Some People Claim There’s a Human to Blame (GW Tiger)

Guest post by Ira Glickstein

Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame,

But I know, it’s my own damn fault..

The original Jimmy Buffet lyrics say “woman to blame” but I changed it to “human” in the title of this post. Perhaps I should have left it as “woman” since, without their civilizing influence, we men would still be huddled in caves, wearing bearskins, and human-caused global warming would not be an issue. In 1880, WS Gilbert said women were the really civilized humans, while Darwinian Man, even when well-behaved, was nothing more than a Monkey Shaved :^)

This is the fourth of my Tale of the Global Warming Tiger series where I allocate the supposed 0.8ºC warming since 1880 to: (1) Data Bias, (2) Natural Cycles, and (3) AGW (human-caused global warming), the subject of this posting. Click Tiger’s Tale and Tail :^) to see my allocation and read the original story.


This posting is about how human activities, particularly burning of fossil fuels and land use changes have contributed to the global warming experienced since 1880. According to Willis Eschenbach’s excellent WUWT posting (with the same title as mine – great minds think alike :^);

I think that the preponderance of evidence shows that humans are the main cause of the increase in atmospheric CO2. It is unlikely that the change in CO2 is from the overall temperature increase. During the ice age to interglacial transitions, on average a change of 7°C led to a doubling of CO2. We have seen about a tenth of that change (0.7°C) since 1850, so we’d expect a CO2 change from temperature alone of only about 20 ppmv.

Thus, about 80% of the CO2 rise from about 280 ppmv to 390 ppmv since 1880 is due to human activities.

I estimate that 0.1ºC of the supposed 0.8ºC warming is AGW, where we humans are to “blame” (assuming that that tiny amount of warming will make much of a difference, or, even if it does, that it will turn out to be bad).

In comments to my previous postings in this series, some WUWT readers have suggested that the entire supposed 0.8ºC warming since 1880 is data bias. In other words, there has actually been no net warming at all. I disagree. Even if the terrestrial temperature record since 1880 is questionable, particularly in light of repeated “adjustments” by the official climate Team that appear to overstate the warming, it seems to me the satellite data, available since 1979, clearly proves there has been considerable net warming since that date.

Other WUWT readers agree we are in a warming cycle but claim that natural processes are responsible for ALL the warming. Their main argument is that rising CO2 and other carbon gas levels do not cause much if any warming, and, even that amount of warming is counteracted by additional clouds that raise the Earth’s albedo. I agree the great majority of warming is natural, but I think it is clear that human activities are responsible for some of it. Yes, clouds almost certainly have a net negative feedback (despite virtually all the official climate Team models to the contrary), but, for the negative cloud feedback to work, temperatures must rise at least a little bit to generate the additional clouds.


The above graphic traces my estimate of the actual warming since 1880, and my projection several decades into the future. To liven it up I have drawn the curves atop a photo of some white-roofed houses in Greece and quoted from The Independent, 27 May 2009, under the headline Obama’s climate guru: Paint your roof white! they say:

Some people believe that nuclear power is the answer to climate change, others have proposed green technologies such as wind or solar power, but Barack Obama’s top man on global warming has suggested something far simpler – painting your roof white.

At the time, Anthony posted the news on WUWT, suggesting:

Maybe now NOAA will get rid of all remaining rooftop climate monitoring stations or stations sited over asphalt …

An alert reader, E.M. Smith, went further and wrote:

Lets start a surface stations project to paint the black roofs and asphalt under temperature stations white. We can do it to “save the planet from global warming and offset carbon”… and it would actually work to get the global temperature record down too ….

Undoubtedly, land use changes such as clearing forests and paving large areas with asphalt and erecting buildings have generally reduced the albedo of the Earth and thus increased warming. I don’t think Secretary Chu’s white roof idea will have much effect, but, any effect it does have will be in the direction of reducing warming, and I doubt it could ever be so successful that it pushes us into catastrophic global cooling!

Natural Cycles: The green line represents net warming not under human control or effect, and it shows a rise of about 0.4ºC since 1880.

The lighter green line is my projection of Natural Cycles assuming that Solar Cycle #24 will have a low Sunspot peak of 60 or less in 2013 or later, and that the following SC #25 and SC #26 will be similarly low and long. It is virtually certain SC #24 will be low, but pure speculation regarding SC #25 and SC #26. Of course, the varying strengths of ocean oscillations and volcanic eruptions and other hard to predict events may affect natural processes in either direction from my projections.

I have sketched a thin green line that indicates what may happen if we get a series of particularly strong events, similar to the El Niño that caused global temperatures to peak in 1999, and/or if subsequent Solar Cycles return to their previously high Sunspot levels.

AGW The violet line represents the sum of Natural Cycles and AGW and it shows an additional net rise of about 0.1ºC since 1880.

The lighter violet line is my projection assuming human activities will continue more or less as they have in the past, with minimal reductions in human-generated carbon gases and land use patterns, showing an additional nearly 0.1ºC rise between 2011 and 2050, for a total AGW since 1880 approaching 0.2ºC.

I have sketched a thin violet line indicating what may happen if Natural Cycles follow the thin green line projection and if, in addition, humans accelerate emissions of carbon gases and land use patterns that reduce the Earth’s albedo.


According to Roy Spencer, PhD:

Greenhouse components in the atmosphere (mostly water vapor, clouds, carbon dioxide, and methane) exert strong controls over how fast the Earth loses IR energy to outer space. Mankind’s burning of fossil fuels creates more atmospheric carbon dioxide. As we add more CO2, more infrared energy is trapped, strengthening the Earth’s greenhouse effect. This causes a warming tendency in the lower atmosphere and at the surface. As of 2008, it is believed that we have enhanced the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect by about 1%.

Absent the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere, the Earth would be cooler by about 33ºC, and 1% of that is 0.33ºC, which is more than the 0.1ºC I have allocated to AGW and that does not even include land use effects. But, again according to Spencer:

Net feedbacks in the real climate system — on both short and long time scales — are probably negative. A misinterpretation of cloud behavior has led climate modelers to build models in which cloud feedbacks are instead positive, which has led the models to predict too much global warming in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

He explains that IPCC climate models assume a feedback of from 0.9 to 1.9 W m-2 K-1, and that any value below 3.3 represents positive feedback, while any level above that is negative feedback. He concludes from his study of satellite data that:

the line slopes diagnosed from the satellite data … might actually be an UNDERESTIMATE of the true feedback occurring, which could be 7 W m-2 K-1 or more.

If that turns out to be true, then the actual sensitivity to CO2 doubling would be far less than the 2ºC to 5ºC or more projected by the IPCC. Indeed it could be 0.5ºC, or even less. As current CO2 levels are about 390 ppmv we are about 40% to a doubling from historic 280 ppmv levels, the actual temperature rise due to the human component of AGW could be 0.2ºC.

In addition, burning of fossil fuels has a side effect of increasing light-colored aerosols that reflect Sunlight and thus prevent some of it from reaching the surface, counteracting some of the warming due to atmospheric CO2. Efforts to clean the air are said to have reduced such aerosols and, inadvertently, caused more warming.

Please note that I have low-balled my AGW value by about half because I discount the approximately 20% of rise in CO2 levels as due to the temperature rise itself causing less CO2 to be absorbed by the polar and winter temperate oceans and more to be emitted by the equatorial and summer temperate oceans and I also believe there are other negative feedback components yet to be exposed. I expect some WUWT readers will challenge even my low estimate and I request you back your challenges up with science-based reasoning, which I would love to hear.


If readers have additional information or corrections to what I said about AGW, or if there are other related factors I missed, I would appreciate detailed comments to improve my summary.

It seems to me that my estimate of 0.1ºC for AGW is justified, and perhaps a bit understated. I am open to hearing the opinions of WUWT readers who may think I have over- (or under-) estimated this component of the supposed 0.8ºC rise in global temperatures since 1880.

In my first and second and third postings in this Tale of the Global Warming Tiger series, I asked for comments on my allocations: to: (1) Data Bias 0.3ºC, (2) Natural Cycles 0.4ºC, and (3) AGW 0.1ºC. Quite a few readers were kind enough to comment, either expressing general agreement or offering their own estimates.

What do you think? I have been keeping a spreadsheet record of WUWT reader’s opinions, which I appreciate and value greatly, along with their screen names, and I plan to report the results in the next posting of this series:

Is the Global Warming Tiger a Pussy Cat? – If, as many of us expect, natural processes lead to stabilization of global temperatures over the coming decades, and perhaps a bit of cooling, we will realize the whole Global Warming uproar was like the boy who saw a pussy cat and cried tiger.

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January 31, 2011 1:20 pm

Absent the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere, the Earth would be cooler by about 33ºC

First, let’s compare present Earth with hypothetical Earth without “greenhouse gases”, it means without clouds as well. The difference is 15K. 33K is 1000x repeated nonsense.
Second, let’s subtract the heat-keeping capacity of ground, atmosphere and oceans, which keeps our nights warm compared to Moon.
Third, there will be something remaining, attributable to “greenhouse gases” which slow down the night time cooling.
But on the other hand: greenhouse gases means clouds, ice and snow, which reflects 25-30% of incoming sunlight away, e.g. the presence of main greenhouse gas effectively cools Earth. Condensed GH gas in form of water mightily cools the surface by evaporation. I would not be surprised, if net effect of GH gases is actually cooling.
That 0.1K caused by CO2 is a matter of belief, because it is almost impossible to clean the record off natural variables, if for example we do not have agreement on such basic thing as PMOD vs ACRIM TSI data. But it is also my gut estimation 😉

January 31, 2011 1:23 pm

I’d comment, but I’m still looking for that damned lost shaker of salt.

January 31, 2011 1:35 pm

It’s too bad humanity has to learn the hard way every time for their ignorance. This weeks massive Ice and Snow storms should go a long way in teaching them something they will not soon forget. Use your 5 senses wisely. Question everything you hear and half of what you see. I just thank God every day for turning down the thermostat of our Sun, to let the sheeple know who really is in charge.

January 31, 2011 1:38 pm

According to Tom Segalstad Man’s contribution to atmospheric CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels is small, maximum 4% found by carbon isotope mass balance calculations.
Conclusion here;

Frank K.
January 31, 2011 1:44 pm

Following on the Jimmy Buffet theme … an ode to the seasonal climate forecast:

Don’t know the reason
Messed up the forecast this season
Nothing is sure but this brand supercomputer
But it’s a real beauty!
An IBM comput-ee
How it got funded I haven’t a clue…
Wasting away again at the climate forecast office…

January 31, 2011 1:46 pm

Dear Ira,
Some comment here: the natural CO2-temperature cycle over the ice ages shows only changes of 8 ppmv/°C (Vostok ice core, recently confirmed over the 800,000 years Dome C). This is also confirmed for the Law Dome ice core for the MWP-LIA temperature change (6 ppmv for ~0.8°C change in temperature – depending of what reconstruction you take).
Further, a 40 ppmv drop in CO2 levels at the end of the previous interglacial – the Eemian – had no measurable effect on temperature or ice sheet formation. That means that the 0.1°C for the present increase of about 100 ppmv may be about right…

Frank K.
January 31, 2011 1:54 pm

oops…the lyric should be
“Nothing is sure but this brand new supercomputer…”

January 31, 2011 1:56 pm

I predict South Florida real estate will become more desirable in the coming years.

January 31, 2011 1:57 pm

I doubt cave women would have liked that dangerous and smelly fire in the cave. Or those sharp sticks and flint. But, the cooked meat the cavemen brought back was important. Yes, the guys probably died off early in life, gored by an aurochs or crushed by a mammoth. They were useful and tolerated while they lived. Cavewomen were the keepers of knowledge and order in a matriarchal society.
Only in the last five or thousand years did men assert themselves and become free (men’s liberation). Consider whether socialism isn’t just the return of the matriarchal society. It gets a little scary. I can’t just go run outside the cave with a sharp stick and have some fun with the guys anymore.
Right about now I’m sure I’ll be subjected to gynogenic cooling.
Can’t we all just get along?

January 31, 2011 1:58 pm

kwik says:
January 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm
According to Tom Segalstad Man’s contribution to atmospheric CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels is small, maximum 4% found by carbon isotope mass balance calculations.
Sorry, but Segalstad is right and wrong: the 4% (actually some 7%) is what is left in the atmosphere of original molecules from human origin, after the huge CO2 exchanges caused by the seasons. Nothing to do with the total increase in CO2 mass, which is mostly caused by humans, as we emit(ted) twice the amount of CO2 as what we see as increase in the atmosphere. The seasonal exchanges do move a lot of natural (and some of the human) CO2 between the atmosphere and oceans/vegetation. That does influence (reduce) the human fingerprint in the atmosphere, but doesn’t add one gram of CO2 to the total amount present in the atmosphere. To the contrary: half of the additional mass is removed by natural fluxes.

Dr T G Watkins
January 31, 2011 2:01 pm

Nice post,easy to agree with almost everything. But it will be interesting to follow the debate on Judith Curry’s blog. Claes Johnson is no mug.

Laurie Bowen
January 31, 2011 2:08 pm

Dear Ira Glickstein
From your site
“I’m a retired system engineer (IBM/Lockheed Martin) with my name on five patents in the area of artificial intelligence and a PhD in System Science. I currently teach an online graduate course in System Engineering at the University of Maryland.”
. . . . about 80% of the CO2 rise from about 280 ppmv to 390 ppmv since 1880 is due to human activities.
So what !. . . . 280 ppmv to 390 ppmv is insignificant, no matter natural or man made.
What are the natural variations, for Nitrogen, for Oxygen, and everything else that makes up air.
Two hundred plus years ago, the argument was; does air even exist. . . .
And all the methods we use to infer have their limitations . .
If people want to paint their roofs white . . . oh well, Just like they can throw salt over their shoulders or visit the card reader, or go to church Monday, Wednesday, & Sunday if they like.
I just don’t like politicians using Scientists to who-do the “commoners” and pretending it’s for their own good. Gee wiz, that’s like poisoning the well, just because one is going into the bottled water business.

January 31, 2011 2:21 pm

I don’t know; in my experience behind every good drunk there’s usually a good woman. I know it’s the drunk’s damn fault, but they just can’t seem to get away from them women. They’re everywhere. Use to be you could join the army for god, country, mom an apple pie, and catch and STD and a PTSD without having any women in the ranks, breathing down your neck. No more. You have Kathy the cop waiting to bust your ass when you get home–backed up by SWAT–Suzie the social worker signing you up for aversion therapy–the psychological version of torture–just to get a homeless shelter, and Trixie the happy hooker on the street turns out to be a vice cop doing pseudo tricks for treats. Busted! No wonder a lot of males end up getting stoned. Now if they would just dedicate 4 rows of Iowa corn out of ten to making Jack Daniels instead of ethanol for the Exxon tiger in the tank so soccer moms can get to Starbucks on the cheap, life would be beautiful–maybe the “third world” wouldn’t be rioting over sky high food prices in Egypt. I know this has absolutely nothing to do with the interglacial.

Stephen Wilde
January 31, 2011 2:29 pm

“for the negative cloud feedback to work, temperatures must rise at least a little bit to generate the additional clouds.”
I have a question relating to the above comment.
I agree with the statement in principle but wonder if there could be an exception.
As I see it extra downward IR from more CO2 cannot get into the oceans. Instead it just adds extra energy to the system from the ocean skin upwards which presumably invigorates the water cycle to a miniscule degree hence more clouds.
So we have the extra downward IR trying to alter the temperature differential between the ocean and the air above.
However it is the sea surface temperatures that control surface air temperatures and the extra energy in the air just gets whisked away in the form of more latent heat.
There might be a slightly warmer ocean skin from the ongoing process but given the faster water cycle does the air itself just above the surface actually warm up at all ?
After leaving the ocean skin the extra energy which has been converted to latent form will not turn up again until it condenses out much nearer the tropopause so the exit to space will be accelerated too.
So, doesn’t the upward acceleration of the energy flow from the enhanced phase changes of water just cancel out the deceleration of the energy flow from extra GHGs for a zero net effect ?

P. Solar
January 31, 2011 2:30 pm

As of 2008, it is believed that we have enhanced the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect by about 1%.
Absent the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere, the Earth would be cooler by about 33ºC, and 1% of that is 0.33ºC
Why are you assuming a linear response here?
1% of what? If that is supposed to be a radiative forcing then the response would be grossly T^4 not linear.
Indeed it could be 0.5ºC, or even less. As current CO2 levels are about 390 ppmv we are about 40% to a doubling from historic 280 ppmv levels, the actual temperature rise due to the human component of AGW could be 0.2ºC.
Do you realise why we talk of CO2 doubling ? It is because the absorption effects are logarithmic not linear. Although your “could be 0.5ºC, or even less” is so vague and unsupported by any science it is just handwaving speculation , so I guess the the fact you don’t understand the processes is irrelevant.
My gut feeling of the general attribution is about the same as yours, (+/-200%) but if you are going to present some sort of pseudo-science at least try to make it thorough.
You seem to have enough background to do a proper presentation so it’s surprising you are not aware of the physics.
Finally, I see absolutely no point (or justification) in future prediction. Your treatise is so lightweight that any prediction based upon it has no value.
No-one understands the climate , no-one understands solar activity. Your predictions are meaningless and only serve to underline your lack of grasp of the subject or your trivial approach to this analysis.
I suggest you crop that bit off.

January 31, 2011 2:34 pm

A bit off topic but this article confirms what many have said in previous posts:
“Warm good, Cold bad.”

Mark Twang
January 31, 2011 2:35 pm

Here’s the thing:
We really ought to cut the Gaianist hysterics some slack.
They have lost the war. Skirmishes continue, but:
There will be no global wealth redistribution or slealth implementation of Marxism based on sob-sister myths about drowning polar bears. The world has seen through the ruse.
Those countries, regions and states that bought the propaganda are doing nothing but voluntarily trashing their economies for the sake of feelgoodism and political correctness. Watch California in the next few years to see the result.
A million electric cars our national goal? How truly lame and fail-worthy.
The Sons of Canute may gnash their teeth, but even the king now knows that the tides care nought for him.
To watch a fine example of the spluttering madness, tune in to Little Green Footballs, a quondam skeptical blog now firmly in the alarmist camp, and look for the rants of the aptly-nicked LudwigVanQuixote, as he devolves into impotent rage over those “G-d damn F**KING morons” in the GOP who refuse to turn the world on its head because of his feverish delusions.
But it matters not. The adherents of Mann, Moonbat, et al. have lost the war. No one listening anymore to people who whinge about how international flight is worse than pedophilia, then fly around the world to tell everyone else to stop flying.
They are hardly worth a flying mock anymore.

Jim G
January 31, 2011 2:36 pm

Like GE and J Immelt investments in wind and carbon credits we may want to check Chu’s investments in white roofing materials. Follow the money and you will find out the answers. Human contributions to climate change are immeasurable and undoubtedly immeasurably small. It’s 15 below zero F here today. Sorry, I ain’t buying it. Just reviewed my photos of the 1994 annular eclipse of the sun which I took from Ohio. Lots of sun spots back then, not so many now. Gather firewood and get your warm clothing together. We may be in for another solar minimum.

January 31, 2011 2:37 pm

I don’t see on what basis you can calculate data bias by comparing a GISTEMP graph of US temperature in 1999 with one in 2008. Two immediate problems:
-The method assumes the 1999 graph is correct and the difference since then is wrong.
-Worse in my opinion is that it’s a comparison of US temperature. Why compare US Temperature graphs to compute data bias on a global scale? If we are talking about global temperature why not compare GISTEMP 1999 and 2008 Global Temperature graphs? The difference there is much much smaller than 0.3C. So either the data bias is a lot lower than 0.3C or this method of calculating it by comparing graphs is just plain wrong.
In short this is possibly the worst method of calculating something I’ve ever seen. You might as well roll a dice or just pluck whatever numbers you want out of thin air only making sure they add up to 0.8C

January 31, 2011 2:45 pm

This article pretty much sums up my own view of the CO2 impact: harmless and beneficial. A 0.1°C per 100 ppmv rise is real, but insignificant.
Some other estimates of climate sensitivity to CO2X2:
Miskolczi 0
Idso 0.37
Spencer 0.46
Lindzen ≈1.0
Schwartz 1.1
Chylek 1.4
IPCC 3.0

January 31, 2011 2:47 pm

the CO2 rise from about 280 ppmv to 390 ppmv since 1880
Ira, you missed one of the readers suggestions:
280 ppmv to 390 ppmv is totally insignificant…
….the planet bloomed, evolution went crazy, when CO2 levels were in the thousands
This is stupid science, science based on lowering CO2 levels, when CO2 levels are at a record low level.
We should be concerned about this planet sequestering CO2, it seems to be a whole lot better at lowering CO2 levels than replacing it.

January 31, 2011 2:48 pm

Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
January 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm
“Further, a 40 ppmv drop in CO2 levels at the end of the previous interglacial – the Eemian – had no measurable effect on temperature or ice sheet formation. That means that the 0.1°C for the present increase of about 100 ppmv may be about right…”
This one:
Yes CO2 drops from about 270ppm to about 230ppm.
If we assume IPCC levels of CO2 power (like 3C per doubling) and factor in the higher temperature change at the poles, that particular 40ppm fall should cause about 1C cooling. Over that period it does look to me that temperature dropped about 1C, perhaps a little over. Although surely a major confounding factor of figuring out whether the temp change it’s compatible with the CO2 change is not knowing what temperature would have done if that CO2 hadn’t dropped 40ppm. Was temperature heading upward anyway and the CO2 drop therefore only caused it to fall slightly.

Don E
January 31, 2011 2:50 pm

I would like to see how it was determined that 80% of the rise in CO2 is due to human activities.

P. Solar
January 31, 2011 2:55 pm

“During the ice age to interglacial transitions, on average a change of 7°C led to a doubling of CO2.”
So having failed to account for the logarithmic effect of spectral absorption you now assume there is a logarithmic relation between surface temperature , bulk temperature of the ocean and how that affects atmospheric CO2.
Is that based on some research that you forgot to link to or is it because you’ve heard the term “CO” doubling” somewhere and assume it relates to all CO2 subjects?
Is this post some kind of satire of WUWT ? It’s a wind-up right ?

Fence Sitter
January 31, 2011 2:56 pm

Have the computer model makers ever published a plot where the feedback due to clouds is -0.1%? I imagine this would not show runaway global warming by 2100, but the time scale of the response might be quite slow.
If we asked the model makers to do this, how would they respond? Or is there a mathematician around who could run such a model for us?

Mac the Knife
January 31, 2011 3:01 pm

“Perhaps I should have left it as “woman” since, without their civilizing influence, we men would still be huddled in caves, wearing bearskins,……”
I have found this to be a fallacy as persistent and unsupported as AGW .
“WS Gilbert said women were the really civilized humans, while Darwinian Man, even when well-behaved, was nothing more than a Monkey Shaved .”
I suggest WS Gilbert was seeking affections from a particular woman when he offered that quip, and not any profound philosophy. Or perhaps he was parodying himself, throwing gender insults as simian feces theses?!
Don’t get me wrong. I like the company and tender attentions of a lady more than most. But without the requisite male gender bashing, please…… It’s uncivilized.
Your postings were otherwise interesting and informative, Ira!

January 31, 2011 3:10 pm

Actually, the relevant Jimmy Buffett lyrics are from “Boat Drinks”:
I should be leaving this climate
I got a verse but can’t rhyme it
I gotta go where it’s warm
Boat drinks
Waitress I need two more boat drinks
Then I’m headin south fore my dream shrinks
I gotta go where it’s warm (I gotta go where it’s warm)
I gotta go where it’s warm (I gotta go where it’s warm)
I gotta go where it’s warm!
I gotta go where there ain’t any snow
Where there ain’t any blow
‘Cause my fin sinks so low
I gotta go where it’s warm!

January 31, 2011 3:10 pm

Much as I like the fun of estimating effects … and it is a useful exercise … I really think the approach should be more scientific. After all, we criticise the warmists for coming up with meaningless estimates unbacked by science, and then what are we doing?
Please consider this approach instead
1. Create a noise model for the climate signal. This would consist of frequency of response and amplitude.
2. Having produced a model, calculate the probability that the global warming temperature signal was produced by that signal.
3. By inference calculate how “improbable” it is that mankind is not warming the globe.
When I tried this approach, I first did a simple fourier analysis of the signal and then looked at the amplitude of the frequency spectrum (real^2+imaginary^2)^.5 from this you get a graph of amplitude versus frequency and you may then estimate the noise by the slope on a logarithmic graph to obtain the approximate noise function in terms of 1/f^n.
At this point my knowledge of fourier statistics fails me, but in principle it should be possible from the frequency spectrum to derive a likelihood that the global temperature signal is natural.
Of course, you could extend the time series using proxies, but unfortunately all proxies project their own frequency profile onto the curve, and e.g. trees are notorious for long term growth of the whole forest which significantly reduces the response of individual trees to long term temperature change.

Evan Jones
January 31, 2011 3:19 pm

I would like to see how it was determined that 80% of the rise in CO2 is due to human activities.
Well, we add around 7 Bil. metric Tons Carbon per year. A bit over half is absorbed by other sinks. Perhaps a bit “ages out” (depending what the CO2 persistence rate actually is). The rest accumulates in the atmosphere, which contains c. 760 BMTC.
So over the last 10 years we have increased atmospheric CO2 by c. 4%.
200+ BMTC are emitted naturally by other sources (atmosphere, ocean, volcanoes, soil/organisms), but that amount is reabsorbed by those same sources (except the volcanoes) to no net gain.
So, yes, I think the CO2 increase is mostly due to man. But I don’t think CO2 has much effect. Maybe +1C per doubling. There are no new positive feedbacks we can see (that haven’t been with us since 1650).

January 31, 2011 3:22 pm

I for one think your division of the components of the 0.8ºC reported rise is very close (± 0.1ºC for each component). That’s very close to my conclusions though it might be more 0.4ºC bias and 0.3ºC natural cycles.
If I were to comment deeper it would be on a more planetary level of cause, effects, and relationships. The equations being used to describe our atmosphere are not holding when applied to other atmospheres. The radiation equations are either wrong or assumptions are being made that don’t hold universally to all atmospheres. That’s what I take away after a year of study in this “climate scientology”.

Rob Farrell
January 31, 2011 3:55 pm

First, full disclosure, I am not a meterologist, climatologist or atmospheric physicist but merely an applied biologist/chemist of many decades. I have tried to follow the global warming/climate change/AGW “debate” for a number of years to arrive at a reasonable, and reasoned conclusion. All of use have been asked, are being asked and will be asked to make decisions, many political, regarding this subject that could involve trillions (many, many trillions) of dollars plus other changes to the way we live. Consequently, quality decisions will be required and these require quality data and, also, data that inspires confidence so that we can be equally confident about the decisions we make. Your post is persuasive, as are others presented here and in other locations on both “sides” of this debate, which is a problem for those of us without the technical background to judge. Therefore, my thoughts consistently go back to the data sets based on the many discussions that I have read and heard.
My undergraduate days at Southwestern at Memphis, now known as Rhodes College, were filled with the words “critical analysis” of data, which included appropriate experimental design to get the data needed, correct handling of the data and analysis that included statistical treatment tempered with common sense and logic. Nothing new there for those of us trained in the sciences (and other disciplines as well! – no emails please!). Excepting the data from the “satellite era” (still a few questions there), my confidence level is not high at all for earlier quantitative information in the ether and the confidence decreases with time going backward. Certainly data analysis can and should proceed but I will not be confident in the analysis or conclusions, particularly if the data have been unduly manipulated.
Using indirect indicators (when used or discussed) does not help my confidence as both words imply some level uncertainty. Such indicators may be all we have, and analysis can proceed, but I will not be confident. I have studied indirect indicators for temperature in aquatic environments and the variation is enormous. A note here, this lack of confidence is not reduced by statistical treatment because my lack of confidence is not just related to variability but the reasons for the variability.
So, here I am. As a proponent of good experimental design, I will, for now, land with those that question the precision and accuracy of the data prior to the satellite era (and that may get questioned). Historical data sets must be verified to near universal agreement, which may not be possible except for the satellite era, if public confidence in any decision is expected. My feeling is that natural cycles are at work but data quality may be so poor that we really don’t know what has happened. If pressed further, I will rely on “means, motive and opportunity” and follow the money.
My apologies for the length.

brad tittle
January 31, 2011 3:55 pm

I wonder if these modelers recognize that water vapor is a vicious beast in the modeling arena. We see discussions of Clouds being modeled as net positive or net negative feedback onto the system when the reality is that each cloud type has a different type of effect.
Water can be used as a refrigerant. It isn’t as effective as Freon of course, but its ability to phase shift within atmospheric temperature/pressure ranges distinguishes it greatly from CO2, which cannot exist anywhere on our planet as a liquid in nature (at least above the ground). I may be stretching the analogy a little to call water a refrigerant, but it does transport way more energy than CO2.
That we are attempting to model this as a forcing parameter should be enough by itself to make all modeler question their own results. They should be modeling precipitation/evaporation/condensation/etc to be better able to assess what is happening.

Jim Barker
January 31, 2011 3:56 pm
richard verney
January 31, 2011 3:59 pm

Although there is a certain element of reasonableness to the various apportionments that you make, I cannot help but consider that the requisite data is either too uncertain or missing such that any apportionment is little more than a matter of conjecture.
The data problem even extends to CO2 levels. I consider the jury to still be out on the pre-industrial level of CO2, and I consider that the uncertainty behind this level was deliberately down played by the IPCC since this would totally scupper the theory that they wished to promote.

January 31, 2011 4:24 pm

Re: According to Roy Spencer, PhD: “.. As we add more CO2, more infrared energy is trapped, strenghtening the Earth’s greenhouse effect. This causes a warming tendency in the lower atmosphere and at the surface.”
Absent the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere, the Earth would be cooler by about 33°C, and 1% of that is 0.33°C, which is more than the 0.1°C I have allocated to AGW and that does not even include land use effects.

Why would it be cooler without it? Water vapour convects heat away from the earth, this is its main claim to fame in the real greenhouse atmosphere on earth which would be desert conditions extremes without it.
This ‘trapping’ of IR just does not make any sense, we don’t live in a test tube. I find this emphasis on how much CO2 is ‘adding’ just not sensible, like water it also cools the earth. That’s the real greenhouse effect.
CO2 can’t trap IR, CO2 can’t trap heat. CO2 can’t accumulate in the atmosphere. It is heavier than air, it continually displaces air to come to earth and readily joins with water to come down in rain. It does not readily rise up into the atmosphere. Doubling CO2 means only that double the CO2 will fall to earth, one way or another. Where it gets eaten.

January 31, 2011 4:25 pm

evanmjones says:
January 31, 2011 at 3:19 pm
Don’t be so sure the ‘extra’ CO2 is anthropogenic. The argument is that it must be fossil carbon because of isotope ratios. Supposedly the only source of fossil C is man burning coal, natural gas, or oil.
There are other potential sources of old C. One is naturally vented methane. Methane from natural sources can be converted to CO2 either by oxidation in the atmosphere or by methanotrophs that eat it and convert it to CO2. Another possible source of isotope-depleted methane is very old rotting vegetation, perhaps the melting tundra permafrost. These sources are influenced by ambient temperature. Methane clathrates at some depth in some locations may shift equilibrium to gas if the sea temperature rises. Methanogens and methanotrophs are more active at higher temperatures as well.
I suspect when the planet cools, we will likely see these sources slow down and CO2 derived from methane and the decay of old vegetation will revert to their prior less active state.

January 31, 2011 4:32 pm

Reading Ira’s post, there is no description of the methodology or calculations used to come to his conclusions about the role of GHG’s. I can’t see how anyone can endorse these results, praising this work, and criticizing climate scientists for bias. Climate Scientists have studied this question, and use scientific models to come to their conclusions.
The three graphs on the following web page show that most of the change in temperature between 1860 and 2000 has come from anthropogenic sources.
“ is a summary of the IPCC model results of surface temperature from the 1800’s – both with and without man-made forcings. All the models are unable to predict recent warming without taking rising CO2 levels into account. Noone has created a general circulation model that can explain climate’s behaviour over the past century without CO2 warming.”
Looking at the graph of model runs with only natural forcings, and comparing it with the graph using natural and human related forcings, it looks like about 0.2C of the change comes from natural forces; and about 0.7 C has come from human influence.

January 31, 2011 4:49 pm

“Some People Claim There’s a Human to Blame”
The number one fault with almost all AGW discussions assumes that warming is bad. The deaths from cold weather compared to warm seasons proves beyond all doubt that cold is bad and warming is good. May I suggest, “Some People Claim There’s a Human to Thank” is more logical, even if less poetic.
Furthermore, plant life over geological eons has managed to bury enough carbon as to make carbon dioxide a scarce resource that was limiting plant growth. The rest of the biosphere should thank humans for digging the carbon back up and burning it to supply the plants with badly needed CO2.

January 31, 2011 5:02 pm

@Dr Glickstein
“I disagree. Even if the terrestrial temperature record since 1880 is questionable, particularly in light of repeated “adjustments” by the official climate Team that appear to overstate the warming, it seems to me the satellite data, available since 1979, clearly proves there has been considerable net warming since that date.”
When something is in question it essentially is a bunch of accumulated stuff. So, essentially, it probably is not just the adjustment, whether they be a by your please all natural late technical report or a bad and evil form of rapport.
Considering how many places there seem to be that has way higher temperature ‘an normal but has no station coverage, today, what then did the coverage be way back when but even poorer.
The most common temperature reading during the 19th century seem to have been made in populace, for its time urban, areas. And the resolution of the readings back then was, compared to today, only so and so.
Don’t get me wrong, the readings back then, when researcher seem to have been a wee bit more stoic in their responsibilities, were probably top notch, however the technology not so much (after most tend to use the cheapest stuff available that seem to work as it should.) But still hardly no coverage. Although the coverage of deep Africa might have been better back then compared to today, even with today’s sats apparently.
To pick a day when coming out of an apparent cold period and later say it is somewhat warmer but isn’t that akin to claiming there has been some net warming since the end of the last ice age. But to marvel come this summer there will have been an astounding amount of net warming from today. :p
Why is it that everyone seem to think it is ok to mix and match readings from, not only, different technologies, but different resolutions, and top it off with different amount of readings per technology and resolution, like it has no meaning. And everyone seem to do it by getting everything to fit the highest definition and newest technology standard when they ought to seek the common denominator which means to fit to days partially crappy toys’s high def reads to yesterdays partially crappy toys low def reads.
Of course the crazed hippies rectified all that crap to crap mapping by trying to get everyone to focus on just that last 50 years.
Now how many weather satellites have we today, compared to 1979?
What difference in amount of readings, definition and resolutions, and accuracy, exists, and how and what standard should it all be converted too? And why do we not have complete coverage of Africa still, and other parts, and, apparently very important, the poles, by satellites? If it is of so much import than why isn’t it allowed to cost as much?
Why is it that there appear to be no climate tossers around that can be objective enough to want to set a good and proper average? Think about it? Is ’61 to ’90 a proper average since 1750? How about ’79-’09 since the fall of Julius Caesar? Is ’79-09’ even a good and proper representative average for the time period 1910 through 2010? Or put another way, what average and over which time period should be considered a good and proper static average and the one that everything else should be measured against to see if it is to be considered an anomaly or not? The common denominator should it be for the last hundred years, the last thousand years or since the birth of Christ or since the rise of civilization in Egypt or since the last 10 000 years or the last hundred thousand years? (Why is it that neither rational climate folks nor the crazed climate hippies can’t decide something as simple as that even?)

Alexander Vissers
January 31, 2011 5:13 pm

See how little we know and can agree upon? So many contribuants all proposing their personal favourites. I believe, just to bring forward my personal favourites, that but the following conclusions can be drawn:
1) climate science has developed from a geophysical discipline into to a social science
2) as the IPCC for various reasons have lost their credibility, there is no (longer an) authority to refer to to distinguish between good and bad climate science.
3) Current climate doesn’t appear to be worse than historical climates for most of humanity
4) There is little or no evidence indicating that we are thrifting towards a disaster should we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current pace
5) “Climate” is a poorly defined human construct with a high complexity which is still marginally understood.
So at the end of the day the 0.1 C AGW since 1880 may or may not be a reasonable estimate, who knows?

January 31, 2011 5:44 pm

eadler says:
“Looking at the graph of model runs with only natural forcings, and comparing it with the graph using natural and human related forcings, it looks like about 0.2C of the change comes from natural forces; and about 0.7 C has come from human influence.”
Model runs, eh? Like the model runs that predicted the “fingerprint” of AGW – the tropospheric hot spot? The models were wrong. Every one of them.
Models are not evidence. They are only tools. And when used in climate science, models are unreliable. In fact, they are used by tools in blog posts as a substitute for empirical evidence.
The UN/IPCC’s 3°C per doubling is based on pseudo-science. A group of invited scientists and NGOs were paid to arrive at the conclusion that human emitted CO2 is causing the current *mild* natural warming cycle.
To arrive at that unscientific conclusion the IPCC had to use a fantastic sensitivity number, and disregard the short persistence of emitted CO2. The IPCC preposterously claims a persistence of a century.
And every additional CO2 molecule has a smaller effect than the one emitted before it. That fact is conveniently omitted by the climate alarmist contingent.
Finally, carbon dioxide – called “carbon” by the scientifically illiterate – is a harmless and beneficial minor trace gas. At current and projected levels, more CO2 is better. Plants thrive on it, and a warmer world is a healthier world. Cold kills. If stupidity killed as easily, skeptical realists would be the only ones left discussing the evidence.

January 31, 2011 5:54 pm

Ira, I think you’re right but for a different reason.
I’ve been wondering why it is that scientific types, who know from archeological research that humans flourished when it was warm, should WANT it to get cold.
Simple answer: all professional scientists are hard-core leftists, so deeply imbued with the Culture of Death that they instinctively prefer whatever causes the extinction of the human race. They don’t have to think about it.
If most pro scientists had been females, the natural female need for more heat would partially overcome the leftist instinct, and would lead to a more rational “set point”.
Who always wants to turn up the thermostat? Women.

January 31, 2011 6:02 pm

Would weather station records be updated to indicate when, and how much, the surrounding colors change?

January 31, 2011 6:46 pm

Ira, please stop using fancy images for the background of your graphs. It makes your graphs very difficult to view and IMHO, essentially worthless. Thank you!

January 31, 2011 6:52 pm

Dr Glickstein, I notice that you do not mention UHI.
You also do not mention your own examination of temperature changes that you may have studied at various individual locations.
There is too much theorising going on in this whole debate between proponents and oponents of the AGW concept.
Too little direct observation and analysis.
My own observations of certain specific locations shows that it is sometimes possible to determine the contribution of UHI to the changing temperature records.
When UHI is absent, there is no visible long term temperature trend.
When it is present and can be identified, there is no other visible cause for such changes.
(R aquared values very, very small).
When I mention long term, I refer to locations with continuous records of well over 100 years.

Pamela Gray
January 31, 2011 7:00 pm

Women were such precious commodities in caveman days that genetic evidence seems to indicate women were regularly stolen from neighboring groups, and not without much violence involved in the taking. This leads me to propose that women did not have as long of a lifespan as men did. One can make an educated guess as to why. The very thing that made women sought after, also killed them quite frequently.

D Caldwell
January 31, 2011 7:44 pm

Eadler says:
“Looking at the graph of model runs with only natural forcings…”
The notion that anyone can accurately quantify the total effect of natural climate forcings since 1880 would assume our current understanding of the dynamics of long term climate change is essentially complete.
I don’t think we’re quite there yet. Do you?
How much of the current bit of warming is by natural forcings or AGW? The only thing I’m quite sure of is, no one really knows. I’m also quite sure that mainstream climate science is deliberately dishonest about uncertainty. You can’t advocate for economy wrecking CO2 reductions and be honest about uncertainty at the same time, can you?

old construction worker
January 31, 2011 7:54 pm

‘Frank Lee MeiDere says:
January 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm
I’d comment, but I’m still looking for that damned lost shaker of salt’
Better find it soon before salt is outlawed.
Co2 is a pussycat. Water , water vapor and clouds are the tigers.

January 31, 2011 8:15 pm

Even if the terrestrial temperature record since 1880 is questionable, particularly in light of repeated “adjustments” by the official climate Team that appear to overstate the warming, it seems to me the satellite data, available since 1979, clearly proves there has been considerable net warming since that date.
Yes, the satellite data show net warming since 1979. What they don’t show is that the warming exceeds natural variation. Absent such proof, I don’t think you can winkle out a signal for anthropogenic warming. The planet has been warmer in the past—when the human population was smaller, land use changes were less, and industrialization had yet to contribute to CO2 emissions through fossil fuel burning. The planet gets warmer, then it gets colder, then it gets warmer again. It’s cyclic.

Bill Illis
January 31, 2011 8:27 pm

If we want to determine how much of the temperature record is unjustified adjustments (and how much the global warming theory is off), we can look at the Tropics Troposphere.
The Tropics Troposphere is supposed to be the infamous hotspot – it should be increasing by about 0.24C per decade in the recent past.
The satellites (unaffected by NCDC adjustments) shows it is increasing at only 0.083C per decade since 1979. This is also a period when natural cycles have intensified the warming trend (versus 1942 to 1976 for example).
I can put up about 2 dozen other examples if someone wants (P Solar for example).

January 31, 2011 9:22 pm

For your excel sheet:
1) Data Bias: 0.2K
2) Natural Processes: 0.4K
3) Human Activity: 0.2K, with another 0.2K to come in the future even without continuing to increase CO2 levels.
For the following 30 years, I expect global temperatures to drop only 0.1K compared to current global temperatures, divided in:
1) Data Bias: 0.0K.
2) Natural Processes: -0.3K. I’m considering a low SC24 and normal SC25 and SC26 (a little lower than 20th century average), but negative PDO and ENSO phases.
3) Human Activity: +0.2K (there will be increasing emissions, yet the atmospheric CO2 increase ratio will remain roughly the same (+2ppmv/y) due to increased ocean absorption because of its lower temperature and growing CO2 imbalance between ocean and atmosphere, and also because of increased photosinthesis due to higher CO2. So I expect CO2 levels to be about 425 ppmv by then). There would be another +0.3K to come in the future should CO2 emissions stop at that point.
I disagree with the ocean being partly to blame for the increase of atmospheric CO2. I agree that, without other sources, the current warming would have led to the oceans outgassing about 20 ppmv. But the oceanic outgassing depends on its temperature and also on the concentrations of CO2 in the ocean and in the atmosphere. If CO2 concentrations, comming from any source, hadn’t yet increased those 20 ppmv, the oceans would be outgassing CO2. But since it has increased about +100 ppmv, the oceans are now absorbing CO2, and quite a lot. I think that without the oceans absorbing CO2 we would now have between 30 to 50 ppmv more.

January 31, 2011 9:25 pm

Dear Ira Glickstein
You write many things in your article that I quite frankly do not understand. Therefore as you say “I expect some WUWT readers will challenge even my low estimate and I request you back your challenges up with science-based reasoning, which I would love to hear”
Let’s have a look at the (your) first one:
“I estimate that 0.1ºC of the supposed 0.8ºC warming is AGW, where we humans are to “blame” (assuming that that tiny amount of warming will make much of a difference, or, even if it does, that it will turn out to be bad).
As I cannot immediately find where you back your estimate up with science-based reasoning I can only draw the conclusion that science-based reasoning is very hard to come by when it comes to AGW. – Never mind how small the percentage is.
Next you say that “some WUWT readers have suggested that the entire supposed 0.8ºC warming since 1880 is data bias” which, if you say so, probably is true, but there again I cannot understand why they should suggest that. I for one do not know how much it has warmed so I cannot argue against 0.8ºC of warming. And quite frankly I don’t care. What I do care about and will say though is that I can find no scientific proof anywhere that says that CO2 is definitely the cause of that entire warming, or even of any small percentage part of it. – But you must have found it so please share —-.
Please note I am (we are I hope) just talking about the extra 80 or 100 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 which stand for the A in AGW. So please bear with me until I have worked this out in percentages, as we can all probably recognize percentages better than “per milleages.” – In 1880 atmospheric CO2 = 280ppm= 0.028%. By 2010 atmospheric CO2 has risen by, say 34.5% to 390 ppm (or maybe a bit more) which = 0.039%. That means the atmospheric proportional rise is 0.039 minus 0.029 = 0.01%.
I shall come back to this 0.01% later.
I shall not comment much on the “white paint theory” as I do not quite believe that you really support that one. However you do talk about albedo which is, at least, in my opinion, a very important point. I do however get the impression that “climate scientists” shut their eyes and ears to anything other than changed albedo through loss of reflection by snow and ice lost due to AGW.
Sir William Herschel and Ben Franklin are just two of the best known men of old who experimented with colors and their different temperature absorption rates, and I find it very strange that scientists in general and climate scientists in particular ignore this. Well, ignore may not exactly be the right word as they do acknowledge that Sir William discovered IR radiation. – Well, he may well have done that, but what he actually discovered was that there “must be another color in the spectrum, next to red (I have by now forgotten what he called it) which carried more heat than the red and other colors.
The important thing about this is that every square km. of the 30% of the planet which is landmasses (148 000 000 km²) on which the Sun shines may have incalculable variation in colors alone, never mind the differences in textures as well, that all add up to make it impossible to determine how much solar energy is absorbed and how much is reflected. (Trenberth 2008 = 168 & 23 W/m²????) And colors are changing throughout the whole year.
Neither must we be forgetting about the other 70% of the globe called oceans. The reflection and absorption rates here are also forever changing depending on the state of the seascape.
A long time ago when at school I learnt that when the Sun’s rays struck the Earth, some rays would be partly absorbed and some would be partly reflected. Those parts that were absorbed would “excite” the surface molecules thus increasing their motion and therefore also their temperature. In those days the bottom of the atmosphere was in contact with the top of the surface and the air molecules would therefore be excited by the surface molecules. In other words heat was transferred from the surface to the air by conduction.
All was correct in accordance with “The Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics” which was in vogue with my science teachers at the time.
The thought in those days was that the Zeroth Law was a necessary and fundamental principle upon which the rest of thermodynamics was based. Without it, one cannot be sure that temperature means anything, and temperature or heat was in those days fundamental to thermodynamics.
In fact all throughout my life as a mechanical engineer the correct name for most of the things we call “radiators” were in fact “heat exchangers”
These days however radiation, without which AGW cannot take place, is all the rage. Yet, only greenhouse-gases can receive and therefore also emit long wave radiation (in the case of AGW one should only concentrate on radiation to and from CO2 as I just said, only greenhouse gases can do this radiation thing.)
So what is the scientific explanation for how 0.01% of the atmosphere warms up the other 99.99% a bit extra?
I do recognize that Dr. Spencer, who you give a mention, is a well educated and clever man and I respect all of his work except his “Defense of The Greenhouse Effect”
No person who likens the greenhouse effect to what happens to a pot of water warming on a stove and has to turn the heat up on the stove to raise the water temperature is going to convince me that it is “back-radiation” from the rising water vapor (steam) that does it.
Neither the pot, it’s steam nor that stove is going to bring the water to the boiling point or even a little bit towards it, unless more energy is transformed into heat first!
However in your clip Dr. Spencer says: “As we add more CO2, more infrared energy is trapped, strengthening the Earth’s greenhouse effect.”
I notice that on this occasion he uses the term energy instead of the usual radiation. But how can a small part of a trace gas trap infrared energy in the atmosphere as long as there is something called convection?
He also says “As of 2008, it is believed that we have enhanced the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect by about 1%.
Are the words “it is believed that” scientific substitution for “only God knows if” ?
Oh well, this comment has gotten long enough. But I would like to ask in closing: “What is the scientific proof for the natural greenhouse effect? And what would happen to Earth’s temperature if you leave all the “Greenhouse gases” but take away all the other gases?”

January 31, 2011 11:24 pm

Help please on Pink Noise statistics
Can anyone out there help? How do you determine the probability of a signal rising by 0.8C given that it has a 1/f noise function?
I’ve created a simulation using an audio generator program (audacity) and there’s no doubt that similar swings happen regularly, but I’ve no way to put that formally and so come up with a figure such as “the 20th century temperature swing was within the 70% confidence level”.
This is very important, because if done right (using the proper scientifically verifiable procedure), it will blow a hole in their “95% confident it is human” and so potentially bring this whole thing to an end within months

Stephen Wilde
February 1, 2011 12:04 am

” If water vapor was the only GHE gas in the atmosphere, cooling could cause all the water vapor to precipitate out leaving only the inert gases.”
Can you expand on the above please ?
Solar shortwave would still be entering the oceans much as now.
The warmth of the oceans would warm the inert gases above.
So the air might have a different vertical temperature profile but it would still be above freezing and still with a water cycle would it not ?

February 1, 2011 1:01 am

This is opinion or science?
Erm you asked “I would appreciate detailed comments to improve my summary.”
I can’t make it detailed but I suggest you delete it all and start again. I’m not invested in the IPCC process but this is horrible. Sorry this is so harsh but what you present is unconvincing to me. Lose the vagueness and common-sense and hit us with something challenging.

February 1, 2011 1:14 am

Ira said: I do not know of any reasonable scientist, skeptical or not, who doubts that GHE gases absorb longwave IR radiation emitted from the Sun-warmed Earth and re-emit about half of it back towards the Earth, causing the Earth to be warmer than it would be absent those GHE gases.
Assuming that’s true, it also means that they re-emit half the IR radiation away from Earth making the Earth cooler than it would be absent those GHE gases.
What is this saying then? That greenhouse gases act to both warm and cool the atmosphere.
The assumption that greenhouse gases only go to warm the Earth is falsified by the very assumption made about IR which includes radiating half into space given to ‘prove’ this only goes to make the Earth warmer. Clearly, to me, it’s gobbledegook. If it isn’t also gobbledegook to “any reasonable scientist, skeptical or not,”, then I wouldn’t call them reasonable.
The statement that ‘without greenhouse gases the Earth would be around 30°C cooler’ is without foundation, hoist by its own petard.
From your link to Spencer: Every scientific theory involves assumptions. Global warming theory starts with the assumption that the Earth naturally maintains a constant average temperature,
This assumption is falsified by tons of empirical evidence showing the Earth is in a constant state of temperature flux, from seasons and local weather differences around the globe, which doesn’t take a ‘scientist’ to appreciate when planning holidays, to the vast time scale knowledge we have from geological record etc. that the Earth is subject to massive variations in temperature. In our current Ice Age alone, we have huge changes to the Earth every 100,000 years or so when coming out of this into considerably hotter Interglacials for some 10,000 years before descending back into our Ice Age; a cyclical pattern graphically depicted by Vostok shows even the non-scientist that this assumption that the Earth maintains a constant average temperature is gobbledegook.
GIGO. Just these two AGW assumptions show its claims do not relate to the real world we live and breathe in, but to an imaginary world created by the assumptions.
Much of what I see in these like analyses to the one you present here suffers from this basic disjunct, you are arguing against already falsified assumptions.
Again from Spencer: Now, you might be surprised to learn that the amount of warming directly caused by the extra CO2 is, by itself, relatively weak. It has been calculated theoretically that, if there are no other changes in the climate system, a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration would cause less than 1 deg C of surface warming (about 1 deg. F). This is NOT a controversial statement.. it is well understood by climate scientists.
It is a controversial statement.
Based on the unproven assumption that IR ‘trapped’ by greenhouses gases is even capable of heating the Earth’s surface by this ‘back radiation’ and then by ignoring half the assumption anyway, that greenhouse gases are cooling the Earth by constant radiation into space.
And that’s before starting on other ‘assumptions’ produced by AGW about CO2, that it can stay up in the atmosphere accumulating for the hundreds and thousands of years and is ‘well-mixed’ in the atmosphere…
These assumptions by AGW cannot be taken seriously. Shouldn’t be taken seriously by any thinking themselves scientists.

February 1, 2011 1:25 am

Are you familiar with Nir Shaviv’s (Jerusalem University) research into Earth’s ice ages and the correlation of the ice ages with the solar system crossing galactic spiral arms? He postulates GRC flux (galactic cosmic rays) as the driver of the ice ages and imputes about 0.15 degrees Celsius as the maximum anthropogenic contribution to GW.
The GRC as a climate driver concept is also supported by research by Henrik Svensmark of the Danish Technical University of Copenhagen, and Dr. Jan Veizer late of Toronto University (retired?).
See for the links to Shaviv’s work and for pdf’s of his and Nigel Marsh’s research.
Svensmark is indirectly responsible for the Cern LHC Cloud experiment which is underway at the moment … see and the cloud experiment’s website:
WattsUpWithThat also quoted Svensmark in a piece:
All this may be worth including in your “Tiger” article series…

February 1, 2011 3:34 am

I still think there are good grounds for upping your estimate of data problems, Ira. But thanks for your contribution.

February 1, 2011 5:13 am

The point that irritates me most in discussions such as the above is the freqent references to models and the modelers and the almost absurd faith by this person or that in some particular model or other. Without an absolutely reliable set of real-world observations from terra firma on which we live, a ‘gold standard’ of land-based data in which mankind can invest trust and belief beyond a shadow of a doubt, the use of the output from models seems a sort of ‘sorcerer’s aprentice’ approach – it all looks grand and portentious, it keeps a small army of grant-monkeys in excellent employment but means little in reality. I see no governments doing the groundwork to establish such a network of data-gathering stations; what is in place is often so woefully inadequate as to be ridiculous. Myriad photographs of ancient stained and battered Stephenson Screens perched above black tarmac and warmed frequently by hot gasses from aircraft exhausts, air conditioning units or passing traffic have convinced me that the sorcerer’s aprentice became a statistician who long ago lost contact with the world of accurate and pristine unblemished environmental data.
Or have I missed some great truth?

February 1, 2011 6:56 am

Ira, in a previous post I noted that summer TMax is not increasing. In fact, in Canada, summer heat waves are DROPPING, the highest being in the mid 1920-1930’s. Other locations around the world also shows no increase in Summer TMax either. The highly proclaimed evidence of AGW, the French 2003 heat wave, was in fact a very local event. At the same time Paris was sweltering in 40C daily high temps, beating the 1947 record by 0.2C, Berlin was having a perfectly normal summer. In fact, 1947 Paris had 10 more of days above 30C than 2003 making 1947’s heat wave “worse” than 2003.
What is driving up the average temperature is winters are getting less cold, and with that spring is coming sooner, and fall is arriving later (that is the number of days between the last frost of spring and the first frost of winter is increasing).
This means that the magnitude of the difference between summer temps and winter temps is narrowing. The range of swing of temps is converging. That means at some point that converging must stop (winter can’t be warmer than summer), and must reverse and start to diverge again, regardless of how much CO2 there is.
That means this ‘warming’ is part of a natural cycle.

February 1, 2011 7:33 am

“Absent the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere, the Earth would be cooler by about 33ºC ”
Actually, there is no experimental evidence that actually backs this up, and never has been. The theory was developed from an observation that CO2 and water vapour was good at absorbing and re-radiating infra-red and certain specific wavelengths. It subsequently was proposed that Venus was “warmer than expected” due to this CO2. However, no real experimental evidence has ever backed this up, partly because no scientist can actually demonstrate that Venus really is “warmer than expected”. Furthermore, all the experiments conducted on CO2 were on more or less 100% concentrations of CO2, and not in circumstances where the CO2 was merely a trace gas amongst other powerful absorbers of infra red. Water vapour is a much more powerful absorber of infra red and acts over a wider bandwidth. Furthermore, it is unclear why infra-red absorbtion in the high atmosphere (rather than at ground level) should have much impact on ground level temperature. Eventually the energy balance must be maintained – the CO2 can only delay the departure of the heat, and since it acts to delay that departure in the upper atmosphere primarily, it is unclear why temperatures at ground level would be much affected. The fact that CO2 is a trace gas ensures that any departing IR wavelet is unlikely to be absorbed close to the surface and more likely to be absorbed at some point in the high atmosphere, where it is no clear it can do any real harm. Meanwhile water vapour remains equally good at keeping heat from reaching the ground as it does from leaving the ground – as anyone that has experienced a cloudy British summer could tell you – one would expect CO2 to do the same, since any energy absorbed by the CO2 must eventually be re-emitted. It is unclear that more CO2 (or indeed any gas in the atmosphere) does anything more than moderate the extremes of temperature that we normally see from day to night, just as it does now.

February 1, 2011 8:00 am

polistra says:
January 31, 2011 at 5:54 pm
Who always wants to turn up the thermostat? Women.

Not in my house! She wants it OFF! 😉

Scott Covert
February 1, 2011 8:59 am

P. Solar says:
January 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm ……..
That makes sense to me, however:
Unfortunately, the warming and increase in CO2 are comingled and can not be separated. Isotope numbers are no good unless you can measure all of the sink isotopes, ALL of them, Vegetation uptake, adsorption, shell and bone mass etc…
A mild increase caused by Anthropogenic sources in CO2 and temperature are obvious and intuitive. That does not make them true. It is pure foolishness to try to put a number on it.

richard verney
February 1, 2011 9:09 am

I am sorry that I mis-spelt your name. I also regret the length of this response but hopefully it adds something to the debate. I understand the points that you make and I do not violently disagree with the thrust of your comments.
However, I like many other posters have not done the underlying research but have read many papers on the subject (and visited numerous sites both pro and sceptical). The starting point to this debate (leaving aside the important issue as to whether the measurement of temperature is the correct metric since this does not fully show energy) is: has there been any warming since the late 1800s and if so, how much? The truthful answer to this is that given measurement errors, no one knows for sure but it is probable that there has been some warming. The satellite data shows some recent warming but of course if temperatures were higher in the 1930s or 1880s (which they may have been if one considers the error bars and downwards adjustments) perhaps there has been no (or little) warming.
The data record suggests 0.8C. I doubt that this is correct. I have seen first hand the effects of UHI. I have little doubt that the recent temperature record has been corrupted by UHI and station drop out, such that the recent warming is exaggerated. I also feel that it is probable, that revisions of past temperatures (always downwards never up) has also exaggerated the true extent of the warming during the past century. However, whilst I understand that there are reasons to consider that this may have resulted in 0.2 or 0.3 or even perhaps 0.4C of bias, I am not certain. Thus in summary on this point, I am not certain that there has been any warming during the past 100 years or so, but I accept that it is probable that there has been some warming and in which case it is almost certain that the amount of warming has been exaggerated in the various temperature sets probably by somewhere between 0.1 to 0.3C. The problem I have is that it would be mere conjecture for me to place a figure on this exaggeration (albeit I consider a figure of 0.2 or 0.3C to be entirely reasonable for this exaggeration such that perhaps the true warming since the late 1800s is 0.6C or perhaps only 0.5C).
The next stage is what is the cause behind this warming? If one examines the temperature record over the past century, pre the 1940s when manmade CO2 emissions began to increase substantially, one can see that natural variation at that time was capable of making temperature changes of 0.4C (and arguably up to about 0.6C). The problem is we do not know whether in 2000 those same natural processes are still at work, and if so to what extend. We do not know whether new natural processes have been added or some natural processes switched off. The upshot of all of this is that I can see that natural variation could be responsible for between 0.3 and 0.6C of the true warming that has actually occurred from the late 1800s to date. However, once aging, I have a problem. It would be a matter of conjecture for me to place any figure on it since the processes behind natural variation have not been fully identified still less fully understood.
The further stage is to consider whether man has had any role in this. If the apparent recent warming detailed in the temperature record is largely due to UHI, the answer is both yes and no. I have little doubt that mans engineering of his habitat could have some slight effect on local temperatures. If nothing else, over the area where UHI measurements can be detected. But in truth short of substantial deforestation, mans effect on the global landscape is small. Over 70% of the Earth is covered by water and the amount of land occupied by Cities/urban development is a relatively small percentage of the land mass. Whilst there has been quite some deforestation, it is generally considered that notwithstanding this, total biomass has increased over the last 50 years. So I accept that there could be some effect here, but it is modest.
As regards the effect of CO2 emissions, I have a real problem with this. When one looks at the geological record (there are times when the Earth was warm but CO2 levels were relatively low, times when the Earth was cool and yet CO2 levels were relatively high, there were times when CO2 levels were rising but the temperature was falling, and times when CO2 levels were falling but the temperature was rising) there is no sound correlation between CO2 levels and temperature. The same is so if one examines the temperature record since the LIA. There are too many points when temperatures are not responding in accordance with a correlation with CO2. Whilst correlation does not prove causation, a lack of correlation without proper explanation invariably disproves causation. Thus even at this basic level it is less than encouraging for the AGW theory.
But on a scientific level, I have real problems with the theory. I share many of the views expressed by O H Dahlsveen at January 31, 2011 at 9:25 pm and as outlined in the recent post by EM Smith (Frostbite Falls Posted on January 23, 2011 by Anthony Watts Guest post by E.M.Smith) which contained a practical real life example of how little warming effect CO2 possesses. Further given the wavelength of the back radiation emitted by CO2, it can only penetrate the oceans by microns (90% of the energy is absorbed within 10 microns and probably the remaining 10% within a further 5 or 6 microns). Given this, there is no effective way that energy from back radiation from CO2 can effectively warm the oceans and since these account for 70% of the surface area of the Earth and (ignoring the core/mantle) some 99% of the retained energy of the Earth, if the oceans cannot be effectively heated by CO2, then CO2 is not capable of global warming. I have never seen a convincing explanation as to how CO2 back radiation effectively heats the oceans, nor an experiment demonstration how CO2 heats the oceans. It would appear that the warming of the oceans is due to changes in cloud albedo and/or geothermal energy.
The upshot is that I have seen no empirical evidence supporting the contention that recent CO2 emissions has had any effect on current temperatures. Presently, I have seen no evidence to suggest that the increase in these emissions has caused even a 0.1C increase in temperature but I could be persuaded by proper valid and accurate empirical observational data showing an increase in temperatures caused by CO2 emissions and/or if those proposing the theory could actually demonstrate the science involved in a real world experiment.
Regrettably, we do not have the required data to make a proper shot at any of this. In particularly, it is fundamental to have a proper understanding of clouds and precisely how cloudy, the type of cloud involved and where these clouds were formed to see whether the observed warming is due to nothing more than changes in cloud albedo.
This leads to the final point: is it necessary to take any action at this stage? I am of the firm view that the answer to this is NO. If manmade CO2 emissions are not causative, any steps in mitigation will be a waste of time and expense. If warming is beneficial (as I believe would be the case), it would be counter productive to take steps which may prevent that beneficial warming occurring. Further, if global warming is truly occurring and if global warming is truly a problem and if this warming is not due to CO2 emissions, if we spend trillions of dollars unsuccessfully mitigating because we have aimed at the wrong culprit, we may bankrupt ourselves such that we may no longer have the money or indeed the resources to make such adaption as may prove necessary. It is clear that adaption is the best policy since adaption works irrespective as to whether the warming is or is not due to manmade CO2 emissions AND one only incurs the expense if warming turns out to be harmful. So my suggestion is to simply monitor the situation and try and gain a better understanding of what is going on but lets spend money on more worthwhile projects rather than to waste money on what is probably no more than a pussycat.
The problem we all have is how to we engage with proponents of the AGW theory. Your views sound reasonable and reasonableness usually always helps engagement. However, we are not dealing with people who value reasonableness and regretfully, no matter how reasonable you are, given the data problem, you are not able to prove your position and will be criticised for the lack of scientific rigour. It is difficult to win with these people as plainly demonstrated by their proposed reversal of the burden of proof. It is not sufficient for you to point out problems with their data, their theory, that different interpretations of data are equally as valid etc. They expect you to prove that they are wrong. Whilst I have enjoyed reading all your series of articles (and whilst I share your view that in the end this is likely to turn out to be a pussycat), regretfully I feel that this falls short of proving them wrong.

Big Bob
February 1, 2011 9:27 am

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now and I don’t see how anyone can conclude anything! It started out as global cooling then became global warming. Then it morphed to climate change and now its climate whatever. Not only can’t the warmists settle on exactly what the problems is they can’t even tell us what they are measuring. What exactly is “global warming” ? Does that mean the air temp is increasing, the earths surface temp is increasing, or is the entire globe getting hotter? Nobody can really tell us what that means. Al Gore says that it means that everywhere we look the avg temp is going up. I might accept that if the temps were taken at points well distributed around the globe but we all know they are not.
There are entire continents with almost no data whatsoever! Most of the “Data” comes from thermometers measuring air temp. Then they thro[w] in some sea temp data. Well which are we measuring? Sea temp or air temp? Then there is satellite data. So, which are are we going to go by?
Let’s just look at land based thermometers. What exactly does avg temp mean? Does it mean the average of the hi and low temp of the day? how often are the readings taken? Is it twice a day, every hour, every minute? The less often it is taken the less accurate it is. There might be some control over the methods now but what about 30 years ago or 100 years ago? Did the people doing the reading do it accurately. The answer to that is obviously NO. Otherwise the climate scientists would not need to be adjusting the data. And if you have to adjust the data then what good is it? You might as well make up the numbers from whole clothe and be done with it. And why do they keep readjusting the data? As far as I can tell the entire historical climate data set is worthless. Anytime you pick and choose and adjust, the data it is worthless.
So if we can’t tell what the earths temp was and we can’t decide what we are going to use for present day data, How can we possibly know what the future will do, be it weather, climate or anything else.
In the entire history of man kind NO ONE has ever been able to successfully predict the future and that is still the case.

Sun Spot
February 1, 2011 9:50 am

@HR says:
February 1, 2011 at 1:01 am “This is opinion or science?”
I think Ira is just trying to find a consensus.

Stephen Wilde
February 1, 2011 11:42 am

Ira said:
“Most polar regions are below freezing and, in winter, so are some temperate regions. Thus, if water vapor was the only GHG (i.e., no CO2 or other GHG at all), the water vapor would precipitate out as rain/snow, and deplete the water vapor content of the atmosphere. This would further cool the polar and winter temperate zones, causing more rain/snow, and so on. ”
Yes that is how I understood the proposition, but….
The drier and cooler air near the poles would cause faster evaporation when the air returned over the equatorial regions hence replenishing the loss and maintaining overall humidity and a water cycle.
Evaporation is faster under drier air and air with a larger emperature differential from the water surface so I can’t see that proposition working.
I’d really like an answer to that conundrum because AGW proponents are currently using the idea to upgrade the significance of GHGs.

February 1, 2011 11:51 am

onion2 says:
January 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm
If we assume IPCC levels of CO2 power (like 3C per doubling) and factor in the higher temperature change at the poles, that particular 40ppm fall should cause about 1C cooling.
Actually about 0.4C, but as Ira already said: the drop of 40 ppmv CO2 was in a period that the temperature was rather constant during some 5,000 years. Only in the last 2,000 years, there is a temperature drop. As most of the effect of more or less CO2 is within 30 years, that should be seen as zero lag on a thousand year scale. Thus 80% of the CO2 drop had no measurable effect on temperature…
I also have plotted the corrected temperature, according to Jouzel (less temperature variations than by Petit and Fisher) and the CH4 and d18O (from N2O) trends too. The is inversely correlated to ice sheet formation (actually land occupation by plants…):
That shows that the ice sheet formation was at maximum when temperatures were at minimum, before CO2 started to drop. The ice sheets started to decline at the last 2,000 years of the CO2 drop, while tempatures show a dip. That is quite contradictory. Thus it seems that the net effect of 40 ppmv less CO2 is unmeasurable within the accuracy of the Vostok ice core measuremements (anyway much lower than the average 3°C/2xCO2 of the climate models).

Laurie Bowen
February 1, 2011 12:19 pm

For: Ira Glickstein & others,tl_num:100&prmd=ivns&ei=oWdITbeSG6D48gTn84HeCA&ved=0CF8QywEoBA
Maybe this timeline link will help some see the evolution and information on the AGW dispute . . . I’m sure google will someday make it so that they can be automatically downloaded into an excel spread sheet for analysis. . . But I find the timeline, interesting. I hope the link works, as they are still working out the ‘kinks in their links’

February 1, 2011 3:15 pm

Ira said You missed the point that, absent the GHG, the longwave radiation from the Earth would pass through the atmosphere and out to space un-impeded. The GHG absorb and reflect about half of it back down to Earth where it helps warm the surface, and is then emitted back towards space, where half of it is impeded, and so on and on.
You’re missing my point, but it could be that I’m just not very good at explaining it. Greenhouse gases in the real world also COOL the earth. The Water Cycle is the main greenhouse gas and its function is very much to take heat away from the Earth in its cycle of evaporation, condensation and precipitation.
It is an unproven assumption that “without GHG the earth would be colder”. Without water the Earth would be some X°C HOTTER (*). Think deserts compared with coastal regions where water cools the atmosphere. Water retains heat much longer than say CO2 which will lose its heat practically instantly. This aspect of the GHgases is excluded in the AGW scenario, probably because it means including convection and discussing real heat which always travels in the direction hot to cold.
Where is the proof that “without GHgases the Earth would be 33&degC colder? How do you get that figure?
Or maybe you (generic who concentrate on IR) just don’t hear it, the very first reply here mentions the cooling aspect of GHgases being paramount. The models include cooling by clouds on the way to Earth from the Sun, reflecting back, but not the cooling from Earth by taking heat into the atmosphere.
So first, prove these assumptions that keep being bandied about as if fact; that GHgases add 33°C warmth to the Earth; that back-radiating IR heats the surface, (extraordinarily, because the Earth is presumably still warmer than the atmosphere from which the ‘half’ IR is supposedly radiating back to it adding heat ad infinitum and creating a runaway greenhouse effect).
If you can explain how you (generic “climate scientists, skeptic and not), came by these assumptions so they make sense to me, I should grateful.
(*)how much the Earth would be hotter without the water cycle, it’s 67°C
and here:

February 1, 2011 5:05 pm

Thank you Ira very much for your very long and comprehensive response (Ira Glickstein, PhD says February 1, 2011 at 10:34 am) to my comment on your original article. It was very much appreciated.
It is however going to take me a long time to digest all that you have written. In short, yes I have read Spencer’s “Global Warming Theory in a Nutshell” many times including last night as you suggested and again today. – And no, I never was taught that a greenhouse works because the glass passes shortwave light (UV, visible and near IR). A conventional “Hothouse”, I was taught, worked because it stopped convection. – My education (the type that lets you have papers as proof) started in 1947 and ended in 1964. – That may give you a clue that I shall never again have a 70eth birthday celebration. – I think you may well be a lot younger than that.
However as I said at the start of this piece it will take me a me a long time to digest all that you have written and thou I do feel I should perhaps explain why I am not quite ready to accept Dr. Spencer’s basic explanation of global warming theory an early response from me may therefore quite easily turn into some kind of circular conversation or argument. That, I believe nobody wants.

old construction worker
February 1, 2011 10:44 pm

‘richard verney says:
February 1, 2011 at 9:09 am
They expect you to prove that they are wrong. Whilst I have enjoyed reading all your series of articles (and whilst I share your view that in the end this is likely to turn out to be a pussycat), regretfully I feel that this falls short of proving them wrong.’
I, sir, disagree with you. “CO2 drives the climate” is still an unproven hypothesis. It is up to them to prove that they are right. So far they have not done so.

February 2, 2011 1:51 am

Can this paper go to all those governments currently taxing the hell out of us(currently, and with even more draconian plans for the future) – unless of course, they have decided that ‘the science is settled’ – in which case of course we must just lay back and take the medicine. Never mind that it is for a non-existent malaise…

richard verney
February 2, 2011 3:06 am

Regarding old construction worker’s comments at February 1, 2011 at 10:44 pm, I do not disagree that those proposing the AGW theory should prove their theory. That is obviously correct.
What I am commenting upon is the Trenberth reversal of proof. The reality is that to make progress with the ‘Team’ it is necessary to prove them wrong as opposed to simply pointing out problems with their data or that the data is open to different interpretations etc. Whilst Trenberth’s proposal to reverse the burden of proof is only a recent suggestion, in practice this has been accepted for a long time. This is the effect of the mantra that the ‘science is settled’, the ‘debate is over’, the MSM’s acceptance of the AGW theory and acting as a mouthpiece for that theory rather than seeking to question those who propose it, the biased reporting by the BBC, the fact that most Governments have accepted the theory and are adopting policies supposedly justified by that theory etc.
One needs to be realistic as to what is happening/going on, it is no use crying about what ought to be going on. The reality is that unless Mother Nature shows beyond doubt that natural drivers are king, the burden is on the sceptics to prove that AGW theory is false and the degree of proof expected is high.

February 2, 2011 8:57 am

I disagree with the 33 deg assumption. If STP (standard temperature and pressure) means anything then 0 deg is the temperature to use and “GHG” only add 15 deg max not 33.
If molecules of N2, O2, CO2 and H2O get heated, to say 300 K, conductively on a surface, what happens to each. If N2 and O2 cannot ,according to some, shed this heat via IR because they cannot absorb IR (Kirchoffs Law) then aren’t they the true trappers of heat? If 99% per cent of the atmosphere can get heated but is not able to shed the heat why are we talking about CO2.
You mention the half up and down of IR from GHG’s but do not mention that for each altitude the lapse rate will have the molecules lower in temperature so less energy and less energy goes down. Work in being done against the force of gravity so energy must be expended.
“A black body at 288K has about 0.1% of its spectrum at wavelengths less than 3.9 micron and roughly 8% in the range 14.5 to 15.5 micron, giving an absorptivity/emissivity of radiation from such a body for CO2 of less than 0.05.” From Jennifer Marohasy blog.
So 8% can heat up the surface?
Human CO2 is 3% of atmospheric CO2. So we would be 3% of 8% of any added heat caused by IR absorption. That’s a small number and I don’t think it can be measured.

Laurie Bowen
February 2, 2011 9:21 am

old construction worker said . . . “CO2 drives the climate” is still an unproven hypothesis. It is up to them to prove that they are right. So far they have not been able to do so.
Remember, “Spontaneous Generation theory” history . . . .

Laurie Bowen
February 2, 2011 9:50 am

richard verney said: Governments have accepted the theory and are adopting policies supposedly justified by that theory etc.
One needs to be realistic as to what is happening/going on, it is no use crying about what ought to be going on. The reality is that unless Mother Nature shows beyond doubt that natural drivers are king, the burden is on the skeptics to prove that AGW theory is false and the degree of proof expected is high.
This is the speech, argument, of an autocrat, or a huckster . . . . which is why there are so many behavioral cycles. . . . For example, in our economy, the system has failed because there are those that think they can tax directly, without apportionment . . . the result, the productive capacity quits. In another way, how many fences did Tom Sawyer paint for Huck Finn. . . . or how many times will you participate in a coin toss when the rules are Heads I win . . . . Tails you lose . . . Just one more time, no!
Not me! The rules change or I don’t “play”, and this my friend is human nature . . .
It’s why kings, get their head chopped off, and thugs seem to just disappear sometimes.
. . . and you say, . . . unless Mother Nature shows beyond doubt that natural drivers are king. How many times has she done it and how many MORE times does “she” have to do that . . . . and by who’s definition? Go put on your Burka . . . . NOW! And give me that 10% you owe GOD! . . . NOW!
We all know that famous quote . . . . . . . . . . “Knowledge is Power . . .
but, not many know the rest of it which is . . . . & Ignorance is Control”

February 3, 2011 3:41 am

Mike Haseler says
February 3, 2011 at 12.25
in reply to Myrrh: “What fingerprints? The Vostok graph like others of its ilk shows clearly that something is forcing,”
Then Myrrh, the task is pretty simple. Show statistically that the signal (forcing) to noise (natural variation) ratio is higher enough to make your (bogus) assertion of 95% confidence.
Mike Haseler, you’re mixing up contexts here. There are two distinct aspects in my post. The paper I linked to was CO2’s statistical significance in the noise re climate variation, the Vostok reference was to climate cycles, not to be confused. You yourself made the point that these two were different.
Are you really the same Mike Haseler who first replied to KR by pointing this out?
Because the tone of your reply to me here is at odds with it.
My Vostok/fingerprint was a reply to the Mike who was adding to KR’s post, and to his first link which stated:
“A natural cycle requires a forcing, and no known forcing exists that fits the fingerprints of observed warming – except anthropogenic greenhouse gases.”
So this is about CYCLES, of which you said to KR – “climate cycles are predictable, climate variation isn’t (that’s why it’s [climate variation] dealt with statistically).”

February 3, 2011 4:09 am

Sorry Mods, continual interruptions, my last post should be elsewhere. On the Roy challenge, and I messed it there too – forgot the close italics after quoting Mike Haseler. Time for a break.

Murray Duffin
February 3, 2011 7:14 am

Ira, just a couple of observations that probably don’t matter much re CO2. Examining all of the pre-industrial records, and even allowing for local concentrations. projecting trends back it seems likely that the preindustrial level was more like 310 ppm, and the difference is either lost in the ice or is lost when the core depressurizes. Also if you take into account all of the warming biases, and if they are additive (probably not) they could account for all of the warming since at least 1975. However I agree with your satellite comment. GH theory does say that the troposphere will warm more than the surface, and now that the new La Nina has offset the recent El Nino, we have satellite warming of about 0.3 degrees C since 1979 for the troposphere. That leaves less than 0.3 for the surface, or less than the 1944 t0 1976 cooling, so yes, warming since 1976 (the upside of a 60 year cycle), but no warming since the 1938-44 peak. That leave very little room for CO2. There seems to have been more warming 1910-1944 than recently, which could be accounted for by being on the upside of three natural cycles, the 60 year and 1000 year are obvious, and the 180 year is reasonable conjecture. If the 180 year peaked about 1940-45, then the recent warming had two upsides and one downside, thus not as great as 1910-45, which seems to be the case. If all of this conjecture is good there is little to no room for a CO2 contribution. See my Chaotic Climate piece here which goes into more detail, and which Anthony refuses to publish, even though it is no more conjectural or less diplomatic than your post. I think we are going into a cooling much more severe than your projection, and it is all due to natural cycles.

February 4, 2011 3:29 pm

For a 3rd comment I shall begin mine just like all good stories do; “Once upon a time” – all those who were seriously skeptical of the claim that a trace-gas which we call CO2 was driving all, the as yet unknown – to modern man, factors that make up the climate through it’s “claimed ability” to warm the Earth like it has never been warmed before. – They were skeptical, seriousy!
This claim that CO2” was warming the whole Earth had a very simple rebuttal; The case was, is – and always will be the other way round, – i.e. if you warm, say a piece of coal up to a temperature where it catches fire, then from there on, CO2 is produced. – Easy , peasy. – I.E. Warming comes first, and then CO2 is produced.
I am not a rich person, but I will promise to buy – for the use of yourself and your best science -mates, – say 4 or maybe even 5 bottles of compressed CO2 for you to do with what you like as long as you can produce heat from that CO2. Yes, you are allowed to use as many matches to “set fire to it “as you need – just as I needed matches to set fire to the coal.
But of course; if you cannot demonstrate as a fact that CO2 can cause warming then you pay for the bottled gas yourself – as I do not make a habit out of giving away free “electrical fire extinguishers”
However, all that said – any skeptical claim with evidence from Ice Cores included, was soon parried with a rebuttal from the “warmists” who agreed that, – in each case of; “At the beginning of an Interglacial period”, the Sun would start the warming off, but very soon the rising levels of CO2 would “take over and amplify” that warming.”
Warmists were never challenged as to where the temp. and CO2 graph lines crossed over, nor were they pressed to explain why ice core graphs show the Earth always starts to return back to glaciations at a time when CO2 levels are at maximum.
As, at the time, unfortunately, I did not follow “The Day to Day Development” of the global warming debate very closely, so I feel justified in saying that by now I am staggered to find that skeptics are actually siding with the “warmists” by saying:
“Come on, its obvious, – we are guilty, – but how guilty are we?
“Not very much” they answer themselves, because CO2 can only produce or cause x% of the warming. (That’s a small x)
Shall I laugh, or should I cry? It has by now become an argument about percentages!

Stephen Wilde
February 5, 2011 2:50 am

O H Dahlsveen says:
February 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm
Clearly CO2 does not cause warming in the sense of introducing additional energy to the system.
However in slowing down the rate of energy loss by the system whilst solar energy input remains the same it does increase the total energy content of the system for a rise in temperature.
See here:
“Greenhouse Confusion Resolved”
So in the end it does indeed boil down to climate sensitivity i.e. percentages and whether the real world climate effect of more CO2 is significant in relation to natural variability.
For reasons that I have set out in detail the effect of more human CO2 must be insignificant and unmeasurable on timescales of less than millennia.
In summary the real world effect of a bit more energy in the system is merely to alter air circulation speed and positioning a bit. Since solar and ocean induced shifts are so large any human effect is not discernible.

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