Feedback about feedbacks and suchlike fooleries

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Responses to my post of December 28 about climate sensitivity have been particularly interesting. This further posting answers some of the feedback.

My earlier posting explained how the textbooks establish that if albedo and insolation were held constant but all greenhouse gases were removed from the air the Earth’s surface temperature would be 255 K. Since today’s temperature is 288 K, the presence as opposed to absence of all the greenhouse gases – including H2O, CO2, CH4, N2O and stratospheric O3 – causes 33 K warming.

Kiehl and Trenberth say that the interval of total forcing from the five main greenhouse gases is 101[86, 125] Watts per square meter. Since just about all temperature feedbacks since the dawn of the Earth have acted by now, the post-feedback or equilibrium system climate sensitivity parameter is 33 K divided by the forcing interval – namely 0.33[0.27, 0.39] Kelvin per Watt per square meter.

Multiplying the system sensitivity parameter interval by any given radiative forcing yields the corresponding equilibrium temperature change. The IPCC takes the forcing from a doubling of CO2 concentration as 3.7 Watts per square meter, so the corresponding warming – the system climate sensitivity – is 1.2[1.0, 1.4] K, or about one-third of the IPCC’s 3.3[2.0, 4.5] K.

I also demonstrated that the officially-estimated 2 Watts per square meter of radiative forcings and consequent manmade temperature changes of 0.4-0.8 K since 1750 indicated a transient industrial-era sensitivity of 1.1[0.7, 1.5] K, very much in line with the independently-determined system sensitivity.

Accordingly. transient and equilibrium sensitivities are so close to one another that temperature feedbacks – additional forcings that arise purely because temperature has changed in response to initial or base forcings – are very likely to be net-zero.

Indeed, with net-zero feedbacks the IPCC’s transient-sensitivity parameter is 0.31 Kelvin per Watt per square meter, close to the 0.33 that I had derived as the system equilibrium or post-feedback parameter.

I concluded that climate sensitivity to the doubling of CO2 concentration expected this century is low enough to be harmless.

One regular troll – one can tell he is a troll by his silly hate-speech about how I “continue to fool yourself and others” – attempted to say that Kiehl and Trenberth’s 86-125 Watts per square meter of total forcing from the presence of the top five greenhouse gases included the feedbacks consequent upon the forcing, asserting, without evidence, that I (and by implication the two authors) was confusing forcings and feedbacks.

No: Kiehl and Trenberth are quite specific in their paper: “We calculate the longwave radiative forcing of a given gas by sequentially removing atmospheric absorbers from the radiation model. We perform these calculations for clear and cloudy sky conditions to illustrate the role of clouds to a given absorber for the total radiative forcing. Table 3 lists the individual contribution of each absorber to the total clear-sky [and cloudy-sky] radiative forcing.” Forcing, not feedback. Indeed, the word “feedback” does not occur even once in Kiehl & Trenberth’s paper.

In particular, the troll thought we were treating the water-vapor feedback as though it were a forcing. We were not, of course, but let us pretend for a moment that we were. If we now add CO2 to the atmospheric mix and disturb what the IPCC assumes to have been a prior climatic equilibrium, then by the Clausius-Clapeyron relation the space occupied by the atmosphere is capable of holding near-exponentially more water vapor as it warms. This – to the extent that it occurred – would indeed be a feedback.

However, as Paltridge et al. (2009) have demonstrated, it is not clear that the water vapor feedback is anything like as strongly positive as the IPCC would like us to believe. Below the mid-troposphere, additional water vapor makes very little difference because its principal absorption bands are largely saturated. Above it, the additional water vapor tends to subside harmlessly to lower altitudes, again making very little difference to temperature. The authors conclude that feedbacks are somewhat net-negative, a conclusion supported by measurements given in papers such as Lindzen & Choi (2009, 2010), Spencer & Braswell (2010, 2011), and Shaviv (2011).

It is also worth recalling that Solomon et al. (2009) say equilibrium will not be reached for up to 3000 years after we perturb the climate. If so, it is only the transient climate change (one-third of the IPCC’s ’quilibrium estimate) that will occur in our lifetime and in that of our grandchildren. Whichever way you stack it, manmade warming in our own era will be small and, therefore, harmless.

A true-believer at the recent Los Alamos quinquennial climate conference at Santa Fe asked me, in a horrified voice, whether I was really willing to allow our grandchildren to pay for the consequences of our folly in emitting so much CO2. Since the warming we shall cause will be small and may well prove to be beneficial, one hopes future generations will be grateful to us.

Besides, as President Klaus of the Czech Republic has wisely pointed out, if we damage our grandchildren’s inheritance by blowing it on useless windmills, mercury-filled light-bulbs, solar panels, and a gallimaufry of suchlike costly, wasteful, environment-destroying fashion statements, our heirs will certainly not thank us.

Mr. Wingo and others wonder whether it is appropriate to assume that the sum of various different fourth powers of temperature over the entire surface of the Earth will be equal to the fourth power of the global temperature as determined by the fundamental equation of radiative transfer. By zonal calculation on several hundred zones of equal height and hence of equal spherical-surface area, making due allowance for the solar azimuth angle applicable to each zone, I have determined that the equation does indeed provide a very-nearly-accurate mean surface temperature, varying from the sum of the zonal means by just 0.5 K in total. In mathematical terms, the Holder inequality is in this instance near-vanishingly small.

Dr. Nikolov, however, considers that the textbooks and the literature are wrong in this respect: but I have deliberately confined my analysis to textbook methods and “mainstream-science” data precisely so as to minimize the scope for any disagreement on the part of those who – until now – have gone along with the IPCC’s assertion that climate sensitivity is high enough to be dangerous. Deploying their own methods and drawing proper conclusions from them is more likely to lead them to rethink their position than attempting to reinvent the wheel.

Mr. Martin asks whether I’d be willing to apply my calculations to Venus. However, I do not share the view of Al Gore, Dr. Nikolov, or Mr. Huffman that Venus is likely to give us the answers we need about climate sensitivity on Earth. A brief critique of Mr. Huffman’s analysis of the Venusian atmospheric soup and its implications for climate sensitivity is at Jo Nova’s ever-fragrant and always-eloquent website.

Brian H asks whether Dr. Nikolov is right in his finding that, for several astronomical bodies [including Venus] all that matters in the determination of surface temperature is the mass of the atmospheric overburden. Since I am not yet content that Dr. Nikolov is right in concluding that the Earth’s characteristic-emission temperature is 100 K less than the 255 K given in the textbooks, I am disinclined to enquire further into his theory until this rather large discrepancy is resolved.

Rosco is surprised by the notion of dividing the incoming solar irradiance by 4 to determine the Wattage per square meter of the Earth’s surface. I have taken this textbook step because the Earth intercepts a disk-sized area of insolation, which must be distributed over the rotating spherical surface, and the ratio of the surface area of a disk to that of a sphere of equal radius is 1:4.

Other commenters have asked whether the fact that the characteristic-emission sphere has a greater surface area than the Earth makes a difference. No, it doesn’t, because the ratio of the surface areas of disk and sphere is 1:4 regardless of the radius and hence surface area of the sphere.

Rosco also cites Kiehl and Trenberth’s notion that the radiation absorbed and emitted at the Earth’s surface is 390 Watts per square meter. The two authors indicate, in effect, that they derived that value by multiplying the fourth power of the Earth’s mean surface temperature of 288 K by the Stefan-Boltzmann constant (0.0000000567 Watts per square meter per Kelvin to the fourth power).

If Kiehl & Trenberth were right to assume that a strict Stefan-Boltzmann relation holds at the surface in this way, then we might legitimately point out that the pre-feedback climate-sensitivity parameter – the first differential of the fundamental equation of radiative transfer at the above values for surface radiative flux and temperature – would be just 288/(390 x 4) = 0.18 Kelvin per Watt per square meter. If so, even if we were to assume the IPCC’s implicit central estimate of strongly net-positive feedbacks at 2.1 Watts per square meter per Kelvin the equilibrium climate sensitivity to a CO2 doubling would be 3.7 x 0.18 / (1 – 2.1 x 0.18) = 1.1 K. And where have we seen that value before?

In all this, of course, I do not warrant any of the IPCC’s or Kiehl and Trenberth’s or the textbooks’ methods or data or results as correct: that would be well above my pay-grade. However, as Mr. Fernley-Jones has correctly noticed, I am quite happy to demonstrate that if their methods and values are correct then climate sensitivity – whichever way one does the calculation – is about one-third of what they would like us to believe it is.

All the contributors – even the trolls – have greatly helped me in clarifying what is in essence a simple but not simpliste argument. To those who have wanted to complicate the argument in various ways, I say that, as the splendid Willis Eschenbach has pointed out before in this column, one should keep firmly in mind the distinction between first-order effects that definitely change the outcome, second-order effects that may or may not change it but won’t change it much, and third-order effects that definitely won’t change it enough to make a difference. One should ruthlessly exclude third-order effects, however superficially interesting.

Given that the IPCC seems to be exaggerating climate sensitivity threefold, only the largest first-order influences are going to make a significant difference to the calculation. And it is the official or textbook treatment of these influences that I have used throughout.

My New Year’s resolution is to write a short book about the climate question, in which the outcome of the discussions here will be presented. The book will say that climate sensitivity is low; that, even if it were as high as the IPCC wants us to think, it would be at least an order of magnitude cheaper to adapt to the consequences of any warming that may occur than to try, Canute-like, to prevent it; that there are multiple lines of evidence for systematic and connected corruption and fraud on the part of the surprisingly small clique of politically-motivated “scientists” who have fabricated and driven the now-failing climate scare; and that too many who ought to know better have looked the other way as their academic, scientific, political, or journalistic colleagues have perpetrated and perpetuated their shoddy frauds, because silence in the face of official mendacity is socially convenient, politically expedient, and, above all, financially profitable.

The final chapter will add that there is a real danger that the UN, using advisors from the European Union, will succeed in exploiting the fraudulent science peddled by the climate/environment axis as a Trojan horse to extinguish democracy in those countries which, unlike the nations of Europe, are still fortunate enough to have it; that the world’s freedom is consequently at immediate and grave risk from the vaunting ambition of a grasping, talent-free, scientifically-illiterate ruling elite of world-government wannabes everywhere; but that – as the recent history of the bureaucratic-centralist and now-failed EU has demonstrated – the power-mad adidacts are doomed, and they will be brought low by the ineluctable futility of their attempts to tinker with the laws of physics and of economics.

The army of light and truth, however few we be, will quietly triumph over the forces of darkness in the end: for, whether they like it or not, the unalterable truth cannot indefinitely be confused, concealed, or contradicted. We did not make the laws of science: therefore, it is beyond our power to repeal them.

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Phillip Bratby

Well said sir, as ever.

Joel Shore

The working definition of “troll” that Monckton seems to be using is someone who actually injects science into his posts. I will respond to this latest piece of nonsense once I am back home with access to a reasonable computer.

Darkinbad the Brightdayler

You don’t see any contradiction in you penultimate paragraph and its predecessor?

Mydogsgotnonose

The 33 K claimed GHG warming is an elementary mistake. It’s obtained by imagining that if you remove all the atmosphere the surface temperature of the Earth would be the same -18°C it is at present for radiative equilibrium of the composite emitter at the top of the atmosphere with space.
Wrong: the albedo of the Earth would fall from 0.3 to 0.07 because there’d be no clouds or ice. Redo the radiation calculation and the equilibrium radiative solution is close to 0°C.
That means the maximum present GHG warming is 15°C. Redo the calculation for the remaining aerosols and realistic convection and it falls to ~9°C. So you scale all IPCC claims by 9/33. But there’s more. Because the net AIE is slightly positive [incorrect aerosol optical physics], you lose at least another 44% [median AR4]. So, the real scaling factor is 1/6.7 =~ 0.15.
That means maximum CO2 climate sensitivity =~0.45 K. I’ll leave the other major errors until later so as not to upset oxymoronic climate science too much before the end of 2011….;o)

Scott Covert

Awesome post!
Monkton is a nut case IMO but I think he’s right.
Thanks again for your well worded posts.

William

Lord Monckton of Brenchley,
Thank-you for the thoughtful succinct piece on feedbacks.
As the papers you quoted note, the observational data (top of the atmosphere radiation measurement vs planetary temperature changes) supports the assertion that the planet’s feedback response to a change in forcing is negative – planet resists a forcing change – as opposed to positive – planet amplifies a forcing change. There is scientific consensus that if the planet’s feedback response to a change in forcing is negative (planet resists rather than amplifies the forcing change) the expected warming due to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide from 0.028% (280 ppm) to 0.056% (580 ppm) will be less than 1.2C.
As the warming due to a doubling of CO2 is modest (less than 1.2C) and primarily at higher latitudes (cloud cover in the tropics increases or decreases to resist forcing changes) where the growing season is currently limited by temperature, it appears there is no CO2 problem to solve. It seems in fact, as commercial greenhouses inject carbon dioxide into the greenhouse (1000 ppm to 1500 ppm) to increase yield and reduce growing times – plants eat CO2 – a strong argument could be made that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is beneficial to the biosphere.
This is fortunate, as all Western countries are deeply in debt and there is no end of issues – including environmental protection – to address with tax payer funds.
I enjoyed your book on the scientific details concerning the Hockey stick. I look forward to your book on feedbacks.
Best wishes,
William

Moray Watson

[SNIP: This has absolutely nothing to do with the thread. If you have a concern, try e-mailing Anthony using the contact option on the about tab. If you are trying to hijack the thread, forget it. -REP]

I am very interested to see how the Unified Climate Theory folks back up their 100k greater figure since as Christopher Monckton points out, till that little change in conventional wisdom is explained the rest of the UCT may just be added whimsey.
Yet, since this earth with no atmosphere temp figure is so far different from conventional wisdom, I would think the authors would have realized this and not published unless they a good basis for challenging that bit of CW.
Still, even if the UCT is wrong, their points of CO2 levels being an effect of temp rather than a cause will finally have to be addressed as the team and others critique their coming papers.
Personally I hope the lower 100k figure is right. Wouldn’t that rock climate science to the core!

“The army of light and truth, however few we be, will quietly triumph over the forces of darkness in the end: for, whether they like it or not, the unalterable truth cannot indefinitely be confused, concealed, or contradicted. We did not make the laws of science: therefore, it is beyond our power to repeal them.”
Thank you Christopher. I’m wondering if we can apply this rationale to some other threads here?

Bill Illis

We do the math backwards and forwards and in various different forms and it always comes out the same. We look at the actual observations of the climate so far, backwards and forwards and in various different ways and it provides the same answer.
Either the low sensitivity value is right or the climate has magical properties that will be revealed later.

I think Monckton has done a good job by using the tools IPCC use to prove them wrong. That makes the article understandable even to me being an electronic engineer and a programmer.

The army of light and truth, however few we be, will quietly triumph over the forces of darkness in the end: for, whether they like it or not, the unalterable truth cannot indefinitely be confused, concealed, or contradicted. We did not make the laws of science: therefore, it is beyond our power to repeal them.
A real and literal “apocalypse”: A Revelation from above: The darkest hours of night are those which precede dawn.
This is why some “photophobic” creatures are so scared 🙂

Mike G

Please stop trashing compact flourescent light bulbs. I completely agree windmills and solar panels for bulk power generation are completely useless and a major con, although not for many smaller scale specialised applications
CFL bulbs are a genuine improvement on those small glowing electric fires for most uses. Who would ever dream of using filament lighting for any commercial building or public space, but somehow it is best for use at home? Fair enough early CFL were not that good, but now they are a huge improvement in many locations, long lasting, cool running, very economical, and even quite quick starting.
It is a shame that the politicians took a stand on this issue, but as Churchill observed, even a fool (and presumably many fools) can be right sometimes.
Talking of progress, it won’t be that long before LEDs rule the world.
M

J Martin

Lord Monkton,
Thankyou for pointing me in the direction of the Joanne Nova post on the subject. I shall duly examine it.
May I take it that the use of the word “fragrant” perhaps heralds a change of career, into the Judiciary ?

David, UK

Scott Covert says:
December 30, 2011 at 9:40 am
Awesome post!
Monkton is a nut case IMO but I think he’s right.
Thanks again for your well worded posts.

Hey – he might be a nut case, but he’s our nut case! Seriously, Monck: thank you for your tireless efforts, and more power to you.

Rob Crawford

“CFL bulbs are a genuine improvement on those small glowing electric fires for most uses.”
Until they fail or break. Then you have a situation that, normally, would have Greens demanding government action.

Lord Monckton said:
“My earlier posting explained how the textbooks establish that if albedo and insolation were held constant but all greenhouse gases were removed from the air the Earth’s surface temperature would be 255 K. Since today’s temperature is 288 K, the presence as opposed to absence of all the greenhouse gases – including H2O, CO2, CH4, N2O and stratospheric O3 – causes 33 K warming.”
With all due respect: no!, it would not. No matter how many textbooks say that. That’s what would happen to a grey body, in static state being uniformely hit by radiation from all directions. But the earth happens to rotate every 24 hours and gets all the energy from a single source, instead of uniformely distributed. The diffence gives a surprising result, and I like to repeat something I posted a few days ago, the real null hypothesis:
I think there are a few essential elements missing in this generation of the null hypothesis,
1: The standard no-atmosphere “black body” model uses temperature of the surface, whereas the global temperature is the atmospheric temperature at 1.5 meters above the surface. Think about that.
2: Non radiating gasses cannot lose their heat by radiation, only conduction and convection and there is only the earth surface to conduct heat to. Nothing can be emitted to the atmosphere.
3: There is no negative convection.
This is how I wrapped the null hypothesis up in UKww:
“The null hypothesis is usually describing the situation which would it make different from the actual -or alternative- hypothesis. It’s used mostly in statistics, I think, but why not try and see what happens if we apply it to the GHG hypothesis.
We read all over internet that the black body temperature of the Earth would have been -18C, but the actual average temperature is +15C; consequently this 33 degrees difference is supposed to be the greenhouse effect. But is this true?
Is the blackbody situation the “null hypothesis”? I don’t think so. The black body calculation assumes a sphere with a constant flux of light energy, uniformely distributed over the surface, using the Stefan Boltzman equation to derive it’s temperature like this.
But the earth is nowhere near a blackbody and if we want to really look at the null hypothesis, we would have to look at an earth without greenhouse effect, but still with an (inert) atmosphere and still rotating in 24 hrs, with seasons and all.
Now, instead of using an average steady state solar radiation, we need to realize that we have the diurnal cycle with max insolation radiation at noon and no radiation incoming when the sun is below the horizon. So during daytime the earth surface warms up and much more than the according the average radiation. Equilibrium temperature at the equator in a steady state with the sun in zenith, using the full incoming 1365 w/m2 (albedo 30%) would be 360K or 87C. This follows from applying the Stephan Boltzman equation for the spot directly under the sun, instead of a uniformely distributed radiation.
So this much higher temperature of the earth surface is transmitted via conduction to the lowermost boundary layer of the atmosphere. This heated air gets is less dense, and it becomes buoyant so it rises up; Convection, the very basics of meteorology. So at daytime the atmosphere receives thermal energy of the earth. How can it lose this energy again? Remember we are in the null hypothesis, no radiation, no greenhouse effect, so the inert atmosphere cannot lose the energy by radiation.
Now, at night time the Earth does not receive radiation energy from the sun but it radiates energy out and cools quickly, obviously much more quickly in the null hypothesis even than with the greenhouse effect, which would have directed (“reflects”) some radiation back to earth. Now the cooler earth also cools the boundary layer of the atmosphere by conduction again, however there is no negative convection as the cool air gets more dense and tends to stay put; the inversion; also very basic meteorology.
So despite the cooling of the earth, the missing radiation from the atmosphere prevents it from cooling at night and the next day more conducted energy is convected into the atmosphere, that stays there again.
Obviously we have an unbalance. And equilibrium can only be reached, maybe after thousands of years, when the convection at daytime has reduced so much to balance heat loss at night time via conduction back to the surface. For that the lower level atmosphere needs to be at the same temperature / density than the boundary layer would reach due to the conduction of heat from the surface.
Conclusion, in the null hypothesis, without greenhouse effect, the average temperature of the lower atmosphere would be considerably higher than the black body temperature of the surface. How much I don’t know. But the main point is that a certain part of the temperature difference between black body and actual atmospheric temperature is not due to greenhouse effect but due to the inability of the inert atmosphere to cool down by radiation. “

Neil

Thank you for your forceful feedback, Sir.
But I must ask you, what in your last paragraph but one do you mean by “adidact?”

mkelly

Christopher Monckton of Brenchley says:
“…a real danger that the UN, using advisors from the European Union, will succeed in exploiting the fraudulent science peddled by the climate/environment axis as a Trojan horse to extinguish democracy…”
Sir on this I stand in full agreement. This has never been about climate change it has always been about getting more power in the hands of government. Freedom lost is not likely regained. First light bulbs next what??? All other quibbles are tertiary after this.
If I control the price of, how much, and what kind enegy you can have, I can control you.

Seasons Greetings

Mydogsgotnonose says:
December 30, 2011 at 9:24 am
“The 33 K claimed GHG warming is an elementary mistake. It’s obtained by imagining that if you remove all the atmosphere the surface temperature of the Earth would be the same -18°C it is at present for radiative equilibrium of the composite emitter at the top of the atmosphere with space.”
Fact: The earth and the moon are made of the same rocks.
Fact: The measured average temperature of the moon is 250K.
The above observations were obtained by Apollo missions to the moon.
So if we strip the earth of its atmosphere and ocean its albedo and distance from the sun will be the same as the moon and it should therefore have the same average temperature. This is pretty close to the calculated value of 255K for the earth sans greenhouse gases and ocean.
The problem I have is that the ocean is neglected as a source of greenhouse warming. Water is transparent to shortwave and opaque to longwave. It is that combination of transparency and opacity at incoming and outgoing radiative frequencies respectively that makes a greenhouse gas a greenhouse gas. Water is a greenhouse fluid. Moreover, unlike the combination of GHGs in the atmosphere, liquid water’s opacity to longwave infrared is complete across the LWIR spectrum. As well, just the first 10 meters of the ocean has as much mass and twice the heat capacity as the entire column of air above it. Furthermore the ocean’s albedo is far lower than rocks and when the sun is directly overhead and the water calm its albedo is nearly zero. All these factors combine to make the ocean, so long as it is liquid, the major source of greenhouse warming.
The greenhouse gases above the ocean have little effect because so-called back-radiation is completely absorbed in a skin layer just a few microns thick. This does little more than raise the evaporation rate. Indeed if one examines ocean heat budget studies in the literature one finds that fully 70% of ocean heat loss is latent (i.e. evaporation), 20% is radiative, and 5% is conductive. This is quite unlike how land surfaces heat and cool where greenhouse gases do have a significant effect on surface air temperature.
Once a person understands the great difference between how land and water heat and cool then all the observations start making perfect sense.
“Wrong: the albedo of the Earth would fall from 0.3 to 0.07 because there’d be no clouds or ice. Redo the radiation calculation and the equilibrium radiative solution is close to 0°C.”
Albedo would only fall that low if the ocean was still there but if you’re subtracting clouds and ice it seems you must also subtract surface water too otherwise you will have clouds and ice. Absent clouds, ice, and oceans the earth’s albedo would presumably be the same as the moon which is 0.16 since they’re made of the same materials.
“That means the maximum present GHG warming is 15°C. Redo the calculation for the remaining aerosols and realistic convection and it falls to ~9°C. So you scale all IPCC claims by 9/33. But there’s more. Because the net AIE is slightly positive [incorrect aerosol optical physics], you lose at least another 44% [median AR4]. So, the real scaling factor is 1/6.7 =~ 0.15.”
Actually I’d tend to agree that’s the amount of greenhouse warming that comes from greenhouse gases. The other 24C of greenhouse warming comes from the global ocean.
“That means maximum CO2 climate sensitivity =~0.45 K. I’ll leave the other major errors until later so as not to upset oxymoronic climate science too much before the end of 2011….;o)”
That’s about right for the mean value over the earth’s surface. Over land it’s still going to be the oft cited 1.1K which is why, as Monkton points out, this value is both calculated by well established 19th century experimental physics and by 20th observation of land-based surface thermometers in conjuction with atmospheric CO2 partial pressure history over that time. Everything makes sense once you understand or at least accept that the global ocean does most of the greenhouse warming over the 70% of the earth’s surface that it covers and greenhouse gases only have a large effect over land surfaces because of the difference in the way land heats and cools versus how water heats and cools.

David Walton

Re: “It is a shame that the politicians took a stand on this issue, but as Churchill observed, even a fool (and presumably many fools) can be right sometimes.”
Au contraire. Thanks to politicians and the legions of ignorant, feel good eco-fools GE’s breakthrough incandescent that had nearly the efficiency of CFLs and none of the associated disposal hazards was canned and never brought into production.
Fools, of course, are rarely ever right. If and when they are it is only by sheer coincidence. I believe Mr. Churchill was aware of that.
WUWT carried the story of GE’s incandescent breakthrough but I cannot find it now using the WUWT search engine. Long term readers might recall it.
Several years back GE announced that because of the political climate surrounding incandescent bulbs it was abandoning further research and manufacture of high efficiency incandescents. This was sad news because that product might have been a reasonable, non-polluting option and gap filler while the development of inexpensive and better LED lighting solutions progressed.
Thank you politicians, ignoramuses, and fools. You win again and the rest of us lose.

R. Gates

Another most interesting and even entertaining post by Lord Monckton. But even if CO2 levels froze at todays ~390 ppm, we’ve not yet reached the equalibrium temperature for this 40% additional amount of CO2 since 1750, and wouldn’t until all feedbacks fast and slow, bio, ice, clouds, etc. have run their course. As the nature and interactions of these feedbacks are not entirely understood, anyone making a claim to know what even the current equalibrium temperature would be is of course, simply making a guess, but one thing is certian– we’ve not reached it yet, even if CO2 levels stayed where they are today– which is of course unlikely. In regards to what the climate sensitivity is to a doubling of CO2, up to 560 ppm, that would be even more of an educated guess at best. But some confidence can be taken from the fact that both paleoclimate data and GCM’s seem to be converging on a reasonably consistent range in the area of 3C, with error bars of about 1C on either side at a 95% confidence level. Thus, by 2100, it is not at all unreasonable to suppose global temps could increase at least 2C. Whether or not these globally higher temps will present a problem or a benefit in feeding what is likley to be be something in the order of 12+ billion humans in another issue entirely, but the the high level of certainty that Lord Monckton states that the sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 by 2100 is “low enough to be harmless” is both scientifically and logically unsupportable.

wayne

“Brian H asks whether Dr. Nikolov is right in his finding that, for several astronomical bodies [including Venus] all that matters in the determination of surface temperature is the mass of the atmospheric overburden. Since I am not yet content that Dr. Nikolov is right in concluding that the Earth’s characteristic-emission temperature is 100 K less than the 255 K given in the textbooks, I am disinclined to enquire further into his theory until this rather large discrepancy is resolved.”
You can be assured Dr. Nikolov is correct. I have just taken the time to numerically integrate over a sphere 33 million evenly spaced points, as Dr. Nikolov describes in his article, calculating first the irradiance at each point and then computing the effective gray body temperature for each, then averaging the temperatures. This produces precisely the same figures he gave, 154.3K mean temperature for an atmosphere-less Earth. That means the boost in temperature from this figure to the mean temperature of today on Earth is ~133°C higher, varying on what figure you call today’s global mean temperature. That I now know is true.
I give the chart below since you seemed to miss it Christopher.
That chart also verifies part of what followed in his article. Here the main there bodies temperatures are calculated simply by the ideal gas law which only uses base-units of mass, length, time, moles (number of particles) and temperature as you look at the unit components are for pressure, density, molar mass, and the gas constant.
Because of this lack of any radiative terms needed to precisely calculate each mean temperature, all infrared absorbing gases (IRAG), with absorption lines in the infrared, and formerly known as “greenhouse” gases, have precisely zero affect on the long-term temperatures. That is self evident. This information is going to Congress ASAP (being dressed up a bit☺).
Used: T = P/ ρ • M/R

                    Venus      Earth       Mars
                 --------   --------   --------
P - pressure      9220000     101325        605  N/m2 (Pa)
ρ - density            65      1.217      0.015  kg/m3
M - molar mass     0.0434    0.02897    0.04334  kg/mol
R - gas constant  8.31451    8.31451    8.31451  J/K/mol
                 --------   --------   --------
T - temperature    740.40     290.09     210.24  K

It is also curious that this gives Earth’s ‘natural’ mean temperature to be 290.1 K, where we usually here it stated as 288 or 288.15 or by K&T, 289K. Maybe 1) we have not fully recovered from the LIA yet, or 2) the mean sea level atmospheric pressure is over-stated, for we know all of density, molar mass, and the gas constant to many decimal places, they are all measurable in labs, average pressure is not.

R. Gates

Wayne,
if an atmosphere-less earth would have an average temperature of 154K, why, does the atmosphere-less moon have one of 250K? Both would receive about the same energy from the sun.

Luther Wu

R. Gates says:
December 30, 2011 at 11:33 am
…”the high level of certainty that Lord Monckton states that the sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 by 2100 is “low enough to be harmless” is both scientifically and logically unsupportable.
_________________________
There are only two possible states: either the effects of a doubling of CO2 is ‘low enough to be harmless’, or a doubling of CO2 will cause harm.
Why don’t you prove how your point of advocacy dominates Lord Monckton’s assertion?
After all, isn’t the science settled?

Warren in Minnesota

@Mike G
Here in Minnesota in the winter, I find that little electric fires heat my house and also give light. An incandescent light that offers heat in the winter works for me. Where do you live?
@Neil
“adidact” took me aback at first. A person can be didactic and could be called a didact. One who is not didactic would be an adidact.

R. Gates

Luther Wu says:
December 30, 2011 at 12:01 pm
R. Gates says:
December 30, 2011 at 11:33 am
…”the high level of certainty that Lord Monckton states that the sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 by 2100 is “low enough to be harmless” is both scientifically and logically unsupportable.”
_________________________
There are only two possible states: either the effects of a doubling of CO2 is ‘low enough to be harmless’, or a doubling of CO2 will cause harm.
Why don’t you prove how your point of advocacy dominates Lord Monckton’s assertion?
After all, isn’t the science settled?
________
The only science that has been “settled” is that to a high degree of confidence, the human fingerprint can be found on at least a portion of the warming during the past century. Far from settled is the issue of sensitivity…certainly not settled enough to justify Lord Monckton’s certainty that the sensitivity is “low enough to be harmless.” There is a range of potential effects from a doubling of CO2 that could be lead to both positives and negatives. Suggest you read Judith Curry’s blog about this, here:
http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/28/evaluative-premises/
Regardless, Lord Monckton’s certainty that the sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is “low enough to be harmless” is simply not founded on either science nor logic. Neither the best climate models nor the paleodata support his position. We’ve not yet fully seen what 390 ppm of CO2 will do, how can we know all the feedbacks fast and slow from 560 ppm?

Ralph

There seem to be many people here, who think that an atmosphere alone, whatever is gasseous mix, will be enough to create surface warmth (via a lapse rate).
In my humble opinion, I think this argument is in error.
An atmosphere that absorbs longwave radiation (with greenhouse gasses) will be warmer than one that does not (no greenhouse gasses). A warmer atmosphere will be thicker thanone at is not. At present our median pressure in the atmosphere is as 18,000 feet, but with a colder atmosphere it might be only, say, 12,000 feet. But I see no reason why the lapse rate on the shorter and denser atmosphere would be any different, as indeed it is not any different between our tropics and poles (where the tropopause is at very different levels).
Thus the non-greehouse gas (cooler and denser) atmosphere will reult in lower surface temperatures, even though the total mass of the atmosphere is the same as the greenhouse gassed (warmer and ‘taller’) atmosphere.
Any errors in this logic?

@R. Gates :
[SNIP: This sort of repartee adds nothing to the discussion. Please. -REP]

Luther Wu

R. Gates says:
December 30, 2011 at 12:22 pm
“Neither the best climate models nor the paleodata support his position.”
________________
LOL

Kohl P

Mike G objects to the ‘trashing’ of CFL tubes. “Fair enough early CFL were not that good, but now they are a huge improvement in many locations, long lasting, cool running, very economical, and even quite quick starting.”
I continue to be dismayed by the casual way that you and many others pass off CFL tubes as being long-lasting etc.
My experience has been very much the opposite. I installed 4 units in my kitchen to replace the (admittedly bad) halogen spotlights etc, Within 12 months, 3 have had to have tubes replaced, and 1 has failed altogether. The said halogen spotlights had been in place for some 15 years without more than a couple of bulbs being changed!
My conclusion is that they are wonderful in theory, but in practice they are bloody awful. So I support Monckton’s comments in relation to same.
Kohl P

Ron

“My earlier posting explained how the textbooks establish that if albedo and insolation were held constant but all greenhouse gases were removed from the air the Earth’s surface temperature would be 255 K. Since today’s temperature is 288 K, the presence as opposed to absence of all the greenhouse gases – including H2O, CO2, CH4, N2O and stratospheric O3 – causes 33 K warming.”
So, what if the calculation is actually wrong? The whole issue might be a chimera.

R. Gates said @ December 30, 2011 at 11:33 am
“…but the the high level of certainty that Lord Monckton states that the sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 by 2100 is “low enough to be harmless” is both scientifically and logically unsupportable.”
So why don’t you point out precisely where the Good Lord’s (actually Kiehl & Trenberth’s) science is incorrect and where the failure in logic occurs?

“the vaunting ambition of a grasping, talent-free, scientifically-illiterate ruling elite of world-government wannabes”
Ouch, that’s got to hurt. Well said!

Kohl P

R Gates – “Regardless, Lord Monckton’s certainty that the sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is “low enough to be harmless” is simply not founded on either science nor logic. Neither the best climate models nor the paleodata support his position. We’ve not yet fully seen what 390 ppm of CO2 will do, how can we know all the feedbacks fast and slow from 560 ppm?”
OK, you disagree with Monckton. But how about giving us the benefit of your analysis of his argument? I would love to see exactly where his argument is wrong. Stating that it “is simply not founded on either science nor logic” etc just doesn’t do it for me. On the face of it, his logic appears good. But, as I say, if you know otherwise please set it all out. I for one am happy to be educated.
Kohl P

oldseadog

Tsk Tsk, my Lord; my understanding from school is that Cnut did not try to stop the tide, he tried to demonstrate to his Court that even someone as powerfull as himself was unable to rule the tide.

Neil said @ December 30, 2011 at 11:25 am
“Thank you for your forceful feedback, Sir.
But I must ask you, what in your last paragraph but one do you mean by “adidact?””
The Good Lord made this up, but it’s not therefore meaningless. Didactic a. and n. Having the character or manner of a teacher or instructor; characterized by giving instruction; having the giving of instruction as its aim or object; instructive, preceptive. (from the OED). Hence adidact means uneducated.
The more fascinating word in this piece is gallimaufry, a dish better known to many as bubble and squeak 🙂

Dr Burns

I would love to see how Christopher Monckton of Brenchley and other climate sensitivity experts respond to this excellent paper:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/29/unified-theory-of-climate/#more-53850

Kohl P said @ December 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm
“Mike G objects to the ‘trashing’ of CFL tubes. “Fair enough early CFL were not that good, but now they are a huge improvement in many locations, long lasting, cool running, very economical, and even quite quick starting.”
I continue to be dismayed by the casual way that you and many others pass off CFL tubes as being long-lasting etc.
My experience has been very much the opposite.”
Mine too. The room wherein I type has been typical. The incandescent I installed when I finished the House of Steel in 2003 died a few months ago. That is, it lasted 8 years. The CFL that replaced it lasted six months and cost 20 times as much; it wasn’t a Chickenfeed el cheapo! Not one of the half dozen CFLs I have purchased has managed to last even a year!

HankHenry

My grandchildren? My grandchildren! For heavens sake what I wouldn’t give to be born into the world my grandchildren are being born into… and thank goodness I wasn’t born into the world of my grandparents – no telephone, no air conditioning, no indoor plumbing, but plenty of horses to feed and harness. Progress is real and solutions to any problems from global warming (if it be real) will be engineered.

R. Gates

thepompousgit says:
December 30, 2011 at 12:36 pm
R. Gates said @ December 30, 2011 at 11:33 am
“…but the the high level of certainty that Lord Monckton states that the sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 by 2100 is “low enough to be harmless” is both scientifically and logically unsupportable.”
So why don’t you point out precisely where the Good Lord’s (actually Kiehl & Trenberth’s) science is incorrect and where the failure in logic occurs?
______
Actually, Keihl & Trenberth don’t make the same error of logic that Lord Monckton does, as they are not specifiing sensitivity as the good Lord is, but simple radiative forcing from greenhouse gases. On the other hand, Lord Monckton seems to want to pin down the current equalibrium temperature from the CO2 and other greenhouse gas increases we’ve seen so far to some specific number, and seems to implicitly imply that all the feedback processes, fast and slow, have already run their course for the temperature we currently have– yet this is patently not the case. How logically, can we infer what future temperature increases will be from even higher levels of greenhouse gases, if we haven’t yet reached an equalibrium point from the current levels? The interactions from all the components in the climate system are so massively complex, with the full scale of feedbacks still uncertain, that only a computer model can even come close to figuring it out, and even then, with levels of uncertainty. For Lord Monckton to express a high level of certainty that the sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 by 2100 is “low enough to be harmless”, flies in the face of the complex science behind the climate, as well as the fact that we don’t even know what the sensitivity is to our current levels of CO2. In short, I’ll trust the unncertainty and range of estimates from the supercomputer models and paleodata before I’ll trust the implausible and illogical cerainty of Lord Monckton.

Brian

Lord Monckton,
Thank you for your calculation of climate sensitivity. I only want to add one thing you chose not to mention. Your statement that the lapse rate will not change significantly over the next few hundred years, with which I agree, carries the implication that no tropical tropospheric “hot spot” exists. That is, tropospheric temperatures will warm at the same rate as the surface. Most of the GCMs predict otherwise, of course, and the issue of WHY they predict otherwise cuts to the heart of the matter. High sensitivity is only physically possible if the effective blackbody surface of Earth (at ~5 km, as you say) is rapidly expanding. Earth’s surface would then be warmed by the greater distance of fall in the gravitational field by the molecules starting at the effective surface (i.e., exactly what the lapse rate describes). Fortunately, satellite and balloon data all agree that the hot spot is not in evidence, providing further confirmation that Earth’s climate sensitivity is nothing more than that of a blackbody, the usual 1.2K per doubling of CO2.

Richard M

I think Lord Monckton has done a good job of demonstrating that the warmists claims of alarm fail even if you take their assumptions as gospel. However, we now have the UCT and we no longer have to take their assumptions as gospel. In addition, the alarmists continue to ignore the “cooling effect” of GHGs. I thank Brain H for pointing to a paper that attacks CO2 alarmism from first principles.
http://jinancaoblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/physical-analysis-shows-co2-is-coolant.html?showComment=1325277941758#c4933496089610088013
With this new evidence that CO2 can only cool our atmosphere and the UTC which provides another methodology for explaining the existing temperature, at long last it appears we no long need to accept anything from the alarmists.

Dave

Lord Monckton.
As a keen observer with a thirst for the truth. I finally get it! I am a layman to the science, But I do want to thank you and WUWT for shining a light on a very dark period of science. I find that WUWT and most skeptical Sites and Blogs are filled with fact laden science, information and discussion. As apposed to the warmist elitism their panicked breathless never ending alarmism. The nasty put downs and their junk manipulated science, they editing out of anything unfavorable to the CAGW /Climate disruption cause put out by the warmists sites and blogs and their glassy eyed watermelon Troll army’s. No wonder they are losing the belief and interest of the people.
I wish to thank Anthony, Lord Monckton, and the fantastic contributors and commentators who keep me coming back to the greatest open university in the world.
A Happy New Year to All.
David.

J Martin

R Gates.
You said, “But some confidence can be taken from the fact that both paleoclimate data and GCM’s seem to be converging on a reasonably consistent range in the area of 3C, with error bars of about 1C on either side at a 95% confidence level.”
Really ? And yet current temperatures have not reached any of Hansen’s 3 scenarios and is currently below his estimate for a zero percentage increase in co2, whereas the increase in co2 has climbed relentlessly. It would be difficult to be more wrong. I can’t find the graph right now, but I think current temperatures are below even the lowest error bar and heading downwards.
/ Sarc But don’t worry, all the satellite measurements will be so obviously wrong that Hansen can simply correct them to suit his models. After all how can an upstart multimillion dollar satellite possibly measure the planet’s temperature more accurately than Hansen can model it ? School textbooks will praise the Hansen coefficient, one of it’s primary virtues being the way it increases over time to correct those pesky satellites. Sarc/
What I want to know from you is what temperature drop would convince you that co2 caused global warming is a load of nonsense, and it’s the sun that is the major player. In say ten years. What would it take ? A Dalton size drop or perhaps a Maunder size drop ? Less perhaps. Do you have a view on where temperatures will be in ten years ? Go on, commit yourself, make a prediction.

Richard G

Kudos Christopher Monckton for proving simultaneously that climate sensitivity is zero, that this produces positive feedback (in the comments), and creates instability (in the fear mongers) which is leading rapidly to a tipping point in the climate debate. You are without peer. Keep up the great work.
Happy New Year WUWTers.

R. Gates

Richard M says:
“With this new evidence that CO2 can only cool our atmosphere and the UTC which provides another methodology for explaining the existing temperature, at long last it appears we no long need to accept anything from the alarmists.”
______
And a new age of “science” has been born! Of course, such beliefs as “CO2 can only cool our atmosphere” will not qualify as science, but certainly, in the minds of those believing such nonsense, a new “age” will have begun.

RockyRoad

R. Gates says:
December 30, 2011 at 11:33 am

… but the the high level of certainty that Lord Monckton states that the sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 by 2100 is “low enough to be harmless” is both scientifically and logically unsupportable.

I’m afraid I’ll be perhaps the 10th person to ask for scientific substantiation of your above claims, R., and I’m also afraid I’ll be just as disappointed as the other 10.
But let me add what I’m beginning to understand, which is that sensitivity is so low that it is indeed “low enough to be harmless”. We haven’t seen appreciable warming for a dozen years now even against increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, and somehow that’s supposed to keep hidden heat at bay and release it at some future date? Stay tuned for another 5 until we reach the magic “17 year” mark to determine if we’re really seeing something climatically significant or not.
So the bottom line is that your arguments are just a bunch of conjecture, R. They sound plausible, but so are a lot of things that don’t happen because the laws of nature prevent them from happening. It seems just as logical to blame warming on the lagging 800-year bounce of CO2 found after major changes in the earth’s temperature–it is tempting to apply “Back to the Future” concepts but we all know that’s not even true in Hollywood.
And “low enough to be harmless” completely destroys your political (and probably professional) objectives, doesn’t it, R, so obviously you’d push back. It just isn’t working.

AndyG55

@RGates “GCM’s seem to be converging on a reasonably consistent range in the area of 3C, ”
DOH !! That’s because they make assumptions that bias them in that direction.
The GCM’s are UNvaliidated models, and even people like Mr Jones from the CRU have admitted that they are ALL “not correct”. (ie they do not pass ANY validation procedures, such as reality)
Now I know that in so-called “Climate Science”, they take all these “not correct” models and somehow use them for averages and somehow create error bars, but , I’m sorry, many wrongs DO NOT make a right !!!

Lord Monkton – Truly appreciate your providing prompt and detailed feedback here. It is a testament to your intellect and drive to engage ‘the masses’.
But I implore you to not assume the absorbing sphere and emitting sphere are identical in radius.
If my assumptions are right, the primary energy absorption layer is the oceans surface – not the atmosphere! Given the incidence angle issue, the solar flux per square meter would be much smaller than the total surface divided by 4. If you averaged the total inbound flux of one hemisphere across the total surface area of the globe it would be similar to comparing a sphere with half the surface area – would it not? With your quarter sized equation it is a sphere one fourth in surface area. This is a dramatic difference when you compare inbound verses outbound fluxes.
I agree the emission layer is very high up in the atmosphere, and covers an area 4pi-squared-r. It is also uniform in emission capacity.
So, if you compute the emissivity rate per metre-squared at a high altitude and the absorption rate which is modeled by a sphere with much less than a 4th of the surface area of the emission layer – you realize altitude does matter.
Also, do not forget the fact the Earth’s core is also warming things up, and the flux from the core to the oceans is not steady either.