The Economic Impact of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Guest essay by Ken Gregory

Energy Balance Climate Sensitivity

The most important parameter in determining the economic impact of climate change is the sensitivity of the climate to greenhouse gas emissions. Climatologist Nicholas Lewis used an energy balance method to estimate the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) best estimate at 1.45 °C from a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere with a likely range [17 – 83% confidence] of 1.2 to 1.8 °C. ECS is the global temperature change resulting from a doubling of CO2 after allowing the oceans to reach temperature equilibrium, which takes about 3000 years.

A more policy-relevant parameter is the Transient Climate Response (TCR) which is the global temperature change at the time of the CO2 doubling. A doubling of CO2 at the current growth rate of 0.55%/year would take 126 years. The analysis gives the TCR best estimate at 1.21 °C with a likely range [17 – 83%] of 1.05 to 1.45 °C.

The two periods used for the analysis were 1859-1882 and 1995-2011. They were chosen to give the longest early and late periods free of significant volcanic activity, which provide the largest change in forcing and hence the narrowest uncertainty ranges. The long time between these periods has the effect of averaging out the effect of short-term ocean oscillations such as the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), but it does not account for millennium scale ocean oscillations or indirect solar influences.

Aerosols are the dominant contribution to uncertainty in climate sensitivity estimates. Nicholas Lewis writes, “In this context, what is IMO a compelling new paper by Bjorn Stevens estimating aerosol forcing using multiple physically-based, observationally-constrained approaches is a game changer.” Stevens is an expert on cloud-aerosol processes. He derived a new lower estimate of aerosol forcing. Lewis used the new estimate for aerosol forcing and used estimate of other forcings given in the fifth assessment report by the IPCC.

Adjustment for Millennium Cyclic Warming and Urban Warming

This analysis by Lewis does not account for the long-term natural warming from the Little Ice Age (LIA), likely driven by indirect solar activity. The temperature history shows an obvious millennium scale temperature oscillation, indicating that natural climate change accounts for a significant portion of the temperature recovery since the LIA.

gregory-fig1

Figure 1. Extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere temperature change adapted from Ljungqvist 2010 with a 6th order polynomial fit and line segments. Roman Warm Period AD 1-300; Dark Age Cold Period 300-900; Medieval Warm Period 800-1300; Little Ice Age 1300-1900; Current Warm Period 1900-now.


Fredrik Ljungqvist prepared a temperature reconstruction of the Extra-Tropical Northern Hemisphere (ETNH) during the last two millennia with decadal resolution using 30 temperature proxies. Human-caused greenhouse gas emissions did not cause significant temperature change to the year 1900 because cumulative CO2 emissions to 1900 were insignificant. The average of the absolute natural temperature change over the four periods as shown in Figure 1 was 0.095 °C/century.

The Ljungqvist 2010 paper gives several reasons why the reconstruction likely “seriously underestimates” the temperature variability but does not make any corrections to his reconstruction. The tree-ring proxies are biased toward the summer growing season. If the Little Ice Age (LIA) cooling was more pronounced during winter months the annual estimate would be biased too warm. The large dating uncertainties of the sediment proxies has the effect of “flattening out” the temperatures so the true magnitude of the warm and cold periods are underestimated.

The proxy temperature did not rise as sharply during the 20th century as the thermometer record did, indicating the instrument temperature record is biased high due to the uncorrected urban heat island effect (UHIE) and/or underestimated reconstructed temperature variations from the proxies.

The annual temperatures show 23% more variability than the tree growing season temperature variability weighted by tree growth rates, indicating that the tree-ring proxies underestimate the temperature variability. Eight of the 30 proxies have this tree-ring seasonal bias. Assuming the dating uncertainty of the 12 sediment proxies spreads the resolution over 100 years it was estimated that these proxies underestimated the temperature variability by 12%. The weighted average bias of the 30 proxies was estimated at 11%.

The southern hemisphere and tropics temperature variability is less than the northern extra-tropics due to the larger ocean area. Considering the coolest and warmest two-decade periods of the instrument record, the global temperatures vary by only 80% of the ETNH. The global natural recovery from the LIA is estimated at 0.084 °C/century, which account for the proxy bias and the global adjustment.

Numerous papers have shown that the UHIE contaminates the instrument temperature record. A study by McKitrick and Michaels 2007 showed that almost half of the warming over land since 1980 in instrument data sets is due to the UHIE. The UHIE over land is about 0.14 °C/decade, or 0.042 °C/decade on a global basis since 1979.

The millennium warming and UHIE corrections reduce the temperature change between the two periods of the analysis due to greenhouse gases from 0.72 °C to 0.51 °C The best estimate of ECS considering the millennium warming cycle and the UHIE is 1.02 °C and the best estimate of TCR is 0.85 °C.

Summary of Climate Sensitivity Estimates

Table 1 summarizes the ECS and the TCR best estimate, likely and extremely likely confidence intervals for 5 cases. All forcing-based estimates use initial and final periods of 1859-1882 and 1995-2011, respectively. Ranges are to the nearest 0.05°C.

Table 1 – Estimates of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity and Transient Climate Response with Uncertainty Ranges.
ECS Best Estimate ECS 17-83% range °C ECS 5-95% range °C TCR Best Estimate TCR 17-83% range °C TCR 5-95% range °C
IPCC AR5 n/a 1.5-4.5 1-n/a 1.8 1-2.5 n/a-3.0
Using AR5 Forcings 1.64 1.25-2.45 1.05-4.05 1.33 1.05-1.80 0.90-2.50
As above but with Stevens’ Aerosol Forcing 1.45 1.20-1.80 1.05-2.20 1.21 1.05-1.45 0.90-1.65
As above but with Natural Millennium Warming 1.22 0.95-1.55 0.80-1.95 1.02 0.85-1.25 0.70-1.45
As above but with UHIE Correction 1.02 0.75-1.35 0.60-1.75 0.85 0.70-1.10 0.55-1.30

The best estimate TCR of 0.85 °C implies that the global temperature will increase from 2016 to 2100 due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions by only 0.57 °C if atmospheric CO2 continues to increase at the current rate of 0.55%/year. Actual temperatures may rise or fall depending on natural climate change.

Social Cost of Carbon

The US Government’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) uses three Integrated Assessment Models (IAM) to determine the social costs and benefits of greenhouse gas emissions. Two of these models, DICE and PAGE, do not include the benefits of CO2 fertilization and other benefits of warming, and fail to account for adaptation.

The FUND model does include these benefits, but arguably underestimates the benefits of CO2 fertilization. Idso (2013) found that the increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide that took place during the period 1961-2011 was responsible for increasing global agricultural output by $3.2 trillion (in constant 2005 US$).

The FUND model shows that Canada benefits from emissions by 1.9% of gross domestic product by 2100, equivalent to a benefit of $109 Billion annually in 2015 dollars when assuming an ECS of 3 °C. Anthropogenic climate change will have only positive impacts in Canada which increase throughout the 21st century..

gregory-fig2

Figure 2. The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) as calculated by N. Lewis using aerosol forcing by Stevens, other forcings and heat uptake by IPCC AR5 and global surface temperatures adjusted to account for natural millennium cyclic warming and urban warming from 1980. The ECS best estimate is shown by the red square, uncertainty ranges by the red lines. Social cost of carbon as determined by the FUND integrated assessment model is shown by the blue line.

Figure 2 shows the SCC (blue line) as a function of ECS. The ECS best estimate is indicated by the red square. The thick red line shows the 17-83% probability range, and the thin red line shows the 5-95% probability range of the ECS estimate. The SCC values assume a real discount rate of 3%

Projecting the ESC values vertically on the blue SSC vs ECS curve gives the best estimate and confidence intervals of the SCC, as indicated in Figure 3. The analysis shows that on a global basis, the best estimate of ECS of 1.02 °C, gives a SCC of -17.7 US$/tCO2, which is very beneficial. The likely range is  -19.7 to -13.6 US$/tCO2, and it is extremely likely to be less than -7.7 US$/tCO2. These results show that instead of imposing a carbon tax on fossil fuels, there should be a subsidy equal to about 18 US$/tCO2.

The benefits of CO2 fertilization, reduced cold weather related mortality, lower outdoor industry costs such as construction costs, increased arable land area and reduced heating costs greatly exceed harmful effects of warming on a global basis.

gregory-fig3

Figure 3. Social Cost of Carbon in US$/tCO2 indicating best estimate, likely 17-83%, and extremely likely 5-95% uncertainty ranges. The uncertainty ranges do not include uncertainty associated with the millennium warming cycle or the urban warming effect.

A longer, technical version of this article, with a section on Alberta’s climate plan, and references is available in PDF format at http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=2205

The data and calculations are at

http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/files/SCC_Lewis_CS_2.xls Excel spreadsheet.

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84 thoughts on “The Economic Impact of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  1. Contrary to what the photos at top may lead you to believe, the local supermarket is really not the best place to buy your coal supplies, nor are large chunks of it the best size for most home furnaces to burn.
    Just sayin’.

      • My parents-in-law had one of those small Franklin stoves in their family room, which was good for the occasional wax log. One of his friends obtained a chunk of anthracite coal (which I never saw, but from eyewitness testimony given by my wife, was probably a 3-lb or so lump), which he gave to my wife’s dad, who decided to burn it in the little Franklin stove.

        Obviously, he was totally unaware of the power of a big lump of anthracite, and within a few minutes of lighting, the stove was beginning to glow red hot (according to eyewitness testimony again), and the color began climbing up the stovepipe toward what ceiling. With no other options, he opened the patio door, reached into the stove with the tongs and shovel, and proceeded to sprint across the family room and out the door with the flaming, smoking lump of coal, and fling it into the back yard, where he put it out with the garden hose.

        I would have paid good money to have witnessed that.

      • James. There was a guy in England boasting as to how he had scored a bag of coal that fell off the back of a truck.
        Little did he know that it was smelting coal and it cost him more than if he had been honest.

    • A few years back, I bought a sack at the local hardware store. They had carts like that.

      Used it in the fireplace, but one still night the stack gasses hung close to the ground. Got a snoot full and it was high sulphur sour. Last coal I bought…

      Still have one chunk of it somewhere… about football sized.

    • AND NOW, IN OTHER NEWS…

      CANADA BEATS FINLAND 2-0 TO WIN GOLD AT HOCKEY WORLDS!!!

      Congrats also to Finland, Russia and the USA – good game!

      Keep your stick on the ice, Allan

  2. It’s like we keep saying: CO2 is entirely beneficial, and any slight warming it may have added has also been beneficial. Now how about the social costs of the anti-carbon global warming/climate change movement? How many 100s of $billions have they wasted?

    • Thank you Ken – a very good article. We have always maintained that ECS is 1C or less and there is NO real global warming crisis.

      Comments for Paul Homewood re the costs of (even mild) global cooling:

      In 2002 we wrote that global cooling would start by 2020 to 2030.

      We now say global cooling will start before 2020, probably by 2017.
      [Definition: The commencement of global cooling is deemed to start when the Lower Tropospheric (LT) temperature anomaly as measured by UAH satellite data starts to decline below the +0.2C anomaly and the LT trend then declines further.]
      http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

      I hope we are wrong about imminent global cooling, because humanity suffers greatly in a cooling world. The CURRENT Excess Winter Mortality Rate equals about 100,000 deaths per year in the USA (in the four winter months December through March), up to 50,000 per year in the UK and several million per year worldwide, even in warm climates. There is NO significant Excess Summer Mortality Rate.

      Add to the current situation both cooler weather and the deterioration and increased cost of energy systems due to green hysteria, and we have the recipe for a self-induced disaster. It is difficult to believe that our politicians could be so incredibly stupid.

      Warm weather is good, colder weather kills – it IS (almost) that simple.

      Cheap, abundant reliable energy is the lifeblood of society – it IS that simple.

      Regards to all, Allan :-)

      Post Script:

      References:

      Cold Weather Kills 20 Times as Many People as Hot Weather
      June 13, 2015
      By Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae
      https://friendsofsciencecalgary.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/cold-weather-kills-macrae-daleo-4sept2015-final.pdf

      Presentation of Evidence Suggesting Temperature Drives Atmospheric CO2 more than CO2 Drives Temperature
      September 4, 2015
      By Allan MacRae
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/13/presentation-of-evidence-suggesting-temperature-drives-atmospheric-co2-more-than-co2-drives-temperature/

      • Thanks Alan.

        Climate Change alarmism is about money and power flowing to an ever more powerful government, not about climate or what could happen if they are wrong and people start freezing in homes and apartments due to expensive energy.

        It really is that simple.

      • Hi Wayne,
        It was snowing in Calgary earlier this morning.
        As usual on “the glorious 24th”, people are out camping in this stuff.
        Did they do the Slush Cup today at Sunshine?
        Best, Allan :-)

        Post Script:

        Canadian Historical Note

        May 24, 1819 was Queen Victoria’s birthday, so in her memory Canadians celebrate the Victoria Day long weekend. We go camping in the woods in the snow, cook smokies and s’mores over the fire, drink beer and hot choc, and generally delude ourselves that “we are having fun, aay?”, while our feet are soaking wet and we freeze our butts off.

        In Quebec this holiday was recently renamed “National Patriotes Day” (Journée nationale des patriotes), to commemorate the failed rebellion of Lower Canada in 1837-38. The habitants rebelled because they did not want to be called “Lower Canada”, which suggested that they were subservient to “Upper Canada”, as Ontario was then called. Quebec was tired of being on the bottom, and wanted to be on top, so they could really screw the rest of Canada – successive Liberal governments have helped them achieve their objective. We now have another Liberal Prime Minister with an IQ of about 85 and no real life experience (like the last several PM’s from Quebec). Where do they find these idiots? Justin still believes in the global warming crisis – and the bogeyman.

        Tabarnak!!! :-)

      • “Stupid” is not the relevant word. “Opportunistic” or “venal” are closer. They’re chasing the highest funding, meanwhile contributing to it.

  3. uhhh, Ag land is getting cheaper?

    And a May 15 hard frost is causing the price of replacement “cold hardy” grape vines to go up.

  4. From the article: “The best estimate TCR of 0.85 °C implies that the global temperature will increase from 2016 to 2100 due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions by only 0.57 °C if atmospheric CO2 continues to increase at the current rate of 0.55%/year. Actual temperatures may rise or fall depending on natural climate change.”

    So the AGW “influence” is “in the noise”, as far as our weather goes.

  5. Interesting argument that the “social cost of carbon” is positive. I do think the proxies used for temperature estimation are so inaccurate calculating to three significant digits is not valid.

  6. This entire exercise is a waste of time. We don’t know the sensitivity, we don’t know how the natural variability will drive climate, we don’t know the outcome given we knew the sensitivity and natural climate change, and we certainly can’t make any real estimate on the costs of all the impacts – good and bad.

    This reminds me of the Drake Equation. Its fun to talk about but really pointless as it can’t tell you anything about the real world. It substitutes guesses for knowledge.

    • I disagree that our estimate of climate sensitivity or SCC is a “waste of time”. An energy balance calculation of CS as done by Nic Lewis with uncertainty estimates is very useful except that it fails to account for the millennium climate cycle and the urban development contamination of the temperature record.

      The journal gate-keepers avoid the millennium cycle because there is not a good theory for it, but this logic inverts the scientific method. The empirical evidence for the cycle is of primary importance, the theory to explain the cycle follows the evidence.

      The IPCC AR5 Chapter 2, page 198 has “AR4 concluded that this correlation ceases to be statistically significant if one takes into account the fact that the locations of greatest socioeconomic development
      are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric circulation changes but provided no explicit evidence for this overall assessment result.” This statement confirms that the IPCC just fabricated this excuse. The idea the the urban warming is just caused by some unspecified natural “atmospheric circulation changes” is just ludicrous. Did our pioneers decide to build all of our cities at locations that they knew would be strongly affected by natural climate warming by natural atmospheric circulation changes many decades in the future?

    • Robert,

      Your comparison is absurd.
      The Drake equation is filled with varibles that have no way to bound the estimates. Any numbers used are wags, and one guy’s set of numbers is as good as any other guys. Hence we are either alone in the cosmos, or billions and billions of advanced, sensient life forms await our discovery….at some completely indeterminate future date.

      Climate on the other hand, that is Earth’s climate, really does have well established boundaries of various physical parameters, depending on glacial or interglacial orbital and insolation periods. We know of paleo solar variances from understood proxies (with caveats) and decent solar observations for 400 yrs or so. We have working physical parameters of ocean-atmosphere couplings, etc, with still major holes, but their bulk physics sets boundaries. Add that to the observational temperature records, not the Karlized one, but 36 yrs of satellites MSR temp constructions of the troposphere, and other observational datasets (balloons, CET) and clear pictures arise.

      Not some ET or Hollywood fantasy:
      We are currently in a long term cooling trend from the holocene thermal optimum, ~8000 yrs ago. Millenial scale variations occur in this secular cooling trend that give brief warm periods (Minoan, Roman, medieval, modern) and then cool periods. The most recent cool period, the so called Little Ice Age, was maybe the most severe since the Younger Dryas 12K yrs ago.

      Within our small slice of time, as the LIA ended thru to today, we have enjoyed the industrial revolution which was human ingenuity-derived technology powered by the discovery, mining, and exploitation of ever cheaper forms of energy. This has led to an unprecedented explosion in the human population in the last 140 years. This population explosion has occured despite two global hot wars, massive genocides from totalitarian regimes, and many countless past and on-going regional wars.

      The population explosion, much written about by the likes of Ehrlich and Holdren, is what animates many of the Malthusian econutters. The unspoken truth is they want to put humanity on a genocidal path to de-population and world socialism. The money and political power classes of course see themselves not the sacrificial lambs, but as the wolves, leading the a duped, gullible sheeple to their slaughter.

      • Robert, the primary benefits of CO2 are immense and KNOWN via literally hundreds of studies and thousands of experiments in labs and in the field. It is the theoretical harms that are failing to manifest.

  7. There is good argumentation that the quasi kiloyear cycle is lunar tidal mixing induced, not solar. Though IMHO the two will move together as the various solar system bodies stirring each other are locked in orbital resonance. It can not be statitically / correletion proven, nor unscrambled, as it is one linked system.

    In no case is CO2 relevant. That is just the shaman bringing the sun back after “causing” the eclipse…

    • Whenever someone mentions shamans or witch doctors, I cannot help thinking of this stunning forecast for the woe tide which shall befall us all:

      “Shaking his famous “ghost stick”, and fingering his trademark necklace of sharks’ teeth and mammoth bones, the loin-clothed Belcher blew smoke into a conch, and replied,

      “Here come de heap big warmy. Bigtime warmy warmy. Is big big hot. Plenty big warm burny hot. Hot! Hot hot! But now not hot. Not hot now. De hot come go, come go. Now Is Coldy Coldy. Is ice. Hot den cold. Frreeeezy ice til hot again. Den de rain. It faaaalllll. Make pasty.””

  8. > The most important parameter in determining the economic impact of climate change is the sensitivity of the climate to greenhouse gas emissions.

    Yes, that is a very import parameter, but the net cost/benefit ratio between temperature raise and the economy has to be, at least, equally import. Dr. Richard S. J. Tol, lead author for IPPC, estimated from published literature a net benefit for an increase in temperature up to 1°C and break even at 2°C raise.

    See paper here: http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.23.2.29

    • Presumably that graph represents estimates the theoretic global economic cost of a global temperature rise irrespective of cause and doesn’t factor in a concurrent rise in global economic activity productivity and trade, nutrition health and longevity, that would result from the spread of cheap reliable energy to Third World countries.

    • This study gives pretty much the same result as the as the main article above – which says we’ll stay (well) below 2C for 125yrs plus (by which time we might even have progressed a bit technically)

    • David in Texas wrote: “Dr. Richard S. J. Tol, lead author for IPPC, estimated from published literature a net benefit for an increase in temperature up to 1°C and break even at 2°C raise.”

      An important point. Thanks for reminding us, David.

  9. The social costs of carbon are generally (as here) calculated by summing secondary effects, sometimes called “externalities”. But fossil fuels give us huge benefits, which are studiously ignored.
    Should a more complete calculation be:
    True Benefit of Fossil Fuels = Direct Benefit – Social Costs

    It strikes me that a business analogy would be this.
    A company has Marketing, Sales, Production, departments.
    One company accountant fixates on the Production Dept. as having nearly all the injuries consisting of cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises for the entire company. The accountant then concludes that the Production Dept. is a net liability, and should be treated accordingly.
    This is not too far fetched, I have seen people in Personnel Dept. who are blithely unaware that Production Dept. produces the product that the company sells to pay all the bills. It strikes me that CAGW types that go on about the “Social Costs of Carbon” are one and the same with that poor lost soul in Personnel.

    • The social cost of carbon is intended to be the social cost less benefit of greenhouse gas emissions, where social implies the “externalities” or the cost or benefits that your emissions imposes on all other people. The total net benefit of your use of fossil fuels would be the benefit to you personally of the use of fossil fuels plus the net benefit of the GHG emissions to all other people, which includes the benefits of warming and the CO2 fertilization effects.

      The PAGE and DICE integrated assessment models gives just the social costs of emissions and do not include hardly any benefits of warming, and insignificant CO2 fertilization effects. They also assume little to no adaption to climate change. This disqualifies those models for use is estimating the SCC. No adaption implies that farmers do not change to a more heat resistant strain of crops or their farming practices in response to climate warming. But farmers aren’t that dumb. The US Government’s Interagency Working Group took the average result of the PAGE, DICE and FUND model as if each were equally representative of the true SCC, which is false.

      • The total net benefit of your use of fossil fuels would be the benefit to you personally of the use of fossil fuels

        This is actually a big part of my argument. The primary benefit is assigned wholly the individual, while the costs are assigned globally, which is what I take issue with.
        As a close case, consider roads, highways, and other transportation infrastructure. We can not claim (and do not claim) that the benefit of highways accrues solely to those who use them. For instance, food is delivered to retail via trucks on highways. Everybody benefits from these food deliveries, even people who never use highways. Similar examples are endless. Indeed, the realization that *everybody* benefits from such infrastructure has been the cornerstone of public policy in the US for a century, at least. This is the basis for using tax money for transportation “for the common good”.

        I think it reasonable to calculate the cost/benefit of fossil fuels the same as infrastructure as both are ubiquitous in the modern world. Indeed, using one principle to consider the social benefits of highways, and a different principle to consider the social costs of the trucks that use them seems contrived in the extreme. Clearly, transportation infrastructure and fossil fuel use are inextricably linked. I can see no justification for treating the two components of one system by such vastly different standards.

      • I tried to post this a while ago, but my browser crashed. Aoplogies if it appears twice.

        TonyL “The social costs of carbon are generally (as here) calculated by summing secondary effects, sometimes called “externalities”. But fossil fuels give us huge benefits, which are studiously ignored.
        Should a more complete calculation be:
        True Benefit of Fossil Fuels = Direct Benefit – Social Costs”

        No. The benefits you mention are not ignored, they are already accounted for by the market. An externality is a cost or benefit that is not already included in the price

        This is a very important point when considering the social cost of carbon or anything else. To remove the emotion for a while, consider hats instead of carbon.

        Hats provide a benefit to the wearer. Selling them provides a benefit to the manufacturer and to employees. In a perfect market the number of hats sold will maximise these benefits. This is economic efficiency The mechanism that will regulate this level is the price of hats. This level of hat production in an economic sense is the “right” level of hat production because benefits are maximised.

        The social cost of hats in this perfect market is zero, because all the costs and benefits are included in the price. This does not mean hats have no benefit to society, but that there is no social cost or benefit in the economic sense.

        Now we introduce an externality. The classic example is pollution from the factory. The factory making hats pollutes a river, and people downstream suffer a loss because of this. The loss suffered by these downstream folk is external to the hat pricing mechanism. Therefore this loss is not included in the price, and there is a social cost to the victims. This is a form of market failure.

        If the market were perfect, the factory would compensate the victims to exactly the amount where the victims would accept the pollution, or the factory would spend money to prevent the pollution, whichever was lower cost. This would of course raise the price of hats, and so lower the number of hats consumed. This new lower level of hats is actually the “right” level of hats in this polluted world as again benefits are maximised.

        In the absence of a market compensation system, we produce “too many hats”. By this I mean that if the factory does not compensate the victims, then more hats are produced than would be the case in a perfect market. The benefits are therefore not maximised and we have a market failure.

        This can be corrected in priciple by taxing hats to exactly the amount of social cost suffered by the pollution victims. This raises the price by exactly the amount the market compensation scheme would have done, and so restores the “right” level of hat production – that which maximises benefits. By introducing the tax we have removed the market failure and restored economic efficiency.

        Externalities can be positive. In these cases we would correct the market failure by means of a subsidy. This is why we build roads out of public money.

        The big problem is that we never know precisely what the social cost is. That is a practical matter, and not to be confused with the principle of such taxes correcting market failures. Look up Pigouvian Tax for further clarification.

      • Nonsense seaice, your worst post ever IMV. A cost benefit analysis includes both. Sans GHG increases to 400 PPM we would currently require 15 to 20 percent more land and water for food production.

        Wow, go ahead and try, The cost of 15 to 20 percent more global water storage, (Think about it) Increased drought affects, large land purchase and utilization requirements, massive increased fertilization required.
        Not to mention political strive from food shortages potentially causing wars and increased food prices.

        Your hat analogy needs a new thinking cap.

      • DavidA. Before dismissing my post as my worst ever please try to understand what I said. I did not mention PAGE or DICE or any model. I did not comment on the value or acuracy of any model. My post was about a more fundamental mis-understanding of what the “social cost” is. I believe this is an important point, which you appear to have missed.

        You criticise PAGE and DICE, and you may have valid criticisms. Of course positive externalities should be included in the social cost as well as negative externalities.

        My post explained why the direct benefit we get from using fossil fuels that we have paid for is not included in the social cost or benefit. It explains why the direct benefits mentioned by TonyL are not “studiously ignored”, but are outside the scope of social cost.

    • TonyL “The social costs of carbon are generally (as here) calculated by summing secondary effects, sometimes called “externalities”. But fossil fuels give us huge benefits, which are studiously ignored.
      Should a more complete calculation be:
      True Benefit of Fossil Fuels = Direct Benefit – Social Costs

      No. The benefits you mention are not ignored, they are already accounted for by the market. An externality is a cost or benefit that is not already included in the price

      This is a very important point when considering the social cost of carbon or anything else. To remove the emotion for a while, consider hats instead of carbon.

      Hats provide a benefit to the wearer. Selling them provides a benefit to the manufacturer and to employees. In a perfect market the number of hats sold will maximise these benefits. This is economic efficiency The mechanism that will regulate this level is the price of hats. This level of hat production in an economic sense is the “right” level of hat production because benefits are maximised.

      The social cost of hats in this perfect market is zero, because all the costs and benefits are included in the price. This does not mean hats have no benefit, but that there is no social cost or benefit.

      Now we introduce an externality. The classic example is pollution from the factory. The factory making hats pollutes a river, and people downstream suffer a loss because of this. The loss suffered by these downstream folk is external to the pricing mechanism. Therefore this loss is not included in the price, and there is a social cost. This is a form of market failure.

      If the market were perfect, the factory would compensate the victims to exactly the amount where the victims would accept the pollution, or the factory would spend money to prevent the pollution, whichever was lower cost. This would of course raise the price of hats, and so lower the number consumed. This new lower level of hats is actually the “right” level of hats in this polluted world as again benefits are maximised.

      In the absence of a market compensation system, we actually produce “too many hats”. By this I mean that if the factory does not compensate the victims, then more hats are produced than would be the case in a perfect market. The benefits are therefore not maximised and we have a market failure.

      This can be corrected in priciple by taxing hats to exactly the amount of social cost suffered by the pollution victims. This raises the price by exactly the amount the market compensation scheme would have done, and so restores the “right” level of hat production – that which maximises benefits. By introducing the tax we have removed the market failure.

      Externalities can be positive. In these cases we woudl correct the market failure by means of a subsidy.

      The big problem is that we never actually know precisely what the social cost is. That is a practical matter, and not to be confused with the principle of such taxes correcting market failures. Look up Pigouvian Tax for further clarification.

  10. This is a great article. The war on coal is really a war on people who do not have enough to eat..

    • If they had enough money they could buy as much high quality food as they want. It is really about wealth.

      Climate change policy being adopted in advanced Western economies is a War on the Working lower class. The welfare-dependent poor are being taken care of in exchange for their vote to the pols who keep them “on the platation.”
      Climate change policies are about converting as much of the working class into the welfare-dependent working class. A Faustian bargain.

  11. Note that the link at the end of the article gives more details of the calculation of the climate sensitivity, and section on the Albert, Canada, climate plan. Alberta plans to impose a carbon tax of C$30/tCO2. But in addition to that burden, they plan to grant huge subsidies to renewable energy projects, and put caps on oil sands emissions and methane emissions.

    If emissions caused a net social cost, imposing a carbon tax equal to the SCC is logical such that the total net incremental benefit of the use of fossil fuels equals the net incremental cost, including social cost, of those fuels. However, using the proceeds of the carbon tax to subsidize crony capitalists to build solar and wind projects totally destroys the logic of a carbon tax. This makes the actual cost of those projects much greater than the benefits and causes far too much investment in useless solar and wind projects. In Alberta, we already have large subsidies for wind farms in the form of billions of dollars of transmission lines and grid system upgrades to accommodate the extreme variability of wind power which is paid by consumers of all electricity. These costs should be allocated to wind energy.

    The net social benefit of emission is large, so fossil fuels should be subsidized by about C$18/tCO2, and no subsidies to renewable energy!

    • You are correct in pointing out that carbon dioxide emiissions should be subsidized. I have called thi here a burn and ear” program

      If it were shown that Carbon emissions had a net negative external effect on general welfare, societal welfare could be increased with a cap and trade scheme. If the net externality is positive, in other words if value of the agriculture stimulation outweighs the cost of slightly higher temperatures or if slightly higher temperatures are a good thing, then such a scheme could have very significant negative social costs. If the externality of CO2 emmisions is net positive the ideal solution is a negative carbon tax, a “burn and earn”, rather than a cap and trade program. A burn and earn program would add even more social benefits if it were financed by a tax on food, though this would be a tough sell to the ladies down at the church.

      • Cool. Torch a gasoline tanker at the local Exxon station and make bucks. Burn down your neighbor’s house and make enough to buy some pot. Pay the Indonesians to burn their fields. Subsidize the US military based on how much fuel they use. Saddam financing his war against the US by burning the Kuwaiti oil fields. Terrorists supporting their operations by setting off loose nukes in methane hydrate deposits. Endless possibilities. :)

        I am in complete agreement that the net benefits of CO2 and warming are positive, but hey – just keep the governments out of it and let humanity proceed on its collectively wise course of evolution. I mean, oh wow – light up a joint and make enough for a slice of pizza! What a concept!

  12. Here’s a suggestion. How about: “the effects of increased CO2 and longer growing seasons on agricultural productivity”.

    • Or how about some empirical proof that CO2 emissions affect temperature. 18 years of rising CO2 and flat temperatures with nearly 60 unproven reasons why this happened questions the link.

  13. Re: “Idso (2013) found that the increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide that took place during the period 1961-2011 was responsible for increasing global agricultural output by $3.2 trillion (in constant 2005 US$).”

    Is that an annual figure, or a 50-year total?

    If annual, it seems high; if 50-year total, it seems low.

    My back-of-the-envelope arithmetic suggests that it’s closer to a decade’s worth of improved agricultural output:

    Annual total worldwide agricultural production is worth something like $2.5 or $3 trillion USD. For simplicity, call it $2.75T.

    Close to 20% of that is due to fertilization from the precious air fertilizer (h/t SciAm), a/k/a anthropogenic CO2, and roughly 2/3 of that almost 20% is due to the 82 ppmv (318-to-400) increase in CO2 since 1961 — call it 12%.

    12% of $2.75T/yr = $330 billion/year.

    Obviously, that’s way too much precision. So call it $200-$500 billion USD per (recent*) year of increased agricultural production, production for which we can thank post-1961 anthropogenic CO2.

    (*“Recent” because because CO2 levels and total agricultural production in the past were both lower than they currently are.)

    • See the first item here: http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=223
      The abstract says, “The annual total monetary value of this benefit grew from $18.5 billion in 1961 to over $140 billion by 2011, amounting to a total sum of $3.2 trillion over the 50-year period 1961-2011. Projecting the monetary value of this positive externality forward in time reveals it will likely bestow an additional $9.8 trillion on crop production between now and 2050. (Values in constant 2005 $US. Current consumer prices are 1.2 X 2005 prices.)”

      The $3.2 trillion is a 50-year total in 2005 $.

  14. Mr. Gregory,

    I like this paper . . but, to be perfectly honest, I’m skeptical ; )

  15. Excellent article. A clear acknowledgement that actual observations are not inline with Climate Change church dogma and the IPCC gospel, aka SPMs. We are all blasphemers and infidels, nay… den!3rs!! for having read and seen the science behind this lower TCR and SCC estimates. Heretics us all!

    Adherence to IPCC Climate Change dogma really does require an act of faith where we are today, 26 yrs on from the IPCC FAR.

    Hence, the believers and the priest class frequently use “consensus” and “settled science” to deflect questions of the faith. The climate change priests and deacons put forward observationally discredited, outdated data, much cherry picked, to support their Climate catecisms. And where they can, they use the Prophet Karl’s adjustments to observation to silence questions.

    The Climate Change temple money changers though will not be pleased if these threats to their lucrative carbon trading and carbon tax windfalls continues. Bcause behind most of the great, acknowledged religions there sits a vested money interest in keeping the donations and titheings flowing.

  16. I quote Ken Gregory in introducing his summary: “All forcing-based estimates use initial and final periods of 1859-1882 and 1995-2011, respectively.” I conclude from this that these summaries are all inflicted by two sources of systematic errors,related to the choice of 1995-2011 as a reference period. First of these is the fake warming, contained in official temperature curves of the eighties and nineties. There was was no warming then but a complete cessation of warming, interrupted only by five El Nino peaks that did not change the global mean. What did exist then was a hiatus that they suppressed but still is observable in satellite temperature curves. Second source of error is bad choice of a final time period that that bridges the divide between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Of all the possible base periods, that is the worst choice you can make. That is because the twenty-first century is introduced by a short step warming that in only three years raises the global temperature by a third of a degree Celsius and then stops. Its cause is the large amount of warm water that the just-departed super El Nino had carried across the ocean. This warm water then filled the La Nina valleys between the El Nino peaks that followed and a regular ENSO oscillation could no longer be observed. As a result, the beginning of the century now stands as a platform a third of a degree Celsius above the nineties. This did not go unnoticed by James Hansen who observed that of the ten warmest years ever, nine were part of the first decade of the twenty-first century. He of course attributed this to the greenhouse effect which is unable to create such miracles in only three years. But if you really do want to compare temperatures of the eighties and nineties with the twenty-first century you must subtract the non-forced component pf a third of a degree Celsius that the super El Nino bequeathed to the twenty-first century. This brings all the twenty-first century values down to the level of the eighties and nineties. If you do not do this you can only compare twentieth century values with the twentieth century and twenty-first century with only twenty-first, but you cannot directly compare values from the two centuries. To mash it all in together as they do is absurd and no clear meaning can be deduced from calculations that use it.

    • Arno, you misunderstood how Nic Lewis calculated climate sensitivity. I suggest you look at the longer version at the link at the end of the article. The temperature change is the average temperature during the period 1995-2011 minus the average temperature during the period 1859-1882, which according to HadCRUT4.4 was 0.72 °C. This was compared to the total climate system heat content (most of which is in the oceans) and the forcing changes between the two periods to determine climate sensitivity, assuming all the temperature change was caused by the IPCC forcings. The 195-2011 period encompasses 2 major El Ninos and La Ninas, so this averages out the ENSO effects. The ocean heat content rise did no pause during the atmosphere temperature hiatus after 1998, so that hiatus was due to an ocean oscillation that sequestered the warming. The long time between the midpoints of the two periods of 133 years also averages out the effects of the 65 year ocean oscillations. Lewis made a good choice for the time periods.

      • Ken, I disagree because you are not considering the affects of the PDO and the AMO both working in sync during much of the warming since the 1980s. When the AMO and PDO are both negative for some time with the blob long gone, we will have the opposite ocean conditions of the majority of the warming for the last 35 years. (Time will tell)

  17. IMO TCR = 0.85 C is most reliable. It is consistent with the studies of Lindzen and Spencer that there is strong negative feedback hence TCR must be less than 1.1 C which represents no feedback TCR. The 0.57 C projected warming by 2100 means we will hit the 2 C (since 1750) target of the ‘Paris club’ without any reduction in CO2 emissions. The Paris club is just a charade by activists to control international energy policy.

    • Of course we might exceed 2 C if we add the natural warming. It’s absurd to assume man can fully control global climate.

  18. “The economic impact of greenhouse gas emissions” assumes we have the ability to make the ACTUAL economic impact congruent w the rational effects of emissions. I know: you’re talking science. But how can we ignore that political control at present and probably for the forseeable future is going to trump (no pun) scientific rationality. The fact that oligarchic megafunds are able to clothe fascistic rules in a facsimile of scientific illusion has nothing to do w it. Megafunds controlling governmental coercion are going to decide how much we are going to pay in lost economic production and the enjoyment/survivability of energy-consumption.

    How much I wish that the cost of CO2 emission could be made solely scientific and rational.

    • The political impact of monies flowing across international borders through mega funds and foundations can’t be ignored. Without this money there would likely not be a climate agenda.

      These monies are flowing through tax free and the donors get tax deductions .Ends up in hands of NGOs who benefit financially from this in one way or another.

  19. Ken: The Social Cost of Carbon [Dioxide Emissions] calculated by the US EPA extremely dubious.

    In the long run, the projected warming varies with ECS, which according to the IPCC has a 15-85% confidence interval a factor of three wide (1.5-4.5 K). Since $1 damage caused earlier in the 2100’s has a greater NPV than $1 of damage in 2100, perhaps we should focus on the narrower range if TCR. However 1 K of warming from +1.5 to +2.5 K will be much less costly than for +3 K to +4 K and AOGCMs probably over-estimate climate sensitivity.

    Benefits and adaptation are systematically downplayed, so the net cost is probably far too high.

    The EPA used a discount rate of 3%. Most of the investment in reducing emissions is being made by private enterprise. Their cost of borrowing is far higher than 3% and they expect to earn a return on investment far higher than the rate at which they can borrow money. Through public utility commissions, American citizens are being asked to pay a discount rate at least double 3%. The US government can borrow money at 3%, but they won’t invest borrow money and operate facilities as efficiently as private enterprise. One way of another, 3% is a joke.

    Finally the EPA included the world-wide benefits of reducing US emissions, but the American people only receive a small fraction of those benefits. After a doubling of Chinese emissions in the last decade and after Paris, it is clear that developing countries are going to allow their emissions to grow unless the developed world pays their additional costs of developing on a low-carbon path. It is absurd to believe in a low emissions future unless the developed world pays the bulk of the additional cost.

    When one adds all of the factors, the uncertainty in the estimates social cost is probably a factor of 100X, and the best estimate is probably far below the EPA’s. The whole process was a politicized bad joke.

    • I agree that a 3% real discount rate is too low. The US Government’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Social Cost of Carbon gives values at three discount rates, 2.5%, 3% and 5%. The graph of SCC vs ECS shows the FUND results at a 3% real discount rate, but I think a 5% real discount rate is more realistic for the reasons you gave.

  20. Well, their goal in life – their Utopia – is the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions “to sustainable levels” and the “stable popultion (of their choosing) many billions less.

    Our world depends NOW on fossile fuels (transportation of everything everybody consumes, fabrication, mining, farming (above all), production and processing of farm goods and the foods they become, cooking and cleaning and preservation of the foods those products become, and the heating, lighting, and power to protect and preserve life for billions .

    ALL are dependent on electricity 70% of which requires fossil fuels (greenhouse gas emitted). Thus, without fossil fuels TODAY (and the next 50 years) 5/6 of the people now living will die. But that is not a “benefit” of greenhouse gases to these people? To this writer?

    Let us look at the question differently. Look only at Europe. Before fossil fuels provided steam and men could control energy, power came from either axes. Or a whip. Steam (wood, then coal) provided reliable, controlled power for the first time in history between 1760 and 1810, then improved significantly between 1810 and 1850. Otherwise, you have only wind power, slave power, animal power. Wood was cut by hand, but even that was a limited resurce – as England found when it lost its forests cutting the best trees for Naval ships and masts and decks. But no greenhouse gas emissions! (Though you can argue that Europe was on the “wood tree” cutting and burning since the Gauls and Vandals burned Rome). Coal came along slowly between 1750 and 1810, but 1750 was actually little different from 750, from 0050, from 1050 BC.

    Look at just Europe.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_regions_by_past_GDP_%28PPP%29
    In year 1. GDP for Western Europe and its offshoots was 14,433
    In year 1000, GDP for Western Europe was 10,925. (After the Dark Age cooling!, before the MWP, before fossil fuels. But after the Vandals, Gauls, and barbarians killed the Roman slave-energy culture.)
    In year 1700, it 81,213. Through the Renaissance, in the LIA, but before fossil fuels were productive.
    In year 1820, it was 159,851. Just the START of fossil fuel use doubled the economy!
    But look what happened next: Again GDP’s, all with greenhouse gas slowly, very slowly increasing until the mid-1950’s:

      1700     1820           1870           1913             1950            1973            2003  
    81,213   159,851 	367,466 	902,210 	1,396,078 	4,096,764 	7,857,394
    

    So, to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions to the last sustainable levels we “lived” with – with the renewable technology we have now, will cut the world’s economy by over 90%. Less than 5% of today’s economy could be achieved before fossil fuels (159 thousand/7857 thousand) , and renewables can provide (at best 5-10% of the electric power needed each day. NO renewables can provide transportation energy outside of the cities, but the cities are dependent on the farmers anyway. So both the farmers and the cities die without fossil fuels. (Will a farmer use his electricity to drag a battery with his electric tractor for a few hours? Or will he use the same energy dragging the the same weight across a wet field by pulling a plow with his diesel for 16 hours? A seed drill? A fertilizer tank? A harvester? Renewable energy on a farmer kills people whoused to eat the farm products. )

    Until the population returns to 1750-1820 levels. Which is their goal.

    Now, I ask again: What are the “social benefits” of carbon?

    • Agree Mr. Cook – fossil fuels have delivered humanity from the worst forms of poverty and slavery.

      Now, warmist scoundrels and imbeciles want to deny the benefits of cheap fossil fuel energy to the poorest of humankind, and drive the rest of us backwards into energy poverty. What the warmists are advocating is not only wrong, it is harmful and it is evil.

      Cheap, abundant reliable energy is the lifeblood of humanity – it IS that simple!

      Best regards, Allan MacRae, P.Eng.

  21. “A doubling of CO2 at the current growth rate of 0.55%/year would take 126 years. The analysis gives the TCR best estimate at 1.21 °C with a likely range [17 – 83%] of 1.05 to 1.45 °C.”

    IN that case the expected temperature rise by 2100 is 0.8 degrees on the nose. This puts alarmism in perspective. The RCP8.5 claims 8.5 degrees. So as usual, the shouting is 10 times louder than the facts behind it.

    I propose a new metric: the ratio of the claims for warming to the actual realistic warming that will come by an appointed date for any selected GW contributor.

    For CO2 it is about 10 over-claim units per believable claim unit. That is an over-claim ratio (O-C Ratio)) of 10:1.

    Apply topically and frequently for best results.

    • Agree Crispin.

      I suggest the warmists’ claimed values of ECS are about an order of magnitude (10x) greater than reality (that is, if ECS really exists in any significance, which it may not).

      __________

      Musings about St. Crispin’s Day, from Shakespeare’s Henry V:

      The fewer men, the greater share of honour…

      Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
      That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
      Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
      And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
      We would not die in that man’s company
      That fears his fellowship to die with us.
      This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
      He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
      Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
      And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
      He that shall live this day, and see old age,
      Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
      And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
      Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
      And say “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.”
      Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
      But he’ll remember, with advantages,
      What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
      Familiar in his mouth as household words—
      Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
      Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester—
      Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
      This story shall the good man teach his son;
      And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
      From this day to the ending of the world,
      But we in it shall be remembered-
      We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
      For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
      Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
      This day shall gentle his condition;
      And gentlemen in England now a-bed
      Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
      And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
      That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

  22. The primary greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere is H2O and not CO2 but no one is trying to reduce H2O emissions. The original calculations of the zero feedback climate sensitivity are too high be a factor of 20 because doubling CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere will lower the dry lapse rate which is a cooling effect. The feedbacks also have to be negative for the climate to have been as stable as it has been over the past 500 million years, enough for life to have evolved.

    Despite all the claims, there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate. There is no such evidence in the paleoclimate record. There is evidence that warmer temperatures cause more CO2 to enter the atmosphere but there is no evidence that this additional CO2 causes any more warming. If additional greenhouse gases caused additional warming then the primary culprit would have to be H2O which depends upon the warming of just the surfaces of bodies of water and not their volume but such is not part of the AGW conjecture. In other words CO2 increases in the atmosphere as huge volumes of water increase in temperature but more H2O enters the atmopshere as just the surface of bodies of water warm. We live in a water world where the majoriety of the Earth’s surface is some form of water. Models have been generated that show that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which Man has no control.

    The AGW theory is that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes an increase in its radiant thermal insulation properties causing restrictions in heat flow which in turn cause warming at the Earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere. In itself the effect is small because we are talking about small changes in the CO2 content of the atmosphere and CO2 comprises only about .04% of dry atmosphere if it were only dry but that is not the case. Actually H2O, which averages around 2%, is the primary greenhouse gas. The AGW conjecture is that the warming causes more H2O to enter the atmosphere which further increases the radiant thermal insulation properties of the atmosphere and by so doing so amplifies the effect of CO2 on climate. At first this sounds very plausible. This is where the AGW conjecture ends but that is not all what must happen if CO2 actually causes any warming at all.

    Besides being a greenhouse gas, H2O is also a primary coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere transferring heat energy from the Earth;s surface to where clouds form via the heat of vaporization. More heat energy is moved by H2O via phase change then by both convection and LWIR absorption band radiation combined. More H2O means that more heat energy gets moved which provides a negative feedback to any CO2 based warming that might occur. Then there is the issue of clouds. More H2O means more clouds. Clouds not only reflect incoming solar radiation but they radiate to space much more efficiently then the clear atmosphere they replace. Clouds provide another negative feedback. Then there is the issue of the upper atmosphere which cools rather than warms. The cooling reduces the amount of H2O up there which decreases any greenhouse gas effects that CO2 might have up there. In total, H2O provides negative feedback’s which must be the case because negative feedback systems are inherently stable as has been the Earth’s climate for at least the past 500 million years, enough for life to evolve. We are here. The wet lapse rate being smaller then the dry lapse rate is further evidence of H2O’s cooling effects.

    The entire so called, “greenhouse” effect that the AGW conjecture is based upon is at best very questionable. A real greenhouse does not stay warm because of the heat trapping effects of greenhouse gases. A real greenhouse stays warm because the glass reduces cooling by convection. This is a convective greenhouse effect. So too on Earth..The surface of the Earth is 33 degrees C warmer than it would be without an atmosphere because gravity limits cooling by convection. This convective greenhouse effect is observed on all planets in the solar system with thick atmospheres and it has nothing to do with the LWIR absorption properties of greenhouse gases. the convective greenhouse effect is calculated from first principals and it accounts for all 33 degrees C. There is no room for an additional radiant greenhouse effect. Our sister planet Venus with an atmosphere that is more than 90 times more massive then Earth’s and which is more than 96% CO2 shows no evidence of an additional radiant greenhouse effect. The high temperatures on the surface of Venus can all be explained by the planet’s proximity to the sun and its very dense atmosphere. The radiant greenhouse effect of the AGW conjecture has never been observed. If CO2 did affect climate then one would expect that the increase in CO2 over the past 30 years would have caused an increase in the natural lapse rate in the troposphere but that has not happened. Considering how the natural lapse rate has changed as a function of an increase in CO2, the climate sensitivity of CO2 must equal 0.0.

    This is all a matter of science

    • You made three errors in your first paragraph.
      1. “The primary greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere is H2O and not CO2 but no one is trying to reduce H2O emissions.” If one adds a large amount of water vapor to the lower atmosphere it will quickly precipitate out within 20 days. Human emission of water vapour have negligible effect on global climate.
      2. “The original calculations of the zero feedback climate sensitivity are too high be a factor of 20 because doubling CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere will lower the dry lapse rate which is a cooling effect.” The lapse rate change is caused by increasing water vapor in response to warming, so it is considered a feedback and is not included in the non-feedback climate sensitivity of 1.1 ºC.
      3. ” The feedbacks also have to be negative for the climate to have been as stable as it has been over the past 500 million years, enough for life to have evolved.” Feedbacks in total are net negative even in climate model runs with extremely high climate sensitivities. The planck feedback is -3.2 W/m2/ºC.

      • 1. No one is trying to reduce H2O emissions as if they really could. In terms of a radiative greenhouse effect, H2O swamps the effects of all other so called greenhouse gases. H2O also provides negative feedbacks to changes in other greenhouse gases so as to mitigate any effect these other greenhouse gases might have on climate.

        2. The lapse rate as derived from first principals is a function of the heat capacity of the atmosphere and the gravity gradient. Increasing the CO2 contest of the atmosphere must decrease the lapse rate which is a cooling effect, really a decrease in the insulating properties of the atmosphere. Adding more H2O causes a lowering of the environmental lapse rate which is also a cooling effect and hence a negative feedback to any warming.

        3. the AGW conjecture depends upon the idea that H2O provides a positive feedback but in reality the feedback must be negative.

  23. It wasn’t big oil, or nukes that killed solar and wind. It wasn’t the climate skeptics or the people who don’t believe in climate change. It wasn’t the conniving right wing. It was Microsoft Excel. Once you put the numbers down in a spreadsheet, it becomes painfully obvious they are not able to produce the power required.

  24. Nic is usually more careful than to use such short time intervals. The gap between the two periods is long enough that results might be sound. But the two intervals are so short that an average over either one is just the same as intentional cherry-picking. I did not read the paper, but did not see any justifications for the averages in the article here on WUWT. I hope I’m wrong.

    • Mr. Bradley,

      “But the two intervals are so short that an average over either one is just the same as intentional cherry-picking.”

      No it’s not, that’s obvious. He could easily cherry pick for an much lower estimate, and I find it hard to believe you didn’t realize that as you wrote, frankly.

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