CO2 report – estimated to be "highest in 15 million years"

Another paper for the Copenhagen train. This is an estimate according to the abstract. Here’s the abstract and the supplemental information, of course the publicly funded paper is behind the AAAS paywall.

From UCLA News: Last time carbon dioxide levels were this high: 15 million years ago, scientists report

By Stuart Wolpert October 08, 2009 Category: Research
tripati_CO2-15million

More ice hockey - last 1000 years of CO2 from Vostok

You would have to go back at least 15 million years to find carbon dioxide levels on Earth as high as they are today, a UCLA scientist and colleagues report Oct. 8 in the online edition of the journal Science.
“The last time carbon dioxide levels were apparently as high as they are today — and were sustained at those levels — global temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they are today, the sea level was approximately 75 to 120 feet higher than today, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic and very little ice on Antarctica and Greenland,” said the paper’s lead author, Aradhna Tripati, a UCLA assistant professor in the department of Earth and space sciences and the department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences.
“Carbon dioxide is a potent greenhouse gas, and geological observations that we now have for the last 20 million years lend strong support to the idea that carbon dioxide is an important agent for driving climate change throughout Earth’s history,” she said.
By analyzing the chemistry of bubbles of ancient air trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists have been able to determine the composition of Earth’s atmosphere going back as far as 800,000 years, and they have developed a good understanding of how carbon dioxide levels have varied in the atmosphere since that time. But there has been little agreement before this study on how to reconstruct carbon dioxide levels prior to 800,000 years ago.
Tripati, before joining UCLA’s faculty, was part of a research team at England’s University of Cambridge that developed a new technique to assess carbon dioxide levels in the much more distant past — by studying the ratio of the chemical element boron to calcium in the shells of ancient single-celled marine algae. Tripati has now used this method to determine the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere as far back as 20 million years ago.
Aradhna Tripati

Aradhna Tripati
“We are able, for the first time, to accurately reproduce the ice-core record for the last 800,000 years — the record of atmospheric C02 based on measurements of carbon dioxide in gas bubbles in ice,” Tripati said. “This suggests that the technique we are using is valid.
“We then applied this technique to study the history of carbon dioxide from 800,000 years ago to 20 million years ago,” she said. “We report evidence for a very close coupling between carbon dioxide levels and climate. When there is evidence for the growth of a large ice sheet on Antarctica or on Greenland or the growth of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, we see evidence for a dramatic change in carbon dioxide levels over the last 20 million years.
“A slightly shocking finding,” Tripati said, “is that the only time in the last 20 million years that we find evidence for carbon dioxide levels similar to the modern level of 387 parts per million was 15 to 20 million years ago, when the planet was dramatically different.”
Levels of carbon dioxide have varied only between 180 and 300 parts per million over the last 800,000 years — until recent decades, said Tripati, who is also a member of UCLA’s Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. It has been known that modern-day levels of carbon dioxide are unprecedented over the last 800,000 years, but the finding that modern levels have not been reached in the last 15 million years is new.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the carbon dioxide level was about 280 parts per million, Tripati said. That figure had changed very little over the previous 1,000 years. But since the Industrial Revolution, the carbon dioxide level has been rising and is likely to soar unless action is taken to reverse the trend, Tripati said.
“During the Middle Miocene (the time period approximately 14 to 20 million years ago), carbon dioxide levels were sustained at about 400 parts per million, which is about where we are today,” Tripati said. “Globally, temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, a huge amount.”
Tripati’s new chemical technique has an average uncertainty rate of only 14 parts per million.
“We can now have confidence in making statements about how carbon dioxide has varied throughout history,” Tripati said.
In the last 20 million years, key features of the climate record include the sudden appearance of ice on Antarctica about 14 million years ago and a rise in sea level of approximately 75 to 120 feet.
“We have shown that this dramatic rise in sea level is associated with an increase in carbon dioxide levels of about 100 parts per million, a huge change,” Tripati said. “This record is the first evidence that carbon dioxide may be linked with environmental changes, such as changes in the terrestrial ecosystem, distribution of ice, sea level and monsoon intensity.”
Today, the Arctic Ocean is covered with frozen ice all year long, an ice cap that has been there for about 14 million years.
“Prior to that, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic,” Tripati said.
Some projections show carbon dioxide levels rising as high as 600 or even 900 parts per million in the next century if no action is taken to reduce carbon dioxide, Tripati said. Such levels may have been reached on Earth 50 million years ago or earlier, said Tripati, who is working to push her data back much farther than 20 million years and to study the last 20 million years in detail.
More than 50 million years ago, there were no ice sheets on Earth, and there were expanded deserts in the subtropics, Tripati noted. The planet was radically different.
Co-authors on the Science paper are Christopher Roberts, a Ph.D. student in the department of Earth sciences at the University of Cambridge, and Robert Eagle, a postdoctoral scholar in the division of geological and planetary sciences at the California Institute of Technology.
The research was funded by UCLA’s Division of Physical Sciences and the United Kingdom’s National Environmental Research Council.
Tripati’s research focuses on the development and application of chemical tools to study climate change throughout history. She studies the evolution of climate and seawater chemistry through time.
“I’m interested in understanding how the carbon cycle and climate have been coupled, and why they have been coupled, over a range of time-scales, from hundreds of years to tens of millions of years,” Tripati said.
In addition to being published on the Science Express website, the paper will be published in the print edition of Science at a later date.
UPDATE: Bill Illis add this graph in comments, which brings up the obvious correlation questions.
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346 thoughts on “CO2 report – estimated to be "highest in 15 million years"

  1. It sure does look like more ice hockey, but this is for CO2 not temperature… where is the data for temperature in their study? Surely if they can measure CO2 for 20 million years with their ice cores they think they can measure temperature and correlate the two into some relationship? Or am I mistaken about that?

  2. Just curoius, but is splicing Mauna Loa data onto the end of ice core graph any different than splicing modern temperature data onto tree ring chronologies? Is that better science?
    I weep for the future of science…

  3. Of course if the analysis is valid the question is: Did higher CO2 cause higher temperatures or did higher temperatures cause higher CO2, or were they both caused by something else, or was it just coincidence? I suppose they could both cause each other in an uncontrollable feedback loop leading to the end of all life on Earth… but since I’m typing this 14 million years later, that’s unlikely…
    My understanding is that warmer oceans “outgassing” CO2 is well accepted, right?

  4. All I can see here is “correlation is cause”. Well, women wear short skirts when the sun is shining, but I don’t think women wearing short skirts causes the sun to rise in the morning.

  5. This is the kind of fluffery that makes me wonder whether I should be laughing or crying.
    The amount of sheer falsehood is staggering. The dishonest phrasing (ie. use of the word “suggests” in a sentence intended to be taken as factual) is beyond annoying. I can’t figure out whether the woman is stupid or naive… or both.
    The razor-straight handle on the hockey stick is absolutely retarded. The continuation to the “projected” values is nothing short of laughable.
    This is not Science. Not even remotely close. It’s nothing more than propaganda and fear mongering for political purposes. I sincerely hope that at some point, SOON, this sort of dishonesty is both criminalized AND prosecuted.

  6. Another hockey stick.
    Don’t these people realise that that The man on the Clapham omnibus (Joe. Q. Public) ridicules their claims. Don’t they actually get out into the real world, meet real people?

  7. “By analyzing the chemistry of bubbles of ancient air trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists have been able to determine the composition of Earth’s atmosphere going back as far as 800,000 years, and they have developed a good understanding of how carbon dioxide levels have varied in the atmosphere since that time. But there has been little agreement before this study on how to reconstruct carbon dioxide levels prior to 800,000 years ago.”
    Also, isn’t it assuming a bit too much to say “Comparison of CO2 Levels in Earth’s History” when it’s a core sample taken from Antarctica, not from multiple places on the Earth? Is CO2 uniform across the atmosphere? As a gas one might think so but…
    What is the error rate for such measurements over such a vast amount of time? What is the accuracy and what is the confidence level in the estimate?
    How come this doesn’t jive with other studies of CO2 that I’ve seen? (At the moment I don’t recall the links to them.)
    Maybe someone could compare this study with other studies of CO2 over the past 20 millions of years?
    To the authors of the study: Where is the raw data? How come this important paper (assuming it’s important) isn’t available to the public as Open Science? Where is the raw non-manipulated data? How was the data adjusted, please show your work with a program that audits every tiny little adjustment and tweak that is made to the data, otherwise the work is suspect. Please show all the programs and steps involved in the preparation of this paper. Please show all your assumptions and provide a scientifically based justification and rationale for such assumptions and for your conclusions. Please provide all photos and video and film and audio recordings of your work in progress especially the videos documenting the proper or improper handling of the ice cores! What you don’t have documentary video to audit your ice core handling? If not why not? If so, please provide it. Please publish all of this forthwith for review by the public that funded your study. Thank you.

  8. “We report evidence for a very close coupling between carbon dioxide levels and climate.”
    No mention of the ever present lag of co2 changes behind temperature changes here I notice.

  9. So what? For me as a geologist 15 mil years is not so long ago. I find it much more frightening that just recently / 10.000 years ago there was an Ice age.

  10. Fantastic news:
    Two periods of Earth History with the same CO2 levels but temperature very different and sea level very different. Conclusion: The level of CO2 does not determine either temperature or sea level.
    Or perhaps there is something to worry about.
    “During the Middle Miocene (the time period approximately 14 to 20 million years ago), carbon dioxide levels were sustained at about 400 parts per million, which is about where we are today”
    “In the last 20 million years, key features of the climate record include the sudden appearance of ice on Antarctica about 14 million years ago and a rise in sea level of approximately 75 to 120 feet.”
    So the last time we had this level of CO2 it kicked off the ‘sudden appearance’ of ice at the poles. How the formation of ice caused a rise in sea-level quite escapes me.

  11. O. Weinzierl (10:40:25) :
    So what? For me as a geologist 15 mil years is not so long ago. I find it much more frightening that just recently / 10.000 years ago there was an Ice age.
    That Train to Copenhagen might just get derailed due to an avalanche.
    -of data by empirical results…

  12. So I guess this study validates the Piri Reis map was drawn 15 million years ago. Who’d a thunk it? 😉

  13. “By analyzing the chemistry of bubbles of ancient air trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists have been able to determine the composition of Earth’s atmosphere going back as far as 800,000 years, and they have developed a good understanding of how carbon dioxide levels have varied in the atmosphere since that time. But there has been little agreement before this study on how to reconstruct carbon dioxide levels prior to 800,000 years ago.”
    Translation: “There has been little agreement but this study is what we believe. There will still be little agreement”
    It’s nothing more than one interpretation of the ice core samples used. This is just an opinion piece and should not be classed as science.

  14. Looks like they are recycling plots now… just change the titles and there they go… Something Mann et. al. can be proud of.

  15. Why does no-one pay attention to the lag of CO2 behind temperature? The only reasonable explanation is that temperature controls CO2. There is no empirical evidence that “carbon dioxide is a potent greenhouse gas.” We exceeded the highest CO2 in the last million years by 1910. On a 100-year time scale, the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere should be instantaneous. It isn’t there.

  16. I thought there was a concern over a CO2 “smearing” effect in old ice cores that would “peak clip” the high CO2 peaks by averaging them into a wider band of ice? Something about CO2 diffusing a ‘small’ distance over 15,000,000 years that turns out to be a “large” time…

  17. On tv today.
    Scientist have discovered that 50 million years ago Antarctica was a tropical zone due to high CO2 levels.
    The scientist could learn from this astonishing and unexpected event and draw lessons for the near future.
    CO2 for fact is aable to melt the entire ice cap!
    I propose we take this information and the current posting, wrap it in a disposal bag and throw it in the bin.
    When I see a hockey stick I smell a rat.
    But maybe our fresh Nobel Laureate can do something with it.
    The past 9 months his only accomplishment has been the acquirement of the Peace Nobel Prize.
    Maybe he can use the momentum to make huge advances on the bills currently discussed on the Hill.
    I am convinced he will find the alarming state of our planet 50 and 15 years ago a huge threat for the near future.
    I think, if true, it only proofs one thing!
    If these events were so dramatic and destructive, we would not be here.
    And that also goes for the polar bears.
    Can I have my peace now?

  18. I believe her method is called the “Carbonite Clumped Isotope Thermometer”
    From he University CV:
    “The work that I’ve done with John Eiler at Caltech has demonstrated that the carbonate ‘clumped isotope’ thermometer offers unparalleled opportunities for addressing a range of questions in paleoclimatology and paleoceanography. This innovative method constrains carbonate growth temperatures based on the temperature-dependent “clumping” of 13C and 18O bonds within carbonate solids, independent of any solid-fluid equilibria.”
    For her to construct a temp proxy using this method she must have statistical data that contains her statistical methodology, correlation co-efficients, error bars, etc… I would also like to know how she correlated temperatures from so long ago? Does her study suffer the same fate of the Birstlecone and Yamal tree rings( divergence problems?)? If this study is so important, the entire study should be in public archives.
    Also, the results of her study run against what Dr Lindzen of MIT says about the behavior of CO2 doubling. Both cannot be right.

  19. Shortened ‘codetech’:
    …fluffery…
    …sheer falsehood…. The dishonest phrasing….woman is stupid or naive… or both.
    …. absolutely retarded. …
    … propaganda… fear mongering…. dishonesty…

    Humm – you don’t like what you read then? Then, to be taken seriously, please refute it with something more than such insult ridden invective.

  20. The flaw is the wild leap from what they hope are facts – their estimates of CO2 millions of years ago – to lessons for the present. That leap is tendentious.

  21. Mann & Briffa are both in the Penalty Box for Illegal Use of the Stick, so the coach has sent in Aradhna Tripati to kill off the penalties.

  22. “We are able, for the first time, to accurately reproduce the ice-core record for the last 800,000 years — the record of atmospheric C02 based on measurements of carbon dioxide in gas bubbles in ice,” Tripati said. “This suggests that the technique we are using is valid.
    “We then applied this technique to study the history of carbon dioxide from 800,000 years ago to 20 million years ago,” she said. “We report evidence for a very close coupling between carbon dioxide levels and climate. When there is evidence for the growth of a large ice sheet on Antarctica or on Greenland or the growth of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, we see evidence for a dramatic change in carbon dioxide levels over the last 20 million years.
    Hum for the first time we accurately go back 800,000 Years? Then just how inaccurate is the 800,000 to 20 million measurements. I am sure Al would be interested, seeing his movie makes claims of knowing CO2 levels well past the first time accurate measurements have been done… ptfff

  23. I am not abosolutely sure that Science is a peer reviewed publication, but if I recall correctly it is not. Therefore, using the AGW standard we can ignore this article and go one with our business.
    The train is rushing to the Copenhagen Station, but most people got off when it became obvious that the engineer was insane. All those left on board are self deluded activists and other Nobel Prize winners.
    Hope they don’t get too hurt when the train reaches the station and they become aware that nobody is waiting for them and the brakes were jettisoned a long way back.

  24. Balony!
    Has anyone stopped to think about this?
    By far the majority of All GHG is put into the atmosphere NATURALLY.
    Mankind only contributes a spit in the ocean of GHG.
    So any increase in CO2 can be attributed to nature not man.
    And since the entire amount of natural increase in CO2 is almost all naturally occuring, what exactly is the big wupp?
    CO2 goes up and it goes down like ocean tides. The tiny amount we contribute to it could not possibly change the natural variation.
    It is like spitting into the ocean and then claiming credit for the rising tide.

  25. Give the poor girl a break. She is merely an Assistant Professor. How in the world do you think a young Assistant Profoessor gets a promotion to Full Professor at a prestigious college like UCLA these days?
    Well I can assure – it is NOT by being honest. It is about publishing papers and making speeches that INCREASE FUNDING for University Research.
    Duh! How do you think science works these days? Do you think all those conventions and boondogles come free…do you think that living in sunny California is easy on an Assistant Professor’s salary.
    Have any of you read about how extremely hard it has been for Svensmark to get his work published and to get funding???
    This kind of verbal diarrhea from Ms Tripati will no doubt be plastered ALL OVER the NEWS – gaining prestige for UCLA.
    Well Done Ms Tripati – that is the spirit!

  26. snip – Adolfo, a climate skeptic, has been banned for posting inflammatory commentary that violated blog policy on several occasions, then trying several different personages ( a total of five) to get around it. His comments are no longer welcome here due to this behavior.
    – Anthony

  27. I’m not a scientist, so I can’t question the study itself or its methods. I just can’t quite see how the study does anything but demolish the theory that CO2 is the driver of climate and warming. If 15 million years ago CO2 levels were what they are today, but temperatures were 5-10C warmer, doesn’t that mean that CO2 levels have little or nothing to do with global warming trends? Clearly, something other than CO2 was making the earth much warmer then. Thus, there’s no reason to think that our current CO2 levels are driving any warming trends, or we would expect to already see huge warming trends, not the miniscule 0.8C trrend of the last century.
    Have these scientists actually considered all the other factors which might have led to the world of 15 million years ago being 5-10C warmer than the present world? Surely CO2 can’t be the only difference. Isn’t science supposed to investigate all those other factors and only after eliminating them, conclude that CO2 levels were responsible for that warming?
    Maybe I’m just not smart enough to be a scientist.

  28. Terryskinner (10:43:37) :
    “Fantastic news:
    Two periods of Earth History with the same CO2 levels but temperature very different and sea level very different. Conclusion: The level of CO2 does not determine either temperature or sea level.”
    Yeah, that was the first thing that struck me, too. Assuming everything in the paper is true (big assumption), CO2 apparently doesn’t have much effect on climate any more–it has “lost” 5 to 10 degrees of warming ability in 15 million years. We can continue to fertilize the atmosphere with no adverse consequences! I was just about to call President Obama with the good news.
    Then I realized that this is actually terrible news. If the warming effect of this essential climate-warming gas continues to decay at the same rate, the earth is doomed, DOOMED I tell you, to an eventual permanent ice age, no matter how much fossil fuel we burn!
    Our only hope is that “greenhouse decay” makes Venus habitable before we all freeze here!

  29. The Other Hockeystick?
    I have some difficulty in accepting that the data from the ESRL global CO2 measurement programme ( Mauna Loa, etc.) reflects changes in the actual quantity of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.
    I have looked at the methodology and as I understand it, the ERSL measurement is a relative one, i.e. of the ratio of CO2 in an airflow, which is shown to be increasing steadily. This is taken by others to mean that the absolute quantity of atmospheric CO2 is increasing, and the metaphysicians predict dire consequences for those naughty humans.
    I should like to propose an alternative interpretation; that the data reflects an absolute decrease in atmospheric O2.
    The burning of carbon in the atmosphere produces CO2 which Henry’s law predicts will be almost completely absorbed by the oceans, as it is very soluble. However, only a tiny proportion of the lost atmospheric O2 will be replaced via ocean outgassing, as it is much less soluble than CO2. So, when carbon is converted to CO2, the net effect is a loss of atmospheric O2 almost on a molecular one-for-one basis.
    It follows that by measuring and reporting increased atmospheric CO2 in units of parts-per-million, the absolute amount of CO2 in the atmosphere may not be rising, but rather it is the proportion that is rising.
    I appreciate that my view may be entirely and completely erroneous and stemming from ignorance, so I would very much appreciate critical resonses, in order to correct my thinking.
    If however my alternative view has some scientific merit, the consequences at least for the metaphysicians could be awesome.

  30. “During the Middle Miocene (the time period approximately 14 to 20 million years ago), carbon dioxide levels were sustained at about 400 parts per million, which is about where we are today,” Tripati said. “Globally, temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, a huge amount.”
    A clean thinker reads this as current temps aren’t anywhere close to what they were in the past at similar CO2 levels, therefore, temp & CO2 evidently arent that well correlated & there must be other more significant forcing mechanisms in play that need to be considered.
    Of course, the author throws in the word “sustained” to imply that’s where we are heading. Proof please ? Is that too much to ask?

  31. Without the entire article, it’s kind of pointless to argue about it. Does anyone know of any studies on the rate of CO2 diffusion through solid ice?

  32. Gives me yet one reason to drop my AAAS membership. If it was important, they should have peer-reviewed it and included it in their print edition. They didn’t.

  33. R Taylor (10:59:21) :
    You stated:
    “Why does no-one pay attention to the lag of CO2 behind temperature? The only reasonable explanation is that temperature controls CO2. There is no empirical evidence that “carbon dioxide is a potent greenhouse gas.” We exceeded the highest CO2 in the last million years by 1910. On a 100-year time scale, the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere should be instantaneous. It isn’t there.”
    1) Up until the last 100 years there has not been another species pumping gigatons of CO2 into the atmo on a yearly basis. Perhaps that’s what makes our situation unique. There is nothing “natural” about pumping out CO2 and paving over 25% of the landmass of the planet. I would not expect “climate” to react in a “normal” way.
    2) Normally CO2 would lag temperature increases perhaps triggered by changes due to something like the Milankovitch cycle. But CO2 levels would inch up gradually over hundreds of years. But what man is doing to the atmo by loading up CO2 is not normal so the empiral evidence will be what we experience over the next 50-100 years.
    3) The effect of changes in CO2 on temp should be instantaneous? That’s wishful thinking but not reality based. We may be only experiencing the beginning of the effects of higher levels of CO2. Our grandchildren will feel the brunt of any negative effects to the planet.
    It’s similar to the USA economy. Accumulate trillions in debt and wish that it won’t have an impact on the next generation who is saddled with it. Are we willing to mortgage our children with the potential consequences of +3-5C over the next 100 years?
    Shiny
    William

  34. When will see this is another case of proxy abuse?
    Will it be shown in time to make a difference?
    Since we know that the other proxy-derived hockey sticks are bogus, the fact that this latest one is also a hockey stick strongly leads to the conclusion of its bogosity, as well.

  35. Clearly the fact that C02 was rock steady proves that mankind’s evil activity has caused recent levels to skyrocket. We are evil, the science is settled. Of course since C02 drives temperature as everyone knows, (except for the evil denialists) that historical temperatures must also have also been rock steady. Any references to the MWP and LIA are obviously lies fabricated by the evil capitalist (oops, sorry about the spittle) dogs who will stop at nothing to destroy our planet.
    Remember the simple facts that prove AGW is indisputable.
    1. Hot –> it is AGW. (Everywhere there are no witnesses, except Texas!!!)
    2. Cold –> it is AGW. (Everywhere else except Texas, Go Texas!!!)
    3. Drought it is AGW. (Texas again!!!)
    4. Flood –> it is AGW. (Jim Cantouri and Texas says so)
    5. Less ice –> it is AGW. (Arctic) Look Texas doesn’t even have ice –> AGW
    6. More ice –> it is AGW (Antarctic) (Flaw in data must adjust.)
    These simple rules never fail. Proof positive, all skeptics will burn!!!

  36. It used to be
    end of ice age
    temps up
    co2 up
    temps more up because of
    temps down
    co2 lagging behind for slow slide into next ice age
    now it will be, for physics does not change
    end of ice age
    temps up
    co2 up
    temps more up because of
    anthropogenic introduction of far more CO2 <<<<<<
    temps even more up… to that of 15 million year ago level
    clathrates kicking in
    fried
    how about that scenario?
    biosphere collapse, societal collapse, war, hunger, thirst, nuke em

  37. In the last 20 million years, key features of the climate record include the sudden appearance of ice on Antarctica about 14 million years ago and a rise in sea level of approximately 75 to 120 feet.
    The Younger Dryas no doubt. But this digs up more questions than it answers.
    A lot less ice in the NH and after the Younger Dryas even less ice worldwide.
    So with falling Ice worldwide (a warming planet) you get falling C02?
    A melted Laurentide is replaced by an Antartic Ice Cap. How then did the sea levels rise?
    “A slightly shocking finding,”
    “We have shown that this dramatic rise in sea level is associated with an increase in carbon dioxide levels of about 100 parts per million, a huge change,” Tripati said.
    How? Melt one area and freeze it elsewhere. Where did the C02 come from?
    If the Laurentide melts the forests grow up and the C02 is locked in the forest. The tundra remains frozen. The C02 leaching out of coal, oil & gas support the new growth.
    So, how did we get a warmer planet and less C02 after the Laurentide melt?
    This report is circular reasoning at it’s pinnacle.

  38. “conradg (11:19:11) :
    I’m not a scientist, so I can’t question the study itself or its methods.”
    That may be true, but you know at this point in time some of the qualified scientists seem out of touch with reality. (This doesn’t mean that all who have qualifications are like this.)
    However, there are countless failed predictions by “experts” (*cough cough* Arctic sea ice minimum 2009), whilst many “non-scientists” who study climate as a hobby and who contribute here share interesting ideas and theories which are more worthwhile than the worn out hockey sticks and computer models which the “experts” constantly regurgitate on the table.

  39. John G. references a map presented at the Freeper site. Looking at that map, I am struck by the upper bound of average global (I know, E.D.) temperatures that with 2 exceptions doesn’t seem able to break about a 22 degree C. boundary over the past 600 million(!) years, and that today is aout half of that bound. I don’t know how this graph was derived but, if valid, would indicate that there is some very powerful feedback mechanism that doesn’t allow temps to go hog wild beyond a certain point. The fact that CO2 steadily falls would indicate that there is little correlation between the two.
    This is all likely common knowledge to regulars here but it is pretty striking to this lurker.

  40. Gary Hladik (11:21:30)
    You stated: “Our only hope is that “greenhouse decay” makes Venus habitable before we all freeze here!”
    Unlike Earth, Venus does not generate a magnetic field. This is significant because Earth’s magnetic field protects its atmosphere from the solar wind. On Venus, however, the solar wind strikes the upper atmosphere and carries off particles into space. This has stripped away most of the water in the atmosphere of Venus leaving only 20 ppm of water vapor in the atmo.
    Venus’ carbon dioxide-rich (96.5%) atmosphere is almost 100 times more dense than the Earth’s and acts like a blanket. As a result, Venus’ surface temperature is hotter than that of even Mercury, which is twice as close to the sun. The remaining portion of the atmo is 3.5% Nitrogen. Not much O2 to breath.
    Without a magnetosphere and plate tectonics Venus will remain a hot very dead world. We may be capable of emulating Venus if we can get CO2 up over 1000ppm. Should we give it a try?
    Shiny
    William

  41. “During the Middle Miocene (the time period approximately 14 to 20 million years ago), carbon dioxide levels were sustained at about 400 parts per million, which is about where we are today,” Tripati said. “Globally, temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, a huge amount.”
    Headline:
    Scientists prove No link between CO2 and temperature.

  42. CO2, too subtle.
    Take the temperatures from Vostok, add a few years from a volcano in Hawaii, project into the future…
    Nobel!

  43. The staging of this is simply disgusting and she participates so willingly to the show…
    There is clearly a confusion of scale, causes and effects in this announcement whose goal is to silence the highly skeptical geoscientist community with spurious teleconnections.

  44. This video was posted on WUWT a while back: click. It deconstructs the conjecture that CO2 can cause catastrophic global warming.
    And the alarmist crowd always uses the Mauna Loa CO2 chart with a very high starting y-axis: click. Using a y-axis like this is deliberately alarmist.
    But using a y-axis that starts at zero gives the true picture: click. Not so scary, is it?
    And Dr Roy Spencer’s graph puts the trace gas CO2 in perspective: click. [The graph line is along the bottom of the chart.]
    Conclusion: they’re lying to us about the effect of CO2, which is a beneficial trace gas that is every bit as essential as H2O to life on Earth.
    Finally, to claim that 15 million years ago CO2 was higher begs the question: where were the SUVs then? In fact, CO2 has been much higher in the past: [click on the image to expand].
    Picking 15 million years was entirely arbitrary. The chart linked above goes back hundreds of millions of years, and gives a much better picture of past atmospheric CO2 levels.

  45. Jim (11:23:18) :
    I wonder that myself. What C02 sources lie below the ice that can permeate upwards, giving the impression of rising C02 levels the deeper one drills?
    If it’s vulcanism, then if one drills an area pattern, a dome of trapped C02 would appear in the results.
    A key question to be answered.
    Drill here, drill now.

  46. “In the last 20 million years, key features of the climate record include the sudden appearance of ice on Antarctica about 14 million years ago and a rise in sea level of approximately 75 to 120 feet.”
    As a UCLA grad I am disappointed in the lack of logic in this phrase
    I thought MELTING of ice on land caused sea levels to rise. Did the ice, which suddenly appeared on Antarctica come from outer space? and where did the water for the sea level rise come from.
    I don’t think that these kind of “scientific” leaps of faith reflect well on the female gender.
    Signing off: a sad UCLA engineer (of the female persuasion)

  47. The last time carbon dioxide levels were apparently as high as they are today — and were sustained at those levels — global temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they are today, the sea level was approximately 75 to 120 feet higher than today, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic and very little ice on Antarctica and Greenland
    So why we do not have those temperatures and sea levels today? Why Antarctic is one full sh*tload of ice? Oh we know, in 2100 it may happen that..
    The lady itself is not that bad.

  48. Maybe I’m just not smart enough to be a scientist.
    conradg,
    You don’t have to be a scientist to use logic. That’s what I find so amazing about the AGW crowd, they have no problem with the illogical, or just making stuff up. Here was a good one, AGW activist proclaims that CO2 is the “most important greenhouse gas and without it, temperatures would be 60F cooler than they are.” (I guess that was just to assure us how important it was) When it was pointed out, that no, water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas on earth, the retort was that water vapor may be important but unlike CO2 it doesn’t stay in the atmosphere, because it comes out of the atmosphere as precipitation and that’s why it is CO2 that is causing warming. You’d like to laugh, but these people get to vote.

  49. Lets assume this CO2 record is accurate. It doesn’t say how CO2 levels rose in the 20-15 million year ago period. Whatever the reason, it certainly is different than the recent increase.
    There’s an assumption here that a CO2 increase means a temperature increase, but it sure would be nice to know why CO2 levels rose back then and consider what effects those processes would have on the climate instead of saying CO2 is the only driver.

  50. Anthony, 11:37,
    I will be making all the paleoclimate data (temperature, CO2, sea level) together with links to all the sources available soon in easy to use spreadsheet form.
    The CO2 data for the chart comes from the Antarctic ice cores to 800K and then from Pangani 2005 to 30 million years ago. The temperature estimates come from Zachos 2001 (I could have put the ice core temperature numbers in as well but the chart gets too cluttered).
    Here is another preview.
    http://i37.tinypic.com/20toyro.jpg

  51. william (11:43:39) : “Unlike Earth, Venus does not generate a magnetic field. This is significant because Earth’s magnetic field protects its atmosphere from the solar wind. On Venus, however, the solar wind strikes the upper atmosphere and carries off particles into space. This has stripped away most of the water in the atmosphere of Venus leaving only 20 ppm of water vapor in the atmo.”
    Well duuhhhh. We’ll have to bring a lot of ice with us, won’t we? 🙂

  52. Shoddy Journalism is correlated with recent increases in CO2. Image how bad the media was 15 million years ago….. 😉

  53. It was warmer 15 million years ago and the sea levels were higher? Sounds to me like CO2 has little to do with it. If CO2 levels caused it, why isn’t the climate today like it was then?
    There are serious debates about the accuracy of CO2 measurements from ice cores. Ice — even glacial ice hundreds and even thousands of feet deep — is not solid. It is permeable.

  54. They made their analysis by using AA spectroscophy, and being both elements, boron and calcium, obviously in the percentage level, it is not the correct procedure, as it gives too much error.
    Boron and calcium are usually found as:
    Colemanite (Hydrated Calcium Borate)
    2CaO, 3 B2O3, 5H2O : CaO, 27.2%; B2O3, 50.9%; H2O, 21.9%.
    Ulexite (Hydrated Sodium Calcium Borate)
    Na2O, 2CaO, 5 B2O3, 16 H2O : Na2O, 7.7%; CaO, 13.8%; B2O3, 43.0%; H2O, 35.5%.
    in VOLCANIC areas.
    They are also extrapolating backwards to million of years, a sùpposed relation of both elements to sea´s pH, which could have been affected by many other acids/alkalies.
    This is baseless.

  55. william (11:30:42) : There is nothing “natural” about pumping out CO2 and paving over 25% of the landmass of the planet.
    Have you ever been outside of NYC?

  56. Jim (11:23:18) :
    Without the entire article, it’s kind of pointless to argue about it.

    Agreed. Except press releases (this one is flawed) are all most people read.

  57. “Tripati’s new chemical technique has an average uncertainty rate of only 14 parts per million.”
    It’s so nice to be certain!

  58. conradg (11:19:11) :
    Correct. You are not smart enough to be a scientist because you clearly have a lot of common sense. And sadly common sense is not very common.

  59. The global warmers are manifestly not serious — if they were, the solutions they propose to global warming would be ones that would be more likely to work. For example: a crash program of space construction to give us the capability to build big flat panels in space to shade the earth if in fact it does start to warm up. The same technology has the added benefit of being easily converted to giant solar mirrors, diverting more solar energy onto the earth if another ice age begins, halting it in its track. If you’re serious about having an effect on the earth’s climate, this is the way to be thinking — not trying to monkey around with trace gasses in the earth’s atmosphere. Note that there is ample evidence that ice ages regularly occur and we are (more or less) due for another one soon, geologically speaking.

  60. I have access to the paper Anthony…shoot me an email if you want it and I will forward it to you

  61. william:
    1000 ppm? You’re not even remotely close to what it would take to emulate venus. Go for 100,000 ppm AND move the Earth closer to the sun, then maybe we’ll start to see some real effects. You should really consider learning more about physics.
    25% of the landmass is paved now? I guess you never fly, do you? Flying (and actually looking out the window) is a humbling experience, as you realize just how miniscule our presence is on the planet.
    And Hearndon, the entire article is wrong. All of it. I’d check that she spelled her name right if I cared. There is nothing to argue, since it has clearly left the Science building and taken a stroll over to the Fiction wing.
    Just google “vostok”, and you’ll discover that the “straight line” of historical CO2 isn’t even remotely close.

  62. OT: Rasmus at RC attacks Svenmark.
    I posted a comment and just in case it is snipped… It is amazing that these guys cannot tolerate even one scientist working on a different avenue… frightening totalitarians.
    Antonio San says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    9 October 2009 at 1:16 PM
    Meanwhile Willard Boyle, 2009 Physics Nobel Prize winner -a scientific award, not the political one…- described his days as a researcher for Bell labs, as the most exciting of his life… What is needed is “an appreciation for the free will, free spirit of scientists. Give them a chance to do the things they want to do.”
    So Rasmus, who and in under what competence is to decide what Svenmark and/or others should research or not? You? How convenient!”

  63. william (11:30:42) :
    You stated:
    1) Up until the last 100 years there has not been another species pumping gigatons of CO2 into the atmo on a yearly basis. Perhaps that’s what makes our situation unique. There is nothing “natural” about pumping out CO2 and paving over 25% of the landmass of the planet. I would not expect “climate” to react in a “normal” way.
    Where did you get that paving over 25% of the landmass? I have been looking for data of that type for a while now, and I would be interested in reviewing it.

  64. For most of the last 800,000 years the Earth has been frozen in the deepest Ice Age in 250 million years. The global climate has not been anywhere close to “normal” but has been locked in ice and tundra over two-thirds of the Northern Hemisphere. Short, 10,000-year-long interglacial warmings every 100,000 years are frankly inadequate respites from the Reign of Ice.
    The data in this study are from one the most inhospitable eras ever for Life. Over a quarter of the globe has been rendered biologically inert (most of the time). If CO2 had anything to do with it, then the CO2 levels have obviously (biologically, practically, ethically) been too low.
    Life florished globally during the Miocene. The Earth was a bountiful garden with huge biodiversity of plants and animals including unimaginable (today) features such as boreal tropical forests.
    Warmer is Better. Most people live where it’s warmer. Almost all foods grow better where it’s warmer. Biodiversity is highest where it’s warmer — there are more species per acre in Equatorial regions and progressively less toward the poles. Warmer means more evaporation and hence more precipitation — the Ice Ages have been a 2.5 million-year-long drought compared to the norm of geologic history.
    I doubt CO2 has much effect on climate, based on my reading of various studies highlighted at WUWT. But I wish it did. I have no problem with turning up the thermostat to Miocene levels. It’s not going to happen, because the Ice Ages are due to plate tectonics (Antarctica over the S. Pole). But if we could do something to raise the temp a few degrees, then we should do so, and be industrious, happy, and thankful about it.

  65. rbateman (11:48:33) :
    *******************
    Jim (11:23:18) :
    I wonder that myself. What C02 sources lie below the ice that can permeate upwards, giving the impression of rising C02 levels the deeper one drills?
    If it’s vulcanism, then if one drills an area pattern, a dome of trapped C02 would appear in the results.
    *********************
    If it does diffuse at all, CO2 has plenty of time to move. It could account for th rather flat concentration. (The handle of the hockey stick).

  66. There are those of us who know that Climate Science has been hijacked by loonies who are at the tops of all the science organizations including the Climate Science department of Wikipedia.
    I looked up Dr Robert Balling, said by a 1990 BBC programme (before the new Iron Curtain fell) to be an expert on UHI. Now it looks from his stuff as if he just does his best to stay out of trouble, otherwise he’d be out of academia altogether probably. And just a short Wiki article that’s slander because at least at one time he was an outspoken skeptic and critic.
    In mythology the problem of Climate Science is described as the monster the Hydra, with hundreds of heads which all had to be cut off and cauterized, otherwise several more would spring in the place of the old heads. Joanne Rowling has given the Hydra a new lease of understanding with “Horcruxes”. In Climate Science, each Hockey Stick is another head of the Hydra, another Horcrux, IMO. Each one can only be “decapitated and cauterized” by its own specialists.
    I still suspect that Jaworowski (if he’s still alive) and Segalstad regard the current CO2 hockey stick as seriously misbegotten. I am still sure that CO2 escapes from the depths of firn by solution and under pressure, and that CO2 levels recorded from deep ice cores are all too low. But on this point I am still no match for Ferdinand Engelbeen, whom I regard with affection and take seriously; he doesn’t think much of Segalstad.
    Can anyone help spell out something in layman’s terms? Oh, and I’d like to see other CO2 measurements done at Mauna Loa, if such exist. And why did they choose volcanic outgassing Mauna Loa when non-volcanic islands are available?

  67. “This record is the first evidence that carbon dioxide may be linked with environmental changes, such as changes in the terrestrial ecosystem, distribution of ice, sea level and monsoon intensity.”
    The only thing this type of study and the associated non-journalism proves is that our schools are failing, including our universities. Sticking with the school theme – Lets examine this statement closely, class. This EVIDENCE MAY be LINKED with environmental changes… If that doesn’t just fill you full of confidence that they are correct, you are just being hard headed. I mean after all, who needs causal evidence when you MAY be able to potentially LINK two things together. And, yes, I know I’m occasionally shouting via text. I’m the last angry hippie and I want the world to know it!
    I think Dr. Dean Edell summed up a ‘link’ the best when he said “You can link french fries with car accidents if you want, but you’ll never be able to prove they cause them.”

  68. Shouldn’t the little blue bar identifying the range for the past 800,000 years be lifted to include present day readings. One would assume that the past 800,000 years would include yesterday.
    Secondly, the graph shows that we are just barely at the bottom of the range from 15,000,000 years ago. Only with the dramatic IPCC projections does this look remotely alarming. Especially when we know little or nothing about the other factors extant 15 million years ago.
    Her choice of 15 million years ago was convenient to prove her hypothesis, why did she not choose 20 or 25 million years ago when the CO2 levels were much higher?
    Why is the climate science community so in love with hockey stick graphs?

  69. Well, I’m not surprised that CO2 is at record levels (so not OT, honest 🙂 I have just been informed that over 40% of CO2 is due to heating houses and driving cars!
    This terrifying statistic was delivered in Britain tonight in a national tv ad by ‘Action on CO2’ through the appropriate medium of a fairy story. Those of you that are denied the pleasure of British tv can watch it on their website:
    http://www.actoncopenhagen.decc.gov.uk/en/ukaction/government/act-on-c02-ad
    Warning – may cause nausea and vomiting!
    Seriously though, this looks like a clear breach of advertising regulations – it’s my understanding that total contribution of fossil fuel burning is 3-4% of CO2 generated; presumably they mean 40% of that, but the ad clearly gives a very different and misleading impression.

  70. While I am no climate scientist, I have enough background and understanding of geochemistry to know that gas in ice bubbles is not isolated as is apparently assumed by the climate community. CO2 and other gasses trapped in ice crystals diffuses both through the crystal lattice and via crystal boundaries.
    I am not aware of any systematic study of the rates of gas diffusion in ice crystals, but they are likely to be significant, particularly when the ice is young. This may explain at least part of the 800 lag, but it also calls into question both the concentrations and isotope ratios of CO2 and other gas inclusions in ice cores.
    I don’t think either side of the climate debate has reasonable justification to use the ice core CO2 or 18O ratios to make any definitive statements about atmospheric trace gas concentrations. All they can really say is that cold climate regimes have low CO2 trace concentrations and hot ones have higher ones.

  71. I have a problem with the “CO2 is a potent greenhouse gas” phrase. It really isn’t all that “potent” when you consider the overall mix of gasses in our atmosphere. That is another example of the “conventional wisdom” being passed off as fact.
    CO2 is much less “potent” of a greenhouse gas than water vapor is. There is also a natural negative feedback in that if you introduce more CO2, plants absorb more of it through enhanced growth so the more CO2 you put into the atmosphere, the faster it comes out. Also, is that response linear? I don’t know. Maybe if you increase CO2 by 10% you get a 15% increase in plant growth so you end up pulling it back out faster than you are putting it in.
    Would a 100% increase in CO2 result in more than a 100% increase in biomass creation? It would be something interesting to find out. One study in 2000 by Duke University found that loblolly pines grown in an ambient atmosphere of CO2 that is 50% above normal ambient were twice as likely to produce cones, produced 300% as many cones and 200% as many seeds per tree in addition to putting on more trunk mass.

  72. The site this appears in does not seem to be a geology site, it is rather a pot pouri site from biology to ….
    I will be very surprised if it is peer reviewed. I spent some time on http://www.sciencemag.org/about/ and could find nothing about peer reviewing. Does anybody have a link to the acceptance policy?
    In general I am disgusted that this is called science.

  73. C’mon, guys! Give her a break! Haven’t you seen her picture?
    If she is discredited we’ll just get more Gavin Schmidt. No one wants that.

  74. “There is nothing “natural” about pumping out CO2 and paving over 25% of the landmass of the planet.”
    Go Joni Go!

    Please….Not again!

  75. Okay, help me out here. Am I having a senior moment, seriously. I look at the graph and see that CO2 doesn’t cause temperature changes. Am I right…or wrong? Someone, please?

  76. Ice is not in steady state. Gas trapped in ice diffuses over time.
    Chemical Physics Letters
    Volume 385, Issues 5-6, 16 February 2004, Pages 467-471
    Title: Diffusion of nitrogen gas in ice Ih
    Abstract
    Diffusion of N2 in ice crystal has been found from Raman scattering of the natural ice from the Antarctic ice sheet. In order to investigate the diffusion mechanism, we perform molecular dynamics simulations of diffusion of N2 in ice. The results show that the N2 molecule hops in the crystal by breaking hydrogen bonds in the ice lattice. The diffusion velocity with the mechanism is few orders larger than the estimate under the assumption of the interstitial mechanism. We conclude that the localized vibrational motion of N2 is the dominant factor governing the diffusion mechanism.
    and
    Journal of Glaciology 2008, vol. 54, no187, pp. 685-695
    Title: CO2 diffusion in polar ice : observations from naturally formed CO2 spikes in the Siple Dome (Antarctica) ice core
    by
    AHN Jinho (1 2) ; HEADLY Melissa (1) ; WAHLEN Martin (1) ; BROOK Edward J. (2) ; MAYEWSKI Paul A. (3) ; TAYLOR Kendrick C. (4) ;
    Abstract
    One common assumption in interpreting ice-core CO2 records is that diffusion in the ice does not affect the concentration profile. However, this assumption remains untested because the extremely small CO2 diffusion coefficient in ice has not been accurately determined in the laboratory. In this study we take advantage of high levels of CO2 associated with refrozen layers in an ice core from Siple Dome, Antarctica, to study CO2 diffusion rates. We use noble gases (Xe/Ar and Kr/Ar), electrical conductivity and Ca2+ ion concentrations to show that substantial CO2 diffusion may occur in ice on timescales of thousands of years. We estimate the permeation coefficient for CO2 in ice is ∼4 x 10-21 mol m-1 s-1 Pa-1 at -23°C in the top 287m (corresponding to 2.74 kyr). Smoothing of the CO2 record by diffusion at this depth/age is one or two orders of magnitude smaller than the smoothing in the firn. However, simulations for depths of ∼930-950 m (∼60-70 kyr) indicate that smoothing of the CO2 record by diffusion in deep ice is comparable to smoothing in the firn. Other types of diffusion (e.g. via liquid in ice grain boundaries or veins) may also be important but their influence has not been quantified.
    Extensive discussion on methodology and problems with CO2 measurements in ice bubbles please refer to Jaworowski et al. 1992 (see link)

  77. “We have shown that this dramatic rise in sea level [75 to 120 feet] is associated with an increase in carbon dioxide levels of about 100 parts per million, a huge change,” Tripati said.

    And from 1880 to present, a sea level rise of about ten inches is associated with an increase in carbon dioxide levels of about 100 parts per million, i.e. chump change.
    75 feet vs. 10 inches? Splain, Lucy!

  78. The only way to determine accurate c02 levels from the past is through interpretation of carbon isotopic ratios in fossilized soils (paleosols) or the shells of phytoplankton and through interpretation of stomatal density in fossil plants.
    ice bubble core measurements are only a barometer that show a trend.
    http://i38.tinypic.com/mtqoid.jpg
    shows c02 over 500 million years. Previous to 15 million years ago, it must have been permanently blisteringly hot. – although there is no correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide in this record.
    It leads to the question: Is there in fact a correlation between c02 and temperature at all?

  79. Michael (11:49:56) :
    The global cooling news just keeps getting better.
    California and Colorado ski resorts in a snow daze
    And in NZ, Mt Ruapehu has just announced an extended season.

  80. over longer time scales, palaentology around the world can infer c02 proxies. Using ice is something of a cop out.
    by analyzing the ratio of heavier oxygen-18 to ordinary oxygen-16, and heavier deuterium-2 to ordinary hydrogen-1, in the ice.
    Still, even taking ice core measurements as reliable, over 420,000 years, temperatures have varied nearly 20F, from about 16F below to 6F above the temperatures of the past century. If CO2 levels today are “unprecedented” and CO2 causes warming, then why are temperatures today lower than at several times in the ice core record of the last 400,000 years?

  81. Jaworowski et al 1992
    http://www.co2web.info/np-m-119.pdf
    DEPLETION OF CO2 IN SURFACE SNOW (source: http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk)
    An important finding of Raynaud and Delmas (1977) was the observation that in surface firn (up to 1 m depth) at the Pionerskaya and Vostok stations the concentration of CO2 in the interstitial air was 160 to 240 ppm, respectively, whereas at that time in the atmospheric air this concentration was reported to be 310 ppm. This demonstrates that, even in snow that was not subject to longer firnification and firn-ice transition processes, the CO2 content could have been reduced by up to 150 ppm, i.e. about 48% lower than in the ambient air of the same age. This important field experiment was never repeated in the later CO2 studies.
    The striking feature of the glacier data used as an evidence for a recent man-made CO2 increase is that all of them are from ice deposited not in the last decades but in the 19th century or earlier. In these studies no information was presented on the recent concentrations of CO2 in firn and ice deposited in the 20th century. The results of CO2 determination in the pre-industrial ice are not compared with the CO2 content in recently deposited snow, firn or ice but with its current levels in the atmosphere. To justify such comparisons an assumption was needed that the entrapment of air in ice is purely a mechanical process, involving no chemical differentiation of gases. However, as appears from the discussion in this report, and as was demonstrated by Jaworowski et al. (1992), this assumption is wrong.

  82. I have been reading her website, it is very impressive, and she has load of papers she has written. And loads of funding.
    http://aradhna.tripati.googlepages.com/home
    Of paramount importance for understanding climate change is the quantification of past relationships between temperature, sea level, and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. To date, my research has focused on using used novel approaches to accurately constrain these variables.
    My past work in this area (Tripati and Elderfield, G3, 2004) has been cited by the UN-IPCC in their 2007 report on the Scientific Basis for Climate Change.
    That must mean she is really good right?

  83. Re: Smokey (11:47:55)
    […Conclusion: they’re lying to us about the effect of CO2, which is a beneficial trace gas that is every bit as essential as H2O to life on Earth…]
    Smokey, you are correct. They are either lying, or a bunch of people are all doing the same thing wrong. The GHE doesn’t even work the way that climate alarmists claim. Allow me to explain.
    Lets take a look at a radiance plot from one of the stations in the SURFRAD network.
    http://www.srrb.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/surf_check?site=desr&mos=June&day=2&year=2008&p1=dpsp&p5=dpir&p6=upir&ptype=gif
    This is a plot of the observations of downwelling solar, downwelling IR and upwelling IR during a cloud-free clear-skies day at the Desert Rock, NV SURFRAD station. Do you notice anything odd? I notice that there is no day/night signal in the downwelling IR, even though upwelling IR increases up to 200 W/m^2, a 50% increase during daylight hours. How can that be? If the GHE worked the way the alarmists claimed (atmospheric GHG’s absorb upwelling IR and re-radiate half back towards the surface) there would have to be a day/night signal in the downwelling IR, but…there is none. That is because the GHE doesn’t work the way they claim.
    Heinz Hug is correct. No tropospheric gas emits energy due to radiative decay, because the rate of collisional de-excitation is much more rapid than the radiative decay rate. In other words, IR-absorbing gas molecules lose any energy they gain to molecular collision, or conduction, to the surrounding gas molecules (~97% of which is O2 and N2) before they ever get a chance to radiate any of it. Convection and adiabatic cooling further serve to prevent radiative decay as the atmosphere loses KE as it rises.
    Well then, if that’s true, where does the downwelling IR come from? All of the IR that downwells from the troposphere to the surface is the latent energies of condensation and fusion released by water vapor as it changes phase at altitude in the atmosphere (with half of those energies having been emitted upwards, of course). These are processes that are unaffected by the day/night cycle and explain why there is no day/night signal in the downwelling IR.
    There is also a small amount of downwelling IR received at the surface due to stratospheric ozone because ozone radiates at wavelengths (wavenumber (^-cm) 1000-1100) that the troposphere is mostly transparent to, but it is very minor in comparison. (Stratospheric atmosphere densities are too sparse, and collisional de-excitation rates are too slow to prevent radiative decay).
    Take a look at figure 1 in this paper.
    http://esto.nasa.gov/conferences/estc-2002/Papers/B4P2%28Mlynczak%29.pdf
    This is a color diagram depicting cooling (due to radiation) in the atmosphere from the surface to 100 mB across the IR spectrum of wavenumber (cm^-1) 0 to 2500. As the authors state: “This figure clearly illustrates that far-infrared emission by water vapor is responsible for cooling the atmosphere from the surface to around 200 mb. The bulk of the free troposphere cools radiatively in the far-IR portion of the spectrum.” The authors did not point out (and I don’t blame them, they do work for NASA, job security and all that) but I will, the lack of cooling (radiation) between wavenumbers (^-cm) 600 to 700, where CO2 is active. In fact there is no cooling (radiation) in the troposphere that can be attributed to anything but water vapor. Only water vapor radiates in the troposphere.
    I would also like to point out in figure 1 the strongest cooling seen at ~300 mB. As water vapor rises through the atmosphere, if it fails to condense or encounter a nucleation seed, as it passes ~700 mB (where a temperature of 0C is generally encountered) it continues to rise as supercooled water vapor. Upon reaching ~300mB, where the temperature is ~ -40C, the water vapor undergoes spontaneous crystallization due to crystal homogeneous nucleation, releasing both of the latent energies of condensation and fusion all at once. This, together with the shift of the peak of the Plank function described by the authors is why the cooling signal is so strong there.
    Well, there you have it. CO2 and some of the other trace gases in the atmosphere do absorb IR, they just don’t radiate any of it in the troposphere. Those trace gases have no effect on surface temperatures. The overall calculated average annual planetary surface temperature may have risen a bit in the last one hundred years or so, but it did not have anything to do with CO2, or any other trace gas.
    AGW is pure bunk.

  84. And after all of that, multiple ice ages still occurred AFTER the CO2 was “sustained at levels of today.”
    Sounds like a self-regulating system to me. No runaway warming. No irreversible catastrophe.
    Is this a “proxy” for temperatures? Should we place the same “faith” that she got it right, as did Briffa and his beloved tree-rings? Is the raw data available for scrutiny? Are there outliers that should be excluded but were not? Does the other data that indicates ancient temperature support these conclusions?

  85. O. Weinzierl (10:40:25) :
    So what? For me as a geologist 15 mil years is not so long ago. I find it much more frightening that just recently / 10.000 years ago there was an Ice age.
    I am also a Geologist and even more frightening is the Four KNOWN Glaciations and Interglacials in the Pleistocene. Pray tell what caused THOSE temperature variations?

  86. super critical (11:21:32) :
    “I should like to propose an alternative interpretation; that the data reflects an absolute decrease in atmospheric O2.”
    When we give the results of chemical analysis, it is always on a percent concentration basis (per mass or volume) of the total (100%), the total mass from which the sample comes is practically irrelevant. So when CO2 concentrations increase, it does indeed mean that atmospheric free oxygen had to have also decreased by the amount of O2 in the new CO2, assuming, of course, that all of the O2 for the combustion came from the atmosphere. In the case of burning hydrocarbons, this is almost always true. It is interesting to note that the H also bonds with O2. At the same time, the entire mass of the atmosphere is increasing, but only by the mass of the additional C & H atoms. Obviously, the extra H2O produced does not stay in the atmosphere very long, and in any case the amount is nearly null compared to the amount of water already on the surface of the planet (as is also the case of CO2 vs the total atmosphere). It is also interesting to note that the C & H atoms involved have not seen the light of day, so to speak, for a very long time, but they were also part of the atmosphere at SOME point in the distant past.
    As for the ice core records, most people do not realize this, but CO2 is the only atmospheric constituent for which special sampling procedures have been developed. To quote from the abstract of the description of a newly developed dry extraction technique, this is because of the “well known water artifacts” when testing for CO2. Yes, I, for one, DO well know what the “artifacts” are when the ice starts to melt – higher concentrations of CO2. In other words, unless those results are being compared to “snowball earth”, they are totally invalid, and certainly not comparable to measurements taken in the tropics.

  87. Jim Carson (12:49:33) :
    And from 1880 to present, a sea level rise of about ten inches is associated with an increase in carbon dioxide levels of about 100 parts per million, i.e. chump change.

    That made my friday! LOL

  88. william 11:30:42
    I’m interested in your claim that over 25% of the landmass of the planet is paved. Do you have any sources for this statement?

  89. hippie longstocking said:
    I think Dr. Dean Edell summed up a ‘link’ the best when he said “You can link french fries with car accidents if you want, but you’ll never be able to prove they cause them.”
    That explains it. I was recently at a salvage yard pulling parts off a vehicle. It had been T-boned and I was wondering why there were french fries on the seat!

  90. 25% paved? Good lord, someone needs to get outside the city once in a while.
    According to National Geographics, in the continental US, 20% of land mass is within 500 meters of a paved road. Within 500 meters!!! In the continental US!!! Add Alaska in and that number plummets.
    What fraction of 1% do you think that number would be for Africa, China, South America.
    25%… please.

  91. I think you all are missing the point, the new method they used to measure CO2 demonstrates that the last time CO2 levels were as high as they are now was 15 million years ago. There’s not much controversial about that. How the climate has changed over that 15 million years was not the scope of her analysis. It make take decades for increased CO2 levels to build up the inertia (perhaps by warming the oceans) to bump up Global temps by 3-5C. Why do you all expect the earth to respond instantly to that change?
    You also cannot produce a reputable scientist that will disagree with the statement that increasing CO2 levels will increase temperatures. It’s not even arguable as even people like Spencer and Lucia will agree. The only issue is how much temperature will go up and how fast based on what level of CO2. After that we don’t know exactly what will happen but scientists are pointing things that may happen like: ice melting, sea level rising, species going extinct, water shortages, heat waves, droughts, forest fires.
    We can wish and believe that increasing CO2 levels will not be a problem or we can take some kind of action based on a reasonable amount of information that perhaps it’s not a good thing for the planet for us to pump all that CO2 into the atmo. Based on the responses on this thread it sounds like all of you would have also been skeptical of the studies showing damage caused to the ozone by CFC’s. Thank god scientists recognized the problem and politicians listended and took action. If they had not , our kids would not be able to play outside unless they wore sun block level 1000.
    So what will it be, ignore the possibility that gigatons of CO2 added to the atmo every year is a problem or take some kind of reasonable preventive action to prevent some or all of the potential consequences that scientists are pointing out?
    Shiney
    William

  92. The hockey stick (shown above) does not appear anywhere in the paper. I’d guess someone at UCLA news borrowed it from Wikipedia, or IPCC.
    However, I was appalled to find
    “These results show that changes in pCO2 and climate have
    been coupled during major glacial transitions of the past 20
    myr, just as they have been over the last 0.8 myr, supporting
    the hypothesis that greenhouse gas forcing was an important
    modulator of climate over this interval via direct and indirect
    effects. Variations in pCO2 affect the radiative budget and
    energy balance of the planet.”
    When the graphs included had too few data points to determine whether temperature of CO2 leads:
    “The data presented do not preclude alternative
    mechanisms for driving climate change over the past 20 Ma;”

  93. It is not CO2 but H2O that is driving climate change today.We are being told that we must make changes in our lifestyles because of what climate models predict will happen in the future and ignore reality, no.

  94. anna v says:

    The site this appears in does not seem to be a geology site, it is rather a pot pouri site from biology to ….
    I will be very surprised if it is peer reviewed. I spent some time on http://www.sciencemag.org/about/ and could find nothing about peer reviewing. Does anybody have a link to the acceptance policy?

    Are you seriously telling me that you haven’t heard of Science? It and Nature are probably the two most prestigious interdisciplinary science journals in the world! Many scientists would probably sacrifice their first-born child to get a paper in there.

  95. william (13:47:07) :
    I think you all are missing the point

    No, you sir are missing the point.
    The point is NONE of the published science has provided anything that could be called a “reasonable amount of information that perhaps it’s not a good thing for the planet for us to pump all that CO2 into the atmo”
    Do you hear me – NONE – not even ONE research paper – NONE! It is bogus nonsense.
    If you understood atmospheric physics then you would know the difference between a simplistic computer model and the complexities of real world systems.
    If you understood atmospheric physics then you would know that water vapor is TWENTY times more potent than CO2 and you would know that CLOUD COVER is VASTLY more important than CO2.
    I know Sir that you mean well but are you even aware of the IMPACT of cutting back fossil fuels on food production, health and living standards…do you understand how completely UNREASONABLE it is to even suggest to go back to CO2 levels of 10 or 20 years ago – “because perhaps it’s not a good thing for the planet” – this line of thought is totally INSANE.

  96. steve and tellboy
    You need to do some reading over at http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/ and yes I mispoke I should have said man has altered significantly 25% of the surface of the earth on the way towards 50%. If you disagree with the effects that can have on climate then take it up with Peilke Sr and the hundreds of studies he’s highlighted on his blog.
    And by the way I do get out of the city and all I see are shopping malls and commercial buildings going up where cornfields used to be. Oops those cornfields used to be natural prairies that covered the Midwestern United states, except they don’t exist anymore as they been ploughed under. Remember the dust bowl?
    Increased CO2 = higher temperatures. Please provided the name of one reputable scientist that disagrees with that. Even McIntyre and McKitrick do not argue with AGW on first principles. It’s because it’s not arguable.
    Shiny
    William

  97. William,
    Actually, as I just pointed out in response to a question above, the added “gigatons” need to be reduced by the mass of the O2 in those new CO2 molecules, the O2 was already present in the atmosphere, as well as reducing it by the additional mass of O2 tied up as new water molecules. Please recalculate your results with these new assumptions, the previous results are not quite correct.
    The new study in question is intimately tied to ice core measurements, which are very questionable.
    Are you a “reputable scientist”?

  98. Obama gets the Nobel Peace Prize, like Al Gore, now he must do something for “Climate Change” like legislate poverty even faster, and reach out to people who seek violent world domination.

  99. First of all, I’m a skeptic…of ALL things designed to exatrct money from me! So that means I’m an AGW skeptic.
    That said, the so-called geologists on here stating (paraphrased): “Yeah, we had high CO2 in the past…what caused those?”
    Even if we knew, those reasons would NOT disprove AGW as ANOTHER cause.
    I like anna’s approach a lot better: Attacking the SCIENCE in these articles; attacking the SCIENTIFIC METHOD (ie, NOT being used)
    There should be a rule about posting on here: You’re not allowed to criticize a pro-AGW article unless you provide scientific proof that counters it, or you spell out what’s wrong with the methodology.
    The article’s hockey stick might be completely valid! And it wouldn’t prove or disprove a thing!!! (except that the author is capable of using a chart program)
    Unfortunately, it’s just too easy to see the apparent rise around the 1800s, and connect that to the industrial revolution. It’s natural to do that. But it’s SUPPOSED to be natural to ask “Is there really a cause?”

  100. william (13:47:07)…
    …is the guy who claims that 25% of the planet is paved [Earth’s land mass = ≈57 million square miles], thinks we’re all missing the point. He says that geological CO2 measurements are not controversial [?!?]. Maybe reading this thread would convince him otherwise… and maybe not.
    william also claims that no ‘reputable’ scientist disagrees that CO2 causes warming. Again, he should follow this thread and links. He would find out that he isn’t even asking the right question. Feedbacks and the sensitivity number are what matters.
    I won’t even go into the appeals to authority and other illegitimate arguments william repeats. Someone else should have the opportunity to have some fun, too. Especially after the crazy talk about a quarter of the Earth’s land mass being paved.
    C’mon, admit it, william. You’re a RC refugee, aren’t you?

  101. I think this response should be noted! It’s by a retired Scientist, Fred H. Haynie, who took time to reseach AGW. This is what he found! He has a very interesting research from the results of Ice Cores!
    http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf
    You can see my article here: http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?1038
    Mr. Haynie is looking for some Scientists to review his work! I hope someone here can get ahold of Him and help!

  102. Robert M. (11:34:57)
    I agree it looks baseless. What looks interesting is the disparety between this work and Bill Illis’s sources. More of a chasm than a disparity

  103. I just did a google “Aradhna Tripati UCLA”, as already predicted this article has been rapidly published – 7 google pages worth of hits already!
    This young geologist is going places – a promotion is surely coming soon! I sense a high level position on Government Science Committees too.

  104. Jeremy
    I’ve read everything on Spencer’s site and he would tell you that the statements in your comment do not describe the real world. Its a fact that water vapor and clouds impact temperatures but your willingness to believe in their effect on climate and disbelief that CO2 also has an effect speaks volumes for your lack of understanding about this topic.
    You’d be startled on my suggestions to improve our situation, but the fact that it will be painful to fix does not mean you ignore the problem. If we had chosen to continue to pump out CFC’s until we destroyed the ozone layer completely would that have been a good thing? Life is full of hard choices and a responsible society does not kick problems down the road for their children to solve.
    Oh I forgot, the USA does kick problems down the road. I forgot about the mortgage crisis, the backruptcy of Social Security, the huge liabilities of Medicare and Medicaid and trillions in debt our children will have to pay off. I guess for an irresponsible society like the old USA changing our CO2 habits is just too hard! It won’t matter in the long run as China will own the USA soon and there will not be need to have industries polluting our skies anymore.
    Shiny
    William

  105. man has altered significantly 25% of the surface of the earth on the way towards 50%.

    And that is automatically a bad thing? Insects have “altered” pretty much 100% of the land surface. So have nematodes. But if it is “altered” by a non-human life form, then I suppose that is ok and “natural” whereas humans are not “natural” and any “alteration” caused by us is bad?
    A being “alters” anyplace it exists. Any place it excretes waste is altered, the atmosphere that it breathes is “altered” any place it puts its foot is “altered” and anywhere it disturbs a plant or animal for food is “altered”.
    Lets not forget that much of this “alteration” as allowed for much greater food consumption or health conditions. The condition of the human being was much worse only a couple of hundred years ago. During the Roman Empire, 85% of the people born did not make it to 35 years of age. That number didn’t change much until the early 1800’s.
    Due to this “alteration” we have meat and a wide variety of vegetables to eat year round. Back in those days human diet was much worse and health was much worse. You ate only what grew in your local area when it was in season. There was no such thing as long term preservation such as canning or freezing of foods.
    What tickles me most is when I hear a vegan talking about how bad our ecosystem is. They have the most unsustainable lifestyle there is and if it wasn’t for a system that uses a tremendous amount of energy to transport fresh veggies to them from around the world, they would be outside eating bark in the winter and would starve to death.
    Sure, take things back to the way they were in the 18th century. Most of us would never live to see our 25th birthday. Some life that is. Yeah, we wouldn’t have much cancer and heart disease because we would die from something else much sooner.

  106. “What caused the large spike in CO2 in the 24-25 million year range?”
    Oligocene SUVs didn’t you know?

  107. Lashaffer and Smokey
    I’m actually a climate skeptic and view the people who post at RC as those who worship on the altar of AGW. I consider myself a “warmer” and my views are consistent with Dr. Roy Spencer who also believes that increased CO2 causes warming. How much warming and understanding clouds and whether they are a +/- feedback is really the issue at this point. I find most of the comments here to be very similiar to those at RC in that you are at “polar” extremes on the topic as “deniers” of the possibility of AGW. I feel the truth is somewhere in the middle as Dr. Spencer does.
    Shiny
    William

  108. I have a quick question. If the temps were 5 to 10 degrees warmer than today if the same amount of CO2, then why aren’t the temps 5 to 10 degrees warmer if CO2 is a climate driver?

  109. Okay, here’s my problem. We’re fairly sure the Midieval, and the Roman Warm Periods were as Warm, if not warmer, than the present, right?
    Then shouldn’t the CO2 levels, due to out-gassing from the warmer oceans, be about the same? Wattsupwiththat?

  110. William,
    Every person on the planet, every single one, could live inside the state of Texas, at a density of less than 40 people per acre. Do the math yourself if you would like. Is 40 people an acre unreasonable? I do not know but a city about 20 minutes from me wants to pass an ordinance saying all new construction must be designed to handle 40 or more people per acre so someone thinks it is fine.
    Regarding CO2 lag.. The Real Climate guys, you know, those hard core AWG deniers, kind of sort of admits that CO2 increases do not cause temp increases. Or at least spins it as best as they can.
    ============================
    “http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/co2-in-ice-cores/
    This is an issue that is often misunderstood in the public sphere and media, so it is worth spending some time to explain it and clarify it. At least three careful ice core studies have shown that CO2 starts to rise about 800 years (600-1000 years) after Antarctic temperature during glacial terminations. These terminations are pronounced warming periods that mark the ends of the ice ages that happen every 100,000 years or so.
    “Does this prove that CO2 doesn’t cause global warming? The answer is no.
    “The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data.”
    ============================
    Oh, I get it, we know that temp leads CO2 for the first 800 years but after that.. we can’t tell, it could, or it could not, we do not know. Somehow after 800 years of temp leading CO2, the relationship somehow magically changes and what, temp gets tired of leading? Temp wants to be fair and let CO2 lead? How exactly does that work?

  111. Seriously, is the gist of this extract, a claim by A. Tripati that the increase of 100 ppm of CO2 up to around 400 ppm could raise the sea levels by 75 feet, because she figures those were the facts 14 million years ago?
    Hell’s teeth, her parents will have paid good money for her education and she comes up with that. They must be tearing their hair out in despair.

  112. ” Kum Dollison (14:46:54) ”
    They might have been. We don’t have data from that time to make an apples to apples comparison with data what we have now.
    We do know with great certainty that the interglacial previous to this one was warmer than this one has been. Much warmer, in fact. Areas that are now tundra were forested during the last interglacial.
    I don’t think it has a lot to do with CO2 levels.

  113. Makes sense to me. Temperatures were 5-10 deg F (very scientific we are) higher I’ll take 7.5, and sea levels were 75-120 feet higher I’ll settle for 100; and there was no ice anywhere.
    Now just imagine how much land area was inundated by that 100 ft sealevel rise, so we have a considerable increase in the percentage of earth surface that is ocean, and an even bigger increase in the percentage that is open water (no ice), and the earth is 7 1/2 deg F hotter.
    Surely that results in massive outgassing from an even bigger amount of ocean than we have now. I could believe that is enough to get the CO2 level up to 387 ppm.
    Wonderful work Professor Tripati. So what does that mean for today; since 15 million years ago the earth was quite different from today, including its climate. Just think of how humid it might have been with even more ocean that was hotter.
    Glad humans weren’t around to mess up that lovely place back then.

  114. And the LOL award of the thread goes to…
    ” Fred from Canuckistan . . . (11:08:45) :
    Mann & Briffa are both in the Penalty Box for Illegal Use of the Stick, so the coach has sent in Aradhna Tripati to kill off the penalties.”
    Or, I don’t know…maybe you have to be Canadian to get that one.

  115. Aaron W
    William is correct to say that c02 does have some heating effect – only it is a marginal one, or else an extraneous factor. When its saturation window closes then adding more doesn’t actually increase the temperature – it only shortens the absorbtion distance. That means that if there were 100ppm in the atmosphere, it would have th esame effect as 500ppm – only 500 ppm would just shorten the distance of absorbtion – it wouldn’t increase the temperature beyond 100ppm

  116. Whee. Another study.
    The devil is, as always, in the details.
    As has been known for many years, what we call temperature is an averaging method of describing molecular vibration. Now vibrating molecules tend to change over time. So we take a specimen which is alleged to be 20,000,000 years old. There is a prodigious gap here. Can we assume that the molecular composition today is the same as the molecular composition 20,000,000 years ago?
    Come on. Even solids show evidence of diffusion, and over historic time periods at that.
    Boron is a solid. Carbon dioxide is a gas (well, above -100 C). Dare we conclude that boron and carbon dioxide diffuse at the same rates?
    I am unable to conceive of a scientific demonstration which would demonstrate that molecular composition is stable over millions of years. How would you do that?
    Measure a sample. Put it on the shelf. Come back later (MUCH later). Measure it again.
    It may well be the case that the measured concentrations today are as claimed. But the claim that the measured concentrations now are the same as those extant millions of years ago is simply not demonstrable, therefore not in the realm of science.
    Instead this is a publication in the interest of grant funding and propaganda.

  117. Steve (14:49:35) :
    So, according to RealClimate, we can produce CO2 for 800 years without any impact. I think there will be no coal left by then. But that’s OK, because we will have fusion going by then.

  118. william (14:14:19) :
    “Even McIntyre and McKitrick do not argue with AGW on first principles. It’s because it’s not arguable.”
    McIntrye and McKitrick choose not to argue AGW on first principles because the physics of climate is not their forte and they wisely stick to their area of interest, namely the statistical analysis of observed data.
    You go on to state “Increased CO2 = higher temperature” implying that skeptics espouse that atmospheric CO2 concentration has zero effect on atmospheric temperature. This is the classic straw man argument. Even us non climatologists are perfectly aware that the trace gas CO2 absorbs infrared radiation in a few narrow bands and that it plays some role in raising atmospheric temperatures above what they would be in the total absence of CO2. But the climate system is dominated by water with CO2 playing some small role that diminishes with increasing concentration. So there is much latitude to argue the quantitative role of CO2 in the climate system and this could still be considered argument from first principles.

  119. Well, that chart up above shows CO2 as being “flat as a pancake” right through the MWP, and, also, the LIA.
    Are we accepting that as correct? If we are, all of the skeptics’ interpretations of the reasons for the present rise in CO2 is out the window, right?

  120. “”” Joel Shore (14:02:33) :
    anna v says:
    The site this appears in does not seem to be a geology site, it is rather a pot pouri site from biology to ….
    I will be very surprised if it is peer reviewed. I spent some time on http://www.sciencemag.org/about/ and could find nothing about peer reviewing. Does anybody have a link to the acceptance policy?
    Are you seriously telling me that you haven’t heard of Science? It and Nature are probably the two most prestigious interdisciplinary science journals in the world! Many scientists would probably sacrifice their first-born child to get a paper in there. “””
    Well Joel; the paper is actually in Sciencexpress; it hasn’t really been published in SCIENCE.
    I’d send you a copy of the paper; but since it is likely copyrighted that wouldn’t be kosher; so you’ll have to get it yourself; well I’m sure your institution has access to it.

  121. During the mid-Pliocene warm period (3.3 to 3 mya), CO2 levels were comparable to today; yet the Earth was ~2.5C warmer that it is now.
    During the early to mid Oligocene (30 to 27 mya), CO2 ranged from 400ppm to 700ppm; yet the Earth was no warmer that it was during the mid-Pliocene warm period.
    If the ice core CO2 data are quantitatively correct, the Sangamon interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 ya) CO2 levels were 80ppm lower than today; yet it was 1C to 2C warmer in the Sangamon than it is now.
    If the ice core data are correct… CO2 does not drive climate change.
    If the fossil plant stomata data are correct… 380ppm CO2 has been very common in the Cenozoic Era.

  122. The trouble is, just as whether you believe in treenometers, ice cores can give you any finely resolved assessment of CO2 levels to, say within plus or minus a hundred years or two: and for that matter to any useful range of precision either. Personally I doubt it very much.
    Kindest Regards

  123. Lashaffer and Smokey
    I’m actually a climate skeptic and view the people who post at RC as those who worship on the altar of AGW. I consider myself a “warmer” and my views are consistent with Dr. Roy Spencer who also believes that increased CO2 causes warming. How much warming and understanding clouds and whether they are a +/- feedback is really the issue at this point.

    So “perhaps it’s not a BAD thing for the planet” ?
    Or are you one of those who are against ALL and any human activity that “perhaps” might make changes to our natural environment? (Fertilizers, water usage, fishing, farming…)

  124. So the last time CO2 levels were this high temps were 5 – 7 degrees higher. This just begs for the next question: If CO2 levels drives temperature, why isn’t it hotter today? Obviously the direct linkage of CO2 levels and temperature doesn’t work. It would seem to me this research should be used by us “deniers” that in fact CO2 levels are pretty much bit players in driving global temperatures.

  125. Perhaps she should be asked to make a study of Carbon dioxide at the end of the Ordovician some 420 million years ago, when we had perhaps more species disappear than at any other time in the earths history- from extreme cold weather. Carbon dioxide levels were estimated to be 7 to 10 times higher than the current level.

  126. william (14:38:56) :
    “Warmer”. Perhaps that is a good term for the middle of the road climate people. We could have these “degrees” of belief: warm, warmer and warmist! A “warm” believes CO2 has some theoretical warming function but the incremental contribution is immeasurably small and inconsequential. A “warmer” believes that the climatic effect of CO2 is measurable but doesn’t believe that we are all going to die. A “warmist” embraces catastrophic global warming, ice caps melting, sea levels engulfing coastal areas etc.

  127. RJK (15:19:18) :
    So the last time CO2 levels were this high temps were 5 – 7 degrees higher. This just begs for the next question: If CO2 levels drives temperature, why isn’t it hotter today?
    […]

    It’s very easy to understand.
    At the Phaerozoic Eon scale, geological processes overwhelm the secular relationship between CO2 and temperature… Then from 1900-1977 and since 1998, local variability has obscured the secular relationship between CO2 and temperature.
    😉

  128. william:
    Clearly you don’t pay attention to the effects of clouds on the local temperature, or you wouldn’t say that CO2 only has slow effects. When clouds move in in the night, the temperature stops falling immediately. If CO2 is as powerful as you seem to believe, temperatures shouldn’t fall. 100ppm up, temps 10C up – but that hasn’t happened, and won’t.
    With all of the data about Earth with 1000ppm CO2 and a max temp avg of 22C, the scare tactics just don’t work. Models aren’t science, they’re models of science. If measurements contradict them, the models must be corrected.

  129. “We estimate the permeation coefficient for CO2 in ice is ∼4 × 10−21 mol m−1 s−1: Pa−1 at -23°C in the top 287 m (corresponding to 2.74 kyr). Smoothing of the CO2 record by diffusion at this depth/age is one or two orders of magnitude smaller than the smoothing in the firn. However, simulations for depths of ∼930-950 m (∼60-70 kyr) indicate that smoothing of the CO2 record by diffusion in deep ice is comparable to smoothing in the firn. Other types of diffusion (e.g. via liquid in ice grain boundaries or veins) may also be important but their influence has not been quantified.”
    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/igsoc/jog/2008/00000054/00000187/art00012?crawler=true

  130. I see no correlation between estimated CO2 concentrations and estimated temperature in the second graph. There are periods of high temperature and low CO2, so according to this graph CO2 has not been a major driver of temperature in the past.

  131. In Britain girls wear shorter skirts in the winter. As a result of this more children are born the following autumn than at any other time of the year and humans are bad for the planet. The message is clear – mini skirts harm the environment. This UN backed study concludes that women should wear burkas and that a green-Marxist-Islamist ideology can save the planet, which is in line with George Monbiot’s activism and Respect Party.

  132. william (13:47:07) : “It make take decades for increased CO2 levels to build up the inertia (perhaps by warming the oceans) to bump up Global temps by 3-5C. Why do you all expect the earth to respond instantly to that change?”
    He may have a point here: perhaps 20th Century global warming was caused by all those 19th Century SUVs. 🙂

  133. Too soon to tell as others have noted. The implications aren’t clear.
    We see only an abstract that isn’t too clear and a press release for UCLA news. The PR writer put in what he wanted to put in. And he selected quotes which may or may not mean anything. And he put in graphs he got from somewhere?
    The first part of the actual abstract says she is using a boron/calcium ratio method to measure CO2 for 20 million years.
    That is the science part. It may be successfully challenged or not. We don’t know yet.
    The abstract continues with a second part that sounds like editorializing or off hand remarks about temperatures and glaciers and CO2 levels.
    It isn’t clear if the second part is related to the paper or just seems like a good idea by the authors. And we won’t know until it is published.

  134. “Tripati, before joining UCLA’s faculty, was part of a research team at England’s University of Cambridge that developed a new technique to assess carbon dioxide levels in the much more distant past — by studying the ratio of the chemical element boron to calcium in the shells of ancient single-celled marine algae.”
    Am I the only one that finds that sentence rather puzzling? It’s definitely not an area where I have any real expertise, but my understanding of primitive single celled algae is that only some of them actually possessed a cell wall, and for those that did it was nothing like a shell. What exactly were they measuring to construct this proxy?

  135. william (14:31:06) :
    Sorry to rain on your warming parade, william, but most industry in the US has left the building. Perhaps the leaders of this country want to save the Planet by making all US citizens peasants.
    Now, with this .0001 increase in atmospheric C02 over 100 years, why don’t you post up your favorite pictures of the ocean showing us the 100 foot rise?
    But I’ll do you the favor: Tomorrow I will drive by Battleship Row in the Suisun Bay and let you know how much the sea has risen.
    And maybe you should check into Relative Humidity and see how much % of air is displaced at RH=50%.
    Your displacement of 100ppm C02 is the equivalent of 1 x 10E-10 %.
    Your CRH is astronomically insignificant.
    Doesn’t sound like a planet cooker to me. If we do get to 1000ppm C02, the most likely thing to happen is the Earth will grow plants more abundantly, like it used to do before Ice Ages hit and brought much life to a screeching halt.
    Al Gore has it upside down and inside out: A warming planet is likely to result is slightly less landmass, but an incredibly more abundant ecosystem.
    Speaking of Ice Ages, have you stopped to ponder why the call it an Interglacial? It’s because the Ice never really left, it’s just temporarily receeded.
    Now that is truly humbling. Man has zero control over the Ice. If it decides to trundle on down over the top of us, what are we to do about it? The very same thing we can do about warming into the next Global Tropical Paradise:
    Absolutely nothing.

  136. I decided to check my memory on single celled algae and came up with this
    Cell Walls of Algae
    Algae are the plants with the simplest organization. Many of them are single-celled, some have no cell wall, others do though its composition and structure differ strongly from that of higher plants. They are good specimen for tracing back the evolution of the cell wall. Primitive cell walls do not fulfil the same requirements as that of higher plants.
    It seems quite likely that a structure like that of the cell wall has developed several times in the course of evolution. All archaebacteria, eubacteria and blue-green algae (cyanobacteria or blue-green algae) have complex walls with an energetically rather costly biosynthesis. Neither in composition nor in biosynthesis do they have any common ground with the cell walls of plants.
    Although the evolution of plants from early eucaryotic cells is not known in detail, is it commonly agreed on that primitive algae are flagellates closely related to the non-green flagellates. Many, though not all species of this stage of evolution, among which the euglenophyta are typical green representatives, have no cell wall. It is not only a simple membrane, but by a pellicle of already quite complex organization, that separates them from the surrounding. It consists mainly of glycoproteins organized in regular patterns the way two-dimensional crystals are. Helical ribs wind round the cell’s surface.
    Most single-celled algae like the Volvocales possess real cell walls. The most-studied species is Chlamydomonas reinhardii. Its wall lacks long, fibrillary carbohydrates. Most of it is made up by glycoproteins, and even here can an extensin-like protein rich in hydroxyproline be found. Among the identified sugar residues are arabinosyl-, galactosyl- and mannosyl residues. In the electron microscope does it seem as if the wall consisted of seven layers. The middle layer contains an extensive grid-shaped framework of polygonal plates consisting mainly of the mentioned glycoproteins, while the layers above and below display fibre-like structures. The thickness of the outer layer varies since it includes components that the cell takes up from its surrounding.
    This indicates a main function of the cell wall of simple, single-celled algae: it mediates between the cell and its surrounding. It protects not only the cell but serves, too, communication with cells of the same or other types. It has to be permeable for metabolites and regulators and / or to carry receptor molecules with which it may contact other cells. The diversity of these functions (and their specificity) caused the evolution of a variety of differently structured cell walls.
    In many-celled plants is the communication via the whole cell surface largely restricted. Contact with neighbouring cells develops in the course of tissue formation. Strength is in this respect a decisive and limiting criteria. The exchange of compounds between cells occurs via specific openings in the wall (pits, plasmodesmata). The functions originally performed by one structure are now distributed onto two different structures.
    Still don’t see any reference to shells.

  137. I can’t imagine that this discussion was significantly different 100 years ago, nor will it be 100 years hence, but I do believe that today’s “Chicken Little Climate Paranoia” on the part of the public was non-existent then and hope it will be so again in less than 10 years. The difference of opinions in what causes what regarding the weather is not the frightening aspect; it is that the most ignorant among us (politicians) have taken to the streets and are using the doom-and-gloom side of the argument to scare the public into supporting their crazy “solutions” to climate warming. It’s pure and simple extortion without regard to the real welfare of the people who elected them into office. (Yes, I know that the people are just as guilty for their choice at the ballot box.)

  138. William, first you point to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere –
    “Venus’ carbon dioxide-rich (96.5%)”
    Then you state –
    “We may be capable of emulating Venus if we get CO2 up over 1000ppm”
    Surely you mean “if we can get C02 up over 965 000ppm?”, which would be 96.5%, wouldn’t it?
    Then you state –
    “It make take decades for increased CO2 levels to build up the inertia (perhaps by warming the oceans) to bump up Global temps by 3-5C. Why do you all expect the earth to respond instantly to that change.”
    Firstly, can you please explain to me how increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere can warm the oceans? I think the salient issue here is the relative “thermal” energy content ( I don’t actually know how to say that properly… energy? heat?) and I think the answer is that the top 2 meters of the oceans contain the same heat/energy as the atmosphere.
    And secondly – what inertia? Have you ever noticed how rapidly atmospheric temperatures change over a 24 hour period in the desert? 50 degree Celcius variations! I.e. no inertia) In the deserts you get the same amount of CO2 as everywhere else, right? So why doesn’t the lovely toasty CO2 keep them warm at night?

  139. Robert, are you saying we can produce all the CO2 we want for 800 years???? Yes!!!! I pledge do my share of heavy breathing.

  140. Adolfo Giurfa (11:18:27) :
    Dear Anthony: It really surprises me I did not write any post before this one:
    Adolfo Giurfa (12:06:20) :
    After this one I wrote one more just saying that the very existence of big deposits of calcium carbonate demonstrates the contrary of what is stated above, because, as you know, these are formed out of CO2.
    Best regards,

  141. It is certainly difficult to separate the hyperbole from the salient. Dr. Timothy Patterson, Professor of Geology at Carleton College in Ottawa has published numerous articles about geology and climate as well as given many presentations on that subject. One presentation that might be relevant is:
    http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=010405M
    20 million years is relatively short geologically and the correlation [not causal relationship] between CO2 and temperature is fairly weak geologically. Temporally, the concentration increases of atmospheric CO2 follows temperature increases with an approximate 800 year lag.
    According to Dr. Patterson, atmospheric concentration of C02 has been as much as 15 times present levels with temperatures approximately the same. Dr. Patterson has been a vocal critic of the CO2 theory of climate change.

  142. rbateman
    1) I’ve worked in the steel industry the last 27 years and there was almost as much steel made in the USA last year as there was 30 years ago.
    2) you may not understand science as not all effects from a change are linear or immediate. Climate is a chaotic system. Changes we are making to CO2 today will take decades to be felt.
    3) we are in an interglacial period and without all of the CO2 man has pumped into the atmo temps may have been suitable for civilization for another 10,000 years. However, with all the CO2 we are adding it’s probable we are disturbing whatever forces that change gradually to govern the ebb and flow of the onset of an ice age. We could be accelerating the onset of glaciation or postponing it. No one posting on this site will ever know for sure.
    4) Why take a chance? why not learn to supply power in a better manner? The alternatives are not go back to the stone age or ignore the problem. It’s something in between. But to do nothing is to ignore the problem and hope it goes away. In mental health that’s called avoidance and governments practice it regularly because making smart hard decisions do not win them votes. Kicking the can down the road keeps them in office.
    I’m in favor of tackling problems head on like we did with CFC’s and scrubbers for particulate matter, and regulations to govern landfills so toxins would not leech into ground soils and clean water standards. I’d prefer not to live and breath filth until it’s about to kill me or slowly destroy the environment until I wake up to do something about it.
    I’m also still waiting for someone to define one reputable scientist that denies that increases in CO2 will not increase temperature.
    Shiny
    William

  143. Let me ask One More Time. Why weren’t CO2 levels as high during the MWP as Today?
    Is it the lack of SUVs at King Arthur’s Court?
    OR, is this run-up from 280 ppm all due to OUR SUVs?

  144. william, 14:38:36, I think you had better read a little further down because this is what Dr. Spencer “also” states! I quote:
    Now, you might be surprised to learn that the amount of warming directly caused by the extra CO2 is, by itself, relatively weak. It has been calculated theoretically that, if there are no other changes in the climate system, a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration would cause less than 1 deg C of surface warming (about 1 deg. F). This is NOT a controversial statement…it is well understood by climate scientists. (As of 2008, we were about 40% to 45% of the way toward a doubling of atmospheric CO2.) End Quote! This came out of the “Global Warming 101” article…

  145. william asked for even one scientist who does not think that CO2 has an effect on the climate.
    Most scientists believe that CO2 has a slight effect. Some probably still believe in catastrophic global warming [I very much doubt that Ms Aradhna Tripati believes in CAGW. Her website exhibits all the hallmarks of a rent-seeking government grant mercenary. She’s better looking than Pierrehumbert, though.]
    The CO2=AGW conjecture not been proven. The belief comes entirely from computer models, which starkly diverge from what the real world is doing. Maybe the models are right, and maybe they aren’t. Time will tell. But the planet is not currently supporting the AGW crowd.
    Here is a scientist who doesn’t think CO2 has an effect on the climate: click. He backs up his hypothesis with plenty of citations and facts.
    As Einstein famously observed: “To defeat relativity did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.” There are scant real world facts supporting the CO2=AGW conjecture. If you believe you have one, please post it.
    Finally, when you say the camps are polarized, you show that you don’t understand scientific skepticism, which is a requirement of the scientific method. All skeptics are saying is: “prove it.” Prove your conjecture. Or at least, provide some solid, real world evidence that CO2 drives the climate. Empirical facts only, please. Computer models are tools, not data.

  146. George E Smith says:

    Well Joel; the paper is actually in Sciencexpress; it hasn’t really been published in SCIENCE.
    I’d send you a copy of the paper; but since it is likely copyrighted that wouldn’t be kosher; so you’ll have to get it yourself; well I’m sure your institution has access to it.

    SciencExpress is for papers that have been accepted by Science to be published and are deemed sufficiently important that they merit immediate availability of the manuscript on the web (to those who are AAAS members) before they actually appear in print.
    And, thanks for the (hypothetical) offer but I am a AAAS member and so I already have access.

  147. william (13:47:07) : “…So what will it be, ignore the possibility that gigatons of CO2 added to the atmo every year is a problem or take some kind of reasonable preventive action to prevent some or all of the potential consequences that scientists are pointing out?”
    The “preventive actions” proposed are neither reasonable nor are they proven to be preventive.

  148. william says:

    I find most of the comments here to be very similiar to those at RC in that you are at “polar” extremes on the topic as “deniers” of the possibility of AGW. I feel the truth is somewhere in the middle as Dr. Spencer does.

    I think that is sort of a false middle. The scientific middle is around where the IPCC comes out, which is somewhere between Dr. Spencer and James Hansen, and in fact, probably closer to Hansen…and not all that far from where RealClimate is. This place is just sort of off of the charts!
    wsbriggs says:

    Clearly you don’t pay attention to the effects of clouds on the local temperature, or you wouldn’t say that CO2 only has slow effects. When clouds move in in the night, the temperature stops falling immediately. If CO2 is as powerful as you seem to believe, temperatures shouldn’t fall. 100ppm up, temps 10C up – but that hasn’t happened, and won’t.

    CO2 causes a relatively small radiative imbalance in percentage terms and the oceans are a big source of thermal initia…i.e., they take a lot of energy to heat up. As for 100ppm causing a 10 C temperature rise: that would imply a climate sensitivity for doubling CO2 of ~23 C as compared to the IPCC likely range of 2 – 4.5 C.

  149. Smokey says:

    All skeptics are saying is: “prove it.”… Empirical facts only, please.

    Which is eerily similar to what “skeptics” of evolution are also saying. In fact Kent Hovind has a $250,000 challenge out “to anyone who can give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution.” ( http://www.kent-hovind.com/250K/challenge.htm ) And, he hasn’t paid up, which would seem to me by your logic to mean that evolution isn’t a very good theory either!

  150. The Silence is Deafening. I’m beginning to think the hockey stick might be accurate.
    If they’re right about the hockey stick, what else are they right about?

  151. Wow I am really worried now,since I used to work in greenhouses with CO2 levels over 1,000 ppm.The plants never seem to complain,but then again they could be from Venus on vacation.Maybe that was why I had to visit the barber twice a month for haircuts?
    Yes it is true that large greenhouses does have elevated CO2 in them because as growers knows,it greatly enhances growth and makes the plants look great! Recall those new bedding and vegetable plants newly arrived at the local nursery,how compact and dark green they are.Then when you take them home and plant them,they quickly loose that lustrous look.That is because they are now in LOW CO2 atmosphere,thus their robust health took a nosedive,to a lower level.
    This paper may actually be accurate in the claims of CO2 levels in atmosphere over 15 million years,but fails miserably when trying to claim that it directly affect temperature changes.I see Bill Ellis has already exposed that,ROFLMAO!…… not even close.
    I wonder how many people realize that at THIS time in history,the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are in the bottom 1% historically by volume,therefore very low levels at THIS time?
    Talk about lack of historical proportions,sheesh!

  152. Joel Shore (18:58:05):

    “The scientific middle is around where the IPCC comes out, which is somewhere between Dr. Spencer and James Hansen, and in fact, probably closer to Hansen…and not all that far from where RealClimate is. This place is just sort of off of the charts!”

    Hogwash. Just because you’re steadily losing the argument is no reason to imply that skeptics are nuts, or whatever it is you’re trying to insinuate.
    This site allows you to spend a large part of your life trying to convince people that CO2 will lead to climate catastrophe.
    But if the tables were turned, and you were a skeptic arguing the way you do, you could not get one post onto the RealClimate echo chamber. RC would censor your comments. So don’t try to tell us that we’re ‘off the charts,’ when you have the freedom to post here. Instead, you need to come up with one piece of real world evidence that CO2 controls the climate. Models don’t count, only verifiable, falsifiable, fully archived data matters.
    Joel, you could have written a book with the number of posts you’ve made here. You’ve even been offered the chance to write your own article, but you continue to duck that offer. Instead, you imply that RealClimate is normal — and you say the folks here are ‘off the charts.’
    But guess what, the folks at RealClimate are only impotently nipping at the Big Dog’s ankles. No doubt you post here because unlike RC, WUWT gets lots of traffic. Better than the echo chamber, eh?

  153. CodeTech (12:12:16) : “And Hearndon, the entire article is wrong. All of it. I’d check that she spelled her name right if I cared. There is nothing to argue, since it has clearly left the Science building and taken a stroll over to the Fiction wing.”
    Agreed, CodeTech….and agreed about the “criminal” nature of this nonsense. In any other field, someone would be sued for malfeasance.
    Why do we put up with it in Science??? That mystery remains to be solved, but all of it is unacceptable.
    And if public money is being used to fund any of this….then don’t even get me started…..
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  154. **********************
    Jim (16:00:22) :
    “We estimate the permeation coefficient for CO2 in ice is ∼4 × 10−21 mol m−1 s−1: Pa−1 at -23°C in the top 287 m (corresponding to 2.74 kyr). Smoothing of the CO2 record by diffusion at this depth/age is one or two orders of magnitude smaller than the smoothing in the firn. However, simulations for depths of ∼930-950 m (∼60-70 kyr) indicate that smoothing of the CO2 record by diffusion in deep ice is comparable to smoothing in the firn. Other types of diffusion (e.g. via liquid in ice grain boundaries or veins) may also be important but their influence has not been quantified.”
    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/igsoc/jog/2008/00000054/00000187/art00012?crawler=true
    **********************
    If the CO2 levels by her technique correlated with ice cores, given the above statement, doesn’t that mean her technique does not work??

  155. “Which is eerily similar to what “skeptics” of evolution are also saying. In fact Kent Hovind has a $250,000 challenge out “to anyone who can give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution.” ( http://www.kent-hovind.com/250K/challenge.htm ) And, he hasn’t paid up, which would seem to me by your logic to mean that evolution isn’t a very good theory either!”
    Not REMOTELY simliar at all, Joel.
    You are comparing….once again…apples…to blocks.
    You have no business putting being skeptical of evolution and skeptical of AGW even in the SAME ROOM or mention them in the same sentence!!
    MAJOR BS!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  156. I think that is sort of a false middle. The scientific middle is around where the IPCC comes out, which is somewhere between Dr. Spencer and James Hansen, and in fact, probably closer to Hansen…and not all that far from where RealClimate is. This place is just sort of off of the charts!
    No….you and your RC friends and Hansen….are off the charts.
    Ever heard of mass delusion, Joel? It has happened before (even in the scientific community….may I remind you of Inquisition times)…and it has happened again (now).
    Hansen is already suspected as being insane (a government employee paid for by the taxpayer galavanting around the world inciting unrest and civil disobedience in coal protests!).
    No “middle” of nothing!!
    Except……. [snippable so I will not say it]
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  157. Smokey (18:35:40) :
    The CO2=AGW conjecture not been proven. The belief comes entirely from computer models, which starkly diverge from what the real world is doing.

    It does not come from models it originates from the fact that CO2 is a strong absorber of the IR emitted from the Earth’s surface, as concentration increases the absorption increases.

  158. Joel Shore (19:05:22)
    That i the most disingenous sophistry i’ve ever read anywhere. To conflate things like that. Its the sort of logic which says that dog biscuits and lettuce are erily similar because they both have the in common a propensity to be eaten.
    If that is the logic of an Anthropogenic Global Warming believer….
    I actually find it quite entertaining, to your merit

  159. Joel Shore likes smearing people with the “you are all creationists” epithet:

    Which is eerily similar to what “skeptics” of evolution are also saying. In fact Kent Hovind has a $250,000 challenge out “to anyone who can give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution.”

    The big difference, Joel, is that the evidence for Evolution does not consist of a bunch of hastily cobbled-together computer simulations that have to be fudged to get the answers they want.
    Fail.

  160. Joel Shore (14:02:33) :
    Are you seriously telling me that you haven’t heard of Science? It and Nature are probably the two most prestigious interdisciplinary science journals in the world! Many scientists would probably sacrifice their first-born child to get a paper in there.
    Thank you,Joel, I only knew the published paper and did not recognize the site as being the same . There is an ancient greek proverb: ” it does not come alone” , talking about all age and mental deterioration :).
    Nevertheless, I would still like a link to the peer review policy, if anybody has managed to find it. This paper the way it is presented in PR seems to be bizzare.

  161. proof:
    “There is an ancient greek proverb: ” it does not come alone” , talking about all age and mental deterioration :).”
    that should be “old age and mental deterioration”. :).

  162. It’s getting that the Hockey stick shape is becoming a religious symbol to the Warminists….
    They send young women to incense filled rooms armed with their hockey sticks and bones to shake rattles, while chanting arcane magiks, conjuring forth mystical graphs and statistics…. 😉
    …. A rather creative field is this climate science. More an artform than science actually.

  163. If CO2 was steady for thousands of years, then why did temps fluctuate so much (Roman Optimum, MWP and LIA)?
    Proves to me that CO2 is not a driver.

  164. Wow, the amount of hostility to science is staggering in this blog. Apparently, [snip]
    Reply: Change your tone or post elsewhere. ~ charles the moderator

  165. waooooo….!! so my question is what make the level CO2 decreased 800,000 years ago? . So if this research are 100% true, that fully support the truth of the bible about the creation….hehehehe

  166. Well, if the CO2 levels were the same as today, but the temperatures were 5 to 10F warmer, then that would be evidence that CO2 is not a climate driver.
    Wouldn’t it?

  167. Joel Shore holds up James Hansen as the very model of a modern global warming moderate.
    Is that the same James “death trains” Hansen then, that very modern global warming moderate?

  168. Let me see, AGW skeptics are to Real Climate scientists as Creationists are to Evolutionists . . because neither Real Climate scientists or Evolutionists can prove that their theories are true . . . Joel shore.
    Is there not a fallacy of reasoning here? If theory A cannot be proved and theory B cannot be proved then they must be either both true or both false. Therefore it is impossible to criticise theory A without also attacking theory B.
    I think Joel should ask for a refund from his philosophy class.

  169. The important aspect about using the paleoclimate data is that there is no “lagged warming” explanation available for the Hansen’s of the world.
    The lags in the climate system can only be as long as 1,500 to 3,000 years as a maximum.
    The paleo data extends beyond those lags so when you see CO2 staying at 250 ppm for 10 million years, then one can be sure that other things are impacting the climate beyond CO2/GHGs and these other factors must, in fact, be far more important.
    If CO2/GHGs were as dominant as the theory says, then the last 20 million years should have been one big long ice age. Maybe not as big as the last glacial maximum but the glaciers should have extended into the mainland of North America for the entire period. Well, they didn’t and, in fact, it was much warmer than today in the period.
    I’m assuming the cognitive dissonance of actually looking at the data and seeing that it does not match up with the theory, means they just don’t look at it anymore (or believe it). Which means they are constantly trying to find ways to adjust it. This is another one of those.

  170. Richard Sharpe says:

    The big difference, Joel, is that the evidence for Evolution does not consist of a bunch of hastily cobbled-together computer simulations that have to be fudged to get the answers they want.

    First of all, that isn’t what the evidence for AGW consists of either. Second of all, you can find very similar complaints made about evolution.
    Look, my point is simply this: The case of evolution shows us that people can always make arguments claiming that there is not empirical evidence to support a scientific theory if these people have a strong enough desire not to believe the theory. It is simply impossible to provide compelling evidence to someone who has set their standard of evidence to a level that cannot realistically be met. If they set themselves or people like them as the judge and jury of the evidence then the scientists can argue from now to eternity and it ain’t going to change theses people’s minds.
    And, in both cases, we see the same pattern: namely a dramatic divergence of views between the scientific community in the field and recognized scientific authorities (like NAS and AAAS) vs “skeptics” of the theory, with the scientific authorities finding the evidence quite compelling while those dead-set against it do not.
    There are two ways to explain this divergence: Either there is massive conspiracy, fraud, or delusion in the scientific community OR there are some people, some of them scientists and engineers but only a few of them actively publishing in the field, who because of their own biases find it very difficult to accept the evidence. Which of these do you think sounds most reasonable?
    savethesharks says:

    You have no business putting being skeptical of evolution and skeptical of AGW even in the SAME ROOM or mention them in the same sentence!!

    What about when Roy Spencer ( http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=080805I ) is in the room?

  171. anna v:

    Thank you,Joel, I only knew the published paper and did not recognize the site as being the same . There is an ancient greek proverb: ” it does not come alone” , talking about [old] age and mental deterioration :).

    Yeah…I know the feeling. And, alas I started to feel that way when I hit 30!

    Nevertheless, I would still like a link to the peer review policy, if anybody has managed to find it.

    Well, you can probably find some info on their website. I’ve never submitted there but one thing I know from people who have is that, unlike many journals, which will send out just about any manuscript that they receive to referees, Science and Nature editors will often reject a manuscript outright themselves and will only send it on to referees if they can see clear evidence that it is very important and of broad interest.

  172. Phil, I get that absorbed IR will heat the temperature in the air. But to affect the weather (IE cold fronts, warm fronts, pressure gradients, etc), that warmed air would then have to change the temperature of the oceans such that the jet stream and water cycle is changed to a degree large enough to overcome the self-limiting parameters of climate zones. Warm air is a very inefficient way to warm an ocean. It can only warm the very top mm layer, which then evaporates it back into the air nearly at the same time. Please tell me how CO2-warmed air involves itself in this cycle. Please use peer-reviewed mathematical calculations showing that longwave radiation is a more powerful heat source than shortwave radiation on ocean temps and that equatorial wind and current oscillation is no longer largely responsible for SST variations.

  173. Yet another hockey stick. Being a petroleum geologist I have done a lot of studying on the past (which shows little to no corellation between CO2 and Temp) but also on what the IPCC has for future projections of CO2 emissions and temperature until 2100. Look at her graph at the beginning to see “IPCC projection” as the handle of the hockey stick. IPCC has 40 different cases in their model and they break out CO2 emissions by oil, gas and coal. In every case they project emissions several multiples greater than the currently know reserves. In their most extreme case they would have to assume an infinite supply of hydrocarbons. This is equivalent to saying you can pour 5 gallons of milk out of a one gallon jug. That along with their incorrect CO2 100 year retention time is what drives their predicition of runaway heating. It is criminal, but I have seen very little discussion of this subject.
    There was an excellent Masters thesis written on this subject, only the first paragraph is not in English:
    http://www.tsl.uu.se/uhdsg/Publications/Sivertsson_Thesis.pdf

  174. pwl (10:36:53) :
    How come this doesn’t jive with other studies of CO2 that I’ve seen? (At the moment I don’t recall the links to them.)
    ___________________
    Please forgive me for being a grammar-Nazi, but it’s “jibe”, not “jive”.

  175. ******************
    Lotharloo (02:53:11) :
    Wow, the amount of hostility to science is staggering in this blog. Apparently, [snip]
    **********************
    Judging from your statement, I would suggest you don’t understand science. It is adversarial. You need to brush up on how science works. In the final analysis, if a garbage man proved Micheal Mann wrong and he wrote his thesis on a piece of garbage – Micheal Mann is wrong. Period.

  176. Joel Shore (14:02:33) :
    Are you seriously telling me that you haven’t
    heard of Science? …Many scientists would probably
    sacrifice their first-born child to get a paper in there.
    Not to mention their scientific integrity!

  177. Joel Shore says: The case of evolution shows us that people can always make arguments claiming that there is not empirical evidence to support a scientific theory if these people have a strong enough desire not to believe the theory.
    Your comparison of the skeptic or climate realist arguments with that of creationism is a logical fallacy known as “poisoning the well”, a form of argumentum ad hominem. You knew that, right? But, that still doesn’t stop you from continuing to drag out the same old, tired tactics of Alarmists.
    Then you say:… with the scientific authorities finding the evidence quite compelling while those dead-set against it do not. Here, you use two logical fallacies in one, that of the appeal to authority, and of Argumentum ad Populum or the “bandwagon fallacy”.
    Finally, you say Either there is massive conspiracy, fraud, or delusion in the scientific community OR there are some people, some of them scientists and engineers but only a few of them actively publishing in the field, who because of their own biases find it very difficult to accept the evidence. This what is known as a false dichotomy, another logical fallacy. These and others are methods used by people who actually do not have a scientific leg to stand on.

  178. Pamela Gray: You are getting yourself confused by trying to figure out how the heating occurs, which may be a subject of interest but is essentially irrelevant to the fact that the addition of greenhouse gases puts the earth – sun -space system out of radiative balance (i.e, the earth is receiving from the sun more energy than it emits back into space). The only way for this radiative balance to be restored is for the earth to emit more radiation back out into space and it does this by warming. Yes, the oceans have a large thermal inertia and explain why the process of restoring radiative balance takes a while.
    However, no amount of worrying about how the solar and infrared radiation gets absorbed by the air, the oceans, etc. is going to get you around the First Law of Thermodynamics.
    vrig: Your conclusions about how much fossil fuels are available are at odds with the peer-reviewed literature on this subject. See, for example, here http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;302/5652/1923 . The big player is coal, although there are also quite a bit of hydrocarbons when you count more exotic sources like the Canadian tar sands. That Science paper estimates the carbon in fossil fuel reserves as being 4000 gigatons of carbon (GtC) for conventional resources to 15,000 GtC for conventional plus exotic resources, which yields a range of concentration in the atmosphere from 1200 ppm to 4000 ppm. (I’m not sure exactly what their assumptions are concerning ocean and biosphere uptake of CO2.)

  179. The venus missconception runs deep. Venus does have two things in common with Earth. That is it is a rocky inner planet with an atmosphere and it is similar in size to the Earth. That’s about it. Not only does Venus have a veritable ocean of CO2 underneath an atmosphere much closer to that of Earth – starting somewhere up around 50km above the surface, but it has several other factors that make it very alien.
    First off, Venus receives relatively little solar energy because it has a solid layer of highly reflective clouds. Most of the incoming solar energy is reflected off due to the high albedo.
    Second, Venus does not rotate the surface through day and night in a rapid fashion like the Earth or Mars. The same side of the planet is subject to much longer exposure to the energy – at least what gets through. Were one to dissipate the CO2 and reduce it to say 1000ppm in an atmosphere with surface pressure similar to that of Earth and cut out most of the highly reflective clouds, there would still be extreme heating of one side going on due to the lack of a significant rotation rate along with the extreme cooling of the night side.
    Finally, the lack of large amounts of liquid water preclude having anything similar to an Earth system of climate.
    “Phil. (20:14:14) :
    Smokey (18:35:40) :
    The CO2=AGW conjecture not been proven. The belief comes entirely from computer models, which starkly diverge from what the real world is doing.
    It does not come from models it originates from the fact that CO2 is a strong absorber of the IR emitted from the Earth’s surface, as concentration increases the absorption increases.

    CO2 is a mediocre absorber/emitter of IR. In a clear sky condition, CO2 is good for around 20% – assuming a typical overall average h2o vapor concentration. I’m not away of any legitimate estimates of clear skies representing even half of the Earth. Estimates range from 50% to 70% cloud cover. On average, when one includes cloud cover, one finds that the CO2 contribution dwindles to somewhere in the vacinity of 9-11% of the absorbed power.
    As for CO2 absorption increasing with an increasing amount of CO2 in the atmospheric column, assuming a clear sky, that is true. However, this increase is a log scale factor. Hence the reason for the notion of doubling CO2. Each doubling of CO2 results in roughly a linear increment in absorption. Consequently, if you assume clear skies and an absence of conduction and convection, then at a given altitude you can expect that something like an additional 3 W/m^2 could be absorbed without re-emitting by doubling the concentrations from current to 2x current and a similar increase in W/m^2 for an increase from 2x current to 4x current (which brings us up to around 1200ppm). You would also find that there would be a similar decrease in W/m^2 for each halving in concentration from current levels for around 6 halvings and then a slightly lower W/m^2 effect for at least another 5 or 6 halvings below that.

  180. Bill Illis (06:04:54),
    Excellent post. I would like to see any CO2=AGW true believer *cough*joelshore*cough* step up to the plate and explain that one for us.

  181. Isn’t climate science wonderful! We can now measure the amount of CO2 (a mixture of carboon and oxygen) in the atmosphere by measuring the ratio of two different elements (boron and calcium) in the shells of long extinct single cell marine animals which lived in the oceans and possibly never emerged into the atmosphere.
    Are there just too many assumptions in the chain?

  182. LOL: J.Hansford (23:52:23) :
    It’s getting that the Hockey stick shape is becoming a religious symbol to the Warminists

    Undoubtely a phallic symbol, as you indirectly suggest.

  183. cba:
    (1) Is Venus quite different than Earth? Yes, of course, particularly in the situation it is now where a runaway greenhouse effect has already occurred and the atmospheric composition is now likely very different than it once was. (Including any water that may have been there having boiled away.) Nonetheless, Venus is a “poster child” for the greenhouse effect taken to the extreme. Such a situation is unlikely to be in the cards for Earth (at least not for billions of years)…but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be concerned with what strengthening of the greenhouse effect we are causing.
    (2) The percentages that you quote for the amount of the natural greenhouse effect (of 33 C) that is due to CO2 only are in the ballpark of what I have seen. However, the natural greenhouse effect is quite large…and, furthermore, these statements assume that changes in CO2 that occur do not lead to other changes…most notably changes in water vapor. In actuality, the rise in CO2 leads to warming that causes an increase in water vapor concentration which causes more warming, amplifying the radiative effect of the CO2 alone.
    (3) I agree with you about the doublings although, as a nitpick, I think the accepted value for the radiative forcing due to a doubling is closer to 4 W/m^2 than 3 W/m^2. (The lowest value that I have seen, mentioned by Lindzen I believe, was like 3.7 W/m^2.) Also, this is a value averaged over the whole planet, not a clear skies value.

  184. Okay, well actually if all of this information is accurate, then 1) it shows that there is NO correlation between CO2 and temperature. 2) it raises questions as to how CO2 will effect the biosphere now. I think rather then trying to scare everyone with CO2 caused warming scientists would have a much better role to play in searching for how CO2 effects the biosphere as in plants and animals.
    One interesting question that I never see asked is just how much additional plant life would be needed to consume the CO2 that is being added to the atmosphere each year. How much is 1 part per million in real terms anyway… the atmosphere is a big place…
    More then anything I am just curios now… I would love to sit and play with things like this

  185. Joel Shore:
    “most notably changes in water vapor. In actuality, the rise in CO2 leads to warming that causes an increase in water vapor concentration which causes more warming, amplifying the radiative effect of the CO2 alone.”
    Yet, many scientists would disagree, including Lindzen, Spencer, Christy and Eschenbach. This naive extrapolation of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation is fundamental to the climate model forecasts of runaway warming, yet the resulting behaviour of clouds and convection as a function of this hypothesised warming is ignored completely.
    If the climate behaves in this way, then why should this feedback only kick in from levels of CO2 that humans have caused rather than previously?

  186. Joel Shore:
    “And, in both [evolution and AGW] cases, we see the same pattern: namely a dramatic divergence of views between the scientific community in the field and recognized scientific authorities (like NAS and AAAS) vs “skeptics” of the theory, with the scientific authorities finding the evidence quite compelling while those dead-set against it do not. ”
    Nonsense. There are no scientific positions taken against evolution. And for good reason – we have fossil evidence of a myriad of intermediate species, ordered sequentially in time showing a clear picture of how each form leads to the next and the next; we know how mutations in genes acting through environmental pressure favours the success of the most suitable phenotypes. But you know all that anyway.
    Moreover, in order to dismiss evolution you would have to come up with an alternative explanation. Either a) all species were created by the Diety in the forms that have been layed down in the fossil record or b) . . . erhm, there is no explanation b). There is not. If you doubt this, try and think of any alternative explanation. Consequently, some form of evolution (gradual change or punctuated equilibrium) is the only theory that does not involve divine intervention.
    Now we come to AGW. Can we think of any alternative explanation? Well, how about natural variation? Not only is this the alternative commensurate with natural law, but it fits with our understanding of an ever changing climate. Unless you believe in hockey sticks, that is.

  187. It doesn’t look like today’s CO2 measurements are the highest in the last 200 years. Apperently, the IPCC, Keeling and others decided to throw out a lot of data to construct the CO2 levels in the 1800s but I find it hard to believe that all of these people were always wrong. And why would the chemical method be less reliable than ice core samples – doesn’t make sense either.
    http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/180_years_accurate_Co2_Chemical_Methods.pdf

  188. Vincent says:

    Yet, many scientists would disagree, including Lindzen, Spencer, Christy and Eschenbach. This naive extrapolation of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation is fundamental to the climate model forecasts of runaway warming, yet the resulting behaviour of clouds and convection as a function of this hypothesised warming is ignored completely.

    Actually, I don’t think that many scientists still disagree about the effect of water vapor itself…although certainly clouds remain a source of uncertainty. And, clouds and convection are not ignored in the climate models, although as I said, there is a fair bit of uncertainty in regards to clouds. Nonetheless, in all the different climate models produced by all the different groups with all the different parametrizations of clouds, there has not been any that have managed to come up with a significant negative feedback involving clouds.

    If the climate behaves in this way, then why should this feedback only kick in from levels of CO2 that humans have caused rather than previously?

    They have. That’s the point. The sensitivity of the climate to past changes (such as the changes in forcings between the last interglacial and now) is what helps provide an estimate of the climate sensitivity…and supports the idea that the range that is seen in climate models is also the range that appears to operate in the real climate system.

  189. Whenever I see one of these “highest in the last N years” articles, I find myself wondering, “OK, so what were things like before that N years ago cut-off” because usually that’s where one find the embarrassing data that disproves the point being made. The CO2 concentrations during the Carboniferous are estimated to have a mean 800ppm and were up at 1500 ppm during the Early Carboniferous. While one might be right to point out that we wouldn’t really want a Carboniferous climate today, I find myself asking whether there is any evidence that, for example, the oceans became so acidic that they destroyed the shells of sea creatures or evidence of any of the other doomsday scenarios currently being thrown around.

  190. John says:

    While one might be right to point out that we wouldn’t really want a Carboniferous climate today, I find myself asking whether there is any evidence that, for example, the oceans became so acidic that they destroyed the shells of sea creatures or evidence of any of the other doomsday scenarios currently being thrown around.

    It is not primarily the CO2 levels that matter as the rapidity of the rise. CaCO3 from limestone rocks acts to neutralize the oceans but it is a slow process relative to the rate at which we are increasing CO2 in the oceans. There is one possible past analog to the current situation, which is the PETM event that occurred about 55 million years ago when there was a large release of greenhouse gases and significant warming (although I don’t think they have good enough time resolution to say how rapid the greenhouse gas increase was relative to today). And, I believe that there were a lot of extinctions and changes in sea life around that time. I’m not really up on the literature for that event but there are a lot of papers about it over the last several years because of the analogy to our current “experiment”.

  191. Joel Shore:
    “Are you seriously telling me that you haven’t heard of Science? It and Nature are probably the two most prestigious interdisciplinary science journals in the world! Many scientists would probably sacrifice their first-born child to get a paper in there.”
    You are probably right about that. That is why I first started to seriously doubt AGW when I found three factual howlers in a pro-AGW paper in Nature.

  192. P Gosselin (02:03:37) :
    If CO2 was steady for thousands of years, then why did temps fluctuate so much (Roman Optimum, MWP and LIA)?
    Proves to me that CO2 is not a driver.

    That’s the dichotomy.
    If ice core-derived paleo-CO2 values are quantitatively correct – CO2 and temperature have only correlated for about 30 years out of the last 600 million years in a manner supportive of the AGW position.
    If fossil plant stomata-derived paleo-CO2 values are quantitatively correct – A century-scale rise from 280ppmv to 380ppmv CO2 is wholly unremarkable and has been the norm in every warming period since the early Holocene; including the MWP, Roman Warming and Holocene Thermal Maximum.
    So… Either CO2 didn’t cause the late 20th century warming; or the late 20th century rise in atmospheric CO2 levels was mostly caused by the late 20th century warming.
    The fact that delta-CO2 lagged behind delta-T in the Pleistocene ice cores and that fossil plant stomata data suggest that Holocene CO2 levels have always risen to the mid to high 300’s ppmv… Coupled with the total non-correlation of temperature and CO2 throughout most of the Phanerozoic tells this geoscientist that the IPCC are barking up the wrong tree.

  193. obviously joel, you were not paying attention to my post. The fact that Venus has an extremely long day precludes any reasonable similarity with Earth.
    There has been no evidence to suggest that Venus had any significant water in the past as that would have undoubtedly helped reduce CO2 via inorganic processes. Since there is virtually no signficant power coming in to the surface from the Sun, there is no “greenhouse” effect present. The surface is just not being heated by large amounts incoming solar radiation there. Note that the actual greenhouse effect is really the blocking of convection rather than the radiative blocking of some fraction of IR.
    As for CO2 doubling effects being closer to 3 or to 4 W/m^2 , it totally depends upon what altitude you desire to select for the comparison point. It also depends upon whether you take into account only absorption or whether you consider absorption and emission.
    “…unlikely to be in the cards…” That’s a good laugh. At the Earth’s surface, there’s about 10 metric tons of atmosphere above you in every square meter column of atmosphere. To have the same amount of CO2 in our atmosphere as that of Venus would require the addition of over 90 metric tons of CO2 in every square meter atmospheric column over the surface of the Earth. Atmospheric pressure would have to become around 93 bar at the surface. It still would not be very close to the same thing as we’d need to more than triple the atmospheric nitrogen amount as well.
    And more warmth leads to more water vapor cycle which leads to more convective heat transfer and leads to more cloud cover and greater albedo – reducing the incoming radiation reaching the surface . So What! Feel free to presume for no reason that we just happen to live with the one CO2 doubling range where by the effects are super amplified by h2o so the results are far greater than any additional CO2 doublings or any prior doublings. Just remember – as mentioned – there’s about 11 CO2 doublings (actually halvings) that one could have with similar consequences for power absorption AND the net results of all of these – plus all other effects of GHG gases amounts to a total of around 33 Kelvins rise. Essentially, all of this is due to h2o vapor with CO2 contributing a total of around 10% so it averages around 0.3 Kelvins per doubling for CO2 only. Considering that H2O is going to exist in the atmosphere regardless of the presence of any CO2 or minor variation in T, you now have the limitations of just how much of that positive feedback you want to claim for this rather unique CO2 concentration that is so much more sensitive LOL.
    You cannot quantify CO2 averaged between clear sky and clouds. Clouds can essentially block IR totally – that means there is no CO2 blocking effect difference. What does it matter that CO2 would block 3.7 W/m^2 when you have practically 100% blocking due to cloud cover?
    This of course brings up another major falacy. That is the presumption that this is a radiative only environment with a unique temperature required for radiative balance. If you consider a new variable, cloud cover fraction (for now a single number of some nonexistant typical average cloud) that can vary between 0 % and 100 %. If you plot incoming solar power versus outgoing IR, you will find that the intersection of those curves defines this balance point. I will not go into the details here of the details concerning how but suffice to say clear sky incoming solar is far greater than totally overcast sky incoming solar – as is outgoing IR. What it means though is that one can change the cloud cover and achieve radiative balance without changing the temperature even though there is a change in atmospheric absorption. IE, there’s not a unique temperature required which must rise if there’s an increase in CO2 absorption gases in the atmosphere.
    BTW, another little tidbit concerns the fact that a small rise in ghg absorption also tends to cause a reduction in atmospheric layer temperatures in order to maintain energy balance due to the geometry of the system. Greater absorption causes greater emission for a given wavelength at a given temperature.

  194. william (18:17:38) :
    Ah. So you work in the steel industry? I have heard nothing from you about shutting that hugely CO2 polluting industry down.
    According to your lights the industry you work in is destroying the planet. Have you no shame?
    Honor dies where interest lies?

  195. tty says:

    It is good enough to show that temperatures started rising a few thousand years before CO2 (as usual):
    http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/dissertations/2006-0906-200913/full.pdf
    (chapter 7 in particular)

    Actually, that is not exactly what that paper claims. What they claim to show is that the rise in C-13 depleted carbon happened after the warming. As they note, a rise in CO2 from a pool of carbon having the same isotopic composition as the carbon in the atmosphere (such as from the oceans) could have occurred earlier.

  196. Vincent:

    Nonsense. There are no scientific positions taken against evolution.

    Well, there are plenty of people out there who are claiming there is no empirical evidence for evolution. And, there are indeed scientists (including Roy Spencer) who don’t believe in it. Of course, neither you nor I think they are correct but that doesn’t stop them from making these arguments. And, that is exactly my point. One cannot judge the state of the science by whether there are people vocally claiming that there is not the empirical evidence and so on and so forth.
    That is why the scientific enterprise has evolved the way it has (pun sort of intended), with peer-review and bodies of scientists themselves set up to evaluate the current state of the science.
    And, by the way, I am not claiming that the exact quantitative amount of uncertainty exists in evolutionary theory and in AGW. I agree that there are at this point larger uncertainties regarding climate sensitivity than would be true for analogous issues in evolutionary theory.
    But, the basic point remains that the correct way for the science to be judged, including what uncertainties exist and how great they are, is within the scientific process itself and that lots of people screaming from the sidelines that “empirical evidence doesn’t exist” or what-have-you is more a measure of how the science interferes with their belief system than a measure of where the science actually is.

  197. cba says:

    There has been no evidence to suggest that Venus had any significant water in the past as that would have undoubtedly helped reduce CO2 via inorganic processes.

    According to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runaway_greenhouse_effect it is simply not known whether or not Venus had significant water in the past or not.

    Since there is virtually no signficant power coming in to the surface from the Sun, there is no “greenhouse” effect present. The surface is just not being heated by large amounts incoming solar radiation there. Note that the actual greenhouse effect is really the blocking of convection rather than the radiative blocking of some fraction of IR.

    I guess I don’t understand your logic here. I don’t see how your argument that very little of the solar energy makes it to the surface means there is no greenhouse effect present. Something has to be keeping the surface at a highly elevated temperature relative to the radiative temperature that would produce the emission to balance the incoming solar radiation.

    You cannot quantify CO2 averaged between clear sky and clouds. Clouds can essentially block IR totally – that means there is no CO2 blocking effect difference. What does it matter that CO2 would block 3.7 W/m^2 when you have practically 100% blocking due to cloud cover?

    I guess my point is that the 3.7 W/m^2 number is the global mean radiative forcing, which I believe already includes the effect of clouds. Also, the statement about blocking due to cloud cover is, I believe, a confusion regarding how the greenhouse effect works. What matters at the end of the day is the increase in CO2 causing an increase in the effective radiating level. That is, it is not just a matter of whether the IR gets out without being absorbed or not but rather at what level the last absorption and subsequent emission of radiation occur for those IR photons that then escape into space. So, if you have low clouds then they don’t really have much impact as they are below the effective radiating level. High clouds above the radiating level can have more impact. In fact, this is the reason why low clouds tend to cause a net cooling (higher albedo and less effect on outgoing IR) whereas high clouds tend to cause a net warming (lower albedo and more effect on outgoing IR).

    Considering that H2O is going to exist in the atmosphere regardless of the presence of any CO2 or minor variation in T, you now have the limitations of just how much of that positive feedback you want to claim for this rather unique CO2 concentration that is so much more sensitive LOL.

    I may be missing your point but this logic seems sort of circular to me. If you assume that H2O is a minor feedback, then, yes, that limits how much of the current greenhouse effect could be due to CO2. However, if you assume that H2O is a significant feedback then a very large fraction of the greenhouse effect can be due to CO2 combined with the feedback on H2O. I.e., it could be that as you draw down CO2, H2O is drawn down enough that most of the greenhouse effect disappears…and, of course, the albedo effects change too. Clouds change but, probably more importantly, there is a lot more ice and hence significantly more reflection of solar radiation. This means that, in fact, a planet with all the CO2 removed and most of the water vapor locked out of the atmosphere could be considerably more than 33 C colder because it could be essentially a “snowball earth” scenario with a large albedo. (I am not sure how large the albedo could realistically get.)
    Also, do you have a reference for your statement of how many halvings one can do before you are out of the logarithmic regime? I would think the issue would become more complex as one gets away from the actual current climate as it would depend on the concentration of the other gases…especially water vapor (and clouds)…in the atmosphere.
    Finally, I agree with you in principle that a change in cloud fraction (or other cloud properties) is an important feedback that can impact what the final climate sensitivity is. No doubt about it. However, because clouds have a mixture of effects (both warming and cooling as described above), the effect of a change in clouds is not as dramatic as it would be if there didn’t tend to be partially canceling effects.
    At any rate, I think the empirical evidence regarding climate sensitivity as determined, e.g., by looking at the paleoclimate record (particularly the last glacial maximum vs now) and the eruption of Mt Pinatubo do not favor a significant negative cloud feedback.
    And, of course, all of the current climate models with all their different pedigrees and cloud parametrizations all seem unable to produce a significant negative cloud feedback. Admittedly, it could be possible that they all suffer from some similar fundamental misconception, but the fact that nobody has been able to come up with a significant negative feedback and still presumably have a reasonable climatology and explain the various paleoclimate events and response to Mt Pinatubo seems to argue against this.
    However, I do agree that understanding the cloud feedbacks and the resulting climate sensitivity is the most fundamental question in the basic science. And, frankly, I think that the “skeptic” movement would do better for themselves, at least scientifically, if they focused on this issue rather than arguing about really nutty things like whether the current rise in CO2 is due to humans, whether basic radiative physics equations like the Stefan Boltzmann Equation are correct, and whether or not the atmospheric greenhouse effects violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. These other issues may be good to focus on if the goal is just to confuse the public but if the goal is actually to convince the scientific community then I think it would be wise to focus on real scientific issues rather than manufactured ones.

  198. I’m sorry but this post from Bill Illis is worth re-posting again….and again….and again.
    Pay attention especially to the last paragraph:
    Bill Illis (06:04:54) :
    The important aspect about using the paleoclimate data is that there is no “lagged warming” explanation available for the Hansen’s of the world.

    The lags in the climate system can only be as long as 1,500 to 3,000 years as a maximum.
    The paleo data extends beyond those lags so when you see CO2 staying at 250 ppm for 10 million years, then one can be sure that other things are impacting the climate beyond CO2/GHGs and these other factors must, in fact, be far more important.
    If CO2/GHGs were as dominant as the theory says, then the last 20 million years should have been one big long ice age. Maybe not as big as the last glacial maximum but the glaciers should have extended into the mainland of North America for the entire period. Well, they didn’t and, in fact, it was much warmer than today in the period.
    I’m assuming the cognitive dissonance of actually looking at the data and seeing that it does not match up with the theory, means they just don’t look at it anymore (or believe it). Which means they are constantly trying to find ways to adjust it. This is another one of those.
    Irrefutable, incontrovertible words.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  199. Joel Shore:
    “Well, there are plenty of people out there who are claiming there is no empirical evidence for evolution. And, there are indeed scientists (including Roy Spencer) who don’t believe in it.”
    That such people exist is irrelevant to my rebuttal. You are trying to equate the climate change skepticism with creationism by drawing attention to a single commonality – that both claim a lack of empirical evidence for the theory they are attacking – while ignoring the important differences. It matters not what theological beliefs Dr. Spencer holds re evolution, because he has not written a paper that attempts to refute it, and if he had written such a paper it should stand and fall on its own merit.
    When individuals attempt to refute evolution they do so to support a single agenda – to retain belief in the literal Biblical story of creation. As I have previously posted, the ONLY alternative to evolution is creationism, which is totally different to the AGW hypothesis. There we see a whole spectrum of alternative views ranging from extreme positive feedbacks, milder feedbacks, no feedbacks and negative feedbacks.
    As far as creationists claiming that there is no empirical evidence for evolution, they always concentrate on one area – the fossil record – and try to infer that no intermediate forms exist such as would definitively show one species evolving into another. The fallacy of this logic involves division ad infinitum, such that however many intermediate forms are unearthed, you can always ask for a smaller and smaller subdivision. And by focussing on this, they deliberately ignore knowledge of molecular biology with provides the theoretical framework that predicts how evolution will happen. All these predictions are borne out, as for example, that speciation will occur under geographic isolation. There have been some modern confirmations of the theory that explain how some birds develop enormously oversized display feathers which would appear to impose a burden rather than a benefit. It turns out that if you factor in sexual preference for these feathers by females, and then run the genetic models, you get exactly these phenotypes as predicted by evolution.
    To compare the richness of evolution with the paucity of AGW is to insult everyone from Darwin, Huxley, Gould, Dennet, Dawkin’s, thousands of field scientists ect, who together, have painstakingly gathered evidence and woven together a beautiful theory.
    Reply: Ok, I know I am the number one enforcer of no evolution/creationism/ID posts, but this one makes a comparison that goes beyond debating evolution so I am allowing it. HOWEVER, no more on the subject in this thread or any debate of the merits of evolution or creationism in any other thread. ~ charles the admittedly inconsistent moderator

  200. Joel Shore:
    “Nonetheless, in all the different climate models produced by all the different groups with all the different parametrizations of clouds, there has not been any that have managed to come up with a significant negative feedback involving clouds.”
    You are confusing climate models with empirical evidence. If you had written that scientists had examined dozens of earth-like planets and not found any significant negative feedback involving clouds, then this would be empirical evidence in favour of positive feedback. But to say what you have just said, is in fact to say something like “of all the different ways that modellers program cloud behaviour in their models, none of them involve negative feedback.”
    Do you see the difference?

  201. “Joel Shore
    According to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runaway_greenhouse_effect it is simply not known whether or not Venus had significant water in the past or not.

    As I stated – no evidence to support…
    “I guess I don’t understand your logic here. I don’t see how your argument that very little of the solar energy makes it to the surface means there is no greenhouse effect present…”
    Evidently, look at the supposed concept called the greenhouse effect – SW in, LW blocked… Only a fraction of incoming solar power gets in. It’s not night time but it’s not bright daylight there on the surface. What’s more, you’ve simply have to remember that the temperature is twice that of Earth, crudely speaking and that the peak emission wavelength has shifted according to Wein’s law which means that the effects are a bit different. You should also keep in mind that daytime there is a season, not half a day. Considering that this is not causing massive atmospheric turbulence since there is little mixing going on compared with Earth’s atmosphere, it is not putting much energy into that eerie twighlight that exists.
    “I guess my point is that the 3.7 W/m^2 number is the global mean radiative forcing, which I believe already includes the effect of clouds.”
    As stated, it is a calculation based upon radiative transfer information through clear skies. Given an atmospheric column such as is typical in concentrations, pressures, temperatures, then at a certain altitude, such as 22km or 45km or ???? there will be 3.7 or 3.5 or …. less power making it past that level when CO2 has been doubled in a clear sky.
    Your comment on clouds there means that the radiation is blocked from the surface. When dealing with radiation, you get a blackbody curve only from solid/liquid materials. For gas, you get the molecular spectra. Perhaps you’re trying to say that given more ghgs, the atmosphere above the clouds will radiate more not less??
    outa time – will try to continue later today

  202. Joel Shore:
    “Actually, that is not exactly what that paper claims. What they claim to show is that the rise in C-13 depleted carbon happened after the warming. As they note, a rise in CO2 from a pool of carbon having the same isotopic composition as the carbon in the atmosphere (such as from the oceans) could have occurred earlier.”
    Exactly, and this rules out *all* CO2-based mechanisms that have been suggested for the PETM:
    – Methane outgassing
    – World-wide peat fires
    – Volcanic CH4/CO2 production from coal beds
    – Oxidation of recently uplifted marine deposits
    – Cometary impact
    All of these would show up strongly in the C-13 ratio.
    As you say, CO2 dissolved in ocean water would not affect the isotope ratio, however this requires “something” to warm the oceans enough to liberate large amounts of CO2.
    So, as I said before, the warming comes first, the CO2 later, AS USUAL.

  203. Vincent says:

    You are confusing climate models with empirical evidence.

    Do you see the difference?

    And you are quoting the part of my post where I did not talk about direct empirical evidence, leaving out the part where I did, and then complaining about my not providing empirical evidence.
    ~snip~

  204. alphajuno (11:39:35)
    in short, they are correct results, as the process is a scientifically valid one. Beck only reconstructs using raw high density of raw data with broad geographic coverage. The process carries on today and chemical measurements produce similar measurements to the IR spectroscopic technique. With the IR technique the uncertainty is mapping where c02 bands cross with water vapour bands, which generally separate out at higher altitudes in the troposphere. from 1810-present, these results are in broad agreement of c02 concentrations. When ice core measurements are substituted instead, then a proxy is taken as ice cores at Vostok don’t give an exact replication of aerial co2 from its proxy. Due to various chemical processes, and the fact that c02 can deplete in compressed ice by a diffusion effect at pressure at the compressed area, which is 300 times that of normal atmospheric temperature. This, and other physical processes smooths out c02 variations to a fairly uniform level and minimises both peaks and troughs in the c02 legend. Furthermore – it is only at vostok. Other ice cores eg Greenland, show a greater amplitude of temperature variaton than vostok.
    Its still useful for taking this as a barometer of past climate in one location, but not an accurate average of past antarctic c02.

  205. Joel Shore,
    “And you are quoting the part of my post where I did not talk about direct empirical evidence, leaving out the part where I did, and then complaining about my not providing empirical evidence.”
    No, I am not complaining about you not providing empirical evidence. I am taking issue with your implication that because climate models fail to show negative water vapour feedbacks, that this somehow shows that such negative feedbacks do not exist in nature. If I am inferring incorrectly, then I don’t understand the point of your statement.

  206. “Joel Shore
    I.e., it could be that as you draw down CO2, H2O is drawn down enough that most of the greenhouse effect disappears…”
    Again, you miss the consequences of a log response as opposed to a linear response. When you look at an h2o fraction and combined with temperature see a relative humidity, it doesn’t matter what that humidity is for radiative transfer. What matters is the density of the material and the fact that you are dealing with a log function where as the relative humidity is much more linear. Doubling or halving the amount of water vapor doesn’t double or halve the effect, it provides merely a small increment in the total h2o effect. Changing the total amount of ghg effect only shifts the point where things occur by a small amount.
    When you consider even the current or recent history nominal conditions, you find that there isn’t a radiative only balance present. Convection (and the water vapor cycle) accounts for a substantial fraction of energy transfer near the surface.
    Drawing down CO2 is not going to affect h2o concentrations, which depend upon the local availability of h2o (or transported h2o) and the temperature / incoming power necessary to generate it + a bit more. Essentially, whatever miniscule drop or rise in temperature caused by the CO2 change would then be reflected in relative humidity which is PRESUMED to remain unchanged. As stated above, it’s the absolute humidity or atmospheric concentrations that affect absorption.
    I do not have a reference to offer as it’s unpublished concerning halvings. I think if you go to a modtran calculator online that you could get a reasonable facsimile of the result by going through a series of halvings and noting the difference between each at an altitude, like 45km. As long as the increment or decrement of transmitted power ranges between around 2.x and 3.x W/m^2, you’re still in the log region.
    “…and, of course, the albedo effects change too. Clouds change but, probably more importantly, there is a lot more ice and hence significantly more reflection of solar radiation. This means that, in fact, a planet with all the CO2 removed and most of the water vapor locked out of the atmosphere could be considerably more than 33 C colder because it could be essentially a “snowball earth” scenario with a large albedo. (I am not sure how large the albedo could realistically get.)

    The 33 degrees C ghg contribution assumes a 0.30 albedo average with today’s average global temperature versus a blackbody with 0.30 albedo. Venus is thought to have a 0.65 to 0.70 albedo with clouds that are perfectly opaque and not composed of h2o vapor. Snowball Earth is quite a different scenario than today – or even a typical ice age glaciation period. Fresh snow is quite high in albedo, rivaling that of Venus but clear ice is practically no better than ocean water which comes in at 0.035 or so. It matters little today as it’s all at the poles which receive light only part of the year and at a very high angle of incidence (relative to the Normal). Of course at these angles, even the ocean water starts to do a good job of reflection for whatever light is making it in. Glaciation means much lower lattitude coverage and so much lower net incoming power after albedo kicks it out. Snowball Earth is even worse than this. Glaciation periods are a shortcircuit to cloud feedback as in interglacial time periods, clouds account for about 80% of the total albedo, around 0.22 out of the nominal 0.30. Oceans cover around 70% and are extremely low in albedo, under 0.04 for low angles of incidence relative to the normal. The land surface is going to be averaging between 0.10 and 0.20, including all that ice and snow.
    As for a maximum realistic albedo, rest assured it could get as high as Venus which is over 0.6 and perhaps over 0.7.
    One of the problems with this is albedo measurement has not been done consistently for any significant length of time. It has been assumed constant yet measured to have changed substantially, enough to cause many W/m^2 more than all the CO2 ghg change currently attributed to man and perhaps as much as 10% over 20 years. Using this and the corresponding temperature change, one finds there to be less of a change than a simple radiative calculation would suggest – which means there is net negative feedback present.
    Trying to compare a glacial maximum to cloud albedo is to acknowledge the importance of albedo and hence the effect of cloud cover. As stated, if you’ve got fresh snow below, cloud albedo has been shortcircuited as it doesn’t matter if there is a cloud present or not as there will be significant amounts of power reflected.
    Part of the problem with understanding cloud cover and the variations involved is that where there is the most incoming energy, one has the daily water vapor cycle in operation where clouds build up, transfer heat, and dissipate in the evenings. This is not something that works with simple static type models and it is something that cannot happen with Venus – even if it did have lots of water and much less atmosphere. For clouds to have serious IR blocking effects greater than their albedo contributions, you’ve got to have night time presence when there is no incoming solar to reflect away. While there are some night time clouds, the average conditions are to provide a net negative feedback. Also, one must realize that clouds have solid or liquid h2o in them which can do continuum radiation, although at a much lower rate than the average surface due to lower temperatures.
    Stefan’s law is empirical but it turns out to be the integration over wavelength (or frequency) and angle of the Planck blackbody radiation curve. The engineering fudge factor is totally incorrect (epsilon) as reflectivity is a function of wavelength. What appears to be shiney and highly reflective in the visible may be like a lump of coal in a dark room when it comes to another area of the spectrum.
    From what I’ve seen over the years, the cagw groupies and even scientists are suffering from a mental defect of the human condition. The best example I know is from the earlier evolution proponents who became ‘true believers’ to the point that their understanding and dogma was that Earth had to be stable and unchanging for eons and that catastrophic events could not have happened. I don’t have a dog in that hunt but I suspect that there’s more likely a panspermia factor going on from the cold depths of space far from the influence of stars as compared to the usual biology dogma that still exists. Their denial of castastrophic activities to promote their slow cooker primordial stew project was clearly wrong yet it negatively impacted even other disciplines for quite some time. It took many decades of serious evidence and research elsewhere to overcome that unwarranted bias. The history of science is full of much lesser dogmatic problems and cagw isn’t one of the lesser.

  207. Dennis (11:41:46) :
    . . . I am struck by the upper bound of average global (I know, E.D.) temperatures that with 2 exceptions doesn’t seem able to break about a 22 degree C. boundary over the past 600 million(!) years, and that today is about half of that bound. I don’t know how this graph was derived but, if valid, would indicate that there is some very powerful feedback mechanism that doesn’t allow temps to go hog wild beyond a certain point. . . .
    It would have to be a feedback that could keep the temperature stable for millions of years. Notice there’s something of a bottom limit to temperature too around 12C, about where we are now. Could be we’re just not close enough to the sun to get any hotter or far enough away to get any colder (given we’re a water planet).

  208. Great post: cba (08:44:26) :
    Since the theme of this thread is the following great quote from Bill Illis, I am posting again to see how long Joel Shore avoids it.
    Trouble is, he does not have a good answer for it, so that is his method, avoid. Nevertheless it is being posted again here as it needs to be said over and over because it is the irrefutable truth.
    Bill Illis (06:04:54) :
    The important aspect about using the paleoclimate data is that there is no “lagged warming” explanation available for the Hansen’s of the world.

    The lags in the climate system can only be as long as 1,500 to 3,000 years as a maximum.
    The paleo data extends beyond those lags so when you see CO2 staying at 250 ppm for 10 million years, then one can be sure that other things are impacting the climate beyond CO2/GHGs and these other factors must, in fact, be far more important.
    If CO2/GHGs were as dominant as the theory says, then the last 20 million years should have been one big long ice age. Maybe not as big as the last glacial maximum but the glaciers should have extended into the mainland of North America for the entire period. Well, they didn’t and, in fact, it was much warmer than today in the period.
    I’m assuming the COGNITIVE DISSONANCE of actually looking at the data and seeing that it does not match up with the theory, means they just don’t look at it anymore (or believe it). Which means they are constantly trying to find ways to adjust it. This is another one of those.
    This needs to be shouted from the housetops….
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  209. And this quote from Dave Middleton. So many good ones to choose from here…but they bear repeating:
    “If fossil plant stomata-derived paleo-CO2 values are quantitatively correct – A century-scale rise from 280ppmv to 380ppmv CO2 is wholly unremarkable and has been the norm in every warming period since the early Holocene; including the MWP, Roman Warming and Holocene Thermal Maximum.”<cite
    “So… Either CO2 didn’t cause the late 20th century warming; or the late 20th century rise in atmospheric CO2 levels was mostly caused by the late 20th century warming.”
    “The fact that delta-CO2 lagged behind delta-T in the Pleistocene ice cores and that fossil plant stomata data suggest that Holocene CO2 levels have always risen to the mid to high 300’s ppmv… Coupled with the total non-correlation of temperature and CO2 throughout most of the Phanerozoic tells this geoscientist that the IPCC are barking up the wrong tree.”
    Well said….
    With that, this poster is off for a run in some forested “hills” (trans. former ocean boundary 5 to 8K year old sand dunes from the Holocene Climatactic Optimum) on the otherwise flat coastal plain of Virginia where I live.
    Wonder what caused that sea level rise back then? Must have been space aliens injecting huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  210. Joel Shore (14:39:25) :
    It is not primarily the CO2 levels that matter as the rapidity of the rise. CaCO3 from limestone rocks acts to neutralize the oceans but it is a slow process relative to the rate at which we are increasing CO2 in the oceans. There is one possible past analog to the current situation, which is the PETM event that occurred about 55 million years ago when there was a large release of greenhouse gases and significant warming.

    As further evidence that the pro-AGW researchers just do not want to look at the PaleoClimate data, why do they spend so much time talking about the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum.
    This was a rather ordinary event in the history of the climate. Just 40 millions years earlier in the Cretaceous (when CO2 was a little lower in fact), temperatures were 2C to 3C higher than the PETM. Dinosaurs lived in Alaska and it was a little farther north than it is now. Sea level was so high that North America was flooded from Texas to Inuvik to Hudson Bay as well as all of Europe and North Africa.
    It is just rather odd that a small ordinary peak like the PETM can have so much attention and all the other major events are never mentioned.

  211. Where do you start with something likes this? Warm sea = high co2!!!!!!
    If was warm than c02 was high! Its that simple. Stop confusing cause and effect!
    Who burnt all the fossil fuels 15 millions years ago?
    Plus comparing a observatory near the equator on a active volcanoe to somewhere where co2 is absorbed due to temperature (antarctic) is stupid. They are not the same and nor are co2 concentrations at both locations. Secondly, the algae is a proxy for disolved co2 in the ocean is it not, not the atmosphere? Because it compares to antarctica doesnt mean its right either!
    Sheesh!

  212. The Sun and CO2 share a common bond. Neither agrees well with climate reconstructed over millions of years. In fact, if AGW’ers persist in demonstrating a correlation with reconstructed CO2 and reconstructed climate, I would use the Sun’s correlation to show just how weak their connection is. If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander. They would have to admit that CO2 is as good as the Sun in bringing about climate change when using reconstructed climate and CO2 or Sun correlation.

  213. getting away from all the other problems of joel shore’s post, it looks like the underestimated importance of the impact and variability of cloud albedo combined with the internal variability of the various oscillations, like PDO provides the basis for the total foul-up with the CAGW/IPCC crowd. When one looks at their uncertainty chart, they’ve got cloud variability at about 10% in the albedo for some of the measured values which have been done. The fact that there are no measured values for albedo throughout most of history combined with its significant variability basically negates most of the estimates for sensitivity as well.

  214. cba says:

    “I guess my point is that the 3.7 W/m^2 number is the global mean radiative forcing, which I believe already includes the effect of clouds.”
    As stated, it is a calculation based upon radiative transfer information through clear skies. Given an atmospheric column such as is typical in concentrations, pressures, temperatures, then at a certain altitude, such as 22km or 45km or ???? there will be 3.7 or 3.5 or …. less power making it past that level when CO2 has been doubled in a clear sky.

    What you stated is apparently wrong. Here is what the IPCC says about the 3.7 W/m^2 number ( http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm , Chapter 2, p. 140):

    The simple formulae for RF of the LLGHG quoted in Ramaswamy et al. (2001) are still valid. These formulae are based on global RF calculations where clouds, stratospheric adjustment and solar absorption are included, and give an RF of +3.7 W m–2 for a doubling in the CO2 mixing ratio.

    I’ll try to comment on some of the rest of what you wrote later.

  215. guess who was responsible for that chapter. no bias there. What’s more ramaswamy 2001 is the 3rd assessement report.
    Ramaswamy, V., et al., 2001: Radiative forcing of climate change. In:
    Climate Change 2001: The Scientifi c Basis. Contribution of Working
    Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel
    on Climate Change [Houghton, J.T., et al. (eds.)]. Cambridge University
    Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 349–
    416.
    “IPCC (1990) and the SAR used a radiative forcing of 4.37 Wm−2
    for a doubling of CO2 calculated with a simplified expression.
    Since then several studies, including some using GCMs (Mitchell
    and Johns, 1997; Ramaswamy and Chen, 1997b; Hansen et al.,
    1998), have calculated a lower radiative forcing due to CO2
    (Pinnock et al., 1995; Roehl et al., 1995; Myhre and Stordal,
    1997; Myhre et al., 1998b; Jain et al., 2000). The newer estimates
    of radiative forcing due to a doubling of CO2 are between 3.5 and
    4.1 Wm−2 with the relevant species and various overlaps between
    greenhouse gases included. The lower forcing in the cited newer
    356 Radiative Forcing of Climate Change
    studies is due to an accounting of the stratospheric temperature
    adjustment which was not properly taken into account in the
    simplified expression used in IPCC (1990) and the SAR (Myhre
    et al., 1998b). In Myhre et al. (1998b) and Jain et al. (2000), the
    short-wave forcing due to CO2 is also included, an effect not
    taken into account in the SAR. The short-wave effect results in a
    negative forcing contribution for the surface-troposphere system
    owing to the extra absorption due to CO2 in the stratosphere;
    however, this effect is relatively small compared to the total
    radiative forcing (< 5%).
    The new best estimate based on the published results for the
    radiative forcing due to a doubling of CO2 is 3.7 Wm−2, which is
    a reduction of 15% compared to the SAR…."
    Sorry, but going over the description of the original 2001 paper doesn't seem to back up the later claim that it is a value that includes non clear sky effects. Note that IPCC doesn't appear to actually do peer review and it's under the overview of guess who again. In any case, the references to other papers takes you back into the 90s and gcms – which do still not properly handle clouds. They do state that they handle stratospheric temperatures and atmospheric concentrations but that doesn't relate to clear sky results versus cloudy or mixed. Again, you can ascertain the results for yourself using a modtran calculator – or you can spend a few months developing a line by line radiative transfer model using something like HITRAN for a one dimensional radiative model also using a model atmosphere such as the 1976 US Standard Atmosphere like I did. The results will be far more accurate than can be achieved in a GCM if reasonably well done as those become extremely time bound on supercomputers using relatively crude radiative calculations.
    You'll note from the provided quote that their admitted error from their previous effort was too high by 15%.
    I think if you dig enough that you will find the 3.7 W/m^2 is based upon clear skies and depends upon the altitude that you make your comparisons at. Cloudy skies are not used as clouds tend to be well above most of the CO2 effects, they tend to create their their own emission continuum with lower power radiated due to lower temperatures than the surface, and once above the lower arena of the atmosphere, the line broadening drops substantially, reducing the actual effects to very small bandwidths that actually absorb much less power.

  216. Bill Illis says:

    As further evidence that the pro-AGW researchers just do not want to look at the PaleoClimate data, why do they spend so much time talking about the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum.
    This was a rather ordinary event in the history of the climate. Just 40 millions years earlier in the Cretaceous (when CO2 was a little lower in fact), temperatures were 2C to 3C higher than the PETM. Dinosaurs lived in Alaska and it was a little farther north than it is now. Sea level was so high that North America was flooded from Texas to Inuvik to Hudson Bay as well as all of Europe and North Africa.
    It is just rather odd that a small ordinary peak like the PETM can have so much attention and all the other major events are never mentioned.

    Well, for what it is worth, the chart on this website suggests the PETM was warmer: http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm Don’t know how accurate it is or where it or your info are from. However, I think the more important reason to look at the PETM was the rapidity of the warming event and the major release of carbon, which I believe make it the closest analog that we of for our current little experiment.
    stumpy says:

    Plus comparing a observatory near the equator on a active volcanoe to somewhere where co2 is absorbed due to temperature (antarctic) is stupid. They are not the same and nor are co2 concentrations at both locations.

    Carbon dioxide is quite well-mixed in the atmosphere. Although the first measurements were made at Mauna Lao, it is now measured in several different places around the world ( http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/sio-keel.html ) and, while there are small differences and different seasonal variations in the different places, they are quite small. We also now have a satellite mapping of CO2 concentrations in the mid-troposphere: http://geology.com/nasa/carbon-dioxide-map/ Note that the measured CO2 level (from July 2008) is ~381 +/- 5 ppm where the +/- seems to be essentially the entire range of variation on that map (the standard deviation is probably only a couple of ppm).

  217. Joel Shore (19:08:07),
    Pick the human induced CO2 forcing out of this. Be creative, you always are.
    Folks, the climate is behaving naturally, as it always does. Human emissions may have a very *slight* effect. But for all practical purposes, they can be completely disregarded as inconsequential.

  218. Bill Illis says:

    If CO2/GHGs were as dominant as the theory says, then the last 20 million years should have been one big long ice age. Maybe not as big as the last glacial maximum but the glaciers should have extended into the mainland of North America for the entire period. Well, they didn’t and, in fact, it was much warmer than today in the period.

    Smokey says:

    Excellent post. I would like to see any CO2=AGW true believer *cough*joelshore*cough* step up to the plate and explain that one for us.

    savethesharks says:

    I’m sorry but this post from Bill Illis is worth re-posting again….and again….and again.

    Bill,
    The data that you show seems to be quite at odds with the recent paper of Kurschner et al. (2008) http://www.pnas.org/content/105/2/449.full , which in fact shows quite a tight linkage between CO2 and temperature during the time period of the Miocene that they look at (between 11 and 25 million years ago), with part of that period having CO2 levels of 400ppm or higher: http://www.pnas.org/content/105/2/449/F3.large.jpg (The general features for CO2 in this paper seem to agree with this new paper by Tripati et al. although the drop in CO2 seems to start a little earlier in the record in that paper than what Tripati et al. find.)
    Of interest is also the paper in that issue by Royer further discussing these results and putting them into context: http://www.pnas.org/content/105/2/407.full

  219. Smokey says:

    Pick the human induced CO2 forcing out of this. Be creative, you always are.

    It is good to see you still at your “skeptical” best, Smokey, picking random plots off of the web without bothering to ask if they are correct or incorporate the latest data! Yup, you certainly don’t call yourself a “skeptic” for nothing!
    See a peer-reviewed paper that talks about your graph here: http://magee.vsb.bc.ca/dsheldan/climate/pdf/Laut_2003.pdf , especially Figs. 3 and 4.

  220. Joel Shore (20:16:00), I’ve posted hundreds of graphs from multiple sources here. You always find fault with them. Always, every one.
    Cognitive dissonance.

  221. Joel your worst problem is that you use sophistry to create a smokescreen and AVOID answering questions.
    You could answer Bill’s post directly, as opposed to evading it by referring to another paper.
    That really is a side issue.
    What are you trying to prove, Joel?
    That the AGW cause MUST be proved by science???
    Seems rather DEDUCTIVE and conflicting with the Scientific Method.
    I wish you well, the burden of proof is on you and your like-minded associates.
    You still have not (and i think can not) show forth the evidence.
    And I am not talking a logical fallacy through force of words.
    I mean, simple, logical explanations.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  222. I think we can safely say that if CO2 does drive temperature, its impact is insignificant and non-threatening. The sensitivity of “average” global temperature to a doubling of CO2 is less than 0.5C, and probably less than 0.3C.
    But we know so little about atmospheric CO2 (“atm.CO2”).
    We think that atm.CO2 lags temperature by ~800 years in the Vostok ice cores, on a cycle of ~100,000 years. But diffusion of CO2 in ice and actual values may be unknowns, even if “trends” are known.
    We think that atm.CO2 also lags temperature by ~9 months in a cycle of 3-5 years, but there is the uncertainty caused by huge industrial inputs of CO2.
    But when we examine the AIRS satellite data on atm.CO2, the major sources appear to be distant from industry.
    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4
    It seems like the more we know about atm.CO2, the less we know.

  223. Joel Shore
    I’m interested to see that you apparently now embrace the use of stomatal indices for estimating CO2. Does this extend to more recent times when stomatal indices invariably indicate much more variable and usually higher amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere than ice-core data?

  224. Joel Shore (20:08:15) :
    […]
    The data that you show seems to be quite at odds with the recent paper of Kurschner et al. (2008) … , which in fact shows quite a tight linkage between CO2 and temperature during the time period of the Miocene that they look at (between 11 and 25 million years ago), with part of that period having CO2 levels of 400ppm or higher: … (The general features for CO2 in this paper seem to agree with this new paper by Tripati et al. although the drop in CO2 seems to start a little earlier in the record in that paper than what Tripati et al. find.)

    If you’re willing to accept Kurschner et al. (2008), then you’d also have to be willing to accept Wagner et al. (1999) – Kürschner was one of the “et al”…

    Science 18 June 1999:
    Vol. 284. no. 5422, pp. 1971 – 1973
    DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5422.1971
    Prev | Table of Contents | Next
    Reports
    Century-Scale Shifts in Early Holocene Atmospheric CO2 Concentration
    Friederike Wagner, 1 Sjoerd J. P. Bohncke, 2 David L. Dilcher, 3 Wolfram M. Kürschner, 1 Bas van Geel, 4 Henk Visscher 1
    The inverse relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and stomatal frequency in tree leaves provides an accurate method for detecting and quantifying century-scale carbon dioxide fluctuations. Stomatal frequency signatures of fossil birch leaves reflect an abrupt carbon dioxide increase at the beginning of the Holocene. A succeeding carbon dioxide decline matches the Preboreal Oscillation, a 150-year cooling pulse that occurred about 300 years after the onset of the Holocene. In contrast to conventional ice core estimates of 270 to 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv), the stomatal frequency signal suggests that early Holocene carbon dioxide concentrations were well above 300 ppmv.

    Wagner et al. found that atmospheric CO2 levels were in the 350ppmv to 360ppmv approximately 9,500 years BP. Ice cores show CO2 levels to have been ~280ppmv at that time.
    There’s also Kouwenberg et al (2005) – Once again co-authored by Kürschner… They found that CO2 levels have routinely oscillated from 260–275 ppmv to 300–320 ppmv over the last 1,000 years.
    Plant stomatal densities can be empirically tested and shown to correlate with atmospheric CO2 levels. Wagner et al. (2005) found that plant SI data matched the instrumental CO2 rise from 310-370ppmv over a 60-year period in the 20th century.
    So when do you choose to throw out the plant SI data and rely on ice cores? The SI data do show a better correlation between CO2 and temperature; but they also show that today’s CO2 levels are wholly unremarkable… And they also show that CO2 levels can easily rise and fall by more than 60ppmv per century as the Earth has warmed and cooled through natural climate cycles.
    Do we only toss out the SI data when it creates an inconvenient situation wherein modern CO2 levels are only slightly, if at all, elevated when compared with prior Quaternary and Holocene warm periods?

    Joel Shore (20:08:15) :
    Of interest is also the paper in that issue by Royer further discussing these results and putting them into context: …

    Shaviv’s and Veizer’s reply to Royer (2004) was equally interesting. Royer’s pH correction for sigma-18O was a product of bootstrapping… The pH correction for temperature was essentially derived from RCO2… So it’s no surprise that Royer’s “corrected” Phanerozoic temperatures yielded a better match to CO2. Royer’s pH corrections to temperature also resulted in anomalously warm ocean temperatures during know glacial episodes.

  225. Smokey says:

    Joel Shore (20:16:00), I’ve posted hundreds of graphs from multiple sources here. You always find fault with them. Always, every one.

    What can I say? That is because you specialize in going to websites that are created to deceive people and grabbing plots from there and then you accept them uncritically, without the slightest bit of skepticism. It ain’t my fault that you choose to do this.

  226. Joel Shore,
    Lots of the charts I link to are from NASA, NOAA, the IPCC and other favs of yours. The fact that you reject every last one of the hundreds of charts posted means that your mind is made up and shut tight, and facts don’t matter.
    I post charts so people can make up their own minds. If the media was doing its job they would show both sides of the debate. Since they don’t, it’s up to skeptics to show there’s another side to the AGW story. You clearly don’t like the fact that people are thinking for themselves based on all the information, not just what is spoon fed to the public through a biased media that takes its marching orders from the UN’s IPCC.
    Or maybe you believe what you believe despite the facts. Then it’s just a case of common Cognitive Dissonance.

  227. Smokey says:

    Lots of the charts I link to are from NASA, NOAA, the IPCC and other favs of yours. The fact that you reject every last one of the hundreds of charts posted means that your mind is made up and shut tight, and facts don’t matter.

    Can you show me an example of a graph from NASA, NOAA, or the IPCC that I have rejected?

    I post charts so people can make up their own minds. If the media was doing its job they would show both sides of the debate. Since they don’t, it’s up to skeptics to show there’s another side to the AGW story. You clearly don’t like the fact that people are thinking for themselves based on all the information, not just what is spoon fed to the public through a biased media that takes its marching orders from the UN’s IPCC.

    Well, there is a difference between giving people good information and giving people propaganda or deceiving information. The plot that you posted here was out-of-date and also contained a smoothing error near the endpoint of the data that was shown. A more modern extension of that data shows a dramatic divergence between solar cycle length and temperature. You are just dodging and weaving in the hopes that you distract people from recognizing this fact.

  228. “Can you show me an example of a graph from NASA, NOAA, or the IPCC that I have rejected?”
    Yes. But it would be more interesting if you show some charts I’ve posted that I’ve posted that you agree with without any reservation.
    BTW, how’s that article coming along?

  229. savethesharks says

    Joel your worst problem is that you use sophistry to create a smokescreen and AVOID answering questions.
    You could answer Bill’s post directly, as opposed to evading it by referring to another paper.

    Actually, I didn’t evade it at all. I showed that the data on CO2 that he was using to make his inferences conflicts with other data on CO2 at the time. I didn’t claim that the data in the paper I referred to is definitely correct and his wrong because I don’t decide which data to believe on the basis of whether it supports my pre-conceived conclusions or not. However, I did note that the data was at least roughly in agreement with that of Tripati et al, except with what looks like a bit of an offset in when the CO2 levels began to drop. (I don’t know if the offset is within the dating uncertainties of the two techniques or not.)
    [I could have also pointed out that one does not expect a perfect correlation between CO2 and temperature on timescales where other important factors can be operating.]
    tty says:

    I’m interested to see that you apparently now embrace the use of stomatal indices for estimating CO2. Does this extend to more recent times when stomatal indices invariably indicate much more variable and usually higher amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere than ice-core data?

    Dave Middleton says:

    So when do you choose to throw out the plant SI data and rely on ice cores?

    That is a fair question. As I point out above, I was fairly cautious in claiming that these data are the correct values for CO2 levels pre-ice-core data. The fact is that it is very difficult to get good estimates of CO2 during such time periods and that is why I was surprised that Bill Illis presented the CO2 data like it was written in stone, without even any discussion of what the errorbars might be on the estimates.
    However, I also just had a look at the stomata papers and it looks like there is a trend over time for the stomata to come into better agreement with the ice core data. For example, in this 2008 paper http://www.pnas.org/content/105/41/15815.full , they look at the level of CO2 over the last 1000 years and, once they account for smoothing of their data over the roughly century scale that it takes the gas bubbles to close off then the agreement with ice core data is quite good, to within the methodogical errors that the estimate for their technique. (See Fig. 1D.) And, in fact, if you look closely at Fig 1C, which is their fully-resolved data, you can see that the variation in CO2 is only modestly larger (perhaps a factor of 1.5, although given the error bars it is hard to say for sure) than for their smoothed data in Fig. 1D.
    So, it seems to me that the ice core data and the stomata data are converging, although the stomata data still tends to show somewhat more variability. Whether that variability is real or whether it is exaggerated remains to be determined.

  230. From Kouwenberg’s PhD Thesis (2002), a comparison of SI-derived CO2 vs. ice core-derived CO2 from 200 AD to 2000 AD…
    Figure 5-4
    Caption 5-4
    Kouwneberg’s CO2 reconstruction from conifer needles clearly indicates that atmospheric CO2 levels ranged from ~280ppmv in 300 AD to ~400ppmv by 400 AD and then steadily declined to ~280ppmv by 800 AD.
    If we are to accept SI as a proxy for CO2, then the modern rise in CO2 is no different in magnitude or pace of onset than the 300 Ad to 400 AD rise.
    If the SI proxy is rejected… We’re back to a non-correlation of CO2 and temperature.
    So… Either CO2 changes have no measurable effect on temperature… Or temperature changes drive CO2 changes.

  231. Joel Shore (08:35:08) :
    […]
    Dave Middleton says:
    So when do you choose to throw out the plant SI data and rely on ice cores?
    That is a fair question. As I point out above, I was fairly cautious in claiming that these data are the correct values for CO2 levels pre-ice-core data. The fact is that it is very difficult to get good estimates of CO2 during such time periods and that is why I was surprised that Bill Illis presented the CO2 data like it was written in stone, without even any discussion of what the errorbars might be on the estimates.
    However, I also just had a look at the stomata papers and it looks like there is a trend over time for the stomata to come into better agreement with the ice core data. For example, in this 2008 paper
    […]
    So, it seems to me that the ice core data and the stomata data are converging, although the stomata data still tends to show somewhat more variability. Whether that variability is real or whether it is exaggerated remains to be determined.

    Wouldn’t it be reasonable to make the determination as to which proxy is a more realistic measure of past natural CO2 variability before the IPCC made sweeping scientific statements as to the settled science of climate change? Particularly when we are quite probably talking about policy decisions that could cost the United States up to 5% of its GDP for the next several decades?
    From Kürschner (2008)…

    Although some of the preindustrial CO2 changes are at least temporally associated with anthropogenic influences on the environment, the amount of carbon needed to cause a shift of 34 ppmv would far exceed the size of potential carbon sources and sinks in the terrestrial biosphere. It is likely that, analogous to early Holocene CO2 changes (25–28), depletion and restoration of atmospheric CO2 between A.D. 1000 and 1500 was driven mainly by short-term perturbations of sea-surface temperature and/or salinity. Similar to the CO2 trend based on Tsuga heterophylla needles (29), within the dating uncertainties, the present stomata-based CO2 reconstruction correlates to a large extent with proxy sea-surface temperature records from various parts of the North Atlantic Ocean (36–38).

    If the ~34ppmv of CO2 variability between 1000 AD and 1500 AD pretty much had to be naturally-sourced and driven by changes in oceanic temperatures… And Kouwneberg’s CO2 reconstruction from conifer needles that indicated an atmospheric CO2 rise from ~280ppmv in 300 AD to ~400ppmv by 400 AD pretty well had to be naturally-sourced and driven by changes in oceanic temperatures… How can we even begin to guess that the post-Little Ice Age rise in atmospheric CO2 from ~280-300ppmv to the current 385ppmv isn’t, in part or totally, naturally-sourced and driven by changes in oceanic temperatures?

  232. There are uncertainties and levels of doubt in stomatal indices, and this paper outlines some of them – different plants respond differently to c02 concentrations, so some proxies will converge with (non segalstad) ice core proxies, whilst others will diverge wildly
    http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/41065/
    http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/49/326/1603
    Reid, C.D., Maherali, H., Johnson, H.B., Smith, S.D., Wullschleger, S.D. and Jackson R.B. 2003 discovered that stomatal densities can be unresponsive to c02 increases. Luckily a synopsis can be found here:
    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V6/N45/B2.php
    It would take a botanist to interpret these findings.
    Simply gluing vostok ice core data to take pre industrial c02 onto instrumental records from 1957 onwards is a crude attempt at best to create past c02

  233. Dave Middleton (06:21:57) :
    to Joel Shore (20:08:15) :
    Of interest is also the paper in that issue by Royer and Berner further discussing these results and putting them into context: …
    Shaviv’s and Veizer’s reply to Royer (2004) was equally interesting. Royer’s pH correction for sigma-18O was a product of bootstrapping… The pH correction for temperature was essentially derived from RCO2… So it’s no surprise that Royer and Berner’s “corrected” Phanerozoic temperatures yielded a better match to CO2. Royer’s pH corrections to temperature also resulted in anomalously warm ocean temperatures during know glacial episodes

    Actually, Royer and Berner’s ph/CO2-correction of Shaviv and Viezer’s temperature numbers better matches just 1.0C per doubling (1.5C at a maximum). So it might be more of a Schadenfreude moment rather than disproving Shaviv and Veizer.
    (I don’t agree with Shaviv’s numbers either but Veizer’s database is the best there is. They played around with the numbers too much in order to prove the point Shaviv wanted to make. The basic database provides very good temperature numbers that match up to the timeperiods we know about if you don’t smooth them too much).

  234. CO2 is an ‘extremely’ biologically and physically active compound — highly soluble in a tempertaure-dependent way in water and rapidly turned over in the biosphere. The basis of all life on Earth via photosynthesis. It is also chemically reactive as an electrophile.
    I would suggest that that anyone who claims that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been constant at 280 ppm for most of 15 million years should recheck their methodology for this is clearly impossible unless the the Earth itself has remained unchanged over that period of time.
    Don’t our schools teach people to think critically anymore?
    PS: the assumption that CO2 in trapped air bubbles in ‘ancient’ ice is representative of that period is incorrect, as it diffuses through ice — see Ahnn et al , Journal of Glaciology, vol. 54, p. 685-695, 2008.

  235. Dave Middleton says:

    Kouwneberg’s CO2 reconstruction from conifer needles clearly indicates that atmospheric CO2 levels ranged from ~280ppmv in 300 AD to ~400ppmv by 400 AD and then steadily declined to ~280ppmv by 800 AD.

    There are also considerable and, I bet, underestimated errorbars on that. As I noted, the latest stomata paper for the last 1000 years can basically be reconciled with the ice core data once one accounts for the fact that it takes the bubbles close on the order of several decades to a century to close off. The data from that thesis can’t be.

    If the SI proxy is rejected… We’re back to a non-correlation of CO2 and temperature.

    No. We are at worst back to the situation where we don’t know very much about the degree of correlation for periods before the ice core record.

    Wouldn’t it be reasonable to make the determination as to which proxy is a more realistic measure of past natural CO2 variability before the IPCC made sweeping scientific statements as to the settled science of climate change? Particularly when we are quite probably talking about policy decisions that could cost the United States up to 5% of its GDP for the next several decades?

    (1) It seems extremely unlikely to me that past variability could be what is shown in that 2002 thesis that you cite.
    (2) Even if there were greater variability, it still doesn’t get us around the fact that we KNOW how much CO2 we are putting into the air and it takes a lot of convoluted logic to argue that the oceans are magically absorbing this excess CO2 but at the same time spontaneously deciding to emit more CO2, besides which it conflicts with the considerable evidence of the oceans being a sink and taking up CO2 rather than emitting it. On top of this, there is the isotopic data and the fact that the changes in CO2 levels from the ice age – interglacial oscillations show the sensitivity of CO2 levels to a given change in CO2 is at most something like 20 ppm per 1 C of global temperature change and that even this likely took a while (although on this last point, I suppose that you could believe that the ice core data is completely wrong and the oscillations in CO2 that actually occurred were much larger…but that seems pretty far out there!)
    (3) Where do you get your estimate of the GDP cost? When you say 5% of GDP over several decades, what you are likely talking about is a cumulative cost which, over that time, adds up to a reduction in GDP growth on the order of 0.1% per year (as the IPCC estimates as pretty much the high end cost estimate). That’s a pretty small amount given that estimates of expected GDP growth are on the order of ~2-3% per year.
    (4) And, no, I am not the type of person who believes that I shouldn’t buy fire insurance for my house unless I am absolutely sure it is going to burn down. Given the considerable inertia involved both in terms of the climate system and in terms of making the transition in our societies, it is best to plan for what scientists believe is the most likely scenario rather than hold out the hope that the scientific consensus is wrong in one particular direction. It is the nature of science that there is always uncertainty and rarely does ALL of the available data point in one direction.
    (5) What the proposals for cap-and-trade (or a carbon tax) essentially do is create the market incentives for efficiency and alternative energy that will allow us to transition away from fossil fuels. We know that we are going to have to do this eventually anyway since fossil fuels are a finite resource, so any such costs will have to be borne eventually. Better to do it before we have likely made dramatic changes to our climate & sea levels and changes to ocean chemistry than before.

    How can we even begin to guess that the post-Little Ice Age rise in atmospheric CO2 from ~280-300ppmv to the current 385ppmv isn’t, in part or totally, naturally-sourced and driven by changes in oceanic temperatures?

    Because it is in contradiction to known empirical data that I mentioned above that convincingly show that the current rise is due to humans. The fact that CO2 hasn’t been this high in the last 750000 years is only one of several lines of evidence that leads us to conclude that we are responsible for the current change in CO2 levels.

  236. I’ve just read both the papers: The impact of Miocene atmospheric carbon dioxide fluctuations on climate and the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems
    Wolfram M. Kürschner et al,
    and the paper :
    A role for atmospheric CO2 in preindustrial climate forcing
    Thomas B. van Hoof et al
    From the 1st paper its commented above that there is a tight linkage between c02 and temperature during the miocene. They (the authors) also say that c02 concentrations are up to 200ppm higher than accepted values.
    However, in the 2nd paper they write:
    “Records of paleo-CO2 from these methods as well as calculations of CO2 from geochemical models (4) generally correlate well with independent records of temperature. Over the past 450 million years (Myr), CO2 was low when extensive, long-lived ice sheets were present (≈330–290 Myr ago and 35 Myr ago to the present day) and moderately high to high at other times (5, 6). However, some intervals in Earth’s past fail to show any consistent relationship. One conspicuous example is the Miocene (23.0–5.3 Myr ago), an Epoch where multiple advances of the Antarctic ice sheet are juxtaposed with a period of global warmth ≈15 Myr ago (7). Most CO2 records during this period are low [<300 ppm by volume (ppmv)] and do not covary with temperature (8–10) (Fig. 1). These records imply that other radiative forcings such as changes in paleogeography or meridional heat transport were disproportionately more important than CO2 at this time."
    I'm not sure that the authors are claiming that there is a tight relationship between c02 and temperature during the period. They take it as a geologic period where this wasn't the case.

  237. Smokey says:

    Yes. But it would be more interesting if you show some charts I’ve posted that I’ve posted that you agree with without any reservation.

    I’d rather let you take the initiative. After all, this is basically just a distraction from the fact that the particular graph that you posted here and that I objected to was in fact a graph that was not up-to-date and had an error in the smoothing near the end of the data that it did show, and that the new data contradicted the thesis that the rise in temperatures over the last ~30 years is correlated to solar cycle length.
    If you can find an example of a graph that you think I have objected to for no good reason, then great. Otherwise, you are just distracting from the fact that I have had very good reasons to object to this graph and many of the previous graphs that you have shown.

  238. However, in the 2nd paper they write: …

    Actually, the quote that you have taken is from the Royer (2008) paper that discusses the Kürschner et al (2008). And, what you have done is quoted from the introductory paragraph of that paper but left out the final sentence that markedly changes the whole implication of what he is saying:

    In this issue of PNAS, Kürschner et al. (11) present new data that overturn this notion and provide important insights into the climatic linkages during this Epoch.

    That is a pretty important sentence to leave out! So, in other words, before Kürschner et al., most CO2 records did suggest that CO2 was low during that period, but Kürschner et al. provide evidence going the other way. Is the Kürschner et al. result correct? Given the disagreement that the stomata data has had with the ice cores, I would not embrace as the final answer, although Royer does explain why this particular stomata result might be more believable than previous ones:

    A major strength of the Kürschner et al. (11) study is their use of three independently calibrated taxa; in contrast, most stomatal-based reconstructions use only one taxon. The similarity in the CO2 estimates across distantly related taxa greatly reduces the likelihood that an additional factor such as water availability or light intensity (12) compromised the stomatal indices and therefore the fidelity of the CO2 signal. This multiple-taxa approach offers an important way forward for improving stomatal-based CO2 reconstructions.

    Furthermore, as I noted, the Tripati et al. result using that is the subject of this post uses a different method and seems to pretty much confirm the Kürschner et al. results…and furthermore it also is in good agreement with the ice core data over the past 750000 years.

  239. From 10/9
    Smokey:
    Scientists on the AGW side believe they have proven their argument and the vast majority of scientists agree with them. They are moving on to getting policies implemented to resolve the problems with pumping CO2 into the atmo. Their proof is the studies that demonstrate the link between the warming of the 1980’s through the 21st century and increasing CO2 levels. Temperatures are higher than the have been since the MWP.
    Denny
    Even though CO2 shares “frequencies” with water, all agree that a doubling of CO2 will increase temp 1C. With feedbacks that will bump it up to +3 to +5C. Cloud Feedbacks may minimize if they turn out to be negative but that is about the only hope the skeptical side at this point..
    Joel Shore
    I did not imply that skeptics were nuts. Those are your words and I consider myself a skeptic. I do however accept the premise that increases in CO2 will increase temperature. I’m open to discovering that recent increases are a cycle or that cloud feedbacks are negative but in the long run getting to 500ppm of CO2 or more will have some impact on temperature and climate. I do not have to prove “CO2 controls climate” as you state. It’s easier to show that doubling CO2 increases the amount of heat retained from what is recieved from the sun. That heat energy has an impact on climate.
    Save the sharks
    So the other side in the global warming debate is wrong because “they suffer from mass delusions”? I suggest you re-evaluate how you view people who disagree with you. Your comment reminds me of a lyric from the song “Bad Indication” by the Pop Band Off Broadway: “If the world revolved around you……..” Consider the possiblity that you are wrong, that hundreds of scientists who disagree with you are correct and that the world does not revolve around you.
    Shiny
    william

  240. william (13:22:54):
    “Scientists on the AGW side believe…”
    You phrased that exactly right. It’s a true belief.
    And your “vast majority” of scientists is also a true belief. Tens of thousands of scientists have signed this statement:

    “The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
    “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

    So much for that mythical ‘consensus’.

  241. Its good to see that people now know there are all these PaleoClimate estimates. I’ve been working on a paper for quite awhile now (it is basically finished) that should be able to put it all into some perspective and will provide all the data (and throw a few twists into the discussion as well.)
    Joel is not going to be happy with me.

  242. Joel Shore (11:13:59) :
    Dave Middleton says:
    Kouwenberg’s CO2 reconstruction from conifer needles clearly indicates that atmospheric CO2 levels ranged from ~280ppmv in 300 AD to ~400ppmv by 400 AD and then steadily declined to ~280ppmv by 800 AD.

    There are also considerable and, I bet, underestimated errorbars on that. As I noted, the latest stomata paper for the last 1000 years can basically be reconciled with the ice core data once one accounts for the fact that it takes the bubbles close on the order of several decades to a century to close off. The data from that thesis can’t be.

    They are only “reconciled” in the sense that the ice core record looks like a low frequency component of the SI record over the last 1000 years. Prior to 1000 AD, the “reconciliation” deteriorates badly.

    If the SI proxy is rejected… We’re back to a non-correlation of CO2 and temperature.
    No. We are at worst back to the situation where we don’t know very much about the degree of correlation for periods before the ice core record.

    Which would be a non-correlation.

    Wouldn’t it be reasonable to make the determination as to which proxy is a more realistic measure of past natural CO2 variability before the IPCC made sweeping scientific statements as to the settled science of climate change? Particularly when we are quite probably talking about policy decisions that could cost the United States up to 5% of its GDP for the next several decades?
    (1) It seems extremely unlikely to me that past variability could be what is shown in that 2002 thesis that you cite.

    That variability is totally consistent with both the early to mid Holocene variability demonstrated by Wagner et al (1999) and with the CO2 variability in modern instrumental records (e.g. Keeling) which can also be correlated with SI data (Wagner et al. (2005)).

    (2) Even if there were greater variability, it still doesn’t get us around the fact that we KNOW how much CO2 we are putting into the air and it takes a lot of convoluted logic to argue that the oceans are magically absorbing this excess CO2 but at the same time spontaneously deciding to emit more CO2, besides which it conflicts with the considerable evidence of the oceans being a sink and taking up CO2 rather than emitting it. On top of this, there is the isotopic data and the fact that the changes in CO2 levels from the ice age – interglacial oscillations show the sensitivity of CO2 levels to a given change in CO2 is at most something like 20 ppm per 1 C of global temperature change and that even this likely took a while (although on this last point, I suppose that you could believe that the ice core data is completely wrong and the oscillations in CO2 that actually occurred were much larger…but that seems pretty far out there!)

    I think the ice core data are not reliable for anything more than a low frequency component of past CO2 trends.
    Mankind accounts for somewhere between 1% and 3% of the Earth’s carbon budget… So I think there’s a strong possibility that some of the difference between 320ppmv and 385ppmv CO2 is anthropogenic.
    But… If the SI data are accurate, almost all of the current 385ppmv CO2 could be naturally sourced and is of no climatological consequence. If the ice core data are correct, it should be about 2C warmer now than it actually is and the Earth should not have cooled from 1942-1976 and it shouldn’t be cooling now.

    (3) Where do you get your estimate of the GDP cost? When you say 5% of GDP over several decades, what you are likely talking about is a cumulative cost which, over that time, adds up to a reduction in GDP growth on the order of 0.1% per year (as the IPCC estimates as pretty much the high end cost estimate). That’s a pretty small amount given that estimates of expected GDP growth are on the order of ~2-3% per year.

    An 80% reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 levels would reduce our per capita carbon footprint to somewhere around the Plymouth Rock Pilgrim level. To make such a reduction by 2050 would probably cost more than a 5% annual reduction in our GDP.

    (4) And, no, I am not the type of person who believes that I shouldn’t buy fire insurance for my house unless I am absolutely sure it is going to burn down. Given the considerable inertia involved both in terms of the climate system and in terms of making the transition in our societies, it is best to plan for what scientists believe is the most likely scenario rather than hold out the hope that the scientific consensus is wrong in one particular direction. It is the nature of science that there is always uncertainty and rarely does ALL of the available data point in one direction.

    I buy fire insurance for my home because I know that houses catch on fire… It has happened before. There is direct observational evidence of other houses catching fire and burning down. I don’t carry flood insurance because I don’t live in a flood plain. I don’t carry asteroid impact insurance or other act-of-God-type insurance because those sorts of things have a low probability of occurring and an even lower probability that the insurance would do any good.
    I’m not going to willingly fork up several thousand dollars per year just in case the IPCC are right… When I know for a fact that their hypotheses run counter to the last 600 million years of geological history…Much the same way that I’d never willingly purchase asteroid impact insurance.
    Rather than going broke trying to alter the Earth’s natural climate cycles, I’d rather generate as much wealth now as possible so that we have the financial means to cope with future climate change. Because, if there is one thing that I do know for certain, it is that the Earth’s climate will always be changing.

    (5) What the proposals for cap-and-trade (or a carbon tax) essentially do is create the market incentives for efficiency and alternative energy that will allow us to transition away from fossil fuels. We know that we are going to have to do this eventually anyway since fossil fuels are a finite resource, so any such costs will have to be borne eventually. Better to do it before we have likely made dramatic changes to our climate & sea levels and changes to ocean chemistry than before.

    The House version of Cap & Trade will reduce the amount of electricity generated by natural gas-fired plants and increase the amount of electricity generated by coal-fired plants. So even if the precautionary principle made any scientific sense, Cap & Trade won’t do anything but make energy more expensive and destroy wealth.

    How can we even begin to guess that the post-Little Ice Age rise in atmospheric CO2 from ~280-300ppmv to the current 385ppmv isn’t, in part or totally, naturally-sourced and driven by changes in oceanic temperatures?
    Because it is in contradiction to known empirical data that I mentioned above that convincingly show that the current rise is due to humans. The fact that CO2 hasn’t been this high in the last 750000 years is only one of several lines of evidence that leads us to conclude that we are responsible for the current change in CO2 levels.

    Again… If the plant SI data are correct, CO2 was as high as or higher than it now is as recently as 400AD. If the plant SI data are wrong, CO2 has never correlated with temperature change in a manner supportive of AGW at any time in the last 600 million years.
    Either mankind pretty well caused all of the CO2 rise from 280ppmv to 385ppmv without warming the planet any more than it warmed in the Medieval Warm Period, the Sangamon Interglacial or the Mid-Pliocene Warm Period… Or modern CO2 levels have largely been driven by temperature change, rather than by anthropogenic activities.

  243. Joel: It looks like it is too hard to tell from stomata densities just how much c02 there was in the atmosphere. Where densities are known to be determined by c02 alone then they could be accepted, but when other factors are involved then its less certain they can be used as a proxy. Then there is the case of partial pressure. on a range of species of tree, shrub and herb -This was done as an experiment at Cambridge University – shown that stomatal density and stomatal index increase as the partial pressure of CO2 decreases over the range from the current level of 34 Pa to 22.5 Pa. Stomatal density responds to the reduced partial pressure of CO2 in a simulation of high altitude (when the CO2 mole fraction is unchanged.
    Here’s a brief synopsis:
    When the partial pressure of CO2 is increased from 35 to 70 Pa stomatal density decreases slightly, with a response to unit change in CO2 which is about 10% of that below 34 Pa.
    Measurements of gas exchange on leaves which had developed in different CO2 partial pressures, but at low saturation vapour pressure deficits in the range of 0.7 to 0.9 kPa, indicated lower photosynthetic rates but higher stomatal conductances at reduced CO2 partial pressures.
    Experiments on populations of Nardus stricta originating from altitudes of 366 m and 810 m in Scotland, indicated genetic differences in the responses of stomatal density to CO2 in pressures simulating altitudes of sea level and 2 000 m. Plants from the higher altitude showed greater declines in stomatal density when the CO2 partial pressure was increased. ”
    Gases react to their partial pressure – not necessarily their concentrations. React meaning dissolve, dissuse, and so forth, and needs a knowledge of air pressure and density at the altitude and geographic location of the sample proxy.
    Its really hard to know which proxies to use for an aerial c02 construction from the past. Bill Illis quotes Veizer, but Veizer decouples temperature from pressure altogether
    so

  244. oops.. last sentence should read: “decouples temperature from c02 concentration altogether”. I’m thinking faster than i’m typing

  245. Joel Shore “If you can find an example of a graph that you think I have objected to for no good reason, then great. Otherwise, you are just distracting from the fact that I have had very good reasons to object to this graph and many of the previous graphs that you have shown.”
    HUH?
    [This is almost comical. Reminds me of cartoon dialogue “Well YOU sir are a reason that I object to your objectivity…..etc.”
    LOL
    Joel…I hope you are not using the public dole to for your research.
    But if you are on the public dole (and specifically if you are paid for by the American taxpayer….(translation: “You work for us” ….) then you need to get your @$% off this blog and start doing some ACTUAL research.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  246. Dave Middleton “I buy fire insurance for my home because I know that houses catch on fire… It has happened before. There is direct observational evidence of other houses catching fire and burning down. I don’t carry flood insurance because I don’t live in a flood plain. I don’t carry asteroid impact insurance or other act-of-God-type insurance because those sorts of things have a low probability of occurring and an even lower probability that the insurance would do any good.”
    I’m not going to willingly fork up several thousand dollars per year just in case the IPCC are right… When I know for a fact that their hypotheses run counter to the last 600 million years of geological history…Much the same way that I’d never willingly purchase asteroid impact insurance.”
    WELL SAID.
    Joel….why is this so hard for you to understand???
    You are a physicist. Be objective. Let go of the natural cognitive dissonance tendencies that is endemic in our species and OPEN YOUR MIND.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  247. My dear, dear savethesharks, while I appreciate your recent knight in shining armor rescue, Joel has been working extra hard to present his point of view. As much as I disagree with his beliefs and his posts that have gone beyond high road debate techniques (which begs the question why I don’t follow such rules), your last couple of posts seem lacking in scientific rigor and slip into hyperbole, doncha think? Don’t let em git under your skin, lessen you have had a sip or two of red wine and 85% cocoa chocolate. Then it’s understandable. Trust me.

  248. And this one….also worth repeating AGAIN AND AGAIN:
    Dave Middleton “Rather than going broke trying to alter the Earth’s natural climate cycles, I’d rather generate as much wealth now as possible so that we have the financial means to cope with future climate change. Because, if there is one thing that I do know for certain, it is that the Earth’s climate will always be changing.”
    This….THIS, folks….is the crux of the matter.
    Flawless, irrefutable logic of the ages.
    Needs to be repeated again and again and again.
    It is truly sad that people hold onto their belief systems when their belief systems fail…and even betray….them.
    That is why the AGW myth will go down in history as just that.
    “I want to believe.”
    “I want to think that I am helping my planet.”
    Hey…noble cause.
    What if “helping our planet” was foregoing all of the wild goose chases about trace gasses in the atmosphere determining Earth’s climate [I mean….just even LOOK at Al Gore….would even trust him to give Halloween candy to your kid? I think not.]….but what if “helping our planet” was defined as simply learning to ADJUST WITH HER CYCLES.
    We have SO much to learn a species. We have been here but such a short period of time.
    Perhaps there is hope.
    But it ain’t remotely in the hands of the IPCC!!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  249. Pamela Gray “…your last couple of posts seem lacking in scientific rigor and slip into hyperbole, doncha think?…”
    No, I don’t Pamela. No hyperbole at all.
    Just simple, direct OBSERVATION of a flaw.
    No scientific “rigor” needed. And DEFINITELY no hyperbole.
    Just the facts, ma’am.
    [My name is Chris by the way].
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  250. This is worth re-posting….beyond Pamela’s interference:
    Go OSU! 🙂
    ——————————————
    Dave Middleton “I buy fire insurance for my home because I know that houses catch on fire… It has happened before. There is direct observational evidence of other houses catching fire and burning down. I don’t carry flood insurance because I don’t live in a flood plain. I don’t carry asteroid impact insurance or other act-of-God-type insurance because those sorts of things have a low probability of occurring and an even lower probability that the insurance would do any good.”
    “I’m not going to willingly fork up several thousand dollars per year just in case the IPCC are right… When I know for a fact that their hypotheses run counter to the last 600 million years of geological history…Much the same way that I’d never willingly purchase asteroid impact insurance.”
    WELL SAID.
    Joel….why is this so hard for you to understand???
    You are a physicist. Be objective. Let go of the natural cognitive dissonance tendencies that is endemic in our species and OPEN YOUR MIND.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  251. I think it’s important to note that even though I vigorously disagree with the science and economics behind Kyoto, Cap & Trade and “80 by 50″… I don’t object to reasonable efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and increasing the economic efficiency of our energy use.
    You can’t create more wealth without more work… And you really can’t do more work with less energy. We can do a lot to squeeze more wealth out of every barrel of oil, MCF of gas, and ton of coal that we burn… But gov’t can’t just arbitrarily and wantonly decide that we will drastically reduce our fossil fuel consumption over the next 40 years without destroying wealth on a scale not seen since the fall of Rome.
    A significant reduction in the growth of anthropogenic CO2 emissions is very easily achievable…
    – Require new coal-fired plants to sequester carbon emissions.
    – Create tax incentives to replace old coal-fired plants with natural-gas fired plants. The US generates ~60% of its electricity from coal – Natural gas yields half as much CO2 as coal does. The most idiotic thing about Waxman-Markey is that the manner in which the carbon credits will be doled out will actually increase our use of coal relative to natural gas.
    – Encourage the use of nuclear power… Particularly fast breeder reactors.
    – Create tax incentives for solar, wind, geothermal and all of the other “utility infielders” of energy sources. But, don’t try to delude the public into thinking that the utility infielders are all Alex Rodriguez.
    – Open up the 60% of US sedimentary basins that are currently off limits to oil and gas exploration… Particularly the 85% of the US Outer Continental Shelf that is currently off limits.
    In the interest of full disclosure: I make my living finding oil and gas. So, I do have a vested interest in this area… But, just about everything I know about the relationship between CO2 and climate change was learned in the late 1970’s, when I was getting my BS in Earth Science at Southern Connecticut State (“That fine oil school,” as the President of my first employer called it).
    Now back to CO2 proxies…
    Both the ice core and plant stomatal index data have advantages and disadvantages.
    Ice cores yield long-term continuous time series of data. The process is intuitively easy to understand. But, the Firn Densification Model that has to be used to “age” the gas in the bubbles is, in my opinion, problematic. The firn densification process is also problematic, because it is almost certainly subject to a great deal of mixing of older with newer gas. That’s probably why it only appears to capture a long-term moving average of atmospheric CO2. This plot of the Wood For Trees Temperature Index compares the WFT-TI to the 3rd Harmonic Low Pass Filter of the WFT-TI. It’s quite possible that the SI data are showing us the higher frequency component and the ice core data are showing us the equivalent of the low pass filtered component.
    Plant SI data have one very big advantage over ice core data: They can be empirically tested under laboratory conditions to see how SI relates to CO2 changes. We can’t empirically test ice core data to see how the gas bubbles react to hundreds of thousands of years of burial under thousands of feet of ice. The disadvantages to the SI data are that each species has to be calibrated differently. If there are no modern equivalents of the fossil species, the method loses reliability. Some species also seem to have CO2 “ceilings”… Beyond that ceiling, the stomatal density will cease to decline with higher concentrations of CO2. The SI data may also be more subject to local conditions and the ice core data might be a better indicator of CO2 levels free from surface effects.
    The scientifically prudent thing to do is to treat both methods as valuable tools… Rather than simply relying on the ice core data to say that atmospheric CO2 levels were a steady 280ppmv prior to capitalism causing them to rise to current unprecedented levels; and then using the SI data to say that pre-industrial warming was also driven by CO2.
    An objective use of both tools, tells us that modern CO2 levels are not anomalous when compared to the Holocene or the Roman Warming and that the pre-industrial relationship between CO2 and temperature was one in which temperature changes caused changes in atmospheric CO2 levels.

  252. The atmospheric dynamics are clearly dominated by negative feedbacks .
    The dominance of negative feedbacks in natural laws has been known and established for more than 100 years .
    Le Chatelier principle says :
    .
    “If a chemical system at equilibrium experiences a change in concentration, temperature, volume, or partial pressure, then the equilibrium shifts to counter-act the imposed change.”
    .
    While the atmospheric dynamics can’t be strictly reduced to a chemical system only , the natural laws of physics don’t admit divergences which would be arguably a result of any positive feedback .
    Despite a wide range of orbital variations , solar radiation variation and atmospheric composition variations (f.ex the early atmosphere contained large amounts of CH4 , NH3 , CO2 and H20 all of them IR active some violently like CH4) , the atmosphere has stayed in a quasi stable state during the last 3.8 billions years .
    The simple fact that we are still here shows that the atmospheric dynamics is intrinsically stable and dominated by negative feedbacks (Le Chatelier principle) .
    .
    This point is also easily explained by the theory of non linear dynamics .
    As the climate trajectory has evolved during at least 3.5 billions years in a finite subset of the phase space , it is certain that this subset is an invariant set (attractor) .
    The empirical determination of the topology of the attractor (and 3.5 billions of years are largely enough to determine it) insures that the future climate will continue to evolve within the attractor .
    One can btw note that attractors in non linear dynamics are the physical equivalents of the Le Chatelier principle in chemistry .
    And of course nobody is surprised that the atmospheric dynamics exhibits chaotic behavior whic is another way to say that it evolves within its attractor .
    .
    Obviously the Earth will still visit pseudo periodically ice ages , interglacials , wet and dry periods etc but it will never diverge outside of the attractor whatever happens with its internal dynamical parameters unless its trajectory around the Sun which is the dominating stability factor gets destroyed .
    While it can’t be excluded forever , it is certain that the orbit will not be destroyed in the next hundreds of millions years 😉
    .
    You can be very sure that anybody who is talking to you about “tipping points” and “positive feedbacks” in atmospheric dynamics is an award winner in the competition for the biggest crackpot .
    Therefore you can simply ignore whatever he/she says .

  253. Dave Middleton (04:06:41),
    I agree with your post, except for the proposal to sequester CO2, which is entirely beneficial. More CO2 is better: click.
    There has been such a constant, unrelenting drumbeat demonizing this entirely harmless and beneficial trace gas that people tend to assume it is the cause of climate problems. It is not. Increased CO2 has already resulted in higher agricultural yields. And despite their constant squawking, the alarmists are incapable of showing empirically that CO2 is harmful in any way.

  254. P Wilson (17:26:19) :
    Altitude for Holocene leaves are easy to determine. Fossil leaves can safely be considered to have grown close to sealevel, since high-altitude fossils are about as common as hens teeth. The altitude effect you write about is a non-problem.

  255. @Smokey (07:56:44) :
    If the CO2 is sequestered the “right” way, it can be used for enhanced oil recovery.
    I tend to agree with you that we would die from asphyxiation before we ever put enough CO2 into the atmosphere to alter the Earth’s climate or the oceans’ geochemistry… But… It never hurts to reduce anthropogenic impacts on the environment if, and only if, it’s done it an economically beneficial manner.

  256. Dave Middleton (04:06:41) :
    I think it’s important to note that even though I vigorously disagree with the science and economics behind Kyoto, Cap & Trade and “80 by 50″… I don’t object to reasonable efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and increasing the economic efficiency of our energy use.
    Dave, we can do a lot to promote the efficiency of fossil fuel operated power plants,
    insulation of buildings, air conditioning, more efficient engine technologies, etc, etc.
    CO2 sequestration however will have the opposite effect.
    It takes a lot of energy (and water) to sequester CO2, it takes a lot of energy to compress it and a lot of energy to transport it.
    A coal plant will use the double amount of coal if CO2 is taken out.
    Because higher CO2 levels promote plant life and reduce the amount of water needed to sustain the plant life cycle, why should we reduce CO2 emissions?
    CO2 is not a climate driver.
    Therefore there are NO reasonable reasons to reduce CO2 Emissions.
    Every cent we spend on the subject is wasted.
    Even if we should entirely stop the burning of fossil fuels world wide, it would not have any effect on our climate.
    Monckton explains why in the following publication:
    October 12, 2009
    Climate Myths and National Security
    By Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/climate_myths_and_national_sec.html

  257. william says:

    Joel Shore
    I did not imply that skeptics were nuts…

    I think that paragraph is responding to someone else, not me.

  258. TomVonk: I think you may be confused by the way that the term “feedback” is used in climate science. When climate scientists talk about negative or positive feedbacks, they are talking about how processes feed back on a given temperature change…and whether they end up magnifying or reducing that change.
    There is another level that one could talk about it, which is at the level of energy balance. I.e., if we make a change in the balance of energy between the sun, earth, and space (e.g., by increasing the level of greenhouse gases), what then happens. At that level, it is in fact correct that the system is dominated by a negative feedback…and that feedback is simply due to the Steffan-Boltzmann (S-B) Equation…I.e., if the Earth starts emitting less energy than it receives, it heats up which causes a negative feedback because the heating increases the amount of energy that it emits. And, you are correct that it would not be sensible to have a net positive feedback at this level.
    Since the response of the Earth on this level of energy flows is always going to be dominated by this negative feedback, climate scientists have instead essentially said, “Yes, we know that the Earth’s climate system will re-adjust to a change in radiative forcing by equilibrating to a new temperature (because of what one could call the negative feedback due to the S-B Eqn) but an interesting question is how the new temperature equilibrates to compares to what would happen if the level of CO2 changed while keeping everything else in the climate system constant. If the new equilibrium temperature is higher than this, we will call this a (net) ‘positive feedback’ and if it is lower than this, we will call this a (net) ‘negative feedback’.” One aspect of this definition of feedbacks is that a positive feedback does not necessarily lead to an instability. It has to be of sufficient magnitude to do this; otherwise, it simply leads to a magnification of the temperature response one obtains in the absence of feedbacks. (The mathematics of this is basically that of a convergent infinite series likethe geometric series 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + …, which converges to the value 2.)
    And, just as a point out, it is not correct to say that physical processes are usually dominated by negative feedbacks. For example, whenever one observes an interesting pattern in nature, it is usually due to a positive feedback…in fact, one strong enough to lead to an instability. One example is that of the growth of dendrites (like snowflakes) in which a bump on a surface actually grows faster than the surrounding surface. Another example are wavy patterns that winds can form on sand (including the formation of sand dunes themselves). Yet, another is the “washboard” effect that one can get on a dirt road. Of course, if the positive feedback leads to an instability, then the system doesn’t remain unstable forever but rather runs off to a part of phase space with stability is restored. Hence, for example, the divergence that led to the greenhouse instability that is believed to have occurred on Venus did not lead to the temperature of Venus rising forever…Eventually it stabilized.
    At any rate, for the earth’s climate, such a greenhouse instability is very unlikely to be in the cards (at least for the sun at its current irradiance). However, there is nothing that says that the net feedbacks cannot be positive and hence magnify a temperature change, where feedbacks are defined in the way that I have described.

  259. In the climate, forcings are such things as solar energy, ocean circulation, ocean heat gain v heat loss, orbital disposition, and a few others. Feedbacks are atmospheric factors such as ghg’s, clouds, precipitation etc which result from the forcings. Forcings always over-ride the feedbacks, incurred with a time lapse

  260. so, using the global warmer’s logic, 15 million years ago the neanderthals were driving lots of SUV’s and burning too much coal in their industrial plants? since a rise in CO2 levels is man-made, after all…

  261. craig says:
    The poor logic that you speak of is purely your own. It is sort of like saying, “The firemen say that the big fire in the L.A. area last month was started by arson. We know ecologists have claimed that forest fires occurred before homo sapiens around. Does that mean the firemen think that neanderthals were arsonists?” We know that the rise in CO2 levels since the industrial revolution is due to man because we have multiple lines of evidence, some of them very strong, that point to this.
    P Wilson says:

    Its nonsense, and you’re perfectly aware it is.
    see:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/04/a-borehole-in-antarctica-produces-evidence-of-sudden-warming/

    You mean the thread where you have propounded this nonsense and I have very patiently treid to explain to you why you are wrong and how we have empirical evidence and in fact whole technologies based on the correctness of the S-B Equation?

    In the climate, forcings are such things as solar energy, ocean circulation, ocean heat gain v heat loss, orbital disposition, and a few others. Feedbacks are atmospheric factors such as ghg’s, clouds, precipitation etc which result from the forcings. Forcings always over-ride the feedbacks, incurred with a time lapse

    I have no idea why you think that “Forcings always over-ride the feedbacks”. The distinction between forcing and feedbacks is somewhat artificial, in fact. “Forcings” are defined as things that are externally forced onto the system whereas “feedbacks” involve responses of the system. However, whether something is considered a forcing or a feedback sort of depends on how you define the system.
    As a practical matter, one often tends to define the system as narrowly as one can and still have it such that the system responses do not somehow have the possibility of (significantly) altering the forcing. Hence, we tend to talk about the orbital oscillations that trigger ice ages as a forcing because the response of the earth’s climate does not (to any significant extent) alter the earth’s orbit around the sun. And, in the context of ice ages, the changes in greenhouse gas levels or changes in earth’s albedo are often thought of as feedbacks because they are triggered by the orbital oscillations. However, people sometimes also refer to them as other “forcings” and it is hard to say that one is correct or the other wrong, although one or the other might be more useful depending on context.
    In the context of our current “experiment”, the increase in greenhouse gases is usually considered to be a forcing since it is being imposed by humans and one can argue that there is not a significant way in which the response will alter the forcings. (Although one could also argue that the climate response will likely cause us to take action to lower our fossil fuel emissions, so in some broad view I suppose here there is some ambiguity.) The changes in water vapor and clouds that result are then feedbacks. It is worth noting that “water vapor” could in principle be a forcing if it was the case that human emissions could significant alter its concentration in the atmosphere by our emissions; however, since we can’t, it is often noted that “Water vapor is a feedback, not a forcing,” or, in other words, the way we are going to end up changing water vapor is through the response of the system to our emissions of the long-lived greenhouse gases like CO2.
    Another ambiguity comes when one considers possibilities that the warming from our greenhouse gas emissions could cause further emissions (e.g., due to releases from the melting of permafrost in the arctic). Usually, these are considered to be feedbacks, although there may be contexts where it is useful to consider them as forcings.
    By the way, this ambiguity also can lead to some real issues worthy of thought. For example, estimates of the climate sensitivity have been derived by estimating the change in temperature and change in total forcings between the last glacial maximum (LGM) and now. In that context, the change in albedo due to land ice and vegetation changes and the increase in CO2 and aerosol levels have all been considered forcings…and this estimate leads to a climate sensitivity of ~0.75 C / (W/m^2), which translates to around 3 C for a doubling of CO2 levels.
    However, James Hansen has pointed out that for our “current experiment”, we generally just consider the forcing to be the change in CO2 levels and any change in ice albedo as part of the feedback. As a result, we may be underestimated the climate sensitivity that we should really expect from doubling CO2…In fact, he estimates from the LGM that it should about double to 6 C per CO2 doubling. However, other scientists argue that most of the ice sheet disintegration / melting will likely take much more than a century to occur (although there is certainly debate about this) and also that there is less land ice to melt (and hence less albedo change) in going from our current climate to a warmer climate than there was in going from the LGM to now, so 6 C per doubling is too high.

  262. Ther notion that more gas will cause greater temperature is what is in question. It was established a long time ago that c02 absorbs 8% of heat. if outgoing temperature is 3C then c02 absorbs 0.8C . It doesn’t increase the temperature by 0.8C – just that it stays at around 3C for a while longer than if there was no c02. This effect is established by the 1st 100ppm of c02 at cool temperatures. The higher the temperature, the more evasive heat is of c02 – and this factor is crucial. That 8% figure might well be downsized – as its not certain what the global average temperature is emitted by the earth. All we know is ground temperatures – not what they emit. That figure cannot increase to 53%
    Incidentally, on that bore hole in the Antarctic thread, I did the mathematics with the S-B equation to emphasise the point. I’m not sure your responses were entirely patient.

  263. addendum to “It was established a long time ago that c02 absorbs 8% of heat. if outgoing temperature is 3C then c02 absorbs 0.8C . It doesn’t increase the temperature by 0.8C – just that it stays at around 3C for a while longer than if there was no c02.”
    should read
    It was established a long time ago that c02 absorbs 8% of heat. if outgoing temperature is 3C then c02 absorbs 0.08C . It doesn’t increase the temperature by 0.08C – just that it stays at around 3C for a while longer than if there was no c02.

  264. By feedbacks one is referring to ghg’s amongst other things, but lets concentrate on those.
    you maintain
    In our “current “experiment”, the increase in greenhouse gases is usually considered to be a forcing since it is being imposed by humans and one can argue that there is not a significant way in which the response will alter the forcings.”
    THis is inferred from the 30% addition of c02 according to ice measurements, which is another act of deduction – and since thats a gross simplification of data adjustment, its deductively inferred that there must have been a delicate balance before the industrial period. However, There is also a logical error in claiming that the 3% of CO2 which humans put into the atmosphere accumulates over time to 30%, while the 97% of CO2 which nature adds to the atmosphere does not accumulate and in fact shrinks to 70% of the total. The notion that water vapour – a significant ghg compared to any other can change dramatically with precipitation and evaporation- rather upsets the delicate balance conjecture.
    Anyhow, given that precipitation and evaporation, and clouds, associated with ocean heat is caused by the sun, or geothermal activity, theres a strong case, that c02 is a proxy of the climate and that it is an extraneous feedback, which is independent of water vapour -except that oceans also emit vast amounts of c02 during warming phases also

  265. P Wilson says:

    It was established a long time ago that c02 absorbs 8% of heat. if outgoing temperature is 3C then c02 absorbs 0.08C . It doesn’t increase the temperature by 0.08C – just that it stays at around 3C for a while longer than if there was no c02.

    I have to say that these two sentences (and in fact the whole paragraph) qualifies as about the most bizarre statements on AGW, radiation physics, or any scientific subject that I have ever read. I really don’t know where to begin! What is an “outgoing temperature”? What do you mean by CO2 absorbs 8% of heat? Why does 8% of 3 C equal 0.08 C? What does the last sentence even mean?

    I’m not sure your responses were entirely patient.

    You know the theological question, “Could God make a rock that was too heavy for him to lift?” Well, the theological question here is: “Can God make someone with enough patience to not be driven to insanity by his creation of the most patience-trying person in existence?” I think Scott Mandia said it best when he quoted Mark Twain saying something like “It’s not what people don’t know that scares me but what they do know that just ain’t so.” I don’t mind that you don’t know that much atmospheric radiative physics. In fact, I have just been learning it myself…and the whole way that the greenhouse effect operates is pretty subtle and led some pretty smart people astray until it was settled about half a century ago. However, the scary part is how you say completely incorrect or incomprehensible things about it with such absolute surety and confidence and then refuse to budge on them when confronted with clear evidence that they are incorrect (and then either repeat them or make more incorrect or incomprehensible statements).

  266. The Earth has got colder for ten years. The only thing that seems to be getting hotter is the adjusted data. So the weather outside gets colder and we are told of another record month. As the snow falls the outrageous claims of alarmism become more and more hollow.
    How will the scientists who have perpetrated this tomfoolery be treated by the public.

  267. over the wavelength spectrum from short wave to long wave of the earth’s “energy budget”, 8% of heat corresponds to the outgoing total micrometre range -which is what the combined wavelength that c02 intercept.
    this is nothing new.
    Out going temperature, my mistake, should be expressed as re-emitted heat from the earth’s surface.
    If temperature at ground level is 3C then it follows that if that ground level is emitting heat, it is getting colder. C02 absorbs 8% of emitted heat

  268. “P Wilson (18:22:26) :
    over the wavelength spectrum from short wave to long wave of the earth’s “energy budget”, 8% of heat corresponds to the outgoing total micrometre range -which is what the combined wavelength that c02 intercept.
    this is nothing new.
    Out going temperature, my mistake, should be expressed as re-emitted heat from the earth’s surface.
    If temperature at ground level is 3C then it follows that if that ground level is emitting heat, it is getting colder. C02 absorbs 8% of emitted heat

    shows the typical missunderstandings. Where ever molecular absorption can occur, so can molecular emission. Were the CO2 in your example to be at 3 C along with the surface, there would be no net absorption of power. Were the CO2 in your example to be at 4 C and the surface at 3 C, the CO2 would radiate more heat than it absorbed. The geometry of the situation though does dictate that the CO2 must be cooler than the surface because it will radiate more power than it receives were it to be at 3 C.
    Another misconception is that you don’t have continuum radiation other than from the Earth’s surface. Where ever you have significant clumps of molecules in the liquid or solid phase, you get a continuum. Clouds have ice or water droplets, hence they radiate a continuum although at a lower temperature so less total power.
    FInally, convection and conduction have always been a critical factor so it isn’t just radiative.
    As for Joel Shore, it seems you must have forgotten to continue your commentary on my earlier post from last week. Good choice but I wouldn’t recommend taking on TomVonk instead as you are in a different league and have the wrong type of equipment and ball.

  269. Agreed with all your points, with only exception to replace the term *carbon dioxide” above ground with “atmosphere/air” above the ground – c02 transmits heat in all directions

  270. cba says:

    As for Joel Shore, it seems you must have forgotten to continue your commentary on my earlier post from last week.

    Yeah…Sorry. I am a little overwhelmed here and responding to what you have posted actually takes considerable thought (and, to do it justice, even some further education on my part). I’ll just say quickly that although I don’t think we agree on everything about Venus, we agree on the main point that the Earth and Venus are quite different in several ways so we might as well leave it at that.
    As for what the 3.7 W/m^2 represents, I see us as sort of at an impasse on that. The IPCC make a quite direct statement that this includes clouds. You claim to have played around with radiative transfer codes and think it doesn’t. So, I don’t know really what else to say. (I did want to mention that I think that your statement that the climate models “do still not properly handle clouds” may be a bit of a red herring in this context. I agree that the cloud feedback is a difficult issue for the models but we aren’t talking about that. We are talking about just getting clouds in the initial state approximately correct, for which there is quite a bit more likelihood that they can do at least enough to not significantly effect the radiative forcing number.)
    As for the big picture, you presumably believe that the cloud feedback is negative and this results in a much lower climate sensitivity (since your disagreement between 3 and 3.7W/m^2 for the radiative forcing is not enough to make that big a difference)? How do you think this is compatible with evidence on climate sensitivity from the Last Glacial Maximum to now, i.e., what big forcing do you think they missed or underestimated? And, what about the response to the Mt Pinatubo eruption?

    Essentially, whatever miniscule drop or rise in temperature caused by the CO2 change would then be reflected in relative humidity which is PRESUMED to remain unchanged. As stated above, it’s the absolute humidity or atmospheric concentrations that affect absorption.

    Right…The change in temperature caused by the drop in CO2 will then cause lower absolute humidity and you get the water vapor feedback, whose strength seems to be fairly well-determined these days. By the way, the (full-scale) climate models don’t assume a constant RH…and, in fact, they don’t find exactly a constant RH although globally averaged it appears to be about the case and the strength of the feedback is about the same as if they were to assume a constant RH.

    While there are some night time clouds, the average conditions are to provide a net negative feedback.

    Not quite. I think what you mean to say is the net effect of clouds is a negative radiative forcing, which is true…although it is smaller than one might expect because of the partial cancellation between the shortwave and longwave effects. It also depends on cloud type as high clouds (as long as they are not too thick) have a positive forcing and low clouds have a negative forcing.
    To diagnose the feedback due to clouds, you have to know what clouds do as the climate warms. It is not that obvious what will happen with them since, for example, both the temperature and the absolute humidity increase in such a way that the relative humidity is roughly constant, at least on a globally-averaged scale.

    Stefan’s law is empirical but it turns out to be the integration over wavelength (or frequency) and angle of the Planck blackbody radiation curve. The engineering fudge factor is totally incorrect (epsilon) as reflectivity is a function of wavelength. What appears to be shiney and highly reflective in the visible may be like a lump of coal in a dark room when it comes to another area of the spectrum.

    I agree that it is wavelength-dependent. And, at the infrared wavelengths of interest, the earth’s surface apparently has an emissivity very close to (e.g., within a few percent of) 1. (I think I read somewhere that the one exception is certain desert surfaces where it can get as low as 0.7.)

    but I wouldn’t recommend taking on TomVonk instead as you are in a different league and have the wrong type of equipment and ball.

    How so?

  271. cba says:

    From what I’ve seen over the years, the cagw groupies and even scientists are suffering from a mental defect of the human condition…The history of science is full of much lesser dogmatic problems and cagw isn’t one of the lesser.

    Okay, but…
    (1) If this is the case, why is it that so much of the effort on the part of “skeptics” is expended arguing silly points such as contesting whether the current rise in CO2 in anthropogenic, whether increased CO2 really causes additional radiative forcing, whether cherry-picked time periods of around ten years with little temperature trend in a least-squares fit really constitute a falsification of AGW, etc. Why don’t they send most of their time and effort arguing the issues where there is truly some room to debate such as about cloud feedbacks and climate sensitivity?
    (2) From a practical point of view, what sort of implications does this have for using science to inform public policy? Do we just ignore the current scientific view in the peer-reviewed literature and as re-iterated by almost all the major scientific societies in favor of the view promulgated by the Heartland Institute? Seriously, the implication to me seems to be that the “skeptics” should focus on actually doing serious science to overturn the current scientific view. And, while there do seem to be a few scientists (like Roy Spencer) doing this, there in general seems much more effort spent promulgating nonsense.

  272. Joel
    The change in temperature caused by the drop in CO2 will then cause lower absolute humidity and you get the water vapor feedback, whose strength seems to be fairly well-determined these days. By the way, the (full-scale) climate models don’t assume a constant RH…and, in fact, they don’t find exactly a constant RH although globally averaged it appears to be about the case and the strength of the feedback is about the same as if they were to assume a constant RH.
    Given that there is no recorded drop in temperature caused by a change in c02, unless you’re referring to recent drops of temperature caused by increasing c02 it would be appropriate to say a change in temperature occurs through the drop or rise in temperature of oceans. temperature is not so important. Precipitation counts, which increases through warmer oceans, and that releases a lot of heat into the atmopsphere, associated with and a global heat loss
    Even the most avid proponents of AGW have less contempt for evidence than Joel, but I digress slightly. Any heating of the atmopshere by greenhouse gases would have caused precipitation to decrease. Yet the result is the opposite. Whilst present theory is fond of assuming a feedback from water vapour and ignoring the water vapour feedback from solar forcing then given that there are thousands more vapour molecules than c02 molecules, and which absorb heat at three times the value of c02, a 1% change in water vapour is equvalent to a 200% change in c02. As independent variables, it pretty much follows on that the water vapour feedback has 2 characteristics. The first is that it overwhelms c02. The second is that it is variable, going up to 4,000ppm and providing 65-70% of the ghg effect. clouds represent 25% of the greenhouse effect. Relative humidity depends on latitude. Given the higher the temperature, the lower the humidity, theres generally little over deserts and more toward the poles.
    On the S-B constant – it doesn’t apply as there are no connections between a theoretical calculation and an empirical measurement. If the number is so unquestionable, why can’t they determine where it came from? It ends up being quite a quagmire that the climate has great difficulty following, since scientists who use it find it impossible to make calculations that have any meaning or application – and that makes it all the more difficult for impartial scientists to unravel.

  273. “Not quite. I think what you mean to say is the net effect of clouds is a negative radiative forcing, which is true…although it is smaller than one might expect because of the partial cancellation between the shortwave and longwave effects.”
    The greatest loss of heat is at the tropics where there is a lot of vapour. That competes with heat that c02 would otherwise absorb and re-emit. Clouds are a temperature-cloudiness equation which send IR back to space. High altitude clouds also have a cooling effect. As increased cloud cover folds to increased water vapour with colder air temperature the result is increased snowfall which we see happening. Given the solar origins of cloud cover, from 2000-2006 they were thinning – but since the climate is cooling. Neither AGW nor sceptics can explain these autonomous warming and cooling events.

  274. Joel,
    emissivity in the IR for practically everything around the Earth’s surface is rather close to 1, usually in the 0.9x before you get too far into the IR. This is also rather independent of the emissivity / relfectivity involved in the visible (or solar spectral area). Albedo for some deserts (which involves visible and NIR) is quite high as compared to most other surfaces – my recollections are as much as 0.4 which at those wavelengths would reduce emissivity substantially. I don’t know that I’ve seen any substantial surface material with that low an emissivity in the IR area of interest for thermal radiation.
    As mentioned here (I think it was here a few days back) such things as RH vary with T even if absolute H doesn’t and one finds that the absolute humidity varies with temperature assuming a fixed RH, but these are rather close to linear while radiative is a log effect. As for AH itself being a function of temperature, I don’t know that to be the case. I always hear that RH supposedly tries to maintain a value independent of temperature which I don’t find all that well supported. Besides, there has to be sources of liquid water to evaporate for there to be variations with rising T. Direct solar heating is likely to create more h2o vapor but that is subject to existing cloud cover. Cloud cover is a function of many factors including more than a little bit of unknown circumstances. Consequently – it’s not something that can be accurately modeled even in principle.
    However, we do know what typical tropical conditions on the short term tends to be like in the way of daily cloud formation, sometimes to the point of rain, followed by dissipation of the clouds at dusk. We also know there are tremendous convective effects involved as well.
    The recent ipcc claims 3.7w/m^2 for an overall average, apparently even including cloud cover. There’s a problem with that as the original source of that – an earlier ipcc publication – doesn’t substantiate that clouds and cloud cover enter in. I also mentioned that while I have done radiative transfer modeling, that you could probably go to a modtran calculator online and play with the parameters to satisfy yourself concerning my comments. In standard scientific dialog, a number 3.7 is the equivalent of expressing a number ranging from 3.65 to 3.75. The number 3 would have the equivalent range of being between 2.5 and 3.5. You’ll also note that since the prior ipcc publication, their value dropped by 15% to 3.7 as they stated.
    I don’t follow your suggestion that clouds only need some initial state. Some measurements of albedo over the last 30 yrs have indicated that albedo has changed by as much as 10% over a fairly short term (in years) and that it is not something with a specific base state. A 10% change in albedo results in a change in power balance amounting to over 10 W/m^2. That’s a tremendously large variable, far greater than anything ghg changes have caused. Some of this cloud cover variation appears due to chaotic internal oscillations. Unfortunately, too little is known about real world cloud cover and its variations and effects over the long term. It does call into question any sensitvity studies that do not include this variable.
    as for the peer reviewed lit. approach, climate science has be extremely negligent in following accepted scientific proceedures in the realm of disclosure and have in some works considered important failed to use minimally acceptable statistical methodology. This site has analyzed some of the most fundamental instrument records concerning temperature measurement and found it to be a far cry from being minimally acceptable. There has certainly been enough exposed to call into question whether or not the bulk of the fundamental literature on the subject may even be assumed to be correct. Certainly the various investigations into such reliability have been quite fruitful in bringing out serious, if not fatal, flaws.
    concerning your reference to ‘skeptics’ as being indicative of anything to do with the nature of the argument, it’s not relevent. They may or may not have a valid argument. The nature of the scientific method is such that nothing is ever proven, only disproven. The piling on of ‘supporting’ evidence goes to give people some level of comfort concerning a scientific hypothesis but only one actual contradiction by valid data is required to prove that hypothesis false forever more. And, sometimes, it turns out that the data is actually wrong.
    Unfortunately, the vast number of those at the agw feed trough do not study and verify the basics. In fact, there is a tremendous lack of verification concerning the basics and that which exists is often not independent and is done by associates. Active efforts to prevent legitimate independent analyses have been documented along with findings of serious problems once those efforts at prevention were overcome.

  275. Joel Shore :
    Be very sure that I know how the word feedback is used .
    Please spare me irrelevant examples with converging series which have nothing to do with the issue .
    I suspect that you are very confused about equilibrium issues and have probably not understood much of my argument .
    .
    First you talk about “change in the energy balance … by increasing the level of GHG” .
    This is the first confusion because of course there is no change of “energy balance” . The only way to change the “energy balance” is to change the energy output of the Sun and/or the reflectivity . If those don’t change , the Earth system will emit (provided there is equilibrium) exactly the same energy as what it gets from the Sun . The internal energy of the Earth is independent of the CO2 concentration .
    .
    Second is considering SB as “negative feedback” . I have seen many creative descriptions of the SB equations but “negative feedback” is the first time .
    There is no way that SB equation can be even remotely described as “negative feedback” .
    If what you want to say is as trivial as “a hotter black body emits more radiation” then say so .
    .
    Third is that in theory a positive feed back must not NECESSARILY lead to a divergence . But in order to not to do so , severe additionnal constraints are necessary . As it can’t be warranted that such constraints exist , the Nature has apparently preferred to privilege negative feedbacks . That’s why the negative feed backs really dominate the natural processes that are illustrated by the VERY general Le Chatelier principle . Or do you deny this principle ?
    .
    Fourth is the assimilation of instabilities and feed backs . It is simply not true that an instability is a result of a positive feed back. An instability is the property of non equilibrium systems and all examples you gave are examples of non equilibrium systems . And non equilibrium systems are by definition … not in equilibrium .
    .
    Fifth .
    Please don’t venture in non equilibrium dynamics because you have apparently very much to learn there .
    This “If the positive feed back leads to an instability then the system runs off to a part of phase space space with stability is restored ” is not even wrong .
    A system out of equilibrium is per definition INSTABLE . All the time and forever . What may be and generally is stable is the invariant sub set of the phase space that is called attractor . But you may not confuse the trajectory (or the state) of the system and the topology of the attractor .
    While the attractor may be stable the system is ALWAYS instable and never stays in the same region of the attractor .
    What I explained in the first post is that evidence of 3.8 billions years shows that :
    a) the Earth attractor is stable (what doesn’t come as a surprise)
    b) the Earth is an out of equilibrium (dissipative) system whose trajectories are instable but must stay within the attractor
    c) whatever the internals parameters of the system (chemical , radiative , physical) do , it will oscillate among the states that are within the attractor .
    d) that excludes “new” Marslike , Saturnlike or Venuslike states at least at scales that are measured in hundreds of millions or billions years .

  276. Tom Vonk says:

    First you talk about “change in the energy balance … by increasing the level of GHG” .
    This is the first confusion because of course there is no change of “energy balance” . The only way to change the “energy balance” is to change the energy output of the Sun and/or the reflectivity . If those don’t change , the Earth system will emit (provided there is equilibrium) exactly the same energy as what it gets from the Sun .

    No. That is not correct. As you increase CO2 levels, the Earth radiates less heat back out into space because of the increased greenhouse effect. (And, as I’ve noted, the spectrally-resolved changes in emission have even been observed by satellite observations.) The Earth-climate system will, of course, heat up in order to increase its emissions and move toward restoration of the radiative balance. However, because of the thermal inertia of the oceans, the relaxation to the new radiative balance occurs fairly slowly.

    Second is considering SB as “negative feedback” . I have seen many creative descriptions of the SB equations but “negative feedback” is the first time .
    There is no way that SB equation can be even remotely described as “negative feedback” .
    If what you want to say is as trivial as “a hotter black body emits more radiation” then say so .

    Well, that is precisely what I mean, although the S-B Equation puts a quantitative number on what is otherwise simply a qualitative statement. I am not sure why you would find this to be a problem. As for considering, SB to supply a negative feedback, see the discussion in Global Physical Climatology by Dennis L. Hartmann, Section 9.3.1. You can read it online here: http://books.google.com/books?id=Zi1coMyhlHoC&pg=PA231&lpg=PA231#v=onepage&q=&f=false .

    That’s why the negative feed backs really dominate the natural processes that are illustrated by the VERY general Le Chatelier principle . Or do you deny this principle ?

    Well, it is a principle of chemical equilibrium. I agree that it can be generalized to other places, e.g., it applies to how the changing magnetic field through a coil of wire produces a current that produces a magnetic field that opposes the original change in magnetic field. And, I think the S-B Equation is in essence also a generalization of the Le Chatelier Principle.
    However, in the sense that negative and positive feedbacks have been used to discuss the climate system, the Principle does not apply…Or, perhaps it is better to say that it probably does apply to the net feedback when the S-B Equation is included amongst the negative feedbacks but it does not apply when the discussion switches to the level that I explained, namely of discussing how the new equilibrium temperature predicted by the radiative forcing and S-B Equation without considering any feedback processes in the troposphere is changed once those processes are considered.

    Fourth is the assimilation of instabilities and feed backs . It is simply not true that an instability is a result of a positive feed back. An instability is the property of non equilibrium systems and all examples you gave are examples of non equilibrium systems . And non equilibrium systems are by definition … not in equilibrium .

    Well, no system is truly in equilibrium…and, in fact, even when I use the term “equilibrium” above, I am using it in a rather sloppy way. (Sorry about that.) I should really say “steady-state” or finesse it entirely and just talk about what happens once “radiative balance is restored”.
    Perhaps we are using terminology in different ways, but to my mind of thinking, an instability is very definitely the result of a positive feedback. For example, the dendritic instability occurs when a small bump in the surface attracts material via diffusion at a higher rate than the surrounding surface and hence that bump grows. To me, that seems like a positive feedback, where an initial perturbation leads to a response that magnifies that perturbation.
    However, I agree that a positive feedback won’t necessarily lead to an instability…It has to be sufficiently strong. (This is true at least for positive feedbacks as used in climate science; someone was telling me once that the term is used differently in control theory and I don’t really know enough to comment. Perhaps the control theory usage of the language is closer to what the usage would be in climate science when you count the feedback due to the S-B Equation in the net feedbacks. I’d have to think this through a little more.)

    What I explained in the first post is that evidence of 3.8 billions years shows that :
    a) the Earth attractor is stable (what doesn’t come as a surprise)
    b) the Earth is an out of equilibrium (dissipative) system whose trajectories are instable but must stay within the attractor
    c) whatever the internals parameters of the system (chemical , radiative , physical) do , it will oscillate among the states that are within the attractor .
    d) that excludes “new” Marslike , Saturnlike or Venuslike states at least at scales that are measured in hundreds of millions or billions years .

    I more-or-less agree with you. I.e., I do think that a runaway greenhouse effect like Venus is unlikely to be in the cards (without a significant increase in solar irradiance, for example). However, I am not sure that I agree that this can absolutely be argued in principle and without a doubt. Jim Hansen thinks that the current “experiment” that we are conducting may be without precedent in that the timescales over which we are releasing large stores of CO2 in the atmosphere may be such that they overwhelm the negative geochemical feedbacks that operate on much longer timescales and thus that it is possible that if we burn enough fossil fuels fast enough, we could really produce a runaway effect. And, it seems to me that while one may be able to argue this is wrong, I don’t think you can simply dismiss it on the basis of phase space attractors and such…Or at least, you would have to refine your arguments.
    But, anyway, none of this has anything to say about whether a net positive feedback (in the sense that climate scientists use the term…i.e., not including the negative feedback due to the S-B Eq.) may be operating in the climate system so that it magnifies the amount of warming that we would get if we just calculate the change of radiative forcing due to the increase in greenhouse gases without including any of the feedback processes like changes in water vapor, clouds, ice albedo, etc.
    It also has nothing to say in regards to “tipping points”, i.e., pushing the climate system past some point where it runs off to a new state, something like a shutdown of the thermohaline circulation or the disintegration of ice sheets. And, indeed, there is evidence of such behavior in the past.

  277. cba says:

    Albedo for some deserts (which involves visible and NIR) is quite high as compared to most other surfaces – my recollections are as much as 0.4 which at those wavelengths would reduce emissivity substantially. I don’t know that I’ve seen any substantial surface material with that low an emissivity in the IR area of interest for thermal radiation.

    Okay…I just mentioned the desert thing because I didn’t want to be caught overgeneralizing. And, I am not sure whether the source I read that said that deserts could have emissivities as low as 0.7 were talking about the NIR or deeper into the IR. I am happy to simply believe that the Earth’s emissivity can be assumed to be 1.

    I always hear that RH supposedly tries to maintain a value independent of temperature which I don’t find all that well supported.

    Well, I encourage you to read the literature on the matter. What seems to be true both in the climate models and in the real world is that averaged over the whole globe, RH tends not to change much as the global temperature changes. However, the RH does go up in some places and down in others.

    In standard scientific dialog, a number 3.7 is the equivalent of expressing a number ranging from 3.65 to 3.75.

    I would say that the standard is generally roughly that the last digit is uncertain but the second-to-last is not, although this is not strictly true since a value of 3.9 could mean the real value could be 4.0. Better, however, is to give the uncertainty explicitly. As I remember it, the uncertainty in this 3.7 number is estimated to be about +/-10%.

    You’ll also note that since the prior ipcc publication, their value dropped by 15% to 3.7 as they stated.

    You mean between the SAR and TAR. Yeah…because they apparently went from just talking about the instantaneous forcing, i.e., without allowing for stratospheric adjustment to allowing for stratospheric adjustment.

    A 10% change in albedo results in a change in power balance amounting to over 10 W/m^2.

    (1) My point is simply that a 10% change in cloud cover probably doesn’t change the estimated global mean forcing by that much. In particular, it probably changes it by less than the ~10% uncertainty that exists in that number.
    (2) However, there are compensating effects due to changes in the escape of longwave radiation. Actually, I just found a nice estimate of the effects of clouds in this paper (p. 196): Clouds in total reduce the absorbed solar radiation by 48 W/m^2 and enhance the greenhouse effect by 30 W/m^2, so their net effect is to cool by an amount of 18 W/m^2. When you compare this to the 4 W/m^2 due to doubling CO2, it means that clouds would have to change by a significant percentage in order to be comparable. I am not saying that clouds are not important, but just that the sensitivity to them is not quite as dramatic as one might think if one doesn’t recognize the partially-compensating effects.

    as for the peer reviewed lit. approach, climate science has be extremely negligent in following accepted scientific proceedures in the realm of disclosure and have in some works considered important failed to use minimally acceptable statistical methodology.

    Bah…I’ve seen much worse examples in physics. Peer review is an imperfect filter; that’s just the way it is.
    And, frankly, it seems to me that there are people like McIntyre who specialize in making mountains out of molehills. And, they only seem to notice the failures of peer review in one direction. I don’t recall hearing the outcries from skeptics about the fact that lots of errors in Spencer and Christy’s original work resulted in an artificially low temperature trend (in fact, a negative trend in their early work)…and the errors persisted until quite recently, with the last major correction being in 2005, I believe. And, I don’t recall the shouts in the skeptic community when Douglass et al. made the mistake of comparing our single realization of the climate system in the real world to the standard error, rather than the standard deviation, in the predictions of the climate models.

    The piling on of ’supporting’ evidence goes to give people some level of comfort concerning a scientific hypothesis but only one actual contradiction by valid data is required to prove that hypothesis false forever more. And, sometimes, it turns out that the data is actually wrong.

    Your last sentence makes the first sort of irrelevant. Sure, it is technically true that one actual contradiction means a hypothesis is not completely correct. However, in practice, for any major scientific theory, you can at any given time find many puzzling contradictions between the theory and the empirical data. Of course, over time one wants to work to resolve these either by modifying (or perhaps eventually discarding the theory) or figuring what is wrong with the data. However, one doesn’t generally just abandon the theory immediately, particularly when it explains a lot of other data. If we did that, we would be back in the Dark Ages with essentially no scientific theories. Skeptics often claim that AGW is held to a different standard than other theories…e.g., that it is not falsifiable. However, in my view, it is the skeptics who want to hold it to a different…higher…standard.

    Unfortunately, the vast number of those at the agw feed trough do not study and verify the basics.

    I think there is a lot of verification of the basics going on. And, in fact, I learn about more things all the time. For example, until a few days ago, I wasn’t aware of the work using satellites to look directly at the decreased radiative emission from the earth, spectrally resolved, due to the enhancement of the greenhouse effect.

  278. joel,
    perhaps you should interpret the “climate” version of feedback as merely another borrowing of something they have a fundamental missunderstanding of rather than assuming the engineering version is some strange variant that is a little different.
    In fact, you might should interpret what is called feedback in climate as being a setpoint with feedback control.

  279. cba,
    What matters is the physics. It is not really useful to get in arguments about whose definitions and terminology are better.

  280. Joel Shore (14:32:45) :
    Tom Vonk says:
    First you talk about “change in the energy balance … by increasing the level of GHG” .
    This is the first confusion because of course there is no change of “energy balance” . The only way to change the “energy balance” is to change the energy output of the Sun and/or the reflectivity . If those don’t change , the Earth system will emit (provided there is equilibrium) exactly the same energy as what it gets from the Sun .
    No. That is not correct. As you increase CO2 levels, the Earth radiates less heat back out into space because of the increased greenhouse effect. (And, as I’ve noted, the spectrally-resolved changes in emission have even been observed by satellite observations.) The Earth-climate system will, of course, heat up in order to increase its emissions and move toward restoration of the radiative balance. However, because of the thermal inertia of the oceans, the relaxation to the new radiative balance occurs fairly slowly.

    That is completely wrong – I don’t care what your satellites say.
    There will always be a level in the atmosphere that is radiating back at 241 watts/metre^2 – 255K
    This is how the climate scientists always go off track. They think they found something – like 0.8 watts/metre^2 is being absorbed into the ocean so therefore the Earth is only emitting back 240.2 watts/metre^2 to space now.
    Obviously wrong. There are still 4 different levels in the atmosphere above 255K – 241 watts/metre^2 emitting back 100.00000% of the solar energy received by the Earth so its time to go back to the drawing board again.

  281. Bill Illis says:

    That is completely wrong – I don’t care what your satellites say.

    In other words, you believe differently so you ignore both the fundamental physical understanding that has been around for half a century and the empirical data that backs it up.

    There will always be a level in the atmosphere that is radiating back at 241 watts/metre^2 – 255K

    That is not the point. The point is this: If you are too low in the atmosphere then most of the radiation emitted upward from that level will be absorbed again before it can escape, so the emission to space from that level will be small. If you are too high in the atmosphere, then the atmosphere is so thin that it doesn’t absorb very much of the radiation from below (and also it tends to be cold, which reduces its emission of radiation) and hence emission to space from this level will be small. In between, these two extremes, there is a region from which most of the radiation that escapes to space is emitted. As the concentration of greenhouse gases increases, that region shifts upward in the atmosphere to where it is colder and hence the amount of radiation emitted to space decreases putting the earth out of radiative balance. (It is absorbing more energy from the sun than it is emitting back out into space.) As a result, it warms until the radiative balance is again restored.
    See here for a historical discussion of this, which was all settled about half a century ago: http://www.aip.org/history/climate/simple.htm#L_0623

  282. P Wilson:

    Any heating of the atmopshere by greenhouse gases would have caused precipitation to decrease. Yet the result is the opposite.

    Could you please tell us how you arrived at the conclusion that precipitation is predicted to increase with heating of the atmosphere by greenhouse gases? That is not the prediction that I have heard.

    Whilst present theory is fond of assuming a feedback from water vapour and ignoring the water vapour feedback from solar forcing

    Could you please provide a cite for the claim that water vapor feedback is only included for water vapor feedback and not for solar forcing? Since it is not true, you might have a hard time.

    a 1% change in water vapour is equvalent to a 200% change in c02.

    Could you please provided a cite for this claim? Don’t look too hard though since you won’t be able to, because it is not even close to being true.
    You just make it all up as you go along, don’t you?

  283. its quite straightforward. water vapour intercepts c02 where c02 doesn’t – such as ambient temperatures. C02 intercepts heat where is it cold. The higher the temperature, therefore, the less c02 interferes with heat. Given that there 33 times more vapour molecules than c02 molecules, it stands to reason that all being equal -c02 at 357ppm, a temperature of 20C at ground level in the day – the salient characteristic is water wapour, which can be anything from 0-4% of the atmosphere. It is not stable, but varies dramatically. Its what the AGW’s call the multiplier enhanced greenhouse gas runaway notion. Its a good theory, but clearly it doesn’t happen that way, as water vapour condenses to form precipitation in the troposphere, where it is subzero – and this is one of the autonomous cooling events that AGW has difficulty with that results from any warming, as the feedbacks are quite negative. The theory holds that extreme weather events take place – widespread drought punctuated by extreme flooding precipitation, but periods of little precipitation in between.
    The enhanced ghg “forcing” would cause precipitation to decrease by creating a dry and arid climate with hot summers and relatively warm dry and sunny winters. Even when oceans absorb heat, they do not necessarily increase in temperature. However, even if this were the case.
    http://co2now.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=79&Itemid=88

  284. contd., got cut there – don’t know why
    .. the theory of c02 being t ecause of all calamities has changed a lot – rather surreptitiously and quietly- since this paper in 2001.
    Paradigms modify themselves on the basis of changing variables. What was thought in 2001 isn’t what is thought today, yet in 2001 it was held that c02 was the great heat bomb. Given that precipitation is on the increase, thats a position that had to be reversed, and even mainstream climatologist now contend that vapour is the main greenhouse gas
    In 5 years from now, it will be interesting to see how different AGW theory is in comparison to the present theory.

  285. joel shore,
    concepts & definitions don’t matter, eh? I guess that goes along with the totally insignificant minor problems mckintyre discovered – like inverting proxy data and failing to use statiscally significant sampling.
    “If you are too low in the atmosphere then most of the radiation emitted upward from that level will be absorbed again before it can escape, so the emission to space from that level will be small. If you are too high in the atmosphere, then the atmosphere is so thin that it doesn’t absorb very much of the radiation from below (and also it tends to be cold, which reduces its emission of radiation) and hence emission to space from this level will be small. In between, these two extremes, there is a region from which most of the radiation that escapes to space is emitted. As the concentration of greenhouse gases increases, that region shifts upward in the atmosphere to where it is colder and hence the amount of radiation emitted to space decreases putting the earth out of radiative balance.”
    If it’s being absorbed, then power is being provided. The reason it’s so cold way up there is pure and simple that insufficient power is being provided for it to maintain a temperature higher than what it is. Also, when there is an increase in ghgs (to utilize your understanding of stefan’s law and single number emissivity), that emissivity increases, causing more radiation to be emitted at a given temperature which means that the conservation of energy will result in a lower temperature for balance to occur.
    Another cute bit is that your increase in downward radiation in clear sky conditions is all in the deep IR. Ocean absorption of IR is essentially a surface effect with no penetration – unlike blues and near uV. The notion that oceans are going to heat up with that extra power is a bit amusing. You’ve got radiation, conduction, and convection. Radiation in the relevent far IR through the water is nonexistent. Conduction is quite poor and convection works against the conduction as warmer water will have lower desnsity and tend to rise (for surface water above 4C or so), preventing the conduction. What’s left is radiation outward and evaporation, invoking the extremely powerful water vapor cycle which is already responsible for a significant amount of outgoing power.

  286. cba:

    concepts & definitions don’t matter, eh?

    I said that it is silly to argue about who has the better definitions and terminology. As long as one uses the definitions and terminology consistently, one will get the same result.

    If it’s being absorbed, then power is being provided…

    I’m not sure what your whole point in that paragraph is. Are you saying that the radiation transfer codes are calculating things incorrectly? Are you complaining about the pedagogy? Or are you just being ornery?

    Another cute bit is that your increase in downward radiation in clear sky conditions is all in the deep IR. Ocean absorption of IR is essentially a surface effect with no penetration – unlike blues and near uV. The notion that oceans are going to heat up with that extra power is a bit amusing.

    What is amusing is the notion that these sorts of considerations will somehow get you around the basic issue of the radiative balance between the earth, sun, and space. As for the mechanism by which the greenhouse gases do heat the ocean, see here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/ Here is the basic idea:

    Resolution of this conundrum is to be found in the recognition that the skin layer temperature gradient not only exists as a result of the ocean-atmosphere temperature difference, but also helps to control the ocean-atmosphere heat flux. (The ‘skin layer‘ is the very thin – up to 1 mm – layer at the top of ocean that is in direct contact with the atmosphere). Reducing the size of the temperature gradient through the skin layer reduces the flux. Thus, if the absorption of the infrared emission from atmospheric greenhouse gases reduces the gradient through the skin layer, the flow of heat from the ocean beneath will be reduced, leaving more of the heat introduced into the bulk of the upper oceanic layer by the absorption of sunlight to remain there to increase water temperature. Experimental evidence for this mechanism can be seen in at-sea measurements of the ocean skin and bulk temperatures.

  287. P Wilson: Most of your post is unintelligible. I’ll try to comment on the few things that I can parse.

    The enhanced ghg “forcing” would cause precipitation to decrease by creating a dry and arid climate with hot summers and relatively warm dry and sunny winters.

    Warming increases evaporation. Why would that lead to less precipitation overall? There certainly can be changes in patterns so that some places get less…and there can be more drying in summer due to the greater heat. But, I don’t think I have seen any predictions of precipitation decreasing on the global scale.

    .. the theory of c02 being t ecause of all calamities has changed a lot – rather surreptitiously and quietly- since this paper in 2001.
    Paradigms modify themselves on the basis of changing variables. What was thought in 2001 isn’t what is thought today, yet in 2001 it was held that c02 was the great heat bomb. Given that precipitation is on the increase, thats a position that had to be reversed, and even mainstream climatologist now contend that vapour is the main greenhouse gas.

    Man, I have no clue where this stuff comes from. I am reading the book “Global Warming: The Hard Science” by L.D. Danny Harvey which was published in 2000. And, in that book he certainly talks about the fact that the no-feedback response to doubling CO2 is about 1 C and that the biggest feedback is water vapor. The only difference that I can detect from current thinking is that there was less direct evidence that the mid- and upper-troposphere was moistening as expected back then (although there was already some), so it was harder to dismiss the notions of Richard Lindzen that the upper troposphere would not moisten.
    You not only have no real sense of the science; you have no sense of the history of the science.

  288. “You not only have no real sense of the science; you have no sense of the history of the science.”
    Those words will come back to haunt you, Joel Shore.

  289. You ask:
    Warming increases evaporation. Why would that lead to less precipitation overall?
    The IPCC maintained that warmer air temperatures caused by ghg forcing are likely to lead to lower precipitation and heat waves as warm air is able to hold more water vapour than cold air.
    “..in a warmer world, precipitation tends to be concentrated into more intense events, with longer periods of little precipitation in between. Therefore, intense and heavy downpours would be interspersed with longer relatively dry periods…”
    So I get it from the IPCC. Perhaps you could re-direct your vituperations back to the source

  290. oops. Not being simple enough. If c02 were heating the atmosphere more than the oceans (which it necessarily doesn’t anyway), less precipitation would occur.

  291. joel,
    your reference didn’t seem to come through on the clouds where you stated 30W /m^2 positive and 48W/m^2 negative effect.
    Clouds do vary from very low albedo to rather high, 10% to 90% (or 0.10 to 0.90), depending upon their nature. Single numbers as your’s must be
    some sort of average value. Some other factors that should not be controversial are that there is 62% average cloud cover and that there is about 0.31
    average Earth albedo. Of that 0.31, about 0.23 is caused by atmospheric effects, such as cloud albedo and scattering – which is mostly towards the blue
    and represents a small amount of total power. A rough power estimate is visible light accounts for 42 – 44 % while IR accounds for a few percent greater and
    the uV and above amounts to perhaps 7%. Another factor is the averaged (over position and time) incoming solar power is about 342w/m^2 and the
    albedo reflection is about 105.
    Applying these values (back of the envelope style) suggest that cloud albedo (plus atmospheric factors) results in 342*0.23 = 79W/m^2 and all the blue /uV power amounts to about
    24w/m^2. The difference provides a net of 55W/m^2 assuming 100% of that uV/blue is scattered away which is clearly not the case. It would be closer to a
    far closer to 50%, leaving 79-12=67w/m^2 for cloud albedo which is substantially more than attributed by your article. This too is an averaged value.
    By using the averaged incoming solar, one can get an idea of what’s going on. However, for outgoing IR, it’s a totally different matter in that clouds
    may not be around 24 hrs per day (and it doesn’t matter for incoming solar whether there are clouds present at night). Clouds in the areas of high solar
    incoming power tend to form in the morning and dissipate in the evenings, leaving clear sky for the night times. Examples are the afternoon thunderstorms.
    This doesn’t mean all clouds disappear at dusk but it does point to the dangers of too much generalities being toss into the mix. Having not seen your
    referenced paper, I have no idea whether they included the fact that some albedo contributing clouds are not present at night to cause a full effect of an
    averaged power blocking.
    to get an idea of cloud emissions, assume a T of around 273K or 220K and compare to 288K, the average surface temperature.
    emissivity can assumed to be 1 and stefan’s law can be asssumed to be reasonably correct considering we have solid and or liquids rather
    than merely gas. The sigma constant is 5.67E-8.
    T Emitted power w/m^2
    220 133 approximately at tropopause
    273 315 at freezing
    288 390
    Average balance is 235 (with 107W/m^2 albedo and 342W/m^2 average incoming)
    This according to stefan’s law corresponds to about 254 K and average atmospheric lapse rate is around 6.5K. Going to averages, one has 288-254 = 34K
    which corresponds to a height of 34/6.5 = 5.2km or around 17,000 feet which is above about 1/2 of the atmosphere. This reduces the total path length by
    merely a fraction since it is a log function. However, the line widths are reduced due to less pressure broadening. As I recall, this is a linear function wrt
    pressure and the narrower line widths seriously reduce the absorption effects as pressure diminishes.
    A question arises as to the nature of the second number you gave, 30w/m^2, cloud absorption of outgoing IR. Considering cloud cover is around 62%, then that
    indicates 30/0.62 = 48 w/m^2 outgoing IR cloudcover blockage – assuming there is no day/night time variation in cloud cover fraction which would make
    that number even greater. Using a really rough number as I don’t have time to look up the details, clear skies result in around 160w/m^2 ghg absorption. With an
    average of 390 w/m^2 surface output, stefan’s law for 288K, that leaves about 230W/m^2 surface radiation that radiates to space. When the
    averaged cloud gets in the way, then some or all of that is blocked as well but the top of that cloud will effectively radiate a continuum based upon
    its temperature at that altitude. Lower down, you get more power radiated due to higher temperatures while higher up you get less absorption from above
    due to less material and lower pressures (less broadening) and lower temperatures.
    Comparing this to the surface radiated power absorption, remember the little number in question about 3.5 or 3.7 W/m^2 for a doubling of CO2?? The CO2 absorption
    is going to predominate above the clouds due to very low absolute humidity – right? (at least according to conventional ‘wisdom’). If you double
    or halve the optical path you add (or remove) that 3.5 or 3.7W/m^2 increment of power. That means that for ground radiated power, removing the
    atmosphere above the 5 or 6km level (optically) would result in only an increase of this 3.5 or 3.7 W/m^2 power amount. That is simply
    because the vast bulk was already removed way below near the surface. When you radiate a new continuum at this cloud height, it has no component
    already removed so it starts from scratch. Ultimately, if it were all at the same concentrations, constant pressure and temperature, the result would be that the same amount
    of power would be removed by the time it reached the sky – minus that pesky 3.5 or 3.7 W/m^2 from the last doubling. Using 160 W/m^2 for the total
    minus the last doubling or halving of CO2, we get about 156.5 W/m^2.
    However, we do not have constant pressure, constant temperature, nor do we have constant concentrations. In fact, we have very little
    water vapor which is the dominant absorber at lower altitudes. Remember, lower pressures mean narrower line widths so there is less area under the
    curves over wavelengths – or fewer photons get captured because they must be at the right wavelengths. Also, the temperatures have resulted
    not only in absorption variations but also in the peak power wavelengths – stefan’s law’s cousin – wein’s displacement law. This is a shift of
    the peak wavelength. The absorption line wavelengths have virtually not shifted at all – except due to slight pressure shifting and a miniscule reduction
    in the index of refraction of air. The net result is that we are nowhere close to to absorbing another 156.5 W/m^2 in the 2nd (upper) half of the
    atmosphere. In fact, over 90% of the h2o vapor is below this level so the dominant atmospheric effect of water essentially no longer applies at 5km and
    above (using the 1976 US Standard Atmosphere).
    If we take the clear sky contributions for co2 and h2o as essentially being the total of 160 w/m^2 and that co2 contributes about 20% of this
    total – leaving h2o to about 80% (and ignoring minor contributors) – we get 32 w/m^2 and 128W/m^2 for co2 and h2o total. Note that the 32
    corresponds to around 10 or 11 doublings (or halvings) which is not all that bad an estimate (since additional halvings drop each effect to around 2.x to 3W/m^2)
    Also, for 5km altitude, the h2o has around 90% or what’s left above is around 9% of the h2o left. That means that if we start with the 9% as one
    path length, we have about 11 path lengths below and 8 would be 3 doublings, 16 would be 4 doublings. Taking the conservative estimate that
    there are 3 doublings for h2o over the top half of the atmosphere, each doubling would be 128/4 = 32W/m^2 for absorption above this altitude.
    That leaves our total absorption at 32 + 3.7 w/m&2 = 36 w/m^2 for cloud emitted radiation – assuming the same effects as the lower atmosphere and
    the same effects upon the blackbody distribution for the lower temperature.
    So we are emitting 235W/m^2 from clouds at 5km, we are losing 36 w/m^2 from higher altitude absorption and the claim from your paper appears
    to be that the clouds are absorbing about 48W/m^2 of outgoing IR where present. Considering that all the ignored corrections are going to be to reduce
    that 36 w/m^2 further, it would seem that the cloud number of 48 is somewhat exagerated if your original number is to be taken as an average overall value
    rather than an average for cloudy only conditions. Actually, it would seem that the 48w/m^2 is averaged over clear & cloudy skies as it is somewhat lower
    than the more common 77 to 79 W/m^2 values. It also seems that the 30 W/m^2 number would be more in line with what an actual absorption
    for cloudy only effect would be.

  292. P Wilson says:

    The IPCC maintained that warmer air temperatures caused by ghg forcing are likely to lead to lower precipitation and heat waves as warm air is able to hold more water vapour than cold air.
    “..in a warmer world, precipitation tends to be concentrated into more intense events, with longer periods of little precipitation in between. Therefore, intense and heavy downpours would be interspersed with longer relatively dry periods…”
    So I get it from the IPCC. Perhaps you could re-direct your vituperations back to the source

    I don’t see anything there where the IPCC is saying that precipitation will decrease globally. In fact, I see nothing that contradicts what I said, which I will repeat again for your convenience:

    Warming increases evaporation. Why would that lead to less precipitation overall? There certainly can be changes in patterns so that some places get less…and there can be more drying in summer due to the greater heat. But, I don’t think I have seen any predictions of precipitation decreasing on the global scale.

  293. P Wilson says:

    My God Joel! You call my posts unintelligible, then you quote RC. The irony

    I don’t find RC posts to be unintelligible. Furthermore, you quote Christopher Monckton. Do you think we should compare Monckton’s standing in the field to that of any of the contributors to RealClimate? For example, we could look at papers published in refereed journals.

  294. Joel, you wouldn’t happen to know about ol’ Albert’s story about publishing in a peer reviewed journal would ya?

  295. Joel Shore (12:42:34) : I don’t find RC posts to be unintelligible. Furthermore, you quote Christopher Monckton. Do you think we should compare Monckton’s standing in the field to that of any of the contributors to RealClimate? For example, we could look at papers published in refereed journals.
    The gang at RC “referee” each others journals in an old boys network.
    We have seen their quality of refereeing and how much they are to be trusted.

  296. joel,
    I’ve got to prepare for a conference this week and I don’t have access to money locked papers at home at home so I will not be able to look at 33 and 34 for a while. I did note that the paper is based upon the first few years of erbe and is one of the first to be done. I find Kiehl & Trenberth 97 a bit more interesting from that time frame as they actually attempted to determine an energy budget and compare it to various measurements including erbe. It’s interesting that they differ (evidently) by a substantial amount for their atmospheric effects as compared to ramanathan’s cloud number. Back then though the assumptions that aerosols and dust and scattering were very much unknowns and assumed to have more significant effects than is believed now.
    enjoy untangling and following the previous post. It would seem that a number of my assumptions about your reference were spot on – such as the use of averages rather than actual effects in those numbers. I didn’t have time to verify whether all my assumptions about the paper were correct though.

  297. Joel.
    The fallacy comes mainly from NASA and the IPCC. Of course,, you see what you want to see, but the claims made by RC are quite convoluted. Not that there aren’t enough intitutions here in the UK that interpret science and physics how they see as expedient. The chief problem is that the claims they infer just aren’t happening.
    I was rather hoping, since you mentioned my ignorance of the history of science to move it onto the scientist Kelvin who was quite robust on the physics of heat – which is the energy transfer. It is not an absolute or a constant, and more than Resistance and force are constants from a fulcrum, or any more than wind is a constant. It changes form, so there is no reason to assume that heat leaving a system has to equalise with heat heat coming in – although Kelvin claimed that heat might be lost to man but not to the universe (since it changes form) – which includes biological energy transformation. Earth simply doesn’t radiate as much heat as is claimed, so these numbers have been concocted without being able to justify them.
    By your own admission somewhere else, air doesn’t increase ocean heat quickly (although evidence says not at all) so if preipitation occurs it can only be solar forcing -It is oceans which cause precipitation and not the atmosphere. This is how the AGW farrago is in a mess. It is reasoned that if air is heating quickly by ‘ghg forcing’ the oceans are not. Therefore little precipitation would occur, save for the occasional extreme tempest.This isn’t happening either. In truth, precipitation is increasing everywhere – even in the sahara. On the basis of this it was concocted that c02 forcing heats the oceans, although no mechanism is provided for it, because that isn’t happening either, so the theory is in a mess. Even
    Anyhow, it is still a mystery how it could be maintained that the upper troposphere is the region of greatest importance for ghg forcing. It is -50 to -70C in this region. No explanation is offered how these subzero temperatures can cause increased heat at lower tropospheric regions. There is none, unless one concocts another series of logic defying manipulations with an esoterical set of a priori assumptions to contrive it – however, one would be going into the realms of pure science fiction, and presenting it as fact.
    What I think we should do is look at the evidence on the basis of just that. I presume you didn’t read Monckton’s brief – it is all verified, particularly the section on how IPCC have quietly changed numbers regarding c02 ‘forcing’, after the original claims were so absurd. They will never get it right nonetheless, until they understand that water vapour is a far greater feedback than c02, and c02 is a rather extraneous feedback.

  298. joel,
    Talking to you, I keep getting the feeling that agw proponents think that nature will not continue to do that which nature does – unless we do something to help it along. Things like lower density water or air failing to rise … that sort of thing.


  299. cba (05:59:05) :
    joel,
    Talking to you, I keep getting the feeling that agw proponents think that nature will not continue to do that which nature does – unless we do something to help it along. Things like lower density water or air failing to rise … that sort of thing.

    I get the impression Joel et al are simply advanced ‘script kiddies’ without ability to intepret the technical material posted or referenced; sans ability to interpolate or extrapolate anything except simple linear relationships when values/situations appear outside ‘published bounds’, probably as a result of continued, merciless poundings at RC, exemplifying and continueing the ‘you are not allowed to think for yourself’ mentality.
    .
    .

  300. perhaps – but then it’s the sort of thing i expect from those single specialty types in a multidiscipline environment as well.

  301. _Jim: I do read RealClimate but I actually read serious texts on climate and atmospheric science and a lot of the original literature, the IPCC reports etc. And, since I have a PhD in physics, I can interpret it just fine…although I will admit that I still have a lot to learn about atmospheric and climate science.
    By the way, I took the liberty of following your link to your “FreeRepublic” page (which may say something about you!) and I would note that your label of that graph as “incoming solar radiation” and your statement that “Earth radiates 160,000 times less than the sun” are both somewhat subject to misinterpretation. First, while it is true that the amount that the sun radiates per square meter of its surface is ~160,000 times the amount the earth radiates, the earth actually intercepts only a small fraction of this because by the time the radiation from the sun reaches the earth’s orbit, that radiation is spread out over a sphere of radius ~223 times the radius of the sun, which means the irradiance in W/m^2 is down by a factor of ~50,000 from what it is at the sun’s surface. And, thus your plot showing the “incoming solar radiation” is not correctly normalized if, by incoming you mean incoming to the Earth.
    Of course, to a very good approximation, the amount that the Earth radiates is in fact equal to the amount of radiation that it receives (i.e., absorbs) from the sun because even with the current increases in greenhouse gases, the Earth is still only a fraction of a percent out of radiative balance relative to the amount of incoming radiation.

  302. Joel Shore
    “By the way, I took the liberty of following your link to your “FreeRepublic” page (which may say something about you!)”
    That statement shows an awful lot more about you than it does about Jim … and not in any positive light whatsoever.
    I gather you’ve been too busy to work your way through my post above.

  303. cba says:

    I gather you’ve been too busy to work your way through my post above.

    Yeah…A combination of too busy and it going off into more details than I wanted to get into. My basic point was that, while cloud feedbacks are certainly a large source of uncertainty, things aren’t poised quite as sensitively to clouds as one might think very naively.
    For example, I once had a person tell me that a 1% change in cloudiness would produce as much radiative forcing as doubling CO2. This was presumably obtained, sloppily from the idea that a change in albedo by 0.01…and without any change to the outgoing longwave radiation…would amount to about a 3.5 W/m^2 change. And, my point is that it is not really nearly that sensitive both because a change of 0.01 in albedo would amount to about a 5%, not 1% change in the albedo due to clouds…and also that there will tend to be partly-compensating effects from clouds effects on the outgoing longwave radiation.
    You seem to be suggesting by your back-of-the-envelope calculations that the value for the net radiative forcing of about -18 W/m^2 for clouds computed from the ERBE data by Ramanathan et al. may be somewhat on the low (in magnitude) side. Perhaps that is the case; I would have to look into the literature more to see what the range of current best values is. But, at any rate, for the sort of very basic qualitative point I was making, it would not make a huge difference. Clearly, it would make a difference if one wanted to get very quantitative about it.

  304. as stated, those numbers from ramanathan are for cloudy/clear averages – and they are quite old – the earliest efforts at analyzing erbe which as I recall, looks crudely at specific bands. seems there’s a number of newer instruments with higher resolution etc. the back of the envelope suggests they are way off on both sides. you’ve lots of radiative output at lower rates from clouds as they are emitting continuum radiation. according to one measurement methodology, around 1997 there was a massive temperature spike related to a massive drop in albedo – ostensibly due to internal enso oscillations. the albedo effect dropped by nearly 10% and that amounts to over 10 w/m^2 and that is associated with a drop in cloud cover (palle & goode 07).
    one of the problems is when you start to talk about truly serious cloud cover – as in low overcast clouds rather than thin semi transparant stuff near the stratosphere that has little to no effect on albedo anyway – is that you can lose 90% + of the incoming solar power. Remember that there is more power in the SW incoming in the near IR than there is in the visible as well. Some ofthat power is reflected in albedo and some is absorbed. It doesn’t wind up going to ground. In the tropical areas where there really is significant incoming solar, a lot of that absorbed energy goes into daytime cloud and thunderstorm formation – and the energy is high up in the atmosphere ripe to radiate out.
    What you can do is create a couple of linear graphs (x axis is cloud cover fraction 0-1.0) for what could be called an averaged cloud effect. No clouds results in almost 340 W/m^2 incoming while 1.0 cloud cover is around 10% of that. Outgoing can be (back of the envelope estimated) at 390 – 150 = 240w/m^2 for clear skies and then estimated for cloud tops at an altitude around freezing with radiation by stefan’s law being for near 273k. Draw the incoming and outgoing lines as it should be rather linear with surface area. Look for the intersection – it should be in the general vicinity of just over 60% or 0.6 cloud cover fraction. You should also note that the energy balance between in and out is not strictly a function of ghg absorption but rather is also a function of cloud cover fraction. Changing the cloud cover fraction can result in changing the balance point without changing temperatures. Another little tidbit there is the implicit suggestion that there is a strong feedback mechanism (actually a setpoint control mechanism using negative feedback) that determines the average cloud cover because otherwise there would be no common average temperature as it would randomly drift around. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really suggest what that mechanism is though one can infer that it is the water cycle at work – power heats surface, heat of evaporation taken into air, lighter warmer parcels rise, radiating out energy, forming clouds, dropping precipitation cooling off, dropping out h2o content, falling down due to higher density etc etc etc. – classical cycle just like what one sees inside an individual thunderstorm or rainstorm.

  305. cba says:

    Some ofthat power is reflected in albedo and some is absorbed. It doesn’t wind up going to ground. In the tropical areas where there really is significant incoming solar, a lot of that absorbed energy goes into daytime cloud and thunderstorm formation – and the energy is high up in the atmosphere ripe to radiate out.

    I’m a little confused at what you are suggesting here. If you are going to claim that this affects the final radiative balance, the argument would presumably have to be that the upper troposphere ends up warmer than the models would expect relative to the surface…and, yet, you have most people here quite insistent that the data actually shows the opposite, i.e., that the amplification in the tropical atmosphere is not occurring, or at least not the degree predicted by the models. I think that this is probably mainly a data quality issue (along with correctly taking into account the errorbars on the model predictions), but still the idea that the upper troposphere is actually significantly warmer relative to the surface than the models predict seems like a bit of a stretch!

    Changing the cloud cover fraction can result in changing the balance point without changing temperatures.

    I agree.

    Another little tidbit there is the implicit suggestion that there is a strong feedback mechanism (actually a setpoint control mechanism using negative feedback) that determines the average cloud cover because otherwise there would be no common average temperature as it would randomly drift around.

    I don’t understand this claim at all. Actually, I am not really sure what you are saying exactly anyway. However, to the extent that you think that the lack of negative feedback would cause too much change in temperatures, it seems to me that this would then be apparent in the climate models…i.e., they would exhibit too much variability in temperature relative to the observations. However, I don’t think this is actually found to be the case.
    And, with a strong negative feedback mechanism from clouds, it becomes difficult to explain the ice age – interglacial cycles without proposing some very big additional forcing that is currently being left out.

  306. this is an area where stefan’s law should be adept at an understandable explanation. When you increase the ghg absorption in a layer in the atmosphere, you are increasing the emissivity of that layer as well. That means you’re radiating more power downward and more power upward as stefan’s law is integrated from a surface out in all directions away from that surface. You’ve increased the absorbed power of that layer by E and you’ve increased the emitted power by 2*E so conservation of energy demands a decrease in that temperature. Actual arguments are more sophisticated than this but it doesn’t really change the outcome and it makes the concept harder to grasp.
    One can get a glimpse of positive or negative feedback by the average sensitivity of the atmosphere based upon how much increase in temperature the average Earth value is over that of a blackbody with the same albedo (33 deg K rise for 150 to 160 W/m^2 power gives a response of around 0.22 K rise per W/m^2. One can also get a glimpse of this value, at least for clear skies, by taking the increase in surface temperature required to overcome an increase of 1W/m^2 in absorption by an increase in a little over 1 W/m^2 in emissions using stefan’s law. In clear skies, one has 390-150 = 240 w/m^2 escaping or a fraction of emitted 240/390 = 0.62. That indicates 1/0.62 = 1.6w/m^2 results in 1w/m^2 leaving the atmosphere. For 288.2 K, that means the 391.2w/m^2 would have to increase to 392.8 in order for balance to be restored, ignoring convection. This corresponds to 288.5 kelvins temperature or 0.3 Kelvins increase in temperature without convection. Note that convection at the surface is close to 100 w/m^2 but reduces to essentially nothing at the tropopause. It is what is needed to overcome all that water vapor located near the surface that is almost nonexistent way high up. Any increase in surface temperature creates an increase in convection that is a negative feedback. The expectation of a large water vapor feedback not only ignores the watervapor cycle but it must be based on a very paltry variation.
    The comment you say you don’t understand simply states that the negative feedback is actually what is referred to as a setpoint control using negative feedback. The statement of feedback is not actually correct conceptually.
    Assuming an absence of negative feedback is to presume that convection doesn’t occur or isn’t a function of temperature differential or change. You’ll note that the above examples shows the average effect per w/m^2 of 0.22 is less than the 0.3 kelvin rise of the differential temperature necessary for radiative only. It also precludes the presence of some sort of net positive feedback other than more watervapor.
    As for climate models showing anything actually related to the real world, they remind me of the old punch card sorting equipment they used to have in the old carnival sideshows billed as computer based fortune telling.
    the cloud feedback is simple to explain with a minimal bit of thought. Clouds are high albedo, liquid water at low angle of incidence (wrt to the normal) is tremendously low and makes up most of the surface where there is a low incidence angle. When one develops a high albedo surface condition, such as fresh snow, then one has a totally short circuited situation where the setpoint system no longer functions at all because there’s no difference with and without the clouds – not to mention the liklihood that there is far less h2o vapor present so the actual ghg absorption drops as well so a double whammy of higher albedo and lower ghg absorption occurs. Something like massive volcanic erruptions and/or asteroid impacts and/or massive increase in cloud cover perhaps due to cosmic radiation variations and/or gamma ray burst effects could, especially when combined with milenkovich orbital effects could trigger such a condition and such conditions as a glaciation period could potentially last until precipitation dropped below the sublimation rate and/or the ice/snow cover became very dirty with much lower albedo and/or some event variation with warming (rather than cooling) effects occurred.

  307. To begin with, it makes no sense to talk of Watts per square metre for air or clouds – it only applies to two dimensional surfaces. You could calculate it as watts per cubic metre. However, there is no way of telling how many wpsm leave the earth – It is only an assumption based on a mathematic assumption. Also, stefan law applies to black body radiation, so the figure of 33C is likewise an unmeasured assumption from which the rest follows – again only to be applied to two dimensional surfaces – so the equation doesn’t represent nature, as it isn’t logical to assume that molecular weight and bonding doesn’t take place during th eprocess of heat transfer. Heat is a variable. Its often forgotten that energy can be neither created or destroyed (ok that part isn’t forgotten) but can be changed from one form to another. The result is that objects don’t emit as much IR as they receive in other forms. To represent nature, the SB would be an S curve to reduce the amount of radiation given off by normal matter, whilst equating with that of the sun. The smooth curve simply assumes too much radiation from normal matter at normal temperatures, and is too simple an exponent

  308. It does make sense to talk w/m^2 for those who understand it as that is what impinges on the boundary layer. It isn’t what is absorbed in that layer. There are measurements that show not only what the sb average values are but also show the radiation and/or reflectivity as a function of wavelength. The figure 33K is a difference in what is measured and what we know the nature of a bb to produce. Fortunately, Earth’s temperature is low enough such that its emissivity is quite high at such long wavelengths whereas its emissivity at much shorter wavelengths tends to drop significantly. The distribution of energy associated with temperature is what gives one the bb distribution curve. The smoothness of the curve or continuum emission is related to the nature of solids and liquids and the practically infinite possible lines combined to give the curve, whereas the spectrum of gases is far more limited yielding bands and lines.
    I’m not sure what you mean by an s curve or how it applies to sb. sb was first empirical in origins but it is derivable from plank’s equation, integrated over angle and wavelength. emissivity as a single number is merely an engineering approximation but within limits, it works well. There are many commercial products that measure temperature by analyzing the IR signature of normal matter. As for the Sun, it essentially radiates a continuum from a gas that we would consider is a rather good vacuum at around 6000k.

  309. the constant can have the right characterisitcs for incandescent metals but be wrong for normal matter, as a lot of change occurs at normal temperature – whereas the SB constant requires horizontal change from the temperaure required to sustain life through to absolute zero. Chemical bonds reduce the ability to heat emission, and if their molecular weight increases there is less velocity. Metals give off far more heat than non metals at a particular temperature – free electrons amplify emitted heat – so its hard to justify a simple equation for nature.
    I’ve just posted on the basal metabolic rate of a human, (in the “A borehole in Antarctica produces evidence of sudden warming” thread) which is an average 85wpsm – equipment calibrated on the SB constant records a higher wattage of emission for normal temperature matter, yet thermal imaging technology records a human at a greater radiate magnitude than normal temperature matter.

  310. most ir temperature measurement equipment uses a couple of ir wavelengths to make a measurement. If the emissivity is not the same at both wavelengths then the reading may be higher or lower than the actual temperature. After all, emissivity in reality is a function of wavelength.

  311. the most common detectors are from 7-14microns, which would record heat loss from buildings, humans (we’re about 9 microns optimum). 3-5 microns would be radiators, boilers, kilns etc.
    if its true we generate optimum 100wpsm at 15 C, it’s logical that radiation exiting is a great deal less than 50wpsm. All things earthly would be in the 12-16 micron range, whilst S-B overestimates it 10 times.
    Simply stated: Human heat loss is 75-100wpsm. Earth heat loss is much less, otherwise, we’d see it via telemetry, which covers all the *assumed* wavelengths that our venerable climate officials say it is

  312. curves are much wider than that. Detectors only need enough width for to read significantly above the noise and then compare at two different wavelength. The nature of the curve is to peak close to the maximum. that doesn’t mean all of the power is in the peak. For Earth, 288K, around 1-2% of the total is still beyond 65um. As for 9 microns – there’s a big absorption band around there.
    actual heat loss is going to be the difference between the heat radiated (and evaporative cooling sweat) and heat absorbed by radiative means.
    as stated above, stefan’s law is an integration of angle and wavelength of planck’s law.
    I don’t know what you mean by seeing telemetry. also, radiative transfer is the only science of substance that those politicians can legitimately claim is fairly well understood.

  313. the new drive 5 miles less advert for act on co2 is laughble. Its just ridiclous.
    How about people in america stop driving 5.0litre cars on a regular basis? Driving 5 miles less each week in the uk is hardly going to amount to anything. Its these stupid little things that annoy me a great deal.
    The fact is if its such a big problem, then do some big things to solve it. Not these stupid things like drive 5 miles less. Drive 5 miles less forever? Will it go up to 10? 20? Drive 50 miles less? Where does it stop? It doesnt provide a long term solution. Therefore its laughable.
    Ive also heard that actually if the atmosphere becomes that bad they can fire rockets (ridiclous I know, but so a scientist said) into the atmosphere and balance it out. Sorry I dont know what was in the rockets, it sounded insane. But so does driving 5 miles less.

  314. Also the ridiclous averaging out and calculations from what must amount to rocks and soil hardly provides an accurate reading of what co2 existed 15 million years ago. You cannot save its accurate no matter what unless you stood there 15 million years ago and took “a reading” not the average guess work produced now. Then again most of the stats are hardly founded in fair tests.

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