Arrhenius’ little known claim about the benefits of CO2

This article from NASA’s Earth Observatory came up in a reply prompted by one of Gore’s “presenters” who comment bombed a previous thread. I thought it interesting to present here because while Arrhenius is in fact credited with the CO2 LW trapping discovery, he also later went on to say that the end result be beneficial. This is something Gore’s “trained presenters” don’t mention in their AIT presentations. See the last paragraph. – Anthony (h/t to Tom in Florida)

Svante ArrheniusSvante ArrheniusA hundred years ago, Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius asked the important question “Is the mean temperature of the ground in any way influenced by the presence of the heat-absorbing gases in the atmosphere?” He went on to become the first person to investigate the effect that doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide would have on global climate. The question was debated throughout the early part of the 20th century and is still a main concern of Earth scientists today.

Ironically, Arrhenius’ education and training were not in climate research, but rather electrochemistry. His doctoral thesis on the chemical theory of electrolytes in 1884 was initially regarded as mediocre by his examination committee, but later was heralded as an important work regarding the theory of affinity. In 1891, Arrhenius was a founder and the first secretary of the Stockholm Physical Society, a group of scientists whose interests included geology, meteorology, and astronomy. His association with this society would later help stimulate his interests in cosmic physics-the physics of the Earth, sea, and atmosphere. In 1903, Arrhenius was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on the electrolytic theory of dissociation. In the years following his international recognition, Arrhenius lectured throughout Europe and was elected to numerous scientific societies.

Arrhenius did very little research in the fields of climatology and geophysics, and considered any work in these fields a hobby. His basic approach was to apply knowledge of basic scientific principles to make sense of existing observations, while hypothesizing a theory on the cause of the “Ice Age.” Later on, his geophysical work would serve as a catalyst for the work of others.

In 1895, Arrhenius presented a paper to the Stockholm Physical Society titled, “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground.” This article described an energy budget model that considered the radiative effects of carbon dioxide (carbonic acid) and water vapor on the surface temperature of the Earth, and variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. In order to proceed with his experiments, Arrhenius relied heavily on the experiments and observations of other scientists, including Josef Stefan, Arvid Gustaf Högbom, Samuel Langley, Leon Teisserenc de Bort, Knut Angstrom, Alexander Buchan, Luigi De Marchi, Joseph Fourier, C.S.M. Pouillet, and John Tyndall.

Arrhenius argued that variations in trace constituents—namely carbon dioxide—of the atmosphere could greatly influence the heat budget of the Earth. Using the best data available to him (and making many assumptions and estimates that were necessary), he performed a series of calculations on the temperature effects of increasing and decreasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. His calculations showed that the “temperature of the Arctic regions would rise about 8 degrees or 9 degrees Celsius, if the carbonic acid increased 2.5 to 3 times its present value. In order to get the temperature of the ice age between the 40th and 50th parallels, the carbonic acid in the air should sink to 0.62 to 0.55 of present value (lowering the temperature 4 degrees to 5 degrees Celsius).”

As Arrhenius predicted, both carbon dioxide levels and temperatures increased from 1900–1999. However, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased much more quickly than he expected, but the Earth hasn't warmed as much as he thought it would. (Graphs by Robert Simmon, based on data from NOAA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies)

During the next ten years, Arrhenius continued his work on the effects of carbon dioxide on climate, and published a two-volume technical book titled Lehrbuch der kosmischen Physik in 1903; but this work was not widely read, as it was a textbook for a discipline that did not yet exist. A few years later, Arrhenius published Worlds in the Making, a non-technical book that reached a greater audience. In this book Arrhenius first describes the “hot-house theory ”of the atmosphere, stating that the Earth’s temperature is about 30 degrees warmer than it would be due to the“ heat-protection action of gases contained in the atmosphere,”a theory based on ideas developed by Fourier, Pouillet, and (especially) Tyndall. His calculations demonstrated that if the atmosphere had no carbon dioxide, the surface temperature of the Earth would fall about 21 degrees Celsius, and that this cooler atmosphere would contain less water vapor, resulting in an additional temperature decrease of approximately 10 degrees Celsius. It is important to note that Arrhenius was not very concerned with rising carbon dioxide levels at the time, but rather was attempting to find an explanation for high latitude temperature changes that could be attributed to the onset of the ice ages and interglacial periods.

By 1904, Arrhenius became concerned with rapid increases in anthropogenic carbon emissions and recognized that “the slight percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere may, by the advances of industry, be changed to a noticeable degree in the course of a few centuries.” He eventually made the suggestion that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide due to the burning of fossil fuels could be beneficial, making the Earth’s climates “more equable,” stimulating plant growth, and providing more food for a larger population. This view differs radically from current concerns over the harmful effects of a global warming caused by industrial emissions and deforestation. Until about 1960, most scientists dismissed the notion as implausible that humans could significantly affect average global temperatures. Today, however, we know that carbon dioxide levels have risen about 25 percent—a rate much faster than Arrhenius first predicted—and average global temperatures have risen about 0.5 degrees Celsius.

Internet References
Svante August Arrhenius, The Electronic Nobel Museum

Print References
Fleming, James Rodger, 1998: Historical Perspectives on Climate Change, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 194 pp.

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140 thoughts on “Arrhenius’ little known claim about the benefits of CO2

  1. Arrhenius was also a eugenicist.

    Whether there is any connection between his work in physics/chemistry and in eugenics is debatable. However, state prerogatives and totalizing concepts often have sobering results. Many “scientists” of his era had little tolerance for variance in a population – whether of molecules or of people.

  2. His doctoral thesis on the chemical theory of electrolytes in 1884 was initially regarded as mediocre by his examination committee, but later was heralded as an important work regarding the theory of affinity.

    So important that he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for that work!

    REPLY: Quite true, and an excellent demonstration of how peer review often fails in the immediate context of the publication – Anthony

  3. A note on Arrhenius from Wiki which I posted on the previous thread: “Svante Arrhenius was also actively engaged in the process leading to the creation in 1922 of The State Institute for Racial Biology in Uppsala, Sweden, which had originally been planned as a Nobel Institute. Arrhenius was a member of the institute’s board, as he had been in The Swedish Society for Racial Hygiene (Eugenics), founded in 1909. Swedish racial biology was world-leading at this time, and the results formed the scientific basis for the Compulsory sterilization program in Sweden, as well as inspiring the Nazi eugenics in Germany.”

    Eugenics was all the “consensus” in those days.

  4. This webpage is down.

    Internet References
    Svante August Arrhenius, The Electronic Nobel Museum

    Apparently, Arrhenius has been removed from the Nobel Museum. Maybe they are rewriting the article to remove a few inconvenient truths. I find it odd that NASA would publish this without scrubbing it of these politically incorrect facts.
    Could there be a few rebels within NASA? Nahhhh. More likely just an oversight.

  5. I wonder how much more precise Science is today in its understanding of CO2 effect on atmospheric temperature.

    It seems the increases/decreases of CO2 concentration Arrhenius was writing about are much greater than what has been presently measured.

    Also, if I read the article right, his work (mostly interpretation of other’s work) did not include consideration of other inputs into the climate energy budget, but rather examined CO2 concentrations in isolation.

    Science now knows that there are many factors that effect global temperatures, and it’s the interrelationships of these many factors that drive global climate.

    And it has been pointed out that most of today’s climate models fail to adequately address or identify all the potential factors driving global climate.

  6. I agree with Robert 100%, although unscientific to some; instinct does tell us important, basic things.
    I find that my own instinct/ gut feeling tells me it’s the sun. Which by the way is sleeping on at 601 spotless days…
    I don’t know what skin product the sun is using, but I want some!
    An interesting article though.
    So even the foundations of the whole gore et al fiasco have been mis-used and misrepresented.

    REPLY: Gut feelings are useless until quantified. – Anthony

  7. Eugenics was all the “consensus” in those days..

    Indeed. No doubt that in their minds, the “science was settled.”

  8. “theduke (08:06:28) :
    A note on Arrhenius from Wiki which I posted on the previous thread: “Svante Arrhenius was also actively engaged in the process leading to the creation in 1922 of The State Institute for Racial Biology in Uppsala, Sweden

    That is before WWII. What an inspiring fellow. Who knows if the Most Sacred Prophet of the Global Warmers’ Green Religion believes himself a triple ALFA of the “Brave New World” his masters are planning for us, so expecting us to become His most faithful servants..:)

  9. Mike Bryant: The Nobel Prize’s biography of Arrhenius is on their site. That “museum” site doesn’t have any biographies now; if you follow the links pointing at finding out about the researchers… you land outside the museum on the nobelprize.org Biographies page.

  10. Phil. (07:51:10) :

    So important that he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for that work!

    Al Gore’s got one like that. Am I supposed to be impressed?

  11. My gut instinct always told me that Arrhenius wasn’t a climatologist. :-)

    Fortunately, I firmly believe non-climatologists can make a substantial contribution to any field of science. However, I am quite willing to point out to the next AGW supporter who disagrees that he should consider Arrhenius’ and all derivative works suspect.

  12. “Eugenics was all the “consensus” in those days.” More precisely it was the progressive consensus.

  13. The bottom of the atmosphere is warmer than the top because of gravity. The air at the bottom is therefore at higher pressure and so contains more energy per unit volume and is at a higher temperature.

    The ‘greenhouse’ explanation is not needed and don’t work.. Existing thermodynamic theories are sufficient to explain the atmosphere warming effect.

    THe greenhouse theory is useful to climate scientists. They can play one gas off against others and get lots of grants to do it.

  14. “Gut feelings are useless until quantified.”

    I might prefer ‘until articulated’. We’re at about 40 days speckless; since the November outbreak 23’s outnumber 24’s. March/April 2009 is at lower ebb, if anything, than July/August 2008. So our 600 days spotless looks to become 1200 by Rmax with ease.

    Say goodbye to the 2008 ‘Minimum’, long live the 2009 Minimum.

  15. REPLY: Gut feelings are useless until quantified. – Anthony

    Granted. HOWEVER, educated “gut feelings” are often the basis of hypotheses, or even fortuitous accidents (vulcanization, teflon, etc.), often quite wacky, which yield quite stunning outcomes once they are “quantified”.

    Paradoxically (and into a little ironically) the very best engineers, inventors and scientists tend to be highly intuitive. It drives the drones in those professions CRAZY, as they were led to believe (by their drone professors) that everything was in the numbers.

    It ain’t.

    (Parenthetically, highly intuitive engineers, inventors and scientists also drive the purely “creative” types nuts, as them folks are usually ill equipped to understand the underpinnings, usually mathematical. I guess this is an argument for “engineering within the liberal arts”. Or at least forbearance of the wacky amongst us.)

    My intuition has been saying (for about a year) that we’re in a Dalton-like solar minimum. So far, my intuition has been more right than the “professionals” with their highly derivative data. See, for example, the 100 day moving averag chart of spotless days at http://solarcycle24.com/ today.

    I beg forebearance, but y’all should buy coal.

  16. Like those of today’s, Arrhenius’s model was also quantitatively wrong.

    Such models on very complex systems are useful to understant processes (and how nature works) but they always fall on the quantitative aspect. It is true today and was true in Arrhenius’s times.

  17. AnonyMoose,

    This is from your link, “He took a lively interest in various branches of physics, as illustrated by his theory of the importance of the CO2-content of the atmosphere for the climate,”

    This from the article above, “He eventually made the suggestion that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide due to the burning of fossil fuels could be beneficial, making the Earth’s climates “more equable,” stimulating plant growth, and providing more food for a larger population. This view differs radically from current concerns over the harmful effects of a global warming caused by industrial emissions and deforestation.”

    It appears that history has been rewritten, or does that thought remain in the Nobel archives somewhere?

  18. Mr Green Genes (08:47:12) :

    Phil. (07:51:10) :

    So important that he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for that work!

    Al Gore’s got one like that. Am I supposed to be impressed?

    Al Gore got a PEACE prize, NOT a science prize.

  19. “So important that he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for that work!”

    My PChem tome had a couple of transition tables named for Arrhenius but mentioned him only once, and only in passing, in the text.

    I mention this only because of its apparent irony. His fame owing to vocational expertise will be swallowed up by his infamy over an unfortunate avocational conjecture.

  20. From the article above:

    However, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased much more quickly than he expected, but the Earth hasn’t warmed as much as he thought it would.

    Because Arrhenius was wrong on his calculation of α; 5.35 W/m^2 is an over-exaggerated sensitivity. Some authors have come over the revision of Arrhenius formula for calculating ∆T and have found α is not constant, but it varies depending on partial pressure and Cp of CO2. If the incoming load of IR remains constant, doubling CO2, according to Fourier’s algorithm, would cause cooling, not warming. For a doubling of CO2 causes warming, the source of heat (Sun) must experience a constant increase of the intensity of discharged radiation.

    Besides, and given that some people do reject works from creationists, mystics, etc., Arrhenius was Rosicrucian. Heh! ;)

  21. Why is so much attention directed to a set of ideas about global air temperatures that ignore the energy storage capacity and variable energy release of the oceans ?

    “His basic approach was to apply knowledge of basic scientific principles to make sense of existing observations.”

    Well that is my approach too but how can anyone with a brain ignore the fact that 71% of the Earth’s surface is water ?

    Roger Clague:
    “The bottom of the atmosphere is warmer than the top because of gravity. The air at the bottom is therefore at higher pressure and so contains more energy per unit volume and is at a higher temperature.”

    Quite true. Gravity and pressure are involved in retaining heat energy that is already there but in the case of Earth it is insufficient in itself to account for the Earth’s surface temperature variations.

    In fact the bottom of the atmosphere (air) is warmer than the top primarily because of the heat energy released at variable rates by the oceans.

    Without the oceans it is true that gravity and pressure would create a temperature gradient from surface upwards but in the case of the Earth the energy flow from ocean to air to space is the dominant factor in global changes in air temperature trends in my opinion.

    The ocean circulations appear to disrupt the background energy flow from sun to ocean to air to space and all our observations of air temperature changes can be explained by that process without the need to involve variations in the CO2 content of the air.

    Considering the scale of the oceanic influence any minor change in the composition of the air is an irrelevance.

    I don’t expect others to agree with me at this stage. This post is part of my intent to put my ideas in the public domain to await rebuttal or confirmation by the real world in due course.

  22. Reading between the lines of the above essay, I get the feeling that Arrhenius was one of the first, if not the first, to come up with theis idea of “Climate Sensitivity”; nemely the increase in global mean temperature for a doubling of CO2. You will recall that Professor Lindzen used thois term in his brief essay on the green house effect here; it is one of the staples of climatology.

    I don’t know how anyone else feels about “Climate Sensitivity”, but as a physicist, I have to say I find the concept of climate sensitivity to be totally assinine; laughable.

    When you consider the total extreme range of surface temperatures that occur on earth; which I put roughly at -90 C to + 60C, the total emittance of a black body source over that range is about 12:1 from hottest to coldest.
    I believe that the high temperature extreme is much more common than the low temperature extreme; and in fact it’s possible the high may get even higher, while I thing the low extreme is somewhat rare.

    But at the low temperature extreme, the spectral peak of BB radiation is right at 15 microns where CO2 absorption peaks. I don’t have a good number for the spectral emmissivity of snow/ice at those very low temps, but it seems that the absorptance is almost complete over that spectral range, and so the emissivity should be quite high.

    But with a total emittance that is one tenth or less of the maximum value; even a huge increase in the CO2 is not going to change the surface temperature much.

    At the highest desert high surface temperatures, the BB spectral peak is down in the 8.7 micron range; well below the CO2 15 micron band so the warming effect of CO2 is minimised in the very locations that also have very low water content; so there can’t be any of the fictional water vapor feedback to speak of; and then you have a total emittance (for BB source) that is about double what it would be at the global mean temperature.

    Hence the radiant cooling in the hottest dryest deserts is very efficient (depending on what the spectral emissivity of the desertsands/rocks is.

    The Polar lows also have low atmospheric water vapor so no water positive feedback there much either; but not enough radiation to do much wartming

    So clearly any warming effect of doubling CO2 is very highly dependent on location and temperature; so it is absurd to talk about a “Climate Sensitivity” as if it is a universal constant.

    This is just one of the reasons; why I consider the classical climatology methodology to be very suspect; and don’t consider it to be a very scientific discipline.

    Not surprisingly you won’t find any tables of climate sensitivity, or water vapor feedback factors, or “forcings” or any of the trappings of “Climatology” in any handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

    I do think the science is changing, as the satellite age and other sensor advances demonstrate that the pseudoscience launched by Arrhenius and his ilk is being shown to be rather speculative at best.

    We have had plenty of time for the vartious predictions of the various UN IPCC prognosticators and their computer video game players; to come to pass in the real world; and it simply isn’t happening; so I would say the sicence is very unsettled.

    George

  23. 1) Whether Arrhenius was a “eugenicist” or not is totally irrelevant to his CO2/climate theories. Ad hominem does not look any better on the “right” side.

    2) There was no consensus re: eugenics in the 20s and 30s. A bunch of influential totalitarians, sure, but no consensus. If you claim consensus, provde some evidence, please.

  24. In 1906 Arrhenius – who had by then come across the fundamental equation of radiative transfer, which greatly simplified his calculations and improved their accuracy – recalculated the effect of doubling CO2 on temperature and, in Vol. 1, no. 2 of the Journal of the Royal Nobel Institute, published his conclusion that a doubling of CO2 concentration would increase global temperatures by about 1.6 Celsius degrees (<3 Fahrenheit degrees).

    Yet the Gorons continue to cite only Arrhenius’ 1896 paper, with its less accurate and more extreme conclusion. I wonder why.

  25. Stephen:

    Considering the scale of the oceanic influence any minor change in the composition of the air is an irrelevance

    Most would be in agreement with your statement. The AGW theories predict a big “heat bucket” effect in the seas, of a whipsaw effect from latent heat accumulated in the seas causing accelerated global warming in the coming years.

    Interestingly the expected additional heat content in the seas hasn’t been found by the Argo floats. Yes the seas have warmed, but the the trend hasn’t accelerated in a manner consistent with the worst-case AGW models.

  26. Johan i Kanada (10:53:35) :

    1) Whether Arrhenius was a “eugenicist” or not is totally irrelevant to his CO2/climate theories. Ad hominem does not look any better on the “right” side.

    I agree… Nevertheless, he was Rosicrucian and for a reason or another, this info was eliminated from his NP biography. I really don’t care what his personal beliefs were or not; anyway, his first deduction on a doubling of CO2 and the increase of atmospheric temperatures was wrong.

  27. Arrhenius is an interesting fellow, but I don’t see what difference it makes if he thought a warmer planet would be good or bad. There are plenty of people today to carry on the argument that more CO2 will be beneficial. I don’t think it has been hidden, except from the extremely lazy, that he looked favorably on a more warm/CO2-rich planet.

    Monckton’s comment is more interesting. I have not heard of this later calculation of his, so close to Lindzen’s. Of course, they both are in the “all things being equal” category. The real argument is about the system response/feedbacks.

  28. alas, the CO2/warming connection persists, even when it looks like the SWPC will have to move its sunspot progression prediction again…

  29. Johan wrote: . . . 2) There was no consensus re: eugenics in the 20s and 30s. A bunch of influential totalitarians, sure, but no consensus. If you claim consensus, provde some evidence, please.

    I wasn’t aware that GB Shaw and HG Wells were totalitarians. Regardless, how does one define “consensus?” Certainly you can’t claim a consensus exists now on the subject of AGW but did not exist back then on the claims of eugenics. The fact is that a belief in genetic inferiority and superiority was widely held back then. It was “accepted” science in every sense of the word. There was widespread disagreement on the subject of solutions to genetic inferiority, but not on the existence of it.

    Furthermore, as Anthony proves with this post, Arrhenius is taken out of context by the alarmists. He believed increased CO2 would be helpful and not catastrophic, which is what alarmists believe. They never mention that when they quote his theories on CO2. That, to my mind, is blatantly disingenuous.

  30. G’day. Via another blog I found these videos of a presentation by Australia’s Prof. Ian Plimer. He is a geology professor and an outspoken AGW skeptic. He gave a talk last November and these videos have the audio of his talk and the video component is made of the slides he presented. In the first two minutes of this video (part 4) he describes a concern he has re measurement of CO2. This is beyond my sphere of knowledge but would anyone here with more scientific knowledge care to comment on this please? I don’t know if it’s a valid comment or not. I find it interesting that I’ve never heard of this before. I thought I’d read and learned a lot about AGW but this is a new one to me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWiv5QAZAJM&feature=related

    Thanks in advance for any information. LilacWine :-)

  31. Johan i Kanada (10:53:35) said :

    2) There was no consensus re: eugenics in the 20s and 30s. A bunch of influential totalitarians, sure, but no consensus. If you claim consensus, provde some evidence, please.

    I consider it strong evidence that there was “consensus” (whatever that means, precisely) that my dear departed mother was taught that Eugenics was “scientific fact” (a phrase oft-repeated at me in the 1960’s) during her schooling in the South in the ’20’s and ’30’s.

    I submit that any theory considered to be “scientific fact” BOTH by my mother (an otherwise sweet little thing from Loo-si-ana) and Charles Lindbergh, bona fide American Hero, should be considered at least the POPULAR “consensus”, regardless of the motivations of the believers.

    Exactly like AGW.

    Oh, and I take exception to calling me mum a totalitarian.

  32. “hareynolds (09:33:39) :

    REPLY: Gut feelings are useless until quantified. – Anthony

    Granted. HOWEVER, educated “gut feelings” are often the basis of hypotheses, or even fortuitous accidents (vulcanization, teflon, etc.), often quite wacky, which yield quite stunning outcomes once they are “quantified”.”

    My intuition tells me that gut feelings are more often wrong than right. I could be wrong on that, though.

  33. LilacWine

    I am also uncomfortable with the fixing of a base level for CO2 at 280 ppm.

    There was clearly a change in measurement method and location so the base level is unreliable.

    It is quite possible that the CO2 levels for most of the globe vary much more than those at a volcano in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Other remote locations show a similar pattern but remoteness of sensing location may result in an inaccurate reflection of normal biosphere activity.

    It seems likely to me that the changes observed at Mauna Loa are a result of enhanced oceanic outgassing from the warmer temperatures of the recent grand solar maximum and a long run of strong El Nino events.

    If the PDO remains negative for any length of time we should see a response from the Mauna Loa readings eventually.

    Recent satellite sensors also look promising for more accurate data in the future.

  34. As regards Eugenics it was a consensus view that breeding mattered until new data came to light.

    It turned out that with sexual reproduction there was always a tendency for a drift back towards the average so bright parents were just as likely to produce a dim child as dim parents were to produce a bright child.

    That did for it really but a certain Adolf was a bit slow to realise it.

    A consensus can only last until new data comes to light.

    A quiet sun, cooler oceans and a cessation of warming should do the trick as regards climate change theory.

  35. Stephen Wilde (10:31:17) : “[…]In fact the bottom of the atmosphere (air) is warmer than the top primarily because of the heat energy released at variable rates by the oceans.
    […]Considering the scale of the oceanic influence any minor change in the composition of the air is an irrelevance.
    I don’t expect others to agree with me at this stage. This post is part of my intent to put my ideas in the public domain to await rebuttal or confirmation by the real world in due course.”

    I agree. The major movement of heat appears to be (a) the oceans are warmed by the sun, (b) the oceans release heat into the atmosphere, and (c) oceans land and atmosphere radiate heat back into space. Global warming or cooling results from any imbalance but may take time to show up clearly in atmosphere and surface measurements.

    In the short term land, heated by the sun, heats the atmosphere, but the timescales are short and the amount of heat retained is minimal compared with the oceans.

    The Earth’s albedo was declining from the 1980s until about 2000 (from memory Enric Palle puts it at about 6Wm-2 but you can check it here: http://solar.njit.edu/preprints/palle1376.pdf), hence the oceans warmed and we saw warmer temperatures and lost Arctic ice.

    From 2000 onwards, albedo has been increasing again, hence the rate of ocean warming slowed, stopped in about 2006, and if albedo keeps decreasing I believe that more reports of cooling oceans will start coming in. There is already at least one http://sciences.blogs.liberation.fr/home/files/Cazenave_et_al_GPC_2008.pdf.

    What causes the albedo changes? Henrik Svensmark and others theorise that it is GCRs. Dr Roy W Spencer thinks it could be the PDO. I am open to all suggestions at this stage, but am certainly keen to see the CLOUD experiment at CERN go ahead. This Jasper Kirkby paper is a great read: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0804/0804.1938v1.pdf

    At the moment I lean towards Svensmark. His theory has the Antarctic cooling as the rest of the world warms, and results to date support this. His theory can also provide mechanisms for ice ages etc, which I think the PDO is pressed to do.

  36. Eugenics was hardly a minority view. It was believed by all the right people and had even the consensus of the Supreme Court. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. who was an associate justice of the court wrote the majority opinion on Buck vs. Bell that made eugenic sterilization constitutionally sanctioned.
    Theodore Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger, Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw are just a few of the luminaries who were part of that consensus. Of course anyone who wanted to do business with the government had to toe the line. Scientists like Arrhenius were on board as well as it seemed to follow so naturally from Darwin’s books. Hollywood’s celebrities, of course also toed the line. The Rockefeller Foundation funded eugenics effortsa round the world including Germany, and Germany came in for particular praise for their proactive efforts.

  37. Richard111 (10:07:43) :

    Mr Green Genes (08:47:12) :

    Phil. (07:51:10) :
    So important that he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for that work!

    Al Gore’s got one like that. Am I supposed to be impressed?

    Al Gore got a PEACE prize, NOT a science prize.

    I am well aware of that. However, since the method of selecting likely candidates for either prize seems to be identical, judging by a look at the Nobel Prize website (i.e. the committee asks for nominations from “suitable” people), it would seem probable that the level of political “guidance” is similar.

  38. Mike Jonas,

    I would be persuaded by the Svensmark cosmic ray idea if it could be shown to drive the ocean cycles.

    In fact the changes in global temperature trend seem to follow ocean cycles rather than solar cycles so the cosmic ray effect on the air seems likely to be a lesser player than the effect of variable ocean cycles.

    Ice ages would be caused by a much larger astronomical cycle than oceanic or solar variation as per Milankovitch.

    My best guess at the moment is that cooling ocean surfaces reduce the vapour carrying capacity of the overlying air so cloud increases and albedo reduces.

    As I’ve said before it is a ‘chicken and egg’ issue.

    Does cooling air from cooler oceans cause more cloud or does more cloud cool the air and oceans ?

    The close correlation between oceanic cycles and subsequent air temperatures suggests that the oceans are in control.

    The temperature fit with individual solar cycles is not good enough to support the cosmic ray idea but I remain open minded on the issue.

  39. kurt (13:14:11) said:

    My intuition tells me that gut feelings are more often wrong than right. I could be wrong on that, though.

    The operative word is “educated”.
    Pure intuition (that is, unfettered by logic, scientific method, experience, intelligence or education) is indeed likely more often wrong than right.
    That’s because a series of wild-ass guessses is usually more incorrect than just one; tolerance stack-up if you will.

    It can make a pretty convincing religion, however.

    More importantly, however, especially in the AGW context, over-educated folks ginning “data” in the absence of (a) native intelligence (b) intution or (c) humility (what we used to call “fear of God”) can be far more dangerous acolytes (as they carry the imprimatur of “credentials”) than the simple, intuitive faithful.

    I for one would be far less concerned if Mssrs. Hansen and Gore, upon “discovering” the imminent apocalyse that is AGW, had retired to a monastery to pray fervently for our collective salvation. It’s all the hot air being fanned about by the waving of sheepskins in high places that’s keeping me up at night.

  40. Jeez, what a horrible picture of the man! he looks like a severely constipated Mr. Whipple!

    Here’s a better one from Wiki, only slightly less constipated ;)

  41. “Ad hominem does not look any better on the “right” side.”

    “The real argument is about the system response/feedbacks.”

    Who Arrhenius was is of interest. The article, the issue at hand is not,e.g., his daft argument that 33 degrees C of warming is owed GHGs, or that “this will be true until proven otherwise” from his 1896 paper.

    Likewise stating the real crux of the argument over AGW lies somewhere else is a pick-pocket’s ploy; the issues are myriad and the failures of a number, would each, alone cause it to crash to earth but that is not the current interest.

    The quoted texts are misdirections and not offered in good faith.

  42. @Nasif,

    Arrhenius never calculated that alpha = 5.35 W/m^2. He calculated that a doubling of CO2 would cause a temperature rise of 5-6 degrees.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect

    @Lord Mockton
    In his 1906 work, Arrhenius also calculates (on page 6) a water vapour feedback which results in a combined value of 2.1 degrees for CO2 doubling. Although in a footnote he already mentions spectral overlap issues between CO2 and H2O!

  43. Between 1907 and 1917, sixteen of the United States passed involuntary sterilization laws. The number of citizens sterilized was over 10,000. Jonah Goldberg’s book ‘Liberal Fascism’ has lots of info. on H. G. Wells and other progressives who thought it and Fasacism were good ideas. When I found out that centuries of racehorse breeding for faster running had left the speed records for horses on carefully measured racetracks essentially unchanged and that the speed records for human runners had been improving without selective breeding I discarded eugenics without regard to the consensus for or against. DNA studies might produce a faster horse sometime in the next millenium.

  44. Ahrennius filled that paper with caveats about his estimates being very rough and crude. After it, scholars replied with calculations about how water vapor absorbs heat in the same wavelengths as CO2, so that the CO2 (of much much lower concentration) would have no effect. After that, scholars fine tuned absorption measurements to find that there were some small spaces where the absorptions did not overlap, so CO2 could have some tiny effect, but they determined the warming effect would only be at the very top of the atmosphere–which contradicts the satellite measurements we have today. And so on…

  45. Adolfo Giurfa says:

    Ferenc M. Miskolczi has already demonstrated the greenhouse effect is impossible

    No, what he demonstrated was that there was a very good reason why his paper could only see the light of day in an obscure Hungarian journal and that is because his assumptions make no sense at all: http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Miskolczi.html

    Perhaps his most amusing assumption is that the atmosphere considered to obey the virial theorem, with no conception of the role of the earth’s surface. That makes as much sense as assuming that we humans obey the virial theorem and are in orbit around the earth without bothering to consider the normal force provided by the ground! And, as Barton shows, it is easily shown to be nowhere near true by direct numerical calculation.

    Roger Clague says:

    The bottom of the atmosphere is warmer than the top because of gravity. The air at the bottom is therefore at higher pressure and so contains more energy per unit volume and is at a higher temperature.

    The ‘greenhouse’ explanation is not needed and don’t work.. Existing thermodynamic theories are sufficient to explain the atmosphere warming effect.

    No, you are absolutely wrong, as explained here: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0802/0802.4324v1.pdf You are correct that the difference between the temperature of the atmosphere at the top vs the bottom is related to the pressure (although some other issues are also involved, since the behavior is not monotonic, with temperature actually increasing with height in the stratosphere).

    However, that still can’t explain why the temperature is hotter at the surface than simple radiative balance arguments (for an IR-transparent atmosphere) would predict. You can’t just violate the First Law of Thermodynamics merely because the atmospheric pressure is higher at the surface than further up in the atmosphere.

  46. Just to make my last post clearer, what I am saying is that in the absence of IR-absorption by the atmosphere (and things such as significant heating from the earth’s core), the temperature at the earth’s surface is constrained by energy conservation to be less than a certain value. It can then be colder still when you go up higher in the atmosphere but you can’t make the claim that the atmospheric pressure somehow results in a violation of this thermodynamic constraint.

  47. At the highest desert high surface temperatures, the BB spectral peak is down in the 8.7 micron range; well below the CO2 15 micron band so the warming effect of CO2 is minimised in the very locations that also have very low water content

    Interesting. Increased CO2 will warm cold places, but have little effect on hot places. Hot and cold places have low to very low water vapour levels so any water vapour feedback will be restricted to places with (more) temperate temperatures.

    We would have to conclude that increased CO2 will in all places have a beneficial or neutral effect on temperatures.

    I agree, the idea of climate sensitivity as a global constant is nonsense.

    You should expand these ideas into a paper. I have never come across them so clearly articulated before. I also wonder why the climate models don’t show this. More fiddling with parameters to get the desired effect, rather than incorporating know physical principals.

  48. Philip_B says:

    I agree, the idea of climate sensitivity as a global constant is nonsense.

    You should expand these ideas into a paper. I have never come across them so clearly articulated before. I also wonder why the climate models don’t show this. More fiddling with parameters to get the desired effect, rather than incorporating know physical principals.

    Actually, climate models do show that the amount of warming one gets is not uniform across the globe but is greater in some places than others. For example, it is greatest in the arctic and generally greater over continents than over the oceans. And, there are also more complicated effects. So, climate sensitivity is not ASSUMED to be a global constant; rather, it is DEFINED to be a global constant, i.e., it is defined as the change in the global average temperature for a doubling of CO2. Then, a second question becomes how this global average temperature change is manifest on more regional scales.

    Note, however, that the issues determining where the warming is greater or less are much more complicated than George E. Smith suggests. That is because the change in radiative balance is due to the change in CO2 is fairly small in percentage terms…and thus where more or less warming occurs is dominated by issues of transport in the atmosphere. I.e., it is a very poor approximation to try to figure out where the warming will occur just by looking at the radiative balance locally while neglecting the transport of heat around the globe.

  49. “Gut feelings are useless until quantified. – Anthony”

    …and charted over time, showing the linear least-squares trend, with plus and minus one standard diverticulation lines.

  50. “the issues determining where the warming is greater or less are much more complicated than George E. Smith suggests.”

    I agree 100%, however I would very very surprised if even one of the GCMs come close to the complexity suggested by Mr. Smith.

    Maybe they should release the code. It would be to laugh.

  51. Note, however, that the issues determining where the warming is greater or less are much more complicated than George E. Smith suggests. That is because the change in radiative balance is due to the change in CO2 is fairly small in percentage terms…and thus where more or less warming occurs is dominated by issues of transport in the atmosphere. I.e., it is a very poor approximation to try to figure out where the warming will occur just by looking at the radiative balance locally while neglecting the transport of heat around the globe.

    In all cases heat transport (ie the effect of weather) is from colder to warmer and warmer to colder. Which means, in all cases, heat transport acts to equalize temperatures between locations.

    And which means hot places can never get any hotter than the direct effect of CO2, plus (a small amount of) water vapour feedback.

    The only effect of heat transport is to moderate temperatures and to look at direct CO2 effects is to look at a worse case.

    Therefore my conclusion stands. CO2 and water vapour feedback will make cold places warmer and will not make hot places any hotter, and so would appear to be wholly beneficial, except perhaps for the skiing and snow mobile industries.

    For example, it (warming) is greatest in the arctic

    Physics says it is greatest in the Antarctic , as the Antarctic is colder and drier than the Arctic. The ‘greatest in Arctic’ claim is to account for the observed (Arctic and Antarctic) temperatures and is aphysical.

    Although I’ll note this explains why the climate models have to create a wetter Antarctica, contrary to observations.

    Ergo, the observed increase in Arctic temperatures cannot have been caused by increased CO2.

  52. dearieme (09:02:48) :

    “Eugenics was all the “consensus” in those days.” More precisely it was the progressive consensus.

    …. Yep. Today the word “Progressive” is the new word that replaces the corpse strewn one of Socialism…. So for the term, The American Progressives….. Read it as, American Socialists. It’s the same thing.

    When the Wall came down at the end of the 80’s….. It wasn’t that Communism had failed and Socialism was dead. It was just changing tactics.

  53. SteveSadlov (15:39:55),

    “They had no clue about negative feedbacks back then. We barely have a clue even in 2009.”

    The term “feedback” enters the U.S. Patents lexicon in 1923, with no previous occurrence, in the identical sense we use now. A trickle of cases use it until 1938, and then it becomes a deluge. All these uses are in radio, electronics and electricity. Later, the range of disciplines it is used for broadens dramatically.

    Clearly, though, feedback was an important concept during the 19th C. formative period of modern science. I haven’t yet seen whether the same word was (sometimes) in use then, but the idea & principles of it were fully-formed. Feedback was applied & studied well before & throughout Arrhenius’ productive years.

    From early in the Steam Age, ‘control’ – the ability to affect processes & states in both the positive & (especially) negative sense – was a key object of pursuit & study.

    Feedback notions & principles would have been second nature to Arrhenius, intellectually, though perhaps referred to by other terms.

    See: A Brief History of Feedback Control

    Reprinted by permission from Chapter 1: Introduction to Modern Control Theory, in:
    F.L. Lewis, Applied Optimal Control and Estimation, Prentice-Hall, 1992.

  54. Stephen Wilde (13:59:55) : “I would be persuaded by the Svensmark cosmic ray idea if it could be shown to drive the ocean cycles.
    In fact the changes in global temperature trend seem to follow ocean cycles rather than solar cycles so the cosmic ray effect on the air seems likely to be a lesser player than the effect of variable ocean cycles.
    Ice ages would be caused by a much larger astronomical cycle than oceanic or solar variation as per Milankovitch.
    My best guess at the moment is that cooling ocean surfaces reduce the vapour carrying capacity of the overlying air so cloud increases and albedo reduces.
    […]

    You may well be right. And of course it might be a mixture of things. If you would care to read the Jasper Kirkby (CERN) paper that I linked, I would be interested to hear what you think of it :
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0804/0804.1938v1.pdf

  55. Mike Jonas,

    Yes I’ve seen that but it skates around the ocean/air interface and limits itself to the reaction to GCRs in the air.

    I suspect that ocean changes, unless affected in some way by the changes in GCRs are the real driver of air temperatures and responsible for both amplification and suppression of solar variability.

    The cosmic ray theory, even if right (especially if right), needs some refinement.

  56. [snip]
    From that funpage Wikipedia;

    “In the USA, eugenic supporters included Theodore Roosevelt, pre-1960’s Democratic Party, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association and the National Research Council. Research was funded by distinguished philanthropies and carried out at prestigious universities.[citation needed] It was taught in college and high school classrooms.”

    Exchange “eugenics” with “AGW” and see if it fits.

  57. As a chemist who specialised in the dissociation of water in the acid and alkaline forms, I am sure that Arrhenius knew the difference between carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbonic acid (H2CO3), in the same way he knew the difference between sulphur trioxide (SO3) and sulphuric acid (H2SO4), and meant precisely that combination of water and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, when he wrote that treatise.

    Dr Seuss may have written it differently:

    I am Hoo

    Who are you?

    Would you like some CO2?

    Hoo, I don’t like CO2,

    I also don’t think much of you!

    So why don’t you just Toodle-oo!

    …………..

    Would you like it in the sea?

    Could you like it for your tea?

    In tea or sea I would not care

    To taste, or see, or smell it there.

    I really don’t like CO2,

    Or names like yours that rhyme with poo.

    ………

    How about it in the air?

    More each day just growing there?

    I do not like it in the air,

    I do not like it growing there.

    I do not like it in the sea,

    I cannot stand it in my tea,

    I do not like that CO2,

    And Hoo, I really don’t like you!

    ……….

    Could you enjoy it on a plane,

    A ship, a car, a tram or train?

    Maybe on a tram or train,

    But never ship, nor car, nor plane –

    There’s so much CO2 you see,

    Except on trams or trains for me.

    I do not like it in the air,

    I do not like it anywhere.

    …….

    What if I shut you in a box?

    Or hole you up with some old fox?

    Would you then like the CO2

    As it increases around you?

    You know I would not like it Hoo,

    I’d cough, and gasp and then turn blue –

    It’s not a friendly thing to do.

    To shut up someone in a box,

    Or hole them up with some old fox,

    Or send them on a ship or plane

    Instead of on a tram or train,

    With CO2 up in the air

    Growing, growing, growing there

    More and more it’s in the sea,

    I have to drink it in my tea.

    I’d rather not have CO2.

    I’m feeling rather warm now, Hoo.

    ……..

    You do not like the CO2?

    You’re feeling that it warms you too?

    Would it warm you in the rain?

    It might warm me on a plane,

    But surely not on tram or train.

    I do not like the CO2

    It warms when I don’t want it to!

    ………

    Could it warm you when you’re cold?

    Keep you warm when you are old?

    Does it warm you in the dark?

    Would you like it in the park?

    Try the lovely CO2

    You may like it, even you!

    Ok! Enough! Agreed! I do!

    I will try the CO2.

    Inject me gently, make it quick

    I faint, I panic, I get sick!

    …….

    I won’t insult you with a prick –

    I wouldn’t hurt or make you sick:

    Here is a glass of best Champagne

    Of fine vintage and famous name.

    And here a simple pint of beer,

    Honest, wholesome, full of cheer.

    Drink them, drink them, you will see

    That CO2 is good, like me!

    ………

    I must admit I like the fizz

    It’s tickly, happy, yes it is!

    And now the beer, it’s mellow, calm

    I haven’t come to any harm!

    I rather like the CO2

    I even like the look of you!

    Thank you Hoo for teaching me

    The joy of H2CO3

    I’d like to try it on a plane

    Or with a vixen, down a drain

    It really does agree with me,

    This HOCH2CH3!

    ……….

    But never drink and drive a car

    Or in a box or jail, you are.

  58. The atmosphere itself tests the greenhouse theory on an annual basis. It does so at the tropical tropopause, where outgoing radiation meets ozone, producing a strong temperature maximum in August at that level. That maximum is in turn due to the seasonal heating of the northern land masses and a loss of global cloud cover. Global near surface air temperature peaks in August, even though the sun is furthest from the Earth at that time. That should tell you something about the importance of clouds in determining surface temperature.

    At the surface near the equator the temperature peaks in May as it does in the atmosphere all the way to 200hPa. For those unfamiliar with this way of referring to altitude, the surface has an air pressure of about 1000hPa and the tropical tropopause 100hPa. At the tropopause which varies in height between the surface short of the winter pole and 16km at the equator (average 10km) 75% of the atmosphere is beneath you. So the atmosphere is actually very thin.

    I guess the radiation that is absorbed by ozone at the tropopause is coming from the near surface air as it is moved by the trades towards the equator. The surface could not be responsible for the radiation that causes the temperature peak at the tropopause.

    The potential for downward transfer of energy from the tropopause, where the maximum is in August, to the 200hPa pressure level where the maximum is in May, is of course there, and if greenhouse theory were valid, we would see it. The maximum at 200hPa would be shifted towards August. But it does not eventuate. I guess that testifies to the strength of the convectional force that cools the troposphere at all levels.

    Greenhouse theory is based on a misunderstanding of how the atmosphere works. The nature of the troposphere is apparent in the Greek derivation of the word ‘tropos’. Although I speak no Greek I believe it means ‘turning’.

    If one takes the trouble to actually look at the data from 1948 onwards the troposphere has not warmed at any level above the near surface layers that are in contact with a warmer ocean, layers that are warmed by surface contact, the release of latent heat of condensation and no doubt absorption of radiation by susceptible molecules. But, convection eliminates the possibility of downward transfer just as it does beneath the tropopause.

    The warming in the tropics, where more energy is received than emitted is slight. Most of the extra energy received has gone into evaporation rather than increased sea surface temperature. So, the increase in temperature at the equator, at cloud level, where the latent heat is released is about three times that at the surface. That energy has not propagated down to the surface either.

    The surface warming at high latitudes in winter is strong, amounting to about five degrees in both hemispheres. There has been no warming in summer. In fact Antarctica has cooled in summer. That winter warming at high latitudes, when radiation is at a minimum, should indicate the importance of energy transfer by the ocean.

    There is another explanation as to why the Earth warmed strongly between 1976 and 1983, more slowly until 2005 and has cooled since, and you will find it at http://climatechange1.wordpress.com

    It is time to consign greenhouse theory to the scrap bin of speculative ideas based on too limited an appreciation of the way things actually work.

  59. Philip_B says:

    In all cases heat transport (ie the effect of weather) is from colder to warmer and warmer to colder. Which means, in all cases, heat transport acts to equalize temperatures between locations.

    And which means hot places can never get any hotter than the direct effect of CO2, plus (a small amount of) water vapour feedback.

    I don’t think that your conclusion follows from your statement about heat transport. The heat transport occurs both in the original case and in the elevated CO2 case. It is, for example, possible that with rising temperatures the heat transport becomes less pronounced and thus less effective in equalizing temperatures. I am not saying it definitely does but just that your reasoning is too simplistic.

    Therefore my conclusion stands. CO2 and water vapour feedback will make cold places warmer and will not make hot places any hotter, and so would appear to be wholly beneficial, except perhaps for the skiing and snow mobile industries.

    Now you have jumped from claiming (without good support) that hot places will only warm due to the direct effects + “(a small amount of) water vapor feedback” to saying that they won’t warm at all. Furthermore, you are neglecting various other effects besides direct warming of hot places that could have ill effects, for example the sea level rise due to the melting of land ice in the cold places (as well as the general thermal expansion of the oceans), the loss of snowpack in the Himalayas and the resulting effects on river flows, issues of droughts and floods, etc.

  60. REPLY: Gut feelings are useless until quantified. – Anthony

    Please provide quantifiable data in support of this statement: otherwise, it is useless by your own criterion.

  61. Chris Knight: I vote your poem Quote of the Week. It’s left me running around the house in doggerel rhyme. I must learn it by heart. Perhaps it will catch.

    kurt (13:14:11) :My intuition tells me that gut feelings are more often wrong than right. There’s an internal error of logic in that sentence. How can intuition tell you that intuition is wrong? However, what I know from experience (internal data) is that hunches are always worth investigating carefully; and that if you dismiss the hunches as “unscientific” you miss the chance to build real science.

    Listen, listen, strange coincidence for those who don’t know! Arrhenius’ grandson Gustav Olov Svante was a colleague of Roger Revelle. Great read here

  62. Great find. It does not surprise me that many of these lost tidbits are resurfacing to the top of the pool of knowledge.

    What does irk me is the comment: “Ironically, Arrhenius’ education and training were not in climate research, but rather electrochemistry”. This kind of rhetoric is deliberately present to immediately disqualify the source (Arrhenius, and others elsewhere). This is the way an unqualified individual, say one with no background in advanced science could possibly get their argument in an immediately digestable context by the followers of AGW.

    I have observed it before on many venues.

  63. ‘No, what he demonstrated was that there was a very good reason why his paper could only see the light of day in an obscure Hungarian journal and that is because his assumptions make no sense at all”

    Poor Miskolczi, pikers, like appeasers, suffer more invective than mortal enemies. His incremental ‘improvement’ of AGW meets more scathing vitriol than Lindzen’s demolitions. And from domestiques the like of programmers no less.

    Oh, the humanity!

  64. Nasif Nahle (15:59:09) :

    I’d do prefer another reference to Arrhenius’ work better than Wikipedia.

    How good is your german? You can read it from the horse’s mouth:
    Svante Arrhenius, 1896a, Ueber den Einfluss des Atmosphärischen Kohlensäurengehalts auf die Temperatur der Erdoberfläche, in the Proceedings of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, Stockholm 1896, Volume 22, I N. 1, pages 1–101.
    Svante Arrhenius, 1896b, On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground, London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science (fifth series), April 1896. vol 41, pages 237–275.
    Svante Arrhenius, 1901a, Ueber die Wärmeabsorption durch Kohlensäure, Annalen der Physik, Vol 4, 1901, pages 690–705.
    Svante Arrhenius, 1901b, Über Die Wärmeabsorption Durch Kohlensäure Und Ihren Einfluss Auf Die Temperatur Der Erdoberfläche. Abstract of the proceedings of the Royal Academy of Science, 58, 25–58.
    Svante Arrhenius, 1903, Lehrbuch der Kosmischen Physik, Vol I and II, S. Hirschel publishing house, Leipzig, 1026 pages.
    Svante Arrhenius, 1906, Die vermutliche Ursache der Klimaschwankungen, Meddelanden från K. Vetenskapsakademiens Nobelinstitut, Vol 1 No 2, pages 1–10
    Svante Arrhenius, 1908, Das Werden der Welten, Academic Publishing House, Leipzig, 208 pages.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Bibliography

    PS I wrote the bulk of the greenhouse topic in Arrhenius wikipedia article

  65. I notice a number of posters have criticized my comments regarding the “climate sensitivity” arguing that the actual situation is much more complicated than I suggested.

    Let me assure you that my post was never intended to be a complete exposition of everything that happens.
    I merely pointed out a few inescapable realities about the “warming” effect of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    I disagree with some of the posters about the “circulations”.
    As far as I am aware, NO scientist ascribes ANY warming effect due to CO2 in the atmosphere; OTHER THAN as a direct result of the individual CO2 molecule absorbing infra-red photons in the roughly 13.5 to 16.5 micron band, which corresponds roughly to the range of the black body spectrum at the coldest temperatures (natural) observed on earth. That thermal energy is then transmitted to the ordinary atmospheric gases; mostly Nitrogen and Oxygen. Other than that CO2 has NO warming effect of any kind; although if one wanted to be pedantic one could argue that the 4 micron CO2 band has some effect on IR emissions from the very hottest desert areas, plus some tail end solar spectrum absorption. In the latter case, the CO2 exhibits both a warming effect (of the upper atmosphere) but a cooling effect of the ground as a result of the reduction (small) in ground level insolation. I refuse to call either of those tendencies a feedback.

    Now I am fully aware that mass transport of both atmosphere and ocean waters distributes thermal energy from the tropics to the cooler polar areas.

    But that process is convection and is unrelated to CO2 in any way.

    And to claim that CO2 is responsible for the greater warming of the polar regions is just plain wrong as I have suggested. The surface emitted thermal radiation from those super cold areas is so low compared to the global mean, that even if CO2 absorbed 100% of it (it doesn’t), it still wouldn’t cause anywhere near as much atmospheric warming as happens over the hottest deserts.

    And the basic reason why the polar regions have been and may continue to warm a bit faster than other places, is because the polar regions are so inefficient at cooling the planet, due to their very low temperatures, and therefore very low thermal emittance; that with all that convected heat, coming in with circulating ocean waters and the atmosphere; the polar regions simply cannot get rid of it fast enough.

    Many times I have said that convection trums conduction; and in the case of the polar regions it also trums radiation.

    Yes the whole darn thing is very much more complicated than the pencil sketches I have laid out. They are but skin and bones for others to build some meat onto.

    If I were to try to attack it completely, there would be no room left on Anthony’s board; and I would be saying too much stuff that required presenting observed factual data; and I don’t have any means of obtaining such data other than what is available from sources that anyone can dig out for themselves.

    I’m perfectly happy to have people poke holes through the sketchy skin; but to the extent of my knowledge of physics; I think my case is quite robust; but no, I never intended it to be exhaustive.

    George

  66. PS.

    According to the theory of black body radiation; NO BODY can emit electromagnetic radiation having a higher spectral emittance AT ANY WAVELENGTH than that emitted by a black body.

    Therefore BB calculations are valuable, in that they set an absolute limit to the rate of cooling due to radiation anywhere at any temperature; and the BB calculations say the polar regions suck when it comes to cooling the earth.

  67. Ooops! I should have said a black body AT THE SAME TEMPERATURE. bb RADIATION DEALS ONLY WITH RADIATION THAT IS ENTIRELY DUE TO THE TEMPERATURE OF THAT BODY.

    Lasers and other line sources may have different limits.

  68. “to the extent of my knowledge of physics; I think my case is quite robust”

    Having hung out in these parts for a couple years easy, I’d say your knowledge of the irradiative and thermal physics is beyond detraction. Not that we haven’t had an academic physicist poke their nose in, just so rarely it hardly merits a mention.

    I suspect the foregoing critics were posing in front of a mirror. Well, talk is cheap.

  69. George E. Smith (14:09:42) :

    Let me assure you that my post was never intended to be a complete exposition of everything that happens.

    I got that from what you’ve posted. It’s a double standard, however: your critics want to describe away everything you’ve said in one sentence while chiding you for not expounding on every point to the greatest of detail. Hypocrisy.

    As far as I am aware, NO scientist ascribes ANY warming effect due to CO2 in the atmosphere; OTHER THAN as a direct result of the individual CO2 molecule absorbing infra-red photons in the roughly 13.5 to 16.5 micron band,

    Indeed, if CO2 did not absorb those photons, there would be no heating due to CO2, period.

    Mark

  70. George,
    I am quite sure that the simple outlines that you have posted here are closer to reality than anything ever imagined in the fevered minds of the modelers.

  71. PS on GS:

    I am aware that Nasif, among current frequenters, knows this thermal stuff well, and is probably an academic. I would certainly take correction from him as his white paper first turned me on to Hottel 1942.

  72. Mark T:

    I got that from what you’ve posted. It’s a double standard, however: your critics want to describe away everything you’ve said in one sentence while chiding you for not expounding on every point to the greatest of detail. Hypocrisy.

    No, what I am doing (in more than one sentence by the way, although admittedly while trying to be concise and to the point) is just briefly explaining why George E. Smith’s learned expositions do not trump the expositions and research findings of those who have spent decades studying these issues.

    I respect George E. Smith’s manner of trying to figure everything out for himself without trying to deeply understand the literature that already exists in the field, but alas it is very difficult to do that in a field as well-developed as climate science now is unless one is not just very smart but extremely brilliant. Few of us can claim to have the sort of brilliance of an Albert Einstein (and even he probably did carefully study the papers in the fields that he revolutionized before he did his own work).

  73. gary gulrud:

    Poor Miskolczi, pikers, like appeasers, suffer more invective than mortal enemies. His incremental ‘improvement’ of AGW meets more scathing vitriol than Lindzen’s demolitions.

    What Miskolczi “suffers” is what he deserves for publishing very poor quality work…which are critiques explaining exactly why his work is basically nonsensical. Science can be sort of rough in that way.

    As for Lindzen, at least he is a very accomplished atmospheric scientist who has in the past come up with some interesting hypotheses in regards to AGW (even if they ultimately do not seem to have been verified by his fellow scientists), although unfortunately he seems to be becoming less and less someone to take seriously as his arguments seem to become more and more desperate.

  74. ” although unfortunately he seems to be becoming less and less someone to take seriously as his arguments seem to become more and more desperate.”

    You’re not looking in the mirror, are you Joel?

    Reply: Tone it down Mike B ~ charles the moderator

  75. “I respect George E. Smith’s manner of trying to figure everything out for himself without trying to deeply understand the literature that already exists in the field, but alas it is very difficult to do that in a field as well-developed as climate science now is unless one is not just very smart but extremely brilliant.”

    George has a better understanding of climate science than any modeler does.

    Modeler hard at work…

  76. Nasif Nahle (15:59:09) :

    How good is your german? You can read it from the horse’s mouth

    Thanks for the references. Do you agree alpha = 5.35 W/m^2 is not constant?

    Clear alpha from the algorithm taking deltaT = 6 K (deltaT deduced by Arrhenius) and tell me what the value of alpha you obtained.

  77. Charles,
    Sorry about that. It wasn’t smart and it wasn’t kind, even though it was IN kind.
    Mike

  78. Joel Shore (17:55:37) :

    No, what I am doing (in more than one sentence by the way, although admittedly while trying to be concise and to the point) is just briefly explaining why George E. Smith’s learned expositions do not trump the expositions and research findings of those who have spent decades studying these issues.

    No, actually, in response to George’s summation you said:

    Note, however, that the issues determining where the warming is greater or less are much more complicated than George E. Smith suggests. That is because the change in radiative balance is due to the change in CO2 is fairly small in percentage terms…and thus where more or less warming occurs is dominated by issues of transport in the atmosphere. I.e., it is a very poor approximation to try to figure out where the warming will occur just by looking at the radiative balance locally while neglecting the transport of heat around the globe.

    which does not explain “why George E. Smith’s learned expositions do not trump the expositions and research findings of those who have spent decades studying these issues.” You simply added a two sentence rebuttal to what is admittedly a summation, not meant to be the gnat’s ass explanation. Double standard, Joel.

    Mark

  79. Joel Shore:

    As for Lindzen, at least he is a very accomplished atmospheric scientist who has in the past come up with some interesting hypotheses in regards to AGW (even if they ultimately do not seem to have been verified by his fellow scientists), although unfortunately he seems to be becoming less and less someone to take seriously as his arguments seem to become more and more desperate.

    “…as his arguments seem to become…”??

    When climate alarmists like Shore are reduced to falling back on ad hominem attacks like that, it is the alarmist contingent that is truly desperate.

  80. Mathematical way of reasoning of Svante Arrhenius:

    Complete Algorithm:

    ∆T = (α) (Ln 2) / 4 (σ) (K^3)

    Clearing α:

    α = ∆T/ [Ln2 /4 (σ) (K^3)]

    First Arrhenius’ guess:

    α = 6 K / [0.693/3.77 W/m^2 K] = 6 K / (0.184 W/m^2 K) = 32.6 W/m^2

    Second Arrhenius’ guess:

    If ∆T = 1.6 K Arrhenius latter correction to his deduction from doubling CO2, α= 5.5 W/m^2, which is an exaggerated value, indeed.

    Modern guess:

    In 2007, Schwartz found that the climate sensitivity equivalent to equilibrium temperature for doubling CO2 is 0.6 to 1.6 K. It’s not too different from Arrhenius’ deduction of α, though Schwartz amplified the range. α depends on partial pressure and emissivity of CO2 and it refers to flux of energy.

    From the calculations above and given that α changes with the magnitude of ∆T, I conclude that α is not a constant value and it could be deduced from observation-experimentation.

    Considering the current partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere and its emittancy, α = 0.423 W/m^2

    Perhaps exaggerated values of α depends on one’s inclination to AGW?

    On the other hand, carbon dioxide is as valuable for life on Earth as water is. Biologists know this for sure. If someone is concerned about deforestation, this person must be more concerned about the unwise attempts for diminishing the concentration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

  81. DocMartyn (19:23:02) :
    It should be remembered that Knut Ångström kicked Arrhenius’s ass with respect to his extinction coefficient, and hence, his CO2 driven global warming postulate.

    Unfortunately Knut didn’t get it right.

  82. Stephen Wilde (01:19:04) :I suspect that ocean changes, unless affected in some way by the changes in GCRs are the real driver of air temperatures and responsible for both amplification and suppression of solar variability.
    The cosmic ray theory, even if right (especially if right), needs some refinement.

    I don’t think the oceans can gain and lose heat on their own, so things like the PDO are necessarily no more than heat redistributions unless some external factor is involved.

    The Argo floats are now measuring ocean temperature to a significant depth, and can be argued to be a good clue to total ocean heat content. Papers from the likes of Willis, Cazenave and Leuliette suggest ocean temp was rising from ? date to around 2000, then rising more slowly to around 2003, then about flat to 2006, and falling since then.

    ie, these changes are not redistribution of heat within the oceans, but changes in total heat content. In which case, something outside the oceans must be involved.

    It just so happens that the Earth’s albedo was decreasing from the 1980s to around 2000, then increased again and has stayed up.
    http://start.org/journals/pip/jd/2008JD010734-pip.pdf
    It is reasonable to hypothesise that it was albedo driving the ocean temp (I use “hypothesise” carefully – a hypothesis is not a theory until tested), given that albedo relates to rate of change of ocean temp (by letting more/less sunlight through) not absolute ocean temp.

    The albedo could in turn have been driven by the PDO, and/or it could have been driven by GCRs as per Svensmark, and/or it could have been driven by something else. Dr Roy W Spencer has told me he thinks that natural cloud variations, driven partly by ocean circulation changes, are the main driver of climate. If he’s right, then we can both be a bit right. The abrupt change in albedo rate-of-change in 2000 from-ve to +ve also appears to tie in accurately with the change of PDO phase from warming to cooling – but what mechanism and which is the driver?

    No matter what, it all needs “some refinement”.

  83. May I ask someone to lead me to a colorful drawing, obtained from computer simulation, which shows that the atomosphere above the tropical region and at a height around 10 km is to undergo most pronounced warming due to increased CO2, according to the AGW theory.
    I want to use that drawing in combination with a UAH mid-troposphere temp graph, to demonstrate that the AGW prediction is in total contradiction with satellite observation.
    Thanks.

  84. Nasif Nahle says:

    In 2007, Schwartz found that the climate sensitivity equivalent to equilibrium temperature for doubling CO2 is 0.6 to 1.6 K. It’s not too different from Arrhenius’ deduction of α, though Schwartz amplified the range. α depends on partial pressure and emissivity of CO2 and it refers to flux of energy.

    And in 2008, in response to comments on his original paper (see http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/pubs/BNL-80226-2008-JA.pdf ), Schwartz updated his estimate of the sensitivity to be between 0.9 to 2.9 C which, while still on the low side of most estimates, does have a considerable amount of overlap with the IPCC “likely” range of 2 to 4.5 C.

  85. Smokey says:

    When climate alarmists like Shore are reduced to falling back on ad hominem attacks like that, it is the alarmist contingent that is truly desperate.

    Ah, the delicious irony of you using the term “ad hominem attacks” to describe a rather balanced statement in regards to Lindzen (in which I called him “a very accomplished atmospheric scientist”) in the same sentence when you twice use the denigrating term “alarmist” to describe the point of view of those who agree with the conclusions of the IPCC, the NAS and analogous bodies in all the other G8+5 nations!!!

    By the way, have you also failed to notice all of the ad hominems in this thread going in the other direction, such as this from Mike Bryant?:

    Modeler hard at work…

  86. tokyoboy says:

    May I ask someone to lead me to a colorful drawing, obtained from computer simulation, which shows that the atomosphere above the tropical region and at a height around 10 km is to undergo most pronounced warming due to increased CO2, according to the AGW theory.
    I want to use that drawing in combination with a UAH mid-troposphere temp graph, to demonstrate that the AGW prediction is in total contradiction with satellite observation.

    This blog article contains graphs showing the behavior both for the case of a greenhouse gas forcing and for the case of a solar forcing: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/ As you can see, what it shows is that the amplification of the temperature trend as one goes up in the tropical atmosphere is a more general prediction than just due to the mechanism of increased CO2. In fact, it is a quite general consequence of what is called “moist adiabatic lapse rate theory” and is predicted not only for the multidecadal temperature trends but also for temperature fluctuations such as those that occur on yearly timescales.

    And, as Santer et al (2005) showed, this amplification is seen for the case of those fluctuations. Whether or not it is seen for the multidecadal trends is difficult to determine because of well-known issues with the radiosonde and satellite data that can contaminate these trends. For example, while you mention the UAH satellite record, using the RSS satellite record gives very different results. And, for radiosondes you can also essentially get any result that you want depending on which data re-analysis you look at.

    It is worth noting that one distinct difference in those plots that I linked to above for solar vs GHG forcing is the behavior in the stratosphere where solar forcing would predict warming and GHG forcing would predict cooling. The data in fact show cooling (and, because of the greater signal-to-noise, this result is robust to issues of artifacts in the data). The story is complicated somewhat by the fact that the effect of ozone depletion is also expected to be responsible for some cooling in the stratosphere. However, as I understand it, both the magnitude and vertical structure of the cooling in the stratosphere are not compatible with this cooling being due to ozone depletion alone.

  87. Joel Shore is, as usual, arguing with everyone here — and using the wannabe-important Realclimate censoring blog as backup ‘authority’. Please. Realclimate doesn’t matter.

    May I suggest that Joel cease linking to Realclimate here — until that blog stops censoring any uncomfortable/inconvenient posts? Censorship is never pretty, and the odious Gavin Schmidt constantly deletes polite but uncomfortable posts. He has no real confidence in his climate alarmist position, if he feels that he must censor different points of view.

    Shore’s argument comes down to every climate alarmist’s argument: that an increase in the necessary and beneficial trace gas CO2 will result in runaway global warming. But where’s the real world evidence?

    CO2 concentrations have been well above 7,000 ppmv, compared with today’s ~380 ppmv, and there was never runaway global warming triggered by CO2 in the past. Therefore, CO2 is inconsequential. QED.

    To Shore I say: I’m a skeptic. So prove it. Prove, or at least show with convincing, empirical evidence, that an increase in a very minor trace gas will trigger runaway global warming, leading to climate catastrophe. Because that is the hypothesis that alarmists are trying to scare the populace with.

    So far, Shore, and every other climate alarmist, has completely failed to to explain why the planet is cooling at the same time that CO2 levels are rising — except to claim that models show that global warming causes global cooling… Ri-i-i-i-i-ght.

    I want a credible explanation, using solid, real world evidence [not the always wrong models, or grant-seeking papers culled from a search engine], why the climate is cooling while CO2 is rising.

    Everything else is deliberate obfuscation.

  88. tokyoboy (01:57:55) : “May I ask someone to lead me to a colorful drawing, obtained from computer simulation, which shows that the atomosphere above the tropical region and at a height around 10 km is to undergo most pronounced warming due to increased CO2, according to the AGW theory.

    Best place is IPCC Report AR4, chapter 9, page 675, Fig 9.1 panels (c) wellmixed greenhouse gases and (f) all forcings.
    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch09.pdf

    You are welcome to use anything from my document on the subject (but make sure you check everything to your own satisfaction first)
    http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/TheScientificCaseAgainstAGW9.doc
    Seems to me that there may be more mileage from the difference between troposphere and surface than just troposphere alone, since there is some warming in the troposphere even if only minimal.

  89. “No, what I am doing … is just briefly[sic] explaining why George E. Smith’s learned expositions do not trump the expositions and research findings of those who have spent decades studying these issues.”

    Now what all the drive-by, gawker traffic cannot fail to notice as Joel casts heaps scorn on Miskolczi and Lindzen who are not present, and limp backhand compliments to accomplished engineers who are is that young Shore never addresses their science with derivations of his own.

    He only offers manifestly fallacious appeals to authority, multiplying words into a monotonic drone like the mosquitos of an early summer’s eve.

    This proclivity reeks poseur and passes no one’s smell test.

  90. Nasif Nahle (18:51:14) :
    Do you agree alpha = 5.35 W/m^2 is not constant?

    Clear alpha from the algorithm taking deltaT = 6 K (deltaT deduced by Arrhenius) and tell me what the value of alpha you obtained.

    I don’t really under stand you. Alpha is a constant, T is not a constant. This is my equation::

    The effect of CO2 on temperature is the Arrhenius law.
    dE=[alpha]ln([CO2]/[CO2}orig), where alpha is 5.35 (Myhre et al.)
    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/222.htm

    E is change in forcing
    using the derivative of Stefan-Boltzmann:
    dT/dE = 1/(4[sigma] T^3)
    gets:
    dT=[alpha]ln([CO2]/[CO2}orig)/(4[sigma] T^3)

    This is the equation without all feedbacks.

    The blackbody equilibrium temperature for incoming radiation is -18 degreesC
    Applying this to the Myhre Stefan-Boltzmann equation yields:
    T= -18 degreesC = 255.15K
    dT=5.35ln2/(4*5.6705E-08*(255.15^3))
    or
    dT=0.9843 centigrade for a doubling of CO2

    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/howmuch.htm

  91. Joel Shore (04:04:08) :

    Nasif Nahle says:

    In 2007, Schwartz found that the climate sensitivity equivalent to equilibrium temperature for doubling CO2 is 0.6 to 1.6 K. It’s not too different from Arrhenius’ deduction of α, though Schwartz amplified the range. α depends on partial pressure and emissivity of CO2 and it refers to flux of energy.

    And in 2008, in response to comments on his original paper (see http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/pubs/BNL-80226-2008-JA.pdf ), Schwartz updated his estimate of the sensitivity to be between 0.9 to 2.9 C which, while still on the low side of most estimates, does have a considerable amount of overlap with the IPCC “likely” range of 2 to 4.5 C.

    Yes, he did it. In his amended paper he concludes:

    This upward revision results in an increase in climate sensitivity ls1 to 0.51 ± 0.26 K/(W/m^2), corresponding to an equilibrium temperature
    increase for doubled CO2 DT2 = 1.9 ± 1.0 K….. The value of the climate system sensitivity determined by the empirical approach of S07, revised as presented here, is more consistent with the best estimate of this sensitivity presented by the recent assessment report of the IPCC [2007], DT2 = 3.0 (+1.5/1) K (66% probability) than the value given by S07, ls1 = 0.30 ± 0.14 K/(W m2), corresponding to DT2= 1.1 ± 0.5 K.

    It seems they got the idea and look for evidence to sustain the idea. Science doesn’t work this way but on the opposite one. He says also that he used unbiased empirical data; however, it’s quite clear that he gave for a fact that only the CO2 in the atmosphere was the cause of the fluctuations of temperature during the lapse he considered to make his study.

    However, if we consider the real unbiased empirical data, the climate sensitivity derived exclusively from doubling of CO2 is quite low: 0.08 K ± 0.01 K.

  92. “only the CO2 in the atmosphere was the cause of the fluctuations of temperature during the lapse he considered to make his study.”

    I concur. Early in his paper, in the area called the study’s motivation, a stated assumption: All of the observed warming is assumed due to the increase CO2.

    Joel, you’ve been corrected on this very item before. What gives?

  93. Hans Erren (07:52:52) :

    Nasif Nahle (18:51:14) :
    Do you agree alpha = 5.35 W/m^2 is not constant?

    Clear alpha from the algorithm taking deltaT = 6 K (deltaT deduced by Arrhenius) and tell me what the value of alpha you obtained.

    I don’t really under stand you. Alpha is a constant, T is not a constant. This is my equation::

    Yes, that’s the way I use the formula also. The point where you and I disagree is on that alpha is a constant. Alpha changes as Pp of CO2 changes, thus it’s not a constant.

    Alpha is Total Emittancy, and as it is TE, then it changes as emissivity, mass, Cp and Pp change. Given this state of things, alpha is not a constant.

  94. Clearing up α:

    α = ∆T/ [Ln2 /4 (σ) (K^3)]

    Here we have two variables: ∆T and CO2 concentration. If ∆T changes, so α will change. If [CO2] changes, α changes. However, if we clear up σ, it would’t change if we introduce real values for α, ∆T and [CO2].

    We can use the same algorithm for calculating ∆T under other conditions, for example, at the current concentration of CO2; however, to get a real value for α, we must take into account, unavoidably, the partial pressure of the atmospheric CO2.

    If we assume α is constant, we would be in complete disagreement with heat transfer science. Consider the following equation taken from Manrique. Heat Transfer. 2002. Oxford University Press:

    α = ePp * σ * T ^4

    The term ePp is for “emissivity reliant on Partial pressure”.

  95. Applying the formula on empirical conditions:

    α = ePp * σ * T ^4

    α = ?
    ePp = 0.001 (emissivity at current Pp of CO2 = 0.00034 atm
    σ = 0.000000056697 W/m^2 K^4
    T ^4 = 300.15 K (T on August 14, 2007)

    α = 0.001* 0.000000056697 W/m^2 K^4 * (300.15 K)^4 = 0.46

    Now let’s apply the formula for calculating ∆T:

    ∆T = (α) (Ln 2 [CO2]) / 4 (σ) (K^3)

    ∆T = (0.460 W/m^2 * 0.693) / 3.77 W/m^2 K = 0.08 K

    The value 5.35 W/m^2 is equivalent to α if CO2 Pp was more than ten times higher than it actually is (i.e. 0.0034 atm); the latter assumption would match with a percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere higher than 0.34. The current percentage of atmospheric CO2 is 0.034.

  96. gary gulrud:

    “only the CO2 in the atmosphere was the cause of the fluctuations of temperature during the lapse he considered to make his study.”

    I concur. Early in his paper, in the area called the study’s motivation, a stated assumption: All of the observed warming is assumed due to the increase CO2.

    Joel, you’ve been corrected on this very item before. What gives?

    Actually, I don’t recall being “corrected” on that before and, furthermore, I actually think that you and Nasif are not correct on that point. At the very least, could you please show me where Schwartz claimed that he made this assumption? It is not a necessary assumption from what I understand of his methodology…and, in fact, it would appear to be in conflict with the last paragraph of his original paper ( http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/pubs/BNL-79148-2007-JA.pdf ) where he used what he had derived to calculate an estimate of the net forcings his result implies and then commented on how that value compares to the forcing due to GHGs alone and what this then implies regarding aerosol or other forcings.

    Secondly, Nasif…not I…was the one who was pointing to Schwartz. I was just pointing out the most current climate sensitivity estimate from him after others had a chance to point out faults with his work. I am not claiming that Schwartz’s estimate is perfect…and, in fact, I imagine some of the scientists who critiqued his method would argue that his estimate of the time constant, and hence of the climate sensitivity, is still biased low.

  97. gary gulrud:

    Now what all the drive-by, gawker traffic cannot fail to notice as Joel casts heaps scorn on Miskolczi and Lindzen who are not present, and limp backhand compliments to accomplished engineers who are is that young Shore never addresses their science with derivations of his own.

    He only offers manifestly fallacious appeals to authority, multiplying words into a monotonic drone like the mosquitos of an early summer’s eve.

    The point is that both Miskolczi and Lindzen (in various different ways) challenge the prevailing scientific understanding. I gave a link to an explanation of what rendered Miskolczi’s theory hopelessly flawed (and commented myself on one of the points there). As for Lindzen, Chris Colose has a good explanation of the problems with his most recent post here.

    The reason I don’t present “derivations of [my] own” is because I am not challenging the prevailing scientific understanding which is summarized elsewhere. By all means, if you think yourself another Albert Einstein then go ahead and come up with your own theory of climate. However, I am under no such illusions about myself and hence prefer the prevailing scientific view, after having found most of the challenges to it to be quite clearly fallacious.

  98. Smokey says:

    Joel Shore is, as usual, arguing with everyone here — and using the wannabe-important Realclimate censoring blog as backup ‘authority’. Please. Realclimate doesn’t matter.

    Correct science is not decided by a popularity contest on the web, nor is it determined by seeing which site censors the fewest comments. (I have complimented Anthony before on his relatively open and fair policies, although I am certainly not without my complaints in how he…or other moderators…have exercised their authority to delete my comments or parts of my comments, just as “skeptics” who post comments over at RealClimate are not without their complaints.)

    Rather, it is decided by the scientific process as it plays itself out in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

    Shore’s argument comes down to every climate alarmist’s argument: that an increase in the necessary and beneficial trace gas CO2 will result in runaway global warming. But where’s the real world evidence?

    CO2 concentrations have been well above 7,000 ppmv, compared with today’s ~380 ppmv, and there was never runaway global warming triggered by CO2 in the past. Therefore, CO2 is inconsequential. QED.

    You are misusing the term “runaway” again. Almost no scientists (except Hansen for certain extreme circumstances) is arguing that there will be a runaway effect. Rather, the scientific consensus is that a doubling of CO2 will likely lead to a rise in the global mean temperature of about 2 to 4.5 C.

    As for evidence from the past, you may want to look at what scientists who actually study past climates have learned from that study. Here is a paper in Science that addresses this question and gives this summary of their conclusions http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/sci;306/5697/821 :

    Climate models and efforts to explain global temperature changes over the past century suggest that the average global temperature will rise by between 1.5º and 4.5ºC if the atmospheric CO2 concentration doubles. In their Perspective, Schrag and Alley look at records of past climate change, from the last ice age to millions of years ago, to determine whether this climate sensitivity is realistic. They conclude that the climate system is very sensitive to small perturbations and that the climate sensitivity may be even higher than suggested by models.

  99. Joel Shore:

    By all means, if you think yourself another Albert Einstein then go ahead and come up with your own theory of climate. However, I am under no such illusions about myself and hence prefer the prevailing scientific view, after having found most of the challenges to it to be quite clearly fallacious.

    BZ-Z-Z-Z-ZT!! WRONG.

    The prevailing scientific view is not what you purport it to be. You are misrepresenting the situation. Here, let me help:

    “No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperatures changes are a consequence of natural variability.”
    ~Dr. Roy Spencer

    That has been the prevailing scientific view since before you were born. And no AGW/CO2 challenge has ever been able to falsify the theory of natural climate variability. In order to do so, any new hypothesis must explain reality better than the current theory. The AGW/CO2 hypothesis clearly fails.

    We all know that computer models were not able to predict this past winter’s severity. At all. None of them did. They are all wrong, all of them: click

    By pretending that the repeatedly falsified AGW/CO2 conjecture is the ‘prevailing scientific view,’ you are being as mendacious as all the other climate alarmists who suffer continuous bouts of projection and cognitive dissonance. In fact, it is you who are unable to falsify the long-accepted theory of natural climate variability with your failed AGW/CO2 alarmist hypothesis, which cannot predict the future, and so is worthless. It is a scam. Its purpose is to garner grant money and to raise taxes.

    But as a hypothesis, AGW/CO2 cannot explain reality [unless the latest goal-post move, claiming the ridiculous “global warming causes global cooling” is invoked]. Therefore, the hypothesis fails.

    .

    In the novel 1984, Orwell’s protagonist, Joel Shore Winston Smith, wonders if the State might declare that “the AGW/CO2 hypothesis” “two plus two equals five” is a fact; he ponders whether, if everybody believes in it, does that make it true?

  100. Joel Shore (13:21:57):

    I was just pointing out the most current climate sensitivity estimate from him after others had a chance to point out faults with his work.

    In my last post on this thread, I’ve given a comprehensive explanation on why α has been incorrectly calculated by Arrhenius, Schwartz, the IPCC, etc. I’ve also explained why it cannot be considered a constant. Now try to find errors, flaws, biases, etc. in my calculations, if any exists.

    Regarding Schwartz assumption, you don’t need to read in on bold lines, just see what’s the main actor in his writings.

    I won’t participate on semantic debates of the Sod’s kind because I’m not a linguistic, but only on clarifications related to science.

  101. Joel Shore (13:41:31),

    Don’t be duplicitous. You know very well that if the climate alarmist contingent said that a few degrees rise in temperature was benign, there would be no money in it.

    So they must alarm the populace with their incessant, high-pitched warnings of climate catastrophe.

    See, your spin doesn’t work here. We’re knowledgeable. This isn’t the Weekly World News, and I don’t know of a single skeptic you’ve ever converted in hundreds of impotent posts.

    BTW, I subscribed to the AAAS journal Science for over twenty years. It’s interesting that in the mid to late 1990’s, Science began advocating for the AGW/CO2 side. It became very noticeable. This was before both points of view had access to sites like the “Best Science” site WUWT, where all the facts could come out. Science used to be a good resource. Now, they advocate under the guise of [corrupted] peer review.

    It costs a lot of money every year to subscribe to Science. Over $100 a year, last I checked. Eventually I decided I didn’t need to pay for propaganda, and I let my subscription lapse. But I saw the change, and Science no longer has credibility with me. Now they have an agenda.

  102. I meant to comment on this point…Smokey says:

    I want a credible explanation, using solid, real world evidence [not the always wrong models, or grant-seeking papers culled from a search engine], why the climate is cooling while CO2 is rising.

    For the same reason that you can find weeks here in Rochester in, say, April where the temperature is cooling despite that fact that the seasonal cycle predicts that we should be warming at this time of year. The technical statement is that when you have a signal that consists of a slow trend with some random “noise” (i.e., variability) superimposed, then one will only obtain an accurate measure of the underlying trend if one looks over a long enough period of time that the noise is no longer such a dominant component. This is also easy to demonstrate with artificial data sets and is also such periods of cooling are also seen in the very same climate models that are used to in the projections of the climate under rising CO2 levels (e.g., see here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/langswitch_lang/in ).

  103. Smokey says:

    But I saw the change, and Science no longer has credibility with me. Now they have an agenda.

    Indeed…They do have an agenda, which is to publish and advocate for the best science. I am sure that you would find that they are not neutral in the evolution vs intelligent design debate either.

  104. Joel Shore: “They do have an agenda, which is to publish and advocate for the best science.”

    *cough* horsemanure *cough* Heh. You’re young, aren’t you? And naive. You just go on believing that ‘publishing the best science’ is at the top of their list. And if you clap your hands, Tinkerbell will live!

  105. Joel Shore (04:24:56) & Mike Jonas (05:47:34)
    Thanks for your prompt guiding me to the point.
    I’ll use the drawing today (16 April, 13:40-14:15 JST).

  106. Nasif says:

    Regarding Schwartz assumption, you don’t need to read in on bold lines, just see what’s the main actor in his writings.

    I don’t understand what you are saying here. You seem to be saying the because Schwartz talks, like all climate scientists, talks about the effects of CO2, his calculation of the climate sensitivity is somehow assuming that it is the main actor. This statement is wrong. His calculation makes no such assumption. Instead, it determines the heat capacity by looking at the rise in heat content in the oceans over the years vs the rise in global mean surface temperature. It determine the time constant of the system by looking at autocorrelations in the global surface mean temperature. It then takes the quotient of these numbers to determine a climate sensitivity in terms of temperature rise per W/m^2 of forcing. And, finally, it uses the value for the W/m^2 of forcing produced by a doubling of CO2 (a value accepted even by skeptical scientists like Lindzen and Spencer) to get the climate sensitivity for a doubling in CO2. There are no assumptions made by him about what is causing the rise in the temperature and ocean heat content.

    As for your own calculations, they seem to consist of grabbing random equations from the literature and misapplying them. I am not surprised you get the wrong answer.

  107. Joel Shore (06:19:35):

    As for your own calculations, they seem to consist of grabbing random equations from the literature and misapplying them. I am not surprised you get the wrong answer.

    I’m applying quite common algorithms from heat transfer science. My algorithms can be found in all books on heat transfer. It’s amazing that you have not read them from your 101 Physics books, or you didn’t learn them at high school.

    How many formulas are for each mode of heat transfer, besides the algorithms I have used in my articles?

    On the other hand, Schwarts paper is all about doubling CO2. He didn’t make a single calculation taking into account physical boundaries. Schwartz work was trying to justify a constant which was exaggerated by the IPCC. Show my algorithm to any physicist you know, and see how I applied real science, not AGW “pseudoscience”.

    I’m sorry, but you talk only because you have a mouth. You’ve not shown a single scientific rebuttal to any of my calculations.

    Given that you cannot sustain a scientific debate, I do finish my interventions on this topic.

  108. Nasif says:

    I’m applying quite common algorithms from heat transfer science. My algorithms can be found in all books on heat transfer. It’s amazing that you have not read them from your 101 Physics books, or you didn’t learn them at high school.

    I have been a teaching assistant for introductory physics courses and have seen how students take formulas and misapply them, as you have here. It is not enough simply to scribble down some formulas and plug in some numbers. You have to explain in words the meaning of the calculation that you are doing (and how that relates to the physics of the problem you are solving), what that calculation is assuming, and whether these assumptions are reasonable. You have done none of that.

    Your calculation is wrong for the following basic reasons:

    (1) It doesn’t appear to go beyond the direct effects due to CO2 to include feedback effects. The whole difficulty of calculating the climate sensitivity is not calculating the direct effect of the increase in CO2 but rather calculating how feedback effects (such as changes in the concentration of water vapor, in clouds, and in the earth’s albedo due to the melting of ice) modify the result. From what I can tell, you do not address that at all.

    (2) Even for just the direct effect, your result is nowhere close to the accepted value (which is somewhere around 0.9 to 1.2 C) of doubling CO2, i.e., this is the accepted value before feedback effects. This calculation basically follows directly from applying the Stefan-Boltzmann Equation to the radiative transfer problem of the earth-sun system with the incorporation of the forcing of ~4 W/m^2 that results from doubling of CO2 levels. This result for the forcing is obtained from radiative transfer calculations of the atmosphere and accepted by essentially all serious climate scientists, including ones like Spencer and Lindzen who disagree with the consensus (because they believe that net feedback effects are negative rather than positive).

    On the other hand, Schwarts paper is all about doubling CO2.

    Well yes, Schwartz’s paper is all about doubling CO2 because the definition of climate sensitivity is the amount of global temperature rise that occurs due to a doubling of CO2. (Although, he actually calculates the more fundamental quantity of change in temperature change due to any radiative forcing and then uses the known value for the radiative forcing due to CO2 to determine the climate sensitivity to a doubling.) However, his calculation (which is not without its problems, as I have noted above) makes no assumption about what the rise in temperature and ocean heat content over the last century (that he uses to derive this climate sensitivity) has been due to.

    Show my algorithm to any physicist you know, and see how I applied real science, not AGW “pseudoscience”.

    Fine, I just showed it to myself. I have a PhD in physics from one of the top universities in the U.S. and, while radiative transfer is not my particular specialty, I have in fact done radiative transfer calculations in my real-life job. What exactly is your background that makes you so confident that you have applied the equations correctly and everybody else hasn’t?

  109. Joel Shore (12:24:50):

    Words and more words… No one scientific demonstration on why my work is wrong.

    Do you know the emissivity, the total emittancy, the absorptancy, the partial pressure of CO2? If you knew those thermal characteristics of CO2, you would not talking as you are.

    You are clearly saying that Peixoto is wrong in his book on Physics of Climate, besides the other authors of books, articles, etc.

  110. Joel Shore (12:24:50) :

    I’ll help you a bit. Here the formula:

    ∆T = (α) (Ln 2 [CO2]) / 4 (σ) (K^3)

    Now tell me, what is wrong in it, if any error is there?

  111. You are clearly saying that Peixoto is wrong in his book on Physics of Climate, besides the other authors of books, articles, etc.

    No, what I am saying that all the authors of the books and articles who disagree with you are correct (including Hans Erren, who agrees with you on the larger point regarding the significance of AGW) and that YOU are wrong. All because you are misunderstanding and misapplying formulas does not make the people who you got these formulas from incorrect.

  112. I’ll help you a bit. Here the formula:

    ∆T = (α) (Ln 2 [CO2]) / 4 (σ) (K^3)

    Now tell me, what is wrong in it, if any error is there?

    That formula is basically correct, assuming that you are using “K” to stand for the temperature in Kelvin and with the proviso that the “[CO2]” part should not be there and is presumably a typo. That formula also agrees with what Hans Erren wrote and is what he used to derive dT = 0.98 C. As Hans notes, however, this is the equation for α in the absence of feedbacks and is hence distinct from the α that, e.g., Schwartz is talking about or what the IPCC is talking about when they say that the sensitivity due to a doubling of CO2 is likely between 2 and 4.5 C. Those numbers represent a climate sensitivity that includes feedbacks.

    It is also worth noting that the formula is not fundamental but is rather based on an empirical fit, as explained here: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/222.htm where they note that the formula for relating the radiative forcing to the CO2 concentration is an empirical fit to the results from more complicated radiative transfer calculations. Hence, it makes no sense to claim that α in that equation is not a constant…It is a constant BY DEFINITION. (You might question how well that empirical equation fits the results of the more complicated radiative transfer calculations but my impression is that it fits pretty well.)

  113. Joel Shore (19:44:19) :

    That formula is basically correct, assuming that you are using “K” to stand for the temperature in Kelvin and with the proviso that the “[CO2]” part should not be there and is presumably a typo.

    Well… All has been said. You’re analyzing not the reliability of the formula, but its construction. The correct way of writing it is as follows: ∆T = (α) (Ln 2) / 4 (σ) (T^3)

    That formula also agrees with what Hans Erren wrote and is what he used to derive dT = 0.98 C. As Hans notes, however, this is the equation for α in the absence of feedbacks and is hence distinct from the α that, e.g., Schwartz is talking about or what the IPCC is talking about when they say that the sensitivity due to a doubling of CO2 is likely between 2 and 4.5 C. Those numbers represent a climate sensitivity that includes feedbacks.

    I had told Hans that it was the same formula which I applied into some of my calculations. However, the value α = 5.35 W/m^2 is spurious because, precisely, the IPCC and Schwarts are not considering Pp, E, e of CO2, and interactions of radiation with turbulence and emission induced.

    As we include those factors for calculating α, we realize the value for α is quite lower than the value proposed by the IPCC and Schwartz.

    It is also worth noting that the formula is not fundamental but is rather based on an empirical fit, as explained here: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/222.htm where they note that the formula for relating the radiative forcing to the CO2 concentration is an empirical fit to the results from more complicated radiative transfer calculations. Hence, it makes no sense to claim that α in that equation is not a constant…It is a constant BY DEFINITION. (You might question how well that empirical equation fits the results of the more complicated radiative transfer calculations but my impression is that it fits pretty well.)

    The value of α was not deduced from experimentation, but guessed mathematically. When we evaluate α introducing real values, α stops being “constant”.

    Do you know what model these units “W m^-2” stand for? If you know it, you’ll grasp that α is not a constant, either by definition.

  114. Nasif says:

    I had told Hans that it was the same formula which I applied into some of my calculations. However, the value α = 5.35 W/m^2 is spurious because, precisely, the IPCC and Schwarts are not considering Pp, E, e of CO2, and interactions of radiation with turbulence and emission induced.

    No…It is your value that is mistaken. The IPCC is getting the value of α by fitting to actual radiative transfer calculations that go way beyond anything you are imagining…i.e., they take into account the actual spectral absorption bands and such.

    Schwartz is doing a completely different sort of calculation where he is deriving a value for the climate sensitivity after feedbacks are included by looking at empirical data on how much heat the climate system absorbs (almost all of it into the oceans) and how much temperature rise is induced.

    The value of α was not deduced from experimentation, but guessed mathematically. When we evaluate α introducing real values, α stops being “constant”.

    Like I said, your statement makes no sense at all. α is constant and has the value of 5.35 W/m^2 by definition because the formula given in the IPCC report is an empirical fit to the results of more complicated radiative transfer calculations.

    If you don’t believe me, why don’t you at least believe Hans Erren, Roy Spencer, and Richard Lindzen, all three of whom are on your side (at least qualitatively) regarding the larger issue of climate sensitivity once feedbacks are included but all of whom accept that the radiative forcing due to doubling CO2 levels is ~4 W/m^2. [The value for radiative forcing is given by given by α ln(2).]

  115. Joel Shore (04:33:17) :

    Like I said, your statement makes no sense at all. α is constant and has the value of 5.35 W/m^2 by definition because the formula given in the IPCC report is an empirical fit to the results of more complicated radiative transfer calculations.

    Yes? Is α constant? Then tell me what the units W/m^2 describe… Waiting for your answer.

  116. Yes? Is α constant? Then tell me what the units W/m^2 describe… Waiting for your answer.

    I don’t understand the question. Are you trying to imply that a number with units can’t be a constant? That’s just silly. For example, the speed of light in vacuum, c, is a constant and it has units of length over time. And, σ itself is another example of a constant with units.

    The units W/m^2 represent the fact that α is a constant having units of Energy per unit time per unit area.

  117. Joel Shore (18:02:50) :

    I don’t understand the question. Are you trying to imply that a number with units can’t be a constant? That’s just silly. For example, the speed of light in vacuum, c, is a constant and it has units of length over time. And, σ itself is another example of a constant with units.

    The units W/m^2 represent the fact that α is a constant having units of Energy per unit time per unit area.

    Hah! Of course not… I’m not implying that a number with units cannot be a constant. In this case “W/m^2” are units for total emittancy, and TE it’s not constant.

  118. Hans Erren (15:57:45) :

    Nasif
    Alpha is defined by Myhre as the constant relating forcing factor to absorption band widening, it is without feedbacks.

    For Climate Sensitivity you should be using Lambda, which is dependent on feedbacks.
    http://www.sciencebits.com/OnClimateSensitivity
    (To add to the confusion, Shaviv uses alpha for albedo.)

    Thanks for the link. Shaviv’s article is quite clear. I think it dispels most of the confusion on this issue. Regarding Myhre’s definition, I’d taken α for total emittancy, because it is defined this way by Potter’s in his book on thermodynamics.

  119. Nasif says:

    Thanks for the link. Shaviv’s article is quite clear. I think it dispels most of the confusion on this issue.

    So, are we to take that to mean that you now understand that you were mistaken and accept Shaviv’s statement in regards to the sensitivity in the absence of feedbacks of 0.30 K/(w/m^2) and his statement “This sensitivity translates to an equilibrium CO2 doubling temperature of about 1.2°K”?

  120. Joel Shore (05:08:03) :

    So, are we to take that to mean that you now understand that you were mistaken and accept Shaviv’s statement in regards to the sensitivity in the absence of feedbacks of 0.30 K/(w/m^2) and his statement “This sensitivity translates to an equilibrium CO2 doubling temperature of about 1.2°K”?

    No, λ is a constant, α = total emittancy is not a constant.

  121. Nasif,
    No empirical constant is a “constant” as they are all approximations from linearisations. Myhre’s alpha is robust on variations of CO2 in the range of 100 ppm to 2000 ppm and is tested on line-by-line spectral calculations, Shavivs lambda OTOH is highly dependent on temperature already: cold regions like Siberia have a higher climate sensitivity than warm regions like the Congo Basin.

    The controversy is not about the value of alpha, the controversy is about the value of lambda.

  122. Hans Erren (13:58:36) :

    Nasif,
    No empirical constant is a “constant” as they are all approximations from linearisations. Myhre’s alpha is robust on variations of CO2 in the range of 100 ppm to 2000 ppm and is tested on line-by-line spectral calculations, Shavivs lambda OTOH is highly dependent on temperature already: cold regions like Siberia have a higher climate sensitivity than warm regions like the Congo Basin.

    The controversy is not about the value of alpha, the controversy is about the value of lambda.

    Yes, it’s quite clear. I’ve got it from the reading of Shaviv’s article. I should have said: “λ is a constant, α, when it is for total emittancy, is not a constant. The confusion was generated from the various and different interpretations of α.

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