# XKCD's Cri de Coeur

Guest essay by David Archibald

Even people who are logical enough to write software, and gifted enough to work on research projects at NASA, feel the need to believe in something beyond themselves. Otherwise their meaningless lives would feel shallow, hollow, depressing and purposeless. Some have chucked over the Bible but still cling to a fragment of it, the bit at the beginning talking about how perfect the Earth was before it was despoiled by the hand of Man. It therefore follows that Man should be punished by wearing sackcloth and ashes, or paying carbon taxes. As a religion, belief in global warming is well short of being complicated enough to do some actual good, such as building orhpanages, retirement homes or hospitals for the importune. Relative to a religion that actually does some good, belief in global warming is like a prion relative to the human genome, a little poisonous fragment even simpler than a virus.

Thus XKCD has promoted his simple faith which satisfies a basic need. Firstly it was this cartoon:

Followed by a longer one that starts 20,000 years ago:

That cartoon inspired Javier and Josh to do their own cartoon representations of climate history, both of which are more factually correct than XKCD’s. From that cartoon at about 15,500 BC, this is the setup for the punchline at the end:

XKCD is well-read but perhaps he has missed all the papers that show how the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration slavishly follows temperature with a lag of 800 years, which happens to be the time it takes the oceans to turnover. That is explained by the high solubility of carbon dioxide in water as shown by these graphs of solubility of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen:

The graphs look similar and all have an inflection point at about 20°C but the scales are somewhat different. Carbon dioxide is 100x more soluble than nitrogen and 50x more soluble than oxygen. If XKCD flagged rising carbon dioxide as a bad thing, it is likely that he has missed another important paper from 2005 entitled Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the L Brea tar pits, southern California. From that paper, “As a result, glacial trees were operating at c i values much closer to the CO2-compensation point for C3 photosynthesis than modern trees, indicating that glacial trees were undergoing carbon starvation.” and this graph which shows that plant starvation was worst at about the time that XKCD flagged the entry of carbon dioxide in his cartoon:

Plant growth shuts down completely at 150 ppm of carbon dioxide. From the glacial low of 180 ppm, it would have only been a fall of another 30 ppm to wipe out all life above sealevel. We didn’t get to that point in the last glacial period but as more and more carbon gets locked up in sedimentary rocks, we might in one of the glaciations to come as we are only 3 million years into what could be a 30 million year long ice age. I think XKCD has his priorities around the wrong way, and we revisit that.

In the meantime let’s examine what is wrong with the end of his graphic which relies upon runaway warming from water vapor compounding upon itself. This is a graphic I popularised 10 years ago:

What that graph demonstrates is the logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide. Half of the heating is from the first 20 ppm. By the time we get to the atmospheric concentration in 2017 of 406 ppm, each additional 100 ppm only adds 0.1°C. Everyone knows this to be true. How the global warmers get the heating they need for their belief system is by saying that the little bit of warming from carbon dioxide will cause more water vapor to be held in the atmosphere. Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas which will cause more warming which cause more water vapor and so on ad infinitum, or until they get a graph that can scare them.

This great leap of faith requires a commensurate abandonment of logic and reason, as shown by this graph:

This graph shows the values from the previous graph cumulatively. Almost all the heating effect of carbon dioxide is reached at the level that was causing carbon starvation in the La Brea juniper trees. On top of that in the blue part of the bars is shown the compounding effect of water vapor warming, as required by global warming to reach their targets, with the warming starting at the pre-industrial level of carbon dioxide. Not before, not after, but exactly from the pre-industrial level. Just how could that be?

Of that warming, we should have experienced 1°C to date to stay on schedule. That value remains aspirational as we haven’t seen it in the climate records. Some have said that the heating remains hidden in the deep oceans and will emerge at a time of its choosing. But the oceanic lead indicator is showing rapid cooling. It is safe to say that global warming is wishful thinking – it cannot occur in practise and there is no evidence for it. There was a mild, pleasant and much appreciated warming in the second half of the 20th century. All things have a cause so what was that? Well there is another important paper that XKCD may have missed – Solanki et al’s 2004 paper entitled Unusual activity of the Sun duringrecent decades compared to the previous 11,000 years. From that paper, their figure 3 shows what they mean:

The Sun was more active in the second half of the 20th century than it had been for the previous 10,000 years. As energy from the Sun is what stops the Earth from looking like Pluto, this increase in energy is enough for probable cause for the pleasant warming many of us experienced during our lifetimes. The warming and the rise of carbon dioxide concentration was mere coincidence; correlation does not mean causation, as they say.

The reality of the science has been sorted but leaves the problem that XKDC needs to believe in something. The clock is ticking down in that Scott Pruitt will soon be running the EPA. One thing he is likely to do in the near future is commission a report into climate science. A large number of people would be qualified to write such a report. The one chosen may very well be William Happer, a man of principle much-persecuted by the EPA and recently summoned to the President-elect’s presence. Then, after the report is released, the mantra of “Are you denying the science?” will be turned on its head. Global warming has been a state-sponsored religion with its priesthood funded from the public purse to the tune of \$2.5 billion a year in the US alone. The priests of that cult will be plucked off the public teat and the memory of what they preached will fade.

That will start a new problem because Nature abhors a vacuum and some sort of nonsense will enter leftie brains to fill the space currently occupied by global warming. As the Sun caused the pleasant warming of the 20th century perhaps XKCD and his coreligionists could try some Sun worship. That has not always ended well. One of the pharaohs, Akhenaten in 1,353 B.C, switched the ancient Egyptians over to Sun worship. Within a few years of the death of his son Tutankhaman in 1,336 B.C, Akhenaten’s enemies “soon smashed his statues, dismantled his temples, and set out to expunge all memory of him and Nefertiti from Egypt’s historical record” and went back to what they were doing before.

To provide what the lefties need, we may have to go back to some basic animist practices. As a matter of urgency we need something like another Council of Nicaea to formulate a new religion for the lefties to believe in. I have not been idle to that end and bought a copy of The Golden Bough to gain insight on what sort of rituals a new animist belief system might have. The Golden Bough is gruesome reading though with a lot of human and animal sacrifice to ensure good harvests. This is no laughing matter with animal sacrifice recently resurgent in New York City, at least in rap artist Azalia Banks’ apartment.

Finally, XKCD, in the words of Luke Skywalker,‘I know there is good in you.’ Can’t promise when there will be a new belief system made up for you though. In the meantime I would appreciate it if you would not try to force your failed belief system on me and my friends.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare.

## 225 thoughts on “XKCD's Cri de Coeur”

1. Positive Feedback loop is still missing,…….
crickets……………..

Somewhere along the way, cause and effect got reversed.
The Industrial Revolution didn’t cause global warming.
Global warming (coming out of the Little Ice Age) allowed the Industrial Revolution to happen.

• Phil R says:

Heh, Never thought of it that way. I like it.

• Bellman says:

“Global warming (coming out of the Little Ice Age) allowed the Industrial Revolution to happen.”
Not sure I follow the logic here. The Industrial Revolution started long before the Little Ice Age ended.

• Stewart Finess says:

but when did it (industrial revolution) become a prolific force?

• dyingearth says:

Without Global Warming there would’ve been enough food to feed the growing population.

• Bellman says:

“but when did it (industrial revolution) become a prolific force?”
Maybe I was being too literal, but the Industrial Revolution started in the 18th century and ended in the 19th century. If the question is when did we start ramping up CO2 emissions, I’d say that really started in the second half of the 20th century.
https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/global_emissions_trends_2015.png
Source
https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data#Trends
I’m not sure how much this can be attributed to coming out of the LIA.

• Menicholas says:

Without enough food, the population would not have been growing.

Not just food – the difference in supply lines for large projects was much, much harder in the coldest winters. Even something as simple as road building used to be a “three months of the year, maybe” proposal in the depths of the cold years.
The Industrial Revolution, while often considered to start in the mid-18th century, didn’t really kick in until the 1860s or so. Lots of interesting statistics started to climb about then. The basic one is coal consumption, which was trivial before 1850, and really started to explode in 1870 or so.

• MRW says:

Maybe I was being too literal, but the Industrial Revolution started in the 18th century and ended in the 19th century.

In Great Britain and Europe.
For the USA it didn’t really start until 1824 or a few years before. It was precipitated by the animosity we felt towards the British after we lost the War of 1812.

• Bellman says:

“For the USA it didn’t really start until 1824 or a few years before. It was precipitated by the animosity we felt towards the British after we lost the War of 1812.”
Still long before the end of the little ice age.

• The agricultural revolution was throughout the C17th as climate in the UK improved and the increased yields helped finance and feed the industrial revolution

• joelobryan says:

The LIA …
There is a lot of incentive to find, dig, and burn fossil fuels.

• StephenW says:

I agree, however it was in fact the green revolution – agriculture, that allowed an increased population as we were able to feed more mouths. The warmer temperatures coming out of the last glacial period 10,000ya meant crops/livestock were more likely to survive and grow in more places on the planet.
As the world became more populated, it put a strain on resources – space, transport, trees for firewood etc. which necessitated more heavy industry, steam trains, cars, factories, mining of fossil fuels. As the climate has warmed since the little ice age, the earth has experienced unprecedented population growth.
So of course, anthropogenic emissions will naturally accelerate at times of rapid warming, simply because there are more of us, doing more things. I assume similarly a sudden deep freeze into the next ice age would prevent quite a lot of anthropogenic CO2 emissions from occuring (as people would all be dead).

• Jack Simmons says:

Also, as the sun warmed up the oceans, more CO2 was released into the atmosphere.

• Tim Hammond says:

Really? Most would say the IR started around 1750 and ended around 1820, perhaps 1840.
The LIA in Northern Europe (where the IR began) was from perhaps 1300 to 1850. The last Frost Fair on the Thames was 1814.
So the beginning of the IR in the UK was well before the end of the LIA, and it had largely finished (as a revolution) before the LIA ended..

3. eddie willers says:

Liberals get their news from comedians, Constitutional law from Broadway plays and climate science from internet cartoonists.

• Bryan J. says:

And instructions on which politicians to elect from Hollywood.

4. Javier says:

The Sun was more active in the second half of the 20th century than it had been for the previous 10,000 years.

There’s nothing unusual with the Sun during the second half of the 20th century. It had an above average level of activity, but not unusual, and certainly not higher than the previous 10,000 years. Solanki was wrong on that.

• afonzarelli says:

Javier, where did solanki go wrong? and how far off was he? Thanx…

• afonzarelli says:
• afonzarelli says:

Dr. Svalgaard, what is your take on lisird? (thanks)…

• When you show a Figure like this, you should also show the caveats [from their website]:
“Imminent changes to TSI reconstructions may in fact be expected for two reasons:
1) The 2013 IPCC AR5 report used input solar forcing from the CMIP5, which is largely based on a prior version of the NRLTSI model. The recently-released IPCC AR6 CMIP6 instead uses an average of both the NRLTSI2 model and the semi-empirical SATIRE model. The reconstruction shown here, however, is based only on the NRLTSI2 reconstruction, which better matches the SORCE/TIM data because neither show the decreasing secular trend in TSI over the last three solar cycles that the SATIRE model (and thus the CMIP6) presently does.
2) Changes even greater than those in the CMIP6 are also expected due to a revised sunspot record released in 2015. Historical TSI reconstructions based on this revised record suggest significant changes prior to 1885 from both the NRLTSI2 and the SATIRE models. (See Kopp, Krivova, Lean, and Wu, 2016)

5. chris moffatt says:

Here’s another one from this greenie useful idiot:
https://xkcd.com/1732/
NB: wrong about Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods but Especially wrong about recent warming.

• Geoff Sherrington says:

Chris,
On the cartoon timeline of warming that you show, is bthere any agreement about what mechanism might have driven this warming?
Wasvit merely a reduction of a prior cooling influence?
So often in the past we have seen loose comments that recently the globe has warmed naturally since the Ice Age even LIA.
By what mechanisms?
Geoff

• Hivemind says:

It’s quite simple: before the appearance of man, everything was natural and therefore good. After man appeared, everything was his fault.

• chris moffatt says:

He seems to think that some warming is caused by Milankovic cycles which starts the whole interglacial. Some warming is also attributed to increasing CO2 at around 17000 BCE. Some cooling is supposedly due to glacial meltwater cooling the oceans which when you think about it may be way too simple since he’s referring to so-called “global average temperature” not local events. Other warming/cooling periods (notably the Medieval Warm Period and little ice age) have no cause attributed to them. Just magic I guess. He does mention that the MWP was a local European and Northern phenomenon which had little effect on GAT; although recent research shows pretty definitely that it was a world-wide phenomenon. Only at the end is the sudden change in temperatures (obviously obtained by models not observations) attributed to CO2. Overall I don’t have the impression he’s updated his climate knowledge since the late 1990s.
His reliance on Milankovic to get the melt started does not lead to him thinking that the cycles are still with us and will obviously have a cooling effect at some point long after we have burned the last barrel of oil, last piece of coal and the last tree-turned-into-woodchips and CO2 levels have become devastatingly low.

6. Dodgy Geezer says:

…I have not been idle to that end and bought a copy of The Golden Bough to gain insight on what sort of rituals a new animist belief system might have….
I would hope that most educated people would have a copy on their bookshelves already – the cheap Wordsworth abridged edition is quite good enough. But, to educate people like XKCD, I would recommend Charles Mackay’s excellent tome – Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds.
Another book which everyone ought to have read…

7. chris moffatt says:

Okay sorry: didn’t read closely enough. You already got this piece of didinformation.

8. chris moffatt says:

aaaaargh: …dis… not …did…. Damn spell checker!

9. Brian says:

Water seems like the next logical choice for a contrived environmental crisis.

• littleoil says:

Great story. thanks!!

• Jack Simmons says:

So why doesn’t California take the money currently being wasted on the train to nowhere and spend it on water projects as the Israelis have done? Wouldn’t this also relieve the pressure of providing for the delta smelt?

• Jack Simmons, I think the Delta Smelt minnows could be quite easily protected without wasting all that water.
Here are 3 articles about California’s water problem which argue persuasively that a big part of it is due to environmental politics.
http://westernfarmpress.com/blog/californians-lose-800000-acre-feet-water-305-minnows
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417685/why-californias-drought-was-completely-preventable-victor-davis-hanson
Here’s an excerpt from the 2013 Western Farm Press article:

This [2013] is not a drought year. The meager allotment is the result of too much water.
Heavy rains in November and December created a water flush through the Delta, herding the threatened Delta smelt/minnow south, closer to water pumps that move water from the Delta to the San Luis Reservoir, a storage terminal near Los Banos, Calif., that collects state and federal project water for movement south to urban Californians and San Joaquin Valley farmers. To protect the endangered minnows, the pumps were periodically stopped through the winter. No pumps; no water south. Just water west into the ocean.
The ridiculous environmental rules protecting the Delta minnow say the pumps can only gobble up 305 of the minnows in a water year, which ends Sept. 30. The count is already 232 — more than 75 percent of the limit. So to make sure pumps supply water to 25 million people and millions of acres of farmland consumes no more than four minnow buckets full of smelt — 800,000 acre-feet of water is gone.
Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition points out, “Despite the heavy rain and snowfall earlier this water year in December, farmers will be receiving less water than last year, which was a dry water year.”

I don’t think the pumping halts were really about protecting minnows. Protecting the minnows is a simple engineering problem. You just need larger screened water intakes. The larger the intake, the lower the water velocity at the intake. Most Delta Smelt minnows can swim at more than 20 cm/sec.
(ref: http://online.sfsu.edu/modelds/Files/References/Swanson1998JEB.pdf ).
It should be straightforward to design large screened water intakes, which take in water slowly enough that they don’t suck in fish. I think the real reason for wasting all that water is simply “green” ideological opposition to human use of natural resources (water, in this case). The minnows are an excuse.

• AndyG55 says:

In most places, fresh water issues can be solved by engineering, and/or getting the reams of green tape out the way.

10. Walter Sobchak says:

“the little bit of warming from carbon dioxide will cause more water vapor to be held in the atmosphere. Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas which will cause more warming which cause more water vapor and so on ad infinitum,”
If such a system existed, it would have been activated during one of the Earth’s frequent transitions from ice age to warmer and back. It would have run away and cooked the planet long ago. Clearly there is no such system.

• Positive feedback, whether from water vapor or any other source, does not “run away” unless it’s extraordinarily strong ( >= unity), and water vapor feedback is nowhere near that strong. No real-world feedbacks are anywhere near that strong.
We just discussed that over on the “Cloudy Question” article (comments are still open there, BTW).
U. of Chicago’s online MODTRAN interface calculates that for a Tropical Atmosphere water vapor feedback should increase the warming effect of CO2 in the tropics by only about 8% to 9%. (That’s the difference between holding absolute humidity constant, and holding relative humidity constant, for the calculations.)
That’s probably on the low side, especially for the planet as a whole, since the warming effect should be greater near the poles (where absolute humidity is lower, so additional water vapor has less effect — part of “polar amplification”). Most other sources give much higher estimates, generally between 60% and 100% (i.e., up to doubling).
However, there are also a number of negative (stabilizing) feedbacks, which attenuate the warming effect of CO2 and other forcings.
And anyhow, fortunately, the bulk of the warming from the CO2+H2O vapor greenhouse effect is expected to be at extreme latitudes (where warming is helpful), rather than near the equator (where it’s already warm enough).

• Walter Sobchak says:

No. If the growth is compounds the formula is x^(1+r). That is an exponential factor and it will go to infinity toot sweet.
“U. of Chicago’s online MODTRAN”
The folks who gave us Barack Hussein Obama. Wow, I really trust them.

• No, that’s the formula for compounding interest, Wakter. Positive feedback does not mean “compounded interest.” Please click the link I just gave you, and read that thread, esp. the comments by Ian Macdonald and by me. Or read this:
http://www.sealevel.info/feedbacks.html
Also, U. Chicago is better known as Milton Friedman’s school.

• Walter Sobchak says:

I need a better explanation. The idea seems to be that when the atmosphere warms, the waters warm, more water evaporates, which increases the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. That in turn warms the atmosphere, which cause more water to evaporate. and so on.
That is a compounding system, and it will go to infinity.
In the real world that does not happen, because the water vapor condenses as it rises and releases heat into the upper atmosphere, and forms clouds with a high albedo.
But, the logic of the warmesta theory is an atmosphere of super heated steam.

• Walter Sobchak says:

Friedman got old, retired and moved to San Francisco, then he died that was a while ago. And the leftists took over as they do in all academic institutions, and they groomed and promoted Obama, May they rot in a very hot place full of super heated steam.

• Gee, Walter, first you say, “I need a better explanation,” but then you say, “I ain’t gonna read your thread,” and you call me a dirty name.

• Robert B says:

Walter – the absolute humidity (mass of water per volume of air) goes up exp with temperature (constant rel humidity) but like the CO2 plot above, the effect of water drops off as the concentration goes up.
As David points out in the second last figure, that doesn’t quite fit the theory.

• Steve Case says:

daveburton January 17, 2017 at 4:59 pm
That’s probably on the low side, especially for the planet as a whole, since the warming effect should be greater near the poles (where absolute humidity is lower, so additional water vapor has less effect

Another great tidbit/factoid. (-:

• MRW says:

Walter:

Dave Burton? Warmesta? You sh***ing me?

• paqyfelyc says:

daveburton
1) you forget that “positive feedback” may be of many kind, not just the proportional kind. The delayed one are the more fun to observe (not always fun to be stuck in though…), producing weird, chaotic patterns. And we KNOW (that’s among the very few thing we know for sure) that climatic things are delayed.
2) you are not talking feedback, you are talking amplification and tuning.
Any increase of the warming effect of CO2 via water vapor “feedback” (sic), is NOT feedback: it’s amplification.
Feedback there is, indeed, but negative: more water mean CO2 has less effect, making GHE logarithmics.
Bottom line : the feedback is negative, that’s why there may be amplification instead of a runaway

• MRW: Thank you! 🙂
paqyfelyc: you wrote, “you forget that ‘positive feedback’ may be of many kind, not just the proportional kind.”
In nature, feedbacks are rarely perfectly linear. But they’re usually roughly linear at least for small perturbations.
paqyfelyc wrote, “The delayed one are the more fun… producing weird, chaotic patterns. And we KNOW … that climatic things are delayed.”
Classically, delays in a feedback loop can produce instability/oscillation for strong feedbacks, even for strong negative feedbacks. But I don’t know of an example of that among climate feedbacks. here’s a list of climate feedbacks; which do you think are so strong and so delayed that they could cause “weird, chaotic patterns?”
paqyfelyc wrote, “you are not talking feedback, you are talking amplification and tuning. Any increase of the warming effect of CO2 via water vapor “feedback” (sic), is NOT feedback: it’s amplification.”
Sorry, you don’t get to redefine the terminology.
The water vapor feedback loop goes like this: temperature affects humidity which affects temperature
1. Some other forcing (e.g., CO2) causes warming
2. which causes slightly increased absolute humidity
3. which, because H2O vapor is a greenhouse gas, causes a little bit of additional warming
I.e., it “feeds back” to temperature (step 2).
paqyfelyc wrote, “Feedback there is, indeed, but negative…”
There are both negative and positive feedback mechanisms in the Earth’s climate systems.
paqyfelyc wrote, “Bottom line : the feedback is negative, that’s why there may be amplification instead of a runaway”
Wrong. Negative feedback causes attenuation, not amplification (unless very strong + delayed, in which case it may cause oscillations).
Water vapor feedback is a positive feedback mechanism, which is why it amplifies the effects of forcings like CO2 warming, particulate cooling, TSI, etc. on temperature.

• CORRECTION: I wrote, “That’s probably on the low side, especially for the planet as a whole, since the warming effect should be greater near the poles (where absolute humidity is lower, so additional water vapor has less effect — part of ‘polar amplification’).”
I badly garbled that. What I meant was: “That’s probably on the low side, especially for the planet as a whole, since the warming effect should be greater near the poles, where absolute humidity is lower — that’s one of the causes of ‘polar amplification’. Additional water vapor has less effect in the tropics because there’s already so much water vapor in the air there.”
Thank you, Steve Case.

• Jim Gorman says:

Positive feedback DOES typically cause an exponential increase in output and is only limited by the power supply. Wikipedia actually explains it pretty well: “… positive feedback is in phase with the input, in the sense that it adds to make the input larger. Positive feedback tends to cause system instability. When the loop gain is positive and above 1, there will typically be exponential growth, increasing oscillations, chaotic behavior or other divergences from equilibrium. System parameters will typically accelerate towards extreme values, which may damage or destroy the system …”
daveburton: The gain you’re talking about is the loop gain of the system. In other words it is an amplifier if the loop gain is >1. Any loop gain less than one means you have an attenuator and no chance of any amplification (think what that means for global warming).

• That’s incorrect, Jim Gorman. There are three cases:
1. If the loop gain is negative (i.e., less than zero) the feedback attenuates (reduces) the effect of other inputs (forcings). That’s why it’s called “negative feedback.”
An example of this is “Planck Feedback.” Radiative emissions from a warm body are proportional to the 4th power of the body’s absolute temperature (temperature in in Kelvin). It is calculated that a uniform global temperature increase of 1°C would increase radiant heat loss from the surface by 1.4%. So the feedback loop is:
higher temperature -> increases radiative heat loss to space which -> reduces temperature
2. Positive feedback has the opposite effect. If the loop gain is positive, but less than one, the feedback amplifies the effect of other inputs. This is the typical case, in nature, for positive feedbacks.
An example of this is “Water Vapor Feedback.” It is generally expected that warmer temperatures should increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, because warmer air holds more moisture. This effect is usually approximated in climate calculations by assuming stable relative humidity as temperatures change. Under that assumption, warmer temperatures cause greater amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere, and since water vapor is a greenhouse gas, increased water vapor in the atmosphere should increase greenhouse warming: a positive feedback:
higher temperature -> increases absolute humidity which -> increases temperature a little bit more
3. If the loop gain is greater than or equal to one a linear system is unstable. Initially you get exponential growth, but sooner or later some sort of nonlinearity kicks in, with the result being “increasing oscillations, chaotic behavior or other divergences from equilibrium.”
This is rare in nature, but an example is the combustion of gunpowder:
heat ignites a small amount of gunpowder -> produces more heat -> ignites a larger amount of gunpowder -> produces a larger amount of heat, etc.
Initially, the heat produced grows exponentially, but, of course, that doesn’t go on forever. Soon the system runs out of gunpowder: that’s the “nonlinearity kicking in.”

11. This is the most obscure post that I have yet encountered on WUWT.
XKCD ? — I had zero clue.
Cri de Coeur ? — also zero clue.
I had to look up both to even understand the title.
i ges i knead t reed mor

• commieBob says:

XKCD can be quite obscure sometimes. It’s the only cartoon I know that has a site devoted to explaining it. Explain XKCD

• Robert, XKCD is a snowflake cartoon based on a pseudo-scientific culture of arrogance and snark.
If you had college age children in the last decade you likely got an email, greeting card or maybe even coffee table book with XKCD cartoons. They’re very popular among the scientifically inclined snowflake set.
The key words are “arrogant” and “snark”. Some take humor where they can find it.

12. There are many parallels between Christianity and the global warming belief. In modern Christianity, they take bits and pieces and form an amalgam.
For example: How many people have actually read the first three chapters of Genesis? If you go to a church and ask that question, I will bet 95% of the people there will say they have not. The Bible does not say it directly, but the whole earth was not a perfect paradise, just the little spot called Eden. Adam was given a job: to reproduce and expand Eden. After Adam ate the fruit, both Adam and Eve became imperfect and realized they were naked. (Another fact Christians throughout the years have gotten wrong is they blamed Eve for the fall from grace. The Bible shows that God did not pronounce sentence on humans until Adam ate the unidentified fruit. The Bible never says it was an apple either.) Then they were kicked out of Eden where angels were posted to guard the way back in. But if the whole earth was a paradise, why would kicking Adam and Eve out be a punishment? Outside would be just as nice as inside.
The global warming belief takes a few bits of truth, gets it mixed up, and spreads it as divine truth. Just like the story of Adam and Eve. I am often reminded of the school game where you whisper something into someone’s ear who whispers that into another person’s ear who whispers that into another person’s ear and so on. What comes out is way off the mark. People misremember and misinterpret. The problem is when the facts clearly show your interpretation is wrong but you still defend it to the end.
Now, I am not trying to belittle people who believe in God or believe in gods. You can educated and a scientist and still believe in God. We should not blacklist or denigrate people who do believe in a creator. I was just pointing out how people get things mixed up, even things easy to verify if they would just research but they choose not to research.

• jorgekafkazar says:

The Adam and Eve thing is clearly a metaphor used to attempt to explain the Problem of Evil.

• JohnKnight says:

“The Bible shows that God did not pronounce sentence on humans until Adam ate the unidentified fruit. The Bible never says it was an apple either”
I believe the fruit is identified, and it’s not the sort we literately eat (or see);
And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil? The “fruit” is knowledge, it seems to me. I believe that “tree” was “in the midst of the garden”, because a certain “shinning one” was in the garden (soon to offer his “fruit” to the people), and the tree of life is the Son, through whom (it is made quite clear later) eternal life is made available to us humans.
To “eat” the fruit means to take it in, intellectually speaking, and this metaphorical usage persists throughout the Book . .
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

• Ian Macdonald says:

The problem is fanaticism. The same argument could be applied in the Middle East, where the problem is not Islam as such, but the branch known as Wahhabism which advocates a return to the kind of practices described in the War Suras, when Mohammed was fighting a pitched battle with corrupt tribal rulers.
Christianity went through a similar problem with the Inquisition, which was basically all about the fact that the Christ had not returned yet, and perhaps that was because of the presence of Unbelievers.
The climate fanatic likewise cannot accept that in the light of our knowledge of how renewable energy products perform, they are not a very good solution to our energy needs. Instead of adapting to that new knowledge, the fanatic becomes even more hell-bent on spending vast amounts of money on them, as if that will somehow make them work.
A common factor in the fanatic’s world view is the inability to modify their views in the light of new knowledge or changes in society.

• Tim Hammond says:

I think we all become attracted to system which reinforce our existing beliefs.
The Left love AGW because it gives them a sciencey reason to do what they want to do – cetnralise, increase the powers of the state, do away with all those nasty businesses. Our generation know they lost the economic argument to do all that conclusively, but they refuse to change the belief, despite that.
The fanatic takes it a step further and wants to impose his view on everybody, because it drives him (and it’s almost always a him) mad that others won;t recant and convert to his way of thinking.

• JohnKnight says:

Ian,
“Christianity went through a similar problem with the Inquisition, which was basically all about the fact that the Christ had not returned yet, and perhaps that was because of the presence of Unbelievers.”
It is made abundantly clear in the Book that “unbelievers” will not only exist, but will be persecuting Christians mightily when Christ returns. This is extremely easy to demonstrate if you have any doubt whatsoever.

• JohnKnight says:

For example; (Matthew 24: 3 – 14)
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

(People can claim whatever they like, but it is obviously false teaching it they claim the presence of unbelievers prevents His return, it seems beyond reasonable doubt, to me. The two religions are very different in this regard, and I would appreciate it if you didn’t muddy the waters, so to speak.)

• “corrupt tribal rulers?” Source please. By the way, when you link “Christianity” with “the Inquisition” you seem to be forgetting that the Copts, the Armenians, and the Orthodox never had the Inquisition; that was a Catholic institution. (I heard a lecture by a historian who had dug through the records of the time and found that you were actually safer with the Inquisition than with the civil courts.) I don’t know why you think it had anything to do with the return of Christ. The usual explanation is that it was due to social unrest which has been linked, at this site, to (natural) climate change. If you read Malleus Maleficarum — my copy, which I can no longer locate, was the Montague Summers edition — you will pick up that the three things witches were particularly feared for were (1) killing people, (2) interfering with human and animal reproduction [that is, contrary to modern myths, witches were not or were not perceived to be people who celebrated sex or fertility but people who attacked them], and (3) CONTROLLING THE WEATHER. (See chapter 5 of the Golden Bough…)

• MarkW says:

Eve at the fruit, then gave some to her husband, who also ate.
The punishment thing didn’t happen until the next day.
Eve clearly ate first, but Adam was present and did nothing to stop her, he also freely ate. So they were both guilty.

13. Roger Knights says:

Probably the last ditch for alarmism will be oceanic acidification.

14. Phil R says:

Robert Kernodle,
XKCD can be a little obscure, but generally quite to-the-point with an enjoyable, intelligent and sarcastic humor. But everyone swims out of their depths once in a while. If you haven’t follow the link to Josh’s cartoon.
Also, your spellcheck is not working. :>)

• Phil R says:

D*mn punctuation!

• Archer says:

Sod’s Law in action.

• Oh, there’s just so much irony in this little exchange here. (^_^)
I had to look up Sod’s Law too:
Comparison with Murphy’s law. … While Murphy’s law says that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong (eventually), Sod’s law requires that it always goes wrong with the worst possible outcome.

15. tony mcleod says:

“Plant growth shuts down completely at 150 ppm of carbon dioxide. From the glacial low of 180 ppm, it would have only been a fall of another 30 ppm to wipe out all life above sealevel.”
Is there any evidence for this? It is understood higher levels of CO2 will show more photosynthesis, but I’m talking this specific claim: Plant growth shuts down completely at 150 ppm of carbon dioxide.
Frankly I’m calling it out as just another artifact of the echo-chamber.

• Michael Jankowski says:

Frankly you’re an idiot. Did you even look at the “graph” you mentioned (not that you noted which particular graph it is in your link…there are several)? One of the graphs shows a net photosynthesis rate of zero at 100 ppm CO2 for C3 species, although it was not experimental data. Did you bother to read the text in your own link?
This one might be a little more comprehensive and serious.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03441.x/pdf

• tony mcleod says:

Thank you for your courteous response and for studiously ignoring the question. And yes I did browse through that link before you posted it but it seems to be talking about CO2 level in conjunction with temperature, not in and of itself.
Anyone actually have some evidence to back up the claim? That: “Plant growth shuts down completely at 150 ppm of carbon dioxide” and that “a fall of another 30 ppm to wipe out all life above sealevel.”

• K.kilty says:

Photosynthesis in C3 plants, I think c4 plants do things a bit differently, use an enzyme named RaBisCo to “capture” $CO_2$. The enzyme is not completely specific and will also capture oxygen. At low enough partial pressure of $CO_2$ oxygen capture dominates and this starves photosynthesis.

• I believe it is true, or nearly so, that growth ceases at around 150 ppmv for C3 plants, and it’s worse under dry conditions. C4 plants can limp along with a bit less, if necessary. But all plants are happiest with above 1000 ppmv CO2.

From the studies that have been conducted, it is clear that modern C3 plant genotypes grown at low [CO2] (180–200 ppm) exhibit severe reductions in photosynthesis, survival, growth, and reproduction, suggesting that reduced [CO2] during glacial periods may have induced carbon limitations that would have been highly stressful on C3 plants.

• AndyG55 says:

Simple maths.
150ppm is no-growth..
If we start from 300ppm, then increasing to …..
400ppm gives 1⅔ times the available CO2
450ppm doubles the available CO2
600ppm triples the available CO2
900 gives 5 times the available CO2

• AndyG55 says:
• Ian Macdonald says:

OK, we’d better stop emitting CO2 then, or I’m gonna need a drilling rig to deal with my dandelions.

• Gloateus Maximus says:

Tony,
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03441.x/pdf
Studies addressing the effects of low [CO2] on plants are
also fundamental for understanding plant evolution in
response to changes in resource availability through time –
primarily since changing [CO2] has been shown to have
major implications for plant fitness (Wardet al., 2000).
Modern plants grown at low [CO2] (150–200 ppm) exhibit
highly compromised survival (Ward & Kelly, 2004) and
reproduction (Dippery et al., 1995) at conditions that
occurred only 18 000–20 000 yr ago.

• tony mcleod says:

Yes I agree Gloateus, but “highly compromised” is not the same as the extinction of all terrestrial life.
That research you link mixes temperature in too and I don’t know whether those conclusion were solely relating to CO2.
The meme in this post is that more CO2 is urgently needed to avoid a cold extinction. An understandably common meme among warming skeptics.
Perhaps if humans were clever enough they may have been able to tweak the CO2 level slowly (like over 100 years) up to 290 or 300, thus artificially maintaining the inter-glacial. Smashing through 400 with a baked-in 500 doesn’t seem that prudent to me.

• AndyG55 says:

“thus artificially maintaining the inter-glacial. Smashing through 400 with a baked-in 500 doesn’t seem that prudent to me.”
roflmao.. hilariously brain-washed funny.
You have been shown that there is basically ZERO warming from the sharp rise in CO2 in the satellite era.
You have been shown that the world has existed VERY happily with far higher levels of CO2
Just keep DENYING the facts and chanting your religious mantra….., its funny to watch 🙂

• AndyG55 says:

Or are you trying to change the subject again because you can’t argue against the current one.
ie ZERO CO2 warming signal in the satellite temperature data.
CO2 does not produce warming in a convective atmosphere.

• Menicholas says:

So let me see if I have this straight…Warmistas like Tony are sure high CO2 are going to roast us all like cookie sheet of Tater Tots, and want us all to deindustrialize our economy, go poor paying our electric bill, and shiver through Winter with not even a wood fire for warmth, even though there is no evidence any such thing will happen except in some computer fantasyland they have invented.
But when it come to plants starving to death for lack of the basic ingredient for photosynthesis, and everything that depends on those plants (which is everything else) starving to death as a result…well, that requires proof extraordinaire, even though it is a simple fact of biology.
Warmista jackassery at it’s finest.
Is it January 20th yet?

• tony mcleod says:

You put a bunch of (junk) words in my mouth and then call me a jackass for it. Charmer.
Sorry, forgot where I am.

• “tony mcleod January 17, 2017 at 5:29 pm
Yes I agree Gloateus, but “highly compromised” is not the same as the extinction of all terrestrial life.
That research you link mixes temperature in too and I don’t know whether those conclusion were solely relating to CO₂.
The meme in this post is that more CO₂ is urgently needed to avoid a cold extinction. An understandably common meme among warming skeptics.
Perhaps if humans were clever enough they may have been able to tweak the CO₂ level slowly (like over 100 years) up to 290 or 300, thus artificially maintaining the inter-glacial. Smashing through 400 with a baked-in 500 doesn’t seem that prudent to me.”

Tony Clode:
• A) Billions spent on alleged CO₂ research. Not only have they failed to prove CO₂ contributes towards excessive atmospheric warming, but they’ve failed to research many other CO₂ questions.
• B) Far slower means far less plant growth. Low levels of plant growth restrict animal populations.
• • a) a population restriction caused by starvation or malnutrition.
• • b) just what level of disaster do you need? A low enough CO₂ level that C4 plants also expire?
• C) “meme in this post is that more CO₂ is urgently needed to avoid a cold extinction”
That is not the ‘meme’ and is as patently absurd as the whole CAGW meme.
• D) Where is your life supporting CO₂ levels concept originating from Tony? Perhaps a belief that plants survive in all CO₂ levels?
• • a) just as people can suffocate from too little percentages of O₂ in the atmosphere, plants can starve by too little CO₂ in the atmosphere.
• • b) when CO₂ and photosynthesis is unable to build sufficient sugars, new growth shuts down; at lower CO₂ levels the plant expires as it uses up all internal reserve attempting photosynthesis without CO₂.
• E) Current CO₂ atmospheric percentage, 400 ppm is 0.04%. At 150ppm, the atmospheric CO₂ is 0.015%.
• • a) Plants developed during high CO₂ levels, not low levels. C4 plants appear to be an evolutionary attempt to cope with previous glacial period CO₂ levels.
• • b) Both C3 and C4 plants thrive better at much higher CO₂ levels.
• F) “thus artificially maintaining the inter-glacial”.
• G) From your long period of troll commentary, I suspect you’ve just thrown out another diversionary straw man.

• tony mcleod says:

ATheoK
Dude, if you think I’m a troll stop feeding me.

• MarkW says:

In the last few million years, CO2 levels have exceeded 7000ppm. Yet you get your panties in a twist over the possibility of going over 500ppm.
Go back to your echo chamber, you are embarrassing yourself.

• catweazle666 says:

“Dude, if you think I’m a troll stop feeding me.”
Even trolls like you have a use occasionally.
You obtuse and intransigent attitude has caused a number of contributors to post some highly informative data on the precise effects of different CO2 levels on the growth of plants which may well educate readers who were previously unaware of the benefits of increasing atmospheric CO2 levels.
Plus, it is often amusing to poke you with sharp sticks to make you froth and wriggle and puncture your bubble of self-satisfied superiority to we humble sceptics.

• Tony, the established “meme” runs the opposite your claim though; it’s that rising CO2 is harmful.
You observation that “whacking the atmosphere with a mallet (in geological time-frames)” has happened is also unfounded. Beyond the instrument record, there’s no evidence available with a temporal measure necessary to tell us it carbon dioxide (or temperature) have risen “rapidly” in the past; the data just don’t exist.
You’re making allegations and insinuations based on faith, not observation. I understand it’s what you believe, but there’s no evidence to support the belief.

• Tim Hammond says:

So you want everybody to be polite to you, yet your original comment says:
“Frankly I’m calling it out as just another artifact of the echo-chamber.”
Why do you get to be rude but take such umbrage if people are rude back?

• MarkW says:

Because he’s an morally superior being. (His mommy told him so.)

• catweazle666 says:

Because in his world, AGW sceptics are at best ill-informed scientifically illiterate proles and at worst evil climate saboteurs hell-bent on hurting the little kittens and puppies, so unlike him, undeserving of basic levels of respect.

• artifact of the echo-chamber … that’s a curious way of putting it. What “chamber” are we referring to? — the belief system that understands the role of carbon dioxide in the terrestrial life process ? … where graphs illustrating the truths of this belief system ARE, in fact, artifacts, as are ALL “artifacts” of knowledge ?
just another, then, implies that such “artifacts” are somehow tainted. And so are you suggesting that the belief system that understands the role of CO2 in the terrestrial life process is somehow tainted ? Do you disbelieve that CO2 has a vital role in the terrestrial life process ? If so, then your tone might illustrate a need for you to review your own beliefs in regard to this substance. Otherwise, why would you not give greater validity to such an “artifact” that clearly shows that photosynthesis of a certain class of plants shuts down, regardless of temperature ?
At this level of concentration, CO2 is the LIMITING FACTOR. Here’s a pretty good explanation of that idea:
http://www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/content/filerepository/CMP/00/001/068/Rate%20of%20photosynthesis%20limiting%20factors.pdf

Limiting Factors
In 1905, when investigating the factors affecting the rate of photosynthesis, Blackmann
formulated the Law of limiting factors. This states that the rate of a physiological process will be limited by the factor which is in shortest supply. Any change in the level of a limiting factor will affect the rate of reaction.
For example, the amount of light will affect the rate of photosynthesis. If there is no light, there will be no photosynthesis. As light intensity increases, the rate of photosynthesis will increase as long as other factors are in adequate supply. As the rate increases, eventually another factor will come into short supply.
The graph below shows the effect of low carbon dioxide concentration:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/al8ii7rsj9fwxzi/Rate%20of%20photosynthesis%20limiting%20factors.jpg
It [CO2] will eventually be insufficient to support a higher rate of photosynthesis, and increasing light intensity will have no effect, so the rate plateaus.
If a higher concentration of carbon dioxide is supplied, light is again a limiting factor and a higher
rate can be reached before the rate again plateaus. If carbon dioxide and light levels are high, but temperature is low, increasing temperature will have the greatest effect on reaching a higher rate of photosynthesis.

Now would 150 ppm wipe out all life above sea level ? Well, considering that most of life depends on plants that thrive in this range, then, maybe not ALL, but a significant percentage to start. And considering that the remaining life might have depended on the life that would die out, the cascading demise of life would seem to continue onto the next tier too, from which I’m not sure how much farther down the deterioration might progress.
But to argue over the word, “all”, in this context is just an exercise in winning a debate, when the REAL point is that ALL life WOULD suffer in this range of CO2.

• MarkW says:

Any evidence that refutes his religion, has to be denigrated.
That’s why the documented fact that plant start to starve below 150ppm has to be the result of an “echo chamber”.

16. gnomish says:

heh- the article is almost self-diagnostic.
and ffs- learn to use a freakin dictionary, eh?
‘importune’ doesn’t mean what your wild pundit priapist wet dreams told you.

17. David , I’ve had your “Beer’s Law” graphic on my http://cosy.com/Science/warm.htm since way back too .
On the side issue : there is nothing new about animal sacrifice in NYC . It had to be in the ’90s when I was strolling with some friends on Orchard Beach in the Bronx and saw something that looked like some sort of dead bird . When I went over to it , it turned out to be a sacrificed chicken . They called it Santeria back then .
There probably are still live poultry shops in the Bronx . Most of the time I lived there there was a small red wooden house-looking building on Grand around Centre at the interface of China Town and Little Italy which was a live poultry store . Of course you could buy live turtles and doves and frogs and the like from street vendors in China Town .

• Menicholas says:

Beer’s law?
Is that the one that says you can only buy six-packs after last call?

• Jer0me says:

No, the one that states that having 24 hours in a day and 24 beers in a case is no coincidence 🙂

• Lambert’s name is also connected with it . But I have to admit I like the notion of “Beer”‘s Law .

• MarkW says:

Beer’s law gets me hopped up.

18. Earth’s carbon cycle contains 46,713 Gt (E15 gr) +/- 850 Gt (+/- 1.8%) of stores and reservoirs with a couple hundred fluxes Gt/y (+/- ??) flowing among those reservoirs. Mankind’s gross contribution over 260 years was 555 Gt or 1.2%. (IPCC AR5 Fig 6.1) Mankind’s net contribution, 240 Gt or 0.53%, (dry labbed by IPCC to make the numbers work) to this bubbling, churning caldron of carbon/carbon dioxide is 4 Gt/y +/- 96%. (IPCC AR5 Table 6.1) Seems relatively trivial to me. IPCC et. al. says natural variations can’t explain the increase in CO2. With these tiny percentages and high levels of uncertainty how would anybody even know? BTW fossil fuel between 1750 and 2011 represented 0.34% of the biospheric carbon cycle.

19. Jace says:

I really don’t think you meant ‘importune’…

20. Don’t know where he got his data, but checking the USHCN date for nearby Farmington, MO (there is no station in St. Louis itself), there are… a handful of days below zero all the way up to 2014, when the data ends. Perhaps the dread UHI effect is at work?

21. Bill Illis says:

Cartoons don’t do much for me.
But real pictures do.
http://jo.nova.s3.amazonaws.com/graph/plants/plant-growth/plant-growth-co2-carbon-yield-increase.gif
The thing is, even at 100 ppm, the C3 rice is still growing, but it probably doesn’t reach maturity stage so that it is producing viable seeds to continue the line of next year’s plants. Now cut rainfall by 30% or 50% as in the ice ages and the C3 rice doesn’t make it past the germination stage.
The C4 foxtail grass in this example is not hurt that badly and probably produces viable seeds and makes it to next year’s plants..
That is what happens at low CO2 levels, the C4 grasses take over because they out-compete other C3 plants in the year-by-year derby, especially if it gets dryer. So grassland takes over and the grass herbivore herds become huge. Humans do okay in this scenario since we like our steaks and have weapons to hunt herbivores and can run them down over long distance. The ice ages made us who we are, not the other way around.
There is one C4 plant, however, that is destined to take over the world if CO2 ever falls to the lowest levels and rainfall stays high enough. Bamboo.

• tony mcleod says:

Thank Bill.
It seems “a fall of another 30 ppm to wipe out all life above sealevel.” is indeed just non-scientific arm-waving.
I expect this myth will now be put to bed (until the next poster) sigh.

• Pamela Gray says:

I would hate to feed the planet with CO2 that low. It likely means the other parameters necessary for adequate growth needed to produce sufficient per acre foodstuffs has been disrupted as well. Therefore if atmospheric CO2 is that low, I can reasonably speculate that plant survival will be severely curtailed with die-off present.

• AndyG55 says:

Food per unit area would plummet.
The world’s population could not feed itself.
The greenie agenda, writ large

• tony mcleod says:

Starve people of the Earth…Bwa ha ha ha…………….wait, CO2 is sky-rocketing isn’t it? Awesome, we’re saved…. But wait on! we’ve got the greenies to thank for that? wuwt?

• John F. Hultquist says:

… for a couple of hours and get back to us.

• Kaiser Derden says:

so is AGW so we are even … 🙂

• tony mcleod says:

Is that a link to evidence for: “a fall of another 30 ppm to wipe out all life above sea level.”?

• Tim Hammond says:

So if very few plants can grow and mature at that level, and since the vast majority of life on land is ultimately dependent on plant growth, what do you think happens?

• So, we can relax, if only MOST of life is wiped out ? — is that what you might be implying ?
I don’t think I could rest very well in that bed.

• To be more clear … in reply to:

It seems “a fall of another 30 ppm to wipe out all life above sealevel.” is indeed just non-scientific arm-waving.
I expect this myth will now be put to bed (until the next poster) sigh.

. . . I wrote:
So, we can relax, if only MOST of life is wiped out ? — is that what you might be implying ? I don’t think I could rest very well in that bed.

• Tony writes “I expect this myth will now be put to bed”.
Tony, you’ve just seen experimental evidence, but you discount it? Call it a “myth”? One shows rice seems to prefer 800ppm and suffers below 200. But you choose snark? Why?
The evidence supporting the claim is before your eyes. What else would you like? Better still, why should anyone care?

22. afonzarelli says:

There is a school of thought out there that says that the 800 year lag in ice cores is not one of co2 lagging temperature, rather it’s global temps lagging temperature at the south pole. The THC keeps temperatures cooler than they otherwise would be at the equator and it takes the full circulation of the thermocline for temperature to catch up. (and visa versa in a cooling world with an even longer lag) It should be noted that shallow ice cores show no such lag when compared to global temperature reconstructions…

• Javier says:

The CO2 lag is actually a very complex issue, as it is tying local temperatures to global CO2 levels, and it is complicated by the issue that the age of the gas does not match the age of the ice due to the firning process. The age difference between both is variable as it depends on local precipitations.
We also have the problem that probably we are seeing a two sides effect as the increase in one factor increases the other.
More recent research suggests that the lag in Antarctica is not 800 yr., and the coupling between both is tighter. Perhaps as tight as 200 yr. ± 200 yr. See:
Pedro, J. B., Rasmussen, S. O., & van Ommen, T. D. (2012). Tightened constraints on the time-lag between Antarctic temperature and CO2 during the last deglaciation. Climate of the Past, 8(4), 1213-1221.
http://www.clim-past.net/8/1213/2012/cp-8-1213-2012.pdf

• Most important, the resolution is not +/- 25 years, as would be necessary for any even marginally relevant comparison with contemporary instrument records and the significance of the alleged “unprecedented” observations over the past 150 years.

23. TonyL says:

formulate a new religion for the lefties to believe in

Stick with the Tried And True, here.
Pagan Fertility Rites.
Scandinavian Hot Rocks + Steam style saunas plus more Fertility Rites.
Full Moon and New Moon Beer and Ale Drinking plus more Fertility Rites.
(Beer Goggles invented for a reason)
And you have a winner!
Even people who do not subscribe to your new religion will still enjoy at least some of your rituals and celebrations. (It is important to have community support.)

24. AJB says:

Missing the plywood violin and brace of angels …

25. Janus100 says:

“…Plant growth shuts down completely at 150 ppm of carbon dioxide….”
Would this be referring to actual partial pressure of CO2?
Meaning, the if there is 300ppm of CO2 the C3 plants would not live at 1/2 atmospheric pressure ( eg above 5000m above msl)?
Could it be that the higher tree lines now are doe to higher CO2 concentration, not use to temperature?

• TonyL says:

“Would this be referring to actual partial pressure of CO2?”
Absolutely correct!

• Crispin in Waterloo says:

Janus100
Thanks for that. I missed it and should not have. Higher tree elevation may reflect CO2 if the temperature is provably the same-ish. We might be able to dig out some CO2 proxy from tree rings measured at constant altitude. I think there is a whole science buried in that observation.

• Janus100 says:

Thanks for being easy on my typos…
😃😃
Have any experiments been done on this?
Me thinks it could be easily done in a lab set up.

26. I have a theory.
Many cultures over the eons have seen man as being flawed, tainted, imperfect — of sin — and have devised countless ways to “purify” his soiled soul.
But as first-worlders have become (at least in their minds) more secular, they still unconsciously have this sense of being tainted. But now “sin” has morphed into toxins — toxins, unseen, everywhere, inside and out.
Thus we see the rise of colon cleanses, hot yoga, detox teas, and countless other forms of baptism, to exorcise internal poisons.
And we also see an externalization, the rise of CAGW, with pernicious CO2, the gas of the devil, that can only be forgiven with global self-flagellation and tax penetance.

27. Javier says:

One of the problems assuming the effects of low CO2 on plants during Last Glacial Maximum, or periods of very low CO2, is that we always talk about average CO2 levels, but plants do not experiment average levels. CO2 levels change a lot depending on time of the day, wind conditions and a lot of other factors and that’s why they have to go to remote places to measure it. Even at 160 ppm plants could easily expend time at double that, growing, while seeing half that at other times not growing. Probably even during the same day. So in their natural environment plants are probably a lot more resistant to low CO2 conditions than in the lab.
I for one do not believe that we were close to a mass extinction due to low levels of CO2. A look to biodiversity curves shows that the number of genera had continue increasing during the Late Quaternary. If anything there were a lot of big animals now extinct that were being supported fine by the plants during several glacial periods. The land was less productive during glacial periods, but seems almost all species did fine.
A different thing is that as the interior of the planet cools down, volcanic activity is decreasing, and therefore CO2 levels are going down on a multi-million years time scale. One day there won’t be enough CO2 to support big animals and life complexity will start decreasing back to the unicellular level. This is likely to happen before the Sun expands enough to make the Earth uninhabitable.
Perhaps Gaia will have a solution for that. After all it has been able to invent a species capable of reaching the carboniferous deposits and return them to the atmosphere to be recycled by life, correcting a decrease in entropy. Once we finish fossil fuels we are no longer useful to Gaia.

• afonzarelli says:

And Gaia will then kill us… (☺)

• AndyG55 says:

There was a great experiment done.. now this is all from memory..
It is known that CO2 builds up closer to the ground overnight. Atmospheric CO2 was around 350ppm at the time of the experiment, iirc.
Over a crop in the morning on a still day, the CO2 was measured at 600ppm in the morning, 8am
This dropped rapidly to 200ppm around midday.. then remained basically constant.
So 4 hours good growing time.
Suppose it only started at 300ppm… that would only give 1 hour growing time.
That means 1/4 the growth !! In a world that relies on crop growth… NOT GOOD !!!

• Jer0me says:

That’s just because plants respire at night, releasing co2, and photosynthesise in the day to make more food. The scenario you describe would only occur in rare times of no wind at all.

• Javier says:

There was no agriculture prior to the Holocene, and for a good reason. But reduced productivity during glacial periods (a fact) does not mean plant starvation. If conditions get close to starvation you start losing species both plants and animals. That didn’t happen.

• MarkW says:

Jer0me,
In most places where crops are grown, the crops extend for miles.
Very low wind levels are not uncommon during the summer.

• “What that graph demonstrates is the logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide.”
It is a base ten (common) logarithm, not a “natural” log.
While I totally believe that life on this planet has enormously affected “natural” cycles beyond our current understanding, I’m not ready for “Once we finish fossil fuels we are no longer useful to Gaia.”
Religion is essentially the opposite of science. Religion is a set of preconceptions. It is a scientific cop out. It is “natural” to humans, but it is poison to deeper understanding.

• Bartemis says:

log10(x) = log10(e)*log(x)
It’s just a scale factor.

• Bart, I was referring, snidely I’m afraid, to the “natural log” (y=1/x) referred to in the Berkeley Earth graphic.
The difference can be illustrated here:
https://geosciencebigpicture.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/natural-log-v-exponent.png
The exponent of CO2 transmission shown is not a true base ten log, but neither is the diminution in CO2 effectiveness with increased concentration. It is just an approximation.
When you really get into it, we have no physical explanations for any of the square and root based “laws” that from Aristotle to Newton were empirically derived.
The point is that the soft corner of the natural log does not match the much more base ten graphic in the post.

• Javier says:

Hey, the last paragraph was a joke. A way of showing that you can interpret evidence in a completely different way and come up with another religion.
Gaia is actually two opposite things:
1. A scientific concept enunciated by Lovelock that represents the influence of Life on the chemistry of the planet. I subscribe to it.
2. A New Age philosophic and quasi religious movement that defends that Life on Earth represents a higher order conscience. I don’t subscribe to it.

• Sorry man, didn’t seem right. You and I completely agree on 1.

• MarkW says:

I’ve read that during the day, corn fields can come close to exhausting the available CO2 in the air.

28. The Anthropocene Age scientific paradigm shift began in the 60s. This is the controlling scientific theory that all chemicals, cultivars, synthetic materials and electromagnetic waves used by people in their every day life are either carcinogens, dangerous to public health, or are triggering “tipping points” in ecosystems of the fragile earth. Thousands and thousands of scientific papers have been published with the sole purpose of convicting over 10,000 chemicals and technical processes of being dangerous to the environment.
GHG emissions causing dangerous tipping points in the earth’s atmosphere are only a sub-component of this scientific paradigm shift. Have the scientific integrity to notice where the Anthropocene Age Scientific Paradigm is leading. Religious beliefs at the minimum must concern the afterlife, the existence of angels, the certainty of the laws of recompense, and the existence of God.
The science of the Elizabethan Age, the Protestant Reformation and the American Revolution had as a goal the improvement of people’s daily lives and it succeeded. Now science is full of endless worthless speculations about the past, present and future, and it always forbids.

29. TRM says:

Here is something George Carlin started and I whole heartedly suggest not just lefties in search of a deity, but EVERYONE join!!!!
http://pescistchurch.webs.com/

30. rogerthesurf says:

” because Nature abhors a vacuum and some sort of nonsense will enter leftie brains to fill the space currently occupied by global warming.
Don’t worry, The United Nations have a contingency already in place.
Its the doctrine of “sustainability” from United Nations Agenda 21 and United Nations Agenda 2030 and its already in your local government, schools and universities.
This link shows the United Nations infuence in our schools,
https://thedemiseofchristchurch.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/exemplar-3-2008-exam.pdf
Just check and see if the schools in your country are teaching your kids this garbage.
Its got all the hall marks of a religion.
Try going to your local government’s website and doing a search for Agenda 21 or “ICLEI”
This what my blog is about.
Cheers
Roger
http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

• littleoil says:

While you are looking at Local Govt do a search on Climate Change. My Sydney council has great photos of our park benches under water!!

31. ReallySkeptical says:

Wow. Irony from XKCD is largely lost on Watts Up. No. completely lost. Yes.

32. CART BEFORE HORSE?
[excerpt]
I wrote above:
“Atmospheric CO2 lags temperature by ~9 months in the modern data record and also by ~~800 years in the ice core record, on a longer time scale.”
In my shorthand, ~ means approximately and ~~ means very approximately (or ~squared).
It is possible that the causative mechanisms for this “TemperatureLead-CO2Lag” relationship are largely similar or largely different, although I suspect that both physical processes (ocean solution/exsolution) and biological processes (photosynthesis/decay and other biological) play a greater or lesser role at different time scales.
All that really matters is that CO2 lags temperature at ALL measured times scales and does not lead it, which is what I understand the modern data records indicate on the multi-decadal time scale and the ice core data records indicate on a much longer time scale.
This does not mean that temperature is the only (or even the primary) driver of increasing atmospheric CO2. Other drivers of CO2 could include deforestation, fossil fuel combustion, etc. but that does not matter for this analysis, because the ONLY signal that is apparent signal in the data records is the LAG of CO2 after temperature.
It also does not mean that increasing atmospheric CO2 has no impact on temperature; rather it means that this impact is quite small.
I conclude that temperature, at ALL measured time scales, drives CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature.
Precedence studies are commonly employed in other fields, including science, technology and economics. The fact that this clear precedence is consistently ignored in “climate science” says something about the deeply held unscientific beliefs in this field – perhaps it should be properly be called “climate religion” or “climate dogma” – it just doesn’t look much like “science”.
Happy Holidays, Allan

33. Griff says:

XKCD is really funny though…
Main problem is you start looking at just one then spend all morning on it.

• Darrell Demick says:

LOL!!! Yes, have been caught in that trap myself!

34. Ian Macdonald says:

People who write software are not entirely logical anyway. For instance they insist on using languages with buffer overflow or code injection risks, in spite of the knowledge that this is playing straight into the hands of hackers. Meanwhile they insist that we use HTTPS on websites, despite these being no documented proof that MITM attacks actually take place on any significant scale.
Seems to me that the rational person would deal with the proven security issue before addressing the hypothetical one.
Yet, ask some IT graduates to provide proof of MITM attacks, and instead of examples you get the textbook on MITM methods ranted at you. When you point out that reciting a textbook isn’t proof of anything, you just get more of the same. When you calmly but deliberately point out that they STILL haven’t shown any PROOF that these attacks exist in the real world, they start with the ad homs.
-Isn’t this remarkably like the ‘CO2 is a greenhouse gas therefore it will cause a catastrophe’ argument?

• paqyfelyc says:

MITM is nothing more than a postman (or pretending postman) reading your letters, and maybe even rewriting it.
Finding proof of it ? Hard in real world, pretty much impossible in the virtual.
Quite common anyway, methinks.

35. Stephen says:

Okay so you don’t believe in climate change but what if you are wrong? Would you bet the planet and your children’s environment that you are right? I don’t think that I am going to get tetanus but I still get my tetanus shot every few years. If I am right in just have a sore arm for a day or so. If I am wrong I save my life. Think of climate change in the same way.
Fossil fuels use, extraction and transportation all have adverse effects on the environment. Look at all of the cities around the world that have severe smog.
PS who benefits from scaring people with climate change?

• Roger Knights says:

The insurance argument has been dealt with so many times here and elsewhere that I won’t bother reciting it again. (Maybe someone else will.)

PS who benefits from scaring people with climate change?

Environmental NGOs like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, etc. Scare stories are what prompt donations.

• Robert Austin says:

A simple and oft repeated refutation to Stephen’s “precautionary principle” hand waving. You don’t by insurance where the cost of insurance exceeds the possible cost of damages.

• MarkW says:

The science is in. The planet isn’t at risk.
CO2 levels have broken 7000ppm in the past and not only did the planet survive, but life thrived.
As to who beneftist from the scare?
1) Scientists who get their work funded by government.
2) Politicians who get support for new taxes.
3) Idiots who believe that man is evil and needs to be reduced.

• In the local news today, the price of refuse collection is going up over 11%. The council says they’re just passing on Emissions Trading Scheme charges being imposed by central government on sources of greenhouse gases, like city dumps. SOMEBODY is benefiting from all that extra money, and it’s clearly not the planet.

• Darrell Demick says:

I am a firm believer in climate change – been happening for the past 4 billion years.
Give or take.
I am also a firm believer that it will continue on it’s merry way, and that it will do so irrespective what our species does.
Or does not do.
The benefits of higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations far outweigh any perceived damages. Regarding damages, I see none whatsoever. Our atmosphere is truly starved of the “molecule of life”, unfortunately there are a select few individuals and special interest groups that are corrupting the data to suite their needs.
The mandate of Greenpeace is NOT to “save the whales”, it was in the past but given that it costs them \$1 million/day to “keep the lights on”, they are in the business of making money. Telling people that “everything is fine, nothing to see here” will not cut the mustard.
And my favorite, Mr. Al Gore, has made hundreds of millions with his paranoia propaganda.
Hey, it works, gotta admire those making vast amounts of wealth for that!

• Bartemis says:

“Okay so you don’t believe in climate change but what if you are wrong?”
This cuts both ways. There are consequences to the actions that have been advocated to deal with the alleged problem. There is no free lunch.
Materials processing for solar and wind farms produces highly toxic byproducts, and carpeting vast swathes of territory with them destroys habitats, kills wildlife, and could create at least local weather anomalies, all for a pittance of power that has to be backed up by fossil fueled plants anyway. Denying affordable energy to the developing world is killing people right now. And, for the First World, the opportunity costs of foregoing the most efficient sources of energy are enormous.
So, what if you are wrong, and we end up with a lot of death, destruction, and lower quality of life in general for nothing?

• Bartemis says:
36. paqyfelyc says:

“Plant growth shuts down completely at 150 ppm of carbon dioxide. ”
Current plant do that. Doesn’t mean that they cannot evolve or be superseded by other things able to thrive at 50, 15 or even 0 ppm (carbon won’t disappear, just be elsewhere).

• emsnews says:

They need carbon to make the parts of the plant which we call ‘plants.’ They can grow without oxygen but this is an oxymoron because by sucking in CO2 they make O2 since they only want the C atom.

• “Doesn’t mean that they cannot evolve or be superseded by other things able to thrive at 50, 15 or even 0 ppm”
Well then why not run an experiment and test that hypothesis of your? Don’t forget to publish. Maybe “Evolutionary response of C3 plant species to reduced environmental Carbon Dioxide: a case study” by your esteemed self?
Before that though, you can run a low cost trial of the proposed effect in your living room. Get yourself a plastic bag and put it over your head. You’ll need a stopwatch too. Put the bag over your head and start the stopwatch. If, after spending several minutes with the plastic bag over your head, you’re still alive and able to stop the watch. Well, maybe you have something and you evolved to no longer require oxygen. It’s not a real proof, but it would support the general hypothesis.
WARNING: Closed course. Do NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME. Professional drivers. You must have an advanced degree in SCIENCE to perform this experiment.

37. 2cents says:

As a scientist this article is interesting as it presents arguments you don’t normally hear about when discussing the man-made CO2 effect on global temperature. The 800 year lag and all the different ways how it challenges mainstream scientific analysis of the same data. Challenging conventional knowledge is how science is done, and this is an interesting insight in that sense.
It was however a very disgusting read, riddled with personal attacks, these ugly comparisons between mainstream science and religion and this smug sense of superiority that makes it feel like the author was stroking his dick the whole time while writing this.

• MarkW says:

It may be disgusting, but it is still accurate.
PS, what we are saying is mild compared to what the warmists have been saying about us.
At least we haven’t advocated jailing, or even killing those on the other side.

• The Cannabis Counter-culture set out to replace the beliefs and accomplishments of previous generations with their own pet philosophies and with scientific theories — both social theories which they elevated to the level of the physical sciences, and with environmental theories.
I think their whole experiment proves that people who are madly in love with theories always deny, avoid and suppress any one or any thing that demonstrate the failure of their own theories. The argument goes something like this: Since science and scientists can do no wrong, and environmentalism is good and ethical, then when it does go wrong, it gets called “religion.” What can one do in the face of such certainty and objectivity? At least it develops patience and humor in the rest of us…
Yet population control/eugenics, genetics, psychiatry, and the trends of intellectual revolutionaries in the 1900’s all made claims of scientific proofs and methods. So the smug intellectual by his own system of science vs. religion excludes himself from having to consider the history of the failure of scientific theories. That isn’t very scientific.

• “I think their whole experiment proves that people who are madly in love with theories always deny, avoid…”
Zeke, you’re approaching the disagreement between theorists and empiricists that’s been in progress for millennia. It won’t be resolved here and it’s at the root of skepticism in the sciences. It’s why skepticism is so important.

38. pochas94 says:

Until “scientists” discover convection, belief in these positive feedbacks from radiative calculations will frustrate Climate Science. It’s a convective troposphere, people. These radiative feedbacks are just not there.

39. emsnews says:

I lived in Brooklyn for a number of years. My neighbors all over the hood did animal sacrifices. Mostly roosters. It was bloody and noisy and I told them, if they keep doing this voodoo hoodoo I would bring in the cops so…they all did it INDOORS. Yuck.

40. Thomas Homer says:

“What that graph demonstrates is the logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide. Half of the heating is from the first 20 ppm. By the time we get to the atmospheric concentration in 2017 of 406 ppm, each additional 100 ppm only adds 0.1°C. Everyone knows this to be true.”
The logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide –> Everyone knows this to be true –> ????
I know it to be false! And, that makes your claim that “everyone knows this to be true” to also be false. If you can’t get those right, how can we trust the rest of what you write?
I’ve already shown that for very small concentrations of atmospheric CO2 this does not hold true and no one has answered my request to show how this holds true for very high concentrations of atmospheric CO2. So, you must be able to define the range of CO2 concentrations for which your claim holds true. And you have no scientific method of deriving those range values.
There is no science to back up your claim of the “logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide”.

• If you can’t get those right, how can we trust the rest of what you write?
Same thing with Solar Activity being the highest in 10,000 years. It is not.

• Jim G1 says:

“Sunspot numbers over the past 11,400 years have been reconstructed usingCarbon-14-based dendroclimatology. The level of solar activity beginning in the 1940s is exceptional – the last period of similar magnitude occurred around 9,000 years ago (during the warm Boreal period).[6][7][8] The Sun was at a similarly high level of magnetic activity for only ~10% of the past 11,400 years. Almost all earlier high-activity periods were shorter than the present episode.[7]” Wikipedia
He did have a source. Just saying.

• Having an outdated source does not make it right. Archibald has been told many times that he is wrong on this, but doesn’t seem to care. Here is a source that he could have used:
“A comparison with sunspot and neutron records confirms that ice core 10Be reflects solar Schwabe cycle variations, and continued 10Be variability suggests cyclic solar activity throughout the Maunder and Sporer grand solar activity minima. Recent 10Be values are low; however, they do not indicate unusually high recent solar activity compared to the last 600 years. Citation: Berggren, A.-M. et al. (2009), A 600-year annual 10Be record from the NGRIP ice core, Greenland, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L11801, doi:10.1029/2009GL038004.”

• Jim G1 says:

.Different study from 2015 article. Used a different methodology. Is this one also out dated or just wrong?
“The activity of the Sun over the last 11,400 years, i.e., back to the end of the last ice age on Earth, has now for the first time been reconstructed quantitatively by an international group of researchers led by Sami K. Solanki from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany). The scientists have analyzed the radioactive isotopes in trees that lived thousands of years ago. As the scientists from Germany, Finland, and Switzerland report in the current issue of the science journal “Nature” from October 28, one needs to go back over 8,000 years in order to find a time when the Sun was, on average, as active as in the last 60 years. Based on a statistical study of earlier periods of increased solar activity, the researchers predict that the current level of high solar activity will probably continue only for a few more decades.”

• Since you did not give a dated reference it is hard to tell which article you are referring to, but your text says “for the first time” which indicates that you are citing the old outdated paper.
Perhaps this paper will set you straight:
http://www.leif.org/EOS/muscheler05nat_nature04045.pdf
“t solar activity around AD 1150 and 1600 and in the late eighteenth century was probably comparable to the recent satellite-based observations.”
Some explanation of the causes of the discrepancy with Solanki is here:
http://www.leif.org/EOS/Muscheler-Cosmic-Ray-Topical-Issue.pdf
“the high solar-activity values around 1780 on a level comparable to the second part of the twentieth century”.
Bottom line: recent solar activity has not been the highest is 10,000 years.

• Jim G1 says:

Well I would say, possibly, with a few exceptions. And I use the weasel word possibly since one of your sources also uses the weasel word “probably”.

• ‘Probably’ is not a weasel word, but is used in science to signify a high-enough statistical significance of a claim for it to be taken seriously. ‘Possibly’ probably signifies that it is not totally out of the question that something might be true, but that the evidence is too weak for ‘probable’.

• Jim G1 says:

Pobably when used in the scientific sense you indicate is usually followed parenthetically with the error bar estimates upon which the word “probably” is based. If the original work Max Plank Institute reported in 2004 had acceptable statistical significance then a few exceptions to the 8000-10000 years might not make it so “outdated” as to not take the comment in this posting seriously regarding recent strength of the sun relative to the past. The exceptions caused me to say “possibly”.

• The Solanki paper was flawed because it was calibrated to the faulty Hoyt & Schatten Group Sunspot Number plus based on inferior cosmogenic records. We are not talking about t few ‘exceptions’. Even in the last 300 years [which are the important ones for our climate] the 2nd half of the 20th Century was not exceptional.
Bad [or wrong] science lives forever when promoted by people with agendas…

• Jim G1 says:

There are most certainly plenty of agendae out there.

• They make O2 by ‘sucking in’ water not CO2.

• It’s referred to as the ‘curve of growth’ I suggest you look it up. Basically at low concentrations of CO2 the response will be linear, moderate concentrations (the present atmosphere) it’s logarithmic and at high concentrations square root.

• Thomas Homer says:

Phil. says: “It’s referred to as the ‘curve of growth’ I suggest you look it up. Basically at low concentrations of CO2 the response will be linear, moderate concentrations (the present atmosphere) it’s logarithmic and at high concentrations square root.”
Thanks for the suggestion – but first …
Your reply refutes the premise that “The logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide” is true and that’s exactly my point!
You claim to know what the range values are for when CO2 concentrations follow the logarithmic curve, but you didn’t supply those values. Do you need to “look them up”, or can you show how those values are derived? How does this behavior of CO2 change over concentration values? You are claiming that at some upper end of “low concentrations” of CO2 that one additional CO2 molecule will follow the linear curve, but the next molecule will begin the logarithmic curve, what is altering the behavior of these two CO2 molecules?

• Thomas Homer January 18, 2017 at 6:53 am
You claim to know what the range values are for when CO2 concentrations follow the logarithmic curve, but you didn’t supply those values. Do you need to “look them up”, or can you show how those values are derived? How does this behavior of CO2 change over concentration values? You are claiming that at some upper end of “low concentrations” of CO2 that one additional CO2 molecule will follow the linear curve, but the next molecule will begin the logarithmic curve, what is altering the behavior of these two CO2 molecules?

I did not claim that it is a sharp transition as in your reductio ad absurdum argument.
What is altering the behavior of the CO2 molecules is the broadening of the absorption spectrum (Gaussian-Lorentzian profiles).
As I said look up ‘Curve of Growth’.

• Thomas Homer says:

Phil says:
1- “Basically at low concentrations of CO2 the response will be linear, moderate concentrations (the present atmosphere) it’s logarithmic and at high concentrations square root.”
2 – “I did not claim that it is a sharp transition ”
Ok, so the term ‘basically’ must mean that there’s wiggle room in your own claim that it’s linear then logarithmic then square root. So, your new claim is that it starts somewhere, then it’s linear, then there’s a gradual transition to a logarithmic curve then another gradual transition to be a square root curve. Is that accurate? That doesn’t sound like “the logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide”, which means that I’m correct. And, it actually doesn’t sound scientific at all.
Also, 0.04% is considered a moderate concentration?

• Samuel C Cogar says:

Quoting David Archibald, to wit:

This is a graphic I popularised 10 years ago:
What that graph demonstrates is the logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide. Half of the heating is from the first 20 ppm. By the time we get to the atmospheric concentration in 2017 of 406 ppm, each additional 100 ppm only adds 0.1°C. Everyone knows this to be true.

Well now, I sure don’t know it to be true. As a matter of fact, I think the above claim of a “logarithmic heating effect of atmospheric CO2” ….. is little more than a “junk science” claim which makes absolutely no logical sense in the realm of science inquiry.
And I am fairly positive that Richard Verney doesn’t “know it to be true” either, to wit:
Quoting Richard Verney @ https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/17/come-off-it-offit/comment-page-1/#comment-2399888

If there is any Climate Sensitivity to CO2, to date we have been unable to eek out the signal to CO2 induced warming from the noise of natural variation notwithstanding the use of our best and most sophisticated measuring devices and the inherent shortcomings of our measurement systems and error bounds.

Now I’ve heard it mentioned lots of times during the past few years but not actually knowing what was meant by a “logarithmic heating effect of atmospheric CO2”, ….. I decided it was time I found out what you were talking about …….. and I found it, to wit:

The Logarithmic Effect of Carbon Dioxide.
The Logarithmic Effect of Carbon Dioxide. Well, what the heck does that mean? To this burnt out old Rock and Roller it means that the worst warming has been done and that warming was done long, long ago. Look at this graph prepared by David Archibald:
For WUWT, David wrote :
The greenhouse gasses keep the Earth 30°C warmer than it would otherwise be without them in the atmosphere, so instead of the average surface temperature being -15°C, it is 15°C. Carbon dioxide contributes 10% of the effect so that is 3°C. The pre-industrial level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 ppm. So roughly, if the heating effect was a linear relationship, each 100 ppm contributes 1°C. With the atmospheric concentration rising by 2 ppm annually, it would go up by 100 ppm every 50 years and we would all fry as per the IPCC predictions.
But the relationship isn’t linear, it is logarithmic.
Lo and behold, the first 20 ppm accounts for over half of the heating effect to the pre-industrial level of 280 ppm, by which time carbon dioxide is tuckered out as a greenhouse gas.

Excerpted from: http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-logarithmic-effect-of-carbon-dioxide_19.html

Oh my my, …… and that was how “The Logarithmic Warming Effect of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” ….. was invented.
Inventing science is a lot easier than science discovery.

• “There is no science to back up your claim of the “logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide”.”
You mean perhaps there’s no empirical scientific evidence? There’s no evidence to demonstrate any measurable heating, logarithmic or otherwise. There’s a dearth of empirical evidence in that subject area. Was that, perhaps your claim?

• Samuel C Cogar says:

You mean perhaps there’s no empirical scientific evidence?
What sort of silly question was that?
If it is scientific evidence ……. then it has to be, must be, ….. empirical evidence.
To wit: “ empirical — based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.

• Samuel, it shouldn’t be important but it is. Over the past 20 years we’ve seen repeated attempts to introduce model output as “evidence”. I’m not alone in observing this.

41. TDBraun says:

I like XKCD. I don’t think the guy is a “Lefty”. All of his little cartoons are about science or computers or modern life. They are worth a chuckle. Just because he has gotten on board with the “consensus” doesn’t mean he should be ridiculed.

• “I don’t think the guy is a “Lefty””
Well, I’m pretty sure he qualifies. But he is funny and if scientists can’t take a little humor now and again it speaks poorly for them. I’m pretty sure XKCD is a consumer of kool-aid, but I still read it now and again just to get an intelligent (if twisted) view of the subject. It honestly hasn’t ever scared me but it has given me very real views into the “chinks” in the alarmists armor. Free! What’s not to like?

42. Nylo says:

each additional 100 ppm only adds 0.1°C. Everyone knows this to be true
This is SOOOO demonstrably wrong. What everyone knows is that a doubling of CO2 concentration would cause 1-1.2ºC of warming, without feedbacks. A doubling being now +400ppm, this means that the next 100ppm would add about 0.4ºC, I repeat, WITHOUT feedbacks. This could or could not end up being true, but what is true is that this is the currently widely accepted scientific fact, so the “everyone” that the above sentence refers to must be the “everyone” of a really tiny minority that I have never heard about.

• Hugs says:

Yeah agree that stuff is just crap.

• Samuel C Cogar says:

A re-posting of old verbiage …….
The scientific facts, calculations and conclusion concerning the claims of AGW.
FACTS:
Concentration of atmospheric “greenhouse” gases
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 383 ppm — 0.0383% —– Specific Heat Capacity – 0.844 kJ/kg K
Water vapor — (H2O) 40,000 ppm – 4.0000% — Specific Heat Capacity – 1.930 kJ/kg K
Methane —— (CH4) 1.745 ppm – 0.0001745% — Specific Heat Capacity – 2.220 kJ/kg K
The average mass of the atmosphere is about 5 quadrillion (5,000,000,000,000,000) metric tons.
CALCULATIONS:
Thus, any portion of the atmosphere that contains 383 ppm of CO2 and 40,000 ppm of H2O vapor then the amount of H2O vapor is 104 times greater than the CO2.
And the SHC of H2O vapor is 1.086 kJ/kg K greater than the SHC of CO2 or 2.3 times greater.
And @ 0.0383%, there is 1,915,000,000,000 metric tons of CO2 in the atmosphere.
And, @ 4%, there is 200,000,000,000,000 metric tons of H20 vapor in the atmosphere.
And 200 trillion tons of H2O vapor is 104 times greater than 1.9 trillion tons of CO2.
And 104 times more H2O vapor that has 2.3 times the heat holding capacity of CO2 means that said total H2O vapor in the atmosphere is 239.2 times more effective at “warming” the atmosphere than is the total CO2 in the atmosphere and/or any specific volume or part of the near earth atmosphere.
CONCLUSION:
If both atmospheric H20 vapor and CO2 are considered “greenhouse” gases and there is on average 104 times as much H2O vapor with 2.3 times as much Specific Heat Capacity as there is CO2 in the atmosphere then an increase of even 200 ppm of CO2 to a total of 583 ppm should not really be significant relative to any increase in global warming due to a “greenhouse gas effect” because the H2O vapor would still be 68.6 times greater and/or be 157.8 times more effective at “warming” the atmosphere than is the total amount CO2 in the atmosphere,
And thus, the overwhelming amount of H20 vapor in the atmosphere as compared to the amount of CO2 that is intermixed with it will completely overshadow any warming effects of the CO2 by a factor of 239.2 and thus render it impossible for anyone to be blaming and/or attributing any of said “warming” on said CO2.
I do not believe it is possible for anyone to measure the heating effect of the lesser quantity of gas (CO2) in a mixture of two different gases when the quantity of the greater volume of gas (H2O) is constantly changing from day to day. Especially when said greater volume of gas (H2O) has a potentially 239.2 greater “warming” potential for said mixture than does the lesser volume of said gas (CO2) in said mixture.

• Samuel C Cogar, the specific heat of greenhouse gases is completely irrelevant. It has nothing to do with how they cause warming, nor with how much or how little warming they cause.
The reason the specific heat (“specific heat capacity”) of the GHGs doesn’t matter is that GHGs don’t “hold” heat. When GHG molecules absorb IR photons they almost always immediately transfer that absorbed energy to the bulk atmosphere, by molecular collisions.
At low altitudes, the mean time between molecular collisions, through which an excited CO2 molecule transfers its energy to another gas molecule is on the order of a few nanoseconds. In contrast, the mean decay time for an excited CO2 molecule to emit an IR photon is on the order of 1 second (over a hundred million times as long). Quoting Prof. Wm. Happer, “It is this extreme slowness of radiative decay rates that allows the CO2 molecules in the atmosphere to have very nearly the same vibration-rotation temperature of the local air molecules.”
In other words, the very widely repeated description of CO2 molecules absorbing infrared photons and then re-emitting them in random directions is only correct for about one absorbed photon out of a few hundred million. Here’s an example of this confusion from the NSF, with a lovely animated gif:
https://scied.ucar.edu/sites/default/files/images/long-content-page/Create%20Long%20Content%20Page/co2_absorb_emit_infrared_anim_320x240.gif
That gif illustrates the correct vibrational mode, but because it shows the same molecule absorbing and emitting an IR photon, it is nevertheless wrong for >99.999999% of the photons which CO2 absorbs in the lower troposphere.
GHGs warm the atmosphere by acting as colorants. They tint the atmosphere, but in the far-infrared, rather than the visible, part of the light spectrum. Carbon dioxide and other GHGs act as dyes in the atmosphere, which “color” the atmosphere in the far-infrared (in the case of CO2, around 15 µm).
Since nearly all of the energy emissions from the Earth are in the far infrared & longer bands, but over half of the incoming energy (from the Sun) is at shorter wavelengths (near infrared, visible & UV), tinting the atmosphere in the far infrared has a differential effect. Since there’s more outgoing than incoming far infrared, GHGs absorb mostly outgoing radiation, preventing it from escaping into space. That causes warming. (It’s not how actual greenhouses work, but it’s still a real effect.)
Greenhouse warming of the air, in turn, warms the ground, by a couple of mechanisms, including increased “downwelling” infrared back-radiation from the air.
Here’s a good article:
http://barrettbellamyclimate.com/page8.htm
There’s no legitimate dispute about any of this. We know how it works, and what it does, and we can measure the direct effects (such as downwelling IR). The only legitimate arguments are secondary: e.g., whether greenhouse warming is amplified or attenuated by feedbacks (and by how much), whether it is benign or dangerous, and what, if anything, can or should be done about it.

• Samuel C Cogar says:

Samuel C Cogar, the specific heat of greenhouse gases is completely irrelevant. It has nothing to do with how they cause warming, nor with how much or how little warming they cause.

Daveburton, which one contains the most thermal (heat) energy, …. a cylinder containing 5 lbs of CO2 @ 100C temperature …… or a cylinder containing 5 lbs of H2O @ 100C temperature?
How bout a a pound of feathers and a pound of lead with each @ 100C temperature?
Dave, does the “low humidity” near-surface desert air “heat up” and ”cool down” …… extremely slower than …… the “high humidity” near-surface urban or rural air? If so, why so? If not, why not?

At low altitudes, the mean time between molecular collisions, through which an excited CO2 molecule transfers its energy to another gas molecule is on the order of a few nanoseconds.

Dave, and if that other gas molecule is a CO2 molecule, what happens? Or, iffen that other gas molecule is a N2 molecule that contains far more energy than that CO2 molecule, …. what happens then?
And who says the “collision rate” for each and every gas molecule in the near-earth atmosphere is on the order of 2 or 3 nanoseconds?
Dave, when one uses a thermometer to measure the outside air temperature, ….. which one (1) of the different type of resident gas molecules is it measuring the temperature of? The N2, ….. the O2, …. the H2O …. or the CO2?
And Dave, just how in ell does one determine the source of the IR “thermal (heat) energy” that is being re-emitted by the atmospheric CO2? Did the CO2 absorb it via IR from the surface, or from collisions with N2, O2 or H2O molecules?
And given the fact that a very small amount of the IR being emitted from the surface, and/or being emitted by the per se GHGs in the atmosphere, …… is being emitted directly vertical (zenith), ….. then just how in hell is it possible for orbiting satellites to detect how much IR is actually being transmitted thru the atmosphere?

In other words, the very widely repeated description of CO2 molecules absorbing infrared photons and then re-emitting them in random directions is only correct for about one absorbed photon out of a few hundred million.

So Dave, what you are telling me is that someone figured out that all but one (1) of the few hundred million photons that are absorbed by atmospheric CO2 molecules …… are all re-emitted in the same direction, ……. RIGHT?
Dave, is that “same direction re-emitting” …… a gravity ”thingy”, ,,,,, or an anti-gravity “thingy”, ….. or maybe a lateral-gravity “thingy”, ….. or maybe just a simple FSM “effect”?

Since there’s more outgoing than incoming far infrared, GHGs absorb mostly outgoing radiation, preventing it from escaping into space. That causes warming.

Dave, Dave, Dave, you just told me up above that those GHGs rid themselves of their absorbed energy …… within a few nanoseconds to one (1) second, …… which means they aren’t preventing anything from escaping.
Nuff for now ….. for you to chew on.

• Samuel C Cogar says:

Shur nuff, …….. micro6500, ….. I posed those “gotcha” questions regarding desert environments …… especially for the benefit of Dave, ……. that he would have had to do some serious thinking before responding with sensible, reasonable, logical, scientifically intelligent answers.
And me being persnickety about stating factual science, your posted statement should have read, to wit: “So under clear skies at nighttime, they can cool near 40F.
Under clear skies in daytime …… is “heatin up” time in deserts.
The 400+- ppm of CO2 that is currently resident in the near-surface air that is located in the desert “southwest” near Phoenix, Arizona (or New Mexico, etc.) has no MEASURABLE effect on how “warm” or ”hot” the daytime temperatures get (increase) ……. nor does that 400+- ppm of CO2 that is currently resident in the near-surface air as noted afore, have any MEASURABLE effect on how “cool” or ”cold” the nighttime temperatures get (decrease).
But now iffen there were 35,000 ppm of H2O vapor currently resident in the aforesaid near-surface desert air …… it would a different story.

• Thank you, micro6500. (BTW, is that a reference to the 6502 microprocessor?)
Samuel, if you actually have an interest in understanding this, please click the first, third & fourth links which I already gave you. Then watch the UNC lecture by Prof. Happer, which prompted that conversation that I linked to (the first of those links).
Then if you have serious questions (not attempts at “gotcha questions… for [my] benefit”), please feel free to ask them.

43. Jeff Alberts says:

“A Timeline of Earth’s Average Temperature”
Ultimate fail.

44. Paul of Alexandria says:

Since Mr. Archibald brings up the Council of Niceae (which, BTW, didn’t invent anything) I recommend reviewing Pr. Peter Burfeind’s work on Gnosticism at http://www.gnosticamerica.com/author/
Especially see his book, the first and introductory chapters of which are available at http://www.gnosticamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Gnostic_America_Ch._1-3-libre.pdf
Gnosticism is a pernicious belief system that is the fundamental basis of all that we see in modern Progressive, post-Modernism (the American left). Among other things Gnosticism accepts magic, the ability of humans to change the world through words and will alone. Belief in anthropogenic climate change is nothing but belief in magic.

• pochas94 says:

So you’re saying the American left believes they can make something out of nothing?

• “Gnosticism is a pernicious belief system that is the fundamental basis of all that we see in modern Progressive, post-Modernism…”
I thought that was particularly wonderful observation. It gives me unlooked for hope in humanity. Thank you.

45. Casey says:

I confess to enjoying XKCD, got their books.. but they lost me with that propaganda cartoon.
Some of their science cartoons are decent.. but that warming one was misquoted across the whole ‘net by the ACC numpties.

• Casey writes “that warming one was misquoted across the whole ‘net by the ACC numpties.”
Which is proof of a good advertising strategy? Or not? I agree is it a “propaganda” cartoon. No question there. But how did it happen? How did intelligent liberal arts students go here? I just don’t get it.
There’s no such thing as bad publicity. At least XKCD is held to be an “intellectual” cartoon. It could have been that rag Berkley Breathed turns out, you know, the one about the penguin and the cat? And the lawyer? And his skinny girlfriend? What about the woodchuck! And that little kid Milo who keeps causing trouble with his op/eds?
So, if you’re going to pick on cartoonists, let’s pick on good ones!
PS: 🙂 I hope you can take a joke. One never knows.

46. Jamie says:

This website is very dangerous. To deny the science of global warming is to deny the vast vast majority of scientists and scientific bodies who believe me are much more expert in this field than you are. I cannot begin to express the outrage this fills me with. Million’s of people are dying and losing their livelihoods due to climate change and you think it’s fun and edgy to pretend there’s no such thing. You make me sick.

47. Yoda says:

This website is very dangerous. To deny the science of global warming is to deny the vast vast majority of scientists and scientific bodies who believe me are much more expert in this field than you are. I cannot begin to express the outrage this fills me with. Million’s of people are dying and losing their livelihoods due to climate change and you think it’s fun and edgy to pretend there’s no such thing. You make me sick.

• Mods, I know we have rules here against people posting under multiple sockpuppet accounts, so according to those rules the drivel from “Jamie”/”Yoda” should be promptly deleted. But perhaps you should make an exception for rule-violating drivel which is such a perfect (and perfectly hilarious) archetype of liberal vacuous thought?
After all, as some wag said, “When your enemy is shooting himself in the foot don’t interfere.”

48. Johann Wundersamer says:

OK, logical : anglo in anglo-saxon is derived from the driving arms swinging around the axis of the Achseln, in some angle to the Rumpf of the body.
The beef eating freedom of property gifted tribes so owned their cattle.
They saw the same natural principles built in their Chariots.
And feudal stems from the payment of that English tribes , the fee – german Vieh.
Wenn I tell that to colleagues technical gifted they look at me belittling asking ‘you believe that really, yes? ‘.
So yes, the white trash, better stop talking with your simple answers, your wrong ‘believes’, you flat earther.

• Johann Wundersamer says:

I’d say Mr. Trump is a ‘Trumm Mann’, heavy like ‘Trümmer’, setting his feet not shy, not coy.
Everybody feel free to correct me where I’m wrong.

• Johann Wundersamer, I have no idea whether you’re wrong, because I don’t understand any of what you’ve written.

• Johann Wundersamer says:

Dave don’t panic. My fault, to specialized.

• Johann Wundersamer says:

spelling error too ‘to specialized’ -> ‘too specialized’

49. Johann Wundersamer says:

So the axis is the line between the ‘Achseln’, the force driving the wheels is the drivers will,
the right is the right forearm. Show the flat hand, there’s no weapon, give your hand into the others hand he will know there’s no small stingy weapon hidden. etc.pp.

50. Gloateus Maximus says:

‘Cri du coeur’ is correct in French. Cry of the heart, not cry of heart.