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Climate: bull or bear?

In a world first, we apply technical analysis to the climate

Dr David Evans and Joanne Nova

8 April 2009

Figure 1. The big global temperature picture. Dr Syun Akasofu (International Conference on Climate Change, New York).

Could another large human institution dependent on complex models be headed for its ‘Lehman Bros’ moment?

Just as the great bull run that could-have-no-end, ended, another unthinkably big bubble quivers. Technical indicators are quietly being tripped that suggest the bull run in global temperatures that started in the late 1970s may be toying with a reversal. Could another large human institution dependent on complex models be headed for its ‘Lehman Bros’ moment? Will the climate keep hotting up, or are the latest downside breaks an indication of cool times to come? Billions in profits are at stake, as well as higher energy costs, thousands of careers, and really great junkets, but two groups of technical analysts come to very different conclusions. Who is right? And who will bail out the bureaucrats?

The Akasofu Wave Theory

Dr Akasofu, experienced analyst with the International Arctic Research Center, points out that the temperature have been rising steadily at a trend rate of 0.5°C per century since the end of the little ice age in the 1700s (when the Thames River would freeze over every winter; it last froze over in 1804). On top of the trend are oscillations that last about thirty years in each direction:

1882 – 1910    Cooling
1910 – 1944    Warming
1944 – 1975    Cooling
1975 – 2001    Warming

The green arrow in Figure 1 points to the situation today with temperature leveling off. The pattern suggests that the world has entered a period of slight cooling until about 2030, obviously quite bearish for temperatures in the medium term. Though not so for the carbon-credit market itself, since that appears to move completely independently of the climate.

The IPCC Theory – The Hockey Stick

IPCC predictions show the bull run in temperature continuing strongly out to 2100 at the same rate it warmed from 1975 to 2001. The IPCC complicates their analysis by looking at the rising trend in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which they think might be related.

A Closer Look

Figure 2. Hadley Meteorological Centre temperature record.

Significantly, data from the Hadley Meteorological Centre (Figure 2) suggests tentatively that the recent up-channel has been broken to the downside for the first time in 30 years. The strongly rising temperatures met resistance at around 0.45 °C above the 1961-1991 average, produced a failed attempt to breach the channel to the upside in 2005, then dipping below the trend line in 2008.
The classic pennant formation of 1940 – 1980 neatly marks the half way point, consolidating the long rise last century. The similarity of the rises before and after the pennant also suggests that the last uptrend has ended.

So Who is Right, Bull or Bear?

The ability of large bureaucracies to influence planetary cycles has a poor track record

The IPCC is strongly supported by government funding, scientists in the media, famous ex-politicians, celebrities, multiple scientific committees, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Normally this would be an exceptionally persuasive mix, but the ability of large bureaucracies to influence planetary cycles has a poor track record. Now that the bull market trend of the late 1990s has clearly been broken, bearish analysts like Dr Akasofu have been gaining more respect.

The IPCC argue for an acceleration of the recent short term trend on fundamental grounds. They say that carbon dioxide is the major factor determining temperature – so if they are right then there ought to be high correlations between carbon dioxide and temperature at all time scales in the past:

Short:        http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/NCDCanom1880.html
Medium:    http://www.sciencebits.com/files/pictures/climate/PyrotechnicGore.jpg
Long:         http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif

Awkwardly, the short and long terms correlations are distinctly poor while in the medium term the correlation is excellent but backwards: temperature rises or falls first, then carbon dioxide. The lag is not just a few weeks, but around 800 years. So carbon dioxide is not a leading indicator for temperature on this time scale either. (Oddly the lag is well known among climate scientists, but apparently not so among journalists and documentary movie makers).

So the fundamental basis on which the IPCC is making its predictions doesn’t seem as strong as their 800 page, six yearly reports suggest. Have they been talking up their own book, drawing fat fees based on nothing more than a bullish period that they didn’t really understand?

Links

A more serious treatment of Figure 1 is here, and Dr Akasofu explains Figure 1 himself .

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80 comments to Climate: bull or bear?

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    [...] For the whole article by Joanne Nova and David Evans, click here. [...]

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    Brian Valentine

    The last time something like this happened, King Canute didn’t have Laurie David or the inimitable Sheryl Crow on his team.

    So I’ll put my money on King Canute this time.

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    kim

    This is excellent, and if the present somewhat unusual behaviour of the sun is presaging a new Grand Solar Minimum, and if that effects climate as it probably will, then the underlying rising trend from the end of the Little Ice Age will turn into an underlying falling trend. We far more likely face a climate catastrophe from a cooling globe than from a warming one.

    We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know.
    ======================================================

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    JWC

    That’s an excellent paper. So much detail! Compelling argument.

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    Boris

    They say that carbon dioxide is the major factor determining temperature

    The statement is so imprecise it is very easy to argue against. Climate scientists don’t actually say this, of course. They look at the different forcings in terms of Wm`2 and determine what should dominate based on those calculations.

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    Ask any plant if CO2 is a pollutant. It blows my mind that millions of people got sucked into that scam.

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    JLKrueger

    They look at the different forcings in terms of Wm`2 and determine what should dominate based on those calculations.

    Have you ever asked where those Wm-2 numbers come from? They are not measured values, but computer generated “estimates”…the results of models. Quoting them is simply more AGW circular logic.

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    Brian Valentine

    A comment directed to those 55 years of age or older: What would happen if, forty years ago, some “scientist” or politician got up and said, “we’ve got to stop burning fossil fuel because we’re overheating the Earth”?

    They would be dismissed as a Communist or a beatnik, that’s what, and they would have all the audience for their prophecy as any other lunatic with a scruffy beard carrying a sign that read:

    “Repent! The End is Near!”

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  • #

    Can the current Arctic warming be sufficiently explained without knowing what has caused the warming before 1940?
    http://www.arctic-warming.com/ says: the overriding effort should be a detailed understanding of the warming in the early 20th Century, and we fully agree with Prof. Akasufo statement: “Thus, it may be concluded that processes other than the CO2 effect have a greater influence on sea ice in the Arctic Ocean than the greenhouse effects of CO2. The Arctic Ocean is special in this respect.”(p.40). More about the early Arctic warming from 1919 to 1940 at:
    http://www.arctic-heats-up.com/

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    kuhnkat

    aber,

    thanks for the link to arctic-heats-up.

    very interesting analysis.

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    Buck

    Boris, that is disingenuous. If this is not all about CO2 what are we even here for. Oh, OK, the CO2 is not the actual culprit (because we know CO2 has not the stones, by itself, to cause CAGW). CO2 needs its little friend, water vapor to really get it cooking here on Earth.

    Why, Boris, are we not already dead? We know that atmospheric CO2 concentration has been higher in the past; yet we are not Venus. Where was the positive feedback? Or is there something special about anthro-CO2 that makes it double plus bad?

    When it was, in 1998, hotter than it had been in a million years, why was that not ‘the tipping point?’ How could it cool after that if positive feedback dominates? And sure, after the fact someone can tart up their model and make it double plus good for why that didn’t happen, but they can always change the models. Who is keeping track?

    But, how can that satisfy? Come into the light, Boris.

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    Boris

    Buck,

    A positive feedback does not need to be a runaway feedback. Since CO2′s effect is logarithmic, one wouldn’t expect the effect to runaway with increasing concentrations.

    But if you think there is no positive feedback, then you must explain the ice ages. Obviously the climate system is capable of moving in response to fairly small forcings (see Milankovitch forcings, for example.) Empirical estimates of climate sensitivity give essentially the same range as the models, although it is a bit wider.

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    JLKrueger

    But if you think there is no positive feedback, then you must explain the ice ages.

    Obviously the climate system is capable of moving in response to fairly small forcings (see Milankovitch forcings, for example.) Empirical estimates of climate sensitivity give essentially the same range as the models, although it is a bit wider.

    Um, no. Positive feedbacks create a warmerclimate. It’s negative feedback that causes cooling.

    Again, you don’t understand where the “forcing” values come from. They are not measured values, they are statistical “best guesses” designed of course to make the models work the way they do. There is also no such thing as an “empirical estimate”. An estimate is a “best guess” ain’t nothing empirical about that.

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    Boris

    Um, no. Positive feedbacks create a warmerclimate. It’s negative feedback that causes cooling.

    You are a bit confused. If something is a positive feedback it makes the system more sensitive. For example, water vapor enhances the warming from CO2 because a warming planet has more WV in the atmosphere. By the same token, a cooling planet will have less water vapor in the atmosphere, and temperatures will decline even more. Same thing with ice albedo feedbacks.

    Again, you don’t understand where the “forcing” values come from. They are not measured values, they are statistical “best guesses” designed of course to make the models work the way they do. There is also no such thing as an “empirical estimate”. An estimate is a “best guess” ain’t nothing empirical about that.

    You are confusing forcing in terms of Wm`2 and climate sensitivity. The former is derived from direct observation. The latter is calculated through both empirical means and through simulations.

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    kuhnkat

    Boris,

    you need to stop talking out of your league. Even the best paleo scientists do not KNOW what caused most of the data they collect. They hypothesize and theorise about it. Trying to tell us that the sun did not dim or brighten or some other major incident actually caused the repeated ice ages is a GUESSING game. Until there is better data your, and the scientists, ASSumptions are a nice childrens story.

    “You are confusing forcing in terms of Wm`2 and climate sensitivity. The former is derived from direct observation. The latter is calculated through both empirical means and through simulations”

    1) FORCINGS ARE EASILY CONFUSED AND ARE PROBABLY NOT WHAT THE MODELERS THINK THEY ARE. I will take Dr. Spencer’s presentation over the witch doctors in a second.

    2) How many times in the past have empirical means and simulations been found to be WRONG???? Again, I’ll wait a few years and check back with the EXPERTS!!

    Y’all have a nice little fairy tale going. You need to wake up before the wicked witch gets you!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    As far as your confusion on positive/negative feedbacks, please tell us more cause all the dictionaries have something like the following:

    Positive feedback increases the output of a system. Negative feedback DECREASES THE OUTPUT OF A SYSTEM.

    Did you get your definition including sensitivity from one o’ them thar Climate Manuels???

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    By the way, the gentleman you were trying to correct is more correct. The models do NOT use the actual empirical data in most cases as their runs would take 100′s of years so, even the physics you THINK they have right is emulated or simulated in the models to save computation time with varying effects.

    I would point out that a lot of the so-called empirical data you reference was known in the early nineties. Interestingly the current models have lower outputs than the old models based on all that so-called empirical data!!!

    Sheesh, do we have to tell you everything??

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    kuhnkat

    Oh, and Boris,

    ” Obviously the climate system is capable of moving in response to fairly small forcings”

    Since you used this statement in an argument about large climate movements, eg, Ice Ages, where is your empirical evidence of this that is not based on circular reasoning?????

    That is, the temperature dropped causing an ice age. We “KNOW” the Sun didn’t dim enough and there weren’t other external forcings, therefore the system must have X sensitivity.

    Sorry, lack of data is not proof of anything.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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    Boris

    “Positive feedback increases the output of a system. Negative feedback DECREASES THE OUTPUT OF A SYSTEM.”

    Think about ice albedo for a second. AS the planet warms, the ice melts, lowering the albedo and absorbing more insolation. This causes “extra warming”

    If it gets colder, more ice forms, raising the albedo and reflecting more sunlight. This causes “extra” cooling.

    The proper definition for a positive feedback is a feedback that moves in the same direction as the original input. A negative feedback moves in the opposite direction.

    “Sheesh, do we have to tell you everything??”
    “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA”

    Lol. You better be damn sure you’re right before you make these kinds of statements :)

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    JLKrueger

    You are a bit confused. If something is a positive feedback it makes the system more sensitive.

    No, actually you don’t know what you are talking about.

    “A climate feedback is an internal climate process that amplifies or dampens the climate response to a specific forcing.” (Radiative Forcing Climate Change: Expanding the Concept and Addressing Uncertainties, p. 2, National Academies Press, 2005)(italics mine)

    In the context of warming (response) as a result of forcing (increased CO2), positive feedbacks amplify warming. Negative feedbacks dampen or reduce warming.

    Here’s a better example of a feedback (in this case, negative feedback): “The reduction in Atlantic MOC strength associated with increasing greenhouse gases leads to a negative feedback to warming in and around the North Atlantic. That is, through reducing the transport of heat from low to high latitudes, SSTs are cooler than they would otherwise be if the Atlantic MOC were left unchanged. (Understanding Climate Change Feedbacks, p. 55, National Academies Press, 2003)

    A positive feedback would do the opposite.

    For example, water vapor enhances the warming from CO2 because a warming planet has more WV in the atmosphere.

    As you phrased it, that is an excellent example of an assumed positive feedback based on the assumption that a change in CO2 caused warming.

    Since in real life, as opposed to the virtual reality of models, warming precedes rise in CO2 anyway, the assumption of the response (warming) being a result of the assumed forcing (CO2 increase is already falsified.

    By the same token, a cooling planet will have less water vapor in the atmosphere, and temperatures will decline even more.

    Right, that’s a negative feedback. Negative feedbacks dampen warming (cause cooling).

    You are confusing forcing in terms of Wm`2 and climate sensitivity.

    No, I know the difference, but you don’t seem to know what they are.

    The former is derived from direct observation.

    No, it is a derived value. Period. Name the direct observation(s) that give(s) you the RF value.

    The latter is calculated through both empirical means and through simulations.

    No, the latter is a concept used in developing a modeling metric. “Climate sensitivity is a metric used to characterise the response of the global climate system to a given forcing. It is broadly defined as the equilibrium global mean surface temperature change following a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration.” (AR4, Chapter 8, Climate Models and Their Evaluation, p. 629)

    “A climate forcing is an energy imbalance imposed on the climate system either externally or by human activities.” (Radiative Forcing Climate Change: Expanding the Concept and Addressing Uncertainties, p.13, National Academies Press, 2005)

    The entire AGW hypothesis rests on the assumption that the dominant climate forcing is the radiative forcing caused by CO2 and that the climate system (energy balance) responds to changes in CO2 over and above all other forcings.

    The entire AGW case is all driven by assumption and model.

    You better be damn sure you’re right before you make these kinds of statements

    You might want to seriously consider taking your own advice.

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    David Evans

    For a system with a no-feedback “gain” (amplifying multiplier, or sensitivity) of A and a feedback of B, the gain of the whole system (ie amplifier A with feedback B) is
    A / (1 – AB) = A[1 + (AB) + (AB)^2 + (AB)^3 + ...]
    AB is the loop gain, the factor a signal is multiplied by when it goes once around the loop.

    The output of such a system is
    in(t) A / (1 – AB)
    where the input to the system is the function “in” of the time variable t.

    Positive feedback is where B is positive; negative when B < 0. For a given positive A, so long as AB remains less than one, a larger value of B increases the sensitivity A / (1 - AB).

    In the context of climate, positive feedbacks amplify warming more and negative feedbacks amplify less -- but a temperature increase due to increased forcing always results in a higher temperature. Negative feedback dampens a temperature increase by reducing the increase, but does not result in overall lower temperature.

    For example, a no-feedback temperature increase of 1C (for say the extra forcing due to a CO2 doubling) might become 3C if the feedback is strongly positive (the IPCC models), but only 0.4C if the feedback is moderately negative (Spencer and Lindzen).

    There are a couple of simple worked examples of feedback calculations on the climate system in my pdf at http://sciencespeak.com/MissingSignature.pdf .

    By the way, nearly all engineering systems are deliberately designed with some or even a lot of negative feedback, for stability and greater control. In nature, every system ultimately has negative feedback — otherwise it would go unstable and blow up (which happens occasionally). Given the earth’s climate has been pretty stable without going hothouse for a billion+ years of greenhouse warming, chances are very good that the climate system has a lot of negative feedback. Shame to be wrong though.

    Fortunately the evidence is pretty good that the assumed positive feedback in the IPCC climate models due to water vapor (and the positive water vapor feedback dominates the total feedback in the IPCC climate models) is wrong — the hotspot is missing, so the water vapor feedback must be small or negative (see previous link).

    I reckon the IPCC modelers will eventually turn down the water vapor feedback in their models to bring them into line with observed reality. That will reduce their predicted temperature increases due to CO2 increases by a half to two-thirds, and the “crisis” will be well on the way to becoming manageable.

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    JLKrueger

    Right, that’s a negative feedback. Negative feedbacks dampen warming (cause cooling).

    Clarification: the H2 that remained in the air would still be a negative feedback, because it would act to dampen cooling. If we are talking in context of the cooling being the internal climate response to a forcing.

    In the context of a warming response as per the AGW argument, negative feedbacks dampen warming.

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    JLKrueger

    Should read H2O in my clarification on #20.

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    Boris

    Given the earth’s climate has been pretty stable without going hothouse for a billion+ years of greenhouse warming, chances are very good that the climate system has a lot of negative feedback. Shame to be wrong though.

    But, David, the existence of glaciations shows that the climate is not very stable at all.

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    Boris

    based on the assumption that a change in CO2 caused warming.

    That CO2 causes warming is not an assumption at all. The fact that doubling CO2 will give about a 1.1C increase in temperature before feedbacks in undisputed.

    You are still confused by pos and neg feedbacks, but this appears to be just a matter of terminology. When discussing feedback systems, positive and negative refer to the direction of the perturbation, not absolute measurements.

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    David Evans

    Boris (22): “Pretty stable” in the context of systems and feedback refers to the tipping point, which is the really big instability :) Yes, the earth’s climate has changed over the last billion+ years; no, it has never gone near the tipping point where the loop gain has approached unity and the earth has become much hotter.

    Under IPCC climate theory, CO2 causes warming and that warming is amplified by the climate system. So if we got near the tipping point in their models, their simulated climate heats up enormously and there is a “runaway greenhouse effect” — somewhat like Venus. The IPCC models are currently close to the tipping point (in logarithmic terms), with a loop gain of about 0.67. They say that just a little bit more CO2 and … we’ll be like an underwater Venus!!! (Well ok, some of the wilder exaggerators say that, and saner people don’t.)

    The IPCC models are of course hogwash, as demonstrated by the missing hotspot (remove the assumed water vapor feedback to fit in with the non-observation of the hotspot during the last warming period, and their feedback drops to about neutral, and the loop gain to about 0.2). And the stability of the earth’s climate for the last billion+ years (where it never went into runaway greenhouse) strongly implies that the loop gain is much lower, presumably nearer 0.1 or 0.01.

    And no, the 1C for a no-feedback warming due to CO2 doubling is not undisputed. There is no empirical evidence for it. Apparently there is not even a back-of-the-envelope calculation for it (I ask again: if anyone knows of one, could they please send it to me? And don’t refer me to Hansen’s 1984 paper, because the figures there are from his extremely crude 1984 model (see Table 1), not any calculation — although there are some 0-D calculations in there, they are not for the no-feedback warming due to CO2 doubling). It is just a result of models: although the models contain some sound science, they also contain many assumptions, guesses, and crude approximations.

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    JLKrueger

    That CO2 causes warming is not an assumption at all. The fact that doubling CO2 will give about a 1.1C increase in temperature before feedbacks in undisputed.

    Come out of your virtual reality and into the real world. We aren’t talking about life in model or a lab where you can assume away natural negative feedbacks and natural negative forcings. This is more obfuscation and misdirection on your part, not that I’m a bit surprised.

    The warming of the past 30 years in the real world is assumed to be caused by CO2 by your crowd. That’s what the discussion is about.

    You are still confused by pos and neg feedbacks, but this appears to be just a matter of terminology. When discussing feedback systems, positive and negative refer to the direction of the perturbation, not absolute measurements.

    I cited specific references correctly defining feedback so that there should be no confusion about “terminology”. I’m not making it up my own definitions like you are doing. I quoted references, all from your side I might add.

    You respond with sidestepping the point. I am not at all confused. You still don’t know what you are talking about as clearly demonstrated by your reply.

    You are the one who made outlandish claims of things being measured or empirical when in fact they are assumptions and mathematical models.

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    JLKrueger

    And Boris, I forgot one thing…

    Kindly cite the specific study empirically proving that doubling CO2 results in a 1.1°C temperature increase.

    No handwaving allowed. Cite the study.

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    JLKrueger

    But, David, the existence of glaciations shows that the climate is not very stable at all.

    When examining earth’s climate in a geologic timeframe and within a particular range of temperatures, glaciations are within normal variation. The planet’s climate is, in those terms, stable.

    The fact that specific external factors can disrupt the stability does nothing to refute the inherent stability.

    Earth’s system is not closed, so external factors can disrupt the equilibrium, but the system contains mechanisms that bring the system back to equilibrium. The fact that this planet has sustained life for hundreds of millions of years is proof of that fact.

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    mike freeman

    Boris….did you just suggest that maybe CO2 is NOT the major driver of climate (your first comment)….?
    Am assuming that you are the same ‘Boris’ to be found on other blogs….in which case, did I read it right, did you REALLY just suggest that perhaps CO2 is not THE major driver?

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    Boris

    Under IPCC climate theory, CO2 causes warming and that warming is amplified by the climate system. So if we got near the tipping point in their models, their simulated climate heats up enormously and there is a “runaway greenhouse effect” — somewhat like Venus.

    This is an absolute strawman. The IPCC makes no claims about a runaway greenhouse effect. That is not part of any projection from the IPCC even under the worst case scenarios. There simply isn’t enough carbon in fossil fuels to make Earth into Venus.

    There are “tipping points” but these are points with a known physical cause (but an unknown threshold). Methane release from permafrost and the decline of oceanic CO2 uptake are two prime examples of tipping points that will further enhance warming, but that are at this time essentially unpredictable.

    As for the 1.1C deg, you are right that there are no “back of the envelope” calculations–this is because there are no envelopes big enough to give an accurate answer. Instead we need to use computers to make the calculations. These programs are called “radiation codes” and have been around since the 1950s at least. They are based on meticulous observations of the atmosphere and decades of research and the values they give for CO2 are undisputed. Any rebuttal to the canonical figure would need to address the radiation codes and I have seen none that even acknowledge their existence..

    For JL, here’s a cite that gives a good overview of the process and history of radiation codes. If you want the original articles, you might have to visit a good library.

    Weart, Spencer R. (1997). “Global Warming, Cold War, and the Evolution of Research Plans.” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 27(2): 319-56.

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    Boris

    mike,

    This isn’t difficult. CO2 is the major driver now. It is not always the major driver (though it is often an important feedback).

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    Boris

    Climate feedback – An interaction mechanism between processes in the climate system is called a climate feedback when the result of an initial process triggers changes in a second process that in turn influences the initial one. A positive feedback intensifies the original process, and a negative feedback reduces it.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/glossary/ar4-wg1.pdf

    There you go. What should be obvious whatever definition that you use is that is WV enhances warming then it will enhance cooling, which means the system is MORE sensitive to changes in input.

    If WV does not enhance warming or cooling, then the system is LESS sensitive and harder to change.

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    JLKrueger

    For JL, here’s a cite that gives a good overview of the process and history of radiation codes. If you want the original articles, you might have to visit a good library.

    Weart, Spencer R. (1997). “Global Warming, Cold War, and the Evolution of Research Plans.” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 27(2): 319-56.

    I’ve read it.

    That’s handwaving Boris. Not allowed, intellectually lazy, and another failure to directly answer an upfront challenge.

    You are the one trying to knock down the null hypothesis, it’s up to you to do so with real evidence, something you have singularly failed to do.

    This isn’t difficult. CO2 is the major driver now. It is not always the major driver (though it is often an important feedback).

    PROVE IT! Show me the empirical proof. Cite the study. You are the one offering up strawmen, sidestepping, and misdirecting.

    Face it, you can’t produce the proof because it does not exist.

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    JLKrueger

    As for the 1.1C deg, you are right that there are no “back of the envelope” calculations–this is because there are no envelopes big enough to give an accurate answer. Instead we need to use computers to make the calculations

    More misdirection and obfuscation Boris. You weren’t asked to produce “back of the envelope” calculations, you were asked to produce an empirical study that proves the temperature increase vs doubling CO2 relationship.

    The equation used in climate models for the RF of atmospheric CO2 will fit on a postage stamp, contains only one variable and not a single empirical measurement. (Hint: you can find it in the TAR.)

    The rest of your response is utter meandering nonsense demonstrating once again, your complete lack of real knowledge on the subject.

    Name one study referencing your “radiation codes”. Come on, cite it instead of these nonsensical assertions that you keep failing to support with real evidence.

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    Boris

    JL,

    If you had read Weart’s paper as you claim, you could find many studies. Here a link to a Google Scholar search for MODTRAN: 4,715 hits–and that’s just one radiation code!

    For one of the first citations, see:

    Plass, G.N., 1956, Infrared Radiation in the Atmosphere, American J. Physics 24, p. 303-21.

    Please stop pretending that the evidence doesn’t exist. (And you call other intellectually lazy :) )

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    JLKrueger

    There you go. What should be obvious whatever definition that you use is that is WV enhances warming then it will enhance cooling, which means the system is MORE sensitive to changes in input.

    If WV does not enhance warming or cooling, then the system is LESS sensitive and harder to change.

    There we go what? So you’ve finally produced a book definition that is just a rephrasing of the definition I gave you, but in less techincal terms.

    You still do not understand climate sensitivity and are therefore misunderstanding feedback.

    Neiother of the definitions for feedback that you or I have produced have anything to do with sensitivity as you are using the term.

    Amplification and damping are not sensitivity constructs. Sensitivity is in reference to the forcing, not the feedback. Both feedback definitions say that feedback amplifiies (intensifies) or dampens (reduces) the response to a forcing. That is not sensitivity.

    From the same glossary:

    In IPCC reports (which are based on models), equilibrium climate sensitivity refers to the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent carbon dioxide concentration. Due to computational constraints, the equilibrium climate sensitivity in a climate model is usually estimated by running an atmospheric general circulation model coupled to a mixed-layer ocean model, because equilibrium climate sensitivity is largely determined by atmospheric processes. Efficient models can be run to equilibrium with a dynamic ocean.
    The effective climate sensitivity is a related measure that circumvents the requirement of equilibrium. It is evaluated from model output for evolving non-equilibrium conditions. It is a measure of the strengths of the climate feedbacks at a particular time and may vary with forcing history and climate state. The climate sensitivity parameter (units: °C (W m–2)–1) refers to the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface temperature following a unit change in radiative forcing.
    The transient climate response is the change in the global surface temperature, averaged over a 20-year period, centred at the time of atmospheric carbon dioxide doubling, that is, at year 70 in a 1% yr–1 compound carbon dioxide increase experiment with a global coupled climate model. It is a measure of the strength and rapidity of the surface temperature response to greenhouse gas forcing.

    Parenthetical comment and emphasis added.

    Note that the entire discussion revolves around MODELS!

    It has nothing to do with empirical observation!

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    Boris

    climate sensitivity is defined as the temperature rise expected from a doubling of CO2. This includes feedbacks. I’m not sure what you are rambling on about now.

    Note that the entire discussion revolves around MODELS!

    It has nothing to do with empirical observation!

    Well, yes, because they are discussing “the equilibrium climate sensitivity in a climate model” There are empirical estimates of climate sensitivity. Do you think you can find those on your own, or do I need to hold your hand again?

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    JLKrueger

    If you had read Weart’s paper as you claim, you could find many studies. Here a link to a Google Scholar search for MODTRAN: 4,715 hits–and that’s just one radiation code!

    Please stop pretending that the evidence doesn’t exist. (And you call other intellectually lazy :) )

    Plass: Early models.

    MODTRAN: Models again. Not one iota of empirical evidence.

    More handwaving Boris.

    The challenge to you was to back up your bold assertion by citing a specific empirical study. Telling me to go to the library, google search, or sift through the bibliography of a report is not producing the study.

    If the evidence is there as you claim, produce it.

    Your high school debate tactics won’t work with me.

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    JLKrueger

    climate sensitivity is defined as the temperature rise expected from a doubling of CO2. This includes feedbacks.

    Since we have no empirical measurements of feedback, it’s pretty meaningless then. Feedbacks in climate models are ASSUMPTIONS!

    Well, yes, because they are discussing “the equilibrium climate sensitivity in a climate model”

    Hello? Earth to Boris! Models are not evidence!

    All your rambling about sensitivity has nothing to do with REALITY! It’s all life in a MODEL!

    There are empirical estimates of climate sensitivity.

    Estimates are not empirical, they are estimates (best guesses).

    Do you think you can find those on your own, or do I need to hold your hand again?

    More high school debate tactics, more sidestepping and misdirection. You have the burden of proof.

    You have yet to produce a single piece of empirical proof.

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    Boris

    Modtran and radiation transfer codes have been proven to be accurate over DEACDES. Your turn to show me the evidence that MODTRAN and others are wrong, JL. Don’t look like a hypocrite here.

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    JLKrueger

    There are empirical estimates of climate sensitivity.

    That was Boris’ comment, not me. I must have missed a > or got dislexic fingers typing “blockquote” :)

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    JLKrueger

    Modtran and radiation transfer codes have been proven to be accurate over DEACDES. Your turn to show me the evidence that MODTRAN and others are wrong, JL. Don’t look like a hypocrite here.

    More handwaving.

    No, you were challenged to produce empirical evidence and have yet to do so.

    You are the one who is trying to overturn the null hypothesis, so the burden of proof is on you.

    Where’s the empicical proof?

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    JLKrueger

    Urgh! empirical proof!

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    Boris

    You have yet to produce a single piece of empirical proof.

    Saying this over and over doesn’t make it true. Modtran is based off of obsevrations of the atmosphere conducted by the US Air Force in the 1940s. It has been compared again and again with observations and found to be accurate. Apparently you have no idea what the term “empirical” means and no willingness to actually consider the evidence, except to claim you’ve read Weart’s article when it is clear you haven’t.

    Here’s just one of many empirical estimates of climate sensitivity. I’ll end this discussion now and simply post links to more in response to your nonsense.

    Climate sensitivity constrained by CO2 concentrations over the past 420 million years

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    Boris

    No, you were challenged to produce empirical evidence and have yet to do so.

    The Climate Sensitivity and Its Components Diagnosed from Earth Radiation Budget Data

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    JLKrueger

    Apparently you have no idea what the term “empirical” means

    1 : originating in or based on observation or experience
    2 : relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory
    3 : capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment

    And you were saying? It isn’t hard Boris. Just have to look it up.

    Nothing you have produced meets these definitions.

    Both of your links to abstracts are about models…again. Ya gotta read beyond the abstract. You can do that for about $22.00

    The Forster and Gregory (2006) study you cite demonstrates that all IPCC models produced total radiative (LW+SW) feedbacks more positive than current best estimates from satellite observations of LW and SW radiation. But instead of questioning the realism of model feedbacks, the authors assumed this discrepancy was due to errors in estimates of feedback.

    They used a linear regression model to diagnose their results. Those results showed low correlation (average of the absolute values, 0.37) between temperature changes and SW fluctuations for the diagnosed feedback parameters. As they pointed out in their study, they only used five years of LW and SW observation, but as they were really only trying to demonstrate a technique, as stated in their conclusion, they didn’t need to aim for high correlation.

    Their paper is about establishing a technique for determining linear components of climate feedback. It’s an exploration of concepts for future work.

    It’s not empirical evidence of a 1.1°C rise in temperature for a doubling of CO2. Which is what you were challenged to produce.

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    Boris

    I’ve already pointed you to Plass’ article. You haven’t read it. You won’t read it. You deny it exists. What else can I say?

    If that doesn’t do it for you, check any textbook on radiative transfer in the atmosphere. Or pretend those textbooks don’t exist too :)

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    JLKrueger

    I’ve already pointed you to Plass’ article. You haven’t read it. You won’t read it. You deny it exists. What else can I say?

    More misdirection and sidestepping. I’ll give you one thing, you have the Grist attack strategy down pat.

    Where did I say that Plass’ article doesn’t exist? That’s another of your bold unsupportable assertions.

    More to the point, the Plass study you cited (Infrared Radiation in the Atmostphere, May 1956) is not based empirical work, but is certainly pioneering theoretical work for the atmospheric modeling community. In 1955, when he first submitted his paper, he simply did not have access to the tools.

    He points out in his introduction:
    “The general equations for the transfer of radiation in a gas are derived. These equations are solved for four simple model atmospheres that illustrate various features of the more complicated results for the earth’s atmosphere. The atmospheric infrared radiation flux can be calculated from laboratory absorption measurements. The results of such calculations are discussed in detail for the frequency ranges that are influenced by the carbon dioxide and ozone bands.”

    Basically, he’s laying groundwork for early atmospheric models. Keep in mind that computer technology was also in its infancy in 1955. Most of these guys still used slide rules.

    In conclusion he states:
    “These results show that the calculated absorption of ultraviolet and visible radiation in the stratosphere is approximately equal to the cooling effect of the infrared radiation. Unlike the troposphere where many different processes may change the temperature of a parcel of air, the average temperature in the stratosphere appears to be determined by the absorption and emission of radiation.”

    Nowhere in the study is the claim made that doubling CO2 will result in 1.1°C increase in surface temperature, or that either of these variables were measured. The closest Plass comes to any connection to surface temperature changing with greenhouse gas changes is when he says early in the report, “The climate at the surface of the earth and the variation of temperature with height would be considerably different should the concentration or distribution of any of the gases change appreciably.”

    If that doesn’t do it for you, check any textbook on radiative transfer in the atmosphere. Or pretend those textbooks don’t exist too.

    Boris, a word of advice when arguing science: when you make an assertion that something has been irrefutably proven; you better have the source readily at hand. If you’ve misspoken, and we all do from time to time, admit it and move on.

    What is probably clear to most lurkers here is that you have not read the sources you are throwing at me in your effort to wear me down, because they don’t say what you think they are saying, as I have clearly demonstrated with the Forster & Gregory study and with Plass.

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    Boris

    JL,

    You are being deliberately obtuse. Yes, Plass used computers to calculate infrared transfer in the atmosphere. You can’t do those calculations by hand.

    What you are missing is that Plass and other have built a body of work that spans decades and is UNDISPUTED. Even skeptics on your side like Lindzen and Singer don’t dispute the 1.1C no feedback number for CO2.

    What’s more, you can find this information in any good textbook. Try Thomas and Stamnes. If you are hung up on the fact that Plass used a computer to model the radiative transfer, then there’s not much to say. But his (and others) results have been repeated and verified again and again and again and again and again.

    If you have any evidence that radiative transfer codes are wrong, then please write the authors of these atmospheric texts. They would be delighted to bask in your brilliance.

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    Boris

    as I have clearly demonstrated with the Forster & Gregory study

    No, you misrepresented this study.

    You claimed it was “all about models,” but apparently you didn’t read it very carefully:

    In this work, we
    use a standard linear definition of climate sensitivity, which we state here, and go on to show how it can be derived from observational data.

    That would an empirical estimate of climate sensitivity, for those of you playing along at home.

    These results indicate a 1.0–4.1-K range warming for a doubling of CO2

    What do you know? They get net positive feedback and, while their results are a bit lower than GCMs, the range is comparable to the IPCC.

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    mike freeman

    Hi Boris,
    Thanks for clarifying. I just needed to hear YOU say (having seen you around other blogs in quite the ‘co2 is the problem’ mode) state that co2 ‘might’ not be the main driver all the time.
    You say it is the main driver at the moment, but might not be at other times.
    Thats actually quite a diff view from the mainstream AGW guys such as we see on our media?
    I’m guessing this comes from the fact that co2 seems to be overwhelmed by other factors at this (2yrs trend?) minute within your chosen ‘moment’ so its good to open an escape door just in case..heh!
    In actual fact I totally agree, I’m sure co2 CAN be a main driver…in a system which is otherwise in neutral, so to speak.
    I think the point many skeptics make is that its such a pathetic driver that its ability to be a main force is limited to walk on parts in the bigger play?
    So it seems to me that while we should keep an eye on the levels, and continue with the observations, the precautionary principle – bearing in mind the ‘runaway scenario’ is now being dismissed (your comment about Venus?) – would suggest we concentrate our funds on other things rather than co2?

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    JLKrueger

    Boris #48,

    This is more sidestepping and misdirection on your part and you are completely twisting what I said about the Plass study. Of course what I said is out there for everyone else to see, so I don’t need to go into any more detail.

    The salient point is that you made an assertion that doubling CO2 results in a 1.1°C increase in temperature and that this has been proven empirically and was irrefutable.

    You were challenged to produce the study that says this.

    You submitted Plass, as one of your many “proofs” and Plass, like all the others, is mute on this point.

    Nowhere in the Plass study that you referenced is the claim made that doubling CO2 will result in 1.1°C increase in surface temperature, or that either of these variables were measured. Period. End of story.

    Radiative transfer codes are irrelevant to the challenge. Code, inserted into other models, is irrelevant. Whether or not people have nodded and not challenged is irrelevant. Whether Boris asked his buddies over at one of the AGW blogs and they told him to try xyz is irrelevant.

    You made a claim. You were challenged to produce proof of that claim. You cannot produce said proof and and have been frantically hand waving ever since.

    There is basically one way one might empirically prove that doubling CO<sub2 produces a 1.1°C increase in temperature.

    One would need to design an experiment whereby all factors could be controlled while adding measured amounts of CO2 and simultaneously measuring the increase in temperature. This experiment would need to be done several times, but when done we would have measured (observed) CO2 increase against measured (observed) temperature increase. Empirical measurements, no model required.

    THAT is what it means to empirically prove the CO2 temperature increase relationship. The rub is that as simple as that sounds, it has never been done – probably because it is much harder than it sounds.

    THAT is the kind of study that passes muster as an empirical proof and you cannot produce one because they don’t exist.

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    No, you misrepresented this study.
    You claimed it was “all about models,” but apparently you didn’t read it very carefully:

    “In this work, we use a standard linear definition of climate sensitivity, which we state here, and go on to show how it can be derived from observational data.”

    That would an empirical estimate of climate sensitivity, for those of you playing along at home.

    Boris,

    Everyone else can clearly see that I never said the study was “all about models.” You seem to be getting more desperate with the hand waving. You keep trying to muddy the water with spurious and irrelevant information that does not prove the point you were challenged to prove.

    You obviously did not get past page one, which is where you lifted your quote. I feel fairly confident that if you bothered to turn the page, your eyes glazed over with the equations and from that point you were lost even though they were talking relatively simple linear regressions.

    From FG06 conclusion: “We believe we have illustrated a powerful technique for determining linear components of climate feedback.”

    That is the point of the study, not that they proved the relationship you were challenged on. Their technique is groundwork for future work.

    Again, nowhere in this study, or any other study you have tried to inundate us with, is there empirical proof supporting your assertion.

    Empirical proof rarely requires a model!

    Observational data fed into a model is not empirical proof.

    If a relationship can be proven by empirical means, there is no need to model that relationship.

    A model is used precisely because there isn’t empirical proof of the relationship between the variables. That’s the whole point of regressions and other statistical tools.

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    Boris

    Jl,

    Your arguments are absurd. Where do you think Plass and all the other developers of Radiative transfer codes got their information? They are based off of detailed observations of the atmosphere. Subsequent observations have confirmed the radiative transfer codes’ accuracy many times over. If you don’t want to call that empirical, that’s your choice, but it’s hardly a knock on those codes, which are undisputed in the literature and even undisputed by Lindzen and Singer and Spencer. And Spencer thinks the recent rise in CO2 levels is not human caused!

    You’re by yourself on this one.

    As for Gregory you said it was “about models” when it was about an empirical estimate of climate sensitivity. Then you bizarrely claimed that estimates cannot be empirical.

    You seem to have strange definitions for simple words, which makes this conversation rather pointless.

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    Boris

    Since in real life, as opposed to the virtual reality of models, warming precedes rise in CO2 anyway, the assumption of the response (warming) being a result of the assumed forcing (CO2 increase is already falsified.

    Actually, it appears you may share Spencer’s view here. Really, this is the most simplistic type of thinking. You are saying that the fact that a rebound from a glaciation begins with some other forcing, which then cause s CO2 to outgas from the ocean, that this proves CO2 is not a greenhouse gas.

    What can I say to that sort of nonsense thinking? I’ve tried. You win. All the textbooks are wrong and it’s a global scam. Enjoy your champagne.

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    co2isnotevil

    Regarding feedback, positive feedback reinforces change, while negative feedback suppresses change. The direction of the change makes no difference. The biggest positive feedback effect is the ebb and flow of ice and snow which modulates the surface reflectivity and the amount of energy entering the system. At minimum or maximum ice, the feedback term drops to zero, the direction of the climate becomes metastable and the next solar perturbation in the opposite direction changes the direction of the climate. However, it’s still positive feedback, independent of the direction of temperatue change.

    Regarding the back of the envelope calculation, it comes from applying stefan-botzmann to the increase in energy absorbed by CO2 based on the empirical equation which predicts the forcing in W/m^2 that arises from a doubling of CO2 since 1750. However, this calculation only gives 0.7C, which is routinely rounded up to 1C and sometimes to 1.1C to make it look like it’s not a rounded up number. I tried to fix this in wikipedia, but alarmist censors kept reverting my edits. Of course, even the 0.7C factor ignores the fact that CO2 under clouds has no incremental effect as the clouds are already retaining all of the surface energy.

    The climate sensitivity based on this should be only 0.18, but is generally quoted as 3-4 times higher based on the justification of rolling in feedback, even though the formal IPCC definition of radiative forcing specifically excludes the effects of feedback. Of course, another flaw is that the sensitivity heuristic relating power density and temperature is linear, while the actual relationship is that power density is proportional to the forth power of the temperature. What this is really doing is rolling in the sensitivity of the temperature to temperature change and calling it CO2 feedback.

    A flaw in many models is that they count energy re-radiated as a result of greenhouse absorption the same as energy from the Sun. This violates Conservation of Energy by double counting the same energy. Greenhouse gases only delay emission of energy from the planet and in no way shape or form cause new energy to be created or capture energy for eternity. Most of the effect is to keep the night time warmer than it would be otherwise. Radiation cooling on a clear, dry winter night demonstrates the limit of what CO2 by itself can do to keep the planet warm.

    A flaw in hickey stick arguments and arguments that the climate is changing faster than ever before are all based on the flawed statistical analysis where short term change is being predicted by changes in long term averages.

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    Boris

    Regarding the back of the envelope calculation, it comes from applying stefan-botzmann to the increase in energy absorbed by CO2 based on the empirical equation which predicts the forcing in W/m^2 that arises from a doubling of CO2 since 1750. However, this calculation only gives 0.7C, which is routinely rounded up to 1C and sometimes to 1.1C to make it look like it’s not a rounded up number.

    No, the 1.1C number comes from radiation codes, which treat the atmosphere in much greater detail than simply using the Stephan-Boltzmann equation. Also, we haven’t doubled CO2 yet.

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    co2isnotevil

    Actually Boris, the 4 W/m^2 number is what comes HITRAN/MODTRAN which simulates how the absorption spectrum changes with concentration. Even this is subject to debate relative to the handling of the water vapor spectrum overlap and cloud absorption overlap. Models which predict temperature changes relative to this ‘forcing’ are generally unreliable and tend to be based on heuristics, rather than physics. Feel free to find a model which supports your assertion based on physics and which doesn’t include a bunch of empirical constants. Of course, such models tend to predict temperature changes which are far less than that required to precipitate guilt and fear, so they are generally not favored by alarmists.

    Part of the problem here is that many of the so called ‘radiation codes’ are not reliable simulations of reality and instead, attempt to explain the data by fudging relationships in order to conform to the preconceived notion that CO2 drives the climate. While MODTRAN and similar codes are reasonable for calculating atmospheric absorption, codes built on this data do not automatically inherit this relative reasonability.

    The only non controversial calculation which converts surface energy to temperature is stefan-boltzmann. The average energy density emitted from the surface/lower atmosphere is about 390 W/m^2, which results in a temperature of 288K (P = oT^4, where P=power density, o=boltzmann’s constant, T=temperatures in degrees K). If the surface energy is increased to 394 W/m^2, by virtue of re-radiating greenhouse absorption, the temperature increases to 288.7K. If, as the IPCC suggests, the temperature will increase by about 4C, the required surface energy would be 412 W/m^2. Where does this extra 18 W/m^2 come from? The pedantic ‘feedback’ response illustrates a gross misunderstanding of the actual physics. In the models which predict such effects, this energy often comes from Conservation of Energy violations. Another huge flaw in the IPCC heuristics is that a linear equation, T = kE (k is sensitivity, E is ‘forcing’ and T is delta T) is used to approximate a non linear function (E = oT^4), which dramatically overestimates the effect delta E has on delta T.

    I know that we haven’t doubled CO2, but this seems to be the benchmark the alarmists like to use. However, because of the non linear relationship between CO2 concentration and captured and delayed energy, most of the effect that will occur from doubling has already occurred.

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    Boris #53 & #54:

    The discussion is there for everyone to see how you have sidestepped, distorted, made up your own definitions and misdirected rather than meeting your burden of proof. When confronted with your obvious inability to comprehend the studies you offer as proof, you wave your hands and introduce tangential topics.

    Examples of your distortion:

    You are saying that the fact that a rebound from a glaciation begins with some other forcing, which then cause s CO2 to outgas from the ocean, that this proves CO2 is not a greenhouse gas.

    Nowhere in this discussion or in any discussion on any blog, have I ever said that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. Nor have I even inferred as much. I leave it to the other readers to scroll through the comments and draw their conclusions about your blatant distortions.

    As for Gregory you said it was “about models” when it was about an empirical estimate of climate sensitivity. Then you bizarrely claimed that estimates cannot be empirical.

    You seem to have strange definitions for simple words, which makes this conversation rather pointless.

    Again, you ignore and distort what I said about FG06.

    I provided the dictionary definitions of empirical and then applied that definition to my explanation of why models, even if fed observational data, are not empirical evidence.

    You are the one redefining things. Anyone visiting this blog can scroll through the comments and see the truth.

    You made a claim.

    You were challenged to provide proof of that claim.

    You failed.

    End of story.

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    Boris

    have I ever said that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. Nor have I even inferred as much.

    …the assumption that a change in CO2 caused warming.

    Since in real life, as opposed to the virtual reality of models, warming precedes rise in CO2 anyway, the assumption of the response (warming) being a result of the assumed forcing (CO2 increase is already falsified.

    Then what are you talking about here? You are saying that warming from CO2 is falsified because of the paleo record. If you acknowledge that CO2 is a GHG and causes warming then why are you saying it’s an assumption that CO2 causes warming.

    ???

    You make no sense whatsoever. Go ahead, declare yourself the winner again.

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    Boris

    CO2isnotevil:

    The pedantic ‘feedback’ response illustrates a gross misunderstanding of the actual physics. In the models which predict such effects, this energy often comes from Conservation of Energy violations.

    Conservation of Energy? What are you talking about?

    Most of the extra energy comes form enhancement of the greenhouse effect (CO2 and H2O) and some increased solar absorption (albedo changes). There’s no CoE problem in either one of those concepts.

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    co2isnotevil

    Boris,

    Re #59

    The controversy is not whether or not GHG’s have any effect on the temperature of the surface (actually the thin layer of atmosphere above the surface), but whether or not the magnitude of this effect is anything to worry about. The physics tells us that the most we can expect from doubling CO2 is a small fraction of a degree C in surface warming. Even after this tiny increase melts a little more ice and the earth absorbs a little more energy, the net is still a small fraction of a degree C. Besides, less ice means more biomass which means more energy going into building biomass that is otherwise unavailable to heat the planet. Notice how this is a negative feedback related to CO2!

    This brings up another item frequently missing from models which is that not all of the incident solar energy heats the planet. Some of it does non heat related work, for example the work of weather and the work of building biomass. To the extent that energy from renewables does work, that energy is also unavailable to heat the planet. The global cooling that will result from a 100% conversion to photovoltaic will be the next cause celebre,

    Re #60

    The energy related to the greenhouse effect is solar energy that arrived up to several hours earlier. Many climate models use the incident solar energy to force the system and then use this energy again when it’s re-radiated from the atmosphere after greenhouse absorption. This is often justified by the flawed assumption that the climate is driven from surface heat, while it’s actually driven by incident solar energy.

    What greenhouse gases and clouds do, is to retain energy in the atmosphere by delaying it’s release back into space. They do not create new energy or retain energy forever. The atmosphere has an arriving energy flux and an exiting energy flux which are in balance when there is some amount of energy stored in the atmosphere, however, this retained energy is continually emitted and refreshed. This transiently retained energy contributes to a warmer atmosphere, specifically at night, but has no influence on the Earth’s energy balance and unlike solar energy, is not an input to the system. Clouds provide most of this retained energy and GHG’s capture energy in cloudless portions of the sky and transfers it to the other molecules in the atmosphere, heating them up.

    Only albedo changes can be consider ‘forcing’ since only albedo changes have an effect on the energy balance, However, CO2 has no direct effect on the albedo. There may be second order effects from reduced ice and/or increased clouds (which will offset anyway), but there is no physical mechanism that can affect the albedo to the extent that it must be affected in order to support the CO2 related climate sensitivity claimed by alarmists.

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    Brian Valentine

    Boris will repeat the same things about CO2 a hundred times, in an attempt to get somebody to buy into it.

    Boris just came to the wrong place to attmpt it; these attempts will fail, here.

    Ladies and gentlemen: Don’t accept ANYTHING that relates to “reduce greenhouse gases” or anything of the sort. The idea behind this is all wrong, and don’t swallow a half teaspoon of that junk science because the only people who want you to do that are people who want to control you.

    Period.

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    Boris

    The physics tells us that the most we can expect from doubling CO2 is a small fraction of a degree C in surface warming.

    The number is about 1.1C, not a fraction. Your calcs treat the atmosphere in an oversimplified manner and do not give the right answer. This is exactly why radiation codes are needed.

    This transiently retained energy contributes to a warmer atmosphere, specifically at night, but has no influence on the Earth’s energy balance and unlike solar energy, is not an input to the system.

    I don’t disagree except to point out that we care about what happens at the surface, not what happens to the entire system.

    there is no physical mechanism that can affect the albedo to the extent that it must be affected in order to support the CO2 related climate sensitivity claimed by alarmists.

    Albedo is only one feedback. The most important is water vapor. Clouds can be either positive or negative depending on the type.

    As for albedo changes being the only “focring,” this is not true when you consider climate sensitivity is measured at the surface.

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    Boris

    Boris will repeat the same things about CO2 a hundred times, in an attempt to get somebody to buy into it.

    Boris just came to the wrong place to attmpt it; these attempts will fail, here.

    Yes, I will repeat facts a hundred times. Maybe 200. Yes, probably the wrong place for facts.

    Nice conspiracy theory at the end. The NAS want to control you!!! ;)

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    Brian Valentine

    It’s funny how these “facts” about CO2 in the air turn out to be “opinions” about CO2 in the air when scruitinised.

    By NAS do you mean the Japanese or the Russian Academy of Sciences – both of which (despite official statements they signed several years ago) have pretty much concluded that AGW is hogwash?

    [or in the words of the Japenese, "ancient Japanese astrology"?]

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    Boris

    <

    both of which (despite official statements they signed several years ago) have pretty much concluded that AGW is hogwash?

    So they’ve changed their minds but we’ll just have to trust you because they won’t tell anybody. Do I have that about right?

    I am fascinated by the way you guys see the world.

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    Brian G Valentine

    It doesn’t seem that the Japanese scientists are keeping it to themselves

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/milo_yiannopoulos/blog/2009/02/25/japanese_scientists_say_global_warming_isnt_manmade_and_computer_modelling_is_like_ancient_astrology

    And the Russian Academy doesn’t seem very impressed with AGW either

    http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2008/03/russian-scientists-disown-global.html

    Niether the Russian nor the Japanese governments plan to do a thing about AGW

    http://www.scidev.net/en/climate-change-and-energy/global-warming/features/russian-scientists-break-rank-on-global-warming.html

    http://www.scidev.net/en/climate-change-and-energy/global-warming/features/russian-scientists-break-rank-on-global-warming.html

    And as far as I am concerned Boris you will see that this is just the tip of the iceberg among governments that refuse to address that [inappropriate noun to substitute for man-made fantasy]

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    Boris

    That’s a great source for the Russian Academy of Sciences. A blog-translated article. Still, better than the sources your side usually uses.

    Also, the first article did not mention the Japan Academy.

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    co2isnotevil

    Boris,

    The 0.7 number is not an oversimplification. Physics tells us precisely how much energy is associated with a specific temperature. This relationship is given by P = oT^4, where P is the power density (delta P is forcing in IPCC lingo), o is the stefan-boltzmann constant, which can be derived from first principles and expressed in terms of other fundamental constants, T is the temperature in degrees K. Like the speed of light, this relationship is fundamental and immutable. This shouldn’t be confused with the expression P=eoT^4, where e is the emissivity and tells us how much energy is emitted from a gray body at temperature T. Any gray body has an equivalent representation of an ideal black body radiator surrounded by a layer of insulation. Since the Earth’s surface emissivity is relatively close to 1, the planet itself is close to an ideal black body and the atmosphere is the blanket of insulation which makes the combination appear as a grey body from space.

    Quoted emissivity values closer to 0.62 are for the combination of the earth+atmosphere and are derived based on the ratio between surface temperature and 255K (the equivalent temperature of the energy leaving the planet based on incident energy minus reflected energy). What this 0.62 number actually represents is the average percentage of the surface covered by clouds since surface energy emitted underneath clouds is blocked from leaving the planet. Frequently, greenhouse effects are thought to be part of an effective emissivity. However, this is incorrect as greenhouse gases do not change the amount of energy leaving the planet, they just change the timing of when energy arriving from the Sun and re-emitted by the surface ultimately leaves the planet. Any energy captured by a greenhouse gas is transferred to the other gases in the atmosphere via collisions and ultimately re-radiated at other frequencies which eventually finds it’s way out through a transparent region of the atmospheres absorption spectrum.

    When we think of surface temperature, we are actually considering the temperature of the thin layer of atmosphere near the surface. Even so, obsessing about this is counter productive. Relative to long term climate change, we only care about what happens to the closed loop system. The surface temperature is a dependent variable and any attempt to drive the system from the surface will produce incorrect results. The current system is clearly dominated by negative feedbacks (i.e. feedbacks which oppose change) which means that any forcing will be partially mitigated and is why closing the loop is so important. Ice related positive feedback only seems to become important during the transitions between ice ages and interglacials and interestingly enough, during the N hemisphere snow belt transitions between winter and summer (see the weather satellite data).

    Albedo and incident solar energy are all that can affect the energy balance and only this can drive or force the system. In fact, the albedo itself is negatively dependent on incident solar energy as this will affect evaporation and cloud formation and thus, albedo. We can see this in the other planets, where Mars, with low incident energy has very few clouds, while Venus with high incident energy is 100% covered by clouds and the Earth is in the middle with an average cloud coverage of about 64%. Water vapor feedback and any other conceivable feedback mechanism affects the energy balance only to the extent that it has a secondary affect on the albedo.

    There is a set point which establishes the ratio between the surface energy and the energy leaving the planet and is dependent on the amount of energy temporarily retained by the atmosphere. To a small extent, this changes with greenhouse gas concentrations, but the percentage of cloud coverage is the dominate factor which determine this ratio, moreover; the percentage of cloud coverage is not a free variable and is deterministic.

    Look at this diagram:
    http://www.palisad.com/co2/Figure_1.jpg

    This is a simplified diagram for atmospheric energy fluxes in equilibrium (from a paper I’m preparing). Note that the constants are all measurable and that there are enough equations and unknowns that given any one of the incident energy (E), surface energy (Es), percentage cloud coverage (p) or cloud energy (Ec), the other 3 can be solved for, which makes for a highly constrained set of equations with little wiggle room. A more comprehensive model based on this concept of equilibrium (which includes greenhouse captured energy, weather, other effects and which is expressed as differential equations) has been correlated to satellite weather data (measured values of E, Es, Ec and p) and matches very well for monthly, seasonal and yearly averages. In fact, it matches so well that I was able to identify errors in the data, which were later confirmed to be real data calibration issues, for example, the replacement of a satellite.

    As an exercise, solve these equations for the ratio of Es/E (the set point). The result will be revealing.

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    Boris

    “When we think of surface temperature, we are actually considering the temperature of the thin layer of atmosphere near the surface. Even so, obsessing about this is counter productive. Relative to long term climate change, we only care about what happens to the closed loop system. The surface temperature is a dependent variable and any attempt to drive the system from the surface will produce incorrect results.”

    We live at this surface so we want to know what happens at the surface. We are not attmepting to “drive” the results from the surface, whatever that means.

    Increasing GHGs warms the surface.

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    co2isnotevil

    Boris,

    Driving the surface is what you are doing by considering the energy captured by GHG the same as energy from the Sun. More precisely, you are driving the system from the lower layer of the atmosphere where most of the greenhouse absorption is taking place as well as from the Sun.

    Yes, the effect of increasing GHG has a finite effect on the surface energy and thus temperature, but this effect is quite small. Even the IPCC heuristic claims only about 4 W/m^2 for doubling the CO2 (about 1% of the total surface energy). An increase in GHG absorption of 4 W/m^2 would result in a ‘no feedback’ surface temperature increase of less than 0.7C. The CO2 levels in 1750 were 275 ppm. The ice cores show a range of from 180 ppm to 330 ppm over a 12C temperature range, or about 12.5 ppm per degree C. For an 0.7C increase, the additional would be about 9 ppm (upper limit) as compared to the 275 ppm increase that is presumed to have caused the 0.7 rise. This additional 9ppm adds less than 0.1 watts of additional forcing and another 0.01C increase. Even using the flawed IPCC metrics and assuming maximum positive feedback, the data illustrates the upper limit for the gain from CO2 feedback is so small, that additional feedback related increases drop off very quickly. BTW, the additional 9ppm now makes the new CO2 more than double 1750 levels, so the initial doubling criteria is no longer valid. Even if we were to use your highly inflated 1.1C rise, the net rise would be less than 1.2C for doubling the CO2.

    In order to achieve the IPCC nominal 4C increase for doubling CO2, even starting with the highly inflated ‘no feedback’ 1.1C value, requires the the 4 W/m^2 to be amplified to 22 W/m^2, which simply can’t happen under any circumstances. We are currently close to minimum ice, so there is little ice feedback left to push the temperature much warmer. Unless you can say where all of the extra power is coming from, your position that greenhouse forcing from anthropomorphic CO2 matters relative to the climate is unsupportable. A more accurate analysis of doubling CO2 shows less than about 0.25C of difference, after accounting for all feedbacks. It this worth the multi-trillion dollar cost of a climate modification experiment based on carbon regulation?

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    co2isnotevil

    Boris and anyone else who is interested,

    http://www.palisad.com/co2/sdata.zip

    This zip file contains UNIX format text files with monthly summaries, 4 month running averages and 12 month running averages for the percentage of ice coverage, surface reflectivity, surface temperature and the percentage of clouds as accumulated from weather satellites since 1983. Each 15 degrees of latitude are accumulated and summarized independently in one set of files and the other set of files contains hemisphere averages and the global averages. If you take the time to understand what this data is telling us, you will no longer believe in anthropomorphic forcing. Pay special attention to the running 12 month averages and how the 2 hemispheres differ.

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    I am enjoying the wonderful graphics here at the JoNova site. They help to bring the science to life. Nice job, Jo!

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    Queen Beene

    Thank you for asking for facts Joanne Nova. Really wish I could get all of the U.S. Congress & the Senate to read your entire web site. They are confused. Cap & trade has not improved “climate change” in 10 years in Europe. How long does it take to see improvement? When enough money has changed hands?

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    Noooo Noooo Queen Beene, that’s just it. People don’t change their minds after ‘enough money has changed hands’, the more money that changes hands, the more they believe… (Yes Yes, see Europe. See all the large financial institutions saying, No, please, we don’t want more profits from carbon!). See them … ?

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    Queen Beene

    Al Gore isn’t even liked in his home state of Tennessee by what I have read in Tennessee newspapers.
    Gore’s GIM investments in the UK may be profiting from Europe’s cap & trade.

    Clinton signed the Kyoto Protocol but, in the following 810 days didn’t get it ratified by congress. Enron was all prepped and ready to jump on wind & solar cap & trade here.

    Bush was labeled “in bed” with Enron. Strange, he did not sign on to or press cap & trade. Maybe because of big oil interests? Or he thought it would be bad for the economy.

    Now we have GE stock in the toilet but, GE is big into “green” and owns NBC. NBC and MSNBC slobbered all over Barrack Obama before the election and still are. Critics here were labeled as racist if they disagreed with his radical left voting history as a senator or current leadership.
    I realize our US congress makes the real decisions but, the American people were mislead with Obama’s campaign for moderate leadership.

    Our Mainstream Media is so far left! We don’t have any real journalists at ABC, NBC or CBS. The people are not getting the truth. They are getting corporate made propaganda.

    Sorry, this might sound off base of the topic here but, I think it is spot on. Tell me, if you think I am wrong.

    Keep up the good work on real science Joanne Nova!

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    Boris #59 said I said: “have I ever said that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. Nor have I even inferred as much.”

    If you are going to quote me, how about actually quoting the complete sentence, rather than leaving things out of context.

    I said:
    “Nowhere in this discussion or in any discussion on any blog, have I ever said that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas.”

    …the assumption that a change in CO2 caused warming.

    Again you quote me out of context. What I said, in response to one of your comments was:
    “As you phrased it, that is an excellent example of an assumed positive feedback based on the assumption that a change in CO2 caused warming.”

    Since in real life, as opposed to the virtual reality of models, warming precedes rise in CO2 anyway, the assumption of the response (warming) being a result of the assumed forcing (CO2 increase is already falsified.)

    Halleluiah! You finally actually return the complete quote. Now comes the fun part.

    Boris asks: Then what are you talking about here?

    We’ve already established that English comprehension is not one of your strong suits, which will be made clear as we continue to dissect your nonsense.

    Boris says: You are saying that warming from CO2 is falsified because of the paleo record.

    Ok, so you at least comprehended that much. But lets be real specific, the Vostok Ice Cores (Which your side once used as proof for the opposite conclusion, only to have that turned on its head with better analysis.)

    Here’s where you score real low on comprehension.

    Boris says: If you acknowledge that CO2 is a GHG and causes warming then why are you saying it’s an assumption that CO2 causes warming.
    ???

    That’s more high school debate tactics Boris.

    The sun causes warming. GHGs moderate the loss of heat back into space and they may amplify or dampen warming, but they don’t cause warming.

    That’s not the same as saying GHGs cause warming and I haven’t said that GHGs cause warming. No, I don’t buy the assumption that CO2 causes warming!

    Without the sun, all the GHGs on Venus and Earth combined wouldn’t make it warm.

    The main thrust of the discussion is about the validity of the Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC) or Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis.

    That is: whether or not humans are causing the change vs natural causes. Most of us skeptics are saying you “warmists” haven’t proven the human causality.

    Boris said: You make no sense whatsoever.

    Making sense assumes you possess both an ability to comprehend the English language and an ability to read entire statements in context, skills you obviously lack.

    Go ahead, declare yourself the winner again.

    No need, I leave that to the readers who can follow the thread and note that you never produced proof of your outlandish assertions.

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    co2isnotevil

    JLKreuger,

    You’ve pointed out a significant disconnect between what the skeptics think and what the AGW crowd believes the skeptics think. The debate is not over whether or not anthropomorphic CO2 emissions have any effect, but whether or not the net magnitude of this effect is large enough to be concerned about. The multi-trillion dollar question is whether or not the effect is large enough to justify an expensive experiment in climate modification through the use of carbon taxes.

    You have also correctly pointed out the king pin in the AGW argument is an assumption, which is the basis of other arguments used to ‘prove’ the assumption. This is a classic example of junk science derived from flawed logic. The ‘warmists’ are reluctant to acknowledge this because if they do, their entire house of cards comes crumbling down, moreover; the many ancillary agendas, which are otherwise unsupportable without AGW, are significantly undermined.

    My favorite argument is that even if AGW was significant, it would be more beneficial than harmful. A few displaced coastal residents and polar bears is far less inconvenient than 1 KM thick wall of ice bearing down on Manhattan. The later has occurred many times over the last few million years and unfortunately, no amount of AGW will stop it from recurring.

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    Matt L

    Boris & JLKreuger:

    Seriously guys, there are such things as empirical models. They are models based on empirical data. Scientific Laws are empirical models, models that fit the observational data. Like Newton’s Law of Gravity which is enormously successful in predicting the motions of bodies governed by gravity. It is still a Scientific Law because the formula still fits the observational data. Newton’s Law of Gravity merely gives us a way to calculate future or past positions of objects, but it requires a Scientific Theory to explain just why the model matches up so well with the empirical data.

    All of this is secondary; The real issue is that, in order to save a whole mess of computation, they are using LINEAR models, even though we all know that heat absorption of CO2 does not increase linearly with increasing CO2 concentration. It’s a safe bet that they are using linear models for many other non-linear relationships as well.

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    “But if you think there is no positive feedback, then you must explain the ice ages.”–Boris

    The sun? Sometimes it is more or less intense. It does not really need CO2 or water vapor. If those feedbacks were positive, the period where Earth had 20 times more CO2 would have been the time ultimate catastrophe.

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