Thanks To The IPCC, the Public Doesn’t Know Water Vapor Is Most Important Greenhouse Gas

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

It is not surprising that Roe and Baker explained in a 2007 Science paper that, “The envelope of uncertainty in climate projections has not narrowed appreciably over the past 30 years, despite tremendous increases in computing power, in observations, and in the number of scientists studying the problem.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wasn’t designed to improve the uncertainty. Rather, it was mandated, designed and operated to isolate human effects.

The IPCC let the public believe they are examining the entire climate system. From a climate mechanism perspective, they only look at one or two very minor components. It is like describing a car and how it operates by ignoring the engine, transmission, and wheels while focusing on one nut on the right rear wheel. They are only looking at one thread on the nut, human CO2.

Figure 1, from IPCC Assessment Report 5 (AR5), shows the few forcing variables they examine.

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Figure 1

Their mandate is limited to determining only “human causes of climate change”. Why are “Changes in solar irradiance” included? How do humans influence it? Why not include all changes in solar activity? The top panel labeled “Well-mixed greenhouse gases” is apparently done to eliminate water vapor, which is not well mixed? It can’t be anything else, because CO2 is not “well-mixed” either as the recent satellite images show.

There are other deceptions in the chart, including the claim that the “Level of Confidence” for CO2 is very high. This claim is false because CO2 levels have risen for 18+ years while temperature hasn’t increased, in contradiction to their major assumption that a CO2 increase causes a temperature increase. It is not surprising because it doesn’t occur in any record. The “High” rating for “Total Anthropogenic RF relative to 1750” is a self-serving IPCC assessment. It must be high because we created it.

Why Sins of Commission and Omission Work

Another deception was creating the illusion that CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas. The IPCC acknowledges H2O is the most important, but that is not what the public understands. Figure 2 shows a diagram taken from the ABC news website a few years ago.

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Figure 2

The IPCC was designed and managed to perpetuate this deception and cynically do it openly. Deception is possible because most know very little about climate, as the Yale Education study showed (Figure 3).

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Figure 3

Graded like a school exam, they found over half failed (52%) and 77 percent received D or F.

Too many scientists don’t know because they accept without checking. They assume, or don’t want to believe, that funding or a political agenda can corrupt other scientists. Klaus-Eckert Puls’ comment explains.

“Ten years ago I simply parroted what the IPCC told us. One day I started checking the facts and data – first I started with a sense of doubt but then I became outraged when I discovered that much of what the IPCC and the media were telling us was sheer nonsense and was not even supported by any scientific facts and measurements.”

I described this as “daylight robbery” three years ago because they don’t hide what they are doing. Explaining how it is done is central to persuading the public of the falsity of IPCC proclamations, without requiring people to understand the science. Sins of omission are as damaging as those of commission.

The whole wheel comprises the so-called greenhouse gasses, of which water vapor is 95 percent by volume. The nut on the rear wheel is total CO2, but the IPCC narrow their focus to a portion of one thread, the human fraction. The IPCC ignore water vapor by assuming humans don’t change it measurably. In the 2007 Report they wrote,

“Water vapour is the most abundant and important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. However, human activities have only a small direct influence on the amount of atmospheric water vapour.”

It is essentially impossible to determine the impact of 4 percent if you have very limited knowledge about 95 percent.

The IPCC tried to downplay the role of water vapor in affecting global temperatures by amplifying the role of CO2 and CH4. The range of numbers used to determine greenhouse effectiveness or Global Warming Potential (GWP) suggested people were just creating numbers – it was not scientific. The IPCC note,

The Global Warming Potential (GWP) is defined as the time-integrated RF due to a pulse emission of a given component, relative to a pulse emission of an equal mass of CO2 (Figure 8.28a and formula). The GWP was presented in the First IPCC Assessment (Houghton et al., 1990), stating ‘It must be stressed that there is no universally accepted methodology for combining all the relevant factors into a single global warming potential for greenhouse gas emissions.

Appropriately, questions about the GWP assessments persist. It prompted Gavin Schmidt, graduate of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), part creator of the website Real Climate, and now director of NASA GISS to offer clarification.

The relative contributions of atmospheric longwave absorbers to the presentday global greenhouse effect are among the most misquoted statistics in public discussions of climate change.

The source of his clarification appears to disabuse his claim.

Motivated by the need for a clear reference for this issue, we review the existing literature and use the Goddard Institute for Space Studies ModelE radiation module to provide an overview of the role of each absorber at the presentday and under doubled CO2.

This form of affirmation is the standard circular argument of the IPCC. What I say is correct because my models say so. Schmidt further confuses the issue by saying,

With a straightforward scheme for allocating overlaps, we find that water vapor is the dominant contributor (50% of the effect), followed by clouds (25%) and then CO2 with 20%.

Clouds are made up of water droplets so the total effect of water, according to Schmidt, is ~75 percent. The role of water in all its phases is critical to understanding weather and climate. For example, the upper portions of most clouds are predominantly ice crystals that change the albedo factor considerably. Roger Harrabin reported Roy Spencer’s view;

“He thinks clouds are impossible to model at present.”

IPCC claim greenhouse gasses raise global temperature by 33°C. Water vapor varies between slightly more than 0 and 4 percent of the atmosphere. According to Schmidt, this means water vapor accounts for approximately 25°C of the warming. Using an average of 2 percent, this means approximately 12.5°C per 1 percent. But, we don’t know how much water vapor there is or how much it varies. Does a minor fluctuation in water vapor at least equal or exceed the warming effect claimed for the human portion of CO2?

The IPCC is also unsure about the GWP as they explain in AR5. However, it is still not enough to recognize that it alone likely puts their entire computer model output in question.

The simulation of clouds in climate models remains challenging. There is very high confidence that uncertainties in cloud processes explain much of the spread in modelled climate sensitivity. However, the simulation of clouds in climate models has shown modest improvement relative to models available at the time of the AR4, and this has been aided by new evaluation techniques and new observations for clouds. Nevertheless, biases in cloud simulation lead to regional errors on cloud radiative effect of several tens of watts per square meter.

They conclude;

Many cloud processes are unrealistic in current GCMs, and as such their cloud response to climate change remains uncertain.

Importance of Water Vapor

Water, whether gaseous or liquid, serves to modify the temperature range. It increases minimums and decreases maximums and carries out other important processes.

As one website notes,

Over 99% of the atmospheric moisture is in the form of water vapor, and this vapor is the principal source of the atmospheric energy that drives the development of weather systems on short time scales and influences the climate on longer time scales.

 

Movement of water vapor, and its associated latent heat of vaporization, is also responsible for about 50% of the transport of heat from the tropics to the poles.  The movement of water vapor is also important for determining the amount of precipitation a region receives.

The effect of the increased volume of atmospheric water vapor is not knowable because until recently there were only very crude estimates of atmospheric water vapor levels. Here is a 1996 quote,

“It is very hard to quantify water vapor in the atmosphere.  Its concentration changes continually with time, location and altitude.” “A vertical profile is obtained with a weather balloon.  To get a global overview, only satellite measurements are suitable.  From a satellite, the absorption of the reflecting sunlight due to water vapor molecules is measured.  The results are pictures of global water vapor distributions and their changes.  The measurement error, however, is still about 30 to 40%.”

 

Four different measurements reflect the difficulties in determining the role of water in the atmosphere; Relative Humidity, Absolute Humidity, Specific Humidity, and Mixing Ratio. Relative Humidity is the only one the public knows, but it is also the most meaningless.

Recently satellite systems claim more accurate measures.

Total column water vapor is a measure of the total gaseous water contained in a vertical column of atmosphere. It is quite different from the more familiar relative humidity, which is the amount of water vapor in air relative to the amount of water vapor the air is capable of holding. Atmospheric water vapor is the absolute amount of water dissolved in air.

 

The IPCC lack of confidence about precipitation indicates they are not dealing with water vapor properly. Quotes from AR5 illustrate the problem.

Confidence in precipitation change averaged over global land areas since 1901 is low prior to 1951 and medium afterwards. Averaged over the mid-latitude land areas of the Northern Hemisphere, precipitation has increased since 1901 (medium confidence before and high confidence after 1951). For other latitudes area-averaged long-term positive or negative trends have low confidence (Figure 4).

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Figure 4 (Source IPCC)

The problem with this map is it assumes the number and accuracy of precipitation measures are the same in 1901 as in 2010. But the IPCC indicate that is not the case.

At regional scales, precipitation is not simulated as well, and the assessment remains difficult owing to observational uncertainties.

The simulation of precipitation is a more stringent test for models as it depends heavily on processes that must be parameterized. Challenges are compounded by the link to surface fields (topography, coastline, vegetation) that lead to much greater spatial heterogeneity at regional scales.

These comments apply to horizontal measures of precipitation, which are assumed to be a reflection of accuracy of knowledge about water vapor in the vertical column. Here is what the IPCC say about that.

Modelling the vertical structure of water vapour is subject to greater uncertainty since the humidity profile is governed by a variety of processes. The CMIP3 models exhibited a significant dry bias of up to 25% in the boundary layer and a significant moist bias in the free troposphere of up to 100% (John and Soden, 2007). Upper tropospheric water vapour varied by a factor of three across the multi-model ensemble (Su et al., 2006). Many models have large biases in lower stratospheric water vapour (Gettelman et al., 2010), which could have implications for surface temperature change (Solomon et al., 2010).

Most climate model simulations show a larger warming in the tropical troposphere than is found in observational data sets (e.g., McKitrick et al., 2010; Santer et al., 2013).

Because of large variability and relatively short data records, confidence in stratospheric H2O vapour trends is low.

Benjamin Franklin included the nursery rhyme, “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost” in his Poor Richards Almanack. It is appears the IPCC car is lost for the want of a water wheel.

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283 thoughts on “Thanks To The IPCC, the Public Doesn’t Know Water Vapor Is Most Important Greenhouse Gas

    • Agreed, thank you, Dr. Ball.

      Aside – I dislike the adjective “greenhouse”. It is a flawed and provocative analogy, IMO. I prefer “atmospheric”. The only value, to me, of “greenhouse” is to point out that CO2 is plant food.

      • Exactly! A greenhouse works by blocking convection, which incidently is how insulation works. No free flowing gas blocks convection. Therefore no gas acts like a greenhouse. To continue to use the term helps the alarmists. An actual greenhouse is known to be warmer because it blocks convection. Using the term “greenhouse gas” invokes this association and hence you fuel alarmism.

        Stop using the term “greenhouse gas”. Just stop. Saying that it is a “generally accepted term” is a large part of the problem,.

        Water has a huge effect in our climate system because of phase change and the storage and release of energy that occurs, not because of any radiative properties it may have.

      • Yes. and Earth atmosphere is greenhouse and the major significant of CO2 in Earth greenhouse
        is the same a CO2 in smaller human constructed greenhouse- without the CO2 the plants die.

        The heat trapped in a human constructed greenhouse is due to the roof of greenhouse
        blocking convection losses of heat.
        The roof of Earth huge greenhouse is caused gravity keeping the gases on the planet.
        Since earth’s gases can’t escape into space due force of Earth gravity, it’s roof is the gravity.
        So the panes of glass make the human made greenhouse, and god made earth is using a more sophisticated gravity roof. Both stop convection. Though God’s house is much bigger and better at stopping all convectional heat losses
        So Earth has near perfect barrier to convection loss of heat and it’s roof is more transparent
        to sunlight than any pane of glass. This roof is the boundary between Earth atmosphere and vacuum of space and though varies it’s about 800 km in elevation. Below this roof harmful solar energy is blocked- most of the UV and X-rays are absorbed.
        And much closer to the surface there is what called the troposphere- where most of the convectional processes occur. And the lower part of the troposphere much of evaporational
        processes are confined.
        So it’s is wonderous greenhouse for spaceship Earth.
        But the roof is caused by gravity, not the so called greenhouse gases.
        Not a glass greenhouse but rather a gravity greenhouse.

      • @ gbaikie February 8, 2015 at 11:11 pm

        The heat trapped in a human constructed greenhouse is due to the roof of greenhouse blocking convection losses of heat.

        The roof of Earth huge greenhouse is caused gravity keeping the gases on the planet.
        Since earth’s gases can’t escape into space due force of Earth gravity, it’s roof is the gravity.

        Shur nuff, shur nuff.

        But, but, butt, …… Earth’s gravity “greenhouse” roof doesn’t do diddly at keeping your butt warm and comfy during the cold month of wintertime.

        The fact that, no matter where you live, you are still highly dependent on having a “human constructed roof” over your head ….. which negates most all of your above piffle.

      • “””””…..Water has a huge effect in our climate system because of phase change and the storage and release of energy that occurs, not because of any radiative properties it may have……”””””

        Well that is not entirely true.

        Water in the atmosphere DOES have important radiative properties.

        Mostly because it can and does absorb a significant amount of incoming solar energy at solar wavelengths, as well as scattering an additional amount of those wavelength energies back out to space.

        The result of this is to reduce the amount of solar spectrum energy that can reach the ocean surface and penetrate to considerable depths where it can ultimately be absorbed and converted in part to heat, which heat won’t be seen on the surface for a long time.

        g

        Water in the atmosphere has a considerable radiative effect. CO2 does the same (absorb incoming) but to a much smaller extent than H2O. O3 also absorbs incoming.

        So so-called GHGs have a significant effect on how much solar energy gets stored in the deep oceans at solar spectrum wavelengths.

      • –But, but, butt, …… Earth’s gravity “greenhouse” roof doesn’t do diddly at keeping your butt warm and comfy during the cold month of wintertime. —

        One of the purpose of a greenhouse is to prevent freezing which adversely effect plants- so if not getting below say 10 C or 50 F at night, it is ok for plants.

        But this is not comfy warm for humans.

        Or for an idea of minimal warmth is what is advised to keep a lower heating bill, which is to keep a thermostat set at :

        “”Five Action Steps to Cut Natural Gas and Propane Use

        You can take some steps to reduce the amount of energy that you’re using and lower your utility bills:

        Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you’ll save up to 5 percent on heating costs. “”
        http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/tips/winter.html

        And 68 F is 20 C.
        And so unless you like it on cooler side or want to lower heating bill, I suggest setting it higher than 20 C.
        But for our Earth’s gravity “greenhouse” warm it up enough for humans who lack the technology of fire one needs to live in tropics- which is normally above 25 C [unless you are in a desert or higher elevations]

        So if want to live in mountains and/or live 30 degree latitude or higher up towards the frozen wastelands, you should use heater in your home whenever it’s not summer.

      • –But, but, butt, …… me thinks that all the avid proponents of CAGW most probably have all the walls and ceiling of their homes insulated with CO2 ….. therefore not being subject to any incurred expenses for the purchase of an oxidizing fuel for “warming” their abodes.

    • A demonstration to show the relative significance of water vapor/ CO2 – the rapid cooling which occurs when humidity is low – like in a desert, or during winter when the air is dry, or in the upper atmosphere( the highest clouds are ~25k feet). I’ve worked outside a lot, and I found it better to look at the sky, than a thermometer when deciding if I needed long johns – if there’s cloud cover, the temperature doesn’t decline much at night – but high humidity is the same, I think.

      Most population centers are near lots of water. The insulating effect of each cities cloud of vapor prevents most people from being aware of the difference – they just seldom see the rapid temp changes that occur on really dry days. And it doesn’t seem that many are aware of this as a demo of CO2/water vapor effect.

    • Yes ‘Water you on about?’ Well,this is an innocent and paradigmatic question (and maybe because I possess an IQ of only two), but when I’m told “Water Vapour is a potent atmospheric greenhouse gas”, where does this ‘gas’ fit in with the total breakdown of all gases by volume?

      Does Water Vapour simply compress the existing ten gases shown in my diagram (without altering the volume of each), or is Water Vapour an inclusive part of the existing Hydrogen/Oxygen components? Irrespective of the amount of Water Vapour present during any given weather situation, is it ‘additional to’ or ‘inclusive of’ the existing breakdown of gases? Answers on the back of a postcard. Thank you.

      • Your illustration is for dry air. No water. As explained in the article, water varies from near 0 (particularly near the poles) to 4% or higher near the equator. Water is not considered because to do so, one needs to consider humidity, then define humidity, note the altitude, account for micro-droplets of water that are too small to see, but are not water vapour, etc., etc. That is, you can’t actually know what the composition of the atmosphere is to more than 1 % per thing measured. O2 goes from 20.9476% in dry air at STP to 21% ±0 to 4% in the real atmosphere.

      • The chart shows the percentages of only the gases, not including water vapor), in the air. Physical measurements of the free atmosphere have to include water vapor and free water and ice, as in clouds. Water has an extremely complex physical behavior with a high heat capacity and an even higher heat of fusion and vaporization than any of the other gases and most other molecules. I believe that makes is nearly impossible to accurately measure the behavior of a moist atmosphere, much less model it in the free atmosphere. HVAC(air conditioning) engineers can do a pretty good job designing and modelling air handling systems, but that is a much more limited set of conditions.

      • @ GeeJam February 9, 2015 at 4:41 am

        Answers on the back of a postcard. Thank you.

        The “short” answer to your question is:

        Atmospheric water (H2O) vapor (humidity or H2O droplets) is neither an ‘additional to’ or ‘inclusive of’ your above noted breakdown of atmospheric gases?

        If and/or whenever water (H2O) vapor is included in with the aforesaid gasses …. then the aforesaid stated percentages (%) of said gasses decreases in direct proportion to the quantity of water (H2O) vapor resident in any given portion of the atmosphere.

        In simpler terms, …. any increase in water (H2O) molecules will, per say, “push” the other gas molecules out of the “area” thus causing said “decrease”.

        The H2O molecule weighs less than the other gas molecules and thus the reason for “low pressure systems”, to wit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure_system

        Only at extreme altitudes or the extreme cold of Antarctica will the atmospheric H2O vapor even be close to being 0% (zero) ….. and thus will always be far greater than the CO2 at all other places, …. normally ranging from 15,000 to 40,000+ ppm (1.5% to 4+%) verses the current CO2 at 400 ppm (0.04%).

      • Geejam,

        In the diagram, methane is shown as 0.002% of the atmosphere. Wrong, I think. It is about 1,900 ppb or 1.9 ppm or 0.00019 %, an order of magnitude lower than shown.

      • Thank you both John and Phil. I’ve modified the graphic with a sub-header header which now reads ‘dry air – excluding water vapour’. Now I understand.

      • Thank you (also) Samuel and Jan.

        Jan, you are correct. My combined sources for atmospheric CH4 average out 1,800ppb as at 2011. I’ve simply divided this figure by 1K (a billion is a thousand millions*) which equals 1.8ppm. From this (and accounting for CH4 increases since 2011), I believe I’ve safely asserted CH4 to be 0.0002% volume. Thus, in my diagram, 0.002% is an error. I have missed off a zero. My apologies.

        *or is a billion still a million millions as in the old days?

      • I always understood that one mole of any gas occupied 22.4 litres at STP.

        That is; 22.4 litres of ANY gas at STP contains the exact same number of molecules. (Avogadro’s number, 6.023 E+23).

        So why do you state your atmospheric gas abundances in volume, rather than molecular species percentage ??

        We can always count the number of molecules in any sized atmospheric sample, to get their abundances, so why bother isolating each species and then adjusting its volume till you have STP, or any other condition.

        PPMV is a nonsense unit; give us PPM.

  1. Let’s be scientific and assert nothing about their motives. Just focus on facts. I became a climate sceptic by reading IPCCs AR4 report. Facts and observations do not support conclusions written to the policymakers.

    • Agreed, same action and result.
      The IPCC AR4 should be compulsory reading for all “Climate Concerned citizens”, their task find the science claimed to to support the stated conclusions.
      A truly nasty case of Find Waldo, as Waldo is not present.

    • That’s exactly the report that made me commit apostasy to Global Warming. That, and the AR4’s section on policy recommendations to turn to biofuel which lead to a disastrous 7 years of global starvation, the Arab Spring, and civil unrest world wide. That report alone is damning of the warmists, there’s really no need to read any other “skeptic” arguments at all when you can just read the report that the warmists take their sources from. It only gets worse when you read the AR5 report, regarding the Pause, and then notice the uptick in the reports shrilling of disasters. Reading both reports, and then tracking if their predictions actually happened is like watching a drunk gambler with the crappiest luck bet the house in Vegas, and then hearing that same drunk say he’s still going to win, after losing it all.

      I think if every warmist read the AR4 and AR5 report, we wouldn’t hear such shrill screeches today about “climate change.”

      But they don’t, or they can’t. Almost none of them do. And it’s put out from the same organization they take their marching orders from…

    • I am concerned that all too many of you would rather ignore the facts, both that we can see for ourselves and those which science has concluded (all too conservatively though) will happen. It doesn’t really matter that you feel that your “money” invested in big fossil fuels is so important, and that come hell or high water (there is definitely a pun therein) you will stand your position. The Thing is the world will go on whether you make your choice to be foolish or not. Scientists and engineers world wide are helping implement changes to circumvent climate change as best as possible; whether it is higher efficiency lighting, zero emission cars, renewable energy resource deveopment or various other methods. People everywhere are buying in because these technologies allow some financial freedoms which reliance on oil doesn’t. Oil is like Cable TV, it is very good at what it does, however there are better cheaper solutions.

      • Rick Chapman

        Let’s look at each of your sentences by itself. There are certainly enough errors and omissions in each to confuse things by integrating them, and addressing everything at once.

        I am concerned that all too many of you would rather ignore the facts, both that we can see for ourselves and those which science has concluded (all too conservatively though) will happen.

        There is nothing “conservative” about the exaggerated threats and projected futures common in ALL of the CAGW religious beliefs. And, quite frankly, it IS a religion because it has NO evidence of ANY of its projections and predictions of massive future harm. Rather, the exaggerations are ALL on the part of the politicians and their Big-Government-paid self-selected priests (er, scientists) shielded by anonymous pal-reviewed papers that have consistently been proved wrong, exaggerated, and cherry-picked around true statistics.

        Thus, the actual global-average heatup rate the past 18 years has been 0.0. But the calculated 100 year heatup rate is only 1.1 to 1.3 degrees C IF a doubling of CO2 actually occurs AND IF the natural variations do not turn negative. BUT! The politicial scientists call for a +4 degree C rise in 85 years, THEN, their brethern in the other disciplines write as if +6, +8 or +10 degree C increase WILL ABSOLUTELY OCCUR. THEN, the politicians write speeches and policies about a +15 “disaster” that must be controlled NOW … by killing millions of real people actually alive and trying to live now. The benefits of fossil fuel ARE the world’s 7 billion people, its animals and livestock and wildlife, and its 100 trillion economy.

        Your CAGW religion is driven by leaders who want to kill them.

        It doesn’t really matter that you feel that your “money” invested in big fossil fuels is so important, and that come hell or high water (there is definitely a pun therein) you will stand your position. The Thing is the world will go on whether you make your choice to be foolish or not.

        Back to “evil oil” and “Big Oil” money, eh? Why? Big Government wants 1.3 trillion a year in new coal and carbon taxes. Big Finance wants 20 trillion a year in carbon trading futures – which will be worthless if any skeptic is right. How many “self-selected” and ultra-biased “scientists” can you buy for 1.3 trillion dollars?

        High water-> Is a “potential” rise of 24 inches of seawater in 85 years a threat? To a few, yes. A very few. Now. Tell me EXACTLY how destroying the worlds’ economies for 85 years and killing millions of people a year is going to reduce that 24 inches to 12 inches rise. IF sea level rise is a threat and even that “threat’ is not a given fact, but only projections – why is the solution not dams, roads, canals, and dikes to protect people and animals and farms in a few places, rather than killing people everywhere with artificially high energy prices everywhere … THAT WILL NOT CHANGE SEA LEVEL RISE!

        Scientists and engineers world wide are helping implement changes to circumvent climate change as best as possible; whether it is higher efficiency lighting, zero emission cars, renewable energy resource deveopment or various other methods.

        No. These people who you admire are being paid BY Big Government TO donors and supporters of Big Government and Big Finance and Big Science specifically BECAUSE they have convinced Big Government to PAY for these false promises and uneconomic wastes of our money. You too, can get a few 100 million in Green Energy funds tax-free for several years by donating money to your local democrat. Don’t worry about paying it back. Nobody else has. Anywhere.

        In Spain, the “solar power” producers used diesel generators to run lights over their solar power panels each night to produce their “profits” … Here, the democrat donors just burn birds over the desert in great flaming smoketrails of deceit.

      • Higher efficiency lighting: Is more expensive and creates waste that is more harmfull to the environment
        Zero emission cars: Though reduction in emission by technology is a great thing to do, even 100% electric cars, need to get energy from somehwere. So zero emission cars are a good option for reducing localised smog, not for climate change
        Renewable energy: Is expensive, VERY EXPENSIVE. The lies being told about it being cheap are just that lies. I think its important to keep doing research in these fields, and society WILL switch over when they become efficient and cost effective.

        What you say about financial freedom is a lie, one maybe you dont even understand yourself.
        You will have to explain to me exactly how the points you mentioned above lead to financial freedom.

      • That’s quite the little fantasy world you’ve created for yourself, “Rick”. Let me throw in a few observations while we’re at it.

        “Facts”. You and facts are not in any way acquainted. But that’s ok, as a concern troll I know you won’t be back anyway.

        “Choice to be foolish”. Sorry little man, that choice is already taken. By you. You appear to be so delusional that you actually think there is such things as “zero emission cars”.

        “Financial freedoms”. Hilarious. I’ll have to remember that one next time I’m demonstrating just how disconnected from reality the average “believer” is. Better cheaper solutions than oil? To power our civilization? No, there is not. Even though I’d like to see a massive ramp-up of nuclear, you can’t pour it into you fuel tank.

      • Well I’m all ears; so what are these “better cheaper solutions” ??

        “”””” higher efficiency lighting, zero emission cars, renewable energy resource deveopment or various other methods. …..””””” Well I know all about higher efficiency lighting.

        So what are these “zero emission cars”, including of course all overhead of their energy sources ??

        What “renewable energy resource development are you talking about, and just what are “various other methods” ??

        You should sell your house and invest the proceeds in these “better” options; you’ll make an absolute killing !!

      • Its interesting to me that some people believe energy efficiencies are the propriety of AGW advocates. In fact, here again we have innovation and the free market to thank for LEDs, high efficiency furnaces, gas heat, electric cars, solar and wind. It is the drive to become less dependent, to receive more bang for the buck, the drive to make possible a connected world that links innovation to the consumer. We all want these things. Efficiency and progress drive us all.
        My wife and I drove electric scooters for years, the only reason we have a car is for work, as soon as we can get an electric with range we will, my home lighting is all energy efficient, I eat organic as much as possible, both my wife and I have planted pine, spruce and cedars, fir and balsam seedlings; I’ve planted well over a million personally. We drink non fluoridated water…and we are not at all partisan. We don’t parrot news, rather we dig in and vet.
        I’d say these behaviors are indicative of our times, and proprietary of the age we live in.

  2. While having a debate with my 90 (now 93) year old mother I said water vapor was a green house gas and she said no it wasn’t. All I could do was walk away.

    • Interestingly, it was my father (at 82 years of age at the time) who first stated to me that water vapor was by far the predominant greenhouse gas.
      So I started reading up on the whole AGW issue in order to set him straight.

      I learnt a helluva lot pretty quickly, and I am still amazed at the certainty combined with the lack of knowledge of most alarmists.

      • “I am still amazed at the certainty combined with the lack of knowledge of most alarmists.

        Uninformed Alarmist: One who practices a religious-like adherence to an orthodoxy, driven mostly by (1) a tribal ideology, (2) leading to in-group bias, and (3) an avoidance of cognitive dissonance.

        In cruder terms, it’s called “Being a sheep, and with scientific ignorance, allows one being led to the slaughter” by ideologically-driven “academics” who surrendered their ethics for a paycheck from the political class.

        There has always been snakeoil salesmen for as long as there has been gullible people who can’t recognize pseudoscience from science.

    • Please stop arguing with your mother.
      Mothers know best.
      Now, go eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

  3. Why are “Changes in solar irradiance” included? How do humans influence it? Why not include all changes in solar activity?
    Because TSI is where the energy is. TSI is the 800-pound gorilla in the energy input to the system.

    • I disagree. Clouds are the 800 pound gorilla.

      A small change in TSI has been observed to create more La Nina like conditions as clouds are swept from the eastern Pacific. On average the eastern tropical Pacific may experience an increase of 8 W/m2 and as much as 200 W/m2 due to less clouds. The extra-tropics are always radiating more heat back to space than absorbed. Any analysis of changes in solar irradiance and climate must look at the affects of TSI on the tropical ocean cloud patterns and how ocean oscillations redistribute absorbed tropical heat poleward. Direct changes in TSI are felt nearly 100% in the tropics but approach zero towards the poles. Any change in TSI alters the hemispheric temperature gradient that affects heat redistribution. A blanket of CO2 does not alter that gradient.

      • Well, there is a sensible middle position. BOTH!
        GCMs do not and cannot have the grid/time scale resolution to even try to model tropical convection cells. Computationally infeasible. So they have to parameterize Lindzen’s adaptive IR iris hypothesis related to tropical Tstorms.
        Those CMIP5 parameters are ‘tuned’ to ~1975-2005 by the official CMIP5 ‘experimental design’, which assumed GHG was all. (Taylor, BAMS 2012). The pause shows GHG is not. Thus all models were tuned ‘hot’ per Asadoku 2009 in order to best hindcast that 30 year requirement. Thus all CMIP5 are now falsified by a >18 year unprojected ‘pause’, the absence of a tropical troposphere hotspot, and underprediction of precipitation by half. The latter two diagnostics follow directly from Lindzen’s hypothesized homeostasis mechanism. The former is now a warmunist own goal based on 100% GHG attribution.
        Tropical convection, troposphere humidity feedback, cloud feedback, inherent GCM limitations, and IPCC attribution are separate essays in my newish ebook with a Judith Curry foreword.

      • Lief OK Lets accept your word smiting. “Clouds are effects, more than causes”

        Lets take an example of heatwave and no change in TSI. Record heat is caused by a high pressure system with dry air decreasing air ad soil heat capacity and no clouds increasing insolation. Temperatures to rise. What do you call the “cause” of the resulting high temperature?

      • HA, the energy source of a good butt paddling doesn’t decrease just because you put on a couple extra layers of clothing to lessen the hurtful effect on your rear end.

      • So Rud,

        Just which of those “separate essays in (your) newish ebook” are the results of your own researches, rather than a rehash of what many have simply stated many times before ??

  4. Thanks Doc,
    It has long amazed me that they can claim such certainty from so little knowledge. I’m not sure how it happened, but it looks like we have now raised several of generations that believe in the infallibility of the computer… that.regardless of the program or the data, the computer cannot lie. How else could they place such confidence in the GCMs.

    • It has long amazed me that they can claim such certainty from so little knowledge.

      Why? if you are going to lie, the more complete conviction you bring to the party, the more likely you are to be believed…

  5. So if you show a pie chart graph (like in Fig. 2) and include water vapor as one of the greenhouse gases, what would the percentage of water vapor be? Would it be 95% as stated at one point in your article, by volume?

  6. The GHG effect is a result of the climate not the cause. This is why CO2 is always following the temperature trend.
    When the oceans cool the long term effects will be to diminish the GHG effect.

  7. “Their mandate is limited to determining only “human causes of climate change”. Why are “Changes in solar irradiance” included? How do humans influence it? Why not include all changes in solar activity?

    1 changes in solar irradiance are included so they can be tested for importance.

    Let suppose we want to answer the question “what is the human portion of the change in temperature”
    Simple. get two earths. Observe what one earth does with humans and remove humans from the second earth. Both earths in this experiment would have a sun.

    But we cant do that experiment. This is what makes climate science an OBSERVATIONAL science and not an experimental science. in experimental science we do controlled experiments. In observational science
    are ability to do experiments is limited. We can run two earths.

    Consequently there are three options.

    A) proclaim that the only true science is experimental.
    B) statistically analyze the data to come up with “best explnations”
    C) run simulated experiments.

    In both A and B if you want to tease out the human contribution you need the natural contribution.

    easy peasy.

    Why not use all changes in solar?

    Start with the changes you have good data on
    Start with the changes known to cause a change in temperature. Every day TSI drops to zero at night for one part of the planet. temperature drops. Go figure TSI might be important.
    Add other solar phenomena IF and When somebody can describe it in physics.

    • Mosher

      If you would have been writing on blogs like this in 1940 and were a firm believer in the AGW theories, how do you think you would have held up with the Observational Science for the next 30 years until 1970 when there had been no significant warming for 30 years. Don’t you think your self confidence would have been teetering a little? For the last 75 years of Observational Science, only 33% of that time has there been significant warming.

      I wonder how the IPCC would have handled it all between 1940 and 1970.
      Perhaps their charter would have been more oriented toward science. That is, lets find out what is really going on rather than having decided it beforehand and then spending the next 25 years justifying their decision.

      • “That is, lets find out what is really going on rather than having decided it beforehand and then spending the next 25 years justifying their decision.”

        If I did not know better, I would suspect someone of thinking that science is all about trying to find out how things really work; a search for truth as it were. Government funded science does not work that way. The IPCC has it right — give them the answer the masters want to hear and they will justify it to the death like all good post-modern scientists. (I almost used a name of someone here, but asked myself why. Everyone can see the alarmists trolls here for themselves)

        “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” ~ H. L. Mencken … and the IPCC found it in CO2.

    • “changes in solar irradiance are included so they can be tested for importance.”

      Then why exclude water vapor?

    • Mosher,

      Your post addresses the question of how, or to what degree, we can discover scientific truths in an uncertain world. You declare:

      “Consequently there are three options.
      A) proclaim that the only true science is experimental.
      B) statistically analyze the data to come up with “best explnations”
      C) run simulated experiments.”

      It is not a terrible list, but there is a lot of nuance missing. Consider a somewhat alternative framing of your three ideas.

      Consequently there are three options.

      A)Run properly controlled experiments that test otherwise unobvious predictions from a model. This is an especially convincing way to gain confidence in the truth or falsity of that model.

      B)Argue that existing experimental data correlates well with the predictions of a model, or disagrees with the predictions of the model. The statistical approach can be useful but is highly susceptible to the “curve fitting” or over-fitting or post hoc ergo propter hoc error. “after this, therefore because of this”. Hence, the value of such an argument is limited when trying to achieve certainty for or against a model.

      C)Argue deductively forward on the basis of theory that is already accepted as being true. 400 years into the scientific revolution we now know a lot of physics. However, the world is a complicated place, and arguing from “known” theory is therefore fraught with possible error. Global climate is fearfully complex, and even in the most sophisticated climate theories a great many assumptions and simplifications are necessary, quite apart from the excellent chance of simply doing the sums wrong at one or more points. Consequently, confidence in the truth of the model simulations is accordingly diminished.

      Mosher, your overall point is that controlled experiments would be ideal but are not possible, and yet we need to try and move forward anyway. That is no doubt true, but it is still very important to bear in mind that options B) and C) are not as good as option A), generally speaking.

      This means that a certain degree of humility, when B) and C) are the only options, is very much warranted.

    • We are the experiment, we live in it everyday.

      Don’t know why the temps recorded need to be constantly adjusted though, it might make one assume that there is a correct value, being striven for.

    • Mosher
      Where is the observational evidence of the CS formula…………..??
      I really do not know. This is a serious question.

    • Steven Mosher
      February 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm
      /////////////////////////////////////////////
      Steven, this comment is ridiculous –

      ” This is what makes climate science an OBSERVATIONAL science and not an experimental science.”

      This may be true of meteorology, but with so called “climate science”, the foundation claims of the Church of Radiative Climastrology can easily be tested in the lab.

      We can check if radiative gases attenuate LWIR. They do.

      We can check if radiative gases conductively heated emit LWIR. They do.

      We can check if the surface of the planet is a “near blackbody” as climastrologists foundation dogma claims. It isn’t. 71% is an extreme SW selective surface.

      We can check if incident LWIR slows the cooling of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool. (another foundation claim). It doesn’t.

      We can check if the oceans would freeze without DWLWIR from the atmosphere. They won’t. As a SW selective surface, the sun alone would heat them to Tmax ~80C were it not for cooling by our radiatively cooled atmosphere.

      The reason the climastrologists run to hand waving about surface station data and computer models and avoid the lab is because their claims that our radiatively cooled atmosphere is warming the surface can’t survive empirical experiment.

      • Absolutely.

        There is a material difference between land and oceans (which are a selective surface and one which is free to evaporate with consequential change in latent energy),

        We can test whether DWLWIR possesses sensible energy and is capable of performing sensible work in the environ in which it finds itself.

        Willis’s article or Radiating the Oceans employs circular logic when he relies upon the assertion that the oceans would freeze but for DWLWIR being inputted into them, and fails to address at what rate the supposed energy from DWLWIR would need to be sequestered to depth, if that energy is to do something other than simply drive evaporation, and fails to address what process(es) could sequester the energy to depth at sufficient rate.

        It is about time those that support the AGW meme, did some proper experiments to back up their claims rather than argue we only have one Earth, so we cannot test anything and hence the need for computer modelling.

        .

    • @ Steven Mosher February 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      But we cant do that experiment. This is what makes climate science an OBSERVATIONAL science and not an experimental science.

      It was utterly foolish for anyone to even suggest such an experiment …… and therefore such foolishness does not preclude the fact that a “simple” experiment can be performed that will “prove without any doubt” as to whether or not all the fear-mongering claims about CAGW are nothing more than funded-interest “junk science”.

      OBSERVATIONAL science is …… farmer and sailor science …… but only they know how to correctly employ what they have learned from their observations.

  8. The more you look at the underlying science, the more you see that the science of the Earth’s climate is poorly understood at this point in time.

    An honest, objective person would admit as much. A naive, uneducated, foolish, or corrupt person would not. Instead they would rather shout down anyone who disagrees them with “The science is settled!” nonsense.

  9. Reg Nelson,

    Correctomundo. Objective science is on the skeptics’ side. The general public seems to be coming around, too.

    There is a reader poll in ^that article.^ Currently more than 91% of readers agree that fiddling with the temperature record is a huge scandal. [Anyone can take the poll.]

    • dbstealey, thanks for the link. I voted on the poll earlier (once on my PC, once on my Laptop and once on my ipad). Just now, 90% of 77,940 voters (so far) say ‘Climate Scientists were telling porkies’ – or words to that effect.

      However, Christopher Booker’s report on Paul Homewood’s perpetual search for the truth does not warrant the appalling amount of vitriolic remarks left in the comments section by both sides of the CAGW debate. Whilst, on the whole, comments by our WUWT community remains civilised, it becomes a full scale bloodbath in the Telegraph (to name but one MSM source). Yes, people are angry, people have been pushed too far – but venomous attitudes do nothing to help our ‘rationalist’ cause.

      It also hinders progress when many ‘believers’ in the Telegraph’s comments section continually refer to ‘Grist’ – a web site which provides them with pages and pages of ‘responses’ to counter-argue with our skeptical views.

      http://grist.org/series/skeptics/

      Question: Despite many searches, I cannot find one web site that provides the exact opposite to ‘Grist’ – a series of rational responses to common CAGW claims. Is there such a site?

  10. On http://www.1ocean-1climate.com I have found the followings: “There are a number of man-made contributory factors that may have had specific impacts on the atmospheric heating, e.g. local warming in the cities (due to housing, roads, and other resultant factors), smoke and dust over long distances or deforestation of huge forest areas. Each of the above examples may have had temporary or long lasting implications, but none of them is a major source for the strong warming or cooling trends during the last 150 years. However, two major contributors (shipping and naval war) have been given little or no attention at all until now. Although the surface of the oceans is gigantic, their structure can be still influenced by certain factors. ”
    This, somewhat, interferes with the IPPC report. I mean, humans have a contribution on climate change, obviousely. But not so much the driver of a car, but the leader of a country that fought wars at sea. The climate is the continuation of the oceans, so I think what happend to the oceans should have been considered until now.

  11. From 1900 to 2010 the global population grew by 5 billion,how much CO2 was added by the additional people?( this is not a common core problem)

  12. “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” ― Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    FACT 1: Ice-core records repeatedly and consistently show that temperature changes first [up or down] before CO2 changes

    FACT 2: Over the last 18+ years, satellite data show no net global warming, while atmospheric CO2 has risen more than 10 percent.

    CONCLUSION: CO2 is not the “control knob” on temperature or climate. Other than as plant food, CO2 does not matter

    CO2 does not matter

    Time to abolish/defund the IPCC before it commits more fraud

    • FACT 2+: The Berkeley Earth Land + Ocean Data anomaly dataset shows no global average temperature increase since 2003.
      The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies GISS Surface Temperature Analysis monthly anomaly dataset shows no temperature increase in their Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index five-year Running Mean since 2002.

      • If you’re looking at US Govt temperature records. They are a fabribrication achieved through “homogonizing” the historic record. NASA or NOAA temperature “records” are a deception. A misrepresentation of the true record. A record meticulously compiled over the years .A record that should have been sacrosanct.

  13. It’s dominant use in CAGW is photographically
    It is rising H2O droplets that provide the terror images of “pollutant” gasses emerging from coal fired power station stacks – when suitably backlit by the sun.
    Take note warmists looking for that Kodak moment, the Battersea Power station is long defunct, so you must find another photographic model for your Chicken Little congregation.

  14. Many people are trying to better understand water vapor (indeed, the entire hydrologic cycle) and how it impacts the energy balance. Obviously it’s of critical importance. But please explain to me how humans can have a significant impact on the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Do you know how much water evaporates from the oceans each day?

    • The point is that until you understand how changes in water vapor affect the climate, trying to determine the other, much, much smaller contributions, is a waste of time.

    • Good point Barry, water vapor is controlled by both natural cycles AND landscape changes. Indeed it is natural ocean oscillations that dominate changes in water vapor. Even Trenberth acknowledged global water vapor was dominated by El NIno.

      Locally humans dry the land and affect convective storms. In the 1800s California’s central valley was considered swampland. Owens Lake that once allowed steamboat passage is now dry.

  15. Please forgive the reiteration of my nursery rhyme:

    On a cold winter day
    that’s snowy and grey,
    “Oh where is our globe ‘a warming?”
    Depends on the sun,
    which way oceans run,
    and clouds, in complexity forming.

  16. Every scientist acknowledges that H20 has greater opacity in the Infrared than CO2, and is thus the stronger component to holding in the Earth’s heat. The point is the H20 precipitates out as rain and snow, CO2 does not.
    Because warm air holds much more water vapor than cool air, there is a strong positive feedback effect that amplifies the blanketing of the atmosphere in the infrared when CO2 increases. If we had a water-free planet, the effect of CO2 would be much less.

    But we live on a watery planet. Which means it’s worth taking care of it.

    • I love taking care of my planet! That’s why I rant at global warming alarmism and poor reasoning skill of those who believe it! See my comment below on water vapour and CO2 ratios

    • Chris, if that happened…it would have already happened

      We would have had run away global humidity before….

      Actually, if that were possible, we wouldn’t be here right now

      • Of course it has happened before! For most of Earth’s 4.6 Billion years the Earth has been quite significantly warmer than it is today. The planet has been there before; it will survive. Humans haven’t been in this climate regime before; their survivability is the question.

    • Chris, warm air indeeds holds more water vapour, so you acknowledge that temperatures rise first, then water vapour increases through evaporation. Right? But now be aware that oceans are drawing most of the extra heat from CO2 warming out of the atmosphere through radiative transfer, and apparently mixing more than previously expected (see England et al). And this is moderating the rate of warming and evaporation. So how does that result in a “strong positive feedback”?

      • Well, it depends on which dollops of air you’re comparing and contrasting. The air in the Sahara is hot but holds very little water vapour. The air here on the BC coast is 20 degrees cooler but has 3 or 4 times as much water in it.
        Everybody’s familiar with the (perhaps tiresome) insistence that air doesn’t “hold” water, but the imprecise language might lead to laxity in visualization.

        In the AGW melodrama, we are repeatedly reminded that it’s not the (puny) rise in temperature that will knot our knickers but the Weirding of Weather, where everything becomes all topsy-turvy.
        Yes, we have “wet will become wetter, dry will become drier” for when “warm will become colder” doesn’t seem to be selling, but, generally we can’t count on a concomitant rise in evaporated but not yet precipitated water vapour with a rise in temperature.

        The wet becoming wetter thing intrigues me because I don’t know if the “Wet Coast” counts as wet.
        Sure, the cold season is wet but we have 3 months of very dry, so, if our dry becomes drier, it can only become drier by encroaching on the wet. Thereby, the wet also becomes drier …etc.
        We’re quit a bit drier than Atlanta, anyways.

      • Yes indeed, mebbe, when asking a simple question of logic (“So how does that result in a “strong positive feedback”?”), we are reminded that we should change the subject to discussing the “Wierding of Weather”. And if we take the bait, and remind that the IPCC AR5 and SREX reports advise that we are not observing an increase in floods, droughts, hurricanes, then… well I suppose it usually descends at this point to accusations of anti-science and climate denial and Gish Gallop, and such.

    • Humans haven’t been in this climate regime before; their survivability is the question.

      Actually there is solid data to show that human society first flourished in a period somewhat warmer than today – the Holocene optimum.

      • Where did humans evolve?
        It is clear that for humans as a specie, the globe is way too cold.
        If it was not for our ability to adapt ourselves (with clothing) or to adapt our environs (with buildings and fire), very little of this globe would be habitable for humans.
        The reason why we all wear clothes (and not a loin cloth/bikini etc) is not for modesty, but because it is simply too damn cold on planet Earth.
        You only have to look where humans live with little clothes (Rainforests/Australian Outback etc) to realise how little of the globe is environmentally suitable for humans as a pure specie, and why if one were only considering humans, one would wish to see a globe that was vastly warmer.
        But wea ll know that bio diversity is grweater in warm/wet environs and at its least in cold/arid environs. Science tells us that a warmer globe would greatly benefit life in general, and bio diversity would be increased if the globe were to warm.

    • If we had a water-free planet, the effect of CO2 would be much less.

      The effect of the CO2 can’t be any less than what it already is.

      A 0.0 (zero) measurable effect is still ZERO.

  17. “like describing a car and how it operates by ignoring the engine, transmission, and wheels while focusing on one nut on the right rear wheel. They are only looking at one thread on the nut, human CO2.”

    Or … like trying to understand how a car works by measuring only ozone from the exhaust.

    • Gary in Erko

      “like describing a car and how it operates by ignoring the engine, transmission, and wheels while focusing on one nut on the right rear wheel. They are only looking at one thread on the nut, human CO2.”

      Or … like trying to understand how a car works by measuring only ozone from the exhaust.

      While ignoring ALL of the economic benefits of EVERY car and truck and railroad worldwide while counting the bugs killed on an average windshield in Florida..

    • But Gary, science proves that the thread on the nut is positve, and you are saying it is negative, so you are anti-science and a science denier. And you obviously don’t care about the bugs dying on the windshield, you are an enemy of the planet.

      We need to replace all the cars and trucks urgently with sustainable bicycles. Vote Green.

  18. The IPCC states that water vapour should produce around half of the warming shown in the global climate models, and this should result in the upper troposphere warming faster than the surface:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8s8-6-3-1.html

    ‘In GCMs [global climate models], water vapour provides the largest positive radiative feedback (see Section 8.6.2.3): alone, it roughly doubles the warming in response to forcing (such as from greenhouse gas increases).’

    And:

    ‘In addition, GCMs find enhanced warming in the tropical upper troposphere, due to changes in the lapse rate (see Section 9.4.4).’

    If we fast forward to the AR5 they have the results to see if this is really occurring (table 2.8, page 197, chapter 2, working group I, IPCC AR5 report):

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter02_FINAL.pdf

    ALL temperature records show the lower troposphere (LT) warming faster than the mid/upper troposphere (MT) – i.e. no tropospheric hotspot & the opposite of what was predicted. It’s true the hotspot can be caused by any type of forcing, not just CO2, but the fact that it doesn’t exist shows that there is no evidence of positive feedback from water vapour regardless of what should be causing it.

  19. And in discussing water vapor, you didn’t mention irrigation of much of the west, including the San Joaquin Valley here in California. Putting additional water- and water vapor- in a desert can also affect temperature significantly.

  20. Barry

    Apparently the IPCC know the answer to your question. Confronted with problem of CO2 saturation that set an upper limit on temperature increase, even with doubling and tripling of CO2, they invoked a positive feedback mechanism? This claimed that the small temperature increase caused by increased CO2 due to humans, resulted in increased evaporation. The higher water vapor level in turn caused a further temperature increase as a positive feedback mechanism.

    So, they only include water vapor when it suits their claim of a positive feedback. This implies they do know how much water vapor varies and how much it increased due to human activity. Can anybody show me their calculations and real world proof of the claim?

  21. I’ll believe the predictions of climate models when they can do all of the following:

    1. Derive from first principles the average amount of cloud cover
    2. Derive from first principles the average amount of snowfall
    3. Derive from first principles the transparency of the oceans (a more transparent ocean is a cooler ocean)
    4. derive from first principles the average amount of vegetation

    • 3. Derive from first principles the transparency of the oceans (a more transparent ocean is a cooler ocean)

      Mike,
      you may want to review the physics of that statement. The more transparent the oceans, the deeper solar radiation penetrates, the longer it takes the energy to return to the surface, the hotter the oceans get.

      This was the greatest mistake of the climastrologists. By using standard S-B equations on the ocean surface they effectively treated them as opaque. That resulted in the utterly false claim that the oceans could only be heated to 255K (-18C) by solar radiation alone. The reality? The oceans could be driven to a surface Tmax of around 80C if not for cooling by our radiatively cooled atmosphere.

      • (a more transparent ocean is a cooler ocean)”

        This is the sort of VERY basic physics , undoubted well understood by the end of the 19th century to which one should be able to immediately provide a link to the experimentally verified , quantitative relationships . They certainly must be required in any undergraduate curriculum in “climate science” . These basic relationships apply to any semi-transparent medium , atmosphere , ocean , or glass .

        I’m an APL programmer for whom “more” and “less” don’t cut it . If it’s not quantitative , it’s word waving , never-converging BS .

        Basically , the ocean is blue because it is most transparent in blue . That transparency provides a greater chance for a photon to be scattered or reflected back out . My best cut at the temperature of an ocean blue ball is here : http://cosy.com/Science/WaterEquilibriumTemp.jpg . Were we a naked ocean blue ball , our temperature would be about 0.98 of the 278.7 ( I express that to 4 decimal places because the entire phenomenon this battle for a rational future is over is on the order of the 4th. decimal place ) gray body temperature in our obit .

        I’m far more interested in implementing my own abstraction of APL in Forth than this stuff which has diverted me only because of the politically consequential nonscience being foisted . I welcome feedback from and collaboration with physicists whose core interest is understanding these issues ( in the form of classical , well defined and understood experimentally unambiguous , quantitative relationships ) to build an open , executable vocabulary building to a quantitative model of the planet in my nascent 4th.CoSy . Anybody who does not know what APL is , I recommend the first few slides of my Heartland presentation : http://cosy.com/Science/HeartlandBasicBasics.html . Suffice it to say that a spectral map of the planet can be applied to a sphere with just a single line or so expression and run on any scale computer .

      • Basically , the ocean is blue because it is most transparent in blue . That transparency provides a greater chance for a photon to be scattered or reflected back out . My best cut at the temperature of an ocean blue ball is here : http://cosy.com/Science/WaterEquilibriumTemp.jpg . Were we a naked ocean blue ball , our temperature would be about 0.98 of the 278.7

        Good start. Now due that calculation for the round sphere of “blue water” we actually are on, and the actual albedo of water at various solar elevation angles found between 80 south and 80 north. See, the radiation is falling between 45 north and south, but the heat is radiating out from each latitude band differently into space since each band is at a different degree K w/r to space.

      • You offering to help ? I’m “working like a grad student” to get my 4th.CoSy ready for a Google Hangout to uber-nerds by the end of this month or next . Only those interested in bleeding edge programming language implementation are likely to be interested .

        The handful of definitions in http://Kx.com's K to compute the temperature of radiantly heated uniformly colored balls are on my Heartland slides . Definitely implementing a Lambertian cosine function on a ball is one of the obvious next steps I’d like to do when I reach that sort of thing in 4th.CoSy . ( Roy Spencer described this approach as “ray-tracing” . I’d never thought of it that way since it’s so much simpler than what’s generally thought of ( here’s some I did some years ago with the http://www.povray.org language : http://glasstables.cosy.com/TableMain.jpg ) but essentially he’s right . ) I really am curious what the isotherms are like on a simple ball . How much does the 0c “tipping point” boundary move with a 0.1c change in mean temperature .

        I really am interested in the classical minimalist analytical understanding of experimentally verifiable simple arrangements first . As I point out in my Heartland presentation Griffiths’ “Electrodynamics” which I inherited from my niece spends the first 280 pages on “statics” . I’ve only implemented the first half a chapter of such a treatment of planetary temperature physics but that’s sufficient to show the quantitatively howling absurdity of Hansen’s claim that Venus is an example of a “runaway” .

      • Bob Armstrong & RACookPE1978,

        Standard S-B equations cannot give the correct answer for SW translucent / IR opaque materials being illuminated by solar SW. For that you need CFD (computational fluid dynamics) or empirical experiment. I ran the experiments.

        Climastrologists claimed 255K (surface without radiative atmosphere) being raised 33K by our radiatively cooled atmosphere. Wrong. It’s surface at 312K being cooled to 288K by our radiatively cooled atmosphere.

        AGW is not “less than we thought”. AGW from CO2 is a physical impossibility.

      • I don’t know what you mean by “Standard S-B equations” . It requires Planck and dot products between spectra for even the simplest computations of radiative balance between anything other than gray ( flat spectrum ) objects .

        And as I pointed out before , the 255K meme is more an indication of how pathetically amateurish and consequently stagnate this uniquely retarded branch of applied physics is . It’s an irrelevant computationally useless dead end .

      • ”And as I pointed out before , the 255K meme is more an indication of how pathetically amateurish and consequently stagnate this uniquely retarded branch of applied physics is . It’s an irrelevant computationally useless dead end .”

        Sorry Bob. It’s biologically impossible for me to have your babies.

        But if you agree that AGW is a physical impossibility, I’m sure I can get over it.

        With therapy…

  22. This is great and adds even more nails to the CAGW coffin with simple logic… however, my pet peeve. Water vapor is NOT a gas anywhere in our atmosphere except briefly at volcanic vents before cooling to equilibrium temps and “normal” atmospheric pressures. At the highest point on Earth the boiling point of water is ~72°C (161°F) and I don’t think it gets that hot at the top of Everest. (Hottest recorded natural temp is 134°F in Death Valley, below sea level.) Look at any phase diagram for water and our atmospheric conditions don’t fall in the gas area. The reason I bring this up is, as Dr. Ball points out, the AGW types not only omit allowing for water vapor’s sensible heat in calculations and models, they omit the massive amounts of energy in latent heat transferred in and out of the atmosphere as water vapor evaporates and condenses out of solution. Gases do NOT do this above their boiling points.</rant>

    • Water vapor is NOT a gas anywhere in our atmosphere except briefly at volcanic vents before cooling to equilibrium temps and “normal” atmospheric pressures.

      Are you suggesting that if you have a clear blue sky without a cloud that the amount of water vapour in the air has to be zero? There just may not be enough vapour molecules to coalesce to the liquid form.

      • No. he is suggesting its not a gas, that’s all, Its vapour.

        However its a pretty fine line to tread to say that a vapour is not a gas..

      • Werner, I suggested no such thing. Water vapor’s the #3 component of our atmosphere and just because something is “invisible” in some conditions does not make it a gas.

        By (partial) definition the state of matter that we call a “gas” is a molecular substance that’s always above its boiling point at ambient pressure. It can dissolve in another liquid or solid but it won’t change states and condense into liquid without a pressure increase and temperature decrease. Gases and vapors have very different characteristics. Only vapors can move back and forth between liquid and vapor and a significant amount of energy is required for them to move in and out of solution (latent heat.) Since the Global Climate [insert current term here] is all about atmospheric energy and where it goes, that’s not a “fine line” it’s a large mover of energy. No gas in our atmosphere can do that at naturally found temp’s and pressures. Only water vapor has that ability in measurable amounts. (There are other trace compounds that can as well but they don’t make significant contributions to the energy flow.)

        Next, in gas form most elements are also insignificant emitters of radiation at pressures found in most of our atmosphere, but vapors, acting like dispersed liquids can and do emit since (oversimplified) they are closer to their liquid phase energy wise. This is also important as the ridiculous “back radiation” fallacy attempts to equate CO2 as a gas with water as a vapor. CO2, as a gas, has an emissivity (at normal atmospheric pressures) that is essentially zero but water vapor does emit radiation at normal atmospheric pressures. So that’s not such a fine line either.

      • Leo Smith

        February 9, 2015 at 2:41 am

        No. he is suggesting its not a gas, that’s all, Its vapour.

        However its a pretty fine line to tread to say that a vapour is not a gas..
        //////////////////////////////

        Not necessarily, since the optical absorption of LWIR in water is such that it only penetrates and is fully absorbed within a few microns. Accordingly, when water is water ‘vapour’ and not a ‘gas’ the size of the ‘droplets’ could become material as to how effective an LWIR block it becomes, and at what altitude it is operating.

        For example, when you have a sea mist (or fog over the ocean), how much DWLWIR actually reaches the ocean below, and how much of the DWLWIR is fully absorbed in the mist lying above the ocean?

      • My understanding is that if you had a single tungsten atom in the air, that atom would be in the gas phase, regardless how slow it may be moving. It does not depend on what the melting point of a chunk of solid tungsten might be.

      • Werner Brozek

        My understanding is that if you had a single tungsten atom in the air, that atom would be in the gas phase, regardless how slow it may be moving. It does not depend on what the melting point of a chunk of solid tungsten might be.

        True, as stated. A single uncharged atom of “chemical” anything loose in the atmosphere is the definition of a “gas”. A single charged ion would be a plasma, by that logic. Spectroscopically, the light waves emitted by a hot body are from the individual ions and atoms, not the “gas” as a whole. true – but almost irrelevant at the same time.

        But, in the real world, the “properties” of a chemical depend on how it is “packed” into a crystal arrangement, or as smoothly “flowing” separate atoms and compounds (a stable liquid), or freely moving (as a gas.) The metal’s properties (tungsten in your example) are STRICTLY controlled by the crystal lattice and its very strong non-random directional bonds. Thus, a melting point is a property of the crystal (diamond, coal, peat, etc are all the same atom, right?). Equally, a single liquid has very, very different strength and corrosion and stress-strain curves as it deforms under pressure: See the different types of steel I can make by very slightly changing the crystal properties and cooling rate of the same original carbon-iron-oxygen-manganese-silicon-nickel-copper mix originally stirred up. Or add more or less of the same atoms to get very different properties of the final crystal. Or beat the crystal mechanically (forging it) and get yet a fourth or fifth or sixth different kind of steel properties.

        Thus, a gas will behave differently thermodynamically depending on its concentration, its composition, and its local “weather” (pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed, wet bulb temperature) conditions. The “weather” in turn means that the film coefficients for heat transfer change as well when the temmperature of either – or both! – surfaces confing the gas change!

      • RACook, thanks for making the point I was trying to get at with phase properties of water. You said that much better than I.

      • See the different types of steel I can make by very slightly changing the crystal properties and cooling rate of the same original carbon-iron-oxygen-manganese-silicon-nickel-copper mix originally stirred up.

        I have a degree in metallurgical engineering so I am well aware of that. I basically agree with what you are saying. But this does not affect the basic definitions of gas, liquid and solid.
        However I am not sure about:

        Spectroscopically, the light waves emitted by a hot body are from the individual ions and atoms, not the “gas” as a whole. true – but almost irrelevant at the same time.

        If you have fog or clouds, you have fine droplets of liquid water and liquid water has very different properties from water vapour in which no two water molecules are attached. Water vapour in the air is transparent, but clouds are not. So in terms of how hot the sun warms the earth has a lot to do with the phase of the H2O.

      • Not in our atmosphere. Look at any phase diagram for water and even though (by convention) they label gaseous water as “vapor” note the temperatures and pressures associated with it. They do not naturally occur on our planet. All of the water in our atmosphere falls inside the liquid and solid phases.

      • NielsZoo,

        water vapour is a gas, otherwise air would contain 0% humidity. I suspect you are misreading the phase diagram for water.

      • You need to look carefully at the phase diagram for water and tell me where in our atmosphere water vapor is a gas. As to your comment about 0% humidity??? I can’t help you if you don’t understand how one substance dissolves in and saturates another. That’s basic chemistry and far beyond the scope of a comment. Take a look at See RACook’s excellent comment above as a better explanation as to why I always bring this up.

    • Of COURSE it’s a gas. At any temperature, even below freezing, there’s a fraction of gaseous H20 in the atmosphere. That ratio is much lower than the liquid water/vapor ratio at 15 C or 30 C, but it’s still greater than zero. If it WASN’T a gas, you wouldn’t get any benefit from perspiring. As it is, your body is cooled by the latent heat of evaporation.

    • Explain.

      No one like it when someone makes a hit ‘n’ run comment like that. What, exactly, is your objection?

      State it here chapter and verse, or we will rightly assume you are just trolling.

      • dbstealey, once again we have commented at the same time.
        We move in different ways from completely different political perspectives. But we move in parallel.

        I think we are exact opposites.

    • No. His Stormfrontesque posts are not like this. I disagree and disagreed with those.

      But…
      Water vapour is the most significant greenhouse gas. That is a physical reality.
      Observable facts about physical reality are not the same as subjective ideas about social constructs.

    • There are other deceptions in the chart…

      The “High” rating for “Total Anthropogenic RF relative to 1750” is a self-serving IPCC assessment. It must be high because we created it.

      The IPCC was designed and managed to perpetuate this deception and cynically do it openly.

      Too many scientists don’t know because they accept without checking. They assume, or don’t want to believe, that funding or a political agenda can corrupt other scientists.

      I gave up at this point; I’m sure you can see why, to wit, Ball is accusing the IPCC and scientists of widespread corruption to spread a lie (or something-or-other) about CO2.

      [But. Are any of those statements inaccurate? .mod]

      • The ipcc have an agenda, and it’s purely a political one. Their pretense of doing science is blatant, and yes, they are spreading lies (manmade global warming propaganda). They are corrupt to the core.

      • Kit Carruthers;
        gave up at this point; I’m sure you can see why, to wit, Ball is accusing the IPCC and scientists of widespread corruption to spread a lie

        And when actually CAUGHT in a lie (the Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035 debacle) the HEAD of the IPCC admitted that they knew the info was wrong but put it in anyway in the hopes of spurring governments to action. Read the climategate emails, read all the grey literature incorrect references that turned AR4 into a mockery, read carefully the tortured wording of ALL the AR reports to give the impression of certain things without actually saying them….. There’s an awful lot of fuel for that fire.

      • Kit Carruthers

        You list a series of true statements by Tim Ball then you conclude

        I gave up at this point; I’m sure you can see why, to wit, Ball is accusing the IPCC and scientists of widespread corruption to spread a lie (or something-or-other) about CO2.

        NO! Ball is explaining how the IPCC operates the Role of the IPCC as stated by the IPCC itself.

        The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only exists to produce documents intended to provide information selected, adapted and presented to justify political actions. The facts are as follows.

        It is the custom and practice of the IPCC for all of its Reports to be amended to agree with its political summaries. And this is proper because all IPCC Reports are political documents although some are presented as so-called ‘Scientific Reports’.

        Each IPCC Summary for Policymakers (SPM) is agreed “line by line” by politicians and/or representatives of politicians, and it is then published. After that the so-called ‘scientific’ Reports are amended to agree with the SPM. This became IPCC custom and practice when prior to the IPCC‘s Second Report the then IPCC Chairman, John Houghton, decreed,

        We can rely on the Authors to ensure the Report agrees with the Summary.

        This was done and has been the normal IPCC procedure since then.

        This custom and practice enabled the infamous ‘Chapter 8′ scandal so perhaps it should – at long last – be changed. However, it has been adopted as official IPCC procedure for all subsequent IPCC Reports.

        Appendix A of the most recent IPCC Report (the AR5) states this where it says.

        4.6 Reports Approved and Adopted by the Panel

        Reports approved and adopted by the Panel will be the Synthesis Report of the Assessment Reports and other Reports as decided by the Panel whereby Section 4.4 applies mutatis mutandis .

        This is completely in accord with the official purpose of the IPCC.

        The IPCC does NOT exist to summarise climate science and it does not.

        The IPCC is only permitted to say CO2-induced AGW is a significant problem because they are tasked to accept that there is a “risk of human-induced climate change” which requires “options for adaptation and mitigation” that can be selected as political polices and the IPCC is tasked to provide those “options”.

        This is clearly stated in the “Principles” which govern the work of the IPCC.
        These are stated at
        http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles.pdf

        Near its beginning that document says

        ROLE

        2. The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.

        This says the IPCC exists to provide
        (a) “information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change”
        and
        (b) “options for adaptation and mitigation” which pertain to “the application of particular policies”.

        Hence, its “Role” demands that the IPCC accepts as a given that there is a “risk of human-induced climate change” which requires “options for adaptation and mitigation” which pertain to “the application of particular policies”. Any ‘science’ which fails to support that political purpose is ‘amended’ in furtherance of the IPCC’s Role.

        The IPCC achieves its “Role” by
        1
        amendment of its so-called ‘scientific’ Reports to fulfil the IPCC’s political purpose
        2
        by politicians approving the SPM
        3
        then the IPCC lead Authors amending the so-called ‘scientific’ Reports to agree with the SPM.

        All IPCC Reports are pure pseudoscience intended to provide information to justify political actions; i.e.Lysenkoism. And the IPCC explicitly states this in it ‘Principles’.

        Richard

      • Ball is accusing the IPCC and scientists of widespread corruption to spread a lie…

        Since corruption and deception are proven facts from emails leaked to the public record, how does pointing it out qualify as “accusing?”

      • @Kit Carruthers,

        Over the last four years I separately verified everything that richardscourtney writes at February 8, 2015 at 10:59 pm. richardscourtney is reporting accurately and without hyperbole. I’ve made it plain here I’m not a scientist, but I *will* research a topic relentlessly. I don’t mind being ignorant, or being perceived as ignorant. But ‘stupid’ is refusing, on my part, to correct that ignorance. Determining the IPCC’s mandate is job #1 if you want to take its documents seriously, imo, so I looked into it. Further, there are feeder documents, papers (published as books) written by people like Dr. Irving M. Mintzer (formerly of the World Resources Institute) and Rajendra Pachauri (before he headed the IPCC)–too lengthy to go into here–that presuppose a warming world way ahead of the science (1994) and advocates global policies imposed with the weight of government money that they, of course, will ultimately manage. Mintzer has a B.A. and MBA from Berkeley, and a PhD in Energy Resources (I called and verified). Pachauri is a railway engineer.

        There is a lot to be suspicious of: if you read the literature.

        I actually plowed through 2/3 of the IPCC AR5 (I’m being honest, I didn’t finish it). Your statement that Dr. Ball wrote another “conspiracy theory piece” is laughable. (The discussion of the scientific differences of opinion here is another matter.) Even I, the token scientific ignoramus on this blog, asked when I saw Figure 1 above in the original AR5, “Where is the water vapor?” You need to direct your Monsieur Poirot skills to the people who are actually bamboozling you.

      • “the HEAD of the IPCC admitted that they knew the info was wrong but put it in anyway in the hopes of spurring governments to action.”

        No, that was Lal, the head of the Asia group, speaking to David Rose of the Daily Mail. Unfortunately, he wasn’t taped, so he denied he’d said it a couple of days later. Rose then said he had indeed said it.

  23. I dispute the claim of certain gasses having a “greenhouse effect” at all, but even if I play along with the hypothesis, the CO2 to water ratio and IR absorbtion properties makes the alarmists fear of CO2 increases laughable!
    According to all the literature water vapour is 6 times as “greenhousy” as CO2. At 1% concentration in the atmosphere (I take a low average) that’s 20 times the current CO2 level and (according to basic arithmetic (assuming basic arithmetic is allowed in these days where 10 page equations are needed to secure funding)) that’s 120 times the greenhousyness of CO2.
    If the total greenhouse effect is 33C (another dubious claim as that assumes the huge difference in Albedo between the Earth and the Moon is irrelevant) then CO2’s total role is no more than 0.28C (rounded up!) and man’s role in the last 160 years of temperature change to be <0.1C

  24. In addition to the issues raised by Tim in his article, there is also the issue of transfer of latent heat through evapotranspiration. As an example, consider heating of the land where soils are very dry, and there is no latent energy absorbed during evaporation, leading to run way local warming. Compare this to the simple conclusion of the IPCC that CO2 = warming = more evaporation = positive feedback. In the case of heating of dry soils, increased water and evaporation retard temperature increase. And that’s just pne of many such examples where water vapour effects are counter intuitive. It just ain’t simple, and yet so many believe that it is simple.

    Water vapour dominates climate in numerous ways, and yet current climate science only considers greenhouse feedback important, and this goes mostly unquantified. Feedback is estimated from paleoclimate records, even though in the past we have never had the situation where CO2 increases precede temperature increase (so the paleoclimate records are not analogous to the present, obviously). In climate modelling, many of water vapours impacts are simply ignored, or cast aside as a work in progress.

    Yet the warmies declare the science is settled: “science sez CO2 means warming, and yous say it’s not, so yous are anti-science deniers”. Really, that is the argument the warmies have resorted to, go check HotWhopper. [sigh].

    Whilst water vapour effects remain a mostly unanswered question, we simply do not know how increasing CO2 will impact on global warming. How much and how fast? Climate science has a long way to go to quantify all of the phenomena associated, and the debate on greenhouse policy must take this uncertainty into account.

  25. The water vapour argument is that it responds to the other forcing and has no independent impact (as water vapour is always available in excess).

    This is actually correct.

    The failing of the alarmists is not the idea that water vapour adjusts in response to other forcings.
    The failing of the alarmists is the idea that nothing else adjusts in response to other forcings

  26. The decision making paradigm between the skeptics and the believers of AGW is very different and it would difficult to come up with a sound discussion and resolve the issue. The skeptics have moved towards more rigorous analysis of raw data and soundness of the assumptions of the models used. On the other hand, to the believers the smoothing of raw data and dropping of major causes such as water vapor does not matter. To the believers, the most important fact is to get the politicians, decision makers and the public to move in the direction of what they believe is the salvation of the world and they think they are succeeding it. In fact any sound decision maker from the simple home owner to big business takes insurance in case their decision is faulty or there are unforeseen events that will prove their decision wrong and result to disaster for their home or businesses. A sound decision maker if goes for the believer side he should finance the skeptical studies so he will be ready to take corrective actions if his current actions is proven to be a failure. However, this is not happening because the believers have complete faith on the correctness of their actions and in fact they are concentrating the studies and researches to further support their position. they do not feel or appreciate the need for an insurance as they have more than 100 per cent confident they are correct and what is needed is more propaganda to convert the skeptics to their side. It does not matter if IPPC will ignore water vapor and even other non-man made factors affecting climate change. On the extreme side to some “believers” climate change is not even important but the real mission is to alter human society back to the concept of the noble savage that has always been popular in the human dreams making fictions such as robinson Crusoe or current TV shows on being marooned in islands to philosophical works.

    • “…they believe is the salvation of the world…” no, it is purely money, greed, and control.

  27. speaking of water…and BBC…

    beginning late January & going into February, BBC has endlessly promo-ed and then aired and repeated 50 minutes of BBC’s Claudia Hammond with Marine Biologist Mary Hagerdorn at the Wellcome (Trust) Collection, with opening claim by Hagerdorn that ALL CORAL in the world could be gone within FIFTY years.

    Now, BBC World Service’s “Science Hour” last night includes Hammond/Hagerdorn/Wellcome excerpts with BBC presenter’s intro stating “some experts” claim ALL CORAL in the world could be gone within FORTY years from triple whammy from humanity, pollution, global warming and ocean acidification. that was a quick LOST DECADE.

    the original 50-min show:

    Download Audio: BBC: Exchanges at the Frontier: Saving Coral 31Jan15
    Sat, 31 Jan 2015
    Duration: 50 mins
    Marine Biologist Mary Hagedorn has an innovative plan to save the coral reefs
    Download
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/ideas

    Latest Science Show: Coral segment begins half-way through the 49-minute program, approx 24 mins in:

    8 Feb: BBC World Service: The Science Show: Cosmic Renaissance; Three Person Babies; Chimpanzee language
    Note in Summary…Boosting coral populations…
    Download
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/science

  28. Thanks, Dr. Ball.
    “It is essentially impossible to determine the impact of 4 percent if you have very limited knowledge about 95 percent.”
    Yes, and water should be considered twice, as it would be the means for the amplification of the warming effect of CO2.

  29. thanx to the MSM, the public don’t know this either:

    30 Jan: Foreign Policy Mag: McKenzie Funk: The Hack That Warmed the World
    Europe’s carbon-trading market was supposed to be capitalism’s solution to global warming. Instead, it became a playground for gangsters, international crime syndicates, and even two-bit crooks — who stole hundreds of millions of dollars in pollution credits.
    Although stockbrokers have to be licensed, just about anybody can become a carbon trader. (In 2007, the New York Times had called carbon traders the “rising stars” of London’s financial district.)…
    As for carbon trading as a strategy to save the world, Beddoes remains skeptical. “Biggest scam on the planet!”…
    These crimes point to an inherent flaw in cap-and-trade systems: the difficulty of substantiating transactions that involve nothing palpable. “The noteworthy potential for the carbon market to be exploited,” Interpol says in its report, “rests on a single significant vulnerability that distinguishes it from other markets—the intangible nature of carbon itself.” Put another way, if a man who buys a horse never receives it, he’ll pick up on the scam. But if he buys the right, represented by a numerical code, to emit an invisible gas or the promise that someone else will emit less of that gas in the future, he might easily be fooled…
    In 2015, because of problems like excess credits, the main 
barrier to carbon crime may be that credits have become so cheap. But there’s still strong faith in the potential of cap and trade, and a mounting concern about fraud.
    So while officials wait for prices—***and global temperatures—to rise***, they’re finally tightening security…
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/01/30/climate-change-hack-carbon-credit-black-dragon/

    ***Funk seems rather more CAGW sceptical since writing his recent, well-researched book, “Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming”, which didn’t take sides on CAGW, but examined those cashing in, mostly in a positive light, & looked at potential benefits to countries, industries, individuals, etc., if the world did warm, according to the predictions.

    btw Christopher Booker’s latest – The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever – posted by highflight56433 above, had 9,226 comments when i last checked. add your voices…for the sake of your children and grand-children!

  30. I wish someone would model the effect of water vapor on climate. I read somewhere (maybe WUWT) that the weather in the mid-west is influenced by the massive irrigation in California. Is that true? Does the loss of the Mississippi delta affect the strength of Hurricanes that hit New Orleans? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • The weather in the Midwest is influenced by the warm, southerly flow of moisture off the Gulf of Mexico.

  31. Thanks to the IPCC “Global warming did serve a couple of useful purposes. The issue has been a litmus test for our political class. Any politician who has stated a belief in global warming is either a cynical opportunist or an easily deluded fool. In neither case should that politician ever be taken seriously again. No excuses can be accepted.” More at http://tinyurl.com/naexuho

  32. It’s –
    Now that reminds me of a man in a shredded suit, long hair, a beard, and the Liberty Bell March.

  33. I keep asking this question. If the human contribution to the CO2 flux into the atmosphere is around 3% of the total flux into the atmosphere from natural sources (very close to a rounding error), how can this lead to any major climate change? The biosphere recycles the CO2. And, it is healthier because of it.

  34. “Deception is possible because most know very little about climate, as the Yale Education study showed.”

    The Yale education study was to measure how many people had not been indoctrinated to climate dogma. From the executive summary these are examples of what people are “failing” to know.

    1. 57% know that the greenhouse effect refers to gases in the atmosphere that trap heat;
    2. 50% of Americans understand that global warming is caused mostly by human activities;
    3. 45% understand that carbon dioxide traps heat from the Earth’s surface;
    4. 25% have ever heard of coral bleaching or ocean acidification.

    Item 1 and 3 are basic facts, but without context are meaningless in terms of climate concerns. Items 2 and 4 however is BS, politely put as propaganda. It is only speculation that global warming is caused mostly by human activities. Coral bleaching are isolated incidents and tied to AGW only because anything perceiveed as bad has to be due to AGW. In medieval times we had Satan screwing everything up, in modern times we have CO2.

    Tim Balls point is true that people are easily deceived because they have limited science knowledge. The reality is it would be difficult to find someone in a Mall who even heard of the first law of thermodynamics never mind climate dynamics. Most peoples climate knowledge stops at. “don’t want it to snow, rain or get cold.”

    The Yale quiz was half basic climate concepts and half on how well the propaganda is taking hold. A sad day for Yale and higher education.

  35. Tim Ball’s excellent post (and the fact that lower Troposphere temperatures are rising less than the Surface) has caused me to think that we can actually re-write the Global Warming theory now.

    –> First, the theory is based on what happens in the Troposphere. An increase of 3.7 W/m2 from CO2 doubling impacts the troposphere by increasing its temperature by about 1.0C (according to the Stefan-Boltzmann equations which is actually used in the theory) (and then there is some adjustment in the Stratosphere and the temperature increase rises to about 1.2C).

    –> There are also various assumptions about how the Surface (where we live) reacts to that temperature increase in the Troposphere. The lapse rate decreases and the surface warms just as fast as the troposphere.

    –> But that is not what is happening. The Surface is warming faster than the Troposphere. The lapse rate is actually increasing and the link to surface temperature assumptions is therefore broken. There is not a tropical troposphere hotspot and therefore we can move away from the troposphere-focus and just go back to the Surface.

    –> For CO2 doubling at the Surface, the temperature increase is actually much smaller according to the Stefan-Boltzmann equations. While 3.7 W/m2 additional forcing in the troposphere produces 1.0C of warming (and 1.2C when some type of Stratosphere adjustment takes place), the Surface only increases by 0.68C for an extra 3.7 W/m2 of forcing.

    –> If we move the theory back to the Surface, we can do away with the lapse rate feedback and the Stratosphere some type of adjustment and just focus on Water Vapor, Cloud and Albedo feedbacks as they impact the Surface.

    –> The empirical evidence to date says that water vapor feedback is only 4.5% per 1.0C (not 7.0% per 1.0C as assumed in the theory and is directly built into the climate models) and cloud feedback is straight up ZERO (not the +0.7 W/m2/C assumed in the theory). The CERES and ERBE satellites show absolutely ZERO change in the net cloud radiative forcing since 1984 and it appears to be the same -22.0 W/m2 it has always been.

    –> So let’s plug all the new numbers into a revised global warming theory calculation and actually see if this new method actually works and compare it to what has happened.

    –> Since 1850, Forcing has increased by 1.9 W/m2 which should have produced a surface temperature increase of 0.352C by itself.

    –> Water vapor feedback kicks in at 4.5% per 1.0C and we get an initial round of another 0.102C temperature increase and then another 0.029C and then another 0.009C and so on.

    –> The feedbacks on feedbacks eventually diminish (in about 9 to 45 days that is with a tiny further adjustment in the long-run from Albedo feedback) and the temperature increase at the Surface stabilizes at +0.5C.

    –> Is that not what has actually happened to Surface temperatures since 1850 when one pulls out the fake temperature adjustments.

    –> When CO2 doubles and we do get to 3.7 W/m2 of forcing, the temperature increase will only be 0.96C. Welcome to the new Global Warming Equations.

  36. I searched here and J. Curry’s site, and see no reference to this. Alternate explaination and not on topic of water vapor but indicates O3 is the most important GHG. Apologies to Dr. Ball (and all if inappropriate but I just found it yesterday). Published 30 May 2013 out of Univ. of Waterloo, Canada.

    Quoting: “Furthermore, a new theoretical calculation on the greenhouse effect of halogenated gases shows that they (mainly CFCs) could alone result in the global surface temperature rise of ~0.6°C in 1970–2002. These results provide solid evidence that recent global warming was indeed caused by the greenhouse effect of anthropogenic halogenated gases. Thus, a slow reversal of global temperature to the 1950 value is predicted for coming 5 ~ 7 decades. It is also expected that the global sea level will continue to rise in coming 1 ~ 2 decades until the effect of the global temperature recovery dominates over that of the polar O3 hole recovery; after that, both will drop concurrently.”

    Read More: http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S0217979213500732%20

  37. Just got off the tractor putting out top dressing 18-46-0 fertilizer on the wheat.

    Opened up the lap top to see if Brian Williams was still checking the temp’s from the back of a Chinook Helo and sure as the sun comes up Drudge Report has the truth up for more to see.

    Drudge will not be called before King Obama and be forced to admit he hates Climate Change because he hates other race members and [is] not a mullah’s student of fake science.

    Win!

    • Surely you know Brian Williams has far more important things to do?

      Suddenly the indicator flashed orange. I thought Oh shit! “Fuel light is on”, I said to Neil crisply. “60 seconds”.
      #brianwilliamsmisremembers

  38. “Thanks To Tim Ball, the Public Still Doesn’t Know Water Vapor Is Most Important Greenhouse Gas or even any basics about the inappropriately-named ‘greenhouse’ effect”

    Or that’s how I read the article.

    There are other deceptions in the chart, including the claim that the “Level of Confidence” for CO2 is very high. This claim is false because CO2 levels have risen for 18+ years while temperature hasn’t increased, in contradiction to their major assumption that a CO2 increase causes a temperature increase. It is not surprising because it doesn’t occur in any record. The “High” rating for “Total Anthropogenic RF relative to 1750” is a self-serving IPCC assessment. It must be high because we created it.

    The RF is “radiative forcing”. This is “basic” physics. It is the “no-feedback” change (see note) in energy balance as a result of more GHGs. There’s not much in doubt here, all of the satellite measuring systems rely on the physics of radiative transfer and it has been well understood for 60+ years.

    Saying that climate hasn’t changed with more GHGs is the same as saying “with feedback, the climate hasn’t changed” and RF is “without feedback”. Do we find that in Tim Ball’s article? Does Tim Ball know what I am talking about?

    To critique RF means being able to find a flaw in either a) absorption of radiation (the Beer-Lambert law) or b) the emission of radiation (the Planck law) or c) the work of spectroscopy professionals over many decades as recorded in journals like Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer where scientists measure the absorption and emission lines of various molecules.
    And no, the IPCC didn’t create RF.

    I’m looking forward to his next piece where he explains what is wrong with the theory of radiative transfer.

    The top panel labeled “Well-mixed greenhouse gases” is apparently done to eliminate water vapor, which is not well mixed? It can’t be anything else, because CO2 is not “well-mixed” either as the recent satellite images show.

    Actually, in comparison to water vapor, CO2 is very-well mixed. And no, it’s not done to “eliminate water vapor” because it is about “forcings” – i.e. external changes to the climate system. Water vapor changes are a feedback to the climate system.

    Water vapor mixing ratio in the atmosphere changes by 10,000x – with temperature being the major reason.

    Tim Ball would know this if he had read the report. Or papers on water vapor. Or looked at data on the mixing ratio of water vapor through the atmosphere.

    The IPCC acknowledges H2O is the most important, but that is not what the public understands.

    So clearly this is the fault of the IPCC report. They didn’t write it large enough. What proportion of the public has studied the IPCC report? I have many criticisms of the various IPCC reports but the fact that public understanding of climate is flawed is a pretty crazy one. I think 1000x more people have read this blog..

    Upper tropospheric water vapor (UTWV) is much more important than lower tropospheric water vapor – when it comes to climate feedbacks. Total column water vapor is really not that important when it comes to working out water vapor feedback.

    The IPCC ignore water vapor by assuming humans don’t change it measurably. In the 2007 Report they wrote,

    “Water vapour is the most abundant and important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. However, human activities have only a small direct influence on the amount of atmospheric water vapour.”

    It is essentially impossible to determine the impact of 4 percent if you have very limited knowledge about 95 percent.

    How do humans change water vapor? Tim?

    Basically Tim Ball appears to be writing a critique of the IPCC but he is writing a critique of basic meteorology and atmospheric physics, as it has been understood for many decades. Well, he is not writing a critique, he is writing a mish-mash of claims that aren’t supported by any textbook on meteorology or atmospheric physics.

    To get out of the starting blocks with his impressive work, he needs to show that humans affect water vapor concentration, and to demonstrate where the physics of radiative transfer in the atmosphere (absorption and emission) is different from the all the textbooks, including Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (Nobel prize winner for his work on this subject). That’s just a couple of starters.

    Water vapor concentration, especially upper tropospheric water vapor, is well understood to be a major challenge for climate prediction. This is mainly because it relies on understanding convection.

    I could go on. More about water vapor at Science of Doom: Clouds and Water Vapor.

    Note: the “no feedback” RF value does include one feedback – stratospheric adjustment – because this is very fast (order of a few months) and doesn’t rely on those tricky subjects like convection and the ocean. More at Wonderland, Radiative Forcing and the Rate of Inflation.

    • Oh, what a delight! PseudoScienceofDoooooom. So good to see you here ;)

      ”The RF is “radiative forcing”. This is “basic” physics. It is the “no-feedback” change (see note) in energy balance as a result of more GHGs. There’s not much in doubt here, all of the satellite measuring systems rely on the physics of radiative transfer and it has been well understood for 60+ years.”

      “Basic Physics”? Let me guess…of the “settled science”? Well it’s no good trying to apply the two stream approximation of radiative physics within the Hohlrumn of the atmosphere. Not when the primary energy transports within the troposphere are non-radiative. Sir George Simpson of the royal meteorological society warned Callendar against this way back in 1939. What’s your excuse?

      You have been running a propaganda site for some years, promoting the idea that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmosphere’s radiative cooling ability. You have lent much support to the climastrologists and their political fellow travellers. Let’s examine some of the foundation claims of the Church of Radiative Climastrology for which you are an Imam –

      DWLWIR slows the cooling of the surface.
      Nope. 71% of our planet’s surface is ocean. Empirical experiment proves that incident LWIR has no effect on the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool. (go on, give us ya best minnett, SoD)

      The oceans are a near blackbody.
      Nope. The oceans are an extreme SW selective surface. The oceans are SW translucent, IR opaque. If they are SW illuminated (and they are), they will heat far higher than a blackbody. Especially if the illumination is intermittent, not averaged. (last time I checked, this planet had a diurnal cycle…).

      And worse, SW absorptivity of water is asymmetric with LWIR emissivity. 0.9 for hemispherical SW absorptivity. 0.67 for hemispherical LWIR emissivity. (Remember when you and yours at SoD tried to get rid of that annoying 0.67 figure? The Internet does. Forever. I and others have those glossy screen shots ;) )

      And worse and worse…if you were an engineer you would know that you can’t use S-B equations to determine eT for SW translucent / IR opaque materials that are being illuminated by SW. (Guessing you are a pseudo scientist, not an engineer, right?)

      The sun alone can’t heat the oceans above 255K.
      Nope. 71% of the surface of our planet is an extreme SW selective surface. Tmax of the oceans could hit 80C or beyond, were it not for cooling by our radiatively cooled atmosphere.

      The Sun heats the oceans.
      The atmosphere cools the oceans.
      Radiative gases cool the atmosphere.

      PseudoScienceofDoooooom, you spent years spreading propaganda denying these three facts. You made the list ;)

      • Konrad,

        Thanks for the welcome, let me address your points.

        “Basic Physics”? Let me guess…of the “settled science”? Well it’s no good trying to apply the two stream approximation of radiative physics within the Hohlrumn of the atmosphere. Not when the primary energy transports within the troposphere are non-radiative. Sir George Simpson of the royal meteorological society warned Callendar against this way back in 1939. What’s your excuse?

        I’m not sure what the Hohlrumn of the atmosphere is.

        Regardless of convection, which dominates heat transfer in the atmosphere, radiation still takes place.
        And radiation is the only mechanism for heat transfer between the planet and the sun/space. It is also still important within the troposphere, but much less important than convection.

        Changes in GHGs change the outgoing longwave radiation from the climate system.

        As a result, other things change. The result from the changes is “with feedback”. The result before the changes is “no feedback”.

        If you argue that changes in GHG concentrations have zero “no feedback” effect then you have misunderstood very basic physics. Can you supply a reference for this?

        It is equivalent to saying that the Beer-Lambert law is wrong.

        This “no feedback” value is what Tim Ball, the writer of this article is talking about with RF.

        If you want to argue about “with feedbacks” then it is not basic physics and I have made no comment on that. But that was not Tim Ball’s point, assuming he had any idea what he was talking about. Let’s see if he comments.

        Being able to distinguish between different ideas is necessary for the scientific method.

        Do you think Tim Ball is talking about “with feedbacks”? Do you think it is impossible to calculate the OLR of the climate system?

        No one would know from your answer.

        It is possible to calculate the OLR of the climate system and it is done routinely. This is how satellite measuring systems work.

        The oceans are a near blackbody.
        Nope. The oceans are an extreme SW selective surface. The oceans are SW translucent, IR opaque. If they are SW illuminated (and they are), they will heat far higher than a blackbody. Especially if the illumination is intermittent, not averaged. (last time I checked, this planet had a diurnal cycle…).

        And worse, SW absorptivity of water is asymmetric with LWIR emissivity. 0.9 for hemispherical SW absorptivity. 0.67 for hemispherical LWIR emissivity. (Remember when you and yours at SoD tried to get rid of that annoying 0.67 figure? The Internet does. Forever. I and others have those glossy screen shots ;) )

        And worse and worse…if you were an engineer you would know that you can’t use S-B equations to determine eT for SW translucent / IR opaque materials that are being illuminated by SW. (Guessing you are a pseudo scientist, not an engineer, right?)

        In Emissivity of the Ocean I give details of many experiments and studies on this fascinating topic.

        In longwave – that is, the wavelengths that characterize the temperature of the oceans – the emissivity is very high. It is around 0.96. You can find this in all textbooks, going back to the 1960’s. I haven’t found any older books to check.

        Just as a teaser, knowing the interest in primary research on this blog: “For example, 29 years ago Miriam Sidran writing “Broadband reflectance and emissivity of specular and rough water surfaces”, begins:

        The optical constants of water have been extensively studied because of their importance in science and technology..

        And here are Konda, Imasato, Nishi and Toda (1994), commenting on a few older papers (before citing their research which you can find in the article I linked):

        Buettner and Kern (1965) estimated the sea surface emissivity to be 0.993 from an experiment using an emissivity box, but they disregarded the temperature difference across the cool skin.

        Saunders (1967b, 1968) observed the plane sea surface irradiance from an airplane and determined the reflectance. By determining the reflectance as the ratio of the differences in energy between the clear and the cloudy sky at different places, he calculated the emissivity to be 0.986. The process of separating the reflection from the surface irradiance, however, is not precise.

        Mikhaylov and Zolotarev (1970) calculated the emissivity from the optical constant of the water and found the average in the infrared region was 0.9875.

        The observation of Davies et al. (1971) was performed on Lake Ontario with a wave height less than 25 cm. They measured the surface emission isolated from sky radiation by an aluminum cone, and estimated the emissivity to be 0.972. The aluminum was assumed to act as a mirror in infrared region. In fact,aluminum does not work as a perfect mirror.

        Masuda et al. (1988) computed the surface emissivity as a function of the zenith angle of observed radiation and wind speed. They computed the emissivity from the reflectance of a model sea surface consisting of many facets, and changed their slopes according to Gaussian distribution with respect to surface wind. The computed emissivity in 11 μm was 0.992 under no wind.

        Each of these studies in trying to determine the value of emissivity, failed to distinguish surface emission from reflection and to evaluate the temperature difference across the cool skin. The summary of these studies are tabulated in Table 1.

        Then of course they take account of these shortcomings and present their own updated calculations. I don’t want to spoil the fun for you.

        And I really look forward to the research you are about to present on the longwave emissivity of the ocean.

        You also comment, a little mysteriously:

        (Remember when you and yours at SoD tried to get rid of that annoying 0.67 figure?

        No. You will have to fill me in. Was that the Tallbloke blog where someone hadn’t understood that the particular measurements of emissivity didn’t include the ocean, and so it was a ‘blank value’ but no one realized it? And no one checked. Or something else?

        Well, I have linked many papers, along with extracts, calculations and tables of the longwave emissivity of the ocean. Please explain where all these people went wrong, and how you got it right.

        Either you present research, or you have done experiments.. or… you assert whatever value you like here.

        The Sun heats the oceans.
        The atmosphere cools the oceans.
        Radiative gases cool the atmosphere.

        PseudoScienceofDoooooom, you spent years spreading propaganda denying these three facts. You made the list ;)

        I’m a little unclear here, because I claim all three as well. Probably my work is a little confusing. I would be delighted if you could show up at my blog and explain which claims I made that you disagree with. Remember to come with specifics. We are slightly more into boring detail than the arm-waving approach here, entertaining as it is.

        As a small primer on the 3rd point, The Atmosphere Cools to Space by CO2 and Water Vapor, so More GHGs, More Cooling! starts with:

        The atmosphere cools to space by radiation. Well, without getting into all the details, the surface cools to space as well by radiation but not much radiation is emitted by the surface that escapes directly to space (note 1). Most surface radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere. And of course the surface mostly cools by convection into the troposphere (lower atmosphere)..

      • scienceofdoom
        February 8, 2015 at 10:26 pm
        ////////////////////////////////////////////////
        Ooops! Did I get your warmulonian feathers ruffled? So much typing. So sad. Too bad.

        You invite debate on your own blog. But I and others have screen shots of what you and yours do. Good luck with that.

        Wanna play the radiative physics game with your superiors? You can do it right here!

        “Is the ocean a “near blackbody” or a SW selective material?”

        Forget your little censored echo chamber. This here is WUWT. The only reason I post here is that Anthony (lukewarmer) hates my guts but has the decency to not censor. (a decency you and yours lack).

        Step up to the plate PesudoScienceofDooooom. Oceans a near blackbody, or oceans an extreme SW selective surface?

        …well I can ask. But it is unlikely a Warmulonian Drivel Monkey that doesn’t even know the meaning of “Hohlrumn” would ever come close.

        Come on, Warmulonian Drivel Monkey. Right here. Right Now. WUWT! Your big chance. Oceans a near blackbody or oceans a SW selective surface? A or B. Right or Wrong?

      • Phil.
        February 9, 2015 at 12:41 pm
        ////////////////////////////////////////////
        Yes, spelling error, hohlraum is correct.

        The term refers to a self radiating cavity. Make a hollow aluminium sphere polished inside and out, with a small hole allowing interior observation. This is a Hohlraum.

        Polished aluminium will have an emissivity of ~0.04.

        Heat the sphere to 100C and use a IR thermometer to read the surface temperature. You will get a fair result for exterior reading using 0.04 as the emissivity setting on the instrument. Now try measuring the interior through the small hole. The material is the same, but now the instrument wildly over reads. You will need to raise the emissivity setting of the instrument to near 1.0 to get a fair reading of interior temperature, because the material is self radiating.

        This also referred to a “cavity effect” in industrial thermography.

        What this means is all the oceanography links that SoD offers are wrong. Or rather they are right for obtaining an emissivity setting for IR measurement of water under a radiative atmosphere. This is apparent emissivity not effective emissivity. You cannot use that figure as a measure of waters radiative cooling ability.

        There are a couple of ways to obtain true or effective emissivity for water. (no the aluminium cone SoD describes won’t work.)

        1. Complex and annoying
        Cancel background IR over a flat water sample with a cryo-cooled “sky” that is not IR reflective –

        – this is what was done for calibrating instruments for the diviner lunar mission –

        2. Expensive
        A new toy has been invented, the tunable IR quantum cascade laser. This can be used to check the IR reflectivity of water over all angles with great precision. Via Kirchoffs laws, IR emissivity will be the corollary of IR reflectivity.

        All of the references SoD offered are about emissivity settings for IR measurement of water temperature in situ. They are irrelevant to the true radiative cooling ability of water.

        But even with good figures for SW absorptivity and IR emissivity you still can’t use Stefan-Boltzmann equations on the oceans. The oceans are being illuminated by solar SW and they are SW translucent and IR opaque. S-B equations cannot be used for materials like this. But this is just what climastrologists did to get their ridiculous “255K surface without radiative atmosphere figure”.

      • Konrad 5:32pm: “What this means is all the oceanography links that SoD offers are wrong.”

        No Konrad, you are wrong. What this means is you are measuring BB radiation emitting from the aluminum cavity thru its hole, this is why the IR thermometer setting is best raised to “near 1.0”.

        “The oceans are being illuminated by solar SW and they are SW translucent..”

        No Konrad, you’ve got that wrong also. The deep oceans are not translucent to SW, they are opaque to SW. The ocean surface reflects about 4% incident light energy over the entire spectrum from horizon to zenith by numerous experiments, modified very slightly (0.5 to 1 count out of 100) over the full range of reasonable natural windy conditions.

        “S-B equations cannot be used for materials like this.”

        S-B has tested applicable to all material with negligible diffraction & positive radii at all frequency intervals at all temperatures all the time. Whether in vacuum or under atm. pressure. The 255K is measured with precision instrumentation and not assumed.

        “They are irrelevant to the true radiative cooling ability of water.”

        No Konrad, you even get this wrong. Set your IR thermometer to 0.95. It will measure about 100C for boiling water, 0C for slush, 0F for refrigerator freezer ice, and about 70F for room temperature swimming pool water – all in accord with properly calibrated mercury or steel coil thermometers set therein.

      • The 255K is measured with precision instrumentation and not assumed.

        I really need all my time to work on the making my 4th. CoSy language capable of expressing these relationships as succinctly and the best APLs and computing them rather than just jawboning about them , but I can’t let this howler go by .

        That 255k assumption , as shown in the graph I included at February 9, 2015 at 12:52 pm is as crude as it could be and corresponds to no real spectrum , certainly not the earth’s surface .

        One thing I never see discussed in any thing other than the vaguest allusions is the effect of the atmosphere on the variance in our temperature rather than it’s mean . That is the overwhelming effect of the transfer of heat to and from the atmosphere in which CO2 clearly plays a major role .

      • Trick
        February 9, 2015 at 8:54 pm
        /////////////////////////////////////////////
        Ooooh, Trick! So delightful to see you here you Warmulonian Drivel Monkey! Could Drudge have been a factor….

        Forget Drudge, you know you never win against Judge Dread. I am the law.

        You know the rules from the real sceptic website “Tallblokes Talkshop”. How many times would you like to run your climastrology weasel around the bush before I pop it?

        No Konrad, you are wrong. What this means is you are measuring BB radiation emitting from the aluminum cavity thru its hole, this is why the IR thermometer setting is best raised to “near 1.0″.
        Nope. PseudoScienceofDooom was trying to claim IR emissivity measurement in the Hohlraum of the atmosphere meant effective not apparent emissivity. You fail.

        No Konrad, you’ve got that wrong also. The deep oceans are not translucent to SW, they are opaque to SW.
        Who’s a squealing warmulonian drivel monkey? SW penetrates over 200m below the IR opaque surface of our oceans! Did you mindlessly think the inclusion of the word “deep” would save your inane warmulonian propaganda? Suffer in your bunched panties warmist!

        Face it “Trick”, every time you post comment, you just make the warmulonians look more and more scientifically illiterate. Do you want to appear as inane as Obarmaclese the messiah? That’s where you’re heading…..

        [Enough already. You’re breaking the spell-checker. .mod]

      • [Enough already. You’re breaking the spell-checker. .mod]

        The spell-checker you say? Oh for goodness sake!

        Yesterday it was the damn microwave!

        Something failed the smoke test in the electronics. The smoke turned to flaming plasma in the oven space. The papudum’s were ruined of course…

        Spell-check Mods? You need to focus on the bigger issues. My home cooked Indian was ruined by a radiative physics mistake!

      • Bob Armstrong 2/10 8:52am: Your 12:52 “therefore (earth’s) absorptivity/emissivity (ae) is about 0.7 wrt the Sun” confuses reflectivity (life of photons) and absorptivity (death of photons). The earth system reflects ~0.3 SW – these photons still live, 100% of the remaining 0.7 incident SW is absorbed by the system – photon death – and turned into LW (born again).

        The earth L&O surface is measured around 0.95 emissivity/absorptivity not “0.7 wrt the Sun”. The atm. is measured 0.7 polar to 0.9 emissivity equator looking up. The resultant global annual Tmean 255K has been measured by a series of precision, calibrated instruments on many satellites over several decades.

    • The RF is “radiative forcing”. This is “basic” physics. It is the “no-feedback” change (see note) in energy balance as a result of more GHGs. There’s not much in doubt here, all of the satellite measuring systems rely on the physics of radiative transfer and it has been well understood for 60+ years.

      1. The IPCC makes it clear that RF (radiative forcing) and SF (surface forcing) are two different things, so it isn’t “basic” at all.
      2. Changes in RF due to changes in GHG’s do not, at equilibrium, change the energy balance of the system as a whole. The change is zero. What does change is the temperature profile of the atmospheric air column from surface to TOA, with the surface becoming warmer, and above the Mean Radiating Layer, things become colder. But there is NO change at equilibrium to the planet’s energy balance.
      3. Satellites measure temperature by sensing the microwave emissions of an oxygen isotope that varies with temperature, which is rather different from measuring radiative transfer.

      Those are three things you got wrong in just one paragraph. If you’re going to comment at length, do try and get it right.

      In response to some other of your snark:

      1. Humans do in fact alter water vapour in the atmosphere, primarily through land use changes.
      2. The job of the IPCC is to inform the public in general as well as policy makers of the facts. That they diminish the role of water vapour in the system is a fair criticism of their work. Your sarcastic remark that they didn’t put it in big enough print, is, amusingly, quite accurate. They didn’t. And they didn’t do their job, they chose to mislead instead, and water vapour is only a single example of their many transgressions on that front.

      • davidmhoffer,

        1. The IPCC makes it clear that RF (radiative forcing) and SF (surface forcing) are two different things, so it isn’t “basic” at all.

        Good point. Basic depends on the writer.

        Let’s say replicable science. Of course, lots and lots of people will dispute that but mostly their answers betray that they actually don’t know what radiative forcing is. Or radiative transfer.

        You are correct that RF (at the tropopause, after stratospheric adjustment) is different from surface forcing. Being different from something doesn’t make it not “basic”.

        Let’s say, in the scientific world, which includes the many scientists sometimes lauded on this blog (e.g. Lindzen, Christy and Spencer) no one is confused about RF, and no one thinks the calculation is wrong. I’ve read lots of Lindzen’s papers, and lots of Christy’s and Spencer’s and I’ve even written a series explaining where Spencer is correct and people attacking him are wrong, but that is completely off topic.

        Find someone who can explain atmospheric radiation and how satellites measure things like SST – and have them say that RF is in dispute.

        So I retract my statement and say instead that RF is not in dispute in the world of atmospheric physics. In the blog world, of course. But can any blog world doubters critique <a href="here“>the equations of radiative transfer? Or derive an alternative? Or even derive them in their original state? Or does anyone even know what I am talking about. Moving on..

        2. Changes in RF due to changes in GHG’s do not, at equilibrium, change the energy balance of the system as a whole. The change is zero. What does change is the temperature profile of the atmospheric air column from surface to TOA, with the surface becoming warmer, and above the Mean Radiating Layer, things become colder. But there is NO change at equilibrium to the planet’s energy balance.

        “At equilibrium” – ?

        Changes in RF disturb the equilibrium.

        So I agree with the statement that never applies.

        If we take a statement that does apply we would write: “With a system currently in equilibrium, changes in RF due to changes in GHG’s do change the energy balance of the system as a whole

        It’s important to be specific. If you disagree with my restatement of your second point then either you think that changes in RF do not change OLR – confused about radiative transfer, which we both now agree is not basic, but I state is not in dispute by anyone who works in the field – or, you think that the first law of thermodynamics is wrong.

        I leave it to you to explain.

        3. Satellites measure temperature by sensing the microwave emissions of an oxygen isotope that varies with temperature, which is rather different from measuring radiative transfer.

        Satellites measure temperature by not just microwave. Satellites measure atmospheric temperature using radiative transfer equations. Specifically, an inverse of these equations. Likewise for water vapor. CERES and AIRS – the two current best systems for temperature and water vapor – they use it. How do they get it right?

        Don’t take my word for it, I will just cite papers, give extracts and produce equations – all to confuse.

        Go to Roy Spencer’s blog and ask him. He will tell you, yes, the radiative transfer equations are what we use, and yes, they are necessary for calculating the tropospheric temperatures via the UAH satellites. But thinking about it, maybe Roy just looks up the microwave measurements, or the radiosondes, does a bit of a back of envelope calculation – and then pretends he got it from the satellite. Maybe there are no satellites.. Are they driving new cars?

        I suggest Roy Spencer because he is often highlighted here. If you can find someone who actually works in this field who says that the RTE are wrong, well, you will be a sensation. I will write an article on my blog and quote you. Just show up with the guy/gal, but they have to be producing stuff in this field.

      • scienceofdoom

        Yoy say

        Of course, lots and lots of people will dispute that but mostly their answers betray that they actually don’t know what radiative forcing is. Or radiative transfer.

        Well, your long-winded post makes clear that you are one of the “lots of people” who “don’t know what radiative forcing is”. One example of the several demonstrations of this in your posts says

        The RF is “radiative forcing”. This is “basic” physics. It is the “no-feedback” change (see note) in energy balance as a result of more GHGs. There’s not much in doubt here, all of the satellite measuring systems rely on the physics of radiative transfer and it has been well understood for 60+ years.

        No, radiative forcing is NOT radiative transfer, and davidmhoffer is correct about equilibrium conditions. Please see the IPCC Glossarywhich says

        Radiative forcing
        Radiative forcing is the change in the net vertical irradiance (expressed in Wm^-2) at the tropopause due to an internal change or a change in the external forcing of the climate system , such as, for example, a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide or the output of the Sun. Usually radiative forcing is computed after allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with all tropospheric properties held fixed at their unperturbed values.

        Richard

      • gbaikie

        You say

        Saying that climate hasn’t changed with more GHGs is the same as saying “with feedback, the climate hasn’t changed” and RF is “without feedback”. Do we find that in Tim Ball’s article? Does Tim Ball know what I am talking about?

        I cannot speak for Tim Ball, but I don’t know think you know what you are talking about.

        It is an assumption used in the climate models that change to climate is driven by change to radiative forcing. And it is very important to recognise that this assumption has not been demonstrated to be correct. Indeed, it is quite possible that there is no force or process causing climate to vary. I explain this as follows.

        The climate system is seeking an equilibrium that it never achieves. The Earth obtains radiant energy from the Sun and radiates that energy back to space. The energy input to the system (from the Sun) may be constant (although some doubt that), but the rotation of the Earth and its orbit around the Sun ensure that the energy input/output is never in perfect equilbrium.

        The climate system is an intermediary in the process of returning (most of) the energy to space (some energy is radiated from the Earth’s surface back to space). And the Northern and Southern hemispheres have different coverage by oceans. Therefore, as the year progresses the modulation of the energy input/output of the system varies (and global temperature rises by 3.8°C then falls by 3.8°C during each year). Hence, the system is always seeking equilibrium but never achieves it.

        Such a varying system could be expected to exhibit oscillatory behaviour. And, importantly, the length of the oscillations could be harmonic effects which, therefore, have periodicity of several years. Of course, such harmonic oscillation would be a process that – at least in principle – is capable of evaluation.

        Very importantly, there is an apparent ~900 year oscillation that caused the Roman Warm Period (RWP), then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP), then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the present warm period (PWP). All the observed rise of global temperature in the twentieth century could be recovery from the LIA that is similar to the recovery from the DACP to the MWP. And the ~900 year oscillation could be the chaotic climate system seeking its attractor(s). If so, then all global climate models and ‘attribution studies’ utilized by IPCC and CCSP are based on the false premise that there is a force or process causing climate to change when no such force or process exists.

        However, there may be no process because the climate is a chaotic system. Therefore, the observed oscillations (ENSO, NAO, etc.) could be observation of the system seeking its chaotic attractor(s) in response to its seeking equilibrium in a changing situation.

        Random variation of the spatial distribution of surface temperatures could alone be responsible for all the observed temperature rise from the LIA.

        Or the rise from the LIA could be an affect of random variation in cloud cover. Good records of cloud cover are very short because cloud cover is measured by satellites that were not launched until the mid 1980s. But it appears that cloudiness decreased markedly between the mid 1980s and late 1990s. Over that period, the Earth’s reflectivity decreased to the extent that if there were a constant solar irradiance then the reduced cloudiness provided an extra surface warming of 5 to 10 Watts/sq metre. This is a lot of warming. It is between two and four times the entire warming estimated to have been caused by the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. (The IPCC says that since the industrial revolution, the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has had a warming effect of only 2.4 W/sq metre).

        But some people believe that only radiative forcing changes cause climate changes and model their belief as climate models for predicting/projecting the future.

        However, if their assumption that climate change is driven by radiative forcing is correct then it is still extremely improbable that – within the foreseeable future – climate models could be developed to a state whereby they could provide reliable predictions. This is because the climate system is extremely complex. Indeed, the climate system is more complex than the human brain (the climate system has more interacting components – e.g. biological organisms – than the human brain has interacting components – e.g. neurones), and nobody claims to be able to construct a reliable predictive behavioral model of the human brain. It is pure hubris to assume that the climate models are sufficient emulations for them to be used as reliable predictors of future climate when they have no demonstrated forecasting skill.

        Richard

      • scienceofdoom;
        Changes in RF disturb the equilibrium.

        Temporarily. Effective black body temperature of earth before CO2 doubles is -18C and after CO2 doubles it is -18C. Temps below MRL get higher, temps above get lower, but effective black body temperature between the states changes by 0. Let me spell it out for you. ZERO. During the temporary transient conditions caused by the change, equilibrium is indeed disturbed, but this is the transient effect, not the long term effect, and it is minor.

        The rest of your long winded snark infested diatribe seems predicated on the assumption that I stated that RF is in dispute. I said no such thing. I said your treatment of it was overly simplistic and unrepresentative of the actual physics, to which you agreed. You then mounted of on some charge about things I never said (and wouldn’t agree with in any event) and challenge me to bring traffic to your blog so that you can make a mockery of me.

        You must be getting truly desperate for traffic when you have to misrepresent what someone else says and challenge them to a dual on your blog.

      • Richard,

        No, radiative forcing is NOT radiative transfer, and davidmhoffer is correct about equilibrium conditions.

        How do they calculate radiative forcing?

        Let me know, along with references.

        For readers interested, radiative forcing is worked by via a calculation of radiative transfer through the atmosphere. There isn’t another way to do it.

      • gbaikie,

        What wrong theory of radiative transfer is Earth is mostly covered with ocean which is transparent to sunlight.
        So it would work fine if most of sunlight intersected a blackbody surface.
        But with Earth about 1/2 of the energy of the sun which intersect Earth disc passes thru this transparent watery surface.
        So this sunlight would heat water meters below the surface and can not immediately radiate the energy back to space, as it would with a blackbody surface.

        The theory of radiative transfer is inapplicable/incorrect because Earth is mostly covered by ocean?

        What about people’s shoe size, why not bring that up? Or the number of mountains?

        Radiative transfer for readers interested, perhaps not including current commenters..

        Take the temperature of the surface, temperature profile of the atmosphere, GHG concentration of the atmosphere – using the RTE (radiative transfer equations) as found in textbooks on this subject (long before the IPCC existed) – you can calculate the OLR (outgoing longwave radiation).

        You can calculate other things also, like downwards radiation at the surface (DLR = ‘back radiation’).

        In physics textbooks people give equations and then it is much easier to disprove or prove something. If commenters here provided an equation (laughter) then I could take the equation and disprove your confused ideas..

        Anyway.. I provide the equations of radiative transfer (and their derivation) in Understanding Atmospheric Radiation and the “Greenhouse” Effect – Part Six – The Equations.

        But I’m not doing anything novel – just reproducing work from 60 years ago.

        gbaikie – provide your equations of radiative transfer and then we will see the dependence of these equations on the SW absorptivity of the ocean surface (we will see that it is not a boundary condition if we can read the equation). Why? Because the temperature of the surface is already determined prior to our changing GHG concentration. That is, the surface temperature is a boundary condition. Anyone know what a boundary condition is?

        gbaikie will not provide equations because that’s now how this blog works. Handwaving is the recognized approach.

        ..So this sunlight would heat water meters below the surface and can not immediately radiate the energy back to space, as it would with a blackbody surface.

        It is irrelevant what the emissivity of the surface is, as to whether it can “immediately radiate the energy back to space”.

        Where did you learn this?

        I blame the IPCC. They are responsible for your lack of understanding. Shame on the IPCC.

        All surfaces “immediately” radiate. They “immediately” radiate a flux which is calculated from the temperature and emissivity of that surface.

        So a surface with an emissivity of 1 “immediately” radiates a flux of σT4.
        And a surface with an emissivity of 0.1 “immediately” radiates a flux of 0.1σT4.

        I know the answer, but I have to ask. Have you ever read a heat transfer textbook which covers radiation? Which one? Can you find one now and post a graphic – or link to a graphic – which supports your claim about the emissivity affecting the “immediately radiating energy back to space”. You are just inventing radiative heat transfer, or perhaps you learnt it here?

      • scienceofdoom

        I know the answer, but I have to ask. Have you ever read a heat transfer textbook which covers radiation?

        Yes. Several. And many papers. Unfortunately, they tend to differ from each other, and from your rather cursory summary above. (You are radiating into a 0.0 degree C “perfect black body” assuming a “perfect” viewing angle and within a perfect black body spheroid, right? )

        So, what is the energy emitted from a flat surface of fresh snow-covered sea ice at -2 degree C surface temperature and 1008 pressure into a night air of 15% relative humidity at -15 degree C 2 meter air temperature with a clear sky and a 10,000 meter temperature of -40 degrees?

        Show your work. Cite the references for each constant.

      • gbaikie says:
        ..So this sunlight would heat water meters below the surface and can not immediately radiate the energy back to space, as it would with a blackbody surface.

        To which scienceofdoom replies:
        It is irrelevant what the emissivity of the surface is, as to whether it can “immediately radiate the energy back to space”.

        Well Mr Doom, if you believe that energy absorbed at depth can be immediately radiated at surface of a body of water, you are free to do so. You’re very good at math. Applying it correctly is evidently not your strong suit. If you were not so completely and totaly over confident in your math skills, you might actually learn something. Nice try siphoning traffic back to your own site (yet again) in your previous comment. I appreciate also your honest admission that it contains no original work, just the work of others regurgitated.

      • RACookPE1978

        Unfortunately, they tend to differ from each other

        Give specifics. Which textbooks, on which points?

        “Tend to”? Or “Actually do”?

        What equations do they use that are different from each other?

      • You, dear sir, want to bring up radiation losses. At this point, I don’t. That will be a later problem to address, naturally, a bit later.

        So, provide the equations and constants for the specific radiation heat loss problem I listed above.

      • scienceofdoom

        You demonstrated that you don’t know what radiative forcing is when you wrongly wrote

        The RF is “radiative forcing”. This is “basic” physics. It is the “no-feedback” change (see note) in energy balance as a result of more GHGs. There’s not much in doubt here, all of the satellite measuring systems rely on the physics of radiative transfer and it has been well understood for 60+ years.

        I referred you to the IPCC glossary, provided a link to it – and quoted its definition which is

        Radiative forcing
        Radiative forcing is the change in the net vertical irradiance (expressed in Wm^-2) at the tropopause due to an internal change or a change in the external forcing of the climate system , such as, for example, a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide or the output of the Sun. Usually radiative forcing is computed after allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with all tropospheric properties held fixed at their unperturbed values.

        Your definition is plain wrong: e.g. a change in the output of the Sun is NOT “more GHGs”.

        We are discussing the above article by Tim Ball which concerns IPCC information so your attempt to say RF is other than the IPCC says is either a mistake by you or is support of Tim Ball’s article from you.

        Did you thank me for correcting your error? No.
        Did you acknowledge your error? No.
        Instead, you have demanded of me

        How do they calculate radiative forcing?

        Let me know, along with references.

        You don’t say who you mean by “they” but I will assume you mean climate modellers.

        ‘They’ don’t “calculate” RF but curve fit to obtain an apparent agreement.
        I explain this (with references) as follows.

        None of the models – not one of them – could match the change in mean global temperature over the past century if it did not utilise a unique value of assumed cooling from aerosols. So, inputting actual values of the cooling effect (such as the determination by Penner et al.
        http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/07/25/1018526108.full.pdf?with-ds=yes )
        would make every climate model provide a mismatch of the global warming it hindcasts and the observed global warming for the twentieth century.

        This mismatch would occur because all the global climate models and energy balance models are known to provide indications which are based on
        1.
        the assumed degree of forcings resulting from human activity that produce warming
        and
        2.
        the assumed degree of anthropogenic aerosol cooling input to each model as a ‘fiddle factor’ to obtain agreement between past average global temperature and the model’s indications of average global temperature.

        More than a decade ago I published a peer-reviewed paper that showed the UK’s Hadley Centre general circulation model (GCM) could not model climate and only obtained agreement between past average global temperature and the model’s indications of average global temperature by forcing the agreement with an input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling.

        The input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling is needed because the model ‘ran hot’; i.e. it showed an amount and a rate of global warming which was greater than was observed over the twentieth century. This failure of the model was compensated by the input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling.

        And my paper demonstrated that the assumption of aerosol effects being responsible for the model’s failure was incorrect.
        (ref. Courtney RS An assessment of validation experiments conducted on computer models of global climate using the general circulation model of the UK’s Hadley Centre Energy & Environment, Volume 10, Number 5, pp. 491-502, September 1999).

        More recently, in 2007, Kiehle published a paper that assessed 9 GCMs and two energy balance models.
        (ref. Kiehl JT,Twentieth century climate model response and climate sensitivity. GRL vol.. 34, L22710, doi:10.1029/2007GL031383, 2007).

        Kiehl found the same as my paper except that each model he assessed used a different aerosol ‘fix’ from every other model. This is because they all ‘run hot’ but they each ‘run hot’ to a different degree.

        He says in his paper:

        One curious aspect of this result is that it is also well known [Houghton et al., 2001] that the same models that agree in simulating the anomaly in surface air temperature differ significantly in their predicted climate sensitivity. The cited range in climate sensitivity from a wide collection of models is usually 1.5 to 4.5 deg C for a doubling of CO2, where most global climate models used for climate change studies vary by at least a factor of two in equilibrium sensitivity.

        The question is: if climate models differ by a factor of 2 to 3 in their climate sensitivity, how can they all simulate the global temperature record with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
        Kerr [2007] and S. E. Schwartz et al. (Quantifying climate change–too rosy a picture?, available at http://www.nature.com/reports/climatechange, 2007) recently pointed out the importance of understanding the answer to this question. Indeed, Kerr [2007] referred to the present work and the current paper provides the ‘‘widely circulated analysis’’ referred to by Kerr [2007]. This report investigates the most probable explanation for such an agreement. It uses published results from a wide variety of model simulations to understand this apparent paradox between model climate responses for the 20th century, but diverse climate model sensitivity.

        And, importantly, Kiehl’s paper says:

        These results explain to a large degree why models with such diverse climate sensitivities can all simulate the global anomaly in surface temperature. The magnitude of applied anthropogenic total forcing compensates for the model sensitivity.

        And the “magnitude of applied anthropogenic total forcing” is fixed in each model by the input value of aerosol forcing.

        Kiehl’s Figure 2 can be seen here.

        Please note that the Figure is for 9 GCMs and 2 energy balance models, and its title is:

        Figure 2. Total anthropogenic forcing (Wm2) versus aerosol forcing (Wm2) from nine fully coupled climate models and two energy balance models used to simulate the 20th century.

        It shows that
        (a) each model uses a different value for “Total anthropogenic forcing” that is in the range 0.80 W/m^2 to 2.02 W/m^2
        but
        (b) each model is forced to agree with the rate of past warming by using a different value for “Aerosol forcing” that is in the range -1.42 W/m^2 to -0.60 W/m^2.

        In other words the models use values of “Total anthropogenic forcing” that differ by a factor of more than 2.5 and they are ‘adjusted’ by using values of assumed “Aerosol forcing” that differ by a factor of 2.4.

        So, each climate model emulates a different climate system that has a different RF effect from each other model. Hence, at most only one of the models emulates the climate system of the real Earth because there is only one Earth. And the fact that they each ‘run hot’ unless fiddled by use of a completely arbitrary ‘aerosol cooling’ strongly suggests that none of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth.

        For completeness, I add that empirical – n.b. not model-derived – determinations indicate climate sensitivity is less than 1.0°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 equivalent. This is much, much less than the model-derived values (see Kiehl’s Figure 2 which I have linked) and is indicated by the studies of
        Idso from surface measurements
        http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/Idso_CR_1998.pdf
        and Lindzen & Choi from ERBE satellite data
        http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf
        and Gregory from balloon radiosonde data
        http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/OLR&NGF_June2011.pdf

        I hope this answer to your demand helps to dispel some of your self-declared immense ignorance of the subject.

        Richard

      • Moderators

        My long reply to scienceofdoom has vanished possibly because it contains too many links.

        I would be grateful if you were to check whether it has gone into the ‘bin’ and if you were to tell me if it is not there so I can attempt to provide it again.

        Richard

        [Don’t see it in Spam, nor the moderator queue. ??? .mod]
        [Rev 2. OK now? .mod]

    • –The RF is “radiative forcing”. This is “basic” physics. It is the “no-feedback” change (see note) in energy balance as a result of more GHGs. There’s not much in doubt here, all of the satellite measuring systems rely on the physics of radiative transfer and it has been well understood for 60+ years.

      Saying that climate hasn’t changed with more GHGs is the same as saying “with feedback, the climate hasn’t changed” and RF is “without feedback”. Do we find that in Tim Ball’s article? Does Tim Ball know what I am talking about?

      To critique RF means being able to find a flaw in either a) absorption of radiation (the Beer-Lambert law) or b) the emission of radiation (the Planck law) or c) the work of spectroscopy professionals over many decades as recorded in journals like Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer where scientists measure the absorption and emission lines of various molecules.
      And no, the IPCC didn’t create RF.

      I’m looking forward to his next piece where he explains what is wrong with the theory of radiative transfer. —

      What wrong theory of radiative transfer is Earth is mostly covered with ocean which is transparent
      to sunlight.
      So it would work fine if most of sunlight intersected a blackbody surface.
      But with Earth about 1/2 of the energy of the sun which intersect Earth disc passes thru this transparent watery surface.
      So this sunlight would heat water meters below the surface and can not immediately radiate the energy back to space, as it would with a blackbody surface.

      • gbaikie
        February 8, 2015 at 11:36 pm
        ////////////////////////////////////////////////

        ” What [is] wrong [with the] theory of radiative transfer is Earth is mostly covered with ocean which is transparent to sunlight.
        So it would work fine if most of sunlight intersected a blackbody surface.
        But with Earth about 1/2 of the energy of the sun which intersect Earth disc passes [through] this transparent watery surface.
        So this sunlight would heat water meters below the surface and can not immediately radiate the energy back to space, as it would with a blackbody surface.”

        Well somebody gets it!

        Liquid water is an extreme SW selective surface not a “near blackbody”.

        255K for “surface without radiative atmosphere as the climastrologists claim? Try 312K. Now what’s our current average? 288K. So the net effect of our radiatively cooled atmosphere on surface temps is….(answer below)

        (A) 97% of climastrologists are assclowns.

    • @ scienceofdoom February 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      You have so many fallacies injected into your above commentary that I wouldn’t know where to begin the “nitpicking” of them.

  39. You can laugh at this idea if you like, but I tend to believe that the fact that humans emerged during the coolest period of the past 600 million years is an act of divine providence. If we’d emerged anytime when the northern hemisphere land masses weren’t covered in ice, our ancestors would have quickly dispersed out of Africa and diverged into a myriad of humanoid species scattered over the whole globe. But we we largely confined to one continent until the rest of the world became habitable….long enough to consolidate the species.

    If we’d dispersed early, we’d be facing a plethora of humanoid interspecies conflicts, instead of simple interracial misunderstandings.

    Thank God for planning ahead! Sounds like Design to me.

    • There’s an argument to be made that H. sapien evolved to handle change not inspite of the climate changes of the recurring glacial-interglacials, but precisely because of it.

      Those hominids that couldn’t adapt as they fought among themselves and to a changing climate by using their cognitive ability, communication skills, organizational abilities, they simply perished. Those who could adapt to colder, then warmer — they got the best hunting, the best territory.

      Continual rapid changes in climate shakes-up ecosystems, forces evolution, forces selection, ensures adaptation.

  40. And I forgot to add:
    The greatest achievement of human civilization has been to put an end to those annoying ice ages.
    Now if we could only find the “Manual for the Sorcerer’s Apprentice”.

  41. joel sprenger said on February 8, 2015 at 3:53 pm:

    I wish someone would model the effect of water vapor on climate..

    Did you look?

    Google Scholar – scholar.google.com

    I have a lot papers on the effect of water vapor, plus a couple of textbooks. I got the papers from searches in the above link – and from looking up references in papers. There are 10,000+ papers on this subject.

    As a primer (not sure if I can load up images here), enter “review water vapor climate effect” into the field you get with the above google scholar link. “Review” is a good term in the search for beginners because it tends to bias results towards summaries rather than the incremental improvement.

    One of the first results you get is a very high quality paper whose conclusions are still valid even though it is 15 years old: Water vapor feedback and global warming by Isaac Held & Brian Soden. Have a read. At the end of just this one paper you will know a lot more than Tim Ball at least.

    If you want to find out if people have researched a topic, a) probably they have b) try and find it. You can do a search and pull up a paper quicker than typing a comment into a blog.

    • In their final comments from Y2K, Held and Sodin wrote, “Given the
      acceleration of the trends predicted by many models, we believe that an additional
      10 years may be adequate, and 20 years will very likely be sufficient, for the combined
      satellite and radiosonde network to convincingly confirm or refute the predictions
      of increasing vapor in the free troposphere and its effects on global warming.”

      It’s 2015, and we’re still waiting.

  42. They have been using models for 27 years, ever since Hansen started it. Apparently they still don’t know how to input the values for the most important greenhouse gas, water vapor, into their model calculations. Why should anybody take them seriously? This is just one more reason to dump the models. Anybody who has been looking at their climate predictions knows that they have been far off from actual climate values they aimed to forecast. It started with Hansen in 1988. He attempted to predict global temperature through 2019 with his “business as usual”.forecast. We have lived through most of these years and all his forecasts have been off the mark. Met Office was no better and had a persistent bias towards too high temperatures. The introduction of super computers was supposed to improve the results but it did not happen. Despite using one million line code their results were no better than Hansen’s were. And when the “hiatus” appeared all the computers just failed to handle it. They have had twenty seven years to put their house in order and they have failed. It is time to admit that computer models simply do not work and close down the entire computer modeling enterprise.

  43. Deception implies a crime of commission.

    Ignorance implies a crime of omission.

    Regards the IPCC, I would hazard the latter than the former.

    From the AR1 unto NOW, the IPCC and “hallowed reviewers” have not a clue about water vapor; neither by experience, knowledge or training and nor by definition of the words and usage.

    Just ask non”Nobel Laureate” “His Excellency Supremo Commandant General of Earth and All Realms” Richard Alley, “Do you know water vapor?”

    Heir Excellency will surely run away.

    Ha ha and Har har on the body of Richard Alley

      • It’s true that ignorance obviates intent but intent is not a sine qua non of all crimes.
        Negligence and recklessness can result in criminal conviction.

      • recklessness usually requires being aware that one’s actions will cause harm, and notwithstanding that state of knowledge still pressing ahead with one’s actions.

        On that basis, there is a strong argument that politicians have been reckless.

  44. The whole “33c” meme is an extreme , computationally useless , dead end fraud . So the utter stagnation of the field is no surprise : http://cosy.com/Science/AGWppt_UtterStagnationShavivGraph.jpg .

    We are about 10c ( 3% ) warmer than the 278.7K of a gray ( flat spectrum ) ball in our orbit ( +- ~ 1.3c from peri- to ap- helion ) . [If] it were science , this would be the relevant , computationally useful , value which would be cited .

    As long as amateurish memes like the “33c” atmospheric effect , rather than computing the actual equilibrium temperature for the earth’s measured surface spectral map are perseverated , there is not a chance in hell of explaining the 0.3% change in temperature estimated over the course more than a century .

    • Bob Armstrong,

      Thanks for that Nir Shaviv chart. That shows us a lot.

      Also, there are still no measurements quantifying AGW! After many decades of investigation and study by thousands of scientists, and government agencies, and various countries and universities, there is still not one single measurement showing the fraction of anthropogenic global warming, out of all global warming, which is purportedly caused by human emissions. Can you say, “Speculation”?

      Is AGW 50% of all global warming? We don’t know. Is AGW 5%? We don’t know. Is it 0.05%? We don’t know. Is AGW 0.00%?? We don’t know!

      Until there are verifiable, testable measurements, showing the specific fraction of global warming caused by human CO2 emissions, everything said about it is no more than a conjecture. An opinion. We should restructure Western civilization based on a guess?? What if it’s a completely wrong guess?

      After spending $billions every year studying this issue, we still have no solid answers. That is the elephant in the room, which no one on the warmist side ever wants to discuss. They would rather discuss mitigation, or count Polar bears, or promote the sea level scare, or the methane scare, or the runaway global warming scare, etc. Anything except come up with measurements of AGW that are mutually acceptable by all sides of the debate.

      If we had a reliable, verifiable measurement quantifying AGW, we would also have a way to nail down the climate sensitivity number. And global temperature predictions would be much more accurate and reliable. But as of now, the 10 – 18 year stasis in global warming caught everyone by surprise. That seems to argue for a very low AGW percentage out of total global warming.

      The AGW scare isn’t science as much as it is base moneygrubbing, and some folks on the warmist side are milking it for all it’s worth.

      • @ dbstealey February 8, 2015 at 7:26 pm

        But as of now, the 10 – 18 year stasis in global warming caught everyone by surprise.

        Well now, … not really, …. but almost everyone.

        I have been pretty damn sure, for the past several years now, that it was going to happen.

        But I didn’t have a clue as to when it would.

        They have been “massaging n’ adjusting” their “fuzzy math” calculated Global Average Temperatures, ….. including their month-to-month and year-to-year “percentage increases” ….. for nigh onto 30 years now, ….. to INSURE their calculated results correlated with the Mauna Loa measured yearly increase in atmospheric CO2, ……. which was a “Fool’s Game” to be playing as far as my learned opinion was concerned.

        The historical records are “proof positive” that their flim-flm scam of a “Fool’s Game” was destined to fail.

        I don’t believe that a “pause” in global average surface temperatures actually exists, ….. but only appears to exist ….. simply because they can no longer continue with their “upward” adjustments in their “fuzzy math” calculated Global Average Temperatures via use of their highly questionable post-1880 Surface Temperature Record data base.

        Don’t be messin with Mother Nature because you are highly likely to get “Frost Bite” more often than not.

        Cheers

    • Bob, 278.7K would be about right for a blackbody in Earth’s orbit. But the Earth is not a blackbody to incoming solar radiation. It has an albedo of about 0.3 which means that it reflects about 30% of the Sun’s radiation. Take this into account, and you see that its temperature should be about 255K, i.e. 33 degrees cooler than the surface actually is.

      Indeed, seen from space, the Earth appears to have a temperature of 255K.

      It is easy to calculate. Would you like me to do it for you or can you handle that yourself?

      • Bob, 278.7K would be about right for a blackbody in Earth’s orbit. But the Earth is not a blackbody to incoming solar radiation. It has an albedo of about 0.3 which means that it reflects about 30% of the Sun’s radiation. Take this into account, and you see that its temperature should be about 255K, i.e. 33 degrees cooler than the surface actually is. Indeed, seen from space, the Earth appears to have a temperature of 255K.

        This is the pervasive apparent ignorance which caused me to be sucked into this brouhaha and see so much of it as amateurish nonscience .

        A radiantly heated gray ball , no matter how light or dark , will come to the same temperature . That is why the gray , it’s not just black body temperature , which can be calculated simply by integrating the total energy impinging on a point , is the value against which the effect of spectrum can be calculated . Here’s a slide which shows 3 hypotheses , all assuming an absorptivity of 0.7 wrt the sun’s spectrum , and their corresponding temperatures : http://cosy.com/Science/AGWpptHypotheticalSpectra.jpg . Note the flat line assuming an absorptivity of 0.7 across the whole spectrum produces the same 278.7 as a black body . Given any object spectrum , its equilibrium can be calculated by the gray body temperature times the ratio of the dot product of its spectrum with that of the source to the dot wrt to the the sink , in this case , ~ 0K .

        Given that we must have measured spectra for the planet as seen from the outside , we can calculate a far more realistic value for the lumped earth+atmosphere ball and the ( 0.7 ; 1.0 ) step function assumption needs to be recognized as the analytically useless extreme crude assumption it is .

        It is this computation , relative to the gray body temperature in its orbit which shows that quantitative absurdity of Hansen’s still parroted scare story that Venus is an example of a runaway which could happen to us . Note in terms of temperature the Earth’s effective ratio versus a gray body is about 1.04 ; we are a few percent warmer than the gray body temperature in our orbit . The same is true for Mercury and Mars ( which you probably know has a 95% CO2 atmosphere ) . The ratio for Venus is 2.25 . The highest ratio yet created by humanity is about 2.21 for the material TiNOX ( which I was steered to on SoD’s site ) . And TiNOX has an absorptivity of about 0.95 wrt the solar spectrum . Venus is by far the most reflective of the inner planets with an absorptivity of about 0.1 . Thus it would have to be many times the reflectivity of the most reflective known materials , eg , aluminum foil , in the IR to explain its temperature w/o internal heat .

        Thus Hansen’s claim is BS , QED ,

        BTW , despite the bad science it displays , NASA lists the useless value for a ( 0.1 ; 1.0 ) step function spectrum for Venus as its “Black Body” temperature ( somewhere around 235K as I remember ) . Utterly useless for any purpose other than propaganda..

        It has recently occurred to me that I have never seen an explanation of where the planet is 255K . Certainly there has to be a transition up from wherever that temperature occurs and outer space in our orbit where the gray body temperature is about 279K . I have often wondered if un-thermalized solar radiation is neglected in energy computations in the upper atmosphere . Living at 2500 meters up in the Front Range , that direct radiant energy is literally palpable .

      • Bob Armstrong

        It has recently occurred to me that I have never seen an explanation of where the planet is 255K . Certainly there has to be a transition up from wherever that temperature occurs and outer space in our orbit where the gray body temperature is about 279K . I have often wondered if un-thermalized solar radiation is neglected in energy computations in the upper atmosphere .

        Heck. I’ve just been trying to get somebody anywhere to tell me what latitudes and elevations and how much area of the planet has this supposed 255K temperature!

      • Heck. I’ve just been trying to get somebody anywhere to tell me what latitudes and elevations and how much area of the planet has this supposed 255K temperature!

        The glaring leap is from the contention that from the outside the earth looks like a 255K ball with a 0.3 reflectivity wrt the solar spectrum , and black with 0.0 reflectivity at longer wavelengths to the claim that that is what the spectrum the surface of the earth exhibits — which clearly false . The effect of the atmosphere is only the delta between the spectrum of the surface and that seen from the outside but this stagnate nonscience seems incapable of getting beyond that uselessly crude and biased meme .

        I believe that our few percent excess over our gray body temperature , much less the tenths of a percent variation we’ve seen will never be explained in terms of uniform spectrum over the sphere . However even a small temporal or latitudinal variation could — easily .

        If , for instance , cloud cover increases at night , that could do it . Willis Eschenbach gave an interesting talk at the last Heartland conference , http://climateconferences.heartland.org/willis-eschenbach-iccc9-panel-19/ , on variation in the timing of mid-day clouds in the tropics . That sort of phenomenon alone could explain all the 4th decimal place variations we’ve recorded .

      • I’ve got it now Bob., you are just incapable of understanding. But, please, don’t stop spreading your ignorance. It gets a good reception from the ignorati.

      • I’ve got it now Bob., you are just incapable of understanding. But, please, don’t stop spreading your ignorance. It gets a good reception from the ignorati.

        I assume you are talking about this slide :

        Could you be more specific ? What am I failing to understand ? For all of our edification , and to establish a core of universally agreed basic science , what are the errors in my algorithms — which to me seem straight forward application of undergraduate level radiative heat transfer ?

        Please give us your correct computations .

        You do know what a dot product is , right ?

        Or is it that you just can’t accept the implications that Hansen’s that Venus’s horror story can’t happen to us even if we don’t submit our rationality and prosperity to the collective mediocrity ?

  45. To me, it appears extremely obvious that there can be no ‘runaway’ warming (or cooling) effect of any kind in our climate. If there was, the climate would have runaway with itself aeons ago, as it would have been so horribly unstable.

    As soon as I came across this, I pretty much started to ignore everything else in the arsenal of the Warming Catastrophiles. Until this is addressed, there is no point discussing CAGW because ‘the debate is over’, the reason being that there is nothing to fear from a 1 or 2K temperature rise by the time fossil fuels are replaced due to scarcity (probably a century or so).

      • I think it’s very clear there are no “tipping points” anywhere above the current temperature , but 0c is the elephantine tipping point around , and clearly has been crossed a number of times . However , even that is not crossed all the way to the equator and I”m skeptical of a total “snowball earth” ever having happened . But , I’m just a dilettante wrt these issues .

        Something that recently struck me in graphs of temperature over the ice age cycles is that the “unfrozen” periods are just narrow plateaus between the colder periods . And when looked at a little more closely the peaks look blunted , as if , if anything some negative feedback keeps them from continuing upward .

  46. Figure 1 shows the radiative forcing including uncertainties of CO2 at 2.03 W/m^2 while aerosols at -2.10 W/m^2. IPCC should say we don’t know if CO2 has a net effect at all because aerosols could have cancelled all of it.

  47. For many years I have attempted to promote the idea that water vapor must be actively described as what it is: the principle greenhouse gas. 04 February 2015 marked the completion of 25 years of measuring the ozone layer, aerosol optical thickness, UV-B and water vapor at my Texas site. Total column water vapor over these 25 years has not increased as the modelers would have us believe. It’s declined around 1.5 mm/decade. Other sites also show declines. (Paper in preparation to update my GRL paper on 12 years of column water vapor measurements.)

    [Thank you. Can you release the paper here, or must it remain secluded until the paper is printed in ink? .mod]

  48. Water is not only the most important GHG, it is the only important one. It dissolves, releases, and controls CO2, which has thus only derivative influence.

  49. This is why I always cringe when I hear someone claim that hydrogen powered vehicles are “zero emissions” vehicles because they only exhaust water vapor. Be careful though, this post might give the AGW crowd another reason to argue against those GHG spewing nuclear power plant cooling towers!

  50. I think the question(s) in the article has been answered. The primary anthropogenic greenhouse gas is CO2. Changes to water vapour are considered a feedback. Changes to clouds are also considered a feedback – clouds are not water vapour.

  51. Here is a question I sent to Environment Canada after they posted a page (no deleted) from their web site.
    Following the question I sent in 2005, is the response:

    Question submitted in Aug 23, 2005…

    I was looking at the Glbal warming site maintained by your department. It does not identify the proportion of global warming attributed by the various gases. One would think that the most abundant greenhouse gas would contribute the most global warming? What would that gas be? How much of the global warming in percentage is attributable to that gas? How much error is associated with that calculation? What percentage of global warming is attributed to the least abundant gases? How are their contributions measured against the error estimates of the most abundant contributions?

    Response to Question received September 7, 2005

    Mr. Westhaver,

    Thanks for your message. Here is the background information about greenhouse gases.

    Water vapour is the most potent and abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. However, the change of water vapour’s concentration in the atmosphere is determined primarily by changes in atmospheric temperature and related effects on the hydrological cycle. Thus, an increase in other greenhouse gases, which warms the atmosphere and surface, would increase the atmospheric concentration of water vapour. It will then amplify the initial warming effect of the other greenhouse gases.

    On the other hand, concentration of the other greenhouse gases have been increasing rapidly since the industrial revolution began (carbon dioxide have increased by 31%, methane by 151% and nitrous by 17%). Carbon dioxide accounts for about two thirds of the predicted increases in enhanced greenhouse effect due to fossil fuel combustion. Thus, carbon dioxide is considered as the major contributor to the global warming.

    For your reference, you can check the following web site

    (http://www.msc-smc.ec.gc.ca/education/scienceofclimatechange/understanding/greenhouse_gases/index_e.html)

    to obtain more in-depth information about enhanced greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases and radiative forcing.

    Thanks,

    Hoppa Lau
    Science Assessment and Integration Branch/ACSD/MSC
    Environment Canada
    http://www.msc-smc.ec.gc.ca/education/scienceofclimatechange/

    • Here are the actual water vapor numbers versus temperature. If Environment Canada was right about CO2/GHGs controlling water vapor to such a great extent, the empirical data below would be following the Red line.

      But it is not and the water vapor feedback, CO2/GHG controlling water vapor levels is just not happening as assumed in the theory. It is only 30% to 50% as strong as they have built into the theory.

      • Bill Illis , looking at your plot I can’t help thinking that there seems to be 2 populations and that the distribution after an anomaly of 0.2C is not the same as that at lower temperature .
        Would one expect this difference with what is presumably a simple slight increase in temperature? Not from basic physical chemistry.
        However in recent years , an anomaly of 0.2-0.3C corresponds to the period 2000-2002 when the hiatus began or was underway , and the period that seems to correspond to a step- up in temperature anomaly.
        I may be misunderstanding the plot but it looks as if at the present time , in the global temperatures and mean water vapour concentrations that we are currently experiencing , that the temperature anomaly is strongly dependent on the concentration of water molecules in the atmosphere. We know that the anomaly has not been following the CO2 concentration as closely as expected in the past 15 years .

      • Water vapor follows the ENSO very, very closely. It is, in fact, the main driver of tropical and global water vapor levels by a mile.

        Hadcrut4 was in the 0.2C range when there were more El Ninos in this particular time-period, 1948 to 2014. Just a random variation in how the numbers set-up more than anything.

    • ” Thus, an increase in other greenhouse gases, which warms the atmosphere and surface, would increase the atmospheric concentration of water vapour. It will then amplify the initial warming effect of the other greenhouse gases. ”

      The little empiricists should stick to the only thing empiricism can do, deliver post hoc descriptions.

  52. Delete………………….

    That’s what public officials do when provided everything they need to grasp the fallacy of AGW.

    The width and depth of available science to show their CO2 boogeyman is not real is willingly and purposefully avoided and dismissed while every location, source and messenger is smeared as anti-science.

  53. 100,000 square miles of irrigated farmland in the US contributing 1,920,000 gallons per square mile of evaporated water per day.
    Transpiration is thought to yield a tenth of the world’s atmospheric water.

  54. Some of the more bizarre findings of the survey of American adults (all direct quotes from the survey):

    1. Nearly half (47%) incorrectly say that fossil fuels are the fossilized remains of dinosaurs.
    2. Twenty percent of Americans say fossil fuels come from uranium in the Earth.
    3. A majority believes that nuclear power plants also contribute to global warming.
    4. Almost half of Americans (49%) incorrectly believe that the space program contributes to
    global warming.

    I won’t even go into the pandering/parroting nature of the editorial statements of “incorrectness” or “correctness” of the authors, especially in the sections titled “Climate skeptic arguments” and “Impacts” – most of which are patently wrong and blindly accepting of the IPCC position.

  55. Does a minor fluctuation in water vapor at least equal or exceed the warming effect claimed for the human portion of CO2?

    Some time ago I used MODTRAN to investigate this, and the entirety of the effect of increased CO2 (40ppm) looks like a 4% increase in water vapor, i. e. 4.0% to 4.16% (molar fraction). MODTRAN does not account for any feedback, though. All I was interested in was a rough estimate.

  56. fmims February 8, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you for the long-term effort, here. It is interesting that you, and others on this forum find little or no increase in H2O vapor. The idea in climate modeling is that the atmosphere water vapor RH maintains a fixed relationship via the clausius-clapeyron equation, but this assumes equilibrium, or a fixed state of non-equilibrium. This model of feedback is likely too simple, and is just a stab in the dark in order to get a functioning model.

  57. The AGW theory is that greenhouse gases provide an LWIR radiant insulation effect in our atmosphere restricting heat energy flow causing warming at the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere and cooling in the upper atmosphere. That is how insulation works. If this were the case then I would expect that the LWIR absorption properties of greenhouse gases would be a prominent part of computations of the temperature lapse rate but they do not. The lapse rate is a function of the heat capacity of the atmosphere and the pressure gradient and is not a function of the LWIR absorption properties of greenhouse gases. So there is no evidence that the LWIR absorption properties of greenhouse gases has any effect on the transport of heat energy flow in the atmosphere. It is often stated that greenhouse gases absorb IR radiation but then they radiate it out in all directions. If that is true then they do not trap heat because as soon as they absorb the energy they lose it again. The description is of radiation diffusion and not heat trapping.

    • willhaas,

      It is often stated that greenhouse gases absorb IR radiation but then they radiate it out in all directions. If that is true then they do not trap heat because as soon as they absorb the energy they lose it again.

      Mmmm hmm. The photons being radiated back down by a given GHG molecule still “need” to make it back to space somehow, which means striking something, being absorbed, and radiated back in the up direction. So it’s a probability problem. Photons at lower levels of the atmosphere have less chance of making it to space than photons in the upper atmosphere. So we get a warmer troposphere and cooler stratosphere. Add more GHGs and we get an even warmer troposphere and even cooler stratosphere.

      Despite being closer to the Sun, the top of Venus’ atmosphere is even cooler than Earth’s for this very reason.

      Radiative diffusion might well be the better way to describe the actual process, but the effect is the same at as insulation at the surface — reduction in the net rate of upward energy flux.

      • It does not matter how many bounces the photons make. If the energy is not retained, sensible heat is not increased. In the troposphere heat transport by convection dominates. The temperature lapse rate is a function of the heat capacity of the atmosphere and the pressure gradient. The LWIR absorption properties of greenhouse gases has no effect.

      • Willhaus:
        “It does not matter how many bounces the photons make. If the energy is not retained, sensible heat is not increased. In the troposphere heat transport by convection dominates. The temperature lapse rate is a function of the heat capacity of the atmosphere and the pressure gradient. The LWIR absorption properties of greenhouse gases has no effect.”

        If the photons are “bouncing” in the system, then by definition energy is retained. It is not lost until the photon makes it out to space. Sensible heat IS the retention of photons, not the emittance of them.

        The LR of a rotating (coriolis effect important for heat transport) planetary atmosphere is a natural consequence of turbulent motion and convection. OK, what you say is true but then that goes on to transport air up/down, which creates the LR. Gravity does not cause it. Nor GHG’s. Simply air moving up down. Add water and you get moist convection, and an SALR, which means that ELR’s develop as a midpoint. Add GHG’s and the LR is pinned at elevation in the atmosphere. More gas and that point rises – and it become warmer below that point and colder above…. a colder Strat, ego Venus (despite being closer to the Sun). The signal of the GHE.

      • @ Brandon Gates February 9, 2015 at 6:34 pm

        The photons being radiated back down by a given GHG molecule still “need” to make it back to space somehow, which means striking something, being absorbed, and radiated back in the up direction.

        Not so, …. due to the curvature of the earth’s surface the majority of those re-radiated or reflected photons from the surface have a 180+ degree “window” via which they can potentially make it back into space through. And as the altitude increases ….. the ppm of all atmospheric gasses decreases ….. thus lessening the chances of a photon collision with a molecule of said gasses.

        Shooting a shotgun at a soaring “claybird” target doesn’t insure that all the “shot pellets” fired will strike the “claybird” smattering it into smitterenes. Regardless of what some might believe.

      • Samuel C Cogar,

        Not so, …. due to the curvature of the earth’s surface the majority of those re-radiated or reflected photons from the surface have a 180+ degree “window” via which they can potentially make it back into space through.

        Well … to a first approximation a sideways-moving photon at the surface is going to need to go through even more atmosphere to make it back out to space. So my 50% up/down argument, which I use only as a shorthand convenience in thought experiments, if taken literally effectively provides the shortest path out of the system possible.

        We already estimate that some 40 W/m^2 of upwelling LW it out unabated by virtue of it not being at wavelengths where any GHG in the atmosphere is active. That’s got nothing to do with directionality and everything to do with the vibrational modes of the molecules in question.

        And as the altitude increases ….. the ppm of all atmospheric gasses decreases ….. thus lessening the chances of a photon collision with a molecule of said gasses.

        Another reason why going higher in the atmosphere increases the probability of photons escaping. What GHGs are there contribute to net cooling in those layers, not warming.

        Shooting a shotgun at a soaring “claybird” target doesn’t insure that all the “shot pellets” fired will strike the “claybird” smattering it into smitterenes.

        Toneb above us covers that by saying pretty much what I would have: If the photons are “bouncing” in the system, then by definition energy is retained. It is not lost until the photon makes it out to space. Sensible heat IS the retention of photons, not the emittance of them.

        We don’t need all the pellets to hit the pigeon for this mechanism to work because it’s not skeet we’re playing. More like pinball, with a whole hell a lot of balls. Add more balls, score increases faster.

      • @ Brandon Gates February 11, 2015 at 2:20 pm

        Brandon, whenever one (1) science-learned person is having a discussion with another person, …. especially another science-learned person, ….. I get highly irritated and “picky” whenever one (1) of said persons injects verbiage of a questionable nature into their commentary as a means of proof or justification for their explanation or claims of “something” of a scientific nature. Anyway, ………..

        Well … to a first approximation a sideways-moving photon at the surface is going to need to go through even more atmosphere to make it back out to space. So my 50% up/down argument, …………… if taken literally effectively provides the shortest path out of the system possible.

        Brandon, I recall your …. “and radiated back in the up direction” … statement, but nothing about a “50% up/down argument”, …. but given said, I now have to disagree with both of them.

        It is a literal fact that “numerical percentages (#%)” are …. reference information ONLY ….. and serve no purpose whatsoever in discussions of actual, factual science OTHER THAN in the context of what they are. In other words, iffen you employ your afore stated 50% value for calculating an actual numerical amount/quantity of thermal (IR) energy being radiated/transported through the atmosphere …… then you are employing “junk science” to create a fictitious “fact”.

        Anyway Brandon, EXCLUDING clouds, fogs and mists, …… the “greenhouse” gasses in the atmosphere are not a “brick wall”, …. therefore a photon of IR energy that is radiated from the earth’s surface probably has a 50% chance of making it back to outer space without ever making contact with a molecule of a GHG. Said photon’s travels are akin to a neutrino traveling through the earth.

        Anyway, regardless of how many atmospheric GHG molecules the aforesaid photon makes contact with, I would guess that it has less than a 5% chance of being re-radiated directly toward the earth’s surface. Now it might “bing n’ bang” around in the atmosphere for several hours ….. but sooner or later it will make it back to outer space. Thus your “50% up” guess is most probably way, way too low.

        Brandon, the radiant emission of a photon of IR energy from the earth’s surface …. is akin to ….. a steel ball bearing being “shot” out of the chute of a Pinball Machine ……. with the GHG molecules being the equivalent of the “Lighted Bumpers” on the playing surface …… and the “dark” of the ball return slot being the equivalent of the cold of outer space.

        So, go put a quarter in a Pinball Machine and watch the “live action” of the randomness of energy flow.

      • @ Brandon Gates February 11, 2015 at 2:20 pm

        We already estimate that some 40 W/m^2 of upwelling LW it out unabated by virtue of it not being at wavelengths where any GHG in the atmosphere is active.

        Well now, my estimate is 36.8395 W/m^2 of upwelling LW, ….. so prove that you are right and I am wrong. And after you do that …. then explain to me how you account for the absorbed LW that is being transferred directly to Nitrogen and Oxygen molecules in the atmosphere via contact with the GHG gasses that absorbed said LW?

        The fact is, you are only capable of “seeing” the LW, … but you have to guess what its source was. That LW is akin to rabbit tracks in the snow, …… you can see the tracks but you can’t see the rabbit that made the tracks.

        And ps, how do you correlate your above stated “40 W/m^2 of upwelling LW” ….. with the stated “15 to 30% upwelling LW” as stated on this graph, to wit:

        Really now, how much is ….. 15 to 30% of 40 W/m^2?

        We don’t need all the pellets to hit the pigeon for this mechanism to work

        Then why don’t they use a single-shot 22 rifle for shooting trap or skeet?

        And ps, that mechanism isn’t going to work with all those BS percentages that ya’ll keep flinging to n’ fro at it in hopes that one (1) of them will get caught on a “skyhook”. Given you were touting “sensible heat” …. maybe you autta try some “sensible conversation”.

    • Samuel C Cogar,

      Anyway Brandon, EXCLUDING clouds, fogs and mists, …… the “greenhouse” gasses in the atmosphere are not a “brick wall”, …. therefore a photon of IR energy that is radiated from the earth’s surface probably has a 50% chance of making it back to outer space without ever making contact with a molecule of a GHG. Said photon’s travels are akin to a neutrino traveling through the earth.

      There’s no need for either of us to guess, though I think it’s marvelous that your guesses are so much better than mine. Fortunately, people far more expert than either of us have done the legwork for us and compared ground-based observation to line-by-line radiative transfer codes (ie, models): ftp://ftp.orbit.nesdis.noaa.gov/pub/smcd/spb/lzhou/AMS86/PREPRINTS/PDFS/100737.pdf

      See table 4.

      Here’s another one doing much the same thing based on observations from satellites. Specifically interesting is the noticeable change in optical thickness of the atmosphere to LW radiation between 1970 and 1997: https://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/physics/Public/spat/John/Increase%20in%20greenhouse%20forcing%20inferred%20from%20the%20outgoing%20longwave%20radiation%20spectra%20of%20the%20Earth%20in%201970%20and%201997.pdf

      Thus your “50% up” guess is most probably way, way too low.

      It’s not a difficult guess, just simple probability. No more difficult to estimate than tossing a fair coin and assigning a probability to the outcome of tails. GHG gas molecules don’t know up from down, they happily radiate omnidirectionally, so on balance any given layer of atmosphere is radiating 50% up and 50% down all the time. Closer that layer of atmosphere is to TOA, the higher the probability that upwelling radiation will make it to space.

      Well now, my estimate is 36.8395 W/m^2 of upwelling LW, ….. so prove that you are right and I am wrong.

      I’m sorry, I thought this was a discussion about science, not rhetoric 101.

      And after you do that …. then explain to me how you account for the absorbed LW that is being transferred directly to Nitrogen and Oxygen molecules in the atmosphere via contact with the GHG gasses that absorbed said LW?

      I’m not going to do the Gish Gallop with you either.

      The fact is, you are only capable of “seeing” the LW, … but you have to guess what its source was.

      At the very least, we can rule out teleportation. However when we see changes in certain expected spectral absorption lines, one may reasonably infer that the gasses associated with those spectral lines might just be responsible. From there it’s a cinch to compare that to observed changes in said gasses atmospheric concentration and figure out that …. hmm … one thing is probably causing the other.

      Really now, how much is ….. 15 to 30% of 40 W/m^2?

      40 W/m^2 is the 15 to 30%. 17% is the figure I’d give based on outgoing IR at TOA at 240 W/m^2.

      And ps, that mechanism isn’t going to work with all those BS percentages that ya’ll keep flinging to n’ fro at it in hopes that one (1) of them will get caught on a “skyhook”.

      Right. Whatever.

      • Brandon Gates February 13, 2015 at 8:12 pm

        GHG gas molecules don’t know up from down, they happily radiate omnidirectionally, so on balance any given layer of atmosphere is radiating 50% up and 50% down all the time.

        So, the photons being emitted from an incandescent light bulb “happily radiate omnidirectionally” (except from the base connection) ….. but 50% of those emitted photons radiate upwards and the other 50% radiate downward, …. all the time.

        WOW, dats an amazing fact I wasn’t aware of.

        So, what you are claiming is, iffen a portion of the near-surface atmosphere warms up or heats up from a temperature of 45 F to a temperature of 95 F due to the GHG gasses resident therein said portion, …… for a total increase of 50 degrees F , ….. then that said portion of the atmosphere will never “cool back down” to 69 degrees F, ……. RIGHT?

        WOWEE, another amazing fact I needed to know.

        Brandon, and just which way are the photons going in this picture of IR radiation, …. up or down?

  58. “This claim is false because CO2 levels have risen for 18+ years while temperature hasn’t increased, in contradiction to their major assumption that a CO2 increase causes a temperature increase.”

    You will have a difficult time getting this by any CAGW alarmist.
    Only the RSS data has zero slope in the last 18 years. All the others have a positive slope.
    Of course, one could argue that the slopes are small, insignificant, mathematically indistinguishable from zero slope, but then you will have lost 90% of the readers at that point.

    • It will take a little longer to get a definitive answer for the public to believe.
      The fact that “the slopes are small, not different from zero, etc.” is not very relevant to the public or reporters as you stated. They will simply point out that global warming, however small has occurred, and this is true.
      As it is now, the actual measurements are at the very bottom of what is predicted by the models.
      So it will take a few more years. The models obviously are predicting an increase with time. We all know this, the public knows this.
      If actual measurements stay about the same or even drops slightly then there will be no need for statistics, the public will see that the actual is indeed different than the predicted.
      What is important now is that while CO2 is still increasing, global surface air temperature has barely increased and all the models rely on the increase in CO2 to predict future increases in global surface air temperature. Something has to give!

      However, I don’t think this is the issue with the politicians. The very small increase in global temperature is just an excuse to stop the use of fossil fuels. Blame it on CO2, scare the public, we must stop using fossil fuels. Despite the fact that at most 3% of the total atmospheric CO2 is produced by fossil fuels use. Dr. Ball declared that CO2 is “not well-mixed”. The OCO-2 satellite preliminary results from NASA clearly show that he is wrong.

      The world wide range map was 387 to 402 ppm! If this is not well mixed, I don’t know what is. I am willing to wait for more data coming in March, but what was interesting was the three high “spots” at around 402 ppm where identified by NASA as from tectonically active process from the underlying seafloor. So, maybe CO2 did contribute to the very small increase in global surface temperature, but was it coming from burning fossil fuels or from methane emanating from below the sea floor and oxidized to CO2 while rising to the surface of the ocean and exhaled in the atmosphere? Possible? The increase in atmospheric CO2 is really “from Mother nature”? Maybe?

      It will be quite interesting to follow the OCO-2 satellite results coming next March. I can’t wait.

  59. Tim Ball,

    Their mandate is limited to determining only “human causes of climate change”. Why are “Changes in solar irradiance” included?

    Because their mandate is to do good science, which means including all known climactic factors. There’s pretty much no need to read any of the rest of your essay after such an execrable opener.

      • clipe,

        And yet, changes is solar irradiation are included in the diagram. Your narrow reading of the mission statement trumps the reality of what you see with your own eyes elsewhere in the report. That is absolutely fascinating.

    • Brandon Gates

      As usual, you are plain wrong.

      The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only exists to produce documents intended to provide information selected, adapted and presented to justify political actions.

      This is explained by the IPCC itself as I report in this thread here.

      Richard

  60. The AGW conjecture depends of the idea that CO2 warming causes more H2O to enter the atmosphere which causes more warming because H2O is also a greenhouse gas. Thus H2O provides a negative feedback. But they forgot that besides being the primary greenhouse gas, H2O is also a major coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere moving heat energy from the Earth’s surface to where clouds form via the heat of vaporization. According to some models, more heat energy is moved by H2O via the heat of vaporization then by both convection and LWIR absorption band radiation combined. When you include everything the happens, H2O provides negative feedbacks and hence mitigates any effect that changes of CO2 might have on climate.

  61. Today the IPCC’s role is as defined in Principles Governing IPCC Work, “…to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.”

    https://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization_history.shtml

  62. [I’m a bit late here to comment, but I’ll go anyway.]

    It’s funny. I have been told that water vapor is a greenhouse gas but that “it doesn’t have any significant effect on global temperatures, as opposed to CO2 and Methane”. They really want everyone to believe that CO2 is the great evil that needs to be stopped. Everything else is secondary and “doesn’t have a significant effect”.

  63. In his paper “The Greatest Scandal of Our Time” (ERI Science 16 March 2007), Dr Zbigniew Jaworowski, MD, PhD, DSc. had this to say, regarding the IPCC’s AR4 (2007):

    “It is true that CO2 is ‘the most important anthropogenic [trace] greenhouse gas’, but a much more important greenhouse factor is the water naturally present in the atmosphere, which contributes some 95% to the total greenhouse effect. This basic fact is not mentioned at all in the ‘Summary for Policymakers’. Also not mentioned is the fact that 97% of the total annual emission of CO2 into the atmosphere comes from natural emissions of the land and sea; human beings add a mere 3%. This man-made 3% of CO2 emissions is responsible for a tiny fraction of the total greenhouse effect, probably close to 0.12%. Propositions of changing, or rather destroying, the global energy system because of this tiny human contribution, in face of the large short-term and long-term natural fluctuations of atmospheric CO2, are utterly irresponsible.”

    Dr Jaworowski was a true realist… God bless him.

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