Water Vapour: The Big Wet Elephant In The Room

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

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In my last two articles I examined what we know, but more importantly what we don’t know, about the three main greenhouse gases (GHG). The first examined methane (CH4) and the second CO2. The fluster of responses about data and accuracy of measurements is essentially irrelevant because combined CH4 and CO2 represent only four percent of the GHG. It didn’t matter whether Beck was right or wrong about actual CO2 measures, what was important was the degree of variability the data showed, such as with the stomata data. This variability was deliberately eliminated in other measures to achieve a smooth, with no splinters, ‘hockey stick’ because it contradicted the well-mixed scenario essential to the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) agenda.

The articles about CH4 and CO2 illustrate the modus operandi of the creators and proponents of the AGW hypothesis. They designed them to prove the hypothesis rather than disproving, as is the proper scientific method. This includes selecting and adjusting the start and end points of records, ignoring those that don’t fit or worse contradict the hypothesis. There is inadequate temperature data for construction of the computer models, and there is even fewer data for every other variable. Data is created mathematically, such as the use of parameterization for temperatures. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) explain parameterization as follows,

“…the technique of representing processes that cannot be explicitly resolved at the spatial or temporal resolution of the model (sub-grid scale processes) by relationships between model-resolved larger-scale variables and the area- or time- averaged effect of such subgrid scale processes.”

Figure 1 shows the current percentages of greenhouse gases as a part of total atmospheric gases. The challenge for the IPCC and its promoters was to create a different set of percentages and images for the public. This required amplifying one side, as I explained about CO2 and CH4 while downplaying the other side.

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Figure 1 (After Heartland.org)

The first and most important device was the definition of climate change Article 1 of the UNFCCC, a treaty formalized at the “Earth Summit” in Rio in 1992, defined Climate Change as:

a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable time periods.

This allowed them to limit the variables considered in their investigation, which is depicted by the forcing diagrams. Figure 2 shows those for the 2001 IPCC Report.

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Figure 2

LOSU stands for Level of Scientific Understanding. Notice only two are rated “High” but we know that is not accurate. Stratospheric water vapour is included, but tropospheric water is not. This is interesting because the 2007 Report says,

Due to the computational cost associated with the requirement of a well-resolved stratosphere, the models employed for the current assessment do not generally include the QBO.

It appears they knew little and did not have the data or the ability to resolve what was going on. The level of knowledge is the same in the 2013 AR5 Report (Figure 3). The changes are telling. Now “Long-lived greenhouse gasses” are “Well-mixed greenhouse gasses.” This is because they switched the narrative. The early story said that CO2 residency time was 100 years, but that was challenged and corrected. The new, false, narrative was that CO2 was well mixed. The “Very High” assessment doesn’t fit the increasing divergence between the CO2 level and the temperature.

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Figure 3

The confidence level for well-mixed greenhouse gasses is now “Very high”. This is simply not possible because, as the satellite data from OCO2 shows, CO2 is clearly not a well-mixed gas. The problem is similar to the objective of the IPCC to determine human causes of climate change. It is only possible if you know how much climate changes without the human effect. You can only determine the CO2 effect if you know the effect of the predominant greenhouse gas – water vapor.

The IPCC acknowledges that water vapor is the most important and abundant greenhouse gas. In the 2007 Report they wrote

“Water vapour is the most abundant and important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

They then explain why they are going to ignore it.

However, human activities have only a small direct influence on the amount of atmospheric water vapour.”

The 2013 IPCC Report FAQ 8.1 responds to criticism about not including water vapour as a greenhouse. Here is the entire FAQ, which is illuminating and begs many questions. (There is no significance to the fact it is on page 666.)


 

As the largest contributor to the natural greenhouse effect, water vapour plays an essential role in the Earth’s climate. However, the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere is controlled mostly by air temperature, rather than by emissions. For that reason, scientists consider it a feedback agent, rather than a forcing to climate change. Anthropogenic emissions of water vapour through irrigation or power plant cooling have a negligible impact on the global climate.

Water vapour is the primary greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. The contribution of water vapour to the natural greenhouse effect relative to that of carbon dioxide (CO2) depends on the accounting method, but can be considered to be approximately two to three times greater. Additional water vapour is injected into the atmosphere from anthropogenic activities, mostly through increased evaporation from irrigated crops, but also through power plant cooling, and marginally through the combustion of fossil fuel. One may therefore question why there is so much focus on CO2, and not on water vapour, as a forcing to climate change.

 

Water vapour behaves differently from CO2 in one fundamental way: it can condense and precipitate. When air with high humidity cools, some of the vapour condenses into water droplets or ice particles and precipitates. The typical residence time of water vapour in the atmosphere is ten days. The flux of water vapour into the atmosphere from anthropogenic sources is considerably less than from ‘natural’ evaporation. Therefore, it has a negligible impact on overall concentrations, and does not contribute significantly to the long-term greenhouse effect. This is the main reason why tropospheric water vapour (typically below 10 km altitude) is not considered to be an anthropogenic gas contributing to radiative forcing.

 

Anthropogenic emissions do have a significant impact on water vapour in the stratosphere, which is the part of the atmosphere above about 10 km. Increased concentrations of methane (CH4) due to human activities lead to an additional source of water, through oxidation, which partly explains the observed changes in that atmospheric layer. That stratospheric water change has a radiative impact, is considered a forcing, and can be evaluated. Stratospheric concentrations of water have varied significantly in past decades. The full extent of these variations is not well understood and is probably less a forcing than a feedback process added to natural variability. The contribution of stratospheric water vapour to warming, both forcing and feedback, is much smaller than from CH4 or CO2.

 

The maximum amount of water vapour in the air is controlled by temperature. A typical column of air extending from the surface to the stratosphere in polar regions may contain only a few kilograms of water vapour per square metre, while a similar column of air in the tropics may contain up to 70 kg. With every extra degree of air temperature, the atmosphere can retain around 7% more water vapour (see upper-left insert in the FAQ 8.1, Figure 1). This increase in concentration amplifies the green- house effect, and therefore leads to more warming. This process, referred to as the water vapour feed- back, is well understood and quantified. It occurs in all models used to estimate climate change, where its strength is consistent with observations. Although an increase in atmospheric water vapour has been observed, this change is recognized as a climate feed- back (from increased atmospheric temperature) and should not be interpreted as a radiative forcing from anthropogenic emissions. Currently, water vapour has the largest greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, other greenhouse gases, primarily CO2, are necessary to sustain the presence of water vapour in the atmosphere. Indeed, if these other gases were removed from the atmosphere, its temperature would drop sufficiently to induce a decrease of water vapour, leading to a runaway drop of the greenhouse effect that would plunge the Earth into a frozen state. So greenhouse gases other than water vapour provide the temperature structure that sustains current levels of atmospheric water vapour. Therefore, although CO2 is the main anthropogenic control knob on climate, water vapour is a strong and fast feedback that amplifies any initial forcing by a typical factor between two and three. Water vapour is not a significant initial forcing, but is nevertheless a fundamental agent of climate change.

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FAQ 8.1, Figure 1 | Illustration of the water cycle and its interaction with the greenhouse effect. The upper-left insert indicates the relative increase of potential water vapour content in the air with an increase of temperature (roughly 7% per degree). The white curls illustrate evaporation, which is compensated by precipitation to close the water budget. The red arrows illustrate the outgoing infrared radiation that is partly absorbed by water vapour and other gases, a process that is one component of the greenhouse effect. The stratospheric processes are not included in this figure.


This section is so full of misstatements and false assumptions that it requires an entire column in itself, but that is not the purpose of this column. Suffice to say that this appears to be another way of presenting the already disproven positive feedback. It is also an example of, in the vernacular, having your cake and eating it too. Their argument misses the point entirely. They don’t know how much contribution human water vapour (H2O) makes because they don’t have critical information. They don’t know how much H2O humans produce, how much H2O there is in the atmosphere, or the amount H2O varies naturally. When assessing how much the energy balance is affected by greenhouse gases, the source is only an issue if you want to point an accusatory political finger. For science, the total amount of each gas and how it varies is critical. As NASA notes,

Water vapor is a critical variable for climate studies. The absorption of infrared (IR) radiation by atmospheric water vapor and its subsequent emission at lower temperatures greatly influences the radiative energy balance of the planet.

So, the questions are how much H2O is in the atmosphere and how much does it vary?

In 1996, the challenges for measuring water vapour were explained as follows.

It is very hard to quantify water vapor in the atmosphere.  Its concentration changes continually with time, location and altitude.  To measure it at the same location every day, you would need a hygrometer, which in earlier days made use of the moisture-sensitivity of a hair, and by now of for instance condensators.  A vertical profile is obtained with a weather balloon.  To get a global overview, only satellite measurements are suitable.  From a satellite, the absorption of the reflecting sunlight due to water vapor molecules is measured.  The results are pictures of global water vapor distributions and their changes.  The measurement error, however, is still about 30 to 40%.

By 2002, according to NASA, it was no better.

Finally, water vapor plays a key role in the Earth’s hydrologic cycle. Therefore, a better understanding of its role will require long-term observations of both small and large scale water vapor features, a major goal of the National Aeronautics and Space and Administration’s (NASA’s) Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) program.

But the IPCC is only interested stratospheric water vapour from CH4 as Figure 3 shows. Even here they don’t know much,

Since trend estimates from the cited literature are used here, issues such as data records of different length, potential lack of comparability among measurement methods and different trend calculation methods, add to the uncertainty in assessing trends.

If they were interested in tropospheric water vapour, they could use the total column water vapour measures from RSS.

We have merged the water vapor measurements from the many radiometers in operation since 1987, including SSM/I, SSMIS, AMSR-E and WindSat.  These data were all processed in a consistent manner using our radiative transfer model and careful instrument intercalibration.  The water vapor from these instruments are used to create a Total Precipitable Water (atmospheric water vapor) product that is best for use in climate study.

This means we have a 28-year record according to RSS and 19 years according to the IPCC. These are the people who demand a 30-year record for statistical significance.

The IPCC employed their standard amplification technique, known as the Global Warming Potential (GWP) to increase the effect of CO2 and CH4 while reducing the role of H2O. What is GWP?

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

A search for GWP values produces a bewildering range of numbers. This prompted Gavin Schmidt, now Director of NASA GISS, to write,

The relative contributions of atmospheric long‐wave absorbers to the present‐day global greenhouse effect are among the most misquoted statistics in public discussions of climate change.

How does Schmidt clarify the problem? In typical circular argument using self-generated computer model data.

Motivated by the need for a clear reference for this issue, we review the existing literature and use the Goddard Institute for Space Studies ModelE radiation module to provide an overview of the role of each absorber at the present-day and under doubled CO2. With a straightforward scheme for allocating overlaps, we find that water vapour is the dominant contributor (~50% of the effect), followed by clouds (~25%) and then CO2 with ~20%. All other absorbers play only minor roles.

The IPCC is less sure about what is going on. Here is what they wrote in Chapter 8 of AR5 Consider the number of values and subjectively related decisions in this supposedly scientific process (my bold).

Emission metrics such as Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Global Temperature change Potential (GTP) can be used to quantify and communicate the relative and absolute contributions to climate change of emissions of different substances, and of emissions from regions/countries or sources/sectors. The metric that has been used in policies is the GWP, which integrates the RF of a substance over a chosen time horizon, relative to that of CO2. The GTP is the ratio of change in global mean surface temperature at a chosen point in time from the uncertainties related to both GWP and GTP, and the relative uncertainties are larger for GTP. There are also limitations and inconsistencies related to their treatment of indirect effects and feedbacks. The values are very dependent on metric type and time horizon. The choice of metric and time horizon depends on the particular application and which aspects of climate change are considered relevant in a given context. Metrics do not define policies or goals but facilitate evaluation and implementation of multi-component policies to meet particular goals. All choices of metric contain implicit value-related judgements such as type of effect considered and weighting of effects over time.

Water vapour is the giant wet elephant in the IPCC laboratory. The definition of climate change they received allowed them to ignore anything that didn’t fit their hypothesis. As a result, the IPCC focus is on eliminating, ignoring, and creating false narratives to enhance the role of CO2. This has the effect of pushing the elephant of water vapour under water so that like an iceberg the public only see about 10 percent of the mass.

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427 thoughts on “Water Vapour: The Big Wet Elephant In The Room

  1. “Therefore, although CO2 is the main anthropogenic control knob on climate, water vapour is a strong and fast feedback that amplifies any initial forcing by a typical factor between two and three….”

    ..CO2 was supposed to increase temps a little…..which would increase humidity
    It was run away global humidity that was supposed to do it..

    …then someone realized that was the stupidest theory in the history of mankind

    “water vapour is the dominant contributor (~50% of the effect), followed by clouds (~25%)”

    ….damn hard to measure the difference…got to catch it just right
    Unless he’s thinking about clouds made of something else

    • I was already a skeptic of IPCC, esp. WG III (complete BS), WG II (ridiculous simplifications), and the whole science/politics thing. But I used to believe the AGW theory, although not definitely verified, was at least a reasonable theory based on sound science. (Anyway the controversy seemed too complex and too remote – I knew nothing about atmospheric physics and didn’t wanted to learn a lot about that.)

      Then I heard they had this positive temp retroaction thing. O-M-G moment. They had a runaway device in their models. Not run-away when a limit is passed, run-away all the time… can you make a more self refuting theory?

      I went to ask about that in a consensusly correct forum. I was told that my question was too intelligent for me. The question was more intelligent than my personae, a pseudonym on the Web. The question was so more intelligent than I appeared to be (I = the personae asking this very question and no other question). IOW the question was more intelligent than the person asking the question, so the question couldn’t asked by the person asking the question. I was told that I must have copied the question from elsewhere. I have been asked the definition of the words of the question.

      This was from people pretending to be academics, which was probably true; there is a level of stupid only an academic can reach.

      • Your ending thought is very appropriate. There can even be a runaway effect associated with that where the academic gets dumber and dumber. See the runaway effect is real in certain cases.

      • simple-touriste,

        A positive feedback doesn’t necessary include a runaway effect. As long as the overall warming CO2-temperature-CO2-temperature is less than unity, the only effect is that both CO2 and temperature increase somewhat more than without the mutual effect, here for a (small) effect for both, with and without feedback:

      • “A positive feedback doesn’t necessary include a runaway effect.”

        Otherwise we would have run away global humidity every time it went from night to day, or winter to summer…
        or a front passes through
        …and that’s why their original theory was the stupidest one in the history of mankind

        …and the same people are still at it

      • the feedback problem is equivalent to the sum of an infinite series. this can be convergent of divergent. for example,
        1/1 + 1/2 + 1/3 … 1/n is divergent
        1/1 + 1/2 + 1/4 … 1/(2^n) is convergent

        in the feedback problem you have something like:

        1/x + (1/x)^2 + (1/x)^3 … (1/x)^n

        which offhand looks like it should converge for values of 0 <= 1/x 1.

        however, if x is large, then the series quickly converges, and the feedback has little effect. It is only when x is close to 1 (or less than 1) that the feedback becomes a concern. for example:

        1/3 + 1/9 + 1/27 … – converges quickly – feedback contributes little
        1/1.01 + (1/1.01)^2 … – converges slowly – feedback contributes a lot.
        1/1 + (1/1)^2 … – diverges – infinite feedback.

      • The more intelligent an academic narcissist assumes him or herself to be, places upon them an amount of ignorance in their assumption of their intellectual prowess, which sometimes restricts their ability to grant value to a question or questioner because it is beyond the academic persons ability to either understand or answer the specific question and, as a result, the question must be assumed to be a defect of the questioner in order to maintain the appearance of academic intelligence. This situation is seen more and more, and most recently in liberal academia, politics and in climate change proponents, AGWers, etc.

        Make any sense? No sleep last night. But I do understand Simple-touristes point above.

      • Positive feedback, once input is added, always runs away, you learn this in electronics, the only way to change this is for the feedback to become negative, ie it’s nonlinear. The physical earth would have evaporated all the water if it stayed positive. More nonsense from what are supposed to be climate experts.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen @ October 25, 2015 at 1:52 am

        “As long as the overall warming CO2-temperature-CO2-temperature is less than unity…”

        It isn’t. The gain of

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        goes to infinity at low frequency. Even if there were an ameliorating feedback that capped the gain, it would still be very large, as there is no such feedback observable in the past 57 years. As a result, the impact of CO2 on temperature must be very small.

      • “As a result, the impact of CO2 on temperature must be very small.”
        There is no net annual increase in all of the surface stations that recorded temps for a full year since 1940, falling nightly temps are slightly larger than the previous days warming, taking measurement uncertainty into account net is 0.0F + / – 0.1F.

      • Bart:

        It isn’t. The gain of
        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)
        goes to infinity at low frequency.

        That formula violates Henry’s law for the solubility of CO2 in seawater: dCO2/dt depends of temperature in the water phase (= pCO2aq) AND the pCO2 difference with the atmosphere.
        With increasing pCO2 in the atmosphere, the average pCO2 difference between oceans and atmosphere gets zero and thus dCO2/dt gets zero, even when still huge CO2 fluxes remain between oceans and atmosphere, but these cancel each other out…

      • No, it doesn’t. It is precisely the kind of equation you would expect for a dynamic transport process in which there is a continual flow in and out, and any sustained imbalance between the flows causes a sustained change in CO2 content of the surface oceans, and hence of the atmosphere.

        You have the dynamics exactly backwards. The increase in the atmosphere is because of the increase in the surface oceans. It therefore cannot be a limiting factor on itself.

      • Bart:

        any sustained imbalance between the flows causes a sustained change in CO2 content of the surface oceans, and hence of the atmosphere.

        A little too much fantasy here: CO2 releases into / uptakes from the atmosphere are directly proportional to the pCO2 difference between ocean surface and atmosphere. If CO2 piles up in the oceans, it is released into the atmosphere, which increase restores the original in/out fluxes at a higher CO2 level in the atmosphere… It is impossible that there will be a sustained imbalance, except for a continuous increase in CO2 upwelling, which is not observed at all…

      • — micro6500
        October 25, 2015 at 9:03 am

        Positive feedback, once input is added, always runs away, you learn this in electronics, the only way to change this is for the feedback to become negative, ie it’s nonlinear. The physical earth would have evaporated all the water if it stayed positive. More nonsense from what are supposed to be climate experts.–

        Well, Hansen thinks this is what happened to Venus.
        But such thinking is sort of like thinking one needs to explain where the Martians went to.

        Or if you understand basic stuff like orbital mechanics, one could understand that Venus might not have ever had oceans like Earth- so Venus oceans didn’t disappear because they never existed in the first place. And there are other reasons why Venus may not have ever been a water planet like Earth. Such as Earth has plate tectonic activity and Venus doesn’t.

      • — micro6500
        October 25, 2015 at 5:19 pm

        Hansen is a twit.
        And don’t forget Venus get 25% (or 30%, don’t remember exact figure ) more solar energy input than Earth does.–

        Twit is nicer description than a bugger, but he was suppose to be scientist much beloved, and has written many scientific peer approved papers. And he had keen and early interest [and access, due to his position- in NASA management of a NASA bureau and later rising in management of Goddard {GSFC)}- of Venus space exploration.

        Earth gets about 1360 watts per square meter above the atmosphere, and above Venus atmosphere it’s about 2700 watts per square meter. At earth surface one gets about 1150 watts of direct and indirect sunlight [with sun at zenith and clear skies]. Below Venus atmosphere at it’s surface one gets at most about 100 watts per meter of sunlight which is mostly indirect sunlight.

      • ” h gets about 1360 watts per square meter above the atmosphere, and above Venus atmosphere it’s about 2700 watts per square meter. At earth surface one gets about 1150 watts of direct and indirect sunlight [with sun at zenith and clear skies]. Below Venus atmosphere at it’s surface one gets at most about 100 watts per meter of sunlight which is mostly indirect sunlight.”
        If it’s not reflected directly to space, I don’t think it matters.

      • Right on! simple-touriste.
        The tendency with analysts (academics?) is that they know more and more about less and less and eventually know everything about nothing!

      • micro6500 October 25, 2015 at 9:03 am
        Positive feedback, once input is added, always runs away, you learn this in electronics,

        Take a better electronics class!
        Build a Wien bridge circuit you’ll find for low values of +ve feedback you’ll get stable operation, you have to increase the overall feedback yo greater than 1 to get unstable operation.

      • Okay Phil, you got me, fractional positive feedback doesn’t run away.
        “When the loop gain is positive and above 1, there will typically be exponential growth”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_feedback

        How much is the positive feedback from water from an increase in Co2?
        Isn’t a sensitivity > 2.2 by definition a gain of greater than 1?

        So, I think you just proved CS has to be less than 2.2, good job Phil!

      • Bart October 25, 2015 at 11:43 am
        Ferdinand Engelbeen @ October 25, 2015 at 1:52 am

        “As long as the overall warming CO2-temperature-CO2-temperature is less than unity…”

        It isn’t. The gain of

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        goes to infinity at low frequency.

        So what Bart (or is it Bartemis)? Just another reason your non-physical, curve fit model should be consigned to the junk heap.

        In reality:
        dCO2/dt =Fossil fuel source + Natural sources (T, CO2)- Sinks (T, Co2)

        In the case of the ocean sink, T increase is negative feedback and CO2 increase is appositive feedback.

      • Phil. @ October 26, 2015 at 8:34 am

        I use Bartemis when commenting at places there are other Barts, so that is what I use for my WordPress account. The first time I comment, I typically use Bart, but subsequently, WordPress takes over, and you get Bartemis. In the future, I think I will just go with Bartemis from the start.

        Anyway, no, you are the one living in a fantasy. Your model does not match empirical reality. You must make your theory match the data, not the data match the theory.

      • micro6500,

        How much is the positive feedback from water from an increase in Co2?
        Isn’t a sensitivity > 2.2 by definition a gain of greater than 1?

        That is one-way sensitivity plus its own feedback, you need to calculate the two-way sensitivity:
        1°C extra gives 16 ppmv CO2 extra.
        16 ppmv extra gives 2.2 * 16 / 280 = 0.126°C extra (is in fact non-linear, but so what…).
        0.126°C extra gives 2 ppmv extra.
        2 ppmv extra gives 2.2 * 2 / 280 = 0.0157°C extra
        …..

        Still far from a runaway effect, due to the (very) small effect of more CO2 on temperature…

      • That is one-way sensitivity plus its own feedback, you need to calculate the two-way sensitivity:
        1°C extra gives 16 ppmv CO2 extra.
        16 ppmv extra gives 2.2 * 16 / 280 = 0.126°C extra (is in fact non-linear, but so what…).
        0.126°C extra gives 2 ppmv extra.
        2 ppmv extra gives 2.2 * 2 / 280 = 0.0157°C extra

        But then CS isn’t > 2.2C.
        If a doubling with no feedback is the widely agreed ~1.1C, to get to a CS of 2.2C, that is a feed back greater than 1.

        Now what it looks like you’re saying is feedback is nonlinear and actually less than a gain of 1. But it doesn’t look like you’re including the increase in WV that will in itself cause warming, which is the water feedback that causes doubling to be greater than 1.1C. You’d have to also add the increase due to water, and then add the increase in Co2 from the total warming, and so on.
        The fact that the e-fold times are not the same wouldn’t matter, or feedback gain is less than 1

      • micro6500,

        The gain of 2.2 was included in the calculation: that is the 2.2 in 2.2 x 16 / 280.
        But 16 ppmv increase is only 16/280 of the 3.7 W/m2, thus of the ~1°C only that part increases the temperature.
        Even if it was 4°C gain, still the overall gain temperature – CO2 – temperature – CO2 – temperature – …
        would get smaller and smaller. That is because the effect of CO2 on temperature is quite small…

      • ” ould get smaller and smaller. That is because the effect of CO2 on temperature is quite small…”
        Co2 by itself is 1.1C per doubling.
        To get CS of 2.2C, it has an additional 1.1C from water, @2.2C will increase Co2 from beers law, plus if the 1.1C increased water 1.1C, a 1.1 C increase from water will induce an additional 1.1C plus some more from the additional Co2 from the warming, you have a positive feedback loop, a gain greater than one.
        On the other hand, as you say Co2 does Hardly anything, which is supposed by surface temps, so CS is far below 2C, and compensated by negative feedback from water, ie there no AGW.

      • But when does water vapour become clouds?

        How much of the water vapour leaving the ocean by evaporation eventually becomes clouds?

      • water vapour becomes a cloud when it condenses out and or freezes into water and/or ice

        Have you never been in a snowstorm or dense fog?

    • Ferdinand Engelbeen October 25, 2015 at 1:52 am

      In your plot what is the X and Y?

      What sensitivity are you prescribing to CO2 no feedback, and what sensitivity are you prescribing to CO2 with feedback?

      • Richard,

        Both X and Y were randomly taken, together with a small gain for both to show that a positive feedback doesn’t necessary lead to a runaway effect. No resemblance with real life figures and that was plotted many years ago…

        Meanwhile in modern control theory they seem to have changed the definition and now a slight positive feedback would already give a runaway effect, see the comment by micro6500…

        The definition I used still is from the old school, as Wiki shows:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_feedback

      • Ferdinand, my experience is in electronics.
        “Positive feedback in economic systems can cause boom-then-bust cycles”
        This is an example of positive feedback until some inflection point followed by a change of input polarity. In my previous post this was what I was referring to when I used nonlinear, as I was typing this, I realized it too was actually still positive, not nonlinear.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen @ October 25, 2015 at 10:17 am

        But, your model is incorrect, as you assume CO2 responds directly to temperature, instead of its rate of change responding to temperature.

      • Bart,

        CO2 did respond to temperature over the past 800,000 years, it is a transient response where dCO2/dt does respond immediately to a T change, but then slows down in ratio to the new steady state (for the oceans, which are the main driver) and its increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere…

      • Ferdinand says:

        CO2 did respond to temperature…

        But the real question is this: Does global temperature respond to CO2?

        In other words, does a rise in CO2 cause global warming?

        I’ve looked at the geological record, but I find nothing to corroborate that conjecture.

      • “…but then slows down in ratio to the new steady state …”

        Only over very long periods of time. For the past 57 years, CO2 has responded with high fidelity to the relationship

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

      • Right now, the Ferds are demonstrating the original example about academics and self-tying knots. (grin)

    • Clouds are NOT made of water vapour. They are made of ice, or water.

      Water vapour is transparent to most if not all optical frequencies.

      IIRC the reason clouds are somewhat opaque is because of multiple internal and external reflections from the surface of droplets or ice crystals.

  2. I remember that chart from the 2001 report very well. I also remember the IPCC procedural document that explicitly stated the scientific reports could be altered to bring them into consistency with the Summary for Policymakers. Up until then I had pretty much bought into the alarmist view and thought skeptics were more-or-less nuts; ironic that it was reading the IPCC’s own reports that started convincing me the real nuts were in the other tree.

    • I too remember this comment being made several times. I would very much like to find the actual text about altering the scientific reports…do you happen to have a reference for it? It is very damning evidence about the politics behind the IPCC nonsense.

  3. The rate of change in dew point is an indicator of the direction and rate of energy exchange. For example, dew or frost forms on surfaces when those surfaces radiate energy to a clear night sky with no wind. Condensation/evaporation not only probably controls the rate of energy loss to space but also may control the concentration of CO2 ejected into the upper atmosphere from tropical thunderstorms.

  4. Appreciate your candor; however, I am interested in what made you believe in AGW in the first instance – was it the media with the ever present doom and gloom; the supposed ‘scientific’ credibility of the IPCC without you performing your own due diligence?
    have you ever performed this introspective analysis?

    • Do you believe vaccines recommended or mandated in your countred are effectives? (hint: some are mandatory in parts of the US yet have never been demonstrated to be of any use, not even talking about inherent risks)

      Have you done the litterature review of the drugs your doctor gave you?

      There is a reason I mention vaccines first, even critics of many drugs get quite hysterical (in some real medical sense) when it comes to vaccine skepticism.

      No, most people blindly trust the “science” (*), expert reports (**), judicial conclusions (***) until the “science” hits them badly and then they reconsider.

      (*) from such “credible” sources as PNAS, WHO and IARC (#), BEIR, IPCC….
      (**) such a accident reports citing, in passing, credible witnesses who formally contradict the official conclusion (see crash of Concorde)
      (***) in France, a judicial expert mistook a serie horrific of ritual rapes+murders (with panties of the victim in her mouth) for suicides; this expert was appointed again for a extremely high profile scientific expertise involving alleged radiation victims (in France the high profile medical cases based on scientific expertises often end nowhere)
      (#) in French, IARC is CIRC, pronounced by “cirque” (circus)

      • I used to trust my Drs. with everything they prescribed. However, in recent years, I have been so badly affected by some drugs that I now ALWAYS ask to see a product data sheet before they write a prescription out. I then discuss the side affects and look for alternatives. I do this every time now because I have had some very nasty experiences in recent years. I even did this very recently while suffering from pneumonia.

      • More likely no difference in mean temperature but greater differences between minimum and maximum day and night. It’s water vapour’s greater heat capacity not any back radiation bs that has an influence.

      • Dr Spencer’s article says “there would be no weather on Earth without the greenhouse effect.”

        What I understand this to mean is that the atmosphere would be isothermal without GHG, consistent with the predictions of statistical thermodynamics. There would be no convection, without GHG to cool the upper atmosphere and warm the lower atmosphere.

        This really is the crux of the GHG argument. If the atmospheric lapse rate is the result of GHG, and without GHG there would be no lapse rate, then we would expect warming of the surface due to GHG. This would happen because some of the energy that was in the upper atmosphere would find its way to the surface when the upper atmosphere cooled.

        The question then becomes, what happens if we add more GHG. Will it increase the heating effect. Here we have a problem because the the dry air lapse rate (DALR) is stubbornly stuck at 9.8C/km. If we add more GHG, then we would need to increase the DALR to something more than 9.8C/km. But we cannot because the 9.8C/km has nothing to do with GHG.

        9.8C/km is an absolute upper limit on the lapse rate induced by GHG, because it is set by gravity. No matter how much you cool the upper atmosphere it will not accelerate faster than the force of gravity, which sets the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy to 9,8C/km. Therefore there is an upper limit on how much heating GHG can contribute. And we are already at that limit.

      • the alternative theory is that the atmosphere would not be isothermal even without GHG. conduction predicts an isothermal atmosphere, but convection predicts that a lapse rate will develop. Since we see a lapse rate on all planets with atmospheres, this suggests that it is not atmospheric composition, rather it is the convection in the atmosphere due to differential heating that causes the lapse rate. In which case atmospheric composition will not significantly change the surface temperature.

        for example, the rotating bands of wind we see on Jupiter. Are these really caused by GHG? Or are they the result of convection in the atmosphere due to differential heating combined with the rotation of Jupiter? Would there be no winds on Jupiter without GHG in the atmosphere?

        I tend to suspect that Jupiter would have weather even without GHG. The temperature difference between the poles and the equator will set up a circulation due to convection, and coupled with the rotation of the planet this will set up band of wind.

      • >> ferdberple,

        Please allow me a friendly extension of your post.

        I think the simplest 3d model would be a spherical blackbody with some initial, non-zero temperature, and sufficient mass to retain an atmosphere of some noble gas (implies an initial gas-phase temperature). This system would have no transfer mechanism to add heat to the gas because the ideal blackbody is not material, i.e, no mechanical contact with the gas. I think there would still be a temperature gradient in the atmosphere because of gravity-induced density gradient, but perfect symmetry would prevent convection. Now if you add a flux of incoming plane-wave energy and provide for the blackbody to be material, including properties of radiation absorption and thermal conduction, the symmetry will be broken and convection will occur at the night/day boundary. Other thermal gradients will be seen on the surface of the material blackbody because of the projection of plane-wave energy onto the sphere, so convection appears all around and not just at the night/day boundary. Still no GHG in this model, but there is wind, and thus weather.

      • Dr Spencer’s article is very interesting, but I believe he is in error (says I in trepidation!). Dr Spencer states: “Well, notice that what we are left with in this thought experiment is an atmosphere that is heated from below by the ground absorbing sunlight, but the atmosphere has no way of cooling…except in a very shallow layer right next to the ground where it can cool by conduction at night.” Dr Spenser also states: “Eventually, the atmosphere would still become ‘isothermal’, with a roughly constant temperature with height.”

        His atmosphere absorbs heat at the base from heated earth surface. A parcel of heated air rises, displacing the cooler air in a column adjacent. At the top of the atmosphere (a mythical boundary between “atmosphere” and the “vacuum of space”) gravity prevents it rising further, there being no adjacent cooler air in relation to which it is buoyant. Has this parcel really no way of cooling? Dr Spencer supposes that a parcel of (warm in comparison to the 4K vacuum of space) air cannot cool. I maintain that this is a physical impossibility, until the air has cooled by expansion to match the 4K temperature of space. At this point, gravity ensures that the parcel of air will then spread out over the “top of the atmosphere”, ready to be displaced by another rising parcel of ‘warm’ air. Thus there will, by day, be a constant convective cycle of air, at differing temperatures depending on height and direction of movement, rising air slightly warmer, descending air slightly cooler.

        This is NOT an “isothermal” atmosphere as Dr Spencer indicates will happen.

        Dr Spencer’s thought experiment needs an atmosphere to conduct heat away from the surface, in addition to what is directly reflected, or absorbed and re-radiated. This results in a fluctuating surface temperature, increasing by day, and decreasing by night. The difference between the maximum and minimum is reduced by the thermal inertia of the atmosphere. Reduce the atmosphere and its thermal inertia decreases, with resultant amplification of the minimum/maximum temperature difference. In the limit, with no atmosphere, the day surface temperature can attain 100C and the night surface temperature can fall to -170C, with a sufficiently low planetary rotational period. These figures are quoted from “Stars and Planets”, Ian Ridpath, HarperCollins, 2nd Ed 1993, p 298, Fortunately we have no need of this “thought” experiment – we have a real, material, sister planet in our orbit with no greenhouse gases. The above temperatures are those found in practice.

  5. “The contribution of stratospheric water vapour to warming, both forcing and feedback, is much smaller than from CH4 or CO2.”

    Why would it be contributing to warming when it is absorbing solar near infrared?

    • I believe the stratosphere is cooling. The percentage relationship of water (mostly ice) in the stratosphere is lower as water is strongly concentrated in the lower Troposphere. CO2 is virtually transparent to solar near IR as are ice and liquid water. In the following water and ice are red and blue, respectively, and water vapor is green. From the left to about 2.6 microns is solar near IR. You can see that VAPOR is what absorbs across this spectrum.

      • Mmmm…you’re right. Been looking at too many of those inverted transmittance plots lately, Unfortunately, that difference changes the conclusion somewhat. The confusing thing is that absorption and penetration are inverse.Liquid water (and ice) are great absorbers, but that means nothing penetrates much deeper than the wavelength. What does that mean for the stratosphere? Ice crystals are pretty small. Their surfaces absorbing and reradiating act as a drag on transmittance (apart from reflectance) from the sun to the surface in the solar Near IR. That should be a net warming effect. The opposite of what I suggested.

        Work fast, make mistakes. I appreciate the help.

      • Warming the stratosphere and reducing NIR to the troposphere, where absorption as vapor and liquid (clouds) predominates, as you say. Yet the troposphere is warming a bit and the stratosphere is cooling so this cannot be the predominant factor.

      • Stratospheric temperatures have fallen along with upper level water vapour, allowing more solar NIR to reach lower levels and the surface. Low level humidity has increased, so the solar NIR that is absorbed there stands a better chance of warming the surface than warming space as high altitude water vapour (ice) does.
        That’s negative feedbacks to a reduction in climate forcing. Increased forcing of the climate will increase upper level water vapour and reduce NIR to the surface, again a negative feedback.

      • Take 2:

        I don’t know the trend in stratospheric ice, so I’ll take your word for it. Certainly less of it will allow more solar NIR closer to the surface. In the troposphere it will be a mix of water in the form of clouds and vapor in the form of that invisible stuff that is neither ice nor water. You say this is increasing, but the IPCC disagrees. Not that I trust the IPCC, but the guy who rammed this into the liturgy is an honest scientist reporting what he believes and it is hugely contrary to the meme.

        Not sure at what atmospheric level you mean “climate” to apply. Probably the troposphere. Negative feedback to a reduction means an increase in forcing.I am not sure how it follows that this increase in forcing increases stratospheric ice.

        We’ve increased the forcing to the best of our abilities with both CO2 and water (2 molecules water for every molecule CO2 in hydrocarbon combustion).

        Why isn’t it working?

      • It is working, a good proportion of the surface warming since the mid 90’s is such negative feedbacks. Lower troposphere water vapour has increased, and upper trop and lower stratospheric water vapour has decreased.

      • The really crappy information I have been able to find indicates a small increase in stratospheric water (called SLV in microwave sounder parlance).

        http://mls.jpl.nasa.gov/products/h2o_product.php

        The data is all gridded for making maps and it would take way too long to download all the individual years, amalgamate the data from all the cells. Can’t believe it’s so hard to get data friendly for time series analysis. No wonder nobody’s done it.

      • Very interesting. I may register to access their data but it seemingly only goes back to the 90’s. WVLS data should theoretically go back to the late 70’s. May ask Roy Spencer.

        Surprising seasonal variation and correlations with the NH monsoon, ENSO. AMO? Why not?

    • Why would it be contributing to warming when it is absorbing solar near infrared?

      To measure the amount of “warming” in/of the atmosphere ….. the temperature of the gas molecules in the atmosphere must be measured.

      The temperature of the atmosphere can not be measured by measuring the amount of IR radiation flowing un-impeded through the atmosphere.

      Satellites can detect and measure the amount of IR radiation flowing un-impeded through the atmosphere at different locales and different altitudes …… but they are incapable of determining the actual or original sources of the “upgoing” IR radiation.

      • Sam CC & the deceiving Radiation Transmitted graph.

        Since Stefan-Boltzmann Law (P = Aeσ T^4) contains that little T^4, power is greatly related to temperature.

        So your chart visually trying to equate incomming vs outgoing radiation levels, completely misses on the intensity levels.

        3,000 K peak is 5xE7 w/m2/wavelenght & 300 K is 12 w/m2/wavelenght.

        You trying to fool us or yourself?

      • Of course it causes local cooling in the atmosphere. The original point is what difference it makes to surface temperatures.

      • Upper troposphere water vapour decreasing since the mid 1990’s. That will be the warm AMO mode then, as it dries out continental interior regions.

      • ” That will be the warm AMO mode then, as it dries out continental interior regions.”
        Surface station rising/falling temp difference at the regional level has distinct disturbances at differing times (years different) that I posit are the ocean cycles changing, and altering how much warm moist tropical air enters the continents. This also fits with the difference between today’s rising temp and tonight’s falling temp being negative. For a long time I did not know how that could be, I was confident on the process I used with the data, but it seemed wrong, where was the extra heat coming from, and then it dawned on me it was warm tropical air moving onto the continents where it cooled and dropped the water it carried on its way pole ward.

      • @ micro6500
        October 25, 2015 at 5:12 pm

        The larger proportion of continental interior regions will cool when wetter, as well an overall reduction in temperature variability, i.e. lower maximums and higher minimums.

      • The larger proportion of continental interior regions will cool when wetter, as well an overall reduction in temperature variability, i.e. lower maximums and higher minimums.

        It mostly depends where the air mass over head is from, I live in Ohio, sometimes we get tropical air, other times Canadian(depending on the jet stream). The difference can be 10-20F. Rain itself tends to be cooling. Also at night, frequently temps approach the dew point, and reduces the rate of cooling, but it also deposits a lot of water on the ground, only some of which evaporates the next day, the rest goes into the ground or water table.

  6. What about Lacis(2010) and Lacis(2013)? His point is that the difference between CO2 and H2O is that the latter condenses out of the atmosphere while the former is “long loved”. Do you have a direct response to that argument? In my own empirical study of lag plots 1958-2014 I found some indication that surface temperature lags atmospheric CO2 by about 4-7 months. Here is the link.
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2679246

    • The “hiatus” shows that surface temperatures lag CO2 by 18 years or more.
      Besides, CO2 induced warming should be quite evident in places where water vapor is nearly absent. Can you point me to data that shows this?

      • “Can you point me to data that shows this?”

        Yes, the data is in the fevered minds of climate alarmists and con-artists who then put it into computer games.

      • here we have a graph from SS. What does it show? That temperatures shoot up when CO2 is LOW and temperatures cool down when CO is HIGH. This tells me that CO2 causes cooling. Look closely. CO2 is low, temperatures increase. CO2 is high, temperatures decrease. Consistently, time and time again.

    • lacis did his h2o effects using a 1 d model and always took the worst case scenario that they could come up with. for things to happen the way they (lacis & hansen) claim – Earth’s current 62% or so cloud cover is at a maximum and that either increased or decreased temperatures would result in a lower fraction. when one looks at the simple factor of h2o absolute humidity and assumes relative humidity will remain constant (an acceptable assumption) for increasing temperature, there is insufficient h2o increase to create more positive forcing/feedback than the original very small co2 increase. Only by making ridiculous assumptions like a decrease in cloud cover can one achieve anything close to the increased amount needed.

  7. “However, human activities have only a small direct influence on the amount of atmospheric water vapour.”
    ///////////////////////

    Really!

    I always thought that the major by products of burning fossil fuels (hydro carbons) is water and CO2.

    On that basis how can the IPCC claim that man does not emit copious amounts of water.

    Of course, there is nothing wrong with this on a water world inhabited by carbon life forms. The by product of burning fossil fuels (ie., water and CO2) is fertiliser to such a water world and the life forms that inhabit it.

    • 1 litre of H²O for every litre of gas burned (the butane propane and petrol variety). That’s the figure I have from the back of my failing brain

      • And we are burning a lot of those litres.

        The point I was making is that it is very convenient for the IPCC to (incorrectly) claim that man emits little water vapour, since it enables the IPCC to claim that the impacts of CO2 are more important than they are. It enables the IPCC to concentrate upon CO2 rather than on the main so called ghg of water vapour.

        If the reports had had to addressed water vapour and the water cycle, it would have been difficult to ‘conceal’ that CO2 is only at most a bit player. The public are unaware that the main so called ghg in the atmosphere is water vapour, and that CO2 is only about 4% of the so called ghgs in the atmosphere, and that even if man is responsible for the rise in CO2 from about 270pm to ~400 ppm, then man is responsible for only about 1.5% of the so called ghgs in the atmosphere.

        The message would have been much more difficult to sell if the IPCC reports had had to address the water vapour issue, and with it the water cycle, and with all of that the absurd suggestion that water vapour is a positive feedback..

      • “If the reports had had to addressed water vapour and the water cycle, it would have been difficult to ‘conceal’ that CO2 is only at most a bit player.”

        Agreed. CO2 is at most a bit player — if in a movie it would just have a walk on as the credits ran.

      • 2 molecules H2O for every molecule CO2. That’s a factor of 2 off everyone’s radar. Add in the concentration of surface stations in urban high combustion areas and you suddenly have a significant UHI amplification.

      • Depends of the type of fuel. In molecular releases

        Coal: 1xCO2, 0x water
        Oil: 1xCO2, 1x water
        Gas: 1xCO2, 2x water

        But still the relative quantities of the emissions and the decay rates are important:
        CO2: 6% of the carbon cycle, e-fold decay rate of an excess over 50 years.
        Water: 0.01% of the water cycle, e-fold decay rate of an excess only a few days.

      • Phil. and DD More,

        Thanks, didn’t take into account moisture and less quality coal…

        Thus even from coal, you will have some water vapor releases. No that it makes much difference, as the decay rate of that extra water is a matter of days…

  8. Dear Dr. Tim Ball,

    Excellent article indeed (again). Brilliant work and so very detailed.

    I have just Google+1’d it and perhaps others would take the trouble to shout this from the rooftops too.

    The general public don’t understand the science at all: they cannot fully grasp it because it SEEMS complicated.

    They need to see SIMPLE STUFF.

    The massive amount of work that you do and Craig D. Idso Ph. D. (Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change) and Viscount Monckton plus MANY others at The Heartland Institute is thoroughly scientific, superb, well written and well presented ALL THE TIME: the work is truly appreciated by readers and commentors here and across the world at various websites.

    What it needs is something along the lines of a simple, clear message aimed at the general public which says something like …
    “CO2 = LIFE” (with a child’s drawing of the sun, raindrops and a smiling flower).

    Kick this one around folks please: I reckon it’s time for Josh and Anthony to hit the big-time with a cartoon of the century which can be understood by anyone across the world.

    The entire basis for the Global Warming nonsense is carbon-dioxide, therefore, a simple idea / CO2 cartoon / picture / sketch COULD be the very thing that “kills the cancer” – worldwide !

    Just an idea of course but I’ll bet that we can all bring to mind ONE simple “picture” we’ve remembered all our lives.

    Regards,
    WL

  9. Further to my post above, according to
    http://www.chemistryexplained.com/Fe-Ge/Fossil-Fuels.html

    WORLD ENERGY SOURCES IN 2000
    Source Percent of Energy

    Petroleum 39
    Natural Gas 24
    Coal 24
    Hydroelectric 7
    Nuclear 6

    I do not know what the current mix is, but coal has fallen out of favour in the developed West, and there has been a switch to gas and a slight increase in renewables. But it would be fairly safe to say that of the fuel that man burns to produce energy, the ration of hydro carbons to coal is probably 3:1.

    Given that water is a by product of burning hydro carbons, it is immediately apparent that man emits a lot of water into the atmosphere.

    On top of this is water used for irrigation, cooling in industrial processes (including that used in the cooling towers which are an integral part of the coal fired electricity generating stations) etc.

    It appears to me that the IPCC is making a basic error in concluding that man emits little water vapour into the atmosphere. .

    • Richard,

      I did once calculate the human contribution of water to the overall cycle. That was about 0.01% (including cooling towers, not including irrigation). Because of the extreme short decay rate of water, a matter of days, the human contribution plays no role at all. CO2 has a decay rate of ~51 years, which makes that the human contribution is responsible for ~90% of the increase…

      • Should have refreshed before replying…
        10e-4 may be ok but 51 is much too precise for the subject.

      • That is the same argument that you try to shoot down when someone points out that man’s emissions of CO2 compared to the total carbon cycle is only a tiny fraction of that cycle (albeit I accept that in relative terms, if the water cycle has an order of magnitude greater than the carbon cycle, then there may be a corresponding order of magnitude difference).

        The fact remains that man is burning huge quantities of hydro carbons and alongside the CO2 that is produced there is as much (or more) water vapour produced.

        So the issue here is quite simple, what is the radiative forcing associated with the emission of say a giga-tonne of CO2, and what radiative forcing is associated with the emission of a giga-tonne of water vapour?

        And if the radiative forciang associated with the man made emission of a giga-tonne of water vapour leads to a temperature increase which will then in turn cause more evaporation, one gets the same so called water vapour feedback loop.

        If one is signed up to the radiative theory of anthropogenic ghgs emissions leading to warming, one cannot ignore the amount of water vapour that man is emitting.

        I would like to know why you consider the forcing associated with man made emissions of water vapour is unimportant.

      • Rainer,

        Based on the current net sink rate of ~2.15 ppmv at ~110 ppmv above steady state for the average ocean surface temperature: 110 / 2.15 = ~51 years. Seems quite linear, as a similar calculation near 2 decades ago shows a similar decay rate (55 years):
        http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm

        But should have said “slightly over 50 years”, that is more than precise enough…

      • Richard,

        The relative contribution of CO2 and water from fossil fuel burning is one difference, the e-fold decay rate of an excess CO2 or water is the main difference.

        Take CO2: that is about 6% of the carbon cycle, but the e-fold decay rate is over 50 years. Thus while not extremely small at one side, its decay as an excess input is long-term and you need 110 ppmv extra in the atmosphere to get enough pressure to get rid of only halve the emitted quantities…
        A CO2 doubling gives 3.7 W/m2 extra IR absorption, that is for ~280 ppmv or ~600 GtC extra. 1 GtC extra CO2 thus is good for average (linear – which is not the case) 0.006 W/m2.

        Take water: that is about 0.01% of the water cycle and its e-fold decay rate is a few days. Thus not only the direct influence is negligible, its build-up in the atmosphere from human emissions is negligible too.
        I have no figures for water vapor at hand, but even with a build-up of 0.05% water vapor from human emissions, the influence on the radiation balance is extremely small…

      • @ Ferdinand Engelbeen – October 25, 2015 at 9:34 am

        Take CO2: that is about 6% of the carbon cycle, but the e-fold decay rate is over 50 years.

        It wouldn’t matter one (1) “twit” if your per se …. “e-fold decay rate of CO2 was over 1,000 years” ….. simply because the quantity of thermal “heat” energy that is absorbed by atmospheric CO2 is not additive or cumulative from one (1) day to the next, …. one (1) week to the next, ….. or one (1) year to the next, ….. but on the contrary, ……. it is here today, and gone tonight. And that CO2 has to “warm back up” each new day.

        Your devotion to “science fiction” is utterly amazing.

      • it is here today, and gone tonight. And that CO2 has to “warm back up” each new day.

        This is exactly what the surface data shows. When it’s not infilled, homogenized and turned into made up fantasy trash.

    • “Given that water is a by product of burning hydro carbons, it is immediately apparent that man emits a lot of water into the atmosphere. ”
      I don’t believe that. Did you at least calculate the order of magnitude?

      • “a lot” is a relative expression.

        The fact is that man puts out about as much water vapour as he does CO2, therefore the amount of additional radiative forcing associated with the quantity of water vapour that man emits is more than the additional radiative forcing associated with anthropogenic CO2 emissions, since water vapour is a stronger ghg.

        It follows from this that if additional radiative forcing caused by anthropogenic emissions is a problem, it will be as much of a problem with manmade emissions of water vapour as it is with anthropogenic CO2 emissions, such that it would be inappropriate to ignore manmade emissions of water vapour.

        The residency time is a different issue, but I would suggest one which is mainly relevant to the claim of locked in long term warming.

        So why is the IPCC ignoring this? Well it does not really wish to look at the water cycle since it does not properly understand it, and the models do not properly model this, and the variance in clouds alone could fully explain the 20th century temperature anomaly.

        The water cycle (and the way that DWLWIR interacts with the oceans where it cannot penetrate more than a few microns), is the fundamental brick wall that cAGW comes up against. So it is no surprise that the IPCC does not want to look at this issue in the detail that this cycle needs to be addressed.

  10. The CAGW hypothesis entirely depends on a mythical “runaway positive feedback loop” involving a rapid increase in ocean evaporation from CO2 forcing, which multiplies the 1C of gross CO2 warming to a net 3C~5C of warming by 2100.

    The problem with “runaway feedback loops” is that when the sum of feedbacks exceeds 1, outputs quickly go to infinity… To get around this, CAGW climate models arbitrarily assign negative feedbacks to manmade particulate pollution to keep temperature projections from going to infinity.

    What actually seems to be occurring is that the tiny 1C of gross CO2 induced warming per doubling, is causing a slight increase in ocean evaporation, which leads to increased cloud cover, that reduces CO2’s NET warming by about 50% to generate a net warming effect of just around 0.5C by 2100…

    CAGW is already a disconfirmed hypothesis as temperature projections already exceed reality by more than 2 standard deviations for almost 20 years, which is sufficient disparity and duration for disconfirmation with high confidence…

    • Bingo. “water vapour is a strong and fast feedback that amplifies any initial forcing by a typical factor between two and three.”

      If water vapor were truly a positive feedback, the system would have made an excursion to high temperatures in ages past. It never happened.

      That is the key flaw in CAGW theory.

      • Yes, Walter, that’s exactly the point.

        CO2 concentrations were an order of magnitude higher than today for 100’s of millions of years and yet life thrived and the mythical “runaway feedback loop” never occurred…

        Cloud cover flux is, as Willis has so elegantly shown, the control mechanism which prevents global temps from going to extremes.

        During warming periods, there is increased ocean evaporation, causing more cloud cover albedo, which reflects more TSI, which mitigates warming.

        During cooling periods, there is less ocean evaporation, causing less cloud cover albedo, allowing more TSI to hit earth’s surface, which mitigates the cooling…

        Nature abhors its own destruction. Our very existence is evidence of this fact.

  11. IMO water vapour has always represented a fatal flaw in AGW,
    Dr. Ball has made it the wooden stake in the heart of the AGW vampire.
    Alarmists should be afraid, very afraid.
    They went all in with their investment of hopes, dreams and aspirations into the subprime climate unicorn. The fools, fanatics and liars have no one to blame but themselves.

    They could have gained the same understanding as the skeptics they tried to destroy for doing so.

  12. Thanks, Dr. Ball. A very interesting article.
    Like your elephant swims in the water, water vapor swims in the troposphere.
    The elephant is forced by food availability (I suppose), water vapor by winds at the surface level (that evaporation thing, that now we know we know little about it).
    Of course CO2 has a base effect, the reason why Earth is not super-cold, but the present-times incremental effect? The “Climate Sensitivity”? Dr. Roy Spencer and others think it’s low, the IPCC says its high. I think the IPCC is wrong.
    Only time and good measurements will tell for sure.

  13. the troposphere is where convection dominates heat transfer and h2o vapor is a significant part of the convection activity. when one compares the satellite surface temps between hemispheres, N&S, one finds that despite the SH receiving more TOA insolation, the fact that the NH has most of the land surface results in average Temp differences of over 1 deg C with the NH being hotter.

  14. Dr. Ball referred to the IPCC’s document that they do not know what are the contributions of H2O and CO2 in the GH phenomenon. Of course they know but they do not want to show it, because it would destroy the image of CO2 as a strong GH gas. The most referred percentages are 60 % for H2O and 26 % for CO2 presented by Kiehl and Trenberth. These effects were calculated in the atmosphere containing only 50 % of the total water in the atmosphere. The real numbers are about 82…84 % and 9…11 %. Because the warming effect of CO2 is highly nonlinear (logarithmic), the relationship between the strengths of H2O and CO2 is about 15:1 in the present atmosphere. CO2 is not a control knob of the climate – it is water.

  15. Below are six relevant peer-reviewed papers on water vapor, feedbacks, and questionable assumptions in climate models.

    Doubling CO2 by itself (no feedbacks) from 275 ppm to 550 ppm is presumed to cause a positive radiative forcing of 3.7 W/m-2, or a temperature change of about 1.2 C per convective assumptions about CO2. The primary means by which we are presumed to get dangerous warming of 3.0 C and up with CO2 doubling (after the 1.2 C of additional warmth from CO2 alone) is via runaway positive feedbacks with increasingly higher levels of water vapor. Yet there have been no observed trends in water vapor concentration in the last few decades, which is inconsistent with the models that suggest the hydrological cycle should intensify:
    —–
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL052094/full#grl29301-fig-0001
    Introduction: Water vapor is a principal atmospheric variable, and is a central component in both the Earth Energy Budget and the Global Water Cycle. Clouds and precipitation manifest its presence, its phase transitions are a source of energy to influence motions in the atmosphere, and its transport (e.g., atmospheric rivers can produce significant weather events. Increasing water vapor amounts in a warming climate could accelerate the global hydrologic cycle.

    Conclusion: [A]t this time, we can neither prove nor disprove a robust trend in the global water vapor data.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/figures/doi/10.1029/2012GL052094/#figure-viewer-grl29301-fig-0004
    —–
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n2/full/nclimate2068.html
    The hydrological cycle is expected to intensify in response to global warming. Yet, little unequivocal evidence of such an acceleration has been found on a global scale. This holds in particular for terrestrial evaporation, the crucial return flow of water from land to atmosphere. Here we use satellite observations to reveal that continental evaporation has increased in northern latitudes, at rates consistent with expectations derived from temperature trends. However, at the global scale, the dynamics of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) have dominated the multi-decadal variability. During El Niño, limitations in terrestrial moisture supply result in vegetation water stress and reduced evaporation in eastern and central Australia, southern Africa and eastern South America. The opposite situation occurs during La Niña. Our results suggest that recent multi-year declines in global average continental evaporation reflect transitions to El Niño conditions, and are not the consequence of a persistent reorganization of the terrestrial water cycle. Future changes in continental evaporation will be determined by the response of ENSO to changes in global radiative forcing, which still remains highly uncertain.
    —–
    Furthermore, there is still some question as to the sign of the feedback from water vapor itself (whether + or -):
    —–
    http://pages.jh.edu/~dwaugh1/papers/Garfinkel_etal_2013-temptrends.pdf
    In the regions where moisture is increasing, radiative heating is decreasing because water vapor is a very efficient GHG at these altitudes. In contrast, regions that are dehydrating are warmed by radiative heating because the local emissivity is decreasing. Recall that the temperatures were decreasing where water vapor was decreasing. Thus, the trend in radiative heating acts as a negative feedback on the temperature changes. In other words, the lower stratospheric temperature response to rising SSTs is opposed, but only partially, by changes in water vapor.
    —–
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140202111055.htm
    The satellite observations have shown that warming of the tropical Indian Ocean and tropical Western Pacific Ocean — with resulting increased precipitation and water vapor there — causes the opposite effect of cooling in the TTL region above the warming sea surface. Once the TTL cools, less water vapor is present in the TTL and also above in the stratosphere. Since water vapor is a very strong greenhouse gas, this effect leads to a negative feedback on climate change. That is, the increase in water vapor due to enhanced evaporation from the warming oceans is confined to the near- surface area, while the stratosphere becomes drier. Hence, this effect may actually slightly weaken the more dire forecasted aspects of an increasing warming of our climate, the scientists say.
    —-
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n11/full/nclimate2039.html
    A study reveals that recent warming in the Indian Ocean and in the Pacific ‘warm pool’ has caused a cooling near the top of the tropical troposphere above, leading to less water vapour entering the stratosphere.
    —–
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1003.1554.pdf
    Climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling in function of the feedbacks (from Knutti and Hegerl [5]). Note the large uncertainty: a CO2 doubling may cause a global warming from 1 C to 10 C at equilibrium. The figure on the left explains why there exists such a large error. The GHG warming theory is based on two independent chained theories. The first theory focuses on the warming effect of a given GHG such as CO2 as it can be experimentally tested. This first theory predicts that a CO2 doubling causes a global warming of about 1 oC. The second theory, the climate positive feedback theory, attempts to calculate the overall climatic effect of a CO2 increase by assuming an enhanced warming effect due to secondary triggering of other climatic components. For example, it is supposed that an increase of CO2 causes an increase in water vapor concentration. Because H2O too is a GHG, the overall warming induced by an increase of CO2 would be due to the direct CO2 warming plus the indirect warming induced by the water vapor feedback responding to the CO2 increase. The problem with the climate positive feedback theory is that it cannot be directly tested in a lab experiment. Climate modelers evaluate the climate sensitivity to CO2 increase in their climate models, not in nature. Thus, the numerical value of this fundamental climatic component is not experimentally measured but it is theoretical evaluated with computer climate models that create virtual climate systems. It is evident that different climate models predict a different climate sensitivity to CO2, which gives rise to the huge uncertainty seen in the figure. Moreover, if the climate models are missing important mechanisms, it is evident that their predicted climate sensitivity to CO2 changes may be extremely different from the true values.

    • Thanks for the links! I now have more ammo against dangerous warming fanatics. The lack of a strongly positive water vapor feedback is a death sentence for CAGW.

    • Ken,
      Put into perspective your 3.7 W/m-2 on an energy balance with a doubling.

      In a year 3.7 W/m-2 would equate to (W = J*sec)
      3.7 x 365 x 24 x 60 x 60 = 1.17E+08 Joules/m^2

      So Evaporation of water is 2,500,000 J/kg.
      http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints2/524/

      To evaporate 1 m^3 of water with sea water specific volume @ 15 oC at 0.001009 m^3/kg for each m^3 there is an exchange of
      => 2,500,000(J/kg)/0.001009(m^3/kg) = 2,477,700,000 J/m^3 = 2.48E+09 J/m^3

      1.17E+08 J/m^2 / 2.48E+09 J/m^3 = 0.05 m

      Oh yea, the average yearly amount of evaporation on open ocean (non-ice) is around 1.40 m. That’s how the oceans cool.

      Evaporation from the Surface of the Globe – They peg the total energy for evaporation ocean plus land at 1.26 X 10E24 or 25 percent of ‘energy in’ at the surface.
      paper here – http://www.eolss.net/sample-chapters/c07/e2-02-03-02.pdf

      Radiative heat transfer at room temperature can mostly be ignored.

  16. Dr Tim, I know that you have visited my blog and i presume that you have read the post https://cementafriend.wordpress.com/2011/10/ about methane. CH4 does not burn or is oxidised in the atmosphere by O2. because a) it does not come up to ignition temperature and b) the concentration is below the ignition point of sustained combustion which in turn sustains ignition temperature. Combustion is part of the chemical engineering subject- reaction kinetics which is far beyond the laboratory work of chemistry. Methane can be oxidised by ozone to form methanol CH3OH which is highly soluble in water and is removed from the atmosphere by clouds and then precipitation or direct contact with water surfaces (oceans, lakes etc) by convective currents.

    • cementafriend,

      CH4 is thought to be oxidized by OH radicals, formed from water by UV light in the higher troposphere, not only by ozone, which is formed maximally in the lower stratosphere. Indeed for the rest removed by precipitation.

  17. IMHO Tim has hit the nail on the head with this little treatise. Water in its three phases buffers the energy (and hence) temperature of our wonderful BLUE ball by both actively absorbing (phase change) and actively transporting incident radiation up-wards and pole-wards, to even out and govern the ideal conditions for life on earth. Neither CO2 nor CH4 change phase at reasonable life-supporting temperatures, so neither can actively participate in our planet’s temperature governing processes.

    However, Tim did leave out one other important fact that I think no one has explored nearly enough. As he pointed out CO2 is NOT well mixed over much of the vast surfaces of the earth. But, I also contend that CO2 is not even well mixed over short distances. Why not? Well one reason is that excess CO2 sources (eg. cities, mines, volcanoes and the ocean) and the larger CO2 sinks (forests, farms, etc) can be spread out over significant distances. In addition, a more obvious reason is that CO2 dissolves in liquid water and thus gets actively transported by water. Every time it rains a certain percentage of CO2 is scrubbed from the atmosphere proportional to the partial pressures of the gas in both its gaseous phase and its dissolved phase in water. Since water that condenses from water vapor is initially pure, it very rapidly scrubs a portion of the gaseous CO2 in the surrounding air at that local temperature. The intial condensing temp is quite cool, and carries quite a bit more CO2 downward than might normally exist in water that has equilibrated to the temp at the surface. (One can measure just how much CO2 has been scrubbed by measuring the pH of the rain, since dissolved CO2 quickly forms carbonic acid in the water.) When a thunder storm rolls through it is doing quite a good job of returning vital CO2 back down to earth to participate in the cycle of life on the surface. This local and most likely quite repeatable phenomenon is not really highlighted in any “climate studies” primarily, I believe, because the CO2 data everyone relies on is taken “above the clouds” at mountain top locations. Were the data taken along the coasts of Hawaii, local rain storm events would present too much CO2 variability to give meaningful “noise free” (ie. natural) results. If CO2 were measured at the same sites as the temperature was taken in well sighted locations, I strongly suspect one would see significantly higher natural variability than is presented by the data taken on the top of Mauna Loa. I’m quite certain that immediately AFTER an evening thunderstorm sweeps a line through an area, the CO2 blanket that supposedly would provide green house protection has been quite effectively reduced sufficiently to allow greater direct irradiation out to space than the warm humid period immediately preceding the storm.

    What do you all think?

    • Don V. Couldn’t agree more. The amount of carbonic acid produced as a consequence of water vapor and lightning would have to be significant given the number of lightning strikes occurring word-wide at any one time. Rainwater in equilibrium with atmospheric (gaseous) h2o and co2 from basic chemistry should have a pH of -5.6 (slightly acidic). any increase in thunderstorms, ( say to AGW ? , or any other GW mechanism) should remove increasing amounts of co2 from the atmosphere. Gaia strikes back.

    • As many have stated on WUWT, indeed it *IS* water, in all it’s forms along with solar energy, that *IS* the primary driver of weather (Climate) on this rock.

    • Don V,

      I did once calculate the influence of fresh water on CO2 levels: it is negligible. CO2 is mostly released in places where water vapor is maximal. Where water condenses, you need about 400 m3 air to form 1 liter of rain. As the solubility of CO2 in fresh water at 0.0004 bar is extremely small, the CO2 change in the atmosphere where the drops are formed is not measurable.
      If the rain drops on the ground and all water evaporates, releasing all CO2, that increased the air CO2 in the first meter of air, without wind mixing, with less than 1 ppmv. Again negligible.

      That doesn’t mean that gigantic amounts are circulating together with the gigantic amounts of water, but in concentrations that doesn’t count…

    • Don V
      October 24, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      IMHO Tim has hit the nail on the head with this little treatise. Water in its three phases buffers the energy (and hence) temperature of our wonderful BLUE ball by both actively absorbing (phase change) and actively transporting incident radiation up-wards and pole-wards, to even out and govern the ideal conditions for life on earth. Neither CO2 nor CH4 change phase at reasonable life-supporting temperatures,
      *******************************************************************************************
      Maybe, but it is essential to remember that ” to even out and govern the ideal conditions for life on earth.” it is not like this.
      We are not the be all and end all – the earth developed it’s climate/weather according to the laws of Physics (not to make ideal conditions for life) and we evolved afterwards in order to fit in and take advantage of what was there.
      Too many people think the earth was made for us and not the other way round – if you change your point of view, our life as we know it doesn’t seem to rely on so many wonderful coincidences after all.

      SteveT

      • Although I don’t agree with your worldview SteveT, I also wasn’t injecting my world view into the discussion. Are you saying that the current conditions (ie. average temperature, radiant energy in/radiant energy out balance, orbital distance vs. solar radiance, etc.) aren’t ideal conditions for life (as we know it) on earth and that these conditions aren’t primarily and directly governed by the immutable physics of the vast amounts of water on our planet that has the net effect of acting as a climate governor/temperature buffer to sustain “earth life”? Or are you, in trying to inject your religious world view into this discussion, somehow also suggesting/stating that one of the life forms on this planet – man – actually has a ghost of a chance of doing ANYTHING to affect either the current weather or the future climate? . . . that man can somehow shift us out of the “sweet spot” that water’s influence currently anchors us by somehow modulating the trace life-sustaining gas CO2? Since neither CO2 nor CH4 experience phase change around this sweet spot, nor are present in anywhere near sufficient quantity, nor have anywhere near sufficient heat retaining capacity, they simply do not participate in any significant degree in the overall energy balance. IMHO wishing that man can actually influence future climate conditions is utter folly and silly pointless windmill tilting.

  18. To Marcus, Yes, but actually in many other ways. 1) Absolute water content as humidity in the atmosphere compensate small variations of GH gas concentrations, 2) clouds magnifying the effects of solar activity changes, and 3) as ocean water controlling the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in the very long term. For example, IPCC says that anthropogenic CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is 28 % even though the direct isotope measurements show it to be about 7.7 %. The reason is that about 25 % of the atmospheric CO2 is recycled annually between the oceans and the biosphere that dilutes the anthropogenic portion of CO2 effectively..

  19. The figure one is broken.

    Literature says roughly 25 per cent of CO2 in the athmosphere is anthropogenic. The fact that anthropogenic emissions are small compared to annual natural CO2 budjet is – if I understand English proverbs right – a red herring.

    • Hugs:

      Sorry for my false post.

      You say

      Literature says roughly 25 per cent of CO2 in the athmosphere is anthropogenic. The fact that anthropogenic emissions are small compared to annual natural CO2 budjet is – if I understand English proverbs right – a red herring.

      It cannot be true that “roughly 25 per cent of CO2 in the atmosphere is anthropogenic”. What do you think the atmospheric CO2 concentration was before humans existed?

      At issue is what contribution the anthropogenic CO2 emissions make to the observed recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. And that can be modeled as being whatever percentage of the rise you want to suite your claims.

      Richard

      • Richard,

        Only in your dreams…

        If you have any alternative explanation of a non-human rise of CO2 (except for 10 ppmv from warming oceans) that doesn’t violate one or more observations, you may have a point. Until then…

      • Ferdinand:

        Only in your dreams…

        If you have any explanation for a human rise of CO2 that doesn’t rely on a circular argument, you may have a point. Until then…

        Richard

      • Richard,

        Human emissions are twice the measured increase in the atmosphere. If you can find a bookkeeper who can twist the figures in such a way that humans are not the cause of the increase, he can make a fortune for any firm he likes (including the mafia).

        BTW, the only possible theoretical alternative by Bart violates not one or two but ALL known observations…

      • Ferdinand:

        If you can find a bookkeeper who can twist the figures when most of the inputs and outputs are not quantified then he would soon be in jail for providing a result that fits what he wants it to be.

        Oh, sorry, this not accountancy but is ‘climate science’ where making data fit what you want it to be is accepted practice.

        Richard

      • One thing is for sure, if nature can remove as much as 47% of anthropogenic co2 on average, then there is no reason why nature couldn’t remove much closer to 100% of anthro co2 on average. Bart, it looks like i may have stepped in the mass balance cow pie here. (hoo-wee, what a smell…)

    • Literature (Sprenger & Kramer, 1486) says roughly 50 percent of all tempests are caused by witches.

      The IPCC literature quoted here says:
      ===================
      “However, other greenhouse gases, primarily CO2, are necessary to sustain the presence of water vapour in the atmosphere. Indeed, if these other gases were removed from the atmosphere, its temperature would drop sufficiently to induce a decrease of water vapour, leading to a runaway drop of the greenhouse effect that would plunge the Earth into a frozen state.
      ===================

      Do you believe that extraordinary claim in the literature, Hugs?

  20. Water vapour is the giant wet elephant in the IPCC laboratory. The definition of climate change they received allowed them to ignore anything that didn’t fit their hypothesis. As a result, the IPCC focus is on eliminating, ignoring, and creating false narratives to enhance the role of CO2. This has the effect of pushing the elephant of water vapour under water so that like an iceberg the public only see about 10 percent of the mass.

    Yep. The authoritarians, “hot for certainty,” want their feculently simple-minded premises accepted – and their victims to submit in all regards – without question or resistance. Thus we get the demonization of anthropogenic carbon dioxide while they “blank out” acknowledgement of the other product of complete combustion: dihydrogen monoxide.

    Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.

    — H.L. Mencken

    • Tucci,

      While human CO2 emissions are the cause of most of the 30% rise in CO2 over the past 165 years, thanks to a long decay rate of ~51 years, the accompanying water vapor emissions (including the lost energy in cooling water towers) is less than 0.01% of all natural water vapor and its decay rate is a matter of days. That plays zero role in the radiation balances…

      • While human CO2 emissions are the cause of most of the 30% rise in CO2 over the past 165 years, thanks to a long decay rate of ~51 years, the accompanying water vapor emissions (including the lost energy in cooling water towers) is less than 0.01% of all natural water vapor and its decay rate is a matter of days. That plays zero role in the radiation balances…

        Isotopic analyses enable the determination of how much of the “rise in [atmospheric] CO2 over the past 165 years” is due to the purposeful combustion of petrochemical fuels, but precisely how much of “the accompanying water vapor emissions” can be with similar surety attributed to said combustion?

        Considering how vanishingly little role anthropogenic carbon dioxide plays in the Earth’s radiation balances, if it’s allowable for our Indonesian-in-Chief to persecute us for our CO2 emissions, are not his minions and co-religionists equally justified in taxing, regulating, fining, droning and assassinating us for the water vapor we engender?

        It’s true that the total mass of water vapor in the atmosphere is so great that the H2O resulting from complete petrochemicals combustion is “lost in the noise,” but how can anthropogenic water vapor be distinguished from atmospheric water vapor that’s the product of “natural emissions”? We need to know!

        Water vapor is a “greenhouse gas” of indisputably greater potency than is CO2. Shouldn’t the warmunists – watermelonically determined that no sparrow shall fall except as it’s chopped into gobbets by a wind turbine and accordingly counted to their profit as a carbon credit – be pursuing each whistling teakettle and exhaled breath to keep mankind from fogging up Mother Gaia’s mirror?

        Seriousness is stupidity sent to college.

        — P. J. O’Rourke

      • Tucci,

        While near the total increase of CO2 is from human emissions, the easy to determine isotopic ratio only shows how much original “human” CO2 still is in the atmosphere. That is “diluted” by the 20% seasonal exchanges of CO2 between different reservoirs. Thus isotopic changes are not sufficient to know the source.

        For water it is simpler: a daily human addition of 0.01% and de decay rate of a few days means that the human accumulation of water vapor maybe average 0.03%, still negligible for the radiation balance…

      • Ferdinand,

        May I add the conclusion that always seems to be missing? Thank you:

        A few decades ago many scientists were unsure whether the rise in CO2 was good or bad. Now we know.

        The rise in CO2 is an unmitigated good. There is no downside, and unless you’re a plant, you can’t tell the difference between 300 ppm and 400 ppm.

        This cannot be stressed enough. More CO2 is better. A lot more is a lot better.

        It’s all good.  ☺

      • While near the total increase of CO2 is from human emissions, the easy to determine isotopic ratio only shows how much original “human” CO2 still is in the atmosphere. That is “diluted” by the 20% seasonal exchanges of CO2 between different reservoirs. Thus isotopic changes are not sufficient to know the source.

        For water it is simpler: a daily human addition of 0.01% and de decay rate of a few days means that the human accumulation of water vapor maybe average 0.03%, still negligible for the radiation balance…

        At present – mark you: RIGHT NOW, in this wonderful ultra-progressive Age of Obozo when the Woman With One Eyebrow is being kept out of the federal prison system in order to sustain and extend his legacy – though “the total increase of [atmospheric] CO2 is from human emissions,” given that the total amount of atmospheric CO2 is fiddlin’ goddam teensy (the expression used in clinical pulmonology when we’re messing around with ABG analyses and ventilator settings is “trace gas”), such an observation begs one key question that keeps slipping out of consideration as the discussion of the climate quacks’ “settled science” is sustained without cutting to the chase by shooting the thieving, duplicitous sons of bitches to death by musketry as they deserve:

        What the f— SIGNIFICANCE is there in the fact that the “near the total increase of CO2 [right now] is from human emissions” if that measured increase in a trace gas doesn’t really do dick in terms of altering the planet’s radiation balances?

        It’s perfectly fine to acknowledge the evidence provided by isotopic analyses of aliquots drawn from the well-mixed atmosphere over Antarctica and Mauna Loa, and to credit the purposeful burning of coal and other petrochemical fuels for the enrichment of the Earth’s bioavailable carbon dioxide supply, but those of us with scientific literacy and moral integrity really can’t speak “thus far and no farther,” ’cause by doing so we concede to the scrabbling, prevaricating, power-grabbing, grant-fund-sucking, carbon-credit-trading, “Clean Power Plan”-foisting, EPA-metastasizing warmunist son of bitches yet more opportunity to push their frabjous Big Lie.

        The right to search for truth implies also a duty: one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.

        – Albert Einstein

      • Tucci,

        As dbstealy already mentioned, while the about 30% increase in CO2 is good for ~2 W/m2 extra outgoing IR retention, that doesn’t mean that the induced warming is of any harm.
        Theoretically, a doubling of CO2 will increase the earth’s temperature with around 1°C. Climate models increase that figure with a lot of – all positive – feedbacks (mainly water vapor). In reality, there are negative feedbacks at work (mainly clouds), which make that the influence of more CO2 less than expected…

        Thus admitting that the CO2 rise is (near) all human doesn’t harm the main case of all skeptics: all models are wrong, as their sensitivity for 2xCO2 is far too high. Refusing to accept the obvious human cause harms the skeptic arguments more than it helps their case…

      • As dbstealy already mentioned, while the about 30% increase in CO2 is good for ~2 W/m2 extra outgoing IR retention, that doesn’t mean that the induced warming is of any harm.

        Theoretically, a doubling of CO2 will increase the earth’s temperature with around 1°C. Climate models increase that figure with a lot of – all positive – feedbacks (mainly water vapor). In reality, there are negative feedbacks at work (mainly clouds), which make that the influence of more CO2 less than expected…

        Rather than “Theoretically,” it would seem that the word to be used in climatology with regard to the warming effects of increased atmospheric CO2 really ought to be CONJECTURALLY.

        For a speculative explanation (i.e., a “model”) of phenomena to reach the level of validity denoted by the term “theory,” there are criteria not yet met by the idea that “a doubling of [atmospheric] CO2 [concentrations]” would or could “increase the earth’s temperature” to any extent at all.

        “A hypothesis is a model based on all data in its specified domain, with no counterexample, and incorporating a novel prediction yet to be validated by facts,” whereas “A theory is a hypothesis with at least one nontrivial validating datum.” (Glassman, 2007)

        On the basis of evidence thus far observed and reported, it doesn’t seem possible to hold that the conjecture voiced by “the consensus in climatology” regarding “extra outgoing IR retention” which should (according to what’s known about the physical properties of atmospheric carbon dioxide) be produced by “the about 30% increase in CO2” – anthropogenic and otherwise – has attained a level of reliability above that of the hypothetical.

        Might be argued that it doesn’t even rise that high.

        Thus admitting that the CO2 rise is (near) all human doesn’t harm the main case of all skeptics: all models are wrong, as their sensitivity for 2xCO2 is far too high. Refusing to accept the obvious human cause harms the skeptic arguments more than it helps their case…

        This is a point of discussion against which I’ve never been much inclined to contend, as the isotopic analyses of atmospheric carbon dioxide seem reliably to support the contentions of Keeling et alia as to the ancient origins of this gas fraction increase. This notwithstanding, as you’ve observed, the physical effects of this increase in an atmospheric trace gas seem neither to be significant (i.e., beyond the “wiggle room” error bars inescapable in precedent and present instrumental assessment techniques) nor adverse.

        Even speculatively.

        (Can enough be said about the “climate consensus” quacks’ perpetration of suppressio veri, suggestio falsi in dismissing – indeed, denying – consideration of known and decidedly non-adverse climate conditions during the Minoan, Roman, and Medieval Warm optima?)

  21. Tim Ball:

    Thankyou for another very fine article.

    For decades I have been saying the anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) hypothesis is impossible because it relies upon a water vapour feedback (WVF), and the existence of oceans demonstrates that a significant WVF does not exist. The explanation of this is as follows.

    The WVF is a feedback on temperature rise induced by increased radiative forcing; i.e.
    1.
    increased radiative forcing raises temperature
    2.
    raised temperature increases evapouration of water
    3.
    more evapouration of water increases water vapour in the air
    3.
    more water vapour in the air increases radiative forcing
    4.
    Return to 1.

    This feedback may or may not induce runaway warming depending on its strength.

    Importantly, ANY increase to radiative forcing starts the loop at 1.
    The Sun is a g-type star and, therefore, the Sun has increased its output over time such that radiative forcing has increased by ~20% over the time that the Earth has had an oxygen rich atmosphere.

    However, the Earth has had two apparently stable conditions – glacial and interglacial – without any clear trend of increasing temperature since the Earth gained an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

    If change to radiative forcing had caused the WVF to provide significant temperature rise then the oceans would have boiled to steam long ago as a result of the increase to solar forcing the Earth since the Earth gained an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

    In summation, the AGW hypothesis says an increase of 0.4% to radiative forcing from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration would be amplified by the WVF to provide significant global temperature rise, but it is known that an increase of ~20% to radiative forcing from increased solar output has not been amplified by the WVF to provide any discernible global temperature rise.

    In other words, the AGW hypothesis is ludicrous nonsense.

    Richard

    • There is another relevant factor. More evaporation leads to more precipitation. Studies by Wijfells and by others indicate that precipitation increases at roughly the same rate as evaporation, yet the climate models allow for only a fraction of that level of precipitation. When water evaporates at the ocean surface, it carries with it the latent heat of evaporation. When the water vapour then condenses prior to precipitating, it releases its latent heat into the atmosphere, from which a significant proportion escapes as IR to space. The whole water cycle therefore has a net cooling effect. If the water cycle was correctly increased in the models alongside the water vapour increase, then the net warming effect would be greatly reduced, and the models’ CO2 climate sensitivity would be correspondingly reduced (because, in the models, the increased water vapour is a CO2 feedback). In short, the models overestimate warming because they underestimate precipitation.

      • Mike Jonas:

        Yes, there are many other relevant factors but I repeat that the existence of the oceans in the present is alone sufficient to demonstrate that the AGW hypothesis is ludicrous nonsense.

        As I said, the AGW hypothesis says an increase of 0.4% to radiative forcing from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration would be amplified by the WVF to provide significant global temperature rise, but it is known that an increase of ~20% to radiative forcing from increased solar output has not been amplified by the WVF to provide any discernible global temperature rise.

        Richard

      • Don’t forget that there have been times in the past when CO2 has been in the order of 8,000 ppm (some claim even higher figures, although proxy evidence must be viewed with caution). This is 5 doublings of the pre-industrial CO2 level. From this fact alone, one can immediately see that the forcing from CO2 (plus any consequential water vapour forcing consequent thereon), if any at all, must be towards the lower level of the IPCC range.

        The entire claim of strong positive feedbacks is absurd however one looks at it. we would not be here today, if there were such strong positive feedback loops.

      • “The entire claim of strong positive feedbacks is absurd however one looks at it. we would not be here today, if there were such strong positive feedback loops.”

        Agreed. It is amazing how simple logic like your observation is just totally ignored by the alarmist climate “scientists”. It boggles the mind.

        In the 70s we were looking at the long term temperature records (from proxies of course) and saw that an end to the current interglacial was the most probable event in the relative near term. This was based on the patterns of the past. We also noticed that CO2 concentrations much, much higher than the present seemed to coincided with some of the best conditions for life in the past. Why would more CO2 not be good for life now? (that plus the amount of CO2 that plant growers pump into their hot houses for optimum growth)

        So, for these reasons I could never buy into the CO2 is death delusion.

      • Mike Jonas,

        Correctomundo. To take it one more step: global warming would cause more evaporation.

        Both relative and specific humidity have been declining for decades.

        Where is that increased evaporation? Where is the increased precipitation?

  22. Dr. Ball,

    You are very good at attributing motivation to what others say, but that only shows that you have no idea about what you are writing (or you do that by purpose):

    Now “Long-lived greenhouse gasses” are “Well-mixed greenhouse gasses.” This is because they switched the narrative.

    Either you don’t understand what is said, or you made that up: it is a necessary condition for being a “well-mixed greenhouse gas” that such a gas has a sufficient life time. If that isn’t the case, like for ozone in the stratosphere, then that gas will be not well mixed and for ozone the levels over the equator are a lot higher than over the poles.

    The early story said that CO2 residency time was 100 years, but that was challenged and corrected.

    Where in the IPCC reports was that “corrected”? As far as I know, the IPCC still uses the Bern model which shows different decay times for different reservoirs with different saturation levels, from very fast for the ocean surface to slower for the deep oceans and very slow for other reservoirs, where the last 30% should sink over very long periods.

    This is simply not possible because, as the satellite data from OCO2 shows, CO2 is clearly not a well-mixed gas.

    Sorry, pure nonsense. A variability of +/- 2% of full scale over the seasons, while 20% of all CO2 is going in and out of the atmosphere in a few months is damn well mixed. See that on full scale for Mauna Loa and Samoa, including all the local outliers and seasonal changes:

    Further Fig, 1 shows that human CO2 is only 3,4% of the increase, while it is 3,4 (meanwhile 6%) of the cycle, but contrary to the cycle, it is one-way addition and thus the human contribution is in reality 90% of the increase, not 3,4%…

    Thus while I agree that the water vapor feedback doesn’t exist and seems more a negative cloud feedback on any increase in incoming radiation, errors and motive attributions like the above don’t give much confidence to what you write…

    • Ferdinand Engelbeen:

      You say to Tim Ball,

      You are very good at attributing motivation to what others say, but that only shows that you have no idea about what you are writing (or you do that by purpose):

      I say to you,
      You are very good at attributing motivation to what others say, but that only shows that you have no idea about what you are writing (or you do that by purpose):

      ‘People in glass houses’ and all that.

      Richard

      • gymnosperm:

        You say

        C’mon. OCO shows that it is not perfectly and instantaneously mixed. Compared to water, CO2 is very, very well mixed.

        Thankyou for your excellent demonstration of the common warmunist trick of focusing on irrelevance and not on matters of importance.

        The comparison with water vapour is irrelevant.
        The lack of adequate mixing creates an excess of CO2 over a year in regions where nature cannot sequester all the locally emitted CO2 in that year. And those regions are indicators of reasons for the rise in atmospheric CO2.

        OCO-2 shows that over the year sub-Sahara Africa and Siberia have greater excess CO2 than Western Europe.

        sarc on/
        Clearly, the CO2 from humans’ industrial activities in sub-Sahara Africa and Siberia are causing the rise in atmospheric CO2.
        sarc off/

        Richard

      • Richard,

        Besides that the OCO-2 people need to address some real strange anomalies, like the extra CO2 over the NE Atlantic, where the largest CO2 sink in the oceans is measured (over many years and many thousands of measurements), even a 20 ppmv difference in levels over a year is small, as 80 ppmv CO2 gets in and out within a few months over the seasons. Thus still well mixed, not instantly mixed…

        The “reasons for the rise of CO2” still is wishful thinking from your side…

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen:

        In this sub-thread where I objected to your feigned protest at Tim Ball attributing motivation you have written

        The “reasons for the rise of CO2” still is wishful thinking from your side…

        I do NOT have a “side” but you do.

        I point out that available data does not permit identification of the cause(s) of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 as being natural, or anthropogenic, or some combination of anthropogenic and natural effects.

        You proclaim your belief that the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is the anthropogenic CO2 emission.

        Richard

      • Richard,

        If all observations point to humans as cause of the increase and all alternative explanations do fail one or more observations or even all observations (for Bart’s explanation), then I can be pretty sure that humans are the cause.

        By not accepting these facts, you only show that you don’t like the implications…

      • “All observations” do not point to humans as the cause. You have woven a narrative in which you interpret the evidence that way, but it is a collection of “Just So” stories unmoored from basic physical principles, and fundamentally contradicted by the evidence that dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0).

    • “…but contrary to the cycle, it is one-way addition…”

      This is an assumption, but in fact, there is no constraint that demands that natural inputs and outputs balance.

      The argument is naive and self-contradictory. If there were such a constraint, that would imply a regulating feedback, and growth from anthropogenic inputs would similarly be suppressed.

      • Bart:

        there is no constraint that demands that natural inputs and outputs balance.

        No, but the measurements show that the natural unbalance is surprisingly small: not more than +/- 1 ppmv around the trend, whatever the trend may cause.

        If there were such a constraint, that would imply a regulating feedback, and growth from anthropogenic inputs would similarly be suppressed.

        Except that different processes are at work: about all natural processes in the carbon cycle are temperature controlled: seasonal (ocean surface and vegetation), continuous (deep oceans), year by year variability (vegetation). Human emissions (and volcanoes) add to the pressure in the atmosphere above steady state and its decay is only possible through pressure related processes, temperature hardly plays a role there. That is mainly the case for the oceans and more limited for vegetation. The effects of temperature and pressure are quite different for different processes…

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen:

        You write saying to Bart

        The effects of temperature and pressure are quite different for different processes…

        In light of that admission, please explain why you assume all those effects summate to zero in the absence of the anthropogenic emission.

        Richard

      • Richard:

        In light of that admission, please explain why you assume all those effects summate to zero in the absence of the anthropogenic emission.

        800,000 years of history and current knowledge: in all time frames temperature was the only driving force where CO2 simply followed temperature changes with some variable lag and ultimately balanced at the CO2 levels which are dictated by Henry’s law for the CO2 solubility in the oceans.
        That is a quite slow process with lags between 50 years (MWP-LIA) and hundreds of years (deglaciations) to thousands of years (onset of glaciations).
        All these processes, from seasonal via 1-3 years variability (both vegetation dominant) and long term (multi-decades to multi-millennia, ocean dominant) are entirely temperature dependent. The same temperature change ultimately gives the same CO2 change over the past 800,000 years, except for the past 165 years.

        CO2 increases due to large volcanic events are completely absent in the records and the largest recent huge event, the 1991 Pinatubo – VEI 6 – didn’t even increase CO2 levels, to the contrary.
        So, human emissions are the first appreciable release of vast quantities of CO2 in the past 800,000 years, where the increase in CO2 pressure in the atmosphere is the only driving force for the sink rate at an e-fold decay rate of slightly over 50 years. By far fast enough to follow the extra CO2 pressure caused by temperature changes over thousands of years, but not fast enough to cope with human emissions in short time.

      • The above requires assumptions of

        A) absolute faith the the ice core records, without any independent verification

        B) belief that whatever happened in the past must continue forever

      • continuing…

        It is a fundamentally unphysical outlook. A tight equilibrium enforced for 100’s of thousands of years requires feedback regulation. Without it, CO2 would have drifted far and wide.

        But, tight feedback regulation of natural inputs is fundamentally incompatible with lax response to human inputs.

        You quite simply cannot have both tight and loose regulation in the real world. It just does not work like that.

      • Bart,

        The influence of human emissions is measurable in ice cores, in coralline sponges, even in stomata data, the pre-bomb-tests 14C decline, 13C/12C ratio of leaves and wood,… All starting around 1850 and increasing in speed. Thus not only in ice core records, but in a lot of proxies.
        Ice core records happen to be direct CO2 measurements, be it averaged over a short (less than a decade for the past 150 years) to very long period over the past 800,000 years (and confirmed over a few million years in foramins).
        Thus indeed with reasons, I have confidence in ice core results.

        That the past doesn’t (always) predict the future is sure, but what is sure is that the current increase of 400 ppmv is unprecedented in the past 800,000 years. All past variability was temperature induced, the current increase is certainly not temperature induced, despite your formula which violates all physical laws of solubility and response of the fluxes to an increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere.

        There is no discrepancy between a relative slow response to increased CO2 levels: an e-fold decay rate of over 50 years can’t cope with 200 ppmv human emissions in 165 years time, but it is more than fast enough to follow the 100 ppmv increase over 5,000 years between glacial and interglacial periods…

        And again, all natural carbon fluxes are tightly temperature regulated, an extra CO2 shot in the atmosphere is not removed by these processes, that is a pressure regulated process of a different order.

      • Nonsense. Complete and utter nonsense. When natural flows are 30X or greater than the human input, nature obviously would have no trouble regulating our puny input.

        You just make things up as you go along, Ferdinand. The Just-so stories you come up with may sound pleasing to you, and appear plausible to inexperienced minds. But, it is no more scientifically rigorous than explaining how the Djinn gave the camel his hump.

      • Bart,

        I know, you are not interested in observations, your theory based on matching two straight lines with an arbitrary factor and offset is the only truth… Even if that violates all observations, including known physics like Henry’s law for the solubility of CO2 in seawater,,,

      • I’m not interested in your storytelling based on cherry picked observations, with which the storyline is merely vaguely consistent. You are not arguing observations. You are advocating a particular, and physically untenable, interpretation of the observations.

        There are fundamental mathematical and physical laws which contradict your storyline. You do not realize it, because your math skills are poor. Anyone who has ever been snookered by the ridiculous pseudo-mass balance argument has self-identified as being unqualified to understand this system.

      • Bart:

        There are fundamental mathematical and physical laws which contradict your storyline.

        That says the man who shows one formula, based on the very difficult match of the slopes of two straight lines…
        I haven’t seen one case where the human emissions fail any observation or fundamental mathematical or physical laws, while your formula violates Henry’s law, a pure physical law, established in 1803 and since then confirmed by over 3 million samples, up to today…

        It is physically impossible that 1°C average ocean temperature increase will give more than 16 ppmv in the atmosphere, let be 110 ppmv, without any feedback of the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere on the in/out fluxes.

        That you have a lot of knowledge on high-frequency processes is clear, that you have no insight in much simpler first order processes with their feedbacks (and Le Châtelier’s principle) is clear too…

      • “…based on the very difficult match of the slopes of two straight lines…”

        Where do you see a straight line here? Where is the difficulty in the match?

        “I haven’t seen one case where the human emissions fail any observation or fundamental mathematical or physical laws…”

        They cannot add significantly, because the temperature relationship above already accounts for atmospheric CO2. The trend in temperature is causing the trend in CO2 rate of change. It cannot be otherwise, because the phase would be distorted if it weren’t. That is a fundamental mathematical and physical fact.

        “… while your formula violates Henry’s law…”

        It does not violate Henry’s law. As I have stated many times previously, it is precisely the kind of relationship you would expect for a dynamic transport process in which there is a continual flow in and out, and any sustained imbalance between the flows causes a sustained change in CO2 content of the surface oceans, and hence of the atmosphere. You would violate Henry’s law by claiming that a sustained increase in ocean CO2 would not cause a sustained increase in atmospheric CO2.

        “It is physically impossible that 1°C average ocean temperature increase will give more than 16 ppmv in the atmosphere…”

        Only if the oceans were static. The oceans are not static. Every second of every day, new waters are upwelling to the surface, and others are downwelling. Any sustained imbalance in the flow of CO2 in those waters will cause a sustained change in the CO2 content of the surface waters, and hence of the atmosphere.

        The dog wags the tail, not the other way around. The oceans are the dog. The atmosphere is the tail.

      • Bart,

        Where do you see the match between the slopes here:

        T changes do induce CO2 changes with a lag.
        dT/dt changes do induce dCO2/dt changes with a lag.
        A linear increase in T gives a quasi-linear increase of CO2 and that gives zero slope in dT/dt and dCO2/dt, only a small offset.
        The slope in dCO2/dt is not from temperature, but from an entire different process: the twice as high human emissions.
        (BTW, I should have added “/sarc” after the word “difficult”)

        The trend in temperature is causing the trend in CO2 rate of change. It cannot be otherwise, because the phase would be distorted if it weren’t.

        Not at all: temperature is not causing any trend in the CO2 rate of change, only almost all of the variability and a small offset from zero. Your match of the slopes is completely bogus. If you add CO2 from two unrelated processes, of which one is temperature related and the other is pressure related, the net effect is the sum of both processes, no distortion, no phase shift.

        Any sustained imbalance in the flow of CO2 in those waters will cause a sustained change in the CO2 content of the surface waters, and hence of the atmosphere.

        Any sustained imbalance in flows has nothing to do with temperature, as the response of CO2 levels in the atmosphere to temperature only gives a transient change of 16 ppmv/°C at steady state. Steady state is a dynamic equilibrium, where input and output fluxes are again equal at a higher CO2 level in the case of a step in temperature. That is as dynamic as you can have.
        An increasing CO2 pressure in the atmosphere reduces the input CO2 flux and increases the outflux, whatever the temperature or concentration changes in the oceans…
        The current atmosphere is already 110 ppmv above steady state for the current weighted average ocean temperature per Henry’s law. In what direction do you think that the net CO2 flux goes?

      • “Where do you see the match between the slopes here:”

        I don’t. No match of trend. No match in phase.

        That is why your model fails. The relationship is very clearly

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        That is incontrovertible from the data. You must start from there.

        It does not matter what you want the relationship to be. This is what the data tell us it is.

        “Any sustained imbalance in flows has nothing to do with temperature, as the response of CO2 levels in the atmosphere to temperature only gives a transient change of 16 ppmv/°C at steady state.”

        Wrong. When temperature rises, less downwells than upwells, and you get a sustained increase at the surface.

        “An increasing CO2 pressure in the atmosphere reduces the input CO2 flux and increases the outflux…”

        Only over a very long timeline. You again have the tail wagging the dog.

        You are speculating on the dynamics without grounding yourself in the observations. You can come up with any flight of fancy that way. The data constrain the dynamics, and they are such that, since at least 1959

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

      • “…reduces the input CO2 flux…”

        And, BTW, no matter how high the partial pressure in the atmosphere, you cannot stop centuries old CO2 rising back up into the surface oceans. That part of the equation is so long term, you can treat it as an exogenous input.

        I don’t know how much American television you have seen, but this is from a classic episode of The Lucy Show ages ago:

        Lucy and Ethel have no control over the chocolates coming down the conveyor belt. But, they’ve got to wrap them as fast as they come in, or they pile up.

        And, if the downwelling does not match the upwelling, CO2 is going to pile up in the surface oceans, from which it will force atmospheric levels to rise.

      • Bart,

        That is why your model fails.

        You still don’t understand it: all variability’s of T, CO2, dT/dt and dCO2/dt show the same form in variability, where CO2 lags T and dCO2/dt (must!) lag dT/dt. Because of the linear increase in slope of T, its effect on CO2 is also (almost) linear for small changes in T.
        That means that dT/dt and the part of dCO2/dt caused by temperature both have zero slope

        By taking the derivatives, T changes and dCO2/dt changes are synchronized. That still is directly process related, but the slope of T has nothing to do with the slope of dCO2/dt, as the latter is (near) completely flat for the part that is caused by temperature.

        The match of the variability was nicely explained by Paul_K at:

        http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/10/21/diary-date-murry-salby.html?currentPage=2#comments

        Fourth comment by Paul_K, and further on in that discussion, gives a nice overview of the effect of a transient response of CO2 to temperature:

        For the transient behaviour, I am just using a simple response function of the form:-
        τ * dCO2/dt = ΔT – f(T)* ΔCO2
        where ΔT and ΔCO2 are measured from an arbitrary initial equilibrium condition. This equation is based on the assumption that the process of release of solute with temperature change starts off quickly and slows down as the concentrations adjust – a commonly observed phenomenon for the transient behavior of chemical equilibration processes.

        and

        Note that this model is completely compatible with Henry’s Law – including the fact that for a fixed temperature change, the model does, if left alone, equilibrate at a new constant concentration value of CO2.

        The “new constant concentration value” for the atmosphere in dynamic equilibrium with the oceans is 16 ppmv/°C, where the 0.6°C increase over the past 57 years was good for 10 ppmv increase. That is all. Already exceeded after 15 years in the measured CO2 increase…

        The ΔCO2 in your formula is completely absent, that is where you got lost…

      • Bart,

        Indeed have seen several of Lucy’s shows in the far past…

        And, BTW, no matter how high the partial pressure in the atmosphere, you cannot stop centuries old CO2 rising back up into the surface oceans.

        Your formula has only a term for temperature, an increased input from the deep ocean is quasi independent of temperature and an increase of 1°C gives no more than a 3% extra release from the sustained upwelling.

        Even so, a sustained upwelling itself (for which is not the slightest indication) will increase the pCO2 in the atmosphere, which reduces the upwelling and increases the sinks, until a new steady state is reached. Here for a sustained increase of 10% in CO2 upwelling:

        Even if you combine extra upwelling and an increase in temperature, that doesn’t matter: both effects together will give a transient response of CO2 in the atmosphere until a new steady state is reached.

      • Ferdinand,

        It is very unlikely that a “steady state” is ever reached near the sea surface of the tropical oceans. CO2 that is outgassed does not remain near the surface. It rises rapidly with evaporated water vapor into the upper atmosphere in thunder clouds. Some is absorbed by cold rain but most is ejected out the top where the water freezes. I think the concentration of CO2 is being controlled by the amount of water vapor at the freeze temperature in those cloud tops. That amount is likely a function of the temperature gradient in the clouds. This is a fast process because the updraft velocity is so fast.

      • “all variability’s of T, CO2, dT/dt and dCO2/dt show the same form in variability, where CO2 lags T and dCO2/dt (must!) lag dT/dt.”

        CO2 does lag T. But, it is not an arbitrary lag. It is 90 degrees in phase across the entire spectrum. Which means it is an integral relationship.

        There is no alternative.

        “Because of the linear increase in slope of T, its effect on CO2 is also (almost) linear for small changes in T.”

        There is no such requirement. That is you imposing how you want things to be. The data contradict it. It is wrong.

        “The match of the variability was nicely explained by Paul_K at:…”

        Nope. You can only match it over a finite bandwidth that way. We match it over the entire spectrum here. If you had that type of response, you would have significant phase distortion at the cutoff frequency. There is none observable.

        Paul, himself, was still hoping to find an out by the end of the conversation:

        “Bart, I think we are generally speaking the same language. However, I have yet to convince myself that the observations cannot be explained – as Ferdinand has suggested – by the high frequency variation (and derivative) being temperature dominated and the longer period change being dominated by anthropogenic addition.”

        That is where he left off. I promise you, if he continued looking, he has convinced himself by now. There is no out.

        “…will increase the pCO2 in the atmosphere, which reduces the upwelling…”

        The upwelling cannot be reduced. The outgassing to the atmosphere can be decreased, but the upwelling into the surface oceans cannot be reduced.

        “…both effects together will give a transient response of CO2 in the atmosphere until a new steady state is reached.”

        Were that the case, it would hold for anthropogenic inputs as well, and they could not drive the concentration substantially higher, either.

        It is not the case. The feedback from atmospheric partial pressure is not as powerful as you imagine. In fact, it is very weak. You can essentially ignore it over the relevant timeline. Again, the ocean is the dog… no, I take that back. The ocean is the elephant. The atmosphere is just his tail.

      • fhhaynie:

        Ferdinand,
        It is very unlikely that a “steady state” is ever reached near the sea surface of the tropical oceans.

        Fred, “steady state” has two legs: the inputs and the outputs. The inputs at the tropical upwelling places never will cease, neither do the sink places near the poles (except if the earth stops turning around its axes…).
        The steady state is about input fluxes and output fluxes. If these are in equilibrium, steady state is reached. Currently around 40 GtC/year, be it with ~3 GtC/year more output than input.
        If the ocean surface temperature increases with 1 K, the pCO2 of the oceans increases with about 16 μatm, that increases the CO2 influx at the equator and decreases the outflux near the poles (each about 3%). The difference increases the pCO2 in the atmosphere. Once the atmospheric CO2 increased with 16 ppmv, the original pCO2 differences between atmosphere and ocean surfaces are restored and so are the input and output fluxes…:

        Currently we are at 110 ppmv above steady state for the current ocean surface temperature, therefore there is slightly more sink than source, which dwarfs the temperature influence…

      • The assumption that the earth has some type of “dynamic equilibrium” or steady state that is being upset by anthropogenic emissions is your problem.

      • Bart:

        CO2 does lag T. But, it is not an arbitrary lag. It is 90 degrees in phase across the entire spectrum. Which means it is an integral relationship.

        Agreed, but the integral is between T and CO2 (NOT dCO2/dt) in the atmosphere: not more than 4-5 ppmv/°C for the variability (caused by vegetation, which integrates negative over periods longer than 1-3 years) and up to 16 ppmv/°C for the oceans.
        Over the full 57 years, that is ~10 ppmv extra or 0.18 ppmv/year offset from zero. The only “slope” you may have from the non-linearity of warming ocean waters per Henry’s law is 0.005 ppmv/year at the end of the full period. Big deal.
        The integral is not between dCO2/dt and T, because the former doesn’t lag T. The integral is between dCO2/dt and dT/dt and because the latter has zero slope, dCO2/dt has zero slope too, only a slight offset from zero.

        There is no such requirement. That is you imposing how you want things to be. The data contradict it. It is wrong.

        Over 3 million measurements confirm that the ocean waters react quite linear to temperature. The error in non-linearity of pCO2 for a temperature change is less than 3% of the measured change for small changes.

        From http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/CO2/carbondioxide/text/LMG06_8_data_report.doc

        The value for Tin situ is taken to be the seawater temperature measured by the ship’s thermosalinograph at the time of pCO2 measurements. Teq is generally warmer than Tin-situ by 0.5 ~ 0.8 °C. Hence the temperature correction is normally less than 3% of pCO2 values.

        If you had that type of response, you would have significant phase distortion at the cutoff frequency.

        Bart, this is not a high frequency feedback process of one variable, this is the sum of many independent processes, each with their own reaction amplitude to temperature, without an appreciable feedback on temperature, all transient responses plus human emissions, which have no appreciable connection with temperature. The sum of all these processes has all the variability caused by vegetation, without any phase distortion, plus the effect of warming oceans plus the effect of human emissions.

        The upwelling cannot be reduced. The outgassing to the atmosphere can be decreased, but the upwelling into the surface oceans cannot be reduced.

        Sorry, lapsus: I meant the CO2 outgassing to the atmosphere (and the CO2 sink fluxes, as is clear from the graph), which is completely absent in your formula and is the main point in discussion: the increase in the atmosphere restores the CO2 fluxes at 16 ppmv/°C for a constant upwelling (mass and concentration).

        Were that the case, it would hold for anthropogenic inputs as well, and they could not drive the concentration substantially higher, either.

        Again, you are thinking as if all CO2 is regulated by one process Temperature did regulate CO2 in the 800,000 past and the current huge seasonal changes and the 1-3 years variability around the trend and a small increase from warming ocean surfaces.
        Temperature doesn’t cope with increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, pressure does. That is a much slower process (tau of over 50 years) than short term temperature regulated processes, but much faster than the deep ocean temperature exchanges over glacial/interglacial intervals…

      • “… the integral is between T and CO2 (NOT dCO2/dt) in the atmosphere…”

        I really wonder now if you know what an integral is. dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) means that CO2 is the integral of k*(T – T0):

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        implies

        CO2 = CO2(t0) + integral(dCO2/dt) = CO2(t0) + integral(k*(T-T0))

        That is the empirical observation, not open to negotiation. It implies immediately that CO2 will lag T by 90 degrees. And, conversely, if CO2 lags T by 90 degrees at all frequencies, then CO2 has an integral relationship with T.

        “…not more than 4-5 ppmv/°C for the variability (caused by vegetation, which integrates negative over periods longer than 1-3 years) and up to 16 ppmv/°C for the oceans.”

        Again, the relationship dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) is the empirical observation, not open to negotiation. It says, for as long as the conditions that produce this dynamic hold, CO2 will continue to rise as long as T is greater than T0.

        You can claim whatever you want, but if it is inconsistent with the empirical observation, then your claim is wrong.

        It is quite simple. Your claim is inconsistent with the empirical observation. It is wrong.

        The medieval mathematicians insisted that the planets moved in circles about the Earth. They were just sure that it had to. But, it was contradicted by Galileo’s empirical observations. When the data contradict your hypothesis, you are wrong, and you need to rethink things.

        “Over 3 million measurements confirm that the ocean waters react quite linear to temperature.”

        Locally in the very short term. Over the long term, with continual flows of the THC, it reacts differently. It reacts as dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0).

        “… this is not a high frequency feedback process of one variable…”

        When you alter dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) to dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) – CO2/time_constant, you are defacto imposing a high pass filter on the outcome of CO2 = CO2(t0) + integral(k*(T-T0)). Were the time constant any shorter than about 10X the record length, it would cause an observable phase distortion.

        There is no such observable phase distortion. That tells us that, if there is such an additional term, it has no significance over the timeline of observation, and we may take dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) as the effective dynamic over this time interval.

        “I meant the CO2 outgassing to the atmosphere (and the CO2 sink fluxes, as is clear from the graph), which is completely absent in your formula and is the main point in discussion: the increase in the atmosphere restores the CO2 fluxes at 16 ppmv/°C for a constant upwelling (mass and concentration).”

        Again, this is only a local, short term process. In the longer term over the entire globe, dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0). That is the non-negotiable, empirical observation.

        “Again, you are thinking as if all CO2 is regulated by one process …”

        Not necessarily. I am simply demanding that all sources be treated equally. There cannot be one response for natural inputs, and a different one for anthropogenic inputs. If natural inputs could not drive CO2 higher, then anthropogenic ones could not, either.

      • fhhaynie October 29, 2015 at 3:47 am

        “The assumption that the earth has some type of “dynamic equilibrium” or steady state that is being upset by anthropogenic emissions is your problem.”

        Yes. They base that assumption on the twin assumptions that the ice cores produce a reliable record of CO2 in equilibrium over hundreds of years, and that condition continues to hold up to the present time.

        But,

        A) The ice core records are not independently verifiable over the greater part of those hundreds of years, particularly in the long ago past

        B) To the extent that they are verifiable with recent measurements, it is a trivial tautology, because they calibrate the one against the other

        C) There is no assurance that the conditions which might have maintained such a putative balance continue to this day

        Nature, as scientists well know, is mischievous. It delights in confounding our intuition and expectations. Murry Salby has shown how the ice core record can degrade for the distant past.

        “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods” – Albert Einstein

      • Bart:

        I really wonder now if you know what an integral is. dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) means that CO2 is the integral of k*(T – T0):

        I really wonder if you know what a transient response is. dCO2/dt is not the integral of k*(T-T0), it is the integral of dT/dt, where the 90°. lag is. There is no lag between the variability of dCO2/dt and T, thus no integral. Moreover, your formula is only based on the arbitrary match of two slopes, not based on any physical mechanism, as the slope of dCO2/dt for the part caused by temperature is practically zero and no factor in the world can match the amplitude of the variability’s with a zero slope.
        All what you did is attributing the slope in dCO2/dt to temperature, because both have a slope, while the whole slope is caused by human emissions, completely dwarfing the 10 ppmv increase caused by warming oceans per Henry’s law.

        CO2 will continue to rise as long as T is greater than T0.

        Again pure nonsense, that violates all observations, especially Henry’s law which says that for any increase in temperature the new steady state will go up (transiently) with not more than 16 ppmv/°C. That is all, the rest is from human emissions. Your formula doesn’t take into account the decrease of the CO2 influx and increase of CO2 outflux for the increasing CO2 pressure in the atmosphere.

        When the data contradict your hypothesis, you are wrong, and you need to rethink things.

        Says the man which hypothesis conflicts with all known observations…

        When you alter dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) to dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) – CO2/time_constant, you are defacto imposing a high pass filter on the outcome of CO2 = CO2(t0) + integral(k*(T-T0))

        Again, you see the combination of CO2 changes as one process. All the short term variability is caused by the influence of temperature on vegetation. That integrates to below zero after 1-3 years, vegetation is a net, proven sink for CO2. The transient response of CO2 from the oceans to temperature changes is positive and slower and human emissions are hardly influenced by temperature. Thus at least three independent processes influence the CO2 increase in the atmosphere. There is no influence of the oceans caused CO2 or human emissions on the frequency, timing or amplitude of the CO2 rate of change caused by vegetation. The net result is the simple sum of all three processes.

        Again, this is only a local, short term process. In the longer term over the entire globe, dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0). That is the non-negotiable, empirical observation.

        Where in your formula k = 4 ppmv/year today, 0.02 ppmv/year over a glacial-interglacial transition, 0.0001 ppmv/year during the Holocene, 0.12 ppmv/year for the MWP-LIA transition,… Take your pick to match the slopes. While the simple application of Henry’s law over the past 800,000 years shows 16 ppmv/°C for every period, including the current period for the oceans (and less for vegetation)…

        Not necessarily. I am simply demanding that all sources be treated equally. There cannot be one response for natural inputs, and a different one for anthropogenic inputs. If natural inputs could not drive CO2 higher, then anthropogenic ones could not, either.

        All sources are not equal. Short term temperature changes have a short term influence on vegetation which zeroes out, even goes negative, in 1-3 years.
        Temperature changes have a slower, transient response on ocean CO2 releases at 16 ppmv/°C and then it stops per Henry’s law. Temperature did drive the glacial – interglacial transitions of 100 ppmv at a rate of 0.02 ppmv/year.
        Temperature changes have hardly any influence on human emissions, neither on the decay rate of the emissions which are above the steady state level of the oceans. Current emissions are ~4.5 ppmv/year, a little faster than the influence of temperature on warming oceans over 5,000 years and the only decay of that excess is possible by pressure, not temperature.
        Thus human emissions are very capable of driving CO2 levels up much faster than the oceans did in the past…

      • Bart:

        A) The ice core records are not independently verifiable over the greater part of those hundreds of years, particularly in the long ago past

        There are few other kinds of proxies available for the long ago past, but for the past 600 years we have coralline sponges which completely parallel ice core records for their 13C/12C ratio in CO2. In complete ratio with human emissions. Long enough to show the small variability until 1850 and the enormous dip thereafter.

        B) To the extent that they are verifiable with recent measurements, it is a trivial tautology, because they calibrate the one against the other

        Pure nonsense: ice core measurements are completely independent from any other measurements: either NDIR, GC or mass spectrometers are used for CO2 or 13C/12C ratio, both in the atmosphere (20 years overlap) or coralline sponges (600 years overlap, 2-4 years resolution in the sponges).

        C) There is no assurance that the conditions which might have maintained such a putative balance continue to this day

        Indeed, all what we know for sure is that the current increase of 160 ppmv and drop of 1.8 per mil δ13C is unprecedented in at least the past 800,000 years. Just by coincidence the period that humans started to release lots of CO2…

      • “…dCO2/dt is not the integral of k*(T-T0), it is the integral of dT/dt…”

        Wrong. Data say dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0).

        “There is no lag between the variability of dCO2/dt and T, thus no integral.”

        Do…I…need…to…type…more…slowly? The lack of variability means

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        which implies

        CO2 = CO2(t0) + integral(k*(T-T0))

        There is the integral right there.

        Really, Ferdinand. This is very basic. If you do not understand it, you really should not be commenting.

        “Moreover, your formula is only based on the arbitrary match of two slopes…”

        Again, it is a match across the entire frequency spread, including all the variability.

        “…not based on any physical mechanism…”

        … that you know of. Again, you do not need to know the physical mechanism that drives a train to know you better get off the track when it is bearing down on you. You do not sit there denying the existence of any until the train crushes you under its wheels.

        “All what you did is attributing the slope in dCO2/dt to temperature, because both have a slope, while the whole slope is caused by human emissions…”

        The slope (or trend) AND all the variations. The slope cannot be caused by human emissions. It is already accounted for by the excellent fit with all the variations of the temperature series.

        “… that violates all observations, especially Henry’s law…”

        It doesn’t violate Henry’s law. Henry’s law holds for a static pool of water. The oceans are not static.

        This is a dynamic flow problem. You are stuck in a static world.

        “Says the man which hypothesis conflicts with all known observations…”

        Doesn’t conflict with a single one, only with your interpretation of them. But, yours conflicts with the observation that dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0).

        “Again, you see …”

        It is not what I see. It is what you fail to see.

        In order to remove the trend in dCO2/dt induced by T, so as to make room for anthropogenic forcing, you must high pass filter out the trend in T. You, or rather Nature, cannot do it without inducing significant phase distortion which is not observable.

        You don’t need all this speculation on what you think ought to be happening. The data are very clear.

        “While the simple application of Henry’s law…”

        This isn’t a simple application, and you are misapplying Henry’s law in this dynamic, flowing system.

        ” Short term temperature changes have a short term influence on vegetation which zeroes out, even goes negative, in 1-3 years.”

        There may be such influences, but the major long term influence produces a dynamic of the form dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0).

        It’s right in front of your eyes. This

        is no coincidence. It matches the trend. It matches the variability about the trend. It matches the whole thing.

        “Temperature changes have a slower, transient response on ocean CO2 releases…”

        Sorry. No. The dynamic is dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0). There is zero doubt about it. You are contradicted by the data. See above plot.

      • “…for the past 600 years we have coralline sponges which completely parallel ice core records for their 13C/12C ratio in CO2…”

        Whether or no, the ratio does not confirm the CO2 level.

        “…ice core measurements are completely independent from any other measurements…”

        Nonsense. How else would they even match up the time?

        “…all what we know for sure is that the current increase of 160 ppmv and drop of 1.8 per mil δ13C is unprecedented in at least the past 800,000 years.”

        We don’t know that at all. There is no independent confirmation.

      • Bart:

        Do…I…need…to…type…more…slowly? The lack of variability means

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        Based on what? The only response from your side was a reference to an article which describes the response of a high frequency signal with a huge feedback to itself. That has no resemblance of what happens with the influence of temperature on CO2 levels at all. There is hardly any feedback of CO2 on temperature, but there is an important feedback of increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere on CO2 in/out fluxes caused by temperature or upwelling. That lacks completely in your formula.

        This is very basic. If you do not understand it, you really should not be commenting.

        Bart if you don’t understand that any change in pressure in the atmosphere does immediately influence the in/out fluxes of CO2 from/to the oceans, then I wonder what you understand of simple first order processes.

        It doesn’t violate Henry’s law. Henry’s law holds for a static pool of water. The oceans are not static.

        What part of “steady state” or “dynamic equilibrium” don’t you understand? Henry’s law influences both influxes and outfluxes of CO2. Any increase in the atmosphere reduces the CO2 influx and increases the CO2 outflux. At 16 ppmv increase in the atmosphere, a 1°C increase in temperature of all ocean surface waters is fully dynamically compensated. Where is that term in your formula?

        The slope (or trend) AND all the variations. The slope cannot be caused by human emissions. It is already accounted for by the excellent fit with all the variations of the temperature series.

        Again, only the variability. Temperature has zero influence on the slope of dCO2/dt, as a linear increase in temperature gives a quasi-linear increase in CO2, thus an almost flat trend in dCO2/dt.

        Nonsense. How else would they even match up the time?

        Sorry Bart, if you need to use the errors (already refuted by Etheridge e.a. in 1996) of the late Dr. Jaworowski who apparently didn’t know that there is a difference between the average gas age and that of the surrounding ice, then you simply have no arguments… Jaworowski did lookup the wrong column in the table of the Siple ice core by Neftel…

        Again this whole exercise is fruitless. I have sent a full explanation of why you are wrong to Anthony as guest post. Hope that he will publish it shortly.

      • “Based on what?”

        “Henry’s law influences both influxes and outfluxes of CO2.”

        For a closed system in static equilibrium. When there is new CO2 coming into the oceans and exiting all the time, any imbalance in those two will cause a buildup in the oceans which will subsequently cause a buildup in the atmosphere.

        “Temperature has zero influence on the slope of dCO2/dt, as a linear increase in temperature gives a quasi-linear increase in CO2, thus an almost flat trend in dCO2/dt.”

        Quite evidently, you are wrong. Open your eyes.

        “…if you need to use the errors …”

        It doesn’t matter if you think it is an error or not. The plain simple fact of the matter is that, you must have a method to match up the series in time. And, that matchup is, in essence, a calibration.

      • “For a closed system in static equilibrium. When there is new CO2 coming into the oceans and exiting all the time, any imbalance in those two will cause a buildup in the oceans which will subsequently cause a buildup in the atmosphere.”

        By this, of course, I mean the surface layer of the oceans.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen:

        I have sent a full explanation of why you are wrong to Anthony as guest post. Hope that he will publish it shortly.

        I look forward to it eagerly. The real-science posts on this site have become increasing infrequent (although Patrick Moore’s recent stellar contribution has gone far toward making up for it.)

      • Bart:

        For a closed system in static equilibrium. When there is new CO2 coming into the oceans and exiting all the time, any imbalance in those two will cause a buildup in the oceans which will subsequently cause a buildup in the atmosphere.

        Indeed you have not the slightest idea where you are talking about. At any moment of the day, CO2 is released in the tropics and taken away near the poles. That is called a dynamic system and if in equilibrium with the atmosphere, that is a dynamic equilibrium or “steady state”.
        If that system is in steady state and the temperature increases or the CO2 concentration in the deep ocean upwelling increases, or both, the input flux increases and that increases the CO2 level in the atmosphere, until a new dynamic equilibrium between input and output fluxes is reached. For 1°C temperature increase that is 16 ppmv extra in the atmosphere. That is all. Nothing more. 10 ppmv in the past 57 years. Not 70 ppmv.
        The same increase per Henry’s law as for a static equilibrium of a closed sample in a laboratory as for the global oceans…

        Quite evidently, you are wrong. Open your eyes.

        Again, the slope of dCO2/dt caused by temperature is near zero, even if all variability is explained by temperature variability.
        All increase of dCO2/dt is explained by human emissions and the decay rate of slightly over 50 years for any extra CO2 shot in the atmosphere above the temperature dictated steady state:

        My match of the slopes is at least as good as yours, but without using any arbitrary factor and offset to match the slopes…

        BTW, the ice core average gas age was measured by Etheridge and that did give a 20 year overlap between ice core CO2 levels and direct measurements in the atmosphere…

      • “For 1°C temperature increase that is 16 ppmv extra in the atmosphere. That is all. Nothing more.”

        No, Ferdinand. That is what would happen if the oceans were static. In the real world, the downwelling outflow is restricted, causing a backup, and an increase in pCO2 of the surface oceans.

        “Again, the slope of dCO2/dt caused by temperature is near zero, even if all variability is explained by temperature variability.”

        You are obviously wrong.

        “My match of the slopes is at least as good as yours…”

        No it isn’t, because you don’t match the variability. And, you do not even match the trend for the last 15 years.

        “BTW, the ice core average gas age was measured by Etheridge and that did give a 20 year overlap between ice core CO2 levels and direct measurements in the atmosphere…”

        Only after selecting the level of the ice to assign a particular epoch based upon matching the results. And, as the match is low information (virtually monotonic time series in both over the span of overlap), it’s not hard to get it.

      • “BTW, the ice core average gas age was measured by Etheridge and that did give a 20 year overlap between ice core CO2 levels and direct measurements in the atmosphere…”

        Disregard my last response. I did not read closely enough.

        How was the age measured? What are the 3-sigma error bars? What were the years of overlap?

      • From what I can read quickly, it looks like they can mark the years as they pass, but not actually date the gas.

        This could perhaps lead to misidentifying the age by +/- a few years, I’d guess, but it is not really germane. I withdraw my point B. But, there still is

        A) The ice core records are not independently verifiable over the greater part of those hundreds of years, particularly in the long ago past

        C) There is no assurance that the conditions which might have maintained such a putative balance continue to this day

      • Yeah, bart, and his slopes wouldn’t even be close were it not for the two obvious step rises in temperature with their corresponding step rises in the carbon growthrate (late seventies and late nineties…). I asked him if he really expected the carbon growth rate to soon rise back up to 53% of human emissions without a corresponding rise in temperature (thus keeping his gossamer correlation alive). All i heard in response were chirping crickets…

      • Bart:

        No, Ferdinand. That is what would happen if the oceans were static. In the real world, the downwelling outflow is restricted, causing a backup, and an increase in pCO2 of the surface oceans.

        That only shows that you have no idea what happens in the real world: both the CO2 influxes and outfluxes are directly proportional to the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and ocean waters. If the pCO2 in the atmosphere increases, the CO2 influx of the oceans decreases and the outflux to the oceans increases immediately. That is a dynamic response to an increase in ocean surface temperature and thus the pCO2 of the ocean waters.

        No it isn’t, because you don’t match the variability. And, you do not even match the trend for the last 15 years.

        You don’t match the trend during 35 years of the 57 years if one looks at shorter periods. Temperatures go down, while CO2 rate of change goes up, reversing the amplitudes of the variability if you try to match the slopes with a negative factor.

        I do match the variability and the slope: the variability is the transient response of CO2 from vegetation to temperature changes with a 90 deg. lag. The temperature derivative has no slope, neither has the CO2 derivative caused by temperature and that lags T with 90 deg. If you add the CO2 variability to the slope caused by the emissions, slope and variability match:

        The result is the simple sum of variability and emissions, as the “airborne fraction” of human emissions is pressure dependent while the variability is temperature dependent and these don’t influence each other.

        Not summed in this plot, as dCO2/dt are monthly values and emissions are yearly values…

      • Fonzie:

        It doesn’t matter if the ratio never returns to 53%, the 53% is just coincidence, it is the result of the slightly quadratic increase of human emissions with as result a slightly quadratic increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere and in sink rate. That gives a nice correlation. But that is not of the slightest interest. It does get 10% one year, 90% next year, 40% in one decade, 60% in the next decade: that is the natural variability in the sink rate. Temperature is the main driver of that variability, but there may be other factors too.

        As long as the increase is less than human emissions, human emissions are responsible for (most of) the increase…

      • Fonzie,

        Correlation between total human CO2 emissions and increase in the atmosphere: R^2 = 0.9977
        Correlation between temperature and increase in the atmosphere: R^2 = 0.7727
        Correlation between temperature derivative and CO2 derivative: high, but that is for the variability, about +/- 1 ppmv around the trend…

      • ” Correlation between total human CO2 emissions and increase in the atmosphere: R^2 = 0.9977
        Correlation between temperature and increase in the atmosphere: R^2 = 0.7727
        Correlation between temperature derivative and CO2 derivative: high, but that is for the variability, about +/- 1 ppmv around the trend…”
        But what would the correlation be if you presumed temp regulated co2, and not Co2 regulating temps?

      • micro6500:

        But what would the correlation be if you presumed temp regulated co2, and not Co2 regulating temps?

        The R^2 of 0.783 (I added the data of 2013) was for the influence of temperature on CO2, the opposite gives the same R^2… Some very long time ago I did work on statistics…

        As correlation doesn’t show causation. In this case I would say that the causation is mostly from human emissions towards CO2 levels in the atmosphere, a little from temperature on CO2 levels and very little from increased CO2 levels on temperature.
        I don’t think that CO2 levels have an influence on human emissions, but temperature may have, if it is freezing cold outside…

      • As correlation doesn’t show causation. In this case I would say that the causation is mostly from human emissions towards CO2 levels in the atmosphere, a little from temperature on CO2 levels and very little from increased CO2 levels on temperature.

        But, we can’t tell whether the chicken or the egg came first.
        And I can show in surface data that after each year since 1940 there is no residual accumulation of surface temp, with measurement uncertainty the annual average change in daily temp is 0.0F +/-0.1F, if you don’t limit the significant digits the surface is cooling slightly more than it warms the day before over ~78 Million surface records,the only records not used are for stations that don’t collect less than 360 days of data per year.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen October 30, 2015 at 1:09 am

        “If the pCO2 in the atmosphere increases, the CO2 influx of the oceans decreases and the outflux to the oceans increases immediately.”

        The evolution of dynamic systems is just not your forte, Ferdinand. As in the case of the pseudo-mass balance hooey, you can’t seem to move beyond a static outlook.

        Maybe this will help. Think of a river which splits around an island. The left side is slightly elevated relative to the right, so just a small creek (the atmosphere, in this analogy) goes around the island on that side. The main river goes to the right, and represents the oceans.

        A dam is placed across the river downstream past the island. The water rises. But, this river flows very slowly (its source is, itself, a spring bubbllng up into a wide basin, and the river is virtually a lake). So, it takes many years before the water overtops the dam and reestablishes the downstream flow (this is analogous to the pCO2 of the oceans rising enough to overcome the “dam” caused by increased temperature restricting the downwelling of CO2).

        The water doesn’t rise only in the river portion. It rises in the creek, too. And, until such a time as the dam can be overtopped, it rises at a constant rate.

        “You don’t match the trend during 35 years of the 57 years…”

        You are rationalizing, using inapplicable statistical tools to deny what is right in front of your eyes.

        “I do match the variability and the slope…”

        NO YOU DO NOT. You are 90 degrees out of phase. Your purple line lags your green one, and it lags it by precisely 90 degrees of phase.

        THAT IS NOT A MATCH.

        Not even close.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen October 30, 2015 at 1:19 am

        “It does get 10% one year, 90% next year, 40% in one decade, 60% in the next decade…”

        Rationalization. Epicycles. Occam’s razor: the simplest explanation is that CO2 rate of change is affine with temperature. No need for wild speculation. It matches the whole time since at least 1959, no hand waving necessary.

        “Correlation between temperature and increase in the atmosphere: R^2 = 0.7727”

        Nonsense.

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/mean:24/plot/hadcrut4sh/from:1959/scale:0.22/offset:0.1/integral/offset:315

        R^2 = 0.96

        And, that’s just by doing the fit by eyeballing.

      • Bart,

        You have a lively fantasy for defending your theory…
        Your analogy has not the slightest resemblance with what happens with CO2 between the atmosphere and the oceans, as there is no “dam” or restriction of any kind in the CO2 sinks more than was in the past: the sink rate is simply linearly proportional to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere above steady state, at least in the past 57 years: a factor 4 increase in all three: emissions, increase in the atmosphere and net sink rate.
        Only dwarfed by the natural carbon cycle, if that increased a 4-fold in the same time frame. For which is not the slightest indication…

        Again, it is a dynamic equilibrium: CO2 is continuously coming in and going out, directly proportional to the difference in CO2 pressure between atmosphere and ocean surfaces.

        If the pCO2 of the oceans changes, either by temperature or more/less upwelling or more/less downwelling, the pCO2 of the atmosphere follows with a transient response. For 1°C temperature change that is 16 ppmv not more, not less. For changes in upwelling or downwelling, that is proportional to the change.

        If you can’t (or want) to understand that, sorry, but that is not my problem, I have done my best.

        NO YOU DO NOT. You are 90 degrees out of phase. Your purple line lags your green one, and it lags it by precisely 90 degrees of phase.
        THAT IS NOT A MATCH.
        Not even close.

        It seems that you have a blind spot in your mind, or you are willfully obtuse. If you have some idea about what the meaning is of a transient response, then you should know that the response of dCO2/dt changes must lag dT/dt changes with (maximum) 90 degrees.
        If you add the purple line values to the calculated result of human emissions (the red line), you have an almost perfect match between human cause of the slope + natural variability and what is observed in the atmosphere.
        At least as “perfect” as your use of an arbitrary offset and factor, which has troubles to match the amplitudes of the variability if the slopes are far different, as slopes and variability are from different processes…

        BTW, if some “match” in slopes is opposite for 35 of the 57 years, then your “match” is a matter of begin- and endpoint choice. Plus the fact that with a common factor you switch the amplitudes upside down if the slopes are crossing. In reality, variability and slopes are from different processes and have their own T-CO2-factor, proven independent of each other, no problem with (partially) non matching/different slopes at all…

      • “… as there is no “dam” or restriction of any kind in the CO2 sinks more than was in the past…”

        You’re not even on the same page.

        I’m not talking about sink activity. I am talking about the natural depletion of CO2 as it flows down dissolved in the downwelling waters. When temperature rises, less dissolves, and gets carried to the depths. That causes a buildup in the surface waters, and hence in the atmosphere.

        “If you have some idea about what the meaning is of a transient response, then you should know that the response of dCO2/dt changes must lag dT/dt changes with (maximum) 90 degrees.”

        Absolute nonsense. You can have any phase response from 0 to -infinity, and not generally linear across all frequencies.

        If dCO2/dt lags dT/dt by 90 degrees across all frequencies, then it has an integral relationship with that process. Which means CO2 has an integral relationship with T, i.e.,

        CO2 = CO2(t0) + integral(k*(T – T0))

        There is absolutely no way around it. It is if and only if.

        You do not match the phase. Your model does not match. And, the only way you can get it to match is by using the integral relationship above. And, when you do that, you have no need for human emissions to match atmospheric concentration.

        We keep going around and around on this same point. You just do not know what you are talking about. And, it is irresponsible for you to represent yourself as if you do.

        “…f some “match” in slopes is opposite for 35 of the 57 years,…”

        A ridiculus cherry pick of low SNR few years at a time? What the hell kind of analysis is that? This is unworthy of being taken seriously.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen October 30, 2015 at 12:18 pm

        This is idiotic. You’ve got to integrate the temperature, Ferdinand. That is the model:

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

      • Bart:

        I’m not talking about sink activity. I am talking about the natural depletion of CO2 as it flows down dissolved in the downwelling waters. When temperature rises, less dissolves, and gets carried to the depths. That causes a buildup in the surface waters, and hence in the atmosphere.

        If the temperature rises, indeed less is going into the depths.
        The pCO2 of the surface waters increased with 16 μatm/°C and thus the pCO2 difference between atmosphere are ocean surface decreased with 16 μatm/°C or about 3% of the pCO2 difference, thus the CO2 outflux is reduced with about 3%/°C. That causes a buildup in the atmosphere, as also the CO2 release at the upwelling side increased by about 3%/°C by the same increase in temperature.

        What you don’t get or refuse to get is that with an increase of 16 μatm (~16 ppmv) in the atmosphere for 1°C temperature increase the original pressure difference is restored and thus the original in and out fluxes. That is a transient response: the initial increase is fast, but gets smaller and smaller until the new steady state is reached.

        If the CO2 levels in the atmosphere do rise above the steady state level for a given temperature, by whatever cause, an overall sink activity in the oceans is created which is directly proportional to the height of the increase above the steady state. For the same reasons as for temperature changes: any change of the CO2 pressure in the atmosphere affects the ocean CO2 sources and sinks.

        Absolute nonsense. You can have any phase response from 0 to -infinity, and not generally linear across all frequencies.

        That only shows that you have no idea of what a transient response is. From Paul_K at the link you know:

        The output response is phase-shifted relative to any sinusoidal temperature input; as response times get larger, the phase shift asymptotes to a shift of exactly pi/2. Hence, putting any realistic (i.e. long) transient response in place brings temperature exactly into phase with dCO2/dt.

        If dCO2/dt lags dT/dt by 90 degrees across all frequencies, then it has an integral relationship with that process. Which means CO2 has an integral relationship with T, i.e.,
        CO2 = CO2(t0) + integral(k*(T – T0))

        Yes, it is an integral relationship, but a fading one: a transient response is NOT a straightforward integral as the difference with the target, a new steady state, reduces towards zero. To use Paul_K’s formula:
        τ * dCO2/dt = ΔT – f(T)* ΔCO2

        What you don’t accept is that the increased CO2 pressure caused by temperature in the atmosphere is a direct feedback on CO2 in and out fluxes: 16 ppmv extra in the atmosphere is enough to completely and immediately compensate for 1°C increase in temperature.

        You do not match the phase. Your model does not match.

        Bart are you blinded by your belief in your own only glorious formula? The phase of the purple variability in dCO2/dt(temp) caused by temperature variation is exactly the same as what is measured in the atmosphere (the blue variability dCO2(12)/dt line) and lags the green variability line of dT/dt with 90 deg. The sum of the red line dCO2/dt(emiss), caused by human emissions and dCO2/dt caused by temperature should match what happened in the atmosphere…
        Unfortunately for your theory, my theory fits reality at least as good as yours, that is for dCO2/dt without a slope and all variability while human emissions are responsible for all the increase over time without much variability…

        A ridiculus cherry pick of low SNR few years at a time? What the hell kind of analysis is that? This is unworthy of being taken seriously.

        If more than half the time the slopes are opposite to each other and the consequence is that the amplitudes are upside down, may I than question the link between amplitudes and slopes, or not? Which BTW is proven caused by different processes…

      • “What you don’t get or refuse to get is that with an increase of 16 μatm (~16 ppmv) in the atmosphere for 1°C temperature increase the original pressure difference is restored and thus the original in and out fluxes.”

        No, Ferdinand. We’re not talking about atmospheric pressure. We are talking about the amount of CO2 upwelling, and the amount downwelling. If the amount of the latter is less than the amount for the former, then the pCO2 of the surface oceans is going to increase.

        The atmospheric concentration is going to track that change in the oceanic concentration.

        You are thinking only of the effect of temperature on the relative concentration of the surface oceans and atmosphere. But, the surface oceans’ concentration is going to increase all on its own simply because it is continually getting new CO2 in from the upwelling waters, and the downwelling waters are not taking as much back down again.

        “That only shows that you have no idea of what a transient response is.”

        That only shows you have no idea what you are talking about. From your quote:

        “…as response times get larger, the phase shift asymptotes to a shift of exactly pi/2.”

        He is talking about a 1-box response. And, that asymptotic limit is the response of an integral.

        “Hence, putting any realistic (i.e. long) transient response in place brings temperature exactly into phase with dCO2/dt.”

        Exactly. And, since the response has to be long enough that we see 90 degree phase shift for the entire observation interval, it means that for that observation interval, there is essentially no difference between the true system response and pure integration.

        “To use Paul_K’s formula:
        τ * dCO2/dt = ΔT – f(T)* ΔCO2”

        Using Paul’s formula and fitting it to the record means we have to make f(T) very small. This is what I have been trying to get through to you. If f(T) is significant over the time interval of observation, then you are de facto taking the result of the pure integration, and putting it through a high pass filter, and that high pass filtering operation would leave behind a very marked phase distortion.

        There is no observable phase distortion. Therefore f(T) is negligible over this interval of observation, and the dynamic is equivalently

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        “The phase of the purple variability in dCO2/dt(temp) caused by …”

        I don’t know what you are pulling here. I think you just scaled your dT/dt, then arbitrarily shifted it forward to get your dCO2/dt. There is no equivalent process in nature which can do that. You’ve got to integrate to get that phase shift across the board.

        Give me precise details on exactly what you did, and I will explain to you where you are going wrong.

        “If more than half the time the slopes are opposite to each other and the consequence is that the amplitudes are upside down, may I than question the link between amplitudes and slopes, or not?”

        In the first place, it isn’t the “slopes”, it is the slope in trend estimates of least squares fits. Least squares fits to short intervals of noisy data. There is nothing magical about least squares fits. You can’t just feed them noise, and expect them to uncover truth. Their output is, itself, a random variable, and the shorter the interval, the lower the SNR, and the more random they become.

        This is just so stupid. Look at the plot

        It’s as perfect a match as you can hope to get with noisy data in the real world. What the hell is wrong with you? Look at the damned plot!

      • Yes, I think that is exactly what you did.

        The purple line is an exact duplicate of the green line, only scaled and arbitrarily shifted forward.

        Not only is that arbitrary shifting verboten, but it still doesn’t match very well. In order to get the scaling to match the central peak, you don’t match hardly any of the other ripples. There is virtually no similarly between late 2000 and 2010. That is because you do not have the frequency dependent gain of the integral.

        It is nowhere near as good as the fit here

      • Bart, ferdinand actually gave me a graph of 18 of those 35 years, ’77 – ’95… The last three or four years are are useless in comparison in that they are the pinatubo cooling years which don’t even show up in southern hemisphere data. Another eight years or so in the middle of that period, i was able to fiddle around with the trend lines and get matching slopes. That left only about half a decade at the beginning which did not match up real well (my dim recollection is that hadsst3sh was a better fit than hadcrut4sh here). As you say, perhaps just “noise” in the data…

      • Bart:

        No, Ferdinand. We’re not talking about atmospheric pressure. We are talking about the amount of CO2 upwelling, and the amount downwelling. If the amount of the latter is less than the amount for the former, then the pCO2 of the surface oceans is going to increase.

        The atmospheric concentration is going to track that change in the oceanic concentration.

        You are only showing that you have not the slightest idea what happens in the real world. Atmospheric pressure is the result of an unbalance, but also influences the unbalance, it is a feedback itself.

        – The amounts of upwelling and downwelling is a complete separate issue of the influence of temperature, which is the subject of interest.
        – Even if there is a unbalance between CO2 from upwelling and downwelling, the in/decrease of CO2 in the atmosphere will ultimately restore the unbalance, with a transient response.
        – Temperature changes influence the same unbalance, but that is largely linear for a small temperature change with a very small non-linear term.
        – Temperature changes are completely compensated with a 16 ppmv/°C change in the atmosphere, again with a transient response.
        – The real world increase is currently 110 ppmv above the steady state for the current ocean temperature per Henry’s law.
        – Both theory and real life measurements show that the oceans are a net sink for CO2, not a source.

        Thus as usual, you only see what happens at one side of the balance, but forget to include the other side of the equation: the feedback…

        I don’t know what you are pulling here. I think you just scaled your dT/dt, then arbitrarily shifted it forward to get your dCO2/dt. There is no equivalent process in nature which can do that. You’ve got to integrate to get that phase shift across the board.

        Thanks for the insult: I did apply the rules for a transient response of CO2 to temperature changes with an ultimate response of 4-5 ppmv/°C. That shows an exact shift of 90° after temperature variability for all frequencies and zero slope after 1-3 years, as was calculated as response of tropical vegetation by Pieter Tans after an El Niño:
        http://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/co2conference/pdfs/tans.pdf from slide 11 on.
        Without any arbitrary shift in slope or lag. Only an arbitrary estimate of the amplitude.

        You simply integrated all influences over the full period, including human emissions and attributed them all to temperature (the same error that Dr. Salby made), while the variability is all from a process that integrates to zero after a few years, nothing to do with the overall slope.

      • “Atmospheric pressure is the result of an unbalance, but also influences the unbalance, it is a feedback itself.”

        A very weak feedback.

        “– The amounts of upwelling and downwelling is a complete separate issue of the influence of temperature, which is the subject of interest.”

        No it isn’t. The concentration of CO2 in the oceans which interface with the atmosphere is of critical importance. And, it is temperature dependent.

        “– Even if there is a unbalance between CO2 from upwelling and downwelling, the in/decrease of CO2 in the atmosphere will ultimately restore the unbalance, with a transient response.”

        Sure, ultimately. In perhaps a few hundred years. Long enough to make it immaterial to our discussion.

        “– Temperature changes are completely compensated with a 16 ppmv/°C change in the atmosphere, again with a transient response.”

        Nope.

        “– The real world increase is currently 110 ppmv above the steady state for the current ocean temperature per Henry’s law.”

        Nope. Increasing temperature causes a steady increase in surface ocean concentration due to imbalance between upwelling and downwelling.

        “– Both theory and real life measurements show that the oceans are a net sink for CO2, not a source.”

        Nope. We’re not going to argue the pseudo-mass balance again, are we?

        “I did apply the rules for a transient response of CO2 to temperature changes…”

        I see. Well, this is a neophyte error. Take for example the weighting of

        1 0.7 0.7 0.7 -0.4 -0.4 -0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 -0.4 -0.4 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3-0.3 0.2 0.2 -0.2

        What do the gain and phase response look like? This:

        It is only near a 90 deg lag in specific regions, centered around 1.5 yr^-1, 2.3 yr^-1, 3.4 yr^-1, 4.3 yr^-1, and so on. If your input time series is dominated by such components, then you will get a vague, superficial phase match when the actual response is -90 deg everywhere.

        It is a chimera. It appears to fit in your eyes because the dominant formations are at a frequency for which the response is approximately -90 deg, and your brain natually homes in on the dominant features. This is filtering via your eyes. It helps to also filter the data such that those particular formations are the main ones that get through, as the presentation appears to do. But, it doesn’t hold across the entire frequency spread and, if you look closely, you will generally find discrepancies.

        Yes, you can torture the data, progressively focusing on particular frequencies, and tailoring a response that has -90 deg phase shift at more and more of the dominant features. But, it is rather contrived. Much easier just to lay down a blanket -90 deg phase lag at all frequencies. And, when you do that, you’ve got an integral.

        And, bingo! When you do that, you also match the trend of the data.

        This is not a coincidence, Ferdinand. The odds against it are astronomical. I just cannot see how you can deny the evidence right in front of you.

      • I suspect that you will counter that there are discrepancies in my plot as well. But, keep in mind, this is related to quality of the data. The satellite data gives far better agreement:

        All with a simple, -90 deg phase shift across the board. No contrived, complicated response which just happens to have the right phase at the dominant frequencies. And, it provides the fit with the long term trend as a bonus.

        You can’t get any simpler than that. Occam’s razor comes down very firmly on my side.

      • afonzarelli October 30, 2015 at 6:58 pm

        See RSS version at Bartemis October 31, 2015 at 11:30 am. It’s just noise. On such short term scales, it isn’t a valid criticism. With higher quality data, the non-issue goes away.

      • Bart,

        A very weak feedback.

        Come on Bart, you know better: if the temperature increases with 1°C, the pCO2 of the ocean waters increases everywhere with 16 μatm. That is all. If the pCO2 of the atmosphere increases with ~16 ppmv, the original pCO2 difference between atmosphere and ocean surface is restored everywhere and thus also the original CO2 in/out fluxes. That is damn fast response, which equilibrium for the recent temperature increase (~10 ppmv) was reached already after 15 years in the Mauna Loa record and meanwhile surpassed with over 60 ppmv. Thus currently there is a disequilibrium the other way out: more CO2 sinks in the oceans than are released…

        No it isn’t. The concentration of CO2 in the oceans which interface with the atmosphere is of critical importance. And, it is temperature dependent.

        Bart, either temperature is the leading factor, as your formula shows, or concentration is. If you combine them without knowledge of the readers, you are misleading them.
        For a constant deep ocean upwelling (both in water mass and concentration), temperature gives 16 μatm/°C, quasi linear increase in pCO2 of the oceans.
        For a 10% increase in CO2 upwelling (either mass or concentration), either the CO2 influx increases with 10% by the mass changes or the pCO2(ocean) increases with 10% by the concentration changes. Both increase the influx and thus the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, until the original extra influx is equally distributed between a reduced influx and an increased outflux caused by the CO2 increase in the atmosphere.
        Any parallel change in temperature will have its own parallel influence with a very small non-linear term, hardly of influence on the overall changes:

        Sure, ultimately. In perhaps a few hundred years. Long enough to make it immaterial to our discussion.

        Already surpassed after 15 years Mauna Loa, thus very material to the discussion…

        Nope. Increasing temperature causes a steady increase in surface ocean concentration due to imbalance between upwelling and downwelling.

        Bart, hear yourself: you formula doesn’t say that, your formula says that for a fixed step in temperature (and a fixed deep ocean upwelling/concentration), there is a steady increase in surface ocean concentration due to a concreted imbalance between upwelling and downwelling, with zero influence of the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere…

        Which violates a lot of physical laws…

        Nope. We’re not going to argue the pseudo-mass balance again, are we?

        Not only the mass balance (and all other observations), but lots of pCO2 (and other) measurements in the ocean waters, currently over 3 million:
        http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/mean.shtml
        But I know, observations don’t interest you if they don’t fit your theory…

        I see. Well, this is a neophyte error. Take for example the weighting of

        Bart, I have no idea what you are doing, I simply followed the formula of Paul_K, who did prove that there is a 90° for all frequencies in a transient change if the response time is slow enough. I used a tau of 24 months and magically the shift was 90° for all frequencies of interest. No distortion, no other phase lags…
        The only “problem” is that the CO2 variability is a little more smoothed than the original temperature variability by the integration, but even so…

        For the rest, we can argue until New Year about what the discrepancies of both plots are, but the main problem for your plot is that all the variability is from a process that has zero to a negative slope in the rate of change: vegetation, which is a proven net, increasing sink for CO2 over periods of 1-3 years and over the full period from 1990 on (before 1990 it was probably a slight source of CO2 of ~0.5 GtC/year, ~0.25 ppmv/year).

        Thus even if the slope is temperature caused, there is no reason at all that the same factor is involved.

        By taking the integral, you mix the results of two independent processes, where you don’t even know that the slope is caused by temperature or something else (human emissions come to mind…).

      • Bart:

        No it isn’t. The concentration of CO2 in the oceans which interface with the atmosphere is of critical importance. And, it is temperature dependent.

        Sorry, forgot to add that the surface concentration in the oceans surface would be reduced with higher ocean temperatures: for the same upwelling (concentration), a higher temperature gives a higher pCO2 and thus a higher release of CO2 towards the atmosphere and thus a lower remaining concentration in the ocean surface. Until the (un)balance is restored by the CO2 increase in the atmosphere.

        Unfortunately for your theory, at every place measured in the oceans, including the upwelling places, the CO2 concentration increases parallel, the atmospheric increase, despite increasing temperatures…

      • Bart, i’m not an “egghead”, so much of what you and ferd are going back and forth on gets lost on me. Have you mentioned that the amplitude of your peaks and troughs matches up as well as the trends (and maybe somehow i missed it)? Ferdinand seems to think that you can fiddle around with the scale and get what ever fit you want. True, you could match trends that way, but then the peaks and troughs won’t match. (assume the temp trend was only half what it is, you would have to double the scale to make the trends fit) Of course, you may have just been extremely lucky and just so happened to have the perfect temperature trend to make it all happen…

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen October 31, 2015 at 1:37 pm

        “…your formula says that for a fixed step in temperature (and a fixed deep ocean upwelling/concentration), there is a steady increase in surface ocean concentration due to a concreted imbalance between upwelling and downwelling, with zero influence of the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere… “

        With negligible influence. That is correct. But, that is not what my formula says. That is my hypothesis for producing the relationship. But, the relationship is empirically valid regardless of the mechanism.

        “Not only the mass balance …, but…”

        If you do not understand why the pseudo-mass balance argument is trivially wrong, you are not qualified to understand this system.

        “…Paul_K, who did prove that there is a 90° for all frequencies in a transient change if the response time is slow enough…”

        He didn’t prove anything. He merely stated the trivial fact that a particular type of system, that of a rational first order lag response, will do that. Tan’s response, to which you referred, is not that type of system response. As you can see in the plot above, the phase response is all over the place.

        In any case, Ferdinand, here’s the catch: to get agreement across all frequencies with the temperature/CO2 data, the response time has to become very slow, indeed. So slow, that it is indistinguishable from pure integration over the observation interval since at least 1959.

        “I used a tau of 24 months and magically the shift was 90° for all frequencies of interest.”

        So, you did not use Tan’s weighting? Will you kindly explain what you did do? If you put it through a first order filter with a time constant of 2 years, then your phase response is -atan(4*pi*f), where f is the frequency in yr^-1. For a five year cycle, that gives you a phase shift of only -68 deg. Ten years, only -51 deg. You don’t match several major formations that way. Quite plainly, as I showed above, your reproduction sucks.

        The longer you take that lag to be, the better your result is going to fit the data, and the more integral-like your response is going to become. Before long, you will be matching the variability very well, and you will also have explained the trend, without any need for human inputs.

        “By taking the integral, you mix the results of two independent processes…”

        You are begging the question. Fit the hypothesis to the data. Not the data to the hypothesis.

        My model is quite plainly superior to yours, and it reproduces the trend as well. You are piling things higher and deeper, equivalently devising epicycles to prove that the Sun revolves around the Earth.

        Ferdinand Engelbeen October 31, 2015 at 1:46 pm

        “… for the same upwelling (concentration), a higher temperature gives a higher pCO2 and thus a higher release of CO2 towards the atmosphere and thus a lower remaining concentration in the ocean surface.”

        Which is then replenished because there is new CO2 upwelling all the time, and the amount downwelling is being decreased. This is exactly why you get a sustained increase in atmospheric CO2 for a step change in temperature.

        Think of it in a series of steps in a continuous loop:

        1) as you say, atmospheric CO2 increases, so ocean pCO2 decreases
        2) less CO2 downwells
        3) new CO2 laden waters upwell, so ocean concentration rebounds
        4) atmospheric CO2 increases
        5) go to step 1 and repeat

        afonzarelli October 31, 2015 at 1:50 pm

        “Have you mentioned that the amplitude of your peaks and troughs matches up as well as the trends…”

        Yes, in Bartemis October 31, 2015 at 11:21 am above. Look for the word “bingo”.

        Ferdinand says this is just a coincidence.

        Really. That’s what he says.

      • I really should have just ignored the earlier parts, and focused on this, which gets to the heart of the problem with your outlook:

        ————————–

        Ferdinand Engelbeen October 31, 2015 at 1:46 pm

        “… for the same upwelling (concentration), a higher temperature gives a higher pCO2 and thus a higher release of CO2 towards the atmosphere and thus a lower remaining concentration in the ocean surface.”

        Which is then replenished because there is new CO2 upwelling all the time, and the amount downwelling is being decreased. This is exactly why you get a sustained increase in atmospheric CO2 for a step change in temperature.

        Think of it in a series of steps in a continuous loop:

        1) as you say, atmospheric CO2 increases, so ocean pCO2 decreases
        2) less CO2 downwells
        3) new CO2 laden waters upwell, so ocean concentration rebounds
        4) atmospheric CO2 increases
        5) go to step 1 and repeat

        —————————

        Rather than just rehashing things we’ve already addressed, how about you focus on this in particular. I will take it as a given you are not acquiescing to any other of the points I raised above.

        How about you do it at the end of the page, too, so we don’t have to keep scrolling up to find the beginning of the thread. Go here to continue, where I left a note.

      • Fonzie:

        Ferdinand seems to think that you can fiddle around with the scale and get what ever fit you want. True, you could match trends that way, but then the peaks and troughs won’t match.

        Yes you can…

        Here the match of the slopes of the trend that Bart showed:

        Not bad at all, be it that for a full match the amplitudes of the temperature variability would be somewhat higher.

        But why did Bart choose the SH temperatures? The source of the extra CO2 is certainly in the NH, as the CO2 trend in the SH lags the NH. Thus if (ocean) temperatures were the cause, the NH would be matching better:

        Oops, quite a difference in temperature trend. No problem, we can fix that for you:

        But that implies that the effect of the CO2 variability caused by temperature variability nearly halved, thus highly depends of what temperature record you use…

        The timing of the variability doesn’t change, whatever (partial or global) temperature trend you take, but the factor of the amplitudes is quite different.

        That the SH temperature matches the variability best is a matter of where the reaction on temperature variability is strongest. That is mainly the SH Amazon which reacts on changes in ENSO, as well for temperature as changed rain patterns (drought).

        The main problem for Bart’s theory is that almost all variability is from tropical vegetation, independent of the slope in CO2 rate of change, as once that the temperature drops again, that returns to a near-neutral mature forest with zero slope, while the rest of vegetation is slightly more sink than source, thus vegetation can’t be the cause of the increase in CO2 or the CO2 rate of change, to the contrary…

        Thus at least two independent processes are at work: one that causes the variability and one that causes the increase in CO2…

  23. If you still believe that a back radiation based greenhouse effect exists after reading that, you’ve got rocks in your head! The so called first principles this pseudo hypothesis is based on has not one piece of basics maths behind it, let alone any detailed calculations.

  24. Another fine article Dr. Ball — many thanks.

    You write:

    The confidence level for well-mixed greenhouse gasses is now “Very high”. This is simply not possible because, as the satellite data from OCO2 shows, CO2 is clearly not a well-mixed gas. The problem is similar to the objective of the IPCC to determine human causes of climate change. It is only possible if you know how much climate changes without the human effect. You can only determine the CO2 effect if you know the effect of the predominant greenhouse gas – water vapor.

    This is spot on. As you point out, they just came up with another unfounded scenario when the “long residence time” myth was shown to be not so. And just like the residence time error, they just keep on saying “well mixed” no matter if they have any data to back it up or if they have data and it is counter to their hypothesis. They just keep on saying “well mixed” as if the words are a magic incantation.

    The satellite data shows CO2 is not well mixed, and it also shows that as CO2 has gone up dramatically the average temperature of the planet has remained flat. Both of these facts should put a knife though the heart of the walking dead cAGW delusion.

  25. I am not a scientist and even I can understand this excellent explanation. The question I have is why do the scientists who ascribe to the catastrophic AGW theory not agree with this evidence? Are they wearing blinders because they have a social agenda that, to them, is more important than the science? The other question is how can the liberal mainstream news media be convinced that there is another side to the AGW debate? Now they look down their noses as anyone who dares to put forward a position like Dr. Ball’s. Onward and upward!! The truth will out eventually!!

    • To answer your questions, Dave, is they can’t be convinced because they aren’t really searching for the truth. They are searching for a way to implement their agenda, and they created a narrative to support that. It is not a case of simply being misinformed. Look at the change in terminology from “global warming” to “climate change.” They still mean global warming, but I’m guessing that the phrase “climate change” is to blunt the damage to their agenda with the push back that “global warming” was getting. Climate always changes, so the term is meaningless without qualification, The phrase does not communicate what kind of change is happening. It is of no use except to overload its meaning with an unspecified boogeyman.

  26. There seems to be an misunderstanding as to the purpose of the IPCC. Its terms of reference are absolutely not to examine the proposition that global warming and climate change is or is not man made. Its terms of reference are to assess the ecological, social, economic and political impact of man made climate change and assess its probable value.

    • Leo Smith:

      There seems to be an misunderstanding as to the purpose of the IPCC. Its terms of reference are absolutely not to examine the proposition that global warming and climate change is or is not man made. Its terms of reference are to assess the ecological, social, economic and political impact of man made climate change and assess its probable value.

      Sorry, but you state your misunderstanding of the purpose of the IPCC as defined in the IPCC’s own documents.

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

      The IPCC does NOT exist to assess the ecological, social, economic and political impact of man made climate change and assess its probable value, and it does not.

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

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

      Near its beginning that document says

      ROLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      4.6 Reports Approved and Adopted by the Panel

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

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

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

      All IPCC Reports are pure pseudoscience intended to provide information to justify political actions; i.e.Lysenkoism.

      Richard

  27. Water vapor is the elephant in the atmosphere well illustrated in this article, but the ocean is the elephant of the greenhouse effect on our planet Earth. This illustration reflects the true contribution of ~33 c, where the ocean covers the huge majority of this and why the alarmist rubbish has been wrong from the start.

    The greenhouse effect of ~33 c would be massively reduced with only 0-4% water vapor in the atmosphere and no oceans on our planet. (taking this could be maintained of course)

    The key part is that the Greenhouse effect must take oceans and atmosphere into account.

    • Water vapor has increased with the trend in ocean temperature especially from ENSO.

      Taking only if this was proportional.

      Entire atmosphere = 5 x10^21 J/K.

      4% of greenhouse gases being CO2 = 2 x10^20 J/K.

      3.4% of CO2 being human source= 6.8 x10^18 J/K.

      The amount of energy retention from human CO2 is 823529.4 (not far off a million) times smaller than required for the ocean mass. Even if the excuse for the pause were due to energy going into the oceans, (it isn’t) clearly something nearly a million times smaller will make no difference.

      That is why there is no detectable warming in oceans from CO2 and why alarmists have wrongly exaggerated the claims greatly.

  28. Tim:
    There was an interesting article posted in the last couple of days on the Arctic and Antarctica. It would appear due to very low humidity, that the effect of CO2 could be studied here without having to be too concerned about the feedback effects of water vapor.
    Could you give us your feedback (no pun intended!)?
    Thanks,
    Walt

  29. I posted this on another board a few days ago but is to the point of this post so I will re-post it.

    Sorry, it is very long but there is actual data in here.
    ———————–

    In the theory, water vapor feedback is responsible for about 1.5C of the total 3.0C per doubling. It is also responsible for about 5.8 W/m2 of the total forcing of 11.7 W/m2 which is required to raise the troposphere temperatures by 3.0C.

    CO2 doubling (with a little extra thrown in for Methane and N2O and other minor GHGs) produces an extra 4.2 W/m2 of forcing, but the feedbacks bump that up by a further 7.5 W/m2 to get to 3.0C. Water vapor is the biggest extra bump.

    The water vapor feedback part of the theory comes from the Clausius Clapeyron relation which states that water vapor should rise by 7% for each 1.0C increase in temperature. 1.1C from CO2, another 1.5C from water vapor increasing (and it is the biggest GHG anyway, if it rises there should be warming).

    ALL of the climate models have some version of this equation built into them. Maybe only 5.5% or as high as 7.5% but every single one has an assumption close to 7.0% increase in water vapor per 1.0C.

    The Clausius Clapeyron relation is solid atmospheric physics. There clearly is a potential increase in water vapor as temperatures rise. Warmer air can hold more water vapor and that is true.

    ———————-

    THE QUESTION is, does the real Earth atmosphere ACTUALLY hold 7.0% more water vapor for every 1.0C increase in temperatures.

    THE ANSWER is NO.

    The actual observations show a range of actual feedbacks from just 2.2%/1.0C to 5.7%/1.0C – on average, less than half of what the theory predicts and is based on.

    ——————–

    Graphically, this is what Hadcrut4 vs NCEP Reanalysis water vapor looks like over the whole range of possible temperatures so that one can see how assuming 7.0% per 1.0C affects the climate. Lose all of the 33C greenhouse effect, and water vapor falls to almost nothing. This is also where the CO2 in the biggest control knob theory comes from. Lose CO2 and lose all the water vapor as well and lose almost all of the 33C greenhouse effect (actually it is only 21C but that is for another day).

    If we zoom that in a little, we can clearly see that as Hadcrut4 goes up in temperature, water vapor only responds at 2.2%, nothing even close to the 7.0% theory.

    Some say that we should use ocean temperatures instead of the general ocean/land temperatures. Most of the water vapor is going to coming from ocean evaporation. Well, if use the highly adjusted ERSSTv4 ocean temp versus the NCEP Reanalysis water vapor, we still get just 2.2%/1.0C.

    RSS has also been measuring total column water vapor since 1988. It has a much higher trend than the NCEP Reanalysis dataset. If we use their measure and their Troposphere temperature, one can get as high as 5.7% per 1.0C (but this is the very highest rate than one can get from the various datasets).

    —————
    Okay, something else is going on which makes Clausius Clapeyron invalid in the real atmosphere.

    What might that be.

    Well, what is really happening is that the ENSO completely dominates what is going on with water vapor in the atmosphere. IT is the control knob. And the ENSO has NO global warming trend over time. It is FLAT since the earliest good measures of the ENSO going back to 1870.

    The ENSO controls water vapor.

    What happens when we drop the 7.0% water vapor feedback assumption to the rate that the atmosphere actually works at around 3.5% per 1.0C….

    …. the 3.0C per doubling falls to 1.7C per doubling instead.

    • The point here is that the Clausius-Clapeyron relation isn’t really saying that the air above a water surface becoming warmer automatically means it will become more humid, as if it were to ‘suck’ water vapour from the surface underneath just from being warmer.

      What it says is that as the water surface gets warmer, more will evaporate from it and so more water vapour will enter the air above, meaning that the vapour pressure will rise. Which means the climate establishment appears to have this whole ‘WV feedback’ thing completely turned on its head.

      In reality, the increase in evaporation is a NEGATIVE feedback to a warmer surface. It is NOT a positive feedback to warmer air. It is what CAUSES the air above the warmer surface to warm, through the process of condensation and the resulting release of latent heat of vaporisation.

      To repeat: More atmospheric WV is not a positive feedback to a warming atmosphere. It is a response to a warming surface. It is then in turn rather the primary CAUSE of a warming atmosphere. And not through any radiative properties, but simply through latent heat.

      • To repeat: More atmospheric WV is not a positive feedback to a warming atmosphere. It is a response to a warming surface. It is then in turn rather the primary CAUSE of a warming atmosphere. And not through any radiative properties, but simply through latent heat.

        Which is carried poleward where it cools, condenses, and radiates to space.

    • Well, what is really happening is that the ENSO completely dominates what is going on with water vapor in the atmosphere. IT is the control knob.

      ENSO does dominate and control the trend in water vapor over the ocean and therefore it must be responsible for global warming and cooling during shorter 30-40 year periods with different phases of ENSO being based on solar energy loss from the Tropical upper Ocean.

      And the ENSO has NO global warming trend over time. It is FLAT since the earliest good measures of the ENSO going back to 1870.

      This is highly doubtful because ERSST versions show overall warming in NINO3.4 during the same period, related to warming and cooling in global temperatures. HADSST doesn’t, but it could have easily shown something similar with questionable limited SST’s earlier. Before the 1940’s SST’s are very questionable and very sparse in number. Therefore only really good measures cover a global cooling period and a global warming period.

      Strong El Nino’s in the 1970’s and 1990’s had shown that they can cause global step ups and global step downs. Why should this be surprising when water vapor changes matches them well? The difference between an El Nino causing a step up or step down few years later, depends on how much energy is left in the Tropical upper Ocean tank. I strongly believe there is good scientific evidence that ENSO controls global temperatures on both long and short term periods. The clincher for me would be when the next strong El Nino causes a global step down due to not enough top up from solar energy in the Tropical Ocean.

  30. Something seems to be wrong in Figure 1. Current CO2 concentration is around 400 ppm. However the figure states that the CO2 concentration is 4% of a 2% concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, i.e. 800 ppm, so something is wrong here.

  31. Things of note: Any heat input would trigger water vapor feedback, not just CO2. Due to the amount ocean on the planet the is an UNLIMITED amount of water vapor available. What is preventing run-away feedback ? Nothing, the climate has had this for all of it’s existence. Why is it not hotter ? Latent heat transport and cloud formation from water cloud formation. Negative feedback (Willis E.’s tropical observations) The general climate temperature is not radiation controlled, it is evaporation latent heat transport controlled. Since the ocean is only heated by short wave radiation and cooled by evaporation or heating is blocked by clouds and the ocean contains virtually all of heat in the climate system there is no roll for a substantive CO2 effect at all.

    SO, now that we all know this, every body can just shut up and go home, right ?. :-)

    • I haven’t heard him speak before, but that was a very good talk. A lot of ground was covered, in a basic and understandable way, in 15 minutes. About the right sort of snapshot to give to a lay audience.

      Perhaps the only main issue not covered was models, and their problems, and the fact that there is such a large divergence between projections/predictions and actual observations.

      • Most of the people in my economic situation ( poor and under educated ) have no idea that the models exist , never mind that they are useless as programmed !! These are the people that green liberal socialists target because they are under educated !! This video’s simplicity would be easy for them to understand…

  32. Wikipedia states, in the Combustion article, that the burning of hydrocarbons primarily yields CO2 and H2O. An illustration shows the chemical equation for the burning of methane in air. The result is a molecule of CO2 and 2 molecules of H2O. So twice as much water as carbon dioxide is produced by burning the simplest hydrocarbon, methane. I infer that all burning of fossil fuels produces more water than carbon dioxide. But the IPCC states that the water produced by fossil fuel power plants is not significant. The anthropogenic CO2 is significant but not the H2O. This seems anomalous but perhaps the explanation is that as a fraction of the water already in the atmosphere, water produced by burning hydrocarbons is tiny. However, since water vapor is also the most powerful GHG it seems reasonable that anthropogenic water should be included in all climate models.

    • Ken, the difference is in the decay rate of any extra CO2 or water added to the atmosphere. For water that is minutes (condensate from cooling towers, exhausts,…) to a few days. For CO2 that is ~51 years…

      • Marcus,

        Rain, rivers, oceans and land: aquifers, as far as not evaporated again…

        Edmonton Al,

        Rough estimates per year:
        ~0.5 GtC in the ocean surface, decay rate less than a year, but saturated at 10% of the atmospheric change.
        ~1 GtC in the biosphere, the earth is greening, with a decay rate of over 100 years, but no constraint ever.
        ~3 GtC in the deep oceans, with a decay rate of ~50 years, no constraint (yet).

    • …the burning of hydrocarbons primarily yields CO2 and H2O. An illustration shows the chemical equation for the burning of methane in air. The result is a molecule of CO2 and 2 molecules of H2O. So twice as much water as carbon dioxide is produced by burning the simplest hydrocarbon, methane. I infer that all burning of fossil fuels produces more water than carbon dioxide. But the IPCC states that the water produced by fossil fuel power plants is not significant. The anthropogenic CO2 is significant but not the H2O. This seems anomalous but perhaps the explanation is that as a fraction of the water already in the atmosphere, water produced by burning hydrocarbons is tiny. However, since water vapor is also the most powerful GHG it seems reasonable that anthropogenic water should be included in all climate models.

      Durn it, that’s the point I was trying to make in my earlier post, exchanged with Dr. Engelbeen. The products of complete combustion are not only evil-horrible-nasty “carbon pollution” CO2 but also vapourous dihydrogen monoxide, a far more potent greenhouse gas.

      If Mother Gaia is truly being fricasseed as the result of humanity’s reactionary, anti-Progressive, politically incorrect and arguably racist, homophobic, transphobic, ageist, sexist, and White-Privilege-pushing selfishness with regard to purposefully burning hydrocarbons (whatever their sources), then those who govern us – and co-ordinate their environmental concerns for Planet Earth through the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – MUST also track anthropogenic hydroxilic acid emissions in order to determine the extent to which this man-made “oxygen pollution” is also inducing catastrophic climate change, and propose suitably draconian measures to punish every human being below the rank of GS-3 for this crime against….

      Well, yeah, it’s not a crime against humanity, ’cause human beings need to do this stuff to keep from starving and freezing to death as Solar Cycle 25 drops us into another Little Ice Age. So it’s gotta be a crime against…something the warmunists (progressives, Social Justice Warriors, leftists, statists, eco-Nazis, and generally the “right-side-of-history” consciousness-raised self-appointed consciences of the universe) value more than humanity.

      Probably baby seals and grey whales.

      (But – jeez! – don’t them critters exhale “carbon pollution” and water vapor, too? Oh, the humanity!)

      The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it.

      — P.J. O’Rourke

  33. I’m not going to read all the comments so maybe someone’s already pointed this out. The first diagram in the main article that illustrates that 2% of the atmosphere is composed of greenhouse gases is wrong. The yellow portion of the 5 by 10 diagram should consist of one entire square as each square represents 2% of the entire atmosphere. Either that or the 2% number quoted under the second diagram is an error. It appears the diagram is from Heartland.org, so perhaps the mistake is theirs.

    • “The first diagram in the main article that illustrates that 2% of the atmosphere is composed of greenhouse gases is wrong. The yellow portion of the 5 by 10 diagram should consist of one entire square as each square represents 2% of the entire atmosphere.”

      The diagram is incorrect in the yellow portion, but not for the reasons you mentioned. As it should only show 2 yellow blocks in the representative 2%. If anything it makes the CO2 content look even bigger than it is, with it being 2 blocks not 4.5 blocks. Although the idea how small it represents is there and that is what really counts.

      Each small block in the 2% represents 0.02%. The CO2 atmosphere of 400 ppm = 0.04% so that represents just 2 yellow blocks.

      • Mistake – 3.5 blocks not 4.5 blocks.

        The 2nd block does represent 2% section and 3.5 yellow blocks = 0.02 x 3.5 = 0.07% (700 PPM)

  34. To al in kansas,

    The Earth is and it must be also in radiation balance. The Earth receive 240 W/m2 solar radiation and it radiates longwave radiation into the space exactly the same amount. The heat can be received and released only in the form of radiation in the space and that it where our planet is.

  35. “……The problem is similar to the objective of the IPCC to determine human causes of climate change. It is only possible if you know how much climate changes without the human effect……….”

    Climate changes without human affects are very well known !!!

    Just examine the climate history prior to , say, the year 1900 , to say, 500,000,000 years ago and that will provide a good “boundary” as to what purely natural climate variations can produce .
    It shows that with ZERO human influence the climate will range from very, very cold to damn hot, and that CO2 levels for the vast majority of that time span were much higher than today.

  36. Wow, their illustration even shows water vapor rising to altitude and condensing to fall back to Earth as rain. BUT, there is NO MENTION of the inherent movement of energy (as the Latent Heat of Water) from Earth’s surface to altitude where it is released and the energy lost to space, with cold rain falls to the ground, cooling the surface. This is a deliberate effort to skirt the Water Cycle in it reality and entirety. They mention water vapor as a feedback mechanism but ignore the fact that the Water Cycle is a HUGE positive-feedback HEAT ENGINE that ramps up with warming, thus pulling the climate back down very effectively. Only changes in large factors, such as solar input and ocean cycles, can alter the climate, as THE WATER CYCLE NEVER SLEEPS.

  37. Tim Ball wrote above:
    “It didn’t matter whether Beck was right or wrong about actual CO2 measures, what was important was the degree of variability the data showed, such as with the stomata data. This variability was deliberately eliminated in other measures to achieve a smooth, with no splinters, ‘hockey stick’ because it contradicted the well-mixed scenario essential to the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) agenda.”

    Thank you especially for that comment Tim. I believe Beck was treated with inadequate respect and while he may not have been entirely correct, he raised good questions that were swept away without intellectual rigor. The “well-mixed CO2 scenario” was demonstrably false, since it was easily disproved by actually CO2 data that changed greatly on a daily and seasonal basis.

    The other “elephant in the room” is that atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales. Few academics want to discuss this subject because they “know” that CO2 drives temperature, and typically they just want to debate the magnitude of climate sensitivity to CO2 – or essentially, by how much the future can drive the past. :-)

    In reality, climate sensitivity to CO2 (ECS) may not exist in a practical sense, of may be so close to zero as to be insignificant. Many scientists believe that significant atmospheric CO2 increases started circa 1940 when fossil fuel combustion accelerated, but since then, global temperature has gone up, down and sideways, which suggests that Earth’s climate is dominated by natural drivers and the impact of atmospheric CO2 is relatively insignificant – if ECS exists, it is probably less than 0.3C.

    The response from the global warming alarmists has been to falsify the surface temperature data record to claim 2014 (or now 2015) is the warmest year EVAH, which is demonstrated to be FALSE by the satellite temperature data.

    Here are some thoughts from 2012:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/13/do-latest-solar-studies-confirm-upcoming-global-cooling/#comment-891335

    In 2008, I wrote that atmospheric CO2 lagged atmospheric temperature T by ~9 months on a short-time-cycle (~3- 4 years – between major El Nino’s?).
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

    I also noted that CO2 lags temperature by ~800 years from ice core data, on a much longer time cycle..

    I postulated that there could be one or more intermediate (between 9 months and 800 years) cycles where CO2 lags temperature.

    The late Ernst Beck had already discussed intermediate lags, and thought the CO2-after-T lag was 5 years.

    This post, by inference, suggests we should be looking for a CO2-after-T lag of about 9 years, similar to the period of one sunspot cycle. We have adequate CO2 data at Mauna Loa back to ~1958, so perhaps someone has the time to look for this postulated lag.

    Perhaps other longer intermediate CO2-after-T lags also exist – if we have any quality CO2 data to permit analysis (pre-1958, we would probably have to use Beck’s data compilation, which has been treated with inadequate respect, imo.

    Regards, Allan

    • Allan, nice to see you and thanks again for your guest essay back in june… It should be noted that the satellite temperature data no longer tracks with the carbon growth rate. The last few years carbon growth has been up slightly while both of the satellite data sets are flat as pancakes. It’s ironic that the alarmist’s insistence that we are warming is consistent with your theory!
      fonzie (aaaaaaaay)

      • “The other “elephant in the room” is that atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales. Few academics want to discuss this subject because they “know” that CO2 drives temperature, and typically they just want to debate the magnitude of climate sensitivity to CO2 – or essentially, by how much the future can drive the past. :-) ”
        ///////////

        Shouldn’t this read: “…Few academics want to discuss this subject because they “know” that temperature drives CO2…”

        Both the proxy data, and the 20th century data shows that CO2 lags temperature, thereby indicating that if this is not mere coincidence, it is temperature that is the driving force, not CO2.

      • Allan said:
        “The other “elephant in the room” is that atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales. Few academics want to discuss this subject because they “know” that CO2 drives temperature, and typically they just want to debate the magnitude of climate sensitivity to CO2 – or essentially, by how much the future can drive the past. :-) ”

        Richard Verney said:
        “Shouldn’t this read: “…Few academics want to discuss this subject because they “know” that temperature drives CO2…”

        Both the proxy data, and the 20th century data shows that CO2 lags temperature, thereby indicating that if this is not mere coincidence, it is temperature that is the driving force, not CO2.”

        Allan again:

        Hi Richard V.

        Obviously, I agree with your last paragraph – I wrote the original paper on this subject in January 2008, and still have the scars on my back from the initial response.

        I was suggesting above that few academics want to discuss the reality that CO2 lags temperature because it contradicts their utterly false (religious or financially-driven) position that CO2 is a significant driver of temperature.

        Some history on the close dCO2/dt vs. Temperature relationship below (when it is posted – it will probably get hung up for a while).

        Best, Allan

      • Here is some history compiled over recent years on this subject:

        To my knowledge, I initiated in early January 2008 the still-heretical notion that dCO2/dt changed ~contemporaneously with temperature and therefore CO2 lagged temperature by about 9 months, and thus CO2 could not primarily drive temperature.
        http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/

        I later learned from Richard Courtney that others (Kuo et al 1990, Keeling et al 1995) had noted the lag but apparently not the dCO2/dt relationship with T.
        Roy Spencer was kind enough to acknowledge my contribution at
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/25/double-whammy-friday-roy-spencer-on-how-oceans-are-driving-co2/

        I am fairly sure this concept was new because of the very hostile reaction it received from BOTH sides of the CAGW debate. All the warmists and most skeptics completely rejected it.

        First I was just plain wrong – the dCO2/dt vs T relationship was merely a “spurious correlation”.

        Then I was grudgingly admitted to be correct, but the resulting ~9 month CO2-after-T lag was dismissed as a “feedback effect”. This remains the counter-argument of the global warming alarmists, apparently the best they’ve got – a faith-based “Cargo Cult” rationalization, in my opinion.

        Now we are embroiled in the “Mass Balance Argument” as ably debated by Ferdinand Engelbeen and Richard S Courtney, and I frankly think this is quite worthwhile. To me, this is the cutting edge of climate science, and it is interesting.

        I also infer that some parties, notably Jan Veizer at the University of Ottawa, had gotten almost this far some time ago.

        Intellectually, I think the alleged global warming crisis is dead in the water, although politically it sails on, a ghost ship with the Euros and Obama at the helm. Not to forget our own Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne in Ontario – now a “have-not province” collecting transfer payments, our national welfare scheme for mismanaged economies.

        The global warming alarmists have squandered several trillion dollars of scarce global resources on foolish “alternative energy” schemes that we condemned in writing in 2002. We said then that “the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels” and this is now proven to be true. The economies of the European countries and their fellow-travellers have been hobbled by green energy nonsense, and millions are suffering and many thousands are dying each winter from excessively high energy costs.

        I am concerned, I hope incorrectly, about imminent global cooling, which I (we) also predicted in a Calgary Herald article in 2002. I really hope to be wrong about this prediction, because global cooling could cause great suffering. Our society has been so obsessed with the non-existent global warming crisis that we are woefully unprepared for any severe global cooling, like the Maunder or Dalton Minimums circa 1700 and 1800.

        Solar activity has crashed in SC24, and although our friend Leif Svalgaard says not to worry, I continue to do so.
        _________

        My paper was posted Jan.31/08 with a spreadsheet at
        http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/

        The paper is located at
        http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

        The relevant spreadsheet is
        http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRaeFig5b.xls
        There are many correlations calculated in the spreadsheet.

        In my Figure 1 and 2, global dCO2/dt closely coincides with global Lower Tropospheric Temperature LT and Surface Temperature ST. I believe that the temperature and CO2 datasets are collected completely independently, and yet there is this clear correlation.

        After publishing this paper, I also demonstrated the same correlation with different datasets – using Mauna Loa CO2 and Hadcrut3 ST going back to 1958. Later I examined the close correlation of LT measurements taken by satellite and those taken by radiosonde.

        Further, earlier papers by Kuo (1990) and Keeling (1995) discussed the delay of CO2 after temperature, although neither appeared to notice the even closer correlation of dCO2/dt with temperature. This correlation is noted in my Figures 3 and 4.

        See also Roy Spencer’s (U of Alabama, Huntsville) take on this subject at
        https://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/double-whammy-friday-roy-spencer-on-how-oceans-are-driving-co2/
        and
        https://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/

        This subject has generated much discussion among serious scientists, and this discussion continues. Almost no one doubts the dCO2/dt versus LT (and ST) correlation. Some go so far as to say that humankind is not even the primary cause of the current increase in atmospheric CO2 – that it is natural. Others rely on a “material balance argument” to refute this claim – I think these would be in the majority. I am (almost) an agnostic on this question, to date.

        The warmist side also has also noted this ~9 month delay, but try to explain it as a “feedback effect” – this argument seems more consistent with CAGW religious dogma than with science (“ASSUMING CAGW dogma is true, then it MUST be feedback”). :-)

        It is interesting to note, however, that the natural seasonal variation in atmospheric CO2 ranges up to ~16ppm in the far North, whereas the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 is only ~2ppm. This reality tends to weaken the “material balance argument”, imo. This seasonal ‘sawtooth” of CO2 is primarily driven by the Northern Hemisphere landmass, which is much greater in area than that of the Southern Hemisphere. CO2 falls during the NH summer due primarily to land-based photosynthesis, and rises in the late fall, winter and early spring as biomass degrades.

        There is also likely to be significant CO2 solution and exsolution from the oceans.

        See the excellent animation at http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4

        It is also interesting to note that the detailed signals we derive from the data show that CO2 lags temperature at all time scales, from the 9 month delay for ~ENSO cycles to the ~800 year delay inferred in the ice core data for much longer cycles.
        __________

        In this enormous CO2 equation, the only signal that is apparent is that dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with temperature, and CO2 lags global Lower Troposphere temperatures by about 9 months.

        CO2 also lags temperature by about 800 years in the ice core record on a longer time scale.

        I suggest with some confidence that the future cannot cause the past.

        I suggest that temperature drives CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. This does not preclude other drivers of CO2 such as fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, etc.

        My January 2008 hypo is gaining traction with the recent work of several researchers. We don’t always agree on the fine details, but there is clear agreement in the primary hypothesis.

        Here is Murry Salby’s address to the Sydney Institute in 2011:

        Here is Salby’s address in Hamburg 2013:

        See also this January 2013 paper from Norwegian researchers:
        The Phase Relation between Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Global Temperature
        Global and Planetary Change
        Volume 100, January 2013, Pages 51–69
        by Ole Humluma, Kjell Stordahlc, Jan-Erik Solheimd
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658
        Highlights
        – Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature.
        – Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature.
        – Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.
        – Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.
        – Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

        A paper by a group from three Dutch universities published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics that they have found that only about 3.75% [15 ppm] of the CO2 in the lower atmosphere is man-made from the burning of fossil fuels, and thus, the vast remainder of the 400 ppm atmospheric CO2 is from land-use changes and natural sources such as ocean outgassing and plant respiration.
        http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/14/7273/2014/acp-14-7273-2014.html

        *****************
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/08/another-model-vs-reality-problem-national-weather-offices-canada-a-case-study-with-national-and-global-implications/#comment-1958404

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/04/04/the-magical-power-of-the-kilowatt-hour/#comment-1897997

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/18/anatomy-of-a-collapsing-climate-paradigm/#comment-1886588

        A few observations (we formally published most of these conclusions in 2002 – we’ve known this for a long time):

        1. CO2 is the basis for all carbon-based life on Earth – and Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are clearly CO2-deficient.

        2. Based on the evidence, Earth’s climate is insensitive to increased atmospheric CO2 – there is no global warming crisis.

        3. Recent global warming was natural and ~cyclical – the next phase following the ~20 year pause will be global cooling, starting by about 2020 or sooner.

        3. Temperature, among other factors, drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. The rate of change dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with temperature and atmospheric CO2 LAGS temperature at all measured time scales (published in 2008).

        4. Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the lifeblood of modern society.

        5. Green energy schemes (scams) are responsible for driving up energy costs and increasing winter mortality rates.

        I suggest that most of the above statements are true, to a high degree of confidence.

        All of the above statements are blasphemy to warmist fanatics.

        It is truly remarkable how the warmists could get it so wrong.

        Regards, Allan
        (Petroleum Engineer / Earth Scientist)
        ______________________________________________

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/30/what-are-your-fears-about-global-warming-and-climate-change/#comment-1847733

        Hypothesis:

        1. The next act of this farce will be characterized by global cooling starting by about 2020 or sooner, cooling that may be mild or severe. Global cooling will demonstrate that climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2 is so small as to be insignificant. The scientific credibility of the warmist gang will be shattered and some may face lawsuits and/or go to jail.

        2. The scientific community will gradually accept the fact that CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales, and that temperature (among other factors) drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature.

        3. The foolish green energy schemes to “stop global warming” will be shelved and dismantled, but not before they contribute to a significant increase in Excess Winter Mortality, especially in Europe and to a lesser extent in North America, where energy costs are much lower (thanks to shale fracking).

        4. The warmist thugs will still be bleating about a warmer world, wilder weather, etc., all caused by the sins of mankind, but nobody will listen.

        Regards to all, Allan

      • Allan MacRae:

        I intend no denigration of your excellent work over many years but I write to provide a caveat to your comment made here where you write of your January 2008 paper

        In my Figure 1 and 2, global dCO2/dt closely coincides with global Lower Tropospheric Temperature LT and Surface Temperature ST. I believe that the temperature and CO2 datasets are collected completely independently, and yet there is this clear correlation.

        After publishing this paper, I also demonstrated the same correlation with different datasets – using Mauna Loa CO2 and Hadcrut3 ST going back to 1958. Later I examined the close correlation of LT measurements taken by satellite and those taken by radiosonde.

        Further, earlier papers by Kuo (1990) and Keeling (1995) discussed the delay of CO2 after temperature, although neither appeared to notice the even closer correlation of dCO2/dt with temperature. This correlation is noted in my Figures 3 and 4.

        I respectfully suggest that such a brief history should include mention of the earlier work of Jarl Ahlbeck who in August 2001 provided an update of his ‘Carbon Dioxide Thermometer’ that can be read on the site of the late John Daly here.

        The Abstract of Ahlbeck’s update says

        Updated numbers 1979-2000 for satellite measured (MSU) lower troposphere hemispheric and global temperature anomalies, corresponding surface temperature anomalies, atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and emission data for fossil fuels and cement production were investigated by correlation analysis and regression analysis. A high correlation was found between the MSU and the surface record for the Northern Hemisphere. For the Southern Hemisphere, however, the correlation between MSU and surface was statistically insignificant. There was no significant correlation neither between the surface record and the variations in the increase rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, nor between the emission rate and the increase rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide. But the MSU record explained the variations in the increase rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to a great extent. A possible explanation to the sensitivity of CO2 concentration to global temperature is the temperature-dependent CO2(atm) – CO2(water) equilibrium. This explanation is supported by the statistical analysis. The MSU record therefore seems to be a much better measure of the real surface temperature anomaly than the surface record, especially for the Southern Hemisphere.

        Richard

      • Thank you Richard for the reference to Jarl Ahlbeck of August 2001 and his CO2 Thermometer.

        This is actually the first time I’ve seen a copy of the paper – although I recall some reference to the “COS thermometer” in discussion circa 2009. .

    • Allan,

      I had years of very respectful discussions with the late Beck about the quality of the data he had compiled. Especially for the period 1935-1945, where a huge 80 ppmv peak (smoothed, worse from one year to the next) is seen in his compilation. Such a peak is physically impossible and doesn’t show up in any other measurements (ice cores) or proxy (stomata data, coralline sponges).

      Simply said: the quality of 90% of all data compiled by Ernst Beck were too bad to give any clue about the real background data of that time. The methods of that time couldn’t even detect any seasonal changes (+/- 10 ppmv), but the main problem was the places where was measured.

      Even including all outliers in the current Mauna Loa and other stations data, the variability is less than +/- 4 ppmv (1 sigma) compare that to the main series that makes the “peak” of 1942: Giessen (W Germany): +/- 66 ppmv (1 sigma)… The huge variability, also seen in a modern station at near the same spot, is a sure sign of local contamination and makes the local measured data essentially worthless for estimating the “global” CO2 levels of that time.

      Thus E-G Beck was not correct at all: most of the data which he compiled were completely unsuitable to make any conclusion about the “background” CO2 levels of that time.

      Further, let us end the “not well mixed” mantra: CO2 is extremely well mixed if you give it the time to mix in the huge (20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere) changes within a few months over the seasons. Well mixed doesn’t mean that such a huge changes are instantly distributed all over the earth…

      Further, there are indeed several CO2 lags at work after T changes, the three main are: seasonal (vegetation dominates), 1-3 years (vegetation dominates) and very long term (multi-decades to multi-millennia, oceans dominate).
      The current increase of over 100 ppmv above the long-term equilibrium between oceans and atmosphere according to Henry’s law is unprecedented in the past at least 800,000 years and has nothing to do with any natural cycle…

      • You make a number of valid observations, but I consider that the penultimate paragraph is an over-statement of the case.

        Is it not the case that at low altitudes CO2 is not well mixed on any scale? In a number of posts this past month (and I think that I have read all of your comments) you have provided data showing that CO2 is not well mixed at low altitude. Further, this after all is one of the reasons why you argue that the Beck data compilation cannot be used for ascertaining background levels (and I consider that you are probably correct on that). You cannot ascertain background levels by sampling at 200 metres or less because CO2 is simply too variable at low altitude, and low altitude could be up to about 1 to 2,000 metres.

        it is only at higher altitudes that CO2 becomes well mixed given enough time (always depending upon what is meant by well mixed, ie., the extent of tolerance one is prepared to allow). Personally, I would accept that if one takes a broad brush, CO2 is well mixed at mid to high altitudes, or at any rate sufficiently well mixed for present purposes.

        As I see it, the issue is whether the fact that CO2 is not well mixed at low altitude is a material factor, or not. On that I have not yet formed an opinion.

      • Ferdinand,
        You and Richard Cortney have had me earlier on the subject of “man made” CO2 in the atmosphere. If you recall while still not convinced that man is responsible for 90-100% of the increase I was opened to the possibility.
        My question is why is that even important. It does not appear climate (temperature) is nearly as sensitive to CO2 as predicted by alarmists. The models have poorly predicted temperature change compared to observations, and the water vapor feed back does not appear to have occurred which should explain why the climate models fail so badly. If CO2 is not the “control nob” as alarmists claim its source seems largely moot.

      • richard verney,

        CO2 levels are not well mixed in the first few hundred meters over land, but they are well mixed everywhere over the oceans. The CO2 levels at Mauna Loa at 3,400 m altitude and Cape Kumukahi in Hawaii at near sea level are practically the same. The atmosphere in up to 1,000 meter over land and 30% of the surface is less than 5% of the atmospheric mass. Any even huge changes there has little influence on the rest of the atmosphere, except for the huge changes in vegetation over the seasons as these are gigantic in only a few months.

        Thus for about 95% of the atmospheric mass, the CO2 levels are well mixed where the remaining differences are the huge seasonal changes and the NH-SH lag as the ITCZ hinders the exchanges: only 10% of air masses is exchanged between the hemispheres over a year…

      • GTL (Gregory Lawn),

        I agree that all skeptic effort should be focused on the lack of warming as predicted by the models.
        That is one of the reasons that I regret that so many skeptics don’t accept the human cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere, as that is a completely lost battle and undermines the much better arguments where “warmistas” have no answer…

      • Hello Ferdinand,

        I am glad that you were respectful to Ernst Beck – many others were not.

        To be clear, I regard you as one of THE experts on this topic, and enjoy your thoughtful comments.

        Having said that, I am still an agnostic on your key conclusion – the “mass balance argument” (MBA) that concludes that fossil fuel combustion is the most significant driver of the observed increase in atmospheric CO2. I just want to wait and see what the new CO2 satellite data tells us.

        We can afford to be patient on the MBA issue, since it is increasingly obvious that the sensitivity of global temperature to increasing atmospheric CO2 is too small to be significant.

        Other issues are much more important and urgent:
        IF we are correct about imminent naturally-driven global cooling, which some of us think should be apparent by 2020 or sooner, and which could be mild or severe, then we cannot wait much longer to address the potentially serious consequences of cooling on society.

        As I have stated before, I hope to be wrong about cooling.

        Best, Allan

  38. People should read a paper published in Climate Research titled State-of-the-Art Climate Models and Extreme Meteorological Events and Consequences (Volume 14, Number 30: 27 July 2011). It compared the projections of state-of-the-art climate models with what was known about the real world with respect to extreme meteorological events related to atmospheric moisture, such as precipitation and various types of storm systems, as well as subsequent extreme consequences such as droughts, floods, and wind damage. Amazingly, Kevin Trenberth is one of the paper’s authors. Why amazing? You will understand when you read some of the statements in that paper:

    “All models contain large errors in precipitation simulations, both in terms of mean fields and their annual cycle (such as the spurious migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone into the other hemisphere), as well as their characteristics: the intensity, frequency, and duration of precipitation, plus the amount (e.g. IPCC, 2007; Bosilovich et al., 2008; Liepert and Previdi, 2009).

    “It appears that many, perhaps all, global climate and numerical weather prediction models and even many high-resolution regional models have a premature onset of convection and overly frequent precipitation with insufficient intensity, (citing the work of Yang and Slingo (2001) and Dai and Trenberth (2004)).

    “Confidence in model results for changes in extremes is tempered by the large scatter among the extremes in modelling today’s climate, especially in the tropics and subtropics (Kharin et al., 2007), which relates to poor depiction of transient tropical disturbances, including easterly waves, Madden-Julian Oscillations, tropical storms, and hurricanes (Lin et al., 2006).

    “Models produce precipitation that is too frequent and with insufficient intensity (Yang and Slingo, 2001; Trenberth et al., 2003; Dai and Trenberth, 2004; Dai, 2006).

    “Major challenges remain to improve model simulations of the hydrological cycle.”

    It begs the question how climate models can be relied upon, at all, with such major shortcomings acknowledged by Trenberth in the paper!

    • ” It begs the question how climate models can be relied upon, at all, with such major shortcomings acknowledged by Trenberth in the paper!”
      When you average it all together and then compare that to the mostly all made up published annual global average “surface” “data” you can’t tell the difference between a hot dog and a twinky (neither of them are real).

    • I’ve found Trenberth to be pretty good about identifying uncertainties and what further research is needed to validate findings. He tends to go astray in the summary conclusions making statements that aren’t supported by his own stated uncertainties.

  39. and every effort I’ve tried to get funded for remote measurement of water content has been squashed… sigh

  40. Easy test- check the CO2 and CH4 in deserts. The point? Deserts are very cool at night due to the lack of humidity. If CO2 and CH4 were a significant factor they should help keep the deserts warmer.

  41. “For 1°C temperature increase that is 16 ppmv extra in the atmosphere. That is all. Nothing more. 10 ppmv in the past 57 years. Not 70 ppmv”

    Ferdinand is correct here although I think it is too simplistic. The mean atmospheric concentration is affected by other factors besides ocean temperature changes as well, such as primary production, microbial recycling, upwelling of CO2-rich deep-ocean waters, and so on The increase in atmospheric CO2 could exceed Ferdinand’s estimated 16ppmv from temperature changes because of these other factors. It’s estimated that if all biological activity in the oceans were removed then that would increase the atmospheric CO2 concentration by a factor of 5 (Jaworowski et al 1992) meaning small changes in biological activity could be contributing to the increase, and CO2 originating from biological sources would be depleted in C13. There is another possibility, of course, as suggested by Jeff Glassman (that I doubt many here would subscribe to) and that is, the atmospheric CO2 concentration is not even increasing and the Mauna Loa measurements are not representative of global concentrations.

    • Richard,

      I agree that other natural factors also play a role, but temperature was the main driver in the (long) past: over glacial – interglacial periods (16 ppmv/°C), 1-3 years (4-5 ppmv/°C) and seasonal (5 ppmv/°C). Temperature and other possible natural unbalances don’t show more than +/- 1 ppmv around the trend in the past 57 years, while the trend itself is only half the human emissions…

  42. man made dust is the biggest problem water vapour sticks to this fine dust (1000 time finer than natural dust ) and then it will not fall as rain as it is to small

  43. OK Bart, you say:

    Think of it in a series of steps in a continuous loop:

    1) as you say, atmospheric CO2 increases, so ocean pCO2 decreases
    2) less CO2 downwells
    3) new CO2 laden waters upwell, so ocean concentration rebounds
    4) atmospheric CO2 increases
    5) go to step 1 and repeat

    I have a quite different opinion…

    Assuming that the ocean upwelling didn’t change in mass or CO2 concentration and no human emissions, a step response in temperature will have this following steps:

    At the upwelling side:

    1) pCO2 of the ocean increases.
    2) pCO2 difference with the atmosphere increases.
    3) CO2 flux out of the ocean surface increases.
    4) CO2 concentration in the ocean surface decreases, CO2 depleted water flows towards poles.
    5) New water is upwelling from the deep oceans.
    6) CO2 influx from the oceans increases pCO2 in the atmosphere.
    7) pCO2 difference between ocean surface and atmosphere decreases.
    8) CO2 flux out of the oceans decreases.
    9) CO2 concentration in the ocean surface is less depleted, CO2 depleted water flows towards poles.
    10) Go to step 5 and repeat until pCO2 difference and thus CO2 influx in the atmosphere is restored as was before the step increase in temperature.

    At the sink side:

    1) pCO2 of the ocean increases.
    2) pCO2 difference with the atmosphere decreases.
    3) CO2 flux into the ocean surface decreases.
    4) CO2 concentration in the ocean surface is less enriched, CO2 enriched water sinks into the deep.
    5) New waters flow in from the tropics.
    6) Less CO2 outflux into the oceans increases pCO2 in the atmosphere.
    7) pCO2 difference between ocean surface and atmosphere increases.
    8) CO2 flux out of the oceans increases.
    9) CO2 concentration in the ocean surface is more enriched, CO2 enriched water sinks into the deep.
    10) Go to step 5 and repeat until pCO2 difference and thus CO2 outflux into the deep oceans is restored as was before the step increase in temperature .

    Steps 5-10 will give an asymptotic increase of CO2 towards a new steady state between oceans and atmosphere (without other disturbances). The final end of the temperature step is when the original in/out fluxes are restored (and equal without other disturbances). That is at a change of 16 ppmv/°C in the atmosphere…

    • Bart,

      Some part may need clarification:

      By higher temperatures the pCO2 of the upwelling waters increases, which gives more CO2 out the ocean surface, and that gives less CO2 concentration in the remaining waters, but still with a pCO2 at least as high as in the atmosphere. Most releases are in the tropics (and other upwelling zones), while during the transport to the poles the waters slowly change from net CO2 emitters to net CO2 absorbers, due to colder temperatures. Another important factor is bio-life, but in general tropical waters may have a high pCO2, despite lower CO2 concentrations (after degassing of the upwelling) than near the poles. pCO2 is the main driving source, with temperature and concentration as main components.

      • Ferdinand, very well, you managed to get a similar amplitude and trend using the NH data set by simply adjusting the scale…

        My guess is that bart uses the SH data because the satellite data doesn’t cover the whole MLO data set. One shouldn’t discount the similarity between the global satellite data and the southern hemisphere data. Perhaps the southern hemishpere data is a better reflection of global temps (than the northern hemisphere).

        The thing about bart’s graph is that at ALL times amplitude and trend match using the same scale. In other words, if one were to go back in time ten years and plot the same graph using the same scale, one would get the same result. (or 20 years or 30 or 40…) For that matter, if the past is any indicator of the future, then one should be able to get the same result 10, 20, or even 30 years from now. This shouldn’t happen if the temperature trend is entirely unrelated to the carbon growth rate trend. Getting back to points that i made earlier, whenever the temperature trends flat so also does the carbon growth rate. Whenever you see step rises, you see them in both data sets. Sooner or later bart’s graph will need an adjustment in the scale (and thus the amplitudes won’t match) if the temperature trend is unrelated to the carbon growth rate trend. It has yet to happen after 57 years in defiance of the odds…

      • Fonzie,

        Still a huge discrepancy between NH temperature trend and SH CO2 variability. The T to CO2 factor nearly halves. Further it is proven (from both the O2 and 13C/12C balances) that all the variability is from vegetation, while any long term (> 3 years) natural increase in the atmosphere is from the oceans. The real trend of the influence of temperature on vegetation is essentially zero, thus the T-CO2 factor for the amplitudes is independent of the slopes, whatever causes the slopes. That are independent processes…

        And the “fit” of the integral doesn’t hold for the period before 1960, if one accepts the CO2 values as measured in high resolution ice cores (less than a decade):

        For every period in time, Bart’s formula needs a different k factor to translate temperature into CO2 rate of change. From near zero over the Holocene to extremely small during glacial – interglacial transitions and reverse to quite large in modern times. If one simply uses Henry’s law as base and the observed sink rate for any excess CO2 in the atmosphere above steady state, that shows a nice correlation over all periods…

    • Ferdinand Engelbeen October 31, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      “But why did Bart choose the SH temperatures?”

      Because the NH temperatures are clearly bogus. Here, as you see, after more than 100 years of lockstep between SH and NH, the NH suddenly diverges around 2000. The SH continues to match the satellite record.

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4nh/plot/hadcrut4sh/plot/rss/plot/uah

      Too many “adjustments” have been made to NH temperatures. They are unreliable.

      afonzarelli October 31, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      “My guess is that bart uses the SH data because the satellite data doesn’t cover the whole MLO data set. One shouldn’t discount the similarity between the global satellite data and the southern hemisphere data. Perhaps the southern hemishpere data is a better reflection of global temps (than the northern hemisphere).”

      Exactly. Ferdinand is grasping at straws. You’re a sharp dude, Fonzie.

      Ferdinand Engelbeen October 31, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      “8) CO2 flux out of the oceans increases.
      9) CO2 concentration in the ocean surface is more enriched, CO2 enriched water sinks into the deep.”

      How cam flux out of the oceans enrich the ocean waters?

      “That is at a change of 16 ppmv/°C in the atmosphere…”

      As much as you want that to be the case, there is no such requirement.

      Think of what happens without any atmosphere at all. A general, global step increase in temperatures causes less downwelling, and the pCO2 of the surface oceans steadily increases.

      Then, put in the atmosphere. With steadily increasing pCO2 of the surface oceans, the atmosphere also gets a steadily increasing concentration.

      Ferdinand Engelbeen November 1, 2015 at 2:53 am

      “For every period in time, Bart’s formula needs a different k factor to translate temperature into CO2 rate of change.”

      A) Uses ice core reconstruction, which I reject as insufficiently validated

      B) So what? Even if true, systems change over time, sometimes abruptly.

      “If one simply uses Henry’s law as base and the observed sink rate for any excess CO2 in the atmosphere above steady state…”

      … one gets a lousy reconstruction, such as the one you have shown. The longer you choose your time constant, the better the fit in the modern era. And, the more the trend in dCO2/dt comes to be seen as being driven by the trend in temperature.

      Trying to extend the model to speculative data over the long ago past is unnecessary. For the past 57 years, we know that dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0). That is the era of the greatest rise observed over the past century.

      Ferdinand Engelbeen November 1, 2015 at 5:30 am

      “8) CO2 flux into the oceans increases.”

      Does the cart pull the horse? The oceans are the horse, pulling the cart, which is the atmosphere. That is because the source is the upwelling waters, as the source of energy in the cart-horse system is within the horse. The atmosphere is subordinate to the oceans.

      Again, think of what happens without any atmosphere at all. A general, global step increase in temperatures causes less downwelling, and the pCO2 of the surface oceans steadily increases.

      Then, put in the atmosphere. With steadily increasing pCO2 of the surface oceans, the atmosphere also gets a steadily increasing concentration.

    • The important part of the above is this:

      Think of what happens without any atmosphere at all. A general, global step increase in temperatures causes less downwelling, and the pCO2 of the surface oceans steadily increases.

      Then, put in the atmosphere. With steadily increasing pCO2 of the surface oceans, the atmosphere also gets a steadily increasing concentration.

      • Bart:

        “8) CO2 flux out of the oceans increases.
        9) CO2 concentration in the ocean surface is more enriched, CO2 enriched water sinks into the deep.”

        How cam flux out of the oceans enrich the ocean waters?

        Which I said was in error from copying the points 1-10 from the upwelling.
        Point 8 must be reverse at the sinks:

        8) CO2 flux into the oceans increases,
        9) CO2 concentration in the ocean surface is more enriched, CO2 enriched water sinks into the deep.
        Which is logical.

        A) Uses ice core reconstruction, which I reject as insufficiently validated

        Of the same level as someone who object against CO2 measurements in the atmosphere, as these were never validated, for the simple reason that the old chemical methods were a factor 100 less accurate than the NDIR method used by Keeling Sr.

        B) So what? Even if true, systems change over time, sometimes abruptly.

        Don’t want to argue that one again and again. Sufficient to say that the simple application of Henry’s law fits all variations over the past 800,000 years, including human emissions up to today. If that doesn’t fit the +/- 1 ppmv current noise around the trend, so what? That noise has no connection with the trend at all…

        Think of what happens without any atmosphere at all. A general, global step increase in temperatures causes less downwelling, and the pCO2 of the surface oceans steadily increases.

        Without an atmosphere, the ocean waters (as far as not boiling) at the upwelling would expel CO2 until the newly formed CO2 atmosphere (with some water vapor) has the same CO2 pressure as in the oceans for the temperature at the equator. That is up to 700 μatm within mostly full vacuum, in equilibrium with the 700 μatm of the ocean waters. Henry’s law is for each gas/liquid equilibrium own partial pressure in the atmosphere independent of other constituents in the same atmosphere or lack thereof.

        The sinking waters near the poles do the same, but at a lower pressure: ~150 μatm.
        If there is sufficient circulation of the near pure CO2 atmosphere, the 700 μatm CO2 at the equator will be mixing with the 150 μatm at the poles, which gives an about 290 μatm global CO2 pressure for the current global average seawater temperature. With sufficient mixing speed, that gives about the same gas pressure in the newly formed near 100% CO2 atmosphere over the full globe.

        Which makes that at steady state the 700-290 μatm difference at the upwelling sites will emit ~40 GtC/year CO2 out of the oceans into the atmosphere and the 290-150 μatm difference at the sink sites will sink ~40 GtC/year out of the atmosphere into the deep oceans…

        You see, for Henry’s law, it doesn’t matter if there is an atmosphere or not, the same CO2 pressure differences and fluxes are at work…

        Next step:

        8) CO2 flux into the oceans increases.

        Does the cart pull the horse? The oceans are the horse, pulling the cart, which is the atmosphere. That is because the source is the upwelling waters, as the source of energy in the cart-horse system is within the horse. The atmosphere is subordinate to the oceans.

        Well Bart, you have a rich fantasy.
        For any gas and any liquid, the ratio between the gas in the atmosphere and in the liquid is fixed for a fixed temperature. That is what Henry’s law says. If there is more partial pressure of that gas in the atmosphere than in the liquid the gas flux is from the atmosphere into the liquid and reverse. The resulting flux is directly proportional to the partial pressure difference between atmosphere and liquid, one way or the other.

        The driving force is the partial pressure difference between atmosphere and oceans. At the sink places, the partial pressure in the atmosphere is higher than in the sinking waters, thus CO2 is pushed into the oceans. How much is directly proportional to the partial pressure difference between atmosphere and oceans. If CO2 increases in the atmosphere, the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and ocean surface increases and more CO2 is pushed into the oceans waters…
        The CO2 sink rate thus is not static as you seem to think, it is dynamic and influenced both by temperature and pressure difference.

        A general, global step increase in temperatures causes less downwelling, and the pCO2 of the surface oceans steadily increases.

        The first part is true but only temporarily, the second is nonsense: the pCO2 of the ocean surface increases with 16 μatm/°C, which gives an initial increase in CO2 influx and a decrease in CO2 outflux. That increases the CO2 level/pressure in the atmosphere. Once the CO2 increase in the atmosphere matches the temperature caused average pCO2 increase in the ocean waters, the steady state is re-established again with the same CO2 in/out fluxes as before the temperature increase…

      • Not to get into the middle of this, but I had a question about a supposition I’ve had, and maybe it’s something you can comment on.
        On a snowball (or partial snowball) earth, I’ve thought that the ice would reduce the oceans ability to sink Co2, and with the majority of the surface frozen the air would dry out, and at some point if it got cold enough, start a Co2 cycle (snowing dry ice), such as a snowball planet might have, and that vulcanism would over time pump Co2 into the atm leading it to start melting the tropical ocean, water would start to accumulate leading to a water (ish) world.

        Thoughts?

      • “8) CO2 flux into the oceans increases”

        It doesn’t increase. You have the cart drawing the horse.

        “Of the same level as someone who object against CO2 measurements in the atmosphere…”

        You haven’t seen me make that argument. I think older measurements are questionable because they were influenced by local environments.

        “Without an atmosphere, the ocean waters (as far as not boiling)…”

        This is a thought experiment. No need to consider this.

        You are getting confused because you are trying to imagine what would happen in a complicated scenario. I am trying to un-complicate it for you.

        What would happen is that the gradient of CO2 in the oceans would become shallower versus latitude, and the oceans would have to increase their average pCO2 significantly to overcome the decline in downwelling. It could take centuries for this to settle out.

        “At the sink places, the partial pressure in the atmosphere is higher than in the sinking waters, thus CO2 is pushed into the oceans.”

        The pp in the atmosphere has to increase substantially in order to overcome the reduction in capacity due to temperature change. Again, this could take centuries.

      • Bart:

        8) CO2 flux into the oceans increases”
        It doesn’t increase. You have the cart drawing the horse.

        Bart, I did work a few years in a cola bottling plant (Royal Crown Cola Cy), because of lack of better work at that time.
        To press the CO2 in the sugared liquid, the cola was cooled down to about 5°C and with a thin film over a large surface, the cola got carbonated under several bar CO2 pressure.
        After being bottled, samples were taken by pressing a combined thermometer – pressure meter through the cork, shaking the bottle a few minutes and observing temperature of the liquid and pressure above the liquid. With some conversion table, one could see if the carbonation was within limits.
        Now in (seldom here) real hot summers, the cooling couldn’t maintain the 5°C and temperatures of the liquid went up. All we had to do was increase the CO2 pressure in the carbonating part to maintain the carbonization.

        Thus if the ocean waters at the sink places increase in temperature, that gives an immediate drop in atmosphere – ocean surface flux and thus in sink rate.
        That gives an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
        The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere again increases the outflux from the atmosphere into the ocean surface waters. Thus that increases the sink rate.
        When the pressure difference between CO2 in the atmosphere and the pCO2 in the liquid is again the same as before the temperature increase, the same sink rate will be obtained.
        It doesn’t matter at all if the atmosphere or the oceans are leading: the pCO2 difference is the driving force for any flux between atmosphere and ocean surface.

        What would happen is that the gradient of CO2 in the oceans would become shallower versus latitude, and the oceans would have to increase their average pCO2 significantly to overcome the decline in downwelling. It could take centuries for this to settle out.

        Bart, you have a complete wrong idea of what happens in the oceans, no matter if there is an atmosphere or not.
        If we may start at steady state, influx and outflux between “atmosphere” (even if that is 100% CO2 at 0.000290 bar) and oceans are equal.
        At every part of the oceans, the flux between atmosphere and oceans is a matter of local pCO2 difference. With an increase of 1°C everywhere in all ocean surfaces, the pCO2 of the oceans everywhere increases with ~16 μatm.
        The result is that where the ocean waters are upwelling, the influx into the atmosphere increases and so does that everywhere (in ratio to the local pCO2 difference), as long as the pCO2 in the oceans is higher than in the atmosphere due to local temperatures. Some parts of the water flow from equator to poles even may become net sources where they were small net sinks before the warming up.
        Where the temperature of the waters still is cold enough, the sink rate is reduced by the temperature uptick.
        Both increased influx and reduced outflux increase CO2 in the atmosphere.
        To overcome the increased pCO2 of 16 μatm in the oceans everywhere, all you need is an increase of 16 ppmv in the atmosphere. That is really all you need.

        The 10 ppmv increase for a 0.6°C increase in temperature over the past 57 years was reached about 15 years after Mauna Loa started, the rest of the 70 ppmv thus is not from a temperature increase…

        The pp in the atmosphere has to increase substantially in order to overcome the reduction in capacity due to temperature change. Again, this could take centuries.

        Only with 16 ppmv/°C: the reduction in sink capacity is due to the 16 μatm increase in ocean pCO2 for 1°C temperature increase. A 16 ppmv increase in the atmosphere restores the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and oceans and thus the outflux from atmosphere into the deep oceans…

      • Ferdinand, your cola bottles were not recirculating oceans. We are talking about massive quantities and flows, and very slowly evolving diffusion processes.

        The proof that you are wrong is that, under your scenario, human inputs would cause a pressure change which would drive the CO2 down faster, too. In that case, human inputs could not produce a rise proportional to themselves.

        Take, for example, your equation

        τ * dCO2/dt = ΔT – f(T)* ΔCO2

        You’ve got to put the human inputs in there, too. Forget the temperature related parts for now and focus on these portions

        τ * dCO2/dt = τ*H – ΔCO2

        where H is the anthropogenic input (with appropriate units per unit time). In steady state for τ short, the solution is approximately

        ΔCO2 := τ*H

        So, ΔCO2 would not be proportional to the total accumulated H, but to H itself. You go one polynomial order down with a system like this. So, you don’t get a quadratic curve due to H, you merely get a linear trend.

      • Someday, after I have worked out some puzzles, I will give you my full model. But, it is shaping up to be something like this:

        d(ΔCO2)/dt = k1*H + k2*ΔT – ΔCO2/tau

        This is very simplified, because k1 and k2 are the dc gains of specific system responses. But, basically, k1 is small and tau is large, such that the impact of k1*H – ΔCO2/tau is negligible compared to k2*ΔT over decades long time spans.

      • Bart,

        Henry’s law is as good for the oceans as for pressing CO2 in cola… Even if it is a one-way process. In the oceans an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere changes both the influx and outflux. Thus even if it is a circulation, an increased pressure in the atmosphere gives more sink into the oceans and less source from the oceans… Thus for 16 ppmv extra in the atmosphere, there is no CO2 increase in the atmosphere anymore caused by 1°C temperature increase…

        tau for ΔT, the variability, is very short (possibly less than a year), as that is the fast reaction of vegetation on temperature changes.
        tau for ΔT, the ocean warming – CO2 reaction is already slower, more in the order of a few years for the ocean surface and up to hundreds of years for the deep oceans.
        tau for ΔpCO2 between oceans and atmosphere caused by human emissions (or volcanoes) is slightly over 50 years, not really fast and completely independent of the other two reactions.

        Again you think of all CO2 exchanges as one process, while that all are separate processes with their own decay rates to a new steady state, independent of the other processes…

        τ * dCO2/dt = τ*H – ΔCO2

        With a long tau, H builds up in the atmosphere and as human emissions are linear increasing over time, the increase is slightly quadratic in CO2 with a linear increase in dCO2/dt.

      • “…while that all are separate processes with their own decay rates…”

        Sorry, no. You cannot treat them separately like that. If tau is long for H, then it is long for ΔT. All contributions go into the same bucket.

      • Bart,

        Again, you don’t understand what happens in nature: different processes are at work, where the CO2 change in the atmosphere is from different, separate processes which nearly don’t influence each other. Two of them are temperature dependent (vegetation and oceans), where vegetation is hardly pressure dependent and oceans more, each with their own time constants. The third one, human emissions is not temperature dependent and the removal is mainly pressure dependent without much influence of temperature and its own decay rate.

        Different processes, different decay rates, different effects in the atmosphere…

      • No, Ferdinand. Any mechanism of removal, whether pressure dependent or temperature dependent, acts exactly the same no matter the source.

      • To clarify, it acts exactly the same regardless of the source. Either way, you get an increase in pressure. Either way, the mechanism that reacts to pressure, reacts to that pressure.

        You can’t have it both ways, and what you are suggesting is profoundly unphysical.

      • Bart,

        Temperature changes the setpoint of the ocean-atmosphere equilibrium.
        Human emissions are above the setpoint for each year of emissions.

        A temperature change in the vegetation gives a fast transient response of extra CO2 into the atmosphere with a tau of less than a year (seasonal changes much larger and shorter).
        A temperature change in the oceans gives a slower transient response with a tau of a few years (seasonal changes much larger and shorter).
        A pressure change above equilibrium over the oceans gives a quite slow response with a tau of over 50 years back to equilibrium. In vegetation a tau of ~170 years (Bern model, not sure of that).

        Both oceans and vegetation react extremely fast (seasonal) to fast (1 to a few years) on temperature changes. Temperature is the driving force for pressure changes in the atmosphere in that case. Both oceans and vegetation react a lot slower on pressure changes. That is the whole point…

      • Bart:

        The is a “Just So” story, Ferdinand. It is the way you want things to be. It has no evidentiary value.

        Sigh.

        Steady state level for the current area weighted average ocean temperature per Henry’s law:
        290 ppmv
        Observed CO2 level:
        400 ppmv
        Observed CO2 increase above steady state level:
        110 ppmv
        Observed net CO2 sink rate:
        2.15 ppmv/year
        Observed tau for a response of any linear process to a disturbance equals disturbance / effect:
        110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year = ~51 years

        Observed tau in 1988 ( http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm ):
        130 GtC / 2.4 GtC/year = 62 ppmv / 1.14 ppmv/year = ~54 years

        Seems quite linear and quite long to me.

        Conclusion:
        CO2 responses of ocean surfaces and vegetation to pressure changes in the atmosphere above steady state is much slower than for temperature changes.

  44. Let’s keep the focus where it should be, though. I say this is a mechanism which can lead to a dynamic of the form

    dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

    You do not agree.

    But, the relationship is dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0), no matter what the explanation for it is, and humans are having very little effect on atmospheric CO2.

    So, get busy finding your own explanation if you find mine wanting. But, dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) is a given, and any explanation which does not recognize that is wrong.

    • Bart,

      No Bart:
      τ * dCO2/dt = ΔT – f(T)* ΔCO2
      both ΔT and ΔCO2 assumed starting from steady state. It is a transient response of only 1-3 years in vegetation, which levels off to below zero after a few years and a transient response of the ocean surface waters at about 16 ppmv/°C in equilibrium with the atmosphere at steady state. The rest is from human emissions.

      All variability is from the influence of temperature variability on vegetation, ~10% of the increase is from the higher ocean temperatures and ~90% is from human emissions.

      Your formula doesn’t include the response of the CO2 in/out fluxes to the increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere. That is where you go wrong…

      • Your inability to fit prominent features is a manifestation of the phase distortion I have been speaking of, BTW. This is what I have meant by that. You will not get a good fit until you extend your time constant to be much longer, with f(T) becoming quite small, so that you effectively have an integration.

      • Bart,

        My reconstruction is a first attempt to fit the variability. In fact the variability around the trend is of little interest, as that is not more than +/- 1 ppmv around the trend of over 70 ppmv and caused by a process that integrates to below zero after 1-3 years.

        The fit of the calculated increase of CO2 in the atmosphere based on human emissions and the decay rate of any extra CO2 in the atmosphere with a tau of over 50 years, is middle of the noise caused by temperature variability, except for the Pinatubo, but that too is gone after a few years.

        Again, variability and slope are from completely independent processes which don’t influence each other.

      • “In fact the variability around the trend is of little interest…”

        That’s like saying the fingerprints at a crime scene are of little interest.

        If you don’t match the fingerprints, you’ve got the wrong culprit.

      • Bart, it is proven beyond doubt that the short-term variability in CO2 rate of change is from changes in vegetation. That can be seen in the opposite changes of CO2 and δ13C. If it was from the oceans, CO2 and δ13C changes would parallel each other. The opposite changes are only possible either by vegetation or fossil fuel burning/land clearing. The latter are quite monotonic increasing, thus vegetation is the cause:

        On the other side, vegetation is a net, increasing sink for CO2 over longer periods, at least since 1990 when the oxygen measurements were accurate enough to measure the small changes in oxygen use/release:
        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2467.short
        and
        http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf

        Thus whatever your theory says, the process that causes the short-term variability is not responsible for the long-term increase in CO2 or CO2 rate of change, to the contrary. If the long term trend is caused by temperature (effect on the oceans) or human emissions or a mix, is independent of the cause of the short term variability. That variability is only +/- 1 ppmv around the trend of 70 ppmv, negligible.

        The “fingerprint” found in the room is from the housewife, not from the burglar…

      • “That can be seen in the opposite changes of CO2 and δ13C.”

        That is not proof. There are any number of reasons that these could appear to be out of phase with one another.

        “That variability is only +/- 1 ppmv around the trend of 70 ppmv, negligible.”

        Yet, my reconstruction matches it, while yours does not.

      • Bart,

        That is not proof. There are any number of reasons that these could appear to be out of phase with one another.

        Bart, the CO2 rate of change and δ13C rate of change are exactly synchronized and opposite to each other. No hand waving from your side can change that. That is full proof that all the variability is from changes in vegetation and not from the oceans, as human emissions (the only other possibility) are too smooth without much variability.

        Yet, my reconstruction matches it, while yours does not.

        So what? You can match the variability which integrates to zero in the real world on longer term, while in passing by arbitrarily attributing the slope to temperature, which has nothing to do with the variability and in the real world is not more than 16 ppmv/K, not 120 ppmv/K…

      • “That is full proof that all the variability is from changes in vegetation and not from the oceans…”

        Sorry, no. That is just a guess, which is contradicted by the data.

        “You can match the variability which integrates to zero in the real world on longer term…”

        Begging the question. The data show it matches both long and short term since at least 1958.

        You fingerprints don’t match. You’ve got the wrong culprit.

        Match your hypothesis to the data, not the data to the hypothesis.

      • Yeah, bart, i would think those step rises in temps (circa 1980 & 2000) which correspond exactly with the step rises in the carbon growth rate, especially when all else trends flat, ARE definitive proof that temperature (for whatever reason) drives the trend in carbon growth…

  45. micro6500,

    As far as I remember, still some waters around the equator were unfrozen, where the last remains of life could survive. Indeed volcanoes did remain active and without sufficient sinks, the CO2 levels increased enormously, ultimately increasing the temperatures around the equator high enough to start the melting, which itself was self sustained up to near the poles by increasing water vapor in the atmosphere.

    At least that is the story I heard. No guarantee of exactness…

    • Ferdinand, i’ve been trying to stay out of y’all’s way (because, like the back side of a horse, i have a tendancy to get in the way…), but i’ve been waiting patiently for a while to ascertain where you get your figure of 16 ppm per 1 degree celsius for your (henry’s law) rise in CO2. I know in the past that you’ve derived that figure from ice cores. Is there any other basis for the use of that (16 ppm) figure?

      • Fonzie,

        Henry’s law for the atmosphere – ocean surface waters equilibrium in the literature gives values of 4-17 ppmv/°C in equilibrium with each other.
        The correction factor used to calculate the real pCO2 at equilibrium of ocean waters at the temperature of the water intake vs. the pCO2 measured at the measurement device uses a similar correction factor:
        http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/CO2/carbondioxide/text/LMG06_8_data_report.doc shows the formula for the temperature influence:
        (pCO2)sw @ Tin situ = (pCO2)sw @ Teq x EXP[0.0423 x (Tin-situ – Teq)]
        The non-linearity is less than 3% of the linear calculation for small changes (less than 1°C) in temperature.

      • The literature is, unfortunately, often driven by a perceived need to match the data with a preconceived hypothesis. We have seen how badly the literature has projected temperatures forward based on the AGW hypothesis.

        Even if the calculation is correct, it does not hold in the long term for this dynamically changing system of reservoirs. The match of the rate of change of CO2 with temperature is conclusive. We have the fingerprints. We know the culprit. And, it is not humans.

      • Bart,

        Henry’s law was established in 1803 and since then, up to today, confirmed by millions of direct measurements of seawater pCO2. That has nothing to do with “dynamic changing reservoirs”, as the law applies to every moment of the day for every place of the ocean surface…

        One can discuss the results of the law, which indeed depends of dynamic changing reservoirs, but the law itself holds everywhere every time.

      • This isn’t a question about whether Henry’s law is generally valid, it is a question of how it is applied. Again, you have a mental block when it comes to the analysis of dynamic systems. I don’t know what more I can say.

  46. Bart,

    OK, it ends here (again)…

    It seems to no avail to try to convince you, as you don’t accept any observation that may even remotely contradict your theory. All you have is an arbitrary match of two curves, where the variability is certainly caused by temperature variability, but for the rest a false attribution of the slopes to temperature which violates all known observations, including Henry’s law…

    I hope that Anthony will publish my guest contribution soon, so that we will have a last discussion. If that doesn’t help, then there is no hope left that we can match our opinions…

    • “…as you don’t accept any observation that may even remotely contradict your theory.”

      You don’t accept the fundamental observation that shows your hypothesis is wrong. Your favored observations have many potential explanations. The dCO2/dt to temperature relationship has only one interpretation.

      “All you have is an arbitrary match of two curves…”

      It is not arbitrary. It matches both the trend and the variability exquisitely.

      “…but for the rest a false attribution of the slopes to temperature…

      The trend is a natural outcome of the relationship which matches the variation. It happens to match the trend in dCO2/dt. You claim, bizarrely, that is mere coincidence. It is not.

      “… which violates all known observations, including Henry’s law…

      It is you who wants to violate Henry’s law. Increasing pCO2 of the surface oceans necessarily results in increasing concentration in the atmosphere. And, a change in temperature necessarily results in increasing pCO2 of the surface oceans.

      “If that doesn’t help, then there is no hope left that we can match our opinions…”

      It’s not going to “help”, if by “help” you mean persuading me to your point of view. I know what this plot means. There is no doubt about it.

      • “All you have is an arbitrary match of two curves…”

        The probability of getting a match of these two curves at all is slim to none. If the temperature trend was a quarter of what it is, no match. If it was just half, no match. Just three quarters, no match either. The step rises also show an exact match in “amplitude”. There is no reason that this should happen even once (let alone twice) if there is no relationship between the trend in temperature and the trend in carbon growth rate…

        “…but for the rest a false attribution of the slopes to temperature…”

        Ferdinand has done nothing whatsoever to prove this statement except to say that such attribution is falsified by the theory. (the data doesn’t fit the theory, so the data must be wrong…) One thing that i’ve noticed about ferdinand is that if he sees something he doesn’t like, he just flat out ignores it. And he ain’t gonna touch this baby with a ten foot pole…

    • OK,

      I can match all variability where you can’t match the slopes, whatever arbitrary factor you try to use (part of my guest contribution):

      Any mix of sinusoids in temperature is followed by a transient response of CO2 in the atmosphere with a similar mix in sinusoids with a pi/2 lag for responses of sufficient duration (2 years in this case).
      If temperature besides the sinusoids has a linear slope, the CO2 increase in the atmosphere also has a near-linear slope with a very small non-linear extra (maximum 3% for small changes in temperature).

      If you take the derivatives, both dT/dt and dCO2/dt shift pi/2 back in time and both have zero slope, except for dCO2/dt which has an extremely small slope due to the small non-linearity.
      The offset of dCO2/dt caused by temperature in the past 57 years is 0.015 ppmv/month with a “slope” of maximum 0.00045 ppmv/month at the end of the 57 years.

      The shift back of dCO2/dt makes that both T and dCO2/dt are completely synchronized in timing, as can be seen in the lowest plot, but T has a slope and dCO2/dt has no appreciable slope…

      No arbitrary factor in the world can match the two slopes except near zero, which does erase all variability…

      Here theoretically but also in the real world, all the variability in the derivatives is from the influence of temperature and any slope in the derivatives is not from temperature. The slope in the derivatives is from a slightly quadratic increase of CO2 in the atmosphere by an external factor: human emissions.

      Factors used can be seen in the table in between upper and middle plot, but “emissions” were not plotted in this case.

      I rest my case…

      • A) These are heavily smoothed data with very smudged out detail

        B) You don’t really match the phase very well, it wanders in and out of phase, as the changing phase delay for lower frequencies distorts the output

        C) You don’t match the amplitude very well

        D) This is only over 30 years, so you don’t observe the lower frequencies in the full 57 year CO2 record. Use the HADCRUT4SH data and see what you get.

        Occam’s Razor: Why torture the data so, when all you have to do is integrate? This is a much better fit

        and, it took hardly any processing at all. This is a quite good fit, too, over a longer period, though the data are not as good:

        Again, the odds of the trend AND the variability matching up like this simultaneously by happenstance are vanishingly small.

      • There’s nothing wrong with being wary of the conclusion, Ferdinand. Though I say the odds are “vanishingly small”, they are not zero (nothing ever is absolutely zero probability). And, you have other observations which, in your mind, suggest an inconsistency.

        But, to utterly dismiss what is right in front of your nose… This I do not get, and I do not consider scientifically responsible. You must allow that dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) is at least a possibility. Once you do, you can consider all the evidence even-handedly, without confirmation bias driving you to a premature conclusion.

        I would advise you back off, and more thoroughly consider the problem, before you commit yourself even further to a narrative which, frankly, is unlikely to stand the test of time.

        The rate of change of CO2 decelerated at precisely the time that temperatures reached their recent plateau. This, at a time when human emissions were accelerating. And, we have just gotten word that the Chinese have been underreporting their inputs, so emissions actually were accelerating even faster than anyone believed.

        If temperatures continue their stasis or, as is likely, start trending down once this El Nino has passed, the divergence is going to get even worse, as the rate of change of CO2 declines further. Should that be the case, the hypothesis you favor will be falsified, after you have invested every ounce of your personal credibility in it. Do you really want to take that chance?

        If you start out with the assumption that temperatures are driving the rate of change of atmospheric CO2 as a given, I am quite sure you will be able to come up with reasons that your other observations can be made consistent with that assumption. Right now, you are stopping at a result which appears consistent with your hypothesis, instead of delving further. That is classic confirmation bias.

      • Bart,

        The essence of my (theoretical) exercise is that a linear increase in temperature gives a near-linear increase in CO2 and that gives a zero slope for dT/dt and a near zero slope for dCO2/dt.

        The essence of the real change in the atmosphere is that the temperature increase in the atmosphere is linear and its effect on CO2 levels is near linear. That means that the slope of the derivative of the CO2 increase for the part caused by the temperature increase is near zero. Thus the slope in dCO2/dt is not caused by temperature.

        The latter is also proven by observations: all the variability is from vegetation, which has a small negative offset and slope. There is a small positive offset from the warming ocean surfaces, but that too has hardly a slope.

        Further, I don’t see any reason to even consider your theory as possible, as it violates all observations, not at least the fact that any CO2 increase in the atmosphere above steady state will push more CO2 into the ocean surface, not reverse and that the steady state for the current average ocean surface temperature is 290 ppmv, while the atmospheric pCO2 is 400 ppmv…
        Thus I don’t worry about my credibility, I do worry about yours…

        We will see what the future will bring, with China releasing ever more CO2, but I have no problems to match the slopes and variability of the above theoretical exercise, this time with “emissions”:

        You see, a near perfect match between amplitudes and slopes (with a small factor even completely perfect). Temperature matches all the variability and slope of dCO2/dt, while the real influence of temperature on the slope of dCO2/dt is near zero and all of the slope is from the “emissions”…

      • Two sinusoids + slope +… You’re just using made up data!

        Good grief. And, here I was assuming good faith on your part.

        The whole thing is about matching the phase across the entire observable and observed spectrum, not at a couple of specific sinusoids of selected frequency.

      • Bartemus November 4, 2015 9:07 am

        Excellant comment here bart…

        I think it would be interesting for ferdinand to assume that your graph is correct just to see what he can come up with in the way of an anthropogenic rise. (that still needs to be explored) There is a school of thought out there that says warmer temps cause an inefficiency in the sinks so that anthro co2 then piles up in the atmosphere. Sounds dubious to me, but if anybody could make it work it would have to be ferdinand…

        I do think the odds have gone beyond “vanishingly small”. When two data sets are in lock step for over half a century then “vanishingly small” becomes “next to nil”. By definition, either one is causing the other or something else is causing them both. At this point it’s become predictive. We know exactly what the carbon growth rate will be based on the temperature. (and based on the slightly higher carbon growth rate the last few years we can actually confirm that the warmistas are right, it has been warming!) Perhaps what is needed is a statistician who can figure out exactly what the odds are here, because it appears that we’re well beyond the point where it can be said that ferdinand’s hypothesis has been falsified…

      • “There is a school of thought out there that says warmer temps cause an inefficiency in the sinks so that anthro co2 then piles up in the atmosphere.”

        The problem with that idea is that temperatures have been increasing roughly linearly, and the rate of emissions has been rising roughly linearly. So, if temperatures modulate the rate at which emissions accumulate, you have a quadratic rate of change of CO2. However, CO2 rate of change has been rising roughly linearly, too.

      • Sorry bart, “bartemus” should read “bartemis”. (must have been thinking about that “teaching the dog latin” thing…)

      • I hear you, bart, i hear you… I had a warmist once tell me the same thing. He said that unless the earth was truely “gaia” then the earth wouldn’t know how much carbon to take out and therefor the data (your graph that is) must be wrong!

      • Bart,

        The whole thing is about matching the phase across the entire observable and observed spectrum, not at a couple of specific sinusoids of selected frequency.

        You still don’t get it: I do agree and the whole world agrees and even all warmistas in the world agree with you that 100% of the CO2 and thus the dCO2/dt variability is caused by temperature variability. No matter what frequencies are involved.

        What you don’t see is that the slope of dCO2/dt caused by a linear increase in temperature is (near) zero, because the main processes involved: vegetation and oceans have either a negative response (vegetation) or a near linear response (oceans) to temperature on periods of > 3 years.

        All what I have shown is that you can match frequencies, amplitudes and slopes without any contribution of temperature in the CO2 rate of change and that your attribution of the slopes to temperature only is pure arbitrarily.

      • “What you don’t see is that the slope of dCO2/dt caused by a linear increase in temperature is (near) zero, because the main processes involved: vegetation and oceans have either a negative response (vegetation) or a near linear response (oceans) to temperature on periods of > 3 years.”

        No, Ferdinand. That is an hypothesis, not data. The data do not support it. The data show quite clearly that dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0).

        “All what I have shown is that you can match frequencies, amplitudes and slopes without any contribution of temperature in the CO2 rate of change and that your attribution of the slopes to temperature only is pure arbitrarily.”

        In your own, made-up world, sure. You can make up whatever dynamic you desire in a model. But, don’t kid yourself that you are engaged in science. You are engaged in screenwriting.

        You have to match the real world data. You have to show that you can get 90 deg phase shift across all observable frequencies without getting the trend.

        You cannot. It is a mathematical impossibility in a naturally evolving system. Once you have 90 degrees phase shift across all observable frequencies, you have a de facto integration over the interval of observation, and you will match dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0).

        Why are you so committed to this dogma that you will follow it down in flames? Free your mind. You have learned a narrative. It is time to unlearn it, and look at what the data are telling you.

  47. Micro6500,

    That looks to me that CO2 is following temps…

    Yes it does:
    – with a few months over the seasons: T up, CO2 down, vegetation dominant.
    – with about half a year for 1-3 year variability: T up, CO2 up, vegetation dominant
    – with tens to hundreds of years over multi-decennia to multi-millennia: T up, CO2 up, (deep) oceans dominant.

    No it doesn’t for the CO2 increase over the past 165 years: T slightly up, CO2 strongly up, humans dominant.

      • Bart, just a little childish?

        and

        The combination of both curves show an increase of CO2 with low 13C/12C ratio, which excludes the oceans, while if from vegetation, that would imply burning down – without regrowth – of 1/3rd of all land vegetation, which is highly implausible. Both curves are in exact ratio and timing with human emissions…

        But you may have another theory which doesn’t violate any of the observations…

      • Childish? Hardly. I am appalled that you would try to pass a model off as reflective of the real world.

        You can cherry pick a couple of frequencies, and produce a 90 deg phase shift, sure. That is trivial. What you cannot do is produce a 90 degree phase shift from the highest to the lowest observable frequency without effectively performing an integration.

        The 13C/12C ratio is not uniquely explainable by human inputs driving the CO2 concentration. We do not have all the sources well cataloged and known, and it all depends on the diffusion dynamics, a very complicated subject with typically non-intuitive results, and extended settling times.

        But, there is no alternative explanation for dCO2/dt = k*(T-T0) that leaves humans in the driver’s seat.

      • And, the ice core estimates are fundamentally unverifiable. I do not believe them. It is physically impossible for a system response to be both high bandwidth and low bandwidth at the same time. And, that is what is required for tight control over centuries, then sudden high sensitivity to human inputs.

      • Ferdinand, along with the human emissions hockey stick, there are three other temperature related hockey sticks whose “blades” also begin in the mid 1800s…
        The ipcc’s sea level rise hockey stick beginning in 1870; the mann temperature hockey stick beginning in 1860; and the university of colorado tsi hockey stick beginning in 1840. (note these are all warmist outfits, this is “their” data…) The last one is of particular interest because there is a very clear shift of the slope in your ice core record no later than 1840. At a 2 ppm per decade rate the ice core record outpaces human emissions (.2 ppm per decade) ten to one. There is also another shift in the slope of your ice core graph in the late 1800s which corresponds with a step rise in tsi…

        http://lasp.colorado.edu/lisird/tsi/historical_tsi.html

      • Ferdinand, i went back and read your second (?) of four 2010 pieces which was on the carbon 13 ratio. I think it’s a must read for anyone who needs a crystal clear explanation as to what it’s all about. (some times when we’re so busy throwing mud at you, it’s so easy to forget just how gifted you really are…) Of the four, i thought it was the most exquisitely written. Thanks much for sharing that gift and look forward to your upcoming essay.

        Now… back to throwing mud (!). You based your conclusion that the source must be anthropogenic on deductive reasoning. It can’t be trees because they are a sink over time and not a source. It can’t be the oceans because of the carbon 13 “finger print”. My objection to this is simple: the oceans ARE a source, supplying half of all emissions. If that doesn’t affect the carbon 13 ratio (as expected), then why should an imbalance that adds more have an affect on the carbon 13 ratio?

      • Bart:

        What you cannot do is produce a 90 degree phase shift from the highest to the lowest observable frequency without effectively performing an integration.

        What you don’t (want to?) see is that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere from the linear increase in temperature is quasi-linear and thus its derivative is (near) completely flat. There is no direct or indirect influence of temperature on the slope of dCO2/dt, whatever caused the variability around the trend. Your “match” between the T and dCO2/dt slopes is completely bogus.

        Any decrease in 13C/12C ratio is not uniquely from human emissions for certain, as vegetation could be the source (it isn’t). There may be unknown alternative natural sources, but these should then have increased in exact ratio and timing as human emissions, which is extremely unlikely. Anyway, it is really certain that it can’t be the oceans, as good as adding an acid to a solution can’t increase the pH.

      • Bart:

        It is physically impossible for a system response to be both high bandwidth and low bandwidth at the same time. And, that is what is required for tight control over centuries, then sudden high sensitivity to human inputs.

        You still see the carbon cycle as one process, but there are many processes at work: some extremely fast (ocean surface and leave growth and wane), but limited in capacity, some slower (deep oceans and more permanent storage in vegetation debris), some are temperature-only dependent, some pressure-only dependent and some are a mix of both.

        This mix of processes does react very fast ánd very slow on temperature changes and in between on pressure changes. Human emissions only affect the latter.

      • Fonzie:

        At a 2 ppm per decade rate the ice core record outpaces human emissions (.2 ppm per decade) ten to one.

        The above graphs are direct measured data, giving real HS’s not “selected proxies” like Mann’s HS. Sea level rise is limited in time based on tide gauge measurements, but proxies show 120 m rise since the last ice age… TSI may have an influence, not very visible in recent times…

        The natural variability as seen in the past 57 years is +/- 1 ppmv. Human emissions of the period 1750-1850 are within natural variability, that is undetectable. Increase 1850-2000 was indeed ~5 ppmv, but emissions were of the same order (10.8 GtC). From 1900 on, things get more interesting. We have accurate figures for 1958-current but if we may assume that ice core CO2 has some truth in the data, the ratio still is remarkable linear:

        My objection to this is simple: the oceans ARE a source, supplying half of all emissions. If that doesn’t affect the carbon 13 ratio (as expected), then why should an imbalance that adds more have an affect on the carbon 13 ratio?

        Emissions from the deep oceans do affect the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere, but that are not one-way emissions, that is about as much CO2 out of the deep that goes into the deep: from the warm upwelling sites near the equator to the cold sink places near the poles. That is a near permanent flux of ~40 years, which can be deduced from the 14C decay rate after the 1950-1960 atomic bomb tests and the “diluting” of the human fingerprint to about 1/3rd to what it would be if all human emissions should stay in the atmosphere:

        The discrepancy in the early years is probably from vegetation which gradually changed from a small net source to a small, but growing sink for CO2…

  48. Ferdinand Engelbeen November 5, 2015 at 1:28 am

    “What you don’t (want to?) see is that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere from the linear increase in temperature is quasi-linear and thus its derivative is (near) completely flat.”

    Nonsense. dCO2/dt = k*(T-T0). A linear increase in temperature with time produces a quadratic increase in CO2.

    “…but these should then have increased in exact ratio and timing as human emissions…”

    Nearly affine functions are always affinely similar to one another.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen November 5, 2015 at 1:28 am

    “You still see the carbon cycle as one process, but there are many processes at work…”

    It does not matter. Only the aggregate response matters.

    Ferdinand Engelbeen November 5, 2015 at 2:20 am

    “…but if we may assume that ice core CO2 has some truth in the data, the ratio still is remarkable linear…”

    Not very remarkable, just two series that both happen to be trending the same way, a 50/50 proposition. This is remarkable:

    Two series which match so closely, every bump and burble lies on top of one another, i.e., the fingerprints match.

    “… that is about as much CO2 out of the deep that goes into the deep…”

    But, not necessarily of the same isotopic content. This is all model world, not real world.

    • Just like your model world which ignores the fact that the influx/efflux to/from the atmosphere from the ocean depends on the pCO2. The real dependence should have the following form:

      dCO2/dt = fossil fuel flux +sources (CO2,T) – sinks (CO2,T)

    • Two series which match so closely, every bump and burble lies on top of one another, i.e., the fingerprints match.

      But not for the reason you think. they match because the temp series you use is infilled with data that’s created based on the proposed temp/Co2 CS value, then when you use temp to calculate CS, tada they look like they match.
      When you average the difference between daily rising temps, and the following night’s falling temp based on surface stations and account for uncertainty since 1940 the average derivative of daily temps change is 0.0F +/-0.1F

      • They don’t attempt to match a derivative relationship. They try to match a proportional relationship:

        And, it’s mostly in the NH. The SH matches the satellite data during the period of overlap, and that is what I used for the plot.

      • Bart, how’s your dog coming along with those latin lessons?

        At what point would you guess that ferdinand will cave? (or all opposition for that matter) If ten years from now human emissions are at 6 ppm in per year (double what they were in 2000), but carbon growth is down around say 1 ppm per year, what do you think ferdinand’s response will be?

    • Data first, hypothesis after, Ferdinand. Don’t try to impose your physical understanding against the data. Seek the physics which explain the data, not the data which explain the physics.

      • Yes, the data show that CO2 in the atmosphere increases slightly quadratic, which human emissions do with a 4-fold increase in the past 57 years, near twice as high as the increase in the atmosphere. That is quite clear and no hypothesis needs to be invented, as that is exactly what the slope in the CO2 derivative shows, simply by applying the rules for a linear decay.

        Good luck with finding a hypothesis that shows a 4-fold increase of CO2 in the atmosphere in exactly the same time span (and a similar drop in 13C/12C ratio), while getting rid of these nasty human emissions…

      • Bart,

        That model does fit the data. It seems that I had used sea surface data for my previous plot. Here I have used the same temperature data (RSS) as you did and dCO2/dt(obs) both from Wood for Trees. With a transient response of 12 months and a CO2:T factor of 4 that gives:

        The transient response of CO2 in the atmosphere to temperature is smoothed, as that is an integral towards a new steady state. If you take the derivative, all variability is back where the amplitude is a matter of the full response of in this case vegetation to temperature changes, which is smaller, but faster than for the oceans,

        As one can see, the transient CO2 derivative and RSS-T are fully synchronized with exactly the same variability frequencies and amplitude changes. The main difference is that dCO2/dt from a transient response to a linear T changes has zero slope, while of course T has a slope. That means that:

        There is zero influence of a transient response of CO2 to a linear temperature change on the slope of the CO2 rate of change.

        Al what you need to do is add the response of the system to human emissions and you have an almost perfect match. At least as perfect as the match of RSS-T by an arbitrary factor and offset, which changes the amplitudes, depending of the difference in slopes…

        Whatever you invent, this proves that your theory is not a unique solution and while my real world theory matches all observations, your theory violates them all…

        Note: I just realized that there are no titles on the right axes, of course on the upper plot it is CO2 in ppmv (1.5 ppmv added since 1980 from the “bio” response, but that is in fact negative, but more that compensated by a stronger increase from the oceans). For the lower plot it is dCO2/dt in ppmv/month. For the (emissions and the) increase in the atmosphere, these start non-zero in 1980.

      • It still doesn’t match, Ferdinand. There’s still a phase mismatch. It’s not as good as this:

        You won’t get as good as that until you move your time constant to a very large value, at which point you will be doing an effective integration.

        And, you are only looking at 37 years. Take it all the way back 57 years with the SH data, and you will see even more phase distortion with the longer term frequency components.

      • This is what you are dealing with, Ferdinand. The phase response of the normalized transfer function tau/(tau*s+1) looks like this for various values of tau:

        You have a data record of potentially 57 years, which means the lowest frequency observable is about 0.0175 yr^-1, but you can still discern phase to somewhat lower than that.

        You need 90 deg of phase lag down to perhaps 0.01 yr^-1 in order to match as well as the pure integral, which means you’re going to need a time constant North of 100 years.

        If you put in a time constant of 100 years, you are going to start to see a substantial trend in your dCO2/dt, and you are going to have to substantially diminish the max possible contribution from human emissions accordingly.

        But, once you’ve gone that far, you might as well go all the way, and make the time constant infinite. When you do, you will find the trend in dCO2/dt is perfectly explained by the temperature relationship.

      • Bart,

        The derivative from a transient response of (vegetation) CO2 to temperature variability is exactly synchronized with the temperature variability, no matter if tau for that response is 6, 12 or 24 months.
        No matter if you take the RSS period or the full period. No matter the ultimate height of the response of CO2 to temperature.

        There may be a small discrepancy of one month, due to back and forth calculations, but that is not the point of interest. The point of interest is that all the variability for all frequencies is exactly the same if you take the temperature as base or the derivative as base. There is no difference in phase distortion for T or dCO2/dt.
        Only the amplitudes differ and the slope of the latter is near zero (the small slope in the plot is because begin- and endpoint are not equal). The latter integrates to what the change in CO2 does for a temperature change over longer term. Changing the response rate does change the amplitudes, but doesn’t change the frequencies or appearance of the derivative.

        For a tau of 6 months:

        For a tau of 12 months:

        For a tau of 24 months:

        Any discrepancy of the variability for the derivative of the transient response with the real rate of change is exactly the same as for the temperature variability…

        Thus sorry Bart, your theory is not a unique solution, it is all curve fitting and human emissions are the main cause of the increase in the atmosphere, as the derivative of a transient response to a linear increase in temperature has (near) zero slope…

      • Bart,

        If one plots a shorter time interval, it is clear that the derivative of a transient response is exactly synchronized with the temperature variability, not even a month difference. Here for 1995-2000:

      • “The derivative from a transient response of (vegetation) CO2 to temperature variability is exactly synchronized with the temperature variability, no matter if tau for that response is 6, 12 or 24 months.”

        Where do you get such ridiculous ideas? Do you really think you can brazen this out with such nonsense?

        No, Ferdinand, you need a 90 deg phase shift to get a match. The plot I have given you shows the phase response of your filtering process, and how you need to vary things to get the necessary phase shift over a given band of frequencies.

        I’m sorry, Ferdinand, but your match still stinks. It gets worse the longer the record, because it is at the lower frequencies where the phase reverts to zero degrees, in accordance with the plot I have given you.

      • These are fingerprints, Ferdinand. You have to match every loop, whorl, and arch as best you can. The more you match, the more likely you have the correct culprit.

        Your match is poor. Much less good than mine. The longer you make your time constant, the better your match will be.

      • I chose your 24 month one to highlight, as it is the best of your poor fits. The fits get progressively better the longer you make tau. To get the very best fit, extend tau to a very high number.

      • Bart,

        I don’t know where it goes wrong in your reasoning, but I have the impression that you are talking about a complete different response than what is seen in the real world as a transient response.

        If you calculate a transient response of 6, 12 or 24 months, the CO2 response in all three cases is about 90 degrees after the temperature changes. If you take the derivatives of these three CO2 curves, the timing is exactly the same as for the temperature plot itself: the same variability at exact the same place, only the amplitudes are different. The blue curve has zero lag with the red curve, see the detailed plot 1995-2000, even not for a tau of only 6 months.

        Thus if there any discrepancy between the real CO2 rate of change, that discrepancy is exactly the same, no matter if you use the T curve or the flat dCO2/dt curve + a slope (human emissions).

        The plot I have given you shows the phase response of your filtering process

        What filtering process? Just straightforward calculation of the CO2 response, integrating towards a new equilibrium, without any feedback from CO2 on temperature. Are you again using a response based on a feedback control?

      • “If you calculate a transient response of 6, 12 or 24 months, the CO2 response in all three cases is about 90 degrees after the temperature changes.”

        This is an illusion, Ferdinand.

        The signal is a sum of frequency based components, some high, some low. The very prominent spikes you see are high frequency components. The more rounded formations are lower frequency.

        When you implement

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) – CO2/tau

        you are applying a filter to the data. This filter has a response in the frequency domain as shown in my curves at November 5, 2015 at 4:01 pm.

        You generally get -90 deg phase lag at the higher frequencies. But, the phase response tails off to zero degrees at low frequencies. So, your spikes (higher frequency formations) do get a -90 deg phase shift. But, your lower frequency ones do not. Thus, the spikes, which draw your eye, look reasonable, but you are missing the less prominent, lower frequency components which still fail to match very well.

        This is a manifestation of phase distortion, such as I have been writing to you about for probably years now.

        What we have in the dCO2/dt data is a spread of frequency components, from the lowest observable (frequency of the inverse of the observation interval) to the highest (Nyquist rate).

        The correct transfer function has tau so long that it makes little difference between it and a straight integration over the time interval of observation. Anything less than this produces not-as-good a fit.

        As you increase your tau, you are going to get better and better results. You can see it in the progression of plots you have provided – the tau = 24 month is better than the tau = 12 month, is better than the tau = 6 month.

        Keep moving it up to longer values. You haven’t gotten the best fit, yet. Your fit is still poor.

      • Please note the “Very low frequency component” I have indicated by the thick, slightly curved line in the plot at November 6, 2015 at 8:28 am. The curvature here is due to the “pause” in surface temperatures.

        The actual rate of change of CO2 from actual data very closely resembles the T curve. It, also, settles out during the pause.

        If you attempt to take your filtered dCO2/dt (red line) and add emissions to it, you will not be able to replicate this effect of the “pause” in temperatures.

        Again, as you increase your tau, this very low frequency component will start getting the same -90 deg phase shift evident all across the frequency spectrum in the real data, as well as the gain needed to make it stand out. When you reach a tau which reasonably reproduces the “pause” effect, you will only be able to add in a tiny portion of emissions in at best.

        This is a very prominent fingerprint. It shows very clearly that the culprit is not humankind.

      • Incidentally, my highlighting where even your own plot shows a discrepancy with the pause is in no manner an acceptance or endorsement of said plot. It appears to get from the blue curve to the red curve, you subtracted an arbitrary trend line, producing a zero trend over a period when observations have an essentially zero trend. A proper calculation of the airborne fraction would be simply a scale factor, and a trend would not get arbitrarily zeroed out.

      • I have to leave on a trip shortly. I will be gone until Saturday Nov. 14. If I do not respond to further inputs, it does not indicate acquiescence. We will just have to pick it up again at a later time.

        Bottom line is: the longer you make the response, the better your fit against real world data will be, and the less you will be able to add in human emissions as a significant driver. Occam’s razor comes down solidly on the side that human emissions are not a significant driver.

      • Bottom line is: the longer you make the response, the better your fit against real world data will be, and the less you will be able to add in human emissions as a significant driver. Occam’s razor comes down solidly on the side that human emissions are not a significant driver.

        And from what I’ve seen of actual surface measurements (not the published junk), there is no evidence Co2 has reduced cooling over a 24 hour through the last 75 years periods.

      • Bart,

        The match is in the first place for the frequencies 1-3 years. After that other processes take over, which are even negative for vegetation, which is the main cause of the short term vaiability. There is simply no difference between the curves for 6, 12 or 24 months decay for dCO2/dt and all curves match the curve of T completely synchronized. Any mismatch between the two curves is a matter of adding the same slope and implying matching scales for the difference in amplitude.

        If you compare both T and calculated dCO2/dt to the observed dCO2/dt, both don’t match the longer term > 3 years that good, no matter the 6, 12 or 24 month decay. Here for the years 2000-2010 where you saw tha largest discrepancy (Which doesn’t exist):

        For 6 months:

        For 12 months:

        Only the dCO2/dt amplitude halves.

        For 24 months:

        Response of CO2 doubled to keep the same scales…

        Thus there is no influence of any “filtering” out of lower frequencies between 6 and 24 months decay rate. Both T variability and transient dCO2/dt variability follow each other exactly synchronized and both show the same discrepancies with the observed dCO2/dt. Which is quite normal: Pieter Tans calculated that temperature and drought could explain 60% of the variability, not 100%…

        That doesn’t say much about the cause of the slopes. I haven’t done that part (yet) as the emissions and the net result of the emissions are yearly, while the calculations here are monthly. If I have some spare time I will interpolate the data and add the variability of the zero-slope dCO2/dt…

        Main result of this discussion: it doesn’t make any difference for the variability if you take T or the transient response as dCO2/dt. In both cases the discrepancies with the observations are exactly the same.
        Rest the cause of the slopes. As proven here that the same variability can result from the transient response to temperature with zero slope, the slope can be as good from emissions as from temperature.
        As emissions are twice what is observed in the atmosphere and there is no known process on earth that does increase CO2 in the atmosphere with 110 ppmv from 0.8°C warming in only 165 years and still fits all observations…

      • Incredible. I expressly tell you how your output is bad, and how it is worse the longer the interval over which you look at it, and you send an even shorter shorter output comparison to look at, and insist all is well.

        This is just awful, Ferdinand. You’re not even close. Oh, well. No more time. Until we meet again…

      • Bart,

        you subtracted an arbitrary trend line, producing a zero trend over a period when observations have an essentially zero trend.

        Thanks for the insult, since when does a linear increase of CO2 (as result of a transient response to temperature) give a non-zero slope in dCO2/dt?

        Incredible. I expressly tell you how your output is bad, and how it is worse the longer the interval over which you look at it, and you send an even shorter output comparison to look at, and insist all is well.

        You are just diverting the attention from where your plot goes wrong: for any time span longer than 3 years, the frequencies don’t match, as good as for my plot, as these both are completely identical for the variability in timing and frequencies.
        Further for the slopes, your plot has opposite slopes for T and dCO2/dt for 35 of the 57 years… So spare me from that kind of critique, as the “match” is at least as bad for your plot…

      • “Thanks for the insult, since when does a linear increase of CO2 (as result of a transient response to temperature) give a non-zero slope in dCO2/dt?”

        Since it isn’t a linear increase. CO2 has been increasing quadratically, as a result of a linear rise in temperature, because dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0).

        And, the words to which you are responding were in reference to the plot at November 6, 2015 at 9:51 am, so you’re not even arguing anything apposite.

        “You are just diverting the attention from where your plot goes wrong…”

        My plot doesn’t go wrong. Yours does. Your plot is a poor match. It only vaguely matches for short term, high frequency content. I’ve tried to explain why, but it just sails over your head.

        We aren’t even vaguely on the same page. I do not think you understand anything I have been explaining to you. Whether that is willful or because you just don’t have the intellectual capacity to understand is something I cannot answer.

        But, the bottom line is, your results do not match the data, and your obstinacy in refusing to understand why is only reflecting poorly upon your capabilities.

      • Bart:

        CO2 has been increasing quadratically, as a result of a linear rise in temperature, because dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0).

        Of course in the real world CO2 has been increasing quadratically, because human emissions did at twice the increase in the atmosphere. There is no known physical mechanism that shows that temperature can be the cause of an unlimited quadratic increase of CO2 into the atmosphere from a fixed temperature difference. Al what you do is attributing all the increase of CO2 to temperature, which is a nice example of circular reasoning. Neither the response of vegetation (negative) or oceans (transient to a fixed increase for a fixed temperature jump) do show any appreciable non-linear behavior.

        Incredible. I expressly tell you how your output is bad, and how it is worse the longer the interval over which you look at it, and you send an even shorter output comparison to look at, and insist all is well.

        Not at all: I responded to your “mismatch” of the plots in an earlier message and only saw the second message later.

        As I said already a few times, the short term variability is proven from the response of vegetation to short term temperatures. That levels out after 1-3 years to below zero. Thus longer tau’s have zero effect on that process. What you still don’t (want to) understand is that the response of CO2 to temperature is not one process, but several processes, each with their own response time, amplitude and maximum capacity. Looking at a curve which only shows the effect of the short term variability doesn’t show what the effect of other temperature related processes is with longer decay rates.

        your results do not match the data, and your obstinacy in refusing to understand why is only reflecting poorly upon your capabilities.

        Your results do not match the data either and your refusing of any observation which doesn’t fit your theory is only reflecting poorly on your capacity to understand what happens in the real world…

        Like the fact that either you match the slopes or the amplitudes, not both, if the real slopes are quite different. Which is the result of two different processes in the real world: one that determines the variability, the other the slopes…

      • The carbon content of the atm is about 720 GigaTon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle
        Biomass is 3 for 4 some times that much. The size of the sinks are near 100 times the size of human output, very slight changes in the biosphere could easily either emit or consume our entire output (and could be entirely responsible for all of the change in the atm).

        I don’t see how there can be any declaration of the cause. And while yes we know the human isotope composition, we also know it’s getting feed right back into the biosphere, and we don’t know if any process is selective, or not.
        But if more carbon enhances growth (which we know it does) you can’t neglect that sinks will increase over time. How many tons of carbon would a 3% increase in the volume of the Amazon rainforest consume? Same with the increased greening on the edges of the various deserts?
        Lastly, you can’t use any of the published temperature series to do this calculation, as huge portions are entirely made up.

      • micro6500,

        Biomass is 3 for 4 some times that much. The size of the sinks are near 100 times the size of human output, very slight changes in the biosphere could easily either emit or consume our entire output (and could be entirely responsible for all of the change in the atm).

        Indeed it is not possible to make a distinction between recent organics and fossil organics based on the 13C/12C ratio, but it is possible for the 14C level (fossil fuels have no 14C left) and one can look at the O2 balance: both fossil fuel use and organics decay use oxygen, plant growth produces oxygen. By looking at the O2 changes in the atmosphere (with sufficient resolution since ~1990) and subtracting the oxygen use by burning fossil fuels, one can determine how much oxygen was produced or used by the biosphere as a whole: plants, bacteria, molds, insects, animals,… That shows a net production of oxygen and thus a net uptake (of ~1 GtC/year) of CO2 and preferentially 12CO2, leaving relative more 13CO2 in the atmosphere. Thus the biosphere is not the cause of the CO2 increase, neither the 13C/12C drop in the atmosphere.
        See: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5462/2467.short
        Neither are the oceans, as their 13C/12C ratio is higher than in the atmosphere, even including the fractionation at the water-air border and reverse.

        The variability in sink rate by the natural carbon cycle is surprisingly small: +/- 1 ppmv (for ~75 ppmv going in and out the atmosphere within a year) around the trend of 70 ppmv in the past 57 years. Thus it seems that the carbon cycle is rather constant…

  49. Here is a toy model that demonstrates why Ferdinand’s and others objections are off the mark. Let

    A = atmospheric CO2 content
    O = oceanic content
    alpha = steady state proportionality
    tau = rapid time constant to equalize proportions of oceanic and atmospheric content
    H = human inputs
    B = oceanic THC imbalance

    dA/dt = (O – alpha*A)/tau + H
    dO/dt = (alpha*A – O)/tau + B

    Note that, in this model, overall net sinks are assumed negligible, and

    d/dt(A + O) = H + B

    i.e., the mass balance is obeyed.

    These equations rapidly equalize atmospheric and oceanic content, subject to the proportionality factor alpha. It should be quite large, as the oceans can absorb vastly more CO2 than the atmosphere.

    The solution for A as tau -> zero is

    A = integral(H+B)/(1+alpha)

    Since alpha is large, the first part is small, and we have

    A := integral(B/(1+alpha))

    the assumption being, obviously, that B is much greater than H.

    Let B be temperature dependent such that B/(1+alpha) := k*(T – T0). Then

    dA/dt = k*(T – T0)

    Most of the H goes into the ocean O, which is approximately

    O = alpha*A = (alpha/(1+alpha))*integral(H+B) := integral(H+B)

    H contributes to oceanic acidification, but much less than the natural B.

    This example shows how the result can be perfectly consistent with Henry’s law, one of Ferdinand’s recurring objections, as the alpha parameter would be related to this quantity.

    I am not saying this is how things are. It is a toy model, just an example of why the objections do not hold any water.

    dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0) is physically viable.

    • Bart:

      Note that, in this model, overall net sinks are assumed negligible

      The pea under the trimble…

      Human emissions increased a fourfold in the past 57 years.
      Increase rate in the atmosphere increased a fourfold in the same period.
      Thus net sink rate increased a fourfold in the same period.
      Which makes:
      The only way that the natural carbon cycle can dwarf human emissions, is that it increased a fourfold in the same period.
      For which is not the slightest indication in any observation…

      • Bart,

        The sinks don’t make any differentiation for a reaction on an atmospheric increase between human or natural CO2. Thus if the increase in the atmosphere increased a 4-fold in the past 57 years and the net sink rate increased a 4-fold in the same period, that requires that either there was no increase in natural cycle at all, or the natural cycle increased a 4-fold too. Not a 3-fold or 5-fold.
        There is zero indication that the natural cycle increased anyway, to the contrary.

      • “Not a three-fold or five-fold”

        If it’s temperature that’s driving the carbon growth-rate, then without the temperature step rises it would indeed be “a three-fold”…

      • Fonzie,

        Even with “only” a threefold increase in the atmosphere from a natural cause (oceans as the only possibility), that would be visible in all observations, especially the residence time. A threefold increase in residual CO2 is only possible from a threefold increase in the total carbon cycle, if that was the cause. That makes that the residence time should have been reduced a threefold too.
        What is observed is that if you average all different estimates of the residence time over the years in two time periods, the more recent estimates give a longer residence time, consistent with a rather constant throughput in an increasing CO2 level of the atmosphere…

        BTW, thanks for reading my essay about the 13C/12C ratio. My strength was when I still was working in the chemical industry – already 10 years ago – when there were problems with a process is to eliminate the impossibilities rather than looking at the possible causes. Was several times much faster in finding the real cause than the opposite way…

      • All it requires is that the “k” value be what it is. This is not an unlikely event.

        I don’t even know what your point is. The rise was what it needed to be to produce the results we observe.

      • Bart,

        The results are only artificially valid for the increase in the atmosphere, including its variability. For the rest, that violates all other observations: human emissions just disappear in space, as if that wasn’t the case, the only possible alternative is that the natural carbon cycle increased a fourfold in exact lockstep with human emissions… For which is not the slightest indication…

      • Yeah, ferdinand, one of the things that you offer folks is in gaining clarity on some of these arguments which are not always well understood by the masses. (things like quibbling over the validity of the MLO data set when there are scores of stations round the globe saying the same thing…) Your piece on the carbon 13 ratio was “classic engelbeen” in that it left no ambiguity as to what the argument is. And that’s a great starting point for a debate…

        Another area that needs this type of clarity is a refutation of jaworowsky’s take on ice cores. It seems most skeptical thinking on ice cores is wrapped up in his theory. I actually think he made it more difficult (not less) to develop a credible argument against the validity of ice cores. I had to dig into some of your work to figure it out (and i’m really grateful for that, thanks…). It would be nice if such a refutation was readily available (as in a guest essay) for skeptics to see.

        Well, it looks like the life of the party (bart…) is leaving here. I hope he gets back before anthony posts your guest essay, as the comment page won’t be the same without him (will it?!). That should be fun. Make sure to put a pot of coffee on for that one, because it’s sure to be an all nighter. (and keep plenty of antacids handy…)

      • It’s all narrative. Fonzie. It’s what the ice core champions think should happen. But, they don’t actually know, indeed, cannot know, because there are no independent means of verification.

        Theories about what should happen are like battle plans before a war – they rarely survive first contact with the enemy. Nature holds all sorts of surprises for the unwary. One should not treat unverified theorizing any way but provisionally, as a means of projecting hypotheses that are verifiable.

        The narrative on ice cores is fundamentally at odds with the reality of system bandwidth. Not impossible, but quite unlikely. Tread cautiously, and pay serious attention to alternatives to the narrative.

        Remember, e.g., dietary fat consumption should make people fat, and prone to heart disease. They are only now waking up to the reality that the cure was worse than the disease, decades after that science was “settled” (but, unverified). I cannot tell you how many times my colleagues and I have gone into the lab expecting a particular result in an experiment, only to be stymied by secondary effects that were considered to be negligible, but turned out not to be, and had to be worked around. It is the nature of the beast.

        And, now my wife is calling, and I really must go. Last word: Ferdinand’s signal processing skills are lame, and his “fit” is lousy. The data fit dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0), and none of the denial and obfuscatory tactics are going to change that.

      • Fonzie,

        I have a page about the objections of the late Jaworowski against ice cores CO2 at:

        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html

        What closed the door for me is that he said that the low (pre-industrial) levels measured in the ice core are because during drilling and relaxation a lot of cracks are formed and CO2 escapes (preferentially?) to the atmosphere, while the bubble measurements show 180-300 ppmv and the outside air after drilling up to measurement day were over 360 ppmv…

        Further, after an email to him about the “arbitrary shift” by Neftel to “match” the Mauna Loa data, where he used the wrong column in Neftel’s table (he used the ice age, not the average gas age), he responded that all air is immediately sealed after the snow has fallen, which makes that there is no difference between ice age and average gas age (which would be marvelous: no averaging…). Neftel did observe one (!) melt layer between 68 and 69 m depth and adjusted the average gas age below that layer accordingly.

        Etheridge e.a. published the results of three Law Dome ice cores in 1996, with obviously the objections of Jaworowski from 1992 in mind, which were point by point rejected.
        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1996/95JD03410.shtml
        Unfortunately still behind a paywall.

        Here the main findings:

        Some more info can be found at:
        http://courses.washington.edu/proxies/GHG.pdf
        About any migration in relative warm (coastal) ice cores:
        http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/3773250
        Net result, an increase of the resolution from ~20 to ~22 years at medium depth and from ~20 to ~40 years at full depth (~70,000 years)
        About gas age and spread at bubble closing depth:
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/96GL03156/abstract
        They used the 14C bomb spike to determine both average gas age and gas age spread very accurately. Which renders Bart’s remark about ice core validity completely off the mark.

        As usual, everything that may remotely conquer his one-issue theory based on an arbitrary match of two slopes must be wrong, unproven or ignored… Makes it quite difficult to have a civil conversation about real world observations…

      • Fonzie,

        I have a page about the objections of the late J*aworowski against ice cores CO2 at:

        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html

        What closed the door for me is that he said that the low (pre-industrial) levels measured in the ice core are because during drilling and relaxation a lot of cracks are formed and CO2 escapes (preferentially?) to the atmosphere, while the bubble measurements show 180-300 ppmv and the outside air after drilling up to measurement day were over 360 ppmv…

        Further, after an email to him about the “arbitrary shift” by Neftel to “match” the Mauna Loa data, where he used the wrong column in Neftel’s table (he used the ice age, not the average gas age), he responded that all air is immediately sealed after the snow has fallen, which makes that there is no difference between ice age and average gas age (which would be marvelous: no averaging…). Neftel did observe one (!) melt layer between 68 and 69 m depth and adjusted the average gas age below that layer accordingly.

        Etheridge e.a. published the results of three Law Dome ice cores in 1996, with obviously the objections of J*aworowski from 1992 in mind, which were point by point rejected.
        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1996/95JD03410.shtml
        Unfortunately still behind a paywall.

        Here the main findings:

        Some more info can be found at:
        http://courses.washington.edu/proxies/GHG.pdf
        About any migration in relative warm (coastal) ice cores:
        http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/3773250
        Net result, an increase of the resolution from ~20 to ~22 years at medium depth and from ~20 to ~40 years at full depth (~70,000 years)
        About gas age and spread at bubble closing depth:
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/96GL03156/abstract
        They used the 14C bomb spike to determine both average gas age and gas age spread very accurately. Which renders Bart’s remark about ice core validity completely off the mark.

        As usual, everything that may remotely conquer his one-issue theory based on an arbitrary match of two slopes must be wrong, unproven or ignored… Makes it quite difficult to have a civil conversation about real world observations…

        Note: I used J*aworowski, as a previous response did disappear in cyberspace, I suppose that his name is a redirection towards the moderation bin…

    • Bartemis November 5, 2015 at 12:50 pm
      Here is a toy model that demonstrates why Ferdinand’s and others objections are off the mark. Let

      A = atmospheric CO2 content
      O = oceanic content
      alpha = steady state proportionality
      tau = rapid time constant to equalize proportions of oceanic and atmospheric content
      H = human inputs
      B = oceanic THC imbalance

      dA/dt = (O – alpha*A)/tau + H
      dO/dt = (alpha*A – O)/tau + B

      Note that, in this model, overall net sinks are assumed negligible, and

      d/dt(A + O) = H + B

      i.e., the mass balance is obeyed.

      These equations rapidly equalize atmospheric and oceanic content, subject to the proportionality factor alpha. It should be quite large, as the oceans can absorb vastly more CO2 than the atmosphere.

      The part of the ocean that exchanges readily with the atmosphere is that portion above the thermocline, which holds ~670 GT of CO2 compared with ~720 GT in the atmosphere, so alpha is ~1.
      Tau should not be small given that the ocean significantly lags the atmosphere.
      As for B the surface ocean loses a comparable net amount to the deep as it gains from the atmosphere so H≅-B.

      So the assumptions made in your model aren’t representative of the real world.

      • Bartemis November 6, 2015 at 1:53 pm
        You do not understand the model.

        Really, well I know that the assumptions you make don’t match the situation on this planet.

      • No, you don’t know that. You’ve just made a bunch of assertions.

        dCO2/dt = k*(T – T0)

        All of your and Ferdinand’s plugging your ears and shouting “Nah, Nah, Nah!” won’t change that. It is a slam dunk. There is no doubt about it.

      • Phil.,

        All what Bart does is inventing processes which don’t or even can’t exist in the real world, as these violate one or even all observations. And ignoring all observations which refute his theory…

        Like here: if the natural cycle should dwarf human emissions, that implies:
        1) An extreme fast cycle
        2) Huge natural quantities involved
        3) A fourfold increase in natural cycle 1958-2013

        1) + 2) would imply an extremely small residence time, but all empirical observations show a residence time of 3-14 years, average ~5 years, or about 150 GtC/year throughput of CO2 in 800 GtC currently in the atmosphere. Human emissions are currently around 9 GtC/year or ~6% of the natural cycle. Small but measurable in a lot of observations.

        3) Needs some clarification.

        Bart says:
        Note that, in this model, overall net sinks are assumed negligible.

        That would be a little difficult, as:
        dA/dt = H + B – S
        for S = ~0
        dA/dt = H + B

        That gives a problem, as
        H + B > H > dA/dt in the past 57 years
        That implies that the net sink is certainly not negligible.

        The increase in the atmosphere increased a fourfold/year between 1958 and 2013. So did the human contribution and thus the net sink:
        For 1958: dA/dt = H + B – S
        For 2013: 4*dA/dt = 4*H + x*B – 4*S
        or
        (x-1)*B = 3*(dA/dt – H + S) in 2013, compared to 1958
        where B = dA/dt – H + S in 1958
        or x = 4
        There is not one observation that confirms any increase in the natural carbon cycle over the past 57 years.

        The only valid alternative is that B = 0, which matches all observations, including a small increase in residence time…

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