In Physics Today: Land use change drives climate change

Land use can influence climate more than greenhouse gases

WUWT reader T.G. Brown writes:

physics-today-pielkecover2
My monthly copy of Physics Today arrived today with a cover story on ‘Land Use and Climate Change’, co-authored by Roger Pielke Sr., Rezaul Mahmoud, and Clive McAlpine. While it is largely preaching to a warmest crowd, the message is compelling: …even if global average temperatures were contained, human impacts on climate would manifest in other potentially dangerous ways. . Piehlke et. al. are talking specifically about land use: deforestation, various farming practices, etc.

Toward the end of the introduction, there is a compelling quote by Gordan Bonan (NCAR) NASA Earth Observatory: Nobody experiences the effect of a half a degree increase in global mean temperature … land cover change is as big an influence on regional and local climate and weather as doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide–perhaps even bigger.

It’s a nice article, and available here: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/article/69/11/10.1063/PT.3.3364

Land’s complex role in climate change

Roger A. Pielke Sr, Rezaul Mahmood and Clive McAlpine

Excerpt:

To date, most reporting on climate has focused on the possibility of catastrophic warming due to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. The assessment of climate change risk has essentially been distilled to a single metric: the global average surface temperature. That reality was evident at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, where the central negotiating point was whether the global temperature rise should be limited to 1.5 °C or 2 °C. Indeed, a 2016 opinion piece by Simon Lewis (University College London and the University of Leeds, UK) states that, “by endorsing a limit of 1.5 °C, the [Paris] climate negotiations have effectively defined what society considers dangerous.”1

But the reality of humans’ impact on climate is exceedingly complex.2 Even if greenhouse gas emissions could be eliminated completely, other harmful anthropogenic sources of climate change would remain. And even if global average temperatures were contained, human impacts on climate would manifest in other potentially dangerous ways.

One often overlooked human factor is land use. Deforestation, dryland farming, irrigated agriculture, overgrazing, and other alterations to the natural landscape can disrupt Earth’s natural balances and change weather patterns. As with the addition of CO into the atmosphere, the effects can last for decades or longer and affect regions distant from the original offense. Given continued rapid population growth, they threaten to be irreversible.

The article: Download PDF

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134 thoughts on “In Physics Today: Land use change drives climate change


      • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3917244/Is-greenhouse-effect-slowing-CO2-atmosphere-plateaued-12-years.html

        Is the greenhouse effect slowing down? Plants have ‘paused’ the growing CO2 levels in the atmosphere
        •Plants have helped soak up greenhouse gases from human activity
        •The extra CO2 pumped into the atmosphere has been used by plants
        •By acting as a ‘carbon sink’ plant life has dramatically reduced the impact
        •But scientists warn that forests and vegetation should not be viewed as the solution to global warming and rising CO2 levels

        Well I never!

      • Eric… Plants are so, so HAPPY now that they are finally get a CO2 level that is a just bit more than the base subsistence level.

        We can make them even more HAPPY by pushing the aCO2 level up towards 700ppm.. then beyond.

      • •But scientists warn that forests and vegetation should not be viewed as the solution to global warming and rising CO2 levels
        =====================
        why not? global greening is absorbing more CO2 today than the Paris agreement hopes to stop in 20 years. Human efforts are puny in comparison. Which is probably what irritates the scientists most of all. Doing nothing is working better than all other approaches.

      • If land use changes were so powerful, then the agricultural revolution should have caused massive climate changes, which did not happen. Or are there special land use changes that only the climate “physicists” know have a profound and spiciest effect that defy the laws of thermodynamics?

      • What happened to the Summer of Love?

        Andy, It seems like all the 60s hippies have gone over to the dark side and now want to kill all of the flowers. What will they put in their hair? When will they ever learn?

        Ron, That study was a ******* joke!! What a waste of research time and money.

        Duster, There is more ecological variety in urban/UHI areas than on your average farm. Easily provable. What is the hippies dark side warning? All garden flowers are invasive species!

        When will someone stick up for the plants? The “Greens” ain’t doing it !!!!!

    • If you are actually going to hunt for “anthropogenic” effects on climate, at least on the micro- to regional scales, then land use is a solid empirical reality. That is all the UHI effect is. There were studies done several years ago that correlated rates of change with classes of land use changes. The author was vaguely surprised to find himself stating that the initial changes from wild land to – say – cereal cropland were actually typically a greater magnitude than the changes related to urban development. CO2 is and always was a side issue.

    • No, farmers and agronomists have known this for 100 years or more. The west Australian wheat fields get less rain than the once lower rainfall, arid scrub, areas East of the wheat belt. Recent research in the Amazon has also shown this. I am not a global warming believer in any way, but I was once a wool and wheat farmer and have a degree in agricultural science.

  1. An unrelated aside:
    It’s election day!…finally. The missus an I performed our civic duty and voted this morning.

  2. Albedo mods plus the ever increasing waste heat / energy flux at and around the surface mean that the surface and lower troposphere are going to be warmer than their “natural state” – no matter what. It is what it is. Warmists would do well to acknowledge this scientific fact.

  3. Nice topical issue from PT.
    Just got my copy.

    In addition to Pielke’s article, there is one on ocean spray and its effect on weather and climate as well as one on the Carbon cycle in a changing climate. (that one by Heater Graven looks to be standard IPCC fare).

  4. “Given continued rapid population growth, they threaten to be irreversible.”

    Well then, the only solution left is to drastically reduce the population. Isn’t that what these scares always boil down to? That is their end game. For some reason, it just isn’t possible in the minds of these alarmists for humans to manage their lands properly. They simply aren’t capable of avoiding cutting down all the trees or overgrazing the land even when it’s in their self-interest to do so. Alarmists prefer a different solution. Getting rid of most, if not all humans seems to be their first, final, and only solution to saving the planet.

    • Louis,
      i think that there is a significant parallel in current events. Immigrants from North Africa are filling boats well passed the carrying capacity of the boats. The boats are frequently swamping, with major loss of life. The boat captains think that exceeding the design capacity is a humanitarian act. Long term, it is a decision that probably results in greater loss of life than if they were to leave some behind. One of my favorite aphorisms is, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” Whenever you enter a large auditorium or meeting room, there are prominent signs that say “Maximum Capacity of this Room is XXX.” There are good reasons, which should be obvious, why such restrictions exist! We ignore such lessons at our peril!

      • Clyde Spencer November 8, 2016 at 11:44 am

        I understand the point you wish to make, but the example is wrong. The “boat” is making a one way trip, it is barely sea worthy and the people smuggler is not going. He is paid by the headcount. There will be no repeat costumers, whether they live or die does not matter to him. There will be another group of desperate people to take advantage of, another rotting hulk to pass off as the gateway to salvation and another buck to be made. No humanitarianism involved.

        michael

      • The boat captains think that exceeding the design capacity is a humanitarian act.

        Bless.

        The boat captains have taken $5000 a head up front, and the boat is a total wreck, and they will abandon it anyway and leave it to the passengers.

  5. Land use changes are certainly a larger influence on flash floods than CO2. Cover the ground with houses, buildings, roads and parking lots. Less ground to soak up rain. More runoff. Result is quicker and bigger flash floods.
    More runoff, more flash floods, more overall flooding.

    Whenever I see someone on the news claiming, “it never used to flood here” I always want to ask them how many new neighbors they have around them.

  6. The attempt to connect the mythical “climate change” issue to real issues wrt land use seems like a pasted-on one. It’s a red herring.

    • Bruce Cobb November 8, 2016 at 11:26 am

      “Roger Pielke Sr.” is a legitimate and honorable scientist.
      I do not think he throws out red herrings. I have not read his paper yet but I doubt I will be disappointed by it.

      michael

  7. I think history makes it clear that since humanity has existed the land has changed very little since the top bit was covered in ice upto a mile thick so maybe we need a nice meteor strike just to put things into perspective.

    Once there were 65 million buffalo on the American plains now there are 85 million cows I suppose in the scheme of things 20 million ruminants one way or the other must make a difference.

    When Maurice Strong coined the phrase sustainable development most thought it was about our finite planet and how to minimise use of resources but it was Strong’s euphemism for population control, nothing changes. Its all our fault well we exist so it couldn’t possibly be anyone elses fault could it?

    • The impact of the Buffalo /Cow transition is more than simply numbers… Buffalo, despite being larger & faster, are far more efficient and consume only a quarter to a third the amount of feed

  8. Whatever happened to the greening caused by additional CO2? If deforestation can increase temps, then the greening factor should reduce them, right? There is also the fact that once a place is deforested, it cannot be deforested year after year. In other words, changes in land use do not continue ad infinitum. Of course, we have the environets against GMO crops, which produce lower levels of CO2 than non-GMO crops. The environuts’ targetted evils seem to be countering their
    goals. Worry, worry, that’s what environuts do, more than anything else, except to complain. Loudly. About things they know very little about.

  9. I have been pounding this point for over a year. Most of the real effects of climate change have been from land-use change. This should not even be a surprise to anybody. The most significant climate issue in recent memory is the dustbowl of the 1930s.

    Following the Stock Market crash, food prices also plummeted. Farmers used deep furrow farming in order to expand their crop yields and earn enough to survive. Within a few years, drought took hold, temperatures rose significantly, and dust covered everything in the Midwest.

    Until recently, most temperature charts showed 1934 to be the warmest year on record in the United States — this was directly due to the dustbowl drought.

    In addition, here is an article (concerning India) which was published for open review over a year ago. Ironically, Roger Pielke, Sr. was the first to comment on it. http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/20/1765/2016/hess-20-1765-2016.pdf

    “Our results also show that Land-use and Land-cover changes (LULCC) alone causes warming in the extremes of daily mean and maximum temperatures by a maximum of 1–1.2C, which is compara-
    ble with the observed increasing trend in the extremes. … Decrease in forest cover and simultaneous increase in crops … act together in reducing significantly the moderate rainfall events and the amount of rainfall in that category over central India. ”

    The Syrian drought is the same cause. Syria’s population grew by a factor of 4 since 1950 — Assad directed the agricultural systems to engage in non-sustainable agricultural practices, which increased food production initially, but has now resulted in a systemic drought. Those who blame Syria’s civil war on climate change are missing the fact that it has nothing to do with greenhouse gasses.

    Why is this significant? Because the higher temperature over land and changes in drought/flooding are due entirely to land-use and land-cover changes.

    Curtailing Carbon Dioxide emissions will do nothing to fix this. Worse yet, a shift to bio-fuels (such as corn-based ethanol) will only make this problem worse.

    • Lorcanbondal
      “Until recently, most temperature charts showed 1934 to be the warmest year on record in the United States — this was directly due to the dustbowl drought.”

      I believe you have it the wrong way round: Until recently, most temperature charts showed 1934 to be the warmest year on record in the United States — This directly resulted in the dustbowl drought.

      • The dustbowl started in 1931 and peaked in 1934. There were high temperatures throughout the 1930s in the United States. In general terms, the over-farming led to drought and the drought led to both the dust bowl and higher temperatures. The long term drought finally ended in 1939 following substantial changes in farming practices instituted in 1938.

        The point is that in the 1930s, nobody understood these linkages. Nowadays, everyone should understand them, but most people seem to ignore them in favor of the reigning carbon emissions paradigm. This is problematic as we grow corn to make fuel based ethanol while Brazil is clear-cutting the Amazon to grow cattle feed for our cattle.

    • ” Syria’s population grew by a factor of 4 since 1950 ”

      Well between Assad and Daesh, they’ve solved the population problem. Syria will soon be back to 1950 levels.

      • But the relevant issue is articles “blaming” the Syrian civil war on climate change (rather than despotism). It’s too absurd to consider seriously, but I hear it repeated all of the time.

    • “Until recently, most temperature charts showed 1934 to be the warmest year on record in the United States — this was directly due to the dustbowl drought.”

      Or, maybe the dustbowl drought was directly due to 1934 being the warmest year on record (and all the other years of the 1930’s were similarly hot, a decade’s worth of really hot weather).

      • See above — the dust bowl stemmed from the drought caused by aggressive over-farming at the start of the Great Depression. Yes, the entire decade of the 1930s was warm in the United States. The droughts really did not stop until the conservation efforts of 1938.

        These are pretty well understood concepts in this day in age.

      • lorcanbonda November 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm

        “the dust bowl stemmed from the drought caused by aggressive over-farming at the start of the Great Depression.”

        Hmm, The over farming may have made the area vulnerable to dust bowl conditions, but over farming is not likely to cause a drought in the same local area. Wind patterns and moisture content tend to have something to do with it.

        Also the start of the irrigation projects seemed to have been a factor in the reclamation of the area, you know human intervention to alleviate a natural disaster

        “These are pretty well understood concepts in this day in age.”

        Yes blaming humans, rather then natural events.

        michael

      • Yes, the overfarming occurred across the entire nation. We had this event called “The Great Depression”. One result was that food prices dropped precipitously. Farmers had to grow extra just to keep even. They plowed over land which they would normally keep fallow and farmed everything.

        At the same time, we had developed tractors which had deep furrow plows which destroyed the land. Farmers changed their practices from Pennsylvania to California and Canada which is … like … almost the entire nation.

        In case you missed it — this is what this article is about. Fifty percent of rainfall comes from evapotranspiration. When you plow over the land, this evapotranspiration drops because growing crops need to keep their water. The result is a drought.

        And, yes, I’m simplifying. People have written books on the subject. Maybe you could read one.

      • Without being any more snarky — most droughts and floods are caused by natural cyclical events. The primary man-made contributor is land-use and land-cover changes. This is what the science says.

        The 1930s dust bowl droughts were far outside the normal cycles and they were predominantly man-made.

        This is important that we understand these ideas because the same thing is occurring in other nations right now. The article I cited mentioned that the changes in seasonal rainfall are occurring in India comes from the conversion of jungles to farmland — and this conversion also has added more than one degree to India’s temperature with nothing to do with carbon dioxide emissions. The massive Syrian drought has natural cyclical components, but the predominant drought has been caused by Assad’s agricultural program.

        This doesn’t mean that we stop farming. In 1938, we established changes to the agricultural methods in the United States and the major droughts ended in 1939.

      • lorcanbonda November 8, 2016 at 7:30 pm

        “People have written books on the subject. Maybe you could read one.”

        Oh but I have, just not the same ones as you.

        The great depression was world wide and had little to do with farming. Also tractors were being used prior to ww1, both in Europe and North America. No dust bowl in Europe, nor any drought. But by golly one dandy of a economic depression.

        As for the Great depression it has had many theories for it’s cause. Massive war debts and reparations seemed to get it rolling in Germany, then it spread to the rest of Western Europe. With the U.S. it seems to have been buying stocks on credit. You are correct about crops going to waste, but this is not due to over production but rather that no one had money to buy the farmers produce, or ship it. Their was malnutrition and hunger from lack of food. Any idea as to what the rejection rate was for draftees during ww2 due to the lingering effects from the great depressions malnutrition? Oh yes do read a book or two. Also read about the “food miracle” that the US preformed in Australia and New Zealand in WW2. It quickly enabled those countries to feed the millions of allied troops that flooded the theater. Also the only area that the US government did not impose regulation was agriculture.
        The dust bowl was local, and yes droughts can cause them. But again farming practices did not cause the drought. China’s drought and famine during the early 1940s, totally different farming methods but similar results.

        michael

      • lorcanbonda says:

        These are pretty well understood concepts in this day in age.

        I agree. The ’30s “drought” was prb’ly a natural cycle, but greatly exacerbated by the bare soil. Before, the prairie grasses and trees along drainages would have held the soil and kept the temperatures somewhat in check. Also, the Appalachian forests were almost completely clear-cut in the 30’s and that added to the insult there by reducing the cooling evapo-transpiration. The MD state high-temp record was set in July 1936 at 109F right near me in western MD (same day produced all-time record highs in WV and PA too). Such high temperatures haven’t been approached since.

      • Morlock — I didn’t claim that the Great Depression was caused by farming. I said that the Great Depression caused farmers to make radical changes in their farming practices due to dropping food prices. These changes were unique to the United States and Canada because of the nature of our economies and geographies.

        Yes, the first cause of the Great Depression in America was the stock market crash (following over-extended purchases of high risk stocks on margin.) Germany never really recovered from WWI, but the Great Depression was catastrophic to them.

        Bing — Yes, there are natural cycles which affect drought. What made the 1930s drought particularly severe was the deep furrow farming practices. My point has to do with the high temperatures in the United States which were caused by this drought. In modern times, the size of this temperature swing was significant and unique.

        The reason for this high temperature swing in the United States was the drought. The temperatures did not cause the drought — the drought caused the elevated temperatures. This is what this article is about.

    • “I have been pounding this point for over a year. Most of the real effects of climate change have been from land-use change. ”

      instead of pounding, publish.

  10. The climatic impact of changes in land use is not really a new idea:

    Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 1 [1776]
    CHAPTER IX: The State of Germany till the Invasion of the Barbarians, in the Time of the Emperor Decius
    http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/gibbon-the-history-of-the-decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire-vol-1

    “Some ingenious writers have suspected that Europe was much colder formerly than it is at present; and the most ancient descriptions of the climate of Germany tend exceedingly to confirm their theory. The general complaints of intense frost and eternal winter are perhaps little to be regarded, since we have no method of reducing to the accurate standard of the thermometer the feelings or the expressions of an orator born in the happier regions of Greece or Asia. But I shall select two remarkable circumstances of a less equivocal nature. 1. The great rivers which covered the Roman provinces, the Rhine and the Danube, were frequently frozen over, and capable of supporting the most enormous weights. The barbarians, who often chose that severe season for their inroads, transported, without apprehension or danger, their numerous armies, their cavalry, and their heavy waggons, over a vast and solid bridge of ice.4 Modern ages have not presented an instance of a like phenomenon. 2. The reindeer, that useful animal, from whom the savage of the North derives the best comforts of his dreary life, is of a constitution that supports, and even requires, the most intense cold. He is found on the rock of Spitzberg, within ten degrees of the pole; he seems to delight in the snows of Lapland and Siberia; but at present he cannot subsist, much less multiply, in any country to the south of the Baltic. In the time of Cæsar, the reindeer, as well as the elk and the wild bull, was a native of the Hercynian forest, which then overshadowed a great part of Germany and Poland. The modern improvements sufficiently explain the causes of the diminution of the cold. These immense woods have been gradually cleared, which intercepted from the earth the rays of the sun. The morasses have been drained, and, in proportion as the soil has been cultivated, the air has become more temperate. Canada, at this day, is an exact picture of ancient Germany. Although situate in the same parallel with the finest provinces of France and England, that country experiences the most rigorous cold. The reindeer are very numerous, the ground is covered with deep and lasting snow, and the great river of St. Lawrence is regularly frozen, in a season when the waters of the Seine and the Thames are usually free from ice.”

  11. For the greens, the problem with pinning climate change on deforestation is that it points the finger of guilt at the third world. If the objective is to transfer wealth from the US to the UN so they can dole it out to poor countries (after taking their sizable cut) then deforestation is the wrong way to get there.

    • It’s not a question of “guilt” — nobody will blame third world nations who need to grow food. It’s a question of where we get our fuel. The world is better getting the fuel from the ground than it is in cutting down forests to grow food.

  12. Wild Bison were a lot more active than domesticated cows, so they would require much more food for energy…You don’t see too many cow stampedes on a farm, thankfully…

  13. Given continued rapid population growth, they threaten to be irreversible.

    True but trite.

    Given the chaotic nature of the system, any change will cause effects that echo forever. It’s like saying that a butterfly flapping its wings in South America will eventually cause a snow storm in Detroit.

    • Will potentially cause a snow storm in Detroit, Bob . .

      ” And even if global average temperatures were contained, human impacts on climate would manifest in other potentially dangerous ways.”

      Not potentially safer ways, benign or beneficial ways, less severe or anything like that . . ever. Always bad, worse, dangerous, more intense and the like.

      Earth would be a paradise, naturally, if only there weren’t so many little people . .

    • The “Butterfly Effect” is one of the worst analogies or theories in the world. If a butterfly flaps its wings in South America, it will have exactly zero impact in Detroit. There is simply no way that a butterfly could affect wind currents ten feet away let alone ten thousand miles.

      • There is simply no way that a butterfly could affect wind currents ten feet away let alone ten thousand miles.

        I see a complete body of human knowledge has passed you by at 20,000 feet….

      • No — I understand the concept, but the butterfly makes for a bad analogy. What’s worse is that (like much silly science) this one gets repeated over and over in movies such that people repeat it without understanding.

      • lorcanbonda November 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm

        No — I understand the concept, …

        The name of the butterfly effect comes from “a paper given by Edward Lorenz in 1972 to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., entitled Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?.” link If you want to argue with the use of the term “butterfly effect”, you have to argue with Lorenz. You could do that but it would take more reasoning than just your bald assertion for you to be credible.

      • Yes, I understand the concept. No, I don’t have to argue with Lorenz.

        “Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?” The answer is “No”.

      • FWIW — I’m not arguing against Lorenz’s theory. I agree that small changes in a system can result in more significant changes downstream. Much of this is time based — a small change in politics today can have huge ramifications in fifty years.

        However, I hate the butterfly analogy. If a butterfly flapping their wings can cause tornadoes, then our world is in big trouble.

      • lorcanbonda November 8, 2016 at 7:52 pm

        Yes, I understand the concept. No, I don’t have to argue with Lorenz.

        Again, you make a bald assertion. How about supplying a shred of evidence or some logic to fill it out.

      • lorcanbonda November 9, 2016 at 11:11 am

        … do I really have to prove that butterflies do not cause tornadoes?

        Lorenz demonstrated that the smallest imaginable change in initial conditions eventually changes the climate regime completely. That’s the nature of chaotic systems.

        What you said was:

        There is simply no way that a butterfly could affect wind currents ten feet away let alone ten thousand miles.

        Lorenz demonstrated that, given enough time, such a small input could have a large effect on the system as a whole. Apparently you disagree with that. What you have to demonstrate is that Lorenz is wrong. You can’t say that you don’t disagree with him in one breath and then say that he chose the wrong metaphor with the next breath.

  14. I’ve noticed a few solar panel farms do not have much vegetation growing underneath the panels…. no plant life reduces the absorption of CO2 and lessens the production of O. ‘Pave paradise, put up a parking lot.’

  15. Land use can certainly have local, and perhaps regional effects on climate, but it is issue conflation to lump that in with the much-ballyhooed and hyped “climate change” issue. For instance, take the snows of Kilimanjaro. Climatists tried to say that the disappearance of snow on Kilimanjaro was due to “climate change”. But it turned out that it was largely due to deforestation around it, which had a drying effect. The snow and ice vanished due to lack of replenishment, and sublimation.

    • Same thing, right? The cause of the climate change in Kilimanjaro is land use changes.

      The issue is that the cause of the receding mountain ice has nothing to do with greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. This means that reducing carbon dioxide emissions has nothing to do with these examples of climate change. And that is where the discussion on climate change has been a mess.

  16. There is no reason to doubt that land use affects local and mesoscale weather and climate, which is another reason that widespread deployment of wind and solar power will be detrimental. But aside from the apparent focus of this article, I’d like to note that, if you choose to believe the estimates, Houghton (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/landuse/houghton/houghton.html ) has estimated carbon flux to the atmosphere due to land use change from 1850 to 2005. (I already hear the knee jerk “carbon is not CO2”, but CO2 is only one form of carbon in its lifecycle. You can’t talk CO2 without talking about carbon in all of its terrestrial forms) So here’s my point. For CAGW believers (I’m not one), even if you think carbon from CO2 is a problem, ignoring land use change is a MAJOR blunder.

    It is estimated that human activity since 1850 has released 436 Petagrams of carbon to the atmosphere (154 Pg from land use change; 282 Pg from combustion), but, natural sequestration has recaptured 60% of that, so the net increase has been only 174 Pg. CO2 has risen from 280 to about 400 ppm during this same period. So if the world practiced modern land use practices as is done in the U.S., which has been a net carbon sink for over 100 years due to improved land use practices, the net carbon flux to the atmosphere would have been only 174 – 154 = 20 Pg. The net CO2 increase of 120 ppm (from 280 to 400 ppm) would have been limited to only 120 ppm x 20/174 = 14 ppm. We’d be at 294 ppm, an insignificant change, and we would not be having this conversation about greenhouse gases at all! I would even conjecture that healthy land use practices, along with greening due to CO2 and natural warming, would be able to completely offset (sequester) emissions from fossil fuel combustion.

    So the CAGW alarmists have completely misplaced their emphasis. Instead of depriving world economies of life-giving fossil fuels, they should be focusing on reversing the ravages of land use in developing countries. Where are the real problems happening? Tropical Asia, Latin America, and tropical Africa. Not North America, Western Europe or Australia.

    However, this does not fit the CAGW meme of Western eco-guilt. To them, surely everything must be our fault, and combustion of fossil fuels provided by those evil big energy companies in our evil capitalist societies offers the CAGW simpletons an easy target.

  17. Indeed, a 2016 opinion piece by Simon Lewis (University College London and the University of Leeds, UK) states that, “by endorsing a limit of 1.5 °C, the [Paris] climate negotiations have effectively defined what society considers dangerous.”

    … except that no one asked “society” what it thought. It has been a narrow clique of political activists, posing as scientists who have been manipulating the whole process for decades: trying to define what “society” should think and do, not representing what they thing but shoving it down their throats.

    • Neither was 1.5 ever supposed to be a definition of “dangerous” , even 2 deg C was pretty much an arbitrary figure pulled out of the air.

      • And 2 degrees was never defined as “dangerous” either, it was estimated to be a figure under which we could be fairly sure that change not be dangerous. That means the more than 2degrees, it where we are getting less sure about how safe it is. That is not the same as 2C = dangerous climate change.

        Lewis’ comment is absolutely typical of these political activists, constantly twisting facts into what they would like them to be. All lies and no integrity.

        Good to see Rog Sr. pointing out there is more to climate than CO2. For all the work done by IPCC over decades this has finally been distilled down to a arbitrary figure on a physically meaningless metric.

        https://climategrog.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/are-land-sea-averages-meaningful-2/

        There is no science in this, it is a charade. A mockery of science.

  18. Human land use changes, such as de-forestation (sustainable use of trees), farming( feeding the nation and the often starving developing world), “etc”, are dwarfed by both the real drivers of climates change, and by natural changes in land status. By the ” real drivers” of climate I mean our Sun’s variable and cyclical activities, ocean currents, jet streams, trade winds, Earths axis tilt changes, Earth orbital changes, Earth’s and our Moon’s and other planets’ magnetic, and gravitational fields, Cosmic rays from space (depending on whether our Solar System is passing through an arm of the Milky Way or not), Earths spin,
    volcanic activity both above and below the ocean, and many other variables both known, and unknown.
    NOT ONE OF THESE VARIABLE CLIMATE CHANGERS ARE UNDERSTOOD. There are no experts on Earth’s climate, not even close. By natural changes in land “use” or status I mean continual, frequent events such as glaciations or de-glaciations, volcanic activity, land slides ( which can divert rivers, create lakes etc), mountain erosion, river channel erosion, forest fires, earthquakes, mountain range locations and height, ground subduction ( natural sinking) or rising ( such as re-bound after glaciers have melted, in the case of Ireland and Canada for example), hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, droughts, and large meteorites or asteroids etc. These natural environmental events cause a 1000x more changes in the landscape that affect various species than humanity will ever cause. People tend to give humanity far more credit for changes to the environment than we actually have, compared to Mother Nature. The Earth and its various species have been around a long time and is much, much stronger than we are, at this point in time. Although only half of the world’s human population is developed and relatively safe, for the last 100 years or so, we have been succeeding in mitigating our impacts on the environment for 50 years. Give us a minute. Humanity cares about the environment, always has, always will.

    • “The arrogance of man is assuming that man controls nature, and not the other way around.” – Ken Watanabe, “Godzilla” One of the more profound pieces of movie dialogue, and a spot on description of the whole Climate Change BS story.

      As for the land use paper, it brings to the fore the utmost irony – that the land use changes resulting from Eco-N@zi policies will result in more climate impact than the CO2 emissions they aim to prevent, PLUS they result in more CO2 emissions than they “save” us from to begin with. Biofuel plantations replacing rain forest, anyone?!

  19. They kind of had me until it mentioned ” Earth’s natural balances”, as if we could keep things balanced and static with the proper behaviour. When will warmists and Humanity-haters wake up to the fact that “Gaia” has always been “self-healing” and will get over any “scars” we might manage to inflict.

  20. However, recognition of the complexity of anthropogenic climate change does not absolve us of the responsibilities to understand and minimize our impact …

    But of course the current obsession with CO2 WILL PREVENT us taking any useful, logical steps since it is based on an illogical diversion of all resources into a single issue which has not even been proven to be an issue.

    This is not surprising since it is not longer about climate at all, as several leading IPCC figures have admitted.

    • Yes, that’s the key. Our current obsession with CO2 is preventing real actions than can make a difference. I can’t seem to go a week without reading that climate change is destroying coral reefs. However, the biggest cause of damage to coral reefs is overfishing, destructive fishing, and pollution (such as fertilizer runoff.)

      The focus on CO2 has become a siren call for science funding, but it distracts from real solutions. It gains press, but no answers.

      • Nothing in there about land use causing droughts to reefs? Maybe you should read a book on the subject.

  21. Nothing like changing definitions on the fly.
    “Climate Change” now includes all land use whether it causes any changes to climate or not.
    I notice that comments above make reference to land use changes but this is even more in scope than that.
    I also see that the notorious land use changes are now guilty of the crime of “Climate Change” whether they cause any changes outside of immediate local areas or not.

    Semantic games like this really do not do anybody any good at all.

    • “Climate Change” now includes
      =====================
      what does it not include? for example, what do we call naturally occurring climate change? The sort of climate change that gave rise to the Little Ice Age or the Roman Warming. What is that called?

  22. Hi Anthony – Thank you for posting on the article. Interested readers can did more deeply into this issue in our papers

    Mahmood, R., R.A. Pielke Sr., K. Hubbard, D. Niyogi, P. Dirmeyer, C. McAlpine, A. Carleton, R. Hale, S. Gameda, A. Beltrán-Przekurat, B. Baker, R. McNider, D. Legates, J. Shepherd, J. Du, P. Blanken, O. Frauenfeld, U. Nair, S. Fall, 2013: Land cover changes and their biogeophysical effects on climate. Int. J. Climatol., DOI: 10.1002/joc.3736. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/r-374.pdf

    Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell, W. Rossow, J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian, and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/12/r-354.pdf

    Pielke Sr., R.A., A. Pitman, D. Niyogi, R. Mahmood, C. McAlpine, F. Hossain, K. Goldewijk, U. Nair, R. Betts, S. Fall, M. Reichstein, P. Kabat, and N. de Noblet-Ducoudré, 2011: Land use/land cover changes and climate: Modeling analysis and observational evidence. WIREs Clim Change 2011, 2:828–850. doi: 10.1002/wcc.144. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/r-369.pdf

    Mahmood, R., R.A. Pielke Sr., T.R. Loveland, and C.A. McAlpine, 2015: Climate relevant land use and land cover change policies. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., e-View doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00221.1
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00221.1

    My minority AGU report (when I served on that committee) is discussed at

    Pielke Sr., R.A., 2013: Climate Change Position Statement – Dissenting View. Eos, Trans. AGU, 94(34), 301, Copyright (2013) American Geophysical Union. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/r-376.pdf

    My actual minority statement was prohibited from being published in EOS, contrary to their own rules on opinions. But it can be read here

    Pielke Sr., R.A. 2013: Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate – The AGU Community Has The Responsibility To Accurately Communicate The Current Understanding Of What is Certain And What Remains Uncertain [May 10 2013]. Minority Statement in response to AGU Position Statement on Climate Change entitled: “Human-induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action” released on 8/5/13.
    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/rpt-851.pdf

    Finally, with respect to the comment on the text on the sentence

    ” And even if global average temperatures were contained, human impacts on climate would manifest in other potentially dangerous ways.”

    I agree that “could” is a better subjunctive tense word. I did not catch in the proofs.

    Roger A. Pielke Sr.

  23. Finally someone takes notice. In the past 150 years humans have gone from using 4% or the land surface of the earth to using 40%. Our cities alone take up 4% of the land surface. With this change in land use comes a change in albedo, evaporation and cloud formation, which is directly tied to a change in local climate. For example, increased cloud formation downwind of cities.

    Change the climate locally and the rest of the world doesn’t notice. However, if you change the local climate repeatedly over the globe, you have global climate change.

    • Ferdburple, Those numbers you gave for human land you use are utterly wrong. 40% of the land surface?
      Seriously? What is your source for those extremely exaggerated numbers? Use accurate sources in the future. This information is available, but must be gleaned from the statistical records of various countries, as to how much of the land is actually in use, and how much is wild.

  24. Interesting! An actual paper http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016JD024969/abstract points into the same direction. The net-forcing due to landuse is possibly not negative ( as supposed by IPCC- AR5 forcings which only account for albedo-changes) but slightly positive or at least around zero. This has some implications on the TCR, it lowers due to the influence of landuse to the GMST. The warming was not muted as the forcing data suggest but amplified by landuse.

  25. In the essay at the back of State of Fear, Michael Crichton specifically said he believed a small amount of warming will be attributable to human activities – mostly through land use.

    Twenty years later, I still believe that to be true.

  26. In Australia land use CO2 emission data was used to offset increasing emissions from energy and transport etc. Emissions from energy etc. were measured while those from land use were estimated using IPCC formulae.
    As required this process resulted in Australia meeting it’s emission reduction target of less than 8% growth under the Kyoto Agreement, even though measured energy emissions had increased by some 50%.
    In 2010 energy emissions had increased by some 150 Mt while those from land use had reduced by some 105 Mt, resulting in a 45 Mt increase, QED less than 8%.
    Land use savings were estimated based on assumptions that converting forests to national parks, farms to grasslands etc. would save emissions just by changing names and signs.
    The Department of climate change and environment responsible for this creativity has since been shut down but has recently reappeared in a different form..

  27. If for some reason it was found that land use changes helped the CO2 warmists, ECODEFCON 2 would immediately declared and the historical temperature adjustment crew would being scrambled to drastically lower past temperatures to make the CO2 issue “much worse than we thought”. But since that is not the case, nothing happens, and we can go on blissfully unaware that anything happened.

  28. Interesting discussion. The interesting thing is that much of the “forest primeval” in the Americas is in fact feral, as in formerly managed by the Indians, and currently differently managed by anglos who do not recognize their ancestors never saw “natural” forest. “Natural” in the green sense of not managed by man, as if people were somehow outside nature.

  29. This coincides nicely with the WUWT article from last Thursday, “Study reveals how particles that seed clouds in the Amazon are produced”. According to the study referenced, it appears that at least some plants produce the means to influence cloud formation and, as a result, rainfall. It would be nice to see a mashup of these two articles to get a more complete picture.

    pbh

  30. Re … Land use change drives climate … 11/8/2016:

    Pielke, Sr., et al, Land’s complex role in climate change, linked in the article, says,

    The assessment of climate change risk has essentially been distilled to a single metric: the global average surface temperature. Pielke Sr. (2016) p. 40.

    Challenge for Pielke, et al.: create a meaningful metric for climate (not climate change), one that scales elements of Earth’s surface in proportion to their significance to climate (not to warming or storms). Credit the metric, for example, for solar absorption, albedo, and heat capacity, for long wave radiation, for cloud cover variability. Discount it for latitude and altitude, and chronic cloud cover. Relegate human emissions to a footnote, recognizing that it does not accumulate in the atmosphere, that instead the ocean regulates atmospheric CO2 concentration according to its surface temperature. Henry’s Law.

    Now draw a global map of Earth with the surface scaled according to the new metric, analogous to the cortical homunculus. See for example

    https://braindecoder.com/post/emotional-body-map-1055548822

    and

    Prediction: As the human appendix does not appear in the cortical homunculus, Earth’s land mass will appear as a tiny island, a spec in the ocean.

  31. More than a decade back I presented the role of land & water use and cover changes part of climate change — see my book online “climate change: myths & realities”, 2008, chapter 7: Ecological changes. I coined rural-cold-island effect along with urban-heat-island effect.

    In fact my boss [KNRao] at IMD was a co-author of a manual “climate change” published by WMO in 1966. in early 70s, I started work on natural variability and my collegue was asked to see whether Simla deforestation changed the rainfall pattern?

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  32. CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Thermalization and the short relaxation time of some rotational modes for water vapor molecules explain why. Terrestrial EMR absorbed by CO2 is simply rerouted to space via water vapor.

    Increased irrigation, especially after about 1950, is substantially increasing water vapor. The WV increase has been measured by NASA/RSS using satellites and has been reported since 1988. (http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com contains graphs and links to the data). Water vapor is the most important ghg and has made the planet warm enough for life. Currently the increasing WV is countering the cooling that would otherwise be occurring.

    NASA/RSS measurements show WV increase rate trend of about 2.3E13 kg/yr which is the approximately 2% which stays in the atmosphere of the 110E13 kg/yr used for world irrigation. The other 98% apparently rains out. The data on irrigation was calculated using information mostly from here: http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/didyouknow/index3.stm
    WV from energy production (fuel & cooling) is tiny (about 1E13kg/yr) compared to WV from irrigation. (‘Alternate energy’ won’t help significantly)

    Rapidly receding water tables in some places and increased flooding in others as increasing water vapor rains out, is compelling evidence humanity needs to aggressively attend to rational management of fresh water … and stop wasting time and resources on the mistaken perception that CO2 has a significant effect on climate.

    • Dan Pangburn, in a nutshell, human irrigation systems are dwarfed by natural evaporation in lakes, rivers and oceans. Why is it that people MUST believe our human activities have huge effects? We don’t. We are a flea on an elephants back. Small local impacts on the surrounding environment that we are constantly trying to mitigate? Yes. An affect on climate or atmosperic water vapour ? No.

      • Holly – The world’s oceans and natural lakes have pretty much always been there and contribute the water vapor and nearly all of the huge effective thermal capacitance that has made the planet suitable for life. The dramatic increase in irrigation is relatively recent (started about 1950).

        NASA/RSS measurements show WV increase trend of about 2.3E13 kg/yr which is the approximately 2% that stays in the atmosphere of the 110E13 kg/yr used for world irrigation. The other 98% apparently rains out. The data on irrigation was calculated using information mostly from here: http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/didyouknow/index3.stm
        WV from energy production (fuel & cooling) is tiny (about 1E13kg/yr) compared to WV from irrigation. (‘Renewable energy’ won’t help significantly)

        Any addition of WV will raise average global temperature but the effect is self-limiting because of increased clouds. My calculations show the temperature is about 0.26 K warmer now than it would be with no increased WV. (Table 1, file #E)

    • Dan Pangburn on 11/8/16 at 8:11 pm said,

      CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Thermalization and the short relaxation time of some rotational modes for water vapor molecules explain why.

      My preference would have been for Dan to have said, “CO2 has no significant effect on climate change.” There are three reality checks.

      (1) The Greenhouse Effect, formerly the Callendar Effect, while a misnomer is nonetheless real. Certain atmospheric gases form a blanket that keeps the surface warm, more than about half due to water vapor and a quarter plus due to atmospheric CO2. Thus CO2 has a major effect on climate.

      (2) The problem arises however that it doesn’t accumulate in the atmosphere. It’s concentration is regulated according to Henry’s Law and its coefficient for CO2 dissolved in water (which are not represented in the GCMs). Man couldn’t change the atmospheric concentration of CO2, up or down, for good or bad, even if all the governments of the world were able to cooperate in the task and emptied all the treasuries in the attempt. Revelle’s large scale geophysical experiment of a kind that could not have happened in the past or reproduced in the future was a figment of a fund-raiser’s imagination. Man’s puny CO2 emissions (6 GtC/yr) are immeasurably small in the ocean reservoir (~35,000 GtC), and would remain so if they were increased an order of magnitude or two, and that is neglecting the rate of natural sequestration.

      (3) The concentration of atmospheric water vapor is governed by the Clausius-Clapeyron effect, which is represented, or better misrepresented, in the GCMs. When the surface temperature increases, water vapor increases, cloud cover increases (CCNs being always in superabundance), cloud albedo increases, and solar radiation to the surface is diminished. This effect and its reverse, the companion cloud burn-off effect that amplifies solar variation, are the most powerful feedbacks in all of climate, and neither is represented in the GCMs. So even if CO2 were to increase by some fantastic mechanism, dynamic cloud cover, not molecular absorption, would mitigate the warming.

      • Jeff – There is compelling evidence that CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Five observations which support this are noted in http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com . My findings are that the ‘greenhouse’ effect is essentially all by water vapor. EMR absorbed by CO2 is simply rerouted to space via water vapor. The mechanism is described in the blog.

        The Clausius-Clapyron equation relates the pressure P, enthalpy of vaporization, DHvap, and temperature T where P is the partial pressure of the water vapor in the boundary layer at the water-atmosphere interface. But flow of the water vapor molecules into the bulk atmosphere is limited by diffusion and assisted by wind and turbulence. Thus IMO the assumption that WV partial pressure throughout the bulk atmosphere (after accounting for lapse rate) is the same as that calculated by the Clapeyron equation is flawed.

        Validity of assumptions and methods are demonstrated by the 98% match 1895-2015 between calculated and measured temperature trajectories..

      • Dan Pangburn on 11/9/16 at 8:16 pm relied on his blog, where he provides “Five observations which support” “that CO2 has no significant effect on climate.” The first two are of the Ordovician Period [490 – 445 mya] and the Phanerozoic eon (542 mya – present), which includes the Ordovician and the Mesozoic Era (the dinosaur era, including the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous). The state of the climate and of the oceans in these ancient times can be no more than a coarse conjecture inferred from the same fossils that gave us today’s fossil fuels. Surely some climate assumptions are safe enough for that eon, like the spectrum of the Sun and the spectral absorption pattern of gasses, but they cannot include the dynamics of either climate or the oceans nor the response of climate to CO2.

        Pangburn’s next three observations, dealing with trends, are about climate change, not climate in general:

        3. During the last and previous glaciations AGT trend changed directions before CO2 trend.

        4. Since AGT has been directly and accurately measured world wide (about 1895), AGT has exhibited up and down trends while CO2 trend has been only up.

        5. Since about 2001, the measured atmospheric CO2 trend has continued to rise while the AGT trend has been essentially flat.

        Being about climate change, these observations do not support a conclusion about climate per se.

        Pangburn then said,

        The Clausius-Clapyron equation relates the pressure P, enthalpy of vaporization, DHvap, and temperature T where P is the partial pressure of the water vapor in the boundary layer at the water-atmosphere interface. But flow of the water vapor molecules into the bulk atmosphere is limited by diffusion and assisted by wind and turbulence. Thus IMO the assumption that WV partial pressure throughout the bulk atmosphere (after accounting for lapse rate) is the same as that calculated by the Clapeyron equation is flawed.

        Pierrehumbert in his online text Principles of Planetary Climate, (2008), provides a differential equation for the CC relation where the variables are temperature (T), saturation vapor pressure (p_sat), latent heat (L), and two density terms (rho). With a few simplifying assumptions, he approximates this to a temperature dependent ratio for the saturation vapor pressure. Id,, p. 87. IPCC approximates it further to about 7% for every 1ºC rise in temperature. AR4, FAQ 3.2. The CC equation does not rely explicitly on enthalpy.

        The CC equation at the core is an idealization from thermodynamic principles. It depends on thermodynamic equilibrium and reversible phase changes, conditions that GCMs represent but which do not exist in the real world. Nevertheless, atmospheric water vapor is a byproduct of the ocean, and it is certain to have a piecewise linear first order linear, temperature dependent approximation. That is no more than is implied by reliance on the CC equation.

        I stand by my observations about CO2 and climate vs. climate change.

      • Jeff – I am familiar with and have critically considered a lot, if not all, of the perceptions and reasons why CO2 is perceived to be a significant factor in climate change and therefor necessarily climate per se. Any one of them can be challenged as you did and as I have done with similar arguments.

        1. The ancient data showing decline into and recovery from an ice age while CO2 level was many times the present has been argued that the sun was cooler back then, CO2 and temperature were estimated by proxies which might be wrong, etc. But the findings of the experts are that the CO2 level was high and there was an ice age. If we assume the Andean/Saharan ice age to have been caused by CO2 change, what caused the CO2 to go down and then up again so drastically? There was little or no life on land yet. Physical laws have not changed (a confident assumption). Ratio of land area to ocean area hasn’t changed much (a fairly confident assumption).

        2. The complete lack of correlation between CO2 level and average global temperature (AGT) over the Phanerozoic eon. To consider this as not relevant we need to allow as the experts who arrived at the methods and proxies must be mistaken. But they have survived challenge.

        3. AGT trend changed direction before CO2 trend. Perhaps some as yet unidentified factor has changed the timing.

        4. Up/down trajectory of AGT with progressive up for CO2 (since both have been accurately measured world wide, about 1895). Perhaps other factors over-rode the influence of CO2. Some have blamed the downtrend 1941-1973 on aerosols but why did they suddenly quit having an effect and what about 1877-1909? Setting the SSN anomaly time-integral to zero and combining an assumed CO2 effect with an approximation of the effect of ocean cycles works fairly well until about 2005 but fails drastically after 2005.

        5. Step change in the rate of AGT increase (it suddenly slowed) in about 2005 resulting in a growing separation between the rising CO2 level and much slower rising (if at all rising) AGT. I don’t have even a partial explanation of why this does not refute any significant influence of CO2 on climate.

        IMO considering all of these together provides compelling evidence CO2 has no significant effect on climate.

        So what is going on now? The assertions by EPA, the IPCC (Dr. Tim Ball note at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/16/does-ipcc-practice-willful-blindness-of-water-vapor-to-prove-a-scientific-point-for-a-political-agenda/ ) and others that water vapor doesn’t stay in the atmosphere long enough to have an effect has dissuaded most folks from considering it. Willis brought up WV in two WUWT articles a few months ago and he and Anthony are going to present about it at AGU. Some folks are so convinced of the doesn’t-stay-in the-atmosphere-long-enough-to-matter concept that they reject any evidence to the contrary.

        There is also the argument that the oceans are so big that any input to WV from humanity is insignificant. The oceans have always been big and their contribution of water vapor with its absorption of terrestrial EMR has made the planet warm enough for life. Fine as long as average global WV remains constant. However, the observation is WV has been increasing. NASA/RSS have been measuring it via satellite since 1988 and report monthly. Willis graphed the data into 2016. I have extended it graphically through Sept 2016 in my blog and include links to the source data.

        WV partial pressure vs water temperature is widely available e.g. http://intro.chem.okstate.edu/1515sp01/database/vpwater.html from which the rate of (13.6-12)/2/12/8*100%=6.25% per Kelvin degree is easily calculated. This same % increase/K° was used to estimate the part (about 33.6%) of the TPW increase due to AGT increase.

        In looking in to possible sources for the increasing WV, it is obvious that irrigation accounts for nearly all (about 200 times energy related). It appears that irrigation has had a slight but increasing effect for hundreds of years with a substantial increase in rate starting in about 1950.

      • Jeff – It is unclear to me if GCMs assume vapor pressure in the bulk atmosphere is that calculated by CC or not. IMO that would be an unrealistic assumption.

        I have assumed as a best estimate that the % change of TPW with AGT change is the same as % change of WV partial pressure with water temperature change. Doing so results in about 33.6% of TPW increase being due to AGT increase.

  33. “Given continued rapid population growth, they threaten to be irreversible.” Why must they be reversible? What else on the planet is reversible? We are PART of the earth, not invaders, and our changes are no different from a species eating out all the forage in one area and moving on. Should we determine the static condition we think is right (forget evolution, we want static, absolutely) and force things to confirm to that ideal?

    There is nothing that says the changes will be in a negative direction, except political correctness, and there is no evidence the earth was ever static. Everything changes—except, apparently, this irrational belief that nothing should ever change.

  34. Roy Spencer’s study of population density vs temperature supports this quite elegantly:

    As you can see at population densities even as low as 25 people per sq. km the ‘UHIE’ is about 0.8 C, which is roughly the same as all of the global temperature rise last century. At that level of population density the effect must correspond to land use changes, since there just could not be enough in the way of buildings and roads. So perhaps UHIE should be changed to HHIE, for ‘human heat island effect’.

  35. Iain Murray’s book, “The [i]Really[/i] Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don’t Want Yon To Know About–Because They Helped Cause Them,” includes a chapter on farming-driven catastrophic climate change in Kazakhstan. The world’s 4th largest inland sea, the Aral Sea, has almost completely dried up, and the result on summer temperatures is that they now reach 140 F. This is one real example among many.

    Books on permaculture show that the land can be largely healed in a dozen years or fewer, with restoration of year-round streams in Jordan’s desert, the preservation of the cork trees in Portugal, increased agricultural productivity in China, and improved rainfall patterns in Italy and the US.
    Potentially, we have a wonderful future ahead with plenty of food for humanity even at twice our current numbers, hugely improved nutrition, much greater longevity and vitality, and a big increase in the total carrying capacity of the Earth for life in all forms.

    But you have to get over this arrogance of we-are-right-and-they-are wrong. Skeptics can point to temperature records and other facts to prove their case, but it is some of the Greens who have discovered the real problems and their solutions. They need to separate from the humanity haters who scream with horror at a tree growing in the Arctic and want to “reduce their carbon footprint.” Those greens have admitted that they are desperate to kill human beings, and the truth is, they hate all forms of life from people, animals and plants all the way down to the bacteria. We are carbon-based life forms and CO2 is the basis of life on land. All life.

    As to Paris, it had the usual nonsense about fossils–but they also want to increase the carbon content of soil and THAT is what is actually needed. This site WUWT commenters has had little interest in the life-enhancing positives; only in being so smart and sneering at others. Until you can overcome that, you are worthless.

    So grow up and get much more interested in how food is grown and how land use can drastically IMPROVE climate by agricultural breakthroughs. I think creating real changes is MUCH more fun than complaining. You can create and see wonders in your own lifetime.

  36. Dan Pangburn, 11/16 at 2:48 pm, #1, includes this:

    If we assume the Andean/Saharan ice age to have been caused by CO2 change, what caused the CO2 to go down and then up again so drastically?

    The Andean/Saharan ice age (450–420 Ma) is almost equivalent to the Silurian Period (445–415 mya), and it encompasses the Ordovician-Silurian extinction event (450–440 mya). One shouldn’t assume that CO2 or CO2 change cause any age, ice or other. If that period comprised a snowball Earth, the high CO2 content could be due to accumulation of volcanic gasses over millions of years because the surface ocean was frozen, minimizing, if not shutting down, ocean uptake. Moreover, water vapor would have been near zero, locking Earth into that state of maximum surface albedo and solar immunity. No wonder there was an extinction event!

  37. Post 1 of 4 re Dan Pangburn, 11/16 at 2:48 pm, who said this:

    1. If we assume the Andean/Saharan ice age to have been caused by CO2 change, what caused the CO2 to go down and then up again so drastically?

    The Andean/Saharan ice age (450–420 Ma) is almost equivalent to the Silurian Period (445–415 mya), and it encompasses the Ordovician-Silurian extinction event (450–440 mya). One should not assume that CO2 or CO2 change causes any age, ice or other. If that period comprised a snowball Earth, the high CO2 content could be due to millions of years of volcanic gasses, accumulating because the surface ocean was frozen, minimizing, if not shutting down, ocean uptake. Moreover during this time, water vapor would have been near zero, locking Earth into that state of maximum surface albedo and solar immunity. No wonder there was an extinction event!

  38. Post 2 of 4 re Dan Pangburn, 11/11/16 at 2:48 pm:

    2. The complete lack of correlation between CO2 level and average global temperature (AGT) over the Phanerozoic eon. To consider this as not relevant we need to allow as the experts who arrived at the methods and proxies must be mistaken. But they have survived challenge.

    Rather than not relevant, that correlation was not likely measurable, lacking time records for either parameter with which to calculate the delicate correlation function. All of this heightens one’s skepticism, perhaps well above the level of a virtue. The challenge window at the IPCC is a trompe l’oeil.

    P.S. Please consider my post of 11/14/16 at 6:22 pm superseded by that of 11/15/16 at 12:32 am.

  39. Post 3 of 4 re Dan Pangburn, 11/11/16 at 2:48 pm:

    3. AGT trend changed direction before CO2 trend. Perhaps some as yet unidentified factor has changed the timing. Bold added.

    That is as the trends appear in the Vostok ice core reduction, and as they should be, because, contrary to the AGW model, GAST is the Cause & gCO2 is the Effect, not the reverse. IPCC has the causation arrow backwards because it interpreted its 1988 charter to be to show the effects of humans on climate, and because it had no alternative to CO2 emissions. IPCC writes about causes and effects but never bothers to check if any cause actually precedes its effects, as the causality principle of science requires. For example, IPCC defines

    equilibrium climate sensitivity [ECS] as the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent carbon dioxide concentration. Bold added, AR4, Climate Sensitivity, Glossary, p. 943.

    Never mind that nothing in climate is ever in thermodynamic equilibrium, and the only kind of equilibrium IPCC defines is with respect to climate models. The relevant point is that the rise in temperature contemplated for AGW is due to the ECS, and by definition it must follow the rise in gCO2. Instead, investigators estimate the rise in CO2 and in temperature, and then take the ratio as the ECS, never bothering to confirm that CO2 leads temperature. The toast fell jelly-side-up for the public since the magnitude of the estimated ratios published is small, about 0.7 which, being at the 3% confidence level according to IPCC predictions, invalidates the AGW model. Actually, the sign of the ratio should be negative, so the estimates are in fact completely off–scale. If they had been much more negative, the investigators’ algorithm would have produced faux evidence supporting the upcoming faux catastrophe.

    Dan P.’s factor (in bold) is well-known outside of the IPCC family of climatologists. It is the carbon pump — not the organic carbon pump (AR4, Figure 7.10, p. 530) and neither the biological carbon pump (id.) nor its equivalent, the marine carbon pump (Hofmann, et al., cited in AR5, Ch. 6, p. 559.) — but rather the extended, global MOC that carries 380 GtC/y, of which nominally 42% is outgassed at the Equator, CO2 which is subsequently reabsorbed as the MOC travels across the surface layer to cool and sink at the poles.

    This uptake and outgassing of CO2 in the ocean is physics, a manifestation of Henry’s Law, and not found in IPCC Assessment Reports. CO2 is highly soluble in water, its partial pressure in the atmosphere being proportional to its concentration in the water and inversely proportional to the coefficient of solubility in g/100g H2O. That coefficient is inversely proportional to the water temperature. If man wanted to increase the concentration of gCO2, all he’d have to do is warm the ocean. And if he didn’t, all other attempts would prove futile.

    The layer in contact with the atmosphere is the global MOC, a density-isolated, fluid stream. It emerges from the deep ocean, saturated with CO2, drawn to surface at the Equator by the Ekman pump. There the Sun warms the water to as much as about 35ºC, where it outgasses, and being now warmer and depleted in CO2, it floats on the surface on its return, seasonally to one pole or the other. Along the path, it cools by longwave radiation and recharges with CO2, until at the poles, saturated again with CO2 and cooled to 4ºC or less, it plunges to the deep ocean to return along the ocean bottom to the Equator. The cycle requires about one millennium.

  40. Post 4 of 4 re Dan Pangburn, 11/11/16 at 2:48 pm:

    4. Up/down trajectory of AGT with progressive up for CO2 (since both have been accurately measured world wide, about 1895). Perhaps other factors over-rode the influence of CO2.

    Accurately sampled, yes, but crudely reduced by climatologists into a pair of biased and minimally skilled macroparameters.

    At the Equator, the global MOC splits into two branches, a river of atmospheric CO2 and a light-weight ocean surface layer drawn to one or the other of the twin main drains at the poles. Estimates for the North Atlantic MOC flow are between 15 to 30 Sv [TAR, §7.3.1, p. 436], though IPCC seems not to have an explanation for the terminus of the MOC. No wonder it thinks sea level is rising!

    On the other hand, a published and confirmed estimate for upwelling at the Equator is 50 Sv [Kessler (2006), Wyrtki (1981)], but that flow has no origin. A reasonable and necessary model is to link the two flows as part of the same global phenomenon, an extended MOC, plus, tentatively, some local upwelling.

    If the 15 Sv headwaters of the MOC is at 4ºC and the corresponding discharge at the Equator is at 20ºC, Henry’s Law and Henry’s Coefficient for CO2 in water predict that 158 GtC/y/MOC will be outgassed to the atmosphere. This is 75% more than IPCC’s “massive exchange” of 90 GtC/yr. AR4, Are the Increases in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Other Greenhouse Gases During the Industrial Era Caused by Human Activities? FAQ 7.1, p. 512.

    At the same time, IPCC estimates the minimum CO2 increase at 3.2 GtC over the past 25 years. Id.. At that rate, the Carbon Pump requires a temperature trend of 0.0187ºC/yr, which would tend to confirm the 0.0179 admitted by IPCC. Brohan maximum slope, AR4, Fig. 1.3, Published records of surface temperature change over large regions, p. 101.

    The Carbon Pump and Henry’s Law are thus consistent with gCO2 being caused by global warming, whether previously due to human activities or something else. The answer to the rhetorical FAQ 7.1 question is “No”, and the postulated local upwelling is negligible.

    At the headwaters of the surface branch of the global MOC and before outgassing, the aqCO2 concentration is dominantly proportional to that of the polar concentration 1000 years ago. By the time the MOC reaches a pole, the concentration is approximately restored, gCO2 having been reabsorbed into the surface layer that cools en route. The final concentration at the poles differs from the polar concentration 1000 years ago according to the change in an effective global average surface temperature. Thus the change in gCO2 is due to Henry’s Law and to the change in temperature over a millennium.

    The slope changes in GAST/AGT and CO2 Dan reports are due to decadal scale noise, not climate scale phenomena. IPCC definition of climate is weaselly, scarcely a definition at all, having a period … ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. AR4, Climate, Glossary, p. 942. CO2 has an influence on annual plant growth, and on climate, too, but on time scales from millennia to geological eras. The best model for solar activity (due to Y. Wang, et al. (2005)) predicts HadCRUT3 with time major lags of 150 and 50 years and with an accuracy approximating IPCC’s 11-year smoothed estimate for HadCRUT3 itself.

    SST has an influence on gCO2 on time scales of about 5 to 10 centuries, in agreement with the MOC period and the Vostok reduction. So the extent to which GAST/AGT influences gCO2 depends on the extent to which GAST predicts SST. The long time constants associated with the surface temperature response to the Sun and the dependence of gCO2 on the one millennium period of the carbon pump, dictate that the lower limit for climate should be at least several centuries if not one millennium. Regression fits, or trends, at less than climate periods are not reliable.

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