Report – Global Warming Debate at Rice University: Soon vs. Sass

Guest essay by Charles Battig 

“Ronald Sass noted that ‘scientists should agree, not debate,’ a statement puzzling to me. He did agree that we do not yet have enough data. To which I comment: why promote uncertain science and political policy that might do more harm than adapting to real (versus computerized) futures?”

Little did I realize that in moving to Houston, Texas I would soon witness a rare climatic event. It was not another hurricane like Ike, snow in summer, nor any other such rarity. I would be able to attend a climate debate in a welcoming and civil atmosphere between two opposing debaters well qualified in their particular fields of climate research.  Such open debates are a rarity in the current emotionally defined microcosm of consensus science and settled science. The PC thought police, including at the  James A. Baker III Institute under gatekeeper Neal Lane, were conspicuously absent.

Rice University’s Federalist Society sponsored a program titled “A Heated Debate: A Discussion on the Science and Policy of Climate Change” on campus Wednesday, October 19, 2016. The featured speakers were Dr. Willie Soon and Professor Ronald Sass. A video of the presentations, including rebuttals and questions from the audience has been posted on the Federalist website:  www.ricefedsoc.com.

As there is no substitute for the original, readers are encouraged to view the debate. However, I offer the following comments.

Soon Presentation

Soon’s presentation began with an illustration of the multiple and diverse sciences making up the catch-all term of climatology–thus concluding that there is no single person expert in all these fields, and certainly no single expert on climate.

Soon then identified the key factors which drive climate change. He pointed about the arbitrariness of the current definition of the term “climate” as it uses a 30 year average sampling time-span…why not 50 years? (I am reminded of Edward Lorenz’s comment questioning if such a thing as “a climate” actually exists in the context of such a dynamic system.)

Another issue Soon raised was the validity of long-term temperature records which are used as the basis for many climate-related studies, and the consequential errors introduced into many such studies. The urban heat island effect was acknowledged by both Soon and Sass.

Soon emphasized the relative scarcity of reliable and accurate long-term, single-location temperature records. He presented the results of his own efforts to identify the most reliable locations.

The inherent fallibility of current global climate models in predicting long-term global temperature trends was illustrated by graphs showing the increasing divergence between multiple such computer runs and the actual, observed satellite and weather balloon temperature records since 1979.

When the spaghetti-like computer outputs from multiple computer runs are averaged, the resultant graph increasingly diverges upward from the more modest temperature increase in the observed world.  Soon made the point that averaging half-truths does not produce a whole-truth. This is akin to the quip that a faster computer will just enable one to obtain a false result quicker.

Soon also noted that these various general circulation computer programs necessarily have built in numerical assumptions for a variety of parameters for which valid data or theory are lacking. Such programs are thereby  purposely or inadvertently tuned to give desired outputs, which may not reflect the real world. Soon showed a slide quoting the head of United Airlines planning to use the Farmer’s Almanac for forecasting upcoming winter operations.

Both Soon and Sass both agreed that water vapor is the prime green-house gas. Soon sought to illustrate the minor role that CO2 plays in the Earth’s climate mechanics in comparison to solar energy. He concluded by emphasizing the major role of the sun in driving the climate of the Earth and noted that the climate is “not connected to CO2 even if reduced to zero.”

Sass Presentation

Sass began with four points of agreement with Soon: he stated that best thing about his association with the U.N. was the perk of traveling first class, but was fired for a report of his not meeting the expectations of the U.N.; the sun is the prime driver of our climate; CO2 is not a major greenhouse gas; and he does not believe in climate models either.

Sass then proceeded with his contention that there is a role for CO2 in the climate and energy balance of the Earth. Sass used the Stefan-Boltzmann black body equation to derive a 5 degree F contribution (out of a total warming of 57 degrees F) of atmospheric CO2 to the Earth global warming energy balance by using the near 100 per cent CO2 atmosphere of Mars as a reference. He claimed a doubling of atmospheric CO2 would result in about a 5 degree F of warming as predicted by computer modeling.

He presented a series of probability curves derived from sequential decades of mid-summer temperatures, and concluded that there was a shift of the mean peak temperature to the right, portending ever increasing global temperatures (at least over the time span he had chosen). One in a 1000 year extreme weather events were said to be on course to be perhaps one in 50 year events.

Sass then presented data derived from ENSO events which he claimed to show an average of 0.7 degree C per decade of global warming. He also demonstrated a discrepancy between Earth surface temperatures and upper stratosphere temperatures, which he related to greenhouse-gas radiative warming.

He concluded with a simple 2×2 decision grid which presented his argument that the Earth’s temperature is increasing because of the CO2 resulting from the use of fossil fuels, and that this presents a threat to the future of mankind (and his grandchildren).

Akin to the famous Pascal’s Wager about the belief in God, Sass’s grid would push the viewer into doing something because the alternative would be a disaster, a “global economic catastrophe.”

Some Criticism

Sass implies that global warming had no benefits, only future disasters. Benefits to plant growth of increased CO2 are ignored. Human welfare has been documented to thrive in warm periods in contrast to prolonged periods of cold. None of these facts or nuances made it into Sass’s black-or-white simplistic matrix.

He later noted that the Earth would be a “difficult place to live in 30 to 40 years” should no action be taken to limit CO2 production from fossil fuel combustion. I was particularly surprised to hear him repeatedly refer to such CO2 as “garbage.” He advocated sequestration of CO2 as a safe way to continue to use fossil fuels.

In the brief rebuttal period, Soon again emphasized the poor quality of global temperature records, the too-short sampling time for these analyses and resultant conclusions, and the overriding solar influence. I would like to have heard a bit more discussion of the composition of solar energy…visible vs. non-visible, as well as the nature of cosmic energy. Soon rebutted Sass’s claim that CO2 was “garbage.”

Ronald Sass noted that “scientists should agree, not debate,” a statement puzzling to me. He did agree that we do not yet have enough data. To which I comment: why promote uncertain science and political policy that might do more harm than adapting to real (versus computerized) futures?

This need to ‘do something’ seems driven by emotional fear where definitive data are not available. We live in the era of  “post-normal science”  as defined by Jerome Ravetz. Politicians eager to appear in charge are only too willing to spend taxpayer monies to solve problems, even imaginary ones.

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193 thoughts on “Report – Global Warming Debate at Rice University: Soon vs. Sass

  1. “scientists should agree, not debate,”
    If the scientists don’t agree, how then should the disagreement be resolved?
    By who shouts the loudest?

    • If this were true, all scientists would cross-train as Opera Singers. That might help the AGW’ers with their drama at any rate.

    • Obviously, If the Scientists don’t agree then the disagreement is decided by Concensus. If 25% of the group agree and the remainder 75% sit in various camps with no more than an average of 20% concensus per camp then the 25% group wins /sarc

      • Bryan A October 27, 2016 at 12:33 pm

        Obviously, If the Scientists don’t agree then the disagreement is decided by Concensus.

        No it isn’t. The hypotheses involved with CO2-Climate Change “Science” are Scientifically Falsified by their [100%] Prediction Failure in Empirical Reality. Apart from that, the Skeptics don’t have to prove anything, and it doesn’t matter how many of them there are.

        Bryan, why do you think you know anything at all about it?

    • ‘If the scientists don’t agree, how then should the disagreement be resolved?’

      Apparently, by litigation, prosecution, persecution, libel, and slander.

    • The entire post normal science thing is well frankly insane.

      Basically it postulates that reality and thus everything around us is purely subjective and is it is not empirical nor can it be subject to empirical examination because no such thing as empirical examination can exist. It is a really bizarre theory that comes out of the social sciences.

      And because reality is purely subjective then scientists reaching a consensus on what is reality makes sense. Of course if they are wrong and reality isn’t subjective but rational following repeatable laws then their entire push for consensus science is insane and the mark of insanity.

      • You have misunderstood the arguments. Skeptics say the experts do not agree. Alarmists say the experts overwhelmingly agree on the basic processes occurring. The alarmists are right about that. Almost nobody says that it is real because the experts agree.

      • You don’t get out much.
        I’m told that I have to shut up and agree to whatever the wacky scheme of the day is all the time because “97% of scientitists agree”, all the time.

    • Surely since scientists have to pass an exam in the science as believed by that group then they are unfit to decide as they have been preselected to agree. We need outsiders with the skills to listen and examine to decide based on their evidence.
      Experts from history and from engineering both give the same but different answer to that of climate scientists as to what is normal climate progression. Both groups get their answers based purely on historical patterns one of letters and records and the other from signal analysis.

  2. Sass completely lost the debate with that statement. Scientists debate. Dogmatists agree. He is a member in good standing of the religion that CAGW has become.

    • Science is a method by which the skill score of various methods of predicting results can be increasingly refined and made more accurate. While we all think of “increasing our understanding” of stuff, that is only vaguely true. We tend to increase our ability to construct new methods of prediction based on some generalities from past results. We really don’t understand something as simple as an electron. Why is it here, what is it made out of, what happens over extreme time, why if you take three quarks and an electron and squeeze hard do you get back three quarks, but different flavors of quarks, who ordered 1/3 charged particles to begin with? However, we have developed new methods of visualization and abstract construction that permit us to make better predictions even if we cannot answer these questions. That is what science is all about. “Truth is what works.” – William James.

      • “Science is a method by which the skill score of various methods of predicting results can be increasingly refined and made more accurate.”

        This statement is true, but has the incorrect emphasis. Science is about *****empirical observation*****. The creation and evaluation of hypotheses are part of the Scientific Method, but the core difference between science and classic philosophy (which also creates and evaluates hypoheses) is ***observation***.

        The way to tell a bad scientist from a good one is which one does not understand that computer models are hypothesis (not observation) and which one does.

        Science is the practice of EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION. Most people are confused about this – even many scientists.

      • But what works {a la William James) is now decided by computer modelling ( a la ACGW). Reality comes second. And measurability is the measure of change shown by computer modelling.

      • jon wrote:
        “But what works {a la William James) is now decided by computer modelling ( a la ACGW). Reality comes second. And measurability is the measure of change shown by computer modelling.”

        Well said jon ! This is the key problem with many so-called climate scientists today. As one of my learned friends (a competent climate scientist with a strong predictive track record) reflected to me, “these people are living in a virtual world, where they think that their computer model outputs are actual observations, and then they want us to act based on these flawed outputs!”.

        It is especially wrong to make this assumption of computer model validity when their climate computer models have utterly failed to predict anything with accuracy and are based on false assumptions. Then, they average the results of all their failed computer climate models and assume the average result will have greater validity. Remarkably, they cannot understand that the averaging of “total nonsense” results in “average total nonsense”, Still, they have successfully advocated the squandering of trillions of dollars based on their nonsense results.

        As a result of this false global warming alarmism, society has squandered trillions of dollars and done real harm to our energy systems. The remarkable incompetence of this CAGW campaign is now becoming apparent, even to the some of our densest politicians, and they are scrambling to find a way to gracefully retreat from this nonsense. Many countries are dropping their subsidies for grid-connected wind and solar power and relying on fossil fuels, which still comprise 86% of global primary energy.

        The warmist rhetoric continues, but the reality is that the warmists are being buried in their own BS.

      • Thank you all for causing me to look up these gems, written by Richard Feynman. They are all exquisite, but the one I was looking for is: “THE TEST OF SCIENCE IS ITS ABILITY TO PREDICT.”

        It should be noted that ALL the predictions (aka “projections”) of the global warming alarmists have failed to materialize, and there is no evidence that they ever will materialize. Their computer climate models are utter nonsense, programmed to over-predict global warming. These climate computer models are self-fulfilling nonsense. Global warming alarmism is the very epitome of cargo cult science.

        For a successful predictive multi-decadal global temperature model, see here:
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/27/report-global-warming-debate-at-rice-university-soon-vs-sass/comment-page-1/#comment-2328941

        As I first wrote in January 2008, “CO2 LAGS TEMPERATURE AT ALL MEASURED TIME SCALES”. This is the simple but beautiful reality that, I suggest, demonstrates the truth of the dominant Climate-CO2 relationship and the falsehood of the global warming alarmist hypothesis.

        I remain reasonably confident that the future cannot cause the past (in our current space-time continuum). :-)

        Regards, Allan MacRae

        Reference:
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/09/23/lewandowsky-and-cook-deniers-cannot-provide-a-coherent-alternate-worldview/comment-page-1/#comment-2307537

        The rate of change dCO2/dt changes ~contemporaneously with temperature and therefore its integral atmospheric CO2 concentration lags atmospheric temperature by about 9 months in the modern data record. This dCO2/dt vs. temperature correlation is remarkably strong for a natural global phenomenon.

        CO2 also LAGS temperature by about 800 years in the ice core record. Thus CO2 LAGS temperature at all measured time scales.

        This close dCO2/dt vs temperature relationship indicates that temperature drives CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. This does not preclude other drivers of CO2 such as deforestation and fossil fuel combustion.

        See also Humlum et al, January 2013, written five years after my icecap.us paper:
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658
        Highlights
        – Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature.
        – Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature.
        – Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.
        – Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.
        – Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

        ______________________________________________________________

        Quotes from Richard Phillips Feynman (May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) on The Value of Science
        https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman#The_Value_of_Science_.281955.29

        The test of science is its ability to predict.

        We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.

        There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. … It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty — a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it; other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked — to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

        The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.

        We are not to tell nature what she’s gotta be. … She’s always got better imagination than we have.

        You can recognize truth by its beauty and simplicity. When you get it right, it is obvious that it is right—at least if you have any experience—because usually what happens is that more comes out than goes in. …The inexperienced, the crackpots, and people like that, make guesses that are simple, but you can immediately see that they are wrong, so that does not count. Others, the inexperienced students, make guesses that are very complicated, and it sort of looks as if it is all right, but I know it is not true because the truth always turns out to be simpler than you thought.

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

      • programmed to over-predict global warming
        How do you KNOW this? What specific evidence do you have for this. That the models do not predict correctly is not evidence that they were deliberately programmed to make those wrong predictions.

      • Thank you for giving me this opportunity Leif. Soon after I posted this note, I edited the subject paragraph for brevity, as follows:

        “It should be noted that ALL the predictions (aka “projections”) of the global warming alarmists have failed to materialize, and there is no evidence that they ever will materialize. Their computer climate models are self-fulfilling nonsense, programmed to over-predict global warming. Global warming alarmism is the very epitome of cargo cult science.”

        Whether the over-predictions of global warming by computer climate modellers are innocent or deliberate is a topic for another thread, and I suggest further discussion here will pull this thread off-topic. My observations regarding “innocent misrepresentation vs deliberate fraud” by warmists are recorded elsewhere.

        For the record, after ~2002 I became convinced, based on the evidence, that the alleged CAGW crisis was deliberate fraud.

        Regards, Allan

      • programmed to over-predict global warming
        Wouldn’t it be stupid to do that? Why would someone do this when it will show immediately that something was wrong? Ir makes no sense, and is therefore probably a false inference.

      • Leif wrote:
        “Wouldn’t it be stupid to do that? Why would someone do this when it will show immediately that something was wrong?”

        Think about it Leif – why would the global warming alarmists propagate an incorrect hypothesis, based on an estimate of climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 that is as much as an order-of-magnitude too high? If they sell this incorrect hypo, they get huge funding. If they accept that their estimate of climate sensitivity is far too high, their funding is cut off. No conflict-of-interest there.

        Were they imbeciles or scoundrels? Most likely a mix of both in the beginning, but by about 2000 they were conducting an open witch hunt against anyone who disagreed with their warmist nonsense and declaring “the science is settled” – which was and is utter crap.

        Even before the demolishing of the “Mann hockey stick” and the scandalous Climategate emails, It was the warmists’ intellectual dishonesty and persecution of skeptical scientists that gave them away. The warmists have, at least, been consistent: “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus”.

        Now, can we drop this distraction and get back on topic? The topic is:
        “CO2 LAGS TEMPERATURE AT ALL MEASURED TIME SCALES”. This is the simple but beautiful reality that, I suggest, demonstrates the truth of the dominant Climate-CO2 relationship and the falsehood of the global warming alarmist hypothesis.
        .

      • Think about it Leif – why would the global warming alarmists propagate an incorrect hypothesis, based on an estimate of climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 that is as much as an order-of-magnitude too high?
        This is different from being “programmed to over-predict global warming’. An over-prediction is immediately falsified by actual events and is thus useless and nobody is dumb enough to deliberately suffering that. It is not the programming that is at fault, but the underlying ‘theory’.

      • The topic is: “CO2 LAGS TEMPERATURE AT ALL MEASURED TIME SCALES
        I was under the misunderstanding that Soon was pushing ‘it’s the sun, stooopid’…

      • I read your claim to mean that the programmers who wrote the code for prediction of the climate knew quite well what the model would produce, but added code to have the model output an additional increase over and above what an ‘honest’ model would give. How else to interpret your statement?
        I think this is wrong. The models over-predict because the parameterizations that are necessary to deal with the micro-physics that cannot be modeled directly are not correct.

      • Leif wrote:
        “I read your claim to mean that the programmers who wrote the code for prediction of the climate knew quite well what the model would produce, but added code to have the model output an additional increase over and above what an ‘honest’ model would give. How else to interpret your statement?”

        Here is how: As stated above, the warmists’ climate models used a climate sensitivity to CO2 that was much too high. This caused problems when the models attempted to hindcast the global cooling that occurred from ~1940 to ~1975, so the modelers fabricated aerosol data (out of thin air) to force their models to cool during this period. Then they claimed their models could hindcast quite well, all based on false inputs, and thus could forecast future global temperatures.

        The classic skeptics’ argument also assumes, like the warmists, that CO2 primarily drives temperature, but argues for a much lower climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2. In effect, they are luke-warmists, saying there will be only limited (non-catastrophic) global warming caused by increased atmospheric CO2.

        I think you are correct if you say that the basic physics is wrong, but that argument is not broadly accepted: Since CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales, both the warmists and skeptics are arguing that the future is causing the past. I suggest this is highly improbable, at least in our current space-time continuum. Alternative explanations, such as “feedback effects”, appear to be cargo-cult religious arguments.

        I suggest the rational conclusion is that temperature drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. This does not preclude other drivers of CO2 such as deforestation and fossil fuel combustion.

  3. Sass – “One in a 1000 year extreme weather events were said to be on course to be perhaps one in 50 year events.”

    I thought that the IPCC has said that there is little confidence in any relationship between Climate Change (TM) and extreme weather events? So to what mechanism did Professor Sass attribute this change in frequency (or probability)?

    “Sass then presented data derived from ENSO events which he claimed to show an average of 0.7 degree C per decade of global warming. ”

    Wow – 7C per century!

  4. Regardless of who said what. A big “Thank You” to the Federalist Society at Rice for hosting this and to the two participants who gave their time so attendees could get some information without media/political interlopers shoving their oars in and muddying the waters with hyperbole.

    • Let me echo that, and repeat my thanks to Charles:

      Thank you Charles, for an erudite and insightful analysis, of a most worthy event. Dr. Willie Soon gave me even more reasons to hold him in high esteem, injecting a dose of reality into a polite audience willing to be inoculated with a realistic look at the state of our climate.

      Dr. Sass, on the other hand, exhibited some real technical prowess, but in the end built supposition upon supposition, ending with the 2 x 2 decision grid that is the cornerstone of those adhering to the precautionary principle. The simplistic foolishness of its use should have been far beneath him, VERY far.

      All the above being said, I celebrate the Federalist people and Rice University for hosting the event. I guess it is no accident that one of the worlds greatest oceanographers, Maurice Ewing, was a product of the academic integrity that Rice University represents.
      I hope more these events take place, and I will make every effort to attend when they do!!!
      & Charles? NICELY DONE!!!

    • I believe Robert Briggs recently took care of Prof. Sass.
      “Probability models cannot identify cause” Robert Briggs

  5. Debate- full throated, loud and long debate- is the hallmark of healthy science.
    Imposed agreement is the sign of corrupt science.
    That Dr. Sass points out only costs and no benefits of increased CO2 is an anti-science position as well.
    Kudos to the Rice Federalist Society for getting this debate held. The mis-named Baker Institute will likely impose a censorship on further activities such as this. I used to be a supporter and attendee of Baker Institute programs. No more- it is just another backwater of the leftist-NGO-Academia machine, delivering predictable leftist reactionary drivel.

    Guest Blogger,
    Welcome to Houston. I grew up a few blocks from Rice starting in 1964, and still live in the area. If you would ever like a local tour guide, don’t hesitate to drop me an email.

  6. “Sass used the Stefan-Boltzmann black body equation to derive a 5 degree F contribution (out of a total warming of 57 degrees F) of atmospheric CO2 to the Earth global warming energy balance by using the near 100 per cent CO2 atmosphere of Mars as a reference.”

    I’ve posed the question of how much heat is currently being trapped in the 95% CO2 atmosphere of Mars, and I get conflicting answers. Is Sass saying that he derived a value for heat trapped on Mars? What formula was used and why isn’t the Mars’ Rover measuring it?

  7. The vilification and attempted prosecution, nay Persecution of Dr. Soon exemplifies the sorry state of Discourse in the Scientific Community today. A clearly defined line has now been drawn separating Scientific Research and Debate from those whose sole goals are based on Politically motivated Self-aggrandizement. The Scientific Method requires an ebb and flow of ideas. When a Theory is propped up solely by Chest Beating Alarmists, it is reasonable for Scientists to demand either reasoned scientific proof or at least a requirement to show Models which can accurately represent present day reality.

    • sz… excellent point although I hope the sorry state has not completely corrupted all Scientific Communities beyond the CAGW crowd. Clearly the university environment is in bad shape being corrupted with $$$ from government. sad.

      • What if the whole point of the Cultural Marxist was to corrupt science ? they have corrupted art, the media/journalism, marriage, social norms, sexual norms, economic debate, etc etc

        What if the whole point is to corrupt and discredit science and scientists ? Have a think about that !

      • @moa – corrupting science is exactly the goal. They are attacking STEM in universities, on the basis that STEM subjects are not relevant to women and minorities, because of their thinking processes. They have turned their attention to us, the scientists and engineers. I am very glad that I am not working in engineering any more.

  8. I do hope the Rice students follow up on the debate with factual research and compare/contrast Sass with IPCC research on extreme weather vs climate and the reference pages at WUWT and Climate4you. Studying such sites makes one-shot debates like that look so old fashioned and limited, like a lot of courtroom justice with biased expert witnesses.

  9. ““scientists should agree, not debate,” a statement puzzling to me. He did agree that we do not yet have enough data…”

    So, at least we can agree that we don’t have enough data, unless he is saying there isn’t enough data to agree on?!

    /huh?

  10. Sun provides necessary energy, warms atmosphere, land and oceans.
    Each of these plays important part to a larger or smaller degree for the temperature change in a particular region.
    Here is an idea what sun might be doing just in the atmosphere on a daily basis.

    (currently working on similar graphic for oceans)

    CO2 or no CO2, I am not sure that there is a single climate model that could capture changes in the atmospheric variables just for one day, let alone year or decade.

  11. The physics cited is nuts . The temperature of a gray body in our orbit is ~ 279 . This is confirmed by being the design temperature for instrumentation in at least one satellite ( I’d like to see general confirmation . ) The Apollo 13 astronauts would have frozen if our outside the atmosphere temperature were ~ 255 .

    You can’t calculate the temperature of a colored ball , simply from Stefan-Boltzmann . It’s that temperature times the 4th root of the ratio of the dot product of the spectrum of the ball and that of its radiant source to the dot product of the ball and its sink . ( See http://CoSy.com )

    This is experimentally testable and I’m waiting for some clever YouTubes . It’s time this branch of applied physics get back to the experimentally grounded quantitative analytical method of any respected branch of applied physics like semiconductors .

    Don’t talk to me about Navier-Stokes models until you can demonstrate you know how to calculate the equilibrium temperature of a billiard ball under a sun lamp .

    • I am mystified. In my experience, dot products are operations on vectors to produce a scalar. I have never before seen spectra characterized as vectors. Can you possibly elucidate?

      Or are you trying to say that the equilbrium temperature is proportional to the fourth root of the ratio of the absorption coefficient to the emission coefficient (weighted spectrally)? I’ve made this point before, to little notice. From it, one can conclude that 10% errors in the estimate of albedo (typical) result in approximately 7.2 K errors in estimate of temperature. This is equal to 13 degrees F. We can look and look for evidence, but if we don’t understand the effect of errors on our conclusions, we will draw useless conclusions.

      • Thanks for the response . Until this most basic computation of radiant heat transfer is universally understood . It is the generalization to arbitrary spectra of the computation which produces the 255K meme which for the more than a decade I’ve been diverted into this stupid fraud seems to be the limit of anybody’s ability to compute .

        I use the term vector in the APL computational sense : any ordered list of values . But even in the pure math sense , continuous spectra are vectors in an infinite dimensional space .

        The dot product is simply the sum across the pairwise products of 2 lists of numbers . In http://Kx.com K from which my 4th.CoSy is evolved , the dot product can be defined succinctly :
        dot : +/ * and will apply to unlimited sets of unlimited count lists ( well , gigabytes anyway )
        … Oh , at this point I read more closely your

        the equilibrium temperature is proportional to the fourth root of the ratio of the absorption coefficient to the emission coefficient (weighted spectrally)

        Yea , that’s what I’m saying . Martin Hertzberg has said the same thing . I just say it in more general executable notation .

        The computation with albedo wrt the solar spectrum of 0.7 and an assumed emissivity of 1.0 over the longer wavelengths is just a dot product using a crude step function approximation when there is no excuse for not using actual measured spectra of the Earth as seen from outside .

        The most important point is that the flat spectrum , gray body , temperature outside the atmosphere is about 279 . It needs to be explained how the temperature at some altitude in the upper atmosphere gets down to around 255 before rising to around 288 .

        See my http://cosy.com/#PlanetaryPhysics for full discussion and actual computations in K .

      • Dear Bob,

        Okay. As long as we’re in agreement, that’s goodness. Just speaking as my own opinion, of someone who has worked with spectral distributions, there is probably no serious harm in using an approximation to the spectral emission and absorption coefficients, so long as the approximation is close to the truth. It is just computationally convenient, useful for first-order estimates. 279 K works out to 42.8 F, which seems a bit chilly for a global average, but what is the real number? 288 K works out to 59 F, which is warmer. In a world of swamps and glaciers, these might be reasonable numbers for an average. But 255 K corresponds to 0 F, which is a legitimate temperature for maybe the upper stratosphere, but not typical of the surface.

        Let me mention, though, that a grey-body temperature distribution is not “flat.” It has the same shape as the normal Planck distribution. The only difference is that the intensity amplitude is in proportion to the emission coefficient (grayness).

        Another point: the actual temperature of the atmosphere at high altitude plays no role in this. The air density is so low, there is no heat content and it takes very little energy to cause the temperature to go up or down. And so, there are natural processes going on in the upper atmosphere due to interaction with the solar ultraviolet radiation (ozone formation, atomic oxygen formation), which result in exothermic reactions. All very interesting, but irrelevant to life down here, insofar as temperature is concerned.

        (Oh, yes. If you are concerned about approximations to the real spectral distribution, then you will have to be concerned about how that distribution differs from a Planck distribution. These differences show up most strongly in the ultraviolet end of the spectrum, as from the sun, since UV is produced by other means than black-body radiation.)

  12. According to the text above, Sass claimed CO2 contributes 5F of warming (of the claimed total of 57F) and doubling CO2 would increase temperatures by 5F. That implies doubling CO2 would double the contribution of CO2 to warming. However we know that once the line center saturates the impact of further rise in concentration is logarithmic. Now the line center can be considered saturated at about 2 absorbance units for the entire atmospheric column (ie: the column absorbs 99% of the surface emission at 14.7 microns) and at 280 ppm CO2 concentration equates to about 2000 absorbance units. So we are about 10 doublings into the logarithmic curve at present. That means that each doubling would contribute about 5/10F to warming or half a degree Fahrenheit. Thus a further doubling would contribute a further 0.5F. Yep I would completely agree that is a very reasonable estimate. The warmists are not absolutely wrong, they are simply exaggerating by a factor of 10.

    • Thanks for the response .
      Until this most basic computation of radiant heat transfer is universally understood . It is the generalization to arbitrary spectra of the computation which produces the 255K meme which for the more than a decade I’ve been diverted into this stupid fraud seems to be the limit of anybody’s ability to compute .

      I use the term vector in the APL computational sense : any ordered list of values . But even in the pure math sense , continuous spectra are vectors in an infinite dimensional space .

      The dot product is simply the sum across the pairwise products of 2 lists of numbers . In http://Kx.com K from which my 4th.CoSy is evolved , the dot product can be defined succinctly :
      dot : +/ * and will apply to unlimited sets of unlimited count lists ( well , gigabytes anyway )
      … Oh , at this point I read more closely your

      the equilbrium temperature is proportional to the fourth root of the ratio of the absorption coefficient to the emission coefficient (weighted spectrally)

      Yea , that’s what I’m saying . Martin Hertzberg has said the same thing . I just say it in more general executable notation .

      The computation with albedo wrt the solar spectrum of 0.7 and an assumed emissivity of 1.0 over the longer wavelengths is just a dot product using a crude step function approximation when there is no excuse for not using actual measured spectra of the Earth as seen from outside .

      The most important point is that the flat spectrum , gray body , temperature outside the atmosphere is about 279 . It needs to be explained how the temperature at some altitude in the upper atmosphere gets down to around 255 before rising to around 288 .

      See my http://cosy.com/#PlanetaryPhysics for full discussion and actual computations in K .

  13. Dr. Sass writes off nuclear as being only a temporary solution to our energy supply. If breeder reactors can be brought online cheap energy could be abundant for tens of thousands of years with reduced waste and reduced risks. The cost for the development of these reactors would be far less than the multi billion dollar transfers to offset future hypothetical climate risks.

  14. Send Willie to Alberta and have him speak directly to our socialist government. Although I doubt it will help since they have a deep rooted Marxist ideology that will never be broken even when they will break this province with the coming carbon tax.

  15. One popular GHE theory power flux balance (“Atmospheric Moisture…. Trenberth et al 2011jcli24 Figure 10) has a spontaneous perpetual loop (333 W/m^2) flowing from cold to hot violating three fundamental thermodynamic laws. (1. Spontaneous energy out of nowhere, 2. perpetual loop w/o work, 3. cold to hot w/o work, 4. doesn’t matter because what’s in the system stays in the system) Physics must be optional for “climate” science. What really counts is the net W/m^2 balance at ToA which 7 out of 8 re-analyses included in the above cited paper concluded the atmosphere was cooling, not warming (+/- 12.3 W/m^2). Of course Dr. Trenberth says they are wrong because their cooling results are not confirmed by his predicted warming, which hasn’t happened for twenty years. (“All of the net TOA imbalances are not tenable and all except CFSR imply a cooling of the planet that clearly has not occurred.”)

  16. Can there be a honourary “Wattsupwiththat” award, cos’ Willie Soon has my vote.

    Sass zeroed in on some, to me, speculative science and Willie ripped it apart. Sass then descended into an anecdote of manipulating science to suit a purpose. I’m not sure I understood what he was saying, but it sounded decidedly dodgy.

    Willie dealt with some fundamentals; no one has proven CO2 causes warming, CO2 is NOT bad for humanity (that was a biggie!) and the prospect of Global Cooling is a lot, lot worse than the prospect of GW.

    I was so disappointed when Sass reduced himself to the simplistic level of the least persuasive method, of the worst salesman in the world’s efforts, to insult an audience by introducing a 4 box, smiley faced matrix.

    I am a salesman. This chicanery is just a tiny bit above the ‘3 cup and ball’ illusion at carnivals. I’m sure he did it with the best of intentions, but to present that to an audience of scientists? The man was trying to play games with an audience that should have the intelligence to kick him out the door.

    Then Willie emphasised his contention that there is not enough information to base a judgement on that CO2 is a bad gas never mind that it is causing GW. And all Sass could do was, nod and agree. Which is a really bad sign because he is predicating the planet’s future on a condescending nod of acknowledgement, and an opinion of “F*ck you Willie, it’s being done anyway”.

    Sass is a bumbling old fool more interested in science, for science’s sake, than science for humanities sake.

    Had he stood up there and said ‘f*ck you, you ungrateful little turds, I have my pension so now I’m going to tell you the truth” I would have respected him. Instead, he went on some apologetic, lugubrious ramble about his retirement reliance on fossil fuel, and his kid’s, and grandkid’s futures.

    Like we give a monkey’s.

  17. Both the Channeled Scablands of Washington State and plate tectonics were hotly debated for over 40 years each before scientific agreement was reached. In neither case did scientists “agree” until enough scientific evidence had been presented for each “winning” side. That’s how these questions should be answered.

    • The history if the plate tectonics theory is instructive. The idea of continental drift has been around a long time was described in 1912 by Wegener, but there was no known mechanism. Plate tectonics is the mechanism of continental drift, so it is not really true that plate tectonics was hotly debated for decades. Plate tectonics was defined in a series of papers between 1965 and 1967 and was rapidly accepted.

    • For global warming, whether the Earth was warming or cooling and whether Man could affect this was hotly debated until enough evidence was presented for the winning side. The Earth is warming and Man can affect it. There will always be people that do not accept the new accepted position and hang on to the old ideas.

      • “The Earth is warming and Man can affect it.” How much, and how much is still the outstanding question no where near a solution.

      • No, that debate never happened. There’s too much manipulation of the original data, often applied to data decades old, and too much disagreement between the models and reality for there to be any real evidence that humans can greatly control the climate. The alarmist side simply declared “the debate is over” before there actually was one.

    • In the case of the Channeled Scablands caused by the Bretz Floods from glacial Lake Missoula, it wasn’t so much that new evidence convinced older scientists. It’s just that the anti-catastrophists died off.

      • Not true. According to the nasa.gov site, “Bretz defended his source-less flood for five years and then, in 1928, made the case that the origin did not lie to the north in main part of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, as assumed, but to the east. His nominee was Glacial Lake Missoula, a prehistoric lake that formed in Idaho after an offshoot of the Cordilleran sealed the Clark Fork River with a 2,000-foot-tall wall of ice.

        Though that wasn’t an obvious choice, it wasn’t outrageous. Some researchers began to think Bretz was on to something, and by the mid-1930s, he had gathered enough support that the river-versus-flood question was considered an open one.

        The evidence for Glacial Lake Missoula’s existence had been put together by J. T. Pardee, a U.S. Geological Survey researcher who had also studied the Channeled Scablands. A year before Bretz’s first scablands paper, Pardee had published his own preliminary findings about the region. Like Bretz, Pardee suspected flooding, and the two researchers had even corresponded. But Pardee kept a low profile until quite late in the Spokane Flood debate.

        The scale finally tipped in Bretz’s favor during a conference in 1940. That’s when Pardee demonstrated that Glacial Lake Missoula had amassed as much water as Lake Ontario and Lake Erie combined—a stockpile big enough to send a flood surging all the way from Montana to the Pacific Ocean. He explained that the evenly spaced, sandbar-like gravel hills in northwestern Montana were actually ripple marks left on the lake’s bottom by the currents. (In fact, ripple marks from the flood can be found as far as Portland, Ore.) And he left the door open for Bretz to make the connection that an abrupt failure of the ice dam had unleashed the glacial water, turning a vast plain of hardened lava into the Channeled Scablands.

        With that, most of the objections to the flood hypothesis were laid to rest. These days, researchers think that as many as 40 floods—some enormous, others just darn big—shaped the scablands. Whether all of the floods originated in the Cordilleran Ice Sheet is still being discussed.”

        As you see, even though there was much vitriol from the catastrophists, as the evidence built in favor of the flood theory, geologists began to come around to Bretz’s way of thinking. If only today’s climate scientists would follow the evidence rather than their pet theories.

      • James.

        What I wrote is true. The debate lasted 40 years. Only when the Old Guard died off did it end. Thank God that Bretz lived long enough (1981) to see his position vindicated against the vitriol he suffered. Pardee didn’t, because he died in 1960.

        Do you actually trust NASA to be any more honest about the past than they are about the present and future? The story you quote is a pack of lies.

        The debate had barely ended when I studied geology at Stanford in 1969. I was honored to know Harlan Bretz. I grew up in the Channeled Scablands.

      • http://www.historylink.org/File/8382

        A more accurate history than suggesting, a la NASA, that the scales suddenly fell off the eyes of dispassionate men of science at one fell swoop in 1928 (even though from another US government source):

        J Harlen Bretz was a geologist who launched one of the great controversies of modern science by arguing, in the 1920s, that the deep canyons and pockmarked buttes of the arid “scablands” of Eastern Washington had been created by a sudden, catastrophic flood — not, as most of his peers believed, by eons of gradual erosion. It was a bold challenge to the prevailing principle of “uniformitarianism,” which held that the earth was shaped by processes that can be observed in the present. Since a flood of the almost Biblical proportions envisioned by Bretz had never been seen, the idea was dismissed as a throwback to the pre-scientific doctrine of “catastrophism.” Not until the 1940s did other geologists begin to present new evidence supporting the flood theory. Satellite imagery in the 1970s provided the final vindication. Bretz had the satisfaction of living long enough to see his once heretical ideas become the new orthodoxy. In 1979, at age 96, he received the Penrose Medal, geology’s highest honor. He later reportedly told his son: “All my enemies are dead, so I have no one to gloat over” (Smithsonian).

  18. So if “water vapor is the prime green-house gas.”, why is the EPA not going after all those farmers that send water vapor pollution into the atmosphere.

  19. Sass used the Stefan-Boltzmann black body equation to derive a 5 degree F contribution… He claimed a doubling of atmospheric CO2 would result in about a 5 degree F of warming as predicted by computer modeling.

    In other words, Sass is saying that the Stefan-Boltzmann equation is a valid theory of climate. This obvious mistake is what drives the whole AGW frenzy. Climate modelers embrace this mistake unthinkingly. The APS and AIP stupidly promote it.

    The idea that S-B fully describes the response channels of the terrestrial climate is utterly naïve. And yet, it has conquered the minds of otherwise well-trained scientists (physicists, not climate modelers). The phenomenon is beyond comprehension.

  20. a man driven by fear, no matter the number of letters after his name or degrees on his wall, is no scientist but simply a propagandist … Sass is no scientist …

  21. CO2 is essential to life and Sass’ presentation is garbage. His entire presentation is summarized by Soon’s equation: 1/2 truth + 1/2 truth = LIES

    Sass gave a bunch of half truths and platitudes, then concluded with a big lie that global warming is catastrophic. To lawyers and non-scientists, Sass may sound convincing. But to scientists it’s just bullshit.

  22. The main problem is that the original data is an engineering problem not a science one. The Stevenson screen was an adequate but not really that brilliant solution to housing the instruments. It requires good site positioning and even better maintenance to give accurate results. Put it near any diesel output and it within months reads high by far more than any global effects measured from the darkening of its surface. Strangely it also t reads higher in very clean air than in typical levels of air quality and in earlier periods of the industrial revolution would have given low readings by enough to completely negate the sort of differences we are talking about. On top of this we are not seeing the sort of engineering application to compare the data from rural and urban sites to ensure that there is no difference in the warming levels.
    In short Scientists are not good engineers .

    • A 19th Century solution to a 21st Century problem. Primitive, badly sited and maintained ground stations, with inadequate paper records that are badly maintained therefore requiring homogenisation. That’s not science, that’s guesswork.

    • In short, David, consensus climate scientists are not good scientists. I work with good scientists. They take great pains at getting things right.

      The Stevenson screen, by the way, also does a poor job in low wind conditions. Even ideal siting doesn’t eliminate environmentally-caused systematic measurement error. Likewise the MMTS sensor.

  23. Ronald Sass should watch out for his career. Even appearing on the same stage as Willie Soon, or anyone else who doesn’t toe the line, is going to make him some enemies.

    He will learn more than he wanted to about “scientists should agree, not debate”.

  24. We must do *something*!

    Hey, *this* is *something*, so we *must* do it!

    (I think we here all know what that “something” is – more wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars on a political agenda)

  25. “The sun-climate ‘debate’ is dragging on for almost 400 years…”

    and for 399 of those long years until Dr. Svalgaard and his merry men ‘ironed’ out all ‘irregularities’ “when they go low we (made them) go high”, science was doing it’s job, probing, testing, calculating, disagreeing arguing ….
    Now, science is heading towards the‘settled’ mode, it is in a very danger of falling rapidly into a rigamortis. Nothing here, move on.

    Willy Soon, haven’t you heard the cry
    “It is not the sun, st..d.”

    Soon, oh soon the light
    Ours is to shape for all time
    Ours is the right
    The sun will lead us
    For our reason to be here.

    • science is heading towards the‘settled’ mod
      You are very very wrong on this. At least Solar Physics today is a vigorous field with lots of debate, lots of new data, lots of changing views, lots of overturning of old dogmas, etc.

      • For your English education:
        out·mod·ed adjective
        synonyms: out of date, old-fashioned, out of fashion, outdated, dated, behind the times, antiquated, obsolete, passé, unstylish, untrendy, uncool;

      • I think you, and everyone else here is missing a very important point.

        Whilst both sides of this debate are squabbling over fractions of degrees C temperature rise, and using computer models to project these into the future, the details you are getting anal about are minuscule.

        For probably 14,600 days, the world’s scientific community has been invited, by the public, to prove CO2 causes Global Warming. To date, there is no irrefutable proof it does, so the planet’s future is consigned to a theory.

        In the meantime, despite what we have been told (principally by a media determined to sell papers) the planet’s CO2 content has risen by around 50ppm and the planet has greened by 14%. The entire scientific community, with very few exceptions, has been bitten on the arse.

        Can anyone, please, point me to the evidence that demonstrates hurricanes, droughts, sea levels, ice melting etc. etc. have progressed by 14%? Indeed, has anything atmospheric, land, or sea-based progressed by 14% in living memory?

        Whilst you lot are squabbling over a single peanut, the elephant in the room has nicked the bag and is sitting in the corner giggling about it.

        Perhaps the single largest event in the planet’s recent history is going on in front of your eyes and you are all totally ignoring it. Why?

        There are educated people populating boards like this, on both sides of the debate. Frankly, you all need your heads banged together to knock some sense into you.

        You have asked all the inane, anally retentive, irrelevant questions you can possibly ask, and between you, 2+2=324.5568894, squared, cubed then dissected until the people that actually care about it, the general public, are so bored with your childish bickering that they abandon you altogether. Then it’s science that suffers.

        FFS, get your arses into gear and use global greening as a common point of agreement. Then have the scientific community get someone to run their PR instead of feeding the Media exploitative statements from self-seeking maverick scientists. At the same time, get a political agent to represent you. The 97% consensus needs to be for science, not hijacked by the media, politicians and big business, including the ‘clean energy’ con men and the Green machine scam merchants.

        Science is a humanitarian endeavor, but whilst governments are using it to pursue their own agenda, poor people are dying because croplands are used for Bio fuels to run cars in the western world. Jungles are burned to create low-grade growing land for these crops. Unimaginable amounts of taxpayers money is poured into solar and wind power which will only ever provide a fraction of humanities needs. Meanwhile, the poor in the west can’t afford rapidly rising energy bills, never mind the poverty stricken in Africa (for one) who are still burning wood to cook and poisoning themselves in the meantime.

        The voiceless few rely on scientists to provide a future for them. Instead, whilst they die, those western scientists provide a future for their own children and grandchildren.

        Get on with the 14% and quit the senseless anal examination.

      • @Chimp.

        Are you being deliberately stupid or do you just enjoy trying to wind people up? The Planet has grown (greened) by 14% in the last 30 years or so. My post made that simplistically obvious.

      • Global Warming is real, and more CO2 and more warmth helps plant growth. And all that is good.
        What is not so good is that you cannot admit that you made a mistake by claiming that the Earth is ‘growing’, which it is not. Mass and Size of the Earth have not changed measurably in a long time.

      • Like I said, you are more interested in splitting hairs than dealing with reality. The term “the earth is growing” is a turn of phrase. I’ll accept your apology in your next post, or do you still claim what I say is “nonsense”!?

      • To believe that the Earth is growing, i.e. getting larger is indeed nonsense. If you didn’t actually believe that, then you made a bad mistake in choice of words. Be a man and admit that.

      • “Be a man and admit that.”

        How do you know what gender I am? Or is that a ‘turn of phrase’?

        In which case, we either agree on using a turn of phrase, and you still owe me an apology for your “Nonsense” comment, or we don’t agree on using a ‘turn of phrase’ and you owe me an apology for assuming I’m a man.

        You started the hair splitting, not me, so which apology would you like to deliver?

      • A good rule when one is in hole you are in, is to stop digging. Precision is expression is a good thing. It builds confidence. Right now, you have zero if that.

      • When I need your advice, I’ll ask for it. In the meantime, you might want to heed your own.

        Your apology is still expected.

      • lsvalgaard
        October 28, 2016 at 4:18 pm

        Depends on the time scale.

        Global warming started when earth came out of the depths of the LIA during the Maunder Minimum. It has cyclically gotten warmer and cooler since then, but the secular trend has been warmer. However, for over 3000 years the longer-term trend has been cooling.

        So, it’s warmer now than 320 years ago and than 160 years ago, but maybe not than 80 years ago. Can’t say because the books have been so cooked. In the US at least, it was warmer in the 1930s than now.

        More importantly, there is no correlation between rising CO2 and GASTA since CO2 took off after WWII. For the first 32 postwar years, the planet cooled dramatically despite monotonously rising CO2 levels, giving rise to concerns about the coming ice age.

        Then, after the PDO flip in 1977, the globe warmed for about 20 years. Since the ’90s, temperature has stayed flat. The super El Ninos of 1998 and 2016 skew the data, but basically, there has no pronounced trend up or down in this century. In any case, whatever warming the cooked books can concoct is far below the GIGO, worse than worthless, anti-scientific GCMs.

      • lsvalgaard

        Sorry. Should have quoted to which comment I was replying instead of just showing the time.

        I responded to your statement that the globe is warming, which is very much dependent on the time scale. It has warmed since the depths of Last Glacial Maximum, but it has cooled for the past 3000 or 5000 years since the Minoan and Holocene Optimum Warm Periods. However, it has warmed since the Maunder Minimum during the LIA and since the end of the LIA in the 19th century.

      • DreadUK
        October 28, 2016 at 4:47 pm

        I didn’t see a previous post, if there was one. I only read the one that said growing, not greening. It is not obvious that “growing” means “greening”, without context.

      • lsvalgaard
        October 28, 2016 at 7:04 pm

        I’m not convinced that earth has warmed since the 1930s. It got colder from the ’40s to ’70s, then warmer again in the ’80s and ’90s. In the ’00s and ’10s it appears to be holding roughly steady.

        But couldn’t agree more that ~0.6 degrees C of warming since c. AD 1850 is a good thing. Claims of 1.0 degrees C or more are clearly lies. However, a 15 degree C world is definitely better than a 14 degree C world. Sixteen degrees would be better yet, just as 800 ppm of CO2 would be better than 400 for plants and other living things.

      • Re DreadUK wrote on October 28, 2016 at 1:15 pm

        A good rant, thank you Dread – maybe just change “growing” to “greening”” to satisfy the pedants.

        Here is my recent summary of the state of the climate debate: I am confident that all points are correct, with the possible exception of the global cooling prediction in the last part of #6. And I hope to be wrong there, because of #8, 9 and 10.

        Regards to all, Allan

        EVIDENCE SUGGESTING TEMPERATURE DRIVES ATMOSPHERIC CO2 MORE THAN CO2 DRIVES TEMPERATURE
        September 4, 2015
        By Allan MacRae
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/13/presentation-of-evidence-suggesting-temperature-drives-atmospheric-co2-more-than-co2-drives-temperature/

        Observations and Conclusions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Allan MacRae, Calgary

        Post Script to Dread:
        I share your frustration with the slowness and stupidity with which this matter is being managed. The very high Excess Winter Mortality Rates in the UK, which especially target the elderly and the poor, are of particular concern.
        COLD WEATHER KILLS 20 TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE AS HOT WEATHER
        By Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae, June 13, 2015
        https://friendsofsciencecalgary.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/cold-weather-kills-macrae-daleo-4sept2015-final.pdf

  26. See the second graph below. Most of the warming in the satellite era is a recovery from the effects of two major volcanoes – El Chichon (1982+) and Pinatubo (1991+).

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/14/the-divergence-between-surface-and-lower-troposphere-global-temperature-datasets-and-its-implications/comment-page-1/#comment-2320319

    NOT A WHOLE LOTTA GLOBAL WARMING GOIN’ ON!

    Bill Illis’s work on this concept predates mine by years. Somehow I missed his stuff and thought I had discovered something new – Haw! Bill’s post is here.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/09/23/lewandowsky-and-cook-deniers-cannot-provide-a-coherent-alternate-worldview/comment-page-1/#comment-2306066

    Bill’s equation is:
    Tropics Troposphere Temp = 0.288 * Nino 3.4 Index (of 3 months previous) + 0.499 * AMO Index + -3.22 * Aerosol Optical Depth volcano Index + 0.07 Constant + 0.4395*Ln(CO2) – 2.59 CO2 constant

    Bill’s graph is here – since 1958, not a whole lotta global warming goin’ on!

    My simpler equation using only the Nino3.4 Index Anomaly is:
    UAHLTcalc Global (Anom. in degC, ~four months later) = 0.20*Nino3.4IndexAnom + 0.15
    Data: Nino3.4IndexAnom is at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/sstoi.indices
    It shows that much or all of the apparent warming since 1982 is a natural recovery from the cooling impact of two major volcanoes – El Chichon and Pinatubo.

    Here is the plot of my equation:

    I agree with Bill’s conclusion that
    THE IMPACT OF INCREASING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 ON GLOBAL TEMPERATURE IS SO CLOSE TO ZERO AS TO BE MATERIALLY INSIGNIFICANT.

    Regards, Allan

  27. It would seem to me that the most salient question to be posed in this debate would have been “If the continuous and increasing level of CO2 in the atmosphere is the cause of Global warming then why do records show that the Earth is warming only half of the time?”

  28. Let me deal with the anally retentive pedants once and for all.

    Nowhere in my original post @ October 28, 2016 at 1:15 pm did I say the Earth/Planet is or was ‘growing’.

    I refer to the planet “greening” twice, paragraphs 4 and 10.

    In my response to ‘Chimp’ @ October 28, 2016 at 4:47 pm I stated: “The Planet has grown (greened) by 14% in the last 30 years or so.” Even accepting his contention that he/she hadn’t read the earlier post, it is blindingly obvious what I meant and to attempt to manipulate it is a measure of his/her impotent egotism, if not, rank stupidity.

    It should be noted that the term “grown” is immediately followed, in parenthesis, by “greened”.

    If you mob can’t interpret simple English, you have no right to comment on Climate Change indeed, I would contend you should stick to using crayons rather than being allowed access to a computer.

    It is because of these attitudes that the whole climate debate is mired in obscure detail. Of all the subjects I touched on in my original post @ October 28, 2016 at 1:15 pm, the significant comments (other than Allan MacRae’s) were negative, hypercritical, irrelevant and wrong. Not one positive comment, apart from Allan’s, was apparent despite the opportunities embodied within my post.

    To compound matters, lsvalgaard made matters worse by arguing the toss. He/she could have said ‘sorry DreadUK, I misunderstood’ or ‘whoops, I dropped a bollock’. My response would likely have been, ‘no problem, we all do it’ or something similar. But no, the desire to impose a viewpoint is more important than engaging in meaningful, constructive debate.

    In short, get your heads out your backsides and represent the sceptical point of view on CC like grown ups. As I said in my original post, nothing in this debate has come remotely close to 14% of anything, the evidence for the positives of increasing CO2 is right there. It is irrefutable fact, measured by a climate alarmist.

    The second argument the sceptics have is that there is no conclusive evidence that CO2 causes GW. That is also irrefutable fact. No one has proven it after 40 years of trying to do so.

    So instead of wasting your time fiddling about with inconsequential minutia, your time would be better spent persuading members of your community (online or otherwise) of those two simple facts. They wholly undermine the contention that the planet is heading for climate armageddon.

    The only way to get this whole matter kicked into touch is by persuading real people, who are mostly undecided on the matter, that our governments and big businesses are fleecing the planet whilst the poverty stricken in every country die.

    We are 250ppm CO2 away from the planet dying, literally. We are 600ppm away from the window of between 1,000ppm and 2,000ppm CO2 when plant life is at its most abundant.

    The public don’t care about 0.1 degree C of temperature rise, nor a 3mm sea level rise; both dependent, of course, on who you listen to and what piece of scientific hocus-pocus they decide to use at a particular moment in time to support their argument, at that particular moment in time.

    And as some of you are scientists, these simple facts will be considered compelling and memorable enough for the public to appreciate. And as has been proven, it’s public opinion that moves governments, not scientists.

    • ON CO2 STARVATION

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/01/celebrate-weve-finally-hit-a-climate-tipping-point/comment-page-1/#comment-2249552

      [excerpt]

      The global cooling period from ~1940 to 1975 (during a time of increasing atmospheric CO2) demonstrates that climate sensitivity to increased atmospheric CO2 is near-zero – so close to zero as to be insignificant.

      Furthermore, warm is good and cold is bad – for humanity and the environment. Excess Winter Mortality globally is about 2 million people per year, including about 100,000 per year in the USA and up to 50,000 per year in the United Kingdom. Excess Winter Mortality rates are high even in warm countries like Australia and Thailand.
      Reference: “Cold Weather Kills 20 Times as Many People as Hot Weather” by Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae, September 4, 2015
      https://friendsofsciencecalgary.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/cold-weather-kills-macrae-daleo-4sept2015-final.pdf

      The scientific conclusion is that there is NO global warming crisis, except in the minds of warmist propagandists.

      I recently received a letter from Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips (cc’d to our Minister of Energy and our Premier) wherein she speaks of the government’s plan to reduce “carbon pollution”. Yes, really – some people still talk like that.

      There is overwhelming evidence that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the oceans is not dangerously high – it is dangerously low, too low for the continued survival of life on Earth.

      I have written about the vital issue of “CO2 starvation” since 2009 or earlier, and recently others including Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, have also written on this subject:
      https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/moore-positive-impact-of-human-co2-emissions.pdf

      Executive Summary

      This study looks at the positive environmental effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a topic which has been well established in the scientific literature but which is far too often ignored in the current discussions about climate change policy. All life is carbon based and the primary source of this carbon is the CO2 in the global atmosphere. As recently as 18,000 years ago, at the height of the most recent major glaciation, CO2 dipped to its lowest level in recorded history at 180 ppm, low enough to stunt plant growth.

      This is only 30 ppm above a level that would result in the death of plants due to CO2 starvation. It is calculated that if the decline in CO2 levels were to continue at the same rate as it has over the past 140 million years, life on Earth would begin to die as soon as two million years from now and would slowly perish almost entirely as carbon continued to be lost to the deep ocean sediments. The combustion of fossil fuels for energy to power human civilization has reversed the downward trend in CO2 and promises to bring it back to levels that are likely to foster a considerable increase in the growth rate and biomass of plants, including food crops and trees. Human emissions of CO2 have restored a balance to the global carbon cycle, thereby ensuring the long-term continuation of life on Earth.

      [end of Exec Summary]

      http://calgaryherald.com/business/energy/varcoe-feds-look-to-target-coal-power-plants-following-albertas-plan

      Basic science for Paul C, who seems to have missed primary school:

      CO2 is not dirty – it is colourless and odourless. Animals inhale oxygen and exhale CO2. Plants live on CO2 and produce oxygen – CO2 is plant food. If you fear CO2, you could stop breathing – just a suggestion.

      Moving up to high school science:
      No CO2 means no photosynthesis, and that means the end of all carbon-based life on Earth. During the last Ice Age, which ended only ~10,000 years ago, atmospheric CO2 was so low that photosynthesis slowed to a crawl – it was close to an extinction event. In the next Ice Age, which is imminent, or the one after that, or the one after that, we could see the end of carbon-based life on Earth – due to CO2 starvation.

      Moving up to university science:

      It gets a little more complicated – there are C3 plants and C4 plants, but the issue is pretty much the same.

      But don’t feel bad Paul – even though you are a dolt, every time you exhale, you make a little flower happy.

      Regards, Allan

      • https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/14/the-divergence-between-surface-and-lower-troposphere-global-temperature-datasets-and-its-implications/comment-page-1/#comment-2319871

        [excerpt]

        9. Finally, atmospheric CO2 is not alarmingly high; in fact, it is dangerously low for the survival of terrestrial carbon-based life on Earth. Plants evolved with about 2000ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, or about 5 times current CO2 concentrations.

        10. In one of the next global Ice Ages, atmospheric CO2 will approach about 150ppm, a concentration at which terrestrial photosynthesis will slow and cease – and that will be the extinction event for terrestrial carbon-based life on this planet.

        11. More atmospheric CO2 is highly beneficial to all carbon-based life on Earth. Therefore, CO2 abatement and sequestration schemes are nonsense.

        12. As a devoted fan of carbon-based life on this planet, I feel the duty to advocate on our behalf. I should point out that I am not prejudiced against other life forms. They might be very nice, but I do not know any of them well enough to form an opinion. :-)

        Regards, Allan

      • 10. In one of the next global Ice Ages, atmospheric CO2 will approach about 150ppm, a concentration at which terrestrial photosynthesis will slow and cease – and that will be the extinction event for terrestrial carbon-based life on this planet.

        There have been thousands of glaciations over the history of the Earth. It is not likely that one of the next ones will be an extinction event when none of the previous ones were. Don’t be so alarmist.

      • lsvalgaard
        October 29, 2016 at 12:40 pm

        The Ordovician glaciation was associated with a mass extinction event:

        Whether the big chill caused the extinctions or not is debatable, but at least some of them can be reasonably attributed to it, due to falling sea level and other effects of the ice sheets.

        Ice sheets from the Oligocene onward at least regionally wiped out a lot of terrestrial life on Antarctica, and ditto for the Pleistocene glaciation of Greenland.

      • Allan M.R. MacRae
        October 29, 2016 at 7:32 am

        Actually, land plants spread during the Silurian Period, when CO2 levels averaged 4500 ppm. They might have evolved in the preceding Ordovician Period, when it was also that high, although it might have dipped a bit during the end-Ordovician glaciation.

        Cooksonia, earliest known vascular plant, from the mid-Silurian:

        As land plants flourished during the Devonian and Carboniferous Periods, forming forests, they drew down CO2 levels.

      • Can’t tell from the picture, but Cooksonia species ranged from tiny to small in size, varying in stem width from about 0.03 mm to 3.0 mm

      • Allan wrote:
        “10. In one of the next global Ice Ages, atmospheric CO2 will approach about 150ppm, a concentration at which terrestrial photosynthesis will slow and cease – and that will be the extinction event for terrestrial carbon-based life on this planet.”

        Leif wrote:
        “There have been thousands of glaciations over the history of the Earth. It is not likely that one of the next ones will be an extinction event when none of the previous ones were. Don’t be so alarmist.”

        Allan again:
        I wish it was alarmist Leif. Atmospheric CO2 is inexorably declining as it is being sequestered in carbonate rocks. In the last Continental Last Ice Age, atmospheric CO2 declined to about 180 ppm – next time it could drop lower, even closer to the extinction point of C3 plants at about 150-160 ppm.

        It is a bit more complicated – a few plants (less than 1%) are use the C4 photosynthesis pathway, including corn and sugar cane – but I doubt terrestrial life could survive on Sugar Frosted Flakes – notwithstanding the persistent rumour that “They’re Great!”

        CO2 is life – for all carbon-based life on Earth..

        Burn lots of wood, peat, coal, oil and natural gas Leif – all the plants and animals will be grateful to you.

      • Allan M.R. MacRae
        October 29, 2016 at 4:26 pm

        All trees are C3, so our forests would disappear in a low CO2 world.

        I guess we could let livestock eat crabgrass, a C4 plant, along with corn (maize), sugarcane (as you note) and sorghum.

        Although only ~3% of angiosperms, C4 plants are responsible for ~25% of all photosynthesis on land. There are also CAM plants, like pineapple.

      • The C4 Rice Project is attempting to adapt normal C3 rice to become C4 to improve crop yields at current CO2 levels. The UK government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are sponsoring this effort.
        https://www.technologyreview.com/s/535011/supercharged-photosynthesis/

        At the same time, governments and individuals are trying to abate and sequester CO2, the world’s best plant food, due to the false assumption that it causes dangerous global warming.- despite the fact that CO2 lags temperature at ALL measured time scales.

        Could it be any more obvious that CO2 abatement and sequestration schemes are nonsense?

      • Hello Chimp and thank you for your comments to me, which were constructive.

        Yes, I am aware of CAM plants, and look forward to having pineapple with my Sugar Frosted Flakes. :-)

        It is interesting that major pension funds are now buying good farm land around the world.

        The C4 Rice Project, which if successful will likely be followed by a C4 Wheat Project, could provide is with a viable future in an even-more CO2-depleted world.

        We might also control global temperature by changing the albedo of the ice sheets, according to some researchers, and perhaps even prevent another continental Ice Age.

        To have a successful future, however, we will have to elect politicians with a modicum of scientific knowledge and native intelligence. Every time I hear one of our elected officials bleat about “global warming” aka “climate change” and “carbon pollution”, I fear for the future of my children and grandchildren.

        We are too often governed by scoundrels and imbeciles.

        Regards, Allan

      • Out of context, cherry picked, incomplete quotation.

        It’s hardly surprising you’re losing the battle against the alarmists.

      • DreadUK October 28, 2016 at 1:18 pm
        F**k Saas and Soon, they are utterly irrelevant. The earth is growing, they both missed it, how about advocating the planet!?

        COMPLETE Quotation. Admit that you screwed up.

      • Having expressed the ‘greening’ element prior to that comment it should be obvious, even to you, precisely what I meant. But it didn’t. Intuition and interpretation are evidently alien to you.

        In the meantime, you still owe me an apology.

      • You make the [unwarranted] assumption that everybody reads all your rants. Each comment must be understandable on its own. No apologies are needed for your screw-ups. You could apologize for for misleading comment, but I don’t expect you to have the integrity to do that.
        Note, that you may actually agree with me: Global warming is real. Global warming is good.
        Here is your chance to redeem yourself.

      • But it’s OK for you to make unwarranted assumptions as to gender?

        Practice what you preach or remain the pedantic hypocrite you are.

        You are so pedantic you can’t resist the temptation to dissect this petty discussion. :) People are laughing at you, not with you.

        I entirely agree with you about global warming. Sadly this discussion is indicative of your desire to argue rather than seek a solution. So the entire, pathetic GW debate continues because of people on both sides of the argument continue to entrench themselves without having the good grace to apologise for their behaviour.

        My rants may be rants, but they are at least heading towards a compromise. You, on the other hand, will never compromise.

        Apologies for upsetting your sensitive equilibrium.

      • My gender was relevant enough to you to make an assumption. Back off misogynist, wrong subject to tackle me on!

      • Hardly, it is an indication of your belief of gendersuperiority.

        You made the initial assumption, you’re now squirming.

        Predictably, you are using the whole subject as cover for the apology you still owe me.

        Squirm as you will, you made a gender assumption, following an idiotic misinterpretation. You were called out on both and you continue to squirm.

        You are a coward and a sexist. You utterly refuse to apologise for your mistakes but insist on diverting the discussion. You are a typical misogynist. Sadly, I reduce myself to debating anything with people like you because you stall debate, for your own selfish purposes.

      • My rants may be rants, but they are at least heading towards a compromise
        If you believe that CAWG is wrong, you should not compromise. And in science, one should never compromise the truth [as one sees it]. As Soon pointed out the sum of two half-truth is likely to be false. Thus, keep up the good fight. Don’t ever compromise.

      • “If you believe that CAWG is wrong, you should not compromise.” Life is a compromise. Don’t be so naive.

        “And in science, one should never compromise the truth [as one sees it].” Science is about fact, not truth (as one see’s it). [Damned by your own statement.]

        “As Soon pointed out the sum of two half-truth is likely to be false. Thus, keep up the good fight. Don’t ever compromise.” As pathetic an illustration as Sass’ 4 box matrix. Both designed to beguile the ignorant.

      • Very wrong. Science is not ‘facts’. The facts must be conceived in a paradigm [which will represent the truth of the time] in order to be ‘science’. Apparently more education is needed here.

      • DreadUK
        October 29, 2016 at 2:34 pm

        The scientific method requires making observations, ie finding scientific facts, but based upon these observations, then further making hypotheses leading to predictions which are capable of being shown false. If the predictions are found valid, then the hypothesis is confirmed. An hypothesis or group of them, if confirmed often enough and never shown false, can form a theory.

        That’s science. CAGW fails miserably.

      • Perhaps that’s why sceptics fall flat on their face, with people like you in their corner.

        My understanding is that a hypothesis is proposed (a guess basically) facts are then sought to refute the hypothesis (not support it) and if it passes the test of challenge, it is then a theory. It remains a theory, and only that, but relatively reliable, until challenged by another theory which has also been subjected to the same rigorous tests (or different ones) the original hypothesis/theory undertook.

        E=MC2 remains a theory. It is not irrefutable fact. It’s the best we have, so we run with it.

        Please, don’t lecture me on scientific theory.

        Science is about what we don’t know, not what we know!

      • My understanding is that a hypothesis is proposed (a guess basically) facts are then sought to refute the hypothesis (not support it)
        Your understanding is not how things work. On the contrary, It is the accumulation of facts that more often results in a hypothesis which when supported by enough facts may be elevated to a theory until [and if] new facts do not agree with the theory, at which time a new hypothesis based on the new facts gets hold, and so on.

      • “Your understanding is not how things work”.

        On the contrary, It is the accumulation of facts that more often results in a hypothesis which when supported by enough facts may be elevated to a theory until [and if] new facts do not agree with the theory, at which time a new hypothesis based on the new facts gets hold, and so on.”

        You do make me laugh with your typically convoluted, contradictory and pedantic means of justifying your credibility. “Your understanding is not how things work” – I have no preconceptions as to how things work. Things work, momentarily, until proven otherwise. Isn’t that a scientific foundation?

        “It is the accumulation of facts that more often results in a hypothesis”

        Why on earth would one need to propose a hypothesis when the facts are available? A simple observation is enough to generate a hypothesis, there is no need for facts. Suggesting otherwise robs the common man/woman the right to aspire to science. Something, surely, all of us want.

        A hypothesis is little more than questions with an unproven solution. The scientific process tests the unproven solution: ‘The moon is made of cheese’ – a space program was mounted to test this theory (amongst others) and it was established the moon is not made of cheese. The hypothesis was proposed (the moon is made of cheese) the facts were established (someone tasted it) and it was found, as we all expected, that the moon was not made of cheese.

        However, despite our evidence, no one can say with absolute certainty that the moon isn’t made of cheese. It is, judging by scientific investigation, made from space rubble (or however you want to describe it) however, it remains a hypothesis that it is just a hard bit of cheese for a planet eating entity we don’t know about yet.

        Your job, as a scientist, is not to prove me right, or wrong, or determine the truth, it is to establish the facts, without which, the Moon remains cheese. The human race might not like the taste, that doesn’t mean it’s not cheese.

        I questioned my own beginnings in science, so did a simple internet search. ‘What is a scientific theory’ and amongst others, came up with this, at the most basic level, which confirms my contention that a scientific theory is a hypothesis (a guess) backed up by fact (as best we can establish) which together, form a ‘theory’. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/science/en/

        Read it, you might be reminded of what true science is before you manipulate it to your own ends.

        Theory – OED definition: A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.

        Theory – Cambridge Dictionary definition: A formal statement of the rules on which a subject of study is based or of ideas that are suggested to explain a fact or event or, more generally, an opinion or explanation.

        Science is, at its best, our best shot at explaining what’s going on around us. Our scientific ignorance is profound. We are at kindergarten, at best, in terms of scientific endeavour.

        And I’ll accept your statement “probably not, as I think (s)he meant ‘greening’ and not the literal ‘growing’.” as confirmation of your ignorant manipulation to your personal benefit (whatever that may be online) and the massaging of your ego.

        Whilst you refer to me as “(s)he” you have yet to establish a fundamental prerequisite; what is my gender. At it’s most basic level, science requires you establish the facts, it saves time, it informs the debate and it just might enlighten you. Yet you are too ignorant to bother asking the most basic of questions.

        Your likely response is that you don’t care because it adds little to the debate, yet you care enough (to be PC correct lest you invite criticism) to refer to me as “(s)he”.

        Were you scientifically rigorous, you would have established the facts (you could have asked if I was a male or a female, or transgendered for that matter). Yet you wallow in the AGW supporters denial of facts without establishing them yourself. You resort to “(s)he”. How utterly insulting and demonstrative of your sexist attitudes. It reveals you as a misogynistic, bigoted fool who pompously revels in the superiority of your qualifications (assuming they exist) yet you haven’t established what qualifications I have.

        You are a lazy individual with more preconceptions and assumptions than science needs.

      • yet you haven’t established what qualifications I have
        Your comments show a profound want of relevant qualifications, so no need to speculate on that. And your gender is totally irrelevant, although your hysterical emotional outbursts sort of gives it away. The hope was that you would pick up some learning here at WUWT, but, alas, you didn’t.

      • DreadUK
        October 29, 2016 at 3:55 pm

        Nope. As I told you, it takes more than a single confirmation of a prediction based upon a hypothesis to elevate it to a theory. And one failed prediction can invalidate an hypothesis, without a good explanation for the failure.

      • “Nope. As I told you”

        Ah right. So you’re telling me now. You’re dictating to me.

        Very scientific.

      • One may hope that you have learnt something about science from the comments here. This is a benefit from WUWT: you can, if open for it, learn something.

      • Dr Svalgaard, you really should consider doing a post for WUWT reviewing the evidence on solar variabilty and climate. I have learned quite a lot from your comments, but that is not a real substitute for an organized review.

      • DreadUK
        October 29, 2016 at 5:47 pm

        Not dictating to you. Just informing and educating you.

        Your understanding of the scientific method is wanting in some important particulars. Real scientists have taken the time here to try to enlighten you.

        You really ought to be more grateful.

      • Dr. S,

        Your conclusion:

        “Global Warming, or Climate Change, or Climate Disruption, just to mention some of the (increasingly scary) monikers that are being deployed these days have become a divisive political issue, seemingly divorced from scientific discourse. If it were not for the high-jacking of the subject by politicians, environmental pressure groups, and plain wishful eco-thinking, one would conclude from the present overview that Climate Science is a vigorous field with healthy debate and exciting interdisciplinary facets rather than a moribund body of ‘Settled Science’ without prospects for further progress, perhaps like Physics at the end of the 19th century. However, science is ultimately a self-correcting process where the scientific community plays a crucial and collective role, so we will eventually get it right, with or without political and societal interference, if the last two millennia are any guide. In the meantime we “may hope to enjoy future ages with more equable and better climates”, Svante Arrhenius [the originator of the GHG theory, 1896].”

        Well said, but unfortunately while waiting for science to self-correct and get it right, trillions have been squandered and up to millions of lives lost thanks to false science, hijacked by political charlatans.

  29. It is certainly nice to see common sense expressed about the CO2 in the atmosphere. These comments would be like flowers in the desert if they appeared on the Skeptical Science website.

    • Keep planting the seeds and they will sow certainty. Just like the flourishing of the planet thanks to CO2, the more converts we can make amongst the doubters, the more bountiful our harvest.

      Damn, that’s almost poetic :)

  30. “Sass used the Stefan-Boltzmann black body equation to derive a 5 degree F contribution (out of a total warming of 57 degrees F) of atmospheric CO2 to the Earth global warming energy balance by using the near 100 per cent CO2 atmosphere of Mars as a reference.”

    Which does not work…

    The CO2 of Mars is in an exceeding dry atmosphere; there is essentially zero water vapor. In Earth’s atmosphere the presence of large quantities of water vapor lessens the actual effect of CO2 because the IR bands of H2O largely overlap those of CO2.

    Imagine this: Suppose that H2O had EXACTLY the same radiative properties as CO2. In that case whenever we wanted to know what effect CO2 had on IR, we would have to include in our calculations the presence of the H2O. For example, if the doubling factor of dry CO2 was one degree, and we had 400 ppm of CO2 and 2800 ppm of H2O, what would be the effect of doubling that 400 ppm CO2 to 800 ppm of CO2? Rough estimate is about 1/8th of a degree, not 1 degree. Why? Because almost all the IR available for the CO2 has already been taken up by the H2O.

    In the real world, H2O does NOT have exactly the same properties as CO2 — but to the large extent that it does, in fact, overlap the CO2, all the effects of the CO2 are lessened. There is a lot of H2O out there, and not much we can do about it.

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