A Clean Kill of the Carbon Dioxide-Driven Climate Change Hypothesis?

Guest geology by David Middleton

Way back in the Pleistocene (1976-1980), when I was a young geology student, the notion of CO2 as a driver of climate change was largely scoffed at…

Suggestion that changing carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere could be a major factor in climate change dates from 1861, when it was proposed by British physicist John Tyndall.


Unfortunately we cannot estimate accurately changes of past CO2 content of either atmosphere or oceans, nor is there any firm quantitative basis for estimating the the magnitude of drop in carbon dioxide content necessary to trigger glaciation.  Moreover the entire concept of an atmospheric greenhouse effect is controversial, for the rate of ocean-atmosphere equalization is uncertain.

Dott, Robert H. & Roger L. Batten. Evolution of the Earth. McGraw-Hill, Inc. Second Edition 1976. p. 441.

Sometime after 1980, a new paradigm emerged, suggesting that Phanerozoic Eon climate change had largely been driven by CO2 (Royer et al., 2004). The model was that the weathering rates of silicate rocks governed the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (Berner & Kothavala, 2001) and that CO2 was the “control knob” for temperature. Well, this paradigm may have just taken a bullet to the head.

Rutgers Today > Research
Is Theory on Earth’s Climate in the Last 15 Million Years Wrong?
Rutgers-led study casts doubt on Himalayan rock weathering hypothesis
September 22, 2019

A key theory that attributes the climate evolution of the Earth to the breakdown of Himalayan rocks may not explain the cooling over the past 15 million years, according to a Rutgers-led study.

The study in the journal Nature Geoscience could shed more light on the causes of long-term climate change. It centers on the long-term cooling that occurred before the recent global warming tied to greenhouse gas emissions from humanity.

“The findings of our study, if substantiated, raise more questions than they answered,” said senior author Yair Rosenthal, a distinguished professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “If the cooling is not due to enhanced Himalayan rock weathering, then what processes have been overlooked?”

For decades, the leading hypothesis has been that the collision of the Indian and Asian continents and uplifting of the Himalayas brought fresh rocks to the Earth’s surface, making them more vulnerable to weathering that captured and stored carbon dioxide – a key greenhouse gas. But that hypothesis remains unconfirmed.

Lead author Weimin Si, a former Rutgers doctoral student now at Brown University, and Rosenthal challenge the hypothesis and examined deep-sea sediments rich with calcium carbonate.

Over millions of years, the weathering of rocks captured carbon dioxide and rivers carried it to the ocean as dissolved inorganic carbon, which is used by algae to build their calcium carbonate shells. When algae die, their skeletons fall on the seafloor and get buried, locking carbon from the atmosphere in deep-sea sediments.

If weathering increases, the accumulation of calcium carbonate in the deep sea should increase. But after studying dozens of deep-sea sediment cores through an international ocean drilling program, Si found that calcium carbonate in shells decreased significantly over 15 million years, which suggests that rock weathering may not be responsible for the long-term cooling.

Meanwhile, the scientists – surprisingly – also found that algae called coccolithophores adapted to the carbon dioxide decline over 15 million years by reducing their production of calcium carbonate. This reduction apparently was not taken into account in previous studies.

Many scientists believe that ocean acidification from high carbon dioxide levels will reduce the calcium carbonate in algae, especially in the near future. The data, however, suggest the opposite occurred over the 15 million years before the current global warming spell.

Rosenthal’s lab is now trying to answer these questions by studying the evolution of calcium and other elements in the ocean.

Rutgers Today

Basically, everything is bass-ackwards relative to the CO2-driven climate paradigm.

As far as press releases go, this one is very good. I would only take serious issue with this bit:

Many scientists believe that ocean acidification from high carbon dioxide levels will reduce the calcium carbonate in algae, especially in the near future. The data, however, suggest the opposite occurred over the 15 million years before the current global warming spell.

The “current global warming spell” is indistinguishable from other Holocene and Pleistocene global warming spells.

Figure 1. High Latitude SST (°C) From Benthic Foram δ18O (Zachos, et al., 2001) and HadSST3 ( Hadley Centre / UEA CRU via www.woodfortrees.org) plotted at same scale, tied at 1950 AD. X-axis is in millions of years before present (MYA), older is toward the left.

We’ve already experienced nearly 1.0 ºC of warming since pre-industrial time.  Another 0.5 to 1.0 ºC between now and the end of the century doesn’t even put us into Eemian climate territory, much less the Miocene. 15 million years ago (MYA) was the middle of the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum (MMCO).

Their paper is pay-walled; here is the abstract:

The globally averaged calcite compensation depth has deepened by several hundred metres in the past 15 Myr. This deepening has previously been interpreted to reflect increased alkalinity supply to the ocean driven by enhanced continental weathering due to the Himalayan orogeny during the late Neogene period. Here we examine mass accumulation rates of the main marine calcifying groups and show that global accumulation of pelagic carbonates has decreased from the late Miocene epoch to the late Pleistocene epoch even though CaCO3 preservation has improved, suggesting a decrease in weathering alkalinity input to the ocean, thus opposing expectations from the Himalayan uplift hypothesis. Instead, changes in relative contributions of coccoliths and planktonic foraminifera to the pelagic carbonates in relative shallow sites, where dissolution has not taken its toll, suggest that coccolith production in the euphotic zone decreased concomitantly with the reduction in weathering alkalinity inputs as registered by the decline in pelagic carbonate accumulation. Our work highlights a mechanism whereby, in addition to deep-sea dissolution, changes in marine calcification acted to modulate carbonate compensation in response to reduced weathering linked to the late Neogene cooling and decline in atmospheric partial pressure of carbon dioxide.

Weimin & Rosenthal Nature Geoscience

The assumption has been that the rise of the Himalayan Mountains during the Miocene increased the rate of silicate rock weathering, drawing down atmospheric CO2 and precipitously cooling the Earth’s atmosphere. While the Neogene cooling did follow the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau, the cool-down from the MMCO trailed the uplift by about 7 million years (Myr).

Figure 2. Figure 1. High Latitude SST (°C) From Benthic Foram δ18O (Zachos, et al., 2001) Click to enlarge (older is toward the bottom) .

Part of the problem is that it is unclear if atmospheric CO2 levels were significantly elevated 15 MYA.

Figure 3. Neogene-Quaternary temperature and carbon dioxide (older is toward the left). Click to enlarge.

We can see that estimates for 15 MYA range from 250 to 500 ppm. While there is some support for higher CO2 levels 20-22 MYA, when the Tibetan Uplift was accelerated, it does not coincide with the MMCO at 15 MYA.

We now have clean kills of the MMCO being driven by CO2 emissions from the Columbia River Basalt Group eruptions and the subsequent cooling being driven by a draw down of atmospheric CO2. How many clean kills does it take to kill a paradigm?


Berner, R.A. and Z. Kothavala, 2001. “GEOCARB III: A Revised Model of Atmospheric CO2 over Phanerozoic Time”.  American Journal of Science, v.301, pp.182-204, February 2001.

Dott, Robert H. & Roger L. Batten.  Evolution of the Earth.  McGraw-Hill, Inc.  Second Edition 1976.  p. 441.

Pagani, Mark, Michael Arthur & Katherine Freeman. (1999). “Miocene evolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide”. Paleoceanography. 14. 273-292. 10.1029/1999PA900006.

Royer, D. L., R. A. Berner, I. P. Montanez, N. J. Tabor and D. J. Beerling. “CO2 as a primary driver of Phanerozoic climate”.  GSA Today, Vol. 14, No. 3. (2004), pp. 4-10

Tripati, A.K., C.D. Roberts, and R.A. Eagle. 2009.  “Coupling of CO2 and Ice Sheet Stability Over Major Climate Transitions of the Last 20 Million Years”.  Science, Vol. 326, pp. 1394 1397, 4 December 2009.  DOI: 10.1126/science.1178296

Weimin Si & Yair Rosenthal. Reduced continental weathering and marine calcification linked to late Neogene decline in atmospheric CO2Nature Geoscience, 2019 DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0450-

Zachos, J. C., Pagani, M., Sloan, L. C., Thomas, E. & Billups, K. “Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate 65 Ma to present”.  Science 292, 686–-693 (2001).

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Stephen Wilde
September 25, 2019 2:22 am

Yes, but the facts no longer matter.
The 70 year authoritarian march through all the institutions since the end of WW2 is almost complete.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
September 25, 2019 5:49 am

“Yes, but the facts no longer matter. The 70 year authoritarian march through all the institutions since the end of WW2 is almost complete.”

But if global warming stalls or goes into reverse, that fact will matter. And if it knocks down one authoritarian domino, others will follow.

Eric Barnes
Reply to  Roger Knights
September 25, 2019 6:30 am

They don’t care about facts. One reason is as good as another. Once a worldwide carbon tax is in place you think they’ll say … “Oops! Here’s your money back. We’re going to take a vow of poverty and join a monastery.”

Reply to  Eric Barnes
September 25, 2019 7:47 am

Just like the Montreal Protocol. Here we are 30 years on and it is still in place.

Reply to  KT66
September 25, 2019 12:30 pm

The CFC scandal is based on the usual straight line , trend fitting, banalities.

If you reduce all variables to a straight line EVERTHYING correlates. If you want establish correlation, you need to match non trivial changes.

Most of the ozone destruction of the latter half of the 20th c. was caused by stratospheric volcanic emissions, not CFCs. The reason ozone has been recovering is because the last major eruption was in 1991, not because of Montreal protocol.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Eric Barnes
September 25, 2019 3:30 pm

They don’t care about facts.

I have to agree with the above.

Excerpted from article (prior to Figure 2.)

…… the rise of the Himalayan Mountains during the Miocene increased the rate of silicate rock weathering, drawing down atmospheric CO2 and precipitously cooling the Earth’s atmosphere.

Is the above not inferring a “fact of science” that has yet to be submitted as factual “proof in evidence”?

Reply to  Eric Barnes
September 26, 2019 11:13 am

Unfortunately for them, only the elites care. Us deplorables, in all nations, aren’t concerned about climate change. That’s why they’ve resorted to using children as their sock puppets.

John S
Reply to  Roger Knights
September 25, 2019 9:11 am

“But if global warming stalls or goes into reverse, that fact will matter. And if it knocks down one authoritarian domino, others will follow.”

Not to worry. A bit of “correction” to the historical record and any stall or reverse will be eliminated.

Mark H
Reply to  John S
September 25, 2019 6:22 pm

Did you hear the news, chocco rations have increased form 20 to 25 grams. Double plus good, eh.

Reply to  Roger Knights
September 25, 2019 9:24 am

But it won’t!

Just look at temperatures and ice retreat in the arctic. 41 years in the satellite record and still the sea ice gets less…

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2019 9:38 am


you need to stop with your B.S. You have been shown by many, that the Arctic Summer Ice cover has stabilized since 2007, which means it is NO LONGER DECLINING!

You also have never made a case that low summer sea ice cover is bad for the environment anyway. The Polar Bears are not declining at all, neither are the Walruses and Seals.

Frankly you promote your dishonest bullcrap over and over, even when shown that YOU are wrong by hard evidence, you continue to lie and deflect over and over. Your stupid insistence that low Sea Ice cover is bad, when the ecology of the region hums along fine anyway, make YOU defiler of reality.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 25, 2019 10:05 am

(see our comment policy pagehttps://wattsupwiththat.com/policy/ if you cannot adhere to the comments policy, future comments will not be posted) SUNMOD

Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 25, 2019 3:36 pm


First, I have received no notification from WordPress that I was banned. Would you be so kind as to provide evidence?

Second, the comment I am using this to submit to you is as foul as anything you accuse me of, if not worse.

Third, I notice you are banning none of my protagonists who are often more foul and obnoxious to the extreme that they cyberstalk but remained untouched and free by WordPress and the moderators.

Fourth, you cannot stifle my free speech in the public forum if you are open to the public and I have broken no laws or statutes or actions that require me to be restricted.

You are an open commercial enterprise accessible to and serving the general public. Under U.S. law and statutes in CA, you may not discriminate against users of your services. I have a very strong case of discrimination against you and will file complaints to the appropriate Law Enforcement. The evidence is voluminous from a wide variety of comments and commentators. I will reserve the right to seek full redress which will include getting my access back and damages should you fail to resolve this matter amicably with me.

Thank you.


[see our comment policy page – https://wattsupwiththat.com/policy/ if you cannot adhere to the comments policy, future comments will not be posted]

Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 25, 2019 8:31 pm


I appreciate your swift action. Thank you. Please restore your original message to:

Rob September 25, 2019 at 10:05 am

It is illegal to edit messages after fact. I have a screenshot of the original. You have stated the edit on my appeal to you which is sufficient.

I also recommend you read your comment policy page . First, your sanctions for violation are all qualified with the word “may”. Second, you state no procedure of warning or number before banning. Third, you do not state that one has the right to appeal any action taken by you and four, what the procedure is. You may also which to have a professional review them and give you some guidance.

Lastly, I request that you censure MarkW’s cyberstalking and bulleying tactics by issuing hom a warning. And the same to” Sunsettommy September 25, 2019 at 9:38 am” for profane language and harassment of Griff.

Thank you,


Correct your split-infinitive “will not be” should be will be not

[We aren’t going to do anything – you created a fake name and temporary email to try to get around moderation, which is a no-no per our policy page, your action in that regard has earned a 48 hour timeout. If you do it again, you will be permanently banned -mod]

Bryan A
Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 25, 2019 9:45 pm

Every member of the public is subject to exclusion from any place of business, forum, or social discourse.
Most businesses have prominently displayed signage
There is no law giving you the right to post here or any other site especially if those possess could be considered abusive or abrasive to any other denizens of WUWT and not be penalized for it.
Much like Greta at the UN you have a legal right to your opinion and a legal right to express said opinion but WUWT has no legal obligation to allow you to express your opinions in this forum if you do so against the rules for posting and civil discourse.

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2019 10:12 am

You are no longer funny enough to tolerate your idiocy.

Andrew Hamilton
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2019 10:41 am

Arctic sea ice minimum was 7 years ago.

John Tillman
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2019 11:06 am

Sea ice fluctuates naturally. The late ’70s were at or near the Arctic sea ice high of the 20th century. The height of Antarctic sea ice since 1979 dedicated satellite observations began was in 2014. Thus, since CO2 is well-mixed, we can have high confidence that it’s not responsible for Arctic and Antarctic fluctuations in sea ice maxima and minima.

This year’s Arctic sea ice summer minimum was practically the same as in 2007. The record low remains 2012, thanks to a strong cyclone that summer. The second (2019), third (2007) and fourth (2016) lowest years also suffered cyclones. This year ended up ever so slightly lower than 2007 due to a wind shift in mid-September.

It’s weather. The high years of 2009, 2013 and 2014 also followed low years during which more heat escaped from the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas. Based on that record, the next two years should be higher rather than lower, as happened in 2017 and 2018, following the low year of 2016. We’ll see.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2019 11:10 am


Go back a little further than 1979 and presto, the ice is greater in extent that it was for much of the 20th century before 1979. Tony Heller has a video showing this.

If ice extent meant something important I’d worry that the general increase over a century indicates a cooling trend. I for one would be happy to see the end of permafrost and all Arctic summers be ice free but that’s not going to happen in my lifetime. It’s way too cold.

You should visit. The Arctic is a fascinating place. Bring money.

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2019 1:35 pm

Explain then what this is showing, …comment image

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2019 2:00 pm

Rob banned? Ah shucks, just when I was starting to have some fun.

Oh, but this is about intelligent, informed discussion — I forgot momentarily.

Still, I was developing my troll-cracker-feeding skills, which can come in handy sometimes, but too much space cannot be wasted on this, I understand.

Let us all pause for a moment of silence to commemorate Rob’s double=banned demise.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
September 25, 2019 10:06 pm

As my grandmother always used to say to me “never count your chickens before they hatch!”

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
September 26, 2019 1:19 am

Rob, But you seem to have no eggs.

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2019 6:55 pm

Ice has decreased since the coldest period in the last 100 years.
Big whoop.
Regardless, There has been no ice loss in the last 10 years or so.

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
September 25, 2019 9:30 pm

The problem with utilizing the 41 year satellite record as a basis to determine the direction the climate is changing is it’s insufficient length. There are Climate affecting cycles of 10 – 12 years (The Solar Cycle) the potential 60 year periodicity of the AMOC and the 25 – 30 year PDO.

Many differing oscillations on different climate time-scales have been found or proposed. Here is a list of probable climate related oscillations.

The Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) – An eastward moving pattern of increased rainfall over the tropics with a period of 30 to 60 days.

The Quasi-biennial oscillation – a well-understood oscillation in wind patterns in the stratosphere around the equator. The dominant wind direction changes from easterly to westerly and back over a period of 28 months.

The El Niño Southern Oscillation – A large scale pattern of warmer and colder sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean with worldwide effects. It is a self-sustaining oscillation of between 2 and 8 years, whose causes have been well studied.

The Pacific decadal oscillation – The dominant pattern of sea surface variability in the North Pacific on a decadal scale. It is believed to be modulated by a combination of different physical processes.

The Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation – A basin wide variability in the Pacific Ocean with a period between 20 and 30 years.

The above listed oscillations with periods of greater than 20 years will not have repeated in the satellite record and so the satellite record is far too short to be predictive.
The following oscillations can also affect climate and will not show a complete cycle in the satellite record…
The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation – A pattern of variability in the North Atlantic of about 55 to 70 years, with effects on rainfall, droughts and hurricane frequency and intensity.

The Pacific Centennial Oscillation – (may be a climate model artifact)
a 60-year climate cycle recorded in many ancient calendars.

North African climate cycles – tens of thousands of years

Milankovitch cycles of 23,000 – 41,000 – 100,000 years

The glacial periods of the current ice age – period around 100 000 years

Some potential yet undetermined non-periodic oscillations:
The Arctic oscillation – no particular periodicity
The North Atlantic Oscillation – no particular periodicity
The North Pacific Oscillation – ?

Some natural periodicities in the sun exist, and these may or may not show up as periodicities in climate:
The Schwabe Cycle or sunspot cycle – about 11 years
The Hale Cycle or double sunspot cycle – about 22 years
The Gleissberg Cycle – a solar cycle of about 88 years
The Suess Cycle or De Vries Cycle – a solar cycle of about 200 years
The Hallstadtzeit/Hallstatt Cycle – a solar cycle of about 2,200 to 2,400 years

Tim Ivory
Reply to  Bryan A
October 1, 2019 7:32 am

Wow! This is endless fascinating. Can you refer a basic layman to more reading or a term I can use to wiki/google?

Reply to  griff
September 25, 2019 10:04 pm

@Bryan A

You obviously do not live in the U.S. – such signage is not permitted by our constitution and laws for the public square. Private clubs with a paid membership can issue and enforce their own rules and language. Discrimination is not allowed in the U.S. after our long and ongoing history of civil rights abuses and segregation.

What amazes me is the innate discrimination in folk like you who rally around Steyn who libeled Mann and condone serfdom and bullying in your bubbles. Just look at Monckton’s pathetic abuse of a kid in his puerile, very weak and obnoxious Op-ed today. Shame on all of you who glorify and support that behavior. I could write disparaging remarks about his goiter-like bugs eyes and British teeth which are just pure ad hominem but true. I plan to gather some friends together with legal advice and find a way to teach that pompous cretin a lesson in child abuse. He’ll probably run away and hide as he did with the potholer54 debate where he got so thoroughly schooled. It was painful to watch and read.

Reply to  Rob
September 26, 2019 1:32 am

Can you provide a link to the potholer54 debate, please?

I”d truly love to see how Moncton ran away and hid, as you claim.

Bryan A
Reply to  Rob
September 26, 2019 5:41 am

What about “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service”? Popular in many restaurants.
And YES …”We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” Is a valid sign in the U.S. and even California where I was born as the Fifth generation of my family in this state.

Refusal of service (banning) is even practiced by Google, Facebook, Twitter, if you say or post anything contrary to their orthodoxy. I know people that have ben banned from Facebook because they were reported for being offensive and had no recourse they didn’t even post foul language just something someone else disagreed with.

So WUWT isn’t legally obligated to give any particular person (including you) a forum to post whatever they want if it goes against the Rules of posting. s such, you have no “Legal” leg to stand on.

Reply to  Rob
September 26, 2019 10:40 am


Mr. Monckton’s “goiter-like bugs eyes” are a result of his long battle with Graves disease


Bulging eyes (Graves’ ophthalmopathy) is a direct effect of that disease.

How shameful for you that you use that as a tool to ridicule him. Then again, it appears you have no capability to experience shame.

Reply to  Roger Knights
September 25, 2019 11:24 am

Even a slow, relatively steady increase consistent with the temp rises since the Little Ice Age will continue the divergence from the alarmist models, in effect disproving them as theories.

Of course they will keep coming up with model modifications to try to excuse their failure in predicting escalating temperature rises with rising CO2. But the alarmist’s case, already ignored by most of the public, will be further undermined.

Reply to  kwinterkorn
September 26, 2019 1:46 pm


What makes you think they will modify their models? Their models have all consistently run far hotter than reality as warming is baked into them and they have yet to modify them. Why would they start now just because they are wrong?
Climate Model Issues – Greenhouse Feedbacks:

even when they are tuned to hindcast temperatures,
…they don’t reproduce them
comment image
Climate Model Issues – Greenhouse Feedbacks:

“…a 2001 paper by Willie Soon, et al. that remains important today in discussing the limitations of global climate models: “Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties.” Despite massive improvements in computing power, advances in technology, and important satellite measurement sensors, the modelers generally ignore measurements of the atmosphere, and stick with surface measurements that have multiple flaws, particularly the urban heat island effect in changing land use, even slightly. The abstract of the Soon et al. paper states…

Reply to  Roger Knights
September 26, 2019 8:22 am

Global warming stalled about 20 years ago and has yet to resume. Even the “true believer” scientists like Michael Mann have reluctantly conceded this point, yet the media and politicians have responded by becoming even more shrill and uniform and fanatical in their proclamations that “the world is getting warmer.” Science cannot kill this paradigm because it has become a cult and like other cults is not subject to empirical disconfirmation.

Earl Jantzi
Reply to  Roger Knights
September 30, 2019 7:49 am

It’s stalled already. Check out NOAA’s Climate Reference Network of new weather stations out in the boonies where they don’t NEED ADJUSTMENTS. No warming since late 2004. They line up with what the Satellites have been saying since they went up. DUH! All the “warming” was from “adjusting” the weather stations UP, and then the Historical records DOWN, to keep getting their “hottest on record” song they have been singing for years. The abstract for F. Moller(?) in the 1960’s, said “don’t ever let a meteorologist tell you CO2 controls the temperature. It, CO2, is a greenhouse gas ONLY in a completely DRY ATMOSPHERE. When you add moisture(the real green house gas) it completely overwhelms the CO2, and makes it irrelevent. None of the modeling programs even attempt to control for moisture.

Reply to  Earl Jantzi
September 30, 2019 9:07 am

Earl, you need to brush up on basic physics. Having the fast feedback water vapor (WV) sustain its own greenhouse effect would be like trying to lift yourself off the ground by pulling on your shoelaces. Atmospheric humidity is a function of temperature (the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship), without the non-condensing GHGs, water vapor would precipitate out of the atmosphere, and diminish the greenhouse effect, which would, in turn, lower the temperature, which leads to even more precipitation, and so on until there is virtually no WV left and global temperature would fall to -18°C (in fact lower because of the increased albedo of the snow- and ice-covered ground). WV is also altitude capped.

Ample physical evidence shows that carbon dioxide (CO₂) is the single most important climate-relevant greenhouse in Earth’s atmosphere. This is because CO₂, like ozone, N₂O, CH₄, and chlorofluorocarbons, does not condense and precipitate from the atmosphere at current climate temperatures, whereas WV can, and does. Non-condensing greenhouse gases, which account for 25% of the total terrestrial greenhouse effect, thus serve to provide the stable temperature structure that sustains the current levels of atmospheric water vapor and clouds via feedback processes that account for the remaining 75% of the greenhouse effect. Without the radiative forcing supplied by CO₂ and the other non-condensing greenhouse gases, the terrestrial greenhouse would collapse, plunging the global climate into an icebound Earth state. Excellent GHE -GHG summary: https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/wea.669

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
September 25, 2019 11:10 am

Perhaps. But they’re going to have to “temporarily” suspend democracy. I can’t imagine them trying that without causing an actual civil war,

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
September 25, 2019 2:04 pm

Well as I frequently mention, the best way to decide whether there is anthropogenic climate change is to use Karl Popper’s writings on the disproof of hypotheses.

Here is an example of his writing in action right here!




Reply to  Stephen Wilde
September 27, 2019 8:17 am

Indeed. Start with Marx, move to Gramsci and then to the Frankfurter Schule and then fast-forward to Greta Thunberg. Its hardly that simply, of course, but as a bare outline, its accurate.

Jimmy Haigh
September 25, 2019 2:30 am

I was an Applied Geology student at Strathclyde University from 1985 to 1989. The “Paradigm Shift” which changed the faculty’s thinking was the oil price crash of ’85/86. Until then most of the money came from the oil industry. After the crash it came from the CO2 monster.

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 4:26 am

David Middleton,

The point made by Jimmy Haigh not only “makes sense”, it is true.

From early 1980 Prime Minister Thatcher had been promoting the global warming scare and part of her promotion was to encourage the UK’s science and engineering research councils to place priority in funding climate-related research. This cost nothing because the UK’s total research budget was not increased; indeed, it fell because of cuts elsewhere.

So, when oil industry research funding was reduced by the oil price crash of ’85/86 the UK universities had to conduct global warming research: there was no source of research funds for anything else.


Reply to  Richard S Courtney
September 25, 2019 7:16 am

Richard, It has been research dollars and the fear of losing them that has driven most of the so called climatologist from the start of CAGW fiasco. During WWII we learned that better weather predictions were in our vital interest, e.g., D-landing, typhoon in the Pacific. After WWII as we entered to Cold War it was also in our strategic interest to better predict climate. During the 1960s we made missile carrying submarines one leg of our nuclear triad. So then better understanding of ocean dynamics became vital. Each step along the way we dumped ever more tax dollars into the system. We created consortiums basically at each corner of the nation, etc. We produced a lot of graduate students, even with high levels of funding more grad students than we needed. Then the Cold War ended. Research dollars might disappear or at least not at the levels they had been in the 1980s. The dates for the Cold War ending coincide with the beginning of the latest doom and gloom scenario relative to climate.

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  Edwin
September 25, 2019 9:52 am


Thanks. I agree.

Also, the timing of the US gaining interest in the global warming scare also corresponded with the end of the second millenium. History suggests the global warming scare or something similar was to be expected at that time.


Reply to  Edwin
September 26, 2019 12:14 pm

In this, among other things, Eisenhower was prescient.


Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address had two warnings: the most often noted: military industrial complex; the other, science-technological elites dictating public policy.
“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been over shadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
Such a scenario unfolded in the Soviet Union later known as Lysenkoism, whereby a science (anti-science) narrative dominated science agencies, and, in some realms, killed alternative and contrary expressions and ideas along with some of the scientists who espoused them.
Today, in the climate change industry with “consensus” science the only acceptable version of the truth, along with using Holocaust metaphors to describe and demonize those whose own evidence does not support the consensus narrative, we have another Inquisition whose purpose is to uphold the established belief system.

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
September 25, 2019 12:08 pm

That would make a great book research / documentary film topic to tackle.

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
September 25, 2019 2:22 pm
Brian R Catt
September 25, 2019 2:57 am

If CO2 doesn’t cause the change what does?

Sorry to be a bit one track but the short term warming humans observe in the interglacial can be wholly accounted for by three known solar cycles, as clearly demonstrated by the Fourier analysis of several time periods of direct and proxy temperature records, which show three dominant cycles that correspond closely with 3 known solar cycles. And no monatonic signal that would be there if CO2 was significant. “All we see is cycles”. If you think its the sun, now watch a man tell you how, serious science based on analysis of hard observational data that identifies the probable cause very precisely


Paper is here, understanding of it in the above talk.

DOI: 10.2174/1874282301711010044

As for the longer term ice age cycle I suggest the atmosphere plays no causal part in that, but delivers a strong stabilising effect through varying water vapour effects with SST to compensate for the changing ocean temperatures.. I have produced a paper that quantifies how all three Milankovitch cycles that drive it , as Fourier analysis of the ice age cycle records also show, also drive large observed variations in submarine volcanicity through the increases in daily crustal movement, solid tides, that increase emissions by more than enough at MIlankovitch peaks to drive interglacial warmings of the oceans directly, with their heat input, >6×10^25 Joules in 7Ka works, if the atmosphere keeps things balanced at the surface. The heating effect of this rise in ocean temperatures from below, unstoppable by any available control, even by atmospheric coolings such as the Dryas in our own interglacial, are eventually falt lined by the massive controls of radiation varying at T^4 and the surface cooling by evaporation, cloud formation and increasing cloud albedo as SST rises, that ends the rise by insolation reduction as soon as it gets much above today’s temperatures.

I suggest interglacial maximums depend on the relative strength of the gravitational movements induced in the crust by the combined effects of the three main Milankovitch cycles, hence the level of heat burden placed into the oceans by magma, etc. over this relatively short period.


POINT: CO2 plays no significant part in either of these wholly natural effects, short or long term. There are credible natural alternatives that can cause the short and long term cycles, with much stronger natural evidence to support them. No models are required to prove it, when you have much stronger evidence to convict other obvious causes that are clearly happening in the right place at the right time, and working from actual observations backwards, not predicting from guesswork there is no evidence for..

Reply to  Brian R Catt
September 25, 2019 4:40 am

… Fourier analysis of several time periods …

That’s the most misused technique in the tool box. Fourier analysis is valid for a repeating waveform. Almost nothing in nature qualifies.

Reply to  commieBob
September 25, 2019 5:06 am

“…Almost nothing in nature qualifies.”

Sssh, if you say that too loud all the planets, moons, asteroids, will stop dead in their orbits. They will also all stop rotating, as will the sun. Tides, magnetic fields, diurnal heating, etc are all social constructs I presume??

No, nothing at all periodic in nature. Definitely nothing that could affect weather or climate.

Reply to  Frenchie77
September 25, 2019 8:52 am

There are some things that are strictly periodic. There aren’t actually that many. Then there is everything else.

Reply to  commieBob
September 25, 2019 12:12 pm

Not even planetary movements are strictly periodic over really long periods.

Reply to  commieBob
September 25, 2019 7:11 am

Although the sine wave does not match the shape of many things in nature, it doe point out periodic and regularly occurring highs and lows. It is far better to look at potential causes that match those periods even if the shape does not perfectly match.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  commieBob
September 25, 2019 7:58 am

“Fourier analysis is valid for a repeating waveform. Almost nothing in nature qualifies”

What about the three major Milankovitch cycles, widely acknowledged to be a significant cause of long-term climate variations, that are smoothly varying (almost perfect sinusoidal) waveforms that have repeated—from ~11 thousand cycles (orbital eccentricity) to ~175 thousand cycles (axial precession)—over the 4.5 billion year existence of Earth? (graphs of cyclic waveforms available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles )

Besides, why do we have regular, repeating yearly seasons on Earth, which mimic a sinusoidal waveform when plotted in terms of temperature variations at a specific latitude away from the tropics?

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
September 25, 2019 11:57 am

Congratulations, you just enumerated all definitely cyclic climatic phenomena (well not quite, there are more than three Milankovich cycles).

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  tty
September 25, 2019 12:55 pm

tty, ALL, really? What about El Nino and La Nina events? Can’t be fit to exactly sinusoidal waveforms, but still cyclical enough to merit Fourier analyses.

Oh, and what about solar cycles . . . you know, the Schwabe, Hale, Gleissberg, deVries. Eddy, Bray (formerly Hallstatt) and Sanchez-Sema solar cycles that are largely revealed by benefit of Fourier analysis. The Sun’s output does effect Earth’s climate.

I suspect that if I though about it more, I could come up with some other highly periodic, cyclical events that affect climate . . . the nature of E- and B-fields in EM radiation comes to mind.

Reply to  tty
September 25, 2019 3:04 pm

Nino/Nina are quasiperiodical, not cyclic, i e they recur but not with any fixed period. And this is true for almost all natural phenomena, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, epidemics, hurricanes, plagues of locusts, asteroid impacts, floods, heinrich events, dansgaard-oeschger events, you name it.

Not even sunspots are strictly cyclical since the period length varies considerably.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  commieBob
September 25, 2019 11:51 am

The ‘magic’ of Fourier analysis isn’t that it is restricted to simple, repeating sine waves. That would be trivial. Instead, it is that any apparently erratic waveform can be reconstructed perfectly by a series of sinusoids of different amplitudes and phases. As long as the time series is long enough for one complete cycle, you can be sure that the periodic contribution is present. The trick is in associating each and every sinusoid with some physically real process. That is basically what the Milankovitch cycles provide for the Fourier analysis.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 25, 2019 12:32 pm

… any apparently erratic waveform can be reconstructed perfectly by a series of sinusoids of different amplitudes and phases.

It can be the craziest waveform you’ve ever seen … as long as it repeats continuously.

The thing that gets up my nose is when people try to apply Fourier analysis to data which does not repeat.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  commieBob
September 25, 2019 7:06 pm

Both eyes and ears apply Fourier analysis to non repeating signals all the time.
Every time you hear one sound that is higher than another your ear is doing a
Fourier transform. Similarly every time you see green light rather than red again
your eye is analysing real time data in terms of frequencies. Does that get up your nose?

Reply to  commieBob
September 25, 2019 7:54 pm

Both eyes and ears apply Fourier analysis to non repeating signals all the time.

They do not. Fourier analysis is a specific mathematical technique and can be misused. Your eyes and ears respond to signals in a physical way.

Here’s an easy example. Suppose that you have a continuous 1 kHz sine wave. Suppose also that you set your sampling window such that it is one and a quarter cycles long. Your Fourier analysis will yield many harmonics with energy. They are spurious. Your ear will just hear the 1kHz note because the harmonics don’t actually exist. more examples

Reply to  commieBob
September 26, 2019 2:22 am

All the world can be represented by fourier analysis, it is just a mathematical enterprise. Any electrical engineer will tell you that. There are many, many mathematical means to represent reality, some singularly some in combination.

But to say it is abuse to to apply fourier analysis to non-repetitive data is foolhardy. A common application of fourier analysis is simply to do just that.

As to the non-repetitive nature of reality, even though irrelevant to the “correct” use of fourier analysis, to find truly never repeating patterns in nature is difficult. Ask any cryptographer, they scour nature for truly random patterns. Particularly when one considers the weather, to say it is non-repetitive must be shocking to see the sun rise every day. I mean really!

Reply to  commieBob
September 26, 2019 8:51 am

Frenchie77 September 26, 2019 at 2:22 am

Suppose I window the data and apply a FFT and I will get a set of harmonics. Then I move the window over, repeat the process and get a different set of harmonics. That’s what happens with non-repeating waveforms. Apparently the harmonics have no meaning.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  commieBob
September 26, 2019 10:05 am

But the origin of this thread was about fundamental frequencies, not harmonics. A good analyst should recognize the ringing for what it is and ignore it.

Bob Smith
Reply to  commieBob
September 26, 2019 10:10 pm

Normally I have nothing to try to correct that is submitted by commieBob. However, I disagree on his limitations on Fourier Analysis. Fourier Transforms are just a set of equations for converting between the time domain and the frequency domain. Most people are making use of Discrete Fourier Transforms (DFT) when doing data analysis using digital computers. There is more than one way to define a DFT. I have found one version to be more useful when dealing with transient events and the other form more useful with effectively continuous waveforms. A properly defined DFT will let the engineer determine the frequency content of a systems’ response to an impulsive forcing function. Basically you can determine the natural frequencies of the system. The time window has to fully encompass the time waveform and proper anti-aliasing filtering applied to avoid frequency errors.

The DFT function is also used to determine the frequency content of pseudo-random waveforms that are effectively defined within the analysis time window. The pseudo-random waveform does not have to repeat within the time window.

I would suggest caution when doing frequency analysis using various spectrum analyzers since the selection of the specific DFT equation may vary between vendors and how the analyzer was last used (and the settings left on it).

Some of you may have learned this in class, however most of this I learned while trying to track down what the “right answer” was for a DFT of my data.

Reply to  Brian R Catt
September 25, 2019 5:04 am

About the time David was doing his school work I was suffering through a graduate-level course in glaciology. We considered and rejected carbon dioxide changes as of an insufficient magnitude to drive such large changes in the climate. The best we came up with was the opening of the Drake Passage drove Southern Hemisphere cooling by establishing the circum-Antarctic current and the rise of the Isthmus of Panama and increased European landmass north of 65 degrees kicked off Northern Hemisphere glaciation by rearranging Atlantic circulation. Milankovitch cycles obviously played a major role. Uplift of the Himalayas and Andes were also kicked around as possible causes but being dumb students we couldn’t figure out how and by how much they factored into things.

John Tillman
Reply to  GeoNC
September 25, 2019 10:37 am

IMO the best explanation for the onset of the Cenozoic Ice House at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary is the opening of deep oceanic channels between Antarctica, South America and Australia. The uplift of Tibet as the Indian Plate collided with the Eurasian might also have had some effect. Weathering and CO2, not so much.

The Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum is also associated with a temorary re-shoaling of the Drake Passage by the movement of the small Scotia tectonic plate across it. The plate had formed when South America and Antarctica rifted apart.

The onset of Pleistocene continental ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere, to match those on Antarctica, is associated with the shoaling and closure of the Inter-American Seaway by the Isthmus of Panama during the late Pliocene.

IMO Precambrian Snowball Earth episodes also ended thanks to tectonics rather than CO2 buildup alone.

Reply to  Brian R Catt
September 25, 2019 5:34 am

One needs to consider random and chaotic events also.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Brian R Catt
September 25, 2019 9:41 am

“Many scientists believe that ocean acidification from high carbon dioxide levels will reduce the calcium carbonate in algae, especially in the near future”

Carbonic acid from dissolved CO2 cannot alter its own equilibrium. More CO2 means more carbonic acid means more bicarbonate means more carbonate, means more calcium carbonate. It’s that simple, just and extended equilibrium. Only the addition of an outside source of acid can alter this equilibrium.

In addition, seawater is a vcomplex buffer and the weak acid, carbonic acid, has almost no effect on this system. Even NOAA admits that they can find no lowering of seawater pH anywhere in the world.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Charles Higley
September 25, 2019 11:58 am

You said, “Even NOAA admits that they can find no lowering of seawater pH anywhere in the world.” If Nick Stokes sees that I expect him to jump all over you! Can you provide a citation for that?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 26, 2019 12:33 pm

Clyde, these links should help. That statement by NOAA came from emails obtained via FOI requests.

The Total Myth of Ocean Acidification: Science! Edition https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/07/25/the-total-myth-of-ocean-acidification-science-edition/

The phrase “ocean acidification” was literally invented out of thin air in 2003 by Ken Caldiera to enable liberal arts majors to sound sciencey when scaring the bejesus out of the scientifically illiterate masses. The geochemical process has been well-understood for about 100 years… But didn’t get a crisis-monger nickname until 2003.


NOAA scientists admit in private that they can’t name any place affected by ocean acidification «

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  KcTaz
September 27, 2019 11:22 am

Thank you for the link. I remember reading David’s article when it came out. I went back and skimmed it. His figures 1 through 3 show a lowering of pH over time, which is the remark by Charles that I took issue with: “Even NOAA admits that they can find no lowering of seawater pH anywhere in the world.”

I’m familiar with the history of the invention of the term “ocean acidification,” having written about it myself: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/09/15/are-the-oceans-becoming-more-acidic/

September 25, 2019 3:08 am

I wish I could have been a geologist. Tossing the eons about in my mind. Thinking of the Pliocene and the Isthmus of Panama and all that stuff. So much stuff to study and so little time.

Hokey Schtick
September 25, 2019 3:18 am

At this point, logic and reason have gone out the window. If it hasn’t got pigtails, it’s not going to make the news cycle.

Reply to  Hokey Schtick
September 25, 2019 5:44 am

…pigtails and of an age and sex and mental condition that it is politically impossible ridicule no matter how many regurgitated lies per sentence are brosdcast from between those pigtails.

john harmsworth
Reply to  DocSiders
September 25, 2019 7:04 am

It seems obvious to me that we should immediately establish a world council of autistic teenagers to provide solutions to all our other problems. Drug abuse, cancer, sleazy politicians, homelessness; all swept away by the power of addled belief.
Has anything in this long, sorry saga ever shown more clearly that its all politics than this. Using a functionally disabled kid as a “proof”. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

Reply to  john harmsworth
September 25, 2019 5:25 pm

… not to solve the problems; she’s not here to solve anything.

she just wants to set the agenda.

with claiming to be a problem solver comes the responsibility that is associated with the failure to solve the problem.

this spoiled little waste of oxygen will never accept any responsibility for anything.

Reply to  DocSiders
September 25, 2019 8:23 am

Just WAIT till the little tyke declares she is … transitioning. Then shim will be bulletproof.

Robert Keon
September 25, 2019 3:18 am

Thanks for the enlightening post David but:
“Way back in the Pleistocene (1976-1980), when I was a young geology student”.
The Pleistocene ended about 11,000 years ago. Are you testing us here?

Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 5:13 am

Wasn’t that when the Great Ice Storm hit? (The Connecticut wife, who was in HS in exactly those years, is a bit too crabby to ask first thing in the morning.)

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 5:01 pm

The first time ever that Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, closed due to snow.

mike the morlock
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 7:23 pm

Hi David
That brings back memories. I’m from Milford just west of New Haven. Thankfully a year or so earlier my Dad bought a snow blower. Still I lot of work.
When it started I put on my parka grabbed my pipe & Tobacco plus a half pint of old Mr Boston and went out for a walk in it.
I think it was early evening.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 6:26 am

LOL. Aren’t profs funny with phrases sometimes. I still have some stuck in my mind from some of the wits I was taught by in the early 80’s.

Reply to  TRM
September 25, 2019 8:50 am

Had one professor who, after a difficult class, would say, “This, too, shall pass. The question is, will you?”

Reply to  TRM
September 25, 2019 3:36 pm

Our physics master at my Grammar School in the 1960s had as his signature phrase:
“When I was a boy and West Kirby was on DC mains”.
Oh happy days of innocence.

James Francisco
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 8:04 am

David. I’ve had a falling out with a 74 year old cousin over climate change. I was trying to discuss the matter and mentioned the global cooling scare of the 1970s. I will never forget the blank stare I received. I was hoping to learn if she was unaware of the controversy or just didn’t have an answer because the discussion ended shortly after she said “Oh you’re one of those people”. I don’t think that the global cooling scare promoted by scientist of the 1970s can be mentioned enough.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  James Francisco
September 25, 2019 12:49 pm

The Global Cooling scare was what got me skeptical about climate science.

When it first appeared in the literature, I didn’t automatically dismiss the idea, I thought maybe the scientists were on to something and I was very interested in what they were on to. But, just as today with the Global Warming scare,the scientists back in the 1970’s produced lots of speculation and no evidence that humans were involved in cooling the globe, although there was evidence that some volcanic eruptions had lowered the Earth’s temperature by a degree or two for a couple of years. But that was a short-term effect and they never connected human activity to any cooling, they just speculated a lot about it.

So, after a certain period of time, I started to get a little frustrated with what I was reading. I know speculation from fact, and they were feeding me speculation and expecting me to consider it as established fact.

And when the Global Warming scare started up in the 1980’s I was primed and ready to be skeptical of their claims, and was not shocked when they continued to offer speculation as facts, and do so to this very day.

I think the Global Cooling scare would have been fairly familiar to the general public back in the 1970’s. There were plenty of articles written about it, and tv specials, too.

The Climategate Data Bastardizers erased the cold 1970’s from the global surface temperature charts. This was necessary because their real intent was to erase the warm decade of the 1930’s, but in order to lower the 1930’s on the chart, they had to raise the 1970’s on the charts.

Here is a good illustration. At the link below you will see the U.S. surface temperature chart on the left (Hansen 1999) and the fraudulent Hockey Stick global temperature chart on the right.

Looking at the US Hansen 1999 chart it is obvious why there was a Global Cooling scare. Hansen 1999 shows the temperatures being very low in the 1910’s, rising over the decades to the highpoint of the 1930’s, and then the temperatures cooled for more decades down to the 1970’s, and to the same low levels as the 1910’s, where climate scientists were voicing fears the temperatures were going to keep going down into another Ice Age.

But, if you look at the fraudulent Hockey Stick you would be wondering why there was a Global Cooling scare. What global cooling you would say after looking at the “hotter and hotter” Hockey Stick. One person on WUWT recently gave the Hockey Stick chart as the reason he didn’t believe in the Global Cooling scare. It didn’t show on the chart, so he didn’t believe in it. He just wasn’t looking at the right chart. He should have looked at the charts the climate scientists of the 1970’s were looking at. That was before NASA Climate and NOAA and the Climategate Charlatans bastardized all the global temperature records. I have a good example of how they have bastardized the U.S. surface temperature record now which I’ll save for later.

This is another demonstration of why the Hockey Stick chart is fraudulent. It doesn’t represent reality. All unmodified regional surface temperature charts from around the world, show the same temperatue profile as the Hansen 1999 chart profile, i.e., that it was just as warm in the 1930’s as it is today, and they all show the cooling from the 1930’s to the 1970’s.

NO unmodified regional surface temperatue chart resembles the fraudulent Hockey Stick chart. The Hockey Stick chart represents only itself, not reality.

Hansen 1999 is the True Global surface temperature profile, and this profile tells us we have nothing to worry about from CO2. Despite sll the CO2 humans have put in the air, the temperatures today are no warmer than they were in the 1930’s, when CO2 was not a significant factor in temperaures even according to the IPCC. This means there is no unprecedented warmth today, which means CO2 is a minor player, which means CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) is not going to happen. Greta and the other children should stop worrying. The people who set ouit to bastardize the global temperature record for political purposes have created something truly evil and harmful to children and adults. I heard Greta’s anguished cry. It doesn’t matter than she is anguished over a falsehood, she is still anguished. And the Climategate Conspirators caused it all. One of these days, Greta will figure that out.


Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 26, 2019 9:09 am

Don’t be so hard on the global coolers of the seventies. Sure, there were guys like Steven Schneider who blamed it on particulate pollution and said it would cause an ice age in 50 years unless we throttled down industry immediately (this was shortly before he abruptly flipped to the man made global warming camp), but most of those coolists were moderate and responsible, like George Kukla and Reid “father of climatology” Bryson. Both said that global cooling was part of a gradual slide toward the next glaciation, and neither man ever recanted his position even while living through the global warming episode of the late 20th century.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 26, 2019 1:22 pm

I, too, lived through the Global Cooling–The Ice Age Cometh scare. As I recall, the scientists were saying that cooling was caused by fossil fuels and CO2 and if we didn’t stop using them, there would be no food because it would be too cold for food to grow.
They were very concerned about population growth, especially, Erhlich and his now famous student, Holdren, Obama’s Science Advisor. They said the number one health problem in the US by the year 2000 would be starvation unless we changed our EVIL ways and quit using fossil fuels and controlled population growth. (Malthusian rearing his ugly head again!)
He was just a tad off as the number one health problem in the US in the year 2000 was obesity, not starvation.
Feel free to correct my memory.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 5:23 pm

Another favourite expression by ancient profs in the 70’s at CSM was to paraphrase, ‘Well when I was young, back in the Eocene……”

Reply to  Robert Keon
September 25, 2019 4:59 am

The Pleistocene does not end for the arrival of an interglacial. Otherwise it would have ended 125,000 years ago, or 400,000 years ago. The Holocene is just a name for the latest interglacial within the Pleistocene.

The Pleistocene will be right back after these messages.

Reply to  Robert Keon
September 26, 2019 8:56 am

Geologists decided that the Pleistocene “must” have ended 11kya because the beginning of “our” particular interglacial also coincided with the advent of agriculture and the rise of civilization, our primitive ancestors having been too stupid or perhaps lacking in grammatical language and thus social complexity to undertake such innovations during the previous (Eemian) interglacial. The change of terminology from Pleistocene to Holocene (the equivalent of the more recently proposed anthropocene) was a peculiarly anthropocentric conceit. There is absolutely no geological or astronomical evidence that the current interglacial is not just another, routine interglacial in the Pleistocene epoch or Quarternary period which are effectively one coterminous geological episode that has yet to run its course. In short, the Holocene is a fable and the Pleistocene glacial epoch is still alive and well. Two thousand years from now, no one will doubt this.

St. Ferdinand III
September 25, 2019 3:23 am

How can plant food .0004 of gas by weight cause anything? Gaia emits 95%.

Obviously ‘science’ would state that complex convection systems produce plant food, which is recycled and used by plants to produce oxygen. Apparently this is known as photosynthesis.

You could multiply the trace chemical by 100x and nothing would happen. Not a thing.

There is no jar, no lid, no glass house ceiling in the atmosphere. Heated whatever, will happily pass back, out or in. Cloud cover likewise does not trap anything. According to this cult more plant food means less cloud cover anyway (wrong)….Water vapour is more important in convection systems as well, and negative feedback loops include cooling.

This cult is so inane it defies any rationale explanation – until you consider, money, power, totalitarian control and the sick fact that adults follow a half-wit 16 yr old moron from Sweden as a prophet of hope.

Reply to  St. Ferdinand III
September 25, 2019 5:27 am

How can plant food .0004 of gas by weight cause anything?

They I hope you don’t ingest 4 nanograms per kilogram of botulinum toxin, the deadliest toxin in the world. It is only 0.000000000004 by weight. You would not survive to the lesson in molecular effects.

Paul Miller
Reply to  Javier
September 25, 2019 5:49 am

dude, you confuse toxins and biological processes with physical gas effects. non-sequiturs are not effective argumentation.

Reply to  Paul Miller
September 25, 2019 6:30 am

You drink a lot of beer and you’ll damage your liver. Ipso facto all that CO2 can kill. That’s modern fizzicks for you or as those at the cutting edge prefer to call it icky fizz.

Reply to  observa
September 25, 2019 3:07 pm

It is the ethanol in the beer not the carbon dioxide that damages the liver.

Reply to  Javier
September 25, 2019 6:33 am

Nice Try Javier, but for CO2 we are talking about its impact in absorbing LWR. So using your comparison of the effects of a poison to be the same as absorbing LWR, then the effects of H2O(water vapor) absorption have already killed us 50 times over and the effect from CO2 killing us one more time on top of that is pretty pointless.

Reply to  Hum
September 25, 2019 12:55 pm

Then you seem to ignore that most of the greenhouse effect of CO2 is due to the first 40 ppm in the atmosphere, when it is even 10 times less abundant. The “it is a trace gas” argument is a stupid one, sorry. People should not spouse ridiculous arguments just because they appear to support their tribe’s beliefs.

Reply to  Javier
September 26, 2019 5:39 am

Not at all, but maybe if you would have taken your own advice “People should not spouse ridiculous arguments just because they appear to support their tribe’s beliefs” we would not be having this conversation pointing out how ridiculous your comparison of CO2 to a poison is.

Reply to  Javier
September 26, 2019 3:30 pm

What would that 4 nanograms per kilogram of botulinum toxin do to you if you first dumped it into the ocean, waited a bit and then ingested some ocean water? That is a more correct comparison than one human ingesting 4 nanograms of botulinum toxin, is it not?

Reply to  St. Ferdinand III
September 25, 2019 7:06 am

Nit-picking correction: 400ppm is by particle (or mole basis if you prefer), not weight.

Joseph Campbell
Reply to  St. Ferdinand III
September 25, 2019 7:17 am

St. Ferdy III: I assumed equilibrium conditions and calculated atmospheric thermodynamic properties for atmospheres containing 400 ppm, 800 ppm, and 4000 ppm of CO2. To the fourth decimal place, no change…

Bryan A
Reply to  St. Ferdinand III
September 25, 2019 9:49 am

“You could multiply the trace chemical by 100 and nothing would happen”
Not necessarily…
Although Submarines can reach ambient CO2 levels of 30,000 ppm a slight affect is noticed, many plants have issues over 5000 ppm.
Current ambient levels are around 410 – 420 ppm. 100 x that would be 42,000 ppm and would not be recommended for prolonged exposure. It would also prove toxic for numerous plant and animal species.as far as temperature goes, due to the logarithmic nature of CO2, it has little additional affect above 3500 ppm.

John Tillman
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 11:33 am

That is about the CO2 concentration in exhaled human breath.

CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere probably peaked at around 35% in the Late Hadean or Early Archean. Naturally, the Paleoproterozoic Huronian Snowball Earth glaciatioon has been blamed on lowered levels of the magic gas.

Bryan A
Reply to  John Tillman
September 25, 2019 12:15 pm

And that was a time well suited to Anaerobic lifeforms, a time prior to when Photosynthesis began oxygenating the atmosphere and eliminating most anaerobic life. Aerobic Life today will perish at concentrations of 350,000PPM (35%).

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
September 25, 2019 1:12 pm

Yes. Optimum CO2 were the levels under which land plants evolved, ie 1500 to 4500 ppm. Plants had to evolve the CAM and C4 pathways in order to adapt to CO2 concenterations under 1000 ppm. The numerous and important forest and field crops which still use the C3 pathway come close to starving during glaciations, when CO2 drops below 200 ppm. Present 400 ppm is still far below the optimum, ie 900 to 1300, at which commercial greenhouses keep the level of plant food in their air.

Reply to  Bryan A
September 25, 2019 3:30 pm

40,000 ppm is close to the amount of CO2 in exhaled breath, and having that much in the air would not be healthy long-term since the breathing reflex is keyed to the amount of CO2. Breathing air with that much CO2 would make you pant more or less continuously. It is however not in any way toxic, or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation would be impossible.

On the other hand 10,000 ppm is less than the minimum level in your lungs immediately upon inhalation and would probably have minimal long-term effects.

Contrary to popular belief the breathing reflex is not controlled by the amount of oxygen in the lungs, only by CO2. This is what makes hypoxia insidious, if you are not physically active, you just “fall asleep”.

Ron Long
September 25, 2019 3:36 am

Great posting of the geologic record in action, David! I saw immediatly in Fig. 1 the impact of the Columbia River Large Igneous Province event. Then the event is indicated in following figures and in your summary. Also remember, the Columbia River flood basalts were matched by the upwelling basaltic event south of the Yellowstone Hotspot trace, the Rift Basalts in the northern half of Nevada. I have spent a lot of field time in these two zones, because there was localized segregation of a more felsic component and the subsequent generation of gold deposits, including the famous Sleeper gold deposit.

Bruce Cobb
September 25, 2019 3:50 am

Oh yeah? Then how do you explain the carbon bomb-driven marine heat wave occurring in the Pacific now? 90% of our heat gets stored there, because it has to go somewhere, not because we can’t measure it. Who knows what kinds of fires are being lit right now beneath the waves, soon to become raging infernos? Just because we can’t see it or measure it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. In fact, that makes it even scarier. Halloween is just around the corner. Mother Nature just may have some “surprises” in store for us, and it won’t be sweet. /sarc

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
September 25, 2019 4:30 am

Here is a typical bit of climate hysteria straight from the IPCC-funded shills:

“The report found that the frequency of heat waves in oceans has very likely doubled since 1982. And things are probably going to get worse. By 2081, the frequency of these extreme events could jump by 20 to 50 times, depending on how successful the world is at cutting down on the greenhouse gas emissions heating our planet.”

Now read it again with some slight adjustments:

“The report found that the frequency of heat waves in oceans has very likely doubled since 1982. And things are probably going to get worse. By 2081, the frequency of these extreme events could jump by 20 to 50 times, depending on how successful the world is at cutting down on the greenhouse gas emissions heating our planet.”

The truth is that nobody can provide a mechanism to get from man-made CO2 to “Oceans Killed By Heat Blob” and publishing this sort of garbage just makes people turn off.

Ron Long
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
September 25, 2019 5:01 am

Bruce, as I read through your comments I was thinking “I hope Bruce adds a sarc tag, otherwise we will know he is crazy”, and then you saved yourself at the end. Good comments!

Don Jindra
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
September 25, 2019 6:46 am

“we don’t know what fires are being lit under the sea,” — Fires under the sea? That’s ridiculous hyperbole. It sure isn’t science.

September 25, 2019 3:51 am

“A Clean Kill of the Carbon Dioxide-Driven Climate Change Hypothesis?”
According to the abstract, the new paper doesn’t dispute that CO₂ reduced, or that this was responsible for cooling. Its title is “Reduced continental weathering and marine calcification linked to late Neogene decline in atmospheric CO2”. It just says the cause of CO₂ reduction was marine calcification rather than weathering.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 25, 2019 5:06 am

It kills the “weathering thermostat” hypothesis, which is an important part of the CO2 hypothesis that changes in CO2 have governed changes in temperature over time.

Jean Parisot
Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 25, 2019 5:37 am

Which explains how it slipped past the team’s censors.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 25, 2019 5:40 am

Yep…elevated high CO2 levels caused more calcification…..the opposite of the ocean acidification claim

…and the sediments didn’t dissolve either

AGW is not Science
Reply to  David Middleton
September 26, 2019 8:06 am

And what you were taught in the 1970s, since it predated the politicization of so-called “climate science,” was much more like, you know, ACTUAL “science” than the nonsense being blathered on about from every soapbox today.

John Tillman
Reply to  David Middleton
September 27, 2019 1:33 pm

In the early ’70s, false prophet of doom Paul Ehrlich brought in his outside Marxist anthropolgy prof buddy to lecture Stanford Human Biology majors.

So you haven’t overstated the case.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 25, 2019 2:30 pm

The seemingly key, final sentence of the abstract seems incomprehensible to anyone but a specialist:

Our work highlights a mechanism whereby, in addition to deep-sea dissolution, changes in marine calcification acted to modulate carbonate compensation in response to reduced weathering linked to the late Neogene cooling and decline in atmospheric partial pressure of carbon dioxide.

I can find no traction in phrases like “to modulate carbonate compensation”.

Even as a specialist, I would never write an abstract like that. I would try to write it in a way to be understood by a broader audience.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
September 25, 2019 4:18 pm

“The seemingly key, final sentence of the abstract seems incomprehensible to anyone but a specialist”
Yet David says it is a clean kill.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  David Middleton
September 26, 2019 9:26 am

Of course, the “carbon dioxide driven climate change hypothesis” was DOA, so this is more of a “bullet to the head of a zombie” than a kill of something that ever had any actual life.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 25, 2019 8:25 pm

Yet David says it is a clean kill.

And in the main event of the evening, Stokes puts his boy Kernoodle up against Middleton to see just who really is a worthy scientific authority around these here parts I tell ya what!

Let’s get ready to rumbuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuullll . . .

In this corner, we have Kernoodle, Stokes chosen champion. Let’s see his background:

I lost any formal aspirations towards a scientific career, as I eventually dismissed university life as predominately a vacation for affluent children of wealthy patrons of good old boys clubs. I also arrived at the conclusion that an office door in a science department with my name on it would feel like a tombstone. I, obviously, was a misfit here.

But wait! All is not lost!

One day, unexpectedly, I found great interest in an abstract human figure drawing.


*APPLAUSE* WHEW! YAAAAY! All’s well that ends artsy for science misfits!

And in this corner, we have Middleton. What’s he been up to in the science world lately?

My name is Dave Middleton. I have been a geoscientist in the evil oil industry since 1981. I have a BS in Earth Science (Geology concentration) from Southern Connecticut State University and I minored in Mathematics.

This Blog is dedicated to my favorite hobby…Debunking the junk science of radical environmentalists…Particularly the junk science of anthropogenic global warming.


Place yer bets people.

Reply to  sycomputing
September 26, 2019 6:28 pm


I think you misunderstood. I was not questioning David M’s claim. Rather, I was questioning the true skill of the abstract writers, who would require a person of David M’s expertise to sift through their obscure writing style to reveal the underlying implications of their work. I was expressing dissatisfaction with the oft overly pretentious attempt to construct convincing sounding sentences with awkward wording, at the expense of providing clear explanations.

Nick S, of course, took the opportunity to extend my comment beyond the bounds that I intended. That a non expert like moi could not see through the obscurity does not mean that David’s conclusion is not there — I just cannot see it in those words of the abstract, because I am not familiar, in that short of a space of using them, with what those words specifically mean. Nick, thus, misrepresented me, in a sense, and you fell for it, syco, to condemn me as the lowly, multi-disciplined-science-math misfit that I am. (^_^) … I’m okay with what I am — I’ve learned things that you and nobody else can through my choices of pursuits.

How many other straight, male, former dancer, visual artist, former global warming advocates, turned extreme climate skeptics do you know? (^_^) I think that this says quite a bit about how screwed-up climate science is, when a person like me can eventually spot the crap in it.

Reply to  sycomputing
September 26, 2019 10:47 pm

I think you misunderstood. I was not questioning David M’s claim.

No, whether you were or weren’t was irrelevant to my purpose. Of course, you couldn’t have known. Your not getting that is most certainly my fault all the way. I do not possess the “Keyes” of grace; if you get my drift. I am but a worthless and loathsome fellow of He Who Hath Just Been Named.

Nick S, of course, took the opportunity to extend my comment beyond the bounds that I intended.

Yep, he sure did . . . exactly right. And that’s what I was all on about in the first place. I didn’t care what you’d said, since I knew that what you’d said didn’t matter to Stokes either. He was just using you to once again toss his Miscreant Nefarious Nicker’s onto the coals as one who Stokes a fire most unscrupulously. Him thought himself was gonna be clever in some fashion or other I reckon.

Regardless, I think you took this rather well given the subtle surreptitiousness of my cryptic criticism which, again, was directed toward Stokes and his loathsome beguiling. I sure appreciate that, as I was thinking I was prolly going to have to apologize for it, e.g., if you’d Stoked your Nickers into a fiery tussle. I see, however, that perhaps your background in philosophy (i.e., in logic and reason) has served you as well as it could’ve given the perturbation (is that a word in climate science?) I myself caused in this instance.

Or not. To be honest I really can’t know what you’re thinking 🙂

I can know I certainly could’ve piloted much better my attempt at bopping Stokes about the head and shoulders for his purposefully pernicious, rancorously repugnant, iniquitously illegitimate, application of your comment. Nevertheless, you sir managed most handsomely that same bungled attempt in an almost Krug Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut fashion. Now, I don’t care who ya are, that’s some pretty darn tootin’ good wine, that is.

How many other straight, male, former dancer, visual artist, former global warming advocates, turned extreme climate skeptics do you know? (^_^)

Well, wait a minute now. You forgot in your description one whose ” . . . anatomy arose from the turbulent patterns of wild fluid fires, in a cosmic cataclysm that fixed life’s genesis on the shores of terrestrial fluid waters.”

Thus, therefore and hence . . . purty much just you Boodrow! You’re the only one!

You take care now, ya hear? 🙂

Reply to  sycomputing
September 27, 2019 11:58 am


I trust that you understand that my feel for the limitations of language and initial linguistic encounters between strangers on the internet makes me incapable of harboring any hard feelings towards your cyber appearance in this forum.

I can take a hit, in other words. (^_^) … especially if it’s for a good cause.

Yours truly,

An evolved bag of primordial sea water with some semblance of an evolved brain, barely standing on stilts and sloshing about in the controversy that is climate … “science”.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 26, 2019 8:30 pm

Its title is “REDUCED CONTINENTAL WEATHERING … linked to late Neogene decline in atmospheric CO2”. It just says the cause of CO₂ reduction was marine calcification rather than weathering.

Mr. Stokes, hopefully you see the contradiction in your statement.

steve case
September 25, 2019 3:55 am

We’ve already experienced nearly 1.0 ºC of warming since pre-industrial time. Another 0.5 to 1.0 ºC between now and the end of the century doesn’t even put us into Eemian climate territory, much less the Miocene. 15 million years ago (MYA) was the middle of the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum (MMCO).

On another forum is was asked:

You think it’s going to get colder, stay the same, or what?

If I have to choose and “I don’t know.” isn’t acceptable then past history says it will get warmer for a while.

And as long as it gets warmer for a while (how long is a while?) we aren’t going to slay the “Climate” monster. (Carbon Dioxide-Driven Climate Change Hypothesis?)

And it looks like another degree or so is quite possible and probable.

How long before Climate Cult demonstrators goose step down Constitution Avenue?

A C Osborn
Reply to  steve case
September 25, 2019 4:17 am

So you think that with the AMO turning down and Solar Cycle 25 even lower than 24 it is going to get 1 degree warmer?

steve case
Reply to  A C Osborn
September 25, 2019 5:37 am

A C Osborn September 25, 2019 at 4:17 am
So you think that with the AMO turning down and Solar Cycle 25 even lower than 24 it is going to get 1 degree warmer?

I really don’t know, but based on past history and NOAA/NASA re-writing of the data every month, and if I had to bet one way or the other, I’d go with some more warming.

NASA’s Land Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) for August came out a few days ago, and of the 1676 monthly entries since January 1880, 400 were changed including the January 1880 entry. So far for the year it looks like this:

Number of Changes to GISSTEMP’s LOTI for 2019:
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
843 370 481 633 1359 566 281 400

Bob boder
Reply to  steve case
September 25, 2019 10:52 am

unfortunately Steve, I agree with you totally.

Jean Parisot
Reply to  steve case
September 25, 2019 5:24 am

We hope it will continue to warm. Because significant cooling will kill millions.

Reply to  Jean Parisot
September 25, 2019 6:20 am

Which will kill more? The Green Blob or cold weather???

I think humans could think of ways to survive cold weather, if not for the Green Blob.

James Clarke
Reply to  chickenhawk
September 25, 2019 8:17 am

Unfortunately, they are not mutually exclusive. We may get cooling and the green blob. Oh, the humanity!

Mark H
Reply to  chickenhawk
September 25, 2019 8:59 pm

The combination of the Green Blob and a few decades of particularly cold weather is something I am not looking forward to.

Reply to  chickenhawk
September 26, 2019 9:27 am

Humans suffered immensely during previous episodes of relatively slight cooling. I do not think it would be different today. Although we are better positioned to cope with change in some ways, we are more fragile in other ways.

Dodgy Geezer
September 25, 2019 4:13 am

“…..How many clean kills does it take to kill a paradigm?…..”

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

Upton Sinclair

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
September 25, 2019 6:02 am

Their paychecks aren’t even half of their motivation. Their ideology is the supreme motivator…visions of a Central Planner controlled International (i.e. Globalist) Socialist Utopia…with them as the Central Plannners in the Science Bureaus of the Ministry of Malleable Human Knowledge.

James Francisco
Reply to  DocSiders
September 25, 2019 8:52 am

I think you nailed it right on the head doc. To me the most difficult thing to reasonably explain is why would some high level celebrity scientist like Carl Sagan, Kloss, Niel DeGrasse say that we should panic. Idology and or encouragement to accept nuclear power is my guess.

Mark H
Reply to  James Francisco
September 25, 2019 9:14 pm

Anyone telling you to panic is trying to control you.

Panicking stops you from thinking rationally and you react instinctively. This can be useful in an immediate life threatening situation (e.g. Fire or a loose tiger). However, for the consideration of systemic issues, it is only used by people looking to obtain power.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
September 25, 2019 6:38 am

In answer to the question I suspect a lot more bird choppers yet unless a lot more Bob Browns have an epiphany about them.

R Taylor
September 25, 2019 4:34 am

I’m encouraged such a paper can get published, but science cannot refute the best political tool presently available.

September 25, 2019 4:45 am

As I see it the problem for science was as follows: The Faint Sun paradox recognized by Sagan and Mullen (1972) required an explanation for the near constant temperature of the planet (±10°C) over the past 650 million years, and life-compatible conditions for the past 3.8 billion years. Although several solutions have been proposed, the paradox cannot be considered satisfactorily resolved. The most popular solution has always been through changes in greenhouse gases as Sagan and Mullen (1972) already proposed. Once the atmosphere became oxygenated, the only gas capable of long term solar luminosity compensation was CO2. But this leads directly to a strong form of the Anthropic Principle: We are here because changes in CO2 exactly matched changes in solar luminosity for billions of years.

The Anthropic Principle is a pitfall for science. To avoid it Lovelock and Margulis (1974) developed their popular but failed Gaia hypothesis. In 1981 James Walker et al. proposed their chemical weathering thermostat hypothesis in a paper entitled “A negative feedback mechanism for the long-term stabilization of Earth’s surface temperature.” The hypothesis that the temperature of the Earth was regulated in the long term through changes in CO2 levels caused by the rate of carbon cycle chemical weathering that itself depended on temperature.

Despite a near complete lack of support from evidence the hypothesis proved so popular as to make it to textbooks. However over time the evidence has been turning against the hypothesis. Gaillardet et al. (1999) showed in a global study of the main rivers that weathering has a strong correlation to runoff (mm/yr), not to temperature.
“On a global scale, there is no general correlation of weathering rates (total or cationic) with temperature.”

The new paper (Si and Rosenthal, 2019) brought to us by David is the last nail in the coffin of the weathering thermostat hypothesis, as they show that during the last 15 Myr, the latest part of the Late Cenozoic Glaciation, characterized by the more intense cooling in 300 Myr, weathering and CO2 have been going opposite ways. A reduction in weathering has been observed, when an increase in weathering was expected due to the reduction in CO2 and the Himalayan uplift.

The solution obviously is that weathering is controlled by runoff (Gaillardet et al. 1999), and as we already know planetary cooling means a reduction in water cycle activity and in global precipitations. Ice ages are characterized by large deserts and reduced precipitation, and therefore weathering is reduced. CO2 is reduced despite reduced weathering because temperature controls CO2 and during glacial periods CO2 is absorbed by the oceans at a higher rate.

We still can’t explain the Faint Sun Paradox and the long-term control of Earth’s temperature, although multiple hypothesis are still available. The CO2 hypothesis takes a new hit from being decoupled from the carbon cycle weathering control. This is an important piece of evidence, and I must say that I am very impressed by the quality of Yahir Rosenthal works.

Jean Parisot
Reply to  Javier
September 25, 2019 5:26 am

“Once the atmosphere became oxygenated, the only gas capable of long term solar luminosity compensation was CO2.”

Why isn’t water vapor considered?

Reply to  Jean Parisot
September 25, 2019 6:38 am

Because water vapor drops out of the atmosphere when temperature goes below freezing. The planet could not get out of a severe ice age only with water vapor. The strong temperature dependency of water vapor makes it a bad regulator, particularly at low temperatures.

I do think water vapor is an important part of the solution, particularly since I don’t think CO2 is. However that is not what most experts believe.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Javier
September 25, 2019 8:17 am

Ahhh . . . but clouds (condensed water vapor) do not necessarily “drop out of the atmosphere” when lower troposphere land and sea boundary air temperatures go below freezing. Cloud coverage may be just as important in moderating global air temperatures (via albedo and IR blocking) as is the water vapor from which they arise.

And, yes, “ice clouds” are found in nature, but I’m not limiting my above point to just those. Atmospheric temperature inversions are quite common with weather frontal systems.

Reply to  Javier
September 25, 2019 12:29 pm

However water vapor is a much more powerful GHG than CO2, so even small amounts have great effect (of course the same is true for CO2, the first 20 ppm equals 50% of greenhouse effect according to MODTRAN).

“The planet could not get out of a severe ice age only with water vapor.”

If you mean a “Snowball Earth”, no it could not, but a LIP or a moderately large asteroid impact would do the trick. But probably not CO2 alone either. It takes an humunguous amount of CO2 to get a really strong greenhouse effect, like 1,000,000 ppm (i e a pure CO2 atmosphere), since it depends on very low probability energy transitions.

John Tillman
Reply to  Javier
September 25, 2019 10:26 am

I’m not sure that there is a paradox. The precise composition of the late Hadean atmosphere isn’t known, but is presumed to have contained water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia and nitrogen. However, IMO an enhanced GHE isn’t required to explain liquid water on Earth’s surface, if indeed it existed.

Our planet orbited some 50,000 km closer to the Sun then. While this wouldn’t account for a lot more warming, greater primordial internal heat, volcanism and radioactive decay, more asteroid strikes and the nearness of the moon could.

If Earth’s surface weren’t icy, then its albedo would also have been lower at that time. There was also much less dry land.

Many origin of life researchers are now looking to terrestrial environments as incubators of the first cells, rather than marine. Even if Earth’s Hadean ocean were icy, there would have been liquid water under the frozen surface and in pockets within it.

Bob boder
Reply to  Javier
September 25, 2019 11:00 am


Have no clue whether this makes any sense or not but if you have a higher temperature gradient across a surface heat transfer increases, if you have less solar input to the surface would you have more heat flow from the planet core?

Reply to  Bob boder
September 25, 2019 12:48 pm

You shouldn’t notice the solar difference in the geothermal flux. Solar heat only penetrates a few meters below the land surface. At that depth there is no difference between summer and winter and that is a huge difference in irradiation.

September 25, 2019 5:12 am

Couple of points:

1) The conclusion that there must be something else that is driving the result … that’s sort of “famous last words” for all efforts to model both the past and the future of climate performance .. if you haven’t proved that all of the actors in the process have been identified and quantified, then your analysis has bupkus value.

2) I always make it a point to mock those who speak of “ocean acidification”. By scientific definition, one cannot acidify a solution that is basic. One can only make it less basic, until pH gets down to 7.0 Of course, the whole “ocean acidification” bunk ignores the fact that the oceans, being quite heavily laden in salts, has a very strong buffering capacity that can handle a very heavy load of ions before it would ever turn acidic.

Burl Henry
Reply to  Duane
September 25, 2019 6:41 am


“If you haven’t proved that all of the actors in the process have been identified and quantified, then your analysis has bupkus value”


Throughout the ages, earth’s climate has been driven solely by the amount of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere from random volcanic eruptions, but this simple, easily provable actor in the process is studiously ignored.

Burl Henry
Reply to  Duane
September 25, 2019 6:55 am


“If you haven’t proved that all of the actors in the process have been identified and quantified , then your analysis has bupkus value”


Throughout the ages, Earth’s climate has been driven solely by the amount of dimming SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, from random volcanic eruptions, but this simple, easily provable actor in the process is studiously ignored.

Why is this?

Robert W Turner
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 8:09 am

“Greenhouse atmosphere” is laughable. An atmosphere of any composition is simply solar or geothermal energy translated into kinetic energy in the form of gaseous fraction of the planet. This will retain energy in the planetary system regardless of the gases composition and its only important properties are heat capacity and physical phase changes.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Robert W Turner
September 25, 2019 11:04 am

Typical climastrology, only looking at the absorption but ignoring the emissivity.

If the gaseous fraction of the planet existed because of and retained its gaseous phase energy level due to IR emissions from the surface, then they’d have a point, but that would clearly be a paradox. 99+% of the thermal energy of a gas is in its kinetic or gravitational potential energy, the energy of the molecular vibration modes (IR absorption energy levels) are like the angular momentum energies of an asteroid – negligible. Absorption of IR does not translate into kinetic energy, it is simply absorbed and then reemitted.

The absorption of IR has almost nothing to do with the existence of this gaseous fraction of the planet, however, emission from this gas is a major way in which it cools. You increase the opacity of this gaseous fraction with certain gas species but in turn that gas emits IR faster, they cancel out. The only properties that matter are mass and heat capacity.


Reply to  Robert W Turner
September 26, 2019 7:05 pm

David M … and others,

Look closely at that “Spectral Intensity” segment of the graphs, where the “visible” (RED) is compared side-by-side with the “infrared” (BLUE).

Note that the red curve is 5525 K, while the blue curve is (at most) 310 K.

How is it that an honest visual display of knowledge shows a 5525 K red curve exactly the same graphic height as a 310 K blue curve on an intensity scale?

My lowly math-science-misfit understanding is that a proper scaling of this relationship would look something like this:

comment image

Burl Henry
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 10:53 am

David Middleton:

You wrote “there is no evidence to support this and numerous other factors that are supported by evidence”

There is ABUNDANT evidence which supports the fact that climate change is solely due to the SO2 aerosols from volcanic eruptions.

Your other “evidence” is either speculation, or mis-interpretation of the data.

I assume that you have heard of the eruptions of Krakatoa and Pinatubo, for example, which cooled our climate, then warming to pre-eruption levels occurred after their SO2 aerosols settled out of the atmosphere.

This effect would necessarily have occurred with every large volcanic eruption throughout the ages, and this effect cannot be ignored in any discussion of earth’s climate, being a FIRST order effect.

If you examine the fluctuations in earth’s climate since 1850, you will find that essentially every decrease in average global temperatures is preceded by a Plinian VEI4, or larger, volcanic eruption, with recovery to pre-eruption levels after their SO2 aerosols have settled out.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Burl Henry
September 25, 2019 12:17 pm

Yes, transient events that have been shown to only be effective for a couple of years.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Burl Henry
September 26, 2019 10:19 am

Krakatoa and Tambora only appeared to have effects for a couple of years. (i.e. “The year without a Summer,” not “The years without a Summer.” Flood basalts are serial transient events spread out over hundreds or thousands of years. In every case the ash and aerosols from the individual events are washed out within a few years. Extremely large bolide impacts may have longer term impacts, but Henry did not mention impacts.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 1:36 pm

Water vapor has always been the primary controller of the greenhouse effect. It’s content in the atmosphere at 0.4% if is roughly ten times that of CO2 at 0038% of air. And water vapor is more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

The climate hysterics prefer to ignore water vapor because humans cannot control it, so there is really nothing to get excited about as a matter of environmental extremism.

Reply to  Duane
September 29, 2019 11:09 am

Think you forgot a decimal there Duane. It’s kind of important data and I’m studying this at the moment. Shouldn’t it read, “0.038%”? But great post otherwise. Water vapor can’t be ignored and usually is by our well paid UN “scientist” crony colleagues.

Peter Morris
September 25, 2019 5:12 am

Wouldn’t it make more sense that the uplift of the Himalayas altered atmospheric and/or ocean circulation somehow?

I realize that would’ve been much harder to model in the early 80s, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility today.

Kevin kilty
September 25, 2019 5:53 am


About ten years ago we had a distinguished lecturer on campus whose thesis was that the volatile budget seen from the surface was badly out of balance and that to close it required an unrecognized seepage from mantle to surface. He was looking at all volatiles, not just CO2 and water. For some reason not one person on this campus can remember the distinguished visitor or his talk. Maybe you know who this is.

However, he raising of the Tibetan Plateau at about the time this most recent cooling began suggests some importance to the drying of air effected by elevated regions of the earth and the enhanced transparency of IR to space. I don’t know that even current climate models do an adequate job of including this because of limited spatial resolution.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 8:11 am

There is certainly satellite data that shows it.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 11:07 am

I mean there is satellite data showing it today.

comment image?resize=630%2C514&ssl=1

Steve Z
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2019 10:20 am

At present, most of India has a tropical monsoon climate, relatively dry in Northern Hemisphere winter, but very rainy in Northern Hemisphere spring and summer. But monsoon winds blowing off the Indian Ocean are blocked by the Himalayas from carrying the moisture further north.

If the Himalayas were elevated 15 million years ago, prior to that the monsoon winds could have penetrated further north into southwestern China, probably leading to a warmer and wetter climate there than at present.

Reply to  Steve Z
September 25, 2019 7:12 pm

Prior to the Tibetan plateau being raised, there was a shallow sea between the Indian land mass that the Asian land mass. That would have enhanced any monsoon flow.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 26, 2019 12:31 pm

“I definitely think that the elevation of the Himalayan Plateau was one of the drivers of Neogene cooling by affecting atmospheric circulation”

I agree that the formation of the Tibetan plateau was a significant event in Earth’s climate history.
See my comment here:

I also consider that the earlier destruction of the Tethys Ocean at the end of the Cretaceous had a major climatic impact via a significant loss of what I term the “Oceanic Central Heating Effect”.
See my WUWT essay here:

Lloyd Martin Hendaye
September 25, 2019 6:01 am

From Earth’s mid-Pliocene Era 3.6 mm YBP, continents’ plate-tectonic dispositions have walled off Eastern from Western Hemispheres, blocking atmospheric/oceanic circulation patterns to cause cyclical/serial 102-kiloyear Pleistocene Ice Ages for the first time since the Pre-Cambrian Ediacaran Era.

In 2007, Denmark’s Henrik Svensmark definitively correlated sunspot activity with intensity of our planetary system’s Solar Magnetic Field (SMF). From 2016 – ’18, Russia’s Valentina Zharkova proved that reduced solar irradiance at sunspot minima weakens the Solar Field’s protective plasma sheath, allowing Cosmic Rays to penetrate Earth’s atmosphere, seeding global cloud-cover to induce climatic chill.

Moreover, from December 2017 Australia’s Robert Holmes derived his “Mean Molar Mass version of the Ideal Gas Law”, definitively refuting any possible CO2 connection to climate variations: Where GAST Temperature T = PM/Rp, any planet’s near-surface global Temperature derives from its Atmospheric Pressure P times Mean Molar Mass M over its Gas Constant R times Atmospheric Density p. Absent any carbon-factor, proportional CO2 is a non-issue.

In context, Holmes, Svensmark, and Zharkova’s findings dovetail with recent 2019 reports:

• “In this paper, we assert that dramatic upward-rising signals fit perfectly with periodic functions, suggesting that (natural) climate factors (fully account) … for recent global climate warming (while) secondary factors such as anthropogenic emissions … (if any, remain marginal). … (This research) identifies 15,295 periodic functions that perfectly fit monthly temperatures’ group-layered space-time (GLST) anomalies from 1880 to 2013, closely correlating [0.9 coefficient] with monthly sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies in different oceans’ six domains.”

• “(Applying periodic) functions to extrapolate GLST climate-patterns, we derive a monthly downturn … (from about 2008), projecting a series low of -0.6051˚ C in 2125.” Note that this 58.1% drop in GLST over 117 years accords with hypothesis that the 12,250-year Holocene Interglacial Epoch, skewed 1,500 years by the cometary/meteoritic Younger Dryas “cold shock” of BC 9,750 – 8,250, ended 670 years ago in AD 1350. Accordingly, the semi-millennial Medieval Warm ended coincident with Kamchatka’s strato-volcano Kambalny Eruption plus a devastating 70-year Grand Solar Minimum ending 1420, which precipitated a 500-year Little Ice Age through 1850/1890 with a subsequent 140-year “amplitude compression” rebound through AD 2030.

Rather than restate all this from scratch, why not incorporate Holmes, Svensmark, Zharkova et al. into present updates?

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Lloyd Martin Hendaye
September 25, 2019 11:32 am

I haven’t heard too much about the movement of Australia and Guinea northward and choking off the sea way between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Given the connections between the Indian and ENSO, I would think it deserves some study.

Kaiser Derden
September 25, 2019 6:11 am

the only possible way to kill this cult theory is to hang it, burn it, draw and quarter it then bury the 4 parts in separate continents with a silver cross and garlic …

Nick Schroeder
September 25, 2019 6:21 am

Elsewhere accused me of being stuck with 70’s science, out of date & touch.

Arrhenius proposed the RGHE in 1896. Spencer Weart noted that Savante’s contemporaries considered him full of baloney back then. In 1909 R. W. Wood debunked RGHE through experimentation. Classical science back when it had some semblance of integrity.

RGHE is over 120 years old. How current is that?

Now for something completely contemporaneous: the UCLA Diviner mission.

Point the First
UCLA considers 71.6 F to be the earth’s “average” temperature, about 22 C. That doesn’t mesh w/ IPCC’s & WMO’s 15 C or Trenberth/NOAA’s 16 C. So much for scientific consensus. How does anybody know whether the earth’s “average” temperature is going up or down when they can’t even agree on what it is?

Point the Twoth
Per UCLA the moon is blazing hot on the lit side and bitter cold on the dark, the 2nd most extreme variation in the solar system, because it has not an insulating atmosphere like the earth.


The extremely obvious corollary is that without the atmosphere the earth would be much like the moon (Nikolov & Kramm knew it, wouldn’t say it.) that is: blistering hot on the lit side and bitter cold on the dark, a total contradiction and refutation of RGHE that postulates exactly the opposite.

The 30% reflective albedo created and sustained by the atmosphere cools the earth compared to no atmosphere.

The atmosphere’s insulating properties, i.e. thermal resistance, is how come the surface is warmer than the ToA just like a house.

And RGHE/man caused climate change/global warming goes kerbluey!

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
September 25, 2019 12:20 pm

Interesting. Have the researchers at UCLA realized the difference between the mathematical concept of area and real SURFACE area?

The IPCC/consensus hypothesis is that the Earth is as smooth as black ice and that it is an empty shell with no heat capacity, and has no water surface area. From there, it is a compounding of errors based on pseudoscience.

September 25, 2019 7:06 am

So if we are heading down in temperature until 2035, the oceans have to lead the charge so to speak as there is a lag as they are the big heat sink.

If you look at the current SSTA Difference from Global Mean SSTA it is in fact dropping, especially in the Southern Hemisphere where most of the ocean water is. In fact the last anomalous warm area is in the Northeast Pacific. This area is coming into NH winter which will cool it somewhat as well as the onset of a cut off of it’s source as a La Niña is forming east of the dateline.

Analog winters from years past indicate this year will be a brutal winter over most of the Canada and the US. A cooling North Atlantic doesn’t bode well for Europe. South America is coming out of chilly winter. Australia is now surrounded by cooler than normal water. As the Sun continues into its quiet phase I think we are seeing the setup for the next couple of decades in the making. Time to take the sailboat to the tropics and leave it there.

Current SSTA anomalies:comment image

Reply to  rbabcock
September 25, 2019 10:00 am

Thanks for the SST link — that one is less visually “alarming” as most usually are. Here’s another SST where the anomaly coloring is quite reasonable and not purposely over-colored:
comment image

Robert W Turner
September 25, 2019 7:46 am

It was never a paradigm when I went through college in 2005-2011 – not in chemistry, physics, or geology that is. Oddly enough, it was a parrotdigm in non science fields such as sociology and literature.

The general coincidence of the marine chemistry cycle (Calcite/Aragonite and evaporites) with the grand ice age/hot house cycle has always been too much of a coincidence for me to ignore. Increased sea floor spreading rates with associated increases in hydrothermal circulation, subsea volcanism, and younger oceanic crust provide the heat for hot house periods, also causing a higher eustasy allowing for higher retention of solar irradiance.

Gary Pearse
September 25, 2019 7:51 am

“uplifting of the Himalayas brought fresh rocks to the Earth’s surface, making them more vulnerable to weathering ”

Carelessness in language! The newly exposed rx weren’t “more” vulnerable having not been vulnerable at all to weathering before they surfaced! My old geology prof Ed Leith would have chopped off half the marks on an exam for this. And rightly so. You need weather for weathering – now we have ocean heatwaves. I suppose large eddies in fiords (skookumchuk) when the tide is running will end up being called ocean tornadoes before long.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 25, 2019 8:17 am

There is chemical weathering that occurs in the submarine environment.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Robert W Turner
September 25, 2019 9:49 am

RT: True and streams cut down their floors and under cut banks underwater. Geologists (I am one) would include water in the weathering process. I should have specifically alluded to the rx being km underground before the continental impact. Okay, Prof Leith would have clipped me 25% on my exam!

Curious George
September 25, 2019 8:01 am

Figure 3 shows a “temperature anomaly”. To what base? Did the authors somehow measure an anomaly directly, not temperature? Why are we obsessed with anomalies?

September 25, 2019 8:07 am

Effect follows cause.
CO2 follows temperature.
Temperature follows inverse albedo.
Albedo follows atmosphere and surface composition
Atmosphere and surface composition follows Biology.
Biology follows sunlight.

Atmospheric CO2 is at the end of the chain.
Earth’s atmosphere has been responding to biology for a billion years.
Atmospheric composition is now entirely of biological origin. (except Argon)

John Tillman
Reply to  bwegher
September 25, 2019 10:46 am

Our atmosphere has been responding to biology for longer than a billion years, but it isn’t yet entirely composed of gases (besides argon) processed by living things. Gases are added by geologic, chemical (non-biochemical) and physical processes. Even O2 and O3 are still made from water by sunlight, although most of the O2 is indeed released by photosynthesis.

The nitrogen cycle also includes both biological and abiotic components. CO2 and other gases are still vented from volcanoes.

September 25, 2019 8:39 am

The neatest (if unconfirmed) explanation for the gradual cooling of the climate, is that as the Himalaya rose, it added a huge high albedo ice sheet, right in the tropics where it could reflect insolation all year round. And this high albedo ice sheet has cooled the global climate.

This was from a 1970s science paper.


Reply to  ralfellis
September 25, 2019 12:36 pm

The problem with that theory is that there has almost certainly never been a “huge ice sheet” there. That theory has been pretty thoroughly debunked by geologists. Glaciers were only slightly larger during glaciations.

Though the Tibetan plateau is indeed a large high-albedo feature, like all vegetationless areas.

John Tillman
Reply to  tty
September 25, 2019 2:43 pm

Evidence against a Tibetan ice sheet has grown convincing in the past decade or so, making it appear more like dry, windswept Beringia than the high latitude ice sheets.


The GC models however continued to discover an ice sheet on the Plateau not in physical evidence:


Reply to  tty
September 25, 2019 3:11 pm

The GC models keep finding a large ice-sheet in Beringia-Alaska as well:


It just shows that the GC models are too primitive to handle topography and rain shadows realistically.

John Tillman
Reply to  tty
September 25, 2019 10:13 pm

Among their many other failings.

Phil Salmon
September 25, 2019 8:41 am

This is an excellent post and research. The CO2 paradigm is a disgrace to science as one imposed by force for political not scientific reasons. It is pitiful how most publishing scientist have submitted to this false paradigm so abjectly. The authors of this study – and Dave – are to be applauded for calling BS on this atrocious and deeply damaging travesty of science.

September 25, 2019 9:58 am

Not viable? Abort.

Either the radiative feedback mechanism of CO2 is a more effective first-order forcing in the laboratory, or anthropogenic sources have been grossly overestimated and mischaracterized, or the CO2 gradient follows warming.

September 25, 2019 10:41 am

I’ve always found Richard Alley’s and Potholer’s arguments about CO2 over geological time to be convincing. How will this affect the first seven minutes of Potholers video?

September 25, 2019 11:37 am

If ”the science is settled” like dust has settled on the truth then science is no longer of any use.

Clyde Spencer
September 25, 2019 11:53 am

” How many clean kills does it take to kill a paradigm?” About the same number it takes to kill a zombie. Both will probably take a decapitation, such as defunding.

Robert of Texas
September 25, 2019 11:55 am

Oh boy…there goes David again! Trying to confuse a perfectly well-thought-out political power grab with stupid scientific facts. When will he ever learn?

I still find it hard to believe that CO2 is THE control knob when so many other possible controls are out there. CO2 *might* be a contributor to climate change, or it might just be residue that is produced by the changing climate. It’s like saying a gun is responsible for shooting someone…no, the person holding the gun is responsible. I think something causes CO2 to rise and fall, but CO2 plays only a part in the actual change in temperature. Mankind’s contribution is like a few volcanoes erupting… Yeah it contributes CO2 but its only a small factor.

I still strongly suspect that big glowing ball of fire in the sky has something to do with it… And that layer of gray and white fluffy stuff up in the sky. And the giant pool of salty water covering most of the Earth. But I guess 97% of the experts agree those are not important…so what do I know?

Phil Salmon
Reply to  Robert of Texas
September 25, 2019 12:47 pm

Yes – CO2 is a proxy of global ocean temperature. Not causative. You might as well say that the ratio of 18/16 oxygen istotopes drives change in ocean temperature.

AGW is not Science
September 25, 2019 12:08 pm

“CO2 is both a minor hypothetical forcing mechanism and a feedback product of warming.”

Fixed it for ya.

September 25, 2019 12:08 pm

The interesting thing is that it has been pointed out repeatedly by several geologists, e. g. Retallack, that monuntain chains don’t weather chemically, they weather mechanically and that sediment studies indicate that chemical weathering decreased as the Himalayas rose.



And indeed this is really obvious to anyone with practical geological experience. Chemical weathering is typical of plains and lowlands, particularily in the tropics, everywhere else mechanical weathering dominates (notable exception: limestone areas).

Reply to  tty
September 25, 2019 1:03 pm

Before the Himalayans built up, one would assume western/central China (& beyond) would’ve been much wetter & “weathered” as the rainfall barrier to the Indian Ocean would’ve been absent.

Reply to  tty
September 25, 2019 3:15 pm

Yes, Central Asia was a subtropical-tropical lowland/shallow sea:


Clyde Spencer
Reply to  tty
September 26, 2019 10:24 am

Yes, it is well established that mechanical weathering varies directly with elevation, particularly when the mountains get above the freezing line and frost wedging becomes common. Lateritic soils, such as were common during the Eocene and found today in the Amazon Basin, are the evidence for chemical weathering.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 27, 2019 7:29 am

“Lateritic soils, such as were common during the Eocene and found today in the Amazon Basin, are the evidence for chemical weathering.”

In my many privileged years of studying marine seismic data of the seas surrounding the British Isles, the Eocene deposits of the Harris Basin on the western margin of the Hebrides Shelf stand out as being truly remarkable in character. The data showed over 1000 metres of seismically transparent shales with superb evidence of polygonal faults at the sequence base, a facies character that is diagnostic of deep-marine colloidal muds. These Eocene clays were derived from chemical weathering of the older Palaeocene basalts of the Hebrides shelf, which were eroded and transported into this deep-water basin. The presence of laterite, iron ore and bauxite deposits in the North Antrim plateau basalts onshore to the south demonstrate that the early Tertiary climate of this part of north west Europe was subtropical in character, with a seasonal monsoon. The fossil flora evidence from BGS offshore boreholes shows that the early Tertiary vegetation included low lying Nyssa-Taxodium swamp taxa. The fact that this biome included bald cypress (Taxodium) suggests that this ancient environment had a climate similar to that of modern Florida.

The key take home message is this: It is warm climate chemical weathering of basalt that both generates the insoluble clays and also releases the alkaline base metals of Calcium and Magnesium into the marine environment. These soluble base metals derived from the chemical weathering of basalt (the clue is in the name) form the chemical feed-stock that both sequester bicarbonate ions as mineral carbonate precipitates, and also keep our oceans alkaline.

Phil Salmon
September 25, 2019 12:33 pm

Over 10^6-10^9 timescales global climate temperature is primarily controlled by tectonic rearrangement of continents and critically of the deep ocean circulation. Continents aligned meridionally like on either side of the Atlantic, and also land at high latitudes, give equator to pole ocean circulation cooling the planet and inserting a cold deep ocean layer under all the oceans even at the equator.

This is well understood but recent papers on palaeo climate ignore this and drivel on about CO2 drawdown and silicate weathering. These phenomena do occur but as the present paper makes clear, it is emphatically not any kind of control “knob” of climate.

Alarmists love to forget the oceans. Their theory will sink to a watery grave.

September 25, 2019 3:20 pm

Doesn’t matter how high the climate sensitivity truly is – if the greenhouse effect of CO2 is logarithmic, then even 180ppm of the LGM provided 86% of the today’s total value. And the “preindustrial” level gives us 95%. Anyway, if the ECS is 3 Kelvin, then the total greenhouse effect of CO2 should be 30K. Which is more then the total effect of all gases.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 27, 2019 12:42 am

So, you are saying water vapour isn’t a GHG? Anyway, I don’t care about separation of “feedbacks” and the “original” effect. Threnberth and Kiehl give CO2 25% of the entire GH forcing, so why would you, a sceptic, give it 100%?

James A. Schrumpf
September 25, 2019 6:09 pm

Nice try, David, but we’ve already been told by this generation’s greatest theoretical physicist:


Burl Henry
September 25, 2019 7:04 pm

David Middleton:

You wrote “Maybe decades or even centuries in the cases of large impacts and flood basalts…But still transients”

You are speaking of individual eruptions, which I agree are transient. However, when there are multiple large eruptions over extended periods of time, they can easily cause Earth’s temperatures to descend into those of an Ice Age.

The ~600 year Little Ice Age, for example, was caused by a string of VEI5 and VEI6 eruptions, along with at least 95 VEI4 eruptions. Had the same pace of eruptions continued for a few hundred more years, we could easily have slipped into another Ice Age.

We are indeed fortunate that the extensive volcanism abated, allowing their SO2 aerosols to settle out and to usher in warmer times. Hopefully, this will not happen again.

Burl Henry
Reply to  David Middleton
September 26, 2019 7:01 am

David Middleton

“There is no evidence at all supporting long-term volcanic cooling or warming over the last 540 million years”

Over a 540 million year period the lack of evidence is not surprising, having been obliterated by geologic processes. However, the Ice Ages are indicative of extensive volcanism.

But of what importance are the temperatures of the distant past? They have no bearing upon those of historical times.

The end of the Roman warming period was due to large volcanic eruptions, the Medieval Warming period was due to decreased volcanic activity, and the Little Ice Age was caused by a significant increase in volcanic activity, with respect to the Medieval Warming period.

Since about 1850, our temperatures have demonstrably been controlled by varying amounts of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, of either volcanic origin, or from the burning of fossil fuels. There is no evidence that there has been any additional warming from “greenhouse” gasses.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 26, 2019 9:01 am

Actually Antarctica has been close to the Pole for a very long time, and there has probably been icecaps inland almost continuously (except possibly during the very warmest intervals).

What happened in the late Eocene was the opening of a circum-Antarctic seaway that isolated the continent climatically, making the icecap continent-wide. However there were already tidewater glaciers both in the Weddell Sea and Wilkes land sectors of East Antarctica in the Eocene:



John Tillman
Reply to  David Middleton
September 26, 2019 1:19 pm

Antarctica was already over the South Pole in the Cretaceous and close to or over it throughout the Mesozoic.

So, yes, it was the opening of deep oceanic channels between Antarctica and South America and Oz which led to ice sheets on the continent at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary.

And, as you say, even in the later Eocene ice caps and glaciers grew on Antarctica, as the separating continents and forming Southern Ocean cooled the climate.

Burl Henry
Reply to  David Middleton
September 26, 2019 3:56 pm

David Middleton:

Yes, volcanic cooling due to sulfate aerosols can be a short-term event. But when multiple volcanic episodes are strung together, their cooling can last for centuries, especially if the eruptions include contiguous VEI5-7 events, which can lead to changes in Earth’s albedo.

Here are comparisons of the reported volcanic eruptions during the Medieval warming period and the Little Ice Age:

For the MWP (c. 950-1250) there were 30 VEI4 or larger eruptions (avg. 10 per century). Of these there 9 VEI5 or larger (3 per century). All but 9 were isolated events, separated by 4 years, or more.

For the LIA (c. 1250-1850), there were 142 eruptions (avg. 24 per century. Of these, there were 47 VEI5, or larger (avg. 8 per century). 66/142 eruptions were separated by 2 years or less, with the next eruption occurring before complete recovery from the previous eruption, thus extending the period with dimming SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere.

Volcanism during the LIA clearly surpassed that of the MWP, and is reflected in their differing temperatures..

Burl Henry
Reply to  David Middleton
September 27, 2019 5:34 pm

David Middleton:

“This post is is about climate change on geologic time scales (100’s of thousands to millions of yrs).”

Yes. I was trying to point out that any attempt to discuss climate change during those earlier times needed to consider the ciimatic effects of volcanic eruptions.

The end of the RWP, the MWP, and the LIA were all due to changing levels of volcanic eruptions, with no effect from CO2, and there is no reason to expect that earlier ages behaved any differently. CO2 had no effect during those historical times, and it is unlikely that it magically had a climatic effect at any time in the distant past.

However, random volcanic eruptions have occurred for millions of years, and the alleged climate cycles undoubtedly simply reflect changing levels of volcanism.

Hocus Locus
September 25, 2019 7:23 pm

On the subject of geologists finding climate hidden in rocks, just finished a recent (pub 2012) audiobook, The Goldilocks Planet: The 4 billion year story of Earth’s Climate by Zalasiewicz/Williams … and I must say following WUWT may have affected my brain over time, for at times I found myself talking back to it. It seemed that a manuscript was presented to someone and CO2 alarmism was sprinkled in and certain items seemed fast-forward of topic and some missing.

For example, I was hoping for a good explanation of the issues with reading synchronous temperature and CO2 from Vostok cores. Breezed past it, failing to mention the follows-temperature-in-places thing. At several places I swear I could feel a CO2 reference coming on a few sentences ahead (you can hear the set-up), which is especially noticeable in places where a CO2 explanation for a phenomenon was available even if it didn’t make strict sense. Absent was any real discussion of any large scale volcanism or catastrophism which I really missed for talk of the Traps and its signals, and in places CO2 is posed as a cause for things without a clear event behind it, it just seemed like they had to mention it! Ever present is the CO2-is-the-master-control-knob mantra, and their awe of computer models is untainted by any doubt. They do cover Milankovitch cycle signals and touch on solar radiance. At one point they fall off the academic horse to dis certain persons who are ‘deniers’, but it could be the result of a single disagreeable meal.

The last chapter (aptly titled ’10. The Anthropocene Begins’) they go off the rails a bit. When they were presenting paleo/Clovis humans hunting mammals and rice cultivation in the East and tying these to climate via methane I am asking my mp3 player, “Hold on, how much paleo human population and acres of rice are we talking about here?”

I was aware of these things because I’m hypersensitive but in whole it is a great lay treatment of the topic in understandable language. I do recommend!