REAL climate science shows Trump was right to Exit Paris

MIT president’s letter repeats standard climate alarm claims. Here are the facts.

by Istvan Marko, J. Scott Armstrong, William M. Briggs, Kesten Green, Hermann Harde, David R. Legates, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, and Willie Soon

In a recent letter to the MIT community, Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Rafael Reif criticized President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate agreement, for ignoring “consensus” climate change science. “Other nations have made it clear that the deal is not open for renegotiation,” he asserted. “And unfortunately there is no negotiating with the scientific facts. I believe all of us have a responsibility to stand up for concerted global action to combat and adapt to climate change.”

Fortunately, contrary to Professor Reif’s claims, the actual current scientific understanding of Earth’s climate dispels the popular delusion that any global warming is manmade and will be dangerous. That means adhering to the Paris agreement would be “a bad deal for America,” and not only on economic and equity grounds, as President Trump stated.

It would also be a terrible deal on scientific grounds, because evidence-based science clearly shows that the agreement would do nothing to prevent or control global warming or climate change, despite the trillions of dollars it would cost the United States and world.

CO2 did not cause the warming since the Little Ice Age

There is no science unambiguously establishing that the tiny portion of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our Earth’s atmosphere (400 parts per million or 0.04%) is the primary cause of the warming observed since the Little Ice Age ended in the mid-nineteenth century. In fact, science has repeatedly demonstrated the opposite, while also showing the benefits of more carbon dioxide and warming.

Ice cores have revealed that changes in CO2 concentration follow rather than precede changes in temperature. As the latest high-resolution records show, during the last deglaciation, atmospheric CO2 lagged temperature increases by 50 to 500 years.

Professor Ole Humlum and colleagues have demonstrated that changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration follow changes in temperature in the short term too, after about 8-11 months. There is a time-lag between changes in temperature and consequent changes in CO2 concentration, caused by outgassing of carbon dioxide from the oceans when they warm and uptake by the oceans as they cool.

Human activities and industries are actually restoring some of the CO2 that was formerly present in the atmosphere, prior to the five-century Little Ice Age, and a little warming may be expected from that small amount of carbon dioxide. But that warming will be small and beneficial, further helping the extra CO2 to spur flower garden, food crop and wild plant growth.

Indeed, plant life has a role in determining atmospheric CO2 concentrations. As higher concentrations help plants grow faster and bigger, and become more plentiful, the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 has slowed down , because plants are absorbing and utilizing prodigious amounts of this “gas of life.” Human contributions to atmospheric CO2 thus affect fluctuations in atmospheric CO2, but not much. This article’s coauthor Hermann Harde has reached similar conclusions.

Professor Reif’s assertion that global temperatures can be controlled by an international agreement that regulates our “sins of emission” is thus at odds with scientific knowledge on cause and effect. King Canute’s warning to his English courtiers in 1032 AD – that even the divinely-anointed monarch could not command sea level – should be heeded by intergovernmental agencies a millennium later.

The Professor’s assertion is also logically invalid, since the Paris Agreement permits China, India and other developing countries to industrialize and burn fossil fuels, with no limit on their emissions and no date by which they must stop. That means major energy and economic sacrifices by the USA and other industrialized nations would not “save humanity” even if the “dangerous manmade global warming” hypothesis were true.

The Paris treaty is not about climate change

In actual intent and practice, the Paris Agreement is a political tool for suppressing growth, instituting global governance over energy use and economic growth, and redistributing wealth.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, former chairman of the IPCC, clearly spelled out that aim. Ms. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change until last year, openly stated that it was not about climate but that, for the first time, it gave them the tools to replace capitalism. Former UNFCCC section director Ottmar Edenhofer bluntly said climate agreements are actually about how “we de facto redistribute the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

Under the Paris accords, developed nation payments to the “Green Climate Fund” (for redistribution to underdeveloped countries) are to begin at $100 billion per year, of which the US share would have been $23.5 billion had President Trump not taken the United States out of the agreement. Ms. Figueres has suggested that $450 billion a year by 2030 would be appropriate, Competitive Enterprise Institute climate expert Myron Ebell notes.

Concerning the transition away from fossil fuels, during its October 7-9, 2016 annual group meeting, the IMF and World Bank declared: “One estimate suggests that around US $90 trillion will need to be invested by 2030 in infrastructure, agriculture and energy systems, to accomplish the Paris Agreement. …[S]et against the US $300 trillion of assets – held by banks, capital markets and institutional investors – we’re faced with a problem of allocation, rather than outright scarcity.”

Consensus science is not science

Professor Reif’s letter further states, “At MIT we take great care to get the science right. The scientific consensus is overwhelming.”

The late physician, researcher and author Michael Crichton said in his 2003 Caltech Michelin Lecture: “In science consensus is irrelevant. … There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

Indeed, consensus is a political notion. Doubt is the seed corn of science. As Abu Ali ibn al-Haytham explained the role of scientists in the eleventh century,

“The seeker after truth does not place his faith in any mere consensus, however venerable or widespread. Instead, he subjects what he has learned of it to his hard-won scientific knowledge, and to investigation, inspection, inquiry, checking, checking and checking again. The road to the truth is long and hard, but that is the road we must follow.”

The alleged “consensus” about climate is nothing more than an agreement that temperatures have warmed in the past 300 years, and perhaps an agreement that human activities may have played some role. However, the degree and causes of warming are hotly debated among climatologists. Even today, measuring global temperature is subject to errors, biases, missing data and subjective adjustments.

The use of satellite data to estimate global average temperature is relatively new, and employs a completely different temperature measurement method than used by older methods. Nevertheless, the satellite data and balloon data have provided essentially identical estimates. Neither displays a worrying trend.

In addition, both satellite and balloon data are increasingly at odds with surface temperature records, many of which have been adjusted to show more warming than presented in the original raw data. They are also contrary to the alarming projections of computer climate models on which the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and many national governments have relied.

Scientists agree that climate changes. It has done so since the first wisps of the Earth’s atmosphere formed. However, they disagree on the causes of climate changes, including the mild warming since the Little Ice Age. Coauthor David Legates found that only 0.3% of 11,944 peer-reviewed articles on climate and related topics, published from 1991 to 2011, explicitly stated that recent warming was mostly manmade. His finding reflects other analyses that also debunked claims of consensus.

The world is not experiencing the predicted warming

Professor Reif also wrote: “As human activities emit more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the global average surface temperature will continue to rise, driving rising sea levels and extreme weather.” His assertions are at odds with actual observations and scientific forecasting.

In the last 20 years, humans have released over a third of all the CO2 produced since the beginning of the industrial period. Yet global mean surface temperature has remained essentially constant for at least 15 years – a fact that has been acknowledged by the IPCC, whose models failed to predict it.

NOAA’s State of the Climate report for 2008 said that periods of 15 years or more without warming would indicate a discrepancy between prediction and observation – i.e., that the models were wrong. Just before the recent natural el Niño event raised global temperature, there had been 18 years 9 months without any global warming at all. The reliance on computer models and predictions, instead of real world observations, is thus misplaced.

In fact, the climate models relied upon by the IPCC and the politicians they advise have predicted warming at about twice the rate actually observed over the past 27 years. During that time, the Earth has warmed at 0.4° C. That is about half of the 0.75° C 27-year warming rate implicit in the IPCC’s 1990 prediction that there would be 1.0° C of warming from 1990 to 2025. (See Table 1.)

Table 1. Observed global warming, 1990-2016, compared with IPCC predictions made in 1990

Screenshot 2017-07-09 13.11.31

Green and Armstrong (2014) conducted longer-term validation tests of the models and found that forecasts from them were much less accurate than assuming there had been no global warming at all. The relative inaccuracy of the IPCC projections increased with longer (multi-decadal) horizons. Even forecasts of natural global cooling at a rate of 1ºC per century were much more accurate over long periods than the IPCC’s projections of dangerous manmade global warming.

Ten years ago, former U.S. Vice President and prominent climate alarmist Al Gore asserted that global temperatures had reached a dangerous “tipping point,” with extreme warming imminent and unavoidable. Professor Scott Armstrong challenged Mr. Gore to a ten-year bet based on the Green-Armstrong-Soon (2009) scientific no-change forecast for global mean temperatures.

Mr. Gore declined the bet. However, website keeps track of how the bet would have turned out. With the ten-year life of the bet due to conclude at the end of this year, the cumulative monthly error in the IPCC’s business-as-usual 0.3 ºC per decade prediction is 22% larger than the error from the benchmark prediction of no warming at all.

These facts help explain why even alarmist scientists like Ben Santer now recognize that there has been a global warming “hiatus” for more than 15 years. The facts also suggest that it makes little sense to promote “dangerous manmade global warming” that is increasingly at odds with observations.


The world is not experiencing unprecedented rising seas or extreme weather

Professor Reif further states that rising manmade greenhouse gases are “driving rising sea levels and extreme weather.” Neither is happening.

The average sea level rise since 1870 has been 1.3-1.5 mm (about a twentieth of an inch) per year, or five inches per century. Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, a renowned sea-level researcher who has published more than 500 peer-reviewed articles on this topic, has been unable to find observational evidence that supports the models’ predictions of dramatically accelerating sea level rise.

Observations over the last few decades indicate that extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes, have been decreasing, rather than increasing, both in number and in intensity. Moreover, total accumulated cyclonic energy has also been declining. As MIT Emeritus Professor Richard Lindzen has explained, the decline in storminess is a consequence of reduced temperature differentials between the tropics and exo-tropics that arise when global average temperatures are slightly warmer.

Looking at the United States, major hurricane activity is at a record low. As of June 1, 2017, it had been eleven years and seven months since a category 3 to 5 hurricane last struck the U.S. mainland. According to NOAA Hurricane Research Division data, the previous record was nine years, set in 1860-1869.

Climate change is not a military “threat multiplier”

Professor Reif further asserts: “As the Pentagon describes it, climate change is a ‘threat multiplier,’ because its direct effects intensify other challenges, including mass migrations and zero-sum conflicts over existential resources like water and food.” That may have been the official position during the Obama years, but the assertions are not supported by real world evidence.

Milder temperatures and increased CO2 levels green the planet, not brown it. Deserts are retreating and vegetation cover has increased over recent decades. The production of maize (corn), wheat, rice and soybeans is at a record high. Overall, our planet has seen more than 20% greening over the past three decades, half of which is due to the fertilization effects of more atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Forecasts of droughts are likewise not born out by experience. For example, since the now former Australian Chief Climate Commissioner Professor Tim Flannery warned that dams would no longer fill owing to lack of rain, Australia has been subjected to a series of dramatic floods, and overflowing dams. Governments’ naïve belief in Professor Flannery’s warnings appear to have led to policy actions and omissions that exacerbated flooding and failed to take full advantage of the rainfall when it came.

The most comprehensive recent study of the worldwide extent of droughts (Hao et al., 2014) found that for 30 years the percentage of the Earth’s land area suffering from drought has been declining. The latest news from South Africa is that the country is expecting the biggest maize harvest since 1981, following the high rainfall there in January and February 2017.

Although the UN Environment Program published a 2005 report predicting 50 million climate refugees by 2010, to date there have been no bona fide climate or global warming refugees or mass migrations. The one person we know of who asked to be recognized as a climate refugee had his demand rejected by the Supreme Court of New Zealand; he has since returned to his island home, where he remains safe from inundation.

While the world is currently experiencing mass migrations of refugees, they are fleeing religious persecution and violence, especially in the Middle East, and seeking freedom and prosperity. We are not aware of any evidence that they would have stayed where they were if the weather were cooler

Carbon dioxide will not linger for 1,000 years

Professor Reif asserts that “… the carbon dioxide our cars and power plants emit today will linger in the atmosphere for a thousand years.”

The average residence time of a CO2 molecule in the Earth’s atmosphere is about 4-7 years. Taking into account multiple exchanges leads to an estimate of a mean lifespan of 40 years (Harde 2017).

Moreover, as already noted, instead of being a problem, atmospheric carbon dioxide is the prime nutrient for plants. Indeed, plants grow more quickly and strongly, with better water-use efficiency and improved drought tolerance, when CO2 concentrations are much higher than they currently are. That is why commercial growers add extra CO2 to the air in their greenhouses.

The current atmospheric CO2 concentration is higher than it has been for 800,000 years, but it is still far lower than at almost any time in the previous pre-ice-age history of our planet. The pre-industrial age CO2 levels of 280 parts per million were practically starving plants, botanists say, while the current level of 400 ppm is “greening the planet.”

Far from being a pollutant, CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas that is not toxic to humans and other animals even at concentrations much higher than we are currently experiencing. It is also one of the most important fuels for phytoplankton, which use carbon dioxide for energy and raw materials to grow, and release oxygen as a product of that process. Up to 75% of the oxygen present in the air originates in freshwater and oceanic phytoplanktons’ photosynthetic water-splitting process.

Carbon dioxide is actually the miracle molecule that makes life as we know it on Earth possible.

Moreover, during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras there were long periods during which the levels of CO2 were much higher than today, but the temperatures were far colder. We are not aware of any explanation that squares that fact with the manmade global warming theory.

Job growth statistics are highly misleading

Professor Reif says, “In 2016 alone, solar industry employment grew by 25 percent, while wind jobs grew 32%.” These numbers are highly misleading. In fact, they underscore how deficient these energy sources are as job creators.

Growing jobs by subsidy is easy, provided that one cares nothing for the far greater number of jobs destroyed by the additional taxation, energy price hikes or public borrowing necessary to pay for the subsidy. Several studies have shown that the creation of one “green” job results in the loss of two to four jobs elsewhere in the economy. In Spain the estimated ratio was two jobs lost for each one created by renewable energy, prompting the government to finally end most renewable subsidies.

And yet, despite all those subsidies, wind and solar power generation expensively and unreliably account for 5.6% and 0.9% of total U.S. electricity production, respectively. On its own, electricity provides only a small fraction of total energy consumption, including transportation, industrial processes, heating and electricity generation, so these numbers actually exaggerate the contribution of wind and solar facilities to overall energy consumption.

Viewed from another perspective, EIA data reveal it took nearly 400,000 solar workers (about 20% of electric power payrolls) to produce just 0.9% of all the electric power generated in the United States in 2016. About the same number of natural gas workers (398,000) produced 37 times more electricity – and just 160,000 coal workers produced almost as much electricity as those gas workers. Moreover, gas and coal provide power nearly 100% of the time, compared to 15-25% of the time for most solar (and wind) installations. Wind employment numbers reflect this same pattern.

The so-called alternative energy companies survive only because of heavy subsidies, power purchase mandates, supportive regulations, and exemptions from endangered species and other rules that are applied forcefully to fossil fuel industries. Wind and solar electricity is cripplingly expensive for families, hospitals, schools, churches, small businesses and other customers.

In fact, “alternative” or “renewable” energy is often unprofitable even after massive subsidies from taxpayers. For example, SunEdison received $1.5 billion in subsidies and loan guarantees, and yet it was compelled to file for bankruptcy. Solyndra is another example. This is unsustainable.

Europe is suffering from growing political rejection of fossil fuels: energy prices have soared, millions of poor people are unable to pay their energy bills, and elderly people are dying because they cannot afford adequate heating in the winter. Energy-intensive businesses are relocating to countries where energy is cheaper – thereby transferring fossil fuel use, carbon dioxide emissions and job creation to other nations, especially in Asia. Theirs is not an example the United States should wish to follow.


By withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, President Trump did a wonderful thing for America and the world. He showed that advocacy masquerading as science should not be the basis for public policy decisions. We hope others will follow his lead.

Update: Since a version of this article originally appeared as an “open letter” to President Reif, his office has issued a follow-up letter, once again invoking the argument that his position is supported by a “consensus” of climate scientists. William M. Briggs and Christopher Monckton of Brenchley offer their answer to his office here.


Istvan Marko is professor of organic chemistry and medicine at the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium; he did his post-doctoral work organometallic catalysis with Nobel Prize Laureate K. Barry Sharpless at MIT. Scott Armstrong is an author, forecasting and marketing expert, and professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; he received his PhD from MIT. William Briggs is a data philosopher, epistemologist, probability puzzler, bioethicist and statistician to the stars. Kesten Green researches and writes on forecasting methods and applications at the University of South Australia Business School.

Hermann Harde is professor of atomic, molecular and optical physics, experimental physics and optics at Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, Germany. David R. Legates is professor of climatology at the University of Delaware and a former Delaware State Climatologist. Christopher Monckton received his BA in journalism studies from University College, Cardiff, England; he served as special advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 1982-1986. Willie Soon is a scientist based in Cambridge, MA.


115 thoughts on “REAL climate science shows Trump was right to Exit Paris

  1. Ahh yes!
    Aren’t indoctrination and brainwashing wonderful?

    The “Free lunch! YOU pay” little tykes know that
    …mommy get others to “provide”
    Maybe “cities” should be banned and everyone must “create” for themselves.
    Oh, yes, that is so ice ages, we are far beyond that now.
    ….big “guys” must “give” to others.

    • Unfortunately, as a fellow Oregonian, you are probably aware of that it’s actually the cities Progressives are forcing everyone into – no more rural living – certainly not suburbs. High density – THAT’s the ticket – you know, places where human misery is maximized, and resources become scarce.

      Because we here in Oregon live in a place where 97% of the landmass is uninhabited… and therefore must be protected from people wanting to get out there and despoil it all.

      Of course, cougars are allowed a 200 square mile range, and industries must be shut down so owls have a place to roost.


      • Well the good Professor’s tome is Rife with unproven assertions; but he was correct on one point:

        “””””….. I believe all of us have a responsibility to stand up for concerted global action to combat and adapt to climate change.” …..”””””

        Yes we do need to ….. adapt to climate change ….., as have ALL of Mother Gaia’s Creatures, since the rocks started moving by themselves.


    • The green and red blob, who destroyed Hamburg. In Germany there is a big “umdenken” in this case of the red an green Blob after the G 20.

      • “And unfortunately there is no negotiating with the scientific facts.”

        So why does the temperature record of FACTS need contstant “correction” ?? Facts get renegociated.

        The future is certain , it’s only the past which changes.

      • I don’t think they understood President Trump .

        He opted US … OUT … of Paris Accord.

        So if the Europeans don’t want to negotiate; that’s none of our business; we are OUT of there.


      • Something might happen to his position on climate change. I presume he hasn’t been soft soaped by the wily Macron whose smile conceals a steely determination to do what it takes to return French pride to its people. Sane as Trump in the US really….

  2. Well, you can’t negotiate with terrorists, so they can take the Paris Agreement and burn it for heat.

    • I really like the wrestler one in the comment thread, too, but DJT as Bugs is just priceless! Some one needs to do DJT as Roadrunner, too.

      • My fav was Foghorn Leghorn as Trump. The orange hair, the bombastic attitude, the loud mouth snook routine. The similarities are awesome! Glad Foghorn is pres of the USA.

        PS. The Philippines got Yosemite Sam and Canada got Pepe Le Pew :)

    • “””””….. Science | Definition of Science by Merriam-Webster

      Define science: knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation — science in a sentence …..””””””

      That’s good enough for me. I believe that OED says essentially the same thing, but I was not able to check that on line. It seems you have to have an account with OED in order to find out what is in it; a sort of Nancy Pelosi Dictionary !

      The key elements of the definition (IMHO) are ….. study of the NATURAL WORLD ….. (emfarsis mine), along with ….. learned through experiments and observation …..

      So notice it says nothing about ….. mathematics ….. Religion …… poetry ….. whatever …..

      Basically it is things that can be observed by some means or other.

      Mathematics of course is pure fiction; an elegant ART form that is a TOOL of science. It is particularly useful in describing (exactly) the expected behavior of an equally fictional MODEL so constructed as to emulate something REAL that IS observable in the NATURAL WORLD.

      So we NEVER stop observing, and finding out new FACTS about the natural world; and we never stop creating new fictional models that are even better emulators of what has been observed in the natural world.

      So what are some of these fictional MODELS of real observable natural world phenomena.

      Well here’s a few; just to illustrate the concept: ….. Quantum Mechanics ….. The Standard Particle Model ….. General Theory of Relativity …..

      Yes these are all fictional; we made them all up in our heads, out of our equally fictional mathematics !

      BUT !! They ARE the VERY BEST descriptions we have, for real facts that real people have observed and measured in the ….. natural world …..

      And the science is NEVER settled, because as real natural world observers keep on discovering newer facts, we ADAPT our fictional models to WORK BETTER in the mathematical realm, to explain what has now been observed in the natural world.

      How about Black Body Radiation ?? What IS a ….. Black Body ….. ??

      A Black Body absorbs ALL (100. 000 …%) of ALL Electromagnetic Radiation Energy From zero frequency to zero wavelength; that falls on it.

      So name one Black Body that you have observed recently; I don’t remember that far back !

      Well name one Semi Black Body that can absorb 100.000 … % of JUST ONE single frequency or wavelength of Electromagnetic Radiation Energy ?? Well hang on a minute: Heisenberg would insist that there can be no such thing as a single frequency or wavelength, because it could never have started, and it can never stop, or it would no longer be a single frequency.

      So Black Bodies, and black body radiation are pure fiction, and cannot really exist. But THERMAL radiation, that is emitted by ALL matter that is at a Temperature above zero K does exist and is observed all the time. YES atmospheric gases are hardly total absorbers of even small portions of the EM radiation spectrum, so they aren’t BB radiators, but since they are real materials having mass, and also electric charge, they DO emit EM radiation due solely to their Temperature (kinetic energy of motion), and the ultimate source is the ACCELERATION of Electric Charge, as predicted by Maxwell’s equations.
      And radiation from accelerated electric charge is as real as the sun rising in the east.

      There’s a two mile long gizmo going across the San Andreas Fault, that was built ONLY because accelerated Electric charges radiate energy, and if they go around in circles, they never stop radiating. So atmospheric gases DO radiate EM Radiant energy as a consequence of their Temperature, do to the charge acceleration that occurs during molecular or atomic collisions.

      Doesn’t quantum mechanics tell us that it is all statistics, and only the probabilities of events can be predicted; not single events.

      Well I have a problem with that, because in the real natural world, when we do an experiment, that is a single observation at a time, and every time we do such an experiment, we get a definite answer. If we try to find out which slit the photon went through, we do discover that, BUT those darn fringes just all up and vanished. We can’t even observe what we can describe in the mathematics of quantum mechanics.

      So NO NO no !

      The science is never settled; we keep on making NEW discoveries of facts in the real natural world, and we keep percolating our fictional models of those phenomena to make them more useful and accurate EMULATIONS of what SOMEBODY actually observed and measured in the real natural world.

      CONSENSUS is sort of like quantum mechanics. It sounds good and closed , but every time you ask someone else for THEIR notions/beliefs/whatever about the subject matter, well they tend to have a definite view and it differs from everybody else’s view.


      PS Sorry about the length Chasmod.

  3. Anyone remember the USSR? Huge, powerful nation. Defeated the Nazis in WWII according to more than a few accounts. They tried to place “science” ahead of economics. Were absolutely sure they had the facts on their side. Forgot all about Ozymandias lying in the desert. Now the EU under Merkel and her Soviet East German training, marching the EU on the same road to oblivion.

  4. Note to MIT President Rafael Reif. There is no such thing as a “scientific fact.” There are scientific theories and there are experimental results. Generally, when there is a correlation between theory and results we say that the science works. We do not say the theory has become a scientific fact unless we are practicing politics rather than science.

    • …for ignoring “consensus” climate change science.

      I can’t believe that the President of what is supposed to be the top engineering school in the country either doesn’t understand the definition science or has been totally corrupted by his pocketbook. Even if the global warming meme was correct that statement by him displays total incompetence.

  5. “”Ice cores have revealed that changes in CO2 concentration follow rather than precede changes in temperature. As the latest high-resolution records show,..””

    “”Then CO2 slightly leads by 165 ± 116 years at the end of the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR) period.””…..which definitely proves CO2 is not controlling temps

  6. Somebody please explain this to me. Doesn’t make sense.

    “The average residence time of a CO2 molecule in the Earth’s atmosphere is about 4-7 years. Taking into account multiple exchanges leads to an estimate of a mean lifespan of 40 years (Harde 2017).”

    One molecule lasts an average 7 years. A 40-year mean lifespan means what? That the lifespan of that molecule extends to an average of 40 years if the full cycle of ocean sequester/release is considered?

    • The second paragraph contains my questions. It should not be in blockquote…

    • It is the difference between how long an individual molecule remains in the atmosphere, and how long a change in CO2 levels will stay present. There is a constant flow of CO2 in biological processes from the air to plants and back, and no such thing as a preference for “new” molecules to be sequestered in things like peat or shells.

      • US Forestry data suggests growing an acre of pine from seedlings to harvest requires 20 cubic kilometers of air worth of CO2.

        I did my own calculations based on tree mass and the above presumption seems accurate. I also guestimated what it would be with a tropical species – Paulownia, a rapidly growing tree that would actually suck 4 cubic kilometers worth of CO2 *per year* from the air to bind it as wood. 4 cubic kilometers for just an acre seems a lot.. and suggests there may be a shortage of CO2 – surprise.

        Talking to folk I try to give that perspective – an acre of Paulownia would consume all the CO2 per year in an acre sized column of air that reaches all the way to the moon (this often involves a maths lesson – why are people so proud of their innumeracy!?).

        Then I point them to an interesting little site (thanks to whoever it was here that suggested this site to me) where you can see the hourly measured CO2 levels at an observation station. Noting how as per JoNova’s article, the cornfield trials also observed CO2 levels plummet as soon as the sun comes up and plants start grabbing as much CO2 as they can.

        Then we find a study showing just how much CO2 gardens released through microbial decomposition .. and it’s not insubstantial. All those dropped leaves get broken down pretty quick in healthy soil to feed the plants again.

        Given how much plants are gasping for CO2, it seems strange CO2 would remain out of the carbon cycle for a whole 7 years.

    • Residence time is known from the bomb spike data. Less than 11 years. Defined as the time an individual molecule of CO2 remains in the atmosphere before being either photosynthesized or absorbed by the ocean. But these get released by decay, digestion, etc. So the correct notion for duration, or half life, or efold time (all related ideas, see Willis Eschenbach’s post on the first Salby video) of a slug of global emissions (say a years worth) is ~40 years (half life) or ~52 years (efold time). Individual molecules don’t matter to AGW, it is themtotal remaining in the atmosphere ober time that does.

    • OK, thx. Is my thinking correct that there was a shift (that I did not detect) from a description of the mean lifetime of an individual CO2 molecule in the atmosphere (1st sentence) to a description of the mean lifetime of a change in total CO2 in the atmosphere (2nd sentence)?

      • I Came I Saw I Left
        July 10, 2017 at 10:20 am

        Hello I.I.I..:)

        Let me give you a simple explanation on that, as per my own understanding of this particular issue.
        In both cases of the estimation of CO2 residence time in atmosphere, either in the half life time residence expression or the mean life time of total CO2 in atmosphere is the one and the same estimations, where the second one is simply a result of the first one, and the other way around in this context does not work.

        Residence time of CO2 in atmosphere in relation to the half time approach of 4-7 years half time residence means that the actual CO2 (molecular) mass in atmosphere of ~6 years ago has already 50% disappeared by now, which leads to the same estimation that the actual CO2 (molecular) mass in atmosphere of 40 years ago has already 99% disappeared bye now.

        Is the estimation of the residence time in prospect and relation to half life “method”, the one that gives or leads at the estimation of the mean lifetime residence of CO2 in atmosphere…..

        Mean lifetime means the replenishment of CO2 in atmosphere at ~99%, which is estimated due to the half life residence time step change-replenishment…That is all
        Meaning that only less than 1% of the actual (molecular) mass of the today’s CO2 in atmosphere will be there still ~40 years from now….The rest will have being gone and replenished….
        But is due to the half life residence time estimation that we get at the mean life time residence of CO2 in the atmosphere……So 4-7 years half life residence time of CO2 in atmosphere gives an ~40 years mean lifetime residence of CO2 in the atmosphere…….

        Hopefully this helps……

        If the half life residence time estimated at 4-7 years is close enough to the actual one, meaning that the mean lifetime CO2 residence time is at ~40 years than there is no any room at all for any anthropogenic forcing of any meaning at all to consider……..

        And when at this the CO2 “decay” time if more and above than 40 years than it means nothing at all as far as residence time estimated in the way of the half life of CO2 residence time in atmosphere which results in an ~ 40 years mean lifetime residence of CO2….
        I know, it could be a bit complicated to get the point made…:)



    • ICISIL,

      Common error from a lot of skeptics, including Harde. As Ristvan already explained:

      The residence time of a CO2 molecule is the average time that a molecule resides in the amosphere, before being exchanged with a CO2 molecule from another reservoir. That has zero effect on the total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere, but it has a huge effect on the isotopic composition of the different reservoirs.
      The residence time for any molecule is:

      residence time = total mass / throughput
      800 GtC / 150 GtC/year = ~5.3 years

      The decay rate for any extra CO2 injected above the long term equilibrium between atmosphere and (mainly) the ocean surface per Henry’s law for the average temperature of the surface is of a different order:

      For a linear process:
      e-fold decay rate = cause / effect
      extra CO2 above steady state / net sink rate = e-fold decay rate
      110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year = ~51 years or a half life time of 35-40 years.

      Two different decay rates (isotopes vs. mass) with little in common.

      I have reacted on Harde’s work some months ago: while he obviously knows the difference between the two, in his final formula, he uses the short residence time, not the longer decay rate… That makes that the 40 years to remove most of human emissions as mass is completely wrong. In reality it takes about 5 half lifes of 35 years or 175 years to remove most of the extra mass CO2 introduced by humans. Much longer than the 40 years above, but much shorter than de thousands of years from the IPCC…

      • This half life analysis is used in plotting the speed of recovery from anaesthesia in the dog.
        Generally, after three half lives the patient is up and wagging his tail.
        It is true that there is anaesthetic residue at 4 and 5 half lives, however this does not have any clinical
        adverse effect.
        Were the ventilation rate increased with a gaseous anaesthetic, then the duration half lives would be severely truncated, so the patient is up and barking even quicker.
        The more rapid uptake by plants and algae to CO2 with warming and higher CO2 atmospheric concentrations
        is equivalent to speeding up the ventilation rate.
        Adding CO2 to the atmosphere with natural warming, perhaps a tiny bit anthropogenic, brings back the biosphere to an optimal homeostasis that allowed great
        advances in civilization, such as Minoan,Roman and Medieval.
        What is there to fear?

      • In reality it takes about 5 half lifes of 35 years or 175 years to remove most of the extra mass CO2 introduced by humans.

        But of course, we do not have to reduce all the extra mass CO2 emitted by humans, but only such that would result in there being less than one doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial times. And that is assuming that CO2 sensitivity is not low.

      • Richard,

        Agreed, one half life time would drop the current CO2 levels to these of 1985, thus even before the Kyoto deal… IF there was any need to do that.

        On the other side, “bussiness as usual” would double the CO2 level at about the year 2100. With a low sensitivity for CO2, that would give a theoretical 1-1,5 K temperature increase, thus even below the goal of the Paris deal, without reducing any CO2 emissions at all…

      • The IPCC time value for equilibrium of injected CO2 among all reservoirs assumes that the deep ocean is such a major reservoir and has mixing times of centuries.
        The problem with this assumption is that, of all CO2 that has been injected by burning fossil fuels over the past century, only about half remains in the atmosphere. Presumably the other half has dissolved in the ocean and incorporated into new plant growth. And this occurred in spite of surface ocean warming which degasses dissolved CO2. This suggests that the CO2 take-up rate in the ocean is much faster than the IPCC claims, without participation of the deep ocean.

      • donb,

        The IPCC uses the Bern model, which implies the same initial absorption rates as calculated above, but includes for each reservoir a maximum limit of uptake. That is true for the ocean surface, where buffer chemistry allows not more than an about 10% change in total inorganic carbon species (free CO2 + bicarbonates + carbonates) for a 100% change of CO2 in the atmosphere.
        That is not the case for the deep oceans, where most of the uptake is in the cold oceans near the poles, sinking still undersaturated waters into the deep. That is certainly not the case for vegetation, which has no known limits in CO2 sequestration…

        As the rate of absorption still is in ratio to the extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere, there still is no saturation in sight for the foreseeable future, but still to early to say that the IPCC is wrong on that…

  7. Speaking in Paris in 2015, John Kerry said:

    “The fact is that even if every American citizen biked to work, carpooled to school, used only solar panels to power their homes, if we each planted a dozen trees, if we somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse gas emissions, guess what – that still wouldn’t be enough to offset the carbon pollution coming from the rest of the world.

    “If all the industrial nations went down to zero emissions – remember what I just said, all the industrial emissions went down to zero emissions – it wouldn’t be enough, not when more than 65 percent of the world’s carbon pollution comes from the developing world.”

    Reason enough to leave the Paris Accords.

    • Carbon pollution…?
      We are absolutely not polluted by carbon, and the oxygen we need to breath comes from the O in CO2.
      Nothing more to say…

  8. In a few weeks I will have lived in the same house for 30 years.
    I lived 4 miles south for the seven years before that.
    So I have observed cimate change from nearly the same location for 37 years.

    In those 37 years, the winter of 2013 / 2014 had the most snow.

    And February 2014 had one morning so cold that my water meter in the garage froze and cracked,
    after surviving all the weather in the past 27 years without freezing.

    It took five hours with a huge rented propane heater in my garage to thaw the pipes.

    Amazing how it took 27 years of “global warming” before we had a record snowfall here,
    in the Detroit metropolitan area, and a morning so cold it later cost me $300
    to replace my cracked water meter.

    Fortunately that winter was an exception.

    It seems a little warmer than 37 years ago.

    I can’t imagine how anyone who has lived in the same place for a few decades
    could possibly think a climate catastrophe was in progress, when our own senses
    tell us the climate is wonderful, and has been getting slightly better for decades.

    If 100% of the slight warming I think I have noticed in 37 years (I’m not certain)
    was due to CO2, then I want more of that !

    I want more CO2 in the air for my plants too.

    If that CO2 causes any warming, I want more CO2 and more warming.

    So I see two choices concerning the climate:
    (1) Calmly observe the climate when you live over the years,
    and celebrate the improving climate, by going outside as much as possible, or

    (2) Agree with hysterical, lunatic, leftist whackos who claim CO2 is an evil gas and will
    kill all life on the planet, unless everyone elects them, and does exactly
    as they say without question … and the proof of this coming catastrophe is:
    “Because we say so.”

    That’s a tough decision, (1) or (2)

    (1) Calm observations versus (2) hysterical junk non-science (nonsense)

    The wife tells me to mention this when pontificating about the climate:
    — A mile of ice covered our Michigan property 20,000 years ago,
    and then it melted, due to … well … I suppose it must have melted
    from the animals burning coal to keep warm?

    • My sentiments as well Richard. The manufactured single figure supposedly representing the temperature of the entire earth defies rational analysis.

      I have frequently challenged alarmists to pick a place on the earth’s surface, say what the climate was 30 years ago (or any interval of their choosing), and say what the climate is now. THAT would be climate change.

      The response has been underwhelming to say the least. Still, if there are any up and coming alarmists reading now is an excellent opportunity to tell us all how the climate has changed in Michigan over a period of their choosing.

      • I guess the climate in Michigan changed a lot since my front yard is grass and weeds now,
        but used to be under a mile of ice 20,000 years ago.

        Of course having all that ice would save money for mowing the grass,
        and the wife likes to skate.

        Since the climate of our planet is always changing,
        and no one has any idea what a “normal”
        climate is, I suggest the best climate
        would be one that maximized the growth of plants
        that humans and animals eat — the C3 plants.

        The ideal CO2 level for those plants is in the 800 to 1,200 ppm range.

        That means increasing the CO2 level is the desired goal,
        based on science and sense.

        If doubling the Co2 level really causes 1 degree C. of warming,
        that would be even better.

        A little warmer at night would extend the growing season.

        Of course “climate change” has nothing to do with real science
        — that’s all politics —
        scaring people with a boogeyman
        and then telling them how to live,
        and making your political party more powerful
        … not because the leftists want more power (heh heh heh )
        but ONLY to save the Earth from a runaway global warming catastrophe
        that kill kill all life on Earth,
        except for cockroaches
        … who will eventually evolve into the new leftists !

  9. Excellent response to typical warmunist drivel. Sad the drivel comes from the head of MIT. Shows how far the CAGW rot has spread.

    • Mr. Istvan – In a response to my query about CO2 outgassing from warming oceans, you said that C12/C13 isotope ratios argue against outgassing as the primary source of current rising CO2 levels. (Why Climate Models Run Hot 7/14/2017.) I have since purchased your three books and am currently reading Blowing Smoke. You appear to do rigorous, thorough research. Thank you for your efforts. Please comment on the atmospheric CO2 claims above. I have not yet been able to find a non-paywalled version of Prof Humlum’s study regarding outgassing, but will continue looking.

      • Try They have what appears to be a complete version that is not paywalled. You can locate it by its name.

      • It is a recognized fact that our atmosphere consists of 0.4% CO2 in total and that the anthropogenic proportion is only 4%, which makes 0.0016%. In other words, we are talking about a trace gas here. Alarmists believe that 96% of atmospheric CO2 does not matter at all, but that these 4% mean the end of civilization … There is a logical error here …

      • Erik Pedersen,

        Not a good argument to use… Trace gases can have a huge effect (think of ozone at ground level) and while only 6% of all CO2 emissions are man-made, 94% natural, natural emissions are more than compensated by 97% natural sinks, leaving 3% of all human emissions as mass (not the original molecules) in the atmosphere. Thus humans are responsible for most of the 35% increase of CO2 in the past 165 years…

    • what brings in the money , is the question Reif has really answered, the real turning point will come when that can be answered differently than it is now .

    • I have found and downloaded a copy of Humlum’s paper. Will read it. Still invite your comments.

    • Yes, I feel embarrassment about my alma mater’s recent perversion and damaged reputation.

  10. Quote of the Week. “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters: “– Albert Einstein

  11. The scientific consensus is overwhelming, setting aside the purpose of any such claim it is still fair to ask is it or what the proof of this , given that the ‘scientific validity ‘ is the claim , it is clear that this proof needs to offer just that . And what is this proof of ‘consensus is overwhelming’
    , well it seems to be based on the infamous 97% claim, which even if you set aside its serious methodological problems is not measures of climate science ‘consensus’ let a loan consensus across science at all and even its authors admit that . It does not offer proof that the majority scientists , climate or otherwise , support this view , they may but this DOES NOT PROVE IT.

    So what else is there , well there is lot of claims being made and a lot or people jumping on the bandwagon but this does offer ”scientific validity ‘ for this claim .

    In part the problem is one of basic mathematics , with no clear idea of the number of scientists even in the USA alone , and no agreed definition of what a scientists even is , it is impossible no matter how may agree, to know what percentage of whole group any subgroup is. For example 10 out of 10 is 100% , and 10 out of 100 is 10% , any number out of an unknown number can be in the range 0-100% . Therefore it is impossible to meet the standard for ‘scientific validity ‘ for this claim without a clear idea of the actual total involved , which in turn may be impossible to obtain .

    By the way 100% of Catholic priests agreeing with the claim that ‘god does exist ‘itself does not offer ”scientific validity ‘ to this claim , despite them being able to lay claim to be the ‘experts ‘ in this area . So even when it is mathematically possible, any consensus can itself be invalid even when it comes , and its does not in this case , from the known majority of the experts in the area .

    In short there is no provable , to the standard of ”’scientific validity ‘ , consensus on this subject. Its a ‘claim ‘ and that is all. Given the know facts making this claim would result in a basic fail for an undergraduate handing in an essay at MIT, now how is that for irony . I wonder if Reif thinks his work should not have to met the standards he demands of his own students when making such great claim or does he accept ‘I know its true ‘ as being good enough .

  12. “The Massachusetts Institute of Tautologies”
    Who knew?

    And this is Dr Richard Lindzen’s boss?

    I think that when one prostitutes oneself, it becomes easier with experience.
    I don’t know this, just think it.

  13. Outstanding “white paper” on climate science. The quandary is that this message will go nowhere. The MIT president’s vacuous response to restate the threadbare climate alarmists’ talking points is typical of closed-minded progressive left-wingers. Until the mass media does their job and prints all the news, the REAL climate science narrative will never be known by the average citizen.

    Of course, there is another takeaway on this issue. The left is fully aware of the truth but prefers to use the fake out-of-control global warming theme to achieve political objectives: globalism, replacement of capitalism with socialism and redistribution of wealth.

    Take your pick. Mass ignorance or “The ends justify the means.” What a sorry mess!

  14. ….Professor Reif’s letter further states, “At MIT we take great care to get the science right…”

    Well that includes Lindzen.

  15. The unexpectedly rapid greening of the planet deserves a good analytical article. a) The greening must be exponential (first fringe around arid area, second fringe encroaching on arid area plus expanded growth of the first, plus expanded growth of preexisting growth elsewhere, plus expanding growth of phytoplankton soft tissues and carbonate coccolithisphores, thereby flattening atmosphere accumulation) b) It is an endomorphic process.

    Can the sequestration by the biosphere and the energy (cooling it causes ) be easily quantified? There has been a flurry of papers saying the greening is harming the planet and the biosphere, so you can be sure alarmists are troubled about the magnitude of the effects that undo the alarm.

  16. Ice cores have revealed that changes in CO2 concentration follow rather than precede changes in temperature. As the latest high-resolution records show, during the last deglaciation, atmospheric CO2 lagged temperature increases by 50 to 500 years.

    The outgassing argument is moot. Judging from the +/- 10 degree C warming since the last glacial and the 100 ppm increase in CO2 (from 180 ppm to 280 ppm) over that interval would indicate a 10 ppm increase per 1 degree C increase in atmospheric temperature. At that rate the 0.8 C increase during the last century would only contribute some 8 ppm CO2 through outgassing, a negligible amount compared to the 120 ppm actual increase.

  17. As far as ocean acidification, wouldn’t the oceans have to be acidic if the first place for that to be true? From what I’ve seen, the oceans are alkaline, so wouldn’t the correct response be “the oceans are becoming less alkaline?”. Or is that not scary enough for the general masses?

    • jl,

      Chemically speaking, “acidification” can be used even if the solution is alkaline and remains alkaline: its meaning is a lowering of the pH.

      But of course, in this case the alarmists use it to scare people with visions of herring already in vinegar before being fished…

      Another gem is “the oceans are already 30% more acid”. Again strictly right, but highly misleading for the laymen: a 30% increase in H+ ions is only a drop of 0.1 pH unit, but that sounds not so scary…

  18. It is a pitty that this for the rest very good letter shoots itself in the foot and discredits all what is written by alluding that human emissions are not the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere.

    While indeed CO2 follows temperature over short (seasonal to year by year) and long (centuries to multi-millennia) periods, there is no way that the 110 ppmv increase in the past 165 years is caused by temperature.

    – The ocean surface emits CO2 when getting warmer. Per the solubility of CO2 in seawater, that changes by about 16 ppmv/K at equilibrium. That gives about 10 ppmv extra CO2 in the atmosphere at steady state.
    The deep oceans are much colder, thus -lucky for us- play little role in the CO2 levels of the atmosphere, except that they help to sink any extra CO2 above steady state.

    – The biosphere is a net absorber for CO2 and increasingly so with more CO2 pressure and higher temperatures (and more moisture).

    – Humans have emitted about 370 GtC in the past 165 years, the increase in the atmosphere is about 235 GtC. The difference is absorbed by oceans and vegetation, together with other, smaller sinks.

    – The e-fold decay rate of any extra CO2 above the steady state as calculated above (surprisingly linear over the past 60 years) is about 51 years, Fast enough to remove any volcanic eruption CO2 or to follow a 5,000 year transition between a glacial and interglacial period. Not fast enough to remove all human CO2 (as mass) in the same year as emitted…

    There is no reason to assume that humans are not the cause of the CO2 increase, as human emissions fit all known observations, while every alternative I have heard of fails one or more observations.
    The above article is no exception: extra CO2 from the oceans would increase the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere, while we see en enormous decrease in direct ratio to human emissions…

    • We humans should take credit for the extra CO2 we’ve added to the atmosphere.

      And keep adding more.

      Humans adding CO2 have inadvertently improved the planet by increasing the CO2 content,
      from much too low hundreds of years ago, to merely too low now.

      Let’s keep adding CO2 and get into the 800 to 1200 ppmv range to maximize growth of the C3 green plants that humans and animals eat.

      A CO2 percentage that’s optimum for the plants we and animals eat,
      is an optimum level for life on earth.

      For those who wonder what a “normal” CO2 level is:
      — don’t pick some arbitrary date in the past, such as June 6, 1750 at 1pm
      — pick the average CO2 level our C3 plants developed in
      — roughly 1000 ppm

      During the 400 million years that plants have existed on Earth,
      the average CO2 level has been about 1,000 ppm —
      and 1,000 ppm would be a good target for future CO2 levels.

      If that extra CO2 causes the warming claimed from lab experiments
      (+1 degree C. per doubling),
      which I doubt, based on actual temperature measurements,
      that’s even better than just adding CO2 without any warming.

      We’d get greenhouse warming at night in cold, dry areas of our planet
      and faster growing plants = both good news.

      Instead of arguing about where the CO2 comes from,
      let’s celebrate more CO2 in the air.

      Only a fool would want 200 ppm CO2 like we had 20,000 years ago,
      or someone who likes to ice skate.

      • Richard,

        I fully agree with your analyses. That is why I regret that several skeptics still don’t accept that we are responsible for the CO2 increase in the atmosphere, while that is a lost case and undermines one’s credibility for the arguments where the “consensus” is much weaker: failing models due to overblown effect of the extra CO2 on temperature…

      • This planet has too little CO2.
        This planet is presently too cold, and would greatly benefit from some more warmth at least that seen during the Holocene Optimum (but I would go for a few degrees above that).

        I agree that we should add more CO2. If by some happy coincident more CO2 leads to some warming then that would be a win win scenario. However, whilst the evidence is of poor quality, there is no convincing evidence that more CO2 leads to measurably more temperature.

        I suspect that if we we to re measure rural station temperature using the same equipment as used in the 1930s/1940s and using the same practices, RAW data would show that the temperature in the Northern Hemisphere is about the same as it was during the highs of the 1930s/1940s, such that during a period when about 96% of all manmade CO2 emissions have been made, there has been no significant warming.

      • Reply to Ferdinand’s reply to my original post,
        or something like that:

        I’m as skeptical as anyone here:
        — I pretty much don’t believe anything leftists say without my own investigation
        … but it’s counterproductive to deny humans have added CO2 to the atmosphere.

        I think we should focus on challenging
        the little bit of science behind the climate change fantasy:
        The laboratory experiments proving CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

        I see no logical reason to accept simple lab experiments
        as proof that CO2 causes 1 degree C. of warming per doubling,
        for several reasons:
        (1) Lab experiments are not real life,

        (2) Lab experiments do not include negative feedbacks,
        which must exist because very high levels of CO2 in the far distant past
        never caused runaway warming, and

        (3) Nothing in the temperature record since 1940,
        as man made CO2 was added to the air.
        looks any different than natural climate change …
        … except for the “man made climate change” we skeptics see so well
        Cooking the books with continuous “adjustments” to show more warming,
        and lots of infilling data grids with ‘wild guesses’,
        done by smarmy government bureaucrats who WANT more warming,
        and unfortunately they own the actuals,
        so they have the power to ‘make it happen’!

        “Modern climate science”,
        which only resembles real science because
        people involved have science degrees,
        must be the only field of science,
        where historical data are continuously changing,
        but data 100 years in the future can be predicted right now,
        with great accuracy, and 105% confidence, or was that 95%?
        (runaway global warming that will end all life on earth).

        Sure, there was some mild warming from 1975 to the early 2000s
        (my eyes see a big step up from the early 1990s to early 2000s)
        but that warming was almost the same as the “natural” warming
        from 1910 to 1940.

        — It is a wild guess to claim the two warming periods in the same century
        had completely different causes.

        — It’s even a wilder guess to believe 4.5 billion years of natural climate change
        suddenly ended in 1940, and CO2 took over as the “climate controller”.

        I can understand why real scientists would want to stay away from
        the junk science / politics I call “modern climate science”.

        Climate blog for non-scientists:

    • Firstly, the oceans are not warming up. If they were there would be a rise in sea levels (water expands as it heats up) There would also be other very obvious signs, eg the beach that I have walked along almost every day for the last 40yrs has maintained exactly the same high tide level. Lets not forget that so called man made climate change (was once called global warming but that’s too specific. ‘Climate change’ is much harder to define so fits better with the global warming hoax) is supposed to be caused by humans, presumably post industrial revolution, so since the 18th century. If that’s the case then everyone who is old enough to remember the past 50yrs should have noticed something, eg change in temperature of some sort over a sustained period, animals, plant dying etc. I remember being told at School (which in itself is a disgrace because there was no evidence) that the polar caps would be gone by about 2025 or there about’s. Really? well they had better get melting!
      The C02 myth – 1st, a rise in C02 follows a rise in temperature, not the other way around.
      2nd, C02 is not a pollutant.
      3rd, Humans don’t ‘contribute’ to C02, it is constantly being recycled naturally.
      4th, The total amount of C02 recycled by humans is about .0005 of 1% of what is recycled naturally. I don’t know the exact figure, but actually nobody does, except to say that it’s very very very small.
      There are times in Earth’s geological history when C02 levels have been much higher and much lower than they are now, take the carboniferous period for example, all without Human help!
      Quite simply it does not make sense that Humans have had any impact whatsoever on the Earth’s temperature. We simply have not had enough time, no convoluted scientific ‘theories’ required. If we have made a difference in the past 200 or 300yrs then the rate of change (for example since the advent of the motorcar) would be enormous and undeniable. Furthermore, it would mean that there would already be catastrophic changes in the environment, resulting in massive parts of the planet being uninhabitable, loss of human, animal and plant life on a global scale.
      I have a long enough memory to remember the goalposts being shifted on the global warming Armageddon several times.
      By the way, If you want to check out what real climate change is, research the mass extinction caused by the Siberian Traps, the Permian extinction from memory. There were all sorts of poisonous gases being expelled into the atmosphere at a rate millions of times anything humans have ever produced. Even then it took thousands of years before anything on a catastrophic scale occurred.


  19. Being completely ignorant about the head of MIT, I have to ask these questions. Is his discipline in any subject close or relevant to climate science? Does he have a track record in commenting on such issues? In other words, is his strong view based on personal knowledge of the issues or is he just sounding off on behalf of the consensus on important, highly qualified and well connected ignorance?

    • He is an electrical engineer. But starting in 2014, he has led and created activist initiative programs at MIT against global warming/climate change. When Trump was elected, he said that “Trump will not change our mission.”

  20. Gary Pearse,

    The greening of the earth should be more or less linear with the extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere, as that is what governs the first step: CO2 pushed into solution within the leaves.
    Problem is that CO2 in nature is not the only constraint: temperature, water, nutrients (fertilisers, minerals), other species, pests,… all play a role.
    Nevertheless, the earth is greening and there is a nice monitoring device: oxygen.

    Since about 1990, one can measure oxygen at the sub-ppmv level (not easy in 210,000 ppmv!) and one can measure the oxygen decline over the years. Subtracting the oxygen use by fossil fuel burning, one knows what the biosphere as a whole has done: more growth, more decay/eaten or break-even.

    There are two studies – already (too) old, I wonder why there are no recent updates:

    • Color me unconvinced, Ferdinand.
      Oxygen could be consumed by oxidation/combustion of methane (CH4), other hydrocarbons ((CH2)n), coal (C), or cellulosics ((CHOH)n). Keeping the chemical stoichiometries in mind, and looking at the large reported uncertainties, and the relatively large natural fluxes, it seems that one could fit multiple interpretations to the data.
      I am also unconvinced that delta 13C changes are as constant and well characterised as is often made out.

      Related, the updated study I really, really, want to see, is the high quality delta 14C as reported by Levine (I think?) at Jungfraujoch and Schauinsland (spelling?). It should now be unequivocally falling below pre-bomb-spike levels at a predicted rate. I really want to see how this prediction pans out.

      • Michael,

        Human use of methane, hydrocarbons and coal is taken into account, based on fossil fuel uses (sales taxes…) and burning efficiency of the different fuels. More likely to be underestimated than overestimated.

        Natural releases like methane from swamps and melting permafrost are small: even if all the 2 ppmv oxydises to CO2 with a half life time of ~10 years, that is a few tenths of a ppmv in oxygen use per year.
        Other releases like coal seems burning probably didn’t increase over time to great extent.

        The main uncertainty is in land use changes, but that too only adds to the total human release of CO2 and oxygen use.

        Thus “worst” case, the oxygen use by fossil fuel burning and land use changes is underestimated and therefore the extra release of O2 – and extra CO2 uptake – by vegetation is also underestimated…

        Which makes that the calculated figures are minimum uptake figures for what bio-life life currently does…

        δ13C measurements are quite accurate, but in the atmosphere heavily influenced by momentary changes in the biosphere. That gives huge changes over the seasons up to year-by-year. Over periods longer than 3-5 years, that is mostly worked out and the variability averages to near zero around a huge trend. Here for the atmosphere (ice cores, direct) and the ocean surface (Bermuda):

        Ice core (and other) δ13C changes even over glacial-interglacial transitions are within a few tenths per mil. The current drop is already -1.6 per mil and more. Sponges resolution is 2-4 years and the ocean surface follows the atmosphere (with a δ13C shift at the surface crossing) with a delay of less than a year half life.

        Recent δ14C measurements are from Niwot Ridge, Colorado high in the Rocky Mountains:

        In about 2008 the pre-industrial 14C levels of about 50 per mil δ14C were passed…
        Recent drop is smaller than past drop in 14C, comparable to human emissions leveling off due to the economy…
        Also interesting background information:

    • IF O2 is derived from H2O and not the CO2 (as commented earlier), why should O2 decline as CO2 use changes? On geologic time scale, O2 is destroyed by reacting with e.g. Fe+2.

      • donb,

        Chemically O2 is derived from H2O in the reaction scheme of CO2 to hydrocarbons in the plants, but that doesn’t matter at all. The important point is that for every CO2 molecule incorporated in a plant, some 1.1 molecule O2 is set free and opposite if the plant is rotting or eaten.

        Most elements that can be oxydised were already oxydised a long time ago: hydrogen, silicium, iron,… Thus that isn’t reducing the O2 content of the atmosphere anymore. Only two mechanisms left: degassing/absorption of the oceans and bio-life. The former is at a fixed rate, directly in ratio to the temperature of the ocean surface and the latter is what is of interest in recent times…

    • Thanks Ferdinand. I like the elegance of the method – the variation in oxygen. Is there a good measure of the energy changes? I suppose we would be able to calculate the “heat” equivalent used by the plants in their increase plus estimate the warming avoided by sequestering the CO2. There might even be an elegant method in considering the “heating avoidance” to constrain the real climate sensitivity. For example, if we used the consensus calculation and it is too large, we could get too large a cooling effect from the sequestration of CO2! Alarmists wouldn’t want us to argue, using their own figures that the greening will stop the warming!

  21. What showed me it was the right decision was the wailing&gnashing of teeth on the political left. If it pisses them off that badly clearly it is the correct course of action!

  22. About the works of Prof. Humlum and Prof. Harde…

    The Huimlum e.a. paper:
    “The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature”

    From the paper highlights:

    Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.
    Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

    About the first point: not more than ~10 ppmv over the 110 ppmv increase since ~1850…

    About the second point: there is no reason at all that the year-by-year variability in CO2 rate of change should exactly follow the rate of change of the emissions, except if that was the only variable at play.
    Here we have one source with a huge trend (a fourfold increase since 1959) and little variability at one side and another variable with little trend and much variability. If one takes the derivatives – or in this case diff12 – one removes most of the trends and enhances the variability, which shows a huge correlation between CO2 rate of change variability and temperature rate of change variability, thus temperature is the cause of most variability, but that says next to nothing about the cause of the trend…

    Have a good look at the graphs: diff12 of temperature has about zero slope, while diff12 of CO2 has a positive slope. Thus temperature has little influence on the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…


    The Harde paper:
    “Scrutinizing the carbon cycle and CO2 residence time in the atmosphere”

    I have written a reaction on that paper, as Dr. Harde made three fundamental errors:

    Using the residence time, or even the decay rate of the 14C bomb tests excess, doesn’t say anything about the time needed to reduce an extra bulk CO2 injection – whatever the source – above the temperature controlled steady state of the oceans with the atmosphere.
    Using the total concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere as base implies a steady state of zero CO2 in the atmosphere, which is not realistic.
    Using only natural emissions without taking into account the natural sinks violates the mass balance.

    My more complete reaction is here:

    • Ferdinand, your analysis is interesting and dispassionate. In particular I note your conclusion “Thus temperature has little influence on the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere”.

      I can see that this is correct over say a 50 year time frame, but is it also true over a geological time frame?

      • Forrest Gardener,

        It is only true for current geological time: the last 800,000 years, as seen in ice cores and the last few million years as seen in sediments (foramins), be it within the margins of resolution, which gets worse the farther you get back in time…
        In that period the ratio CO2 – temperature was about 16 ppmv/K, not by coincidence what Henry’s law gives for the current average composition of seawater…

        It is difficult to say what the influence of temperature was for other periods like the Cretaceous, where CO2 levels were much higher, both in the atmosphere and in seawater, where the latter’s carbonate content also was much higher than today. That makes that temperature variations in that period may have given a quite different CO2 response…
        Most of that CO2 is now burried in thick layers of carbonates like the white cliffs of Dover, also much of the underground in South England and many other places on earth…

        There were periods in the earth’s history that temperature was high and CO2 low and reverse (glacial periods with high CO2…), thus not that simple to answer for other periods that the current one…

  23. The relaxation time (time between absorbing and emitting a photon) of a CO2 molecule is about 6 microseconds. Immediate emission by a molecule is essentially always prevented by thermalization (contact between the gas molecules) at sea level conditions because thermalization begins in about 0.0002 microseconds. At low altitude, emission from gas molecules is dominated by the lower energy absorb/emit bands of water vapor. CO2 has no significant effect on climate.

  24. I’ve long maintained that only really intelligent people can convince themselves of really stupid ideas.

    I simply cannot fathom any good reason why such a person would make such a statement. More than anything the statement by President Rafael Reif shows that the decline in academic institutions is worse than any but the most pessimistic thought.

    MIT for heaven’s sake!

    • MIT is also the home of Johnathan Gruber, Mr. “lack of transparency” of the Obamacare con job, who famously stated that ‘Democrats required “the stupidity of the American voter” for Obamacare to become law.’ Gruber helped that out by refusing to reveal the cost calamity they knew Obamacare would cause, because it would jeopardize passage of the law. It seems as if MIT is an institution dedicated to destroying American freedom and replacing it with communist government, and is willing to lie and cheat to achieve that goal. Very sad.

  25. Professor Reif asserts that “… the carbon dioxide our cars and power plants emit today will linger in the atmosphere for a thousand years.”

    The Fourth Reich?

  26. As an MIT PhD & former Asst Prof, I am profoundly ashamed at the “grant-seeking” BS-ing talk of Prof Reif posing as an ethical representative of my alma mater. Considering my age, (among my profs were Joe Keenan (Thermo) & Y.P. den Hartog (Dynamics)) he could have been one of my students. If he was, I would have flunked him!

    • Look where MIT is located — near Boston, In MA. IF Reif said anything different, he would have difficulty just getting home for all the protesters. Confirmation Bias is real.

  27. It’s happened before.
    An organization or institution that had earned a respected reputation in the past has been commandeered. Its reputation used as validation for something that those who earned the reputation in the past would never have endorsed.

    • Most major universities are simply “big business” organizations. Money drives the education process, and the major source of funds for all but a few universities is public taxes. As an old guy who has been “in” or “of” universities since 1961, I saw the danger when hundreds of major schools signed on to the UN sponsored “sustainability” agenda. This was an obvious political decision from organizations that should resist political motivation. They would do this only if it meant $$$$$$$. I have no doubt that, behind closed doors, senior administrators were told that the only way to get favourable results on grant applications from their faculties was to “cooperate” with the globalist agenda. From 20-40% of the billions of dollars doled out goes directly to the universities as “overhead”. They can use it to pay football coaches $5M per year, or create safe spaces for their snowflakes. Any of you folks want to trade your degrees from MIT for my PhD from UC Boulder? It was a great school in the 60’s.

  28. This graph from the IPCC AR5 proves conclusively & beyond all doubt that there is no ‘consensus’ in climate science:

    Source: Figure TS.14, Page 87, Technical Summary, Working Group I, AR5 report, IPCC, 2013.

    • That’s only temperature. Wait until you see how GCMs disagree on precipitation.

      • There’s also no ‘consensus’ amongst the climate models – i.e. the range of projections are so vast I think it’s safe to say nobody really has a clue what the outcome will be.

      • I know precisely what the climate will do! It will continue to change, endlessly without end, exactly as it has always done. Humans are not causing it to change and can not stop it from changing.

      • Exactly. My own opinion for many years and there is nothing I have yet seen from the AGW obsessives to persuade me otherwise.

  29. Just goes to show, any dolt can become President of MIT. “What a country!” (Yakov Smirnov)

  30. Bing bam slam. This bonehead should be embarrassed. His political masters will likely pat his bulbous head instead

  31. Report of major development in Canadian court which may prove the ‘hockey-stick’ graph used by the IPCC and ‘green’ movement to support their global ‘warming’ hypothesis to be fraudulent and the result of criminal intent to obtain funds by deception:

  32. Charles the Moderator

    Thank you for posting this paper and the explanatory comments.

  33. Mention has been made of CO2 levels increasing in terms of something
    called ‘ppm’. Well, I don’t think that the average “man in the street” has
    any concept of what ‘ppm’ means, so we can express the matter differently
    in this way: CO2 levels, in comparison with other components of the atmosphere,
    have increased from 3:9997 to 4:9996, which as anyone can see is a 33%
    increase! There you have it.

  34. Mr . Trump was absolutely right to exit the Paris Pledge farce . Kyoto was the best chance to pull off the scam and it was a failure . Now we are into pretend mode with hanger on “developing countries” looking for free cash and the UN a globalist sugar daddy . Daddy just pulled the plug .

    Fear not though the save the planet all expense paid vacations will continue .

  35. You can shout this out as loud and as long as you like. It won’t make the slightest bit of difference.

    Science is merely a fig leaf

    “But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy…One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy any more.” —Ottmar Edenhofer, Co-chair of IPCC WG III, New American, Nov. 19, 2010

  36. …the climate models relied upon by the IPCC and the politicians they advise have predicted warming at about twice the rate actually observed over the past 27 years. During that time, the Earth has warmed at 0.4° C. That is about half of the 0.75° C 27-year warming rate implicit in the IPCC’s 1990 prediction that there would be 1.0° C of warming from 1990 to 2025.

    This ignores the error margins stated in the 1990 IPCC report:

    Under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A) emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0.3°C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2°C to 0.5°C per decade).

    This will result in a likely increase in global mean temperature of about 1°C above the present value by 2025 and 3°C before the end of the next century. The rise will not be steady because of the influence of other factors.

    The IPCC Scientific Assessment (1990), Policymaker’s Summary

    So the IPCC’s 1990 ‘1°C by 2025’ prediction is based on their then best estimate rate of ~0.3°C/dec; but they state that it may also be ~0.2°C/dec at the lower end of the estimate. As of May 2016, the warming rate since 1990 in GISS is exactly 0.2°C/dec. (In HadCRU it’s 0.18 and in NCEI it’s 0.19°C/dec.)

    It should also be pointed out that the IPCC adjusted its best estimate warming rate figure downward from 0.3°C/dec in the 1990 report to 0.2°C/dec in its 2007 update:

    For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios.

    IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007, WG1, SPM, Projections of Future Changes in Climate

  37. This is an excellent summary. One of the links took me to a perfect example of junk science, a paper yet again prdicting how doomed we are:

    ” Using seasonal production data and price change and price volatility information at country level, as well as future climate data from 32 global circulation models, we project that climate change could reduce global crop production by 9% in the 2030s and by 23% in the 2050s. C”

    “future climate data from 32 global circulation models”

    Calling the output from computer models “data” is bad enough. But now apparently these morons have found a source of future data!
    Completely unbelievable. These people make President Trump look like a genius in comparison. And, yes, he was 1000% right to take the US out of the Paris boondoggle.

  38. It just horrifies me that these blinkered fools who still give credence to AGW continue to make the global running in the debate. The result of this global groupthink will ruin consumers worldwide.

    • “The result of this global groupthink will ruin consumers worldwide.” Which is exactly their goal from the start.

      • Oh no I don’t think for a moment that’s their aim. Why should it be? They have been swept along in a tsunami of duplicity and deceit lead by a few Al Gore clones who realised how profitable it could be. Now there is too much face to lose by admitting the whole dreadful saga is one big scam

      • “ruining consumers” collapses economies, collapsed economies are ripe for looting, so yes, that has always been their goal. Lying about their intentions is just gravy to them.

  39. Professor Reif further asserts: “As the Pentagon describes it, climate change is a ‘threat multiplier,’ because its direct effects intensify other challenges, including mass migrations and zero-sum conflicts over existential resources like water and food.”

    Sissy bullshit! Here’s a ‘threat multiplier’ my MP5K submachine gun. I see you fool prof

  40. “The Paris treaty is not about climate change”

    No, it isn’t about climate change. It is totally about a money grab by governments. For once I have to side with Trump for saving the western world a whole lot of cash!!

  41. “There is no science unambiguously establishing that the tiny portion of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our Earth’s atmosphere (400 parts per million or 0.04%) is the primary cause of the warming observed since the Little Ice Age ended”

    Also no science unambiguously establishing that changes in atmospheric CO2 are driven by fossil fuel emissions

    Or that emissions cause warming

    • It’s amazing what money will do. A bit of ‘funding for research’ and you can get an amazing amount of consensus. I just tend to rely on the evidence I see with my own eyes. Remember there was a time when everyone was directed to believe the earth was flat, and everyone was wrong. It seems we have not come all that far have we?

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