Claim: If CO2 had started off Lower, Anthropogenic Warming would be Worse


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

CO2 forcing is logarithmic – the more CO2 you add, the less effect additional CO2 has on the climate system. So how do you make this diminishing return sound scary? By creating a fantasy, or course.

Near miss: the importance of the natural atmospheric CO2 concentration to human historical evolution


When fossil fuel energy was discovered, the timing and intensity of the resulting climate impacts depended on what the natural CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was at that time. The natural CO2 concentration is thought to be controlled by complex, slow-acting natural feedback mechanisms, and could easily have been different than it turned out to be. If the natural concentration had been a factor of two or more lower, the climate impacts of fossil fuel CO2 release would have occurred about 50 or more years sooner, making it much more challenging for the developing human society to scientifically understand the phenomenon of anthropogenic climate change in time to prevent it.

Read more:

The crux of the argument appears to be the following;

… The set point of the CO2 thermostat depends on the intensity of sunlight received at the Earth’s surface, among many other things (Berner and Lasaga 1989; Berner 1997). According to the Berner formulation, if the temperature at the surface of the sun were just 1 % hotter, or if Earth were just a few percent closer to the sun, a significantly lower atmospheric CO2 concentration would have been needed, for weathering to balance the same rate of CO2 degassing (Fig 1a and b). A 10 % change in the albedo of the Earth, or in the age of the Earth (putting us later on the timeline of a warming sun), would also have had a significant impact on the steady state atmospheric CO2 concentration. The CO2 degassing rate could be a bit lower than it is. If any of these factors had been different at the time in Earth history when industrial society arose, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere could have been much different than it turned out to be, either higher or lower. …

Read more: Same link as above

Essentially the author is arguing that if humanity had evolved millions of years later in our planet’s history, when the sun was a little warmer, we would have encountered serious climate problems decades earlier in our industrial history than today, and therefore have been a lot less able to deal with them.

The problem with this argument is, despite the author’s assertions, we still haven’t encountered any “challenging” problems with the global climate. Despite wild claims about climate refugees and worsening storms, the reality is the global climate is benign. Our biosphere is growing more productive, more benign, thanks to greening from anthropogenic CO2.

If the Earth really was currently experiencing major anthropogenic climate related problems, there would be no need to invent fantasies about how it could have been worse.

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John Wehmeyer
July 21, 2016 2:31 pm

If CO2 had started out lower, none of us would be here to worry about it!

Reply to  John Wehmeyer
July 21, 2016 6:45 pm

That’s true, john. During glacial epochs, CO2 drops to about 185 ppmv, and below that level plants start to die off. And few of us are able to eat just rocks or dirt and stay alive.

Santa Baby
Reply to  RockyRoad
July 21, 2016 9:14 pm

That’s correct for C3 plants. Not for C4 plants.

Reply to  RockyRoad
July 21, 2016 9:57 pm

C3 plants include small seeded cereal crops such as rice, wheat, barley, rye, oats, soybeans, peanuts, as well as most trees.
C4 plants are limited to the angiosperms which make up about 3% of all land plants.
Your comment regarding the survivability of C4 plants is noted but it would make little or no difference regarding our own survivability–most mammals, including humans, wouldn’t survive without C3 plants.

Reply to  RockyRoad
July 21, 2016 9:59 pm

Exactly right. Lower CO2 during the last ice age would have eliminated photosynthesising plants, then most fungi and all animals. Oh, and Santa Baby re C4 plants: yes, they still photosynthesise and stay alive, but they don’t grow. OK for a few years at max, but 1,000? Dead like all the rest.

Olaf Koenders
Reply to  RockyRoad
July 22, 2016 12:10 am

Just be aware that whether C3 or C4, there’s virtually none of today’s crops that are the same as they were even 1000 years ago, thanks to our bio-engineering and hybridisation since we began to raise crops.

Bryan A
Reply to  RockyRoad
July 22, 2016 2:29 pm

If there is a direct correlation between CO2 levels and ambient temperatures, then starting off with an even lower concentration of CO2 would also create a lower starting point for ambient pre-industrial temperatures.
Negating that pesky fact that dropping CO2 from 185ppm to 160ppm would eliminate most photosynthesizing plants, Following the reverse logarithmic curve, lowering CO2 would also have led to a much lower pre-industrial starting temperature and most likely had balanced out the extra warming effect leaving us just as warm and toasty as we are today

Robert of Ottawa
July 21, 2016 2:43 pm

When fossil fuel energy was discovered
Like 1 million years ago? Possibly before speech? The use of fire greatly assisted human development, providing much more energy from the available food, enough to support the brain size increase.

Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
July 21, 2016 3:12 pm

No, ‘Fossil fuel’ is applied to coal, peat, lignite, oil and gas.
Not to sticks on a campfire

Bryan A
Reply to  Leo Smith
July 22, 2016 2:30 pm

though both still produce CO2 equally.

July 21, 2016 2:47 pm

Is it fossil fuel because the fuel has fossils in it or because fossils created it?
Is there a, um, consensus on that chicken/egg thing?

Steamboat McGoo
Reply to  JohnWho
July 21, 2016 3:40 pm

NO, its fossil fuel because all of us old farts like it.

July 21, 2016 2:52 pm

…Wow !! Talk about desperation ! It sounds like like they are unhappy that Humanity will NOT be destroyed after all…!

July 21, 2016 2:59 pm

An air sample is properly collected. From anywhere. I am confident that the exact composition of gases, in particular CO2, can be quantitatively determined. But how, or can, the CO2 measured in that sample quantitatively be determined to be human emission? Or natural emission?

Leonard Lane
Reply to  TRinAK
July 21, 2016 3:43 pm

Good point TRomAK.
I also wonder how people can so confidently talk about CO2 forcing. With the dominance of water vapor over all other so-called greenhouse gasses, I do not see how CO2 forcing can be anything but a mathematical construct. And if real, so small as to be lost in the noise.

Olaf Koenders
Reply to  Leonard Lane
July 22, 2016 12:18 am

Not forgetting the wailing and gnashing of teeth about CH4 – which decomposes into H and C naturally in the atmosphere. CH4 poses no problem at all.

Bryan A
Reply to  Leonard Lane
July 22, 2016 2:35 pm

I believe that CH4 is Oxidized into CO2 and H20 with the application of either Heat (fires) or Electricity(lightning) 1-CH4 + 6-O + heat = 1-CO2 & 2-H2O

Bryan A
Reply to  Leonard Lane
July 22, 2016 2:37 pm

Should be 1-CH4 and 2-O2 (4-O)

Reply to  TRinAK
July 21, 2016 5:19 pm

With a lot of hand waving and speculation. It’s bollocks. Atmospheric CO2 is very clear driven by temperature, and not the other way around. It does not matter what errant or incomplete hypotheses say, that is what the data tell us.

D. J. Hawkins
July 21, 2016 3:05 pm

If the natural concentration had been “a factor of 2 or more lower”, he wouldn’t be here to write this idiocy, all plant life on the planet having previously perished.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 21, 2016 3:37 pm

And if my aunt had been a man, she (he) would have been my uncle.

William H Partin
Reply to  Trebla
July 21, 2016 3:55 pm

Such things are possible now, Trebla.

Santa Baby
Reply to  Trebla
July 21, 2016 9:19 pm

If your aunt feels she is a man she would become your uncle? In order not to offend one with a delusion everybody else must be offended by also taking part in this delusion?

Reply to  Trebla
July 21, 2016 9:28 pm

as Siants slithers on . .

Bryan A
Reply to  Trebla
July 22, 2016 2:38 pm

I thought she would have been your Aunt-Man

Not Oscar, just a grouch
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 21, 2016 10:38 pm

“…he wouldn’t be here to write this idiocy, all plant life on the planet having previously perished.”
Are you implying the author is a plant or that the author has the IQ of a plant? It works for me either way.

Reply to  Not Oscar, just a grouch
July 22, 2016 2:29 pm

Oscar – not!
Nearly lost a keyboard!
+ Several!

Tom in Florida
July 21, 2016 3:06 pm

And if I were 2 inches shorter or taller none of my clothes would fit.

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 21, 2016 3:10 pm

Tom in Florida July 21, 2016 at 3:06 pm

David Ball
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 21, 2016 4:47 pm

Tom in Florida July 21, 2016 at 3:06 pm
I must say Tom, that for all the years you have contributed to WUWT? I have always enjoyed your posts. Thoughtful and intelligent, consistently. I am pretty sure you have posted this comment previously, but it struck me right in the funny bone today. Chuckled for a while. Thanks and keep up the great commentary.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 21, 2016 5:02 pm

Or if you ate too much or went on a diet…

Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 21, 2016 7:03 pm

Tom, you made me realize that if I were not born, none of my clothes would sit in front of this screen and keyboard. I never thought of my garments that way. They really depend on me.

James Fosser
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 21, 2016 10:38 pm

And if my left leg was 2 inches shorter, Nature would compensate by making my right leg 2 inches longer!

Stephen Skinner
July 21, 2016 3:06 pm

” evolved millions of years later in our planet’s history, when the sun was a little warmer, we would have encountered serious climate problems decades earlier in our industrial history than today, and therefore have been a lot less able to deal with them”
Why? We seem to be able to solve and adapt to challenges quite quickly. It doesn’t make sense to create an hypothetical situation for humanity and then stipulate a fixed outcome. Sounds like another model. Anyway, several million years would mean the passing of about 20 or more inter-glacials which would be 20 opportunities to advance before having to wait for this new hypothetical starting point.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
July 21, 2016 3:44 pm

And if the sun were 2.5 solar mass,,,, things would be diffeerent

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  Mike the Morlock
July 21, 2016 3:45 pm

err different

Reply to  Mike the Morlock
July 21, 2016 5:03 pm

If the sun went nova…

Reply to  Mike the Morlock
July 21, 2016 9:46 pm

(Mike, if an error is that synchrostratalogical just leave it, I suggest, and people might think you’re very clever)
(PS, I made that word up myself, so I know it’s correctly spelled)

James Fosser
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
July 21, 2016 10:40 pm

But the Copernican Conundrum would seem to indicate that we would not be around for most of these opportunities!

July 21, 2016 3:06 pm

If Aunt Jane had testicles, she’d by my Uncle Bob.
And if CO2 were a factor of two or more lower, there most likely wouldn’t be any humans to create emissions.

Reply to  Doug
July 21, 2016 3:46 pm

wouldn’t that be your Uncle Bruce?

Reply to  Rhee
July 21, 2016 4:50 pm

“wouldn’t that be your Uncle Bruce?”
If Aunt Sheila had nads he’d be your Uncle Bruce.

James Fosser
Reply to  Doug
July 21, 2016 10:45 pm

If my Aunt Jane had nads she would be my Uncle Bob, and if my Uncle Bob then lost his he would be my Aunt Jane. I would still have Aunt Jane and Uncle Bob so I dont care as long as they love me!

Pop Piasa
Reply to  James Fosser
July 22, 2016 12:47 pm

What a flash of sociological insight!

Reply to  James Fosser
July 22, 2016 2:34 pm

Pretty sound; will they – Uncle Jane and Aunty Bob – leave you their collection of Corbyn’s Predictions?
That’ll be a humdinger when he becomes PM.
Piers – not the chap with no friends at work.

July 21, 2016 3:14 pm

If you look at the 30 latest OCO-2 satellite images and the report that surrounds them in the link below, you will see the real carbon cycle. CO2 in the Northern Hemisphere is at the lowest levels when the sun is at the most intense. So what value are they using for warming calculations ??
Both of the statements quoted in your post above are rubbish and without foundation. Look at the OCO-2 satellite images released on the 14th of April and see for yourself and see the real carbon cycle. Link below.
Where does the CO2 originate and where does it go to ???, It is pretty obvious to those with an open mind and an unbiased set of eyes.

July 21, 2016 3:18 pm

Eric – PS
If you or any others have an alternative to what I am proposing in my report I am happy to discuss.
Why has it taken so long for anyone to even note that these all too important OCO-2 images actually exist.let alone comment on them. Is this not what the entire AGW discussion revolves around ??

July 21, 2016 3:26 pm

“CO2 forcing is logarithmic – the more CO2 you add, the less effect additional CO2 has…”
Kind of like global warming alarmism…

Pop Piasa
Reply to  BallBounces
July 22, 2016 1:05 pm

That’s a good bumper sticker.

July 21, 2016 3:34 pm

{IF the temperature at the surface of the sun were just 1 % hotter, or IF Earth were just a few percent closer to the sun, a significantly lower atmospheric CO2 concentration would have been needed, for weathering to balance the same rate of CO2 degassing}
yep, and IF a frog had wings, it wouldn’t bump it’s ass every time it hops

July 21, 2016 3:34 pm

” we still haven’t encountered any “challenging” problems with the global climate”
I hate to disagree,Mr.Worrall,however,we have. It’s called how to keep the climate leeches/politicos from stealing our hard earned bucks for a non-existent problem through “carbon taxes”, short of shooting them all.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 22, 2016 2:39 pm

Justthin – hold on.
Shooting them, I trust, is a metaphor for – something like – popping them into very caring – but very, very secure – homes, ensuring that they never again sully the reasonable discussion of reasonable folk, even by smoke-signals or carrier pigeon.
I trust.
Auto – ever vigilant that my hope turns into a roast beef dinner [one day!].

Joe Civis
July 21, 2016 3:42 pm

oh wow…. really reaching with this one… well with all of them but this one reminds me of something my dad used to say… “if my aunt had balls she would have been my uncle.”

Reply to  Joe Civis
July 21, 2016 4:47 pm

This must have been a very common saying at one time, I’ve lost count of how many people have posted it. ^_^

July 21, 2016 3:46 pm

They’re trying way too hard. There’s a reason they’re trying too hard. They’ve won the political policy battle but they’re losing the big one – the evidence war, and they know it.

July 21, 2016 3:50 pm

“If the natural concentration [of CO2] had been a factor of two or more lower,…
There would be no vegetation left on Earth !!
We wouldn’t be here. !!
We got lucky, and started de-sequestering that much needed CO2, just in time.

July 21, 2016 4:03 pm

First, the fabricated low atmospheric CO2 of 280 ppm that is claimed to be the historical CO2 concentration before fossil fuels was chert-picked from real CO2 chemical bottle data from the last 200 years that range from the low 200s to way above 440 ppm. A narrow range of data points around 280 ppm were chosen, averaged, and published as the factual constant CO2 of prehistory.
We have real CO2 chemical bottle data going back over 200 years and the data clearly shows that CO2 has gone up and down during three mina parts of the last 200 years. The cherry-picking of the data eliminated this clear historical variation. Just like the hockey stick graph supposedly disappeared the Little Ice Age, this data fabrication eliminated real recorded variations in CO2.
Furthermore, ice core CO2 values are taken as absolute measurements of the concentration of CO2 at the time the bubbles were trapped. This is so far from the truth, it hurts. Jaworowski, the world expert on ice cores, admits the micro-fracturing, depressurization, and outgassing that must occur during core extraction from the depths of an ice sheet. Estimating 30–50% CO2 losses, one can back calculate the ice core data and find that CO2 was probably the same or higher than now during most of the last 500K years. Ice core CO2 values are notoriously low, due to losses, and the fluctuations over time are also muted as the higher the CO2 concentration, the more the loss from a core during extraction. Dishonestly, the IPCC and alarmist scientists like to pretend ice core data is direct measurement.

Reply to  higley7
July 22, 2016 2:35 am

Yep, that dreadful Callendar paper.
CO2 does not drive temperature tempeature drives CO2.

July 21, 2016 4:09 pm

CLAIM: If temperatures had started out 10 degrees warmer….they would be claiming we need more CO2
(but then they would have to explain how CO2 can do something it can’t do)

Reply to  Latitude
July 21, 2016 4:12 pm

footnote: “If the natural concentration had been a factor of two or more lower”…we would be dead

Retired Engineer John
July 21, 2016 4:18 pm

Is he cheating on his figure 4? That looks like he has changed the log curve to a higher value to make the saturation effect come in later. We may be saturating much sooner and the effect (per the CO2 people) may end shortly.

July 21, 2016 4:27 pm

If the Earth was Venus, we would all be living on Venus.

FJ Shepherd
July 21, 2016 4:31 pm

I do believe that Mr. D. Archer has way too much time on his hands, and should try and write something noteworthy on the taxpayer’s dime, rather than writing speculative shite.

July 21, 2016 4:35 pm

And, let’s not forget that, if CO2 had been a factor of two lower than they claim, our plants would be either dead or not growing and the animals would be dying. The idea that even entertaining CO2 concentrations that low shows how stupid people have gotten about CO2.
We need MORE NOT LESS CO2. It is plant food and is greening the planet. Higher CO2 also allows plants to grow faster, need less water and nutrients, and be more temperature tolerant over a larger range.

Anne Ominous
July 21, 2016 4:39 pm

If the subject is the recent past, then “If the natural concentration had been a factor of two or more lower,” all the plants would have died and everything else with them.
Plants start doing pretty poorly around 150 ppm. From what I understand, it has gotten down to the 200s (ppm) before.

Janice Moore
July 21, 2016 4:50 pm

The underlying premise of the entire post is mistaken: there has been no proven AGW. None. Only “Well, human CO2 must be doing something… .” A guess is not evidence.
Here’s a real scientist’s expert opinion on AGW:
Dr. Richard Lindzen
(from a 2011 essay in which he concedes that human CO2 may be doing some miniscule warming, but, that this is, so far, not proven and, even if so, certainly be nothing to do anything about)

…The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations. …
For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause. The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provide variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work (Tsonis, et al., 2007), suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century. …
According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse forcing from man-made greenhouse gases is already about 86% of what one expects from a doubling of CO2 … [This] implies that we should already have seen much more warming than we have seen thus far, … .
This contradiction is rendered more acute by the fact that there has been no statistically significant net global warming for the last fourteen years. …
When an issue like global warming is around for over twenty years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue. The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence, and donations are reasonably clear. So, too, are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of CO2 is a dream-come-true. After all, CO2 is a product of breathing itself. Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted because it is necessary for ‘saving’ the earth. …
[F]inally, there are the numerous, well-meaning, individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change they are displaying intelligence and virtue. For them, their psychic welfare is at stake. …
However, for more serious leaders, the need to courageously resist hysteria is clear. Wasting resources on symbolically fighting ever present climate change is no substitute for prudence. Nor is the assumption that the earth’s climate reached a point of perfection in the middle of the twentieth century a sign of intelligence.

(Source: )
Game over.

Thomas Homer
Reply to  Janice Moore
July 22, 2016 7:47 am

The article starts with:
“CO2 forcing is logarithmic – the more CO2 you add, the less effect additional CO2 has on the climate system.”
Thankfully Janice says:
“The underlying premise of the entire post is mistaken: there has been no proven AGW. None.”
I’ve seen the logarithmic claim before, it sounds definitive. But I want to know exactly what is logarithmic. What is “CO2 forcing”? To make that claim there must be something that’s being measured, so how are they measuring “CO2 forcing”? Logarithmic implies there is a correlating function, will someone please publish this function?

Thomas Homer
Reply to  Thomas Homer
July 22, 2016 8:03 am

If there were no CO2 in the atmosphere there would be no “CO2 forcing”.
Now let’s add a single molecule of CO2 to the atmosphere, how much “CO2 forcing” would there be?
And if we add a second CO2 molecule the “CO2 forcing” per molecule would drop as per the logarithmic claim?
Is there a base level of CO2 where this logarithmic claim begins? What is that base level? What is the upper bound of “CO2 forcing”? We’ve established that there is no “CO2 forcing” on Mars, and its atmosphere is 950000 ppm. So when they claim that “the more CO2 you add, the less effect it has” do they mean that the entire effect approaches zero with increased CO2? So, if it starts at zero and ends at zero, is that logarithmic?

Jeff L
July 21, 2016 4:59 pm

“If the natural concentration had been a factor of two or more lower,”
What ??? If that would have been the case, there would be no plants & if there were no plants , there would be no animals & no humans & no one adding additional CO2, so the whole story is a logical impossibility.
As usual, alarmists always have “glass half empty” attitudes. I am would say the “glass half full” – We are pretty dang lucky that everything aligned just right here in our little corner of the universe.

July 21, 2016 5:18 pm

If the CO2 level was at its historic 1000+ PPM, and the global temperature 10C higher due to the the poles being at Florida temperatures like they should be; we wouldn’t notice a couple of hundred PPM CO2 change except as social commentary.
The conversation as two regular guys plink at the crocs and brown polar bears from the porch of a summer home in Resolute:
“Gee Dave – the CO2 level went from 1500 to 1700 PPM”.
“And what difference does that make?”
“None really, but it will make turning atmosphere into fuel cheaper.”

Walter Sobchak
July 21, 2016 5:31 pm

“If the natural concentration … , the climate impacts .. would have occurred … years sooner,”
And if grandma had wheels, she would have been a fire truck.
BtW the pre industrial concentration was about 280ppm. If it were half of that, 140ppm, I think that plants would be in serious trouble.

Christopher Hanley
July 21, 2016 5:39 pm

If industrialisation is responsible for the increase in the CO2 concentration and if that increase is partly responsible for a modest rise in the GAT in the past 200 years then Hallelujah, just in time. TemperatureSince10700 BP with CO2 from EPICA DomeC.gif

July 21, 2016 5:52 pm

First it has to be shown that fossil fuel emissions cause atmospheric CO2 to rise.

Janice Moore
July 21, 2016 6:14 pm

“The crux of the argument appears to be the following …”

… the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere could have been much different than it turned out to be,
higher or
lower. …

(already nailed metaphorically by Tom in Florida (and others) above)
Here we all are (I took it with my phone, heh), in the WUWT lecture hall listening laughing at the above author’s lecture about human CO2 and millions of year ago and stuff. 🙂

Yeah, I know there are a lot more women in that photo than usually pipe up here… they are all in the Loyal Lurkers Club … like stars in the daytime, you don’t see them, but, the are there, watching…

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
July 21, 2016 6:16 pm

P.S. I think the one in the red top is the author’s sister. She feels more like crying.

July 21, 2016 6:50 pm

Now, what if we lived in the Buffy-verse? (and not the “Normal Again” special-Buffy-verse)
Would be scary, hug?

July 21, 2016 6:54 pm

Hi from Oz. Wow, the author, David Archer of University of Chicago, must have plenty of spare time on his hands to be able to waste it by writing this paper stating the bleeding obvious, complete with about 30 cited references to support it! But if all his buds quote it in their subsequent papers stating the bleeding obvious in a slightly different way, his H-index (see: goes up! Just rinse and repeat – then everybuddy wins!

Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
July 21, 2016 7:00 pm

How is that different from becoming famous thanks to a reality show or even a séxtape?

Bill Illis
July 21, 2016 7:10 pm

Climate scientists only use the best physics formula ever invented, when it suits them.
Let’s have a look at another physics formula which provides for a logarithmic effect. The Stefan Boltzmann equation which has proven to be eerily accurate wherever it is used in the universe.
So beyond, the forcing of CO2 being algorithmic, the forcing itself only increases temperature in another round of semi-algorithmic impacts. As the energy level received from the Sun goes up, the temperature only increases to the fourth power.
Illustrated here with the greenhouse effect also included. This is a very handy equation because it underpins what climate science is really all about but the scientists themselves throw it out as soon as they start using climate models and shortcuts.
Let’s compare the Earth surface temperature/energy level compared to the Sun. The formula works eerily magically again and we can see that the Sun has a surface temperature of 5,778K (the actual temperature measured) and it puts out 63,240,000 W/m2 every single second. Just a metre square on the Sun surface puts out 63,240,000 joules of energy every single second while the average metre square on Earth is just 390 joules/second. If one takes this number and using the inverse square law for how much energy from the Sun reaches the Earth for square metre, it works out exactly to that measured by satellite, 1,366 W/m2. The formula works perfectly no matter how it is tested.
Okay, what does climate science do with a “perfect” energy to temperature conversion formula that works everywhere in the universe to the “T”.
They throw it out and use simple shortcuts instead. For example, When have ever heard that doubled CO2 (and the other GHGs like methane) provide a direct forcing/energy increase of 4.2 W/m2 and then the feedbacks have to kick in to produce another 12.0 W/m2 if we are ever get to +3.0C per doubling.
You NEVER, EVER, ever, ever hear a climate scientist saying this and you have never seen this from the IPCC and most climate scientists probably have no clue, this is what their theory implies.
So, you can completely discount this shyster because he knows nothing about what he is saying. Even 450 million years ago, the Sun was a little less strong, but according to the most “perfect” equation in the universe, the Earth’s global temperature would only have been about 2.4C lower due to the dimmer Sun.
It will take about 1.0 billion years of the Sun gradually getting more luminous and bigger in order to raise the Earth surface temperature by 5.0C. How do I know this? I have the formulae which is needed and the calculations which are needed which this shyster wouldn’t be able to understand because he has only been taught shortcuts in this science.comment image

Reply to  Bill Illis
July 21, 2016 8:37 pm

It’s so perfect that the defective satellite agreed with them on wattage. What a coincidence!

July 21, 2016 8:06 pm

“The situation is completely different for a CO2 concentration of 240 p.p.m., which is close to that observed at the end of MIS19. In this case all four model versions simulate rapid ice growth several thousands of years before the present and large ice sheets exist already at the present time (Extended Data Fig. 1). This means that the Earth system would already be well on the way towards a new glacial state if the pre-industrial CO2 level had been merely 40 p.p.m. lower than it was during the late Holocene, which is consistent with previous results.”
Paywalled here:

July 21, 2016 11:26 pm

higley7 says: And, let’s not forget that, if CO2 had been a factor of two lower than they claim, our plants would be either dead or not growing and the animals would be dying.
This needs a little explanation. On geological time scales the world ocean is a carbon sink, or if you prefer a CO2 sink. This is because microscopic organisms (forams) combine CO2 with calcium to form calcium carbonates and the CaCO2 accumulates on the ocean floor.
Eventually this process reduces the CO2 in the atmosphere, which is the opposite of what land plants need, because at around 150 parts per million, the low partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere causes plants to stop growing.
Part of the problem is that when CO2 partial pressure is low, plant stomata (breathing pores) have to increase in size and this increases evapo-transpiration (loss of water).. Low atmospheric CO2 may have an effect similar to drought.
Some plants evolved a more efficient form of photosynthesis as an adaptation to low atmospheric CO2, called the C4 pathway. Corn (maize) is our most popular example, but there are many others.
Now that CO2 is around 400 ppm, C3 plants have an easier job in getting enough CO2 and in conserving water (because of smaller stomata). So we expect an increase in productivity from both C3 plants and C4 plants, but more increase in C3 plants, which is what has been observed.

Reply to  Frederick Colbourne
July 22, 2016 8:31 am

CaCO2 should read CaCO3 (chemistry quibble). The only plants that could survive a CO2 level below about 150 ppm are probably monocellular photosynthetes such as blue-green algae, which lack stomata and transpire CO2 directly through their cell walls.

Ivor Ward
July 22, 2016 4:44 am

Somebody should inaugurate the “Broom, Bucket and Scoop Award” to be given to academics who waste time and taxpayers money on pointless speculation and Doom-mongering so they can, instead, go outside and do something useful like clean dogshit off the pavements.

July 22, 2016 8:26 am

“If the natural [CO2] concentration had been a factor of two or more lower,” photosynthesis would have been nearly impossible, and most plant life would not have been around.
This is the kind of idle speculation that my father would have termed ‘wool-gathering’.

Rick C PE
July 22, 2016 10:05 am

My initial reaction to this paper was that it was a clever parody of typical CAGC papers intended to demonstrate that anything that includes CO2 and climate change could get published no matter how ridiculously and absurd the thesis. But bit of checking indicates it is real. Can’t tell if it was “pal reviewed” but I suspect it will soon become another piece of the vast body of scientific evidence of CAGC nonsense.

July 22, 2016 11:24 am

“It is an interesting question to ponder, how much that might have mattered to impeding a social response to climate change. If real pain is mostly what it takes, Arrhenius would have had an explanation of how further pain could have been avoided.”…”If atmospheric CO2 had been a factor of 10 lower than it turned out to be, the changes we are now seeing in climate today would have occurred at about Arrhenius’ time (~1900).”
If “normal” CO2 had been 10x less it would have been really painful and social change would not have been impeded and Arrhenius would have persuaded everybody to use windmills not coal. Okay, I’m done pondering, can I have that 20 seconds back?
“The greenhouse blanketing effect of the initial CO2 concentration provides a fuse of some variable length, giving humanity time between when the match is lit and when the bomb goes off” … “the fuse was lit in 1800.”
Ohhh nooo, the world is going to explode!!!
“Taking these as our end points, the background-CO2 time-delay fuse lasted about two centuries.”
Oh, it already exploded. Never mind. Good thing we had those windmills.
“Trying to build such a model, it becomes clear which preconceived notions of how things work actually pan out, and which are undermined by some hidden flaw in reasoning or unexpected connection in reality.”
Hear, hear.

July 22, 2016 11:51 am

” if the temperature at the surface of the sun were just 1 % hotter ” , the Earth would be 1% hotter .
Perhaps the most fundamental quantitative absolute is that the temperature of a radiantly heated body is linear with the temperature of the radiant source .
” if Earth were just a few percent closer to the sun, … ” , the Earth would be the square root of that percent hotter .
The lack of universal understanding of these most basic high school level non-optional quantitative physical relationships I find disgusting . They show the utter nonscience fraud of AlGoreWarming , and what I see as inexcusable intellectual laziness pervasive in the “climate science” community which needs to be scrubbed clean by serious required undergraduate physics curricula .

July 22, 2016 12:07 pm

“CO2 forcing is logarithmic – the more CO2 you add, the less effect additional CO2 has on the climate system.”
Could it be possible that CO2 has little or no effect beyond the first 100 ppmv ?
Or no effect at all beyond 400 ppmv ?
Could it be that burning fossil fuels releases more than just CO2 into the atmosphere, and the other chemicals / particulates offset any warming effect from CO2 ?
Could there be negative feedbacks that offset much, most, or all, effects of CO2?
The effects of burning fossil fuels includes more than just the release of CO2.
The claimed positive feedbacks allegedly multiply the warming effects of CO2 — yet negative feedbacks are much more likely, because even with much higher levels of CO2 in the past, our planet has never had runaway warming (that has been predicted for the past 40 years).
The people who claim the average temperature effect of burning fossil fuels is logarithmic, and attribute all climate changes to CO2, have been making inaccurate climate forecasts for 40 years, based on the alleged logarithmic effect of CO2 — why should we believe them ?
Question everything !

Reply to  Richard Greene
July 22, 2016 12:40 pm

It’s Beer’s or Beer & Lambert’s Law . Google it and work thru the computations and their assumptions .
These effects can be computed and experimentally verified as they have been understood for more than a century . It’s like people have totally forgotten , or chose to ignore , how real branches of applied physics work .
First you understand the basics — the equations in 1 variable — and their experimental validation .
Then combinations . And you only claim to understand that which you can quantitatively explain .

Reply to  Bob Armstrong
July 22, 2016 2:24 pm

Burning fossil fuels does a lot more than just releasing pure CO2 in the air.
Humans also affect the primary greenhouse gas: water vapor.
There may be negative feedbacks that significantly offset, or even eliminate, the effects of CO2;.
No one knows how much warming CO2 has caused so far.
And no one knows how much, if any, warming more CO2 in the air will cause.
Much of the “proof” that CO2 causes warming is merely measuring the warming, and arbitrarily declaring it must have been caused by CO2, since we don’t like any other explanation.
It remains possible that CO2 has always been a minor climate change variable, and has caused much less of the warming in the past 150 years than some people think … meaning it is possible future warming from CO2 will be smaller than expected, perhaps too small to measure.
Much of what is “true” in science turns out to be temporarily true — later found to be slightly wrong, or mainly wrong, or completely wrong.
I know the Beer-Lambert Law governs gas absorption, but was not aware the IPCC uses it for their climate predictions.
A scientist who is “sure” about something often turns out to be wrong.
It may take many years, or even decades, but scientists today who are “sure” of what CO2 does to the average temperature … may end up being wrong.

Reply to  Richard Greene
July 22, 2016 8:20 pm

The same equations apply . The only effect on our global mean temperature any changes in the atmosphere , or surface for that matter , have are thru their effect on our spectrum as seen from space .
And no spectral effects , ie : GHG effects, explain why the bottom of atmospheres are hotter than the their tops .

William Grubel
July 22, 2016 12:11 pm

If we had some ham we’d have ham and eggs, if we had some eggs! I’ve heard that saying all my life, but I didn’t know it could be ginned up into a grant and a paper. Idiots, but dangerous idiots.

July 22, 2016 2:32 pm

The global climate is not “benign,” it is extremely dangerous. It is only technological society, fueled by among other things fossil fuels, that makes it possible for humans to exist in the current climate regime.

Philip Mulholland
July 23, 2016 2:31 am

If ifs and ands were pots and pans there’d be no need for tinkers.

Alan McIntire
July 23, 2016 6:11 am

“CO2 forcing is logarithmic – the more CO2 you add, the less effect additional CO2 has on the climate system. So how do you make this diminishing return sound scary? By creating a fantasy, or course.”
With tiny amounts of a gas, warming is proportional to N, the number of molecules. As the gas increases, wattage is proportional to the square root of log N, which is where we are..
With even further increases, the wattage increase becomes proportional to the square root of N.
The first article refers to the sun, but would apply to gases in earth’s atmosphere also.

July 23, 2016 7:40 am

Aside from Bill Illis’ approach, we have no idea where we fall on the negative log curve of diminishing effect. Modtran gives us some perspective.comment image
CO2 has completely absorbed OLR in the fundamental bending CO2 bands at 280 ppm. The remaining bands are very weak and/or also nearly saturated at 400 ppm.
We can invoke Boltzmann in a different attitude to evaluate the potential radiative forcing in the different CO2 bands.comment image
89% of the potential radiative forcing from CO2 is in the 667.4/15 micron band where OLR is already extinguished at 280 ppm.
As usual, the argument in the paper is upside down and backwards. If human industry had evolved during a period brighter sun (we are actually children of the Pleistocene), initial CO2 would have been higher per Henry’s law, and therefore at an even flatter part of the curve of diminishing effect.

July 30, 2016 5:26 pm

“CO2 forcing is logarithmic – the more CO2 you add, the less effect additional CO2 has on the climate system.”
Yes this is true. We know that thanks to climate scientists.
All together :
Thank you climate scientists.
Thank you climate science.

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