Pielke Sr. on Climate Science Myopia

By Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.

There is an article

Global warming lull down to China’s coal growth by Richard Black of the BBC which perpetuate an inappropriately narrow view of climate science. The article headlines with the text

“The lull in global warming from 1998 to 2008 was mainly caused by a sharp rise in China’s coal use, a study suggests.”

This article makes the common major erroneous statement that global warming from CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases is climate change.  This is NOT true. As we document in our article

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union

“Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first-order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most, if not all, of these human influences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades.”

The claim that CO2 dominates climate change in the multi-decadal time period has been clearly FALSIFIED.

The end of the Richard Black article reads

“The last two years’ data suggest temperatures are once more beginning to rise; but how fast this happens depends on a number of factors.

One is how quickly the rapidly industrialising countries mandate the fitting of equipment that removes sulphate particles.

Another is solar activity. Recently, it showed signs of picking up as the Sun enters a new cycle of activity, although recent research raises the possibility of a new lull.

Other research groups, meanwhile, have produced evidence showing that natural cycles of ocean temperature, such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, may restrain temperatures for another decade or so.

Uncertainties over aspects of the Earth’s immensely complex climate system, such as melting ice and the behaviour of clouds, could also skew the overall picture.

But Robert Kaufmann is in no doubt that temperatures will pick up if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

“People can choose not to believe in [man-made] climate change – but the correct term here is ‘belief’ – believing is an act of faith, whereas science is a testing of hypotheses and seeing whether they hold up against real world data.

‘Even before this paper there wasn’t much scientific evidence for denying climate change, and now I don’t see any credible scientific contradiction – if people don’t believe it, it’ll be because they choose not to believe it.’”

Robert Kaufmann is correct that

“….science is a testing of hypotheses and seeing whether they hold up against real world data.”

We have performed such a test on the hypothesis that CO2 and a few other greenhouse dominates climate change and have clearly shown this to be a falsified hypothesis.  The human role in climate change is much more than the positive radiative effect from added CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases.

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Latitude

Now that we know pollution, especially Chinese pollution, stops global warming…….
…can we go back to having fun now
It’s no coincidence that they like to start their temperature graphs right after the first clean air act…
…now we know it was the clean air act that caused temperatures to rise
//////snarkysnark

Latitude

Now that we know pollution, especially Chinese pollution, stops global warming…….
…can we go back to having fun now
It’s no coincidence that they like to start their temperature graphs right after the first clean air act…
…now we know it was the clean air act that caused temperatures to rise
/snark

Chris D.

“The claim that CO2 dominates climate change in the multi-decadal time period has been clearly FALSIFIED.”
I think this is the first time I’ve seen him say this so clearly and adamantly (sure, I might have missed it). I wonder if he’ll update his “Main Conclusions” page to reflect this. That would be pretty remarkable.

RobJM

In the 70s burning coal was blamed for global cooling.
In the 90s burning coal was blamed for global warming
in the 10s burning coal was blamed for global warming and hiding global warming at the same time.
Clearly the problem is burning coal and the science is settled!

Not to mention that SO2 is a short-lived local agent. And emitted in the wrong hemisphere to explain the bulk of the cooling.

jcrabb

Land use change has been proven to not be cause of current Global warming as the Stratosphere is cooling, it would be warming if land use was driving warming.

Hugh Pepper

Well yes, Dr Pielke, but when human causes of global warming are added to the other forcings, we get a cumulative problem which causes great concern. The resulting heat has to be absorbed somewhere, doesn’t it? How much additional heat can the oceans absorb? What are the consequences of present, not to mention future absorption?

Gary Hladik

So what “first-order climate forcings” other than CO2 are we talking about here?
I can think of a few candidates:
1. Deforestation (e.g. shrinking snow cover on Mt. Kilimanjaro);
2. Agriculture (change albedo from the “natural” state; more H2O vapor from via irrigation & evaporation — as I recall Anthony attributed a temp rise in one well-sited California surface station to increased local irrigation & H20 “greenhouse” effect)
3. Soot on glaciers and arctic ice
4. Aerosols, both as direct sunlight blockers and as cloud nucleation enhancers (e.g. contrails)
5. Urban heat islands
What others?

Doug Allen

Pielke Sr. for Time magazine Man of the Year! It’s deserved!

Ted Swart

It is hard to think of anything more bizarre than the claim that China has single handedly caused a slow down in the rate of global warming. The phrase “clutching at a straw” comes to mind.
The Pielke article is simply loaded with common sense.

BenfromMO

” The human role in climate change is much more than the positive radiative effect from added CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases.”
I do not disagree with this approach including the looking at land-use changes as possible forms of changes in the climate, but lets not forget that natural variation might indeed be the culprit for “most” of the observed changes. This means that until we find out where natural variation ends and human impacts begin, we are hopelessly lost in this tug of war of finding the truth (the goal of science obviously.)
Do not think this is a let-down to studying a hypothesis which is not popular. I by all means think that we need to study the possibilities to the letter, but until we find out the true range of natural variation (which we are getting closer to) we are lost when it comes to estimating what humans are actually doing to the planet in actuality.
Regardless, it never hurts to be cautious and to try our best to live with the planet as an environmentalist, but lets never forget that we need to live here too and that it might be a selfish desire, but I don’t care. Humans need to be the number one resources and the number one species as far as humans are concerned. This has to be realized, and if we can better our planet and other species with that in mind, lets do it…as long as we figure out potential pit-falls as well before we act.
That being said, I predict we will seriously see the imprint of man from something other then CO2 long before we find the CO2 fingerprint. Until then, I still highly recommend finding where natural variation ends and man’s impact begins…until then, all we are doing is guessing about the actual effects of our impacts on the planet. Guesses are fine for most applications, but when you want to re-work society….yea its just not even feasible.
But please do not take this as a slight, I realize how difficult of a science this can be with sceptics such as me on one side and warmists on the other who all tend to get political nowadays….

RoHa

So we are doomed, but not from CO2, right?

It’s Richard Black, what could anybody pretend? He’s got his “narrative” and nothing, nothing, nothing will make him change his mind.
It’s all quaint stuff from the BBC, unless you’re interested in the reality of the world that is.

Translation: Now moot is the gun barrel enforced religious symbolic act of mercurially sacrificing Edison bulbs while churningly turning remaining pristine windy hills and mountains and oceans too into power line and access path fouled support networks for monstrous bird-chopping industrial towers, the shadow-casting bat lung blasting icons of the Church of Climatology, the swinging knives of The Green Bank Authority.
The stolen armor of science falls down before it, yet inertia of the fall itself of this giant now carries the power grab along, re-energizing it in crucial moment, impossibly, birthing toothy clawed green babes. Up until one century ago there lived, in the Zi Duang province of eastern country, a glass-like spider. Having devoured its prey it would drape the skeletons over its web, creating a macabre shrine of remains. Its web was also unique in that it had many layers, like floors of a building. At the top of this palace-like place, assembled with almost apparent care, were tiny shining objects, glass, beads, dew-drops. One could almost call it an altar. When the breeze blew thru this construction, it produced sounds of wailing, crying.
Tiny wails, tiny cries.
The baby spiders would get scared and search frantically for their mother. But the Glass Spider would have long gone, having known that the babies would survive somehow on their own.
Now the fast track light bulb ban has garnered fleeting attention, it’s up for normal track vote, likely tomorrow, one that needs only majority instead of super majority support, attached to another bill, in the usual way. Here is a site for you that automatically determines who your representative is and allows you send an e-mail to them, specifically about the sacrifice of greatness to the false gods of falsified science:
http://www.capwiz.com/freedomaction/issues/alert/?alertid=51427566&type=CO
It’s not likely to pass easily into Mr. Bill Becomes A Law, but this will make the GINO (“Green In Name Only”) Demagogues now adopt the prematurely birthed Bush Jr. bulb ban, after Climagegate and various IPCCgates have revealed that all was not right in the state of Denmark, centered around Copenhagen, wherein Man deemed fit to control the weather.
We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget.

-=Xenon=-

rpielke

Hugh Pepper – Thanks for reading my post. On your comment, ss we wrote in our EOS paper and I have posted on extensively, global warming and cooling is only a part of what constitues climate variability and change. Please see my post
The Terms “Global Warming” And “Climate Change” – What Do They Mean?
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/the-terms-global-warming-and-climate-change-what-do-they-mean/

DCC

I give up. The article makes no sense. I can’t even figure out where the author stands. Could we have some plain English, please, where who said what is clearly identified and claims are backed up by logic?

rpielke

Gary Hladik – Please see
Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2008: A Broader View of the Role of Humans in the Climate System is Required In the Assessment of Costs and Benefits of Effective Climate Policy. Written Testimony for the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing “Climate Change: Costs of Inaction” – Honorable Rick Boucher, Chairman. June 26, 2008, Washington, DC., 52 pp.
http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/testimony-written.pdf

Mike

P Sr: “The claim that CO2 dominates climate change in the multi-decadal time period has been clearly FALSIFIED.”
Your article you reference is merely an essay arguing that other human activities are also contributing to climate change. It is just an opinion piece. You can’t cite your own opinion as proof your opinion is correct. The essay ignores the obvious fact that CO2 builds up in the atmosphere and thus will likely dominate other human activities in causing climate change.

John M

jcrabb says:
July 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Land use change has been proven to not be cause of current Global warming as the Stratosphere is cooling, it would be warming if land use was driving warming.

Please show us a graph that is consistent with ghg increases cooling the stratosphere.
An overlay of tropospheric CO2 content with stratospheric temperature would be informative.

DCC,
The article was clear to me.
“Carbon” has been demonized by self-serving grant hogs. Whatever effect CO2 may have is negligible compared with all the other forcings, both anthropogenic and, especially, natural variability. The climate has been much colder prior to the industrial revolution, and much warmer at various times. And the only correlation between T and CO2 is that CO2 follows temperature, not vice-versa.

Phil's Dad

DCC says: (July 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm)
“I can’t even figure out where the author stands”
But this very question is the problem with climate science.
Ask rather; “What new evidence does the author provide?”
That way we can cease to stand and start to move forward.

John M says:
“Please show us a graph that is consistent with ghg increases cooling the stratosphere.”
The original climate alarmist prediction was that the “fingerprint of global warming” would be a rapidly warming Troposphere. But that prediction has been decisively falsified:
http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/hot-spot/mckitrick-models-observations-rss-msu-uah-radiosondes-flat.jpg
So the response from the alarmist crowd was to start arm-waving and pointing to the stratosphere [“Look! A kitten!”], and to ignore the fact that the failure of a tropospheric hot spot to appear as predicted has falsified their CAGW conjecture.
The only verifiable, empirical observations regarding the rise in CO2 are that it has caused no global harm or damage, indicating that it is simply a harmless trace gas, and that it has increased agricultural production – certainly a beneficial outcome.
Thus, CO2 is harmless and beneficial. QED

mrdarcy_pemberley

RobJM says “Clearly the problem is burning coal and the science is settled!”
Well, I’m a believer! We have a consensus. Now, where’s Al? We need us a global salesman to pitch this disaster to the IPCC!

Nick Shaw

Black notes three MAJOR variables, the sun, the AMO and clouds yet Kaufmann is still convinced the temperature will continue to rise.
Unfreaking believable!

pat

the biggest revelations since Climategate are presently up on CA and Bishop Hill covering the fact that UEA hired a big PR company, Outside Organisation, and specifically Neil Wallis, who was arrested in the UK yesterday in the NoW hacking scandal, to do damage control for CRU when Climategate broke.
Wallis was also working with the Met Police at the same time he was with Outside, it would appear, tho he had left NoW a few months prior to the contract with the Police.
for all the alarmist crowd, who have claimed Rupert Murdoch’s media has been on the side of the sceptics, which i have constantly argued against, this is explosive. will the BBC, NYT, Guardian etc who are out for Murdoch’s head report any of this, only time will tell:
“Covert” Operations by East Anglia’s CRU
http://climateaudit.org/2011/07/14/covert-operations-by-east-anglias-cru/
Bishop Hill News of the World and UEA
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/7/14/news-of-the-world-and-uea.html

u.k.(us)

And all the while our duly elected officials, continue to subsidize their wind farms.
I saw them in the ocean, offshore, while watching the British Open today.
Monuments to greed and stupidity, they are.

Wucash

‘Even before this paper there wasn’t much scientific evidence for denying climate change, and now I don’t see any credible scientific contradiction – if people don’t believe it, it’ll be because they choose not to believe it.’”
I completly agree. Those who believe in climate that is always constant are akin to those who believe the earth is flat, and those who believe Stoke City will ever win the premiership.
Why doesn’t Richie (any other shortened names for Richard?) address the more down to earth ‘deniers’ who claim that the role of humans in climate change is exaggerated, and hint at the possibility that this current global agenda is politically motivated?

Philip Bradley

…now we know it was the clean air act that caused temperatures to rise
I’ll correct that statement,
…now we know it was the clean air act that caused measured temperatures to rise
The increase in measured minimum temperatures resulted from a reduction in low level, near horizon smoke and haze, resulting in an increase in early morning solar insolation, which reduced the period outgoing radiation exceed incoming solar insolation. Hence causing earlier and higher minimum temperatures.
You can clearly see this effect in the Australian temperature data taken at fixed times.
And if there is a dataset that goes back to the 1960s containing minimum temperatures and time of day minimum occured, I’d expect it to show a strong correlation between these two values.

DonS

So many posts, so many seconds of life lost, so much energy expended , so many kilowatts of electricity used, to demonstrate what every thinking human already knows. Black is a MORON. Can we please not see all these posts the next time this idiot publishes?

Jack Simmons

Doug Allen says:
July 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Pielke Sr. for Time magazine Man of the Year! It’s deserved!

Why insult the man with the ‘honor’?

Alvin

So does this mean that environmentalists can go back and support high sulfur West Virginia coal?
/sarc

Neo

So the chief cause of AGW is the “Clean Air Act” … OMG

rbateman

Another is solar activity. Recently, it showed signs of picking up as the Sun enters a new cycle of activity, although recent research raises the possibility of a new lull.
Where did they get THAT idea?
News to me, I don’t see no
http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/TempGr/uSC24vs13_14.GIF
recent increase in Solar Activity, and I don’t see a big rush of spots
http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/TempGr/uvp2324a.PNG
towards the Solar Equator.
Way I graph it, the Northern Active Regions will hit the Solar Equator in Jan, 2013 and the Southern Active Regions are set to arrive at the Solar Equator in 2016/2017. That would be Northern Max and Southern Max, respectively. Provided, of course, that the cycle doesn’t simply go poof ( I am not paid to forecast the SC and I’m not going there). Continued current behavior with a 6 year slide down to minimum yields 2023 and a 14 yr. cycle. That again, is if nothing changes and SC24 ends like SC23 did. I have yet to see a prolonged and encouraging upswing out of SC24.
That’s not the type of renewed Solar Activity that the article suggests.

DCC

Smokey says: “DCC, The article was clear to me.
“Carbon” has been demonized by self-serving grant hogs. Whatever effect CO2 may have is negligible compared with all the other forcings, both anthropogenic and, especially, natural variability. The climate has been much colder prior to the industrial revolution, and much warmer at various times. And the only correlation between T and CO2 is that CO2 follows temperature, not vice-versa.”
But we already knew that. The article is an incomprehensible mish-mash of statements (who knows who said what?) that go no where. I am not objecting to your conclusions, I am simply mystified why anyone would write such an unintelligible article.
Please. Let’s have some clarity.

Julian Braggins

There seems to be an implied assumption with alarmists that any increase in average temperatures will result in raised maximum temperatures with increases in CO2.
That this is highly unlikely , given the regulating effect of moisture on temperature, but even without that physicist Harry Dale Huffman neatly demonstrates that given equal solar radiation and atmospheric pressure, despite the 95.5% CO2 atmosphere on Venus.
Given this the difference between temperatures of Earth and Venus are negligible. Any increase of GHG’s on Earth would be reflected in night-time temp. given that Venus has a very nearly uniform temp.

http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.com/2010/11/venus-no-greenhouse-effect.html
“There is no sign whatever of a greenhouse effect on either planet. The fact that the temperature ratios are so close to that predicted solely by their relative distances from the Sun tells us that both atmospheres must be warmed, overall, essentially in the same way, by direct IR solar irradiation from above, not by surface emissions from below. Keeping it simple, the atmospheres must be like sponges, or empty bowls, with the same structure (hydrostatic lapse rate), filled with energy by the incident solar radiation to their capacity to hold that energy.
There is no greenhouse effect on Venus with 96.5% carbon dioxide, and none on the Earth with just a trace of carbon dioxide.
Harry Dale Huffman ”
For the graph you will have to visit the site as it failed to appear on the post.

Julian Braggins

Oops, lost the syntax trying to chop up a long sentence!

Brian Johnson uk

There is a 24 hour strike on at the BBC by some of their ‘Journalists’ [14/15th July]. Caused by the BBC reducing costs by laying off a number of said scribes. Why oh why did they not include Richard Black?

Gary Hladik says:
July 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm
So what “first-order climate forcings” other than CO2 are we talking about here?
I can think of a few candidates:
1. Deforestation (e.g. shrinking snow cover on Mt. Kilimanjaro);
2. Agriculture (change albedo from the “natural” state; more H2O vapor from via irrigation & evaporation — as I recall Anthony attributed a temp rise in one well-sited California surface station to increased local irrigation & H20 “greenhouse” effect)
3. Soot on glaciers and arctic ice
4. Aerosols, both as direct sunlight blockers and as cloud nucleation enhancers (e.g. contrails)
5. Urban heat islands
What others?

Reduced cloud cover 1980-1998 as measured by ISCCP?
Increased cloud cover post 1998 as measured by Palle et al
Active sun during later C20th
Bigger effects by far than those you mention.
1)Deforestation
Creates new growth, which absorbs more co2 than mature forest
2)Agriculture
Where’s the data on changed albedo compared to albedo changed by cloud cover change?
3)Soot on glaciers and arctic ice
Natural airborne dust settles on ice too. Data?
4)Aerosols,
See: http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=87#comment-4663
5)Urban heat islands
The growth of these raised the temperature of thermometers, and hence the temperature record, more than the temperature of the globe.

Mike says:
July 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm
P Sr: “The claim that CO2 dominates climate change in the multi-decadal time period has been clearly FALSIFIED.”
Your article you reference is merely an essay arguing that other human activities are also contributing to climate change. It is just an opinion piece. You can’t cite your own opinion as proof your opinion is correct. The essay ignores the obvious fact that CO2 builds up in the atmosphere and thus will likely dominate other human activities in causing climate change.
Just as likely, it will not. I’d read the article again, as well.

Julian Flood

Gary Hladik says: quote what others? unquote
Global Warming in the 21st Century: An Alternative Scenario By James Hansen et al. is more of an essay than a paper, lacking solid numbers, but it points to a variety of forcings other than CO2 which may be causing the warming.
Also:
Global Warming in the 20th Century: An Alternative Scenario
AGW may have causes other than CO2, e.g. alternative GHGs, soot, and land-use albedo change. There is another forcing to be considered which may limit estimates of CO2 sensitivity.
Background
NASA gives figures for oil pollution: [http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/peril_oil_pollution.html].
Oil effects on water have been known for millennia [Pliny, Plutarch, Bede, Kipling]. Franklin’s experiment [http://www.historycarper.com/resources/twobf3/letter12.htm] allows the rough calculation that 5ml of light oil will smooth one hectare and that enough light oil flows onto the oceans to cover them completely every fortnight. Surfactant pollution also smooths the surface, with the contribution of synthetic surfactants being particularly interesting.
A smoothed ocean surface means fewer breaking waves [http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-16-8-2257]. A breaking wave drives bubbles down to where gas exchange is facilitated and organic debris entrained. When the bubble subsequently bursts it releases cloud condensation nuclei as salt and dimethyl sulphide from stressed phytoplankton (dimethyl sulphide, DMS, is produced by phytoplankton and converts to particularly effective cloud condensation nuclei (CCNs)). Fewer waves, therefore, mean fewer CCNs. Only near shorelines and in very shallow water will the normal amount of stirring and CCN generation occur.
An oily oceanic boundary layer generates oily water droplets which are more prone to join together and fall back [Garrett 1978], further reducing the number of CCNs. Polluted CCNs are less hygroscopic [Fuentes et al Feb 2010]. Polluted nuclei will grow more slowly and local relative humidity around them will be higher. Droplet size will be larger and the resultant cloud — oceanic stratocumulus — will have lower albedo.
A smoothed ocean surface has lower albedo and lower emissivity than one ruffled by wind.
Reduced wind/wave coupling over a smoothed surface will slow currents and reduce upwelling of nutrient-rich water. Wave action stirs the upper ocean, replenishing nutrients which are continually depleted by phytoplankton and pumping in atmospheric CO2. Fewer breaking waves means lower nutrient levels in the upper ocean.
Plants fix carbon by different methods: C3, good when there is an abundance of CO2 and nutrients; C4 which needs less of both; CAM, the same; and C4-like, employed by diatoms. Only the first discriminates strongly against the heavier carbon isotopes.
The System Of The World
Oil covers the oceans. The wind/ocean interface decouples. Evaporative cooling slows. [ G. Meyers, J. R. Donguy & R. K. Reed 1986] The stratocumulus layer above becomes less opaque and with a higher relative humidity as the number of mechanically-produced CCNs falls. The smoothed surface exposed to sunlight warms more readily and, at night, cools more slowly. The surface layer warms. Less CO2 is absorbed.
Warm water stabilises and the upper ocean becomes stratified. Mixing, already slowed by the lack of wave action, reduces further. The starved waters feed fewer phytoplankton and the amount of DMS falls. Warmer air slows cloud formation. Stratocumulus cover is further depleted. The cumulus heat pump slows.
Starved phytos revert to C4 carbon fixation or are replaced by obligate C4 species: a light isotope signal is left in the atmosphere.
Silica from farming runs into the oceans or falls as dust. Diatoms flourish as limiting silica is more readily available. Their C4-like metabolism adds to the atmospheric C12 signal. [Dugdale and Wilkerson 2001, Neff et al 2008]
Phytoplankton populations collapse [Boyce et al, 2010] and ocean albedo reduces further, while oxygen fixation falls.
Oceans have reduced biological production and lower DMS generation. Relative humidity rises above them and water vapour GHG heating warms the surface. Warming surfaces discourage low level cloud formation.
‘Natural Experiment’ Demonstrations
http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/climanal1.html
The WWII Kriegesmarine offensive caused vast oil spills and a temperature ‘blip’ [http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=1017]
PETM [http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/temperature/], a leaking oil reservoir heated the oceans beyond the clathrate tipping point.
The Gulf oil spill where the slick can be seen rotting clouds around its edges [http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/oil_spill_initial_feature.html ]
The Andaman Sea [http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2010/2010-08-16-02.html]
Lake Tanganyika’s anomalous warming. [Verburg, Piet, and Robert E. Hecky
The physics of the warming of Lake Tanganyika by climate change ]
Summary
Oil and surfactant polluted oceans have lower albedo, higher emissivity, less evaporative cooling, and produce fewer DMS and salt CCNs, reducing the albedo of oceanic stratocumulus cloud and slowing the cumulus heat pump. These effects warm the surface and limit the value we can put on CO2 sensitivity.

Ryan

If it has been cooling for the last ten years then why are they telling us at the same time that the Arctic is still melting????
Not all singing from the same hymnsheet are they!

Christopher Hanley

The idea that the slight kick-up in SO2 due to China post c.2000 concurrent with a ~5% rise in global CO2 conflicts with the minor negative forcing role attributed to aerosols compared to CO2 in AR4.
If the significantly rising SO2 trend was responsible for the temperature hiatus 1950-1980 as claimed, http://cdiac.ornl.gov/images/AtmosChemPhys11.gif then the minor blip post 2000 could hardly overwhelm the claimed much larger positive CO2 forcing (at a higher concentration than then).
The Black line, I guess, is plausible but sounds like confirmation bias from the ‘a priori’ converted.

Christopher Hanley

The idea that the slight kick-up in SO2 due to China post c.2000 concurrent with a ~5% rise in global CO2 is responsible for the flat temperature trend conflicts with the minor negative forcing role attributed to aerosols compared to CO2 in AR4.
If the significantly rising SO2 trend was responsible for the temperature hiatus 1950-1980 as claimed, http://cdiac.ornl.gov/images/AtmosChemPhys11.gif then the minor blip post 2000 could hardly overwhelm the claimed much larger positive CO2 forcing (at a higher concentration than then).
The Black line, I guess, is plausible but sounds like confirmation bias from the ‘a prior’i converted.

Alan the Brit

Gary Hladik says:
July 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm
Are you seriously suggesting that on a planet 71% covered with water, that our mega offerings of irrigation make a significant contribution to the atmosphere through evaporation? Me thinks perhaps not! Locally maybe, but Globally? No chance!
Time to boringly reiterate UNIPCC Reports 3 & 4: “We don’t really know how element A (Sun) affects element B (Earth’s climate) but we know for certain that element C (mandmade CO2 at 1/62,500th of atmosphere) overpowers element A!” Settled science indeed! The big shiney ball thing in the sky, (currently missing over South-west UK) that contains 99.9% of the mass of the Solar System has a variability in Total Solar Irradiance of 1/10th of 1% over a Solar Cycle, which allegedly (Prof Mike Lockwood et al) couldn’t possibly have any affect on a planet with a mass of barely a few hundreths of 1% of mass of the Solar System????? Hmmm, not convinved on that one! I guess it’s just a numbers game in the end? HAGWE. We rotate around the Sun in the same direction as all the other planets, its gravitational field is enormous, the effects of gravity on the Earth from the System’s giants is also significant over time,before we get into magnetic field effects. Prove beyond all “reaonable doubt” that these do not affect our climate on micro, macro, & Solar System scales along with GCR variability, is all I ask.

John Marshall

Land use changes does not, to my mind, cause climate change only local weather changes. These changes will be within the local climate variation. The 30’s dust bowl problem in the Dakotas was caused by ploughing the prairie grasses up coupled with a period of very dry weather. I am sure that this region had very dry spells before the land change. In the 30’s case winds blew the fine top soil away which would not have happened with grass cover.

KR

Dr. Pielke
Your differentiation between your hypotheses 2a (primarily anthropogenic greenhouse gases) and 2b (greenhouse gases, land use, black carbon, aerosols) is quite interesting.
However, when looking at the net effects of these various human drivers (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-9-2.html) – black carbon effects are rather small, as are land use (<0.25 W/m^2 +/-), aerosols are predominantly negative (-0.5 W/m^2 direct, about -0.75 indirect), while the assorted greenhouse gases plus ozone account for around +3 W/m^2. Hence anthropogenic greenhouse gases are the largest changing factor involved in climate change.
“This article makes the common major erroneous statement that global warming from CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases is climate change. This is NOT true.”
It is entirely correct that CO2 is not the only forcing. But anthropogenic greenhouse gases are the predominant factor in level of effect and direction of climate change, something you seem to be downplaying.

Pamela Gray

The climate in NE Oregon, and indeed the Pacific Northwest, has not changed one iota. We have had weather pattern variability that has been seen in the past with records that extend back to the late 1800’s, but nothing new is happening. Nothing happening to the extremes. Nothing happening that would cause a change in zone designations. Nothing happening that would indicate climate change. So regardless of the conversation here, at least the climate I live in has not changed a bit. The weather patterns have, but not in any new way. So exactly where has the climate changed?

KR

My apologies – in my previous comment I had Dr. Pielkes (2A) and (2B) hypotheses backwards: 2B has primary attribution for climate change assigned to greenhouse gases, while 2A emphasizes land use, black carbon, and aerosols along with CO2.

hum

KR, glad to see your true colors, your statement is very anti-science. First, you state and bold that “anthropogenic greenhouse gases are the predominant factor” it appear that is not the case in the last decade, period. If they were predominant they they would dominate and there would be nothing to stop warming. Since there has been no warming in the past decade and there has been a huge increase of human caused emmisions of CO2. As Pelke says, “falsified”.

rpielke

KR – With respect to your statement
“But anthropogenic greenhouse gases are the predominant factor in level of effect and direction of climate change, something you seem to be downplaying.”
you use the global average radiative forcing as the metric to compare the different forcings. First, CO2 may not even be the majority of this metric (e.g. see my powerpoint slide on this in
Pielke, R.A. Sr., 2006: Regional and Global Climate Forcings. Presented at the Conference on the Earth’s Radiative Energy Budget Related to SORCE, San Juan Islands, Washington, September 20-22, 2006. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/09/ppt-69.pdf).
However, the global average radiative forcing is only one component of the climate system. Please see the detailed discussion of this in
National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp. http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309095069/html/
where regional and vertical variations in radiative forcings and of “non-radiative forcings” [including the biogeochemical effect of CO2] are discussed.
See also the specific example that we analyzed regarding a large scale and regional average of radiative forcing of well mixed greenhouse gases and of aerosols in
Matsui, T., and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2006: Measurement-based estimation of the spatial gradient of aerosol radiative forcing. Geophys. Res. Letts., 33, L11813, doi:10.1029/2006GL025974.
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-312.pdf