Greenhouse Gas Effect

By Al Tekhasski, Rev.0.4 11/26/2010

1. Introduction

Greenhouse gas effect (GHGE) is an effect on a scale of a planet. It should not be confused nor conflated with glass panes or polymer films over a bed of plants. It does not matter how bad the name is; it is what it is. We can call it “greenfruugh effect,” or “greencheese effect,” the name does not make any difference. In addition, the existence of greenhouse gas effect must be differentiated from how its magnitude actually varies (or not) with change in GH gases concentration, which is sometimes dubbed as “enhanced greenhouse effect” and is the cornerstone of AGW theory. This article deals only with existing effect as it currently is. Changes in GHGE should be considered in a different article.  For conceptual simplicity, the effect of condensable substances (like water vapor) is omitted as well.

2. Definitions

As usual, there are several ways to define an effect. I will use a top-down definition approach.

Definition: Planetary Greenhouse Gas effect is the difference between effective emission temperature of a planet and global average temperature of its surface.

Definition: Effective Emission temperature is the temperature that a blackbody planet would need in order to emit the same amount of IR radiation as it could be measured from outer space by remote observer. This concept came from astrophysics, and it is a measurable quantity. It is just a different representation of total outgoing radiative energy of a warm body.

To measure this “temperature”, one needs to register outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) from the object, then calculate corresponding surface flux knowing the distance to observer, effective diameter of emitting body, and assuming spherical symmetry. Then calculate the number as (OLR/sigma)^0.25, where sigma is the classic Stefan-Boltzmann constant. In astrophysics this “temperature” is just a convenient ballpark number to compare stars, and somewhat less convenient when comparing heat balance of a planet.

[Footnote: because planets usually don’t have substantial internal heat source, and rely on external radiation to heat its surface, so (a) some overlap with “pumping” spectrum can occur, and (b) surface temperature loses spherical symmetry.]

Definition: Global Average [Surface] Temperature is an arithmetic mean of daily mean temperatures taken at a grid of stations around the globe. Climatology considers this temperature as a proxy for warming. This quantity can be formally calculated for any spatial distribution of grid stations, but it has the intended meaning only if the surface is totally spherically symmetrical, meaning that the actual temperature is the same at any point on the globe, be it at equator or at poles (in which case it would suffice to take measurement only at one point).

Definition: Daily mean temperature is an arithmetic mean of minimum and maximum temperatures of air recorded 2 meters above the surface at a certain arbitrary location on the globe. Strictly speaking, this temperature also has no definite meaning as a proxy for energy exchange without additional assumptions about actual shape of diurnal temperature variations. Most temperature records came from min-max thermometers, so the actual time when the min or max occurred is unknown.

Now we have the definitions, and even methods how to calculate these quantities. In populist literature it is commonly estimated that the average radiation flux density into Earth “low troposphere” is 240W/m2 of shortwave radiation after accounting for 30% reflection called “albedo”. When a planet is in stationary state (considering that the planet is more or less in this condition for millions of years), then an external observer should expect the planet to emit the same 240W/m2 of total emission, but now in IR, as it is appropriate for emissions from warm bodies.

For the expected stationary state with pass-through flux of 240W/m2, the effective emission temperature (Te) calculates as about 255K. However, the statistics of global average surface temperature (Ts) comes up as 288K. Climatology calls this formal difference of 33K as “greenhouse effect.”

3. Mechanism of greenhouse gas effect

To simplify things and illustrate the main physics of how the effect works, lets assume that air is really filled with GH gases and other particles/aerosols, such that it looks (absorbs and emits) as a blackbody in IR range when air density is high enough. But at the same time the air is still fully transparent to SW radiation of Sun to let the energy in. To have physically meaningful temperatures, we have to assume spherical symmetry. This is the usual (but not spelled out) assumption in all classic classroom calculations of GHGE. It is obvious that this condition would be difficult to satisfy with one-sided heater position of the Sun even if the planet rotates. To get uniform heating, the Sun (or Earth) must rotate like crazy in randomly changing directions, or the surface must have infinite thermal conductivity.  Alternatively, the SW radiation could be replaced with a uniformly distributed electric heater with power density of 240W/m2 everywhere on the surface.

Lets hypothetically assume that there is so much absorbing material in the air that it is completely non-transparent to IR at ground level. For simplicity, the effect of water evaporation and vapor condensation will be temporarily omitted. Also I will assume that we start from a planet that is somewhat colder than the stationary state would otherwise require. Then the following would occur:

(1) Sun radiation (minus whatever was reflected back) hits ground surface, and gets fully absorbed. Surface heats up. We assume the globe-averaged radiation flux from Sun as 240W/m2.

(2) Surface transfers the heat to air (and into ground) by all means: conduction, evaporation (which we ignore in this example), convection. Radiation does not play any essential role at the surface because whatever is being radiated by surface is equally compensated by back radiation from IR-dark air. Likewise, upflux and downflux of radiation at any virtual horizontal surface above the ground cancel each other. In astrophysics is it called “Rosseland approximation,” in engineering they call it “diffusion approximation.” The radiation “diffuses” through air similar to regular temperature or trace GH gas, except when the air becomes very thin, literally and optically. The ground surface continues to heat up because the thermal conductivity of air is low, and net IR radiation at the surface is nearly zero.

(3) In the field of gravity, the atmosphere density gets gradually thinner with height. Therefore at some point it cannot be considered as being IR-dark; Therefore the IR dark absorbing media has a top somewhere, which is called “radiative TOA,” top of atmosphere, or “effective emission layer.” Figure 1 illustrates the concept:

Figure 1. IR-opaque atmosphere. The radiation escapes only from the “topmost layer.”

(4) At the radiative TOA, there is only one sink of energy to outer space – radiation. The amount of emitted radiation depends on local temperature of this layer in accord with Stefan-Boltzmann law.

(5) The surface continues to absorb all Sun radiation, and its temperature rises and rises.

(Some people do not appreciate this effect of unbounded rise in temperature. To convince themselves, they should try a simple experiment – take a 100W light bulb, and cover it with Styrofoam, and see what would happen with bulb temperature.)

(6) Rising bottom temperature (together with Coriolis forces) eventually triggers a massive instability in atmosphere (due to buoyancy of warm air), and various weather patterns stir the air until some sort of dynamic equilibrium occurs that is called “convective equilibrium.” The convective equilibrium forms a gradient of temperature due to thermodynamics of air mass movement known as “lapse rate.” As result of this “lapse rate,” temperature of the “effective emission layer” at TOA is generally lower than the ground temperature.

(7) The process of ground temperature rise (and corresponding intensification of convective patterns) continues until the TOA warms up to a temperature of about 255K, and thus would emit about 240W/m2 in IR. This is a special point because this amount of OLR is equal to incoming solar flux, so the system reaches a steady state frequently called as “equilibrium.” This “equilibrium” should not be confused with thermal equilibrium, and many classic theorems of Thermodynamics may not hold here.

The difference between the average ground temperature (Tsurface, Ts) and the temperature at radiative TOA is the GHGE. Figure 2 illustrates this geometrical relationship.

Figure 2. Vertical temperature profile of atmosphere follows lapse rate and has to meet the only defined boundary condition of T=255K for the effective emission layer (circled).

Please note that the radiative TOA is not the same as tropopause, it is about half way in between. The height of effective emission layer doesn’t have an easy definition and is usually estimated by backward calculations. It goes like this: the temperature of this layer must be 255K. Assuming wet-adiabatic lapse rate (Lr) of 6.5K/km and allegedly known “surface temperature” of 288K, the emission layer must reside at 33/6.5 = 5km. Interestingly, this estimation suspiciously coincides with the height of layer where most atmospheric water is residing.

As we can see, there is no warming going from “cold body” to “hotter body,” and no violation of any known law of thermodynamics takes place. All it is a flow-through heat transfer system: SW radiation hits and heats the ground; ground transfers this heat into air. The air carries the heat and expands when parcels float up, and cools off quasi-adiabatically. The top air is still warmer than outer space, so it will cool off by radiation.

This concludes the continuing passage of energy across the weather system. Without the escape route for energy the surface would heat up without a limit. Fortunately, the energy can and will escape from the top in the form of IR radiation, where the air is generally colder than at the surface, all due to the lapse rate. This creates and maintains the difference between bottom and top temperatures, just as any imperfect heat transfer system would have. In engineering this effect is associated with “thermal resistance” (of atmosphere) to heat flux, just as in ordinary electrics.

In the above construction, the ground temperature is initially undefined and is unknown. However, in process of convective stirring the surface temperature automatically adjusts itself to a value that provides sufficient and necessary heat transfer from the surface to air (and eventually to TOA) via various direct paths and feedbacks. The only formal boundary condition for the entire system is that the overall vertical profile of air temperature must reach the Te=255K at the radiative TOA. The height H of this outer boundary is determined by optical properties of air. Thus the formula for sustained ground temperature Ts is:

Ts = Te + Lr*H

The thermal link between ground surface and TOA is complex and involves radiation and convection (and latent heat transport, which is temporarily excluded from this illustrative example). However, it is incorrect to say, “convection is dominant”; it is formally not. But it does not matter because convection continuously re-balances the fluxes such that the final value of lapse rate is maintained the same regardless of what the other heat transfer paths are. This process is complicated, it depends on complex boundary conditions with many parameters, it is turbulent, and we cannot calculate this process with contemporary computing technology, and probably never will.

4. Conclusion

Planetary greenhouse gas effect is a self-sustained phenomenon when hydrodynamics of near-surface layer heated from SW radiation drives an atmosphere into convective equilibrium forming a mechanically controlled lapse rate. The control feedback mechanism is such that the surface temperature rises until the entire system meets its outer boundary condition of OLR = 240W/m2 at a certain height defined by IR opacity of air. Therefore, the entire effect is a product of two inseparable components – (1) presence of atmospheric lapse rate, and (2) finite opacity of air in IR region. Because the lapse rate is a necessary element, the effect cannot be reproduced under room conditions unless the gravity acceleration is somehow scaled proportionally.

It should be obvious that gradual changes in our initial extreme assumptions about optical air properties don’t fundamentally change the magnitude and sign of GHGE. The above construction would undergo some adjustments for realistic properties of air like “IR window” and other non-blackbody deviations in emission/absorption spectrum. Inclusion of water cycle will deform the value of lapse rate from dry 9.5K/km to observed wet rate of 6.5K/km, but the described essence of GHGE would remain the same. Latent heat transformations and atmospheric IR window would add additional escape routes for energy flux across the bulk of atmosphere, but these “resistive” paths would not change much the average magnitude of lapse rate because it is the hydro-mechanical feedback process that keeps it constant.

The GHG effect is straightforward under the initial assumptions of full spherical symmetry and very optically dense atmosphere that emits as a blackbody. In reality, the one-sided heating creates longitudinal temperature gradients and other non-homogeneities in polar-wise heat transport related to cellular structure of global circulation in atmosphere, which highly complicates things. The absorption-emission properties of rarefied gases are far from blackbody, and gray (or band-) averaged approximation may not correctly represent changes in radiative fluxes when mixing ratio of GH gases changes.

The mechanism above was derived from general concepts presented in the following sources:

[1] http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1981/1981_Hansen_etal.pdf

[2] http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/annrev00.pdf

[3] http://www-ramanathan.ucsd.edu/files/pr49.pdf

 

152 thoughts on “Greenhouse Gas Effect”

  1. There are so many assumptions made that one wonders where physics starts and fairy-tales begin. If anyone has looked at the full solar spectrum both in wave lengths and intensity it is obvious that there is far more long wave IR in the inbound radiation to satisfy the the activation of all the CO2 and CH4 in the atmosphere that there is very few molecules of either of these IRag”s available to absorb outbound long wave IR from the earth. This shoots down one of many erroneous assumptions made by the AGW crowd. When on looks at IR photographs of earth from satellites (readily available by Goggling IR photos of Earth ) that the atmosphere is not opaque to out bound IR of any wave length. Yes clouds absorb significant amounts of IR and are discernible as clouds but the earth masses are also discernible. If the supposed “GHE” layer blocked all this long wave IR as assumed the land masses and water areas would be indistinguishable.
    As stated by more and more prominent physicists , The greenhouse gas effect is a hoax.

  2. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 1 Berthold,
    You don’t “activate” GHG to get the effect. The atmosphere is in LTE. This means that absorbed photons are almost immediately used to put energy in all the surrounding gas (by collision) and could heat them some. However, the surrounding gases are at some temperature (with a velocity distribution including some higher velocity ones), such that the GHG gives off photons, and the lost energy is replaced from the surrounding gas collisions. The balance of absorbed and INDEPENDENTLY emitted photons determines if the radiation contributes to some heating or cooling of the local gas. However, whichever occurs, free convection mixes and readjusts the gas temperature profile to fit (on average) the adiabatic lapse rate. Thus incoming absorbed energy makes no difference to the so called atmospheric greenhouse effect. The papers you keep quoting do not in general totally disagree with what Al and I keep telling you. They just disagree with a claim that back radiation is the cause of heating, and it is not as I clearly stated. They just do not go on from there to explain what the cause of heating is. Both sides on this issue seem to confuse cause and effect.

  3. @00
    For the expected stationary state with pass-through flux of 240W/m2, the effective emission temperature (Te) calculates as about 255K. However, the statistics of global average surface temperature (Ts) comes up as 288K. Climatology calls this formal difference of 33K as “greenhouse effect.”

    For the sake of clarity.
    The “effective emission temperature” (Te) and the “global average surface temperature” (Ts) are VERY different things.
    The former is a temperature of an isothermal body in equilibrium with radiation while the latter is a surface integral on any heterogenous non isothermal body regardless whether it is or not in equilibrium with radiation.
    As both bodies behave very differently from the radiative point of view , adding, substracting or comparing Te and Ts doesn’t make physical sense.
    That’s why the often quoted number “33°C” which is obtained by substracting Ts-Te doesn’t mean anything physical.
    The only correct conclusion is that the real Earth with its real Ts is in average warmer than would be an isothermal Earth without oceans and atmosphere in equilibrium with radiation.
    Of course as the real Earth is neither isothermal nor in equilibrium there are plenty places were it is colder than this theoretical isothermal body and plenty other places where it is much hotter.
    So while the GHE changes Ts indeed , it is clear that the “amount of change” is positive but not equal to Ts-Te, e.g 33°C.

  4. @2
    The balance of absorbed and INDEPENDENTLY emitted photons determines if the radiation contributes to some heating or cooling of the local gas.

    This is not correct .
    Because of LTE , emission and absorption is locally EXACTLY balanced.
    For instance in the first meter the absorbed IR is exactly reemitted (half up , half down) .
    What happens is that the temperature in the next meter is slightly lower because of the lapse rate and density so that the absorbed and emitted amount is slightly less , both being still exactly equal.
    Finally the way I see the GHE is as being a property of the lapse rate and isotropy of the emission by the GHG .
    Both combined have for result that there is an IR flow in both directions up and down , the net flow being from down to up but the up to down flow is non zero .
    It is the existence of this up to down flow which explains why the surface is warmer than what it would be without GHG .
    The GHG actually “warm the ground” only in the first bottom meters of the atmosphere .

  5. Thanks Dr. Eric. I still have a problem with the number from an absolute perspectective. I assume by your response you confirm that 97% of Co2 is naturally occuring leaving a 3% contribution by man, or 11.4 ppm. If 1/3rd, or 3.8 ppm hangs around for an extended period of time, it’s an even smaller number. If other material I’ve read is accurate, that increases in Co2 have a diminishing effect on warming and at some point becomes capped, and that the absorbtion spectrum of Co2 overlaps with other gases, like water vapor, it would seem likely that Co2 from man has a negligible effect on warming. Likewise, a $3.80 return on a million dollar investment would be pretty meaningless as well.

  6. Dr. Eric,

    As I see, you have some burning desire to engage, and continue to push for your 3 degrees per CO2 doubling. Then could you please outline your concept of why the temperature will be forced. As I heard, true climate scientists have calculated some “radiative forcing” from CO2 doubling that causes “global radiative imbalance”, right? Could you please submit some convincing arguments that this is true, especially the magnitude of imbalance? Preferably with some observational support. Feel free to refer to the pictures above.

  7. Not having commented for a while I’ve been preparing a response to Leonard,
    @ 2. but Where is the proof that the GHG effect Exists? Until someone shows some real experimental data that relates a rise in CO2 to an actual measured temperature change the resist of this string is like one fairy tale writer trying to out do the next fairy tale writer. Dr. Eric is not aware that there is an NASA report that claims to show that the 3 degree projection is wrong and it should be only 1.4 degree. I’m sure that next week they will come out with a report proving it should be -1.4 degree.
    With more than 1000 noted scientists saying that the “GHG effect” does not exist; Where is the experimental data by Dr. Eric showing its existence? Circumstantial evidence does not convince me of anything.
    The only comment there has been to my experiment that demonstrates that the “GHG effect” does not exist is a clarification on how “shadow” was used.

  8. Berthold @18, you continue to mix the effect itself with dependence of its current magnitude on CO2 change. These are two different things. Regarding the existence of GH effect itself, let me try to sort items out:

    (1) Do you agree that the average surface temperature index come out as 288K?

    (2) Do you agree that Earth receives 340W/m2 of shortwave radiation from Sun (day-night average)?

    (3) Do you agree that after 30% is reflected back to space, the total flux absorbed by climate system (ground-water-air) is about 240W/m2?

    (4) Do you agree that the energy does not accumulate nor disappear, such that the 240W/m2 flux is converted into heat, and a heated body will eventually emit this same energy to outer space, which was measured by satellites?

    (5) Do you agree that a warm physical body with reasonable emissivity must have certain temperature to emit 240W/m2 of infrared radiation?

    (6) Do you agree that Stefan-Boltzmann relationship F = ε.σ.T⁴ is an established law of physics, such that the emitting body must have only about T=255K to emit all this 240W/m2 to outer space, give or take?

    (7) Do you agree that 288 > 255, which they call as GH effect?

    Then what is your objection?

  9. This is very interesting. Dr. Eric still does not actually state his answer to whether the following is true.

    Based upon carbon isotope data, human-produced CO2 is between 3% to 4% of all the CO2 in the atmosphere

    If true, then I would assume that the majority of the increase in CO2 has been due to temperature even in human times, something that I had not even considered previously, because as Dr. Eric says, “CO2 is 40% greater than in 1850”. If 4% is caused by man, then 36% is caused by something else — presumably temperature.

  10. @21 Anthony,

    Let me explain using an over simplified example. Let’s momentarily assume that we are back in the year 1800 that there is suddenly an enormous ignition of a huge coal field – so huge that this fire suddenly doubles the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (from 280 to 560 ppm). Now, that fossil fuel based carbon carries its isotopic signature so that if one mass analyzed the atmospheric CO2 right away, we would, of course find that 50% of the atm CO2 at that point in times cames from that fossil fuel fire.

    Now, wait just a couple decades and see what happens. First, all carbon in the biological cycle gets passed around quite quitely between plants, the surface layers of the ocean, animals and the atmosphere. Therefore, that isotope signature in that atmosphere would get diluted very quickly – down to less than 1% – since most of the total carbon in the biological cycle resides in the plants and especially the surface layers of the ocean. Therefore, in a couple decades the labeled C in the atmosphere from the big fire will be essentially gone and largely reside in the plants and oceans.

    At the same time, however, and because it takes so long for the total EXCESS CO2 in the atmosphere to disappear (several centuries), the atmosphere would continue to have a large exess of CO2 – again while most of the individual carbon atoms from the big fossil fuel fire would have been lost into the plant and ocean reservoirs within a few decades.

    Therefore, you can hopefully see from this example that the fraction of isotopically labeled C found in the atmosphere in NOT a direct measure of man’s affect on the atmosphere. Man has caused atm CO2 to rise by 40%, not by 3-4% with the rest being caused by “something else”.

  11. Dear Al: I have reviewed your comments and see that all I have to do to show how little you know about physics is to show you that the earth is not a “theoretical black body” and that it can not have a temperature based on a theoretical body that is totally different than the real Earth.
    Look up the work of Kirchhoff and others that contributed to the field of thermodynamic.
    Now a theoretical black body is a homogeneous material that can be heated and have it radiate both IR and other wavelengths depending on the degree of heating. Many of the early experiments were done by heating large balls of Iron to very high temperatures and determining the types of radiation that were given off. The surface is supposed to be smooth.
    Now lets look at the Earth;
    1. The earth is not homogeneous.
    2. The earth is covered by about 70% water or its solid form ice and snow.
    3. The parts of the earth that are not covered by water are covered by vegetation, mountains, deserts, and even a minimal amount of man made structure. Now on top of all this every thing gets rained on.
    4. The core of the earth to the best of our knowledge is a molten core of Iron and nickel. Then this core surfaces often as volcanoes, and hot springs.
    5. Realize that the oceans are many thousand of meters deep.
    None of these can be applied to the theoretical black body.
    The next and maybe the hardest for you to understand is that with the earth having any atmosphere it will have a different temperature than a planet that does not have an atmosphere even if there is not one molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    There is no experimental data that proves that the greenhouse gas effect exists.

    @19
    Al Tekhasski says:
    December 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm
    Berthold @18, you continue to mix the effect itself with dependence of its current magnitude on CO2 change. These are two different things. Regarding the existence of GH effect itself, let me try to sort items out:
    (1) Do you agree that the average surface temperature index come out as 288K?

    No I do not agree that the average temperature index of the surface of the earth is 288 degrees K. There are many physics and math papers that show how stupid this statement is! Educate yourself and read http://www.climatedepot.com and many others.

    (2) Do you agree that Earth receives 340W/m2 of shortwave radiation from Sun (day-night average)?
    (3) Do you agree that after 30% is reflected back to space, the total flux absorbed by climate system (ground-water-air) is about 240W/m2?
    (4) Do you agree that the energy does not accumulate nor disappear, such that the 240W/m2 flux is converted into heat, and a heated body will eventually emit this same energy to outer space, which was measured by satellites?
    (5) Do you agree that a warm physical body with reasonable emissivity must have certain temperature to emit 240W/m2 of infrared radiation?
    (6) Do you agree that Stefan-Boltzmann relationship F = ε.σ.T⁴ is an established law of physics, such that the emitting body must have only about T=255K to emit all this 240W/m2 to outer space, give or take?
    (7) Do you agree that 288 > 255, which they call as GH effect? Yes I agree that 288 is greater than 255 but this has nothing to do with the fairy tale that so environmental wackos call a greenhouse gas effect.

  12. Berthold,
    Could you elaborate on why do you think that the number “288” calculated from daily averaged readings from 4000-some thermometers from scattered locations around the globe and averaged over several years is a “stupid statement?” The data are collected (with possible small errors), and averages are calculated by several group of dedicated people. What is so stupid to state that they have this number, 288? Whether their activity is stupid or not, but they have this number. If not 288, which other formal number would you agree to?

    Also, could you elaborate on why do you think that water, ice, lands, and vegetation are not black bodies, especially when Sun does not shine on that areas? What do you believe the “color” of night side of Earth is? Is not it “black”? True, it is not exactly the Planck function, but close enough for illustrative and educational purposes. It it is not exactly as Planck function, what difference would it make for quantitative estimation? In your opinion as an expert in Physics?

    Also, I didn’t get it, do you agree with points (2) to (6), or not?

  13. To Al @ 25
    You do not made averages of unrelated data and expect to have something that means anything. If I have a hot frying pan at 500 F and a glass of ice water at 32F the average temperature is 266 F does this mean that if I touch the frying pan I’ll only have a small burn or if I stick my finger in the ice water after I touch the frying pan that I’ll still get more burns from the average temperature being 266 F( above the boiling point of water @ 212 F)?
    To take a temperature reading from the tropics and a temperature from the North pole and average them This does not get you the temperature of New York City at the same time on the same day.
    Al please go back to high school and take some classes is physics and statistics, your ignorance is obvious from the nature of your questions.
    Even if I agreed to 2thru 6 which I do not, there are errors in the wording and the physics that you use ,its not relevant because you have not presented any data or experiments that demonstrate that any quantity of CO2 or any other IRag’s can result in the trapping of “heat” different than the O2 or N2 in the atmosphere.
    I don’t claim to be an expert in physics although I have had ,college level physics including nuclear and intro to quantum physics.

  14. @23 Ed, the major posts I have previded (#’s 1, 6, and 7) where put there for a reason – that is, to be read and considered. Thus, in response to your comments in @23, let me simply refer you do the figure that previously related material that you claim I have not provided. Now, if need additional explanation of any material, you should specify what that might be rather than say “Dr. Eric has not proved ……”

    So in response to your comments, in quotes below:

    “@22, Finally Dr. Eric made a statement precise enough for a response.
    What Dr. Eric says is true … up to a point.”

    Great! I am finally getting through to you the point that the isotopic information you offered does not mean that man’s effects have been negligible. On the contrary, that information indicates that man’s effects have on the total carbon cycle have been very, very significant.

    “The only problem with his statement is at the end. His mental model assumes natural processes are constant during the decades of the hypothesized waiting time. In fact, natural processes are a function of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. ”

    Of course that was my assumption in this oversimplified view of a “plus” of CO2 whose only purpose was to make one single point – that the isotopic label dissappears from atmospheric CO2 very quickly while the EXCESS CO2 does not.

    “A sudden doubling of atmospheric CO2 will increase rate of transfer of CO2 from the atmosphere to the other CO2 or C reservoirs. Therefore, the end result will not be what nature would have done without the sudden addition of CO2 PLUS the sudden addition of CO2. Nature will proceed toward an equilibrium between atmospheric CO2 and the earth’s CO2 reservoirs.”

    Yes, of course, as we have discussed here many times and as was shown in my Post 7, Figure 14.

    “Finally, Dr. Eric has by no means proved in all of climate clash that human emissions have caused a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2. The reason is because he has not yet properly accounted for the natural exchange rates between the earth’s CO2 reservoirs. So that 40% is only a hand-waving claim, not a fact”

    Ed, Look again at Figure 3, Post 7. Are you suggestiong that the 40% increase clear shown in atm CO2 following the Industrial Revolution is merely a coincidence and that Mother Nature did that? If so, Ed, your view is extraordinary – even among the very hard core sceptics of AGW. You should get straightened on this point (Leonard, maybe you could help Ed with this one?) so that the readers don’t think you are a total wacko.

    and finally:

    “… because it takes so long for the total EXCESS CO2 in the atmosphere to disappear is also not proven.”

    Again see Post 7 Figure 14, This information results from years of research on the subject of CO2 exchange between the atm and the oceans. Your use of the word “proven” is intentionally confusing in that nothing of this complexity can be “proven” to be absolutely true beyond all levels of doubt (as an expert in the Scientific Method, you should know this). Nevertheless, the great body of “evidence” supports my statement. If it were not true, why would atm CO2 have increased by 40% from emissions by man that currently are only about 3% of what Mother Nature puts out?

    If it would help you, consider again why only a small interest rate on a savings account in a good bank results in significant enhansements of the total investment over many years – it is because nothing is removed. I realize this analogy is not pure “physics”, and, therefore, by your strange criteria might not be of interest to you. It is simple math, however, and provided an apt analogy. If you require additional explanation of either the analogy or its relevance to the atm CO2 phenomenon, please let me know.

  15. Leonard,

    Finally some good news here. That is that as long as man is around, we will never again have to deal with another glacial period. See Figure 4 of my Post 6. The net forcing caused by GHG’s are far stronger than the subtle effects of the Milankovitch Cycles. So we are not now and, if you use rather than abuse our growing understanding of climate change, we will not move back towards a glacial period in the future. CO2, of course, can do this job as could just one factory during out a hydrofluorocarbon (ozone friendly, but very strong GHG).

    The far greater concern for the future will be that the warming we are sure to get will set in motion reinforcing feedbacks that will be very difficult or impossible to turn around. Release of methane clathrates, for example, about which so little is known, is just one realistic possibility.

    In short, you should not be comforted by the possibility that a turn in the Milankovitch Cycle will “cool things off” in the future.

  16. Berthold,
    First, we can’t have any progress if you will change topic on every post. You asserted @24 that oceans, ice, vegetation, rain drops are not acting as good approximation of black bodies in relevant (infrared) spectrum. Could you please proceed with admitting that your assertion is wrong?

    Again, I did not ask to what extent the global average temperature makes sense or doesn’t, it is a different question. If you are paying any attention to blogosphere, you should know that I was persistently pointing that small changes in global average temperature index is no “proxy” for changes in radiative balances. It depends on the level of details. However, in the global context, I asked if you agree that this number (no matter how odd do you think the index is) is around 288K.

    Then, please carefully consider my points (2) to (6), and formulate your answers. These points are important in my chain of reasoning. But if you a going to deny that some reasoning must be involved, then we really have a difficulty here.

    Also, when presenting your reasoning (or whatever it could be called), please stick to scientific units, and not to some veterinary units, “the mouth or under the armpit of Farenheit’s wife”.

    BTW, the average of tropical mean temperature (300K) and average North Pole temperature (256K) gives you the annual mean temperature in NY with about 2% accuracy. Please make note that the entire abstraction goes beyond “same day and same time”.

  17. Dr. Eric;@12/16/10 7:47 pm You just got the Mother Goose award for Fairy-tales. The newest release from NASA is that we may be going into the next ice age.
    I’d suggest you buy more long underware especially where you live and for any family or friends in Florida.

  18. Dr Ed @31, this entire post appears to me to be personal grandstanding. It contains no content relevant to the debate (except that quoted from Dr Eric), and appears to be empty verbiage generated to evade discussing a point on which you are being mauled.

    You claim that Dr Eric has not “proved” the claims made in post 7. Perhaps, but he has provided supporting evidence – and if actually challenged, no doubt he could supply more. You, however, have not challenged the evidence. You have not provided counter evidence. You have merely insisted that he not make use of statements for which he has provided evidence, and for which you have provided no counter evidence, in other areas of the debate. This is a standard you do not hold yourself to, and naturally so, for it is a ridiculouse standard.

  19. To Tom Vonk@3:”For instance in the first meter the absorbed IR is exactly reemitted (half up, half down) “.
    This part is nonsense: (half up, half down) we like in a 3 dimensional world- look up some spherical geometry.
    To Tom Curtis on @30- I did not find the exact link but I suggest you look at http://www.climatedepot.com were they have a list of references that is at least one long page plus links to many more that talk about the coming of the New ice age. Many of the references are from NASA sources.

    To Al : I’m looking up more data that prove that water, vegetation and other surface properties of the earth prevent the Earth from being considered as a “theoretical black body”
    To Dr. Eric: I am preparing a reference that burst you balloon that Venus supports the Hypotheses of the “ghg effect” The full reference is 12 pages therefore I’ll provide the title and the Analysis.
    Leonard Weinstein : I’m working on my responce to your comments @G-2;3
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! Buy more long underwear.

  20. To all:another link to many, many articles on “global cooling”http://www.isthereglobalcooling.com/
    One of my above comments applies to G_2;4 not G-2:3.
    Again Merry Christmas. More coffin nails for the coffin for Mann-made global warming will follow later.

  21. Here is why Dr.Eric is wrong about “ghg effect” on Venus:
    This is an excerpt from the complete 12 page document. The mathamatics is in the pape.
    If you can not find it in its entirety please let me know.

    Determination of the Effective Total Emissivity of the Carbon Dioxide in the Venusian Atmosphere, and the Mean Free Path Length and Crossing Lapse (Delay) Time of Photons into the Troposphere of Venus.
    By Nasif S. Nahle
    University Professor, Scientist and Scientific Research Director at Biology Cabinet.
    August 10, 2010.
    * The author is grateful to TS for his kind assistance with the text.
    Abstract
    This assessment on the effective total emissivity of the carbon dioxide in Venus, and the mean free path length and the crossing lapse time of photons through the Venusian atmosphere demonstrate the ―greenhouse‖ effect in Venus does not exist.
    Introduction
    Logic does not always reveal the truth behind natural phenomena. For example, if a rooster crowed at midnight and an hour later rain began to fall, one might logically deduce that the rooster was somehow sensitive to impending precipitation. If the rooster crowed again, and two hours later a tornado demolishes the barn, one might logically deduce that the rooster was somehow capable of predicting the occurrence of tornados. However, we know that the rooster is not a meteorologist and that he can barely comprehend the world around him.
    By the same logic, one might deduce that Venus is hotter than Mercury and Earth because it holds 43.56 x 10^17 tons of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere (around 95% of the composition of the atmosphere of Venus). As a matter of fact, this is one of the main arguments, which is often wielded by the proponents of the anthropogenic climate change and global warming (CAGW) in support of their ideas. Nevertheless, scientific truth is not on their side — as we shall see.****

    Analysis:
    The results of the algorithms in the preceding analysis illustrate quite clearly the fallacy of a ―greenhouse‖ effect on Venus caused by carbon dioxide. There is no such ―greenhouse‖ effect on Venus that can be attributed to a high mass fraction of CO2. The highly misleading schemes on Venus, routinely bandied around as an example of the existence of a ―greenhouse‖ effect here on Earth, can be obtained only by flagrantly ignoring the laws of physics, in particular the expansion of matter as its temperature increases before a change of phase.
    From here, we deduce that the cause of the surface temperature anomaly on Venus cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide, but to another factor which has not been properly accounted for. Let us examine some of those features of Venus that have been routinely disregarded by CAGW proponents.
    First of all, in considering exclusively the incident solar radiation upon the surface of Venus, we notice that the temperature of the surface of Venus, i.e. the Venusian land, is considerably higher than expected. (Ref. 7)
    Another Venusian feature routinely ignored by CAGW proponents is that the temperature of the planet’s atmosphere is always lower than the surface temperature of the planet (7, 8 and 10), day and night, such that it is impossible for the atmosphere to heat up the surface — as is also the case here on Earth.
    The third feature stubbornly ignored by CAGW climatologists, and which is the principle factor behind the warming of Venus, is that, unlike Earth, Venus does not have a magnetosphere, or magnetic field. Superheated plasma particles strike the atmosphere of Venus directly and drag its components, especially water vapor, out towards space (see an image below) (10 and 11).
    Notice that water vapor is quite abundant in the outer layer of the Venusian atmosphere and that it has thermal capacities which make it a highly efficient absorber and emitter of thermal energy, unlike carbon dioxide. The absence of a magnetosphere thus allows superheated particles of solar plasma to reach the planet’s surface -such that there are two mechanisms heating it up, i.e. the incident solar radiation striking on the surface and the superheated solar plasma particles.
    The differences between Venus and Earth are so great that there is no point of similitude between the two planets. The ―greenhouse‖ effect seems to be a myth.*****
    Conclusion:
    Concluding, there is no point of comparison between the temperature on Venus and the temperature on Earth for the following reasons:
    1. The temperature of the Venusian atmosphere is 2.5 greater than the temperature of the atmosphere on Earth; therefore, the carbon dioxide on Venus, though more abundant than on Earth, is greatly dispersed by the thermal expansion effect caused by the high temperature. The thermal expansion is a law of physics and is applicable everywhere and whenever in the known universe. (Ref. 5 and 9)
    2. Carbon dioxide cannot be parceled in an open atmosphere like the Venusian atmosphere because a substantial volume of matter is dragged out towards the space by solar wind. On the other hand, the volume of the carbon dioxide increases as its temperature increases; consequently, the volume expansion nullifies the effect of the density of the gas.
    3. Venus does not have a magnetic field protecting it from the superheated particles of solar plasma striking directly on the Venusian atmosphere and thereby transferring energy to the molecules of gases comprising the atmosphere of Venus. (Ref. 7, 10 and 11)
    4. Solar plasma particles strike directly on the surface of Venus so that the surface is heated up beyond predictions based on only incident solar radiation striking the surface of the planet. The thermal energy and momentum of the solar plasma particles are transferred to the molecules comprising the surface of the planet, thereby heating the molecules up beyond predictions.
    5. The water vapor and a portion of the remaining gases of the Venusian atmosphere are dragged out towards space by the solar wind (Ref. 10 and 11). This generates friction and the transfer of thermal energy and momentum from the plasma particles to the molecules of gas in the lower layers of the atmosphere of Venus.
    This analysis demonstrates that the ―greenhouse‖ effect on Venus is a myth.
    Bibliography on the Total Emissivity of a mixture of air containing Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor:
    1. Manrique, J. A. V. Transferencia de Calor. 2002. Oxford University Press. England.

    2. Modest, Michael F. Radiative Heat Transfer-Second Edition. 2003. Elsevier Science, USA and Academic Press, UK.

    3. Pitts, Donald and Sissom, Leighton. Heat Transfer. 1998. McGraw-Hill, NY.
    4. Van Ness, H. C. Understanding Thermodynamics. 1969. General Publishing Company. Ltd. Ontario, Canada.

    5. Engel, Thomas and Reid, Philip. Thermodynamics, Statistical, Thermodynamics & Kinetics. 2006. Pearson Education, Inc.

    6. Nahle, N. Didactic Article: Induced Emission and Heat Stored. 21 May 2009. Biology Cabinet Organization. http://www.biocab.org/Induced_Emission.html

    Bibliography on the FEATURES OF VENUS:
    7. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/venusfact.html (last reading on August 10, 2010)

    8. http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/V/Venusatmos.html (last reading on July 4, 2010)

    9. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html.

    10. http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Venus_Express/SEM0G373R8F_1.html Caught in the Wind from the Sun. ESA-Science. Last visit: August 10, 2010.

    11. Suplee, Curt. The Plasma Universe. 2009. Division of Plasma Physics of the American Physical Society. Cambridge University Press. NY. Pp. 34-37.

  22. Climate Realists Article
    http://climaterealists.com/5783
    ALAN SIDDONS   HEADLINE STORY   JOHN O’SULLIVAN   NASA  
    NASA in Shock New Controversy: Two Global Warming Reasons Why by John O’Sullivan, guest post at Climate Realists
    Thursday, May 27th 2010, 3:06 PM EDT
    Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
    NASA covered up for forty years proof that the greenhouse gas theory was bogus. But even worse, did the U.S. space agency fudge its numbers on Earth’s energy budget to cover up the facts?

    As per my article this week, forty years ago the space agency, NASA, proved there was no such thing as a greenhouse gas effect because the ‘blackbody’ numbers supporting the theory didn’t add up in a 3-dimensional universe:

    “During lunar day, the lunar regolith absorbs the radiation from the sun and transports it inward and is stored in a layer approximately 50cm thick….in contrast with a precipitous drop in temperature if it was a simple black body, the regolith then proceeds to transport the stored heat back onto the surface, thus warming it up significantly over the black body approximation…”

    Thus, the ‘blackbody approximations’ were proven to be as useful as a chocolate space helmet; the guesswork of using the Stefan-Boltzmann equations underpinning the man-made global warming theory was long ago debunked. If NASA had made known that Stefan-Boltzmann’s numbers were an irrelevant red-herring then the taxpayers of the world would have been spared the $50 billion wasted on global warming research; because it would have removed the only credible scientific basis to support the theory that human emissions of carbon dioxide changed Earth’s climate.

    But, until May 24, 2010 these facts remained swept under the carpet. For the Apollo missions NASA had successfully devised new calculations to safely put astronauts on the Moon-based on actual measured temperatures of the lunar surface. But no one appears to have told government climatologists who, to this day, insist their junk science is ‘settled’ based on their bogus ‘blackbody’ guesswork.
    NASA’s Confusion over Earth’s Energy Budget

    But it gets worse: compounding such disarray, NASA, now apparently acting more like a politicized mouthpiece for a socialist one world government, cannot even provide consistent numbers on Earth’s actual energy budget.

    Thanks to further discussion with scientist, Alan Siddons, a co-author of the paper, ‘A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon,’ it appears I inadvertently stumbled on a NASA graph that shows the U.S. space agency is unable to tally up the numbers on the supposed greenhouse gas “backradiation.” Why would this be?

    In its graphic representation of the energy budget of the Earth the agency has conspicuously contradicted itself in its depiction of back-radiation based on its various graphs on Earth’s radiation budget.

    As Siddons sagely advised me, “This opens the question as to WHICH budget NASA actually endorses, because the one you show is consistent with physics: 70 units of sunlight go in, 70 units of infrared go out, and there’s no back-flow of some ridiculous other magnitude. Interesting.”

    Climate Sceptic Scientists’ Growing Confidence

    Thanks to Siddons and his co-authors of ‘A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon,’ the world now has scientific evidence to show the greenhouse gas theory (GHG) was junk all along.

    As the truth now spreads, an increasing number of scientists refute the greenhouse gas theory, many have been prompted by the shocking revelations since the Climategate scandal. The public have also grown more aware of how a clique of government climatologists were deliberately ‘hiding the decline’ in the reliability of their proxy temperature data all along.

    But NASA’s lunar temperature readings prove that behind that smoke was real fire. Some experts now boldly go so far as to say the entire global warming theory contravenes the established laws of physics.

    How NASA responds to these astonishing revelations may well tell us how politicized the American space agency really is.

    ##############################################################

    Short bio: John O’Sullivan is a legal analyst and writer who for several years has litigated in government corruption and conspiracy cases in both the US and Britain. Visit his Website: http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/johnosullivan

  23. @39 Ed,

    The answer to your question,

    “Are you willing to compare your scientific papers in climate science against those of Richard Lindzen and a thousand other atmospheric science professionals who rank your case for AGW right up there with ancient astrology?”

    The answer is YES, so please do indicate who those thousand scientists are who have provided significant publications in the field of atmospheric science or climate change (in which evidence concerning AGW has been presented)..

    Concerning your comment,

    “The core of this AGW debate hinges around climate sensitivity. When we get to that part, it will be obvious that you have no case for AGW. All these little side skirmishes are entertaining and interesting but they do not constitute the core case for AGW.”

    I agree entirely, of course, and have done my best to get to the heart of the matter. Thus, I have entered 3 posts concerning AGW and the Sensitivity to CO2 in a timely manner, while you have provided no posts, to date, in support any value for Sensitivity that would suggest that the effects of AGW will be negligible. I and others look forward to inspecting your scientific arguments for a lower value for Sensitivity “when we get to that part” (I thought we have been at “that part” for some time now).

    Likewise, we look forward to your upcoming explanation of why the activities of man and fossil fuel combustion is not responsible for the 40% increase atmospheric CO2 that has occurred during the last 150 years. If you can support these two claims, I will readily admit that you will have won this debate. However, because the loose talk we have witnessed so far carries no weight on a scientific platform, we do indeed look forward to seeing your evidence and your interpretation of it.

    Concerning your offer:

    “I will bet you $1000 that within ten years it will be obvious, maybe even to you, that my efforts to save our economy and our freedom will have been more important for your grandchildren than your efforts to save our planet from CO2.”

    Even though I am quite certain that I would win that bet, the reward you offer would be a pittance relative to the impending losses of my grandchildren and their generation. So I’ll pass on the bet. In addition, I have no need for an improvement in my “freedom” ??. I have always felt and still do feel that in my country, I have been able participate in its political and civil systems and have no desire to move to a country (such as Somalia?) where one does not have a government limiting one’s behavior. But now I digress – I am looking forward to seeing your comments concerning the science of AGW far more than any implications these thoughts might have on your concern for my “freedoms”.

  24. Tom #32 & 38. Thank you for the explanation. One point of my question still has to do with the absolute numbers and their relationship to catastrophic global warming. Even if man is responsible for 100% of the increase in Co2 (from approximately 280ppm in 1850 to about 380 ppm today), we are talking about very small numbers. If other material I’ve read is true, that in the geologic history of the planet going back a few hundred million years, not just a few hundred thousand or a few million, Co2 concentrations were far higher than today – as high as 7000ppm, and for long periods of time, in the 1500 to 3000 ppm range. So, today, we are agonizing over an increase of 100ppm and claiming that it will cause catastrophic global warming. If Co2 is such a powerful GHG such that it is capable of overwhelming all othe forcings, why didn’t the earth experienc catastrophic global warming before now?

  25. @47 Mr. Moore,

    50 million years ago, the atmosphere is thought to have contained about 1,500 ppm CO2 and the temperature was much higher. Sea levels were about 200 meters higher, 70 meters of which was because there was no ice on Earth and the rest due to thermal expansion. Yes, indeed, the Earth still existed with animals living on it. Aligators, for example, did quite nicely – in Alaska.

    So yes, of course, the Earth will exist no matter how bad AGW turns out to be. The ONLY ? problems that will be caused with Business as Usual is the impacts these changes will have on existing civilizations. By mid century, the Earth is expected to hold 9 billion people, as very large fraction of which depend on the maintenance of existing conditions for their survival. A rise of sea level of just a few meters will essentially eliminate the existing habitat of billions. Other factors, such as increased deluges in wet areas and desertification in dry areas will also continue as the atmosphere get warmer and holds more water.

    Note also that these predicted effects are delayed a few decades due to the thermal inertia of the Earth, but relentlessless persist because of the exceedingly slow rate at which the EXTRA CO2 is removed from the atmosphere by natural processes.

    Hope this helps answer your question. There are, of course, many other concerns in addition to the few I have mentioned here.

  26. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 44 & 45, Berthold,
    When invoking emissivity and energy balance, storage and long time ENERGY BALANCE has to be considered. Averaging temperature directly gives the wrong result due to the non-linear temperature vs energy relationship, and storage complicated it. Thus any simplistic calculation for the Moon that does not take these into account will give the wrong answers. However Earth has far less temperature variation than Luna due to much shorter days, and wind and ocean currents distributing energy. However, the basic concept of atmospheric greenhouse gases is valid.

    The papers you quoted are simplistic and short sighted papers that miss the physics of what is going on. Showing those weakens the honest skeptics position by indicating that we believe in nonsense. The entire valid skeptics position is based on the FEEDBACK.

  27. @48, Dr. Eric – then my next question has to do with the tipping point frequently referenced by AGW advocates. If we are at or near the tipping point now, why weren’t we past the tipping point at 1500 ppm?

  28. Leonard @49
    “However, the basic concept of atmospheric greenhouse gases is valid. (really)”

    The entire valid skeptics position is based on the FEEDBACK.( what kind of FEEDBACK -dollars in whose pocket).

    If these two statement from your response to me are provable, where is the experimental data?
    Leonard: I presume that you have analyzed the referenced paper:

    “Determination of the Effective Total Emissivity of the Carbon Dioxide in the Venusian Atmosphere, and the Mean Free Path Length and Crossing Lapse (Delay) Time of Photons into the Troposphere of Venus”

    by Nasif S. Nahle and find the presentation wanting in that it does not support your believe that the GHG effect exists and that CO2 is only a small effect and not a non existent effect. This must hurt your ego!

    Where are your comments on the demonstration that the “GHG effect” does not exist?
    Would you like the full 12 page paper by Nasif S. Nahle?

  29. Below is the link that I thought I had lost reference G-2;42,43. To Tom Curtis>
    Linked from Tom Nelson on climatedepot”

    One wonders if the current “scientists at NASA have bothered to read the 40 year old information from NASA found by Siddons and reported by O’Sullivan shown on G-2; 47.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    NASA: By the way, maybe the next ice age is imminent
    What are the primary forcings of the Earth system? – NASA Science

    According to scientists’ models of Earth’s orbit and orientation toward the Sun indicate that our world should be just beginning to enter a new period of cooling — perhaps the next ice age.

    However, a new force for change has arisen: humans…

    Other important forcings of Earth’s climate system include such “variables” as clouds, airborne particulate matter, and surface brightness. Each of these varying features of Earth’s environment has the capacity to exceed the warming influence of greenhouse gases and cause our world to cool.

    What are the primary forcings of the Earth system?

    The Sun is the primary forcing of Earth’s climate system. Sunlight warms our world. Sunlight drives atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns. Sunlight powers the process of photosynthesis that plants need to grow. Sunlight causes convection which carries warmth and water vapor up into the sky where clouds form and bring rain. In short, the Sun drives almost every aspect of our world’s climate system and makes possible life as we know it.

    Earth’s orbit around and orientation toward the Sun change over spans of many thousands of years. In turn, these changing “orbital mechanics” force climate to change because they change where and how much sunlight reaches Earth. (Please see for more details.) Thus, changing Earth’s exposure to sunlight forces climate to change. According to scientists’ models of Earth’s orbit and orientation toward the Sun indicate that our world should be just beginning to enter a new period of cooling — perhaps the next ice age.

    However, a new force for change has arisen: humans. After the industrial revolution, humans introduced increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and changed the surface of the landscape to an extent great enough to influence climate on local and global scales. By driving up carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere (by about 30 percent), humans have increased its capacity to trap warmth near the surface.

    Other important forcings of Earth’s climate system include such “variables” as clouds, airborne particulate matter, and surface brightness. Each of these varying features of Earth’s environment has the capacity to exceed the warming influence of greenhouse gases and cause our world to cool. For example, increased cloudiness would give more shade to the surface while reflecting more sunlight back to space. Increased airborne particles (or “aerosols”) would scatter and reflect more sunlight back to space, thereby cooling the surface. Major volcanic eruptions (such as that of Mt. Pinatubo in 1992) can inject so much aerosol into the atmosphere that, as it spreads around the globe, it reduces sunlight and cause Earth to cool. Likewise, increasing the surface area of highly reflective surface types, such as ice sheets, reflects greater amounts of sunlight back to space and causes Earth to cool.

    Scientists are using NASA satellites to monitor all of the aforementioned forcings of Earth’s climate system to better understand how they are changing over time, and how any changes in them affect climate.

    Related missions:
    *Sort missions by clicking Launch Date, A-Z, or PHASE column headers.
    Division
    Name
    Launch Date
    Phase
    Earth

    ACRIMSAT

    ACRIMSAT is the latest in a series of long-term solar-monitoring missions, utilizing the proven Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor III (ACRIM III) instrument. This mission is part of SMD’s Earth Systematic Missions program.

    19991220 12-20-1999
    3Operating
    Earth

    GRACE

    The primary goal of the GRACE mission is to accurately map variations in the Earth’s gravity field over its 5-year lifetime. This provides scientists from all over the world with an efficient and cost-effective way to map the Earth’s gravity …

    20020317 03-17-2002
    3Operating
    Earth
    LDCM

    LDCM is a joint NASA-United States Geological Survey (USGS) mission to extend the Landsat record of multispectral, 30-meter resolution, seasonal, global coverage of the Earth’s land surface. The Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992 directs NASA and USGS to …

    20121201 12-01-2012
    2Development
    Earth
    NOAA-N

    NOAA-N broadcasts data directly to thousands of users around the world and continues to provide a polar-orbiting platform to support the environmental monitoring instruments for imaging and measurement of the Earth’s atmosphere, its surface, and cloud cover. Observations include information …

    20050520 05-20-2005
    3Operating
    Earth
    NPOESS

    The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) is a satellite system used to monitor global environmental conditions, and collect and disseminate data related to weather, atmosphere, oceans, land and near-space environment. This mission is part of the GOES/POES program.

    20140331 03-31-2014
    2Development
    Earth
    NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP)

    NPP is a joint mission to extend key measurements in support of long term monitoring of climate trends and of global biological productivity. This mission is part of SMD’s Earth Systematic Missions program.

    20111018 10-18-2011
    2Development

  30. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 50 Barnes,
    I am going to try to answer the “tipping point issue”. I know you asked Dr Eric, but this point comes up often, and needs to be put to bed.

    The tipping point would occur when a feedback became large enough that it ran to a material supply limit rather than self limiting. Two examples are the increase (or decrease) in ice sheets, and the runaway evaporation of all oceans.

    The ice sheet effect occurs due to the fact that albedo increases (or decreases) when ice is more present (or less). The change in albedo cools (or warms) the Earth, to freeze (or melt) more ice, resulting in more change in albedo, until there is no more open area (or any more ice). The most extreme cases led to a “snowball Earth” (or ice free hot Earth) at one time or the other, and made huge differences in ocean depth. Conditions to cause these are not common. Tilt of the Earth axis and orbit condition, and specific location of land (from plate drift) were required. The glacial, interglacial sequences of the last 2 million years or so, are tilt and orbit driven. Generally the changes are not as extreme as snowball Earth or near ice free Earth, due to land location and limited areas available for change, so the glacial to interglacial are far more limited.

    The ocean evaporation requires a very high trigger condition (far higher than could happen on Earth) and is what happened to Venus. The water vapor forms a very thick atmosphere (and is UV decomposed and Hydrogen is eventually blown into space by solar wind), and Carbon, released from the ground by the high temperature due to the very thick atmosphere (due to adiabatic lapse rate times thickness), combines with the Oxygen to produce Carbon Dioxide, which then dominates the atmosphere. The Earth is too far from the Sun to have that happen.

    There are no tipping points available other than those for Earth. The claim of tipping point for Earth is based only on melting of high latitude glaciers. The Greenland and Antarctic ice is on land and at high altitude, and would take many thousand years to melt or slide to the seas under any physical condition possible. Thus there is no chance these would be a tipping point. The Arctic ocean ice could melt in the local summer, and this would allow a somewhat higher temperature, but it would refreeze in fall/winter/spring, and the difference in absorbed energy would not be a tipping point and only allow a modest temperature rise. It also would not add to sea level rise due to being sea ice already. In fact there is evidence that it melted in summer several time in the past, with no big effect.

    The “tipping point” claims have no realistic physical basis.

  31. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 51 Berthold,
    The feedback is supposed to be due to the water vapor, clouds, aerosol, etc. changes due to small CO2 induced heating, causing more heating. The arguments I use are that actual data shows these inhibit rather than amplify the direct CO2 heating, so that CO2 atmospheric greenhouse effects are NOT important. I also think the Earth is heading toward cooler times. You need to read my writeups rather than just keep on this “there is no greenhouse gas effect”. The papers you keep quoting (at least most of them) do not disagree with what I say, but they argue about different issues.

  32. Leonard @53, I have to take issue with your definition of a tipping point. A “tipping point” is just a change in circumstances that it is difficult to recover from. One example would be the loss of summer ice in the arctic. The immediate effect of that would be to reduce climate sensitivity so that the temperature of the Earth would increase less for a given possitive forcing (which would be good). The downside is that it would decrease less for a given negative forcing, making it harder to return to the previous stable state we have enjoyed for much of the holocene. In fact, with no arctic summer ice, even current levels of CO2 would be sufficient to maintain ice free summers, and hence a higher than current global average temperature.

    There are a variety of potential tipping points, some fairly minor, and some major. Some we are very close to reaching, and some we are likely to reach with BAU within 50 to 150 years. At least one, the release of marine clathrates, would be completely disasterous for humans, and have an unknown threshold.

    You have discussed two particularly important tipping points in that, they could (definitely would in once case) mean the end of all life on Earth; and are for practical purposes not recoverable. They are, however, as you point out, unlikely and not relevant to the debate. But that does not mean that other tipping points are not.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipping_point_(climatology)

  33. @50 Barnes,
    Adding here to the responses already provided by Leonard and Tom:

    50 million years ago the Earth has not so “charged” as it is today with methane clathrate deposits in the ocean bottoms and other deposits of carbon within the permafrost of the Arctic regions. This is because 50 Myrs ago the Earth had been sufficiently hot in it recent past as to have already “fired” them off (as in the big such event called the PETM noted 55 Myrs ago).

    During the 50 millions years since then, however, the Earth continuously cooled and vast carbon deposits of this kind were formed – so that the Earth is now once again fully “charged” with respect to these potentially volatile deposits of carbon.

    All of this is very well known. Our natural gas industries have been studying these methane clathrate deposits for several years because of the essentially unlimited amounts of methane they could potentially provide. Like all other fossil fuels, however, the wisest thing we can is leave them in the ground. And we certainly do not want them to be released uncontrollably by Mother Nature in response to higher global temperatures. That would provide a run-away effect leading to a much hotter Earth with sea levels up more that 100 meters, but not to a Venus-like state if it occurred during the present millennium.

  34. To Leonard @54:I do not agree that the “GHG” effect exists which is consistent with what Dr. Freeman Dyson of Institute of Advances Studies at Princeton is putting into print. He knows a hell of a lot more physics than I do.
    I do not agree with you as to the importance of the adiabatic lapse rate in atmospheric conditions and the dispersion of Radiation to space. A more complete comment will follow soon.

  35. Berthold,
    What do you mean you don’t agree with the importance of adiabatic (more accurately, polytropic) lapse rate. The root article G2 clearly explains why it is CRITICALLY important in the physical picture of greenhouse effect. This is not a question of you to agree or disagree. There is a physical mechanism as described. What specifically is incorrect in the presented simplified picture?

    But before proceeding, please concede your objections to structure of IR spectrum from water, land, and vegetation. Please keep in mind that the overall qualitative construction of GH effect does not change if emission spectra have some imperfections, even significant.

  36. To Al G-2@58: Just to give you a clue to what is coming. Over simplification leads to errors.
    Look up the IR Emissivity of materials. Then relate this to the surface of the Earth and a theoretical black body.
    Al it won’t be long till your balloon bursts!

  37. Berthold,
    I already have warned you that “overall qualitative construction of GH effect does not change if emission spectra have some imperfections”. As I see, my effort went into nowhere. Again, using various corrections for “true” emissivity of materials involved in the effect, all you can get is a correction to the overall magnitude of the GH effect. The effect will not disappear into “thin air”.

    And please stop referring to some deranged web blogs that run by ignorant lunatics.

  38. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 55 Tom,
    You are possibly correct on possible other “tipping point” events. However, Arctic ice could fully melt in the summer, but would refreeze in the fall/winter/spring, and your assumption was that even current (or near future) levels of CO2 would be enough to remelt it every summer. I don’t think so. There is no indication it is heading that way. The dip in the last few years was due to ocean currents, not air temperature, and they seem to be recovering. The temperature has been significantly higher than present many times for long periods in the last few hundred thousand years , and even in the last few thousand years, with no methane spike, so I see no indication of a methane surge from present heating, or trend.

    @56 Dr. Eric,
    The background conditions leading up to the PETM spike were quite different than present or the projected reasonable future. We are not even near that condition, so using that example is not supportable.

  39. @ 61 Leonard,

    Concerning your statement:

    “@56 Dr. Eric,
    The background conditions leading up to the PETM spike were quite different than present or the projected reasonable future. We are not even near that condition, so using that example is not supportable.”

    Of course, conditions were different at that time. Are you suggesting that we can not learn any lessons learned from “other times” when conditions were different? Of course not and I hope you didn’t really mean what you said.

    So please have another try at understanding my main point in @56 and also reread Post 6 concerning Figure 6 and point 4 concerning the PEMT. It you do, you will find:

    Prior of the PETM about 55 Myrs ago, temperature was increasing due (it is thought) to continental drift and resulting volcanic activity – causing increased levels of CO2. Since T was increasing during that period, the PETM occurred due to methane clathrate deposits somewhere on the Earth.

    A temperature maximum was then reached in about 50 Myr ago, after which CO2 very slowly decreased due mainly to the usual geological loss mechanisms (mainly weathering), and T then also decreased. Of course, in the meantime plant life also took us some of that CO2 and slowly over the next 50 Myrs, methane clathrate deposits were again formed in great abundance throughout the world.

    Now if the temperature again begins to rise sufficiently in the future, we will again have the condition of rising temperature we had 55 Myrs ago. While it will not be as hot initially as it was 55 Myr ago, there are far most methane chlathrate deposits on Earth to day that were formed a much lower temperatures and these will be prone to release at lower temperatures.

    The main point is simply that the Earth is now charged with an abundance of methane clathrate deposits. Therefore, your comment in @61 appears to have been nothing more than an irrelevant cheap shot designed to denegrate. If you indented to convey some significant point, perhaps you could expand a bit on what that that point was?

  40. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 64, Dr. Eric,
    How you took the statement “The background conditions leading up to the PETM spike were quite different than present or the projected reasonable future. We are not even near that condition, so using that example is not supportable.” as a cheap shot is astonishing. I am trying to respond to specific claims and that comment seems quite reasonable to me. We have had many instances of much higher temperatures than present (2-3 C at least) over the last several hundred thousand years and none had a methane spike like PETM. Thus it is not a supportable claim that we are in likely danger in the near or even more distant future despite the large amount of Methane clathrate levels, and increasing CO2 level. There is a finite possibility that a problem could occur, but there is a possibility of many disasters occuring, including super volcanoes, asteroid strikes, super earthquakes, etc. We need to put the likelyhood of each in perspective rather than jump on one with a low probability, and run around scared.

  41. @65, Leonard,

    Thanks, your response is significantly better this time in that its explanation is more than simply “conditions were different 55 Myrs ago”.

    Now concerning your last response,
    “We have had many instances of much higher temperatures than present (2-3 C at least) over the last several hundred thousand years and none had a methane spike like PETM”.

    Please look again at Post 6, but its Figure 6 this time. This show the temperature changes over the last 800 thousand years. It shows that at no point over this period was the temperature higher than about one degree C above today. Therefore, it would seem that your conclusion:

    “Thus it is not a supportable claim that we are in likely danger in the near or even more distant future despite the large amount of Methane clathrate levels, and increasing CO2 level.”

    has no basis in fact.

    So what have you done now? – just made stuff up so that you can conclude whatever you wish? (Sorry, if this statement also “astounds” you, but words do have meanings, right? and I can only go by what you say). Perhaps if you can provide one more improvement of what you have said so far, you will finally come up with either “what you meant to say” or an acknowledgment that the methane clathrates do indeed constitute a real possibility for a “tipping point” in climate change.

    Your turn.

  42. Leaonard @63: Most striking about Tamino’s pontifications is that this “good statistician” quotes: “the minimum … was 4.813594 million km^2.”

    It should be obvious that only absolutely clueless idiot would characterize such a fuzzy object (“at least 15% ice covered waters”) with 7-digit precise number. Absolutely astounding climatardant blunder.

  43. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 66 Dr. Eric,
    There is no Fig 6 in Post 6. I assume you meant Fig 4. Looking at Fig 2, 3, and 4 you clearly see 2 C or more higher several times. At much higher resolution you will see spikes (still several years long) that are even higher. I do want to mention these are a limited number of local measurements and not global, but they clearly show the 2-3 C higher as I stated, and it is in fact the coasts in near polar regions (upper Canada, Alaska, Siberia, northern Europe) that have shallow clathrate sea deposits that would likely be the first to go, so these temperature variations are important.

  44. @68 Leonard,

    Yes, I was referring the Figure 4 and in it this is what I see.

    I see a few interglacial periods that were warmer than the Holocene by about 1.5 degrees C. Today we are about 0.6 degrees warmer than the majority of the Holocene, which is represented in Figure 4. Thus, after subtracting 0.6 degrees, I see a few times in the last 800 millennia when T was about one degree higher than today. (I have noted that these data are estimates of the global average obtained by applying a factor of 0.5 to the measured T anomalies of the Antactartic).

    Concerning short term T spikes (either up or down) that might not show up at the time resolution of Figure 4: I would not expect these to be very importance because of the thermal inertia of the Earth. Our post-industrial age temperature increase will not be a short-term spike, however, as shown by Figure 1 in Post 9.

    As Tom has pointed out, we don’t know a lot about the methane clathrate deposits. Some of the most thermally fragile ones might have been formed during the last few 10 million years when the Earth was relatively cool. If so, it would seem reasonable to expect that these could fire first with temperature increases as low as 3 degrees greater than the Holocene, a condition we might be at with BAU by the end of this century. Concerning regional variations of temperature, that could further complicated predictions, but I should think could cut both ways – including the release of clathrates from a region that used to be cooler when the clathrates were originally formed.

    While I am all ears with respect to this subject which I (and possibly everyone else) know so little, it seems to me that the clathrates constitute a tipping point that could be set in motion within a century with BAU.

    I have also noted that “tipping points” are not the same as “points of no return”. We can avoid the latter after reaching a tipping point IF we find the technological means of quickly getting below the conditions of that tipping point. But that might be one very big “IF”.

  45. Al it won’t be long till your balloon bursts!
    1. 60
    Al Tekhasski says:
    December 22, 2010 at 2:15 am
    Berthold,
    I already have warned you that “overall qualitative construction of GH effect does not change if emission spectra have some imperfections”. As I see, my effort went into nowhere. Again, using various corrections for “true” emissivity of materials involved in the effect, all you can get is a correction to the overall magnitude of the GH effect. The effect will not disappear into “thin air”.
    And please stop referring to some deranged web blogs that run by ignorant lunatics.
    Al: I went back to your beginning entry at Post G-2 and wasted my time by reading your fiction comic book story about some fictional planet with a non exist type of atmosphere. Every time I think about your fictional comic book I can not stop laughing.

    Your right I had no business putting scientific facts up against your comic book fiction, they just don’t mix.
    After all the comparing of earth to a theoretical black body was disproved 40 years ago by NASA -See my comment at G-2;45 with this excerpt:

    Thus, the ‘blackbody approximations’ were proven to be as useful as a chocolate space helmet; the guesswork of using the Stefan-Boltzmann equations underpinning the man-made global warming theory was long ago debunked. If NASA had made known that Stefan-Boltzmann’s numbers were an irrelevant red-herring then the taxpayers of the world would have been spared the $50 billion wasted on global warming research; because it would have removed the only credible scientific basis to support the theory that human emissions of carbon dioxide changed Earth’s climate.
    The only part of your starting entry that has any scientific truth to it is the following sentence:
    “This process is complicated, it depends on complex boundary conditions with many parameters, it is turbulent, and we cannot calculate this process with contemporary computing technology, and probably never will.”
    Having discussed the Hoax of Mann-made global warming “ and the “ghg effect” with many young people most of them realize that it is a Hoax in spite of the bull being taught in some of the schools. These are elementary school students in the age range of 8 to 10 year olds and they can see that the whole Mann made climate change is a political hoax . All they have to do is look at the weather reports from around the word.

    After reading your last comment I realized that you are AL Gore Jr and Jim Hansen combined and by referring to the facts on climatedepot web-site I upset your mental equilibrium and you have to increase your meds.
    From http://www.climatedepot.com
    Ouch! Joe Romm: Climate Will Become Unliveable – And It Is Obama’s Fault

    Surprise! Science based decision finally made! George W. Obama’s White House: Polar bears not ‘endangered’
    UK: The big freeze death toll hits 300 people every day
    New Zealand Climate Scientists Admit To Faking Temperatures: The Actual Temps Show Little Warming Over Last 50 Years
    Atlanta may get first measurable snow on Christmas Day since 1882
    ‘Incomprehensible’: Syracuse NY has snowiest December on record with 71.9 inches
    Bitter Cold In Alaska
    Every time you tell me that something does not apply I know I’m correct but it does not fit into your fictional fairy-tale comic book.

  46. Gentlemen,
    Having returned from a period of absence on this clash, I am pleased to find out that the discussion is continuing in a fruitful though sometimes polemic fashion.
    I was catching up and found in Leonard’s #316 on The Ice Age post a reference to George White’s paper. I myself appreciate the approach (analysis of satellite data, retaining sufficient detail in seasonal variation and making distinctions between hemispheres, not directly jumping to ‘anomalies’) as I always had expected that exactly this kind of analysis should be done – or rather should have been done – and used to improve understanding of the physical behaviour of the earth. It can be seen as an empirical way to establish a thermal response to radiative forcing. If the analysis behind the curves presented are correct, I think this is a strong case arguing for rather small (as well as rapid) net effects caused by ~1.8 W/m² forcing variation.

    Any of you have read this?

    And Al (or Tom), would you agree to the way the CO2 increase is treated is treated as such an additional forcing in his argument?

  47. Leondard @81, as I indicated in the original post, the facts are:

    1) NZ has an 11 station series showing a positive trend of 1 degree over the period from the 1930’s to the present time;

    2) They have an old 7 station series devised by Dr Salinger, and a new one, both showing a 0.91 degree trend over the period 1909 to the present;

    3) All three temperature series show a greater increase in temperature between the early 20th century and 1960 than between 1960 the present; and

    4) They not in anyway admited to “faking temperatures” as is claimed at the Climate Depot, and they have not admited to it because they have never done it.

    Various “sceptics” have repeatedly represented the two later temperature series as falsifying the first. That is in direct contradiction to the facts. They have represented the fact that the trend to 1960 is greater than the trend post 1960 as being a new admission by NIWA, whereas it is a feature of the original temperature series (indeed, is marginally more pronounced in the old 7 station series than in the new one). They have also misrepresented NIWA as having admitted error, or in one case quoted by Berthold, of having admitted to having faked the temperatures. Both claims are obviouse falsehoods.

    Finally, as initially discussed by me, and as discussed by NIWA in their report (from where I got the information), durring the period leading up to 1960, air flow over NZ increasingly came from more northerly and hence warmer locations. After 1960, it increasingly came from more southerly, hence colder locations. Despite this more southerly origin, the temperatures continued to rise post 1960, whereas, in the absence of global warming they would definitly have fallen.

    This information is discussed in the report, in which they say:

    “The unusually steep warming in the 1940-1960 period is paralleled by an unusually
    large increase in northerly flow during this same period. On a longer timeframe, there
    has been a trend towards less northerly flow (more southerly) since about 1960.
    However, New Zealand temperatures have continued to increase over this time, albeit
    at a reduced rate compared with earlier in the 20th century. This is consistent with a
    warming of the whole region of the southwest Pacific within which New Zealand is
    situated.”

    The evidence of this is in figure 3 of the report, comparing the NZ temperatures to the difference in MSLPressure between the Chathams (north of NZ) and Hobart (south of it). Looking at that graph, it is clear that the pressure difference, and consequent varation in wind direction, is the primary determinant of medium term variation in NZ temperatures. Equally clearly it is not the cause of the overall trend. Currently pressure differences between Chathams and Hobart are about what they were around 1900, leading to an expectation (in the absence of global warming) of no temperature difference between the early 1900’s and the early 2000’s. Instead, temperatures differ by 0.9 degrees C, a fairly clear indication of global warming.

  48. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 80 Tom,
    I am afraid there is something you don’t seem to realize. The early skeptical climate scientists were treated very badly by the pro CAGW camp. The MSM, the politicians, and environmentalists joined in on what has to be called a witch hunt to punish anyone disagreeing with CAGW. Several very highly qualified scientists that worked on fields related to climatology were fired or had funding cut off just because they were skeptics. This is the truth. The lie that 97% of scientists agree in CAGW and that there is no valid argument has continually been repeated.

    If you want my opinion, I think several otherwise capable scientists jumped on what seemed to be a reasonable effect, but went in early because they thought the issue was so important that they needed maximum time to counter it. They made a mistake, as often happens (it happened to a lesser extent in the early 1970’s on cooling). Now their funding and prestige is on the line, and they are HOPING it will heat up enough to save their reputation (but not enough to be dangerous). There is a strong enough argument to continue a while, but if the next several years generally stay flat or even cools, it will be all over. I think most serious skeptics started out to only want to know the truth, but some have moved to wanting to show the CAGW as being dishonest, due to their bad activities.

  49. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 85, Tom,
    As I post, I find you posted again, We are talking past each other some.

    You keep saying there has been global warming. I agree. Pretty much all skeptics agree. I do not understand your point. The main discussion is human caused global warming, and in fact most skeptics even agree there is some of that. The real issue is how much is human caused and if it threatens CAGW. If you are correct on NZ, fine. I have seen temperature profiles and data that was in error and some has been corrected, and some not. Many of the skeptics just want the correct data. A warming is agreed to, but the level may be a bit off. That is not proof of anything either way. I think the point many skeptics made was that historical data was not often carefully made, and this supports some uncertainty.

  50. Leonard @87, this entire exchange began because I responded to, and gave the lie to a claim posted by Berthold @74. The question at issue is, have the NZ “sceptics” fairly represented the data; and have they fairly represented the utterances of NIWA. The fairly obvious answer to both questions is no. In fact, they have misrepresented both to such an extent that they can only be characterised as dishonest.

    In your last few posts, you seem to have been chasing after side issues. Frankly, it seems like an evasion of the primary point at issue in this series of exchanges. And now, when I respond to your claim that, “… there was no significant temperature rise during the last half century – in stark contrast to the big AGW issue”, in the NZ data by showing that the NZ data is fully consistent with AGW, your pip me for discussing global warming which you and “Pretty much all sceptics agree with.”

    You raised the suggestion that the pattern of NZ data was inconsistent with what is expected from AGW. Clearly it is not. Why then are you not acknowledging that? Neither of us are so stupid as to believe that because the pattern of warming in a single nation, or even the entire globe is consistent with AGW, that that somehow proves AGW. And nobody in this exchange has suggested that it does. So why won’t you acknowledge it?

  51. Leonard Weinstein

    @88 Tom,
    If you read my comments, you will see that I did not dispute you, but asked for specific sites so I could evaluate the comments myself. You did not suggest sites, so I made a quick look, and I only found a couple of sites with verbal comments but not data. That is the basis for my responses. If you would please send specific sites, I would be glad to respond more specifically. I agree misstatements are often made by skeptics (as well as the other side). I don’t use those to disregard the statements that seem correct.

  52. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 88 Tom,
    I went back and looked at your link at: http://www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/7-station-series-review

    I don’t know what the other skeptics have said, but from my just looking at both old and new data versions shown, I would have guessed there might be a serious problem with the data somewhere. There is no trend up 1909 to 1955, and no trend up from 1955 to present, yet there is a jump at about 1955 of nearly 0.9 C. The fact of the jump is either indication of a data error, or a step change in a basic environmental condition such as ocean current or wind flip, but the fact of the level of shift shows nothing related to AGW.

  53. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 88 Tom,
    The sites I was requesting were the skeptics sites that you disagree with, not the NZ one you gave. I looked at the one you gave and agree the change shown is small, but I don’t know why the skeptics said what they did. It could be they consider both the original and corrected NZ data shown as bad, and I don’t know why.

  54. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 88 Tom,
    I can’t seem to get a clear resolution on the NZ issue. The latest thing I found was:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1012/S00057/call-on-niwa-to-admit-latest-temperature-review-not-valid.htm
    which indicates that the revision was not a valid one of data but a rework of published “corrected data”, which was the very thing being questioned. I think your comments on the dishonesty of skeptics on that issue are less well founded than you indicate. You may be correct in the end, but the end is not here yet.

  55. Cyril,
    The observations of G.White are certainly correct. From short-term climate reactions to real forcings (diurnal and annual) it is clear that cloud cover acts as a strong negative feedback. The CO2 forcing appears to be so small that no one was able to detect the warming signal yet.

    Regarding your question (b), the intent of G2 article was to establish a baseline for a discussion why the real climate does not behave as the bold averaged semi-gray model would suggest. Unfortunately, it seems that the level of understanding of physics is lacking among AGW proponents, as well as among climate primitivists. I am of opinion that several factors contribute to much lesser sensitivity of climate to increase in CO2: (1) averages of very spiky function such as CO2 absorption spectrum are done without proper accounting for inversion of atmospheric profile across around tropopause; and (2) arguments about time dynamics of “atmospheric adjustments” are nearly unphysical, all this 4-step IPCC process is hand waiving. As result of other strongly negative system feedbacks as clouds, the overall forcing is reduced to maybe about 1/10th of what AGW assumes, and maybe even less.

    I personally think that climatology suffers from brutal misunderstanding of simple mathematics of averages of rather complex behaving functions. It can be seen in every part of climatological averaging: in diurnal, and annual, be it CO2 flux across sea surface, or solar flux change, or spectral band-averages, or anything else “average”.

    For example, for cloud feedbacks, climatartds frequently invoke “forcings” as separate entities, “albedo forcing”, and “cloud backradiation forcing”. They apply averages to each of these forcings separately, and then subtract them. The result does not look overly impressive, so they declare that these components of “clouds effect” cancel each other and therefore do not affect “global climate” to any significant degree. Obviously it is a bunk: clouds can modulate incoming radiation deeply, 90-95%, reducing input by a factor of 1/10-1/20, or about 200W/m2 “forcing”. What has escaped the attention of climatartds is that if there is no input from Sun, there will be nearly nothing to backradiate on next day or week. The two effects are strongly coupled, so you cannot average each part separately, and compare them later. It is nonsense. Same nonsense can be traced in nearly every average of climatology.

    With X-Mas cheers,
    – Al Tekhasski,
    from rainy Texas (and expecting White New Year)

  56. @94 Cyril,

    Concerning your question, “a) Any thoughts on how relevant and/or how true this is?”, I will remind you that the best test of theory is experiment (theory guides and experiment decides). In this case, from the ice core data and other measurements, we have our best estimates of CO2 Sensitivity with all the natural and complex feedbacks built into the magnitude thereby observed.

    While the development of improved theory is great and very useful, its practitioners sometimes forget that we most probably already have more reliable determination of sensitivity than they are likely to obtain via theory. Again, by analogy to our understanding of gravity, we know what the force of gravity is and are not likely to change its magnitude even if someone does manage to greatly improve our theoretical understand of it.

    So to answer your question, the authors treatment of their data suggests a Sensitivity much lower than the values determined from the ice core record. So it appears to me that the “determinations” of sensitivity by this group are not “true”.

    At the same time, I recognize that the precision an accuracy of measurements must always be questioned and improved. I have yet to see significant evidence, however, that the accuracy of ice core date is sufficiently off as to suggest that the determinations of sensitivity by them in error and much too high.

    It is noteworthy to me that both sceptics and deniers of AGW tend to focus on the details of theory of AGW rather than the measurements behind it (specifically the ice core record). The discussions on this web site, to date, certainly reflect that. This, even though measurements should also not be considered to be sacred and beyond question. It appears to me that skeptics usually don’t want to “go there” in a serious way – perhaps because it offers less ground for promoting an atmosphere of uncertainty before the lay public.

  57. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 96, Dr. Eric,
    It is surprising you quote use of ice cores as indication of sensitivity. It is know that TEMPERATURE LEADS CO2. The remaining issue is whether there is a significant feedback from the eventually released CO2. The argument is the CO2 inrease causes more warming that then causes more water vapor that drives the temperature up even more. The first observation to make is that the increase in CO2 is about what would be expected to be released from the oceans corresponding to the temperature increase. This is not surprising, as this is what would be expected. This gives no evidence as to which is cause and which is effect. We know that at least some warming had to occur to initiate the change from glacial to interglacial, so even if CO2 boosted the process, we can’t separate the magnitude of the initial trigger (tilt and orbit variation effecting ice coverage and thus albedo) from feedbacks. Thus we don’t know what fraction is due to CO2 and it’s feedback. Since all changes in temperature cause more water vapor, why is the CO2 induced warming expected to be dominate over the initial warming in driving feedback? There is NO supporting evidence that CO2 induced feedback was a major component of glacial to interglacial events. This is a hypothesis without direct support. I am sure CO2 was a factor, but likely a small one. If you have any evidence beyond this please show it rather than continuing to just insist you have the answer.

  58. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 96, Dr. Eric,
    I think I need to go further. If a certain temperature increase resulted in a certain CO2 release from the oceans, and if there were a positive feedback, the boosted temperature would result in even more CO2 released from the ocean, which would boost the temperature, until some non linear activity stopped the process. Since you insist we are presently at a state where more CO2 would continue to have a positive feedback effect, we are presently at the nonlinear stopping point, so the natural trigger should NOT HAVE STOPPED! This is absolute proof that CO2 with positive feedback could not have driven the transitions. It is not proof that CO2 doesn’t have some effect. Adding CO2 by human activity also could not have positive feedback, since it did not for the glacial to interglacial transitions. However, it could still have small negative feedback and at most add 1 C or so per doubling, and not violate this analysis.

  59. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 98,
    A typo with some addition: “Since you insist we are presently at a state where more CO2 would continue to have a positive feedback effect, we are presently at the nonlinear stopping point, so the natural trigger should NOT HAVE STOPPED! ” should be:
    Since you insist we are presently at a state where more CO2 would continue to have a positive feedback effect, we are presently NOT at the nonlinear stopping point, so the temperature rise from the natural trigger causing the interglacials should NOT HAVE STOPPED!

  60. Leonard Weinstein

    @106&107 Tom,
    You continue to misrepresent what I have indicated. The issue is not that there has been global warming, there has and skeptics agree to that. The issue has been the cause. If it is AGW or CAGW the warming trend from the last half of the century should have been the largest. I looked at Fig 3, and it appears to me that the small temperature rise in the last half century is in the noise. Just having the wind from the South would not necessarily cause cooling, it depends on the ocean currents to the North and South. I do not know who is lying or telling the truth on the issue of the exact levels, as I see only one side represented, but I would agree it is possible the skeptics made a mistake. They claim it is not resolved fully yet, and I don’t know any better than that.

  61. Leonard Weinstein

    Tom,
    I have asked you several times for the SKEPTICS sites that you strongly disagree with. So far you continue to give the niwa sites. I read them but I can’t find the skeptics one. If you know them please put that down so I can see what they claim.

  62. Leonard Weinstein

    Tom,
    I went to climate depot and found the site you stated. Excuse me for missing the direction you gave. The site led to http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1012/S00054/climate-science-coalition-vindicated.htm which does not give any data, only words. It appears certain methods were abandoned by NIWA, and small changes made, but the results were close to the original. That vindicates what you said. However, there have been errors in records from other locations, so until the corrected series was made, there was a basis for suspicion. Also keep in mind that the NIWA record supports overall warming, but not AGW due to the small variation since 1960. I do consider the skeptics position as an initial reasonable request, but less than honest on the result so far.

  63. Gentlemen (all),

    An I correct that Tom and Leonard at this point are caught up in a discussion about temperature records rather than CO2 or GHG effects? May I suggest that you please continue this discussion in the appropriate B post?

    This would clear the way for what I think is a very important part of our discussion touched on in #76 and #94, invoking interesting and significant responses by Al (#95) and Dr, Eric (#96).

    This could be the start of progress, since the cards will be put on the table and we should be able to assess their validity by now. We have now Dr. Eric’s commitment to the alleged causal relations derived of ice core date.

    Is Tom agreeing? I think we should follow this path through.
    Thanks in advance foor co-operating!

    Cyril

  64. @97-99 Leonard,

    Leonard,

    You reinforce the point I was making back in @91 or so. You are choosing to make theory, rather than experiment decide.

    We all know what the ice cores tell us – with its historic record of temperature and CO2 content along with the albedo we can also deduce at any given point in time. That record tells us a lot about the delicate balance of the Earth’s climate during the last couple Myrs in which climate wobbles back and forth between glacial and interglacial conditions. Of the three known forces at work during this period, the weakest is the Earth’s orbital orientation but this is the only one that changes on its own. The other two are the GHG’s and the albedo effect and both of these amplify changes in either direction. We know that two of these forces move in concert once the weaker force manages to turn things around at a vulnerable moment and that there can be a lag of action in get things stopped and then reversed after a change in orbital forcing.

    The part that is less clear is the question of why the direction of climate change has reversed whenever the wobble has reached an extremity on one side or the other. That is and as you say, why have we not sailed off into either a much hotter world or a snow ball condition when either of those extremities were reached during the last couple million years? Certainly, this is a complex process with ocean dynamics also playing an important role in the timing of these events. The record tells us, however, that this reversal has indeed occurred throughout the glacial/interglacial period. It also tells us that a constant level of CO2 and the warming basically held (at about 280 ppm CO2) during for about 10,000 years during our current interglacial period.

    With Man’s recent affect on GHG forcing, it now seems quite possible that a new condition exists, not seen in a couple million years, and the Earth’s climate might very not make the U-turn that we have come to expect at the end of an interglacial period.

    Now your argument seems to be: Since we do not understand so well why those U-turns occurred naturally in the past, we do not know enough about the effects of Man’s additional input of CO2 to worry so much about them. (you also seem to be saying that the EXTRA CO2 that Man is putting into the atmosphere will not cause much warming because CO2 and T did not increase during the Holocene?)

    I strongly disagree. We do know the conditions that existed at both the glacial and interglacial extremities and all times in between and that information tells us that the magnitude of CO2’s Sensitivity appears to be about 3 degrees C (with inclusion of the fast natural feedback processes). Therefore, it seems reasonable to me to assume that Earth will continue to warm roughly by that amount as Man overpowers the subtle forces that would overwise cause. And I am not at all comforted by the fact that you and others might not yet understand as well why our climate system has made those U-turns in the past.

    I, too, would like to have a better understanding of why the wobbles of our climate system seems to be self-limiting at its extremities. In addition to the joy of simply understanding this better, a better understanding of this fact would be most useful in obtaining a better assessment of the risk we are now taking in allowing the GHG forcing to go well beyond their historic magnitudes of the last 2 Myrs.

    Until we have that additional understanding, I am not so willing as you to proceed in a manner that assumes the historical record is not a valid guide for the future.

  65. @111 Farewell Tom,

    I understand the frustration associated with debating with “moving targets”. I have found that if one is dealing with people who only want to learn, those targets (or discussion points) don’t move so much and the ensuing debate can be rewarding and enjoyable. However, when one is dealing with adversaries whose primary mission is to promote a specific outcome, then the targets tend to move around a lot. In fact, we are taught how to do this in high school debate classes and in Law Schools.

    I know myself that the greatest joy I get out of all of my scientific endeavors is simply to gain a better understanding of science and our physical universe. One can not beat the feeling of reward that comes with new significant insight – even if your previous views are overturned in the process. While I have no doubt that you feel the same way, I would not put that test to many in the public arena – who are possibly far more interested in using the bits of science that they do know to argue for the outcome they are determined to achieve. So whenever such folks feel their ground getting shaking, the target of discussion moves on. Very few admissions of ignorance or corrections of understanding occur.

    Let me also express, however, my appreciation for your comments of the last few months. I have learned a great deal from them and intend to save many of them for future reference. Not only the content of you comments, but also your style and choice of words have been magnificent, especially considering that they were also spontaneous.

    Lastly, I would like to know who you are for the sake of seeking your input whenever I am confused about scientific details of climate change. If you would not mind making that connection with me, please send a Hello to ericgrimsrud@gmail.com.

    So long and good luck to you also. It appears to me that you might be intimately involved in the real science being done on climate change and, unlike the rest of us, are not simply pontificating from the sidelines. In any case, keep up the good work!

  66. Leonard Weinstein

    Tom,
    Sorry to see you go. I respected your responses, and think highly of you. I am sorry you feel the way you do. I frequently respond off the cuff rather than doing a careful look at details (and I have a bad short term memory), and that may have led to the present situation. I almost always later correct myself, but this approach seems unsuitable to you, and I am sorry if it caused you to lose interest. However, I made several points you have not yet responded to on other issues. I would be pleased if you did respond to those.

  67. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 113, Dr. Eric,
    What experiment are you talking about. The only 4 things I know that support positive feedback are:
    1) The THEORY that once glacial to interglacial warming was triggered, then CO2 LAGGED temperature several hundred years, it then took over and caused positive feedback to finish the warming to the interglacial level. The DATA only shows they tended to go together after a lag.
    2) The PETM event, which was long enough ago and different enough conditions, that we do not know all the details. Also the data is only for a limited number of locations.
    3) Computational models which do not even agree with each other within a factor of 3, and which have shown no skill forcasting, and poor skill backcasting without sticking in corrections of unphysically supported plugs.
    4) The response to Pinatubo, which others have disagreed to.

    There is also the problem that mid to upper troposphere absolute water vapor has not increased as required for positive feedback, and clouds may result in net negative feedback. Without the water vapor feedback, there are no terms to make the difference quoted for CO2 effects.

    A final problem is lack of sufficient increasing energy storage in the oceans to give the “in the pipeline” warming that keeps being quoted.

  68. @ 117 Leonard,

    The “experiment” I am referring to, of course, is that carried out during the period for which we have ice core records (last 800,000 years) over which both temperature and atmopheric CO2 content have been revealed. In that experiment, a correlation between temperature and CO2 is very strongly suggested (again, it is just the U-turn parts that remain somewhat mysterious). Any theories that are developed should either include a cause and effect relationship between these two variables or should explain why this correlation is merely a coincidence – time and time again for each cycle between glacial and interglacial periods. Such theories should also explain why the wobble between these two extreme climate states did a U-turn instead of continuing on to more extreme hot and cold states.

    In summary, the experiment has been done. The facts concerning T and CO2 during these climate swings are in. Sure we have not yet developed good enough theories yet to explain the facts. But that does not mean the facts do not reflect what happened. As often is the case, good theory follows good measurements by many years – as in the case of gravity, for example. Following your view, you should not fear stepping off the roof of a tall building – because we do not yet have a good theory from which the Force of Gravity can be calculated. We know the force of gravity and its effect on any the displacement of any object of known mass only through experiments.

    Looking at all of this in this way, the case for AGW is a very strong one – based largely on experimental observations, which if accurate are the closest things we have to facts. Ironically, it is CASE AGAINST AGW that is “just a theory”. That is, your argument is that a deeper theoretical understanding will cause us to realize that the observed facts are misleading. Again, until that happens and the case thereby developed is very convincing, we should give priority to what we have learned from direct observations. For the same reason, I would expect that even Einstein, who failed to develop a comprehensive theory of gravity would recommend that you not step off any high buildings quite yet.

  69. At ‘Farewell’ Tom,
    I too regret your parting. Especially since my impression is that by now there has been substantial discussion and sufficient exchange of thought to enable a showdown (possibly leading to) convergence in the essential steps leading to the AGW case to be assembled (true or false).

    Yes, there have been many discussions concerning details which may have been demanding at times (I suspect that this feeling is mutual). But what use is that in the end if this is not brought together in essentials in an apotheosis to make or brake the case?

    If you do consider changing your mind – perhaps after having a good walk with the dog according to the recipe prescribed by Dr. Eric (or was it Dr. Ed?), then I have the impression you are more than encouraged to do so by proponents, skeptics and jury alike!

    My personal impression is that the issue of ‘loyalty to the skeptic creed ‘ around NZ temperature data is not worth departing but is nevertheless deflagrating the discussion into a premature end.

  70. @118 Dr. Eric,

    By what move did you reverse the burden of proof there?

    You talk about an 800 kyear “experiment” as if the conclusions you draw concerning CO2 are inescapable; equivalent to empirical knowledge about the effects of earth’s gravity even. Epistemologically, I think this is a key claim: if it can be shown that your step from correlation to causality is correct, you win. Otherwise you may do better to adjust your views because the only applicable gravity metaphor is that of Baron von Münchhausen pulling himself and his horse out of the swamp by his own hairs – to reflect the circular reasoning.

    This issue is about the scientific method at heart. To make sure I have not missed anything, I will now try to review (for myself) the ice-age argument (post 6) and subsequent discussion to see where the clue would be.

    Meanwhile however, I will for the sake of discussion also summarise what I regard as important empirical observations as brought forward by White as derived from 25 years of satellite measurements. This can be considered as more of an (instrumented) ‘experiment’ than your 800 kyears case, but of course I would not call it that, since it simply isn’t, by any standard.

  71. @ Hi Cyril, a few corrections here concerning your comments shown here by with quotation marks.

    “You talk about an 800 kyear experiment as if the conclusions you draw concerning CO2 are inescapable”.

    Cyril, these measurements are not conclusions, they are observations. Unless the measurements are in serious error, they are also facts.

    “Epistemologically (I’ll have to look that one up), I think this is a key claim: if it can be shown that your step from correlation to causality is correct, you win.”

    Cyril, don’t even bother with that endeavor here. I have not ‘proven’ causality and do not intend to. I will leave that quest to the any modelers who might harbor the notion that they can. Firmly grounded theoreticians recognize, however, that they can not “prove” anything. They can, however, continuously improve models so that they better fit all of the observations. Theory is always a work in progress as it certainly is in the case of climate change.

    Again, measurements of CO2 suggest that AGW is now real and constitutes a serious problem for humanity. At this point in time, only wishful thinking and poorly constructed theory offers the hope that elevated CO2 levels will not cause AGW. So yes, the burden of proof is now largely on the other foot, as you suggested, Cyril. For the n’th time, theory might possibly guide (if its really good theory) but experiment ALWAYS decides.

  72. Is this a kind of mocking, Dr.Eric? Measurements of CO2 (40% increase) suggest that the warming must be nearly 8 degrees Celsius if, as you assert, CO2 is the driver and ice core records are “golden standard” of CO2 T relationship. Despite all efforts of AGW-appointed scientists, the warming signal is barely detectable over the entire century. So, the experiment of CO2 infusion has spoken. Clearly, at this point of time the theory of CO2 being a threat to climate looks like an utter nonsense.

  73. @122 Al,

    Do you not understand the meaning of the word, Sensitivity? It means that a doubling (that is, a 100% increase) will cause a given temperature increase – the ice cores suggest that this will be about 3 degrees C. So where do you come up with an 8 degrees C increase in temperature from a 40% increase in CO2? Your comment to me appears to be non-sense and disconnect from prior communications on this site. Can you tell me what you are referring to? Have you possibly gotten your multiple web site communications mixed up?

  74. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 118 Dr. Eric,
    During the glacial periods in the present ice age, the large extent of ice on land and that persisted in the oceans part or all of summer resulted in a higher albedo than during interglacials. In fact, the area of ice was as much as 15% of the surface of the Earth (or possibly more), extending to latitude 45 degrees in the North. This reflecting area, and the latitude it was located at, resulted in an average albedo near 0.4 (compared to the present value of 0.3). This is a reasonable value based on area and reflectivity of ice.

    The trigger for the glacial to interglacial periods over the last 800 kYears was almost surely orbital tilt and dynamics related as basically proposed by Milankovitch. This trigger did not significantly change the average solar insolation, but did change the local intensity distribution. The change caused some small amount of ice on land and more ocean ice to melt in the summers, decreasing the average Earth’s albedo slightly. This increased the energy absorbed and warmed the Earth slightly on the average. The slight warming, along with the continued intensity variation then melted more ice, and this decreased the albedo more, resulting in more heating (this is a real positive feedback). This process continued until the ice area at low enough latitudes and altitudes to be easily affected ran out. Notice this is a real limit to a positive feedback, which would have not otherwise have stopped.

    The first question to ask is whether the change in albedo can explain the amount of temperature change observed. The exact answer depends on knowing the actual average Earth temperature and exact extent of the ice before and after a transition, and these are only approximately known. However, the approximate known numbers do closely agree with such a process. I have run the numbers and a 15% change in ice at the latitudes where glaciers would occur would change the average global temperature by about 8 C (based on the same crude energy balance calculation commonly used).

    The end of the interglacials were also triggered by the end of the Milankovitch cycle that initiated it, and resulted in the reverse of that process. The limit to the re freezing occurred when the higher solar insolation levels encountered at the lower latitudes and altitudes made further progress more difficult than the feedback could overcome. Only the areas that were close to the borderline for change were triggered by the relatively weak cycles and feedbacks, but these were significant in extent.

    It is likely that CO2 released and reabsorbed in the oceans DUE TO THE HEATING AND COOLING, and affected by plant activity did contribute to the final temperatures, as it is a greenhouse gas, but it is very likely it is a very small effect. Please note that no assumption is needed for CO2 supercharging, and no other explanation is needed for the link between CO2 level and temperature.

  75. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 118, Dr Eric,
    I also calculated what would happen if all of the Arctic ocean melted in summer (it will refreeze winters). The Greenland glaciers would not melt in less than several hundreds of years and Antarctic in less than several thousands, so these can be left out of that calculation. The average change in albedo would be to go from 0.3 to o.29. This would result in an average temperature change of about 0.15 C if that was the only effect. I am sure it would cause local climate changes in some regions, but not cause a large average change by itself. The modest area and high latitude limit that effect.

  76. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 125,
    I only used 2 decimals for albedo, and clipped rather than rounded off. The albedo change for the melted Arctic ocean case would be more like 0.299

  77. Dr. Eric @123 wrote: “Do you not understand the meaning of the word, Sensitivity? It means that a doubling (that is, a 100% increase) will cause a given temperature increase – the ice cores suggest that this will be about 3 degrees C. So where do you come up with an 8 degrees C increase in temperature from a 40% increase in CO2? Your comment to me appears to be non-sense and disconnect from prior communications on this site. Can you tell me what you are referring to? Have you possibly gotten your multiple web site communications mixed up?”

    It looks like you are suffering from some cognitive disorder, my dear. Please check G1@57. For your convenience, here is the direct link:

    http://climateclash.com/2010/11/25/g1-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect-and-its-effect-on-agw/comment-page-2/#comment-1323

    I know that it is usually takes at least three times to communicate an argument to you, so I repeat our “prior communication”::
    “Vostok ice cores, located also in Antarctica, [Petit et al, Nature 1999]. Figure3 identifies isotopically-derived surface temperature anomaly as 12C. This temperature change corresponded to 280-180ppm change in CO2 concentrations.
    Calculating again:
    dT = 12 = K*ln(280/180); K = 27.16, which gives 18.8C per CO2 doubling. As you said yourself, Mother Nature accounted for everything in this relationship.”

    Remember your response? You said that I overestimated the effect of soot, so don’t tell that you haven’t seen my correspondence.

    I hope you do understand meaning of simple mathematical expressions, do you? So I repeat:
    “dT = 12 = K*ln(280/180); K = 27.16, which gives 18.8C per CO2 doubling.”

    Therefore, expected dT for modern increase in CO2 is 27.16*ln(380/280) = 8.29 C.
    Any questions, Dr?

  78. @127 Al,

    OK, but the sensitivity value of nearly 19 degrees C you have assumed is something you fished out of the literature, not me. As I have repeated many times here, the value for Sensitivity that seems to be deduced most often from the ice core record is about 3 degrees. That number you have preferred to use seemed so very far off to me that I thought perhaps you did not know what the term sensitivity means.

  79. Dr.Eric, no, I didn’t “fish out” the 18.8 degrees value from any literature and did not assume it; I calculated it myself from well-known Vostok data and using your definition that “Mother nature has accounted for all feedbacks”, known an unknown. And I have compared this sensitivity with instrumental records FOR THE SAME REGION (~2.4C/2x), which excuses any attempt for global-vs-regional adjustments.

    In contrast, you base your writings on AGW-driven “literature” that goes at ridiculous length trying to hide this glaring discrepancy between modern instrumental observations and ice core data. See all that circular referencing from Hansen et al (2008) to Hansen (2007), down to populist article of Hansen (1993) in “National Geographic Research and Exploration” tabloid. This is where and how Hansen got his “fit” of 3C/2xCO2 with his own models, by a chain of stretching of mostly guessed fuzzy numbers, all in a slippery-slope fashion. The CO2 swing was taken from ice record, but corresponding isotopic-deduced temperatures (which are based on an argument of global evaporation pattern BTW) were mostly replaced from tropical water sediments, plus some massaging of “other feedbacks”. That’s how your 3C/2xCO2 “seems to be deduced from the ice core record”.

    This is the whole point that the formally determined sensitivities are so far off, which indicates the absurd of declaring CO2 as a major factor in climate variations. There must be some other “forcing” that drives ice ages that climatology has failed to identify yet.

  80. @121 Dr. Eric,

    You wrote:

    “These measurements are not conclusions, they are observations (….facts).”

    I was talking not of whether the ice core data were right or wrong. But I was talking about your concept of ‘climate sensitivity’ (I assume this to be causal) as derived from the data.

    The ice core data are what they are. If interpreted correctly (with due consideration for CO2 depletion, temporal averaging, aliasing as related to sample frequency etc. etc.), they offer the possibility to derive conclusions. They tell nothing, everything has to be squeezed out with proper scientific rigour.

    Am I correct that you propose to take the correlation between temperature and CO2 (/CH4) and without the need for explanation promote this to a causal relationship? Where is the justification? I must disagree with your statement, as “Sensitivity” certainly does not directly follow from observation.

    As Leonard and others have pointed out, solubility and biomass are sufficient to account for (passive) change as such. Drivers for temperature change can be amply found in several forms of albedo where asymmetry in the hemispheres plays an important role (I only realised its importance after reading George White’s paper) in amplifying the effects of a modest change in insolation (magnitude, orientation). Many turning points are convincingly associated with Milankovitch cycles. Many other cycle points of smaller or bigger magnitude exist with several known solar/celestial phenomena. Geologists and astronomers gradually have built up a significant body of knowledge about this.

    So, if you tell me “correlation is causality” (leaving aside the postmodern academic gibberish about causality not existing), I don’t think you mean that since after all you are a scientist. If you say that the proof of the existence of the CO2 effect as described in this post as a truly significant effect (driver even) in climate change has already been provided elsewhere and that therefore we are allowed to interpret the T- changes as caused by CO2, then this is another matter. But it hasn’t.

    So we are stuck with the data of Vostok and DomeC for example. You run a correlation analysis in order to get a clue to what’s going on, carefully avoiding pitfalls and any bias towards wanting to prove a hypothesis that you assume; you try to do this objectively. Then WHAT DO WE FIND?

    This is my question for you (and others) to answer, as otherwise I am afraid we will never get aligned on this Clash.

  81. Re @131, 132, 133, 134: I could care less if these fine scientists calculated some theoretical “forcing” from CO2 and equated it to 0.75C, and then stretched it to 0.95C or else. This is a long way to dT=12C. To close the gap, they amplified/fudged the number with “possible positive feedbacks” “associated with water vapour, sea ice, and possibly clouds”.

    But, as Dr.Eric said, “Mother Nature” took care of all this, resulting in total swing of 12C from the alleged “initial” CO2 forcing from 180-280ppm change. This results in formal sensitivity of 18.8C/2xCO2. And yes, the Vostok temperature swing was calibrated by isotopic distribution of Deuterium from modern data, which includes global estimations of seawater parameters and therefore represents a sort of global proxy. Modern data also suggest that there is no Antarctic amplification in reality, so the Vostok’s amplitude of anomaly should correspond to global anomaly swing as 1:1.

    Now, you ask if it is valid to use half-century of instrumental records to compare changes in the same geographical location with ice records.

    Then let me ask you few questions in turn:
    (1) How long does it take for a surface of water to respond to rising Sun? Right, half a day.
    (2) How long does it take for water to increase evaporation from warmed up water surface? I would guess as soon as the corresponding surface warms up, right?
    (3) How long does it take for water vapor to mix with 5km altitude of mid-atmosphere and provide the alleged additional imbalance (aka the ill-known “positive feedback”)? Right, another half day for a developed thunderstorm.
    (4) So, how long does it take to engage this “water vapor feedback”? Is 50 years long enough?

    (5) Now, when a winter comes to appropriate hemisphere, does it bring a change in ice and snow cover?
    (6) Does this twice-annual change increase the global surface albedo?
    (7) Is this increase quite bigger than possible millennial change/drift in average ice/snow cover?
    (8) How does this huge change in albedo affect seasonal temperatures? Right, winters are colder than summers, as climatologists love to predict…
    (9) How long does it take? Is 50 years good enough to react to these variations (up and down, up and down), so the difference must clearly show up?

    Now, more:
    (10) Has the physics of cloud variation changed on the Earth in the last 12,000 years?
    (11) How different is the TSI _change_ today from 12,000 years ago? Right, not much, today the rate of global astronomical TSI change is +0.0006W/m2/50yrs, and at 10,000BC it was +0.0018W/m2/50yrs.

    So, if the modern climate was a subject to CO2 increase from 280 to 380 ppm, and all known feedbacks are the same and counted by Mother Nature, shouldn’t this “forcing” be amplified in the same way as in the recent deglaciation period? Or by at least at the 80% level as the Petit’s et al text suggests? Clearly it should.

    Yet the modern record produces overall sensitivity of about 2.4C/2xCO2 in the area. This is about the same number as global data. No matter how to slice it, the ends do not fit for the CO2 as being any driver of anything: the human-produced CO2 did not cause any effect on climate as it allegedly did 12,000 years ago. Or 147,000 years ago.
    Which seem to falsify the AGW hypothesis entirely.

  82. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 136 Thomas,
    I don’t necessarily agree with all of Al’s analysis, but I have made the calculations of the effect of change in albedo alone due to extensive ice (glacial) vs less ice (interglacial), and that alone can account for most of the observed change in likely mean temperature. Since we do not know the difference in clouds, or the exact difference in ice indicated temperature vs average global temperature, we can’t go much farther than this. If you don’t need a supercharged CO2 effect, postulating it violates logic. Also, the CO2 level rise is in direct reasonable agreement from ocean out gassing at the increased temperature observed.

  83. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 136, Thomas,
    I also want to ask you where you think any “long term” heating would come from. The only two possibilities were increased ocean heat storage, which is not happening nearly enough to explain anything, or additional melting ice, which the summer Arctic is the only possibility for hundreds of years, and which would only add a fraction of a degree at most. This claim of long term effect due to melting ice is related the positive feedback for glacial to interglacial transitions, but we are in an interglacial. Applying it now without ocean storage (the only remaining possibility) is unsupportable.

  84. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 136 Thomas,
    I do agree that greenhouse gases have possibly added about 2 C of the warming for the glacial to interglacial transition, but WATER VAPOR was almost all of the cause of the addition, and the increased water vapor came from the warming due to reducing albedo causing most of the warming, not CO2 boosting. CO2 is almost surely a small bit player.

  85. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 140 Thomas,
    The ocean storage problem has been examined, and is not able to do anywhere near what is needed. The measurement system tracks the top 700 m of ocean, and any energy that would go deeper has to pass through the upper layer first, and has not. It doesn’t work.

  86. Leonard @ 142: The study I referred to measured much deeper ocean temperatures than 700 meters. From the press release: “This study shows that the deep ocean – below about 3,300 feet – is taking up about 16 percent of what the upper ocean is absorbing. “

  87. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 143 Thomas,
    16% more still is not enough. In addition, all of what is measured in the deep ocean has to pass THROUGH the 700 m first. It can’t bypass this. Thus the present average shallow (to 700 m) temperature may be a bit lower than otherwise due to the deeper ocean taking 16%, but the energy absorption rate and thus temperature history is measured by the time history of just the top layer.

  88. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 140 Thomas,
    You referred to CO2 and temperature marching in lock step. NO they do not. Both are generally increasing, but the correlation is very poor if you look at the curves. It is known the temperature has risen following the low in the LIA (since about 1650), and the rise is very near a linear average rise with a 60 year cycle on top of it, that tracks several ocean long period cycles. It is likely that human land management and burning of Carbon based fuels may (or may not) be the main cause of the CO2 increase, but that would be an independent effect, and only be significant for a little over 100 years, with most of the CO2 gain only the last 60 or so years. There is no acceleration of temperature during this later period, and in fact the temperature is now predicted by many to be dropping (on average) the next couple of decades.

  89. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 140 Thomas,
    You ended your statement with a statement that “If this deep ocean heating were going into the atmosphere instead it would be warming at a rate of about 3°C (over 5°F) per decade. “ which is meaningless. The TOTAL deep ocean energy increase was quoted as ~0.1 W/msquare, which is small (only 16% of surface gain at most, and the surface gain has a small effect on temperature of <0.16 C/decade). In addition, the main part of the increase was 1990 to 2003, and the rate has actually dropped since then (along with global surface temperature). Also, deep ocean turnover has a time constant of about 1,000 years, so any energy in it is locked up for that long. The only effect is a small increase in sea level, which is now <3 mm/y.

  90. With a view to the discussion on the interpretation of ice core data, I revisited item @54 by Al under post G1 and followed the external link to the discussion (on greenoptions.com) where he engaged others there about the very same discrepancy also discussed above in Climate Clash, leading to 18.8C/2CO2 straight from Vostok ice-core data.

    First of all, I must pay a sincere compliment to Al on his restraint, courteousness and good will during the debate. For me, it read like a novel, and a revealing one. Al’s argumentation was about essentials and fair enough. There is a reason his opponents couldn’t answer his points. The use or misuse of concepts of ‘sensitivity’ and ‘forcing’ and feedback within a closed system I think are at the heart of the issue. If someone can explain how else the subject can be treated in a conceptually correct fashion, please do.

    The best Mr. gcnp58 came could up with, was in comment #105:

    “Once more, perhaps more succinctly, in order to derive climate sensitivities from ice core data, you have to first estimate all the change in total surface forcing from all the relevant processes (these forcing mechanisms will be the same in the sense of physical process, although different in terms of numerical value, and figuring out the numerical values is the hardest part in deducing climate sensitivities from the paleo record). Then you figure out how much temperatures changed for that change in forcing. From that you derive the sensitivity in terms of degrees per change in surface forcing. To turn that into a sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 you have to calculate the change in forcing from CO2 for a doubling in concentration (taking into account that it isn’t linear and a doubling from 200 to 400 ppmv provides a different increase in net forcing than a doubling from 150 to 300 ppmv) and only then can you determine what the change in temperature would be. However, as those papers point out, this is an estimate because the relationship of the feedbacks in determining the sensitivities changes with mean temperature so that the water vapour feedback is different going from an ice age to interstadial than it will be going from interstadial to whatever will happen when humans double atmospheric CO2. “

    Keeping in mind that the CO2 sensitivity is understood to include all feedbacks and that CO2 would be ‘a major GHG’, such a recipe is just beyond me.

  91. Dr.Eric @ 141:
    “We were discussing the calculation of CO2′s sensitivity from raw ice core data, were we not? Instead of “moving the target” to 11 other questions, how about finishing this issue first, OK? After all. if the ice cores do suggest the very high number you came up with, that would indeed be worth looking into very carefully, right?”

    What do you mean, “worth looking into very carefully”? Do you mean to establish “better” relationship between global evaporation patterns with “more careful” estimations of sea water salinity and better guesses about atmospheric circulation patterns for periods of 12000 and 147000 and 250000 years ago? And to make a better guess about atmospheric sounding distributions to calculate radiative forgings from CO2 “more carefully” minus forgings from sulfates and other aerosols for the same periods? Or how to better correlate surface temperatures with deep water formation of sediments and improve interpretations of DeltaO18 variability as a proxy for global temperatures?

    Do you realize how silly it sounds to “look more carefully” into all this fuzzy pile of assumptions and arm-waiving? How one could consider all this seriously? What is the difference between “very careful” massaging of numbers in Petit’s (and following Hansens) speculations, and taking a bold ratio between observed bulk increase in CO2 and bulk change in DeltaT in samples, be it ice samples or flask samples? I can tell you: in my case it does not require any assumptions, while the Petit-Hansen peddling schema requires a pile of assumptions, each one more dubious than other.

    So, in short, no, this “very high number” for climate sensitivity is not worth looking into, carefully or less carefully. Any “more careful” look would be exceeding available accuracy of data, a concept that seems to be foreign to AGW climatologists and their ilk. All it is worth is to look at the huge discrepancy between ice core and instrumental records, and finally conclude that no, CO2 cannot be any substantial driver of climate, period. That’s why my eleven questions are not a move of a target, but a very important argument in the chain of reasoning, to establish equivalency of known conditions between past and present states of climate. The final conclusion is that CO2 is a nearly independent variable that can be high or can be low, yet the climate itself does not care but behaves on its own. Paleogeological reconstructions of Royer (2007, Fig3) are perfect illustration for this conclusion, thanks to “Tom Curtis” who brought this source up:
    http://climateclash.com/2010/10/30/6-the-last-major-ice-age/comment-page-8/#comment-1301

    Cheers,
    – Al.Tekhasski

  92. Leonard @ 142 said: “The measurement system tracks the top 700 m of ocean, and any energy that would go deeper has to pass through the upper layer first, and has not.”

    I then pointed out @143 a recent study that did indeed measure the changes in ocean temperature to depths much deeper than the limit of 700 m you imposed. Considering the fact that you were wrong about the depths of investigation I can not help but think that perhaps you are being too quick in dismissing the results of the study.

    Leonard @ 145 “You referred to CO2 and temperature marching in lock step. NO they do not.”

    Thanks to Al I have two studies to guide me on this.

    From Petit et al, Nature, 1999 concerning the Vostoc ice core and the last 420,000 years:

    “The overall correlation between our CO2 andCH4 records and the Antarctic isotopic temperature5,9,16 is remarkable (r2 = 0:71 and 0.73 for CO2 and CH4, respectively). This high correlation indicates that CO2 and CH4 may have contributed to the glacial–interglacial changes over this entire period by amplifying the orbital forcing along with albedo, and possibly other changes15,16.”

    From Royer, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70 (2006), here we have this from the abstract:

    “A pervasive, tight correlation between CO2 and temperature is found both at coarse (10 my timescales) and fine resolutions up to the temporal limits of the data set (million-year timescales), indicating that CO2, operating in combination with many other factors such as solar luminosity and paleogeography, has imparted strong
    control over global temperatures for much of the Phanerozoic.”

    So from my layman’s perspective the scientists are saying there has indeed been a good, remarkable?, correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and global temperatures going back over 400 MY. The time with which this correlation breaks down is only recently and seems to be due to the enormous amounts of CO2 we are pumping into the atmosphere. It is precisely this recent breakdown makes me inclined to think that over time the temperature is going to catch up.

  93. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 149 Thomas,
    All energy that enters the ocean (not including sub sea volcanic action) is from the Sun. It is absorbed in just a few 10’s of meters. It would all be measured while at these shallow depths as a function of time. Some then eventually gets carried to greater depths. A relatively small amount can more quickly get carried to greater depth, and be missed, and the 16% is that smaller amount. The difference is due to the lack of 100% near surface area coverage, not due to a magical process of energy getting deeper without going through the surface. However, the time history of the near surface temperature variation (if all of the sea area were covered 100%) has the full information on the RATE of energy absorption, not the cumulative level. The deeper ocean adds to the cumulative level. Look at data, not peoples conclusions.

    Yes the majority of papers published have shown a strong bias that was not justified. This is not uncommon on scientific issues. Once a few scientists have convinced the majority (in any subject) they may be correct, there is a strong tendency (bias) on follow up work to follow that path. This has happened many time in the past, and the truth comes out later. This is what has happened on AGW and CAGW.

  94. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 149, Thomas,
    The CO2 lagged temperatures about 800 years prior to the last 150 years it then rose due to out-gassing of the oceans. So yes, CO2 FOLLOWED temperature, and in that sense tracked. In the last 150 years, the extra CO2 rise is likely partly to mainly due to human activity. The fact that both temperature and CO2 were generally rising is the main argument given to say humans activity caused the recent warming. Please read the many comments on this blog that say that is not so, including the ones I made. So far I get the impression your main argument is that THE EXPERTS SAY WE DID IT SO IT MUST BE SO. Sorry, that does not cut it.

  95. Leonard @ 153 says that I rely on the experts to form my opinions. This is true. I do. I tend to trust the people who have spent a lifetime studying an issue and who go through the peer review process to present and defend their ideas. I do not think the peer review process is perfect. However, I do believe it is an important step in the scientific method. Over time the truth will come out. Over the last 150 years this process, which I do trust, has come to the strong conclusion that we are changing the climate significantly with the massive amounts of CO2 we have put into the atmosphere.

  96. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 162 Thomas,
    The first thing you need to understand is that most serious skeptics (scientists) do agree it warmed a bit over the last 150 years, and that AGW is basically a reasonable hypothesis. The issue is the amount of warming and it’s effects. The issue of positive vs. negative feedback on the CO2 increase is the main point of contention, not if there is some AGW. By claiming that skeptics don’t believe in AGW at all, the pro CAGW group try to define skeptics as nuts. It won’t work. There are probably MORE skeptical scientists that have CLOSELY followed this issue than scientists on the other side. Most of the scientists and societies that agree with the extreme AGW position did not review the literature as closely as the skeptics, but did exactly what you seem to be doing, accepting what the few authorities in the field said BECAUSE THEY WERE THE AUTHORITIES. Sorry, they blew it.

    I have a fairly large number of peer reviewed papers in the field of Aerospace technology (mostly relating to basic fluid mechanics experimental research). I also am a peer reviewer in several fields, including Physics, Aerodynamics, and Optical Instrumentation research and development. I think I am a fair judge of the value of peer reviewed papers. Formal Peer reviewed papers are seldom any better than white papers (including blogs), although they generally have much more background references, and generally go into more detail, and the peer review process is a useful filter. The peer review process does catch obvious nutty papers, but seldom catches basic flaws in these formal papers. Instead, it catches spelling errors, writing style, excess length, and organization that is not optimum, and simple math mistakes. It also will generally catch material that violated some basic laws, such as the first or second laws of thermodynamics. However, in the long run, over 90% of peer reviewed papers are found to be of no value or even are wrong. It is the long term self correction that makes a paper useful, not the peer review process. The peer review process is a filter, one of many to keep the number of and length of published papers reasonable. I can tell you from what I have read that the case for CAGW is very weak and the published literature has not made a supportable case. In addition, most of the published papers on the topic do not support AGW or CAGW, they just show it warmed a bit over the last 150 years, and changes in temperature have an effect. We are now on a cooling trend, and this will also have an effect.

  97. @163 Leonard,

    If there is so little difference in the peer reviewed literature and the non-reviewed bloggery and if the the peer-reviewed literature is so easy to get published in and if you have a valid scientific argument for why AGW is not so serious as to require forceful actions ASAP, shouldn’t you be publishing your thoughts in that reviewed literature, in addition to the bloggery? On this Web site, you have insisted that your view is correct only because you have decided it is and because you have read so much of the total literature. That will not cut it, of course, in the peer-reviewed literature where you’ll have to accompany your argument with something other than a claim of superior intelligence and having read stuff. At that level, almost everyone is pretty smart and the only thing that matters is the quality of your ideas or arguments and how well they explain observations.

    The peer-reviewed literature is where your thoughts could possibly end up later if they went beyond simple personal opinion. That is the essential difference between these two forms of “literature” is why the wisdom of the Joe Blows of the world seldom have any affect on the real professional scientific community – bottom line opinions are a dime a dozen. In short, your description of the essential differences between the real literature and the bloggery is missing this most important central point. To prove it to yourself, try submitting a paper to a real journal. They won’t care what your bottom line is as long as you can support it.

  98. @162, @164 Thomas, there is no shortage of peer-reviewed publications on each side of the AGW issue. Attempting to count them is of no value because there is no way to judge quality of what is being counted, and the count is so large. So what are you to do?

    Also, the pro-AGW crowd, as revealed by Climate Gate, has deliberately and for their own political reasons gained control of the editorial boards of key climate publications as well as professional organizations. Add to this the biased government control of the research grant process which requires scientists to adhere to the party line in order to be funded, and we have today a publication process distorted by power politics.

    As one example, here is a sadly humorous story by a well-known statistician about his difficulties in attempting to publish a simple but devastating rebuttal on a critical issue in the IPCC report:

    Ross McKitrick: Circling the Bandwagons

    And, if you are looking to start to track some references on the anti-AGW side, the references contained in these publication offers a mere beginning:

    Carlin: EPA Report

    Climate Change Reconsidered – Front

    Climate Change Reconsidered – 1 – Models

    Climate Change Reconsidered – 2 – Feedback

    Climate Change Reconsidered – 3 – Observations

    Climate Change Reconsidered – 4 – Observations

    Climate Change Reconsidered – 5 – Solar & Climate

    Climate Change Reconsidered – 6 – Observations Extreme

    Climate Change Reconsidered – 7 – Biological CO2

    Climate Change Reconsidered – 8 – Species Extinction

    Climate Change Reconsidered – 9 – Human Health

  99. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 164 Thomas,
    I was not referring specifically to you on my comment, but the general theme that supporters of CAGW claim. However, I am curious if you are a significantly published author. This is not a specific to your complaint, but many people that make a big issue of peer review have limited personal experience with it, and I was curious what your personal experience on the process was.

    Your comments on why I don’t publish on the issue are totally misplaced. When someone make a major claim that potentially affects everyone, and that is claimed very urgent, it is not my duty to go try to get funding grants to generate data and analysis to prove otherwise. The correct response is to audit the publication, and require solid proof from the people that make the claim. The long publication time cycle and funding situation make any other approach than blogs and petitions unreasonable for timely response. The fact that MANY major scientists are upset enough to write a petition or make a blog, with their name associated with it (and risk their reputation) should be clear evidence that you don’t know what you are talking about. However, there have been hundreds of peer reviewed papers, and numerous books, written that question the CAGW position.

  100. Leonard Weinstein

    Thomas,
    Look again at my comment “By claiming that skeptics don’t believe in AGW at all, the pro CAGW group try to define skeptics as nuts.” Where do you see me claiming you specifically said anything?

  101. @166 Ed,

    I have scanned some of the sections of the long report you provided written by a man named Carlin who suggests that he might be writing in connection with some duties he might have had with the EPA. I have a couple questions:

    I didn’t know that the EPA was charged with doing actual research on the subject of climate change or even that they were asked to evaluate the research that has been done by others in order to come up with their own set of views on the subject of AGW. I thought the EPA was more of an enforcement organization that tries to enforce directives provided them by other agencies. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    If I am not wrong, then the question arises as to why Mr Carlin has provided us with his own personal report here as if it has anything to do with anyone’s assigned responsibilities at the EPA. He says it was written by him in about 4 days, so I assume that it is totally his own creation and that fact also is quite amazing.

    Unless you can enlighten me in these things, I don’t see the value in this document or its connection to the EPA. Couldn’t you or I or anyone have done this while repremending the EPA, as he does, for not paying enough attention to the basic science of AGW? If the EPA were to take on those additional responsibilities, wouldn’t that constitute an enormous duplication and waste of goverment expense?

    In short, this document seems very weird and little more than a personal statement by some person whose connection to the institution he claims to represent is not at all clear. Please enlighten if you can.

  102. @169 Carlin seems to have provided the best available answers to your questions interwoven in his posts on his website: http://www.carlineconomics.com/

    It might be best to begin with his first post which is at the bottom of his website.

    Here are the titles of his posts as he shows them in reverse chronological order:

    How Big Brother Is Using the National Parks and Other Agencies to Promote His Climate Religion Using Your Tax Dollars

    Warmists’ Meager Hopes for a Climate Bill in 2010 Dashed by Lack of Votes for Even Drastically Scaled Down Energy Bill

    July 22 May Well Mark the End for Major U.S. Climate Legislation and Global “Climate Control”

    Why Congress Should Reject Preferences for Particular Fuel Sources as Well as Cap and Trade/tax

    First Congressional Test of EPA’s Endangerment Finding Expected June 10

    EPA: The Administration’s High Risk but Pivotal Climate Gamble

    Why Peer Review Is No Substitute for the Scientific Method

    Phil Jones May Still Have Some More Reflecting To Do

    Why the Whole AGW/Warmist Narrative Is Even Weaker than Its Components

    How EPA Seeks to Unilaterally Impose GHG Emission Regulations Using UN “Science” Whether Anyone Likes It or Not

    The Politicization of EPA: The Administration’s Radical Endangerment Gamble
    Climategate and EPA

    Why the Choice of Energy Sources Should Be Left to the Market after Externalities Are Taken into Account

    Why the Basic Ground-measured Global Temperature Data Presented by AGW Supporters Is Suspect

    Why the UN GHG Hypothesis Should Be Rejected on Scientific Grounds

    Global Temperature Charts Suggest Implausibility of UN CO2 Hypothesis

    How Skepticism Concerning the UN Hypothesis Fits with Interest in Geoengineering

    Comments on Proposed EPA Endangerment Technical Support Document

  103. @ 170 Ed,

    Thanks for the background info concerning Mr. Carlin. So he is an economist that has concluded that AGW is not occurring and also that the Earth has actually cooled in the last decade. Was there something in his lengthy document (other than its set of references) that you thought might be particularly worth reading? If so, please help me find it.

  104. Dr. Carlin has a B.S. in physics from Cal Tech to start them add his advanced degrees from MIT at a time that was not corrupted by phonies like Joe Romm.

    Dr. Eric is again doing what every AGW fanatics is judging a book by the Cover not looking at the content attached is the Executive summary that contains more useful and pertinent information that all of your entries combined.

    Comments on Draft Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act By Alan Carlin, NCEE/OPEI, Based on TSD Draft of March 9, 2009
    _________________________________________________________________________

    ADMIN NOTE: Berthold’s new post contains his extended information:

    “G3. Klein – The Greenhouse Effect Does Not Exist”

  105. Leonard Weinstein

    Dr. Eric,
    There are many very outstanding people that are diverted from direct research and publication to administration and advisory positions. There are also some who are in industry that develop and make things rather than publish. These people may have few or even no formal technical publications, but be quite competent, AND MAY HAVE IN FACT MADE THE LARGEST CONTRIBUTIONS TO SOCIETY. Using the lab and school models of publishing is a limited version of what actually consists of progress.

  106. @195 Thomas Gregory,

    Maybe you have been too quick drawing conclusions about Rutan’s credibility:
    On slides 60-66 I think you may find everything you want to know about the reasons why he would make such statements about the hockey stick.

    Rutan, like myself, is an aerospace engineer and I am glad he introduces engineering into the arena to have something to say next to ‘science’ or ‘scientists’. Rutan is nothing short of a hero where I come from; during my university years our students’ association elected him honorary member in the eighties even before he had accomplished all he has done since then. A great mind, entrepreneur and technologist, one truly able to apply his amazing conceptual powers and common sense judgment also to the area of climate science.

    While he may not be error free, you are advised to consult his presentation more in depth, suppressing perhaps any first impression of distrust. Overall, he appears quite well informed to me.

    What’s more, he points out a crucial difference of science (but check out also slide 86) versus engineering. The latter requires certification practices since it is product (i.e., reality) related. People’s lives depend on it and this determines engineering practices. Scientists on the other hand are prone to believe in their theories, defying evidence to the contrary. I might add that I concluded that there evidently must be ideological bias involved on top of that. Anyway, he proposes to confront the whole field with engineering certification practices before any policy whatsoever is being decided. I couldn’t agree more.

    (BTW, he also makes an interesting statement about how to tell a true environmentalist from a denier, for which I refer you to slide 92 for an unexpected angle on this).

  107. @201, Dr. Eric,

    ADMIN NOTE, since Dr. Ed is prohibited from replying at this time. I apologize if I was unclear in my @194 statement this morning. For clarification, the 8 hour period refers to today only and is intended to allow you to make any comments you wish without interference by bad Dr. Ed. In other words, you will have the last word on any contentions that may have arisen between you and Dr. Ed.

    And when Dr. Ed is allowed to do his formal defense presentation, he will be prohibited from responding to any personal comments you have made here. While Dr. Ed may not like this decision, ADMIN feels it is necessary to bring order to the debate, and since ADMIN and Dr. Ed have a bit of a close relationship, ADMIN is attempting to go overboard to keep things fair in this decision.

    Finally, when you are given the opportunity to make your rebuttal to the defense presentation, there will be NO time limit put on you. So you do not have to be concerned about any 8 hour limit. ADMIN will restrict your comments only during the defense presentation to preclude personal contentions between you and Dr. Ed. But after the defense presentation, you will be given unlimited opportunity to respond. I believe this follows the general rules of a court trial.

    ADMIN feels this is the best approach to attempt to keep the focus of climate clash on the science of AGW. If you feel this ADMIN decision is unfair to you in any way, please explain your concerns.

  108. Thomas Gregory @151 said to me,

    “You seem to be saying that most of the scientists of the world who study climate are liars and have been for at least the last decade??? I suppose it must go back more than another decade as I recall first learning that if not for CO2 the world would be a frozen ball back in the early-eighties. That is a scary world you are living in.”

    It is the same world we are living in together. You seem to be saying and that every marketing representative or salesperson is a liar. It is defensible. Climate scientists are in the market of selling their product. Many institutions even call their output as “products” and are physically selling the data and their analysis. This is a multi-billion dollar business.

    As I see you did not comment on the substance of my remark about establishing equivalency between known feedbacks of present and pasts, nor about Royer paper on CO2-T “correlations”. Let me give you another example, an article in Nature 2004:

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/NatureSnowballMelt.pdf

    The author uses a contemporary sophisticated GCM, sets CO2 at 100ppm, and the Earth oceans begun to freeze. When the global ice gets 5m thick, the author restores CO2 to 400ppm and watches the response. No recovery occurs. Then he doubles CO2 to 800, 1600, 3200, 6400ppm all the way up to 12800ppm and even to 200,000ppm (20%) of CO2 in air. The recovery does not occur even at those insane levels. Which essentially should mean “never”.

    Yet the article is entitled: “High levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide necessary for the termination of global glaciation”. In my poor English it implies that the article successfully found a recovery from hypothetical global glaciation at sufficiently high levels of carbon dioxide, implying that the CO2 is very/critically important ingredient of climate. So, what would be your interpretation of this glaring discrepancy between the title and the content?

  109. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 195 Thomas,
    You really should keep up to date and facts if you are going to make statements. The hockey stick has been discredited, with even a recent statement by Mann that there was a MWP and LIA. The claim of whether the MWP was warmer or slightly cooler than the present is not proven, but they were probably close. If you go to http://www.co2science.org/ and if you read the book The Hockey Stick Illusion, you may get a better idea of the facts. There are still some that claim the hockey stick is close to valid, but they are out of date and wrong. The claim of fraud is based on the climategate e-mail showing the trick used to mislead what indirect data indicated, by hiding some of it with later direct measurements that disagreed with it. There is no way to call this anything but fraud. It is clear to me you are looking at one side of the issue critically, and accepting the other side with no critical thought.

  110. @188

    Did someone suggest improving your knowledge about AGW by reading Burt Rutan’s contributions to the bloggery. I have at http://rps3.com/Files/AGW/EngrCritique.AGW-Science.v4.pdf . and please to read it yourself.

    I first looked for Burt’s contributions to the peer-reviewed literature and found nothing. Please help me if I missed something. This is somewhat surprising if you inspects the Volume of stuff that he has on the bloggery. But as Leonard has pointed out recently and I totally agree, Volume does not mean squat, only quality matters. One might think that with Burt’s Volume that just a bit of qualitiy might have made it past the scientific reviewers, but none apparently has.

    I also note in Burt’s description of things that he might be a budding student of Leighton Steward who argues that the sensitivity of CO2 is less than a 0.1 degrees centigrade because the CO2 greenhouse effect on Earth is already saturated (too bad the planet of Venus does not received the comforting messages of Mr. Rutan and Steward so that they would know that there temperature of about 900 degrees F is not due to the fact that their atmosphere consists of 96% CO2). But, nevertheless, thanks, Mr. Steward and his apparent disciple, Mr. Rutan, for this comforting information concerning the Earth and my grandchildren.

    In short, who is it that recommends this unadulterated nonsense to the readers of this web site?

    In the hopes that I am presently not banned from participation in this site and in the hopes that common sense and real science, rather than ignorance and money, will rule in 2011 (a naive notion I know), Happy New Year everyone!!! Eric on 1/1/11

  111. All,

    In reading more about Mr. Rutan, I have found that he also has set himself up as an expert on the subject of stratospheric ozone depletion by the CFC’s and, guess what – he bore the comforting message that it, too, was nothing more than a big hoax.

    It amazes me that the likes of Mr. Rutan and several others (Fred Singer certainly comes to mind) are used again and again as industrial stooges on all kinds of very different issues concerning environmental problems – and they are always on the side of existing financial powers.

    I should be glad I suppose that it is so hard for industrial forces to find scientific prostitutes that they have to come back to the same ones again and again even though the basic science of each is so different and these guys have no substantial reputations in any of them.

    Again Ed, I should thank you for referring our readers to the writings of Mr. Rutan. I can think of no better way to show them just how scientifically bankrupt the anti- AGW gang is. Also, in reading the “wisdom” of this man, I wonder if the readership will note a strong resemblance to certain presentations they have witnessed here.

  112. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 208, Thomas,
    It is clear that you do not look in a balanced fashion for objective information, but instead for reinforcement of your views. The three investigations were in fact biased and not respectable, and if you looked at the details you would have concluded the same. Some of this will come out in congressional investigations that will be held by the new house.

  113. Dr Eric @205, please stop making stupid remarks about Venus. Venus has the surface pressure 100X of the Earth, and tropopause at 10x of Earth. Then apply concepts presented in my G2 article. No matter what CO2 is there, the GH effect is 10x-100x bigger on Venus, so it should be of no surprise to any reasonable person that all water should have evaporated under these conditions. So your snide remark is completely misplaced.

    The presentation of Burt Rutan addresses all your arguments and convincingly debunks them, all of them. Do you have anything to say of substance other that irrelevant remark about Venus? Did you notice that Rutan uses exactly the same data and pictures as you do, except he submits detailed analysis (re-analysis, pun intended)? Do you realize that your/AGW interpretation of data is bunk?

  114. Thomas @212, I see it now, you disagree with everything I say. Fine.

    @149 you said, “we have this from the abstract: … from my layman’s perspective the scientists are saying there has indeed been a good, remarkable?, correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and global temperatures going back over 400 MY”

    @209 you said, “we should not use only titles and pictures to reach conclusions. It is much better to read the paper.”

    Maybe you should start from agreeing with yourself?

  115. Thomas @216: Pictures in scientific articles are the major form of presentation of original data. Are you advocating to ignore original data and “read the article conclusions” instead? In your opinion, what is more important in an article, the original data, or mercantile spin of them?

  116. Ok Thomas @218, no doubt that one should read the entire article, no brainier here. However, the question is what to do if the original data glaringly contradict the accompanying text? As I see, you hold blatant speculations and loose interpretations at the same level as the original data. However, well educated people would differentiate data from politically-motivated spin.

    In case of the Snowball paper, I am certainly aware of the issue, and can assure you that I have the understanding of it that vastly exceeds yours. Now, you do realize (and I am trying to type v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y h-e-r-e) that when the text invokes a pile of excuses like “several poorly understood physical feedbacks that may yet permit” or “alternative cloud parameterization”, “surface albedo”, “dust”, “fracture zones”, “hydrothermal plumes”, it completely negates the importance of main subject and idea of that research, the CO2, so the title “high levels of CO2 needed” is complete deception and misrepresentation, do you?

    In case of Royer’s paleogeological survey, look deeper into Fig3 and Fig4. Only a used car salesperson can spin the data as “remarkable correlation”.

    I gave you two very specific and clear examples. You still “disagree” and attempt to squirm out. It is quite clear that you are not amenable to reason.

  117. Dr. Eric @219: I gave you an information about physical parameters of Venusian atmosphere, and suggested for you to align this info with concepts expressed in my article G2. Which part of information that the Venusian atmosphere has hundred times more mass was unclear for you? Could you suggest a scenario when Earth atmosphere could gain 100 times its current mass?

    You keep arguing against CO2 being “saturated”. You obviously have difficulty in grasping the concept of saturation in physics. To begin, the fact of CO2 “forcing” being logarithmic with concentration is already a “saturation” from physical standpoint. But I am sure it is not enough for you.

    Now, you concentrate. The only important part of CO2 spectrum, the 14-16um band, is admittedly saturated beyond any questioning. In fact, this band should cause troposheric cooling as CO2 increases unless you invoke the unphysical Hansen/IPCC four-stage twisted schema for atmospheric adjustments and thus exclude contribution of stratospheric cooling.

    Now, it is well known that the only contribution to “elevation of effective emission height” (please refer again to G2 text) comes form exponentially decaying edges of the saturated band, that’s where the logarithm comes from. Actually it comes from only one edge, 13um, because the other edge is dwarfed by water vapor. Therefore, it already cuts the whatever effect by half.

    Further, the Earth is covered by clouds at 65-70% level. If you have any clue, water droplets absorbs and emits as blackbody, and therefore clouds masks all effects of any “IR windows” and therefore any effects of exponentially-weak changes in edges of CO2 absorption bands. This is another hit to CO2 effect.

    On the top of that, please familiarize yourself that the actual emission-absorption spectrum of rarefied gas mixture is quite complicated,
    https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B8XG6Rhg2-JfMjNjMjg0OTctNzJjZi00ZmYzLWFhNzktMmI3ZDhlNzhlMzMw&sort=name&layout=list&num=50
    There is an opinion that when integrated along a path of atmosphere where multiple inversion of temperature gradient occur, there are complications within pressure-broadened wings, so the classic calculations may be not quite correct.

    I am telling you all this to give you heads up that there is quite a bit more to the “sensitivity” effect than your tenth-grade understanding of “CO2 concentration” is. The entire purpose of G2 article was to initiate and facilitate a discussion about problems with this boldly-averaged approach, but apparently you are not up the task of discussing these pesky details with me.

    Therefore I ever wonder, why should I be listening to a condescending and ignorant pontification of some provincial chemist who has no clue in any atmospheric physics or even is unfamiliar with basic facts beyond official dogmatic slogans? Maybe your dog could be more qualified to discuss these matters?

  118. @206 Dr. Eric,

    When I saw Rutan’s inclusion of the CFC issue in the hoax-list, I thought that might offend you. Personally, I wanted to have a look at that particular (CFC) subject after the CO2 threat is over (meaning this year) in order to form an opinion on it.

    Referring also to my item 200, I reiterate that Rutan is an accomplished engineer and a man of high integrity in the aerospace scene (which is my own profession). I guess for such a man there is no need for any respect for ‘scientists’ or ‘climate science’ if and when such respect is misplaced. He has ample evidence that it is in AGW-science and he lists this honestly in his presentation. Your concept of ‘forcing’ and ‘sensitivity’ may in the end turn out to be fundamentally flawed, mind you. And no, Rutan does not publish about climate in peer reviewed literature, because during his impressive carreer he was being an engineer, i.e. engaging in applied science and technology designing and inventing and developig things that actually work in reality. Please take a look again at his plea for an equivalent of certification to be applied to scientific advise, prudently before any policy is based on this advise.

    Apparently such a man is immune to the very appeal to authority that is in many of the AGW-convinced entries lately. And no, he will not be on the payroll of ‘big industry’. (BTW I agree with Leonard that much industry is keenly embracing CAGW andf AGW for their own purposes.)

    If I combine the things you are writing here – such as your views on future congressional hearings and absurdly comparing this to Galileo’s trial – with your earlier statements about ‘doing science’ in this age of understanding complex systems deviating from the ‘simplistic path of the scientific method’, I begin to have a suspicion. This is that this same psycho-epistemology* displayed by you and others have indeed led to a CFC-hoax similar to the present one. Emboldened by its succes of this trial balloon, the much broader CO2 hoax was then ready to be taken to the ultimate summit.

    But such statements about hoaxes properly belong in Dr. Ed’s forbidden post “Why we all hate each other”. This is the sad thing about it. CAGW is an inherently polarising subject. But this does inspire me to the challenge of identifying why exactly apparently civilised and rational people err to the extent they cannot yet converge on alleged CO2 dominance in climate change. I am convinced such a reason will turn out to be not a matter of physics, but of philosophy. It will be the reason why – if you allow me to use Monckton’s 2009 words – “One of the curious features of this debate is that the forces of darkness have managed to make the absurd seem obvious and the obvious seem absurd.”

  119. Cyril,

    The bottom line is that Mother Nature decides and our best understanding of what she is like to do has historically been explained in the peer reviewed scientific literature. In the meantime I would recommend the Mr. Rutan stick to his engineering field, be ready of solve enormous problem associated with AGW and not try to fool the public with his out of bound expertise concerning his own personal understanding of Ma Nature. He is clearly a bush leaguer there and it doing the world a great disservice. Since you happen to know him, please do send my recommendation on to him.

  120. Bek @227, you are no better than your handler, stop puzzling me. The link @188 is to some “rps3.com” website that has several links to various anti-AGW presentations. Link to Rutan’s pdf presentation does not contain any single word “sensitivity”. What the heck you are barking about?

  121. Leonard Weinstein

    Dr. Eric,
    I am a dedicated and sincere scientist looking for the truth on this complex issue (who, in fact, started out accepting the truth of CAGW before I knew details, and wanted to understand it better in order to see if I could help), and have found what I can only describe as a foul smell on the side of the advocates of CAGW. I only asked for rational proofs or as close to proofs as possible for numerous issues, and have gotten from others, and yes, from you, no honest supporting evidence at all. Just preaching and pontificating and claims to authority, and these are getting on my nerves. The evidence is weakly circumstantial that there is any AGW at all, and I accept that a small amount is possible, as do most scientist skeptics. The issue is CAGW and amount of feedback. There is NO reasonable evidence that supports that. All of the references you quoted have minimal value, and real data supports the fact that CAGW is a mistake. If you quit pontificating and try harder to put a reasonable scientific argument that you can defend you will be better listened to.

  122. Bek @224 pawed in: “I would recommend that you brush up on the meaning of the word “sensitivity”. In particular, try to learn how that concept differs from that of “saturation”. In mathematical terms, just because a variable Y depends on the logarithm of another variable X does not mean the effect of increases in X on Y is saturated. Perhaps, your 10th grade algebra book (for which you seem to have so little respect) will help you out on that one.”

    First, I don’t think you or Dr. Eric are in a position to teach me any mathematics, especially if the remark was about method of physics. While you are at brushing on the foreign (to your handler) concept of inadequate accuracy of data, you might also take a first look at some uses of “logarithmic saturation”, e.g.
    http://unfccc.int/resource/brazil/results/lbnl/lbnl_docu_1-1.pdf

    Regarding some simple mathematics of global climate sensitivity, you might want to point your boss to the following post (pay close attention to Milanovic section):
    http://judithcurry.com/2010/12/14/co2-no-feedback-sensitivity-part-ii/

    If both of you are rusty on multivariate analysis and partial derivatives (as I feel you are), the meaning is simple. As you probably have walked around my post 4@57 (pissing on it likely, but likely missing the point). And the point is that global temperature index on a thermally-inhomogeneous planet can walk in any direction by few degrees for decades without having any forcing at all. Likewise G1@26 gives an example of all possible permutations of having negative imbalance but global cooling, and in reverse. Or it could be forcing but no global temperature change. So, as you might guess, if you have no forcing (as in 4@57, dF=0) and global temperature index changes (dT= something=/0), your formal desirable “sensitivity” dT/dF could become infinite. Likewise, you can have “global forcing”, but temperature index can stay flat, dT=0, so you would have sensitivity near zero or negative, as it might happen between 1940-1970. You probably don’t want this kind of “indeterminacy”, do you? From zero to plus-minus infinity… So, again, what is your definition of climate sensitivity you both are so barking about, 3C/3.7Wm-2?

  123. Bek @231, you seem to have a better grasp of communication than your retirerded handler. Now I see what you mean. I think the given explanation is no better nor worse than many other “explanations”. But it is definitely better than no explanation at all as Dr.Eric offered in this trial. And I think that Lindzen & Choi (2009) estimation of 0.15C/W/m2 is about right, it is based on real relevant observations of changes in surface temperatures and satellite OLR.

    Have a nice bone to chew,
    – Al Tekhasski

  124. Dr. Eric wrote @222: “So leaving out all the technical details you snowed with us in 122, please explain then how the GHG effect of CO2 can be saturated in the sense that Rutan and Steward say it is. Their arguement is that there will be essentially no T increase no matter how high CO2 goes – that is, the effect is totally saturated and will not increase again by a given about upon doubling in the future.”

    I am not sure which sense it was in Rutan case and who is this fine gentlemen Steward, but I have a better idea. I will show you a real possibility that surface temperature (even local, even uniformly around the globe) can go down with increase of CO2.

    You need first to deeply appreciate the standard AGW theory of greenhouse effect as it is described in this section, G2. Done? You do realize for now that the AGW concept is based on an idea that if CO2 goes higher, the AVERAGE EMISSION LEVEL goes higher. This is true. The AGW explanation of warming is that if emission gets out at higher altitude where higher==colder, the IR emitting surface would emit less energy, which would mean global imbalance of flow-through energy. Yet the lapse rate should still originate from massive thermal bodies as oceans, so this imbalance must last decades. As result, as AGW proponents think, the surface temperature has no other way than to go up to restore the stationary balance, or as they wrongly say, “equilibrium”. So far the logic seems undeniable, and planet must be in trouble, right?

    Now consider some piece of reality. First, remember that CO2 absorption-emission property is not a blackbody, but a “vampire tooth” between 14-16 um, while the rest of IR spectrum is largely unaffected, zero absorption in “IR window”. Lets assume that the GH gas has some high absorption in 14-16um, but zero-to nothing absorption in 8-14um, such that the whole spectral gap has 3/4 with zero opacity, and 1/4 of the gap with high opacity, total 4 spectral parts, 3 for window, and one for the peak. Prof. R.Pierrehumbert call this hypothetical GH gas as “Oobleck”. Whatever.

    To get meaningful parameters of IR opacity of this gas, let’s assume that its AVERAGE emission height is just where the total average of our atmosphere is, at 6km. Since our realistic spectrum is not gray of blackbody, it means that the high-absorbing peak must have its effective emission height at 24km, such that the average would be 24/4=6km. Are you with me so far? Good. Now, if you increase the GH gas concentration, the AVERAGE will go up, and AGW theory is happy.

    However, let’s do not forget that the real atmosphere has one lapse rate in troposphere, but then the gradient direction is reversed above tropopause, which is situated at 8-17km, and the stratosphere goes higher==warmer, or opposite to the gradient in troposphere. But wait a minute! Our real gas has its peak emitting energy to outer space at 24km, which is in this inverse region. What really happens when you increase the CO2? Yes, the 24km peak goes higher, where it is warmer. Yet the areas inside the IR window go nowhere because there is nothing to emit in first place. Therefore these areas do not contribute to any imbalance, while the tall peak will emit MORE. The total will therefore emit MORE, and therefore the surface should cool down, or just opposite to what the AGW says. Or, in terms of “forcing”, it is in fact negative. Could it be?

    As you might see, the difference is in the way when do you apply averaging. If you decide to average the spectrum first (as AGW does with inadequately resolved models), you have warming. But if calculate OLR first for every detailed peak, the sign of effect is opposite. The reality, as usual, is likely in between, which includes “zero” warming.

    So, how do you like this construction? If the above “technical detail” was too fast for you, Dr. Eric, ask your dog Bek for help.

  125. Al @ 220: You have misrepresented what I have said several times. Now you can not even get the quote from Royer correct. He did not say it was a “remarkable correlation”. However, I will say it yet again. Concerning Royer, after reading the paper again and looking at all of the graphs I do not see any glaring discrepancies between the authors claims and the graphs. I also do not see a disconnect between the title of Pierrehumbert’s paper and what he presents. I do, however, understand how someone with not much knowledge of the history of the hard snowball earth concept could misunderstand it because at first I did indeed think it was a bit misleading.

  126. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 205 Dr Eric,
    I went back and noticed your comment on Venus. This shows that you clearly do not understand the atmospheric greenhouse affect. If you had read mine and Al’s writeups on the subject and understood them, you would understand that while some greenhouse gases are necessary for the effect to work, that in the case of Venus, it is the large mass and thickness of the atmosphere that is also critical. If Venus had only an atmosphere the same thickness as Earth (but was still 98% CO2), the surface temperature would be much closer to Earth’s. If it had only 1% as much CO2, but retained the same mass and thickness as present (say with 99% Argon instead of CO2), the temperature would be close to the present high value. The only effect the radiation absorbing gases have is radiation insulation of outgoing thermal radiation, so that the radiation to space occurs at a high altitude, and the convection heat transfer and lapse rate cause the high temperature.

  127. @236, Leonard,

    I guess I’ll have to send you on the same mission as Al (read exchanges above) . The only reason I mentioned Venus in that post was in response to Burt Rutan’s argument that the heating effect of CO2 on Earth it already completely saturated at today’s level. This is, he is saying we can let CO2 for as high as we want, say to 1,000 ppm, with no ill effects on temperature.

    After pointing our that his model for sensitivity defies conventional understanding and even defies the very definition of the word, sensitivity, I then pointed out that Rutan also had some explaining to do concerning the planet Venus.

    Now you chime in with

    “I noticed your comment on Venus. This shows that you clearly do not understand the atmospheric greenhouse affect”, and then went on to regurgitate a lot of well-known aspect of the GHG which were irrelevant to my reference to Venus. And you complain about being “annoyed” by the remarks of others?

    Now if you’d like to say something that does apply to my statement, do you also think CO2 GH effect on Earth is presently fully saturated, as Rutan claims? If so, do you also think that CO2’s GH effect on Venus was not similarly staturated at some low level so that on that planet CO2 itself behaved differently and did contribute to higher temperature? Or do you think something else and not CO2 cause the entire heating of Venus?

    If you’d care to stick to the point under discussion, I look forward to you additional input.

  128. @233 Al,

    So do you agree that Rutan’s claim that CO2’s GH effect is already saturated at today’s levels is equivalent to the deposits I leave on my master’s backyard or don’t you. If you do, do you intend to rip into this “idiot” (to use one of your favorite terms) and possibly into the person who recommended his writings to the readership of this web site?

    Go for it, Al. Let’s see your teeth. Go look back to your own treatise and the GHG effect and see if Rutan’s claim is consistent with it. You are an expert his as evidenced by your post G2.

    At the same time, I wonder if you have any interest at all it helping good science rise to the top. In that case you will let the wisdom of Mr. Rutan be broadcast across the land, but only because both of you have entirely different objectives and will let such piles of puppy poop lay on the lawn because it serves you other objectives.

    So lift your leg, Al. I am expecting you to go for it!! (Unless, of course, you have been neutered).

    Grrrrrrr,
    Bek

  129. @230 Leonard,

    Since you bring up the subject of your character: i.e.

    “I am a dedicated and sincere scientist looking for the truth on this complex issue”

    Let me respond with my impression of it. I won’t dispute what you say above, but you do also remind me of an adversary Winston Churchill once referred to when saying “he is a sheep, hiding in sheep’s clothing”. Why I say that is the following.

    An ever present and unavoidable aspect of all scientific studies of all complex, multivariable systems is the existence of a level of uncertainty that is greater than zero. On this web site, I and others have presented evidence and arguments that suggest a reasonably high probability that AGW is occurring and should be addressed immediately and forcefully. You dismiss all of that as constituting “no” argument and “no” evidence and even suggest that our presentations only amout to “pontificating”.
    In short, you hide behind that everpresent aspect of science I referred to above.

    Furthermore, when I call you on this and related points, your kindred spirit and Webmaster weighs in as a monitor of political correctness by claiming that my responses to you are nothing more than “personal attacks”. So you hide here behind the protective blankets of both everpresent uncertainty and political correctness.

    In my own career I have also noted with regularity how often these two hiding places are the last refuges of operators who, at heart, are little more than scientific scoundrels. While I am not saying you are one of these types, it will explain why I try to cut no slack whatsoever for such types.

    From what I have seen so far, Winston’s quote best relates my impression of your character.

    Now, as the PC moderator, it will interesting to see if Dr. Ed once again interrupts this exchange, in an other attempt to secure your hiding place.

  130. All,

    Now for the first time on Climate Clash I have the idea that we are not far away from a final solution to the quarrel as we have arrived at the core of the problem.

    While posts G1 and G2 describe the general idea of GHG effect, Al’s item 233 purports/intends to give the necessary refinement necessary to apply it to CO2 as a GHG. We need to follow this through now, Dr. Eric!

    Why? Because all over Climate Clash we have arguably seen recursive argumentation patterns where an assumed ‘forcing’ lies at the heart of the interpretation of data concerning complex multivariable systems. Accusation of circular reasoning was made at several places, but this didn’t apparently ring a bell with AGW proponents, making me wonder what is considered circular reasoning by them. So now finally we have moved upstream and identified what lies beneath:

    My impression is that Dr. Erik effectively equates the GHG effect (as described above) with a radiative forcing, mentally skipping several intermediate steps. These steps involve more complicated physics of absorption and scatter of IR, which is a subject beyond (previous) understanding of many. Nevertheless, we should concentrate on this – getting rid of the sloppy fomulation of the hypothesis – FIRST.

    Only THEN should we proceed and revisit the relative merits of Rutan’s bar chart and – far better still – the Vostok data, armed with improved understanding of GHG mechanism and see whether we can obtain a common understanding about ‘what mother nature is trying to tell us’, if anything.

    I am convinced ‘we’ will not make progress at this clash unless we finish and agree on our first steps, the basics of CO2-GHG physics. It was a favourite adage of the most famous philosopher you never heard of: if you run into a contradiction: check your premises! (If I’m wrong about this, I promise to inform Burt Rutan, though the rest of his case seems pretty convincing.)

    So gentlemen (and one dog), let’s be economical and stick to this subject, shall we?

  131. @225 Cyril,

    In rereading some things this morning I noted your interest in the previous CFC – ozone controversy and wanted to know more. In my book (see ericgrimrud.com), Chapter 5 is devoted to this topic. To see it, just say Hi on the comment tab on my web site and I will be glad to send you an electronic version of my book. Eric

  132. don’t see much interest in it here yet.
    Cyril,

    To each his own, of course, but I would recommend focusing on the magnitude of CO2’s sensitivity from here on in.

    I don’t think Al, Leonard and I differ much at all on our understanding of the GHG effect. It involves an elevation of the altitude from which IR emission to outer space occurs because of increased CO2 – along with an adiabatic lapse rate beneath it so that the temperature at the surface increases, right everyone? Rutan’s model is entirely different of course, but until someone else, perhaps Ed? explains and defends it, I don’t see that there is much support for it here yet.

    The only remaining question of significance it seems to me concerns the magnitude of CO2’s sensitivity.

  133. Bek @238, it seems that there is some serious cognitive dissonant here, lack of attention.

    (1) First, I tried to attract attention of your handler that there is such a physical concept as “logarithmic saturation”.

    (2) Second, I pointed out to a simple analysis of Tomas Milanovic on judithcurry.com that shows mathematical impossibility to compute raw “sensitivity” of global temperature to global forcing, and I even explained why, see my post @232

    (3) Finally, I specifically composed my message @234 to explain a mechanism when an increase in CO2 could have no forcing, or even produce a cooling of the planet. It was an elaboration of a hint I made @221.

    Combined together it means that there is no reason to continue barking on Rutan’s tree. You are still barking on wrong tree. It also indicates that the entire AGW theory is lacking mathematical rigor to the extent that its scientific value approaches the value of your backyard deposits.

    More, after all these explanations, your handler Dr.Eric continues to amaze public by display of dramatic lack of attention. Ask him if he had a chance (a) to read my posts #232 and #234 and (b) _understand_ it. His post @242 shows that (a) or (b) was missing.

  134. @243 Al,

    As you have requested, I will relay your comments on to my handler.

    In reading them myself, it has also occurred to me that you might be just the right person to help me with a question I have wrestled with from some time. While gazing into the clear Montana evening sky from my dog house, I often wonder: even though the Moon so much smaller than the Earth, why is so much farther away?

    When I ask my handler this question, he just laughs and gives me a few condescending pets. I think you, however, might be inclined to show more respect for my intellectual abilities and provide me with a detailed response, complete with many equations and supportive references. I would love to have that document to share with some of my buddies in the neighborhood.

    Thanks a bunch for your help, Al.
    Bek

  135. You know, Bek, when people do not understand a question or have no clue how to answer it, usually because of lack of qualification or specific scientific background, they frequently resort to condescending gestures, like “look at Venus”, or “get 10-th grade algebra book”, or “understand the meaning of sensitivity”. Judging by that and looking at other responses from your handler Dr. Eric, it is quite clear that he has no foggiest clue what we are asking about.

  136. @245 Al,

    I just read your note to Bek, but am not worried. Dogs will love you no matter how stupid you are. You should definitely get one.

    Eric

  137. @248 Dr. Eric,

    No, we should definitely not go to the Vostok and other records now, since considered in isolation from a CO2 axioma they do not allow any causality to be derived. The fact that Al has used your concept of sensitivity in its overall computation, was clearly only meant to show that it leads to contradictions, but does not imply that he endorses the very concept. So no, I am quite sure that, contrary to your #242 statement “I don’t think Al, Leonard and I differ much at all on our understanding of the GHG effect.” you basically agree at all.

    I assume that the only reason why you so confidently/self-righteously express that the derivation of sensitivity from paleoclimate data can be done, is that you apply ‘sensitivity’ and ‘forcing’ concepts (the validity of which is presently being discussed under this post). Then you accept speculation about ‘other forcings’ as merely constituting the modern scientific method of complex multivariate systems, so that the 18.8C value can be lowered to more acceptable/less absurd values and even the timing problem is made to vanish.
    However, as I see it, the opponents say that your very concept of sensitivity is flawed and seems to be based on one-dimensional oversimplified misrepresentation of climate. In particular, avaraging towards a global temperature and using this in a mathematical and mental dependence is claimed to be problematic to the extent that it can be nothing but useless. Your derivation of reduced sensitivity values therefore can only rest on arbitrary, unscientific adjustments.

    So, AGW theory is being accused of resting on unphysical oversimplification and we should discuss nothing else before we proceed to things like paleoclimate-data. (which in my opinion does not at all require causal CO2 sensitivity in order to be understood, as explained by Leonard several times).

    To begin with, we have the point made about wandering/changing global temperature index if, for the sake of discussion, we assume absence of forcing for a given period of time. Does this bother you at all? Is it incorrect? If not, what are the implications for the sensitivity concept? (I followed the link to Thomas Milanovic, you’ll find his argument is quite clear).

    (by starting with this concrete issue, there is less danger of inflammation into sarcastic and somewhat amusing dialogue perhaps caused by chemistry mismatch, if not cognitive incompatibility, even necessitating a canine mediator).

  138. As I have been working on my post @11 I have not followed all the comments on G-2 so let me add fuel to the fire. Below is a reference from the University of Pennsylvania Law School ILE( Institute for Law and Economics) Research Paper No. 10-08-Global Warming Advocacy Science: A Cross Examination; Jason Scott Johnston ,May 2010 . ( 80 pages with over 300 references)
    This paper can be downloaded without charge from Social Science Research Network Electronic Paper Collection :http://ssrn.com/abstract=1612851
    I assume many contributes to these posts will look at the fact that a bunch of lawyers are looking at a very scientific problem as if it would be going to court- which it will be, lets see what they have to say.

    P.S. They agree with Alan Carlin of EPA- CO2 is not guilty of causing Mann-made global warming.

  139. Leonard Weinstein

    Dr. Eric,
    It has become clear to me that you do not understand the difference between so called scientists and engineers, and the whole point of science. The basic use of the scientific method is carried out by most in both fields if they have any honesty and capability at all. The difference between so called scientists and R & D engineers is emphasis, and many so called engineers are better scientists than many so called scientists. You are a chemical “scientist”, yet physicists would look down on you. Physics is the basic science, but that claim is just as stupid as calling engineers non-scientists. It is true that some so called engineers are just draftsmen, or do simple calculations, but so are their some chemists that do nothing of basic scientific value, and these are effectively not real scientists. However, most engineers are scientists with an emphasis to actually produce a usable product. Just doing a study and publishing papers is of little value unless the content has significant use. The value of work, not number of peer reviewed publication is the only real measure of contribution. Innovation, not frequency of publication is a measure of the “real scientist”. I realize you did what seemed at the time significant work on the atmosphere, but even that result has been questioned by some. I don’t know the final result, and it may turn out you were correct, but you did your work in a reasonably honest way, so independent of long term validity, I would still call you an honest scientist. Honest mistakes do not detract from that title. However, by the measure of worth of accomplishment, and use of the scientific method, Burt Rutan is a major scientist as well as engineer.

    You keep bringing up number of peer reviewed publication as proving something, so this response tries to put that in perspective. I have over 40 disclosed innovative concepts, with 20 NASA Tech Briefs, and 11 patents and 2 patents pending, as well as my peer reviewed papers and conference papers. Out of general interest, how many patents do you have?

  140. Dr. Eric, @262, please stop your groundless complaints. Nothing was censored. Your post @254 still reads:

    “@252 Al, So you have found this paper published 20 years ago. Their model does not include the forcings of CO2 while almost all models that appear in the more recent literature do. You refer to the authors this 1992 paper as being the “Fathers of climatology”, whose work should not be challenged and then assume that their model “proves” that changes in CO2 are not necessary to explain the oscillations of the glacial period, as most other models to. “

    It should be obvious to everyone that only a repetition of the same thesis was “deleted”.

    Regarding your question, the answer is simple. Imbrie et al. have constructed and published their theory 1992, a decade after J.Hansen has proposed his theory of catastrophic influence of CO2 on global climate. The work on origin of major glaciation cycles in response to Mikankowitch forcings was produced by 14 researchers representing 9 different research facilities. It is impossible to imagine that the work of Hansen at al. was not known to the authors of 1992 paper. Yet they did not find any place for CO2 factor in their theory. They ignored the factor. There must be a good reason for this. Their theory appears to be sufficient to explain ice ages without any CO2 forcing. As we know, as 20 years of subsequent research passed since, this forcing is impossible to detect, at least all focused and well-funded efforts were unsuccessful. Until today the CO2 forcing remains a highly speculative construction with no experimental confirmation other than hand waiving. Therefore the 20 years of research have proved that the effect can be safely ignored, or exactly which was done in the 1992 work. The authors made right choice without any dent to their theory.

    I already have indicated to you that there is an important physical principle that a theory should not be more complicated than accuracy of available data. A theory that deals with minuscule corrections that cannot be detected makes no sense. Unfortunately, quality and quantity of data on ice ages allow for substantial stretching and room for twisting of components, all because of multivariate and spatial character of the climate phenomenon. These uncertainties in global reconstructions have allowed certain group of people to exploit this flexibility and impregnate the theory with alleged effects of CO2. The suggested effects of CO2 are ridiculously inconsistent and illogical (“initial warming” from unknown agent warms oceans that out-gas CO2 800 years later, and then CO2 and T “rose together”) . This scenario does not fit into any mathematical model, and always requires some poorly specified external “forcing” to turn things back into the ice age cycle. The important thing here is that subsequent “research” and all attempts to incorporate CO2 into ice age picture did not lead to any improvement to the 1992 theory, the correction solves no irregularities in the theory and therefore is unnecessary, useless.

    This is my take on the issue. It is your right to disagree, ignore arguments, twist logic, stretch interpretation of data to fit your goal, but remember – the jury is still there to decide who’s logic makes more sense.

    And I am glad that you find my references educational, although one might think that a prosecutor of CO2 case should be more familiar with basic circumstances and background of the case before embarking on public hearings.

    Cheers,
    – Al Tekhasski

    “One must be composed and methodical while explaining his viewpoint to
    opponents — making corrections for wind direction, barrel wear, and
    projectile temperature.” – anonymous in blogosphere

  141. Jose Danobeitia

    Normally this is not the place for me to make comments since I do not have scientific expertise in the areas under discussion. However, some of the recent exchanges have very little to do with science and a lot to do with human interactions. I am certainly disturbed by some of the comments, particularly the accusations by Dr. Eric:

    “Again, I am not complaining – I recognized from the very beginning that you would be running this debate like a Soviet-style show trial, simultaneously playing the roles of an advocate, the Judge, now its PC Monitor, and a bit farther down the road, possibly a prominent member of the Jury. A trial, that is, being run under the communist operational philosophy that “everyone is equal, but some are more equal that others”.

    What kind of absurd paragraph is the one quoted above? Has Dr. Eric been subjected to enhanced interrogation? Has his case for AGM forced out of him under threats? Can any one name the witnesses that have “testified” against Dr. Eric because they are government agents? Has Dr. Eric been precluded from presenting scientific evidence? The comparison to Galileo’s trial was bad enough because:
    a) It is difficult to see the connection, since Galileo was against the conventional wisdom, which in this case is AGW.
    b) It also shows some limited knowledge of history, since, as presented now in English, it has more to do with discrediting the Papal office that with reality. The name Simplicius is more relevant to the case than the alledged scientific witch hunt.

    But bringing up de Soviet Union “Show Trials” as an analogy to the work of Dr, Ed is not what I expect a respectable scientist to do.

    With regard to Dr. Eric‘s claim that only his editorial comments are being deleted, he should be happy about that since it makes him to look very reasonable when they are discarded. Not censoring other participants works in favor of Dr. Eric since they appear to be less reasonable and more hostile.

    Having a post make a reference to another participant and calling him ignoramus does not enhance the post even if he is an ignoramus. So if it were edited out I would be thankful as opposed to claiming discrimination.

    I looks to me that the ground is being prepared to justify a “not guilty” outcome, if that is what happens.

  142. @269 ADMIN NOTE:

    We have added new software that allows you to edit your own comment for 5 minutes after you press the Post Comment. You should see a 5-minute countdown. Please tell me how this works for you.

  143. @266 A, I have now read more of Imbrie et al. and still don’t understand your representation of it. The paper does not claim that CO2 does not provide an important positive feedback, as I believe you suggested.

    Just to lift one sentence from page 727:

    “The effect of this redistribution (he is talking about ocean chemistry) would be to drive down the level of CO2 (that is, as the Earth is cooling and heading towards a glacial state) in the atmosphere and thus serve as a strong and early positive feedback on local processes already acting to enlarge the northern hemisphere ice sheets”

    So, Al, can point me to any portion of this paper that supports your claim and contradicts what the authors say above?

    (And when addressing me, as far as I am concerned don’t worry too much about your need to include personal offenses. One always has the option of not taking, rather than embracing them).

  144. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 266 Al,
    I read Imbrie, et. al., and agree with Dr Eric that it does quote CO2 as a positive feedback for glacial to interglacial and back transitions. The basis for that hypothesis uses the work of Broecker as references. However Broecker’s work is only speculative and not conclusive. In fact, there is alternate evidence in Imbrie that contradicts that result and suggests caution on accepting it, and thus this paper is not conclusive for either side of the argument (see pp727-728):

    However, one must bear in mind that our other nutrient tracer, benthic foraminiferal Cd/Ca, offers quite a different view. Glacial values of Cd/Ca in the deep Southern Ocean are not high compared to the deep eastern pacific. Thus whatever mechanism creates unusually depleted 13C values in benthic forams of the Southern Ocean does not affect the values of Cd/Ca [Boyle, 1992]. Furthermore, the Cd/Ca levels in the northwest Pacific are significantly lower than in the eastern equatorial Pacific, while the 13C values are essentially the same in both areas [Keigwin, 1987; Boyle, 1992]. Thus the Cd/Ca evidence is supportive of a nutrient-depleted deep-water source in the northwest Pacific, while the 13C evidence is not. Because these discrepancies are not understood, caution is necessary in evaluating the d13C-based hypothesis presented below.

  145. @273 Eric wrote: “I have now read more of Imbrie et al. and still don’t understand your representation of it. The paper does not claim that CO2 does not provide an important positive feedback, as I believe you suggested.
    Just to lift one sentence from page 727:
    “The effect of this redistribution would be to drive down the level of CO2 in the atmosphere and thus serve as a strong and early positive feedback on local processes already acting to enlarge the northern hemisphere ice sheets”

    Ok, if you want to split hairs, here it is. First, the article is 38 pages long. Subtracting 6 pages of references and about 12 full pages of pictures, you have 20 pages of speculations and descriptions, containing about 600 sentences. Now you “lift” one sentence out of 600, and claim its importance. Actually the whopping two sentences could be identified; the second one is a nearly exact repetition of the one you “lifted”, on the same p.727.

    Second, if you read a little bit carefully, their statement is about “local processes”, and is mostly connected to some “re-distribution of nutrients”, and not a word about “radiative forcings” with this regard.

    Third, and where Leonard jumps in, “I read Imbrie, et. al., and agree with Dr Eric that it does quote CO2 as a positive feedback for glacial to interglacial and back transitions.”

    Wrong. The article DOES NOT mention CO2 as any acting force in all “glacial to interglacial and back transitions”. The article identifies FOUR stages in the process, while the CO2 feedback is mentioned only in ONE stage, “preglacial state”. As you might be aware, this is the stage we are not currently concerned with, since the drop of CO2 is not anticipated. Instead, the subject of this “trial” is “Global Warming”, and therefore you should be concerned with claims of CO2 importance during “Deglacial State”, section 6.5.4. If you read it, you will find no slight mentioning of CO2 being any force. Instead, the only reference to CO2 is a speculation of its source of increase from some “redistribution of nutrients among ocean reservoirs”, page 730.

    Now, concerning formulations, you are twisting as I expected. I did not claim that “Imbrie paper claims that CO2 does not provide an important positive feedback”. I claimed that the paper does not mention CO2 whatsoever in their concluding section. I claim that the paper does not mention CO2 in their abstract either, nor in 75% of total glacial-deglacial model. Normal logic dictates that if CO2 is not mentioned in these major parts of scientific publication, it is not important.

    So, full answer to your question, “Al, can point me to any portion of this paper that supports your claim and contradicts what the authors say above?” is that their entire article contradicts their two sentences, including the abstract and conclusion. Even their main conceptual illustration, Fig.14, contains CO2 only as RESPONSE from State S2, and nothing as “forcing” or “feedback”. The sentence you “lifted” out is not used in their model, just as I described earlier, and can be “lifted out” without any consequence to their conclusions.

    In conclusion, you and Leonard are completely wrong and are grasping at straw. My assessment and representation of Imbrie 1992 article that “CO2 is not needed” to explain (no matter how awkwardly) ice ages stands stronger than ever. Sorry folks.

    – Al Tekhasski
    “One must be composed and methodical while explaining his viewpoint to
    opponents — making corrections for wind direction, barrel wear, and
    temperature of projectile.” – anonymous in blogosphere

  146. @277 Al,

    Thanks, I now been understand your take on this paper. You consider the fact that the authors do not carefully consider the feedback effects of CO2 and rarely use the term, CO2, to be an attribute.

    It occurs to me that possibly they were not yet aware of the CO2 concentration changes that occurred between the glacial and interglacial periods because when they wrote this paper before 1992, ice core data was not yet readily available. Possibly this also explains why this paper is not so well known today after the ice core record was revealed (again Al, I would also like to see its subsequent effect on the literature and perhaps you can do that).

    And if they realized back in 1992 that they were producing a theory in which CO2 played no part in climate change – a point that would be very controversial today – one would have thought that a case for the lack of CO2’s importance would have constituted the “major news” of this article and would have been highlighted in the abstract, body and conclusions of the paper. But as you say, the term, CO2, does not appear frequently in any of these portions of the paper.

    Please feel free to explain these apparent mysteries to us all also. I don’t doubt that you know this paper front to back far better than any of us.

  147. @276 Ed,

    I have, indeed, learned a lot in the course of this debate and would like to provide a summary of my upgraded thoughts, as you suggested. In particular, I have tried to fit more of the details concerning the recent glacial / interglacial period of the last 2.5 million years up to the present. You will note, for example, in our section on the Milanvitch Cycle that I have been seeking addition understanding of how our climate managed to oscillate between its two extremes rather that even busting through the weak orbital forcings and then cruising off to either a snowball or water world. You will note soon in my next post that I have recently been made aware of a better (I think) answer than I previously had.

    Therefore I now think I am comfortable describing why the Earth has done what it did during the last 2.5 million years and, based on that knowledge, what it is likely to do in the future – given the impacts of Man – all in one relatively concise statement.

    If this is the sort of thing you were thinking of, I’d be glad to do it. Others can choose what they want to do – either provide their own views of what has happened and will be happening (at the risk of having to defend them) or simply chew away on my thoughts (as usual). In particular, I would like to know more about Leonard’s view that AGW is occurring but not CAGW. In order to be able to accept one, but not the other, a relatively precise understanding of the quantitative details would be required, so Leonard’s faces a greater challenge than most of us in explaining his view. Nevertheless, I would love to see the basis of it.

  148. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 280, Dr. Eric,
    Dr. Eric, your biggest problem with me is that you decide what you think I think or how I act. You are generally wrong, but that problem is of no concern to science, so I will respond in a simple fashion. Humans have built cities and roads, and cut down a lot of forests. At the least, The UHI and other local effects are not trivial. The air and water pollution (not CO2) have affected the biosphere, which has some effects on the Earth. In addition, I do accept that there is an atmospheric greenhouse effect, and the human produced excess of CO2 has added some to the trapping of heat. The issue is and has been how much these effects are, and where they seem to be headed. To evaluate these issues, I looked at past history and recent trends and concluded that there does not seem to be a problem, and in fact, the added CO2 seems to be particularly beneficial to increased crop growth. I tried the best I could to examine the claims of CAGW and this resulted in the following two write ups (among others):
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dnc49xz_0fb228shr&hl=en (Limitations on AGW)
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dnc49xz_15hmvdn3c9&hl=en (Disproving AGW Problem)
    Since I wrote those, I have gotten some more information (mainly data for more recent times), and would slightly revise them, but they are close enough, so I will just leave them for you to read. The point is, I did not just pick and choose other peoples write ups that agreed with my preconceived feelings, and then quote those, but rather I looked at all the information I could find (within the reasonable time I had), analyzed it MYSELF and put together a coherent presentation of MY analysis. I am fully qualified to be a peer reviewer of this material, so don’t quote that I haven’t published in the field of climatology.

  149. Leonard Weinstein

    Dr. Eric,
    On several occasions you commented that you don’t consider non -peer reviewed opinions meaningful. You also commented on several peoples lack of peer reviewed publications in the field of climatology and in general. You specifically asked me for a list of my publications, and I gave you the list. These are the reasons I keep mentioning the irrelevancy of that position. My comment was a preemptive attempt to avoid that being brought up again. If you did not plan to do so, I am sorry for misjudging you. Now let us get to the science.

    It is true that an additional 1 C over several hundred years might result in enough melting of the Greenland ice cap to raise sea level several feet, and this would be a problem for flooding of some present coastal regions. However, modern society has only existed a few hundred years, and most of the modern construction is only in the recent part of that time. Several hundred years of slow increase of sea level could be easily managed if the society was reasonably high energy and wealthy. Since most of the (mainly) Greenland ice is at high enough altitude, it would not melt much faster than that. Using cuts in fossil fuel and resisting nuclear power (as greens are trying to do) would decrease wealth and capability, and make adaptation harder, AND DO PRACTICALLY NOTHING TO CHANGE THE INCREASE. I want to point out that most of the temperature increases are at night, in winter, and at high latitudes, i.e., a decrease in the range, not as much an increase in high levels. This would actually lead to a more productive world! However, I see no reason that the temperature will increase as much as an additional 1 C, and in fact expect it to generally decrease.

    An increase of 2 C would also be a long range problem in sea level increase, and be faster and more severe, but still not a realistic problem for most of the world, and also generally result in more crop productivity.

    Much more than +2 C increase, especially if it were fast enough, could start to be a real problem, and that is where I consider the “Catastrophic” part of CAGW to start. However, I KNOW that cooling would result in a much larger catastrophe based on historical data. Loss of crops and lack of sufficient heating kills many times as many people as warming and a slow coastal area loss. Cooling of as little as 1 C from present would be a much larger problem than heating 2 C. In general, even much higher heating than 2 C would result in a more fertile Earth, and only loss of some sea shore would be the main problem.

    The many claims of CAGW have included rising sea level, dangerous high temperatures, loss of biodiversity, lower sea life productivity, drought, flooding, severe weather, etc. None of the are realistic except a slow sea level rise, and loss of some shore line, so I claim that CAGW claims are mostly a mistake.

  150. Leonard Weinstein

    @ 285, Dr. Eric,
    When you mentioned my @283 for your reply, you called paid close attention to my last comment (which I agree was out of order), but have not responded to the information. Please read the text and links as they are a specific reply to your request for my analysis.

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