Guy Stewart Callendar

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I greatly enjoy reading old science. Back fifty years or more ago, they actually did real science, not the “my model says it must be true” kind of thing that we are treated to today. In that regard, I’ve been fortunate to stumble on one of the earliest papers on the greenhouse effect, “The Artificial Production of Carbon Dioxide and its Influence on Temperature” by G. S. Callendar. There were a lot of curious and interesting things in the paper, which I’d heard of but never read, and which I’ll touch on in no particular order.

I was greatly encouraged by the description of Callendar in the header of the paper, where he is listed as the “Steam technologist to the British Electrical and Allied Industries Research Association”. I liked the guy already, he is a hands-on man, someone who describes himself as a “technologist”, and working in industry. What’s not to like? Plus, he wrote the article by himself, no team of 24 “co-authors”.

callendar photo

One of the first things I noticed was that although I’ve at times complained of the long lag time between submission to a journal and eventual publication, this one says:

Manuscript received May 19, 1937-read February 16, 1938

Eight months before it was “read”, and the paper was eventually published in April of 1938.

Moving on, here is his abstract, or “Summary” as it was called in that time and place:


By fuel combustion man has added about 150,000 million tons of carbon dioxide to the air during the past half century. The author estimates from the best available data that approximately three quarters of this has remained in the atmosphere.

The radiation absorption coefficients of carbon dioxide and water vapour are used to show the effect of carbon dioxide on sky radiation. From this the increase in mean temperature, due to the artificial production of carbon dioxide, is estimated to be at the rate of 0.005°C per year at the present time.

The temperature observations at 200 meteorological stations are used to show that world temperatures have actually increased at an average rate of 0.005°C. per year during the past half century.

Being a numbers man, this interested me because as early as 1938 he’d estimated the total emissions, estimated the airborne fraction, and calculated the global temperature. So of course I had to go check it out, to see how his estimates compare to modern estimates.

The CDIAC has the carbon emissions data. The “past half century” from 1937 would have been 1887 to 1937. The CDIAC data puts the emissions during that time at 38,201 million tonnes of carbon. To convert to tonnes of carbon dioxide, we need to add the weight of the oxygen. The atomic weight of carbon is 12, and the atomic weight of oxygen is 16. The atomic weight of CO2 is 12 + 2 * 16 = 44. So we need to multiply 38,201 million tonnes of carbon times 44/12, which gives us 140,000 million tonnes of CO2, compared to Callendar’s estimate of 150,000 million tonnes … not bad, not bad at all.

As to the “best available data” estimate of the airborne fraction, Callendar says:

I have examined 21 very accurate set of observations (Brown and Escombe, 1905), taken about the year 1900, on the amount of carbon dioxide in the free air, in relation to the weather maps of  the period. From them I concluded that the amount of carbon dioxide in the free air of the North Atlantic region, at the beginning of this century, was 2.74 ± 0.05 parts in 10,000 by volume of dry air.

This translates to 274 ppmv in the year 1900. I note that this is significantly less than the value given by the ice core data, which is about 295 ppmv.


The “pre-industrial” value in 1750 is usually set at 274 ppmv. This difference raises lots of interesting questions I won’t go into here. Unfortunately, although the Brown and Escombe 1905 paper is online here, it makes no mention of the “21 very accurate sets of observations”. I wish I had the data, particularly since his error estimate is ±5 ppmv.

I did like his method, though, which appears to consist of looking at the observations and the weather maps at the time of the observations. This would allow him to infer the source of the air being sampled at a given time, and to choose samples from say off of the ocean rather than from the town. Clever. From this he calculates a 6% increase in CO2 by 1937. Curiously, he had no actual figures for the CO2 in 1937, he estimated it. What do the modern ice core records say the increase in CO2 was from 1900 to 1937?

6% …

He then goes on to say:

Since calculating the figures in Table I, I have seen a report of a great number of observations on atmospheric CO2 , taken recently in the eastern U.S.A. The mean of 1,156 “free air” readings taken in the years 1930 to 1936 was 3.10 parts in 10,000 by volume. For the measurements at Kew in 1898 to 1901 the mean of 92 free air values was 2.92, including a number of rather high values effected by local combustion, etc.; and assuming that a similar proportion of the American readings are affected in the same way, the difference is equal to an increase of 6 per cent.

What truly impressed me, though, was the final sentence of that paragraph, which reads:

Such close agreement with the calculated increase is, of course, partly accidental.

Gotta love a scientist as honest as that.

From there he goes into a fascinating discussion of the physics of the absorption of upwelling longwave radiation, and the characteristics of downwelling longwave radiation. This is followed by another most interesting description of how he has estimated the temperature changes since 1900. Not having HadCRUT or Berkeley Earth or GISSTEMP datasets, of course, he had to go out, find the station data, and analyze it.

Surprisingly, he goes on to discuss the “urban heat island” (UHI) effect, saying:

It is well known that temperatures, especially the night minimum, are a little higher near the centre of a large town than they are in the surrounding country districts; if, therefore, a large number of buildings have accumulated in the vicinity of a station during the period under consideration, the departures at that station would be influenced thereby and a rising trend  would be expected.

Clearly a man ahead of his time.

How well did he do? Here’s the comparison of his results with those of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature dataset.

callendar and berkeley earth temps

Comparison, global temperature anomaly estimates of Callendar (1938) and Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (2014)

Now, I gotta give Callendar full marks for that one. Despite the difference in the linear trends, which may be due to his reducing the trend to adjust for the UHI effect, his results correlate very well (0.84) with the modern estimate.

Then, another surprise. He talks about how the climate system is not static, but instead it responds to changing temperature, saying (emphasis mine):

On the earth the supply of water vapour is unlimited over the greater part of the surface, and the actual mean temperature results from a balance reached between the solar “constant” and the properties of water and air. Thus a change of water vapour, sky radiation and temperature is corrected by a change of cloudiness and atmospheric circulation, the former increasing the reflection loss and thus reducing the effective sun heat.

This is the earliest of the very few examples I’ve found of people expounding the concept that the temperature of the planet is self-correcting, that is to say that the Earth has inherent temperature-regulating mechanisms, and that it naturally balances at a certain temperature, and it corrects itself when it departs from that balance. As I have spent some years investigating, measuring, and writing about just exactly how that system works in practice, I tip my hat to him. In fact, I’m in the middle of writing yet another post about the clouds and the temperature interact to establish that balance.

From there, he segues into a speculation on whether changes in carbon dioxide levels could have caused the ice ages. He states that he doubts CO2 could have done it, saying:

I find it almost impossible to account for movements of the gas of the required order because of the almost inexhaustible supply from the oceans, when its pressure in the air becomes low enough to give a fall of 5 to 8°C in mean temperatures.

Now, here’s the beauty part. I’m so indoctrinated by decades of being inundated with alarmism that I fully expected Callendar to conclude by warning of the dangers of rising CO2, impending Thermageddon, plagues, famines, rains of frogs, and the like. But to my great surprise and pleasure, here’s what he actually wrote:

In conclusion it may be said that the combustion of fossil fuel, whether it be peat from the surface or oil from 10,000 feet below, is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power. For instance the above mentioned small increases of mean temperature would be important at the northern margin of cultivation, and the growth of favourably situated plants is directly proportional to the carbon dioxide pressure (Brown and Escombe, 1905): In any case the return of the deadly glaciers should be delayed indefinitely.

You can’t say fairer than that.

My best to all,


PS—A final thought. I was most impressed by a practice which I don’t see in the modern scientific journals. The journal invited comments and questions on the paper from no less than six other people knowledgeable in the field. Then the journal published their comments and questions along with Callendar’s answers to them, not three issues down the line, but at the bottom of Callendar’s study itself.

When I saw that, I had to laugh. Why? Because it’s identical to the format of a blog post. Someone puts up a head post, you read it, and at the bottom of the head post you read other people asking questions and raising issues, and the author of the head post responding to them right there.

How fascinating. The journals have abandoned that format of publishing the article along with the questions and responses at the same time … and instead, it’s become the format of the web.

DATA: Callendar’s paper, THE ARTIFICIAL PRODUCTION OF CARBON DIOXIDE AND ITS INFLUENCE ON TEMPERATURE, is here. When I said above that I “stumbled across” the paper, to be clear I came across it doing what I do from time to time. I go to the AGWObserver and do a search for the words “FULL TEXT”. His content changes, he’s always adding new stuff, and best of all, he tags everything that’s not paywalled. As a working man with no university library to call on, that’s invaluable to me … or if not invaluable, at least valued at the usual price of $39.50 per paper, which adds up very fast. So I was cruising along at the Observer looking at “FULL TEXT” items when I came to Callendar … my great fortune.

AS ALWAYS: If you disagree with someone, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU DISAGREE WITH. It’s the easiest and most accurate way for us all to be clear about exactly what you are objecting to. I can defend my words. I cannot defend your paraphrase of my words. If you disagree, I implore you, QUOTE.

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Paul Mackey
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 12:56 am

Fascinating – Thanks Willis
I suppose gathering the comments is why there was such a long delay in publishing? Things often go too fast these days, leaving no time for careful consideration.
I have a question for you. The CDIAC data mentions the “carbon” emissions. You then convert to carbon dioxide. But when they say “carbon” emission do they not mean carbon dioxide, in the unspecific (and very unscientific) way many folk do when they talk about emissions?

Reply to  Paul Mackey
November 14, 2014 7:45 am

When calling CO2 Carbon pollution, based on the % of its molecular weight, it is more an Oxygen pollution.O2 is highly corrosive.

Jim G
Reply to  Paul Mackey
November 14, 2014 9:22 pm

@daddyunit – O2 is highly corrosive.
Ah but therein lie the beauty of molecules.
You can take highly toxic chemicals like Sodium and Chlorine; put them together, and voila, something that our bodies cannot live without.
Plus it makes chicken taste better!

george e. smith
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 12:59 pm

Willis, check out Callendar & Barnes “continuous flow calorimeter.” Neer actually encountered Callendar’s name sans Barnes.

November 13, 2014 9:47 pm

This is an example of why scientists gained such a good reputation over many years. That reputation has been trashed very quickly by politically motivated, rent seeking alarmists who care nothing about reality, only about getting more money for doing nothing useful.

Reply to  Truthseeker
November 14, 2014 11:07 am

The AGW/CC Study Grant industry is very big, it would be interesting to see an estimate in $ of just how much taxpayer money is spent each year “justifying” the IPCC theory.

Reply to  Truthseeker
November 14, 2014 2:18 pm

Yours is an important point. We are like improvident heirs, blowing through the old man’s painstakingly accumulated fortune.
After the accumulated societal respect for science has been destroyed by opportunistic alarmists, what then?

Reply to  TYoke
November 14, 2014 2:25 pm

In writing the above comment, I was thinking in particular of Ed Begley, who claims that the alarmist point of view MUST be correct since after all, the science is “peer reviewed” by guys with PhD’s after their names. Who are we to criticize <>.

Jim G
Reply to  TYoke
November 14, 2014 9:27 pm

The appeal to authority argument: argumentum ab auctoritate, he’s an expert, therefore, he must be correct.

Mike Macray
Reply to  Truthseeker
November 15, 2014 2:30 pm

right on Truthseeker! being of the slide-rule era myself it seems that through specialization we know more and more about less and less en route to knowing everything about nothing!.. but then didn’t Leibnitz and Newton do that on the way to Infinitessimal Calculus?

Anything is possible
November 13, 2014 9:52 pm

No problem, Willis.
I think it is worth drawing readers attention to Fig. 2 :
It shows that Callender estimated the effect on temperature of doubling CO2 from 300ppm to 600ppm to be close to +1.5C. That number looks somewhat familiar……..
So have thousands of climate scientists racking up millions of man-hours, funded by billions of dollars and backed by dozens of GCM’s and 5 IPCC reports simply been re-inventing the wheel?

Reply to  Anything is possible
November 14, 2014 1:34 am

Where did you get the +1.5C from figure two??
Callendar’s rate is +0.06 C° per decade or +0.6 C° per century if there does not exist some natual process to counteract such a rise. However, then he is saying there seems to be water vapor that does resist such a change and that is the same thing that Ferenc Miskolczi’s work indicates.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  wayne
November 14, 2014 7:00 am

Here is the relevant equations, and parameters Callendar used.
And here is the resulting Figure 2 graph from the Callendar paper

Anything is possible
Reply to  wayne
November 14, 2014 9:01 am

Thank you, Joel.

Reply to  wayne
November 14, 2014 12:35 pm

Interesting, Joel.
From screen scraping the graph, Callendar predicted a temperature anomaly of 0.62 or thereabouts from 1937/300 ppm to 2014/400 ppm. The actual HadCRUT4 anomaly is around 0.58. Callendar therefore agrees, closely, with both the data and with the current forcing model from CO_2 only with a climate sensitivity of around 2.62. If anything, he is a bit on the warm side.
Note that his warming rate isn’t predicted as 0.6/century. It is predicted as 0.6 per increase from 300 to 400 ppm, or (on a log scale) with any multiplication of the current concentration by 1.333 and his prediction is a rather good one.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  wayne
November 14, 2014 5:33 pm

Steve Mac digitized Callendars published curve, and did a fit. The answer was an ‘Effective’ sensativity of 1.7. See essay Sensitive Sensitivity in ebook Blowing Smoke. Effective is close to ECS, and always higher than TCR. Difference between Effective and Equilibrium depends on lots of uncertain stuff like ocean thermal equilibrium, and how muchmof a difference that difference makes to the atmosphere…

Gary Hladik
Reply to  Anything is possible
November 14, 2014 10:26 am

“So have thousands of climate scientists racking up millions of man-hours, funded by billions of dollars and backed by dozens of GCM’s and 5 IPCC reports simply been re-inventing the wheel?”
Then the science was “settled” back in the 1930’s? 🙂

November 13, 2014 10:01 pm

“and the growth of favourably situated plants is directly proportional to the carbon dioxide pressure (Brown and Escombe, 1905): In any case the return of the deadly glaciers should be delayed indefinitely.”
Nice catch Willis. Two really interesting comments there. The linearity (i.e. not logarithmic) nature of the increase in vegetation, which is why we can see this effect, versus the bogus, made-up, purported effects of the logarithmically diminished back-radiation monster.
The return of the deadly glaciers, postponed indefinitely ?? I would like to think he was right on that, but suspect he’s probably not.

John F. Hultquist
November 13, 2014 10:07 pm

What’s not to like? Thanks.
One irony here is the juxtaposition of this post on the same head-page (?) with the one by our host titled – Claim: “golden age of climate science, models” is upon us” –

November 13, 2014 10:18 pm

What a pleasure to read such a sensible and reasonable approach to the difficult topic of Climate and CO2. His estimate of the effect on temperature of doubling CO2 from 300ppm to 600ppm, to be close to +1.5C.looks much better and more reasonable than the wild IPCC assertions.. Guy Stewart Callendar is a real scientist not a rent-seeker or rationalist for Global Warming Alarmism, inventing data to order.. I wish there had been more of him.

Steve McIntyre
November 13, 2014 10:27 pm

Willis, I wrote two posts on Callendar last year that you should read or re-read:
Other things to like about Callendar are that he was born in Canada and that he was a good tennis player.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 12:11 am

Yes, yes, but these were the days when Canada was England’s back garden! So we are claiming him here in England as one of our own. Take that red leaved flag down, there boy. And hoist the Union Jack.

Reply to  Steve McIntyre
November 14, 2014 12:53 am

Hmm. This would be they Guy Callendar whose British Parents (a briiliant Cambridge phyisicist as a father) briefly worked at a Canadian University then immediately after the birth of Guy in Montreal came back to England? The biography is well worth reading.

Paul Mackey
Reply to  climatereason
November 14, 2014 12:57 am

@ The Ghost…
Surely on land that should be the Union Flag?

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  climatereason
November 14, 2014 3:06 am

Paul – a popular misconception. Here in Britland you’ll only EVER hear it called the Union Jack. The idea of it being only called that at sea is one of those internet myths, I’m afraid.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Steve McIntyre
November 14, 2014 1:15 am

You are somewhat predisposed to liking this guy, then, Steve ?

November 13, 2014 10:27 pm

I wonder how many citations Guy Stewart Callendar has garnered over the intervening time.

November 13, 2014 10:32 pm

It would be interesting to compare the spatial coverage provided by the temperature stations that Callendar had access to vs. those in modern databanks like Berkeley Earth or GHCN-D. I suspect that greater coverage in more remote regions (that hadn’t been assembled in a central repository in Callendar’s time) along with the correction of various inhomogenities accounts for much of the difference, rather than any explicit UHI correction on Callendar’s part.

Reply to  Zeke Hausfather
November 14, 2014 1:05 am

I don’t get it Zeke. It seems to me that one has to be pretty obtuse these days to continue to pretend that the UHI effect doesn’t count.
For reference, the KNMI in the Netherlands wised up to the UHI effect a few years ago and recalibrated a thermometer unit in Hilversum that had slowly been encroached upon by urban development, realizing that its readings when they caught on to the issue, were off by +0.3C.

Old England
Reply to  tetris
November 14, 2014 1:45 am

In the UK weather forecasts routinely predict cold weather temperature differences between large urban centres and the surrounding countryside of the order of 3 degC and sometimes more. Curiously UEA tend to use a much smaller adjustment for UHI of around 1 degC from what I can make out.

Reply to  tetris
November 14, 2014 6:12 am

Old England, here in the States where there are truly rural areas fairly near urban areas, the difference can routinely be 10F (5C) on clear, calm, low-dewpoint mornings.

Reply to  tetris
November 14, 2014 7:39 am

I doubt anyone argues that UHI isn’t a real physical effect. Its impact on long-term trends is also detectable but complicated. I published a paper on the subject last year:

Reply to  Zeke Hausfather
November 14, 2014 2:19 pm

Possibly. Would like to see his stations, but bear in mind that much of the world was actually better sampled under colonial regimes in the 19th & early 20th centuries than after independence from the 1960s.

Frans Franken
November 13, 2014 10:36 pm

Willis, thanks for another interesting post.
You quote Callendar:
>>> On the earth the supply of water vapour is unlimited over the greater part of the surface, and the actual mean temperature results from a balance reached between the solar “constant” and the properties of water and air. <<>> This is the earliest of the very few examples I’ve found of people expounding the concept that the temperature of the planet is self-correcting, that is to say that the Earth has inherent temperature-regulating mechanisms, and that it naturally balances at a certain temperature, and it corrects itself when it departs from that balance. <<<
However if i read Callendar correctly, he's saying that a (new) actual temperature results from a balance between solar input and water cycle plus atmosphere (including CO2). That actual temperature may be different from the one before balance was disturbed (e.g. by inserting CO2 in the atmosphere).

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 6:15 am

I think that clouds in the tropics not only regulate temperature, but also, regulate CO2 emissions into the upper atmosphere where it is globally distributed. Those emissions are orders of magnitude greater than anthropogenic emissions.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 7:52 am

So the difference between normal times and ice ages would be a different balance point around which the “correction” happens?
(I’m mildly bothered by the connotation of “correct” as in “right and proper”, when it seems that the current “balance point” is, well, abnormal — abnormally cold. But only mildly.)
I wonder what the dickens changes the balance point. Would that “balance point” be what’s meant by an “attractor”?

November 13, 2014 10:37 pm

The Callendar paper of 1938 is considered by some to be the historical foundation of the modern global warming movement. Here is a direct link to the full text paper.
The paper assembles quantitative calculations on all the basic issues. His Figure 2 was a big step in the story. Callendar knew the heat transfer numbers for combustion gasses in boilers, water and CO2, so he knew how to extend those high temperature numbers down to Earth surface temps. The paper is a must read for anyone with any interest in “global warming” science. It is ironic that the warmists ignore that Callendar said CO2 was not a problem.
Callendar was limited by the IR sensor technology of his time, the quality of far IR measurements increased greatly in the 1950s. He also made a very bad guess on the amount of CO2 that remains in the atmosphere. He estimated CO2 exchange from air to seawater without including ocean currents and boundry later effects.
He also ignored the huge biological component of atmospheric CO2 exchange. Natural CO2 fluxes in the global biogeochemical cycle is at least 35 times larger than human CO2, and maybe much larger. His second sentence that three quarters of all anthropogenic CO2 remained in th air in 1938 was wrong. One half of all atmospheric CO2 is removed every 10 years, no matter what the source. CO2 never accumulates in the atmosphere, its just part of a flow system.
Your “CDIAC data puts the emissions during that time at 38,201 tonnes of carbon” should be 38,201 million tonnes. That’s 38 gigatonnes. Most global CO2 exchanges use gigatonnes. That’s ten to the ninth power tonnes. Petagrams is the same as gigatonnes. Earth’s atmosphere contains about 3000 gigatonnes of CO2 and at least 10 to 20 percent exhanges with oceans and land biology each year. There is no way that human’s 30 gigatonnes per year can accumulate in such large natural fluxes.

Reply to  bw
November 14, 2014 1:11 am

bw, Calendar slightly overestimated the amount of CO2 remaining in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, but given the limited data he had at that moment, he was not far off.
Human emissions today are about 3% of total emissions (~9 GtC/year), natural releases are 97%. But natural sinks are 98.5% of total emissions, 1.5% remaining in the atmosphere, (near) all human caused. If human emissions ceased today, there would be a drop of 1.5% of the flux (~4 GtC or ~2 ppmv) in the atmosphere.
How much natural CO2 circulates through the atmosphere (about 20% of all atmospheric CO2/year – 5 years residence time for any CO2 molecule) is irrelevant for the question how much of the surplus is removed: only the difference between total inputs and total outputs (currently ~2 ppmv/year) under the increased CO2 pressure (110 ppmv in 160 years time) is relevant. That gives an e-fold decay rate of slightly over 50 years or a half life time of ~40 years.
Further, IR technology wasn’t used up to the 1950’s (by C.D. Keeling) for CO2 monitoring. All pre-1950 measurements were with wet chemical technology with an accuracy of +/- 10 ppmv. Few were better, some were much worse…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
November 14, 2014 9:53 am

‘Human emissions today are about 3% of total emissions (~9 GtC/year), natural releases are 97%. But natural sinks are 98.5% of total emissions, 1.5% remaining in the atmosphere, (near) all human caused.”
Please propose a mechanism for this effect. I submit that there is none, completely impossible for this to happen more than one year in a row. Seriously, Mother Nature does not do arithmetic…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
November 15, 2014 5:46 am

Mother Nature absorbs more CO2 if the partial pressure (pCO2) of CO2 increases (Henry’s Law) for the same temperature. The influence of temperature is quite small (~8 ppmv/K). Humans emit extra CO2 that isn’t part of the natural cycle and adds to the CO2 level in the atmosphere. It is the extra CO2 pressure which pushes more CO2 in oceans and vegetation, but not enough to absorb all human emissions (see Le Châteliers Principle). For the current 110 ppmv extra in the atmosphere, about halve the human emissions (as mass, not as original molecules) per year are absorbed, the other halve remains in the atmosphere…

Bill Illis
Reply to  bw
November 14, 2014 3:42 am

Actually, Guy Callendar’s estimate of the airborne fraction of CO2 at 75% was probably a good estimate for the time.
The airborne fraction has not always been 50%. It only stabilized at that value around 1950. In WWII, for example, it was likely less than 0% as CO2 ppm fell during WWII although there was high war production emissions.
The airborne fraction between 1920 and 1940 was indeed 75% according to the estimates of CO2 emissions and the ice core CO2 values for the time (taking into account it takes time for the ice to harden).
I can provide a chart of the estimates over time back to 1750 if someone wants.

Reply to  bw
November 16, 2014 4:45 am

Callendar may have been thoughtful in his early years but rejected data which did not fit with his thinking. It seems that later he became fixated with his ideas. It is worth reading this article which was peer reviewed. The article shows Callendar’s limited selection of CO2 data. When one “cherry picks” data any conclusions and calculations are not on a sound basis and are likely to be wrong.

Charles Nelson
November 13, 2014 10:57 pm

How strange to see a normal scientific approach to the issue after so many years of magical thinking and hysteria.

November 13, 2014 10:57 pm

As Willis points out the comments of other scientists included are of interest. In particular those of Sir George Simpson and Professor D. Brunt. They got it right, Callendar got it wrong. Essentially additional radiative gases will just slightly speed up tropospheric convective circulation.
Callendar’s response was the usual “all other things being equal” handwaving. The mistake Callendar made in 1938 is still made in the parameterisations of GCMs today. No increase in speed of vertical circulation for increasing radiative gases.

Nigel S
Reply to  Konrad
November 13, 2014 11:35 pm

Thank you for this clear summary. Even so it’s a pity this steam technologist wasn’t on the reading list of a certain (in)famous railway engineer (all diesel by then perhaps?).

Reply to  Nigel S
November 14, 2014 4:40 am

Ah! Abdussamatov….
I bet he doesn’t get invited to too many IPCC parties 😉

Reply to  Konrad
November 14, 2014 12:19 am

Exactly! This is what needs to solved to calculate the effect of additional radiative gases on the Earth’s surface temperature:
A paper that does this can be downloaded here:
From the conclusion:
“The decreasing of the cover (atmospheric) temperature causes the decreasing of the core (surface) temperature. Anti-greenhouse effect realizes on this way, and the decreasing of atmospheric transmission causes global cooling. It is found as the additional result that the radiative heat transfer qr has small influence on the integral heat balance. Greenhouse effect in it traditional interpretation realizes when one of the following conditions is satisfied: qs > 50 W/m2; εs > εa; γ < 0.4. It is found that trends of the climate change caused by the increasing of the carbon dioxide emission depends on the whole set of parameters realized actually nowadays. There is the great interest to determine the values of the parameters as reliably and quickly as possible. Small changes of the basic parameter values established after 12 years [7] don’t influence on our results."

Reply to  Edim
November 16, 2014 4:21 pm

Interesting paper from Abdussamatov et al . Certainly a better model than the black box with weightings climate models which make no physical sense. Long ago learnt about electrical circuit analogies of Fourier’s heat conduction relations. Of course it would not have been picked up by the so-called climate scientist who have no engineering knowledge.

November 13, 2014 11:56 pm

“Dr. C.E.P. BROOKS said that he had no doubt that there had been a real climate change during the past thirty or forty years. This was shown not only by the rise of temperature at land stations, but also by the decrease in the amount of sea ice in arctic and probably antarctic regions and by rise of sea temperatures. This rise of temperatures could however be explained, qualitatively, if not quantitatively, by changes in the atmospheric circulation, and in those regions where a change in circulation would be expected to cause a fall in temperature, there had actually been a fall; moreover, the rise of temperature was about ten times as great in the arctic regions as in the middle or low latitudes, and he did not think that a change in the amount of carbon dioxide could cause such a differential effect. The possibility certainly merited discussion, and he welcomed the papers as a valuable contribution to the problem of climate changes.”

Brooks got it right. Circulation changes do in fact predict temperature changes:
= = = = = = = = = =
Comparison of dT and ACI [cirulation index] (Figure 2.3A) shows their close similarity in shape, but ACI runs several years ahead of dT. Shifting the ACI curve by 4 years to the right (Fig 2.3B) results in almost complete coincidence of the curve maximums of the early 1870s, late 1930s, and middle 1990s.
CO2 concentration is only good for predicting plant growth: it will never predict temperatures.

James Bull
November 14, 2014 12:04 am

When he and others talk about “computing” and “calculating” they mean slide rules and log tables. in a book on Barnes Wallis it said he had a computer who (and you can read his name) did all his main calculations for him, just think what some of these men and women could have done with a super computer of today. No GIGO for sure.
Truthseeker November 13, 2014 at 9:47 pm
This is an example of why scientists gained such a good reputation over many years. That reputation has been trashed very quickly by politically motivated, rent seeking alarmists who care nothing about reality, only about getting more money for doing nothing useful.
Scientists of old earned their reputation for hard work, many did not just look at one thing in isolation but followed anything that took their interest so you see them working on things which might not be considered in their field. How would they have got grant/gov funding for looking at something no one wanted to pay for at the start?
James Bull

Reply to  James Bull
November 14, 2014 5:10 am

“just think what some of these men and women could have done with a super computer of today. No GIGO for sure.”
It does not depend on the man; an iterative model will accumulate errors no matter the man. And today as in the past, there are lots of people who will tell you exactly how fast the model goes off the rails (the error grows exponentially); and other people, who ignore that, and come up with meaningless make-belief about the future a 100 years from now, and who will be given prices by tax-evading globalist foundations and sell many books about the coming catastrophe; like , prominently, James Lovelock , who is the best demonstration that these people are no idiots, but that they know exactly what they do.
And there were Flim-Flam men a hundred years back as well, so nothing changed really.

Reply to  James Bull
November 14, 2014 1:52 pm

Indeed – IIRC it was Nevil Shute who was Wallis’ chief calculator on the R100 project, also a rather good author (A Town Like Alice, etc).
Just a thought. We’re all talking as though CO2 were the cause of temperature rise (which “in theory” it should be), whereas detla vol CO2 lags delta T. If I understand Murray Salby right, he suggests that the causation is the other way round – increased T causes increased rate of emission of CO2 from the surface. If so, negative feedback from clouds would be a mechanism that made the system stable.

Reply to  gareth
November 15, 2014 8:42 am

Pre-industrial temperature was leading CO2 levels: about 8 ppmv/°C over glacial and interglacial periods in the past 800,000 years. Still leading 4-5 ppmv/°C over the seasons and in short term variability over 2-3 years around the trend.
But the recent increase of ~110 ppmv can’t be caused by temperature, as that would be from only 0.8°C temperature increase. That violates Henry’s law for the solubility of CO2 in seawater with temperature.
The opposite cooling of also ~0.8°C between MWP and LIA only caused a ~6 ppmv drop in CO2 in the high-resolution ice core of Law Dome…

November 14, 2014 12:16 am

Nice article
It is worth reading Callendars biography. He did many interesting things as a Govt scientist during the war including resolving the problem of fog obscuring runways and impeding allied air operations.
Eventually he worked out that burning vast quantities of oil in a controlled manner next to runways created the conditions needed to lift the fog and many runways and operations continued operating.
In the 1962/3 harsh winter he came to believe his Greenhouse gas theory was incorrect.
I have his archives next to my computer. They are on CD and entitled ‘the papers of Guy Stewart Callendar’ published by AMS Books. I think you will find your questions answered there. It specifically covers
Manuscript letters
Weather and climate data
Family photographs
Giles Slocum did a very elegant demolition of his 1938 paper here, in particular Callendars use of selected co2 readings
If there is a specific item in the cd you want me to search, let me know.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 4:36 am

Someone down the thread has referenced Callendars later doubts about the theory
It was in the published biography that he had these doubts because of the unexpected severity of the British 1962/3 winter which could be truly described as LIA like.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 4:16 am

Willis, the “elegant demolition” of Callendars’s paper is in the very discussion of the Royal Meteorological Society published at the end.
They used to say the late Kelly Johnston (Skunk Works) could “see the air”.
Sir George Simpson instantly saw what was wrong with Callendar’s paper, he could “see the air” –
“..but he would like to mention a few points which Mr. Callendar might wish to reconsider. In the first place he thought it was not sufficiently realised by non-meteorologists who came for the first time to help the Society in its study, that it was impossible to solve the problem of the temperature distribution in the atmosphere by working out the radiation. The atmosphere was not in a state of radiative equilibrium, and it also received heat by transfer from one part to another. In the second place, one had to remember that the temperature distribution in the atmosphere was determined almost entirely by the movement of the air up and down. This forced the atmosphere into a temperature distribution which was quite out of balance with the radiation. One could not, therefore, calculate the effect of changing any one factor in the atmosphere..”
You could take the time to read the history and contribution of Sir George Simpson to the advancement of the atmospheric sciences. (Or maybe you just will take the shortcut and call me a “jerkwaggon” again… 😉
Callendar, and everyone else who has ever claimed a net radiative atmospheric GHE (including the current “lukewarmers”) were wrong.
There can be no warming from CO2, not even a “tiny bit”. Not now. Not ever.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 4:31 am

It was a ‘demolition’ of Callendars paper as far as much of the establishment was concerned, as it questioned various aspects of the paper. The earlier thinking had been very much along the lines of variable co2 to as high as 400ppm
It was ‘elegant’ because it was well written. So many modern science papers are over written and opaque.
I think the interesting thing in all this is that by 1945 we could split the atom but, despite 120 years of trying by many well known names, we apparently couldn’t accurately calculate the amount of co2 in the atmosphere and were unable to do so until Keeling managed it in the mid 1950’s

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 6:40 am

The main point of discussion was that there were lots of historical measurements which were rejected by Callendar, based on his pre-defined criteria (opposite to modern research that uses after-the-fact criteria to reject data that don’t fit their theory).
Some of his criteria could be discussed, some were entirely right: he rejected data made for agricultural purposes, like in Poona, India where CO2 was measured under, in between and above growing crops, he rejected all data which differed more than 10% of the “baseline”, etc…
20 years after his publication, the lack of huge variability in the bulk of the atmosphere was confirmed at the South Pole and Mauna Loa and again 30 years later the historical trend was confirmed by the first ice core measurements. Not bad for someone who used his common sense for taking the right selection criteria…

Paul Aubrin
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 12:02 pm

There is the controversial Beck’s paper too.
A comment by Ferdinand Engelbeen
Englebeen conclusion is that there was probably no local CO2 concentration peak in the 1940’s, high concentrations are observed in two separate places, one in Germany (a lot of frequent and accurate measures) and in India. The 1940’s were near a local maximum of the 60 years or so climate temperature oscillation (oscillation a bit blurred in recent data series, but still visible).

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 3:46 pm

Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 at 9:38 am
”While I found Simpson’s comment to be interesting, I didn’t think it was an “elegant demolition” ”.
You can model near surface warming and upper atmospheric cooling by holding the speed of tropospheric convective circulation constant for increased radiative gas concentration. That is how the GCMs do it. What the commentators on the 1938 paper were pointing out is that any such temperature change would cause a vertical circulation change.
Here’s an extreme example from a simple CFD model of what happens when you change the altitude of cooling in a gas column in a gravity field –
– no radiative cooling at altitude and our atmosphere would superheat. Climastrologists invoke “immaculate convection” to hide that “little” problem.
”When you act like a jerkwagon, Konrad, which is not infrequently, I’m not averse to pointing it”
Well yes, but I would prefer you use the more scientifically correct “complete bastard” 😉
”…however, both theory and observation disagree with you.”
I am clearly in disagreement with the net radiative GHE hypothesis, but both observation and experiment support my claim.
Either the net effect of our radiatively cooled atmosphere is surface cooling, or the net effect of our radiatively cooled atmosphere is surface warming. There can only be one right answer.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 5:12 pm

Willis Eschenbach:
In your somewhat unpleasant response to Konrad above, you say that both theory and observation support the “warming from CO2” (quoting Konrad).
If you don’t mind, please state what observations support the “warming from CO2”.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 8:09 pm

does it make any difference to collect data at Mauna Loa since the whole area is very active volcanically? seems a bit strange, like using skin cancer rates in Australia to make world wide applications. or picking one tree to make a hockey stick.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2014 2:22 am

”Konrad tends to infest my threads with claims that some experiment that he did sometime or other is enough to overturn decades of actual observations … which gets old.”
Nope, no joy there. I am clearly not making any claim to overturn “decades of observations”, just that the assumption that the unproven hypothesis of a net atmospheric radiative GHE exists on this ocean planet. The observations don’t confirm the radiative GHE assumption. Oh, and the build and instructions for multiple simple experiments have been published here and at other sites multiple times. Many have seen them, many now clearly understand. Some have even been clever enough to replicate. (you know, science.)
”He is totally beyond rational argument”
Funny thing, my degree is in design and engineering and so is my day job. “beyond rational argument”? Please. I don’t get time in commercial wind tunnels and hydrodynamics labs because I am beyond rational argument. Quite the reverse. I am smart enough to know when those shrieking “the maths says it must” are wrong. (just as you are) Further, I am old enough to know that when you need to confirm with empirical experiment, you will not just find answers you didn’t know, but questions you didn’t know to ask.
” I do my best to discourage his participation”
Your lukewarmist gatekeeping is indeed a delight! Especially taking into consideration your behaviour at Talkshop in 2011. Now what did I say before? “Willis has an ego the size of an exo-planet, you can observe his presence by the oscillation in the star he orbits.” Anthony is a star, as he is an empiricist. You are a blackboard scribbler. Please learn the difference.
”He is what I call a “SIF”, a single issue fanatic. He will never change his mind, he just repeats his same tired arguments over and over … so no, I make no special effort to be nice to him. I wish he’d just go away, all he does is encourage other SIFs to babble about their obsession, whatever that might be.”
Single issue? I’m sure you have tried that one before along with shrieks of “Slayer!!!” Could you enlighten other readers just which of my multiple experiments you thought was my “single issue”?
Was it –
A. The N&Z experiment where I showed the effect of higher atmospheric pressure on surface heating of the atmosphere?
B. The CO2 experiment over a SW illuminated surface that confirmed that Tyndall’s 1859 and 1860 work was correct and CO2 both absorbed and emitted LWIR?
C. The experiment in 2011 that showed that incident LWIR could not slow the cooling rate of water that was free to evaporatively cool?
D. The gas column experiments that showed that the atmosphere would superheat without radiative cooling at altitude?
E. The gas column experiments that showed that the surface could not conductively cool the the atmosphere as well as it conductively heated it?
F. The SW selective surface experiments that proved that the surface without radiastive atmosphere temperature should be 312K not 255K?
I’m guessing that your “single issue” is that you bought the lukewarmer line and I am a “complete bastard” who will keep reminding you of your fist-biting errors 😉

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2014 2:46 am

Willis, you seemed confused. The question concerned “warming due to CO2”, and you talk about “down welling IR”. Could be that you do not wish to answer.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2014 7:29 am

Konrad’s 2:22am experiments, conclusions and resultant “5 rules” 3:59pm are worthless as none are based on the full scientific method as described by Dr. Feynman. Willis is correct 8:18pm to use the term SIF. Konrad’s conclusions are political; are designed to mislead those not demanding full scientific method.
G.S. Callendar 1938 top post paper is well founded as provides complete measured data & sources, first principle computations and cites, those computations compared to nature per Dr. Feynman method. Nothing similar has been presented or published by Konrad. Sir George Simpson’s comment in the top post paper is also unfounded and Konrad has not presented a source citation wherein Simpson uses the full Dr. Feynman scientific method to offer a counter conclusion.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2014 9:13 am

CO2 very well might not have been rising in the 1930s. Ice core data might lack the resolution to settle that question.
The 1920s & ’30s were on average globally warm, leading to CO2 coming out of seawater solution with some appropriate lag time, but heating requirements would have been lowered & of course industrial activity was depressed.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2014 10:54 am

It is an easy choice for me between you and Konrad. Or between Willis and Konrad. Konrad offers an alternative to the miserably failed AGW model of the atmosphere.
The fact that he is an engineer instead of a “climate scientist” makes him more creditable, IMO. His thinking is based on solid empirical results and that cannot be said for the AGW model. That someone would so readily dismiss his point of view and cling to the dubious modeling of the climateers is the measure of those who do. Willis has demonstrated his limitations as a person and as a scientist in his contemptuous dismissal of Konrad’s theories.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2014 1:55 pm

mpainter 10:54am: The top post 1938 paper by GS Callendar and commenter Konrad are your choices. Which of those two?

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2014 5:18 pm

Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm
”Konrad, your response is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. This is a thread about Guy Stewart Callendar … but the actual subject of the thread means nothing to you. You don’t care, you’re gonna talk about your theory no matter what the thread might be about.”
Nope, that doesn’t square with the available evidence. Here was my first comment on Callendar –
– clearly about vertical circulation and the RMSoc response to Callendar as was my second –
I am clearly agreeing with the criticism of Callendar by Sir George Simpson, Brunt and others in the comments attached to the paper in 1938. This is an argument based solely on radiative subsidence and atmospheric circulation, nothing at all to do with water. I even posted a simple CFD model of one of my early gas column experiments into Rayleigh-Bernard circulation to illustrate the issue.
”You, as a true SIF, are always trying to bring the conversation back to the subject of your Single Issue Fanaticism, which is your untested and unsupported theory that downwelling IR does not warm the ocean.”
I couldn’t work out which “single issue” got you so riled, so I gave you 6 different types of experiment I had done and you picked “C”. This appears to be your “single issue” not mine 😉
”So, given that the ocean is not frozen solid … why not? What is providing the ~330 W/m2 of energy necessary to keep it liquid? Virtually everyone (except you) agrees that the energy deficit is made up by downwelling IR. You, on the other hand, have no answer to the question of why the ocean stays liquid … but as a true SIF, facts are of no interest to you.”
Facts are always of interest to me. The answer you are looking for was in experimental area “F” ie: the difference between near blackbody and SW selective surface. To a SW selective surface all watts are not equal, so no, an extra 330 w/m2 are not needed.
Willis, despite your false claim that I am a “Single Issue Fanatic”, my initial comments on this thread were in no way related to your 2011 mistake. They were about the mechanisms behind tropospheric convective circulation and the temperature profile changes that results from changing the height of energy entry and exit from gas in a gravity field. What Sir George Simpson and the others responding to Callendar were saying is correct, the temperature profile of the atmosphere is set by SW heating of the surface, surface heating the atmosphere and vertical circulation of air across the vertical pressure gradient of the atmosphere. I am pointing out that the primary role radiative gases play in this circulation is energy loss at altitude and radiative subsidence. Here is a quick primer in the role of radiative gases in atmospheric circulation from pre-AGW meteorology –

Air convected to the top of the troposphere in the ITCZ has a very high potential temperature, due to latent heat release during ascent in hot towers. Air spreading out at higher levels also tends to have low relative humidity, because of moisture losses by precipitation. As this dry upper air drifts polewards, its potential temperature gradually falls due to longwave radiative losses to space (this is a diabatic process, involving exchanges of energy between the air mass and its environment). Decreasing potential temperature leads to an increase in density, upsetting the hydrostatic balance and initiating subsidence. The subsiding air warms (as pressure increases towards lower levels), further lowering the relative humidity and maintaining clear-sky conditions. However, although the subsiding air warms, it does not do so at the dry adiabatic lapse rate. Continuing losses of longwave radiation (radiative cooling) means that the air warms at less than the dry adiabatic lapse rate (i.e. some of the adiabatic warming is offset by diabatic cooling).

Now do you get it? Radiative gases do cause atmospheric warming at low altitude, but they are the only mechanism for energy loss, and therfore buoyancy loss, at high altitude. They play a critical role in the speed of tropospheric convective circulation, which as Sir George Simpson was pointing out is the primary determinant of the atmospheric temperature profile. This is why the parametrisations in GCMs try to invoke “immaculate convection” (convective circulation that remains constant for increasing radiative gas concentration), because that way they can show near surface warming. But Sir George Simpson was correct –

One could not, therefore, calculate the effect of changing any one factor in the atmosphere..”

Callendar was wrong, he was doing the equivalent of a static atmosphere Modtran calc. Simpson was right, the air would just move faster.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2014 6:13 pm

November 15, 2014 at 7:29 am
”Konrad’s 2:22am experiments, conclusions and resultant “5 rules” 3:59pm are worthless as none are based on the full scientific method as described by Dr. Feynman.”
Funny isn’t it Trick, that your “concurred” with the five simple rules for SW translucent materials derived from empirical experiment at Talkshop but had no rational explanation as to why they didn’t apply to our SW translucent oceans?
Although I probably shouldn’t be too surprised. You showed the limit of you scientific literacy in 2011, when you argued black and blue that I couldn’t drive convective circulation in a fluid column by removing energy from the top of the column 😉
November 15, 2014 at 1:55 pm
”mpainter 10:54am: The top post 1938 paper by GS Callendar and commenter Konrad are your choices. Which of those two?”
Oooh! The “call to authority” game! Who to choose?
Callendar – Paper trashed by longest serving director of the Royal Meteorological Society?
Konrad – Engineering work wins IEA president’s award and gets exhibited in technology museum?
And the answer? Neither. You have to do the experiments for yourself. Trust but verify. Or alternativly –

Tell me I’ll forget. Show me I’ll understand. Let me do it and I will know

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2014 9:40 pm

Konrad – Callendar 1938 still stands. He knew it was windy in nature.
As Willis writes & I concur: “I can’t stop you from babbling about your theory”. This political bluster babble 5:18pm, 6:13pm won’t work, won’t convince any that insist on scientific method as put forth by Dr. Feynman.
The only response you can make that can possibly show/convince your theory (and/or Simpson’s) out weigh’s Callendar 1938 is to do as Callendar does per Dr. Feynman science method: 1) professionally write up, present or publish your complete data & sources, 2) show your computations supporting the data based on first principles with citations to build on previous generally accepted work, 3) compare your computations to nature’s data favorably within proper CI. To date you show none of these. At all. How well you most capably diss Willis, I, et. al. is of no consequence. Callendar 1938 conclusions stand against your unprofessional criticism at the moment – until you complete the science method.
And it is Rayleigh-Bénard convection. If you appeal to authority, at least get the spelling right & look professional if you can’t be professional using science method.

Catherine Ronconi
Reply to  tonyb
November 15, 2014 1:02 pm

What a credit to old school science that he was willing to abandon convictions of three decades when presented with new evidence. But then his career and reputation didn’t depend on cleaving to a falsified premise. Compare and contrast his pro-scientific behavior with that of today’s Krazy Klimate Krew, who when confronted with the “Pause” make up dozens of excuses, each lamer than the last, in the bootless attempt to explain away reality so inconveniently stomping all over their clueless models.

Catherine Ronconi
Reply to  Catherine Ronconi
November 15, 2014 1:03 pm

Make that Crazy Climbat Cru.

November 14, 2014 12:30 am

Great paper indeed.
True scientific work such as this loses no value with the passing of time.
“They grow not old as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.”
Callendar 1937 is still the state of the art of knowledge of CO2 effects on climate.
Nothing of substance has been added since.
He will be proved correct that CO2 effects are beneficial,
despite the hi-jacking of his name by the alarmists.

November 14, 2014 12:47 am

Callender didn’t have a university degree, as far as I’m aware his qualifications where acquired from the City and Guilds of London, an organisation that specialised in providing technical courses for apprentices. Can you imagine the sneering he’d receive from Gavin and Co today – a pleb presuming to do climate science without a university degree?

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 8:23 am

You are safe here, no one cares about degres, just whether what you say is true or not. An activist with a Ph.D and a white coat is still an activist, and a scientist with trade certification And a little grease on his fingers is still a scientist.
Carry on Willis.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 2:32 pm

be strong willis…thats more science than al gore exposed himself to in college….

Reply to  geronimo
November 14, 2014 2:49 pm

He had a respectable certificate (a three year program, IIRC, please correct me if wrong) in Mechanics & Mathematics from C&G College, which belonged to Imperial College, where his dad was physics prof. His subsequent employment as one of his dad’s two research assistants would have been comparable to doctoral work, IMO. He’d also done important technical work during the Great War.
IMO, his certificate was comparable to Einstein’s diploma from a technical institution. In any case, his academic credentials far outshone those of Faraday.

November 14, 2014 1:21 am

Willis, such a great story about a great scientist!
If you have the time to read another great story of another real scientist of the old school, then read the autobiography of C.D. Keeling about how he did come to monitoring CO2 in the atmosphere and his struggle to maintain funding over the years against the different administrations that thought it was all a waste of money:

November 14, 2014 1:32 am

The difference , now there well paid careers and fame and fortune to be had by getting ‘the right results ‘ in his day there was not.
Plus having to manage large data sets by hand meant you spent a long time thinking about what you did and how good the data was before you committed to its usage , now it’s just push the button without ‘check one ‘ because who needs to because the computer never wrong is it.

Leo G
November 14, 2014 1:39 am

Also interesting to note that before his death in the 1960s Callendar accepted that the multi-decadal pause in warming had effectively falsified his carbon dioxide theory of global warming. That is poossibly why you hear very little about him from warmists.

Keith Sketchley
Reply to  Leo G
November 16, 2014 9:46 am

“Also interesting to note that before his death in the 1960s Callendar accepted that the multi-decadal pause in warming had effectively falsified his carbon dioxide theory of global warming.”
Umm – did he assume a simple continuing relationship, when there may be other factors that vary about the simple continuing relationship, resulting in pauses or even cooling?
Seems to me there’s been an apparent 60-year cycle for at least two cycles, but if so something has shifted. (Late 19th century was a bit cooler, mid-1930s a bit warmer, into 1970s a bit cooler, late 1990s a bit warmer, approximately speaking. Reference “Climate_Changes_and_Fish_Productivity – 60-year cycle” by Klyashtorin and Lynbushin, which also suggests a lag of Arctic ice by about 8 years.
But no decline yet, even though we are halfway into the length of the decline that would be expected from a 60-year period.)
One thing to keep in mind is that cyclic phenomena of different period reinforce or counter each other depending on how they match up – which shifts over time. Add lags to that, such as from the huge thermal reservoir called “oceans”, and climate is very complex.
(Has recent ENSO experience suggested such reinforcement and countering?)

ivor ward
November 14, 2014 1:45 am

So, what we are saying here is that everything that is known today was known in 1937. In the meantime trillions of $ have been thrown at Academics and Universities to increase our knowledge by a factor of zero. Good investment.

November 14, 2014 1:51 am

Great stuff!
I’d like to go a bit off topic though to mention the G20 and the superb weather that we lucky Queenslanders are experiencing this weekend. Thanks to all for every CO2 molecule that’s up there & I’m not b/sing.
We are fortunate enought to have high temps predicted & Queenslanders have done the polite thing – they’ve left Brisbane to the Politicians and gone to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
Looks like a fantastic, hot, seaside weekend coming up.
Best wishes to all, enjoy the Sun.

November 14, 2014 2:09 am

Thats not proper climate science, where is the apocalyptic warning and the guilt trip?

November 14, 2014 2:37 am

The urban heat island effect was never controversial and always accepted. I am sure it was common knowledge. (So obvious in London!) Tyndall discussed it as though it was.
The discussion at the end of Callendar’s paper (as I recall) is due to an account of the discussion following the presentation at the R Met Soc. This was a common format for such accounts of ‘transactions.’ Otherwise, what Willis is describing was famously practiced by Descartes much earlier with the 6 objections and replies. Very useful!
This R Met Soc discussion demolished Callendar’s paper. But Callendar persisted. In a paper not published until 1961 he makes the AGW case by the pattern of the warming — early fingerprinting. By this time there was some interest from the USA (First Plass then Ravelle etc).
In his biography, Fleming has a great pic of Callendar shovelling snow during one of the winters that brought a crisis to his thinking near the end of his life. In his memoirs Lamb says Callendar contacted both him and George Manley to express his concerns about the pause in the warming.
Callendar is an embarrassment to recent AGW because, if they grant AGW before the mid-century pause, then they must account for it.

Reply to  berniel
November 14, 2014 4:29 am

This R Met Soc discussion demolished Callendar’s paper.

And how!

November 14, 2014 2:42 am

Nice Willis,
but Callendar estimated 150,000 million tons, not tonnes

Reply to  EternalOptimist
November 14, 2014 6:30 am

Yes but proper tons not ‘short tons’, so is only 1.5% different.

November 14, 2014 2:55 am

Thanks, Willis. Great find and wonderful post about it.

November 14, 2014 3:20 am

“Curiously, he had no actual figures for the CO2 in 1937, he estimated it. ” maybe -but the actual CO2 level was widely known in 1937, especially by respiratory physiologists…

Alan the Brit
November 14, 2014 3:46 am

Refreshing! Great post Willis. Clearly Callander was a “true” scientist. It’s nice to see him say that about “accidentally” arriving at a matching figure, unlike todays climate scientists who pronounce with alleged great accuracy of their models. Refreshing indeed!

November 14, 2014 3:51 am

Is this the same G.S.Callendar who when writing a summary of the atmopheric CO2 experiments of the late 1800’s IGNORED all readings above 285ppmv? He then claimed that the 285ppmv figure was the ”correct” atmospheric value for CO2. So totally driven by opinion not data.
I suspect it is. He was wrong in that paper and he is wrong in this. A poor example of ”old science”

Reply to  johnmarshall
November 14, 2014 2:02 pm

John, it is the same Callendar, but he didn’t “ignore” the high readings, he pre-defined that any values which differed more than 10% from the “baseline”, that is CO2 levels measured at the best places by the best methods, must be in error.
Which was completely right to do: many of the historical measurements were taken at places near huge sources and sinks (the middle of Paris e.g.), which have not the slightest connection with the CO2 levels in the bulk of the atmosphere. One can have hundreds of a ppmv more at night and 300 ppmv during the day in the middle of a forest. That is what Callendar expected and what C.D. Keeling measured in the middle of Big Sur state park in California in the early 50’s:
50 years after Callendar’s paper, his deduced average historical CO2 levels were confirmed by the first ice core measurements…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
November 18, 2014 3:25 am

Since all the CO2 data was derived from the same chemical method, the same used today, then i submitt he was still wrong in his assumptions that the ”correct” co2 level must be 285ppmv. The average CO2 over the past 500Million years is 2500ppmv so 285ppmv is far too low and just above the plant survival rate of 200ppmv.

Bill Illis
November 14, 2014 4:22 am

What were his estimates for the water vapor feedback and the cloud feedback.
The current theory is based on a positive water vapor feedback of +2.0 W/m2/C or a 7.0% increase in water vapor per 1.0C and the positive cloud feedback is +0.7 W/m2/C or a 3.3% decrease in net cloud cover forcing (letting in more solar insolation) per 1.0C.

November 14, 2014 4:54 am

The course of world temperature during the next twenty years should afford valuable evidence as to the accuracy of the calculated effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide.” – G.S. Callendar, 1937
The valuable evidence (long pause…..):
In the 1962/3 harsh winter he came to believe his Greenhouse gas theory was incorrect.
Leo G
Also interesting to note that before his death in the 1960s Callendar accepted that the multi-decadal pause in warming had effectively falsified his carbon dioxide theory of global warming. That is poossibly why you hear very little about him from warmists.
Much as I would like this story to be true, my search produced nothing of value.
Any references?

Reply to  Khwarizmi
November 14, 2014 5:36 am

Of course he didn’t predict the volcanic activity of the 1960s, but he correctly predicted the global temperature rise (air temps and ocean heat content) over the next 30 years. If only he had lived a little longer…

Reply to  Barry
November 14, 2014 3:15 pm

Volcanic activity was not responsible for the drop in GASTA from the late 1940s to ’70s. That was a natural cycle, which the biggest eruptions can affect for a year or so, but volcanoes both cool & warm, at different times, depending upon size & latitude.
Just as the warming of the early 20th century matches the warming of the late 20th century, the decline in the early 21st century will mirror the drop in the mid-20th century. Callendar made the same mistake amid the early 20th century warming that CACA advocates made during the late 20th century warming, when rising CO2 happened accidentally to coincide with a natural fluctuation.
Its rise didn’t coincide with the natural fluctuation down during the late ’40s-70s & doesn’t coincide with the current flat temperatures since the late ’90s. The inescapable conclusions are that the CACA hypothesis is falsified & that CO2 isn’t a pimple on the ass of climate change.

Reply to  Barry
November 14, 2014 5:27 pm

It is my understanding that ordinary volcanism has no effect on temperatures. Only the extraordinary explosive types which put aerosols into the stratosphere have such an effect and then, only temporarily. I am aware of no such volcano, in the past sixty years, before ’83.

Reply to  Khwarizmi
November 14, 2014 5:59 am

I have his archives on CD. I do not have his biography which I borrowed from the library some years ago.
I am pretty sure it was in the biography (almost at the end) that he made his comment following the 1962/3 winter. As far as I remember the archives do not cover this sort of comment but if I get the chance I will have a quick look this afternoon on the cd archives.
Here is his biography but its highly truncated

Reply to  climatereason
November 14, 2014 6:40 am

Well I looked through the cd archives. They are often a very difficult read as much of it is in the form of hand written notes and letters and data entered into notebooks.
Some very inter4esting exchanges with the great and good of the day including Lamb, Manley and Keeling. Interesting letter from Lamb to the Guardian in 1963 commenting about the decade long downturn in temperatures and also from the Met office acknowledging Callendars point that SST’s in 1890 were substantially warmer than in 1910.
I will have to re-read the written biography again sometime but for those interested in the intense period of scientific endeavour from the 1930’s to the 1960’s you could do worse than buy the archives and have a browse through. A little at a time to spare your eyesight.

Reply to  Khwarizmi
November 14, 2014 2:56 pm

That’s obviously a snippet of a somewhat noisy but distinct sine wave, and we are past the last positive crest I predict.

Reply to  Khwarizmi
November 15, 2014 3:45 am

You are right K. There is no evidence in the public sphere to support this extreme claim. There is some evidence that he was having doubts.

Leo G
Reply to  Khwarizmi
November 15, 2014 5:00 am

Any references?

The photomontage heading this thread was from James Fleming’s bio of Callendar published by the American Meteorological Society. I came across one of Callendar’s papers about 25 years ago while involved in an engineering investigation re constraints on infrared absorption/ emission by unsaturated air, and was interested to preorder a copy of Fleming’s book when it was published in 2007.
On page 31 Fleming writes that “his confidence in the theory of climate warming, however, was shaken by the downturn in global temperature in the 1950s and 1960s”. In chapter 5 Fleming discussed Callendar’s puzzlement that the climate did not continue to warm monotonically and his hope that improved measurements of the dispersal of CO2 and more comprehensive temperature measurements would resolve the issue.
Shortly before his death, Callendar speculated in his notes about the reasons for the growing non-acceptance of his theory by his peers.
In 1964 he had an exchange with birdwatcher G Harris (see Weather 19, 264-265 March 1964) which appeared to end with Callendar conceding “a general decline of (European) temperature in recent years remains unaffected by considerations” of author bias, computational errors, and changes in the location of some stations as reasons for the cooling trend of up to 10degC reported by Harris.
Some other refs: Handel M & Risbey J, Climatic Change 21 (1992) 97-255
Weart S, Bulletin Atomic Sci June 1992, 19-27

Reply to  Leo G
November 15, 2014 7:14 am

Now here’s a comment worth repeating:-

Some suggestions concerning the origin of these climatic trends will be found in the
final section of this paper, but this is a difficult subject : by long tradition the happy
hunting ground for robust speculation, it suffers much because so few can separate fact
from fancy.

Made by G. S. Callendar (Jan. 1961) Temperature fluctuations and trends over the earth. Q. J. Royal Met. Soc. Vol. 87, No. 371, p.2

November 14, 2014 5:20 am

So, another person who saw a brief correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperature, tried to establish causation, and realized there was none. The same has happened to many, and in the 70s they were busy correlating things to account for the cooling.
It is sad to witness what has happened to Science. It is even more sad to realize that the Internet has almost completely destroyed objective thinking and real Science.

Reply to  CodeTech
November 14, 2014 9:37 am

he didnt use correlation.
it’s basic physics.
The rise in temp due to doubling C02 WITHOUT FEEDBACKS is close to 1.5C

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 14, 2014 9:48 am

Steven Mosher
he didnt use correlation.
it’s basic physics.

No. It’s NOT “basic physics” – It is ONLY “assumed physics” valid only in a classroom lecture hall.
The AVERAGE rise in an ASSUMED flat-plate earth uniformly radiating as a Perfect Black Body Spherical Object through a Perfect Atmosphere using ASSUMED average whole-planet albedos into space with no feedbacks or ASSUMED amplifications is 1.5 C.
Change any one of those “assumed” theoretical classroom “physics thought experiment” conditions into the real world, and you MUST change the output. 1.5 degree C is an ASSUMED result to make the CAGW scenario “visible” to the politicians who want to believe the simple results so they can write the laws so they can collect their new taxes and use their new power.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 14, 2014 10:31 am

sorry RA.
it’s basic physics with reasonable justifiable assumptions.
in short. Using first principles ( no climate models, no paleo,) and using a few simplifying assumptions
a first order approximation of 1.5C is fully justified.
Given that you cannot do controlled experiments on the planet, the approach used by Guy and others is fully justified, properly scientific, and rational.
If you want to do a different first order estimate, then knock yourself out.

Matthew R Marler
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 14, 2014 12:35 pm

Steven Mosher: it’s basic physics with reasonable justifiable assumptions.
in short. Using first principles ( no climate models, no paleo,) and using a few simplifying assumptions
a first order approximation of 1.5C is fully justified.

Please tell us again the basic physics of increased evaporation with increased surface temp or increased downwelling LWIR; or how a “simplifying” neglect of evaporation is justifiable.
Don’t forget the study by Romps et al in Science Magazine: For readers who have not seen it yet, Romps et al calculate that a 1C increase in surface temperature will produce enough of an increase in the evaporation rate to produce an 11% (+/- 5%) increase in lightning flashes. The paper requires thorough debate in public and replication before it can be believed, but it is at least as credible as any calculation of climate sensitivity that ignores non-radiative heat transfer from the surface.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 14, 2014 3:43 pm

And, it is Agree with Steven Mosher Day as well!
And if one examines the full climate record, there is very little reason to think that there is much more than warming caused by CO_2 WITHOUT FEEDBACKS, because this assumption fits the data remarkably well all across HADCRUT4.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 14, 2014 3:59 pm

Steven Mosher
November 14, 2014 at 10:31 am
”it’s basic physics with reasonable justifiable assumptions.”
No Steven, the assumptions are not reasonable or justified. The very foundation assumption is a critical error. The surface would not be at 255K without radiative atmosphere as it is not a near blackbody, it is a SW selective surface.
Here are five simple rules from empirical experiment showing why the near blackbody assumption for the surface of our ocean planet was so incredibly wrong –
On top of that the IR emissivity of water is lower than its SW / UV absorptivity.
Our radiatively cooled atmosphere is not raising surface temps from 255K to 288K, it is lowering them from around 312K to 288K.
Quite simple climastrologists got the most “basic physics” of the “settled science” wrong.

Matthew R Marler
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 14, 2014 11:09 pm

rgbatduke, what do you think of this paper?
Don’t forget the study by Romps et al in Science Magazine:

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 17, 2014 8:57 am

I have no strong feelings about it. Their entire argument boils down to this. Lightning flashes mostly happen during rainstorms (although there are exceptions). One whole class of rainstorm, in fact, produces nearly all lightning flashes — ones with a strong vertical convection and turbulence, a.k.a. “a thunderstorm”. One expects a correlation between rainfall, especially rainfall rate, and lightning frequency. One expects the correlation to be even stronger if one selected the “kind” of rainfall or added other selectors — some parts of the NC piedmont consistently produce more thunderstorms than other parts because of changes in the kind of soil and vegetation, even though the local temperatures don’t vary by that much. Still, one expects a positive correlation — more rain = more lightning, on average.
One of many selectors for thunderstorms (as opposed to “just rain”) is convective atmospheric potential energy (CAPE) — this is basically related to the thermodynamic energy available for driving rapid turbulent updraft and hence lightning. When large CAPE occurs with rain, one is a lot more likely to have a thunderstorm than CAPE alone or rain alone. Hence they use CAPE*Rain as a proxy for lightning rate, generate a scatter plot, and fit it with a linear trend. CAPE yields productivity for small CAPE but is less predictive at large. Rainfall is more predictive at large rainfall. The product gets some fitting-fu from both, and a reasonable linear trend is indeed visible.
The one worrisome aspect of this trend is that the scatter of the scatter plot is rapidly increasing at the high end of the proxy scale. This translates to increasing uncertainty in the fit — it is entirely possible that the fit is not really linear out there, and it is certain that lightning’s distribution isn’t just linear even where it has a linear trend — lots of noise and lots of packing of events into comparatively weak storms. It might be the case that the underlying trend is no longer linear and things are saturating. It is also very much the case that this is only two dimensions of a much higher dimensional dependence, and it is not clear that what one is seeing is a truly separable linear trend at all.
But it is plausible, so let’s grant it. Then in order to extrapolate it we have to do two things:
a) look not at the centroid of the linear trend, but at the approximately gaussian distribution of strikes around the different numbers. Note that the linear trend is not at all reliably predictive — one can have an entire range of values for lightning strike frequency for any given value of CAPE*Rain. At low values this range is small, at large values it is large.
b) Second note the distribution of strikes period. It is highly biased towards low values of CAPE*Rain. Nearly all of the samples in the scatter plot come in the first third of the fit, if not the first quarter. Lots of small storms with a bit of lightning, comparatively few large storms and those that there are vary substantially with respect to how much lightning they produce.
c) Third form the cumulative distribution function. This is the integral (really sum over the discrete data) of the number of lightning strikes that happen in storms of CAPE*Rain less than some value. We have to do this because there is an unwritten assumption that increasing CO_2 will increase rainfall, increase CAPE, or both, and hence will shift the underlying distribution of rainstorms so that there are more storms with more rainfall and higher CAPE (and hence more lightning). We have to use the CDF of the double distribution to compute the change in total lightning strikes, because the latter is the integral of the entire function! We can’t just add a few more violent storms on at the end, we have to consider what happens to the fraction of rainstorms with low CAPE*Rain (it might go up, might go down) and if it does either one, what that will contribute to the total number of lightning strikes (could increase it, could decrease it).
d) Figure out what the GCMs say will happen. This is VERY difficult, because they won’t all say the same thing and some will actually give opposite results to others, regionally. Does global warming cause more droughts? Some models think so. Droughts = less lightning! But say, maybe they increase the hell out of CAPE! Does global warming cause more rain and floods, but more rain associated with non-turbulent fronts (not much increase in CAPE)? Could be more rain but not much more lightning.
Oops. At that point we see the first flaw. The author of the study obviously possesses the data with both Rain and CAPE values for many storms together with their lightning count. Yet instead of just fitting the two dimensional distribution function so that he can optimally project, he uses the product. That product basically assumes that the two phenomena are effectively statistically uncorrelated, but they almost certainly are not! Remember, thunderstorms happen when there is a lot of rain and a lot of CAPE. A different kind of “heat lightning” can happen when there is a lot of CAPE and not much rain. Then, lightning can happen even if there isn’t a lot of CAPE but there is a fair bit of rain (perhaps when there is a wind and lots of lateral but not much vertical turbulence. The distributions are almost certainly not symmetric and the linear trend against the product will almost certainly have less predictive value than the actual 2D joint probability distribution, especially when accounting for the broadening of the distributions. Perhaps the width of the distributions is much narrower relative to a 2D hypersurface, but we are only seeing the hyperboolic projections of that hypersurface formed by CAPE*Rain = constant.
To be very specific, the actual distribution of CAPE=2, Rain = 1/2 may look very different from the distribution of CAPE=1/2, RAIN=2 and both may differ substantially from CAPE=1, RAIN = 1. Yet the model being fit treats all three equally, at the cost of a very wide distribution that looks reasonably symmetric but which might not be at all truly symmetric.
Even without doing this, the authors have to decide on what “the models” say. Since there are a lot of models, they have to either pick the models they are going to listen to or pick all the models. If they pick the ones they are going to listen to, they have to a) say how they are going to select them; and b) say how they are going to figure out what they collectively say at all, since they individually will say different things (unless the selection criterion is “pick only models that say the same thing”).
This is then the point of the second flaw. There is no good way to do either one. I’ve written extensively about the lack of meaning in a superaverage of averages in the context of climate science. Averaging possibly broken models is not guaranteed to give you a good model. It isn’t even likely to give you a better model without some very specific and rather unlikely assumptions about “likely distributions of results subject to non-random errors in physics and programming”. Not averaging means that you can’t reduce your result to “11% per degree C”. Selecting the models by heuristic criteria guarantees heuristic bias. Selecting them randomly means that you have to include models that produce diametrically opposing predictions (flood from one, drought from another). In the end you can’t do better than analyze what each model predicts and present the list of predictions without any bias or attempt to superaverage at all. Some models my predict a reduction in lightning as the warming poles reduce mean CAPE. Others may predict and increase. We cannot possibly say that the average of the two is better than either one, as one of them could be dead right and the other wrong, so that the average is dead wrong.
Finally, the third flaw assumes that the data they have — which is based on samples drawn from many different land surface types operating at their “typical” ranges — can be extrapolated for those regions by using a linear trend obtained from all regions!
That is, there is another critical dimension! Take Florida — lots of thunderstorms. Take New Mexico — a lot less thunderstorms. It is very, very unlikely that increasing the mean temperature of the globe by 1C is going to affect the frequency of thunderstorms in New Mexico and Florida the same way at all, nor is there any good reason to think that the variations per site are even linear in CAPE*Rain with the same slope!
It could be, in other words, that New Mexico is very insensitive to that increase of a degree, and further the case that the soil type is not conducive to thunderstorms period so that little change occurs there. It may have been represented by several points in the scatter plot, but they were nearly all concentrated in the high CAPE, low rainfall region. It could be that they are very sensitive to that increase of a degree — it might change New Mexico from semi-arid near desert to tropical rain forest! The response might be highly nonlinear! But the data fit to form the model preclude regional nonlinearity or regional variation in sensitivity generally.
Put it all together, I don’t think that the result they end up with is implausible as in obviously wrong. It could be right. I just don’t think they’ve done a good job of showing that it is more than plausibly right, and don’t take the “11%” figure at all seriously. I can’t even tell from the paper if they handled the PDF and CDF correctly even before they connected it to the (somehow) selected GCMs and the (somehow) averaged inputs. I suspect that they did something as simple and naive as took the mean rainfall, the mean CAPE, multiplied them, multiplied them by the slope of their linear fit, and said “look, 11% per degree” which is wrong (or at least, makes unstated and possibly indefensible assumptions) in so many ways.
To make a metaphor: There is a very clear connection between the size of a human body and the number of calories taken in by that body. In fact, one can plot it out and for a decent range of sizes I’m certain it will look linear. One can without doubt ascertain the slope of this linear relationship by generating a scatter plot of e.g. height and calorie intake, and I’d expect to be able to input this data into R and fit a linear trend with a decent R^2.
Along comes a climate scientist who wants to see what effect global warming will have on human height. “Aha!” they say. “There is a well known linear trend between calorie intake and height — they are correlated linearly with a slope of (say) 0.5! Increasing carbon dioxide and warmth and water will increase crop yields.” (Which is true, they are increasing crop yields fairly substantially so far!) “Every 70% increase in CO_2 will increase temperature by a degree and will result in a 30% increase in the food supply. I therefore conclude that human height will increase by 0.30*0.5 = 15% as this happens!”
Understanding why this confounds their assertions is key. They’ve established at best a static linear relationship, not partial derivatives at any site let alone average partial derivatives in some sense that can be extrapolated globally. They haven’t even tried to krige their result or consider whether it holds over seawater in the 70% of the Earth covered by oceans, in the Sahara desert, in the tropical rainforest. It is quite possible that what they are observing is not a causal connection between CAPE*Rain and lightning, it is a connection between something else that causes all three, details in e.g. the distribution and flow patterns of the jet stream, modulation of cosmic rays, whatever. Increasing food supply might WELL increase average height, but probably not at all the way the static linear trend “predicts” when using a joint distribution function as a conditional distribution function.

John G.
November 14, 2014 5:51 am

Great entertaining post Willis. It looks like they did better science back before they turned it over to politicians and computer models . . . and it was cheaper.

Gareth Phillips
November 14, 2014 6:12 am

Willis, did he mention in this or any other paper how high the temperature could go before it stopped being beneficial, or did he expect it to stop at a certain level?

November 14, 2014 6:14 am

I don’t consider 274 ppmv significantly less than 295 ppmv. It’s about 10%. What’s the uncertainty here? And anomalies of .x C, trends of .0x C/100 yrs. That’s cutting it pretty fine. On a graph of min to max’s these anomalies wouldn’t even appear. Focused on a the size of a pimple on the elephant’s butt.
“…Callendar estimated 150,000 million tons, not tonnes.” 2,204/2,000=10% – no biggie in that cloud of uncertainty.
How come Mauna Loa is the only source of atmospheric CO2? What about all of NOAA’s tall towers, Arctic and Antarctic data? Some of the tall towers were back & forth between 400 ppm years before Mauna Loa. Maybe that’s why IPCC AR5 TS.6 admits uncertainty about CO2 forcing over land.

Reply to  nickreality65
November 14, 2014 6:43 am

As pointed out above he would be using proper tons not ‘short tons’ in a presentation to British industry so the difference is only 1.6%.
Also Mauna Loa is not the only source of atmospheric CO2, just the longest, others include: South Pole (1957-), Baring Head (1974-), Point Barrow(1977-), Alert (1984-) etc.

Reply to  Phil.
November 14, 2014 7:05 am

What? A tonne or metric ton is 1,000 kg or 2,204 lbs. That’s 110% of an English ton of 2,000 lbs.
Mauna Loa might be the oldest, but I understand the data is “adjusted” to account for local volcanic activity. Comparison to the tall towers suggests that a single data point at ML is not representative of the global atmosphere.

Reply to  Phil.
November 14, 2014 7:16 am

Short ton
Long ton
Some confusion over metrics.
The long ton is British Imperil and is 2240#; the short ton is the 2,000# standard; the tonne is 1,000 kg.

Reply to  Phil.
November 14, 2014 9:30 am

Nope, an Imperial ton as used in the UK is 2240 lbs unlike the US ton, otherwise known as the ‘Short’ ton for obvious reasons.
The mauna loa data is not adjusted, when the flow is from the direction of the volcano the data is not used. Comparison to the S Pole data etc, suggests that the ML data is representative, much less annual fluctuation in the SH due to the dominance of oceans.

Reply to  nickreality65
November 14, 2014 7:12 am

Before Keeling at the end of the 1950’s, all CO2 measurements were handmade with wet chemicals. Keeling saw the possibilities of a quite new (very expensive) NDIR device, if that was regularly calibrated with accurately known gas mixtures. The main advantage was that it needed no handling and little maintenance. Its accuracy was better than 0.2 ppmv, while the usual wet methods were +/- 10 ppmv, with some better than that, but even more time consuming. Most historical data were not even good enough to be sure that there was a seasonal variation of CO2 levels in the NH, only after 2 years Mauna Loa that was confirmed.
Keeling’s new measurements started at the new South Pole station and a year later on Mauna Loa, but the South Pole continuous measurements were stopped after a few years and replaced by 2-weeks flask sampling. A few years later the continuous measurements started again. That makes that Mauna Loa has the longest continuous measured trend. Meanwhile a lot more stations are in use. See:
Tall towers over land are used to measure fluxes in/out vegetation, urbanization, etc. They don’t reflect CO2 levels in the bulk of the atmosphere, which is above a few hundred meters over land and everywhere over the oceans (over 95% of the atmosphere). The variable amounts of CO2 near ground over land don’t have much influence: according to Modtran, if you increase CO2 to 1000 ppmv over the first 1000 meters, the effect of the increased radiation absorption is less than 0.1°C warming at ground level, all other influences remaining the same… Thus little effect of near-ground elevated CO2 levels.

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
November 15, 2014 12:00 pm

FE: Seeing as variously located stations have annual CO2 peaks offset by several months, and long term latitudinal lags of several years, how is CO2 transport to be interpreted: as by air or by sea? –AGF

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
November 16, 2014 6:24 am

The largest changes in CO2 are seasonal, where the NH extratropical forests are the dominant cause. These acts as net sinks in spring-summer and net sources in fall-winter. For the same latitude and altitude band, the mixing of CO2 changes into the rest of the band takes a few days to a few weeks. For different latitude and altitude bands, it needs weeks to months and between the hemispheres it needs 6-24 months… Here the lag for the NH altitudes:
The SH follows the NH with a lag, as the ITCZ allows not more that a 10% air exchange between the hemispheres per year and the bulk of the increase is in the NH. Here the trend over time for different stations in the NH/SH where Mauna Loa and South Pole are at over 3,000 meter and Barrow and Samoa are near sea level:
Thus it is a matter of mixing speed by wind and air circulation which gives the lags…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
November 16, 2014 7:45 am

@ Ferdinand Engelbeen
November 16, 2014 at 6:24 am
Thanks for that! After I asked I read this:
–and quickly jumped to the wrong conclusion. –AGF

November 14, 2014 6:36 am

You all may be interested that there was a paper published last year which celebrated the 75th anniversary of Callendar’s paper, and does a comparison of his temperature estimates with CRUTEM4:
Blog post:
And, the paper is open access here:
Ed Hawkins

November 14, 2014 6:37 am

And, Callendar even has an account on twitter: @guycallendar

patrick healy
November 14, 2014 6:42 am

Right up to your usual standard Willis.
I noted your point about ‘unworthy’ amatuer scientists having the temerity to comment on the pseudo science of climate.
My own Damascene moment came when I discovered the late great John Daly
Together with your good self and now ‘Professor’ Callander, this makes a Holy Trinity of realistic commentators on the Great Scientific Fraud.
My own background was being raised on a small farm in the west of Ireland, where we were immersed in rural weather lore. Back in the fifties and sixties we had to do our own forecasting. One of the most reliable methods was to look out the thirty odd miles into Galway Bay. If we could see the Arann Islands it was going to rain. If they were invisible then it was raining. We had no multi million pound supercomputers in those days.
Later I went to sea as a Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy. Just like John Daly above. As a “Sparkie” one of my tasks was to help collect, collate, and promgulate weather details – one of the much maligned bucket sea water gatherers.
The coded details being duly despatched to the Met Office at Bracknell by Morse code every 6 hours. This sparked a keen interest in meteroligical matters in my youngish mind.
Then about 5 years ago I discovered the Late John Daly and his outstanding work in opposing the fraudulant disciples of the global warming religion. Then WUWT and yourself.
It is hard to put into words my appreciation of the necessary efforts of the great and the good on web sites like this. Their vast store of knowledge imparted with good grace and good humour. Contrasting that with the Soviet like dictatorial religious beliefs of the opposition is really an unfair contest.
I have no doubt that history will smile graciously on the majority of commentators on sites like this.
Please keep fighting for truth.

Myron Mesecke
November 14, 2014 6:47 am

Loved the comment about UHI. Last nights NWS forecast showed temperature in Dallas, TX to be a minimum three degrees warmer than all the areas encircling it.

November 14, 2014 7:12 am

My remote thermometer on the south patio reads 17 F. The thermometer suction cupped to north kitchen window reads 18.9 F. Kitchen window heat effect.
A man with two watches doesn’t know what time it is and a climatologist with one thousand temperature data points can’t use more than two significant figures. An anomaly of 0.2 C is a statistical construct, not a physical measurement.

Reply to  nickreality65
November 14, 2014 10:26 am

An anomaly of 0.2 C is a statistical construct, not a physical measurement.
Actually anomalies are predictions.
using the data we have we create a prediction of unobserved temperatures.
These predictions of course are expressed with many digits of precision, not because
the data is that that precise but because the goal is to minimize the error of prediction

November 14, 2014 7:57 am

The problem with the UHI fixation and adjustments, isn’t whether it is real or not (it certainly is). The question is whether the rate of temperature change in a UHI area is the same as the rate of temperature change outside of the UHI and whether the rate of change in UHI stays the same. Also UHI’s have a nasty habit of cropping up occasionally where they shouldn’t be.
Here is another item, anything that lowers the max and raises the min will result in a higher average temp, which is what the UHI and the ocean does.

November 14, 2014 8:28 am

We live in the coldest period of the last 10.000 years…(04:09)
So if the earth had warmed up, we had still been in the Little Ice Age!

Roderic Fabian
November 14, 2014 9:11 am

The comments about the self correcting nature of cloud cover don’t mention what I think is the more remarkable aspect of this, which is that although Callendar recognized that water vapor had a green house effect ( or words to that effect) he discounted any increased warming of the planet from water vapor because of its tendency to condense and to precipitate. As you know, modern climate models depend a great deal on a strongly positive feedback from water vapor to justifiy their predictions of climate doom. It seems that Callendar, using calculations that one can perform on the back of a post card, out did models run on computers with teraflops of power. His instincts about the water cycle are proving to be correct.

Matthew R Marler
Reply to  Roderic Fabian
November 14, 2014 12:42 pm

for an update, consider this paper: I excerpted some of it and the supporting online material at the blog Climate Etc.

November 14, 2014 10:06 am

Engelbeen and all,
“Human emissions today are about 3% of total emissions (~9 GtC/year), natural releases are 97%. But natural sinks are 98.5% of total emissions, 1.5% remaining in the atmosphere, (near) all human caused.”
Please propose a mechanism for this effect. I submit that there is none, completely impossible for this to happen more than one year in a row. Seriously, Mother Nature does not do arithmetic…

Reply to  Michael Moon
November 14, 2014 2:08 pm

Michael: Oh, let’s see, off the top of my head:
Added emissions increase the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere. This alters the balance at the ocean surface, causing more CO2 to dissolve into the water, reducing the levels in the atmosphere somewhat.
Added emissions increase the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere. This permits most plants, which evolved their photosynthetic mechanisms under far higher concentrations and so are now CO2 “starved”, to absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere by photosynthesis reducing the levels in the atmosphere somewhat.
You say, “Mother Nature does not do arithmetic…” You’ve obviously never used an analog computer, which exploits Mother Nature’s physical laws to do arithmetic (and more, including calculus and differential equations).

Reply to  Michael Moon
November 14, 2014 2:48 pm

Michael, there was a dynamic, temperature controlled equilibrium between natural emissions and natural sinks before humans emitted huge quantities of CO2 in the atmosphere. Based on O2 and δ13C measurements, for vegetation the seasonal in/out is ~60 GtC. The ocean surface gives ~50 GtC in/out over the seasons and the more permanent exchange with the deep oceans is ~40 GtC out of the tropical upwelling zones and back down into the deep in polar waters.
In first instance very little happened with the extra CO2 humans emitted, as there is only more uptake of CO2 by the oceans if the CO2 partial pressure in the atmosphere increases (Henry’s law). Thus the first emissions increased the pCO2 level in the atmosphere (ppmv CO2 is about the same as pCO2 pressure in μatm, minus the % water vapor), which pushed a little more CO2 into the oceans (and reduced the outgassing in the tropics). The speed at which the extra CO2 above the old (temperature controlled) equilibrium is removed depends of the extra pressure difference air-water and the effect that the extra pressure difference on the CO2 fluxes has.
In short, humans emit ~9 GtC/year nowadays. Some 1 GtC/year (in mass, not the original molecules) is absorbed by vegetation due to the increased CO2 level in the atmosphere, 0.5 GtC/year by the oceans surface (which is then saturated) and ~3 GtC/year goes into the deep oceans. Here an overview:
where 1 ppmv = 2.12 GtC
Thus as you can see, nature is a net sink of about halve the human emissions, just by coincidence as the pCO2 pressure increased with 110 μatm, which causes an extra uptake of ~2.15 ppmv/year which gives an e-fold removal time of 110 / 2.15 = 51 years or a half life time of ~40 years if humans should stop all emissions today.
The important point is that the increase in natural sinks is smaller than the current (increasing) human emissions per year, that is why humans are fully responsible for the increase…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
November 14, 2014 4:05 pm

Carbon or CO2? They are not interchangeable terms. GtC C yields 3.66 GtCO2 But not all carbon ends up as CO2.

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
November 15, 2014 6:06 am

Carbon is used in the scientific world because while CO2 is near the only carbon component in the atmosphere (besides tiny amounts of CH4 and even smaller amounts of CFC’s). In the oceans it is 1% CO2, 90% bicarbonates and 9% carbonates. In plants it is a host of carbohydrates and other stuff…
In all cases the total amount of carbon in different forms must remain the same: the mass balance of carbon must fit, in whatever reservoir and in whatever form it is captured or released… Using all carbon components as carbon equivalents makes the calculations a lot easier…
In the current atmosphere 1 ppmv CO2 equals 2.12 GtC.

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
November 15, 2014 2:59 pm

“Michael, there was a dynamic, temperature controlled equilibrium between natural emissions and natural sinks before humans emitted huge quantities of CO2 in the atmosphere.”
Horse manure. Mother Nature does not do the same thing every spring nor fall. Trees, grass, vegetation in general, plankton, foraminifera, all grow and die and rot and sink with tremendous variation every year. You guys have not thought this through…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
November 16, 2014 6:34 am

Human emissions are ~4.5 ppmv/year (~9 GtC/year). Natural variability is +/- 1 ppmv/year (+/- 2 GtC/year). That is all.
See the above graph in my previous reaction of the changes in the natural sink capacity (nature is a net sink over the past 55 years).
Thus the natural variability caused by differences in net uptake by plants and oceans (mainly temperature driven) is less than halve the current human emissions…

November 14, 2014 10:16 am

Arrhenius and Callendar both thought the increase would be beneficial.

November 14, 2014 10:40 am

For folks who are interested in how you can calculate sensitivity without climate models,
here is a nice approach that grew out of discussions on Lucia’s blackboard.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 16, 2014 11:32 am

This paper pulls a surface temperature of 288 K (15 C) for the earth out of thin air. When thinking about earth’s surface temperature why is it that no one considers the temperature of the ocean abyss to be a part of earth’s surface temperature? The general understanding seems to be that deep ocean temperatures result from down welling ocean currents at the North Pole. To me, that suggests the temperatures of the deep ocean ARE a part of the earth’s surface temperature. Since the weight of earth’s atmosphere only amounts to the weight of 33 feet of water. I would suggest that ignoring the temperature of the oceans is a huge oversight if one is trying to calculate climate sensitivity by compare theoretical surface temperatures to measured ones.

November 14, 2014 10:53 am

>his results correlate very well (0.84) with the modern estimate.
Don’t items with rising trends always correlate well?

Matthew R Marler
November 14, 2014 12:24 pm

Good post.
About this: I was most impressed by a practice which I don’t see in the modern scientific journals.
that practice (inviting comments) is common in statistics journals. An excellent example in climate science was the set of comments on the article by McShane and Wyner, published in Annals of Applied Statistics, available here. Every issue of the Journal of the American Statistical Association has invited comments on at least 1 article. Perhaps readers in other fields can chime in with examples.
Back fifty years or more ago, they actually did real science, not the “my model says it must be true” kind of thing that we are treated to today.
there were modelers 50+ years ago whose models predicted the existence of things not yet observed. Rosalind Franklin, you’ll recall, helped to elucidate the structure of DNA molecules through her model based calculations. And there are today good modelers who are as responsible as those modelers in checking their models against all relevant data: Eugene Izhikevich, for example, and his many explorations with his “quadratic integrate and fire” model of the Hodgkin-Huxley model of the squid giant axon (generalized to many other kinds of neurons over the years) (reference in his book Dynamical Systems in Neuroscience [sorry no page number, really, as I have misplaced my copy, but the book has an index.]) There is no need for your gratuitous insult to all of the scientists and modelers since the glory days of your youth. A small number of people have overweening confidence in the predictions of some models; even that is not new.

Reply to  Matthew R Marler
November 14, 2014 2:26 pm

You have it backwards wrt Rosalind, she made the measurements, Crick and Watson were the modelers. That’s why Watson disliked her, she told him his model was rubbish because the chemistry was wrong, she was right so they had to stop working on the project for a while.

Reply to  Matthew R Marler
November 14, 2014 3:18 pm

Franklin didn’t model. She was an X-ray crystallographer. She was an experimentalist who took pictures which elucidated the DNA puzzle.

Matthew R Marler
Reply to  milodonharlani
November 14, 2014 3:42 pm

milodonharlani and phil, consider this: She was an X-ray crystallographer.
X-ray crystallography depends on the model of x-ray scattering. Franklin did more than just take pictures. Of course it is also true that Crick and Watson were modelers.
Nowadays of course we have “pictures” of proteins from crystallography, and pictures of body parts from magnetic resonance imaging, all of which depend on the solutions of simultaneous non-linear equations. There are models nested within models.

Reply to  milodonharlani
November 15, 2014 6:52 am

Being an X-ray crystallographer doesn’t make one a modeler, according to your weird thought process any application of physics or physical chemistry is a model! Rosalind was a superb experimentalist who produced by far the best images of the scattering pattern at that time. The Braggs at Leeds had determined how X-rays are scattered a century ago. By the time Rosalind did her experiments it was known that helices generated ‘X’ shaped patterns, therefore the observed ‘X’ shaped pattern of ‘photo 51’ indicated that DNA was helical. I demonstrate that in my undergraduate class every fall! What Rosalind didn’t know (and Dot Hodgkin inadvertently misled her about), was that the missing layer line indicated a double helix. Francis Crick however knew that and as soon as he saw Rosalind’s photo he knew that it was a double helix. From the measured parameters of the photo he was able to calculate the exact spacing of the double helix. If using the known physics of the catering of electromagnetic radiation is modeling then any application of known physics is modeling.

Reply to  milodonharlani
November 15, 2014 9:03 am

Franklin provided observations which had nothing whatsoever to do with models.
Watson & Crick didn’t build a model. They reconstructed objective reality based upon observations thereof, testing their hypotheses as to structure against further evidence.

Matthew R Marler
Reply to  milodonharlani
November 15, 2014 10:39 pm

Phil: Being an X-ray crystallographer doesn’t make one a modeler, according to your weird thought process any application of physics or physical chemistry is a model!
Only when the calculations follow from a model, such as calculating the flight path of a satellite or interplanetary probe, or Lisa Meitner’s calculations that explained the results of Hahn and Strassman’s experiment (the calculations that Niels Bohr accidentally released to the world through conversation while the paper was in review.)

Matthew R Marler
Reply to  milodonharlani
November 15, 2014 10:43 pm

milodonharlani: Watson & Crick didn’t build a model. They reconstructed objective reality based upon observations thereof, testing their hypotheses as to structure against further evidence.
Crick and Watson certainly did build a model; it is accepted as an accurate model of reality, but they certainly built a model. What they did not do was reconstruct actual DNA molecules, something that has been done by others since then, based on the accuracy/reality of their model.

Reply to  milodonharlani
November 16, 2014 7:20 am
Reply to  milodonharlani
November 16, 2014 7:40 am

As well as explaining the X-ray diffraction photos their structure for DNA was able to explain Chargaff’s rules (an experimental result, he was very ticked off at not getting a share of the Nobel), and gave a mechanism for replication. “It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.”

Richard Harris
November 14, 2014 1:11 pm

Willis: We have a small group in Calgary named The Callender Club after the British engineer you so interestingly wrote about today. We have two members. We took the name not because of Callendar’s work but because of his motto, which we adopted by unanimous vote at our first meeting about 10 years ago: “Climatology is a difficult subject. By long tradition the happy hunting grounds for robust speculation, it suffers much because so few can separate fact from fiction.”

November 14, 2014 2:01 pm

Wow, quite refreshing to read a scientist actually practicing science. He was clearly intrigued with the idea of CO2 and global temperature, but he approached his ideas honestly and with admirable scientific rigor. Sadly missing today.
So I I can only hope journalists focus more on journalism and not entertainment for ratings and scientists focus on practicing science and not politcial buffonery.

Matthew R Marler
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 14, 2014 11:17 pm

Willis, this paper might interest you:Don’t forget the study by Romps et al in Science Magazine:
Although it is about lightning, the change in lightning rate is inferred from the calculated change in energy flow rate. I did a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation that I wrote about at Climate Etc. I’d appreciate it if you would let me know if you (might be interested enough to) find errors.

Reply to  Matthew R Marler
November 15, 2014 10:00 am

This is my first time ever commenting directly to you (it should be directed at the comment you’re replying to, pergaps). I’d like to first say that I mostly read on this site, as I don’t have a solid grasp of most of the science in order to provide additional information. I want to extend my thanks to you and all other contributors, and especially to Mr. Watts, for this site. For a layperson, like me, this site has been very helpful in understanding, at least as much as possible, more difficult concepts.
The reason for my reply to you is your comment regarding the study about lightning flashes. I fully understand the automatic recoil at, what appears to be, overhyped alarmism by the authors. But, I’m wondering if you can take a closer look at what they’re saying and explain it to someone like me. As I said, it would seem I should direct this to the commenter that posted it, but I seem to be able to understand more from what you write. This may seem like a little brown-nosing, but that is purely coincidental.
The part of the study that piqued my curiosity is in the observed data. It shows Florida with only one hotspot, as you mentioned. However, Florida is known as the “lightning strike capital of the world”, so it seems the observed data may just be limited to a smaller timeframe, when lighting flashes are not all that common (winter time, perhaps).
Your thoughts?
(Any other commenters that wish to reply would also be appreciated)

Reply to  Matthew R Marler
November 15, 2014 1:37 pm

Thanks for the quick reply and the additional insight. Very helpful.

Matthew R Marler
Reply to  Matthew R Marler
November 15, 2014 10:34 pm

Willis Eschenbach: Anyhow, that’s my thoughts about the study.
Thank you very much. I have written one of my many letters to the Editor of science (all never sent!) I think that my letter on this paper will eventually have some merit. I don’t “believe” the result, but I think the basic method is sound: multiply the available energy (computed from temperature), times the rainfall rate (which has to match the evaporation rate over long-enough periods, in mass units), to get the rate of non-radiative transfer of energy — from that they get the lightning flash rate. As I have written, if they are accurate enough, then they have shown that the increase in power from increased CO2 is insufficient to have raised the surface temp by 0.9C over the last 150 years; and the doubling of CO2 concentration will not provide sufficient increased power to raise the surface temp 1C in the future. I am not confident that I have mastered their method, but if I am close enough, they have thrown a wrench into the CO2-based theory of climate warming. The biggest problem ever since the theory was first proposed is that they do not have enough information on the rates of energy transfers, and the assumptions of “equilibrium” don’t have a substantive base.

November 14, 2014 4:46 pm

A comment on your comment regarding Callendar’s publication being in “blog” format:
I would just note that while the format was that of a blog, the actions were more like Real Climate-ish: only “qualified, invited” individuals can comment.
Would that be a symptom of the era where fewer people had access to the education and tools to be able to materially contribute, as opposed to deliberate exclusionary practice as exists today?

November 15, 2014 7:27 am

One of the first things I noticed was that although I’ve at times complained of the long lag time between submission to a journal and eventual publication, this one says:
Manuscript received May 19, 1937-read February 16, 1938

Nothing unusual about that delay, my first journal publication, back in the early 70s, took just over a year.
Back then you had to mail off the draft, the editor would then mail it to reviewers and then eventually you’d get their comments. Once you responded to them the editor would decide whether to accept or not. Then you’d eventually receive the typeset proof, which you would then proofread for errors, then you’d wait for the final version to be published. Some parts of the process have been stream lined now, no typesetting or waiting for snail mail. It always has been a slow process.

November 15, 2014 7:33 am

Thank you for the article Willis.

November 15, 2014 8:07 am

After decades of experience and presumably of learning, how is it that you ended up on the wrong (losing) side of the global warming debate?

Reply to  dbstealey
November 15, 2014 11:04 am

Since I’m not participating in any debate on global warming I can’t be on any side, neither winning nor losing. What I do discuss is the science and on that I’m on the right side.

November 15, 2014 8:31 am

Co2, the well mixed gas. Here is Callendar 20 years later.

Abstract – May 1958
G. S. Callendar
Of late years there has been much interest in the effect of human activities on the natural circulation of carbon. This demands a knowledge of the amount of CO2 in atmosphere both now and in the immediate past. Here the average amount obtained by 30 of the most extensive series of observations between 1866 and 1956 is presented, and the reliability of the 19th century measurements discussed. A base value of 290 p.p.m. is proposed for the year 1900. Since then the observations show a rising trend which is similar in amount to the addition from fuel combustion. This result is not in accordance with recent radio carbon data, but the reasons for the discrepancy are obscure, and it is concluded that much further observational data is required to clarify this problem. Some old values, showing a remarkable fall of CO2 in high southern latitudes, are assembled for comparison with the anticipated new measurements, to be taken in this zone during the Geophysical Year.

Here are some earlier publications

Abstract – October 1940
Variations of the amount of carbon dioxide in different air currents
Abstract – July 1941
G. S. Callendar
Infra-red absorption by carbon dioxide, with special reference to atmospheric radiation
G B B M Sutherland and G S Callendar
The infra-red spectra of atmospheric gases other than water vapour
Rep. Prog. Phys. 9 18 doi:10.1088/0034-4885/9/1/304

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 12:10 pm

This result is not in accordance with recent radio carbon data, but the reasons for the discrepancy are obscure
Callendar probably didn’t know at that time that the above ground nuclear bomb tests 1945-1960 were producing a lot of extra 14C in the atmosphere.
Some old values, showing a remarkable fall of CO2 in high southern latitudes, are assembled for comparison
And some of these historical measurements, including sailing towards and at the Antarctic base of the US (Little America III) were taken with equipment which wasn’t calibrated (it should be done during the back trip, but the -glass- device was broken in a storm). Besides that, the large variability in CO2 readings between 140 ppmv and 1700 ppmv (yes, over a tenfold) and similar variability of O2 measurements, don’t give much confidence in the accuracy of the device (theoretically +/- 0.03% in air, that is +/- 300 ppmv, yes that is what the report says) and/or the sampling/handling and/or the chemicals used…
That kind of data have not the slightest resemblance to the real CO2 levels of that time. Callendar rejected similar data for his compilation, just because they were to far off reality…
The real values were obtained by the NDIR equipment of Keeling, starting in 1958 at the South Pole which did show very little variability (less than +/- 1 ppmv seasonal), only a steady increase…
Recent measurements show practically the same CO2 levels all over Antarctica and the Southern Oceans.

November 15, 2014 8:42 am

Here is Callendar in 1961.

Abstract – January 1961
G. S. Callendar
Temperature fluctuations and trends over the earth
The annual temperature deviations at over 400 meteorological stations are combined on a regional basis to give the integrated fluctuations over large areas and zones. These are shown in graphical form, and it is concluded that a solar or atmospheric dust hypothesis is necessary to explain the world-wide fluctuations of a few years duration. An important change in the relationships of the zonal fluctuations has occurred since 1920. The overall temperature trends found from the data are considered in relation to the homogeneity of recording, and also to the evidence of glacial recession in different zones. It is concluded that the rising trend, shown by the instruments during recent decades, is significant from the Arctic to about 45°S lat., but quite small in most regions below 35°N. and not yet apparent in some. It is thought that the regional and zonal distribution of recent climatic trends is incompatible with the hypothesis of increased solar heating as the cause. On the other hand, the major features of this distribution are not incompatible with the hypothesis of increased carbon dioxide radiation, if the rate of atmospheric mixing between the hemispheres is a matter of decades rather than years.

Reply to  Jimbo
November 16, 2014 12:21 pm

It is more like one to two years if you compare the near sea level stations in the SH with these in the NH. See the graph I provided November 16, 2014 at 6:24 am

November 15, 2014 11:07 am

That last quote from Callendar is something I can use–and will. –AGF

Dan Harrison
November 17, 2014 11:15 am

I like Callendar’s basic style. Here are a few thoughts that take his approach a little further and with the same fundamental simplicity:
Could the long-term effect of increasing CO2 be a reduction in global temperature?
The study of local weather effects for my paragliding sport has led me to the conclusion that, with a substantial lag of several decades, an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere will have a net cooling effect through a series of local weather related mechanisms. As a cross-country paraglider pilot I’m always looking for “lift” to keep me airborne. And “lift” is all about local weather. The sun heats some types of terrain faster than others, the heated air rises and the Paraglider goes up in these “thermals”. We can actually fly many miles cross-country this way without landing and without motorized power.
Now look at what happens with an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. We’re already seeing it. Vegetation explodes everywhere even into former desert areas. First, leaves collect the energy of sunlight to incorporate CO2 into plant growth while transpiring out water, a product of photosynthesis. And as plant life flourishes the local terrain is modified. (1) Plant debris accumulates over decades that, together with microscopic and larger fauna, creates topsoil. This debris and topsoil absorb rainwater, which would otherwise have flowed away to the nearest ocean, creating numerous local water “reservoirs” that then promote more plant growth, particularly in the dryer regions. (2) Some of the water that is transpired during photosynthesis, together with some of the water absorbed by the debris and topsoil, evaporates by absorbing heat from the atmosphere. Even the local ferrets know that forests are cooler during the day than un-forested grasslands or tundra. So far there’s nothing new here. But what happens to the water vapor? Water vapor decreases the density of the air into which it is mixed. This lighter (and usually warmer) air then rises as thermals, taking Paragliders up with it.
In more barren landscapes, on the outskirts of a forest, for example, the air is warmed faster and to a higher temperature by the sun, thus reducing the air’s density. (And as already mentioned, water vapor is lighter than dry air reducing the air density still further.) This hotter, less dense air rises in thermals and is replaced by humid air flowing out of the forest, which in turn, is heated and rises too creating a circulation that takes moisture to higher elevations. Once the rising air has cooled through expansion at higher elevations to the local dew point, clouds are formed as the moisture in the air condenses. Much of this moisture is the moisture that was transpired by the plants and from the vaporized water stored in the accumulated plant debris and topsoil. Paragliders use these clouds to find lift. But as these clouds develop they block sunlight from reaching the ground. The shaded areas cool very quickly, cutting off the lift. The clouds have absorbed or reflected the sunlight back into space. So what does this mean for “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming”?
We already know that the Earth is greening—barring deforestation to produce more cropland—as a result of increasing CO2. And this growth is global including encroachment into formerly more arid areas. (I’ll note here that an increased level of CO2 in the atmosphere makes all photosynthetic plants more tolerant of dryer air. This is because the stomata, holes, on the underside of the leaves or needles and through which water is lost, do not need to open as wide, or to stay open as long, to take in the CO2 needed for the photosynthetic process. As a direct result less water is lost through the stomata.)
So this globally very local phenomenon may add up to a truly global effect. Increased plant life modifies local terrain resulting in the storage of more water, increasing the moisture content in the atmosphere, and ultimately, increasing the quantity of clouds and, globally, the reflectivity, or albedo, of the planet. Can this cooling effect be modeled globally? I’ll suggest that it can be modeled (using existing data) to test whether or not it might be expected to have a global cooling effect: (a) to counteract heating due to increased CO2, or (b) to even overpower this heating and produce a net cooling of the planet several decades in the future. If this proves to be true and significant, an accurate quantification of this mechanism would then become very important due to its potential economic impacts, both positive and negative.

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