Challenging climate sensitivity: ‘Observational Quantification of Water Vapor Radiative Forcing’ #AGU16 presentation

By Willis Eschenbach and Anthony Watts

Today at the American Geophysical Union Convention, Willis Eschenbach and Anthony Watts will be presenting at 1:10PM in Moscone South.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Study at AGU 2016 challenges conventional wisdom on climate sensitivity

‘Observational Quantification of Water Vapor Radiative Forcing’

December 14th, 2016 – San Francisco, CA – A new study about the role of water vapor in climate sensitivity is being presented at the 2016 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union today by Willis Eschenbach and Anthony Watts in session A33B: Climate Sensitivity and Feedbacks: Advances and New Paradigms, in Moscone South Poster Hall at 1:10PM to 6PM December 14th, position A33B-0226.

The study, using satellite measured water vapor data obtained from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) of Santa Rosa, CA, suggests that the global climate sensitivity to increased carbon dioxide, and the potential feedback mechanism of increased water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere, is actually far less than postulated by the IPCC.

An investigation was conducted utilizing the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) 1°x1° gridded total precipitable water (TPW) dataset to determine the magnitude of upwelling long-wave infrared radiation from Earth’s surface since 1988. TPW represents the mass of water vapor in a 1 meter by 1 meter column from the surface to the top of the atmosphere. As referenced in IPCC AR5 WGI Box 8.1, the radiative effect of absorption by water vapor is roughly proportional to the logarithm of its concentration. Therefore it is the fractional change in water vapor concentration, not the absolute change, that governs its strength as a climate forcing mechanism. A time-series analysis utilizing a Loess decomposition filter indicated there is a clear upward trend in the RSS TPW data since 1988. The observed total change over the period is ~ 1.5 kg/m^2, centered around the long-term mean of 28.7 kg/m^2. Utilizing the observed relationship between water content and atmospheric absorption, the RSS TPW data indicates an increase in downwelling longwave radiation of 3.3 W/m2 over the period 1988 – 2015.

Key finding:

The finding of an observationally measured increase in downwelling radiation of 3.3W/m2 since 1988, in addition to the increase in downwelling radiation over the period as calculated by the IPCC, with little corresponding change in temperature, calls into question the applicability of the concept of “climate sensitivity”.

Corresponding author: Willis Eschenbach willis@surfacetemps.org

agu16-poster

The full poster is here: agu16-poster-final (PDF)

Links to data and code: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/96723180/TPW.zip  (600 MB)

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346 thoughts on “Challenging climate sensitivity: ‘Observational Quantification of Water Vapor Radiative Forcing’ #AGU16 presentation

    • It seems amazing that Eschenbach and Watts, can show a clear relationship between H2O and temperature from the observational data. No doubt as a result of the billions of dollars in funding they receive from the fossil fuel industry (sarc). But at the same time the IPCC and all the climate scientists on Earth, with trillions of taxpayers dollars are not able to show the same thing for CO2 from the observational data.

      “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton

      • What is really funny is that a their not finding a temperature increase with increased downwelling IR radiation makes perfectly normal thermodynamic sense. The downwelling radiation is redirected IR from the surface. As the surface is warmer than the water vapor and CO2 in the air that is absorbing and radiating IR (in all directions), the surface will not absorb the downwelling portion of IR and reflect it back upward, where it is eventually lost to space *which is colder than absolute zero, as it has no temperature). The energy levels in the surface that are equivalent to the downwelling IR energies are already full. In other words, the relatively cool IR radiation cannot warm the already hotter surface. This is why this key part of the global warming junk science is a complete failure.

      • Nothing is colder than absolute zero, and space does indeed have a temperature. If I remember correctly it’s around 3K.

      • The background radiation in space is the same as would be emitted by a black body at 3 degrees K. This does not mean that the temperature of space is 3 degrees K. Space does not have a temperature. Temperature is a property of matter.

    • Watts are a unit of energy; temperature is not. Why would one assume a rise in one would force a rise in the other? That is what is wrong with this paper and most of CAGW arguments you are comparing apples to oranges. Add energy to a glass of ice water it’s temperature won’t rise until the ice melts. Pressure cooker etc.
      Along that vein can this data be used to do a real energy calculation? I.e. Calculate the change in energy of the atmosphere over time?
      I realize this paper is meant to show how the forcing is wrong using the standards set by the CAGW crowd. The work is fine. I just think the beginning premise for all this climate nonsense is not justifiable I.e. Using temp as a measure of energy.

      • Calculate the change in energy of the atmosphere over time?

        It can be done with surface data, but so far I haven’t noticed anything that alters my conclusions.

  1. So since the beginning the argument from climate scientists has been that water vapor heating as a result of co2 heating would be about 2-3 times the co2 heating. Given that the total of all forcings is 5.6 w/m2 and water vapor is about half the total it implies that the ratio of 2-3:1 for water vapor is wrong and is more like either 1.2:1 of 1.5:1. This would explain why it appears in other calculations that sensitivity to co2 is probably half or less what the IPCC predicted.

    Of course what this leaves out is how the ice ages happened. If the multiplier on co2 is so low then it is clear that something else is responsible for the ice age variations. I beleive the answer for that is in my blog here. Another Big Failure in Climate Science – Underwater Volcanoes Before we get to volcanoes I want to take you on a little history.

    When this climate science was born by Jim Hansen the logic was simple.  The ice… https://logiclogiclogic.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/another-big-failure-in-climate-science-underwater-volcanoes/

    • The comparison of 3.3 W/m^2 from water vapor is from 1988 vs 2.3 W/m^2 from all forcings since 1750! The actual change in CO2 forcing since 1988 is less than 1 W/m^2, which is quite in line with other estimates.

      As for temperature: according to IPCC WG1, “Water vapour feedback acting alone approximately doubles the warming from what it would be for fixed water vapour (Cess et al., 1990; Hall and Manabe, 1999; Schneider et al., 1999; Held and Soden, 2000). “Note however that this is the direct water vapor feedback effect; vapor in turn affects cloud formation and other things, thus the total impact on temperature from including vapor can be greater than just the increased absorption of upwelling radiation.

    • logiclogic
      The real problem with the theory (IPCC or others) that CO2 causes the temperature movement from glacial to interglacial is – that the relative DENSITY of CO2 in the atmosphere is LOWEST during the warming phase and highest in a cooling phase.

      Yes, the CO2 ppm increases during the warming phase but the density reduces (delayed mostly).

      When the term ppm is removed from the discussion and relative density / saturation is used then the discussion comes to an end. One must always look at the temperature profile leading up to and after any data point when using either ppm (with a temperature reference) or simply relative density to fully understand the true state of the equilibrium at that time. Is it in a positive or negative state, simply because of temperature change..

      The real problem remains a very poor understanding between the use of ppm and relative density during temperature movements within equilibriums.

      • Ozonebust, what do you mean by “relative density”? How can it differ from ppm? Please define your terms, I’ve seen them nowhere else and searching for “CO2 relative density” gives only results that mention the density difference (unchangeable) due to 44 vs 29 molecular weight.

  2. I have long suggested that Climate Sensitivity is not a mathematical concept, but rather, if it exists at all, it can only be ascertained, assessed and quantified by direct observational measurement.

    The issue here is how CO2 behaves not in laboratory conditions, but rather in the complex mix of the Earth’s atmosphere and Earth System with all feedbacks both atmospheric and land based.

    One often hears people suggest all other matters being constant, CO2 will lead to warming. However, we know as fact that when we burn carbon, or gas, all other matter do not remain constant. It is therefore absurd to talk about what would happen if all other matters remain constant.

    I also frequently state that I do not accept the terminology of CO2 being a GHG. We know that it is a radiative gas. We know its laboratory characteristics, but that does not mean that it is a GHG. Whether it is a GHG, or not, can only be answered and determined by direct observational measurement over time.

    I am far from convinced there is any Climate Sensitivity to CO2. The paleo record, for what it is worth (by which I take on board that it is mainly proxy evidence which must have large error bounds) is very problematic to the Earth having any significant Climate Sensivity to CO2.

    All we can say is that despite our best measuring efforts, we are presently unable to eek out the signal, if any at all, to CO2 over and above the noise of natural variation and the inherent lack of sensitivity and/or error margins of our best measuring equipment.

    I am interested in seeing more detail on the presentation. Well done to all involved.

      • Camel, after reading the full paper a few times I’m not convinced Feldman actually block WV in the measurements. Since the absorption/emission spectra for H20 & CO2 overlap significantly, and since CO2 and H20 can exchange energy freely, the problem of separating the measures is significant. It seems likely to me Feldman was measuring the same effect reported in this presentation; WV has increased, continues to increase, and the result is an increase in LW IR. Feldman essentially leaps to the conclusion this is solely a result of increased atmospheric CO2 and weakly defends that assertion by noting the measures they took were in “clear skies”. Unfortunately that does almost nothing to block water; clear skies can easily contain large amounts of water, ask any IR astronomer; it’s the reason ground based observatories are built in places like Muana Kea and airborne platforms such as the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and SOPHIA were developed. Water vapor is a serious problem, even in “clear skies”.

        I think the same criticism might be made of Anthony & Willis’ effort, but the take home message for me would be “it doesn’t really matter.” They’ve demonstrated WV explains 95% of the variability in IR absorption all by itself (at least I think that’s what they’re saying. If that’s the case, CO2 doesn’t matter.

      • I suppose my real question would be, “to what extent has water vapor been measured absent CO2?” It’s the reverse of my criticism of Feldman, “To what extent has CO2 been measured absent water?”

        If both methods depend on band restricted radiance measures, a discussion of how they were “blocked” is necessary.

      • Well H2O and CO2 absorption/emission BANDS may overlap, that does not mean that the actual individual spectral LINES are anywhere close to overlapping.

        If you use a sledge hammer to smash in a half inch brad, you don’t necessarily get what you expected. The CO2 and H2O individual spectral lines at atmospheric Temperatures and pressures are quite separate.

        I don’t know why we have to continually restate this at WUWT

        G

      • “If that’s the case, CO2 doesn’t matter.”

        It matters.
        Because without CO2 there can be no increase in WV content.
        It cannot increase unless there is a temp increase.
        And it cannot “pull itself up by it’s own bootstraps”.
        IOW: Something else MUST make the temp increase BEFORE water vapour can increase its absolute humidity in the atmosphere.
        CO2 is what is doing that.
        Because it is non-condensing.
        H2O condenses, which is why it cannot drive itself.

        “The maximum amount of water vapour in the air is controlled by temperature. A typical column of air extending from the surface to the stratosphere in polar regions may contain only a few kilograms of water vapour per square metre, while a simi- lar column of air in the tropics may contain up to 70 kg. With every extra degree of air temperature, the atmosphere can retain around 7% more water vapour (see upper-left insert in the FAQ 8.1, Figure 1). This increase in concentration ampli es the green- house effect, and therefore leads to more warming. This process, referred to as the water vapour feed- back, is well understood and quanti ed. It occurs in all models used to estimate climate change, where its strength is consistent with observations. Although an increase in atmospheric water vapour has been observed, this change is recognized as a climate feed- back (from increased atmospheric temperature) and should not be interpreted as a radiative forcing from anthropogenic emissions.

        Currently, water vapour has the largest greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, other greenhouse gases, primarily CO2, are necessary to sustain the presence of water vapour in the atmosphere. Indeed, if these other gases were removed from the atmosphere, its temperature would drop sufficiently to induce a decrease of water vapour, leading to a runaway drop of the greenhouse effect that would plunge the Earth into a frozen state. So greenhouse gases other than water vapour provide the temperature structure that sustains current levels of atmospheric water vapour. Therefore, although CO2 is the main anthropogenic control knob on climate, water vapour is a strong and fast feedback that amplifies any initial forcing by a typical factor between two and three. Water vapour is not a signifcant initial forcing, but is nevertheless a fundamental agent of climate change.”

        http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf

      • Toneb
        What you set out is the conjuring trick at the heart of the CAGW meme. You concede that water vapour is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2 but then produce like a rabbit from a hat the claim that water vapour cannot heat itself, but can only be warmed by CO2. Why? This makes no sense. WV and CO2 are both greenhouse gasses. If one can by radiative sleight of hand warm itself and neighboring molecules, so can the other. If one can’t, the other can’t either. Take away this “now you see me now you don’t” trick and nothing is left; except to different atmospheric components, one – WV, with a major radiative effect, and another – CO2 – with a negligible effect.

      • Toneb,

        Of course you don’t need more CO2 in order to achieve higher temperatures and more water vapor in the air.

        The sun’s output varies. That alone can cause heating, as can fewer clouds.

        As the late, great Father of Climatology, Reid Bryson, said “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide”.

        The “canonical” ECS of 3 degrees C per doubling of CO2 is totally fictitious. It was made up without any reference to physical reality. It’s the average of two guesses made in the 1970s and never tested by the IPCC or anyone else.

      • Ptolemy2:
        “What you set out is the conjuring trick at the heart of the CAGW meme. You concede that water vapour is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2 but then produce like a rabbit from a hat the claim that water vapour cannot heat itself, but can only be warmed by CO2. Why? This makes no sense. WV and CO2 are both greenhouse gasses. If one can by radiative sleight of hand warm itself and neighboring molecules, so can the other. If one can’t, the other can’t either. Take away this “now you see me now you don’t” trick and nothing is left; except to different atmospheric components, one – WV, with a major radiative effect, and another – CO2 – with a negligible effect..

        Water vapour cannot increase it’s absolute humidity in a gas unless the gas temperature rises.
        This is because when its VP for theat temp reaches 100% RH – it precipitates out. And it does so quickly with the hydrological cycle only around 10 days from evaporation to precipitation back to the surface.
        Something has to make the atmosphere’s temp rise outside of that cycle.
        WV cannot do it on it’s own via radiative forcing.
        If it did then we would have a runaway GHE.
        There would be a permanent +ve feed-back loop.
        The process must be self limiting.
        Or else your logic would see temp/humidity forever climbing unless some -ve forcing came in.
        It does.
        Precipitation.
        Therefore there must be radiative forcing mechanism that is NOT self-regulating because of it’s temp.
        That is CO2.

      • The process must be self limiting.
        Or else your logic would see temp/humidity forever climbing unless some -ve forcing came in.
        It does.
        Precipitation.
        Therefore there must be radiative forcing mechanism that is NOT self-regulating because of it’s temp.
        That is CO2.

        First, every night there a reset of humidity to the mornings dew points unless the winds blow in a different air mass with a different amount of water vapor.
        And night time cooling is temperature regulated by dew point through rel humidity toggling between two different clear sky cooling rates.

      • “Therefore, although CO2 is the main anthropogenic control knob on climate, water vapour is a strong and fast feedback that amplifies any initial forcing by a typical factor between…….”
        So, where is the “Hot Spot” Ace?

      • Chimp:
        “Toneb,
        Of course you don’t need more CO2 in order to achieve higher temperatures and more water vapor in the air.”

        Please see above reply to ptolemy2 and tell me why we do not have a runaway GHE on Earth then.

        “The sun’s output varies. That alone can cause heating, as can fewer clouds.”

        It also causes cooling.
        It’s the Solar cycle.
        It cycles. ~ 11 years.

        “As the late, great Father of Climatology, Reid Bryson, said “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide”.

        A quote is not science, no matter who it comes from.

        “The “canonical” ECS of 3 degrees C per doubling of CO2 is totally fictitious. It was made up without any reference to physical reality. It’s the average of two guesses made in the 1970s and never tested by the IPCC or anyone else.”

        Yes of course it is.
        Made fictitious by the thousands of Earth scientists that contribute to the IPCC ARs
        Because – which is it?
        They are all incompetent. It
        They are all committing a fraud.
        You know more than they do.

        http://phys.org/news/2015-02-carbon-dioxide-greenhouse-effect.html

      • George, I believe this is a distinction without a difference in the case of the passive microwave sensors in use for these measures though, and that’s the reason I raised the question. Since the atmosphere is at various temperatures and pressures between the surface and space, it’s the overlapping absorption/emission bands that would be important.

        I can imagine the sensors might be built to use a portion of the spectrum that is unique to water perhaps? Still, CO2 would still logically influence water since it’s possible for the two molecules to exchange energy in that overlapping window.

        I’ve read the “Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD) Version 2” from GISS/RSS in hopes of finding how this is done and haven’t yet figured it out.

      • Comment for George Smith:

        I don’t understand your argument that we can disregard the overlap of CO2 and H2O absorption bands, on the grounds that it only matters whether the individual spectral lines overlap. The point is, at atmospheric conditions, the spectral lines are “pressure-broadened” by molecular collisions disturbing the natural resonance point at which the pure molecule would display lines. If you had these gases in nearly a pure vacuum, what you are saying might be plausible. But the fact that they are pressure-broadened really does result in continuous absorption over bands of spectrum. In the case of CO2, it is a peaked distribution between 14 and 16 microns. In the case of water, it is a broad distribution that starts at 10 microns and gently diminishes over an order of magnitude out to 100 microns.

      • RE toneb
        **Water vapour cannot increase it’s absolute humidity in a gas unless the gas temperature rises.**
        Where did you get this from? make it up?
        Absolute humidity does not mean it is saturated. Absolute humidity is the actual amount of moisture in the air which can be close to zero. Unless the air is saturated you can add water vapor.
        Where the CAGW people are mistaken is the assumption that an increase in CO2 will cause an increase in water vapor which will then cause runaway warming. What real scientists are learning is that when the water vapor increases so doe the cloud which then results in solar radiation being reflected which results in cooling – hence no significant temperature change.

      • They’ve demonstrated WV explains 95% of the variability in IR absorption all by itself (at least I think that’s what they’re saying. If that’s the case, CO2 doesn’t matter.
        ==========================
        that was my read as well.

      • Toneb,

        You are correct when you point out that the heating from water vapor is self regulating by the act of precipitation. Precipitation, however, also regulates the heating from CO2, thus reducing the impact of the doubling of CO2 on temperature. It is also why increasing CO2 has never produced a runaway greenhouse effect.

        Secondly, there are obviously things besides CO2 concentration that regulate the Earth’s atmospheric temperature. All evidence indicates that the temperature swings of the last several thousand years occurred with a steady concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

        Ice cores and other proxies reveal that the change in temperatures at the beginning and ending of cold periods changed first, followed by the concentration of atmospheric CO2 some 500-1,000 years later. Glaciation began to increase when CO2 was at a relative peak, and then decreased again when CO2 was at a relative minimum, time and time again!. This fact alone shows that something other than CO2 has far more control over atmospheric temperatures.

        The argument from ignorance that it must be CO2 that regulates temperature because we don’t know what else it could be, is really pathetic. Especially, since Holocene temperature changes all occurred without a change in CO2 and temperature changes from one glacial period to the next all preceded the change in CO2. In either case, there is no apparent causation from CO2 for the observed conditions. Why must it be CO2, when the evidence indicates it plays little or no role? Why can’t we just admit that we don’t know all the reasons for climate change on any significant time scale, but that the evidence indicates that changing CO2 is not significant?

        That would be a valid scientific conclusion!

      • Toneb says:” Something else MUST make the temp increase BEFORE water vapour can increase its absolute humidity in the atmosphere.
        CO2 is what is doing that.”

        Ah, yes; the old saw where obviously some mystical other component does the deed and without any scientific observation, the rabbit in the hat must be CO2. No proof or even knowledge needed. Anyone can play this game.

        Well, that is amazing. Without data, without evidence, without direct observation; magic happens!

        It’s CO2 wot done it.
        Them four molecules of CO2 for every 9,996 molecules of atmosphere magically heat up many thousands of water vapor molecules.

        Now Toneb: Exactly and explicitly define and show evidence for this CO2 dastardly deed of magic. Exactly how does a few molecules of CO₂ heat so many molecules of H₂O?

        Water is just as flexible, if not moreso, a molecule as carbon dioxide.
        Absorption of a photon is soon followed by the release of a photon. For temperature to actually rise, requires that those photons be absorbed and another photon be captured; while CO₂ rampages around trying to impart some energy to another atmospheric molecule.
        Otherwise, as soon as the photon is emitted, the energy level of a CO₂ molecule returns to before absorbing a photon.

      • While Feldman reports an increase in IR from CO2 there is another paper which reports on the total IR over a similar period. Gero and Turner showed no increased in total downwelling IR (actually a decrease in clear sky). For both of these to be accurate then there must have been a decrease in IR from other sources with the most likely choice being water vapor.

        This raises an interesting question. Even though TPW has increased does that really mean you’ll get more IR at the surface? I think the answer may be no. You may need to look at the water column vertically to determine the effect. More water vapor at the surface has little effect because of saturation. At higher altitudes you have a bigger effect and the water vapor there seems to be decreasing.

      • Toneb “Something else MUST make the temp increase BEFORE water vapour can increase its absolute humidity in the atmosphere.” You mean like a change in atmospheric pressure? Why can’t it be that and not CO2? Isn’t that how el-Nino/nina years change the average global temp? Or whatever else you think cause the changes. Its not CO2.

      • AtheoK:
        “Ah, yes; the old saw where obviously some mystical other component does the deed and without any scientific observation, the rabbit in the hat must be CO2. No proof or even knowledge needed. Anyone can play this game.
        Well, that is amazing. Without data, without evidence, without direct observation; magic happens!”

        CO2 is not needed to rebut the idea that WV can drive GW.
        It is, and always will be a FEED-BACK.
        Because it PRECIPITATES.

        It is self regulating and needs something else to change the atmosphere’s temperature before it can increase/decrease.

        150 years of empirical proof, that you choose to ignore – one of the latest here….

        http://phys.org/news/2015-02-carbon-dioxide-greenhouse-effect.html

        “It’s CO2 wot done it.
        Them four molecules of CO2 for every 9,996 molecules of atmosphere magically heat up many thousands of water vapor molecules.”

        Yes correct.
        Not magic, as I said just empirical science.
        Without which the Earth would be it’s BB temp of -18C and Venus would not be at around 470C despite having an albedo of ~0.7.

        “Now Toneb: Exactly and explicitly define and show evidence for this CO2 dastardly deed of magic. Exactly how does a few molecules of CO₂ heat so many molecules of H₂O?”

        Go look yourself. You won’t find it here.
        Start with Arrhenius.

        “Water is just as flexible, if not moreso, a molecule as carbon dioxide.
        Absorption of a photon is soon followed by the release of a photon. For temperature to actually rise, requires that those photons be absorbed and another photon be captured; while CO₂ rampages around trying to impart some energy to another atmospheric molecule.”

        No it doesn’t entirely, photons are emitted that impinge back on the surface. It is a radiative forcing and it can be seen (I have more times than I care to remember) that the ground will warm BEFORE the air above it.

        It’s called science
        Ever done some?

      • Poor Toneb, your link is a JOKE.

        The time period starts at the very bottom of a La Nino and ends at the very peak of an El Nino

        WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH !!!

      • “It’s called science
        Ever done some?”

        Its becoming more and more obvious that you particularly… HAVEN’T

      • Very odd that the link Toneb posted was posted 5 years after the data finished.

        Amazing because if they actually had anything, surely they would have posted it earlier. !!

        Or did the data REALLY finish ????

        Did the full data actually go further than the very peak of the 2010 El Nino, say to 2012?

        This would have told a VERY different story, that would not have met the alarmist scam.

      • Tonyb

        I must add my voice to the others, in correction:

        “Because without CO2 there can be no increase in WV content. It cannot increase unless there is a temp increase.”

        This is completely untrue. The claim violates several fundamentals of well established physics of gases and vapour pressure.

        Water vapour concentration rises and falls all the time whether the air is hot or cold.

      • Jclarke341:
        “Ice cores and other proxies reveal that the change in temperatures at the beginning and ending of cold periods changed first, followed by the concentration of atmospheric CO2 some 500-1,000 years later. Glaciation began to increase when CO2 was at a relative peak, and then decreased again when CO2 was at a relative minimum, time and time again!. This fact alone shows that something other than CO2 has far more control over atmospheric temperatures..

        They do indeed.
        And for very good reason.
        That is the natural state of affairs re the carbon cycle.
        Mankind has reversed that by making CO2 come first.
        CO2 can be a driver or a feed-back.
        It is in the carbon cycle a feedback (as is H2O).
        No, CO2 has “control” due it’s non-condensing nature.
        The driver shown in ice-cores is the orbital eccentricity of the Earth changing insulation/ice/albedo/temp in high latitude NH landmasses.
        CO2 follows as a feedback….. normally.
        But not now.

        “The argument from ignorance that it must be CO2 that regulates temperature because we don’t know what else it could be, is really pathetic. Especially, since Holocene temperature changes all occurred without a change in CO2 and temperature changes from one glacial period to the next all preceded the change in CO2. In either case, there is no apparent causation from CO2 for the observed conditions. Why must it be CO2, when the evidence indicates it plays little or no role? Why can’t we just admit that we don’t know all the reasons for climate change on any significant time scale, but that the evidence indicates that changing CO2 is not significant?”

        No, not ignorance, instead from ~150 years of empirical science begun by Tyndall, Fourier and Arrhenius.
        We know the reasons, and if you read the real science rather than posting on *sceptic* blogs you would find it.

      • GES,
        Is your comment an observation from a thought process, or a comment based on hands-on experience?
        In some spectroscopy work, one of the performance-limiting procedures is subtraction of overlapping signals each with uncertain baselines, especially if the performance of the instrument is challenged, as with low signal strength. Quite a lot of specific experimentation is often needed with calibrated mixtures in a lab environment, if that possibility is open.

      • AtheoK,

        “Them four molecules of CO2 for every 9,996 molecules of atmosphere magically heat up many thousands of water vapor molecules.”

        AFAIK,

        -water vapor per molecule is a less stronger GHG than CO2, but in general more water vapur is in the atmosphere

        -Water vapor and CO2 are both GHGs, doing the same work

        -in 95% of all cases, a GHG heated up from absorbing a photon, is transferring the energy to another molecule including O2 and NO by contact, instead of emitting it as a IR beam/photon.

        -Through transferring the heat by contact/conduction to all other molecules, the complete air is heatet up

        – Energy transfer to the space is only possible through transferring the heat by contact to greenhouse gasses which are radiating the energy towards space.

        -in a dry air, there is nearly nil water vapor, and CO2 is doing the job mostly alone.

        -even if they are only 0.04% molecules of CO2 in the air, they are “wildly bouncing around” and are enough in number so that a IR beam or Photon will “hit” one GHG after 25 Meter or so

      • Toneb:

        Your answer/rebuttal is no more of a real answer than the previous attempt.

        You still state an outcome, then decide that CO2 have been the cause.

        In your world, no observation is needed on how four molecules heats up 9,996 other atmospheric molecules. It just happens because you claim it.

        Arrhenius only proved that CO2 under laboratory conditions had the potential to be a GHG. And he even speculated on possible influences, without ever designing or conducting a serious test to prove his speculations.
        Long after, CAGW adherents have yet to design or test those speculations. Assuption and correlation is enough.

        Real science; ever try it?

        Johannes:
        CO2 as an atmospheric gas, is uniquely responsive to Infrared in one small area of light spectrum frequency, where water H2O dominates a large majority of the light spectrum. Outside of the one small frequency spectrum, CO2 shares all other frequencies with other GHGs, especially water.
        Water is a stronger GHG, absorbing photons through multiple molecule shapes across a broad range of light frequencies than CO2.

        Exactly how much energy is transmitted to other atmospheric molecules? If the CO2 energy state has not returned to the proper angle, it will not absorb another photon.

        According to Toneb, the GHGs’ transmit their photons down to the surface. Well, depending on height of the molecule, that angle of transmission is anywhere of 360° vertically, horizontally, obliquely, wherever, GHG emissions are occasionally towards the Earth, usually not.

        No matter what, the ground cools at a steady rate. All the GHGs accomplish is a slower cool down. CO2 molecules might stay one photon more excited than previously.
        It takes a large number of infrared photons for humans to feel the warmth.

        Yes, drier air has less water to hold the infrared frequency increase in energy.
        How much less water?
        I understand that Atacama Desert can range as water vapor levels as low as 2-4%. Normally, deserts still hold a 10%-30% moisture level.
        CO2 is right at 0.04% of the atmosphere at peak, somewhat evenly mixed.

        Yet, especially in deserts, or even after clear cold fronts pass through; one can feel the moment sunlight falls below the horizon. Cooling is quick. The drier the desert, the colder that temperature reaches, frosts are not uncommon.

      • No matter what, the ground cools at a steady rate.

        Actually it has 2 speeds, below about 70-75% rel humidity, above that it slows until 100% where the cooling rate is about 1/3rd of the high speed mode. The transition is air temp nearing dew point temperature, making it temperature regulated to dew point, co2 doesn’t affect it at all.

    • Well said! Climate sensitivity is an embarrassing failure of the climate community. How can anyone contemplate action under the present discipline? GK

      • Does AGU even have an officially approved statement of EXACTLY what ” Climate Sensitivity ” is.

        I’ve NEVER seen one that everybody in the industry (of MMGWCCC) agrees to.

        There’s NO reference of ANY kind to “Climate Sensitivity” in my Encyclopedia of Physics Handbook. And no definition as to the units it is measured in.

        G

      • Climate sensitivity errors are the reason current models forecasted miserably and hindcast requiring data adjustment.

      • A question for the physicists. Recent OCO2 monitoring shows that CO2 is not evenly mixed in the atmosphere, at least on seasonally variable timeframes. If we can measure WV variations in a column of air, and CO2 in a column of air, shouldn’t we be able to determine definitively whether or not WV (absolute humidity) can change without a change in CO2 (an increase necessary to heat the air in order to increase the amount of WV)?

    • Thank you Richard Verney for providing an excellent summary of what we know today.

      “We know [CO2’s] laboratory characteristics, but that does not mean that [CO2] is a GHG.”

      As for gallopingcamel’s comment below that we have already measured CO2’s ‘GHG’ effect, his link includes:

      “derived from Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer spectra3 together with ancillary measurements and thoroughly corroborated radiative transfer calculations”

      What was measured? And, together with ‘ancillary measurements’, yeah, we need to add those in.

      So if we have indeed measured this effect, then we must be measuring it today correct? Where are the charts? Again, I want to see how elevation affects these measurements, i.e. Denver vs Miami. I want to see how atmospheric tides affect these measurements. Elevation and atmospheric tides alter the amount of atmosphere over a given location, and more atmosphere must show more “Atmospheric Emitted Radiance” correct? Alas, there are no charts. It’s not being measured today like I described. If nothing is being measured, then nothing is being measured.

      What do these measurements look like during an eclipse?

      What are the “radiative transfer calculations” that we should expect to see on Mars with a 95% CO2 atmosphere? And, why isn’t the Mars’ Rover reporting results from its: “Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer spectra3 together with ancillary measurements”?

    • Richard Verney

      Very well said.
      You echo Karl Popper: true climate science must start with observation – what is happening, how are climate players related, in the past and present? With as many experimental/observational clues as possible, cautiously propose explanatory models, not claiming detailed predictive skill, bearing in mind and allowing for unknown unknowns. This is what Popper calls correct deductive science.

      The modern climate science approach by contrast is hubris filled and is precisely what Popper rejected as inductive; build a theoretical house of cards of assumption upon assumption, and take its output as strong predictions, arrogantly and blithely dismissing the possibility of any unknown unknowns and even torturing scientific principles and language by labelling such model outputs as “experiments”.

      Just saying something doesn’t make it so, no matter who you think you are.

      There are some very good comments on this thread.

    • Richard,
      if you do not believe there is any climate sensitivity to CO2 then how do you explain the current
      annual temperature of the earth? A simple energy balance argument based on the Stefan-Boltzmann
      law predicts an average temperature of about -30C rather than the observed 14C. So you have over
      40C of warming to explain. The only explanation that is consistent with observed experimental absorption
      lines and current theories of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics is the greenhouse effect. And the
      most important greenhouse gas is CO2 – since it does not condense out of the atmosphere like water
      vapour and so can kick start the whole process with water vapour being a very large positive feedback.

      • G, just a few fact corrections for your edification. Absent WVF at constant CO2, Earth would be ~ minus 18C versus plus ~ 15C with. Those estimates you can google. Your numbers are off.
        Water vapor is a much more potent GHG given its ‘mickey mouse’ asymmetric shape compared to linear CO2. Those quantum ‘ vibrational’ facts you can also google.
        Whether water vapor or CO2 predominates given the above depends on the temp/wv lapse rate in the troposphere, and so varies with altitude. You will discover higher is colder, and colder is dryer. So at altitude, ‘well mixed’ CO2 has a stronger GHE. Learn, please.

      • Hi Ristvan,
        You are right about the temperature absent an atmosphere, I had remembered the number
        wrong. So the amount of warming you need to explain is 30C not 40C if you do not believe
        the greenhouse effect. And I agree that water vapour is a more more powerful greenhouse
        gas than CO2 (as does everyone) but what is important is what is a driver and what is a
        feedback. Absent CO2 the water vapour would rapidly condense out of the atmosphere (in
        a few weeks if I recall correctly) and the earth would freeze. CO2 adds a bit of heat to the
        atmosphere that raises the temperature sufficiently to allow water vapour to remain in the
        atmosphere for long enough to heat it up and cause more water to be evaporated which in
        terms heats up the atmosphere even more.

      • the center of mass of the convecting portion of the atmosphere (troposphere) averages 5 km in height. The lapse rate due to gravity and condensation of water is 6.5 C/km. The GHG effect is 33 C.

        5 km x 6.5 C/km = 32.5 C

        So, about 98.5% of the GHG effect can be explained by convection, water and gravity without any need for CO2.sensitivity.

        Below 5km the troposphere is warmer than predicted for radiation alone. Above 5km it is cooler.

      • Geronimo December 14, 2016 at 5:45 pm
        “but what is important is what is a driver and what is a
        feedback. Absent CO2 the water vapour would rapidly condense out of the atmosphere (in
        a few weeks if I recall correctly) and the earth would freeze.”

        Interesting thought, but is it the control knob in the way you speculate? Is it the CO2 itself or the Plant life it supports that prevents WV from condensing out.
        I know many will toss hands in the air and think I am all wet. But understand this, the planet we walk on is living. It is not just an atmosphere but a biosphere that interacts, thus regulating our climate. Yes other factors too, but the point is there is no one control knob. One needs to understand the complete planetary system to gain any understanding of cause and effect.

        I am not getting spiritual, just pointing out deeper thinking is required insofar as the climate/biosphere works.

        michael

      • The effects of CO2 are assumed to be logarithmic; if we take for sake of argument, the value of climate sensitivity to be 2.5 (the amount of temperature rise for each doubling of CO2 levels), and temps were about 10C and CO2 was 180ppm; then increasing CO2 to 360 ppm would be expected to increase temps to 12.5C. To increase temps from 12.5C to 15C you would expect to have to increase CO2 from 360 to 720ppm. Since temp are in the 14C range, CO2 is in the 400ppm range, something is clearly wrong with our definition of climate sensitivity.

      • ristvan, that -18c assumes no atmosphere, but clouds the same as now, giving the same albdo as the current earth- very unrealistic. The actual net effect of greenhouse gases must be considerably less than the 33 c figure.

  3. Nice poster. Two observations. (1) A robust finding that the WVF is positive. That comports with the facts that doubled CO2 absent feedbacks is ~+1.2C, observational sensitivity is ~1.65, so in Bode terms the net feedback is positive on order of 0.25. (2) Given the magnitude of measured delta WVF, it is likely that the other major feedback, clouds, is negative rather than positive as IPCC asserts and CMIP5 models. Clouds are also the AR5 greatest uncertainty. Lindzen’s adaptive infrared iris hypothesis (involving cirrus and thunderstorms) is one cloud negative feedback mechanism beyond simple net albedo.

      • If the H2O feedback is negative, then you’re gonna need a helluva large forcing or feedback from somewhere else to explain why the Earth’s surface is so warm.

        You’d also need to explain how the numbers don’t add up. The albedo from extra clouds comes nowhere close to making up for H2O’s greenhouse gas properties.

        TL;DR: H2O feedback is positive.

      • You don’t have to increase cloud cover to compensate for all of H2Os greenhouse properties. All you need to cover is the changes in H2O.
        If a small increase in WV causes a small increase in cloud cover, then H2O can easily have a negative feedback.

      • The good news is that somebody has actually gotten off their butts and measured something, instead of theorising about what it might be.

  4. … the increase in downwelling radiation over the period as calculated by the IPCC, with little corresponding change in temperature …

    is the knock-out punch to AGW.

    Game over.

    GO GET ‘EM, ANTHONY AND WILLIS!

    (“’em” are the climate hu$tler$’ scientists-for-hire)

    We are so PROUD of you!

    • “with little corresponding change in temperature”
      But it depends on what “little” means. As I noted below, for HADCRUT, GISS and NOAA it’s at least 1.7°C/Cen since 1988, which equals a rise of about 0.5°C. Not what I would call little.

      • Nick Stokes

        “But it depends on what “little” means. As I noted below, for HADCRUT, GISS and NOAA it’s at least 1.7°C/Cen since 1988, which equals a rise of about 0.5°C. Not what I would call little”

        Not quite Nick. How big or little it is, in this instance, actually depends on what the “correspondence” is.

        0.5 C is the temperature rise since 1988. Thank you for noting that.

        Now…how does that temperature rise “correspond” with an increase of water vapor in the atmosphere of 1.5 kg/m^2 AND an increase in down welling long wave radiation of 3.3 W/m2 over the period 1988 – 2015???

        Is 0.5 C a “little” corresponding temperature change, or a “big” corresponding temperature change?

      • “… what the GCM’s expected” (N. St0kes):

        (Source: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/06/climate-modeling-epic-fail-spencer-the-day-of-reckoning-has-arrived/ )

        Bob Tisdale: “Let’s see. As noted above, climate models can’t simulate mid-troposphere temperatures. And as we’ve seen before, they can’t simulate:

        Sea surface temperatures:
        http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/cmip5-model-data-comparison-satellite-era-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies/

        Land+Sea Surface Temperatures (GISS LOTI):
        http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/model-data-comparison-with-trend-maps-cmip5-ipcc-ar5-models-vs-new-giss-land-ocean-temperature-index/

        Or Precipitation:
        http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/model-data-precipitation-comparison-cmip5-ipcc-ar5-model-simulations-versus-satellite-era-observations/

        When discussing climate models, is it okay to use the word {insert your own expletive here}?”

        (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/06/climate-modeling-epic-fail-spencer-the-day-of-reckoning-has-arrived/#comment-1328395 )

        Nick St0kes: You are full of BALONEY.

      • Nick Stokes
        December 14, 2016 at 2:22 pm

        There are actual observations since 1979, which haven’t been subject to the same blatant manipulation as the supposed “surface data sets”.

        At UAH’s satellite record of 0.125°C per decade, in 100 years earth would enjoy a climate balmier by a whopping 1.25 degrees C than now. Maybe that seems like a lot to you, but not to me. It’s liable to hit -19 C where I live tonight.

      • “It’s about what the GCMs expected”

        LOL, that’s a good one.

        Like I said to my friends before a snow storm; I could forecast with complete certainty that we would be getting between 1 and 15 inches. We got 3 inches, I was right, exactly what I expected.

      • ““… what the GCM’s expected””
        Indeed so. Your plot ends 2013. But not that the increase 1988-2016 expected is about 0.65°C. And observed is about 0.5. That press release here says “little corresponding change in temperature”. I think CMIP5 was a lot more accurate.

      • Another cherry picked short segment of a decades long cycle!?

        How much of that rise is recovery from the LIA?
        How much of that rise is normal cycling from the end of the ice age?

        Assuming everywhere in the world can track and identify 0.5°C increase?

        Not likely!
        More hot air relying upon an irrational anomaly approach to poorly defined, badly installed, poorly maintained, badly located independent temperature stations.
        Bad data collection, coupled with terrible data control, data maintenance and data presentation procedures.

      • Nick Stokes December 14, 2016 at 2:07 pm Edit

        “with little corresponding change in temperature”

        But it depends on what “little” means. As I noted below, for HADCRUT, GISS and NOAA it’s at least 1.7°C/Cen since 1988, which equals a rise of about 0.5°C. Not what I would call little.

        Nice try, Nick, but actually, per the ReynoldsOI SST dataset, the net change since 1988 is only 0.28°C. This has given us a change in forcing of 3.3 W/m2. This would mean that IF this is thermal feedback, the feedback is 3.3 / 0.28 = 11.8 W/m2 per degree. And THAT is what I meant by a “little corresponding change in temperature.

        The problem is this. IF this is WV feedback, fine. In that case, we have a feedback of 11.8 W/m2 per degree of ocean warming. Now, IF that feedback warms the ocean by more than 1.0°C we will get runaway feedback.

        And that puts a MAXIMUM limit on the climate sensitivity, which is that the climate sensitivity cannot be larger than one degree C per 11.8 W/m2 of increased forcing. This points to a MAXIMUM change from CO2 doubling (nominally 3.7 W/m2) of only 0.3°C per doubling

        You see the problem now?

        w.

      • “And THAT is what I meant by a “little corresponding change in temperature.”
        Mean surface temperature is what is normally understood as the response to the forcing. AR5 Glossary:
        “In IPCC reports, equilibrium climate sensitivity (units: °C) refers to the equilibrium (steady state) change in the annual global mean surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent carbon dioxide concentration .”

        WV is of course a feedback, so it is reasonable to say that SST is a component of what feeds back to evaporate the water. But only part; the main thing governing precipitable water is simply that warmer air can hold more water.

        “And that puts a MAXIMUM limit on the climate sensitivity, which is that the climate sensitivity cannot be larger than one degree C per 11.8 W/m2 of increased forcing.”
        Well, you didn’t talk about this in your poster. But it ignores the transience issues. First, the 3.3 extra forcing did not apply over the period. In fact, it seems to rise rather steeply at the end. And the transient issue is illustrated by the homely kettle analogy. If you switch on a flame (x W/m2), you can’t measure the temperature of water T a few seconds later and say – OK, that temp T/x is the sensitivity. wait about the same time again, and T has probably doubled, with the same x, so you would estimate double he sensitivity CS is defined either at equilibrium (and the time scales re centuries) or by a prescribed rate of heating and duration, as in TCS.

      • Atheok
        “Another cherry picked short segment of a decades long cycle”
        Willis analysis started 1988. I showed the trend for that period. What would you prefer?

      • Janice,
        ““… what the GCM’s expected””
        The Christy plot is out of date, if it was ever accurate. Here is an update, discussed in a post here, and with data and code here. The progress of surface temperature in response to GHG forcing and water vapor and other feedback is indeed, within the range of variation, what the GCMs expected.

      • The problem is this. IF this is WV feedback, fine. In that case, we have a feedback of 11.8 W/m2 per degree of ocean warming. Now, IF that feedback warms the ocean by more than 1.0°C we will get runaway feedback.

        And that puts a MAXIMUM limit on the climate sensitivity, which is that the climate sensitivity cannot be larger than one degree C per 11.8 W/m2 of increased forcing. This points to a MAXIMUM change from CO2 doubling (nominally 3.7 W/m2) of only 0.3°C per doubling …

        You see the problem now?

        w.

        Yes, I think I do see the problem.

        Firstly your big IF. This must be at least WV f/b plus CO2 and that has probably risen by about half the supposed post industrialisation total since 1988.

        That 11.8 W/m2 per kelvin cannot produce anything more. It has already done it’s job. It is slowing the natural cooling but it is not like an IR lamp that will take 15 to 20 years to warm the oceans.

        This is why it must be regarded as a FEEDBACK and not a ‘forcing’. It should be used to reduce the magnitude of the Planck feedback λ0

    • ‘But not that the increase 1988-2016 expected is about 0.65°C. And observed is about 0.5.’

      Only 30% out?

      • lee
        “Only 30% out?”
        The claim in the press release was
        “with little corresponding change in temperature”
        70% of expected is not “little change”.

    • All they have done is quantify the level of WV feedback that comes out of the models.
      WV is a feedback and not a driver.
      It is not fed into the models.
      From a part of the IPCC AR5 SPM that was not quoted on the poster…

      “Natural and anthropogenic substances and processes that alter the Earth’s energy budget are drivers of climate change. Radiative forcing14 (RF) quantifies the change in energy fluxes caused by changes in these drivers for 2011 Hardly:
      All they have done is quantify the level of WV feedback that comes out of the models.
      WV is a feedback and not a driver.
      It is not fed into the models.
      From a part of the IPCC AR5 SPM that was not quoted on the poster…

      “Natural and anthropogenic substances and processes that alter the Earth’s energy budget are drivers of climate change. Radiative forcing14 (RF) quantifies the change in energy fluxes caused by changes in these drivers for 2011 relative to 1750, unless otherwise indicated. Positive RF leads to surface warming, negative RF leads to surface cooling. RF is estimated based on in-situ and remote observations, properties of greenhouse gases and aerosols, and calculations using numerical models representing observed processes. Some emitted compounds affect the atmospheric concentration of other substances. The RF can be reported based on the concentration changes of each substance15. Alternatively, the emission-based RF of a compound can be reported, which provides a more direct link to human activities. It includes contributions from all substances affected by that emission. The total anthropogenic RF of the two approaches are identical when considering all drivers. to 1750, unless otherwise indicated. Positive RF leads to surface warming, negative RF leads to surface cooling. RF is estimated based on in-situ and remote observations, properties of greenhouse gases and aerosols, and calculations using numerical models representing observed processes. Some emitted compounds affect the atmospheric concentration of other substances. The RF can be reported based on the concentration changes of each substance15. Alternatively, the emission-based RF of a compound can be reported, which provides a more direct link to human activities. It includes contributions from all substances affected by that emission. The total anthropogenic RF of the two approaches are identical when considering all drivers.

  5. But Willis and Anthony are not bonafide “climate scientists”, don’t you see? I predict a walk-out will be staged in protest.

    • I suggest that Anthony and Willis are true scientists. A PHD does not a scientist make.
      True scientists observe and reach conclusions, they do not rely on mythamatics (intended) or convoluted computer code.

      • Agree, but without any way to discredit the work they’ll have to discredit the presenters. Their entire world view as well their reputations depend upon “climate change” being a very real threat to ……

      • Which will just come back to bite them in the arse because how much MORE stupid will they look if two discredited “insert libelous playground insult here” non-experts are the ones who strike the fatal blow to their precious theory? I need to go screen cap some specific websites….muhuhahahahahaha.

    • brians356

      If their presentation stands up to scrutiny, and I’m pretty damned sure it will, there will be no contest. Plus you don’t need miles of credentials to be able to throw a spanner in the works.

      Although, probably your comment was somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

      GOOD LUCK, you two!

      • A picture is worth a thousand words

        This there is 2 different cooling rates at night under clear skies, a high speed rate where rel humidity is under about 70 to 80%
        Co2 is the major ghg in play at the high speed cooling at ~60W/m^2 +/-5W/m^2
        Over about 80%, but less that the upper 90% is the “linear” zone, where a change in rel humidity changed the cooling rate, then at 100% rel humidity the water vapor limited rate is about 20W/m^2 +/-5W/m^2.
        A 3 to 1 cut in cooling rate at ~100% rel humidity.
        Now, because this is nonlinear, normal correlation statistics do not work.
        This is why a pure data statistics search for science, in this case for at least the last 50 years, you guys did not find this!!!!!

    • They are genuine scientists. Just not “the right sort” of climate scientists, which is to say true believers.

    • Einstein had three favorite scientists, all British: the Englishmen Newton and Faraday and the Scot Maxwell. While two enjoyed university educations, Faraday’s formal schooling, basic at best, ended at age 14, when he was apprenticed to a bookbinder.

      William Herschel was a musician; Lavoisier a lawyer. Cavendish went down from Cambridge without a degree. Darwin graduated with a degree in Theology.

      Citizen scientists with or without even bachelor degrees have always made and continue to make important contributions to the advancement of understanding of nature.

  6. All of you who pray, now is the time. Anthony and Willis are up against far more than flesh and blood. They are challenging the fortress of the force behind all lies: Ev1l.

    “New Avengers” — (“I Need a Hero”)

    (youtube)

    Dedicated to all heroes for science truth

    (and especially for you, my own forever hero).

    Janice

  7. I’m baffled.

    I thought the IPCC agreed that doubling CO2, all other things being the same, would yield about a 1.5 C increase in temperature. The increased temperature would increase evaporation and the resulting water vapour would then trap more heat resulting in more downwelling longwave IR resulting in CAGW. In other word, positive feedback.

    It appears that Anthony and Willis have confirmed the increase in water vapour. It also appears that downwelling longwave IR has also increased.

    Are Anthony and Willis saying that the IPCC is correct? Given that they probably aren’t agreeing with the IPCC, what are they saying?

    • Maybe this is what you are looking for:
      Key finding
      This leads us to a curious position where we have had a larger change in forcing from
      water vapor since 1988 than from all the other IPCC-listed forcings since 1750.

    • Commie Bob, Janice Moore above already answered this.

      … the increase in downwelling radiation over the period as calculated by the IPCC, with little corresponding change in temperature …

      This means there is little, or no measurable, or correlated Greenhouse effect from CO2 in the dynamic real world feedback systems of the earths atmosphere. Empirical evidence rules.

      Even a thick head dullard like myself can discern this.

      • Long ago, we had an article or two here at WUWT about a negative feedback of WV. As relative humidity increases, so does precipitation, often in the form of thunderstorms, which rapidly draw warm moist air to higher altitudes, where a phase change from vapor to ice occurs. This liberates the latent heat of condensation and freezing, 2257 and 334 kJ/kg respectively, at roughly tropopause altitudes.

        The combination of the radiative forcing and this negative feedback means that at low WV concentrations there is a strong net positive feedback, but as WV goes higher, and relative humidity becomes self-limiting, it acts as a brake on that feedback. Eventually, the system is saturated, and any additional surface evaporation would result in that higher-altitude condensation/freezing, negating it.

    • They are affirming a key positive feedback exists, which is half of the size the IPCC purports it to be.

      For temp increases to reach the levels which would plausibly cause anyone concern, feedbacks would need to be at the high end, emission would need to be much higher than they are, and the growth in sinks would need to stop and reverse. That would take a global abandonment of nuclear power and natural gas and switch back to coal for nearly all of our power production, and that still ignores the growing carbon sinks (as the biosphere gets bigger, it grows faster, absorbing more CO2).

      • Dear Aaron,

        I think, if you read their report carefully, you will find that they are not “affirming a key positive feedback exists.” They only:

        1. Affirm that such a feedback, given the behavior of CO2 in a highly controlled laboratory setting, MIGHT exist.

        2. Given (only hypothetically or ad arguendo) CO2 can affect (at all) climate to create a positive feedback:

        1) It is insignificant compared to water vapor (i.e. water vapor is the controlling causation);
        2) It is much less than the IPCC’s computer simulations guessed (to the point that those models are not fit for purpose” — i.e., they are engineering models being used FAR beyond any sane bounds); and
        3) Negating (or “negative”) feedbacks make CO2’s conjectured warming impact (if it exists at all) too small to measure.

        Finally, EVEN IF there were a net positive effect from CO2, it is, on balance, largely beneficial.

        BLAM!

        AGW is dead.

        Rejoice!

        #(:))

        Janice

      • Sorry for YELLING the last half — close bold error :( (should have close after “not fit for purpose”)

      • Thanks Janice.

        What’s bugging me is that, if I understand correctly, the IPCC predicted both more water vapour and more downwelling longwave IR as a result. Anthony and Willis seem to be confirming this. yes/no?

      • CommieBob-
        “What’s bugging me is that, if I understand correctly, the IPCC predicted both more water vapour and more downwelling longwave IR as a result. Anthony and Willis seem to be confirming this. yes/no?”

        Neither one of those things is controversial or disputed by skeptics Bob. You have to finish out the theory-more water vapour=more down welling longwave IR=INCREASING GLOBAL TEMPERATURES within a sensitivity range calculated by the IPCC. What Willis and Anthony did was to confirm that there already IS both MORE water vapor AND more down welling long range IR as a result of that increased water vapor….but NO EXPECTED increase in temperatures!!!

        They just proved that the runaway global warming, or even dangerous global warming the IPCC predicts will come about simply due to increasing amounts of heat absorbing GHGs, is NOT happening now, so is highly unlikely (to use IPCC wording) to occur in the future.

      • Willis previously theorized that vertical transport of heat through thunderstorms etc can start earlier and finish later each day, without any temperature rise. To me that explains the results in the poster. Temperature cannot rise to any measurable amount. Is 0.7 C measurable against natural variation?

      • MOD! Thank you for fixing my close-bold error (in 11AM comment)! How often does THAT happen! Merry Christmas to me! :)

      • No, they did not find that water vapor feedback exists. They found that water vapor has increased and they have provided no information on why. It might be from added CO2 or it might be from increased temperature caused by natural variation such as the PDO or AMO. What they found is no matter what caused the increase in water vapor, the temperature change that occurred during the same time was minimal.

    • commieBob. The IPCC’s transient CS is about 1.7-1.8 C degrees calculated by the formula 0.5 * 5.35 *ln(560/280). The climate sensitivity parameter 0.5 means positive water feedback doubling the warming effects of CO2. The equilibrium CS of 3.0-3.5 C degrees means that there are other positive feedbacks like reduced albedo (less snow and ice).

      • A, the IPCC TCR and ECS are way too high as based on faulty climate models and faulty assumptions like the 0.5. IF wvf doubles no feedback CO2 doubling, then it produces an ECS 2.4. As AR4 asserted ECS is 3, then you are correct net other (mostly clouds) is positive. BUT :
        Observational TCR is ~1.3, and observational ECS is ~1.65. Both numbers using only IPCC AR5 values. See Lewis and Curry 2014 for details. Dessler’s 2010 louds paper actually shows clouds about 0, not positive. So do ICOADS and ISCCP cloud data. So wvf has to be less than 2x CO2 alone to match observation.

      • ristvan. I only explained in which way IPCC calculates climate sensitivities. Transient CS is about 4 times too high because of positive water feedback applied twicely. You write that the observational TCR is 1.3 and ECS 1.6. I say that it is impossible to observe these parameters simply therefore that if you measure temperature changes in the real climate, it is impossible to eliminate all possible reasons for the temperature change. Can you give at least one example about the publication based on observed methodology?

        You say that TCR and ECS of IPPC are based on the faulty climate models. Yes, I agree but those models are pretty simple. TCR = 0.5 * 5,35 * ln(560/280) = 1.85 C. What is wrong in this formula? CSP (Climate Sensitivity Parameter) 0.5 means positive water feedback and therefore the right value is 0.27. Also the coefficient 5.35 means positive water feedback and therefore the right value is 3.12.

      • A. Lewis and Curry 2014. You can dodge paywall by accessing it via Judith’s blog Climate Etc. Not only does it use only AR5 values, it also does the calculations for intervals that seek to wash out natural variation so that more of the result is GHE sensitivity.

    • The measurements show a significant increase in water vapor in the atmosphere, AND a significant increase in down welling long-wave radiation WITHOUT a corresponding increase in global temperatures. This means that the atmosphere’s sensitivity to changes in GHGs is so small it could actually not exist.

      • I wonder if that realization is why James Hansen has changed his tune so abruptly.

        Stopping human-made climate change is inherently difficult, because of the nature of the climate system: it is massive, so it responds only slowly to forcings; and, unfortunately, the feedbacks in the climate system are predominately amplifying on time scales of decades-centuries. link

        I wonder how many climate scientists will be surprised by what Anthony and Willis have to say. Maybe James Hansen isn’t the only one who has realized that CAGW isn’t happening any time soon.

      • “why James Hansen has changed his tune so abruptly”
        There is no change of tune there. Hansen predicted in 1988 how temperatures would rise. And that has been well borne out. What he is saying, and has been saying, is that that trend isn’t going to stop easily. And that we need to take action now to have an effect in the future.

      • “The measurements show a significant increase in water vapor in the atmosphere, AND a significant increase in down welling long-wave radiation WITHOUT a corresponding increase in global temperatures.”
        The poster gives no data on global temperatures. They are not mentioned.

      • “The finding of an observationally measured increase in downwelling radiation of 3.3W/m2 since 1988, in addition to the increase in downwelling radiation over the period as calculated by the IPCC, with little corresponding change in temperature, calls into question the applicability of the concept of “climate sensitivity”.

        You just posted the temperature. Run it against the “corresponding” increases. Is the result big or little?

      • It’s from the press release of the study! I’m sorry the poster isn’t a direct, exact duplicate of the press release. Are you being obtuse by nature or because you are afraid to run the numbers?

      • Nick Stokes
        December 14, 2016 at 2:16 pm

        Temperatures were already rising when Jim made that “prediction”. The PDO had flipped. Since then, temperature has risen well within normal bounds for a warming cycle in the Holocene.

        There is no reason to attribute whatever warming has occurred since 1977 to man-made CO2 and every reason to attribute it to natural fluctuations.

        The null hypothesis can’t be rejected, which means that trillions have been wasted and millions of live lost because of a lie.

        If there were justice in the world, heads would roll.

      • Aphan,
        “I’m sorry the poster isn’t a direct, exact duplicate of the press release.”
        One might hope rather that the press release would follow the poster. But the press release gives no temperature data either.

        As I said before, there isn’t anywhere one can simply run numbers to determine what the wv feedback should have done. The best guide is the CMIP5 simulations, which rose by about this amount in that period (with variations due to Pinatubo).

      • Nick Stokes December 14, 2016 at 2:16 pm

        … There is no change of tune there.

        In October, James Hansen said:

        Negative CO2 emissions, i.e., extraction of CO2 from the air, is now required.

        In December he said:

        However, despite uncertainties about some climate processes, we know enough to say that the time scale on which we must begin to reduce atmospheric GHG amounts is measured in decades, not centuries.

        Dr. Hansen went from saying that it was already too late to saying we had decades. link

      • @ Nick Stokes “why James Hansen has changed his tune so abruptly”
        There is no change of tune there. Hansen predicted in 1988 how temperatures would rise. And that has been well borne out. What he is saying, and has been saying, is that that trend isn’t going to stop easily. And that we need to take action now to have an effect in the future.

        But Hansen’s predictions were not borne out. His estimates for the Best Case scenario were wildly inaccurate.

        Predicting temperature will rise (some what) coming out of an Inter glacial period is not Science — predicting how much, when, and why is Science.

      • Nick Stokes December 14, 2016 at 2:16 pm Edit

        “why James Hansen has changed his tune so abruptly”

        There is no change of tune there. Hansen predicted in 1988 how temperatures would rise. And that has been well borne out.

        “Well borne out”? Get real. It has NOT been “well borne out” in any sense of the word. The only one of his 1988 predictions that is even near reality is the one where we stopped emitting any CO2 at all, and I don’t recall us doing that … you can piss on my boots, Nick, but you can’t convince me it’s raining.

        w.

      • Willis,
        Here (from my post here) is a plot showing GISS Ts (met stations only) and GISS Land/Ocean superimposed on Hansen’s original plot. They are annual averages, with 2016 average to October. GISS Ts was the index that Hansen used for comparison; he had published it the year before (there were no indices with SST then).

        “The only one of his 1988 predictions that is even near reality is the one where we stopped emitting any CO2 at all”
        I’ve dealt with the issue of which scenario here. Scenarios are adopted to cover variables that the scientists have no way of predicting – here, what gases will get into the atmosphere from humans. The way they are intended for use is that you can see what numbers went into the GCM then, and what actually happened. The scenario that applied is the one that matches the numbers. In fact, in 2015 (latest year with all GHG data), CO2 matched scenario B, as did N2O. CH4 and the CFcs matched scenario C. Here’s the table:

        In the second post, I noted a 2008 series of threads at Climate Audit in which you participated. Here was Steve McIntyre’s view:

        As to how Hansen’s model is faring, I need to do some more analysis. But it looks to me like forcings are coming in below even Scenario B projections. Thus, if Hansen’s projections over-state what we’re experiencing in 2005-2010, then this does not per se invalidate Hansen’s model, as some people are too quick to conclude. To the extent that the differences lie in lower than projected forcings, I’m not prepared to place fault on the model for those defects. Whether the forcings account for the defects is a different matter and it would be interesting to run the 1988 model with actual GHG concentration changes – an experiment that’s long overdue and which would end much speculation about the merit or lack of merit of Hansen’s 1988 projections.

      • “Dr. Hansen went from saying that it was already too late to saying we had decades.”
        Two different things. The first is saying that we must begin negative emissions – ie sequestration. That certainly doesn’t mean that total emissions will go negative at a single stroke. That will take decades. And then, some time later, one can hope that the actual amount (in the air) will start to rediuce.

      • Ok, Nick, you included GISTEMP LOTI gl mean. I include HadCRUt3 gl (-0.064K from 1998 to 2013), red curve:

        GISTEMP LOTI is the upper (brown) curve.

      • Kristian
        December 15, 2016 at 1:19 pm

        The cooked books are now available in extra crispy.

        Why? Because nature wasn’t cooperating with alarmists, so adjustments needed to be well done, not just medium well.

    • “””””….. I thought the IPCC agreed that doubling CO2, all other things being the same, …..”””””

      It is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN to double CO2 and insist that EVERYTHING ELSE remain the same. That is a physical impossibility.

      G

    • @commieBob –

      I believe the IPCC didn’t say “doubling will” or “doubling does”, it said something more like “doubling may” or “doubling might” exhibiting a noticeable level of uncertainty.

    • “I’m baffled.
      I thought the IPCC agreed that doubling CO2, all other things being the same, would yield about a 1.5 C increase in temperature. “

      My comment:
      That’s not correct, some IPCC documents recognize the saturation effect which results in smaller and smaller increments of temperature for each doubling of CO2. That’s due to the spectrum overlap of carbon monoxide and dihydrogen monoxide vapour, so the total rise is limited to IIRC a couple of degrees or so.

      (Some people describe it as an asymptotic increase to a limit, some say exponential, but IIRC arithmetically it is the sum of steps of half as much for every doubling as for the doubling before it – the individual steps quickly get very small in that progression.

      “The increased temperature would increase evaporation and the resulting water vapour would then trap more heat resulting in more downwelling longwave IR resulting in CAGW. In other word, positive feedback.”

      Keep in mind that water also precipitates out of the atmosphere, Willis has observed that for thunderstorms in the tropics where warm air already evaporates much water (look for his articles in this blog). (That may also be what I’ve observed in Edmonton AB where there are many fields to evaporate from, and near Harrison Lake BC where thunderstorms form over the dry hills east of the sizeable lake. In both cases thunderstorms form out of clear air many afternoons – beware if boating. Edmonton gets tornados occasionally, as well as windshear hazards at the airport, though not as often as Denver.)

      Alarmists claim a few degrees of temperature rise will cause runaway warming, but that did not happen in the Medieval Warm Period when Vikings farmed southwest Greenland. Reality has proved alarmist theorists wrong.

    • Yes, concentrate on urban heating as a warming force and learn to minimize it or harvest it, depending upon the season and location, if ergonomic intervention is required. The planet has shrunken in our minds as a result of the very devices which allow us to blog as a world community or model our present reality.

  8. Awesome stuff. Now we are really measuring what is really happening rather than just making it up.

    This has always been my position with respect to the global warming proposition. Measure it rather than model it and theorize about it.

    Congrats.

    • On second thought, you are not so trapped as I first thought. The problem is with “with little corresponding change in temperature”. You can’t say much about anything without knowing what natural variability would have done to temperature in the absence of man.

      This does make it extraordinarily difficult to get a real handle on ‘sensitivity’. So there’s that.
      ============

      • Nonetheless, this is useful work, suggesting either that sensitivity is low, or that absent man the globe would have been cooling.
        ===========

      • Correct. The key is attribution. But their paper enables a robust general conclusion. If WVF went up significantly and temperature didn’t, then all the various radiative GHEs are less important than warmunists have claimed, and there are significant overlooked non GHE influences on observed climate that must be comsidered. Translation, all the IPCC stuf is fundamentally wrong because the attribution is specifically to AGW via GHE.

  9. If CO2 has increased enough to cause the global temperature to also increase there should be a corresponding change to the specific heat of air. It should be lower.

    No such change in specific heat of air has been noted. If you are going to heat a mass of something the energy to do it must be same no matter how you calculate it.

    • Still the the total mass and volume of the atmosphere would increase, and NASA insists the volume is decreasing due to reduced upper atmospheric temperature, complicating their orbital decay calculations. So then we would need an increase in sea level atmospheric pressure, compensating for the lighter air, but hard to measure I suppose. –AGF

    • I think you might be referring to the missing heat in the upper troposphere. another thing that confounds the CO2 theory.

  10. If the IPCC’s theory of Thermageddon, as a result of rising CO2 levels, was correct we would see it in the geological record, where it is conspicuous by its absence.

    If it were true, then life as we know it today, would simply not be possible, as it would never had the opportunity to evolve in a world of frequently (geologically speaking) occurring climate catastrophes.

    I suppose this is why so few private sector geologists, like myself, buy into the CAGW concept.

  11. Is there a web source for the raw TPW data you can quote?

    Also, The last paragraph of column 1 that reads:

    To show the close relationship between variations in the atmospheric absorption of the surface radiation, and the total water vapor seen in Figure 1.

    seems to trail off without finishing? Shouldn’t it continue with something like “refer to the scatter plot in Figure 3.”?

    Remarkable correlation. R^2 at .98? Wow. It’s pretty much a direct relation. I assume the natural log is a characteristic of the radiative behavior of the molecule and rather than the TPW data itself having a lognormal distribution? It would be nice to see the underlying distributions of the two data sets.

    If 98% of the variability in absorption is described by water, that doesn’t leave much room for anything else to have a significant effect does it?

    • I somehow missed the connection between Griff (the virtual trolling motor) and Climate Otter. Can you fill me in?

      • CO showed how easy it would have been for the Grifter to have found the professional scientific qualifications of polar bear expert Dr. Susan Crockford, rather than just asserting without checking that she had none.

  12. Carbon dioxide is not a fully fledged GHG like water vapour. It is a linear molecule. Sure, the two oxygens can vibrate and rotate, but without a dipole. It is only the bending mode that has a dipole and even then, only when bent.

    • Schrodinger’s Cat December 14, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Carbon dioxide is not a fully fledged GHG like water vapour.

      A “fully fledged GHG”? Every molecule is different, not sure what you’d call “fully fledged”. Is CH4 more “fully fledged” than CO2? How about clorofluorocarbons? And more to the point, what units are used to quantify fledgitude? I vote for P cm-2, or pinions per square centimetre, but YMMV …

      Sure, the two oxygens can vibrate and rotate, but without a dipole. It is only the bending mode that has a dipole and even then, only when bent.

      Mmmm … not quite. The short version is that CO2 has four vibrational modes, of which three are IR active. Water only has three vibrational modes, of which, like CO2, three are IR active. Each has 3 IR active modes. Which is more fledged?

      There’s an excellent explanation of the question here. I note in passing that unlike almost all solids and gases, argon has no IR active modes of any kind. It is totally transparent to IR.

      My best to all,

      w.

  13. The climate is controlled by the sun which will drive the terrestrial items which control the climate into either a warming mode or cooling mode. In addition changes in solar radiation especially at UV wavelengths or less play a significant role in the climate, by again impacting the terrestrial items which govern the climate.

    Co2 and the entire greenhouse effect including water vapor changes are in response to the environment and the climate, it is not the other way around.

    The terrestrial items which govern the climate and response to extreme low solar activity are:

    atmospheric circulation patterns -related to solar EUV light which changes ozone distribution

    sea surface temperatures –related to solar UV light

    global sea ice- related to surface sea temperatures and

    major volcanic activity – related to ap index and galactic cosmic rays

    global snow coverage- related to the atmospheric circulation

    global cloud coverage – related to galactic cosmic rays related to solar wind speed.

    surface radiation received – related to change in solar irradiance and overall albedo which is related to many of the terrestrial items mentioned in the above.

    All of these will impact the albedo of the earth and or incoming radiation and thus the climate.

    The climate is now at a cross road because low solar is now in play which I say will drive global temperatures in a downward trend which is the case thus far(from this past summer to now) versus the GHG effect which is suppose to drive the climate into a warmer trend.

    Much of the initial cooling was due to El Nino , and what happens from this point on will be revealing in my opinion.

    One last note are the three pillars of AGW theory have not materialized .

    + AO evolving

    Lower tropospheric hot spot

    OLR in a definitive down trend.

    I would say all OLR changes have been tied to changes in ENSO which up to now have been the factor governing global temperatures.

  14. Alas, a large poster of an impressive curriculum vitae with names of “consensus”-science college presidents behind all credentialed academic letters (Ph.D, B.S., etc) is a first requirement to get many viewers’ attention.

    In lieu of that, … porno flicks.

    Speaking of porno, how degrading it is becoming to be associated with climate data these days. Maybe the prominent data sources need to be accompanied by sleazy music [bow-chick-a-bow-wow]

    Seriously, though, I look forward to seeing the outcome of the presentation.

  15. I myself don’t like if the clear sky is presented as whole atmosperic thing. About 70% of the sky is cloudy at every moment. What is intresting, under a cloudy sky there may be is no CO2-efect of radiation from sky to ground. At least not in MODTRAN model.
    Temperature change from 1988 to 2015 in atmosphere has happened in about 70% cloudy conditions. So conclusion from the clear sky observations to the total atmosphere temperature change is difficult to make etc.

    Sorry I just try to make my best counter critics. No hard feelings.

    • The clear sky is just what is says and provides information about cloudless conditions. It does not imply anything about whether the amount of cloud is increasing or decreasing.

    • Ristoi, the clear sky measurements allow separating pure radiative GHE from all the other atuff like albedo and clouds. Comparison of clear sky to all sky allows a first approximation of all the other stuff. Dessler’s 2010 paper did that to find statistically (contrary to his conclusion) that all the other stuff is about net zero, but with large variations over time and space.

    • ristoi December 14, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Sorry I just try to make my best counter critics. No hard feelings.

      I take two things from that. You do well in English, it is perfectly understandable. And there are no hard feelings, scientific criticism is always welcome.

      I myself don’t like if the clear sky is presented as whole atmosperic thing. About 70% of the sky is cloudy at every moment.

      I am using the clear-sky data for the same reason that Ramanathan used the clear-sky data—to isolate the radiative effect of the water vapor itself from the other effects.

      What is intresting, under a cloudy sky there may be is no CO2-efect of radiation from sky to ground. At least not in MODTRAN model.

      I’ve used MODTRAN a lot. I don’t know anywhere that it says that there is no downwelling longwave radiation.

      Temperature change from 1988 to 2015 in atmosphere has happened in about 70% cloudy conditions. So conclusion from the clear sky observations to the total atmosphere temperature change is difficult to make etc.

      I’m just looking at the change in radiation due to water vapor.

      Thank you for the comments,

      w.

      • I’ve used MODTRAN a lot. I don’t know anywhere that it says that there is no downwelling longwave radiation.

        Have you looked ?

        MODTRAN will give you the net flux and that will always be upward. You could argue that this is the non GHG upward minus “downwelling” radiation. I think the two are equivalent was of looking at the same thing.

        GHG reduce the net outward flux.

      • MODTRAN will give you the net flux

        The use of MODTRAN with an average atmosphere is the worse way to use it, the results are garbage, no one that I’ve heard mentioned has done a full nights dynamic modtran run, morons the conditions change, and will modtran ever gives is junk.
        This is a key problem of simulators, they let you do nonsense, and the user thinks it has meaning.

        I professionally supported about a dozen simulators for 17 years, the way modtran is being used is nonsense.

  16. The Key Finding on the pdf of the poster reads:

    “Key finding: This leads us to a curious position where we have had a larger change in forcing from water vapor since 1988 than from all the other IPCC-listed forcings since 1750.”

    Yet in his blog posting Anthony says the Key Finding reads:

    “Key finding: The finding of an observationally measured increase in downwelling radiation of 3.3W/m2 since 1988, in addition to the increase in downwelling radiation over the period as calculated by the IPCC, with little corresponding change in temperature, calls into question the applicability of the concept of “climate sensitivity”.”

    Did someone edit the pdf?

    Larry

    • Larry,
      Forcings can be positive or negative-

      “Radiative forcing or climate forcing is defined as the difference of insolation (sunlight) absorbed by the Earth and energy radiated back to space. … A positive forcing (more incoming energy) warms the system, while negative forcing (more outgoing energy) cools it.” wiki

      A larger change in forcing from water vapor since 1988 than from all the other IPCC-listed forcings since 1750….with little corresponding change in temperature. That larger change in forcing from water vapor since 1988 was greater than changes in forcing from all other forcings since 1750! And all that additional downwelling radiation since 1988, according to all the IPCC’s theories SHOULD have created a large POSITIVE forcing…warming the system. But it didn’t.

      The key finding on page one is only part of the whole key finding-and the press release contains the most important part.

      • I have never liked that “forcings” terminology. What exactly is a forcing? What are it’s units? If, as I understand, it is W/m2, then we would be talking about an energy transfer per unit time and area. Isn’t there already a perfectly suitable term for that in the thermodynamics field?

  17. Given the essential important and necessary roll of GHGs in radiating energy to space why wouldn’t more be better?

  18. Anthony,
    You and Willis should grab some lab coats and a couple of signs and start your presentation with:
    “We are here today to stand up for science….by presenting some actual science”….

    :)

    I hope the room is packed with slack jawed, unblinking, completely puzzled faces when you’re done. (Or cheering, clapping fans….either would make me happy)

    Way to go both of you!

  19. The level of TPW seems to differ a lot from other humidity data sets. Both NCEP/NCAR reanalysis and NVAP-M show the average value of about 24 kg/m2 and the RSS data shows the average value of 28.7 kg/m2. What could be the reason for this big difference? Another thing is that the two data sets , what I refer, show practically no trend at all: a slight trend downwards during 1979 – 2004 and a slight trend upward from 2004 onward.

  20. Anthony posted this three hours ago and his stalker has yet to even mention it…she’d probably looking up words like “observational” and “measurement”. I’m hoping to be able to observationally measure the concussive wave of her head exploding from here.

    • Aphan December 14, 2016 at 12:10 pm
      “Anthony posted this three hours ago and his stalker has yet to even mention it”

      Hi Aphan Time zones perhaps?
      As for head exploding ,, wet firecracker. But modern acoustics should allow you to hear it.

      michael :-D

  21. While I find the results interesting, and certainly believe the climate sensitivity is overstated by the IPCC, I have a hard time with the use of the 29.0 kg/m2 “average” TPW value to produce a slope. Given the logarithmic relationship, you need to do an area-weighted average of slopes since the slope varies from almost 10 at the left of the scatter plot to a little more than 1 on the right.

    It’s also unclear from Figure 4 where exactly the increase is happening. If the extra 1.5kg/m2 is occurring at the poles (corresponding to the left side of the scatterplot) it will have a much larger forcing effect than it would in the tropics, given the logarithmic nature. In general, unless great care is taken to properly area-weight everything – including deltas over time – it is very difficult to get anything sensical out of averages and trends in temporospatial data that behaves non-linearly.

  22. Key finding:

    The finding of an observationally measured increase in downwelling radiation of 3.3W/m2 since 1988, in addition to the increase in downwelling radiation over the period as calculated by the IPCC, with little corresponding change in temperature, calls into question the applicability of the concept of “climate sensitivity”.

    “as calculated by the IPCC,” , no they don’t ‘calculate’ anything anymore. They fiddle with model parameters to try to get reasonable fit to the late 20th c. warming , more or less ignoring the rest of the record.

    It is pretty much like doing a multivariate linear regression by hand: do a few model run ; tweak a few poorly constrained params; do a few more and compare mean square errors over the fitting period.

    The whole method is very unscientific and little or nothing is done to ensure that the process converges to the ( mathematically ) global minimum error and not a local minimum. It is necessarily heavy prone to the expectations, preconceptions and biases of the modellers doing the work.

    An example of how this is an abandonment of calculated forcing is how volcanic forcing was calculated at around 30 * AOD by Lacis et al in 1992 using observational data then dropped to about 23 * AOD when the emphasis moved to reconciling model output by parameter tweaking.

    One of the things that got tweaked was the volcanic forcing. Down by about 30%.

    Discussion with full refs here:
    https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/06/on-determination-of-tropical-feedbacks/

  23. This is hilarious. The actual poster doesn’t mention temperature or climate sensitivity and the key finding on it is : “This leads us to a curious position where we have had a larger change in forcing from water vapor since 1988 than from all the other IPCC-listed forcings since 1750.” Which is to say, they have once again confirmed the water vapor feedback effect (although they wrongly label it a forcing.)

    For those who don’t know, the poster session at a scientific conference is basically for those who
    weren’t given a slot to talk and is usually primarily for students.

    • Well, actually at the scientific conferences I go to poster sessions are in addition to talks, and may be either (a) condensations of a talk, (b) different material from a talk presenter, or (c) material from a non-presenter. In this case, Josh, it is (a). Your attempted insult just backfired. You just got Climate Ottered. Although Griff’s polar bear ottering was one for the ages.

      • Yes, I think that Griff deserves some sort of award as a special recognition for his efforts and abject failure.

      • The unfortunate part about such bullgriff is that he moved on from “what are her qualifications?” to “I went to this site and got this information and it says she’s not qualified”. Truly, its like whack a mole if the mole was a particularly uneducated one.

        This has even bled over to Bishop Hill’s blog, where the resident Smear King has jumped on board.

      • Well, actually, I can’t find any indication of Watts giving a talk in the oral sessions, much less a keynote lecture and surely he would have shouted it from the rafters if he had acquired such a slot. So in this case it still seems to be (c), as I said before. Poster sessions generally involve a mass of simultaneous presentations where people wander around to whatever interests them for a few minutes. (Watts kindly shows us that his is #226.) In this case they don’t even have their own timeslot but are parallel to the oral sessions.

        Now, since you seem confused by what I’m saying: Poster sessions often have lots of good work represented! Like I said, students often use them as experience interacting with the broader community, and it’s certainly not unheard of for more senior people to have them. The point though, is that they are minimally selective. Watts is a paid-up member of the AGU so they can’t kick him out. And hey, as far as I know the material on the poster is legit. Which brings us back to the point everyone here is loudly avoiding while they try to tell me what an important scientist Watts is: The poster doesn’t say what this blog post claims it does. Far from slaying the dragon of climate consensus, Watts instead stood next to a poster in a room of hundreds and confirmed that water vapor behaves as a greenhouse gas and has increased in the atmosphere, consistent with it’s known feedback role.

      • Tonyb

        I must add my voice to the others, in correction:

        “Because without CO2 there can be no increase in WV content. It cannot increase unless there is a temp increase.”

        This is completely untrue. The claim violates several fundamentals of well established physics of gases and vapour pressure.

        Water vapour concentration rises and falls all the time whether the air is hot or cold.

    • Josh,

      I’m sure the meant the following as an insult:
      “For those who don’t know, the poster session at a scientific conference is basically for those who
      weren’t given a slot to talk and is usually primarily for students.”

      But from this we can conclude a myriad of things including some hilariously positive ones:

      1. Students, and other non-expert/non important/non climate celebrity types who deem “poster sessions” to be a waste of their precious time, will be the FIRST to know about this, instead of the LAST. They get to be the ones who say in the future “Dude….I was THERE in the room when the whole AGW went sideways…”

      2. For those who don’t know (and those who don’t want to bring it up because it might ruin their insult) are provided for papers that were finished after the conference schedule was determined and announced, but before the actual conference takes place, so that the newest research doesn’t have to wait until the following year to be given a “talk slot”.

      3. So….based upon #2, IF Anthony and Willis DID finish their research and paper in time to request a talk slot, but were refused for whatever reason, the people scheduling the AGU Conference missed the boat and perhaps the biggest reveal in “climate science” since it was discovered that Mickey Mann inserted his data series results upside down.

      4. We get to see just how scientifically technical, and mistaken, you are:

      “Which is to say, they have once again confirmed the water vapor feedback effect (although they wrongly label it a forcing.)”

      A-They confirmed that the “effect of water vapor feedback” is very, very small, by actually MEASURING the difference between the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere from 1988 to 2015 to see if the corresponding temperature change expected by the IPCC and other “experts” (due to water vapor feedback) had occurred. NOPE!

      B-The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR4 report defines radiative forcings as:
      “Radiative forcing is a measure of the influence a factor has in altering the balance of incoming and outgoing energy in the Earth-atmosphere system and is an index of the importance of the factor as a potential climate change mechanism. In this report radiative forcing values are for changes relative to preindustrial conditions defined at 1750 and are expressed in Watts per square meter (W/m2).”

      Since part of their key findings don’t actually show on the poster PDF due to technical issues, let’s consider both the limited poster wording and the press release wording together.

      Radiative FORCING values are expressed in W/m2 right? And we find that they expressed the radiative forcing value for changes relative to conditions defined at 1988 in watts per square meter. 3.3W/m2 to be exact.

      You see “The term “forcing” means a change which may “push” the climate system in the direction of warming or cooling.[3] An example of a climate forcing is increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases” wiki

      Since there was an increase atmospheric concentration of water vapor (a greenhouse gas), or a change that may “push” the climate system….that increase is labeled a climate forcing.

      “Feedback in general is the process in which changing one quantity changes a second quantity, and the change in the second quantity in turn changes the first. Positive feedback amplifies the change in the first quantity while negative feedback reduces it.” wiki

      Feedback here then would be the process in which rising temperatures in the ATMOSPHERE (the 1st quantity) changes a second quantity (causes water vapor to increase in the atmosphere) which then in turn changes the first (causes temperatures in the atmosphere to rise further) and on and on.

      A change in the temperature of Earth, which then increases the amount of water vapor in the air, which then changes the amount of long wave radiation being returned to earth, which then DOES NOT CHANGE the temperature of Earth is not a feedback. See how that works?

      • Hi Aphan,

        I’m going to assume you are amenable to revising your opinions so let me explain where you go wrong in your thinking.

        1.,2.) As I explained elsewhere (to ristvan), I’m not insulting poster sessions, just pointing out that they are usually the least selective/prestigious way to present at a conference. That’s why it’s funny that Watts bolded up a “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” line and makes a big deal about this in the blog. Hold the Presses! Anthony Watts just volunteered himself for a poster session! It’s clear some of the people here don’t have a lot of experience with the scientific community so it’s worth pointing out what he actually did. Important new results are usually given a slot to talk and your theory that this was a last minute completion that they just couldn’t make room for (they would if it were important) has no evidence. Do you see any chatter among scientific climate blogs that a poster has overturned global warming? No.

        3.) This is all predicated on your belief that this is a “big reveal” in climatology. It ain’t. As I’ve already pointed out, the poster doesn’t even mention temperature or climate sensitivity. It just estimates the water vapor feedback effect and appears to be in line with previous results. Also, FYI, the “upside down” data thing had no impact whatsoever on the field. Last I heard it didn’t even affect the results of that particular paper because the particular algorithm used didn’t assume a correlation orientation to start with. But, regardless, climate science doesn’t depend on a single paper or a single dataset.

        4A) Again, the poster says nothing about feedback being small. They find an increase in water vapor and a corresponding increase in downwelling radiation of 3.3 W/m^2. That can be compared to the change in CO2 direct forcing which is less that 1 W/m^2 over the same time period. So WV and CO2 both have a greenhouse effect and WV is significantly larger, as has been known for a long time. Here’s what the poster says: “We note that this is experimental validation of the IPCC’s statement about the underlying physics, of water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere…”

        4B) You’re right that radiation intensity is measured in W/m^2 and that can be attributed to downward radiation from CO2 and from WV. However, they are not both termed “forcings”. I’m just gonna quote wikipedia here: “In the context of climate change, the term “forcing” is restricted to changes in the radiation balance of the surface-troposphere system imposed by external factors, with no changes in stratospheric dynamics, no surface and tropospheric feedbacks in operation (i.e., no secondary effects induced because of changes in tropospheric motions or its thermodynamic state), and no dynamically induced changes in the amount and distribution of atmospheric water (vapour, liquid, and solid forms).” Forcings are external, like human released CO2, while feedbacks are a response of the system, like WV. If you could take the extra CO2 out the extra WV would quickly drop out as well and wouldn’t by itself cause additional greenhouse effect. This is just a terminology thing and it’s probably not perfect, but it helps to compare correctly with what most climate scientists are using. If humans were pumping a ton of extra WV into the air directly it would be a forcing, but they aren’t compared to the feedback from CO2 and other forcings.

        Finally, we get to perhaps your fundamental misconception: the idea that there has been no warming. That’s simply wrong, we continue to see warming in line with the trend over the last few decades. 2016 will be the hottest year on record after all, following the previous hottest year… 2015. If we’re measuring this extra downwelling radiation how on earth would you not expect the planet not to warm up? So what we see is CO2 increases, water vapor increases, downward radiation increases, temperature increases- all consistent with
        the standard picture of global warming. Now they don’t all march in lockstep because there are other factors in the system, like ocean cycles that exchange heat with the atmosphere, but the underlying trends are clear and consistent with theory.

      • Josh,
        I hope you are amenable to me differentiating between facts and logical fallacies, and how one’s opinions are often misconceptions due the misuse of both. :)

        “1,2 :I’m not insulting poster sessions, just pointing out that they are usually the least selective/prestigious way to present at a conference. That’s why it’s funny that Watts bolded up a “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” line and makes a big deal about this in the blog. Hold the Presses! Anthony Watts just volunteered himself for a poster session!”

        Your statement that poster sessions are the “least selective/prestigious way to present at a conference” is without corroborative evidence, and as such, is regarded as your personal opinion. Your opinion that using bold lettering is somehow universally “funny” and that he “makes a big deal about this” in the blog equates with nothing more than an appeal to motives, or an inability to accurately express you personal opinions as such.

        “Do you see any chatter among scientific climate blogs that a poster has overturned global warming? No.”

        Considering that his announcement was made BEFORE the poster session itself even occurred, this is a highly illogical question to even pose.

        3. “As I’ve already pointed out, the poster doesn’t even mention temperature or climate sensitivity. It just estimates the water vapor feedback effect and appears to be in line with previous results.”

        It doesn’t HAVE to mention temperature or climate sensitivity. Anyone involved in the debate about AGW knows that the results affect the IPCC’s calculations of BOTH automatically. (Hint-it’s why the title of this post is called “Challenging Climate Sensitivity”. Do you not know this or are you just ignoring it because you know it undermines your argument?)

        “But, regardless, climate science doesn’t depend on a single paper or a single dataset.”
        I never said it did. Appeal to ridicule. Logical fallacy.

        “Finally, we get to perhaps your fundamental misconception: the idea that there has been no warming.”

        I don’t believe that there has been no warming, thus I would never state such a thing. So my “fundamental misconception” is nothing more than your personal, and incorrect, assumption.

        Anthony and Willis, as far as I know, have also never stated that there has been no warming. Their study doesn’t say that either. They are saying that water vapor has increased in the atmosphere, but a fundamental part of the IPCC’s theory on AGW is that a MEASURABLE increase in water vapor-like the one measured by Anthony and Willis (supposedly caused by an increase in CO2 causing the temps to rise and increase evaporation) SHOULD cause BOTH a measurable increase in down welling radiation (measured by Watts and Willis) AND a measurable amount of additional warming (attributable only to that increased water vapor IF increased water vapor IS A “FEEDBACK”!

        They found the increased water vapor. They found the increased down welling radiation. But….the point you keep ignoring/forgetting/missing and NOT discussing….they did NOT find a measurable amount of additional warming. Your propensity to post logically flawed statements as if they are actual facts is something, I personally, find funny.

    • They may have confirmed the WV feedback (perhaps again, perhaps for the first time, plenty just say its there without having the backup) but I thought the main take aways were

      1) that it is measured to be much less than the overhyped IPCC value (citation given for that, so it doesn’t need to have been mentioned earlier in the piece)

      and

      2) despite getting a good handle of the value, the measured temperatures for the same time frame don’t seem to have moved in sympathy with the increase in downwelling radiation. i.e. there’s been a notable increase in a component of downwelling radiation, one that accounts for more than half of the total increases in radiation since the 1750’s and nothings happened; the theorised temperature gains have not materialised.

      When theory diverges from observation you need to stand back and take a look at both your experiment and your theory. One of them is wrong. I would start by trying to pick holes in the experiment, then the processing of data as I think they are probably the easier places to start. Plenty of people about who are expert on experimental methods and data analysis who also aren’t necessarily involved in climate science.

      If the experimental method is sound then you can turn on the theory….. but that seems to be something that just doesn’t seem to happen in climate science. They never seem to question the original (and so far unproven) theory of “its man made CO2 wot dunnit”, they just come up with increasingly wild additions to explain why the theory hasn’t crystallised.

      Besides a lot of climate science stuff seems to fall apart on dubious statistical processing and computer modelling. I know plenty of people who do climate science, most are geography department types. Their idea of statistical analysis is bunging numbers in SPSS and taking the result as golden without any concern for what happened in the middle. But it always gets a pass because the people reviewing it haven’t a clue either.

      • ‘1) that it is measured to be much less than the overhyped IPCC value (citation given for that, so it doesn’t need to have been mentioned earlier in the piece)’

        Where are you getting that from? There is no comparison figure given relating to IPCC water vapor feedback. AR5 states that water feedback amounts to +1.1 (+0.9 to +1.3) W m−2/°C. So, the IPCC expected water vapor “forcing” due to observed warming (0.5C) from 1988 to present is +0.55W/m-2. If, as they are arguing, the downwelling IR figure of 3.3W/m-2 is equivalent to radiative forcing then what they have found is actually a much much stronger water vapor feedback than suggested by the IPCC.

        ‘When theory diverges from observation you need to stand back and take a look at both your experiment and your theory.’

        First you need to actually establish that theory is diverging from observation. There is no data provided here indicating what theory suggests for relevant values.

    • In reply to “josh” above at 12:28PM.

      What’s really hilarious is that yet another anonymous coward makes claims that he can’t back up, and ends up with mud on his face.

      “For those who don’t know, the poster session at a scientific conference is basically for those who weren’t given a slot to talk and is usually primarily for students.”

      Well, despite you claim, reality bites harder.

      First, your claim about it being primarily for students is bunk. There were posters there by top scientists from NASA, NOAA, JPL, and many others. You’d know this if you got out more.

      For example, one of my primary detractors, Dr. Victor Venema, of the University of Bonn, had a poster right next to ours:

      Venema runs a blog called Variable Variability, and routinely attacks me. He’s also the guy almost single handedly responsible for temperature homogenization algorithms, and all the problems that causes.

      And, Dr. Carl Mears, chief scientist for RSS, whose data we used, stopped by:

      Mears was just one of many career scientists that stopped by. So we were reaching key people with the work.

      So, as they see, it’s easy to be a critic, anyone can do it, even you. It’s far harder to get out an actually do the work. You should be able to, given your IP address links to this organization:

      American Physical Society
      Organization: American Center for Physics

      When you do the work, using your real name, I’ll pay attention to your opinion. In the meantime, I’m not much interested in what you have to say, because it comes from emotion, not science.

      • Victor has nothing to do with pha.
        Nothing to do with our adjustments.
        Anthony. .

        [Sigh…another illegible driveby comment from Mosher – “pha”???? Never said he had anything to do with BEST adjustments. Speak sense man – Anthony]

      • Anthony,

        I don’t think trying to “out” people with a dissenting view is beneficial to discussions here. I saw you also treated Griff recently in the same way. You must understand that you have a ready mob that have hounded people intensely and personally in the past. I’ve heard you rail against groupthink and ad hominem elsewhere. Whether you think the hounding is justified or not, the result will be that people with different views are less likely engage here, or to use their real names if that is the outcome, and you will end up with an even greater echo chamber of a website. I hope that’s not what you want.

        Regards
        “Josh”

    • Josh says:

      For those who don’t know, the poster session at a scientific conference is basically for those who weren’t given a slot to talk and is usually primarily for students.

      That sentence tells me you don’t know much about scientific conferences. Your comment is a pathetic attempt to insult poster presenters. At all the scientific conferences I attend the organisers go to great lengths to stress that poster and oral presentations have the same status. Your comment is shows your ignorance and is a feeble attempt at an insult.

      Often there are too many requests for oral presentations, posters can actually be more efficient, so the overflow may end up as posters. Nothing to do with quality, only capacity.

  24. If I understand this poster from just a quick read, it means that water vapour has increased and so has down welling radiation. Unfortunately for the alarmists, the level of radiative warming is more than explained by the increase in water vapour.

    Have I got this correct? If so, and Anthony and Willis have got it correct too, then this is devastating for the alarmist community.

    It does, however, pose questions too. If water vapour has increased this century, then why? Normally, we would argue that warmer air can hold more water vapour, but there has been a temperature pause. But then, water vapour is not uniformly mixed, far from it.

    Another possibility is a change in the balance between cloud formation and water vapour. Is it an equilibrium or does it vary according to other variables?

    Such matters become very complicated very quickly. Who said the science was settled?

    • Indeed, the balance between cloud formation and water vapor is critical; it depends, inter alia, upon the presence of condensation nuclei, not just upon the dew point temperature alone. Obviously, clouds strongly modulate local insolation in ways that water vapor can not.

      That the hydrological cycle is the dominant “control knob” of climatic temperatures has been apparent since at least the.1970s, when evaporative heat transfer from the ocean surface was found to exceed that due to all other mechanisms combined. What is not clear in the present study is whether TPW as measured by RSS is due to water vapor alone, as assumed, or whether it includes the condensed droplets in clouds. In other words, is albedo an unaccounted factor?

    • The one thing you can say about climate(and hence climate variables) is that it is NEVER in equilibrium. That in itself calls into question such terms such as Total Climate Response and Equilibrium Climate Sensitvity.

    • I don’t think so. All that was measured was an increased in water vapor (TPW). Remember this is from a satellite. You can’t measure the downwelling IR from space. The IR in this exercise is a computation of the theoretical increase that should occur with the TPW increase based on climate science assumptions. In fact, the value does not agree with other measurements.

    • I went back and reread the paper, and I’m convinced the active regulation I see from the surface is the cause of the log atmosphere absorption seen from space, as it regulates to dew point which tracks TPW.

      Anthony, Willis this would be a good compliment to your work, and together it proves CO2 does not regulate cooling at all.

      It would be the end of all of this nonsense, at least the scientific argument, and make it what it really is the Luddites against people who think cheap reliable power is the best general invention of mankind, as it allows use to do so much more with power to augment our muscles.

  25. Looking at the internet feedback more generally, there are some people out there who believe the science is settled. However, they state it in such obnoxious terms that they do the AGU and science in general, a massive disservice.

  26. This conference should be very interesting. My studies show that water vapor in the Troposphere completely dominates long-wave infrared absorption over CO2 in that sphere. I have found that using “changes” over absolute values can lead to confusion and be misleading, particularly when entropy and thermodynamic issues are involved.

    • @ Michael D Nelson
      December 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm: Yes Michael. One of our ‘posting colleagues’, of Polish extraction and skilled in radiative physics, has posited that all other energy transfers are swamped by the day/night cycle of atmospheric water. That is, cloud/mist/fog to and from vapour phase changing and energy absorption/emission. It should be quite overwhelming in scale. I suspect that might be what we are looking at in this Poster.

      • has posited that all other energy transfers are swamped by the day/night cycle of atmospheric water. That is, cloud/mist/fog to and from vapour phase changing and energy absorption/emission. It should be quite overwhelming in scale. I suspect that might be what we are looking at in this Poster.

        From the ground, that is the process this shows on 3 consecutive clear nights.

        I’m not sure if the paper is the satellite view or not. The graph is from the surface, and the entire global min/max changes support the view that cooling has not been reduced at night, at least at a detectable level.

  27. “since 1988, in addition to the increase in downwelling radiation over the period as calculated by the IPCC, with little corresponding change in temperature”
    Trends since 1988:
    HADCRUT 1.76 °C/Cen
    GISS 1.82°C/Cen
    NOAA 1.73°C/Cen
    Not so small.

    • The last panel of fig4 looks a lot like TLT or maybe ( non Karlised ) SST. That should allow a similar scatter plot and a fixed relationship if the two are a similar as it appears by eye.

      That should give a simialr W/m^2/K figure for the WV feedback.

      It would be interesting to see what this relationship tells us about the constancy of rel. humidity.

    • I suspect the suggestion they’re trying to promote, though this is a very unclear presentation, is that S = T/F means S is very small if water vapor influence on surface downwelling IR is treated as an additional forcing. Something like S = (0.5/4)*3.7 = 0.5K TCR.

      The obvious error is that surface downwelling IR is not equivalent to TOA forcing. By comparison the CMIP5 mean increase in downwelling IR from 1860-2016 is about 8W/m2, with temperature increase about 1K. So treating downwelling IR as forcing makes CMIP5 mean TCR also = 0.5K.

      Even if this weren’t an error I’m still not sure why any of what they present ‘calls into question the applicability of the concept of “climate sensitivity”’. Very confusing stuff.

      • PaulS-

        Agreed.
        Hadcrut4 shows 0.42 C rise from 1988 to 2015, which gives S = 0.42 / 4 = 0.11 C/W/m^2.

        Pretty close to what you get by looking at surface temperature differential winter to summer divided by surface TSI differential winter to summer, at the same location.

      • And if you look just at oceans, then surface temp rise 1988 – 2015 is 0.30 C.
        HadCRUT4 = 0.43 C
        CRUTEM4 (land) = 0.7 C
        HadCRUT4 = 0.33*CRUTEM4 (land) + 0.67*(Oceans)
        Oceans = 0.30 C between 1988 and 2015.

        That gives a sensitivity of S = 0.3/4 = 0.075 C/W/m^2.

    • Could you subtract out the natural variation? Lets see.. 1910 to 1940 at 0.15C per decade.. that is 1.5 C/Cen.

      That leaves .26 C, 0.32C, .23C over 100 years due to us humans. Hmmm.. very small!

    • @ Nick Stokes
      December 14, 2016 at 1:12 pm: Strangely enough, that period is the ‘flood tide’ and peak of the main ocean warming cycles, though still pretty inconsequential when one stops pretending there is a centennial trend proven ie multiplied several-fold..

  28. It might also be worth noting that RSS Water Vapor numbers are already down considerably from the end of the graph shown in the poster at between 0.5 Kg/m2 to 0.6 Kg/m2. In the next 3 months, it is going to fall into negative territory.

    I really don’t know what one would say the water vapor feedback or forcing is when it is back to average in Jan/Feb 2017. I guess zero.

  29. Well if I am not mistaken the results Willis and Anthony are presenting is roughly what was expected from the “worse than we expected” upper end models in the IPCC group of models.

    Of course, the AGU scientists are probably aware of this. So the focus has been on a wide variety of things to explain it, like errors in the temperature observation record, aerosols and ocean heat absorption, basically everything except examining the link between CO2 and water vapor forcing which I have been led to believe is based on actual warming.

    We need to thank Willis and Anthony for taking the time to spoon feed their junk science back to them yet again.

  30. I always thought water vapor is considered one of feedbacks rather than one of forcings. The linear relationship makes sense – it’s more a measure of atmosphere’s thermal conductivity than of its microwave transparency. But it seems to me the linear relationship is actually worse than a logarithmic in terms of the feedback action, isn’t it?

  31. The recent sudden drop (and prior rise) in average land temperatures after the El Nino should provide a good test of many theories Global Warming & Cooling. What is the mechanism that affects global temperatures, if we assume the El Nino heat source is relatively local. (Or is El Nino actually a global mechanism, that just happens to manifest itself mostly in the Eastern Pacific).

    If we don’t understand El Nino, we have no hope of understanding the effects CO2 or much else on our climate, (except the sun).

    Water Vapor is clearly a “greenhouse gas”. But without the understanding the combined effect of changing cloud cover and cloud types, then we do not understand what H2O in its various forms really does. That seems like the important unanswered question, along with the relative power H2O-driven convection in Cumulonimbus clouds, which rises above >90% (??) of the ambient H2O vapor, others clouds and all that pesky CO2.

    • “(Or is El Nino actually a global mechanism, that just happens to manifest itself mostly in the Eastern Pacific).”

      From what I am learning, ENSO is a hemispheric phenomenon which can influence global temperatures . Am I in error?

    • Other cooling mechanisms due to Cumulonimbus clouds (and hence water vapor) is ice created after the release of the latent heat in the water vapor (which adds to IR radiation at high-altitudes), then the ice falling into the warmer atmosphere below (where it melts usually) before or after it hits the ground, which cools the lower atmosphere.

      Plus the lightning that is created from the convection in these clouds, which emit huge amounts of energy as ultraviolet and visible light, much of which (>40% ??) escapes to outer space directly.

      But I have NOT read anything which quantifies either of these mechanisms in terms of “Watts per Average Thunderstorm per Second” (removed from the lower Troposphere and sent to Stratosphere & beyond ). It would be nice to know.

    • But without the understanding the combined effect of changing cloud cover and cloud types, then we do not understand what H2O in its various forms really does.

      What it does is temperature regulate clear sky cooling based on dew point temperature.

  32. I would think of this as step 1 on what this is about. Now we have a real “forcing” formula for water vapor. Where have you seen that before. Nowhere, that’s where. That is a huge achievement by itself.

    But there is a Step 2 in this process and that would be to see how the water vapor levels (or the forcing levels) change with the temperature change.

    Then one can actually use the Stefan Botzmann equations to calculate a total temperature increase expected.

    And then one could add in the cloud forcing feedback which Willis has also put together already.

    And then we have a REAL CO2 sensitivity based on the what the real Earth(tm) actually does.

    It is the NEXT step in climate science which the scientists themselves have not been able to understand because they are too caught up in propaganda.

    Since day 1, everything has been based on these simple little assumptions about how temperatures go up and then feedbacks kick in and viola, always 3.0C per doubling. But they have never actually done the work to show it actually works. Everything is based on 3.7 W/m2/CO2doubling * 0.81C/W/m2 = 3.0C/CO2 doubling. That is the sum total of climate science today and the sum total of what it was 35 years ago. There has been no progress, just more propaganda.

    This process that Willis and Anthony started on can actually answer the climate science questions in a Real way. Several more steps required yet and each one might need to be a paper on its own. The final paper will be hard to publish, but it will be the best answer put forward so far.

    • Water vapour is usually regarded as a postive feedback to other radiative forcings which affect temperature.

      The similarity of fig 4 to the various “global mean temperature” indices seems to support that view of things. For this to be a ‘forcing’ rather than a feedback, it would seem that there needs to be an independent cause of the change in TPW other than temperature, otherwise it is just a +ve feedback to other radiative ‘forcings’.

  33. Water Vapor is clearly a “greenhouse gas”. Our Atmosphere acts just like a swamp cooler regardless of the amount of Co2.

    • A static greenhouse gas is rather different from a greenhouse gas which is itself a function of temperature.
      That is what makes is feedback instead of a ‘forcing’.

  34. So many are blind to the change that is now taken place in the climate.

    So many just can’t break away from the notion of AGW and the slight warming that took place last century which has thrown the whole climatic discussion into discussions like this which are way off the mark when trying to figure out why /how the climate changes.

    If the global temperatures keep going down I wonder if the discussions about why /how the climate changes might change.

    AGW theory nonsense has sucked the wind out of any meaningful discussions and research as to why/how the climate changes, except for a few of us.

    So much time being devoted to this asinine theory whose basic premises it is base on all have failed to materialize ,not to mention this period of time in the history of the climate is in no way unique ,not to mention CO2 the agent that is always talked about always follows the temperature never leads it.

    In addition if one looks at the climate changes over the last 20 or 30 years a clear relationship can be seen between these natural governing climatic factors and the climate those being, ENSO, VOLCANIC ACTIVITY, ATOMSPHERIC CIRCULATION PATTERNS, OCEAN HEAT CONTENT ,all this against a back ground of pretty high solar activity and global cloud coverage in general decreasing.

    This is changing,(weakening magnetic fields) things do change believe it or not and calling the turn in the change is paramount and I have the confidence to call it and further stand by it sink or swim.

    If wrong I will admit it, if evidence comes in my favor I wonder how the other side will react?

  35. The study, using satellite measured water vapor data obtained from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) of Santa Rosa, CA, suggests that the global climate sensitivity to increased carbon dioxide, and the potential feedback mechanism of increased water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere, is actually far less than postulated by the IPCC

    RIGHT ON WILLIS AND ANTHONY.

    • Yes… clouds, and whether CR levels influence their propagation (among other factors) in the CCN scenario. It all complicates the propaganda of eternal CO2 temperature rise to the point of disposal.

  36. According to the “water vapor” section of the RSS website. “This increase can formally be attributed to human=induced climate change”

    In what way do you disagree with that statement ?

  37. What happened to “correlation is not causation”? Perhaps the change in temperature caused the change in atmospheric water? Not the other way around?

    Doesn’t it make more sense that there is more water in the atmosphere since 1988 because the temperature has been warming since the LIA? And NO ONE KNOWS what caused temperatures to start rising since the LIA, and more than they know what caused the medieval, roman, minoan, etc warming.

    • Exactly. I really don’t see anything here other than the temperature went up and so did the water vapor. The only real find is the temperature rise was less than expected if the water vapor was the cause but even that is not known.

  38. Willis and Anthony, nice work. Concise and well explained. Congratulations are in order.

    If I might summarize; “Forcings” UP, Temperatures still FLAT…. Some “Forcings”…..

    To repeat my position, the equilibrium climate sensitivity is zero.

    The “Forcings” are merely energy making additional passes through the system at the speed of light, nothing more.

    The still unobserved “Radiative Greenhouse Effect” which allegedly causes an increase in average temperatures is simply an optical mirage, a chimera, an illusion…. Sad that so much wealth and intellectual effort has been wasted on chasing this mirage.

    Energy leaving an emitter (a rock as opposed to a light bulb which is a source) of thermal energy and later returning to the same emitter cannot raise the temperature of the emitter. It can change the response time of the emitter (it can warm up slightly faster or cool down slightly slower) but not add the additional energy needed to increase the average temperature.

    Cheers, KevinK.

  39. This study does not measure temperature differences between wet and dry regions at similar latitude and altitude. When you do that your study will show water vapor cools.

  40. “However, other greenhouse gases, primarily CO2, are necessary to sustain the presence of water vapour in the atmosphere. ” – Tony B
    Based on exactly what evidence? More alarmist trash.

    • I think that could be good. She can be the person to watch, as the other side of the picture is presented. If she backs away from her apocalyptic views to a more relaxed view, then she could have a persuasive role with the general public. She might even persuade Al Gore to relax.

  41. Regarding these:

    “The observed total change over the period is ~ 1.5 kg/m^2, centered around the long-term mean of 28.7 kg/m^2. Utilizing the observed relationship between water content and atmospheric absorption, the RSS TPW data indicates an increase in downwelling longwave radiation of 3.3 W/m2 over the period 1988 – 2015.
    Key finding:
    The finding of an observationally measured increase in downwelling radiation of 3.3W/m2 since 1988, in addition to the increase in downwelling radiation over the period as calculated by the IPCC, with little corresponding change in temperature, calls into question the applicability of the concept of “climate sensitivity”.”

    So, does using an observed relationship to determine an increase of 3.3 W/m^2 mean that a 3.3 W/m^2 increase was actually “observationally measured”?

    Also, a 1.5 kg/m^2 increase with the long term mean being 28.7 kg/m^2 sounds to me like an increase of 27.95 to 29.45 kg/m^2, or at least something close to this. That is a 5.4% increase, and the vapor pressure of water increases about 6.7% from a temperature change from 14 to 15 degrees C. So as I see things, if 100% of the water vapor increase was caused by global warming, then it corresponds to a .8 degree C temperature increase. Using what I see from http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1988/to:2015.5/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1978/mean:25, global temperature smoothed by a couple years increased .4 degree C from the beginning of 1988 to the middle of 2015. I excluded the second half of 2015 to avoid a 20-year-class El Nino. (By any chance was that 1.5 kg/m^2 increase of water vapor including the last few months of 2015?)

    Also, I question whether the actual measurements observed were of water vapor increasing 1.5 kg/m^2 or of downwelling IR increasing by 3.3 W/m^2, or if these were both actually measured and the measurements agree. In that case, I would note that the Kiehl Trenberth energy budget diagram/”cartoon” shows downwelling IR being 324 W/m^2. This corresponds to the “effective lower radiating surface” of greenhouse gases and clouds having a temperature of about 275 K or 2 degrees C for effective global average (or 4th root of mean of 4th powers of effective individual such temperatures worldwide). An increase of this temperature from 275 to 275.4 K causes a nearly 1.9 W/m^2 increase of downwelling longwave IR if greenhouse gas concentrations and clouds are unchanged. This seems to me as meaning that the 3.3 W/m^2 increase of downwelling IR has 1.4 or slightly more W/m^2 being caused by increase of water vapor – or total greenhouse gases? I think I got ends close to meeting each other.

    For that matter, the increase of CO2 from 1988 to 2015 accounts for about .7 W/m^2 of the increase of downward longwave IR using the widely-used figure of 3.7 W/m^2 per doubling of CO2 according to the usual IPCC-favored logarithm formula for effect of change of CO2. I see this meaning .7-.75 W/m^2 needs to be explained by increase of greenhouse gases other than CO2, including assuming IPCC-favored figures. This means including the slight increase of manmade greenhouse gases other than CO2 such as methane since 1988, even though the effect of that increase is minor because halogenated hydrocarbons are manmade greenhouse gases that had their increases of atmospheric presence generally stalled in the 1990s and slightly reversing downward since then by an attempt to stop manmade increase of stratospheric ozone erosion.

    At this rate, I think that ends meet each other if global atmospheric temperature increased less than HadCRUT4 reports and/or global atmospheric (tropospheric especially) relative humidity decreased. Although, I think this means that the cloud albedo feedback is slightly positive (because storm clouds get less present due to them becoming more effective at transporting heat in balance with the counterpart dry air whose efficiency does not change much), and that positive cloud albedo feedback requires a warming world to have decreasing global average atmospheric relative humidity along with decreasing global cloudiness. A warmer world makes updrafting clouds more efficient but does not make much change to efficiency of downdrafting clear atmosphere on global scale, so I expect cloud coverage to shrink as it gets more productive in its part of transporting heat in global circulation. I see this meaning that the combined feedback values for cloud albedo and water vapor are close to what the water vapor feedback alone is if global atmospheric relative humidity is unchanged, more likely a little less than a little more. At this rate, I think that the combined water vapor and cloud albedo feedbacks are slightly less than the 1.6 W/m^2 that I have heard before, so I like to say 1.5. Also, I see spectrum absorption interactions between increase of CO2 and increase of water vapor where increase of one greenhouse gas negates some effect of the other, so at that rate I like to say that the combined water vapor and cloud albedo feedbacks along with increase of water vapor detracting from CO2’s 3.7 W/m^2_per_doubling mean that the positive feedback related to greenhouse gases getting reinforced by increase of greenhouse gases is only about 1.3 W/m^2/K.

    Also, there is a negative feedback that increases with global temperature – the lapse rate one. I estimate that its figure that matters for this century will be negative 1-1.05 W/m^2 per degree C/K.

    (Add to these the surface albedo positive feedback – maybe ~.25 W/m^2 per degree C/K lately or in the past 50-100 years, but I expect that will mostly (even if not continuously) decrease as changeable coverage of snow/ice gets decreased and/or gets more confined to less-sunny parts of the world. I like to say that the “number that matters” for the remainder of this century for surface albedo feedback will positive about .15 W/m^2 per degree C/K.

  42. The key finding according to this poster presentation is: “The finding of an observational measured increase in downwelling radiation of 3.3W/m2 since 1988, in addition to the increase in downwelling radiation over the period as calculated by the IPCC, with little corresponding change in temperature, calls into question the applicability of the concept of “climate sensitivity”.

    This conclusion would be justified, if we know with 100 % certainty that there are no other contributors for the global warming than CO2 and H2O. So far we cannot say so. In reality there are other forces contributing for the global temperature increase. The situation could be this (I think it is possible): in the year 2000, the temperature increase of 0.85 C degrees since 1880 is caused by CO2 0.2 C, other GH gases 0.1 C, H2O 0 C, the Sun 0.3 C and other cosmic forces 0.25 C. In the year 2015 the temperature increase is still 0.85 C and the contributions are: CO2 0.3 C, GH gases 0.1 C, H2O 0 C, the Sun 0.25 C, other cosmic forces 0.2 C.

    The point is that it is impossible to calculate the observational climate sensitivity – it is the temperature increase by CO2 based on the observational data, because we do not know the impacts of other contributing forces.

    • “The key finding according to this poster presentation is”
      Actually, that’s the key finding according to the press release. The key finding in the poster doesn’t mention temperature or sensitivity (nor does the poster):
      “This leads us to a curious position where we have had a larger change in forcing from
      water vapor since 1988 than from all the other IPCC-listed forcings since 1750.

  43. calls into question the applicability of the concept of “climate sensitivity”.

    Yes, I like several others, don’t see the logic behind this claim.

    I see a measured change in TOA LWIR that is primarily attributable to both WV and CO2.

    There is a strong similararity to surface temp records or satellite TLT time series plus an underlying rise. Since we have both the simplistic ln(C/C0) formula and more detailed MODTRANS calculations for straight CO2 radiative effect which seem relatively uncontroversial it should be possible to compare the lower panel of Willis’ fig 4 to those two results.

    For example use MLO as a typical global average CO2 and apply ln(C/C0) to get a time series to subtract from the data in fig 4. See how the result correlates with surface temperatures.

    If it is fairly linear calculate a feedback in terms of K/(W/m^2)

    This can be subtracted from &lamba;0 to find the WV amplification of any particular nonfeedback forcing.

    I don’t see anything there which questions the concept of “climate sensitivity”. Though it should provide a useful observational check on other results and model behaviour.

  44. Willis , you have been good enough to provide you code and data but dropbox is refusing to follow demand. Could you make it available somewhere else please?

    thx.

  45. We look at the sun as an energy source and measure temperature gains. Why not look at the black sky and notice temperature loss. Artic is unusual warm this Year. It must be covered by humid air. Anyone who can confirm this?

  46. Eschenbach & Watts write:

    Utilizing the observed relationship between water content and atmospheric absorption, the RSS TPW data indicates an increase in downwelling longwave radiation of 3.3 W/m2 over the period 1988 – 2015.

    And:

    The finding of an observationally measured increase in downwelling radiation of 3.3W/m2 since 1988 (…)

    But this isn’t an “observationally measured increase in downwelling radiation”. The only thing actually being observed here is the increase in TPW. The rest is simply calculated from the assumption that this increase in TPW is directly translatable into a parallel increase in DWLWIR. But is it? That’s the question.

    Data from CERES suggests it isn’t. Here’s global DWLWIR as estimated through the CERES EBAF Ed2.8 Sfc product, vs. global TLT (UAHv6 (beta5), 2000-2016 (the radiation flux values scaled down to fit with the tropospheric temps, y-axis):

    During that same time, TPW went up tremendously, according to RSS (from Eschenbach) (DWLWIR overlaid):

    • The discrepancy becomes even more evident when comparing outgoing LW (OLR) from the ToA with tropospheric temps over the same period (2000-2016):

      This plot shows how OLR at the ToA simply tracks tropospheric temps over time, and that the pretty significant increase in TPW (according to RSS) over this period for some reason doesn’t appear to affect this simple, tight causal relationship to any discernible degree.

      • OLWIR at TOA does not come directly from the surface but is radiated at what is defined as the “effective emission layer” several km up ( cf satellite TLT ) . As such it would be expected to closely follow a tight causal relationship with a la S-B emission law.

        I don’t see the ‘discrepancy’.

      • Greg, you say:

        OLWIR at TOA does not come directly from the surface but is radiated at what is defined as the “effective emission layer” several km up ( cf satellite TLT ) .

        No, it isn’t. The outgoing long-wave radiation going out through the top of the atmosphere to space is the accumulated total of the thermal emission escaping the Earth system from ALL its layers, from the actual surface to the top of the atmosphere itself, each layer contributing some fraction (big or small) of the whole. This final flux comes MAINLY from the troposphere (top to bottom), but is absolutely not tied to any particular temperature therein. It is what it is (239 W/m^2) simply because the solar input happens to be what it is (239 W/m^2), and because the Earth is in a relative, dynamic steady state, and so will tend to balance the incoming with its outgoing heat. It is only when you “back-calculate” from this average flux value that you can state a hypothetical black-body temperature for Earth as a planet in space. However, this temperature is purely a mental/mathematical construct. It isn’t an actual physical temperature to be found anywhere.

        As such it would be expected to closely follow a tight causal relationship with a la S-B emission law.

        I don’t see the ‘discrepancy’.

        Exactly. But this study appears to assume that simply increasing the TPW of the atmosphere will also, automatically and all by itself, increase the DWLWIR, that is, this increase would come on top of an increase deriving from a temperature rise alone. However, we see no such thing in the real world (an “extra” rise in DWLWIR from T+TPW). Hence the “discrepancy” being mentioned (between DWLWIR and TPW):

      • “the accumulated total of the thermal emission escaping the Earth system from ALL its layers”

        sorry mate you need to do some reading. The mean free path of an IR photon near the surface is just a few metres before being absorbed. Until you know the basics, be a little lest assertive in your statements.

      • sorry mate you need to do some reading. The mean free path of an IR photon near the surface is just a few metres before being absorbed. Until you know the basics, be a little lest assertive in your statements.

        I don’t think this is true for most of the 8u to 14u band, other than the 2 water lines, the rest of those photons under clear skies goes almost directly to space. And I’m going to take an educated guess that that window is worth about 20W/m^2 with no interference, Also, don’t forget, it’s radiating to space all day too.

      • Greg said, December 15, 2016 at 9:23 am:

        sorry mate you need to do some reading. The mean free path of an IR photon near the surface is just a few metres before being absorbed. Until you know the basics, be a little lest assertive in your statements.

        LOL

      • Greg, do you seriously see Earth’s radiation escaping to space like this (from the surface air layer to the top of the atmosphere)?
        nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, EVERYTHING (your “effective emission layer”), nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing … done. Tell me you’re joking.

    • “The only thing actually being observed here is the increase in TPW.”

      It seems that there are three separate observables here ( not two as W seems to imply ).

      1. CERES TOA LW : direct measurement
      2. ‘Surface Temp’ from which the supposed surface emission of LWIR is calculated. I await a working link to his code to see what data is actually being used and how the calculation is done.
      3. TPW from RSS which is presumably a derivative of microwave soundings.

      • Sure. But what I was referring to was the statement about an “observationally measured increase in downwelling radiation”. Which ISN’T “observed” or “measured” here. It is calculated.

    • “But this isn’t an “observationally measured increase in downwelling radiation”. ”

      It seems that this is a difference between measured TOA LW and supposed emissions from the surface based on SST and some modelled/guessed emissivity relationship. The link does not work to see what he is actually doing and the poster presentation is necessarily terse and does not explain.

      Semi-empirical would be better description.

      • Semi-empirical would be better description.

        “Non-empirical, rather just assumed“, would be an even better description.

        This is exactly what I’m pointing out using the plots I present. You can’t just take a (purely calculated) increase in UWLWIR (based on some rise in surface temperature), subtract from this the change in OLR at the ToA over the same period, and assume the difference you get directly equals the increase in DWLWIR. The Earth system is – evidently – more complicated than that.

      • what is your objection? “you can’t just” is not really an argument.

        I have highlighted the fact that emitted LW at surface has to be modelled and based on some fairly broad guesses/assumptions. Why else don’t you think it works?

        Specifics, not just “you can’t just” .

      • How much more “specific” do you want me to be, Greg? Read what I’m writing. And look at the plots provided. I’m NOT saying you can’t infer the UWLWIR from the surface temp. I’m saying you can’t just subtract the change in OLR at the ToA from the change in this inferred UWLWIR value and expect the result to be equal to the increase/decrease in DWLWIR. As evident from the plots.

        Here’s Eschenbach’s TPW plot (All-Sky, just like the TLT-curves) vs. CERES EBAF Ed2.8 Sfc Clear-Sky DWLWIR, btw:

        The correlation is definitely better overall, but it’s still not particularly good if you look closely. And since we neither have “Clear-Sky TPW” nor “Clear-Sky TLT” at hand, we are really comparing apples and oranges here.

  47. What’s the temperature of the thing/object up in the sky that is producing this extra downwelling 3W?

    Not absolute temp to double-digit decimal places, is it higher or lower than the earth surface temperature?

    Because if its lower than the surface, Entropy and thermodynamics say it is going to be sent right back where it came from. It is not going to be absorbed and cause a temperature rise.
    Cold objects do not radiate energy to warm ones and lift their temperature.

    And no, (as previously stated around here) lighting a candle on Earth will NOT cause the temp of the sun to rise for that reason and at least one other. The candle at say 500degC cannot lift the temp of the sun, say= 5,000degC. The candle’s energy is sent/scattered out into space and lost.
    Also, the sun is a lump of electrically conductive plasma. Any incoming electromagnetic wave will be perfectly reflected in the same way as hitting a mirror or meeting a short circuit at the end of a transmission line.

    So where, to conserve energy, does the ‘extra’ 3W go?
    It cannot warm the earth and it cannot raise the temp of the object that emitted it.

    The only place left is outer space. It leaves. Never to return.

    So. do we see what’s happening here?
    The green house gas is *increasing* the outgoing radiation to space.
    Does this not make sense as we are endlessly told that GHGs are good absorbers of radiation and laboratory experiments show that.

    But good absorbers are also always very good emitters. Adding GHG to the atmosphere is increasing the emissivity of the atmosphere. That’s what these measurements tell us.
    The extra water up there has increased the radiation level on the ground, it cannot be absorbed on the ground, cannot return to its emitter so must leave so extra energy is being ejected from Earth by these GHGs.
    Again, does that not make sense?
    In order to have a warm & toasty earth surface, we need an insulator above us and oxygen & nitrogen with their low emissivities are just that. Insulators.
    Adding high emissivity ‘stuff’ (water vapour and CO2) will increase the radiative transport of heat up, out and into space.
    And that’s even before the higher thermal conductivity of CO2 (simply because of its high molecular weight relative to O2 & N2) transports ever more heat energy aloft.

    Scary innit.
    But, is it not a perfect negative feedback?
    Surface temp rises, water vapour rises in parallel (as per standard GHG theory) but the WV acts as an extra emitter of energy, cooling the system and bringing it back to its ‘normal’ or average level.

    And *that* is what this poster tells me.

    as Nick of course pointed out and asked, highlighting the blinkers almost everyone is wearing…
    What is causing the observed temperatures to rise?

    I say, as I’ve always done that apart from confirmation bias & data-doctoring, its the increasingly strenuous activities of the world’s farmers, plus of course the expansion of cities.

    We were right all along with the surface-stations project.

    • Can I expand my ‘picture’, especially of ‘photons’ or energy packets.

      Earth is what, 15degC. Is this about a peak radiation of 10 micron?

      In the absence of GHG, earth and atmosphere continually exchange these 10 micron photons and the low emissivity of O2 & N2 means they hang around for a relatively long time, near the surface where we feel nice and warm.

      But introduce some GHG,
      CO2 absorbs at 15 micron and water at 22 micron.

      So the CO2 molecule will intercept a 10 micron, keep 15 micron worth of energy and release the rest, at what, 30 micron?
      Likewise, water will absorb 22 micron from the original 10, creating a what, 25 micron photon?
      Is the 1/a=1/b+1/c formula

      so you see, the GHGs are smashing up high energy (high temp) photons into a multitude of low energy colder photons. And these photons can only raise the temp of things colder than what released them.
      Entropy says long wavelength, low energy photons do and CANNOT reform the high energy photon.
      Ultimately, they are smashed up so much they only place that will have them is deep, outer space.

      GHGs are expediting the flow of thermal energy down the thermal gradient.

      They are cooling artifice, not warming

    • “So the CO2 molecule will intercept a 10 micron, keep 15 micron worth of energy and release the rest, at what, 30 micron?”
      No, CO2 does not absorb at 10μ. It absorbs around 15μ, but does not (mostly) re-radiate. The energy is rapidly transferred to other, mostly non-GHG molecules by collision. GHGs independently from time to time gather enough energy to radiate, at frequencies dominated also by the 15μ range (Kirchhoff). The air temperature is stable when the rate of absorption matches emission.

      • Except at 10 kms to 20 kms high, where the CO2 grabs back the energy from non-GHG molecules and emits that at 15μ bacl to space, thus, cooling off the Earth.

        Can’t have it only two of the three ways. CO2 absorbs, exchanges energy by collision and then emits energy; all three.

      • “Except at 10 kms to 20 kms high, where the CO2 grabs back the energy from non-GHG molecules”
        That happens at all levels. The only difference at 10-20 is that many photons escape without further absorption.

        “Can’t have it only two of the three ways. CO2 absorbs, exchanges energy by collision and then emits energy; all three.”
        Yes all three happen at all levels.

      • Nick Stokes December 15, 2016 at 10:09 am
        “Except at 10 kms to 20 kms high, where the CO2 grabs back the energy from non-GHG molecules”
        That happens at all levels. The only difference at 10-20 is that many photons escape without further absorption.

        “Can’t have it only two of the three ways. CO2 absorbs, exchanges energy by collision and then emits energy; all three.”
        Yes all three happen at all levels.

        Yes but in different proportions depending on the local pressure/temperature.

      • “Can’t have it only two of the three ways. CO2 absorbs, exchanges energy by collision and then emits energy; all three.”

        Yes, you must have all three. However, with all three, the net result of increasing GHGs is that more photons escaping to space are emitted from higher in the atmosphere, where it is colder. The rate of emission (but not absorption) depends on the local temperature. There would be no GHE without a temperature gradient in our atmosphere.

        To a first approximation, doubling CO2 will double the number of photons of certain wavelengths absorbed and double the number emitted. (The amount of energy in all of those photons is well over 1000 W/m2: 90% of surface emission is absorbed on the way to space and the atmosphere – unlike the surface – emits mostly at strongly absorbed wavelengths.) The 3.7 W/m2 forcing from double CO2 the net result of a massive increase in both absorption AND emission and the small bias the temperature gradient in our atmosphere produces.

    • Objects that are colder than the surface do radiate longwave IR back to the surface, keeping the surface warmer than it would be if it was facing 3 degree K deep space instead. The second law of thermodynamics only requires net flow of heat to be downhill.

      A molecule radiating a photon of longwave IR does not know the temperature of whatever that photon will be radiated towards, and the object receiving the photon does not know the temperature of the photon’s source.

  48. Willis: Fascinating work. I notice that you abstracted at seasonal cycle in TPW with an amplitude of 1 kg/m2 from the satellite record (in addition to the long-term residual trend). The seasonal cycle is presumably driven by the seasonal cycle in GMST that disappears when temperature anomalies are calculated. The seasonal cycle in GMST has an amplitude of 3.5 K. You have also derived a relationship between atmospheric absorption and TPW: 2.2 (W/m2)/(kg H2O/m2)

    2.2 (W/m2)/(kg H2O/m2) * 1 (kg H2O/m2)/3.5 K = 0.6 W/m2/K

    Since atmospheric absorption is measured from clear skies where both water vapor and lapse rate feedbacks operate, 0.6 W/m2/K is a measure of WV+LR feedback. IIRC, the consensus of climate models is about twice as big, 1.1 W/m2/K.

    Given that we have data for more than 25 seasonal cycles, the confidence intervals associated with the amplitude of the seasonal cycles in TPW and GMST are likely to be relatively small. I’m not sure how much confidence we should have in RSS’s estimate that TPW has increased by 1.5 kg/m2 over the past few decades, but that could be checked against data from radiosondes.

    Is atmospheric absorption measured from clear skies and TPW from all skies? Did you get any questions about this?

  49. I read Feldman’s work some time back – it looked like the first observational confirmation of spectrally differentiated trend in IR from CO2 downwelling – but could not understand why he thought the data confirmed the model expectations: 0.2 Watts/decade from an increase over one decade of 22ppmvCO2, computes to 1.09 watts for the rise since pre-industrial times of 120ppmv, compared to 1.8 predicted. Secondly, Feldman notes that this 0.2 watts/decade increase is 10% of the observed increase over the decade in total IR (that is, mainly water vapour). This clashes with the IPCC assumption that ‘most’ of the recent forcing/T-rise is anthropogenic – even if we allow a 3x amplifier of carbon dioxide’s effect to give a forcing of 0.6/decade, that leaves 70% of the observed increase in IR forcing to be explained by natural processes that generate the increase in water vapour. Unless, of course, IPCC is right and all of the observed increase in water vapour is feedback from CO2 and other anthropogenic GHGs!

    • No he has quantified additional forcing from the feed-back of WV caused by rising atmospheric temps.
      This is not a forcing in the sense of being anthro – which are listed in IPCC AR5 SPM.
      This is feed-back that comes out of the model predictions and is not a “missing” forcing that somehow confounds that of CO2.

      • Toneb-

        So he quantified the amount of additional WV that has been added to our atmosphere since 1988, and compared the ACTUAL amount of temperature increase that HAS resulted from that additional WV (and the additional down welling radiation caused by that additional WV) to the amount that the IPCC expected/postulated SHOULD result from that additional WV and the resulting down ward radiation caused by it (and indeed, they and the IPCC agree that there IS measurable, additional down ward radiation) and found that the increase in temperatures is far smaller than it should be…if the IPCC’s calculations/postulations/predictions/whatevertheyarebeingcalledrightnow are correct.

        Which is why the result of the study (quote) “suggests that the global climate sensitivity to increased carbon dioxide, and the potential feedback mechanism of increased water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere, is actually far less than postulated by the IPCC.”

        Which if true, is WONDERFUL NEWS and all who wish to save the Earth and the lifeforms living on it should rejoice!!

        To Phillip, it’s suggesting that maybe the heat that they keep looking for, is not actually being created in the first place…so there’s never been any additional heat that could “go missing”. It’s like they’ve been looking high and low for the body of A. Myth, who was reported missing by some “experts”, but she never really existed in the first place.

    • Phillip, I added a note for you to my response to Toneb, but I’ll put it here too-

      “To Phillip, it’s suggesting that maybe the heat that they keep looking for, is not actually being created in the first place…so there’s never been any additional heat that could “go missing”. It’s like they’ve been looking high and low for the body of A. Myth, who was reported missing by some “experts”, but she never really existed in the first place.”

  50. How has the fraction-of-clear-sky data in the TPW dataset changed over the study period? Has increased TPW led to an increase in cloudiness? Because only a 1percentage point change in global average cloudiness could easily offset the increased clear-sky downwelling. –> Might be why temperatures have remained flat.

  51. What will it take to prove that AGW theory is wrong in light of the fact that all of the claims this theory has made have failed to materialize, and the most basic premises this theory was advanced on have all not occurred.

    Yet this theory lives on and the pros and cons keep being discussed.

    This period in the climate not unique at all.

    As I have said global cooling is now in progress and ALBEDO trumps everything when it comes to changing the climate. The smallest change will have a significant climatic impact and that is the basis for my theory as to how a solar /terrestrial items which govern the climate, that connection, will impact the climate if solar conditions are extreme enough.

    Solar conditions now in the process of getting extreme in regards to solar quiet.

    We shall find out soon as the climate is at a crossroads but the latest global temperature data is encouraging, temperatures still trending down as shown by WEATHER BELL temperature data.

    I know ENSO effects must be taken into consideration , but I also know ENSO effects not AGW have ruled the climate over the past 30 years, with volcanic activity and atmospheric circulation changes superimposed on this factor against a back ground of high solar activity.

    My bet is by spring global temperatures will be from 0 to +.2c above normal.

    If El Nino should come about going forward (which is possible) global temperatures would rise but not as much as they did with the last one or for that matter the one in 1998.

    OLR another very big climatic factor seemingly tied to ENSO and not CO2.

    It is all going to unfold and we shall see soon.

  52. I have a rookie question. While trying to understand just what the CERES data is I read the following in “CERES_EBAF_Ed2.8 Data Quality Summary (March 19, 2014)”. [2nd paragraph sec 1.0] says: “Despite recent improvements in satellite instrument calibration and the algorithms used to determine SW and LW outgoing top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes, a sizeable imbalance persists in the average global net radiation at the TOA from CERES satellite observations. With the most recent CERES Edition3 Instrument calibration improvements, the SYN1deg_Edition3 net imbalance is ~3.4 W m-2 , much larger than the expected observed ocean heating rate ~0.58 W m-2 (Loeb et al. 2012a). This imbalance is problematic in applications that use Earth Radiation Budget (ERB) data for climate model evaluation, estimations of the Earth’s annual global mean energy budget, and studies that infer meridional heat transports. The CERES Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF) dataset uses an objective constrainment algorithm to adjust SW and LW TOA fluxes within their ranges of uncertainty to remove the inconsistency between average global net TOA flux and heat storage in the Earth-atmosphere system.”

    What does this ~3.4 W m-2 ‘imbalance’ imply for the study in the head post?

    link to cited paper: https://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/documents/DQ_summaries/CERES_EBAF_Ed2.8_DQS.pdf

    • What does this ~3.4 W m-2 ‘imbalance’ imply for the study in the head post?

      Next to nothing. This correction almost solely affects the ABSOLUTE VALUES of SW and LW (pertaining to the accuracy of the radiometric instruments), the ANOMALIES (pertaining to their precision) hardly at all. You can verify this for yourself by comparing the CERES EBAF (Energy Balanced And Filled) global ToA LW flux anomalies with the observed ones of the CERES SYN1deg and CERES SSF1deg products:
      https://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/order_data.php

    • Randy: Willis’s correlation spans 150 W/m2. Adjustments of a few W/m2 are minor. (There is a separate CERES data product without these adjustment).

      The multi-decade trend in TPW measured from space is more problematic. It spans multiple satellite detectors and requires a lot of processing. There presumably is a humidity record from radiosondes with which it can be compared.

  53. Just a detail about the term “Forcings”, which is a bit imprecise in the article.

    IPCC use two different measures of forcing, namely the Radiative Forcing (RF), and the Effective Radiative Forcing (ERF).

    The ERF term, which was introduced with AR5, take the readjustments of temperatures and water vapor to equilibrium into account, but the RF does not consider any surface or tropospheric readjustments.

    The precise definitions are, (IPCC AR5 Chapter 8.1):
    RF:

    RF is defined, as it was in AR4, as the change in net downward radiative flux at the tropopause after allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, while holding surface and tropospheric temperatures and state variables such as water vapor and cloud cover fixed at the unperturbed values.

    And ERF:

    ERF is the change in net TOA downward radiative flux after allowing for atmospheric temperatures, water vapor and clouds to adjust, but with surface temperature or a portion of surface conditions unchanged. Although there are multiple methods to calculate ERF, we take ERF to mean the method in which sea surface temperatures and sea ice cover are fixed at climatological values unless otherwise specified. Land surface properties (temperature, snow and ice cover and vegetation) are allowed to adjust in this method.

    Before AR5 the effect of the change in water vapor was labeled as feedback, not forcing.
    The forcing Anthony and Willis are discussing here is therefore the ERF.

    Well, definitions are important for the understanding, and it is equally important that we stick to the same definitions.

    /Jan

  54. Dear Willis, maybe this is a dumb question. In the “Average Total Presipiitable, Ice-Free Oceans Only … figure the color scale is Kg/m2. I assume the m2 is at the Earth’s surface, but is the volume above it m2 column, a square one or is it a square column expanding each corner following the ray from center of the earth. Clearly their is a vast difference in the volume and thus the mass of the m2. In that CO2 and H20 are competing for some photons I wanted to work out the mass of air in the column and then the mass of CO2 of 4 parts in 10,000. Sticking that mass in your equation would give an upper bound for CO2 forcing.

    But that upper bound would be way high as H20 is some huge multiple GHG vs CO2 per molicule. Also H20 numbers dwarf CO2 numbers where the air is far warmer and more photons are running around.

    I believe estimating and comparing mass ratios, GHG factor could provide a basis of conjecture in derating the CO2 actual CO2 effects.

    Outstanding analysis

    tom watson

    • Good question Tom,

      The difference between the two is small since the atmosphere is very thin compared to the radius of the Earth.

      Almost all the water is located below the tropopause, and the height of the tropopause is between 9 km (at the poles) and 17 km at the equator.

      Let us for simplicity say 17 km all over and compare that to the radius of the Earth (6 371 Km)

      That means that 1 meter at the surface will only increase to 1.0027 meter in 17 Km height.

      The area of a square meter will only be 0.54% larger than the surface in 17 km height, and the volume of the body will only be 0.27% larger than the volume of a regular prism.

      /Jan

  55. Dang gentlemen,
    I hope water isn’t declared a pollutant, then we’ll all be hosed (no pun intended).

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