# The Holocene Thermal Optimum

Guest essay by Andy May

The Holocene Thermal Maximum, also called the Holocene Thermal Optimum, occurred at different times in different parts of the world but generally between 10,000 BP and 4,000 BP.  I use BP to indicate years before 2000.   The world ocean was probably 0.7°C warmer than today 8,000 BP. This is remarkable because the ocean heat capacity is 1000 times larger than the atmosphere’s according to the IPCC and NOAA.  Simple high school physics is all that is required to verify this, the calculation is described here.  What this means is that if you heated the atmosphere to 1000°C and transferred all of that heat to the ocean, the ocean would only warm 1°C once the heat was well mixed. We can draw two conclusions from these facts. First, the world was much warmer 8,000 BP than today and the total heat stored in the atmosphere and in the oceans was much greater. That 0.7°C represents the heat required to warm the atmosphere to over 700°C. This would never happen, of course, ocean-atmosphere heat transfer processes would work to move heat from the ocean to the atmosphere and back again to keep temperatures moderate and stable.

The second conclusion is that there is no magic 2°C tipping point. Raising todays atmospheric temperature 2°C involves an insignificant amount of heat relative to the total ocean/atmosphere heat present only 8,000 years ago. If the oceans absorbed 2°C worth of atmospheric heat, the ocean temperature would only go up a trivial and unmeasurable 0.002°C. Bob Tisdale shows while we have good Argo float data from 0-2000 meters, these depths only include about one-half of the volume of the oceans. NASA has shown that the water below 2000 meters has shown no detectable warming. The key point is that the oceans will mitigate any atmospheric warming, man-made or not. Direct infrared radiation from greenhouse gases probably warms the oceans a little, but direct solar radiation does most of the work. Longer term ocean/atmospheric heat transfer (like evaporation, ENSO and other processes) do transfer a lot of heat from the atmosphere to the oceans and back again to stabilize the system. The graph below (Figure 1), made from data from the NOAA web site, shows that the world ocean average temperature has only gone up 0.1°C in the last 60 years, less than the error in the data. The precision of the ARGO thermometers is very good, +-0.002°C, but the accuracy is only 0.5°C over most of the world ocean.

Figure 1

There seems to be general agreement that the cause of the Holocene Thermal Maximum is the Earth’s precession cycle. As described in Michael Bender’s book “Paleoclimate,” a part of the Princeton Primers on Climate series:

“The orientation of Earth’s spin axis has changed over the past 10 Kyr so that northern summers now occur when Earth is farthest from the sun, whereas at 10 Ka [10,000 BP] they occurred when Earth was closest to the sun. Northern summertime insolation reached a maximum at about 10 Ka and has declined to the present, when it is near the minimum.”

Bender has determined that remnants of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) from the last glacial period contributed to cooling many northern areas and delaying their warm periods. These areas, like Western Europe had their climate optimum between 4,000 BP and 7,000 BP. In Germany and Scandinavia mean annual temperatures were warmest 6,000 BP to 7,000 BP and they have since fallen 2.5°C. In Alaska and western Canada the thermal maximum occurred 4,000 years before it occurred in northeast Canada and again the LIS was to blame.

The world ocean is all connected and currents distribute heat from one area to another. While the ocean is never at thermal equilibrium, over long periods (hundreds of years) heat can be redistributed all over the world. Rosenthal, et al, 2013 chose an area in Indonesia that is well located to reconstruct past Pacific Ocean heat content. They used a suite of sediment cores from the sea floor of the Makassar Strait and the Flores Sea (see Figure 2 below) to perform the reconstruction. These areas are major conduits for the exchange of water between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans and collectively they are referred to as the “Indonesian Throughflow.” The shallower current (0-200 meters) is from the North Pacific Ocean and the deeper current gets a large contribution from the Banda Sea and the South Pacific. The study uses both Magnesium/Calcium ratios and Oxygen isotope ratios in Foraminifera to reconstruct the temperatures of the past. Because the Foraminifera studied live at different depths reconstructions of both the surface temperatures and the intermediate depth temperatures were possible.

Figure 2

Figure 3 is taken from a portion of Figure 2 in Rosenthal, et al. 2013. In graph A the green curve is the reconstructed average surface water temperature for 30°N to 90°N latitude and the red curve is the reconstructed global average surface water temperature. In graph C the Northern Hemisphere (30°N to 90°N latitude) reconstructed average intermediate water temperature for a depth of 500 meters is plotted. Both plots show that Northern Hemisphere ocean temperatures between 9,000 BP and 7,000 BP were 2.5°C+-0.4°C warmer than the late 20th Century. Global Ocean temperatures are estimated to be 0.7°C warmer than in the late 20th Century.

Figure 3

In addition to warming the northern oceans, the Earth’s precession cycle also moves the “ITCZ” or the Intertropical Convergence Zone according to Michael Bender’s “Paleoclimate.” The ITCZ is a zone of warm rising air and high precipitation. This zone follows the sun, so when the Earth was closest to sun in the northern summer 10,000 BP the ITCZ was farther north and the Northern Hemisphere tropics received more rain. Currently the ITCZ is roughly centered on the equator (5.3°S to 7.2°N). In Africa, as everywhere on land, it moves a lot from summer to winter. However, it stays south of the Sahel, about 15°N. This process contributed to the Sahara region becoming a desert roughly 5,000 BP as the ITCZ moved south. In China, An, et al, have found that the peak monsoon precipitation event moved from northern China 10,000 BP to Southern China 3,000 BP. This suggests that China has been getting progressively cooler and drier over the last 10,000 years.

Climate and climate change are long term processes. Looking long term, it is clear the Earth and especially the Northern Hemisphere are cooler today than 7,000 BP and we are in a cooling trend. For a longer perspective see my previous post “Climate and Human Civilization over the last 18,000 Years.” Might this trend be changing and might it be due to man’s influence? Perhaps, at least in part. But, it is very premature to predict a disaster based on a shaky 150 year surface temperature record. Particularly when the record does not agree with existing atmospheric balloon and satellite datasets that are of arguably better quality. Further, it is clear that the enormous heat capacity of the world ocean will dampen any radical atmospheric temperature changes. Basically, there is nothing to worry about, no radical action is required.

One more point, the media and the climate alarmists like to say that the reason atmospheric temperatures are not rising with the increase in carbon dioxide is that the extra heat is “hiding” in the deep ocean. It has to be the deep ocean because measurements of shallow ocean temperatures have not shown any excess warming. Certainly, as we have seen, most of the heat is going into the oceans. But, the temperature rise caused by that transfer is very small. Since heat only moves from a warmer object to a cooler object, the heat will never exit from the ocean until the atmospheric temperature drops. At that point we will want that heat. If indeed, carbon dioxide is causing more heat to be trapped in the atmosphere, the oceans are the perfect place for it to go.

## 171 thoughts on “The Holocene Thermal Optimum”

1. The moral of this excellent posting: Enjoy the warmth while it lasts. It won’t last forever.

• george e smith says:

If as you say, the earths axis was pointing in a decidedly different direction 10,000 years ago, then it must also be true that it is quite different from what it was 5200 years ago when that Irish tomb was built.
So can we assume that the geometry of that place is such that even with an axis tilt shift, the geometry is such that there still is some day on which at sunrise the light will go straight down the passage; it just wont be 21st of December.
Izzat the situation ??
g

• Menicholas says:

I think if the sun rises there at 131S, the light will shine down the corridor.
And 17 minutes sounds like a long time to me.

• Menicholas says:

So, if the geometry changes in a way which lets the sun pass 131S, there will be two times as many days, if it never gets as far as 131S, there will be zero days, and if it changes but the limit remains 131S, there will be the same situatamacon as now.

• David A says:

It is a puzzle.

• Slywolfe says:

Indeed. There will be one day of the year when the North Pole is inclined directly away from the Sun. It just won’t be December, but they surely named months differently 5,200 years ago.
If the inclination changes, all bets are off!

• Ed Zuiderwijk says:

Its the distance of the site to the North Pole that determines the geometry, not the direction of the Earth’s axis. That distance hasn’t changed noticably over the past 5K year and will not change in the foreseable future.

• MarkW says:

The angle of the earth’s tilt on the solstice mostly affects how far the sun will be above the horizon.

• David A says:

But we are not talking
About a change in dinstace, but a change in timing due to a PREDICTED wobble , or 24000 year rotation of the seasons where every 12 K years the point where the earth is closest to the sun rotates one month every 2 k years.

• Entropy always wins in the end.

• richard verney says:

That could be the only true and universal law.

2. Algore says:

The first chart makes it look like 2004 is the warmest year in the history ot the Holocene.

• Chris Hanley says:

Yes it’s a form of statistical abuse worthy of Mr M Mann.

• Mike says:

Yes, it’s the usual con-job of comparing proxy data that average decades or centuries of data with current ANNUAL data. Proverbial apples and oranges.
Andy should have included the source of that graphic. I recognise it.
It is part of the politically motivated fallacies propagated by the “Global Warming Art” project that has inundated Wonkypedia’s climate pages.
And who is behind creating those images http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Global_Warming_Art:Contact
Well it’s none other than Robert A. Rohde, of the Berkeley Earth project “BEST”.
Now someone with his background knows perfectly well that it is an unscientific con-job to place an annual figure on top of a graph of that is not showing anything better than century level resolution.
In short, it’s politicised alarmist crap , like much of what comes out of “BEST” group these days.

• Mike says:

Incidentally, this is the same game that was played in Marcott, Shakun Mix 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23471405
By applying their shakun-mix methods to earlier data they produced a similar fallacy of unprecedented warming.
ANDY, how about you get out you Gimp or other paint box software and remove the fallacious 2004 marker on your headline graphic?

• Yes, that graph is not very good. Besides it is a reconstruction of HTM air temperatures, if I’m not mistaken and a bit off topic. Anthony, could you remove it and replace it with the water temperature reconstruction? I have more confidence in the water temperature reconstruction using foram tests.

• A bit more about the graph at the top of the post that Anthony added. It is from Robert Rohde, who I admire actually, and the original with his description can be found here: http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations_Rev_png
It is inappropriate for this post, which relies on reconstructed water temperatures. Not the less reliable reconstructed air temperatures that Rohde has plotted. He does a good job of discussing the uncertainties in the graph. But, understand, 2004 is just one year and the graph has a 300 year smoothing applied. It is not a fair comparison, Rohde should have left the 2004 out for sure. Also the article refers to temperatures computed from foram tests (sort of like fossils) which (IMHO) are much more accurate than any proxy used for air temperatures. And in any case, estimating air temperatures with proxies to get at the Earth’s temperature 8,000 years ago is like estimating the size of an Elephant by measuring the size of a flea on its ass. 99.9% of the heat is in the ocean, that is where it should be measured.

3. “This is remarkable because the ocean heat capacity is 1000 times larger than the atmosphere’s according to the IPCC and NOAA.”
This may be true, but ignores an important fact. The temperature profile of the ocean is determined by gravity, as cold water is denser and sinks. As long as there’s a source of cold water at the poles, the deep ocean will remain cold. When the temperature of the ocean increases, the ocean volume below the thermocline remains at a constant temperature and the thermocline gets slightly thicker as it insulates the warmer surface waters from the deep ocean cold. This allows the system to respond far faster to change then is currently accepted since the energy required to warm surface waters above average is cancelled by the energy required to heat the deep ocean waters up to average. This is evident in the global average surface temperature of all oceans which varies by more than 1C during the course of a year and hemispheric averages that vary by about 3 to 4 C between winter and summer. All that has to change temperature to achieve the LTE response to warmer surface waters is a thin slice of the thermocline.
Much like an electrical capacitor, the planet stores energy as the difference between hot and cold separated by a ‘dielectric’ which in this case is the thermocline.

4. Well done article. Thanks for taking the time to do it.
You write, “Direct infrared radiation from greenhouse gases probably warms the oceans a little”. I don’t think there is any possibility of CO2 doing that … “Since heat only moves from a warmer object to a cooler object …” as you say. But that is a small quibble since the we are all still waiting for anyone to show by observation and honest measurement that CO2 warms the surface (ocean or land).
Your overall point that we have a huge amount of heat capacity before we get back to the Holocene Thermal Optimum is a very good point and well made.

• Surface emissions, delayed by GHG absorption and emission do warm surface waters. The second law argument often cited that a cold object can not warm a warm object is misapplied here. In the case of the surface, there are two sources of heating, one is the Sun and the other is ‘colder’ GHG re-emissions and BB emissions from the water in clouds back down to the surface. Without the Sun, the clouds and GHG’s could not warm the surface beyond their own temperature, but combined with solar input, they can. The climate system is nearly linear in the power/energy domain and the properties of superposition apply.

• Sorry, I have seen no one demonstrate that conjecture convincingly. But let us agree to disagree today as the article’s main point is not that. Besides, I am not allowed to link to arguments that I would like to as our host does not permit it. (and it is his site after all) And besides that, I am happy knowing that when the CO2 delusion is over, the lukewarmers will someday realize their error. That is enough.
And you may have the last word if you want.

• markstoval,
Allow me to demonstrate. Take a thermometer and shine a reasonably powerful laser at it from a distance. Now, if you shine another laser on it, the temperature will increase. If you shine another, it will increase further. This is also a principle behind the laser ignition facility at LLL and shows how superposition applies to parallel energy sources.

• There is still a strong second law argument to be had, which is that the heat engine driving weather can not warm its source of heat, which is the surface. This precludes net positive feedback from water when the net effect from evaporation, water vapor GHG effects, clouds and rain is weather that cools the surface.

• Allow me to demonstrate. Take a thermometer and shine a reasonably powerful laser at it from a distance. Now, if you shine another laser on it, the temperature will increase. If you shine another, it will increase further. This is also a principle behind the laser ignition facility at LLL and shows how superposition applies to parallel energy sources.
So? Put three space heaters in a room to get the room hotter? Ok then. You expect a Nobel Prize for that?
You were supposed to be telling me how the colder CO2 could heat up the much hotter surface. Consider this link: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2015/08/why-pauli-exclusion-principle-of.html

• MarkW says:

markstoval, your mistake is in thinking that the radiation flow is entirely in one direction. It is not. Both the hot object and the cold object are radiating energy. The hot object is obviously radiating more. The radiation from the cold object does impact the hot object and imparts energy to the hot object.

• Rodger,
Please describe an experiment where you add 1 net joule of energy from 1u photons to 1 cc of water and arrive at a different temperature than you would by adding 1 net joule of energy from 10u photons to an identical cc of water at the same initial temperature. As a second test, given the two final cc’s of water, how can you tell which received the SW energy and which received the LWIR energy? As a practical example, consider that water outside in the Sun warms by SW radiation just like water in an oven that receives predominantly LWIR. Warm water is just warm water and it doesn’t matter how it warmed.
Yes, photons of different wavelengths have different energies and GHG’s are sensitive to specific energies, but liquid water and the remaining 30% of the surface absorbs any frequency photon that is not reflected and the energy of those photons contributes to heating. One joule of LWIR can do the same amount of work as 1 joule of SW, 1 joule of RF energy, 1 joule of mass energy and in fact 1 joule of energy in any form. The number of photons it takes to deliver 1 joule if energy is irrelevant.

• commieBob says:

The radiative heat transfer between two objects depends on the temperature difference between those two objects.

• But we have 3 objects. We have the Sun, the surface and the atmosphere (and.or clouds), where the energy emitted from the atmosphere is energy that the surface emitted previously and was subsequently absorbed by it. The delay is why we can consider atmospheric power a second source of power entering the surface. The problem with consensus climate science is that they do not bound the energy emitted by the atmosphere by the energy absorbed by it.

• David A says:

Regarding the ability of LWIR radiation to warm the oceans, it is not a yes it can, no, it cannot proposition.
The correct question is how effective is X amount of LWIR radiation verses the same amount of SW radiation?
I maintain that the SW radiation is far more effective, whereas the LWIR will mainly be absorbed at the surface, and be used in accelerating the hydrological cycle, and likely, through increased w/v and clouds further reduce surface T and below surface absorption of S/W radiation.
With billions of dollars of climate research, we still cannot quantify such basic variables.

• Joules are joules and a joule of SW radiation will have the same warming effect as a joule of LWIR. The primary difference is that the absorption coefficient of LWIR is slightly larger than the absorption coefficient of SW (owing to reflection), both of which are greater than 90%,but that only affects the quantify of joules doing the warming.

• Roger Clague says:

CO2isnotevil says:
Joules are joules and a joule of SW radiation will have the same warming effect as a joule of LWIR
Warming depends on temperature differences. Warming depends on the temperature of:
1. Whatever is being warmed
2. The SW and LW radiation doing the warming
I think the SW from the sun at 4000K is doing more warming than LW from the atmosphere at 300 to 200K

• David A says:

CO2 says…”Joules are joules and a joule of SW radiation will have the same warming effect as a joule of LWIR”
========================================================================
I disagree. You are forgetting “Davids Law”….
“Only two things can affect the energy content of a system in a radiative balance, either a change in the input, or a change in the residence time of some aspect of the energy within the system.”
In this sense (residence time of energy input) I maintain not all watts are equal. The residence time depends on both the materials encountered, and the WL of the watt under consideration. In a past post Willis asserted that the LWIR re-striking the surface, via back radiation, was equal to the SW striking the surface, sans the clouds presence. Thus, ignoring residence time, he limits the affect to a very small number. I have, on the basis of residence time, questioned the veracity of Willis’s proposition that, if the watt per square meter down welling LWIR due to clouds, is equal to the same watt per square meter down welling SW , sans clouds, then they make the same contribution to earth’s energy budget.
I postulate that the SW radiation will enter the earths oceans to depth, having far longer residence time. I postulate that the same increase in LWIR will expend much of its energy in accelerating the water cycle, be lost in evaporation, and released at altitude, to be liberated by GHG molecules, the more numerous, the more likely to be quickly liberated from our “system” I assert that (as an example) 10 straight days of SW pumping into the tropical ocean, will accumulate for the entire 10 days, losing little to space; whereas 10 days of LWIR from clouds, will lose far more total energy to space. I postulate that the residence time of the WL of radiation, as well as the materials encountered, are the reason the residence time and total accumulated energy within the system varies, despite an equal wattage flow per square meter.
As the residence time of some of this S/W energy is multiple decades, then we would need to compare say three very weak solar cycles, verses three very strong cycles, to understand the total energy gained in the three strong solar cycles. But right now we simply do not know the residence time of disparate solar spectrum entering the SW selective surface of our GHL (Green house Liquid) oceans.

There is one more very important way not all watts are equal!
Heat is a curious thing. In general it is described as an average on the kinetic energy of a given mass, such as one square meter. But this average, does not define the energy intensity of individual molecules or photons which composed said mass.
A thought experiment if you will. Take a very large pot filled with water, say 100 square feet in area, and ten feet deep, so 1000 square feet. and super insolated with a concave bottom, thinner in the center.
Now apply two different heat sources to the base of this pot, both of which are say 100 watts per 1 square feet. The first source, example A, is a 100 square foot heating element, 10, 000 watts total, with the conducted heat perfectly distributed throughout this base. From this source, no matter how perfect the insolation of the pot of water, it can only get to the T of the heating element, at which point the net flow between the element and the pot will be equal.
Now apply a very different 100 watts per square foot source; example B. Apply a very small, say 1/4 inch square super heated 10,000 watts total, so still 100 watts per square foot of the pot base. Given time, this greater energy intensity source of equal watts per square foot input to example A, can yet heat the pot of water to far higher Temperature. Under theoretical perfect insolation, the entire pot can reach the T of the source.
Comparing a flux in GHG LWIR to the far more energy intense SW flux striking a SW selective surface like the oceans, is like the example A verses B above. The watts per square meter flux is almost meaningless compared to the greater energy intensity of the SW flux and the thousands of times greater residence time of said SW flux striking the SW selective surface of the oceans, verses the very short residence time change in atmospheric energy due to increased GHG which also are far less energy intensive then the SW radiation penetrating the oceans. (Some of Konrad’s experiments may be useful here)
Due to the very long residence time of SW ocean insolation, and to the relatively higher energy intensity of SW insolation verses LWIR, then a 100 year long flux in SW insolation, can accumulate for every one of those 100 years, whereas the direct affects of a change in GHG LWIR, is balanced tomorrow.. Indeed, not all watts are equal.

• David A says:

CO2 says…”Joules are joules and a joule of SW radiation will have the same warming effect as a joule of LWIR.”
===============================================
I cannot agree. You are forgetting “David’s Law (-;
“Only two things can affect the energy content of a system in a radiative balance, either a change in the input, or a change in the residence time of some aspect of the energy within the system.”
In this sense (residence time of energy input) I maintain not all watts are equal. The residence time depends on both the materials encountered, and the WL of the watt under consideration. In a past post Willis asserted that the LWIR re-striking the surface, via back radiation, was equal to the SW striking the surface, sans the clouds presence. Thus he limits S/w solar affects to a very small number. I have, on the basis of residence time, questioned the veracity of Willis’s proposition that, if the watt per square meter down welling LWIR due to clouds, is equal to the same watt per square meter down welling SW , sans clouds, then they make the same contribution to earth’s energy budget.
I postulate that the SW radiation will enter the earths oceans to depth, having far longer residence time. I postulate that the same increase in LWIR will expend much if its energy in accelerating the water cycle, be lost in evaporation, and released at altitude, to be liberated by GHG molecules, the more numerous, the more likely to be quickly liberated from our “system” I assert that (as an example) 10 straight days of SW pumping into the tropical ocean, will accumulate for the entire 10 days, losing little to space; whereas 10 days of LWIR from clouds, will lose far more total energy to space.
I postulate that the residence time of the WL of radiation, as well as the materials encountered, are the reason the residence time and total accumulated energy within the system varies, despite an equal wattage flow per square meter.
As the residence time of some of this S/W energy is multiple decades, then we would need to compare say three very weak solar cycles, verses three very strong cycles, to understand the total energy gained in the three strong solar cycles. But right now we simply do not know the residence time of disparate solar spectrum entering the SW selective surface of our GHL (Green house Liquid) oceans.

There is one more very important way not all watts are equal!
Heat is a curious thing. In general it is described as an average on the kinetic energy of a given mass, such as one square meter. But this average, does not define the energy intensity of individual molecules or photons which composed said mass. A thought experiment if you will…,
Take a very large pot filled with water, say 100 square feet in area, and ten feet deep, so 1000 square feet. and super insolated with a concave bottom, thinner in the center.
Now apply two different heat sources to the base of this pot, both of which are say 100 watts per 1 square feet. The first source, example A, is a 100 square foot heating element, 10, 000 watts total, with the conducted heat perfectly distributed throughout this base. From this source, no matter how perfect the insolation of the pot of water, it can only get to the T of the heating element, at which point the net flow between the element and the pot will be equal.
Now apply a very different 100 watts per square foot source; example B. Apply a very small, say 1/4 inch square super heated 10,000 watts total, so still 100 watts per square foot of the pot base. Given time, this greater energy intensity source of equal watts per square foot input to example A, can yet heat the pot of water to far higher Temperature. Under theoretical perfect insolation, the entire pot can reach the T of the source.
Comparing a flux in GHG LWIR to the energy intense SW flux striking a SW selective surface like the oceans, is like the example A verses B above. The watts per square meter flux is almost meaningless compared to the greater energy intensity of the SW flux and the thousands of times greater residence time of said SW flux striking the SW selective surface of the oceans, verses the very short residence time change in atmospheric energy due to increased GHG which also are far less energy intensive then the SW radiation penetrating the oceans. (Some of Konrad’s experiments may be useful here)
Due to the very long residence time of SW ocean insolation, and to the relatively higher energy intensity of SW insolation verses LWIR, then a 100 year long flux in SW insolation, can accumulate for every one of those 100 years, whereas the direct affects of a change in GHG LWIR, is balanced tomorrow.. Indeed, not all watts are equal.

• MarkW says:

commieBob, correction, the NET radiative heat transfer between two objects …

• MarkW says:

Roger, yes the sun does warm a lot more than the atmosphere.
That’s not the point of discussion. There are some among us who believe that the atmosphere can’t warm the oceans at all.

• Markstoval,
You are conflating the radiant transfer of energy via photons which heat at a distance and the non radiant transfer of heat by physical contact. Photons don’t care what temperature the objects are and will transfer energy (heat) regardless of the temperature of the object that emitted or received the photon. And yes, one source of photons from an object can not make another object wamer then itself, but two independent sources of photons from two objects accumulate and the net result will be warmer than either source can do by itself. The key concept here is that there are more than 2 objects.
It’s not the cold GHG’s in contact with the surface that warms it, it’s the photons emitted by GHG molecules, each of which can be considered a unique source of photons which accumulates with solar photons to make the surface warmer than the solar input can do on its own. It’s also not just GHG’s that do this but clouds as well and in fact clouds have the bigger effect. The way that both GHG’s and clouds slow down surface emissions out to space is by ‘reflecting’ (with delay) some some fraction of surface emissions back to the surface, where ‘reflection’ is really emissions consequential to absorption. The main difference is that GHG are narrow band absorbers and emitters while the water in clouds is a broad band absorber and emitter of photons (BB radiation).
It’s not necessary to use your argument to show how wrong consensus science is and I consider this specific argument noise that gets in the way of legitimate arguments for how and why the consensus is so horribly wrong.
The Pauli Exclusion Principle basically says that energy states can only be occupied once and that an energized GHG that absorbs another photon of the same energy will necessarily emit a photon to make room. It’s also necessary to understand that this primarily applies to individual molecules (i.e. gasses). In a solid or liquid like the surface, the electrons are shared between molecules and the associated electron cloud has virtually infinite degrees of freedom and the capacity to absorb and emit photons of any wavelength. The infinite degrees of freedom morphs the line spectra constrained by Quantum Mechanics into the Planck spectrum associated with the BB emissions of a liquid or solid. It can almost be considered as extreme collisional broadening associated with the GHG emissions of a gas.

• David,
Watts are a rate of joules and certainly different rates have different effects. The basic constraint of COE is that joules of energy can be neither created or destroyed, only transformed into a different form.
Your example of two 100 W heaters is not an example of 2 100 W/m^2 heaters, but one that is emitting 100 W/m^2 and another that’s emitting an equivalent of millions of W/m^2. It’s not the area being heated that sets W/m^2, but the area of the source that sets this rate.

• “The radiative heat transfer between two objects depends on the temperature difference between those two objects.”
I second the “net” correction by MarkW.
Everything having nonzero temperature radiates. Stefan’s Law. A cooler body can, thus, make a warmer body even warmer than it would be if it were radiating away to space and getting no radiation in return.
This is a physical law that some people can’t get their heads wrapped around. It’s important to understand this before commenting at all on radiative heat transfer.

• David P,
Yes and comments about this without an underlying understanding is a disservice to the cause of getting the science right by providing easy targets for warmists to latch on to in an attempt to delegitimize sound rationalizations for why the consensus is so horribly wrong.

• Ian W says:

It also depends on the radiation frequency and the receiving object. In the case of CO2 it is claimed that ‘downwelling infrared radiation’ (sic) will warm water. Well the infrared (if there is any) will be absorbed by the first few molecules so a couple of microns. The energy supplied to these surface microns is likely to increase their energy to a level that they can escape the surface. Or in other words, the infrared will increase evaporation from the surface leading to a net loss of energy.
This seems to be a simple undergraduate level physics experiment; perhaps someone at a university could carry it out. Using the amount of radiation claimed to ‘downwell’ to the surface for say 10 hours in an open system that allows convective heat loss; quantify the change in heat content of a volume of water. I realize that modeling is the preferred method, even here; but for once how about a real experiment? Showing that 70+% of the surface will cool with incident infrared would change a lot of input parameters to computer models.

• Ian,
Water is a conductor of heat and energy captured by the top micron or so of the surface will rapidly distribute. Consider heating a block of metal. Again, only the top micron of surface is capturing photons, but the entire block heats up relatively uniformly.
Water is not as good a conductor as metal and at sufficient thickness can act as an insulator and its intrinsic heat transferring properties can be used to calculate the thickness of the thermocline required to insulate warm surface waters from deep ocean cold. Look at the temperature profile of the ocean and it looks like what you would expect to see from a wall (thermocline) insulating hot (surface) from cold (deep). In fact, its the inflection points in the temperature profile that defines the thermocline!
The effect of incident energy causing more evaporative cooling than warming is something that happens with water, but only at temperatures above 300K (about 80F). This is also the ocean temperature required to spawn hurricanes. A water world will never experience any sustained local average water surface temperature above about 300K almost independent of how far it is away from the Sun unless its so close that all the water evaporates and the ocean becomes a dense layer of clouds.

• Roger Clague says:

David Perron says
Everything having nonzero temperature radiates. Stefan’s Law. A cooler body can, thus, make a warmer body even warmer than it would be if it were radiating away to space and getting no radiation in return.
An object “radiating away to space and getting no radiation in return” would become T = 0K. It is not possible to have a body cooler than T= 0K. to warm it.
You have not given an example of a cooler body warming a hotter body.
We are discussing the possibility of radiation by the CO2 and clouds in the atmosphere at, on average, 250K warming the surface at 290K.

• Roger Clague says:

co2isnotevil says
two independent sources of photons from two objects accumulate and the net result will be warmer than either source can do by itself.
If one cool source is not warming adding a similar cool source will not make a difference.
It’s not necessary to use your argument to show how wrong consensus science is
In science arguments are either right or wrong according to experiment. Whether an argument is needed or not involves by who and for what which is politics.

• An object “radiating away to space and getting no radiation in return” would become T = 0K. It is not possible to have a body cooler than T= 0K. to warm it.

That doesn’t go contrary to anything I said. Again: it’s best to understand Stefan’s Law before commenting. Stefan’s Law says that objects radiate energy as a function of their emissivity and temperature. If they’re radiating at all, they have nonzero temperature. If they have radiated to free space to the point where they’re at 0K, and there’s nothing else radiating, then they’re done.
My claim was not, ever, that there are always cooler bodies around, radiating.

You have not given an example of a cooler body warming a hotter body.

I haven’t endeavored to. The law is the law. If you can find an exception to the law, it’s no longer a law. Then you’ll be famous for having contradicted an empirical law that’s been in place for over 100 years.

We are discussing the possibility of radiation by the CO2 and clouds in the atmosphere at, on average, 250K warming the surface at 290K.

It’s not a possibility; it’s a given. It’s already happened. It doesn’t mean that the surface is going to get warmer than it already is; it means the surface is the temperature it’s at partially due to radiation of atmospheric gases. Whether that effect is trivially small or not is another matter entirely; the point is, that it exists, and that (back to the initial point) all things not at absolute 0 are busily radiating, and absorbing radiation.

• David A says:

CO2, you have completely ignored residence time. In additions “joules” are also defined as a quantity of energy per area. This ignores the difference between disparate photon. S/W photons are much higher energy. Understanding that, re-read my comment.

• Rodger,
Why is this so hard to grasp? Several facts seem to be overlooked.
1) Radiation has the property of superposition. The bottom line is that a system with multiple sources of input is equivalent to a system with one source of input whose magnitude is the sum of all other inputs.
2) Bodies being warmed by radiation are also emitting radiation, whether they warm or cool depends on the difference between what its receiving and what its emitting.
4) For the purpose of this analysis, the characterized system is the surface (not the planet) and is the source of output radiation consequential to its temperature and to be in LTE, it must be receiving the same amount of radiation, otherwise, the temperature increases or decreases until it does.
5) The surface has more than one source of input power. One is the Sun, from which it receives an average of about 240 W/m^2 after reflection. The other is the atmosphere from which it receives a net of about 145 W/m^2. The power it receives from the atmosphere is not new power, like that from the Sun, but is photon power previously emitted by the surface, delayed by GHG’s or clouds, and ultimately returned back to the surface. The best way to think of this is that the atmosphere acts like a half silvered mirror manifesting non unit emissivity for the planet from a surface that exhibits near unit emissivity.
6) The radiant power received by the surface from the atmosphere comes in two parts. First is narrow band emissions from GHG’s and the other is broad band emissions from the water in clouds. Both arrive as photons as does solar input and as far as the surface is concerned, it has no way to tell where any specific photon came from.
You must acknowledge that the Earth radiates power and some of these photons reach the Sun and are absorbed by it, The Sun is clearly much hotter than the Earth and the Sun is infinitesimally warmer owing to the photons arriving from Earth. If this wasn’t the case, the Sun would need the capacity to store an infinite amount of energy without warming as it absorbs photons from the Earth and the rest of the Universe.

• David A,
Residence time is irrelevant to whether the atmosphere contributes to making the surface warmer than it would be otherwise. All that matters is rates of energy flow in and out of the various parts of the system.
Also joules are not quantified per m^2. W/m^2 is a rate of joules per W/m^2, but joules are joules, the amount of work a joule can do is constant and you will never convince any scientist otherwise. Yes, the average power of a solar photon is more than a photon emitted by the surface, but 10 10u photons has the same amount of energy (joules) as a single 1u photon (E=hv) and its joules that warm the surface and its joules that the surface emits as BB radiation and its joules that must be conserved. We can normalize joules as an average per unit area and this is convenient for computational purposes, but doesn’t change what a joule is.
I realize that consensus climate science muddies the waters here, but step back for a moment and look at the problem from a purely physics perspective. Most the complexity added by consensus climate science is wholly unnecessary except to provide the wiggle room to support what first principles physics can not.

• JohnKnight says:

To me, nobody special, this looks like a language problem. In techni-talk, colder things can “warm” hotter things, but only because the meaning of ‘things’ is quietly changed from something like an ocean, to some molecules in that ocean.
And this is not confined to radiative heating, it seems to me, but extends to contact heating as well. The insulation of my house is “warming” some of the molecules inside the insulation, but not my house, for instance.. (in winter ; )

• David A says:

CO2, a couple of points. As stated originally, the real question regarding the ability of LWIR to warm is not, can to, or can not, but to quantify the difference.
For instance you are an analogy of a, let’s call it one sq meter of metal,warming through conduction to a given input; asserting correctly that all of it would warm even if only one surface came in contact with the heat source. You used this as an analogy to the ocean surface receiving LWIR energy. However to complete your analogy it would be required to assume the metal had an evaporation point close to H2O. The, to quantify your answer you must calculate how much energy went into accelerating the evaporative cycle, lifting the now gasified metal to altitude. Now in the real world you have to further calculate the negative or positive feedback of inreased cloud cover, and, even if no clouds are formed. Increased W/V which may have further LWIR positive feedback, minus clear sky CO2 absorption of S/W insolation, preventing a not insignifica percentage of solar spectrum from reaching the surface and below the ocean surface. To quantify that you must know the residence time of all inputs.
Furthermore you certainly admit that two equally energetic photons will have an entirely neutral affect on each other. You must acknowledge that both joules and watts and can be defined as a measurement of energy per volume, most commonlyly per sq meter. Therefore you would need far less S/W phontons in the same as meter to equal the heat or potential work of far more LWIR photons…
Hence my pot analogy where the energy over 100 square feet was the same, yet the more energetic photon had far greater heating potential depending on the residence time of the input.
Re-read”David’s Law”. Residence time always matters.

• Roger Clague says:

CO2is not evil,
.
Both [forms of radiation from the atmosphere to the surface] arrive as photons as does solar input and as far as the surface is concerned, it has no way to tell where any specific photon came from.
The energy of a photon depends on frequency.
SW from the sun 4000K= high frequency = high energy
LW from the atmosphere at 200-300 K = lower frequency = lower energy
The surface and the atmosphere know the difference between a photon from the sun and a photon from the atmosphere.

• Rodger, David,
Sorry, this thread has gotten too long and my replies to your prior posts ended up in different threads. I’m done trying to explain how the atmosphere warms the surface beyond what the Sun can do without one. It’s pretty cut and dry, conforms to all known physics and is confirmed by the data.
IMHO, the very idea that the presence of GHG’s and clouds in an atmosphere does not make the surface warmer than it would be without them is a disservice to the skeptical cause and just gives the warmists ammunition to attack legitimate scientific concerns. This controversy is not over whether or not the effect of GHG’s and clouds is finite, but over how big the effect is. Note that I consider clouds and GHG’s as acting equivalently, even though GHG’s are a narrow band absorber and emitter of joules while the water in clouds is a broad band absorber and emitted of joules. Note that I also said joules and not photons.
Merry Christmas,
George

• Roger Clague says:

CO2isnot evil says:
I’m done trying to explain how the atmosphere warms the surface beyond what the Sun can do without one. It’s pretty cut and dry, conforms to all known physics and is confirmed by the data.
I think the physics of the atmosphere’s thermal enhancement is definitely not cut and dried.
IMHO, the very idea that the presence of GHG’s and clouds in an atmosphere does not make the surface warmer than it would be without them is a disservice to the skeptical cause and just gives the warmists ammunition to attack legitimate scientific concerns.
It is your theory and attitude that is a disservice to the sceptical cause.
The term “GHG’s and clouds” is loaded. Clouds and other forms of H20 cause most warming or cooling of the atmosphere.
Using the term GHG’s meaning greenhouse gasses, especially CO2. Is to assume CO2 has major role.
Evidence shows it does not.

• David A,
Harping on the effects of evaporation is one of those things that sounds reasonable and the consensus uses this to confuse people and it seems to be working. There is an effect of evaporation which adds a non linearity to the system, but that non linearity has the net effect equivalent to a small amount of net negative feedback which effectively reduces the sensitivity by more than the expected 1/T^3 rate as the temperature increases.
Whatever effect the hydrological cycle has on the temperature is already manifested by the average temperature of the surface, so the effects of evaporation are mostly irrelevant to radiant effects, whose net emissions by the surface are consequential to its average temperature. In fact, only radiant energy matters for the radiant balance of the planet and for quantifying the effects of incremental input (forcing). Moreover; GHG effects and BB radiation from clouds are strictly radiant effects. This all becomes crystal clear when you decompose energy fluxes into a flux transported by photons which affects the radiant balance directly and a flux transported by matter which affects the radiant balance only indirectly by affecting the surface temperature.
Expressing energy as a rate per unit area is a convenience used for analytical purposes and we can do this because superposition tells us that the planet will respond the same to continuous application of average power or a variable application of power with the same time integrated average. Applying 1 second of 100 W/m^2 can do the same amount of work (heating) as applying 2 seconds of 50 W/m^2.
Your example is still broken. If I have a heater emitting 385 W/m^2 across 1 meter and is heating some matter that is allowed to freely radiate, the temperature of that matter will eventually reach 287K. If instead, I apply the same total energy rate over 1 cm^2, the power density becomes 385 W/cm^2 which is 3.85E6 W/m^2 corresponding to a temperature of 2870K and this is the potential final temperature that can be reached.
You are definitely confused about the differences between energy, energy rates and power density (energy rate per unit area). In the final analysis joules are what must be conserved, so energy rates must be integrated over time and power densities must be integrated over time and space. Confusion arises because temperature is proportional to the fourth root of the power density and consensus climate science improperly linearizes this by asserting a sensitivity as degrees per W/m^2.
Quantifying this ‘back radiation’ is relatively easy. If you do line by line simulations, the clear sky passes about 48% of surface emissions into space while the cloudy sky passes on average only about 12%. Given that the surface is 2/3 covered by clouds, the total passing through the transparent regions of the atmosphere can be calculated as a cloud fraction weighted sum of 12% and 48%, or 385*(0.48*1/3 + 0.12*2/3) = 92 W/m^2. If 92 of 385 passes through, 385 – 92 = 293 W/m^2 must be absorbed by the atmosphere. If the planet emits 239 W/m^2 and only 92 W/m^2 passes through the transparent window, the remaining 147 W/m^2 must come from the 295 W/m^2 being absorbed by the atmosphere, leaving 293-147 = 146 W/m^2 unaccounted for. But when this 146 W/m^2 is added to the 239 W/m^2 of incident solar power, the result is 385 W/m^2 which is the power emitted by the surface, thus the remaining 146 W/m^2 must be returned to the surface to warm it beyond what the 239 W/m^2 of incident solar power can do in order for it to emit 385 W/m^2. Note as well that about half of what is absorbed by the atmosphere leaves into space and the remaining half is returned to the surface. This is what we would expect given that energy enters the atmosphere over half the area that its emitted.

5. Fred Holby says:

Correct me if I am wrong but this theory of trapped heat in the deep oceans….did it come in after the failed attempt to find a warming of the Tropical Troposphere?
Recall that the Aqua satellite launched in 2002 experienced an epic fail for the warmers……hence the re-branding to “Climate Change”

• MarkY says:

Not much gets past this crowd.

• It’s all part of their modus operandi of introducing complexity to provide the necessary wiggle room to support what the physics can not.

6. Stephen Skinner says:

“The Holocene Thermal Maximum, also called the Holocene Thermal Optimum, occurred at different times in different parts of the world but generally between 10,000 BP and 4,000 BP. ”
The time when the Sahara was wet fits in with this, which would have been between 10,000 BP and 5,000BP.
The National Geographic does not mention that this period was warmer but that it was wetter:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/05/080508-green-sahara.html
“The last green phase, which started some 12,000 years ago, may be due to increased water evaporation from oceans. This led to monsoon rains that penetrated the interiors of tropical continents, he said.
“Now, today, man is probably causing the same thing,” he said.”
So, it happened before then and today’s ‘hot’ global average temperature is not unprecedented?

• emsnews says:

Today’s global average temperature is below that of previous warm cycles such as the Roman era or Minoan era.

7. Interesting how the Holocene optimum pretty well correlates to the species change from hunter/gatherer to agriculture and the first hints of “civilization” (I say that with some reservation) Pretty obvious that cold climate= basic survival, warmer climate = abundance and time for invention. Could be the powers that be want us to return to the bitter cold of the LIA so the flock gets radically trimmed–just saying.

• And the correlation between warmer temperature and increased CO2 emissions is similar. The weather got warmer and man had time to think about things other than just surviving, for example, industrialization.

• Rhoda K says:

Not industrialisation per se, but specialism. When some folks got good at something and it was no longer convenient or necessary to be a nomad, My theory is that the first thing they were good at which was not a hunter/gatherer/nomad activity was making booze. You needed to be near the source plants. You needed the other folks to bring you the makings so you could sell them the booze. You didn’t have time to fetch them yourself. Somebody else worked out how to plant stuff so you could stay in one place. Others began to specialise in making clothing, shoes, trade goods and you needed a town sort of place to house the market. That’s what civilisation is, trade and towns. Nothing about any sort of moral superiority. Just (probably) booze.
(This opinion not supported by anything I’ve ever seen written, so no I can’t give you a reference.)

• Menicholas says:

Show me the first guy who saw a boll of cotton and saw a new shirt.

• Menicholas says:

Oh, methinks there was a better explanation that to keep grain from spoiling.
Just ask the first guy to get a woman drunk.

• Ian W says:

Beer or ale was also a safe way to stay hydrated. Drinking water led to all sorts of infections, drinking an ale that had sufficient alcohol to kill the bacteria was a lot safer. So those that liked ale survived and those that avoided ale died out. Hence, its apparent popularity.
A quote from the play Tom Jones; Squire Alworthy: ” ‘Tis true Tom lad, small drinkers die young!”

8. Very nice paleoclimate post. The long view, not the Mann view. Only criticism would be your figure 1. There are other reconstructions showing a significantly higher Holocene optimum. Who knows which is more correct. But I tend to range beyond wikipedia in search of evidence.
Many thanks for this post.

• geologyjim says:

Rhonda- You should read “The Optimist”. Author follows history of civilization marked by specialization and trade which allowed craftsmen to innovate and improve.

9. The Eemian Optimum, at the height of the last Ice Age interglacial about 125,000 years ago, was about 5C hotter than today with sea levels 4m to 6m higher. This interglacial has actually been milder than the last.

10. Menicholas says:

I have waited a long while for another article which discusses deep ocean temp.
In one such discussion several months ago, it became apparent (to me anyway), that the ocean water below the North pole is very close to if not in a state of being supercooled. That is, it may be at or below it’s freezing point for the amount of pressure it is under and the level of salinity.
If some event or circumstance were to lower the pressure of a certain volume of this water, or lower the salinity somehow, or otherwise alter the physical characteristics of a large quantity of this seawater in such a way that it was to begin to freeze, and explosive event may be possible in which this freezing seawater rose rapidly to the surface due to the change in state causing it to become less dense as salt is excluded during the phase change.
I do not know if this is possible, likely, or impossible.
But it does seem that, if it were to somehow occur, the end result of many cubic miles of ice exploding from the sea floor to the surface would be a huge agitation and mixing of deep water with surface waters.
No one seems to know how it is that ice ages begin so rapidly as the geologic record seems to indicate.
Could this scenario be a possible mechanism?
I would be happy for someone to explain how this is flat out impossible.
Sorry if this is too far OT.

11. The Holocene is ending just as nonwhites are taking over Europe and N America. Bad luck. Time for whites to look for new territory. .

• Ed Zuiderwijk says:

Methinks you are on the wrong blog.

• tabnumlock says:

Why do you say that? Libs have tried hard to destroy Europe and N American by flooding them with nonwhites. I think it’s rather hilarious that they will soon be under a mile of ice anyway.

• MarkW says:

So the problem, in your mind, is that there are too many non-whites in Europe?
I second Ed’s comment, we don’t need your ilk here.

12. co2islife says:

What this means is that if you heated the atmosphere to 1000°C and transferred all of that heat to the ocean, the ocean would only warm 1°C once the heat was well mixed.

Bingo!!! I’ve been making that case since I’ve been posing on this board. The warming oceans are the smoking gun against the AGW theory. There simply isn’t enough energy in the atmosphere, let alone the 13µ to 18µ band. The numbers simply aren’t there. Visible light is what warms the oceans. The warming oceans are due to more visible light reaching them. Warmer oceans release CO2. That is why the CO2 level doesn’t change due to man’s production, its slope is constant no matter what man does.
Watch the below video and you have everything you need to debunk the AGW theory.
1) It states that tilting of the earth slightly warmed the oceans
2) That warming of the earth released CO2
3) That CO2 then trapped heat and continued the warming.
The argument is that the tilting primed the CO2 pump, and the slight warming from the tilting resulted in the CO2 increasing, and then further warming. That is the theory, but it is pure nonsense if you think logically.
1) When all this happened the N Hemi was in an ice age, the albedo was high, and the air was very very very dry.
2) The tilting of the earth warmed the ocean and released CO2, but it also released H2O. The increase in CO2 from 180 to 220 trapped 1.2W/M^2, which is nothing. The warming however turned a very very dry air into a climate that is conducive for life. Using the default H2O, that traps 70W/M^2, or over 50X the heat trapped by CO2. Clearly the tilting resulted in the increase in H2O that warmed the globe, not CO2. Also, as the ice receded more ocean was exposed to more sunlight, resulting in more warming. lastly, the warming of the oceans was slowed because of the melting glaciers, but one the glaciers all had melted, the oceans were free to warm more rapidly, and release more CO2.
Bottom line, if you watch this video and consider the albedo, area of ocean exposed to sunlight as the ice melted and the impact of increasing H2O from an ice age to a normal N Hemi climate and you simply don’t need CO2 in the mix at all. You should see the email I got for pointing this out 🙂 I would encourage everyone to start promoting this alternative CO2 free theory. Trust me, the warmists don’t like you looking behind the curtain.
https://youtu.be/dHozjOYHQdE

13. Rex says:

There should be a course for posters on where to put the word ‘only’ :
“… shows that the world ocean average temperature has only gone up 0.1°C in the last 60 years”
No. Try this :
“… shows that the world ocean average temperature has gone up only 0.1°C in the last 60 years”
which is the meaning the writer intends.

14. Don Easterbrook says:

There seems to be general agreement that the cause of the Holocene Thermal Maximum is the Earth’s precession cycle.”
“General agreement” means absolutely nothing–no one has shown this to be the case and consensus means nothing anyway. Far more to the point is that no one has offered any explanation concerning: (1) the effects of all of the orbital variations are opposite in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres so there is no net change in energy received by the Earth, (2) we now know that glaciations were synchronous in both hemispheres, which argues against orbital variations as a cause, and (3) past glaciations, including the last one ended far too abruptly to be a result of slow orbital changes.
Bender has determined that remnants of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) from the last glacial period contributed to cooling many northern areas and delaying their warm periods.
This statement is badly in error. The LIS ended very abruptly and involved no delay at all.

• Don,
While orbital effects are hemispherically symmetric, the hemispheres respond differently to the seasonal profile of that incident power. The S hemisphere has a band of water where the N hemisphere has a band of land along the latitudes that are most likely to get snow. This results in a significantly different summer vs. winter response owing to a larger seasonal change in reflectivity in the N hemisphere. Circulation patterns are different and the ratio of land to water is also quite different.
The rate of change out of ice ages is generally faster than the rate of entry, although the planet has spent far more time during periods of glaciation than not over the last couple of million years, so warmer conditions, regardless of their rate of entry, are transient at best. Massive accumulations of sea ice can disappear quickly, especially when ocean currents are involved. A slight warming resulting in more rain than snow can also quickly melt glacial ice.

• Don Easterbrook says:

I don’t see how that gets around the close synchronous timing of climatic events in both hemispheres. Nor does it explain how the last glacial suddenly ended, started up again for 1000 years (Younger Dryas), and ‘flickered’ warm and cold numerous before and after. Can’t do all that with slower orbital changes, and if these abrupt climatic changes had another cause, that same cause must be capable of generating full blown glaciations.

• ralfellis says:

>>don’t see how that gets around the close synchronous timing
>>of climatic events in both hemispheres.
Obliquity and precession produce very different effects in both hemispheres.
Obliquity will produce weak warming in both hemispheres, when obliquity is at a maximum (41 ky cycle). But during an ice age it will produce less warming in the northern hemisphere, because of the ice sheets, which require strong warming to melt them. Conversely, presession will only produce warming in the northern hemisphere during the northern perihelion, but the warming is much more intense (23 ky cycle).
So 25 ky ago there was a little obliquity warming, that preferentially warmed the south. But then 17.5 ky ago there was a more intense precessional prehelion warming of the north, which broke the ice age and produced an interglacial. This made it look like the warming started in the south and spread north, but it did not. There were two very different warming events that were eventually superimposed upon each other – a weak obliquity in the south and then a strong precession in the north.
In the Holocene, the precessional warming las largely gone, but the longer obliquity cycle still remains, and so we have an extended warm period. This always happens when eccentricity is low, as it is now. The same happened 420 ky ago, when there was another extended interglacial period.
If you don’t mind I will send you the new paper I am writing on this topic when I am finished in a week or two.
Ralph Ellis

• Don Easterbrook says:
…the last glacial suddenly ended… and ‘flickered’ warm and cold numerous before and after. Can’t do all that with slower orbital changes, and if these abrupt climatic changes had another cause, that same cause must be capable of generating full blown glaciations.
Dr. Easterbrook,
You also refer to the “…close synchronous timing of climatic events in both hemispheres.”
Re: the synchronous timing, isn’t there a difference between short term and long term events? For example, the ‘polar see-saw’ is a shorter term contra-indication of NH and SH ice cover; when one hemisphere rises or declines, the other tends to move in the opposite direction. (This sounds like a nitpick now that I’ve written it; sorry.) But on longer time scales it’s clear that the poles are in excellent agreement in their temperature trends — which indicates that they are a very good proxy for global T changes, such as the MWP and LIA.
Do you think that is correct? (You’re the expert here, and I am taking full advantage of your knowledge, if you’re still willing to comment. ☺)
Next, regarding your “flickered” comment, those observations may simply be an effect of the changeover from one state to another. How is that either due, or not due, to orbital changes? I have a hard time following that argument to its conclusion. Or following your premise that whatever the cause of the ‘flickering’ is, it must also be a cause of glaciations. How does that follow? Does the observed ‘flickering’ have to be a cause, and not just an effect? It seems that since nothing in nature is a smooth sine wave, that ‘flickering’ could just be noise.
As Prof Lindzen wrote (elegantly, IMHO):
Climate is always changing. We have had ice ages, and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in 100,000-year cycles for the last 700,000 years, and there have been previous periods that appear to have been warmer than the present, despite CO2 levels being lower than they are now. More recently, we have had the Medieval Warm Period, and the Little Ice Age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced, to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th Century these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat… For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause. The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work… suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century. [my emphasis]
Do you agree with Lindzen’s analysis?
If it’s correct, then where is there any room for the claims of ‘dangerous man-made climate change’? My argument for several years now has been that if “dangerous AGW” is occurring, then it must be significant enough to measure the man-made fraction of global warming (out of total global warming from all causes, including orbital changes, the MWP, ocean effects such as the AMO, etc., and other entirely natural causes).
But to the best of my knowledge no one has ever produced any verifiable, empirical, testable measurements of AGW, which are acceptable to the general scientific community, that are replicable per the scientific method, and which specifically quantify the fraction of AGW out of all global warming, including warming from natural forcings.
Sorry to be so wordy, but those questions cut to the heart of the entire debate: is AGW a serious problem? Or is AGW, as Willis Eschenbach argues, just a small, 3rd-order forcing that is swamped by 2nd-order and 1st-order forcings?
If AGW (which I accept) is a major cause of global warming, then why are there no credible, replicable measurements quantifying AGW? Science is all about data; measurements are data. But so far, there appear to be no widely-accepted measurements of AGW! (Or any, that I am aware of.)
The first person who produces verifiable measurements quantifying the fraction of AGW will surely be on the short list for a Nobel Prize, no? So the carrot is there. Thousands of scientists have been searching for decades to be the one(s) who are able to accurately quantify AGW. But still, there are no measurements!
If that is correct (please tell me if it’s wrong, I can take it), then pretty much everything claimed about ‘dangerous man-made global warming’ is just an opinion, no? And it follows that opinions are not a sufficient reason to deconstruct Western technological society by reducing atmospheric CO2, which mounting evidence shows is both harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere.
Thanks in advance for any response you’re willing to give to this interested reader (and skeptic of the DAGW conjecture). This is one of the really great benefits of WUWT: being able to ask true experts in the field questions like these.

• Beat me to it. Precession is an effect of phase discrepancy. The other orbital parameters must be integrated to get insolation, whose net effect would describe wiggly spiral lines of maximum sun around the planet. The ~23kyr precession cycle shows no wavelet power in the Pleistocene. There is a roughly one million year period of rather unsatisfying ~41kyr power followed by an equally unsatisfying million years of ~100kyr power.
The 100kyr power has been ruled out by none other than Herr Muller as well as Lorraine Liseiki.
Now, you can start compounding cycles and invoke the precession modulation of eccentricity and top it off with the tidal effects of Uranus, but this pretty much boils down to epicycles all over again.

• ralfellis says:

Not true.
Every interglacial warming event was associated with a northern precessional perihelion maxima, with its associated increased insolation in the northern hemisphere. The reason this has not been seen before is that not all precession maximums produce an interglacial, and for a very special reason. So groups or epochs of four or five precession maxima need to be added together to produce the interglacial interval – which are actually 90 ky or 115 ky apart, not 100 ky.
So the primary modulator of interglacials is the precessional cycle, not obliquity or the very weal eccentricity.
Ralph

• What is the very special reason not every precession max causes an interglacial and you have to add four or five of them together to get one?

• David A says:

? …well it is curious that the proposed 24,000 tilt precession failed to place is in an interglacial the first 9 times it happened.
I am not certain at all that conventional precession theory would net out at zero. Too many unknowns regarding earth’s energy budget.

• ralfellis says:

>>past glaciations, including the last one ended far too
>>abruptly to be a result of slow orbital changes.
That is because ice ages require a turbocharged feedback system to break their dominance. And there is such a feedback system, that only operates every 100 ky or so, but it is not the weak feedback of CO2 (not directly). It is an interesting story that explains every facet of ice age and interglacial modulation and periodicity. If you don’t mind I shall send you the finished paper.
Ralph

• The glaciations are controlled by changes in the salinity of the Artic Ocean affecting oceanic heat distribution. There wasn’t an Artic ice cap until 3 million years ago, when North and South America connected at the Isthmus of Panama and closed off a major current.
It’s been theorized that during the interglacials, the fresher Pacific water flowing into the Artic through the Bering Sea plus melting sea and surface ice lower the overall salinity of the northern loop of the Gulf Stream that carries warm water into the Artic, moving it south and cooling the Artic considerably. The ice then increases and advances, its albedo cooling the Earth overall, and we drop into glaciation.
As the sea levels drop, the Bering Sea becomes Berengia, the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska, damming the Pacific input of fresh water into the Artic. The salinity levels slowly increase until the Gulf Stream starts sending the warm water back into the Artic and the ice begins to melt. And the cycle repeats itself.

• ralfellis says:

>>The glaciations are controlled by changes in the salinity
>>of the Artic Ocean affecting oceanic heat distribution.
But every interglacial is demonstrably linked with increased precessional insolation in the northern hemisphere. Are you saying that oceanic circulations control the Earth’s orbit? The oceanic circulation theory is one buoy short of a navigation channel.
R

• Hugs says:

Very interesting. I believe both fresh water and insolation have an effect. It could be CO2 warming is effectively counteracted by weakening Gulf Stream and increasing polar heat loss, but this is of course just a new reason to panic: AGW causes ice age!

• Professor Easterbrook, I take your point about the beginning and end of the glaciations. No argument there. However, it is not clear to me that the end of the LGM or the Younger Dryas was caused by the same thing that caused the Holocene Thermal Maximum. Further, most writers make the point that the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and the Southern Hemisphere are very different, the NH has more land at around 65 North. So when the precession causes a warm summer in the NH the effect could very well be different than in the SH. Consensus means nothing in science as you say and correlation does not mean causation. Both apply here. But, without solid data on the cause of the Holocene Thermal Optimum, I think it is OK to say “general agreement” in this case. After all the warm period does begin just after 10,000 BP and end just after 5,000 BP. I’m not saying this is proven or even a good theory, but it is an idea with a lot of support.

• Don Easterbrook says:

Andy,
About 15,000 years ago, extremely abrupt warming caused temperatures to rise as much as 20 F in less than 100 years in Greenland, resulting in dramatic melting of Pleistocene ice sheets all over the world. About 12,500 years ago, temperatures abruptly cooled back to full glacial and remained for about 1000 years before once again suddenly rising about 20 F in 100 years in Greenland, bringing the last glaciation to a close. These sudden, drastic climate changes were synchronous in both hemispheres. I can’t imagine any way that slow precession taking thousands of yrs could have caused all these abrupt climate changes. It simply doesn’t work.
The basic question is how did we get to the Holocene from the YD in a century? Surely not by precession. Whatever caused that could easily explain the Holocene Climatic Optimum.
The postulated “polar see-saw” is contradicted by a large number of recently published 10Be and 14C dates on moraines in North America and New Zealand. I’ve worked extensively on this issue and what is now apparent is that short-lived, abrupt climate changes that occurred between about 13,000 and 10,000 years ago were almost exactly synchronous in both hemispheres, although not with the exactly the same strength.
Don

• ralfellis says:

>>I can’t imagine any way that slow precession taking thousands of yrs
>>could have caused all these abrupt climate changes.
It could if the the ice sheets were dirty. The great Achilles heel of a glacial world is albedo. Upset the albedo, and you upset the entire dynamics of an ice age world.
R

15. The process abruptness and the influence of astronomic forcing all along the Holocene is described
in utmost detail in http://www.knowledgeminer.eu/climate_papers.html .
Don Easterbrook is right: A slow tilting of the globe does NOT produce a NET energy gain, because
what you get more in the North will be lost in the South and vice versa. And the abruptness of the
Holocene temp swings shows that one long astronomical cycle with a several 10,000 years duration does not produce temp swings on very short centennial scales … the time scales of long and short are simply not compatible or synchronous…..better see above quotes papers…. JS.

16. Regarding: “Direct infrared radiation from greenhouse gases probably warms the oceans a little, but direct solar radiation does most of the work.” This links to an article by Donald Rapp at judithcurry.com where LWIR is claimed to be unable to heat the oceans much because it heats up only the top few microns, resulting in rapid evaporative cooling. However, with heating such a thin surface skin of ocean, the temperature gradient at the lower part of it will be so steep that the heat will diffuse downward even faster than it can be lost from evaporation.
Another thing Donald Rapp mentions is a claim that that the forcing by a doubling of CO2 is only 1 W/m^2. Dr. Roy Spencer, a skeptic with a personal website at drroyspencer.com, goes along with the IPCC figure of 3.7 W/m^2.

• David A says:

If cloud cover and or water vapor increases, then the surface receives even less short wave radiation, which has far greater residence time, therefore warming potential, in the oceans.

• co2islife says:

Another thing Donald Rapp mentions is a claim that that the forcing by a doubling of CO2 is only 1 W/m^2. Dr. Roy Spencer, a skeptic with a personal website at drroyspencer.com, goes along with the IPCC figure of 3.7 W/m^2.
According to MODTRAN doubling CO2 from 400 to 800 absorbs an additional alters upward IR heat flux from 289.288W/M^2 to 286.054W/^2, or about 3.234W/^2.
Note: with 0 atmosphere, a 1°C change results in a change from 414.166W/M^2 to 419.405W/M^2, so according to MODTRAN, a change in 1&Deg;C is consistent with a change of 5.239W/M^2.
From the ice age record highlighted in one of the videos posted above, temperatures increased between 4 and 8°C. CO2 simply doesn’t trap that much heat. The H2O however as mentioned traps 70W/M^2, which would be consistent rise of 4 to 8°C, assuming that the early period didn’t have the same humidity as we do today.

17. Regarding: “In graph A the green curve is the reconstructed average surface water temperature for 30°N to 90°N latitude and the red curve is the reconstructed global average surface water temperature. In graph C the Northern Hemisphere (30°N to 90°N latitude) reconstructed average intermediate water temperature for a depth of 500 meters is plotted. Both plots show that Northern Hemisphere ocean temperatures between 9,000 BP and 7,000 BP were 2.5°C+-0.4°C warmer than the late 20th Century. Global Ocean temperatures are estimated to be 0.7°C warmer than in the late 20th Century.”:
The NH curve (north of 30 degrees north) in the A graph peaks at about 2.3 degrees C for the surface, and the global curve peaks at about .5 degrees C. I wonder how the C graph was derived, where the ocean 500 meters down supposedly warmed more than the ocean surface and was much spikier in temperature than the surface (north of 30 degrees north latitude) in the early Holocene.

18. co2islife says:

If cloud cover and or water vapor increases, then the surface; receives even less short wave radiation, which has far greater residence time, therefore warming potential, in the oceans.

That may be true, but the IR relative to CO2 is the 13µ to 18µ. The key is to not lose sight of the forest through the trees. The important question to always answer is how does this observation relate to CO2. Warmest make an infinite number of claims, but when asked about how CO2 could possibly be responsible, they simply change the subject. My favorite is the Mt Kilimanjaro glacier that is disappearing due to sublimation. Sure it is disappearing, but it has nothing to do with CO2. The other are the hotspots in ocean near Antarctica that are melting the ice shelves. The heat most likely comes from volcanoes, and certainly not from CO2..

19. co2islife says:

Both plots show that Northern Hemisphere ocean temperatures between 9,000 BP and 7,000 BP were 2.5°C+-0.4°C warmer than the late 20th Century. Global Ocean temperatures are estimated to be 0.7°C warmer than in the late 20th Century.”:

Can someone translate that into an increase in CO2 PPM using Henry’s Law? If the temperature of the oceans did increase by 0.7°C, how much would that have increased the CO2 ppms? Basically what is the Δ CO2 PPM for a Δ Ocean Temp in °C?

20. Robertvd says:

So on this very moment the Southern Hemispheres is having its Holocene Thermal Maximum.

• Yes, it is closest to Sun on January 3. And, yet, there is evidence that Antarctic sea ice and ice mass is increasing.

21. There are some very interesting surface winds in the NH which have been in place for several weeks at least. The main effect is that the surface winds have created a barrier such that to the west of this barrier Europe is staying warm, while to the east side of the barrier everything is very cold. Around 80% of the upper NH is affected by a deep cold at this point in time. The middle and eastern portion of the US is being protected by winds coming from the Gulf of Mexico that partially deploy up to Hudson Bay, but mainly move back out to the northeast. This is the reason why the East Coast is experiencing the current level of above average warmth. That has nothing to do with the El Nino. I get the impression that something is changing, but I am unable to think of a reason why it is doing this…http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/orthographic=-31.24,75.16,497
Here is the cold wave which has expanded over the last 3 weeks. This first started in early October in Siberia and then rapidly spread to other areas before it subsided and warmed quite a bit. Now it has taken hold again of most of the upper NH except for the wind protected areas. A little shift of that wind stream in the center of the US could drop temperatures like a stone. Europe would also be susceptible to such a drop with the right shift in surface winds…http://www.weather-forecast.com/maps/Arctic?symbols=none&type=lapse

22. Chris Schoneveld says:

Global Ocean temperatures are estimated to be 0.7°C warmer than in the late 20th Century.

Am I always the only one who gets annoyed by this? The ocean waters have warmed by 0.7°C not the temperatures. If one really wants to refer to the temperature change one has to say: Global Ocean temperatures are estimated to be 0.7°C higher than in the late 20th Century.
Analogous to this is the common error when referring to the price or cost of something. Here I substitute temperature of something for the cost of something. You don’t say: the cost (temperature) of this item is expensive (warm). You shoud say: the cost (temperature) is high or the item is expensive (warm).
All scientists and commentators on climate blogs (or even scientific papers) appear to make this error. And I seem to be the only one to point this out. And I am not even particularly deft in linguistics.

23. The first chart is nonsense.
By choosing that chart as his first, the author demonstrates minimal knowledge of Earth’s climate history, and our ability to define it with accurate numbers.
That chart appears to show a proxy-derived average temperature of Earth in the past 12,000 years, showing 2004 as the hottest year in that period.
No one knows that.
Proxies can not be used as a substitute for real time temperature measurements.
Their margins of error for that use are unknown.
+/- 1.0 degrees C. on that chart is meaningless, IMHO, with the quality of data used.
I would submit that many CURRENT average temperature measurements may not be that accurate, given the politics of climate change, and repeated “adjustments” to historical data.
I doubt if real-time surface measurements in the 1800s and early 1900s were better than +/- 1 degree C. even before the “adjustments”.
The chart shows (mainly) changes of temperatures well within reasonable margins of error.
That makes it a meaningless chart.
I did not get further than the first chart — it identified the author as being either biased, or a climate change fool.
There is too much useful material to read on climate history — why should I waste my time on this?
Oh, and by the way, I AM in a good mood today!
My free climate change blog for non-scientists:
No money for me.
A public service
http://www.elOnionBloggle.blogspot.com

24. Javier says:

What a disappointing article. It is about the Holocene Climatic Optimum (HCO), yet it makes no attempt to tackle the most controversial issue of today about the HCO. Recently it has been proposed by Marcott et al., 2013 that the entire Holocene global average temperature span is 0.7°C. That is between HCO and LIA there is only a 0.7°C reduction in global temperature. This immediately places current global average temperatures, as warmer than HCO, and 2015 has a chance of being the warmest year in the Holocene. This is basically what the first figure also says.
There are no other global temperature reconstructions for the entire Holocene, but the issue of how much warmer was the HCO with respect to LIA is discussed in other articles. I would expect anybody writing about the HCO to at the very least recapitulate what is available in the literature about its temperature, and much better to discuss the issue and try to defend a posture. Was HCO warmer globally than present? Why?

25. Don Easterbrook says:

“Obliquity and precession produce very different effects in both hemispheres.
Obliquity will produce weak warming in both hemispheres, when obliquity is at a maximum (41 ky cycle). But during an ice age it will produce less warming in the northern hemisphere, because of the ice sheets, which require strong warming to melt them. Conversely, presession will only produce warming in the northern hemisphere during the northern perihelion, but the warming is much more intense (23 ky cycle).”
So 25 ky ago there was a little obliquity warming, that preferentially warmed the south. But then 17.5 ky ago there was a more intense precessional prehelion warming of the north, which broke the ice age and produced an interglacial.”
About 15,000 years ago, extremely abrupt warming caused temperatures to rise as much as 20 F in less than 100 years in Greenland, resulting in dramatic melting of Pleistocene ice sheets all over the world. About 12,500 years ago, temperatures abruptly cooled back to full glacial and remained for about 1000 years before once again suddenly rising about 20 F in 100 years in Greenland, bringing the last glaciation to a close. These sudden, drastic climate changes were synchronous in both hemispheres. I can’t imagine any way that precession could have caused all this. It simply doesn’t work.
“In the Holocene, the precessional warming las largely gone, but the longer obliquity cycle still remains, and so we have an extended warm period. This always happens when eccentricity is low, as it is now. The same happened 420 ky ago, when there was another extended interglacial period.”
Precession doesn’t explain the 20 F/century warming from the late glacial into the Holocene, i.e. it couldn’t have caused that much warming so rapidly.
“If you don’t mind I will send you the new paper I am writing on this topic when I am finished in a week or two.”
Yes–please send me a copy. I hope you will address the multiple, abrupt climate changes in the late Pleistocene and explain how precession could have caused them.
Don

26. Don Easterbrook says:

Dave,
Lots to discuss here so I’ve made a few comments and will send you more with data via email.
“Re: the synchronous timing, isn’t there a difference between short term and long term events? For example, the ‘polar see-saw’ is a shorter term contra-indication of NH and SH ice cover; when one hemisphere rises or declines, the other tends to move in the opposite direction.”
“(This sounds like a nitpick now that I’ve written it; sorry.) But on longer time scales it’s clear that the poles are in excellent agreement in their temperature trends — which indicates that they are a very good proxy for global T changes, such as the MWP and LIA. ”
Among many others.
Do you think that is correct? (You’re the expert here, and I am taking full advantage of your knowledge, if you’re still willing to comment. ☺)
The postulated “polar see-saw” is contradicted by a large number of recently published 10Be and 14C dates on moraines in North America and New Zealand. I’ve worked extensively on this issue and what is now apparent is short-lived, abrupt climate changes that occurred between about 13,000 and 10,000 years ago were almost exactly synchronous in both hemispheres, although not with the exactly the same strength.
“Next, regarding your “flickered” comment, those observations may simply be an effect of the changeover from one state to another. How is that either due, or not due, to orbital changes? I have a hard time following that argument to its conclusion.”
It’s basically simple–multiple, abrupt, drastic temperature changes occurred within the late Pleistocene k(Dansgaard-Oerscher events), none of which could have been caused by precession or other orbital changes because they are very slow acting.
“Or following your premise that whatever the cause of the ‘flickering’ is, it must also be a cause of glaciations. How does that follow?”
If some other cause can produce multiple climate changes of full glacial strength, then it must be possible to cause any glaciation without orbital changes.
“Does the observed ‘flickering’ have to be a cause, and not just an effect? It seems that since nothing in nature is a smooth sine wave, that ‘flickering’ could just be noise.”
Not a chance! Vast amount of data shows it is not random noise.
As Prof Lindzen wrote (elegantly, IMHO):
Climate is always changing. We have had ice ages, and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in 100,000-year cycles for the last 700,000 years, and there have been previous periods that appear to have been warmer than the present, despite CO2 levels being lower than they are now. More recently, we have had the Medieval Warm Period, and the Little Ice Age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced, to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th Century these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat… For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause. The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work… suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century. [my emphasis]
Do you agree with Lindzen’s analysis?
As far as it goes. The oceans certainly control climate, but what he doesn’t say is what causes the oceans to change? It has to be something external.
“If it’s correct, then where is there any room for the claims of ‘dangerous man-made climate change’? My argument for several years now has been that if “dangerous AGW” is occurring, then it must be significant enough to measure the man-made fraction of global warming (out of total global warming from all causes, including orbital changes, the MWP, ocean effects such as the AMO, etc., and other entirely natural causes).
There are so many climate changes that occurred before any possible AGW CO2 increase that the whole idea of CO2 driving climate is absurd. The only possible period of AGW is after 1950 (but we had 30 years of global cooling after that, so it’s really 1978 to 2000). I’ve document 40 periods of warming and cooling since 1500 AD (with no possible CO2 caue) that we have experienced recently is entirely within natural bounds. The amount of increase in atmospheric CO2 during the 1978-2000 warming was only 0.004% and that’s for a gas that makes up only 3.6% of greenhouse gas.
But to the best of my knowledge no one has ever produced any verifiable, empirical, testable measurements of AGW, which are acceptable to the general scientific community, that are replicable per the scientific method, and which specifically quantify the fraction of AGW out of all global warming, including warming from natural forcings.
Sorry to be so wordy, but those questions cut to the heart of the entire debate: is AGW a serious problem? Or is AGW, as Willis Eschenbach argues, just a small, 3rd-order forcing that is swamped by 2nd-order and 1st-order forcings?
CO2 is a non-player in climate change because there is so little of it and there have been hundreds of climate changes without any possible effect from CO2. Willis is correct. I see no evidence that CO2 can be responsible for more than 0.1 increase in temp.
If AGW (which I accept) is a major cause of global warming, then why are there no credible, replicable measurements quantifying AGW? Science is all about data; measurements are data. But so far, there appear to be no widely-accepted measurements of AGW! (Or any, that I am aware of.)
It doesn’t work!
The first person who produces verifiable measurements quantifying the fraction of AGW will surely be on the short list for a Nobel Prize, no? So the carrot is there. Thousands of scientists have been searching for decades to be the one(s) who are able to accurately quantify AGW. But still, there are no measurements!
If that is correct (please tell me if it’s wrong, I can take it), then pretty much everything claimed about ‘dangerous man-made global warming’ is just an opinion, no? And it follows that opinions are not a sufficient reason to deconstruct Western technological society by reducing atmospheric CO2, which mounting evidence shows is both harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere.
Thanks in advance for any response you’re willing to give to this interested reader (and skeptic of the DAGW conjecture). This is one of the really great benefits of WUWT: being able to ask true experts in the field questions like these

27. Don Easterbrook says:

The Younger Dryas (YD) and multiple other abrupt, late Pleistocene climate changes are neither fictitious nor locally restricted. A vast amount of data from all over the world indicates that most were world-wide and globally synchronous. The GISP2 Greenland ice core is truly remarkable because it shows detailed fluctuations of temperature that can be almost exactly correlated with the global glacial record and other climate proxies. The magnitude of temperature changes during the late Pleistocene varies with latitude (more pronounced at higher latitudes). In addition to the YD, multiple, similar, but less robust, abrupt climate changes occurred between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago, including about half a dozen climatic intervals, previously identified and named from other proxies, including the global glacial record. The correlation with the GISP2 core is excellent, confirming the validity of the oxygen isotope record. The late Pleistocene temperature record does not rely on a single proxy from a single location.
About 14,500 years ago, the global climate warmed abruptly (~20 F in less than a century in Greenland), bringing about drastic melting of the late Pleistocene ice sheets. Temperatures fluctuated up and down many times during the deglaciation process, rising to near-Holocene levels about 13,000 years ago before plunging back to full glacial conditions at the beginning of the YD. “Full glacial conditions” here means that temperatures rose from the level of the latest full glacial at 13,000 years ago (not necessarily the coldest part of the full glacial). Thus, the YD represents a return to the same level as the full late glacial. However, this doesn’t mean that the huge ice sheets returned to their former size—they clearly did not, primarily because of lack of time—the YD lasted about 1000 years and although the ice sheets and alpine glaciers readvanced, they didn’t have time to return to their full size.
The abrupt end of the late Pleistocene, as well as older glaciations, and the YD could not have been caused by orbital variation (Milankovitch cycles) because those take thousands of years. Milankovitch cycles cannot possibly get the planet out of the last glacial period in such a short time—it had to be some other cause capable of producing abrupt drastic warming.

• Javier says:

Don, nobody said that YD was fictitious or locally restricted. You are raising a straw man argument.
But YD did not mean a return to full glacial conditions. You are suffering from a δ18O Greenland-centric point of view.
“Sea surface temperatures derived from Mg/Ca ratios in planktic foraminifera G. ruber and δ18O over the last 30 ka show that deglaciation warming was initiated around 19 ka in the northern Indian Ocean, which is coeval with the Pacific and Antarctica deglaciation timing, but leading Atlantic and Greenland deglaciation. Northern Indian Ocean SST documents a gradual warming during glacial to Holocene transition rather than a two step rapid warming as in the Greenland and north Atlantic.”
A New Evidence on Sequence of Deglacial Warming in the Tropical Indian Ocean.
From minimum insolation at 21 Kyr to start of deglaciation at 19 Kyr to interglacial at 11 Kyr. That is 8000 years for deglaciation.
Previous termination (TII) did not have a YD event, yet levels of CH4 and CO2 are fully comparable to last deglaciation (TI).
Independent variations of CH4 emissions and isotopic composition over the past 160,000 years.
http://i1039.photobucket.com/albums/a475/Knownuthing/ngeo1922-f2_zpsreqa2o0w.jpg
Figure text: a, CO2 from Vostok (TII, brown) and EDC (TI, orange). b, δ13CH4 from Vostok (TII, light blue), EDML (TI, purple, reprocessed and corrected for Kr effect) and GISP2 (TI, dark blue, original timescale, corrected for Kr effect), all with inverted y axis. c, CH4 from EDC (TII, light green) and EDML (TI, dark green). Except for GISP2 δ13CH4, all records are given on the unified ice-core chronology46. Upper x axis refers to TI (0–25 kyr BP), lower x axis to TII (118–143  kyr BP), aligned at the major CH4 rises (grey dotted line).
Sea levels. The analysis of cores from Tahiti coral reefs found that sea level rose at a rate of about 7.5 ± 1.1 mm/yr during the Younger Dryas. Just after the end of the Younger Dryas, the rate of sea level rise accelerated to 17.4 ± 0.4 mm/yr and just before its start, it was 12.1 ± 0.6 mm/yr. This reduction in the rate of sea level rise directly reflected a substantial reduction of the global inflow of meltwater into the world’s oceans during the Younger Dryas.
Deglacial Meltwater Pulse 1B and Younger Dryas Sea Levels Revisited with Boreholes in Tahiti.
http://i1039.photobucket.com/albums/a475/Knownuthing/TahitiSeaLevel_zpslymsvugl.png
Increase in sea levels during YD is incompatible with “a return to full glacial conditions”.
Sincerely, you only have your opinion and δ18O isotope from Greenland ice cores. Not even Nitrogen isotopes from Greenland ice cores support your view that YD was a return to full glacial conditions.
YD was an abrupt 1200 years cooling period within a long 8000 years warming that took the planet out of the Pleistocene and into the Holocene. During that cooling period most of the planet continued warming albeit more slowly, as the sea level change demonstrates.

28. Alan Robertson says:

Don E. says “… Milankovitch cycles cannot possibly get the planet out of the last glacial period in such a short time—it had to be some other cause capable of producing abrupt drastic warming.”
———————–
The most fundamental tenet of the entire global warming mess hinged on the idea that since no other cause for last century’s warming was known, or could be guessed, then clearly, it had to be our fault. Applying that logic, it becomes clear that we ended the Pleistocene, as well. How deep, the well of our guilt.

29. Don Easterbrook says:

Javier,
Interesting discussion. 🙂 
This is what you said in an earlier post. “This is the problem of relying on a single proxy from a single location. The return to full glacial is fictitious.”
Please read my earlier post—you have totally ignored everything I said. I am far from relying on a single proxy from a single location. You seem to be unaware of all the other evidence and proxies that I refer to. The δ18O data is supported by ice core temperature data of Cuffy and Clow and by Alley. Both show a return to the same last, late-glacial temperature level of 13 ka.
The data you posted is very interesting, but let’s not quibble about how cold the YD was—that’s not the principle issue here. Nothing you have said so far addresses the real problem—orbital changes cannot explain (1) the sudden termination of the late Pleistocene, (2) synchronous climate changes in both hemisipheres, (3) the many Dansgaard/Oerscher abrupt climate changes. The orbital changes take thousands of years to be felt and cannot possibly have caused these. Until you can explain these facts, you have no argument. So far, you have only stated your opinion that it is due to precession, but have not yet addressed the real problem of with any concrete evidence.
Another time, it would be interesting to discuss the other data you posted.
Don

• Javier says:

Don,
“Nothing you have said so far addresses the real problem—orbital changes cannot explain (1) the sudden termination of the late Pleistocene, (2) synchronous climate changes in both hemisipheres, (3) the many Dansgaard/Oerscher abrupt climate changes.”
Again, you seem to be focusing on only one termination. During the Pleistocene there had been 20 glaciations with 20 terminations. Milankovitch theory has been the only theory that has provided an explanation for the timing of glaciations. It was proposed before there was proof of the timing, and this timing fits in general terms Milankovitch cycles.
(1) Sudden terminations pose no problem at all for the theory. Once the process of warming the world keeps going, we know of several feedback processes that are likely to accelerate it giving the impression of an abrupt warming. Also other abrupt warming oscillations are know (D-O events) that could contribute to the abruptness of the termination.
(2) Obliquity changes are synchronous over both polar regions. Obliquity is so important for glacial termination, that of the 20 terminations, 12 of them have the same periodicity as the obliquity cycle.
(3) Why would Milankovitch cycles have to explain D-O oscillations? There is no indication that D-O oscillations are caused by orbital changes. There is evidence that they are linked to sea levels, so they probably have an oceanic origin.

30. Javier wrote:
What a disappointing article… Recently it has been proposed by Marcott et al., 2013 that the entire Holocene global average temperature span is 0.7°C. That is between HCO and LIA there is only a 0.7°C reduction in global temperature.
That is a typical alarmist assumption, and according to past articles posted here, Marcott isn’t very credible (just put ‘Marcott’ in the search box to get the articles and comments). Here is Marcott’s alarming view of the current (extremely *mild*) warming. Note the scary red in the chart:
http://www.realclimate.org/images//Marcott.png
Over the past century and a half, global warming was only ≈0.7ºC – ≈0.8ºC. Compared with the geologic record, that is nothing. Temperatures fluctuated by TENS of whole degrees just prior to our current Holocene — and before there were any indiustrial CO2 emissions. Marcott is just trying to alarm the public with his very scary — and very bogus — graph.
Javier keeps digging:
…between HCO and LIA there is only a 0.7°C reduction in global temperature. This immediately places current global average temperatures, as warmer than HCO, and 2015 has a chance of being the warmest year in the Holocene.
That amounts to an assertion, contradicted by plenty of evidence such as this:
https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/easterbrook_fig5.jpg
Javier digs deeper:
There are no other global temperature reconstructions for the entire Holocene
for example:
http://i.snag.gy/BztF1.jpg
[click in charts to embiggen]
I can count at least twenty temperature increases during the Holocene that were just as great or greater than the current rise.
Next, Javier says “the entire Holocene”, but he never identifies which temperatures he is talking about. Is it polar temps, which vary by several degrees? If so, his statement is contradicted by ice core, oxygen isotope and other observations.
Or maybe Javier is referring to equatorial temps, which have varied less than 1ºC over the past billion years. But then his assumption makes no sense. So Javier is really just making assertions — which all happen to support his narrative. Funny how that works.
Real world evidence shows that the ≈0.7ºC wiggle in global temperatures over more than a century is a flatter temperature record than anything found in the geologic record. In fact, humanity and the biosphere have been extremely fortunate in this “Goldilocks” climate:
http://i1.wp.com/www.powerlineblog.com/ed-assets/2015/10/Global-2-copy.jpg
Despite the very mild global temperatures we have been enjoying, the climate alarmist crowd is still trying to convince the public that what we are observing is a climate catastrophe happening.
But that narrative is unsupported by any credible evidence. Only big money is keeping that scare alive. Really, it is just a hoax to pass carbon taxes, and give government bureaucrats more power over the average person’s life. The military has the perfect acronym: BOHICA.

• BusterBrown@hotmail.com says:

(Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on posting 300 comments under the fake “BusterBrown” name is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

• JohnKnight says:

Buster,
“..science isn’t done on blogs, it’s done in journals.”
You are talking gibberish, to me, for science is not done on/in either blogs or journals, it’s just reported/discussed on/in such things.
Your “authority worship” is hampering logical thinking, it seems to me.

• JohnKnight says:
You are talking gibberish
Hey, John, you’re talking about my entorage of one: my pet chihuahua Bungler Bluster, who constantly bird-dogs my comments with his illogical nonsense. That one is just another example: rather than reading even one Marcott article, Bluster pontificates as if he knows something. He doesn’t; he’s been wrong every time he comments.
I give Bluster his reason for existing, John. I’m his rai·son d’ê·tre. If you take that away from him, he’ll go back to pushing a shopping cart. Would you want that on your conscience? …yeah, I don’t care, either. ☺
Every once in a while another Blusterboi like that shows up here to exhibit his total lack of knowledge about the science being discussed. All he does is assert his wrong-headed opinion, while I post lots of facts and evidence. But what good did that do? None at all; he’s still just as ignorant as the day he first posted a comment here.
So disregard Bluster, he’s just a chihuahua trying to run with the big dogs. He is impervious to learning anything, all he does is bird-dog skeptics’ comments. Treat him like what he is: an amusing example of an alarmist lemming, a mouth-breather who head-nods along with everything he hears on the nightly news about ‘climate change’. Worse, he really believes it!

• BusterBrown@hotmail.com says:

(Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on posting 300 comments under the fake “BusterBrown” name is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

• BusterBrown@hotmail.com says:

(Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on posting 300 comments under the fake “BusterBrown” name is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

• Bluster says:
Dbstealey, someone needs to go after all the errors you make.
I make plenty of errors, just like everyone else. But discussing the man-made global warming scare, you are 100% errors. You’re batting .000; you haven’t got a single hit yet. You don’t have a clue why the real world is contradicting your beliefs.
Don’t just take my word for it. Looking at other readers’ comments, you’re not even in the minor leagues. A batboy, maybe. Nothing more.

• JohnKnight says:

“JohnKnight, You can discuss politics on blogs, but “politics” is done in the voting booth. Get the analogy?”
BusterBrown,
You can discuss politics on journals, but “politics” is done in the voting booth. Get the problem with your “analogy”.?

• BusterBrown@hotmail.com says:

(Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on his comments is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

• JohnKnight,
See? I told you! Bluster lives for my comments (maybe yours now, too). He doesn’t have a life with any meaning, so he ended up here somehow, a little chihuahua trying to run with the big dogs.
I just love it when Bluster the Chihuahua bird-dogs my comments. He doesn’t try to discuss science because it’s way over his head. So he makes comments like those above.
And who else has their own one-chihuahua entourage?

• BusterBrown@hotmail.com says:

(Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on his comments is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

• I love it when you bird-dog me.
Got anything original, chihuahua? Or do I have to feed you all your ‘clever’ comments?
I’ve been pointing out that you’re “bird-dogging” my comments for at least the past week, and I’ve mentioned ‘bird-dogging my comments’ at least half a dozen times now. So now you’re copying my posts. Emulating me is all you’ve got, but I don’t mind. I like having an entourage, even if it’s just a single chihuahua.
I laugh at your copycat posts, but I’d prefer to discuss science. You’re always bird-dogging my comments, but now it’s at the point of stalking. If you would discuss facts and evidence I’d like it better. But I know why you don’t: it’s because you’ve got nothin’.
So get a life, chihuahua. You’re a noobie here. and you’re clearly not up to speed on these subjects. All you do is emit your baseless opinions while skeptical readers post data, and empirical observations, and repeatedly ask for (non-existent) measurements of AGW. And we thoroughly demolish your climate alarmism.
No wonder alarmist scientists have given up debating skeptics. They always lose those debates. So now they sic their chihuahuas on skeptics, hoping to spread the globaloney they’re too scared to debate themselves.
Won’t work, chihuahua. Bluster is still bluster, and facts, observations, and evidence still rule. The alarmist crowd still has zero credible evidence to support their ‘carbon’ scare. If it weren’t for the piles of grant money and a complicit media, the “man-made climate change” narrative would be the #1 topic for stand-up comedians on the late nite shows. It’s getting there anyway…

• Javier says:

dbstealey,
Too bad you have not provided a single evidence of past global average temperatures. A single ice-core in Central Greenland does not provide support for anything that is not past temperatures in Central Greenland. Why do you think that Central Greenland climate can represent the entire planet is beyond me.
You keep repeating the same mistakes even after told, so it is not very productive to engage you in discussions about science. Your inability to learn is tiresome.

• Javier,
Since you brought it up, what is the GAST?
As I’ve tried to teach you, that doesn’t matter. Only the trend matters.
I even helpfully posted quite a few charts so you could learn something. No dice. Dr. Easterbrook tried to help you out, too. But again, no dice. He tried to explain so even you could understand, that ice cores are excellent proxies for global temperature trends. Trends, Javier. Get it? Trends. They are what’s important, not GAST.
Your inability to learn is tiresome.

• BusterBrown@hotmail.com says:

Dbstealey asks: (Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on his comments is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

• Bluster Bozo says:
…why do you ask what GAST is when you post a chart of GAST?
Some day I may do you a favor, chihuahua, and explain what a ‘rhetorical question’ is. You presumed two things in your usual deflection here:
First, you presumed that I don’t understand what is meant by GAST (or GASTA). And you presume that you understand the issues being discussed here. Wrong on both counts.
As you just attacked someone else on another thread here, with your usual psychological projection:
Take the issue up with him, not me
Which I was doing with Javier. I would school you, but I’ve tried, and you’ve shown you have no ability to understand the basic issues being discussed. You did the same thing again here, in your incessant bird-dogging of my comments.
Since you mistakenly believe that GAST is the issue here (it isn’t and it never was), here’s something more to get you pointlessly spun up:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lPGChYUUeuc/VLhzJqwRhtI/AAAAAAAAAS4/ehDtihKNKIw/s1600/GISTemp%2BKelvin%2B01.png
You’re not just arguing with me and getting thrashed, puppy, you’re arguing with lots of skeptics here on lorts of threads, often with these stupid ‘gotcha!’ attempts. You can see they don’t work. If you had read what I wrote about the trend being the only relevant metric, you wouldn’t have stepped in it as usual. But that would mean you were starting to actually read comments and understand the discussion, instead of your hopelessly lame attempts at one-upmanship.
Scientific skeptics — the overwhelming majority of readers and commenters here — have no trouble repeatedly demolishing your alarmist nonsense, and the reason is easy to see: we follow evidence, observations, data, measurements, and logic, while you waste your energy on lame ‘gotcha!’ attempts that backfire. But I must say, it does my ego good to see you saving up my past comments to re-post. You’re so fixated on me you probably don’t even realize it. Or scarier yet — you know exactly why. Maybe instead of an entourage I have a stalker.
No wonder no alarmist scientists will debate skeptics any more. Even though they’re much more up to speed than you will ever be, they still lack the one vital requirement necessary to win a debate: they lack the truth. Just like you.

• BusterBrown@hotmail.com says:

(Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on his comments is wasted, because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

• Javier says:

dbstealey,

Only the trend matters

What trend? Decadal? Centennial? Millennial? After choosing what trend matters you still have to demonstrate that “the trend that matters” is the same between Central Greenland and the rest of the world. After all precession changes are antisymmetric in both hemispheres so it is very difficult to argue that a polar trend is going to be identical to a global trend. I would right away dismiss it on theoretical grounds alone unless confronted with pretty strong evidence that what you say is true.
I think you are just wiggling around to avoid having to recognize that you have built a global argument out of a single regional proxy. I call that BS.

• Javier,
If you will stop wiggling for a minute, I’ll explain it for you:
You want a global average temperature. But that isn’t important. It’s the temperature trend that matters. Is the trend rising? Falling? Flat?
We can discuss the time frame, but I’ll be happy to defer to someone on your side of the fence: Dr. Phil Jones. His time frame is 15 years. Go back 15 years from now and tell us the trend. Or even 18 years.
But you don’t like that, because it doesn’t show what you want it to: rising global T. Instead, you fumble around trying to corner me with time frames like “centennial”, etc. You’ve demonstrated that you’re not smart enough to do that.
Next, you wrote:
Too bad you have not provided a single evidence of past global average temperatures.
That’s your baby, Javier, not mine. I’m not interested in what the GAST is because it tells us nothing worthwhile here. The trend is what matters, and Dr. Jones’ 15 year time frame is fine with me. Dispute it if you know more than Jones does.

• Javier says:

dbstealey,
Your definition of trend (15 years) is impractical and useless to analyze the Holocene. You still have to demonstrate that global temperature trends during the Holocene have anything to do with Central Greenland temperature trends as I asked you to do. Otherwise your claim that GISP2 represents global temperature trends is unsupported by evidence and can be dismissed without evidence as per Hitchen’s razor.

• Javier,
I give up. Why try to help you understand when you won’t understand? It’s not my definition. I’ve repeatedly explained that the 15 year time frame was proposed by Dr. Phil Jones, not by me.
Go complain to Dr. Jones if you’re so unhappy about it. He’s another arch-alarmist, so you two should get along just fine.
As for ice core evidence, you’re pretty much alone on that. Ice cores are very good proxies for global temperature trends. Otherwise, why do so many scientists use them for exactly that?

• Javier says:

dbstealey,

Ice cores are very good proxies for global temperature trends. Otherwise, why do so many scientists use them for exactly that?

Please provide references where an ice core is used as a proxy for global temperatures

• Javier,
I’ve done that repeatedly, at times in response to your own comments. So what good would it do? You would just argue pointlessly because your mind is already made up.

• Javier says:

Because those scientific references do not exist. You are just making that up, and when challenged to provide evidence, you have been caught.

• co2islife says:

Over the past century and a half, global warming was only ≈0.7ºC – ≈0.8ºC. Compared with the geologic record, that is nothing. Temperatures fluctuated by TENS of whole degrees just prior to our current Holocene — and before there were any indiustrial CO2 emissions. Marcott is just trying to alarm the public with his very scary — and very bogus — graph.

Thank you for addressing that. I run into that chart all over the place. The Warmings use it like the end all be all. I always just go back to the data set. That chart however does demonstrate just how political and corrupt that “science” it. They just make stuff up to support their case. People have to understand that if they win the world will never been the same. The socialists will now have the money to impose their will on whom ever they want. Up until now Socialism was self limiting because of its inability to self sustain itself. If we allow them to loot the energy sector, a sector with a produce with inelastic demand, they will be able to do a lot of damage, and be well funded.

31. co2islife says:

Something isn’t passing the stink test with these climate charts. These charts show extreme volatility in temperature, yet CO2 didn’t respond. The theory is that the tilting of the earth led to a warmer ocean and more CO2. I buy that. Why then did the continued warming not result in more atmospheric CO2? Why did all that warming only result in CO2 going from 180 to 280 over 8,000 years? Something isn’t passing the stink test these temperature of CO2 charts. Henry’s Law either exists or it doesn’t, the warming of the oceans either released CO2 or not, and nothing turned off the warming, but the outgassing of CO2 did stop? That makes no sense. Something isn’t passing the stink test.
https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/easterbrook_fig5.jpg

• Javier says:

Those charts show extreme volatility in temperatures because they are not for the world. Those charts are for Central Greenland only. At high latitudes temperature changes are a lot more extreme. You are very mistaken if you think you can extrapolate those changes to the entire world.

• co2islife says:

Greenland is surrounded by Ocean. You have to assume that those swings in temperature are likely to be driven by the surrounding ocean. That implies the source of all the CO2 is changing in temperature. BTW, look at this chart. CO2 and temperature rapidly increased up to 12,000 years ago and then abruptly stopped increasing. What caused the increase? How did CO2 stop the warming? How did CO2 stop increasing? If CO2 is the main driver, what is turning it on and off? How is this a settled science?
http://i1039.photobucket.com/albums/a475/Knownuthing/ngeo1922-f2_zpsreqa2o0w.jpg

• Javier says:

co2islife,

You have to assume that those swings in temperature are likely to be driven by the surrounding ocean

You have a faulty logic all over the place. The ocean never gets below -4°C. Central Greenland can easily get to -30°C average!

• Javier says:
Those charts show extreme volatility in temperatures because they are not for the world… You are very mistaken if you think you can extrapolate those changes to the entire world.
Javier, if you’re claiming to be knowledgeable in this area you certainly appear to be deficient in your understanding. I’ve posted charts showing the same long term temperature changes occurring simultaneously in the Arctic (Greenland) and the Antarctic. Those changes corroborate each other over long time periods. They are accepted by geologists as a proxy for global T changes.
But apparently you believe they must be coincidental, because you keep insisting that the simultaneous rise and fall of temperature at both hemispheres is just happenstance and cannot indicate long term global changes. That belief isn’t rational.
C’mon, Javier, admit it: you’re just winging it. You really don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?

• Javier says:

dbstealey,

I’ve posted charts showing the same long term temperature changes occurring simultaneously in the Arctic (Greenland) and the Antarctic. Those changes corroborate each other over long time periods. They are accepted by geologists as a proxy for global T changes.

That is pure, unadultered, bullshit. Arctic and Antarctic ice core records show very disparate changes. You have to be blind to claim that they corroborate each other. Your ignorance of climate is epical. You don’t even know that precessional changes in insolation are anti-symmetrical and therefore it is impossible that temperature changes in both poles show a similar trend over long time periods. Please let those who know discuss about climate and go back to study.
http://i1039.photobucket.com/albums/a475/Knownuthing/climate-reconstructions-11000-years1_zpsyqq8pbaq.gif
http://i1039.photobucket.com/albums/a475/Knownuthing/Bond-events2_zpshw6xtiry.png

• No, not really.
The precessional “tilt” changes that affect one end of the globe affect the other end just as far.
What IS different is that the “summer ice” that may remain from one winter to the next in the north land masses cannot exist from one summer to the next in the southern seas surrounding Antarctica. BUT! That southern sea ice around Antarctica IS present all year round between 57-58 south and 60-66 south latitudes. Thus, over a year’s basis, every square kilometer of Antarctic sea and land edge ice is 1.65 to 1.75 MORE “energy effective” than the same area of Arctic sea ice.

• Javier says:
So now you’re reduced to making impotent assertions like that, because you never could refute the charts I posted showing that the Arctic and Antarctic warm and cool simultaneously. If you ever admitted that, your entire argument would be demolished.
It probably flew right over your head like most of the evidence I post, but I’m trying to get you to say, “Post those charts again!”
But you never say that because you probably suspect that I’d put in a qualifier: if I post charts showing that the Arctic and Antarctic temperatures rise and fall together, you have to admit that you were wrong. Because you’re explicitly claiming that doesn’t happen.
Javier, you are in the same position as people teaching epicycles right after Kepler showed that was false. They couldn’t admit they were wrong, and neither can you. But I can prove it. All you need to do is admit you were wrong when I re-post a chart or two.

• Javier is posting anomaly charts above. Sneaky, huh? Furthermore, Javier posted the Holoccene, which is a tiny sliver of the geologic record. That’s even sneakier. But his short term cherry picking is exactly what I warned him against.
Actual long term temperature proxies look like this:
http://www.gisp2.sr.unh.edu/IMAGESGISP2/Bender-NSF.GIF
It is crystal clear that temperatures in both hemispheres are correlated. That means the ice cores are excellent proxies for global T.
Here’s another Vostok/Greenland overlay posted right here in 2011:
https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/3cores.png
Note the difference: Javier posted only the Holocene. I warned him, but he didn’t listen.
Greenland vs Antarctica, 4 different proxies showing the same correlation:
And with that, Javier has been pwned.

• Javier says:

RACookPE1978,
You seem to be confusing precession and obliquity changes. The changes in axial tilt refer to obliquity, not precession.

• Javier says:

dbstealey,
If you put charts with a scale of 100,000 years you cannot extract conclusions that are valid when discussing changes over 10,000 years. Is like arguing about daily differences in temperature and you bringing a yearly chart. Seasonal changes are very different from daily changes, and glacial changes are very different from Holocene changes.
May I remind you that we are talking here about the Holocene? Last 10,000 years? That is what the article above is about.
Changes in the poles are not coupled. You seem to ignore everything about the bipolar see-saw. You seem to ignore that the changes in temperature during Daansgard-Oechsger events are not synchronous between Antarctica and Greenland. They only appear so because of the scale that you have chosen to hide that you have been wrong all along.
During the Holocene the temperature trends between Antarctica and Greenland have been very different as I have demonstrated with my two graphs above. Therefore you cannot claim that Greenland temperature changes during the Holocene are representative of global temperature changes.
You started this discussion by showing a 10,000 year chart of Greenland and claiming that it was a global representation. Go head, show it side by side with a 10,000 year chart of Antarctica so we can all see how global they are. They are very different unless you hide their difference behind a much bigger scale that makes the entire Holocene less than 1 cm.
Your problem is not how little you know of climate change, but that you have it all backwards and refuse to learn. You have collected some graphs but you don’t understand what they mean.
And I am still waiting for those references where an ice core is used as a proxy for global temperatures. Remember that what is claimed without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. So basically everything you say.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/21/the-holocene-thermal-optimum/comment-page-1/#comment-2109267

• Javier,
You’re grasping at straws. I originally commented on Dr. Easterbrook’s post, asking:
Re: the synchronous timing, isn’t there a difference between short term and long term events? For example, the ‘polar see-saw’ is a shorter term contra-indication of NH and SH ice cover; when one hemisphere rises or declines, the other tends to move in the opposite direction. (This sounds like a nitpick now that I’ve written it; sorry.) But on longer time scales it’s clear that the poles are in excellent agreement in their temperature trends — which indicates that they are a very good proxy for global T changes, such as the MWP and LIA.
You wrote:
You seem to ignore everything about the bipolar see-saw.
See the ‘polar see-saw’ in my earlier comment? See the ‘short term’ (Holocene) versus the long term trends? All you’re doing is arguing endlessly because you’re cornered. Nothing I wrote there is wrong. You just don’t like it.
You also wrote:
Please provide references where an ice core is used as a proxy for global temperatures
So I posted several ice core charts. They debunk your assertion that temperature trends are not global.
You also said:
I am still waiting for those references where an ice core is used as a proxy for global temperatures.
So I gave you several examples. But now you’ve moved the goal posts again, trying to limit it to the Holocene. You’re deliberately ignoring my original comment to Dr. Easterbrook. I’ve posted charts showing the same long term temperature changes occurring simultaneously in the Arctic (Greenland) and the Antarctic. Those changes corroborate each other over long time periods. They are accepted by geologists as a proxy for global T changes. That is factual; you just don’t like it because it contradicts your narrative.
You did the same thing with the Dr. Jones’ 15 year time frame to determine if global warming has stopped. You’re a slippery eel when it comes to really discussing anything, Javier. That’s because you’re not nearly as right as you believe, and you know I’ve got your number: you’re a closet alarmist. I’ve made that clear for a long time. But most of all, your mind is made up and closed tight. You respond to counter evidence with “Bullshit.”
So you can say my comments, my evidence, and my numerous corborrating links are “pure, unadultered, bullshit.” Only someone who has no rational response would post that. Projection, no doubt. And intense anger at my proving you wrong.
You’re not reading what other people write, Javier. You should try, you know. That would spare you the necessity of your endless tap-dancing and moving the goal posts.
Based on what I wrote to Dr. Easterbrook, I am correct despite your attempts to muddy the waters. You’ve done nothing to change that. You really can’t, Javier. You’re not smart enough. ☺

32. co2islife says:

Keep repeating CO2 absorbs between 13µ and 18µ that is how CO2 impacts climate change. CO2 changing from 280ppm to 400ppm traps about 2.2W/M^2.
This is from the link above:
http://scholarsandrogues.com/2013/05/09/csfe-heat-capacity-air-ocean/
It is a gold mine for quote to debunk CO2 as the cause of the warming. Note, nowhere in this explanation of how the oceans impact the atmospheric temperatures has absolutely nothing to do with CO2. Nothing in this cycle has anything to do with CO2, and yet they tie it to AGW. El Nino/Ninas existed well before Man. Here are some quotes:
This shows that the heat capacity of the oceans is about 1000x larger than the heat capacity of the Earth’s atmosphere…La Nina is a massive upwelling of cold water in the Pacific that, because ocean water has a much higher heat capacity than air, cools off the entire planet and affects weather patterns. El Nino is a massive pool of hot water in the Pacific that does the opposite – it dumps heat stored in the ocean back into the atmosphere, warming the globe and affecting weather patterns. Nearly all the energy absorbed by the Pacific Ocean during La Nina periods will eventually be emitted back into the atmosphere during El Nino periods…Since total ocean heat capacity is about 1000x greater than total atmosphere, it means that a barely measurable temperature increase in the ocean (1/1000th of a degree C) could drive a massive spike in global air temperature (1 degree C)…We’ve had more La Nina cycles since 1998 than we’ve had El Nino cycles, and that means the Pacific ocean is storing more energy…The problem with this, however, is that it means that energy is going to come back OUT of the ocean again eventually. And when (not if) that happens next, the average global temperature will spike.
I posted this on that Blog, it will be interesting to see if it passes the gate keeper. I doubt they intended to debunk the CO2 driven AGW theory.

Actually this is very very good news. CO2 absorbs between 13µ and 18µ. Those wavelengths don’t penetrate or warm the oceans. Given the ocean contains 1,000x the heat of the atmosphere, there is no way for the atmosphere, let alone the spectrum CO2 absorbs to warm the oceans. The oceans are warming because more visible light is reaching the oceans, and that has nothing to do with CO2. The fact that the oceans are warming is a smoking gun that CO2 isn’t the cause, unless you can explain how 2.2W/M^2 trapped in the atmosphere can warm the oceans. Simply put, there isn’t enough heat in the atmosphere, and changing CO2 from 280 to 400 doesn’t change that calculation much. BTW, the sun warming the oceans not only released CO2 it releases H2O. Add H2O to any MODTRAN calculation and you sell see CO2 is irrelevant.

• co2islife,
That chart debunks Javier’s charts. He’s not gonna like that. ☺

33. co2islife says:

Consider this theory: Solar output increases or the earth tilts setting a new higher temperature equilibrium maximum. Before you get to that maximum you must first melt the ice, and then once the maximum is reached, stabilize temperatures. That looks to be exactly what happened, temperatures began increasing 20,000 years ago, that melted the ice, that caused sea level to increase, this slowed the increase in temperature, once all the ice had melted, the sea level stops increasing, the cooling effect of the melting ice stopped, the thermal max was reached. CO2 doesn’t need to play a role in any of that. Ocean temperatures driven by the sun explain all the temperature and CO2 changes. If CO2 was the driver, temperatures would never plateau.
https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/post-glacial_sea_level.png
https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/holocene_temperature_variations_rev1.png?w=720

34. J Martin says:

@Don Easterbrook. An intriguing graph from Javier shows Holocene temperatures from the end of the YD against a curve of obliquity. They are a remarkable match. It would certainly seem that the slide into glaciation is obliquity driven. Can’t seem to paste it here. Maybe Javier will link to it.

35. Javier says:

dbstealey,
1. Over a scale of decades North and South pole temperature trends are different.
2. Over a scale of centuries North and South pole temperature trends are different. This is the range where the bipolar see-saw operates. See graph.
3. Over a scale of millennia North and South pole temperature trends are different. This is the range where the anti-simmetrical precessional cycle operates. See See graph. This is the scale that is relevant to this article that refers only to Holocene temperatures.
In a desperate attempt to disguise the exposure of your profound ignorance on paleoclimate you have taken refuge on the scale of hundreds of thousands of years where you make the trivial observation that both poles together with the rest of the planet get into and out of glaciations together.
That trivial observation that is known by 12 year old children does not support in any way your use of millennial scale regional Greenland ice-cores to support global changes, a practice that is so completely outside the realms of science that when asked to provide a scientific reference you have been unable to do so.
You can use political debating tactics as much as you want. This is about science. Science is not on your side. you do not understand science. So scientifically you lose no matter how many posts and words and time you are willing to put into this.

• Javier,
That’s another fail. Now you’re re-framing the argument to limit it to the Holocene. But I was specifically replying to your request:
“Please provide references where an ice core is used as a proxy for global temperatures.”
So I did; I provided several charts, all showing conclusively that ice core evidence is an excellent proxy for global temperature trends. I made it very clear that there is a difference between long term trends and shorter trends like the Holocene.
But you didn’t like my answers, because they debunk your climate alarmism. So you moved the goal posts again, setting up another strawman and arguing with that. And I know where you’re coming from, with your appeals to ‘authorities’ like Marcott and others in that camp. FYI, Marcott has been thoroughly falsified in previous WUWT articles and comments:
http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/9075/marcottgisp.jpg
(Marcott in blue)
Next, you called it “trivial” that I proved global temperature trends are seen in ice cores. It may be trivial, but it debunks your counter claims. So when you say “Science is not on your side. you do not understand science,” that is just your own psychological projection speaking. Because if you admitted that polar temperatures are a proxy for global T, you would have to admit that the MWP and the LIA were global events. That would demolish your climate alarmism.
Javier, you’re so set in your beliefs that you can’t see reality staring you in the face. If you were as right as you claim to be, you could make accurate, repeated predictions. But as we all know, neither you nor any other climate alarmist has been able to predict anything accurately. Not one of you predicted the most significant global temperature event of the past thousand+ years: the fact that global warming stopped in the late 1990’s, and it hasn’t been seen since.
In fact, your side has been 100.0% WRONG in every alarming prediction you’ve ever made. No exceptions. So it’s no wonder that you’re getting so flustered trying to keep up with the facts and evidence I post. Your response is either bluster, or to keep moving the goal posts whenever I provide a correct answer, usually by setting up a strawman and arguing with it. Just like your erroneous “peak oil” predictions, nothing you predicted has ever happened. So why should anyone accept your alternate version of reality? Even your arguments with Ferdinand Engelbeen were wrong.
Now you can tell us why epicycles are the real explanation for the motion of planets, and why Kepler was all wrong. ☺

• Javier says:

dbstealey,
Now you are smearing the discussion. A clear sign that even yourself think that you cannot win it on scientific grounds.
You said:

Ice cores are very good proxies for global temperature trends. Otherwise, why do so many scientists use them for exactly that?

Now provide scientific references where an ice core is used as a proxy for global temperatures. If so many scientists use them exactly for that it should not be that hard.
The rest of your opinions about me, you can put them up where the sun never shines.

• Javier,
If it wasn’t for your psychological projection (“smearing the discussion”) you wouldn’t have much to say. Or do you conveniently forget about your comments like “pure, unadultered, bullshit”, and “you can put them up where the sun never shines”? I don’t say things like that about you. I just hold your feet to the fire, and you don’t like it.
You’ve lost the argument here, Javier. I’ve already provided several scientific references showing the correlation between the hemispheres. When both hemispheres have the same rising or declining temperature trends, they are an excellent proxy for global T. I’ll post them again if you like. But I suspect you don’t want that, because they debunk your argument.
I suppose you will try to come up with more fancy footwork again, tap-dancing around the facts and evidence I’ve produced. It doesn’t matter, because I am right: on longer time scales the polar temperature trends are an excellent proxy for global temperature trends. I’ve never said anything different, and the fact that you’re going ballistic indicates that you know you’ve lost the argument.
I’ll wait here, just in case you want me to re-post those scientific references. ☺

36. co2islife says:

BTW, I have an interesting debate going on over at the Scholars and Rogues article linked in the main article. I know I’ve got them stumped when they refuse to post my comment. You can tell these climate alarmists have never actually debated this issue, and have only existed in a little group think bubble where everyone reinforces their misguided beliefs.
http://scholarsandrogues.com/2013/05/09/csfe-heat-capacity-air-ocean/#comment-266174