A new paper from Richard Betts shows land use change is a significant component of the global climate heat budget

From the Roger Pielke Sr. has been saying this for years department comes this paper where Dr. Richard Betts of the UK Met Office is a co-author. h/t/ to Betts Twitter feed today. It is published in Climate Dynamics. Unfortunately, it has a $40 price tag, since it is part of Springer publications, so I can’t offer much more than the abstract. It does look interesting though, even though it is not observationally based, but model based. However, despite that limitation, when the climate modelers start looking at things other than CO2, that can only be a good thing.

Other efforts include this database from the Université de Lausanne that shows just how much has changed over the last nearly three millenniums: (1000BC to 1850 AD)

Global KK10 land use maps at 1000 BC and 1850 Image: Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics , Université de Lausanne

Global KK10 land use maps at 1000 BC and 1850 Image: Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics , Université de Lausanne

Clearly, it is a global scale forcing when viewed at this scale.

The money quote from the new paper is this:

Our results suggest that land-use changes over the past century may represent a more important driver of historical climate change then [sic] previously recognised and an underappreciated source of uncertainty in global forcings and temperature trends over the historical period.

Effective radiative forcing from historical land use change

Richard A. BettsBen B. B. BoothChris D. JonesGareth S. Jones

The effective radiative forcing (ERF) from the biogeophysical effects of historical land use change is quantified using the atmospheric component of the Met Office Hadley Centre Earth System model HadGEM2-ES. The global ERF at 2005 relative to 1860 (1700) is −0.4 (−0.5) Wm−2, making it the fourth most important anthropogenic driver of climate change over the historical period (1860–2005) in this model and larger than most other published values. The land use ERF is found to be dominated by increases in the land surface albedo, particularly in North America and Eurasia, and occurs most strongly in the northern hemisphere winter and spring when the effect of unmasking underlying snow, as well as increasing the amount of snow, is at its largest. Increased bare soil fraction enhances the seasonal cycle of atmospheric dust and further enhances the ERF. Clouds are shown to substantially mask the radiative effect of changes in the underlying surface albedo. Coupled atmosphere–ocean simulations forced only with time-varying historical land use change shows substantial global cooling (dT = −0.35 K by 2005) and the climate resistance (ERF/dT = 1.2 Wm−2 K−1) is consistent with the response of the model to increases in CO2 alone. The regional variation in land surface temperature change, in both fixed-SST and coupled atmosphere–ocean simulations, is found to be well correlated with the spatial pattern of the forced change in surface albedo. The forcing-response concept is found to work well for historical land use forcing—at least in our model and when the forcing is quantified by ERF. Our results suggest that land-use changes over the past century may represent a more important driver of historical climate change then previously recognised and an underappreciated source of uncertainty in global forcings and temperature trends over the historical period.

Andrews, T., Betts, R.A., Booth, B.B.B. et al. Clim Dyn (2016). doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3280-7

 

Note: At the suggestion of Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. The title was updated to say “the global climate heat budget” instead of just “global warming”.

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151 thoughts on “A new paper from Richard Betts shows land use change is a significant component of the global climate heat budget

  1. “land-use changes over the past century may represent a more important driver of historical climate change then previously recognised”
    No shit Sherlock!

  2. … a more important driver of historical climate change then than previously recognised …

    You’d think that at $40 for the paper they could afford a proofreader. [/rant]

    • Hoist with my own petard.

      … a more important driver of historical climate change then than previously recognised …

    • Thanks, I’ve added a [sic]. This is a clear case of mental infill that occurs when reading. We “expect” to see “than” and the word “then” gets morphed in our minds to “than” it takes a keen eye to spot such things.
      Even MS-Word doesn’t catch it, I tested it on Word 2010 and it slips through unnoticed in the grammar and spell checker.

      • The problem with grammar checkers is that they don’t understand what is written. I once had a student whose written English was hard to understand. I put his work through a grammar checker and it became completely incomprehensible. The grammar checker and spell checker were happy with the result though.
        The thing that really gets up my nose is essay marking software. In the spirit of Spy vs. Spy, we also have essay writing software.

        Create Your A+ Essay Effortlessly! link

        Of course ‘Effortlessly’ means ‘Without learning anything.’ I’m obviously in a seriously grumpy mood today.

      • “The thing that really gets up my nose is essay marking software. In the spirit of Spy vs. Spy, we also have essay writing software.
        Create Your A+ Essay Effortlessly!
        Of course ‘Effortlessly’ means ‘Without learning anything.’ I’m obviously in a seriously grumpy mood today.”
        Kind of like trying to learn how our climate reacts to something by having a computer do the work for you.

      • I saw this a few years ago – and have kept it handy . . . .
        I halve a spelling checker,
        It came with my pea see.
        It plainly marks four my revue
        Mistakes I dew knot sea.
        Eye strike a key and type a ward
        And weight four it two say
        Weather eye am wrong oar write
        It shows me strait aweigh.
        As soon as a mist ache is maid
        It nose bee fore two long
        And eye can put the era rite
        Its rarely ever wrong.
        I’ve scent this massage threw it,
        And I’m shore your pleased too no
        Its letter prefect in every weigh;
        My checker tolled me sew.
        Smiles
        Auto
        PS – an even older one that works with almost any kind of kit, from batteries to bookkeeping, from PowerPoint to pet-breeding: –
        ACHTUNG!
        ALLES TURISTEN UND NONTEKNISCHEN LOOKENPEEPERS! DAS KOMPUTERMASCHINE IST NICHT FÜR DER GEFINGERPOKEN UND MITTENGRABEN! ODERWISE IST EASY TO SCHNAPPEN DER SPRINGENWERK, BLOWENFUSEN UND POPPENCORKEN MIT SPITZENSPARKEN. IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS. ZO RELAXEN UND WATSCHEN DER BLINKENLICHTEN.

  3. “The effective radiative forcing (ERF) from the biogeophysical effects of historical land use change is quantified in the Met Office Hadley Centre Earth system model HadGEM2ES using a fixed-SST atmospheric GCM experimental design. The global-annual-mean ERF at 2005 relative to 1860 is found to be −0.4 Wm−2, making it the fourth most important anthropogenic driver of climate change over the historical period (1860–2005)—behind CO2 (1.5 Wm−2), SO4 (−1.3 Wm−2) and CH4 (0.5 Wm−2), as diagnosed in this model (see Andrews 2014). ”
    and they argue consequently that ECS may be higher than we think.
    landuse change is a negative forcing.

      • Isn’t it miraculous: they can report forcings on the order of 0.5 to 1.5 Wm^-2 using climate models that can’t resolve the climate energy state to better than about 150 Wm^-2, and without knowing the surface energy budget to better than about (+/-)17 W^m-2.
        But, of course, when they take anomalies against an equilibrated base-state simulation, all the model errors subtract away. <– climate modeler fall-back defense.

      • “Well, it’s a model, not observations of reality. So this isn’t surprising at all.”
        You’re assuming that Mosher knows the difference, Anthony.
        There is little or no evidence that that is in fact the case, certainly none of his posts seem to indicate so.

      • Missing the point .
        If they CLAIMED it was observations you would have a point.
        But they dont,
        so you killed a strawman.

      • cat
        get the paper.
        Read it.
        I did.
        its free if you have half a brain and know how to search

      • The text is OK for a scientific or technical paper, but a little hard to read as a blog comment.
        “Human population in India increased from 20 to 120 crores by 1880 to 2010 [and projected to reach 137 crores by 2025].” Crore = 10 million,
        Suggested for blog, “Human population in India increased from 200 million to 1200 million from 1880 to 2010, and is projected to reach 1370 million by 2025.”
        Also,
        “That means, only in 54 Mha more than once crops are cultivated in a crop year on the same piece of land.”
        Suggested for blog, “That means only 54 Mha (about 38%) of land is cropped more than once per year.”
        The reason I suggest adding the percentage figure is that most readers have to stop and do the mental arithmetic. Most readers would probably grasp 540,000 square kilometers more readily than 54 Mha.

    • I find it very hard to believe that land surface change has caused a net cooling effect. This is likely yet another example of models being manipulated to show anything the authors want.

      • No, it’s a consequence of the fact that they hold other assumptions constant in the model, therefore it has to become negative. If they let climate sensitivity to CO2 vary in the model, it would probably go positive, but climate sensitivity would become much, much smaller.

      • Concurring with CG at 3:40. I also noted the thickly vegetated Australia. This has been “the wide brown land” for a long time. It is also very likely that the areas that could have been regarded as “vegetated” were under human management back in 1000 BC, so “naturally” vegetated might be a stretch. See Bill Gamage “The Biggest Estate on Earth”.

      • @ Martin Clark and Curious George, The article does say ” Natural vegetation” so if that includes natural desert “vegetation” I presume they are talking about any thing that would grow as “native” vegetation . If you look at it that way the deserts in all those years were “covered” with that. The map is kind of correct but clearly misleading as far as the color code is concerned..

      • “The map is kind of correct but clearly misleading as far as the color code is concerned..”
        The map is confusing to those who start trying to criticise without reading what it represents.
        Since the Sahara does not have any vegetation, it would be hard for it to have less than 100% of nothing.
        All of these ‘parameter’ are just tweaked to get something looking a bit like the (adjusted) historical record. There are hundreds of ways they could be semi-arbitrarily tweaked and still produce a reasonable fit to 1960-1990 , fail to produce the early 20th c. warming and get the post 2000 plateau wrong.

        This allows modellers to choose the set of parameters which best fits their preconceived ideas and play one thing off against another. This is why the whole modelling process is uninformative. There way too many poorly constrained variables and so the results tell us nothing.

        Hansen 2005 clearly states that you can get pretty much any sensitivity you want out of a model by choosing the parameters. I discussed this here:
        https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/06/on-determination-of-tropical-feedbacks/
        Volcanic forcing was scaled down after Lacis et al 1992 ( GISS group ) and this meant sensitivity to volcanic aerosols went up… and this allowed senstivity to CO2 to go up too. Works fine until you run out of volcanoes, then the model runs hot.

      • Greg, if I remember correctly, Sahara supplied the Roman Empire with grain. Do you maintain that it was all sand over 3,000 years?

    • By negative forcing you mean it decreases surface temperature? Trees stop solar radiation dozens of meters above the underlying soil in the tropics or in non-tropical summer, when the radiation is strongest.
      They also contribute to a healthy hydrological cycle, wherein clouds form and block the sun. Both via moisture management and also via having a strong effect on particle formation (via the organic compounds they give off).
      Has anyone considered all of the conversion of sunlight into plant growth that occurs, versus it hitting dirt/rocks/streets and simply turning into heat?
      Then there are indirect effects, like the typical slash-n-burn agriculture — or agriculture where trees are cleared and used for fires — which releases a fair amount of CO2 into the atmosphere.
      Can you make a case for how it would help cool temperatures, directly or indirectly? (Besides a model, which has variables “to control for” things?)

    • I think that there are some things that get overlooked in assuming a negative forcing resulting from clearing land. Anyone who walks from a forest into a bare, plowed field, or from a park into the developed city, observes that the bare area is hotter. The reflectivity of bare soil can vary widely, depending on the color of the soil. Claiming that removal of vegetation results in a negative forcing is painting with an overly broad brush because of differences in the color and texture of bare soil. Part of the problem is that vegetation uses transpiration to grow, and in the process cools the air above the vegetation. Another factor is that despite the low total reflectance of vegetation (only green light and near-IR is reflected) the blue and red light does not produce heating in vegetation, but is used in photosynthesis to produce cellulose and sugar. Since this article’s claim is based on a model — whose assumptions cannot be examined easily, — instead of empirical evidence, we should be cautious about accepting it at face value.

      • I agree Clyde, and what about the cooling of trees and vegetation via photosynthesis that is lost when the land is cleared. A warming effect. And should not all the concrete and pavement in the urban areas get a lot warmer than trees. I have a infrared thermometer to prove it. On a sunny day at about 80F air temp, grass reads about 80 to 85 while concrete of blacktop show well 100F. Seems like land use change gives warming, not cooling.

      • It strikes me that to do this modeling correctly, there should be a multidisciplinary team working on it. As it is, I think that some of the ‘climatologists’ are in over their head and wouldn’t even know how to go about doing a sanity check on their assumptions, or the output of the models.

      • “Mosher says “landuse change is a negative forcing.” Has that been measured?”
        The paper we are discussing says that the radiative forcing effect of landuse change is negative.
        Andrews, Timothy, Richard A. Betts, Ben BB Booth, Chris D. Jones, and Gareth S. Jones. “Effective radiative forcing from historical land use change.” Climate Dynamics (2016): 1-17.
        I have read most of the comments here and believe that most are off the mark. The idea of the paper is that *** if everything else is held constant *** then landuse change increases albedo. An increase in albedo will produce negative radiative forcing. This is very elementary theoretical physics. See R. M. Goody, Y. L. Yung
        Atmospheric Radiation: Theoretical Basis, Oxford University Press,1995.
        However, climatology is not about theoretical physics, but applied physics. Most critical comments here mention other variables that affect albedo and other phenomena. These are simply additional variables that have to be taken into account to estimate net radiative forcing.
        The existence of these other variables and their impact on climate does not change the theory. However, because of the unaccounted for variables, the theoretical conclusion of this paper does not have much to do with assessing real world net radiative forcing.
        Both James Hansen and Nir Shaviv have used the world ocean as a calorimeter to estimate net radiative forcing.
        “The inferred planetary energy imbalance, 0.58 ± 0.15 W m-2 during the 6-yr period 2005-2010, confirms the dominant role of the human-made greenhouse effect in driving global climate change.
        Hansen, James, et al. “Earth’s energy imbalance and implications.”Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11.24 (2011): 13421-13449.
        Shaviv, Nir J. “Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics (1978–2012)113.A11 (2008).
        Hansen concluded “The inferred planetary energy imbalance, 0.58 ± 0.15 W m-2 during the 6-yr period 2005-2010, confirms the dominant role of the human-made greenhouse effect in driving global climate change.”
        His estimate purported to include all effects, including GHGs, aerosols and landuse changes.
        Hansen’s peers within NASA, other Federal agencies and contractors, commented on his results.
        What did Dr Hansen’s colleagues think? First they rounded 0.58 to 0.6 W m-2. And then they said that such precision is not possible with existing technology.
        “The net energy balance is the sum of individual fluxes. The current uncertainty in this net surface energy balance is large, and amounts to approximately 17 Wm-2. This uncertainty is an order of magnitude larger than the changes to the net surface fluxes associated with increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Fig. 2b). The uncertainty is also approximately an order of magnitude larger than the current estimates of the net surface energy imbalance of 0.6 ±0.4 Wm-2 inferred from the rise in OHC. The uncertainty in the TOA net energy fluxes, although smaller, is also much larger than the imbalance inferred from OHC. (TOA means top of the atmosphere).
        Stephens, Graeme L., et al. “An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations.” Nature Geoscience 5.10 (2012): 691-696.
        URL: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n10/full/ngeo1580.html
        To make certain readers don’t miss the point, I summarize. Dr. Hansen told us that the Earth’s energy imbalance of a little over half a Watt per square meter compared to 240 Watts incoming “confirms the dominant role of the human-made greenhouse effect in driving global climate change.”
        His peers said that the uncertainty in the net radiative balance is 17 Watts per square meter. More meaningful error bars would be +0.58 +/-8.5 Watts per square meter. This implies that the uncertainty in radiative balance is not merely the quantum, but also the sign of the imbalance.
        Dr Hansen’s data cannot tell us whether Earth was warming or cooling.

    • Beat me to it Andy, Mosh tends to state these things as if the are empirical facts, that could be very misleading, well in fact it is, the general public have been totally misled into thinking models are the real world

    • Nic Lewis’s post says that the forcing from land use changes used in energy balance models was −0.19 W/m2. https://climateaudit.org/2016/01/21/marvel-et-al-implications-of-forcing-efficacies-for-climate-sensitivity-estimates-an-update/
      IF the forcing from land use change produced by HadGEM2ES model were more accurate than the mean ERF of the IPCC’s other models, that roughly 10% decrease in total radiative forcing would represent a 10% increase in climate sensitivity. Not much to write home about – if Betts et al are correct. Is there any reason to believe that the HadGEM2ES model is any better than any of the other models at predicting the forcing from land use changes? Is there any observational evidence that proves HadGEM2ES does a superior job reproducing forcing from land use changes? Or is this example of cherry-picking among unvalidated differences between models in an attempt to subtract a few tenths of a W/m2 from anthropogenic forcing here and thereby reduce the gap between EBMs and AOGCMs?

    • landuse change is a negative forcing.
      This is one of these really dumb claims that keeps getting repeated.
      We had forest on our property next to cleared land. The forest was ambient temperature at the top where the leaves were to ambient or less on the ground.
      Cleared land is almost as bad as asphalt (as is obvious from surface engineering studies).
      You could feel the heat from the cleared land and it was painful to walk on barefoot but not quite as bad as asphalt.. Grass as anyone who has walked on it in the summer knows never gets much warmer than ambient.
      The satellites should be able to reconstruct actual land temperature from fitting the transparent IR wavelengths to a Wein/Planck curve. The a-train passes over at 1:30 PM which is pretty close to peak surface temperature.
      A clear sky surface temperature map would make it pretty obvious if land use increases or decreases temperatures.

    • Right above the graphs…”Other efforts include this database from the Université de Lausanne that shows just how much has changed over the last nearly three millenniums: (1000BC to 1850 AD)”.

      • No, stadia is the plural of stadium. Like maxima , minima and millennia.
        American simplified dialect English tends to use s for plurals except “mass media” which for some reason is preserved and not called “mass mediums”.
        [? Stadia, in surveying, are also the crosshairs on the reticle of a theodolite or other surveying instrument that allow stadiametric rangefinding. mod]

      • Some reason . . Mass ~ Big, Medium ~ not Big ; )
        [In physics,
        mass => presents distort space-time,
        mediums => past ghosts distort present time. .mod]

      • @ JohnKnight
        According to the Einstein’s original paper (1905) mass is a measure of amount of energy contained in a body:
        “If a body gives off the energy L in the form of radiation, its mass (K) diminishes by L/c^2”
        Original Einstein’s equation (later simplified to E=mc^2) was given as
        K0 − K1 = 1/2 * Lv^2/c^2 .

  4. This is a most welcome and important piece of work. Many of us have thought that changes in albedo due to agriculture and urbanisation have affected climate, at least locally, but haven’t been able to test this hypothesis. The reason for this belief is that albedo effects are far more powerful than the effects that may or may not be due to the weak optical gas CO2. But there may be more to this than just radiation effects. Natural vegetation uses water to both transpire minerals up to the leaves and as a substrate along with CO2 in photosynthesis (hence fixing both it and CO2 into organic compounds). Hence the released water vapour is much, much less from a native biome than from irrigated land, where the amount of water vapour released is likely to be up to 90% of the irrigation volume. Water in the atmosphere is a very powerful optical factor (oops, showing my age – it should be driver). Clouds (water vapour) reflect and water (both as a gas and as vapour) absorbs many wavelengths strongly. That the sky is blue is NOT due to CO2!
    But a bit of warming maybe a very good thing since the almost irrefutable downward trend in mean temperature over the last few millennia (albeit with a few ups and downs) is evidence that we are headed for another ice age far earlier than most estimates of its inception of 10,000 years in the future. If we do plunge into an ice age in 50 to 200 years it won’t be pleasant and will make a sick joke over our current concern with global warming. However, global warming may delay or even prevent this disastrous occurrence. and must be a good thing surely? We can cope easily with a moderate amount of warming, but we could not cope with an ice age given our present global economy and population.

    • Changes) presented few examples relating to land use changes. One of the figure presents the series of maps compares the changes in urban, agricultural and forested lands in the Patuxent River watershed over past 140 years [1850-1992]. This did not included the changes in area under water resources.
      Human population in India increased from 20 to 120 crores by 1880 to 2010 [and projected to reach 137 crores by 2025]. This resulted large changes in land use patterns. Forests reduced from 89 to 63 Mha during the same period with relatively greater deforestation during British rule [1880-1950] and in contrast to forests, cropland area has increased from 92 to 140.1 Mha during 1880-2010. Greater cropland expansion has occurred during 1950-1980s that coincided with the period of farm mechanization, electrification, and introduction of high yielding crop varieties. The rate of urbanization was slower during 1880-1940 but significantly increased after the 1960s with modern technological innovations in infrastructure to meet the modern life styles. In future, to meet the growing population, the changes in land use and land cover change further.
      India’s total geographical area is 329 Mha of which 195 Mha is gross cropped area and 141 Mha is net cropped area. That means, only in 54 Mha more than once crops are cultivated in a crop year on the same piece of land. In the net cropped area the net irrigated area is only 65.3 Mha and the rest of the cropped area is rain-fed.
      In this context suggested two parameters, namely heat-island effect [it is in use since 1880] and cold-island effect [coined by myself]. When compute average temperature of the region, we must have met stations uniformly. Without this, the effect of wind speed and direction [moist air or dry air] on surrounding temperature will not be accounted.
      This global temperature curve construction is biased by the met stations spread. So, simply land use changes cause cooling is a misnomer and misleading inferences [it is only theoretical] as the land use change in its totality is not accounted in the averaging of global average temperature curve [this is the reality] as the met network present dense over urban areas and sparse in rural areas. However, this is not so, with satellite data and thus with the land use change cooling effect, present little change in temperature which includes natural variability and other factors like El Nino-La Nina, Volcanic activity, etc. The so-called global warming is less than 0.2 oC and with the time this will come down for the same period as the CO2 impact on energy conversion has reached nearly flat condition as the energy available is not infinity but very limited.
      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • In my book “Climate Change: Myths & Realities” [2008] under chapter 7 (Ecological
        This is the first sentence — missing, sorry for the inconvenience
        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  5. Again this period of time in the climate is not unique, therefore anything used to try to justify this climate period of time has no real substance.
    Past history shows this period of time in the climate is nothing special.

  6. http://dandebat.dk/eng-klima7.htm
    More data from the past which shows this period of warmth is NOT unique.
    I am going to keep harping on this to expose how misleading the AGW enthusiast when presenting their case to the public.
    Five cornerstones from where I come from on the climate issue are as follows:
    1. Past history shows this period in the climatic record is not unique.
    2. Past history shows that each and every time solar enters a period of PROLONGED minimum solar activity the global temperatures have responded down. I have listed the criteria (in the past) which was last met in the period 2008-2010. With that said I think there is an excellent chance of this criteria being met presently and this time the duration could be much longer.
    3. There is a GHG effect but I maintain it is more a result of the climate/environment rather then it being the cause of the climate.
    4. If one looks at the climate just since 1950 -present(to take a recent period of time) and factors solar, volcanic activity, global cloud cover and ENSO versus resultant temperature changes one will find a very strong correlation.
    5. Temperature data of late must be met with suspicion. I maintain satellite temperature data is the only valid temperature data.
    Remember if global cloud coverage should increase and snow coverage/sea ice coverage should increase in response to prolonged minimum solar conditions that would accomplish the albedo to increase. Even a .5% to 1% increase would wipe out all of the recent warming.
    Albebo is hard to change and at the same time it takes very little change in it to have climatic effects.
    It is similar to Ice Age conditions versus Inter-Glacial conditions; hard to go from one regime to the other but at the same time the change required is very minimal. It is a balancing act which most of the time is in balance but every so often factors conspire to throw it out of balance which we know when we look at the climatic history of the earth.
    CLIMATIC HISTORY – which is totally being ignored by the AGW movement has to be kept in the forefront and I am going to do that each and every time I combat their notion that this period of time in the climate is somehow unique.
    I wonder what it is going to take to get the truth out about this period of time in the climate which is by no way unique?

  7. I’ve gone over the article (I can read it for free where I work.) The authors of the paper argue that the effect of land surface changes have resulted in a NET COOLING of the Earth, with a radiative forcing of -0.4 W/m^2, opposite in sign to the effect of greenhouse gases. I just find that very hard to believe: that changing forests and prairies into fields and cities has a net cooling effect. But then, in model world, anything is possible!

  8. If anybody is interested, A paper which reviewed precipitation and temperature change was published last year in HESSD which came to the same conclusion. http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/20/1765/2016/hess-20-1765-2016-discussion.html This paper was reviewed publicly, so it has changed a lot since it’s initial findings (of note: Roger Pielke, Sr. was the first to comment on the paper in the public forums.)
    “Our results also show that LULCC alone causes warming in the extremes of daily mean and maximum temperatures by a maximum of 1–1.2 °C, which is comparable with the observed increasing trend in the extremes. Decrease in forest cover and simultaneous increase in crops not only reduces the evapotranspiration over land and large-scale convective instability, but also contributes toward decrease in moisture convergence through reduced surface roughness. These factors act together in reducing significantly the moderate rainfall events and the amount of rainfall in that category over central India.”
    In my opinion, this should be regarded as much more significant component of anthropogenic climate change than carbon dioxide. We’ve seen this effects many times — until recently, 1934 had been the warmest year on record in the United States. There is a clear cause for this effect — a major LULCC known as ‘the dust bowl.’ We are seeing the same effect in Syria right now. The government engaged in non-sustainable agricultural methods for over a decade to try to keep themselves in power. The result has been their own drought and warming cycle.

    • Following the devastation of the extreme wind erosion experienced during the dust bowl years, hedgerows and shelter belts were planted throughout the US Southern and Central Plains. Those hedgerows are a thing of the past and no longer exist, having been ripped out and put to the plow, to grow corn for ethanol production. Formerly tree- lined country roads in Kansas are now treeless and some farmers have even been known to run their seed drills a foot or so out into the roads, to maximize their planted acreage. Gotta harvest that political dollar- and what else could you call the US ethanol fuel program?
      Soil conservation and other environmental goodness have been tossed aside to fulfill the ethanol- CO2 reduction scheme. In similar vein of Green hypocrisy, we hear- “oh, but cats kill birds”, in response to concerns about windgens and raptor deaths.

  9. Because it is model based I am reminded of Peter Franks presentation at Heartland on error propagation in models. If his analysis has not been performed on the model it might be as useless as the GCMs he reviews.

  10. I was compiling a key for one of the oldest detailed maps of the world (the 1750 William Roy map of Scotland) and started to look for “forest”. After searching and searching I finally found one!! – Indeed it appears that in 1750, Scotland was largely treeless.
    This is not the case today, which strongly suggests that the large use of fossil fuels that replaced that of wood far from doing harm, has actually allowed the native tree cover to regrow. In other words, the map suggest that there is more woodland now than in 1750.

    • And just as an after thought – who can doubt that if the map showed more forest in 1750 – that every single academic in the field would have reproduced it time and time again to “prove” how much damage fossil fuel use had done. But because it shows and increase … we hear nothing!

      • I think it’s recorded that all the woods in Fife were used in the construction of The Great Micheal at the start of the 16th century. Probably accounts for the lack of forests in that part of Scotland.

    • Along a similar line of reasoning Africa and other nations with large populations of impoverished citizens must scavenge what is around them to meet their daily needs. As an analogy “they are eating their land”, as they use the woodlands and brushlands for fuel and building materials.

      • And don’t forget the goats, which eat anything herbaceous that pokes its head above ground. For sedentary herders, in arid climes and semi desert areas goats are a curse for natural re-greening /regeneration of the Sahel and beyond.

    • This is probably also true for much of New England, which was initially cleared for farms that have been abandoned. One can walk in the woods and find old stone walls that used to mark the field boundaries.

  11. Our results suggest that land-use changes over the past century may represent a more important driver of historical climate
    The above from the article which once again apparently does not take into the account the historical climatic record, such as the Holocene Optimum for starters which was much warmer then today with very little change in land use back then.
    How do you square it?

    • The Milankovitch cycle squares that. At it’s peak point during and after the breakout from the depths of glaciation, global temps were warmer.

      • goldminor that is why I responded the way I did. I have said this about 100 times or so.
        Salvatore Del Prete
        August 6, 2016 at 5:31 am
        The bottom line is this period of time in the climate is in no way unique or different from previous warm spikes the climate has had since the Holocene Optimum. This period of time is not only not as warm as previous spikes of warmth in the climate such as the Roman and Medieval warm periods to name a few but does nothing to alter the fact that the climate since the Holocene Optimum some 8000 years ago has been in a gradual cooling trend with spikes of warmth within this gradual cooling trend.
        If one evaluates the climate since the Holocene Optimum until today and takes into consideration Milankovitch Cycles and superimposes solar activity upon this and further refines this with volcanic activity and more recently more reliable ENSO data a very good correlation will be shown to be established between these factors versus the resultant climate. Further if CO2 is put into this mix one will find a zero correlation between the climate and CO2 concentrations.

    • Then why did you ask this question?…”How do you square it?..”.
      Those are your words. What did you mean when you posted that? What am I missing? I think you are full of it with your attempt to state otherwise. Was that your evil twin brother who made the original comment?

  12. Good to see an article like this but why are the deserts like Sahara showing 100% vegetation?
    Ground water extraction is not mentioned which is a significant aspect of changes in land use. Ground water has fallen over nearly all densely populated areas of the globe which means less evaporation and therefore hotter surface temps.

  13. Greener Earth produces more water vapor. Transpiration is what makes clouds above tropical islands and rain forests.

  14. Again I have to say it all of these articles that keep coming out about the climate are acting as if the climate is in some uncharted territory and nothing could be further from the truth.
    Enough said. I can’t wait until the global temp. trend is in a definite downward trend.

  15. OK, it’s 100% natural vegetation, but when there isn’t any or very little in the big deserts!

  16. I have been self-taught over my career in writing computer code to always ‘test’ the extreme’s of the data on your new algorithm. So let’s apply this to a thought experiment on land use changes.
    Assume humans never existed so there is no anthropogenic changes to land. Apparently this would mean the Earth would be warmer than with humans, absent other anthropogenic effects. This means IPCC should be calling for massive new deforestation to help reduce global warming.
    Now assume that man has plowed under every square centimeter of Earth and planted crops. They have to supply water to the crops so a huge increase in water evaporation must be present. The crops are harvested and replanted, so at least 25% of the time the Earth is more barren than when mature crops are present. Apparently this cools the Earth.
    My own experience tells me this is wrong – its cooler inside the confines of a forest than standing in a cornfield. The effect is so large it is obvious to anyone who pays any sort of attention to it without any tools to measure it. (maybe the lack of direct sunlight striking me instead of air temperature?)
    Massive irrigation should have a net warming effect due to increased moisture in the air, unless there is a corresponding increase in convection cell activity to transport heat upwards. I think back to standing in irrigated fields and remember oppressive humidity and heat.
    All of this is testable:
    – Compare the temperatures of plowed fields versus nearby forests using satellite data.
    – Look for increased clouds downwind of plowed fields – increased convection should result in increased cloud cover.

    • Robert
      FWIW
      In this area we have a mix of open tussock grasslands and savanna woodlands.
      It came as a suprise to notice that on a hot day (around 38 C or so) a vehicle’s engine temperature reads higher where the road is going through the woodland. I presume it comes from any breeze in the area being around ground level over the grassland and a boundary layer over the trees in the woodland.
      And further on the boundary layer – in a truck of marginal power you can gain up to around 20 kph in the woodland when it is a headwind.

  17. The first question I always think of when contemplating an article like this is: Which is cause and which is effect? ie Does the farmer clear more land and change the ecosystem because the climate temperature allowed him to grow crops where he couldn’t before OR did he have to quit farming places like the Sahara or Gobi desert because of lack of water where it existed before? AND, what are the consequences of these actions on man’s ability to thrive (or not) at the time these changes began?
    As far as I can tell these types of questions are not even considered in the model presented in this paper. ‘Chicken/Egg’ questions cannot be assumed without at least a logical and plausible explanation of the reasons for the choices.

    • Personally, I think that the role of center-pivot irrigation is a very under-rated modifier of local, relative humidity.

  18. 2.2. The Postsatellite Era
    Estimates of Earth’s albedo have remained largely unchanged from the value of 0.30 deduced from earliest
    measurementfirst from the Explorer-7 satellite observations in 1959 [Kandel and Viollier, 2010]. This value was
    later confirmed from the Nimbus satellite measurements byVonder Haar and Suomi[1971] andJacobowitz et al.
    [1984]. This value is also only slightly different from the current estimate of 0.29 from CERES observations
    [Wielicki et al., 1996] described later. While
    these satellite-based values have changed
    little over time, the confidence level of the
    estimates has greatly increased as both
    accuracy of instruments and algorithms to
    derive albedo improved. The accuracy is
    estimated to be 2% for the ERBE shortwave
    scanner instruments and 1% for the CERES
    SW instruments [Wieliki et al., 2006; Loeb et al.,
    2009]. The estimated stability of the observed
    reflectedflux by CERES instruments is
    0.3 W m
    2
    per decade [Loeb et al., 2007]
    I tend to think this is correct but could change if cloud coverage, snow coverage and sea ice coverage were to increase, in a permanent more meaningful way associated with this prolonged solar minimum which is n progress. Time will tell.
    Albedo changes going forward are key to what the future climate may or may not do even a slight change will have impacts.

    • The so-called albedo is an underestimate of total reflectivity because the 71% of the Earth that is covered with water reflects primarily by specular reflection and unless the sensor is directly in line with the sun, it will measure only negligible scattering from waves. Even diffuse reflectance from soil, snow, and vegetation has a strong forward reflectance lobe that isn’t measured by albedo measurements. Albedo is best restricted to measuring the relative brightness of celestial bodies without water and vegetation.

  19. The most recent large scale and arguably detrimental land use change in North America has occurred with vast swathes of marginal grazing and woodlands being cleared, plowed and planted in corn, just to make ethanol. Bare earth exposure to the Sun always increases air and soil temps in the local area of the plowed fields.
    Plowing also causes organic matter which has been stored in undisturbed soils to then be rapidly released to the atmosphere, due to exposure to air and subsequent aerobic bio- conversion to CO2. The plowed ground then has a reduction in moisture retention, as well. Another environmental impact results from ever greater wind and rain erosion of those plowed, marginal soils and finally, there is an increase in runoff of applied fertilizers and other agri- chemicals, resulting in just the sort of eutrophication as is occurring in the over 200- mile dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore of Mississippi.

  20. I had to go back and look to be sure, but I remembered Pielke Sr.’s position being that Land Use/Land Cover Change was a positive feedback, clouding the issue of the degree warming via CO2. From his paper,”JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229, 2007 He sees a +1.5°C/decade change in the rate of warming from LU/LCC from a base of +.08°C/decade trend.

  21. They give it to you in small bytes. First they overestimate what the effect is. It’s why we can cut IPCC’s ECS in half at least. Thought experiment: do you believe these guys, tasked with finding humans are killing the planet, would UNDERESTIMATE the warming? QED! Once we are accustomed to cultivation estimate, then they can double down steadfastly on their overblown CO2 theoretical parameters and, explain away 20yr pauses and other nuisances. They know the aerosols ‘adjustment’ just wasn’t convincing. They argued fiercely for an infinitessmal natural variation effect to deep six the LIA and the MWP and then had to use it and the dreaded quiet sun to bolster their failing chisled-in-granite CO2 control knob. The ECS estimate that makes the most sense has the side effect of making CO2 of smaller importance. This new one gives them -0.4C more to play to shore up the tired tattered theory. Let’s not get into warming induced negative feedbacks to sully the waters.

  22. The bottom line and I have to keep saying it is the climate of today is not unique and falls within climate variation as provided by the historical climate record even going back as little as 8000 years.

  23. Do you think the American West was green in the 1850 or 1750 AD like the above graphic purports to show.
    Not a chance. It was a dry desert-like grassland with not a tree in sight.
    It might have been green for a month in May or June, but the rest of the year it was brown (high albedo) or white (high albedo snow in the winter).
    It looked like this for 11 months of the year. Cloud-free albedo of 40%, cloud covered albedo of 50%. Today, with all the trees planted by humans and the trees protected by wildfire by humans and the green crops planted by humans, it is more like 35% albedo on average.
    http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/prairie.jpg
    Climate science can make up any numbers they want to because that is what the whole institution is based. No actual measurements, just made-up numbers fed into a climate model.

    • Exactly Bill many of these studies on the climate are meaningless. I call these studies trying to micro manage the climate to try to make it fit their false points and predictions. All baseless all ignoring past climatic history.

    • Hi Bill.
      It seems to me that the dark green indicates a high percentage of natural vegetation.
      Not its colour, type or density.

      • Greenland is colored white because of its percentage of natural vegetation? C’mon, we know what this is all based on.
        The climate models are based on human land-use being negative. No estimates are built-in for urban heat island affecting thermometer readings. Prairies are greener than they used to be ( except in the climate modles). Sahara is greener than it used to be (except in the climate models). Greenland has more soot-cover than it used to have (except in …). Climate models assume cloud fraction declines as it gets warmer but also declines as it gets cooler. What?
        Do the climate models assume the overall albedo has gone up or gone down? Ever seen a number quoted anywhere? What was the Earth’s albedo is the ice ages? (You might be surprised to hear it was hardly any different in the climate model simulations – 1.0 percentage point higher).
        Spend some time reviewing this topic – albedo – and one becomes jaded in no time at all.

    • Here for example…http://www2.mcdaniel.edu/Biology/wildamerica/grasslands/graslandoutline.html
      ====================================================================================
      “The tall grass prairie gets its name from the upright bluestems (Andropogon spp. shown left ) that reach heights of 6 feet or more by late summer.”
      ———————————————————————————————————————————–

    • Bill I’ll is, Ditto Canadian prairies and a dozen more arid regions in Africa, S. America, Australia…

  24. random thoughts…
    1. What actually defines or determines ‘climate’? If you or I walk into a previously unvisited place, how do we describe it to someone who has never been there?
    Would that description be valid or meaningful if it did not describe, directly or indirectly, what water is doing in that place?
    2. Everyone imagines they know all about water simply because its everywhere – impacts my Point 1
    But do they understand what a unique substance it is, how its in a league of its own both thermodynamically and mechanically. There aren’t even any substances in the 2 leagues below it. Totally special. We see that confusion especially when alarmists talk about high temp causing high humidity, In your shower-room maybe, but out in the real world they are mutually exclusive because there’s only one energy source, it cannot warm you up and evaporate water. either or.
    3. Then everyone imagines they know all about feedback, and anyone who comes along raving about positive feedback in the climate system is quite beyond hope.
    Even the simplest feedback system, 2 resistors around an op-amp is a pig to comprehend, just what does cause what. Classic chicken and egg. Then all feedback systems have 2 inputs, inverting and non-inverting and they can have below unity gain, above unity or =unity. See alarmists confuse above-unity non-inverting gain as positive feedback. no its not.
    4. Still with feedback and the op-amp analogy, what defines an actual feedback and what is simply an offset or bias? With the op-amp, instead of tying the + input to ground, tie it to some other voltage and the output is centred on that new voltage. It doesn’t change the gain or frequency response. Is it inconceivable that CO2 is simply a bias or offset in a feedback system and not a run-away change in the gain of the system?
    5. Back to water. It sticks to itself. It is fantastically sticky stuff. Do folks actually appreciate that? To my eye it seems the opposite is the case, folks think water is slippery stuff.
    So, back to describing out new/alien environment, we are bound to refer to the plants there, dead or alive. And plants are made of glucose (primary product of photosynthesis) and glucose is mostly water, 6 carbon atoms and 6 water molecules. it may become cellulose or lignin but is still mostly water whether its in living plant or a long dead one buried in the dirt and totally unrecognisable as a plant anymore. Still= water and that water attracts and sticks to more water when ever more water comes within range. And how big is that range – is it Angstroms or hundreds of miles?
    6. Finally land use and farming. Busying oneself with plants = busying with water = busying with how we would describe climate. And how much has the world’s population grown since 1850. Those people are obviously alive, they are eating something to sustain themselves and that something comes from farmers messing with water = messing with climate………

  25. Long ago skeptics used to read papers, ask for data, and dig down into the details.
    Now, they just read abstracts and make judgments..
    who else did that? Ah ya, Cook in his consensus study.

    • “Long ago skeptics used to read papers, ask for data, and dig down into the details.”
      And long ago scientists used to do science.
      Now they Mannipulate data using AlGoreithms and sell second-hand databases to True Believers, a bit like priests in the fifteenth century used to sell Indulgences…
      Such is life…

  26. 1850 humans used 4% of the land surface. Today 40%. Cities alone use 4%. Explains why surface thermometers are reading so much higher than ocean and satellite.

  27. Well, it is a crowded field in climate scare science. There is always the potential for Captain Obvious papers to meet the pub quota.

  28. Our results suggest that land-use changes over the past century may represent a more important driver of historical climate change then [sic] previously recognised and an underappreciated source of uncertainty in global forcings and temperature trends over the historical period.
    ___________________________________________
    Steps of escalation –
    from – save the future of the children
    to – save the future from the children
    ___________________________________________
    pure coincidence – germany right now develops some kind of ‘rating list’ for [ preferred young ] ‘refugees’ – as other ‘migrate countries’ already have.

  29. Steven Mosher August 8, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    cat
    get the paper.
    Read it.
    I did.
    its free if you have half a brain and know how to search

    I have more than half a brain, and I looked. I couldn’t find it. So, you’ve proven that you are smarter than me.
    And now, having proven that .. .are you going to provide a link, or are you going to be a drive-by jerk?
    And more to the point, WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST PROVIDE A LINK TO START WITH? Why make anyone have to go and find it themselves?
    You are among the original “no data, no code, no science” guy. It is one of the strongest things to your credit …and you are now acting just as badly as those that you have excoriated in the past for hiding data. Instead of providing a link, you are the one now hiding the data. From the evidence, you’ve done this so you can use it as an excuse to taunt and boast of your superiority … sorry, my friend, but sometimes you go tragically off the rails in your attempts to establish your own value.
    Which is crazy, because those of us who read past the surface and ignore your taunts do value your ideas and thoughts. In my book you are a very smart guy. However … you are making it unnecessarily hard to appreciate or even notice that …
    Sadly,
    w.

    • sadly you haven’t read the comments because i posted a link TWICE.
      your google-fu is just weak and you’re whining like a baby.

      • gnomish August 9, 2016 at 5:07 pm

        sadly you haven’t read the comments because i posted a link TWICE.
        your google-fu is just weak and you’re whining like a baby.

        Thanks for that, gnomish, but what on earth does that have to do with Mosh, the king of “no data, no science”, not posting a link to data, despite boasting about how he can find one? Clearly you’re not following the conversation.
        w.

      • Oh, yeah, gnomish. I just tried your link.
        Five times.
        Each time, it gave me what I’ve always gotten from Sci-Hub:

        “The server unexpectedly dropped the connection. This sometimes occurs when the server is busy”.

        Ever since Sci-Hub came on the scene, I’ve tried about two dozen times to get through … and I’ve never succeeded. Not once.No idea why, but I’ve given up on it. But I figured that now it must be working, since you obviously got through.
        Nothing. Times five.
        So … I fear your link is less than helpful. Any assistance in how to break through to Sci-Hub would be appreciated.
        w.

      • gnomish August 10, 2016 at 12:23 am

        nothing wrong with the link
        https://www.sendspace.com/file/s26okr
        but here you go.
        spoonfed…lol

        Learn to read. I never said that there was anything wrong with your link. I said the server repeatedly dropped the connection. In any case, thanks for the data, and you might do well to lose the ‘tude … just sayin’, it don’t look good on you.
        w.

      • yeah, i know. i’m ugly. sociopathic, abrasive and weird. nothing looks good on me.
        but i kept the focus and solved the problem instantly.
        my browser is opera in case you think that’s worth a try.

      • schwa… this is something i’m really not sure is going to be worth it -but wtf – why not?
        and it’s your comment about ‘attitude’ that prompted this – so you know.
        you posted a paragraph chiding mosher for not publishing a link.
        he didn’t have to because i did it twice.
        you asked it a disputatious way- there’s the answer.
        i was the definitely part of the conversation which you were not following.
        i could have said ‘yah, if you have half a brain, stop sitting on it and put it to use’ or something, right?
        i mean- you invited that kind of response with your obstreperousness – but i didn’t.
        if you can’t work sci hub- then you have a bit of a problem to troubleshoot.
        this silliness: “Learn to read. I never said that there was anything wrong with your link.”
        is not a problem with my ability to read. nobody ever misquoted you. again- it’s your disputatious attitude that leads you to make trouble. it’s all you.
        i let you know there was nothing wrong with the link. that should help you narrow down the root of the problem. if it’s not the link- it’s all on you. i can’t diagnose it any further. my info was pertinent and useful – you’re welcome – put it to use, eh?
        yeah- i mocked you for not getting the file – because you were whining but it’s your problem, your fault and nobody else can help that but you- whining is not the way. arguing with people is not the way. curmudgin is not the way.
        heh- i must really like you, tho- cuz i let all that go by and got you the file.
        if you’d ever like me to solve your problems another time- please give up the whining and disputatious stuff and good god- if you really want me to lose the attitude- i will- but it’s your attitude i’ll shed.
        or just credit me with 3 big fat indulgences so i can have a free pass when i get stupid – if i ever do. 😉
        peace, bro. only fight when there’s something to win.

      • lol, best response ever gnomish!
        [cheering on others who say “…you’re whining like a baby.” is indicative of your own quality of commentary /mod]

      • I tried downloading and the server dropped my connection too, the file never finished. Third attempt was a charm.
        I agree with Willis though, Mosher is being unnecessarily pig-headed by, but he seems to like being that way. Ever since he went to work for BEST, he stopped being personable.

      • Thanks, Anthony. When Sci-Hub was announced, I was the happiest man … then I went and tried to download something. To date, I’ve made at least fifteen attempts to reach the site and I have never been successful. Not once.
        And Gnomish is so poor at reading, he thinks I’m complaining about a “bad link” … it’s not the link that is bad. I just can’t get to the site. Might be due to the fact that I’m on a satellite connection, which has a latency of about 3/4 of a second, I don’t know.
        But the fact remains, I’ve never been able to get through. Now if Gnomish or his fanboyz want to bust me for that, fine …
        Hang on, let me try again, I’ll click on Gnomish’s link one last time … … … …
        Nope. No joy. Same message, “server dropped the connection”. Go figure.
        w.

  30. Well, thinking in a real world would eliminate everything but heat and it in itself, with pressure control everything. There is no “well, if we fudge the heat content”.

  31. The problem I have with this study is that it just covers direct radiative effects … and the problem with that approach is well expressed in the IPCC AR5:

    There is robust evidence that anthropogenic land use change has increased the land surface albedo, which leads to an RF of –0.15 ± 0.10 W m–2. There is still a large spread of estimates owing to different assumptions for the albedo of natural and managed surfaces and the fraction of land use changes before 1750. Land use change causes additional modifications that are not radiative, but impact the surface temperature, in particular through the hydrologic cycle. These are more uncertain and they are difficult to quantify, but tend to offset the impact of albedo changes. As a consequence, there is low agreement on the sign of the net change in global mean temperature as a result of land use change. {8.3.5}
    SOURCE WGI Chapter 8

    The problem is that a change in “LU/LC”, or “Land Use /Land Cover”, has a whole range of effects on the climate. These are so varied that as the IPCC says, there is “low agreement” as to even the SIGN of the net effects, much less the actual amplitude. As the IPCC points out, these changes are not inherently radiative (although they may have knock-on radiative effects). The biggest change is expressed by my maxim that “When you cut down the trees, you cut down the clouds.” This expresses the close relationship between cloud cover and the millions of tons of water that are released annually into the atmosphere by transpiration from forests.
    How big is the transpiration of water by forests? Well, a USDA study says:

    Case study analyses across a range of site conditions and species indicate a maximum transpiration capacity of approximately 7.5x 10^6 liters of water per hectare per year (8 x 10^5 gallons of water per acre per year), with a range of 1.5 x 10^6 to 7.5 x 10^6 liters per hectare per year (1.6 x 10^5 to 8 x 10^5 gallons per acre per year).

    This is equivalent to a range of .15 to .75 metres of transpiration per year
    This is most useful, because we know that it takes about 76 W/m2 over the course of a year to evaporate a metre of water. This means that for the USDA data, 0.15 to 0.75 metres of transpiration reflects a surface cooling of 0.15 to 0.75 metres annual evaporation* 76 W/m2 surface cooling per metre of annual evaporation equals 11 to 57 W/m2 …
    Dang … now, that is a serious forcing … and that’s just the latent energy evaporative cooling part of the equation. As I said above, “If you cut down the trees, you cut down the clouds”. The trees are putting a half-metre or so of transpired water into the air per year, and more water means more clouds … and this, in turn, leads to further cooling through increased albedo reducing incoming energy.
    We’re not done yet. From a Russian study:

    “Forests not only aid runoff control (i.e. through increased basetlow, reduced peak discharge, and water-quality improvement) but also increase the total annual water yield, on average for the entire country by 10 to 15% for completely forested watersheds relative to open treeless areas.”

    Of course, the increase of the total water yield means more water on the surface, which cools the surface by way of both direct and evaporative cooling.
    Finally, not only do the clouds increase with increased transpiration, but rainfall goes up as well. This again cools the surface in a variety of ways.
    Call me skeptical, but I doubt the HadGEM-ES systems emulates any of this with any degree of fidelity to the real world … there’s a good analysis of the CMIP5 results for this question here, which says (emphasis mine):

    The LUCID–CMIP5 experiments were designed to evaluate climatic effects of future land-use change scenarios using ESMs participating in the CMIP5. The analysis here was limited to experiments with prescribed atmospheric CO2 concentrations. On the global scale, simulated biogeophysical effects of land- use changes projected in the RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 scenarios were not significant. However, these effects were significant for regions with land-use changes exceeding 10%. Three out of six participating models—MIROC- ESM, HadGEM2-ES, and CanESM2—revealed small (-0.2, -0.1, and 0.1 K, respectively) but statistically significant changes in regional mean annual surface air temperature.

    I’m sorry, but if you can only dig out a supposedly “statistically significant” effect when you look only at areas with more than 10% change, and even then it’s in only three out of six models, and those three are trivially small, and let’s get real, they don’t even agree in sign … well, color me unimpressed.
    TL;DR version? Looking at just the radiative changes resulting from land-use changes is futile, because there are far too many other changes resulting from land-use variations to make such a single-variable analysis useful in any sense.
    w.

  32. And I just want to throw this into the fire:
    Earth surface holds a mean temperaturen of 288K. The laws of nature is clearly saying that there has to be a minimum input of 390W/m² to reach that temperature. Since earth is only heated on 1/2 surface that gives a minimum of 780W/m² on irradiated surface.
    There is only 1 source of energy. The sun.
    Conclusion: earth surface gets 780W/m² of heat from the sun. At least. According to laws of nature.
    Ghe says earth surface breaks the laws of nature and has a higher temperature than it is supposed to have according to the known laws of nature about fluxdensity.
    If an open system gets a feed of only 240W/m², nothing in that system will emot above 240W/m² unless work is performed.
    It is ridicolous to claim that icecold air increase fluxdensity in an open system in direct contact with a 3K heat sink in the vacuum of space. There is no physics in heat transfer that supports such a disgusting theory.
    The right approach is: 390W/780W is needed for 288K. There is one, only one, heat source, the sun. THEREFORE, the surface gets a minimum of 780W/m² on the irradiated hemisphere. Because there is no other heat and temperature is instantaneous, not something that builds up over time. If we are dealing with an open system, and we are. Earth is almost as open as a system can get.
    An argument that claims that the atmosphere is heating the earth with ice-cold air, denying all formulas for heat transfer, and saying that earth surface is “hotter than it should be without the atmosphere, is an argument that claims that earth surface is not obeying laws of nature and there is a heat source other than the sun. Ice.cold.air.
    I vomit.
    And there it is discussed whether a couple of watts make a difference.
    I vomit.
    Planck, boltzmann and Einstein are turning over in their graves. Actually, they are turning over so fast and continously that we should try to connect them via an axis to a generator and get free energy. In line with ghe-theory.

    • realfake August 9, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      And I just want to throw this into the fire:
      Earth surface holds a mean temperaturen of 288K. The laws of nature is clearly saying that there has to be a minimum input of 390W/m² to reach that temperature. Since earth is only heated on 1/2 surface that gives a minimum of 780W/m² on irradiated surface.

      realfake, you might enjoy a couple of my pieces regarding the poorly-named “greenhouse effect” …

      The Steel Greenhouse 2009-11-17
      There is a lot of misinformation floating around the web about the greenhouse effect works. It is variously described as a “blanket” that keeps the Earth warm, or a “mirror” that reflects part of the heat back to Earth, or “a pane of glass” that somehow keeps energy from escaping. It is none of these things.
      People Living in Glass Planets 2010-11-27
      Dr. Judith Curry notes in a posting at her excellent blog Climate Etc. that there are folks out there that claim the poorly named planetary “greenhouse effect” doesn’t exist. And she is right, some folks do think that. I took a shot at explaining that the “greenhouse effect” is a…
      A Matter of Some Gravity 2012-01-13
      A couple of apparently related theories have been making the rounds lately. One is by Nikolov and Zeller (N&Z), expounded here and replied to here on WUWT. The other is by Hans Jelbring, discussed at Tallblokes Talkshop. As I understand their theories, they say that the combination of gravity plus…
      The R. W. Wood Experiment 2013-02-06
      Pushed by a commenter on another thread, I thought I’d discuss the R. W. Wood experiment, done in 1909. Many people hold that this experiment shows that CO2 absorption and/or back-radiation doesn’t exist, or at least that the poorly named “greenhouse effect” is trivially small. I say it doesn’t show…

      Best regards to you,
      w.

    • By the way, including all the roads in the US, it’s 6.47 million km or 161 times around the world

    • Dr. Strangelove August 9, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      259,000 km of concrete roads – enough to go around the world six and a half times.

      Thanks, Doc. Here’s how the numbers pencil out.
      259,000 km times 3.7 m per lane, call it a four-lane average highway width, that’s on the order of 3,880 square km.
      The area of the US, on the other hand, is 9,857,000 square km.
      Which means that the roads take up about 0.04%, that’s four hundredths of one percent, of the surface area of the US.
      So it’s clear that the roads are not large enough to make a significant difference in the overall average temperature.
      HOWEVER … UHI is not about overall temperature, it’s about temperature near thermometers. If your thermometer is too near a road, it will definitely register microsite warming …
      Regards,
      w.

      • Thanks. I did your calculation years ago. Not in relation to UHI but to dispute the often stated claim that the Great Wall of China is the largest man-made structure. I believe the US National Highway is larger in area and volume including the foundation.
        Here’s another estimate. The total cement consumed in the US since 1950 is enough to make 12.47 billion cubic meters of concrete or enough to cover 81,800 sq. km with 6 inch thick concrete

      • Another estimate. Including all the roads = 47,900 sq. km. Part of the 12.47 billion cubic meters of concrete went here

  33. Willis Eschenbach
    August 9, 2016 at 3:24 pm
    Thanks for the reply.
    In your first link about the steel greenhouse you make a point of the exact reason why earth doesn´t have a greenhouseeffect. You describe a planet with a steel shell which is exactly what is needed for any kind of reverse radiation to happen.
    In heat transfer physics, the only possible way to achieve a reflection going back to the heat source, is a barrier that is a surface or have surface-like properties. A solid that heats up and radiates in both directions is what makes backradiation possible. Otherwise we would build furnaces without walls and air would be enough to keep the heat in.
    Actually, we would build furnaces with a bare flame surrounded by an insulation of icecold air surrounded by the ultimate heat sink equivalent to 3K vacuum of space.
    The only description of air (including co2) involved in heat transfer back to the source of heat, is where there is a barrier wall that has good insulating properties in relation to the outside temperature, which is heated to a temperature close to the heat source, by the heat source. The gas is only acting as a transport medium for heat in that case, the same thing would happen without air. Everything in the system apart from the heat source, gets heated. Nothing else than the heat source adds to temperature.
    There are no other scenarios where gas is involved in heat transfer other than transfer from a surface in direction away from that surface. When two surfaces are present, opposing each other, there is transfer from both surfaces in both directions. If there is only one surface there is only transfer happening away from that surface. Espescially if the gas is cold and not combusting.
    It is not like the conditions of an atmosphere in relation to a hot surface is something strange or an exception from how gases interact with heat. And it is not circumstances that is not understood or studied.
    The relationship between flux from a surface into an icecold mass of gas in contact with the ultimate heat sink of space is a very simple physical relationship that is well understood and extensively examined in experimental physics and applied physics in thermodynamics. What happens when a hot surface is in contact with cold air is very well understood. The surface gets cooled, not heated.
    One of the best analogys to make is this;
    place a rock next to a fire to make it about a 100C(the same as irradiated surface would be without an atmosphere when it gets whipped with 1370W/m^2), put it in a bowl of water(oceans) and then blow air over it with a compressor. Does it get hotter?
    Now add a couple of really big iceblocks in the water(polar ice and glaciers). Does it get hotter?
    The stone will be surrounded by watervapor and air in somewhat similar amounts as the earth. Not a single one of the component in this scenario, other than the fire, will add anything to the temperature. Every single one of the components, air and water as vapor and liquid, will cool the rock.
    There is NO reason that our planet has the OPPOSITE functions in ice cold air, liquid water and water vapor.
    You make a point of the steel shell in relation to blankets or insulation as analogies for the atmosphere, still, you make an analogy of a steel shell to describe air and it´s relation to heat
    We need no analogys for cold air. There are no questions about cold air and what it does to hot surfaces. We can all feel what it does to hot surfaces when we step outside naked a cold winterday when the sun irradiates the surface in a blue clear sky. It cools. Nothing else.
    Actually, the ghe theory is contradicting the theory of general relativity made by physics-jesus himself, Einstein. (Love that guy)
    Since fluxdensity is equal to E(E=W/m^2), and the atmosphere is equal to m, and c^2 is equal to the photon(speed of light with no mass), we can do this:
    E=m*c^2 is E/m=c^2. I guess you can already see what happens.
    If fluxdensity (E=W/m^2) is divided by a larger mass of an atmosphere in relation to no atmosphere, and the claim is made that fluxdensity is increased when mass increases by an icecold gas-mass, then the speed of light must increase. And we know that the speed of light is constant, so that is impossible.
    Therefore, the claim that an atmosphere can increase the fluxdensity is impossible. Even more so, the claim that co2 can increase fluxdensity with a change of some 100 or even 1000ppm, is ridicolous.
    Every claim made in ghe-theory is described in heat-transfer physics. The litterature in heat transfer including theory AND experimental data is extensive. Way larger than climatology or meterology and ripe with data describing the relations between gasses and hot surfaces with very high accuracy. The predictive power of thermodynamics in heat transfer physics theory is almost totally perfect. Which is like the opposite of what you can say about climatology and meterology.
    And every single piece of data and theory in heat transfer says the OPPOSITE of what ghe-theory say. Heat transfer theory that is applied widely in technology worldwide, is absolutely clear about that a cold gas does nothing else to a hot surface, than cooling it.
    Like I wrote, if cold air in contact with the ultimate heat sink in 3K vacuum of space, would heat something up, we would build furnaces with bare flames surrounded by cold air and 3K vacuum. We don´t.
    If I remember right, the definition of the absorbing properties of gases(co2 and water vapor in particualr) comes first from Hottel and his experimental data. There is NOTHING in that data that supports the theory of backradiation from a gas to the heat source in an open system with a hot surface surrounded by a cold gas in contact with a 3K vacuum. All data about radiation in two directions adding heat to a heat source, comes from experimental data where there is an enclosure with an internal heat source and well insulated walls that radiates as a surface in direction towards the source, only as a function of the source. Never ever is there an experiment made where an open system with cold air makes a heat source hotter. IOnly colder. And there are no equations that can solve the claimed heat transfer from the cold atmosphere without doing stuff that is not allowed according to Planck, Boltzmann, Stefan, Einstein and the gang of geniuses that gave us the formulas describing light, heat and the relation to matter.
    On top of this we have momentum, which photons have, but that would take another long post. And also the maxwell-boltzmann distribution of excited states in matter which is the root of temperature and if one understands that, it is very clear why the cold atmosphere cannot heat a hot surface. It is not about the amount of photons going in any direction adding up to something, it is about the density of excited states in the matter radiating. A lower density of excited states in matter will NEVER add anything to temperature in matter with a higher density of higher states in excitation.
    As I wrote in the last post, if a system is fed with only 240W/m^2, nothing in the system will have a fluxdensity above 240W/m^2 unless there is work performed.
    The equation that gives 240W is made with TOA-fluxdensity of 1370W-albedo/4pi*r^2 and generates the OLR which is equivalent to medium T of the troposphere(roughly). Pi*r^2 is cancelled out from dividing with the sphere of incoming and outcoming raditation. That leaves 1370W-albedo/4=240W. When dividing by four we get four parts in reality, even if the answer is 1/4=240W.
    That means that in reality when we divide TOA-fluxdensity by four, we get four suns heating the earth with flux of 240W each. That is a model of four ice-cold suns that don´t even shine. This is the failure of GHE-theory, because in reality we have one sun heating the surface with 240*4W/m^2. If we use the same numbers as ghe-theory, TOA-fluxdensity of 1370W/m^2-albedo, and don¨t divide by 4, we get the fluxdensity that hits the surface of irradiated hemisphere in reality. 960W/m^2. There is no energy needed from ice cold air to heat the surface to 288K in that calculation. And there are no 4 ice cold suns in an unreal model like in GHE. Aaaaah, nice, isn´t it?
    It is not hard to achieve energy balance to 4pi^r^2 radiated at 240W/m^2 either. This, I believe, shows how backwards thinking GHE-theory is.
    Again, thank you very much for your answer, I have nothing but respect for you. I have read many of your posts and learned a lot from them, although I disagree very much about the existense of a greenhouse effect. Now it´s bedtime here, I will have a drink of peaty scotch and go to bed. Cheers!

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