Claim: Earth's climate more sensitive to CO2 than previously thought

From BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY and the “worse than we thought, doubling down on CO2 for Paris” department, comes this claim that we are well on our way to a hothouse Earth. Except, the study isn’t confirmed yet, by the researcher’s own admission (see end of PR). he needs more data, but that won’t stop the headlines leading up to Paris. Meanwhile, present day climate sensitivity seems to be far less than 3°C, if fact there’s quite a number of papers suggesting that sensitivity to CO2 is lower than IPCC model predictions.

Study: Earth’s climate more sensitive to CO2 than previously thought

Return to hothouse climate may take less carbon dioxide than expected

BINGHAMTON, NY – Ancient climates on Earth may have been more sensitive to carbon dioxide than was previously thought, according to new research from Binghamton University.

This is a modern trona from Lake Magadi, Kenya. CREDIT David Tuttle

This is a modern trona from Lake Magadi, Kenya. CREDIT David Tuttle

A team of Binghamton University researchers including geology PhD student Elliot A. Jagniecki and professors Tim Lowenstein, David Jenkins and Robert Demicco examined nahcolite crystals found in Colorado’s Green River Formation, formed 50 million years old during a hothouse climate. They found that CO2 levels during this time may have been as low as 680 parts per million (ppm), nearly half the 1,125 ppm predicted by previous experiments. The new data suggests that past predictions significantly underestimate the impact of greenhouse warming and that Earth’s climate may be more sensitive to increased carbon dioxide than was once thought, said Lowenstein.

“The significance of this is that CO2 50 million years ago may not have been as high as we once thought it was, but the climate back then was significantly warmer than it is today,” said Lowenstein.”

CO2 levels in the atmosphere today have reached 400 ppm. According to current projections, doubling the CO2 will result in a rise in the global average temperature of 3 degrees Centigrade. This new research suggests that the effects of CO2 on global warming may be underestimated.

“Take notice that carbon dioxide 50 million years ago may not have been as high as we once thought it was. We may reach that level in the next century, and so the climate change from that increase could be pretty severe, pretty dramatic. CO2 and other climate forcings may be more important for global warming than we realized.”

The only direct measurement of carbon dioxide is from ice cores, which only go back less than 1 million years. Lowenstein and his team are trying to develop ways to estimate ancient carbon dioxide in the atmosphere using indirect proxies. He said that their approach is different than any ever undertaken.

“These are direct chemical measurements that are based on equilibrium thermodynamics,” he said. “These are direct laboratory experiments, so I think they’re really reliable.

Lowenstein wants to look at nahcolite deposits in China to confirm the results found in Colorado.


The study, “Eocene atmospheric CO2 from the nahcolite proxy,” was published Oct. 23 inGeology.

Here’s the abstract and link to the paper:

Eocene atmospheric CO2 from the nahcolite proxy

Elliot A. JagnieckiTim K. LowensteinDavid M. Jenkins and Robert V. Demicco


Estimates of the atmospheric concentration of CO2, [CO2]atm, for the “hothouse” climate of the early Eocene climatic optimum (EECO) vary for different proxies. Extensive beds of the mineral nahcolite (NaHCO3) in evaporite deposits of the Green River Formation, Piceance Creek Basin, Colorado, USA, previously established [CO2]atm for the EECO to be >1125 ppm by volume (ppm). Here, we present experimental data that revise the sodium carbonate mineral equilibria as a function of [CO2] and temperature. Co-precipitation of nahcolite and halite (NaCl) now establishes a well-constrained lower [CO2]atm limit of 680 ppm for the EECO. Paleotemperature estimates from leaf fossils and fluid inclusions in halite suggest an upper limit for [CO2]atm in the EECO from the nahcolite proxy of ∼1260 ppm. These data support a causal connection between elevated [CO2]atm and early Eocene global warmth, but at significantly lower [CO2]atm than previously thought, which suggests that ancient climates on Earth may have been more sensitive to a doubling of [CO2]atm than is currently assumed.


167 thoughts on “Claim: Earth's climate more sensitive to CO2 than previously thought

    • It can be done, but whether THEY can do it is debatable.
      They used precipitation rates of two lacustrine evaporite salts from a single location to determine global aCO2?! AMAZING! Evaporite precipitation rates are completely dependent on the salts dissolved in the water and the rate of water input vs evaporation. Where aCO2 fits into this and how they normalized the proxy^2 data to water input vs evaporation, I do not know, I’m not versed in pseudoscience.

      • So, why do you suppose they call proxies “proxies?” Could it be because they can only approximate what might be the truth, not tell the truth? Have scientists forgotten that they don’t know the truth, only seek it? After all, no one know for sure when there might be a piece of evidence that will disprove the proven – by proxy, that is. So which “proxy” do you intend to use to determine CO2 from 50,000,000 years ago? Or do you have a time machine to take modern equipment back to test for it?

  1. “…CO2 levels during this time may have been as low as 680 parts per million (ppm), nearly half the 1,125 ppm predicted by previous experiments. The new data suggests that past predictions significantly underestimate the impact of greenhouse warming and that Earth’s climate may be more sensitive to increased carbon dioxide….”
    OR, maybe CO2 doesn’t drive catastrophic warming the way some think it does… Wow, what an epiphany!
    Why is it modern so-called scientists can’t build a simple logic tree to explore all the possibilities?

      • Robert of Ottawa,

        They have names to make and grants to reap.

        I would move one letter of the last word to the end and I think it would be more accurate, but it would probably get me moderated and banned. 🙂

      • Hard to understand they can get a grant when they can’t do math. We usually say nearly when we are on the underside of the number as in 480 is nearly 500. but their number of 680 ppm is “nearly half” the 1,125 ppm predicted? My calculator says that’s 60%, which really isn’t “nearly” half. Yeah, it’s nit-picking, I suppose, but it feels more like nitwit picking.

    • If you look at this…’s a 100 % error. Between the two value of previous and new measurement. So how accurate can this be? Not very in my estimation…yet the scientists are trying to estimate climate sensitivity based on this error….and another for temperature. Geesh…. Probably the best they can say is that if appears that co2 levels were higher in the far past and warmer than today…..but certainly not enough information to perform a climate analysis

    • That’s what I don’t get. This headline presumes all warming is due to CO2, which is clearly unprovable at best and obviously false with scant glance at the 20th century. How do these people get their degrees without knowing basic logic?

  2. I presume they retrieved samples from within the time period of the Ice Cores and then calibrated their techniques by comparing the results to reality?
    Never mind. What wasI thinking?

  3. Well so long as we can keep to the unreproducible past we can speculate all we want school of paleontology has always been right about every hypothesis they have ever come up with.

  4. Amongst their many failings, these “researchers” never seem to understand that correlation does not mean causation.

    • Nobody expects the sloppy attribution.
      Our chief weapon is surprise. Surprise and fear. Two weapons…surprise and fear and a desire to interpret a weak correlation to fit with a predetermined agenda.

    • Yes, and what makes them think that CO2 is the only thing that effects temperature? What causes the ice ages to come and go? Why was it warmer in the MWP than now when Vikngs were farming for many years Greenland? This paper is like kid’s school stuff.

  5. This is simply a confusion about whether CO2 is the earth’s thermostat or its thermometer. Do CO2 levels determine climate or do they reflect climate? For the last 3 million years CO2 levels were mostly due to the latter. However this balance can be perturbed by orbital changes, volcanism and also by human activity but these all also eventually re-balance

    • On these time scales, Henry’s Law guarantees that CO2 is a reflection of climate and not its cause. The best Ice core data for the last 400,000 years show that CO2 lags temperature by about 800 years. That is not coincidentally about the estimated round trip time for the thermohaline circulation, under the reasonable expectation that ocean absorption/outgassing is from its surface.

      • ristvan writes: “CO2 is a reflection of climate and not its cause.”
        Which is in conflict with the authors, who claim:
        “These data support a causal connection between elevated [CO2]atm and early Eocene global warmth”
        This seems to be an ongoing disagreement, is there any way to resolve it or will it remain unsettled science?

      • George, you are being foolish. At sufficient timescales, even a dynamic system’s effects can be estimated based on Henry’s law. Estimations of basic effects are easy. Precise calculations are impossible. Any undergraduate Chemical Engineer knows this.

    • Exactly! How about that maybe CO2 was being sucked up by a healthy biosphere at an unexpectedly high rate? Or Is it possible that stellar local growing conditions sucked out lots of CO2 from the atmosphere locally, and these particular deposits are NOT representative of the whole Earth? How do they know that the Earth wasn’t cooling and the cooler ocean water absorbed a bunch of CO2? We shouldn’t be the ones asking these questions.

  6. I count 8 “may”s in the PR. Wow. The authors really don’t care how little substance there is below the headline.

    • Which is why I’m not sure we should even re-post crap like this, extending its life in daylight. The best thing that could happen to such dreck is no one reading it and a swift trip to irrelevancy.

    • ” may ” does not equate to ” might “.
      May grants permission; might grants speculation.
      They never had ANY permission 50 million years ago.

  7. IPCC AR5 Figure 8.15 shows RF of 2.3 W/m^2 (W is power not energy) for the 115 ppm increase in anthropogenic GHGs between 1750 to 2011 with an error bar from 1.1 to 3.3. ToA is 340 W/m^2 while various absorptions, reflections, etc. are on the order of scores w/ +/- 10s of uncertainties. The 2.3 W/m^2 is lost in the magnitude and uncertainties of the overall balance.
    Nobody can place a reliable number on the connection & sensitivity between GHGs and RFs.

  8. “The significance of this is that CO2 50 million years ago may not have been as high as we once thought it was, but the climate back then was significantly warmer than it is today,”
    I may only play a climatologist on television, but surely the average temperature of the earth depends on far more than just CO2 concentration. As just one example, the shifting positions of the continents shape the ocean currents, thus affecting the transportation of heat around the globe.

    • No! It’s all the CO2’s fault! Global warming! Hurricanes! ISIS! Hemorrhoids! Justin Beiber! CO2 is really Satan in disguise! Unless we all stop driving our cars tomorrow, we’re all doomed! Doomed! The Day After Tomorrow! Waterworld! Mad Max! Ghostbusters 3! Dooooomed!

      • Wait! You’re on to something!
        CO2 has been increasing- so has the number of failed Hollywood movies!!!
        CO2 causes bad Hollywood movies!!!
        Can I have another grant, please?

      • Joe Wagoner November 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm
        Wait! You’re on to something!
        CO2 has been increasing- so has the number of failed Hollywood movies!!!
        CO2 causes bad Hollywood movies!!!
        Can I have another grant, please?

        Thread winner! I knew there was a reason.
        /Mr Lynn

    • And then there is that variable star that comes up every day…
      I swear that I am living in the Aristotelian times when the sun was perfection itself. Nothing like a little paganism in your escathological cargo cult religion.

  9. They have a lower bound of 680 ppm and an upper bound of 1260 ppm. The previous estimate was >1125 ppm, WHICH IS WITHIN THEIR BOUNDS. Honest researchers would say “we have developed a new method of estimating past CO2 which delivers results CONSISTENT WITH previous methods”. Where is the evidence that the previous (higher) lower bound was actually wrong? For that they need an upper bound that is higher than the old lower bound.

  10. Reality check: we know that atmospheric CO2 has nearly doubled since the late 1800s. If this hypothesis is correct, we should have seen temperature increases of about 3°. But we haven’t, therefore the hypothesis is falsified.
    And I’m not even a scientist!

    • CO2 has not nearly doubled, but has increased by about 50% since the 1800s.
      IF the effect of CO2 is logarithmic then the first 50% will drive temperatures higher more than the second 50% will do so.
      IF temperatures have increased by about 0.9degC since the 1800s (which may not be the case due to problems and errors with the underlying data and adjustments, homogenisation, station drop outs and corruption via UHI etc) and IF all of this increase is due solely to CO2 driving temperatures upwards (which may not be the case since all or some part of the temperature rise may be due to natural variation – after all the planet was rebounding from the depths of the LIA), it is difficult to see how Climate Sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 could be more than 1.7 degC Ie., 0.9deg C for the first 50% rise in CO2 + 0.8degC for the second 50% rise in CO2.
      It seems to me that we can be fairly sure that currently (with the present topography of the Continents and present level of CO2 in the atmosphere), Climate Sensitivity (if any at all) cannot be higher than 1.7degC.
      Of course, recent papers suggest that Climate Sensitivity is lower than that figure. And, of course, as the ‘pause’ continues and extends, Climate Sensitivity must (and I mean must) come down to even lower figures.
      Unless there is a step change in temperatures coincident with this current ongoing strong El Nino, as there was a step change in temperature coincident with the 1997/8 Super El Nino, I would expect to see the ‘pause’ continue and extend into 2019 resulting in many more papers being published putting Climate Sensitivity below 1.5degC in the run up to AR6, with some papers putting Climate Sensitivity at about the no feedback level of about 1.2degC

      • Sorry, had my numbers wrong, my apologies, I thought we had nearly doubled already. Still, the point is the same…current observations don’t support the “even greater than thought” hypothesis.

      • One thing I will say: state your assumption Richard. That calculation assumes that CO2 is responsible for all warming in the 20th century and otherwise that the climate would have had a stable temperature.
        To assume a greater than ~2C per doubling sensitivity requires that the Earth sans-CO2 increase would have been strongly cooling. For this, there is no evidence. There is circumstantial evidence from the historical record that we are due for a warm period and some warming might be natural.

      • benofhouston
        I agree with the points you raise in both your paragraphs.
        But I thought that I had made it clear that my simple calculation, which should be seen as a back of an envelope calculation, was an assumption based calculation being based upon the assumption that CO2 being entirely responsible for the observed warming, and that I was raising doubts both as to the amount of warming observed AND as to whether CO2 was really responsible for entirety of the observed warming.
        Personally, I am extremely dubious that there is much as 0.9degC warming; I do not consider that we know within half a degree as to how much real warming has taken place since the 1800s. Further, I consider that it is almost certainly the case that natural variation is responsible for a good proportion of the real and true warming, and possibly even for the entire warming. Personally, apart for the impact of land usage change, I would not rule out natural variation being the sole cause of any and all real warming that has taken place since coming out of the LIA.
        But as you say, to get a Climate Sensitivity of more than 2degC one has to assume that natural variation was and continues to be negative.
        Of course, natural variation was negative from the 1940s to the early/mid 1970s (when cooling was observed), and maybe this continues to be the case through to the current day, but CO2 as from the mid 1960s was beginning to cancel out the negative natural variation, and as from the mid 1970s had completely offset the natural cooling and between the 1980s to late 1990s the warming of CO2 was so much stronger than the negative natural variation that it was effective to result in rising temperatures, AND now from the late 1990s natural variation has turned even more strongly negative (than it was through the 1980s and 1990s) such that now natural variation is capable of cancelling out the warming effect of rising CO2.
        That scenario does not sound likely to me, but since we know so little and understand even less about natural variation and the extent of its upper and low bounds and why it fluctuates etc, I guess that the above scenario cannot be ruled out.

      • Katherine
        Good to see your further comment. I agree with the thrust of the point that you were making, although personally I think that we can only say that high Climate Sensitivity (and this is the sensitivity upon which cAGW is based) has been disconfirmed. Given the measurement errors that we have and the lack of knowledge and understanding of natural variation which appears to be noisy and (highly) variable we cannot say for certain that there is no, or even only small, Climate Sensitivity to CO2.
        Personally, I consider that we can say from observational data (bearing in mind its limitations) that Climate Sensitivity can’t be higher than about 1.3degC, and that is not a scary figure and will only lead to modest warming, which warming will be a net benefit for the globe as a whole, albeit it may bring negative consequences to small areas which can easily be adapted to cope.
        Personally, I suspect that Climate Sensitivity, at today’s level of CO2 in the atmosphere, is considerably less than 1.3 degC, and I do not rule out the possibility that it is zero, or so damn near zero that we cannot and will not be able to measure its signal. In fact I would go as far as saying that the balance of evidence does not support the proposition that CO2 at above 200ppm drives temperature at all (but proxy evidence must always be viewed with caution, and our temperature measurements and there resultant data sets are thwart with errors, uncertainties and limitations).

    • 400 ppmm is not even close to double 280 ppmm.
      Don’t need to be a scientist to be able to do 4-H club maths.

      • IPCC AR5 Figure 6.1
        The typical global carbon balance (not CO2!) shows 45,000 Gt of stores and a couple hundred Gt/y of sourcing and sinking fluxes. Anthropogenic’s contribution – 4. That’s correct, 4. And that number was fabricated with a 57/43 partition to make the anthro contribution and 1750 to 2011 numbers match. And a new sink was created out of the void.

    • Actually Katherine, you are wrong on two counts; but at least as good a guess as these grant endowed nut jobs.
      Not only is 400 not twice 280, but there is no basis for believing that a doubling would result in a 3 deg. C or F Temperature increase. They have, and often do go(ne) in completely opposite directions at the same time, so they clearly are not functionally related.

      • George, I think you are being a bit too strong here. You are ignoring that there are clearly other factors at play in temperature that are as great or greater than CO2. Something can be functionally related but overridden by other circumstances.

      • George
        I would not ordinarily get involved in this debate, but I too consider that you are being a little too strong on Katherine (in your comment of November 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm), and I am only commenting since this is not typical of your style; there are a number of commentators who I always look out for, and you are one of them, so I am fairly familiar with your style, and I have never perceived this to be edging on rude.
        In my opinion there is never an excuse to be gratuitously rude (and I consider your comment of November 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm to over step the mark as the second paragraph was simply not called for; your first paragraph was enough for the real point that you wanted to make), and one has to bear in mind that people do not take the same care when they make a comment as they do when they work since most people are commenting in their spare time and this is not in endless supply. Further, people often to not check every fact, before making a comment, and often make comments based upon recollection (which recollection inevitably is not always 100% accurate). This is unfortunate, but is not the result of being stupid.
        But the general thrust of Katherine’s comment was sound. in that she was making the point that observational evidence on temperatures does not support the wild claims made for Climate Sensitivity. I do not consider that any impartial observer could strongly contest that.
        I do not like to see people barked at, even trolls should, in my opinion, be treated with a reasonable degree of respect. Maybe it is just my old fashion attitudes in that I consider that good manners are never out of fashion. Anyway, I do not mean any disrespect George, since I always welcome your insight. So sorry for my two pennies worth if you consider it unjustified (and it certainly is not my job to police what people comment or how they express themselves so I may well be over stepping the mark butting into this debate).
        Anyway, I just wish to make it clear that I agree with the general thrust of Katherine’s argument, but I agree that there was an error in suggesting that CO2 has already doubled, but that error does not detract from the general thrust of her argument.

  11. SUNY Binghamton, kewl.
    Little known fact, the SUNY B campus was designed and built all at once as a replacement for the old Harpur College. This gave the architects some poetic licence, not a good idea.
    The whole campus, with it’s buildings and roadways is laid out in the image of a *Human Brain*.
    Unfortunately, the administration building is in the position of the all-important brain stem. *sigh*
    The campus access road forms the spinal column.
    You pick up a campus map, look it over, and “where have I seen this before?”

  12. “Co-precipitation of nahcolite and halite (NaCl) now establishes a well-constrained lower [CO2]atm limit of 680 ppm for the EECO. Paleotemperature estimates from leaf fossils and fluid inclusions in halite suggest an upper limit for [CO2]atm in the EECO from the nahcolite proxy of ∼1260 ppm.”
    So CO2 varied between 680 and 1260 ppm?
    I noticed the usual I need more grant money key phrases:
    “a causal connection” “which suggests” “may have been”

  13. I’ll see your “more sensitive to CO2 than previously thought” and raise you a “sea levels rising by 8 meters”.

  14. “The early Eocene (Ypresian) is thought to have had the highest mean annual temperatures of the entire Cenozoic Era, with temperatures about 30° C; relatively low temperature gradients from pole to pole; and high precipitation in a world that was essentially ice-free. Land connections existed between Antarctica and Australia, between North America and Europe through Greenland, and probably between North America and Asia through the Bering Strait. It was an important time of plate boundary rearrangement, in which the patterns of spreading centers and transform faults were changed, causing significant effects on oceanic and atmospheric circulation and temperature.”
    CO2, CO2 wherefore art thou CO2?

    • Tom in Florida,
      If we may assume that the ~30°C is right for the overall ocean temperature of that time, and the current average ocean temperature is ~15°C, that means that with ~16 ppmv/°C (per Henry’s law), the CO2 levels should have been 240 ppmv higher than pre-industrial (290 ppmv), or about 530 ppmv. The 680 ppmv thus may be possible.
      Of course, not directly comparable, as ocean currents were different and still lots of carbonate deposits were not yet formed.
      Anyway they have things upside down: CO2 changes were driven by temperature changes and the opposite influence is minimal…

      • And just who is going to grant you permission to ” ass-u-me ” that the ocean temperature was 30 deg. C
        A 15 deg. C increase in 70+ % of the earth surface, would according to Frank Wentz et al, result in a 105% increase in atmospheric water vapor (7% per deg. C rise).
        The resulting increase in cloud cover, would shut down the surface insolation big time.
        I think you ” may ” not ” ass-u-me ” a 30 deg. C ocean Temperature.

      • Of course, not directly comparable, as ocean currents were different and still lots of carbonate deposits were not yet formed.

        The positions of the Earth’s land masses have changed significantly in the last 40 million years.

        The lessons from these vast geologic and geographic changes is both elegantly simple and excruciatingly complex. The opening and closing of seaways has a profound influence on the distribution of fresh water, nutrients, and energy in the global ocean. The coupling of these changing oceans with a changing atmosphere inevitably means a changing climate. link

        One of my university professor’s favorite expressions was Ceteris paribus. It means “all other things being equal”. ANY geologist should be aware of the theories that link the Earth’s climate to the positions of the continents. The continents have moved. All other things are, therefore, not equal. We can make no relationship between CO2 and the planet’s climate during the Eocene.
        This is really sad and pathetic.

      • g is being rude with no reason.
        These back of an envelope calculations have little more worth than be a starter for more thorough thinking.

    • How did they get non ice at the then prevailing earth axis poles, unless the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer were at – and + zero deg. latitude ??

      • This is beyond my knowledge without checking underlying facts/data (which I have not done), but is it not the case that there is only extremely substantial Antarctic ice because Antarctica is now at the South Pole? Back during this epoch, Antarctica was not in the same position, ie, was not over the South Pole, and the same is so of the Arctic Continental shelf.
        Even today, Arctic ice is minimal, and that is with our today’s temperatures. If the globe was 30degC then almost certainly ocean levels were higher and there may have been no Arctic land mass over the North Pole so it is easy to see that the Arctic would also be ice free.
        What I am saying is that without land masses situated over the poles, the oceans never get cold enough to freeze.
        Of course what high temperatures say about cloud formation and the then water cycle is a matter of conjecture. With higher temperatures one would expect more evaporation and hence more cloudiness globally.
        But then again we already today have the equatorial and tropical ocean bordering on 30degC, and if higher latitudes were considerably warmer resulting in extra cloud formation and IF the extra cloudiness remains at high latitudes then whilst the albedo changes, given that solar irradiance is weak at high latitudes it may not have as severe an impact as you suggest.
        Unfortunately all of this is very difficult to pontificate upon since the land distribution and its general topography (where are the mountain ranges, how high are the mountain ranges, what were the prevailing wind directions, how did warm and cool air interact etc) is not known with sufficient certainty. This is just wild speculation, and that is why the study is couched in such conditional language with maybes and ifs.

  15. Just more Crap On Parade 21…..if they try hard enough , they may even convince themselves….bless their little hearts .

  16. “needs more data” = “investigator needs more funding”

    One of the peculiarities of compulsive gambling is the ‘double down’: the belief that the more his ‘luck’ seems to be going bad, the more the gambler is willing to invest in the game, convinced that luck is about to turn his way.
    This seems to be an occupational disorder among climate researchers, along with innumeracy.

  17. Lowenstein and his team are trying to develop ways to estimate ancient carbon dioxide in the atmosphere using indirect proxies.
    Kind of like Mann and the tree ring data, using indirect proxies that could never be validated because there are no direct observations to corroborate the proxies. Of course it needs more funding, er… data, yes it needs more data.

      • Hi george,
        You must know that the Null Hypothesis (paraphrasing here) is the generic hypothesis that current observations are within normal parameters, with or without the extraneous variable that is being claimed.
        The Null Hypothesis must be falsified if any alternative hypothesis is true (man-made global warming, for example). If the alternate hypothesis makes no observable difference, then it can be completely disregarded. Anything that makes no difference doesn’t matter.
        Maybe they didn’t teach the Null Hypothesis in your science or maths classes, because it started out as something that was applied to biology, drugs, and pharmaceuticals.
        Or maybe they didn’t teach it until after the Civil War. ☺

  18. positive climate science feedback: Since we think co2 governs temperature, and temperature is high even when co2 is only moderately elevated, we think co2 governs temperature even stronger than we first thought!

  19. More sensitive now. Less sensitive in the past. Hotter now. Cooler in the past. All models hotter in the future and cooler now. Real data falsifies this inane BS. All wrong. Propaganda.

  20. As Climat Paris 2015 approaches the need is for Headlines. Headlines are what people remember. Facts are not required as they are boring to the masses. Every day is forecast to be 2 degrees hotter than the forecasters know it will be. When the day arrives, people have no idea what temperature it is, but they remember the headline.

    • Don’t worry; the “masses” have long since moved on to something more interesting.
      Their eyes glaze over at any mention of it. All except the 4% or so “hand-wringers” who think this gives them membership in the Green Virtue Cult.

      • Goldrider: Not only more interesting but more essential to survival. Even Gore had to acknowledge the massacre that took place in Paris.

  21. “The significance of this is that CO2 50 million years ago may not have been as high as we once thought it was, but the climate back then was significantly warmer than it is today,” said Lowenstein.”
    But, but but but but bututututuut….how is that possible? C02 is what drives temperature!!! So how could the Earth POSSIBLY have been significantly warmer than it is today….if the C02 wasn’t as high as we once thought it was??????? *snark*
    These people are so incredibly stupid they can’t even utter an entire sentence without contradicting something they’ve said previously.

    • Not only that, but the temperatures didn’t cycle into overdrive and create a ‘Venus’ effect or any other kind of tipping point.

    • So what exactly happened at the Permian Triassic boundary, to cause that unprecedented Temperature spike above 22 deg. C ??
      Enquiring minds want to know. That spike is bigger than what the Temperature spike has been in the last 150 years.

      • Obviously with proxy data extreme caution needs to be taken, and no doubt there are large error bounds.
        But subject to the veracity and appropriateness of the proxies, one can see many instances of anti correlation, and anti correlation is usually a big no no.
        There are time when CO2 is high, and temperatures are low, times when Co2 is low and temperatures are high, and there are times when CO2 and temperature swing in opposite direction.
        Look at the dramatic rise in CO2 in the Cambrian without any corresponding change in temperature.
        At the end of the Ordovician, CO2 rises but temperatures plummet, and then at the start of the Silurian CO2 plummets whilst temperatures rise substantially and quickly. WUWT?
        Look at the substantial rise in CO2 during the early Devonian but with no rise in temperatures. And then look at the extremely dramatic fall in CO2 in the mid to end Devonian with only modest fall in temperatures, and look how CO2 and temperatures get way out of step in the Carboniferous.
        Again look at the problem in the boundary between Jurassic and Cretaceous, and look how CO2 falls throughout the Cretaceous whilst temperatures do not.
        A reasonable observer would conclude that there is zero correlation between CO2 driving temperature in that plot.
        So the issue here is how accurate and reliable is the proxy data? What are the error bounds not simply on the CO2 temperature proxy, but also the temperature proxy and of course on the dating of the various proxies? Plenty of scope for wide error margins, but subject to that the paleo evidence would appear a significant hurdle for the hypothesis that CO2 drives temperatures and is the control knob of the climate on planet Earth.

      • dbstealey (November 17, 2015 at 4:31 am)
        I am not doubting that in the past CO2 was very much higher than today. The point I make is how accurate are the proxies, with respect to CO2, with respect to temperature, and of course, with respect to time? Your plot, although interesting, does not address that point.
        Your plot well illustrates that IF the CO2 proxy is correct then we should not fear cAGW in that there can be no strong positive feedback or otherwise when CO2 was circa 8,000 ppm , which is approximately 5 doubling from the claimed figure for pre-industrial levels, we would have seen huge water feedback warming with runaway temperatures.
        it appears that the temperature was only about 10 to 15degC warmer than today so that would put a maximum cap on Climate Sensitivity of 2 to 3 degC, but of course with different land masses, and ocean distribution etc, it does not necessarily follow that Climate Sensitivity is a constant over such times.
        But you probably know that I am one of these people who does not rule out the possibility that Climate Sensitivity at current levels (circa 350ppm and above) is zero, or so close to zero that we cannot presently detect and measure it.
        My issue is that I consider that the bounds of natural variation are large, and the temperature data sets so poor with substantial limitations and error bounds that we cannot, from observational evidence, presently rule out the possibility that Climate Sensitivity may be as high as about 1.3degC. I do not for one moment consider it to be likely that it is as high as that, but I do consider that there are arguments to be made that it could be that high.
        It seems to me that the last 35 years have been wasted in failing to narrow Climate Sensitivity (if any at all), but I am optimistic that we will probably know a lot more in the next 10 years.

  22. If [we] here on earth are twice as sensitive to CO2 than previously thought, then why the pause? why the pause? I am twice as skeptical as I was before reading the post. I am twice as skeptical as I was before reading the post.

    • Why the pause?
      Why it’s the guy in the corner with the crazed look and gun of course. Goes by the name the

  23. “The significance of this is that CO2 50 million years ago may not have been as high as we once thought it was, but the climate back then was significantly warmer than it is today …” etc.
    Circular reasoning on stilts.

  24. I was chemical engineer for 35 years and never heard the term “equilibrium thermodynamics”. Sounds made up to me.

    • It’s not in the Antarctic, it’s not in the deep ocean, it’s not in the troposphere.
      Yeah, all the heat has been carried off by the underpants gnomes into their underground cavern.
      Or some such thing.
      Any way there’s now twice as much that’s gone missing.
      I love this stuff.
      When does the Broadway musical come out?

        • Yeah, maybe we could employ M.Mann historical correction services, in order to provide a graph showing that prior to this modern event, the earth’s core was as cold as ice!!

  25. True story:
    Ages ago in grad school, I had a job working for a somewhat crooked business professor who did marketing analyses of prospective locations for restaurants. It had all sorts of fancy looking calculations, which today we would call a “model”. The thing was , however, there really was not sufficient data to plug in for all the parameters . I was to estimate those going backward from the desired result. You can’t make this sort of thing up. The resulting, considerable stress caused me eventually to walk away from a job that paid far too little for such ethical and logical angst. Come to think of it, I believe the prof had given me a motivational raise when I started struggling to meet deadlines – based on my prior demonstrated skill in fudging up to to that point, I’m ashamed to say.. The time was only a few years removed from Watergate, for what its worth…
    I’ve wondered if that experience has something to do with the shudders I feel when I read about climate studies such as this one under discussion. I would never in my most cynical moments have believed that “hard” science could fall into such a state as this.

  26. Warmer temperatures cause more CO2 to enter the atmosphere because warmer water cannot hold as much CO2 as cooler water. But there is no real evidence that the added CO2 adds to the warming. If greenhouse gases added to the warming then H2O has got to be the primary culprit. Molecule per molecule, H2O is a more powerful absorber than CO2. H2O in the atmosphere increases because the surface of bodies of water warm but increasing CO2 is a matter of huge volumes of water warming. Apparently H2O causing warming all by itself is not part of the AGW conjecture. The “research” that we are talking about says nothing about H2O, the primary greenhouse gas.
    If CO2 really affected climate then one would expect that the increase in CO2 over the past 30 years would have caused a noticeable increase in the natural lapse rate in the troposphere but that has not happened. There are no practical applications where CO2 is used as an insulator. We must remember that good absorbers are also good radiators so what ever LWIR radiation CO2 absorbs it also radiates away. Actually in the troposphere, much more heat energy is moved by conduction and convection then by LWIR CO2 absorption band radiation even where CO2 molecules are involved. In the lower troposphere, between the average time that an IR photon is absorbed and then reradiated by a CO2 molecule that same molecule has, on the average, a billion physical interactions with other molecules where heat energy is shared. The AGW conjecture totally misses that fact.
    The research we are talking about has no real basis in claiming that their findings say anything about climate change.

  27. Don’t they ever do a reality check to avoid looking stupid? Over the past 18+ years, CO2 has been rising, but temperatures are flat. This disproves their notion.

  28. “The significance of this is that CO2 50 million years ago may not have been as high as we once thought it was, but the climate back then was significantly warmer than it is today,” said Lowenstein.”
    —only significant if CO2 is the sole controller of temperature.
    I’m calling deni@l of the blessed hockey stick, here. No one should be admitting that it was ever warmer than today!

  29. In the past it was much warmer with only modest CO2 uplifts…
    (a) Global warming is not linked to Carbon dioxide
    (b) CO2 has a massive effect on global warming.
    Odd how they always pick (b).

  30. I previously thought that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is 0.0. Based on this new research I now want to double what I previously thought the sensitivity of CO2 is. So based on this new research I now think that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is 0.0 X 2.0 = 0.0 So this new research changes everything.

  31. From all the papers I have read here on CO2 sensitivity and elsewhere,
    this is simply not true. I still haven’t seen any study that concludes with facts that CO2 is the “control knob” for global warming, or climate change for that matter.
    Maybe they are getting their scientific information from Bernie Sanders.

    • Andrew Lacis, Gavin Schmidt and others published a paper in science, with the title, “Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature
      The paper itself is just BS PR for the GISS Model E climate model, but the control knob precedent is set. Gavin clearly believes it’s true, because the CO2 control knob claim is still up at the GISS web site, and Gavin is the boss.

  32. The data to show CO2 has no effect on average global temperature already exists.
    The relation between mathematics and the physical world mandates that, for a forcing to have an effect, it must exist for a period of time. The temperature changes with time in response to the net forcing. If the forcing varies, (or not) the effect is determined by the time-integral of the forcing (or the time-integral of a function thereof).
    The atmospheric CO2 level has been above about 150 ppmv (necessary for evolution of life on land as we know it) for at least the entire Phanerozoic eon (the last 542 million or so years). If CO2 was a forcing, its effect on average global temperature (AGT) would be calculated according to its time-integral (or the time-integral of a function thereof) for at least 542 million years. Because there is no way for that calculation to consistently result in the current AGT, CO2 cannot be a forcing.
    Variations of this demonstration and identification of what does cause climate change (R^2 > 0.97) are at

    • Dan, why haven’t you published this in a journal (or have you)? It’s amazing work and it deserves a much larger audience I think.
      Anthony? Have you seen this? Any advice to Dan on how to get it into a refereed journal?

      • Evidence from paleo data CO2 has no effect on climate is presented in the peer reviewed (refereed) paper at Energy & Environment, Vol 26, No. 5, 2015, 841-845 . Identity of the two factors which explain the average global temperature trajectory since before 1900 is disclosed in a peer reviewed paper published in Energy and Environment, vol. 25, No. 8, 1455-1471. These papers might be a bit easier to follow but the link above includes essentially the same stuff plus it explores smoothing of the measured data. Abstracts to the papers and the above link have free access.
        The ‘name’ journals refuse to ‘get it’ and cling to their prior perceptions. Mother Nature will eventually prevail.

      • Dan Pangburn writes: “The ‘name’ journals refuse to ‘get it’ and cling to their prior perceptions. Mother Nature will eventually prevail.”
        Disappointment doesn’t begin to express my reaction to this news. Outrage comes much closer.
        I have enough experience with mutli-variate regression models to know what you have here is a knife in the back of the AGW theory. Assuming the numbers check out (and I admit I haven’t yet repeated your experiment but I fully intend to) this puts the entire argument to rest. CO2, all CO2, has no statistically significant effect on average global temperature. That’s astounding, and I can’t find any fault at all with your methodology. Your model describes 97% of the variability in AGT using two variables and CO2 as a third variable appears to fail the “F to Enter” test; it’s useless.
        Really amazing work Dan. I’ve been reading this subject for over 10 years and I haven’t found anything like what you’ve one here in literature. This *has* to get out somehow. I’ve known for a long time the “big” journals were biased against work like this, but refusing to publish this paper verges on criminal negligence given governments the world over are considering actions that might cost both blood and treasure. People could literally die because this research is being suppressed.
        What’s even worse, the data points to a *real* impending disaster in the upcoming 20 years. There’s a chance global food production could be hit very hard by a solar minimum even if the loons in control don’t get their way with carbon taxes and starve a bunch of people.
        There must be something we can do to correct this. There has to be.
        EDITOR! If you haven’t already read this paper, PLEASE do! There’s GOT to be a way to get this work in front of the public?

      • Bartleby – Thanks for the support. It is inspiring to see comments which reveal understanding. If you are so inclined, you can find my current email address at Engineering & Environment Multi-Science. They include it in the Introduction to my last paper.
        I suspect lots of folks got misled by CO2 being a ghg and/or looking at TSI and not realizing that there is more to the story. Some (e.g. Skeptical Science) also apparently do not understand that, whatever the forcing is, it influences temperature according to the time-integral of the forcing and not according to the instantaneous value of the forcing itself.
        On an entirely different front, a whole lot of careers and pay checks depend on CO2 being a problem. Some have even committed science malpractice by changing the data to corroborate an agenda. My hope is that ‘they’ won’t do too much damage to prosperity before Mother Nature makes it profoundly obvious that ‘they’ got it wrong.

  33. The fact that there are periods of millions of years in the paleo record when atmospheric CO2 is low and the planet is hot and periods when atmospheric CO2 is high and the planet is cold, indicates there are obvious fundamental errors in the ‘greenhouse’ gas warming calculations,
    The cult of CAGW’s error of the scientific century is that ‘greenhouse’ gases cause increased convection cooling which reduces the lapse rate, that causes surface cooling. Hot gases rise, which causes colder higher elevation atmosphere gases to fall. Convection cooling offsets the ‘greenhouse’ gas warming. Big surprise the wet lapse rate (atmosphere with water vapor) is half of the dry lapse rate (atmosphere without water vapor).
    P.S. Curious there is no official calculation of what would be the earth’s surface temperature with an atmosphere of pure nitrogen, no greenhouse gases, same pressure as current. The silly ‘greenhouse’ calculation compared vacuum to current atmosphere and tells us the entire surface warming (atmosphere vs no atmosphere) is due to ‘greenhouse’ gases which is a pile of bull droppings.
    The so called 1 dimensional CO2 doubling calculation done by Hansen and friends to determine surface forcing for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 assumed no change in convection cooling with increasing CO2 which is ludicrous.
    As changes in atmospheric CO2 has almost no effect on surface planetary temperature (higher regions in the atmosphere do warm which explains the notch for top of the atmosphere measurements), something else is forcing the planet’s climate (it is the sun and changes in GCR that occur as the solar system moves in and above the Milky Way’s galactic arms).
    If the above assertions are correct and if I understand what is currently happening to the sun, we are going to experience in your face cooling. (Has anyone noticed that the Pacific ocean Northern latitude warm blob is cooling and the Atlantic ocean cooling is back.)
    P.S. Mann attempted to make the Medieval warm period disappear which is pathetic. The planet cyclically warms and cools and driven by solar cycle changes.

    Does the current global warming signal reflect a natural cycle”
    …We found 342 natural warming events (NWEs) corresponding to this definition, distributed over the past 250,000 years …. …. The 342 NWEs contained in the Vostok ice core record are divided into low-rate warming events (LRWEs; < 0.74oC/century) and high rate warming events (HRWEs; ≥ 0.74oC /century) (Figure). … ….The current global warming signal is therefore the slowest and among the smallest in comparison with all HRWEs in the Vostok record, although the current warming signal could in the coming decades yet reach the level of past HRWEs for some parameters.
    The figure shows the most recent 16 HRWEs in the Vostok ice core data during the Holocene, interspersed with a number of LRWEs. …. …The paper, entitled "Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice – shelf history" and authored by Robert Mulvaney and colleagues of the British Antarctic Survey ( Nature, 2012,doi:10.1038/nature11391), reports two recent natural warming cycles, one around 1500 AD and another around 400 AD (William: Same periodicity of cyclic warming and cooling in the Northern hemisphere), measured from isotope (deuterium) concentrations in ice cores bored adjacent to recent breaks in the ice shelf in northeast Antarctica. ….

    Greenland ice temperature, last 11,000 years determined from ice core analysis, Richard Alley’s paper. William: The Greenland Ice data shows that have been 9 warming and cooling periods in the last 11,000 years. There was abrupt cooling 11,900 years ago (Younger Dryas abrupt cooling period when the planet went from interglacial warm to glacial cold with 75% of the cooling occurring in less than a decade and there was abrupt cooling 8200 years ago during the 8200 BP climate ‘event’).

    • Well the 342 NWEs is a very significant discovery; because that is exactly one NWE for each and every W/m^2 of TSI insolation of the Kevin Trenberth et al earth model.
      Ergo, the Trenberth Kiehl earth model, must be correct.

      • Whilst I accept your reservations with respect to proxy evidence, the fact remains that we have been unable to detect the signal to CO2 in any of the data sets (whether thermometer, satellite or proxy).
        All one can say about Climate Sensitivity is that it is less than the noise of natural variation and the limitations and error bounds of our best measuring devices, such that its signal (if any at all) is so small that it cannot presently be isolated and detected.
        Of course if we could get a better handle on the bounds of natural variation and why and how it fluctuates, and/or if we could reduce the limitations inherent in our best measuring devises including measurement error bounds, and errors inherent in the data set that they produce, maybe there will come a day when we will be able to extract the signal to CO2.
        But if natural variation is not a substantial player (as the IPCC would have one believe) and if the limitation and error bounds of our measurement devices and their resultant data sets that they produce is small (as Climate Scientist would have one believe) then Climate Sensitivity (if any at all) must likewise be small. If of course, the forcings from natural variation are large and/or the errors and limitations of our measurement devices and their data sets is large, then Climate Sensitivity (if any at all) could likewise be large.

  34. “The significance of this is that CO2 50 million years ago may not have been as high as we once thought it was, but the climate back then was significantly warmer than it is today,”

    They forgot the following from their abstract:
    First we assume our approach is more accurate than any other method used to determine CO2 levels 50 million years ago.
    Second we assume samples from one location is representative of CO2 across the globe.
    Third we assume we completely understand how the global climate system worked 50 million years ago.
    Fourth we jump two or three sharks to base our conclusion on the assumption that CO2 was the ONLY reason the climate was significantly warmer 50 million years ago.
    Fifth and finally we declare making assumptions is the same as discovering compelling new knowledge.
    Don’t know how it could be, but somehow the authors of this paper remind me of the Three Stooges.

  35. “The significance of this is that CO2 50 million years ago may not have been as high as we once thought it was, but the climate back then was significantly warmer than it is today,” said Lowenstein.”
    Here in 2015, we are getting different estimates, some widely varying for climate sensitivity to CO2, by numerous sources, while monitoring with accurate measurements, along with an increasing understanding of the physics. ……but have been narrowing the range with time,
    How do we narrow the range even more?
    I know, let’s go back 50 million years and use that data.
    So, we are to believe that recent estimates, using our comprehensive understanding of physics and advanced/precise instrumentation might all be too low because of a data point in time from 50,000,000 years ago (that up until now, we all thought represented a time with higher CO2 levels) that should now get some(significant?) weighting in determining climate sensitivity to CO2 here in the year 2015.
    Not that we can’t learn “something” from studies like this but pinpointing CO2 levels to a useful range from 50,000,000 years ago, just based on this study telling us that we might have been wrong about it before, along with correlating it with temperatures at the same time…..which would also have to be in a fairly narrow range in order to hone in our current understanding of climate sensitivity to CO2 is not one of them.

  36. What is worse is the cherry-picked genesis of trona deposits (soda ash) by BingU researches. Experts still don’t agree how they formed. It seems that semi-arid conditions are essential and I’m sure with elevated temperature of the Eocene there was more than a little semi arid regions as there are today because of mountain barriers dehydrating winds that pass over them.
    Trona was precipitated each year in the summer from Little Soda Lake and Big Soda Lake, Nevada in the latter half of the 19th Century and soda ash was harvested each year as the lakes shrank. This has nothing to do with the vapor pressure of CO2. Sodium carbonate appears to form over igneous terrains (rhyolite lavas, etc.) and sodium sulphate (salt cake) over sedimentary terrains and there are even sodium carbonate volcanoes in a few places (Kenya?). In some places bacterial activity in soils creates CO2 which reacts with sodium rich waters. They are described as evaporites which also give us gypsum (calcium sulphate), potash, sodium chloride, and other salts.
    Clearly the Wyoming one is the result of the evaporation of a large, internally draining basin lake in an arid region and was preserved by burial. It also contains sodium chloride, some sodium sulphate and a host of varieties of sodium carbonate and bicarbonate compositions formed as these different salts dropped in reverse order of the solubility.
    The BingU guys might have benefited by phoning the Geological Survey of Wyoming, or maybe they did and didn’t like the answer.

  37. This one is a gift.
    Foot meet buckshot.
    The Earths Climate MAY be more sensitive to CO2 than previously thought.
    Thats right, that sensitivity we still cannot measure.
    Claim CO2 up =Temperature up.
    Duh temps flatlined, CO2 steadily rising.
    No measurable effect today, best measuring systems ever since 1979….unmeasurable.
    Extrapolation into the distant past…. correlation for sure.
    Paris parasites feast coming soon.

    • +1
      Too small to measure bearing in mind the noise of natural variation and the limitations and error bounds of our best measuring devices.

  38. The idea of COP21 is to cut the rate of fossil fuel emissions as a way of moderating the rate of warming and the rate of ocean acidification. Therefore, the real issues have to do with sensitivity to the rate of fossil fuel emissions. They are:
    1. Is the rate of warming sensitive to the rate of emissions?
    2. Is the rate of ocean acidification sensitive to the rate of emissions?
    3. Are changes in atmospheric CO2 sensitive to the rate of emissions?
    4. is the IPCC carbon budget sensitive to emissions?
    The studies show that historical data do not support these assumed relationships.

  39. “David Jenkins and Robert Demicco examined nahcolite crystals… formed 50 million years old”
    The crystals were already 50 million years old at the time they were formed? That would be a neat trick. Are these guys creationists? 🙂

  40. Lemme get this straight: They found a data point with low CO2 and high T, and they think this proves that T is strongly dependent on CO2? So now even anti-correlation “proves” this laughingly-called “scientific” theory? Welcome to the new dark age.

  41. I think the correlation between piracy and Global warming is still far more meaningful.
    In fact a commenter over at Small Dead Animals suggests the best correlation is Terrorism causes Global warming.
    If one treats piracy rightly as a component of terrorism, then we have an IPCC worthy correlation must be causation.Post Normal science of course.
    So to prevent global warming we must wipe out terrorism.
    Spreading unfounded fear of the weather is a form of terrorism.No?
    Perhaps this is why the Islamist Cult and the Climate Cult both seem to be trying to kill us and our civilization.
    Ergo if your ecoticians believe global warming/CC caused by too many people is the greatest evil, I guess they are more than happy to assist any means of reducing the overpopulation.
    I would like to think I am being sarcastic, however the climate cult clowns seem able to slide under the ethical bar, no matter how low I set it.

  42. They will cause problems for other researchers…..
    For instance the change from mid Eocene warmth to late Eocene cooling has been attributed to the Azolla Event in the Arctic [though it wasn’t the Arctic then…no bears].
    It has been suggested that a massive bloom of aquatic ferns led to such a large draw down on atmospheric CO2 that it plunged the planet into an ice age.
    However the Binghamton researchers suggest that the CO2 wasn’t there to be drawn down
    Mind you in all of this there is a lot of …..might, perhaps, it is suggested, hypothesised, speculated, it was the circumpolar current what done it…
    One thing is certain, the science is not settled-

  43. This sort of nonsense was alway s expected … right in time for the Paris Climate Conference. These scientists should be ashamed of themselves.

  44. What a bunch of crap!
    Just another prime example of another post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy…
    The paper freely admits, “These are direct laboratory experiments, so I think they’re really reliable.”
    LOL! He “thinks” they’re “really” reliable…. Most other CO2 proxy projections put CO2 levels at around 2,500ppm 50 million years ago… I’m sure scientists using other proxies think their data is “really” reliable, too….
    The physics shows CO2’s forcing effect is the logarithmic equation: 5.25 watts/M^2*ln(Current CO2 level/Base level CO2)*(.31 Stefan-Boltzmann constant)*(0.5~1.0 negative cloud feedback effect)=0.5C~1C of CO2 induced warming by 2100, plus or MINUS whatever the sun decides to do over the next 85 years…
    That’s what the physics and empirical evidence show CO2’s forcing effect to be…. Not some contrived, “nahcolite crystals found in Colorado’s Green River Formation, formed 50 million years ago” BS may show….
    Here’s what the “worse-than-we-thought-CO2 forcing” looks like over the past 20 years, despite 30% of ALLL manmade CO2 emissions since 1750 being made over just the last 20 years:
    Oh, the humanity!!!….. We’re doomed! DOOMED, I tell ya!
    CAGW has become a much deserved laughingstock

  45. The alternative, and obvious, explanation is that CO2 is not, and was not, a climate driver and that the hot house” conditions were caused by something completely different. For instance the much smaller landmass at the South Pole.

  46. “They found that CO2 levels during this time may have been as low as 680 parts per million (ppm), nearly half the 1,125 ppm predicted by previous experiments.”
    Their knowledge of climate science is only exceeded by their skills in arithmetic. Since when is 680 nearly half of 1125?

  47. The biosphere is now starved of life-giving CO2:
    [click in chart to effect embiggination. Current era on right side of chart.]
    The harmless, beneficial trace gas CO2 is essential to all life on earth, but it is now lower than it has been throughout geologic history. And as pointed out by several readers here, there is zero corellation between CO2 and global T.

  48. Another possibility is that CO2 has little impact on climate and something else was the cause of the “hothouse” earth.

  49. A piece of rock…. Well, that convinces me we’re all gonna roast from driving cars, turning on lights & keeping our houses from freezing.
    /sarc for the clueless

  50. examined nahcolite crystals found in Colorado’s Green River Formation, formed 50 million years old during a hothouse climate. They found that CO2 levels during this time may have been as low as 680 parts per million (ppm), nearly half the 1,125 ppm predicted by previous experiments.

    All these predictions fundamentally assume CO2 is the control knob. History also tells us its not and that CO2 levels follow the temperature changes. So the very basis for their claim is shaky to begin with.

  51. Every change of temperature requires an input of Energy=Work=Heat Quantity, all measured in joule or kWh. Unless and until we start accounting for energy in energy terms, we are only talking about ‘hot wind’ or ‘flying pigs’ or ‘kg of phlogiston’ . A read of this way of looking at the climate conundrum may help:

    • IPCC AR5 attributes 2 W/m^2 of unbalancing RF due to the increased CO2 concentration between 1750 and 2011. In the overall global heat balance 2 W (watt is power, not energy) is lost in the magnitude and uncertainty of: ToA, 340 +/- 10, fluctuating albedo of clouds, snow and ice, and the absorption and release of heat from evaporation and condensation of the ocean and water vapor cycle. (IPCC AR5 Ch 8, FAQ 8.1)

  52. Mike Hohmann November 17, 2015 at 2:22 pm
    “Unless and until we start accounting for energy in energy terms,…”
    Like this?
    First off a discussion of units.
    A watt is a metric unit of power, energy over time, not energy per se. The metric energy unit is the joule, English energy unit is the Btu. A watt is 3.412 Btu per English hour or 3.600 kilojoule per metric hour.
    In 24 hours ToA power of 340 W/m^2 will deliver 1.43 E19 Btu to a spherical surface with a radius of 6,386 km. The CO2 RF of 2 W/m^2 will deliver 8.39 E16 Btu, 0.59% of the ToA.
    At 950 Btu/lb of energy, evaporating 0.74 inches of the ocean’s surface would absorb the entire ToA, evaporating 0.0044 inches of the ocean’s surface would absorb the evil unbalancing CO2 RF.
    More clouds. Big deal.
    ToA spherical surface area, m^2……………5.125.E+14
    W = 3.412 Btu/h………………………………3.412.E+00
    ToA, 340 W/m^2, Btu/24 h……………………1.43E+19
    CO2 RF, 2 W/m^2, Btu/24 h…………………..8.39E+16
    Ocean surface , m^2……………………………3.619E+14
    m^2 = 10.764 ft^2…………………………….1.076E+01
    Ocean surface, ft^2…………………………..3.895E+15
    Water density, lb/ft^3………………………….62.4
    Lb of water in 1 foot of ocean………………..2.431E+17
    Evaporation, Btu/lb……………………………950.0
    Amount of ocean evaporation
    Feet needed to absorb ToA…………………..0.062
    Inches needed to absorb ToA………………..0.74
    Feet needed to absorb CO2 RF………………0.0004
    Inches needed to absorb CO2 RF…………..0.0044

  53. Or maybe like this?
    If the atmosphere absorbed CO2’s 2 W/m^2 RF over 24 hours and everything else were held constant the atmospheric temperature would increase 0.031 °F, 11.35 °F per year. Obviously that is not happening. This is day time heating? How many Btu radiate away at night?
    CO2 Btu/ 24 h day………..8.388.E+16…….Btu
    Air heat capacity…………..0.24……………….Btu/lb – °F
    Atmosphere mass…………1.12E+19………
    Rise per day………………….0.031………………°F
    Rise per year……………….11.35……………….°F
    Per the psychrometric properties of moist air a relatively minor increase in relative humidity, i.e. more lb H2O per lb dry air, requires about 1,050 Btu/lb to evaporate that water into the air. That’s how swamp coolers, wet head bands, and canvas water bags work.
    The atmosphere could absorb the entire 24 h ToA heat load with a 10.1% increase in RH.
    The atmosphere could absorb the entire 24 h CO2 RF heat load with a 0.1% increase in RH.
    ToA, 340 W/m^2, Btu/24 h…………..1.427E+19…Btu
    CO2 RF, 2 W/m^2, Btu/24 h………….8.393E+16…Btu
    Atmosphere mass…………………………5.100E+18…kg
    Atmosphere mass…………………………1.124E+19…lb
    ToA, Btu/lb……………………………………1.269E+00..Btu/lb
    CO2 RF, Btu/lb………………………………7.467E-03…Btu/lb
    60 °F DB, RH 50%………………………..2.038E+01..Btu/lb
    ToA new h…………………………………….2.165E+01…Btu/lb
    ToA new RH, %…………………………..60.60…………%
    CO2 RF new h……………………………….2.039E+01…Btu/lb
    CO2 RF new RH…………………………….50.10…………%
    This change in RH is not caused not controlled by man (not that any of it is) and IPCC GCMs ignore RH or consider it invariant. Such assumptions make climate science easy peasy.

  54. Funny, as even the IPCC had to objectively lower its own estimates of CO2 climate sensitivity in light of recent (the last 30 years) temperature readings.

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