Dispelling myths about global warming

CO2 did not drive the rapid warming of the 20th century.

Story submitted by Stan Robertson

The difference between a good idea and a bad idea is often a quantitative matter. For example, many people would think it a good idea to replace internal combustion engines with electric motors. But if the intent is to reduce the burning of fossil fuels then switching to electric motors would not help unless the electricity was generated without burning fossil fuels. Some people think that it has been a good idea to use corn to produce ethanol for a fuel, however, I am not one of them because the energy return on investment is either negative, or minuscule at best.  From the standpoint of greenhouse gas emissions, it is a horrendous loser. It may be a biofuel and cleaner burning, might help ameliorate ozone problems and etc, but considering that nearly a gallon of oil is consumed in addition to the gallon of ethanol produced and burned, it is a quantitative loser. (Not that I care at all about the CO2.)

One of the ideas that seems to be widely believed is that human produced greenhouse gases, chiefly CO2, has dominated the warming of the earth in the last century. It is a simple quantitative matter to show that this is completely false.

According to the calculations of the UN IPCC, a doubling of the atmospheric concentration of CO2  (with an accompanying rise of other greenhouse gases) would reduce the outgoing infrared radiation from the earth by a net 2.7 watt/m^2 at the top of the atmosphere. This is known as the “climate forcing” that will occur along with a doubling of the CO2. This is a relatively straightforward, but messy calculation. I have repeated the IPCC calculation for CO2 and obtained a larger number, but after including the IPCC adjustments for other greenhouse gases and the effects of sulfate aerosols accompanying coal burning, we agree. It is important to note that the surface temperature increase that will accompany the CO2 is proportional to the logarithm of the CO2 concentration. Thus while CO2 concentration is increasing exponentially with time, the temperature only increases linearly.

In order to maintain equilibrium with the incoming UV/VIS radiation received by the earth, the surface temperature would need to increase enough to allow it to radiate an additional 2.7 watt/m^2 at the top of the atmosphere after any CO2 doubling. At a nominal surface temperature of 15 C  (288 K), the earth surface radiates about 390 watt/m^2 on average, but the radiation that exits the top of the atmosphere is only 240 watt/m^2. Thus the earth would need to produce an additional (390/240)x2.7 watt/m^2 = 4.4 watt/m^2 at the surface in order to offset the direct effect of doubling the atmospheric CO2. At 288 K, the earth radiates an additional 5.4 watt/m^2 per 1C  of temperature rise. Thus the direct effect temperature increase of a CO2 doubling would be 4.4/5.4=0.8 C.

At the present 0.5% per year rate of increase of CO2 it will take about 140 years to double its concentration. But as we all know, a 0.8 C temperature increase in 140 years is not the result that the UN IPCC is alarmed about. The IPCC climate models include large positive feedback effects that raise their expected temperature increase into the range 2 – 4.5 C, with their most probable value at about 3 C.

There are four main arguments against this: (1) We have already had half of a 2.7 watt/m^2 climate forcing since pre-industrial times. That has been accompanied by only 0.8 C temperature increase.  As shown below, there are reasons for believing this to be due primarily to natural causes. (2) There is no evidence that confirms the existence of any large feedback effects since the end of the last deglaciation. (3) The rate of temperature increase within the past century has been within the bounds of normal climate variability and (4) as shown below, the heating effect of CO2 has been quantitatively inadequate to explain the actual warming that has occurred in the last century.

There have been two periods of rapid warming that account for most of the warming that occurred in the last century, as shown below.

Let’s examine the first of these rapid warming periods first. By 1944, the atmospheric CO2 concentration had increased from the pre-industrial level of about 280 ppm up to 310 ppm. At that time the concentration was increasing at a rate that would require about 600 years to double. The fraction of a doubling climate forcing that would have occurred by 1944 would have been log(310/280)/log(2)=0.15 and this would have contributed at a rate of 0.15×2.7 watt/m^2 per 60 decades, or 0.0068 watt/m^2 per decade. It’s direct warming effect at the surface would thus be only (390/240)x(0.0068 watt/m^2 per decade)= 0.01 watt/m^2 per decade. This would have raised the temperature by (0.01 watt/m^2 per decade) /( 5.4 watt/m^2 /C) = 0.002 C per decade. This is such a pitifully small fraction of the 0.174 C per decade rate of heating that occurred 1917-1944 that it is pretty clear that CO2 had nothing to do with the warming of the first half of the last century.  Even the IPCC climate modelers concede this point.

But there is still more to be learned from that period. Apparently some natural phenomenon allowed the earth to absorb energy at a significant rate and produce the temperature increase of the first half of the century. Let’s see how much that might have been. To begin, the earth would have had to take in enough heat to at least produce the additional surface radiation that would accompany a temperature rise of 0.174 C per decade 1917-1944. This would be (5.4 watt/m^2/C)x(0.174C/decade) = 0.94 watt/m^2 per decade. This is already 94X the CO2  heating rate.

But, in addition, as shown by both the ARGO buoy system and heat transfer calculations, at least 700 meters of upper ocean can respond to heating on a time scale of a decade. The additional amount of heat required to raise its temperature by 0.174 C per decade would be c*d*0.174C, where c= 4.3×106 joule/m^3/C is the heat capacity of sea water and  d= 700 m, or 5.2×10^8 joule/m^2. Dividing by the number of seconds in 10 years, this would be an average of 1.7 watt/m^2 per decade. But since it would start at zero, it would have to end at 3.4 watt/m^2 per decade in order to attain this average. This should be added to the 0.94 watt/m^2 per decade surface radiation losses by the end of the warming period. So the total heating rate would have to ramp up by 4.3 watt/m^2 per decade to provide the warming that actually occurred in either of the rapid warming periods.  This is 430 times the direct CO2 surface heating for 1917-1944.

Since essentially the same rate of temperature increase occurred 1976-2000, we can compare 4.3 watt/m^2 with the heating that might have been caused by CO2  in the last part of the last century. From 1944 to 2000, the CO2 concentration increased from 310 ppm to 370 ppm, with a doubling time of about 140 years. The corresponding climate forcing that would have caused, at the surface, would be (390/240)x(log(370/310)/log(2))x(2.7 watt/m^2)/14 decades = 0.08 watt/m^2 per decade.

Due to the higher rate of growth of CO2 concentration in the second half of the 20th century, this is 8X as large as the direct surface heating effect caused by CO2 in the first half. Nevertheless, it is still some 54 times smaller than the rate of heating that actually occurred.

These straightforward calculations make it painfully obvious that CO2 forcing is not what drove the two periods of rapid heating during the last century. Until there is some understanding of the natural causes of these rapid warming periods and their inclusion in the climate models, there is no reason to believe the models.  This is simple first year physics.

===========================================================

Stan Robertson, Ph.D, P.E, retired in 2004 after teaching physics at Southwestern Oklahoma State University for 14 years. In addition to teaching at three other universities over the years, he has maintained a consulting engineering practice for 30 years.

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
grumpyoldmanuk

A quick google search reveals Stan Robertson the Architecture professor and graphics designer and Stan Robertson the Scots folk-singer. niether is likely to be this Stan Robertson. Can we have a thumb-nail bio?

sailboarder

“In order to maintain equilibrium with the incoming UV/VIS radiation received by the earth, the surface temperature would need to increase enough to allow it to radiate an additional 2.7 watt/m^2 at the top of the atmosphere after any CO2 doubling.
I stopped reading right here. WTF?
After 5 years of reading here I guess I still don’t get it. All that I see is that the earth needs to change its vertical and horizontal heat distribution system a bit. That would mean a tiny bit wider belt of thunderhead clouds, with a slight increase in frequency, a slight increase in ocean surface heat towards the poles, with a tiny increase in temperature at the poles.
I still think we are looney if we think our measurement systems are accurate enough to track those tiny changes. For example, the net net overall average temperature change might only be 0.3 C or so. How do you measure that when 40 C swings are common annually, and in some cases, daily?
I’m sorry, but I just walked out of this ‘professors’ classroom muttering “another idiot”.

Soot melts the snow even when the temps are below freezing. Sun hits the soot, the soot retains the heat and the snow beneath it melts. It’s the soot, not the CO2 that we need to clean-up.
Plants need CO2 and we need plants.

Peter Miller

This, of course, once again confirms the existence climate cycles – the great heresy of the Global Warming Cult.
The cult’s great ‘truth’ is positive feedbacks, despite the fact there is little or no evidence of them and none at all in the geological record.
Something interesting may be happening with global temperatures right now, as according to UAH, they are falling in an almost unprecedented fashion.
http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

Jimbo

It may be a biofuel and cleaner burning, might help ameliorate ozone problems and etc,…

Ameliorate ozone problems? Now that could be a problem.

Now, a new study in Nature Climate Change warns that biofuels using fast-growing trees (polar, willow, and eucalytpus) could also exacerbate ground-level ozone pollution.
http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0109-hance-biofuel-ozone.html

Abstract
Impacts of biofuel cultivation on mortality and crop yields
Ground-level ozone is a priority air pollutant, causing ~ 22,000 excess deaths per year in Europe1, significant reductions in crop yields2 and loss of biodiversity3. It is produced in the troposphere through photochemical reactions involving oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The biosphere is the main source of VOCs, with an estimated 1,150 TgC yr−1 (~ 90% of total VOC emissions) released from vegetation globally4. Isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) is the most significant biogenic VOC in terms of mass (around 500 TgC yr−1) and chemical reactivity4 and plays an important role in the mediation of ground-level ozone concentrations5. Concerns about climate change and energy security are driving an aggressive expansion of bioenergy crop production and many of these plant species emit more isoprene than the traditional crops they are replacing…………….
http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1788.html

lurker passing through, laughing

In the pre-AGW era thinking, it was believed the temperature history showed century scale movements much larger than we have experienced in the last ~ two centuries. It would be interesting to find out how that record and general agreement were discarded. My bet is that they were simply erased, a la hockey stick. But it would be worth documenting never the less.

StephenP

I see that we are all doomed, according to the outgoing chief government scientific advisor, Sir John Beddington:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/9951872/World-faces-decades-of-climate-chaos-outgoing-chief-scientific-adviser-warns.html
However all is not lost if his replacement Sir Mark Walport comes up with what he says:
“He is also a champion of open access to scientific research, the idea that the fruits of public or charity-funded research should be available to everyone, free of charge. He recently implemented a policy at the Wellcome Trust to penalise researchers who do not make their work available free of charge.”
Walport said he was “delighted and honoured” to have been appointed. “Science, engineering and technology have transformed the infrastructure of the modern world, and have a vital role to play at the heart of policy making,” he said.
“They are critical both to economic recovery and growth, and to addressing many of the greatest challenges of our time, such as environmental change and the ageing population. I look forward to working with colleagues both inside and outside government to ensure that the best possible advice can be provided from the most expert sources, based on the strongest evidence, to facilitate the wisest possible policy decisions.”

But there is still more to be learned from that period. Apparently some natural phenomenon allowed the earth to absorb energy at a significant rate and produce the temperature increase of the first half of the century.
Yes, natural phenomenon , balance of the warm and cold water flowing in an out of the Arctic Ocean, moving polar jet stream back and forth.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NAP-SST.htm
Why would balance change ? Geology .
Geology? Sun, actually.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-NAP.htm
but nobody knows how and why, so CO2 as a handy scapegoat.

Jimbo

At the present 0.5% per year rate of increase of CO2 it will take about 140 years to double its concentration. But as we all know, a 0.8 C temperature increase in 140 years is not the result that the UN IPCC is alarmed about. The IPCC climate models include large positive feedback effects that raise their expected temperature increase into the range 2 – 4.5 C, with their most probable value at about 3 C.

I’m still not alarmed.

Abstract
Temperatures in tropical regions are estimated to have increased by 3° to 5°C, compared with Late Paleocene values, during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 56.3 million years ago) event. We investigated the tropical forest response to this rapid warming by evaluating the palynological record of three stratigraphic sections in eastern Colombia and western Venezuela. We observed a rapid and distinct increase in plant diversity and origination rates, with a set of new taxa, mostly angiosperms, added to the existing stock of low-diversity Paleocene flora. There is no evidence for enhanced aridity in the northern Neotropics. The tropical rainforest was able to persist under elevated temperatures and high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, in contrast to speculations that tropical ecosystems were severely compromised by heat stress.
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6006/957

Alan D McIntire

Another point- that 390 watts is assuming that the earth acts as a blackbody. If it did, radiation out would quickly adjust to equal radiation absorbed- if that were the case, nighttime temperatures would quickly drop to the 2.7 K we get from “big bang” background radiation, and daytime temps would rise to 350 K, killing us all. If climate modelers knew anything, they would quickly throw in Newton’s law of cooling,
http://www.ugrad.math.ubc.ca/coursedoc/math100/notes/diffeqs/cool.html
and adjust the coefficient k to match current rates of cooling at night and warming during the day. Playing around with a simplified model, I discovered that starting with everything in balance, and a sine wave increase in temps during the day and decrease at night, then increasing the incoming radiation by a set amount- you gradually get a new balance of course- under the new balance, nighttime temps increase more than daytime temps- it’s obvious this must be the case, else we’d reach that 2.7K ” big bang” nighttime temperature.

JA

The planet in the past has experienced far more extreme temperature paradigms (both much warmer and much colder) over far, far, longer periods of time than we are witnessing today.
Also, the earth has experienced CO2 levels in the past far higher And far lower than we have today and NO ONE seems to know what caused that. (Did dinosaurs drive SUVs and heat their dens with power generated by coal fired plants?)
In each instance the planet did not burn up and turn into Venus, nor did it turn into a giant iceball.
And NO ONE can explain what caused these historical climatic periods, NO ONE knows what caused them to reverse course – as they ALL did .
So, pray tell, why is any HONEST person concerned in the slightest about today’s climate?
If science still has much to learn about the multitude of variables, and their interaction, that affect climate (as evidenced by their ignorance in explaining the historical climate) , how can they presume to predict the future climate?
After all, if you cannot explain the historical climate, one cannot honestly claim they have the knowledge to predict the future climate.
By the way, is not water vapor the MOST IMPORTANT greenhouse gas, given that it constitutes well over 90% of all the greenhouse gases?

Greg Holmes

A woderfully concise explanation, the thing about physics is that it has no political colour, it just is.

Martin Audley

Although I understand you are talking hypothetically, about the maths, the phrase:
“Thus while CO2 concentration is increasing exponentially with time, the temperature only increases linearly.”
would be better written:
“Thus if CO2 concentration were to increase exponentially with time, the temperature would only increase linearly.”,
or better still, to match closer to the real world:
“Thus if CO2 concentration were to increase linearly with time, the temperature would only increase by the log of that increase.”,

It remains true to this day: there is no evidence that increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, particularly in the presence of convection, increases the Earth’s surface temperature. I like the way the young Russian Physics PhD candidate put it to me on the plane to Penang. “There is no mechanism,” she said. The idea that added agents of cooling will throttle or restrict or trap or block outgoing radiation is akin to an intelligence test.

Solomon Green

This morning on the BBC Today programme Sir John Beddington, who has just retired as the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, said that current climate reflected the global CO2 levels of 25 years ago and that today’s increased CO2 levels would be reflected in global temperatures 25 years from now.
This implies that global warming lags rising CO2 levels by 25 years. I do not remember seeing this before in any climate change models. Have I missed something or is this a new hypothesis that has been specifically designed to explain the apparent failure of global temperatures to increase over the last 14 to 16 years?

johnmarshall

You take no account of the PROPORTION of atmospheric CO2 is down to us which is 3-4%, the rest is from natural producers from Volcanoes to insects through plants at night etc., etc., etc..
There are no peer reviewed papers proving CO2 drives climate/temperature but plenty concluding no connection between CO2 and temperature. None of the GHE theory predictions have been found or happened so your insistance that CO2 drives climate/temperature, though you claim small, is built on sandy wind blown ground. The constant proof of the connection between CO2 and climate from the alarmists are model outputs all of which rely of factoring in CO2 as the driver. This is NOT proof but a circular argument and fails.
We live on a dynamic planet with a chaotic climate system driven by insolation NOT some trace gas vital for life.

Er . . . “Thus while CO2 concentration is increasing exponentially with time, the temperature only increases linearly.” ?????
CO2 is NOT increasing exponentially with time. Starting out totally wrong.

Mike M

And not only the issue comparing rates of warming in the modern record, the instances of COOLING in the presence of higher CO2 concentration for the modern and ancient record obliterates the alarmist position. The debate over the CO2 lag in the Vostok ice record always seems to focus on the periods of temperature rise, (with the alarmist guess saying that CO2 somehow ‘took over’ the forcing later..) – but never about the decline in temperature after CO2 had already risen.
If increased CO2 concentration actually provided any amount of forcing to ‘help’ temperature go up then, once that concentration was higher – why didn’t it seem to have any affect on preventing temperature from coming back down?
From a systems viewpoint, you could postulate the exact opposite that the ice record is showing us that increasing of CO2 dampens whatever was causing temperature to go up. In other words, CO2 is a lagging negative feedback and any delayed negative feedback is always going to produce an oscillation. Warming produces more CO2, the CO2 builds up to some level putting the brakes on temperature which then starts going down and CO2 lingers driving temperature even further down that whatever forced it up in the first place. Works for me…

John Peter

I wonder where Bob Tisdale is to explain the two separate increases in temperature 1917 to1944 and 1976 to 2000.

Richard M

I like the way the young Russian Physics PhD candidate put it to me on the plane to Penang. “There is no mechanism,” she said. The idea that added agents of cooling will throttle or restrict or trap or block outgoing radiation is akin to an intelligence test.
This is the point I have been making for several years. CO2, and all GHGs, also have a cooling effect on heat in the atmosphere. While they do warm the surface slightly they also cool the atmosphere. These two complimentary effects balance out which is exactly what we’ve seen over a billion years of history.

Richard111

Solomon Green says: March 25, 2013 at 5:44 am
I heard the same and thought another one crying the sky is falling, not now, but soon. Sheesh.
I am also not happy with Stan Robertson’s story. Could we please have an explanation in simple first year physics on the ‘forcing’ of CO2 compared with the performance of H2O.

Rob Potter

This essay treats the global temperature as a function of radiative physics and – as far as I can tell – does a decent job of looking at the basic mechanism of the radiative energy balance, but this is not what drives global atmospheric temperatures and therefore I am not sure that this is the right premise on which to refute the IPCC claims.
Most of our near-earth atmosphere (where the measurements used to estimate the “global temperature” are made) has an energy balance dominated by evaporation and precipitation since the majority of the earth’s surface is covered either permanently or intermittently by water. I am not even sure the radiative physics equations can be applied above the surface layer either because of the impact of cloud formation on energy transfers as well as vertical air movements.
It is quite clear that the observed warming cannot – in any way – be considered to be unusual in the past 60 years, and thus cannot be ’caused’ by anthropogenic increases in atmospheric CO2. However, I don’t think we can use these radiative physics equations to refute the IPCC claims. To be honest, if it were that easy, I suspect we wouldn’t have had to go on for so long with this disaster of a theory!
Thanks for the essay, Stan, the numbers are really useful and i will keep them for future reference but I am sad to say that I doubt it will sway too many people.

H.R.

grumpyoldmanuk says:
March 25, 2013 at 4:44 am
“A quick google search reveals Stan Robertson the Architecture professor and graphics designer and Stan Robertson the Scots folk-singer. […]”
========================================================
Could be either. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that CO2 doesn’t have what it takes to drive climate; that the assumed positive feedbacks used in the models were an incorrect assumption; that catastrophic anthropogenic CO2-based global warming isn’t happening.
Heck! I’m still waiting for Greenland to warm up past the good ol’ days of the Vikings so I can perhaps do a little homesteading over there. Greenland is almost there, but it’s still a little colder than Greenland’s farming heyday back when.
I’m thinking a Scots folk-singer might be a little overqualified to pick apart CAGW, but I have to agree with you here. A short bio tacked on the end, as in most other guest posts, is always nice.
Best regards from a slightly-grumpy-from-shoveling-snow-at-5:00am H.R.

rgbatduke

After 5 years of reading here I guess I still don’t get it. All that I see is that the earth needs to change its vertical and horizontal heat distribution system a bit. That would mean a tiny bit wider belt of thunderhead clouds, with a slight increase in frequency, a slight increase in ocean surface heat towards the poles, with a tiny increase in temperature at the poles.
All it needs to do? Do you think that the Earth is some sort of sentient being with intentions? What matters is what it actually does.
I can see lots of ways that the Earth could actually cool with increasing CO_2. I can imagine it remaining neutral. I can think up ways where it warms a little bit, or warms a lot. None of this ultimately matters — what matters is what it does, and once we understand it, why. At the moment we do not understand it — we understand pieces of it. The “changes in horizontal and vertical heat distribution” you so glibly refer to is one of the bases of the GHE — it is computable (subject to some assumptions, but they are assumptions like “assuming that the laws of quantum physics are valid”, and “assuming that the atmosphere doesn’t nonlinearly react to the change”). It is the all things being equal baseline assumption that small changes in CO_2 concentration don’t cause the entire system to suddenly reconfigure and that radiation physics per se holds.
Of course, even here there are assumptions that are not written down. The most important ones (as the article notes) are feedback with water vapor (nothing else really matters as far as feedback is concerned, as even if there is methane feedback, it breaks down quickly to CO_2 in the upper atmosphere and is biologically broken down to CO_2 in the ocean too fast to be a player itself), modulation due to OTHER atmospheric components, e.g. soot, dust, aerosols (many of which are net cooling), and although the article does NOT discuss it in any detail, modulation of albedo both from ice/snow and from clouds tops. There are also slower acting players in the game whose quantitative effects we cannot even guess at — orbital modulation, oceanic turnover, the effects of phase changes in the major global atmospheric oscillations.
Could these all combine to produce net cooling on top of weak CO_2 driven warming? Sure. Could they all combine to produce net warming on top of weak CO_2 driven warming? Absolutely. Could these all combine to produce net warming or net cooling on top of no change in CO_2? Obviously (glancing at the presumed global thermal record and pretending that the error bars are small enough that it has some reasonable probability of being valid) it has, repeatedly, in the past produced net warming and net cooling both on top of no significant change in CO_2 levels.
And ultimately, if you read past the beginning, this is all the article talks about. One could summarize the article as:
“Natural variability in the twentieth century produced a warming rate in the first half that almost precisely matched the warming rate in the second half, with a flat-to-cooling hiatus in between. In the first half of the century, CO_2 was completely irrelevant to the warming. In the second half, its direct warming effect was a larger but still very small fraction of the observed warming. In both cases, since we cannot actually compute the contribution of natural factors to the warming or explain the warming observed in the first half (or the cooling of the LIA, or the warming of the MWP, or the cooling before that, or the warming of the RWP, or the cooling from the mid-40’s through the mid-70’s in the twentieth century, or…) we cannot conclude that high-sensitivity CO_2 warming was responsible for the temperature rise in the second of the two rises in the twentieth century.”
At that, he pulled some of his punches. He did not point out, for example, that temperatures reached a 1950’s-like plateau as of the 1997-1998 super-ENSO event and have been more or less flat for some fifteen to sixteen years even as CO_2 levels have increased significantly. He didn’t point out that they were nearly flat — except for a few bobbles associated with e.g. Mount Pinatubo — for the decade preceding that, and that far from smoothly increasing in consonance with CO_2 concentrations, the apparent explanation is that the ENSO event is responsible for more or less 100% of the observed warming from this era in a punctuated equilibrium model.
In the end his conclusion is identical to yours — that CO_2 increases are not a good explanation for the observed temperature rise — so far. Of course this year temperatures could spike up 0.3 C and resume a “torrid” pace, or they could continue their doldrums, or they could even drop. A sudden rise would constitute evidence supporting the CAGW point of view. A sudden drop would constitute negative evidence. Continuing flat temperatures constitute weak negative evidence (accumulating to eventually become strong evidence).
So if we’re going to anthropomorphize the Earth and imagine that it is going to do what it “needs” to do according to your belief system (or theirs!), let’s all agree to try to let the Earth speak for itself instead of claiming to speak for it. Science works better that way.
rgb

RichieP

StephenP says:
March 25, 2013 at 5:13 am
‘However all is not lost if his replacement Sir Mark Walport comes up with what he says:
“He is also a champion of open access to scientific research, the idea that the fruits of public or charity-funded research should be available to everyone, free of charge. He recently implemented a policy at the Wellcome Trust to penalise researchers who do not make their work available free of charge.” ‘
————————————————————-
I shouldn’t get too excited about Walport if I were you. He is a convinced warmist.
‘Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, responded to the series, saying: “Al Gore described climate change as ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, but the findings of this study offer a very convenient truth. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not only essential to help tackle climate change, it is also an important way to improve public health.
“We urge world leaders, when they meet in Copenhagen next month, to take account of the health impacts of different mitigation strategies, and to work towards a solution that improves both the health of our planet and its people.” ‘
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/News/2009/News/WTX057672.htm
and (the source of the above link):
‘This is also the man who, in July 2011 was adding to his voice to the complaints that the BBC was giving “too much weight to fringe views on issues such as climate change”.
So, as we shiver through the unseasonable weather, hardly daring to venture out into the biting easterly wind, these fools prattle and prance with the quasi-religious mantras.
You will get nothing sensible from Walport. He is pure establishment. But then that is the joy of being a warmist – you can keep repeating the same old, same old, never having to admit you are wrong. And the idiots in government will always give you a nice cushy job.’
http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83748

Philip Mulholland

Careful Mike M, You’re in danger of starting the next Global Cooling scare.
You’ve just generated the perfect mechanism to explain the sudden onset of the next glaciation. /Sarc

MartinGAtkins

Joe G says:
March 25, 2013 at 4:53 am
Soot melts the snow even when the temps are below freezing. Sun hits the soot, the soot retains the heat and the snow beneath it melts. It’s the soot, not the CO2 that we need to clean-up.

It depends on the angle of the sun relative to the sooty surface. At the poles the angle of the suns rays are very acute so although it would play a part in the melting it’s the long wave back radiation that does the persistent melting. Even on a cloudy day sooty snow will melt and patches of soot will drill their way down bellow the surface of the clean snow. Back radiation is a product of the atmosphere and so it is always directly overhead of the surface.

CO2 is NOT increasing exponentially with time. Starting out totally wrong.
Ah, so which is it? Is it a vast international conspiracy to fake the direct observational evidence of a roughly exponential increase, or is it that the instrumentation — all of it at multiple observatories — is faulty? Would you have any actual source of evidence supporting this statement (since there are multiple sources of evidence to the contrary)?
Sheesh. And people wonder why “warmists” make fun of “deniers”.
I’ve got a good idea. Let’s agree not to issue a blanket statement that some measured result is false on WUWT without at the same time presenting precisely the same evidence that would be required to publish a paper refuting it. I’m not talking about criticizing speculative, complex theories, I’m talking about direct measurements.
For example, a good (if too short) list of things that should be out of bounds without evidence include direct instrumental measurements such as:
a) Satellite measurements of temperature. Criticizing this is fine — if you have evidence sufficient to write a paper that could in principle convince e.g. Roy Spencer that UAH has an error. Otherwise, this is a nearly direct instrumental observation and while it is not beyond any doubt it is beyond any reasonable doubt unless and until a specific problem is discovered.
Things that do not count as specific problems include “but it isn’t returning the result that I want it to return”, by the way.
b) Atmospheric CO_2 concentration. Again, this is a direct instrumental observation (actually the average of a whole series of many direct instrumental observations from many observatories). You can argue about the published numbers, sure, or can claim that there is surplus CO_2 on the top of volcanic mountains in Hawaii, but in the end, you need to both experimentally confirm this on site and present alternative measurements that suggest that it is, in fact, introducing a systematic error. Which is a fine subject for a published, peer reviewed paper.
c) Top of the atmosphere or bottom of the atmosphere spectra. This is again right in there with satellite measurements of temperature. The instrumentation is relatively straightforward, and it returns the results it returns. You may not LIKE the results they return, but if you don’t like the raw measurements, the onus is on you to demonstrate a systematic problem with the instrumentation, which is (IMHO) very, very unlikely to happen. But if you do, many journals would be happy to publish it so that your assertions can be openly debated.
d) SLR. This actually goes for the “warmist” side much more than the skeptical side. I’m sick and tired of hearing assertions of multimeter SLR by thus and such a time given actual instrumental records stretching back 140 years with a total SLR over that entire interval of nine whole inches, with a current rate of roughly 3 whole millimeters a year (just over an inch a decade), and with similar rates clearly observable in the historical record in almost precise correspondence with the temperature records illustrated in the top article above.
Note well that I’m perfectly happy to see things like “ice melt rates” derived from complicated gravitational and surface measurements criticized, and in fact these “instrumental” results HAVE HAD recent papers published criticizing them the “right” way. Instrumentally derived results can indeed be faulty, but they aren’t faulty because somebody says so, they are judged faulty because further evidence is accumulated that more or less confirms an error in what was done before.
Or did you mean that the rate isn’t exactly exponential? Like this matters?
rgb

Today I woke up to the BBC saying: “climate sceptics do not think CO2 causes warming” (or similar words).
I know we don’t think that, and worse, I’ve told everyone in the BBC who I could think to tell from the Chairman to the legal department.
And now … what do I find when I turn to WUWT … a clear demonstration that sceptics support the science of CO2 warming. We just reject the non-science of Hansen, Mann and the BBC.

William McClenney

According to the chart, the two peaks are ~60 years apart. AMDO/PDO cycle comes to mind. I think what we have witnessed is the belated non-recognition of this cycle, first described in 1996, just a few short years after the celebrated discovery of AGW, placement of the UNFCCC, and it’s brainchild, the IPCC. The IPCC is famous, and in fact chartered, to paper-over anything which does not comply with AGW, such as the discovery of AMDO/PDO a few years after it was chartered.
As I read Stan’s contribution, which was well done in math, that 60 year cyclicity stood out like a sore thumb. Grudgingly, looking at the lack of heating over the past ~15 or more years, some cheerleaders have actually now conceded that AGW heating is being masked by a natural cooling trend which might continue for a decade or two before resuming AGW heating.
Which might be partially correct, assuming that the sun really does have a miniscule effect on gaia climate. But we really don’t know what role the sun plays in the AMDO/PDO cyclicity yet, do we? And if the sun has gone all quiet on us now, and predictions are that it will go even quieter, something which we noticed centuries ago matching up with the LIA, then what tipping point might yet be in our 21st century at a half-precession old interglacial happening at a 400kyr eccentricity minimum?
Well the last one (MIS-11) went long, running somewhere between 22-32kyrs. If CO2 was involved in that extension (a) there is not much evidence to support it in the paleo record, and (b) if it was then there had to have been some natural occurrence, we may not have been on-stage just yet. So, it could happen. But MIS-19, ~800kyrs ago, didn’t go long. That would make it a coin toss unless CO2 is the heathen devil gas it is made out to be.
Which is what makes this so fascinating. If you do not want to in any way impede mother nature’s side of the coin from landing up, instead of down, you will want to remove any chance of impeding the onset of the next ~90kyr long glacial. You will then set about removing said climate security blanket. Which, from a human speciation perspective, might not be such a bad idea. However, if you leave the so-called climate security blanket in place, even grow it, then you increase the chances of the AGW side of the coin landing up, reducing the opportunity for a return to glaciation and concomitantly for genus Homo speciation. Honestly, as I look around me these days, I am not at all sure that would actually be a good thing.
Decisions……..Decisions…………

robbcab

What I find just as, if not more, interesting about the chart you used is the “pause” in warming between ~1944 -~1976.
Didn’t I read somewhere recently that a “standstill” of 30 years while CO2 emissions continue to rise invalidates the models?
Things that make you go Hmmmm…

What I find just as, if not more interesting in the chart of warming rates is the “pause” in warming from ~1944-~1976. Didn’t I read recently that a “standstill” of 30 years while CO2 emissions continue to rise invalidate the models?
Things that make you go Hmmmm…

Steve Keohane

Mike M says:March 25, 2013 at 6:10 am
Good point Mike. I have always had a problem with temperatures crashing at the highest levels of CO2 in the ice core proxies, and then pretending that CO2 is driving the temperature, doesn’t work for me.
I could see a scenerio where a little CO2 enhances temperature, but at some point replacing WV with CO2, the latter a less efficient GH gas, causes cooling.

Jeff Alberts

It may be a biofuel and cleaner burning, might help ameliorate ozone problems and etc

Pedant note: Etc. means “and others”, so you’ve basically said “and and others”.
/pedant

Gail Combs

Ed_B says:
March 25, 2013 at 4:46 am
“In order to maintain equilibrium with the incoming UV/VIS radiation received by the earth….
I stopped reading right here. WTF?….
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
He is taking THEIR assumptions and calculations and showing that even using that as a starting point the Climate Models flunk first year physics because the leave out the elephant in the room, aka what are the natural causes of climate variability that effected the first half of the 20th century.

Reblogged this on Rashid's Blog.

Joe

For all those who are “reading so far” then stopping on principle because the essay includes IPCC-think phrases, perhaps you should read through and think what’s being said.
Certainly, as I read it, the author is NOT endorsing the IPCC model. In fact, he’s doing exactly the opposite and using its own premise to invalidate itself. And any model which invalidates itself can’t be correct except by chance.

Mark Hladik

Well said, JA (5:19 AM, 25 March 2013).
Add to that the probable 13% atmospheric concentration of CO2 during the Rodinian glacial episodes (three documented) and one should be left with more questions than answers.
And for those “faint sunners” who continue to point to the difference in solar output, remember that your hypothesis hinges on heat being “trapped” by CO2, not on the amount of radiation being emitted at the source and absorbed by the receiver.
Plus, when the sun was even fainter, in the Early Proterozoic, with similar carbon dioxide concentrations, the average global temperatures were more like what we are accustomed to, not super-cold, and not super-hot.
There is absolutely no correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and average global temperatures.
Period.
Mark H.

Stan Robertson: The only thing I ask: when you use one of my graphs, please provide a link to the source of the graph:
https://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/part-2-do-observations-and-climate-models-confirm-or-contradict-the-hypothesis-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/
Regards

jabre

” considering that nearly a gallon of oil is consumed in addition to the gallon of ethanol produced and burned”
Let me guess – this is from the infamous Patzek, Pimental Berkley paper.
I stopped reading at that point. One of the reasons I consider WUWT credible is that the posts generally are considerate of the references and do not choose junk science to substantiate a non-credible argument.
I end my reading with the sentence above and conclude that this post is junk.

Stephen Wilde

Ed_B said:
“After 5 years of reading here I guess I still don’t get it. All that I see is that the earth needs to change its vertical and horizontal heat distribution system a bit. That would mean a tiny bit wider belt of thunderhead clouds, with a slight increase in frequency, a slight increase in ocean surface heat towards the poles, with a tiny increase in temperature at the poles”
Agreed. Have been saying as much for years.

robinedwards36

Does anyone else share my puzzlement about the way in which people write about the current, observed increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. It seems to be mandatory to say “CO2 is increasing exponentially” with an implied “with time” – though this is seldom ever stated explicitly. In his third paragraph Stan Robertson states ” Thus while CO2 concentration is increasing exponentially with time, the temperature only increases linearly. ” . What always puzzles me is that if you actually plot CO2 concentration against Time it plots as a sloping monthly sawtooth – or possibly sinusoid – which has an almost exactly constant slope when measured over a number of years. At present it is increasing effectively linearly with time. In fact, if you explore Mauna Loa data using various regression models the underlying (annual) response is remarkably close to being an exact straight line. Higher order terms are virtually absent. Where, then, does the oft quoted “exponential” character of the atmospheric CO2 concentration arise?
Am I being particularly thick? My understanding of the meaning of “exponential” as a description of the behaviour of a curve is that it implies a continuously changing slope. If the exponential term is positive the slope increases continuously. One can of course also fit a regression model in which the underlying idea is that the measured quantity increases (or decreases) towards an asymptote at a rate that diminishes as the x variable increases, eventually approaching zero.
If CO2 is indeed increasing in concentration linearly with time then the underlying physics leads to the conclusion that the increase in temperature that this produces will tend towards an asymptote. This is what almost everyone seems to believe, and arguments abound about just how large or small the exponential constant is. It is usually expressed in the context of global climate as the increase in CO2 concentration that is required to produce a factor 2 increase in temperature rise.
The corollary is that if CO2 /is/ increasing exponentially the (short term) response of temperature increase should be linear.
]
Can someone please sort me out?
Robin

AlecM

Anyone who accepts that the Earth emits real radiative energy at the black body flux which assumes a sink at absolute zero, is a lunatic. This makes all climate alchemists lunatics. They believe that they’re right because pyrgeometers measure temperature then convert it by the S-B equation to Power, also the potential flux to a sink at absolute zero. This is also lunacy but includes the meteorologists as well!
The real operational radiative emissivity is ~0.16 (63 W/m^2/396 W/m^2). This is easily predictable because the GHG thermal emission is black body, a simple quirk of physics, and annihilates the same emission bands from the surface.
There is no GHG forcing except for non self-absorbed trace gases and water vapour side bands. Much more IR goes to space via the Atmospheric Window.
The modellers exaggerate GHG absorption by a factor of 6.85 = 157.5 W/m^2/23 W/m^2. None of it is CO2 – three separate bits of physics. This is the cause of the imaginary warming and imaginary feedback.
Don’t believe me? Go and talk to any process engineer or professional physicist who has done a bit of experimental heat transfer measurement in industrial plants.

Stephen Wilde

And I don’t see Ed_B’s comment as anthropomorphic as does rgbatduke.
All that happens is that the atmosphere obeys the Gas Laws as it must.

Asmilwho

There’s a Stan Robertson who posts here
“The Definitive Global Climate Change (aka Global Warming) Thread — General Discussion and Questions”
http://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/149210
Seems to be the same guy

Pffffft…. the GHE hypothesis is hogwash anyway… all of this is moot.

Alan D McIntire

rgbatduke says:
March 25, 2013 at 7:22 am
CO2 is NOT increasing exponentially with time. Starting out totally wrong.
Ah, so which is it? Is it a vast international conspiracy to fake the direct observational evidence of a roughly exponential increase, or is it that the instrumentation — all of it at multiple observatories — is faulty?
The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has supposedly increased from 280 ppm around 1900 to 390 ppm now, about a century later. 390/280 = 1.393. If the rate of increase is exponential, the exponent is 0.00332. That’s a pretty small exponent, hardly distinguishable from linear over a small time frame like a century or two.

bobl

CO2 rising exponentially? It’s barely quadratic!

Exactly. All that fuss is based on 30-year long AMO positive phase. Exactly such one occurred in 1910-1945, when warming reached 0,7C. No model is able to simulate this, since models are not able to simulate natural variations like NAO, AMO or PDO cycles.

Lester Via

How does one arrive at the “relatively straightforward, but messy calculation” – doubling the CO2 will reduce the outgoing IR radiation at the TOA by a net 2.7 W/m2? Some spectroscopists seem to disagree, saying, based on actual measurements, that it is a far smaller figure. Does anyone have a link to a detailed explanation?