May/Middleton: Rebuttal to Geological Society of London Scientific Statement on Climate Change

Guest essay by David Middleton and Andy May

The Geological Society of London recently published a statement on climate change:

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement: what the geological record tells us about our present and future climate

Geologists Andy May and David Middleton have spent the past few days reviewing the Geological Society of London Scientific Statement and have assembled a rebuttal to some of the more questionable items in the paper.

Interestingly, the paper includes this disclaimer:

Data availability
Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement

The authors make many claims, but offer up little in the way of supporting material. It is rife with exaggerations and at least a few internal contradictions. It seems to entirely miss the concept of deep time and the loss of resolution in the geological record relative to modern instrumental observations.

Atmospheric CO2

Observations from the geological record show that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are now at their highest levels in at least the past 3 million years.

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement

This is quite possibly true. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations could be, even now, at their highest levels in the past 12 million years.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is micoene_climate_2.png
Figure 1. Neogene-Quaternary temperature and carbon dioxide (older is toward the left). (WUWT)

The geological record of atmospheric CO2 is massively uncertain, and becomes less certain the further back in time we go. This passage from Evolution of the Earth (1976) is just as true today as when we were geology students way back in the Pleistocene…

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

Dott & Batten, 1976

While methods of estimating past atmospheric CO2 concentrations have improved since the 1970’s, we can’t even be certain that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 during the much warmer Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum was significantly elevated relative to the extremely low values of the Quaternary Period.

Furthermore, the current speed of human-induced CO2 change and warming is nearly without precedent in the entire geological record, with the only known exception being the instantaneous, meteorite-induced event that caused the extinction of non-bird-like dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement

Jeffrey Severinghaus and colleagues would be very surprised to see this statement. They showed that, at the beginning of the Holocene, about 11,700 years ago, Northern Hemisphere temperatures rose “5 – 10ºC” in just a few decades (Severinghaus, Sowers, Brook, Alley, & Bender, 1998).

With regard to CO2, this is possible. There are no geological records of CO2 change that have sufficient resolution to make this claim with any degree of certainty. The only exception would be the Law Dome ice cores in Antarctica, which only go back about 2,000 years. The lack of resolution in pre-industrial era CO2 and temperature estimates greatly limit comparisons of geological history to modern times.

This composite ice core CO2 record (0-800 kyr BP) from Bereiter et al. (2014) appears to present a very convincing Hockey Stick.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is no-smooth.png
Figure 2. Composite CO2 record (0-800 kyr BP) from Bereiter et al. (2014).

This is a composite of the following ice cores:

-51-1800 yr BP:’Law Dome (Rubino et al., 2013)
1.8-2 kyr BP:Law Dome (MacFarling Meure et al., 2006)
2-11 kyr BP:Dome C (Monnin et al., 2001 + 2004)
11-22 kyr BP:WAIS (Marcott et al., 2014) minus 4 ppmv (see text)
22-40 kyr BP:Siple Dome (Ahn et al., 2014)
40-60 kyr BP:TALDICE (Bereiter et al., 2012)
60-115 kyr BP:EDML (Bereiter et al., 2012)
105-155 kyr BP:Dome C Sublimation (Schneider et al., 2013)
155-393 kyr BP:Vostok (Petit et al., 1999)
393-611 kyr BP:Dome C (Siegenthaler et al., 2005)
612-800 kyr BP:Dome C (Bereiter et al., 2014)

These ice cores are of vastly different resolutions.  Petit et al., 1999 indicate that the CO2 resolution for Vostok is 1,500 years. Lüthi et al., 2008 suggest a CO2 resolution of about 500 years for Dome C.  It appears that the high resolution Law Dome DE08 core was just spliced on to the lower frequency older ice cores.

If we apply smoothing filters to the DE08 ice core in order to match the resolution of the lower resolution ice cores, we get a considerably different picture.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 500-smooth.png
Figure 3. A 500-yr smoothing filter totally removes the Hockey Stick’s blade.

The lower frequency ice cores are not capable of resolving century scale CO2 shifts.  As such, they cannot be used to rule out the possibility of short duration fluctuations comparable to the industrial era rise in atmospheric CO2 during the early Holocene and Pleistocene.  And thus do not contradict the conclusions of Wagner et al., 1999:

In contrast to conventional ice core estimates of 270 to 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv), the stomatal frequency signal suggests that early Holocene carbon dioxide concentrations were well above 300 ppmv.


Most of the Holocene ice core records from Antarctica do not have adequate temporal resolution.


Our results falsify the concept of relatively stabilized Holocene CO2 concentrations of 270 to 280 ppmv until the industrial revolution. SI [stomatal index]-based CO2 reconstructions may even suggest that, during the early Holocene, atmospheric CO2 concentrations that were 300 ppmv could have been the rule rather than the exception.

Wagner et al., 1999

Or Wagner et al., 2004:

The majority of the stomatal frequency-based estimates of CO2 for the Holocene do not support the widely accepted concept of comparably stable CO2 concentrations throughout the past 11,500 years. To address the critique that these stomatal frequency variations result from local environmental change or methodological insufficiencies, multiple stomatal frequency records were compared for three climatic key periods during the Holocene, namely the Preboreal oscillation, the 8.2 kyr cooling event and the Little Ice Age. The highly comparable fluctuations in the paleo-atmospheric CO2 records, which were obtained from different continents and plant species (deciduous angiosperms as well as conifers) using varying calibration approaches, provide strong evidence for the integrity of leaf-based CO2 quantification.

Wagner et al., 2004

The GSL authors also presented a stark contradiction.

In short, whilst atmospheric CO2 concentrations have varied dramatically during the geological past due to natural processes, and have often been higher than today, the current rate of CO2 (and therefore temperature) change is unprecedented in almost the entire geological past.

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement

They claim that “the current rate of CO2 (and therefore temperature) change is unprecedented in almost the entire geological past,” but then state the following:

Given the record of past climate change (Section 1), the magnitude of recent observed climate change is not unusual.

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement

Modern climate change is allegedly both unprecedented and “not unusual.” They appear to conflate CO2 and temperature. While they are related, they aren’t interchangeable.

CO2 and sea level

They also make the claim that the geological record depicts a relationship between CO2 and sea level.

The geological record is consistent with predictions that the long-term magnitude and rate of future sea-level rise will be highly sensitive to future CO2 emission scenarios and may include intervals of very rapid rise.

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement

However, there is no relationship between CO2 and sea level in the geological record.

Figure 4. Left to right: Generalized cross section along northern GOM region (Galloway et al., 2009), depositional phases are numbered. Relative sea level (Miller et al., 2005), atmospheric CO(Berner & Kothavala, 2001) and temperature anomalies (Royer et al., 2004). Click for image.

William Galloway, of the University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences, summarized the depositional history of the Gulf Coast/Gulf or Mexico in this paper…

Depositional history can be generalized in seven phases: (1) Middle-Late Jurassic evaporite and carbonate deposition in a broad, shallow, restricted to open marine basin. (2) Latest Jurassic-Early Cretaceous sand-rich clastic progradation from the northern margins. (3) Late-Early Cretaceous development of a rimmed carbonate shelf. (4) Late Cretaceous mixed clastic and carbonate aggradation of the continental margins. (5) Resurgent Paleogene clastic progradation and filling centered in the NW basin. (6) Miocene progradation and basin filling centered in the central and NE Gulf. (7) Late Neogene climatically and eustatically influenced progradation along the central Gulf margin. In contrast to the broad, progradational sediment wedge of the northern Gulf, the Florida margin is a primarily aggradational carbonate platform.

Galloway, 2008.

Figure 4 clearly demonstrates the importance of climate, atmospheric CO2 and sea level cycles in the depositional history of the US Gulf Coast/Gulf of Mexico; but no correlation of CO2 and sea level. Note that most of the source rock formations were deposited when atmospheric CO2 was above 1,000 ppm and the Earth was considerably warmer than it is today, suggesting more plant life in the warmer, CO2 rich times.

The temperature and CO2 plots have 10 million year resolutions; they are highly smoothed. This particular temperature reconstruction (Royer et al., 2004) includes a pH adjustment, derived from CO2. It demonstrates a relatively good correlation between CO2 and temperature on a geological time scale. However, a cross-plot only yields an equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) of about 1.28 °C.

The modern warming period began at the nadir of the Little Ice Age (ca. 1600 AD), the coldest period in the Holocene Epoch. This was 300 years prior to atmospheric CO2 significantly exceeding the assumed normal preindustrial range.

Figure 5. Temperature reconstruction (Moberg et al., 2005) and Law Dome CO2 (MacFarling Meure et al., 2006)

The modern rise in sea level began at the end of neoglaciation. The sea level reconstruction of Jevrejeva et al., 2014 (J14) indicates that sea level was falling in the early 1800’s.

Figure 6. Sea level reconstruction from tide gauge data (Jevrejeva et al., 2014). Note rock pick added for scale.
Figure 7. Sea level compared to the CO2 record and temperature.

Climate sensitivity

“The IPCC (2014) gave a 66% probability that the ECS value was between 1.5 and 4.5°C. …

To estimate ECS from the geological record, quantitative paired records of atmospheric CO2 and global temperature from proxies are needed …

many studies of the geological past have provided support to the canonical range for ECS of 1.5–4.5°C”

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement

The first modern estimate of ECS, published in the Charney Report, in 1979, was 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C per doubling of CO2 (ECS). In other words, the “canonical range” has not changed in over 40 years. Modern empirical estimates of ECS, based on instrumental data, have ranged from 0.44 degrees C (Lindzen and Choi, 2011) to 1.6 (Lewis and Curry, 2018). These estimates have high resolution CO2 and temperature data. The geological estimates do not.

While geological estimates of ECS may be higher, the GSL says the geological estimates fall in the range of 2.6 to 3.9 degrees, we cannot be comfortable with the accuracy or precision of these estimates. The data, especially the CO2 data are too poor.

Furthermore, the authors present a cartoon, apparently depicting a strong correlation of CO2 and temperature over the Cenozoic Era.

Figure 8. GLS Cenozoic climate sensitivity (modified after Lear, et al., 2012). Click to enlarge.

The GSL cartoon indicates a climate sensitivity of nearly 7 °C per doubling of CO2. This would result in about 3.5 °C of warming since the mid-1800’s, which clearly did not occur. Modern high resolution instrumental measurements yield a much lower climate sensitivity.

Parallels in the geological record

The authors try to draw parallels to modern climate change from the geological record.

In the mid Pliocene (3.3–3.1 million years ago), atmospheric CO2 concentrations ranged from 389 (–8 to +38) ppm to 331 (–11 to +13) ppm (de la Vega et al. 2020), which is higher than pre-industrial levels of about c. 280 ppm and slightly lower than modern levels (c. 407.4  ±  0.1 ppm in 2018). Earth’s continental configurations, land elevations and ocean bathymetry were all similar to today (Haywood et al. 2016). The Pliocene was characterized by several intervals in which orbital forcing was similar to that of modern times and so it offers us a close analogue to the climate under modern CO2 concentrations (McClymont et al. 2020). During this interval, global temperatures were similar to those predicted for the year 2100 (+2.6 to 4.8°C compared with pre-industrial) under a business-as-usual scenario (i.e. with no attempt to mitigate emissions). Several lines of work suggest similarities between the model-predicted ocean circulation of the future and that of the mid-Pliocene warm period, with a weaker thermohaline circulation, related to upper-ocean warming and stratification, but also reduced ice sheets and sea ice, a poleward shift in terrestrial biomes and weaker atmospheric circulation (Haywood and Valdes 2004Cheng et al. 2013Corvec and Fletcher 2017Fischer et al. 2018). Pliocene sea-level may have reached 20 m above the present-day value and may have varied, on average, by 13 ± 5 m over Pliocene glacial–interglacial cycles, in association with fluctuations in the extent of the Antarctic ice sheet (Grant et al. 2019).

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement

While “Earth’s continental configurations, land elevations and ocean bathymetry were” more similar to today, during the Pliocene Epoch than they were during earlier time periods, the Mid-Pliocene was significantly warmer than today due to tectonic differences. The Panama Seaway was still open, enabling much more efficient ocean heat transport. Significant uplift episodes in the Rocky and Himalayan Mountains during the Pleistocene Epoch were also driving factors in the deep freeze that Earth has experienced over the past 2 million years.

The geological record informs us that the major climatic shifts of the Cenozoic Era were correlated with tectonic changes.

Figure 9. Cenozoic climate, tectonics and carbon isotope excursions. (Zachos et al., 2001)

The temperatures in Figure 9 are derived from δ18O in benthic foraminifera using a no sea ice model.  Salinity and ice volume have an effect on the conversion.  These temperatures are only applicable to the Lower Tertiary, hot-house climate. 

This claim about the Pliocene as a precedent for modern climate change is patently ridiculous:

During this interval, global temperatures were similar to those predicted for the year 2100 (+2.6 to 4.8°C compared with pre-industrial) under a business-as-usual scenario (i.e. with no attempt to mitigate emissions).

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement

They are clearly considering RCP8.5 to be “business as usual”.

Figure 10. Climate model scenarios. (click to enlarge)

When the full range of model forecasts are considered, it is clear that the climate is behaving more like RCP4.5 than RCP8.5.

Figure 11. Models vs observations. (modified after Climate Lab Book)

Even with an additional 0.5 to 1.0 °C of warming by the end of this century, the climate will still be in the range of Pleistocene interglacial stages, well below the Mid-Pliocene.

Figure 12. High latitude SST (°C) from benthic foram δ18O (Zachos, et al., 2001) and HadSST3 ( Hadley Centre / UEA CRU via plotted at same scale, tied at 1950 AD.

It all comes down to context and resolution

Bear in mind that the resolution of the δ18O temperature reconstruction is much lower than the instrumental record and would not resolve the HadSST signal. Again, the geological record provides a general picture of past climate change, but cannot be directly compared to high resolution instrumental records without explicitly putting it into context. The Modern Warming only appears anomalous due to the higher resolution of the instrumental record and its position at the tail-end of the time series.

Ljungqvist (2010) clearly explained the problem by directly comparing instrumental data to proxy reconstructions.

The amplitude of the reconstructed temperature variability on centennial time-scales exceeds 0.6°C. This reconstruction is the first to show a distinct Roman Warm Period c. AD 1-300, reaching up to the 1961-1990 mean temperature level, followed by the Dark Age Cold Period c. AD 300-800. The Medieval Warm Period is seen c. AD 800–1300 and the Little Ice Age is clearly visible c. AD 1300-1900, followed by a rapid temperature increase in the twentieth century. The highest average temperatures in the reconstruction are encountered in the mid to late tenth century and the lowest in the late seventeenth century. Decadal mean temperatures seem to have reached or exceeded the 1961-1990 mean temperature level during substantial parts of the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period. The temperature of the last two decades, however, is possibly higher than during any previous time in the past two millennia, although this is only seen in the instrumental temperature data and not in the multi-proxy reconstruction itself.


The proxy reconstruction itself does not show such an unprecedented warming but we must consider that only a few records used in the reconstruction extend into the 1990s. Nevertheless, a very cautious interpretation of the level of warmth since AD 1990 compared to that of the peak warming during the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period is strongly suggested.


The amplitude of the temperature variability on multi-decadal to centennial time-scales reconstructed here should presumably be considered to be the minimum of the true variability on those time-scales.

Ljungqvist, 2010

Direct comparisons of the modern instrumental record to the older proxy reconstructions are not robust because the proxy data are of much lower resolution. The proxy data indicate the “minimum of the true variability on those time-scales.” The instrumental data are depicting something closer to actual variability.

The proxy data lack the high frequency component of the signal.  When the high frequency component of a signal is filtered out, it attenuates the amplitude. This is basic signal theory.

Figure 13. Sine wave with 100-pt smoothing average applied. Note the reduction in amplitude due to filtering and  smoothing. (Wood for Trees) Older is toward the left.

The direct comparison of instrumental data to proxy data becomes even more problematic when the record length is extended beyond 2,000 years.

Figure 14. Holocene Climate Reconstruction, Andy May. Older is to the left.

The supposedly “four warmest years on record” have occurred only about 300 years after the coldest century of the past 100 centuries.  This could only be described as a “climate crisis” or “climate emergency” by someone who was unversed in the basic scientific principles of Quaternary geology and signal processing. 

The longer the record length of the reconstruction, the more important the consistency of the temporal resolution becomes.

“Consistency of the temporal resolution” means that the resolution of the older proxies are consistent with the recent proxies. Temporal resolution is a function of the sampling interval…

We believe the greater source of error in these reconstructions is in the proxy selection. As documented in this series, some of the original 73 proxies are affected by resolution issues that hide significant climatic events and some are affected by local conditions that have no regional or global significance. Others cover short time spans that do not cover the two most important climatic features of the Holocene, the Little Ice Age and the Holocene Climatic Optimum.


We also avoided proxies with long sample intervals (greater than 130 years) because they tend to reduce the resolution of the reconstruction and they dampen (“average out”) important details. The smallest climate cycle is roughly 61 to 64 years, the so-called “stadium wave,” and we want to try and get close to seeing its influence. In this simple reconstruction, we have tried to address these issues.

Andy May WUWT.

For additional reading on resolution, see: Resolution and Hockey Sticks, Part 1.


While geological data is very helpful in studying climate, as the GSL says, interpreting the significance of modern climate change will probably not benefit from geological input. The warming over the 20th century is only about one degree and the warming since 1950, used as a benchmark by the IPCC, is only about 0.7 degrees. Geological timeframes are greater than 1,000 years, as the GSL paper states, and consequential warming and cooling events in the geological record are greater than five degrees. The geological data we have is very low resolution and unlikely to improve. The main problem is that recent warming is insignificant at a geological scale.

As described above, the CO2 data is lower resolution and less accurate than the temperature data. We have seen that comparing temperature proxy data over the past 2,000 years to modern instrumental data is inappropriate and it is even less appropriate to compare geological data to the modern instrumental record. Neither the magnitude of recent warming nor recent CO2 concentration changes are unusual over geological time periods.

Geoscientists have a responsibility to convey the geological context of climate change, rather than claiming that every observation not resolvable in the geological record is unprecedented and grounds for economically destructive government policies.  It should be sufficient to say that anthropogenic CO2 emissions  have probably been the cause of most of the rise from ~280-400 ppm over the past 200 years and that this has a net warming effect on the atmosphere.  Although just about every recent  observation-based estimate indicates that the warming effect is minimal. 

While, there is no “climate emergency,” economically viable pathways exist to reduce the carbon intensity of our energy production and restrain the ultimate growth in atmospheric CO2 to ~600 ppm by the end of this century. This would keep us in the Cenozoic “noise level.”

Figure 15a. Marine pCO2 (foram boron δ11B, alkenone δ13C), atmospheric CO2 from plant stomata (green and yellow diamonds with red outlines), Mauna Loa instrumental CO2 (thick red line) and Cenozoic temperature change from benthic foram δ18O (light gray line).
Figure 15b. Legend for Figure 15a.

Rather than setting deadlines for “net-zero emissions” and other unattainable and arbitrary criteria, the focus should be on reducing the carbon intensity of energy production in an economically sustainable manner. The United States, largely through our private sector, has been doing this. U.S. CO2 emissions from electricity generation have fallen to 1980’s levels, mostly due to the replacement of coal-fired with natural gas-fired electricity generation.

Figure 16. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review

Geoscientists will play a vital role in this process by continuing to find economically recoverable oil & gas reserves, improving methods of geological carbon capture & storage, leading the way in expanding our access to the vast array of mineral resources required for the expansion of “renewables” (wind & solar), battery and other storage technologies, promoting the safe geological disposal of nuclear waste products and doing all of this in the safest manner, with as little environmental impact as possible.   Economic geoscientists in the oil & gas and minerals sectors are particularly well-positioned to lead the way, due to our experience with project economics.

Energy, economics and environment are inextricably linked. Without affordable, reliable energy, a society cannot have the economic means to protect the environment.  Nothing more strongly correlates to human prosperity and a clean environment than cheap access to energy (May, Climate Catastrophe! Science or Science Fiction?, 2018, p. 7, 18). For a discussion on energy and poverty, see here.

Texas State Geologist and Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology Scott Tinker summed it up very well in this OEd on carbon pricing:

Aug 23, 2019
Carbon Pricing Is Not a Fix for Climate Change

By: Scott Tinker

There is much talk today about carbon pricing to reduce CO2 emissions and address climate change. Unlike many environmental pollutants that have a local or regional impact, carbon dioxide (CO2) is global — there is only one atmosphere. If actions taken to reduce atmospheric emissions in one region result in increased emissions elsewhere, then the one atmosphere suffers.

Some form of carbon pricing — carbon tax, carbon trading, carbon credits — is favored by many politicians, NGOs, academics and even some in industry. But the reality is that a price on carbon will not be imposed by developing and emerging economies because it makes their energy more expensive, and they are too busy trying to build their economies and lift themselves from poverty.

In the developed world, carbon pricing increases the cost of manufacturing and products, which in turn drives manufacturing to developing nations where it is more affordable because of lower labor costs and less stringent environmental regulations and emissions standards. Global emissions rise in the one atmosphere.

Said differently, the good intentions of carbon pricing have an unintended negative impact on climate change. This is not hypothetical. It is happening.

If carbon pricing won’t work, what will? Energy science tells us how to actually lower CO2 emissions into the one atmosphere in the time frame needed. Unfortunately, those who are the most passionate about addressing climate change seem to not like the answers from the energy experts.


So what options does energy science suggest will have a major impact on climate change?

Natural gas and nuclear replacing coal for power generation in major developing nations such as India, China and Vietnam would have a major impact. Carbon capture, utilization and storage; direct carbon capture from the atmosphere; and perhaps nature-based solutions such as increasing the size of forests would help, especially in fossil fuel producing regions such as the U.S., Russia, China and the Middle East.


These scientifically sound and economically underpinned energy solutions present a problem. Many are not favored by people who are the most concerned about climate change. Thus, politicians seeking climate votes continue to passionately promote programs and policies that won’t actually address climate change.

But we have a remarkable opportunity. The right can acknowledge the need to tackle climate change. The left can acknowledge the energy science needed to accomplish real global emissions reductions into the one atmosphere. And developing and emerging nations can continue to climb out of energy poverty.

Unfortunately, this appears to be far from happening. Climate politics seems to trump energy solutions in Europe and the U.S., and the developing world continues to burn coal.

Scott Tinker is the Allday Endowed Chair of Subsurface Geology and director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin.

UT News

To the extent that climate change is a problem, we can only tackle it, if we pursue economically viable pathways that preserve access to affordable, reliable energy and enable the further expansion of human prosperity. And the private sector is far better at doing this than any government.

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

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January 13, 2021 6:12 am

As a retired geoscience professional and a fellow of the society with no expertise in “Climate Science”, apart that is from my BA degree in Environmental Science obtained in 1974 at the University of Lancaster after a 3-year study. The geoscience course I undertook there was designed by the renowned climatologist Professor Gordon Manley. I do therefore consider myself qualified to hold an informed view on this subject.
The greenhouse concept is built on a model, the Vacuum Planet equation of Astronomy, and like all models it is based on fundamental postulates; two of which are:
1.      That the planet being analysed has no atmosphere.
2.      That all of the captured energy from the lit daytime hemisphere is carried to the unlit night-time by surface daily rotation.
In the case of the Earth postulate #1 is clearly false, the Earth does have an atmosphere, but more importantly postulate #2 is also false. This is because the primary premise of no atmosphere applies in the foundation model, and so the energy transport in the climate model ipso facto must be by the solid ground surface, (there being no atmosphere or liquid ocean on the surface of a vacuum planet).

There is also a third failure of this model, it cannot be applied to a tidally locked planet for which there is no apparent diurnal motion of the planetary illuminating solar orb. With my co-author we have published a climate modelling study of the atmosphere of slowly rotating Venus. Our work clearly demonstrates that the energetics of the greenhouse model of climate cannot explain the high surface temperature of Venus, this poster child example of back radiation surface heating so often quoted in the literature. Consequently, and possibly unique in physical science, the whole postulate of greenhouse gas heating of the surface of a planet can only be applied to the surface of the Earth.
The most egregious error however that lies of the core of the greenhouse gas farrago is the ludicrous assumption in climate science that the power intensity of the illuminating solar flux must be diluted by a factor of 4. This assumption is unchanged and unchallenged and derives directly from the application of the Vacuum Planet equation to the Earth, thereby making the energy density of sunlight too weak to heat the surface and drive the weather processes of meteorology. A direct consequence of this solar flux averaging nonsense is that in the canonical model of climate science the power of the weakened sunlight shines directly onto the surface of the Earth at night, always and everywhere.

Last edited 15 days ago by Philip Mulholland
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
January 13, 2021 6:33 am

The problem that we as geologists have is that we don’t recognize the real issue. Science and data mean nothing. And I’m being sincere about that; the Climate Change industry has zero interest in data and science, so debating them is useless. The only thing they peddle is fear. If you want to win the Climate Change battle, show them a world without fossil fuels.

That is fear much larger than anything they can muster.

Reply to  Shoshin
January 13, 2021 7:28 am

I don’t think this is exclusive to Geologists. Most Science fields are in the same way, and they don’t consider censorship silencing “dissent” voices.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 12:02 pm

Correct David.


Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 12:23 pm

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

  • Upton Sinclair
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 13, 2021 2:22 pm

Are you excluding petroleum geologists Joel?

Reply to  Loydo
January 13, 2021 3:53 pm

Poor Loy-dumb

A petroleum geologist RELIES on him/her really UNDERSTANDING geology

Unlike the AGW farce, where being perpetually WRONG is a FEATURE of the job. !

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Loydo
January 13, 2021 6:08 pm

petroleum geologists have to actually perform useful output and produce results in the real world. Climate scam geologists only have to produce in the virtual world of in silico studies to harvest government grants.

Roger Knights
Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2021 4:57 am

These are inherently political entities.”

Especially their ad hoc climate change committees, manned by volunteers, almost all of whom are therefore “concerned” alarmists.

Reply to  Pauleta
January 13, 2021 9:17 am

They apparently are fighting fascism by silencing their opponents.

Ron Long
Reply to  Shoshin
January 13, 2021 11:08 am

How right you are, Shoshin, and the proof is how swiftly and aggressively the same CAGW crowd switched to Covid-19 as another example of “not letting a disaster go to waste”. Now the Biden administration has both to utilize as roadblocks.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Shoshin
January 13, 2021 11:46 am

What the fear mongering elitist Climate Change peddlers really want is:

Fossil fuels for me and none for thee,
unless you can pay my exorbitant fee.

Re-creating the fuedal society of Lords and Ladies of power and wealth with their royal circle of sychophants, whilst the masses struggle as serfs in their servitude, is the goal here. No means are too extreme for that end of total power and wealth. Even in fuedal times of Europe, there was a small coterie of favored intellectuals who supported the privileged class in the royal courts in exchange for small servings of that wealth monopolized by the elites. That is what we have at play now.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 13, 2021 12:32 pm

Consolidation of capital and control, information management and prescription, and policies of redistributive and retributive change. Population planning policies reduce administrative burdens and sustain a productive economy.

Last edited 14 days ago by n.n
Abolition Man
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 13, 2021 2:12 pm

Feudalism 2.0 that you are describing is substantially different from the earlier version practiced during the first Dark Ages.

In earlier times nobility was largely conferred on those who were adept in battle or had won the blessings of the Church. Our “modern” Lords and Ladies may be the biggest collection of socio- and psychopaths ever assembled, with no concern whatsoever for the serfs and peons they step on daily! They are immune to prosecution under the law due to their exalted status.

This aggregation of the criminally insane in our governing institutions is what our Founding Fathers never envisioned when they wrote the Constitution and I’m not sure that even they were brilliant enough to overcome the impediment such creatures are to justice and the rule of law! Without complete transparency and some basic testing for sociopathy from our ruling elites we will not be returning to freedom and prosperity for the middle class any time soon!

The High Church of Climatology is a cult religion that bestows approval on those who can recite the approved dogma and catechism; the charts and graphs that David and Andy use to argue their points so credibly may soon be subject to burning along with all other unPC science and religions!

Jack Roth
Reply to  Abolition Man
January 14, 2021 4:10 pm

Wow, Abolition Man, really well said!!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 13, 2021 4:37 pm

Shouldn’t that be “psychophants”?

Reply to  Shoshin
January 15, 2021 11:09 am

The problem with that is that the CO2 alarmists own the media that tells the world what they much consider true and what they must consider false. Much of the world is fooled by that and many of the most influential wealthy people are profiting from the alarmism. They use the fear to gain wealth and power.

Joseph Zorzin
January 13, 2021 6:13 am

“Geologists Andy May and David Middleton have spent the past few days reviewing the Geological Society of London Scientific Statement and have assembled a rebuttal to some of the more questionable items in the paper.”

Was this rebuttal sent to the GSL? Or just here? Will the GSL just ignore it?

Marcus Allen
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 8:20 am

Thank you both David and Andy for your comprehensive and most appropriate rebuttal to the GSL. I have always appreciated your humour and diligence when addressing the often outrageous statements from allegedly ‘learned’ societies. ‘Every little helps’…

John F Hultquist
Reply to  Marcus Allen
January 13, 2021 10:46 am

A 2nd for Marcus’ comment from me.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
January 13, 2021 6:21 am

I sent it to the GSL google group, so the GSL will see it. They’ll ignore it of course. Their statement is not scientific, where debate would be welcomed. It is political, thus no debate.

Jean Parisot
Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 6:28 am

How is the GSL funded?

Reply to  Jean Parisot
January 13, 2021 6:34 am

Here is their support page:

Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 10:11 am

Being a charity is a lucrative endeavor.

Reply to  Scissor
January 13, 2021 5:54 pm

Scissor the best game is having a foundation where you get outside donations…that is where the real money is made.

Rich people create foundations as a way of spreading their wealth to family at a lower overall tax rate. But they use their own money.

The Clintons had a beautifully legal smelly foundation.

Reply to  Derg
January 15, 2021 11:16 am

Tax laws are designed to give advantage to the lawmakers themselves and their best lobbyists and these same lawmakers can approve or disapprove the appointment of judges who rule on these tax laws.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 7:40 am

If you send it directly to their organizational email, then they can’t claim they never saw it. There’s no downside to sending it to them with a polite request for a reply. If they ignore it then that’s on them. Faint heart never won fair geological society.

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 13, 2021 8:03 am

Done. I went to their website and used their comment facility to send them this:

Dave Middleton and I have written a rebuttal to your statement on climate change and would appreciate a reply.

Followed by a link to this web page.

We will see.

Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 10:07 am

They’ll probably ignore the link

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Redge
January 14, 2021 8:59 am

Yeah, there’s no effing way they will click on a link to WUWT.

Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 8:53 am

I’m not persuaded that rising CO2 and rising temperatures are disastrous, and I agree that the ice cores lack sufficient resolution to determine whether CO2 levels have ever risen this much this quickly.

But we do have a feasible (and widely accepted) explanation for levels rising abnormally quickly in modern times: the burning of fossil fuels.

What mechanism has been proposed for any similar – but undetected – releases in the past?

Reply to  Observer
January 13, 2021 9:26 am

Observer, This is a hugely complex issue. Today, roughly 94% of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere are natural out-gassing, mostly from the oceans, but also from decaying plant material in the soil. 6% (~4 ppm/yr) is from burning fossil fuels. Natural out-gassing went from 62 ppm/yr in 1958 to 80 ppm/yr in 2017, this is due to higher temperatures. As the oceans warm they degas CO2, since it is less soluble in warmer water. Over this same time period, fossil fuels went from 1 ppm/yr to 4 ppm/yr. Natural uptake of CO2 increased, so the net add is 2 ppm/yr.

Before humans, the main reason CO2 changed was temperature. Most CO2 is in the ocean, so small changes in temperature make a big difference. During glacial advances CO2 enters the ocean causing atmospheric CO2 to reduce to dangerous levels, plants at higher elevations die. Colder periods are dryer periods, when CO2 is low, water intake by plants must increase, or they die.

The CO2 comes back out when it warms and plants recover. CO2 was low in the Little Ice Age due to cold. CO2 is now recovering and plants are spreading poleward and to higher elevations. The world is greening. Burning fossil fuels is helping this process. How people see this as a bad thing, I have no idea.

But, if they are worried about it, it is easy to reduce fossil fuel emissions, as Dave says, increase nuclear and the use of natural gas. Differing a bit from Dave, I personally, I think the additional CO2 is a benefit. But, if others are frightened by it, build more nuclear powerplants and produce more natural gas. Wind mills and solar have their place in some areas not connected to the grid, but I do not think they should be widespread, they are too ugly and take up too much land.

It may seem I am disagreeing with my own post, but it was a cooperative effort and Dave and I don’t completely agree on everything, and there is no reason why we should. The difference between Dave’s opinion and mine is minor.

Last edited 14 days ago by Andy May
Ben Vorlich
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 9:51 am

Almost certainly will be a net benefit at 600ppm, if dutch glasshouses are anything to go by.

John F Hultquist
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 13, 2021 10:58 am

Those would be kept at what? 1,000 to 1,200?

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 10:29 am

Andy May,

Natural emissions indeed are 94% of the CO2 input. but they are 98% of the CO2 output. 2% remains in the atmosphere. No matter how the natural cycle changed over the years, in the past 60 years nature was always more sink than source…
Besides some 13 ppmv from a warming ocean surface since the LIA, the rest of the CO2 mass increase (not the original molecules) is from human emissions…

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
January 13, 2021 12:18 pm

Andy says “Natural out-gassing went from 62 ppm/yr in 1958 to 80 ppm/yr in 2017, … Over this same time period, fossil fuels went from 1 ppm/yr to 4 ppm/yr. Natural uptake of CO2 increased, so the net add is 2 ppm/yr.” That is a total annual exchange increase of about 21 ppmv. The annual atmospheric increase is about 2 ppmv. So, less than 10% of the new CO2 (21 ppmv) actually stays in the atmosphere. Anthropogenic CO2 is only about 5% (4/84) of the total annual production. The cold oceanic sinks can’t tell the difference between tropical outgassing and fossil fuel oxidation. If the anthropogenic CO2 (5%) were to suddenly disappear, could we really expect to see a cessation of the annual 2 ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2?

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 14, 2021 5:24 am


You need to make a differentiation between how much is cycled (for a factory: the throughput) and what is one-way added and how much remains (for a factory: the gain – or loss – at the end of the fiscal year).
Thus even if the biosphere increased its input in the atmosphere from 62 ppmv/yr to 80 ppmv/yr, the natural outputs also increased and even more: <b>the net difference increased from 0.5 ppmv/year in 1958 to 2 ppmv/year in 2017 more sink than source.</b>
Where both the oceans and the biosphere were net sinks. Not sources.
Near all increase of CO2 is from human burning of fossil fuels, no matter how much nature emitted and absorbed within any year of the past 60 years: in every year nature was more sink than source…

If humans should stop all emissions today, there would be a net sink of 2 ppmv/year CO2 in the first year slowly decreasing to zero when the overall dynamic equilibrium (around 290 ppmv) between ocean surface and atmosphere for the current average ocean surface temperature is reached again.

The speed of reduction is directly proportional to the extra CO2 pressure (now +115 ppmv) in the atmosphere and is about 2%/year of that difference. That gives an e-fold decrease of about 50 years or a half life time of about 35 years.
BTW, not to be confused with the residence time of around 4 years, which is for the throughput, not the gain or loss of the entire cycle…

The effect of the CO2 increase is an entirely different discussion, but that humans are responsible for the increase is rock solid science and about the only point where the “consensus” is right.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
January 14, 2021 10:40 am

It sounds like you are arguing that there is a master gatekeeper checking the molecules. “Oh, I see that you are the product of outgassing. You get a free pass. Next! Oh, you are the result of burning fossil fuels. You will be counted as being added to the atmosphere, but you will have a stigma attached to you.”

You claim, “Near all increase of CO2 is from human burning of fossil fuels, …” However, Andy said that the outgassed CO2 increased 18 ppmv/yr in the recent past. You didn’t challenge that. It appears that your statement is false.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 14, 2021 1:36 pm


Although we can count human CO2, as that has a lower 13C/12C ratio content than the atmosphere, that is not the point of my reasoning.
The main point is the mass balance:

increase in the atmosphere = human emissions + natural emissions – natural sinks.

Natural emissions and sinks are only roughly known. Human emissions and increase in the atmosphere are reasonably well known from sales inventories (taxes!) and measurements. So we can fill that in in the above equation for 2019:

2.25 ppmv = 4.5 ppmv + X – Y

X – Y = -2.25 ppmv

If X = 10 ppmv, Y = 12.25 ppmv
If X = 100 ppmv, Y = 102.25 ppmv
If X = 1000 ppmv, Y = 1002.25 ppmv

It doesn’t matter at all what the total natural cycle was. It doesn’t matter at all if an individual natural CO2 flux in one year doubled or halved or even reversed in direction. All what matters is that the net contribution of all natural in and out CO2 fluxes was negative for every year in the past 60 years…

So even if the natural biological cycle increased with 18% per year, that is fully compensated by more uptake in the same cycle, as there are more plants to get that CO2 out of the atmosphere: the earth is greening…

There is no discrimination (except for the isotopes) in the uptake by oceans or vegetation between natural and human CO2, as the extra uptake is caused by the extra CO2 in the atmosphere above equilibrium, no matter the origin of the individual molecules, but the increase in total mass of CO2 is (near) entirely from human emissions.

BTW, while the human contribution is about 5% of the total CO2 input, the observed human CO2 in the atmosphere (based on the 13C/12C ratio) is already 11% of all CO2 in the atmosphere…

John F Hultquist
Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 10:56 am

Andy wrote: “… but also from decaying plant material in the soil.”

I think many people are unaware of this point. Also, organic material is easy to find, not just “in soil.”

Recently I loaded damp horse manure into a canopy-covered pickup truck. One thing after another delayed my delivery to a vineyard by about 3 weeks.
The load was composting when we raked it out. It is my understanding most of the gas was CO2 (aerobic) because there was plenty of air available.  

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  John F Hultquist
January 13, 2021 12:07 pm

John, decaying organic material indeed is the largest part of the huge natural input of CO2 in the atmosphere, with a peak in fall, when a lot of leaves are falling and composting.
The point in this case is that the uptake by plants in spring/summer by far outweighs the decay of the same plant material within the same year, the earth is greening…
That means that the natural biocycle is more sink than source and thus not the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere.
Neither of the sharp 13C/12C ratio decline, as more CO2 uptake preferably uses 12CO2, thus leaving relative more 13CO2 in the atmosphere.

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
January 13, 2021 1:06 pm

Quite frankly, I don’t care too much where the increase in atmospheric CO2 is coming from…

just so long as it keeps climbing.

(I think Harde is probably correct at around 15% of the increase)

If the beneficial increase is mainly human caused, then the large numbers of coal fired stations being built in China, Asia, Africa, Japan, Germany and other parts of Europe, means that human CO2 emissions will continue to increase.

As far as I am concerned….this is great news for all life on Earth

John F Hultquist
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
January 13, 2021 1:19 pm


Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
January 13, 2021 4:45 pm

You claimed, “… decaying organic material indeed is the largest part of the huge natural input of CO2 in the atmosphere, with a peak in fall, when a lot of leaves are falling and composting.”

Every graph I have seen shows CO2 starting to increase in the Fall, reaching a peak in May, and then declining until the following Fall.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 14, 2021 4:59 am

Clyde, the largest increase in CO2 is in September-October-November for e.g. Barrow, but is more evenly spread at Mauna Loa. Indeed it doesn’t stop in winter (even not at -20 C under a layer of snow)…
In spring, a lot of new leaves are growing in the extra-tropical forests and that uses a lot of CO2 and further uptake in summer up to fall.

The important point is that the net result over a year is more sink than source, even if the total cycle increased a lot, thanks to higher temperatures and our extra CO2.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 11:34 am

David, always appreciate your thoughts even though as a lay man, but with a stem background, I can’t always fully understand. I am mystified by the result of N2O being lower immediately after WW2 and the following massive industrial expansion. I realize it is N2O not NO2 but don’t have a sense of the import/application of the difference.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 10:17 am


1) The Siple Dome and Taylor Dome ice cores have a reasonable resolution of better than 40 years and go back over 70.000 years (and more). If there was a similar increase of 110 ppmv CO2 in 170 years as the current one, it would be certainly measurable as a huge increase in some of the 40 years time periods.

2) Stomata data are a proxy, which has an inherent local/regional bias, as these are derived from plants which grow on land, where CO2 levels at ground level are very variable and in average 40-50 ppmv above “background”.
For that reason, CO2 levels from stomata are calibrated against… ice core CO2, firn and direct measurements over the past century.
The problem is that nobody knows how the local bias changed over the centuries when there were mayor changes in land use / vegetation in the main wind direction. Even the main wind direction may have changed, e.g. between the MWP and LIA…

Anyway, if the average CO2 levels of the stomata data are different from the average CO2 levels in any ice core over the total period of the resolution of that ice core, then the stomata data should be recalibrated with the ice core CO2, as the local/regional bias has changed.
Filtering doesn’t change the average in an ice core over the resolution period…

3) Warming oceans don’t produce 100 ppmv CO2 within a century. The (dynamic) equilibrium between the ocean surface and the atmosphere changes with about 16 ppmv/K around 15 C. Translated to regional Antarctic temperatures (measured in D and 18O) that is about 8 ppmv/K.
100 ppmv increase implies a warming ocean surface with 6.25 K in 100 years time…

4) Law Dome shows a “dent” of ~8 ppmv midst the LIA, which agrees with a global cooling of 0.5 K by a resolution of 20 years (for the DSS core).

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 12:21 pm

The government-paid, government-grant seeking “scientists” play word games with the ice core resolution argument?
I’m shocked.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2021 9:07 am

I don’t think that will ever be resolved.


Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 1:35 pm


You are right that the 8 and 16 years is the sampling resolution of the Siple Dome ice core, not the gas age resolution.
I had read a 22 year resolution for Siple Dome at the mid-ice up to 40 year for the deepest ice and about 45 years for Tailor Dome, but need to look at the definitions again…

Anyway, take Siple Dome with about 100 years (real) resolution as example.
If we may assume that a similar historical peak as the current human caused peak is one-sided and is on its maximum at 110 ppmv and goes as fast (or slow) back to the baseline for the temperature at that time, the measured peak at the real maximum over a 100 year period still would be 50% of the real value of average 70 ppmv over a period of 100 years.
That still is a peak of 35 ppmv in the Siple ice core, starting 150 years earlier and decreasing up to 150 years later.
No problem at all to measure such a peak in the Siple ice core, but as there were no such peaks, not even far smaller, the probability that there was a human-like peak in the past 800,000 years is close to zero, even within the 560 years resolution of Dome C.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
January 13, 2021 1:41 pm

Sorry, with a 100 years resolution, Siple Dome will show the full average 70 ppmv average over the 100 year period around the “human-like” peak in the past. With a 200 years resolution half of it and in Dome C still a detectable peak of 12.5 ppmv…

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2021 5:32 am

I do agree that such a small drop in CO2 will not be detected in ice cores with a long resolution, but the discussion was if a similar increase as the current would be detected in all ice cores of the past 800,000 years. Which is certainly the case…

Resolved is one step further and only is possible if the resolution is as good as the length of the peak…

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2021 9:47 am


The “large swings” in the stomata record are local/regional swings, not “background” swings. If we may take the 100 years resolution of Siple Dome as true, any similar peak as the current one would be detectable as a 70 ppmv peak in the early Holocene part of the ice core, but there is hardly any peak of more than 5 ppmv anywhere in the entire Holocene record.

That means that early peaks either were very short lived or that there were no such peaks at all…

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2021 10:54 am


Have a look at:

Even if Taylor Dome should have a resolution of about 400 years, the period of the 8.2 kyear event (a sudden cooling in the North Atlantic) lasts longer, thus should be visible in the ice core record in full glory. Also for the longer periods after the event.
None of these show up…

This shows that stomata data only reflect local/regional CO2 changes, not global ones…

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  David Middleton
January 15, 2021 2:11 am


The ice age / gas age difference indeed is an indication of the ice core resolution as both depend of the local snow accumulation rate (and local temperature).
Even so, the Vostok ice core has a resolution of about 600 years with a ice age / gas age difference of 4000-6000 years. Translated to the Taylor Dome, that would give a real resolution of maximum 200 years in the Taylor Dome core.

Even with 400 years, the full period of the 8.2 kyear event should be visible in the Taylor Dome CO2 levels and also the increase in the following centuries.

As already said in the WUWT discussion of last year: CO2 levels in the Greenland core are unreliable, because of huge inclusions of sea salts (carbonates) and highly acid volcanic dust from nearby Icelandic volcanoes that react together which increases CO2 in situ in the ice core and during wet measurements (which aren’t used anymore for CO2).
CH4 levels are not different and are used to synchronize the Greenland and Antarctic data.

Besides a larger seasonal amplitude at Barrow and Alert, further north than the Greenland summit, are today not more than a few ppmv CO2 higher, compared to the levels at the South Pole. The delay is only 2-3 years to reach the same levels. With resolutions of several hundreds of years, any difference would be completely wiped out, even with large changes in one part of the globe…

Reply to  Observer
January 13, 2021 12:17 pm

There are measurements of atmospheric CO2 over the past couple of hundred years that are basically ignored.

Many have CO2 concentrations that are above current levels.

comment image

Last edited 14 days ago by fred250
Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  fred250
January 14, 2021 5:44 am

I don’t think that you would agree that one composes the global temperature record with measurements in the middle of Paris, over an asphalt parking lot, on a hot asphalt roof, etc.

In the above graph, Callendar had several stringent pre-analysis criteria like not in the middle of forests, towns, not for agricultural purposes, etc…
One can disagree with his criteria, but assuming that all above CO2 levels were real “background” in that year is the same as assuming that all temperature measurements ever made were as accurate as can be…

Or do you really think that measurements in the same year of 300 ppmv and 550 ppmv are both “background” CO2 levels?

That is the error that the late Ernst Beck made: he lumped all CO2 measurements together: the good, the bad and the ugly. After years of discussions with him, he discarded the ugly, but still retained a lot of bad data. Which makes that e.g. his 1942 “peak” doesn’t exist in any other proxy or measurement…

Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 5:13 pm

Nice effort Andy and David…but it’s like dropping off abstinence brochures at a whorehouse.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
January 14, 2021 4:55 am

The Royal Society’s (cousin of the Geological Society) motto is ‘nullius en verba’ (no one’s word).

The way Scientific associations behave today, their motto should be “We’re in lockstep.”

January 13, 2021 6:42 am

Authors say: “… the focus should be on reducing the carbon intensity of energy production in an economically sustainable manner. “

Why? This is a slow version of what warmists want. This article seems to agree with the underlying premise that CO2 is a pollutant and a problem.

There is no evidence CO2 can cause warming so why restrict the bountiful food that can be grown for future generations.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 9:14 am

“Trying to restrain the growth to 600 ppm would keep it within the Cenozoic “noise level” and would require very little effort beyond what we are already doing.”

What “we are doing” to restrain growth to 600 ppm, has been nothing to do with
governmental “efforts”, governmental efforts have cost trillions of dollars and could be argued they have increased CO2.
Without question the most significant thing done to reduce CO2 levels, have been using nuclear power. One could argue “governmental efforts” have been responsible for having nuclear power, but if compare what Chinese and Indian governments are doing to develop nuclear energy one see that other governments have been opposing nuclear power. And crazy ideas like burning wood and gone crazy on solar and wind energy which is destroying our environment.
Or in terms dollars spent by governments, the trillions dollars spent has not reduced CO2 level, and could be argued to have increased global CO2 emission.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 12:16 pm

Yes, climate change policy run by Liberal mindset intent of a socialist agenda is what will destroy the world, not climate change itself.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 14, 2021 2:30 am

Run by an elite private group of banking interests, never elected, who will end all government fiscal policy.
See the upcoming Great Reset – it is in your face!
Biden will play along with van der Leyen, both likely not elected, and BoJo is fully on board, Brexit be damned.
This little group chuckles at the mob flinging epithets and fully intends mass population reduction of that very “mob”.

Reply to  gbaikie
January 13, 2021 4:19 pm

”There absolutely is evidence that CO2 causes at least a minimal temperature increase”.


Reply to  Mike
January 14, 2021 6:40 pm

I agree, I think a doubling of CO2 could have 0 to .5 C of warming within a 100 year period of time.
There could be evidence which supports that “at least a minimal temperature increase” caused by CO2. But until evidence seems compelling to me, it’s possible a CO2 doubling has a zero degree global warming effect.
IPCC is very confident that rise in CO2 levels has caused at least .2 C
in global temperature, but I don’t have such confidence.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 9:43 am

David, could you please provide references to support your “absolutely is” statement?

Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 12:15 pm

Attribution studies that rely on denying the effect of other sources are not scientific studies.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 6:30 pm

So no then. Thanks.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 7:33 pm

We identify and remove the main natural perturbations (e.g. volcanic activity, ENSOs) from the global mean lower tropospheric temperatures (T LT ) over January 1979 – June 2017 to estimate the underlying, potentially human-forced trend.”


Ian W
Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2021 2:13 am

The logic of this appears to be of the list of things that we think cause warming if we take out all those on the list we believe are quantified then the amount left is attributed to CO2 as we don’ t know of any other cause of warming.

Perhaps someone would explain the mechanism with a world with a surface that is mainly water or transpiring plants. With particular attention given to how ‘downwelling’ infrared from CO2 warms water and transpiring plants. Ideally with a report of actual controlled experiments that have shown infrared at the CO2 wavelength actually does heat water as these are trivial to set up – they must have been done. The null hypothesis would be that : Infrared in the CO2 wavelength cools the surface of water due to enhanced evaporative cooling.

Reply to  Ian W
January 14, 2021 2:57 am

Ignorance of what’s being talked about here must be bliss indeed. Global climate sensitivity could be less than zero. There absolutely is no evidence for that either, but carry on.

Reply to  philincalifornia
January 14, 2021 3:08 am

I made the mistake of not being specific here because I though I didn’t need to be so, to avoid another lame ad hominem and another appeal to authority, let me rephrase that as “global climate sensitivity at current levels”, or “global climate sensitivity to CO2 at levels above 280 ppm”.

Very disappointing response David.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 12:15 pm

The presence of vast amounts of oceanic buffering agents of pH changes is the fatal flaw of the OA scam.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 1:09 pm

A compendium of all ocean surface pH readings

comment image

Reply to  fred250
January 13, 2021 7:36 pm

Yes here we can really see the devastating influence of co2!
The ocean ”co2 effect of ocean pH” should not even be mentioned. Just navel gazing.

Nigel in California
Reply to  fred250
January 13, 2021 11:56 pm

Where is this plot taken from? Got a link?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 5:15 pm

I may be wrong on this, it is getting outside my areas of expertise, but I think that most if not all calcifiers actually rely on bicarbonate.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 9:03 pm

The situation is much more complex than just the dissolved CO2. Undersaturation of aragonite is also controlled by temp, pressure, and salinity. And, some organisms build composite shells of calcite and aragonite to increase the strength. It appears that all calcifiers have optimal pH ranges, probably reflecting the prevailing pH when they evolved. But, most importantly, calcifiers are able to manipulate the pH on the growth surface. This requires the expenditure of energy and the cost may be reduced growth rates. But, once the shell is grown, it is protected with coatings such as chitin and/or mucous. Therefore, they can experience changes in temperature and pressure, and pH changes resulting from upwelling, and not lose their shells. It is the shells of dead calcifiers that show erosion when they sink to a depth where they become soluble. My suspicion is that living organisms are quite tolerant to large ranges in pH. After all, some freshwater clams live in distinctly acidic water. Calcifiers evolved and thrived in the past when atmospheric CO2 was well above 1,000 ppmv!

Last edited 14 days ago by Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 4:51 pm

David Middleton wrote:
1        There absolutely is evidence that CO2 causes at least a minimal temperature increase. *See below.
2        Increasing the concentration of atmospheric CO2 also reduces the pH of seawater and decreases the saturation state of calcite and aragonite. *OK
3        However, there is no evidence that CO2 levels below 800-1,000 ppm would alter the temperature or marine geochemistry in a geologically significant manner. *OK
4        Trying to restrain the growth to 600 ppm would keep it within the Cenozoic “noise level” and would require very little effort beyond what we are already doing. *OK

I stress observations based on full-Earth-scale because the molecular-scale arguments used by some physicists (e.g. “CO2 IS a greenhouse gas!!!”) are simply not credible, because we know that scale-up “errors” are a routine part of engineering practice and most people will agree that a scale-up from molecular to full-Earth scale is “bigger than a breadbox”. (SmileyFace)

A. Your point 1: “There absolutely is evidence that CO2 causes at least a minimal temperature increase.”
Maybe so, IF we assume based on full-Earth-scale observations that increasing CO2 causes warming of the atmosphere (a circular argument),
Actual Climate Sensitivity based on real-world observations ranges from minus ~1C (cooling) to plus ~1C (warming) per doubling of atm. CO2.
(Approx Plus 1C based on Christy & McNider 2017 and Lewis & Curry 2018)
(Approx Minus 1C based on the natural global cooling period from ~1940 to 1977)
B. Your point 1:  “There absolutely is evidence that CO2 causes at least a minimal temperature increase.”
Maybe not, IF we look at other credible Earth-scale evidence, for example:
I recommend Ed Berry’s new book “Climate Miracle: There is no climate crisis Nature controls climate”
My review: 5 Stars.
An excellent, readable book that destroys the scary global warming / climate hypothesis.
Reviewed in Canada on November 11, 2020 Verified Purchase
Author Dr. Edwin Berry demolishes the IPCC’s very-scary catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis. Ed proves from basic principles that the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere is primarily natural, not man-made. Berry’s analysis is consistent with my 2008 publication that atmospheric CO2 cannot significantly drive temperature, because changes in CO2 lag temperature changes in the modern data record, as they do in the longer-term ice core record. Kuo et al (1990) and Keeling (1995) made similar observations in the journal Nature, but have been studiously ignored by global warming propagandists. “The future cannot cause the past.”
By Allan M.R. MacRae, January 2008
Points A and B above are of highly significant scientific interest, to enable us to understand the causes and results of atmospheric CO2 increases.
However, from a practical societal standpoint, Points A and B are much less important, because based on correct Statements 2. 3 and 4 above there is NO real dangerous global warming crisis – the runaway global warming crisis does not exist, except in the overheated minds of global warming propagandists.
Not only is the global warming / climate crisis false, there is ample evidence that it is fraudulent – a scary story concocted by wolves to stampede the sheep.
Furthermore, the alleged “solution” to the global warming crisis , aka “green energy”, is also a fiction, because green energy (typically wind and solar) is not green and produces very little useful (dispatchable) energy.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
January 14, 2021 12:09 pm


Some time ago that we were discussing our difference in ideas…

That of Dr. Berry is relative new and I had already a lot of comment on his blog, to no avail…

Simply said: his basic idea of the atmosphere as one container with one input and one output is completely wrong, if compared to the real atmosphere.

His basic formula is based on the residence time:
residence time = mass / output
or mass/throughput or mass/input, as long as input = throughput = output or about equal.
So far no problem.

Then he reverses that formula to obtain the outflow of CO2 out of the atmosphere:
output = mass / residence time
which is true and only true if all flows are unidirectional from input to output and if and only if the output is caused by the CO2 mass in the atmosphere.

In the case of the natural fluxes, the largest fluxes are seasonal and largely caused by temperature changes, not by atmospheric CO2 pressure.

The atmosphere remains at 415 +/- 5 ppmv over a full year and shows an increase of about 2 ppmv/year
CO2 fluxes between atmosphere and oceans are (rough estimate):
25 ppmv input during spring to summer, 26 ppmv output fall to winter.
Between the biosphere as a whole and the atmosphere:
31 ppmv output spring to summer. 30 ppmv input fall to winter
The difference between ocean and biosphere fluxes is the +/- 5 ppmv which is visible as the seasonal amplitude of the global CO2 levels within a year (which is about what Mauna Loa shows).
And humans provide some 4 ppmv/year, one-way.

That shows that reversing the residence time to obtain the outflow and thus the cause of the increase in the atmosphere is completely wrong, as these flows go near equally in both directions (even against the atmospheric CO2 pressure!) and opposite to each other.
Both are hardly influenced by the CO2 pressure in the atmosphere. The latter only gives the 1 ppmv net sink in both oceans and biosphere.

Thus sorry, but Dr. Berry’s basic concept is completely wrong and therefore all his conclusions…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
January 16, 2021 11:58 pm

Hi Ferdinand and Happy New Year!

Best, Allan

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
January 21, 2021 6:28 am

Hi Ferdinand,

Since we do not agree on your above point, let’s stick to the high ground:
Our differences are scientifically important, but practically insignificant, because:
There is NO real global warming crisis. Anti-CO2 mania is utterly false – the prattling of scoundrels and imbeciles.
Regards, Allan
Following is Ole Humlum’s latest, received today.
“5: There is no perceptible effect on atmospheric CO2 due to the COVID-related drop in GHG emissions. Natural sinks and sources for atmospheric CO2 far outweigh human contributions.
The significance of Humlum’s observation cannot be overstated – it strongly supports Ed Berry’s latest book and paper, as described below.

The Great Covid-19 Lockdown Fraud, which has been linked by leading globalists to the Great Global Warming / Climate Fraud (“To solve the very-scary Covid-19 Fraud we have to solve the very-scary Climate Fraud” and similar specious nonsense) has demonstrated that both very-scary schemes are FALSE!
The lockdown is now known to have caused 10 to 100 times more harm to humanity than the Covid-19 illness.
If there was any truth to the warmists’ fundamental hypothesis that increasing fossil fuel combustion is the primary driver of increasing atmospheric CO2, we should have seen a relative decline trend in atmospheric CO2 during the Lockdown and WE DID NOT! This is more evidence to support Ed Berry’s hypothesis that the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 is primarily caused by nature, not the combustion of fossil fuels.

So if we follow the warmists nonsense hypo and eliminate fossil fuel production, shut down our vital energy systems, kill off a large part of humanity and have the survivors live like cavemen, then atmospheric CO2 will NOT be significantly reduced – and we will destroy our prosperity and our lives for nothing – for a failed, false, nonsense hypothesis concocted by a gang of globalist fraudsters.
Even if Ed Berry’s hypo were false, which is improbable, the warmist hypothesis fails on two further points:
1.      Atmospheric CO2 changes lag atmospheric temperature changes by approximately 9 months in the modern data record. The future cannot cause the past.
2.      Even if one accepts that “the future CAN cause the past”, the calculated sensitivity of climate to increasing atmospheric CO2 is far too low (~1C/doubling) to cause dangerous warming.

The global warming fraudsters have no credible arguments left – their very-scary global warming / human-made climate change crisis is cancelled.

January 14, 2021 3:13 pm

The energy balance on Earth is thermostatically controlled by two relatively simple processes. Neither involve CO2. Ice forms at -2C and reduces the rate of heat loss. Cloudburst becomes cyclic once precipitable water reaches 38mm. By the time the ocean surface temperature reaches 29C the cyclic cloudburst takes net radiative power negative. Triggering of the cloudburst is somewhat random so there is some surface that gets to 30C but not much. The only surface that gets above 32C occurs where the cloudburst cycle is disrupted; like the Persian Gulf.

If the ocean surface was internally forced to 34C, there would be cyclic cloudburst that resulted in perpetual cloud. The shutters remain permanently shut similar to the cloud observed with cyclones where the radiative energy uptake is highly negative; as much as -50W/sq.m.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 10.10.11 am.png
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 5:10 pm

You remarked, “Increasing the concentration of atmospheric CO2 also reduces the pH of seawater and decreases the saturation state of calcite and aragonite.” However, it is not even close to a linear relationship because of the strong buffering in the (bi)carbonate system with borates assisting in the pH buffering as well. The bicarbonate concentration is nearly constant over a pH range of 6.5 to 8.2! It takes a dissolved CO2 concentration change of nearly two orders of magnitude to affect that bicarbonate change.

Last edited 14 days ago by Clyde Spencer
January 13, 2021 6:49 am

Nothing ventured (no data), nothing gained (insight)

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 13, 2021 7:44 am

By presenting no data the authors of the GSL statement have nothing original and substantive that they are required to defend. Their work is not science it is politics.

David Roger Wells
January 13, 2021 7:17 am

No Warming in UK since 2006 – Watts Up With That? The CET graph in this post identifies a rise in surface temperature of 2C from 1700 to about 1745 then the trend declines to 1975 with a rise and then a fall which indicates the UK is no warmer now than in 1745. But the trend from 1745 to 1975 is falling whilst Co2 was rising. I have asked by way of FOI to BEIS CCC Met Office if Co2 residual concentration is reversed to 291ppm as experienced during the LIA can you guarantee we will never again have a winter like this: “People across Europe awoke on 6 January 1709 to find the temperature had plummeted. A three-week freeze was followed by a brief thaw – and then the mercury plunged again and stayed there. From Scandinavia in the north to Italy in the south, and from Russia in the east to the west coast of France, everything turned to ice. The sea froze. Lakes and rivers froze, and the soil froze to a depth of a metre or more. Livestock died from cold in their barns, chicken’s combs froze and fell off, trees exploded and travellers froze to death on the roads. It was the coldest winter in 500 years.” No response has been forthcoming.

Wyatt Earp was gunfighting at the OK Corral in October 1881 when technology was so far advanced you could not hit a barn door at 20 paces with a Colt 45 but we must believe in what scientists say or imply that they know for a fact when all they have is reconstructions amplified by what they believe to be true which is the same methodology applied to climate modelling. Patrick Moore says that atmospheric Co2 during the Pre Cambrian was 8,000ppm and when dinosaurs ruled the world it was 2500ppm. El Nino and La Nina events don’t appear to respond to Co2 but temperature increases and reduces in line with these events but there is no clear comparison with Co2 and temperature.

Dr Feynman “if hypothesis is contradicted by observations then question hypothesis not observations”. I remain firmly of the opinion that what we are dealing with here is an absolute want to try every means possible to impose the belief that humans because of their existence remain a threat to the planet. And the solution to that threat is to carpet the environment with wind solar and battery farms in order to subjectively save the planet. Boneheaded stupidity.

The solution to a non problem is worse than the supposition. OMG it might rain a little more, and their might be the odd increase in hurricanes so dig more holes in the environment which is supposedly at risk and then carpet what is left of the environment with what is dug out consuming huge volumes of enabling fossil fuels in the process to pretend that Co2 and CH4 control climate and therefore humans can influence climate and weather by managing and or modifying Co2 and CH4 emissions, bonkers.

  • Desrochers, Pierre. (Population Bombed!): Exploding the Link Between Overpopulation and Climate Change . as a response to overpopulation.’75 Confucius (551–479 BC) and some of his followers argued that excessive population growth may reduce output per worker, lower standards of living and create strife.76 Some ancient Indian writings similarly showed ‘profound appreciation of the problems of food and populations’77 while Plato (427–347 BC) warned that ‘exceed[ing] the limit of necessity’ and the ‘unlimited accumulation of wealth’ would trigger expansionary wars, especially in light of the populace’s fondness for meat, which would result in struggles over pastureland. Interestingly, his solution was a vegetarian diet.78 Writing half a millennium later, the Carthaginian Christian theologian Tertullian observed that: [What] most frequently meets our view (and occasions complaint), is our teeming population: our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly supply us from its natural elements; our wants grow more and more keen, and our complaints more bitter in all mouths, while Nature fails in affording us her usual sustenance. In very deed, pestilence, and famine, and wars, and earthquakes have to be regarded as a remedy for nations, as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race…79 Over a century and a half later, another important figure in the early Church, Saint Jerome, commented that ‘the world is…full, and the population is too large for the soil,’80 a problem he believed best addressed through the creation of monasteries. The first true population catastrophist theorist is generally acknowledged to be the Italian Giovanni Botero (1540–1617) who, two centuries before another lapsed Catholic cleric, Giammaria Ortes (1713–1790) and the better-known Malthus, argued that human population would increase to the maximum extent permitted by human fertility, that the means of subsistence wouldn’t keep up, and that the unavoidable result would be poverty, starvation, war, diseases and population crashes.81 For his part, Malthus is best remembered for arguing in the first edition of his essay that, in a world where food production grows arithmetically and population – when unrestrained – grows geometrically, mass want and population crashes are unavoidable.82
Ron Long
Reply to  David Roger Wells
January 13, 2021 11:14 am

David Roger Wells, good posting about the cold spell in Europe and other issues, but I am certain I could hit a barn door at 20 paces with a colt 45.

Reply to  David Roger Wells
January 13, 2021 12:20 pm

Actually, CET shows no warming since 1997

comment image

Reply to  fred250
January 13, 2021 4:35 pm

Actually, fred250 posts mislabelled charts all the time. No matter how many times it’s pointed out to him that the monthly CET chart he again posts above does *not* show full data from 1997 to 2020, he continues to post it anyway. Thankfully, everyone here is a ‘skeptic’ and will have already checked the source data for themselves (cough!); so it’s hardly worth my while pointing this out… again.

However, it is still the case that Fred has clipped off January 1997 from that chart, even though 1997 started with a January, as usual. It doesn’t change much, other than it allows Fred to remove the slight, but obvious, warming trend that starting CET in January 1997 would otherwise show. So the chart title should be “CET Feb 1997 – Dec 2000”; but it isn’t.

Fred continues to maintain that he is a skeptic; however, mislabelling charts isn’t really a very skeptical thing to do, is it?

Reply to  TheFinalNail
January 13, 2021 5:19 pm

Again the mathematical ineptness of the rusted AGW sympathiser mind is evidence.. so funny
The only way of getting a true trend from a cyclic graph is from peak to peak or trough to trough

As January is the bottom of the trough and we are missing January 2021, we have to balance it by not including January at the start of the trend calculation.

Sorry you never got passed junior high maths understanding, rusty.

Perhaps you should try .. and FAIL… yet again !

Nothing more than a monkey with a ruler, are you, poor ignoramus..

Last edited 14 days ago by fred250
Gee Aye
Reply to  TheFinalNail
January 13, 2021 9:23 pm

Don’t worry Mr Nail, fred AndyG, who was banned from here 2 years ago, knows no other way.

Reply to  Gee Aye
January 13, 2021 9:28 pm


Gee of zero-facts.

Reply to  Gee Aye
January 13, 2021 9:44 pm

Its those two questions that he used so effectively, isn’t it.

Such good questions….. and never an answer.

1… Do you have any empirical scientific evidence for warming by atmospheric CO2?

2… In what ways has the global climate changed in the last 50 years , that can be scientifically proven to be of human released CO2 causation?

AndyG55, iirc, is in Newcastle


comment image

Reply to  fred250
January 14, 2021 5:07 am

Liar, you were in the “Hunter” a few days ago Andy.

Gee Aye
Reply to  fred250
January 14, 2021 4:50 pm

how is the new home you built Andy?

Abolition Man
Reply to  David Roger Wells
January 13, 2021 3:35 pm

D. R. Wells,
In my best Val-Kilmer-as-Doc-Holliday voice: “I beg to differ, sir!”

Wyatt not only shot Frank McLaury and Billie Clanton during the 30 second fusillade that took place in a vacant lot on the other side of the block from the OK Corral; but also most likely nicked the horse that Tom McLaury was using for cover allowing Doc to shoot him with the shotgun Virgil had given him as they walked to the confrontation!

In my experience barn doors are generally larger than horses, making it much easier to ride and move said horses into and out of the barn. I therefore feel justified in thinking that Wyatt could most likely have hit one with at least one of the five rounds he and most others carried in their six-shooters! He did resort to the street howitzer during the Vendetta Ride to avenge the murder of Morgan and the crippling of Virgil, but that may have been just due more to a desire for a reckoning!

You probably can’t tell that I just reread Jeff Guinn’s excellent history:The Last Gunfight. I would recommend it highly to anyone who has an interest in history or the West; especially if you want to get a deeper understanding of one of the greatest movies of all time: “Tombstone!”

Beyond that, I find myself agreeing with everything else you state and would personally vote for a minimum CO2 level of around 600ppm; 1,000ppm might be better for the biosphere, but would be nearly impossible to attain with fossil fuels alone.

Abolition Man
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 4:32 pm

Thanks for the recommendation and another great post! Maybe I should start calling you and Andy the Doc and Wyatt of geology! I’ll let you two figure out who’s who!
Much better than tag team pro wrestling which has a level of acting and deception that make it more akin to Climate Catastrophism except for the lack of pay and the greater skills required by the wrestlers!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Roger Wells
January 13, 2021 5:21 pm

You claimed, “Wyatt Earp was gunfighting at the OK Corral in October 1881 when technology was so far advanced you could not hit a barn door at 20 paces with a Colt 45 …”
I would not want to have been someone with a bounty on my head, let alone a barn door, and be 20 paces from Earp!

Nick Schroeder
January 13, 2021 7:23 am

The atmosphere/albedo make the earth cooler not warmer.
Sit across from a roaring campfire. Hold up a blanket. Are you warmer now or colder? Drop the blanket down. Are you warmer now or colder? RGHE theory predicts just the opposite.
Walk out to your black car on a sunny afternoon. The sheet metal is so hot you can’t touch it. The air is nowhere near that hot. The sun heats the surface, the surface heats the air. RGHE theory predicts just the opposite.

If you can balance a checkbook you can clearly see that the ubiquitous RGHE heat balance does not.

If you have stood near/under an infrared heater it is obvious the sun heats the surface, the surface heats the air.

There is no greenhouse effect and CO2 does nothing.

RGHE theory belongs with the failed theories of Plato’s four elements, phlogiston, luminiferous ether, spontaneous generation, humors and cold fusion.

WUWT Bastardi loop.jpg
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
January 13, 2021 8:00 am

I will add to your list the Ptolemaic model of the solar system with the Sun going round the Earth. In this case the epicycle that is used to correct the failed climate science model is the back radiation perpetual motion magic of returned heat.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
January 13, 2021 12:12 pm

Current climate science is indeed analogous to the Ptolemaic models of the solar system. Richard Feynman called such things “cargo cult pseudo-science.”

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 14, 2021 1:34 am

All models are wrong, but some are useful. (George E.P. Box.)

The Ptolemaic model of the solar system takes as its founding principles the postulate that the Earth is at the centre of the cosmos, and that all celestial motions follow circular paths as the circle was deemed to be the purest geometric shape. Unfortunately for the concept of the purity of the circle the wandering planets clearly did not follow regular patterns of singular circular motion, and so to explain these discrepancies the concept of the epicycle was added to the basic model by Hipparchus and adopted in the Almagest by Ptolemy.

Using observations (the data) of the motions of the sun, moon and planets (the wandering stars) against the background sky of the fixed stars, predictions can be made using the Ptolemaic system of the future positions alignments and eclipses of heavenly bodies as seen from the vantage point of the Earth’s surface.

The Ptolemaic model worked well but it was effectively smashed by the invention of the astronomical telescope when new observations, particularly those of the motions of the moons of Jupiter by Galileo, provided a new set of data and also a new concept of a planet being at the centre of its own separate system of motion. These observations by Galileo supported the sun centred model of Copernicus but this heliocentric model still preserved the concept of the circular orbit.

The concept of orbital circles however was later replaced by Kepler who by using the high-quality data of Tycho Brahe discarded the circles and replaced them with the new conceptual model of elliptical orbits. In all of this change, the data has not been altered, rather its accuracy has been refined by the use of higher quality instruments, the telescope rather than the naked eye. The improved predictive capabilities of the sun centred elliptical planetary orbit model of Kepler led to its adoption by astronomers.

The fundamental mathematical concept at the base of climate science is the notion of energy flux equivalence. This is a model, a primary idea, and just as in astronomy data can be shown to fit the prevailing conceptual model this does not mean that the model is unchallengeably correct. With this geometric idea it is claimed that the energy balance in the climate model necessitates the division of the incoming solar flux by a factor of 4, because the surface area of the globe is 4 times the planetary disk silhouette interception area.

This contention is clearly wrong in fact, because the sun never instantaneously illuminates the complete surface of the globe, there is always the night. Consequently, the energy density of the surface solar illumination is always twice that of the exhausting thermal radiation leaving the planetary body. Energy balance is the required metric and not intensity balance.

In climate science the transmission of thermal radiant energy through a semi-transparent atmosphere (one containing polyatomic molecular gases) is the mechanism by which climate is governed. The greenhouse gas contention is the physical bedrock concept at the heart of climate science, it is equivalent to an epicycle in the Ptolemaic model and like the epicycle is used to correct the observed consequences of a fundamental conceptual flaw in the overarching mathematical model.

As always in science problems arise when the predictive results made from the use of a model diverge from data. Under these circumstances we are faced with two choices, either keep the basic concepts and refine the model or replace the fundamental postulate. Adjustment is always easier than fundamental change. So just as the ancient astronomers kept their core geocentric principle and refined their model with the addition of the deferent and equant to the epicycle concept of planetary motion, so too for climate science the preservation of the core principle of the greenhouse gas heating epicycle is paramount, because without it there is no possibility of societal control.

In order to move on from climate science it is necessary to accept that the greenhouse gas heating concept of back radiation and thermal impedance due to atmospheric opacity is wrong. Climate instead can be defined by the meteorological principles of mass motion and energy transport, and not by those of planetary astronomy and radiation physics. Good luck with this, it is a hard journey to make but one for which the prize is truly worth the effort.

Last edited 14 days ago by Philip Mulholland
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
January 14, 2021 3:09 am

Kepler did something neither Brahe, Copernicus nor Ptolemy did, he discovered a physical principle outside all of their maths and his test version, the Vicarious Hypothesis.
That principle is his unique discovery, universal gravitation. The real physical universe is always outside, incommensurable with, any logic or maths scheme. The Climate is having fun with this!
It took Leibniz’s Calculus later to deal with that kind of change -Kepler knew his maths was not up to it.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
January 15, 2021 2:01 pm

 Climate instead can be defined by the meteorological principles of mass motion and energy transport, and not by those of planetary astronomy and radiation physics.

The tropical climate has tropical thunderstorms that evaporate the oceans and surface water and carry that energy up to form water or ice, forming clouds that radiate the energy out from the tops of the clouds.

The polar ice cycles have warm times that produce sequestered ice. IR out in warmest times do not cause climate cooling at that time. The sequestered ice builds and flows into the oceans and cools the tropical currents to cold enough to form sea ice and stop the evaporation and snowfall. The cold times stay cold until the sequestered ice is depleted. Cold times are colder because ice extent is more and albedo is higher but also because the sequestered ice is thawing and chilling the tropical currents. The long term average does balance but the short term cycles have more IR out in warmest times and less IR out in coldest times while ice is been sequestered in warmest times and thawing ice is causing cooling in coldest times.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
January 13, 2021 4:19 pm

You got that bassackwards again Nick. A blanket between you and your cold Igloo will keep you warmer. A tent between you and the cold arctic night of outer space will keep you warmer. And sky that is warmer than outer space will keep you warmer too. Whether the intermediate “surface” is a blanket, tent, or radiative gas….doesn’t change the calculation much.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  DMacKenzie
January 14, 2021 1:21 pm

“A tent between you and the cold arctic night of outer space will keep you warmer. ”.

I think you have a misunderstanding. The tent will assume an equilibrium temperature between itself and the cold arctic night. Probably pretty cold.

Then you have to determine the equilibrium between you and the tent. The tent is going to be pretty cold so the equilibrium temp will be pretty low.

January 13, 2021 7:58 am

It is unfortunate that it is apparently not possible to model the atmosphere in a greenhouse. If 2 huge greenhouses (cost millions would be worth it) ….maybe in the Valley in California….on a north-south axis 1000 feet apart…both sealed tight with just concrete floors and just the air inside….one would have the current CO2 level and the other 4000 ppm CO2. The units could be monitored for years. It is apparently settled science that CO2 causes the atmosphere to warm.

Reply to  Anti-griff
January 13, 2021 10:42 am

Biosphere 3

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 13, 2021 12:09 pm

The Arizona Biosphere 2 experiment of course failed because the sealed air the CO2 level kept skyrocketing to unsafe levels for animals. Some blame stems from artificial source of structural concrete outgassing, but most of the blame was on the failure to fully appreciate by the scientists all the CO2 sinks (uptakes both in quantity and rate) on Earth and the vast CO2 fluxes (in and out) that overwhelm the puny human input from fossil fuels.

Reply to  Anti-griff
January 13, 2021 12:23 pm

Except you have stopped proper atmospheric convection..

….. so you may as well just use small glass jars.

January 13, 2021 8:01 am

The only interesting thing about this report is the timing – before Biden pushing the Great Reset.
Expect a flurry of such slurry as Davos prepares its Jan 28 announcement.
As the wit remarked, the effect is what matters, and even well trained scientists flounder and pick crumbs.

There is a gorilla under the carpet, with plenty of data – an immense bail-out of an immanent financial crash, and, even when it is under the carpet, geologists trip unwittingly over it.

As Davos Great Reset openly declares, this the end of government fiscal policy, taken over by private financial interests. Milton Friedman should be blushing green.

Last edited 14 days ago by bonbon
Jim Gorman
January 13, 2021 8:27 am

To help with a response is asking folks to find a data point average at the same resolution as the proxy. IOW, what is the single data point that should be used for the last 500, 1000, 100000 years. That illustrates rather quickly why you can’t just append data from annual temperatures to a proxy reconstruction.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 9:30 am

I actually argued about that with an alarmist/warmist, who keeps ignoring it, they have no concept of resolution at all!

They think Marcott and Mann can graft the 20th century temperature onto much lower proxy data resolution, and call it good science.

The lack of science literacy in the forums are disturbing.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 11:13 am

“a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.”

But of course this justifies the practice. “Pal review” is such a great benefit to post modern science.

Last edited 14 days ago by Rory Forbes
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 1:14 pm

“showed that the early 20th century was warmer than the late 1990′s.

Which it was

“So, they just substituted the instrumental record for the tree ring chronology.”

The “unadjusted” instrumental record also shows the same thing in the NH, warmer in the 1940s than 1990s

So they have substituted REAL temperatures for FAKE ones.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 12:05 pm

It would be a single averaged (integrated) point of the past 140 years. The scammers want the last point to be 2017, the peak effects of the latest El Nino on Global temps.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 12:27 pm

The original Marcott proxies

comment image

temporal errors, range errors, approximations of unknowns

Averaging those is a great way to get a straight line..

A mathematical absurdity as discussed in a previous thread.

Last edited 14 days ago by fred250
Reply to  fred250
January 13, 2021 2:43 pm

Cooking climate history with paleo stir-fry!

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Jim Gorman
January 13, 2021 8:32 am

I forgot to add GREAT ARTICLE by the way. This is the kind of stuff scientists should be quantifying in each and every paper or study. If for no other issue than to elucidate how assumption in reference papers are also applicable to the current one.

dodgy geezer
January 13, 2021 8:55 am

What is the point of telling us this? Most of us would have guessed it anyway given the hyperbolic language used by the Geological Society, and the past record of similar statements from other establishment scientific bodies.

There is no point in gathering this data for the education and enlightenment of other people either. People have already been told what to believe, and they will not listen to you.

If this information ever becomes more widely disseminated, and could possibly become a threat to the current ‘green’ beliefs, you will find that both the author and the platform on which the data is published will be removed from general access very rapidly.

It seems to me that it is not enough to just keep repeating reasons why the Global Warming hypothesis is wrong to ourselves. Some way of addressing the current climate of polarisation and exclusion needs to be found.

Reply to  dodgy geezer
January 13, 2021 9:39 am

Dodgy geezer, Science is debate, hopefully using logic, reason and careful observations. It doesn’t work if only one side talks and writes. “Science is settled” is an oxymoron stated by the side that has no case. If we believe in science, we must debate.

Nick Graves
Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 10:04 am

That is incontrovertible.

The question ought to be, how do you & David overcome being stonewalled?

Or stoned – even worse. (I mean in the biblical sense, not the Hippie one, for clarity).

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 12:03 pm

The climate scam uses logic and reason anchored in climate model fantasy. Yank the rug out from under the hand-tuned climate model fantasy and the scammers logic disappears. They want people to think model output untethered from observation is data, whilst ignoring the real data that says the models run far too hot and paleo-recons of past climate are statistical frauds.

Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 1:21 pm

“If we believe in science, we must debate.”

As we have seen from numerous AGW, let’s call them, “trolls”, for want of a better, more descriptive word .. 😉

…. they yap on and on about “the science™” but when asked to actually PRODUCE this “science™”, they are invariably totally science-free.

You can’t debate someone of that level of brain-washing and incompetence.

They have nothing to debate with.

Last edited 14 days ago by fred250
Alastair gray
Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 2:11 pm

What about Howard Dewhirst letter to GSL in 2018 to which you were a signatory.
Ho ward was courteous to the officers of GSL but as A fellow I saw no evidence of bringing AGW to a proper debate

Reply to  dodgy geezer
January 13, 2021 3:34 pm

You make some valid points.
My opinion is that CAGW is a multi pronged scam.
It needs to be challenged from many angles.
Geologists politely debating other geologists is a valid angle.
However, a better angle for the above topic would be for David and Andy to aggressively challenge non geologists ( politicians, green activists) whenever they make unsupported geological claims.

Reply to  Waza
January 14, 2021 1:22 am

Using what platform?

If you are called a denier and they put their fingers in the ears screaming “lalalalala,” then what can you do?

CD in Wisconsin
January 13, 2021 9:04 am

Not a word from the GSL statement (unless I missed it) about the saturation point of CO2 and other GHGs at the point where they can no longer contribute to any atmospheric warming.
To wit:

“…Precision research by physicists William Happer and William van Wijngaarden has determined that the present levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapor are almost completely saturated. In radiation physics the technical term “saturated” implies that adding more molecules will not cause more warming…”

“…This paper puts forward the hypothesis that:
Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels are at a point where increasing them further
will have no impact on climate. CO2 contributes to the greenhouse effect. This
contribution reaches a maximum at a specific level of CO2 at which point there is no
further impact. In simplistic terms, you cannot get blacker than black. Controlling CO2
emissions will have no impact on climate.

The basis for this hypothesis is the use of engineering methods for the calculation of
radiant heat transfer in the atmosphere. This paper summarizes a technique for the use of
standard curves and tables for determining atmospheric emissivity and hence absorbance
of heat…”

I guess this is what happens when so-called “scientists” abandon science for money and activist agendas. Go with the flow.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 13, 2021 9:28 am

From the second paper referenced and linked above:

Beyond 200 ppm, the Leckner curves indicate that there is a negligible change in emissivity and hence a negligible change in forcing. That is: Above 200 ppm atmospheric concentration of CO2 there is no increase in the greenhouse affect due to CO2, and changes to human emissions of CO2 will have no affect on climate….”

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 13, 2021 12:00 pm

There will be an effect on the global biosphere though of vastly increased primary productivity in the oceans and on land by photosynthesizing biota. Greening of the planet has already been documented by multiple national agency satellite imagery analyses. This will continue. The Earth is re-entering a Modern Climatic Optimum that has yet to reach a plateau, which likely is somewhere around 650-800 ppm CO2 and another 1º -2º C of plaentary wide warming especially in the high Arctic.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 13, 2021 1:26 pm

Exactly! Apart from the fact that humans are unlikely to be contributing to warming, what warming we have experienced has been beneficial and the human contribution to CO2 has as well. In other words, things are going great.

January 13, 2021 9:29 am

Has anyone ever plotted CO2 ppm on a logarithmic scale on the y-axis? As we all assume, it’s not going to be a perfect logarithmic function (too complex with feedbacks), but everyone including people who don’t know what they’re talking about, talk about “a doubling of CO2”, so it would probably be more appropriate, and quite funny actually, to plot CO2 concentration on a log scale.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
January 13, 2021 6:43 pm

Thank you. That’s nice.

I was actually wondering if something like Figure 2 of the article had ever been plotted with a log y-axis. That would be something, I’m sure. The y-axis could be labeled “Approximate value of the effect of increasing CO2 on global climate parameters”.

Thinking about it more – the bar graph of effects of ppm CO2, starting at 20 ppm does the same thing. This one:

comment image

Figure 2 on a log scale would be good though.

January 13, 2021 9:31 am

In other settled (EU) science today….

Insects are inching their way to becoming a menu item on European dining tables after the bloc’s food safety regulator approved mealworms as safe for human consumption.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 13, 2021 11:55 am

Part of the intended diet of gruel with insects for protein for the masses in the coming decades. The destruction of fossil fuel affordability has as an intended consequence the destruction of affordable high quality grains and meats based diets for the masses.

Mealworms are part of the natural spoilage of grain and cereal stocks that food producers MUST throw out because of the insect contamination. Now it can be simply re-labeled as “protein, insect based” fortified and sold to the masses.

Clyde Spencer
January 13, 2021 10:35 am

David & Andy,
Figure 5 needs a label on the x-axis.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 13, 2021 10:58 am

I see a label in my browser, it is “Temp Anom (deg C)”

With this new system we are having trouble with figures showing up properly.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 13, 2021 10:58 am

The right had label is ppmV [CO2]

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Andy May
January 13, 2021 5:43 pm

I see the labels for the y-axis. What is missing is the label saying something like “Year (CE)” Most people can probably figure it out, but I wouldn’t want our resident trolls to be deprived of an explicit explanation that they can understand.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 7:30 pm

I’m comfortable using units of BC/AD because I grew up with it. So, I won’t quibble about the units. I was pointing out that is isn’t immediately obvious the the x-axis is showing years.

Beta Blocker
January 13, 2021 11:08 am

The earth has been warming for the past one-hundred seventy years. A rough estimate would be a one degree centigrade rise since 1850, more or less.

The odds are that the earth will continue to warm, with pauses here and there along the way, and with the expected differences in regional warming rates that will occur within that general long-term warming trend.

Once again, I present:

Beta Blocker’s Year 2100 GMT Prediction Envelope

The analysis which produced this prediction envelope is entirely self contained inside the illustration. Nothing appears on the illustration which cannot be either read directly or else be inferred from something else contained in the illustration.

My guess is that a + 2 C rise above pre-industrial by 2100 is the most likely scenario, simply because it is the one which most closely follows the GMT trend pattern of 1850 – 2019.

How will we know when the earth has stopped warming?

It will be when the thirty-year running average of GMT turns negative and then stays negative for another thirty to fifty years.

According to Javier’s long term cyclic trend analysis made on Judith Currie’s blog in early 2018, the one I believe to be most credible, the inflection point occurs roughly in the year 2200, some 180 years from today.

And, in case you are all curious, I do expect that some number of ColMosby’s molten salt reactors will be in operation in the year 2100. Eight or ten at the very least.

Ron Long
January 13, 2021 11:20 am

What a great team of geologists to put some reality into the CAGW nonsense, especially as the London Geologists have obviously crossed over into political science. The Andy May/David Middleton alliance reminds me of the greatest Pro Wrestling Tag Team Ever: The Road Warriors! You can decide amongst you who is who.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Ron Long
January 13, 2021 11:50 am

Can you get that published past the Scamming fraudster gate keepers though?

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 13, 2021 4:48 pm

Ah, it’s a big conspiracy. The ‘scamming fraudster gate keepers’ are trying to achieve what, exactly?

Reply to  TheFinalNail
January 13, 2021 5:23 pm

DENIAL of the scientific truth… and HIDING that truth from the general public.

It is the ONLY weapons the AGW scammers/apologists, like you, have left, rusty.

Last edited 14 days ago by fred250
Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  TheFinalNail
January 13, 2021 8:59 pm

The Climate Gate emails must have escaped your notice TFN. Also see Judith Curry’s experiences and why she departed academia. Or We Hoc Soon.

Clyde Spencer
January 13, 2021 11:46 am

In reading the position taken by the GSL, and the rationalizations for it, I’m reminded of the SciFi story The Andromeda Strain. Only instead of killing people, the virus that seems to be rampant is affecting the cognitive abilities of those infected. Unlike COVID-19, it seems to generally affect the young more severely than the old. Perhaps those of us who are less susceptible are imparted partial immunity from the wisdom that comes with age, and perhaps also from having the good fortune of more rigorous educations. Or, maybe that it is just that we have been inoculating ourselves with the alcoholic antidote and morning-after aspirin for a longer period of time.

Chris Hanley
January 13, 2021 12:47 pm

The society opening statement:
“… Furthermore, the current speed of human-induced CO2 change and warming is nearly without precedent in the entire geological record …”.
Linking the supposed global average temperature change over the past century directly and solely to the supposed and observed atmospheric CO2 concentration change over that period as the premise is ‘begging the question’ i.e. assuming the point in dispute.
Added to multiple flaws like mixing data of vastly different resolutions their basic reasoning is faulty.

Last edited 14 days ago by Chris Hanley
Steve Case
January 13, 2021 1:09 pm

Four sections copied out from the discussion and comment:

“The main problem is that recent warming is insignificant at a geological scale.”

Then recent warming is not a problem. 

It should be sufficient to say that anthropogenic CO2 emissions have probably been the cause of most of the rise from ~280-400 ppm over the past 200 years and that this has a net warming effect on the atmosphere. Although just about every recent observation-based estimate indicates that the warming effect is minimal.”

If the warming effect of CO2 is minimal is there a problem? 

“While, there is no “climate emergency,” economically viable pathways exist to reduce the carbon intensity of our energy production and restrain the ultimate growth in atmospheric CO2 to ~600 ppm by the end of this century. This would keep us in the Cenozoic “noise level.”

If there isn’t an emergency (problem) then why attempt to reduce growth to 600 ppm? 

“Rather than setting deadlines for “net-zero emissions” and other unattainable and arbitrary criteria, the focus should be on reducing the carbon intensity of energy production in an economically sustainable manner. The United States, largely through our private sector, has been doing this. U.S. CO2 emissions from electricity generation have fallen to 1980’s levels, mostly due to the replacement of coal-fired with natural gas-fired electricity generation.”

If there’s no emergency, and recent warming is insignificant, and the effect of increasing CO2 is minimal, then why give support to those who want to reduce it? A harsher comment would be, stop buying into the propaganda. 

What isn’t discussed, are the benefits of a warmer world with more rain, longer growing seasons and increased CO2 augmenting agricultural production. 

January 13, 2021 2:00 pm
  1. The total mass of the ocean is 1.35 x 1018 metric tonnes, and the total mass of the atmosphere is 5.5 x 1015 tons, which is a minuscule fraction of the ocean’s mass. CO2 makes about 0.0004 of the atmosphere. I don’t see how it’s possible to say that atmospheric CO2 can have any impact on the acidity of the ocean.
  2. If the ocean is outgasing CO2 as it warms, doesn’t it mean that with less CO2 in it, its acidity decreases? 🙂
Reply to  dagpaz
January 13, 2021 3:00 pm

(2) above … the oceans are ‘alkaline’, not acidic. So, as the oceans outgas CO2 they should increasingly improve their buffer.

Reply to  Streetcred
January 13, 2021 3:55 pm

Of course. My phrasing was intended to be a pun of sorts.
There is no way the ocean would ever turn acidic.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  dagpaz
January 14, 2021 12:38 pm


The ocean surface, the upper 100-200 meters of the ocean are called the “mixed layer” and are in close contact with the atmosphere. That layer exchanges CO2 and other gases with the atmosphere at real fast speed: less than a year exchange rate.
The rest of the (deep) oceans is rather isolated from the atmosphere, except for upwelling and sink places.

If there is an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, or a change in isotopic composition, the ocean surface will follow that within a few years.
For CO2, Henry’s law is applicable: any change in the atmosphere (or reverse) will be followed with the same change of CO2 in solution (or reverse).

The problem is that this rule is only for CO2 gas in solution, which is only 1% of all inorganic carbon species (DIC), not for bicarbonates (90%) or carbonates (9%).
Because CO2, bicarbonates, carbonates and hydrogen ions are in two-way equilibrium with each other, a 100% change in CO2 in the atmosphere will give a 100% change of CO2 in solution (from 1% to 2%), but only about 10% in total DIC. That is called the buffer factor or Revelle factor.

What is measured at several stations over the past decennia is that

  1. DIC in seawater increased with about 10% of the increase in the atmosphere
  2. The pH decreased in the same period.

That means that the CO2 flux was from the atmosphere into the ocean surface, not reverse. If it was reverse (by e.g. warming), the pH would drop and DIC would decrease. See:    

Why? Because the current CO2 pressure in the atmosphere is a lot higher than the equilibrium CO2 pressure with the ocean surface for the current average ocean surface temperature (which should be around 290 ppmv).

Last edited 13 days ago by Ferdinand Engelbeen
Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
January 14, 2021 1:48 pm

Error: with warming oceans the pH would increase and DIC would decrease…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
January 14, 2021 2:13 pm


Thank you for the info.

I think the notion that CO2 levels in the atmosphere can create “Ocean Acidification” is a misnomer, because CO2 is merely a trace gas in the atmosphere, and the atmosphere’s mass itself is a tiny fraction of the mass of the ocean.
Granted, the degree of exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean increases the closer you get to the water surface, but overall, it’s just a matter of degree, and time.
Some stations can register a local / temporal change in PH of the ocean water, typically following major floods in nearby land areas, or the melting of ice, but this seems like much ado about nothing, since these phenomena follow recurring seasonal patterns.

I don’t understand what the phrase “[CO2 level] should be around 290 ppmv” means. Should be according to whom? – The IPCC? Al Gore? Greta? Our new Climate Tzar John Kerry?

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  dagpaz
January 15, 2021 3:15 am


The 290 ppmv is based on ice cores CO2 levels in comparison with Antarctic temperatures. For Vostok there is a near-linear relationship between CO2 levels and temperature of around 8 ppmv/K:
Where most of the spread is caused by the (long) lags between CO2 changes and temperature changes, for which was not compensated in that graph.

Translated to global temperatures, that would give a change of around 16 ppmv/K, as Antarctic temperatures change about twice as fast as global temperatures.

The 16 ppmv/K also coincides with the change in solubility of CO2 in seawater at around 15 C, as is confirmed by several million seawater samples.
The formula used to compensate for the difference in temperature between the “equilibrator” pCO2 measurements on board of sea ships and the “in situ” temperature of the main cooling water inlet is:

(pCO2)sw @ Tin situ = (pCO2)sw @ Teq x EXP[0.0423 x (Tin-situ – Teq)]

Which also gets some 16 ppmv/K difference around 15 C.

There is virtually no difference between the pCO2 of one single seawater sample and the whole ocean surface at average the same temperature, despite that the single sample is a static equilibrium and the whole surface is in dynamic equilibrium: some 40 GtC/year is transported between the warm surface in the tropics and the cold polar waters, where it sinks with the dense water and comes back some 1000 years later near the tropics…

January 13, 2021 2:22 pm

David and Andy
Albedo changes also play an important roll.
It is my understanding that the gradual horizontal and vertical movement of the continents continually changes albedo and thus climate.
Q. You showed the closing of Panama on your Graphs, but when did India meet the Himalayas?

Reply to  Waza
January 13, 2021 4:14 pm

By our standards the collision occurred over a long span of time. They began to form 40 to 50 million years ago, but the Himalayas were not their majestic selves until around 30 million years ago.

January 13, 2021 2:30 pm

Thanks Andy and David, a magisterial overview of the geological science impacting on climate history which puts robust limits around the use of geology to support alarmism. Well done for keeping geologists honest!

Figure 5 is particularly impactful. Easy to see why climate scientists openly said to each other, “we have to get rid of the MWP”.

January 13, 2021 2:39 pm

If we apply smoothing filters to the DE08 ice core in order to match the resolution of the lower resolution ice cores, we get a considerably different picture.

This kind of Mannian scientific fraud is now common place in misrepresenting the geological record. Calling something a “composite” is not an excuse to grafting oranges on to bananas.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Greg
January 13, 2021 5:48 pm


January 13, 2021 3:15 pm

To the extent that climate change is a problem, we can only tackle it, if we pursue economically viable pathways 

Climate Change is religious cult. Viewing it as a “problem” is religious vilification. Please show more tolerance of the faith of others.

Reply to  RickWill
January 13, 2021 3:22 pm

The Earth is temperature controlled and has nothing to do with CO2. Glaciation is a hemispherical process and energy intensive. It is the consequence of imbalance in energy uptake between the hemispheres. The tropical ocean needs to take in around 2,400,000 joules to deposit every kilogram of ice on land.

What happens to the CO2 cycle when half the forests of the northern hemisphere get buried under metres of ice for thousands of years?

Reply to  RickWill
January 13, 2021 3:36 pm

Glaciation is carbon sequestering on a grand scale. Not a lot different to forming coal seams but on a much more recent time scale.

Reply to  RickWill
January 15, 2021 1:02 pm

What happens to the CO2 cycle when half the forests of the northern hemisphere get buried under metres of ice for thousands of years?

To Rick Will: That is an extremely good point! Except, the forests remove CO2 and produce O2. I believe the huge oceans are carbonated water and the vapor pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere is more regulated by carbonated water temperature.
Now, something is increasing CO2 above the balance of old. That is good. More CO2 makes everything that grows, that we depend on, more abundant.
It would be good to understand that better.

It would be much better to just understand natural internal climate response better so we could better know what really matters. Ice core data is very clear, ice that is sequestered on Greenland and Antarctica depend on the warmer times when warm tropical ocean currents remove sea ice so that the sequestered ice stores can be replenished.

You are being gaslighted if you only look at CO2 and not for other natural climate responses that matter.

January 13, 2021 3:46 pm

Nice rundown but you need to get it into perspective-
World facing ‘ghastly’ future: scientists (
or context or something or other. The doomster media don’t do complexity or nuance and they don’t need no steenking facts.

jeff L
January 13, 2021 7:24 pm

Someone please share this with the AAPG – as they seem to be selling the entire industry they represent down the river to appease the deep green left. probably because they are good people just trying to get along. That attitude has no place in science. Geologists know better. The AAPG should know better. And if the O&G industry is wrecked , with them complicit because they didn’t defend their own industry, then society as whole will be worse off because of it.

jeff L
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2021 8:04 pm

Agreed – It pains me as a member ( as I am sure it pains you too as a member).

January 13, 2021 9:17 pm

Furthermore, the current speed of human-induced CO2 change and warming is nearly without precedent in the entire geological record, with the only known exception being the instantaneous, meteorite-induced event that caused the extinction of non-bird-like dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement

Jeffrey Severinghaus and colleagues would be very surprised to see this statement. They showed that, at the beginning of the Holocene, about 11,700 years ago, Northern Hemisphere temperatures rose “5 – 10ºC” in just a few decades (Severinghaus, Sowers, Brook, Alley, & Bender, 1998).


I don’t think they’d be surprised at all. One data point at the top of Greenland is a pretty poor representation of the entire NH. Back a few years Andy wasn’t surprised either. His ‘Artic’ reconstruction showed no such spikes.

The climate events that caused the GISP 2 spikes were undoubtedly real and dramatic: Ice-dam breaks, the abrupt starting and stopping of the thermohaline circulation system, bolide, a combination…but they were by no means indicative of the wholoe hemisphere let alone global

Abrupt, modern global warming has an equally dramatic global explanation.

Last edited 14 days ago by Loydo
Just one paper
Reply to  Loydo
January 14, 2021 12:08 am

Loydo, what is that global explanation and what paper/s do you cite as evidence? I note from previous posts that you have been challenged on this point but remain steadfastly elusive in rising to the challenge. I’d love to see you stick it to all your doubters.

Reply to  Loydo
January 14, 2021 12:32 am

Abrupt, modern global warming

It just isn’t happening.

The current beneficial warming is a minor blip compared the the warming out of the last main Ice Age and the Younger Dryas swings in temperature..


Current warming has been in small steps at El Nino events.. which are absolutely NOTHING to do with CO2.

And of course, you KNOW that the highly beneficial slight warming, out of the COLDEST period in 10,000 years has no proven human CO2 causation, don’t you Loy-dumb

No evidence AT ALL..

“dramatic global explanation”

Yep, DRAMA, play-acting , that is all it is…
Hollywood actors partake with glee……

…. never science.. never evidence.

The Loy-satte way. !!

Last edited 14 days ago by fred250
Reply to  Loydo
January 14, 2021 3:10 am


One data point at the top of Greenland is a pretty poor representation of the entire NH.

Read the posts and the papers first, then you won’t look so ridiculous in your comments. Severinghaus, et al. are referring to:

the climate change was synchronous (within a few decades) over a region of at least hemispheric extent

As for Figure 1 in my Arctic reconstruction, the jump they are referring to is off-scale on the left end. Remember 11,700 years ago is ~ 9,750 BC. Both the Northern Hemisphere and the Arctic reconstructions go off scale. You are not with the data here. Every bit of data in the NH indicates a very abrupt warming at about that time.

January 14, 2021 6:58 am

To the authors:

You say there is evidence that CO2 can cause warming of some amount. For this to be true then there must be two answers to the question of how much energy it takes to raise the temperature of a mass of dry air 1 degree. Thermodynamics says the energy can be in “any form”. You are saying if infrared involved a different amount is needed.

I find no mention of this warming capability in specific tables, the Shomate equation, or NIST data sheet on CO2.

I add that Anthony’s CO2 jar experiment demonstrated that raising the amount of CO2 didn’t cause an increase in temperature.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2021 1:33 pm

Radiative gasses affect the transmissivity of the atmosphere but that does not mean there is a “Greenhouse Effect”.

Earth’s energy balance is controlled by two powerful process – sea ice formation at -2C to prevent heat loss from ocean surface and cloudburst that prevents ocean heat uptake above 29C. There is very little ocean surface warmer than 30Cand no open ocean above 32C. Just a few nooks and crannies like the Persian Gulf where the cloudburst cycles is disrupted that regularly exceed 32C.

It is no accident that the average surface temperature sits close to the middle of the two extremes at 15C. Clouds control the maximum temperature and they are highly responsive to sea surface temperature. If oceans were internally heated to 34C then there would be perpetual cloud. The cloudburst cycle would continue without ever exposing clear sky. The loss of surface sunlight is much more significant than the loss in OLR due to the very low radiating power of the cloud tops.

Attached chart is actual data for January 2020 over the tropical oceans. All oceans reach the same maximum temperature in their warm pools.

Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 4.32.00 pm.png
Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2021 8:50 am


I’m curious if there has been any suggestion for an experiment to test the correct proposed physical mechanism? I’m not even sure what form such an experiment would take.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2021 12:03 pm

Thank you, I suspected that might be the case. It seems to me it would be a rather difficult experiment to devise.

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  TonyG
January 14, 2021 12:57 pm

The “elevator speech” answer from Willis Eschenbach is here:

A little difficult to do that as real life experiment, but the reasoning is superb…

Further, there is real proof of the back radiation caused by CO2, which even shows the seasonal amplitude of the CO2 levels in the back radiation seasonal amplitude:

Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2021 11:10 am

Dave and Tony, No one has measured the greenhouse effect in nature. The best estimate, using observations, IMHO is the one Nic Lewis and Judith Curry did in 2018.

Lots of theoretical estimates are out there and they are all over the map.

Due to laboratory work, all things being equal, which they never are, we can speculate that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause some warming. So Roy Spencer is probably correct, but he can’t prove his case either.

After some initial warming, due to greenhouse gases, there will be feedbacks. Speculating that these feedbacks are positive is a stretch. Positive feedbacks are very rare in nature for obvious reasons. The feedbacks are likely negative, leading to more cloud cover (Lindzen and Choi, 2011) or more ocean transport of thermal energy to the deep ocean or more plant life and cooling transpiration (Happer).

No evidence of any danger, lots of evidence that very little warming will occur and that the additional CO2 will be beneficial.

Reply to  Andy May
January 14, 2021 1:43 pm

The “Greenhouse Effect” is an fairytale. Earths temperature is thermostatically controlled to a narrow range by powerful ocean processes. Sea ice formation at the low end occurs at -2C. Cloudburst at the top end that takes ocean energy uptake negative above 29C.

The only way ocean surface gets above 29C is where the cloudburst cycle is disrupted by the local geography; like in the Persian Gulf – has the warmest ocean surface on Earth and the only subtropical water above 27C that does not experience cyclones. Cyclones are seeded by cloudburst. Convective potential is essential for spinning up cyclones but rarely develops over the Persian Gulf.

Attached chart shows how increased SW reflection trumps reduced LW transmission.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 8.39.24 am.png
Jeff Alberts
January 14, 2021 8:43 am

In the mid Pliocene (3.3–3.1 million years ago), atmospheric CO2 concentrations ranged from 389 (–8 to +38) ppm to 331 (–11 to +13) ppm (de la Vega et al. 2020), which is higher than pre-industrial levels of about c. 280 ppm and slightly lower than modern levels (c. 407.4 ± 0.1 ppm in 2018). Earth’s continental configurations, land elevations and ocean bathymetry were all similar to today (Haywood et al. 2016). The Pliocene was characterized by several intervals in which orbital forcing was similar to that of modern times and so it offers us a close analogue to the climate under modern CO2 concentrations (McClymont et al. 2020). During this interval, global temperatures were similar to those predicted for the year 2100 (+2.6 to 4.8°C compared with pre-industrial)

Their own statement makes it pretty clear that CO2 is not the driver of temperature.

I also saw no mention in their statement, or David and Andy’s rebuttal, of the lag of CO2 to proxified temperature in the ice cores over all time scales.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 14, 2021 10:57 am

I speak for myself, but on this Dave probably agrees with me. CO2 is not a driver of temperature, at most it is a minor influence, probably so small it cannot be detected in nature. Doubling CO2, from 400 ppm to 800 ppm, might increase global temperatures as much as a degree. This is the direct warming effect, although Happer might have shown that it is much less than that. Lindzen thinks that net of all feedbacks, the warming will be less than half a degree.

The problem is, it has never been measured. Natural variability is over 0.5 degrees, so how can we see the signal over the noise?

We have an unknown effect and much of the world is screaming the end is nigh! So, for political reasons, not because there is any evidence of a problem, something might have to be done to curtail CO2. If so, let’s not kill our economy in the process. I think that is what Dave means with the section of the post you are referring to.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2021 11:55 am

Who knows what the world and technology will be like in 2100? Predicting anything that far in the future is almost meaningless.

Jeff Alberts
January 14, 2021 8:47 am

David and Andy say:

To the extent that climate change is a problem, we can only tackle it, if we pursue economically viable pathways that preserve access to affordable, reliable energy and enable the further expansion of human prosperity.

I vehemently disagree. Adaptation is, and always has been, the most logical course of action when dealing with inexorable natural forces. Trying to control the weather is a fool’s errand.

There is no evidence that more CO2, in our conceivable future, will cause any kind of catastrophe. Just as there is no evidence that a climate catastrophe is happening right now, as we’re constantly told by the media.

Last edited 13 days ago by Jeff Alberts
Tom Abbott
January 14, 2021 9:27 am

Great article, Andy and David. You guys are real assets to the WUWT community.

This article causes me to ask the question: How is all this affected if Dr. Willam Happer’s new research is correct and the CO2 in the atmosphere at current levels (415ppm) is essentially saturated and has little ability to raise atmospheric temperatures at higher concentrations?

If true, that would end the CO2 crisis, I would think.

It would have a secondary effect of allowing all the alarmists to save face and to claim they had the science right in the past, they just didn’t know about the CO2 saturation part of the equation. They didn’t know that CO2 will only raise the temperatures so much, but no higher.

So then, all of us, skeptics and alarmists, can agree that CO2 is no longer a problem for humanity, and we can go about our merry ways.

It sounds like a plan to me. Now, we just need varification of Dr. Happer’s research. My money is on Dr. Happer being correct.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 14, 2021 10:46 am

Tom, I agree and I have Dr. Happer’s paper and have started studying it. But, it is hard to understand and I have to spend much more time on it. Like most of his work, he is likely correct, the general thesis sounds right, but it is tough going.

Last edited 13 days ago by Andy May
January 14, 2021 7:22 pm

Perhaps someone (like David Middleton?) can explain to me why, when the level of CARBON in the atmosphere is at 0.04% and that has been that way since the Carboniferous period, when giant bugs were everywhere, and (as David Middleton pointed out to me a while back), the oxygen level (at 30%) was so HIGH that wildfires were common — WHY these people are so dead set on trying to control something over which they have ZERO control?

Since the oxygen level is (and has been since the dinosaurs took up housekeeping) 20%, and CO2 is a trace gas – always has been – it seems (logical) to me that these people, who are fussing about something over which they have ZERO control, either truly believe they can control the CO2 level (they can’t) or they know it’s a scam and all they want is Your Money.

I found a good article about how some people are studying fossilized brachiopods to find out if they stored oxygen in their shells. (They look like scallop shells.) I’d like to know what they find out.

Not one of the geniuses who fuss about CO2 levels has come up with the real reason for a drop of a full third in the level of oxygen, from 30% to 20%. I doubt that they have an explanation for it, but it certainly does seem almost as if they are leaning toward raising the O2 level to 30%, which WILL give all land animals (except bugs) hyperoxia, and the result of that is widespread mortality,

I am always wary of people who want to fiddle with a stable system. They seem to have a need to control something that is uncontrollable.


Sara (A Cynic)

January 15, 2021 4:40 pm

Figure 2. Composite CO2 record (0-800 kyr BP) from Bereiter et al. (2014).”

Their alleged composite shows a CO₂ level ranging from 175ppm to 200 ppm around 1910-1920.
That low level is the nadir of a CO₂ graphed plummet from a peak 270ppm around 1830.

A result that proves mankind does not affect CO₂ levels. Since “Bereiter et al. (2014)” proves atmospheric CO₂ levels were unaffected by the immense human population explosion(s) during that period and the majority of the Industrial Revolution.

Typical alarmist sophistry where alarmists want their dire appearing graphics, tea and cake, but ordinary citizens are forced into suffering or kept in suffering.