Does IPCC Practice Willful Blindness of Water Vapor to Prove a Scientific Point for a Political Agenda?

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) definition of climate change was drafted so the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) could direct the focus to CO2. It was equally important to prevent disclosure that natural variation in water vapor (WV) far exceeds the effect of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. It likely exceeds it in total and certainly more than any human-induced increase in CO2. IPCC displayed duplicity when they ignored WV until it became necessary to maintain demonization of CO2.

The 2007 IPCC Report explains why the human production of WV is insignificant to their work.

“Water vapour is the most abundant and important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. However, human activities have only a small direct influence on the amount of atmospheric water vapour.”

Look at the vagueness. They can’t define “small” in the direct human portion or even its actual volume. They can’t even compare it with the natural variability in the total amount of atmospheric WV? In 2002 a NOAA article said

“The total amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is about 13 x 1015 kg.”

What is “about”? Natural variation in total atmospheric WV is the greatest for any gas and especially for any greenhouse gas. WV ranges from almost zero in polar regions to four percent in the tropics. It is also extremely difficult to measure. Does a two percent variation in WV equal the human production of CO2 effect? Historically, the only meaningful measures began with satellite derived Microwave Measurements that determine the absolute amount dissolved in a column of air.

Interestingly, in 2007, two years before Climategate, a paper titled Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content” appeared using this type of measure. In the article, they use the notorious phrase lead author Ben Santer introduced when, as lead author of Chapter 8 of the 1995 IPCC Report, he rewrote portions of his committee’s text. The agreed sentence

“While some of the pattern-base discussed here have claimed detection of a significant climate change, no study to date has positively attributed all or part of climate change observed to man-made causes.”

Santer’s insertion.

“The body of statistical evidence in chapter 8, when examined in the context of our physical understanding of the climate system, now points to a discernible human influence (my bold) on the global climate.”

In the 2007 paper the phrase (in bold) that the media picked up, as Fred Singer predicted, was repeated.

‘‘Fingerprint’’ studies, which seek to identify the causes of recent climate change, involve rigorous statistical comparisons of modeled and observed climate change patterns (1). Such work has been influential in shaping the ‘‘discernible human influence’’ conclusions of national and international scientific assessments (2–4).

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The 2007 article conclusion conflicts with the latest IPCC Report Technical Summary of Working Group I.

The magnitude of the observed global change in tropospheric water vapour of about 3.5% in the past 40 years is consistent with the observed temperature change of about 0.5°C during the same period, and the relative humidity has stayed approximately constant. The water vapour change can be attributed to human influence with medium confidence (My bold: IPCC definition is “About 5 out of 10 chance”)

How does the natural variation in greenhouse effect of WV compare with the effect of human produced CO2 or even CO2 in total? They don’t know. They can’t answer any of these questions because adequate data does not exist.

The magnitude of the WV greenhouse effect is large. Ken Gregory notes that,

An analysis of NASA satellite data shows that water vapor, the most important greenhouse gas, has declined in the upper atmosphere causing a cooling effect that is 16 times greater than the warming effect from man-made greenhouse gas emissions during the period 1990 to 2001.

This indicates that the question about the warming effect of CO2 is more than offset by what can be described as the evaporative cooling of the upper atmosphere by WV.

The IPCC chose to protect their claims about CO2. The response was forced because evidence showed that an upper limit to the warming effect of CO2 contradicted their anthropogenic global warming hypothesis (Figure 1).

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Figure 1

There was disagreement about the amount, but the differences were small. One of the first graphs to show this appeared on Junkscience in 2006 (Figure 1). The IPCC decided that WV provided the explanation. It is like the frequent use of aerosols to cover contradictions.

They followed Santer et al., 2007 paper with further justification. A 2008 NASA article titled “Water Vapor Confirmed a Major Player in Climate Change” says,

Water vapor is known to be Earth’s most abundant greenhouse gas, but the extent of its contribution to global warming has been debated. Using recent NASA satellite data, researchers have estimated more precisely than ever the heat-trapping effect of water in the air, validating the role of the gas as a critical component of climate change.

 

In fact, it has not been debated. The article sounds like a promising approach to the necessary questions about global warming and accurate determination of the role of water vapor. It isn’t. The article confirms this in an ill-informed public relations article.

Climate models have estimated the strength of water vapor feedback, but until now the record of water vapor data was not sophisticated enough to provide a comprehensive view of at how water vapor responds to changes in Earth’s surface temperature. That’s because instruments on the ground and previous space-based could not measure water vapor at all altitudes in Earth’s troposphere — the layer of the atmosphere that extends from Earth’s surface to about 10 miles in altitude.

The article tries to justify the IPCC hypothesis that a positive feedback mechanism exists to make CO2 more effective as a warming agent by using WV.

 

This led to the ongoing debate about climate sensitivity as estimates declined (Figure 2).

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Figure 2

This diverts from the question of how much a variation in atmospheric water vapor affects global temperature and how that compares with the CO2 effect. It is critical as the IPCC explains.

The latent heat contained in water vapour in the atmosphere is critical to driving the circulation of the atmosphere on scales ranging from individual thunderstorms to the global circulation of the atmosphere.

Remember that because of grid size, their computer models cannot include the approximately 10,000 thunderstorms operating at any given moment. They can’t even include the stratocumulus in Figure 4 each transferring heat.

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Figure 4; Illustrates the sensitivity of water vapor to temperature with clouds forming from evapotranspiration and condensation over forests, but not over relatively cooler rivers.

But these types of vague, unsubstantiated claims litter the IPCC Reports making them defy logic and common sense. A brief analysis determines the illogic of their claims. The latest (2014) Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers says,

Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.

Highest in history? It depends on how you define history. All climate change has had widespread impacts, not just recent.

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.

This is unequivocally false. The observed changes are not unprecedented.

Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever.

There is no evidence to support these claims. Besides, the increase is a false increase because the “economic and population growth” drivers are created by the IPCC with their Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP). The physical data doesn’t exist or has a wide margin of error making such statements untenable, as other portions of the IPCC Reports that few read, show.

One part of the IPCC claims that change due to human activities became evident after 1950. Another part, that there is virtually no data before 1950. The inadequacy of the water vapor data alone proves this claim false.

For example, The Technical Summary of Working Group I says (my added bold),

Confidence in precipitation change averaged over global land areas is low (About 2 out of 10 chance) prior to 1951 and medium afterwards because of insufficient data, particularly in the earlier part of the record.

substantial ambiguity and therefore low confidence remains in the observations of global-scale cloud variability and trends.

The spatial patterns of the salinity trends, mean salinity and the mean distribution of evaporation minus precipitation are all similar (TFE.1, Figure 1). These similarities provide indirect evidence that the pattern of evaporation minus precipitation over the oceans has been enhanced since the 1950s (medium confidence). Uncertainties in currently available surface fluxes prevent the flux products from being reliably used to identify trends in the regional or global distribution of evaporation or precipitation over the oceans on the time scale of the observed salinity changes since the 1950s.

The most recent and most comprehensive analyses of river runoff do not support the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) conclusion that global runoff has increased during the 20th century. New results also indicate that the AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in droughts since the 1970s are no longer supported.

There is low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall), owing to lack of direct observations, dependencies of inferred trends on the index choice and geographical inconsistencies in the trends.

In several periods characterized by high atmospheric CO2 concentrations, there is medium confidence (50%) that global mean temperature was significantly above pre-industrial level.

Anthropogenic emissions have driven the changes in well-mixed greenhouse gas (WMGHG) concentrations during the Industrial Era (see Section TS.2.8 and TFE.7). As historical WMGHG concentrations since the pre-industrial are well known based on direct measurements and ice core records, and WMGHG radiative properties are also well known, the computation of RF due to concentration changes provides tightly constrained values.

The problem is CO2 is not well-mixed as the OCO2 satellite data indicates.

Before you even get to say, ”It’s the Sun stupid” you can say, “It’s the water vapor stupid.”

Two comments provide a context for the IPCC scientific tunnel vision on water vapor.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. Aldous Huxley (1894-1963).

A few observations and much reasoning lead to error; many observations and a little reasoning to truth.

Alexis Carrel (Surgeon, Biologist 1873-1944).

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239 thoughts on “Does IPCC Practice Willful Blindness of Water Vapor to Prove a Scientific Point for a Political Agenda?

  1. Vapor, Schmapor, the most important fact is that Water Vapor has to other phases that easily happen at Earthly temperatures and Pressures… Water AND ice. Moving to and from these phases releases or absorbs Vast, Vast amounts of heat energy. CO2 is not even a player. CO2 cannot do liquid. CO2 goes Directly to or from a SOLID (Dry Ice) that is called Dry because there is no intermediate liquid state, AND it occurs at a temperature of MINUS 209 degrees Fahrenheit that NEVER OCCURS AT EARTHLY TEMPERATURES AND PRESSURES.
    Water vapor aT 97% of the Earth’s greenhouse gas can saturate with heat , just as CO2 does. However when cooking and releasing heat, CO2, at 3% of earth’s greenhouse gas, simply stays as a gas, while Water vapor changes to water with vast heat release, then goes on to Ice, with another Vast heat release. The gas phase that is Greenhouse is puny compared to phase change heat transfer. Finally, when water vapor cools and condenses into clouds, the CLOUDS REFLECT 97% of the Suns heating energy back out into space! How, yes how can any serious scientist insist that the human portion (let’s be generous and say 10%} of the 3% of greenhouse gas that is Carbon Dioxide, (that makes 0.3% of greenhouse gas) control the 97% Water vapor, and it’s phases water and Ice? It’s Preposterous!

    • Dry ice sublimes at -109.3 F or – 78.5 C …. sorry to pick that nit but it should be corrected.

    • During a hiatus atmospheric carbon dioxide keeps increasing but global temperature does not. This is not allowed by the Arrhenius greenhouse theory used by the IPCC. Since the Arrhenius theory has made a wrong prediction about this it is now invalidated and must be cast into the waste casket of history. The only theory that correctly handles the situation during a hiatus is MGT, the Miskolczi greenhouse theory. It is real sciencfe and can handle the IR absorption by both carbon dioxide and by water vapor simultaneously. Arrhenius totally ignores water vapor and thereby makes wrong predictions that invalidate it. According to MGT, carbon dioxide and water vapor form a on optimal absorption window in the infrared whose optical thickness is 1.87. If you now add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere it will start to absorb in the IR just as the Arrhenius theory predicts. But this will increase the absorption window. And as soon as it happens, water vapor starts to diminish, rains out, and the original absorption window is restored. The added carbon dioxide will of course continue to absorb but the reduction of water vapor has reduced the total absorptivity of the atmosphere to the background level and no warming predicted by Arrhenius is possible. And that explains why the greenhouse effect is impossible in the earth atmosphere. An observer looking from the side at this point will see the carbon dioxide increasing while temperature does not – exactly what we expect to happen during a hiatus.

      • Also, didn’t Arrhenius think that space was aether? [The roof for his GHG Theory, which was debunked by Mickelson Morley]
        Correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.

    • The top picture (Figure 1) is mislabeled; left-to-right, it’s Ben Santer, Phil (Jones?) and Tom Wigley (looking like V. I. Lenin, as David Legates has observed)

  2. Dr. Tim Ball writes: “This indicates that the question about the warming effect of CO2 is more than offset by what can be described as the evaporative cooling of the upper atmosphere by WV.”

    My question then is, where is this water vapor going? Typically evaporative cooling occurs at the top of the troposphere and the tropopause forms a “closed system”, recycling water after it’s exchanged energy with the stratosphere. But in this example, water vapor seems to be boiling off the planet?

    • Simply put the process goes something like this. Water Vapour laden air is lighter than the surrounding air and therefore it rises, as it rises the atmospheric pressure drops. The individual molecules of vapour have a lot more empty space around them, in this rarefied atmosphere heat loss by radiation occurs.
      The (by now falling) water vapour molecules then coalesce as ice or remain as supercooled liquid until nucleated by dust or some other particle and become clouds.
      So the water itself is not lost. It simply conveys the heat to the top of the atmosphere and sheds it to space.

      • Charles, I’m aware of that cycle, which occurs in the troposphere. It doesn’t cool the stratosphere.

        Why is the stratosphere cooling?

      • @Bartleby:
        The stratosphere & above do NOT cool, at least not the way you’re thinking: [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth#/media/File:Comparison_US_standard_atmosphere_1962.svg ] Once into the mesosphere, nearly all heat is transferred by radiation, rather than by conduction or convection due to the rarity of the air up there.

        As an aside, it is this non-linear temperature curve that cause me to dismiss claims of lapse rate as an effective tool for plotting temperatures in a given planetary atmosphere using the temperature taken at a single given height as a starting point. As one can see from the link above, Earth’s atmospheric lapse rate is NOT a linear one from surface to space, and as any half-decent storm chaser (let alone meteorologist) can tell you, it changes based on insolation and moving air & moisture masses on an hourly basis.

      • Sorry, that should have read “transferred to space by radiation.” The whole reason the temperature of the aptly named “thermosphere” climbs into the hundreds and even thousands of degrees Celsius is because of the interactions — many of which involve direct collisions — of the constituent atoms & molecules of the air with solar wind, cosmic rays, the Earth’s magnetic field, and so on. This results in much of the remaining “air” at that height actually maintaining an ionized plasma state, rather than that of a gas (hence the colloquial term “ionosphere”).

        However, the actual heat content (as distinct from “temperature” which is simply the average energy of the constituent particles) does continue to taper off with height, as there’s less and less material the higher one travels. At a certain altitude, the individual particles might have an energy consistent with those in the lower atmosphere of Venus, but since there are only, perhaps, a few dozen of them in a given cubic meter, the term “temperature” eventually ceases to have a useful meaning for most applicaions.

      • Now look at this graphic ->

        Sure looks to me that with the proper scaling that the temperature and the speed of sound lines would be almost identical. WHY?’
        Looks to me that this is just like the thermoclines in the ocean. Are these thermoclines the REAL roof of the greenhouse? If so then WATER VAPOR is the REAL GHG.

      • Bartleby asks (at July 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm): “Why is the stratosphere cooling?”

        Actually, it is not cooling. The stratospheric temperature has been quite flat since 1995/1996. It cooled before that due to major low-latitude volcanic eruptions. We have gone over 20 years without a major low-latitude volcanic eruption; If we have another one, we would expect more cooling after that.

    • Couldn’t it spread the heat? At any given moment, it seems to me a relatively small portion of the globe is actually being heated by the sun, enough to more than maintain it’s current temperature(s), while it all radiates heat into the big black freezer it exits within.

      • Yes, IMHO. There are rivers of water vapor in the atmosphere carrying hundreds times more water than the Amazon River. These rivers will move the heat of vaporization from one point on the earth to another to be released when it rains. Now, consider the effects when it changes to snow, changes locations, turns into water, rains, and even evaporates again befor it hits the ground. Or even inside the multi mile high clouds as it cycles from the top to bottom over and over.

    • I think the majority of evaporative cooling occurs in the lower troposphere below cloud base unless the cloud is slanted. Rh within cloud is saturated and often super saturated with low evaporation. Some sublimation or evaporation will occur at the cloud top as it encounters dry air but the much lower temps here will mean lower tropospheric evaporation far exceeds anything up high.

      Regarding stratospheric cooling, there has been no significant cooling here since 1994 and prior to this most of the cooling occurred in conjunction with volcanic eruptions.

    • If the stratosphere is cooling it’s because there is less ozone in the atmosphere, or there’s a change in solar output=less infrared energy heating the ozone layer directly. Global warming or cooling should not have a direct effect on stratosphere warming or cooling.

  3. The most important thing to note about water vapour is not that is a ‘greenhouse gas’ from a radiative stand point. It is a physical transporter of heat.
    I once had a Warmist teetering on the edge of understanding simply by showing him the CIMSS Tropical Cylones Page (water vapour).
    The vast amount of energy being transported high into the atmosphere and onwards to the frigid winter polar regions quite simply dwarfs the preposterous Watts Per Meter Squared guesswork of the Warmists.

    • I wish we could hit ‘like’ as the case for Facebook. In any case, thank you all for the discussion so far, I like. And you’re on the mark. The question that no one knows is the relationship between forests and water vapour, which came up in a paper recently on WUWT, where clouds rise where there is a disconnect after deforestation occurs. Farmers and agronomists have known this for centuries in the former and 100 years in the latter. Trees create wind turbulence and water vapour hangs around with forests.Clear the scrub for wheat farming and you’ll get less rain.

    • “The vast amount of energy being transported high into the atmosphere and onwards to the frigid winter polar regions quite simply dwarfs the preposterous Watts Per Meter Squared guesswork of the Warmists.”

      No.
      WV is precipitated out and cannot accumulate in the atmosphere beyond it’s saturation point …. which is determined by atmospheric temperature.
      WV condenses to clouds and said cloud both retains outgoing LWIR and reflects incoming SW.
      The recent EN did all that and what happened …. GMT’s went through the roof (no pun intended).
      For your hand-waving to be correct – then why didn’t the earth cool??

      Globally atmospheric absolute humidity is a constant – mitigated by local temperature, rising in the long term only as GW proceeds.
      Aerosols will affect cloud formation in terms of hydrophilic nuclei abundance but there cannot be more H2O present than the environmental temperature profile of the troposphere allows.

      Would you like to provide some calculations regarding this W/m^2 of heat expelled to space via moist convection in excess of that that the WV lifted into the high troposphere negates via the GHG effect?

      BY the way, moist convection is far from being ubiquitous around the globe – try finding much over NH land masses in winter.

      • Cutting and pasting Tone?
        When it comes to your trollery and ignorance of science that is the most revealing post yet!

      • Yeah Tone the WV precipitates out and returns to earth…. and then it revapourises and starts another cycle. The WV is just an energy transport vehicle. It may maintain some sort of range of content in its various forms in the atmosphere but the essential feature is that it cycles over and over carrying energy up to the stratosphere on each iteration.

        BTW, moist convection is likely low over the NH land masses in winter but you should see it romping along in the tropics all year round and just take a look at the SH land masses summer and winter and then there are this SH oceans, all year round. Sooo, your point would be….???

      • Over simplification re El Nino cloud. Look at OLR anoms and you can see the cloud did increase over the tropical Pacific but deceased over the maritime continent, tropical Atlantic, tropical Africa and Amazon basin. Warmth came from a much larger area of warmer SSTs than normal. This would be equivalent to something like raising land surface temps of N and S America combined by 1-3 deg C. This will raise global temps

      • Tony says, “For your hand-waving to be correct – then why didn’t the earth cool”
        ==========================
        Tony, it did cool. The atmosphere warmed as heat was released from the oceans. That released ocean heat meant more outgoing radiation to space. Something heat energy beneath the ocean surface cannot do.

      • Tony, consider the seasons. In the SH summer the earth receives massively more energy (about 70 watt per sq M as I recall) yet the atmosphere cools.

      • “WV is precipitated out and cannot accumulate in the atmosphere beyond it’s saturation point”

        Rubbish.

      • The claim is that relative humidity will stay constant as the temperature increases.
        Actual science finds this to not be the case.
        PS: Even the IPCC claims that increasing temperatures will cause more evaporation and more rainfall.

  4. Water vapor “…has declined in the upper atmosphere causing a cooling effect…” Doesn’t this directly contradict the claim that increasing CO2 will result in greater evaporation as a result of increasing temperatures and result in a positive feedback loop?

    • “Water vapor “…has declined in the upper atmosphere causing a cooling effect…” Doesn’t this directly contradict the claim that increasing CO2 will result in greater evaporation as a result of increasing temperatures and result in a positive feedback loop?”

      A question I see, rather than an assertion. Good.

      The answer depends on where exactly in the atmosphere is the reduction of WV content occurring.
      This article doesn’t say, but I believe it is in the Stratosphere – which is above the level of max outgoing LWIR emission to space, and where AGW theory says there should be cooling.

      So the answer is no.

  5. What is the deal with a 2/10 chance being “low confidence”?

    This is tampering with the English language. 20% chance is not “low confidence”, it’s zero confidence. More unlikely than likely means “no confidence”. 5-7/10 would be “low confidence”, 8/10 would be “medium confidence” and 9.5 / 10 would be “high confidence”.

    These people are frauds.

  6. Leaving aside the ‘greenhouse effect’ of water vapour as well of clouds and also the cloud albedo effect of clouds…. there is the small issue of the latent heat of vapourization of water which is sufficient to cool more than 2000 kg of adjacent air by 1˚C, i.e about two olympic swimming pools of air, per kg of evaporated water. All that water vapour and clouds got into the atmosphere by being vapourised from the planet surface.

    You call the greenhouse effect a mechanism? Vapourization… now THATS a mechanism.

  7. “natural variation in water vapor (WV) far exceeds the effect of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. It likely exceeds it in total and certainly more than any human-induced increase in CO2”

    that would explain the absence of a correlation between fossil fuel emissions and warming
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2662870

    and why climate science relies on a correlation between cumulative values
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2725743

  8. Nice one. Thank you Dr Tim Ball. I still don’t understand how a radiative gas traps heat, does it stop radiating when it gets hot?

    • A fine question ……. but don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer.

      DUH, the only known entities in the universe that are capable of “trapping heat” are the Black Holes at the center of galaxies.

    • Richard, the AGW mechanism is that CO2 absorbs IR radiation emerging from the warm surface, and becomes vibrationally excited.

      That vibrational energy is quickly off-loaded into the kinetic energy of the surrounding air by collision between the excited CO2 and nitrogen/oxygen molecules. This kinetic energy is heat.

      The original CO2 molecule, now back in its vibrational ground-state, can absorb another IR photon and go through the entire process again. So CO2 acts to turn radiant energy from the surface into kinetic energy (heat) in the atmosphere.

      Climate models pretty much assume this extra kinetic energy stays as heat in the atmosphere, i.e., that nothing happens except that the atmosphere heats up.

      They ignore the fact, however, that the climate has many very rapid alternative responses to this extra energy, other than merely heating the atmosphere. The most important include evaporation/condensation of water and thermal convection. Very small adjustments in the amounts and/or rates of these processes can remove all that extra kinetic energy (heat).

      The result could be small increases in cloudiness or in precipitation (mostly in the equatorial region), likely in the thunderstorms that are central to Willis Eschenbach’s model of equatorial thunderstorms as engines of negative temperature feedback.

      At the end, there’d be little or no detectable change in air temperature no matter that CO2 injects kinetic energy into the atmosphere.

      Climate models are entirely unable to include these effects. They essentially model a crippled climate that cannot respond properly to the small increase in atmospheric kinetic energy from increased CO2.

  9. Megha-Tropiques satellite’s S.A.P.H.I.R. measurements might interest some; it reveals there is not a constant water vapor that climate models can simply plug into a prediction. See Moradi, et al. (2016) “Diurnal variation of tropospheric relative humidity in tropical region”, open access 28 journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions is available on-line as free full pdf.

  10. I have long been convinced that water vapour is fully capable of providing the necessary negative feedback to offset whatever warming we might have to deal with. And CO2 is still meaningless!

  11. How does the water vapor story match with the movement of the monsoons? How much energy does it take to shift the monsoon bands?
    Recently, a nanoscale photo of an emerald found water in the spaces between the molecules of emerald. It had disassociated in a new form of water. So would it be possible that other rocks and materials have water trapped in them? Do they release this water, at a nanoscale, with mining and crushing and refining? Does this happen with tectonic plates moving? Would it be significant anyway?
    The water vapor story has a very long way to run before climate can be understood.

  12. “Look at the vagueness. They can’t define “small” in the direct human portion or even its actual volume.”
    You could try reading it. That cited AR4 sets this out on detail, in sec 2.5.6″

    Anthropogenic use of water is less than 1% of natural sources of water vapour and about 70% of the use of water for human activity is from irrigation (Döll, 2002). Several regional studies have indicated an impact of irrigation on temperature, humidity and precipitation (Barnston and Schickedanz, 1984; Lohar and Pal, 1995; de Ridder and Gallée, 1998; Moore and Rojstaczer, 2001; Zhang et al., 2002). Boucher et al. (2004) used a GCM to show that irrigation has a global impact on temperature and humidity. Over Asia where most of the irrigation takes place, the simulations showed a change in the water vapour content in the lower troposphere of up to 1%, resulting in an RF of +0.03 W m–2.

    • Stokes,

      I’m surprised that AR4 gives the credit to Asia as the primary locality of irrigation. What is at issue is irrigation water converting to water vapor. If irrigation water is simply diverted from steams and rivers to flood rice fields, then the only anthropogenic effect is to increase the surface area and promote more evaporation. However, in the US, huge reservoir projects started in the 1920s, basically doing the same thing. Additionally, with the invention of pivotal irrigation, both surface, and more commonly ground-water, were applied over large areas where the high temperatures and aridity were guaranteed to rapidly evaporate significant proportions of the sprinkler outputs.

      Anecdotally, an Aunt and Uncle that moved to NW Nebraska about 60 years ago, related to me that when they first made lemonade with ice cubes, nothing would condense on the sides of the glasses. After the widespread introduction of pivotal irrigation, that changed dramatically. Now if the models show a change in RH of up to 1% in the humid areas of SE Asia and Southern China, I would expect an even larger increase for the arid and semi-arid regions of the US.

  13. Re Clyde Spencer’s post at 9:39 pm: yes, infrared (IR) spectra such as the one available at http://climateaudit.org/?p=2572 (see Fig. 3) , which is replicated quite well by MODTRAN computer calculations such as the one available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing , show that water vapour is twice as important as CO2 as a greenhouse gas. This might be thought to provide a 200% positive feedback, boosting a climate sensitivity on doubling CO2 of 1 degree (not including feedbacks) to the long-accepted 3 degrees. The fatal flaw in this reasoning is that doubling CO2 does not double water vapour. A climate sensitivity of 0.6 degrees (not including feedbacks) would increase water vapour by only 4%, so even including a weighting factor of 2 would mean a positive feedback of only 8%, not 200% [see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clausius-Clapeyron_relation , where near the end it says that a 1 degree rise in temperature increases water vapour by 7%. Because water vapour is roughly an exponential function of temperature, this 7% rise is true for any starting temperature. The rise is also true if we consider all water vapour at 50% relative humidity rather than 100% at saturation.] Since increased water vapour is likely to increase cloud cover, and the net effect of increased clouds is a negative feedback, we can see that the assumption of a 200% positive feedback is all wrong. This is one reason that all computer calculations of projected warming have proven to be way too high, when compared with actual temperatures, especially during the last 16 years of hiatus (even as CO2 has continued to increase to 400 ppmv).
    Re: heat transfer by water vapour. The dry adiabatic lapse rate is -9.8 K/km, which means that for every km rise in altitude, the tropospheric temperature drops by 9.8 K if we ignore water vapour and heat transfer between layers of the atmosphere. The actual lapse rate in the troposphere is about -6.8 K/km (a drop from 288 K to 220 K in 10 km). This moderation of the lapse rate is due to transfer of heat from the surface to upper layers in the troposphere by (1) radiative exchange of resonant frequency photons between greenhouse gas molecules CO2 and water vapour, (2) by convection currents (especially over intensely heated cloudless land during the daytime), (3) by condensation of gaseous water vapour to liquid droplets or sublimation to ice crystals in clouds, and (4) by exchange of continuous Planck black body photons between warm droplets at the base of clouds to colder droplets or ice crystals at the tops of clouds. The %CO2 does not change much with altitude, so eventually photons at CO2 central frequencies escape to outer space at 20-30 km altitude in the stratosphere, when the gas molecules are at pressures hundredths of that at the surface. This explains the “220K” emission that truncates the CO2 absorption ditch in the IR spectra. Jack Barrett has run the MODTRAN program to 70 km altitude instead of stopping at 20 km (as in the Wikipedia article on Radiative forcing) and has shown that doubling CO2 means that the truncation then occurs at higher altitudes, where the stratosphere temperature is higher (due to the temperature inversion caused by heating due to ozone which absorbs incoming Solar UV and visible radiation). [See the section “The hard bit” at http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/ ] Water vapour, however, decreases drastically as the temperature decreases. The MODTRAN spectrum shows that below 200 cm^-1 the emission to outer space at the TOA (Top Of the Atmosphere) follows roughly a 220 K Planck black body curve, as the rotational energy states of water vapour differ by the average translational energy or less. This means that collisions between water molecules can activate higher rotational states which can emit 200 cm^-1 photons, or less energetic photons. So continual exchange involving emission and absorption of these photons produces the Planck black body curve below 200 cm^-1. The photon is a boson with a spin of 1, which means that it follows Bose-Einstein statistics (many photons can be in the same energy state, for example, in a laser beam), and it carries one unit of angular momentum (in units of h, Planck’s constant, divided by 2pi). In order for total angular momentum to be conserved, water molecules can change in rotational quantum number, J, by only 1 unit on emission or absorption of a photon. From 200 to 600 cm^-1, the difference in rotational energy states becomes too large for random collisions between molecules to produce the higher energy state with J value 1 above the lower [the energy levels vary as J(J+1) ]. So emission becomes less probable, and what the observed spectra show is net ABSORPTION of the 288 K Planck black body emission from the Earth’s surface by the rare water molecules in high rotational energy states (i.e. with high values of J). The net ABSORPTION (downward bite out of the 288 K Planck black body emission curve due to transitions between water vapour rotational levels in the ground vibrational state) peaks at around 400 to 500 cm^-1, and the AREA between the 288 K curve and the actual spectrum is proportional to the decrease in IR emission from the surface that makes it all the way to outer space. However, water vapour can also absorb outgoing IR in a transition from the ground bond-bending vibrational state (vibrational quantum number v = 0 ) to the first vibrational excited state (with v = 1), in a band centered at 1595 cm^-1. This band extends from about 1100 to 2200 cm^-1 [see Fig. 3 at http://smsc.cnes.fr/documentation/IASI/Publications/ClerbauxACP2009.pdf ], with P- and R-bands roughly 550 cm^-1 wide each, on either side of 1595 cm^-1. Note that the 200-600 cm^-1 water vapour absorption due to transitions in pure rotation (no change in vibration) is part of an R-branch, where J increases by +1. In the 1595 cm^-1 absorption band, the P-branch (from 1595 to 1100 cm^-1) forms when J changes by -1 (e.g. from J=5 to J=4); this can occur because the rotational energy change is still smaller than the 1595 cm^-1 jump in vibrational energy. However, even 1100 cm^-1 corresponds to such a high energy that very few molecules are formed in the excited state due to collisions, so emission is low, and the net spectrum is essentially an ABSORPTION spectrum. I have emphasized ABSORPTION with capitals, because the literature talks about these spectra as if they were EMISSION spectra, totally missing the point. You can see this staggering lack of understanding even in the truncation of the horizontal axis in these spectra, at around 1500 or 1600 cm^-1, instead of extending them to 2400 cm^-1 to include the R-branch absorption due to water vapour bond-bending vibrational transitions. So the correct interpretation for water molecules is that they result in net absorption of the 288 K Planck black body emission, which is almost total above 1500 cm^-1 (like CO2, most of the central frequencies have reached saturation). And a 4% increase in total water vapour in the path length will result in only a very small additional amount of absorption (positive feedback).
    Note that at 15 Celsius, the saturated vapour pressure of water is 12.788 mm Hg (16,826 ppmv, or 42 times that of 400 ppmv CO2). By 223 K (-50 Celsius), water vapour pressure is only 0.03 mm Hg , or 39 ppmv, or 10 times smaller than 400 ppmv CO2, so even central H2O frequencies below 200 cm^-1 can escape to outer space at 10 km altitude. It should also be noted that the rotational constant B, which tells us the spacing between adjacent lines in the rotational spectrum, varies inversely as the moment of inertia. Because the center-of-mass of the H2O molecule is buried inside the heavy O atom, the moment of inertia is due mainly to the light H atoms, so the 3 rotational constants for H2O are considerably higher than B for the linear CO2 molecule, with heavy O atoms at the ends. This means that the vibration-rotation lines for CO2 are much closer together, and random collisions at 288 K or 220 K can boost CO2 molecules to quite high rotational states (with J values as high as 40 or 50). It is these rare high-energy molecules that are involved in the enhanced greenhouse effect, for they can still absorb some of the Planck black body photons emitted from the 288 K Earth’s surface in lines that are not yet saturated, and that follow a modified Beer-Lambert absorption law. In fact, the slight difference between the green and blue absorption CO2 MODTRAN spectra at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing is due mainly to two absorptions by rare molecules in the first excited vibrational state (which constitute only about 3% of the number in the ground state). These occur in the sloping flanks of the CO2 absorption ditch, centered at 618 and 721 cm^-1. For their place in the CO2 vibrational energy level diagram, see Diagram 3 in the section “Spectral transitions” at http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com . You may not totally understand the quantum mechanics of vibrational-rotational energy levels of molecules, but rest assured that the literature and the “experts” to date have not even understood the difference between absorption and emission spectra. For a crash course, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emission_spectrum and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraunhofer_lines and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectral_line .

    • “The fatal flaw in this reasoning is that doubling CO2 does not double water vapour. A climate sensitivity of 0.6 degrees (not including feedbacks) would increase water vapour by only 4%, so even including a weighting factor of 2 would mean a positive feedback of only 8%, not 200%”

      No, the denominator is different. The flux may be 8% as a fraction of wv radiative heat flux. But as a fraction of CO2 flux, it’s much higher. This is a consequence of wv being the major GHG. CO2 is smaller, and needs to be changed by a lot to have an overall effect. We’re doing that. Water is big, but pretty much fixed by temperature. The feedback, small as a % of wv, still has a relatively large effect.

      The AR5 has an FAQ 8.1 on all this.

      • Hi Nick! Yes, I understand that a small increase in water vapour can still amount to a lot of climate sensitivity since w.v. is itself the most important greenhouse gas. However, I would be a lot more confident of your argument if the literature did not talk about “emission spectrum” rather than “absorption spectrum”, and in particular showed infrared (IR) spectra obtained by satellites looking down on the Earth with wavenumbers extending to 2400 cm^-1 instead of truncating at 1500 or 1600 cm^-1. The reason is that the water vapour bond-bending band has origin at 1595 cm^-1, and the R-branch of the band extends from 1595 cm^-1 to about 2200 cm^-1. Combined with the decreasing exponential nature of the Planck black body radiation curves in this region, the net result is almost complete absorption in the R-branch (seemingly interpreted in the literature as “zero emission”). This means that water vapour lines are severely saturated, so that linear absorption with increased concentration is not valid. For example, the 288 K Planck curve in the MODTRAN spectrum available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing , when extended to 2400 cm^-1 shows that the 383.3 – 260.1 = 123.2 W/m^2 net absorption can be partitioned into 38.1 W/m^2 for CO2 absorption (which warms the troposphere), 80.4 W/m^2 for water vapour (which shows that it is twice as important a greenhouse gas as CO2 in warming the troposphere), and 4.7 W/m^2 for ozone absorption. The Clausius-Clapeyron relation says that a 0.6 degree increase in temperature raises the saturated water vapour by 4%, and 4% of 80.4 W/m^2 = 3.2 W/m^2 which is comparable to the 3.39 W/m^2 “forcing” on doubling CO2 which without feedbacks would produce 0.6 degrees warming (not the 1 degree quoted in the literature). But this 4% calculation assumes a linear relation for the entire water vapour absorption which we have already shown is not valid due to saturation. The comparable situation for CO2 is that the forcing of 3.39 W/m^2 shown on the MODTRAN spectrum is only 8.8% of the 38.1 W/m^2 effect of absorption at 300 ppmv, so doubling CO2 produces a lot less than a 100% increase (the difference in areas of absorption between the green and blue curves in the MODTRAN spectrum, which I accept as accurate, is slight). So the 3.2 W/m^2 estimate of the effect of positive water vapour feedback (which would be 94% of the CO2 forcing, not 200%) is going to be way too high, perhaps by as much as a factor of 10. So positive feedback due to water vapour absorption has been exaggerated. Since net cloud feedback is strongly negative, the non-zero positive feedback due to increased water vapour absorption is likely to be overwhelmed. This means that climate sensitivity, including water vapour and cloud feedbacks, is likely to be around 0.5 degrees, a factor of 6 smaller than the accepted value of 3 degrees. And due to saturation effects (diminishing returns on increasing CO2), estimates of future warming on increasing CO2 are likely to be a factor of 8 or so too high. I must say, Nick, that I do respect your arguments, for you provide quantitative reasons, not just hand-waving qualitative issues like the majority of sincere warmists.

      • Hi Nick! I have recalculated the effect of increasing water vapor by 4% on the MODTRAN spectrum available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing , including corrections for saturation effects. The bottom line result is a decrease in TOA (Top Of the Atmosphere) flux by as much as 1.21 W/m^2 (which means a requirement that for energy balance, surface flux must increase by 1.78 W/m^2, assuming a transmission factor of (383.34 – 123.22)/383.34 = 0.6786 ). This translates directly to a positive water vapor feedback by as much as +0.33 K at the Earth’s surface, which is a factor of 6 smaller than the 2 degrees quoted in the literature. I used 4% rather than 7%, because the MODTRAN spectrum showing a radiative forcing of 3.39 W/m^2 at the TOA is for a cloudless 288.2 K surface of the Earth, and the TOA forcing is smaller from a colder cloud top with a smaller number of ground state CO2 molecules in the path length to outer space, and with a smaller % of molecules in the first vibrationally excited state (from which the sideband absorptions centered at 618 and 721 cm^-1 occur, explaining the enhanced greenhouse effect). Basically, I calculated Planck black body emission values for a 288.2 K curve at 100 cm^-1 intervals from 0 to 2400 cm^-1, and normalized values to match a printout of the MODTRAN curve at 900 cm^-1, the center of an IR window from 800-1000 cm^-1. Then I measured the heights of the water vapor spectra at 100 cm^-1 intervals from 0 to 600 cm^-1 (the pure rotation spectrum with no change in the vibrational quantum number from the ground state), and from 1200 to 2400 cm^-1. The difference from the 288.2 K Planck curve gives the amount of absorption, assumed above 200 cm^-1. [Below 200 cm^-1, the spectrum closely matches a 220 K Planck black body curve, which indicates that at 220 K the average translational kinetic energy of gas molecules, 3kT/2 , is about the same as the energy of a 200 cm^-1 photon (hcf, where c is the vacuum speed of light in cm/s, and f is the wavenumber in cm^-1), so the upper rotational state is constantly being created during intermolecular collisions, so an emission spectrum is produced when the small amount of water vapor molecules at 10 km altitude emit photons that escape directly to outer space without being further absorbed.] From 200 to 600 cm^-1 I assumed that the spectrum is a pure absorption spectrum, with net absorption of 288.2 K black body photons being absorbed in the path length to outer space. This is not strictly true, because the Schwarzschild Equation says that the signal measured by the satellite looking down from outer space sees not only Beer-Lambert absorption of surface emission, but a small amount of atmospheric radiation (if we approximate this by calculating the absorbance relative to the difference between the 288.2 K and 220 K Planck curves, the positive water vapor feedback is reduced to +0.21 K, with the truth somewhere between this and +0.33 K). The areas of water vapor absorption were then calculated by dividing the 0-600 and 1200-2400 cm^-1 regions into trapezoids 100 cm^01 wide. The total area of both regions was equated to 80.4 W/m^2, the portion of the 123.2 W/m^2 total absorption due to water vapor. The correction factors for saturation effect were calculated by first making a table of values for each doubling of CO2 concentration, starting with transmittance T = 0.99 (99%) which means absorbance A = 1-T = 0.01 (1%). Because concentration appears in the exponent of the Beer-Lambert transmittance function, each doubling means squaring the previous value of T. E.g. after 4 doublings, T = 0.8515 and A = 0.1485 (14.85%, a little smaller than 16% due to the onset of saturation). After 7 doublings, T = 0.2763 and A = 0.7237 (72.37%, a lot smaller than 2^7 %= 128 %). A graph of (delta A)/A vs. A shows a straight line which can be used to read the % change at each value of A. This is the correction factor for saturation effects (e.g. at A = 0.01 = 1%, the correction factor is 0.99 = 99% to get the value of (delta A ) after 1 doubling of CO2 ; at A = 0.7237, the correction factor is 0.276 = 27.6%). The areas of extra water vapor absorption on doubling CO2 were then calculated using trapezoids 100 cm^-1 wide, as before, and then multiplying the total by 4% = 0.04 to get the water vapor feedback in W/m^2, which can then be used in the Stefan-Boltzmann law backwards to calculate the new equilibrium surface value of T, and therefore of (delta T). Hope this procedure makes sense (I’m sure you’ll tell me if and where I’m wrong), as the ultimate goal is to get at the truth (“the limit of converging probabilities” – Cardinal Newman). I haven’t yet calculated what this means about net cloud feedback, but I know that it is negative, and will be slightly larger than 0.2 K in magnitude, which means that it basically cancels the positive water vapor feedback, leaving the climate sensitivity (including water vapor and cloud feedbacks) at around 0.6 or 0.7 K, way below the literature’s “best value” of 3 degrees. I have to go now for a previous engagement….

      • Roger,
        “This translates directly to a positive water vapor feedback by as much as +0.33 K at the Earth’s surface”
        I’m not sure how you do that conversion. But it seems to me the simplest is to relate it to the forcings, as given in SPM 5, AR5. Net total forcing 2.29 W/m2, so far. Your 1.21 W/m2 seems quite significant on that scale.

      • Hi Nick! This is in reply to your courteous reply on July 19, 2016 at 5:35 pm. I deeply respect your willingness to read further and question. Yes, 1.21 W/m^2 really is significant relative to a net forcing of 2.29 W/m^2, but it is only 52.8% positive feedback, not the 200% which boosts a climate sensitivity of 1 K to the long-accepted 3 K. So in the past the positive feedback assumed was at least a factor of 4 too high.
        To convert an extra TOA (Top Of the Atmosphere) flux of 1.21 W/m^2 to the equivalent extra surface flux, divide by 0.6786 (which is the transmission factor when 260.12 W/m^2 escapes to outer space when the 288.2 K Earth’s surface at emissivity 0.98 emits 383.34 W/m^2. This gives 1.21/0.6786 = 1.78 W/m^2 which is the extra flux that must be emitted at the surface for energy balance. For the new surface flux of 383.34 + 1.78 = 385.12 W/m^2, we use the Stefan-Boltzmann Law backwards for a surface of emissivity 0.98 to get the new temperature = the 4th root of (385.12/[0.98(5.67 x 10^-8)]) = 288.53 K. Therefore the positive water vapour feedback = 288.53 – 288.2 = +0.33 K, but not 2 K, which is a factor of 6 too high. Your value of total anthropogenic Radiative Forcing of 2.29 W/m^2 at the TOA may be directly converted to a climate sensitivity following the same steps: The TOA forcing plus water vapor feedback of 1.21 W/m^2 is then 2.29 + 1.21 = 3.5 W/m^2. Dividing by the transmission factor of 0.6786 gives 5.16 W/m^2 extra which must be emitted at the surface for energy balance. The total surface flux emitted must be 383.34 + 5.16 = 388.50 W/m^2. This means a new surface temperature of the 4th root of (388.50/[0.98(5.67 x 10^-8)]) = 289.16 K. Therefore climate sensitivity on doubling CO2, other anthropogenic greenhouse gases AND water vapour feedback is 289.16 – 288.2 = 0.96 K, not 3 K. If we add a net negative cloud feedback of around -0.2 K, climate sensitivity on doubling CO2, including water vapour and cloud feedbacks, is around 0.76 K, a factor of 4 smaller than the long-accepted value of 3 K. Because temperature rise varies as the logarithm of the CO2 concentration, the error in predictions of future warming will be even higher. For example, as CO2 increased from 280 ppmv in 1850 to 400 ppmv in 2015, the Earth warmed by 0.8 +/- 0.1 degrees. The mathematical question “What is x, if 2^x = 400/280?” is solved by taking logs of both sides. Then, x.log2 = log(400/280), so x= [log(400/280)]/log2 = 0.515 , on using a basic scientific calculator. You can check this, using the y^x button: 2^0.515 = 1.429 , and 400/280 = 1.429. This means that 0.515 doublings has occurred in that time period, so 0.515(0.76 K) = 0.39 K of the 0.8 K temperature rise can be attributed to anthropogenic gas emissions plus feedbacks. On the other hand, if we use the value of 3 K for climate sensitivity, 0.515(3 K) = 1.55 K warming must have occurred from 1850 to 2015; this is a factor of 2 too high, way outside the error bars of 0.8 +/- 0.1 K, explaining why all the computer calculations modelling global warming have been way too high. It gets worse if we calculate the warming due to anthropogenic gases, as CO2 increases from 400 to 600 ppmv. The number of doublings this corresponds to is [log(600/400)/log2] = 0.585, so our value of 0.76 for climate sensitivity (including water vapour and cloud feedbacks) predicts another 0.585(0.76 K) = 0.44 K. Since the 0.8 +/- 0.1 K temperature rise includes the CO2 increase from 300 to 400 ppmv, if climate sensitivity is 3 K, then the predicted warming as CO2 increases from 400 to 600 ppmv must be at least 3 – 0.8 = 2.2 K. This is 2.2/0.44 = 5 times too high. Since my value of 1.21 W/m^2 is a maximum, assuming no infrared (IR) emission from water vapour from 200 to 600 cm^-1 , but only Beer-Lambert absorption of the flux emitted from a 288.2 K surface, this factor may still be too low. If we use +0.21 K for positive water vapour feedback instead of +0.33 K, and reduce the required surface flux to be decreased by 0.88 W/m^2 due to extra CO2 emission from the stratosphere because of the temperature inversion there (which is equivalent to -0.16 K at the surface) , climate sensitivity (including feedbacks) will be 0.48 K . Then the expected warming due to anthropogenic causes as CO2 increases from 400 to 600 ppmv in the future will be 0.585(0.48 K) = 0.28, a factor of 8 times smaller than the 2.2 K that MUST occur if the long-accepted value of 3 K is correct.

  14. IPCC provides the following central estimates In AR5; WGI:

    Central estimate for current global energy imbalance:
    ( 0,71 W/m^2) / 0.93 = 0,76 W/m^2
    (Ref.: IPCC;AR5;WGI; Section TS.2.3 Changes in Energy Budget and Heat Content )

    Central estimate for water vapour, lapse rate and cloud feedbacks:
    (1,1 W/m^2 °C ) * 0.85 °C = 0,94 W/m^2
    (Ref.: IPCC;AR5;WGI; Section 7.2.6 Feedback Synthesis and B.1 Atmosphere)

    Thus the hypothesized central estimate for water vapour, lapse rate and cloud feedbacks is 0,18 W/m^2 – or 25% higher – than the central estimate for for current global energy imbalance.

    Hence, It can be seen that the central estimates provided by IPCC are inconsistent. The central estimates provided by IPCC cannot be true when central estimates for vapor, lapse rate and cloud feedback = 0,94 (W/m^2) are 0,18 W/m^2 or 25% higher than central estimates for Current global energy imbalance = 0,76 (W/m^2).

    The central estimates provided by IPCC are inconsistent, and hidden for Policy Makers!

    • “Hence, It can be seen that the central estimates provided by IPCC are inconsistent.”
      No, there is no inconsistency. The wv feedback is actually just a component of the overall warming fluxes – radiative forcing is larger. They are part-balanced by the increased OLR produced by warming. The global energy imbalance expresses the shortfall, which is mainly heat going into the oceans. There is no expectation that this will match any part of the warming fluxes – and at equilibrium it will b zero.

      • Pure and simple physics:

        Current global energy imbalance (W/m^2) = Anthropogenic forcing (W/m^2) + Water vapor, lapse rate and cloud feedback (W/m^2) – Planck response (W/m^2) +/- All other things (W/m^2)

      • You are right. I cannot tell that there is an inconsistency from the figures I provided.

        What I can tell however is that the water vapor, lapse rate and cloud feedbacks is a response to surface temperature increase since preindustrial times and that the central estimate for water vapor, lapse rate and cloud feedbacks is of comparable size to the current global energy imbalance. Hence the current warming is highly sensitive to this feedback.

      • The Planck feedback is certainly showing up in the energy imbalance and the missing energy – we are measuring it with the extremely low ocean heat content numbers.

        But Planck feedback is NOT counted in the 3.0C per doubling calculation or theory. Show me where it is incorporated. The IPCC did NOT even include it in the feedback tables until AR5.

        Planck feedback will reduce global warming to 1.0C per doubling and since the missing energy is there one could assume the feedbacks have been calculated wrong because Planck was not there.

        Add up the direct forcing right now and add in what the water vapor/cloud feedbacks should be to date and it is 6.3 W/m2.

        Yet only 0.6 W/m2 is showing up. 5.6 W/m2 is MISSING.

        Is Planck -9.0 W/m2/C (supposed to be -3.2) or are the water vapor/cloud feedbacks exaggerated or is the entire theory exaggerated from square one.

        Take your pick because it is one those explanations.

      • I should have known that since IPCC did neither provide a central estimate for the equilibrium climate sensitivity nor the climate feedback parameter – my claim that their central estimates was inconsistent could not be true:

        “The equilibrium climate sensitivity quantifies the response of the climate system to constant radiative forcing on multi-century time scales. It is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at equilibrium that is caused by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence) Note16.”

        “Note16: No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies.”
        – IPCC;AR5;WGI; D.2 Quantification of Climate System Responses; Page 16

        “TFE.4, Figure 1 | The Earth’s energy budget from 1970 through 2011.
        (b) The cumulative total energy inflow … is balanced by the sum of the energy uptake of the Earth system … and an increase in outgoing radiation inferred from changes in the global mean surface temperature.

        The sum of these two terms is given for a climate feedback parameter of 2.47, 1.23 and 0.82 W m–2 °C–1, corresponding to an equilibrium climate sensitivity of 1.5°C, 3.0°C and 4.5°C, respectively; 1.5°C to 4.5°C is assessed to be the likely range of equilibrium climate sensitivity. The energy budget would be closed for a particular value of if the corresponding line coincided with the total energy inflow.”

        Hence, It seem to me that IPCC got all bets covered.

      • The problem is that increasing the water vapor content in air cools it. To prove it is a positive feedback you need to use a psychrometric chart (or calculator), figure out how much the air cools for a given change in humidity ratio, and then see if the IR absorption is capable of overcoming this effect.

      • Bill Illis,
        “But Planck feedback is NOT counted in the 3.0C per doubling calculation or theory. Show me where it is incorporated.”
        Climate sensitivity is basically the ratio of observed warming to forcing. Feedback is not part of that calculation. And it is the same if you observe with a GCM – you still just apply forcing and estimate the temperature response. The model incorporates radiation laws (effectively Stefan-Boltzmann) so there is Planck feedback, but you don’t need to calculate it directly. It’s just forcing and response. Just as you don’t need to know about feedback when you adjust the volume knob.

      • Nick Stokes, please show me a calculation of the imbalance [W/m^2] from the energy fluxes at Earth’ surface.

      • Frans Franken,
        The usual calculation is that the imbalance is just equal to the rate of heat accumulation in the oceans. There is really nowhere else for the heat to go.

      • Nick “There is really nowhere else for the heat to go.”
        How do you know or measure it is going there?

      • Mr. Stokes states, “The global energy imbalance expresses the shortfall, which is mainly heat going into the oceans.” There is a huge area of disagreement about LWIR heating the oceans. Top physicists say your statement is tantamount to the proverbial tail wagging the dog.

      • “There is a huge area of disagreement about LWIR heating the oceans.”
        I don’t believe so. But anyway, there is no need for LWIR to heat the oceans. Sunlight provides the heat, which then returns to the atmosphere and above. DWLWIR allows the surface to sustain a higher temperature than it otherwise could. A little more sun heat is retained.

      • Anyhow, something seem to be warming the oceans, I got a post, including a spread sheet, showing step for step how the current global energy imbalance can be calculated from the reported ocean warming:
        How to estimate current global energy imbalance from NODC´s ocean temperature record 2005 – 2015

        As mentioned above IPCC cannot possibly miss, as they don´t provide central estimates, but provide a range of values and say that the energy budget would be closed for a particular value of the feedback parameter which closes the energy budget. Their central estimate seems to be whatever might close the energy budget:

        ” TFE.4, Figure 1
        (b) The cumulative total energy inflow from (a, black) is balanced by the sum of the energy uptake of the Earth system (blue; energy absorbed in warming the ocean, the atmosphere and the land, as well as in the melting of ice) and an increase in outgoing radiation inferred from changes in the global mean surface temperature. The sum of these two terms is given for a climate feedback parameter alpha of 2.47, 1.23 and 0.82 W m–2 °C–1, corresponding to an equilibrium climate sensitivity of 1.5°C, 3.0°C and 4.5°C, respectively; 1.5°C to 4.5°C is assessed to be the likely range of equilibrium climate sensitivity. The energy budget would be closed for a particular value of the feedback parameter if the corresponding line coincided with the total energy inflow.”

        Luckily we got the climate model predictions which formed part of the basis for their assessment – and the model results does not fit observations very well as discussed here: Controversy over comparing models with observations

        What I would have liked to see was that the ocean warming (observed energy accumulation) and surface temperatures was unknown to the modelers. I would have liked to see what happens with their models when they don´t know the answer upfront.

      • Nick Stokes:
        “The usual calculation is that the imbalance is just equal to the rate of heat accumulation in the oceans. There is really nowhere else for the heat to go.”

        So the surface flux imbalance, if any, is held fully accountable for alleged ocean heating?
        How about undersea volcanic activity, can that heat really go anywhere else but in the oceans?

      • SoF
        “Luckily we got the climate model predictions which formed part of the basis for their assessment”
        What you are describing is not based on predictions, GCM or otherwise. Look at the dates on the axis. It is an empirical energy budget based on observations. And so of course they should require it to be consistent with observed ocean heat content.

      • FF,
        “How about undersea volcanic activity, can that heat really go anywhere else but in the oceans?”
        Yes, the Earth is slowly emitting heat from its interior, which creates a small discrepancy term. It has been doing it for billions of years, and there is no reason to expect that it is currently changing.

  15. So the IPCC start with weasel-word definitions which are absurd to any ordinary person and use these to bolster its case.

    Would any normal person think that tossing a coin – with a 50-50 chance of it landing heads or tails – would properly be described as ‘medium confidence’ it would land head up ?

    Of course ‘medium confidence’ should mean mid point or a 50% chance – so it is not inherently wrong but what is, to my mind, deliberately misleading is the use of the word ‘Confidence’. That implies you are confident of something but have some doubts – and is a deliberate and calcuated use of weasel words.

    The IPCC could as, or even more, easily used the phrase “50% chance”, and which any reader can immediately understand, but instead chose to state ‘medium confidence’ which has a very different connotation to most people.

    But of course 50% chance or 50 – 50 means that you simply don’t know, have no certainty and can’t tell or predict…..

    Presumably the IPCC decided not to use that shorter and more accurate phrase because it would not have created the impression they sought.

    • Old England July 17, 2016 at 1:49 am
      The IPCC could as, or even more, easily used the phrase “50% chance”, … but instead chose to state ‘medium confidence’

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

      That was great (-:

    • “But of course 50% chance or 50 – 50 means that you simply don’t know”
      No, it doesn’t. If you say horse A has a 50% chance of winning, it doesn’t mean you don’t know. It means you think A is the favourite. If the Met says there is a 50% chance of rain, it means (here at least) that there is a much above average chance of rain today. They don’t say it every day.

      • Nick, saying that I had medium confidence that the horse was going to lose would not convey the same message as saying that I had medium confidence that the horse was going to win.

      • Trouble is, Nick.. Your horse has bolted..

        Never really made it to the starting gate.

        And yet, you are still betting on it..

        DOH !!!

      • It depends on the number of horses. In the IPCC’s case, there are two — one horse is called “True,” and the other one is “False.” Estimating a chance of 50% for either horse is the very minimum of “confidence.”

      • @ Nick Stokes:-
        Only a fool, or a player with weasel words, would suggest that to ‘think’ is the same as to ‘know’. If you give something a 50% chance it is because you DON’T KNOW – if you knew then it couldn’t be a 50% chance – could it.

      • Reply to: Nick Stokes July 17, 2016 at 2:45 am

        That is the fundamental problem with probability, nature it seems, has conspired to hide the future. When I was taught it, we learned that “experimental probability” is all we actually have. In science lab we ran the simple 50:50 experiments, actually flipping a coin and counting the results. And of course as you probably know, the result only ever approaches the theoretical prediction, if you do it many, many times! To be clear the more you do the experiment the closer it approaches 50:50; hence the name “Experimental Probability”.

        “Experimental” and “theory” have been dropped and now there is only probability in common parlance. However, long strings of heads or tails in a row happen and are not miraculous and do not disrupt reality or the theory. And that is the problem with even very simple observation like this. We have forgotten the philosophical underpinnings of science. We have forgotten how to really think. If we can get such a simple thing as the difference between Experimental Probability and the – probabilities of reality – wrong; what hope is there for more complex problems?

      • If you say horse A has a 50% chance of winning, it doesn’t mean you don’t know. It means you think A is the favourite.

        You obviously haven’t spent much time at a Sports Book desk betting on the horses. Under no circumstances does saying that horse A has a 50% chance of winning mean that you think A is the favorite. It means what it says: horse A has a 50-50 chance. The odds are 1 to 1, or “even money” either way, win or lose (payout odds). ‘True odds’ are the actual chances of winning, using past horse and track info, but you still won’t know for certain until the race is run. You’re guessing based on your best estimate using variables and formulas that have worked for you in the past, just as the odds-setting professionals do right up to the time of the race.

        Horses B, C, D, E, and F will have different odds. You might think horse B has a 90% chance of winning. No reflection on what you think about horse A’s chances. You might bet on a 15 to 1 longshot because you have a hunch, or you know something about the condition of the track and a particular horse’s ability to handle it under adverse conditions without injury.

        The odds, whether true or payout, are estimates using known variables gleaned from the past, not the future. What you think about the horsie’s chances are immaterial to the outcome. It’s up to the horse and its rider.

        Old England is right. Thinking ain’t the same as knowing.

      • And let me add that the proper error bars are not the negligent (+/-)0.2 C of GISS/UKmet/UEA. They’re the (+/-)0.5 C (minimum) of systematic sensor measurement error.

        At the 95% confidence interval, your graph, Nick, is physically meaningless, error bars or not.

        The standard format way you’ve presented it is a monument to the incompetence that perfuses the field.

      • “In the IPCC’s case, there are two — one horse is called “True,” and the other one is “False.””
        Will horse A win? 50% true, 50% false. Will it rain today (rainy day forecast)? Same. The reason why saying a coin has 50% chance of heads is uninformative is that you have an a priori theory that that should be so. For these other events you don’t, so saying the probability is 50% gives you information.

      • You brought up the racehorse analogy. With only two horses, a 50% winning chance obviously doesn’t make either horse a favourite. Also, there is of course no theory that says that all horses should be equal; two horses are not two sides of a coin. A best guess of 50% simply means that, though it is likely that one horse is superior, we just don’t know which one. No information.

        But this discussion is irrelevant anyway, because the 50% figure has obviously been extracted from someone’s posterior. The only “information” it conveys is that the IPCC people are ready to make it up as they go along.

      • Nick Stokes: I would have more confidence in your graph if the numbers for the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s were the same now as they were twenty years ago. I understand the desire in climatology to adjust historical records, but that does not mean that any adjustments are accurate. According to currently adjusted records, the greatest retreat in glaciers happened at the lowest point in the temperatures in the last 100 years. The below-normal temperatures for the Great Lakes in recent years have been adjusted to near normal — despite record ice on the Great Lakes. . . . . And the list goes on. I have no problem believing that the GMT has risen since the LIA, but your graph is not convincing because of adjustments.

      • if the numbers for the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s were the same now as they were twenty years ago”
        “your graph is not convincing because of adjustments”
        You seem to have missed the point there. GHCN unadjusted, which I use, does have the same numbers as they were 20 years ago. In fact, GHCN v1 was issued on CD. And whether you use adjusted or unadjusted makes very little difference.

      • Nick, comment to your graph.

        How was the temperature measured on Artactica up to 1920?
        How was the average temperature arrived at over oceans?
        How many thermometers used to be in Africa in the same time period?

        Please advise.

      • “How many thermometers…”
        For land, the full story is here. You get the earth average temperature by sampling. You can’t sample every point. That doesn’t mean you know nothing.

      • How much do you know when the measurement uncertainty is larger than the quantity of interest, Nick?

        We both know that’s the case with the surface air temperature record. You’re apparently unable to admit it. Why’s that, Nick?

        And nice job avoiding any meaningful reply.

    • Thanks old England, but we must remember the agenda is to redistribute wealth not proper science. So in their mind misleading the “folks” justifies the means.l

      • @ catcracking – I think the agenda goes far beyond wealth re-distribution – it is towards the unelected and unaccountable global government that the UN has long sought. (At least in Britain a majority has now woken up and spoken about the unelected and unaccountable EU – which I have long believed has been a ‘dry run’ for achieving its counterpart global government. EU president Jean Claude Juncker is firmly convinced, and has stated publicly many times, that the truth of their ambition for the EU must be protected by lies. He seems to believe that being prepared to lie in that way is a ‘virtue’ as opposed to being anti-democratic and dishonest.)

        In my view the idea of ‘wealth re-distribution’ is simply the bait to bring the undeveloped and frequently less, or even un-, democratic countries into the fold of a global government to control their lives. Using a combination of fear of, and guilt trip for, ‘global warming’ has, in my view, been designed to be the driver to create acceptance of an unelected and anti-democratic global government.

    • The absurd subjective confidence terminology was invented by IPCC. In my opinion IPCC messed up on both qualitative and quantitative measures of uncertainty. What´s even worse is that the reviewer of IPCC, InterAcademy Council (IAC), endorsed and recommended use of this subjective terminology. I have (at least) two post at my site about IPCC´s expression of uncertainty:
      IPCC was misled by the InterAcademy Council (IAC) on “Qualitative expression of confidence”!
      Both IPCC and it´s reviewer, InterAcademy Council, messed up on “Quantified measures of uncertainty”!

    • Unadjusted GHCN is already badly contaminated. It is simply not a sound basis for establishing global trends to the accuracy of fractions of centigrades.

      The endless exegesis of bad, old climate data somehow reminds me of the endless quibble over the true meaning of everybody’s favourite holy book. The theologians and mathematicians involved seem to have the same kind of mindset; some miracle filter can sift the grain from the chaff, or even turn lead into gold. This is naive and futile.

  16. Thank you Tim for another worthwhile essay.

    We have known since about 1985 that global warming alarmism was scientifically wrong – a false crisis.

    We have known with greater certainty since about 2002 that it was a deliberate fraud.

    Regards to all, Allan

    WHAT WE KNEW AND WHEN WE WROTE IT:

    2002 DEBATE ON THE KYOTO ACCORD

    Here is our predictive track record, from an article that Dr. Sallie Baliunas, Dr. Tim Patterson and I published in 2002 in our debate with the Pembina Institute on the now-defunct Kyoto Accord.
    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/KyotoAPEGA2002REV1.pdf

    Our eight-point Rebuttal includes predictions that have all materialized in those countries in Western Europe that have adopted the full measure of global warming mania. My country, Canada, was foolish enough to sign the Kyoto Protocol, but then was wise enough to ignore it.
    [Our 2002 article is in “quotation marks”, followed by current commentary.]

    1. “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
    NO net global warming has occurred for more than 18 years despite increasing atmospheric CO2.

    2. “Kyoto focuses primarily on reducing CO2, a relatively harmless gas, and does nothing to control real air pollution like NOx, SOx, and particulates, or serious pollutants in water and soil.”
    Note the extreme pollution of air, water and soil that still occurs in China and the Former Soviet Union.

    3. “Kyoto wastes enormous resources that are urgently needed to solve real environmental and social problems that exist today. For example, the money spent on Kyoto in one year would provide clean drinking water and sanitation for all the people of the developing world in perpetuity.”
    Since the start of global warming mania, about 50 million children below the age of five have died from contaminated water, and trillions of dollars have been squandered on global warming nonsense.

    4. “Kyoto will destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs and damage the Canadian economy – the U.S., Canada’s biggest trading partner, will not ratify Kyoto, and developing countries are exempt.”
    Canada signed Kyoto but then most provinces wisely ignored it – the exception being now-depressed Ontario, where government adopted ineffective “green energy” schemes, drove up energy costs, and drove out manufacturing jobs.

    5. “Kyoto will actually hurt the global environment – it will cause energy-intensive industries to move to exempted developing countries that do not control even the worst forms of pollution.”
    Note the huge manufacturing growth and extremely polluted air in industrial regions of China.

    6. “Kyoto’s CO2 credit trading scheme punishes the most energy efficient countries and rewards the most wasteful. Due to the strange rules of Kyoto, Canada will pay the Former Soviet Union billions of dollars per year for CO2 credits.”
    Our government did not pay the FSU, but other governments did, bribing them to sign Kyoto.

    7. “Kyoto will be ineffective – even assuming the overstated pro-Kyoto science is correct, Kyoto will reduce projected warming insignificantly, and it would take as many as 40 such treaties to stop alleged global warming.”
    If one believed the false climate models, one would conclude that we must cease using fossil fuels.

    8. “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”
    Governments that adopted “green energy” schemes such as wind and solar power are finding these schemes are not green and produce little useful energy. Their energy costs are soaring and many of these governments are in retreat, dropping their green energy subsidies as fast as they politically can.

    IN SUMMARY:
    All the above predictions that we made in 2002 have proven correct in those states that fully adopted the Kyoto Accord, whereas none of the global warming alarmists’ scary warming projections have materialized.

    ***********************************************************

    CARBON DIOXIDE IS NOT THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING:
    THE FUTURE CAN NOT CAUSE THE PAST

    I stated in my January 2008 paper:
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

    The rate of change of atmospheric CO2 (dCO2/dt) correlates closely and ~contemporaneously with global temperature, and its integral atmospheric CO2 lags temperature by about nine months in the modern data record. CO2 also lags temperature by ~~800 years in the ice core record, on a longer time scale. Therefore, CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.

    Consider the implications of this evidence:
    CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales, so the global warming (CAGW) hypothesis suggests that the future is causing the past. :-)

    See Figures 1 to 4 in my 2008 icecap paper or this plot:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/mean:12/derivative/plot/uah/from:1959/scale:0.22/offset:0.14

    Warmists want to ignore this compelling evidence, or wave it off with the following specious claims:
    “We KNOW that CO2 primarily drives temperature (that is a fundamental tenet of warmist religion), therefore:
    1) The observed lag of CO2 after temperature must be a feedback effect; and/or
    2) “There must be a time machine somewhere that causes this lag.”

    Sorry folks, but I do not like your logic – although I do enjoy your time machine fantasy. :-)

    ***********************************************************

    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

    Cold weather kills. Throughout history and in modern times, many more people succumb to cold exposure than to hot weather, as evidenced in a wide range of cold and warm climates.

    Evidence is provided from a study of 74 million deaths in thirteen cold and warm countries including Thailand and Brazil, and studies of the United Kingdom, Europe, the USA, Australia and Canada.

    Contrary to popular belief, Earth is colder-than-optimum for human survival. A warmer world, such as was experienced during the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period, is expected to lower winter deaths and a colder world like the Little Ice Age will increase winter mortality, absent adaptive measures.

    These conclusions have been known for many decades, based on national mortality statistics.

    ***********************************************************

    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/

    Observations and Conclusions:

    1. Temperature, among other factors, drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. The rate of change dCO2/dt is closely correlated with temperature and thus atmospheric CO2 LAGS temperature by ~9 months in the modern data record

    2. CO2 also lags temperature by ~~800 years in the ice core record, on a longer time scale.

    3. Atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.

    4. CO2 is the feedstock for carbon-based life on Earth, and Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are clearly CO2-deficient. CO2 abatement and sequestration schemes are nonsense.

    5. Based on the evidence, Earth’s climate is insensitive to increased atmospheric CO2 – there is no global warming crisis.

    6. Recent global warming was natural and irregularly cyclical – the next climate phase following the ~20 year pause will probably be global cooling, starting by ~2020 or sooner.

    7. Adaptation is clearly the best approach to deal with the moderate global warming and cooling experienced in recent centuries.

    8. Cool and cold weather kills many more people than warm or hot weather, even in warm climates. There are about 100,000 Excess Winter Deaths every year in the USA and about 10,000 in Canada.

    9. Green energy schemes have needlessly driven up energy costs, reduced electrical grid reliability and contributed to increased winter mortality, which especially targets the elderly and the poor.

    10. Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the lifeblood of modern society. When politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer and die. That is the tragic legacy of false global warming alarmism.

    Allan MacRae, Calgary

    • I want to thank Allan for his extensive comments.

      They are just as useful as the article.

      You two Canadians are adding a lot of knowledge to refute the ‘CO2 is evil’ fantasy.

      If you can get rid of that fool Trudeau, you’d have a good country
      … at least in the summer.

      • Thank you Richard for you kind worlds.

        Canadian winters are long and brutal. I was hoping global warming would solve this problem, but no chance. :-)

        I (we) predicted global cooling would start by 2020-2030, in an article published in the Calgary Herald on 1Sept2002. That prediction is still looking good, although cooling may actually start sooner, by about 2017. This is my last remaining prediction that has not yet materialized, and I really would like to be wrong about it.

        I’m getting old and hate the cold.

        Best personal regards, Allan

        P.S. Young Trudeau is very inexperienced, and like his father may do more harm than good to Canada – we will see. However, compared to Dalton McGuinty and now Kathleen Wynn in Ontario, and Rachel Notley in Alberta, Trudeau looks like a moderate. Dalton, Kathleen and Rachel are from the loony far-left, and their extremist energy policies will cause an increase in Excess Winter Mortality, which especially targets the elderly and the poor. Look at the Excess Winter Mortality Rates in the UK, which are far higher than those of Canada or the USA. I suppose it makes economic sense for governments to preferentially kill off the elderly and the poor, but I suggest there are better ways to save money. Just my 3 cents worth…

  17. SHORT-TERM, NINO3.4 SST LEADS GLOBAL TEMPERATURE BY ~4 MONTHS

    The Nino3.4 area Sea Surface Temperature (SST) appears to be a good leading proxy for global temperature, as evidenced by this plot.

    Nino3.4SST leads UAHLT (Global Lower Tropospheric temperature, as measured by UAH) by about 4 months.

    The cooling impact of the two major volcanoes is apparent for about five years after the eruptions of El Chichon in 1982 and Mt. Pinatubo 1991:

    Replotting for the period after the influence of these two major volcanoes had abated:

    My formula is: UAHLT Calc. = 0.20*Nino3.4SST +0.15
    where
    Nino3.4 is the temperature anomaly in degrees C of the SST in the Nino3.4 area, as measured by NOAA in month m. Nino3.4 comprises about 1% of the Earth’s surface area.
    UAHLT is the Lower Tropospheric temperature anomaly of Earth in degrees C as measured by UAH in month (m plus 4);
    Note that in both plots UAHLTCalc (a function of Nino3.4 SST) has been moved forward 4 months in time to show alignment – in reality it leads actual UAHLT by about 4 months.
    The R2 for the two plots after 1Jan1996 is 0.55.

    Note how well the two plots track each other in detail – according to the global warming alarmists, this must be mere coincidence or spurious correlation – they all KNOW that CO2 primarily drives temperature. :-)

    A similar relationship has been published before:
    Nature, Vol.367, p.325, 27Jan1994, byJohn Christy and Richard McNider.
    They used the total Nino3+Nino4 area and found a lag of 5 months vs. my 4 months.
    John sent me the paper and wrote:
    “The tropical Pacific is very much a player in global temps. Attached is a paper we did in 1994 that used this fact.” An updated paper is in the works…

    Regards, Allan

    • You stated “The R2 for the two plots after 1Jan1996 is 0.55.”
      This value is impossible from the plots you are showing.

      • @ Allen:
        Very nice. I grabbed a copy of the NOAA NINO 3.4 data set so I can take a closer look. Your eqn. for UAHLT Calc. looks to be simple and effective. Should be a fun little plot up.

    • Summary:

      The Nino3.4 Index leads Lower Tropospheric (LT) temperature (and atmospheric water vapour) by ~4 months (see proof below).
      In 2008 I proved that LT temperature leads atmospheric CO2 by ~9 months,
      http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf
      So the Nino3.4 Index leads atmospheric CO2 by ~13 months in the modern data record..

      Atmospheric CO2 lags global average temperature at all measured time scales, from ~9 months after UAHLT in the modern data record to ~800 years in the ice core record, on a longer time scale. CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales, so the global warming (CAGW) hypothesis suggests that the future is causing the past.

      Many people just want to ignore this compelling evidence, or wave it off with the following specious claims:
      We KNOW that CO2 primarily drives temperature (that is a fundamental tenet of warmist religion), therefore:
      1) “The observed lag of CO2 after temperature must be a feedback effect”; and/or
      2) “There must be a time machine somewhere that causes this lag.”

      Sorry folks, but I do not like your logic. I am reasonably confident that “the future cannot cause the past” (at least in this space/time dimension). :-)

      Regards to all, Allan

      __________________

      This is interesting: Others have published on it, notably John Christy in 1994 and Bob Tisdale circa 2009-2010.

      Nino3.4 Index leads UAHLT (Lower Troposphere) global temperature (and +/-20degreesN-S Precipitable Water – see second plot) by ~four months.
      The Nino3.4 area, which is about 1% of the global surface area, apparently drives (or at least predicts) global temperature.
      The relationship changed due to major volcanoes in 1982 and 1991, where up to 0.7C of global cooling occurred and then abated.
      In the first plot, UAHLT is lagged by 4 months (after UAHLTcalc. from Nino3.4 Index) to show the strong correlation.

      From 1996 onwards after the effect of the volcanoes had abated, R2 = 0.55 between UAHLTactual and UAHLTcalc. from Nino3.4 Index
      and R2 = 0.46 between UAHLTactual and Scaled Precipitable Water (+/-20 degrees N, 0-360 degrees W).

  18. Wonder if any sporty members of the IPCC or students of climate change have noticed the affects of “global warming” on British summer golfing attire during this year’s British Open? Like double hats and beanies, body lycra, ski fleeces, arm covers, rashies and all sorts of fashionable gear to keep the players warm and dry.

    Yesterday Phil Mickelson looked as though he was about to undertake a trek to the South Pole.

  19. Energy is neither created nor destroyed and temperature is not a measurement of energy. Yet, everyone insists on using it to measure the energy content of the atmosphere.
    How does el Nino raise the planets temperature? Moving energy from one place to another by itself does not work. Gas law states everything else being equal temp don’t change. Adding or subtracting water vapor would. But all this is based off of wind patterns. So maybe it is not climate but weather. Temp changes based on the way the wet wind blows.

  20. I do not understand much of the argument – my physics does not stretch that far.
    I do understand when Nick Stokes has lost the argument. He posts a chart with no attribution. {Nick Stokes July 17, 2016 at 4:26 am}

      • And, it doesn’t have any error bars which would surely show that the increase in temperature since 1880 is within the standard error. And, far more importantly, it doesn’t show just EXACTLY what temperatures were doing BEFORE 1880. Claiming a human effect on surface temperatures is non-rigorous. It continues to surprise me that such an august figure as yourself would ruin your formerly excellent reputation by associating yourself with such chicanery.

        You must need the money…

  21. I suspect it might be short sighted to speak of the variation of the total amount of water vapor in the atmosphere while ignoring the distribution of water vapor from one location to another which, due to the logarithmic nature of any GHG’s affect on the GHE, makes me think such introduces a much larger difference with no change in the total WV at all.

    Consider a clear air grid with two squares, #1 & #2, at high noon at the equator. For scenario “A” we’ll say that both have the same WV concentration at say 3%. For scenario “B” move WV from one square to the other so that #1 is now at only 1/2% WV and #2 is increased to whatever higher concentration that would calculate out to be.

    From my novice view, the overall GHE of #1 + #2 can only decrease as the differential of WV between them goes up for a given fixed net amount of WV. So wouldn’t it be fair to say that, for a given amount of WV in a cloudless condition, that increasing the concentration of WV in any one place to be greater than the average will tend to LOWER the overall GHE?

    If so, in addition to the latent heat transfer effects already mentioned and given that storminess is in part the result of the difference of WV between two air masses, couldn’t it be claimed that a reduction of stormy weather contributes to global warming?

    • for a given amount of WV in a cloudless condition, that increasing the concentration of WV in any one place to be greater than the average will tend to LOWER the overall GHE?

      TOMM, ….. Mother Nature really doesn’t care one twit about your specified or defined WV “average(s)”.

      The ppm quantity of atmospheric H20 vapor is constantly changing.

      • Samuel C Cogar, “Mother Nature really doesn’t care one twit..”
        Exactly right and I didn’t remotely suggest that she did. The whole point of my comment was to illustrate how an increase of the variability lowers the GHE. Given that WV distribution is changing chaotically moment to moment makes the idea of long term “modeled” predictions appear ludicrous.

  22. Simply play around with Modtran. Make adjustments so you are looking down from 0.1km, make water vapor 0 and CO2 200. Then change CO2 to 400. You will see a small amount of heat being trapped. Then add a small amount of water vapor and you will see that the impact of doubling CO2 in a atmosphere that contains water vapor is 0.00 W/M^2, absolutely no change. CO2 is irrelevant to temperature when water vapor is present. The first CO2 signature appears at 3km, where most water vapor has condensed out.

    • Make adjustments so you are looking down from 0.1km […] CO2 is irrelevant to temperature when water vapor is present.

      If you set it so you’re looking down from 70 km, you get a better picture of what doubling the atmospheric CO2 does to the energy balance.

      The total greenhouse effect is much greater than the greenhouse effect only in the bottom 100 metres of the atmosphere.

      From that height, with unscaled (1) water vapour, you get about 3.2 W/m^2 difference for the doubling of CO2 from 200 to 400 ppm.

      • Problem is CAGW theory says the surface temps will rise if they don’t rise, theory broken. And Mankind will be fine. Deep ocean or stratosphere change w/out change to surface temp won’t effect my harvest. So no catastrophic.

      • Problem is CAGW theory says the surface temps will rise if they don’t rise, theory broken.

        Yes the surface temperature will rise, which will increase the upwards IR radiation.

        When the upwards equals the downwards energy at the top of the atmosphere, the temperature will stop rising.

        Deep ocean or stratosphere change w/out change to surface temp won’t effect my harvest.

        MODTRAN isn’t a climate model because it doesn’t calculate how the temperature will change, or how anything will change … there’s no time step.

        What it does is let you know what the effect on light is of a given atmospheric makeup.

        But an energy imbalance will certainly result in a temperature change at the surface.

        Having said that, if your harvest is on land near the ocean, deep ocean warming will affect it when you get a storm swell on top of a very high tide.

  23. “Figure 4; Illustrates the sensitivity of water vapor to temperature with clouds forming from evapotranspiration and condensation over forests, but not over relatively cooler rivers.”

    Yes, and the rivers are darker than the forest, or rather they appear darker. This information has been freely available for many decades from any Gliding Club.

  24. Does IPCC Practice Willful Blindness of Water Vapor to Prove a Scientific Point for a Political Agenda?

    Probably not. The IPCC are only a dozen people. They’re not really equipped or funded to have a political agenda.

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) definition of climate change was drafted so the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) could direct the focus to CO2.

    Really? Let’s have a look at it:
    “Climate change” means a change of climate which is
    attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that
    alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which
    is in addition to natural climate variability observed
    over comparable time periods.
    source

    This definition would cover any greenhouse gas, and any anti-greenhouse gas. It wouldn’t cover albedo changes from land use change, but it certainly covers water vapour.

    It was equally important to prevent disclosure that natural variation in water vapor (WV) far exceeds the effect of CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

    This is a difficult claim to understand.

    On the face of it, averaged over the planet and a relevant time scale – perhaps the couple or few decades it takes for half of the temperature change due to a change in radiative forcing to have taken effect, this is simply wrong.

    It would be possible to define an area small enough and a time period short enough for it to be made true for any understanding of the ambiguities, but this would be irrelevant to global climate change.

    Perhaps instead, the meaning of “natural variation in water vapour” meas the mean tropical absolute humidity to the mean polar absolute humidity, but that would irrelevant to global climate change.

    The ambiguities are large: “The effect of CO2 as a greenhouse gas” could mean either about 10% of the earth’s total greenhouse effect, or about 25% of the earth’s total greenhouse effect depending on whether you define “the effect of CO2 as a greenhouse gas” as including or excluding the overlap with other greenhouse gasses. (Not least, water vapour).

    • Seth comments,

      *Does IPCC Practice Willful Blindness of Water Vapor to Prove a Scientific Point for a Political Agenda?*

      “Probably not. The IPCC are only a dozen people. They’re not really equipped or funded to have a political agenda.”

      I can have a political agenda all by myself with no funding at all . . as can anyone . . What in the world are you trying to say with that comment? It looks to me like hard-core manipulative tomfoolery, designed to make the reader simply dismiss the (to me utterly obvious and plausible) possibility that the “only a dozen people” component of the IPCC has a political agenda . .

      And I ask readers to consider; What kind of person would actively dissuade others from being wary about potential corruption in human affairs?

      • I can have a political agenda all by myself with no funding at all

        But you’re not herding scientists into writing what is known about climate change for the layman.

        That’s complicated enough, without imposing some kind of political agenda on top of it. To do that you’d need to carefully filter the scientists involved. The IPCC don’t have the funding for that.

      • And I ask readers to consider; What kind of person would actively dissuade others from being wary about potential corruption in human affairs?

        It’s absolutely critical to be wary of the economic and political influences on any group or person speaking out on scientific issues that affect policy.

        Dr Tim Ball, for instance, has claimed that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas.

        An unusual position for anyone with a passing understanding of optics and the energy spectral density of the sun and the earth.

        I am wary of why and, like your good self, would encourage others to me.

      • Seth writes;

        *I can have a political agenda all by myself with no funding at all*

        “But you’re not herding scientists into writing what is known about climate change for the layman.”

        Did you forget they all supposedly believe the world is in grave peril? . . maybe when you wrote that comment about the level of funding?

        “To do that you’d need to carefully filter the scientists involved.”

        Nope, in fact many who did write about what THEY know of “climate change” later quit in disgust at what ended up in the “Summary for Policy Makers”. But I’m sure you know that and are just doing some propaganda here “for the layman”.

        “It’s absolutely critical to be wary of the economic and political influences on any group or person speaking out on scientific issues that affect policy.”

        That’s my point, slick, and it don’t take a rocket scientist ; ) to figure out that if the threat of catastrophic global warming were to fade into obscurity, a whole lot of “climate scientists” would go from well funded expert status, to just another out of work weather forecaster status, in a world teeming with surplus weather forecasters, right?

      • Did you forget they all supposedly believe the world is in grave peril?

        They are certainly looking at the impacts of climate change, and that some tipping points, such as the loss of the northern summer sea ice might will be high cost and high casualty.

        Nope, in fact many who did write about what THEY know of “climate change” later quit in disgust at what ended up in the “Summary for Policy Makers”.

        For the AR5 there were 831 lead authors from the scientific volunteers. How many is this “many” later quit in disgust. I only know of one. Do you know of another?

        In either case, you’re using this word “many” unusually.

        But I’m sure you know that and are just doing some propaganda here “for the layman”.

        If you want to conclude that this is propaganda without having to look further at it, I think that “most” would be a good definition of “many” to use.

        Perhaps you could name a few hundred of these lead authors that quit, as you are suggesting?

        Or perhaps we should instead look at whether it’s propaganda, or the suggestion that it is propaganda is propaganda. That claim seems on much shakier ground to me. Do you have any evidence of that, barring your claims of scientist quitting in droves that doesn’t gel with my recollection.

        That’s my point, slick, and it don’t take a rocket scientist ; ) to figure out that if the threat of catastrophic global warming were to fade into obscurity, a whole lot of “climate scientists” would go from well funded expert status, to just another out of work weather forecaster status, in a world teeming with surplus weather forecasters, right?

        The lead authors of the IPCC reports would generally be on tenure or relatively safe ground on the basis of their career progression to date. The third world guys probably less so. But overall they’re a reasonably elite bunch.

        Perhaps you need a rocket scientist.

      • “The lead authors of the IPCC reports would generally be on tenure or relatively safe ground on the basis of their career progression to date.”

        Their “career progressions” would take a major nosedive if catastrophic global warming takes a nosedive, obviously . . and whom exactly would they be teaching “climate science” to if the field became one with essentially no career opportunities in sight?

        Now, rocket scientist might be a good alternative . .

  25. Regarding the Figure 4 image of clear sky over the rivers, when you get partial cloud cover around water, it is my belief that the clouds over water can “burn off” due to the double whammy of being hit with sunlight from above and reflected sunlight from below. I have no idea how you can model this. Here is another nice example on Lake Michigan from just yesterday, cloudy over land but over water all the clouds were burned off.

    • That makes sense but also there there should be signs of evaporation such as clouds, however the water vapor off the rivers may get pulled into the updrafts of the surrounding forest. Either way trees and water will always be cooler than bare dry ground. The hottest temperatures ever recorded have always been in desert areas and not where there is forest and water.

    • You wouldn’t model it because it is wrong.

      The reason there are no convective clouds over the lakes and rivers is because they are cooler than the forest land area. To get convection you need the surface to warm to a higher temperature than the air above it so it is more buoyant. In the above picture, I look at it with my Met experience and see small scale convective cloud over forests which implies the convective surface temperature has only just been reached, whilst water covered areas have not yet reached this temp yet.

      The above picture is solar heating driven convection, but in early to mid winter the Great Lakes put on a great example of water area convection where cold arctic air travels across a still relatively warm lake surface producing “Lake Effect” convective snow.

      • This makes sense, the air is sinking over the great lakes so no clouds. Why are little puny inland lakes cloudless, those lakes should be quite warm.

      • There are “land breezes” and there are ”sea breezes”. And somewhere is the “driving” source of those breezes which is a “downdraft” of cool/cold air descending from either a higher altitude or a higher latitude. “Nature abhors a vacuum”, …. Ya know.

  26. In think the argument is that the global average WV would be constant over time, unless something such as global average temperature changes that would affect the total WV. This is one of the “feedbacks” that purportedly leads to non-linear global temperature increase. The problem with this simple visualization is that WV is not homogeneous at any scale, and large regional variations create large changes in energy transport to and from the average global system.

    It is folly to use a global average of any metric when chaotic processes at every smaller scale modulate the energy flux of the system. Perhaps the current approach would allow us to understand a system homogeneous at every scale. I say “perhaps” because most people don’t appreciate what certainty we’ve already surrendered by considering non-adiabatic conditions. Further adding inhomogeneous, chaotic conditions puts the climate change problem well outside our present understanding.

      • Precisely. A gridded Monte Carlo approach can at best provide only a “what if” result based on the inhomogeneity assumed for the smallest grid element. That grid currently is far too coarse. Additionally, the ansatz are practically unlimited, so must be the results.

  27. While total WV content may be beyond human influence we can and do affect local WV of the atmosphere by how we use and manage the water in and on the land. The most striking example is the Aral Sea which has been turned into an ecological disaster. However, with assistance from the World Bank the Kazakh Government has worked to protect the northern part of the Aral and this appears to have worked.

    “Even the climate is changing for the better. It’s true. In April, May and June we now have rain,” exclaims Nazhmedin Musabaev, Aralsk’s jovial Mayor. “There is more grass for livestock. Summers are a little cooler.”

    From this it is easy to see how local climate is affected by the moisture content of the ground and this in turn affects the moisture content on the local atmosphere and subsequently the temperature. This is not new knowledge.

  28. Water Vapor appears to be controlled by the ENSO.

    The IPCC / global warming theory relies on the Classius Clapeyron relation to calculate the water vapor feedbacks. Water vapor should increase by 7.0% / 1,0C increase in temperatures or the equivalent of +2.0 W/m2/ 1.0C increase in the forcing language of climate scientists.

    But so far, water vapor is only increasing at 2.4% / 1.0C using Hadcrut4 and NCEP Reanalysis water vapor and only 4.1% / 1.0C using the average of RSS/UAH/HadAt.

    So MORE than half of the water vapor feedback is MISSING to date.

    Or if one wants to see the really big picture and what the theory believes about water vapor (ie CO2 essentially controls 90% of water vapor levels through the feedback impact). No CO2, no water vapor in the atmosphere (or at least only about 10% of what there is today).

    The main reason water vapor is not acting according to the theory appears to be that the ENSO completely dominates water vapor levels. Classius Clapeyron is correct on a local level or in a weather model or something, but on a global or tropical mean level, the ENSO overwhelms the CC relation. There is NO long-term trend in the ENSO so water vapor levels will NEVER increase at the rates assumed in the theory). Classius Clapeyron is WRONG because it is missing the most important weather phenomenon on the planet, the ENSO.

    They will have to recognize this someday.

    • Thank you Bill for this post. You wrote:
      “ENSO completely dominates water vapor levels…
      Water vapour levels lag behind ENSO by 3 months…”

      You have (I believe) plotted Nino3.4 Index and Tropical and Global Water Vapour wrt time.

      Can you please provide references to your data for Nino3.4 Index and Water Vapour so I can duplicate your findings?

      Please see my post above at
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/16/does-ipcc-practice-willful-blindness-of-water-vapor-to-prove-a-scientific-point-for-a-political-agenda/comment-page-1/#comment-2259595

      I show that UAHLT (Lower Tropospheric) temperature lags Nino3.4 SST (Sea Surface Temperature) by 4 months.

      I assume (some risk here) that the Nino3.4 Index is dominated by the Nino3.4 SST – but this may not be correct.

      Hypothesis:
      Nino3.4 SST (or Nino3.4.Index) -> drives Tropical and Global Atmospheric Water Vapour (about 3 months later) -> drives Global LT Temperature (about 1 more month later).

      Do you agree, more or less? Can you improve the above hypo?

      Regards, Allan

      • One can get the NCEP Precipitable Water vapor data here.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

        Nino 3.4 here (most accurate for 1982 on)

        http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/sstoi.indices

        And farther back in time (to 1856) one can get the Nino indices here.

        http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectindex.cgi?id=someone@somewhere

        The lag of water vapor and temperature is 3 months. I have been analyzing this for almost a decade now and the lag is 3 months (sometimes it is only 2 months and sometimes 4 months and maybe the tropics lag is more properly at 2.5 months but 3 is the best number to use. And Nino 3.4 is the most impactful and consistent of the Nino indices so just use that one only).

        Water vapor from RSS can also be found here. It only goes back to 1988 and I think there is too much variability in these estimates and note that starting in 1988 may not be the best starting point because this was the biggest La Nina on record – ie the starting point is the lowest water vapor numbers there is while today after the big Super El Nino is the highest water vapor numbers there are – ie the trend is very positive from 1988 to 2016.

        http://data.remss.com/vapor/monthly_1deg/

      • Thank you Bill for the data and your comments..

        I will analyze the data later when I have time.

        I wrote above:
        Nino3.4 SST (or Nino3.4.Index) -> drives Tropical and Global Atmospheric Water Vapour (about 3 months later) -> drives Global LT Temperature (about 1 more month later).

        Are you are saying:
        Nino3.4 SST (or Nino3.4.Index) -> drives Tropical and Global Atmospheric Water Vapour AND CONTEMPERANEOUSLY DRIVES Global LT Temperature, all about 3 months later?

        In other words, is there no significant lag between Water Vapour and LT temperature?

        Do you see a small lag between Tropical Water Vapour and Global Water Vapour? Duration?

        Regards, Allan

      • Hello again Bill.

        I get a slightly better correlation at 4 months lag rather than your three months – between Nino3.4 Index and global UAHLT (R2=0.5544 vs 0.537)..

        Also I get a very poor correlation of Nino3.4 index with Nino3.4 Precip. Water (R2=0.10); I get a much better correlation with Nino3.4 Index and global UAHLT (R2=0.55).

  29. From IPCC AR4
    “The magnitude of the observed global change in tropospheric water vapour of about 3.5% in the past 40 years is consistent with the observed temperature change of about 0.5°C during the same period, and the relative humidity has stayed approximately constant. The water vapour change can be attributed to human influence with medium confidence” (IPCC definition is “About 5 out of 10 chance”)

    A very important statement. IPCC admits water vapor caused practically all of the observed warming in past 40 years. The open question is – Is water vapor a feedback or a forcing? IPCC suggests it is a feedback of CO2 and man is responsible for CO2. If water vapor is a forcing, nature is responsible because man’s contribution to water vapor is negligible.

    Note that IPCC is only 50% confident that man is responsible. This is a technical term for “we don’t know, just toss a coin” So where on earth does the 95 or 97% confidence or consensus came from? I guess 97% consensus is the technical term for “we just made it up”

  30. Water vapor variation is in the GCMs according to IPCC reports. Modelers use to it amplify the greenhouse effect from man’s too-puny CO2 emissions. What is not in the models is the change in cloud cover and with it the change in albedo. Because this dynamic effect gates the Sun on and off, it is the most powerful feedback in all of climate. It amplifies the variations in solar radiation reported in some papers, and dismissed by IPCC, and yet to be reported as included in climate models. Instead, IPCC reports solar variation as too small to account for anything. Dynamic cloud cover is a missing positive feedback with respect to TSI, and a missing negative feedback with respect to surface temperature.

    Furthermore, CO2 cannot accumulate in the atmosphere, from man or nature, because of another major part of climate omitted from both IPCC reports and the models – Henry’s Law of Solubility. A massive river of CO2 circulates around the globe, into the atmosphere mostly in Equatorial waters, and out of the atmosphere into the ocean as the surface waters slowly circulate to the poles. It is a major missing part of the inadequately named ThermoHaline Circulation. That CO2 river alone trivializes man’s emissions. But more importantly, the ocean acts to keep the atmospheric CO2 constant. Henry’s Law is a missing negative feedback to CO2 changes from any source. Earth’s atmosphere is a by-product of the ocean.

    These two regulators causing triple feedback effects are first order climate effects missing from the reported models. Fine tuning other effects is and has been pointless all along without representing them first. Call me when those are fixed.

      • Re: Shearer @ 8:37 am

        Sorry, it’s not. It’s increasing in the atmosphere because Earth has had (natural) global warming for the past 50 to 150 years. It cannot accumulate in the atmosphere because it is highly soluble in water.

        To establish causation, the Cause & Effect between variables, science requires causality: a cause must precede all of its effects. That principle is conspicuous by its absence in IPCC climatology, and in much of what passes for science today in too many fields. Without lead/lag measurements, the à posteriori, we are stuck with the à priori, i.e., the physics, and in this case that is Henry’s Law.

      • Atmospheric CO2 is not a pool or reservoir. It is a residual dynamic between much larger sources and sinks at the surface.
        At 400 ppm, CO2 is about 3200 gigatonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere. Annual exchange is at least 600 gigatonnes per year. Those sources and sinks are not exact, but estimated. That fast exchange is roughly balanced, but some has a much longer time period. The “slow” CO2 exchange is on the century plus time scales, and longer. The amount of that slow exchange is measured by the 14CO2 bomb curve.
        The 14CO2 bomb curve shows that 1/2 of all atmospheric CO2 is removed from the atmosphere in 10 years.
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/01/the-bombtest-curve-and-its-implications-for-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-residency-time/
        That’s 160 gigatonnes per year, much of that being the so-called ocean biological pump. Human addition is 30 gigatonnes per year.
        Deep ocean upwelling and geological CO2 sources must be similar, but are impossible to measure. The bottom line is that the amount of CO2 added by humans is barely 5 percent of the annual exchange, and that is rapidly removed. The IPCC says human addition is only 3 percent. Atmospheric CO2 is more like a river, with humans adding about 3 to 5 percent to the annual flow rate. CO2 never accumulates in the atmosphere, any more than water accumulates in a river.
        The amount of human CO2 in the atmosphere is therefore about 3 percent of 400 ppm, or about 12 ppm.
        Other approaches, such as the C13/C12 isotope ratio confirm that only about 1/8 to 1/4 of the change from 300ppm to 400ppm is due to human addition. The remainder is natural.

        CO2 in fact never accumulates in the atmosphere, from any source, on any timescale.

      • bw:

        The 14CO2 bomb curve shows that 1/2 of all atmospheric CO2 is removed from the atmosphere in 10 years.

        The problem is that the 14CO2 from the bomb spike is much faster removed than any 12CO2 spike, because what is going into the deep oceans is the isotopic composition of today, while what comes out is the composition of ~1,000 years ago, at about 50% of the 14C maximum bomb spike (1960). That means that any extra 14CO2 peak beyond natural background production and decay is removed 2-3 times faster than a 12CO2 spike…

        Further, most CO2 in the atmosphere is just cycling in and out (~20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere per year). That is just cycling and doesn’t add or remove any CO2 in balance. It is the tiny unbalance caused by humans which is fully responsible (besides a small contribution from warming oceans) for the accumulation (as mass!) in the atmosphere, even if most of the original “human” CO2 molecules are aready exchanged with CO2 from other reservoirs…

      • Explain the co2 reservoirs of today vs the reservoirs of 1960? How did the sinks grow when obviously according to current science there should be less forests to sink co2, the oceans are warmer which means they are less able to any degree, and ocean acidification ? Sure the oceans and land are removing a great deal more co2 today than 1960, why wasn’t it doing so then?

      • rishrac:

        How did the sinks grow when obviously according to current science there should be less forests to sink co2, the oceans are warmer which means they are less able to any degree, and ocean acidification ?

        That is a matter of pressure difference: CO2 pressure in the atmosphere increased from ~315 μatm in 1960 to nowadays ~400 μatm or resp. ~25 μatm to 110 μatm above dynamic equilibrium per Henry’s law. That is a quadrupling of the extra pressure between atmosphere and oceans above steady state. As the net sink rate seems quite linear in ratio with the pCO2 difference, that too quadrupled in the past 55 years. The increase in atmospheric pCO2 is far beyond the increase in average ocean pCO2 due to the small temperature increase. Confirmed by over 3 million direct seawater pCO2 measurements…

        The same for the extra uptake in the biosphere: from a small net sink in the early years to a small, but growing sink for CO2 since ~1990. The earth is greening, thanks to more CO2 pressure (and thus less alveoles and less water loss). The sink rate increased more than the loss due to land use changes. Confirmed by the oxygen balance…

      • And somehow between 1850 and 1910 there were no negative co2 numbers. You’re delusional if you think that the minute amounts of anthropogenic co2 would show up in the record when the definitely 3 things would have made the sinks larger. Forest, colder oceans, and ocean acidification. You really need to start looking at the record and stop obsessing over Henry’s law. If you think about it there could be other laws.

        Further you stated that human emissions are twice the amount as found in the atmosphere. I’m trying to show you, and you can do the math, that currently only 30% ends up in the atmosphere . The only year that matched the 50% level was 1998, and that was a very warm year. Which lends a lot of credence that co2 follows temperature and not the other way around. What do you suppose happened in 1992 that the ppm/v increased only 0.48 ? But then if you look at the record co2 ppm/v was already decreasing from 2.29 ppm in 1987. So was it the volcano or the cold ? Do you think that we produced more co2 in 1999 than in 1987 ? And yet, in 1999 at 0.93 ppm was less than half of 1987 . I know for certain we produced a great deal more co2 in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014 than in 1987, and ( respectively 1.60, 1.89, 1.88, 2.05, 2.13) and only 2 years was it slightly higher 2010, and 2012 ( 2.42, 2.65 ).

        If the first 100 meters of ocean are saturated with co2, how is an even greater quality of co2 being sunk into it year after year ? What is the mechanism for the co2 to make it below the 100 meter line ? Isn’t that a lot like saying the heat is hiding in the deep ocean ?

        I’ll say this again, there is a major problem with the co2 story as told by CAGW. I’m only hitting the highlights here.

        All numbers are from published data from NOAA. Each rise in 1 ppm/v is equivalent to 6 bmt net per the total of the atmosphere . 2008 is an interesting year, less than 10 bmt ended up in the atmosphere from about 32 bmt.

      • rishrac,

        Pease take into account the net effects involved:

        – Ocean surface temperature is good for ~16 ppmv/K, which is measured by over 3 million direct seawater samples. In the literature the temperature influence for seawater is indicated between 4-17 ppmv/K per henry’s law.
        That means that the ~0.8 K ocean warming since the LIA is good for maximum 13 ppmv increase in the atmosphere. That is all.
        The same 16 ppmv/K can be seen as the ratio between CO2 levels and temperature in ice cores over the past 800,000 years. On long term, the (deep) oceans are dominant for the atmospheric CO2 levels.

        – On short term, temperature has two main influences: seasonal and 1-3 years variability. The former is dominated by the NH growth and decay of vegetation. The latter is the result of volcanoes and El Niño / ENSO, also mainly on vegetation. That vegetation is dominant can be seen in the opposite variability of CO2 and δ13C rate of changes. If the oceans (surfaces) were dominant, CO2 and δ13C changes would parallel each other:

        Both seasonal and interannual variability is modest: in the order of 4-5 ppmv/K and both near zero out after a year to maximum 3 years. Meanwhile humans add ~4.5 ppmv/year, that is what makes the increase…

        between 1850 and 1910 there were no negative co2 numbers

        Maybe, maybe not. We simply have no accurate measurements of emissions and CO2 in the atmosphere, except for ice cores, which are smoothed over at least a decade (Law Dome high accumulation cores). Since 1960 we have good inventories and very accurate measurements in the atmosphere:

        Which shows that for every year since 1960 human emissions were higher than the increase in the atmosphere. All natural variability is in the net sink rate and (near) all net increase is human induced, as long as the increase is less than human emissions… In average that is 53% of human emissions. The variability is +/- 1 ppmv (+/- 1.5 ppmv for the extremes: Pinatubo, 1998 El Niño), peanuts around a trend of 70 ppmv in the same time span, caused by 140 GtC human emissions…

        how is an even greater quality of co2 being sunk into it year after year

        Again, that is a matter of pressure: as long as the CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase, more CO2 is pushed into the oceans, both surface and deep (and plant alveoles).
        One need to make a diferentiation between the ocean surface and the deep oceans: there is little exchange between the surface and the deep oceans for most of the surface area, as well as for temperature as for CO2 (except for the biological pump). The exchange between atmosphere and deep oceans is via the edges: sinking waters near the poles and upwelling near the equator, each only 5% of the total ocean surface.

        The IPCC has lots of problems with their failing “projections” from failing climate models, but the CO2 cycle and the cause of the increase in the atmosphere is not one of them…

      • Re Wundersamer 7/17/2016 @ 4:07 pm

        Agreed, in proportion to the reservoir sizes, eventually. I.e., approaching 762:37,200. AR4, Fig. 7.3, p. 515. The problem is dynamic though. Most of the THC, saturated with CO2 at about 4C, is drawn from the bottom to the surface along the Equator by the Ekman pump, where it is warmed by the Sun to around 30C, give or take a little, outgassing according to Henry’s Coefficient for water. That warm, lightened water circulates on the surface, migrating slowly to the poles, where now dense from cooling cold and saturated CO2, it plunges to the bottom. All along that path, the surface water is cooling and absorbing CO2, independent of reservoir sizes.

    • Thanks for initiating ‘inner movies’ like

      A massive river of CO2 circulates around the globe, into the atmosphere mostly in Equatorial waters, and out of the atmosphere into the ocean as the surface waters slowly circulate to the poles. It is a major missing part of the inadequately named ThermoHaline Circulation.

    • bw 7/17/2016 @6:08 pm said,

      The 14CO2 bomb curve shows that 1/2 of all atmospheric CO2 is removed from the atmosphere in 10 years.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/01/the-bombtest-curve-and-its-implications-for-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-residency-time/

      That’s 160 gigatonnes per year, much of that being the so-called ocean biological pump. Human addition is 30 gigatonnes per year.

      Deep ocean upwelling and geological CO2 sources must be similar, but are impossible to measure. The bottom line is that the amount of CO2 added by humans is barely 5 percent of the annual exchange, and that is rapidly removed. The IPCC says human addition is only 3 percent.

      (1) The 2013 WUWT article says,

      When the atmospheric bomb tests ceased in 1963, they had raised the air level of C14-carbon dioxide to almost twice its original background value.

      And so its Figure 1 shows Delta C14 beginning 40% (% of what?) and rising to just over 100% circa 2013. But then the curve decays to 0%, not to the background level. With no explanation, the article is baffling. The lifetime includes the time to decay not just the bomb addition, but all C14.

      IPCC provides a formula in its Glossaries for the residence time of CO2. It’s the leaky bucket formula from high school physics, and was last discussed on WUWT by me on 3/26/2016 @ 10:29 am. The formula is T = M/S, where T is the turnover time, M is the mass of the reservoir, and S is the rate of removal. AR4, Glossary, Lifetime, p. 948. Using removal rates from IPCC, that formula works out to between 0.68 and 2.1 years. Not “thousands of years”, nor even 10 years. BTW, that formula appears in multiple IPCC glossaries, but is never used in the main body of its reports. Why?

      (2) Just like IPCC reports, bw’s calculation of CO2 fluxes omits the THC, aka the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC), aka the Great Conveyor Belt. Kessler, W.S., The circulation of the eastern tropical Pacific: A review, Progress in Oceanography 69 (2006) 181–217, says,

      Wyrtki corrected himself 15 years later with a since-confirmed estimate of 50 Sv of upwelling over 170[E]–100W, based on the meridional divergence of Ekman and geostrophic transports (Wyrtki, 1981). Id. p. 188.

      referring to Wyrtki, K., An estimate of equatorial upwelling in the Pacific, J.Physical Oceanography 11, (1981), 1205–1214. IPCC never mentions Kessler (2006) nor any publication by Wyrtki in TAR or AR4.

      Let’s assume that that massive upwelling represents the massive MOC, putting its flow at somewhere between 15 Sv (TAR, ¶7.3.1, p. 436) and 50 Sv, where Sv is a Sverdrup of 10^6 m^3/second (AR4, Annex IV, p. 986). That’s 32,367 Gt_sea water/y/Sv.

      If that upwelling comes from CO2 saturated deep water at 0C, where the solubility is 0.3354 q_CO2, and is warmed (by the Sun) to at least 20C, where the solubility is 0.1682 q_CO2, and divide by 100 to convert q _CO2 to g_CO2. The result is 14.76 GtC/y/Sv. (Warming from 4C to 30C reduces the outgassing slightly, from 14.76 to 14.21 GtC/y/Sv.) Between 15 and 50 Sv, the outgassing of the MOC is between 220 and 740 GtC/y. IPCC puts the total CO2 output of the ocean at 90.6 GtC/y (AR4, Fig. 7.3, p. 515), a short fall between 143% (IPCC) and 716%.

      That mass flow is why the Thermohaline Circulation is misnamed. It’s laden not just by cold and with salt, but with CO2.

      IPCC puts human emissions at 8 GtC/y, and the total of other emissions at 210.2, a ratio of 3.8%. Fig. 7.3. Including the MOC, the number is more like 0.9%.

      • Jeff,

        Using removal rates from IPCC, that formula works out to between 0.68 and 2.1 years. Not “thousands of years”, nor even 10 years. BTW, that formula appears in multiple IPCC glossaries, but is never used in the main body of its reports. Why?

        Why? Because the residence time is not of the slightest interest in the rate of removing an extra shot of CO2 mass above equilibrium, whatever the cause.

        Your formula can be misinterpretated:
        T = M/S where the residence time (or turnover time) is total mass M / throughput.
        Currently that is 800 / 150 = 5.3 years
        Throughput in general is input = output (in mass), not one-way removal. In the case of human CO2 the residence time gives an idea how fast human emissions are exchanged by CO2 from other reservoirs, but that doesn’t say anything about how fast an extra shot of CO2 mass above equilibrium is removed.

        For a linear process that is: e-fold decay rate = disturbance / effect.
        At the current rates (2012) that gives:
        110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year = 51.2 years, quite a difference with the residence time.

        The IPCC uses a multi-stage (Bern) model with for each reservoir different decay rates, but also limits in total uptake. That is only the case for the ocean surface, highly questionable for the deep oceans and non-existing for the biosphere…

        About your THC/MOC calculation: there is one very important factor forgotten: the biosphere. At the upwelling places a lot of nutrients are added together with CO2, that gives an explosion of biolife to the joy of the fishermen of Chili and Peru. When that ceases (like during an El Niño) they suffer from lack of fish in the oceans…
        According to Feely e.a.:
        http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml
        the increase in temperature between poles and equator is good for a factor 4 increase in ocean pCO2, but the increase in biolife at the upwelling places is good for a factor 4 decrease in pCO2, largely compensating the increase in temperature…
        The net effect is that only some 40 GtC/year is transfered between warming oceans near the equator and reverse near the poles. Average confirmed by both the thinning of the δ13C and 14C spikes.

        As I have discussed further, that has zero influence on CO2 levels in the atmosphere, as long as ins and outs are equal. Currently this particular carbon cycle between deep oceans and atmosphere is ~3 GtC/year more sink than source…

    • Jeff,

      CO2 currently accumulates in the atmosphere, because humans release twice the amount as can be found as year by year increase.

      Of course, there is a THC, which withdraws a part of the CO2 out of the atmosphere near the poles,and a lot of CO2 is released at the upwelling sites near the equator. The balance is a near continuous inflow and outflow of CO2 from the deep oceans of ~40 GtC in and out the atmosphere.

      At an average of ~15°C, Henry’s law gives a dynamic equilibrium (“steady state”) between ocean surface and atmosphere of around 290 ppmv in the atmosphere. At 400 ppmv, the extra pressure in the atmosphere pushes more CO2 in the cold polar waters and restricts the release of CO2 in equatorial waters, as the fluxes are directly proportional to the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and surface waters. The net unbalance at this moment is ~3 GtC/year more sink than source. The rest of the ~9 Gtc/year human emissions is going into the atmosphere (~4.5 GtC/year or ~2.15 ppmv/year), the ocean surface (~0.5 GtC/year) and the biosphere (~1 GtC/year).

      Thus sorry, the oceans are not the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere. They are, together with the biosphere, a net sink for CO2, as long as the steady state for the current average ocean surface temperature is not reached again. The warming oceans since the LIA are only good for 10-15 ppmv of the increase per Henry’s law.

      Of course, on long term, the balance will go back to steady state, the moment we stop emitting more CO2 than nature can remove within a year. The current – surprisingly linear – removal rate gives an e-fold decay rate of slightly over 50 years or a half life time of around 35 years.

      The IPCC uses a “stepped” model, the Bern model, to calculate a mix of CO2 decay rates, but that includes a saturation of the different reservoirs. That is certainly the case for the ocean surface (at ~10% of the atmospheric change), but questionable for the deep oceans (which show no sign of saturation) and impossible for the biosphere…

      • What reservoir is saturated if the current amount of sink of anthropogenic co2 is 1 1/2 times the entire amount produced in 1965? And if the reservoirs are that large, why was there any increase in co2 for any of the years prior? Which presents another question, how big are/were the reservoirs? And if they were as big in 1965 as they are now, and they had to have been larger….. more forests and cooler oceans, certainly ocean acidification was much less of a factor… where was all that co2 coming from?

        You really could look at it as ” we saved the planet from co2 starvation “.

      • Rishrac,

        Only the ocean surface is readily saturated at 10% of the increase in the atmosphere. That is around 100 m average depth in direct contact with the atmosphere, where the exchanges are fast due to wind and waves (exchange speed half life time ~1 year). Total inorganic carbon forms (mostly bicarbonates) around 1000 GtC, comparable to atmosphere at ~800 GtC.
        Increase since ~1850: atmosphere +30% (300 to 400 ppmv), ocean surface: +3% due to ocean chemistry.

        The deep oceans are a much larger reservoir (~37,000 GtC), but the exchanges are relative small: ~40 GtC/year between atmosphere and deep oceans. The current unbalance even is smaller: 3 GtC more sink than source. Thus while the deep ocean capacity is enormous, the exchange speed is the limiting factor.
        If all CO2 emitted by humans since ~1850 (~370 GtC) ultimately get burried in the deep oceans, that would increase its C content with 1%, recycling over the atmosphere too, thus an increase of 1% in the atmosphere or 3 ppmv… But that will take time (a half life of ~35 years).

        The biosphere is a medium reservoir, but again the unbalance between uptake and decay is small (~1 GtC/year), thus limiting the removal of any extra CO2 into more permanent storage (humus, peat,…).

        Other reservoirs (carbonate rock,…) are large, but the exchange rates are extremely slow, thus don’t play much role on decades or even millennia…

        Here an overview of my own interpretation of the estimates of the different fluxes and reservoirs of total C and 14C and the human part of it for the year 2000:

      • You’re missing the point. NOAA says in 2015 38 billion metric tons of co2 were produced. Of that 19 BMT was absorbed by the land and ocean. The actual amount that got sunk is a lot greater.

        There are some things we don’t have to speculate about.
        The weight and volume of the atmosphere.
        The amount of gas, coal and oil that was produced.
        The ratio of co2 that was produced from the combined totals.

        Those aren’t assumptions. The earth didn’t get any bigger. The surface area for co2 to react didn’t change.

        The math of where things go doesn’t change. When you add this amount of co2 to the atmosphere you get a corresponding change. Whatever your theories are they are not explaining this. In none of the years from 2006 did any of the amounts match between what was reported and what ended up in the atmosphere ( that includes sinking)

        Take year 2013, 36.63 BMT were produced of that 2.05 ppm/v increase in co2. What does that tell us? It tells us that 25.82 BMT. That’s no speculation or assumption. Here’s what was produced and here’s what we can account for. The year by year percentage of the amount of anthropogenic co2 that is sinking is increasing. I keep referring to 1960’s because it one, was 40 years ago and 2, I have good numbers, or at least those numbers haven’t changed. The rate of co2 sinking was 50%, the percentage rate for 2013 was 70%. And that wasn’t the highest year. There haven’t been any make up years

        NOAA has 9.5 BMT that went into the land. Another 8.8 BMT went into the ocean. That amounts to about half which was produced in 2014 of the 38 BMT. The co2 increase that year was 2.13 ppm/v. That works out to roughly 12 BMT. would you care to explain where a sink is that in one year is equal to what the oceans are suppose to sink ? What happened to 8 BMT ? It’s not just that year, it’s every year. You think it just magically ends up in the deep ocean? You said in your explaination that up dwelling adds to co2 amount. This is suppose to be in balance with nothing but anthropogenic co2 adding to amounts. Putting this in prespective a mere 40 years the sinks are twice of all the co2 produced in 1965.
        How can you explain a three fold increase in anthropogenic co2, a four to five increase in the sinks, and only a doubling of the co2 ppm/v in the atmosphere per year since 1965? You don’t think something is wrong? 12 BMT was produced in 1965. 38 BMT was produced in 2014. The increase in co2 for 1965 was 1.02 ppm/v. For 2014 it 2.13 ppm/v. Until this year, the record stood in 1998 at 2.93 ppm/v despite a billion metric tons increase each and every year. In fact, 8 of those years were below 2.0 ppm/v.

        What this means is that we don’t know whether the carbon cycle was in balance. We don’t know whether any of those increases, especially from 1850 to 1910, we’re from anthropogenic sources. We may be saving ourselves from something much worse than climate change…. if co2 has anything to do with it, co2 depletion.

        You really think the way the sinks are behaving is in response to anthropogenic co2? And if you do, let me see a projection of how they are going to act in the future. I read a paper in 2001 that had good scientific basis that the amount of co2 in the atmosphere would level off at 420 ppm/v. Without that I’d be saying that soon, the sinks would overtake whatever we are producing… that’s the trend and that’s a fact.
        What do you think, 40 BMT produced, 30 BMT sunk and only 10 BMT makes its way into the atmosphere? Probably next year. Do keep it in mind, that’s my projection.

      • Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen, 7/18/2016 @ 11:23 am,

        Ferd,

        You say,

        CO2 currently accumulates in the atmosphere, because humans release twice the amount as can be found as year by year increase.

        Investigators measure atmospheric CO2 and find that it has been increasing at about half the rate of the estimate for human emissions. Therefore, per IPCC’s lead, they conclude that human emissions accumulate in the atmosphere. Actually, it’s no more than (half) a coincidence in two numbers. Whatever the increase in atmospheric CO2, so long as it was less than the estimate of human effects, IPCC climatologists will say that that is due to humans, IPCC’s preconceived, unscientific, and strictly political notion. In fact, human emissions are lost in the noise, absorbed instantly on climate scales and sequestered on geological scales in the ocean, lost in the 36-odd Gigatons dissolved below the surface. Henry’s Law teaches that CO2 increases in the atmosphere because the surface is warming, a Cause & Effect.

        Not one item in your recent post is supported or supportable, including especially your results from calculations allegedly due to Henry’s Law (which IPCC has yet to apply). I doubt even the existence of dynamic equilibrium in any rigorous sense. What looks like steady state is a consequence of not having looked long enough. Dynamic equilibrium is certainly not a term from thermodynamics, and climate is a problem in thermodynamics. Thermodynamics has thermodynamic equilibrium and the Second Law for the path to it. It is simultaneous mechanical equilibrium, chemical equilibrium, and thermal equilibrium. Nothing in the climate system is in thermodynamic equilibrium, notwithstanding IPCC’s reliance on equilibrium throughout its narratives.

        I will grant you that dynamic equilibrium could exist in what passes for science today, where since the ‘30s, models in academia only have to be (1) approved by a certified reviewer, (2) published in a certified journal, and (3) supported by an alleged certified consensus. (Those are Karl Popper’s intersubjectivity criteria. He postulated just two more requirements to complete his deconstruction: (4) Models must have a falsifiability clause (none ever has), and (5) the conclusions of models must be socially acceptable (e.g., catastrophy).) In real science, practiced exclusively in industry, not one bit of that counts; models must work. Ever since 1620 when Francis Bacon made science strictly objective, adding causation to models and replacing induction with deduction, models must have predict power. GCMs failed that criterion at the point of climate sensitivity.

        I stand by what I have posted, and posted with support. If anyone wants more, I will gladly provide it.

      • rishrac,

        You are overfocused on the year by year natural variability, which may cause only 10% of all human CO2 absorbed in one year and 90% in the next year. That is surely caused by the influence of temperature (and volcanic dust) on (mainly tropical) vegetation. Some decades show higher absorption (like 1985-1995 and 2005-current) while others less absorption. That is natural variability and has not the slightest interest for the cause of the increase: as long as the net increase in the atmosphere is less than human emissions, humans are to blame for the increase…

        Moreover, there is no reason at all that the sinks should react on human emissions of a particular year: they react on the total accumulated CO2 pressure in the atmosphere, modulated by the momentary temperature.

        One can calculate the theoretical increase in the atmosphere based on the extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere above the temperature controlled (dynamic) equilibrium that is nicely within the noise:

      • Pay attention, it’s not year to year, it never catches up over any time frame. Which time frame 10 years, 25 years, 60 ?. 1959 to 1969? Or 1999 to 2009 or 1850 to 1910. Or 1910 to 1940…
        There is no reasonable explaination as why there are no negative numbers when the sinks are/ were very capable of sinking whatever we produced in say 1870, but dragging down additional co2 with it. Thats an extraordinary event that the sinking response developed in less than 200 years. If over extended periods of time, there is no way co2 could have accumulated due to the ability of the sinks to respond so quickly to rising co2 levels. It drives me crazy that very few people see the contradiction in the record. And because of that there is no way we could have ever had episodes of warming and cooling.

        Of course you are going to find anthropogenic co2 in the environment. It’s the proportion and mix. How much of this and how much of that. Ivery come back to thinking that they can’t tell how much of one or the other. I was convinced for awhile that they could by isotope ratios.

        I’ve worked so much with the co2 record lately, that I can tell solar cycles, fluctuations in cosmic rays, and when temperatures warmed and cooled. The co2 locked stepped up and down with temperature. Both short and long. It looks like … yes I know it’s sounds weird… Musical notes.

        You were saying I’m focused on year to year. Ok let’s compare 2 years from the 1977, 1978 the total was 3.4 for those 2 years. 2008, 2009 the total is 3.49. Gradually the missing co2 is becoming larger and larger. You’re telling me that there isn’t a large variable in the natural co2 signal ? You are looking at it through your viewpoint, and I am looking at it like this. The 2 do not match.

      • Jeff:

        In fact, human emissions are lost in the noise, absorbed instantly on climate scales and sequestered on geological scales in the ocean, lost in the 36-odd Gigatons dissolved below the surface. Henry’s Law teaches that CO2 increases in the atmosphere because the surface is warming, a Cause & Effect.

        Sorry Jeff, human emissions are of the same order (~9 GtC/year) and larger than the year by year natural variability (+/- 3 GtC), they are not absorbed instantly as about 1/3 of the emissions since 1850 still are measurable in the atmosphere as a huge drop in δ13C ratio, completely in lockstep with human emissions, despite the huge (seasonal) exchanges between the reservoirs.
        Henry’s law shows an increase of 4-17 ppmv/K in the literature. Ice cores show 16 ppmv/K over the past 800,000 years and similar changes between the MWP and LIA. Thus the rise in temperature since the LIA is good for maximum 13 ppmv of the 110 ppmv measured…

        Of course, nothing in nature is in equilibrium at any moment, but that doesn’t imply that one can’t calculate the effect of a temperature increase on the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, or the effect of any increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere on the absorption rates of oceans (and vegetation).
        The latter shows a surprising linear response of the sinks to the increase of ΔpCO2 between atmosphere and oceans/vegetation which leads to an e-fold decay rate of any CO2 pulse above steady state of ~52 years or a half life time of ~35 years. That is too slow to remove all human emissions in a few years, but more than fast enough to allow CO2 levels to follow temperature over glacial-interglacial transitions…

        For the rest, I think there are arguments enough to show that the IPCC is wrong an a lot of items, in particular about the sensitivity of the earth to CO2 levels, but the cause of the CO2 increase is human…

      • rishrac,

        I am pretty sure that most variability in the rate of change is temperature induced. about 60% of variability is explained by temperature variability, which is pretty high for a mix of natural processes. No problem with that. Even warmistas agree on that: Pieter Tans of NOAA agrees too. See sheet 11 and further in his speech at the festivities for 50 years Mauna Loa:
        http://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/co2conference/pdfs/tans.pdf

        But that is only the variability around the trend and has near zero influence on the trend itself. If you plot the real data and not the noisy rate of change, you can see that all that noise hardly influences the trend. Here for the period 1985-2000 with the two extremes (1991 Pinatubo and 1998 El Niño):

        Even assuming some 4 ppmv/K influence of temperature on (lagged) CO2 levels, that has little influence on the trend in that period. That is all: huge events like the Pinatubo and the super El Niño only have a temporal effect of not more that +/- 2 ppmv around the trend and are worked out to zero in a few years. Meanwhile the trend itself is over 70 ppmv since 1959 caused by some 140 ppmv human emissions (~300 GtC).

        Thats an extraordinary event that the sinking response developed in less than 200 years.

        There is nothing special on this response: if the CO2 pressure in the atmosphere increases above the “normal” dynamics between ocean surface and atmosphere, more CO2 will be pushed into the oceans and reverse. The base is given by the solubility of CO2 in seawater for any given temperature and the response speed is a matter of pressure difference and mixing speed. The response is even surprisingly linear:

        The e-fold decay rate for a linear process can be calculated as disturbance / response:

        For 1959, 25 ppmv above steady state, average sink rate 0.5 ppmv/year:
        25 ppmv / 0.5 ppmv/year = 50 years
        The figures for 1988 (from Peter Dietze):
        60 ppmv / 1.13 ppmv/year = 53 years
        For 2012:
        110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year = 51.2 years

        That is simple process dynamics and the only extraordinary point is that it is linear, despite that a lot of underlying processes are far from linear…

        Thus while in the period 1850-1910 the influence of the human contribution to the CO2 increase is largely within the natural noise, it starts to emerge in the period 1910-1959 and is very clear since we have better inventories and very accurate measurements…

      • rishrac

        CO2 lags temperature .

        Yes, on short term with 3-6 months (seasonal, interannual). On medium term (centuries) with ~50 years and on millennia with ~800 years.
        The short term lag is easy to see in the CO2 rate of change response of (mainly tropical vegetation) on temperature changes: that follows with a pi/2 lag:

        That is only the case for the variability, as there is zero trend in the derivative of temperature (the temperature rate of change). In fact, while temperature is slightly linearly increasing, thus the derivative has a small non-zero offset, the resulting CO2 change in vegetation has a negative trend: vegetation is a small but growing sink for CO2. Anyway the effect of temperature on the CO2 uptake by plants is more uptake and thus not responsible for the (slightly quadratic) increase in CO2 or the linear increase in CO2 rate of change. Temperature variability is only responsible for the variability in uptake speed…

      • Temperatures dictates co2. From the record, the solubility of sea water, the size of the sinks and comparison between different recent decades, indicate that we have no idea what the natural component is or was. The only thing we know is the relative amount of co2 that we’ve produced. Again, there are no negative numbers. If the earth is as sensitive to co2 as they say it is, the sinks would have been saturated years ago. The sinks wouldn’t be taking 50% officially, and between 70 to 80% per me. If anything that 50% should be decreasing and there should be more co2 that’s becoming a part of the atmosphere. The co2 ppm/v would be increasing in relation. Every year from 1998 onward should have been 3.0 ppm/v at least. This year if it exceeds that amount is only because of El nino, which proves my point. El nino dumps a lot of heat into the environment. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have extreme sensitivity on the one hand of carbon cycle in balance, and on the other expanding sinks . Which could be a really big coincidence, but not a scientific one. We will see in the next coming 2 years.

        No year from 1999 should have been below 3.0 ppm/v. All of them were, and half were below 2.0 ppm/v. That’s impossible with even the climate sensitivity you’ve outlined. Seriously, think about it, the record showed positive amounts from 1850 to 1910 as a result of anthropogenic co2. The sink was saturated then ? It should have been pulling more co2 from the atmosphere then than now. But that’s not the situation. You’re missing a step. Are you familiar with surface area ? The binding of co2 in the ocean doesn’t care whether there’s more or less co2. It’s a chemical reaction . When you have an acid and a base in equal amounts, you end up with salty water. More of one or the other, one gets used up and some is left over, there isn’t anything for it to react to. The co2 story is backwards.

      • rishrac,

        Only the ocean surface is readily saturated with any amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Neither the deep oceans or vegetation are saturated, but what you forget is the time constant and the real figures of the solubility of CO2 in seawater at different temperatures.

        To start with the latter: since the depth of the LIA, ocean surface temperatures increased with not more than 0.8°C. According to the solubility of CO2 in seawater, that is good for an increase of ~13 ppmv at equilibrium (no matter if that is static or dynamic). If for any reason (continuous volcanic eruptions, human emissions,…) the CO2 levels increase in the atmosphere above that equilibrium, more CO2 is pushed into the oceans. How much and how fast is a matter of mixing speed and is directly proportional to the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and ocean surface. The higher the pressure in the atmosphere above the equilibrium, the more is absorbed by the oceans…

        That is a fast process (half life less than a year) for the ocean surface, but limited in capacity to 10% of the change in the atmosphere, due to ocean chemistry (buffer capacity),
        That is much slower (half life of ~35 years) for the deep oceans, which have a very huge capacity but only a limited exchange with the atmosphere.
        That is even far slower (half life of ~170 years) for the biosphere, which have an unlimited capacity, but a limited accumulation speed into more permanent storage.

        Thus CO2 follows T on all time scales with a ratio between 4-5 ppmv/K for short term changes, up to 16 ppmv/K on glacial-interglacial scales. The point is that the current increase is far beyond the influence of the temperature range, currently 110 ppmv above steady state for the current weighted average ocean surface temperature.
        That is not caused by temperature but by the unbalance between human emissions and net sink speed. The latter is directly proportional to the pCO2 difference between atmosphere and ocean surface.

        No year from 1999 should have been below 3.0 ppm/v.

        There is not the slightest reason that the sinks should be in ratio with the emissions of one year. Again, the net sink rate is directly proportional to the extra total accumulated CO2 in the atmosphere. That is for 95% pressure related and for 5% temperature related (the change in pCO2 of the oceans). That is modulated by the influence of temperature on vegetation, practically independent of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Thus you have (at least) two processes: a pressure related process that gives the average, increasing sink rate of CO2 in the (deep) oceans. And a temperature (and drought) related process that one year adds more CO2 to the atmosphere from vegetation decay, the next year sucks out twice as much CO2 out. Other processes may help too: more ice melt in the Arctic may mean more cold surface to bring CO2 down to the deep. That all is natural variability in sink rate, nothing to do with the cause of the increase which is mostly human, as long as the increase in the atmopshere is less than human emissions…

        The binding of co2 in the ocean doesn’t care whether there’s more or less co2.

        The binding of CO2 in the oceans is extremely influenced by CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, CO2 is a weak acid and the oceans are a weak buffer with back and forth reactions between dissolved CO2 (around 1%), bicarbonates (90%) and carbonates (9%).

        But that is not the point. The point is that CO2 diffusion in water is very slow. You need wind and waves to have some exchange speed. And you need a pressure difference to push CO2 into the oceans or reverse. The former does apply to the limited capacity of the ocean surface. The latter is necessary to push some extra CO2 in the deep oceans via the sink areas near the poles…

        While most of our CO2 emissions will end into the deep oceans, you underestimate the time factor: it takes ~35 years to half the current 110 ppmv above equilibrium, again 35 years to reach a quarter,… if we stop all emissions today. But we still emit more than is absorbed by nature…

      • We will see in the next 2 years whether the growth ppm/v per year matches the co2 produced net of sinking. I’m saying that if next year if the amount of growth in co2 is less, I’m right. Unless some major event that lowers anthropogenic co2 by 12 BMT ( not net). As if that could happen.

      • rishrac July 20, 2016 at 2:48 pm
        Temperatures dictates co2. From the record, the solubility of sea water, the size of the sinks and comparison between different recent decades, indicate that we have no idea what the natural component is or was. The only thing we know is the relative amount of co2 that we’ve produced. Again, there are no negative numbers. If the earth is as sensitive to co2 as they say it is, the sinks would have been saturated years ago.

        Not at all, Henry’s Law says that the concentration in the ocean is determined by the partial pressure in the atmosphere.
        Say, for sake of argument, that last year the atmosphere and upper ocean were in equilibrium with the atmosphere at 400ppmV. Then this year by fossil fuel combustion we pump enough CO2 into the atmosphere to increase pCO2 by 9ppmV. Now the ocean will act as a sink until it reaches equilibrium again, both pCO2 and dissolved CO2 will now be higher than they were last year. If only enough fuel was burned to increase by 4ppm then the increase in the sink will be correspondingly less. This effect is modulated by temperature but not sufficiently to dominate, which is why the small scale fluctuation in the rate of CO2 change is temperature dependent but the overall slope is not. The fact that there are no negative years indicates that this effect is small, a cold year would give a drop in pCO2 otherwise. The results indicate that the ocean is lagging the atmospheric values and does not achieve equilibrium.

      • Re: Phil, 7/21/2016 @ 9:09 am begins,

        Not at all, Henry’s Law says that the concentration in the ocean is determined by the partial pressure in the atmosphere.

        Almost true. Phil left off, all other things being equal. The main thing that isn’t constant is temperature, not air temperature, but solvent temperature. Handbook solubility for CO2 in fresh water is 0.1105 at 35C and 0.3346 at 0C, a ratio of 3:1 over the approximate temperature extremes of the major, slow ocean current, starting mainly at the equator and ending at the poles. The question is why worry Henry’s Law due to a hypothetical 2% change in pressure when the law responds to temperature over a range of 300%?

        Phil continues,

        Say, for sake of argument, that last year the atmosphere and upper ocean were in equilibrium with the atmosphere at 400ppmV. Then this year by fossil fuel combustion we pump enough CO2 into the atmosphere to increase pCO2 by 9ppmV.

        Just how do you think that fossil fuel emissions, running around 6.4 GtC/yr (IPCC, AR4, Fig. 7.3, p. 515) are going to increase the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere when 120 GtC/yr from the vegetation (id) do nothing but sustain an equilibrium, and when an admitted 91 GtC/yr from the oceans add nothing? And what about the THC circulation, overlooked by IPCC, that alone emits between 220 (at 15 Sv) and 740 (at 50 Sv)? Now reasonable estimates say that fossil fuel emissions are isotopically lighter than atmospheric CO2, but that only means that it is contains a different mixture of 12C, 12C and 14C. Do you expect molecules from fossil fuels to remain intact and thereby accumulate in the atmosphere when the more common molecules do not?

        Now the ocean will act as a sink until it reaches equilibrium again, both pCO2 and dissolved CO2 will now be higher than they were last year.

        And here’s where your thought experiment evaporates. Henry’s Law informs us that the ocean acts as a powerful sink all over its surface as it leaves the Equator because it cools as the surface currents head alternately toward one polar drain or the other. That sink from cooling is overwhelmingly more powerful than the puny sink you attribute to pressure. It’s 3:1, whether you calculate it as 33% or 300% or something in between, compared with a 1% that strangely occurs with manmade CO2 molecules but not natural molecules.

        If only enough fuel was burned to increase by 4ppm then the increase in the sink will be correspondingly less.

        By calculation, temperature effects are known to swamp unnatural pressure effects. Cutting those swamped emissions in half doesn’t change the picture.

        This effect is modulated by temperature but not sufficiently to dominate, which is why the small scale fluctuation in the rate of CO2 change is temperature dependent but the overall slope is not.

        Your conclusion is not supported by Henry’s Law and Henry’s Coefficient for CO2 in water.

        The fact that there are no negative years indicates that this effect is small, a cold year would give a drop in pCO2 otherwise. The results indicate that the ocean is lagging the atmospheric values and does not achieve equilibrium.

        The ocean doesn’t have cold years. It has periods of 50 to 150 years plus a major cycle approaching a full millennium. Don’t confuse sluggish ocean temperature with flighty air temperature estimates. Surface temperatures should be weighted by local heat capacity before averaging. A responsible calculation puts great weight on temperatures over water. That average is tightly bound to the ocean surface temperature, the temperature that leads and regulates atmospheric CO2 content.

      • I gave an example of 4 years, 2 years each separated by 30 years. The difference in co2 levels was a grand total of 0.09 ppm/v . Nobody will question that we produced a lot more anthropogenic co2 in 2008, 2009 than in 1977 and 1978. What do you think caused that ? Partial pressure? Do you think we produced more co2 in 2013, 2014 than in 1987, 1988 ? Do you really think you know what is going on ? And out of all of the increase in co2 for any of those 2 years the atmospheric increase was barely 1 ppm/v over 2 years in 2013, 2014 from 1977, 1978. A combined increase of about 40 bmt and 1 ppm/v over 2 years ?
        I’m trying to show you from 2 different ways what I’m saying is correct. One, the actual weight and volume of the atmosphere in comparison to the amount of co2 produced. There is a lot of missing co2. And second, the record. These are actual. Your results aren’t relevant. Again half of the years from 1999 onward the ppm/v were below 2 per year. That is not possible in CAGW.
        Why do you think I am choosing 1977 as a reference point? In the following 5 years from 1977 co2 rose 8.31 ppm. From 1999 to 2003 co2 rose 8.95 ppm ? In 5 years that’s a difference of 0.64 ppm despite the dramatic increase in co2. And these years 2010 to 2014 really put this into prespective a difference of 2.82 increase over 5 years. Better yet compare 1983, 1988 was 10.82 ppm to 1999 , 2004 which was 9.92 ppm. There was more co2 that ended up in the atmosphere from 1983, 1988 time period . Nearly a whole 1 ppm. That’s 6 bmt net. That’s 1 bmt a year. We produced a lot more co2 from 1999 – 2004 and still lost the equivalent of 2 bmt/year ( 1bmt net and 1 bmt sunk). I left out the obvious in 1992. Co2 increased 0.48 ppm/v that year. The lowest since 1960.
        Something happened starting in 1977 that was dramatically different.
        There is something wrong with the co2 story. There should have been some negative numbers prior to 1977.
        I’m looking at the numbers completely different. The time periods weren’t cherry picked or just random times. There was several things happening for picking those times. They weren’t apples to apples. They are differences that made a difference.

      • Jeff:

        The question is why worry Henry’s Law due to a hypothetical 2% change in pressure when the law responds to temperature over a range of 300%?

        Because the response to temperature is moderate: while the temperature influence between equator and poles is enormous (and for vegetation between summer and winter, especially in the NH extra-tropics), that only gives a continuous flux of CO2 between equator and poles via the atmosphere (and seasonal between vegetation and atmosphere), which doesn’t change the average CO2 levels in the atmosphere. These levels are the same for the weighted average surface temperature ocean wide as for a single sample of seawater per Henry’s law.
        The short term response of CO2 to temperature is 4-5 ppmv/K (seasonal, multi-year) up to 16 ppmv/K (multi-millennia).

        Any increase of CO2 in the atmosphere beyond steady state will push more CO2 into the oceans than released, no matter the temperature increase.

        Just how do you think that fossil fuel emissions, running around 6.4 GtC/yr … are going to increase the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere when 120 GtC/yr from the vegetation (id) do nothing but sustain an equilibrium, and when an admitted 91 GtC/yr from the oceans add nothing?

        That is because the 120 Gtc/yr from vegetation and the 91 GtC/year from the oceans are more than fully compensated by 92 GtC/year absorbed by vegetation and 94 GtC/year sinking in the oceans… Moreover these fluxes are opposite between oceans and vegetation and between hemispheres. The net effect is not more than 5 ppmv/K (~10 GtC/K) over the seasons, dominated by vegetation in the NH.
        These processes are two-way processes where only the (temperature controlled) difference between ins and outs does add CO2 to or subtract CO2 from the atmosphere. Human emissions are one-way additions and add to the total pressure in the atmosphere. Only pressure sensitive processes can compensate for the increase in pressure.

        Do you expect molecules from fossil fuels to remain intact and thereby accumulate in the atmosphere when the more common molecules do not?

        20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere is exchanged with CO2 from other reservoirs, no matter the origin, by temperature related processes. That makes that only 1/3 of all original human CO2 still resides in the atmosphere. But that 20% is swapping of molecules and doesn’t alter the total mass in the atmosphere. The altering of mass is only possible by pressure related processes, in this case mainly the difference between release and uptake of the oceans and to a lesser extent the increase of CO2 pressure in plant alveoles.

        That sink from cooling is overwhelmingly more powerful

        No, it is only powerful enough to compensate for the CO2 source caused by the warming up of deep ocean upwelling waters. That is all. Any unbalance between the two is either caused by temperature changes (at 16 ppmv/K) or human releases.

        BTW, you used the figures for fresh water to calculate the CO2 releases from the THC, but that doesn’t fit for seawater. While seawater contains 10 times more CO2 than fresh water, most is in the form of bicarbonates (90%) and carbonates (10%). Free CO2 is only 1% in seawater (99% in fresh water). That makes that the change in CO2 release of seawater is some 10% of the atmospheric change… Only free CO2 plays a role in Henry’s law, bicarbonates and carbonates don’t count, but do help indirectly by the equilibrium reactions.

      • Fredinand…. in any science, a given set of factors produces a given result. Very plainly, predict what the co2 growth levels will be using your understanding of it for the next 2 years.
        I don’t use GtC. I keep all of the data in what is reported by NOAA which is in Billion metric tons. The weight and volume of the atmosphere so that there isn’t any confusion. Any conversion is less confusing and less error prone. When you multiply your 2.13 GtC by their conversion number, it comes out to roughly 6 bmt.
        You can’t predict the next 2 years. I can. Unless el nino comes raging back or the sun becomes extremely active, the growth in co2 will be lower. Providing of course the results aren’t tampered with. And more co2 will disappear than can be accounted for. If Pinibuto in 1992 had been a little stronger, there would have been a net decline in co2 for that year.

      • rishrac,

        Looking at the variability of the rate of change is completely irrelevant for what causes the increase in the atmosphere. It may be 10% of the human contribution in one year, 90% in next year, 30% in one decade, 80% in the next decade. All irrelevant. What is relevant is that human emissions are larger than the increase in the atmosphere. Which was the case in every year of the past 57 years. Thus human emissions are the cause of the increase. How much remains in the atmosphere is irrelevant, as long as human emissions are larger than the increase in the atmosphere…

        The variability in rate of change is (mainly temperature related) natural variability in net sink rate, not in source rate. Thus besides a small contribution of warming oceans, humans are fully responsible for all the CO2 increase in the atmosphere, at least since 1959.

  31. It seems like the IPCC concentrates on CO2 rather than water vapor as CO2 is easier to model (none of those pesky phase changes). Rather like the old parable about the drunk looking for his keys under the streetlight, when he lost them in the middle of the block in the dark.

    • As a skeptic, I’d rather focus on co2. There are no negative increases in co2 and there should have been from 1850 till now. It’d be very hard to show a correlation between co2 and temperature when some of those years co2 levels declined and temperatures went up. The amount of anthropogenic co2 was so small and the sinks so vast, co2 should have been being depleted, not increasing.

  32. Thank you Dr. Ball for another of many articles reminding us that the IPCC models are not modelling this planet.

    • “I would disagree with Dr. Ball. I think water vapor is absolutely necessary for the CAGW narrative. Have I missed something?”
      ______________________________________

      Water vapor is absolutely necessary for understanding the climate mechanisms – but contradicts the ‘bad man made CO2’ CAGW narrative.

  33. Jeff Glassman says: July 17, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Water vapor variation is in the GCMs according to IPCC reports. Modelers use to it amplify the greenhouse effect from man’s too-puny CO2 emissions.

    That was my understanding.

    If you naively apply the physics equations, doubling the CO2 yields a temperature increase of about 1.5 C. Nearly everyone agrees that isn’t a problem and would, on balance, probably be beneficial. To get catastrophic warming, you need positive feedback.

    The CO2 causes some warming which causes more water to evaporate and this extra water vapor, in turn, causes even more warming.

    I would disagree with Dr. Ball. I think water vapor is absolutely necessary for the CAGW narrative. Have I missed something?

    Here’s a quote from a previous story that summarizes my understanding.

    aveollila says: December 20, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    … The point is, how IPCC calculates this value. It is simply TCS = 0.5 (K/(W/m2))* 3.7 W/m2 =1.85 C. We should discuss, is this formula correct and what are the assumptions. The first assumption is that there is constant relative humidity (RH) in the atmosphere. But the NOAA provided RH data shows that this is not true.

    Since it may not be obvious to everyone, I should point out that constant relative humidity with increasing temperature requires more water vapor.

    • commieBob 7/17/16 @ 6:56 says “CO2 causes some warming”. Yeah, that’s the greenhouse effect. Added CO2 would cause more warming, if only all other things could be held constant. And they can be, but only in models. The way the real world works is warming increases atmospheric CO2, not the reverse. Solar variability sometimes causes warming (and vice versa), amplified by the burn-off effect of clouds on the morning side of the globe, formed first from water vapor and the perpetual presence of cloud condensation nuclei. Then it is cooked off proportional to the solar radiation intensity.

      • “CO2 causes some warming”.

        I may not have been sufficiently clear. I was paraphrasing the warmist position and trying to show why water vapor is essential to that position.

      • At current levels, any warming from co2 is no more than a background noise. With as much water as there is, I don’t know at what level there would be a definite signal.

      • rishrac, 7/17/2016 @ 4:19 pm said “At current levels, any warming from co2 is no more than a background noise.” I believe rishrac is talking about a change in CO2 using language that reads like total effects. Lindzen reportedly said that the CO2 greenhouse effect amounted to about 2.5C, all quite measurable if it were ever to happen. The problem is that warming increases CO2 in amounts we can and do measure, warming the cause, atmospheric CO2 the effect, according to physics. Neither man nor nature can add enough CO2 to cause the reverse effect. It’s not measurable because it doesn’t happen, at least according to any legitimate theory.

  34. “commieBob

    July 17, 2016 at 6:56 am

    “Jeff Glassman says: July 17, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Water vapor variation is in the GCMs according to IPCC reports. Modelers use to it amplify the greenhouse effect from man’s too-puny CO2 emissions.

    That was my understanding.

    If you naively apply the physics equations, doubling the CO2 yields a temperature increase of about 1.5 C. “

    Sort of – from 1 ppmv to 2 ppmv does not give a 1.5 C increase, from what I understand, and at the other end from 500 ppmv to 1000 ppmv may also not give a 1.5 C increase since this may be in the “saturation” point area.

    I wouldn’t mind some verification of this.

    • JohnWho says: July 17, 2016 at 7:18 am

      … Sort of …

      You are right. Most people, engineering students included, don’t understand that every equation applies under a certain set of conditions. Newtonian mechanics doesn’t apply for very small objects or for very fast objects. Ohm’s law breaks down for nonlinear devices.

      People talk about climate sensitivity in terms of degrees per doubling of CO2. As you point out, that particular equation has limits beyond which it does not apply.

  35. As anybody who has worked in a corporate environment knows the expectations are: “Say what the boss wants said and do what the boss wants done. Do otherwise and just hit the road.”

    IPCC made it quite clear its mandate and expectations are what mankind does to the atmosphere. Mankind doesn’t do water vapor.

  36. The precautionary principle would dictate that humans get off of water dependence NOW.

  37. Well, if the water vapor is anthropogenic, then the solution is still carbon sequestration (e.g. population control), which would kill two birds with one stone.

  38. The increase in lower and mid troposphere water vapour and the decrease in upper troposphere and lower stratosphere water vapour is most apparent from the mid 1990’s. I would suggest that is a negative feedback to the decline in indirect solar forcings since then, as with the warming of the AMO and Arctic.

  39. Nick Stokes,
    Are you 50% sure the 400 parts per million presence of CO2 is recruiting the the help of the 50,000 parts per million water vapor to produce AGW?

    http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/astrob/10Page8.pdf
    Carbon Dioxide……… 0.038%…………. 380 ppm
    Water Vapor…………. 5.0 %…………….. 50000 ppm

    Or are you only 38% sure?
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/01/23/sorry-skeptics-nasa-and-noaa-were-right-about-the-2014-temperature-record/#comments

    • IIRC the actual global water vapor averages 2500 ppm, but that’s not very useful. There are plots of the vertical water vapor distribution in the atmosphere. This link has refs.
      http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=4517

      The more common maximum water vapor at the surface of the tropical oceans is 40000 ppm. The actual vapor pressure over water at 30C is about 30 grams per kilogram. The average ocean surface temp is maybe 10C to 20C, with the average vapor pressure over the oceans at 10 to 20 grams per kilogram.

      A common amount of water in the air of a typical office at 50 percent relative humidity, the air is nearly 1 percent water by volume, or 10 grams per kilogram.

  40. “Does IPCC Practice Willful Blindness of Water Vapor to Prove a Scientific Point for a Political Agenda?”

    Does a bear sleep in the woods?

  41. What we need to determine is the optimum average temperature for the earth. Neither too hot or too cold, but just right. Please submit your nominations, with supporting evidence.
    Only then should we start trying to manipulate the variables.

  42. Debating water vapour with CAGW is endless. It’s like taking an organic chemistry class on steroids. And in the end, the real issue comes down to whether the heat is released or retained from latent heat in sufficient quantities to make a difference. There is so many different ways of looking at this issue. There is a lot of interesting information and ideas.
    I think that fundamentally water vapor acts to cool providing more of it when it warms, and less of it when temperatures cool. It also probably adjusts to whatever energy it is receiving. I think because of circulation that the planet has a homeostasis condition built into it. The cooling effect of water vapor simply overwhelms any feedback from heat retention from co2. No negative feedbacks were included in CAGW.

  43. In recent weeks there have been sightings of noctilucent clouds at latitudes far south of their normal pattern in the NH. That has made me wonder if this is indicative of some change going on in the climate which could tie in with past natural climate change patterns? Is there any historical records which describe abnormal clouds seen at mid latitudes during the Maunder, or during other cold trends such as the LIA?

    • Stratospheric clouds at sunset. Hmm, I wonder how long that has been happening. Only 4.2 billion years or so.

      • At SpaceWeather they stated that it was unusual for noctilucent clouds to be seen at these lower latitudes. That made me wonder “Why are they now appearing?”.

      • From SpaceWeather….”In the 19th century, you had to travel near Arctic latitudes to see these clouds. In recent years, however, they have been sighted as far south as Colorado and Kansas–a possible result of climate change…”.

  44. I am repeatedly hearing of all this talk of the danger to CO2 going in excess of 400ppm. To note, OSHA and the medical/pharmaceutical standards allow up to 1000ppm CO2 in breathing air standard (Grade D) and all compressed air stored in cylinders being used for breathing air (Grade E). Has IPPC considered OSHA? Firefighters? Scuba Divers? People receiving air support in medical/emergency situations?

  45. The most important task in front of the IPCC is to correctly determine the climate sensitivity of CO2. In their first report they published a range of possible values. It was, by their way of thinking, their best guess at the time. In their last report the IPCC published the exact same values so after over two decades of effort they have failed to lean anything new that would allow them to narrow the range of their guesses one iota. Apparently they have failed to uncover any real evidence that would have allowed them to at least narrow the range of their guesses. The IPCC refuses to recognize the work of others that would indicate that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is really some very small number for fear of losing their funding.

  46. IPCC has used science to prove that it is CO2 alone, which has caused the global warming. If this is not true, the opponents must show, what is wrong in the IPCC’s science. That is what I have done. The study is published here: Ollila, Antero. (2014). The potency of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a greenhouse gas. Development in Earth Science 2: 20-30.

    The Transient Climate Sensitivity (TCS) is the simplest way in comparing different warming calculations. According to the IPCC’s model, TCS can be calculated by multiplying the Radiative Forcing (RF) value of CO2 by the Climate Sensitivity Parameter (CSP): TCR = 0.5 (K/(W/m2) * 3.71 W/m2 = 1.85 K.

    According to my research paper, the values of CSP and RF are not correct. I have used three different calculation bases, which give essentially the same results: energy balance calculations by pen and paper, spectral analysis technique in calculating the infrared radiation absorption in the atmosphere, and the changes in outgoing longwave radiation at the top of the atmosphere (= the original specification of the climate sensitivity). The results are that CSP is 0.27 K/(W/2) and TCR is 0.6 K. In these calculations the absolute humidity of the atmosphere is constant.

    It is a common practice to calculate the RF of CO2 according to the equation of Myhre et al.: RF = 5.35*ln(C/280) but my calculations show that this equation should be RF = 3.12*ln(C/280). Therefore the TCR = 0.27*2.16 = 0.58 K. The CSP value of 0.5 K/(W/m2) comes from the assumption that the relative humidity of the atmosphere is constant. My explanation for the difference in calculating the RF value is also humidity. If the Myhre’s calculations were carried out in the atmosphere of the constant relative humidity, it would explain the difference. So the water vapour is the key element in the AGW theory. The strength of water as a GH gas is about 15 times stronger than CO2.

    In Figure 2 is depicted the values of CS according to some research studies. During the recent years many studies are published showing the TCS values around from 1.1 to 1.2 K. I have noticed that the researchers have used the RF value of 3.71 W/m2 in these studies. What I have not noticed: a single study checking the correctness of the RF equation of Myhre et al.

  47. Neither CO2 nor H2O heat anything at all.

    H2O is supposedly the most effective greenhouse (heating) gas.

    The hottest places on Earth – such as the Libya desert – are characterised by a distinct lack of this so-called greenhouse (heating) gas. It seems, the less greenhouse gas, the hotter it gets.

    Foolish Warmists.

    Cheers.

  48. Nick Stokes wrote –

    “The usual calculation is that the imbalance is just equal to the rate of heat accumulation in the oceans. There is really nowhere else for the heat to go.”

    Ah, the missing heat. The usual nonsensical calculation, backed by no end of amateurish computer games, says the heat has gone into hiding.

    Easier, and physically believable (given the impossibility of accumulating heat, particularly in the form of abyssal water, which cannot be heated from the surface), is that the foolish Warmist usual calculation is garbage.

    Foolish Warmists (as opposed to rational Warmists, who believe rising temperatures result from thermometers being exposed to increased heat,) can’t accept that the Earth has cooled for four and a half billion years. No missing heat. It left the system, never to be seen again. All nicely accounted for.

    Oh well. Keep on pushing the magical heating effects of CO2. Maybe a foolish Warmist will even propose a falsifiable hypothesis proposing a mechanism to explain the planet heating properties of gases. I doubt it.

    Cheers.

  49. Well, water vapour is just as much a smokescreen as any of the other so-called greenhouse gases, in order to blind us to seeing the forest = atmosphere for an abundance of trees = man-made greenhouse gases, in order to overlook the energy account for the Earth’s atmosphere as a whole — which would open the Pandora box of the whole AGW fraud. I have collected what I could find behind all the IPCC smokescreens here:
    http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/idiot-guide-to-global-warming.html
    and here
    http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/moonshine-is-blinding.html

  50. Back in the late 1980’s, I visited a nature reserve near Palm Springs, CA. One of the guides mentioned that due to all the golf courses and swimming pool putting water vapor into the air, there had been a noticeable shift in vegetation in the areas around and down wind of Palm Springs.
    I read another article from the Las Vegas, NV area that stated that because of the growth in population, there were so many swamp coolers in the valley, that they were adding enough humidity to the atmosphere that swamp coolers were starting to become less effective.

  51. FerdEgb 7/19/2016 @ 1:57l am says,

    Sorry Jeff, human emissions are of the same order (~9 GtC/year) and larger than the year by year natural variability (+/- 3 GtC), …

    Your comparison is analogous to comparing the speed of an automobile with the distance it traveled, or the volume of stuff into a bucket with the rate of flow of stuff into or out of the bucket. Your comparison is dimensionally challenged.

    And where is the year-by-year natural variability you quote published?

    Continuing your same sentence, you say,

    they are not absorbed instantly as about 1/3 of the emissions …

    Where did you get the idea of instant absorption? If this is a response to me, you’ve’ made another dimensional goof. What I said was CO2 added to the atmosphere was absorbed instantly on climate scales, not instantly on some meaningless absolute scale.

    Continuing,

    since 1850 still are measurable in the atmosphere as a huge drop in δ13C ratio, completely in lockstep with human emissions, despite the huge (seasonal) exchanges between the reservoirs.

    No valid human fingerprints of any sort exist in climatology. In particular, IPCC describes the synchronicity in the δ13C ratio is described in AR4, Figure 2.3, p. 138, and discussed by me on my blog, rocketscientistsjournal.com. But you can see for yourself on page 10 of

    https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf

    The chart allegedly shows two fingerprints. Part (a) compares the rising concentration of CO2 from Mauna Loa to the decline in concentration of atmospheric oxygen. IPCC claims this shows that the increase in CO2 is from combustion, that is, from fossil fuel burning. Part (b) compares the measured δ13C ratio to the estimate of fossil fuel emissions. IPCC says of all this,

    Later observations of parallel trends in the atmospheric abundances of the 13CO2 isotope (Francey and Farquhar, 1982) and molecular oxygen (O2) (Keeling and Shertz, 1992; Bender et al., 1996) uniquely identified this rise in CO2 with fossil fuel burning (Sections 2.3, 7.1 and 7.3). AR4, ¶1.3.1 The Human Fingerprint on Greenhouse Gases, p. 100.

    As you will see in Figure 2.3, the records appear parallel because of the way the charts are drawn. IPCC compared the records by drawing them separately on left and right ordinates, scaled relatively by an offset and a scale factor. All this is to give the appearance of parallel records where none exists. Any pair of records can be made to appear parallel and similar in variation by this technique known in science as chartjunk. For such reasons as this, one must read IPCC reports with a much heightened degree of skepticism.

    In the very next sentence you say,

    Henry’s law shows an increase of 4-17 ppmv/K in the literature.

    Saying some fact is in the literature is not providing a source. Where can someone read what you claim to have been published?

    You continue,

    Ice cores show 16 ppmv/K over the past 800,000 years and similar changes between the MWP and LIA. Thus the rise in temperature since the LIA is good for maximum 13 ppmv of the 110 ppmv measured…

    Ice cores record certain atmospheric variables averaged over the closure time, that is, the time for the firn to freeze into a solid. Closure time as you know easily runs from several decades to multiple centuries. Consequently, the ice core records are low pass filters with an extremely long time constant. A phenomenon like the record for temperature since thermometers, like much of the Industrial Era, cannot be resolved in ice core records. Most importantly, the ice core reduction shows that CO2 and temperature appear synchronized, with CO2 lagging temperature by many centuries, and approaching about one millennium. In the past million years, Earth may have undergone many events like that in the reconstructed MLO record, but they would not be resolvable in ice core data.

    I gave you a source for the THC/MOC/Great Conveyor Belt to have a mass flow rate of as much as 50 Sv. I gave you solubility numbers, coefficients of solubility for CO2 in water easily found online or in engineering handbooks. I came up with an upper estimate of 740 GtC/y of CO2 due to that current. That is a mass flow analysis never reported by IPCC. It yields the number that you can compare to 8 or 9 GtC/y from human emissions. Human emissions at one percent or so are lost in the noise. Did you check my work?

    As I mentioned, the term ThermoHaline Circulation (THC) is a misnomer. Similarly, someone changed the name of the Calendar Effect to the GreenHouse Effect (GHE), a misnomer because a greenhouse traps air preventing convection. Similarly, saying that CO2 in the atmosphere causes warming is a misnomer because CO2 is not a heat source. Thermodynamics requires a heat source, or more generally work, to produce warming. CO2 does not cause warming, but prevents cooling by residting radiation. As George Simpson told Guy Calendar in 1938,

    … it was not sufficiently realised … that it was impossible to solve the problem of the temperature distribution in the atmosphere by working out the radiation.

    IPCC has spent billions validating George Simpson’s knowledge.

    In addition, nothing, including CO2, traps heat because heat is energy in transit. Once the transit stops, heat is gone. Stated correctly, i.e., according to physics, CO2 acts like a blanket. It prevents cooling by acting as a resistance to heat. Heat doesn’t even appear in the Kiehl & Trenberth radiation model, the basis for IPCC’s hysteria. See IPCC’s first FAQ, Figure 1. Preventing cooling may seem like warming to the tyro, but not to a someone trained in thermodynamics or careful with his language.

    However, that misunderstanding of physics is not the reason for the observation that increasing atmospheric CO2 does not cause Earth’s surface temperature to rise. That comes from the fact that temperature leads the rise in CO2. That is evident in the ice core records, and comports with the theory from physics. It is not evident in the MLO record, in part because what passes for the record is a reconstruction, not data. The lead/lag relationship does not exist in the modern record because the climatologists in charge of the record are not even aware of the requirement to show causality. Until they conduct a suitable experiment, the world is stuck with their ice core record and physics.

    • I’m already wondering what kind of spin CAGW will put on this subject if we happen to get a close to zero growth rate or even negative. One means all the anthropogenic co2 produced for that year was sunk, and the other it was all sunk and some of what was already there. Next couple of years should be interesting.

    • Jeff:

      Your comparison is analogous to comparing the speed of an automobile with the distance it traveled

      Sorry, human emissions are +9GtC/year one way. Natural variability is the result of all inputs together (~150 GtC/year) and all outputs together (~154.5 GtC/year) or -4.5 +/- 3 GtC/year. That is the net result of all natural carbon movements within any year. All have the same dimensions…
      If you take the integral of both human and natural it gets to ~370 GtC total human input, ~190 GtC accumulated in the atmosphere and ~180 +/- 3 GtC accumulated in natural sinks.
      The variability didn’t change over time (at least not since 1959) and averages out to zero in 1-3 years.

      And where is the year-by-year natural variability you quote published?

      Download the Mauna Loa data, download the emissions data and subtract them from each other. Look at the variability over the past 57 years…

      absorbed instantly on climate scales
      160 years of human emissions is beyond climatic scale, which is by definition 30 years. Here the graph of the δ13C measurements compared to what it schould be if all human CO2 remained in the atmosphere. With a deep ocean – atmosphere exchange of ~40 GtC/year, the dilution of the human “fingerprint” is explained. The same 40 GtC/year deep ocean exchange was found for the higher decay if the 14C bomb spike:

      No valid human fingerprints of any sort exist in climatology.

      The above graph does only prove that the drop δ13C is human, if there are no other sources of low-13C involved. Neither the oceans, volcanoes, carbonate rock weathering have low 13C levels. Only vegetation decay and fossil fuel burning has. Vegetation is a proven sink for CO2, at least since 1990, preferentially of 12CO2, thus enriching the relative 13C/12C ratio and thus not the cause of the δ13C decline. Only humans are to blame…

      Regardless of the presentation by the IPCC, that is clear proof of the human contribution. That is confirmed by a parallel decrease in δ13C in coralline sponges, which live in shallow waters and build their calcite skeleton at the same 13C/12C ratio as the surrounding waters:

      Where can someone read what you claim to have been published?

      See e.g.:
      http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/CO2/carbondioxide/text/LMG06_8_data_report.doc
      calculation of the pCO2 at the inlet temperature from the temperature at the equilibrium equipment:
      (pCO2)sw @ Tin situ = (pCO2)sw @ Teq x EXP[0.0423 x (Tin-situ – Teq)]
      which is about 16 ppmv/K around 15°C

      Earth may have undergone many events like that in the reconstructed MLO record, but they would not be resolvable in ice core data.

      You underestimate the ice core records: even the worst resolution ice core records will show the current increase over the past 160 years, be it with a lower amplitude – depending of the (future) duration. The average 55 ppmv current increase over 160 years would show up in the 800,000 years Dome C record as a peak of 15 ppmv if it ended today or 30 ppmv if it declined as fast as it increased or 110 ppmv if the current maximum was sustained over 560 years.
      The repeatability of the ice core measurements is about 1.2 ppmv (1 sigma) for multiple samples of the same part of one ice core or 5 ppmv maximum difference between ice cores of extreme different accumulation rates and average temperature for the same average inclused gas age.

      I came up with an upper estimate of 740 GtC/y of CO2 due to that current.

      Jeff, I didn’t check you work on that point, because that mass of CO2 is completely irrelevant: as long as it doesn’t exchange with the atmosphere, it simply comes up with the waters near the equator and sinks again with the waters near the poles without changing the atmospheric CO2 content.
      Of course there is exchange, as the warming up of the cold deep ocean waters expell a lot of CO2, as the pCO2 of the oceans is much higher than of the atmosphere. On the other side, the cooling waters absorb a lot of CO2 and take that with them into the deep to return some 1,000 years later at the upwelling zones near the equator. How much: some 40 GtC/year in and out as proven by the δ13C and 14C spike declines.

      This 40 GtC/year doesn’t add or subtract one gram of CO2 to/from the atmosphere, as long as sources and sinks are in equilibrium. Currenly that is more sink than source, confirmed by over 2 million measurements of seawater pCO2:
      http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/maps.shtm

      That comes from the fact that temperature leads the rise in CO2.

      Except over the past 160 years (ice core resolution ~20 years CO2 lag MWP-LIA ~50 years):

      MWP – LIA: – 8 ppmv
      LIA – current: +110 ppmv
      WMP was warmer than LIA?

      It is not evident in the MLO record, in part because what passes for the record is a reconstruction, not data.

      Jeff, the influence of temperature on CO2 levels is not more than 16 ppmv/K that is all. 13 ppmv since the depth of the LIA. The rest of the 110 ppmv increase is NOT from any temperature influence…

      The raw, unchanged data for several stations are (were? Link is changed) on line, so that you can plot whatever data you want. All what they do is cleaning the data from known deviations like volcanic vents and other disturbances (or reconstruct them from a hard disk crash…) before calculating daily to monthly averages. If you plot the raw data or the “cleaned” data, that makes less than 0.1 ppmv over a year, which is simply transported to the next year. Here for Mauna Loa and the South Pole (2008):

  52. “(My bold: IPCC definition is “About 5 out of 10 chance”)”

    Do you mean that in the multiverse, this is true in 5 out of 10 plans of existence?

    Otherwise, what does “chance” mean?

    Even during TV poker tournaments, I tend to question the epistemology of these comments about “chances” of the opponents having some hand. And you can play many turns and do statistics. You have only one Earth climate system.

  53. Re: Nick Stokes, 7/19/2016 @ 5:35 pm.

    Nick’s chart is IPCC, Climate Change 2013, The Physical Science Basis, Summary for Policymakers, p. 12, Figure SPM.5. IPCC says,

    Figure SPM.5 | Radiative forcing estimates in 2011 relative to 1750 and aggregated uncertainties for the main drivers of climate change.

    And IPCC’s AR5 Glossary includes this:

    Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings such as … .

    Accordingly, the chart divides emissions and drivers into two categories, Anthropogenic and Natural. In the Natural category it has just one variable: Changes in solar irradiance. Consequently, it omits natural changes in cloud cover, water vapor, albedo, and CO2 flux, even though these are dependent on surface temperature, where

    in HadCRUT4 the trend is 0.04ºC per decade over 1998–2012, compared to 0.11ºC per decade over 1951–2012. AR5, Box 9.2, p. 769.

    Meanwhile, Figure SPM.5 covers Total Anthropogenic RF relative to 1750 in three bars going back to 1950. The chart has albedo change, but only anthropogenic due to land use Land Use. It has Cloud Adjustments, but only anthropogenic from aerosols. IPCC knows full well that humidity increases with surface temperature:

    Clausius–Clapeyron equation/relationship The thermodynamic relationship between small changes in temperature and vapour pressure in an equilibrium system with condensed phases present. For trace gases such as water vapour, this relation gives the increase in equilibrium (or saturation) water vapour pressure per unit change in air temperature. AR5, Glossary, p. 1450.

    Do not worry that the definition is too restrictive for the climate, which is never in equilibrium. Clausius-Clapeyron appears in seven chapters of AR5 a total of 20 times. IPCC even quantifies it:

    In summary, radiosonde, GPS and satellite observations of tropospheric water vapour indicate very likely increases at near global scales since the 1970s occurring at a rate that is generally consistent with the Clausius-Clapeyron relation (about 7% per degree Celsius) and the observed increase in atmospheric temperature. AR5, §2.5.5.4, p. 208.

    In AR4, IPCC had relied on increased water vapor to amplify the greenhouse effect initiated by man’s CO2 emissions:

    Water vapour in the middle and upper troposphere accounts for a large part of the atmospheric greenhouse effect and is believed to be an important amplifier of climate change. Citation deleted, AR4, ¶3.4.2.1 Surface and Lower-Tropospheric Water Vapour, p. 273.

    and

    The diagnosis of global radiative feedbacks allows better understanding of the spread of equilibrium climate sensitivity estimates among current GCMs. In the idealised situation that the climate response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 consisted of a uniform temperature change only, with no feedbacks operating (but allowing for the enhanced radiative cooling resulting from the temperature increase), the global warming from GCMs would be around 1.2°C. The water vapour feedback, operating alone on top of this, would at least double the response. The water vapour feedback is, however, closely related to the lapse rate feedback, and the two combined result in a feedback parameter of approximately 1 W m–2 °C–1, corresponding to an amplification of the basic temperature response by approximately 50%. The surface albedo feedback amplifies the basic response by about 10%, and the cloud feedback does so by 10 to 50% depending on the GCM. Note, however, that because of the inherently nonlinear nature of the response to feedbacks, the final impact on sensitivity is not simply the sum of these responses. The effect of multiple positive feedbacks is that they mutually amplify each other’s impact on climate sensitivity. Footnote, citations deleted, 4AR, ¶8.6.2.3 What Explains the Current Spread in Models’ Climate Sensitivity Estimates?, pp. 631-2.

    When a phenomenon increases anthropogenic warming, IPCC includes it. When it is the result of competing natural responses, IPCC ignores it. IPCC treats Clausius-Clapeyron as if it were anthropogenic. Like all subjective matters, this is arbitrary and destroys IPCC’s scientific credibility. Chart SPM.5 has a column for Level of confidence with encouraging entries for all 11 rows. The confidence of a real scientist in IPCC work has to be negative.

    Nick Stoke’s posting of Figure SPM.5 is to champion junk.

  54. Re: FerdiEgb, 7/20/2016 @ 1:35 pm.

    Ferd’s diagram from WoodForTrees.org is a classic. It’s an example of how to get published in faux science journals. Figures like that are everyday occurrences in finance and economics. But in science, where data are precious, one handles data with kid gloves. As the state of an art progresses, all the low hanging fruit is quickly picked, and scientists continue working ever closer to and deeper within the noise. One never, never differentiates, or equivalently takes differences, of data records. It destroys signal and amplifies noise, butchering signal-to-noise ratio. It obliterates features in the data by which one might detect relationships like especially lead/lag. Means disappear. Ramps become new means. It renders prediction, and with it detection and regulation, predictably impossible. Such a treatment is a quick test for analytic incompetence, and a signal to teach or steer clear.

    Taking differences destroys first order effects. Then seeing someone try to replace the trends he destroyed by differencing with linear trendlines in the differentials is laughable. Almost every data set has a regression line, whether or not it is meaningful. But the frosting on the cake is to see someone draw conclusions from artifactual trendlines.

    • Jeff,

      You simply have things reverse: I never ever used the variability of the CO2 rate of change as proof that humans are not to blame for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, but temperature is. That was done by Dr. Salby, Bart and in this discussion by rishrac. Looking at the noise around the trend in rate of change indeed is a bad idea, as one in first instance has largely removed the real signal by taking the derivatives.
      Indeed temperature variability is the main driver for CO2 rate of change variability, but has very little influence on the trend, both in rate of change and total CO2.

      If one looks at the real signal, it is clear that temperature is not the driving force for the CO2 increase and total human emissions clearly are:

      The 21 year moving average was added, because someone used that to show that temperature was responsible for the CO2 increase since 1980 (!).

      • Re: Ferdinand Engelbeen, 7/21/2016 @ 5:58 am.

        Ferd,

        As respectfully as possible, I disagree. First, you never use anything as proof that humans are not to blame for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, but temperature is. You seem be firmly convinced in the validity in of the AGW conjecture. You hold with that point of view even when AGW has been demonstrated invalid (i.e., measured Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, its only testable prediction, is at no more than the 3% confidence level given by the model) and even when atmospheric accumulation of CO2 is contrary to physics. Henry’s Law regulates the concentration of atmospheric CO2, a fact IPCC would sacrifice its political objective to recognize, to say nothing of its loss of face.

        Second, your chart is highly problematic. The CumEmiss in blue is likely human emissions and not total emissions. I posted a little analysis above showing that human emissions could be as small as 1% of just the THC emissions (using the published upper limit of 50Sv), and asked you to check my work. The readers are still waiting for your answer.

        Regardless, whether your CumEmiss is meant to be from man cannot be verified because emissions are measured in GtC (e.g., ~9 GtC/year, FerdiEgb, 7/19/2016 @ 1:57 am), and neither ordinate is in GtC to be charted. (You can deduce an equivalence between atmospheric CO2 in ppmv and in atmospheric GtC. You may not assume that emissions from any source measured in GtC are equivalent to atmospheric concentration until you show all those emissions remain in the atmosphere. On climate scales, no CO2 emissions remain in the atmosphere.)

        So for two reasons, one must ignore your blue line. Now if you redraw your chart, changing the left ordinate, CO2, from 0 and 200 ppmv to 0 to 100 ppmv, you’ll get rid of half a chart of wasted space at the top which is artificially flattening your CO2 curve. Do so and you’ll find the red CO2 line rising much faster than either of your two temperature lines.

        This criticism is not proof contrary to AGW. That conjecture cannot be demonstrated either way from such diagrams. The value of your chart is to show the lack of science in analysis by chartjunk.

      • Jeff,

        I didn’t answer on the radiation or ECS, as I am convinced that the climate models are completely wrong on that point. But that is not the point of discussion, the point of discussion is the cause of the CO2 increase, which is one of the few points where the IPCC is right…

        when atmospheric accumulation of CO2 is contrary to physics. Henry’s Law regulates the concentration of atmospheric CO2

        Ultimately all our emissions will end up in the deep oceans (and coal at a slower pace), but what you completely underestimate is the time frame: the proven e-fold decay rate of any CO2 impulse in the atmosphere is in the order of ~52 years. Too slow to remove all human emissions in the same year as emitted. That is what causes the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. That is a simple, first order process and completely in line with the physics of pushing a gas in a liquid at extreme low pressure differences (0.0001 bar above equilibrium). We are not talking about carbonated drinks where they need 6-7 bar CO2 pressure to push sufficient gas in a thin film (a few mm) of liquid over a large area in a few minutes…

        human emissions could be as small as 1% of just the THC emissions

        It seems difficult to convince you that the carbon in all its derivatives (only 1% free CO2 involved in gas exchanges) in the THC has very little influence on CO2 levels in the atmosphere, In short:

        – The amount of C in any reservoir has not the slightest influence on CO2 levels in the atmosphere, as long as there is no exchange.
        – The exchange of C between reservoirs has not the slightest influence on CO2 levels in the atmosphere, as long as incoming and outgoing C fluxes are equal.

        That is the case for the THC. No matter the amounts in the deep oceans, no matter how much circulates between the surface and the depth, that has zero influence on the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Only the difference between what gets into the atmosphere from the warming up of upwelling waters and what goes down in the cold polar waters is what matters: currently 3 GtC/year more sink than source. The THC and thus the deep oceans are a net sink for CO2, no matter how much CO2 is circulating with it.

        Over the past 800,000 years temperature dictated CO2 levels, mainly by the ocean – atmosphere exchanges. The CO2 levels changed with temperature with 16 ppmv/K, nothing more. For each increase in temperature, more CO2 is released at the warm side and less absorbed at the cold side of the THC. That increases the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, until influx and outflux are equal again. That is the case when the atmospheric CO2 increase reaches 16 ppmv per K temperature increase. The same extra CO2 level for the highly dynamic ocean system as for a single ocean water sample per Henry’s law… Currently the atmospheric pressure is 110 μatm above the equilibrium between ocean surface and atmosphere for the average surface temperature. Thus more CO2 is pushed into the oceans than released…

        Thus indeed the blue line is total human emissions for the simple reason that the sum of all other fluxes is a net sink, no matter how any individual flux halved or doubled, changed from a net sink into a net source or reverse… At least in the past 57 years, nature was every year a net sink that couldn’t absorb all human emissions of that year, thus that accumulates in the atmosphere. The chart only shows that with a remarkable constant ratio between total human emissions and increase in the atmosphere (which is BTW just coincidence caused by the slightly quadratic increase in emissions over time and the linear response of the sinks to increased CO2 pressure).

        BTW, as CO2 is a minor component of the atmosphere, it is easy to convert GtC into ppmv CO2, as the total mass of the atmosphere hardly changes with more CO2. The conversion factor I use is 1 ppmv = 2.13 GtC.

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