Does global climate change require a global solution?

Opinion by Andy May

Al Gore wrote in the Huffington Post (August 28, 2014) that the need for “bold action” to curtail “old dirty sources of energy … is obvious and urgent.” The proper scientific response to an assertion like that is why? How can I test this idea? Science is not a belief, it is a method of testing ideas. We use an idea to make predictions and then we gather data to see if the predictions are correct. If the predictions are accurate, the idea survives. If any of the predictions fail, the idea is disproven, and it must be modified or simply rejected.

Mr. Gore makes predictions that can be tested. He claims solar and wind are cheaper than “old dirty sources of energy” and that inaction would be extremely dangerous and destructive for America and the rest of the world. He further asserts that “carbon [dioxide] emissions” are linked to the “climate crisis.” He wants us to believe that man-made carbon dioxide is the dominant driver of global warming, that global warming is universally bad, and that the only way to prevent bad things from happening is to curtail our use of fossil fuels. He does not consider other options.

Let’s test these predictions. Are there any measurements today that suggest a future man-made climate catastrophe will occur? James Hansen wrote in his book Storms of my Grandchildren in 2009 that the Earth may become “runaway” if we burn our fossil fuel reserves and become barren like Venus. The late Stephen Hawking stated in a BBC interview with Pallab Ghosh in 2017, that:

“We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. … [We] could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid”

In reality, Venus has a surface temperature of 460° to 477°C. Hawking misspoke and said 250°C, but we knew what he meant. The fact is, this cannot happen if the Earth has oceans. Venus has no oceans and its atmosphere is 97 percent carbon dioxide. Water has an enormous heat capacity and because of this the Earth’s surface contains more thermal energy than the surface of Venus, even though Venus is at least 445°C (800°F) warmer. For the Earth to become like Venus would require the oceans to completely boil away and the resulting water vapor would have to be ejected into outer space, no greenhouse gas could accomplish that. The oceans contain over 99.9 percent (click here to download a spreadsheet with the details of this calculation) of the thermal energy on the surface of the Earth and their average temperature is only 4° to 5°C (40°F); they will not be boiling away anytime soon. The oceans also limit the maximum sea-surface temperature on Earth to 30°C (86°F) according to an article by Newell and Dopplick in the Journal of Applied Meteorology in 1979. This limit is supported by NASA researchers, Sud, Walker and Lau in a Geophysical Research Letters article in 1999 entitled: “Mechanisms Regulating Sea-Surface Temperatures and Deep Convection in the Tropics.”

Al Gore, Deepak Chopra and Sir David Attenborough have suggested that industrialization and economic growth are dangerous for the environment. But, we do not observe this. The developed world is cleaner and has a better environment than the developing world. Compare the environment in Switzerland or the USA to that in Haiti or Bangladesh, for example. NASA provides us with the Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The higher the index the better the environment. Haiti has an EPI just below 40 and Bangladesh has an EPI of just over 40. Switzerland, Western Europe, Iceland and the USA are all over 80. Once countries produce more than about US$2,000 per person, the country begins to invest in the environment. The environment improves steadily, until the EPI reaches 80 at about US$15,000 per person and then it flattens out. Prosperity, industrialization and economic growth lead to a cleaner environment, not the other way around. Details and a plot of the EPI for most countries can be seen here and in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Plot of the environmental performance index (EPI) versus GDP/person in US purchase power parity dollars. Data sources: NASA for the EPI and GDP/person from the World Bank.

Human health, life expectancy, and the percent of life spent disabled all improve as GDP per person improves according to the World Health Organization. Lant Prichett and Lawrence Summers documented some of this in an article in the Journal of Human Resources entitled “Wealthier is Healthier.” World life expectancy at birth has increased from 58 years in 1970 to 71.5 years today. According to the World Bank, as energy use per person increases in the world, life expectancy increases (Figure 2). The infectious disease rate worldwide has dropped from 900 per 100,000 people in 1970 to just over 100 today, according to the World Health Organization. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control the U.S. cancer rate has dropped from about 215 per 100,000 in 1992 to 160 per 100,000 today.

Figure 2. World Bank energy used versus expected life expectancy. Data source: World Bank Database.

The population of the world has increased from 4.5 billion people in 1980 to over 7 billion people today according to the United Nations. Yet, the number of poor is less than half what it was in 1980 according to the World Bank. Food production is up, and each person has access to 700 more calories of food than they had in 1960 (UN FAO).

So, the data we have available today do not suggest economic growth, prosperity and increasing industrialization are causing an impending catastrophe, things seem to be improving, if anything. Climate and economic models suggest that things might change in the future, but models can be wrong and often are, as discussed in Judith Curry’s GWPF report Climate Models for the Layman (2017). Measurements are more important than models or “expert” predictions, if you don’t see the problem in the measurements, it’s not a problem. We have also seen that global warming will not destroy the planet or humans, even in the worst predictions, regardless of what James Hansen and Stephen Hawking have said.

Are solar and wind cheaper than fossil fuels? Not according to a peer-reviewed article in the journal Energy, by D. Weißbach, et al. in 2013. They did a very detailed study of energy returned on energy invested and found that solar, wind and biomass energy sources, when backed up for night time, cloudy days and still air, do not even meet the basic threshold of returning the enegy invested in their manufacture, operation and installation. Reports that solar and wind capacity (see the IEA here) additions might be cheaper than natural gas or coal plant additions by 2020 (or some other date) ignore the fact that solar energy does not work at night and wind power does not work when there is no wind or the wind speed is not in the ideal range. Research shows that nuclear, hydroelectric, coal and natural gas all do well in producing reliable electricity; but solar, biofuels and wind cannot even pay for themselves. The one scenario where solar might do a little better than breakeven is in the Sahara desert, but still it is very close to the economic threshold.

In a recent report on the levelized cost of generating electricity, the EIA carefully separates the cost calculations for “dispatchable” generation, such as coal or natural gas, from “non-dispatchable” technologies such as solar and wind. For our grid to work properly electricity has to be available on demand and not just when the wind blows and the Sun is shining. Since there is no currently available or planned technology for storing electricity at a grid scale, all solar and wind requires a 100% fossil-fuel, hydroelectric or nuclear backup. The EIA, unlike Weißbach, et al., does not add the cost of this backup into their comparison. So, why bother with solar and wind at all if you are going to have to build the fossil fuel backup anyway? From the EIA report:

“Because load must be balanced on a continuous basis, generating units with the capability to vary output to follow demand (dispatchable technologies) generally have more value to a system than less flexible units (non-dispatchable technologies), or than units using intermittent resource to operate. The LCOE [Levelized cost of electricity] values for dispatchable and non-dispatchable technologies are listed separately in the tables, because comparing them must be done carefully.” EIA report, page 2.

Does adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere drive climate change? To the best of our knowledge, the impact of man-made CO2 on climate has never been measured. Models, of various kinds have been used to estimate the impact, but the IPCC, in 2014, in their fifth climate assessment report would not even commit to a most likely value for the impact of doubling atmospheric CO2. They only reported a range of values from 1.5° to 4.5°C. It just so happens this is the same range reported by the 1979 National Academy of Sciences study, the so-called “Charney Report.” So, this topic has been researched for 38 years, by thousands of scientists, at a cost of over $100 billion, in the U.S. alone according to the GAO, and the impact of man-made carbon dioxide has still not been measured. The estimated range of values is still 1.5° to 4.5°C, a factor of 3. The assertion that man-made carbon dioxide is driving climate change has very little support in measurements.

As we wrote in Climate Catastrophe! Science or Science Fiction:

“99.9 percent of the Earth’s surface heat capacity and total surface thermal energy (heat) is in the oceans and less than 0.1 percent is in the atmosphere. Further, CO2 is only 0.04 percent of the atmosphere. It beggars belief that a trace gas (CO2), in an atmosphere that itself contains only a trace amount of the total thermal energy on the surface of the Earth, can control the climate of the Earth. This is not the tail wagging the dog, this is a flea on the tail of the dog wagging the dog. Extraordinary evidence is needed to convince us of this hypothesis. Since the impact of man-made CO2 on climate has never been measured and is only crudely estimated with unvalidated models, the jury is still out on this idea.”

The one change we can measure, that is due to man-made carbon dioxide emissions, is that they are largely responsible for making the Earth greener. This is particularly true in the Sahel region of Africa. In the May, 2017 issue of the journal Ecological Indicators, Peng Li, and co-authors show that additional atmospheric CO2 is largely responsible for an 18 percent increase in worldwide plant growth. The Sahel is also greener today due to additional CO2, according to a study published online in June 2015 by Buwen Dong and Rowan Sutton in Nature Climate Change. Zaichun Zhu and co-authors reported in Nature Climate Change in 2016 that the Earth is over 21 percent greener than in 1982 and that CO2 fertilization is responsible for over 70 percent of the greening. Thus, the only hard data we have on the impact of man-made carbon dioxide emissions is positive. Currently, it appears that these emissions are net beneficial. Richard Tol, in a paper published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives in 2009, has hypothesized that the net gain from additional carbon dioxide may persist for decades. This hardly seems to be an urgent problem, if indeed, it is a problem at all. So, we ask:

Figure 3. The true color Earth image is by Reto Stöckli, Eric Vermote, Nazmi Saleous, Robert Simmon and David Herring on NASA (link). This image can also be seen as photo #20 here.

Finally, we need to address methods and timing of solutions to the “climate crisis” if there is one. Gore’s proposed solution is mitigation. He has asserted man-made CO2 is the cause, so we need to emit less of it. This is his only proposed solution. Climate change has been with us for millions of years, humans have usually dealt with it by adapting or migrating to more pleasant climates.

We have established that climate change, whether man-made or not, is not an existential crisis. What are the potential problems then? Global (or eustatic) sea-level rise, currently 1.5 to 3.2 mm/year, is one potential problem for people who live on the coast. But, it’s not a problem for anyone else. There is a great debate about whether it might accelerate in the future, but there is no data showing acceleration now. In fact, the rate of sea-level rise since mid-2015, has been very modest as seen on the NOAA/NEDIS/STAR laboratory for satellite altimetry sea-level plot. The Church and White CSIRO dataset is plotted in Figure 4 for the 20th century.

Figure 4. Church and White Sea Level, 20th Century. Data source CSIRO.

The rate of sea-level rise changes over time with ocean cycles, but the long-term trend is modest and quite linear. Sea-level rise, or the equivalent problem of isostatic land sinking, which is happening in some areas, can be dealt with locally much more effectively with infrastructure like sea walls and barriers, or by encouraging people to move to safer areas. Likewise, regardless of Al Gore’s histrionics, extreme weather is not increasing, and most data shows it is decreasing as the world warms, as discussed by Roger Pielke Jr., in his U.S. House of Representatives testimony in 2017. If people continue to live and build in areas prone to extreme weather, the best solution is better infrastructure, or increasing insurance rates to discourage building.

The world has warmed about 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.6 degrees F) since the 19th century. The geological epoch since the last glacial maximum is called the Holocene, which began about 11,700 years ago. In central Greenland, where we have high quality ice core records of air temperature, the GISP2 record by Richard Alley (2004) shows a 10°C temperature increase from 11,755 years ago to 11,611 years ago, this is 18°F in 144 years! Evidence that the surface air temperatures rose 5-10°C in just a few decades over the entire Northern Hemisphere at this time is presented in (Severinghaus, et al. 1998), link. This warming event occurred well before man used fossil fuels. Humans adapted to this change and even thrived. Farming was invented and the first stone monument we know of was built near Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey about this time.

There is no evidence of an impending climate crisis in the data, and the climate model projections are all contestable. Historically, humans have adapted well to climate changes and humans currently live in areas with temperatures of 120°F and -58°F. We have already adapted, somewhere, to extremes that are much worse than any projected by the global climate models. Adaptation in place, or moving to a place with a better climate, is easier for prosperous people than poor people. The number of poor people peaked in 1970 at 2.2 billion and has declined to 705 million in 2015 according to the World Bank and OurWorldinData.org. The number of poor are fewer every day. The best protection we can offer humanity from potentially dangerous climate change is a prosperous and robust economy. Local adaptation to climate change, whether natural or man-made, is always better, more efficient, and more effective than trying to mitigate climate change worldwide by curtailing or eliminating fossil fuels.

Cheap, widely available energy makes us more prosperous and more adaptable. Let’s not eliminate the one tool that ensures our future or increase its price unnecessarily. The debate on the possible dangers of man-made carbon dioxide emissions will continue. As we conduct this debate we need to separate conjecture from observations (data). When model projections are presented, ask if they are validated. Have they predicted anything accurately? Are there any current data that show a significant change in trend? If the model projections of catastrophe cannot be seen in current observations, they are not a problem. Be skeptical.

Andy May is a writer and author of “Climate Catastrophe! Science or Science-Fiction?” He retired in 2016 after 42 years in the oil and gas industry as a petrophysicist.

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183 thoughts on “Does global climate change require a global solution?

  1. Take the global warming spoof out of it….and no one is stupid enough to do wind or solar

    • I think there are plenty. Early developments of wind and solar followed the “energy crisis” and resulting tax policy.

      • I would say that the 1970s energy crises’ most enduring effect is energy conservation policies. Almost any energy consuming device you can buy is subject to efficiency standards.
        I would also say that the efficiency mandates have been ineffective in America. That’s largely because of the rebound effect. People save money because of conservation. They use the saved money to buy more energy. eg. When people were worried about the price of gasoline, they drove tiny cars. Now, most folks drive SUVs and trucks. As a result, Ford will no longer build anything else (they will still build the Mustang though). link

    • They have had their ‘global solution’ since Karl Marx. Adorno and Horkheimer idea on “domination of Nature”, capitalism is dominating both Man an Nature. Today neomarxist instead try to use the politicized Nature idea to dominate Man.

    • I find it astounding that there are people who think they can control the planet and the solar system. Arrogance beyond belief.

      • Arrogance beyond belief, and deep abiding FEAR of Nature. Look at the myth that we control our fate via control of our bodies–as though shovelling down the fad food of the moment and burning that treadmill will confer immortality! The upper classes today believe that they can and SHOULD be in control of EVERYTHING–not only fate and the weather, but you and me as well.

  2. No, it needs a global problem.
    The up/down/”back” radiation greenhouse gas energy loop of the radiative greenhouse effect theory is pencil on paper, a spreadsheet cell, a “what if” scenario and NOT a physical reality.
    Without this GHG energy loop, radiative greenhouse theory collapses.
    Without RGHE theory, man-caused climate change does not exist.
    And with a snap of the fingers and “Presto!!” the bazillion dollar global climate change fantasy is suddenly unemployed.
    Must be why nobody is allowed to talk about this possibility. Not newsworthy enough? Or too far outside the fake news hysterical CAGW narrative?

      • Guess you missed the part that said: “These results confirm theoretical predictions of the atmospheric greenhouse effect due to anthropogenic emission.”

        Don’t you just love it when physical observations confirm what the radiative physics says should be happening?

        • Models are not theoretical predictions.

          Models are ONLY “theoretical predictions” – based on theoretical assumptions and theoretical constants and theoretical extensions of approximated equations and assumptions. Models are capable of reproducing a theoretical world, but if that theoretical world exactly follows the modeler’s definitions and approximations.

          Models are NEVER “real world”. Sometimes, under closely-defined limits and limited periods of time, they closely approximate parts of the real world. Almost.

      • when observations and climate models fail to comply with theoretical predictions,…what would you call it?

      • Latitude, I pointed out a good example where physical observations confirmed the predictions of radiative physics with regards to atmospheric CO2. You are trying to change the subject by talking about models and temperature. We all know climate models are wrong, but some are more skillful than others. Now, if you wish to falsify the idea that atmospheric CO2 produces “back-radiation” please do so. In fact, if you do so, please write it up as a paper and submit it to Nature in response to the article I cited above.

        • Remy Mermelstein

          We all know climate models are wrong, but some are more skillful than others.

          Please specify which climate model(s) is correct. Now, all 22 are “averaged together” because none of them have been correct. Two have come close over a mere 20 year period, NONE have even touched real temperature measurements as CO2 has increased, but then – why are the others not discarded?
          Why should ANY of your models be used to regulate energy prices and kill millions by slow painful deaths by disease, cold, bad food and bad water, no power, no transportation, and no sewage when those can be provided by cheap, reliable fossil fuels already in hand?

      • http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/aeri/
        “…in the far-infrared region. Two detectors are used, an HgCdTe and an InSb, cooled (What rate of Wm^2 energy removal below ambient is needed to make this happen?) to cryogenic temperatures, to cover …….radiance of a blackbody at surface ambient temperature. This level of absolute accuracy is important for climate applications as well as for products derived from AERI radiances. The radiometric accuracy is ensured by regular calibration views of two high-quality blackbodies: the (ASSUMED) Hot Blackbody (HBB) is temperature controlled to 333 K (what is the W/m^2 needed to maintain that 333 K?) ; the (ASSUMED) Ambient Blackbody (ABB) (What actual W/m^2 since in atmosphere will NOT be BB?) passively follows ambient temperature. The AERI averages views of the sky over a 16 second interval; The AERI operates continuously and a sky view is taken approximately every 20 seconds.”
        Well, thanks because this adds support for my modest experiment which actually MEASURED W/m^2 .
        The AERI compares temperatures NOT power fluxes and is calibrated with ASSUMED black bodies which when operated in air and not a vacuum is a flawed assumption.
        https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14240
        “These results confirm theoretical predictions of the atmospheric greenhouse effect…”
        As I pointed out with my modest experiment the “theoretical predictions” assume the surface radiates as a BB and is just flat wrong.
        Emissivity is assumed and “tweaked” to match the predictions.
        Bad science.

      • Models are not theoretical predictions.

        Care to elaborate on that Remy? If a model does not both explain observations from the past, and predict conditions in the future, how is it of any value whatsoever?
        I would agree though, if you are talking about climate models favored by the IPCC, the models do not make accurate predictions of the future.

      • You see Nick, when you space the time interval between measurements, and in that interval the atmospheric concentration of CO2 increases, the theoretical radiative physics says the measurement will increase by “X”, and then you go out and make the measurement….low and behold it’s on the money. That is the sort of thing that increased confidence in the predictions of radiative atmospheric physics.

      • Yes, they confirm that the effect is miniscule as far as any direct physical effect is concerned. Additional feedbacks are in the space of modelling and speculation.

      • The paper you link to does not provide any proofs. It is a confirmation bias paper that combines models, calculated derivations, fudge factors, and gross assumptions.

        “The time series of this forcing at the two locations—the Southern Great Plains and the North Slope of Alaska—are derived from Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer spectra together with ancillary measurements and thoroughly corroborated radiative transfer calculations”

        N.B. the clear if deceptive references to derived spectra and corroborated calculations! Nether are direct measurements.

        “However, AERI spectral measurements and trends are sensitive to many different components of the atmospheric state. To interpret these measurements and attribute specific signals to rising CO2 requires an accurate radiative-transfer model”

        In spite of “measured” claims, the reality is they use a model to “interpret” the data. Modeled data is not a substitute for direct observations.

        “Over the length of the observation period (2000–2010), the modelled spectra at both SGP and NSA”

        SGP = Southern great Plains, a rather large undefined area.
        NSA = North Slope of Alaska, again a large nonspecific site description
        These are sites where downwelling spectra are “captured”, actually calculated.

        “The seasonal and annual trends in calculated clear-sky spectra at SGP (Fig. 2a) and NSA (Fig. 2d) are dominated by changes in the atmospheric thermodynamic state and are of opposite sign depending on the season. These signals arise from seasonally dependent clear-sky trends in temperature profiles and water vapour concentrations, as determined by radiosondes (see Methods) and must be taken into account to determine the forcing from CO2.We therefore construct counterfactual spectra (such spectra are produced from models that keep the CO2 concentration fixed) to simulate spectra with time-invariant CO2”

        That is known as applying fudge factors, repeat until desired results are achieved.

        “The time series of CO2 surface forcing, derived from differencing AERI measurements and counterfactual calculations at the SGP (Fig. 4a) and spectrally integrating and converting to flux”

        Derived spectral time series have derived inconvenient (seasonal, weather) data subtracted; repeat as necessary until desired results are achieved.

        “Here we present observationally based evidence of clear-sky CO2 surface radiative forcing that is directly attributable to the increase, between 2000 and 2010, of 22 parts per million atmospheric CO2”

        Of course, these alleged researchers claim that increase is all due to mankind.

        “Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations between 2000 and 2010 have led to increases in clear-sky surface radiative forcing of over 0.2 W m22 at mid- and high-latitudes. Fossil fuel emissions and fires contributed substantially to the observed increase. The climate perturbation from this surface forcing will be larger than the observed effect, since it has been found that the water-vapour feedback enhances greenhouse gas forcing at the surface by a factor of three28 and will increase, largely owing to thermodynamic constraints.”

        Of course, in a paper alleging to actually measure CO₂’s direct atmospheric effects must introduce the dreaded 3X factor of water vapor. Tripling atmospheric warming from CO₂. Otherwise any actual CO₂ effect is trivial.

        “We used spectroscopic measurements from the Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) instrument and atmospheric state data at these two sites to test whether the impact of rising CO2 on downwelling longwave radiation can be rigorously detected”

        Downwelling radiation; where greenhouse gases emit radiation 360°
        These folks insist that they can differentiate between CO₂’s downwelling radiation and other GHG’s radiation. Whereas they try to “calculate” water vapor’s emissions and again “adjust” results.
        Greenhouse gases absorption/emission spectra are indistinguishable for the frequencies they overlap.
        Once again, gross assumption drive the alleged analysis that result in the same unproven result alleged it’s man’s fault.
        Using narrowly tailored models, these characters reinforce their beliefs without ever incorporating atmospheric convection, evaporation, heat transfer, etc.
        Just more self satisfaction playtime fantasy.

      • Also known as a miracle. Or the “Big Bang” (er, Creation as a single event, followed by years of evolution.)
        Neither of which can be explained by “scientists”, so they are denied by “scientists” ….

      • ATheoK…
        .
        1) ” does not provide any proofs” you know full well science doesn’t “prove” anything. If you are looking for “proof” go study mathematics.
        ..
        2) The rest of your comment is opinion. When you construct a real world experiment that falsifies the results, please publish your results. Until then the results of their experiment stands no matter how much you attempt to find find fault in it. The simple fact is that as the amount of CO2 increases in the atmosphere, the amount of back radiation increases. You can measure it.

      • From the abstract of that 2015 Nature paper, “However, despite widespread scientific discussion and modelling of the climate impacts of well-mixed greenhouse gases, there is little direct observational evidence of the radiative impact of increasing atmospheric CO2”
        Try to wrap your head around this. Many decades and billions of dollars spent in research and much more than this on impact effects of policy and regulations, and until 2015 at least, there was little effort on checking direct fundamental observational evidence.

      • Remy Mermelstein, Feldman, et al. 2015 show a clear sky increase in forcing may very well be tied to CO2. Time will tell. But, this is not evidence that it is a large effect or dangerous. The effect is very small and may not even be noticeable. The big issue revolves around the feedbacks, are they positive or negative, what is the resulting ECS? Feldman is interesting, but very academic.

      • ATheoK, if you reject the methodology of this measurement, then you must also reject the derivation of temperature from the MSU, and AMSU instruments on board of orbiting satellites. Do you really want to reject RSS and UAH data series?

      • “ATheoK May 19, 2018 at 11:34 am
        The paper you link to does not provide any proofs. It is a confirmation bias paper that combines models, calculated derivations, fudge factors, and gross assumptions.”
        …the paper is not as much promoting the results they got…. as.it’s promoting the computer models they created

      • I expected “Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2”, that is, for instance, some measurement of back-radiation at two close points differing only by CO2 concentration (upwind and downwind of a CO2 emitting Chimney), complete with in situ CO2 concentration measurement).
        But noooooooo.
        All I was shown is “time series…derived from Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer spectra together with ancillary measurements and thoroughly corroborated radiative transfer calculations”
        Tell us, Remy, in what universe this has anything to do with that?
        So let me fix the abstract of this
        “Here we present p-hacked calculations certified to be in accordance with the theory, showing expected values, and since it is well known that correlation is causation, and since CO2 rose 22ppm during the interval in the chosen places (well, we didn’t check, but, eh, this was the world value, so it must be true here and there as well, shouldn’t it?), we claim these to be “radiative forcing by CO2”. Only foolish deniers would notice the funny semantic trick, and who cares? We don’t have a clue whether temperature in the chosen places rose or fell during the time interval, chosen during the “hiatus” of no warming in the world (another thing only a foolish denier would notice, so who cares again?), we didn’t check either, so let’s not mention this fact; temperature is so irrelevant, you know. Come on, we have 2 out of 3 (radiative forcing and CO2, not temperature). Well, actually we don’t have CO2. 1 out of 3. And we don’t have radiative forcing, either, but some “corroborated” calculations. 0 out of 3. But we are proud of our work. enough to send it to Nature. And we must be proud, as it was indeed published. If it isn’t a proof, what is?”

      • I love it when someone throws out the Feldman et al 2015 paper as strong evidence. There just happens to be another paper, Gero/Turner 2012, which does a similar experiment. However, instead of measuring just the CO2 frequencies, they measure all the downwelling IR. They did this from 1997-2011 which encompasses the Feldman work. They did it in the same general area. What did they find?
        They found NO increase at all in TOTAL downwelling IR. Total IR stayed the same or went down. So, we have a very clear inconsistency that those claiming Feldman et al is evidence supporting AGW. In fact, what the combination of papers show is that something more complex is occurring. And, the most likely answer to that is, the IR from water vapor is decreasing. This just happens to be exactly what Dr. William Gray predicted a decade ago.
        So, thanks Remy for showing that AGW may very well be completely irrelevant.

      • Remy,
        Two main points here.
        As far as “physical measurements” considered as per the paper you mention, nothing new under the sun there, apart from the attempt on further proving that CO2 concentration variation drives the RF variation.
        When this may further provide proof that the Sun variation has no much to do with climate, as it it will require the path through RF, in the same time also clarifies the falsity of AGW, as in the point of RF keep going up and increasing but not the temps.
        Also as far as I can tell, the attempt in this paper to connect man-made CO2 emissions to the RF variation is too cheap. The world is older than 2000 years, the planet Earth definitely is much much much older than that.
        The lack of any significant CO2 variation in the last 2000 years is not a good point to justify the consideration that there was no any RF variation, or no any influence of the atmospheric CO2 towards the RF, or that CO2 did not drive the RF before the man had to exchange donkeys for cars.
        Actually the best we can conclude is that now in the modern time man has the ability to better measure and an opportunity when at it, and a chance for a better understanding…
        The other thing that I am sure you will not understand is, the effect of the RF variation on the climate it does mainly depend on its relation with the Radiation Imbalance variation. It is the later that actually atmosphere and the atmosphere-ocean coupling responds to, when it comes to the gain or the loos of thermal energy.
        cheers

      • Remy proof that radiative physics is a reality is not in question, but that isnt enough to rest the theory on. When you heat the ocean, you get evaporative cooling and convection sweeps the warm moist air upwards rapidly (water vapour is lighter than dry air and being lighter and warmed it rises quickly to an altitude where it emits long wave energy to outer space confounding the simple blackboard “back radiation” of long wave ). Thunder clouds form and water condenses emitting more heat at altitude, where it too largely exits to space.
        Clouds block the sun and reflect its descending energy back out to space. Cold rain falls and cools the sea surface, too. The suns heat that hits the surface also results in creating a low pressure area drawing in cooler air as wind.
        The heat energy also generates ocean currents and warm water is driven to the polae regions.
        There’s much more, but suffice it to say a lot of things happen in response to heating that resists increasing temperature. This is not high school laboratory fun.

      • If you look at the method from this fairy tale you realise they did not measure what does not exist:

        This produces a radiance difference (called a spectral resid- ual) that is converted to flux units through a conversion factor calculated with a radiative-transfer model based on local meteorological conditions.

        In the real world, heat cannot transfer from a low temperature to a high temperature. In the “experiment” the flux is “calculated” using a nonsense model. If it was measurable they would measure it. No need to calculate it.
        Radiation is a field the same as gravity is a field. Both travel at the speed of light in a vacuum. The idea of photons shooting out in all directions is another fairy tale.

      • Remy, the text you link to does not say what you assert it says, at all.
        That is the most obvious thing about this whole conversation.
        “The time series of this forcing at the two locations—the Southern Great Plains and the North Slope of Alaska—are derived from Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer spectra together with ancillary measurements and thoroughly corroborated radiative transfer calculations.”

    • Mr Mermelstein
      The paper you quoted is another one of the 1000’s of fraudulent papers that attempt to measure atmospheric forcing of temperature by measuring flux. However when you attempt to measure a variable by using a computer model instesd of of real instruments then you are committing scientific fraud. I had to dig deep into the paper you quoted to find the following
      “However, AERI spectral measurements and trends are sensitive to
      many different components of the atmospheric state. To interpret these
      measurements and attribute specific signals to rising CO2 requires an accurate
      radiative-transfer model that reproduces these spectra on the basis of an
      independent assessment of the state of the atmosphere. The model must
      capture instantaneous signals and long-term trends in the spectra to determine
      the effects of CO2 on diurnal to decadal timescales.
      We used the Line-by-Line Radiative Transfer Model (LBLRTM)18,
      which is continuously compared against other line-by-line models4
      and observations19.”
      Fraud Fraud Fraud

      • Yes Remy is pointing to the 2015 Feldman Lawrence Lab study which deserves deconstruction.
        This paper claims to prove rising CO2 in the atmosphere increases down-welling infra-red radiation (DWIR), thereby warming the earth’s surface. The claim is based on observations from 2 sites, in Alaska and Oklahoma. Let’s examine the case made.
        Observation: In Alaska and Oklahoma CO2 and DWIR are both increasing.
        Claim: Additional CO2 is due to fossil fuel emissions.
        Claim: Higher DWIR is due to higher CO2 levels.
        Claim: Global DWIR is rising.
        Claim: Global surface temperatures are rising.
        LL Conclusion: Fossil fuel emissions are causing Global surface temperatures to rise
        There are several issues that undermine the report’s conclusion.
        Issue: What is the source of rising CO2?
        Response: Natural sources of CO2 overwhelm human sources.
        Issue: What is the effect of H2O and CO2 on DWIR?
        Response: H2O provides 90% of IR activity in the atmosphere.
        Issue: What is the global trend of DWIR?
        Response: According CERES satellites, DWIR has decreased globally since 2000, resulting in an increasing net IR loss upward from the surface.
        Conclusion:
        The rise in CO2 is almost all from natural sources, not fossil fuel emissions.
        IR activity is almost all from H2O, not from CO2.
        Global DWIR is lower this century, and the surface heat loss is less impeded than before.
        Global surface temperatures are not rising with rising fossil fuel emissions.

    • Remy What part of the word “model” do you not understand? Is it the letter “m” maybe the letter “o” or maybe the letter “d” or maybe the letter “e” or maybe you dont understand the letter “l”. Can I recommend a good elementary school for you to attend. I think by grade 6; students are supposed to know what the different meanings of the word “model” means. THEY USED COMPUTER CLIMATE MODELS IN THIS STUDY. Or do we have to get into an argument of why I can give you 100 reasons why computer cllimate models are CRAP and always will be crap..

      • Alan Tomalty May 19, 2018 at 11:15 pm
        THEY USED COMPUTER CLIMATE MODELS IN THIS STUDY. Or do we have to get into an argument of why I can give you 100 reasons why computer cllimate models are CRAP and always will be crap..

        Your idiotic knee jerk reaction to the word ‘model’ doesn’t contribute anything to the discussion. In fact you claim they use ‘climate models’ where in fact they used the Line-by-Line Radiative Transfer Model.
        The LBLRTM has been extensively validated against atmospheric radiance spectra from the ultra-violet to the sub-millimeter. It uses the detailed measured spectral data from the HITRAN database and allows the calculation of spectral radiance with accuracies consistent with the measurements against which they are validated. Which is the proper use of a model in science, LBLRTM has been extensively validated against atmospheric radiance spectra from the ultra-violet to the sub-millimeter.
        I’d like to see your reasons why the LBLRTM is ‘crap’.

      • A direct quote from the study
        “However, AERI spectral measurements and trends are sensitive to
        many different components of the atmospheric state. To interpret these
        measurements and attribute specific signals to rising CO2 requires an accurate
        radiative-transfer model that reproduces these spectra on the basis of an
        independent assessment of the state of the atmosphere. The model must
        capture instantaneous signals and long-term trends in the spectra to determine
        the effects of CO2 on diurnal to decadal timescales.
        We used the Line-by-Line Radiative Transfer Model (LBLRTM)18,
        which is continuously compared against other line-by-line models4
        and observations19. A sample clear-sky measured AERI spectrum is shown
        in Fig. 1a. Figure 1b shows residual spectra produced from the measurement
        (‘obs’), minus spectra calculated (‘calc’) using (1) CO2 concentrations
        from CarbonTracker 2011 (CT2011)20, which is a greenhouse gas
        assimilation system based on measurements and modelled emission
        and transport;”
        The last 4 lines of the above quote prove that models were used.
        Do you realize that there is no correct radiative transfer equation that can be solved for anything except for the simplest very restrictive 1 dimensional situations? I will simply quote Michael Modest in his textbook “Radiative heat transfer”. ” Exact analytical solutions to the radiative transfer equation are exceedingly difficult and explicit solutions are impossible for all but the very simplest situations. ”
        In addition those calculations require assumptions that the absorption coefficient of photons, the scattering coefficient, and phase function are constant across the electomagnetic spectrum. This is clearly not the case with our earth’s atmosphere. I further quote Modest. ” Radiative heat flux………….must be evaluated…….will always involve the guessing of a temperature field”
        You must note that the above quote is even only valid for a gaseous mixture that is bounded by walls. Modest doesn’t even attempt to discuss the actual atmosphere which doesn’t have walls except for the earths surface. SO IN THE END ANY ATTEMPT TO USE RADIATIVE TRANSFER EQUATIONS TO ANALYZE THE EARTH ATMOSPHERE IS JUNK SCIENCE.

    • You repeat thus non-physical nonsense with absolutely no proof. And you do it over and over.
      Perhaps you are a “believer” trying to make skeptics look bad. But all you do is make yourself look like ine of the sky dragon idiotsI don’t really care.
      Just go away.

    • Moreover, it is excellent article. Persuasive reasoning backed up by reliable references.

  3. Earth’s a bit warmer than neoglaciation, the Little Ice Age, the coldest part of the Holocene… How could this be bad?

    • David Middleton
      May 19, 2018 at 9:50 am
      Earth’s a bit warmer than neoglaciation, the Little Ice Age, the coldest part of the Holocene… How could this be bad?
      —————
      There could be cause for concern.
      If earth atmosphere can do a 1.2 C warming (trend) in ~300 years, when in a long cooling trend, how hard will be for the earth atmosphere to do a 1.2C cooling in the next 300 years, when still in a long cooling trend.
      And if ~0.4C drop (LIA) in ~300 years produced a cold snap in the north parts of NH, what could the last
      0.4C drop will mean in an ~1.2C cooling which could happen in a span of only ~300 years.
      A 0.4C drop produced LIA simply because it was a quick drop, of 300 years, and was so pronounced because it happened in a long cooling trend.
      Oh well, some other mess to consider here, please do not jump the gun..:)
      cheers

  4. Thank you Andy for a very well written essay.
    I think I will submit the link to the Huffington Post, the Guardian, National Geographic, NYT, BBC News, NPR, Apple Inc, Facebook, MSNBC, PBS, NBC, ABC, CBS, DNC (Democratic National Committee), Justin Trudeau, Malcolm Turnbull, Al Gore, Gov. Moonbeam, disgraced NY AG Eric Schneiderman, George Soros, WAPO, Comedy Central, Politico, Buzzfeed, The Economist, NASA, USA Today and especially CNN, so hopefully you will be receiving a reply from each of these fine organizations about publishing it on their sites.

  5. Please change climate change to climate changes. Therefore, there cannot be a Global solution instigated by humans.
    Does anyone have any brains left?

  6. Anthropogenic Global Climate Change? Maybe.
    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Climate Change? Yes.
    Global Climate Change? No.

  7. “The proper scientific response to an assertion like that is why?”
    I’ve found that it is better to ask “how do you know that?”
    When you ask “why” it opens the door for people to start slinging their checklists, but when you ask how they know something it attacks the process they used to arrive at the conclusion, and also provides points of entry to address their fundamental lack of knowledge on a subject. It’s an old approach taught to me very early in my career by one of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with, and its been very useful.

    • Answers like “Everybody knows” , “It’s common knowledge”, “According to Wikipedia”, “I read it in the Huffington Post” and any reference to Al Gore are all clues that they don’t have any idea.

    • Mark from the Midwest
      I KEEP six honest serving-men
      (They taught me all I knew);
      Their names are What and Why and When
      And How and Where and Who.
      I send them over land and sea,
      I send them east and west;
      But after they have worked for me,
      I give them all a rest.
      I let them rest from nine till five,
      For I am busy then,
      As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
      For they are hungry men.
      But different folk have different views;
      I know a person small—
      She keeps ten million serving-men,
      Who get no rest at all!
      She sends’em abroad on her own affairs,
      From the second she opens her eyes—
      One million Hows, two million Wheres,
      And seven million Whys!
      The Elephant’s Child
      Rudyard Kipling.

  8. “Climate Models for the Layman
    OMG! Trigger word! Microaggression! Where’s my safe space?!?!

  9. “We have established that climate change, whether man-made or not, is not an existential crisis.”
    I think a new glaciation would be an existential crises to many, like for anyone living in Canadia.

  10. China is the world leader in poverty reduction, the only economy with sustained growth, and the BRI “Belt and Road Initiative”, the largest infrastructure program in history, is the program to join up. Trump should join also with Russia. India is in talks. This is the way to deal with the genocidal IPCC, Al Gore, et al. The old bankrupt paradigm is teetering before a “Lehmann” beyond most people’s reckoning. It’s death rattle is the manic hysteria. As the NOAA whistle-blower found to his horror, it as nothing to do with science, just genocide.
    It is incredible to witness willful ignorance from experienced engineers and scientists on this central point.
    Anyway, compare BRI to the transatlantic nuttiness, including climate and finance, and drop willful ignorance, “we don’t go there” decadence, with the utterly clueless rhetorical question “why”.
    Ask why is China doing, actually what the transatlantic used to do. Steady on, you may not like the answer.

    • Well, gee.
      It appears China is merely trying to copy America. Trying to catch up with America. But by using slave labor and bullet-feared repression.
      Why should China and India and Russia not try to catch up with Trump and improve freedoms for everyone worldwide?

    • Prove it!
      China is a closed communist government that allows some capitalism.
      China does not allow freedom of speech.
      Nor does China allow unapproved industrial or social information to leave the country.
      Making any claims about China’s poverty fake news. Though, not a surprise from bb.

      • ATheoK

        Making any claims about China’s poverty fake news. Though, not a surprise from bb.

        No. China’s poverty of slave-repressed people living in mud-floored huts under the rule of the communists was so bad that even an improvement to slaves living in mass-housing apartments with water and floors and doors is an improvement.
        They are still slaves, but they are living longer as productive slaves for their communist controllers. Most in Africa are living still as they did as single tribes and cultural-herder nomads. India has much to thank for their lives as they approach civilization’s benefits and freedoms. They may hate the British rule (raj) and its injustices, but they gained from it.

  11. Another way of looking at Figure 1 is that it is composed of two populations of countries: 1) very poor countries with an EPI range of good to very poor; there is essentially no correlation between GDP and EPI, 2) countries with a high EPI and a range from poor to rich; there is essentially no correlation between GDP and EPI.
    Assuming, for the sake of argument, that my above claim is valid, then to what might one attribute the different EPIs? One obvious influence might be cultural attitudes and education. I’m sure that Haitians see the world differently from the Swiss. Other influences might be population densities. That is, the pressure to maximize the use of natural resources to simply survive. Another might be how sensitive the regional ecosystem is to human influence. That is, thin, infertile soils subject to erosion might lead to both a low EPI and poverty.
    One might start to try to untangle this conundrum by researching how poor countries like, say Belarus, manage to have a high EPI. What is different between the poor countries that give them such different EPIs? Similarly, why is it some relatively poor countries have EPIs essentially the same as the richest countries. These are questions an inquiring mind would want to have answered.
    I’m not convinced of the cause and effect relationship that Andy implies, nor of the continuity of the relationship between GDP and EPI.

    • Clyde Spencer, the population density of SE Asia is the same as the UK. Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the same island and people, but the DR is more prosperous and cleaner. The DR has an EPI of 75 and Haiti 43. Haiti GDP/pers=$739. DR GDP/pers=$6722.
      Logic suggests that if one is very poor, they will not care for their environment, they are in survival mode. I do not present any proof, but given the correlation and common sense, one would think that prosperity leads to a cleaner environment.

      • …or a longer version
        Prosperity leads to leisure time….which leads to time to care about other things besides survival
        Liberalism is also a direct result of that free time……they just get to hitch a ride with the socialists

      • Andy and joelobryan,
        I agree that the simple answer appears to be that those with disposable income and leisure time might be inclined to be more concerned about their environment. However, you have left unanswered my question about how to explain those countries with an EPI over 80 and that are poor. That is, there are countries with a GDP similar to Bangladesh with high EPIs! The idea of diminishing returns isn’t born out by the graph because there are several countries with higher EPIs than the US, Norway, and Switzerland that are not as rich. Indeed, there are several with EPIs of 85 or more that are on the low end of the GDP.
        Joel, you speculate that “… Environmental protection doesn’t begin until GDPpp is greater than …$189.” Yet, Haiti appears to be at the bottom of the ladder with a GDP of $739 (according to Andy). That doesn’t seem to fit with your threshold, inasmuch as Eric and Andy have made Haiti a ‘poster child’ for poor stewardship. It seems to me that GDP is too pat to explain the variance we are seeing. I think that there is more to it.

    • Clyde,
      Let’s examine the empirical mathematical relationship from the data to see if it makes any common sense.
      EPI = 8.6ln(GDPpp) – 5.2
      If GDPpp is 0 (zero), then EPI is a ~ negative 5.
      – That makes sense. A completely poor society, without capital or the technology that money can buy, it means just to get by. One must do things like burn field and catch the wildlife as it flees from the flames. You don’t care what the aftermath brings, and the destruction that only a few animals a one meal it provides. It means you poop wherever you need to/whenever you need to, because you have no resources to deal with proper disposal of human feces. So it collects everywhere. It runs down the foot paths when it rains, into the streams where you collect your drinking water. The little kids play in it. Water-bourne- diseases like cholera and dysentery prevail. Worm infections abound from drinking contaminated water that has mixed with feces and snail secretions.
      If GDPpp is 10-fold above Switzerland’s, then EPI only rises about 24% to 113. Clearly diminishing returns as it gets ever harder to clean the water and air from emissions, to collect fewer pieces of trash from the roadways. Evermore expensive to deal with solid wastes more perfectly.
      It also say, that a little bit of economic development goes a long way in the beginning, where the rise from zero to ~$10,000 GDPpp has enormous benefits.
      The other thing to note is that foreign aid does not raise GDPpp. GDPpp comes from the industry and efforts of the people in the society. Aid can help get them started, to bootstrap them on their way. But here, political institutions and cultural ways matter a great deal.
      So the empirical relationship makes sense. It also tells one, that to get above $30,000, a political system that empowers the individual to own property and be secure in what he/she earns is protected by that political system. This means political corruption must be minimal to get above $30,000 level.
      An examination of North America, US, Canada, and Mexico are a case study in what happens when political corruption becomes widespread, and values of individual property protection are not kept for the society at large.

      • Mathematically ln(0)= undefined of course.
        But in an empirical relationship 0 and negative values are ignored where the log is required. As no one truly has zero GDPpp but it is just very very low. So the left natural log term is ignored for values < 1.
        It also implies that Environmental protection doesn’t begin until GDPpp is greater than e^5.24 = $189.

      • Environmental protection doesn’t begin until you quit using renewable ressource, and instead start having access to fossil fuel and related stuff (fertilizer, mecanized help for farmwork, etc.), relying on man-made food and stuff instead of exploiting Nature. Then, and only then, can you enjoy Nature as a source of beauty instead as a source of money, and fund Sierra Club and Greenpeace, as indulgence for your sin of departing from natural ways, the ways of all living beings (that is, exploiting nature and other beings just as much you can with zero mercy). Somewhat paradoxical.

    • Clyde Spencer, Perhaps GDP is not the only reason for environmental quality, but it does actually correlate well, an R^2 of 0.7 is a good correlation for 171 points. I suspect it is a crucial component of environmental quality. Anyway there are not many poor countries with a high EPI and they are not that poor. Here they are: Tunisia (77.28,$3689), Armenia(81.6, $3606), Azerbaijan (83.78,$3877). After these three the countries get too wealthy to count them as poor. I do not see a reason why they retain a high EPI at first glance.

  12. Good bit about Venus. Also remember that the atmospheric pressure at surface is estimated to be about 90 times Earth surface — if you took away all our water, nitrogen, and oxygen, Earth would still never have “run away” temperature, but would probably become more like a colder, drier Mars: the other example in the Goldilocks zone of the solar system.
    The other fun bit is the weird idea that PV panels and windmills appear magically from nothing, instead of being made from aluminum, steel, concrete, plastics and using immense amounts of coal, oil, gas to mine, smelt, extract, assemble, install, and maintain. They are also pretty delicate at the extremes of their performance envelopes, so if the increasing severity and frequency of weather events were truly a factor, wind and PV would be really stupid technologies to invest in. Did anyone see the pictures of the Puerto Rican wind farms after the hurricane?

    • John T Houghton who was one of the original lead authors for the IPCC, wrote in his book: “The Physics of Atmospheres” CUP 1986:
      “ Fig. 2.6 Illustrating the greenhouse effect for terrestrial planets. Their surface temperature is plotted against the vapour pressure of water vapour in the atmosphere. Also on the diagram (dashed) are the phase lines for water, the shaded area showing where the liquid water is in equilibrium.
      For Mars and the Earth the greenhouse effect is halted when water vapour becomes saturated with respect to ice or water.
      For Venus the diagram illustrates the “runaway greenhouse effect”. (My Bold)
      ( After Rasool & De Bergh, 1970 and Goody & Walker, 1972).
      (Sadly I have not yet mastered the art of including images in my comments. Can anyone help here?)
      The image shows exactly as described above.
      Incidentally the temperature of the Earth is controlled entirely (within a range) by its gravity and the properties of water which determine the temperature at which it starts to evaporate at a particular pressure. Thus it can never experience a runaway increase in temperature. unfortunately water is not very good at warming the planet hence those long periods of ice ages. If you need confirmation of this just look at the steam tables and observe that your kettle never boils above 100 C at sea level however much you turn up the heat. (This is just a specific case on the curve). I think it is about 68 C on the top of Everest.
      PS: Don’t forget Dalton’s law of partial pressure and its relationship with humidity.
      if you are curious enough to do the calculations.
      Sadly I lost respect for Stephen Hawkins when he commented on Venus .

  13. “… is still 1.5° to 4.5°C, a factor of 3.”
    A better way to state this is 3C +/- 50%. How can anything with +/- 50% uncertainty be called ‘settled’?
    This range was originally determined by misinterpreting ice core data when assuming the wrong direction of causality where CO2 was the primary driver of the surface temperature. This led to the formation of the IPCC who determined they needed doubling CO2 to result in about 2-3C warming globally in order to be serious enough to justify themselves and their UN accomplices and the ice cores seemed to do this. At the same time, Hansen and Schlesinger provided the botched feedback analysis that provided theoretical cover for a climate sensitivity where the required range could be positioned in the ‘high certainty’ portion of the theoretical possibilities. Since then, the skeptics have repeatedly discovered the actual effect is closer to 1C, the laws of physics predict a value closer to 1C and that even the IPCC minimum of 1.5C is too high. The IPCC can never acknowledge this as it would lead to their irrelevance and no more justification for the UNFCCC’s agenda of transferring wealth from the developed world to the developing world under the guise of climate reparations. Since the IPCC is the keeper of the climate science ‘consensus’, the truth will remain trapped until the IPCC accepts defeat on scientific grounds. This may happen sooner than later as the alarmists seem to be doubling down on the junk science making it even more absurd.

    • An even better way to state this is 276K +/- 0.5%.

      + or – 0.5% is adequate for me to determine “settled.”

      In other words Co2isnotevil, your percentage calculation is bogus.
      [?? .mod]

      • ?? ……. 3C = 276K

        Changing the scale shows that the percentage calculation of 50% in centigrade is equal to 0.5% in Kelvin. In other words, 0C is not absolute zero.

      • good try Remy, but the claimed effect is not 276K, it is 3°C
        And whether you calculate it in Celsius, Kelvin, Farenheit, or whatever unit, 1.5 to 4.5 °C would still be indeed average value +/- 50%.
        So YOUR percentage calculation is bogus, not Co2isnotevil’s.
        However, you have a point: indeed, we are fussing about a 1% change in temperature, one order of magnitude smaller than every day or seasonal change Nature and humans have just no problem with; isn’t that silly? Well, we don’t make the fuss. Al Gore and friend do. As if some lacked some actual problems to solve…

      • Remy,
        “… your percentage calculation is bogus.”
        It’s not my percentage, but the way it’s presented in IPCC reports. The stated effect of doubling CO2 is 3C +/- 1.5C, which means that the uncertainty about the effect of doubling CO2 is +/- 50%. This is just a consequence of the sensitivity factor which is stated as 0.8C +/- 0.4C per W/m^2 acting on 3.7 W/m^2 of EQUIVALENT forcing from doubling CO2 (no real uncertainty in the 3.7 is considered). Keep in mind that it’s this 3C number (0.8C * 3.7) that they call ‘settled’.
        BTW, the global average temperature is about 288K, not 276K, but we know with 100% certainty that the 288K is the NET result from about 240 W/m^2 of NET accumulated solar forcing. The uncertainty is in the size of the increase due to doubling CO2 (or the EQUIVALENT temperature increase from 3.7 W/m^2 more solar forcing) and not in the absolute value of the resulting temperature.

        • co2isnotevil

          BTW, the global average temperature is about 288K, not 276K, but we know with 100% certainty that the 288K is the NET result from about 240 W/m^2 of NET accumulated solar forcing.

          Well, technically, even that 288 K global average temperature is only valid for Trenberth’s simplified flat earth model, revolving about a perfect sun with one side perpetually irradiated under a perfectly average atmosphere, and the other side perpetually insulated from the first.
          So, you see, today’s latest flat earth CAGW believer fails to see that his terrifying “we must destroy people and murder billions to prevent a potential global warming of 1/2 of 1 percent in global average temperature.”
          Or 3/4 of one percent in global average temperature.
          Or 1/4 of one percent of global average temperature.
          They can’t find any models that agree with each other very well, can they?

          • Interestingly enough, Trenberth’s ‘flat earth model’ is more accurate then any GCM. The average surface temperature I calculate from full surface coverage satellite data is only slightly less than 288K, coming in at about 287.5K. Even the most coarse estimates get close to the 288K number.

      • Wrong paqyfelyc. The claimed effect is a range between 1.5C and 4.5C. That is the same as 274.5K and 277.5K

        Calculating the percentage variation of 3 +/- 1.5 is invalid, because it assumes 0C is absolute zero.

        277.5 – 274.5 = 3

        Now the correct way to calculate the percentage is 276 +/- 1.5…..which is 1.5/276 = 0.0054

        To prove that co2isnotevils method of calculation is invalid is as follows….

        Assume the interval in question is -1.5C (negative 1.5C) to 1.5C.

        0.0 + / – 1.5C….
        ….
        What % is 1.5 of 0 ?

      • Remy demonstrates an absolute ignorance of the scientific question at hand.
        ECS in degrees Celsius or in Kelvin are both anomalies values. That is:
        delta T of 1 K is exactly the same as delta T of 1 ℃.
        They both signify the exact same increase/decrease in thermal kinetic energy of the medium.

      • Remy,
        You design a power supply for a very sensitive system and the spec for the output voltage at 100V +/- 1%. You make a mistake in the analysis, the output voltage increase to 102V and it burns out the customers device. Did you miss your spec by 100% (twice the expected tolerance), or did you miss by only 1% (1V out of 100V)?

      • Remy,
        Do you understand differential calculus?
        When one takes a derivative, what one is left with is delta T with respect to some delta X, X could be time, or in the case of ECS, it is [CO2].
        DO you understand the ECS is is a delta T that results from the doubling of partial pressure of CO2?
        Do you understand that if some amount of energy X raises T of a system 1 K (or 1℃, and ignoring phase changes), then a 2X energy input would raise it 2 K? It does not matter what the actual temperature was. That is doubling, or an increase of 100%.
        When we discuss ECS we implicitly are referring to a delta T wrt 2X CO2. Thus the absolute scale value does not matter.

      • Joelobryan, you are wrong
        Remy doesn’t demonstrate an absolute ignorance of the scientific question at hand.
        He demonstrates an absolute ignorance of basic calculus, and would just be as clueless in any matter requiring calculus, that is, pretty much any matter. finance, economics, business, mechanics, whatever. An easy prey for any conman.

        • However, Remy does demonstrate an absolute “being mastered by” (not “master of”) the pseudo-politics and propaganda of his chosen CAGW religion (er, professional talking points) being presented to obscure the topic and deflect attention from the intent of the original message.

      • “To prove that co2isnotevils method of calculation is invalid is as follows….

        Assume the interval in question is -1.5C (negative 1.5C) to 1.5C.

        0.0 + / – 1.5C….
        ….
        What % is 1.5 of 0 ?”
        Infinite. Meaning zero knowledge. So what? When you don’t even know the sign of a variation, you indeed know nothing. Which, by the way, is exactly the actual situation regarding climate.

      • joelobyran
        ‘They both signify the exact same increase/decrease in thermal kinetic energy of the medium.”
        The kinetic energy of the medium (I presume you mean the energy stored by the medium) is linear to the temperature, i.e. 1 calorie (4.2 Joules) increases the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1C. However, relative to forcing, the radiant balance and the sensitivity, what matters is emissions. which go as T^4 and that in the steady state, emissions must be offset by the accumulated forcing.
        The T^4 relationship is immutable physics and all that can be modified is the equivalent emissivity of the energy leaving an emitting surface (for example, TOA) relative to the temperature of the energy store which is the source of the emitted energy (for example, the ocean surface and bits of land that poke through). Even at an equivalent emissivity of .001, emissions are still proportional to T^4 and when you measure the emissions into space directly above a point on the ‘surface’ whose temperature is known, it too will exhibit a T^4 relationship and when averaged across the entire surface, an equivalent emissivity of about 0.61. This is easily testable, I’ve confirmed it with tests of satellite data and others can do the same.

    • 1.5 to 4.5? One guy said 2, the other 4 [fact]. The bureaucrats decided that uncertainty demanded +/- 0.5 either way; 1.5 to 4.5 [fact]!

    • Remy,
      “What % is 1.5 of 0 ?”
      It depends on what 0 is, If this was the expected error from a projected 3C change arising from 3.7 W/m^2 of forcing, then it represents a 50% error. If this was the expected error from a projected 288K final temperature arising from 240 W/m^2 of forcing, then relative to the temperature, it would be less than 1%. If this was the effect of doubling CO2, then you wouldn’t even know if it increased or decreased the temperature, so your point is moot.
      My point is that there’s no uncertainty that the current average of 385 W/m^2 of emissions by the surface is being offset by 240 W/m^2 of solar forcing plus the approximately 145 W/m^2 of ‘feedback’ from the atmosphere returning to the surface. In other words, each W/m^2 of solar forcing is resulting in about 385/240 = 1.6 W/m^2 of surface emissions, where the extra 600 mw per W/m^2 is the ‘feedback’.
      The uncertainty arises because in order for the next W/m^2 of forcing to increase the surface temperature by 0.8C as claimed, the emissions need to increase by 4.3 W/m^2 requiring 3.3 W/m^2 of ‘feedback’ while each of the preceding W/m^2 only resulted in about 0.6 W/m^2 of ‘feedback’. Unfortunately, even the excess uncertainty added by the IPCC isn’t enough to cover this fatal flaw in their arguments.

  14. The globe’s natural climate has always has been a changing climate. There is no need for a “global solution” to this.

  15. The theory stated that the world must be warming at such a rate that when the CO2 doubled in volume it’s heat content would be raised by 3°C.
    When the Argo bouys reported global ocean temperature rise since 1952 at 0.02-0.04°C, every scientists in the world knew it was all over. Earth’s heat content, it’s heat, it’s temperature, didn’t stand a chance of increasing 0.1°C, let alone 3 full degrees, and they all know that from that conclusive evidence.
    From then on, some might suggest, the only thing left to explain it is that they took their pay to lie to us so their paymasters can make trillions ripping us off and enslaving us.Nasty stuff. Evil.
    Great article.

    • Plus they knew there was no thermal expansion and it was calculated at 8 times the sea level rise that ice melt was suplosed to cause. Sea level was nothing like they thought it was. They knew there was no catastrophe. And the Argos were what they wanted and thought would surely prove their theory, once and for all, so they all checked it and knew about it. I saw an IPCC guy cut down Bob Carter’s totally convincing argument, before the Argo results, by simply saying, “But the sea is warming Bob.” And Bob had no idea it wasn’t. All the collected surface data said it was warming heaps. He believed it couldn’t be heating but wouldn’t say because he had no proof.

  16. I will say it again the global warming era is over. All this talk about what global warming may or may not do is a waste of time.
    Another waste of time has been the topics which discuss why AGW theory may or may not be correct.
    This I could see being discussed when AGW theory just came out but at this point in time I see further discussions on this topic as a big waste of time. It has been exhausted.
    Where the focus should be is with solar/climate relationships which will be gaining in popularity as the warming ends.
    What governs the climate are the amounts of energy coming into the climate system and leaving the climate system along with very slight changes in albedo and overall sea surface temperatures.
    Co2 may inhibit long wave radiation from escaping into space but CO2 concentrations are a result of the climate not the cause and as levels of C02 increase the effects are much less. To add to this is there is no positive feedback between increasing amounts of CO2 and water vapor.
    My forecast has been and is that this year is a transitional year to cooler temperatures as we march forward.
    Less overall solar radiation and weak solar /geo magnetic field should result in a reduction of overall global temperatures by increasing global snow cloud coverage(galactic cosmic rays, more meridional atmospheric circulation( decreasing EUV light)), and increasing major explosive volcanic eruptions(galactic cosmic rays) , while overall sea surface temperatures lower, (less solar radiation).
    The geo magnetic not only weakening but changing orientation (magnetic poles moving equatorward) will serve to compound given low solar radiation/low solar magnetic effects in my opinion.
    This is my two cents on the subject of climate change we should find out much very soon, as long as solar conditions remain as is for the next few years which is very likely.

  17. The entire issue is really political. The world globalist party, a mostly left wing alliance, demanded an issue after the fall of the communist bloc. They snagged up the environment issue and ran with it. Nothing to do with actual science or economics, just virtue signaling on a grand scale.

  18. The problem is not the science. The analyses of Judith Curry in her GWPF report,and the discussion of the greening effect that added CO2 is having on the biosphere demonstrates the science is slowly moving the needle away from the alarmist rhetoric.
    The problem is the politicized science and thus the politics of Climate Change. Too many “climate scientists” are dishonestly calling alarm simply for Rent-Seeking. It is a means of self-preservation, of job and career security for them. Because if they were honestly admit that natural variability is the cause of most of the recent warming, then there goes the reason for the grants from politicians. These rent seeker scientists become carnival barking pseudoscientists. They are knowingly acting as Feynman’s Cargo Cultists, ever tuning their flawed climate models and doomsday prophecies in hopes the “cargo planes of CAGW” will appear to save their reputations.
    More to the point, the problem is the politics of the Left. What is clear from polling data, is that in recent decades the western Left has moved rapidly toward socialism, and in some respects, are fully in the sphere of neo-Marxism with their calls to forcefully silence dissent and free speech.
    The Problem now is voting the neo-Marxists into positions of political power. They need the hucksterism of alarmist Climate rhetoric to promote more taxes, new taxes, new regulations, more control over the energy resources, all in their drive to concentrate power into the hands of a wealthy elite.
    Men and women of good conscience who can see what is happening must resist the neo-Marxists m at every turn. Fix the politics of the evermore socialist Left by eliminating them from positions of political power, and the problem of politicized science will solve itself. And the climate change alarmism will die at merciful death.

  19. If there is damaging climate change then let the rest of the world bail out the countries that have real problems. It’s a lot like insurance works..

    • That is ostensibly what the UN’s Climate Aid Fund, administered by the UNFCCC is for.
      What the UN Climate Aid Fund is actually for is lining the pockets of a lot of NGOs with money left over to go to Third World banana-republic Dictators in exchange for supporting the Climate Agreement.

  20. “Venus has no oceans and its atmosphere is 97 percent carbon dioxide.” This is always one of my favorite comments about Venus, no matter who makes it. If the atmosphere of Venus was 97% freon it would still be about as hot. PV=nRT or T=PV/nR. At a pressure of almost 100 time that of Earth and 27% closer to the Sun its going to be very, very hot. No matter what else is going on.

    • Beware. while T=PV/nR indeed, only R is a constant.
      Venus could have been stripped of its gas by sunrays just like Mars’ were. But it wasn’t. Instead it has thick atmosphere.
      And this atmosphere, for the same number of molecule, could be spread on a much greater volume (or much smaller), changing the temperature accordingly. But, again, it isn’t.
      And Venus atmosphere has so great albedo, and is so opaque, that the amount of sun energy reaching the surface is a small fraction of Earth’s.
      There is just no way Greenhouse effect can explain Venus hot surface temperature. You need lapse rate for this

    • Jim, the laws of ideal gas are not applicable to the atmosphere of Venus because of its high density. The high temperature on Venus can be explained by the retention of heat in the atmosphere. Both the total mass of the atmosphere and its heat capacity on Venus are much greater than on Earth.

      • aleks

        Jim, the laws of ideal gas are not applicable to the atmosphere of Venus because of its high density.

        Not true. The ideal gas laws are valid and useful up through many hundreds of atmospheric pressures (many barr, many thousands of psig). At very high pressures (those many thousands of psig) engineers do occasionally apply correction factors of a few percent, but not usually. High pressure steam tables for many thousands of psig also apply ideal gas laws, then modify the results for actual water vapor behavior: Maybe that’s what you’re thinking of. But condensible water vapor is very, very different from Venus di-atomic and mono gasses.

      • the fact is, indeed, on Venus surface its atmosphere is no longer a gas, but a supercritical fluid. However, the way ideal gas law is derived, either through kinetic theory of gases or through statistical mechanics, the result stay essentially the same for a supercritical fluid as for a bona fide gas, AFAIK (I confess not mastering supercriticity).

        • An ideal gas law is valid as long as the percent of volume occupied by the individual gas molecules is not a “substantial fraction” of the volume in question. Each gas molecule is assumed able to move independently and at great speed from every other gas molecule. Also, each gas molecule is not reacting with any other: Neither chemically nor electrostatically (like water). As an “ideal liquid” for example, liquid helium has no attraction between molecules, is a single molecule (just like it is as an ideal gas), but each molecule is not free to travel rapidly at random directions – as if it were an ideal gas a few degrees hotter.

      • RACookPE1978 and paqyfelc, Yes, the CO2 at the surface of Venus is supercritical. It is not an ideal gas, more like a liquid. On Earth, when CO2 needs to be moved in a pipeline, it is pressured up to supercritical so it can be pumped. The heat capacity of the CO2 also increases.

      • hunter May 20, 2018 at 9:26 am
        PV=nRT is valid everywhere there is gas.

        RACookPE1978 May 19, 2018 at 2:27 pm
        aleks
        “Jim, the laws of ideal gas are not applicable to the atmosphere of Venus because of its high density.”
        Not true. The ideal gas laws are valid and useful up through many hundreds of atmospheric pressures (many barr, many thousands of psig). At very high pressures (those many thousands of psig) engineers do occasionally apply correction factors of a few percent, but not usually. High pressure steam tables for many thousands of psig also apply ideal gas laws, then modify the results for actual water vapor behavior: Maybe that’s what you’re thinking of. But condensible water vapor is very, very different from Venus di-atomic and mono gasses.
        No it is not and it certainly isn’t valid near the surface of Venus where CO2 is a supercritical fluid, by the way RACook CO2 is triatomic.
        The following gives some examples of deviations from the ideal gas, one of the results shows that the Ideal gas law predicts a pressure of 112 atmospheres for CO2 where it’s actually about 53 atm.
        http://chemed.chem.purdue.edu/genchem/topicreview/bp/ch4/deviation5.html
        https://chem.libretexts.org/@api/deki/files/30584/e524c43ad0c0149af3325f4909df3025.jpg?revision=1&size=bestfit&width=705&height=356
        Engineers working with high pressure gases do not use the ideal gas law, rather either the Van der Waals equation or the Peng-Robinson is commonly used.

    • I’m afraid this is an invalid argument, Jim. Pushing this gives the alarmists evidence that skeptics don’t believe in sound science. The surface temperature depends on the energy flux reaching the surface which at equilibrium will match the radiative loss. If some of the long wavelength infrared is reflected back to the surface, the flux will be higher than it would be when none of the LWIR is reflected. Anything that absorbs LWIR will re-radiate it in all directions, some back to the surface. Thus the temperature varies depending on the composition of the atmosphere. Assuming that the ideal gas law applies here as you have stated, then the changing temperature will drive the atmosphere’s volume to change (assuming that P is proportional to mass of the atmosphere, and mass and composition are constant so that moles are constant).
      Your argument would only hold if there is no such thing as a greenhouse gas.
      I would say that the correct analysis is that Venus is hotter with a nearly all-CO2 atmosphere than it would be with an all-nitrogen atmosphere, and it may be a substantial difference, but so what? Comparing a theoretical 0% CO2 atmosphere to Venus’ 97% CO2 atmosphere is not telling us anything about the significance of earth going from 0.028% CO2 to 0.041% CO2. There is no way that we can even approach a 1% CO2 atmosphere, let alone a 97% CO2 atmosphere. Comparisons to Venus are scaremongering to trick the ignorant. As an experiment, ask every person who tells you that Climate Change is a problem what the percentage of CO2 is in our atmosphere. My experience is that they all think it is orders of magnitude higher than it is really. I’ve heard numbers as high as 14% with people telling me that we’re on a path to suffocating.
      There is no need to refute the theory of greenhouse gases in order to debunk CAGW. Increased CO2 has not increased water vapor in the atmosphere as was predicted so the theoretical feedback is far lower than they predicted. It’s also just common sense when you look at the geologic record. The Ordovician ice age initiated when CO2 levels were about 10 times as high as they are today. CO2 changes are driven by temperature, not the other way around. Both temperatures and CO2 levels have been far higher in the past, but the earth did not spiral into an irreversible Venus Syndrome.

      • Good analysis.
        Hansen’s delusion, that Earth coukd be Venus, should have had him laughed out of the public square.
        Instead we saw allegedly serious people rationalizing his irrationality.

      • I think we sent a lander to Venus so the approximate 100 atmospheres should be close. That’s 1469 psi. So, that pressure energy is turned to heat at the bottom of the stack whether it is gas or fluid, that’s a lot of heat be it co2 or something else that cannot be cooled by replacement such as in the sinking of denser cold water in our ocean conveyor. The greenhouse gas effect would be negligible by comparison and the albedo effect of the dense atmosphere as well at 27% closer to the sun. Hit a railroad rail with a sledgehammer and then feel the spot where you hit it. It’s hot. Hot enough to detonate detonator required explosives. Pressure energy turns to heat energy I am sure, even on Venus.

        • Sorry Jim, there is no comparison between striking a nail and the pressure of an atmosphere. When you strike a nail, the kinetic energy of the hammer is converted to heat when the hammer is stopped by the nail. Pressure is a potential energy that has to convert to kinetic energy before it can convert to heat. The atmosphere is just statically sitting there, doing no work. Nothing moving, no kinetic energy.
          By your same analysis, if I slowly load metal plates on your body until the weight is distributed over you at 1469 psi, your temperature will match Venus? Actually, I think you will “assume room temperature” in a rather messy puddle. Please don’t try this at home.

      • Sorry Rich, I said rail not nail. The pressure exerted upon the rail will make it hot. Get out of your theoretical world and try it. I am confident that PV=nRT even on Venus irrespective of the constituent gases in the atmosphere, which was my point. CO2’s ghg characteristics would have little impact upon the heat other than possibly keeping it from dissipating in a very minor manner. Gravity would keep it a closed system, at least it seems to have, for a very long time.

        • Yes, Jim, I saw that you had said rail rather than nail immediately after I responded to you, but since it doesn’t change anything about what I said, I didn’t bother to post a second time. Whether you hit a rail with a sledgehammer or you hit a nail with an ordinary hammer, it’s the same thing.
          The kinetic energy of the hammer (all those iron atoms moving at high speed) suddenly transfers momentum to the iron atoms in the rail where the hammer blow falls. It causes the atoms in the rail to vibrate faster which equates to warmer. Motion energy (kinetic energy) converts to heat. It’s not “pressure energy”. There’s no such thing. That’s just another way of saying potential energy. Potential energy does no work until potential turns into motion. Or how do you explain my example of putting you under a stack of weights?
          Gravity keeps it a closed system? Well, yes, of course, it is gravity that keeps the atmospheric mass in place. But it can’t be a closed system with respect to energy. Since its temperature and mass are about constant, there has to be basically the same radiative heat loss from Venus as it is receiving heat from the sun.
          I’m really not clear on what you are trying to argue here. Even if you want to dispute that there is a greenhouse gas effect, the atmosphere is a blanket that holds in the heat on the dark side and shields from heating on the bright side. All of the heat ultimately comes from the sun, not from “pressure energy”. The overall planet radiates the same amount of heat away as comes in from the sun and the atmosphere slows down the radiating so that heat is accumulated.

      • Rich,
        Are you denying that 100 atmospheres of pressure 2800 hours per day (the length of a Venus day) 225 days per year (length of Venus year) causes heat from the pressure it exerted ala the PV=nRT relationship? That is my question, aside from all of your other assumptions and qualifiers. I understand where you are coming from and I also know that in the strictest sense gravity is not a force per Einstein, but a curvature of space/time, but it acts as a force and in the ideal gas equation provides the pressure along with the actual density of the atmosphere which causes the temperature. In such a situation do you actually believe that the surface temperature would not respond temperature wise to that pressure according to the PV=nRT relationship?

        • Are you denying that 100 atmospheres of pressure 2800 hours per day (the length of a Venus day) 225 days per year (length of Venus year) causes heat from the pressure it exerted ala the PV=nRT relationship?

          Yes, I am denying that. But I am not saying that the formula doesn’t hold. I’m just saying that you are misinterpreting the physical reality of what the mathematical equation represents.
          PV=nRT is the ideal gas law and it is true that you can rearrange the formula to T = PV/nR, but physically speaking, temperature is the independent variable that is being directly changed, and volume is the dependent variable. The reality is V = nRT/P
          The number of moles n (or molecules of gas) is a function of the composition of the atmosphere and the total mass (which are constants). Pressure is going to be proportional to the total mass of the atmosphere and the surface area of the planet, both constants. Nothing but gravity resists the expansion of the atmosphere, there is no hard spherical shell holding the atmosphere to a fixed volume. So I would say that pressure is going to be fixed based on the mass of the atmosphere and that only leaves volume and temperature as variables, because R is just a constant. Now there is clearly no physical sense to the argument that V is the independent variable, since you can’t directly adjust it. As I pointed out, there is nothing constraining the height of the atmosphere except gravity. At the molecular level, gas molecules flying around in all directions, are being pulled back to the surface by gravity. They will go up higher if the gas is hotter. (Because hotter means faster, just as a ball goes higher if you throw it up faster).
          So we are only left with T as the independent variable. T is determined by the net energy flux striking the surface. Once that is set based on the solar flux, the dependent variable V will be determined by the ideal gas law using V = nRT/P. If the sun puts out less energy or the albedo changes, reflecting more or less of the sun’s energy, temperature will change and as a result, the atmosphere’s volume will change. Cooler temperature means the atmosphere shrinks down, hotter termperature means it puffs out.
          OK?

        • Before somebody wants to critique this as an oversimplification — it is — let me make one last point, the ideal gas law is an approximation and it’s clear that the pressure and temperature are both gradients in the case of the entire atmosphere. So I’m not really sure which pressure or temperature should be plugged into V=nRT/P to determine the volume of the atmosphere. It’s probably the average temperature and the average pressure, but I’m not sure about that.

      • All is and has been understood from the very beginning of this discussion. So, let me ask you my question a little differently again, given your qualifiers, what part of the 800 odd degrees F surface temperature would you attribute to pressure? 10%, 20%, ………………..80%, 90%?? Also, are you aware of any observatios indicating significant expansion and contraction of the atmosphere, per your qualifier on volume? My thought is that most of the heat is due to pressure with some from downwelling solar radiation contribution (27% closer to the sun) with very little contribution from the co2 acting as a greenhouse gas. The point being that Venus being used as a scare tactic for runaway ghg effect is ridiculous, at least until the earth aquires an atmosphere 100 times more massive than it presently is.

        • 0% is from pressure. There is no physical mechanism for turning pressure into heat at the surface.
          The amount of mass in the atmosphere certainly plays a big role in how much heat is retained.
          The amount of atmospheric mass determines the pressure. So maybe that’s what you are getting at when you say pressure?
          I don’t know how to calculate accurately how the heat transports from the top of the clouds to the surface or how the clouds act to retain heat. It sounds like a complex system and I’d assume that there must be convection involved. As far as I’m aware, the only sunlight directly impinging on the surface would be heavily filtered by the clouds and thick atmosphere.
          Heat from the sun interacting with that complex system, determines the temperature at the surface and throughout the atmosphere.
          Without the massive atmosphere, Venus would be very hot on the sun side and brutally cold on the dark side, like our moon, except hotter on the sun side, since it’s closer to the sun than our moon is. Venus has a bizarre feature that its day is longer than its year. So the cold side would stay cold for a very long time before slowly rotating into the boiling hot side.
          Here’s something about the volume (altitude) varying as the sun’s output varies (for the earth, but obviously also relevant for Venus)

          When the Sun is active around the peak of the sunspot cycle, X-rays and ultraviolet radiation from the Sun heat and “puff up” the thermosphere – raising the altitude of the thermopause to heights around 1,000 km (620 miles) above Earth’s surface. When the Sun is less active during the low point of the sunspot cycle, solar radiation is less intense and the thermopause recedes to within about 500 km (310 miles) of Earth’s surface.
          https://scied.ucar.edu/shortcontent/exosphere-overview

        • here’s a thought experiment for you Jim.
          Imagine you can move Venus out past the orbit of Pluto, but otherwise it keeps its exact same atmosphere and everthing else. What will happen? Ok, don’t move it quite out to Pluto, because what will happen is most of the atmosphere will snow out as dry ice, leaving a thin CO2 atmosphere. But imagine you can move it out near the asteroid belt beyond Mars. Substantially lower solar flux. No matter how massive the atmosphere, it will rapidly cool down to balance the incoming solar radiation. The atmosphere will shrink but if we didn’t move it too far out, it will not snow out.
          That should show you that the pressure, which would not change in that experiment, has no impact on the temperature.

      • Pressure is going to be proportional to the total mass of the atmosphere and the surface area of the planet, both constants.

        To be precise, pressure at ground level is a function of the atmospheric mass, the surface area and gravitational constant of the planet.
        There is nothing that requires the atmospheric mass to be constant. In fact if the surface heats up the mass of the atmosphere must increase to satisfy the gas laws or the constituents change to increase effective specific heat of the gasses. This is observed on earth with more water vapour present in the atmosphere over warm oceans. The differential pressure at the same elevation gives rise to air currents. For earth to increase average surface temperature it requires an increase in the atmospheric mass for unchanged proportion of gases or, alternatively, higher specific heats (or latent heat) of the constituent gasses.
        Barring phase changes and pressure above critical points, atmospheric gasses satisfy the gas law throughout. The pressure reduces with altitude due to the reduced mass above a particular altitude. Accordingly the temperature in the well mixed region, that is near to isentropic, will be cooler with increasing altitude.

      • JimG1 May 20, 2018 at 2:47 pm
        I am confident that PV=nRT even on Venus irrespective of the constituent gases in the atmosphere, which was my point.

        Well you’d be wrong. I suggest you look up deviations from the ideal gas laws.

      • JimG1 May 20, 2018 at 10:02 am
        Pressure energy turns to heat energy I am sure, even on Venus.

        So on earth you have a cylinder of CO2 pressurized to 860 psi, what temperature is the cylinder wall?

      • Rich,
        Two notes on your comment, “Venus has a bizarre feature that its day is longer than its year. So the cold side would stay cold for a very long time before slowly rotating into the boiling hot side.” Venus day is 116 earth days while its year is 225 earth days, so not so much on your accuracy there regarding your comment on the day being longer than the year. Also, with the virtually impenetrable cloud cover it is doubtful that the difference between day and night would be as extreme as you say. “The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 70.7°C in the Lut Desert of Iran in 2005. On the other end of the spectrum, the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was in Vostok, Antarctica at -89.2 C. But on Venus, the surface temperature is 460 degrees Celsius, day or night, at the poles or at the equator.Dec 23, 2014”. Wikipedia. So not so accurate there either. Sorry about using Wikipedia.

        • Jim,

          A day on Venus lasts longer than a year.
          It takes 243 Earth days to rotate once on its axis (sidereal day). The planet’s orbit around the Sun takes 225 Earth days, compared to the Earth’s 365. A day on the surface of Venus (solar day) takes 117 Earth days.

          https://space-facts.com/venus/
          The difference between sunny and dark side temperatures was only in reference to if Venus didn’t have an atmosphere. That is, the difference between it’s current thick atmosphere and no atmosphere.
          Always wise to check my accuracy though.

      • Rich,
        NASA has your numbers for day and year length. Wikipedia has my numbers, not sure which I would trust less?
        https://www.google.com/search?ei=bR0DW_uvKszSjwS5q6cw&q=day+and+year+length+venus&oq=day+and+year+length+venus&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.3..0i22i30j33i22i29i30l2j33i160.9677.14172..15081…0….122.644.2j4……0….1………0j0i71j33i21.sT3Uwb7Qhxw%3D
        Since none of the probes to the surface of Venus lasted more than 127 minutes I wonder which rotational velocity is more accurate. One is probably outside the atmosphere measuring rotation of the atmosphere, such as it is. One may be from the surface while being destroyed by the heat.

        • I would guess that they have the rotational period measured with a pretty high degree of precision. NASA’s Magellan orbiter mapped the surface of Venus using radar to penetrate the clouds. It was active for about 4 years from 1989-1994. They have maps of about 96% of the surface.

        • Jim,
          I don’t disagree with that article at all. As I’ve been trying to say, it is the mass of the atmosphere that causes Venus to be hot. Where I think you continue to misunderstand the issue is that pressure is just a derived quantity, it doesn’t have any physical meaning or ability to do work. It doesn’t cause anything. The reason it is hotter in the valley than on the mountaintop is not because the pressure is different. The reason the pressure is different is because there is more or less atmospheric mass above you. The reason it is hotter or colder is because there is more or less insulating mass between you and frigid outer space. Pressure is just a convenient way to tell you how much atmospheric mass is above you. When you are on the mountaintop, there is less atmosphere above you than when you are in Death Valley. The question of whether the atmospheric “insulation” is via a greenhouse gas mechanism or not, seems to have been your motivator. But you don’t need to prove that point and it’s not so easy to prove. To win the case against CAGW, there is much more evidence that is less controversial than totally rejecting GHG theory.
          My motivator is to see that skeptics can make a credible defense of the science and won’t go around giving CAGW-believers evidence that we don’t understand or accept valid science. Why care about that? Because I want us to be effective in changing minds and that won’t happen if nobody listens.
          So I’ll give it one last try. The average depth of the earth’s oceans is about 3.7 km, what is the pressure and temperature there on average? How does it compare to Venus?
          Answer: 358 atm, 0-3 deg C
          At the average bottom of the deep ocean on earth, the pressure is almost 4 times higher than the surface of Venus. But it is about 465 degrees C colder at the bottom of the ocean (~2C) than on the surface of Venus (467C).
          Showing my work:
          3.7km x 1000 m/km / 10.33 m H20/atm = 358 atm
          358/90 = 3.98
          References:
          https://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/temp.html
          https://www.space.com/18526-venus-temperature.html
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean

      • Ever heard of the conveyor? The bottom of the ocean is continuously being replenished with water circulation from the poles, cold water is denser than warm water, sinks then moves to the equator, is warmed and so on. Also, very little, if any solar radiation gets through the clouds on Venus where here it does. The Venus atmosphere is much more a closed system. Read Goddard’s article. PV=nRT works on Venus just as it does here. Mass is definitely in play but it is the pressure of that mass causing the heat, just as Goddard and I say.

        • Ok I give up for now, but maybe you can help me find where in that article, it talks about Pv=nRT and discusses a mechanism for how pressure “converts to heat”.
          I will go back and reread it when I have a moment. I only recall it showing a chart correlating temperature with pressure.
          Absolutely the reason for a nearly uniform deep ocean temperature is cold polar water currents, so I can see you’re not going to see my point with that example.

  21. Nice post, Andy May. My only suggestion would be an ‘abstract’ that boils your main points down into ‘soundbites’ formuse against those who won’t read the longer and more thoughtful piece. Have made that suggestion several times before here, and have provided examples on multiple occaisions. The issue is political, so should be the counter weapons deployed.

    • Yeah but recycling Al would just generate more CO2. A 250lb body is 60% water meaning a dry wt of~100lb. A live body is about 20% carbon. Converting this to CO2 one finds that a 250lb Al would contribute 183lb od CO2 to the atmosphere, unless we used him to inject into a spent oil well.

  22. Does global climate change require a global solution?
    You don’t negociate with the “global climate”.
    It’s beyond repair.
    We are facing the music.
    Like Confucius once said:
    “when there’s a problem, there’s a solution. If there’s no solution then there’s no problem”
    No global solution
    Sorry

  23. you miss the point. they don’t need a global solution for a global climate change problem. They needed a global problem to justify the global solution they chose way before: global government. Globull Warming fitted the bill.
    A global problem like the ozone layer didn’t. It could be solved without global government.
    War don’t fit the bill, either. You don’t need to unite the world for solve a war , and when you do, it [also] means the world unity cannot be achieved
    Disease do not either. even if very spread, like aids, this is still a local, country by country and even person by person fight. No need for global gov.
    Economy? no.
    So what?
    Well, let’s try global warming.
    Won’t work either.

  24. General question. Are there any web sites that will allow one to choose a particular measuring station within any of the various climate data bases and then trivially plot the deviation from the long term average. 10+ yrs ago I used Excel and manually downloaded data from one of the Dutch sites. I found the Cdn Arctic sites were close to useless as they only lasted a few yrs and then moved. However, looking at Eurasian Arctic sites failed to show much warming. Would like to do it again but effort is significant.

  25. ‘He does not consider other options.’
    He hasn’t proven his assertions. ‘Climate crisis.’ Rilly?
    Other options is down the list is the process.

  26. For the Earth to become like Venus would require the oceans to completely boil away and the resulting water vapor would have to be ejected into outer space, no greenhouse gas could accomplish that.

    Why would the water vapour need to be ejected to space? The atmosphere would contain more mass and that would result in a higher surface temperature.
    The present average temperature is the result of significant heat distribution by the connectedness of the oceans. The tropical latitudes have a net gain in heat and the higher latitudes a net heat loss. If oceans were not continuous over these latitudes then there would be greater differences in temperature between latitudes. The. Dead Sea is a likely indicator of what the lower levels of the tropical latitudes would become.
    The ocean distribution of heat is vital to the relative stability of the average surface temperature.

    • “Why would the water vapour need to be ejected to space? The atmosphere would contain more mass and that would result in a higher surface temperature.”
      Why? Because water vapor is lighter than other gases present, so it will rise. Because rising air is cooled, the vapor will condense at some high altitude, no matter how hot the surface. Heat of condensation will warm the remaining vapor, causing it to rise even more. Thus heat absorbed at the surface is transported to high altitude where it can radiate to space, while at the same time clouds are formed which block incoming sunlight. The condensed water falls to the surface or lower altitude to be re-evaporated and transport even more heat to space.
      This evaporation at the surface followed by condensation at high altitude moves vastly more heat up from the surface than could ever be moved down by down-welling IR.
      For the Earth to get to the boiling point of water, or even close, would require eliminating the water.
      SR

      • The tropical latitudes of Earth already show the influence of high water vapour. Those latitudes are net absorbers of heat. The heat is transported to higher latitudes where there is a net heat loss:
        https://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/view.php?datasetId=CERES_NETFLUX_M
        These are top of the atmosphere fluxes and the net flux in the tropics is dominated by water vapour. Water vapour dramatically lowers rate of heat loss from the surface.
        I agree that clouds will still form due to water solidification at high altitude and eventually return to lower altitudes where it will liquify and then to even lower altitude where it will vaporise via surface heat and again rise. This is in tropical regions where there is net heat input.
        At higher latitudes, where there is net heat output, there is the prospect of the water just forming icecaps. Depends on how well the atmosphere can transfer the heat from the lower latitudes. Present oceans are significant in transporting the heat from low to high latitudes as well as distributing heat from the Southern Hemisphere to the northern.
        Neither of these situations result in the water being ejected to space. The mass of the atmosphere increases and the surface temperature in the tropics rises accordingly.

      • RickWill,
        I do not dispute that the tropics absorb more radiation (thermal energy) than they emit, whether it is due to clouds or not. But, water vapor does not lower the rate of thermal energy loss from the surface. It is the primary vehicle for removing thermal energy from the surface and transporting it elsewhere (see Pierrehumbert, 2011 or Benestad, 2016). This can be done via “deep convection” (aka thunderstorms) or by winds or ocean currents. Evaporation and later condensation acts as a thermostat in the tropics and keeps them from becoming too hot (>30 degrees).
        The mass of the oceans is huge ~265 times that of the atmosphere, yet the water plays an outsized role in surface thermal energy storage. As long as this mass of water and water vapor exists on the surface, the temperature cannot rise very high as long as the Sun’s output does not vary by a very large amount. If the oceans do begin boiling, due to a very large influx of energy, the temperature is still limited. It is only when the water has mostly been ejected to space that there is no limit.

    • Andy May
      Nothing you have stated explains why the water vapour would be ejected to space if the surface temperature was higher. That is what I questioned in the original article.
      For the surface to get hotter the gas law requires the atmospheric mass to increase or atmospheric constituents to change to alter specific heat. We already see that this occurs by water vapour increasing as the surface temperature increases.
      Thermostatic control of Earth relies on the transport of heat from low latitudes to high latitudes. We already see the presence of high water vapour content over the tropical oceans limits the rate of heat loss resulting in a net gain:
      https://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/view.php?datasetId=CERES_LWFLUX_M
      https://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/view.php?datasetId=CERES_NETFLUX_M
      The excess heat is transported to higher latitudes and ejected. The variation in extent of sea ice is the main temperature control through the well known iris effect:
      http://landscapesandcycles.net/arctic-iris-effect-and-dansgaard-oeschger-event.html
      The CERES data confirms, in fine detail, that more heat is lost over northern and southern ocean water than is lost over the sea ice in those regions. Reducing sea ice is like opening the blinds covering a window. Increasing sea ice is like closing the blinds on a window. The extent of sea ice provides fine control over the amount of heat retained in Earth’s climate system.

  27. What a great article, Andy! Comprehensively demolishes all the “sacred cows” of CAGW and the war against reliable hydrocarbon energy sources in a succinct, well-argued piece!
    It’s always good to have this kind of article available to refute the nonsense one hears from alarmists and the MSM. Thanks again, Andy!

  28. If Gore had not found a way to monetize climate hype, I dout if anyone woud not notice.

    • For most, the Climate Hustle is about money.
      For a few, it is about Political Power.
      Both seek to be the Common Man’s better, at his expense.
      The Common Man would be wise to think for himself and guard his wallet.

  29. Excellent article Andy but this quote needs correcting:

    Al Gore, Deepak Chopra and Sir Richard Attenborough have suggest that industrialization and economic growth are dangerous for the environment. But, we do not observe this.

    Richard Attenborough was the actor brother of the nature film maker David.

    • Truth does not require defense.
      The Big Lie requires defense. Which is where the rent-seeker climateers are today.

  30. A good article, thank you Andy May.
    Just two minor things:
    a) The text refers to Richard Attenborough but the link takes you to his brother David.
    b) You describe that for the temperature to increase beyond water’s boiling point the water vapor has to escape. This is not true. If no liquid water is present, all being boiled off, you can increase the temperature of the water vapor far beyond boiling point. It’s called superheating and they do it in thermal power plants – the steam is typically superheated. I’m not saying it will happen on earth though, I agree with the main theme of the article.

    • On point b): I wondered about that statement momentarily, too. Then I realized Andy was describing what was necessary for the world to experience warming past the boiling point of water.
      As long as water vapor remains in the atmosphere it functions as a heat transport mechanism, convectively moving heat to high altitude. When the vapor condenses at altitude, it releases all the heat it absorbed at the surface by boiling. The heat radiates to space while the water falls back to the surface where it can boil/evaporate again and carry additional heat to high altitude. If the water evaporates before reaching the surface, it cools the atmosphere at that level.
      The only way to break the cycle is to get rid of the water vapor. Move it out of the atmosphere, or disassociate the molecules and disperse the hydrogen to space.
      Thermal power plants are not comparable because the water vapor is not allowed to rise to high altitude.
      SR

      • Maybe the water vapor will escape? I don’t know. But if the water vapor does not escape, then from a thermodynamic point of view there is no reason why enough added heat will not vaporize all the water and keep the temperature high enough for no condensation to take place. Maybe at high altitudes water will condense and fall down, but vaporizes again before hitting the surface. So the temperature of the atmosphere close to the surface will still go way beyond boiling point.
        Not so?
        You can’t destroy or create energy. If you keep on adding heat and don’t remove water from the system and claim the temperature stays below boiling point, where does the added energy from added heat go to? My conjecture is that the added heat (energy) boils all the water, the water stays in vapor state (close to the surface in any case) and the temperature rises to store the added energy.

      • Pieter: You can’t destroy or create energy. If you keep on adding heat and don’t remove water from the system and claim the temperature stays below boiling point, where does the added energy from added heat go to?
        Stevan already answered this when he said: As long as water vapor remains in the atmosphere it functions as a heat transport mechanism, convectively moving heat to high altitude. When the vapor condenses at altitude, it releases all the heat it absorbed at the surface by boiling. The heat radiates to space while the water falls back to the surface where it can boil/evaporate again and carry additional heat to high altitude. If the water evaporates before reaching the surface, it cools the atmosphere at that level

    • Pieter, Thanks for pointing out the error in Attenborough’s name, I’ve fixed that. The idea that all of the water would have to be ejected to outer space is true, except perhaps a small residual amount. Otherwise the maximum temperature would be limited by condensation and the resulting emission of thermal radiation. In the case of Venus, it’s water is broken down to hydrogen and oxygen and these are ejected to space. Venus has a fairly strong electrical field, unlike Earth, so it can break down water molecules.

  31. Good post Andy May, thank you. Nevertheless, I cannot agree with every words of it, my concerns are the followings. You wrote:
    „the rate of sea-level rise since mid-2015, has been very modest as seen on the NOAA/NEDIS/STAR laboratory for satellite altimetry sea-level plot and in the Church and White CSIRO dataset plotted in Figure 4.”
    No, it is not seen in figure 4 because figure 4 depicts sea level rise between 1900 and 2000.
    You also wrote:
    “Research shows that nuclear, hydroelectric, coal and natural gas all do well in producing reliable electricity; but solar, biofuels and wind cannot even pay for themselves.”
    While I entirely agree with the first part of that sentence, I am deeply convinced that solar power on industrial scale can be economical even at our recent technological circumstances.
    There is only one minor problem with solar energy. It is that sun does not shine at night, a problem easy to overcome. It is easy to overcome and what is more, without grid scale storing of electricity or without redundant energy source of any kind like fossil-fuel, hydroelectric or nuclear backup.
    Am I the only one who knows how to do this?

    • Tari Péter

      There is only one minor problem with solar energy. It is that sun does not shine at night, a problem easy to overcome. It is easy to overcome and what is more, without grid scale storing of electricity or without redundant energy source of any kind like fossil-fuel, hydroelectric or nuclear backup.
      Am I the only one who knows how to do this?

      Apparently, yes. You are the only person in the world who has figured how to do this.
      By the way, the sun’s rays are actually only bright enough to produce usable power 6 hours per day (on average through the year). Your “system” – whatever it is – needs to overcome this minor problem of needing to generate 4x the needed power during those fleeting moments of daylight to reliably release power the remaining 3/4 of the time. Worse, since there are irreversible losses during the energy production, conversion, storage, and re-conversion and re-transmission (and clouds and dust and humidity and atmospheric losses as well), you actually have to generate about 5x the needed power during each hour of daylight (between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm).
      It’s not 12 hours of sunlight each day. Only 6.

    • Tari, You do need to click on the link to see the flattening of the sea level curve from 2015 to the present. You are correct the Church and White dataset does not show that period. I’ve fixed the text. I’m sure the world is very interested in how you will get solar panels to work at night.

  32. “the GISP2 record by Richard Alley (2004) shows a 10°C temperature increase from 11,755 years ago to 11,611 years ago, this is 18°F in 144 years!”
    I don’t understand why Alley talks about the “CO2 control knob” contradicting his own research finding. Maybe it’s research funding over research finding

  33. I’m a total novice here, but I’m skeptical of using the claim that temperatures increased by 10C at the beginning of the Holocene as backup for this argument. The world had just come out of an ice age so you’d expect there to be massive temperature differences between the periods just before and after the deglaciation… we’re not receding from an ice age like the last large one, so how is this a fair comparison? Would appreciate some insight into this, I’m only 17 and new to this whole thing

    • Nick,
      The easy answer to this, or rather, the answer that most would give, is that there’s ample evidence we’re recovering from the Little Ice Age (LIA). You can find examples and evidence suggesting that since roughly 1650 the earth has been warming (some contest that it was only the Northern Hemisphere or was merely regional or whatever).
      See this link for a nice story here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/22/relative-homogeneity-of-the-medieval-warm-period-mwp-and-the-little-ice-age-lia/
      Additionally, and perhaps even more valuable, I’d personally recommend reviewing Anthony’s Paleoclimate Reference Page: https://wattsupwiththat.com/paleoclimate/
      As you scroll down, you’ll see charts of temperature reconstructions going back further and further. This will give you a nice perspective of where our current “global average temperature” stands relative to the history of the earth. Note: the data / charts on this page are sourced from credible, published climate research.
      Hopefully this has answered your question of why it’s valid to use “recovery from an ice age” as a backup argument for current warming. If not, please feel free disagree, ask more questions, or respond with a comment.
      Respectfully,
      rip

    • Nick, Many geologists (including me) believe that the Little Ice Age was a failed attempt to go into a new glacial period. The orbital parameters were there, we just didn’t quite make it, thankfully. The next possible entry into a glacial is several thousand years away, so we got a reprieve. More here: https://judithcurry.com/2017/05/28/nature-unbound-iii-holocene-climate-variability-part-b/
      Quote: “As mentioned above, Holocene cycles display abrupt cooling at their lows, creating the conditions for enhanced iceberg activity in the North Atlantic that produces Bond ice-rafting events. As the three cycles have different periodicities, sometimes the lows of two cycles are so close together in time as to make it difficult to resolve them. This is the case in the Little Ice Age, when the lows of all three cycles took place in close succession, contributing to make this the coldest period in the Holocene, bringing it to the brink of triggering a glacial period.”
      It failed and we are now in the warming period of two major climate cycles, it may very well be that this is the cause of the recent rapid warming.

  34. Controlling climate change is a rather silly notion . Don’t see any Park Rangers trying to shut off the volcano eruptions in Hawaii .
    Why don’t these scary climate charlatans at least speak in plain English ? What they mean is reduce the standard of living of rich countries and cause mass population extermination in poor countries by cutting off
    affordable access to energy . Cow dung burners in La Jolla are just not on .
    Look efficiency is good and so is conservation but do it for the right reasons. Not some rent seeking con job
    claiming to set the earth’s thermostat .
    Look at the biggest promoters of this fraud . They ain’t no Gandhi’s . Not one of them .

  35. Thank you for this, it makes it so easy to understand. Needs to be sent to all politicians and all “experts” and we should stand by while they read it !!

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