How much global warming should IPCC’s next report predict?

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Mainstream climate scientists have been busy in the last two years, publishing updated climatological data in time for IPCC’s forthcoming Sixth Assessment Report. The availability of those recent mainstream data provides an opportunity to derive from them the midrange equilibrium climate sensitivity to doubled CO2 (ECS) that IPCC ought to be predicting on the basis of those data.

As Monckton of Brenchley et al. (2015) pointed out in a paper for the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015, one does not need a complex, multi-billion-dollar computer model that gobbles up a small town’s-worth of electricity and topples a dozen polar bears every time it is turned on if all one wants to know is ECS. ECS is a useful standard yardstick because the doubled-CO2 forcing is roughly equal to the total anthropogenic forcing we might expect to see this century on a business-as-usual scenario. That paper, incidentally, has been downloaded from the Chinese Academy journal’s website more often than any other in its 60-year history, by an order of magnitude.

Here is a handy, do-it-yourself ECS calculator based on the latest data.

IPCC (1990) had predicted midrange medium-term anthropogenic warming equivalent to 0.34 K decade–1. In the real world, however, the least-squares trend over the 30 years 1991-2020 on the mean anomalies in two surface (GISS and HadCRUT) and two lower-troposphere (RSS and UAH) monthly temperature datasets is 0.2 K decade–1, of which 70% (Wu et al. 2019), or 0.14 K, was down to us.

Therefore, IPCC’s original midrange medium-term lower-atmosphere warming has proven overstated 2.4 times over. John Christy (2021), in a fascinating online talk, has recently shown (Fig. 1) that the CMIP6 models have also overstated midrange mid-troposphere warming 2.4-fold.

Fig. 1. The 2.4-fold overstatement of midrange mid-troposphere warming in CMIP6 models.

One can gain a first ballpark estimate of midrange ECS by taking the CMIP6 mean 3.7 K ECS prediction (Meehl et al. 2020) and dividing it by 2.4. Answer: 1.5 K: not enough to worry about.

To derive ECS ΔE2 more precisely by developing the ideas in the Chinese Academy paper, just seven readily-obtainable and respectably-constrained mainstream midrange quantities are needed.

1: The Planck sensitivity parameter P is the first derivative of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation: i.e., the ratio of surface temperature to 4 times the albedo-adjusted incoming top-of-atmosphere radiative flux density (Schlesinger 1988). Thus, P= 288 / (4 x 241), or 0.3 K W–1 m2. That uncontroversial value varies with surface temperature: but, from 1850 to doubled CO2 compared with today’s temperature, it is close enough to 0.3 to make little difference.

2: Doubled-CO2 radiative forcing ΔQ2 was given as 3.45 W m–2, the mean of 15 CMIP5 models, in Andrews (2012). For CMIP6, Zelinka et al. (2020) give 3.52 W m–2. Since we are using the latest mainstream data, we shall go with the latter value.

3: The exponential-growth factor H of unit feedback response with reference sensitivity is here taken, for caution, as equal to the 1.07 K–1 given as the Clausius-Clapeyron increase in specific humidity with warming in Wentz (2007). This quantity, too, varies with temperature, but can safely be taken as constant over the narrow temperature interval of relevance here. In reality, the exponential growth in specific humidity is offset by the logarithmic temperature response to that growth, and IPCC (2013) estimates that at midrange all other feedbacks self-cancel. In reality, there is probably little or no growth in unit feedback response under today’s conditions. However, even if one were to assume H= 1.2, well above reality, ECS would barely change.

4: Anthropogenic forcing ΔQ1 from 1850-2020 was 2.9 W m–2, the sum of the 3.2 W m–2 accumulated-greenhouse-gas forcing and the 0.4 W m–2 ozone, –0.8 W m–2 aerosol and 0.1 W m–2 black-carbon forcings (NOAA AGGI; Gaudel+ 2020; Dittus+ 2020; IPCC 2001, p. 351).

5: The anthropogenic fraction M of warming and radiative imbalance from 1850-2020 was 0.7 (Wu et al., 2019; Scafetta 2021). The Wu paper has Gerald Meehl as a co-author.

6: Transient warming T1 from 1850-2020 was 1.07 K (HadCRUT5: Morice et al. 2020). Based on Wu et al., only 70% of this, or 0.75 K, was anthropogenic.

7: The Earth’s energy imbalance ΔN1 from 1850-2020 takes account of delay in onset of warming after a forcing. Schuckmann et al. (2020) give the current mainstream midrange estimate 0.87 W m–2.

Fig. 2. The seven quantities for the ECS equation

With these seven quantities (Fig. 2), all midrange, all up to date, all from mainstream climatological sources, one may not only derive a reliable midrange estimate of observational ECS directly without resorting to over-complex, insufficiently-falsifiable and error-prone computer models but also falsify the tenability of the currently-projected ECS interval 3.7 [2.0, 5.7] K (midrange Meehl et al., 2020; bounds Sherwood et al., 2020). Calculations are in Fig. 3. That simple table spells doom for the profiteers of doom.

Fig. 3. ECS made simple. The seven input quantities are in green.

How it works: We have now influenced climate for 170 years since 1850. Before then, our influence was negligible. From the seven quantities in Fig. 2, a vital quantity is derivable – the unit feedback response, the additional warming from feedback per degree of reference sensitivity. With that, the unit feedback response for the period from now until doubled CO2 can be found with the help of the exponential-growth factor H, whereupon ECS ΔR1 may bederived.

1850-2020: The period unit feedback response U1 is 1 less than the ratio of equilibrium sensitivity ΔE1 to reference sensitivity ΔR1: i.e., 1 less than the ratio of period warming including feedback response to period warming excluding feedback response).

Period reference sensitivity ΔR1, the direct warming before adding any feedback response, is 0.865 K, the product of the 0.3 K W–1 m2 Planck parameter Pand the 2.9 W m–2 period anthropogenic forcing ΔQ1.

Period equilibrium sensitivity ΔE1, the eventual warming after all short-timescale feedbacks have acted and the climate has resettled to equilibrium, is a little more complicated. It is the product of two expressions: the anthropogenic fraction M ΔT1 of observed period transient warming ΔT1 and the energy-imbalance ratio.

The energy-imbalance ratio is the period anthropogenic forcing ΔQ1 divided by the difference between ΔQ1 and the anthropogenic fraction M ΔN1 of the period Earth energy imbalance ΔN1. At equilibrium there would be no energy imbalance: the divisor and dividend would both be equal to ΔQ1. In that event, ΔE1 would be equal to M ΔT1. However, where (as at present) an energy imbalance subsists, further warming will occur even without further radiative forcing after 2020, so that ΔE1 is the product of M ΔT1 and the energy-imbalance ratio: i.e., 0.975 K.

The unit feedback response U1, the feedback response per degree of period reference sensitivity, is 1 less than the system-gain factor ΔE1 / ΔR1. It is just 0.127. Contrast this straightforward, real-world, observationally-derived midrange value with the 3.0 implicit in the following passage from Lacis et al. (2010), which encapsulates the erroneous official position:

“Noncondensing greenhouse gases, which account for 25% of the total terrestrial greenhouse effect, … provide the stable temperature structure that sustains the current levels of atmospheric water vapor and clouds via feedback processes that account for the remaining 75% of the greenhouse effect” (Lacis et al., 2010).

2020 to doubled CO2As with 1850-2020, so with doubled CO2 concentration compared with the 415 ppmv in 2020, begin with –

Period reference sensitivity ΔR2, the direct warming before adding any feedback response. ΔR2 is 1.054 K. It is the product of the 0.3 K W–1 m2 Planck parameter Pand the 3.52 W m–2 period anthropogenic forcing ΔQ2.

Next, feedback response is allowed for, so as to obtain ECS ΔE2. The method is to increase the 1850-2020 unit feedback response U1 in line with the exponential-growth factor H.

The unit-feedback-response ratio X is equal toexp(P ΔQ2 ln H), i.e., exp(ΔR2 ln H), or, more simply, but offensively to math purists, HΔR2, which is 1.074.

The unit feedback response U2 is the product of U1 and X, i.e., 1.136.

ECS ΔE2 is the product of reference sensitivity ΔE2 to doubled CO2 and the system-gain factor U2 + 1: i.e., 1.2 K. Not 3.7 K (CMIP6: Meehl et al. 2020). Not 3.9 K (CMIP6: Zelinka et al. 2020). Just 1.2 K midrange anthropogenic global warming in response to doubled CO2, or to all anthropogenic forcings across the entire 21st century. Not much of a “climate emergency”, then, is there?

Falsifying ECS predictions via the response ratio X: Knowing that the observationally-derived unit feedback response U1 for 1850-2020 was 0.127, it is possible to derive the value of XP implicit in any ECS prediction ΔE2P: XP = (ΔE2P / ΔR2 – 1). For instance, the 3.7 [2.0, 5.7] K ECS predicted by Meehl et al. (2020) and Sherwood et al. (2020) implies XP on 20 [7, 35]. Even the lower-bound X = 7 would suggest, untenably, that the feedback response per degree of direct warming after 2020 was an absurd seven times the feedback response per degree before 2020. The high-end ECS of 10 K predicted in several extreme papers is still more impossible, implying X= 67.

Uncertainties are small, since by now climatology has settled on the values of the seven key parameters that are all that is needed to find ECS. If the 40 years’ rather more rapid warming from 1980-2020 were used as the basis for calculation, rather than 1850-2020, midrange ECS would rise to just 1.4 K. Even if all of the industrial-era warming were anthropogenic, ECS would be only 2 K, but it would no longer be midrange ECS based on current mainstream data.

What they got wrong: How, then, did climate scientists ever imagine that global warming would be about thrice as much as real-world observation reflected in Their latest midrange data would lead a dispassionate enquirer to expect?

Climate models do not embody feedback formulism directly. However, their ECS predictions reflect the error in that they show 2.4 times as much medium-term midrange anthropogenic warming as has been observed over the past 30 years, and they are predicting 3 times the realistic midrange ECS.

In 2006, in preparation for my first article on global warming, I wrote to the late Sir John Houghton, then chairman of IPCC’s science working group, to ask why it was thought that eventual global warming would be about three times the direct warming. He replied that the natural greenhouse effect – the difference between the 255 K emission temperature without any greenhouse gases and the 287 K measured temperature in 1850 – comprised 8 K reference sensitivity to greenhouse gases and 24 K feedback response thereto.

It was this expectation of 3 K feedback response to every 1 K of direct warming, making 4 K eventual warming in all, that led the modelers to expect 3 or 4 K midrange ECS.

Climatologists had forgotten the Sun was shining (Fig. 4). What they had missed, when they borrowed feedback formulism from control theory in the mid-1980s, was that the 24 K preindustrial feedback response was not solely a response to the 8 K direct warming by greenhouse gases. A large fraction that 24 K of it was response to the 255 K emission temperature that would have obtained on Earth even without any greenhouse gases.

Fig. 4. How climate scientists forgot the Sun was shining.

In reality, the preindustrial reference temperature was the sum of the 255 K emission temperature and the 8 K reference sensitivity to preindustrial greenhouse gases: i.e., somewhere in the region of 263 K. Given that the 255 K emission temperature is 32 times the 8 K preindustrial reference sensitivity to greenhouse gases, a substantial fraction of the 24 K total preindustrial feedback response was due to the former, correspondingly reducing the fraction due to the latter.

Feedback is a generally-applicable property of dynamical systems (systems that change their state over time), from electronic circuits to climate. If and only if the entire preindustrial reference temperature were 8 K, with no feedback response at all to emission temperature, would it be permissible to imagine that the unit feedback response was as great as 3. Even then, it would not follow automatically that today’s unit feedback response could be anything like as great as 3.

IPCC repeated the error in its 2013 Fifth Assessment Report and is about to do so again in its forthcoming Sixth Assessment Report. It defines “climate feedback” as responding only to perturbations (mentioned five times in the definition), but is silent on the far larger feedback response to emission temperature itself. It should replace its multi-thousand-page reports with the single monster equation (Fig. 5) that consolidates the stepwise calculations in Fig. 3:

Fig. 5. The monster ECS equation: simpler, cheaper, smarter than any giant climate model.

Would you be willing to put your name to a report to IPCC, under its Error-Reporting Protocol, notifying it that ECS has been grossly overstated and requesting correction? If so, contact me via the first word of my surname [at] mail [dot] com and let me know. For the latest mainstream midrange data on which IPCC must perforce rely rule out the rapid, dangerous warming that it has so long, so confidently, so profitably but so misguidedly predicted.

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RickWill
February 1, 2021 10:38 pm

How much global warming should IPCC’s next report predict?

ZERO – Earth’s temperature is thermostatically controlled. There is a hard limit at the ice interface of -2C. There is a hard limit in the tropical ocean warm pools of 30C. The numeric average of 14C will always be close to what the Earth averages at for at least the next millennia.

The only feedback that matters is the powerful feedback of ice insulating the oceans from heat loss and the formation of convective cloud in the tropics that blocks sunlight to the surface.

The tropical ocean temperature has been within 1 degree of 30C for the past 50 million years and is not going to change in the next million.
comment image

Ed Bo
Reply to  RickWill
February 2, 2021 11:06 am

So Rick, how does your analysis explain the huge difference between glacial and interglacial periods?

Reply to  Ed Bo
February 2, 2021 11:58 am

When the oceans warm, the ice melts with not much sea level rise, as only land-ice contributes to that. When the oceans cool, the ice packs up again untill next time. Cumulative change? Next to zero. Habitats contract and expand to adapt.
There, fixt it for ya, as the kids say.

RickWill
Reply to  Ed Bo
February 2, 2021 12:46 pm

The Atlantic Ocean takes heat from the Pacific to maintain its temperature. You can see from the above chart that its warmest spot is currently 29C. It will warm up to 30C during the boreal summer. The North Atlantic is very sensitive to the heat from the Pacific through the Bering Strait.

As orbital eccentricity moves to a reducing phase, the higher energy input into the Southern Hemisphere during perihelion increases atmospheric water vapour that gets deposited as snow over land in the northern hemisphere. The reducing solar input into the northern hemisphere means not all the ice melts during the boreal summer at aphelion means the ice accumulates. That does create a positive feedback as the ice expands across the land masses. The Bering Strait becomes iced over and the North Atlantic cools.

It is apparent that the cooling extends into the South Atlantic and even Antarctica, adjacent to the Atlantic, cools. There is also cooling on the Pacific side of Antarctica but it is much less.

So the same temperature limits apply in the Pacific and Indian Ocean but the Atlantic is cool and all the land mass surrounding the North Atlantic is much cooler than now.

Smart Rock
Reply to  RickWill
February 2, 2021 5:49 pm

The North Atlantic is very sensitive to the heat from the Pacific through the Bering Strait

Rick, you are a bit confused. You really need to go back to your room and look at a map. You may not be aware that the 5,000 km wide Arctic Ocean intervenes between the Bering Strait and the Atlantic.

There is a strong northward drift through the Bering Strait. To get to the main current coming into the Atlantic from the Arctic, down the Davis Strait that Pacific water must cross the Arctic Ocean. If you’ve ever been to Newfoundland (and if you haven’t, you really should) you will know that one of the more popular tourist attractions there is iceberg watching (and whale watching, usually on the same boat charters). I have swum in those waters, and I couldn’t stay in the water for more than a minute; it really is that cold. It isn’t adding heat to the Atlantic, any more than the ice cubes in your glass are adding heat to your whisky.

Think again.

RickWill
Reply to  Smart Rock
February 2, 2021 8:39 pm

The transport of heat and low salinity water through the Bering straight from the Pacific to the Arctic is important for the heat transport in the Atlantic Ocean. The linked paper provides the data:
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2004GL021880

In addition to its role in the global freshwater cycle [e.g., Aagaard and Carmack, 1989Wijffels et al., 1992Woodgate and Aagaard, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as WA05)], the flux also influences the Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation (see, e.g., Wadley and Bigg [2002] for discussion), the Atlantic deep western boundary current and the separation point of the Gulf Stream from the American coast [Huang and Schmitt, 1993], and possibly world climate [DeBoer and Nof, 2004]. 

I have no little doubt it affects global climate. It is a key nip point in the heat transport around the globe. Countries surrounding the North Atlantic would be unliveable if the Bering Strat was choked off.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  RickWill
February 4, 2021 10:49 am

RickWills assertion is intriguing but I’m not yet convinced. In a nutshell, Rick asserts two facts, and a heuristic to estimate global temperature from those two facts. His first fact is that the temperature near the equator is very close to 30C. The second fact is that the temperature at the poles is very close to -2C. I don’t disagree that both of those values are supported by the graph provided. However, the next step is the heuristic that one can approximate the overall average temperature of the globe by taking the arithmetic average of these two values. 

The conclusion is based on two assumptions. The first assumption is that the temperature gradient between the equator and the poles is linear, or close enough to accept it as an assumption. I don’t know whether this assumption is derived from arguments based on physics, or has simply been observed empirically. It’s an interesting assertion, one I don’t recall hearing before, but for the purposes of this discussion I will accept it as valid.

The second assumption is that the areas associated with the -2C and the 30C are approximately equal. I think this would follow if the earth could be approximated by a cylinder, but that’s obviously false. There is much less land area at the poles than at the equator. For that reason, I think a heuristic that estimates the global temperature by weighting the temperature at the equator with the temperature at the pole might be valid but requires a smaller weight at the poles. Such a weighting would produce a value greater than the arithmetic mean. 

We know from other sources that the current global temperature is close to 16C. That would be consistent with a weighting mechanism with more weight for the values at the equator, but I haven’t tried to do the math to work out what the appropriate weighting function should be.

Do you think I’m missing something?

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
February 4, 2021 12:45 pm

Sorry,
We know from other sources that the current global temperature is close to 16C. “

should be
“We know from other sources that the current global temperature is close to 15C.”
but it doesn’t change the point.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
February 4, 2021 2:16 pm

Where can I go to read that “global temperature”? I can’t find it on any map I have here. And this isn’t a joke question either.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 5, 2021 6:47 am

I occasionally see a post here asserting that the very concept of average global temperature is flawed. I haven’t seen a convincing argument. Is that your point? If so, I’d love to hear the argument. If not, DuckDuckGo is your friend.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
February 5, 2021 8:44 am

Stephen,

The reason the “global* average temperature is a joke is the uncertainty that goes with it.

Suppose you have a measurement station with an uncertainty of 0.6C (that’s the federal meteorology handbook 1standard BTW). Then suppose you take two, separate, independent measurements during the day, e.g. Tmax and Tmin.

Since these are independent measurements of different things you can’t use the central limit theory to determine a mean that is a more accurate representation of the true value. Thus, when you add these two measurements to calculate the mid-range value the uncertainties increase by root sum square: sqrt( u1^^2 + u2^^2) or sqrt ().36 + 0.36) = 0.8. So the uncertainty has increased from +/- 0.6C to +/- 0.8C.

Now, let’s say you take 1000 mid-point measurements and add them together in order to calculate an average mid-point. For the combined uncertainty you get

sqrt[ .64 + .64 + .64 ….. .64] = sqrt[ 1000 * 0.64] = 0.8 * sqrt[1000] = 0.8 * 32 = 26. So all of a sudden the uncertainty in the global average becomes +/-26C.

If your uncertainty in the calculated average global temperature is +/- 26C then exactly what good is that to know? Does it tell you anything?

I should point out that the root sum square is for allowing that some true values may be above the stated value and some may be below, thus cancelling. But you don’t know if they all cancel. So root sum square is a way for allowing some to cancel. Otherwise the uncertainties would just directly add.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 8, 2021 9:31 am

I am very familiar with uncertainty as a concept, but you may have skipped a step when you provided a specific value. When you say “uncertainty of 0.6C” to what do you refer? a standard deviation? Something else? I looked in:

https://www.icams-portal.gov/publications/fmh/FMH1/FMH1.pdf

and see the reference to 0.6 in the “accuracy” column. I don’t see the term defined but it doesn’t appear to be a standard deviation. Do you know what it refers to ?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
February 8, 2021 12:54 pm

FMH 1, in Appdx C, table C-5 states the uncertainty required for federal measurement stations as being +/- 0.6C for temperatures between -50C and +50C.

Uncertainty is NOT standard deviation. Standard deviation implies a probability distribution be associated with the measurement. There is no probability associated with any value in an uncertainty interval. The true value can be anywhere in the interval. Nor does that mean it is a uniform probability distribution since that means you must assign a probability to every point in the interval. And there is *no* probability distribution for an uncertainty interval.There are no multiple measurements to use in developing a probability distribution. It’s not like a dice where the odds of one face coming up is the same for all sides. That requires multiple rolls of the dice to build up a probability distribution. You don’t get multiple rolls with a temperature reading. You take that one reading and it vanishes into the ether never to be seen again. You can’t take multiple measurements of it.

As Pat Frank always cautions, error is not uncertainty. They are two different things. Abandon trying to use probability and statistics when the uncertainty is associated with a single, independent measurement.

RickWill
February 1, 2021 10:49 pm

From an energy balance perspective with regard to heat input, the only control system that matters occurs in the tropical warm pools. Once the surface temperature reaches 30C the cyclic cloudburst results in net heat input being zero. That means that 30C is where it controls. Very powerful feedback as the attached chart from the moored buoy at 0N, 156E demonstrates.

Slight overshoot to 31.5C as the water warmed up then regulated within a degree of 30C for the two week period that the buoy was in the warm pool. Blocked surface sunlight as necessary with a little extra cooling from precipitation following cloudburst.

Temp_Regulation.png
RickWill
February 1, 2021 11:04 pm

The “greenhouse effect” is someone’s nightmare. It has no basis in fact.

Ocean surface temperature ranges between -2C and 30C. The numeric mean of 14C should be close to the measured average surface temperature.

Most references state the Global Average Surface Temperature is 14C. Who would have thought it could be that simple. Certainly not the observation challenged who have nightmares about “greenhouse effect” and ECS; just absolute bunkum. CO2 has no direct impact on surface temperature. It contributes to greening, which has been identified as reducing surface temperature.

A simple question – Three disparate and largely separate oceans that span the equator. All end up with warm pools within 1C of 30C.

The warmest connected sea surface on the planet occurs in the Persian Gulf. In July and August it can reach 35C. Why is it so different to open ocean surface. Answer that and you will have a clue about how Earth’s upper thermostat works. A clue; Person Gulf is the only sub-tropical water that exceeds 28C and has never experienced a cyclone. In fact, convective storms are rare only occurring on the southern and southwestern shores.

StephenP
Reply to  RickWill
February 2, 2021 1:23 am

As to the ‘greenhouse’ effect , I am a layman as far as radiation physics are concerned so have had to try and visualise what happens to the radiation hitting the earth and its effect on global temperature. I have yet to read a satisfactory and simple explanation of how the ‘greenhouse effect’ works.

Rather than a real greenhouse effect, where stopping the convection of heat by the glass roof keeps the warm air from escaping, I have up to now started to visualise a ‘treacle’ effect. This effect results from the incoming radiation hitting certain ‘greenhouse’ atoms/molecules which keep a proportion of the radiation bouncing around in all directions in the atmosphere, heating the atmosphere until the temperature reaches a point where the increase in outgoing radiation balances the incoming radiation. In effect acting as a sort of treacle in slowing down the apparent movement of the radiation.

What is the effect of clouds stopping radiation reaching the lower atmosphere?
What is difference in the rate of emission of radiation from the earth between day and night?
How evenly is CO2 distributed through the atmosphere, especially as one gets to the upper atmosphere. We are taught that CO2 is a heavy gas, but how does it move to the upper reaches of the atmosphere. Does it get excited by incoming radiation to the extent that it works its way through the other gases until it reaches a height where it loses enough of that excitement and stays at that height or falls back to lower altitudes?

It would be great to find an explanation, preferably on one side of A4 paper, and without too many advanced mathematical symbols.
We were taught at university that if you couldn’t explain a concept in straightforward terms then you didn’t understand it yourself.

Does anyone have some pointers as to where I can find such a beast?

Derg
Reply to  StephenP
February 2, 2021 1:39 am

Exactly, the Earth is NOT a greenhouse.

RickWill
Reply to  StephenP
February 2, 2021 2:09 am

The “greenhouse effect” is make believe. To try to explain it, is nothing short of insanity. It does not exist.

Earth’s temperature is the result of the distribution of water over the globe and the facts the seawater freezes at -2C and convective clouds limit the maximum surface temperature to 30C. The numeric mean of 14C of these two extremes will always be close to any measured average surface temperature until the next glaciation, which we could be entering now. Will only know for sure in a few thousand years.

The convective potential that drives cloudburst depends on radiative gases to cool the atmosphere above the level of free convection. The dry zone above the level of free convection is higher density than the moist convecting zone below so the atmospheric column becomes increasingly unstable until cloudburst occurs.

During cloudburst the low density moist air burst into the high density dry zone, expanding and cooling causing precipitation but also carrying water vapour above the cloud base that forms dense, highly reflective cloud as it turns to ice. These clouds regulate the surface heat input.

As the surface temperature rises, the cloud become more persistent because the level of free convection gets closer to the cloud base meaning the period of clear sky is reduced. The balance occurs at 30C.

Convective instability could not be created without radiative gases in the atmosphere. Water is important because its solidification above 273C creates the ice that forms the reflective cloud. CO2 is irrelevant to the process. It assist minutely with creating the convective potential but insignificant compared to water vapour.

There is a good paper on convective instability on this link:
https://cwg.eumetsat.int/global-instability-index/
It shows how convection dominates the intertropical convergence zone where the tropical warm pools establish. It also shows how instability is linked tightly to total precipitable water. Cyclic cloudburst kicks in around 40mm TPW when the surface temperature is near 26C.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  RickWill
February 2, 2021 6:03 am

The greenhouse effect is, of course, a real (if badly-named) effect. When a photon of radiation in the principal absorption bands of a greenhouse gas such as CO2 interacts with a gas molecule, a quantum resonance is induced, which, in the CO2 molecule, is in the bending vibrational mode. That quantum resonance is, by definition, heat.

The question is not whether there is a greenhouse effect. There is – get over it. The question is how much (or, rather, how little) warming all those tiny radiators in the atmosphere will cause.

RickWill
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 12:57 pm

You are NOT describing the”greenhouse effect”. You are describing the radiative response of CO2 gas. That has nothing to do with the energy balance on planet Earth. If you believe in that you are probably wondering where the water goes when it reaches the edge of the Earth.

The reason the surface temperature of Earth is close to 14C (287K) is that it is the numeric average of the two extremes of the sea surface temperature -2C and 30C and the good distribution of water over the surface of the globe.

First you need to learn what the “greenhouse effect” is claimed to be Then open you mind and look at the obvious:
comment image

Macha
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 1:00 pm

Whilst CO2 does absorb, it can only warm when surrounds are colder than -80C. Frequency and intensity matter, hence UV burn skins quickly.

Mike
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 5:15 pm

I’m beginning to think that all added co2 does is raise the height of the radiative layer. Gases expand when they are heated. They have no choice. Pressure and hence heat capacity governed by gravity only when solar input is unchanging. Density does not change. Rick illustrates the thermostat in action. But that is just the way I visualize it…….

Last edited 3 months ago by Mike
DHR
Reply to  RickWill
February 2, 2021 6:07 am

I believe the numeric mean of -2C to +30C is +16C, not +14C. No?

Ed Bo
Reply to  DHR
February 2, 2021 11:07 am

No, it is not.

Dave Fair
Reply to  DHR
February 2, 2021 11:24 am

30 + (-2) = 28 The Range of -2 to 30 is 32. Lies, damned lies and statistics.

Davidf
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 2, 2021 1:16 pm

I think the error is using C, and hence a negative figure occurs. If K was used, the mean of the range is 16. It matters little to the thrust of Ricks arguement, right or wrong, but the optics tend to be important in this overly pedantic world.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 5, 2021 8:51 am

I’m not sure I follow the reference to statistics or the reason for writing 30 + (-2) = 28. That expression is a true statement but unrelated to the discussion. perhaps you meant to write:

30 – (-2) = 32, which would be a calculation of the width of the range. The midpoint of the range is 16 but not 16 C absolute, rather 16 C relative to the endpoints, so one could either add 16 C to the bottom end point 16C +(-2)= 14 C or subtract 16 C from the top endpoint 30c -16c =14 C, both of which give you the midpoint. Separately posted that I don’t buy that the midpoint is the right answer but if you want to calculate the midpoint, it’s clearly 14 C

Kevin kilty
Reply to  StephenP
February 2, 2021 7:35 am

You might have a look at this page. I used MODTRAN runs to illustrate how the “greenhouse” effect takes place. I thought it was a fairly simple explanation usinga tool that everyone, generally speaking, agrees with. The details of radiation transport are quite complex, and not agreed upon.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/06/24/modtran-its-quirks-and-uses/

RickWill
Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 2, 2021 1:02 pm

Have a go at fiddling the variables in MODTRAN to produce the 180W/sq.m of OLR exiting the top of the atmosphere over the tropical warm pools at 303K.

MODTRAN is based on the US Standard atmosphere. Very little of the tropical oceans is anything like the “US Standard Atmosphere”.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  RickWill
February 3, 2021 6:25 pm

it allows other model atmospheres as well.

Aleksandr Zhitomirskiy
Reply to  StephenP
February 2, 2021 10:31 am

Stephen, although you call yourself “a layman in radiation physics”, your question is in the very essence of the greenhouse effect. Let’s first clarify that there is no “greenhouse atoms”, only molecules containing two and more atoms of different elements.
Vibrational and rotational motions of atoms in molecules are inherent in the molecules themselves, regardless of the external field. When the energy of vibrational and rotational levels meets the minimum value, the molecule can absorb radiation of external field whose frequency corresponds the transition energy in the molecule itself. Therefore, the molecule can not absorb excess energy from the external field, and absorbed energy can not be converted into kinetic energy of translational motion of molecules which directly determines the gas temperature.
Based on this, one can judge how the theory of the “greenhouse effect” is physically justified.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Aleksandr Zhitomirskiy
February 2, 2021 11:36 am

I am grateful to Mr Zhitomirskiy for his learned explanation of the greenhouse effect at the quantum level. CO2 does not possess a dipole moment of its own, but a dipole moment is induced in the bending vibrational mode of the molecule when it interacts with a photon in one of its absorption bands. That quantum oscillation is by definition heat that would not otherwise have been present.

Aleksandr Zhitomirskiy
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 1:35 pm

Lord Monckton, thanks for your comment. The CO2 molecule lacks bending vibrational mode, the temporary dipole moment of CO2 can be due to asymmetric stretching. However, asymmetric stretching is the same intrinsic property of the CO2 molecule as other movements of atoms. Therefore, there is no reason to ascribe specific properties to this process and associate it with absorption of heat.
For comparison, we can remember that in the methane molecule, at all, a dipole moment cannot arise, since this molecule is symmetric (tetrahedral) and the C-H bond is purely covalent. In despite this, the greenhouse effect theory ascribes to CH4 much higher values of radiative efficiency and global warming potential than to CO2. So, much the worse for theory.

M Courtney
Reply to  Aleksandr Zhitomirskiy
February 2, 2021 2:03 pm

CO2 has a weak absorption effect per molecule, relative to non-linear molecules. But there are a lot of molecules.
When people say Methane or CFCs are far more powerful GHGs than CO2 they are right. But there aren’t many molecules.

Rocky vs Pee Wee Herman is a one sided fight. But Rocky vs a thousand Pee Wees is a different wager.

Of course, water vapour is both potent and abundant.
We ought to be studying that effect and looking at the minor gases like CO2 relative to that,

Aleksandr Zhitomirskiy
Reply to  M Courtney
February 3, 2021 9:06 am

It is about the physical nature of the greenhouse effect. In a previous post, I wrote that some greenhouse gases have a zero dipole moment, and therefore this parameter cannot characterize greenhouse properties. You write that nonlinear molecules (CH4) absorb more infrared radiation than linear ones (CO2). But what can you say about the linear N2O molecule, which the IPCC ascribes much more GWP than for CH4?
Is it possible to draw conclusions about the relative ability of the main greenhouse gases to absorb IR radiation by comparing their IR spectra? http://irina.eas.gatech.edu/EAS8803_Fall2009/Lec6.pdf I think the answer will be negative.

Reply to  StephenP
February 2, 2021 12:05 pm

Add to that, earth is not a bottle. Thermodynamics define pressure versus temperature. If the atmosphere warms up suddenly, it will just expand into “empty space” becoming bigger, dropping pressure, therefor temperature. Am I stupid to think of it this way? I am a simple man, I draw myself simple pictures… I get confused when you start colouring them.
P.S. I like to think that if you know your stuff, you should be able to explain it to a five-year-old in five minutes. I stole that idea somewhere, forget where.

Last edited 3 months ago by paranoid goy
Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  StephenP
February 5, 2021 8:41 am

It’s not the incoming radiation hitting “certain ‘greenhouse’ atoms/molecules” it is the outgoing radiation. Greenhouse gases are largely transparent to the incoming radiation from the sun. That radiation warms the earth, which then radiates outward in the infrared range. It is infrared radiation that is absorbed by greenhouse gas molecules. This more to it than that but that’s the start of the basics.

Smart Rock
Reply to  RickWill
February 2, 2021 5:52 pm

“Global Average Surface Temperature is 14C. Who would have thought it could be that simple”

It isn’t that simple.

RickWill
Reply to  Smart Rock
February 2, 2021 8:42 pm

Yes it is. It certainly has nothing to do with the rubbish spouted about “greenhouse effect”.

michel
February 2, 2021 12:25 am

I think with this piece I may finally understand the argument. It seems to go like this.

Take a measured temperature of the planet on a certain date. This temperature results from two things:

– the direct warming due to the radiation balance, meaning the warming that results from sun in conjunction with any insulating effects from the atmosphere.
This is something we can measure and know from observation.

– the feedback, which results from the fact that a given level of direct warming at a given date will produce increased insulation, which will then raise the temperature. This we cannot measure, we have to calculate it.

The feedback, of whatever magnitude, has been a permanent fact of the planet’s climate.. It follows that the present temperature is the result of direct warming plus whatever feedbacks it has produced over the millenia.

Therefore when we look at the temperature of the planet in, for instance, 1850, what we are looking at is a rise which is the result of the direct warming and all the feedbacks which that direct warming has produced.

The magnitude of the different effects can be calculated, because we know what the temperature is, we know what it would be with no warming, we know the magnitude of the direct warming. Therefore we can calculate how much of the temperature we observe is due to the feedback. It is the difference between the temperature we measure, and the temperature that would have occurred if there were only direct warming causes.

This allows us to calculate the actual magnitude of the feedback effect in the climate of the planet.

We now ask: if there is some increase in temperature, from whatever cause, what will the feedback be to that increase? In the AGW hypothesis, the warming results from increased CO2 which improves the insulation of the atmosphere, but the same question arises about any increase from any cause.

This warming will result in some feedback, for instance by increasing water vapor content of the atmosphere leading to a further rise in its insulation efficacy.

The question is how to calculate the amount of this increase. The argument seems to be that the consensus of Climate Scientists has employed an incorrect method. They are argued to have assumed that the 1850 temperature is solely the result of direct warming. This then leads them [I am not sure exactly how] to suppose that the feedback effect on this additional warming will be double or triple the direct warming.

Whereas, had they used the method above in order to calculate the actual historical magnitude of the feedback effects on our planet, those that acted in conjunction with the direct warming to produce the temperature we measured in 1850, they would have arrived at very low feedback magnitude, and forecast future rise in temperature from the increased warming of man-made CO2 that is in no way threatening.

Is this right? Is this the logic of the argument? And can you help with the last step, why they think it right to assume such high feedback of incremental warming? I am not clear about that.

ggm
Reply to  michel
February 2, 2021 1:22 am

Correct. They apply feedback only to modern CO2 greenhouse warming, but not to the original atmosphere’s greenhouse warming.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  ggm
February 2, 2021 6:17 am

ggm is not quite correct. Climatology applies all of the preindustrial feedback response to the direct warming from the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases. Its mistake is to imagine that the 255 K emission temperature induced no feedback response, but that the 10 K reference sensitivity to the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases induced 22 K feedback response. Because of this misallocation, climatology expected to find that the 1 K direct warming by doubled CO2 would drive 2-3 K feedback response.

mothcatcher
Reply to  michel
February 2, 2021 2:33 am

I think that’s about right, and I’m convinced that Lord Monckton has the better of his detractors in this argument. You may be very interested to check out the threads – both here – and at Roy Spencer’s blog, in which Spencer himself took issue with the M of B thesis. It was one of the most instructive – and disciplined – debates that I have seen on any blog.

I can’t help you with your last question, as I’m not up to analysing the guts of the GCMs to see what assumptions they make in this regard, so I’ll just layout the observations that made me begin to doubt the CAGW prospectus, and against which I find little pushback-

The claim of the warmists is that total AGW effect is composed, not only of the increased greenhouse effect due to doubling of CO2 – which most calculations put as around 1deg C – but of a multiplier of that warming resulting from the increase of atmospheric water vapour (a much more potent greenhouse gas) which results from that warming. But the kicker here is that the stimulus for increased WV will come from ANY warming of whatever origin, and even from the warming due to water vapour itself. So WV warming should (and does) feedback upon itself, even in the absence of CO2. This feedback is always there, without the presence of non-condensing GHGs such as CO2. Hence a thermostat must be present, or water vapour would always cause runaway warming.

What difference can CO2 make, then? Well – there is a getout for that. CO2 is called ‘well mixed’ in that it is present in similar concentration throughout the atmosphere, including in places (such as at altitude, and -significantly- at the very dry polar regions) where water vapour concentration is much reduced. So a background temperature increase at high latitudes due to increased CO2 would cause a higher atmospheric WV content thereabouts, and provide at least local warming by resetting the thermostat. Warmists and sceptics alike seem to agree that polar regions are where the effects are most likely to be felt. Do the climate models accurately reflect this? I am unable to say. It would seem, from their performance, that they don’t.

M of B’s feedback equations apply to the globe as a unit. There are many modifiers which the real world evidences, but the guts of it seems to be correct. Feedback control is already there – CO2 or no.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  mothcatcher
February 2, 2021 3:58 am

Michel has made a valiant and worthy effort to grasp our argument. Let me assist him by clarifying a few points.

Consider the position in 1850, before we had any appreciable influence. Official climatology imagines that the 287 K temperature at that time comprised three components: the emission temperature of 255 K that would have obtained at the surface in the absence of greenhouse gases; the 10 K direct warming (known as reference sensitivity) forced by preindustrial greenhouse gases; and the 22 K preindustrial feedback response – additional indirect warming chiefly by more water vapor (a greenhouse gas) in warmer air.

Therefore, it was imagined that the unit feedback response was 22 / 10, or 2.2. In some papers (e.g. Lacis+ 2010) the implicit unit feedback response was 24 / 8, or 3. That was why official climatology thought that the 1 K reference sensitivity to doubled CO2 would trigger 2-3 K additional warming, making 3-4 K eventual warming once the climate had re-equilibrated. This eventual warming by doubled CO2 is known as “equilibrium climate sensitivity”, or ECS.

However, climatologists had made a very bad mistake. They had not realized that there was a fourth component in the 287 K temperature in 1850: the feedback response to the 255 K emission temperature itself. Since emission temperature is 25 times bigger than the 10 K reference sensitivity to preindustrial greenhouse gases, most of the total 22 K preindustrial feedback response was attributable not to the greenhouse gases but to the fact that the Sun is shining. Therefore, only a very small fraction of the 22 K was due to greenhouse gases. Therefore, climate scientists should not have expected anything like as much as the 3-4 K ECS that they have been predicting for 40 years.
However, it is clear from the outputs of the latest generation of computer models that 4 K ECS is what they do expect.

So I took climatology’s latest data and calculated what the unit feedback response actually was during the entire industrial era from 1850-2020. It was not 3. It was just 0.217. The calculation is quite straightforward, and is set out in the head posting.
Then I made allowance for a modest increase in the unit feedback response in the 21st century. It was then possible to calculate how much ECS the models should be predicting on the basis of climatologists’ own up-to-date, midrange, mainstream data. The answer comes out at 1.2 K. And that is less than a third of the 4 K they currently predict.

Michel is quite right that we cannot measure feedback. But you are right that we can work out how much warming to expect if there were no feedback, and compare it with the warming that has actually happened.

In 1850, to recap, the measured temperature was the sum of the large emission temperature, the largish feedback response thereto, the small directly-forced reference sensitivity to preindustrial greenhouse gases and the very small feedback response thereto.

Michel is also right that climate scientists have erred. They have failed to take account of the large feedback response to emission temperature itself. Their argument is that without the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases the temperature would be the emission temperature of 255 K. However, they have forgotten that water vapor would still be present, so that even without any noncondensing greenhouse gases the temperature without greenhouse gases would be the sum of the 255 K emission temperature and the large feedback response thereto – probably at least 20 K.

I hope that this has answered Michel’s questions.

Peter W
Reply to  michel
February 2, 2021 7:34 am

None of this is taking clouds into account. If, for any reason, the amount of cloud cover changes with time, this affects the amount of sunlight (heat) getting to the earth, and therefore the temperature. The amount of cloud cover is affected by the amount of what might be called aerosols in the atmosphere, since the formation of clouds depends on them.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Peter W
February 2, 2021 10:58 am

Peter W raises a point that I should perhaps have made explicit in the head posting. We do not need to know the values of the individual feedbacks. For we derive the unit feedback response by the simplest possible method using recent, mainstream, midrange, observational data. We then take not of the fact that at midrange all feedbacks other than the water-vapor feedback self-cancel, and those feedbacks of course include the cloud feedbacks (which Roy Spencer finds net-negative and IPCC finds net-positive: you pays your money and you takes your choice).

Likewise, we take explicit account of the negative aerosol forcing in reaching the estimated total anthropogenic forcing from 1850-2020. As for the aerosol feedbacks, they are included in the feedbacks other than water vapor that are a) small and b) self-canceling at midrange (see IPCC 2013).

February 2, 2021 1:07 am

A little OT, but the hypocrisy here is so exquisite it is a true work of art:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/514318-big-tech-censorship-paper-disinformation/

Social media deny censorship of conservative voices, while in the same breath calling for censorship of conservative voices.

Ben Vorlich
February 2, 2021 1:20 am

It’s all very well having hugely complex equations but you’re using the Conan-Doyle “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” law voiced through Sherlock Holmes. This is a nonsense in many instances (probably all) including climate. We neither know precisely what we do know, nor what we don’t know. This won’t be the first time that hugely complex theories have been used to explain something because it suits us to do so.
That’s the view of a Climate Layperson.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 2, 2021 5:29 am

In response to Ben Vorlich, welcome to science, which is the constraint of the unknown in the hope of making it less unknown. Our approach is strictly logical: we accept all of official climatology except that which we can demonstrate to be false. Official climatology’s projections of future global warming are consistent with the erroneous notion, in paper after paper, that there is no feedback response to 255 K emission temperature, but that there is an enormous feedback response to preindustrial and, by extension, to anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Our own estimates are derived from what has been measured over the past 170 years, and, unlike climatology’s predictions, are consistent with those measurements.

As to the single equation that we provide precisely so that a Climate Layperson can put his own data into it and derive more reasonable and robust estimates of future warming than the giant computer models, it is derived from the system of smaller equations in the table of calculations provided in the head postings. Put into it the same seven values that we have taken from recent, mainstream sources and it will spit out the same 1.2 K ECS that the table of calculations does. Follow whichever method you find easiest.

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 2, 2021 2:42 am

I’m looking for a reference to the climate models used by the Russians. Anybody?

RickWill
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
February 2, 2021 4:45 am

KNMI have the Russian inmcm4 model data at this link:
http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_cmip5.cgi?id=someone@somewhere
It is about a third of the way down the list.

There is an INMCM5 model but cannot find any of its output.

All climate models are WRONG. They are based on a fairytale.

A single chart shows how Earths energy balance is controlled. It is controlled to achieve two sea surface temperature extremes seen on this chart:
comment image

Always -2C at the cold end and within a degree either side of 30C across three tropical oceans. The link updates each day but the two extremes always remain the same and the average surface temperature will always be close to the numeric average of the two extremes -14C. No climate model achieves that result so they are WRONG.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  RickWill
February 2, 2021 4:49 am

Thanks.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  RickWill
February 2, 2021 11:00 am

RickWill is right that, largely thanks to the stability of tropical ocean temperatures moderated by the Eschenbach onset of early-afternoon convection a little earlier if the weather is warmer, the coupled ocean-atmosphere system is near-perfectly thermostatic. Our result broadly confirms this: we find that one can omit all feedback response under modern conditions without introducing any great error in the derivation of equilibrium climate sensitivity.

RickWill
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 1:12 pm

onset of early-afternoon convection

Another thing you have wrong. The convective instability can occur at any time over tropical oceans. The moored buoy data posted above, and again here, clearly demonstrates that.

The heaviest downpour of the period the body was in the warm pool occurred overnight between day 3 and 4.

Temp_Regulation.png
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 3, 2021 9:16 am

“the Eschenbach onset of early-afternoon convection”

I like it! 🙂

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
February 2, 2021 5:31 am

The CMIP6 contact point provides a list of all participating models and how to reach the priests of the machine for each one. I had the pleasure of meeting the chief Russian modeller at a climate conference organized by the Moscow City Government a couple of years ago. I told him of climatology’s error. The Russian model is notable for producing predictions closer to reality than any of the others. I do not, of course, suggest that my meeting with the chief modeller had anything at all to do with that.

Peta of Newark
February 2, 2021 4:51 am

No no no, tell me I don’t see this.

Temperature is A Dimensionless Quantity.
One cannot put it into an amplifier, one can not add, subtract or multiply it.
We are in the Land Of Dancing Angels here. sorry.

If, the graphic above had the word ‘Energy’ instead of Temperature, we might just be onto something

Even if just ‘energy’ went into the amplifier and temperature came out.
And it could, very very easily

The Feedback ‘device’ would comprise a measurement system/thing/device (look-up table maybe) of the amount of water at any given time and given location – lets say grid Squares of 5 degrees and its physical phase

The Energy input to the system is very easy to work out – simply fly a Sputnik over the Globe and see what colour it is.
Sol is The Only Energy Input and the colour of the dirt and what’s growing out of it says how much is absorbed or rejected ##

Colour would also give a good starting point on how much water is changing state – of Truly Massive Importance because it then averts the non-linearity (division by zero) that The Temperature Amplifier would have to calculate.
At the phase changes, Temperature becomes non-linear*, Energy does not and thus temperature is incalculable at the phase changes. The amplifier’ would, at those points, Lose The Plot and be thus able to Pick The Plot Back Up Again, anywhere its builder, operator or programmer wanted. Simply anywhere

**Straight Lines are only VERY Special Cases of Linear Functions
Bendy Lines are linear and the most common/important.

And THAT is what happens in Climate Science as we relentlessly see.
Anything can happen, anything does happen and at any time, past, present or future.

Once you’ve been mashed into complete pulp or nothingness by venturing into Singularity, Division by Zero or Black Hole, what kinda shape can you expect to be when you emerge from any other side at any other time?
Easy haha, just ask A Climate Scientist

## Hello Alert Reader, nice to see you down here.
Subject: Colour of Earth
Do the Sputniks or do they not, tell us that Earth is getting greener?
Plenty folks on both sides will assert that they indeed do.

Fine and very lovely, BUT, the colour Green as presented by plants (assuming they are the cause of greening) has a surprisingly high albedo.
Right up there with ‘old’ ice/snow at between 0.4 and 0.45

On top of that, actively & vigorously growing herbage moves very large amounts of water, from its liquid to vapour phase – requiring humongous amounts of energy – energy that can not then be used to directly affect temperature.

There indeed, is a Real Consideration – does Global Greening = Global Cooling?
That one very simple observation says it does

Cooling being, in the strict Thermodynamic Sense, a Reduction Of Energy Content of The System being observed.
As I’ve tried to explain here, temperature can and does do, just wtf it likes.

Last edited 3 months ago by Peta of Newark
Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 2, 2021 5:23 am

In response to Peta, to understand climatology’s treatment of feedback it is necessary to realize temperature feedbacks are denominated in Watts per square meter of the reference sensitivity (a temperature change, denominated in Kelvin) that engendered them. For this reason, it is not inappropriate to denominate the temperature-feedback loop in Kelvin.

See e.g., Roe (2009), who, though he makes the same mistake as the rest of climatology, is knowledgeable about feedback theory and denominates his temperature-feedback block diagram in Kelvin.

If Peta thinks that climatology ought not to denominate feedbacks in Watts per square meter per Kelvin, and ought not to denominate feedback-amplifier block diagrams in Kelvin, then her complaint is with climatology, not with me.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 2, 2021 10:15 am

Sputnik only demonstrated that it was possible to place an object in orbit. All it did was go “beep, beep, beep.” On the other hand, the USA launched the Earth Resources Technology Satellite, which actually imaged the ground and allowed its color to be recorded. It was later renamed Landsat, by which it and its follow-ons have since been known. There are now many Earth-imaging satellites of higher spatial and spectral resolution. However, Landsat, not Sputnik, was the first satellite to be able to determine the Earth’s color, and document ‘greening.’

Ed Bo
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 2, 2021 11:16 am

Peta, you say: “Temperature is A Dimensionless Quantity.

No! Temperature in Kelvin is one of SI’s 7 base units. (And energy is not!)

As usual with your rants, you make more, and more basic, mistakes than what you are criticizing. A lot of what you attack deserves criticism, but when you post nonsense like this, you instantly destroy your credibility.

Now if you had said that temperature is an intensive thermodynamic property, not extensive, so there are certain operations that are not meaningful, you might have had a point…

LdB
Reply to  Ed Bo
February 5, 2021 4:47 am

Ed your response to Peta is just as bad and you missed the memo from 1925 that classical physics died along with the 7 base SI units. The memo is temperature is not anything other than a man made observations it has no real meaning other than some hand waving in classical physics and doesn’t really exist in Quantum Mechanics except as a bunch of statistics or micro-states.

If you are going to criticize at least use physics from this century … if you need a start point
https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/491179/what-is-temperature-on-a-quantum-level

RickWill
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 2, 2021 1:42 pm

As I’ve tried to explain here, temperature can and does do, just wtf it likes.

Not in my house. I have a thermostat that I set to control the temperature.

Earth has a similar mechanism. At -2C sea ice forms and insulates the sea surface to reduce the rate of heat loss. At 30C the convective cloud becomes sufficiently persistent over sea surface to prevent further heat input so the surface does not get warmer than 30C.

Land does not store energy so does not play a role in the energy balance of the globe apart from the atmosphere above releasing the energy carried in by water vapour evaporated from the ocean surface. But the oceans cope with that loss because they generally reach the 30C set point temperature in the tropical warm pools.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 8, 2021 10:02 am

**Straight Lines are only VERY Special Cases of Linear Functions
Bendy Lines are linear and the most common/important.”

Sorry no. Linear function have constants and a variable with an exponent of unity. “Bendy” lines require a higher exponent, or nonlinear terms such as sin(x)

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
February 8, 2021 12:58 pm

Stephen,

Was it Reagan that said something like: “It’s not how much they know that is wrong, it is how much wrong that they know”

Tom Halla
February 2, 2021 5:06 am

Lord Monckton of Brenchley is using a different technique to analyze the data, but came up with nearly the same ECS as Lewis and Curry (2018). Which reinforces the conclusion that the official IPCC estimates are exaggerated.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 2, 2021 5:14 am

Our equation differs from that of L&C in that we take explicit account of the fact – evident in papers published since theirs – that the anthropogenic component in observed warming since 1850 is only 70%. They had assumed 100%. Also, we take explicit account of the possible increase in unit feedback response with reference sensitivity, which increases ECS a little.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 11:46 am

Monckton of Brenchley in reply to Tom Halla:  “Our equation differs from that of L&C in that we take explicit account of the fact – evident in papers published since theirs – that the anthropogenic component in observed warming since 1850 is only 70%. They had assumed 100%. Also, we take explicit account of the possible increase in unit feedback response with reference sensitivity, which increases ECS a little.”

Lord Monckton, the gist of your paper is that while anthropogenic warming does exist, the true sensitivity of the earth’s climate system to the addition of CO2 is much less than the IPCC’s climate modelers claim that it is.

And so I find your remark that the anthropogenic component in observed warming since 1850 is 70% to be most interesting. This remark identifies you as a lukewarmer as such labels go in the world of climate science politics and scientific debate.

IMHO, the earth will continue to warm at a moderate pace. It will happen 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.

It’s been said that the detailed scientific arguments for against the notion of a high ECS for added carbon dioxide are impenetrable by the average layperson. However, as a fellow lukewarmer — and also a some time energy policy wonk who doesn’t have the deep mathematics background needed to follow the nitty-gritty details of how your equation is derived — I myself pursue a different analytical approach, one which makes a simply stated assumption up front and which is mostly graphical in its approach.

You have seen this illustration before: Beta Blocker’s Year 2100 GMT Prediction Envelope

comment image

Here is the single assumption behind the analysis: “The HADCRUT4 Global Mean Temperature record includes the combined effects of all natural and anthropogenic climate change processes as these have evolved through time, and that similar processes will operate from 2020 through 2100.”

The analysis which produced this prediction envelope is entirely self-contained inside the illustration. No part of the analysis goes beyond what can either be read directly from the illustration, or what can be easily inferred from something else contained in the illustration.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Quickly and efficiently derived by graphical methods — QED by GM.

Looking at the four prediction envelope scenarios, 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.

This simply-derived analytical result is consistent with an ECS which is significantly lower than what the IPCC climate modelers say that it is.

Last edited 3 months ago by Beta Blocker
Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Beta Blocker
February 2, 2021 4:01 pm

Beta Blocker’s result is much the same as ours. However, we thought it necessary to develop an argument using mainstream methods and data. Though I suspect that a simple linear-trend extrapolation would work quite well, that is unfortunately regarded by the scientific community as guesswork.

That is why we have taken the climatologists’ mainstream data and methods, and have shown that midrange ECS using those methods is 1.2 K – which is about the same as the warming we may cause this century.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 5:02 pm

What my simplistic analysis says to me personally is that predictions of more than + 3 C above pre-industrial are ludicrous on the face of it.

The argument has been made that it isn’t just the amount of warming that is the major issue, it is the quick pace of warming under the assumption that neither humans nor the physical environment are capable of fully adapting to such a ‘rapid’ increase in GMT.

On the other hand, it is known with reasonable certainty that in the 18th Century, the local temperatures in Central England warmed roughly + 3C within the short space of four decades.

That kind of rapid localized warming should have produced some indication of human distress in the anecdotal records of the time.

More than that, the physical damage to the environment from such a rapid warming should have been such that its effects would be clearly evident even to this very day.

At least to my personal knowledge, we don’t see that kind of damage from Central England’s rapid 18th Century warming in any of the historical records or in any currently observable physical evidence.

But maybe I’m wrong.

Perhaps someone might like to argue that the Jacobin Rebellion was caused in part by the social and environmental impacts of local climate change happening in and around Central England.

As the argument might go, Scottish hotheads — the yellow vests of their time — lost their cool and decided England needed a new king. However, their ardor was soon quenched, with long-term political and societal impacts which do indeed last to this very day.

Burl Henry
Reply to  Beta Blocker
February 3, 2021 6:54 am

Beta Blocker:

You say that “It is known with reasonable certainty that in the 18th century, the local temperatures in Central England warmed + 3C .within the short space of 4 decades”

The actual period of warming, according to the Central England Instrumental Temperatures data set, was between 1727 and 1739, just over a decade.

The cause of the warming was a period of no volcanic activity, where the atmosphere was free of any dimming volcanic Sulfur Dioxide aerosols.

Fuego (VEI4?) erupted on Aug 27,1727,and the next eruption, Shikotsu (VEI5) did not occur until Aug 29, 1739, 12 years later.. ,

Further, it was NOT localized warming. Until circa 1850 (the start of the Industrial Revolution), ALL of the changes in Central England temperatures correspond to the dates of volcanic eruptions. Then industrial SO2 emissions also began affecting our climate.

There are NO feedback mechanisms in Earth’s climate, only changing levels of SO2 aerosols, from volcanic eruptions and industrial activity.

Hence, it will be impossible to ever develop a model predicting Earth’s temperatures, because of the random nature of volcanic eruptions..

February 2, 2021 5:07 am

The IPCC needs a higher sensitivity so that they can increase estimates of the social cost of carbon.  Then they can claim that mitigation plans are cost-effective even if the today’s real costs are only cheaper compared to contrived value-laden estimates of speculative impacts occurring out to 2300 almost exclusively outside of the jurisdictions making the reductions. In other words, we will pay real money for speculative benefits elsewhere in the future.  

commieBob
February 2, 2021 5:36 am

I spent a career dealing with feedback systems in various forms. As far as I can tell, there are a number of people with similar experience on WUWT.

A problem with the story above is that it doesn’t mention the sign of the feedback. When Hansen misapplied control system theory to the climate, he used positive feedback. That’s how he got a warming greater than would be predicted otherwise.

Positive feedback is, by its very nature, unstable. ie. it adds to the error signal. In control systems, negative feedback is used to increase stability. Positive feedback is to be avoided and we often spend a lot of time avoiding it by calculating various stability factors. They boil down to the same thing though … avoid positive feedback.

If it’s carefully controlled, positive feedback can be used to increase amplification. That’s how the old single tube regenerative AM radio receivers worked. They had a tendency to go unstable and howl.

The bottom line is that positive feedback is usually unstable. It results in wild fluctuations and oscillations. We haven’t observed that kind of instability in the temperature record. I hasten to add that I’m hardly the first one to make that observation. It has been made many times.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2021 6:06 am

CommieBob is partly right. In electronics, positive feedback often leads to instability because the feedback is very large as a fraction of the input signal. In climate, though the usual suspects would like us to imagine that the feedback fraction of equilibrium sensitivity is as high as 75%, in reality it is more like 10%: and a positive feedback that small does allow the sort of stability that we observe in the climate.

commieBob
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 6:41 am

… reality it is more like 10% …

I won’t even give you that. You know a control systems engineer. Talk to that person.

As for 75%, that’s cloud cuckoo land.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2021 10:27 am

CommieBob should know that my distinguished co-authors include a more than usually competent tenured professor of control theory, who has taken a great deal of trouble to ensure that we get the control theory right. It is a common solecism among control engineers to imagine that a system exhibiting positive feedback must, rather than may (under the condition of strong positive feedback) tend to instability. Indeed, another of the co-authors was so sure control engineers were right and I was wrong that he built a test rig to show how wrong we were, and ended up fully confirming what we had concluded.

To make assurance doubly sure, we commissioned a government laboratory to construct a simple linear-feedback amplifier so that we could verify (if verification were needed) that even in the absence of any amplification in the gain block there woiuld still be a feedback response to the input signal in the presence of nonzero feedback acting upon the system. The 23 experiments that were run on the government laboratory’s rig also confirmed that under the modest net-positive feedback analogous to that which subsists in the climate the rig behaved stably.

On all 23 tests, the outcomes were within 0.1 K equivalent of the values that we had predicted.

But I agree with CommieBob that a feedback fraction as great as 0.75, which is where the CMIP6 models implicitly have it, is nonsensical. That would indeed be likely to lead to instability.

commieBob
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 12:15 pm

1 – I am well aware that some positive feedback can exist in a stable system and gave the example of the regenerative receiver.

2 – Lab bench circuits aren’t the climate.

3 – “under the condition of strong positive feedback” Actually a tiny amount of positive feedback will often do.

4 – If you’re going to use positive feedback, a stability analysis is de rigueur. The paper where Hansen first introduced positive feedback gave no indication that he even knew that stability analysis even existed.

5 – Stability analysis takes you into the frequency domain. For steady state conditions with appreciable forward gain, you shouldn’t be able to have positive feedback.

6 – Feedback analysis assumes a power supply sufficient that the system response isn’t limited. As far as I can tell, Hansen was blissfully unaware of that requirement.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2021 3:00 pm

I agree with your points.

If the output of the model is temperature then exactly how do you feed back temperature?

If the input to the system is energy then the feedback needs to be energy. Temperature in the atmosphere or earth does not represent an energy source itself. It represents the heat energy content but how does that get changed into a feedback quantity?

Last edited 3 months ago by Tim Gorman
Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2021 3:57 pm

Good. We now agree that positive feedback can exist in a stable system. The climate is observably a stable system, and our perturbation of it is so small that there is no physical reason to suggest we are about to hit a painful phase-transition. There is positive feedback in it. We have established that the positive feedback is actually small, based on recent, mainstream, midrange data. We have focused our argument on the one large error that official climatology has made: our control-theory co-authors, including a tenured professor and the designer of an award-winning control program for a nuclear station, have ensured that our implementation of feedback theory is sound.

commieBob
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 5:42 pm

We now agree that positive feedback can exist in a stable system.

Yep, but in my experience it doesn’t happen by accident.

The qualifications of your expert are much greater than mine. I would love to know how he would go about doing a stability analysis for climate feedback. It’s not just a niggle. James Hansen posited a climate tipping point beyond which all hell would break loose.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2021 6:29 pm

commiebob,

You have it correct. The math just doesn’t work. You can’t have *any* positive feedback in a system where jw = 0 and open loop gain is greater than one without the system going into runaway. If the open loop gain is equal to or less than one then how can it drive the temperature higher? Any energy you take from the output to use as feedback either just gets added back to the output (i.e. no increase) or actually causes the output to go down!

Part of the problem here is the assumption that the atmosphere is a heat source. It isn’t. The only heat source is the sun. Heat sent from the earth to the atmosphere COOLS THE EARTH. If the atmosphere only sends some of that back (i.e. it isn’t perfectly reflective) then the back radiation can’t warm the earth more than it cooled!

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 6:20 pm

I don’t agree. I just posted a long explanation of why.

In a positive feedback system the transfer function is Output = (Input)[ G/(1-GH)].

If GH is positive at all then Output will grow with the feedback. I.e. (1-GH) will be less than 1.

It’s just simple math. If you make G less than unity then temperature will actually go down because H can’t be more than 1 (the atmosphere is not a heat source, only the sun is). Back radiation from the earth cooling can’t reheat the earth back to where it started because some of the earths radiation is lost to space or transferred to other atoms/molecules through collision.

There simply cannot be positive feedback in the atmosphere driving the temperature.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 2, 2021 11:17 pm

Mr Gorman is entitled to his opinion that there cannot be positive feedback because the feedbacks are unpowered. However, there is no point in quarreling with me about that, for our approach in this research is that of Socratic elenchus: we accept all of mainstream science except the one point that we can disprove.

In the mainstream understanding, the water vapour feedback is powered by the interaction of photons in its absorption bands with its molecules, which induces a quantum resonance in the bending vibrational mode of the CO2 molecule that is, by definition, heat. That heat would not otherwise be in the atmosphere, which is consequently warmer.

I have consulted trustworthy specialists in the relevant highly specialist fields of physics, and they confirm that in this respect the mainstream is correct. I am content to go with their account, which is detailed and compelling. Certainly, I am in no better position to demonstrate that in this respect they are wrong than is Mr Gorman.

That is why we have ruthlessly confined our argument to the single, narrow but sufficient question whether feedback response is currently correctly quantified. Our proven conclusion is that it is not. That, on its own, is enough to bring down the climate nonsense. In the words of our diligent and more than usually competent professor of control theory, who is satisfied that temperature feedbacks are powered and can be nonlinear with reference sensitivity, our argument is the “silver bullet” – his ipsissima verba – that will slay the vampiric monster that is Thermageddon.

Tim Gorman
February 2, 2021 5:42 am

I am still not convinced of the existence of a positive feedback loop. In 40 years of engineering I have never run into a system with positive feedback that did not run away. After millenia of runaway not occurring the only conclusion I can reach is that the feedback loop must be negative. Probably sometimes slightly negative and sometimes more negative but negative overall.

That means that if the Earth’s temperature is going up it would have to be from the gain block changing. And I have never figured out how that can happen.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 2, 2021 6:12 am

Mr Gorman says he is not convinced there is a positive feedback loop. However, it is simple to demonstrate that there is. The temperature in 1850 was about 287 K. The emission temperature, which would have applied at the surface in the absence of noncondensing greenhouse gases, was about 255 K (actually, it was quite a bit more than that, but let us go with the official figure for now). The directly-forced warming from the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases was about 10 K. The remaining 22 K was positive feedback response.

Official climatology makes the error of assuming that the 22 K was feedback response only to the 10 K direct warming from preindustrial greenhouse gases. In fact, it was feedback response both to that 10 K and, more importantly, to the 255 K emission temperature. If there were indeed 22 K feedback response to just 10 K reference sensitivity, the system would indeed be as unstable as Mr Gorman fears. However, since most of the 22 K is in fact feedback response to emission temperature, the system is as stable as is observed.

commieBob
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 7:26 am

Either you do feedback analysis or you do something else.

Net significant positive feedback and stability don’t happen at the same time. Ergo, what’s happening can’t be explained using feedback analysis. With great trepidation, I think you made a logical faux pas, but that’s what it looks like.

Hansen was wrong to use feedback analysis for the climate. As you have pointed out, even if we accept that it was appropriate, Hansen did it wrong anyway.

David Stone CEng (Elec)
Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2021 10:12 am

The point I think is being expressed slightly badly. All of Christopher’s diagrams have a feedback loop around an amplifier (the triangle symbol). The summing point at the input to the amplifier does not signify that the feedback is positive, in fact it is always negative. The gain of the amplifier is very high and the negative feedback sets this to be a low and stable value. It is possible to have positive feedback in such a system, but this ALWAYS leads to instability and oscillation, unless the amplifier gain is set to less than 1 by the negative feedback.

I am too slightly uncertain by the arrangement working on temperature, or even watts as these are derivitives of multiple other parameters as is power if the circuit was electronic. The way that this circuit is made non linear in response is the put a non linear element in the negitive feedback which responds to the amplifier absoloute output, ie absolute temperature. It can never work just with a difference effect.

I will spend some time trying to convert this diagram into something which correctly expresses Christophers equations, because at the moment it is confusing. This does not mean I don’t agree with his conclusions or data, but simply wish to improve the underlying diagram, and deal with the positive feedback problem. To me it seems that we have a non-linear response from the negative feedback, which is the delta R2 term, but this is not correctly described by the idea that positive feedback to the amplifier, gives an increasing gain, because it cannot make the gain more than 1 with stability.

I will mail Christopher and he can consider further and publish here if he agrees.

Regards
David

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  David Stone CEng (Elec)
February 2, 2021 11:05 am

In response to David Stone, I should certainly be interested to see his proposed diagram. We have quite a complicated diagram in our paper, but I am forbidden to show that one here because it might prejudice publication in a journal. The diagram was originally sketched by our Professor of Control Theory.

One should not, perhaps, get too hung up on the electronics analogy. It is perfectly possible to have a feedback amplifier in a generic dynamic system in which the input signal (in climate, emission temperature) is positive, the gain block amplification factor (in climate, the effect of reference sensitivity) is positive, and the feedback amplification factor (in climate, the effect of the water vapor feedback, since at midrange all others self-cancel) is positive.

We took the trouble both to build our own test rig to evaluate these questions, and then to get a leading government laboratory to replicate our results.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  David Stone CEng (Elec)
February 2, 2021 2:49 pm

The way that this circuit is made non linear in response is the put a non linear element in the negitive feedback which responds to the amplifier absoloute output, ie absolute temperature. It can never work just with a difference effect.”

Non-linear? How do you get a non-linear response from a passive component (be it electrical or atmospheric)? Non-linear usually implies a power source of some kind.

y = mx+b defines a linear response. “m” may be small or large but it is still part of a linear response.

Can you think of a non-linear, non-powered element? A diode maybe?

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 2, 2021 11:05 pm

Mr Gorman is uncomfortably straddling the interdisciplinary divide between climatology and control theory. I realized early in my researches leading to our conclusion that currently-projected ECS is thrice what it should be that we needed experts in both disciplines on our team.

Of course temperature feedbacks are separately powered. The only one worth bothering to quantify under modern conditions is the water-vapour feedback, since all other feedbacks [treating the Planck “feedback” not as a feedback but as part of the reference frame as in Roe 2009) broadly self-cancel. And that feedback is powered by increasing boundary-layer specific humidity as temperature increases.

If Mr Gorman dislikes the notion that the Clausius-Clapeyron relation – one of the very few proven results in the slippery-sloppery subject that is clahmatawlogy – is nonlinear, or the consequent notion that there is thus some degree of nonlinearity in feedback response with warming, then his quarrel is not with me but with mainstream science. He is entitled to that quarrel, but we have ruthlessly adopted the approach of accepting mainstream science except where we can demonstrate to proof standard that it is false.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 3, 2021 4:44 am

I probably spoke too harshly in saying that non-powered systems cannot have a non-linear response. They can, but that response can not have any gain associated with it. It either passes the output sample as it is received or it is lossy and passes less than the sample.

But it is perfectly fine to have a non-linear response. Let me elaborate on the regenerative receiver. That system certainly has positive feedback, but its feedback is in the input of the system, it is not feedback from the output to the input. A regen receiver uses a lossy resonant circuit in the input and the positive feedback is basically taking a separate input from the antenna, using a “tickler” winding and feeding it into the resonant circuit. At the beginning this positive feedback in the input drives the output higher. But as time goes on that contribution from the separate input gets less and less because of the loss in the resonant circuit. In essence, the positive feedback is non-linear and self-limiting – it gradually reduces to zero (i.e. the feedback equals the loss) preventing total runaway. It has though effectively increased the overall gain of the system.

Laying in bed last night thinking about this, it struck me that this is basically what Dr. Happer is saying. The contribution of CO2 feedback is logarithmic, 1/ln(x). This is a non-linear function describing that the contribution from CO2 gets less and less with time.

If you look at the computer model outputs they are basically linear projections: mx+b, where m is a constant something like the ECS.

But what if the output was (1/ln(x)) + b? That would easily explain the “pauses” we have seen in recent decades. The CO2 feedback has self-limited just like in a regen receiver. Any increases would be from other external inputs like La Nina , El Nino, Anso, Enso, etc.

This would more closely match with actual observations over the years and decades than a simple mx+b extrapolation going on forever. It also means that ECS isn’t a constant but a function of some kind. Logarithmic seems to fit but take your pick as long as it is a self-limiting function.

David Stone CEng (Elec)
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 4, 2021 11:17 am

I think you may have misunderstood the operation of a regenerative stage in a TRF radio. The positive feedback is not increasing the amplifier gain as such, it is adding energy to the tuned circuit in response to a small signal, perhaps this is what you are trying to describe. That is why we cannot use this except with a tuned circuit, for example to make a high gain audio amplifier.
Non-linear feedback uses various methods, they all depend on one of two methods, either a string of diodes which switch in various feedback resistors depending on the output voltage, or a semiconductor which has a non-linear response to current through it, as the log of the applied voltage, which can give a very accurate logarithmic response to the amplifier for example. You too are being confused by Christopher’s single triangle “amplifier”, in theoretical terms we can make the triangle characteristics anything we like, and almost always make an electronic circuit to mimic this.

I think Christopher has stated that the positive feedback fraction is small and less than the amplifier gain, so it will be stable. We know that the atmosphere is stable in any response it has, otherwise at some point we would see evidence of runaway and there is none. All of the computer models show some kind of exponential temperature rise, a sure sign that the positive feedback is greater than 1 (assumed amplifier gain). I like his analysis.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  David Stone CEng (Elec)
February 4, 2021 2:10 pm

The positive feedback is not increasing the amplifier gain as such, it is adding energy to the tuned circuit in response to a small signal, perhaps this is what you are trying to describe.”

You are correct, that is what I was trying to describe. The feedlback is in the input only and it is what increases the signal strength. As I said there is no positive feedback between the output and the input to increase the gain of the amplification element.

Non-linear feedback uses various methods, they all depend on one of two methods, either a string of diodes which switch in various feedback resistors depending on the output voltage, or a semiconductor which has a non-linear response to current through it, as the log of the applied voltage,”

The positive feedback in the tuned circuit is from a “tickler” connection. As the energy circulating in the tuned circuit increases, losses in the tuned circuit increases as well. Thus the “gain” growth that is realized gradually decreases. The result of the positive feedback is capped. This isn’t exactly correct but think of it this way. The first contribution from the tickler increases the signal ten times, the second contribution increases it 9 times, the third contribution increases it 8 times, and on until the losses cap the increase in signal strength.

I call it non-linear because the losses are related to the square of the current, it is not a (mx+b) relationship.

You too are being confused by Christopher’s single triangle “amplifier””

Nope.

“I think Christopher has stated that the positive feedback fraction is small and less than the amplifier gain, so it will be stable. “

And I disagree with that. With positive feedback the output = input x [G/(1-GH). Where G is the open loop gain and H is the feedback. I simply don’t care how small H is in relation to G, it will sooner or later cause runaway. Being small only changes how fast the runaway happens. Let input =1, G = 1 and H = 0.001. Then 1-GH = ..999 and G/1-GH becomes 1.001. the output goes to 1.001. So then the positive feedback pushes the output from1.001 to 1.002. Then the positive feedback pushes the output to (1.002)(1.001) = 1.003. No matter how small you make H sooner or later the system runs away, it might be slow as in this example but it still happens.

“All of the computer models show some kind of exponential temperature rise”

Actually they all show a linear trend after 2000. An (mx+b) equation. “m” is different for different models but that is what they all come down to. No end to the increase in sight. Just more CO2 means higher and higher temperatures. It’s like they never heard of the saturation of CO2 effect in the atmosphere. And since they censor anyone that doesn’t agree with them they might not have heard of Happer’s work!

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2021 10:34 am

In response to CommieBob, on the basis of the up-to-date, midrange, mainstream data specified in the head posting, the feedback fraction for 1850-2020 was 0.11, and the feedback fraction for 2020 to doubled CO2 will be about 0.12. It is perfectly possible to have stability in a system with feedback fractions that small. We know, because we’ve tested for it.

And yes, feedback analysis is applicable to any feedback-moderated dynamical system. Feedback is a universal property of such systems. It is plain that a small net-positive feedback subsists in the climate, for otherwise the natural greenhouse effect would not be as large as it is.

Even if that were not the case, we have throughout adopted the simple expedient of accepting ad argumentum everything in official climatology except what we can prove to be false. We can prove that the implementation of feedback theory by climatology is false, and we can separately demonstrate (see the head posting) that feedback response is indeed as small as feedback theory would lead us to suspect it should be.

William C Rostron
Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2021 11:06 am

In reply to commieBob:

I am a controls engineer that has designed and constructed numerous control loops, including precision audio equipment and industrial controls.

The climate does not contain ‘designed’ feedback loops like we construct using op-amps or such: there are no explicit climate feedback functions that are invented by man. What we have are physical responses to physical interactions that occur at the quantum level, that in aggregate obtain what we see.

When we speak of the climate system as exhibiting positive feedback, we are only observing that the end result of the feedback acting on emission temperature is a higher surface temperature than would otherwise exist. Since this is true, the result of feedback is positive. This is just another way of saying that it acts as an amplifier with some modest gain.

The internal feedbacks of the climate system are primarily negative feedback: i.e., the Planck Sensitivity, and also that there is observed a strong governor element associated with water vapor (clouds and storms).

Don’t be confused by the terminology; this isn’t classical feedback theory that the IPCC is doing, and the system isn’t simple. The terminology is just a way of describing what they think the overall result will be when various components do whatever they do.

Think of a voltage follower op-amp circuit with a resistor R1 from the output to the inverting input,a nd a resistor R2 from that input to common. Feeding input voltage into the non-inverting (+) op-amp input yields an overall circuit gain of (R1+R2) / R2, which is greater than unity.

The climate system is similar in that some of the radiation from the earth surface gets reflected back to the surface from greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. That reflection results in a higher surface temperature than would otherwise exist. That’s roughly equivalent to the R1 path in the model above.

-BillR

commieBob
Reply to  William C Rostron
February 2, 2021 12:46 pm

As far as I can tell, feedback analysis for the climate was introduced by Hansen in Hansen et al 1984. In it he references Network Analysis and Feedback Amplifier Design, Bode, 1945.

The trouble with going back to original sources, as Hansen did, is that you miss developments that occurred later. By 1984, feedback amplifiers were being taught based on inverting and non-inverting inputs. Bode’s work didn’t explicitly show that since he was working with vacuum tubes. Hansen didn’t understand the importance of specifying a reference voltage. CM points out that if you specify the reference correctly, the feedback transfer function becomes very small.

So, even if you accept that feedback analysis might be valid for the climate, Hansen did the math wrong.

As far as I can tell, the climate models don’t use Hansen’s version of feedback analysis. Rather, they sneak it in the back door.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  William C Rostron
February 2, 2021 1:31 pm

When we speak of the climate system as exhibiting positive feedback, we are only observing that the end result of the feedback acting on emission temperature is a higher surface temperature than would otherwise exist. Since this is true, the result of feedback is positive.”

As a controls engineer you should recognize that if a portion of the output is fed back to the input and that causes an increase in the output then that increase in the output will increase the amount being fed back to the input. And around and around we go with the higher output pushing the output ever higher.

If taking power from the output *lowers* the output, then that power taken from the output cannot do more than bring the output back to its original value. It can’t take it higher because there is no external power source in the system to allow it to go higher.

It doesn’t matter if this is an electric circuit, a human nerve system, or anything else. Think about it. If you are squeezing something between your thumb and forefinger and the feedback from the pressure on your fingers caused you to squeeze harder and harder then your fingers would ultimately snap, your muscles would tear or cramp, or some other physical symptom would happen.

The only input to our system is the sun. The atmosphere doesn’t generate heat energy. The earth doesn’t generate heat energy. Exactly where is the *extra* heat energy necessary for a positive feedback loop coming from to warm the earth?

If the earth is warming then it’s because the earth can’t shed energy to space as fast as the sun is putting it in. That warming isn’t because of positive feedback, it would be because of an impediment to the heat loss. The earth is like a leaky bucket. As long as the water is coming in at the same rate it’s leaking out then the height of the water in the bucket doesn’t change. Patch some of the holes in the leaky bucket and the water starts to rise. That’s not because of “positive” feedback, it’s because of a shift between the input flow rate and the output flow rate. If the condition remains then the bucket will eventually fill up and overflow – i.e. the earth would have become a cinder long ago when CO2 levels were higher.

The sticky points here are 1. that the earth hasn’t burned up in the past, and 2. max temps aren’t going up (i.e. the height of the water in the bucket) but min temps are. It’s like having a float controlling the drain size. As the water height rises the drain is opened which determines maximum water height. As the water goes down the drain is closed which eventually shuts off and determines the minimum water height. Now if the minimum height keeps going up over time the something is tweaking that float, What is it? It isn’t positive feedback.

William C Rostron
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 2, 2021 3:25 pm

Tim,
You said:
“As a controls engineer you should recognize that if a portion of the output is fed back to the input and that causes an increase in the output then that increase in the output will increase the amount being fed back to the input. And around and around we go with the higher output pushing the output ever higher.”

And we do acknowledge this. But positive feedback will cause runaway only if the system open loop gain exceeds +1. The output does feed back into the input, but that doesn’t always cause runaway. If the gain is small, then the result is an asymptotic approach to a new equilibrium. This is exactly what happens in the climate system with greenhouse gases. Back radiation from, say, CO2 causes the surface temperature to warm. The increase surface temperature causes greater radiation, which in turn causes increased back radiation. But, the increase in back radiation is only a small fraction of the total surface radiation; therefore the system is stable.

In any feedback system, instability results when there is sufficient positive feedback energy fed back into the input. As long as the system gain is less than unity at that specific condition (it could be at some high frequency), then system is stable. For the climate system the frequency of interest is essentially zero. So, system stability is assured as long as the open loop gain at S=0 is less than unity.

The example everyone is familiar with is amplifier squeal in a PA system. There is a specific frequency of feedback due to the time delay of sound propagation between the speaker and the microphone. That frequency is a function of the physics of the room and PA system and never goes away. All one has to do to eliminate the squeal is reduce the amplifier gain by 3 db (factor of 2). The result is stable, but it will likely have a ringing response due to excessive positive feedback. It sounds like you are in a barrel, or something. To get rid of the significant ringing sound, you reduce the gain another 3 db (total factor of 6db, gain factor of 4). This makes the system to be somewhere near critically damped at the sensitive frequency and good quality sound amplification is restored.

The point here is that positive feedback always exists in the PA system, but if the loop gain is small enough that feedback doesn’t result in instability.

IPCC believes that the unstable condition can occur at sufficiently large concentration of CO2, H2O, or some other greenhouse gasses. There is no empirical evidence that it’s possible, given what we know now.

-BillR

Tim Gorman
Reply to  William C Rostron
February 2, 2021 6:02 pm

William,

But positive feedback will cause runaway only if the system open loop gain exceeds +1″

The feedback loop for the earth has to be a passive one, the atmosphere does not generate energy. So if the open loop gain is equal to one then whatever feedback power you steal from the output just reappears at the output, the output never increases because of the feedback loop. If the output power = 2 and you take one for feedback then the output falls to 1. The feedback power of one goes through the gain element with a gain of one and adds to the output 1+1 = 2. You are back where you started.

If the open loop gain is less than 1 then no amount of feedback can do anything but decrease the output. Say the gain is 0.9. 2 – 1 = 1 for the output. That 1 feedback then goes through the gain element and becomes 0.9. 1+0.9 = 1.9. Less than what you started with.

In both cases, CO2 cannot increase the output – i.e. the temperature.

I agree, in both cases there is no runaway. But there is no temperature increase either.

—————————–
“If the gain is small, then the result is an asymptotic approach to a new equilibrium. “

I disagree. There will be no asymptote unless the feedback somehow decreases as the output goes up, i.e. a non-linear feedback. If the feedback is constant then no matter how small it is you will have runaway. It may take longer with small feedback amounts but it will still runaway.

The basic positive feedback transfer equation is G/(1-GH).So output/input = G/(1-GH). In order to have stable positive feedback then the product of (GH) has to equal zero. If (GH) is positive at all then you will get runaway because the denominator will always be less than one and the the output will just will just keep growing. This will happen for even small amounts of G. It can only be prevented if either G=0 or H=0 and you don’t have a feedback situation if either of these are true.

—————————————–

Let me address the regenerative receiver. It works with positive feedback because the feedback loop is non-linear and gives a decreasing H as the output amplitude goes up. I see nothing in the atmosphere that is similar at all.

—————————————————

Back radiation from, say, CO2 causes the surface temperature to warm.”

Back radiation begins with radiation from the earth which cools the earth, therefore the back radiation cannot warm the earth to a value higher than it was before it radiated toward the atmosphere. Since CO2 is only x% efficient (some of the radiation from the earth is lost to space or to collisions with other atoms/molecules in the atmosphere) the back radiation will *never* warm the earth back to its original temperature which caused the radiation in the first place.

The atmosphere is not a heat source, if it was you could look up and see it on fire. Therefore it can only act as a reflective source.

——————————————

“As long as the system gain is less than unity at that specific condition (it could be at some high frequency), then system is stable.”

And what high frequency signal exists between the earth and the CO2 in the atmosphere? And, again, if the system gain is less than unity then no amount of positive gain can increase the output. Any energy taken from the output as feedback decreases the output and an open loop gain less than one will not even bring the output back to its original value. Remember, the feedback loop in the atmosphere can’t be more than 1, the atmosphere is not a heat source.

—————————————–

“So, system stability is assured as long as the open loop gain at S=0 is less than unity.”

But since the feedback loop can’t have a gain of more than one (the atmosphere is not a heat generating source) then the overall system gain is less than zero. The system transfer function G/(1-GH) goes to G/1 as G gets infinitesimally small, i.e. G becomes infinitesimally as well and the output gets smaller and smaller. As G approaches 1 then (1-GH) gets smaller and smaller and G/(1-GH) grows without bound – i.e. runaway.With open loop gain less than unity then feedback can’t increase the output – i.e. the temperature. Unless, that is, you can show how the atmosphere is a heat generator. But if that were the case the Earth would have become a cinder millenia ago.

——————————————

“There is a specific frequency of feedback due to the time delay of sound propagation between the speaker and the microphone. “

You said above that the frequency of the climate is zero. You just changed what the discussion is about!

————————————–
“The point here is that positive feedback always exists in the PA system, but if the loop gain is small enough that feedback doesn’t result in instability.”

If you have any positive feedback with a positive gain amp then you will get squealing. The only way you won’t is, again, with a feedback loop that is frequency dependent, i.e. there is enough loss in the feedback to keep the feedback from being positive. E.g. Turn a cardioid mic away from the speaker.

————————————-
There is no empirical evidence that it’s possible, given what we know now.”

There is not even a theoretical way it could happen. Again, the atmosphere is not a heat generator. The atmosphere cannot, therefore, heat the earth, only the sun can.

William C Rostron
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 8, 2021 5:04 am

Tim,

I appreciate the discussion, but the crux of the matter is the fact of system stability even when positive feedback exists. That was the only point that I was trying to make, and is why I brought the PA system example into the discussion. I regret the confusion this created.

You said, “If you have any positive feedback with a positive gain amp then you will get squealing. The only way you won’t is, again, with a feedback loop that is frequency dependent, i.e. there is enough loss in the feedback to keep the feedback from being positive. E.g. Turn a cardioid mic away from the speaker.”

No. Your thinking is sloppy. If you have studied differential equations sufficiently, you would know this to be an error. You are confusing overall gain with gain-phase margin. In any complex analytic system (linear or not) there always exists at least one characteristic frequency where an additional phase shift through the system feedback is 180 deg. If the ordinary feedback in that system is inverse (inverting input), then at that frequency the feedback will be positive (non-inverting). For that system to be stable, there must exist a gain margin at that characteristic frequency such that the system open loop gain is less than unity. The gain margin at that frequency determines the damping of the system, and whether or not the roots of the system equations are real or complex. Real roots apply to over-damped or critically damped systems. Complex roots apply to under-damped and oscillatory systems. For the PA system, because sounds propagated through a space inherently exhibit time delay, multiple feedback modes will *always* exist at multiple frequencies: some negative, some positive. When there is no squeal, it is only because the positive modes don’t possess sufficient energy to cause one. But the modes are there. Always. It’s a linear system and can’t behave any other way. This is why different rooms in your house have different characteristic sounds, and you know which room you are in with your eyes closed.

The gain-phase margin rule exists for all systems that can be described by linear differential equations. An incomplete list of these includes: aerodynamics, mechanical systems and structures, chemical reactions, electronic amplifiers, thermodynamic systems, hydraulic systems, civil structures; in short, all linear feedback loops of any description.

Your final comment was: “There is not even a theoretical way it could happen. Again, the atmosphere is not a heat generator. The atmosphere cannot, therefore, heat the earth, only the sun can.”

Sir, again, your thinking is sloppy. The laws of thermal emission state that any object with a surface emissivity of greater than zero must emit thermal radiation that is related to the fourth power of its absolute temperature. So, substances that absorb radiation also emit radiation. You seem to think that thermal radiation only goes one way, from higher temperature to lower. You are not seeing the actual process. Thermal equilibrium simply means that the rate of energy transfer into and out of the system is equal. You cannot stop thermal emission any more than you can stop thermal absorption. A substance integrates the energy difference in accordance with its heat capacity to obtain the rate of change of its temperature.

I think we agree that the earth climate is a thermodynamic system, with energy input from the sun. Since it is a thermodynamic system, three types of heat transfer must exist: conduction, convection, and radiation. The earth system ultimately receives energy from outer space and emits energy to outer space by radiation (we deliberately ignore the contribution of solar wind plasma as minor in this discussion). Internally, the earth system also exhibits lots of conduction and convection. But with CO2, the effect at issue here is radiation (the poorly termed “greenhouse” effect). So analyzing the radiation response, we see that CO2 has absorption, and therefore emission, at specific frequencies in the IR range, which definitely can and does affect thermal heat transfer. To say that this is not important is one thing. To say that it doesn’t exist is another thing; that is self delusion, ignoring reality.

The radiative properties of CO2 do result in a positive feedback in the thermodynamic system of earth’s climate relative to surface temperature, as described many places in the standard literature and confirmed by experiment. Get over it. By itself, it does not result in runaway instability because the system gain to that thermodynamic reality is much less than unity.

-BillR

Tim Gorman
Reply to  William C Rostron
February 8, 2021 1:30 pm

No. Your thinking is sloppy. If you have studied differential equations sufficiently, you would know this to be an error.”

I’m sorry, I studied differential equations in electrical engineering. Damn near everything we did as a sophomore, junior, and senior, be it with power, microwaves, or anything else involved differential equations. Stop with the ad hominems.

“You are confusing overall gain with gain-phase margin”

And once again you are changing the issue. There is *NO* phase in a zero frequency, DC signal – which is what the atmosphere basically is!

“damping of the system”

If you have damping then your positive feedback is damped as well, just like in the lossy resonant circuit of a regen receiver, or in a PA that is limited by the power supply feeding the amp.

How does that work in the atmosphere again?

The laws of thermal emission state that any object with a surface emissivity of greater than zero must emit thermal radiation that is related to the fourth power of its absolute temperature. So, substances that absorb radiation also emit radiation. You seem to think that thermal radiation only goes one way, from higher temperature to lower.”

Sorry, I already explained this. The atmosphere is a lossy substance that does not generate heat. The only thing it can reflect is what the earth radiates toward it. And it *never* radiates back 100%. If the earth radiates a value of 1 then the atmosphere will *always* radiate back less than one resulting in a cooling of the earth! It simply cannot be any other way! When the earth sent that radiation of 1 toward the atmosphere it cooled by a value of 1. If it then gets back a value of 0.6 then it has cooled by a total of 0.4!

Again, the atmosphere simply cannot be a positive feedback. If it was the earth would have become a cinder long ago! It truly is that simple. The atmosphere is nothing more than an insulator. Insulators don’t trap heat, they merely slow down its transport from one media to another. That is *NOT* positive feedback. If it was you would get hotter and hotter under a blanket till you caught on fire!

William C Rostron
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 8, 2021 2:29 pm

Tim,

I intended no disrespect. Sorry.

I read your response and am amazed that we are in such violent agreement. We seem to quibbling over semantics.

My training was also in Electrical Engineering, but I now do nuclear plant process simulations and write differential equations for a living. I gained a much broader perspective relating to energy transfer, equilibrium response, and system stability from my work as a controls engineer, where I designed and implemented many systems, simple and complex. The systems I work with today contain thousands of feedback nodes and can exhibit really complicated behavior.

My definition of positive and negative feedback has to do with the phase of some response relative to the excitation. That is all. Amplification is not necessary for analysis. The analysis works equally well at any frequency including zero; the principles are the same. The overall system response to some positive feedback does not mean that a new system equilibrium will not or can not occur.

You said, “Again, the atmosphere simply cannot be a positive feedback. If it was the earth would have become a cinder long ago! It truly is that simple….”

Well, no. What happens is that as the atmosphere warms, it emits more radiation into outer space. Thermodynamic balance is restored by energy transfer that establishes equilibrium. If the atmosphere emits radiation to space, then it also emits radiation towards the earth. You said it correctly when you observed that it acts like a blanket. If you warm the blanket you will get warmer beneath the blanket. That is all there is to it. It truly is that simple. The effects don’t have to be big to be real.

Have a nice day.

-BillR

Ed Bo
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 2, 2021 11:36 am

I will preface my remarks by saying that I have been in the business of feedback control systems for over 30 years now. I see that there is a lot of confusion from imprecise “borrowed” terminology here.

When “positive feedback” is used in this climate context, it is referring to a subset of the overall system, which still ultimately has negative feedback. We are not talking about the overall system having net positive feedback.

An engineer will typically think of “positive feedback” in the sense of the entire feedback having the wrong sign, as if you miswired your thermostat to turn on the heater when it was too hot and the air conditioning when it was too cold. This would obviously lead to instability. (In technical terms, this system would have poles in the right half plane.)

The ultimate negative feedback of the earth’s climate system is the radiative output to space (often referred to as the “Planck feedback”), which increases as the temperature goes up, keeping the temperature from running away.

The positive feedbacks discussed here are within this overall negative feedback effect, having the result of weakening this still-negative feedback, and amplifying the result of a perturbation.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Ed Bo
February 2, 2021 2:07 pm

Ed,

That’s what I pointed out in another thread, the negative feedback may go up or may go down but it will *never* cause the output to go higher than if there was no feedback. Nor can it ever be called positive feedback.

Now, can more CO2 cause a lower negative feedback value? I still haven’t figured out how. 1. more CO2 just intercepts more of the sun’s IR. So the earth gets less warming radiation which should drive the earth’s temperature down. If the sun saturates the small amount of CO2 in the atmosphere during the day then anything the earth radiates at CO2 (14.97microns) should pass through unimpeded. 2. What on earth intercepts “back” radiation from atmosphere? It isn’t silica and it isn’t quartz, some of the most prevalent things making up the earth’s surface. Better yet, what is there on earth that radiates at the CO2 wavelength? If it isn’t silica and quartz then what is it? Cement? Asphalt? CO2 from rotting vegetation? Water? If we can’t answer that then how do we even know what’s going on? 3. The time between collisions of CO2 and other atmosphere atoms and molecules is far smaller than the time for a CO2 molecule to radiate received energy. So most of the earth-originated IR gets thermalized into the rest of the atmosphere where lapse rate will take care of. That leaves CO2 actually returning a small proportion of radiation back to the earth. I’ve seen it stated that the atmosphere can back radiate as much as 60% to 70% of the radiation it receives. That just doesn’t add up with the difference between collision times and radiation times which can be on the order of a 1×10^^3.

Can you answer these questions and explain how the negative feedback gets lowered in order to allow the output to go higher?

Ed Bo
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 2, 2021 3:44 pm

Tim: First, to answer your questions:

1. CO2 absorbs virtually none of the sun’s incoming shortwave radiation, visible or “near” IR. It absorbs a significant amount of the earth’s outgoing longwave “far” IR radiation, mainly in the 14-16 micron range (which is completely insignificant in solar radiation). This is well known from repeatable measurements. This fact is the source of the (admittedly imperfect) greenhouse metaphor.

2. Virtually all solid and liquid substances (including silica, quartz … and water) on the earth’s system behave very close to blackbodies in the thermal (“far”) IR range, which includes the 14-16um absorption/emission range of CO2 gas. That is, they absorb virtually all (>95%) of far IR radiation incident on them, and they emit almost as much far IR (>95%) as an idealized blackbody at that temperature would. Again, this is well known from repeatable measurements.

3. The atmosphere in the troposphere is dense enough so there are so many collisions that it is in “local thermodynamic equilibrium” — which is different from (total) thermodynamic equilibrium. In LTE, it is true that a CO2 molecule that has just been excited by absorbing an IR photon is much more likely to transfer that energy to another molecule by collision than by re-emitting a photon.

But it is also true that in LTE there are so many collisions that it can get “re-excited” in subsequent collisions, and so have more chances to emit a photon. The lower the temperature, the less the chance that it will get into, and stay in, this excited state long enough to emit. This possibility goes basically as the 4th power of absoute temperature.

As a simple example, let’s say the surface is at 300K (27C), and its 14-16um radiation is absorbed on average in a layer of the atmosphere that is at 270K (-3C). With this layer at 0.9 times the absolute temperature of the surface, it will radiate with 0.90^4 = 0.66 the intensity of the surface.

As to your basic question on feedback, I consider the ultimate feedback to be the “Planck” radiation losses. If I were drawing the feedback loop block diagram, even in the simplest model, I would have the solar power flux input coming in from the left, adding power to the system, resulting in a rate of change of temperature, integrated into a temperature level. But the radiative losses provide a negative feedback that subtracts from the solar input, so only the difference between the input and losses causes temperature changes.

If the surface were completely free to radiate directly to space (as in a fully transparent atmosphere) this feedback would be of the simple form sigma*T^4. Maybe a better way of expressing it in this context is that it would be of the form sigma*(Tsurf^4-Tspace^4), where Tspace is about 3K (-270C), and its effect could be ignored in this case.

But if the atmosphere is not fully transparent, as ours is not, the Tspace term above is replaced by a higher Tatm term. Here a highly simplified explanation is required, because the atmosphere is not much like a blackbody radiator. But in an “average” area of the earth’s surface, the atmosphere radiates downward to the surface about as much as a blackbody at 255K (-18K) would. This is often called the “effective blackbody temperature” (EBT).

This has the effect of reducing the basic negative feedback effect when compared to a transparent atmosphere, resulting in a higher surface temperature for the same solar input.

So where does the “positive feedback” come in? It’s really in the Tatm term. Increasing the IR absorption in the atmosphere increases its EBT radiating to the earth, resulting in a higher surface temperature. This (allegedly…) results in more evaporation, resulting in more IR absorption, resulting in higher EBT of Tatm, resulting in higher Tsurf surface temperature.

So that is the claimed “positive feedback” — but it really just results in a reduced overall negative feedback.

Of course, there are MANY complicating issues, the biggest of which is how any increased water vapor affects cloud coverage, which could provide a countervailing effect of similar or even greater magnitude.

RickWill
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 2, 2021 1:26 pm

I am still not convinced of the existence of a positive feedback loop. 

And nor should you be; it is nonsense.

There are two powerful feedback processes that control the lower and upper limits of the ocean surface temperature.

At -2C sea ice forms and insulates the surface to reduce the rate of heat loss. 2m of ice will halve the rate of loss.

At 30C highly reflective convective cloud and cooling rain from nearby convergence take the heat input to zero; that is as warm as it gets. Radiative balance occurs around 32C but convergence of moist air from adjacent cooler zones adds to the precipitation.

The attached chart shows the control system at work in a tropical warm pool at moored buoy 0N, 156E in the second half od March 2020. You can see the initial overshoot to 31.5C as the control system takes charge. You can see the regular reduction in surface insolation due to the reflective clouds. You can see the cooling effect of the rain.

I bet you would struggle to create an analog control system that regulates as well as this.

Temp_Regulation.png
Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  RickWill
February 3, 2021 4:03 pm

RickWill, who has a tendency to dive-bomb these threads, imagines that there is no such thing as positive feedback in the climate. Well, there is – get over it. The directly-forced warming from the presence of the preindustrial greenhouse gases is 8-10 K; the total system feedback response, up to 1850, was 20-22K. Of course, most of that feedback response was a response to the fact that the Sun is shining, and shone even when there were no noncondensing greenhouse gases in the air.

It is simply no good banging on about one’s pet theory if it is predicated on assumptions that are manifestly false, such as the notion that in a system as dynamic as the climate no positive feedback process is possible.

I suggest that RickWill should study the Clausius-Clapeyron relation. Then he will see that positive feedback is not only possible but also proven.

David Dibbell
February 2, 2021 5:43 am

Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, thank you for this update and for sticking to your central point so tenaciously over the years. Your treatment of the claim of climate danger on its own terms – i.e., the claim that water vapor feedback is the dangerous part of the response to CO2 emissions – is still greatly appreciated. I say this even while holding the view that ECS cannot reliably be shown to be different from zero.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  David Dibbell
February 2, 2021 6:14 am

Mr Dibbell is most kind. It is not really possible that ECS is zero: the quantum physics of the interactions between photons and CO2 molecules is quite well understood, and the quantum resonance in the bending vibrational mode of the molecule that is induced by the interaction is, by definition, heat. The question is not whether returning CO2 to the atmosphere from which it came will cause warming, but how much – or, rather, how little – warming it will cause.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 6:45 am

Monckton of Brenchley, thank you for your reply. I accept that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will incrementally modify the static radiative coupling with the surface. Is there an obvious warming effect in a motionless atmosphere (or motion only parallel to the surface)? Sure, no quibble there. But the atmosphere is not static. Its operation as a heat engine demands attention to the effectiveness of the working fluid in absorbing heat down low and delivering it up high directly by mass transfer to be more easily emitted as longwave radiation back to space. An ECS of zero is entirely reasonable in this respect, as I see it.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  David Dibbell
February 2, 2021 10:36 am

In further response to Mr Dibbell, we have adopted all of official climatology except what we can prove to be false. I cannot prove that ECS is zero: indeed, since I am no expert in the measurement of atmospheric radiative transfers, I cannot quantify the direct reference sensitivity to greenhouse gases. So we have simply adopted the official values. It is in the feedback response that the models err, and they err because their programmers thought that all of the preindustrial feedback response was attributable to the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases, when in fact nearly all of it was attributable to the fact that the Sun is shining.

MarkW
Reply to  David Dibbell
February 2, 2021 11:39 am

Negative feedback can negate part of the original signal, it can never negate all of it.
If negative feedback did negate all of the original signal, then there would be no original signal to cause the feedback. No feedback means no modification to the original signal. Which means that the original signal was never negated.
A logical inconsistency.

David Dibbell
Reply to  MarkW
February 3, 2021 3:23 am

In the context of a single circuit with inputs and feedback, I don’t disagree with your point. But the earth/ocean/atmosphere system is not a single circuit in reality. Nevertheless, Monckton of Brenchley is doing well to expose the conceptual error concerning feedback that persists among climate modelers.

Last edited 3 months ago by David Dibbell
Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  David Dibbell
February 3, 2021 3:59 pm

In response to Mr Dibbell, we did not need to analyze all the many feedback processes, since all but the water-vapor feedback self-cancel in IPCC’s current understanding. We derived the overall unit feedback response by the simple expedient of calculating it from real-world data for the past 170 years.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 4, 2021 7:43 am

No suggestion was made that you should have done so for the purpose of the conceptual analysis you are pursuing, which I heartily support. It is no contradiction that at the same time I also invite you and your team, and the reader, to keep an open mind that ECS could well be zero in the real world. And when I say “zero” I don’t mean “precisely zero”. As stated earlier, I simply hold the view that ECS cannot be shown to differ from zero with sufficient reliability to draw a conclusion.

David Dibbell
Reply to  David Dibbell
February 8, 2021 4:06 am

I am replying to my own comment to give the future reader one of the reasons for my sense that ECS cannot be reliably shown to be different from zero. Please see the graph at this link, giving the hourly “vertical integral of total energy” in the atmosphere at a single gridpoint near where I live. It is a time series for all hours in 2019 from the ERA5 reanalysis data produced by ECMWF – the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. This is typical in the mid-latitudes. Polar and tropical locations will look a bit different but the point is the same. It is widely noted that the direct warming effect of a doubling of CO2 concentrations from pre-industrial times would be 3.7 Watts per square meter. The same value can also be expressed as 3.7 Watt-hours per hour per square meter. I have scaled the vertical axis in Watt-hours per square meter. See the problem? The total energy variation in short time periods and seasonally is thousands of times greater than the 3.7 Watt-hours per hour per square meter. That value is vanishingly thin in the vertical scale of the graph. So it is mind-bogglingly absurd to me that one could ever conclude by computation that heat is being accumulated at the surface and inhibited from being radiated to space in a mobile atmosphere in which the energy values are so large and so rapidly transformed from one form to another as experienced over any location on the planet (e.g. latent heat to kinetic energy in convective weather.) In other words, the storehouse of energy from which longwave emission to space is supplied is mostly in the atmosphere itself, and the heat-engine nature of its highly variable operation powerfully blinds us to any attempt to isolate the effect of adding CO2.
comment image?dl=0

Tim Gorman
Reply to  David Dibbell
February 8, 2021 5:36 am

Your analysis is intriguing. I’ve never understood how people can just add reflected energy to the sun’s energy and think that is a valid sum. That reflected energy came from the earth to begin with representing a heat *loss* by the earth. The reflected energy simply replaces what was lost, it doesn’t add more.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 8, 2021 7:21 am

I can see why we both have commented in support of Pat Frank’s work as seen here at WUWT and in his Sept 2019 paper. Pat states his conclusion from a methodical analysis of GCM’s and the projections of global surface air temperatures – i.e, that there is no way presently to have reliably detected or to have reliably projected a warming signal from changes in CO2. The concept I have expressed here is really just another way to look at the same underlying problem of attribution.

Tom
February 2, 2021 6:04 am

Considering the Central Limit Theorem simplistically: “On average, things tend to average out.” This is even true (or more likely, ESPECIALLY TRUE) in chaotic systems. The more factors that influence an outcome, the more likely it is that “things will average out”. If one factor dominates a chaotic system, it can be argued that the system is not chaotic. If a system can be rigorously modeled, it is not very chaotic.

To me, this thinking strongly supports Lord Moncton’s much more detailed calculations here. The first thing a good modeler does is compare his model with actual data. When it doesn’t fit, the model must either be adapted, or it must be abandoned. This approach seems to be sorely lacking from the “Mainstream climate scientists”. Give them an F; I give Lord Monckton an A.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Tom
February 2, 2021 10:39 am

I am very grateful to Tom for his kind comment. Our approach is ruthlessly empirical. We take the mainstream midrange data: we plug them into our very simple but very robust algorithm, and we get a very good idea of midrange ECS. The models, having started with a large error, reflect that error by imagining that feedback response is about thrice the initial warming that triggered it. That has led them to their absurd over-predictions, and they are strikingly unwilling to correct them in the face of mounting evidence that the world is not warming anything like as fast as they predicted it would.

tom0mason
February 2, 2021 6:58 am

In Fig. 4. How climate scientists forgot the Sun was shining.

This shows a simple feedback circuit but what is also forgotten is that the feedback fraction is NOT a linear fraction but is dependent on many dynamic interrelated co-factors, i.e. the feedback faction is not altogether fixed but a dynamic variable.

Nature will, over time, retain more energy during warm periods and release a bit more (percentage-wise) during the cooler times (especially when the cooling starts).
As temperature rises, more CO2 is released from oceans and defrosting tundra, this encourages more vegetative growth. More land covered in vegetation (especially the loss of deserts) alters the planetary temperature dynamic.
As the temperature rises so global atmospheric pressure and humidity dynamically changes.
All of these changes and many more, are lagging factors. The feedback fraction has a lagging sets of both independent and interrelated timings, some are extremely long, others not so. And within a chaotic and noisy system such as this planet’s climate, small changes can initiate some very unforeseen outcomes.

Fig 4. The climate scientists forgot the sun and that the climate is dynamic!

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  tom0mason
February 2, 2021 10:43 am

Tom0mason may not, perhaps, have read the head posting with due care and attention. He will see that we have gone to some lengths to identify and quantify the one nonlinearity in feedback response that is at least plausible: namely, the exponential Clausius-Clapeyron increase in near-surface specific humidity with warming. We have made an unduly generous allowance for that nonlinearity: but, even if we were to make thrice that generous allowance, ECS would still be 1.2 K.

As to the question of timelag, we have expressly allowed for that as well, as explained in the head posting, by taking due account of the measured (or purportedly measured) Earth energy imbalance.

As to the likelihood of a long timelag, the feedbacks on which ECS is predicated are all short-acting feedbacks. Earth System Sensitivity (ESS) considers the long-acting feedbacks also. However, our focus is on ECS, and it is about a third of what climatology thinks. Since ESS does not arise in a policy-relevant timeframe, establishing that ECS will be very small is enough. That is what we have done.

tom0mason
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 3, 2021 3:06 pm

As far as I can see the overall ocean time lag would amount to 1000years or so. Some call that short term.
Also soils retain a considerable amount of CO2 especially when it become frozen tundra ~1000s of years(?).

I understand that you will want to use published ECS and ESS but do they reflect reality. The reality that as this planet naturally warms then CO2, methane and chemical energy (energy originally from the sun 1000s of years in the past) that has been locked away is now being released. Released for the benefit of all life on the planet.

P.S. This planet nearly always has an energy imbalance — energy out will rarely equal energy in, as the oceans and life retain some energy.
Not so? Then think on this — humans and all their farm produce have massively increase in number since 1800, what energy has been available to perform this great feat. Where did that energy come from? Hint: It was not back-radiating CO2.

February 2, 2021 7:34 am

Complexity is the workshop of the Devil so indeed we are in his workshop. I note that “insulation” works in both directions but let us assume and hope that Lord Benchley has the solution – what does the IPCC say in return? People like Mann and Hansen have been discredited so any name calling from them is ignored. There are basically two groups of people on this subject…one wants the truth and the other actually wants man made global warming to be accepted whether true or not.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  T. C. Clark
February 2, 2021 11:06 am

If TC Clark would be willing to put his name to our letter requesting IPCC to investigate the error we have found, we shall in due course find out what IPCC thinks.

ICU
February 2, 2021 8:21 am

So when will this be published in a real journal like Nature or Science or PNAS or IEEE even. No question mark as this is just a rhetorical statement of the absurdity of this article.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  ICU
February 2, 2021 10:50 am

ICU does not make it clear why it considers the head posting to be absurd. Is there some error that we have overlooked? If so, it would be most helpful if ICU would enlighten us.

Our paper on this subject is currently out for review, after several months of messing around on the part of the journal and its editor. One of our co-authors, who has been publishing for more than 30 years in the scientific journals, has said he has never before seen such calculated procrastination. First they said the paper was too long (it was the standard 6000 words). Then they said they could not find one of the references, so we sent them the paper in question, for it was not on the doi index. Then they said the references had to be numbered, but the journal’s own instructions for authors said they had to be arranged in alphabetical order by lead author and then by date. Eventually, I began muttering about fraud, and the journal pulled itself together. The paper is now out for review. And this time we shall not tolerate reviews that show no more reason to reject our argument than ICU has shown. We now have a fine collection of such scientifically meaningless purported reviews from journals that say they do real science. It is a telling collection: for none of the reviews provides any material objection to our main point, which is that climatology forgot the sun was shining, attributed its feedback response to the greenhouse gases, and thus vastly inflated first preindustrial and then anthropogenic feedback response, and consequently tripled the true warming on all timescales.

If ICU has a scientific, rather than merely a partisan political, objection to the research result outlined in the head posting, perhaps it would come forward and explain it.

February 2, 2021 8:31 am

Yes, the model of ‘feedback’ where the pre feedback temperature is the input and post feedback temprature is the output is absolutely and unconditionally meaningless whether it’s an absolute or incremental analysis. But this isn’t what the climate model is which has incremental W/m^2 as the input and an incremental temperature output, although this is also absolutely and unconditionally meaningless, especially since the linearity constraint requires that the absolute and incremental closed loop gains must be the same and that the units of the input and output must be the same.

The pre feedback result is the output of the gain block without the feedback block present and is referred to as the open loop gain. The idea that feedback only affects the next W/m^2 is also an obvious error, as the climate system can’t tell one W/m^2 from any other.

“Would you be willing to put your name to a report to IPCC …”

I already did this on my review of AR6 where I pointed out the errors with feedback among the many other errors I identified.

bethan456@gmail.com
February 2, 2021 8:37 am

Monckton commits the fallacy Argumentum ad populum:

“That paper, incidentally, has been downloaded from the Chinese Academy journal’s website more often than any other in its 60-year history”

Taylor Pohlman
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 2, 2021 9:40 am

I hardly think this is Argumentum ad populum. I think what the good Viscount is saying is that there is a hunger for counter-arguments to the “prevailing wisdom” and therefore his paper is “populum”. Climate science is not up for a vote, I think Monckton would agree, having clearly and repeatedly railed against “consensus science”. If you’re going to cite Latin, better to observe that Monckton is arguing that climate models are demonstrating ‘reductio ad absurdum’.

bethan456@gmail.com
Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
February 2, 2021 1:57 pm

Mr. Pohlman, can you please tell me what part of this: http://www.realclimate.org/images//cmp_cmip3_sat_ann-3.png

Is “absurd?”

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 2, 2021 9:55 am

In esponse to the rather petty comment by Bethan456, who seems not to be well instructed in logic, one only makes an argument if the premise or premises are followed by a conclusion that purports to follow therefrom. However, the sentence quoted by bethan456 is neither a conclusion to any prior argument nor followed by any conclusion. It is merely a statement of fact.

bethan456@gmail.com
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 1:18 pm

Do not say “petty” when you cite your own work to justify your work, then claim how “popular” the cited work was!!!

bethan456@gmail.com
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 2, 2021 2:29 pm

By the way Christopher, “downloads” are not “citations” which is a better measure of the worth of your work. Here is an example of a subsequent paper that cites your work: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11434-015-0806-z

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 2, 2021 3:49 pm

Yes, and that paper was easily refuted. You need to read more widely. And I did not state that we had been frequently cited. The word I used was “downloaded”. The statement of fact is correct.

bethan456@gmail.com
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 4:51 pm

“was easily refuted” …. please provide us with a link to the peer reviewed publication that refutes said paper.

Also, note that “downloaded” is an appeal to popularity, not to veracity, as my first post argued.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 3, 2021 3:56 pm

Monckton of Brenchley et al. (2015b) Science Bulletin, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Bethan456 continues to maunder on about an “appeal to popularity” when all that was made in the head posting was a statement of fact – a fact that, however uncongenial to Bethan456, remains a fact. Get used to it. Our paper was downloaded 12 times more than its nearest rival, on any subject, in more than 60 years. You may draw whatever conclusion you want from that fact, but you may not assert that I drew any conclusion therefrom in the head posting, for I did not do so.

Why not have a look at the central point of the head posting, which is that clahmatawlagy has got its sums wrong, and there will be too little global warming to do net harm? That is the main point, and it is very good news.

bethan456@gmail.com
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 5:26 pm

I provided you with a citation, why don’t you provide me with a different one?

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 2, 2021 3:50 pm

Don’t continue to be petty. It will win you no friends here. I did not cite our work to justify our work: merely to explain, for those who were interested, why it is that one can use a simple model – here a single equation – if all one wants to know is how much global warming we may cause. You have been caught out in a howling error of logic. Quit before you fall still further behind the curve.

bethan456@gmail.com
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 4:54 pm

No sir, you have been “caught” appealing to the popularity (downloads) of your paper as evidence.

bethan456@gmail.com
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 2, 2021 5:02 pm

I am not arguing the “fact” of how many downloads your paper has had, I’m arguing that stating that as evidence is the crux of Argumentum ad populum.

bethan456@gmail.com
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 2, 2021 5:11 pm

It will win you no friends here.”

I am not concerned with “winning friends.” The fact that you mention this is even more evidence you are arguing from the fallacy of “Argumentum ad populum.”

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 2, 2021 10:51 pm

I have already explained to bethan456 that in logic an argument, such as the arg. ad pop., is not, repeat not, an argument unless it comprises at least one declarative statement (the premise) followed by only one declarative statement (the conclusion). The statement that our paper was downloaded more often by an order of magnitude than any other in the 60+ years of that distinguished journal’s history is a single declarative statement that neither represents the conclusion of an argument nor a premise leading to a conclusion. It does not, repeat not, therefore, constitute any argument and cannot, therefore, constitute the arg. ad pop. Sorry, but that’s how it is.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 4, 2021 11:39 pm

As I have already explained, the crux of any argument is that there must, in fact, be an argument. An argument consists of at least one premise followed by a single conclusion that must, if the argument is valid, be entailed by the premises. A single statement of fact does not constitute an argument at all. Sorry, but you don’t know logic and you are out of your depth. Stop digging.

MarkW
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 2, 2021 11:42 am

bethan commits the fallacy of focusing on only one comment and ignoring everything else.
Probably because she knows she can’t actually refute anything written so is forced to deal with inconsequential side comments.

bethan456@gmail.com
Reply to  MarkW
February 2, 2021 1:16 pm

That is not a fallacy MarkW

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 4, 2021 11:41 pm

Bethan456, who has demonstrated her profound ignorance of formal logic, now errs yet again. This time, she imagines that trying to divert attention away from the main point by inaccurately focusing on irrelevancies is not a logical fallacy. But it is a fallacy. It is the fundamental fallacy of relevance known as the argumentum ad ignorationem elenchi.

E. Schaffer
February 2, 2021 9:25 am

Before predicting anything, one needs to get the basics right. There is an epic logical blunder in the core of “our” understanding of natural climate. The problem itself is not specific to climate science and thus needs no expertise in the field to understand. Rather it seems, any expertise will make it harder (or more reluctant?) to understand it.
 
The question is how to allocate causation within a redundant system. If A causes X and B causes X, we have such a redundancy. One popular mistake here is to apply a logic of exclusion, which is illicit with a redundant system. You could take A as given and consider B the variable and then ask, what impact B has on the outcome. Since A causes X already, B does not change the outcome and looks irrelevant. Of course you will get the exact opposite if you take B as given and A as the variable. Then B will be causing X, and A does not make any difference. Obviously such a “logic” gives you an arbitrary result which indicates already that it is not working. Also A and B are both given as a fact (thus the redundancy), so that considering what if A or B was not, is pointless.
 
The logical fallacy described finds a prominent application in climate science with the formula LWCF=OLRc−OLR. LWCF (long wave cloud forcing) is defined as the difference in emissions between average and clear skies. The result of ~30W/m2 corresponds to the emission reduction (or “GHE”) that clouds are solely responsible for. But beyond that clouds and GHGs are largely overlapped and thus a redundant system.

Simplified we could assume GHGs provide an emission altitude of 5.000m. There it is about 5 x 6.5K = 32.5K colder than at the surface. If then we have a cloud reaching up to 5.000m as well, that will not change the result. The emission altitude is 5.000m either way. With the above formula we take the effect of GHGs as given and that of clouds as variable. In this way the redundant component is allocated to GHGs only. This is both wrong and arbitrary. Just as well you could take clouds as given, ask what GHGs add, and thus allocate the redundant component entirely to clouds. LWCF might then be about 3-4times as large. Of course that would be just as wrong.
 
This logical mistake applied on satellite data gives us a LWCF far too small. Because of it is being believed LWCF was smaller than SWCF and NCF (net cloud forcing) was negative, that is clouds were cooling Earth. But if we take a second perspective on the question, for instance by looking on weather data, we see the opposite is true. We clearly see a positive correlation between cloudiness and temperature, especially where satellite data suggest a strong negative NCF, like in the northern pacific.

overlap.png
Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  E. Schaffer
February 2, 2021 10:22 am

Clouds of course are the water-vapor bugaboo that the Climate Dowsers cannot model so they parameterize to get the ECS output they “expect.” When they do historical calibration runs on the past, the either get far too much precipitation or they have to throw in high levels of aerosols to cool them down to come close to temp observations. Then the models still create falsehoods like double ITCZs and none of the internals cycles like QBO, ENSO, etc.

Even if one is not convinced of Pat Frank’s derivation that GCMs are simply statistical error propagation constructs, the very fact that most water-relevant processes of clouds and precipitation in the models, which is convective heat transport in the system, are all largely fudged with ill-constrained parameters makes them pseudoscience because the climate dowsing community refuses to subject their models to comparison to observation. They simply engage in a multi-model inter-comparison artifice to fool the uneducated public.

Last edited 3 months ago by joelobryan
Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  E. Schaffer
February 2, 2021 11:08 am

The other point worth making Re:clouds in your logical set-up is the fact that clouds in the tropics and clouds in the extra-tropics play very different roles in the control of climate regarding radiative forcing. Clouds in the extra-tropics, as you point out for the northern Pacific, likely “see a positive correlation between cloudiness and temperature.” And in the extra-tropics the seasonal component cannot be ignored. But in the tropics (25S to 25N), where SW insolation heating of water and land is where most of energy enters the climate system, clouds play the opposite role and the seasonal role is far less important.

Last edited 3 months ago by joelobryan
E. Schaffer
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 3, 2021 9:04 am

No, you are not listening to what I say. Why do you believe to know the CRE was negative in the tropics? Because satellite data, based on an erroneous logic, say so. I just explained why the satellite data are meaningless, or totally wrong respectively. And btw. these satellite data suggest the most negative CREs in sub-polar oceans. Just like the example I named.

I have also investigated the CRE in tropical regions. And although the restrictions of METAR data are more severe there, the CRE is yet even more positive. The only thing which makes it a bit complicated is the “rain chill” effect. It works in two ways, since a) rain is relatively colder than the surface as it comes from higher altitudes and b) once the surface is wet, there is evaporation cooling the surface even further. “Rain chill” is strong in dry, continental and warm regions. In a cold maritime climate, like the Bering Sea, it is almost negligible.

Now, rain obviously falls from clouds and statistically there is overproportionate amount of rain with OVC skies. That is something to keep in mind when looking at the chart below. What we see is a strong upward directed trend, with higher temperatures the more clouds there are. However, this trend is eventually broken by rain chill, which makes OVCs skies statistically much colder, than they were without it. But even including the rain chill bias, OVC is still warmer than CLR!!!

cloudsvstemp tropical.png
Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  E. Schaffer
February 2, 2021 11:12 am

Mr Schaffer is right that the models’ treatment of clouds is unsatisfactory. One of my earliest peer-reviewed papers, published in 2011 if I remember rightly, was on clouds and climate sensitivity. It was published by the World Federation of Scientists in their Annual Proceedings. It showed that more than half of the global warming over a then-recent 18-year period was accounted for by a naturally-occurring decrease in cloud cover, one of many internal variabilities that bedevil prediction. Once the pre-existing cloud cover returned, the long Pause in global temperatures became evident.

One of the biggest unknowns in calculating climate sensitivity is natural variability.

E. Schaffer
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 3, 2021 10:05 am

No, you are neither listening to what I say. I do understand your thinking. As you quickly read over my post you try to match it against your current knowledge and only perceive what seems to match. We all tend to do that. However, that will not work, since I am quoting my own genuine research with disruptive new discoveries! You have not heard about that before.
 
When I say clouds are warming Earth, I do not mean a declining cloud cover would contribute to global warming. Rather I mean what I say, which is cloud are net warming Earth as part of the “GHE”. I know that, because I took a second perspective on the question by looking at weather records, rather than just relying on the single perspective of satellite data. Single perspective research is always prone to failure btw. This failure (I described it above) has prevailed for decades and led to a totally erroneous “understanding” of the GHE.
 
At this point I am not even discussing any downstream questions like if clouds serve as a “feedback”. It is totally futile when we have such a massive blunder in the GHE theory.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  E. Schaffer
February 3, 2021 3:52 pm

In response to Mr Schaffer, I have not sought to disagree with him: merely to add something of my knowledge to his for the pleasure of the readers.

ASTONERII
February 2, 2021 9:28 am

I have a question about the CO2 in the atmosphere. Many sites claim that 50% of human produced CO2 remains in the atmosphere.

Going by some online places there are a total of 42,000 GtC.

I think that the ratios of CO2 are 93% of it is in the Ocean, 2% of it is in the atmosphere, and the remainder is tied up in soils and plant life.

The large proportion of the atmosphere will go through the atmosphere ocean exchange in a year. With a reasonably well mixed atmosphere this should mean that the ocean should absorb excess CO2 from the atmosphere at a rate 98% and only leaving about 2% of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere.

What is wrong with my thinking here?

I think many people agree that what is really happening to increase the CO2 in the atmosphere is that the oceans are warming from the little ice age period and are degassing the CO2. Human CO2 is a tiny fraction of the increase and can cause virtually no warming at all.

Hubert
February 2, 2021 9:45 am

These calculations are absurd :
we had before industrial revolution about : 390 = 240 + 150 watts/m2 –> 287.9°K
and now about : 395 = 240 + 155 watts/m2 –> 288.9°K
an increase of 1 °K has an impact of 5 watts/m2 in greenhouse

you have to recalculate the whole formula
So, for additional 5 watts human greenhouse T = 100 * double square root (400/5.67) = 289.8 °K or only 0.9 °K increase , is’t not linear , and greenhouse is a logarithmic function of gas concentration …
AMO cycle is not taken in consideration , so as Sun activity

this ECS is just theoretical value , but not real

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Hubert
February 2, 2021 11:18 am

Hubert’s quarrel is not with us but with official climatology. We have used the seven recent, midrange, mainstream quantities mentioned in the head posting: we have done calculations based on mainstream methods in climatology, control theory, general physics and mathematics; and we have explicitly allowed for not one but three nonlinearities with warming: the increase in the Planck sensitivity parameter with temperature; the nonlinear Clausius-Clapeyron growth in specific humidity with temperature (even though that growth is not occurring above the boundary layer); and the rectangular-hyperbolic growth in the system-gain factor with the feedback fraction.

As to the AMO cycle, it is of course taken into account in deriving the anthropogenic fraction M of reference sensitivity during the industrial era (see Wu et al., 2019, a mainstream paper on the subject, which we have cited in the head posting).

The ECS of 1.2 K per CO2 doubling that we have derived by mainstream methods using mainstream data is very much more likely to be close to the mark than the absurdly-exaggerated 3.7 or even 3.9 K midrange projections of the CMIP6 models.

Clyde Spencer
February 2, 2021 9:54 am

Christopher,
I’m disappointed that in the first line of your Fig. 3 you show the result of multiplying a parameter shown with one significant figure by another with two significant figures, giving rise to a number with 3 significant figures. You generally seem to pay little attention to the uncertainty in your factors. This is a common complaint about the behavior of alarmists. I expect more rigor from you.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 2, 2021 11:21 am

Ah, the mathematical purists strike again. All the calculations are done to 16-digit precision (for instance, the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, which we used to verify the usual value of the Planck parameter, is published at 11-digit precision, so that is the precision we used) and the results rounded, usually to 3 digits, with the conclusion – ECS – rounded to 1 digit precision. My rule is to obtain and use data to the highest available precision and then to round down the concluding output variable to the least precision in the data – in this instance, 1-digit precision. That seems to be a respectable approach.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 1:50 pm

The “respectable approach,” as taught in chemistry, physics, and engineering — at least in the US — is to retain no more significant figures in the final answer, involving multiplication/division, than the least number of significant figures in the string of multipliers used. It is not being a purist. It is a commonly accepted way of communicating the precision, and hence uncertainty, of measurements used for important calculations.

Alarmists are commonly criticized for not showing error bars on their graphs, as though they have perfect knowledge of their measurements, and then make propaganda claims such as “the warmest yeah ‘evah.” They get away with being cavalier precisely because nobody challenges their approach. In the example I complained about, you didn’t round-down to 1 significant figure. You retained 3-significant figures when your displayed inputs didn’t warrant three. Furthermore, you appear to be rounding off as you go, rather than at the end. Is it too much to ask that you be rigorous in your description of uncertainty by implicitly showing the uncertainty in the steps? That leaves you above reproach and saves you the trouble of responding to those you consider to be “purists.”

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 2, 2021 3:47 pm

Sigh. I have made it plain that all the calculations are done to the maximum precision available in the data, and the processing is done to 16 decimal places, and I have indeed rounded down to just 1 decimal place in the conclusion that ECS is 1.2 K. You are shown a clear and simple argument that demonstrates what abject nonsense the prevailing high-sensitivity case; you are told that the calculations are done to a 16-digit precision; and you complain because they are displayed to between 1 and 3 digits. Please feel free to rewrite the calculations in the form that pleases you: it won’t take you long, and it won’t alter the result.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 6:13 pm

processing is done to 16 decimal places”

So a repeating decimal would have infinite precision?

ΔQwas given as 3.45 W m–2″

Some of the data you are using has no uncertainty interval associated with it. Even in intermediate calculations data should have no more than 1 additional significant digits than the number of significant digits in the uncertainty interval. Do we know ΔQ2 to the nearest tenth of a digit? It wouldn’t appear to be the case. It would appear we don’t even know it to the nearest tenth (3.45 vs 3.52), is it 3.4 or 3.5?



Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 2, 2021 10:40 pm

Mr Gorman’s concern about the uncertainty of the data is legitimate. That is why the head posting makes it clear that the analysis is confined to a midrange estimate of ECS based on recent mainstream midrange data. The most recent midrange mainstream data on the doubled-CO2 forcing, on the mean of some 21 CMIP5 models’ outputs, indicate that it is 3.52 W/m^2.

But, ad argumentum, let us use the CMIP5 value 3.45 W/m^2 given in Andrews (2012) as the mean of 15 models’ outputs.

In that event, ECS would be 1.17 K rather than 1.19 K. Since we round the conclusion to 1 decimal place, that would still be 1.2 K.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 2, 2021 10:44 pm

Oh, and those who are mathematically challenged, truncating a recurring decimal at the 16th decimal digit is extremely unlikely to alter a conclusion displayed to 1 decimal digit – always assuming, that is, there there is a recurring decimal anywhere in the calculation in the first place. Please, gentlemen, less pettifogging.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 3, 2021 5:58 am

7/9 repeats infinitely, i.e. infinitely precise. Where you truncate certainly affects the conclusion. Is it truncated at the decimal point so it is 7? Is it truncated at 7.7 and rounded to 8? That’s a 14% difference in the result!

Repeating decimals and even infinite decimals (e.g pi) are always possible in calculations. They must always be considered and processes to handle them must be in place. That isn’t pettifgging, it is sound engineering practice.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 3, 2021 3:50 pm

Mr Gorman has a tendency to be silly, which has popped up again. We do all our calculations with a 16-digit-precision calculating engine. Truncating the last of 16 digits would make no significant difference to our bottom line, which is expressed to 1-digit precision.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 3, 2021 5:48 am

midrange estimate of ECS based on recent mainstream midrange data.”

I’ve never seen an uncertainty interval given for ECS. The whole concept of uncertainty is that the stated value (I think that is what you are calling mid-range) is just the measured value. It is not a “most probable” value or the true value.

What is the uncertainty interval for ECS? 1 to 6? That would make sense with a stated value of 3.5. Without that interval it is simply impossible to judge the significance of any calculation using the “mid-range” value.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 3, 2021 3:49 pm

As stated in the head posting, the current ECS interval in the CMIP6 models is [2, 5.7] K. There are some silly papers that predict as much as 10 K, but they would imply a unit-feedback-response ratio of 67 between the past 170 years and the next 100 years, which is of course nonsensical. If only clahmatawlagiests knew just a little elementary math …

Joel O'Bryan
February 2, 2021 10:00 am

Repeating the same errors is one of the IPCCs main artifices to try and get away with their smoke and mirror claims in the Summary for Policy makers. They first make the error in AR3. Then just keep referencing back to AR3 when they commit that error in AR4, and then AR 4 in AR5, and so on. Buried nested references to factually incorrect statements are a big part of their fraud on science.

The National Climate Assessment authors have used this same tactics of making a false claim by referencing back through layers of nested references. The hand-waving they’ve done on the CMIP ensemble-predicted MIA mid-tropospheric tropical hotspot (MTTHS) is one key example of this nested-reference artifice. They just claim the MTTHS observational discrepancy has previously been “largely settled,” and then note 4 to 6 references and move-on.
Then if the so-inclined, curious reader wants to verify that bit of hand-wavium, he/she/it must drill down through the references and then to the references’ references. At the bottom of about 10 references one finally finds no such “settled” science on the MTTHS discrepancy. They just hand-wave it off and move on, like the failure to not find a predicted key fingerprint of GHG-watervapor amplification, an amplification that conveniently provides their 2.4 to 3.0 fold multiplier to ECS, is no biggee.

Last edited 3 months ago by joelobryan
Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 2, 2021 11:31 am

I am delighted at Joel O’Bryan’s comment about the hot spot. I was going to include a section on the hot spot (a non-existent object that I had the honor to name) in the head posting, but it would have been too long. The significance of the hot spot’s absence is that the water vapor feedback must in consequence be small, not large. And the hot spot is indeed absent, despite one or two ingenious attempts to torture the data so as to suggest that it is present, for specific humidity, far from increasing in the mid-troposphere as the models predict, has actually been declining at that pressure altitude for 80 years (Kalnay et al.,1996, updated).

Our calculation set out in the table in the head posting gets out of all such complications. It simply derives observationally the industrial-era unit feedback response to reference sensitivites, then increases it by making an unduly generous allowance for the Clausius-Clapeyron increase in specific humidity with temperature (which has been occurring in the near-surface boundary layer but nowhere else), then cautiously makes no allowance for the fact that the temperature response to the exponential Clausius-Clapeyron increase is logarithmic, linearizing the effect of the increase. Even with all this generosity, we can’t get ECS above 1.2 K unless we use only the data from 1980-2020, which were of course unduly influenced by the 30-year warming phase of the ocean oscillations, which had commenced in 1976 with the great Pacific shift: and even then ECS becomes only 1.4 K.

More simply still, one can simply divide the 3.7 K midrange ECS in the CMIP6 models (Meehl et al., 2020) by the factor-2.4 exaggeration of observed midrange warming in the models: and gives a little above 1.5 K ECS. One can only push it up – and then only to 2 K – by pretending that all of the industrial-era warming was anthropogenic, but Wu et al. (2019) and Scafetta (2021) give the lie to any such suggestion. The anthropogenic fraction of observed warming is about 0.7.

ResourceGuy
February 2, 2021 10:40 am

They will need a climate cycle eraser as in past reports.

Bruce Cobb
February 2, 2021 10:56 am

The question is, how much “global warming” does the ipcc think they can get away with “predicting”?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
February 2, 2021 11:01 am

As long as it is far enough into the future to avoid falsification within any of the authors’ professional lifetimes…. as much as they want.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
February 2, 2021 11:43 am

In response to Mr Cobb, IPCC will only be consistent with the recent, mainstream, midrange data cited here if it predicts 1.2 K ECS. But that would lead to its abolition.

TallDave
February 2, 2021 11:58 am

chorus: “as much as possible”

David Wojick
February 2, 2021 12:48 pm

Unfortunately the CMIP6 models ran hotter than ever before, due to an increase in the positive cloud feedback in about half of them. Many now give an ECS over 5 degrees. The IPCC will almost certainly raise its ECS estimate, not lower it. Science has nothing to do with it. Modelers dominate the field.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  David Wojick
February 2, 2021 3:43 pm

Mr Wojick should not despair. One of the virtues of our approach is that, after years of work, it is devastatingly simple. A single equation informed by just seven readily-available and quite well constrained quantities allows reliable estimation of ECS: and it is plain from the unit-feedback-response ratio test that ECS above 2 K is impossible. Our best estimate is 1.2 K. I shall be requiring HM Government to pass our paper to its scientists for reply (being a Lord, albeit merely by carefully choosing my parents) does have its uses. Once they realize they can’t easily answer our simple but robust calculations, they are going to become just a little less enthusiastic for the rampant destruction of capitalism that is their present policy.

EdB
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 3, 2021 1:33 pm

“they are going to become just a little less enthusiastic for the rampant destruction of capitalism that is their present policy.”

I applaud your work and your optimism.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  EdB
February 3, 2021 3:47 pm

Judicial review of administrative action – which we and subsequently the USA inherited from the courts of equity in the 14th century – is a powerful way to get governments to pay attention. I have used it on many occasions, and am about to use it again. If HM Government cannot or will not answer our paper – which we have deliberately shortened to 1400 words to minimize official scientists’ labors – the judges will take a look.

fred250
February 2, 2021 12:59 pm

UAH for January out

a further drop to +0.12C from a base period adjusted +0.15C in December

They have also changed the base period, so all previous graphs etc will need to be redrawn.

Trends, of course, not affected

mkelly
February 2, 2021 1:03 pm

M of B says: “The question is how much (or, rather, how little) warming all those tiny radiators in the atmosphere will cause.”

The answer is zero. The above idea is in contradiction of thermodynamics in the area of specific heat which says the energy to raise the temperature of a mass can be in “any form”. You say that if IR is included then a higher temperature will be attained.

There is no mention of this in specific heat tables, the Shomate equation, nor the NIST data sheet for CO2.

The forcing equation fails to account for the increased mass of air when the amount of CO2 is increased. The specific heat property of CO2 precludes it from causing warming.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  mkelly
February 2, 2021 3:39 pm

Mr Kelly is entitled to his opinion, but I have consulted two of the world’s leading climatologists – Professor Richard Lindzen and Professor Will Happer, on the question of whether there is a greenhouse effect. They have provided plenty of evidence that there is, though it is smaller than official climatology would have us believe. We have therefore decided, as a matter of policy, not to challenge the existence of the greenhouse effect, which is repeatedly demonstrated to exist, but instead to challenge official climatology’s implementation of feedback formulism, which a) is plainly erroneous both in theory and in observation; and b) contributes thrice as much warming to current global-warming predictions as the direct warming from CO2 itself.

Ed Bo
Reply to  mkelly
February 2, 2021 4:01 pm

mkelly: If you had even basic experience in thermodynamic problems, you would understand that specific heat affects rates of change of temperature, but not the final steady-state temperature the system is trending towards.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Ed Bo
February 2, 2021 6:46 pm

Specific heat determines heat content. Not just the rate of of change of temperature but the actual heat content, i.e. the enthalpy. And it is the enthalpy that determines the temperature.

h = h_a + (m_v/m_a)(h_g)

Ed Bo
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 2, 2021 9:24 pm

Tim: For a given power input, the temperature of an object will change until the output matches the input, so it is in steady state condition.

The factors that govern the object’s output as a function of temperature — emissivity, etc. — are NOT related to the object’s thermal capacitance (specific heat times mass).

An object with higher thermal capacitance, even if higher specific heat for a given mass, will take more time and energy change to get to the new temperature, but the steady state temperature will be the same regardless of the specific heat.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Ed Bo
February 3, 2021 5:31 am

Ed,

The factors that govern the object’s output as a function of temperature — emissivity, etc. — are NOT related to the object’s thermal capacitance (specific heat times mass).”

But they *are* related to the enthalpy.

Ed Bo
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 3, 2021 8:02 am

But they *are* related to the enthalpy.”

Nope. Look in a heat transfer text. All heat transfer modes — conduction, convection, and radiation — are functions of temperature. NONE are functions of enthalpy.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Ed Bo
February 3, 2021 8:19 am

I don’t think you are listening!

Sandipan Chowdhury
Oregon Health and Science University
The temperature dependence of enthalpy is determined by a parameter called the specific heat capacity (at constant pressure), Cp. If Cp is > 0, then enthalpy will increase with increasing temperature, whereas if it is < 0, enthalpy will decrease with increasing temperature. This is described by Kirchoff’s law of thermodynamics. One thing to remember is that Cp itself might be temperature dependent (i.e. not necessarily a constant) in which case without knowing the functional dependence of Cp on T, it might be difficult to predict beforehand how H will change with T.” (bolding mine, tpg)

If enthalpy is dependent on temperature then temperature is also dependent on enthalpy. It’s now a one-way equivalance.

Ed Bo
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 3, 2021 8:45 am

You are still missing the point completely.

Two objects of the same temperature will have the same heat transfer characteristics, even with different specific heat (and so enthalpy) values.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Ed Bo
February 3, 2021 11:26 am

Actually not necessarily. The emissivities and radiative surface areas must be the same for this to hold true.

P= εσΑ(Τ1^4 – Τ2^4)

ε – emissivity
σ – SB constant
Α – radiation surface area

Ed Bo
Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 3, 2021 3:03 pm

Nothing about enthalpy in the equation you cite! (Which has been my point all along)

I mentioned up thread: “The factors that govern the object’s output as a function of temperature — emissivity, etc. — are NOT related to the object’s thermal capacitance (specific heat times mass).” So I have dealt with the point you make. And I obviously was talking about “otherwise equal” bodies with different specific heat values.

The general case for net radiative transfer is FAR more complex than the equation you give, which is not even correct for simple cases of non-unity emissivity and large parallel plates. You also have to get into view factors, etc. It was really a grind in when taking heat transfer in the pre-personal computer age…

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Ed Bo
February 3, 2021 3:36 pm

Ed,

You are lost in the forest because of the trees. The original comment (in part) was: “The above idea is in contradiction of thermodynamics in the area of specific heat which says the energy to raise the temperature of a mass can be in “any form”. You say that if IR is included then a higher temperature will be attained.”

You tried to refute that and now you are trying to create a smoke screen.

Enthalpy certainly is directly related to temperature. And enthalpy is also directly related to specific heat. And *any* kind of heat energy can raise the heat content (enthalpy) of a mass and therefore the temperature.

The basic fact is that CO2 in the atmosphere can only re-radiate IR that has left the earth – and that radiation leaving the earth cools the earth. Thus the CO2 in the atmosphere can *never* raise the temperature of the earth back t where it was before the earth cooled by radiating toward space because the CO2 doesn’t capture all the IR from the earth and doesn’t re-radiate everything back.

You can get lost in all fine details if you want but none of the details will refute the basic fact.

Ed Bo
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 3, 2021 5:39 pm

Tim:

I’m afraid it’s you that is lost. Let’s review the bidding, shall we?

mkelly objected to Monckton’s steady-state analysis by bringing up the utterly irrelevant point of “specific heat”. First of all, all matter has some specific heat, meaning there must be a non-zero transfer of energy to change that matter’s temperature.

He cannot grasp (and seemingly you as well) that IR radiation can be one source of that transfer of radiation. It’s as if he and you have never seen an IR heat lamp at a restaurant warming station.

But the bigger point is that differences in specific heat, other things being equal, can affect the rate of change of temperature toward a new steady-state temperature, but it will not affect what that steady-state temperature is. That is why I say his issue is irrelevant.

You posted a pretty standard form of the radiative transfer equations, which included the factors of temperature and emissivity, as I claimed. It did NOT include the factor of enthalpy. The equation YOU posted showed that there is NO net transfer between objects of the same temperature, even if they have different specific heats, and so enthalpies. That is why I keep saying that specific heat and enthalpy are irrelevant to this analysis.

Let’s use your equation to examine your bigger point. Let’s compare a completely transparent atmosphere to one with IR radiatively active gases. We’ll take T1 as the surface temperature, and T2 as the temperature of the matter radiating back toward the surface.

With a transparent atmosphere, radiation passes both ways through the atmosphere unobstructed. That is, all of the thermal radiation from the surface passes directly to space, and the only downward radiation comes from space. 

In this case T2 is 3K (-270C), which radiates back virtually nothing. In the case of our real atmosphere with IR absorbing/emitting gases that absorb some (not all) of the upward radiation, the effective value of T2 is much higher, reducing the net transfer from the surface. For a given solar power input, this results in a higher surface temperature.

When I formally studied engineering heat transfer, we were told to use as a good approximation for the effective radiating temperature of a clear night sky in temperate zones a value of 253K (-20C). This is the T2 in your equation.

You can use a simple kitchen infrared thermometer pointed up at a clear sky to determine the concentration of these gases (it’s water vapor that is variable) as documented here:

https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/bams/92/10/2011bams3215_1.xml

The more water vapor, the higher temperature the thermometer registers — and it registers it because its sensing element really does have a higher temperature.

William Haas
February 2, 2021 1:25 pm

I appreciate the effort here assuming that “official climatology” is correct. But let me try and make a few points.

  1. The theory is that CO2 based warming causes more H2O to enter the atmosphere which causes even more warming because H2O is also a so called greenhouse gas with LWIR absorption bands. That additional warming causes even more H2O to enter the atmosphere so forth. If the initial amount of H2O causes more additional warming than the amount of CO2, the system is clearly unstable. Molecule per molecule H2O is a stronger IR absorber than is CO2. Positive feedback systems are inherently unstable so because the Earth’s climate has been stable enough for life to evolve over at least the past 500 million years, something must be wrong. When considering the effects of H2O, what seems to be missing is the fact that besides being the primary greenhouse gas. H2O is a primary coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere moving heat energy from the Earth’s surface, most of which involves some form of H2O, to where clouds form and where more readily the heat energy can be radiated to space. The over all cooling effects of H2O is evidenced by the fact that the wet lapse rate is significantly less than the dry lapse rate which is a cooling effect. Hence the feedback effects of CO2 must be negative and so reduces any warming that CO2 might cause.
  2. If CO2 really caused the atmosphere to be more insulating than one would expect that the increase in CO2 over the past 30 years would have caused at least a measurable increase in the dry lapse rate in the troposphere but that has not happened. Theoretically a doubling of CO2 will cause a slight decrease in the dry lapse rate which is a cooling effect and hence must reduce any warming effect that CO2 might have.
  3. A real greenhouse does not stay warm because of the action of so called greenhouse gases. A real greenhouse stays warm because the glass limits cooling by convection. So too on Earth, where instead of glass we have gravity and the heat capacity of the atmosphere. As derived from first principles, the Earth’s convective greenhouse effect causes the surface of the Earth to be on average 33 degrees C warmer than it would otherwise be. 33 degrees C is what has been derived from first principles and 33 degrees C is what has been measured. Any additional warming caused by a radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed on any planet in the solar system with a thick atmosphere. Hence the radiant greenhouse effect must be a matter of science fiction. The non-existence of the radiant greenhouse effect would imply a climate sensitivity of CO2 of close to zero.
  4. In the paleoclimate record, there is evidence that warmer temperatures cause more CO2 to enter the atmosphere. The reason for this happening is that warmer oceans cannot hold as much CO2 as cooler oceans. There is no real evidence in the paleoclimate record that the increase in CO2 causes even more warming. If CO2 were really a temperature thermostat then it should be a heck of a lot warmer now than it actually is.
  5. The claim is that the greenhouse gases trap heat. But it is well known that good absorbers are also good radiators. What ever heat energy is gained by an LWIR photon capture is quickly lost when that photon of radiated away for a net gain in heat energy of zero. In the troposphere heat energy transfer by convection and conduction dominates over heat transfer by LWIR absorption band radiation. If CO2 gas was such a good insulator I would think that there would be some engineering applications of using CO2 gas an an insulator but there are not.
  6. Molecule per molecule, H2O is a stronger IR absorber than is CO2 and on average there is roughly 50 times more H2O in the atmosphere than is CO2. When compared to H2O the radiametric effects of CO2 must be trivial.
Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  William Haas
February 2, 2021 3:37 pm

Unfortunately, many of Mr Haas’ points are incorrect, which is why we decided not to challenge official climatology on the radiative properties of greenhouse gases. That is a specialist task for physicists expert in that field.

Mr Haas’ point 1 is incorrect in that the water vapour feedback is necessarily small in the boundary layer, where CO2/H2O spectral overlap is significant. Immediately above the boundary layer, there has been no change in specific humidity in 80 years (Kalnay et al. 1996, updated), and in the mid-troposphere, where spectral overlap is not a significant phenomenon, specific humidity has declined for 80 years, probably by subsidence drying (Paltridge et al., 2009). Therefore, there is no reason to expect large enough water-vapour feedback to induce instability.

As to the dry adiabatic lapse-rate (Mr Haas’ point 2), the expected change is small enough to fall within measurement error.

Mr Haas’ point 3 is incorrect in that only 9-11 K of the 33 K greenhouse effect is attributable to direct warming forced by greenhouse gases. The rest is feedback response – but the feedbacks respond chiefly to emission temperature itself, which is about 25 times larger than the reference sensitivity to the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases.

Mr Haas’ point 4 is incorrect in that the radiative forcing from douibled CO2 only drives 1 K reference sensitivity. As the head posting shows, the additional, indirect warming from feedback response is very small, so that one would not expect a large warming from CO2. Mr Haas is correct insofar as one would indeed expect much warmer weather worldwide if official climatology’s predictions were correct.

Mr Haas’ point 5 does not accord with theory. CO2 does not act either like a blanket or like a sheet of glass in a greenhouse. When a photon in one of its characteristic wavebands interacts with it, a dipole moment arises in the bending vibrational mode of the molecule, so that a quantum resonance occurs. That oscillation is by definition heat. It is as though a tiny radiator had been turned on. I have consulted the world’s ranking expert – Professor Will Happer – on this point, and I had the privilege of editing a paper by him on the subject. The matter is not in doubt.

Mr Haas’ sixth point is that compared with water vapour the warming effects of CO2 must be small. That is incorrect, because the Clausius-Clapeyron increase in specific humidity (about 7% per Kelvin: Wentz+ 2007) does not occur above the boundary layer, and specific humidity is declining in the mid-troposphere, so that the predicted hot spot is not found. One would, therefore, only expect a modest water-vapour feedback: and that is indeed all that has occurred, because the total industrial-era feedback response to anthropogenic reference sensitivity 0.87 K is only 0.11 K.

Now, even if I were incorrect on all these points, there is evidence for the position I have stated in the published journals. Therefore, if I were to try to rely on Mr Haas’ arguments, reviewers would dismiss my paper out of hand.

That is why we have kept the focus narrow. We have shown that feedback response in the real world has been very small and that, even after allowing for some Clausius-Clapeyron growth in unit feedback response with reference sensitivity, ECS will only be 1.2 K – not enough to do harm. We simply have no need to get into arguments with climatology on points such as those made by Mr Haas, all of which are, alas, at best debatable.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  William Haas
February 3, 2021 4:34 am

Approximately 50% of the sun’s energy arrives as SWIR or near IR. H2O has some significant absorption in this area whereas CO2 has none. I would suggest that most of the feedback assigned to CO2 via H2O increase is really H2O’s absorption of this part of the sun’s radiation.

Also, I am not certain the effect of “back radiation” can even warm the earth. I know the warmists think that the total radiation equals the “sun+back radiation” but this does not take into account that the earth also cools when it radiates the initial energy that CO2 absorbs. That leads one to the conclusion that CO2 can at best, have no role in raising the temperature. Thermodynamically, because of T^4, hot bodies are not heated by cooler ones. In fact, just the opposite, cool bodies are heated by hot ones until equilibrium is achieved and both bodies heat/cool each other equally. This also assumes equal radiating surface of both bodies which I’m not sure applies to the earth – CO2 relationship.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 3, 2021 3:44 pm

On a cold day, with a body temperature of 36 C, I reach for a blanket with a temperature of 10 C. I wrap it around me and – hey presto – a colder body (the blanket) has warmed a warmer body (me).

Kevin Stall
February 2, 2021 7:26 pm

The thing I liked was the notation on the increases saying that it may take 65 years to occur.

Beta Blocker
February 3, 2021 6:17 am

Let’s revisit several topics I raised in July of 2019 concerning an earlier version of Lord Monckton’s paper.

Topic #1 — The role of Soden & Held’s water vapor feedback mechanism in IPCC Climate Modeling

Soden and Held’s postulated feedback mechanism serves a need to explain how an increase in surface temperature of 1C to 1.5C over some period of time can be amplified into a projected 2.5C to 3C increase, thus turning an uncomfortable outcome into a disastrous outcome for the earth and for all humanity. (Or so the climate activists say.)

It was said in late July of 2019 that the state of science is such that it is currently impossible to directly observe a temperature feedback mechanism operating in real time inside the earth’s atmosphere, in the same way we would observe a feedback mechanism operating inside an electronic circuit on a test bed in a laboratory.

It was also said that the presence and characteristics of such atmospheric feedback mechanisms, if they actually exist, must be inferred from other kinds of observations.

This raises a question concerning the latest Monckton paper. Is using a test circuit of the kind that Lord Monckton’s team developed an appropriate means means of assessing the true nature and quantity of the real world amplification mechanism? (Assuming that mechanism exists in some form.) Why or why not?

At any rate, because their postulated feedback mechanism cannot be observed directly in the real-world atmosphere, Soden and Held use output from the climate models as one source of data among several in quantifying the theoretical sensitivity of earth’s climate system to the continuous addition of CO2 and methane to the atmosphere. 

That Soden and Held take this approach raises another obvious question.

If the climate models take account of their postulated feedback mechanism, either directly or indirectly — and if Soden and Held are using model outputs as inputs into their sensitivity analysis — then is circular logic being used in characterizing and quantifying their theoretical mechanism?

So I ask the question, if Soden and Held’s feedback mechanism is being incorporated into the IPCC models in some way, either directly or indirectly, then how is this being done?

Is it being accomplished directly through inclusion of feedback modeling algorithms operating within the main model’s dynamic core, or is it being done indirectly through the choice of values being assumed for the model’s physical parameterizations?  

If it being accomplished directly through inclusion of feedback modeling algorithms operating within the main model’s dynamic core, then on what basis in atmospheric physics is the algorithm being formulated?

On the other hand, if it is being done indirectly through the choice of values being assumed for the model’s physical parameterizations, then on what basis are the assumed values being chosen?  

It would be very useful if someone having extensive knowledge of how the IPCC climate models are designed and written could explain to us how Soden & Held’s feedback mechanism is being incorporated into the model designs, and also how that incorporation is being accomplished; i.e., through direct or indirect means, or possibly through some combination of the two.

Topic #2 — Can positive feedback amplification can be activated by natural processes?

Let’s get back to another issue I raised earlier: the possible existence of processes other than the continuous addition of CO2 and methane to the atmosphere which can raise the temperature at the earth’s surface and thus activate a positive water vapor feedback mechanism.

Back in July of 2019, both Joe Born and Nick Stokes said that Soden and Held’s postulated mechanism can be activated by other processes which can raise the surface temperature. 

If Soden & Held’s water vapor feedback mechanism does in fact exist, but sources of a rise in surface temperature other than CO2 and methane can in fact cause it to become active, then what are the implications for the IPCC models if positive feedback amplification can be activated by natural processes?

For one example, if the addition of CO2 and methane to atmosphere is amplifying water vapor’s GHG effects, and if some natural process is also amplifying those GHG effects at the same time, then on what basis does one quantify and allocate the respective effects of each possible source?

Last edited 3 months ago by Beta Blocker
Tim Gorman
Reply to  Beta Blocker
February 3, 2021 7:43 am

This is why a non-physics based model is questionable at best. All kinds of assumptions must be made in creating the model if the physics are not well known. How do you judge the appropriateness of the assumptions? The wide spread in model results indicate that the assumptions in each model vary significantly, so how to judge which ones are right and which ones aren’t?

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 3, 2021 11:32 am

It is a well-respected principle of debate — or at least it was before the 21st Century came around — that the more assumptions which have to be made to prove the case for an argument, the weaker is the case for that argument.

Let’s take a look at how this principle might be applied to today’s climate science enterprise.

What I did with my Year 2100 GMT Prediction Envelope graphical analysis was to condense a few smaller assumptions into a single large assumption, one which appears quite reasonable on its face.

The three smaller assumptions behind the graphical analysis, the ones which have been combined into the single larger assumption shown on the illustration, are these:

(1) HADCRUT4 GMT is a reasonably accurate index for past trends in global warming between 1850 and 2019. Not perfect, but good enough for the purpose intended.

(2) The HADCRUT4 GMT record reflects the combined effects of all natural and anthropogenic climate change processes as these have evolved through time between 1850 and 2019.

(3) If the physical processes which influence the HADCRUT4 GMT record remain operative, the patterns of change which might be seen between 2020 and 2100 will be similar to those which occurred between 1850 and 2019.

These three smaller assumptions are visible on the graphic as visual elements. They have been combined into a single larger assumption: “The HADCRUT4 Global Mean Temperature record includes the combined effects of all natural and anthropogenic climate change processes as these have evolved through time, and that similar processes will operate from 2020 through 2100.”

How does my deliberately simplistic analytical approach contrast with the IPCC’s massively complex and expensive analytical approach?

Today’s IPCC climate models contains tens if not hundreds of physical assumptions, some of which can have a very significant impact on the output of the models, but which are highly speculative as to their physical reality.

Moreover, as far as we can tell, subjective judgement often plays a greater role in deciding which IPCC model runs look reasonable, and which don’t, than does a science-based qualitative and quantitative confidence in the physical assumptions.

On the other hand, the approach used for my Year 2100 graphical analysis is a drastically more simple alternative to the hundreds if not thousands of model runs the IPCC produces for their AR series of climate reports.

In total, the IPCC model runs produce a prediction envelope which contains a wide range of possible outcomes for 2100. My consciously simplistic graphical analysis also delivers a prediction envelope, but with a narrower range of possible outcomes.

In evaluating the most likely outcomes for the year 2100, the IPCC approach relies upon a number of partially or wholly subjective decisions which occur at various points within their analytical process.

In contrast, in looking at the range of possible values for that year, my own analysis relies on only one subjective judgement made at the conclusion of the analytical process; i.e., 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.

What is the bottom line?

Which of the two analytical methods, mine or the IPCC’s, produces a more credible predictive outcome, if we apply this criteria:

— Conformance with long-established principles of scientific debate.
— The numbers and impacts of the physical assumptions being made.
— The transparency of the analytical process being employed.
— The validity of the overall scientific methodology being employed.

In my own subjective opinion, I win. Hands down. With that said, I shall reward myself with another slice of cherry pie, secure in the knowledge it was kept cool with highly reliable nuclear generated electricity.

EdB
Reply to  Beta Blocker
February 3, 2021 1:05 pm

If you could give me a credible reason for assuming that ocean temperatures were measured prior to 2004, I could give you another thumbs up.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  EdB
February 3, 2021 5:12 pm

EdB, I use the HADCRUT4 global mean surface temperature record as a quantification tool of convenience for producing what is deliberately and consciously intended to be a drastically simplified approach to predicting a range of Year 2100 surface temperature outcomes.

Every one of the hundreds of lower tier physical assumptions anyone could ever make about why the earth has been warming at a moderate pace for the last one-hundred and seventy years — all of those lower tier assumptions are subsumed within my Assumption #2, “The HADCRUT4 GMT record reflects the combined effects of all natural and anthropogenic climate change processes as these have evolved through time between 1850 and 2019.”

That said, some facets of the analysis might be cause for further discussion depending upon one’s own knowledge of how carbon emissions have increased since 1950.

Massive volumes of CO2 have been added to the atmosphere since 1950, and yet the rate of global warming as measured by HADCRUT4 isn’t that much more than what was being experienced before 1950.

That the increase in global mean surface temperature isn’t that much faster raises the obvious questions about the credibility of the IPCC’s models.

David Stone CEng (Elec)
Reply to  Beta Blocker
February 5, 2021 1:27 am

Cherry pie is indicated, but you have made more assumptions than you may think. Hadcrut 4 has a huge number of assumed parameters and probably even code divergences which depend on the model partial output temperature. Clearly the atmosphere does not work this way, the real parameters are of Christopher’s form, a single equation (however complex) which behaves in an entirely predictable manner. We are in a place where “feedbacks” are assumed, they are not, and are difficult or impossible, measured. The usual descriptions of these feedbacks are generally not in accordance with thermodynamics, eg cooler bodies passing sensible heat to hotter bodies etc. and are therefore very dubious from square one. An exponential response to real heat is possible, but has yet to be shown and probably very nearly linear. This is all contained in Christopher’s equation, forget the “feedback” model, an exponential response is not really positive feedback anyway, it is only seen that way be badly written computer programs, as it is mathematically simple to implement. The reason is that the algorithm is not defined first, and then turned into software, it is taht the programmer does not know the correct algorithm so uses the output as an input to get the result he wants.

Reply to  Beta Blocker
February 3, 2021 1:56 pm

If Soden & Held’s water vapor feedback mechanism does in fact exist

It actually goes back to Arrhenius 1896. It was a big part of his calculation.

For one example, if the addition of CO2 and methane to atmosphere is amplifying water vapor’s GHG effects

No, that is backwards. Water vapor amplifies the driving effects of CO2 and methane. And yes, it will amplify any other driver.

It would be very useful if someone having extensive knowledge of how the IPCC climate models are designed and written could explain to us how Soden & Held’s feedback mechanism

It isn’t done explicitly at all. But the GCMs model physics. More warmth evaporates more water, which more hinders IR, etc. It happens in the GCMs, just as in reality. No intervention is needed to make that happen.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 3, 2021 3:38 pm

But there is a lot less water vapour feedback than the models have imagined, probably because specific humidity is only increasing at the Clausius-Clapeyron rate in the boundary layer, above which there has been no trend in 80 years. In the mid-troposphere specific humidity has been declining for 80 years, which is why there is not much of a tropical mid-troposphere hot spot, without which water vapour feedback is likely to be small.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 3, 2021 3:40 pm

And Arrhenius realized ten years after his 1896 paper that he had overegged the water-vapour feedback, and divided his warming prediction by 3. Time for IPCC et hoc genus omne to do the same.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Nick Stokes
February 3, 2021 6:06 pm

Nick, thanks for your comments. My reply follows:

—————

Beta Blocker said: If Soden & Held’s water vapor feedback mechanism does in fact exist ….

Nick Stokes replied: It actually goes back to Arrhenius 1896. It was a big part of his calculation.

For my response to that comment by Nick, I refer to Lord Monckton’s comment:

Monckton of Brenchley: But there is a lot less water vapour feedback than the models have imagined, probably because specific humidity is only increasing at the Clausius-Clapeyron rate in the boundary layer, above which there has been no trend in 80 years. In the mid-troposphere specific humidity has been declining for 80 years, which is why there is not much of a tropical mid-troposphere hot spot, without which water vapour feedback is likely to be small. 

And Arrhenius realized ten years after his 1896 paper that he had overegged the water-vapour feedback, and divided his warming prediction by 3. Time for IPCC et hoc genus omne to do the same.

—————

Beta Blocker said: For one example, if the addition of CO2 and methane to atmosphere is amplifying water vapor’s GHG effects, and if some natural process is also amplifying those GHG effects at the same time, then on what basis does one quantify and allocate the respective effects of each possible source?

Nick Stokes replied: No, that is backwards. Water vapor amplifies the driving effects of CO2 and methane. And yes, it will amplify any other driver.

My question should have been written as follows: “If the effects of the addition of CO2 and methane to the atmosphere are being amplified by the water vapor feedback mechanism, and if some natural process is also enabling that feedback mechanism at the same time, then on what basis does one quantify and allocate the respective effects of each possible driver source?”

—————

Beta Blocker said: It would be very useful if someone having extensive knowledge of how the IPCC climate models are designed and written could explain to us how Soden & Held’s feedback mechanism is being incorporated into the model designs, and also how that incorporation is being accomplished; i.e., through direct or indirect means, or possibly through some combination of the two.

Nick Stokes replied: It isn’t done explicitly at all. But the GCMs model physics. More warmth evaporates more water, which more hinders IR, etc. It happens in the GCMs, just as in reality. No intervention is needed to make that happen.

I take your response to mean that modeling of the feedback mechanism’s postulated effects are being handled among a variety of internal algorithms whose outputs are affected in one way or another by the choice of values being assumed for the model’s physical parameterizations.

As someone who has spent part of my career working as a software QA specialist for projects in the nuclear industry, I would very much like to examine the software design documentation which currently exists for the IPCC’s climate models.    

Last edited 3 months ago by Beta Blocker
Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Beta Blocker
February 3, 2021 3:42 pm

In response to Beta Blocker, we have taken the radical approach of actually deriving the feedback strength of the climate system from 170 years of real-world measurements. It is so small that one can actually leave it out of the climate-sensitivity calculation without much error.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 3, 2021 6:36 pm

For myself, I view the IPCC’s climate models as being very expensive video games whose primary function is to produce pretty graphics which appear to the uninformed person to have the look and feel of real science.

In that same regard, my own Year 2100 prediction envelope graphic is as much a commentary on how mainstream climate science arguments are being formulated and presented as it is an analysis of where GMT trends are heading.

Steve Richards
February 3, 2021 1:57 pm

I think what Lord Monckton has done in chasing this error baked into the IPCC thinking is really, really good!

By using the IPCC formula and showing its errors will be a game changer.

I understand that some people here do not like the concept of using data from the IPCC and argue about how it all works. But what better way of showing how catastrophically wrong the IPCC and its scientists are, than by using their data against them!

However, when trying to use the Hansen feedback analogy which was flawed at the outset, means that it is still flawed. Positive feedback can not be used.

If Lord Monckton would be so kind as to ask his learned control expert to jot a few lines and formula about how a system with positive feedback could exist, we would all be most greatful.

Perhaps multiple conflicting systems: the basic flaw as described in the head post and feedback systems can not be described sufficiently clearly is such a simple manner.

More clarity would be welcome.

Keep up the good work LoB!

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Steve Richards
February 3, 2021 3:36 pm

Steve Richards is very kind. Our calculations are simple, but it has taken years to refine them to the point where just about anyone with a little effort and goodwill can follow the argument. The scientific paper now in draft in case our present version is rejected is only 1400 words long. But, if there is any rationality in the world, those 1400 words spell doom for the doomsters.

It is astonishing how mnay people imagine that feedback amplifiers with positive feedback cannot be stable. If the feedback fraction of the output signal is well below unity, the system can of course be stable.

To convert the feedback fraction f to the system-gain factor A, use this equation:

A = 1 / (1 – f).

Obviously, as f approaches unity, instability will arise. But if f is, say, below 0.5 (and we calculate from observation that it is not much above 0.1), then A is the sum of the infinite convergent series {f ^0, f ^1, … }, under the convergence criterion 0 < f < 1.

Indeed, historically, this particular infinite convergent series was the first to be summed in closed form.

It is quite easy to prove the sum of the series using nothing more complex than a little linear algebra. In one of our annexes, we prove it by two different methods, and we also tested it at a government laboratory, just to make assurance doubly sure.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
February 5, 2021 5:14 am

I’ve pointed this out in other messages. In the case of positive feedback:

Output = input x [G/(1-GH)]

Where H is the feedback and G is the open loop gain.

If the product of GH is > 0 then you will have a runaway condition no matter how small you make H.

Making H small only determines how fast the runaway happens. If you will, “H” determines the slope of the increasing output.

If you want to say that making H small makes the slope so small it can’t be detected then I might buy that. But that also means that the increase in temperature we will see will also be so small that it will be undetectable since it would be within the uncertainty interval.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Steve Richards
February 3, 2021 6:03 pm

In my response to Nick Stokes above, I remarked that having spent part of my career as a software QA specialist in the nuclear industry, I would really like to examine whatever software design documentation exists for the IPCC’s climate models. I have to suspect there isn’t very much of it that is ‘nuclear grade’ in how well it does the job of describing and documenting how the models do what they do.

Last edited 3 months ago by Beta Blocker
David Stone CEng (Elec)
Reply to  Beta Blocker
February 5, 2021 1:07 am

I am absoloutely certain of that Beta, just look at the Covid model, it is so bad as to be laughable. It is easy for a student to write some poor software and get the result he wants. It is hard to write good software which produces a genuine result, the underlying algorithm has to be correct first! Software nonsense leads to instant PhDs, which is very sad, and shows the state of the Universities, and the lack of basic ability in the departments. Publish or be damned has a lot to answer for, as does the unworkable “Peer review” process where one incapable programmer passes another very bad scientist. The clue is easy, present the exact algorithm first, then the alleged results. None of them can do this! That is exactly where Christopher has it right.

David Stone CEng (Elec)
February 5, 2021 12:58 am

I think that the biggest change to thinking is the realisation that thermodynamics does not work on current temperature, it works on absolute temperature. Thus the idea that the temperature at some point in the past, perhaps 1850 is important, is shown to be flawed. Once one starts with absoloute temperature all the new ideas which Christopher and his group have discovered become much clearer, very well done, progress against the mass view is possible!

Ric Howard
February 6, 2021 9:48 am

Christopher Monckton:

I have greatly enjoyed your articles on WUWT over the years including this one, but I want to raise a potential quibble with your observation that “climatologists had forgotten the Sun was shining”. Perhaps your explanation-in-a-nutshell was not meant to apply specifically to the Hansen et al 1984 paper, but if it was I’d like to offer an alternative (and admittedly speculative) explanation of the thinking going into that paper (and follow on thinking) that goes like this:

A1) Hansen et al (HEA) knew the sun was shining but did not have the theory and/or computer resources and/or patience to shmoo its effect over the entire range of insolation (0-1361 W/m^2) corresponding to a temperature range of 0-287 (assuming no internal heating from redioactive decay) nor to shmoo the effect of CO2 from 0-200% of the 1980 value.
A2) Lacking these things, they opted for the two simpler tasks of estimating the result of two forcings relative to 1980 conditions: a 2% increase in insolation and a doubling of CO2. To estimate the results they simulated the earth’s climate using a 3D climate model called model II. For each of the two simulations, they started the model with 1980 conditions, applied one of the forcings, and then ran the simulation through 35 simulated years.
A3) The outputs of the model II simulations were roughly a 4 degree warming even though only about 1.2 degrees of warming would be expected on the theoretical basis of radiative energy balance as a direct result of either of the two forcings alone without follow-on effects from increased water vapor, cloudiness, and snow/ice cover (albedo).
A4) Based on (A3), they concluded that ECS was between 3 and 4 (4/1.2=3.3).

Assuming the model II simulator correctly modeled reality (which clearly it did not), I don’t see anything wrong with the HEA thinking and I don’t think it can be said that the team had forgotten the sun was shining when doing that paper.

In your correspondence with Sir John Houghton, he outlines ECS thinking something like this:
B1) There is 8 K direct warming (reference sensitivity).
B2) There is a 32 K difference between emission temperature with greenhouse gases (287 K) and without (255 K).
B3) This implies an ECS of 4 (=32/8)

I wonder if this thinking actually developed the other way around, like this:
C1) HEA gave an ECS of 4.
C2) There is a 32 K difference between emission temperature with and without greenhouse gases (same as B2 above).
C3) At this point climatologists did forget the sun was shining and use (C1) and (C2) to derive 8 K direct warming. 
C4) Climatologists then begin tweaking their models to give the “known correct” 8 K direct warming and ECS of 4.

Ric