Working 9,25 What a way to make a livin (at AGW)

9,25 – a factor that could close the global warming debate

Guest post by Frank Lansner (hidethedecline)

The CO2-sensitivity describes the warming effect induced by a doubling of the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, and is thus the epicentre of the global warming discussion. Estimates of the CO2 sensitivity are very different, and the value range used by IPCC appears unlikely to physically impossible. To show this, I will focus on the factor “Fw” between the total CO2 warming and then the warming from a single doubling of CO2 concentration.

The total CO2 warming effect is obviously many times bigger than the warming from a single CO2 doubling. Example: When changing CO2 concentration from 5 ppm to 320 ppm we have 6 doublings. But on top of these 6 doublings, how much warming effect is introduced when CO2 concentrations are changed from 0 to 5 ppm etc? In the following I use the online model MODTRAN:

Fig. 1. Above is illustrated the warming effect of CO2 for 3 different climatic areas. Zero W/M2 represents the net forcing of the atmosphere fore a given scenario with CO2 concentration set to 0 ppm.

For each area is shown a clear sky scenario as well as a light rain scenario. All other variables in MODTRAN are left as the default values. The results from MODTRAN are total atmosphere outgoing radiation, and thus when changing concentrations of CO2 we get total atmosphere responses incl feedbacks if present.

Fig 1 Shows 6 doublings of CO2 concentration: 5-10-20-40-80-160-320 ppm where every doubling shows warming effect of similar size (–as could be expected due to the logarithmic declining effect of adding more CO2 to the atmosphere).

From the graph above we can see that the total CO2 warming effect today equals around 9 times the warming effect of one doubling of CO2 concentration.

Fig 2. For a better compare between the scenarios on fig1, these are now shown as %-values of the total CO2 warming effect for (Forcing) with today’s concentration of 390 ppm CO2, equals 100%. It appears that clear sky, rainy sky, Arctic area, tropics, subtropics scenarios has a very similar profile indeed and I find that this result shows that we can consider these %-trends to be rather global.

Fig 3. The average global CO2-doubling can now be calculated more accurate to be near 10,8% of the full CO2 warming effect at 390 ppm. (Or, the “CO2-sensitivity” warming effect is around 10,8% of the total CO2 warming effect, globally.)

Thus, the “best estimate” of the factor between total CO2 warming effect and the warming effect from one CO2 doubling – Fw – can be calculated. Best estimate (so far) Fw = 9,25.

CO2-warming-total (K) = 9,25 * CO2-warming-from-one-doubling (K) = 9,25 * CO2 sensitivity (K)

I have used MODTRAN for this result, but it is universal that the doublings must have near same warming effect and thus the individual doubling will have just some fraction of the total value. For now, the factor 9,25 is best estimate.

Hansen – CO2 sensitivity.

Now how does the factor 9,25 between total CO2 warming effect and CO2 warming effect from a single doubling support the viewpoints of James Hansen on CO2 sensitivity?

James Hansen often refers to a CO2-sensitivity of 6 K… 6 K warming effect for each single CO2 doubling:

Fig 4 James Hansens CO2 sensitivity of 6 K gives around 55,5 K of total CO2 effect using the factor Fw = 9,25. As the total warming effect of all greenhouse gasses is assumed to have a warming effect of approx 33 K, the Hansen CO2-sensitivity demands that the total CO2 related warming effect is bigger than all the greenhouse gasses effect combined.

The overall CO2 warming effect is supposed to be around 10-15-2% of the total warming effect of the atmosphere, here we use 15%. Since CO2 is assumed to account for 15% of the total 33K greenhouse effect on Earth, the CO2 total warming effect is around 5 K. So just ONE CO2 doubling of Hansen’s CO2 sensitivity of 6 K has a bigger warming effect than the total warming effect supposed to be possible.

It is therefore highly odd that Hansen’s claim of 6 K CO2 sensitivity has been taken seriously anywhere at any time.

Here the “greenhouse wheel” (see WUWT post Wheel! – – Of! – – Silly!) where supposedly scientists imagine that we by year 2100 can have warming of over 7 K in fact with less than one CO2 doubling to cause this:

Fig 5. To account for their 7 K temperature increase, they must have played with a CO2-sensitivity of perhaps 10 K? So these honourable “scientists” believes that one CO2-doubling might resemble a third of the combined earth greenhouse effect?

IPCC – CO2 sensitivity

Then, how does the factor 9,25 between total CO2 warming effect and CO2 warming effect from a single doubling support the viewpoints of IPCC on CO2 sensitivity?

IPCC AR4 viewpoints for the CO2 sensitivity :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_sensitivity

IPCC “best estimate” of warming from one CO2 doubling is 3 K.

Using the Fw = 9,25 we learn, that if one doubling warms 3 Km then the total CO2 warming should be around 28 K ( = 9,25 * 3 )

We must then remember again that the total warming effect of the atmosphere is generally accepted to be near 33 K. The warming effect related to CO2 should then be around 85% of the total Earth atmosphere greenhouse gas effect. And without CO2, the atmospheres warming effect should be reduced to 15% of todays atmosphere…. On a globe with mostly water-ocean surface…

The IPCC numbers where each doubling of CO2 represents 3 K it simply does not fit at all with the total warming effect of the atmosphere.

IPCC then claimed:

“Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded..”

Well, 4,5 K for CO2 sensitivity gives a total CO2 effect of 41,6 K. This is 126% of the total earth greenhouse effect, so we could rephrase:

IPCC:

“Values of CO2 related warming substantially higher than 126% of the total greenhouse gas warming cannot be excluded..” …

Idso´s and Lindzens estimates for CO2 sensitivity.

What if we assume that CO2 is responsible for the 15% of the 33K greenhouse warming effect on Earth? This corresponds to 5 K. If true, the CO2 warming from one doubling should be

CO2 sensitivity = CO2warming-total / Fw

CO2 sensitivity = 5K / 9,25 = 0,54 K

So just using the generally accepted knowledge that CO2 sholuld account for around 15% of the total Earth greenhouse effect, and using the also generally accepted knowledge that total Earth greenhouse effect is 33K, then the CO2 sensitivity should be near 0,54K

Idso 1998 suggests 0,4 K, and Lindzen suggests 0,5 K these results appears sound and realistic in strong contrast to values from IPCC and Hansen.

Hansens 350 ppm ”safe level”

Fig 6. When working with CO2 – effect, one cant help wondering what Hansens ”safe level” of 350 ppm CO2 is all about.

Fig 7. NASA´s, James Hansen has claimed 350 ppm to be a safe level of CO2:

– Just 1,5 % less Warming effect from CO2 and we are “safe”.. ?

If CO2 has a total warming effect of 5 K – as previously calculated –  the difference between the Hansen “safe level” CO2 warming and todays level is around  0,075 K.

I wonder if the peoble creating the 350 ppm demonstrations knows this?

I wonder how they will react when they find out.

Idso 1998:

http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr/10/c010p069.pdf

MODTRAN:

http://geoflop.uchicago.edu/forecast/docs/Projects/modtran.orig.html

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196 thoughts on “Working 9,25 What a way to make a livin (at AGW)

  1. This is a question akin to the one: “what happens when you double the insulation thickness of double glazing”. In theory, the insulation is proportional to the thickness of air, but the reality is that air doesn’t just sit there and do what the “theory” says.
    Just as air in double glazing will start to flow in a convective cycle, so the atmosphere churns in a convective cycle tearing the static model of the atmosphere apart and making it useless to determine the impact of CO2.
    CO2 is not only a warming gas, the same physical properties make it a cooling gas where the CO2 is warmer than a heat sink like outer space. It helps radiate IR from the convective cooling cycle into space, and the higher the level of CO2 the more effective the cooling cycle. QED too much CO2 will cause atmospheric cooling
    The truth is that the impact of CO2 is not anything like as simple as the above article suggests, and the only way to determine what its affect is, is to measure it’s real impact on the atmosphere and not the theoretical impact.

  2. I find this post very hard to follow, particularly the use of Modtran. But this:
    “thus when changing concentrations of CO2 we get total atmosphere responses incl feedbacks if present”
    seems to be the basis of it, and is wrong. Modtran just works out the IR radiative balance of an atmosphere of prescribed concentration of gases. It does not account for feedbacks, which vary the concentration, of water vapor particularly, in response to warming.

  3. The problem is that you start with a model for forcings in Watts per square metre where you say that each doubling is equivalent to 10.8% of the total forcing – fair enough. But you then use this result to derive sensitivity in K. I don’t see how the two follow. You can’t infer anything about sensitivity, which is a temperature, from forcings, without including all the feedbacks.

  4. Hence the need to manufacture warming by playing surfacestation twister, cherrypicking data, and factoring in ‘adjustments’.
    It’s not happening, the predicted warming.
    What is happening is the wilder side of climate is showing itself once again.
    Inquiring younger generations speak with older generations that remember what it was like.
    Now you have multiple generations figuring it out for themselves.
    It’s not happening, the predicted warming.

  5. Excellent post and points made by Mike Haseler above.
    But the science no longer matters. CO2 falsehoods are now an entrenched and growing part of the global economy driven by political beneficiaries. CO2 and consequently global warming is a deliberate false economy, much like toxic mortgages are part of the present financial implosion.
    The Co2 swindle is now a legitimate growth business opportunity for most economies, the science is completely irrelevant.

  6. “…I wonder if the peoble creating the 350 ppm demonstrations knows this?
    I wonder how they will react when they find out…”
    In the same way that any other loony greenie groups react when facts are put to them – they’ll press on regardless and wave their placards harder and shout their message with even more fury. They’re not interested in reality…
    (You only have to watch some of the video clips where Chris Monckton engages with some of the demonstrators at Copenhagen, to realise this).

  7. This is brilliant. I always wondered what would happen if all the doublings were hindcasted, what would they show, but was too lazy to figure out how to get the information needed to show it. This does that perfectly.
    0.6K per doubling passes the smell test. To the best of my knowledge, Lindzen & Choi showed about that even in their revised calculations using actual observations. It also ties in with Chip Knappenburgers analysis as to what would be the effect if we reduced all of our emissions by 80%.
    The question now is when will this become a peer reviewed paper so that the IPCC will have to include it in their next report.

  8. Mike Haseler writes: “The truth is that the impact of CO2 is not anything like as simple as the above article suggests”
    Agreed. However, the concept that CO2-effect is similar for each doubling is not exactly my idea 🙂
    MODTRAN shows this relation (that off course originates from the logarithmich declining effect of CO2) so MODTRAN is “too simple” and many other too.
    Mike, if you say that for example the doubling 80ppm to 160ppm does NOT have near the same effect as the doubling 160ppm to 320ppm – (?) please argue for this. Then many scientists has got it wrong.
    I do not think that everything i illustrate above is 100% accurate, obviously. I just pinpoint how bad the building blocks of the CO2 hypothesis used today actually fit together.
    And the “fact” that greenhouse gasses in the first place should account for the ALL of the 33K insulating effect of the atmosphere is not proven and definetely not likely at all. So when i use the 33K I actually overestimate the effect of greenhouse gasses and thus CO2.
    But, Mike Considder this:
    How do you think Hansens claim of 6 K warming effect of ONE CO2 doubling match the MAX 33K effect of ALL greenhouse gasses combined?
    K.R. Frank

  9. This theory is all very well but why, in the geological past when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were 3000ppmv plus, did we not get past the so called climate tipping point and into runaway global warming. None of the so called greenhouse effect is supported by geological history. There is also the serious problem of the violation of the laws of thermodynamics which is being ignored by many so called skeptic scientists. There cannot be a theory that violates these physical laws. There is also the ice core problem. It has been shown that in the geological past temperature rises are FOLLOWED by parallel rises in CO2 levels. Temperature cannot be driven by atmospheric CO2 levels.

  10. The other greenhouse gases refers primarily to water the concentration of which depends on temperature. So, divide 30 by 10 (or nine if you like) and you get 3C per doubling 😉
    Hansen’s 6K is for a strange definition of climate sensitivity including slow feedbacks, ie the icesheets albedo.
    For runaway warming you need to consider that we only have poor proxies of past CO2 levels, let alone other forcings, and we know that the sun should have been less bright in the past.


  11. Vince Causey says:
    September 8, 2010 at 12:54 am
    The problem is that you start with a model for forcings in Watts per square metre where you say that each doubling is equivalent to 10.8% of the total forcing – fair enough. But you then use this result to derive sensitivity in K.

    Hi Vince!
    Change in W/M2 is generally accepted to be proportional to Change in temperature (K). I think Shaviv got around 2,2 W/m2, and others around 3,7 W/m2.
    But this is not the point at all you are digging in 🙂
    The point is, that doublings of CO2 is widely accepted to have the same warming effect (no matter if we use W/m2 or K).
    This gives a problem when for example Hansen says that ONE Co2 doubling shold cause 6 K warming…
    MODTRAN shows that what ever warming ONE doubling has, the total Co2 warms around 9,25 times as much. in this case 55 K
    Even if there is not 9,25 “doublings” in the total CO2 warming effect, lets say just 6 “doublings”, then Hansens value demands that COs shold be related (feedbacks or not) to more warming than all greenhouse gasses combined 🙂
    Please try to see what im saying. Its the number of doublings and the claims of the warming effect of each doubling… no matter if we use unit W/m2 or K.
    K.R. Frank

  12. You’ve started way too high! Start with one molecule of CO2. Double it until you get to a single mole. Already – even if we assume CO2 is responsible for 100% of the 33k warming – a half degree per doubling is too high!
    I tried starting with zero molecules of CO2, but it kept getting hotter and hotter with no increase of CO2 (it’s worse than we thought!). How’s that supposed to work?
    Best,
    Frank

  13. Mike Haseler says:
    September 8, 2010 at 12:35 am
    Just as air in double glazing will start to flow in a convective cycle, so the atmosphere churns in a convective cycle tearing the static model of the atmosphere apart and making it useless to determine the impact of CO2.

    Are you saying the tropopause doesn’t exist?


  14. Heiko Gerhauser says:
    September 8, 2010 at 2:01 am
    The other greenhouse gases refers primarily to water the concentration of which depends on temperature. So, divide 30 by 10 (or nine if you like) and you get 3C per doubling 😉

    Njaaaaah 🙂
    We live on a globe with 70% water surface. Today there is around 100 times more water in the atmosphere than CO2. This means that the wavelenght for water are saturated mostly, so variation in warming effect from water is tiny tiny tiny.
    So, an atmopshere without CO2 will not affect H2O greenhouse effect much.
    So your equation:
    ” divide 30 by 10 (or nine if you like) and you get 3C per doubling ;-)”
    demands that without Co2 there would be no more warming effect from water 🙂 I think you see the problem…
    More: I calculated from all 6 scenarios used in my article above how much greenhouse effect there would be left without any CO2: 91,1 %
    So according to MODTRAN, the total CO2 related warming is MAX 9% of the33 K – but still, to be conservative in my article i used the normally used 15%. So again i have overestimated the CO2 effet in my article to be able to defend it.
    K.R. Frank

  15. Good post.
    Can you please clarify: The IPCC estimates include the other feedbacks, don’t they? Then the 6K is supposed to be a result of CO2 and added H2O. Does you model run include a static value for H2O in the athmosphere for the different CO2 concentrations?
    Nitpick: The ppm scale in the graphs should stay logarithmic, now it is a bit misleading visually with the doubling switching to 350 and 390.
    On a sidenote: Slap together warmer = wetter planet and a tipping point for a runaway temperature? I suppose we should be extremely worried about local scorching temps during rainstorms and overcast, maybe halestorms followed by giant fireballs are the future of AGW?


  16. Frank Kotler says:
    September 8, 2010 at 2:15 am
    You’ve started way too high! Start with one molecule of CO2. Double it until you get to a single mole. Already – even if we assume CO2 is responsible for 100% of the 33k warming – a half degree per doubling is too high!

    Agreed. my 0,54 K for CO2 sensitiviy demands that ALL insulating effect from the atmosphere is due to greenhouse gasses, and it demands that the CO2 related warming is 15% of total greenhouse effect – while MODTRAN actually says its only 9 %.
    (Too say that an atmosphere without greenhousegasses shold not be insulating the planest at all it completely nonsense. ALL planets show atmosphere with similar insulating effect, even Saturn that has mostly just H2 and He2 and then trace amount of other substances…!!)
    K.R. Frank

  17. Empirical data trumps models every time. Frank Lansner has used a model to show that climate sensitivity to CO2 is less than IPCC predictions. Nick Stokes has correctly pointed out that this model does not factor in water vapour feedback. But what does the empirical evidence say? According to Dr. Lindzen and Dr. Spencer the feed back from water vapour is neutral to negative. The basis to their conclusions was empirical data from radiosondes and satellites.

  18. Konrad says:
    September 8, 2010 at 2:43 am
    “.. this model does not factor in water vapour feedback. ”
    No, please understand:
    Each CO2 doubling has a warming effect just being a fraction of the total COw warming effect.
    So
    Each CO2 doubling warming effect WITH feedbacks are just a fraction of the total CO2 warming effect WITH feedbacks.
    Each CO2 doubling warming effect WITHOUT feedbacks are just a fraction of the total CO2 warming effect WITHOUT feedbacks.
    The fact that there are many CO2-doublings comprised in the total CO2 pool has NOTHING to do with MODTRAN and thus if MODTRAN uses feedbacks. Nick is just missing the core of this problem.
    As basis for the discussion, ALL doublings have the same feedbacks , same warming effect – unless otherwise documented or at least suggested and explained.
    Hansens 6 K per CO2 doubling includes feedback. But then its his idea that feedbacks did not work for the doublings 20-40ppm? 80-160ppm?
    No, ALL Hansens CO2 doubling must lead to feedbacks (!) and therefore a total atmosphere insulating effect of 33K is NOT in compliance with or exmaple Hansens 6K doublings that includes feedback.
    Just 5 of Hansens 6 K CO2 doubling including feedbacks equals the whole atmosphere warming! As though the 100 times more abundant H2O had almost no effect was it not for CO2. This is Absurd. Nick and all must see this is a problem.
    K.R. Frank

  19. The Climate sensitivity wiki article you refer to says…

    CO2 climate sensitivity has a component directly due to radiative forcing by CO2 (or any other change in Earth’s radiative balance), and a further contribution arising from feedbacks, positive and negative. Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1°C global warming, which is easy to calculate and is undisputed. The remaining uncertainty is due entirely to feedbacks in the system, namely, the water vapor feedback, the ice-albedo feedback, the cloud feedback, and the lapse rate feedback”; addition of these feedbacks leads to a value of approximately 3 °C.

    As a non-scientist, I have always followed Lindzen that the dispute is about the feedback component of sensitivity. From the responses above (from folks that seem to know about this stuff) it seems that this post is only confusing the issue…and also….buying into this issue in this (non-empirical) way only encourages the scholastic aspects of this science.

  20. Berniel, Your quote states that IPCC believes that each CO2 doubling incl feedbacks should lead to 3 K warming – just as I said in the article.
    So for example 5 CO2 doubling (influding its feedback) should account for around 15 K. This is half the insulating effect of the atmosphere. So if we reduced CO2 by 5 doublings, the atmosphere should only insulate half as much as today? No something IS wrong.
    Remember, that Water is by far the strongest greenhouse gas and is 100 times more abundant in the atmosphere than CO2 , and the CO2 effects including feedback appears significantly overestimated by the IPCC.
    Each doubling of CO2 without feedbacks just adds a little heat to the atmosphere. Why should each doubling (= each adding of a little temperare from Co2) not lead to the same feedbacks?
    No the doublings- unless documented – should have same effect including feedbacks, and therefore Each doubling cannot have these huge warming effects claimed by IPCC and Hansen. These estimates are just not in compliance with the MAX total atmosphere insulating effect.
    I have used MODTRAN – but if I had used another model, i would not change, that there are many doublings of CO2 in the total Co2 amount – AND that each doubling incl feedback should lead to nearly the same warm effect. (Unless otherwise documented.)
    K.R. Frank

  21. Frank Lansner says:
    September 8, 2010 at 2:12 am


    Vince Causey says:
    September 8, 2010 at 12:54 am
    The problem is that you start with a model for forcings in Watts per square metre where you say that each doubling is equivalent to 10.8% of the total forcing – fair enough. But you then use this result to derive sensitivity in K.

    Hi Vince!
    Change in W/M2 is generally accepted to be proportional to Change in temperature (K). I think Shaviv got around 2,2 W/m2, and others around 3,7 W/m2.

    We live in alternate realities for sure.
    In my reality, change in Kelvin follows a black/gray body formula of
    Energy flow= C*T^4
    Delta(E)=C*4*T^3*delta(T)
    Proportional NOT. And it is a matter of physics and measurements, not of consensus.

  22. Frank Lansner says:
    Mike Haseler writes: “The truth is that the impact of CO2 is not anything like as simple as the above article suggests”
    Agreed. However, the concept that CO2-effect is similar for each doubling is not exactly my idea 🙂

    Frank, the reason I was a bit pointed in my comment is that this static analysis of the atmosphere is the lynch pin of the warmist camp. Basically, their whole publicity campaign is based on a single STATIC passive heated model of the atmosphere.
    The argument everyone knows is as follows:
    1. Fossil fuels produce CO2
    2. CO2 traps IR
    3. Fossil fuels are warming the atmosphere.
    4. Any warming/severe weather/changeable weather/plague of frogs is proof that we are burning too much fossil fuel.
    This article is basically repeating this stupid train of logic that seems to compel us to believe CO2 has a simple single impact which is to warm the atmosphere as a GREENHOUSE …. at which point most people start imagining the world being as warm as a real greenhouse.
    If we want to defeat global warmers, we have to stop trying to argue about the merits/demerits of a numpty static model of the atmosphere, and start showing that the atmosphere cannot by modelled by the Micky Mouse “science” of these numpties.
    OR TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY, THE DESTROY THE CO2=GREENHOUSE WARMING MESSAGE
    That is why, whenever I am able, I mention the cooling effect of CO2 because this destroys this simple message – it is a simple way to introduce some complexity to the model and which totally undermines the apparently compelling argument of the static “co2 warms” model.
    It has lovely symetry:
    CO2 blocks IR => CO2 emits IR
    Therefore:-
    More CO2 warms => more CO2 cools.
    Therefore:-
    More CO2 causes warming => more CO2 causes cooling
    For anyone who’s belief is based on badly learnt schoolboy science, as soon as you introduce some complexity and therefore uncertainty by the cooling effect of higher levels of CO2, the whole inevitable logic of global warming falls apart and becomes: “what is the relative cooling and warming impacts of CO2”.
    As this can’t be answered by simple waving of the hand arguments, it totally demolishes the foundation of the “CO2=WARMING” message of the propagandists.
    But, so long as (well intentioned) people keep engaging with the warmist agenda of “how much warming” does the “CO2 Warming gas” cause, which is the same as saying: “It is right to model the atmosphere as a static unmoving mass”, so long as people keep alive this static analysis of the atmosphere, we will never defeat this propaganda machine.

  23. Just to restate the dynamic model of CO2 cooling:
    Air heated at the surface rises by convective currents, and then is cooled by IR emission into space. The addition of CO2 to this warm air mass increases the rate of cooling thereby increasing the rate of cooling of the atmosphere.

  24. “… the value range used by IPCC appears unlikely to physically impossible.”
    Is this what you mean to say?

  25. “when changing concentrations of CO2 we get total atmosphere responses incl feedbacks if present.”
    Kindly provide a reference showing that MODIS includes feedbacks.
    Please also remember that the total greenhouse effect of 33K is for a planet with an albedo of ~0.3. If you removed all greenhouse gases the temperature would be 33K colder, but once ice feedback occur, the albedo would increase, and the temperature would fall even further.

  26. Hi Anna,
    Most scientist believes that it takes around 4 W/M2 to warm the Earth surface 1 kelvin – you dont agree?
    Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_sensitivity
    They say:
    x = ΔTemp/ΔForcing * (3.7 W/m2)
    Looks rather proportional to me.
    And why on Earth should the change
    355->356 W/m2
    not result in a temperature change similar to
    358->359 W/m2
    ??
    Of course temperature and effect is proportional to a high degree.
    K.R. Frank

  27. Hi Mike Haseler, you write:
    “OR TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY, THE DESTROY THE CO2=GREENHOUSE WARMING MESSAGE”
    I understand you only too well. But to be realistic, I cant attack all corners of the AGW card house in one go, in one blog entry.
    If i did that, mentioned “all” I would end up with a huge mess, and no message coming across. therefore I just pick one argument, and show its problems. Its more realistic to get one point across by just mentioning the one point.
    Next article perhaps we should look at the other planets atmpspheres, show that their insulating effect appears very unrelated to the particular gasses in the atmosphere – and thus make your point. But one thing at a time 🙂
    K.R. Frank

  28. Richard Telford
    Thanks for interesting input. However if MODTRAN uses feedbacks or not is not relevant as I explained in the comment
    September 8, 2010 at 3:13 am .
    You see, the problem of each CO2 doubling causing a similar heat effect has nothing to do with the fact that i just used MODTRAN. The whole concept of CO2-sensitivity is based on effect from each doubling to be similar – incl and excl feedbacks.
    – So if you are correct about MODTRAN not using feedback – what would that change?
    K.R. Frank

  29. I’m afraid my poor little brain cell cannot follow the logic of this article. And I work in a scientific field so I don’t know what non-scientific people will make of it.

  30. Richard Telford, you write:

    Please also remember that the total greenhouse effect of 33K is for a planet with an albedo of ~0.3. If you removed all greenhouse gases the temperature would be 33K colder, but once ice feedback occur, the albedo would increase, and the temperature would fall even further.

    This thinking is super relevant. My comments though:
    the 33K goes for a globe with todays albedo. So the atmosphere including greenhouse gasses today are eeping this Eath with its appearance 33K warmer. This tells something about the greenhouse gas effects. If you then cooled earth down, we would due to ice mostly see a cooling greater than 33K.
    But we have to seperate things: The 33K shows what the gasses themselves “can do” without help from albedo changes etc.
    So far so good.
    But Hansens 6 K per doubling of CO2 is not much helped by ice changes, as the Earth already has rather small icecaps. The overall albedo of earth due to ice changes wont change that much due to a warming. And therefore the most important albedo effect, ice , cannot really help much in a situation of warming.
    But still hansen believes that just one CO2 doubling should cause a temperature change in same magnitude as the temperature difference over the iceages.
    So buttom line: 33 K is the warming effect of the atmosphere today, not much albedo change can be expected from warming up.
    (Hansen believes that each single CO2 doubling shold cause temperature changes in the same size as the temperature over the ice ages due to the feedbacks.)
    K.R. Frank

  31. It’s difficult to follow the article. If I understand correctly, the author is missing the moisture feedback argument. The rest of the warming is alleged to come from moisture feedback. IOW, the CO2 itself causes a fractional amount with cloud formation causing the rest.
    The cloud formation is the unknown factor. Spencers recent paper on cloud sensitivity should be a headline here imo, it’s far more powerful than the hockey stick paper highlighted recently. Two papers this year have been more damaging to the extremist AGW case than any I’ve read, MMH10 and Spencers recent work.
    MMH show models running 2 to4 times warmer than the measured data and S10 showed that current satellite data predicts a negative feedback to clouds while model data run through the same methods predicts positive feedback.
    In the case of this article, extremist AGW predicts that the CO2 does a bit of work and the clouds react by warming more. The current data on feedback (which we never had before) shows otherwise. It’s a really big deal but it may need blogland to highlight it further because it looks like climatology is going to try and ignore these gaping holes which hit the core of their argument.

  32. Thanks Frank,
    There is too many straight lines in the Modtran output. This indicates it is based on artificial formulae rather than physical measurement simulations.
    ————-
    Hansen’s 6C sensitivity is a long, long-term equilibrium that could take up to 1,500 years. He is stil using 3.0C per doubling in the short-term, year 2100 timeline.
    The long-term equilibrium includes feedbacks from water vapour, the deep oceans fully adjusting, glacial melt which can take a long time given the thermal inertia of the ice, and even vegetation patterns moving toward the poles – forests growing into tundra locations for example.
    It is just that throughout the history of the planet, there was always enough time for the long, long-term equilbrium to set in and we do not find 6C sensitivity in the climate history, maybe 1.0C to 1.5C.

  33. How good is the theory correlating CO2 with warming? My point is that it all seeems to be based on computer modeling that, at it’s core assumes a certain warming effect from CO2 (and other factors). If the CO2=warming theory is wrong (like warming causes CO2 increases in the atmosphere, not the other way around), then we have GI-GO in the models….right?
    Just askin’.

  34. Jeff, you write:

    If I understand correctly, the author is missing the moisture feedback argument. The rest of the warming is alleged to come from moisture feedback. IOW, the CO2 itself causes a fractional amount with cloud formation causing the rest.

    Thanks Jeff for comment. In fact I did not focus on where and how the claimed big CO2-sensitivity comes from (allthough thats interesting too, cant beat them all)
    In stead i focus on the very buttom line: What happens if we just accept the huge estimates of CO2 warming from each doubling? Then for example the just 3 CO2 doublings incl feedback (using Hansens 6 K) should result in a temperature increase 3 times larger than the difference between ice ages and interglacials ? etcetc.
    Bill!, Thanks for comment!
    Its true, many inputs to science concerning CO2 effect are actually just smaller changes over thousands years, and the CO2 effect to occur within year 2100 appears not well supported in actual data from the ice cores or the like.
    K.R. Frank
    K.R. Frank

  35. “So if you are correct about MODTRAN not using feedback – what would that change?”
    Everything.
    It causes you to make at least two errors, I just want to focus on one of them:
    Your argument is predicated on the temperature change is all greenhouse gases were removed being 33k. This is only valid if the albedo is fixed. Since snow and ice cover would increase if the temperature was 33k colder, the albedo would increase, the temperature would drop further. You now need to compare the forcing from a doubling of CO2 with value larger than 33k – the effect of greenhouse gases with ice albedo feedbacks.

  36. “As the total warming effect of all greenhouse gasses is assumed to have a warming effect of approx 33 K…”
    This fundamental misunderstanding renders your conclusions invalid. Greenhouse gases would actually warm the surface a lot more than that, if it were not for convective cooling.

  37. Frank
    From what point are we measuring a (mythical) potential increase of say 3C degrees?
    Let us assume that CO2 levels didn’t change during the depths of the LIA 1650-1698 .
    (which surely is strange if it is supposed to be a climate driver- see graph 1)
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/historic-variations-in-co2-measurements/
    Surely a doubling of CO2 from 270ppm should result in a 3C temperature rise that is measured from 1698-which is when a warming trend started? Why are we taking it from Hansen’s 1880 Giss records which merely plugged into the end of an already well established warming trend which had commenced nearly 200 years previously?
    (I am temporarily suspending my incredulity in the merits of the highly dubious notion of an accurate ‘global’ temperature in the first place)
    tonyb

  38. I find the article very difficult to follow from a “technical writing form” aspect. The many convention errors are jarring and decreases the overall quality of the science. In the blogosphere as well as in paper journals, conventions count as much as the science does.

  39. Darn WUWT, all these people discussing and commenting like grown ups, shouldn’t there be more name calling and unsubstantiated fact flinging at this rate people might come to a consensus.
    And anyone that is trying to show the UN’s IPCC as a bunch of monkeys with the keys to the computer suite is thumbs up in my book.

  40. There is more involved in Hansen’s 3C long term climate sensitivity then just ice albedo. You also have things like co2 and methane release and trees gowing further north. You don’t see the 3C long term climate sensitivity batted about too much. I suspect the reason is you don’t have to be a climate scientist to grab on to the most logical question: if there is a high long term climate sensitivity then how much of today’s warming can be explained by the long term sensitivity from forcings in the past? Not a question one would wish to answer when you are already missing heat from recent forcings.

  41. richard telford says:
    September 8, 2010 at 5:49 am
    Sorry Richard, you can’t remove all greenhouse gases and then state that snow and ice would change the albedo – you removed all greenhouse gases, remember. We either have greenhouse gases (water included) or we don’t. If we have water, then we can have ice, snow, clouds, if not, then see the other, effectively waterless planets like Mars.
    [Matt, water has been found on Mars.]

  42. I agree with Jeff Id. MMh10 and Spencer clearly have inflicted mortal damage to CAGW.
    CAWarmers always talk about feedbacks and such, but apparently haven’t read either paper or just wish they’d go away, but they can’t be ignored forever and should be kept in the spotlight. The data show negative feedbacks dominate in nature as it always has. Spencer made a public plea for all scientists to debunk his paper. For the sake of science, they should respond.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/09/one-the-debunking-spencers-feedback-ideas-an-appeal-to-physical-scientists-everywhere/
    The hockey stick has been shattered how many times now? People know the h/s was and still is a complete fraud. Bury the zombie under Giant stadium and be done with it. If h/s worshipers need to build a shrine to mourn their loss, whatever, it’s dead. Get over it.

  43. Models! I, recently, tried to encase a damaged (Thanks to me not clearing this stuff away from kids) Airfix model in resin. The results were worse than I expected. The temperature of the chemical reaction and the fact I was impatient, the busted plastic model, well, was melted in the resin, permanently! LOL
    Just watched a program on ABC here in Aus tonight, and while we’re worrying about CO2 being a “pollutant” (Emissions from concrete, wine, bread, beer….pollutants?), we have people in this world suffering “noma”, the billons “spent” on “renewables” could be spent, wisely, on real issues.
    I guess a poor person on Africa, is, well, worthless.

  44. I like the gist of the article but I think it is a bit more hand waving than the maths would imply. The problem is that the percentage of forcing due to CO2 (as against the other greenhouse gases and convection) is not likely to be constant for every doubling of CO2. For example if there were no CO2 at all the world would be amost entirely frozen since the level of water vapour in atmosphere would be very low and therefore almost all radiation from the surface would go directly into space.
    Introducing some CO2 would therefore have a major impact with strong positive feedback as water evaporated. This might even increase with say the second third and fourth doubling as the more powerful water vapour effect began to dominate. In later doublings the effect of increasing water vapour might very well be a strong negative feedback once clouds become possible (reducing incoming radiation) and convection increases the heat loss to the upper atmosphere. At some point this negative feedback might turn positive once more if there were some natural limitation on cloud formation or convection losses. My guess is that no one really knows what the nett feedbacks are today and certainly do not know what they will be in the future.
    Therefore it is not possible to use the “CO2 is 15% of the warming effect” which exists today for any scenario in the past or the future. However, Mike’s article makes the strong point that the IPCC are saying that the next doubling with feedback will be far more than the average historic temperature increase for a CO2 doubling. It is not impossible, given the uncertainties of the feedbacks of the past, but extraordinary claims demand extraorinary evidence. I have not seen it!
    Mike Haseler wrote
    Air heated at the surface rises by convective currents, and then is cooled by IR emission into space. The addition of CO2 to this warm air mass increases the rate of cooling thereby increasing the rate of cooling of the atmosphere.
    I have sympathy with your idea and have made the same point myself but it is only part of the picture. You cannot counter the oversimplification of AGW with an oversimplifying of your own.
    The upper atmosphere is heated by radiative absortion (mainly by H20 and CO2 molecules) as well as convection. This heat is radiated into space (mainly by H20 and CO2 molecules). The amount of heat radiated is determined by the number of molecules and the temperature of those molecules. As the concentration of H2O and CO2 increases the meanfree path of photons decreases and the average height at which radiation to space takes place increases. In principle the higher one goes the cooler it is so the radiation amount drops. The AGW argument is that since radiation is proportional to the fourth power of abolute temperature the height change dominates the density change and there is a nett reduction in outgoing radiation. Less outgoing radiation from the upper atmosphere means the surface has to warm to maintain the radiative balance.
    So your simple argument may persuade the layman but would not influence the AGW atmospheric scientist. The stronger argument I believe is whether the change in height will really lead to a reduction in temperature. As I have stated before the Hadley explantation states that the effective radiation level into space occurs at a point in the troposphere where the 6K per kilometre adiabatic lapse rate still holds. However all the data I have seen suggests that the level at which CO2 emits is very near, if not in, the tropopause where there is no change in temperature with height. In this situation your simple argument becomes true. But to prove it you would have also have to prove that there is no change to the height of the tropopause. A few years ago there were reports that an increase in the height (and therefore a drop in temperature) had indeed been measured but it was then quickly refuted. I have heard nothing since so perhaps the jury is still out.

  45. Frank Kotler says:
    September 8, 2010 at 2:15 am
    “You’ve started way too high! Start with one molecule of CO2. Double it until you get to a single mole. Already – even if we assume CO2 is responsible for 100% of the 33k warming – a half degree per doubling is too high!”
    ================
    I like that. Sometimes my mind comes up with questions that I discard and decide not to ask, because I assume they must be too innocent. Questions like the following:
    If the doubling effect on forcing is logarithmic, with the first 30 ppmv or so (that is, about 5 doublings starting at 1 ppm) accounting for a disproportionately large part of the current warming effect of CO2, then why are there so many initial doublings that have no effect whatsoever? This must be so because there is a huge number of doublings from 1 molecule to current levels.
    How do you determine the minimum initial concentration whose doubling will follow the current theoretical assumptions of climate sensitivity, whatever they are?
    In other words, how many doublings does it take for these doublings to start becoming relevant? (i.e: how many initial doublings would have no measurable effect?)
    And I always end up with the same question:
    Why are there no attempts ever made to measure the warming effect of different concentrations of this gas under some kind of controled conditions? Why must everything remain forever floating in theoretical ether?

  46. Frank Lansner says:
    September 8, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Frank Kotler says:
    September 8, 2010 at 2:15 am
    You’ve started way too high! Start with one molecule of CO2. Double it until you get to a single mole. Already – even if we assume CO2 is responsible for 100% of the 33k warming – a half degree per doubling is too high!…

    Regressing all the way back to one molecule makes no sense. The problem is as follows. The radiation calculations involve an assumption of local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE). Gas concentration must be above some threshold for LTE to apply. One molecule is surely not enough, and LTE does not apply to the upper atmosphere. There is some doubt that LTE even applies to Earth’s present troposphere, and even stellar atmosphere physicists disagree about the applicability of LTE to an atmosphere as dense as the photosphere for purposes of calculating spectral line shape. This is why I have asked on several occasions whether anyone knows of actual measurements to verify MODTRAN calculations. Does anyone know about such?
    At any rate the author here assumes 5ppm as a starting point, and the distance from 5 to 320ppm is six doubles for sure, but we aren’t certain if LTE applies anywhere along this chain.

    anna v says:
    September 8, 2010 at 3:52 am
    Frank Lansner says:
    September 8, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Vince Causey says:
    September 8, 2010 at 12:54 am

    We live in alternate realities for sure.
    In my reality, change in Kelvin follows a black/gray body formula of
    Energy flow= C*T^4
    Delta(E)=C*4*T^3*delta(T)
    Proportional NOT. And it is a matter of physics and measurements, not of consensus.

    The Stefan Law holds true only if the entire spectrum is present in the emission. On Earth the transmission passes though “windows” in the spectrum, and the result is that the surface temperature relationship is more like T to the 4.6 power, with a proportional constant smaller than the Stefan constant (5.67e-8). One the other hand, for small changes in temperature one can use a linear proportionality in any case–Taylor Series and all that.

  47. berniel says:
    September 8, 2010 at 3:15 am
    The Climate sensitivity wiki article you refer to says…
    ‘CO2 climate sensitivity has a component directly due to radiative forcing by CO2 (or any other change in Earth’s radiative balance), and a further contribution arising from feedbacks, positive and negative. Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1°C global warming, which is easy to calculate and is undisputed. The remaining uncertainty is due entirely to feedbacks in the system, namely, the water vapor feedback, the ice-albedo feedback, the cloud feedback, and the lapse rate feedback’; addition of these feedbacks leads to a value of approximately 3 °C.
    As a non-scientist, I have always followed Lindzen that the dispute is about the feedback component of sensitivity.”
    It is looking more and more like the total additional feedback mechanisms are negative rather than positive. Ice albedo has only a small effect during climate optimums as the distribution of the relatively small amount of ice is at the poles were the angle of incidence low, and even sea water reflects much of the incoming light at these latitudes.
    It is now looking like cloud cover increases with temperature, and is a negative climate feedback mechanism.
    Water vapour is a significant ‘greenhouse’ gas, but it already exists in the atmosphere in large quantities, with its absorption spectrum already well saturated. Further water vapour will have little further effect on temperature.
    My view is that the climate oscillations we observe are due to the deterministic chaos inherent in its weather systems. As the Earth heats, the oceans and the atmosphere become more turbulent dissipating heat more efficiently, with the reverse happening when the planet cools. Ice ages are ‘black swan’ events which occur when a series of cooling events coincide, these kick the Earth into a stable cold phase.

  48. The first step is to show that we can in fact double the CO2 in the atmosphere from 390 to 780. I have read several places that say burning all the known reserves of gas and oil cannot do it. Burning all the coal, gas and oil just makes it, but how long will it take to burn all of them.
    If we cannot get to a double then lets say so.

  49. The model output is obviously flawed. There’s no way in hell the slope could be constant from 5ppm to 325ppm. There’s something out of whack in the model that produces sudden slope changes.

  50. Nevermind. I see the problem. It’s in the x-axis scaling which deviates from exponential below 5ppm and above 320ppm. It would be less misleading and more informative if the x-axis was uniformly exponential or uniformly linear.

  51. Frank Lansner says:
    September 8, 2010 at 5:53 am
    Check this: Are we sure that there is even more water in the atmosphere after 1948? No, so how can anyone claim positive feedbacks??
    ====================================
    Now you have reached the crux of mainstream climate science. It’s not about the little bit of warming which you have demonstrated CO2 causes, it’s about the response.
    I suggest you put your new question to Real Climate and see if Gavin takes flight from the arm waiving. A trip to Roy Spencers blog for his recent paper and discussion and you may turn into a full blown skeptic.
    It’s only been recently that we’ve had the ability to measure cloud response in a reasoanble fashion, Dr. Spencer says all the recent satellite evidence he can find all points to negative feedback from cloud vapor (i.e. even less warming than CO2 by iteself) while all the models are loaded with positive feedback.
    If he’s right the models would overshoot temps substantially, which they do by MMH10. A paper vigorously blocked by the climate community.
    Everyone admits though that the sat data isn’t long enough to make a conclusion, but without strong positive feedback, there is no dangerous warming.

  52. Mike Haseler says:
    September 8, 2010 at 12:35 am
    “QED too much CO2 will cause atmospheric cooling”
    That’s an interesting hypothesis. Milankovich cycles are generally blamed for ending interglacial periods but as warming proceeds during the interglacial CO2 level rises as the warming global ocean releases dissolved CO2. It would be a real laugh riot if the so-called “tipping point” in regard to atmospheric CO2 is runaway cooling instead of runaway warming.

  53. Richard Telford, I still do understand your relevant point concerning ice and albedo, but i already answered this in
    “Frank Lansner says:
    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 am ”
    I cant see that you understood what I asnwered 🙂
    tonyb says:
    “From what point are we measuring a (mythical) potential increase of say 3C degrees? ”
    Hi Tony!! CO2 sensitivity is related to doublings in general as definition. (However as many points out – the effects from CO2 in all kinds of feedbacks can be different)
    cal says:
    September 8, 2010 at 6:43 am
    “Introducing some CO2 would therefore have a major impact with strong positive feedback as water evaporated. ”
    Maybe so, but where is the extra water in the atmosphere since 1948?
    http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/feedback-positive-ndash-rdquowhat-makes-co2-heat-dangerousrdquo-29.php
    K.R. Frank

  54. Mike Haseler says:
    September 8, 2010 at 12:35 am
    “CO2 is not only a warming gas, the same physical properties make it a cooling gas where the CO2 is warmer than a heat sink like outer space. It helps radiate IR from the convective cooling cycle into space, and the higher the level of CO2 the more effective the cooling cycle. QED too much CO2 will cause atmospheric cooling”
    I have been looking for a diagram which shows this CO2 cooling effect. That is, a diagram like the familiar breakdown of sun radiation energy into components which are reflected/absorbed/transformed between atmosphere, clouds, and earth’s surface, but doing this for night-time. The daytime ‘forcing’ of CO2 would be shown as a night-time ‘reducing’.
    This would be instructive and also publicise the cooling counterpart of the oft quoted sunlight radiative balance diagram. In this way CO2 would be seen correctly as both a warming and a cooling agent, helping to offset the fixed view of CO2 as a warmer-only.

  55. Mike Haseler says:
    September 8, 2010 at 3:59 am

    That is why, whenever I am able, I mention the cooling effect of CO2 because this destroys this simple message…
    ======================================================
    Right on the mark. But the arm waving stops quicker if one applies the tourniquet at the neck (funding). It was never about science.

  56. Tenuc says:
    September 8, 2010 at 7:39 am
    “Ice albedo has only a small effect during climate optimums as the distribution of the relatively small amount of ice is at the poles were the angle of incidence low, and even sea water reflects much of the incoming light at these latitudes.”
    It might not be quite so small. Snow is highly reflective and in the winter it reflects a lot of incoming shortwave over temperate land masses. Just a little bit colder can greatly increase the extent and duration of winter snow cover and it’s a positive feedback which, judging by the paleo-record is wicked fast at bringing interglacial periods to an end. By the same token just a little bit colder can greatly reduce the extent and duration of growing seasons (number of days between killing frosts). Any amount of global cooling is a bad thing. We really need the warming to continue for the sake of agriculture but unfortunately that’s probably not in the cards. Hopefully technology (I’m betting on genetic engineering boosting agricultural output) will come to the rescue when the warming turns to cooling.

  57. Frank,
    As a old modtran user ( when it used to be classified) you need to understand that it does not include feedbacks. You can use it to tell you one thing: More C02 = More warming, all things be equal, ie no feedbacks. There is no way of calculating sensitivity. Sensitivity can only be estimated by running a GCM. For engineers we might use Modtran to estimate what level of IR signal we can expect to get when radiation passes through the atmosphere, for example. So if we have a heat source on the ground emitting and we want to view it from above we have to calculate how much of that signal will will actually reach the sensor and how much of it will be blocked by the atmosphere. Or, if we are on the ground and want to estimate what a hot source in the sky will look like by the time that signal passes down through the atmosphere we can also use MODTRAN. As the model shows, adding C02 to the atmosphere will result in changes to the transfer of radiation. If the model wasnt right, if C02 did not interact with IR the way the model describes the sensors in space, the sensors on the ground would not perform as they do. What MODTRAN tells us is that all things being equal a worl with more C02 is a warmer world. Not a colder world, not a world with the same temperature, a warmer world. Folk who deny that C02 has any effect on the transfer of radiation through the atmosphere, need to understand that the fundamental science, engineering and working devices say otherwise.
    How much warming when we INCLUDE feedbacks? that’s the real question.

  58. Francisco, you write
    “How do you determine the minimum initial concentration whose doubling will follow the current theoretical assumptions of climate sensitivity, whatever they are?”
    BINGO a very very very central question!
    Never mind what, there will allways be a number of doublings with similar CO2 effect, and thus it not at all due to my using MODTRAN with or without feedbacks that we can wonder how these doublings each with HUGE supposed warming can occur.
    But why not talk about 1000.0000 doublings then?
    The “first” CO2 molecules added to a gas will not cover the radiation from other CO2 molecules. Therefore in very low concentraions CO2 effect is simply proportional to the amount. Two molecule has twice the effect of one. But at some point the shadowing starts to dominate and we get a logarithmic curve where each doubling yields same effect.
    MODTRAN shows that the doubling effect can be used at least from 5 ppm as i did.
    Eventually a model like MODTRAN must have its fundamental data from experiments.
    K.R., Frank

  59. Solar insolation considered at the equator vertically, is about 1366 W/m2, of which 275 W/m2 is absorbed in the atmosphere (not reflected, refracted or transmitted) and 680 W/m2 reaches the surface, is absorbed and later is reemitted as heat/IR. That is a total of 955 W/m2. As the earth’s surface is 4X its cross-sectional capture area, the average incoming solar power warming the planet at any time is 238 W/m2. This is the amount that gives us the 33C* greenhouse gas warming even the IPCC says. The greenhouse warming is NOT linearly related to gas concentration, but decreases with concentration. Another agreement of warmists and skeptics. But if it were, the relationship is 7.21 W/m2 per C* for all of the GHGs.
    A Hansen-predicted 3 – 6C* rise in temperature by this measure would require a 22 – 43 W/m2 forcing factor at the 7.21 W/m2C* average historical rate. Yet if CO2 is responsible for only 15% of greenhouse warming to-date, then we can say also that of the average 7.21 W/m2C* the total GHG represent, then only 1.08 W/m2 radiative forcing is CO2 based, i.e. for 3-6C*, the forcing needed is 3.24-6.5 W/m2. This INCLUDES the feedback mechanism of H2O, whatever it is.
    At each step of my journey looking into CAGW I bump into such back-of-the-envelope calculations that make the IPCC claim bizarre. I have learned in my decades as a professional geoscientist that if you cannot sketch out the result with a pencil and a hand calculator and be satisfied with the general result, the claim you’re checking is false – false, generally, because of either optimism or pessimism.
    The finicky details are never close to the general whole, except in an unstable system. Hollywood notwithstanding, Planet Earth is not unstable, and requires huge asteroids or global basaltic flows to seriously change conditions overnight. The USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian 747 after the computer systems misidentified it as an attacking F-14 principally because no one was on the bridge with a pair of binoculars to see that the sacrosanct computers were misleading them with misinformation. The CAGW is another Vincennes in action: reasonable men and women with binoculars (or pencils and a piece of paper) asking whether, in principle, the sensitivity to pCO2 makes sense, would shut down Gore, Suzuki and the IPCC.
    I cannot understand how we have lost the concept of reasonablness and swallowed whole the shriek of the raging elite after a recent history of Presidents (corporate and national), wars, economies and personal scandals that has shown us by painful means that the extremes we are told will hurt us/will not hurt us are never, and I mean never, real.

  60. Hi Jeff !
    Yep, the water is a hot potato
    http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/feedback-positive-ndash-rdquowhat-makes-co2-heat-dangerousrdquo-29.php
    I think it should be called the IPCC water gate 🙂
    The thing is: Why dont IPCC CONSTANTLY everywhere show the latest numbers of water content in the atmosphere?
    ???
    If they where actually so sure that greenhouse effect is so massive, its really odd that they just cherry pick the little brother CO2 and seems to forget about water.
    In the article above i show the water content in different atmosphere layers, and there is indeed NO increase, if anything a decrease. And this decrease shold obviously be part of all considderations of the claimed warming from greenhouse gases.
    Thanks for commenting
    K.R. Frank

  61. “Folk who deny that C02 has any effect on the transfer of radiation through the atmosphere, need to understand that the fundamental science, engineering and working devices say otherwise”
    Folks who design and build heat pumps (most often for refrigeration) know better, Mr. Mosher. If it’s static, as the models and the idee fixee, it is not realistic. That is to say it is unreal and does not correspond with reality. That is to say to represent it as reality is insane. Insane, Mr. Mosher. Certifiably.

  62. Steven Mosher , thanks for comment!
    I know the chaos of feedbacks etc only too well, but still i find it relevant to use rough bird perspective just to get a tiny clue on the bigger picture.
    In some comments on the blog here, i get the feeling that people do not really accept that each CO2 doubling has rougly same effect. It is as though some accepts that for some reason, just exactly the effect of CO2 in our days, “the present doubling” would have a much much greater effecter than all other doublings… This to “rescue” the idea that the present doubling would be very very dangerous without violating the mathematics.
    But what are the arguments that CO2-sensitivity in todays level 3-4-500 ppm and todays conditions should warm the Earth much more than other doublings, other conditions?
    And where is the documentation for this?
    I show, that if all CO2 doublings has same impact – as indicated with the concept of CO2 sensitivity – EACH of them must have a quite small effect – in full agreement with idso and Lindzens results. If the present CO2 doubling can do something the other CO2-doublings could not – well, document it. prove/show that the present CO2-doubling then is extraordinar !
    🙂
    K.R, Frank

  63. Frank,
    The empirical evidence from geology and paleontology demonstrates the changes in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and global mean temperatures are generally uncorrelated when observed over the geological periods. In other words, changes in CO2 more often than not have no corresponding change in temperatures. The models therefore fail to hindcast the empirical evidence by mammoth proportions in both gains and losses. If the AGW hypotheses and models were true, confounding factors would not be able to account for such mammoth differences between the predictions of their models and the empirical facts observed in the geological samples. No matter whether the sensitivity range is between 1-6 degrees in Kelvin/Celsius, the model results are nonsensical when compared to the actual broad range of conflicting changes recorded in the geological samples.

  64. @Mike Haseler says:
    September 8, 2010 at 12:35 am
    This is a question akin to the one: “what happens when you double the insulation thickness of double glazing”. In theory, the insulation is proportional to the thickness of air, but the reality is that air doesn’t just sit there and do what the “theory” says.
    Just as air in double glazing will start to flow in a convective cycle, so the atmosphere churns in a convective cycle tearing the static model of the atmosphere apart and making it useless to determine the impact of CO2.
    – – – – – –
    Spot on Mike. Empirical studies by Home Environment researchers have found that the optimal air pocket thickness is about 1 inch in a double glazing, where the R value reaches a maximum. Increase the thickness above that, the overall R value decreases due to an increase in air convection within the pocket, more than offsetting the decrease in heat conduction across the pocket of air due to the increased thickness. How many inches are there in the double glazing we call the earth’s atmosphere?

  65. This seems rather confused. Could you point me to the reference claiming that the radiative forcing of doubling CO2 alone (holding everything else equal) is much greater than 3.7 W/m2 (of roughly 1.1 C warming)?
    Also, this paragraph is a bit off:
    “The overall CO2 warming effect is supposed to be around 10-15-2% of the total warming effect of the atmosphere, here we use 15%. Since CO2 is assumed to account for 15% of the total 33K greenhouse effect on Earth, the CO2 total warming effect is around 5 K. So just ONE CO2 doubling of Hansen’s CO2 sensitivity of 6 K has a bigger warming effect than the total warming effect supposed to be possible.”
    You can’t simply take a number like 15% and apply it to various concentrations, given overlapping absorption bands and whatnot. For example, with less CO2 concentration, you would have a lower water vapor concentration (absolute humidity generally being a function of temperature).

  66. Steven Mosher says: September 8, 2010 at 8:37 am
    Frank,
    As the model shows, adding C02 to the atmosphere will result in changes to the transfer of radiation. If the model wasnt right, if C02 did not interact with IR the way the model describes the sensors in space, the sensors on the ground would not perform as they do. What MODTRAN tells us is that all things being equal a worl with more C02 is a warmer world. Not a colder world, not a world with the same temperature, a warmer world. Folk who deny that C02 has any effect on the transfer of radiation through the atmosphere, need to understand that the fundamental science, engineering and working devices say otherwise.
    How much warming when we INCLUDE feedbacks? that’s the real question.

    Mosh,
    The graphs above from MODTRAN show two things:
    1st graph = Increasing [CO2] from ~320ppm to ~390ppm results in only ~1W/m2 of 1st order forcing,
    2nd graph = At ~350ppm [C02], the effect from CO2 is ~ 99% exhausted.
    This indicates the earth has warmed ~all it will from 1st order CO2.
    Since you are familiar with MODTRAN, and these numbers are correct disregarding 2nd order feedbacks, are you prepared to suggest that any temperature increase in the future as predicted by IPCC will be 99% associated with feedbacks (ie. somewhat synonomous with sensitivity)? If so, then explain why current global temps are lower than predicted by IPCC using a climate sensitivy of 3? (don’t weasel out on this – see previous post and IPCC graph of scenarios) Also, then are you suggesting that the hypothesized feedback effect is temperature dependent? At what temperature do the feedbacks suddenly appear? Should they not increase in a linear fashion?

  67. Hi Zeke!
    You write “Could you point me to the reference claiming that the radiative forcing of doubling CO2 alone (holding everything else equal) is much greater than 3.7 W/m2 (of roughly 1.1 C warming)? ”
    Help me out, What did i write that made you ask that?
    K.R. Frank

  68. Tenuc says:
    September 8, 2010 at 7:39 am
    “It is now looking like cloud cover increases with temperature, and is a negative climate feedback mechanism.”
    “Water vapour is a significant ‘greenhouse’ gas, but it already exists in the atmosphere in large quantities, with its absorption spectrum already well saturated. Further water vapour will have little further effect on temperature.”
    I tend to agree on water vapor as a GHG but not water vapor as a heat pump. As temperature increases so does the amount of water vapor the troposphere can hold and so does evaporation rate. In short the water cycle accelerates and with it the transport rate of heat from surface to space. The set temperature seems to be around the dewpoint. More or less cloud cover is not necessary for the themostat to be effective – the extent (and hence global albedo) can remain the same so long as the actual amount of water evaporating from the surface and returning as rainfall increases.
    Water in all its phases rules the climate. The primary effect of the atmosphere is simply providing 14.7 psi pressure at the surface which lowers the boiling point of water enough so that a global ocean is possible.

  69. Tim Clark, you write to Richard: “What he’s saying is little ice relative to an ice age or snowball earth.”
    Spot on!
    We are now in an interglacial and you can claim that there is “much” ice now. Much of what is left (on Antarctica) is rather hard to get rid of as that continent has average temperature of around -27 as I remember, so Ice / snow cover loss on Antarctica and change in albedo right now is not really an option/excuse to explain Hansens HUGE estimate of CO2 sensitivity, 6K.
    As I wrote in a comment: I show that if all doublings (9,25!) has same effect, each of these must have limited effect for the mathematics to add up. SO! If the present CO2 doubling for some reason shold have a much greater effect than the other doublings, there must be a specific reason. And an interglacial amount of ice on Antarctica that is not likely to change albedo, that just does not do the trick 🙂
    K.R. Frank

  70. Tim Clark:
    Humidy drops and the greenhouse effect from H20 is reduced
    This tells me you have never lived under a cloud cover which lasts more than six months.
    It’s just the contrary: No Sol no warm. Common sense, ya know, the less common of all the senses.

  71. Tenuc says: “…It is looking more and more like the total additional feedback mechanisms are negative rather than positive. Ice albedo has only a small effect during climate optimums as the distribution of the relatively small amount of ice is at the poles w(h)ere the angle of incidence (is) low, and even sea water reflects much of the incoming light at these latitudes….”
    Right. You can see the effect of angle of incidence even at relatively high values. E.g., look out across the ocean from a hillside in late afternoon, and note how intense the reflection off the water is when the sun is still 30° above the horizon. Very little energy is being absorbed. The angle of incidence near the poles is always significantly lower than 30°, ranging between 23.5° and 0°. Any albedo feedback would be very small, possibly slightly negative at times, depending on ice age, particulate cover of the ice surface, clouds, wind velocity, and seawater plankton content, etc.

  72. Tim Clark says:
    September 8, 2010 at 9:57 am
    “2nd graph = At ~350ppm [C02], the effect from CO2 is ~ 99% exhausted.”
    May be practically true because each fixed increment of additional forcing requires doubling the CO2 concentration. I’m skeptical that there’s enough economically recoverable fossil fuel to get more than two doublings from pre-industrial level.
    This indicates the earth has warmed ~all it will from 1st order CO2.
    Since you are familiar with MODTRAN, and these numbers are correct disregarding 2nd order feedbacks, are you prepared to suggest that any temperature increase in the future as predicted by IPCC will be 99% associated with feedbacks (ie. somewhat synonomous with sensitivity)? If so, then explain why current global temps are lower than predicted by IPCC using a climate sensitivy of 3? (don’t weasel out on this – see previous post and IPCC graph of scenarios) Also, then are you suggesting that the hypothesized feedback effect is temperature dependent? At what temperature do the feedbacks suddenly appear? Should they not increase in a linear fashion?

  73. Oops. In last to Tim Clark the last three paragraphs without quotes are his and should have been snipped as I only meant to respond to the first paragraph.

  74. Tim Clark:
    Humidy drops and the greenhouse effect from H20 is reduced
    Enneagram says: September 8, 2010 at 10:54 am
    This tells me you have never lived under a cloud cover which lasts more than six months.
    It’s just the contrary: No Sol no warm. Common sense, ya know, the less common of all the senses.

    Now reread what I wrote. I believe we agree.

  75. Frank,
    You wrote “James Hansen often refers to a CO2-sensitivity of 6 K… 6 K warming effect for each single CO2 doubling”. Hansen has argues for a high-end estimate of 6 K for equilibrium climate sensitivity associated with a doubling of CO2 from current levels, which takes into account various feedbacks (water vapor, cloud, albedo, vegetation, etc.) that do not necessarily operate equally for every doubling of CO2. He wouldn’t argue that -every- doubling of CO2 would have the same effect (apart from the feedback-free 1.1 C, and even that isn’t a linear at very small and very large concentrations).

  76. Well I have no idea who or what MODTRAN is, but you have to start with the primary source of LWIR radiation (if the CO2 greenhouse effect is what you are studying; and that is the earth surface; which varies in Temperature over an extreme range of from 120 to 150 deg C from the coldest Antarctic midnight highlands; to the hottest midday tropical deserts; and over that range the surface emission varies by over an order of magnitude; from about double the 390 W/m^2 that Trenberth gives (corresponding to a 288 K Temperature, to about 1/6th of trenberth’s number for the coldest regions.
    So how can a given amount of CO2 give some fixed “forcing” without reference to the Temperature of the terrain.
    Also the “radiative forcing” does NOT vary linearly with the amount of Temperature increase it causes. The required forcing would be proportional to the 4th power of the resultant Temperature ; so you can’t have both the W/m^2 and the Temperature both change the same amount for any doubling.
    And the very specification of a fixed Temperature increase per doubling; whether it be 1.5 deg C or 4.5 or even 6.0 automatically defines the Temperature to be a logarithmic function of the CO2; and the proxy data going back 600 million years and covering about 5 doublings; doesn’t show any evidence whatsoever for a logarithmic relationship between CO2 and Temperature. There are millions of years of absolutely constant Temperature while CO2 drops by huge amounts.
    And for the modern era of actually measured values for CO2 and Temperature, the still isn’t 1/3rd of one doubling in the records and yest claims for the temperature effect range over more than a 3:1 ratio for a single doubling.
    With a 3:1 range in the experimental estimates of the slope of this mythical logarithmic function; how can you possibly declear it to be logarithmic rather than linear. The data contains no respectable evidence for any mathematical relationship; other than both values are observed to change; and not always in the same direction or even the same direction as each other.
    Climate Science is going to be forever stuck in the doldrums akin to ancient astrology, so long as practitioners keep on insisting ont eh existence of a mathematical relationship for which there is nore experimental evidence.
    And you can’t salvage the claims by taking “feedbacks” into account; those “feedbacks” are themselves not constant throughout the system.
    Either the mean global surface Temperature of the earth is proportional to the Logarithm of the atmospheric CO2 abundance or it isn’t; and so far, I have seen no evidence that it is; or is any other well defined mathematical function.
    The available literature can’t even seem to agree among authors whether it is the global mean Temperature; or the w/m^2 “forcing” that follows the log of CO2 abundance.
    Well it doesn’t much matter, because neither one does; based on the observational evidence. There isn’t even any agreement on what the proper time relationship is or should be, between observations of a mean temperature or a W/m^2 forcing , and the observation of a CO2 abundance; or even which direction that time relationship should point.
    If the CO2 lags the Temperature by around 800 years, as the paleo proxy data suggests; why on earth would anybody be comparing the Temperature and the CO2 or the W/m^2 over the last 30 years or even the last 100 years; when there is no a priori reason to believe they are related in any simple way;as the paleo data shows.

  77. AS for Hansen’s 6 deg C (not 6 K which is an absolute Temperature) per doubling; the last 600 million year paleo record shows that the re have been about 5 doublings^-1 over that 600 Megayrs; actually halvings of course from aroundd 7000 ppm down to around 220.
    So that means that a 30 deg C total cooling must have accompanied that drop in CO2.
    Instead we have a net cooling from 22 deg C down to 12 deg C or just a 10 deg change for five halvings.
    So much for 6 deg C or even 6 deg F per doubling. total nonsense.

  78. I would guess that NASA does not think that observation of the earth’s albedo is important. Any of the lunar landings could have had an instrument permanently measuring the sunlight or moonlight reflecting from the earth. SOHO could have had an earthward sensor too.
    But, no the earth does not warm from sunlight, it warms from carbon dioxide that was meant to remain in the fossil layers of the earth’s geology. So be it.

  79. General comment:
    MODTRAN suggests that a CO2 doubling has 10,8% the effect of the full CO2 amount. That is, MODTRAN shows that CO2 has a total effect 9,25 times greater than a single doubling.
    Feedbacks: There appears – so far – to be no specific reason why feedbacks like water evaporation etc should be more strong in connection with the 160-320 doubling than the 20-40 doubling or any other doubling.
    If not, Lets take a NEUTRAL position, and assume that all warming feedbacks are mostly evenly sprespread out over the 9,25 “doublings”.
    If so, the 6 K of CO2 warming inclusive feedbacks should pretty much equal the warming + feedbacks from all other doublings.
    And with 9,25 this gives 55 K of warming effect in all related to CO2. This is around ten times the global temperature differences over the ice ages. I think its fair to mention this – and if anyone can explain, they are definetely welcome to do so.
    K.R. Frank

  80. Zeke, you write: “He [Hansen] wouldn’t argue that -every- doubling of CO2 would have the same effect ”
    No… he would probably say that the present doubling has a much much higher effect than any other 🙂
    But does he really have a sound basis to claim this?
    Unless anything else is proven/shown convincingly, we must be assume evenly spread out feedbacks.
    The CO2 effect is as you know just a minor temperature effect. Water will continously evaporate still more with higher temperatures. Its not like sudenly at a global average temperature at 15 degrees, the evaporation goes bananas and justifies a special boom in CO2 effect for the present doubling (!) even though it would be convenient for the AGW’ ers 🙂
    K.R. Frank
    K.R: Frank

  81. And while we are on the subject of scientists and $$$
    ((Related News:Health Care · Science .
    Swine Flu Found No More Severe Than Seasonal Virus
    By Tom Randall – Sep 8, 2010 7:17 AM GMT+1000
    Email Share
    Business ExchangeTwitterDeliciousDiggFacebookLinkedInNewsvinePropellerYahoo! BuzzPrint Children infected in last year’s swine flu pandemic were no more likely to be hospitalized with complications or get pneumonia than those who catch seasonal strains, according to a study that challenges previous reports.
    About 1.5 percent of children with the H1N1 swine flu strain were hospitalized within 30 days, compared with 3.7 percent of those sick with a seasonal strain of H1N1 and 3.1 percent with an H3N2 virus, researchers said today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The report compared outcomes in Wisconsin of 545 patients with swine flu versus 853 patients with seasonal strains beginning in 2007.
    Approximately 50 million people in the U.S. caught swine flu last year. Children were more likely to get sick than in a typical year, leading previous studies to conclude that the virus not only spread more easily but also was more severe. Today’s study was more in line with CDC estimates that about half as many people died of flu last year as in a typical year.
    “The risk of most serious complications was not elevated in adults or children,” the study’s authors wrote. “Children were disproportionately affected by 2009 H1N1 infection, but the perceived severity of symptoms and risk of serious outcomes were not increased.”
    Influenza is a rapidly evolving virus, and the severity of the season depends on which strains are circulating and how well a population has been inoculated. About 12,000 people of all ages died in the swine flu outbreak, according to the CDC. Annual deaths associated with seasonal flu ranged from 3,349 to 48,614 during the last 30 years.
    Report Limitations
    While today’s report was limited by its size and geographic reach, the study was large enough to show that swine flu wasn’t much more severe for kids, according to the researchers.
    Comparing outcomes from different flu seasons is difficult, as survey methods vary. The Wisconsin study was set up to examine the same group of people during three flu seasons to reach a more precise comparison. Illness was assessed through interviews and flu tests. Patients’ medical records were reviewed to determine the severity of the illness and outcomes.
    To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Randall in New York at trandall6@bloomberg.net. ))
    Twas the same method. Identify a disastrous possibility that could not be morally challenged due to the affects on the young & the helpless. UN steps in as Co-ordinator General using the expertise of ‘scientists’. All repuiring $$$$$$$ by the train load. Doomsday talk of humanity disappearing, blah blah blah.
    regards

  82. Only one mention of (atmospheric) ‘window’ and Stefan – Kudos to Kilty …
    Three or four mentions of ‘spectrum’ as well as ‘T to the x.x power’.
    Of course, MODTRAN intrinsically should use those ‘factors’ …
    .

  83. Frank, that article was very needed. Good job!
    Your next one, or maybe someone else, should be how the 0.54K is also very suspect. This is what you would come up with if performed in a lab on a bench with a small container and limited thickness. That however is not our atmosphere. Radiation in CO2’s bands are completely absorbed low in the troposphere so adding absorber molecules only shortens the path to first absorption (increased path length), seems totally different than in the flask in the lab. With a constant energy flowing per the temperature vertically through the atmosphere at any point, this seems to lead that the affect would be much less that the 0.54K (convertible to W/m2) much as a double log curve. I have seen another discussion many months ago that came up with about 1/10 of that 0.54K, should have paid more attention to that article and its logic or at least saved a link to it.

  84. George E. Smith says:
    September 8, 2010 at 11:31 am
    …and that is the earth surface; which varies in Temperature over an extreme range of from 120 to 150 deg C from the coldest Antarctic midnight highlands; to the hottest midday tropical deserts; and over that range the surface emission varies by over an order of magnitude; from about double the 390 W/m^2 that Trenberth gives (corresponding to a 288 K Temperature, to about 1/6th of trenberth’s number for the coldest regions.”
    You have again stated much of what I have said many times. If we accept CO2 absorbtion lines at 15 micro that has an associated temperture contained in it. That temperature is 200K, give or take. The earth at 300K (10 micro) does not radiate in the proper band for CO2 to absorb anything let alone radiate back down to heat the ground.
    People like to use the black body formula to say this or that but totally ingnore Wien’s Law that the wave length is transmitting a temperature. W/m2 mean nothing if not associated with a frequency/wave length to tell us what the temperature could be. i.e. Under the transmitter for a 50000 W radio station should be very hot if you only consider W/m2.
    I ran my microwave oven for 5 minutes on high and found no temperature change in the interior. Yet I have a 1000 W microwave oven, Amana I think, that given the size of the box should be putting several thousand W/m2 peak to peak in it.
    When I was in the Navy, P2 and P3’s, had APS 20 and APS 37 radars that put out hundreds of thousands of watts of power. You could light neon bulbs, cook cans of soup and scare the family jewels but you could not heat the air with them.

  85. re: wayne says: September 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm
    Frank, just thought of one thing that may mean that enhance effect I just mentioned doesn’t occur at all, is not real. These are some areas where people trying to acclimate or re-acclimate to proper atmospheric physics need some real assistance. Oh well. We’ve gone over most of these points multiple times and it still has yet to completely gel in my mind yet.

  86. Wayne says: “Radiation in CO2’s bands are completely absorbed low in the troposphere so adding absorber molecules only shortens the path to first absorption”
    Is this to some degree explaining why the upper atmosphere has been cooling for decades?
    K.R. Frank

  87. george smith
    “Well I have no idea who or what MODTRAN ”
    it’s one of a class of models that has been around since at least 1985 when I first used it. If you want to engineer something and need to understand how radiation ( IR for example) transfers through the atmosphere, then MODTRAN is the tool you use. If you want a very accurate estimate you would use a LBL model.

  88. tim Clark:
    “If so, then explain why current global temps are lower than predicted by IPCC using a climate sensitivy of 3? ”
    well, I dont buy a sensitivity of 3, precisely for that reason. There are a couple ways to estimate sensitivity. Sometimes you can estimate it from observation, but you need a bunch of data. When you dont have enough observation data you HAVE to build a model. Even then you can get big ranges.. see the IPCC ranges. So, the debate, the real debate, is over sensitivity. That’s the open question. that’s the smart question. distractions like “Co2 is just a trace gas” and other skeptical misunderstandings just keep people from engaging on the real issue. Luckily, skeptics like Christy, Lindzen, spenser, Monkton, etc, all accept the basic physics. C02 warms. They get to have conversations with other scientists because they dont reject known physics.

  89. I was a little surprised at the shape of the graph presented in this article until I found that the author was using multiple scales on the horizontal axis. It begins with a linear scale, changes to a logarithmic scale at 5 ppm CO2 and then reverts to linear scale again at 320 ppm. The obvious breaks in the curve are just the result of the varying scales being used.

  90. “”” mkelly says:
    September 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm
    George E. Smith says:
    September 8, 2010 at 11:31 am
    …and that is the earth surface; which varies in Temperature over an extreme range of from 120 to 150 deg C from the coldest Antarctic midnight highlands; to the hottest midday tropical deserts; and over that range the surface emission varies by over an order of magnitude; from about double the 390 W/m^2 that Trenberth gives (corresponding to a 288 K Temperature, to about 1/6th of trenberth’s number for the coldest regions.”
    You have again stated much of what I have said many times. If we accept CO2 absorbtion lines at 15 micro that has an associated temperture contained in it. That temperature is 200K, give or take. The earth at 300K (10 micro) does not radiate in the proper band for CO2 to absorb anything let alone radiate back down to heat the ground. “””
    Well I take it as a given that at first glance anythermal radiation spectrum is somewhat “Black Body” like; so unless it is a totally weird surface; it radiates roughly proportional to the fourth power of Temnperature; although its total emissivity may not be 1.0 and it may have a spectral emissivity that puts some holes in the BB spectrum. Also the spectral radiant emittance at the wavelength peak out to vary as about the fifth power of the Temperature (Kelvins).
    For a BB at 288 K which is about what the mean earth surface is supposed to be; that gives you about 390 W/m^2 and the spectral peak is at 10.1 microns. But in keeping with all BB spectra; about 98% of the energy is contained in the raneg from 0.5 of peak wavelenght to 8 times the peak wavelength.
    So realistically a mean earth surface such as a 15 deg C water surface should emit a spectrum from about 5.0 microns to 80 microns; and the CO2 15 micron (13.5-16.5 micron) band is certainly in that range.
    But at the coldest Vostok like Temperatures the spectral peak is right at 15 microns; but the total emittance is about six to seven times lower than at 15 C. For the highest desert temperatures; the emittance goes up by from 1.8 to 2.0 times and the peak wavelength drops to around 8.7-8 microns. So even at this temperature (+60 C) there is no more than 1% max to be found anywhere near the other 4.0 micron CO2 line; which basically does much of nothing on earth; since only 1% of sunlight is out that far in the infrared either.
    So there isn’t any quastion (in my mind) that CO2 and H2O as well do intercept some fraction of the earth thermal emission; but I don’t see how a 13.5-16.5 band can collect 90% of the total mean temp surface emission which is what Trenberth claims. (only 40 W/m^2 escapes out of the 390 W/m^2 emitted by the surface). There’s no way that a 13.5 to 16.5 window takes out 90% of the energy from a 288 K BB radiator.
    Besides that 13.5-16.5 slot is actually many very fine slots that are much narrower than the 3.0 micron band width.
    And others here have intimated that Temperature and Collision broadening are not major effects at these Temperatures.
    So I guess MODTRAN does an actual Physics calculation of all the absorptions and emissions from the atmosphere with its GHG trace gases. So why is the final result not widely known all over the earth ?
    I would presume that Trenberth’s global energy budget cartoon; would be a summary of MODTRAN projections of what the atmosphere does. Is it ??
    If MODTRAN is an accurate atmospheric Physical model; then why wouldn’t it be the standard model; so that all these measurments didn’t have to be made.

  91. Frank Lansner said
    cal says:
    September 8, 2010 at 6:43 am
    “Introducing some CO2 would therefore have a major impact with strong positive feedback as water evaporated. ”
    Maybe so, but where is the extra water in the atmosphere since 1948?
    You seem to have completely missed my point. My argument does not need any more water vapour in the atmosphere or any less for that matter.
    My point is that the sensitivity to CO2 is extremely unlikely to be constant for all the doublings. So although your argument might be true it is no more convincing than Hansens view.
    The quote above relates to the hypothetical first introduction of CO2 to an earth that does not have any. The earth’s surface would be at an average temperature of about -20C. Almost all the world would be covered in ice for some of the year and a large part would be ice covered for all of the year. The level of moisture in the air would be very low. There would be few clouds and little precipitation.
    The addition of 1 ppm CO2 would increase the temperature by a certain amount as a direct result of the reduction of radiation in the 13-18 micron band. For arguments sake let’s assume this is 4K. A further doubling would probably increase the temperature by roughly the same amount. During the next doubling the temperature would reach the point where significant water evaporates. Initially this would add water vapour as a potent greenhouse gas that would increase the sensitivity to say 6K for the next doubling and 8K for the fourth. After that the surface temperature would be such that clouds would start to form along with the beginnings of Hadley cells transporting large quantities of heat to the upper atomsphere. These would both be extremely strong negative feedbacks. It seems to me entirely possible that at some point in the doubling senario that the temperature actually goes down as CO2 rises. So the first four doublings may induce a total increase of 22K the next doubling 4K the next doubling 2K the next 0K the next -2K the next 0K the next 3K then next 4K then next who knows? The total is 33K but the progress is in no way linear. I am not suggesting that these are the real figures but I believe they are jst as likely as those based on the assumption of constant climate sensitivity over all levels of CO2.
    In other words the concept of climate sensitivity being a constant makes sense for small changes in CO2 but it does not make sense for the gross changes you are modelling. By the way I could very easily be convinced that we are still in the situation where the cloud and convection effects give a negative sensitivity. Just show me the data! That goes for Hansen too.

  92. “They get to have conversations with other scientists because they dont reject known physics.”
    ewwww…..
    Well, next time you go to your refrigerator or turn on the air conditioning while you chat with the l33t, you can give silent thanks to a real engineer who makes physics work- be very grateful he didn’t try to charge the system with CO2.

  93. George E Smith says
    So there isn’t any quastion (in my mind) that CO2 and H2O as well do intercept some fraction of the earth thermal emission; but I don’t see how a 13.5-16.5 band can collect 90% of the total mean temp surface emission which is what Trenberth claims. (only 40 W/m^2 escapes out of the 390 W/m^2 emitted by the surface). There’s no way that a 13.5 to 16.5 window takes out 90% of the energy from a 288 K BB radiator.
    This was in answer to mkelly. I think your post was overall well thougth through. In answer to this point my understanding is that CO2 radiates 18% of the earth’s energy budget from the upper part of the troposphere and the tropopause. Water vapour radiates much of the remainder from various levels in the troposphere. My guess is that the 40 watts is a purist view of what the surface radiates at wavelengths where there is no photon aborption by any molecular species in the atmosphere. This so called atmospheric window around 10 micron is quite small and may well let only 10% through. I am not sure that it means much since many of the water absorption modes are very weakly interacting so their re-emission into space occurs quite close to the surface and at temperatures not too far from that at the surface.
    I do not know the actual Trenberth statement but my guess is that he states the 40 watts to allow the reader to make the false assumption that the remainder is stopped by CO2. It is another one of their tricks!

  94. MODTRAN and its predecessor codes for calculating the SIGNAL transmittivity (or target radiance) in remote sensing do a remarkably fine job of it. But they do NOT solve the thermodynamic problem of HEAT transfer in the geophysical setting, where convection of moisture from the ocean surface plays a central role in heating the bulk constituents of the atmosphere. The basic difference between these distinct concepts is seen starkly in the treatment of beam extinction, such as occurs with 15 micron terrestrial radiation. Signal transmittivity at that wavelength is effectively zero, due to virtually complete absorption by CO2 and overlapping water vapor bands. Yet the thermal energy associated with that beam does not simply vanish; it is scattered by molecular collisions to other wavelengths and progressively finds its way to the heat sink of space. That’s why radiation-only calculations cannot be relied upon for determining the surface temperature and atmospheric profile in the realistic case.

  95. RE: George E. Smith: (September 8, 2010 at 11:31 am)
    “Well I have no idea who or what MODTRAN is, but you have to start with the primary source of LWIR radiation (if the CO2 greenhouse effect is what you are studying; and that is the earth surface…”
    I believe MODTRAN is a computer program developed by the U.S Air Force to model infra-red radiation from the surface. There is an online MODTRAN calculating utility provided on the University of Chicago web site that allows one to calculate the radiation that might be observed at some high altitude, like 70 km, as a result of several given scenarios as mentioned by the author of this article. You may specify the sensor altitude, surface temperature offset from 300 deg K, the CO2 concentration, the methane concentration, ozone in the troposphere and stratosphere, and water vapor modeling options. I have saved results from 0 ppm, (393.56 deg K) to 143,360 ppm, (315.74 deg K) in clear tropical air.
    By trial and error searching for temperature offsets required to produce a fixed standard observed radiation level (I use 292.993 w/sq m) one can use this tool to estimate the *raw* temperature forcing for various CO2 concentration levels.
    Here is a link to some of my MODTRAN results from the online tool…
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/06/a-reply-to-vonk-radiative-physics-simplified-ii/#comment-452821

  96. Steven Mosher says:
    September 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm
    “Sometimes you can estimate it from observation, but you need a bunch of data. When you dont have enough observation data you HAVE to build a model.”
    HAVE to build a model?
    Steven, I apologise for butting in with probably nowhere near the ability to contribute constructively, but can you please explain to an old gnarled and battered engineer, how, if you don’t have enough observational data and therefore justification, you can build a model?
    What is wrong with – when we have enough justification and not until then, we will build a model?

  97. Frank Lansner says:
    September 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm
    Wayne says: “Radiation in CO2’s bands are completely absorbed low in the
    troposphere so adding absorber molecules only shortens the path to first absorption”
    Is this to some degree explaining why the upper atmosphere has been cooling for decades?
    K.R. Frank

    Hmm. Of course the path length shortens rapidly with increased altitude. Not sure if I can answer that.
    Good question though on the upper atmosphere. Let me do a little more scratching and digging and I’ll get back to you on that, it does need to be properly tied.
    For anyone:
    It seems to me Frank’s question ties somewhat to the thermalization of this heat after the initial absorption and thermalization. That quanta of heat, so to speak, can then be transferred by any of water’s or carbon dioxide’s bands in a reverse thermalization absorption manner across the spectrum once again, much as the surface radiates following a gray body curve. Water’s spectrum has a much larger number of possible bands to absorb in (therefore emit) than co2 but its concentration tails off rapidly at tropopause on the average. Some quanta of course will reverse-thermalize back to a co2 band but just a small fraction of it, each and every absorption, transfer and reverse-thermalization giving this quanta the ability to spread in a gray body manner ruled by the emissivity at each band. Then there is also the small continuum radiation by the atmosphere as a whole which can partially exit by window frequencies. Fancy way of explaining equipartition but important to know how.
    Wing frequencies is another missed topic. Photons at these frequencies do absorb with lower emissivity chance but they also are emitted at wing frequencies that have a much larger chance to escape to space, due to the low emissivity of these wing bands.
    Just had to get those thoughts out for everyone to ponder on for I never see them raised or included in these topics. You know, all of the physics while we are talking of it. If you leave out one portion soon the flow of discussion could be something that is not actually real. Could go on and on but I won’t right here.

  98. Can someone please explain what concentrations of greenhouse components are thought to exist at the tropopause and whether there is any form of layering? The term “well mixed” seems to be bandied about with much abandon. If we skip way up to the thermosphere, it is generally accepted that layering occurs with the various elements sorting by molecular weight (obviously at extremely low densities). Also, a topic that has almost dried up recently, noctilucent clouds; these are now I believe thought to be water ice occurring at the mesopause. What is their increased occurrence of late telling us, there has been little if any follow-up that I’m aware of?

  99. So why is a comma used instead of a decimal point, when writing in decimal notation? I don’t get that. How would you write 1,234.956 without using a decimal point and still get the correct number across?

  100. Gnomish says:
    “Folks who design and build heat pumps (most often for refrigeration) know better, Mr. Mosher. If it’s static, as the models and the idee fixee, it is not realistic. That is to say it is unreal and does not correspond with reality. That is to say to represent it as reality is insane. Insane, Mr. Mosher. Certifiably.”
    well, Gnomish. Folks who designed and built heat pumps worked for us. And we built this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_YF-23
    If any of them suggested that MODTRAN (or LOWTRAN actually) was not a good tool to design working systems I think the Airforce would probably have asked that they be removed from the program, since MODTRAN/LOWTRAN has been through extensive testing: Just a few things for you to read. But seriously, questioning the output of MODTRAN isnt a good move. The real issue is what, if anything, does it say about the total amount of warming one sees AFTER feedbacks. MODTRAN is far too compute intensive to stick in a climate model ( as studies show) but you can probably look around and see that people test their “simpler” models against MODTRAN
    And Modtran has been tested pretty extensively against LBL and observation. And don’t confuse transfers by convection, conduction and radiation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing
    http://gcmd.nasa.gov/records/GCMD_CDIAC_ICRCCM.html
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1990icrc.rept…..E
    http://books.google.com/books?id=DxR2nEp0CUIC&pg=PA394&lpg=PA394&dq=Modtran+climate+models&source=bl&ots=ScLz9IhfEc&sig=wuGDnu16j1GnZqCkZHu-fQZ_Dkw&hl=en&ei=7EuITKWKLYT2tgPohtGDCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CE8Q6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Modtran%20climate%20models&f=false
    http://www.arm.gov/publications/proceedings/conf07/extended_abs/halthore_rn.pdf
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1997JGR…10216563H
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MODTRAN
    http://www.kirtland.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=7915
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=MODTRAN
    http://md1.csa.com/partners/viewrecord.php?requester=gs&collection=TRD&recid=N9533732AH&q=MODTRAN&uid=789806831&setcookie=yes
    http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=4689349
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V50-3WRJ13N-5&_user=10&_coverDate=04%2F30%2F1996&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1455255612&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=d7e13619320631c4e2470a2f89054498&searchtype=a
    Verification and Validation
    MODTRAN has been extensively verified and validated against FASCODE line-by-line calculations and measurement data. In a comparison of radiance codes for climate modeling (ICRCCM), MODTRAN was compared with three independent interferometer measurements of up-looking radiance and the overall agreement was excellent. MODTRAN UV radiance calculations were also compared with balloon measurements of transmitted solar energy to 40 km. Comparisons of MODTRAN and integrating sphere data for visible and near-IR integrated solar radiation have also been conducted. Detailed validation of the MODTRAN code has been performed recently using hyperspectral data from the AVIRIS visible/near IR airborne imager.
    Verification and Validation Documentation
    Philipona, R., E.G. Dutton, T. Stoffel, J. Michalsky, I. Reda, A. Stifter, P. Wendling, N. Wood, S.A. Clough, E.J. Mlawer, G.P. Anderson, H.E. Revercomb, T.S. Shippert, Atmospheric longwave irradiance uncertainty: Pyrgeometers compared to an absolute sky-scanning radiometer, atmospheric emitted radiance interferometer and radiative transfer model calculations, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 28129-28142, 2001.
    Anderson, G. P., A. Berk, P. K. Acharya, M. W. Matthew, L. S. Bernstein, J. H. Chetwynd, H. Dothe, S. M. Adler-Golden, A. J. Ratkowski, G. W. Felde, J. A. Gardner, M. L. Hoke, S. C. Richtsmeier, B. Pukall, J. Mello and L. S. Jeong, MODTRAN4: Radiative Transfer Modeling for Remote Sensing, In Algorithms for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery VI, Sylvia S. Chen, Michael R. Descour, Editors, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 4049, pg. 176-183, 2000.
    J. Hicke, A. Tuck, and H. Vomel, “Lower Stratospheric Radiative Heat Rates and Sensitivities Calculated from Antarctic Balloon Observations”, J. Geophys. Res., 104D, 9293-9308, 1999.
    R.O. Green, B. Pavri, J. Faust, O. Williams, C. Chovit, “Inflight validation of AVIRIS Calibration in 1996 and 1997, Summaries of the Seventh Annual JPL Airborne Earth Science Workshop, JPL Publication 97-21, Vol. 1, Pasadena, California, pp. 193-203, 1998.
    R. Meier, G.P. Anderson, C.A. Cantrell, L.A. Hall, J. Lean, K. Minschwaner, R.E. Shetter, E.P. Shettle, K. Stamnes, Actinic Radiation in the Terrestrial Atmosphere, J. Atmos. and Solar- Terres. Physics, 59, 2111-2157, 1997.
    Halthore, R. N., S. E. Schwartz, J. J. Michalsky, G. P. Anderson, R. A. Ferrare, B. N. Holben, H. Ten Brink. Comparison of Model Estimated and Measured Direct-Normal Solar Irradiance, J.Geophys.Res., 102, D25, 29,991-30,002, Dec 1997.
    J. Wang and G.P. Anderson, Validation of FASCOD3 and MODTRAN3: Comparison of Model Calculations with Interferometer Observations from SPECTRE and ITRA, in Passive Infrared Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere II, David K. Lynch, Editor, Proc. SPIE 2309, 170-183, 1994.; also, Appl. Opt,35, 6028-6040, 1996.
    K. Minschwaner, G.P. Anderson, L.A. Hall, R.J. Thomas, D. Rusch, A. Berk, J. Conant, Scattered Ultraviolet Radiation in the Upper Stratosphere, II: Modeling and Analysis, J. Geophys. Res., 100, 11165-11172, 1995.
    H.E. Snell, G.P. Anderson, J.Wang, J.-L. Moncet, J.H. Chetwynd, S.J. English, Validation of FASE (FASCODE for the Environment) and MODTRAN3: Updates and Comparisons with Clear-Sky Measurements, The European Symposium on Satellite Remote Sensing, Conference on Passive Infrared Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere III, Proceedings of SPIE, Paris, France, 1995.
    G.P. Anderson, J.H. Chetwynd, J.-M. Th_riault, P.K. Acharya, A. Berk, D.C. Robertson, F.X. Kneizys, M.L. Hoke, L.W. Abreu, E.P. Shettle, MODTRAN2: Suitability for Remote Sensing, Proc. of SPIE, 1954, Remote Sensing, 1993.
    R.O. Green, J.E. Conel, C.J. Bruegge, J.S. Margolis, V. Carrere, G. Vane, G. Hoover, In-flight Calibration and Validation of the Spectral and Radiometric Characteristics of the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), Remote Sensing of the Environment, 1992.
    G.P. Anderson, F.X. Kneizys, E.P. Shettle, L.W. Abreu, J.H. Chetwynd, R.E. Huffman, and L.A. Hall, UV Spectral Simulations Using LOWTRAN 7, in Atmospheric Propagation in the UV, Visible, IR and MM-Wave Region and Related Systems Aspects, AGARD-CP-454, 1990.

  101. RE: wayne: (September 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm)
    “Wing frequencies is another missed topic. Photons at these frequencies do absorb with lower emissivity chance but they also are emitted at wing frequencies that have a much larger chance to escape to space, due to the low emissivity of these wing bands.”
    I believe the important factor here is that the reduced absorption of these particular wavelengths will allow longer emission paths escaping the atmosphere. This may compensate for the equivalent reduced emissivity of these wavelengths. Perhaps there is an optimum absorption/emissivity factor that will remove the most heat from the upper atmosphere.

  102. Green Sand says:
    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm (Edit)
    Why do you have to build a model? well simply because you cannot solve the equations analytically. This happens all the time. The best example I can think of (its kinda close ) would be designing a flight control system ( coming up with gains ) for an aircraft. You cannot sit down and compute the exact gains required from first principles. So you build a model (computer model) of the aircraft and then spend hours trying to determine the right gain/gain schedule to get the kind of response you want. First Time I watched a guy do this I thought it was lunacy. Till he explained the problem. That’s kinda a toy version of the climate system.

  103. Sorry, Mr. Mosher, for not being clear enough and making you waste all that energy chasing the infrared herring that way.
    The very shortest way to restate my point, one hopes with better success, is to say ‘Radiation physics of CO2 is not the story of climate physics.’
    The physics of climate ARE well represented by a heat pump with a working fluid, convection, phase change, huge amount of enthalpy with NO temperature change at all- and the ideal ‘infinite heat sink’. And temperature isn’t heat. You can’t say a thing about heat without stating something about mass.
    Consequently I see CO2 as just another fetish ecstatics use for their unwholesome self flagellation. This whole thing is about self harming, in case you haven’t noticed.

  104. The post shows that one doubling is worth about 3 W/m^2 with no feedback.
    3 W/m^2 forcing corresponds to about 0.8 K warming with no feedback.
    The IPCC 3 K number would correspond to 3/0.8*3= 7.2 W/m^2 with feedback.
    The total greenhouse effect corresponding to 33 K is 150 W/m^2, of which maybe 30 W/m^2 is CO2, so the 3 W/m^2 from doubling is about 10% of its own total, which is where the 9.5 comes from. This 9.5 number seems irrelevant to the discussion of how much warming to expect from doubling CO2. You can compute it without knowing that, just from the 3 W/m^2 number for no feedback. Also 7.2 W/m^2 with feedback is only a small fraction of the total 150 W/m^2, and also is reasonable. The post is not doing anyone any favors in helping understanding these simple numbers.
    On the other point, the IPCC report (Figure 3.20) shows that column water vapor is increasing 1.2% per decade using satellite data since 1988, not soundings that are unreliable for climate due to changing technology.

  105. Can it be so hard to do an experiment with differing amounts of co2 in large container using x watts of IR – say using the astrodome or some such? Or fill a bunch of transparent balloons with varying amounts of co2 and the other atmo gases rigged with thermoms or pressure guages or something? Comon you physicists’ if its so important surely you can figure out some way to experiment and not have to guess.

  106. Gary.
    Start here:
    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/papers-on-laboratory-measurements-of-co2-absorption-properties/
    to do your kind of experiment you need a container the height of the atmosphere. have a look at Co2 in the stratosphere. And understand that we didnt realize how dry that region was until the 1950s or so when the Airforce studied it in order to build more survivable platforms. But again you can look at MODTRAN and get a very good idea. We know it’s physics are correct,largely. it’s been tested (see my post above) and it’s been used quite succesfully to build systems that defend our country.

  107. Sorry Gnomish, The unfortunate fact is that our planet is warmer because of the way H20 (and other GHGs) in the atmosphere alter the way radiation ( err that stuff the sun puts out) enters and exits our system. I dunno, go argue with Monkton. he at least understands this, or Lindzen go argue with him.

  108. Unfortunate for whom? Warmer than when?
    Most of the planet is covered by water. The clouds are made of water. The water gets to the sky by the ton via phase change and convection. Any stray molecule mixed in is the same temperature as the rest and it goes along for the ride. I already showed the math on heat transport. Trace gas doesn’t get credit. Radiation physics of a trace gas hardly governs or even influences this process. It’s just riding on a conveyor to the infinite heat sink in the sky.
    Every day the Hadley Cells, etc. and occasional giant vortices shoot water gas to the troposphere and spray condensed water back down.
    There’s nothing unnatural going on but climate ecstatics with an odd fetish.
    And to think that ‘weather’ used to be one of the few things anybody could chat about harmlessly…lol
    Talk about hitting where it hurts!

  109. Zeke… thanks for the graph 😉 !!!!
    I think the picture is rather complex to say the least. I find it relevant to know the feedback-free CO2 doublings, that pure CO2 effect has a factor 9,25 between total and one doubling effect. I find it relevant to know that its the last 10,8% of the pure Co2 effect (the present doubling) that is supposed to make temperatures go bananas unlike the other doublings.
    This concept that the particular doubling around 3-4-5-6-700 ppm CO2 should warm the Earth much more than other doublings (which has not been argued against?) is shown by nature to be unlikely.
    Why? Because we are in an interglacial, that is, an unusual temperature max. The last many times we have had this warm temperature, nature has not been able to get any warmer.
    Therefore, a little heat from CO2 right now is in fact very unlikely to make temperatures boom. If 1 K more heat should have mad temperature rise 6K – like Hansen suggests – then why have this not happened before at any other interglacial?
    With all the warm interglacials we have natures full scale experimental data just in front of our eyes. And never in the interglacials did a temperature lift of one degree celcius lead to 6K temp lift. Therefore Hansens (and IPCC´s) claims appears not supported by data. Or?
    K.R. Frank

  110. Go up on Mt. Tam early in the morning and watch S.F. emerge from the fog any nice day.
    Visualize where all that moisture goes. And what goes up must come down.
    Commit random act of observation on thermodynamic beauty.

  111. Sorry Gnomish, i’ve seen no math from you that explains or predicts anything. When you have some math that actually works, when you can actually make a prediction, then you are saying something that is testable. And we can test that math by asking what it predicts for global temperatures following a large volcano, for example. Until then, you don’t have a theory to test.

  112. Zeke: So, what I have shown is perhaps mostly, that the warming effect from the present doubling HAS to be much much greater than for any other doubling. And I think thats a relevant point, because such a claim has to be supported directly like “The present CO2 doubling will warm the earth many times mores than other CO2 doublings because…”.
    And as i wrote in my previous comment, all the earlier interglacials shows that a little warming mini-peak of 0,5-1 K has never resulted in a 6K (or 3 K for IPCC) temperature rise before.
    K.R. Frank

  113. Frank Lansner says:
    September 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm
    Is this to some degree explaining why the upper atmosphere has been cooling for decades?

    Frank, I simply don’t know and I don’t want to blindly speculate outside of physics. Do you see a tie there?
    Did learn something new while thinking on you question, at http://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t4/tlsglhmam_5.1, Dr. Christy and Spencer’s site, that shows those upper atmosphere temps have basically been level since 1995, didn’t realize there was such a one time step 1995, interesting.

  114. Mr. Mosher, I’m happy to remember you for your achievements.
    Let it rest with that, please. There is no upside.

  115. Wayne, well its an interesting thought:
    More CO2 => Radiation absorbed a bit lower in altitude =>
    A slight cooling effect of upper atmophere layers =>
    Less water in upper atmophere layers =>
    Less greenhouse effect in upper atmosphere layers =>
    Again (!!) A slight cooling of upper atmosphere layers =>
    Less water… … ..
    So – just thinking loud – a CO2 increase should perhaps lead to a significant cooling of upper atmosphere.
    Well, its pretty much the pattern from the observations, its the upper layers that loose water quite significant as CO2 increase:
    http://hidethedecline.eu/media/feedback/e5.jpg
    K.R. Frank

  116. Frank,
    sorry, but your chart is crap. You changed from logarithmic to linear at 320 without apparent reason. I stopped reading there.

  117. Rabe… So because YOU thought it was something else, then its CRAP?
    I needed to highlight the values for the doublings, and I needed to show 350 ppm too for the compare. If this makes you loose the ability to interpret data, thats really not my problem.

  118. Steven Mosher says:
    September 8, 2010 at 8:46 pm
    Thanks Steven, I will chew that over for a while. I have had a little experience with wing panel design, my bit was taking the design through to manufacture, always understood that all models were based on wind tunnel observations. But I suppose they have to start somewhere.
    Thanks for getting back.

  119. #
    #
    Chris Knight says:
    September 8, 2010 at 11:47 am
    I would guess that NASA does not think that observation of the earth’s albedo is important….
    _____________________________
    There is the Earthshine project: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aa/2010/963650.html
    “…..The earthshine observations reveal a large decadal variability in the Earth’s reflectance [7], which is yet not fully understood, but which is in line with other satellite and ground-based global radiation data….”

  120. Working this idea backwards, if we assume (as the IPCC seems to) that sensitivity is essentially constant (ie one doubling always is +3K) then we can use this “fact” to produce a sensitivity from known widely accepted values.
    The following figures are all taken from RealClimate.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/04/water-vapour-feedback-or-forcing/
    Total Atmospheric Warming from GHGs is 33K
    High figure for CO2 portion of that warming is 34% of that or about 11K
    Low figure for CO2 portion of that warming is 9% of that or about 3K
    Somewhat conservatively and starting at 6ppm there are 6 doublings of CO2 to get to our present levels, 6->12->24->48->96->192->384
    Therefore the high estimate of sensitivity is 11/6 = 1.8K
    And the low estimate of sensitivity is 3/6 = 0.5K

  121. Let’s also note that doubling CO2 is calculated to increase the forcing in the troposphere by 3.7 W/m2.
    With feedbacks and lapse rate considerations, the surface forcing is predicted to increase by 16.5 W/m2 if surface temperatures are supposed to increase by 3.0C.
    +3.7 W/m2 Troposphere ——-> feedbacks ——-> +16.5 W/m2 Surface
    Little known fact it seems.

  122. Gavin Schmidt and the gang at GISS have a new paper in press which breaks-down the greenhouse effect into its various sources:
    Water vapour – 50%
    Clouds – 25%
    CO2 – 20%
    Others – 5%
    (these numbers do not take into account the solar reflection or atmospheric interception of solar energy by the same gases but it is what it is – just long-wave radiation – and clouds should be the same as water vapour but nonetheless).
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/notyet/inpress_Schmidt_et_al.pdf

  123. Frank Lansner says:
    September 8, 2010 at 11:59 am
    General comment:
    MODTRAN suggests that a CO2 doubling has 10,8% the effect of the full CO2 amount. That is, MODTRAN shows that CO2 has a total effect 9,25 times greater than a single doubling.
    Feedbacks: There appears – so far – to be no specific reason why feedbacks like water evaporation etc should be more strong in connection with the 160-320 doubling than the 20-40 doubling or any other doubling…..
    ___________________________________________
    From my point of view the IPCC has it donkey backwards because they always ignores the long term evidence. They insist CO2 influences H2O as the cause and effect feedback when it is water that is the critical chemical in governing the climate not CO2.
    CO2 is more soluble in cold water then in hot. The oceans warm due to increase in solar energy from the Milankovitch cycle.
    “Solar energy reached a summer maximum (9% higher than at present) ca 11 ka ago and has been decreasing since then, primarily in response to the precession of the equinoxes. The extra energy elevated early Holocene summer temperatures throughout the Arctic 1-3° C above 20th century averages..” Source
    As the oceans absorb more energy from the sun (down to 100 meters), temperature increases and CO2 is released from the oceans giving the 800yr lag seen in the Ice Core measurements. When the temperatures reach a certain point, above 35C or 95F, the daily afternoon thunderstorm cooling cycle kicks in moderating the temperature increase.
    During glaciation water is again a critical factor in the form of ice/snow albedo.
    I think to switch from Interglacial to glacial you need the correct point in the Milankovitch cycle, a grand solar minimum, cold ocean cycles with major volcanic action acting as the trigger. We know one major eruption can cause a few years of deep cold, that is a year “without a summer.” The effects of Laki’s eight-month eruption in 1783 causing major disruption to weather patterns is an example of what I mean. If the snow does not melt in the summer you then have the ice/snow albedo kick in and at the correct point in the Milankovitch cycle, solar cycle and cold ocean cycles there just isn’t enough energy to keep the glaciers from growing.
    Water, solar energy, and volcanoes make sense as the major climate drivers. 350ppm of CO2 is just a bit player.
    Study of Dust in Ice Cores Shows Volcanic Eruptions Interfere with the Effect of Sunspots on Global Climate
    “The research, published in a paper in the May 15 [2002] issue of Geophysical Research Letters, provides striking evidence that sunspots — blemishes on the sun’s surface indicating strong solar activity — do influence global climate change, but that explosive volcanic eruptions on Earth can completely reverse those influences.
    It is the first time that volcanic eruptions have been identified as the atmospheric event responsible for the sudden and baffling reversals that scientists have seen in correlations between sunspots and climate…
    “By carefully studying the timing of other volcanic eruptions, we found that they coincided with all of the correlation reversals between sunspots and climate,” said Ram.
    A chart in the paper shows how six major volcanic eruptions between 1800 and 1962 occurred during precisely the same years when there were reversals in the correlation between sunspot activity and climate….
    The UB team discovered that these additional sulfates cause cosmic rays to have a more pronounced effect on Earth by spurring the formation of small droplets in the atmosphere that, in turn, cause the formation of a type of cloud that does not produce rain.
    “During these times of high volcanic activity, the sunspot/climate correlation reverses and dust levels rise, even in the absence of high sunspots,” explained Stolz. “

  124. Steven Mosher (Sept. 8, 2010 @ 8:13pm)
    A couple of questions for you. How does one model a hot source in the sky? Please enlighten me. Details please.
    Since when is MODTRAN required to build a jet fighter? At what point do the calculations become important to the final design. Sky mentioned its also good for remote sensing, in what way?
    Also do you have any references to modtran back in the early seventies or sixties?

  125. If this makes you loose the ability

    Frank, it’s “lose” not “loose”. Since you’ve done it multiple times, I’m guessing it’s not a typo.
    Your pants get loose when you lose weight.

  126. Gnomish<
    "Go up on Mt. Tam early in the morning and watch S.F. emerge from the fog any nice day.
    Visualize where all that moisture goes. "
    why visualize something we can measure. Take a look at the stratosphere. Think a bit and get back when you realize that the energy that gets to us from the sun through the moistureless vacuum of space, returns to space the way it came.

  127. Steven Mosher says: September 9, 2010 at 7:42 am
    > Take a look at the stratosphere.
    Well that would be good, except I cannot find a consistent and coherent description of what is at and is supposed to be happening above say 10Km – and it’s not for the want of trying. Where do you suggest we look and why only the stratosphere?
    It leaves me with the destinct impression that all this conjecture is just that, supposition and guesswork. Not a sensible basis for declaring that CO2 is causing problematic warming over a time period which seems to be getting shorter and shorter as time goes by.

  128. “Brian W says:
    September 9, 2010 at 7:00 am (Edit)
    Steven Mosher (Sept. 8, 2010 @ 8:13pm)
    “A couple of questions for you. How does one model a hot source in the sky? Please enlighten me. Details please.”
    Well, you can do it as a point source or as a 3D object. As a 3D object it may emit differently depending on your view angle or the orientation of the object. Take a look at the picture of the YF-23. You see that “deck” on the aft end of the plane? That deck had heat ablating tiles. Actually for the prototype we used shuttle tiles. From below you only see two type of heat signature. You see the wavelengths given off by “hot metal” and you see the wavelengths give off by aeroheating. If the plane were to roll over and fly upside down ( or if you view it from above) you would see the signature of hot gases. So, you build a three dimensional object with 3 different emission characteristics that depend up the material it is made of, how fast it is going, and what the power setting of the engine is. The same thing is done for RCS for example. In that case the shape is much more complex. Those shapes are all predicted shapes based on models of how radiation ( from a radar) interact with surfaces made of particular materials. Long ago ( like when the F117 was built) we could only predict the returns from flat surfaces and we could only built flat surfaces ( of RAm material). later, on the B2, Northrop had a break through in predicting the returns from curved surfaces, namely guassian surfaces. So the designers got to use those kinds of surfaces. The models of the aircraft surface had to be precise down to ( cant say) mm because of what happens when you get even a tiny crack in the surface.
    “Since when is MODTRAN required to build a jet fighter? ”
    Since the airforce started demanding it ( they hold some of the patents on it ) as part of the proof of concept. (At the start I think we used lowtran, but there were improvements needed.) Basically, to build an aircraft it works like this. The airforce will write a SRD. a systems requirement document. They will specify, for example, that the aircraft “shall have” an IR signature of a certain level, or alternatively they may say that the aircraft shall be undetectable to a ground based IR sensor. So, they give us data on the ground sensors and their sensitivity and their location and they ask us to prove with models that the plane we propose to build is survivable in that enviroment. They give us approved models to use. we run the models. they run the models and check out our predictions. It might go like this: The airforce demands that we be able to penetrate an airspace at, say, 25K feet. We would run the model, say MODTRAN, and modtran would tell us that what the plane at 25K feet would “look like” to an observer on the ground. ( if you look at MODTRAn you will see that you can be looking up or looking down) But at 25K feet there may be planes above you looking down. they see something different. So you may come back to the air force and say “25K feet” doesnt work. Its an iterative design/specification process that took a decade at least.
    “At what point do the calculations become important to the final design. ”
    Well, the calculations are used throughout the design process. from proof of concept ( a drawing with a bunch of models to back it up) through PAV ( prototype air vehicle) all the way to production. Even after production if I wanted to propose a change to the vehicle I would probably have to run the model. Want to change the engine? How’s that impact survivability? You’d typically have to prove ( using models) that the change would improve ( or not diminish) the survivability. How do you do that? you run a model, a survivability model. That model runs the aircraft through a designed mission and outputs a probability of survival. And you would simulate, and estimate what would happen to its survivability against other airbourne threats ( IR missiles). Want to change a fuel line? you might have to re run a shot line analysis in which you simulated bullets being fired at the plane ( I think that was COVART, but I never did that stuff) heck with the F-18 we had to supply 5 planes to be shot up to calibrate the models. Fun stuff.
    “Sky mentioned its also good for remote sensing, in what way?”
    well any sensor in the sky or space needs to understand what the atmosphere does to the signal. If you emit signal X at the ground hows that get modulated by the stuff between the sensor and the source. Going backwards, if you recieve a signal that looks like Y, what does the source actually look like? for space bourne sensors to operate you have to understand what C02 does to radiation as the radiation passes up through the atmosphere. Clouds in the way? clear sky? ice? aerosols, as the atmosphere changes the image you see can change. To keep track of all the changes there is a huge database called HITRAN. as we put new molecules in the atmosphere, then those modelcules get added to HITRAN. then the transfer codes ( like MODTRAN) use that database.
    “Also do you have any references to modtran back in the early seventies or sixties?”
    No, it was formalized in the mid to latter part of the 80s as an extension to LOWTRAN ( I think lowtran7 but its been a while) Lowtran stuff started in the mid seventies ( as I recall) which was before my watch. in the 70s, the drive to incorporate all aspect broadband stealth became paramount. hence the F117, B2, F22. Make sense? The airforce required stealth, so we had to design for stealth. before you spent a billion or so to build a prototype you better have good modelling that tells you just how invisisble the thing will be once it is built. You have to rely on modelling, calibrate the models, improve the models, test the models, field test your vehicle once it is built. So, modelling is at the core of the design. Heck we even had to simulate missions and wars. Fun stuff.

  129. Gnomish says:
    September 8, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Or late in the day when the fog rolls in again! It is truly an awesome sight (as well as being significant).

  130. here Brian;
    lib.semi.ac.cn:8080/tsh/dzzy/wsqk/SPIE/vol4719/4719-15.pdf
    you can see how MODTRAN is used on the JSF
    A nice history of source.. and you can see all the contributors to IR signature ( like glint which I forgot about, and earthshine etc );
    dspace.library.iitb.ac.in/jspui/bitstream/10054/613/1/5740.pdf.
    Anymore questions? google is your friend

  131. Green Sand:
    i won’t pretend to understand everything the flight control guys did, but it was first and foremost a modelling process. So for example to design a pitch controller, the gut would work with a database of aero forces. He would design a controller filled with all sorts of magical numbers called gains. Then he would run the model and look at the response of the aircraft, trying to get something that wouldnt pitch up too abruptly or over shoot to much and he would fiddle with the gain numbers until he got a system that had a response that looked like it met HQ specifications. and then at some point this model would be flown in an different aircraft hmm using this company
    http://www.calspan.com/aerospace/flightControl.php
    So, ya, had to do lots of modelling. you could not just design a plane and DERIVE the settings for HQ from first principle physics.

  132. I didn’t want to remember the (heroic) person who broke climategate this way, but you insisted. So much for courtesy, then.
    Get back when you figure out you can’t measure heat in degrees.
    Get back after your refresher in first year chemistry.
    Get back when you figure out the latent heat moved by water in any unit of atmosphere is 50,000 times greater than C02.
    Get back when you can focus on a point without pages of resume as diversion.
    Get back when you’re not so patronizing and give up the ‘argument from intimidation’
    Get back when you become a mature adult, in other words.
    I didn’t want to remember you like this, friend.
    Let me tell you one of the secrets of life: when you’re really stoked about something- everybody wants to hang out with you. When you have a bad attitude and act stupid- nobody does. Celebrity is so fickle – and google is so indelible.
    Top of the day to ya. I just finished putting new shingles on my roof and that will fix all my climate issues for another 10 years or so. I’m smilin. 🙂

  133. Interesting concept, but I see a problem that could be a fundamental flaw.
    When someone says the correct value for climate sensitivity should be ~3 deg C / doubled CO2, that includes the modeled net impact of all forcings and feedbacks. C02 forcing alone only gives ~1.2 deg C for doubling.
    The extra ~1.8 deg C is a function of other interactions, mostly complex, and the magnitude may be different under other atmospheric concentrations and climactic conditions.
    Treating that 3 deg C as a constant, and extrapolating it over all other doublings, especially at concentration levels which haven’t been experienced or modeled, is a likely to lead to erroneous conclusions.

  134. A nice history of source.. and you can see all the contributors to IR signature ( like glint which I forgot about, and earthshine etc );
    Problem is the calibration is based on primitive and incorrect assumptions ie incorrect sign in say the “atmospheric window” eg Platnick and Fontenla 2006
    Satellite measurements at wavelengths of light corresponding to about 3.7
    pm have been exploited for almost three decades. Radiation near this wavelength
    (which includes both solar energy and energy emitted by the Earth‘s surface and
    atmosphere) occurs in a so-called ”atmospheric window” where the atmosphere
    is relatively transparent to such light. Applications are primarily related to cloud
    studies, including cloud detectio4 cloud thermodynamic phase, and quantitative
    cloud particle size retrievals….
    ….Fundamentally, cloud information is derived by first converting the
    measured signal into a reflectance quantity. Conversion of calibrated 3.7 pm
    channel measurements (in radiance units) to reflectance requires knowledge of
    the incoming solar energy (specifically the irradiance) in this spectral region.
    Despite the ubiquity of 3.7 pm channels, absolute solar spectral irradiance data
    comes from either a single measurement campaign in 1969 or models that predict
    the solar irradiance spectrum.
    In this study, we compare historical 3.7 ,um band spectral irradiance data sets
    with the new semi-empirical solar model of the quiet-Sun by Fontenla et al.
    (2006). The model has expected uncertainties of about 2% in the 3.7pm spectral
    region. We find that 3.7 ,um channel-averaged spectral irradiances using the
    Thekaekara et al. observations or previous solar models differ from the new
    model by -1.5 to +4.1%

    As MODTRAN5 included the Fontenla quiet sun spectrum one would think this would improve the spectral resolution,however the sun also showed it is not constrained by deterministic conjecture and the variance (and error) increased in the declining phase of sc23.
    The implications are quite clear in say the cloud fraction where no model has any statistical agreement with the annular datasets, or the seasonal amplitude eg Probst et al.2010.
    As HadSM3 performed worst in comparison with observations,and has problematic issues with scaling heights and stratospheric humidity eg Shine et al 2010 it is legitimate to question how certain are when uncertainties are certain, or to put it another way does the Irreducibility of Uncertainty, provide evidence of the certainty of Irreducibility.

  135. Russ – Obviously all doublings cannot have the same huge warming effect incl feedbacks. By showing that pure CO2 effect has 9,25 “doublings” of total effect, this becomes very clear – and I think this information is very relevant.
    With this knowledge its very clear that IPCC and Hansen presumes that feedbacks associated with CO2 warming NOW in the present CO2 doubling must be far far stronger than any warming feedbacks related to the rest of the doublings.
    This makes it legitimate to ask: What is it about the present CO2 doubling that is so very very extraordinar compared to other doublings. With what evidence can you claim the feedbacks for the present doubling is many times bigger than for other doubling? (Because i showed that they have to be).
    K.R. Frank

  136. Thanks Frank,
    Other doublings of CO2 could have more or less total temperature impact than the present doubling due to the influence of other gases, as well as various feedback factors (both positive and negative) either entering their effective ranges or reaching their respective limitations.
    I don’t have any particular reason that this specific CO2 doubling should have a greater or lesser temperature impact than other prior or subsequent doublings. All I can say for certain is… it’ll be complicated.

  137. Well I am somewhat familiar with the logarithm function; either in the mathematical form:-
    ln(z) = (z-1) – (z-1)^2/2 + (z-1)^3/3 + …etc or many other forms.
    I’m also familiar with some physical processes that follow the logarithm function in some way. Until recently we all believed that the elapsed time during which a radioactive substance has been decaying was proportional to the logarithm of the fraction of the original material which still exists. Nowadays it depends on what Leif Svalgaard is up to; becasue of solar neutrinos.
    The logarithm of the charge remaining on a previously charged capacitor that is shunted by a resistor, also is proportional to the elapsed time.
    The Forward Voltage of a semiconductor diode; at some fixed Temperature is roughly proportional to the logarithm of the forward current over a number of decades of current. Even then it isn’t quite that simple; because that current typically consists of a recombination current, and a diffusion current; and the slope of the logarithmic curve is q/2kT for the recombination current; but q/kT for the diffusion current; where q is the electron charge and k is Boltzmann’s constant.
    So there are a few well understood physical processes where the observed data matches some form of logarithmic relationship to a very high degree of accuracy.
    So now comes another basically very simple physical problem; the relationship between the mean global Temperature of the earth ( just exactly where nobody knows) and the logarithm of the atmospheric CO2 abundance; and of course we all know how well mixed the atmospheric CO2 is so no matter where or when you measure it on planet earth you always get the exact same value; well as a molecular fraction of the local atmosphere of course. For reasons known only to Chemists and Climatologists; this is always referred to as ppmv, even though nobody has any idea what volume they are referring to. Counting molecules does not seem to have occurred to anybody in these disciplines yet.
    Now the beautiful thing is that this same logarithmic relationship occurs, if instead of measuring the wherever Temperature, you instead measure the “forcing”; that being some measure of the LWIR radiation that is emitted from the surface or wherever on planet earth; and that “forcing” should itself follow some sort of fourth power of the actual wherever it is Temperature; which of course the CO2 is then going to change; due to the greenhouse effect.
    The really clever thing about this well known logarithmic relationship is that it always applies no matter what model of the atmosphere you call on. It applies simply to the effect of CO2 alone; but it also applies (as a function of CO2 doubling) if you have some other GHG like CH4 orO3 or even H2O in the atmosphere.
    The relationship function remains logartihmic through thick and thin; only the slope of the logarithmic function changes; no matter how complex the atmospheric components get. This is especially illuminating in the case of H2O; because in the case of global atmospheric conditions; it is extremely common to have from place to place, and from time to time the local Temperature can go through the value Zero deg C or about 273.16 Kelvins. If this should happen where the atmospheric pressure is roughly one standard atmosphere, and there is any H2O in the system; then a remarkably non linear discontinuity occurs, and the water (H2O) can change discontinuously from a vapor in the atmopshere to a liquid or even a solid, and perhaps manifest itself in some new physical form such as clouds; and yet despite all of these perfectly natural phenomena; that happen all the time; the logarithmic connection to the amount of CO2 does not change; well maybe the slope of the curve changes much like the recombination versus diffusion currents in the semi-conductor diode; but absolutely nothing ever disturbs that logarithmic relationship; so regardless of these changes; or irregardless as the case may be; we can still talk about the climate sensitivity to a doubling of the CO2 (JUST THE CO2) . Nothing else matters of course; simply doubling the CO2 in the presence of all those other effects; causes some fixed change in either the Temperature or the W/m^2 “Forcing” or whatever; and maybe the slope will change; but the logarithmic relationship remains robust no matter how simple or how complex the atmospheric condition becomes.
    Well assuming that you are still reading this; some of you might be wondering how this system is so robust; despite the fact that so far we cannot model it properly in such a way that future changes can be predicted; or even projected. So robust is this logarithmic relationship for “climate sensitivity” that it doesn’t even matter what the time relationship is between measurement of the CO2 and measurement of the Temperature or the “Forcing”. Go forward or backward in time and it makes no difference to the logarithmic relationship; other than maybe changing the value (slope) of the “Climate sensitivity”.
    The complexity of this very simple concept; is one reason why we do not have a definitive curve of either “forcing” or global mean wherever Temperature against the logarithm of the atmospheric CO2 abundance either for the most recent 1/3rd of a CO2 doubling that has been observed; or for the past five or so doublings^-1 that have occurred since the Pre-Cambrian era; based on proxies for those parameters.
    But take my word for it; the relationship is truly logarithmic; no matter what.

  138. All this squabbling over what exact effect doubling CO2 has at the 350 ppm level on global temperatures ignores the elephant in the room–both elevated temps and elevated CO2 have proven BENEFITS for plant and animal life.
    Ultimately, we do want to know this detail about the climatology of our world. But test-tube studies do not have all the feedback mechanisms of the real live planet Earth. Examination of long-term CO2 and temp records suggest that feedbacks totally cancel the CO2 effect on temps. Of course, that assumes that all or most of our scientists were honest and reasonably accurate in their reported data AND, more critically, the the general assumptions made in the entire paleoclimatology community are considerably mre valid than those of the CRU community.

  139. If you take half the present CO2 you get something like the value in the ice ages. The temperature with half the current CO2 was about 5 K less than now, so you could argue that the last doubling had at least 5 K warming. Why should the next one be significantly less? There is still some snow/ice left to melt to contribute to positive albedo feedback. This example shows that you can’t treat each doubling the same, because there are other variables than CO2.
    Also, the last time earth had this much CO2 was in the pre-glacial eras when Greenland had no ice sheet, so it is not really an interglacial in the normal sense any more, I would suggest, because the glacials are probably done with for a while.

  140. Frank Lansner says:
    September 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    This makes it legitimate to ask: What is it about the present CO2 doubling that is so very very extraordinar compared to other doublings. With what evidence can you claim the feedbacks for the present doubling is many times bigger than for other doubling? (Because i showed that they have to be).
    K.R. Frank

    And you did a very fine job of showing exactly that!
    That is so preposterous to think there were no (or different) feedbacks last doubling(s), or last century but now has somehow morphed so large that any proper scientists would just bow out at this point and accept the impossibility. But I doubt they will, and so I will continue to refuse to mention them without putting “scientist” in quotes. They probably don’t even deserve so much.
    I have taken Dr. Spencer’s simple model and re-written the spreadsheet until I could understand it’s basics and then re-wrote that as a bona fide program so I can easily extend it any amount of time any parameters (even 800,000 years if curious, but it then does crawl) with any feedbacks or lingering effects, radiative and non-radiative as Dr. Spencer points out, and I finally see exactly what you and Dr. Spencer are saying of these feedbacks. The current model are unrealistic, they don’t match the real world data.
    I will be curious in the next few years (I hope) to learn what is causing some the effects that are happening as the AMSU data points out, not following co2’s “proven” effects. That very thing keeps haunting me, and I wrote on this above, could it be that co2 has no effect at all after the optical thickness causes all initial radiation from the surface (not inter-atmosphere) to guarantee capture at least once. The warmist sites I visit do not want to even bring up the concept that thermalization and the re-spread across the spectrum every absorption even exists. That seems to be a key. Look very carefully at a spectrum from the surface upward and one from 20 km downward. See the pretty wide “window” where little is interacting. If I’m correct by the second or third bounce the statistical chance of absorption is near zero. Say the initial chance to hit the 13-16.5 µm band of all IR frequencies is 0.30. on second after thermalization and spread the chance of not hitting the “window” is 0.30^2 or 0.09, third is 0.09*0.30 or 0.03. hope you can make sense of that, I’m not very good at conveying my thoughts sometimes.
    Now, what if you add a few (co2 doubling) of absorbers. Of course I realize this would apply to h2o too and there is even some crossing from water to co2 in those bands. By that most of a ghg’s effect occurs in the 3-6 or so doublings. That what would cause the double logarithmic that I mentioned above. If you see this as real and can write an article on it, have at it, I would destroy the concept with my words, your much better.
    Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed you article!

  141. Jim D says:
    September 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm
    If you take half the present CO2 you get something like the value in the ice ages. The temperature with half the current CO2 was about 5 K less than now, so you could argue that the last doubling had at least 5 K warming. Why should the next one be significantly less? There is still some snow/ice left to melt to contribute to positive albedo feedback. This example shows that you can’t treat each doubling the same, because there are other variables than CO2.
    Also, the last time earth had this much CO2 was in the pre-glacial eras when Greenland had no ice sheet, so it is not really an interglacial in the normal sense any more, I would suggest, because the glacials are probably done with for a while.
    ———-
    Jim D, CO2 changes from 280 ppm at the height of the interglacials to about 185 ppm at the deepest period of the glacials. That should only be -1.8C for GHGs while the global temperature declined by -5.0C. So, the maximum effect for CO2/GHGs is only 35% of the total temperature change.
    Greenland’s ice-sheet developed only 2.5 million years ago (CO2 280 ppm). This was the CO2 level for about the last 24.0 million years so CO2 didn’t cause it. How about Greenland moving about 300 kms north due to continental drift over that period instead?
    The problem with climate science and those that believe in it is that they refuse to review the actual climate and CO2 history.

  142. Steven Mosher (Sept. 9, 7:00AM 2010)
    Busy here but your lengthy response deserves a reply. After reading it several times I have to come to the conclusion its made up goobbledygook. Heres why:
    1. Your assertion that skin temperature is an issue is nonsense. The F117 was designed from the ground up with radar(radio) in mind. Radar is not IR. The wavelengths used are much longer, reflection is the key. Modtran is irrelevant.
    The only concern with IR is heat seekers, so the F117A’s twin GE404 turbofans vent through thin horizontal nozzles that spread out the heat. The engines generate the only concern for heat not the skin! You say “Long ago ( like when the F117 was built) we could only predict the returns from flat surfaces and we could only build flat surfaces ( of RAm material)”. The use of Ram material or radar-absorptive mesh is also used to shield parts of the plane from radio (radar) reflection. So what is this “returns from flat surfaces”? IR is not the issue. IR given off by the skin of a plane is irrelevant to its survivability. When faced with a heat seeker speed and agility may save you but most certainly not MODTRAN (lol).
    2. As you state the only reason Modtran is required because the airforce holds some patents on it. Sounds like a business decision. The truth of the matter is that it is NOT required to build a successful jet fighter. The only thing required is good engineers.
    3. You say “Well, the calculations are used throughout the design process.” I say baloney.
    4. We really go wacky when remote sensing is dealt with. You say “well any sensor in the sky or space needs to understand what the atmosphere does to the signal.” A sensor does not NEED to understand anything! Then you say “If you emit signal X at the ground hows that get modulated by the stuff between the sensor and the source. Going backwards, if you receive a signal that looks like Y, what does the source actually look like? So tell me how does a signal get modulated by the atmosphere and what is this stuff you talk about? If you receive a signal that looks like y? Are you kidding?
    5. “Lowtran stuff started in the mid seventies ( as I recall) which was before my watch. in the 70s, the drive to incorporate all aspect broadband stealth became paramount. hence the F117, B2, F22.
    Make sense?” I’d like to see proof of this lowtran, and no, Steven Mosher, you do not make sense.

  143. Bill Illis,
    Yes, the point was that other factors are too important to neglect, which is what is being done when one assumes each doubling has the same effect. In the case of the doubling from 190 to 380, ice albedo feedback helped raise the effect to 5 degrees. Going from 380 to 760, ice albedo feedback would be less, but water vapor feedback remains. You can’t rule out 3 degrees.
    From what I saw, CO2 was declining gradually (possibly due to chemical weathering and natural sequestration) at 5-10 ppm per million years in the 100 million years before the Ice Ages (as earth was coincidentally cooling) , and it wasn’t till 15-20 million years ago that it dropped below 400 ppm, at which time Greenland was not covered with glaciers. [300 km is not even 20% of the size of Greenland, so I doubt that accounts for much.] CO2 finally reached 280 ppm by 2.4 million years ago when the Ice Ages began with Greenland freezing over. 280 was a kind of tipping point for Ice Ages to exist.

  144. Jim D says:
    September 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm
    Bill Illis,
    Yes, the point was that other factors are too important to neglect, which is what is being done when one assumes each doubling has the same effect. In the case of the doubling from 190 to 380, ice albedo feedback helped raise the effect to 5 degrees. Going from 380 to 760, ice albedo feedback would be less, but water vapor feedback remains. You can’t rule out 3 degrees.
    From what I saw, CO2 was declining gradually (possibly due to chemical weathering and natural sequestration) at 5-10 ppm per million years in the 100 million years before the Ice Ages (as earth was coincidentally cooling) , and it wasn’t till 15-20 million years ago that it dropped below 400 ppm, at which time Greenland was not covered with glaciers. [300 km is not even 20% of the size of Greenland, so I doubt that accounts for much.] CO2 finally reached 280 ppm by 2.4 million years ago when the Ice Ages began with Greenland freezing over. 280 was a kind of tipping point for Ice Ages to exist.

    Oh come on. The ellipitical orbit of the earth has nothing to do with it? And show me your references for the alledged 5 degree increase. Ice has a significant effect when it covers Canada and Minnesota, but next to nothing at the poles. And if you sum NH and SH polar ice coverage (albedo is unaffected by thickness), it was hasn’t changed, so no effect of albedo over the satellite era when CO2 went up ~[100 ppm].

  145. Several times here (at WUWT) , Phil has offered, that the CO2-Temperature relationship is linear for small amounts of CO2; then logarithmic for medium amounts of CO2; and then square root for large amounts of CO2.
    As a physicist ; that leaves me asking; what was it about the Physics that changed, to change the relationship. The answer of course is that nothing about the Physics changed at all; because none of those formulas are tied in to the Physics of why CO2 would raise the surface temperature of the earth; there’s no scientific justification for any of them.
    Now that does not mean that you can’t take some sets of data on Temperatures and CO2 and curve fit to try and get some calculated curve to track with the data.
    But curve fitting is really only useful to allow estimation of values at (data) locations that have never been measured; by interpolation between points that have been measured.
    It certainly seems perfectly reasonable that at small CO2 concentrations, the effects could fit a straight line; and that eventually the data would stray off that straight line; ie the graph becomes non-linear.
    But it is a far cry from saying that a relationship is non-linear, to saying that the result is logarithmic. Just because it may take increasing amounts of CO2 to create a temperature change at higher levels; is no justification for saying it is logarithmic; which is a very specific mathematical function. When Physical relationships truly do plot as logarithmic relationships; it is usually a solid clue that some very simple basic Physical (or chemical) process is involved in the effect. A different situation would be the case of the Mauna Loa CO2 data, which shows an upturn in recent years; it has gone non-linear.
    That is no cause to jump to the unwarranted conclusion that the relationship is exponential. It might be just a long time constant transition between one linear rate, and another higher linear rate. To call it exponential is to imply that there is a causal process that makes the relationship exponential. There probably isn’t.
    But we now have several generations of climate “scientists” who have been taught, and are absolutely convinced, that Temperature (of the earth) is proportional to the logarithm of the atmospheric CO2.
    If that were true; then the very smallest amounts of atmopsheric CO2 would have had the greatest effect.
    Frank here, has plotted the forcing; which evidently is identical to the Temperature change; despite the Stefan-Boltzmann relationship for CO2 down to 5 ppmv.
    So just when did earth have only 5 ppmv of atmospheric CO2; for that matter, when did it have only 160 ppmv.
    If we are to believe the logarithmic doubling sensitivity mantra, then the change in atmospheric CO2 from 4 ppmv to 5 ppmv must have created all manner of chaos on earth.
    Now I should throw in here the legal disclaimer: I am NOT among those who try to argue that CO2 can’t possibly warm the atmosphere; that is plain silly; as is the argument that CO2 is such a tiny trace amount; so how could it possibly do anything. That too is plain silly. Pure single crystal Silicon has an atomic density of about 5.00 x 10^22 atoms per cc; Germanium is 4.42 x 10^22, so not much in it for those two materials.
    It is very common that semiconductor devices; such as CMOS integrated circuits that power our computers, so we can all meet and greet like this; are typically doped in the range of 10^15 to 10^18 atoms per CC of dopant impurities; Boron or Phosphorous often. So that is one part in 50,000 at the 10^18 level, or 20 ppm. Now in contact areas; you might get up into the 10^19 range which is 200 ppm.
    So all of modern technology is resting on piddling little trace constituents like that; which make the CO2 laden atmosphere look like a veritable trash heap; compared to silicon semi-conductor devices.
    But that said; what is the CO2 really accomplishing. All the books say that high clouds make it warm at night and the higher the clouds the warmer it gets at night; Positive feedback for sure ?
    Well there’s two things (at least) we should keep in mind. #1 the LWIR radiation that is intercepted by CO2 or H2O or clouds is NOT detectable by humans, without sophisticated instrumentation. So it most certainly is not capable of warming us.
    # 2 ; Anyone who has spent a night in a dry desert; say in Mojave California, knows full well that the temperature plummets at night. Mojave is so dry (the town) that airlines from all over the world have stacked up hundreds and hundreds of perfectly good usable Commerical airliners, at the Mojave airport; because they can store them there out in the open, and they don’t rust away. So when business picks up they can put some of them back into service.
    But back to those plummeting Temperatures; what is the message ?
    Well the message is that CO2, which is all still there at Mojave isn’t capable of doing a darn thing about stopping the Temperature from plummeting at night; we can’t feel the radiation from the CO2 anyway, so even if it were massively absorbing energy; we would never feel it.
    So why do we feel warm on those high cloudy balmy evenings ? IT’S THE WATER !! Those high clouds are there, because during the day, it was even hotter than it is at night and there was plenty of moisture around to both form the clouds, when the moisture rises up to the dew point elevation; and also that humid air is what is stopping us from cooling our skin by evaporation of sweat from our skin; that is why WE feel warm; our cooling system is shut off by the moist air. No we can’t feel the LWIR radiation being sent back by the water vapor either. The heat that we feel was supplied during the day by the sun; it is not supplied at night by the atmosphere.
    During the day; the GHG absorption is certainly capturing LWIR emitted from the hot/warm surface, and it delays the exit of that radiation as a result of that absorption and re-radiation (from the atmosphere) process. During that delay time, old sol is continuing to pour in more energy; and it is that solar insolation rate; times the mean propagation delay of the LWIR exit process that creates the GHG warming.
    But at night in most places; the sun does not shine; so there isn’t any extra solar input at night to warm the place because of GHG capture delays.
    Yes I firmly believe that CO2 is a GHG and that despite its scarcity in the atmosphere it does capture LWIR emissions and tend to allow the sun to warm the surface a bit more. How much as to doublings whether a big doubling from 390 to 780 ppmv or a small one from 5 ppm to 10 ppm; is somewhat irrelevent; because in the end; the water cycle takes over, and clouds simply adjust the net insolation that reaches the surface to warm it; and how much CO2 is present is hardly of any consequence. The effect (that it DOES have) is simply vetoed by cloud variations OVER CLIMATE TIME SCALES.

  146. Jim D says:

    If you take half the present CO2 you get something like the value in the ice ages. The temperature with half the current CO2 was about 5 K less than now, so you could argue that the last doubling had at least 5 K warming. Why should the next one be significantly less?

    Good point, but see what happens after the temperature peaks: Temperature returns down to glacial level while CO2 is stil in MAX effect. This is the general picture:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/30/co2-temperatures-and-ice-ages/
    Therefore, nothing suggests thatCO2 has anything to do with the temperature changes over the ICE ages.
    The same goes for the temperatures over the PETM:
    http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/petm-ndash-finally-an-example-of-co2-causing-heat-179.php
    **
    And… if you think that the other CO2 doublings has the same effect as the present, please note what my article shows: 9,25 doublings of 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 K related to CO2 gives temperature changes unrealistically big.
    If CO2 had this effect why did the Earth not boil over when the Earth had 7000 ppm (500 years ago?)
    etcetc 🙂
    K.R. Frank

  147. *******
    wayne says:
    September 9, 2010 at 6:42 pm
    Frank Lansner says:
    September 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    This makes it legitimate to ask: What is it about the present CO2 doubling that is so very very extraordinar compared to other doublings. With what evidence can you claim the feedbacks for the present doubling is many times bigger than for other doubling? (Because i showed that they have to be).
    K.R. Frank
    And you did a very fine job of showing exactly that!
    **********
    Wayne, thanks! It means a lot that even though i am indeed fumbling a little in the dark here and there when trying to show something new, some people like you can still see where im getting at, and that this is important.
    K.R. Frank

  148. George E. Smith says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:50 am
    Several times here (at WUWT) , Phil has offered, that the CO2-Temperature relationship is linear for small amounts of CO2; then logarithmic for medium amounts of CO2; and then square root for large amounts of CO2.
    *******
    Oh boy… Its odd because the fundamental knowledge hereof comes from laboratory experiments?
    If true, does Phil show data to back this up.
    – Its the square root that is.. … surpricing … to me(!)
    Then you write: “If we are to believe the logarithmic doubling sensitivity mantra, then the change in atmospheric CO2 from 4 ppmv to 5 ppmv must have created all manner of chaos on earth.”
    Well, below 5 ppm, the “halfing” effect-thing is slightly weaker and weaker.
    But your point stands still, of course, a lot should have happened from just small changes.
    BUT!
    Take the planet pluto. I the later years its surface temperature has risen 3 Celsius! And the exciting thing is: The Pluto atmosphere warmed after minimum distance to the Sun. So with still less light, temperatures rose considerably compared to Plutos extremely cold surface temperature. The best explanation is perhaps, that just sparse number of molecules has been released from Plustos icy actually have a significant eccect?
    K.R. Frank

  149. Jim D,
    IIRC, Antarctica drifted to its present polar position about 25 million years ago. This made it much easier for the earth to go into ice ages because it is much easier to form a thick polar ice cap when there is a land mass at the pole. The CO2 levels declining might be a function of declining temps rather than vice versa.

  150. Assuming that the feedbacks are going to remain constant in each doubling has no basis in physical science, right? In fact, the nature of the current feedbacks is the biggest question to be solved. It will be interesting to discuss the merits of the various feedbacks that have been proposed for the current doubling, especially Roy Spencer’s work.
    It seems that there is general agreement that the direct forcing from CO2 increasing is minuscule, right? With current CO2 level at 390 ppm and increasing at 2 ppm per year, at these rates it will take nearly two centuries for the direct impact of doubling CO2 to generate 1 degree C heat increase. That is an average of about 1/200 degree C increase per year.
    This website is interesting:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html
    It is a federal government site that permits you to plot temperature trends in the USA. If you plot the last 12 years, the trend is down at about 1 degree F per decade. This means that in the last 12 years we lost heat equivalent to about 2/3 of the heat that will be gained from the direct effect of the next doubling (i.e. roughly the next 2 centuries) of CO2.

  151. I strenuously suggest all you people arguing over the physics of GHGs start reading up on the experimental results of longwave absorption by gases conducted by John Tyndall about 150 years ago and written up in his book “Heat a Mode of Motion”.
    For his work with gases begin reading on page 321:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=3DUJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA321&dq=%22heat+a+mode+of+motion%22&output=text
    and take about a half hour to educate yourselves. This is very basic physics which were experimentally discovered 150 years ago, folks.
    The very first thing that Tyndall discovered is that in very low concentrations of absorbing gases the absorption increases in direct proportion to the gas concentration. Gradually, as complete absorption is approached, the proportionality becomes exponential.
    For anyone who thinks they know enough to describe this by quantum mechanical theory if the result obtained does not approximate the experimental results obtained 150 years ago then your quantum explanation, or any other explanation for that matter, is WRONG and you need to go back to the drawing board until your theoretical results match the experimental measurements. Models of reality DO NOT trump physical reality.
    CO2 is present in sufficient concentration in the troposphere to bring its absorptive capacity to near extinction. At this point the proportionality required for incrementally more GHG effect is exponential in nature.

  152. George E. Smith says:
    “Climate Science is going to be forever stuck in the doldrums akin to ancient astrology”
    ————
    Yes, this stuff may very well live as long as astrology, which was a very well respected science for nearly 3,000 years, and even Newton is said to have delved in it (he was also an enthusiastic alchemist).
    The exact nature of the relationship between CO2 and climate is the perfect subject for a debate that may last several thousand years, since nobody has a clue what it is, and proving anybody’s conjectures wrong is a tricky business. The great Ptolemy, a very competent astronomer for his time, also wrote thousands of pages with stuff like the following. How do you prove him wrong?
    Just look at all the stuff Saturn can do, for example:
    “Saturn makes men averse to women, and renders them fond of governing, prone to solitude, highly reserved, regardless of rank, indifferent to beauty, envious, austere, unsociable, singular in opinion, addicted to divination and to religious services and mysteries; solicitous of the priesthood, fanatical, and subservient to religion; solemn, reverential, sedate, studious of wisdom, faithful in friendship, continent, reflective, circumspect, and scrupulous in regard to female virtue: but, if he be thus conciliated, and not posited in glory, he makes men licentious and libidinous, practisers of lewdness, careless, and impure in sexual intercourse; obscene, treacherous to women, especially to those of their own families; wanton, quarrelsome, sordid, hating elegance; slanderous, drunken, superstitious, adulterous, and impious; blasphemers of the gods, and scoffers at holy rites; calumniators, sorcerers, hesitating at nothing. If conciliated with Mercury, and if in a glorious position, Saturn makes men inquisitive, loquacious, studious of law and of medicine, mystical, confederate in secrecy, fabricators of miracles, impostors, improvident, cunning, familiar with business, quick in perception, petulant, accurate, vigilant, meditative, fond of employment, and tractable: but, if connected with Mercury, and not posited gloriously, he causes men to be frivolous, vindictive, laborious, alienated from their families, fond of tormenting, and void of enjoyment; night-wanderers, insidious, treacherous, pitiless…”
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/astro/ptb/ptb62.htm

  153. “”” Dave Springer says:
    September 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm
    I strenuously suggest all you people arguing over the physics of GHGs start reading up on the experimental results of longwave absorption by gases conducted by John Tyndall about 150 years ago and written up in his book “Heat a Mode of Motion”.
    For his work with gases begin reading on page 321:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=3DUJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA321&dq=%22heat+a+mode+of+motion%22&output=text
    and take about a half hour to educate yourselves. This is very basic physics which were experimentally discovered 150 years ago, folks. “””
    Well old John certainly wrote a funny strain of English. One thing I did notice in his experimental apparatus is that he evidently did his experiments the same way that “the science guy” does his; and emplyed a source of not very long wavelength “heat” that unfortunately is NOT emitted from the earth’s surface or from the atmosphere (of Planet Earth).

  154. Frank Lansner says:
    September 10, 2010 at 10:15 am
    … can still see where im getting at, and that this is important.
    K.R. Frank

    Agreed.

  155. Obviously, I was not saying Ice Ages were due to CO2 changes, but one of the things that goes with AGW is that CO2 is tied on long timescales to temperature. This is what I was referring to. When the earth cools, e.g. due to solar or Milankowitch effects, CO2 follows. Either CO2 or temperature can change first, but the other will follow with a lag. It doesn’t contradict AGW.
    Someone asked about the log relation with temperature. As in the original post, the line shows that this relation is just an approximation to what you get out of a full radiative transfer model, no more. Such models do not have a log relation built into them, only individual effects of various absorption bands that saturate to various degrees. Each band or line is just a Beer’s law absorption path calculation which is an exponential decay with concentration, so it is not obvious their integrated effect is going to be a log behavior.

  156. George E. Smith says:
    September 10, 2010 at 3:48 pm
    “Well old John certainly wrote a funny strain of English. One thing I did notice in his experimental apparatus is that he evidently did his experiments the same way that “the science guy” does his; and emplyed a source of not very long wavelength “heat” that unfortunately is NOT emitted from the earth’s surface or from the atmosphere (of Planet Earth).”
    Radiation from a 100 degree C blackbody source (Tyndall’s) is centered around 7 microns.
    Radiation from a 16 degree C blackbody source (averge ocean surface temp) is centered around 10 microns.
    Your comment reveals this is just all way over your head, George.

  157. George E. Smith says:
    September 10, 2010 at 8:50 am
    “Several times here (at WUWT) , Phil has offered, that the CO2-Temperature relationship is linear for small amounts of CO2; then logarithmic for medium amounts of CO2; and then square root for large amounts of CO2.”
    “Phil”, whoever that is, is correct and this was first demonstrated experimentally 150 years ago.

  158. Jim D:
    You write
    “If we are to believe the logarithmic doubling sensitivity mantra, then the change in atmospheric CO2 from 4 ppmv to 5 ppmv must have created all manner of chaos on earth.”
    CO2 and CH4 follows temperature:
    http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/co2-carbon-dioxide-ndash-temperature-73.php
    Besides, I showed that we have 9,25 CO2 “doublings” and not just one more doubling.
    Another thing: From Glacials to interglacials the ice cover on Earth changed a lot, and this gave the possebility of strong change in albedo that could amplify the temperature change. But when Hansen and co for future warming talk about 3-7 K doublings in temperature due to the supposed little CO2 doubling heat, then there is just not the same amoung of ice on Earth to amplify and thus explain such a huge temperature shift. Today there is only the rather small caps. If CO2 should make Earth temperature rise 1 K for a doubling, this would not really change the ice/snow cover of the Antarctic /with a avg temp of -27), and in all winters we would still have substantial sea ice at the poles.
    So the ice/albedo is not likely to explain a future temperature change amplified to 6 K or the like from one CO2 doubling.
    Actually Hansen and IPCCs idea of 3-7 K warming just due to a little (0,5 – 1 K ?) heat from CO2, this doe not match with VOstok data from the Antarctic. At not point in all the interglacials did a little temp peak like that result in a strong 3-7K temp rise. So why should it now?
    K.R. Frank

  159. Jim D, i think you missed the point of my Jan 2009 article.
    Here in fig 4 for example, its rather obvious the temperature after interglacial temp peaks dives down to a new glacial even though CO2 should show max warming effect in the period:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/lansner-image4.png
    So therefore, its not just CO2 and temp going up and down together. The large temperature changes over the iceages does occur even when CO2 should have prevented it – if CO2 had much to say.
    K.R. Frank

  160. re; John Tyndall
    Tyndall was one of the greatest physicists of the 19th century and arguably the best physics lecturer and writer of his generation. An experimenter not a model builder. He succeeded Michael Farrady as professor of physics at the Royal Institute. Farraday was a great admirer of his work which played no small part in the succession. Tyndall wasn’t the first to theorize a greenhouse effect in the atmosphere but he was the first to prove it by experiment. He also proved water vapor overwhelms all the other greenhouse gases and did it the obvious way by directing infrared energy through a column of dry air ,a column of moist air, and a vacuum comparing how much infrared energy comes out the other side in carefully controlled delightfully simple but highly ingenius experimental apparatus. He performed thousands of experiments with different gases at varying partial pressures, varying total mass and distance, using many different gases and different heat sources. In the process he discovered more about the longwave thermodynamics of gases than any single person in history.
    For those of you not delighted and charmed reading about experimental physics in original mid-19th century British parlance wikipedia has a decent translation of the highlights in 21st century American dialect.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tyndall
    I suggest everyone get acquainted with it. The proper place to begin is at the beginning. Tyndall is the beginning of longwave thermodynamics of atmospheric gases. He’s essentially also the end of what anyone really needs to know about how greenhouse gases function in the atmosphere. Even 19th century physicists provably knew that atmospheric CO2 is an insignificant greenhouse gas compared to water vapor.

  161. Frank Lansner: I was saying CO2 can follow temperature when there is stronger temperature forcing as in the glacial cycles. At that time CO2 dropped because the cooler ocean absorbed it. The atmosphere-ocean system net CO2 remained constant, so there was no CO2 forcing, and it was passively following temperature.
    At the present time, we are adding CO2 to the system by fossil fuels, which is a new forcing, and AGW explains why the feedback should be even higher than the CO2 effect alone. I don’t know what Spencer work keeps getting referred to here, but a positive, not negative, feedback seems to be operating if you look at decadal warming rates in the last 30 years.

  162. Dave Springer says:
    “[Tyndal is] essentially also the end of what anyone really needs to know about how greenhouse gases function in the atmosphere.”
    ——-
    The wikipedia article you link says the following:
    “He concluded that water vapour is the strongest absorber of radiant heat in the atmosphere and is the principal gas controlling air temperature. Absorption by the bulk of the other gases is negligible.”
    Negligible? So is this “the end of what we need to know”?
    You say elsewhere that the current assumptions about the CO2-temperature relationship (linear for low concentrations, then logarithmic, and so on) were “demonstrated experimentally 150 years ago.
    Were they, really? Did Tyndell attempt to measure the temperature variations, or just the radiation?
    Now, if his experiments regarding the CO2-temperature relation were so simple and conclusive, I imagine their accuracy and illuminating power could surely be improved after 150 years, could they not? And they would have enormous convincing force among the ever growing number doubting Thomases. So why are they not being done? Is anybody else attempting to reproduce these kinds of experiments to illustrate the CO2-temperature relation? If not, why is that, since not they could put so many arguments to rest? Why would Tindall be “all we need to know”? Do physicists still rely on the first measurements of the speed of light done in the 17th century? Do we go read Eratosthenes to find out the dimensions of the Earth?
    None of this makes any sense to me, sir.

  163. Jim D, you write : “”At that time CO2 dropped because the cooler ocean absorbed it.”
    Im not sure what you use the Vostok data for, but in no way can they be used to claim CO2 effect:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/lansner-image4.png
    Try wash your blackboard clean clean clean and see what the data actually shows:
    1) If CO2 is supposed to be an important forcing in the periods of temperature rise, then CO2 should have a strong effect at 210-230-250 ppm already.
    2) at even stronger CO2 concentrations up to 15.000 years after temperature peak, the CO2 is still in max effect higher than most of the time of the temperature increase.
    There fore, the only thing you can tell from Vostok CO2 data is, that CO2 is NOT a dominating temperature driver compared to the other natural forcings.
    IF CO2 had a huge effect per doubling, well when natural (non-CO2) forcings are just far stronger still.
    You cant tell from these data that CO2 has an effect even small, you cant tell that CO2 has NO effect at all.
    Summa: CO2 over the ice ages shows nothing about a supposed CO2 effect, except that its not a dominating factor.
    K.R. Frank

  164. @Frank Lanser
    It’s worse than they thought!
    As demonstrated by the great experimental physicist John Tyndall who circa 1860 was the first to discover many radiative thermodynamic properties of gases. Through experiment he demonstrated that absorption by GHGs is directly proportional to the number of molecules of gas when the number is below that which will absorb to extinction. Think of it as the gas picking the low-hanging fruit or working like a vacuum pump that can quickly lower the pressure of a high density gas but which has to work harder and harder as the pressure decreases such that it is never able to achieve a perfect vacuum. After the gas has absorbed to practical extinction in its primary absorption frequencies adding more of the gas only serves to increase secondary and tertiary energy absorption modes – for example things like shoulder broadening, scattering, and so forth. These secondary and tertiary modes require exponentially increasing amounts of the gas to be added to get any measurable effect. CO2’s primary absorption band where water vapor doesn’t totally overlap it is at 15 microns and at a partial pressure of 390ppm in a column several miles long there are several times more than enough gas molecules present to absorb 15um radiation to extinction.
    I consider it exceedingly generous to concede for the sake of argument that a doubling from present level, absent feedbacks, can raise surface temperature by the IPCC adopted figure of 1.1 degrees Celsius. The only reason I’m willing to concede that is to move the argument forward to the positive feedback argument (which is totally bogus) and then move into arguing that increased CO2 and marginally warmer global average temperature is not only NOT catastrophic but is actually of great benefit to the biosphere and hence to ourselves as we are part of that biosphere.
    If someone tries to derail your argument in the future by saying something silly like there must have been a great climate disruption by the doubling from 2ppm to 4ppm just refer them to Tyndall’s work which handily disputes that nonsense. First of all, all life (except perhaps for some extremophiles) would go extinct if CO2 ever fell below about 150ppm and stayed there for long. CO2 is already saturated at 150ppm so discussing what the climate would be like at any lower amount is irrelevant as the earth’s temperature at that point is of no consequence because there’s nothing able to live in it even if the temperature were ideal. Second, the greenhouse effect of CO2 where there isn’t enough of it to completely absorb all the available radiation isn’t exponential but is rather directly proportional to the amount of the gas. I don’t know the exact figure for complete extinction in CO2’s primary absorption region but I’ve seen estimates of anywhere from 20ppm on the low end to 100ppm on the high end as enough for extinction in a column as deep as the troposphere. But even if the greenhouse effect of CO2 was on a logarithmic curve beginning from a partial pressure of zero if we start halving it’s effect after just several halvings we have such a small effect that further halvings are inconsequential as half of a number that’s already close to zero is still close to zero.
    Adding insult to injury for “them” is there are many and more powerful variable influences than CO2 concentration at play in the earth’s average temperature from orbital mechanics to solar variability to snow-and-cloud-driven albedo. The whole CAGW charade from end-to-end is hideously flawed. There’s no reason to work on exposing all the small or difficult-to-prove flaws. One should choose one’s battles and only commit to fighting the ones that will decide the war. Two wonderful places to defeat the CAGW scam is in the basic thermodynamic properties of greenhouse gases that were experimentally demonstrated 150 years ago which greatly any additional GHG effect from additional CO2 and in the basic botanical properties of the green plants and cyano-bacteria which benefit greatly from any possible increase in atmospheric CO2 that can be attained from the burning of economically recoverable fossil fuels. These two areas of established fact that have been known since at least the mid 1880’s are enough to derail the CAGW scientific support. Derailing the political support is a different story as it is painfully evident that CAGW proponents don’t let experimentally proven facts get in the way of furthering their agenda.

  165. Francisco says:
    September 11, 2010 at 8:11 am
    “Were they, really? Did Tyndell attempt to measure the temperature variations, or just the radiation?”
    Yes of course he was measuring sensible temperature. That’s what a galvanometer detected to a thermopile is measuring. He was measuring the apparent temperature of a source of heat after the source passed through a column of vacuum, dry air, moist air, air with and without CO2 (called “gaseous carbonic acid” in 1860), and numerous other gases at various concentrations. Tyndall was the first experimental physicist to construct apparatus capable of such measurements. In his lectures he demonstrated the efficacy of his thermopile/galvanometer setup by aiming it at a distant empty wall in the lecture hall and then having a person stand in its view and showing the large deflection in the galvanometer reading when the person entered the field of view. His experimental setup was ingenious considering the limited technology at his disposal from the rock-salt windows on the sample chambers to the polished brass interior to the secondary heat source on the backside of the thermopile that served to keep the primitive voltmeter (galvanometer) in its linear range through a wide temperature regime at the thermopile to using a telescope to read the galvanometer from a distance so that distrubances from a warm body moving about the experimental setup were eliminated.

  166. Francisco says:
    September 11, 2010 at 8:11 am
    “Is anybody else attempting to reproduce these kinds of experiments to illustrate the CO2-temperature relation?”
    Is anyone reproducing Newton’s experiment where he dropped two masses of different weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that acceleration of gravity is essentially the same regardless of the weight of the falling object? Reproducing Tyndall’s experiments would make a great science fair project for a 12-year old but there’s really no other reason to prove again what’s already well proven.
    That’s why the more informed cadre of climate change alarmists have had to invent positive feedbacks to more than triple any possible independent capability of CO2 to raise surface temperatures and that’s also why they had to reframe the argument from “global warming” to “climate change” because the warming story is so hideously flawed. They had to invent a whole host of delicate balances which when perturbed lead to catastrophic changes in local climates, vastly accelerated ice melt or calving in Greenland and Antarctica, vastly increased incidence of floods and droughts, hurricanes, tornados, and assorted other extreme weather events. It’s a huge house of cards built on speculation with almost no grounding in actual experiment or observation – the output of toy climate models that are woefully incomplete.

  167. Francisco says:
    September 11, 2010 at 8:11 am
    “Now, if [Tyndall’s] experiments regarding the CO2-temperature relation were so simple and conclusive, I imagine their accuracy and illuminating power could surely be improved after 150 years, could they not?”
    Certainly. The primary tool for investigation nowadays is the infrared spectrometer. Tyndall had no way of delineating exactly which frequencies were being absorbed by different molecules and which were not. Now we have very precision measurements of absorption bands for thousands of different molecular species.
    See the following to get you started on modern techniques:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_spectroscopy

  168. Frank Lansner says:
    September 11, 2010 at 11:16 am
    “Hi Dave Springer, thanks for all the comments, ill answer later in the evening :-)”
    Thanks, Frank. I look forward to it. I take it from your writing that you’re on the other side of the Atlantic from me and english isn’t your first or primary language. I really appreciate you’re indulgence of us Americans few of whom are as fluent as you are in a second language. Tyndall evidently was fluent in several languages as I found him quoting in French and then translating below the quote. He also acquired most of his experimental physics education in Germany as the Germans at that time were far more advanced in the experimental side than Britain. In fact he studied at the University of Marburg under no other than Robert Bunsen whose name is immortalized in just about every chemistry and physics laboratory in the world today by the ubiquitous “Bunsen Burner”.

  169. Frank Lansner: You would be surprised that I agree that at the time of the Ice Ages, orbital mechanics was the dominating mechanism. All that the CO2 was doing at 200-280 ppm was keeping the temperature maybe 6 K warmer than it would have been without any CO2 (probably 15-20 K when you take into account how much less water vapor there would be at those colder temperatures).
    So, what I see from your graph is CO2 dropping as the temperature cools due to glaciation. No surprise because the oceans are getting cooler and absorbing it. What would be surprising would be if CO2 was rising when temperature was falling or steady.

  170. Hi Dave,
    Interesting to hear about the actual measurement techniques – not many knows about this.
    you write:
    “.. at a partial pressure of 390ppm in a column several miles long there are several times more than enough gas molecules present to absorb 15um radiation to extinction.”
    How do scientists normally test for CO2 effect in laboratories when they cant test the whole atmosphere column? For example, if they want to test “390ppm” – what concentrations do they use in their containers?
    You write that in fact the CO2 concentration at 390 ppm is in fact saturated fully? Do you then think that for example MODTRAN is in fact exxagerating the effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere?
    If so, can this be documented or justified further [so that this information can be used in the debate..]?
    My impression is that Angstrom (and Tynddal?) showed that there was very little effect from adding CO2 to atmosphere gas. He found that most effect of CO2 is achieved already at 50 ppm.
    Is it not true then, that in the 1950´ies, it was suggested, that CO2 at lower pressure – higher altitude – shifted spectra and thus should create heat in higher altitude? ALtitude of less concentration and thus less saturated CO2?
    As I understtod, this was the reason IPCC suggested the famous hotspot of warm air in altitude (5-15km) due to CO2. “The CO2 sgnature”. But the CO2 signature never happened, and as it became clear that CO2 had not warmed in higher altitude, it is my experience that the AGW´ers seems to change explanation:
    Now, it is no longer in high altitude CO2 warming they expect, its warming “in all altitudes”.
    – But how can CO2 warm at surface level when CO2 doenst warm these surface level directly (according to Angstrom and more)?
    As upper layers´s warming radiation are totaly dependent on temperaturere – so… where should CO2 heat come from?
    K.R, Frank

  171. Hi Frank,
    See the first figure at this link.
    http://www.sundogpublishing.com/fig8-2.pdf
    It’s from the 2006 textbook “A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation” by Grant Petty.
    All the figures from the textbook may be viewed at:
    http://www.sundogpublishing.com/AtmosRadFigs.html
    The first figure is from an infrared spectrometer aimed downward over the arctic (clear dry air). See the big chunk of energy missing from the continuous spectrum at 15 microns? That’s the upwelling energy absorbed by CO2 which is re-emitted in all directions.
    It’s this translation of upwelling energy in the GHG absorption bands into energy radiated in all directions which causes the greenhouse effect. In effect they slow down the transport of energy from the surface to outer space. In response to the surface not cooling as quickly it stays a little warmer that it would otherwise. Since the temperature of outer space (3 Kelvins) hasn’t changed but the surface is a bit warmer the larger temperature differential between earth and space speeds up the transport of energy such that a new equilibrium point is reached where energy in equals energy out.
    It’s beyond my ability to calculate what the new surface temp equilibrium point is for different CO2 concentrations but there appears to be some genuine and general agreement that it works out to around 1 degree C for a doubling from 350 to 700ppm. I’ve no particular reason to quibble with that as 1C per doubling is no cause for alarm.

  172. @Frank (continued):
    Still referring to the infrared spectrum looking downward from 20 kilometers note the temperature difference from the shoulder to bottom of the 15 um trough is about 80 Kelvin. Dry adiabatic lapse rate of the atmosphere is 10K per kilometer so at 20 kilometers we’re seeing about half of that. That’s because of re-emission in random directions approximately half of which is downward and the infrared spectrometer can only detect what is coming upwards at it. If the 15 um energy were re-radiated all downwards (like CO2 was a perfect reflector at that wavelength) we’d see that dip a lot deeper – closer to the full dry adiabatic lapse for 20 kilometers or about 200K missing instead of 80K and if CO2 were not abosorbing any energy the dip wouldn’t be there at all.

  173. @Frank (con’t)
    I gotta take off at any minute so I’m doing this in chunks.
    In Tyndal’s setup he couldn’t see any absorption from CO2 at atmospheric partial pressure. The reasons are threefold. First of all he was only looking at a heat source through a four foot column of gas not a 60 thousand foot column of gas. Second his most stable heat source was boiling water at 100C which has a peak radiation frequency of 7 um where CO2 doesn’t have such a strong absorption band. Third he was using an analog device (galvonometer) which at best had a resolution of no better than a tenth or maybe a hundredth of a degree resolution.
    But greenhouse gases all work in the same way and he had no problem seeing absorption by water vapor at typical surface partial pressure which absorbs well at 7 microns and is present in hundreds of times greater quantity than CO2.
    In his apparatus the absorption mechanism worked the same as in this spectrometer discussion. The polished brass interior of his sample chamber was a very good reflector of infrared so when he saw the needle dip on his galvanometer when a greenhouse gas was in the sample chamber what he was seeing was energy that was being re-emitted straight back at the heat source which, in the view of the thermopile, then looked cooler than it should have just as when the infrared spectrometer was looking down at the arctic surface in the 15um range it looked 80K cooler than it would if the GHG wasn’t blocking the view.
    Hope this helps you and others get a better mental picture of what’s happening and how it was observed by Tyndall 150 years ago and later by airborne infrared spectrometers.

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