is back to the basic physics calculations of 1.2C per doubling (with no water vapour feedback and closer to what the actual temperature trend to date also indicates).
    Again, no wonder they don’t want these numbers shown.

  91. Radiosonde data is iffy. Nearly as iffy as RegEm PC 3 and Bristle Cones. Give it another three years and there may be justification for a cooling trend. Then there can be a more concrete conversation. Bad thing about trends is that they are a lot like predicting a bottom in the market. 7800 Dow I thought was a bottom. Now 6500 looks more like the real deal. How high is your confidence level, based on rational reasoning, not the mind numbed BS of the parrots? Remember, the fate of the world rests on your decision. Can you evaluate things without allowing personal bias?
    That is my problem. There are a few real points of intelligent contention and there are thousands of red herrings. While the web is a wonderful thing, too many dumbasses spoil the debate. It is time to narrow the discussion to real points worthy of debate.

  92. Bill Illis
    I don’t understand
    HELP ME:
    Citation: Paltridge, G. W., G. D. Farquhar, and M. Cuntz (2007), Maximum entropy production, cloud feedback, and climate change, Geophys. Res. Lett.,34, L14708
    Garth W. Paltridge
    Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
    A steady-state energy-balance climate model based on a global constraint of maximum entropy production is used to examine cloud feedback and the response of surface temperature T to doubled atmospheric CO2. The constraint ensures that change in zonal cloud amount necessarily involves change in the convergence KX of meridional energy flow. Without other feedbacks, the changes in , KX and T range from about 2%, 2 Wm−2 and 1.5 K respectively at the equator to −2%, −2 Wm−2 and 0.5 K at the poles. Global-average cloud effectively remains unchanged with increasing CO2 and has little effect on global-average temperature. Global-average cloud decreases with increasing water vapour and amplifies the positive feedback of water vapour and lapse rate. The net result is less cloud at all latitudes and a rise in T of the order of 3 K at the equator and 1 K at the poles. Ice-albedo and solar absorption feedbacks are not considered.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL029925.shtml
    sorry

  93. Bill, your averaging is not appropriate. Different levels have different expectations of change and where the changes occur gives weight to there significance, as different levels of the atmosphere have different levels of humidity, and GHE is log of concentration. It looks to me like, difficulties with the data not withstanding, the feedback is suggested to be negative by the balloon data.
    Rod Smith: It is my understanding that there are serious in inhomogeneities in the radiosonde data due to change overs in the instrumentation and other problems for example:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3062
    I’ll believe the adjustments are done correctly when there seems to be some kind of agreement between various groups about how to fix the data sets. For now, I cannot just take the data at face value without be aware of and noting the caveats. Radiosondes seem to be better set up for weather rather than climate monitoring at the moment.

  94. Its an interesting study. An overlay of the mean temperatures would be interesting.. I think too turn youre back on something because it dosnt fit into youre preconceived ideas is ludicrous. Obviously an area that needs further study. Id also be curious too know if the figures for wind intensity/persistence etc show much variation in relation to climate and what effect that could have on RH.

  95. It’s the Sun, stupid!
    New direct evidence demonstrate that changes in solar activity influence climate
    Willie Soon
    http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/pdf/Willie_Soon-Its_the_Sun_Stupid.pdf
    We have known for nearly 80 years that small changes in solar activity can cause large climatic changes. Where sunlight falls, for how long, and with what effect, determine how climate will respond.
    The most recent scientific evidence shows that even small changes in solar radiation have a strong effect on Earth’s temperature and climate.
    I recently discovered direct evidence that changes in solar activity have influenced what has been called the “conveyor-belt” circulation of the great Atlantic Ocean currents over the past 240 years. For instance, solar-driven changes in temperature, and in the volume of freshwater output from the Arctic, cause variations in sea surface temperature in the tropical Atlantic 5-20 years later.
    These previously undocumented results have been published in the journal Physical Geography. They make it difficult to maintain that changes in solar activity play an insignificant role in climate change, especially over the Arctic.

  96. There are several papers (journal papers, poster sessions, and conference presentations) that are talking about the interconnections of Earth’s orbit, rotation, trade winds, and SST showing some predictability and correlations with atmospheric temperature trends. If you google “pacific sea surface temperatures” you will find lots to read in terms of abstracts but if you want to read the whole thing you have to fork over.

  97. Nature, Not Human Activity,
    Rules the Climate
    Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the
    Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change
    Edited by S. Fred Singer
    http://www.sepp.org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf
    Our concern about the environment, going back some 40 years, has taught us important lessons. It is one thing to impose drastic measures and harsh economic penalties when an environmental problem is clear-cut and severe. It is foolish to do so when the problem is largely hypothetical and not substantiated by observations. As NIPCC shows by offering an independent, non-governmental ‘second opinion’ on the ‘global warming’ issue, we do not currently have any convincing evidence or observations of significant climate change from other than natural causes.
    We donated our time and best efforts to produce this report out of concern that the IPCC was provoking an irrational fear of anthropogenic global warming based on incomplete and faulty science. Global warming hype has led to demands for unrealistic efficiency standards for cars, the construction of uneconomic wind and solar energy stations, the establishment of large production facilities for uneconomic biofuels such as ethanol from corn, requirements that electric companies purchase expensive power from so-called ‘renewable’energy sources, and plans to sequester, at considerable expense, carbon dioxide emitted from power plants. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with initiatives to increase energy efficiency or diversify energy sources, they cannot be justified as a realistic means to control climate.
    “…policies have been developed that try to hide the huge cost of greenhouse gas controls, such as cap and trade, a Clean Development Mechanism, carbon offsets, and similar schemes that enrich a few at the expense of the rest of us.
    NIPCC is what its name suggests: an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change. Because we are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, we are able to look at evidence the IPCC ignores. Because we do not work for any governments, we are not biased toward the assumption that greater government regulation is necessary to avert imagined catastrophes.

  98. Mike Bryant
    Thanks for the reference to the UAH satellite data and for pointing to the Chilean coast. Perhaps, even if we take nothing more from the Chilean paper, it is good to see a nice correspondence between the temperature trend numbers from the satellite data and those from the upper air measurements for the region.

  99. ” Michael D Smith (11:05:19) : …If it’s negative and we can prove it, we might be able to stop the madness and ward off the economic carnage that is about to happen through CO2 regulation.”
    If record cold, record snow, and a cooling trend in the earth won’t change a politician’s mind I don’t think a graph in a journal will do the trick either.
    But maybe I’m jaded.

  100. Ed Scott, I’m a little underwhelmed by Soon’s essay. I have read his papers so I expected that he would present the evidence to back up his claims, but as it stands, its just an abstract/polemic. Mind you, I do think that the sun is a key element in climate change.

  101. 0.1 PERCENTER
    http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/irradiance.gif
    about 2W/m^2, which is
    0.15% higher irradiation, or
    about 2 joules/(m^2*s)
    Now estimate how much reaches the Earth in a day…
    (exclude poles)
    2/3 Earth surface area is about 131,293,600 miles^2
    = 340,048,861 km^2
    = 340,048,861,000,000 m^2
    Flux = 680,097,722,000,000 joules/sec
    assume hottest part of day, from 10 to 3, or 5 hours, which is 5*(60^2) seconds
    = 12,241,758,996,000,000,000 joules
    to get an idea of how much energy that is, lets see how much water that could evaporate, with the energy to vaporize water at 2443 joules/g
    that’s about 5,010,953,334,424,887 grams of water, or….
    = 5,010,953,334 tonnes (= 5.0 gigtonnes of water a day)
    compare that with the alleged carbon added to the atmosphere a day…
    assume 25 gigatonnes per year…
    68,493,150 tonnes carbon per day, or…
    273,972,602.tonnes of CO2 =( 0.27 gigatonnes of CO2 per day)
    Thus, if my assumptions aren’t far off, and my math is correct, the extra energy impinging on earth could, in theory, add 18 times as much water to the atmosphere per day as humans allegedly add CO2. So, if we can’t ignore the CO2, why do we have to ignore the iddy bitty extra energy?

  102. All this for the dumbest idea ever invented: regulating CO2. Like that will somehow remove it from Earth’s atmosphere. One could conceivably come up with an affordable way to scrub the particualte, catalyse the S02 and trap the mercury emissions… maybe. If you stop burning fossil and natural fuels in one country, the industries will flee to one where they can, and they will.
    Until the day comes when the fossil fuels are gone, it’s business as usual, folks. If we do somehow manage to remove all CO2, plant life will cease as will animal life dependent on it in the food chain. Never mind about going into an ice age, with zero C02 it’s game over for life.
    No C02=No Plant Life=No Animal Life

  103. Pragmatic,
    //”It is an interesting choice of words “mainstream science…” since by all appearances, discussion and understanding of climate feedbacks of all manner, especially water vapor is at its infancy. Your argument strikes me as the equivalent of statements like, “because of global warming, it is less cold.”
    It seems somewhat straight forward – if RH declines so must the GH effect.”//
    On your first statement, the hotly disputed feedback generally pertains to clouds. I’m not aware of any real challenge to the water vapor feedback that is still alive today, so I think “mainstream science” is an appropriate term and is summarized well in the Dessler and Sherwood Science paper, by the IPCC, NAS, and others. The evidence is not at all “emotional” as the title of this thread suggests.
    It is not true that if RH declines, the GH effect declines. All that *necessarily* changes is the magnitude of the total water vapor feedback, since it no longer rises proportionally to the saturation pressure.
    REPLY:I see that you just could not stay away from the very blog you write off. If there was no “emotional” component to the argument, you would not have reacted the way you did, and opened your own blog post with ad hominem attacks on me. My point is that these hotly debated issues over data often fall prey to the very thing you’ve so aptly demonstrated. Thanks. – Anthony
    PS – Also, I think you missed the pun. But that’s normal, I find that very strong believers in AGW often can’t see humor, and as you pointed out about yourself on your blog “I’m a grumpy guy”. May hope and happiness find you. – Anthony

  104. I got the pun, actually. I’m just much less receptive to your data analysis than others, but I don’t mind commenting here, even though you successfully have most of your readers rather confused.
    Ad Hominems are insult arguments which stand on their own. I think I firmly demonstrated that your arguments are bogus scientifically, and yes, I did throw in my own words into the mix. I think my remarks are rather nice given the attention your blog gets, and the citation it receives, despite the fact that most of your posts are in large error.
    REPLY: I suppose its a matter of opinion then, that we differ. – Anthony

  105. E.M.Smith (11:47:37) :
    Am I the only one that finds it odd that real recorded data are claimed to be too “iffy” yet artificial synthetic dare I say it, fabricated, data are fine in GIStemp?

    You are not the only one.
    Unfortunately, there may be too few with any scientific or political clout [of which I am neither] to make any significant difference. I sincerely hope I am wrong in this dim view.

    Roger Knights (12:05:05) :
    A million times more, give or take an order of magnitude.

    At least!

  106. E.M.Smith (12:15:02) :

    If I’m following this right, you are saying that as the temperature goes up, the RH goes down, and the GHG potential goes down with it, all else held static.
    Isn’t that, on the face of it, negative feedback? THE dominant GHG drops in activity as temperatures rise? It can’t be that simple…

    No, the GHG potential goes up with it. Higher temperature means that the air can hold more water vapor. Because of that the relative humidity must drop if all else is held static. Any direct feedback will be positive.
    Also, lower relative humidity could mean fewer clouds, lower albedo and increased warming.
    Then , which way around is it? Did a temperature rise cause lower relative humidity or did lower relative humidity cause a temperature rise?

  107. So we finally have a theory which links man-made CO2 to global cooling…just when they needed it.
    The Carbon Controlistas have now got it both ways. Damned if you do and Damned if you don’t.

  108. Carl Wolk (11:08:37) :
    If the NCEP data is correct, then it is interesting that RH continued to fall even while the globe wasn’t warming during the ’50s, ’60s, and part of the ’70s; this suggests that changing H20 concentration is not dependent on temperature, but perhaps on CO2 concentration, as suggested by Miskolszi.

    Co2 causes drout! The sky is falling, but no rain!
    I predict that as temperatures continue to decline, the IPCC will ‘discover’ that co2 causes cooling and low rainfall. We will continue to be taxed for ‘climate change’ whatever happens. If we allow it.

  109. Robert Bateman (20:52:53) :
    ‘All this for the dumbest idea ever invented: regulating CO2.’
    Regulating CO2 has never been about science, It’s about a NEW TAX REVENUE stream for goverments. The consumer (you and I) will pay a CO2 tax that will rival income rate.

  110. The problem with radiosonde data is that the sonde and sensor designs changed over the years. You would hope though that some careful comparisons were done between old and new designs.
    Looking at the graphs for RH does anyone want to surmise that there was a change in sonde design around 1965? Does anyone here know if that was so?

  111. The following is excerpted from an article written in November 2002 by Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and me.
    How did we know all this way back then, and have the confidence to write it, sign it with our real names, and publish it?
    Regards, Allan MacRae, P.Eng.
    Computer models that predict catastrophic human-induced global warming have consistently failed to accurately reproduce past and present climate changes, so their predictions of future climate changes are highly suspect. These models incorrectly assume that increased CO2 concentration is a major driver of atmospheric warming, and also assume large positive feedbacks arising from increased CO2 concentration, for which there is no scientific evidence. Without these speculated positive feedbacks, even a doubling of CO2 concentration would lead to a theoretical warming of only approximately 1º C.
    Full paper at http://www.apegga.org/Members/Publications/peggs/WEB11_02/kyoto_pt.htm

  112. Graeme Rodaughan (16:14:40) :
    crosspatch (12:35:07) :
    By the way, NCDC has the February numbers for North America. This February was a bit warmer than last February.
    That’s amazingly counter-intuitive. massive snowfalls, record local cold – and yet warmer – what are they actually measuring?

    The central plains states were all warmer this February. In fact, Wichita, KS was 89 F yesterday (3/5/09). IMHO, it’s partly because it’s so dry. Less than an inch of moisture since November. Dry soil=less retained “cold”+less evaporative cooling. Soil temps are about 4 F above average. In places the bermuda is starting to grow, which is early.

  113. “”” Allan M R MacRae (05:42:25) :
    The following is excerpted from an article written in November 2002 by Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and me.
    How did we know all this way back then, and have the confidence to write it, sign it with our real names, and publish it?
    Regards, Allan MacRae, P.Eng. “””
    Wow Allan; you guys are among the true archeo-climatology elites; to write such radical stuff in 2002, almost as far back as 1997, which seems to be when the climatology “big Bang” occurred with the first launch of polar satellites. To be in at the very beginnings of a new science must be a great thrill.
    We’re glad you had the guts to write your ideas way back then, and put your names to it. Some folks like to hide behind CB handles; like names of burrowing rodents, prairie dogs, marmots or wombats and such.
    Years later, their handles are lost on the scrap heap of history. You picked some pretty heavy duty company there with Dr Baliunas.
    Thanks for bringing your paper to our attention today.
    George

  114. Mike Borgelt (05:00:30) : “The problem with radiosonde data is that the sonde and sensor designs changed over the years. You would hope though that some careful comparisons were done between old and new designs. Looking at the graphs for RH does anyone want to surmise that there was a change in sonde design around 1965? Does anyone here know if that was so?”
    Hair hygrometers were replaced much earlier than that — maybe the late ’50s. I say that in regard to U.S. equipment and have absolutely no idea what happened in the rest of world as to equipment adoption.
    It needs to be said over, and over, and over again that these instruments were absolutely NOT laboratory quality instruments. They were measuring the atmosphere to support weather forecasts, and they were perfectly adequate for that. They were NOT launched for climatological studies, nor are they operated in a pristine laboratory environment.
    Also most radiosonde operators would have admitted that the altitude and temperatures reported were far, far more accurate than humidity measurements. Actually, RH played a very small part in calculating heights of pressure levels. But second guessing what an RH value should have been years ago is surely less accurate still!
    Finally, it needs to be said that not many critics seem familiar enough with WMO level selection criteria over the years to opine about what was done, or what should have been done, or even how external forces play on these devices. What happens when they ascend thru thunderstorms, hail, or maybe a jet stream? How far away, and in what direction from the launch point was the tropopause measured? How much difference would you expect in RH values when the instrument rises through the middle of a nice juicy cloud instead of skirting it. What about getting caught in a down draft? How about the rules for reporting super-adiabatic lapse rates? How accurately can operators estimate Mean Virtual Temperatures for a layer? How much difference does it make? How accurate is the instrument calibration before launch?
    RAOB runs involve considerably more operator expertise and involvement than recording two temperatures once a day on a USHCN site, but data from USCHN is a primary source of data for AGW calculations. I’d bet the farm that RAOBs furnish far more accurate data than any USHCN site.

  115. “”” Roger Sowell (16:09:26) :
    George E. Smith (14:20:59) :
    So I’ll bite !
    Just what the blazes is 300-700 mb ? Would that be millibarns, or is that some other unit; and unit of what ? and how does it relate to relative humidity ?
    Inquiring minds want to know.
    George, “bar” is a unit of pressure measurement “””
    Well thanks for that Roger; I didn’t know; but then IANAL, and I just reread the evidence above and nowhere on that garph did I see the word “bar”. I’d swear in court, on a stack of bibles that it said “mb”, and not “bar”.
    And in the normal Science lingo (m) is the standard prefix for “milli” meaning 1/1000th, or 10^-3. and (b) in my Handbook of Physics, in the section on Kinetic theory of gases, lists the unit (b) for “barn” as 1b = 10^-28 m^2. It is also used for nuclear reaction crossections, in the sense that if an incoming particle strikes a “target” area equal to the “crossection” for the specific reaction, centered on the target species, that reaction is likely to occur; probably with some associated statistics.
    It literally comes from the simple concept of hitting the side of a “barn”.
    So when I see mb, that means millibarn or 10^-31 m^2.
    Now my handbook says use “bar”, short for “barometer” to mean barometric pressure; and evidently from subsequent readers, they actually meant “altitude” measured in “feet”; a totally bizarre misconstrusion if there ever was one.
    The only other use of the lower case letter (b), that I could discover was in units of m^3/mol, as the constant of internal volume in Van der Waals equation:- (p+(n/V)^2 a)(V-nb) = nRT
    But I couldn’t find any peer reviewable support for using (b) to measure altitude in feet.
    But thanks for clearing up that “bar” thing for me; even if it wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the story.
    George

  116. HASITBEEN4YEARSYET: “2/3 Earth surface area is about 131,293,600 miles^2
    = 340,048,861 km^2
    = 340,048,861,000,000 m^2”
    umm a km is 1,000m not 1,000,000…..
    Just an FYI.

  117. OT, but especially for a meteorologist most relevant.
    Anthony says: “This means that changes in specific humidity in the upper troposphere (300 – 700 mb) may be very significant even though the amount of water vapour there is low due to the cold temperatures.”
    Cold water, yes. Hot air, yes. Warm or cold food, yes. Any physical entity can be said to be cold or warm, but temperature is not one of them. One can cool down or heat up water or air or food but you cannot heat up a temperature. Semantically, the expression “cold temperatures” is unintelligible.

  118. Much of the feedback is emotional, as it is in the comments following this Wall Street Journal article on Al Gore being challenged: click
    Bjorn Lomborg politely challenged Al Gore to debate one point. As always, Gore runs and hides out from any debate. But what’s really interesting is the preponderance of readers’ comments, which view the AGW hypothesis with great skepticism.
    The fact that the general public is skeptical of the AGW/CO2 claim verifies the charge by Prof. Richard Lindzen that climate journals, and other scientific societies joining in the climate debate, and the climate peer-review process itself have conspired to game the system, publishing that which supports their point of view and blocking contrary points of view through various maneuvers.
    If that is not the case, would someone please explain why none of the organizations in question are willing to do a blind polling of their membership on the AGW question? It’s as if the leadership AMS [for example] deems itself to be the arbiters of science — and the membership is tolerated only because they pay the dues.

  119. Jon H (11:06:04) :

    HASITBEEN4YEARSYET: “2/3 Earth surface area is about 131,293,600 miles^2
    = 340,048,861 km^2
    = 340,048,861,000,000 m^2″
    umm a km is 1,000m not 1,000,000…..
    Just an FYI.

    He did’t say that. 1 km² = 1,000² m² = 1,000,000 m².

  120. @Steinar Midtskogen (12:56:43)
    Thanks. I posted twice on that already, and neither has been allowed out of the spam filter yet.

  121. Smokey
    The various professional societies will only poll their members when they are sure they can control the results. They will certainly not allow polling questions to be non biased or to allow anyone to easily disagree with the hype. Federal funding is too important to the financial health of both the members and the organizations for them to risk being on the black list.
    As a result AAPT has our winter meeting polluted by Al Gore’s baloney and people on line use pseudonyms.

  122. Negative feedback can be proven by comparing temp and Outgoing longwave radiation (OLR)
    The observations clearly show that when temp increases, so does the energy lost to space. That is negative feedback right there!
    water vapor positive feedback does exist though, but only when a source of evaporation is present, ie only at the surface. If there is no water present then you cant increase the concentration via evaporation can you!
    Water vapor positive feedback generally goes by another name though 🙂
    The positive feedback loop leads to an explosion, also called convection, a well know cooling process!
    All explosions are forms of negative feedback for those who don’t know!
    They remove energy from the system undergoing positive feedback when the energy in the system exceeds the structural bonds holding the system together, resulting in kinetic dissipation of energy!
    cheers

  123. Rod Smith (10:30:14) Also most radiosonde operators would have admitted that the altitude and temperatures reported were far, far more accurate than humidity measurements. Actually, RH played a very small part in calculating heights of pressure levels. But second guessing what an RH value should have been years ago is surely less accurate still!
    Agreed. I’ve looked at enough results of these to have seen quite a few sensors iced up after rising through cloud etc.
    However note that even the temperature results are being questioned by those who don’t like the results (no tropical troposphere hot spot). The RH sensor history I don’t know about, the sixties were before my time with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, however the averaged results in the graph seem to be free of steps except for the slope change around 1965.
    The RAOBs were to support short term weather forecasting as was the surface station network. That we need to go to extreme statistical techniques to extract dubious results from sensors never designed for this tells me not much of great significance is going on. Except for the world going insane that is.
    George E. Smith: I’m actually surprised that the pressure levels are still quoted in millibars in the paper. Weather forecasts in Australia use hectoPascals even in TV weather reports.
    The relationship between pressure and temperature in the atmosphere depends on the mean temperature in the layer in question. The quoted relationships are only approximate. Aircraft “altimeters” don’t measure altitude(except radar altimeters) they measure pressure and assume an ISA standard atmosphere for calibration. This has serious consequences for clearance from the ground which is allowed for in calculations of lowest safe altitude in a given area.
    “Airspeed Indicators” don’t measure speed either.

  124. Re my above post:
    The following is excerpted from an article written in November 2002 by Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and me.
    Computer models that predict catastrophic human-induced global warming have consistently failed to accurately reproduce past and present climate changes, so their predictions of future climate changes are highly suspect. These models incorrectly assume that increased CO2 concentration is a major driver of atmospheric warming, and also assume large positive feedbacks arising from increased CO2 concentration, for which there is no scientific evidence. Without these speculated positive feedbacks, even a doubling of CO2 concentration would lead to a theoretical warming of only approximately 1º C.
    Full paper at http://www.apegga.org/Members/Publications/peggs/WEB11_02/kyoto_pt.htm
    QUESTION: How did we know all this way back then, and have the confidence to write it, sign it with our real names, and publish it?
    MY RESPONSE:
    The point of my above question was that our 2002 article was based on the valid climate science of recent decades, as opposed to the then-new alarmist global warming dogma of the IPCC.
    Since then, the IPCC has had to revise its warmist positions ever-downwards, and to throw out previously-sacred touchstones such as the Mann hockey stick.
    In contrast to the IPCC’s ever-shifting positions, our 2002 article still stands, with few if any revisions required by recent data.
    As we learn more from new instrumentation, we will determine that the catastrophic global warming hypothesis is discredited, both in scientific circles and in the public forum. The failure of Earth to warm, and a possible cooling trend will hasten the demise of the IPCC’s alarmist nonsense.
    Hopefully, climate science will soon return to its roots and develop much better predictive tools.
    NEXT QUESTION:
    Will the cooling of the next few decades be modest or severe, and what, if anything, should we be doing now to prepare for it??
    Regards, Allan

  125. If I am reading correctly, all the hullabaloo is over ’08 humidity *only.*
    Are people still not understanding what long-term trends are?
    Cheers

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