New Climate Paper: 7 – 13°C / doubling of CO2

Global Global-Warming Goofiness

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A paper published in Nature claims an estimated 7 – 13c / doubling of CO2 – an estimate so wild it has drawn criticism from NASA GISS chairman Gavin Schmidt.

Evolution of global temperature over the past two million years

Reconstructions of Earth’s past climate strongly influence our understanding of the dynamics and sensitivity of the climate system. Yet global temperature has been reconstructed for only a few isolated windows of time1, 2, and continuous reconstructions across glacial cycles remain elusive. Here I present a spatially weighted proxy reconstruction of global temperature over the past 2 million years estimated from a multi-proxy database of over 20,000 sea surface temperature point reconstructions. Global temperature gradually cooled until roughly 1.2 million years ago and cooling then stalled until the present. The cooling trend probably stalled before the beginning of the mid-Pleistocene transition3, and pre-dated the increase in the maximum size of ice sheets around 0.9 million years ago. Thus, global cooling may have been a pre-condition for, but probably is not the sole causal mechanism of, the shift to quasi-100,000-year glacial cycles at the mid-Pleistocene transition. Over the past 800,000 years, polar amplification (the amplification of temperature change at the poles relative to global temperature change) has been stable over time, and global temperature and atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations have been closely coupled across glacial cycles. A comparison of the new temperature reconstruction with radiative forcing from greenhouse gases estimates an Earth system sensitivity of 9 degrees Celsius (range 7 to 13 degrees Celsius, 95 per cent credible interval) change in global average surface temperature per doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide over millennium timescales. This result suggests that stabilization at today’s greenhouse gas levels may already commit Earth to an eventual total warming of 5 degrees Celsius (range 3 to 7 degrees Celsius, 95 per cent credible interval) over the next few millennia as ice sheets, vegetation and atmospheric dust continue to respond to global warming.

Read more:

Gavin Schmidt’s response;

Climate change study accused of erring on rising temperature predictions

He (Gavin) said he did not think the conclusion was correct.

“In fact, I’m pretty certain that is an incorrect calculation,” he said.

“The ratio that gave that, which was the very high sensitivity that she calculates, comes from a correlation between temperature and the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the ice cores, but as we all know, correlation does not equal causation.

“And in this case, the causation is the orbital wobbles of the Earth’s climate that are controlling both the temperature and the carbon dioxide at the same time and so that’s giving you an exaggerated view of how carbon dioxide affects temperature directly.”

However, Dr Schmidt welcomed the temperature history provided by the study, which analysed about 60 different sediment cores.

Read more:

It is nice to know there are climate sensitivity estimates which even NASA thinks are implausibly high.

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richard verney
September 27, 2016 5:20 am

Crazy claim. Call this science? Demonstrates the fallacy that peer review is the gold standard of quality control.
Paul Homeward has an interesting post on UHI and instrument error/uncertainties. Gradually, the full extent of the manner in which the land based thermometer record has been bastardised by station siting, drop outs, station moves, instrument error and UHI etc will be appreciated and when it is, it will probably be the case that the globe is no warmer today than it was in the late 1930s/early 1940s.
When that is appreciated there will have been no observational warming during this period when man has emitted some 95% of his total manmade CO2 emissions such that Climate Sensitivity on the basis of observational data will be zero or close thereto.
See generally:

Bryan A
Reply to  richard verney
September 27, 2016 10:16 am

It is all part of the gradual Bastardization of Science in general
Pressures to Publish create sensationalization of wording used in articles submitted for publication. This is likely viewed as necessary to gain the desired Media Attention and garner further research grants for the researchers affiliated University. If you don’t bring in Grant $$$, you won’t be a research fellow for more than a few short years, perhaps even months. So pressures to publish are tremendous and sensational wording to grab Media attention is required more than reproducability of research.

Study warns that science as we know it is evolving into something shoddy and unreliable
Welcome to “the natural selection of bad science”.

21 SEP 2016
There’s no shortage of warnings from the scientific community that science as we know it is being drastically affected by the commercial and institutional pressure to publish papers in high-profile journals – and now a new simulation shows that deteroriation actually happening.
To draw attention to the way good scientists are pressured into publishing bad science (read: sensational and surprising results), researchers in the US developed a computer model to simulate what happens when scientists compete for academic prestige and jobs.
In the model, devised by researchers at the University of California, Merced, all the simulated lab groups they put in these scenarios were honest – they didn’t intentionally cheat or fudge results.
But they received greater rewards if they published ‘novel’ findings – as happens in the real world. They also had to expend greater effort to be rigorous in their methods – which would improve the quality of their research, but lower their academic output.
“The result: Over time, effort decreased to its minimum value, and the rate of false discoveries skyrocketed,” lead researcher Paul Smaldino explains in The Conversation.

george e. smith
Reply to  richard verney
September 27, 2016 11:53 am

“””””….. Carolyn W. Snyder …..”””””
You’re a dolt.
And that is just my own personal opinion of you. Well I obtained it from proxy reconstructions just like you use (different ones).
After I read your paper, I’ll tell you what I think of your thesis, and also extrapolate from my initial opinion that you’re a dolt.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Reply to  richard verney
September 27, 2016 3:30 pm

If it is true that with doubling of CO2 is going to raise global warming by 7 – 13 oC then what would be the global average temperature anomaly will be at that time? Is it 18 oC — as the global warming is above half of it [50.1% is also more than half]? If this is the case are we going tom survive any more?
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

September 27, 2016 5:21 am

What’s the betting it gets added to the IPCC mix so that those papers veering towards a low value get drowned out.

Steve Case
September 27, 2016 5:23 am

And Dr. James Hansen still thinks five meters of sea level rise by 2100 is possible.

September 27, 2016 5:25 am

Well, let this be a lesson to all future wannabe alarmists.
Alarmism is welcomed. So, thanks for the “me too” alarmist drivel. But such predictions of massive upheaval will need to be toned down in order to bring them within the range of plausible nonsense.
NASA know that a warming of a degree or so can be pulled like a rabbit from a hat, using only natural variability, adjustments, and a small component of radiative forcing.
But, nobody if going to be able to fool the world into perceiving a warming of 13 degrees.
So, please keep all future predictions within the range of what can be reasonably manufactured.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
September 27, 2016 8:24 am

“in order to bring them within the range of plausible nonsense.”
haha gold!

george e. smith
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
September 27, 2016 11:57 am

Well she missed the proxy reconstructions that show that the Temperature has remained between 12 deg. C and 22 deg. C for the last 600 million years.
Does she now expect it could go as high as 30% higher than the total range of earth Temperature for the last 600 million years ??

September 27, 2016 5:26 am

You have to be a Milankovitch denier to derive a climate sensitivity of 7-13C based on paleo data.
“Snyder isn’t convinced that the orbital effects are that important in this case. She says her study provides a single measure of the relationship between historic temperatures and CO2 levels.”

george e. smith
Reply to  Jaime Jessop
September 27, 2016 12:01 pm

I suppose she expects the same 13 deg. C increase, for a doubling from 1 ppm of CO2 to 2 ppm of CO2.
So what period of time does her proxy data show has experienced a DOUBLING of CO2 so that she could see (proxyletized), what happened ??

Ben of Houston
September 27, 2016 5:26 am

What I do not understand is how they acknowledge that this sensitivity predicts that we should have already had 5 degrees of warming, and then completely ignores that. Saying that we should experience that over several millenia is just ridiculous. If we were that far away from equilibrium, we would have monotonic warming, and if was so buffered to slow down warming to observed rates, we wouldn’t have had the temperature swings of the past few centuries, or even the cool period of the 60s.
How does this sort of junk get published anywhere, much less in Nature? Do they not read their own conclusions and think about the implications of their results?

R Taylor
Reply to  Ben of Houston
September 27, 2016 6:00 am

Nature’s published similar sophistry in 1999 by Petit, et al., in the paper that presented the 420,000-year Vostok record. As I tell scientific acquaintances who believe in greater regulation and taxation, “climate change” is a political matter and, thus, unsuitable for casual conversation. Nature is more a political publication than a scientific one.

ulric lyons
September 27, 2016 5:29 am

“Global temperature gradually cooled until roughly 1.2 million years ago..”
As CO2 increased through the last 3 million years?

Reply to  ulric lyons
September 27, 2016 8:55 am

The CO2 levels reported by this paper do not agree with much lower CO2 levels obtained from the Vostok ice core record during the time covered by the latter. Also, this paper calculates CO2 concentration using a constant tropical sea surface temperature of 27 C, and sea surface temperature greatly affects the amount of atmospheric CO2 that is in equilibrium with a given ocean chemistry. Furthermore, this paper does not consider that tropical surface water at any given place and time may have been somewhere else in the world just a year or even only months before and absorbed more CO2 and have gotten a lower pH, and not yet gassed out all of its above-equilibrium CO2.

ulric lyons
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
September 27, 2016 9:50 am

It still shows a relative increase for the last 3 million years. I would be very surprised if the CO2 in air bubbles in the ice sheets didn’t get partly absorbed by the ice itself, it’s hardly an ideal measure of absolute atmospheric CO2 levels.

September 27, 2016 5:30 am

Doesn’t Gavin know that orbital wobbles are caused by CO2 levels in the planet’s atmosphere?

Reply to  Jon
September 27, 2016 5:50 am

tee hee.

R Taylor
September 27, 2016 5:34 am

The conclusion of a doubling of CO2 per 10 C of temperature change is reasonable from the ice-core data. If you ignore the sequence of changes, i.e. believe that effect precedes cause, you would believe that temperature is the effect and CO2 is the cause. There are many similar examples in nature: The afternoon warmth causes the sun to rise in the morning, and that the cold of winter causes the days to shorten in the fall. Thank goodness politicians are able to purchase such wisdom to guide our societies to ever greater political achievement.
Pity poor Gavin Schmidt, however, who dreads the day someone will ask why CO2 is sensitive to orbital wobbles. Perhaps the wobbles shake the CO2 loose from the clathrates, soils and the other carbonaceous sediments that coat the earth, and it is not the temperature sensitivity of such materials.

Andrew Burnette
Reply to  R Taylor
September 27, 2016 6:28 am

Very nice. I think I will be using your “cold of winter” example this Thanksgiving.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  R Taylor
September 27, 2016 7:37 am

Yes R Taylor, and the warming during the day causes the sun to get hotter and hotter.

George McFly......I'm your density
Reply to  R Taylor
September 27, 2016 2:40 pm

and the barking dog makes the Postman arrive…

September 27, 2016 5:38 am

I’m really puzzled. How on earth was this at all accepted by Nature? And why would someone who seems capable of performing a very interesting and thorough proxy analysis commit such an elementary error of confusing correlation with causation? I’m not surprised by Gavin Schmidt’s comments, though, it’s not the first time he objects to obvious over-the-top claims (e.g. he has criticised Wadham’s methane hysteria).

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Espen
September 27, 2016 6:30 am

“How on earth was this at all accepted by Nature?”
The sooner that climatologists admit that their discipline is no different than others, we’ll get closer to better data:
Or, as they say in the media, “if it bleeds, it leads”.

Stephen Greene
September 27, 2016 5:40 am

So much for peer review

Solomon Green
September 27, 2016 5:43 am

And to think that Nature used to be considered a prestigious magazine!

September 27, 2016 5:43 am

No wonder the EPA is such a mess. From the Washington Post,
” Carolyn Snyder , now a climate policy official at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, created a continuous 2 million year temperature record, much longer than a previous 22,000 year record. Snyder’s temperature reconstruction, published Monday in the journal Nature , doesn’t estimate temperature for a single year, but averages 5,000-year time periods going back a couple million years.”

Randy Stubbings
Reply to  paullinsay
September 27, 2016 7:21 am

So we have roughly 4800 more years before we can compare a human-influenced 5000-year average with the 5000-year-interval proxy reconstruction.

Reply to  Randy Stubbings
September 27, 2016 10:26 am

I’m willing to wait.

george e. smith
Reply to  paullinsay
September 28, 2016 12:28 pm

Finally we learn the source of the booming voice behind the curtain.
Another bureaucrat out to justify her existence on the public dole.
I’m a bit tired of my tax dollars being wasted on such worthless trash, by public beggars.

September 27, 2016 5:43 am

The warmist Melbourne Age ran this wild prediction of 7 c warming by 1000 years
A first start point for criticising this study is the absurdity of predicting 1000 years out when five sets of IPCC predictions amended every five years have been way out compared with actual observations of global atmospheric temperatures over the past 40 years or so.
I did a back of envelope calculation which I
would appreciate any corrections if needed.
Working on the logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature I started with the estimate often cited on this site
That is temperature rises by about 1 c or so for each doubling of atmospheric CO2
Given an estimated 275 ppm in say 1800
and the most recent of 400ppm in 2015 hlobal temperature has increased by about 0.8 c
At current growth of CO2 of 2ppm pa this would see a doubling of the initial 275 ppm to 550 ppm by about the end of this century giving an increase of 1c
To get another 6 degrees c increase by this logic to arrive at the study’s predicted 7
degrees then by this logarithmic doubling rule would require an end CO2 ppm of 35200
If this admittedly simplistic calculation is
broadly right it raises the next question
are there enough carbon-based resources
available to raise CO2 to such astronomical levels?
I suspect not but others may have more
data which could underline the wild nature
of this “prediction” of 7 c warming

Reply to  Thomho
September 27, 2016 7:24 am

Snyder has a huge confidence in feedbacks. Perhaps we have come to a difference of 1,9 W/m2 from preindustrial age. Perhaps it gives a temperature increase of 0,7 degC in non-feedback. (Given about a rise of 1,2 degC for each doubling of CO2). Holding level of CO2 constant for some thousand years should give a temperature rise of 5 degC. A feedback factor of 7. “as ice sheets, vegetation and atmospheric dust continue to respond to global warming.” What a climate!

September 27, 2016 5:48 am

So this ‘infallible scientist’ who has a resume which does have a Science qualification (BA in Biology & Geology) but is also laden with ‘management consultancy gobbledegook’ has raised the stakes in The Climate Armageddon Poker Game and is now projecting “The Infallibility’ out to a Millenia.
I checked and that is … a period of a thousand years…
And this person graduated from Standford, Oxford and Cambridge. A Professional Student?
What rubbish are these so called Great Universities teaching and does Management Consultancy actually mean…I know how to go about getting all the juicy grants?
1000 years.
That is 3016!!!!! I would like to put in another 995 asterisks but…and it will be cited and referenced from now till the cows come home…in 3016.
I just reread the final sentence and it actually states…over the next few millenia… so the raise in poker stakes is now out to 4016 or even 5016.
What era were The Jetsons set in?
George, Jane, Judy, Elroy, Astro and Rosie the robot maid.
I will leave it to other posters to choose which scenario is the more likely and less fiction of the two.

September 27, 2016 5:52 am

It reminds one of a child trying desperately to convince Mom that something bad will happen if she doesn’t buy him what he wants, so the child just makes wilder and wilder claims in the hopes of instilling fear. Much like the warmist’s failure to understand that political leanings affecting beliefs on both sides, not just the right, they fail to understand that when the claims become ludicrous, people start to realize this is desperation, not science and not to be believed. It damages any credibility the field may have still have left.

September 27, 2016 5:54 am

Professor Jeffrey Severinghaus, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of San Diego, also found a problem with the study.
“She made a very, very basic logical error,” he said.
“Climate sensitivity is essentially the change in temperature divided by the change in CO2.
“The important part about that is that if you want to infer that from an actual situation in the Earth, you know, what the Earth did in the past, you have to make sure that temperature change is only due to an increase in CO2, whereas the ice ages, we know very well the temperature change was due to a combination of increasing CO2 and changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun.
“In fact, it’s probably something like two-thirds of the temperature change is due to the orbit and only one-third to the CO2.
“So that’s probably why she got a factor of three larger.”

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2016 6:26 am

I love it when trolls try to proclaim supposition as absolute truth.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2016 7:23 am

So, CO2 is still really, really bad, just not quite as bad as this published, peer-reviewed study claims? Thank you for this important contribution…

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2016 8:36 am

According to RealClimate’s Jeff Severinghaus, something unknown causes the beginning of warming after periods of maximum glaciation. From my favorite article on RealClimate (with bold added):

“the probable sequence of events at a termination [of glacial maximums] goes something like this. Some (currently unknown) process causes Antarctica and the surrounding ocean to warm. This process also causes CO2 to start rising, about 800 years later. Then CO2 further warms the whole planet, because of its heat-trapping properties.”

The article speculates that Milankovic cycles might be involved in the first 800 years.
In a followup article (find it yourself, I don’t want this to go into moderation), Eric Steig hilariously both contradicts and agrees with Severinghaus. And neither of them address the fact (according to the ice cores) that at the end of the inter-glacial periods, when CO2 is at its maximum, cooling then begins and the next glacial period starts. So, problems at both ends of each cycle, for CO2 believers. At the end of glacial maximums, something unknown STARTS the warming. If CO2 is the driver, that shouldn’t happen. Then when CO2 is at its maximum when the warm inter-glacial period ends, COOLING starts, and the next glaciation begins. Again, if CO2 is the driver, that shouldn’t happen, either. These people don’t understand basic logic, they don’t understand cause and effect. Their sophistical attempts to blubber their way out of these problems is a joy to read and should tell you all you need to know about modern “climate science.”

Gentle Tramp
Reply to  Mickey Reno
September 27, 2016 12:28 pm

Thank you – that’s a very appropriate comment to this paper; and hilarious as well… 😉
Do we need any more proof that NATURE is no longer a respectable science journal with a meaningful peer review standard?

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2016 9:57 am

There are other factors as well, which is why this pack of lies got ECS wrong by a factor of six (at least), not three.
Rather than nine degrees C per doubling or three, the central value is actually more like 1.5 degrees C, if that high.

September 27, 2016 6:21 am

“but as we all know, correlation does not equal causation.”
Too bad they can’t follow this rule when it comes to 20th century temperature readings.

September 27, 2016 6:27 am

Apparently, what Snyder is talking about is something called ‘Earth System Sensitivity’ which, as far as I can tell, is like Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity but with even more long term feedbacks added in. So I guess we’re talking many thousands of years. So why you might ask does Snyder relate it to current emissions and start talking about an alarming 5-7C already in the pipeline? ECS and TCR are far more relevant measures.

Reply to  Jaime Jessop
September 27, 2016 7:40 am

What Snyder is talking is bovine coprology.

Reply to  phaedo
September 27, 2016 8:19 am

Well, yes, Pleistocene auroch dumps were a major climate feedback back then.

Reply to  Jaime Jessop
September 27, 2016 11:26 am

JJ, no. The ice cores show delta CO2 lags delta T by about 800 years. See essay Cause and Effect for details in ebook Blowing Smoke. Simple logical consequence of thermohaline circularion and Henry’s Law. She has 2 million years of causality reversed. Should never have passed peer review, let alone in Nature.
Only since ~1900 has there been any delta anthropogenic CO2 that might causally drive future AGW, and it is only that sensitivity that matters for CAGW. Observationally by several methods ~1.65 (range maybe 1.5-1.8). CMIP5 median is 3.2, mean 3.4. We know those cannot be right because the models also error in other significant ways (e.g. Tropical troposphere hotspot).

Reply to  ristvan
September 27, 2016 12:35 pm

“The ice cores show delta CO2 lags delta T by about 800 years.”
You need to be careful here. The Vostok data shows about an 800 year lag, but the DomeC data, which seems to be better temporally aligned with orbital data, shows a lag of only between 200 and 300 years. The lag is also somewhat asymmetric depending on whether temperature is increasing or decreasing. The most logical explanation for this is the response of the planets biomass to changes in the available land to support it. As less land is covered by ice, more land can become alpine forests and it takes on the order of centuries for the existing biomass to accumulate enough atmospheric carbon to grow a forest and sustainably continue its growth going forward.

george e. smith
Reply to  ristvan
September 28, 2016 12:41 pm

We would have the same northern hemisphere clockwise ocean currents even if the oceans were pure fresh water .
It would require stoppage of earth’s rotation to stop it, and reversal of that rotation to make the rotation anti- clockwise.
With ocean water rushing Westward across the oceans, due to water not having infinite viscosity, it has to pile up on Eastern coastlines, before it stops. And when it stops its Westward rush, it must collapse and the only place to go in the northern hemisphere is north along the coast.
Opposite that in the southern hemisphere.
Nothing thermo-haline about it.

Reply to  Jaime Jessop
September 27, 2016 11:47 am

“Apparently, what Snyder is talking about is something called ‘Earth System Sensitivity’ which, as far as I can tell, is like Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity but with even more long term feedbacks added in.”
Exactly. People should listen to these distinctions. It is not the same thing as ECS, which is in turn different from TCS..
And Gavin is right that it is problematic. You can only get it by observing over millions of years, but then it is almost impossible to work out causality.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 27, 2016 8:47 pm

Nick writes “Exactly. People should listen to these distinctions. It is not the same thing as ECS, which is in turn different from TCS..”
Ridiculous Nick. ECS is the sensitivity at equilibrium. If there are more feedbacks that resulted from the initial CO2/warming then we’re not at equilibrium yet. Did you feel dirty when you wrote that?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 27, 2016 11:27 pm

“then we’re not at equilibrium yet”
No, equilibrium is always relative to some timescale of interest. Otherwise you could say we’re never at equilibrium, since the Sun is going through its evolution which will eventually engulf us, etc. Chemical equilibrium is defined relative to the reaction kinetics. And climate equilibrium is considered relative to various transport processes – basically those that are treated by GCM’s, of which the slowest is the diffusion of heat in the oceans. It doesn’t include processes like rock weathering, movement of continents.
ESS (which does not include the word equilibrium) does try to cover these latter processes. There are problems, because they can’t be observed to change on human timescales, and also there is no longer a clear partition between what is in or out (I doubt it includes solar evolution). For that reason you don’t see it commonly mentioned. My point here is simply that it is different. You can try to infer it from geological-scale observations, but then there is the problem of causality, which is what Gavin and others are disputing.

george e. smith
Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 28, 2016 12:45 pm

Nor does it include being on a body that rotates once in about 24 hours.
Run a blow torch around in a circle, going over the same path over and over again.
Just when does the table top reach equilibrium ?

Richard M
September 27, 2016 6:29 am

I wonder what number she would have gotten if she looked at the end of interglacial periods? It often takes about 5000 years for the CO2 to return to the low glacial levels while temperatures fall much more quickly. So, in this case the lower CO2 in the future reduces temperatures in the past???
I suspect this may be why she throws out the claim it may take a few millennia although even that does not make sense at glacial onset. Does she say anywhere in the paper where the heat is hiding across these millennia and the mechanism for that behavior?

george e. smith
Reply to  Richard M
September 28, 2016 12:48 pm

I wouldn’t consider something that happens once in 5,000 years, something that happens “often”.
That is maybe 2% of a happening in one persons lifetime. Not exactly something that we eventually get bored with.

September 27, 2016 6:46 am

The climate is far too complicated for most to understand, so the warmunists have found they can consolidate and blame everything, even orbital wobbles, on a singular God of C02. It makes messaging easier for the masses to understand and the peer reviewers don’t even dare to object anymore lest they be accused of heresy and be excommunicated or worse. It’s really exciting to be witnessing the birth of a new religion.

Reply to  Scott
September 27, 2016 11:57 am

A position I’ve run into among some otherwise very smart people is “I don’t understand climate, so I’ll defer to the Experts.” At which point it becomes a debate of Authority trying to get them to see reason. Present evidence and they blindly interpret it as the “Experts” say it should be interpreted. Postulate that the “Experts” themselves don’t understand it and their retort is “prove it”.

John of Cloverdale WA Australia
September 27, 2016 7:08 am

Carolyn W Snyder. Bio in her own words.
“I am the Director of U.S. EPA’s Climate Protection Partnerships Division. The Division uses the power of partnerships to remove market barriers for energy efficiency and renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in economic and environmental benefits. The Division’s programs include the EPA’s flagship partnership program, ENERGY STAR, which offers energy efficiency solutions across the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Other programs include the Green Power Partnership, the Combined Heat and Power Partnership, the Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, and the State and Local Climate Energy Program”.
Read the rest here:

Thin Air
September 27, 2016 7:21 am

This paper, with all its flaws and the many criticisms received, will be enthroned as a seminal article in 6 months, and used in many ways in future debates and analysis, not the least of which will be to make many climate sensitivity “measurements” of 3 to 5 degrees C (for a doubling of CO2) — despite their less obvious flaws, but equally non-sensical logic or data torturing — seem reasonable and certain.
I expect in a few months all criticism of this paper will cease and be forgotten, if not “purged” from the record. Its predictions will held out as a “possible, but not as likely” and frequently mentioned.

September 27, 2016 7:27 am

But you do realise that this can now be used to pull the average back up to the 4-5 degree rise that the alarmists are still trying to scare people with.
The recent slew of papers showing sensitivity around 1-2 has been seriously undermining the scary scenarios and the alarmists needed something new to add to the reviews before the “mean” was pulled too far down in the next IPCC PR release. That is the point of this paper. Having failed to get the non-scary estimates disqualified (now that there are editors prepared to publish them, they can’t use the redefinition of peer review tactic), more publications in the scary end are needed.

September 27, 2016 8:09 am

Heh, i thought that “the science was settled”. And here it is another paper with a different climate sensitivity.
I guess this refutes Lewandowsky and Cook´s last paper when they say that the climate scientific community provides a coherent world view. Nope, It is not coherent neither precise. 7 to 13 degrees Celsius is highly imprecise.

September 27, 2016 8:35 am

It seems the surface albedo feedback was greater when Earth was more glaciated, and there was more variability in the amount of sunlight reflected away by ice and snow as a result of temperature change.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
September 27, 2016 10:46 am

Surface albedo is probably a wicked contributing factor for glacial periods, but it takes hundreds or maybe even thousands of years for enough ice to build up before that albedo factor comes into play. Higher rates of cloud albedo and snow deposition, trending together over thousands of years are necessary to create NH ice sheets. Summer clouds reduce the melt season and winter clouds keep the troposphere warmer (but not so warm as to turn snow to rain) and contribute more snow. Now, how do we explain where thousand year trends in more moist cloudy skies in the NH with a healthy evaporation pump in the tropics?There MUST be lots of H2O condensing aerosols in play, far more than are in play during the inter-glacial periods.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Mickey Reno
September 27, 2016 11:01 am

What could explain long periods of higher than normal particulates and aerosols in the atmosphere? A long period of volcanic activity is one way. An extended period of low atmospheric CO2 that’s low enough to cause plant death in some areas, thereby causing desertification of vast areas of land that then produce dust storms, is another possible explanation. This would provide an excellent explanation for cyclical behavior. As CO2 is released by warming oceans, the source of aerosols decreases. Later, as the Earth greens from the extra CO2, it’s removed from the atmosphere over time, causing another starvation period. The Svensmark GCR theory could explain it, too, perhaps.
In my opinion, these are the areas climate science needs to be investigating.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Mickey Reno
September 27, 2016 11:24 am

Sorry, my glacial – inter-glacial hypothesis in three parts. As the NH glacial ice builds, and surface albedo feedback kicks in, the Earth finally cools enough to turn off some tropical evaporation pump. This starves the atmosphere of water vapor and so now, even with lots of dust and aerosols present, the skies clear, and the sun begins to shine. As ice sheets begin to melt, ocean currents are disrupted by fresh water incursions and salt water based density changes. Until ocean convection stabilizes, the evaporation and convection of water vapor into the NH atmosphere is slowed. But insolation is increased and ice keeps melting. Once the ice sheets have mostly melted, the oceans warm and emit CO2 to allow the desert areas to green, turning off most of the dust.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
September 27, 2016 12:12 pm

An interesting observation of the yearly accumulation of ice in the cores is much larger during interglacial periods than during glacial periods. The blue line is temperature and the gray line is the number of years per ‘bag’, where each bag is a fixed length section of the core. Notice the unmistakable and near perfect correlation.
The solid black line is deltaW/deltaT, where W is the number of years per bag and T is the temperature. Notice the characteristic change in dW/dT both before and after each period of change. Only 200K years are plotted and the data was smoothed to a centered 2200 year average.
There are a lot of other interesting plots in this directory covering both DomeC and Vostok data. Replace ‘d_width.gif’ in the link with ‘v_width.gif’ and you can see the analysis for Vostok data over the same interval. Change the link to point to just the directory (remove the d_width.gif part) to see the other plots in this directory.

Ed Zuiderwijk
September 27, 2016 8:39 am

They just forgot the decimal point and meant 0.7 – 1.3 degrees. But even that is about 5 times too high.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 27, 2016 9:06 am

Too true. A factor of 10X seems appropriate for error, after all the IPCC accepts 300% in estimating climate sensitivity currently.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 28, 2016 1:49 pm

My thought too, Ed. My guess is they’ll pop in that decimal point and try and pass it off as a “mistake” (and still be wrong) when the objections get too loud.

September 27, 2016 8:48 am

The current average surface temperature is 288K which emits about 390 W/m^2 per Trenberth. If we increase the surface temperature by 13C, those emissions increase to 465 W/m^2 for a 75 W/m^2 increase. For the surface to emit that much more, it must be absorbing that much more, otherwise, the surface will cool.
The fact that anyone can think that this much change from the 3.7 W/m^2 of CO2 ‘forcing’ is even remotely possible, illustrates what can only be characterized as the insane belief that Conservation of Energy need not apply to the climate. That this insanity showed up in a main stream journal is the clearest indication yet that peer review is horribly broken.
This absurd claim takes the obfuscation of specifying sensitivity in the non linear units of degrees per W/m^2 of forcing, rather than the mostly linear units of W/m^2 of surface emissions per W/m^2 of forcing, to a place so far beyond reason it’s absurd.
The measured sensitivity is about 1.6 W/m^2 of surface emissions per W/m^2 of forcing which is less than 0.3C per W/m^2. The consensus sensitivity of 0.8C per W/m^2 sounds plausible enough until its expressed as 4.3 W/m^2 of incremental surface emissions per W/m^2 of forcing where you must ask where are the extra 3.3 W/m^2 coming from?
Claiming a sensitivity of 20 W/m^2 of incremental surface emissions per W/m^2 of forcing is so insane, even Gavin Schmidt rejects it. Too bad he can’t apply the same logic that makes 20 W/m^2 of surface emissions per W/m^2 of forcing wrong to the equally absurd claim that 1 W/m^2 of forcing will increase surface emissions by 4.3 W/m^2.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 27, 2016 12:11 pm

As far as I can make out, the climatist model postulates that “greenhouse gases” obstruct the flow of heat from the surface to space. Never mind that long wave radiation is a small minority carrier of heat through the troposphere. So IR transfer of heat through the troposphere could be cut to zero and it would take only a minor increase in convection, evaporation, and conduction to carry the heat.

Reply to  hanelyp
September 27, 2016 12:48 pm

“climatist model postulates that “greenhouse gases” obstruct the flow of heat from the surface to space”
But they also postulate that most, if not all, of the obstructed heat is returned to the surface and fail to accommodate the fact that what energy the atmosphere absorbs (temporarily stores) by obstructing surface emissions eventually leaves the atmosphere into space and is returned to the surface is roughly equal proportions.
They also put too much emphasis on convection and non EM forms of energy, which by definition do not contribute to the planets radiative balance or affect the surface sensitivity to forcing.

September 27, 2016 9:02 am

This paper is an own goal for warmunists. The calculation is clearly logically wrong; even Gavin Schmidt says so. Correlation does not equal causation, and past CO2 lags delta T by 800 years yhanks to thermohaline circulation and Henry’s Law. Same mistake Gore made in Incomvenient Truth. The erromeous result clearly implies a present rate of warming that simply does not exist in the absence of a massively delayed pipeline explanation. That makes it internally contradictory, separate evidence that Gavin is correct. Finally, it got through peer review at Nature, showing only how abysmally poor climate peer review is even in themrop journals. Becomes a powerful simple talking point about ‘settled science’ and the ‘climate literature’, shredded in the blogosphere in a mere day.

Reply to  ristvan
September 27, 2016 9:17 am

Mixed feelings.
On the one hand it is concerning it passed peer review and was published, but on the other hand, if some people think a few seconds and say “wait, we already doubled and got less than .8, how do we get to 9???”, I’d say it damages their cause somewhat…
Wow though. Is there any other science field where observations can just be ignored?

Gordon Dressler
September 27, 2016 9:13 am

One would think that any responsible scientist would make sure that such an important conclusion as:
“A comparison of the new temperature reconstruction with radiative forcing from greenhouse gases estimates an Earth system sensitivity of 9 degrees Celsius (range 7 to 13 degrees Celsius, 95 per cent credible interval) change in global average surface temperature per doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide over millennium timescales.”
was at least consistent with paleoclimate science data.
It is not.
If we look at the best scientific data of climate proxy reconstructions of atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperatures surrounding the transition from Earth’s last glacial period to the present Holocene interglacial period (an interval from about 18,000 years ago to about 10,000 years ago . . . thus meeting the criteria of “over millennium timescales”), we find that Earth’ southern hemisphere average temperature rose by about 8 deg-C and Earth’s northern hemisphere average temperature about rose by 14 deg-C while global atmospheric CO2 levels rose by only 39% (from 190 ppm to 265 ppm, based on Antarctica EPICA Dome-C core data). Given that this range of 8 to 14 deg-C is very comparable to the range of 7 to 13 deg-C in the above quote and given that a 39% change is far different than a 100% change (a doubling) in CO2, the conclusion quoted above is, de facto, false.

September 27, 2016 9:16 am

How many times do they want to prove they haven’t a f***ing clue?

Reply to  RWturner
September 27, 2016 11:30 am

RWt, hopefully as many as possible. Makes ridicule that much more frequent and compelling.

September 27, 2016 9:21 am

I think Messrs Lewandowsky, Mann, Brown and Friedman should be chastising Gavin Schmidt and others for having the audacity to challenge this peer-reviewed research on blogs and not through the proper channels.

George McFly......I'm your density
Reply to  Jaime Jessop
September 27, 2016 2:47 pm

I wonder if he’s one of those conspiracy nutters you hear so much about…

September 27, 2016 9:29 am

I commit myself to never exceeding 55 mph in order to minimize CO2 auto emissions and stabilize the climate. Oh, sure, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. Who among the warmist dreamers out there will join me in my noble climate crusade?… Hello?

Bryan A
Reply to  BallBounces
September 27, 2016 12:12 pm

I will promise never to drive less than 55 just because 55 is my MPG optimum and I like to get my best mileage driving around town and past schools

September 27, 2016 9:34 am

So….how long until I can go outside with a glass canister of CO2 gas and use use it to barbeque by holding it above the grill on a sunny day?
It’s that Evil Fossil Fuel industry, isn’t it? They are forcing us to use propane when we could just capture CO2 for all our renewable energy needs.

Caligula Jones
September 27, 2016 9:46 am

If Gavin Schmidt is the answer…how badly off was the question?

September 27, 2016 9:52 am

Apparently, and it is a given truth since IPCC was created, climate is defined by one parameter (temperature), one variable (CO2 concentration), and one only function: ΔT=f([CO2]).

Reply to  Michel
September 27, 2016 10:06 am

I once saw a chart linking UFO sighting rises to temperature rises. Matched perfectly.

September 27, 2016 9:59 am

This isn’t about science. It is a sales pitch. Just look at the EPA program she works for. Her job is to sell windmills with no market justification, or, in her own words, “remove market barriers … for renewable energy.” If you are a paid salesperson for a product no one wants or needs, you either see the writing on the wall and move on, or you disingenuously try to sell the product by creating the perception of need (like the whole-life insurance policy salesmen of old). In her world, CO2 sells, and the higher the “fever”, the greater the demand for her products. You see the same behavior in some DOE program managers. Their jobs and contacts become vested in their given technologies, and they soon drift away from being objective managers toward becoming technology promoters, creating rosy sales pitches underwritten and supposedly validated by the U.S. government. Then they leave for high-paying jobs at those technology companies they’ve been promoting.

Reply to  pflashgordon
September 27, 2016 10:34 am

So this paper is nothing more than the sales pitch of a windmill sales-hominid?

September 27, 2016 10:19 am

…commit Earth to an eventual total warming of 5 degrees Celsius (range 3 to 7 degrees Celsius, 95 per cent credible interval) over the next few millennia…

Next few millennia?
5 degrees C in the next few THOUSAND years?
95% credible?
Oh! The Stupid, it burns.

Reply to  RobRoy
September 27, 2016 10:30 am

I was about to say most odd, but in this paper that’s going some, but there isn’t a single AGW theory that shows millenia drag. That’s saying something as well. Isn’t it widely accepted to be a mere hours, max a few weeks, including water vapour feeeback?

Reply to  John
September 27, 2016 11:34 am

Actually, several papers and different methods show sensitivity over 2/3 done in 10-15 years, the rest (land albedo) in maybe a century. Biggest uncertainty is ocean thermal inertia.

Bryan A
Reply to  RobRoy
September 27, 2016 12:14 pm

95% credible, 100% ludacris

Reply to  Bryan A
September 28, 2016 6:49 am

Some people think that if they don a white lab coat , they can say anything.

September 27, 2016 10:40 am

So the idea of the paper is to grab CO2 climate sensitivity from proxy records assuming all temperature change is from CO2 and nothing else.
So – what value do we get from this data around the time of the Permian extinction:

September 27, 2016 11:33 am

Just read Dr Schmidts’ comments in full. I even felt a little sorry for him. He knows this is a big own goal for settled science.

Bill Illis
September 27, 2016 12:09 pm

I have a database of all CO2 and Temperature estimates going back 750 million years.
The actual calculated CO2 sensitivity is really + / – 40.0C.
Just the last 5 million years but there are over 5,000 datapoints in this chart.
Now if one could ALSO figure out what Earth’s Albedo was in all those datapoints, then you could actually answer the question. Earlier Mosher said that CO2 was only responsible for one-third of the ice age temperature change of 5.0C. Well that all depends on what the ice-sheets and desert and cloud cover changes did to the Earth’s Albedo. The one-third CO2 impact is based on an absurdly low estimate of the Albedo change. You can make up any number you want in climate science if you do not objectively answer the Albedo question. [The actual ice age changes are -4.25C from ice Albedo and 0.75C from CO2).

September 27, 2016 2:59 pm

I have always been concerned that gas measurements of ice cores are made assuming that the gas concentrations are very close to the concentrations that were once in the air when these bubbles were trapped in the ice. This may have been a reasonable assumption when the ice was in the icepack or glacier from which it was pulled. My concern is that the ice cores are stored for some time under conditions which are neither the same temperature, nor the same pressure as the original ice conditions. This being the case, I would expect some diffusion (Fickian or Knudsen) to occur between the time that the ice core is cut and pulled up from the ice pack or glacier and the time at which it is analyzed. Diffusion is bidirectional therefore, if my concern is correct, the gas analyses will indicate a CO2 level which could be higher or lower than it was when it was in the ice mass from which it was taken. Therefore, I am concerned that conclusions are being made based on incorrect estimates of the paleohistorical CO2 levels.

Bill Illis
Reply to  isthatright
September 27, 2016 7:46 pm

It only takes about 30 years for glacial snow to turn into solid glacial ice that is stable afterward for a very long time.
In Antarctica at the summits. that ice keeps getting pushed down for about 800,000 years until it becomes too distorted to provide accurate atmospheric bumbles etc. Greenland is only 15,000 years or so before the ice is too distorted to provide accurate atmosphere levels. The dO18 isotopes on Greenland are still good for 94,000 years in most cores or 130,000 years In the new NEEM core but Antarctica dO18 is still good out to 800,000 years in the summit cores.
But you raise a valid point about being careful if the ice-sheet cores provide valid evidence.
Beyond 800,000 years, it is mainly ocean cores that are used or continental shelf cores when one gets past 200 million years. Overall, there is a strange trend that develops in that the dO18 isotopes change through time probably because of diagenesis as water flooding occurs over time. This appears to be close to a straight line change through time and thus the dO18 isotopes are normally adjusted for this using a straight line method (unless one is a climate scientist trying to snow the public which happens often enough).

September 27, 2016 9:45 pm

If our climate were that sensitive to CO2 then one would expect that the increase in CO2 over the past 30 years would have caused a noticeable increase in the environmental lapse rate in the troposphere but that has not happened. The previous interglacial period was warmer than this one with more ice cap melting and higher sea levels yet CO2 levels were lower than today. Apparently there is something other than CO2 that needs to be accounted for. The data shows that warmer temperatures cause more CO2 to enter the atmosphere because warmer oceans cannot hold as much CO2 as cooler oceans but there is no real evidence that the additional CO2 has caused any global warming. If greenhouse gases cause warming then the majority of the discussion needs to be about the primary greenhouse gas, H2O, but such is not the case. One needs to consider not just CO2 but total levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, especially H2O. Another problem is that the 33 degrees C that the Earth’s surface is warmer because of the atmosphere can all be accounted for by the convective greenhouse effect as derived from first principles. An additional radiant greenhouse effect caused by so called greenhouse gases has yet to be detected anywhere in the solar system including Venus and the Earth.

September 28, 2016 12:00 am

And yet one cant get failed replications published in these same journals, shows something is seriously wrong with science publication.

September 28, 2016 1:36 am

For the record: Gavin Schmidt’s website,, previously endorsed this very high climate sensitivity to CO2. Or about 5/6 of it, anyway.
What does the lag of CO2 behind temperature in ice cores tell us about global warming?
This is an issue that is often misunderstood in the public sphere and media, so it is worth spending some time to explain it and clarify it. At least three careful ice core studies have shown that CO2 starts to rise about 800 years (600-1000 years) after Antarctic temperature during glacial terminations. These terminations are pronounced warming periods that mark the ends of the ice ages that happen every 100,000 years or so.
Does this prove that CO2 doesn’t cause global warming? The answer is no.
The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data.
The 4200 years of warming make up about 5/6 of the total warming. So CO2 could have caused the last 5/6 of the warming, but could not have caused the first 1/6 of the warming.

[my emphasis]

September 28, 2016 6:47 am

And in our estimation, there is no causation whatsoever. Co2 concentrations are merely following temperature via oceanic absorption and outgassing.
Modulation of ice ages via precession and dust-albedo feedbacks.

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