On the Reproducibility of the IPCC’s climate sensitivity

Guest essay by Dr. Antero Ollila

The highest ranked scientific journal Nature published on the 28th of July 2016 an article based on the survey for 1,576 researchers. More than 70 % of the researchers were not able to reproduce the results of another scientist’s experiments. Are there any attempts to reproduce IPCC’s climate sensitivity?

I think that the most important key figure of the climate change science is the value of the climate sensitivity (CS), because it describes the warming effects of the major greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). CS means the temperature increase corresponding to the doubling of CO2 concentration of 280 ppm.

1. IPCC’s estimates of climate sensitivity

IPCC still uses a very simple equation in calculating the global mean surface temperature response dTs (AR5, p. 664)

dTs = CSP* RF (1)

where CSP (also marked by lambda) is the Climate Sensitivity Parameter (K/(W/m2)) and RF is Radiative Forcing at the Top of the Atmosphere (TOA). IPCC says that the value of CSP is 0.5 K/(W/m2) and that it is practically constant. IPCC and many scientists as well calculate the RF value of CO2 by the equation of Myhre et al. (ref. 1):

RF = 5.35* ln(C/280) (2)

where the C is the CO2 concentration (ppm). The RF value of the CO2 concentration increase from 280 ppm to 560 ppm is 3.71 W/m2 (this value is called “the canonical estimate” by Gavin Schmidt et al. (2010)) and thus the CS = 0.5 K/(W/m2) * 3.71 W/m2 = 1.85 K. The value of TCS is between 1.0 to 2.5 Celsius degrees (later degrees) in the IPCC’s report AR5 and it means the average value 1.75 degrees (compare to 1.85 degrees). This means that the value of TCS by IPCC does not come out of blue but the equations (1) and (2) are still applicable. I limit the analysis of CS value only to this CS value, which is called transient CS (TCS) by IPCC. The calculation of the equilibrium CS (ECS) by IPCC applies positive feedbacks, which are not observed so far and are therefore very theoretical.

2. Some other estimates of climate sensitivity

There are many papers, which show lower CS than that of IPCC. I will summarize here some of them (the best estimate / the minimum estimate):

1. Aldrin, 2012: 2.0 °C / 1.1 degrees

2. Bengtson & Schwartz, 2012: 2.0 °C / 1.15 degrees

3. Otto et al., 2013: 2.0 °C / 1.2 degrees

4. Lewis, 2012: 1.6 °C / 1.2 degrees

5. Lindzen and Choi, 2011: 0.7 degrees

6. Idso, 1998, 0.4 degrees.

The four first studies uses IPCC’s or a GCM’s RF value without questioning it and therefore they are not real attempts to reproduce IPCC’s CS. None of these studies is based on the spectral analysis but they use the empirical temperature data. This methodology would work, if we could know the warming effects of all other warming elements like the irradiation changes of the Sun.

3. Climate sensitivity parameter – CSP

I have tried to reproduce the TCS value of IPCC using the same methods as IPCC but the result is not the same. I explain the calculations in sufficient details that a reader can follow the calculation method.

The simplest method for calculation of CSP is from the energy balance of the Earth by equalizing the absorbed and emitted radiation fluxes:

SC(1-a) * (¶r2) = sT4 * (4¶r2) (3)

where SC is solar constant, a is the total albedo of the Earth, s is Stefan-Bolzmann constant, and T is the temperature (K). The total RF value for the total area of the Earth is SC(1-a)/4 and therefore eq. (3) can be written in the form

4RF = sT4 (4)

When eq. (4) is derived, it will be

d(RF)/dT = 4sT3 = 4RF/T (5)

The ratio d(RF)/dT can be inverted transforming it to CSP

dT/d(RF) = CSP = T/(4RF) = T/(SC(1-a)) (6)

The average albedo value can be calculated from the observed reflected flux and the average solar irradiation values to be 104.2 W/m2 and 342 W/m2 = 0.30468. The temperature calculated by eq. (3) is

-18.7 degrees. According to Planck’s equation, this temperature corresponds to radiation flux of 237.8 W/m2 and it is also the observed flux value emitted by the Earth into space. Theory and practise are the same, when the theory is correct. According to eq. (6), CSP is 0.268 K/(W/m2).

There is a big difference between the CSP value of 0.5 K/(W/m2) and 0.268 K/(W/m2). The reason is well-known. The above calculations do not assume any changes in the absolute water content of the atmosphere. IPCC and the Global Climate Models (GCMs) assume a constant relative humidity (RH) in the atmosphere. It means that, when CO2 increases the global temperature and when the RH stays constant, the small increase of the absolute water content in the atmosphere increases the temperature. How much? IPCC writes in AR4 in section that water vapor roughly doubles the response to forcing of GH gases and it is called positive waster feedback. In AR5 IPCC writes that water vapor’s contribution is approximately two to three times greater than that of CO2. I have checked that the doubling effect of water technically correct because water is about 12 times stronger a GH gas than CO2 in the present climate (ref. 6) but the question is if the RH is really constant in the atmosphere.

The observed RH values measured from 1948 to 2012 are depicted in Figure 1 and they and they show that RH values are not constant.


Figure 1. Relative Humidity graphs from 1948 to 2016.

It is obvious that the assumption of constant RH is not valid. Applying the CSP value of 0.268 K/(W/m2) and the RF value of 3.71 W/m2, the SC is 1.0 degrees, which is usually called Planck’s CS. As listed before, many researchers have applied different methods in calculating the CS value and a typical value is from 1.0 to 1.2 degrees. There is a good chance that these research studies have found this very same feature that there is no positive water feedback, which could double the RF value of 3.7 W/m2.

4. Radiative Forcing of carbon dioxide

IPCC uses the RF formula of Myhre et al. represented in eq. (2). The formulas of Hansen et al. (ref. 2) and Shi (ref. 3) give almost the same results as one can see in Figure 2. Eq. (2) of Myhre et al. is simple and easy to use. It is a kind of standard as a measure of CO2 warming effect and it is called even “and iconic formula”.


Figure 2. The RF values of CO2 according to Myhre et al., Hansen et al., Shi, and Ollila.

The first hint about the problems of this formula comes from the paper of Shi published in 1992 in journal by name “Science in China – Series B”. It is not available through network and I have received a personal electronic copy from the author himself. In Figure 3 is a print screen from a sentence, which states that the author has used a fixed RH value in his calculations. This means that the water has doubled the RF value of CO2.


Figure 3. The RH assumption of Shi.

The only way to find out the real RF relationship is to carry out the CS calculations according to the specification of CS (ref. 4). I have used the application Spectral Calculator available through Internet and this software uses Line-By-Line (LBL) method. A very essential thing is to use the Average Global Atmosphere (AGA) profile of the Earth for the temperature, pressure and humidity. I have combined the AGA profile from the five climate zones of the Earth (available in Spectral Calculator), which has the TPW (Total Precipitated Water) value of 2.6 cm and the surface temperature of 15.0 degrees.

First I have calculated the OLR (outgoing longwave radiation) at the TOA for the CO2 concentration of 280 ppm. The OLR is the sum of emitted radiation by the atmosphere 183.8 W/m2 and the transmittance (the portion of the surface emitted radiation not absorbed by the atmosphere) 81.6 W/m2, together 265.4 W/m2. When the CO2 is increased to 560 ppm, the same radiation values are: emission 183.4 Wm2 and transmittance 79.2 Wm2, together 262.7 W/m2. Now we can see the effects of increased absorption caused by the increased concentration of CO2; the OLR has decreased as it should happen according to the theory of GH effect. Because the Earth obeys the first law of energy conservation, the ORL must increase to the original value of 265.4 W/m2. The only way this can happen, is the higher surface temperature of the Earth. By trial and error, I have found that the temperature 15.66 degrees gives emission rate of 185.0 W/m2 and transmittance of 80.4 W/m2, together 265.4 W/m2.

Because the cloudy sky calculations are not possible in Spectral Calculator, I have calculated the clear and cloudy sky values by the MODTRAN application. These results show 30 % lower OLR change than the clear sky. IPCC reports that the reduction is 25 %. Using the MODTRAN figures, the result is that the TCS value is 0.56 degrees and CSP is 0.259 K/(W/m2). The CSP value is very close to the Planck’s CSP = 0.268 K/(W/m2).

The original study of mine is published in 2014 in Development of Earth Science by title “The potency of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a Greenhouse gas” (ref. 4). My formula for the RF of CO2 is

RF = 3.12 * ln(C/280) (7)

The warming values of CO2 according to eq. (7) is depicted also in Figure 2. It is about 50 % lower than the graph of Myhre et al. In Figure 2 is also depicted a modified curve of Myhre et al. and it is done by multiplying the values of the original formula by 0.5 for eliminating the assumed water effect. This curve is fairly close to the curve depicted by eq. (7).

My CS calculations according to its specification and the text of Shi shows that the RF value of CO2 calculated by eq. (2) of Myhre et al. can be explained, if the warming effects of water are included by assuming the constant atmospheric RH conditions. There is also another possible explanation for the eq. (2). Myhre et al. have used in calculations water vapor and temperature data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast. This data is not publicly available and it is impossible to check what is the average global TPW value of this data.

The conclusion is that the IPCC’s warming values are about 200 % too high (1.75 degrees versus 0.6 degrees) because both the CO2 radiative forcing equation, and the CS calculation include water feedback. It is well-known that IPCC uses the water feedback in doubling the GH gas effects; even though there are relative humidity measurements showing that this assumption is not justified. CO2 radiative forcing by Myhre et al. includes also water feedback, and this has not been recognized before the author’s studies. This feature explains too high of a contribution of CO2.

5. Validation of results

Firstly, I want to show that my spectral calculations are correct, if compared to some other published results. Kiehl & Trenbarth (ref. 6) have published in 2009 an article, in which is probably the most generally used Earth’s energy balance presentation. In the LBL spectral calculations they used U.S. Standard Atmosphere 76 atmospheric profiles. They reduced the absolute water amount TWP by 12 %. Using this atmosphere, they calculated that the warming contribution of CO2 in the clear sky is 26 %; Also, this results is probably the most referred figure about the strength of CO2 as a GH gas.

I have reproduced this calculation by using Spectral Calculator and my result is 27 % – close enough. There is only one small problem, because the water content of this atmosphere is really the atmosphere over the USA and not over the globe. The difference in the water content is great: 1.43 prcm versus 2.6 prcm. I have been really astonished about the reactions of the climate scientists about this fact. It looks like that they do not understand the effects of this choice or they do not care. Which alternative is worse? The real contribution of CO2 in using the right TWP value is 13 % (ref. 7 ).

My LBL spectral analysis is based always on the calculation of the total absorption, transmission or emission in the atmosphere. For example, the effects of GH gases are based on the variations of their concentrations. Stephens et al. (ref. 8) has summarized the results 13 of studies based on the observed values of the downward LW radiation by the atmosphere right on the surface of the Earth. The results vary from 309.2 to 326 W/m2 and the average value is 314.2 W/m2. My calculation gives the result of 310.9 W/m2, which differs 1 % from the average observed value and it is well inside the error margin of +/- 10 Wm2, which is estimated accuracy of measured LW fluxes.


1. Myhre, G., Highwood, E.J., Shine, K.P., and Stordal, F. 1998. “New estimates of radiative forcing due to well mixed greenhouse gases.” Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, 2715-2718. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/98GL01908/epdf

2. Hansen, J., Fung, I., Lacis, I., Rind, A., Lebedeff, D., Ruedy, S., Russell,G., and Stone, P. 1998. “Global Climate Changes as Forecast by Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Three Dimensional Model.” J. Geophys. Res., 93, 9341-9364. https://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha02700w.html

3. Shi, G-Y. 1992. “Radiative forcing and greenhouse effect due to the atmospheric trace gases.” Science in China (Series B), 35, 217-229. Not available online.

4. Ollila, A. 2014. “The potency of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a greenhouse gas”. Dev. Earth Sc., 2, 20-30.


5. Kielh, J.T. and Trenbarth, K.E. 1997. “Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget.” Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 90, 311-323. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0477%281997%29078%3C0197%3AEAGMEB%3E2.0.CO%3B2

6. Ollila, A. 2017. “Warming effect reanalysis of greenhouse gases and clouds”. Ph. Sc. Int. J., 13, 1-13. http://www.sciencedomain.org/abstract/17484

7. Stephens, G.L., et al. 2012. “The global character of the flux of downward longwave radiation”. J. Clim., 25, 2329-2340. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00262.1

229 thoughts on “On the Reproducibility of the IPCC’s climate sensitivity

  1. “the warming effects of the major greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2).”


    the INSINUATED warming effects of the INSINUATED major greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2).

    • Very simply while human emissions of CO2 have gone up exponentially in the last 60+ years, while atmospheric CO2 concentration has been increasing at a linear rate, with a slope that might be even decreasing a bit.

      Therefore, human emissions are having no detectable effect on atmospheric CO2 concentration.

      All that math and all you have to do is look at the facts. Notice, our emissions have an undetectable effect on temperature as they have no detectable effect on atmospheric CO2. Done and not a temperature reading in sight for them to alter.

      By the way, the saw-toothed nature of the atmospheric CO2 concentration seasonally bespeaks the huge turnover via photosynthesis. The half-life of atmospheric CO2 is about 5 years, not the 200 or 1000 years claimed dishonestly by the IPCC and NOAA, respectively. This is a very dynamic system.

      • By the way, the saw-toothed nature of the atmospheric CO2 concentration seasonally bespeaks the huge turnover via photosynthesis. The half-life of atmospheric CO2 is about 5 years, not the 200 or 1000 years claimed dishonestly by the IPCC and NOAA, respectively. This is a very dynamic system.

        BINGO! Turn off all the sources of CO2 and green plants would suck it right down in short order.

      • Higley7

        If the half-life of atmospheric CO2 is about 5 years:

        1) Why isn’t the monthly CO2 chart relatively smooth (i.e.: not a saw-toothed annual oscillation)?

        2) Why is the peak-to-trough annual variation of about 6ppm TWICE the average annual increase in CO2 (3ppm)? WHERE THE HECK DOES ALL THAT CO2 GO FOR HALF THE YEAR? WHY DOES IT ALL SUDDENLY REAPPEAR?

        2) Why doesn’t the amplitude of the annual variation increase as the amount of CO2 increases?

      • Regarding half-life of atmospheric CO2: It is about 40 years, assuming the rate at which an injection (“pulse”) of CO2 into the atmosphere gets removed from the atmosphere is exponential rather than a variant of the Bern model (faster than 40 years at first, slower later on). Faster half-lives are those of individual CO2 molecules, and note that when the ocean absorbs a CO2 molecule, that increases its tendency to gas out one.


      • Javert, I sure hope I missed the sarc on the comment.
        You’ve probably heard of this thing called spring? It’s when plants renew their growth from the previous season and suck up large amounts of CO2 in the process.

      • MarkW

        Nope, I didn’t forget the /sarc tag – those were genuine questions. All of them.

        Yup, I have heard of spring; even further, I know it takes place at opposite times of the year in northern & southern hemispheres. That’s why I asked the questions…

    • I missed the place in the author’s essay, where he first used the word ….. CLOUD …..

      As a result, I wasn’t alerted to the likelihood that he would use it in multiple locations.

      So frankly, I never did see the word cloud anywhere in this paper.

      Ergo, I conclude that clouds play NO part in earth’s climate; well compared to CO2.

      The most common definition of “Climate Sensitivity” I have seen simply says “how much the earth’s mean (surface) Temperature increases for a doubling of the CO2 molecular abundance in the atmosphere” The so-called logarithmic response of temperature to CO2.

      I think the late Stephan Schneider gave that definition.

      So 280 ppm —> 560 ppm, or 1 ppm —>2 ppm , that sort of think is logarithmic, and they are saying 1.7 deg. F for either case, or any other.

      There isn’t any experimental observation of such a relationship. Sometimes CO2 goes up and temperature goes down at the same time; or even goes nowhere.

      The Theoretical basis for such a logarithmic relationship is the so-called ” Beer’s Law” or the Beer-Lambert Law. Actually I believe it was first stated by somebody named Brueger or something akin to that. You can find it in “The Science of Color” a text book.

      There is a slight hitch to Beer’s Law.

      It assumes that the incident photons pass through the medium in one linear direction, in straight lines; until they are absorbed, and once absorbed, never re-emerge in some other form.
      That means there is NO SCATTERING.

      Beer’s law is NOT VALID for absorption in scattering media, or for fluorescent media. Photons once captured, stay dead and are not re-emitted at some lower wavelength, or even the same wavelength.

      Even the final emission of thermal radiation due to heating of the medium by absorbed energy, invalidates Beer’s Law.

      Unfortunately, when CO2 absorbs LWIR photons, any subsequent emission of a photon is isotropically scattered, so Beer’s Law is not applicable to LWIR absorption by CO2 in the atmosphere or any other GHG.

      So there is neither experimental nor theoretical foundation for the so-called logarithmic nature of climate sensitivity.

      By the way, Beer’s law is of much greater interest to medical diagnostic imaging scientists and engineers.
      Even instruments like pulsed blood oximeter measuring devices, are affected by absorption and scattered absorption in skin, flesh and blood.
      In most instances, Beer’s law proves inadequate in calculating transmission in tissues, and makes sharp medical tissue imaging a difficult task.

      But don’t let that stop you from perpetuating the myth that CO2 doubling raises the temperature by some fixed Temperature called climate sensitivity.


      • Beer’s law or Lambert-Beer’s law is applicable only for very small concentrations and it is linear by nature. You can see this feature in a figure below “The warming effects of GH gases”. When the concentration increases from the zero, the first effects up to about 10 ppm are linear in nature.

  2. The RH flattened out during the pause.
    Could this mean that global water ,precipitation rose prior to the pause and stayed higher during the pause.
    Higher water vapour led to greater negative feedback as it was exhausted as rain, cooling the atmosphere by convection.
    ‘ In AR5 IPCC writes that water vapor’s contribution is approximately two to three times greater than that of CO2. I have checked that the doubling effect of water technically correct because water is about 12 times stronger a GH gas than CO2 in the present climate (ref. 6) but the question is if the RH is really constant in the atmosphere.’

    No troposphere hot spot in the equator, now no increase in water vapour, how many more things can go wrong with the CO2 hypothesis?

  3. Small typo under 3. : “it is called positive waster feedback.” I assume you meant ‘water’ there

  4. The conclusion is that the IPCC’s warming values are about 200 % too high (1.75 degrees versus 0.6 degrees)

    because both the CO2 radiative forcing equation, and the CS calculation include water feedback.

    It is well-known that IPCC uses the water feedback in doubling the GH gas effects;

    even though there are relative humidity measurements showing that this assumption is not justified.

    CO2 radiative forcing by Myhre et al. includes also water feedback, and this has not been recognized before the author’s studies. This feature explains too high of a contribution of CO2.

    Thanks, Dr. Antero Ollila!

    • “The conclusion is that the IPCC’s warming values are about 200 % too high (1.75 degrees versus 0.6 degrees)”

      This is confirmed and/or supported by the “forecast minus observed” over the last 30 years. Te results are the same.

      Most of the global warming science is essentially correct… it is just wildly exaggerated.

  5. Looking at all water vapour studies it is clear there hasnt been an increase in line with the predicted 7%/K

    Therefore CO2s warming effect is small, as low as 0.5 C/doubling from pre industrial due to over lap with existing water vapour.

    It is therefore entirely beneficial and we should produce much more of it.

  6. Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    I wonder what @RHarrabin of the BBC will make of this?

    “The conclusion is that the IPCC’s warming values are about 200 % too high (1.75 degrees versus 0.6 degrees) because both the CO2 radiative forcing equation, and the CS calculation include water feedback.”

  7. ” IPCC says that the value of CSP is 0.5 K/(W/m2) and that it is practically constant.”
    Where? You have made it the central point of your essay – you should give a proper reference for it. It isn’t on p 664 of the AR5. What I did find on p 667 was
    “The climate sensitivity parameter λ derived with respect to RF can vary substantially across different forcing agents (Forster et al., 2007). “
    and they go on to discuss details.

    The IPCC is not declaring its own results here. They are summarizing other people’s results. But the IPCC famously is not definitive about ECS. It acknowledged a range from 1.5 to 4.5C.

    • “But the IPCC famously is not definitive about ECS. It acknowledged a range from 1.5 to 4.5C.”

      1- The ECS is at the very core of CAGW theory. Given the IPCC’s task, how can it be ‘not definitive about ECS’?

      2- A ‘range from 1.5 to 4.5C’. There’s no humour like climate humour, eh?

    • And they seem to definitively (and incorrectly, IMO), disallow all possibility that ECS is much smaller and can go negative due to added water vapor turning into clouds under certain circumstances, and thus reflect more incoming solar energy back into space.

    • Yes,it is correct that IPCC uses the results of other researchers.The concept of Radiative Forcing originates from the study of Ramaswamy et al. (2001) and it can be found first time in the 3rd AR called TAR, in section 6.2 and there is also the printed the typical value of CSP = 0.5 K/(W/m2). IPCC has kept this same concept in force since then. In AR4, it can be found in section 2.2 and in AR in section Chapter 8 on the page 664.

      I think that IPCC cannot disqualify this concept, because then it should disqualify the calculation basis of climate sensitivity. They try to make the whole calculation unclear by talking about the lower and higher limits of CS.

  8. I read your paper “Cosmic Theories and Greenhouse Gasses…” By my count you’ve only got three parameters to work with there so you should not be able to fit an elephant, let alone make its trunk wiggle. The correlation is impressive and I hope this idea has gotten (or gets) some serious consideration within the climate science community.

    Thanks for taking the time to post this.

  9. None of this “science” makes sense. Take a look at the results of their models. They are awful. Why would you want to reproduce failed models? This isn’t like a real science where you independently replicate an experiment. In climate science, you replicate a computer model. It doesn’t matter what computer you run the failed model on using “adjusted” data to get the results you want, it is all nonsense. Curve fitting data isn’t science, it is data mining…ie junk science. If something is understood, it can be modeled. The climate “scientists” can’t model the climate, they can only curve fit existing data, and that isn’t science.

    Climate “Science” on Trial; If Something is Understood, it can be Modeled

    Reproducing this kind of experiment proves nothing:

    Climate “Science” on Trial; Confirmed Mythbusters Busted Practicing Science Sophistry

    • Any model which has to be “tuned” to reproduce observed data isn’t a scientific model, it’s numerology.

      • Yep, we call it curve fitting. Children call it connect the dots, it isn’t science, it is a 2nd Grade lesson plan.

      • …and the failed models don’t even do honest (or dishonest ) curve-fitting – there’s also some serious “change the data” (dots) going on.

      • The curve of Myhre et al. and my equation as well are fitted to in order to get a simple and useful relationship between the CO2 concentration and the RF value. The fitting in this sense is very minor indeed. This is no numerology. It is a very common practice that the results of experiments are fitted to a curve in order to make the results easy to use. If the results would have been fitted to the real temperature measurements, then you could talk about that anything can be fitted to something by using just a proper fitting or correlation methods without showing any proper physical influence mechanism.

        In this case we know that there is a GH phenomenon and we know for sure that CO2 has a role in this phenomenon. The question is, how much the increased concentration of CO2 can further increase the surface temperature, when the “original” GH effect already has increased it from -18 to 34 degrees. That is a question of climate sensitivity.

        My point is that, when I can calculate by spectral analysis what are the contributions of GH gases and they match with the real observations, then I can be very confident that if I change any concentrations of GH gases, the warming effects are also correct.

      • In this case we know that there is a GH phenomenon
        nope. real greenhouses warm by limiting convection.

        the so called atmospheric “GH phenomenon” is based on radiation, not convection. yet it uses the name “greenhouse effect”, while it has nothing to do with the effect in real greenhouses. Moreover, the radiation theory when applied to real greenhouses has been shown to be false.

        so here we have two different phenomenon in science, with two different mechanisms, both using the name “greenhouse” but only 1 of these accurately describes a real greenhouse.

        How can it advance scientific understanding to use the term “greenhouse:” when applied to the atmosphere, when it doesn’t in any way resemble the operation of a real greenhouse?

    • co2islife. You write: “Reproducing this kind of experiment proves nothing”. It proves at least one thing that the very basic element of IPCC warming calculation cannot be reproduced. This method has been the original quality control of the science at least during the latest 300 years.

    • Q:

      co2islife on March 17, 2017 at 3:35 am

      None of this “science” makes sense. Take a look at the results of their models. They are awful. Why would you want to reproduce failed models?


      “Guest essay by Dr. Antero Ollila

      The highest ranked scientific journal Nature published on the 28th of July 2016 an article based on the survey for 1,576 researchers. More than 70 % of the researchers were not able to reproduce the results of another scientist’s experiments. Are there any attempts to reproduce IPCC’s climate sensitivity?”

      • That is a sad state of affairs. What qualifies as science in these days? Shouldn’t reproducibility be a requirement for publication?

      • No, if you really wan to clean it up ‘reproduced’, not ‘reproducibility’, should be a qualification for publication.

      • Reproducibilty can’t be a condition of publication. Unless ah hypothesis (and associated experiments) are published, they can’t be reproduced. That’s the purpose of publishing, to attract the interest of other investigators, some of whom may reproduce your work, or attempt to and fail. It’s the only way a true scientific consensus is formed on a hypothesis.

  10. How does virga fit into the models? Or even cumulus clouds? Feynman once mentioned the question of why clouds float..you either assume they are static where weight equals buoyant force and be done with it ..or you look at the dynamics and see it is an energy transfer between layers.

  11. If you are in a large glass house made of, say, 1000 ‘single glazed’ windows, The increasing CO2 effect is like making one of those windows ‘double glazed’. Even more CO2 would be like making that one, double glazed, window a ‘triple glazed’ one. It matters not, the outside environment/temp will decide the inside temp.

      • >Opening the greenhouse vents …

        That is what the ozone hole is about, and why GCR and ozone are much more important to this discussion than CO2.

    • ferdberple and Neillusion: We all know that the term “Greenhouse” is not a very best description about the warming effects of GH gases in the atmosphere. But it is useless to try to use any other term, because then a majority of readers would not understand, which I am talking about.

  12. The very fact so that many estimates of CS are in the mix demonstrates the science really isn’t settled at all.

    • You only need to look at the number of climate models each one of which projects something different to know that.

      The claim that the science is settled does not withstand even a cursory reading of the IPCC Reports.

    • Reply to several comments above. If the model should include all the variations you mention, the only way to do it, is to compose a GCM model. There are at least more than 100 GCMs in the world. I believe in simple models. AMO and PDO can be excluded, because they do not change the temperature over the long range. They do not bring extra energy to the Earth. The Earth receive 99.97 % of its energy from the Sun. Therefore is the number one factor, if we look at the temperature increase since the Little Ice Age. The only new element is the increased concentrations of GH gases. Therefore we have to find out how much they can explain the present warming. IPCC says that they are almost totally responsible. I do not agree.

      • But we were warming long before CO2 was any significant factor. You’re getting the cart before the horse. First explain why the earth was warming before CO2 rose. Then explain how that process stopped. Then maybe I’m interested in your ECS story. The whole theory is very, very weak. In fact, you’ll also have to resolve the question of wether temperature rise leads CO2 rise. The work I’ve read indicating that CO2 leads seems like contrived, Mikey Mann style advocacy disguised as science~aka fraud.

      • To John Harmsworth. The GH effect is a real thing. I can calculate the warming effect of GH phenomenon and even check the LW fluxes calculated with the real measurements.

        • I can calculate the warming effect of GH phenomenon and even check the LW fluxes calculated with the real measurements.

          While I don’t disagree with your statement, I’m not sure that in itself, matters, anymore than you can detect the green spectrum over vegetation, yet clouds also hides the green spectrum.
          What is measured at toa is the end result of multiple processes, and the spectrum measured is a result of all of the processes combined.

          While you have ignored my other posts, it shows the spectrums of co2 would be present, what averages taken at toa don’t show is that the water lines are the regulating process, that just illuminates co2 in the atm.

          If you watch the spectrum at toa in real time, these spectrums bands would change in relation to each other in the process of cooling. By looking at a single average, including those from MODTRAN hide this effect.

    • @ zlop (@zloppolz)
      March 17, 2017 at 4:13 am: Exactly, ziop. That adjustment bypasses the struggling radiative effect, until optical depth is surmounted. Water vapour and phase changes, Mass Flow convection in all its forms. Steam engines can be very instructive…. Prof Wood, a skilled Optical Physicist, quickly enough refuted the madness. Lest we forget.
      But, I appreciate seeing the false maths of the modellers also refuted. It has been falsified, but wriggles on under false pretenses. They may soon have to ‘put up or shut up’.

  13. I am reasonably intelligent (Master’s Degree in Engineering from U. of Waterloo from longer ago that I will admit) and have a considerable amount of real world experience in operation of electricity systems. WUWT is my “go to” source for climate-related information – I visit here pretty well every day.

    In my understanding, Dr. Ollila has made an important contribution to the conversation, but with all due respect, the article needs some sort of Executive Summary that a layperson can understand (sort of like JW @ 2:18) but in the author’s words. Of course there are risks in “dumbing it down,” but I was disappointed to find nothing that I can send to people in my circles (like I often do); I don’t even want to send the link as I sometimes do, either, because it would try their patience.

    • This paragraph is not labeled “Summary”, but essentially is his conclusion summary:

      “The conclusion is that the IPCC’s warming values are about 200 % too high (1.75 degrees versus 0.6 degrees) because both the CO2 radiative forcing equation, and the CS calculation include water feedback. It is well-known that IPCC uses the water feedback in doubling the GH gas effects; even though there are relative humidity measurements showing that this assumption is not justified. CO2 radiative forcing by Myhre et al. includes also water feedback, and this has not been recognized before the author’s studies. This feature explains too high of a contribution of CO2.”

      You could send the article to friends and highlight this paragraph, and then add that if the IPCC’s core calculations are 200% too high it means their models way overestimate warming by a similar amount, and their models are what all their predictions of gloom and doom are based on.

    • I’m in a similar situation (substitute RPI for Waterloo) and also found the article a bit thick. I recommend the Wikipedia article on Climate Sensitivity https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_sensitivity, noting that the “consensus value” for ECS of 3 degrees C plus/minus 1.5 degrees C has persisted since 1979.

      Thus the single most important parameter for climate modeling has a consensus uncertainty of 50% and this uncertainty has not been improved upon by almost 40 years of “settled science”.

  14. “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…
    climate change provides the greatest opportunity to
    bring about justice and equality in the world.”
    – Christine Stewart,
    former Canadian Minister of the Environment
    “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations
    on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”
    – Prof. Chris Folland,
    Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research

    • United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer says:

      “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole…We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,”

    • According to Dr. Bill Gray it is caused by enhanced convection. The radiation effect from added CO2 leads to more evaporation and warming right at the surface. This lowers the density of the air which causes it to rise faster than it would otherwise.

      This leads to more clouds and a secondary effect where the air is carried higher in the atmosphere. Since it is colder up there this leads to more condensation which leaves the air colder and dryer. As this falls back to the surface it mixes with other air. The net effect is very little warming and reduced RH.

      • Another factor is that the higher you get in the atmosphere, the greater the fraction of both water vapor and CO2 is below you. The absence of both makes it easier for any IR radiation to make it to space.

      • This description makes a lot of sense. Miskolczi believes in the constant GH effect of the Earth. So far I believe in the observed total water amount in the atmosphere, which seems to be fairly constant.

      • High and dry well she left me with no warning

        high and dry well I couldn’t get a word in

        high and dry well that’s no way to go

        she left me standing here just high and dry

        jagger / richards – times ago and worlds apart

      • @ Richard M
        March 17, 2017 at 9:50 am: The only possible direct effect of CO2 consistent with atmospheric physics, is an insignificant lowering of water vapour from the minute ‘energy theft’ by increased CO2. No net heat increase. Apart from any net mass/pressure increase, also minute.

  15. Don’t forget that prior to the CAGW scare taking hold, Schneider, of GISS/NASA, assessed climate sensitivity to CO2 as very low indeed. In his 1971 paper on Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects on large increases on Global Climate it was stated stated:

    We will report here on the first results of a calculation in which separate estimates were made on the effects on global temperatures of large increases in the amount of CO2…It is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2 degK. <my emphasis)

    As I say this was a calculation performed by GISS/NASA on the basis of then known basic physics. What has changed in the way of known basis physics since 1971? Who can explain what if any errors was made in the calculation? Why are estimates now so very much higher than when GISS/NASA first undertook the assessment of the effect of CO2 on surface temperatures of this planet?

  16. Here’s a paper from 1981 which gives a CS between 1.29 and 1.83 K based in large part on lapse rate.

    Lapse rate* describes the vertical temperature gradient. If the gradient is below a certain figure, convection will not take place. Above that, convection takes place and removes heat from the surface much more quickly. So above a certain temperature gradient it takes a lot more energy to raise the surface temperature. It operates as a strong negative feedback. Here’s Roy Spencer’s take.

    *Lapse rate is usually accompanied by a modifier. ie. dry adiabatic lapse rate, environmental lapse rate, etc.

  17. None of the references in the IPCC make any mention of the infrared absorption spectra of CO2 and H2O. They act as if all the infrared emitted by the earth are the same and CO2 (and N2O and CH4) have the same ability to absorb all the wavelengths in the infrared band.

    The absorption spectra of N2O and CH4 are completely masked by that of H2O. The only part of the CO2 spectra not masked by that of h2O is at about 15 microns. And it is saturated at that wavelength. Increasing the amount of CO2 will not result in additional radiative forcing at 15 microns.

    The only way there could be any additional radiative forcing from an increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration would be if the absorption band were to widen below the 15 micron wavelength. I have never seen any of the warmists address this issue at all.

      • And yet:
        1. The massive methane leak in California last year has not had much effect, if any.
        2. The notable warming in the Arctic hasn’t released a lot of methane, as alarmists had predicted.

      • One cannot make a blanket statement of what specific wavelengths water vapor in the atmosphere absorbs and what wavelengths it does not, because its concentration varies by orders of magnitude.

      • Thank you, Dr. Ollila. I have been wanting to see a graph like this for some time. I knew there would be some thickening of the CO2 absorption band at 15 microns, but wasn’t sure how much. From this we can see that even with a doubling of the CO2 concentration from 400 ppm to 800 ppm, the increase in absorption is trivial.

        Do you have a citation I can use for this graph? Does it come from one of your papers? What is your source?

  18. Temps have gone up..
    ..RH has gone down

    odd that it’s exactly what you would expect….and exactly what the unadjusted temp data shows

    • odd that it’s “not” exactly what you would expect…..but exactly what the “non” adjusted temp shows

      coffee had not kicked in yet

    • Sorry that I include my comment to James R. McCown here. Al the graphs or any other comments are based on my original research studies, 12 papers so far. You can find a comprehensive presentation of these studies on my web page: www. climatexam.com

      I recommend to start with the English slideshows. They not completely updated, but they will be after two weeks.

      The graph in question is from the reference number 4 in the original story.

      • Dr. Ollila, thanks for the reference to your 2014 paper in Development in Earth Science. The information contained in your figure 2 graph is one of the most important in all of climate research. It shows that doubling the CO2 concentration from the current 400 ppm to 800 ppm would only result in a trivial increase in radiative forcing.

        Since the graph is so important, it would be helpful to know your sources for the data contaained in the graph. Or if you computed those numbers yourself, it would help if you gave a detailed explanation of how you arrived at the numbers.

  19. I think I am much too typical in being intimidated by math, as are a good many people with “education” in soft subjects like Psych. If I understand Ollilla correctly, the feedback value in the main formula is used to adjust the value of the effect of CO2, as NEITHER value is actually being measured directly. Only the outcome of the whole formula is measured. Of course, that conclusion could be quite wrong, but it is consistent with the failure of the application of the basic formulas to predict actual temperature.

    • Tom Halla. You can find it in other comments of mine, that the CS cannot be measured in the real atmosphere. What you can do, is to compare the temperature of the IPCC model with the real observed temperature. Then you see as I show in a figure that the model temperature is about 50 % too high today. Conclusion?

  20. A point I’ve made before is that the IPCC’s notion of a feedback is:

    GHG > Warming > H2O (X2) > Warming.

    The problem with this model, and where it differs from feedbacks in electronic or process control, is that the input and output of the water vapour ‘amplifier’ are the exact same point in the loop. They are directly connected together, so the amount of output fed back can never be anything but 100%.

    If positive feedback were used in electronics, it would normally consist of feeding back a reduced portion of the output. Directly connecting the output to the input, means that the output cannot be any larger than the input to the amplification stage. Which would seem to be a problem since any feedback gain at all, even 1.000001x, let alone 2x, would then lead to instability.

    It’s a bit like the ‘bootstrap’ arrangement sometimes used to reduce input loading in electronics. Such an arrangement must have less than unity gain though, or it will cause instability.

    I’ve thought long and hard about how such a system could provide a measured amount of amplification without going unstable. I don’t see how it can. It could provide attenuation though.

      • This hits me like a very strong argument. Similar to whenever someone lets a microphone pass in front of its connected amplifier and then starts to speak.

        I would very much like to hear the counter argument to this.

        • Sanjay Banerjee commented on On the Reproducibility of the IPCC’s climate sensitivity.
          in response to aveollila:

          I have myself an automation engineer and process engineer background. The positive feedback alone, would make any system unstable.

          This hits me like a very strong argument. Similar to whenever someone lets a microphone pass in front of its connected amplifier and then starts to speak.
          I would very much like to hear the counter argument to this.

          There is none. I was an electronic and semiconductor designer and simulation expert for 14 years, positive feedback alone is always unstable. Always.

          Their argument is, “Well, no one says it positive alone, it’s just positive in co2 water feedback” Which is not only wrong, it is a lie of omission, because there has to be an equal an opposite negative feed back or limit, other wise we would not be here to wonder about such things, and they always fail to mention that.

  21. I’m an old retired CFO (numbers guy…), and what I get from this very interesting & helpful post is:

    1) The science is not settled (Gosh, Al Gore lied to us…again)
    2) The math is not even accurate

  22. So, pray tell, how do the model results compare with the actual data?

    If the models work, no difficulty at all should be encountered in replicating the historical climate; say starting at the onset of the the Medieval Warming Period, through the little Ice Age, up until, say, the year 1900 (before significant man made CO2 added another confounding variable to complicate modeling a chaotic system).

    Of course, the models should faithfully replicate – and PREDICT !!! – the climate “switch” to the Little Ice Age from the MWP (this should be a breeze; after all the “answer is known.” )

    Surely, the above is child’s play. After all, the AGW proponents have predicted the climate 100 years hence.
    So, back-predicting should be a snap.

    Here is a reminder, from a real scientist, Richard Feynman, regarding the KEY TO SCIENCE ;

  23. ‘an ecumenical matter’ rather than a ‘canonical estimate’ I believe (in hono(u)r of St Patrick’s Day)!

  24. Dr Ollila, I’m reading with great interest, have not finished, so I’m sure I will post more. My research confirms surface RH has declined, in part due to an increase in temp without a corresponding increase in dew point. Dew Points did shift with the rise in temps at the end of the 1999 El Nino, but that still left rel humidity falling.
    Visible in this graph of 59 million surface station records.

    The only way to find out the real RF relationship is to carry out the CS calculations according to the specification of CS (ref. 4). I have used the application Spectral Calculator available through Internet and this software uses Line-By-Line (LBL) method. A very essential thing is to use the Average Global Atmosphere (AGA) profile of the Earth for the temperature, pressure and humidity. I have combined the AGA profile from the five climate zones of the Earth (available in Spectral Calculator), which has the TPW (Total Precipitated Water) value of 2.6 cm and the surface temperature of 15.0 degrees.

    This is fatally flawed. The cooling process is not a static process.
    It actively changes during clear sky cooling, and an average single line by line run is like taking a single measurement in the middle of the day, worthless to look at the radiative process as temps fall and RH rises every night.
    Here’s what the actual measurements look like
    AS you can see there are two distinct cooling rates, and the change between them is based on air temps nearing dew point, and rel humidity increasing, once it’s over about 70 or 80%. With more data I suspect this percentage will be influenced on the absolute humidity.
    I’ve also calculated the change temperature of every surface station outside of the tropic as the seasons change the length of day, and then I used measured tsi to calculate a clear sky surface forcing, which I divide the rate of temp change by to get a Delta degree F/ W/m-2
    You can see these results by latitude bands here.

      • BTW, just so you know. I figured I wouldn’t have to explain 3 lines on that graph to everyone. I though, at least with a few hints, and what I have written someone else would also figure it out. But so it goes…….

    • Finished. Okay, looks like a clear increase in temperature. Except the atm is nonlinear in cooling, and what you calculated was an average, like taking the average of the output going to a speaker, and not knowing all those squiggly lines were music, if you didn’t average it all away.

      So, how the active process in the last graph above works out. Since on land, there isn’t a lot of readily available of water to evaporate, so dew points don’t change particularly fast, at least compared to how quickly the day changes conditions. So, say we have clear skies, calm conditions with a constant dew point of say 33F, and the switch between the 2 cooling rates is at ~90% ~47F and it switches between 4F/hr to 1F/hr (approximately what the measured data did)
      So @ 7:00pm ~72F
      2:00= .25×4 + .75×1 = 1.75F, to avoid fractions I’ll round up to 2F so

      which is pretty close to the chart.
      Now, let’s assume Co2 make this same day 4F warmer.

      It reduced a 4F increase in max temp to 2F of warming. Also it does ultimately catch up (the rate does continue to slow) as summer turns to fall. This is Australian spring, and each day get a little longer, so there is less time to cool, where in the fall it catches up, hence it warms in the spring and cools in the fall.

      Nonlinear cooling!

    • I have tried to reproduce what Myhre et al. have done in calculating the RF effect of CO2 increase from 280 to 560 ppm. I think it is basically a correct procedure, because I can produce – as I have shown in the validation section – that the total absorption in the atmosphere is same as observed on the surface.

      • I clarify my comment above. The procedure of Myhre et al. is correct. The small concentration changes from the balance situation can be described with a simple logarithmic equation. The problem is that it seems to include positive waster feedback as written by Shi and therefore the result is not correct.

    • The low cooling rate is due to low surface temperature and the high cooling rate is due to high surface temperature. (Surface temperature leads the air temperature, which is measured 2 meters above the surface.) Notably, the amount of water vapor in the air is fairly constant throughout the day-night cycles shown in the graph. The first nighttime low looks like about 36 degrees F at close to 100% relative humidity, which means a dewpoint of 35-36 degrees F. The next daily high is about 69 degrees at about 38% relative humidity, which means a dewpoint about 40 degrees F.

      • “The low cooling rate is due to low surface temperature ” No, equilibrium isn’t reached. At least not until later still. It might look like that is the case, but the optical window remains still 80 to 100F colder than air temps, even during the low cooling rate. But my IR doesn’t get the water lines longer than 14u, and that should be very active that this time, and they likely light Co2 up in the process.

      • I did not claim anything requiring equilibrium to be reached. If it was reached during the night, then the cooling rate would drop to zero during the night.

        Meanwhile, the optical window is not the only thing above the surface. There are also the greenhouse gases, which are mostly far less than 80-100 degrees C different in temperature than the surface, and which mostly have a much smaller temperature drop during the night than the surface does. Note the spread between high and low daily temperatures at the 500, 700 and even the 850 millibar levels – generally a fraction of the spread at 2 meters above the surface (except where the surface elevation gets close to one of these levels).

      • One thing the graph of daily temperature and radiation results shows is nighttime temperature leveling off even though heat is being lost by radiation. There is a common, simple cause of this when the relative humidity is high at 2m and 100% at the surface: Formation of dew. Latent heat is being released.

        • Yes, I agree. But the magic is that the transition between the 2 cooling rates is temperature dependent.
          That is the action, is basically how switching power supply regulate voltage. The pulses of current flows, go to charge a capacitor, and the current pulses happen once a cycle, depending of the voltage at the time.

          Surface temps do exactly the same, except on the outgoing current, this regulates the minimum level, instead of the maximum level.

        • At that time, the surface is cooler than the air 2 meters above it.

          Only if it’s covered in vegetation. Dirt, and many man made structures are still warm.

      • Vegetation coverage is not necessary for the surface to cool more quickly during nights than the air 2 meters above the surface. Such faster surface cooling is common in deserts, drought-affected farms, and snow-covered treeless rural areas. And, when the surface is covered with vegetation much taller than 2 meters such as trees, the surface and the air 2 meters above the surface track well in temperature. Bare uncovered dirt surface can cool faster during the night than the air 2 meters above it – the dirt is what is radiating heat away to outer space and cooling the air 2 meters above it, so the air 2 meters above the surface has its cooling temperature lagging the temperature of the surface during the night.

      • You have a diverse surface. Some of it will cool faster, some of it will cool slower during the night. The cooling surface as a whole cools the air, even though the air can be cooled faster than the slowest-cooling surface materials.

        • You have a diverse surface. Some of it will cool faster, some of it will cool slower during the night. The cooling surface as a whole cools the air, even though the air can be cooled faster than the slowest-cooling surface materials.

          Fine, as the paper I referenced mentions, that does not explain the measurements by themselves.

          What I’ve added does. And it matches the emergent behavior of surface temperature as measured at 2 m, which is what all of us have been arguing about for far, far too long.

      • What emergent behavior taking place late at night did Willis write about? Please cite. I have known emergent behavior to be written about as an afternoon event so as to be some sort of upper-limit thermostat for the surface temperature of tropical oceans.

        Also, why can’t late night emergent behavior be dew (or frost if the dewpoint is below freezing)?

  25. I have checked that the doubling effect of water technically correct because water is about 12 times stronger a GH gas than CO2

    Really? And here I thought that CH4 (methane) is pound for pound 86 times as strong a GH gas as CO2. Don’t believe me? Just do a Google search on [Methane 86] and it will become abundantly clear, the media wouldn’t lie you know. So that means that methane is at least seven times as strong as water vapor.

    OK that’s a bit off topic but the methane is a zillion times more powerful than CO2 meme that’s been bandied about for the last few years really needs to be explained in depth. The question, “How much will CH4 at ~1800 ppb and increasing at ~7 ppb every year actually run up the average temperature a century from now?” really needs to be answered.

    • I forgot to say that public policy is being decided on the basis of the 86 times more powerful misdirection.

    • The reason CH4 is so ‘powerful’ is because its both its concentration and current contribution are so low. CH4 affects only a tiny part of the LWIR spectrum, while CO2 and H2O affect far more wavelengths of photons. Once the CH4 lines start to saturate, the incremental effect will be far less than the incremental effect of CO2, H2O or even Ozone.

      • Well, the strengths of CH4 and N2O can be regarded very strong also, if their concentrations would grow to let say to 10 or 50 ppm but they will not and therefore they can be forgotten. In the previous figure of the absorption areas of GH gases this is shown very clearly, because the areas of the two GH gases is totally overlapping with the water.

        Here is figure showing the temperature effects of GH gases. The red dots are the present concentrations


      • The reason CH4 is so ‘powerful’ is because….

        No argument here, but let’s do a “Back of the envelope estimation” to see what’s going on:

        To make things simple, let express CH4 in terms of parts per million instead of parts per billion, or about 2 ppm., then let’s double it by adding 2 ppm. and we get 4 ppm. Now let’s do the same for CO2. No we don’t double CO2 we add just 2 ppm CO2 and on top of that due to the pound for pound statement and the fact that MH4 is 36% the mass of CO2, we will be adding not 2 ppm but 36% of 2 ppm or 0.7 ppm. That comes an increase in CO2 from about 400 ppm to 400.7 ppm, or a 0.2% increase instead of the 100% increase for CH4. At this point it should be abundantly clear what’s going on here. And to then continue, 0.2% of CO2’s absolute climate sensitivity of about 1.2 K would be 0.002 K. If you then multiply that times 86 it comes to nearly 0.2 K.

        If policy makers were to understand that at current rates it would take about 300 years to double CH4 and that it would result in perhaps a 0.2 K increase, then just maybe they wouldn’t get so excited. But 86 times more potent than CO2 is really quite the scary hobgoblin that the general populace needs to be rescued from isn’t it.

        I’ve done some investigation as to what the “Climate Sensitivity” of CH4 is and I find estimates from 0.1 K to 0.3 K so 0.2 K for a doubling seems to be in the ball park.

  26. The IPCC has now admitted that it doesn’t know what the climate sensitivity is.The IPCC AR4 SPM report section 8.6 deals with forcing, feedbacks and climate sensitivity. It recognizes the shortcomings of the models. Section 8.6.4 concludes in paragraph 4 (4): “Moreover it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining the future projections, consequently a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed”
    What could be clearer? The IPCC itself said in 2007 that it doesn’t even know what metrics to put into the models to test their reliability. That is, it doesn’t know what future temperatures will be and therefore can’t calculate the climate sensitivity to CO2. This also begs a further question of what erroneous assumptions (e.g., that CO2 is the main climate driver) went into the “plausible” models to be tested any way. The IPCC itself has now recognized this uncertainty in estimating CS – the AR5 SPM says in Footnote 16 page 16 (5): “No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies.” Paradoxically the claim is still made that the UNFCCC Agenda 21 actions can dial up a desired temperature by controlling CO2 levels. This is cognitive dissonance so extreme as to be irrational. There is no empirical evidence which requires that anthropogenic CO2 has any significant effect on global temperatures. For a complete discussion see my recent paper from E&E at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-coming-cooling-usefully-accurate_17.html
    Here is the abstract for convenience.
    This paper argues that the methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose and that a new forecasting paradigm should be adopted. Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths. It is not possible to forecast the future unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in time in relation to the current phases of those different interacting natural quasi periodicities. Evidence is presented specifying the timing and amplitude of the natural 60+/- year and, more importantly, 1,000 year periodicities (observed emergent behaviors) that are so obvious in the temperature record. Data related to the solar climate driver is discussed and the solar cycle 22 low in the neutron count (high solar activity) in 1991 is identified as a solar activity millennial peak and correlated with the millennial peak -inversion point – in the RSS temperature trend in about 2004. The cyclic trends are projected forward and predict a probable general temperature decline in the coming decades and centuries. Estimates of the timing and amplitude of the coming cooling are made. If the real climate outcomes follow a trend which approaches the near term forecasts of this working hypothesis, the divergence between the IPCC forecasts and those projected by this paper will be so large by 2021 as to make the current, supposedly actionable, level of confidence in the IPCC forecasts untenable.

    • As commented below, IPCC is playing with two cards. In the scientific section of AR5 IPCC tries to soften its scientific conclusions (a big gap between lower and higher limits of CS). On the other hand the Paris climate agreement is based on the IPCC*s model that doubling of CO2 concentration to 560 ppm will increase the global temperature over the 2 degrees and we need really hard measures to prevent this. The whole agreement is based on the IPCC*s science or do you know that there is some other scientific basis?

  27. Does the IPCC say that

    “…a doubling of CO2 will or does cause…”

    or do they say that

    “…a doubling of CO2 may or might cause…”?

    • Does the IPCC say that…

      Doesn’t matter, the news media, Hollywood, Democrats and public school teachers say that CO2 is going to cause a catastrophic disaster.

      • I be one of those and I don’t say that. Neither do most of my colleagues here in NEOregon. Broad brushes are usually used by people who speak before they reason.

      • Pamela Gray March 17, 2017 at 9:14 am
        I be one of those and I don’t say that.

        Criticism accepted. How ’bout “many public schools” instead of “public school teachers”?

    • It would be pretty unscientific for the IPCC to talk in terms of certainty about ECS, or anything else for that matter. Rather it’s assessment is stated in the usual probabilistic scientific terms:

      Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence).

      The terms ‘likely’, ‘extremely unlikely’, etc are all quantified in percentage terms. Using these the above quote can be paraphrased as follows:

      With high confidence there is 66-100% likelihood that equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) falls into the range of 1.5 to 4.5°C. Also with high confidence there is up to a 5% likelihood that ECS is less than 1.0°C. With medium confidence there is up to a 10% likelihood that ECS is greater than 6°C.

      For full explanation and further links download the AR5 SPM from here: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/

      • I understand DWR54.

        However, my attempted point is that since the IPCC admits that the matter isn’t certain, then are they not admitting that the science isn’t settled?

  28. The problem with climate science is that, as the late Dr. Joanne Simpson said, it is almost entirely based on computer models. And, the physics of CO2 & temperature goes only a part of the way needed for the models to fit the historical proxy data. So, what to do? Why, add a fudge factor in to the models, of course – that makes it quite easy to curve-fit the models to the data. But, of course, they cannot actually call it what it is – a fudge factor – so they called it a sensitivity factor.

    So, can we then assume, since the physics of the CO2-water vapor link is not at all understood, all the rest of the physics is understood? Well, maybe not. If it was, wouldn’t there be *ONE* value for this fudge factor for all models? How can the physics, other than this one part, be understood and have a range of fudge factors from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C, as Nick Stokes said?

    Now, if anyone doubts this, simply ask anyone who wants to argue that the “science is settled” about what the science actually consists of that shows man made CO2 to be a significant part of any observed current warming. They most likely will not know. If they do know, they will not wish to talk about it. Ask them, if they either do not know, or they do not wish to discuss it, how they can base their argument on an obvious religious type belief rather than any knowledge of the actual science. There is no real technical knowledge needed to outline in general terms what the science consists of.

    One more thing that is interesting. A person can find the answer to almost any question today using google search. I have asked this question time after time, and I know that people have gone to google to find the answer. Why is it that a question as easy to answer as this cannot be found in this way? Is it because the people who know do not wish to make it easy to understand?

    My experience is in markets. My “hobby” (and also my living to a good extent) has been in building models to predict future price changes in selected markets (especially one that I know well). I’ve been enjoying working with this for well over tweny-five years. One of the things I have learned is that a model that is curve-fit to historical data is a model that will cost a person money. It has become obvious to me over the years that if climate scientists were dependent on their models being useful in real time for their livelihoods, the profession would have a lot fewer scientists.

    • Because we do not know all the causes for global warming, it is impossible to calculate from the observed temperature increase, what is the real climate sensitivity. But if the model used for calculation of CS, gives temperatures which is now about 50 % too high, then you can conclude that the model overestimate the contribution of CO2. My model for the CO2 warming does not explain totally the present temperature, but it leaves some room for unknown factors, see figure below.

      Link to the original paper: http://www.sciencedomain.org/abstract/17484


      • One comment for the figure above.
        There is an essential feature in the long-term trends of temperature and TPW, which are calculated and depicted as 11 years running mean values. The long-term value of temperature has increased about 0.4 ºC since 1979 and now it has paused to this level. The long-term trend of TPW shows minor decrease of 0.05 ºC during the temperature increasing period from 1979 to 2000 and thereafter only a small increase of 0.08 ºC during the present temperature pause period. It means that the absolute water amount of the atmosphere is practically constant reacting only very slightly to the long-term trends of temperature changes. Long-term changes, which last at least one solar cycle (from 10.5 to 13.5 years), are the shortest period to be analyzed in the climate change science. The assumption that the relative humidity is constant and it amplifies the GH gas changes by doubling the warming effects, finds no grounds based on the behavior of TWP trend.

  29. NOAA/NASA define ToA as 100 km. 99% of the atmospheric mass is contained below 32 km. There are essentially no molecules between 32 km and 100 km. How does any of this work with zero molecules?

      • So if the incoming/outgoing radiative balance, ISR – albedo = ASR = 240 in and 17+80+63 +80 = 240 out, is at 100 km and CO2/GHGs do their thang below 11 km how do they have any measurable impact on the radiative balance at ToA of 100 km?

        Answer: they don’t, nada, zip, zero.


        Mankind’s modelled additional atmospheric CO2 power flux (W/m^2, watt is power, energy over time) between 1750 and 2011, 261 years, is 2 W/m^2 of radiative forcing. (IPCC AR5 Fig SPM.5) Incoming solar RF is 340 W/m^2, albedo reflects 100 W/m^2 (+/- 30 & can’t be part of the 333), 160 W/m^2 reaches the surface (can’t be part of the 333), latent heat from the water cycle’s evaporation is 88 W/m2 (+/- 8). Mankind’s 2 W/m^2 contribution is obviously trivial, lost in the natural fluctuations.

        One popular GHE theory power flux balance (“Atmospheric Moisture…. Trenberth et al 2011jcli24 Figure 10) has a spontaneous perpetual loop (333 W/m^2) flowing from cold to hot violating three fundamental thermodynamic laws. (1. Spontaneous energy out of nowhere, 2. perpetual loop w/o work, 3. cold to hot w/o work, 4. doesn’t matter because what’s in the system stays in the system)

        Physics must be optional for “climate” science.

      • Nicholas Schroeder. This comment comes out many times that the atmosphere emits more LW radiation downwards than the Earth’s surface emits upwards. It is not so. If you look at my energy balance figure below, you will see that the atmosphere emits downwards 344.7 W/m2 and the Earth emits 395.6 W/m2. There is no conflict with the physical laws.

  30. When I look at Roy Spencer’s plot of model results vs. satellite and weather balloon data, I often ask what makes virtually all of the computer models so far off and why don’t they fix it? What is making their temp curves so bad? The simple answer, of course, is ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ Is it the assumed water vapor factor? All of the water vapor curves I’ve seen show water vapor decreasing since 1947 so how can the modelers assert that as CO2 rises, water vapor also rises and that is what raises the temp? When I ask computer modelers how much can increased CO2 raise temp without using a water vapor factor, I can’t get an answer.

    When I look at strong temp fluctuations in past geologic time, only about 0.1% of warming periods have anything at all to do with CO2. When I look at the increase in CO2 levels after 1945, I find that the atmospheric content of CO2 has risen only 0.008% and this miniscule amount is supposed to warm 300 million cubic miles of ocean water? Add to this the fact that CO2 always lags temp, both long-term and short-term and you can see why I’m skeptical that CO2 has any significant effect on climate at all.

    • What is making their temp curves so bad?

      My guess is because they are hind casting to adjusted temps….past cooled, present warmed
      …which doesn’t match real time temps

      and feedbacks are cancelling each other out….so they end up with linear is all they can do

    • If you look at my figure above about the temperature trend and the effects of CO2 from 1970 onward and the absolute water, some important conclusions can be drawn. The temperature has increased according to UAH, which is the most reliable measurement and so Is also the temperature effect of CO2. But the average value of water has been slightly going downwards. So water feedback increasing the CO2 warming has not been in place. This is another evidence that there is no positive water feedback, because the average water content has been almost constant and not increasing ´with the increasing concentration of CO2, which is a basic assumption of IPCC model and all computer models.

    • Everything went so well with the IPCC model up to year 2000. Then the temperature pause emerged. The models of IPCC as well as the GCMs are based on the use of positive water feedback. The essential content of my story here is that positive water feedback is not only in the CSP, it is also in the equation of Myhre et al. These models use positive water feedback twice and therefore the TCS sensitivity is three times to great and the ECS is six times too great. If IPCC would admit that this is the case, also the GCMs would collapse. As far as I know, there is not a single GCM utilising LBL spectral calculation in their model but they apply the results of Myhre et al. That is why the results are almost the same.

      • I haven’t seen a detailed analysis, but I suspect that the ‘everything was going well until 2000’ is due in large part to the corruption of the USHCN data by Hansen’s GISS.

        When you can surf the Urban Heat Island effect while growth surrounds former pristine sites and fail to acknowledge it (or max it out at 0.15 deg C) you can show lots of temp growth…. but once you’ve used that up, then you have to deal with real atmospheric phenomena.

      • To Jim Hodgen. The issue of the global temperature measurements is another issue. I do rely on the UAH MSU measurements but not on the other data sets. In the newer updates of GISS/NASA/NCEI data sets, the history is getting colder and the data near the present day is getting warmer. The science behind the calculation of the global average temperatures cannot be that complicated. Nowadays we have alarming information what Dr. Karl did in preparation of the latest update for GISS.

        What I do hope that there were a detailed analysis what is going on in this data tampering. There is already an request by Lamar Smith from the House of Representatives on this issue.

    • @ Don Easterbrook March 17, 2017 at 8:05 am : A team of honest Atmospheric Physicists is needed to sort all this for the new US admin. They are the ones to ask, I reckon. Please use your influence with the new bosses…..

  31. I have seen both 4W/m2 and 2W/m2 cited as radiative forcing for a doubling of CO2, with some stating that this can be measured. Is 4W/m2 the clear sky value and 2.2 the cloudy sky model per Myhre? In any case, what is the assumption for water vapor content? or are those values for dry air? If dry air, what is the “average” water vapor content of air in the tropics? it must be pretty high? Doubling CO2 may have negligible effect in a humid environment. So CO2 would have a larger effect in the mid-latitudes?

    • I have seen both 4W/m2 and 2W/m2 cited as radiative forcing for a doubling of CO2, with some stating that this can be measured. Is 4W/m2 the clear sky value and 2.2 the cloudy sky model per Myhre? In any case, what is the assumption for water vapor content? or are those values for dry air? If dry air, what is the “average” water vapor content of air in the tropics? it must be pretty high? Doubling CO2 may have negligible effect in a humid environment. So CO2 would have a larger effect in the mid-latitudes?

      If you look at my series of posts in this thread, you’ll see a ~two state cooling at night under clear calm skies. I have also calculated enthalpy at min and max for every surface station in my ncdc dataset. The tropics have the highest energy, but have a slightly less than average drop in enthalpy, Deserts have half the total energy, but drop twice as much. That is the effect of water. Now back to my posts, tropics would likely spend more time in the low rate, and deserts are spending more time in the high state, and it like has to due with the rate of change in to 70 to 80% rel humidity range and above.
      You can find the raw data with enthalpy here http://sourceforge.net/projects/gsod-rpts/

    • The whole problem of the CS value would have solved, if the CS could be measured. The right RF value for the all-sky (66 % clouds) is 3.71 W/m2 according to Myhre et al. The value of water content is the key. Based on my reproduction I conclude that I can get almost the same RF 3.71 W/m2, if I assume that the relative humidity is constant, which means that water doubles the RF value of CO2.

  32. The OLR varies a lot over the different climate zones.

    Here is figure about the absorption areas of GH gases and especially of CO2. Note the overlapping of absorption areas.


    Here is the same in the tropic. The absorption area of CO2 is very small meaning very small warming effect. The whole GH effect is mainly due to the water.


    • Now calculate the absorption of just the anthropogenic fraction of CO2 and determine if that fraction is capable of changing weather pattern variations sufficiently to cause an increase in global temperature. But first you must calculate the energy needed to change weather pattern regimes from one stable state to a warmer one.

    • ? In particular is the balance (or imbalance) between outgoing and ingoing radiation uniform around the globe or does it vary?

      It can not be in static balance, as the surface of the 2 hemisphere’s are different, just picture how surface temps are distributed, plus you have energy getting stored away from the surface as well as stored energy moving from one place to another.

      An annual average would be close, but even that doesn’t account for the AMO and PDO cycles.

  33. In equation 5, I assume the last = sign is a result of solving equation 4 for s and substituting in for s in equation 5. If so, I think there is a constant issue as there will be a 4 picked up by substitution. I hope I did the LaTeX right.


    substituting for s as above yields
    \frac{\left(RF\right)}{dT}=4\left(\frac{4RF}{T^4}\right)T^4 = \frac{16RF}{T}

    This has implications for equation 6 in that there would now be a factor of 4 in the denominator.

    The problem here of course is it then gives a value for CSP of 0.067230 which is even worse than what you started with. If someone can see where I went off course here let me know, but when someone does a derivation, I always try to reproduce it as I don’t trust anyone (including and especially myself) to do algebra correctly the first time through.

  34. The sensitivity is most accurately quantified as (4*o*e*T^3)^-1, where o is the SB constant and e is the ratio between the LWIR leaving the top of the atmosphere (239 W/m^2) and the LWIR leaving the surface at its average temperature of T (390 W/m^2 @ 288K). What the IPCC neglects is the 1/T^3 dependence of the sensitivity on the temperature. They assume that the sensitivity at the poles is the same as it is at the equator which is absolutely incorrect given the T^4 dependence of emissions on temperature.

    The only physical constant that relates temperature to emissions is the SB constant of 5.67E-8 W/m^2 per K^4. In AR1 and subsequent reports, the non linearity is mentioned but said to be approximately linear. While this is true, it’s only approximately linear over a very small range of temperatures and is far from linear across the range of temperatures exhibited by the planet. In their haste to support CAGW, they linearized the sensitivity as a slope passing through zero, rather than a slope based on the T^4 relationship. Note that the constant ‘e’ (effective emissivity) can be infinitely small and the T^4 relationship still persists.

    This value for the sensitivity can be derived from first principles, measured easily and is highly repeatable. The sticking point is many refuse to accept that the planets behaves like a gray body. The objection is that “it must be more complicated than this”. Indeed how this behavior is manifested is complex, but the fact is that it the planet unambiguously manifests gray body behavior as shown in figure 3 in the following post. Also shown is the linearization error resulting in the absurdly high sensitivity claimed by the IPCC.


    To repeat this experiment, plot the average surface temperature against the average outgoing emissions for different parts of the planet (in this case, 2.5 degree slices of latitude) and the SB relationship will emerge every time, the slope of which represents the sensitivity of output emissions to temperature and since input power == output emissions, this is a fair proxy for the climate sensitivity. If you plot the average surface temperature vs. input power, the measured sensitivity is even lower approaching the sensitivity of an ideal BB at the surface temperature (4*o*T^3)^-1. Convergence to ideal behavior can be explained as the many degrees of freedom (complexity) self organizes to minimize the change in entropy upon state (surface temperature) changes. This is a basic requirement of the second law also called the entropy minimization principle.

  35. My understanding is that the argument says an initial increase in C02 creates both warming (~1.0C for each doubling, although this declines each doubling) and water vapor, and that the water vapor creates the positive feedback loop by generating more warming (which generates more water vapor and so forth). This should be a runaway system (with feedbacks generating 50-80% or more of the warming depending on the sensitivity chosen), but the model outputs don’t look much like that. Is this because of lags built into the feedback equations or some dampening assumption? Just trying to understand how the feedback is handled.

    • Dan Tauke. IPCC do not use the real feedback mechanism. They just double the GH gas radiative forcing because of positive water feedback. They never did any system simulation including the real feedback in order to find the system response.

  36. Regarding: “The calculation of the equilibrium CS (ECS) by IPCC applies positive feedbacks, which are not observed so far and are therefore very theoretical”:
    This is not the distinction of equilibrium climate sensitivity from transient climate response.

    TCS is the response during a 70 year period of CO2 doubling in a manner of exponential growth, which is a growth rate close to 1% per year. TCS includes some but not all of the effects of any feedbacks. ECS is the response after any feedbacks have completely run their course and the temperature of the ocean’s thermal mass has fully responded to the CO2 change.

    TCS figures of 1.75, 1.85 or 2.5 degrees C per 2xCO2 include some positive feedback. With no feedbacks from change of cloud cover, water vapor, tendency of convection to occur, snow and ice coverage, etc. the ECS would be about 1.1 degrees C per 2xCO2 and the TCS even less.

    • Donald L. Klipstein. You writ. “TCS figures of 1.75, 1.85 or 2.5 degrees C per 2xCO2 include some positive feedback”. If you mean that it includes water feedback, this statement is correct. IPCC assumes that the positive water feedback in the atmosphere happens very quickly – not with the delays of years.

      • As I said, TCR (transient climate sensitivity) refers to a specific defined “transient” event whose duration is 70 years. I may be a little wrong here, it could be only 20 years – the Wikipedia article on climate sensitivity says that transient climate response is how climate responds to a 20 year period of CO2 increasing 1% per year. The calculated effect of such a “20-year transient” (my words) would have to be translated to terms of degrees C per doubling of CO2, using a formula where the effect of changing CO2 is logarithmic. 20 years is enough time for a change in snow and ice cover as well as water vapor concentration change from warming of the ocean surface, wetlands, ponds, puddles, and moist soils. The main lagging factor here is warming of the top few hundred meters of the ocean or maybe the “upper ocean” (the ocean above the thermocline).

  37. Reproducible in isolation, with models, or in the wild? There is a predilection by [political] scientists to extrapolate from the first (in both time and space), indulge in circular reasoning with the second, and avoid the last with extreme prejudice.

  38. Antero,
    You said, “The average albedo value can be calculated from the observed reflected flux…” If the observation position is something like a geosynchronous weather satellite, then the apparent reflectivity (albedo) will be low because more than 70% of the surface of the Earth is capable of specular reflections of amounts greater than the nominal (lower-bound) 30% global albedo. The light reflected obliquely from water will go off into space in a direction not directly observable by a satellite, nor inferred from lunar estimates of Earth albedo. Additionally, light scattered from diffuse reflectors, such as clouds, will similarly leave in directions not observable by a nadir-viewing imaging satellite. The total reflectivity has to be obtained by modeling, based on satellite observations and theory. Unfortunately, obtaining reliable measurements from satellites, essentially looking into the sun, are fraught with difficulties including building a system with sufficient dynamic range and spatial resolution to capture the rapid change in reflectivity with high angles of incidence, as predicted by Fresnel’s Equation of reflection. This issue of “reflected flux” is just another issue of assumptions being made about the correct value of something only poorly measured.

  39. It is beyond my expertise, if we talk about the technical problems with measuring the LW radiation emitted by Earth’s surface and detected by satellites. For the time being I rely on these observations, because I can close the Earth’s energy budget by using the observed radiation fluxes and some fluxes like absorption by GH gases calculated by LBL methods. I can even compare my theoretical LBL calculations with the observed reradiation flux at the surface.


    • This model treats the earth as a ball immersed in a bucket of warm fluid. Not even close to how it actually heats and cools.

      Trenberth et al 2011jcli24 Figure 10

      This popular balance graphic and assorted variations are based on a power flux, W/m^2. A W is not energy, but energy over time, i.e. 3.4 Btu/eng h or 3.6 kJ/SI h. The 342 W/m^2 ISR is determined by spreading the average 1,368 W/m^2 solar irradiance/constant over the spherical ToA surface area. (1,368/4 =342) There is no consideration of the elliptical orbit (perihelion = 1,416 W/m^2 to aphelion = 1,323 W/m^2) or day or night or seasons or tropospheric thickness or energy diffusion due to oblique incidence, etc. This popular balance models the earth as a ball suspended in a hot fluid with heat/energy/power entering evenly over the entire ToA spherical surface. This is not even close to how the real earth energy balance works. Everybody uses it. Everybody should know better.

      An example of a real heat balance based on Btu/h follows. Basically (Incoming Solar Radiation spread over the earth’s cross sectional area), Btu/h = (U*A*dT et. al. leaving the lit side perpendicular to the spherical surface ToA), Btu/h + (U*A*dT et. al. leaving the dark side perpendicular to spherical surface area ToA), Btu/h.

      The atmosphere is just a simple HVAC/heat flow/balance/insulation problem. Like Venus.

      Mark Twain observed, “The trouble with most of us is that we know too much that ain’t so.”


      Adding to the “Δ33C without an atmosphere” (see attached) that completely ain’t so is the example of Venus.
      Venus, we are told, has an atmosphere that is almost pure carbon dioxide and an extremely high surface temperature, 750 K, and this is allegedly due to the radiative greenhouse effect, RGHE. But the only apparent defense is, “Well, WHAT else could it BE?!”

      Well, what follows is the else it could be.

      Venus is half the distance to the sun so its average solar constant/irradiance is twice as intense as that of earth, 2,615 W/m^2 as opposed to 1,368 W/m^2.

      But the albedo of Venus is 0.77 compared to 0.31 for the Earth or Venus 601.5 net ASR (absorbed solar radiation) W/m^2 compared to Earth 943.9 net ASR W/m^2.

      The Venusian atmosphere is 250 km thick as opposed to Earth at 100 km. Picture how hot you would get stacking 2.5 more blankets on your bed. RGHE’s got jack to do with it, it’s all Q = U A dT.

      The thermal conductivity of carbon dioxide is about half that of air, 0.0146 W/m-K as opposed to 0.0240 W/m-K so it takes twice the dT/m to move the same kJ from surface to ToA (top of atmosphere, 100 km, 62 miles).

      Put the higher irradiance & albedo (lower Q = lower dT), thickness (greater thickness increases dT) and conductivity (lower conductivity raises dT) all together: 601.5/943.9 * 250/100 * 0.0240/0.0146 = 2.61.

      So, Q = U A dT suggests that the Venusian dT would be 2.61 times greater than that of Earth. If the surface of the Earth is 15C/288K and ToA is effectively 0K then Earth dT = 288K. Venus dT would be 2.61 * 288 K = 748.8 K surface temperature. No S-B BB RGHE hokey pokey need apply.

      Simplest explanation for the observation.

  40. Antero,
    You said, “…but the question is if the RH is really constant in the atmosphere.” It seems to me that the absolute humidity should be used instead of the relative humidity.

    • Clyde. That is also my conclusion. Therefore I have used in my models and calculations the constant absolute amount of water – it is the constant TPW value of 2.6 cm.

  41. I haven’t seen a grant application or award in 40 years. Do the current terms of government awards still come with the explicit stipulation that all data, methods and results must be made available for reproduction to anyone seeking that information?

    I was wondering how much impact on reproducibility the ‘climate gangs’ penchant for withholding one or more of the above components has had on the field?

  42. Regarding: “There is only one small problem, because the water content of this atmosphere is really the atmosphere over the USA and not over the globe. The difference in the water content is great: 1.43 prcm versus 2.6 prcm”:

    Like CO2, water vapor’s effect is closer to logarithmic than linear. Correcting for the difference between 1.43 and 2.6 prcm makes only a minor change in the percentage of greenhouse gas effect contribution by CO2.

  43. Donald. That is not so. The warming effects of water is practically linear over the large concentration range. You can find this feature in a figure “Temperature effects of GH gases”. That is why the water is so powerful GH gas, because it does not behave in the same way as the other GH gases. I copy below the absorption (=warming effects) of all major GH gases, if their concentrations have been increased by 10 % from the present concentration.

    The increased absorption caused by the 10 % increase of concentration in AGA15 (average global atmosphere in 2015) atmosphere. The reference value of the AGA15 absorption is 310.69 Wm-2. The CO2 change* is based in the altitude of 1 km, because thereafter the absorption of CO2 does not increase.

    GH gas Total absorption Absorption change Relative strength
    H2O 315.129 4.439 11.765
    CO2 310.996 0.394* 1
    O3 310.998 0.308 0.782
    N2O 310.745 0.055 0.140
    CH4 310.733 0.043 0.109

    Please not that the in the last column the strength of CO2 is 1 and therefore the relative strengths of other GH gases are relative to that of CO2. If you say that CH4 (Methane) or N2O (nitrogen oxide) are very strong GH gases, here you can see the real situation. The Global Warming Potential (GPW) values are totally artificial created to frightening people.

    • H2O increasing 10% causes increase from 310.69 to 315.129, by 4.439 W/m^2. And is not H2O vapor causing a majority of that 310.69 W/m^2? I don’t hear much of anyone claiming less than 65%, except when clouds are counted as greenhouse gases. 65% of 310.69 W/m^2 is 281.59 W/m^2.

      Notably, Skeptical Science claims that water vapor contributes 75 W/m^2, and I think this is in a cloud-excluding breakdown cherrypicked to maximize calculated percentage of greenhouse gas warming being from CO2.

      A 4.439 W/m^2 increase from 75-281.59 W/m^2 due to a 10% increase of water vapor is a 1.58-5.9 % increase in its effect as a greenhouse gas. Nowhere near linearly proportional. At this point I see SKS supporting 5.9% and aveollila supporting 1.58% increase of the warming effect of water vapor if it increases 10%. I can’t cite from this point that the effect of water wapor is as logarithmic as that of CO2, although it’s much less than linearly proportional.

      • Clouds have a very small effect in the total GH phenomenon and it is only 1%. The contributions of the GH gases are in percentages: water 81, CO2 13, O3 4, CH4 & N2O 1. In the total GH effect the strengths of H2O versus CO2 is 6.2/1 but in the present climate this relationship is 11.8/1.

      • I noticed in your Ref. 6 that where you said the total is 310.69 W/m^2, you determined the effect of CO2 using 1 km, while you used 120 km for all other mentioned greenhouse gases. Not all of the absorption of CO2 can be accounted for from the lowest 1 km (about 10% of the atmosphere’s CO2).

      • Donald. Firstly about the energy balance fluxes. I refer now only to the presentation of mine. The clouds have a great effect on downward flux by the atmosphere: clear sky 318, and the cloudy sky 359 W/m2, difference 41 W/m2. The reason is that the clouds absorb totally the upward emitted flux by the surface – a complete GH effect.

        The effects of clouds in calculating the contributions of GH gases in the GH effect is much more complicated. The first reason is that the clouds absorbs all the upward LW rAadiation but ast the same time they also reduce the incoming solar radiation. Both effects must be calculated.

        I have calculated this many times and the situation is that the absolute absorption by CO2 does not increase above the altitude of 1 km. The relative contribution of CO2 even slightly decreases because the total absorption still increases thanks to water and to ozone in the stratosphere. It does not help at all that the CO2 concentration is almost the same up to 80 km. I would say that CO2 is a victim of its strength in the wave range from 12 to 16 micrometer. When there is no more radiation to be absorbed, then CO2 cannot absorb more. It is simple like that. Water has a very large absorption zone and that is one reason for its strength.

      • I have seen enough spectral absorption curves of the atmosphere, including one shown in comments above with the name Antero Ollila on it, where there are some wavelengths at which the whole atmosphere and the CO2 in it alone are partially transparent. This means that changing the CO2 concentration at any altitude at which CO2 exists would change the absorption spectrum. I would like to see how this can be reconciled with calculations that show no absorption on the way up by CO2 above 1 km.

  44. Donald. One more addition. IPCC assumes that the RH is constant. It means that when CO2 increases the temperature, the RH will remain constant. It does sound a big thing. But it means that in a higher temperature, the absolute amount water has increased a little bit. This small increase of absolute water has the same warming impact as by CO2. It means that water must be very powerful GH gas. And it is. I have checked this feature and I found that this time IPCC calculates the warming effect of water exactly correctly. This is possible only if water is about 12 times stronger that CO2.

  45. Why has AGW science and its flawed models continued to survive despite model/observation divergence, no increase in humidity, no troposphere tropics hotspot and other evidence that the IPCC has got it wrong?

    Where is the blockage in showing that the official science is flawed? It is the case that much of the evidence is negative in the sense that model predictions have not been confirmed, there is no evidence to support them. Negative evidence is still evidence.

    Is it simply a political problem in that governments ignore the evidence or lack of it. Until now, perhaps in the US.

    • The flaw is one of groupthink ignoring multidecadal oscillations such as AMO and possibly a loosely-linked Pacific one of multiyear-smoothed imbalance between El Ninos and La Ninas. The CMIP5 climate models were tuned to hindcast what happened in its “historical” period, which is before the transition from 2005 to 2006. And especially the rapid warming period from 1975 to 2005. Meanwhile, I figure about .2 degree C of the warming from 1975 to 2005 was from a natural multidecadal cycle, but modeled as being manmade. I expect that if a correction of climate models gets made for this, then they would have erred much less. Including how global temperature trended and will trend during The Pause/Slowdown, and predicting only a fraction as much tropical upper tropospheric warming hotspot as the climate models that are failing in that area now.

    • “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”
      – Leo Tolstoj

    • Here is section 3 from my blogpost Aug 2015 at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-epistemology-of-climate-forecasting.html

      “3. Ava says -It looks like the Earth is going to cool down- Why is my teacher and President Obama saying the earth is going to get very hot and the Polar Bears are all going to die unless I walk to school ?

      Well Ava – I would have to write a book to explain how so many different people came to be so wrong for so long about so much- sometimes with the best of intentions. Here is a short story telling what happened.
      In 1968 a man called Ehrlich published a book called the Population Bomb. He thought the number of people on earth was growing so fast that there soon wouldn’t be enough food to feed everybody, He said in the book.

      ” In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate”

      Some people at the time got very worried and put their guesses about such things as future population growth, food production ,oil supplies, industrial production and mineral reserves into a computer program.. They intended to look at possible future problems and also explore the possibility that the peoples and governments of the earth could agree on a way of running the worlds economy that could be sustainable, that is, go on for a long time. They put all this in a book called The Limits to Growth published in 1972.

      A very energetic business man called Maurice Strong who knew a lot of very influential people persuaded the United Nations that, as he himself believed and indeed still strongly believes, this sustainability problem was very serious.The UN and Sweden organized a meeting in 1972 in Stockholm to discus the interaction of humans with the environment. Strong was appointed by his UN friend U Thant , to be the General Secretary of the meeting. Strong, by nature, is very determined and action oriented and he and the conference produced an incredibly detailed 109 point action plan designed to give the UN input and even control over individual Government environmental policies world wide. As one of the actions, the United Nations Environmental Program ( UNEP) was organized in 1973 with Mr Strong himself as Executive Director.

      Ten years later it was obvious that the predictions of imminent death and disaster were wrong. The people at UNEP still wanted to take global control of the worlds economy. They realized that if they could show that the CO2 ( carbon dioxide) produced by burning coal and oil to make electricity and drive our cars might cause a dangerous warming of the earth they would be able to scare the Governments and people into writing laws giving the UN ( and them) control over the world’s economy by controlling the type of energy used and its price.

      UNEP organized a meeting of scientists at a place called Villach in Austria in 1985 to see if they could show that CO2 was dangerous. The scientists said

      “Although the observed global-scale warming experienced over the past ~100 years is compatible with model estimates of the magnitude of the greenhouse effect, unequivocal, statistically convincing detection of the effects of changing CO2 and trace gas levels on climate is not yet possible. An important problem in the positive identification of a greenhouse gas effect on climate is to explain the medium to long time scale (~decades or more) fluctuations in the past record. Attempts to model such changes have, to date, suffered from a number of deficiencies.”

      Ava – In other words they couldn’t prove any effects of man made CO2 on climate.
      But whoever wrote the official summary statement and recommendations said:

      “As a result of the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, it is now believed that in the first half of the next century a rise of global mean temperature could occur which is greater than any in man’s history. ”

      The report made two important recommendations. As a result of one ,the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was set up to select from the evidence and from time to time produce reports which would show that CO2 was the main driver of dangerous climate change and a second recommendation resulted in a meeting in Rio in 1992 chaired by Maurice Strong himself which produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , later signed by 196 governments.
      The objective of the treaty is to keep greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that they guessed would prevent dangerous man made interference with the climate system.

      This treaty is really a comprehensive, politically driven, political action plan called Agenda 21 designed to produce a centrally managed global society which would control every aspect of the life of every one on earth.
      It says :
      “The Parties should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the
      causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. Where there are threats of serious or
      irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing
      such measures”
      In other words if the models show there is even a small chance of very bad things happening the Governments who signed the treaty should act now to stop it. But how good are the computer Models?
      The successive five reports of the IPCC in the Summaries for Policymakers written by Government representatives have clamed increasing certainty for the outcomes of their Model based projections of future temperature which is not supported by the Science sections of the reports or the actual data.
      Remember the Villach meeting said
      “in the first half of the next century a rise of global mean temperature could occur which is greater than any in man’s history.”
      All the models and projections made since 1985 were built in the assumption that CO2 was the main climate change driver- for that and for many other reasons they are in reality useless for forecasting future temperatures. A new forecasting paradigm is required – see http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-coming-cooling-usefully-accurate_17.html

  46. Dr Ollila
    Thank you very much for one of the most interesting and stimulating posts I have seen on this blog. I even understand some of it and I’m very impressed by the overall grasp you have of these matters.

    Others have posted on the subject of errors resulting from the assumption of constant RH used in the basic IPCC presentation. It has been argued in response that the models only assume constant RH as a means of deriving the intial relationships to be used, but that actual RH, and indeed ECS, drops out as a result of model runs. I don’t have the math to identify the real point of issue here, am thoroughly confused, and so far I haven’t seen your argument put to the test. I might hope for a contribution to this from Nick Stokes, Steven Mosher, and perhaps Nic Lewis. The first two, whilst not exactly in the warmist camp, provide an antidote to some of the shallower sceptical comments we often see. I hope they’ll post.

    I myself have long cherished – the ‘null hypothesis’ if you like – the idea of a negative water vapour feedback. Seems to me self-evident. However, it could be that this would operate only in the tropics. At high latitudes increased evaporation/convection could not so easily counteract the GH effect of CO2, so that there is room for a polar driver on temperature which the models may be emulating in a way that globally averaged physical calculations cannot? There is certainly observational evidence that this is what happens. Excuse my clumsy way of describing it: I’m only a biologist//

    • “and so far I haven’t seen your argument put to the test. I might hope for a contribution to this from Nick Stokes, “
      I can’t make any progress. The basic assertion here is
      “IPCC says that the value of CSP is 0.5 K/(W/m2) and that it is practically constant.”
      and I can’t find anywhere that they said that. I asked above, to no useful effect. What is needed is a proper quote. What did they actually say? Where? Then we can argue about whether it is right. I don’t believe that statement is an accurate statement of the IPPC view.

      • Nick Stokes. Here is the direct quatation from AR5. I have copied the text from AR5 and changed the Greek symbols to English in the text. The quotation starts and ends with + signs:

        IPCC, AR5, Defining Radiative Forcing

        Alternative definitions of RF have been developed, each with its own advantages and limitations. The instantaneous RF refers to an instantaneous change in net (down minus up) radiative flux (shortwave plus longwave; in W/m2) due to an imposed change. This forcing is usually defined in terms of flux changes at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) or at the climatological tropopause, with the latter being a better indicator of the global mean surface temperature response in cases when they differ.

        Climate change takes place when the system responds in order to counteract the flux changes, and all such responses are explicitly excluded from this definition of forcing. The assumed relation between a sustained RF and the equilibrium global mean surface temperature response (dT) is

        dT = CSP*RF

        where CSP is the climate sensitivity parameter. The relationship between RF and dT is an expression of the energy balance of the climate system and a simple reminder that the steady-state global mean climate response to a given forcing is determined both by the forcing and the responses inherent in CSP.

        In both the Third Assessment Report (TAR) and AR4, the term radiative forcing (RF, also called stratospherically adjusted RF, as distinct from instantaneous RF) was defined as the change in net irradiance at the tropopause after allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, while holding surface and tropospheric temperatures and state variables such as water vapor and cloud cover fixed at the unperturbed values. RF is generally more indicative of the surface and tropospheric temperature responses than instantaneous RF, especially for agents such as carbon dioxide (CO2) or ozone (O3) change that substantially alter stratospheric temperatures. To be consistent with TAR and AR4, RF is hereafter taken to mean the stratospherically adjusted RF.

        This quotation confirms the radiative forcing concept of TAR and AR4 by referencing them.

        An eyes opening table is in AR5, Table 9.3, page 818. It is a summary of 30 CMIP5 AOGCMs, i.e. the latest and the most complicated computer climate models. The model mean values are as printed in the Table 9.3: Effective Radiative Forcing (ERF) 3.4 W/m2, ECS 3.2 degrees, TCS 1.8 degrees, CSP 1.0 K/(W/m2). The ERF value 3.4 is slightly smaller than that of IPCC 3.7. The CSP value in this case is applicable in calculating the value of ESC and it is practically same as in calculating the ECS according to IPCC’s model dT = CSP * RF = 1.0 * 3.7 = 3.7 degrees. This can be compared to the ECS reported by IPCC in the range from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees and the average being 3.0 degrees.

        If IPCC reports CSP values of GCMs, it is justified to talk about the CSP and RF values of the simple model of IPCC. IPCC has not rejected the concept of the radiative forcing and the CSP value of 0.5 K/(W/m2) is still the best average value, which can be found in calculating TCS. If somebody says that it not so, he/she has to show, what is the real concept of IPCC for radiative forcing. I just remind that the calculation of the total RF value has always been the key information in SPM (=Summary for Policymakers). What is the meaning of RF, if somebody cannot calculate the corresponding surface temperature change? Nice to know? What can a policymaker do with a RF value?

      • “Here is the direct quatation from AR5.”
        Yes, but it doesn’t include anything that supports your key assertion:
        “IPCC says that the value of CSP is 0.5 K/(W/m2) and that it is practically constant.”
        I keep asking – where does the IPCC say that? You keep coming up with places where they aren’t saying it. It’s what you want people to reproduce – where did they say it?. 0.5. Practically constant. You just haven’t supported that in any way. Now you say
        ” the CSP value of 0.5 K/(W/m2) is still the best average value”
        Sounds like it is your value, not the IPCC’s. Don’t give endless irrelevant pages from AR3-5. Quote their words where they say it.

        • Where does it say it lower Nick ? And if it’s lower doesn’t that change the outcome of the models ? 2 to 3 times of an over estimation is substantial.

      • Here is the copy from TAR.

        IPCC, TAR:
        6.2 Forcing-Response Relationship 6.2.1 Characteristics
        As discussed in the SAR, the change in the net irradiance at the tropopause, as defined in Section 6.1.1, is, to a first order, a good indicator of the equilibrium global mean (understood to be globally and annually averaged) surface temperature change. The climate sensitivity parameter (global mean surface temperature response dTs to the radiative forcing dF is defined as:

        dTs/dF = CSP (6.1)

        (Dickinson, 1982; WMO, 1986; Cess et al., 1993). Equation (6.1) is defined for the transition of the surface-troposphere system from one equilibrium state to another in response to an externally imposed radiative perturbation. In the one-dimensional radiative-convective models, wherein the concept was first initiated, CSP is a nearly invariant parameter (typically, about 0.5 K/(Wm-2); Ramanathan et al., 1985) for a variety of radiative forcings, thus introducing the notion of a possible universality of the relationship between forcing and response. It is this feature which has enabled the radiative forcing to be perceived as a useful tool for obtaining first-order estimates of the relative climate impacts of different imposed radiative perturbations.


      • It seems to be a misunderstanding. The model-mean of CMIP5 gives a TCR of 1.85 which translates to a warming due to CO2- forcing ( with 3.71 K per doubling) of 0.5K/W/m². So it’s definitely not a value of IPCC but a value calculated from CMIP5-mean.

      • frankclimate. The “model mean” of TCR as it is called in AR5 in Table 9.5 is not 1.85 but 1.8 degrees (mean of 30 GCMs). The TCR calculated by using equation (1) and (2) = 0.5 * 3.71 = 1.85 degrees. Surprisingly close to each other but calculated on the different ways. As I have explained, the reason is probably that GCMs use Myhre’s equation..

  47. Isn’t it is reassuring that the science seems so unsettled ? Mind you this from a shallower sceptical deplorable denier perspective . I do accept climate change and really like warming too. I didn’t need the debatable formulas though because as soon as Al Gore and Hollywood actors got involved the debate was over for me . Nice to see real scientists discuss the issues though . Maybe they can now be less intimidated and unafraid to admit there is much to learn about the very important field of climate science .

  48. Dr Ollila, thank you so much for, after a few weeks of childish political posts in this “once great” blog, post a real interesting text about climate science.

  49. According to AR5 of IPCC by doubling of CO2, global warming rises to 1.75 oC and according to the present author it is 0.6 oC. However, in such estimations the following three aspects must be taken in to account.

    1. Sunspot’ Activity:

    I made studies using power spectral analysis in 1975 with Lower Stratospheric Meteorological data height (H), temperature (T), zonal wind component (u) & meridional wind component (v) at 100, 50 and 30 mbar levels for individual stations in the latitude belt 13o 5’N to 12o 0S for the period Jan. 1964 to Mar. 1974. H, T and u showed long period waves at all levels with few exceptions. In the case of v. the long period waves are more prominent at 50 and 30 mbar levels compared to 100 mbar level. As the distance between station and the equator increases, the annual cycle is seen even from low level onwards. Enhancement due to Sunspot activity is more prominent on H than on T, u & v. Singapore and Lima show drop in H with increasing sunspot activity and the opposite feature is seen at Bogota and Malakal. This suggests that these variations may be of an oscillatory type parallel to the longitude circle. T shows opposite phase variations at 100 and 50 mbar levels. This type of variation is also seen at higher levels at low sunspot activity period, more prominently away from the equator. Generally, a drop in temperature is seen with increasing sunspot activity, except at Malakal at 50 mbar level, where it is opposite. As in T, u also shows opposite phase variations at 100 and 50 mbar levels. The parameters u and v show respectively change from westerly to easterly and northerly to southerly with increasing sunspot activity. T shows decrease in temperature with increasing sunspot activity. [S. Jeevananda Reddy & (Miss) S. N. Lahori, 1977, Indian Journal of Radio & Space Physics, 6:51-59 – presented at the Symposium on Eart’s Near Space Environment, 18-21 February 1975, NPL, New Delhi].

    Power spectrum analysis was carried out using the 21 stations data series of global solar radiation and 8 stations data series of net radiation.The total solar radiation and net radiation intensities show sunspot cycle. This clearly indicates the influence of sunspot cycles on solar and net radiation intensities. Therefore, it is suggested that during the sunspot cycle period there is certain change in the solar radiation emitted by the sun itself; which in turn, is reflected in other atmospheric processes also. Both presented an increasing trend after 1940s at some industrial stations. It is more pronounced in net radiation due to air pollution related urban heat island factor. [S. Jeevananda Reddy, O. A. Juneja & (Miss) S. N. Lahori, 1977, Indian Journal of Radio & Space Physics, 6:60-66 – presented at the Symposium on Eart’s Near Space Environment, 18-21 February 1975, NPL, New Delhi].

    2. Global Warming component:

    According to IPCC, global warming started around 1951. Global average temperature presents the trend and superposed over it the 60-year cycle [moving average also show this]. The trend [0.6 oC/Century during 1880-2010] consists of (1) greenhouse effect and (2) non-greenhouse effect. According to IPCC, the former is more than half wherein it consists of component associated with anthropogenic greenhouse gases, known as global warming since 1951 and aerosols component. If we take global warming as half then it is 0.3 oC/Century.

    Non-greenhouse effect is over emphasized in the global average temperature trend due to uneven distribution of met network. This is rectified in the satellite data series. This trend shows less than half of the ground based data. Thus, the global warming is half of 0.3 oC/Century [0.15 oC/Century].

    3. Sensitivity factor:

    In nature when energy is limited, the conversion of energy in to temperature by doubling of the CO2 may not follow the pattern defined by the IPCC or for that matter the present article author. This follow classic sigmoid pattern – slow rise [near flat] followed by steep rise followed by slow rise [near flat].

    With this, we cannot take it granted the global warming raise a stereo type rise per Century but it tappers-off with the increasing CO2.

    Unfortunately, some scientific groups associated with Warmist’s groups are manipulating rainfall data.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  50. A comment about the Paris climate agreement COP21. The goal of the agreement is to keep the warming below 2.0 degrees from the year 1750 and even below 1.5 degrees. The present CO2 emission rate is 10 GtC/y corresponding the average growth rate of 2.2 ppm CO2 per year. With this rate the IPCC model (CSP = 0.5 K/(W/m2)) calculated temperature increase would be 2.0 degrees in the end of this century. No CO2 emission reductions needed.

    Because COP21 agreed on the drastic emissions reductions, it means that IPCC and UN have used the higher value of CSP = 1.0, which would give the temperature increase of 3.9 degrees in 2100. This would mean cutting the CO2 emissions about to the level 6.5 GtC/y from the present 10 GtC/y.

    Looking at the scientific basis of this agreement, it is impossible to find. There is one outcome that the agreement “leads to a projected level of 55 gigatonnes in 2030”. The gigatonnes are probbally CO2 corresponding to 15 GtC. What does this figure mean? I do not find any explanation. I am sure that the decision makers had no glue about the science behind the agreement.

  51. Climate sensitivity more properly refers to the emotional disposition of believers in catastrophic human-caused climate change. These people are very sensitive to being questioned about their legitimacy.

    A high sensitivity is indicated by totally dismissive cursing.
    A low sensitivity is indicated by passive aggressive sarcasm.


  52. I have spent the better part of two days learning from this. I want to thank the author for all the time and effort put into detailing his methods and calculations. And also responding to the commenters who had serious responses [and letting those critics who really were not responding to the post at all slide off to the side, that takes fortitude]. In the process of attempting to make sure I understood this [ie: googling certain terminology], I also happened upon an older paper [pre-IPCC, 1967] that seemed, by different methods, to arrive at about the same conclusion. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0469(1967)024%3C0241%3ATEOTAW%3E2.0.CO%3B2 What an education this is! Dr. Antero Ollila, if you ever find yourself traveling to Minnesota, please alert me. I at least owe you a lunch.

  53. Randy Bork. Thank you for your nice words and invitation. Who knows.

    I am sorry about the typing and grammatical errors. Especially the word “water” turned out to be difficult. The reason seems to be my little finger. It strikes too easily a and s at the same time, because s is next to a.

    Thank you for your patience.

  54. “Because the Earth obeys the first law of energy conservation, the ORL must increase to the original value of 265.4 W/m2. The only way this can happen, is the higher surface temperature of the Earth.”

    There are other ways this can happen. From satellites ~70km altitude, the CO2 fundamental bands are seen radiating at the Planck temperature of the tropopause. We are talking about CO2. It is often posited that the “effective radiative level” is increased with increasing concentration. At the tropopause the lapse rate inverts and higher altitudes radiate at higher temperatures. Radiation to space therefore increases to the fourth power of whatever temperature increase the higher radiative level affords.

    • gymnosperm. If this is so that the temperature of the stratosphere defines the OLR flux, why the OLR flux of 239 W/m2 corresponds to the temperature of -19 degrees and not the higher temperatures of the stratosphere? There is even higher temperatures in the thermosphere. What about these temperatures affecting the radiation flux amount?

      • All very good questions. I have no idea why the satellites see the 15 micron fundamental bend and rotational sidekicks radiating at 217K. This temperature is remarkably similar from the Sahara to the Tropical Pacific and with MODTRAN at 600ppm.
        This fixation is all the more surprising, as you point out, since the satellites are looking down through lots of reputed radiative cooling in the stratosphere and above.
        You can see from this plot against line by line radiation (Clough 1995) that the satellites are seeing CO2 radiating at about the altitude of maximum ozone. A decent hypothesis might be that ozone absorption is kinetically lighting up CO2.
        One thing for sure, the satellites are not seeing photons from the surface. CO2 absorbs 98% of surface radiation in these bands in the first meter. The atmosphere radiates as a blackbody up to about one kilometer. Above that CO2 goes its own way and radiates colder than the Planck temperature.

  55. I do not know all the details, in which way the LW radiation behaves in the atmosphere. I keep the following things as facts: 1) The GH phenomenon happens in the troposphere 98 %, 2) The OLR at TOA is about 239 W/2 and it includes a radiation flux called transmittance flux. This flux is 83 W/m2 in the clear sky conditions ( in the cloudy sky conditions every photon will be absorbed). The transmitted flux passes the atmosphere in the clear sky conditions without absorption. This means that a photon emitted from the surface can be detected in the space.

    This is the same phenomenon that the SW solar irradiation passes through the atmosphere: the original flux is 342 W/2, 104 W/m2 is reflected, 71 W/m2 is absorbed by the atmosphere, and 168 W/m2 is absorbed by the surface. The photons from the Sun passes through the atmosphere and these photons create the flux of 168 W/m2.

    For me the question what happens above the troposphere is “nice to know”, but it has almost no role in the climate change, because the absorption is the key and it happens in the troposphere.

    • The stratosphere is also the “planet”. The effects are three dimensional. A vertical (or oblique) gradient is more powerful than a horizontal gradient because it engages the lapse rate for additional potential energy.

      While, as you say, the CO2 and water absorption happens in the troposphere, the ozone absorption happens both in the stratosphere and near the surface. Ozone is a very significant absorbing gas in both the UV and IR spectra.

      The surface emitted IR radiation is allowed to escape to space in the “atmospheric window”, dirty as it is in the tropics, on either side of a significant bite from ozone. It is not clear whether this bite occurs at the surface or in the lower stratosphere.

      What is clear is that the radiation to space from CO2 at the tropopause and above seen by satellites is NOT radiation from the surface. It is different energy. This is why your simplistic averaging does not work.

  56. “The climate sensitivity” (TCS) should be called “the equilibrium climate sensitivity” (TECS). It is the ratio between the change in the spatial average of the surface air temperature at equilibrium and the change in the logarithm of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. The numerical value of about 3 Celsius per CO2 doubling that is assigned by the IPCC to TECS is scientific nonsense as the spatial average of the surface air temperature at equilibrium is insusceptible to being measured.

  57. Thoughtful and intelligent comments by most bloggers. I recommend especially by Dr. Antero Ollila for detailed numbers. To look at long term average energy balance per sq. meter: Water vapor/clouds/ice crystals make up the majority of radiation to space (an absolute 2nd law requirement to balance solar input to earth), is on average a 160 watt cooling agent (there is no other material in the atmosphere to do it) by definition thus a component of negative feedback along with IR window (~40 watts) and CO2 itself (~20 watts). Doubling density of CO2 at higher, cooler radiation escape altitude computed by Harvard using HITRAN detracts max of 2 watts radiation of the CO2 spectrum, thus a positive feedback effect to doubling. This 2 watt accumulation by the earth and atmosphere would drive an increase in 0.5C temperature to balance the average radiation demanded by the 2nd law. Tho with continued $billions endless details can be found and argued for another 30 years, many of which may be correct but difficult to attribute in measurements, the earth will continue to balance the energy input by using its only tools described above.
    A note: Unlike the sun and its CME, CO2 alone has no mechanism ie. power or cloud modification to change the energy input and cannot drive any change in water vaporization, a favorite conjecture of the positive feedback cohort. Even if it did, on balance water vapor is 2/3 of the radiant cooling and therefore also the strongest net negative feedback. (I hear an argument that GH warming of the air is a forcing function. But without an increase in power it can force nothing. An increase of 0.5 C in air temperature is a long term (100 yr) minor accumulation of energy in the atmosphere as the average air temperature rises and matches the average surface temperature. It is not an additional power source which can evaporate additional water. In fact its warming comes from increase surface temperature not the other way around.)

    • The IPCC’s “climate sensitivity” cannot be reproduced as it is the ratio of two numbers. The numerator is the change in the equilibrium surface air temperature but the equilibrium surface air temperature cannot be measured.

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