Cooling The Hothouse

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I see that a new study has been hyped with the headline:

Earth barreling toward ‘Hothouse’ state not seen in 50 million years,epic new climate record shows

I’ll spare you a link to the miscreants in question, it’s the usual alarmism. Here’s a sample.

“Now, in a new study published today (Sept. 10) in the journal Science, researchers have analyzed the chemical elements in thousands of foram samples to build the most detailed climate record of Earth ever — and it reveals just how dire our current climate situation is.”

“Dire” … here’s their alarmist graphic, showing the temperature since dinosaurs 67 million years ago (or “67 mya” as they say, which actually means 67 million years before 1950 … go figure).

Figure 1. Lead graphic from the article.

Y’all know me, I’m a data hound. Plus I don’t like science by press release. So I got the paper, “An astronomically dated record of Earth’s climate and its predictability over the last 66 million years”. It’s paywalled in Science magazine here. To get it I used the DOI and went through SciHub, but that’s just me. Here’s the money graph from their paper. 

Figure 2. ORIGINAL CAPTION: Fig. 1. Cenozoic Global Reference benthic foraminifer carbon and oxygen Isotope Dataset (CENOGRID) from ocean drilling core sites spanning the past 66 million years. Data are mostly generated by using benthic foraminifera tests of the taxa Cibicidoides and Nuttallides extracted from carbonate-rich deepsea sediments drilled during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) expeditions. Genus-specific corrections were applied and oxygen isotope data adjusted by +0.64‰ and +0.4‰, respectively (12), with the green dot indicating the average oxygen isotope composition of the last 10 kyr. 

Average resolution for the interval from 0 to 34 Ma is one sample every 2 ky; for the interval from 34 to 67 Ma, it is one sample every 4.4 kyr. After binning, data were resampled and smoothed by a locally weighted function over 20 kyr (blue curve) and 1 Myr (red curve) to accentuate the different rhythms and trends in Earth’s carbon cycle and temperature operating on various time scales. 

Oxygen isotope data have been converted to average temperature differences with respect to today (13). Future projections for global temperature (44) in the year 2300 are shown by plotting three representative concentration pathways (RCP) scenarios (light blue, dark blue, and red dots). Gray horizontal bars mark rough estimates of ice volume in each hemisphere. Absolute ages for epochs and stages of the Cenozoic (GTS2012) and geomagnetic field reversals (this study) are provided for reference. 

The oxygen isotope data axis is reversed to reflect warmer temperatures at times of lower d18O values. Aqu, Aquitanian; Bur, Burdigalian; Cal, Calabrian; Cha, Chattian; Cret., Cretaceous; Dan, Danian; Gel, Gelasian; Ion, Ionian; K/Pg, Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary; Lan, Langhian; Lut, Lutetian; M2, first major glacial event in the NH; Maa, Maastrichtian; Mes, Messinian; NH, Northern Hemisphere; Oi-1, the first major glacial period in the Oligocene; Pia, Piacenzian; Pleist., Pleistocene; Plio., Pliocene; Pri, Priabonian; Rup, Rupelian; Sel, Selandian; Ser, Serravallian; SH, Southern Hemisphere; Tha, Thanetian; Tor, Tortonian; Ypr, Ypresian; Zan, Zanclean.

The first thing I noticed was that their main Figure was quite different from the figure in the press release. No fan-shaped predictions of the future. Hmmm, sez I … however, the figure used in the press release is indeed in the Supplemental Information.

Next, I never believe anything without running the numbers myself. So I went and got the datasets, they’re online here. The graph above is based on dataset S34.

There’s an oddity in Figures 1 & 2 just above. The 18O dataset is shown both in its original units (left-hand y-scale) and alternate units (right-hand y-scale). These alternate units are temperature anomaly in °C. Not only that, but according to Figure 1, the relationship between original and alternate units is linear. Who knew? Is it true? I have no idea, but I’ll take their data as read and see where it leads.

What I did with their data was to digitize the 18O data in Figure 2 above, using both the original and the alternate units. That let me back-calculate their conversion formula. Then I used their formula to convert their entire 18O dataset from the original units to temperature anomaly in °C.

Now that we have 67 million years of temperature data, allow me to get side-tractored for a moment to explain my interest and objective in analyzing the CENOGRID dataset. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a heretic, which is different from a skeptic. A skeptic mostly challenges conclusions and methods. A heretic, on the other hand, questions the underlying assumptions. Or to put it another way, a skeptic doubts parts of things. A heretic disagrees with the fundamental assumptions that the whole edifice is based on.

The assumption at the base of this whole climate edifice is that all other variables somehow magically cancel out and that at the end of the story, the temperature of the earth is determined by variations in downwelling radiation (radiation headed towards the earth’s surface). In climate science, this downwelling radiation is known by a term-of-art as “radiative forcing”. This downwelling radiation is the sum of radiation from the sun plus the thermal radiation emitted by the clouds and the atmosphere.

In simple terms, the claim is that the change in global temperature is a function of the change in global forcing. Since changes in downwelling radiation are generally most related to changes in CO2 levels, I call this the “CO2 Roolz Temperature” theory, although of course there are other greenhouse gases (GHGs). That’s the claim driving the current insane war on CO2—the hypothesis that CO2 rules temperature, and that if we can simply drive CO2 levels lower, the world will be cooler.

And that is the claim I heretically and emphatically dispute—the idea that the long-term changes in temperature are a linear function of changes in CO2 forcing. 

Further, not only is the change in temperature said to be a function of the change in forcing. It is said to be a linear change, meaning that the change in temperature is equal to the change in forcing times some constant value. 

This constant is called the “climate sensitivity”, meaning how sensitive the temperature is to a change in forcing. Climate sensitivity is generally represented by the Greek letter lambda (λ). It is a positive number with a hotly-disputed value estimated to be somewhere between one-half and eight … here’s the history of the estimates.

Figure 3. Estimates of ECS (equilibrium climate sensitivity). Colors indicate what type of underlying data they are based on. Horizontal dashed lines show the canonical range of “climate sensitivity”, which is 1.5 – 4.5°C / 2xCO2. The units (°C/2xCO2) are degrees of warming which are said to result from a doubling of atmospheric CO2.

Now, consider that we’ve been working on this question of the value of the “climate sensitivity” for over forty years. In that time we’ve expended hundreds of thousands of person-hours, millions of dollars, and huge amounts of computer time on the question … and during that forty years, rather than either finding or even being able to narrow down the value of one dumb number … the uncertainty about the value of “climate sensitivity” has steadily increased.  

Increased! Our estimates of the “climate sensitivity” are becoming less certain rather than more certain!

During the period shown in Figure 3, entire new branches of science have sprung up, like DNA analysis and proteomics and femtosecond lasers and receptor biology, and have advanced to an unimaginable degree … and meanwhile, in climate science we’re even further from measuring the “climate sensitivity” than when we started 40 years ago. 

Climate models have gone from relatively simple and running on ordinary computers, to unimaginably complex and running on supercomputers. The computers themselves have thousands of times more speed and memory than they had forty years ago. Every year we’ve put more money and more work and more computer cycles into the question … and despite that huge investment, regarding the “climate sensitivity” we’re still increasing in uncertainty even today. 

And it’s even worse than the graph shows. The estimates from the latest “CMIP6” models are not shown in that graph, and their estimates of “climate sensitivity” are even wider in range.

To me, there is one and only one conclusion to draw from this obvious and hugely expensive failure—the underlying description of reality is wrong

That’s why I put “climate sensitivity” in quotes … I don’t think it actually exists. I think it is part of an incorrect understanding of climate.

And that is my heresy—I do not think that changes in temperature are a constant “climate sensitivity” times the changes in forcing. I think the climate operates in a very different manner.

To be sure, our inability to determine the so-called “climate sensitivity” doesn’t tell us what might control the temperature … but it clearly tells us it’s not the amount of downwelling radiation. 

And that means we need a new underlying description of how the climate works. I say the climate is not like an oven, where you turn up or down the GHG gases and the oven slavishly gets warmer and colder. Instead, I say it works as follows:

When something acts to drive the temperature of the planet either up or down, the climate system ACTIVELY RESPONDS to shift it back towards the status quo ante.

A good introduction to my idea of how the climate works is my post called Emergent Climate Phenomena. There is also an index of my posts on the subject here.

For the math folks in the crowd, the mathematical equation that the Earth is supposed to obey according to the generally accepted theory is

∆T = λ ∆F

where ∆ is “change in”, T is temperature, λ is climate sensitivity, and F is forcing.

I am unaware of any rigorous examination of evidence for this claim. I discuss its derivation here. It obviously is trivially true for say a block of steel.

But for complex systems like the climate or the human body, it may not be true at all. For example, if I walk out in the sun, the total forcing “F” changes by hundreds of W/m2, and despite that my core temperature “T” barely moves … what is my “climate sensitivity”? Near zero.

And if you don’t think that happens in the climate, here’s an example. CERES satellite data lets us calculate the relationship between downwelling radiation (∆F) and the surface temperature (∆T). And for most of the world, we find that indeed, they are strongly positively correlated—when forcing goes up, temperature goes up in a roughly linear fashion.

But in a large expanse of the equatorial oceans, we find that the exact opposite is happening. Temperature and forcing not only decouple, but they move in opposite directions—forcing is increasing as the temperature is decreasing, and vice versa.

Figure 4. Correlation of total surface absorption with total surface emission.

Perhaps someone can tell me … in the blue areas in the graph, where ∆T and ∆F are negatively correlated … just what is the climate sensitivity? Minus 1.5?

The widely held but incorrect idea that ∆T = λ ∆F may arise from the fact that as Figure 4 above shows, on land in the extratropics, ∆T is indeed highly positively correlated with ∆F (red areas in Figure 1), and that’s where most people live.

But the oceans and the tropics tell a different story. The average ocean correlation of forcing and temperature is only 0.44, half the average land correlation, and as mentioned, large areas are negatively correlated …

My friend Nic Lewis suggested that decoupling of forcing and temperature might be from a delay in the response. However, a cross-correlation analysis (not shown) of the area in blue above says that there’s no lag between downwelling surface radiation and the resulting heating.

This means that while forcing controls the temperature many places, in the blue areas the only conclusion possible is that the temperature is decoupled from the forcing … which kinda knocks a hole in the underlying equation that claims that forcing roolz temperature, no? …

So with that as prologue, let me return to the CENOGRID study. We’ve seen that it contains temperature information. The change in CO2 forcing varies as the logarithm of the CO2 concentration. So if we make a scatterplot of temperature versus the log of the CO2 forcing, we should get something resembling a straight line.

Fortunately, the CENOGRID study also contains a graph of the CO2 levels for the past 67 million years. It’s Figure S34 in the Supplemental Information.

Unfortunately, they didn’t put in a table or a link to the actual values. Grrr …

Fortunately, I’m a patient man, so I digitized their graph. That gave me the CO2 data I needed to compare with the geological temperatures shown in Figure 2. Remember, we’re expecting temperature versus the logarithm of CO2 to plot as a sloped straight line …

However, Figure 5 shows the actual situation with the CENOGRID temperature and CO2 data.

Figure 5. Scatterplot of temperature versus the log of carbon dioxide concentration. Blue dots are individual data points. Colored/Black lines are the million-year Loess average of both variables. Because of the long-term averaging, and because the data only go to 1950, the point marked “present” has lower temperatures and CO2 values than the actual 2020 situation.

Temperature vs. log CO2 should plot as a sloped straight line where both either go up or go down together? … I don’t think so. This kinda defines the concept of “non-linear”. And the claimed relationship between CO2 and temperature doesn’t seem to exist.

Consider, for example, the period of the first Warmhouse (orange) to the end of the Hothouse (red). During that time, the individual CO2 values (blue dots) went from ~ 260 to ~ 1200 ppmv, more than two doublings … but the temperature barely rose.

And the situation is worse in Coolhouse 1. Over the twenty million year period from 34 to 14 million years ago, the CO2 varied from about 290 to 800 ppmv, going up and down repeatedly within that range.

But over that twenty million years, the temperature basically didn’t vary much at all!.

In fact, that seems to be the general case. Each of the periods that they identify in their paper, from Hothouse down to Icehouse, contains times lasting millions of years when CO2 goes up and down, doubling and halving, but the temperature only varies minimally. Look at Figure 1.

Now, I thought that the hype was all in the press release. However, the authors themselves say:

If CO2 emissions continue unmitigated until 2100, as assumed for the RCP8.5 scenario, Earth’s climate system will be moved abruptly from the Icehouse into the Warmhouse or even Hothouse climate state. 

The climate “will be moved abruptly” … be afraid. Be very afraid …

First off, the RCP8.5 scenario is the hyper-alarmist scenario. It shouldn’t be used. But more to the point, even if these are separate stable climate states, where is the evidence that CO2 levels are driving the shift between the states? 

Because according to their own data, the shifts between the states don’t generally occur at the extreme CO2 values during that climate state. And in fact, the shift from Coolhouse 2 to Icehouse occurred at a higher CO2 level than the shift from Coolhouse 1 to the colder Coolhouse 2.

Next, suppose our CO2 were to go up to 700 ppmv … unlikely, but possible. In Figure 5, 700 ppmv of CO2 corresponds to three past temperatures— 5°, 10°, and 14° warmer than their “present” (average of last 10,000 years).

So which of their outhouses are they saying that we would end up in?

In short, I see absolutely nothing in their analysis to support their alarmist statement which is driving the media hype.

I must say, when I started out to look at this CENOGRID dataset, I did not expect to find persuasive evidence that CO2 is not the secret temperature knob controlling the temperature. But that is the clear conclusion from the CENOGRID study … nor is this a surprise in the larger sense.

I ask you … in what other complex physical flow system far from equilibrium is some typical steady-state parameter a simple function of only one of dozens of input and other variables? It makes no sense that all other variables would average out and only CO2 would make a difference to the global temperature.

TL;DR version?

The CENOGRID data says that changing atmospheric CO2 levels do not cause global temperature changes.

… or for the mathletes …

∆T ≠ λ ∆F

It’s night here on our patch of hill, six miles (10 km) from the Pacific Ocean and an hour and a half north of San Francisco. I just went outside, and it took my breath away. For the first time in a couple of weeks, I could see the stars.

The smoke here from the West Coast fires has been of various thicknesses and altitudes, but constant. One day last week it was so thick we had room lights on all day. When darkness came that night, not one of the solar path lamps had enough power to come on.

This recent week, the smoke has been up at a higher altitude. It’s been blown out over the ocean up by Oregon. From there it went out to sea and then circled back in. It has been riding on top of the “marine layer” as it’s been coming back into the coast here.

The California coast is funny. There’s a bone-cold deep-sea current that strikes the coast and upwells in a strip along the whole north coast that’s maybe 30 to 60 miles wide (50-100 km) from the shore outwards.

And there’s generally a warm moist wind that blows over the land from the warm blue north Pacific Ocean. But when the wind hits that strip of cold green water along the coast, the lowest layer of air cools way down. Being cold, it’s heavy. So when it hits the land it tends to hug the surface. And if the temperature is cool enough, the moist wind turns to fog.

This ground-level layer of cold air and fog is called the “marine layer”. It’s generally on the order of half-mile to a mile (a couple km) thick. And the Oregon smoke coming back in off the ocean is up above the marine layer here.

This has kept the worst of the smoke off of us, but the combination of smoke and fog has blocked the sun, moon, and most of all the stars for far too long.

So when I looked up tonight expecting gray, and I saw instead the Milky Way coruscating across the black velvet sky and Mars sitting on the celestial equator, I was lost in wonder at the stupendous glory of our magnificent eternity.

And I thought, “Indeed, the earth abides,” and my heart was eased.

My best regards to all, if you’re ordering the bat soup tell them to go easy on the bats, stay well,


PS—As usual, I ask that when you comment, you quote the exact words that you are discussing. This avoids misunderstanding as to what and even who you are talking about.

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
September 15, 2020 10:42 am

One must keep up with the Tokamak neighbors on spending after all.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 15, 2020 12:03 pm

Thanks for having patience to dig into this. You have a typo calling “Coolhouse 1” , Icehouse 1 but the point is good. There was a doubling of CO2 in that period and neglibible change in temps. In fact it’s slightly negative with the higher CO2 end being slightly cooler.

That should put a nail in the coffin of the persistent fraudulent attempts to rewrite geological history to make CO2 the control knob.

Nice work.

September 15, 2020 10:49 am

Thanks, Willis, for continuing objective analysis of public nonsense.
I do wonder what the impact of smoke was on the solar PV and wind “alternative energy” generation so fancied by the catastrophic climate change crowd.

Curious George
September 15, 2020 10:52 am

“During the period shown in Figure 1, entire new branches of science have sprung up” – make it Figure 3.

September 15, 2020 10:59 am

I’m sure the author’s of this “study” never expected someone to actually take the same data and do an independent look see. My guess is we will never hear a peep from them since rarely (ever?) does anyone get called on their conclusions as long as it tows the line.

Reply to  rbabcock
September 15, 2020 11:29 pm


John Tillman
September 15, 2020 10:59 am

Ma or Mya means “million years ago”. YBP signifies years before present, where “present” means 1950. But for millions of years, geologists and astronomers just go with “ago”, although the former prefer mya and the latter myr.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
September 15, 2020 11:39 am

This somewhat counter-consensus paper on Cretaceous CO2 uses “Myr”.

The Cretaceous has always posed problems for models.

CO2 and temperature decoupling at the million-year scale during the Cretaceous Greenhouse

CO2 is considered the main greenhouse gas involved in the current global warming and the primary driver of temperature throughout Earth’s history. However, the soundness of this relationship across time scales and during different climate states of the Earth remains uncertain. Here we explore how CO2 and temperature are related in the framework of a Greenhouse climate state of the Earth. We reconstruct the long-term evolution of atmospheric CO2 concentration (pCO2) throughout the Cretaceous from the carbon isotope compositions of the fossil conifer Frenelopsis. We show that pCO2 was in the range of ca. 150–650 ppm during the Barremian–Santonian interval, far less than what is usually considered for the mid Cretaceous. Comparison with available temperature records suggest that although CO2 may have been a main driver of temperature and primary production at kyr or smaller scales, it was a long-term consequence of the climate-biological system, being decoupled or even showing inverse trends with temperature, at Myr scales. Our analysis indicates that the relationship between CO2 and temperature is time scale-dependent at least during Greenhouse climate states of the Earth and that primary productivity is a key factor to consider in both past and future analyses of the climate system.

Reply to  John Tillman
September 15, 2020 12:19 pm

So we had no-Greenhouse climate states ?
But only because CO2 and temperature didn’t correlate during some era….
Seems questionable….

Ian W
Reply to  Krishna Gans
September 17, 2020 6:28 am

It supports the Willis Heresy.

Perhaps not only is CO2 not the control knob – perhaps CO2 has no real effect on the overall atmospheric and surface temperatures of the Earth which is a complex chaotic system not, as Willis said, a simple block of iron.

The earth is 90% water or land covered with plants transpiring water. Simplistic heat vector down hits surface therefore surface warmer is untrue. In Florida in the midday Sun walk barefoot across a lawn then step onto a concrete path. The temperature difference is immediately apparent. The grass is cool the path is very hot.

Now consider downwelling infrared reaching the 75% of the surface that is oceans. The infrared is absorbed by the first water molecule it collides with and increases the energy of the water molecule which may then have the required energy to evaporate – taking the latent heat of evaporation with it – more than the downwelling infrared has added. So the surface of oceans are coooled by downwelling infrared. A volume of air containing water vapor is lighter than dry air (H2O is lighter than O2 or N2) so it will convect upward and be replaced by drier air increasing the evaporative cooling as a breeze is caused.

It is no accident that the cool areas in Willis’ map are at the ITCZ and the towering convective thunderstorms of the Hadley Cells.

I am with the heretic

If you want a simple way for the atmosphere to be warmer ‘than it should be’ then latent heat being released by water molecules on condensation and freezing would provide that for the troposphere in far larger quantities than CO2 scattering of infrared.

September 15, 2020 11:02 am

Wrong data?
CO2 at present is not 200 ppm, but rather 400 ppm and the temperature is much higher.

Bill Taylor
Reply to  Alex
September 15, 2020 11:25 am

co2 is a very minor ghg and the human portion of co2 is only about maybe 5% of that MINOR gas…….blaming humans for climate change is IDIOCY.

Reply to  Alex
September 15, 2020 11:31 am

Much higher? Where?

Reply to  Alex
September 15, 2020 11:36 am

Figure 5. Scatterplot of temperature versus the log of carbon dioxide concentration. Blue dots are individual data points. Colored/Black lines are the million-year Loess average of both variables. Because of the long-term averaging, and because the data only go to 1950, the point marked “present” has lower temperatures and CO2 values than the actual 2020 situation.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Alex
September 15, 2020 12:18 pm


You are inferring that correlation implies causation between temperature and CO2 in your comment. Please enlighten yourself on the fallacy of doing so….

“..In statistics, the phrase “correlation does not imply causation” refers to the inability to legitimately deduce a cause-and-effect relationship between two variables solely on the basis of an observed association or correlation between them.[1][2] The idea that “correlation implies causation” is an example of a questionable-cause logical fallacy, in which two events occurring together are taken to have established a cause-and-effect relationship.>>”

Although the explanation above refers to the correlation-causation fallacy in statistics, I believe I would be accurate in stating that the fallacy applies in science as well.

Bill Taylor
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 15, 2020 1:58 pm

example = every person that gets any disease and dies drank water, does drinking water cause disease and then death?…a 100% correlation, but ZERO cause

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Bill Taylor
September 15, 2020 3:51 pm

To be fair, you should quantify the amount of water drunk and compare that with either how sick people get, or the age at which they die. Otherwise, you cannot assign a correlation coefficient or amount of variance assigned to either variable.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 15, 2020 7:58 pm

Hang on, are you suggesting we need to split our death figures into ‘Died from water’ and ‘Died with water’?

I can’t see the point of that. Water is water. Every new case of water is a cause for concern and we should… no, MUST lock down the entire planet until either a water vaccine is found or until after the US elections.


CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Bill Taylor
September 15, 2020 6:05 pm

Gotta quit drinking water, it’s killing me. /sarc

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 15, 2020 9:15 pm

Its like that old saying, “You can’t live with it, and you can’t live without it!”

Oriel Kolnai
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 16, 2020 12:16 am

Alex infers ‘co-relation implies causation’ Correct – it may not, however it may. For speculation is driven by error. Over centuries, cholera co-related with ‘foul air’ and many died. Dr John Snow realised this so-say co-relation was not the cause, and in a leap of the imagination correctly hypothesised contaminated water. But notice that he first challenged the co-relation at its root. A false hypothesis was thereby made fruitful.

Alex simply wants to know what the current situation is, with CO2 at near double levels to those of 1950. Temperature is rising at 0.14 degree each decade (according to UAH data). However in the earlier modern period (roughly between 1950 and 1980) temperature fell whilst CO2 rocketed up, leading to predictions of an ice age, hence predictive failure.

We are still a long way from understanding climate change in any other than vast (hence vague) timesets. All we really need is free debate (C19th standards) and colossal amounts of work and testing. And thereby hangs a real problem…..the treason of the clerics.

Reply to  Oriel Kolnai
September 16, 2020 10:32 am

The foul air = mal air, malaria not cholera.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 16, 2020 3:32 am

Correlation does not imply causation, but there is no causation without correlation. In short, correlation is necessary but not sufficient for causation.

Reply to  Alex
September 15, 2020 12:39 pm

Read the article again!
Willis points out this data is for 1950, not now.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Sunderlandsteve
September 15, 2020 9:17 pm

What’s 70 years out of 65 million?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 17, 2020 10:00 pm

Speaking of 65 Myrs ago, the Meteor impact barely moved the CO2 needle. No way it killed off the dinosaurs.

Reply to  Sunderlandsteve
September 15, 2020 11:54 pm


Not really – Willis points out the data used for the crossplot are the 1 Ma average data – so “present” represents the period of the last 1 million years. The difference between 1950 and 2020 has little impact on a million year average.

Reply to  Alex
September 15, 2020 11:51 pm

Alex – read the data description and Willis’ title of his graph. The data is originally sampled at 2 kyr (0 – 34 Ma) and 4.4 kyr (34 – 67 Ma). Data are then resampled and smoothed. Willis is showing the 1 Ma smoothed data in his crossplot, hence the point marked “present” shows the average over 1 million years before 1950. Willis clearly states this in his title.

This is also a good lesson in why you ABSOLUTELY CANNOT SPLICE ON CURRENT DAY OR SCENARIOS PROJECTING 100 YEARS IN THE FUTURE AND COMPARE to such low resolution data, as the original authors have done. Even at 2000 yr resolution, showing a point for say RCP8.5 80 years in the future has a MUCH higher variance than even the 2 kyr sampling. The original authors should know this and should not plot those points for comparisons – its pure propaganda. If the original authors don’t know this then they are incompetent.

See Marcott 2013 for exactly the same nonsense of plotting points at different resolution to make the projections look alarming in a historical context.

Reply to  ThinkingScientist
September 16, 2020 12:28 am

I posted an example of the effect of smoothing further down, but to show how a future “RCP” projection would plot I’ll repeat simple example here at 2000 yr resolution.

Lets suppose for 2000 years the CO2 has been 285 ppm and that the temperature anomaly was 0 degC
Lets imagine we have a scenario of 100 yrs of increasing CO2 to 570 ppm at the end of the period, with a T anomaly at the end of 100 yrs of +4 degC.

Over the next 100 yrs the average CO2 is (285+570)/2 = 427.5 ppm
Over the next 100 yrs the average T is (0+4)/2 = +2 degC

Now lets convert the 2000 yr average point of 285 ppm/ 0 T to a same resolution point 100 years in the future:

1900/2000 * 285 ppm + 100/2000 * 427.5 ppm = 292.125 ppm
1900/2000 * 0 T + 100/2000 * 2 T = 0.1 degC

So at the same resolution, a point 100 yrs in the future which is +4 deg C and doubled CO2 from 285 ppm would only plot 0.1 degC anomaly higher and at 292 ppm (2%).

that’s why the original authors representation of RCP pathways is complete bollocks and designed to intentionally mislead.

Sam the First
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
September 16, 2020 1:13 pm

Can you write a refutation to send to Science magazine? Maybe you have enough clout that it would get published.

September 15, 2020 11:07 am

Thanks for explaining that I am a heretic. For a long time I have thought our atmosphere is a multivariate system. I have just never been able to express it as eloquently as you have now done.

September 15, 2020 11:07 am

How many decades now have they been telling us we’re all gonna roast? At 02:00 this morning this trucker woke up in a rest area on I-96 west of Grand Rapids and a little east of Spring Lake, MI under his heavy blanket. When I got out of the truck to use the facilities and do my pre-trip inspection I wished I had put on a long sleeve shirt. It was 50 deg. F and I wasn’t from from lake Michigan. Doggone leftists are always promising stuff that I never get! I want my “global warming” sometime before I die!

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  rah
September 15, 2020 12:45 pm

Rah, Grand Rapids MI is relatively close to the Canadian border.
As someone said the other day: “Climate Change stops at the Canadian border.”
So you were just experiencing a tiny spill over of Climate Stop in Canada.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
September 15, 2020 1:12 pm

Actually Grand Rapids is not even half way up between the Indiana state line and the top of the Michigan mitten. But it is about the same latitude as London, ON. Done plenty of loads into Ontario and a few into Quebec but the furthest north I have been driving a big truck is Owens Sound. When in the Army I spent a couple days and nights up at Goose Bay. Been a few other places in Canada also.

Reply to  rah
September 15, 2020 2:16 pm

I just made the 420 mile trip N-S from Sault Ste. Marie, MI on the Canadian border to Fort Wayne, IN and all I can say is: what a nice white sky. So, I got to wondering, if what I saw was smoke from the burning left coast the smoke plume is on a scale of a major eruption. We’re just entering Autumn, could this make this coming winter a wee bit colder?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  rah
September 15, 2020 3:55 pm

Goose Bay is a delightful place. We stopped briefly to re-fuel the aircraft before heading to Thule air base. It was early July and it was overcast. I didn’t go outside, but it looked cold and wet.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 15, 2020 4:25 pm

Whole bunch of Injun country right outside the gate. Real wilderness. One doesn’t even have to leave the base to see that. The Ops center is underground and outside engine block heater hookups hang down over each parking space.
In my picture collection I have a photo taken out the window of a C-130 in flight that shows a feathered prop and then down below an iceberg. Lost an engine in transit back to Ft. Devens, MA from Copenhagen and landed at Goose Bay.

Ian W
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 17, 2020 6:37 am

Flew out of Goose Bay (minus 37C) to Deer Lake.
On descent into Deer Lake, pilot reported the weather as “scattered snow showers light winds and a pleasantly warm minus 10C.”

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
September 15, 2020 2:52 pm

No, its intelligence that stops at the canadian border.
Some of us try but its so hard..

“so much stupid, so little time to mock it all”.

Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
September 15, 2020 4:16 pm

Hmmm…. going North or South from the border?…. 😉

Justin asking, eh?

Jimmy Walter
September 15, 2020 11:08 am

You are a hero in my eyes for doing all this work and it is great work.
Unfortunately, you are Cassandra. Nothing you or anyone else can say will change their minds or propaganda. It will take a lot of snow on the ground in August to make a dent. Even then, they will claim it was caused by CO2

Thomas Gasloli
September 15, 2020 11:10 am

I guess what it comes down to is: how much data does there have to be to show CO2 has nothing to do with it before the PhDs will admit it, and I include in that the so-called lukewarmers like Curry & Christy . I’m not requiring them to point to another cause, just admit this one is wrong.

CO2 causes climate change is a zombie hypothesis. There is no life in this scientifically unsupported hypothesis, and yet it is still around. It is truly mind boggling.

Ron Long
September 15, 2020 11:19 am

Interesting data presentation, Willis. A geologist named Peter Wylie wrote a book titled: The Dynamic Earth, which was an introduction, for many geologists, to the complex Plate Tectonics history and current activity of the earth. It looks like your data plot Fig. 5 shows trends that persist for some millions of years then the trends enter into another control mechanism. When we look at long stretches of earth history we need to include an analysis of where the plates (continents, if you want) were with respect to each other and at what latitude they were. The changing positions of these plates forces changing patterns of ocean currents. If there was an Ice Age and no continents were in generally polar locations you couldn’t stack up ice on them and the floating sea ice would not change sea level, for instance. When will there be sufficiently accurate data to analyze the chaotic climate history of the earth and correlate it with an ever-changing mix of control mechanisms?
I’m presuming the negative forcing effect for equatorial oceans is due to the build-up of cumulonimbas clouds/thunderstorms, which are efficient movers of thermal energy to upper atmospheric levels. Willis, you have seen more than your share of these clouds building almost every day, what do you think?

Reply to  Ron Long
September 15, 2020 11:42 am

In support of your comment, Ron, the global picture (Fig 4 above) shows lower correlation figures on land, similar to those of the ocean, in areas where the remaining rain forests are located : the amazon and tributaries , Congo and the tip of SE Asia.

Gary Wescom
Reply to  Ron Long
September 15, 2020 1:05 pm

Continental Drift may be an important factor. Just a casual look showed the Hot House to Warm House switch happened about the time the Africa/Eurasia gap closed. Warm house to Cool 1 switch was about when the Africa/Antarctica gap opened. The Cool 1 to Cool 2 switch occurred about when Australia/Asia gap was closing. Of course, all these dates are a bit vague as the continental motion is so slow. Transitions in ocean current tracks that might cause significant climate changes would be slow also but could easily in the million or two year range.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  Ron Long
September 15, 2020 3:13 pm

I’d ask: what happened between 34 and 47 mya? Sure looks like a system state (attractor?) change to me.

Gary Wescom
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 15, 2020 8:21 pm

Perhaps those attractors are thermohaline circulation patterns allowed by specific crustal plate configurations. As crustal plates shift, eventually configurations occur forcing shifting thermohaline current paths. Different upwelling/downwelling areas develop. Areas and amounts of equatorial-polar energy transfer shift. Earth’s temperature could easily be shifted with each major ocean current path shift affecting heat transport.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ron Long
September 15, 2020 4:04 pm

I have felt for some time that ECS is not a constant representing the slope of the relationship between CO2 and temperature, but is, instead, a variable that changes with temperature, CO2, and other things. In fact, if the actual causal relationship is reversed from what the alarmists assume, then the relative proportion of land versus ocean may be an important influence. That is, plate tectonics changes the surface area of ocean water from which degassing can supply CO2 to the atmosphere. I agree with Willis that the data do not support the physical model that is the current paradigm.

John Andrews
Reply to  Ron Long
September 16, 2020 7:44 am

It seems to me that the time periods involved of millions of years means that the earth’s position in the galaxy is changing enough that the cosmic ray flux would be an important factor in the cloudiness and therefore, the albedo and temperature of the earth. No one seems to consider this. I think it may be important.

September 15, 2020 11:22 am

Thanks for your analysis and comments. It might be helpful to add in data through 2020 on your graph to see the “alarming” trend vs millions of years in the past.

Reply to  John
September 16, 2020 12:10 am

NO! That’s the deceptive trick the original authors were trying to pull by plotting the RCP points. Wrong resolution – no comparison possible.

By way of example, lets eyeball the plot and estimate that the average CO2 for the last million years is 210 ppm and the mean temp anomaly is -4.

Now lets add in an average temperature rise of 2 deg over 100 yrs (ie anomaly of -2) and a CO2 average of 450 ppm over that 100 yrs. How does that affect the point marked present?

Weighted averaging would approximately give us:

999900/1e6 * 210ppm + 100/1e6 * 450ppm = 210.024 ppm
999900/1e6 * -4 T + 100/1e06 * -2T = -3.9998 T

So the next 1 Ma average point, including some huge projected temp rise into the next 100 yrs by RCP whatever, when plotted at the same resolution, would be indistinguishable from the point marked “present”.

Resolution changes variance (variance goes down as the averaging becomes larger). That’s why whenever points like RCP8.5 are plotted on paleo data its bollocks intended to make a propaganda point and imply the future is outside natural variability. There are ways to correct variance for change of scale (known as “support” in geostatistics) – I should probably write something up on it and show some examples. The difficulty is the methods rely on stationary processes, but it would be worth showing a stationary example to demonstrate how bogus the practice of plotting modern values and projections on very averaged paleo data is.

September 15, 2020 11:27 am

I’m a firm believer that the set temp for this planet is a whole lot colder….

…and the further you get away from that…the harder it is to pull it off

John Tillman
September 15, 2020 11:28 am

Estimates of CO2 levels before the PETM vary greatly. At Castle Rock, CO, the range estimate is 352 to 1110 ppm, with a median of 616 ppm. Willis’ Figure 5 shows it moving from 400 ppm to below 300 ppm, then up to 600 ppm in the earliest Eocene. Other proxy studies have suggested 1500 to 2500 during the PETM itself, although this has been doubted.

Temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration estimates through the PETM using triple oxygen isotope analysis of mammalian bioapatite

The science is unsettled and so sullied by climate profiteers’ wishful publishing that the “data” aren’t fit for any purpose.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
September 15, 2020 1:17 pm

Some Cretaceous CO2 estimates, based upon somata, checked against other proxies:

(A) low of ~560–960 ppm in the early Barremian (129 Ma) and a high of ~620–1200 ppm in the Albian (101.5-113 Ma).

But then the world warmed up, and estimates of CO2 reach 1000 ppm or higher during the Cretaceous Thermal Maximum (CTM), which began at the Cenomanian-Turonian transition ~94 Ma, and peaked about 90 Ma. CO2 then used to be thought higher, but, perhaps in order better to jibe with models, guesses have been falling.

The CTM included an ocean anoxic event, in which ichthyosaurs appear to have gone extinct, opening up niches for the rapid evolution of mosasaurs.

September 15, 2020 11:32 am

In figure 3, there seem to be half a dozen papers coming out every year, up til about 2018, then no more papers.
Did they just give up trying to figure out what the ECS is?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 15, 2020 2:53 pm

You said, “… we’re even further from measuring the “climate sensitivity” than when we started 40 years ago.” I predict that there will be consensus on the correct ECS when the first commercial, thermonuclear fusion reactor comes online. 🙂

Larry in Texas
September 15, 2020 11:33 am

Willis, again I have to thank you for the continuing education you give me (the mere layman) on the subject of climate. I have always wondered (along with others, I know) why only one variable – one that currently comprises around 0.468% of the total composition of Earth’s atmosphere, especially – controls the temperatures (I say that deliberately plural, because we are all familiar with weather and climate regional variations) of the Earth. You once again expose the charlatans for who they are.

Reply to  Larry in Texas
September 15, 2020 5:06 pm

Are you talking about CO2? It’s about 415 ppm, which is ~0.04%.

September 15, 2020 11:33 am


For this: “And the situation is worse in Icehouse 1. “, I think you mean Coolhouse1

September 15, 2020 11:34 am

If we get back to “Coolhouse” level, perhaps we can end or abate the Quaternary glaciations (i.e. Ice Ages)

Sounds like a good thing to me

Eric Eikenberry
September 15, 2020 11:40 am

One day they’ll come to realize that it’s not the makeup of the atoms in the atmosphere but rather the currents which circulate the atmosphere from ocean to continent and back which controls global temps. But hey, what do I know. This is why the system is self-regulating always back to semi-equilibrium. The rise of the Isthmus of Panama is (reported by geologists) what set up the “cool house” and “ice house” climate as it wrecked the equatorial current in the oceans and created a new “gulf stream” paradigm. When the flow patterns change, the global temperature changes. When the sun’s output changes, the flow patterns change. Period.

Meanwhile, I shall continue to enjoy CO2 in my Coca-Cola with a wry smile.

John Tillman
Reply to  Eric Eikenberry
September 15, 2020 12:52 pm

A Cool House, with Antarctic ice sheet, occurred during the Oligocene and Miocene Epochs after deep ocean channels opened between Antarctic and South America and Australia. Cooling reversed slightly during the mid-Miocene as the Scotia Plate’s movement briefly (in geotime) shoaled the Drake Passage.

Then we entered an Ice House, with NH ice sheets, when the Isthmus of Panama was created. A shallow Inter-American Seaway briefly reopened around 1.8 Ma, which used to be the start of the Pleistocene before the Gelasian Age, c. 2.6 to 1.8 Ma, was correctly added to it.

Reply to  Eric Eikenberry
September 17, 2020 3:18 pm

Thanks for your illuminating geology-palaeontology comments.

Bruce Cobb
September 15, 2020 12:01 pm

Meanwhile, climate “science” appears to be barreling towards the Nuthouse state.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
September 15, 2020 5:47 pm


Joe Campbell
September 15, 2020 12:13 pm

Willis: Your figure 5 is extraordinary! Notice that the “yellow” and “red” data form a nearly flat presentation (temperature anomaly almost constant over a wide variation in CO2 concentration), terminated by the “gold” denoted data, with it’s strange shape. Then the “Coolhouse 1” data set presents, again, almost a constant temperature anomaly over a large range of CO2 values, again terminated with a strange, but kinda-familiar, shape. Finally, there is not enough “Icehouse” data to suggest “three nails it”, but the other earlier data sets certainly suggest that temperature anomaly is decoupled from CO2 concentration. Rather, it looks as if “Mother Earth” runs along for millions of years only to be disturbed by “something”, hammers around until stability is again reached, which again lasts for millions of more years, only to be shocked again. The system seems to be searching again for a new stability point…

September 15, 2020 12:18 pm

Always trust real observations over the models

Adrian Mann
Reply to  Stevek
September 15, 2020 1:21 pm

If the models, or theories, or guesses disagree with observation, then they are wrong.

Reply to  Adrian Mann
September 15, 2020 4:13 pm

Hey now thanks to Adrian for adding to Stevek’s comment by elucidating his theory via restating it practically word for word!

Nice work Adrian!

September 15, 2020 12:30 pm

I thought (aka read across many of the climate change websites) that temperature rise nearly always preceded CO2 rise – going back multi-millions of years…or were those special graphs.

Further were these authors ‘hoisted on their own petard’ when their data was interrogated with your granularity?

Reply to  rickk
September 15, 2020 1:32 pm

rickk – Should be hoist with their own petard, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which means blown up by their own bomb.

I am constantly amazed how slow WE and other so-called climate experts are to ‘get’ that 1) An atmosphere can’t heat the surface with its own heat by any means, but only cool it 2) atmospheric CO2’s absorption/emission wavelength of 15 microns has a Planck radiation temperature of -80C, which means it can only absorb or emit the same cold radiation as dry ice, hence it can’t melt an ice cube and can’t even interfere with Earth’s surface temperature range of -50C to +50C. Entire realms of geology, paleontology, etc. have to be towed out to sea and sunk and their science refounded sans the fake physics CO2 back radiation warming hoax.

Real climate science must be built on the bedrock of Nature’s iron clad Second Law of Thermodynamics and Planck’s Radiation Law.

Reply to  TL Winslow
September 15, 2020 2:40 pm

TL Winslow for Leader!

This comment re the atmosphere heating the surface or itself should be engraved at the top of this blog every day. There is so much confusion and mis-information on here about radiative physics, but you have hit the nail squarely on the head.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Michael Moon
September 16, 2020 8:43 am


“So the claim that the atmosphere cannot leave the surface warmer than without it, simply because the atmosphere is colder than the surface”

Aren’t we leaving out two factors? 1. the human body is a heat generator and the earth is not, and 2. heat loss from a non-generating body is a function of time.

A blanket laid on a rock may slow the heat loss but it won’t keep it from eventually reaching the same temperature as the surrounding environment over time. The amount of time allowed for cooling will therefore determine the final temperature of the rock.

If we apply this to the earth then it will be the heat loss between sunset and sunrise that will determine morning temperatures. If the time interval is too short then minimum morning temperatures will go up over time. This brings up another two questions. Are minimum temps going up and, does this affect maximum daytime temps?

My guess based on my study of heating/cooling degree-days around the globe that minimum temps are going up but maximum temps are either stagnant or going down.


Tim Gorman
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 16, 2020 6:47 pm


The earth is not warmed by the sun at night. The part of the earth opposite the sun is just like the rock I used. It is not, by itself, a heat generator.

If human life could be turned off and on it would be similar. At night when the body is turned off it would generate no heat. It would cool toward the temperature of the environment.

So I’ll ask again, what will the morning temperature be for the earth?

Since every location on earth has a temperature profile with a minimum temp and a maximum temp it means the radiation is higher at the maximum temp than at the minimum temp. If you determine the “average” radiation based on the “average” temperature then your radiation value is wrong, it is over-weighted toward the maximum temp of the profile.

In other words the integral of (c)(T^^4) during night hours is less than (c)(T^^4) over daytime hours. If you are going to realistically do the physics in a model then it would seem that this needs to be recognized. Just taking “averages” hides a lot of needed detail.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 17, 2020 8:40 am

“If we first average gridcell radiation”

And where did this data come from? Is it also an average? Or is it just a snapshot in time?

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 15, 2020 6:52 pm

The blanket analogy is very wrong since it is not radiation it is convection that is inhibited by a blanket.

So far nobody could explain to me how a radiative process (absorption/emission) can be slowed down at all since it happens at speed of light. It has to work through heat capacity/latency which is not included in the common radiative theory of CO2 mediated greenhouse effect.

Reply to  Ron
September 15, 2020 8:02 pm

No, its a perfectly good analagy Ron, because everything radiates heat, even cold blankets, but especially ones that are warm because they are close to something even warmer like skin. End result is skin doesn’t lose as much heat – no heat is magically formed – just less lost. Imagine throwing off the blanket and viewing an IR image of it – there’d be a body print of heat on it. Come to think of it how do you think IR imaging works if its not detecing radiation?

Reply to  Ron
September 15, 2020 9:08 pm

Not to mention that a blanket being a solid can’t rise and cool off as it warms. To my mind, it’s a crap analogy even though there may be similarities.

Reply to  Ron
September 16, 2020 7:16 am

“because everything radiates heat”

Yes, but it does so at speed of light. What a blanket does it inhibits the convection of warmer air from you and changes the heat gradient in your closer proximity. That is why it takes time until you get warm after you put on a jacket or cover with a blanket. You have to warm the air between the blanket and yourself first to reach a new equilibrium of heat exchange.

That is not at all true for the atmosphere. The atmosphere stores heat but all of the atmosphere and not just CO2. It is minuscule in that regard because of its ppm. Convection is not inhibited.

The heat capacity of air is also a function of pressure:

“Come to think of it how do you think IR imaging works if its not detecing radiation?”

Radiation is only a minor part of heat transfer from one object to another as long as you are not in a vacuum. You can detect it but that doesn’t mean it’s significant.

Reply to  Ron
September 16, 2020 7:18 am

So if anything is like a blanket then it is the atmosphere for the surface but not CO2 for the atmosphere.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Ron
September 16, 2020 9:48 am

I’m not sure the term “slows heat loss” is correct. If your body is at a certain temperature, it radiates energy at a specific rate. Putting a blanket over you will not change that unless it changes your temperature. Another factor is conduction. The air surrounding your body will be heated by conduction. The air will then heat the blanket, again through conduction. This will continue until the temperatures of the blanket and yourself stabilize. Air heated by a cold blanket will not heat your body, so conducted heat only flows one way.

The problem with a cold object “heating” a hot one by radiation is somewhat different. If a unit of radiated energy is received by the hot body and it raises the hot bodies temperature even further and it will begin to radiate energy at the new temperature as T**4. I don’t know the exact time it takes to re-radiate the absorbed energy from the cold body, but I suspect it will look like a reflection. In all my thermo classes we never had to set up two gradients, one going from hot to cold and another going from cold to hot. It was always hot to cold.

Here is an article about using an infrared temperature meter and warning about wind aided convection. If radiation was the only effect happening here, there would be no possible way for air currents to affect the reading. Using wind on the device being measured shows that conduction of heat can certainly be an issue.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 16, 2020 4:45 pm

Slowing heat loss is not warming. “Warming” is not the same thing as “insulating.” Warming means that energy is gained by the object being warmed. If this object merely is cooling slower, it is not being warmed.

Is this what all the fuss is about? Wow…

Reply to  Michael Moon
September 16, 2020 8:04 pm

The problem there is that if you look only at radiation you cannot significantly slowdown anything cause it happens at speed of light. That’s not sufficient at all to have an impact even if the radiation travels more than one time back and forth.

Reply to  TL Winslow
September 16, 2020 2:09 am

“An atmosphere can’t heat the surface with its own heat by any means, but only cool it”

Right now, in the UK, temperatures are many degrees higher than normal for mid September. This is entirely due to southerly winds. They are considerably warmer than the normal westerlies. They are quite clearly making the surface warmer than it would otherwise be.

Are you one of those “weather deniers”?

Wolf at the door
September 15, 2020 1:00 pm

The problem is that the ” mantra ” of the warmists-” CO2 is a greenhouse gas .Add more and more of it to the atmosphere and it’s obvious that the planet will heat up “- is easy to follow ,especially for the non – scientific public and the ever hungry for sensationalism MSM.Add to this the fact that the understanding of the rebuttal requires a certain amount of scientific know-how and it’s relatively easy for the charlatans(can’t call them scientists) to shout “Fire”- and be believed.I don’t think it’s fair to damn Judith Curry and John Christy with faint
praise- they call it as they see it ,Christy especially is very sceptical. Worse even than Mann,Schmidt and Wanted are those who know the truth and remain silent.

Wolf at the door
September 15, 2020 1:50 pm

Sorry typo Mann,Schmidt and Santer

September 15, 2020 1:54 pm

Ok interesting.
So we learn that not for every epoch Co2 is linked to temperature due to different unknown aspects.
However your conclusion that this also holds up for our current time is a false logic you are applying.
We thus have to look only to this epoch to draw conclusions what lies ahead of us.

See for example the data for this epoch and undeniable correlation between Co2 and temperature.

Oh surpise! A clear correlation!

Wolf at the door
Reply to  Yours
September 15, 2020 3:27 pm

“A clear correlation..”
Suggest you consult Tony Heller’s examination of NOAA\NASA corruption of the global and USA temperature records at ,and\or UAH satellite data.(Sorry my machine won’t let me give url)

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 16, 2020 12:35 am

Dear Willis,

If your Cola-reasoning would hold up, it would also hold up for the other epochs you were describing earlier and using as an example against the science.

There we see the Cola effect is not taking place, … Why not?

Kind regards,


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 16, 2020 3:24 am

“Because the temperature is not changing except during the regime shifts, and they are not all that large.”

I think you are referring to a part of the data and again taking conclusions for other epochs.

However: Coolhouse 2, Figure 5 for example is already showing a temperature increase of 5 degrees, while the CO2 concentration is decreasing. Your statement can thus not be generalized.

The bottomline of the discussion here is in my opinion that the climate system is much more complex than the simple generalization that we are trying to make here; as demonstrated by you and many others.

Therefore running evermore complex models which show us more accurate results do make sense and show us the true effect of CO2 on the world heating.

Furthermore, we are also discussing here timescales of millions of years, where world climate systems have time to adapt.

The CO2 increase during the anthropocene is in that sense much faster and much more disruptive than previously seen before.


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 16, 2020 4:52 am

“The CO2 increase during the anthropocene is in that sense much faster and much more disruptive than previously seen before.”

In the past the CO2 increase was because it came from the oceans slowly as they warmed and lagged the temperature increase as a result. Clearly the warming was due to “another” cause. Today the CO2 increase is fast because we’re putting it there ourselves. The oceans would have put it there too, over time.

That still doesn’t make today’s CO2 increase causitive to catastrophic warming.

Reply to  Yours
September 16, 2020 2:51 am

“There we see the Cola effect is not taking place, … Why not?”

Because once the CO2 has left the oceans it can be kept out by locking it up on the land. Hence when life thrives, the global CO2 levels can remain high and continue to increase despite static temperatures. But when life declines on large scales, that CO2 cant be kept out of the oceans and will again be sequestered.

The biosphere is much too complex to be driven by any single internal factor.

Reply to  Yours
September 16, 2020 2:12 am

Yours says:

“Oh surpise! A clear correlation!”

But with a lag of about 800 years in the wrong direction for your trite “correlation”.

Temperature leads CO2 in the NOAA plot you show. Just hard to see at the scale shown, but a cross-correlation shows it averages about 800 years. Al Gore pulled the same trick in “An Inconvenient Truth”.

Reply to  ThinkingScientist
September 16, 2020 6:53 am

The same correlation is also found with other trace gases like N2O, xenon, and methane, From the ice-core record, temperatures (from oxygen isotope ratios) ALWAYS change before gas concentrations with a lag of about 800 years. .

The central pillar of the CAGW hypothesis is thus falsified.

September 15, 2020 2:08 pm

Willis, no one can resolve climate sensitivity because averages temperature is a linear function of temperature while radiation is a 4th power function of temperature.

As a result, an infinite number of different global average temperatures yield the exact same outgoing radiation, depending upon the global variance in temperature.

As a corollary, one single global average temperature yields an infinite number of outgoing radiations, again depending upon variance.

For example, consider 2 planets with a hot and cold side, with an average temp of 3K.

Planet A. Hot = 4, cold = 2
Radiation proportional to (4^4+2^4)/2 = 136

Planet B. Hot = 5, cold = 1
Radiation proportional to (5^4+1^4)/2 = 313

2 planets, exact same average temperature, totally different radiation budgets.

Bill Treuren
Reply to  ferdberple
September 15, 2020 8:34 pm

so earths temperature difference day and night has shrunk does this account for the temperature rise then

Tim Gorman
Reply to  ferdberple
September 16, 2020 9:06 am



This is why the “global average temperature” is so meaningless. If you truly want to calculate radiation values you need to do an integral of the temperature envelope over the surface of the globe. A truly huge amount of data to be integrated. Trying to use average temperature as a proxy is just pouring computer time down a rat hole.

Joe Crawford
September 15, 2020 2:15 pm

Willis, I have to agree with Joe Campbell: “Your figure 5 is extraordinary!” I would think that figure alone should, at a minimum, force a reexamination of their conclusions and, more likely, a retraction of the paper. I don’t see how the Climate Change crowd can permit the paper to stand when the data (re your Fig. 5) destroys the foundational hypothesis of their theory of “Global Warming”.

Lurker pete
Reply to  Joe Crawford
September 16, 2020 5:30 am

” I don’t see how the Climate Change crowd can permit the paper to stand when the data (re your Fig. 5) destroys the foundational hypothesis of their theory of “Global Warming”.”

Because it’s a convenient untruth?

September 15, 2020 2:28 pm

Because outgoing radiation depends upon temperature variance as shown in my above posting, it could be that the change in average temperature over the past century is simply due to a change in variance, with no underlying change in the radiation budget.

This brings up the possibility that temperature change is not due to a change in external forcing. It may simply reflect changes in ocean and atmospheric currents, modifying the temperature variance between the equator and the poles.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  ferdberple
September 16, 2020 9:07 am


Dave Goodridge
September 15, 2020 2:43 pm

I went to the PANGAEA site looking for the basis of your Figure 5 but was unable to find anything related to temperature or CO2 concentrations. The site was a source for logged data points of benthic foraminifera, but that’s all I could find. Please advise. Thanks.

Howard Dewhirst
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 15, 2020 6:09 pm

Graet story WIllis
But today’s CO2 is 412 , not 200 as shown in Fig 5 – or have I missed something?

Clyde Spencer
September 15, 2020 2:58 pm

Note that the first figure, which extrapolates future temperatures, does so under the rubric of the unapproved “Anthropocene” age. That says a lot about the objectivity of the author and her graduate research.

September 15, 2020 3:01 pm

∆T ≠ λ ∆F
This equation is mostly incorrect because it assumes that you can take a simple average of delta T or delta F.

The problem is that

((T1+T2)^4)/2 not equal ((T1^4)+(T2^4))/2

So when you grid the earths temperature and average and homogenize and then try and balance the 4th power energy budget, you get a totally different answer if you early average vs late average.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 15, 2020 6:39 pm

Hi Willis

We are talking about two different things. You are talking about the 1C change in temp over a century which I agree is near linear.

What I am talking about is the much larger variance in T that occurs day to day and year to year and how this affects the radiation balance.

If you are able to send me contact information I will write up the details and send them to you. I would appreciate your review. The details are beyond a blog post.

Mods, you have my permission to give Willis my email address. Thanks.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  ferdberple
September 16, 2020 9:09 am


I think you are headed down the right path.

Phil Salmon
Reply to  ferdberple
September 17, 2020 3:28 pm

So Ferd – do longer term temperature changes in climate emerge from fractal diurnal-annual temperature variation, somewhat as profits or losses emerge from playing the stock market?

September 15, 2020 3:16 pm

A person with one watch will always know what the time is.
A person with two watches is never quite sure . . .

September 15, 2020 3:20 pm

Was I the last person to know that Nuttela deposits accurately track prehistoric temperatures? Oh, wait.

Ulric Lyons
September 15, 2020 3:30 pm

I detect malfeasance in the splicing in Figure 1. The Holocene Optimum is showing as being warmer than any interglacial of the last million years, and the present is showing as warm as the Holocene Optimum. As for the nest 300 years, there will be the biggest super solar minima for 3500 years.

Robert of Texas
September 15, 2020 3:33 pm

“When something acts to drive the temperature of the planet either up or down, the climate system ACTIVELY RESPONDS to shift it back towards the status quo ante.”

I really don’t know if there is a “status quo” but I certainly agree that there is some RANGE of temperature that the interacting systems of climate seems to prefer. The further one pushes climate from this range, the more actively the systems in total seem to resist.

The real question seems to me whether if life in total (biological life) does better at warmer or cooler temperatures. I think a more moderate Earth (which alarmists call warmer) is more favorable to life – more species and mass.

If current climate change is mostly natural, then should humans be trying to adjust it because they do not want to have to adapt? That seems like a really selfish viewpoint. Humans after all are very good at adaptation.

September 15, 2020 3:59 pm

Well, I think the simple answer is that in 67 million year, Earth surface changed.
A simple element was the Antarctica was not centered at the south pole 60 million years ago.
Our current world is icehouse climate. Though I like the term icebox, as in another word for refrigerator. I could make plainer by saying a climate which is refrigerated, a refrigerator climate. But icebox climate is seems clear enough to me.
So we in Ice Age, and Ice Age ocean temperature goes from 1 to 5 C.
Something prevents it getting colder then 1 C, and something stops it from getting warmer than 5 C. I tend to think Canada stops it from getting warmer than 5 C. And ice shelves stop it from getting colder than 1 C.
And to really annoy, Willis Eschenbach, I think ocean geothermal heat is factor.

September 15, 2020 4:23 pm

I’m a heretic, which is different from a skeptic. A skeptic mostly challenges conclusions and methods. A heretic, on the other hand, questions the underlying assumptions.

Your definition of heresy is not standard.

A heretic is somebody who has beliefs against the dogma of the religion he claims to belong. Someone who has strayed too far away from orthodoxy and persists in his heresy even after being explained.

So while a skeptic claims there is insufficient evidence to support a hypothesis, he does not have to propose a different one. A heretic must support a different hypothesis to the orthodox one. A heretic is skeptic of other hypotheses but not of his hypothesis, so it is not a true skeptic.

A skeptic will not believe there is sufficient evidence to say CO2 is the main cause of climate change.
A heretic will say something else different from CO2 is the main cause of climate change. There are different climate heresies, like those that believe it is the sun, others believe it is the clouds, or geothermal energy.

Somebody that doesn’t believe the climate is changing is not even a heretic. You must claim to belong to the religion and disagree with the dogma to be a heretic. Those not believing in climate change are just pagans.

Reply to  Javier
September 15, 2020 4:47 pm

Your definition of heresy is not standard.

You’re not REALLY going to object to someone else using non-standard (assuming I grant your premise) definitions of concepts are you?

Rich Davis
Reply to  sycomputing
September 15, 2020 6:05 pm

Let’s please not start with THAT again!

Reply to  Rich Davis
September 15, 2020 6:20 pm


Hey thanks for chiming in Rich, but I didn’t start it in the first place did I? Or maybe you didn’t read the other thread?

I think if someone is going to start criticizing yet another poster for nonconformity to a terminology standard, then he ought to answer for what appears to be his own hypocrisy.

Reply to  sycomputing
September 16, 2020 7:04 am

Not my problem if you fail to understand that scientific skepticism is something different.
It is not believing in something for which there is no evidence.
My definition conforms to what Wikipedia says about scientific skepticism. It is therefore not my own definition.

Reply to  Javier
September 16, 2020 8:04 am

Not my problem if you fail to understand that scientific skepticism is something different. My definition conforms to what Wikipedia says about scientific skepticism. It is therefore not my own definition.

I’m with you, that’s not your problem at all. Rather, your problem is you started out quoting Cambridge’s definition of skepticism and then later modified the argument to Wiki’s “scientific skepticism” when the Cambridge definition didn’t go well for you.

Oopsie, can you say, “I’ll have the Special Pleading logical fallacy for game over Alex”?

Argument 1 (against Bob):

“Just goes to show you don’t understand what a skeptic is either.
a person who doubts the truth or value of an idea or belief

Then all along the way you tried (and failed) to maintain Argument 1 until you finally got the fact that such wasn’t going to work out for you, so you jumped to:

Argument 2 (after an intellectual bruising):

“What you and the author of the blog don’t get is that scientific skepticism is not a language issue or a logic (philosophical) issue, it is a science issue:”

Whoops. Doh. We gotta move the goalposts, and quick-like cuz we’re looking really really bad!

Now none of this would’ve been that big of a deal and I would’ve never said anything, but you sure made commieBob out to be a moron when it was you who was the moron all along. I thought that was a little rude. And ‘ole Bob seems like a really nice guy to me so it rubbed me the wrong way. I’ve never seen him be mean or rude to any poster. Even in the face of your stupid he was nice to you about it. I think you owe Bob an apology myself, but hey that’s just me.

But then after all of that and to top everything off, did you learn your lesson? Why no! Here you are criticizing Willis Eschenbach for doing exactly that which you do, surely making yourself Cambridge’s new example citation under their definition of hypocrisy.

So anyway, I just thought I’d troll you for a while on your addlepate, since I enjoy tossing rude, cocksure, fake phrenic types like yourself about the intellectual room like rag dolls, and then watching you publicly squirm under the weight of your own weird, numb-nutty logic. It’s a blast!


Reply to  sycomputing
September 16, 2020 3:08 pm

You’re pathetic. Not only you still don’t understand what a scientific skeptic is, but your attempts to troll me fail miserably. I couldn’t care less about you.

I haven’t made my definition of anything. It is not my fault if you and Bob think that extraterrestrial visitors could exist is being a skeptic. I haven’t made my definition of heretic either. Willis did.

And if you have a problem with this, it is still your problem. Asking for an apology after throwing a volley of insults my way is hilarious. But hey, you are the one that has to live with yourself all your life. I pity you. I can and will ignore you as you are not worth my time.

Reply to  Javier
September 16, 2020 4:51 pm

You’re pathetic.

Can’t disagree with you there. After all, I did allow the ilks of thee to get my dander up didn’t I? Guess nobody’s perfect.

Hey before you go, wipe the spittle off yer chin and change yer shirt would ya? I wouldn’t want anyone to see you all wet like that.

Rich Davis
Reply to  sycomputing
September 19, 2020 8:40 am

This is what I was talking about. More time wasted arguing about whether words can have more than one meaning or have a canonical and permanent meaning.

As I posted on the original waste of time, I’m with Commie Bob. Skepticism has been understood by some (like Javier) to be akin to a term of art, with a fixed definition, while most native speakers perceive the word to imply doubt. Hate to inform y’all, but both are valid and English is a mess.

Why don’t we table it? Oops, now it will depend on whether you use ‘Murcan or British as to what that means, but I remain confident that this example also won’t break through any hard skulls.

Reply to  Rich Davis
September 19, 2020 10:07 am


Thanks for taking the time to waste your time lo these three times to once again comment on what a waste of time it is/was to comment on the subject matter of this and the other thread that originally wasted your time when you, for reasons known only to you, chose to purposely waste your time commenting upon what a shame it was to waste one’s time commenting on that subject matter the first time.

You are THE man and I want you to know how much I appreciate YOU and your sacrifice!

I would note that this 3rd comment of yours is now some 2.5 days after the last comment made in this particular comment thread, thus your request to “table it?” seems to have been granted before you even requested it. In case you missed that . . .

Anyway, while it certainly must be true that under normal circumstances time wasting pronouncements such as yours in a public forum would cause the thinking man to cock his head to one side, raise his eyebrows and ponder how another man could, with such force (and comedy) contradict himself under the guise of an intellectual discussion regarding the (non)evolution of the meaning of English words, thereby missing the entire point of the whole exercise which, by the way, was stated outright within the text itself in no more clearer terms than anyone could ever hope to use, well . . . no matter, we’ll just ignore that. I’m sure your genius is just being missed by my inability to understand the meaning of your words, for it simply isn’t possible you could actually be as thick as all that!

Should you deem me worthy (and surely I’m not), I’ll be waiting patiently for that erudite exposition of just what you may’ve been thinking all this time you’ve wasted your time by commenting on the subject matter that is, after all, by your own admission a waste of your time. Please keep it simple so I might have a chance to understand.

That is, of course, unless you’d rather not contradict yourself again by untabling the subject.

Once again, ‘preciate ya budrow!

Rich Davis
Reply to  sycomputing
September 20, 2020 11:20 am

Ah but sys, maybe I was using the British understanding of tabling.

If I may observe (in my very stable genius way), you seem to be missing my point that such arguments as you and Javier have been pursuing are a waste and diversion from meaningful discussion. But the meta-discussion that I am raising is paradoxically not a waste of time at all, since it raises a relevant point about a general class of ridiculously frivolous and emotion-charged brouhahas and kerfuffles that erupt like herpes cold sores from time to time, your nonsense being just one instantiation of the fatuous class.

Don’t take offense, I’m just amused by it, and playing with you.

Reply to  Rich Davis
September 20, 2020 1:14 pm

Oh stop, Rich. No reasonable individual would believe you were using the British definition of tabling now would they? Look at ya wastin’ time with such nonsense! And here you are criticizing me for it. Shame on your hypocrisy. 🙂

Don’t take offense, I’m just amused by it, and playing with you.

Why heck no budrow, I like to play and I know my toys when I see ’em!

So surely you don’t really believe I missed your point re: time wasting with Javier do you? I mean, I pretty much just said that in the comment above this last one of yours. No worries there guy, I get ya. I just don’t believe ya.

As to discussions ABOUT discussions – well that’s a much more interesting topic, thanks! You keep on like yer doin’ and you just might get to hang around in the toybox for a bit.

Here’s the thing about paradoxes. Pretty much the standard definition of a paradox (feel free to make up your own :-)) is that a paradox needs to be comprised of sound or at least seemingly sound premises. But gosh darnit, the main premise of yours is neither.

I mean, behind the whole idea of raising “a relevant point about a general class of ridiculously frivolous and emotion-charged brouhahas . . . ” is the presupposition that Rich Davis is the authoritative adjudicating arbiter of that which is meaningingful. That seems awfully arrogant.

Since I can confirm from objectively verifiable empirical experience (because I experienced it) that tossing another arrogant, rude arse like Javier was being about the intellectual room is one of my fav things to do of all the things that I really enjoying doing, then it necessarily follows from both empirical and a priori evidence your premise is false. As Your Stable-Genius is surely aware, you can’t have a sound argument without all your premises being true can you?

And then on top of all of this, you went and employed yet another propositional fallacy for a hat trick of reasons why I should reject everything you’ve just said:

So, unless you can prove how Rich Davis is the “authoritative adjudicating arbiter of that which is meaningingful,” for any given human in the “Discussions” logical domain, I think you’ve been tossed like salad.

What say you?

Rich Davis
Reply to  sycomputing
September 20, 2020 6:19 pm

Even very stable geniuses get bored after a while sys. And now it’s been a while.

Reply to  Rich Davis
September 20, 2020 9:35 pm

I think I know just what you mean, Rich.

Drop back by anytime!

Reply to  Javier
September 15, 2020 7:16 pm

–So while a skeptic claims there is insufficient evidence to support a hypothesis, he does not have to propose a different one. A heretic must support a different hypothesis to the orthodox one.==
That greenhouse gases cause 33 K is wrong.
But there is heretic who supposed to a believer, and thinks CO2 causes the 33 K of warming.
I never met anything who thinks greenhouse gases cause 33 K of warming and no other factor causes warming. I don’t one can actually be heretic because no one believe the theory is correct. Or I think one needs someone to believes the gospel of the faith to get any heretics. The only unity is CO2 is bad and is going to kill everyone- but most of these people know that are living in Ice Age. So probably a universal chant rather having much believe in it. I think global warming a talking point of believers of Marxism. And goes like this, have to do something about CO2 and need a world government to do anything about, but once get world government, of course world government won’t do anything about CO2 cause we living a friggin Ice Age.
I want all Marxists to go to hell as quickly as possible. Or I want force them all to live in a commune. And they have beg for at least ten years before they can get permission to leave it.

Geoff Sherrington
September 15, 2020 5:30 pm

Rather nice work of yours, again.
A few days ago on WUWT I had a short essay asking for equations about the changes in properties per 1 deg C change in surface air temperature. Number 2 on this Dirty Dozen list was the effect of a 1 deg C change on the number of ppm of CO2 in the air.
Your fig 5 scatterplot shows one view of this relationship and the impossibility of assuming it to be linear. This was the reason I listed this Dirty Dozen, to show how little we know about real temperature effects on global climate factors and how misleading many pop-science assumptions are.
Thank you Willis. One climate factor out of 12 has an answer, 11 to go. Geoff S

September 15, 2020 5:32 pm

Willis co2 levels in 1950 were about 310 ppm not 200 ppm. At least that’s what they claim in searches. Just asking.

September 15, 2020 6:37 pm

I know Willis totally disagrees with the findings of Nikolov and Zeller, I don’t know his opinion about the work of Connolly & Connolly regarding the physics of the atmosphere but in my opinion their concepts are not disagreeing with each other at all, they are more complementing each other about how the climate is set to a relatively fixed equilibrium which is defined by solar forcing, heat latency and convection.

In line with that is that the temperature amplitude between day and night as well as poles vs equator is antiproportional to the atmospheric mass and pressure of each rocky planetoid in the solar system. Nearly nonexistent for Venus, very high for the Moon, less so for Mars etc.

In case of Earth the effect of the atmosphere is in addition modulated through the heat capacity of the oceans and cooling through evaporation where also maximum ocean temperature in the tropics is set by atmospheric pressure.

As long as solar forcing, the oceans or the atmosphere change significantly the climate will not change more than since the glacial either upwards or downwards. Which is still enough for major changes for human life (little ice age) but nothing in the ballpark of a hothouse.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 16, 2020 8:42 pm

I would suggest to ignore the phrasing and look at the data. This more recent presentation might be worth a look (~30 min starts the crunch):

Particularly the discrepancy between textbook and real world data. They might be onto something.

Cause the hight of the troposphere is changing with temperature, day/night, season. The lapse rate in addition with altitude. The stratosphere changes are inversely correlated to the troposphere changes. Which is very interesting. Like a cooling of the troposphere leads to shrinking, the stratosphere follows and compresses thereby heating itself. If the troposphere expands the stratosphere is elevated and cools by lapse rate and just r3 decompression. Don’t have any opinion about their aggregate state of ozone claim.

The consequence of this data would be that the atmosphere is mainly coupled through conduction, convection and kinetic energy transfer (they call it perfection) and not radiation rendering CO2 insignificant for the temperature equilibrium.

September 15, 2020 8:54 pm

Both albedo and ocean circulation are important climate “ control knobs”
The creation of the Himalayas about 20 to 30 million years ago and the creation of the Panama isthmus about 1 to 3 million years ago sort of make looking at CO 2 levels 65 million years ago redundant.
IMO there are enough Milankovitch cycles in the last 1 million years which to argue that only the last 1 million years is relevant to the CAGW discussion.
I am interested in your thoughts.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 16, 2020 12:14 am

Thanks for highlighting your position.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 16, 2020 10:31 pm

“… in each of the semi-stable climate states in the geological record, regardless of the configuration of continents and oceans, CO2 levels had no significant effect on the temperature.”

No-one claims there is only one control knob for the climate. The control climate panel has many dials and switches. One of those many dials is the “Rapidity’ control, which has its own consequences and could induce its own state-changes given the right conditions. Today, CO2 rises with ‘Rapidity’ turned up to max. That combo is very unlikely to have happened anytime in the data set you analysed, so I don’t think you can rely solely on past performance to conclude: “no significant effect”. When rapidity is so high, it is quite possible a CO2 pulse with its very, very long tail – thousands of years – can be of long-lasting signifiacant and can start flipping other control switches; for example turning Arctic sea-ice and its associated albedo off. Rapidity throws a very big cat amongst the pidgeons which I don’t think can be ignored, given that there is no re-capturing the cat.
“No significant effect” is a truly courageous prediction, good luck.

Randy Bork
Reply to  Loydo
September 17, 2020 10:53 pm

How do you have any notion of past ‘rapidity’ when almost all the data available smears/averages the data to 1 thousand year averages? I am not saying your point is irrelevant. I asking if you have any data, from the deep past, that has any ‘rapidity’ info that would help evaluate what you note. It seems to me the only part of the co2 record with any relevant ‘rapidity’ resolution is a tiny fraction of the data, all of it so recent as to make evaluating your claim impossible.

Reply to  Randy Bork
September 18, 2020 4:51 am

The linked study shows today’s emissions are 10 times the rate at the time of the PETM
From the abstract”
We calculate that the initial carbon release during the onset of the PETM occurred over at least 4,000 years. This constrains the maximum sustained PETM carbon release rate to less than 1.1 Pg C yr−1. We conclude that, given currently available records, the present anthropogenic carbon release rate is unprecedented during the past 66 million years. We suggest that such a ‘no-analogue’ state represents a fundamental challenge in constraining future climate projections. Also, future ecosystem disruptions are likely to exceed the relatively limited extinctions observed at the PETM.

Paul Redfern
September 15, 2020 9:08 pm

From Svensmark’s theory of cosmic rays, Hothouse and Coolhouse happen when the solar system as it goes around the galaxy goes in and out of the spiral arms and experiences much different cosmic ray fluxes. Cosmic rays penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and nucleate cloud formation which reflects sunlight and cools the earth.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 16, 2020 8:48 pm
Randy Bork
Reply to  Paul Redfern
September 17, 2020 11:18 pm

How do you have any notion of past ‘rapidity’ when almost all the data available smears/averages the data to 1 thousand year averages? I am not saying your point is irrelevant. I asking if you have any data, from the deep past, that has any ‘rapidity’ info that would help evaluate what you note. It seems to me the only part of the co2 record with any relevant ‘rapidity’ resolution is a tiny fraction of the data, all of it so recent as to make evaluating your claim impossible.

September 15, 2020 9:21 pm

Great piece of data gathering, Willis.

The phase shifts every few million years are intriguing. Its as if something happens and a keyhole appears and the global temps drop as the climate moves through to a new state similar to orbital mechanics where a body find a Hohmann transfer.

Jeff Alberts
September 15, 2020 9:49 pm

“Average resolution for the interval from 0 to 34 Ma is one sample every 2 ky; for the interval from 34 to 67 Ma, it is one sample every 4.4 kyr. After binning, data were resampled and smoothed by a locally weighted function over 20 kyr (blue curve) and 1 Myr (red curve) to accentuate the different rhythms and trends in Earth’s carbon cycle and temperature operating on various time scales. ”

Wow. So if I’m reading that right, their proxy data wouldn’t even show changes during the whole of human civilization.

Steven Mosher
September 15, 2020 10:48 pm

“Temperature vs. log CO2 should plot as a sloped straight line where both either go up or go down together”


You have to remove other forcings first.

Steven Mosher
September 15, 2020 10:51 pm
Tim Gorman
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 16, 2020 9:28 am


“The global mean surface temperature change (ΔT, in K) for a given change in radiative forcing (ΔF, in Wm−2) can be described by:”

How do you calculate a mean surface temperature change? The term “mean” implies some kind of an average. Exactly what temperature profile went into calculating that mean surface temperature change? What was the minimum temperature? What was the maximum temperature? Since the radiation is based on T^^4 how does an average temperature mean anything. You get more radiation at the maximum temp than you do at the minimum temp. They are related by the fourth power. An algebraic average being used covers this inequality up, it hides it.

September 15, 2020 11:14 pm

I was not there to see it but some 50M years ago Drakes Passage began to form. Over the next 20M years the Southern Ocean current formed. The transferred energy from the big solar panel, otherwise known as the Pacific to the modest radiator, otherwise known as the Atlantic Ocean.

The consequence was a net cooling of the planet as ice began to form in Antarctica top the south of the Pacific Ocean.

The amount and distribution of water over Earth’s surface dominates the collection, transfer and release of energy that drives the climate to produce the meaningless number – Global Surface Temperature.

Oceans do not get warmer than 303K if they have sea ice at one extremity due to the high evaporation rate in the tropics and cloud formation that reduces solar input. Oceans do not get colder than 271K because the form sea ice that insulates them thereby dramatically reducing rate of heat loss. So the temperature of the oceans is controlled to a very narrow range between 303K in the tropics and 271K at the sea ice interface.
Clouds provide a strong net cooling:!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg0IRyDIi8vnTC1Gt
Reduction in OLR due to clouds is only half of the energy reflected by clouds:!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg0bl2B46ioIcDZ1C

Before Drakes Passage opened the Pacific Ocean did not cool enough to form sea ice in the southern latitudes so its average temperature was higher than now.

As water vapour increases due to rising temperature, the OLR also increases so there is additional cooling beyond just cloud formation:!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg1ITK3Yk3q3yhL3_

September 16, 2020 1:08 am

–I say the climate is not like an oven, where you turn up or down the GHG gases and the oven slavishly gets warmer and colder. Instead, I say it works as follows:

When something acts to drive the temperature of the planet either up or down, the climate system ACTIVELY RESPONDS to shift it back towards the status quo ante.–

What do mean by drive the temperature of the planet either up or down?
I assume you mean surface air temperature. And driving the temperature up, would be mostly warming in polar regions. Though some think Antarctica doesn’t warm, so larger amount warming in the Arctic region {and near this region}.
So Canada has currently an average surface air temperature of about -3.5 C:
was -4.5 C around 1940 and dropped to – 5 C around 1970, and has rising since.
Though each year bouncing wildly up and down by 1 or 2 C.
So if talking yearly it could be what meant by “ACTIVELY RESPONDS”.
I see weather, and “to drive the temperature of the planet” I think one needs warmer ocean.
As warmer ocean doesn’t do much with tropics but effect colder surface water nearer the poles. And we had about 8″ of sea level rise and about 2″ of it is due to increasing the temperature of the ocean, and that average temperature is about 3.5 C.
Anyhow if ocean warms and causes average ocean surface temperate warm near arctic such warmer ocean surface will cause more weather involving snowfall. And more northern Canada even warms is cold enough to have glacials. Or very cold winter could inhibit snowfall, and warmer one could cause more winter snowfall. And more snowfall will increase the air temperature, but snow doesn’t all melt, then it more of cooling effect. So that aspect would be something that is “shifting it back towards the status quo ante”.
Another thing regarding drive the temperature of the planet either up or down, could related to El Nino. It doesn’t seem to me, anyone predict them, but strong El Nino certainly increase global temperatures.

Magne O
September 16, 2020 3:58 am

“climate system ACTIVELY RESPONDS to shift it back towards the status quo ante.”

Isn’t this the Gaia theory?


Phil Salmon
Reply to  Magne O
September 17, 2020 1:23 pm

Construct an law by Bejan seems to have something in common with Noether’s Law which in turn derives from the principle of least action. (And Fermat’s theorem.) Here’s part of a recent discussion with Pat Frank:

Noether’s theorem is important here.

Her theorem is about physical systems having their own conservation laws. It is connected with the “principle of least action” which states that any system perturbed by a changing parameter will respond to this alteration by changing its overall state as little as possible.

Quoting the wiki on Noether:

All fine technical points aside, Noether’s theorem can be stated informally

If a system has a continuous symmetry property, then there are corresponding quantities whose values are conserved in time.[4]

A more sophisticated version of the theorem involving fields states that:

To every differentiable symmetry generated by local actions there corresponds a conserved current.

The “conserved current” is an important part of Noether’s theorem. I suspect that it applies to atmospheric thermodynamics, such that the flow of heat into and out of the atmosphere from space is the conserved current. Therefore changing CO2 will result in minimum system rearrangement with no change to the overall in-out flow of solar heat energy, which is the conserved current.

See also:

September 16, 2020 4:11 am

Thanks for an excellent post.
The paper should be retracted unless the authors can rebut your analysis.
I have attended enough lectures by geologists and have read enough books and papers by geologists to understand how improbable is the alarmist theory of greenhouse gases being the sole driver of climate, given our geological history over 4.65 billion years.
Your comment about science by press release is so apt.
An excellent example is the claim in February last that a temperature recording at Esperanza was an unprecedented record for Antarctica.
Notwithstanding an acknowledgement in some of the reports that the WMO would examine the veracity of the claim in light of the possibility it was a “froehn event” nothing further has been heard.
The press release was published in almost every newspaper in the world from Moscow to Montevideo to Melbourne.
Almost none mentioned the WMO caveat.
No investigation will happen or if one does it will not be publicised.
The narrative is all.

September 16, 2020 5:33 am

40 years is less time than what “researchers” have been at this.

Asimov published an essay on the topic in 1959, and IIRC mentioned a forcing function around 6K/2x[CO2]

Anyway, I think it’s worth noting that these concerns, and related claims, were making it into the popular culture even in the 1950s.

September 16, 2020 6:26 am

Excellent analysis, Willis!
And complete destruction of atmospheric CO₂ forcings directly related to Earth’s temperatures fantasies.

“An astronomically dated record of Earth’s climate and its predictability over the last 66 million years”

astronomically dated??
As in orbits of Jupiter and Venus?
Or is that title just a fanciful allusion to using solar emission particles?

“Data are mostly generated by using benthic foraminifera tests of the taxa Cibicidoides and Nuttallides extracted from carbonate-rich deepsea sediments drilled during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) expeditions. Genus-specific corrections were applied and oxygen isotope data adjusted by +0.64‰ and +0.4‰, respectively (12), with the green dot indicating the average oxygen isotope composition of the last 10 kyr.

I hate the word generated when talking about data as it gives an impression at least some of the data is ‘created’, not the result of direct observations.

“Genus-specific corrections were applied and oxygen isotope data adjusted by +0.64‰ and +0.4‰”
When discussing things like foraminifera, diatoms and related microscopic whatnot, I get puzzled by claims they used “genus specific corrections”.
34 million years divided by 2,000, their resolution metric, is 17,000 analyzed samples.
The remaining years back to 66 million years are 33 million; divided by 4000 is 8,250 samples.
That is, these researchers allegedly inspected and analyzed 25,250 samples.

According to their own description, every sample was carefully analyzed to sort the remaining skeletons into genus.
An inspection that could identify specific genus and a lump group for unidentifiable pieces. And this supplied them with proportions exact enough to apply their genus specific “corrections”…

Average resolution for the interval from 0 to 34 Ma is one sample every 2 ky; for the interval from 34 to 67 Ma, it is one sample every 4.4 kyr. After binning, data were resampled and smoothed by a locally weighted function over 20 kyr (blue curve) and 1 Myr (red curve) to accentuate the different rhythms and trends in Earth’s carbon cycle and temperature operating on various time scales.

“data were resampled and smoothed by a locally weighted function over 20 kyr (blue curve) and 1 Myr (red curve) to accentuate the different rhythms and trends in Earth’s carbon cycle”?
20k year and million year smoothing accentuates Earth rhythms?
And here I thought smoothing was to reduce noise.
These smoothings eliminate shorter cycles. A realization that prevents comparison to the relatively miniscule cycles of the modern era.

“Gray horizontal bars mark rough estimates of ice volume in each hemisphere. Absolute ages for epochs and stages of the Cenozoic (GTS2012) and geomagnetic field reversals (this study) are provided for reference. “

“Gray horizontal bars mark rough estimates of ice volume in each hemisphere”?
Don’t you love it when researchers say “rough estimates”?
Calculated from their “rough estimates” of temperatures and forcings?

“Future projections for global temperature (44) in the year 2300 are shown by plotting three representative concentration pathways (RCP) scenarios (light blue, dark blue, and red dots)”

This is another portion of their alleged research that causes hair to rise.
These clowns are using a smoothed resolution scale of average anomaly over 2,000 years or 4,000 years; then driving their assumptions through the daily global anomaly temperature resolution scales of the RCP.

These characters should be abjectly embarrassed. Or, perhaps they regularly engage in ‘hide the pea’ games?

With all of the researcher highly inflated lavish descriptions and complicated data tortures, my first suspicion is that this is one of those Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated papers coupled with focus group phrases and writing to make their paper ‘Pop’ in the news.

Personally, if I ever tried to hand in an analysis with emotional phrases like “Earth barreling toward ‘Hothouse’ state not seen in 50 million years, epic new climate record shows” or “An astronomically dated record” in the title or description, my boss(es) would have thrown the paper on the floor or in the trash can.

Acknowledgement would not be polite, at all.

David Stone CEng
September 16, 2020 6:27 am

An excellent article Willis. Very interesting results. The warmers don’t have a leg to stand on!

How about trying Nature to publish? /sarc

September 16, 2020 7:55 am

Willis says:
A heretic, on the other hand, questions the underlying assumptions. Or to put it another way, a skeptic doubts parts of things. A heretic disagrees with the fundamental assumptions that the whole edifice is based on

Exactly — absolutely necessary to uncover any semblance of reality in today’s fake-fact culture.

September 16, 2020 9:03 am

I’m wondering. What’s the state of the positive feedback hypothesis?
For a time, it was methane released by permafrost thawing, but I haven’t heard much about it for a while.
Isn’t +feedback critical to CAGW?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Sam Grove
September 16, 2020 9:49 am

yes, feedback is critical to all the climate models. The problem is a fundamental misunderstanding of positive feedback. Positive feedback, if it is the only feedback in the system, *always* results in runaway. Earth would have been a burnt cinder millenia ago if CO2 feedback was the main controlling feedback loop controlling the temperature. If there are other negative feedback loops cancelling out the CO2 positive feedback loop then the CO2 positive feedback loop becomes meaningless. The negative feedback loop will always push toward equilibrium. As the positive feedback group goes up it may slow down the return to equilibrium but it can’t stop it.

September 16, 2020 9:05 am

Interesting terms:

Is global warming Mother Nature’s locomotive breath?

September 16, 2020 9:38 am

From figure 5:

What I see is three possible relationships. A flat line or slightly sloping line for the 67 to 47 Mya, another flat line for 13.9 to 34 Mya and a decline in temperature as co2 gets too low (or is that a decline in co2). We want to stay away from the last one.

The sudden jump between 34 and 47 is not related to co2 so another explanation is needed.

There maybe trends inside the three ages ranges. But there is not a trend jumping between each except possibly the iceage to tolerable dataset. That would point to major ecological changes and would mean that co2 sensitivity is, if we would be generous, low.

Hans Erren
September 16, 2020 10:05 am

Wrt the graph in figure 1: how did ‘Anthropocene’ pass peer review?

September 16, 2020 10:44 am

Willis –
Thanks for this analysis and the others over the years. I first got interested in ClimateAudit, WUWT and your writing back when I was trying to learn ‘R’ for my own totally unrelated work. You guys actually posted your code and I am eternally grateful for that. This was back when Steve McIntyre had asked for some data/code and was told that the researcher (Mann?) wouldn’t provide it since Steve “would only use it to poke holes in the research”! So much for scientific method.

I have one question – you write often of ‘digitizing’ data from plots in various papers. What tools do you use for that?

Peter Tari
September 16, 2020 11:57 am

Dear Willis, thank you for your excellent review of the paper “An astronomically dated record of Earth’s climate and its predictability over the last 66 million years”. I enjoyed reading your paper very much – as always.

My problem is that I can just partly agree with your conclusion. Citation:

“I must say, when I started out to look at this CENOGRID dataset, I did not expect to find persuasive evidence that CO2 is not the secret temperature knob controlling the temperature. But that is the clear conclusion from the CENOGRID study”

With due respect, it is obvious from your Figure 5 that CO2 IS the (not at all) secret knob controlling the temperature. There is an almost linear correlation between atmospheric CO2 level and temperature between -5 and 0 Celsius anomaly that is between the temperature of the Ice Age and the temperature at present. Above the current temperature, that is above 0 Celsius anomaly, CO2 has really no effect on temperature whatsoever.

In other words, there is no cause and effect relationship between temperature and CO2 level above 0 Celsius anomaly. This also means that even knowing the future CO2 level doesn’t mean that we can predict the future of our climate.

The only future climate predictable from CO2 level is Ice Age.

This is very sad.

Ethan Brand
September 16, 2020 3:24 pm

Thank you Willis for another well presented, logical, rational presentation, your efforts are appreciated more than you could ever know….

As a retired “nuke”, I have always been astonished by the continued blind adherence to the “linear no threshold theory” for evaluating radiation hazards…there are few hazards out there that have been as well documented, with nearly 100 years of experience and data…yet the LNT still is the rule of the day.

My own take is that “belief” in the LNT underlies most of humanities fundamental misunderstanding of reality.

I am both astonished and pleased that Socrates actually managed to stay alive, and further to have history “remember” him….a valuable lesson when tempted to drink from the well of despair while agonizing over our current aggravation and impatience with the concepts of critical thinking vis a vis the scientific method.

Through a number of years of mentoring various young engineers and scientists, the only “method” I have found that seems to have “staying” power is to simply ask open questions..and expect open answers, (seemingly the opposite of most education at any time or place).

You do a great job at this…ie asking open answers and being pleased with whatever the result is…true learning.

Ethan Brand

September 16, 2020 9:30 pm

Nice post. Looks like the underlying temperature trend over the past 70 million years is decreasing. The EECO was a warm diversion that defines the hothouse, a secondary trend. This event follows similar temperature patterns with a high initiation rate of change followed by slow cooling back to the trendline. The second excursion, the MCO was a smaller deviation event about 40 million years later. Presently earth is in a negative deviation from the trendline with high amplitude third order events.

Reply to  Renee
September 16, 2020 10:25 pm

Oops forgot to mention. Did I see a reference to an “outhouse”?

September 17, 2020 1:58 am

Would there be a way to have surface pressure data for the last 65 Ma. I’m still not convinced big dinosaurs could survive or fly in today’s pressure. I can see a air pressure-air temperature correlation.

Phil Salmon
September 17, 2020 12:59 pm

Beautiful, Willis, thank-you!

Anyone looking at figure 5 and not seeing a perfectly straight line, needs to enrol at a climate re-education camp near where you live (we know) as soon as possible.

September 21, 2020 6:49 pm

I kind of like the idea of a tripping point from a modelling point of view. Start with a primordial Earth with any assumed initial conditions and let a decent model go to work. Given an infinite source of green house gas, 70% of the surface being water, let the model run away until it reaches an equilibrium. With a complex model including evaporation, condensation, equatorial, temperate, and polar Hadley cells, clouds, hurricanes, seasons, …; let the model reach equilibrium. The atmosphere will have local vertical weather and storm fronts from equator to pole heat transport. The more possible paths for energy transport exist, the more robust the equilibrium.

Now change something in the model. If there is a linear response, retire, give up, go live in an old folks home, and admit defeat. You failed, your model is crap.

If there is a runaway green house gas effect, guess what. It happened withing a million years of the oceans forming. Life evolved to create you long after a very robust climate equilibrium was established.

Quote: “And that is the claim I heretically and emphatically dispute—the idea that the long-term changes in temperature are a linear function of changes in CO2 forcing.”

Exactly. We evolved long after a water based green house gas triggered runaway weather to create the robust climate we now live in. Kick that equilibrium as hard as you can. It’s not going to change.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights