Wind shifts may stir CO2 from Antarctic depths

Releases may have speeded end of last ice age — and could act again[]

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[] IMAGE: This pictures shows the locations of cores showing Antarctic upwelling.

Natural releases of carbon dioxide from the Southern Ocean due to shifting wind patterns could have amplified global warming at the end of the last ice age–and could be repeated as manmade warming proceeds, a new paper in the journal Science suggests.

Many scientists think that the end of the last ice age was triggered by a change in Earth’s orbit that caused the northern part of the planet to warm. This partial climate shift was accompanied by rising levels of the greenhouse gas CO2, ice core records show, which could have intensified the warming around the globe. A team of scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory now offers one explanation for the mysterious rise in CO2: the orbital shift triggered a southward displacement in westerly winds, which caused heavy mixing in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica, pumping dissolved carbon dioxide from the water into the air.

“The faster the ocean turns over, the more deep water rises to the surface to release CO2,” said lead author Robert Anderson, a geochemist at Lamont-Doherty. “It’s this rate of overturning that regulates CO2 in the atmosphere.” In the last 40 years, the winds have shifted south much as they did 17,000 years ago, said Anderson. If they end up venting more CO2 into the air, manmade warming underway now could be intensified.

Scientists have been studying the oceans for more than 25 years to understand their influence on CO2 levels and the glacial cycles that have periodically heated and chilled the planet for more than 600,000 years. Ice cores show that the ends of other ice ages also were marked by rises in CO2.

Two years ago, J.R. Toggweiler, a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), proposed that westerly winds in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica may have undergone a major shift at the end of the last ice age. This shift would have raised more CO2-rich deep water to the surface, and thus amplified warming already taking place due to the earth’s new orbital position. Anderson and his colleagues are the first to test that theory by studying sediments from the bottom of the Southern Ocean to measure the rate of overturning.

The scientists say that changes in the westerlies may have been triggered by two competing events in the northern hemisphere about 17,000 years ago. The earth’s orbit shifted, causing more sunlight to fall in the north, partially melting the ice sheets that then covered parts of the United States, Canada and Europe. Paradoxically, the melting may also have spurred sea-ice formation in the North Atlantic Ocean, creating a cooling effect there. Both events would have caused the westerly winds to shift south, toward the Southern Ocean. The winds simultaneously warmed Antarctica and stirred the waters around it. The resulting upwelling of CO2 would have caused the entire globe to heat.

Anderson and his colleagues measured the rate of upwelling by analyzing sediment cores from the Southern Ocean. When deep water is vented, it brings not only CO2 to the surface but nutrients. Phytoplankton consume the extra nutrients and multiply.

In the cores, Anderson and his colleagues say spikes in plankton growth between roughly 17,000 years ago and 10,000 years ago indicate added upwelling. By comparing those spikes with ice core records, the scientists realized the added upwelling coincided with hotter temperatures in Antarctica as well as rising CO2 levels.

In the same issue of Science, Toggweiler writes a column commenting on the work. “Now I think this really starts to lock up how the CO2 changed globally,” he said in an interview. “Here’s a mechanism that can explain the warming of Antarctica and the rise in CO2. It’s being forced by the north, via this change in the winds.”

At least one model supports the evidence. Richard Matear, a researcher at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, describes a scenario in which winds shift south and produce an increase in CO2 venting in the Southern Ocean. Plants, which incorporate CO2 during photosynthesis, are unable to absorb all the added nutrients, causing atmospheric CO2 to rise.

Some other climate models disagree. In those used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the westerly winds do not simply shift north-south. “It’s more complicated than this,” said Axel Timmermann, a climate modeler at the University of Hawaii. Even if the winds did shift south, Timmermann argues, upwelling in the Southern Ocean would not have raised CO2 levels in the air. Instead, he says, the intensification of the westerlies would have increased upwelling and plant growth in the Southeastern Pacific, and this would have absorbed enough atmospheric CO2 to compensate for the added upwelling in the Southern Ocean.

“Differences among model results illustrate a critical need for further research,” said Anderson. These, include “measurements that document the ongoing physical and biogeochemical changes in the Southern Ocean, and improvements in the models used to simulate these processes and project their impact on atmospheric CO2 levels over the next century.”

Anderson says that if his theory is correct, the impact of upwelling “will be dwarfed by the accelerating rate at which humans are burning fossil fuels.” But, he said, “It could well be large enough to offset some of the mitigation strategies that are being proposed to counteract rising CO2, so it should not be neglected.”

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120 thoughts on “Wind shifts may stir CO2 from Antarctic depths

  1. Prob with the image link, Anthony.
    The page you are looking for has moved. Please go to the main EurekAlert! homepage to locate the section you are interested in and reset your bookmarks.

  2. Come on!! Whattsup with that!!
    “the intensification of the westerlies would have increased upwelling and plant growth in the Southeastern Pacific” Deserts have not changed dow here…
    This is one of the last reels of some Sci-Fi hollywood movie (The last one will be named: “The anthropogenic cooling”..LOL

  3. First, the image would not load so I found it here:
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-03/teia-wsm030909.php
    My first thought was: So what? Unless they are talking about 1000s of ppm of CO2 AND the positive feedbacks claimed by AGW folks, what difference would this make toward global warming. If the feedback is negative and the build up of CO2 is slow then maybe this will trigger the slow onset of a new ice age. Isn’t this the sequence: a long slow entrance to an ice age and than a more rapid end. So if it has been 17,000 since the beginning of the end of the last one, we should be looking for the trigger of the new one. Cheers!

  4. If CO2 is in equilibrium between the atmosphere and the air, it doesn’t matter how much water is stirred, CO2 will neither be taken up or released by the water.
    Additionally, since when has the increase in CO2 at the end of each ice age been “mysterious”? When water warms, it releases CO2. The stirring that this article postulates might increase the rate at which water is warmed and releases it’s CO2, but it is not a cause.

  5. If the thesis behind this paper were valid, wouldn’t there be a big uptick in CO2 everytime there is an La Nina? That also involves cold waters from the deep being brought to the surface.

  6. Well, it doesn’t surprise me that this particular research group would form such a conclusion:

    GISS works cooperatively with area universities and research organizations, most especially with Columbia University. Close to half of our personnel are members of Columbia’s Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR) and we also work with researchers at Columbia’s Earth Institute and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

    So they are all peas from the same pod validating each others’ work.
    The article makes no mention of the lag between temperature change and CO2 rise and implies that the CO2 rise was contemporary with the temperature change.
    The crux of the article?

    “Differences among model results illustrate a critical need for further research, ”

    So it is someone angling for research money by publishing a paper with “at least one model” supporting the conclusion but leaving the question in doubt but nevertheless illustrating the “critical need” for “further research” (translated: critical need for more money).

  7. You know for having a “Consensus”, every article about man-made global warming consists of a lot of “could”, “maybe”, “might”, “possible”, and especially “model”, but nothing too concrete.
    Makes you wonder if the real consensus is “that we don’t know diddly about climate”.

  8. First we’ve never heard of global warming until James Henson back in the early 80’s and as greenhouse gas C02 there were no automobiles on earth 17000 years ago.The automobile wasn ‘t invented until 1894 and there wasn’t but a few of them .Everyone rode by horse or walked.Where do these people come up with this to begin with?Maybe the horse caused the greenhouse gas.

  9. But the ice cores show an 800 year lag not a 40 year lag before CO2 rises so I’ll worry about this one in the year 2809. My models bigger/better than yours AGW drivel, shame all of the models are hopeless.

  10. This is another “well, DUH” story.
    Many skeptics believe CO2 follows temperature, not the reverse.
    If CO2 does follow temperature increases,
    Then as the earth warms at the end of an ice age, the CO2 concentrations would rise also.
    Nothing new here except more hype about the warming powers of CO2.

  11. By the way it is real that deserts along the west coast of Peru have drecreased notably but this has been totally “anthropogenic”. Using wells deserts have been irrigated to cultivate crops like asparragus, paprika, grapes, etc. which are being exported mainly to the US market. Again, nothing to do with imaginary CO2 or whatever phantasies. La Nina is OK down here, raining and snowing high on the andes (so glaciers also returning to before the “warming hysteria” size)

  12. I don’t think the issue should be on the research or the belief of the researchers on the quality of their science. It is the pecular spin that gets put on these things. It is like when I look at a cloud and see a Tennessee Walking Horse and they see a Unicorn. Uff Da!

  13. I would like to know how surface winds cause any kind of significant deep water upwelling. I don’t see the mixing that is portrayed in the above article as very likely and for the reasons stated.
    I would put the “study” and it’s conclusions as highly speculative if not science fiction.

  14. Get Bob Carter to comment on this one – he’s a great friend of Science magazine, isn’t he?
    1. Do we yet have concensus that higher carbon dioxide means higher temperatures, or that higher temperatures causes higher carbon dioxide?
    2. What caused those wind shifts anyway?
    3. Which ice cores were these and why is the lag between temperature and carbon dioxide so different to those reported by others before?
    4. Has Dick Lindzen ever been asked to referee papers by Science?
    5. As an MIT Prof, if the answer is ‘No!’, the question is: ‘why not?’
    6. Was he asked to referee this one?
    7. Can you get him to review this one for this site??!!

  15. They never look at the big picture. It is more than common knowledge that CO2 gets released because of temperature increase regardless of where that CO2 was stored, if it was in the snow or in the water. Obviously it was not coming from cars or power plants.
    If things started to get warmer because of the tilt, position, rotation, solar activity, or whatever, for sure the snow/ice covering the NE landmass also melted, slowly, revealing more land to be heated and transfering eventually that heat to the oceans. You can see a positive loop here but it is not sudden, it takes time.
    Again, the rise of CO2 concentration is just an artifact of global warming, a natural concequence.
    What triggered the end of the ice ages is the same that will trigger the next one… position and activity of the sun relative to the earth and frankly, there is nothing we can do about it… the forces in the universe are much stronger than we are (come to the Dark Side of the Force Luke!!!)

  16. Sorry OT: Lindzen at the ICCC – meeting:
    “With respect to better understanding the science, it is my view that the observations of almost a decade ago that outgoing long wave radiation associated with warmer surface temperatures was much greater than models predicted; this was as good evidence that model sensitivities were much too high as one could hope for.”
    “What at least four groups all confirmed was that emitted heat radiation during the ‘90s was not only much greater than what models predicted, but also greater than what would have been expected if there were no feedback at all.”
    Aren’t these interesting data worth a blogpost. Who are these four groups? Where are the data?

  17. rickM (11:45:06) : regarding surface winds and upwelling
    Consider in the Pacific Ocean west of South America. The huge SubTropical High Pressure (STHP) system spins out wind that blows northward along the coast. The Coriolis Force causes these winds to turn away from the coast and move northwestward. These winds become the SE Trades. This is in a part of the world where we might expect the surface waters to be warm. Instead, the warmth input there by high sun gets shunted away and the cold water below rises to fill the void. The air blowing across this cold (Humboldt) current takes up moisture and generates fog but the cold air doesn’t rise and so makes coastal Chile a cool foggy place. Northward along the coast of South America we get into the El Nino area. Search on some of these concepts.

  18. Why would anyone care whether or not computer models support a hypothesis? shouldn’t we be asking does real world data support it?
    Didn’t we recently have a discussion here about the shape of the temperature graphs vs the shape of the carbon dioxide concentration over time? could someone link me to it I can’t seem to find it? Should we revisit that issue if that analysis was correct at all this article is trivial isn’t it?

  19. Oh dear. It seems that climatologists are so far into their models that they are no longer observing the real world.
    It is quite true that the westerlies shifted poleward in both hemispheres during the warming spell but since 2000 they have been moving equatorward again and the climate establishment has failed to notice.
    By my climate theories here:
    http://climaterealists.com/news.php?tid=37
    I make it clear that the mid latitude jets move poleward or equatorward depending on the global temperature TREND at any particular time.
    When they shift poleward the air is warming globally and when they shift equatorward as now the air is cooling globally.
    In my humble opinion the entire climate establishment is clueless and all those above wild speculations are wholly unfounded.
    The latitudinal wind shifts are a natural part of normal global warming and cooling phases and nothing to do with us or CO2 except perhaps for a movement of a few miles poleward (as I suggest in one of my articles) to adjust the global heat budget to neutralise any warming caused by extra human CO2. Since the natural movements are in the order of hundreds of miles any human effect is insignificant.
    I do hope they catch up with reality eventually.

  20. The way I read it is that they are saying that major global warming was caused by an orbit shift. That warming may have stirred the ocean (through winds) so that a bit more CO2 was given off than warming would have done to the oceans anyway (warming H2O cause CO2 to come out of solution).
    They then say that the extra CO2 caused by this upwelling is less than what man is giving off, which up to now, if you accept alarmist AGW theory (which I don’t) has only caused .6 degrees C warming.
    Therefore, this upwelling was, at best, a bit player in the warming.
    So it looks like they are backing away from AGW theory–Major warming is caused by orbit shift– and at the same time trying to justify additional funding of their research from the Climate Change funds.

  21. I think it’s full of speculation and BS. Those scientists predicting this occurrence are again relying on computer projections and these are wildly unrealiable. I believe the colder PDO and AMO will sequester any additional CO2 released by the southern ocean never to be seen for centuries or millennia.

  22. I wonder which is more accurate a AGW climate model or a Scientology e-meter?
    What if the two were compared for precision? Would the AGW climate model fare better?

  23. Firstly, I’m sceptical that NH ice extent can have a substantial effect on the latitude of SH near polar winds as it would require the tropical climate zone to be pushed well south of the equator.
    Secondly, it doesn’t get around the CO2 rises following, and not before, temperature increases problem (for the Warmers).
    Thirdly, one thing we know for sure about the start and end of glacial cycles is there is a large change in the land covered in ice/snow and hence added or removed from the biosphere (and carbon cycle), and most of that land is in the NH. Occams Razor says this is the primary cause of the CO2 changes.

  24. Did you see the conclusions of the Denmark meeting – BBC newscast today March 12, 2009 – of AGW scientists saying that global warming is proceeding at twice the rate of forecast warming of earlier years (probably can find this story in a number of places including BBC website). I think the hoary winters of the last couple of years have created a desperation to ensure no doubts arise in Obama’s carbon policies – N America is the only holdout remaining.

  25. Noodling the aardvarks could have accelerated the positive feedback of the anthropological Jim-jams. I’ll need a research grant to further investigate this important finding.

  26. Hasn’t Dr. Lindzen stated that he is of the opinion that any further increase in CO2 would have virtually no effect at this point? Does it really matter how much more there is beyond a certain amount? Forgive me for not citing the reference… I know I saw a quote from Dr. Lindzen around here somewhere recently.

  27. Well “May” and “Could” are the authors of more papers on climate than any other famous scientists; so when you see a paper by May & Could you should give it the proper respect it deserves.
    We are told that during ice ages, the ocean levels have dropped dramatically; hundreds of feet. Something has to supply all the water to make that land ice pile. when that ice up finally melts, and the sea rises several hundred feet, one May & Could get disturbances of deeper waters, but I don’t see why it wouold be any more turbulent than at any other time; assuming that it doesn’t happen over night.
    I’ll just wait until May & Could publish some of their obsevational data on the phenomenon, when it next happens.
    The ice cores tell us that the CO2 rises come about 800 years after the surface temperature rises. Where in that time frame would this wind shift process occur.
    It would be nice if these chaps would simply point to the recent shifts that caused the CO2 rise now being measured at Mauna Loa and elsewhere.

  28. “Many scientists think that the end of the last ice age was triggered by a change in Earth’s orbit that caused the northern part of the planet to warm”
    Where is the explanation of this supposed change in Earth’s orbit? Quite a grand assumption quickly passed over.
    A better scenario to me is that approx 15,000 years ago Earth’s obliquity was heading towards maximum while eccentricity was decreasing and the NH summer solstice was heading towards perihelion. This combination increases summer NH solar insolation enough to cause the glaciers to start the retreat. And the rest they say is history.

  29. Now here’s a really great line:- “”” Anderson says that if his theory is correct, the impact of upwelling “will be dwarfed by the accelerating rate at which humans are burning fossil fuels.” But, he said, “It could well be large enough to offset some of the mitigation strategies that are being proposed to counteract rising CO2, so it should not be neglected.” “””
    Fancy that; IF his theory is correct, it will [STILL] be dwarfed by… humans burning fossil fuels…. which as last reported, has so far not led to ANY observable warming or other catastrophe.
    So evidently according to May & Could, a completely non-event like human fossil fuel burning still dwarfs their newly found discovery of Maybe & Coulbe CO2 increase forom ending ice ages.
    Wow aren’t we all happy to learn that the end of the next ice age will be much less than a non event. Well they said it; not me !

  30. Same scam, different theory, same BS (Bad Science).
    The red threat of the whole story, First comes the CO2, then comes the warming.
    I don’t buy it.

  31. Jae
    Re chicken and egg. The egg came first, as the thing that laid it was not a chicken. Basic evolutionary theory.

  32. George E. Smith (12:59:26) :
    I would be really surpized that those models include the 800 years delay in CO2 concentration change.
    Are there other sources of CO2 other than water, snow/ice, volcano and biomass combustion that is usually released after a glaciation period?
    On that biomass combustion topic, as we know, it takes time for the biomass to build up after a glaciation period. By the same way, lightnings are rare in winter (but of course there are not any biomass to burn in the first place on ice). But once there is a good size biomass that is regrowing and chances of fires increase with time, could that be also an important source of CO2 to be added?

  33. Couldn’t such an upwelling of CO2 rich and therefore less alkaline water be responsible for the reduced surface alkalinity they are already using as the next big scare tactic to encourage us to live in serfdom?

  34. “Up to”, “from”, “may” and “could”
    these are the words that mean we should,
    be very careful to believe
    words that aim to deceive.
    So be careful
    as you should
    when you see the words
    “up to”, “from”, “may” and “could”.

  35. Start with a BS assumption (CO2 is the prime driver of global warming), then proceed to ask the question – “how can I come up with a believable mechanism that proves this?” Well, they failed here, as they always will when they start with the BS and try to justify it.
    Whatever happened to starting with an unexplained observation, then proceeding to the great question, “so what?”.

  36. How about an arctic warm enough for semi-tropical turtles and yet no runaway venus global warming death destruction:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29550126/
    So it was significantly hotter than now and the net result was a tropical paradise in the equatorial / temperate zone and an arctic rather like Carolina… Somehow I don’t think my Canadian friends would mind too much.

  37. I wish I could remember who linked a few days ago to a paper from Germany, but I went and read it. Very, very good! The paper applies basic physics to the entire notion of AGW driven by CO2. There are some places where one could quibble, but on the whole the paper (long..115 pages) is excellent.
    Two of the main points: the AGW hypothesis consistently mistakes absorption/re-radiation for reflection. However, the main “kicker’ is that the entire hypothesis violates the 2nd Law by claiming the atmosphere (cooler medium) can heat the surface (a warmer medium) without additional work input. i.e. the AGW idea is a perpetual motion machine.
    Gerlich and Tscheuschner, “Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics”
    arXiv:0707.1161v4 [physics.ao-ph] 4 Mar 2009

  38. “Differences among model results illustrate a critical need for further research,” said Anderson.
    I believe this just illustrates what the AGW crowd really is after – more research = more $$$ and no real work is needed – just slightly conflicting studies to keep the game going.

  39. For the counter argument that any increase in CO2 is offset by changes in the earths precipitation systems which then leads to no net effect on global temperature, see:
    http://landshape.org/enm/greenhouse-effect-in-semi-transparent-planetary-atmospheres-by-miskolczi-a-review/
    “The climate system makes regulatory adjustment to compensate for changes in CO2 with changes in humidity and clouds, in order to most efficiently convert short wave incoming solar energy, into long wave outgoing energy. The problem with radiative models used until now is a discontinuity between the atmospheric and surface temperatures. This violates Kirchhoff’s law, that two bodies in thermal equilibrium must have equal temperatures, and is one of the reasons for mysterious unphysical behavior of climate models. Incorporating this simple constraint introduces an energy minimization principle that makes runaway greenhouse warming impossible. This corrects a major deficiency in the current theory, which doesn’t explain why “runaway” greenhouse warming hasn’t happened in the Earth’s past.”
    And this:
    http://miskolczi.webs.com/

  40. I’m with Tom from Florida in regard to the “orbit shif” issue. The thesis presented in the article is completely dependent upon there having been a shift in the earth’s orbit. No orbit shift means there was no change in the wind dirctionand so no release of CO2 and no warming and no need to be concerned about climate models. Is there any evidence in the geologic record of any shift in the earth’s record at any time in the past billion or so years? And if the proposed shift did indeed occur, wouldn’t it be expected to have consequences well beyomd that of changing wind patterns?

  41. “Anderson says that if his theory is correct, the impact of upwelling “will be dwarfed by the accelerating rate at which humans are burning fossil fuels.” But, he said, “It could well be large enough to offset some of the mitigation strategies that are being proposed to counteract rising CO2, so it should not be neglected.””
    Hey, he said dwarfed; didn’t he mean “little peopled”?
    So, we need to stop using all fossil fuels posthaste, which will kill millions
    of people bringing populations down to sustainable levels. We then need
    to switch to windmills and wooden shoes immediately! Where do they find
    these guys? God, I’m so tired of the relentless drum beat of stupidity!

  42. OT, the Lost Angeles Times today has a fear-mongering SEAS ARE RISING story.
    A quote: “Ice sheet melting has since accelerated [since mid-1990’s projections from IPCC]. Dan Cayan, a researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a lead scientist on the state’s action plan, said the 55-inch estimate in the report is “probably conservative. . . . As temperature climbs, melting is going to proceed at a greater pace. It is not necessarily going to proceed linearly, in the same proportion as it did in the past, because melting begets more melting.”
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-global-warming-searise12-2009mar12,0,2741152.story

  43. Where are the NUMBERS ! (yelling at my screen). If they have ice cores, how many PPM of CO2 do they think was in the atmosphere?
    And yeah, our orbit around the sun changes all the time….I think I feeeeeel ittttt happpeneeeeeing riiiiiiiight nowwwwwww. Hang on!

  44. Does thi means the probem will be an alkaline ocean after all the CO2 are released? Is there any check on the CO2 content in the ocean during this period of high release? Certaintly there is some indicators for the lost ocean CO2.

  45. So, CO2 will be pulled out of the seas.
    I guess we don’t have to worry about ocean acidification, then.
    Phew.

  46. “Claude Harvey (12:44:12) :
    Noodling the aardvarks could have accelerated the positive feedback of the anthropological Jim-jams. I’ll need a research grant to further investigate this important finding.”
    I’ve been casting an eye towards those damned jim-jams all along…just didn’t have any science to back me up. But everyone knows you can’t trust ’em. Ever.
    Never thought of the grant idea… Brilliant!
    That was one of the funniest replies I’ve read in awhile…thanks.
    JimB

  47. Some other climate models disagree. In those used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the westerly winds do not simply shift north-south. “It’s more complicated than this,” said Axel Timmermann, a climate modeler at the University of Hawaii.
    Indeed AR4 models do not use interactive stratospheric chemistry (forced macroscopic parametrization instead)
    EG
    The Impact of Stratospheric Ozone Recovery on the Southern Hemisphere Westerly Jet
    n the past several decades, the tropospheric westerly winds in the Southern Hemisphere have been observed to accelerate on the poleward side of the surface wind maximum. This has been attributed to the combined anthropogenic effects of increasing greenhouse gases and decreasing stratospheric ozone and is predicted to continue by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC/AR4) models. In this paper, the predictions of the Chemistry-Climate Model Validation (CCMVal) models are examined: Unlike the AR4 models, the CCMVal models have a fully interactive stratospheric chemistry. Owing to the expected disappearance of the ozone hole in the first half of the 21st century, the CCMVal models predict that the tropospheric westerlies in Southern Hemisphere summer will be decelerated, on the poleward side, in contrast with the prediction of most IPCC/AR4 models.
    Once again we have a conflict with the other UNEP expert assessment committee

  48. “…melting begets more melting.””
    Unless it gets real, real hot and then it could beget steaming… or… it could get real, real cold and then it could beget icing… or…

  49. There we go again. The last deglaciation is our fault : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081217190433.htm
    I find this part particulary FUNNY: “Using three different climate models and removing the amount of greenhouse gases humans have injected into the atmosphere during the past 5,000 to 8,000 years, Vavrus and Kutzbach observed more permanent snow and ice cover in regions of Canada, Siberia, Greenland and the Rocky Mountains, all known to be seed regions for glaciers from previous ice ages. Vavrus notes: “With every feedback we’ve included, it seems to support the hypothesis (of a forestalled ice age) even more. We keep getting the same answer.””

  50. The reference a few posts back to the physics paper that supposedly falsified the whole premise of CO2 driving AGW has prompted me to post this question, as now seems as good a time as any…my brain is little and hampered by many other issues, so perhaps I am oversimpliflying…but is the gist of the AGW argument that more CO2 molecules in the air somehow “slows” the long-wave radiation from the earth back into space (some AGW proponent somewhere used the analogy of stoplights slowing traffic), resulting in more energy in the atmosphere (hence, warmer-ness). I got the weird picture in my mind of little vectors of energy bouncing from one CO2 molecule to the next like a bunch of billiard balls, somehow never quite making their escape into space.
    Are they implying that CO2 somehow acts like insulation? Someone just point me in the right direction here, because all of a sudden, I’m very confused.
    Thanks. And thanks for the odd pieces of poetry that have shown up here and there lately.

  51. timbrom (13:15:11) :
    Jae
    Re chicken and egg. The egg came first, as the thing that laid it was not a chicken. Basic evolutionary theory.

    And there was me thinking it was just created! 😀
    Re the paper;
    I’m not convinced by the conclusions proposed.
    1) It suggests run-away warming is possible (orbital change creates warming, which influences CO2 release from the oceans, creating warming, which influences CO2 release…. and so on)
    2) Whilst I understand the concept of the wind blowing warmer surface waters away and colder water rising to replace it, I doubt the depths suggested would be correct. Correct me if I’m wrong (I’m sure someone will) but we are talking about surface waters being shifted by the winds, maybe 20metres deep. This water moves, cools and sinks again. Surely there is a conveyor belt scenario of maybe a few hundred feet as opposed to a few thousand feet?
    My oceanography knowledge isn’t that strong so advice would be appreciated.

  52. Typical AGW crap. No real science, just speculation to build hysteria. Al Gore must have been in town to give them a refresher course:
    “If they end up venting more CO2 into the air, manmade warming underway now could be intensified.”
    How do they get away with that? No data, no evidence. Just issue the report so it can enter the “settled science”. Where’s Gavin on this. He must be lurking, but silent. Be a man, Gavin!

  53. John F. Hultquist (12:09:22) :
    rickM (11:45:06) : regarding surface winds and upwelling
    Consider in the Pacific Ocean west of South America. The huge SubTropical High Pressure (STHP) system spins out wind that blows northward along the coast. The Coriolis Force causes these winds to turn away from the coast and move northwestward. These winds become the SE Trades. This is in a part of the world where we might expect the surface waters to be warm. Instead, the warmth input there by high sun gets shunted away and the cold water below rises to fill the void. The air blowing across this cold (Humboldt) current takes up moisture and generates fog but the cold air doesn’t rise and so makes coastal Chile a cool foggy place. Northward along the coast of South America we get into the El Nino area. Search on some of these concepts.
    John, sorry! Through the fog of an intense headache, what I thought I had read seemed to indicate that the increasingly wamer winds impacting the Antartic …. arrghhh. I can’t remember what i thought I read. LOL
    I’m very familiar with the Humboldt current. Chile is not the only country affected by this current. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in all those coastal countries – deserts reign in Chile, Peru and Ecuador(at least the southern regions)
    Disregard my pervious comment! Going back to bed!

  54. Why do these people have to improve the models.
    I just ran across a Yale Environment 360 interview with Elizabeth Kolbert, a climate change reporter with the New Yorker, where she says:
    LINK: http://www.e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2130
    “I mean, Freeman Dyson has done a tremendous amount of damage saying, “I don’t believe models. We can’t model this.” Well, we actually can model
    it very accurately, it turns out. And we’re talking about very fundamental science. It’s not a very complicated science.”
    The press knows the science is settled, because it’s so simple.

  55. I’m always amazed at how the AGW “scientists” just completely overlook the basic requirements of logic and physics. According to this, surface winds are sufficient to bring water to the surface from the deep ocean. Exactly what precedent is there for that? “Turnover” of fresh water lakes is driven by seasonal temperature changes, not wind. Even if you blindly assume there might be some truth in this idea, what provides the energy to produce the massive wind force that would be needed to produce this effect? And on and on it goes. These people do not deserve to be called scientists.

  56. Claude Harvey (12:44:12) :
    Noodling the aardvarks could have accelerated the positive feedback of the anthropological Jim-jams. I’ll need a research grant to further investigate this important finding.

    But my own research shows that the noodling has accelerated at an alarming rate and both jims and jams are in immediate danger of extinction. I will also need a grant to discover the true rate of noodling acceleration and the effect of CO2 on the noodling curve. If my model is correct, we can save the noodling aadvarks but only if we ACT NOW! We have only 10 YEARS! of noodling left!

  57. “”” Mike Monce (14:03:54) :
    Two of the main points: the AGW hypothesis consistently mistakes absorption/re-radiation for reflection. However, the main “kicker’ is that the entire hypothesis violates the 2nd Law by claiming the atmosphere (cooler medium) can heat the surface (a warmer medium) without additional work input. i.e. the AGW idea is a perpetual motion machine.
    Gerlich and Tscheuschner, “Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics”
    arXiv:0707.1161v4 [physics.ao-ph] 4 Mar 2009 “””
    I would be very careful before invoking the second law as an argument against CO2 (or other GHG eg H2O) cause of “surface warming”.
    Wiki gives the following:- “” Also, due to Rudolf Clausius, is the simplest formulation of the second law, the heat formulation or Clausius statement:
    Heat generally cannot spontaneously flow from a material at lower temperature to a material at higher temperature. “”
    This is a very poor imitation of the Clausius from of the second law:-
    “No cyclic machine, may have no other effect than to transport heat from a source at one temperature, to a sink at a higher temperature.”
    A bit arcane, and also argumentative; it violates the edict; “Heat is NOT a noun !”
    So Clausius should have said “heat ENERGY”, meaning energy that manifests itself in a form in which the concept of “temperature” even has a meaning; which usually is the mechanical energy of vibration of systems of particles.
    But in any case the restrictioon is to “cyclic machines”.
    So the “cool” earth atmosphere rdiates infra red EM radiation in all directions some of which are downward towards a (presumably) warmer earth surface; and also upwards towards a (presumably) cooler space, and on the way it has to pass through regions of the atmosphere which are at a decidedly higher temperature (but which is mostly empty space).
    Eventually some of that IR radiation may actually strike the dark side of a night time moon, which is decidedly colder than the earth atmosphere, from whence it came.
    That lunar disk subtends an angle of about 0.5 degrees. It turns out that the sun also subtends an angle of 0.5 degrees; hence total eclipses are possible. So a very similar cone of IR from a cool earth atmosphere is on its way to the sun, and will get there in about 8 minutes.
    At the surface of the sun, those arriving earth photons, will encounter the photon police, who will look at their credentials, which will likely read: “I am an 80 meV photon (milli electron volts), and my optical wavelength is 15 microns. ”
    The next question from the photon police will be;- “Where’s your damn temperature card ?” ; to which the photon will sheepishly reply; “They never issued me one.”
    “Well we don’t take ANY visitors unless they have at least a 6000 Kelvin Temperature card; well maybe we accept 5900 or so; so no temperature card; no admittance; so get lost !”
    Well the poor 80 meV photon is in a pickle. NOBODY can tell whether he came from the peak of a 15 micron swimming pool surface; or from the tail end of a 10,000 K laser heated carbon blowtorch (while it is evaporating).
    So sorry to say; photons do not carry a temperature card around with them; and nobody; not even the solar surface photon police can tell what temperature source they came from; so they most surely will be admitted to the solar barbecue; and they will add to the total solar energy; and they aren’t breaking any laws.
    Neither are the ones that strike the earth’s surface after originating from the atmosphere.
    So go easy when tossing that second law around; it has conditional application.
    George

  58. Hal,
    Prof. Freeman Dyson has forgotten more honest science than the NYer’s “climate change reporter” will ever learn. Here’s what he says about climate models:

    My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models. [source]

    The quote about “crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models” is right on point, isn’t it? Sometimes we even see them here on the “Best Science” site.
    And Kolbert is one of those dingbats. In her March 9, 2009 interview, she comments on the economy: “…you see right now, for example, that obviously the economy is just through the roof.”
    I would have said the economy is falling through the floor, but then I don’t write for the NYer.

  59. If they really cared about humanity, as they claim, they would study what causes the jet stream to split and furthermore, what causes a split jet stream regime to get entrenched for several thousand year stretches. We may be at the beginning of one. If so, billions will die, as we end the interglacial.

  60. Smokey
    I have to say I’m a little suprised by Prof Freeman Dyson’s comments regarding the ocean. I’m not sure how climate scientists or climate models truly understand the ocean and its impacts on climate modelling when oceanographers are still working out the fundamentals.
    “Neither observations or theory alone are enough to solve the mysteries of oceanic circulation. Physical oceanography is mature enough to have a substantial body of theory to aid in the interpretation of observations, yet the ocean is continually offering new data to challenge existing ideas of how the ocean works. The deepest understanding and most interesting results almost always evolve from the interplay between these two approaches. This interaction is what makes physical oceanography such an exciting subject and leaves plenty of opportunity for someone entering the field.”
    Source

  61. “When deep water is vented, it brings not only CO2 to the surface but nutrients. Phytoplankton consume the extra nutrients and multiply.”
    Did anyone think to tell these guys that the Phytoplankton consume the nutrients AND the CO2?
    And then they multiply and die, leaving the sediment layers that will be found years later by some AGW rent seekers who will exclaim, “Look! A lot of plankton! There must have been excess CO2 in the ATMOSPHERE!”
    Sheesh!

  62. C Colenaty (14:32:14) :
    Is there any evidence in the geologic record of any shift in the earth’s record at any time in the past billion or so years?

    The Earth’s orbit is always changing. The shift being referred to is a normal and predictable pattern in the Earth’s orbital behaviour. In the very long term, it is chaotic, but in the short term (at least a few hundred thousand years) it is calculable to reasonable accuracy using ordinary Newtonian mechanics. Effects include precession, orbital inclination, orbital elongation, etc. These are things we know independently of geology. A long way back in time, we might not be able to calculate the state of the planet in its various changes, but change it will have – it never stays the same.

  63. Did I miss something here?
    All I get out of this is digging for the timbers to prop op pet C02 forcing theories. It’s looking more like Epicycles these days. Very fragile, nothing direct, always looking for a hot spot for a quick “aha” smoking gun.
    Just stick with what “may have been found”. A change in Earth’s orbit started the place warming, and it warmed. C02 rose AFTER the warming started and provided the food for reforestation. Not much grows under ice sheets. And someday, when the orbit shifts again, the place will cool off, the ice sheets will reform, and the food for plant life will dwindle, and the animal life with it, including mankind if we haven’t gone off the deep end.
    In the meantime, we are in an interglacial, plant life is abundandant, and when the Sun decides to go out to lunch, it lets us know about it.
    How’s that blank Magnetogram working for you these days?

  64. It just seems to me that there has been an increase in the scrambling for something, anything, that will lead to support for human emissions of CO2 causing catastrophic overheating of the planet. These so-called pieces of “evidence” are weakening. It is becoming ever more evident to me that nobody has a stinking clue as to how to get human missions of CO2 to cause any warming at all. That is why we have 10,000 different hypothesis of 10,000 different mechanisms to try to produce one outcome, but all of them fail! Just more grasping at straws…

  65. Paul S,
    Prof. Dyson appears to be simply comparing what computer models are better at doing. They are helpful in fluid dynamics; not so much in climate dynamics. In fact, not a single one of the twenty-odd supercomputer climate models currently in existence predicted the rapid decline in global temperature since 2007.

  66. I think they are blowing C02 up tailpipes.
    Have some ice with your mid-March Flatlined Flux brand coffee.
    Sprinkle Sunspecks brand cinnamon on your cold toast.
    Hey buddy, can you spare some C02 for our greenhouse?

  67. “”” Mike Ramsey (14:31:17) :
    For the counter argument that any increase in CO2 is offset by changes in the earths precipitation systems which then leads to no net effect on global temperature, see:
    http://landshape.org/enm/greenhouse-effect-in-semi-transparent-planetary-atmospheres-by-miskolczi-a-review/ “””
    Well the first mistake in this paper is in assuming that the earth’s surface and atmosphere are in any way in equilibrium.
    And we have real actual experimental verification for that. See Jan 2001 Geophysical Research Letters, a paper by I believe John christy et al, reporting on about 20 years of oceanic buoy studies of simultaneous near surface (-1 m) water temperatures, and near surface (+3m) air temperatures over some oceanic locations.
    Prior to this study there generally was a bleief that surface and atmosphere were in equilibrium, so oceanic water temperature measurements were accepted as a proxy for oceanic lower tropospheric air temperatures.
    The studies showed they aren’t in equilibrium; they aren’t the same temperature, the lower tropospheric warming (at those sites) over that 20 years was only about 60% of the oceanic water temperature warming (at those sites); but more importantly the two data sets were not even correlated; so the real oceanic lower troposphere temperatures are not recoverable form the scads of oceanic water temperature that up till that time (around 1980) had been accepted as a proxy for lower troposphere air temperatures.
    Why would you expect them to be correlated, since oceanic currents are maybe a few knots, while air currents can be tens to hundreds of knots. Air over Hawaii today, may be over Mexico in a couple of days, but the water surely won’t.
    So nyet ! the earth surface and the lower troposphere are never in equilibrium; specially with that big orange blowtorch going around every 24 hours or so.
    So Kirchoff’s law doesn’t have a whole lot to do with anything climatical; and in particular it doesn’t do any transmutation of solar spectrum photons into long wave infra red photons.
    Most solar energy arriving at earth goes right into the deep oceans; well they are 73% of the total earth surface area and a darn side more than 73% of the tropical surface area where the highest solar irradiance occurs; so it is pretty safe to say that the water to land division of the solar energy pie, is about 3:1 which is a very nice number since it agrees with the obligatory 3:1 fudge factor that accompanies all climate science model preditions of future outcomes. A good bit of the land area solar energy pie also happens to end up in water in soils and the like, so the water to rocks division is even bigger than 3:1
    The oceanic part is subject to conduction in all directions; including downwards towards the ocean depths; BUT ! salt water of more than 2.47% salinity, has no maximum density before it freezes, and most oceanic water is 3.5% salinity, so it has a definite positive coefficient of thermal expansion.
    That means that the oceanic waters heated by solar energy, expand, and travel upward by ordinary convection. Convection always trumps conduction in energy transport at lower temperatures; so that oceanic solar energy is inexorably brought back to the surface where it eventually gets wrm enough to evaporate a lot of water, and also radiate an almost black body spectrum, as well as heat the atmosphere by conduction. Froma there atmospheric convection also transports that energy into the upper atmosphere, along with the IR radiation from the water surface (and even hotter tropical desert land surfaces).
    There is nothing that is a bit equilibrius in this picture; it is a seething mass of dynamic energy exchanges.
    So don’t invest your life savings in promoting that German paper.
    George; Hey ! It’s The water !!

  68. Well, Squidly, what they need are volunteers. They need a million monkeys and a million typewriters working a million years to write AGW XP Professional. Ask Bill Gates how that works.

  69. Smokey
    I agree on all accounts. I just wanted to point out that climate scientists and models, whilst they appear to understand fluid dynamics well, wouldn’t have the full understanding of the oceans workings.

  70. In fact, not a single one of the twenty-odd supercomputer climate models currently in existence predicted the rapid decline in global temperature since 2007.
    They should stop trying to force C02 into the supercomputers. It’s obviously overheating them. You’re supposed to use liquid nitrogen, don’tca know.

  71. Bob Montle (11:32:21) :
    This is another well, DUH story.
    Many skeptics believe CO2 follows temperature, not the reverse.
    If CO2 does follow temperature increases,
    Then as the earth warms at the end of an ice age, the CO2 concentrations would rise also.
    Nothing new here except more hype about the warming powers of CO2.

    Bob, you are interjecting that this paper is somehow showing “the warming powers of CO2”, which it does not. The fact is, it contradicts many other research papers and empirical evidence that clearly show how CO2 increases in the past have lagged temperature rises by 800-1000 years. Further, several in-depth, peer-reviewed studies clearly show that CO2 can only have a very small overall warming effect and may instead create a negative feedback and lead to cooling in the long run. I suggest you go back and do a little more studying. Try reading some of the other threads here and follow links posted by others to get started.

  72. Paul S,
    Thanks for that response. It parallels what Freeman Dyson says further down in that interesting article:

    When I listen to the public debates about climate change, I am impressed by the enormous gaps in our knowledge, the sparseness of our observations and the superficiality of our theories. Many of the basic processes of planetary ecology are poorly understood. They must be better understood before we can reach an accurate diagnosis of the present condition of our planet.

    Dyson refers to himself as a heretic — his term for a skeptic. That’s why the NY Times is attacking him. They can not refute his science, so they do their typical ad hominem attack, using a scribbler who has learned nothing accurate about climate science. That’s all they have, while Dyson has real street cred in the science community.

  73. A long lost friend in Sudbury Ont Canada commented to me recently that in the last few years there are rarely calm wind days.
    Unlike in years past, the wind seems to blow constantly. He spends a lot of time “back in the bush” so he notices these things.
    If this is true, a series of graphs of average wind velocity for various places over the last 30 plus years might be revealing.
    Here in Cleveland OH we do seem to get more windy days and wind storms than I recall from previous decades, except on summer days when I might go sailing.
    It might have some bearing on the AGW debate. BTW I thing AGW is rubbish.
    Cheers,
    TJP
    Cleveland OH

  74. Squidly, ” It is becoming ever more evident to me that nobody has a stinking clue as to how to get human missions of CO2 to cause any warming at all.” And George E. Smith, “There is nothing that is a bit equilibrius in [the earth’s surface and atmosphere]; it is a seething mass of dynamic energy exchanges.” The trolls don’t phase you in the least. For those who at present have been stuffed up by the pseudo-science of AGW/Climate Change/Evil CO2, a few blasts from the knowledgeable here should clear the sinuses.
    After reading that the New York Climate Conference received all of five minutes of mass media attention by Glen Beck, I felt deeply angered. But a glass of wine and a few minutes reading up this thread gave me renewed hope that both the language and the thinking is getting clearer and clearer. And at least “global warming” is at the bottom of Americans’ list of concerns. Perhaps there is time — and perhaps Americans will revolte if there is a serious attempt at cap-and-trade. I am raising my glass to a future with a wider reach for the real science of climate change. Thanks to Anthony and WUWT contributors all.

  75. While this theory is nothing more than conjecture,
    There is this fascinating animation of clouds (and winds) over 1 year, every hour produced by NCAR.
    Watch the winds circulate around Antarctica (no wonder sailing ships had such a hard time getting around Cape Horn). Strong enough wind patterns to actually produce the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Notice the winds follow the path of the Gulf Stream and the Kuroshio extension current off Japan. Watch equatorial heat being transported rapidly to the poles by heat-differential-generated winds. It certainly gives you a different view of the climate.
    https://www.ucar.edu/publications/nsf_review/animations/ccm3.512×256.mpg

  76. Stephen Wilde, I was looking for data on jetstream changes and any accompanying analysis.
    The reason I ask, is ten or fifteen years ago climate change clearly meant the shifting of the Earth’s climatic zones, polewards in the case of a warming climate.
    This is a very easy thing to measure, eg the track of low pressure systems, and we have good data going back at least 200 years.
    This meaning (the only real meaning IMO) has been quietly forgotten as the data shows this poleward shift simply isn’t happening.
    One of many dogs in climate science that mysteriously don’t bark.

  77. primitive
    A defrost control system for a self-defrosting refrigerator is configured to monitor a compressor load, determine whether at least a first defrost cycle is required based on the compressor load, execute at least one defrost cycle when required; and regulate the defrost cycle to conserve energy. A controller is operatively coupled to a compressor, a defrost heater, and a refrigeration compartment temperature sensor. The controller makes defrost decisions based on temperature conditions in the refrigeration compartment in light of other events, such as refrigerator door openings, completed defrost cycles, and power up events. Defrost cycles are automatically adjusted as operating conditions change, thereby avoiding unnecessary energy consumption that would otherwise occur in a fixed defrost cycle.
    US Patent 6606870 – Deterministic refrigerator defrost method and apparatus
    http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6606870.html
    Basic thermodynamics:
    sorry

  78. Dear pyromancer76 (18:08:22) :,
    I too share your optimism. It is my sincere hope that more sites, like this one, begin to, at the very least, inspire further thought and consideration by the general masses. Perhaps people will finally see that if we can spend trillions of dollars on a non-existent problem, then perhaps we can at least spend a few billion addressing severe problems that do exist. I don’t know about you, but in my town (Nashville, TN) there are a whole lot more people living down by the river than there used to be. Doesn’t this kind of thing bother anyone? It sure doesn’t seem to, not when talking about things like CO2 taxation and Cap’N Trade (reminds me of Cap’N Crunch). Here, I will make a very simple deal with all of the AGWer’s and pro Cap’N Trade people out there. When I can drive to work and not see garbage spewing out of the ditches beside the road, then I will have a little more faith in our ability to actually do something “positive” towards our environment, and I will sign on to your Cap’N Trade. Until then, keep your AGW hypothesis to yourself and stay out of my life! For these reasons I will continue to frequent sites like WUWT, and continue to further my own education on what IS real, and raise my voice in protest against that which aims to distort our perceptions towards what is NOT real. My daughter is going to have to put up with a world in the future that frankly scares the hell out of me. I fear for he, and not from our world getting warming, but rather from this incessant perpetration of this preposterous idea that emissions of CO2 from humans is going to overheat our world. It is therefore incumbent upon all of us to learn and educate others on all of these things that are science, so that they may see clearly and objectively what reality really is. The AGW hypothesis war will only be won by real sciences when the masses are led through the fog and are able to see and understand those sciences for themselves.

  79. Smokey
    I had picked up the Kolbert quote from a commenter at RealClimate
    By the way she is from NEW YORKER Magazine, not the NY Times.
    I see you got her idiotic “economy going thru the roof” point too.
    Here is Anne’s comment on RC, followed by a response from Gavin, defending that stupid AGW defending journalist:
    So how should a blogger handle statements by the press, which are stupid.
    I just ran across a Yale Environment 360 interview with Elizabeth Kolbert, a climate change reporter with the New Yorker, where she says:
    http://www.e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2130
    “I mean, Freeman Dyson has done a tremendous amount of damage saying, “I don’t believe models. We can’t model this.” Well, we actually can model
    it very accurately, it turns out. And we’re talking about very fundamental science. It’s not a very complicated science.”
    Should we ignore such imbecilic statements of how simple the science is? Is that the message we want to give the public? Someone should tell this woman to look at the scientific blogs out there, so that she realizes how complex it is to model the climate.
    [Response: Kolbert has done a tremendous job bringing this to the public and understands the issues extremely well. Her “Field Notes from a Catastrophe” is probably the best pop. sci. intro to the issue out there. Her statement is not ‘imbecilic’ – the basic science is very simple and something that the public doesn’t grasp well. And yes, she understands how hard it is to model the details – read chapter 5 of her book. You have picked the absolutely worst target here. – gavin]
    Real climate will defend any idiot pushing that AGW alarmism.

  80. In the last 40 years, the winds have shifted south much as they did 17,000 years ago, said Anderson.

    Where’s the quantification of how much of the past 40 years’ CO2 was due to this mechanism?

  81. Thanx, Hal, for the correction.
    I was intrigued by the scribbler’s statement:

    “Well, we actually can model [the climate] very accurately, it turns out.”

    Which begs the question: then why don’t climate models accurately model the climate, if it’s so easy to do?

  82. Terry Phillips (17:49:16) :

    A long lost friend in Sudbury Ont Canada commented to me recently that in the last few years there are rarely calm wind days.
    Unlike in years past, the wind seems to blow constantly. He spends a lot of time “back in the bush” so he notices these things.

    One of my favorite graphs is from the Blue Hill Observatory showing the
    30 year decline in average wind speed:
    http://bluehill.org/annwind.gif
    I don’t believe anyone has a good reason for it. There has also been a
    decline in the number of flooding storms along the Massachusetts
    coast.

  83. Philip_B
    If there is already good data on the shifts in average mid latitude jet stream positions then I haven’t seen it and would like a link to it.
    My ‘analysis’ is simply based on my own observations of jet stream movements over the past 50 years. They have clearly been moving equatorward again since 2000.
    For the time being I think that my verbal descriptions of the complex ever varying interplay between sun, ocean and air are the best available match for what we actually observe.
    Others with better mathematical skills, greater financial resources and more time will have to attend to the detailed mechanics.

  84. Ron House (16:50:58)
    Thanks for your thoughtful input. From your explanation, I gather that I had misinterpreted what the auther meant in stating, “Many scientists think that the end of the last ice age was triggered by a change in Earth’s orbit”. So I gather that what this statement is saying is that there was a change in the earth’s orientation toward the sun the earth moved through an orbit that was probably in it’s circular phase. Seems a bit Tweedle brothers-like to me, but then I do have the problem of having studied General Semantics as a young man and quite recovered. So what I take from your explanation is that “orbit change” as used in this paper does not imply an alteration in the earth’s normal orbit nor in the sequence of orientations to the sun that the earth assumes in traveling over its orbit, but instead indicates that the earth had reached a point in its orbiting and seqemce of orientations which ultimately resulted in the wind blow extra hard over the Indian Ocean. Fortunately, not everything Anthony presents requires such extensive interpretation!

  85. Oh yes, I’ve got it now: Indulgences. That was quite the scandal.
    So, what happens to the infidel in this new religion?

  86. If this has already been commented upon, then I’m sorry for repeating. The article states,
    “In the last 40 years, the winds have shifted south much as they did 17,000 years ago”
    The last 40 years? All of the AGW hype started within this time frame. So this article, like so many others, blurs the lines of burden for GW. All of these articles should state as fact that we are dealing with theories concerning the causes of GW.

  87. AGW is a joke. The only science it has qualified for or ever will qualify for is political science. We are not seeing any surface temperatures falling outside historical norms. This is easy to validate. AGW is an elaborate ruse being used to dismantle American freedoms and free market capitalism.

  88. Mike D. (19:27:14) : Tax the wind!!!
    That won’t happen… Al Gore has so much wind coming out his derriere that he would be taxed to death.

  89. Hello – interesting website.
    However, I see several posts on the Heartland Institute conference, but not a single one on this week’s climate conference in Copenhagen. Seems a pity, as many reputable groups made presentations there …regards Cormac

  90. cormac, the owner of this blog was at the Heartland Institute conference. If you were at the other one, please post!

  91. George E. Smith (17:01:32) :
    George,
    Dr. Miskolczi is talking about Thermodynamical Equilibrium within an enclosure; that enclosure being the earth’s atmosphere. Schwarzschild wrote about this application of Kirchhoff’s law back 1906.
    By the second law of thermodynamics, the equilibrium is complete. The only way that thermal changes can take place is by the application of external work. This is where the sun comes into play as you pointed out.
    BTW, radiation inside an enclosure is called black-body radiation.
    A recent (more recent than Schwarzschild anyway) introduction to this topic can be found here:
    http://miskolczi.webs.com/Kirchhoff1.htm
    The upshot is that by applying Kirchhoff’s law you arrive at the energy minimum principle. See section 5.1 (page 16) here:
    http://miskolczi.webs.com/2007.pdf
    Dr. Miskolczi is a mathematical physicist and he is not writing for the general audience. Ferenc is using terms with precise meaning that make the ideas clear to other physicist while at the same time makes the paper hard to read by non-specialist.
    The work is top notch.
    –Mike Ramsey

  92. David A (18:23:58)
    You ask “Can someone explain how the wind can bring up CO2from the depth of the antartctic, but a volcano would not.”
    I don’t know about the wind part of your question, but my understanding is that some volcanic activity results in a release of CO2 and other sorts do not. The largest volcanic release of CO2 that I know of occurred about 250 million years ago, when the volcanic Siberian Traps (an area about as large as France) got started and continued on for the better part of a million years. The level of CO2. This reresulted in about a nine fold increase of CO2. Prior to this extensive volcanism, the levels of both CO2 and oxygen were at record lows. Sinc CO2 drives oxygen in the carbon cycle, the increase in CO2 also resulted in a marked increase of oxygen as well. This was also the time of the Permian-Triassic (P-T) extinction event, when something like 90 percent of living forms were killed off.
    Since my field of research is that of perception rather than climatology, don’t be surprised if I am off a tad in some of the details I’ve covered. By the way, this massive release of CO2 did indeed go beyond a “tipping point”, and so this resulted in a major increase in world temperature.

  93. C.Colenaty.
    A volcanic outbreak in the Siberian Trapps of the scale mentioned would do a lot more than simply put more CO2 into the air.
    The injection of particulate matter and other gases and materials into the air would have had greater consequences than the CO2 on it’s own.
    At this stage we cannot say that it was just CO2 that had the observed consequences however convenient that assertion might be for some.

  94. Stephen Wilde (01:02:24)
    In regard to my post mentioning the PT extinction and the Siberian Traps, you say, “The injection of particulate matter and other gases and materials into the air would have had greater consequences than the CO2 on it’s own.” I agree with you completely. My estimate is that the massive increase in CO2 probably had little negative effect upon plant or animal life, in that the CO2 remained at close to that high level over a periiod of millions of years during which plant and animal life became abundant once more.
    The PT boundary extinction (The Grerat Dying) apparently was a multi-phase event, and not just the result of gases and particulates release by the Siberian Trapps, which more or less came as the final act in the extinction. There is speculation that a major meteorite strke might have started things off by destroying most of the C3 vegetation (trees and bushes and such), followed by an upsurge of aggesive insects and fungi. My own conjecture is that the massive die-off of C3 plants occurred as a result of atmospheric CO2 dipping below the 150 to 200 parts per million that are needed for photosynthesis to proceed efficiently. As an aside, the PT boundary possibly represent the only time an the past 540 million years or so that atmospheric CO2 level was ;lower than that which occurs during our current glaciation periods. Anyway, the only form of vegation that would benefit from seems to have been an explosive growth of both terrestrial and marine fungi Now I think it is the case that fungi would represent the only form of vegetation that would benefit from such a reduction of atmospheric CO2, in that fungi do not obtain carbon through carrying out photosynthesis. It is estimated that fungi might have existed as a dominant vegatative form (they are not considered as plants) for about 64,000 years.
    I wonder what might have happened if the Siberian Traps volcanic event had not hadn’t come along at that particular time in the earth’s history. At the very lest, it seems certain that there wouldn’t be any such thing as mankind present.

  95. “”” Mike Ramsey (16:44:44) :
    George E. Smith (17:01:32) :
    George,
    Dr. Miskolczi is talking about Thermodynamical Equilibrium within an enclosure; that enclosure being the earth’s atmosphere. Schwarzschild wrote about this application of Kirchhoff’s law back 1906. “””
    Explain to us once again just how the earth’s atmosphere is an “enclosure”.
    An “enclosure”; something that really prohibited radiation from either entering or exiting, would presumably eventually reach a single equilibrium temperature at every point in the enclosure. Only then would Kirchoff’s law apply, and only then would the radiation INSIDE the anclosure be Black Body radiation. A body that is not isothermal does not emit black body radiation.
    And how can the earth’s atmosphere be an “enclosure” at a single temperature, when the sun rotates around it once in every 24 hours ( so far as the atmosphere can tell).
    Old Martin must have been off his rocker when he made such a claim.
    I haven’t looked lately; but I think I too am a Mathematical Physicist. At least my degree is regarded (by the issuing University) as a dual Major, in Physics and Mathematics.
    That is it meets ALL of the requirements and prerequisites for (their) degree in Mathematics, in that BOTH Pure and Applied Mathematics are required for a minimum of three years study (and passes in the appropriate three (units); plus it also meets all the requiremts of (their) degree in Physics; that being a minimum of three years study in Physics, and passes in those three units; where the third year Physics Unit, could be Physics; or Radiophysics (including electronics, propagation etc (all that ionospheric physics); or it could be in Mathematical Physics. Any one of those third year (unts would qualify for the Physics degree (with the two prerequisite Physics years).
    Come to think of it; I actually took and passed ALL three of those third year Physics Units plus the two mathematics requirments. Maybe that’s actaually five majors; I’ll have to ask them what they think; I know they thought I was weird at the time.
    I’m no Martin Schwarzchild; but I think maybe I am a Mathematical Physicist; or at least an ersatz one. Just wish I ould remeber all of that stuff after 50 years. I also have the entire set of my (Technical) High School report cards; just in case somebody ever asked me if I had any educational credentials.
    But I don’t think earth’s atmosphere is either an enclosure; or is in equilibrium; or any facsimile of an equilibrium condition; I wouldn’t even call it “steady State”.
    George
    PS I confess I flunked the Pure Maths III the first time I took it, and had to repeat it. That was because they forgave me the PM-I prerequisite, so I took PM-III in my second year with a really big load. Aced it the next year though.
    I have no idea how that system compares with today’s Degrees or Curricula; so maybe I only qualify for an “associate” degree today.

  96. George E. Smith (17:59:53) :

    Old must have been off his rocker when he made such a claim.

    Either Karl was whacked or you need to dig a little deeper. Take a look at the following:
    http://www.met.utah.edu/tgarrett/5210_07/Radiation/LTE.pdf
    I haven’t looked lately; but I think I too am a Mathematical Physicist.

    Then you should be up to the task of actually reading Ferenc’s paper. 🙂
    –Mike Ramsey

  97. Mike Ramsey said;
    “Dr. Miskolczi is a mathematical physicist and he is not writing for the general audience. Ferenc is using terms with precise meaning that make the ideas clear to other physicist while at the same time makes the paper hard to read by non-specialist.”
    I went through this step by step with a mathematical physicist last year and even he was impressed. Has any of the theory and science behind it been properly refuted-and I don’t mean by people shouting at it from Real Climate but by peers demonstrating any part of the hypotheses is incorrect.
    TonyB

  98. TonyB (11:53:59) :
    I went through this step by step with a mathematical physicist last year and even he was impressed. Has any of the theory and science behind it been properly refuted-and I don’t mean by people shouting at it from Real Climate but by peers demonstrating any part of the hypotheses is incorrect.

    TonyB,
    Not that I am aware of. I have searched the World Wide Web many times looking for such a paper but have found nothing.
    Dr. Miskolczi worked at NASA but quit when they refused to let him publish this paper. Shame on NASA.
    Here is another analysis you can look at:
    http://www.landshape.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=introduction
    The conclusion states:
    “1 The new theory is based on relationships discovered from detailed LBL calculations, in turn based in quantitative determination of absorption properties of gasses in the laboratory. The theory is also based in more appropriate boundary conditions used in solving the differential equations describing radiation equilibrium. Unlike empirical models, his theory contains no parameters that are “fitted” to historic climate trends and greenhouse gas concentration trends. The greatest areas of difference are: * Infrared Radiation equilibrium between surface and atmosphere * Partly infrared transparent atmosphere.
    The main consequence of the new theory is that the atmosphere tends to maintain an globally optimal optical thickness by water vapor take-up or release, in order to maximize maximum Outgoing Long wave Radiation for a cloudy atmosphere. This ensures that if perturbed, the system uses negative feedback to revert to a mean values, based largely on the average solar isolation. The relaxation time at this point is unknown, but would be expected to be in the order of 60 years.
    2 This article shows the new theory better explains radiosonde and satellite measurements than the standard theory of “Anthropogenic Global Warming”. Measurements of the correlations with weather patterns in the tropical Pacific show the negative feedback, via changing water content of the air, and changing cloud cover and cloud height. Changes in water vapor temperature in the upper troposphere in the period 1979-1999 predicted by the standard theory as a consequence of the greenhouse gas contradict the observations.”
    –Mike Ramsey

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