Well, which is it?

Andrew Bolt (via his reader John Coochey) of the Herald Sun notes an astonishing incongruity with expert claims on CO2 warming retention times made about 24 hours apart on radio programs in Australia.

Climate scientist and warmist Andy Pitman on Thursday:

If we could stop emissions tomorrow we would still have 20 to 30 years of warming ahead of us because of inertia of the system.

Climate Commissioner and warmist Tim Flannery on Friday:

If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years

As he titles the post:

Twenty years or 1000? One of these “experts” is hopelessly wrong

Heh, ya think?

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Latitude

well, at least it’s consistent with the climate computer games………..
Scientists want to give the low ball estimate to keep people in the game…
..and keep the money flowing

etudiant

Re:
Twenty years or 1000? One of these “experts” is hopelessly wrong
Possibly both? Solid evidence that CO2 increases raise global temperatures remains lacking.

Pabce

Actually, I think both experts are “hoplessly wrong”…
What a world…

geo

Well, they both might be full of crap, but I don’t see an inconsistency. The rise could continue for 20-30 years and then level off and not drop for the hundreds or a thousand or whatever. That’s the “in the pipeline” argument that there is a lag between adding new Co2 to the system and temperature response equilibrium to that addition being achieved.

Nick

If the inertial is there, then the temperature would be very stable.
The temperature isn’t stable, so the inertia isn’t there.

It’s neither – Hansen’s Scenario C proves temps begin dropping right away by merely keeping CO2 emissions stable at the year 2000 level.
http://climateaudit.org/2008/07/28/hansen-update/
lol

Perry

I agree with Pabce. Both Pitman & Flannery are wrong and declining warmth bears that out.

Kilted Mushroom

In your post “CO2 causes unchecked wetdry” Cao makes a similiar comment. He is quoted as saying that it would take several decades for cooling to take place after a reduction of CO2.

Bruce Cobb

OMG, Pitman compares C02 to Cadmium. I honestly don’t know which one is worse-Pitman or Flannery. CAGW delusion has addled their brains.

Tenuc

‘Twenty years or 1000? One of these “experts” is hopelessly wrong’
IMO they are both wrong. The extra CO2 we’ve seen over the last 100y will have had little effect on Earth’s energy level, and natural climate oscillation is the dominant driver.

Ray

Considering that the CO2 maximum lags about 800 years in the ice core studies, 12k-14k years before the (next) maximum is reach is more like it.

Bulldust

How could Andy Pitman be wrong? We have paid him so much money to be right:
http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/apitman-funding
And those are Aussie dollars!*
* I can say that now that the Pacific Peso is finally worth something.

The two views are consistent. see inertia.

Al Gored

Hmmm. Let me see. Maybe it was 20 dog years? Under prior optimal climatic conditions that was 140 of our years but now, due to the disruption of warmcold and drywet, that now equals 1000 years?
Or maybe there are now flexible ‘IPCC years’ which cover both this and the rate of Himalayan glacier melt? And also works to calculate the economic pay back of green energy projects.
All we know is that they must both be correct because these guys always are correct.

Tom in Florida

The real travesty is the idea that we could stop all emissions. Now if I could win the lottery tomorrow, I algoreicise myself and not care what happens to the rest of the world.

Al Gored

steven mosher says:
March 26, 2011 at 2:49 pm
“The two views are consistent. see inertia.”
In theory… but if this is supposed to be science, my six year old granddaughter deserves a PhD. Since a baboon can get a PhD in this field from some faculties if they go with the flow, maybe my pet dog should get one too?
Bark twice for 20 years, three times for a 1000 years. Give that dog a job!

TerryS

I’ve seen some talk on the half life of CO2 being 5 years, 10 years or even 100 years so I’ve decided to calculate it myself.
h = half life of CO2 (in years)
y = CO2 added to atmosphere annually
r = CO2 resident in atmosphere
x = hy (Amount of CO2 added to atmosphere every half life period)
After n half-lifes of adding x CO2 to the atmosphere we have this amount resident:
r = x/(2^0) + x/(2^1) + x/(2^2) + x/(2^3) + .. + x/(2^n) which approaches 2x for large values of n
But this assumes that the CO2 is added as a lump sum every period h. If we
add x/2 twice over the half life period instead we get:
r = x/2*1/(2^0) + x/2*1/(2^0.5) + x/2*1/(2^1) + x/2*1/(2^1.5) + … + x/2*1/(2^n) ~= 1.71x
In fact, as you increase the number of times you add it during the period then r approaches x/ln(2)
So we have:
r = x/ln(2)
Substitute hy for x
r = hy/ln(2)
Rearrange
h = r * ln(2) / y
r = 2337Gt (300ppm which is the pre-industrial level)
y = 771Gt (Annual natural emissions from land and sea)
Therefore
h = 2337*ln(2)/771 = 2.1 years
So the half life of CO2 is 2.1 years which means if we stop emitting CO2 now then the level will drop back to normal pretty quickly.
Of course this all assumes that CO2 absorption by the land and sea follows a half life pattern.

Latitude

steven mosher says:
March 26, 2011 at 2:49 pm
The two views are consistent. see inertia.
====================================
So if we stopped all emissions tomorrow…
There would still be warming for the next 20-30 years…
….then temperatures would stay the same for the next several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years
So it would be at least several hundred, perhaps a thousand, years before anything we did would do any good.
You go first………….

Werner Brozek

See: http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm
“So any CO2 impulse injected into the atmosphere will take about 38 years to reduce itself to half the original value.”
So in other words, if we assume CO2 went up from 280 ppm to 390 ppm today, if we stopped emitting today, the CO2 would be down to 308 ppm in 76 years. However since 390 ppm is doing nothing, as there has been very little change in global temperature over the last 10 years, then 308 ppm cannot do any less.

Robertvdl

Let us pray the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several thousand years .

Carl Chapman

Since the temperature is already falling, they’re both hopelessly wrong.

Leon Brozyna

Experts are, by definition, wrong and obsolete.

cal

What exactly is the intertia they are talking about? Inertia when applied to motion is proportional to mass and inertia when applied to thermal systems is proportional to thermal capacity. Since the oceans have one thousand times the heat capacity of the atmosphere it presumeably has to be the oceans that supply the inertia they are talking about. But thanks to Bob Tisdale’s Argo update we know that there has been virtually no increase in Ocean heat content in the 8 years that the buoys have been in full operation. Therefore I can see no evidence to support what either of them is saying.
So do they just make this up? It’s not those models again is it?

Mike

Steve is correct, the two views are not contradictory. The first says we will continue to warm for 20-30 years. It says nothing about how long it will take to cool down. The second says nothing about the near term, but that it will take many hundreds of years to cool down. They are discussing different time frames. (I am not saying whether either view is correct – that’s a different question.)

kbray in California

The Catlin Arctic Survey team is not helping to reduce CO2 emissions on their expedition are they?
“…One skidoo snowmobile, 1,000 eggs, 15 sleeping bags, outerbags and fleece liners and 3,200 liters of cooking and heating fuel are just a fraction of the cargo that must be transported to Ice Base. There’s also 800 kilograms (1,760 pounds) of scientific equipment in around 50 boxes…”
…by using 3,200 liters of cooking and heating fuel, (CO2 producers and likely fossil based) they are more intelligently focused on staying alive from carbon based energy sources than freezing to death from windmill, solar panel, and battery based power sources that they could have brought with them. Is the skidoo electric?
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/americas/03/11/arctic.expedition/index.html?hpt=Sbin
Carbon… don’t leave home without it !!

TerrySkinner

I think all you have to do to become a warming expert is to declare yourself a warming expert. Oh, and forecast doom and gloom for the future if we don’t mend our wicked ways. That way you are guaranteed to be quoted by the tabloid press, the BBC etc. Nobody will ever hold you to account in the mainstream media by looking back at previous crap forecasts. Just keep the doom and gloom coming. Anything out of line is just weather anyway.

MrCannuckistan

I seem to remember reading and watching videos that state that 50% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions are absorbed by the hydro, litho and biosphere. If that were true, wouldn’t that mean a complete stop in CO2 emissions would result in a drop just as fast as it went up?
I.e. If it took us 22 years to get from 350 ppmv to 390ppmv then it would take 22 years to get back there once we completely stopped all emissions.
MrC

Gaylon

Given the impeccable performance of the CAGW predictions, the unimpeachable clarity of their calculations and the unassailable transparency of their model methodology; I would say that given the rather constant / steady rise in CO2 over the last decade along with the concomittant reduction / flattening of global temperatures (;^) that our two entreprenuers have hit it spot-on. Is there a problem? sarc/off

MrCannuckistan says:
March 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm
I seem to remember reading and watching videos that state that 50% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions are absorbed by the hydro, litho and biosphere. If that were true, wouldn’t that mean a complete stop in CO2 emissions would result in a drop just as fast as it went up?
It is true that about halve of what humans emitted is absorbed in quantity (not the same molecules!) by other reservoirs, but as human have emitted extra CO2 during 160 years (and smalle quantities somewhat longer), the total extra amount residing in the atmosphere now is 210 GtC (100 oomv CO2) higher than equilibrium. The amounts removed by oceans and vegetation currently are about 4 GtC/year. Thus it will take a lot more time than a few years to remove the excess CO2, the more that the driving force, the difference between CO2 levels in the atmosphere and oceans/vegetation will reduce over time. The 38 years from Peter Dietze, as quoted by Werner Brozek may be spot on…

1DandyTroll

That’s an easy Q, it’s both. See 20 to 30 years fit right inside the whole several hundred years. Geez, even I know such things. :p

JRR Canada

For experts they are absolutely consistant. As CO2/AWG causes everything they can’t be wrong, as self appointed experts they are always wrong.Just the way modern experts work I guess.

JRR Canada

It is apparent both have contracted serious cases of irritable climate sydrome, the only cure is to wean each of all tax payer funding and isolation from the general public in a nice friendly green padded cell.

son of mulder

Pitman said “If we could stop emissions tomorrow we would still have 20 to 30 years of warming ahead of us because of inertia of the system.”
What, like we have 10 years without warming behind us?
Flannery said “If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years”
What, like it hasn’t net warmed or cooled in the last 1000 years?
Flannery is the winner as he is consistent in terms of timescales and predicting no change.

BrianMcL

Now if they’d made the same predictions 15 years ago (I assume the underlying physics hasn’t altered in the meantime) we’d have had one that said we’d have warmed and still be warming even if CO2 had stabilised, (which it hasn’t), and one that said it would take hundreds of years to cool.
Both of these forecasters would have been pretty relieved to have been proved wrong.
Wouldn’t they?
Maybe they’ll be kind enough to confirm that.
Or then again, perhaps maybe not.
Funny old world.

JoeV

That’s not inconsistent ! It may betray that neither of them has a clue, what’s going to happen, despite all their tax payer funding, but they’re not inconsistent ( not with each other anyway).

John Q Public

Why don’t we just agree that they’re both wrong?

DirkH

Tim Flannery, interviewed by the WWF, 2007 (when the AGW movement was in the news every day, oh, the good old times).

NyqOnly

Another miss from Bolt. The two statements are consistent with each other. Good grief isn’t Bolt supposed to be a journalist? Isn’t being able to read part of his job description?
X years with temperatures still RISING
Y years before they start FALLING
Bizzarely Bolt seems to be the most influential climate ‘expert’ with at least one major party in Australia…

a jones

Well sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits. Perhaps likes Descartes I should sit in an oven and wait for inspiration, or perhaps I should live in a barrel like Diogenes. Neither appeals.
But for all my defects I can recognise things that would make a cat laugh, and this one is most mirthful. So I don’t bother to think about it but instead raise a glass of fine old Rioja to celebrate the joke.
Kindest Regards

eadler

NyqOnly says:
March 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm
Another miss from Bolt. The two statements are consistent with each other. Good grief isn’t Bolt supposed to be a journalist? Isn’t being able to read part of his job description?
X years with temperatures still RISING
Y years before they start FALLING
Bizzarely Bolt seems to be the most influential climate ‘expert’ with at least one major party in Australia…

Great Comment. You saved me the trouble of writing it.
I am scratching my head about two things.
1) Why was Bolt’s comment posted here to begin with? It seems that Bolt can’t be bothered to read and think about what he writes, but how did such an error get past Anthony Watts?
2) Why did it take 37 responses until someone noticed the obvious mistake made by Bolt?

ian

Have to agree with Mosher et al. I may be relatively scientifically illiterate, but even I can comprehend that the two comments are not contradictory. Both wrong, very possible.

ian

oops, perhaps the scientific term is, “highly probable”.

latitude
“So it would be at least several hundred, perhaps a thousand, years before anything we did would do any good.
You go first………….
#######
Your assumption is wrong. Theory says that the C02 we put in the atmopshere up to now has had a warming effect. call it .5C just for sake of the argument. If we cut all emissions, the warming will continue for a couple of decades. This is known as inertia. If we cut our emissions, then eventually over time the C02 levels would return to pre industrial. I’m not so convinced that Flannery is correct on the hundreds of years figures, but lets just assume he is correct.
The point of cutting emissions is to arrest the warming at levels that are manageable.
So, the “good” of doing it is more like harm prevention.
Quite simply, do nothing and the world will continue to warm maybe 2-3C over pre industrial
Stop altogether and you limit that to maybe .5-1C
So, will it do “any good” to stop the warming at 1C rather than letting it go to 2-3C?
Some people think so.
Another way to look at it is the damage goes with the square of the temperature increase, so preventing temperature increase has a lot of leverage.

eadler

Both Pittman and Flannery were talking about the same article by Susan Solomon et. al. in the PNAS.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/01/28/0812721106.full.pdf+html
Looking at figure 1, it is seen that when CO2 concentration increase is halted at 450 ppM, the surface warming stops very quickly but over the next 1000 years, the CO2 does not get back to its original concentration before the increase in emissions, and the temperature doesn’t get back to anywhere near its original value in that time either.

Latitude

Mosh, you’re assumption is wrong…
…but you already know I disagree and why
There are too many assumptions, based on computer games and theories, that do not exist in the real world, and only exist inside some computer program.

steven mosher,
“Just for the sake of argument,” let’s say the warming effect from CO2 is ≤0.2°C. That’s Dr Lindzen’s understanding, and I think he knows something about the subject.
There is no credible basis to argue that CO2 is responsible for 0.5° out of a total rise of 0.7°. That sounds like some wild-eyed realclimate WAG. [In fact, a good case can be made that CO2 causes little or no warming, but I’m playing your game here, admittedly with more realistic parameters.]
With that in mind then, please cite the specific global “damage” caused by the extra CO2 molecules. Please stay within the scientific method, and provide us with empirical, testable, reproducible evidence of global “damage” caused specifically by CO2 [keeping in mind that models and pal-reviewed papers are not scientific evidence].
And Latitude has a good point: U.S. CO2 emissions have been declining without the proposed EPA regulations, while China. Brazil, India, etc., etc., are all ramping up their CO2 emissions.
The planet has been several degrees warmer many times over the past ten millennia, and there was no corellation with CO2 leading to temperature rises. In fact, rising CO2 follows temperature rises.
Given these facts, the rise in CO2 has been harmless and beneficial. Unless, of course, you can provide verifiable evidence of global damage due specificaly to the increase in CO2.

John Warner

You ain’t seen nothing yet!
In the first edition of Tim Flannery’s book, “The Weather Makers: the History and Future Impact of Climate Change” (you can find it in google books), he explains how telekinesis affects climate. An example is, “There is one remarkable aspect of the great aerial ocean that has only recently been appreciated – its telekinesis. The last time you heard of telekinesis was probably when Uri Geller was bending spoons, but the term does have a valid scientific definition. It means ‘movement at a distance without a material connection’, and in the case of the atmosphere telekinesis allows changes to manifest themselves simultaneously in distant regions.”
This is from our (Austrlia’s) head of its Climate Commission. The expert our federal government has appointed to lead a commision to teach us all about the science of climate and global warming. His first degree was in arts majoring in English and his PhD was in long dead marsupials (also found with google – perhaps they will make that harder to find now they are going to start spreading warmist propaganda). So it is not hard to understand why he has problems with the science. What is worrying is that we do not appeared to have moved much beyond the middle ages where those in power relied on advice(?) to blame witches and had them burnt for causing global cooling?

Cindy in San Diego

But what is the optimal global temperature and why? What is the goal temperature?

RockyRoad

Tenuc says:
March 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm

‘Twenty years or 1000? One of these “experts” is hopelessly wrong’

Unfortunately, science only progresses with each funeral (although as absolutely wrong both of these “experts” are, it really shouldn’t take a funeral to wake people up)!
steven mosher says:
March 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Another way to look at it is the damage goes with the square of the temperature increase, so preventing temperature increase has a lot of leverage.

But what if it is benefit rather than damage that goes with the square of the temperature increase (at least until we’re out of Ice Age range), so “preventing temperature increase” should be a criminal act and stopping the benefit should be a crime against humanity. Sad that it takes funerals for illogical, irreconcilable, idiotic notions to be swept away; you’d think the value of an education would be a strong propensity for knowledge rather than stroking an unmaleable ego.

t stone

These views aren’t completely inconsistent with each other, I suppose 1000 years would be inertia in the extreme. But the question is…are they sure it’s getting warmer?