Science trumps politics and patronage: Al Gore is 'losing the bet' against scientific forecasting

Guest essay by Kesten C. Green

Global warming is a forecasting problem. The claim of the IPCC and sympathetic alarmists is that if we don’t stop emitting carbon dioxide, the Earth will be dangerously warmer in the future. How can they know that?

To put it another way, given the state of knowledge, are the IPCC using forecasting methods that are known to provide accurate forecasts?

In order to draw attention to this question, Professor Scott Armstrong in 2007 challenged former Vice President Al Gore to a bet on what would happen to global average temperatures over the next 10 years. Mr. Gore was getting a lot of media coverage at the time for his claims that temperatures on planet Earth were at a “tipping point” due to human emissions of CO2. He nevertheless declined, on the grounds that he does not bet.

With Scott Armstrong, I had published a paper evaluating the procedures that the IPCC were relying on for their scenarios of future dangerous warming[1]. We found that the procedures violated 72 out of 89 relevant evidence-based forecasting principles.

If you are not sure on whether that is bad or not, think of how many violations of evidence-based procedures by ground crew or pilots that are typically associated with a major airline crash. One or two, perhaps? Bear in mind, too, that commercial air travel is a much simpler, and better understood, situation than global climate change.

How would you react if the pilot announced before take off that he was sure that your flight was special, and so he would not be following the usual procedures?

With the draconian nature of climate policy and regulatory responses to the global warming alarm, getting the forecasting right would seem to be a fundamental requirement for avoiding making the wrong decisions. What if, as some scientists believe, we are in for another period of long-term global cooling?

With these concerns in mind, Scott Armstrong went ahead with the bet, in order to highlight the importance of using evidence-based (scientific) methods for forecasting. We set up theclimatebet.com site to monitor progress on “The Global Warming Challenge”.

The Global Warming Challenge is a notional 10-year bet between Al Gore—represented by the IPCC’s 0.03ºC per annum “business as usual” increase in global average temperatures—and Scott Armstrong—represented by the Green, Armstrong, and Soon no-change forecast[2]. Specifically, Armstrong bets that temperatures will equal the 2007 annual average against the scenario that temperature will increases from that level at a rate of one-twelfth of the IPCC annual increment per month.

The arbiter of the bet is the University of Alabama and Huntsville’s lower troposphere global mean temperature anomaly series originated and maintained by John Christy and Roy Spencer from satellite data. The final day of reckoning will be early in January 2018, when the UAH observation for December 2017 is released.

Is it really possible that the simple no-change forecast of 21st Century temperatures is better than the IPCC projections from expensive and complex computer models?

Yes, it is. That conclusion is consistent with the evidence Scott Armstrong and I present in our recently published review of evidence on the effect of complexity on forecasting[3]. We found that using complex methods increases forecast errors relative to the forecasts from simple methods that decision makers could understand by 27% on average. We expect that the results of The Climate Bet will increase that average.

Even more importantly, the IPCC has no regard for the Golden Rule of Forecasting[4]. The Golden Rule is to be conservative when forecasting by staying close to cumulative knowledge about the situation and about forecasting methods.

The IPCC scenarios are derived entirely in contravention of that fundamental rule of forecasting. The dangerous manmade global warming scenarios are premised on the unscientific (unconservative) assumption that “this situation is different”. Forecasting research tells us that ignoring the Golden Rule typically leads to an increase in forecast error of around 45%.

So how is the Global Warming Challenge progressing?

An up-tick in temperature anomalies in June saw Mr. Gore and the warming scenario score the first win against the no-change forecast since January of 2013, nearly two-and-a-half years ago. The outlook for the dangerous warming scenario remains bleak, however. Over the 7.5 years of the Armstrong-Gore Bet so far—we have now passed the ¾ mark—the errors that have arisen from projecting temperature to increase at a rate of 3°C per century are more than 50% larger than the errors from the no-change forecast.

The chart presents the entire history of the bet, to date, and the table shows the latest three years of data from UAH, and the Armstrong and Gore forecast figures.

clip_image002


[1] Green, K. C. & Armstrong, J. S. (2007). Global warming: Forecasts by scientists versus scientific forecasts. Energy & Environment, 18(7+8), 997–1021. Available online from http://www.forecastingprinciples.com/files/WarmAudit31.pdf

[2] Green, K. C., Armstrong, J. S., & Soon, W. (2009). Validity of climate change forecasting for public policy decision making. International Journal of Forecasting, 25, 826–832. Available online from http://www.kestencgreen.com/gas-2009-validity.pdf

[3] Green, K. C. & Armstrong, J. S. (2015). Simple versus complex forecasting: The evidence. Journal of Business Research, 1678–1685. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.03.026.

See also simple-forecasting.com.

[4] Armstrong, J. S., Green, K. C., & Graefe, A. (2015). Golden Rule of Forecasting: Be conservative. Journal of Business Research, 1717–1731. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.03.031

See also goldenruleofforecasting.com.

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Richard M

I suspect the current El Nino will help out Gore for awhile but the final date is far enough out to contain at least the beginning of the likely La Nina that follows.

waxliberty

What is your personal theory for why, if you break out the different types of ENSO years (El Nino, La Nina, neutral), you see an independent warming trend for each type of year? In other words, that La Nina that comes is likely to be warmer than past La Nina years, just as a mild El Nino this year is likely to set a new global temp record again, exceeding 1998 despite not being nearly as strong as that year.

Steve (from the welfare state of KY)

AL Gore is a complete fraud…..”do as I do, not as I say” He also obviously has zero morals, ask Tipper.

Bryan A

Perhaps he meant to say TIPPER POINT rather than TIPPING POINT

schitzree

I believe you meant “do as I say, not as I do.”
Honestly, I couldn’t do as Gore does even if I wanted to. Private jets, seaside mansions, electric bill of a small nation, bunch of kids. I don’t have nearly enough money to get up to Gore Levels of hypocrisy. >¿<

ohflow

But why uah? Was it the troposphere that was challenged? I’m fairly certain Gore comes closer to losing with surface temperatures aswell?

Chris y

Nasa spokesman Gavin Schmidt sums it up on twitter
https://mobile.twitter.com/ClimateOfGavin/status/621135215155650560/photo/1
“A model result is skillful if it gives better predictions than a simpler alternative.”
It is difficult to think of a model that is simpler than ‘no change’.
It would be hugely embarrassing if the billions spent, gave climate models that performed no better than ‘no change’ or callendar’s model from 1938 or linear extrapolation.

Sean

A friend of mine related a story he heard from one of his college professors regarding computer modeling. He said it was like masterbation, if you do it too often you think it’s better than the real thing.

What a jerk.

Menicholas

Very insightful.
He should give himself a big hand.

The audio/visuals can be interesting. If you like fantasy.

Well, forecasting is hard; especially forecasting the future.

Jbird

Yogi Berra?

RoHa

Forecasting the future is hard, but forecasting past is absolutely impossible.

“Forecasting the past” is a contradiction in terms but It is sometimes possible to “retrodict” the past. This is accomplished, for example, when the message that was sent is inferred by the decoder of a telecommunications system.

“Yogi Berra?”
In his memory at least. 🙂

geronimo

I believe it was Neils Bohr of all people, later attributed to Yogi.

Mike the Morlock

Chris y
“A model result is skillful if” ……. does not equal “no change” but rather a better prediction than the simpler alternative. That could be Lord M’s pocket calculator or me after a few beers.
🙂 michael

spetzer86

Here’s a link to why climate models don’t have to be validated that Gavin referenced on twitter: http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/2010/11/do-climate-models-need-independent-verification-and-validation/
It uses the following assumptions: 1) The assumption there’s some significant risk to society associated with the use of climate models. 2) the assumption that the current models are inadequately tested / verified / validated / whatevered;(3) the assumption that our ability to trust in the models can be improved by an IV&V process; The article is filled with the usual nonsense. Basically, if the models don’t have to be validated because they don’t control climate policy, climate models don’t have “bugs”, and climate scientists are always validating the models through code rewrites using new information.

Non Nomen

And, of course he will never say what “better” predictions are. “Better” than what???

In his remarks, Schmidt draws a conclusion from an “equivocation,” that is, an argument in which a term changes meaning in the midst of this argument; the term that changes meaning is “prediction.”
An equivocation looks like a syllogism (an argument that is known to have a true conclusion) but isn’t one. Thus, one cannot logically draw a conclusion from an equivocation. To draw such a conclusion is the “equivocation fallacy.”

One part of forecasting future climate which is never really talked about (in my opinion) is natural variability. If you think you know the effects of CO2 and make a projection based on estimated emissions, you still need to add in natural variability.
I’ve asked this many times with no satisfactory answer, where do the projections for future natural variaiblity come from? What are they? And when I ask about past natural variability the answer is just to subtract out the CO2 warming. This seems to be a circular argument to me. This is the kind of graph I am talking about: http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/climate/images/pcm_ensemble.png Where did that blue line come from?

Latitude

yep…we can design accurate climate models….all based on something we don’t understand

PiperPaul

…we can design accurate climate models…”
Here, let me help:
…we can design accurate precise climate models…”

Mike the Morlock

PiperPaul
No; you, me humanity in general, cannot …”we can design accurate precise climate models…”
At this time it is beyond us. To maintain such a view that we can and are, is folly. We are still in the learning phase.
Because of persons such as yourself trumpeting up models in this way people are losing all faith in them, in all areas of there use. This is a bad thing. It will probably be a generation before trust is restored to models by the general population.
michael

Mike the Morlock

Pardon all, its “their use” not there
Mods please fix?
michael

PiperPaul

Mike, did you not notice the word strikeout? And I submit that the climate models are indeed precise, that’s part of the problem.

@ Mike the Morlock July 18, 2015 at 10:36 am
You wrote:

PiperPaul
No; you, me humanity in general, cannot …”we can design accurate precise climate models…”
At this time it is beyond us. To maintain such a view that we can and are, is folly. We are still in the learning phase.

You may have missed that PiperPaul used the stike tag to cross out “accurate” and then he used “precise” instead. PiperPaul makes a great point if you recall the difference in math/science in using “accurate” vs. using “precise”.
Accuracy is how close a measured value is to the actual (true) value you get.
Precision is how close the measured values are to each other.
It is easy to get precision since you just need all the runs of a model to yield results that are reasonably close to each other even if they are way, way, way off the mark as far as how close those results are to reality.
It is hard to get a model to be close to the real future value. Some say in regards to the earth’s climate that it is impossible.
I think you misunderstood PiperPaul’s point. He was saying that the models do not give us anything close to what the real temperature is going to be.

Mike the Morlock

Correction accepted,
michael

emsnews

They leave out the sun in their calculations. They pretend the sun never changes much and this has zero effect on climate. Utterly deranged.

Jon

Isn’t AGW a variation on the Anthropocentric Universe? I guess it’s an Anthropocentric Climate perspective. Anything to be important! Self-importance rules!

Chris Hanley

“This seems to be a circular argument ….”.comment image
Exactly so, the “anthropogenic” component is merely an assumption therefore the graph proves nothing other than how sly (or stupid) the authors are.

Rob Morrow

You have pointed out a field of inquiry that is taboo for IPCC / alarmists. Best to say that we don’t understand natural variability and omit it entirely from models, making modeled CO2 sensitivity higher than in reality.
“The Neglected Sun” by Fritz Vahrenholt is essential reading on this topic.

guereza2wdw

al_a_gorical must be right, after all Obama agrees with him and both have grad degrees in climatology! DaveW
ps sarcasm

NW sage

“al_a_gorical must be right, after all Obama agrees with him and both have grad degrees in climatology! DaveW
ps sarcasm”
Not at all, Obama’s field is Emperor. The world will do as he commands because he commanded it!

The other pertinent matter is Ivar’s question. What is the optimal temperature for the earth?

Severian

And what is the optimal variance?

yes

whiten

Severian
July 18, 2015 at 8:14 am
According to the academic assessment of the paleoclimate data, the optimal atmospheric variance is at about a range of 4C – 7C variation, if I am not wrong. the time period of such variation correlates only with the CO2 variation, ~120ppm variation . This is an estimated projection of the climatic swing,……… a projection.
As far as I can tell;, from my point of view, the GCM projections give a range of 2.5C-3.2C, related or in accordance with an ~200ppm variation of CO2.
No matter what circumstances or scenarios, what the GCMs simulate can not swing or vary outside and beyond that limit
And the GCMs, to me, seem very precise with the projections given,,,,and far more accurate than the academic climatic projections estimated through the assessment of the paleoclimate data..
hope this helps.
cheers

Menicholas

“What is the optimal temperature for the earth?”
Warmer.
I am partial to a low or about 55 in the morning, and a high somewhere near 80-85F.
Most plants like it that way too.

Tom in Florida

You opened the door for a lot of fun with that comment,but I will refrain. Personally I prefer a low temp of around 75 and a high of around 90, as long as it is moist, tropical air and not dry desert air.

joelobryan

mosquitos love those temps. I prefer a good freeze early in the fall, and kill them back until the spring.

kim

Well, the best of all possible climates is just exactly what you’ve got.
===============

Duster

Before even answering that you should ask, “is there an optimal temperature of the earth? If so, optimal in what sense?” It is not uncommon to see the word “equilibrium” bandied about as if the user actually knew something. When it comes to climate, “equilibrium” appears to change with the time span of interest. At the longest scales, there is no empirical evidence that any climate equilibrium has ever been achieved. “Optimal” arguably is a meaningless term in climate unless it is directed to something, e.g. “optimal climate for North American grain production.”

Steve Clauter

Tipper who?

joelobryan

… and Tyler too.

Bruce Cobb

Ah, the good old days…

Mike McMillan

I’d seriously considered posting this for those who don’t remember Algore’s ex, but it’s really too inappropriate. http://www.rockyhigh66.org/stuff/Al-Gore-Tipper-kiss_400.jpg

Mike the Morlock

Quite so
November 7, 1811,

After enough “adjustments” to the raw data, I predict surface measurements from NASA will eventually match AlGore’s predictions, and he will eventually win the bet.
How could the global warming crown be wrong with the two best climate scientists in the world on their side (Al Gore and the Pope)?

AndyZ

Yes – but he will win historically – maybe 10-15 years after the date has passed when they can really massage the historical record.

chris y

“… the two best climate scientists in the world on their side”
You mean Al Gore and Bill Nye?
On the other hand, your choices are apt as both have divinity training, even if Gore ignominiously flunked out.
It does provide perspective when someone who was thrown out of graduate school for failing many of his classes is widely believed to be a climate change genius.
🙂

katherine009

How interesting… I did not know about Gore’s experience in Divinity school. It’s almost as if he decided to make up his own religion to compensate for his failure, isn’t it?

This whole climate debate does have a conclusion. I have recently realized we have the data to compute what will happen in 2100 without climate models. The logic is unassailable. We have gotten 1/3 of the CO2 gain we expect in a doubling of CO2 that is expected to be about what we get by 2100. We know that CO2 is logarithmic in it’s effect. This means that we have gotten 50% of the temperature gain that we could expect from the remaining 67% of CO2 that we put in. Since we also have fully 70 years and one cycle of PDO/AMO data it is basically trivial to compute the additional temperature gain and does not need computer models anymore. If there was any non-linearity we would certainly have seen something by now to prove that. We have enough percentage of the entire curve that anyone would have to admit we cannot be far off with this calculation.
The gain in temperature since 1945 (roughly when CO2 output tripled compared to prior WWII) CO2 was 310. The temp was between 0.3 and 0.6C lower than today depending on if you use satellites and some land data or purely the adjusted land data. Therefore the additional gain from the remaining 67% of CO2 we put in should be no more than roughly another 0.3 to 0.6C or a total TCS of 0.6-1.2C/doubling of CO2.
Debate ended. End of story. I have been following this debate for decades and have debated all these factors one way or another, seen all the mistakes of the “science” community all the politics and everything and I feel like it’s at an end. I just don’t see how anyone can argue this point. We have the data, it’s 70 years by gosh. We have put in 1/3 of all the CO2. We have enough to easily see where this is going with some additional input. This isn’t rocket science anymore.
I believe the debate from this point is constrained to this 0.3 – 0.6C range for additional heat to 2100. Since everyone agrees and did agree a long time ago that a total temperature change under 2 degrees and this would then mean a total temperature change far less than 2 degrees possibly half that there is no concern for massive or significant impact that are negative. We have also seen that even with 1/2 the effect of CO2 in the system the “damage” is quite well restrained. Other than a few storms that have been accused of being caused by global warming the impact appears to be virtually zilch. 2 times zilch is still zilch.

Good post.
…. and you didn’t even subtract out the natural warming as we’ve been exiting the little ice age, so it’s even less.
Equipment and experiments could even be set up to test a lot of this, but climate scientists are too f-kin useless to contemplate such stuff, which is probably why they’re dipsh!t climate scientists in the first place.

PiperPaul

Does ‘dipsh!t’ refer to their current state or their appropriate punishment?

Way too lenient a punishment (unless it was a penitentiary cesspit).

lee

Smoko’s over; back on your heads.

JohnnyCrash

And you don’t subtract out the clean air act; temperature dataset adjustments; the sun; and …….

This excellent article reminds me of how picking stocks via throwing darts consistently outperforms highly paid money managers.

Re: Green “losing the bet” 7/18/2015
Global warming is a forecasting problem. The claim of the IPCC and sympathetic alarmists is that if we don’t stop emitting carbon dioxide, the Earth will be dangerously warmer in the future. How can they know that?
Professor Lewandowsky tells us how.
During the last two decades, the scientific evidence for the fact that humans are interfering with the climate has become unequivocal. The vast majority of domain experts agree that the climate is changing due to human CO2 emissions. [¶] Given this broad agreement on the fundamentals of climate science, what cognitive mechanisms underlie the dissent from the consensus by a vocal minority of people? At least two major variables have been identified. The primary variable involves people’s worldview or “ideology”; that is, a person’s basic beliefs about how society should be organized. Lewandowsky, S. et al., Recurrent Fury: … , (2013/2015) pp. 142-3.
They know not by forecasting, but by ballot-free voting. Moreover, things are not as they are; they are as they seem to be – to the people they aim to convince.
We know life after death exists because the massive consensus of the men of cloth say it is so. We know God exists because the overwhelming consensus of Judeo-Christian-Islamic preachers say He does. Those unequivocal facts are confirmed by the people with their supernatural worldview or “ideology”.
That, forecasting-free, is the essence of scientific method foisted by the left and the Post Modern Scientists.

rgbatduke

We know life after death exists because the massive consensus of the men of cloth say it is so. We know God exists because the overwhelming consensus of Judeo-Christian-Islamic preachers say He does. Those unequivocal facts are confirmed by the people with their supernatural worldview or “ideology”.
That, forecasting-free, is the essence of scientific method foisted by the left and the Post Modern Scientists.

In an unfortunate collaboration with the increasingly uncomfortable religious establishment that is in direct conflict with actual scientific evidence and the methods of scientific reasoning taught in school and the misguided ideologues of the environment. It is a global partnership of many groups — the religious or spiritual who no longer can believe in religion and adopt the environment as a substitute, the actively religious who see in it the opportunity to destroy science, rabid environmentalists who view humans as a sort of plague attacking the planet rather than a part of the ecology of the planet that deserves consideration as well, and a large body of idealistic scientists who have let their idealism and perhaps a bit of self-interest suborn the requirement of science to be brutally objective even when the results one obtains are not the results one desires or that will guarantee future funding. And sure, the “commynists” masquerading as environmentalists, so-called “watermelons” that are green on the outside and red on the inside.
But even this collective would not succeed if it were not for the simple fact that people make ordure-piles of unearned moolah by promoting the illusion of future catastrophe. All one really needs to do to understand CAGW is to follow the money. Quite a lot of the trail leads back to Al Gore, or so I have heard — a major investor in carbon trading and alternative energy sources. But even this pales in comparison to the money made by the world’s energy companies from CAGW.
Who benefits from CAGW? The very companies that are demonized by the poor fools that are exploited to generate the “crisis”. Anything that raises the cost of energy raises their profits. The more artificial the better. What better way to make more money from coal in a totally inelastic global energy market than to artificially double the cost of electricity of all sorts? It doubles the net profit gained from selling the electricity to a world that will pay whatever it is charged for it but where it is also a regulated public utility. And do power companies care if they are required to use solar power or wind power to provide a fraction of the power they sell? Not at all. They’d sell us electricity made by harnessing hamster wheels if we passed laws requiring it. They’d make far more money selling hamster-power in a market heavily inflated by the scarcity of hamsters than they would make selling coal based power in a market dominated by an abundance of coal.
This is why it is nearly pointless to argue. The pockets behind this are infinitely deep, and we’re talking trillions of dollars in rake-off additional profits in the global energy marketplace over decades. If somebody were able to prove beyond any doubt that carbon dioxide is completely harmless, entirely beneficial, and that global climate is totally insensitive to it (whether or not that is plausible, just pretend) they’d be assassinated. Or, more likely, the record would be “adjusted” some more to disprove their claim. That’s a lot cheaper and safer than overt assassination.
rgb

PiperPaul

How many hamsters do you figure would be needed?

Bruce Cobb

Just one very large one.

joelobryan

There is a story running in WSJ.com today on the fleecing o f California driver with their much higher gas prices. Today, national average: $2.76 while Cal is $3.88/gal reg gas. LA prices are running $4.30/gal.
That price diff exists because special “moe evironmentally friendly” additives and blends that only Cal reineries make, additional taxes including the new Cal carbon tax.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/sky-high-california-gas-prices-have-a-green-additive-1437174504
A snippet of that article is below:

“As usual, purported consumer activists are blaming collusion among putatively monopolistic oil companies. The real culprit is anti-carbon regulation promoted by a cartel of green activists and liberal politicians that is aimed at raising energy costs to discourage consumption. Sticker shock at the pump, like water rationing and high electric rates, is the price Californians must pay for their environmental virtue.
For most of the 1980s and ’90s, Californians paid roughly the national average, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Since 1999—the year Democrat Gray Davis assumed the governorship following 16 years of Republican leadership—California gas prices have sizably surpassed the national average and most of the lower 48 states, principally due to more stringent fuel regulations. California gas taxes are also about 12 cents higher than the national average.
In 1999, Mr. Davis’s Air Resources Board banned the fuel additive MTBE—a smog-reducing oxygenate that in low quantities has been detected in groundwater. It also adopted cleaner “reformulated” fuel standards that raised production costs. A tiramisu of other environmental mandates have been layered into the state’s fuel standards.
The results? By 2006 Californians were paying 23 cents more than the national average for regular gas. The disparity increased to 40 cents in 2014 and now sits at $1.11.”

Who does that hurt most? Cal low wage families of course.
Who reaps the tax largesse? Moonbeam and his minions of course. They are using some for buying union votes with the highspeed jobs programs train from Fresno to Bakersfield, that no one will never ride.
(easy prediction: It will never be finished, the money wasted, with lost farmland to track right of way litigated for a decade or two. The next economic downturn will force Sacramento to use those monies to pay other bills, like deeply underfunded state employee pension-retirement benefits.)

David L. Hagen

rgbduke Re: “Anything that raises the cost of energy raises their profits.”
That presumes that people can and will pay for it.
Evidence is that rising oil prices raises unemployment.
See James Hamilton Oil History etc.
When oil prices rise too high, people can’t afford them.
See Actuary Gail Tverberg at http://www.OurFiniteWorld.com
PS Re theory and statistics are growing that evolutionary models cannot explain the origin of complex microscopic biolological “machines” from chaos or natural laws in the known life of the universe. Very detailed interacting microbiological “machines” are commonly understood to show evidence of design, not chaos. e.g., see publications at the Evolutionary Informatics Lab

Sandy In Limousin

Joel O’Bryan
That’s roughly $1 a litre, or 0.92€ per litre. Supermarket prices here are 1.178€ for diesel and 1.47€ per litre so Californians can expect more rises to reach European levels.
P.S. The UK is more expensive for diesel.

joelobryan

To David L. Hagan.
– biological evolution is not a random walk.
– natural selection (fitness) is *not* scale invariant.
-informatics may simulate linear time even to gigayears, but cannot simulate the near infinite execution threads of evolution of molecular machines, consider this an Avogadro’s number barrier.
If you are advocating an intelligent design theory of life, there are probably more receptive blogs on the internet than here at WUWT.

Duster

David, we see this now. Money making schemes tend to be short sighted and presume indefinite status quo. As gas prices increase fewer people take vacations, fewer drive at highway speeds, more people rely on public transportation. As it is, gas prices have pin-balled all over the place in California lately (currently heading up). Where I live, I see increased use of inadequate and poorly planned mass transit systems. I also increased use of trains since a diesel electric becomes increasing more efficient as you pile on more cargo. So I see highway cargo trailers piggy backing on rail flat beds and no truck drivers. Traffic experiences increased delays as more rail freight moves through town on a series of at-grade crossings over a century old.

bob boder

Rgb
I am gratified to see that you have hilighted that CAGW alarism is about money and power not science. I dont remember you having this view in the past has something happened that has made you focus this way?

rgbatduke

When oil prices rise too high, people can’t afford them.
See Actuary Gail Tverberg at http://www.OurFiniteWorld.com
PS Re theory and statistics are growing that evolutionary models cannot explain the origin of complex microscopic biolological “machines” from chaos or natural laws in the known life of the universe. Very detailed interacting microbiological “machines” are commonly understood to show evidence of design, not chaos. e.g., see publications at the Evolutionary Informatics Lab…

Double sigh. My comment addressed coal and electricity, not oil. Transportation is a different kettle of fish, largely because we do not have anything like parity between alternative energy sources for transportation. Gasoline (or diesel, or even ethanol) is king, at least in the US, because we have very little electric rail (none, really, outside of cities) and because everybody drives cars. Electricity demand is highly inelastic, and the high marginal cost of moving a business allows states like California to exploit price hikes via regulation in the short run before businesses decide it is cheaper to move to Georgia or North Carolina. Raising the price of gasoline, OTOH, adds directly to the cost of everything delivered using gasoline as part of the transport chain, built with raw materials delivered ditto, built by workers delivered to their place of work ditto.
Why do you think Obama has pushed the development of Arctic oil in the teeth of his environmental supporters? Because you can’t muck around with gas/diesel prices too much before you trigger an economic catastrophe. He knows this. Everybody knows this who matters. Electricity prices, however, are less nonlinearly inflationary and can be tweaked a bit as a sort of short run regressive tax. Changing from coal to a mix of coal and methane and solar also has a delayed, highly amortized impact as one borrows money and them makes additional marginal profit (with or without the sweetener of tax-funded government subsidy). One alters efficiency, perhaps, but supply and demand still have time to adjust and meet in a middle on a newly distorted economic landscape.
As far as your assertion that “evolutionary models cannot explain the origin of complex microscopic biological machines” — within the laws of the Universe, all I can say is Oh My God what sheer piffle.
First of all, science cannot prove a negative. The best one could say is that they cannot explain it yet, and not even that is actually true, it is just the fond hope of those that wish to persist in believing in complex antique mythologies in place of using their common sense. I have written genetic models and done this sort of simulation and it is incredibly powerful, there isn’t even a good reason to doubt that it is precisely what has produced both life itself and the evolution of species, especially given the mountains of radiometricly dated evidence for the latter.
But your real sin against reason is this. You assert without any real foundation that the laws of ordinary (if incomplete) physics is incapable of explaining the evolution of life and intelligence in a universe where we have never seen anything but these laws at play. What, then, is your plausible alternative? A supernatural Universe where an even greater and more difficult to explain supernatural intelligence did all of the heavy lifting, who carefully hid all evidence of its violation of the laws of chemistry and physics in a “created” reality?
Oh wait, no they didn’t. They arranged for the Bible (or Quran, or Mahabharata, or Book of Mormon, or…) to be written so we’d all be clued in. All we need to do is read the Truth in these books, we don’t need no stinkin’ evidence. We just need to Believe.
The Gods of earthly religions have always been Gods of the Gaps. They are necessary to the extent that there are things we cannot explain without gaps in our observational knowledge, gaps in the explanatory power of ordinary physics, chemistry and biology. Most of those gaps have long since been irrevocably closed, demonstrating in considerable detail that all world religions are pure nonsense dreamed up to explain ignorance and give power to a special class of particularly unproductive worker called “the priesthood” in all world societies and cultures.
Now you are publicly participating in an effort to try to wedge a gap back open by asserting that something “cannot be explained” without supernaturalism, without some transcendent supernatural unevolved “intelligence” (a.k.a. a thinly disguised God)?
Really? And your supernatural or intelligent design explanation is better how? The actual positive evidence to support it is what? Obviously you are perfectly happy to reject the entire dated fossil record and the collective conclusions of the entire field of genetics in your attempt to defend an indefensible myth, but what actual evidence do you have for a cause that fakes the fossil record and overwhelming laboratory genetic evidence? How can you prove that your supposed “statistical” anti-evidence is exhaustive or conclusive? That’s like proving that we “can’t” crack RCS encryption because there are too many possible keys to be exhaustively tried. Oh, wait. Yes we can, because we can crack it without trying all of the keys, and because we can actually try a lot more keys than you think we can. Your assertion of impossibility, in other words, cannot possibly be proven. You can’t even prove that it is probably impossible or unlikely.
What direct evidence can you offer for the existence of the super-universe with its super-physics and its super-still presumably non-evolved intelligences that did all of the intelligent design in this one, and how can you even think of justifying the assertion of something even more complex than the complexity you assert cannot be explained as the explanation of that unexplainable complexity? Should we believe that the dog ate your homework? It could be true, of course, but what is the evidence that it is true? What is the much, much simpler explanation?
There is no direct evidence for intelligent design, of course, any more than one can produce toothmarks and dog-slobber on the lack of homework in your bag when the teacher asks you to hand it in. There isn’t even any real motivation for looking for any. If it were not for the antique mythologies, there would be no reason in the world to even look for evidence of intelligent design in the heart of a fossil record so obviously illustrating unintelligent evolution. You are asserting the moral equivalent that we are all power units in The Matrix, that reality is not the way it actually and rather simply appears, that what we believe to be real and as plain as the nose before our face is all some sort of simulation, a fake nose, the illusion of a nose, that reality is one whole level higher up than we can see and hidden from our view. Sheer, unadulterated piffle.
Naturally, this sort of assertion can never be disproven — by hypothesis all of the fairies it depends on are invisible fairies, so of course we cannot see them, we can only tell that they are there because they make the world work out the way it does (however that proves to be) so absolutely anything you see is evidence that it is that way because of the Will of the Fairies. It could, of course, easily be proven; if the self-willed Fairies wanted to become visible one presumes that they could.
In the meantime, the one thing we can positively say is that a belief in the invisible as an explanation of the visible that requires no additional explanation beyond what we can already see is not the best thing to believe, in a mathematically quantifiable sense.
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rgbatduke

I am gratified to see that you have hilighted that CAGW alarism is about money and power not science. I dont remember you having this view in the past has something happened that has made you focus this way?

You’ve just missed it. I make this point all of the time, probably a dozen times this year alone. It isn’t entirely devoid of science, or entirely about money, but power companies hate and fear the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis the way B’rer Rabbit hates and fears the Briar Patch.

As I have said before and will say again — follow the money. If CAGW hysteria causes electricity prices to hike by 20%, what do you think that does to the marginal profits of any power company? Go down?
Think again.
Power companies were born and bred in the Briar Patch of making and selling electricity. The last thing in the world that they want is for the cost of electricity to go down, for there to be real competition in the marketplace. Imagine what would happen — what will happen — if/when thermonuclear fusion is made commercially feasible at an amortized cost (say) 1/10th that of coal based electricity. Imagine the catastrophe of making it available via units that sell for $1000 and can be installed in your backyard and make power for your house for the next thousand years without refuelling. I imagine that they fear residential solar in exactly this sort of way, which is why they are building solar as fast as they can with far better economy of scale. Better for Duke Power to build a solar farm and sell you its energy at a markup than have you install rooftop solar and sell it back to them at an anti-markup — or just stop buying electricity from them, forever.
This is the fantasy that fuels a lot of CAGW enthusiasts, BTW. They imagine transforming electricity production into a delocalized cottage industry, the elimination of Big Energy altogether. The reality is Europe — giant wind turbines everywhere, and remarkably little solar, all knit together with subsidized conventional power because the darned wind just won’t consistently blow — it’s either feast or famine, and in famine you have to have just as much generation capacity as you always have had or people will die in the summer and winter time of extreme heat or extreme cold, or the general collapse of an electricity-based civilization deprived of its fundamental resource.
This is not a simple issue, and it has very little to do with rising oceans or shifting the entire planet one standard 5 degree F growing subzone equatorward (which is just about exactly what 2.8 C of warming represents). It is about big money, big power, big politics. It is about perpetuating global poverty and the disparity in wealth between the have countries and the have not countries. It is about holding back China and India. It is about global oil and both the former SSR and the middle east. It is about Islam vs Christianity. It is about environmental cynicism fuelled by some very real eco-disasters of years’ past (some of which persist today) driven by corporate greed.
Somewhere in there is some actual science. It does, in fact, suggest that we are likely to warm 1 C (or even 2 C) over the next century because of CO_2 in the atmosphere. Everything after that is pure politics, money, religion, and politics again.
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joelobryan

rgbatduke,
I think you have confused higher energy prices set by a free market, one where supply and demand operates freely, with the higher prices simply due to a government tax scheme, be it excise, vat, or carbon-content based. Even in a regulatory scheme where say sulphur emissions are limited, the higher production costs are passed to the consumer, and that additional money goes to buy scrubbers or “better” low sulphur fuels, but the money stays in the free market..
Germany is a prime example of green energy cronyism at work to the detriment of everyone except Seimans, who makes big wind turbines, and the solar panel makers. Germany has mothballed nuclear plants that still had service life, and they still have decommissioning to deal with, a less reliable power grid supply, more burning of lignite coal, companies putting in onsite backup dieselfueled generators to ensure they will have power, and much higher energy costs for everyone with higher CO2 emissions.
Carbon taxes simply are money taken from the free market for efficient allocation, and spent by the government in usually quite ineffcient allocation in a regressive tax scheme hitting lowest income groups the hardest. Which the cynical believe is why the rich jet set liberals like Gore, Tom Steyer, and other coastal liberals with their yachts, multiple vacation mansions, and airplanes want to make the little people not use up their fossil fueled lifestyles.

Who benefits from CAGW? The very companies that are demonized by the poor fools that are exploited to generate the “crisis”.
The rubes can never figure out how Prohibition works despite numerous examples.

yam

When doom has been but ten years in the future for the past thirty years is when you might think it’s not so. But then, why think at all when no number of wrong predictions is discrediting?

cnxtim

By their very essence, CAGW disciples remove themselves from any requirement for logic or debate. Rhetoric and blind faith is their standard.

harrytwinotter

“The Global Warming Challenge is a notional 10-year bet between Al Gore…”
Seriously? You make up a bet then say the person who didn’t take part in the bet has lost?

It’s a notional bet. “Notional” means “existing only in theory.”

harrytwinotter

Terry Oldberg.
Correct. It is a bet only in theory, that means Al Gore has lost the bet only in theory.
I have seen some bizarre articles in WUWT over the years, this one comes close to being the most bizarre.

rgbatduke

Seriously? You make up a bet then say the person who didn’t take part in the bet has lost?

No, Al didn’t lose and won’t lose. If Al were merely honest and willing to put his money where his mouth is/was, he would have made the bet. But instead he convinced the rest of the world to make a trillion dollar bet, one where he gets to hold the stakes and take a cut off of the top either way. Al is just a shill for the big money interests who profit from the bet.
We are the ones that lost the bet, just by making it. And many of us didn’t want to make the bet in the first place because it was so obviously a con.
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harrytwinotter

rgbatduke.
Oh here we go again, the old straw man of saying what someone else was SUPPOSED to do.

David A

harry says, “Correct. It is a bet only in theory, that means Al Gore has lost the bet only in theory.
I have seen some bizarre articles in WUWT over the years, this one comes close to being the most bizarre.
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CAGW is a theory only. In theory, if your observations do not match your predictions, the theory is wrong.
Nothing is more “bizarre” then this theory which ignores all contrary observations.
Illustrating that the theory of CAGW cannot outperform the simplest model of “no change” is not ‘bizarre”.
Ignoring that message is.

jones

“Mr. Gore was getting a lot of media coverage at the time for his claims that temperatures on planet Earth were at a “tipping point” due to human emissions of CO2. He nevertheless declined, on the grounds that he does not bet.”
.
He doesn’t have a single share on the stock market?
Wow…

Ivan

with regard to real temperatures: What happened to Watts et al 2012 paper showing preliminary that most of the warming trend in the USA was artificial? Three years passed no news?

John Boles

Natural cycles upon natural cycles upon natural cycles………

Roger

Why does no one check Gore’s bank accounts? You may have to beyond the U.S. But he will not be saying and talking lies unless money is swarming to him!

If there’s any individual to blame for for enabling political correctness to override the scientific method, its Al Gore.

Having read Jonah Goldberg’s book entitled “Liberal Fascism” I’m inclined to think that the scientific method is being overridden by political correctness matching the pattern that Goldberg calls “fascism.” Fascists seek to destroy the existing order and to build a utopia upon the ruins under which the power to make decisions is removed from those ruled and bestowed upon smooth talking pseudoscientists in the employ of the ruler.

Scarface

Al Gore only bets with other people’s money.

It;s also important to remember that it was the Clinton/Gore administration that gave Hansen his soap box after the previous administration set him aside as a lunatic fear mongerer. Can you say sour grapes?

rgbatduke

And rarely has any simple appointment cost the US, nay, cost the world, more money. In charge of NASA, free to tinker with the temperature record, hire people who were only interested in proving one thing in order to save the world, and pull off world-class con jobs like turning off the air conditioning in the Capitol building the day he first addressed them about global warming, so that they had to experience the sweltering DC summer just like it was experienced before air conditioning while he told them somberly that the entire world would be like the inside of an un-airconditioned building if they failed to give him a blank check to prevent catastrophe.
Not one single prediction of doom and gloom made by Hansen has come true. Even with the warming we’ve experienced over the last 30 years, it has followed the best case scenario temperature track from his early papers. CO_2 has not. It should have been obvious already that his estimates of climate sensitivity and feedback were over the top. Heck, it should be obvious now.
But do we see anybody racing out to correct them and trumpet the good news? Climate Catastrophe Averted! Early Estimates of Danger Greatly Exaggerated! News at 6!
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David L. Hagen

Another good 2015 forecasting paper at Golden Rule of Forecasting:
Green, Armstrong, & Graefe’s response to commentators, titled “Golden rule of forecasting rearticulated: Forecast unto others as you would have them forecast unto you” is available as a working paper here, and is published online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.03.036

William Astley

If you look at a basic atmospheric physics/climate text book, you will find that the dominate heat transport mechanism, in the troposphere (convection dominates up to 20km, transition zone is 20 to 40km, radiation dominates above 40km) is convection, water cycle latent heat changes/movement, and planetary cloud changes, not long wave radiation. As hot air rises, as greenhouse gases warm/heat adjacent molecules by collision (temperature/heat tries to equalize), and due to the lapse rate, greenhouse gases cool the troposphere, they do not warm the troposphere.
Comment:
The basic atmospheric text books all include a silly problem where one assumes there is no convection in the troposphere and then helps the student calculate how much greenhouse gases warm the troposphere. What is the point? Have people turned off their minds? Critical analysis looks at the observations to determine if they do or do not support a theory. How many paradoxes are required to invalidate the greenhouse gas theory and the theory that cyclic climate changes including abrupt cyclic climate changes are not due to solar cycle changes?
This paper uses basic standard physics to show, big surprise, that ‘greenhouse’ gases cool the troposphere, and that the temperature of the earth is higher than the temperature of a blackbody radiating in a vacuum, due to the lapse rate and the fact that there is an atmosphere about the earth. We are at the bottom of an ocean of air. If there was no ‘greenhouse’ gases in our ocean of air, using basic physics analysis for gas in a gravitation field, indicates the bottom of the troposphere would be warmer not cooler.

Do Increasing Contents of Methane and Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere Cause Global Warming?

http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/acs.2014.45072
As one moves higher in the atmosphere there are more ions (conductivity of the atmosphere increases by a factor of 30 for example from sea level to 20km) and there is observational evidence of free charge (which is a paradox, there should be no free charge, as it is assumed the solar system is neutral) both of which inhibit/reduce the greenhouse effect.
We have all assumed that the cult of CAGW’s greenhouse gas theory/mechanism is correct and that their GCM (general circulation models) models are incorrect as they amplify (positive feedback) the CO2 forcing which is incorrect. Observations/analysis supports the assertion that the planet resists (negative feedback) a forcing change (Sensitivity issue).
We have assumed that the additional ‘greenhouse’ gases in the our atmosphere cause some warming and hence assume the majority of the warming in the last 30 years was due to increases in atmospheric CO2. The issue then is what is the sensitivity of the climate system to the increased forcing.
Observations indicate, however, that there are multiple fundamental errors in the basic greenhouse gas theory/atmospheric modeling, in addition to the fact that the planet resists rather than amplifies forcing changes.
Observations support the assertion that the majority of the warming (more than 75%) in the last 30 years was due to solar modulation of planetary cloud cover (cloud cover changes can warm specific latitudes and can explain why there is almost no warming in the tropical region) as opposed to the increase in atmospheric CO2. The CO2 mechanism, the same as an increase in total solar irradiation should cause the most amount of warming in the tropics not in high latitude regions.comment image
1) Latitudinal Paradox: The most amount of greenhouse gas warming should have occurred in the tropics not in high latitude regions.
http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.0581.pdf

Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth
The atmospheric CO2 is well mixed and shows a variation with latitude which is less than 4% from pole to pole [Earth System Research Laboratory. 2008]. Thus one would expect that the latitude variation of ΔT from CO2 forcing to be also small. It is noted that low variability of trends with latitude is a result in some coupled atmosphere-ocean models. For example, the zonal-mean profiles of atmospheric temperature changes in models subject to “20CEN” forcing ( includes CO2 forcing) over 1979-1999 are discussed in Chap 5 of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program [Karl et al.2006]. The PCM model in Fig 5.7 shows little pole to pole variation in trends below altitudes corresponding to atmospheric pressures of 500hPa.
If the climate forcing were only from CO2 one would expect from property #2 a small variation with latitude. However, it is noted that NoExtropics is 2 times that of the global and 4 times that of the Tropics. Thus one concludes that the climate forcing in the NoExtropics includes more than CO2 forcing. These non-CO2 effects include: land use [Peilke et al. 2007]; industrialization [McKitrick and Michaels (2007), Kalnay and Cai (2003), DeLaat and Maurellis (2006)]; high natural variability, and daily nocturnal effects [Walters et al. (2007)]. (William: The answer is that solar cycle changes caused almost all of the warming.)
These conclusions are contrary to the IPCC [2007] statement: “[M]ost of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

More to explain the latitudinal paradox. As the earth is a sphere, not a flat table top and as the greenhouse gases are evenly distributed in the atmosphere the most amount of greenhouse warming should have occurred in the tropical regions not in high latitude regions. The same comment/logic applies to how the earth would respond to an increase or decrease in total solar irradiation.
http://www.eoearth.org/files/115701_115800/115741/620px-Radiation_balance.jpg
2) Plateau of 18 years without warming paradox:
A plateau of 18 years without warming, is more difficult to explain and has different logical implications than a period with less than expected warming (a wiggly line that is gradually increasing). Less warming than predicted can be explained by less sensitivity to forcing or lags in the response of the climate to changes in forcing. The CO2 forcing mechanism is theoretically always present. As atmospheric CO2 has been gradually rising for the last 18 years, the CO2 forcing mechanism should if it was real, have increased and hence planetary temperature should have continued to increase.
3) No correlation Paradox:
There are periods in the paleo record periods of millions of years when atmospheric CO2 is high and the planet is cold and vice versa. During the recent glacial/interglacial cycle, planetary temperature increases (glacial period ends by some unknown forcing function, the forcing function is not insolation at 65N) and then 500 to 600 years later atmospheric CO2 rises.
As Humlum et al note (see link to paper above) 7 out of 8 times (last 30 years) planetary temperature rises and then atmospheric CO2 rises. Cause must lead effect, not follow effect. There is no correlation of planetary temperature with atmospheric CO2 rise (recent warming period) and there is curiously no correlation of anthropogenic CO2 emissions and the atmospheric CO2 rise. (The rise in atmospheric CO2 occurs in the low latitudes in the Southern hemisphere rather than in the Northern hemisphere where there is majority of the anthropogenic CO2 emission.)
4) Cyclic abrupt warming and cooling
There are cycles of small, medium, and super large abrupt cooling and warming that have a periodicity of 1470 years. The climate changes correlate with solar cycle changes. The past warming and cooling cycles are high latitude, same as the recent warming period.
5) No tropical tropospheric hot spot
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/16/about-that-missing-hot-spot/
GCM predict that there should be hot spot at 8km above the surface of the planet. This is not observed.

joelobryan

The paleo period pre-Panama Isthmus closing cannot be compared to today’ (or last 3Mya). Still there is ample evidence Earth’s climate regulation is robust with the 70% ocean surface, vast ocean depths, a vigorous biosphere able to sequester vast amounts of carbon, and 3 Mya that was mostly glacial and cold.

William Astley

The Panama closure occurred 13 to 15 million years ago, rather than the assumed 3 million years ago.
The Panama closure had been invoked as the reason for the start of the glacial/interglacial cycle in the Northern Hemisphere 2.8 million years ago.
Both assumptions were incorrect.

These tiny grains debunk the closure of the Panama Isthmus as the main cause for global climatic change and the American biotic exchange. What is left is to re-think what other processes could have been responsible for those global changses nearly 3 million years ago.

https://news.wsu.edu/2015/04/09/new-age-for-panama-closure-challenges-long-held-theories/#.Vataz5XbKUk

New age for Panama closure challenges long-held theories
But new research published in the journal Science suggests Panama has not always been so important, at least not for mammal evolution and global climate. Until now, the scientific consensus was that the isthmus closed about 3 million years ago. This joined the Americas – allowing migration of land animals between them – separated the Pacific and Caribbean seas and changed global climate.
The new data suggests closure may have taken place much earlier, between 13 and 15 million years ago. If this is so, the role of Panama closure in those global processes is inconsequential. It also means that the reasons underlying those global processes need to be reevaluated.
Closure of the isthmus affected global climate by rerouting ocean currents in both the Atlantic and Pacific. This affected evaporation, rainfall, humidity and ocean salinity and circulation – all with worldwide repercussions.
Camilo Montes, from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and Victor A. Valencia, a part time researcher in Washington State University’s School of the Environment, analyzed zircon grains – a mineral ubiquitous in Earth’s crust – in ancient sea and river beds in northwestern South America. They found that ancient beds younger than about 13 to 15 million years contain abundant zircon grains with a typically Panamanian age.
Older beds contain none. The researchers and several colleagues interpreted this as being from the time Panama docked to South America, nearly 10 million years before the traditionally accepted age of closure.
The analytical work was performed in WSU’s radiogenic lab using laser ablation technology, which has a laser beam vaporize a sample for spectroscopic analysis to get isotopic ratios that are used as ages. Advances in the field let the researchers do analyses that, 15 years ago, “would have taken years to perform,” said Valencia.

rgbatduke

The paleo period pre-Panama Isthmus closing cannot be compared to today’ (or last 3Mya). Still there is ample evidence Earth’s climate regulation is robust with the 70% ocean surface, vast ocean depths, a vigorous biosphere able to sequester vast amounts of carbon, and 3 Mya that was mostly glacial and cold.

Robustly bistable. Or wait, is that a contradiction in terms? Is “mostly glacial and cold” robustly glacial and cold, or is the current interglacial robustly warm and melty? There is ample evidence that the Earth’s climate regulation is not robust in an interglacial — in the Holocene we have had several 2-3 C swings in climate in addition to a 6-10 C very abrupt and bouncy swing associated with the Younger Dryas right before the start of the Holocene proper. Ice core records, to the extent that one can trust them to reflect global climate rather than local climate, strongly suggest that the Eemian was even less stable, with a warm spike at least 1-2 C higher than the Holocene climate optimum (so far). There is little consistency in the glacial temperature record or in the still earlier interglacials. Honestly, I would say that the global climate is multistable with multiple locally/weakly stable attractors distributed down from an interglacial and up from a glacial era, where it hops around among them during both either in response to small changes in forcings in ways we do not understand or understand only crudely (e.g. Milankovitch plus solar variability plus continental drift plus chaos, quite reasonable in my own mind) or as the result of pure chaos, nonlinear dynamical evolution in action. The two aren’t even mutually exclusive, but they do suggest that the only thing the climate is is robustly chaotic, robustly bistable on long time scales and robustly fractally multistable on shorter time scales.
But I completely agree that comparing pre-Pleistocene climate to the current ice age is probably not useful, as before it truly was robust and remarkably stable.comment image
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rgbatduke

The Panama closure occurred 13 to 15 million years ago, rather than the assumed 3 million years ago.
The Panama closure had been invoked as the reason for the start of the glacial/interglacial cycle in the Northern Hemisphere 2.8 million years ago.
Both assumptions were incorrect.

Wow are you easy to convince!
One paper asserts the contrary and you buy it? Why not provisionally reduce your degree of belief in the conclusions of the other umpty papers that conclude the opposite on many grounds accordingly, but take this paper with a grain of salt. Are there no other possible causes that could explain their findings? And what of the other evidence to the contrary — I’ve looked at a bunch of those papers and there is fairly substantial e.g. fossil evidence. The closing didn’t happen all at once, as well.
Not everything that is published is correct. It’s always lovely to be a maverick and embrace the iconoclast, but wisdom in science is to not be particularly hasty in jumping on an iconoclastic bandwagon. If they are correct, there will be further work that corroborates it. In the meantime, there will likely be some “robust” discussion about the apparently contradictory evidence and ways to explain the discrepancies.
So let’s soften this statement to “may not be correct”, shall we? Or not — of course you can believe whatever you like.
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rgbatduke

Greenhouse gases are indeed one of the mechanisms that cool the earth. A lot of the earth’s cooling comes from direct radiation from the surface, however, in LWIR wavelengths that are not blocked by the atmosphere.
The greenhouse cooling does occur high in the troposphere, at the height where it becomes approximately transparent to LWIR in the absorption bands due to the thinning of the atmosphere. As greenhouse gas concentrations increase, the emission height increases just a little. Because of the lapse rate, emissions from the increased height are a little bit cooler. Because the rate of emissions is proportional to the fourth power of the temperature, greenhouse gas cooling works slightly less efficiently. However, since the incoming radiation is not similarly modulated, the Earth has to get rid of just as much heat (per unit time). Consequently the surface warms, just a bit, to increase the rate of loss directly from the surface.
It really is pretty simple. Sure, there is more internal complexity. The CO_2 molecule has a very complex spectrum in the relevant bands. The absorption/emission lines are (predominantly) pressure broadened through most of the troposphere, and hence they become narrower with increased height and reduced pressure, density and temperature. This means that the entire atmosphere column has some differential transparency as lower heights radiate energy that can “bleed” through the opening gaps in the lines of molecules above, so the picture isn’t quite as simple as raising the emission height as if that is a sharp number. It also means that the atmosphere’s transparency in the absorption band varies with the weather — on a clear high pressure day, it actually is more opaque in the CO_2 band than it is on a low pressure day, so the emission heights themselves vary dynamically and locally. It also means that there is a complicated nonlinear relationship between places with uplifting air (possibly carrying energy as latent heat in water vapor), air pressure and density, relative opacity, emission height, albedo, back radiation, and more that it is difficult to even mentally form a model of even though any given piece is understandable.
This is why the climate problem is so difficult. We have no “rules” that function in some separable way so that we can say “If this happens, then this will happen.” Our best models say “If this happens, anything can happen” and then people assume that the statistical distribution of anything is somehow a predictor, in spite of the fact that direct evidence obtained by trying this refutes the assertion.
I can’t solve the coupled Navier-Stokes equations for the ocean and atmosphere in my head out to climate-relevant times. You can’t either. They can’t even be solved with world-class computers at a resolution that is meaningful or likely to be meaningful. So why assert that you know that CO_2 is no risk or danger at all, that it cools the planet instead of warms it, etc. The best that we can say at this time is that looking at the direct relationship between atmospheric CO_2 and global average temperature over the pitifully short length of time represented by the instrumental record, even allowing for a certain amount of well-intended fiddling with the temperature record by world-saving zealots with a vested interest in the catastrophe, it is most likely true that the simple theory of CO_2 caused warming is correct with little or no feedback, and with a very modest total climate sensitivity just about where theory says it should be.
The one thing that has proven to be incorrect in the work of Hansen and others who built the first climate models is the feedback. Without feedback, there has never been a risk of catastrophe. Feedback has always been a sketchy proposition (in my opinion) because positive feedback usually indicates instability in dynamical systems and there is no evidence of a serious climate instability outside of one triggered by long-time orbital stuff or perhaps shorter but still long time ocean circulation stuff. There is direct evidence that climate models overestimate the cooling effect of aerosols, and hence exaggerate the water vapor feedback to compensate, and that this may well be why they continue to diverge from the actual temperature as aerosols remain roughly constant but CO_2 goes up without this positive feedback. There is also direct evidence that the models are overwhelmingly off in their treatment of the ocean — again IMO unsurprising given that the ocean is an entire secondary set of Navier-Stokes equations that are if anything even more poorly understood and which are coupled to the atmosphere. It would have been surprising, and would still be surprising, if any of the GCMs actually worked.
Without strong positive feedback, the risk of catastrophe is greatly reduced. It is not zero, because it isn’t zero even if we do nothing — the climate is chaotic and could slap us around for a century on a whim (look at the climate history of e.g. California, which was a desert for most of the last 500 years pre-anthropogenic CO_2 and could return to being a desert starting two years ago and it would be a decade before we even could tell). We cannot tell even if we are increasing or decreasing the risk by adding CO_2 — both are plausible, and the models are no help at all.
Then one has to look at the benefits of the CO_2 (and the energy produced burning coal to make it). They are substantial. Indeed, they are both crucial to our civilization. A billion people dine every day on the increased plant productivity of the additional CO_2. Civilization itself was built on top of the burning of coal.
Is it wise to invest, perhaps even invest heavily, in alternative energy resources that do not rely on coal? Absolutely. A number of them require no fuel at all, or require things like Deuterium or Thorium that exist in such abundance that human civilization could continue, based on them as a fundamental energy source, for millions of years instead of (at most) hundreds of years, and with atmospheric CO_2 no longer being a concern either way. In fifty or a hundred years, we may understand the climate system and biosphere well enough to deliberately move atmospheric CO_2 towards some optimal concentration. That optimum could easily be higher than what it is now, even if it is lower than what it will be then. In the meantime, wise investment in the technology and science that might one day produce ways of generating energy that cost less than coal and hence are the obvious choice for a free society seems strongly indicated.
What is not indicated is nonsense like “Carbon Trading”, or treating CO_2 as the harbinger of a future disaster. It is most probable that it is no such thing, and it is absolutely certain that so far it has been an unmitigated blessing to the human species and general world ecology. It is rather likely that it will continue to be net beneficial for another 100 to 200 ppm. Beyond that it is difficult to be certain. We haven’t done the experiments or the science, and sometimes comparatively small changes in an ecology can have large effects. But there is every reason to think that a strong investment in the technology of alternate energy production over the 20 to 40 years required to reach these concentrations with no demonization of coal based power at all is sufficient to push us over the hump to where coal is deselected not because of CO_2 risk but because there are much cheaper alternatives that use no fuel at all or comparatively abundant and energy rich (nuclear) fuels.
Organic chemists I know despair over the fact that we burn oil and coal. They are so valuable as feedstock to the entire organic synthesis chains that make countless materials of great value to our society, feedstock that would be enormously more expensive to generate from raw CO_2 and water and air (or even from plant material where at least some steps have already been accomplished by nature). We are burning the wealth of the world when we burn oil and coal. So far, that burning has been an investment, one that has uplifted the human species from abject global poverty (even in the heart of pre-Enlightenment “civilization”) to a state where even the poorest amongst us in energy rich countries are wealthier than the nobility of the feudal world 400 years ago. It has been the basis for human freedom, as cheap energy reduces the incentive for human slavery by devaluing unskilled human labor. But we would be most unwise to continue burning our capital in this way indefinitely. We only get one shot at transforming global civilization to an energy basis capable of going the distance, or we risk falling back to comparatively primitive sources and which would almost certainly entail the death of enormous numbers of humans.
Imagine the die off if a coronal mass ejection of unprecedented magnitude slammed the Earth in two days and blew the entire continental electrical grids of the world by frying every single transformer in the system, so that it would take years to rebuild — no air conditioning or refrigeration or lights or heat in all of the world’s cities, no transportation into those cities, a complete breakdown in delivery and services. But at least in this case there would be light at the end of the tunnel and after several billion deaths, we would turn the lights back on. If we burn all of the coal and all of the accessible oil and do not have alternatives waiting in the wings or have any sort of CME-based event or nuclear war even that brings down civilization for a single decade, it might never rise again with all of the cheap and readily available carbon-based energy used up.
rgb

Steve P

Because there is neither evidence nor precedent for warmer conditions or higher CO₂ concentrations having any negative effects for life on Earth, the entire CAGW argument must be dismissed as the logical fallacy known as Special Pleading.
Corporate gang green loves the green scams because they provide a convenient veil to mask their true motives:
“When General Electric blamed “a variety of energy regulations that establish lighting efficiency standards” for the closing of incandescent light bulb factories in Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky, its PR team left out a critical detail: General Electric and fellow light bulb manufacturers Phillips and Osram Sylvania had lobbied for those regulations.
Ignore claims that the incandescent light bulb ban was imposed to fight global warming. The motive behind the bulb ban is money: Incandescents have a low profit margin.”
–Amy Ridenour

http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA628.html
Find the fallacies, and follow the money.
Green scams like wind turbines and vast solar arrays are bleeding wounds on the economies of those nations saddled with these monstrosities…
And where the blood pools, the vampires feast.

The IPCC RCPs are based on the notion that increased levels of CO2 will cause a RF of (421 ppm) 2.6 W/m^2, (538 ppm) 4.5 W/m^2, (670 ppm) 6.0 W/m^2, and (936 ppm) 8.5 W/m^2. Table SPM 3.
The impact of these RFs is minuscule in the overall climate picture, clouds, precipitation, ocean flux, volcanic, geothermal, etc.

Barry

From paper #2: “The benchmark forecast is that the global mean temperature for each year for the rest of this century will be within 0.5 C of the 2008 figure.” First of all, 0.5 C is a pretty large change in global mean temperature, as almost all annual global mean temperatures were within this range from 1860 to 1980:
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT4.png
However, we’ve now seen an increase of about 0.5 C since then, over ~35 years. The author seems to be hopeful that things will “average out” and “return to normal”, but doesn’t have any physical evidence to indicate a reason to be so hopeful. Forecasts of a past climate (when things weren’t changing much) may have no relevance for today’s (or future) climate. Considering the 35-year trend, we’ll have about 1.3 C of warming above 2008 levels by the end of the century.

co2islife

Hello!!! Does CO2 pool in the N Hemisphere? How can CO2, a relative constant in any model, cause a temperature differential between the N Hemi and S Hemi? Any real scientist would look for the differences between the N and S Hemisphere to expain the differential. That is why they are called differential equation. Here is a hint. 1) Ground based temperature measurements are manipulated and 2) H2O has increased in the N Hemi relative to the S Hemi. CO2 simply can’t explain the difference between the N and S Hemi, that chart demonstrates that something other than CO2 has caused a full 0.5 Degree C increase since 1980. Funny how Climate Scientists seem to overlook the real interesting questions. They simply don’t look for anything other than CO2.
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT4.png

co2islife

Hello Again!!! The trend in temperature in the S Hemi shows a near linear relationship since 1900, with a pause between 1940 and 1980. CO2 increase hasn’t been linear. Prior to 1980 the N and S Hemisphere were highly correlated, post 1980 the temperatures diverged. CO2 can’t cause the divergence. What is causing the divergence? That is the question. Most likely the divergence is due to a researcher that is manipulating the data, and not understanding how to perpetrate a successful fraud. His own actions created a smoking gun for his fraud. It is like a thief that didn’t have to break into a house. Clearly it was an inside job because he used a key.
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT4.png

harrytwinotter

co2islife.
So you think both hemispheres should respond to an increase in forcing the same way?
“that chart demonstrates that something other than CO2 has caused a full 0.5 Degree C increase since 1980”
Ummm no it doesn’t. You really are just pulling conclusions out of your bottom.
“Funny how Climate Scientists seem to overlook the real interesting questions.”
Funny how some climate change dissenters make stuff up.

co2islife

harrytwinotter
July 19, 2015 at 1:50 am
co2islife.
So you think both hemispheres should respond to an increase in forcing the same way?

Someone is actually going to defend this garbage? Really? Yes, I do think CO2 “forcing” should be the same in both Hemispheres, care to explain why not? Are these “smart” molecules that known their location? Does N Hemi CO2 absorb at 10 Microns and S Hemi CO2 not? Given the climate “scientists” can’t even create computer models to demonstrate this “Forcing,” please feel free to explain how CO2, at 400 PPM in both the N and S Hemisphere, both absorbing IR at 15 Microns, have different “forcing” effects? I’m all ears.

“that chart demonstrates that something other than CO2 has caused a full 0.5 Degree C increase since 1980″
Ummm no it doesn’t. You really are just pulling conclusions out of your bottom.

Actually it is the Climate “Scientists” that are pulling conclusion out of their bottoms, their models prove it.
CO2 is a constant in both the N and S Hemisphere, 400 PPM, Absorption at 15 Microns. How can a constant cause a difference? How can 400 PPM CO2 impact the atmosphere in the N Hemi different from the S Hemi. Please explain. BTW, the average temp in the N Hemi is 15 degree C and S Hemisphere is 13 Degree C. CO2 is transparent for that range of IR, CO2 has an atmospheric window between 13 microns and 4.3 Microns.
http://itg1.meteor.wisc.edu/wxwise/AckermanKnox/chap14/climate_spatial_scales.html
The only CO2 absorption that matters to the atmosphere is 15 microns, or wave number 666. Please explain your CO2 “forcing” concept that creates a temperature differential using this graph. I’ll all ears.
http://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/1334/37782.GIF

“Funny how Climate Scientists seem to overlook the real interesting questions.”
Funny how some climate change dissenters make stuff up.

Nice try, I don’t make up the physics, I just understand them. I’m giving you an opportunity to demonstrate that you understand them as well. Once again, please explain how a very very very weak GHG that absorbs 20% of the IR at 15 microns (13 to 18 range) which is consistent with a black body between -50 and -110 degree C can warm an atmosphere of 13 to 15 degrees C? How can CO2, which is transparent to IR at 10 microns, warm the atmosphere? How can heat flow from -50 degree to 13 Degree C? Have we repealed the 1st Law of Thermodynamics? If so, why have there been no Nobel Prizes in SCIENCE been given to the Climate “Scientists?” Once again, please use this graph to defend your position.
http://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/1334/37782.GIF

harrytwinotter

co2islife.
” Yes, I do think CO2 “forcing” should be the same in both Hemispheres, care to explain why not? ”
Ummm would you care to explain yourself first? Arguments from ignorance are lazy and dishonest you know.
While you are at it, go research “burden of evidence”.

co2islife

harrytwinotter
July 19, 2015 at 1:37 pm
co2islife.
” Yes, I do think CO2 “forcing” should be the same in both Hemispheres, care to explain why not? ”
Ummm would you care to explain yourself first? Arguments from ignorance are lazy and dishonest you know.
While you are at it, go research “burden of evidence”.

Burden of the Evidence? Are you kidding me? I Win. Never in the history of science has there been so much evidence that a complete “scientific” theory is based upon 100% pure crap. Here is all the evidence a real scientist needs.
http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/spencer-models-epic-fail2-628×353.jpg

co2islife

CO2 increase hasn’t been linear.

Sorry, that should have read “Man’s production of CO2 hasn’t been linear, it has been logarithmic or exponential.” Atmospheric CO2 follows the relatively linear increase of the oceans/S Hemisphere. That makes sense given Henry’s Law. Warm the oceans, the oceans release CO2. The oceans are degassing as they warm.

co2islife

My my my, the S Hemi shows a “pause” very similar to the satellite temperatures. Imagine that. More evidence of a fraud regarding the N Hemisphere data. Both show a pause since 2000 and maybe before. Something doesn’t pass the stink test regarding that N Hemi data.
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT4.png
http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_June_2015_v61.png

David A

Dear CO2, the global T graphics are completely different then the ones published in the 1980s. Those show a global drop in GAT of about .4 degrees ending in the late 1970s, at the peak of the “Ice age scare”. If we only had satellites going back that far,

martin h

The models were no better than a line drawn on a graph with a ruler from recent temperatures. Billions wasted.

Arno Arrak

To claim that temperature is at a “tipping point” as Al Gore did is just one example of the stupidities that constantly emanate from the climate modeling operation.They have gotten nothing right since Hansen started it in 1988 and the whole operation should be closed down. They were given hugely expensive supercomputers to play with and that is exactly what they did. An output consisting of fifty or sixty parallel “possible” answers as they are fond of doing is not science, It is a waste of machine time and a distraction for observers who need quantitative information. In any other technical field inability to produce required output is grounds for shutting down the operation. Apparently none of these jokers knows what quantitative measurement in science means. Their supervisors obviously are just as clueless but they love showing off the output and pretending it is science. Closing it down will get rid of the expense of all this and will let scientists do climate science without the distraction of useless computer models.

I just wrote a piece that summarizes what I believe reaching this halfway point in the climate future means and what went wrong. https://logiclogiclogic.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/the-climate-debate-is-over-we-know-whats-going-to-happen-why-did-it-happen-what-did-we-learn/
Maybe I’m wrong but I feel like reaching this halfway point really is a “change” in the debate. I don’t see how we can be debating many of the points. The data is in, well half the data. That’s good enough that all the debate of that effect or this effect is irrelevant. We have the data. It’s all included by now in the half and 70 years.
Yes, I agree there may be other longer wave phenomenon which might decrease the effect even more (or increase it) and I feel the 0.6C is impossible because satellites are much more likely to be right, so the total is more likely to be refined sooner to closer to 0.3 than 0.6 but I do feel a lot of the debate that we spent so much time arguing about is more or less settled.
I also have an article on the funk that climate team members are in : https://logiclogiclogic.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/pre-traumatic-stress-syndrome-judith-curry-on-michael-mann-gavin-schmidt-in-serious-depression/
and more science on the actual numbers here: https://logiclogiclogic.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/temperature-rise-by-end-of-century-cannot-be-significant/

“0.3 C” sounds like a value for “the equilibrium climate sensitivity” (TECS). The artful placement of “the” in the phrase “the equilibrium climate sensitivity” implies that TECS has a unique numerical value. However, there is no reason for belief in the proposition that it does. Thus, the issue of Earth’s atmosphere’s response to a change in the CO2 concentration cannot be settled by assignment of a value such as “0.3 C” to TECS.

Re: Terry Oldberg 7/18/2015 @ 2:03 pm
<i… “the equilibrium climate sensitivity” implies that TECS has a unique numerical value. However, there is no reason for belief in the proposition that it does. Thus, the issue of Earth’s atmosphere’s response to a change in the CO2 concentration cannot be settled by assignment of a value such as “0.3 C” to TECS.
You have made a mistake, common, I speculate, amongst the majority of physicists, practitioners of the poster child for Modern Science and the Scientific Method. You have conflated the Real World with models of the Real World. The Real World has stuff that impinges on our senses and instruments, but it has no coordinate systems, no variables, no parameters, no values, no numbers, no initial conditions, no algebra, no symbols, no measures, no units, no chaos, no linearity nor nonlinearity, no geometry, no statistics, no correlations, no equilibrium, no entropy. These are all properties of scientific models, all manmade.
The problem is even worse for the poor ECS. The definition begins,
In IPCC reports, equilibrium climate sensitivity refers to the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent carbon dioxide concentration. AR4, Glossary.
The problems of nonexistence in the Real World aside, and forgetting that the real climate is never in equilibrium, we can always measure the always-changing mean global surface temperature (GMST) and some coincidental change in atmospheric CO2 concentration, take the ratio, and adjust it to an equivalent doubling in the denominator. That will produce a number with the right units, but it’s not the ECS until one shows that the change in temperature followed, i.e., was caused by, the change in CO2.
We know from physics that atmospheric CO2 increases when GMST increases. That’s Henry’s Law. The public was just lucky that the latest measured changes in CO2 following the change in GMST turned out to be less than 1. If it had been 2 or more, say, it would have confirmed the AGW model instead of invalidating it. It would have done so despite being incompetent, that is, not according to the definition. What the climate community is doing is confusing the scientific principle of causation by simply ignoring it after defining it.

Jeff Glassman:
I’m not addressing ECS but rather its cousin TECS. TECS is implied to have a unique numerical value. If it is unique then we have only to multiply TECS by the change in the logarithm of the CO2 concentration to get the change in the equilibrium temperature.
TECS is the ratio of the change in the equilibrium temperature to the change in the logarithm of the CO2 concentration. Generally, the ratio of the change in one quantity to the change in another is not a constant. In this case, whether the ratio is or is not a constant cannot be determined as the equilibrium temperature cannot be observed. If we are scientists, we reject the hypothesis that it is a constant because it cannot be tested. If we are pseudoscientists we accept this hypothesis because we are “scientists.” This is my argument.

Arnold Roquerre

In truth it doesn’t matter what the warmest say. What matters is that we save their names and statements on thumpdrives. The earth is cooling from the top down. Soon, it 2ill be impossible to continue the charade. More important we will want to point hungry and cold citizens to the gov’the agencies, universities and professors, and pitiful parties that walked them I to a nightmare. I am sure they will not walk away as did the bankers who brought about the collapse of the economy. Hungry peple tend to err on the side of revenge. Starving people will not be amused learning warmests cooked the books.
Just as the failure of Lysenkoism undermined the authority of the Soviet state, so to, will the collapse of warmests undermine the authority of the U.S. government. I believe the political system we are under will be demolished along great with the Democratic Party or its’ core members.
Long term forecasts regarding temperature and weather can never be made. Caous Theory simply put means long term forecasts of complex systems that have feedback loops.will allay break down over time.
And, let us not forget that the forecasts models do not factor in cloud formation or where, when and length of coverage. Clouds make a difference.

Steve P

Mods,
My July 18, 2015 post at 11:03 am continues to await moderation.

paul

Im stunned liberals continue to espouse lies. I ‘m of the opinion they purposely choose insanity.
History books will be something like…Marxists were able to infect a whole country into believing falsehoods of their own free will.

ironicman

Al Gore is correct in thinking a ‘tipping point’ maybe in the offing, it seems likely there will be a correction and global cooling will reign supreme for a few decades. A drop in temperatures of 0.5 C would claw back most of the increase since the 1970s.
Presumably all bets will be off.

u.k.(us)

“If you are not sure on whether that is bad or not, think of how many violations of evidence-based procedures by ground crew or pilots that are typically associated with a major airline crash. One or two, perhaps? Bear in mind, too, that commercial air travel is a much simpler, and better understood, situation than global climate change.
How would you react if the pilot announced before take off that he was sure that your flight was special, and so he would not be following the usual procedures?”
=============
Sheese, careful who you drag into your …..dramas.

how can Al Gore decline on the premise he is not a betting man?
He has been willing to bet the entire economy on this farse… suddenly is it not worth a few dollars of his own?

“Global Warming is a forecasting problem”. No, Global Warming is a fraud problem. The fraud begins and ends with the lie that there is something called the Greenhouse Effect.

Bevan

what bet? There was no bet, as Gore declined the offer. Gore hasn’t given an estimate for future warming, so someone chose 0.03C per year, which they claim is the “linear trend” predicted by the third IPCC report. The trend predicted by the IPCC is not linear. The trend is not 0.03C per year. The third IPCC report predicted a warming trend of 0.15C-0.30C/decade over the next several decades. Not only does the “bet” ignore the time frame (see #6), but rather than chose the middle of the range, the deniers have chosen to pretend the higher end of the estimate, the maximum possible, is the “projection” of the IPCC report.

Mervyn

As Dr Martin Hertzberg stated in an article titled ‘More Hot Air Than Science in Global Warming Theory’ (October 3, 2011):
“Knowledgeable scientists . . . know that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide do not correlate with human emission of carbon dioxide, that human emission is a trivial fraction of sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, that the oceans contain about 50 times more dissolved carbon dioxide than is present in the atmosphere, that recycling of carbon dioxide from the tropical oceans where it is emitted to the arctic oceans where it is absorbed is orders of magnitude more significant than human emissions, and that the carbonate-bicarbonate buffer in the oceans makes their acidity (actually their alkaline pH) virtually insensitive to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The data for the glacial coolings and interglacial warmings for the past 500,000 years always show that temperature changes precede atmospheric carbon-dioxide changes by about 1,000 years. That indicates that temperature changes are driving carbon-dioxide changes and not the reverse as the Gore-Hansen-IPCC clique claims. As oceans warm for whatever reason, they emit carbon dioxide, and as they cool they absorb carbon dioxide.
The carbon-dioxide ‘greenhouse effect’ argument on which the fear-mongering hysteria is based is actually devoid of physical reality. The notion that the colder atmosphere above can reradiate its absorbed infrared energy to heat the warmer earth below violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.”

Cold bodies radiate energy. Hot bodies radiate energy. The amount of energy radiated does not depend on the temperature difference. Only the net energy flow between the bodies is affected by the temperature difference. Raise the temperature of the cold body and the net flow decreases. Assuming the bodies are at constant temperature.

Correct. This was a hot topic in the blogosphere for a while because professional climatologists were calling the two energy flows “heat flows.” Bloggers pointed out that one of the two “heat” flows violated the second law of thermodynamics.

co2islife

As Dr Martin Hertzberg stated in an article titled ‘More Hot Air Than Science in Global Warming Theory’ (October 3, 2011):

Wow, I’m not a Climate “Scientist” and I’ve made almost every one of those points in my comments from time to time. Funny how an unbiased, impartial, casual observer can identify the obvious flaws whereas the Climate “Scientists” just seem to overlook the obvious. That proves to be they simply aren’t looking. Climate “Science” is a fraud, and it must be exposed in a court of law for all to see how betrayed the honest tax paying public has been.

rgbatduke

How well does the no feedback model do against the Gore and Armstrong models?

Pretty serious PITA to build, but here it is. I misunderstood what you were asking until I looked at the picture above in context. I made an executive decision to plot “the bet” (no growth flat vs 0.03 C/year linear) against HadCRUT4. Given the error bars, this is a nearly complete waste of time. However, here it is:
http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/Toft-CO2-gore-vs-armstrong.jpg
Comments:
* Pointless exercise. Truly. Honestly it is a pointless bet without any scientific merit or any substantial argumentative merit running over only a decade with an error order 0.1 C in any given year. As one can see, even though the sloped curve is worse over the last 4 years of the 7 elapsed from 2007 and is only the best in one single year, since the overall temperature series has an autocorrelation time somewhere between 3 and 5 years this is only around 2 “independent” samples and hence is statistically meaningless.
* Note well that HadCRUT4 is an actual surface temperature anomaly, which is almost certainly the only fair bet. Betting the rate surface temperatures are supposed to go up against UAH/RSS is a complex form of cheating, IMO. Leaving off error bars is cheating. Failing to point out that there are only 2-3 “independent” samples per decade of the temperature record isn’t cheating, but it renders nearly all supposedly meaningful conclusions about the climate substantially less meaningful (basically meaningless so far in the “bet”) to those with the wit to notice it. But so what, let’s continue.
* The two curves are forced to be equal (to the HadCRUT4 temperature) in 2007. We don’t have a 2015 temperature yet. \chi^2 would be lower so far for the flat/Armstrong assertion, but the outcome of the bet overall is very much in doubt with a strong ENSO underway. Flat overall would fail miserably extrapolated much farther to the left (not shown, but there is the 1997-1998 super-ENSO and then the curve goes down so that the 0.03/year curve would work much better back into the 80’s and beyond). Flat will almost certainly fail miserably in the future. But it isn’t too bad for a stretch now too short to be of the slightest predictive or discriminatory use.
* The blue curve (my own best fit to an actual physical model from 1850 though the present) has almost exactly half the slope of the supposed “Gore” curve, although I’m not sure this is the right name for it. It has an acceptable \chi^2 across the 2000-2014 interval and — unlike either of the others — it extrapolates all the way back to 1850 with very reasonable \chi^2 and substantial explanatory power. It can be further improved (as shown above) with a sinusoidal component of period 67 years and amplitude 0.1 C, but it isn’t terrible without it and since I have no physical model that can explain it I omit it in this comparison.
In summary, this entire thread is largely a waste of time. The bet, if won by either side, has almost no statistical significance as a decade is far too little a time to have substantial statistical weight in climate science. Even a thirty year stretch doesn’t have that many independent samples in it, not according to the autocorrelation. We are barely reaching the point where we have a decent amount of reliable global data in the satellite era, and there are too many thumbs on too many scales and too small error bars on the result to place much weight on any fits or predictions of climate, simply because we have only a rather foggy idea of what the climate has been more than 35 to 50 years ago, and given an autocorrelation time of only three years there are less than 20 “iid” samples in 50 years of data, or would be if the distribution was likely to be stationary, which it isn’t.
As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, and will point out again — in my opinion — as well or poorly informed as you care to consider it, but I can also IMO adequately defend any or all of my assertions if challenged and have made the curves I’m presenting completely transparent and based on publicly available data — there is sufficient reason in the 165 years of HadCRUT4 data (and/or the related temperature estimates) even given the high probability of limited bias to strongly support the assertion that anthropogenic CO_2 has been responsible [for as] little as 0.4 C and as much as 0.8 C of warming from 1850 to the present. Even with a warming bias, there is no more warming than that to explain in the temperature record, so it seems unlikely that CO_2 is any more of a factor in the climate than it is in my curve. There is zero evidence of a time lag in the climate response to added CO_2, which makes complete sense given that fluctuations year to year and over the autocorrelation time greatly exceed any lagged equilibrium delta T so that warm fluctuations would put us back in equilibrium every 3-5 years (on average) along the way.
This fit over 165 years of data suggests strongly that the pause is indeed a pause and nothing to take to seriously from a statistical point of view, especially given the autocorrelation. It suggests that the MME mean and GCMs are heavily overestimating future warming and incorrectly characterizing past warming. It suggests that there is some point in looking for a robust cause for a 67 year period natural variation superimposed on top of longer term variation of unknown period and amplitude and cause and a probably anthropogenic warming that might well have added to, or subtracted from, natural warming or cooling that might have occurred without it. It provides no good basis for fearing a catastrophe should CO_2 run up to 600 ppm (the highest I think is particularly likely, personally), but is arguably “catastrophically” worrisome if it should run up to 900 to 1000 ppm.
It also very strongly suggests that people not get their panties into a knot over warming or cooling or neutral stretches of less than 70 years. With clearly visible secular time scales of 70 years in the data and insufficient data to tell if these variations are meaningful or part of an even longer timescale pattern we barely have the data to start discussing “climate” as opposed to weather. Even though the past (pre-1850) is even more poorly known than the last 165 years, there is substantial evidence that the climate varies by full degrees C on a century plus time scale. An increase of less than 1 C over the past 165 years is not really resolved from the probable noise of natural variability or variability from unknown and ill-understood forces (not that any are really needed in a chaotic system like the climate).
We know a lot less than we think we do about the climate. If people stated this uncertainty with anything like honesty, there would be a lot less anger and politicking from both sides. Yes, there is definitely global warming. Yes, some fraction of it is probably anthropogenic No, there is little reason to think that future anthropogenic warming will pass some arbitrary limit to “catastrophe”. And far from there being some obvious “global warming” or “climate change” signal, nearly all of the changes in global climate are still way, way down in the noise of the statistically indistinguishable even ignoring the possibility of non-anthropogenic, serious, secular variations.
rgb

kim

Ignore the millennial at your perennial.
=========

kim

Thanks for the work and for the long, eloquent exposition afterwards. I wish it were easy enough for this to be widely understood.
=================

rgbatduke

The carbon-dioxide ‘greenhouse effect’ argument on which the fear-mongering hysteria is based is actually devoid of physical reality. The notion that the colder atmosphere above can reradiate its absorbed infrared energy to heat the warmer earth below violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.”

Fortunately, this is not what happens. Instead the Earth is constantly heated by the sun, and cools by radiating heat away through the atmosphere. The atmosphere most definitely radiates some of that heat back down to the surface, effectively raising its temperature relative to what it would be if the atmosphere were perfectly transparent in the LWIR bands associated with the surface radiation temperature. Eventually a smaller fraction of the energy than would have been directly radiated away from the warm surface diffuses to the top of the troposphere and is radiated away via the greenhouse gases at a much lower temperature (because of the lapse rate).
There is nothing in this process that violates the second law of thermodynamics. You should trust me in this, as I’ve done the computation (which is bone simple) and you have not, and I teach this stuff to undergraduates and understand it pretty darned well at multiple levels. You completely misrepresent the process and hence end up spouting nonsense you’ve heard and half-understand.
This silly myth is one of the many reasons skeptics are frequently laughed at and generally ignored in the scientific debate. When you make such a ridiculous statement, you make it easy for warmists to use logical fallacy to advance their argument — if the skeptical argument is so obviously non-physical (when at least some people make it) should any of it be taken seriously?
The Greenhouse Effect is real. Carbon dioxide almost certainly is causing some all-things-equal warming of the Earth’s surface. What is at issue physically are the feedbacks and general failure of high feedback simple models and our lack of ability to solve the Navier-Stokes equations to predict the climate with more complex models. The simplest model — no-feedback or low feedback CO_2 only warming with no lag — actually works remarkably well to fit the last 165 years of global anomaly data. The excellence of this fit is hardly evidence against the GHE:
http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/Toft-CO2-vs-MME.jpg
rgb

rgb:
How well does the no feedback model do against the Gore and Armstrong models?

rgbatduke

How well does the no feedback model do against the Gore and Armstrong models?

Hi Terry,
I have no idea. I wasn’t even aware “Gore” had a model, given that he isn’t a scientist. As you can see, the no feedback, no lag model works pretty well against the MME mean from AR5 (which sucks anyway, so it is low hanging fruit). The real question is why one would want to trade the utter simplicity of this model for the insanity of averaging the average of averages of many non-independent models of a chaotic process that clearly indicate that the future climate can do pretty much anything if you look at the model spread independent of CO_2 level, even though the models are carefully overbiased to produce excessive warming while fitting as a reference period the worst possible stretch in the last 165 years, the stretch where the temperature went up the fastest for 20 years in phase with the apparent sinusoid. Do they not understand the first thing about building a reliable predictive model? If you direct me to the Gore and Armstrong data, I could try to plot it on top of the best fit model(s) above and we could see how it stands.
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rgb:
That would be great! The Gore and Armstrong data are available in the graphic of Dr. Green’s article that is titled “Gore-Armstrong Climate Bet to June 2015.”

Global temperature anomaly progression during the last 150 years correlates well with some other natural processes. This could be causal or coincidental, both unlikely, leaving ‘commonality’ as the most likely outcome.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GTvsGD.gif

co2islife

Global Warming is more than a forecasting problem, it is a forecasting, modeling and fraud problem.
1) GIGO, the data sets they use or should use are either garbage, inadequate, non-existent, inconsistent, contradictory and/or manipulated.
2) The model it mis-specified. Temperature drives CO2, not vise verse. By what mechanism would CO2 increase to “force” us out of an ice age? No mechanism exists. Temperature has to increase first. Their model reverses the independent and dependent variables. It is similar to lung cancer causes smoking. Everyone one of these IPCC Models would get an F- in any elementary school econometrics course 101.
3) The models are underspecified, and lack significant variables, clouds for one.
4) The treatment of CO2’s impact on temperature is clearly linear, when it isn’t. CO2 absorbs between 13 and 18 microns IR. That range would impact the cold regions more than the warmer regions. As the earth warms, the amount of radiation absorbed by CO2 greatly decreases. There is a negative logarithmic relationship between temperature and CO2 for wavelengths above 15 microns. Heat literally acts as an off switch for CO2.
5) The modelers clearly cherry picked a period where temperature and CO2 were coincident, but applied a causative correlation to its relationship. They curve fit an unrepresentative short period of time on which to calculate the relational coefficients for the various variables.
6) The data sets are constantly changing, early data was mostly from the US, then US and Europe, then US, Europe and S America, then Russia fell out etc etc.
7) Data sets like the data used to construct the Hockeystick deliberately avoided using thermometer data, the most accurate form of measurement for the time period covered. How you can have a temperature construction that included tree rings, ice core and coral as proxies and ignore available thermometer data is way way way beyond me. I’d love to see that practice defended in court.
8) These models are differential equations, Delta Y = Function of m1X1 + m2 X2….+b+Error, they require variables to differ over time and space. Over the short run CO2 is a constant, it is 400ppm in the N Hemi 400ppm in the S Hemi, it is 400ppm at the surface and 400ppm at the top of the troposphere. CO2 simply should act as a constant in any models over the short run. There is a clear temperature differential between the N and S Hemisphere. That differential has to be caused by something other than CO2.
9) CO2 and H2O absorb the same IR spectrum over the relative temperature range, making CO2 largely irrelevant.
10) CO2 is irrelevant to day time temperatures. Only nighttime temperature sets or differences between day and night temperature sets should be used to measure the GHG effect. Once again, GHGs are transparent to incoming visible light. That is why it reaches the earth and warms it. GHGs trap outgoing radiation from the earth, not the incoming irradiation coming from the sun.
11) Anyone interested in the truth about these models simply needs to take an econometrics course. The flaws are obvious to anyone that knows where to look. If these practice were used by a Wall Street Brokerage House, Drug Company or Oil Company the executives would be behind bars, it is that simple. The fraud is obvious, and anyone with a statistics background would be able to replicate similar examples of fraud in a court of law. That is what climate scientists really fear, defending their practices in a court of law.
Example: Under Armor wants to make the case that Under Armor Shoes increase weight loss.
Everyone knows Weight Loss = a function of Exercise and Caloric Intake.
Population #1) Couch potatoes that don’t wear Under Armor shoes
Population #2) Athletes that have put on weight over the winter and wear Under Armor shoes.
The experiment would then put both Population #1 and #2 on a strict diet, and exercise would be completely ignored. The Couch Potatoes would go on a diet, but remain on the couch, and the top athletes would go off to exercise. Exercise however is not measured, it is completely ignored. Only the type of shoe and caloric intake are measured.
At the end of the experiment the athletes that wear Under Armor shoes would show a statistically significant level of weight loss compared to the Couch Potatoes, and the only thing that was varied in the model (endogenous) was type of shoe. The real driver of the weight loss was a factor not included in the model (exogenous), that being exercise.
Using that approach and that model, Under Armor could prove that wearing Under Armor shoes causes weight-loss, and they could claim to have the data and model to prove it. Problem is, to perpetrate that fraud, they know it won’t be reproducible, so they will only release the model and data to other Under Armor friendly peer review selected representatives that stand to benefit from the fraud. They may hold an internal investigation to create the appearance of credibility, but it is all done to perpetrate a fraud. That is climate change science in a nutshell. One giant fraud.

co2islife

Dr Martin Hertzberg stated in an article titled ‘More Hot Air Than Science in Global Warming Theory’

Wow!!! That article is a goldmine. So concise, direct and honest.
http://m4gw.com/vail_valley_voices_more_hot_air_than_science_in_global-warming_theory/
Note how it was censored:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/02/thanks-to-michael-manns-response-a-newspaper-censors-a-letter-to-the-editor/
This really proves something is very very very very wrong with society and the scientific community. Here is a quote that exposes an outright fraud, and nothing happened. Evil will prevail when good men choose to do nothing. How can a credible scientist expose a fraud in a news paper and nothing happen? Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. This system is broken and something must will be done. These arrogant climate “scientists” seem to think they can act with impunity. That will eventually change with an election of when temperature takes a sharp turn down and society won’t be prepared. One simply needs to read how society reacted during the Little Ice Age. The terror of the French Revolution is a great case study of how starving people react to global cooling when the Government isn’t prepared. Just read this following quote. Someone is making a credible claim of fraud, and Penn State, the Media and the legal system did nothing. That is truly frightening.

Glasser, who calls me a fool, really tips his hand by defending the notoriously fraudulent “hockey stick” curve of Professor Mann. That curve has the shape of a hockey stick, flat for the past 1,000 years with a sharp rise during the past few decades. It was fabricated from carefully selected tree-ring measurements with a phony computer program.
Every knowledgeable climatologist knows that tree rings are unreliable proxies for temperature because they are also sensitive to moisture, sunlight, pests, competition from adjacent trees, etc. Furthermore, when those same tree-ring data actually showed a decline in temperature for the past several decades, Mann and his co-authors simply “hid the decline” by grafting direct measurements (inadequately corrected for the urban heat island and other effects) to his flat tree-ring line.
Knowledgeable climatologists knew that the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings settled Greenland and grapes grew in northern England, was much warmer than today and that its presence in all regions of the world was overwhelming. Similarly for the Roman Warm Period that preceded it and for a whole series of natural warmings and coolings until one gets back to the big one: the interglacial cooling of about 20,000 years ago.
And that all happened without any significant human emission of carbon dioxide.

co2islife

BTW, here is how you test the data that goes into a climate model. I can understand why this guy got fired. He looked behind the curtain and detailed the fraud:
https://youtu.be/2ROw_cDKwc0
Here are the commonly known facts the Climate “Scientists” seem to ignore, and that is they the theory on which their models are based is flawed.
https://youtu.be/iEPW_P7GVB8
Freeman Dyson destroys the computer models.
https://youtu.be/BiKfWdXXfIs

co2islife

Somewhere in there is some actual science. It does, in fact, suggest that we are likely to warm 1 C (or even 2 C) over the next century because of CO_2 in the atmosphere. Everything after that is pure politics, money, religion, and politics again.

How is that conclusion reached? How can a GHG, a weak non-bipolar GHG lead to warming when it is excited by IR between 13 and 18 microns? That means CO2 is trapping IR consistent with a black body of temp beween -50 degree C and – 110 degree C. CO2 doesn’t trap heat in the 15 to 18 Degree C Range or 10 microns. How can CO2 cause the warming if it is trapping only cooler temperatures? Can you warm a house by trapping the air conditioning? Doesn’t CO2 have to trap heat of shorter IR to warm the earth? Just how does a GHG that traps -50 degree C temp warm something that is 15 to 18 degree C? Also, how is CO2 warming the Oceans? Something is missing in the CO2 is causing warming conclusion. Repeat it as many times as you like, it just doesn’t pass the stink test.

rgbatduke

How is that conclusion reached? How can a GHG, a weak non-bipolar GHG lead to warming when it is excited by IR between 13 and 18 microns? That means CO2 is trapping IR consistent with a black body of temp beween -50 degree C and – 110 degree C. CO2 doesn’t trap heat in the 15 to 18 Degree C Range or 10 microns. How can CO2 cause the warming if it is trapping only cooler temperatures? Can you warm a house by trapping the air conditioning? Doesn’t CO2 have to trap heat of shorter IR to warm the earth? Just how does a GHG that traps -50 degree C temp warm something that is 15 to 18 degree C? Also, how is CO2 warming the Oceans? Something is missing in the CO2 is causing warming conclusion. Repeat it as many times as you like, it just doesn’t pass the stink test.

Are you at all serious in these objections? Surely you jest. Or are simply ignorant, which is more likely given the language you use, “trapping only cooler temperatures” for example. Indeed, almost all of your language is literally unintelligible.
Look, the atmosphere is almost completely opaque with a damn short mean free path in the primary CO_2 absorption band inside the general blackbody radiation power curve associated with the Earth’s surface temperatures. There is absolutely no question that there is substantial power radiated away from the surface (say) outside of my window in the band absorbed by CO_2. This energy is absorbed within the first two or three meters of the surface and almost immediately is transferred to the surrounding air (N_2 and O_2) helping to keep it warm. The atmosphere itself reradiates this energy (Kirchoff’s law) in roughly the same band, and some fraction of this reradiated energy does indeed go back down and hits the surface of the Earth and counts as part of its total energy input.
However, a lot of the energy thermally radiated from the Earth’s surface goes straight up and out through the atmosphere. As the temperature rises, the rate at which the surface loses energy directly increases and the rate at which energy is absorbed and returned increases. Some energy is not returned, and diffuses up through the atmosphere to where it becomes transparent (enough) in the greenhouse gas bands to escape to space. It does this at much colder temperatures than the surface of the Earth because of the lapse rate, it does it from a comparatively narrow band, and hence is relatively inefficient as an energy loss mechanism.
Are you with me so far? Energy comes in from the sun, and some fraction of it is absorbed by the (say) land surface. On average, to maintain a constant average temperature, just as much energy has to be lost to space as comes in. Some of the lost energy is radiated away from the surface at comparatively warm surface temperatures. Some of the lost energy is radiated away from e.g. CO_2 at top of the troposphere temperatures. The total has to balance in order for the average temperature to remain constant, over however long a time you like. There isn’t the slightest doubt that this crude description is empirically correct because we have ample spectrographs of energy being radiated away from the Earth at the top of the atmosphere and its spectrum is entirely consistent with this description, quantitatively consistent with this description.
Note well that I haven’t said anything about “warming” or “cooling” due to CO_2. All I’m doing is describing a state of detailed balance in an open system. The split I describe doesn’t require me to refer to “back radiation” or to describe in any sort of detail internal heat transfer mechanisms, because it is a spectroscopic split that is clearly observable in the actual measured spectra of the energy that is actually being radiated away from the Earth to balance the energy delivered by incoming sunlight. I don’t care what’s going on with latent heat, with albedo, with lateral heat transport. They can certainly have effects, and those effects on the climate may dominate greenhouse gas modulation some or even all of the time, but the spectra are the spectra and there is absolutely no arguing with the split between LWIR surface radiation intensities at surface temperatures and greenhouse gas radiation intensities at top of the troposphere temperatures because we have numerous photographs of it, because we routinely measure it, because it has been verified in such a complete way that it is literally insane to assert that it doesn’t exist.
All that is then left is the need to assess the effect of an increase in CO_2 concentration on this balance. And we don’t need to work very hard — all we really care about is the sign of the effect. Does it a) increase the rate of radiation from the CO_2 absorption band (which means that there must be less energy radiated directly from the surface, which in turn means that the surface is relatively cooler in steady state); or b) decrease the rate of radiation from the CO_2 absorption band (which means that more energy must be radiated directly from the surface, so it must be relatively warmer in steady state). I don’t address in any way how the energy moves around in the meantime — it does not matter. All that matters is that ins must equal outs.
If you need a metaphor, imagine a hose with two nozzles. Water is being pumped into the hose at a fixed rate. The rate it comes in must equal the rate it comes out. The rate it comes out of either nozzle depends on the pressure inside the common hose and the aperture inside. We can label one nozzle “surface radiation” and the other “greenhouse gas radiation at the top of the troposphere”. Both rates depend on the pressure inside (the temperature) and the pressure/temperature itself is determined by the requirement of balancing the flow out of a fixed flow pump (the sun). If you reduce the aperture of the greenhouse gas nozzle, you will decrease the flow out of that nozzle, increase the pressure in the hose, and increase the outflow from the other nozzle. It is that simple.
So which is it? Adding more CO_2 to the atmosphere without any question at all reduces the mean free path of photons in the LWIR bands it absorbs in. This in turn without any question raises the average height where the atmosphere becomes sufficiently transparent for LWIR photons in the CO_2 band to escape to space. It is colder higher, so energy loss is less efficient. It reduces the outflow through the CO_2 mediated channel, and the outflow through the direct channel must increase to maintain detailed balance. And in order for that outflow to increase the temperature must go up, and does until balance is re-established.
This at no time violates any laws of thermodynamics, any more than closing a tap and raising the pressure in your house’s pipes does. Net heat flows from hotter to colder (on average). Entropy increases as net heat is transferred from the hot sun to the cooler earth, from the cooler earth to the still cooler atmosphere, and from the cooler atmosphere to cold outer space. Statistical mechanics is happy. There are microscopic quantum models for this entire process that are based on sound physics and that produce results that are in good agreement with observation. This isn’t even exciting science, it is well-known.
However, it is just one component in the enormously complex process of absorption, reflection, and heat transfer that determines the climate. It may not be true, for example, that energy input is truly constant, because albedo might vary in ways that are coupled to the CO_2 gas concentration. There can be negative feedbacks, positive feedbacks, and more in the many transport processes and processes that contribute to total energy outflow compared to total inflow (albedo determines energy outflow in the visible spectrum, not LWIR, and hence all by itself complicates things enormously). But the CO_2 component per se — indeed, the greenhouse gas component in general — is without any reasonable doubt a warming, not cooling, component, and one that causes an overall warmer average surface temperature as its concentration is increased, not cooler or neutral surface temperature.
Other things may well overwhelm it. We have good reason to believe — from direct computations not from complex climate models but from simple radiative transfer models — that the direct effect of CO_2 concentration on change of temperature in the vicinity of the current concentration and temperature is a function like:
\Delta T = T_0 \log(C/C_0)
In this expression, T_0 is the log-linear response, and C_0 is reference concentration at a presumed “perfect equilibrium” where everything else is stationary (on average). Yes, such a thing doesn’t exist, but this function still describes the direct effect of CO_2 on temperature, all things being equal. A doubling of concentration (as any good engineer should know) increases the log by around 0.3. We expect a temperature change of 0.3 T_0 per doubling of concentration. This works out to be a number in the ballpark of 1 to 2 C (the models cannot specify it much more accurately than that for a variety of reasons).
This is certainly not likely to be a catastrophic number, especially if it comes in anywhere from the middle to the lower end of this likely range. The entire assertion of catastrophe comes not from the CO_2-based greenhouse effect and rising CO_2, but from hypothesized positive feedbacks in the highly nonlinear and complex climate system, primarily from water vapor. These feedbacks are supposed to multiply the direct warming by a factor that used to range from 2 to 5 — the latter a figment of Hansen’s “overheated” imagination and little else — and that now is believed to almost certainly be less than 2. The IPCC is trying hard to hold out for a value close to 2 so that they can claim a total warming order of 3 C per doubling, arguably damaging if not exactly catastrophic. Most current papers, however, are putting it down well below 2 simply because the data itself no longer supports the higher values.
There are a minority of papers that assert that it is anywhere from one (as a multiplier) to slightly less than one — net negative feedback. In my own opinion — based on actually fitting this function in a reasonable way to actual anomaly data — we can expect ballpark 1.5 C per doubling, very close to a no feedback result, but IMO the uncertainties are high in part because the data I fit almost certainly has a warming bias (p well over 0.95) and because the data I fit systematically underestimates past error bars in the temperature anomaly relative to errors in the current temperature anomaly (this is “certainly” true, not just probably true). As a consequence my best fits are corrupted by a systematic warming bias in the data and are less reliable in any event because we simply know past data a lot less precisely than is claimed. Even so they are pretty good fits, and the best fit yields a temperature increase of 1.8 C per doubling, which is likely an upper bound on the sensitivity.
Is this number correct? Who knows? The climate is enormously complex, and even if CO_2 does have a simple, direct warming effect that effect could easily be swamped, cancelled, augmented, altered etc by natural variations or by important nonlinearities that we do not understand (yet). The “pause” IMO is not an issue, because it is part of the 67 year sinusoid that best fits the modulation of the temperature around the CO_2 only curve for the last 165 years and whether or not that sinusoid has any causal basis we can understand, it is empirically a measure of the possible natural variation making the pause very reasonably a natural variation around the CO_2 warming curve. In any event, current temperatures are dead on my best fit with the sinusoid, and are remarkably close with it or without it since 1850.
So please, stop asserting that there is no greenhouse effect, or making the usual noises about how it is impossible for a “trace gas” to have an important effect on climate. Both are pure nonsense. There is, and it can, and it does, and we have direct spectroscopic evidence of the process in action whereby it does. It also fits the temperature data in a very believable way, although this is hardly conclusive or even strong evidence for any given estimate of sensitivity, it is absolutely not evidence against it.
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co2islife

Are you at all serious in these objections? Surely you jest. Or are simply ignorant, which is more likely given the language you use, “trapping only cooler temperatures” for example. Indeed, almost all of your language is literally unintelligible

Really? I’m not the one defending a “science” that can’t even produce computer models to make their case. You don’t get any more pathetic than that. Here, I’ll type slowly and avoid using big scary words so you can keep up This is the spectrometry of CO2, CO2 has a peak at 15 that is applicable to the earth. At 15 microns/666 wave number, CO2 is almost transparent to IR radiation. It absorbs 20% of the radiation. Given that ir re-radiates that IR over 360 degrees, at most 50% ir re-radiated back towards earth. That 13 to 18 micron absorption band is consistent with a black body of -50 to -110 degree C. Here is the calculator. Feel free to check my numbers. Please explain how a very very very weak GHG, that transmits 80% of IR at 15 microns can warm an earth of 13 to 15 degrees? Please answer the simple question using the following graph and calculator.
http://www.spectralcalc.com/info/CalculatingSpectra.pdf
http://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/1334/37782.GIF

Look, the atmosphere is almost completely opaque with a damn short mean free path in the primary CO_2 absorption band inside the general blackbody radiation power curve associated with the Earth’s surface temperatures. There is absolutely no question that there is substantial power radiated away from the surface (say) outside of my window in the band absorbed by CO_2. This energy is absorbed within the first two or three meters of the surface and almost immediately is transferred to the surrounding air (N_2 and O_2) helping to keep it warm.

Uhhhh, maybe you don’t get the issue at hand. No one is arguing the GHG effect doesn’t exist. The problem is attributing warming to a very very very weak GHG that transmits 80 of the IR at 15 microns. CO2 has a atmospheric window over the temperature range of 13 to 15 degree C or, 9 to 10 microns. CO2 is transparent to the radiation being emitted by most of the globe. The question you must answer is how can a GHG that absorbs 20 of the IR at 15 microns, consistent with a black body of -50 to -110 degrees C warm a globe that is 13 to 15 degree C on average. Answer that simple question. Once that is answered, please explain how CO2 can warm the oceans. Once that is answered, please explain how we have 600 million years of history and temperatures never got above 22 degree C, even when CO2 was 7000 PPM. It appears that I have 600 million years of data that proves the theory you support is pure crap. Did I type that slow enough for you to understand? I’m eagerly awaiting your response.
http://www.paulmacrae.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/co2-levels-over-time1.jpg

1) “The problem is attributing warming to a very very very weak GHG that transmits 80 of the IR at 15 microns.”

Nobody says it is “warming” anything….the GHG’s effect is to SLOW DOWN THE RATE OF COOLING … Obviously you don’t understand what is happening.
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2) “even when CO2 was 7000 PPM. ” ….Sorry, can you provide evidence of that instead of the graph produced by the GOCARB model ?

PS… co2islife

On your graph you show global temps from 500 million years ago.

Are you sure it was 22 degrees and not 24 ?

co2islife

Is this number correct? Who knows? The climate is enormously complex, and even if CO_2 does have a simple, direct warming effect that effect could easily be swamped, cancelled, augmented, altered etc by natural variations or by important nonlinearities that we do not understand (yet). The “pause” IMO is not an issue, because it is part of the 67 year sinusoid that best fits the modulation of the temperature around the CO_2 only curve for the last 165 years and whether or not that sinusoid has any causal basis we can understand, it is empirically a measure of the possible natural variation making the pause very reasonably a natural variation around the CO_2 warming curve. In any event, current temperatures are dead on my best fit with the sinusoid, and are remarkably close with it or without it since 1850.

“Is this number correct? Who Knows?” Who Knows!!! I thought this was settled science? How can a settled science have unanswered questions? You can make as nonsensical a theory as you like. You can curve fit as many data sets as you like. Facts are, the curve fit cherry picked IPCC models prove this theory is pure garbage. Anyone can curve fit data sets. Curve fitting is garbage modeling. Sound models are based upon sound theory.
1) CO2 absorbs at 15 microns. It is transparent to IR consistent with -50 to -110 degree C. You aren’t going to warm a 15 to 17 degree C body trapping -50 degree C heat.
2) The oceans are warming. 15 micron IR doesn’t warm the oceans.
3) The IPCC models are pure garbage and demonstrate a non-existent linear relationship between CO2 and temperature.
4) The heat absorption of IR by CO2 isn’t linear over the ranges of temperature.
5) Satellite and ground measurements don’t match, and there are oddities between the N and S Hemisphere.
6) If CO2 was trapping heat it would be most likely to impact the extreme S Pole and the Stratosphere.
7) Over the range near 13 to 17 degree C, water vapor traps what heat CO2 would. Water vapor simply overwhelms anything CO2 could do.
8) Instead of curve fitting data sets to make them fit your theory, simply line up the various data sets and run a stepwise regression. A computer will never choose CO2 as a significant variable.
9) Just ask yourself by what mechanism does CO2 lead Temperature coming out of an ice age? What increased CO2 in the atmosphere to start the warming?
If you Climate “Scientists” would take 2 seconds to study the data, you will easily understand just how blinded you are by your bias and group think. You have 600 million years of data and never once did CO2 cause catastrophic warming? Never. Why try to make up a model that requires ignoring 600 million years of history? Note how temperatures never got above 22 Degree C, never (at least on a sustained basis)
http://www.paulmacrae.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/co2-levels-over-time1.jpg
Why would you never get above 22 Degree C? Because there is an atmospheric window. The GHG effect shuts off that range, and radiation simply transmits back to outer space. There is nothing to hold back radiation at 22 Degrees C. 22 Degree C is at the bottom of the atmospheric window at 9.5 microns. This graph comes from NASA. Clearly there is nothing between 9.5 and 6 microns.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/RemoteSensing/Images/atmos_win.gif
The GHG effect doesn’t start up again until 6 microns. 6 microns is consistent with 175 Degree C temperatures. The gap between 9.5 and 6 microns, the atmospheric window, is why never in 600 million years has CO2 caused run away global warming. That is why CO2 levels as high as 7000 PPM didn’t do anything to boost temperatures.
http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/plots/guest417043385.png

co2islife

There is nothing to hold back radiation at 22 Degrees C. 22 Degree C is at the bottom of the atmospheric window at 9.5 microns. This graph comes from NASA. Clearly there is nothing between 9.5 and 6 microns.

Ooops, I misread this chart from NASA. The above quote should has said 15 microns to 8 microns. H2O Picks up again at 8 microns. 8 Microns is consistent with 75 degree C temperatures.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/RemoteSensing/Images/atmos_win.gif

The GHG effect doesn’t start up again until 6 microns. 6 microns is consistent with 175 Degree C temperatures. The gap between 9.5 and 6 microns, the atmospheric window, is why never in 600 million years has CO2 caused run away global warming. That is why CO2 levels as high as 7000 PPM didn’t do anything to boost temperatures.

Ooops, that is wrong as well. The atmospheric window is 15 to 8 microns. The GHG effect picks up again through H20 at 75 degree C. Temperatures have to go from 22 degree C to 75 degree C for the GHG to cause catastrophic warming. There is a huge buffer that must be crossed for GHGs to cause run away warming.
http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/plots/guest1130467180.png

co2islife

Joel D. Jackson
July 19, 2015 at 1:57 pm
1) “The problem is attributing warming to a very very very weak GHG that transmits 80 of the IR at 15 microns.”

Nobody says it is “warming” anything….the GHG’s effect is to SLOW DOWN THE RATE OF COOLING … Obviously you don’t understand what is happening.

That isn’t true at all. The GHG effect changes EM radiation energy into thermal energy. The atmosphere is transparent to visible light, visible light doesn’t warm the atmosphere. Only when visible light reaches the earth does it warm anything. Once the earth is warmed, it radiates IR back. That IR radiation will travel through the atmosphere until the proper wavelength hits the proper molecule and is converted from EM radiation into thermal radiation. That is exactly why the atmosphere heats then cools than heats again depending upon altitude. Yes, the GHG does slow cooling, but it also warms the atmosphere where the IR excites the molecules. Energy is changed on form, and when it is changed from EM to thermal radiation it does warm the atmosphere. It doesn’t warm it above that of the radiation body, but the atmosphere around the excited molecules is warmed relative to what it would be if no IR excited the molecules.comment image

Co2islife says: “The GHG effect changes EM radiation energy into thermal energy.”

I suggest you get an IR thermometer, and on a clear cloudless night, point it to the night time sky, and tell us what the reading is.

The green house gasses re-emit the EM radiation they absorb. You can measure it with an IR thermometer.

co2islife

Joel D. Jackson
July 19, 2015 at 2:11 pm
PS… co2islife
On your graph you show global temps from 500 million years ago.
Are you sure it was 22 degrees and not 24 ?

Maybe, but that difference would be immaterial given the context. 24 Degrees isn’t run away warming.
The relevant point is that CO2 and Temp don’t have a linear relationship.
http://www.paulmacrae.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/co2-levels-over-time1.jpg

No co2islife….The relevant point is that we don’t have a clue what the global temperature was 500 million years ago. Heck we’re still arguing about the MWP, and that wasn’t even 2000 years ago.

co2islife

Houston, We Have A Problem!!!! If this chart of CO2 IR Spectrometry is correct, CO2 at 15 microns is insignificant. As I’ve been saying CO2 is a weak GHG because it doesn’t have a dipole. Here is a chart that demonstrates the various vibrations of CO2. Clearly at 15 microns the bending vibration only captures 20% of the radiation, and CO2 transmits 80%.
http://bradleydibble.authorsxpress.com/files/irCO2.jpeg
This graphic shows the same weak absorption at 15 microns/666 wave number.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-t03PRp2vByo/USH9yyxvYJI/AAAAAAAAA5U/LQAVJaorYxk/s1600/CO2+0.8+ABS+FTIR+Dec+2012.bmp
Why all these models are wrong, and why they will always be wrong, and why CAGW is 100% wrong is because they assume a linear relationship between CO2 and temperature. More CO2 by definition means higher temperatures. They have established a direct positive relationship between CO2 and temperature. That is 100% pure garbage, and it demonstrates an ignorance of biblical proportions with regards to the physics of CO2. Here is an absorption graph of CO2. Clearly it shows an exponential decrease in absorption once the IR passes 15 microns, and reaches near 0 by the time it reaches 13 microns. The earth emits around 9 to 10 microns, or 15 to 17 degree C. There is an atmospheric window with regards to CO2 when it comes to the average global temperature. The warmer it gets above -80 Degree C, the less heat is trapped until CO2 stops trapping hear around -50 Degree C. I’m 100% certain the CAGW “scientist” didn’t work that into their models. This chart alone proves CAGW pure manufactured garbage based on either an ignorance of physics on a biblical proportion, intentional deceit or both, and neither qualifies as sound or settled science.
http://members.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/co205124.gif

rgbatduke

I’m 100% certain the CAGW “scientist” didn’t work that into their models.

…and you are 100% wrong. Look, I don’t know where, or how, you decided that all of the people who have worked out the quantum mechanics of this are idiots, but most of them truly are not and most of them are not “climatologists” and have no dog in this race. I’m not a climatologist — I’m just a physicist and the climate is my current “hobby” — and I have no dog in this race. I think both sides that do seem to have dogs in the race are well represented by extremists far more interested in the politics or some a priori desired conclusion than they are in the conclusions the data and such theory as there is actually support.
My only suggestion to you is that you invest a paltry sum and purchase Grant Petty’s book “A first course in atmospheric radiation”. God knows you need a first course in it. Maybe even a second course, too.
The relevant spectrographs are actually already on WUWT here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/10/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-emission-spectra/
To anyone who can read a graph, the argument is over. You can argue all you like using words and misapplied physics about what CO_2 can and can’t do, and what must or must not be happening, but the graphs (figures from Petty’s book, actually) speak for themselves. They illustrate precisely the process I described above — emission in the CO_2 bands that is depressed in intensity to correspond quite accurately to the emission temperature at the emission height. That, plus the requirement for detailed balance, pretty much proves that you are wrong. Petty’s presentation of a simple one layer model for the warming proves that you are conceptually wrong, deeply wrong, wrong headed.
The fact that a lot of very smart people understand why you are wrong and have written code like Modtran that computes your wrongness and agrees pretty well with the observations is just one more reason you might tone down your rhetoric. Especially the bit about how a “cold gas” can’t cause a warmed surface in dynamical radiative equilibrium with a cold reservoir (like outer space) to become warmer. Of course it can. All it has to do is get in between the warmed surface and the even colder radiative temperature of outer space. Done. End of story. That’s such a simple, obvious, easily understandable and computable consequence of ordinary thermodynamics it truly amazes me that Dragonslayers are obviously completely incapable of grasping it, even when it is broken down to a single sentence.
Look you can try it for yourself. Imagine that you have some flat surface that you are heating with (say) an electrical resistance at a fixed power. It is insulated on all sides but one, which faces another surface maintained at 3 K. Wait a long time for the system to arrive at radiative equilibrium. That equilibrium is established by the requirement that the input power equals the net output power, which by construction is all radiative and proportional to T_h^4 - T_c^4 where the former is the dynamic equilibrium temperature that balances the input power and the net power lost to the fixed temperature cold reservoir.
Now stick anything into the vacuum between the plates. Any matter at all. All it has to do is a) have a heat capacity; b) have an emissivity/absorptivity that is not zero. If you want to make the conclusion painfully obvious, make it a perfect absorber with unit emissivity — a flat “black body” plate. Now recompute the dynamic equilibrium temperature of the heated surface. Oh wow, look at that! It is warmer! And while the interpolated plate is cooler than the warmer surface (it has to be so net power is still balanced at the higher temperature) it is warmer than 3K which is all that matters. It could be 100 K and it would still warm the surface, even if the surface were originally at equilibrium at 200 K or 300 K.
This isn’t rocket science. Nor is it climate science. These are prelim questions for physics grad students. They just test whether or not you have a clue about energy flow, Stephan-Boltzmann, and detailed balance. There is an actual prelim question in a book of prelim questions that asks the same thing in the context of passive cooling times. Everybody who has actually studied physics and who works through this exercise will forever after know better than to assert nonsense about colder objects being able or unable to cause further “warming” of a warmed surface. Sure they can. That’s why we put on jackets when it is cold outside. That’s why/how space blankets work. They don’t warm an object, but they can sure as hell slow their rate of cooling and hence cause an increase in the equilibrium temperature of something with a heat source.
rgb

co2islife

rgbatduke
July 19, 2015 at 4:03 pm
I’m 100% certain the CAGW “scientist” didn’t work that into their models.
…and you are 100% wrong. Look, I don’t know where, or how, you decided that all of the people who have worked out the quantum mechanics of this are idiots, but most of them truly are not and most of them are not “climatologists” and have no dog in this race. I’m not a climatologist — I’m just a physicist and the climate is my current “hobby” — and I have no dog in this race.

1) Is CO2 transparent to IR between 13 and 4.3 Microns? Yes or no?
2) If CO2 is transparent to IR between 13 and 4.3 microns, how does it warm the atmosphere between -50 and 200 degree C. By what mechanism does CO2 warm the atmosphere when it is transparent to the EM radiation passing through it?
3) How does IR at 15 microns warm the oceans?
4) Why over 600 million years has CO2 not caused catastrophic warming, even when it was 7000 PPM?
Answer those simple questions.

co2islife

BTW, what is the real story of this chart?
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/gw-petty-6-6.jpg?w=1050
1) A black body of 290k has a peak radiation of 10, not 15 as the chart implies.
http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/plots/guest1598458569.png
That fact is also backed up by this chart.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-k7PZWFWcJ4E/USGAQg33x3I/AAAAAAAAA4o/73_JODiWwiU/s1600/Atmospheric_Transmission.png
2) What CO2 does isn’t to cause catastrophic warming, it prevents catastrophic cooling. As the earth cools, the peak moves towards the CO2 absorption band. Removing CO2 from the atmosphere would remove the mechanism by which heat is trapped as the earth cools. Once again, CO2 traps the colder temperatures. It looks to act as a buffer to stop run away cooling. CO2 doesn’t absorb any of the warmer temperatures. The tropics are transparent to CO2.

co2islife

My only suggestion to you is that you invest a paltry sum and purchase Grant Petty’s book “A first course in atmospheric radiation”. God knows you need a first course in it. Maybe even a second course, too.
The relevant spectrographs are actually already on WUWT here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/10/visualizing-the-greenhouse-effect-emission-spectra/

Here is the chart you are referring to:
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/gw-petty-6-6.jpg?w=1050
1) The earth surface temperature is 15 degree C, so the proper curve is the one between 280 and 300 degree K.
2) Clearly CO2 absorbs at 15 microns…so what. That is consistent with a black body of -80 degree C. So we trap very very cold heat.
3) There is an atmospheric window between 13 microns and 8, with some absorption at 9.5 due to Ozone O3.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/RemoteSensing/Images/atmos_win.gif
Care to explain how CO2, using your chart, results in warming above 15 Degree C? Please explain that simple concept that violates the 1st law of thermodynamics. Enlighten me.

rgbatduke

1) The earth surface temperature is 15 degree C, so the proper curve is the one between 280 and 300 degree K.
2) Clearly CO2 absorbs at 15 microns…so what. That is consistent with a black body of -80 degree C. So we trap very very cold heat.

Care to explain how CO2, using your chart, results in warming above 15 Degree C? Please explain that simple concept that violates the 1st law of thermodynamics. Enlighten me.

How can I, when you use phrases in your statement of the question like “we trap very very cold heat” that indicate that you are completely clueless about energy flow?
Let’s start with this. CO_2 traps radiation not heat. It doesn’t trap only radiation at some temperature, because photons don’t have temperatures, distributions of photons are characteristic of some temperature or are emitted by a body at some temperature. If you look at the BB curves in the blue side of the graph you posted above, you will see that the Earth’s surface emits plenty of its outgoing radiation in a band that substantially overlaps with, and is absorbed by, atmospheric CO_2.
This energy that is absorbed is just energy. Each photon in the absoption bands of CO_2 has a probability of being absorbed that is basically unity within the first few meters of the sea level surface. There are a lot of photons — there is a lot of integrated power in the CO_2-absorbed surface emissions. Note that again according to this graph, supported by the other graphs from Petty, 70 to 85% of the thermal radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface at typical surface temperatures is absorbed by the atmosphere. Let’s be generous to a fault and say it is 2/3.
The absorption by CO_2 is not scattering. The CO_2 molecule recoils (momentum is conserved in the absorption) and long before it can re-emit the photon in a different direction it collides with another molecule in the atmosphere transferring most of the absorbed energy to it. Since almost all of the molecules of the atmosphere are N2 or O2 (or even Argon) the radiation that is absorbed by CO_2 near the surface is mostly transformed into kinetic energy of the atmosphere, which we might call “heat” although it is really internal energy. This process does continue until the atmosphere and the surface are close to the same temperature — radiative coupling is as important as conduction in establishing a sort of equilibrium between the surface temperature and the surrounding air temperature. In equilibrium it is just as likely for collisions to transfer energy to CO_2 that then reradiates it as an in-band photon that has some chance (very near the surface) of making it back to the surface and a roughly equal but slightly larger and rapidly increasing with height) chance of being absorbed by another CO_2 molecule.
Is this clear? There is no trapping of “very very cold heat”. There is no such thing as “cold heat”. Temperature isn’t connected to heat, it is connected to internal energy (via equipartition) or if you prefer, to enthalpy. In the first law, heat is thermal energy in motion that is becoming unavailable for doing work. I don’t blame you for not understanding it — most people don’t unless they take a course in thermodynamics and work pretty hard at it — and it is an easy term to casually abuse (I’m guilty of it myself). In this case, there is just trapping and emission of radiation, in a quantum process where temperature is basically irrelevant, in a mixed gas that has a locally averaged temperature and heat capacity where the latter is defined only in terms of changes in heat energy, not some absolute amount. The photons absorbed and emitted by either the earth or the gas above it do not come with temperature labels. They do not come with labels that tell how they were produced. The process of emission and absorption do not care about, or understand, temperature. Temperature only characterizes the statistical mechanical probability distribution of energies in system or subsystem, and that is the outcome of many, many individual processes that themselves have nothing to do with temperature. That’s why temperature can be treated as a universal property associated with equilibrium (zeroth law) — even though a solid and a liquid and a gas all have very different characteristic interactions and internal microscopic physics, that doesn’t matter. Temperature is how energy distributes itself within the available degrees of freedom, given time to do so, due to pure chance.
The second law is all about probabilities. It isn’t impossible for net energy to be transferred between a cooler body and a warmer one in a purely thermal process. It is just improbable. Very improbable, if the temperatures are very different. However, we cheat the probabilities all the time, which is why the various heat engine and refrigerator statements of the second law have the codicil no other effect in them. It is impossible to build a heat engine that has no other effect but to absorb energy from some thermal reservoir and turn it into work.
That doesn’t mean that one cannot build heat engines! Or refrigerators! In my kitchen there is a machine that right now is heating the house with energy extracted from its internally colder temperatures. It isn’t just doing that, of course — it is being given extra energy from a wall socket and is rejecting both that energy and the energy from the interior into the room. There is another effect.
Open systems are even trickier. An open system is one where one inputs energy in some form or at some rate on one side (or in one channel) and removes it in some other side/channel. A rod heated at one end and cooled at the other is an open system. It is not in thermal equilibrium. It doesn’t have “a temperature” (although in this simple case it an be said to have a smooth range of locally averaged temperatures). Even though the average energy per unit volume is well-defined, the energy is not stationary, it is in flow through the rod. The temperature distribution in the rod is a function of the temperature difference across the rod and the thermal conductivity of the rod.
Here we start to see how easy it is for “cold stuff” to “warm” “warmer stuff” without in any way violating the second law or first law. Those laws in no way specify the thermal conductivity of materials — that is determined by the details of the actual interactions between the microscopic components that make up the rod. If we want to increase the temperature of a point 1/3 of the way from the hot to the cold end, all we have to do is tweak the conductivity of the rod 2/3 of the way down the rod towards the colder end. This part of the rod is colder! But by altering is internal properties — basically altering the probability or rate of energy transfer from one atom to the next — we will most certainly modulate the temperature of the warmer end of the rod.
This is really all that the greenhouse effect is. It is a modulation of the rate of transfer of energy up through the atmosphere in multiple channels from the radiation heated surface of the Earth to the cold radiation sink of outer space. Increasing CO_2 very slightly increases the radiative resistance of this channel, very slightly decreasing the effective “thermal conductivity” (not really the quantitatively correct concept, as radiative coupling is nonlinear and complex where Fourier’s law is comparatively simple, but still a good metaphor) of the atmosphere and hence raising temperatures on the warmed side of the system. Note well, actively warmed. This is not cold gas passively warming a warm surface with no other effect, it is a cold gas modulating the transfer of energy from the warm surface to infinity.
Nowhere in this is the first or second law violated. Indeed, the process is required by the first law and the need for energy to be conserved, and one can absolutely trivially show that the heat transfers involved all increase entropy or leave it unchanged, with a large overall net increase as energy flows from the sun to outer space through the Earth as an intermediate stopping point.
As you can see, you have a lot to learn before I can even start to answer your question. I’ve tried to keep the stuff above at a very simple level so that you can understand it (again) but I can’t teach you if you are going to persist in willful ignorance just so you can continue to trumpet how CO_2 cannot warm the Earth as it increases. Of course it can. It probably is. The process whereby it does so is pretty well understood and is confirmed by the very graphs you show up above. I don’t completely disagree with some of your statements, BTW — CO_2 is less about causing catastrophic warming at this concentration than it is about preventing the general collapse of the atmosphere into catastrophic cooling, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t modulate the temperature up further still with increasing concentration, only that it will do so logarithmically, not linearly (as I think you asserted somewhere above).
Hope this helps. But somehow I doubt that it will. In the meantime, I have to go teach actual physics to actual physics students, so it might be a while before I can reply further. We’ll see in your reply if you are interested in learning or are interested in SHOUTING your ignorance to the world with “interesting” dragonslayer-inspired turns of phrase.
rgb

It seems to me that it would be well if global warming climatologists were to replace their current, illogical process for building models by a logical process. “What’s this?” one might think, I had thought that the process currently being used was logical. Actually, it is not logical.
Logic provides us with means for drawing valid conclusions from arguments. In the classical logic propositions have truth-values. More generally, propositions have probabilities of being true.
Probabilities are defined on events but two decades and 200 billion dollars into their study of global warming climatologists have yet to decide upon what these events are. One result is for it to be impossible for one of today’s models to convey information to a policy maker about the outcomes from his/her policy decisions. The climate remains uncontrollable but policy makers persist in ultra expensive attempts at controlling it. This absurdity results from neglect of logic by global warming climatologists in building models.

rgbatduke

Oh no, he is a Dragon Slayer. That explains a lot. Who else spouts the nonsense that the greenhouse effect violates the second law?
rgb

siamiam

rgb.”we can expect ballpark 1.5C per doubling” CO2 absorbs all the radiation available to it about 3m above the surface. If you double CO2, the distance reduces by half. Reducing the distance does not change the heat. Where does the additional heat come from?

rgbatduke

If you double CO2, the distance reduces by half. Reducing the distance does not change the heat. Where does the additional heat come from?

I don’t understand the question. First of all, if you double the concentration, you don’t reduce the distance by 1/2 as the concentration is quantity per unit volume. If you reduce the distance between molecules by 1/2, you have 8 times the concentration. Second, what “extra heat” are you referring to? Not that there isn’t an obvious source for all the heat in play — Mr. Sun — but I have no idea what extra heat you could be asking about.
rgb

siamiam

Sorry,I missed this. As a layman I am trying to understand. LWIR travels a distance (the mean free path?) before absorption by a CO2 molecule. If you increase the amount of CO2 you change the location at which LWIR Is absorbed. Changing the location at which CO2 becomes saturated doesn’t change the heat. A doubling of CO2 causes(results in) an increase of 1.5C in heat?

rgbatduke

A doubling of CO2 causes(results in) an increase of 1.5C in heat?

I see what you are asking. Part of the confusion is that there is no such thing as 1.5 C “in heat”. What you are asking, I think, is why doubling the concentration causes surface temperatures to increase by 1.5 C. You are interpreting this as needing a new source of heat, but it doesn’t. The heat is coming from the sun. All that the extra CO_2 does is slightly reduce the transmittivity of the atmosphere that allows the heat of the sun, delivered to the Earth, to escape to outer space and maintain an approximately constant temperature. Because the CO_2 is transparent to visible light (where most of the Sun’s energy comes in you get a heat trapping — energy comes in easily, but has a hard time getting out. Making it harder causes the temperature to rise until ins and outs balance once again.
Does that answer your question? There is a fair bit of detail in explaining in detail why increasing CO_2 concentration increases the radiative resistance of the atmosphere between the Earth’s surface and outer space to LWIR in its absorption band, but surely that is intuitively reasonable.
Again the best metaphor is this. Your body produces heat at a certain rate. If you surrounded yourself with a perfect thermal insulator, your temperature would increase until you literally cooked in your own heat. You DON’T cook because your body loses heat at (on average) exactly the rate it produces it so that your temperature remains nearly constant.
If you put anything between your body and the surrounding cool environment, you heat up, at least until your body’s evaporative cooling mechanism (sweat) kicks in. If you are in warm air, you heat up even if the air is cooler than your body. If you put a space blanket around your body you warm up. A substantial fraction of the energy you lose to your surroundings is lost via radiation, not conduction or convection (although both conduction and convection and latent heat contribute as well).
Additional CO_2 acts crudely like a one way blanket, one that easily lets energy (in the form of visible light sunlight) but obstructs energy trying to get out (as LWIR in its absorption bands). Simply put, it reduces the efficiency of energy loss in its absorption bands in a way that varies monotonically with concentration, so the higher the concentration, the lower the efficiency of energy loss in its absorption bands. This forces the ground surface temperature to increase to increase the efficiency of energy loss in the rest of the (unblocked) LWIR radiated away at the characteristic temperature of the ground, with no additional heat source needed.
rgb

rgb:
It can be added that 1.5 C is the increase in the quantity that is called the “equilibrium temperature” and that the increase in it cannot be measured. Thus, the hypothesis that the value is 1.5 C (or any other value) has to be accepted on faith if it is to be accepted at all. Scientists do not accept hypotheses on faith. Priests, pseudoscientists and members of the “consensus” of global warming climatologists do.

David A

There are only two things that can change the energy content of a system in a radiative balance. They are either a change in energy input, or a change in some aspect of the residence time of energy within the system. (our system is the earth’s land, oceans and atmospheres)
GHGs both increase and decrease the residence time of energy within the system. They increase the residence time of some LWIR within the atmosphere, thus input remaining constant results in some increase of total system energy which MAY result in an increase of thermal energy, and they decrease the residence time of some conducted energy (energy conducted to the atmosphere vs. radiated) within the atmosphere, which results in less energy within the system.
I do not believe we currently have the ability to quantify the effect of this increase in CO2, but observational evidence indicates it is primarily beneficial.

siamiam

Well put. My problem here is the assertion that a doubling of CO2 results in an increase of 1.5C. It seems nothing else matters in the atmospheric heat energy balance except the “magic” molecule.

rgbatduke

Nobody (certainly not I) said that “nothing else matters”, and CO_2 is not “magic”. Part of the problem is that you are used to thinking of the atmosphere as being transparent, because that’s what it looks like in visible light most of the time. It does not look that way in LWIR in the CO_2 absorption band.
I’m certain that you’ve been outdoors on a very foggy day, the kind of day where you cannot see things more than 20 or 30 feet away. That’s a fair metaphor to what things look like when seen through the atmosphere in the primary CO_2 absorption band. Very little of this long-wavelength “light” penetrates as far as ten meters. You would easily notice a qualitative difference in the transparency of the atmosphere in a light fog — where you can see the fuzzy outline of a tree 100 meters away, say — and a heavier fog where you can’t see the tree at all if it is 100 meters away. If you were tracking light energy through to the tops of clouds where it can finally “escape”, you wouldn’t be horribly surprised if making the fog thicker raised the cloud tops and made it more difficult for the light to escape, and in particular would make it colder where it finally DOES escape due to the lapse rate.
That’s all that additional CO_2 does. It makes the height where the Earth can lose energy in the CO_2 bands go up a bit if you increase its concentration. This means emission comes from a colder temperature. This means that less energy per unit time per unit area escapes in those wavelengths. Since the total energy lost still has to balance the net incoming sunlight, which is not substantively changed by the CO_2 increase, more has to escape in other wavelengths. Since loss is proportional to temperature in all wavelengths, the Earth heats until ins equal outs again.
It’s very simple, really. It isn’t a very profound effect. Note that doubling the concentration only increases the temperature by a couple of degrees, at most, and one has to double it again to get another couple of degrees, and double it yet again to get another couple of degrees. This is a very weak effect. We could increase CO_2 by a factor of 8 — cutting the distance between molecules at all heights in half — and only increase temperatures by 4 to 6 C if warming were only due to CO_2 with no feedbacks.
And I’m not addressing feedbacks. Maybe they augment the warming. Maybe they cancel part of it. Maybe they do both, at different times or under different circumstances or at different places. Land and ocean can be different. Spring and summer and fall and winter can be different. Arctic and equator can be different. It isn’t just CO_2 at all.
But that doesn’t alter the simple fact that yeah, all of those other things being equal, in ignorance of the possible feedbacks, we expect temperatures to go up by (say) 1.5 C per doubling of CO_2. And that very accurately reflects the observed warming since roughly 1850 as the CO_2 has increased from roughly 280 ppm to the current roughly 400 ppm, which if anything suggests that no, the other things don’t matter much, or haven’t mattered much for the last 165 years. But honestly, we don’t have a very sound basis for any such conclusion.
rgb

David A

RGB says, “And that very accurately reflects the observed warming since roughly 1850 as the CO_2 has increased from roughly 280 ppm to the current roughly 400 ppm…”
=========================
I appreciate your time and patience. I have no issue with anything except the above. My issue is that all the old GAT graphic, cira about 1980, showed about .4 degrees drop. That has been erased from the surface record. I suspect if we get a definite negative AMO and a La Nina of strength, then potentially most of the satellite record since 1979 could become flat. At any rate the negative side of ENSO has not yet matched the very positive 1998 El Nino and positive AMO. I think when that happens then we will perhaps have a better feel for a more accurate C.S.
Do you have any idea how much of the energy in the atmosphere is from conduction from the surface vs. radiation, and bonus follow up, if the atmosphere had no GHG how would this ratio change?
Thanks as always.

I read the Armstrong paper when it came out and still have the same question(s):
How can you forecast something (future average temperature), when:
(1) You don’t understand all the causes,
(2) You don’t know 99.999% of historical data,
(3) You have not been able to forecast local temperature accurately more than one week into the future, and
(4) You have no control of many of the known variables, such as solar energy, cloudiness, cosmic rays, volcanos, etc. ?
When you add all this up, the only logical prediction of the future average temperature is:
“I don’t know, it might be warmer, it might be cooler, it might be the same … why would you care?”

Richard Greene:
Good question. We try to predict as when we are successful we gain a degree of control over the outcomes of events. Sometimes we are sucessful in doing though information needed for deductive conclusions is partially absent.
For global warming climatology the events have yet to be described. Thus, it is inappropriate to state that global warming models (including Armstrong’s and Gore’s models) “predict.” The correct term for what these models do is “project.”

If the climate models are based on the assumption that CO2 is THE “climate controller”, I’d say that assumption is wrong, so the models will be unable to predict, project, or wild guess, anything useful.
A “correct” projection would be a lucky guess.
.
Even if one could project the future average temperature, there’s always a chance the projection could be wrong, and even if the projection was correct, should people react to it?:
.
(1) There’s almost no historical data to determine a “normal” temperature (if normal even makes sense),
.
(3) No one lives in the average climate, so the number has no meaning to individuals, and
.
(3) There’s no agreement on whether people would prefer a warmer or cooler planet:
– Historical anecdotal evidence shows people strongly preferred the warmer centuries, but I think it would be safer to guess people living in cold areas would want warming, but people living in hot areas would prefer cooling — so who gets what they want?
So if humans could predict the future average temperature with accuracy, and humans knew how to change the number, it’s likely humans would not agree on how to change the number — there could be a World War Three over whether to turn up the thermostat, or turn it down, like a husband and wife arguing over whether the house is too cold or too warm.

Richard Greene:
One can judge the correctness of predictions but not projections. Predictions are correct only if the predicted probability values of the outcomes of events match the the corresponding observed relative frequency values. If there is a match the associated model is said to be “validated.”
As they make no predictions, the IPCC’s models cannot be validated. However, they can be “evaluated.” In an “evaluation,” projected global temperature values are compared to observed global temperature values by plotting them side-by-side. There are neither probability values nor relative frequency values and can be none for there are no events.
The probability values and relative frequency values that are associated with predictions but not projections provide the tie between a science and logic. By concentrating their efforts exclusively on making projections global warming climatologists have cut the tie between their field of study and logic casting it into the role of pseudoscience.
Models that make projections are scientifically and logically worthless but models of this type are the exclusive basis for governmental attempts are regulating our climate. That this is so is obscured by frequent applications of the equivocation fallacy on the part of global warming climatologists. I present my argument in the peer-reviewed article at http://wmbriggs.com/post/7923/ .