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Debate part 5: The planetary atmosphere and climate change


Round 5 of my debate with Andrew Glikson

Dr Andrew Glikson and I have been debating the evidence first through Quadrant, and then here. Kudos to him for following this up in a polite, diligent manner. This kind of open debate is extremely rare, and I am happy to encourage it. I will post a reply in a few days. For the moment I think the many able commenters here can discuss its merits. The only thing I’ll say now is that in each of my four previous replies I ask for evidence that the models are right on the magnitude of the feedbacks. Is it half a degree or 3.5oC?
Part I: AG / JN; Part II: AG / JNPart III: AG / Part III & IV: JN (& AG). (Part IV took place in the comments below Part III). Yes, this is the first time I’ve had a guest post from a scientist who disagrees… My reply is here.
– Jo

Guest Post by Andrew Glikson

Earth and Paleoclimate scientist
Australian National University, 18 May, 2010

Dr Andrew Glikson

Dr Andrew Glikson ANU

Unique among the terrestrial planets, occupying an intermediate position between Venus, with its thick blanket of greenhouse gases (93 bar; 96.5%CO2, 3.5%N2, 0.015%SO2, 0.002%H2O) and Mars with its thin atmosphere (<0.01 bar; 95.3%CO2, 2.7%N, 1.6%Ar, 0.13%O, 0.08%CO, 210 ppm H2O), the Earth’s atmosphere (78.08%N2, 20.95%O, 0.93%Ar, 398 ppm CO2) allows presence of liquid water at the surface and thereby existence of life. Modulation of the atmosphere by trace greenhouse gases (H2O, CO2, CH4, N2O, Ozone), exchanged with the hydrosphere and the biosphere, constrains surface temperatures in the approximate range of -89.4oC to +58oC.

Due to long atmospheric residence time on the scale of centuries to many millennia (Eby et al. 2009) [8], CO2 is capable of accumulation and modulating terrestrial climate, as contrasted with a shorter atmospheric residence time of methane (~8.5 years) and a short residence time of H2O vapour in the troposphere (~9-10 days). As identified by a range of CO2 proxy methods, listed in Table 1 and elaborated by Royer (2001, 2010) [21][22], the build-up and decline of atmospheric concentrations of CO2 has played a profound role in the evolution of climate through geological time (Figure 1), corroborated by observation of glacial deposits and the environmental classification of fossil plants and organisms. Abrupt rises in levels of CO2 associated with volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts constituted an essential factor underlying extinction of species (Ward, 1994, 2007 [29] [30]; Veron, 2008 [27]).

Figure 1 Figure 1: Atmospheric CO2 and continental glaciation 400 Ma to present. Note the upper limit of glacial periods under atmospheric radiative forcing levels of ~500 ppm CO2. Top. Vertical blue bars mark the timing and palaeolatitudinal extent of ice sheets. Plotted CO2 records represent five-point running averages from each of the four major proxies. Also plotted are the plausible ranges of CO2 from the geochemical carbon cycle model GEOCARB III. All data have been adjusted to the Gradstein time scale. Middle. Global compilation of deep-sea benthic foraminifera 18O isotope records from 40 Deep Sea Drilling Program and Ocean Drilling Program sites updated with high-resolution records for the Eocene through Miocene interval. Most data were derived from analyses of two common and long-lived benthic taxa, Cibicidoides and Nuttallides. Bottom. Detailed record of CO2 for the last 65 Myr. Individual records of CO2 and associated errors are colour-coded by proxy method; when possible, records are based on replicate samples. Dating errors are typically less than ±1 Myr. The range of error for each CO2 proxy varies considerably, with estimates based on soil nodules yielding the greatest uncertainty. However, re-calibration of the soil-carbon proxy method (Breecker et al. 2010, Royer, 2010) See also IPCC AR4 Ch 6)

...

Table 1. Principal proxies applied for reconstruction of Cainozoic climate conditions. Principal reference: Royer et al. 2001.

CO2 proxies Stomata pores in fossil plants
Carbon d13C proxy  – paleo-soil carbonate
Carbon d13C proxy – phytoplankton
Alkenone paleo-CO2
Boron/Calcium
Foraminifera d11B
d44C and d11B as pH and CO2 proxies
Organic component of sediments (Sapropel) / N-alkane plant leaf wax / tropical vegetation.
Detrital component of sediments / dust / indicator of mechanical glacial erosion / wind
Boron / salinity / alkalinity
Carbon-sulphur-oxygen mass balance calculations
Temperature proxies Benthic and plankton d18O; 13C-18O bonds in carbonate
Ice cores air bubbles: d18O / deuterium
Mg/Ca ratios in carbonate; pollen
TEX86 paleothermometer based on the relation between number of rings in the membrane lipids of the marine pico-plankton.
ALKENONE  (KETONE)– Paleo-T and CO2 proxy.

Water vapour, which exert peak radiative forcing effects in the tropics, have minor control of temperature in dry desert regions and almost none over polar regions where the atmosphere is of very low to nil water vapour concentrations, yet during glacial terminations and at present, Arctic and Antarctic latitudes have warmed up to 4 times faster than low to mid-latitudes (Figure 2).

Figure 2 Figure 2: Global temperature projections for mean September 1990-2009 relative to NASA’s baseline of 1951-1980, displaying concentration of warming in H2O vapour-low polar and desert regions. NASA GISS

...

Lost all too often in the climate debate is an appreciation of the delicate balance between the physical and chemical parameters of the atmosphere/ocean/land system and the evolving biosphere, which controls the emergence, survival and death of species, including humans. Forming a thin breathable veneer only slightly more than one thousandth of the Earth’s diameter, the troposphere acts as the “lungs” of the biosphere, exchanging carbon gases and oxygen with plants and animals, which in turn affect the atmosphere, for example through release of methane and photosynthetic oxygen.

Prior to about 635 million years (Ma) ago, when complex multicellular Ediacra fauna appeared, the atmosphere had a greenhouse gas-rich oxygen-poor composition, arising from accumulation of CO2 from volcanic eruptions and hydrothermal emanations, activity of methane-synthesizing bacteria and excavation of carbon from sediments through asteroid impacts. Excepting glacial periods (~2400-2200 Ma; 850-635 Ma – the “Snowball Earth period”), the dominance of high-temperature oceans on the early Earth placed constraints on CO2 sequestration, which led to atmospheric build-up of CO2 to thousands and tens of thousands ppm. Intermittently through the Phanerozoic (540 Ma to the present) rising atmospheric oxygen levels, proliferation of protein-synthesizing animals and emergence of vegetation (in the Silurian ~420 Ma) enhanced the biological carbon cycle, including burial and maturation of carbon as coal and oil.

Figure 3 Figure 3: Equilibrium global average temperature increase above pre-industrial (oC) vs greenhouse gas concentration stabilization level (ppm CO2-eq). Plot represents Charney’s (1979) climate sensitivity relation of 3±1.5oC and red squares regions of Pagani et al.’s (2010) early and mid-Pliocene climate sensitivity relations. Colored zones I to VI represent various CO2 stabilization targets
IPCC-2007-AR4.

...

Resolution of the effects of CO2 on the atmosphere is defined by the climate sensitivity (CS) parameter, formulated as the rise in atmospheric temperature induced by doubling of CO2 concentration. Charney (1979) [5] defines CS at 3±1.5oC (Figure 3). Recent projections from basic physical laws of the infrared absorption/emission resonance effect (Stefan-Bolzmann law, Krischhoff law), validated by laboratory experiments, are complicated by natural amplification of feedbacks from the carbon cycle and from the ice melt/albedo change amplification effect (replacement of high-reflectance ice by thermal radiation-absorbing water). These processes are classified in terms of fast feedbacks and of slow feedbacks (Hansen et al., 2007, 2008 [11][12]), defined as:

Fast feedbacks: changes of the hydrological cycle, water vapour, clouds, climate-driven aerosols, sea ice and snow cover.

Slow Feedbacks: changes in continental ice sheets, regional vegetation cover, accumulation of greenhouse gases, long term ocean current and wind patterns, position of high pressure ridges, migration of climate zones and frequency and amplitude of the ENSO cycle, consequent on changes in cross-latitude thermal gradients.

Estimates of climate sensitivity for Slow feedback processes are near double Charney’s CS value (Hansen et al., 2008 [12]) (Figure 3). Paleoclimate studies by Pagani et al. (2010) define early and mid-Pliocene (5.2 – 3.0 Ma) climate sensitivities at values in the range of 7.1–9.6, classified by Schneider and Schneider (2010) as “Earth system sensitivity”, with implications for 21st century climate projections (Figure 3). As continent-ocean patterns in the Pliocene were similar to the present, projections of such high CS values to the 21st century imply that, at CO2 levels of 389 ppm, atmospheric energy level is consistent with Pliocene levels, when temperatures were about 3 to 4oC higher than at present.

The significance of the Pliocene analogy to current climate change trends is recognized by the US Geological Survey, which has instigated a major research program (PRISM: Pliocene Research, Interpretation, and Synoptic Mapping). Results to date indicate extensive melting of the polar ice caps, sea level 25±12 meters higher than at present, a strong hydrological cycle and a shift of tropical and subtropical climate zones toward the poles (Haywood and Valdes, 2004 [13]; Haywood and Williams, 2005 [13]; Robinson et al., 2008 [20]; Chandler, 1997) [5](Figure 4).

Figure 4 Figure 4: Albedo changes model for the mid-Pliocene (Chandler, 1997) NASA. Note the larger extent of the deserts (Sahara, Gobbi and Mexico) in the Holocene and of vegetated savanna and of boreal forest in the sub-Arctic and Greenland in the Pliocene.

...

During the early Pliocene, as rainforests contracted, hominoids bipeds descended from the trees, subsequently migrating through the savanna. Fast track transition of current climate towards similar conditions will increase evaporation and precipitation in some desert areas (cf. the Kimberley-Pilbara-Officer Basin-Nullabor corridor), whereas polar-ward migration of climate zones would result in droughts in the southeast and southwest Australian wheat belts, consistent with current developments. Calibration of Pliocene sea level rise to temperatures indicates 6-8 meters per 1 degree C, commensurate with reduction of the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheets by approximately 50±25%.

Current climate trends are consistent with lessons from paleo-climate studies, including:

  1. Enhancement of the frequency and amplitude of the El-Nino phase, and decline of the La Nina phase, of the ENSO cycle (Figure 5), i.e. tracking in the opposite direction to the overall cooling trend recorded from the Pliocene to present (Figure 6).
  2. Increase melting of the large continental ice sheets and the rate of sea level rise (Figure 7)
  3. Polar-ward migration of climate zones, expressed by droughts (Figure 8).
  4. Increase in frequency or/and magnitude of extreme weather events (hurricanes, fires, floods) arising from higher atmospheric energy levels and affecting global insurance costs (Figure 9).

Figure 5 Figure 5. Monthly Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) based on standardized sea level pressure (SLP) difference data measured between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia from 1950 to the present. Note the increase in intensity and frequency El-Nino states from about 1983. NOAA SOI

...

Figure 6 Figure 6: Pliocene to present sea surface temperature (0C) records in the western equatorial Pacific (red line, ODP site 806) and in the eastern equatorial Pacific (blue line, site 847), both based on Mg/Ca, and for the eastern Pacific based on alkenones (green dots). Pink shading denotes the early Pliocene. Fedorov et al. 2006. [Science]
Note the temporal divergence of west and east Pacific temperatures, indicating increased role of the La Nina – El Nino polarity.

...

…<

Figure 7 Figure 7: Rates of observed recent surface elevation change for Greenland (left: 1989–2005) and Antarctica (right: 1992–2005). Red hues indicate a rising surface and blue hues a falling surface, which typically indicate an increase or loss in ice mass at a site, although changes over time in bedrock elevation and in near-surface density can be important.
IPCC AR4 WG1.

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Figure 8 Figure 8: Catastrophic declined in global food production: 2008–09 droughts. Source: Market Skeptics

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Figure 9 Figure 9: Rising disasters and insurance costs between 1950 and 2006: Values in $billion. Source: Draeger-Stiftung.de

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Current climate change is distinct from and originates due to different factors which drove Pleistocene glacial terminations (420, 320, 230, 125, 14 thousand years-ago), when Milankovic cycle insolation peaks at mid-northern latitudes induced extensive melting of the Greenland and Fennoscandian ice sheets. This was followed by warming of the oceans, reduced CO2 solubility and a rise from 180 to 280 ppm CO2 at a lag of about 800 years behind temperature rise. By distinction, the solar factor since 18th century has risen only by 0.12 Watt/m2, while global warming induced by carbon emissions rose by c.2,48 Watt/m2 (CO2+CH4+Halocarbons; Figure 10)

As distinct from insolation-induced warming, the greenhouse effect displays the following fingerprints:

Warming in the lower atmosphere (troposphere) and cooling in the stratosphere (due to the downward component of backscatter).

  1. Greater degree of warming near the poles relative to the tropics, including relatively high winter temperatures, due to elevated atmospheric greenhouse gas all-year round.
  2. More hot days and nights, fewer cold days and nights, i.e. due to lesser loss of heat into the stratosphere overnight. Consequently, a reduction in the difference between daytime and night-time temperatures

Prior to about 1975-1976 the effects of greenhouse gases, solar forcing, ocean currents, the El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle and aerosol albedo on mean global temperature were difficult to separate (Solanki, 2002 [23]). Since 1975-76, while solar radiation continues to oscillate according to the 11-year-long sunspot cycle, rapid warming at a rate of 0.018 degrees C/year exceeds the rate of the last glacial termination (14,700 – 11,700 years ago) by an order magnitude. Climate change trends since the 1990s continue the sharp accentuation of temperature rise rates from the mid-1970s, with strong fluctuations related to the El-Nino (e.g. 1998) and La Nina effects (e.g. 2007-2009). Principal climate change developments include:

  1. Late 20th century and early 21st century CO2 rise rate average 1.45 ppm/yr, rising to 2.2 ppm/yr in 2007, exceeds 1850-1970 rates by factors of ~4 to 5 and is two orders of magnitudehigher than mean CO2 rise rates of the last glacial termination (~0.014 ppm/yr) (Rahmstorf et al., 2007 [17]; Global Carbon Project, (2008) [9].
  2. Methane (CH4), which after ~20 years has 23 times the greenhouse warming effect of CO2, has been rising during 1850-1970 at a rate of ~ 5.4 ppb/yr, and has risen by 10 ppb during 2007 (http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice /2008/techtalk53-7.pdf). Methane deposits potentially vulnerable to climate change reside in permafrost (~ 900 Billion ton Carbon – GtC), high latitude peat lands (~ 400 GtC), tropical peat lands (~ 100 GtC), vulnerable vegetation (~ 650 GtC) and methane hydrates and clathrates in the ocean and ocean floor sediments (> 16,000 GtC). These deposits exceed the levels of atmospheric carbon (~750 GtC), carbon emissions to date (~ 370 GtC) and known economic carbon reserves (~6000 GtC). Recently elevated methane release was recorded from Arctic Sea sediments and sub-Arctic permafrost (Walter et al., 2006 [28]; Rigby, 2008 [18]).
  3. A rise of mean Arctic and sub-Arctic temperatures in 2005-2008 by near +2.4C since 1970, underlining the critical role the poles have in global warming.
  4. Arctic Sea ice melt rates of ~ 5.4% per-decade since 1980, increasing to >10% per year during 2006-2007 (National Snow and Ice Data Centre [NSIDC], 2008).
  5. Greenland and WestAntarctica warming and ice melting (Figure 7) at rates of >10% per decade culminating in mid-winter ice shelf breakdown (Wilkinsice shelf; June, 2008, NSIDC, 2008).
  6. Slow-down of the North Atlantic thermohaline conveyor belt and down-welling water columns (NASA, 2004; Bryden et al., 2005) [4], with attendant danger of its cessation analogous to conditions ~8.2 kyr ago (Alley et al., 2000, 2003 [1] [2][1,2]).
  7. Temperature projections for the North Atlantic Ocean (Keenlyside et al., 2008 [15]) may be consistent with slowdown of the Gulf Stream, due to potential effects of Greenland ice melt waters.
  8. Increased frequency and intensification of categories 4 and 5 hurricanes (Webster et al., 2005 [31]).

The polar ice sheets serve as the “thermostat” of glacial conditions which commenced at 34 Ma when CO2 levels declined to below 500 ppm (Figure 1), enhancing the flourishing of large mammals, rendering the decline of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets of particular concern. NASA satellite gravity and microwave measurements indicate a doubling of Greenland ice melt areas per-decade (NASA 2006). Rates of ice loss of the Greenland ice sheet have increased from 0.05±0.12 mm/yr during 1961–2003 to 0.21±0.07 mm/yr during 1993-2004. The measurements indicate an increase in ice sheet melt area by 16% from 1979 to 2002 (Steffen and Huff, 2002 [24]; Steffen et al., 2004 [25]; NASA, 2006; Hanna et al., 2005 [10]; IPCC-2007; Hansen et al., 2007 [11]). Time-variable gravity measurements from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellites of mass variations of the Antarctic ice sheet during April 2002–August 2005 detected a decrease in the mass of the ice sheet at a rate of 152±80 cubic kilometres of ice per year. Most of this mass loss came from the west Antarctic Ice Sheet, including a water equivalent decrease in ice thickness of -1 to -4 cm/year for the Antarctic peninsula and the Ross Sea-Amundsen shelf area (Rignot and Thomas, 2002 [18]; Chen et al., 2006 [6]; Velicogna and Wahr, 2006 [19]). GRACE-based estimates by Chen et al. (2006) [7] identify ice loss of 77±14 km3/year in West Antarctica and gain of +80±16 km3/year in Enderby Land of East Antarctica.

Figure 10 Figure 10: Global mean radiative forcings and their 90% confidence intervals in 2005 for various agents and mechanisms. Columns on the right-hand side specify best estimates and confidence intervals; typical geographical extent of the forcing (Spatial scale); and level of scientific understanding (LOSU) indicating the scientific confidence level. The net anthropogenic radiative forcing and its range are also shown.
IPCC AR4 WG1

...

Figure 10 summarizes the various global mean radiative forcings operating on the terrestrial atmosphere from 1750AD. Temperature rise due to total positive forcing of +3.16 Watt/m2 (CO2, CH4, N2O, Halocarbons, ozone, stratospheric vapour due to methane, black carbon) is partly masked by negative feedbacks of -1.45 Watt/m2 (depletion in stratospheric ozone, increase in surface albedo due to land use, albedo effects of aerosols and aerosol effects on clouds). The balance of +1.71 Watt/m2 translates to a potential temperature rise of about 1.3oC. Once the masking effects of aerosols are removed, potential temperature rise would approach near 2oC.

A perspective on current carbon emissions arises from factors underlying the big mass extinction of species, including the end-Devonian (359 Ma; 450 – 1275 ppm CO2; 40% extinction of Genera), Permian-Triassic (251 Ma; 3550 ppm CO2; 80% extinction of Genera), end-Triassic (216.5 Ma and 199.6 Ma; 1300-2200 ppm CO2; 18 – 34% extinction of Genera) and Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (65.5 Ma; 2300 ppm CO2; 46% extinction of Genera) (Keller, 2005 [16]). Consistent lines of evidence, including basic physical laws, multiproxy-based paleo-climate studies and direct measurements from ground stations, balloons and satellites, suggest societies need to pause before proceeding with open-ended emission of carbon gases into the terrestrial atmosphere.

References

Recent comprehensive compilations of climate change evidence include: (A) Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions. Copenhagen 10-12 March, 2009. http://climatecongress.ku.dk/pdf/synthesisreport (B) Steffen, W., 2009. Climate Change 2009. Faster change and more serious risks. Australian Government Department of Climate Change. (C) Oxford Conference “4 Degrees and Beyond”. 28-30 September, 2009. http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/4degrees/programme.php

[1] Alley, R.B., 2000. Ice-core evidence of abrupt climate changes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 97, 1331-1334.

[2] Alley, R.B. et al., 2003. Abrupt Climate Change, Science, 299, 2005–2010.

[3] Breecker D.O. et al., 2010. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations during ancient greenhouse climates were similar to those predicted for 2100 A.D. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 107, 576–580.

[4] Bryden, H.L. et al., 2005. Slowing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation at 25N. Nature, 438, 655-657.

[5] Chandler, M., 1997. The Climate of the Pliocene: Simulating Earth’s Last Great Warm Period.

[6] Charney, J., 1979. Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment. National Academy of Sciences Press: Washington DC 1979, 33 pp.

[7] Chen, J.L., Wilson, C.R., Blankenship. D.D., Tapley, B.D., 2006. Antarctic mass rates from GRACE. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L11502.

[8] Eby, M. et al. 2009. Lifetime of Anthropogenic Climate Change: Millennial Time Scales of Potential CO2 and Surface Temperature Perturbations. Journal of Climate, 22, 2501-2511.

[9] Global Carbon Project, 2008. http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/

[10] Hanna, H. Et al., 2005. Runoff and mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet: 1958–2003. Journal Geophysical Research, 110, D13108.

[11] Hansen, J. et al., 2007. Climate change and trace gases. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, A365, 1925-1954.

[12] Hansen, J. et al., 2008. Target atmospheric CO2: Where should humanity aim? Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2, 217-231.

[13] Haywood, A. M. & Valdes, P. J., 2004. Modelling Pliocene warmth: Contribution of atmosphere, oceans and cryosphere. Earth Planetary Science Letters, 218, 363-377.

[14] Haywood, A. & Williams, M., 2005. The climate of the future: clues from three million years ago. Geology Today, 21, 138-143.

[15] Keenlyside, N.S. et al., 2008. Advancing decadal-scale climate prediction in the north Atlantic sector. Nature, 453, 84-88.

[16] Keller, G., 2005. Impacts, volcanism and mass extinctions: random coincidence or cause and effect. Australian Journal of Earth Science, 52, 725–757.

[17] Rahmstorf S.R. et al. 2007. Recent Climate Observations Compared to Projections. Science Express, 0.1126/ science. 1136843.

[18] Rigby, M., 2008. Geophysical Research Letters. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn15079

[19] Rignot, E., Thomas, R.H., 2002. Mass balance of polar ice sheets. Science, 297, 1502-1506.

[20] Robinson, M.M. et al., 2008. Pliocene role in assessing future climate impacts. EOS, 89, 501–512.

[21] Royer, D.L. et al. 2001. Phanerozoic atmospheric CO2 change: evaluating geochemical and paleobiological approaches. Earth-Science Reviews, 54, 349–392

[22] Royer, D.L. 2010. Fossil soils constrain ancient climate sensitivity. PNAS, 107, No. 2, 517–518.

[23] Solanki, S.K., 2002. Solar variability and climate. Change: is there a link? Solar physics, 43, 5.9-5.13.

[24] Steffen, K. and Huff, R., 2002. A record maximum melt extent on the Greenland ice sheet in 2002. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado at Boulder.

[25] Steffen, K. Et al., 2004. The melt anomaly of 2002 on the Greenland Ice Sheet from active and passive microwave satellite observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 31 (20).

[26] Velicogna, I., Wahr, J. 2006. Measurements of Time-Variable Gravity Show Mass Loss in Antarctica, Science, 311.

[27] Veron, J.E.N., 2008. Mass extinctions and ocean acidification: biological constraints on geological dilemmas. Coral Reefs, 27, 459-472

[28] Walter, K.M., Smith, L.C., Chapin, F.S., 2005. Methane bubbling from Siberian thaw lakes as a positive feedback to climate warming. Nature, 443, 71-75.

[29] Ward, P.D., 1994. The End of Evolution: On Mass Extinctions and the Preservation of Biodiversity. Bantam, New York.

[30] Ward, P.D., 2007. Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future. HarperCollins, NY, 135 pp.

[31] Webster, P.J. et al., 2005. Changes in Tropical Cyclone Number, Duration, and Intensity in a Warming Environment, Science, 309, 1844-1846.

Note for commenters:

Please stick to the evidence and the topic. Comments will be edited or moved if they are off-topic, impolite or relate to people or motivations. As you write, imagine that readers who are undecided are genuinely interested in finding out arguments both for and against the theory of man-made global warming. Ad homs will be deleted. Thanks — JN

Late 20th century and early 21st century CO2 rise rate average 1.45 ppm/yr, rising to 2.2 ppm/yr in 2007, exceeds 1850-1970 rates by factors of ~4 to 5 and is two orders of magnitudehigher than mean CO2 rise rates of the last glacial termination (~0.014 ppm/yr) (Rahmstorf et al., 2007 [17]; Global Carbon Project, (2008) [9].

LATE NOTE: Table 1 was inadvertantly left out, and has been added in 26-5-10. My apologies.

The Full Debate:

Part I: AG / JN;

Part II: AG / JN

Part III: AG / Part III & IV: JN (& AG). (Part IV took place in the comments below Part III).

Part V: AG / JN (this page).

Part VI: Dr Glikson asked to respond again. I said I’d be happy to post another reply from him. That offer remains open.

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181 comments to Debate part 5: The planetary atmosphere and climate change

  • #

    Dr Glikson

    Regarding climate sensitivity.

    Resolution of the effects of CO2 on the atmosphere is defined by the climate sensitivity (CS) parameter, formulated as the rise in atmospheric temperature induced by doubling of CO2 concentration. Charney (1979) defines CS at 3±1.5oC

    Define: verb; to fix or lay down definitely; specify distinctly.

    Looking at Charney (1979) it is obvious that their climate models suffer from the exact same shortcomings as today’s super models. i.e. they were not able to adequately incorporate the affects of clouds on earth’s climate.

    From page 8…

    “Unfortunately, cloud observations in sufficient detail for accurate validation of models are not available at present.
    “It must thus be emphasized that the modeling of clouds is one of the weakest links in the general circulation modeling efforts.”

    And it is still so today, 31 years later. If we can’t “define” cloud affects, we cannot define climate sensitivity. Indeed, there is an ongoing debate right now. Not just about the value of climate sensitivity, but its sign.

    Further, in section 4.1 Information from 5 models were available to Charney et al. (1979) In their words…

    “The only one of 5 predictions available in published form is M1. M2 is described in a pre-publication manuscript and H1 in a research proposal. We learned of M3 and H2 through personal communication.”

    Note: M series models are from the NOAA and H series from Hansen.

    In summary, very little value can be placed on Charney et al conclusions about climate sensitivity.

    Regarding extreme weather frequency, I’m wondering why you used reinsurance statistics to make a point. Why not observations of extreme events? There are many recent peer reviewed papers which show NO increase in extreme weather events.

    DROUGHTS:
    Svensson et al. (2005), Huntington (2006), Narisma et al. (2007), Sheffield and Wood (2008) and others.

    HURRICANES:
    Bove et al. (1998), Landsea et al. (1998), Landsea et al. (1999), Parisi and Lund (2000) Elsner et al. (2004) Landsea (2007) Parisi and Lund (2008) and others.

    Historically, the North Atlantic hurricane activity is usually characterized as a feast or a famine, thus making definitions of what is normal difficult. In “active” periods (1995-present), a “normal” season sees a tremendous amount of hurricane activity compared to the inactive period of ~1970-1994. In the above figure, the light blue line indicates the linear trend of NATL ACE from 1950-2009 — a 60-year period of decent records — and the line is flat. No trend since 1950.


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    co2isnotevil

    All I see here is evidence that man is putting CO2 into the atmosphere and that during natural climate variability, the poles exhibit larger changes than elsewhere. There’s also evidence of recent warming, but the evidence presented is not particularly robust, nor is the magnitude of any presumed change particularly problematic.

    I see absolutely no justification for the very high levels of positive feedback required to amplify the intrinsic forcing effect of doubling CO2 (3.7 W/m2) into to the 16 W/m2 of surface energy required to increases the surface temperature by 3C. This is the key point that must be proven in order to substantiate CAGW. Estimates don’t cut it, especially when the estimates have such high error margins. For example, the IPCC estimate of 3C ± 1.5C (1.5C to 4.5C), represents amplifying 3.7 W/m2 of incremental absorption into from 9 W/m2 to 28 W/m2, requiring a post feedback effective gain of between 2.4 and 7.6, which represents so much uncertainty that any conclusions are meaningless. Moreover, the measured climate system gain is only about 1.7, which is even outside of the ‘predicted’ range making the real uncertainty far higher.

    There’s also a lot of unrelated data. For example, rising insurance claims have nothing to do with the climate, but has to do with the world become more litigious and with increasing use of insurance. Prior to the early 60′s, natural disasters around the world got nothing more than a 1 paragraph newspaper article a week or so after the event. Today, the media is all over natural disasters from the moment of the first tweet. It only seems like there are more. In fact, the last Atlantic hurricane season was one of the weakest ever recorded.

    Droughts are also unrelated. What about the dust bowl days of the 1930′s? Here in California, we see 2-3 year droughts every decade or so, and it’s been that way as far back as records go. Furthermore, if you examine the ice core records, during cold periods, there are far more years per cm of ice than during warm periods. This is a clear indication that as it warms, rainfall (snowfall) increases. In fact, the sensitivity of global precipitation to global temperature is very high. It’s so high, that as temperature increases and evaporation increases, so much heat is removed from the surface that it puts the breaks on additional warming. This is why the upper limit for surface temperature over the oceans is clamped to about 300K. In effect, the planet sweats to remove heat, just as we do.

    The ENSO index is also unrelated. The fact is that the average of the index is not zero (it’s slightly positive), means that there will be an appearance of more El Nino than La Nina. This is not necessarily true as the ENSO index has an arbitrary zero.

    The first statement that CO2 is a long lived atmospheric gas is incorrect. From the Mona Loa CO2 measurements, we see seasonal variability on the order of 2-3 ppm, in both directions, over about 6 months. Man is estimated to put about 5ppm per year into the atmosphere, which sets the natural sequestration rate (primarily from biology) at about 4-5 ppm. Biology would consume all of the CO2 in the atmosphere within about 80 years. Of course, once the CO2 drops below about 200 ppm, biological sequestration would slow way down.

    Also, a lot of the data presented is old and stops near the peak warming of the last solar cycle and/or compares change from a natural cool period to a naturally warm period.

    Methane being more powerful is also a red herring. Methane contributes little to the total GHG effect, it’s absorption band is far from the peak surface energy and there is significant overlap with H20 and N2O absorption lines.

    George

    ——–
    Edit note: “there are far fewer years per cm”, corrected to “more“… JN


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    Frank S

    That’s not a debating post. It is a dumping of miscellaneous chunks of info designed to bore, befuddle, and bemuse. The whole thing needs a thorough Fisking.

    Let me just comment on one early remark in his incoherent avalanche of them: ‘Due to long atmospheric residence time on the scale of centuries to many millennia’

    More common estimates of the residence time are more like a few years, as you would intuitively expect given that the annual flux of CO2 is of the order of a quarter of the current total of airborne CO2. The time it would take for ambient CO2 to disappear to negligible levels if all sources were to suddenly cease, is a different matter. That might well be of the order of hundreds of years, but there seems to be more uncertainty on this. I note this remark by Eschenbach: ‘E-folding time, or half-life time, is very different. This is an indirect measure of how long a pulse of CO2 injected into the atmosphere will take to decay back down to the pre-pulse value. Half-life time is how long it takes to decay to half the original value. E-folding time is how long it takes to decay to 1/e of its original value. They both measure the same thing, but in different ways.

    E-folding time is much more difficult to calculate, as the change between different e-folding values is slight and our data is short and poor. I have calculated it myself, and got about 40 years. Jacobson puts it at 30 – 40 years.

    Hansen and the IPCC use something called the “Bern Carbon Model”. This is a bizarre mathematical construct which figures that part of the CO2 decays with a short e-folding time (2.5 years), part of it decays at a medium e-folding time (18 years), and a small amount of it has an e-folding time of 171 years! I don’t know how they figure that happens in the real world (how does a molecule know?), but that’s how the math works.

    Unfortunately, because of lack of data, at present there is no way to say whether the Bern model, or the more straightforward model used by myself and also by Jacobson, fits the data better. ‘ (http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=89&sid=10cf83b2d136a4db302f085c6d4af860)


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    BobC

    Take a look at this graph (from Wikipedia’s page on “Carbon-14″):

    It shows the rate of removal of carbon-14 containing CO2 in the atmosphere, after the 1964 test ban treaty stopped atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.

    The concentration clearly follows an exponential decay curve with a time constant ~ 10 years. Since there is no reason to believe that CO2 with C14 will behave differently than non-radioactive CO2 (this is the assumption behind Carbon Dating), it follows that ALL CO2 in the atmosphere has about a 10 year half-life. (Note that the graph is not decaying to zero, but to the pre-existing background level of C14, which is continuously created by cosmic ray impacts in the upper atmosphere.)

    Since the graph has plots from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, it also indicates, if you study it carefully, that the inter-hemispheric mixing time in the atmosphere is about 3 years.

    There are over 3 dozen empirical, peer-reviewed studies over the last 60 years on the atmospheric lifetime of CO2. Without exception, they all show a short (5-15 year) lifetime.

    The only “evidence” of long lifetimes, as claimed by Glikson is models all of which either ignore the existing empirical measurements, or postulate (with zero evidence) mechanisms which would allow long lifetimes — a clear case of creating the model to get the pre-determined outcome.

    Given the actual data on CO2 lifetimes (not the fantasies promoted by Glikson and colleagues), it is a trivial calculation to show that Human-produced CO2 can account for only a few percent of the measured increase of the 20th century.

    The fact of short CO2 atmospheric lifetime destroys any possibility that Humans can control the CO2 concentration to any significant extent (not even considering the lack of any real evidence that CO2 drives climate).

    The whole AGW argument rests on either the ignorance of key facts like the above, or the inability to draw logical conclusions that differ from their existing desires and beliefs.


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    Speedy

    Dear Dr. Glickson

    Thank you for your obvious efforts in presenting your case for the role of CO2 as a driver of global climate. I confess myself to being a deep-seated “sceptic” on this theory, roundly based on the very fact that life on earth has been so persistent in the face of a range of variable climatic circumstances. To put it briefly, the climatic drivers appear to have been “rigged” to give us the extraordinary conditions we enjoy that permit life on this planet we share. I find it literally incredible (i.e. not capable of sustaining logical belief) that this complex environment can be described simply in terms of the concentration of a single concentration of a trace gas in the atmosphere. (i.e CO2). This, of course, does not preclude the possibility that this theory is possible! However…

    We know, for instance, that CO2 does absorb infra-red radiation, (specifically around the 14.5 micron wavelength) and that this allows CO2 to interfere with the radiation of long wavelength radiation emitted from the earth’s surface to space. It therefore has a significant impact on the earth’s energy balance. As does oxygen dihydride, (H2O) which serves a similar function, but over a much broader spectrum. Together, they are responsible for “global warming”, and, as you know, are responsible for keeping the globe about 33 degrees warmer than would otherwise be the case. Most of this warming, by the way, would be due to water vapour, although CO2 may have been necessary to trigger the initial conditions to produce the necessary water vapour content in the atmosphere. So, to this extent, we are already living in a “runaway greenhouse” environment. Lucky us!

    Another issue is the limited spectrum of infra-red that CO2 is capable of absorbing. You will be aware of the Beer-Lambert Law of radiative absorbtion – that the absorbtion of a given wavelength decays on a logarithmic basis. That is to say, that if a single volume (or path length) of a CO2-bearing gas absorbs 50% of the (say) 14.5 micron wavelength, then doubling the path length will not extinguish the 14.5 micron emission. Instead, it will collect 50% of the emission escaping the original “path length” of atmosphere. (I haven’t explained that very well, but you can see where I’m going!) That is why doubling a CO2 concentration (which, simplistically, is doubling the CO2 absorbtion path length) does not extinguish the target infra-red emissions from the earth’s surface completely. BUT – if most of the heavy lifting has been done by the first 10-20 ppm (as appears the case), then further CO2 concentrations (beyond, say, 200 ppm) have a miniscule and diminishingly small impact on the degree of infra-red absorbtion. And hence, on global warming.

    During the cold war, Winston Churchill was asked why he was not in favour of building more atomic bombs. His reply was that any further weaponry would, if used, only “make the rubble bounce”. That, in my understanding, is the effect of increasing the atmospheric CO2 concentration beyond 200-300 ppm. In theory, it does increase the efficiency of infra-red capture, but, in practice, at a diminishingly small degree to the extent that it is practically insignificant once it reaches the concentrations we currently see in the earth’s atmosphere today. That is why we have been able to survive the higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere you describe in your description above (up to 8000 ppm, versus 390 ppm today) without any serious effect on the earth’s climate. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, earth endured an ice age just before the period you described in figure 1, despite the relatively elevated CO2 concentration. To me, this would indicate that atmospheric CO2 isn’t, or was not, a significant climatic driver. (And, by the way, I am also aware of the ramp-up of solar luminescence over the earth’s history. Back-of-the-envelope calculations don’t suggest this was enough to drive the global temperature itself, a belief confirmed by the earlier – and warmer – periods in the earth’s paleoclimate.)

    As an aside, it is interesting that people are concerned about oceanic acidification in the present climate. As you indicate, CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been around 8000 ppm during the evolution of oceanic life. I’m assuming corals and shellfish coped.

    Another side issue is the transfer of CO2 between the atmosphere and the oceans. As you mention, there appears to be a lag of about 800 years between a rise in the global temperature and an increase in the atmospheric CO2 levels. (Obviously no human intervention there!) I cannot understand how CO2 levels can affect the earth’s climate 800 years before they have been emitted to the atmosphere. A simpler explanation is that warm temperatures cause the oceans to gradually release some of their dissolved CO2 concentration – (this is Le Chatlier’s principle / Henry’s Law). The kicker for me is – if the CO2, thus released, has a significant role in driving global temperatures, then why didn’t we go straight into a runaway greenhouse situation about 400 million years ago? Higher temperature causes more CO2 release, caused higher temperature etc. (The oceans contain 50 tonnes of CO2 for each tonne in the atmosphere, so they won’t run out any time soon!) Unless, of course, there was either a stabilising influence to prevent this (“negative feedbacks”) or, to repeat the words of W.S. Churchill, the rubble was bouncing (i.e. the additional CO2 had no significant impact on Infra-red emissions).

    In either case, this bodes well for life on earth and we have little to fear from CO2 as a potential cause of catastrophic global warming.

    As another aside, I note that it is not altogether impossible that the rise in CO2 levels oberved from about 1850 onwards may have been driven at least partially by the Medieval Warming 800 or so years previously??

    Please excuse me. It is late and my daughter hasn’t got home yet – but I need to go to bed. I’ll give your paper some of the attention it deserves tomorrow when the rest of my neurons are available – in the meantime I thank you for presenting your case and will give it a receptive review tomorrow.

    Regards,

    Speedy.


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    Speedy

    Post 6

    In fact, if memory serves me correctly, earth endured an ice age just before the period you described in figure 1, despite the relatively elevated CO2 concentration. To me, this would indicate that atmospheric CO2 is, or was not, a significant climatic driver.

    Uggh! It should read (para 6) CO2 ISN’T, or was not…

    Daughter not home yet. Neurons weary. Waiting, waiting, waiting…

    Cheers,

    Speedy

    _______

    I fixed it. — Curt (occasional editor)


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    Brian G Valentine

    Very professionally prepared, and referenced.

    What is not discussed, is more pertinent to the issue of “planetary atmosphere and climate change”.

    - The first 10 km of the Venusian atmosphere must receive considerable heat from the combination of sulphur trioxide with water vapour to form the sulphuric acid clouds, which is the exothermic portion of a reaction with endothermic heat supplied by Venusian volcanism

    - The diurnal surface temperature differences of Mars of up to 250 K indicate that all Martian lower tropospheric temperatures are directed by Martian soil specific heat, the specific heat of the atmosphere, and the spherical surface area of Mars. The partial pressure of CO2 in the Martian atmosphere is higher that it is for the Earthly atmosphere and the Martian atmosphere fails to exhibit a “greenhouse” effect at all

    - Temperatures and humidity in the Earth’s tropical regions are directed by the constant insolation, which thereby dictates diurnal temperature differences. The “hot spot” of direct consequence to a “greenhouse” effect near the troposphere remains unobserved, and no consistent model of a “greenhouse” effect can be constructed which does NOT exhibit this feature

    - The decidedly different effects of ozone and water vapour (and to a lesser extent the lower oxides of nitrogen) as “greenhouse” gases in the lower troposphere, compared with their behaviour in the stratosphere, is unexplained. Stratospheric temperatures are accounted for by the thermal conductivities of the gaseous composition.

    enough for now I regret to say Sir that I have found your presentation to be less than compelling. The lack of evidence of a “greenhouse” effect as it is understood to date, would lead one to the conclusion that as painful as it might be for some, the line of reasoning pursued to date, and the consequences of “greenhouse” models, would be more profitably abandoned than modified any further


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    harrywr2

    If I decided I wanted CO2 levels to be at 1,000ppm where would I find the necessary fossil fuels and how much would they cost?

    Hint, the price of coal in China in 2002 was $27/ton. It’s now over $100 ton.
    China produces and consumes 42% of world coal supplies.
    China has 35 years left of economically recoverable coal.


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    Adolf Balik

    Carbonari recently address ancient times millions years ago to validate their hypothetic models of temperature dependence on CO2. The advantage for them is the low time resolution of ancient proxy-data, which give their hypothetic models freedom of speculation on their cherished climatic sensitivity. If they used Quaternary data the CO2 lag behind temperature would destroy their arguments.

    Currently we have satellite data that make possible measurement of climatic feedback on minute time scale. These data show negative climatic feedback unlike to the hypothetic positive feedback parameterized by the holy climatic sensitivity as Linzen & Choi as well as Spencer have proved by real measuring, not by a mere modeling. The modern speculation about climatic sensitivity are based on assumptions that all the modern warming at the end of 20th century was a consequence of CO2 without any participation of natural factors including multidecadal cycle forcing regardless of the fact that the cycle is a regular seasonal variation, which is here for eons, and we know its precise running at least from 19th century until now. Then the assumption is nonsense for sure and no prove of positive climatic feedback exists at all.

    Then Tertiary data which provide greater freedom for data interpretation come in handy to corroborate their speculations. The Tertiary was characteristic by high temperatures and high level of CO2 as well. Since the high CO2 is a consequence of high temperature, as we know from Quaternary, then no wonder for it. But the time resolution of millions of years old proxy-data don’t make possible to tell a lag between the two values. Carobonari create assumption about various CO2 geological sources that should be the temperature driver of their speculative models. They also calibrate their climatic sensitivity on the Tertiary climatic evolution.

    Nevertheless, there were different climatic drivers and the alleged omnipotent CO2 isn’t necessary for it. There were different patterns of oceanic currents in the time as continents localization used to be different. The oceanic currents and the termo-halin heat conveyor weren’t as fast and powerful as today because of old land hampering their free movements. The fast currents mean more heat taken into oceanic deeps and slow currents as in the Tertiary means more heat in the upper layer of ocean and in the atmosphere. When Drake Strait opened the Circumpolar current came into existence and the planetary climate system changed dramatically with huge temperature drop down 30 millions years ago. Later continuing Australia Antarctica splitting strengthened the current with consequent temperature dropping until the Quaternary ice ages came obediently followed by CO2 levels.


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    Resolution of the effects of CO2 on the atmosphere is defined by the climate sensitivity (CS) parameter, formulated as the rise in atmospheric temperature induced by doubling of CO2 concentration. Charney (1979) [5] defines CS at 3±1.5oC (Figure 3). Recent projections from basic physical laws of the infrared absorption/emission resonance effect (Stefan-Bolzmann law, Krischhoff law), validated by laboratory experiments

    ,

    This is one of the most basic questions that is constantly avoided.
    Will someone please “justify” how these laboratory validated “physics” of CO2 apply to the real, mixed, open atmosphere.
    It is a massive assumption that AGW is wholely based upon.

    I have tried raiseing this question but to no avail as yet.
    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-709.html
    Sunsettommy put this most succintly as,
    As far as I know Lab measurements of CO2 absorptivity and emissions
    leave out the real atmosphere constituents.
    They just measure CO2 alone in a column in the lab.

    If the above mentioned “measurements” (usually referred to as “the known physics of CO2“)
    are to be applied to the (very, very different) atmosphere,
    where is the justification / proof. ?


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    co2isnotevil

    Brian, RE 8

    I suggest that the reason the stratosphere behaves differently is because it’s ‘above the weather’. Weather is the mechanism that modulates the rate of energy leaving the planet so that equilibrium with incoming radiation can be maintained. The mechanism includes clouds and rain, but also includes modulation of the transparency of the atmosphere via water vapor variability. The dynamic transparency of the atmosphere compensates for small static increases caused by slow changes in other gas concentrations. The big difference is that the transparency of the troposphere is actively controlled by the process seeking thermodynamic equilibrium, while that of the stratosphere is not.

    George


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    Brian G Valentine

    Quiz question of the day:

    The fossils now used for fuel were once part of the atmosphere of some 300-370 million of years ago.

    This carbon dioxide evidently had no discernible influence on the climate of that period.

    Question: What makes the carbon dioxide of today exhibit different properties than it exhibited in antiquity?

    Politically correct answer: HUMANS have their dirty little fingers involved in the process nowadays of course, which has the effect of turning ordinary “carbon dioxide” into a form of “pollution”


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    Brian G Valentine

    Sorry, George, the presence of those awful high-altitude villains, PSC, which have been implicated in the harbouring of the despicable criminal CHLORINE SUBOXIDE, do not lend credence to your concept


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    Bob Malloy

    the Earth’s atmosphere (78.08%N2, 20.95%O, 0.93%Ar, 398 ppm CO2)

    I’ve just started to read you article and you mislead the reader in the first paragraph. Your quote of 398 ppm for co2 while all other components are listed in %’s is argument by misdirection, my primary school maths tells me all that leaves is %0.1 co2. Doesn’t look quite as scary as a percentage.


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    Seems like Herr Glikson is back where he started in Debate Part 1! Perhaps it’s time for the good doctor to make an effort at refuting some of Jo’s points.


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    Bob Malloy

    Sorry, previous post should read: all that leaves is less than %0.1 co2. Doesn’t look quite as scary as a percentage.


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    Adolf Balik

    To Bob Maloy 17:

    Par per million ppm is 0.000001.


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    Barry Woods

    15Bob Malloy:
    May 26th, 2010 at 5:19 am the Earth’s atmosphere (78.08%N2, 20.95%O, 0.93%Ar, 398 ppm CO2)

    I’ve just started to read you article and you mislead the reader in the first paragraph. Your quote of 398 ppm for co2 while all other components are listed in %’s is argument by misdirection, my primary school maths tells me all that leaves is %0.1 co2. Doesn’t look quite as scary as a percentage.

    —————

    shh, don’t tell anyone that the total annual contribution, by man is 3% OF that Total 0.1%..

    0.0003%

    Really, really tiny….

    Of course what proportion stays in the atmosphere vs straight back in the carbon cycle…

    ie man made co2 is predominantly produced on land, where the plants must consume a proportion of it… (anybody done any science to find out?)

    Vs oceans (70% earth’s surface) release it into the atmosphere (due to the Sun warming them) no plants out at sea.

    So to be philisophical for a moment:

    If I rev my V8 in a forest, does the CO2 stay in the atmosphere, for hundreds of years,
    or do the trees think – More Plant Food, grow, baby grow.

    sorry, for the sarcasm.


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    Siliggy

    Barry Woods @ 19

    no plants out at sea.

    What is sea weed? What is plancton etc? I think your point is better than you realise:

    “There are a lot more microbes in marine sediments than people thought,” Girguis said. “The thing I find astonishing is that … it’s possible there’s more biomass in the deep sea sediments, in the form of microbes, than the total biomass on all the continents.”

    The residence time of CO2 will change as the biomass increases or decreases. So If CO2 is feeding up the biomass appetite then it is bringing the residence time down.
    Remember this?:
    Australian Dust Storms Feed Life Explosion
    Dust storms lead to a boom in microscopic life, validating ocean fertilization plans.

    “This marine life is responsible for over 95 per cent of respiration in the oceans, thereby helping to maintain the conditions humans need to survive on Earth”
    The recent floods and volcanic ash clouds will add the nutrients so we don’t need to.
    When the shark comes up to feed the CO2 will be sucked into it’s mouth by the falling sea surface temperatures.
    As the sea is heated by the CO2 entering this will be slow untill the resulting increase in photosynthesis and chemosynthesis which are endothermic cool the sea down more.


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    Current CO2 concentration is 389.64 PPM from http://wattsupwiththat.com/widget/ and that’s 0.038964%, nowhere near the 0.1% cited above. Even we who are realists tend to overestimate the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

    So, the list should be: 78.08%N2, 20.95%O, 0.93%Ar, 0.038964%CO2, not that the extra decimal places are all that “significant”.


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    Barry Woods

    no plants at sea – OUT of the Water ;)

    Hell of a lot of carbon in the sea, dissolved, heated up release it out of the water, into the atmosphere..


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    Feersum Endjinn

    Bringing it back to, at very least the whole Pacific (!), and the all important ENSO it is very interesting to note all the back-peddling now being done by a veritable Who’s Who of atmospheric circulation researchers on the supposed relationship between global warming (as predicted by CGCMs) and El Nino:

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo868.html

    A PDF of this paper is here:

    http://landshape.org/enm/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ENSOCLIV.pdf

    The new paper flatly repudiates this:

    http://cawcr.gov.au/bmrc/clfor/cfstaff/sbp/journal_articles/Power_Smith_GRL_2007.pdf

    and this:

    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/gav0602.pdf

    and shows this:

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/a-new-paper-global-warming-advocacy-science-a-cross-examination-by-jason-scott-johnston/

    to have been the brilliant (sceptical blog) comment that it was.

    The Gliksons of this world continually prove to me that only thing we really have to fear, as humans in this world, is our own hubris.


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    Feersum Endjinn

    Barry Woods #19

    “Vs oceans (70% earth’s surface) release it into the atmosphere (due to the Sun warming them) no plants out at sea.”

    You’re a [snip]

    About 47% (±5%) of the entire planet’s living photosynthetic biomass is the cyanobacteria (= blue-green algae) in the oceans!


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    Chris M

    The figures add to the confusion and come in the Lies, damn lies and statistics category.
    Figure 2 is an artifact of the modelling process. Look where the actual weather stations are.
    Figure 8 is misleading (the link doesn’t work). Did all of the USA and Alaska have historic droughts in 2008/9? Australia had severe drought but only part of the country.
    Figure 9 was easily rubbished by Pielke. The problem was simply people now built in regions that historically anyone with sense stayed away from because of the risk of storm damage.


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    Barry Woods

    “Vs oceans (70% earth’s surface) release it into the atmosphere (due to the Sun warming them) no plants out at sea.”

    You’re a [snip]

    About 47% (±5%) of the entire planet’s living photosynthetic biomass is the cyanobacteria (= blue-green algae) in the oceans!
    ————————————-

    so you are saying that the oceans do not release the vast amounts of co2 then (even Roger Harrabin bbc -environment editor concedes that.

    CO2 released in the atmosphere, by a warming ocean, is not the same CO2 disolved IN the sea water…. I wonder where that biomass, IN the water gets its carbon from….

    Now, if you were a bit rude there,
    But as you are hiding behind a user name that is a character out of an Iain M Banks science fiction model, I may have had to take you seriously and responded in kind… ;)


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    Feersum Endjinn

    “I wonder where that biomass, IN the water gets its carbon from….”

    In the top 50 m or so, subject to the (PAR window) light flux and nutrient constraints, the cyanobacteria absorb carbon as both dissolved CO2 (= CO2(aqueous)) and bicarbonate (HCO3-).

    These are the (inorganic carbon) chemical species which are available to the photoautotrophic biomass. These species are part of the total carbonate alkalinity of the water. In the deep ocean there is more of the inorganic carbon stored (in the water) as carbonate (CO3-2) and bicarbonate (HCO3-).

    It therefore does no matter whether the CO2 is:

    * dissolved into the seawater from the atmosphere above; or

    * is brought in upwelling water from below; and/or

    * is being transferred out of the pool of total carbonate alkalinity via the CO3-2 -> HCO3- -> CO2(aq) -> CO2(gaseous) flux which occurs as the near surface water warms.

    It is ALL biologically available to the cyanobacteria.

    Therefore, any mechanism, such as warming, which shifts the above equilibria in the direction of the biologically available CO2(aq) and HCO3- will stimulate cyanobacterial biomass growth (provided there is adequate nutrients).

    Numerous mainstream peer-reviewed literature papers show that increasing water temperature and increasing atmospheric pCO2 above the surface, increases the growth rate of certain species of cyanobacteria and their increases biomass overall. Obviously, various major species are (variously) adapted to specific water temperature ranges.


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    Bob Malloy

    Feersum Endjinn:

    Did you miss this at the bottom of the article.

    Note for commenters:

    Please stick to the evidence and the topic. Comments will be edited or moved if they are off-topic, impolite or relate to people or motivations. As you write, imagine that readers who are undecided are genuinely interested in finding out arguments both for and against the theory of man-made global warming. Ad homs will be deleted. Thanks — JN

    I’m sure Barry Woods is capable of defending himself, but calling someone a [xnip] is not called for. If you find fault with a post put your opinion out for all to read, but keep the personal insults out.

    ____
    Thank you Bob for pointing this out. The rule applies across the board. — Curt (occasional editor)


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    Binny

    Barry Woods @19
    Actually there are lots and lots of plants out at sea. I saw a doco a while back, that said the late summer plankton bloom in the north-west Pacific. Absorbs more carbon dioxide, and emits more oxygen than The Amazon rainforest.


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    Tel

    This article by Dr Andrew Glikson is a valuable addition to Joanne’s website — diversity of viewpoints always improves the quality of the debate. Andrew obviously believes that it is more useful to preach to the sinners than the choir.

    With regard to “feedbacks”…

    Slow Feedbacks: changes in continental ice sheets, regional vegetation cover, accumulation of greenhouse gases, long term ocean current and wind patterns, position of high pressure ridges, migration of climate zones and frequency and amplitude of the ENSO cycle, consequent on changes in cross-latitude thermal gradients.

    On what basis is any of this linked to CO2? Surely the same feedback mechanism would apply for small changes in solar radiation, or any other energy input mechanism you care to name. These feedback effects would be greater near the poles than near the tropics, which is intrinsic to the nature of the fedback mechanism and unrelated to CO2.

    With regard to “fingerprints”…

    1. Greater degree of warming near the poles relative to the tropics, including relatively high winter temperatures, due to elevated atmospheric greenhouse gas all-year round.

    As a consequence of the strong negative feedback caused by water cycle and transport of latent heat, warming the surface of the Earth near the tropics requires vastly more input power than warming near the poles. This is a property of water, regardless of where that warming may come from.

    As per usual, the water turns muddy when we don’t get clear distinction between a number of separate questions:

    [1] Has there been warming/cooling?

    [2] What is the relative magnitude of human-imposed effects compared with natural variation?

    [3] Is CO2 the cause of the observed effects?

    [4] What sort of outcome can we predict as a consequence?

    With regards to Question [4], let us suppose the climate is heading back to early Pliocene or pre-Pliocene conditions. Vegetation over the whole Earth was much more lush back then, and wider areas were habitable, could support mega-fauna, massive forests, etc. I cannot see any logical connection between the historical evidence of these earlier high-vegetation periods and the predictions of crippling droughts with disastrous crop failures.

    As Brian points out in #13 above, the earth used to have vastly more CO2 in the atmosphere until the plants came along and gobbled it all up. As we snatch that back from the ground by burning coal, a first guess would be to expect more plants to come along eating the additional CO2 as it becomes available.

    For what it’s worth, I think we are following drift into another ice age, driven by the Milankovic cycle but I’m not worried about it happening in my lifetime. Short term 11-year and 30-year cycles are all I ever expect to observe.

    Speaking of cycles:

    … rapid warming at a rate of 0.018 degrees C/year exceeds the rate of the last glacial termination (14,700 – 11,700 years ago) by an order magnitude.

    The 0.018 degrees C/year only shows up if you take the right 30 year period from approx 1975 to 2005 and even in the GISS data if you use a sliding window with suitable rolloff (e.g. Gaussian window) then a bunch of other numbers can be found, including lower numbers for more recent years.

    Now pick any continuous chaotic function you like, and start taking numerical derivatives on short timescales, then compare these with derivatives taken over substantially longer timescales. You will find the magnitude of change on the short timescale is larger than what you measure on the long timescale. It is a basic property of measuring numerical derivatives and the way a differentiation operation reduces the gain of low frequency waves and increases the gain of high frequency waves.

    Signal processing 101 my friend. Nothing to get shocked about.

    I would be very shocked if it started working any other way :-)


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    Neville

    There is so much nonsense in this article, I wish he would first read Lomborg’s “Cool It” that covers just about all of the above and disproves so much, plus shows we can do little about AGW. ( he’s a believer )

    But my observation is this, why are the previous 4 interglacials warmer than our interglacial?
    The previous Eemian interglacial recorded much higher temps and sea levels ( about 6 to 8 metres ), in fact the North sea was about 2C higher temp than today and all due to NATURE.


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    Siliggy

    “Fast track transition of current climate towards similar conditions will increase evaporation and precipitation in some desert areas (cf. the Kimberley-Pilbara-Officer Basin-Nullabor corridor), whereas polar-ward migration of climate zones would result in droughts in the southeast and southwest Australian wheat belts, consistent with current developments.”
    Consistent?:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/awap/rain/index.jsp?colour=colour&time=latest&step=0&map=drought&period=12month&area=nat


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    co2isnotevil

    Neville, re 31

    The DomeC ice core record goes back about a million years. This shows that the 40 YR glaciation cycles had cooler interglacial periods than the 100 KY cycles of the last 500K years. It seems that whether we are in 40 or 100 KY cycles depends on the relative phase between the 100 and 40 KY orbital forcing influences. There are other influences as well, including a 20 KY cycle. It seems that the warmest interglacials occur when the phase relationships among these influences all align. The same would seem to be the case for the timing and depth of the glaciations.

    Based on how these influences will be changing in the future, I suspect that we are heading back into 40 KY glaciation periods and generally cooler interglacial periods, at least that’s my take on the 500 KY forecast …

    George


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    Jim Stewart

    JoNova asked for evidence that the models are right. Surely this misses the first question used in science to establish correlation of atmospheric temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Unless there is statistically significant evidence of correlation, ALL theories of causation, including AGW, are irrelevant at best. That is the point of the null hypothesis.

    If Dr Glikson knows of evidence of such correlation, he, and others like him, should have presented it on a willing television network such as the ABC. If he knows of or is presented with validated and undisputed evidence that there is no statistically significant evidence of correlation of atmospheric temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide, he should admit that any AGW theories are irrelevant at best.

    At worst anyone suppressing validated and undisputed evidence of the AGW null hypothesis is complicit in the fraud. This includes ABC Board members: Maurice Newman, Steven Skala, Peter Hurley, Keith Windschuttle, Mark Scott, Julianne Schultz and Michael Lynch. On 31 March, they were presented with validated and undisputed evidence that there is no statistically significant evidence of correlation of atmospheric temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    There’s much more but for now let’s give Dr Glikson a chance to publicly admit that the AGW null hypothesis is still proven. No AGW theory, including those which claim that AGW is too small to be dangerous to animal [including human] life is supported by valid undisputed evidence.


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    Bernd Felsche

    ChrisM (#25)

    You can find a copy of the article that is the source of the drought map here. (Found by searching for caption text.) PDF The method appears to have been to trawl for reportsof drought around the world and then to attribute drought to the entire nation. The PDF references only the author’s site.

    You are correct in detecting the abuse of stats to forecast catastrophe. The original article claims a reduction in food production, which is certainly a surprise for e.g. WA’s wheatbelt

    New food shortages exist(ed) largely because food-cropping was converted to fuel-cropping in many areas and forests were stripped in order to grow fuel. Fuel that was used to pay indulgences to “Gaia Inc.” in the form of bio-diesel and alcohol/gasoline blends.

    Dr. Glickson should know by now (seeing that he referred to same in blogs during April 2009) that reference to the figure only damages his argument. Not only is the figure very misleading as it represents drought in any region of a country as covering the whole nation, precipitation is governed by convection currents. Shifts in the circulation will shift where it rains and such shifts in circulations have been happening naturally for hundreds of millions of years.


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    wes george

    “Lost all too often in the climate debate is an appreciation of the delicate balance between the physical and chemical parameters of the atmosphere/ocean/land system and the evolving biosphere…”

    Really now, Dr. Glikson, the “delicate balance” thesis has been central to the debate since at least the 1960’s. So much so it has utterly occluded any appreciation of the robustness of Earth’s geophysiology, which is almost never a topic touched by the climate debate.

    There is little public appreciate that the atm/ocean/land/geo nonlinear system that some call Gaia has been homeostatical maintaining those delicate balances for at least 650 millions years through all sorts of cosmic catastrophes that make a few hundred ppm of CO2 rise over a century appear about as life threatening a splinter in a child’s finger.

    Likewise I find the rising cost of disasters and insurance hilarious nonsense. Someone should superimpose a graph showing the global gross production and/or population on top of this graph to show the real cause and relative meaning of rising costs. Or simply look at a graph of the growth in S&P500 equity values between 1950 and 2005.

    Furthermore, myths about the disappearance of Greenland’s ice cap, etc. have only been thoroughly debunked before a popular audience as recently as yesterday.

    If (I’m just guessing here) Dr. Glikson’s unspoken implication is that we should support a radical realignment of the global economy in order to affect changes in the climate. He has only presented evidence for quite the opposite case.

    I find it depressing that the same old canards are trotted out time and time again as if the curious lay public is incapable of researching these topics, finding the debunkments and then thinking for themselves. Moreover, should the good doctor actually have some good points to make for the CAGW theory I for one would find them tainted by their association with the ridiculously fallacious points made above. I believe that those who resort to misrepresenting data reveal that their agenda is not purely a search for a better understand of how nature really works, but is influenced by some higher ideal, perhaps a sense of a cause greater than that of a purely scientific inquiry. Dr. Glikson is welcome to share is ethical value system with us, I would find that a more interesting and transparently sincere debate. But the hard science ultimately belongs to us all.

    “Ethics…contains no statements, whether true or false, but consists of desires of a certain general kind, namely such as are concerned with the desires of mankind in general – and of gods, angels, and devils, if they exist. Science can discuss the causes of desires, and the means for realizing them, but it cannot contain any genuinely ethical sentences, because it is concerned with what is true or false.”

    -Bertrand Russell


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    Keith H

    See http://www.drroyspencer.com and his 23/05/10 article on “The Missing Climate Model Projections” for one of the best and fairest summaries I have seen of the problems with current IPCC modelling. His soon to be released work on feedback and forcings in the Journal of Geophysical Research should also spark some very interesting debate.


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    Brian G Valentine

    The mystery remains to me how people of Dr Glikson’s stature and talent have been taken in by such arguments for “evidence” as these arguments apparently are.

    How did this come about?

    Given some observations of only about two or three decades (compared to what in epochal time?), people find such arguments COMPELLING?

    How so? Why? Carbon dioxide has been part of the atmosphere since the Earth had an oxidising atmosphere – and such changes were not evident before?

    It defies the imagination, completely. There is else nothing on Earth, I would imagine, that Dr Glickson would accept as true without thorough criticism of the evidence.

    I have no explanation, and I certainly would not approach Dr Glickson for a response to a question he might find offensive.


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    Feersum Endjinn

    Tel #30

    “Signal processing 101 my friend. Nothing to get shocked about.”

    Nicely put. David Stockwell over at Niche Modeling has taken a very effective stick to this kind of statistically naive nonsense (by e.g. Glikson) many times. It makes you wonder just how much statistics was ever done in his/their undergrad days.


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    MattB

    He’s good this Glickson chap!


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    crakar24

    Far be it from me to question Andrew Glikson on his conclusions, however he does like all other people that accept AGW leave a few loose threads that need to be tidied up a bit.

    I am not sure if any of this has been mentioned yet but am i the only one that has noticed the level of scientific understanding (LOSU) attributed to the forcings as per figure 10? Lets run through them shall we, 4 are low, 2 are med/low, 2 is med and 2 are high. All in all this does not give me much confidence in our ability to understand the forcings involved.

    Interesting to note Solar irradiance is considered low even though Glikson et al infers by saying (“By distinction, the solar factor since 18th century has risen only by 0.12 Watt/m2, while global warming induced by carbon emissions rose by c.2,48 Watt/m2 (CO2+CH4+Halocarbons; Figure 10)”) the LOSU is much higher, how else could one with a low understanding of solar irradiance calculate its effects down to two decimal places spanning over 200 years? There is no mention of solar winds, xrays, UV rays, magnetic fields, GCR’s and so on as a forcing on the climate.

    Also interesting to note is cloud albedo effect which also comes with a LOSU of low. The theory states as CO2 increases so will high cloud and increases in water vapour with a lessing of low cloud (+ve feed back), are we to conclude this process continues until the oceans are suspended above our heads? Of course not, what happens to the water vapour, and i quote “and a short residence time of H2O vapour in the troposphere (~9-10 days)”.

    Where does this water vapour go after 9-10 days? I suspect it falls back to Earth (see Hydrologic cycle), rain falls from low clouds and low clouds are a -ve feed back, if water vapour increases from increasing CO2 then logically low cloud and rain will increase. A -ve feed back to rising CO2? No not according to IPCC theory.

    When it is all said and done Glikson has fallen for the same old trap in that he has cobbled together a list of facts and figures to show the Earth has/is warming and then takes what can only be described as a leap of faith by blaming CO2. Not at one point does Glikson show the level of knowledge required to understand the complexities of the climate system to make such claims.


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    Brian G Valentine

    The response to my questioning on the global warming blogs has (uniformly) been nothing more than slander and abuse. I appreciate Dr Glickson’s foray on this sceptical forum, and perhaps he should now have the opportunity to respond without additional rebuke…

    from me anyway.


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    Speedy

    Crakar24 @ 41

    Further to your comments. If the Level of Scientific Understanding (LOSU) for such important items like clouds is so low, why is so little research being done in this area? Particularly as the clouds have such a high potential for reducing solar inputs.

    Using the home solar power (PV) system as an analogy. At noon on Saturday (a cloudy day), the power output was only 10% of design. Not happy, Jan :(

    There is probably a lot more to understanding climate than knowing what the CO2 concentration is. But if the IPCC doesn’t seriously look at any other factors, then they will never see them! (And never be proven wrong, either…)

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Speedy

    Brian @ 42

    Absolutely agree! If we want informed debate on the subject, we need to listen to opposing arguments and avoid personal attacks on the person delivering those arguments.

    There is no room for big ego’s in good science.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    crakar24

    Speedy,

    The IPCC did consider Svensmark’s cloud theory, but rejected it. In fact, they reject any study or model that plays down the role of CO2 , yet they rely on anecdotal mountaineering hearsay. If you think about this a little, it shows just how ridiculous the IPCC are, and should set alarm bells ringing in everyones’ ears. The IPCC have an agenda to blame CO2, and it is not even hidden. Of course, most believers will scoff at this notion, but here it is for all to see.

    Its role, as defined in the “Principles Governing IPCC Work,” is “to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

    http://tinyurl.com/27beavt

    So there you have it: Human induced climate change is a given; the IPCC spend all their days working out the impacts. One can only assume that if a study crosses their desks that shows either human induced CC is negligent or a non-event, they will all be considered unemployed.


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    hunter

    If CO2 is so pernicious, then its accumulation in past times would have led to what is predicted today.
    Catastrophic AGW is a social disease, like tulipomania or eugenics.


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    Speedy

    Crakar24

    Thanks for the link. I never realised they were so crude.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    wes george

    “The polar ice sheets serve as the “thermostat” of glacial conditions which commenced at 34 Ma when CO2 levels declined to below 500 ppm…rendering the decline of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets of particular concern.”

    Greenland is losing an average of 183 gigatons (or 200 cubic kilometers) of ice a year as has been recently measured by an incredibly accurate satellite survey.

    Since there is 3 million km^3 of ice in Greenland’s icecap it won’t disappear at the current rate of loss (0.005% – 0.008% annually) until the year 14,000 AD at the earliest.

    Of course, this means it will be well over 1,000 years before even 10% of the Greenland icecap will melt even allow for some acceleration in the trend. Given the current rate of technology evolution we can expect to have innovated our way to a post-hydrocarbon-based economy well before even 1.0% of the Greenland icecap melts.

    One wonders why anyone would be “particularly concerned” ?

    In fact, the current warming trend upon the Greenland icesheet is entirely consistent with the sort of natural occurring warming that one might expect in an interglacial period. Its concurrence with the rise in human produced CO2 emissions doesn’t imply causation.

    Moreover, if the warming in Greenland is 100% due to anthropogenic warming then that’s an argument for spending the 100’s of billions of dollars we were going to spend fighting AGW on something useful.


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    Adolf Balik

    For carbonless explanation of all these climatic changes in the past as well as the current I prefer the authors:

    http://myweb.wwu.edu/dbunny/research/global/glocool.htm
    http://www.gemarsh.com/wp-content/uploads/Interglacials-and-CO2-V2.pdf


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    Baa Humbug

    crakar24: #41
    May 26th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Re: Clouds

    The IPCC figure listing Global Radiative Forcings (fig. 10 above) actually does NOT list cloud affects per se.
    What is listed is the affects of AEROSOLS on cloud albedo. i.e. are clouds made of large droplets or small droplets, governed by aerosols. (put very simply)

    The actual climatic affects of clouds doesn’t get a run in this figure because, I believe, the IPCC treats clouds as feedbacks rather than forcings.
    Be that as it may, they state over and over again that they don’t know enough about clouds, that they are unable to model cloud affects adequately, either in 2 dimesions or 3 dimensions, but to their best knowledge positive and negative feedback affects cancel each other out.

    That’s pretty much in a nutshell.


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    crakar24

    I stand corrected BH, actually this brings us to a point that irks me much. Is it just me or have we been set up? Fig 10 shows all the forcings with CO2 waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out in front. This does give the impression to the mindless that CO2 is the big bad boy.

    So why is CO2 considered a forcing and not other well known items, i suspect it is all part of the indoctrination process (theres that word again). You see if CO2 is shown as a big forcing as in fig 10 then it gives the impression that CO2 is driving or forcing the climate. The sun is taken care of by ignorance and water vapour does not get a mention.

    I was once told without CO2 in the atmosphere the Earth would be a ball of ice. Is this possible? I suspect it would be a little bit cooler but a ball of ice?


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    There will be a round 6.
    Andrew Glikson has noted your comments and asked if he can reply in a post in a week or two. I’ve agreed that it would be useful.

    There have been some excellent comments and questions above, thanks to the informed community at large. Thanks to Dr Glikson for taking the time to try to address our concerns.

    If anyone needs a copy of a pdf of a paper he’s mentioned, please email me. I’ll see what I can do.


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    Feersum Endjinn

    Dr Jeffrey Glassman (a distinguished US physicist and a former Chief of Division at Hughes Aircraft Corporation), aged 77, has effectively teased out the amplified solar signal in the modern climate record since 1850 (HADCRUT3) using good statistical signal analysis skills:


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    Feersum Endjinn

    The URL link didn’t hold. Trying again:

    http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2010/03/sgw.html

    I’d like to see Dr Glikson explain that!


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    Bob Malloy

    MattB:
    May 26th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    He’s good this Glickson chap!

    I think the natives are a bit hard on this one Matt, If we didn’t know you we might think you are on our side and being sarcastic.


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    Glenn Tamblyn

    Speedy @6 & 7

    “That is why we have been able to survive the higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere you describe in your description above (up to 8000 ppm, versus 390 ppm today) without any serious effect on the earth’s climate. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, earth endured an ice age just before the period you described in figure 1, despite the relatively elevated CO2 concentration. To me, this would indicate that atmospheric CO2 isn’t, or was not, a significant climatic driver. (And, by the way, I am also aware of the ramp-up of solar luminescence over the earth’s history. Back-of-the-envelope calculations don’t suggest this was enough to drive the global temperature itself, a belief confirmed by the earlier – and warmer – periods in the earth’s paleoclimate.)”

    Would you care to share this ‘back of an envelope’ calculation.

    Here is a link to a paper, Royer et al that discusses this subject. http://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/PhanCO2(GCA).pdf Note particualry figure 2, Radiative forcing through the Phanerozoic. Combined Solar & CO2 forcing.

    And the Ice Age you are referring to, during the Ordovician, was considered the unusual element with seemingly an Ice Age with no corresponding CO2 drop. Recent work by Young et al suggests that the Ordovician Ice Age was much shorter than first thought and was preceded by a short but sharp drop on CO2. Young et al 2009 http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/37/10/951.abstract &
    Young et al 2010 http://tinyurl.com/27nyaja


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    janama

    Joanne – what’s with the couple of weeks to reply ?

    Dr Glikson has stuck his neck out – now accept the replies and argue and debate them.

    We have tolerated these people for too long – they base their arguments on outdated data and a “group think” attitude yet because they hold some esteemed academic position they think they can run roughshod over us with spurious arguments.

    I’m sorry – I’ve reached my tether length.

    Dr Glikson an his ilk have had their say and it doesn’t cut it.

    Com’on Dr Glikson – argue your critics! Now, in real time. Would you believe we do it everyday.


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    MattB

    Janama – you have a tether? Is the post over the horizon?


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    Bernd Felsche

    The surface of the Pliocene Earth was quite different to the current one. No Himilayas, Rockies etc. What is now the Mediterranean was grassland. And the Americas became joined during the era. That had inevitable consequences on circulation currents in the oceans, dramatically changing the paths by which heat is transferred through the climate system.

    It is wrong to show Pliocene conditions on current geography.

    See more e.g here, here and here.

    There are also hints of a nearby supernova during the time that would have dramatically changed the climate.

    The world has changed too much in the past few million years to be able to discriminate between natural and anthroprogenic climate effects. We do not know well enough what are natural climate effects in today’s world.


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    wes george

    “Abrupt rises in levels of CO2 associated with volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts constituted an essential factor underlying extinction of species.”

    Essential factor? The dust/gas clouds raised by super-volcanoes and cosmic collisions cause an extended “nuclear winter” effect lasting for years rendered a small ppm CO2 concentration rise the least of a saurian’s worries.

    Since we are talking about climate catastrophe, why do we almost never mention the recent abrupt climate catastrophes? Such as the Akkadian collapse of 4200byp, a mega-drought, which struck the Middle East, correlated to rapid cooling around the globe and was possibly caused by a mega-volcanic event. If so, this is a case where a volcanically induced elevation in atmospheric CO2 concentration was easily overridden by other climate forcings. The Akkadian collapse was rapid, deep and disruptive to human civilization.

    The extremely abrupt and cold Younger Dryas (ca. 12.9–11.6 ka) might have been forced by a bolide impact, which slowed the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation by releasing Lake Agassiz melt water into the Arctic sea. If so, this is a case where a bolide forced elevation in atmospheric CO2 concentration was easily overridden by other climate forcings.

    Dr. Glikson has not shown that the human-assisted warming trends he postulates are either catastrophic nor nearly as abrupt as either the Younger Dryas or the Akkadian Collapse. Even as recently as in the last 2,500 years climate change has occurred at rates faster than today. Moreover, civilization’s timetable for responding to climate change is based upon the rate of technological evolution, which is accelerating at an almost exponential rate. The real worry is that big volcanoes and asteroid/comet impacts are not nearly as rare as we once believed.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/06/the-sky-is-falling/6807/

    My hunch is that any truly catastrophically rapid climate change is more likely to be towards cooling, rather than warming. In fact, until the science was politicised all past global warming periods were characterised as days of milk and honey rather than catastrophe.

    The real existential threat to global civilization is not a 3c rise in temperatures over the next 100 years – our technology is evolving much faster than the climate is changing – but a –5c to –8c drop in temperature happening virtually overnight due to a biblical-scale natural catastrophe.


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    Jo Nova Post 52
    Excellant news, I hope he notes my post 11 and the question it raises.

    May I also add, I hope discussion continues NOT debate.

    Discussion is the exchange of ideas with a postive approach / out look.

    Debate is the attempt by one, or both “sides” to destroy the other “side” – a very negative approach.
    (It isn’t “scientific” either in my opinion)

    Just like making “whoopy”, discussion takes two (or more…) consenting participants with a positive approach.

    There is black, white AND grey in every discussion / story.
    Discussion is very difficult to maintain, and really very delicate.
    It only takes one ill judged comment for any discussion to descend into (negative) debate.


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    Can I play? (I wish I had time to research a counter argument)

    the build-up and decline of atmospheric concentrations of CO2 has played a profound role in the evolution of climate through geological time

    Correlation argument. Which is the foundation of this essay. The use of “profound role” is a stipulation that we have no idea what the effect is. CO2 and temperature/climate causation has been disproved by proxy non-correlations. So, the argument is pretty much over right here. Nothing to see here move along.

    Abrupt rises in levels of CO2 associated with volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts constituted an essential factor underlying extinction of species

    No. Volcanoes spew out SO2 gas which cools the globe killing species adapted to warm climates. Asteroid impacts vaporise rock which combusts anything in it’s wake. Both natural events radically change the atmosphere for years and even decades depending on the scale of the disaster, having a profound impact on the ability of vegetation to photosynthesize.

    Water vapour, which exert peak radiative forcing effects in the tropics, have minor control of temperature in dry desert regions and almost none over polar regions where the atmosphere is of very low to nil water vapour concentrations

    But the sun’s radiation strikes the planet most directly in the tropics meaning, the change in albedo through tropical cloud formation has a large impact on global temperatures. Any temperature change in the tropics is conveyed to other parts of the globe. So, we can discuss changes in circulation or not. You can’t use temperature circulation to support some parts of your argument and not others.

    Resolution of the effects of CO2 on the atmosphere is defined by the climate sensitivity (CS) parameter, formulated as the rise in atmospheric temperature induced by doubling of CO2 concentration.

    Estimates of climate sensitivity for Slow feedback processes are near double Charney’s CS value. Paleoclimate studies define early and mid-Pliocene (5.2 – 3.0 Ma) climate sensitivities at values in the range of 7.1–9.6, classified by Schneider and Schneider (2010) as “Earth system sensitivity”, with implications for 21st century climate projections

    The significance of the Pliocene analogy to current climate change trends is recognized by the US Geological Survey, which has instigated a major research program

    Now we’re getting to the meat of the correlation argument. Sorry. You can’t compare apples with oranges in a dynamic, non-linear system such as the climate. Perhaps some education in philosophy or mathematics is required. But you already know this:

    Current climate change is distinct from and originates due to different factors which drove Pleistocene glacial terminations

    So, finally we are given what seems to be a falsifiability statement:

    As distinct from insolation-induced warming, the greenhouse effect displays the following fingerprints:

    Warming in the lower atmosphere (troposphere) and cooling in the stratosphere (due to the downward component of backscatter).

    1. Greater degree of warming near the poles relative to the tropics, including relatively high winter temperatures, due to elevated atmospheric greenhouse gas all-year round.
    2. More hot days and nights, fewer cold days and nights, i.e. due to lesser loss of heat into the stratosphere overnight. Consequently, a reduction in the difference between daytime and night-time temperatures

    If this is the crux of the argument, where are the cited papers to support these claims? So, even though we still don’t have any good temperature data with which to prove or disprove these two assertions, you then you go on to list further evidence you have for this greenhouse warming.

    Principal climate change developments include:

    Let’s pick those points of evidence apart one by one.

    1. Proxy records show CO2 lags behind temperature by 800-1200 years. Any natural increase in CO2 is the result of the medievil warm period.

    2. Methane, as a percentage of the earth’s atmosphere, has risen by 0.00000000054% per year while the earth warmed about 1 and half degree. Nothing of concern here.

    3. Cherry-picking 3 years in one region’s temperature. What is the mean rise in the years 2009-2010 since 1970? Notice how the cold year of 1970 is chosen as the benchmark?

    4. Oops, we cherry-picked more dates. Forget the rate of melt between 1980 and 2007. What’s the overall rate between 1980 and 2010? Notice how we benchmarked against a large extent year?

    5. Notice how the melting areas of West Antarctic are over geologically active areas? Or, that the melting areas in Greenland are alongside the coast which is subject to warm ocean currents? Are we talking about global or regional warming.

    6. I’m not going to touch this except to say that our understanding of thermohaline conveyor belts has increased dramatically since 2005.

    7. Projections. That’s a nasty word. We’ll pretend this point wasn’t made, shall we?

    8. Another hockey-stick dataset. Show us some more recent data.

    Time-variable gravity measurements from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellites of mass variations of the Antarctic ice sheet during April 2002–August 2005 detected a decrease in the mass of the ice sheet at a rate of 152±80 cubic kilometres of ice per year.

    Why don’t you describe that as a percentage? We know why climate scientists are so coy about the way they present the data for ice sheet melt rates. The only time we hear figures expressed as percentages is when they are percentages of rates:

    The measurements indicate an increase in ice sheet melt area by 16% from 1979 to 2002

    So what is the increase as a percentage of the ice sheet, not the current melt rate of the ice sheet?

    That was fun. I wish I had time to pick these arguments apart properly by providing reference material, etc. It’s all out there though. I think the lesson here is that scientists should be forced to study philosophy as part of their formal education. Then they would be able to rub two statements together to spark an epistemological bonfire. Rather than just spewing out factoids.


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    Baa Humbug

    One needs to be careful about citing paleo studies and equating results with todays climate.
    e.g.
    From the Royer et al 2005 paper…

    For periods with sufficient CO2 coverage, all cool events are associated with CO2 levels below 1000 ppm. A CO2 threshold of below 500 ppm is suggested for the initiation of widespread, continental glaciations, although this threshold was likely higher during the Paleozoic due to a lower solar luminosity at that time.

    Considering we don’t have full understanding of the suns role in our climate, the above may be seen as a call to DRASTICALLY INCREASE the CO2 level in the atmosphere to somewhere above 500ppm, lest we plunge ourselves into another ice age.

    (just to head off immediate assaults about the current luminosity of the sun, nominate the current CO2 threshold. It certainly isn’t 250-280ppm)

    Further, Royer states…

    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.

    Although in paleo language, a period of ONE MILLION YEARS may be described as “fine resolution”, For our purposes, a million years is like painting an A4 sized paper with a mop.
    The (now finally) accepted 800 year lag between T rise and CO2 can occur 1250 times in a million year period.

    Yes, paleo research is great, is usefull and very skillfull, my respect to paleo scientists like Dr Glikson.
    But any “conclusions” drawn from paleo studies need to be and should be taken with a shovel of salt.

    Regarding the Seth Young et al study, the abstract is very short, but the title of the paper is revealing. IT IS A QUESTION. Thus…

    A major drop in seawater 87Sr/86Sr during the Middle Ordovician (Darriwilian): Links to volcanism and climate?
    So this paper is presented not so much as a conclusion, but as a hypothesis aimed at further discussion. care needs to be taken when referring to it.

    the 2nd paper by Seth Young et al is exactly the same, here is the title…
    Did changes in atmospheric CO2 coincide with latest Ordovician glacial–interglacial cycles?
    I’m sure the papers are fascinating and would be terrific points of discussion, but no conclusions can/should be drawn from them, IMHO


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    sean

    Not sure if it is a fair dinkum attempt at rational debate.
    So many factors are overlooked.
    More people in developing economies = more affluence = more buildings = greater risk and greater loss in the built environment.
    Food shortages are about the number of mouths to feed and the availability of food. War, land use management, input affordability and so on are all relevant factors.


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    Speedy

    Glenn @ 56

    Thanks for your question. You refer to my post of #5.

    Firstly, that “back of the envelope” calculation. Now, call me naive, but I will be assuming the following for the Ordovician and present times:

    Constant Boltzman emissivity
    Identical global albedo/reflectance
    Thermal equilibrium in both cases
    Solar luminescene at 94.5% of current period (as used by Royer)
    Current global temperature (say) 287 Kelvin.

    We consider the Stefan-Boltzman’s Equation. This is the one that says that the energy radiated by a black body is proportional to the temperature (in Kelvin) of the body multiplied by the power of 4. I propose that if the solar luminescence were to be 95% of its current value, then the amount of energy reaching the earth would also drop to 95%, and that the energy emitted by the earth (necessary to prevent heat build-up) would also drop to 95% – and the earth’s temperature should drop according to Stefan-Boltzman’s equation. So, if we know the relative solar luminescence and the current global temperature, this allows us to get the earth’s surface temperature, e.g.

    Ordovician Temperatre = 94.5% * Current Earth Temp^0.25, or
    ………………= 0.945*(287)^0.25 = 283 Kelvin.

    That’s a drop of about 4 degrees K compared to today. I don’t know whether that’s enough to trigger an Ice Age, but it seems pretty obvious that elevated CO2 didn’t have much to fight against. OK, I’ve made some assumptions here but I don’t think the drop in solar luminescence was a real game-changer. However, this also helps explain why the earth wasn’t one big snowball for the hundreds of millions of years before the Ordovician period.

    Let’s calculate how much warmer it is supposed to have been due to the elevated CO2. If we say that the Ordovician atmospheric CO2 content was about 5000 ppm, then this is equivalent to about 3.65 “doublings” of CO2 compared to our current level of about 390 ppm. Depending on who you listen to, each doubling could cause as much as 3 K increase in temperature. So 3.65 doublings would give us an 11 degree temperature increase – that didn’t happen, did it? Clearly, the climate is not very sensitive to CO2 concentration once it is above 200 ppm or so. (As Beer-Lambert would indicate.) Even if we go to the lower end of the IPCC estimates – say 1.5 K per doubling, the change in CO2 gives us 5.5 K – more than enough to compensate for the solar dimming. So we wouldn’t expect an ice age from the evidence, would we? But it happened – and CO2 had very little influence.

    I read Royer’s paper – thanks. He got an excellent correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperatures. Two little wrinkles in this, however. The first is that he seems to be assuming that the CO2 drove the temperature, but cannot demonstrate that it wasn’t the other way around. (i.e. CO2 rose after the temperatures increased.) We have seen this already in the Vostoc ice core data, but unfortunately the resolution of his time scale was far too coarse to establish precedence.

    The second issue is that he used oceanic pH correction to modify his temperature proxy data (oxygen isotope) but unfortunately used the atmospheric CO2 level as an input to his pH calculation. As a result, he was inadvertently feeding an assumption into the calculations that reported directly to his results. No wonder there was a correlation! When this “correction” is removed, the relationship looks pretty ropey. If you would like to know more about this, here is a link that might interest you:

    http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/~shaviv/ClimateDebate/RoyerReply.pdf

    Clearly, the Royer paper isn’t as cut and dried as it initially appears. There’s some good stuff in there but the fundamental conclusion cannot be justified.

    Again, thanks for your question. Maybe we both learnt something!

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    RobJM

    Dozens of peer reviewed papers based on observations (and even the IPCC report) show CO2 turnover is approximately 15-20% per year, with C14 at 14 years.

    It’s only computer models that show CO2 stays in the atmosphere for thousand of years. The annual CO2 cycle would be impossible if this were the case.

    Because Beers Law (remember physical laws cannot be violated) demands that there is 50 times the CO2 dissolved in the ocean as what’s in the atmosphere, and turnover occurs over a short period of time, humans cannot be responsible for more than 5% of the CO2 increase. Only the increase in ocean temp due to reduced cloud cover can cause the increase in CO2

    To put it simply, a doubling of atmospheric CO2 requires a doubling of the total CO2 in the system. Humans add 2% to the atmosphere, which contains 2% of the system’s CO2. 1/(0.02 X 0.02) = 2500 years to double the CO2 in the system.

    For every 100 molecules of CO2 we add, only 2 remain in the atmosphere after a decade or so.

    CAGW is falsified by the observations of water vapour, which declined during the satellite period rather than increased, as the theory demanded!

    CAGW is falsified by the observations of declining cloud cover, a forcing an order of magnitude greater than CO2 forcing!

    CAGW is falsified by basic logic: Water vapour positive feedback would happen all by itself, not wait 4 billion years for humans to burn fossil fuel!

    The models are know to be fundamentally wrong about known parameters, let alone unknowns. They model convection as being related to temp in a linear fashion, when it is known to increase in an exponential fashion.

    This dominant cooling mechanism (larger than radiative loss) is known to be modelled incorrectly. How can that be?

    Anyone with a science background can see that the combination of greenhouse warming due to H2O and convective cooling due to H2O will create a stabilising (read negative feedback) u-shaped buffer.

    Q/ When did computer modellers actually employ the scientific method?
    A/ Never. They’re not scientists, they’re mathamagicians!


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    MattB

    Rob JM sorry you are confusing the the average lifetime of an individual added CO2 molecule in the atmosphere, with the timescale it takes to reach a new equilibrium state in the carbon cycle (or something like that).


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    MattB

    here’s a neat link that explains.

    Now if we are discussing not debating, Id like some support from more science savvy skeptics on this point.


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    Speedy

    MattB

    In chemistry, there is a concept called EQUILIBRIUM. I think this is what the skepticalscience article is trying to describe when it mentions CO2 molecules swapping between the atmosphere and the oceans. Unfortunately, they get it wrong.

    There is another concept in chemistry called ACTIVITY. In layman’s terms, it means “effective concentration” and it is influenced by the actual concentration of a reagent in solution and the conditions in that solution, including temperature and other solutes. We may consider the CO2 in the atmosphere and in the oceans to be in solution. If you look up Henry’s Law, it should tell you something like a solute will be in equilibrium between two phases when the activities of the solute in each phase are identical. Mass transfer of that solute between those phases will occur until equilibrium is achieved and the activities are equalised. To quote Wiki at you:

    In chemistry, Henry’s law is one of the gas laws, formulated by William Henry in 1803. It states that:

    At a constant temperature, the amount of a given gas dissolved in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid.

    Where “partial pressure” is chemistry speak for concentration.

    When we increase the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, we increase the partial pressure of the CO2 in the atmosphere. To miaintain the same CO2 activities in both the ocean and the atmosphere, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere needs to increase. Therefore, most of the additional CO2 transfers to the oceans to equalise the activities – or at least 49 fiftieths of it does!.

    Did I ever mention that those Skepticalscience.com guys aren’t sceptical? And what they peddle isn’t science?

    Anyway, you’re a big boy and you should go and do your own homework if you don’t believe me. If you don’t understand the above, you should have paid more attention in Year 11 – not my problem.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Speedy

    MattB @ 69

    Typo:

    When we increase the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, we increase the partial pressure of the CO2 in the atmosphere. To miaintain the same CO2 activities in both the ocean and the atmosphere, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere needs to increase. Therefore, most of the additional CO2 transfers to the oceans to equalise the activities – or at least 49 fiftieths of it does!.

    Should read:

    When we increase the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, we increase the partial pressure of the CO2 in the atmosphere. To miaintain the same CO2 activities in both the ocean and the atmosphere, the concentration of CO2 in the OCEAN needs to increase. Therefore, most of the additional CO2 transfers to the oceans to equalise the activities – or at least 49 fiftieths of it does!.

    Put it another way: If we doubled the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, what do you think (all other things being equal) would happen to the CO2 concentration in the ocean? Isn’t that why these guys are having hissie fits about ocean acidification?

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Baa Humbug

    Speedy you never fail to put a smile on my face.

    Any chance of an interview with Wayne Swann re: use of student dissertations about Aust mining companies and taxes? You know, like…

    Mr Swann, you used a student paper

    Yeah well the IPCC does it

    Yes Mr Swann but we’re talking about Australias soverign risk, your budget integrity.

    Yeah well the IPCC does it, and let me add, they’re the GOLD standard, GOLD with a capital G


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    Brian G Valentine

    “Not at one point does Glikson show the level of knowledge required to understand the complexities of the climate system to make such claims.”

    I think we need to be careful Crakar that statements don’t sound condescending in some way.

    I think I would prefer to say, Dr Glikson chooses to ignore some complexities (or not some not so complex things, too) – rather than say that Dr Glikson doesn’t demonstrate “a level of knowledge” needed to “understand” something.


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    Speedy

    Baa Humbug @72

    I’ll have a think on it. We could probably drag in a little bit on education standard tests and applying them to government decisions!

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    MattB

    Speedy we can compare year 11 reports any time you feel like it bud.


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    I wonder if Dr. Glikson has considered lunar temperatures in relation to the earth’s temperatures. ?
    Especially in relation to “greenhouse effect predictions”.
    It seems plausible that the “greenhouse effect” as modelled does not have much to do with it.

    http://climaterealists.com/?id=5770
    A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon?
    by Alan Siddons, Martin Hertzberg & Hans Schreuder

    and,
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/EE20-1_Hertzberg.pdf
    EARTH’S RADIATIVE EQUILIBRIUM
    IN THE SOLAR IRRADIANCE

    by
    Martin Hertzberg


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    MattB

    Anyway Speedy, the process you describe in 70 – there is no argument there… it is about how long it takes. 5 years or 200 years. So either the IPCC and climate scientists know all about the published papers that talk about 5-14 year CO2 turnover, and what they mean, and understand how it applies to the climate. Or they are stupid and ignorant of the most basic science. Or they are intentionally referencing those papers but totally then just making stuff up about how actual “residence time” is 200 odd years and hoping no-one will notice it is all just a big con? Your choice I guess.

    Anyway your failure to take up the basic science test of ethics I presented in post #68 confirms to me you are not a scientist or a skeptic, just some web-jockey with an ideology issue.

    How many times have I seen it said here… it is about the feedbacks above the basic 1C rise of carbon. Yet here you are questioning the basics of CO2 increases in the atmosphere.

    CAn I ask if you’d had a look at just how much CO2 we must be emitting to be raising the CO2 levels as we have done since industrialisation if the “residency” is as short as you suggest? Ahhh or is it those sub-sea volcanoes conveniently filling the void?


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    MattB – Are you aware that in the IPCC “formula” for CO2 residence time there is a term (A – I think from memory) that means a certain amount of CO2 emissions at any one time WILL HAVE A RESIDENCE TIME of a thousnad years. It is a quite arbitrary term, with no given justification.
    I would call that made up.


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    Michael Cejnar

    Hat tip to Prof Glickson for guest posting.

    His chain of evidence however halts in the second paragraph, making the rest of the thesis difficult to believe.

    “Due to long atmospheric residence time on the scale of centuries to many millennia (Eby et al. 2009) [8], CO2 is capable of accumulation and modulating terrestrial climate…”

    The evidence given for this long residence time for CO2, which underpins all models predicting climate catastrophe is …. you will never guess…simulated data from a climate modeling study! (Eby et al, 2009, full Text here).

    Professor, sir, are you attempting to offer as evidence for a crucial parameter in climate models … no more than simulated data from a climate model? If so, please explain how is this not simply invalid (and some might think fraudulent) circular logic.

    Even worse, the paper:
    (i) admits its model “does not produce as much interannual variability as seen in the [observational] data – a rather unfortunate weakness if you are using it to model CO2 residence times,
    (ii) tells us it holds short lived GHG such as CH4, N2O, and CFCs fixed, without a mention of the strongest short lived GHG, H2O, anywhere in the paper. Is this right?

    Finally, Eby et al conclude in part “The perturbation lifetime of both CO2 and surface temperature might be longer than previously thought.” “Might” is correct – since its only a model. This is no evidence or proof.

    I have honestly searched for a fair estimate of CO2′s adjustment time (vs its short residence or turnover time) Jo’s blog here. Thirty six experimental studies show short resident times of 5-10 years; there seems to be NO physical evidence for longer 100-200 year adjustment times, let alone millennia.

    Prof Glickson, if you have better supportive data, I would appreciate references to it. Failing this, from your own argument above – CO2 can not be “modulating terrestrial climate”.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Matt B,

    “residence times” of CO2 from combustion of fuel in the lower troposphere are like, 5-10 years on the outside.

    That’s unequivocal from the isotopic composition of CO2 (carbon and molecular oxygen), the water vapour of combustion, and the stoichiometric composition of oxygen used for combustion in the air.


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    Barry Woods

    so we would appear to have discovered in the comments section here that earth and paleoclimate scientists and climate scientists generally appear to know pretty much zero about basic carbon chemistry..

    ie the carbon cycle..

    Residency time of co2 in the atmosphere based on experimentation and observed data, is orders of magnitude lower than the assumptions put into computer models to predict temps..

    The fact that they only get these figures for a long residency time for CO2 from a computer model modelling CO2 in the atmosphere. yet the reall observed dat shows otherwise, and they then USE the modelled figure is outrageous.

    Additionally in those models they assume a positive feedback greenhouse effect, due to CO2 causing degrees more warming..

    yet again, experimentation and observed data shows a negative feedback for CO2 in the atmosphere..

    Of course, I am not a professor, or a voice of authority, just a member of the public..

    However, I do have a BSc degree in Applied Chemistry (polyner-carbon chemistry)
    I also have an MSc degree in Information Syetem Engineering (modelling complex systems in a cybernetics department)

    There are huge limitation in attempting to model, complex, non linear chaotic systems, let alone when the nature of all the components of these system are poorly understood, or even unknown. The IPCC even recognise this in Working Group 1….

    yet rather than listen to physicists and computer scientists, they attempt to write their own code, and think just throwing a bigger more expensive computer at the problem and measuiring more parameters will osolve it..

    Ir won’t in fact it will make it worse, (three body problem)

    So yet again, climate scientists, borrow from other fields like chemistry, physics, statiticians, computer science modelling, arrogantly proclaim things, and fail to listen to the experts in the feilds when they say you are doing it wrong. Let alone listen to any solar physcists.

    I am sorry, but I have zero respect now for the author, as a scientist, or the majority of the IPCC.

    To use an output of a computer model to fee into a computer model.
    When REAL, observed, measured experimental data tels you the complete opposite. is appalling.

    Actually my contempt has no bounds now.

    I though they were honest mistakes..

    It is beyond that.


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    At first glance this looks like a careful and thorough scientific article,
    but after a little study we can see it contains all the usual distortions and spin and omissions of the global-warming-exaggerators.
    Some of these have already been pointed out by others.
    The most obvious ones to me are:

    The false comparison of a 30 year trend of “rapid” warming (0.018 degree/yr) with a 3000 year trend at the end of the ice age.

    No mention of the embarrassing fact that the Antarctic isnt warming and that Antarctic ice is actually increasing, contradicting his claims about CO2 effects being strongest at the poles.

    False claims about disaster losses, thoroughly debunked by Roger Pielke.

    The false claim about increased hurricanes (even the IPCC’s own graph, AR4 page 304 shows this is false!)
    Like the IPCC, he cites Webster et al, but ‘forgets’ to mention
    R. Maue, Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclone activity, Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L05805 (2009).
    Henderson-Sellers et al 1998 Tropical Cyclones and global climate change.
    Wu et al (2006) Trends in Western North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Intensity
    Pielke et al (2005) BAMS, Hurricanes and global warming.
    All of these find no trend!!

    Does he know that his fig 10 is wrong? The IPCC calculated the average wrong for the cloud albedo effect.

    The false scare about slowing of the gulf stream – latest research by Bryden and Willis shows this is not happening.

    It is disappointing that Glikson behaves in this way. He knows he is dealing with intelligent people who have looked into the issue, so why does he insult their intelligence and discredit himself by behaving in this way?


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    BobC

    MattB on CO2 lifetimes:

    Your reference (at SkepticalScience.com) actually says this:

    Individual carbon dioxide molecules have a short life time of around 5 years in the atmosphere. However, when they leave the atmosphere, they’re simply swapping places with carbon dioxide in the ocean. The final amount of extra CO2 that remains in the atmosphere stays there on a time scale of centuries.

    Since, as Speedy points out, and even the IPCC (and SkepticalScience) acknowledges, Henry’s Law requires there to be 50 times as much CO2 in the oceans as the atmosphere; So, what SkepticalScience is claiming is that 2% of the CO2 emitted by Man can stay in the atmosphere “for centuries”.

    Later, however, they make this claim:

    In fact, human emit 26 gigatonnes of CO2 per year while CO2 in the atmosphere is rising by only 15 gigatonnes per year – much of human CO2 emissions is being absorbed by natural sinks.

    So now, despite their previous analysis, they are claiming 50% of Human CO2 remains in the atmosphere.

    Drawing the logical conclusions that SkepticalScience’s authors seem unable to do, we see that 2% of 26 GT, or about 1/2 GT/year should be the Human contribution to long-term (> 30 years) atmospheric CO2.

    So, according to data that SkepticalScience itself provides, Human contribution to the increase of atmospheric CO2 is about 3% of the annual increase of 15 GT, or about 1/60 % increase per year (of a total atmospheric CO2 mass of ~3000GT).

    At that rate, Humans alone could double the atmospheric CO2 concentration in about 4000 years.

    Be very worried ;-)


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    BobC

    So, according to data that SkepticalScience itself provides, Human contribution to the increase of atmospheric CO2 is about 3% of the annual increase of 15 GT, or about 1/60 % increase per year (of a total atmospheric CO2 mass of ~3000GT).

    I might add, for those who might not be able to work it out for themselves (MattB?), that completely shutting down industrial civilization would have an effect on atmospheric CO2 concentration that would not be detectable above the measurement noise.


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    Richard111

    Just curious. It would seem the appearance of the banded iron formations (BIFs) are not relevant to our present atmosphere?


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    co2isnotevil

    Richard111,

    The banded iron formations formed as life emerged, consuming atmospheric CO2 and replacing it with O2 causing dissolved iron in the oceans to oxidize and precipitate out. The only real relevance is that they tell us how and when O2 replaced CO2 as the second most abundant atmospheric gas.

    George


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    An update to my hurried post 78.
    The term I was referring to MattB I believe is the Ao term in,
    ” the revised version of the Bern Carbon cycle model used in Chapter 10 of this report (Bern2.5CC; Joos et al. 2001) ”
    as used in the IPCC’s FAR.

    Jonathan Drake plotted the residence time according to this “model”..
    http://www.trevoole.co.uk/Questioning_Climate/_sgg/mgm1_1.htm

    I was being generous ONLY using a thousand years residence time
    for some of any point in times CO2 emissions,
    the actual time used by the IPCC is FOREVER.

    In all honesty it is way, way beyond what MattB offers us as a possible choice in post 77
    just making stuff up about how actual “residence time” is
    200 odd years and hoping no-one will notice it is all just a big con?

    THe IPCC’s CO2 residence time calculations care of the Bern Carbon cycle model are
    impossible to believe once you understand what it actually models,
    EVEN IF YOU WANTED TO.


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    Put another way, to clarify the point I make in post 87 more fully
    the aO term, as it is properly referred to, has a value of 0.217.

    So, according to the Bern Carbon cycle model the IPCC used in it’s FAR,
    21.7% of CO2 emitted at any point in time remains PERMANENTLY in the atmosphere.
    No wonder the IPCC projects increasing atmospheric CO2 levels due to man’s activities.
    Any projected atmospheric CO2 increase is actually mostly due to the Bern Carbon cycle model’s (hidden) assumption (constant aO term).

    Unbelievable, but that is what the IPCC actually calculates, AND wants us to just accept, or believe….
    I do not “believe”.


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    BobC

    MattB whines:
    How many times have I seen it said here… it is about the feedbacks above the basic 1C rise of carbon. Yet here you are questioning the basics of CO2 increases in the atmosphere.

    Aww, did somebody move the goalposts on you MattB?

    That’s the problem when you are attempting to defend something as bogus as AGW — there’s just too many indefensible points — too many targets, from my perspective. Don’t get complacent: because we ignore some of them, some of the time, doesn’t mean you can take it for granted we agree.

    The AGW hypothesis ignores so much established fact (CO2 lifetimes, MWP, solar physics, etc) and replaces much of the unknown with bogus assumptions (complicated responses of the climate/weather system replaced with parameters optimized to get the desired results) that defending it is like carrying water with a sieve.

    If it’s any consolation to you, I will admit that the 2% of Anthropogenic CO2 that doesn’t reside in the oceans might have a relatively long lifetime — depending on what mechanisms (other than carbonite production) are removing it.


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    Neil Fisher

    Speedy wrote:

    as you know, are responsible for keeping the globe about 33 degrees warmer than would otherwise be the case.

    One of my pet hates is this often quoted “fact” – it’s WRONG! The average surface temperature is 33K warmer than theoretical black-body temperature of an object in the same orbit that has NO atmosphere. Our planet demonstrably has a gaseous atmosphere, and we need to apply the ideal gas law to get a more realistic estimate of what we would expect at the surface. Do the math and get back to me.


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    Brian G Valentine

    I have done that Neil in college, and the value computed is 8 K of difference.

    What these 8 of Kelvins represent, is frequently misunderstood

    unfortunately


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    Tel

    You can easily download the high resolution CO2 air sample graph from here:

    http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/graphics_gallery/mauna_loa_record/mauna_loa_seasonally_adjusted.html

    I’ve linked to the seasonally adjusted graph, but the others are there as well. The PDF lets you zoom right in and put a ruler on your screen. If you look very hard at the last 10 years (2000 to 2010) you can see an almost perfect straight line on the CO2 graph, containing a fairly major financial crash and production downturn (2008 and 2009). That is to say that the entire GFC does not even register a plip on actual CO2 measurement.

    Something to think about… we would require a substantially larger downturn in global production, just to achieve a small plip on this graph.


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    Michael Cejnar

    For clarity in discussions on CO2, I should have clarified terminology in my 79 post.

    CO2 ‘residence’ or ‘turnover’, is a measure how quickly CO2 molecules swap in and out of reservoirs, and measured accurately by decay time of injected radioisotopic CO2 (as from atom bomb tests). It tells us only the fastest possible clearance time of added CO2, but because some molecules are merely swapped and not sequestered, actual time may be longer. Resident time unequivocally is short – 5-10 years, based on 36 peer-reviewed physical studies.

    CO2 ‘lifetime’ or ‘adjustment’ time or ‘perturbation’ time is the time it takes for a step increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration to be absorbed into reservoirs and its time will be longer than the residence time, but the question is how much?

    CO2 perturbation time depends on its absorption into land-based plants, sea water (via Beers law), chemical conversion to buffers such as carbonates and, very importantly, apparently the biggest biomass on earth, oceanic plankton biomass,
    While it is true that Beers law says oceans dissolve 50 times the CO2 in the atmosphere, slow rate of diffusion of CO2 into deep oceans may take hundreds of years for this equilibrium to take place, so such simplistic objections to long perturbations times don’t hold water (sic).

    The models such as by Eby et al, 2009 do try to model these reservoirs, do attempt to validate each component against physical data, are good science and do conclude correctly that their data ‘might’ be true – because they are only MODELS, and complex, non-linear and containing may arbitrary assumptions at that. The crime is committed (I am not referring to Prof Glickson) by those who then delete the author’s ‘might’ and use this and similar data as evidence, justifying it because its the best estimate we have, and then build a house of cards from this.

    In the case of CO2, models are wrong:

    Tom V. Segalstad counters Doug’s above rationale for long lifetimes so:
    “The alleged long lifetime of 500 years for carbon diffusing to the deep ocean is of no relevance to the debate on the fate of anthropogenic CO2 and the “Greenhouse Effect”, because POC [particular organic carbon] can sink to the bottom of the ocean in less than a year (Toggweiler, 1990).” Ref

    If a colleague medical doctor presented circular simulated evidence such as this for a medical procedure, we would laugh him out of the profession, because patient’s lives and our legal liability are at risk. In climate science there is no accountability – you can make the most absurd argument or claim, and it gets you a headline and a new grant and no one dies on your watch (other than possibly the millions starving due to biofuel and resource misdirection, but, hey, nothing to do with me).


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    Farmer Doug 2

    Neil, Brian 90, 91
    What’s the temp on the moon?
    Same orbit, no GHG


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    co2isnotevil

    Farmer,

    The Moon has an added complication, which is that it’s day is 28 Earth days, so most of the energy leaves the planet from the side facing the Sun, instead of being uniformly emitted by the surface. At the equator in full Sun, the temp will be about 380K (close to the 1366 W/m^2 of incident energy) and the opposite side will be about 120K (about 11 W/m^2). The average temp is often quoted at about 250K, which seems too low. The expected average temperature (albedo = .12, Esun=1366 W/m^2) is about 270K.

    George


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    Neil Fisher

    Brian G Valentine:

    I have done that Neil in college, and the value computed is 8 K of difference.

    Which does not include convection, advection, latent heat, localised albedo differences and so on – the effects of “weather”, as it were, and most especially of water. IMO, it’s close enough that we should consider it to be within the bounds of “reasonable” given our lack of (exact) data.

    What (if anything) this changes in terms of the calculation of GHG effects I am uncertain of, but I do know that if you make the same calculations for Venus, you will find that CO2 plays no significant role in the temperature of the planet. Ditto Mars IIRC.


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    Brian G Valentine

    I know, Neil

    George, the Moon’s (calculated) surface temperature depends in a large part, the degree to which the regolith is an insulator


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    Baa Humbug

    PaulM: #82
    May 27th, 2010 at 3:42 am
    You say…

    He knows he is dealing with intelligent people who have looked into the issue, so why does he insult their intelligence and discredit himself by behaving in this way?

    There my friend, you have the crux of the problem when trying to hold a civil conversation or debate.
    YOU ARE WRONG, people like Dr Glikson DO NOT think we are intelligent or informed.
    If he did, this debate would have shaped very very differently.

    Consider the regrettable decision not to reply to comments in real time. Just post a 1000 words and some charts, retreat for a couple of weeks, then post another 1000 words.
    That’s not a debate nor a discussion, that’s an “I’m telling you” situation. What? Dr Glikson is the only one who’s busy? The rest of us have nothing better to do?

    So in short, the good professor has written some stuff on the blackboard, the rest of us are chatting about it amongst ourselves and he’ll be back in a couple of weeks to check on us.

    Yeah good on ya mate, good way to earn respect. (add some profanity here)

    I support Janamas comments at #57

    ps In having said the above, I’m mindfull of the fact that it is difficult for one person to reply in real time when a dozen or more people are firing questions at him. However, Dr Glikson is or should be aware how blogs work and would have or should have considered this when asking to post an essay here.


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    MattB

    Baa – how many warmists do you think are intelligent and informed?


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    Brian G Valentine

    Come on, Humbug, we’re all in this together; some folks are going to appreciate it, and some aren’t.

    If you’re a college professor, you get a range of “appreciation” for your “efforts” in front of a class (believe me).

    Do I believe that Dr Glikson is already aware that (most) of the people who read these pages are familiar with what he has to say?

    Well, yeah, but he’s welcome to make his case anyway.

    Global warmers (who have studied the issue for any length) are aware their case isn’t so great, so they appear to rely on appeal to emotion to ignore the weak spots.

    (We all do that with family members and their idiosyncrasies – but that’s a different matter)


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    Mark D.

    I know you asked Baa but I had to answer:

    MattB @ 99 Baa – how many warmists do you think are intelligent and informed?

    Answer: The number is a proportion of the number of thumbs up you receive Matt.


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    Neil Fisher

    Brian G Valentine:

    …they appear to rely on appeal to emotion to ignore the weak spots.

    It’s worsre than that Brian – they don’t just ignore the weak spots and hope no-one will notice, they actively denigrate those who point out the weak spots, calling them “deniers” and so on, as if we were still living in the dark ages and they were the high priests tossing out divine revelation to the plebs. They act, as Pielke Jnr points out, as if any point that distracts from the “message” is a dagger at their throat. These are the actions of political advocates, not scientists. At least in my experience, scientists will respond to such comments in one of two ways: i) patiently explain that no-one has yet, or can yet, explain such discrepancies, but that the current theory seems to be correct and is the best available explaination or ii) start a long and detailed explaination begining with something like “That’s an intersting question/point, because…”, while a semi-interested audiences eyes glaze over and they don’t even notice. ;-) I’ve been on both ends of that particular situation BTW, so it’s not meant as an insult.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Probably a lot of global warmers wish they could play Saddam: just kill anybody who doesn’t think what you have to say is quite right


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    Speedy

    Brian @ 103

    Literally true, I’m afraid. Remember that quote by James Hansen asking when could the prosecution and execution of the sceptics begin?

    My goodness that man will look like a twit once the current solar cycle starts to have effect.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Brian G Valentine

    Look like a twit?

    He doesn’t have to work very much harder at it. I saw a video of Hansen speaking to an “anti-coal” rally in a space-flight jump suit and a “boonie-style hat, speaking in a feverish near-falsetto pitch that sounded like an indignant 12-year old boy

    His analogies to “holocausts” etc made one’s teeth ache


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    Michael Cejnar

    IMHO some people here are uncharacteristically descending into irrelevant ad homini and warmist bashing. Prof. Glickson should be treated as a guest and only his arguments attacked.

    CAGW is still widely accepted amongst many learned individuals and associations so it is very should be valuable to try to understand Professor Glickson’s personal understanding of this argument.


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    Baa Humbug

    Brian G Valentine: #100
    May 27th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I’m not altogether sure what exactly it is you’re saying to me Brian, maybe you can expand.

    Also, when you say “some folks are going to appreciate it,” What is IT? His post on a sceptical site? The content of his post?


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    Brian G Valentine

    Humbug, you seem to get pretty rough on Paul for speaking his mind on Glickson’s essay.

    Well, if, as you compare with a College lecture, negative feedback is the response to a sincere presentation – it comes with the territory.

    My humble efforts in a class room have not been uniformly favourably received, and well, so it goes.

    Glikson didn’t please Paul with the content of Glikson’s prenetation (what I referred to as “it”), and Paul said as much – I think Paul has the right.

    Sorry.


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    Baa Humbug

    Thnx for the explanation Brian.

    My intention was NOT to be rough on Paul at all. If my post appeared to be so, then I humbly apologise to Paul unreservedly.

    I infact was supporting Paul. He, I believe, was too kind to Glikson by saying Glikson knows we are intelligent. I don’t see that in Gliksons post nor the way this debate seems to be progressing since it was shifted (at his request).

    Re: your analogy of a college lecturer. If that’s the way Glikson sees this debate, (he the teacher, we the students) Then I’m all the more cranky.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Got it, teşekkür ederim.

    Nice lively forum, I appreciate the opportunity to interact with many persons with the same perspectives I have; this very depressing “global warming” outlook held by so many prominent people today would be nearly intolerable to have to bear it alone


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    Speedy

    MattB

    I dug up my Year 11 report for you. As follows:

    Maths 1…….B
    Maths 2…….C
    English…….A
    Physics…….B
    Chemistry…..A

    Teacher’s Comments: “Speedy is a very nice boy. He is bright, hardworking and enthusiastic. He gets on well with others but should try to be nicer to the idiots.”

    By the way, sorry about the spray last night. I was just annoyed at that rubbish from ScepticalScience you posted. You should know better. And I didn’t want to get bogged down in arguing schoolboy chemistry – especially when Mrs Henry’s little boy had it all sorted out in 1803.

    Perhaps my Year 11 teacher had a point…

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Bush Bunny

    Dear Dr G, welcome. Your colleagues at ANUu produced a paper about sea levels not fluctuating after the last glacial period. Or at most only by cms.

    My computer is playing up at present unless someone is
    hacking into it. But who produced fig.8. Now if all
    those drought areas are true, we’d be suffering world
    wide famines.Australia exports wheat, beef and lamb,
    kangaroo, as well as minerals and fine wool. Look I’ll
    continue this later after I run a scan.


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    Baa Humbug, no apology needed, though I did have to read your comment 98 twice to get the message of what you were saying!

    Yes, I think one possible answer is that people like Glikson have been brainwashed by their clique into thinking that skeptics must all be ill-informed and/or stupid.
    But after five rounds of debate with Jo and the rest of you here he should now be aware that that’s not the case. I suppose a possible answer to that is that perhaps he doesn’t even bother to read the comments!

    One more thing – I wonder if Glikson is aware of how Rahmstorf faked fig 3 in his reference A, the Copenhagen report, to “hide the decline” in recent temperatures?
    If not he can read all about it at Lucia’s blog.


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    Glenn Tamblyn

    Speedy
    First to your BOAE calc.

    Your equation is 0.945 * (287)^0.25

    The correct one would be (0.945^0.25)*287

    but they both give about the same result. Just over 4 Degrees. Then look at the temperature range over the current Ice Age period from the vostok cores. Around 10 Deg. So lowering the mid point for this by 4 degrees is significant.

    Then to your assumptions.
    The others are reasonable but “Identical global albedo/reflectance

    This won’t necessarily be true. Cloud cover might be a bit lower
    due to lower moisture content in the atmosphere although what the net warming/cooling effect of this would be depends on changes in different cloud types.

    But Surface Albedo would also change.

    More BOAE calcs. Land, Water etc have an Albedo of between 0.6 to 0.9; say 0.75 average. Ice is 0.1 to 0.2; say 0.15 average. If Ice cover increased by 10% of the planets surface due to Ice Age conditions (not unreasonble in Ice Age conditions),
    0.1 * (0.75-0.15) = 0.06 net change in total albedo. This would be an effect comparable to the magnitude of solar output change.

    ((0.945*0.94)^0.25) * 287 = 8.4 Deg cooler less any net effect from cloud changes. Flip a coin for what the cloud effect changes would do +/-.

    So without CO2, that is a significant cooling. Not trivial at all.

    “Let’s calculate how much warmer it is supposed to have been due to the elevated CO2. If we say that the Ordovician atmospheric CO2 content was about 5000 ppm, then this is equivalent to about 3.65 “doublings” of CO2 compared to our current level of about 390 ppm. Depending on who you listen to, each doubling could cause as much as 3 K increase in temperature. So 3.65 doublings would give us an 11 degree temperature increase – that didn’t happen, did it? ”
    False logic. There is an increased radiative forcing due CO2 but also a reduced forcing due to lower solar output.

    So if CO2 did drop during the Ordovician as Young et al have reported, then 3 or so CO2 doublings down could well trigger an Ice Age situation. Remember, we are in Ice Age conditions now. Just because the climate cycles between Glacial & Inter-Glacial stages doesn’t mean the entire era we are in isn’t an Ice Age. Ice Ages have cycles of Galcial & Interglacial. Where as the 22 DegC period at the high point in those graphs was not Ice Age at all.

    Next to Royer. Note the regions where Temps are fairly stable (within the limits of the data available of course.) Yet Solar Radiation is increasing. The important correlation is between combined Solar & CO2 forcing vs temperature (fig 2). Without this Temperature should be rising. As to the CO2 trails Temp’s from the Ice Cores. This is a sceptics furphy. CO2 doesn’t have to lead or exactly match Temps since it is one of several factors involved. So to for the longer time scale in Royer. The factors are Solar Insolation, CO2, Water Vapour, Albedo and Clouds. So there is good correlation between CO2 + Solar vs Temps. And to show that CO2 is not significantly causative you need to invalidate the radiative physics of CO2.
    Often sceptics put forward arguments about how there may be other factors. And there are, some well recognised, some more hotly debated or disputed. But the scpetic aregument often ends up being ‘if it these other things, then it isn’t CO2′. As if one process anishes just because there are other processes. To invalidate CO2 as a GH gase the radiative physics needs to be invalidated. Alternatives have no bearing on this question. The DO have a bearing on the discussion of relative contributions, Climate Sensitivity etc. What some sceptics miss is if they are showing Climate is sensitive to othr factors, they are also often supplying evidence supporting its general sensitivity to any factor, including CO2.

    And so to your cite of the Beer-Lambert Law to Andrew and me. Beer-Lambert is a very simplistic description of the radiation transfer. It was developed in the 18th & 19th centuries, long before our current understanding of the Quantum Mechanics of atoms, light etc. It also has a number of assumptions.

    From Wiki ==========================
    The derivation assumes that every absorbing particle behaves independently with respect to the light and is not affected by other particles. Error is introduced when particles are lying along the same optical path such that some particles are in the shadow of others. This occurs in highly concentrated solutions. In practice, when large absorption values are measured, dilution is required to achieve accurate results. Measurements of absorption in the range of I1 / I0 = 0.1 to 1 are less affected by shadowing than other sources of random error. In this range, the ODE model developed above is a good approximation; measurements of absorption in this range are linearly related to concentration. At higher absorbances, concentrations will be underestimated due to this shadow effect unless one employs a more sophisticated model that describes the non-linear relationship between absorption and concentration.

    There are at least five conditions that need to be fulfilled in order for Beer’s law to be valid. These are:

    1.The absorbers must act independently of each other;
    2.The absorbing medium must be homogeneously distributed in the interaction volume and must not scatter the radiation;
    3.The incident radiation must consist of parallel rays, each traversing the same length in the absorbing medium;
    4.The incident radiation should preferably be monochromatic, or have at least a width that is more narrow than the absorbing transition; and
    5.The incident flux must not influence the atoms or molecules; it should only act as a non-invasive probe of the species under study. In particular, this implies that the light should not cause optical saturation or optical pumping, since such effects will deplete the lower level and possibly give rise to stimulated emission.

    If any of these conditions is not fulfilled, there will be deviations from Beer’s law.

    ==========================

    Also the law does not take account of re-radiation.
    It also does not account for modern spectroscopic knowledge. Note condition 4. The width of the individual absorption lines within the absorption region (and there are 100′s of separate lines) varies with pressure and temperature so the lines are clearer and sharper at high altitude compared to sea level. A great deal of modern understanding of IR transmission through the atmosphere is about the processes of absorption and re-radiation through out the atmosphere until some radiation makes it high enough to get a clear path out to space. How this changes with altitude is an important part of that. Also. what does the Beer-Lambert Law alone tell us about downwelling Longwave radiation which has been known about for over 50 years – there’s that re-radiation part again.

    Next you accept that absorption increase decays logarithmically with concentration, then you throw in the non-quantitative statement “then further CO2 concentrations (beyond, say, 200 ppm) have a miniscule and diminishingly small impact on the degree of infra-red absorbtion.” Diminishing yes, but not insignificant. The IPCC estimate, based on Myhre et al 1998 is 5.35 *ln(2) per doubling – 3.7 W/M^2. Not insignificant compared to the 11 year Solar Cycle TSI variation of around 0.1 W/M^2

    You also refer to Henry’s law in another post. Henry’s Law is another one developed in the early 19th Century. This simple definition from Wiki is

    “At a constant temperature, the amount of a given gas dissolved in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid.” It also has a temperature dependency as well.

    What is missing from the simple application of the law is its derivation. In my University days (many years ago) we sat through interminable derivations of the formulae and Laws we were to use. The take home message was what the Law was. However, it is all to easy to fall into the trap of forgetting the original derivation of the law, and the underlying assumptions it is based on. And sometime the assumptions are really important. If the assumptions don’t apply, the law may not apply.

    Ignoring the temperature dependency of Henry’s Law, for now, the law is based on transport rates across a phase boundary and that the equilibrium concentrations/partial pressures in each phase will come into balance based on the appropriate constant for each mixture of substances. However it assumes that the two reservoirs have even concentrations across their entire volumes and that any change in one due to a flow from the other will be quickly distributed evenly across that volume. This isn’t too bad an

    assumption for the atmosphere due to the reasonable mixing time of gases in the air relative to the rate of change of CO2 levels.

    However it is a very questionable assumption when we are talking about mixing of dissolved gases through the body of the ocean. At this point we are talking about diffusion rates in water which is not Henry related and then any impacts of pressure, temperature, salinity, ocean currents, thermal gradients etc on this diffusion. I certainly don’t have data for this but I would strongly expect that the rates of movement of CO2 away from the Ocean surface would be much slower than the rate at which it can cross the Air/Ocean boundary.

    Therefore the expectation would be that the limiting factor in how fast the Oceans can take up CO2 is the rate at which transport to lower levels can proceed. Otherwise you would see a Henry-like mechanism only near the surface – how near? Metres? 10′s of Metres? So Henry’s Law would predict a slow down of absorption by the surface layers of the ocean since they are approaching balance with the air because clearance of CO2 from the surface to the depths is the limiting factor. Given enough time we would expect some sort of Henry-like equilibrium to prevail through the whole body of the oceans once CO2 emission levels have stabilised. And the Temperature component of Henry’s Law would matter here with the the huge variation of temperatures through the body of the ocean. But what are the time scales associated with this?

    What matters is the time constant for this transmission-to-depth process, otherwise we are talking about just a Henry equilibrium between the Air and the surface layers. And since these surface layers would probably be a very much smaller fraction of the ocean, the percentage of Airborne CO2 absorbed would be much less and the concentration increase in the surface layers much higher than if we do the same calculation for the entire ocean volume.

    Also, another factor in Henry’s Law again quoting from Wiki: “It also only applies simply for solutions where the solvent DOES NOT REACT CHEMICALLY with the gas being dissolved. A common example of a gas that does react with the solvent is CARBON DIOXIDE, which forms CARBONIC ACID (H2CO3) to a certain degree with water.” (my emphasis).

    So Henry’s Law does not even apply properly even in those surface layers. And there is some of that Acidification stuff again. The long term equilibrium concentrations may not create a biologically significant ph change, but the short term impacts in the surface layer might well. And this has a bearing on comparisons to past changes – how fast was the CO2 change in the past and thus how much did ph change in the surface layers as a consequence.

    This use of Henry’s Law & Beer-Lambert for me brings to mind a common ‘discourse’ I see on sceptic sites. Someone will make a statement something like … “But so and so’s law says blah blah blah and ‘The Climate Scientists’, with their COMPUTER MODELS! (boo hiss) don’t understand this. How come we are paying for these idiots? Its all a Scam!”

    Let me suggest that the ‘Climate Scientists’, from a huge range of disciplines DO understand these Laws.

    AND!

    They also understand the limitations in applying them outside their range of valid assumptions. So Henry’s Law alone isn’t enough, hence the need for additional mechanisms for analysing diffusion transport in the oceans for example or estimating the time constants for this transport. The scientists actually know what they are doing and know when they have to look behind a simple law to the underlying physical processes. It is the armchair experts and even worse the Commentator Scientists expressing opinions outside their field who are often guilty of perhaps unwitting idiocy (and that is the charitable explanation). A little knowledege is a dangerous thing and all that…

    But to the large number of not scientifically educated lay public, how do they identify the really qualified people from the merely noisy ones. Henry’s Law or Beer-Lambert may sound impressive for example, until you look deeper and realise that maybe it is all a bit simplistic.

    Cheers,

    Glenn


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    janama

    There’s really not much point in Prof Andrew Glikson addressing this Blog if he’s not going to become involved.

    You can’t stand on your high horse and expect us to bow to your knowledge, we aren’t your students, we are your critics. Now answer us or be ignored.


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    Mark

    Glen #114

    Is all that gobbledygook another way of saying:

    “We can’t account for the lack of warming and it’s a travesty that we can’t.”


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    Baa Humbug

    PaulM: #113
    May 27th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Thanx for the link, I hadn’t seen that at Lucias before.

    (blogging can be a lot like texting, hard to know the emotive content that us humans rely so much on. maybe I should use more emoticons) :)


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    Bush Bunny

    I’m back DR Glikson? I do have a degree Dr G in Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology from UNE, Armidale (2005) One of my favorite lecturers is Prof Mike Morewood at ANU. (Who is involved and lead the team to Flores and with his colleague from UNE, Prof Peter Brown described Homo floresensis or The Hobbit.

    However, when Al Gore got on the climate change gravy train, that is slowly being derailed. People started to listen, and others philosophically and politically motivated for various reasons, have materially benifitted from Al Gore’s unscientific and fraudulently produced hypothesis to support AGW.

    May I suggest and with great respect is that your hypothesis, is screwed up beyond belief. Your hypothesis is based on data and hand picked to prove what? Basically human activities and the increase of CO2 in our atmosphere will generate catastrophic climate change, and kill us all off eventually unless we mend our ways. In the mean time tax and reduce CO2 emissions that will stabilise the climate? Errr, why? To feather the coffers of the likes of Pachauri from the UN IPCC and TERI Europe and India and Al Gore with their carbon trading investments, permits, and investments in Clean Energy if there is such a thing. Well they will benefit if the AGW crap and corresponding Cap ‘N Trade or ETS schemes are legislated. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

    May I refer you to page 37 of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Archeology (1980)It’s out of print now, but I still have my copy.

    “…Material culture is now regarded not merely as a means of adapting to the environment, but as a kind of language through which individual needs and desires are expressed. The conscious and subconscious structures in the human mind impose their patterning on the external world created by ‘man’ – they constitute his culture…” Well we all know that some go for materialism and financial gain as their gospel in life. At the expense of truth.

    Humans propose, Nature deposes. The worst catastrophes that have killed off millions of people and/or any living organisms are caused by the natural world or from some ill conceived human induced failure to adapt to the natural environment. Bar world wars, and plagues of course. Obviously during the last say 2000 years, the richer and military strength (like the Romans and British) and subsequently industralised developed countries have succeeded far better than so called undeveloped countries. And since time memorial the more affluent a person is the better chance of survival. Unless one is killed off by viruses, and bacteria or warfare or an angry Mammoth. LOL That appears non discriminate of social standing.

    Your Pliocene image (Fig 4) shows what you consider NASA’s imagined coverage of deserts and vegetation global cover suggest, in the modern equation, the world has changed. Well of course it has, it has dictated human evolution and adaptation to his/her natural environment. Through a series of warmer periods and ice ages, and mini ice ages. Or interstadials (warmer periods). We are exiting one now.

    More recently to their material and cultural environment also. The AGW fraud, is there expressing the material needs of some at the expense of others, as climate change is being blamed on purely human activity. Got nothing to do with climate change, sustainability and adapting to another ice age.

    During the Pliocene, the only procursers of Homo sapien sapien, where Australopithines. That’s around
    3.5 – 1.5 million years ago. And they only evolved in Africa. They didn’t make tools, and survived on their knowledge of their environment. Poor little things were up against nature to survive at all. They were scavengers at best, probably mainly gatherers and were preyed on by larger carnivores, ie. Sabre tooth tiger or his/her ancestors, Crocodiles, etc. All creatures need water, that the Australopithicines seemed to gather around.

    But they had to eat to survive, and from dentition, they
    were grinding their food meaning they were generally vegetarians. They certainly hadn’t discovered fire, so didn’t cook their food, by the ice age Neandertals had.

    If anything Dr G., from my studies it seems to suggest, that this globe will slowly descend into another ice age, such as the mini ice age from 1300 – 1800s, even so
    the Medieval Warm Period, from 800-1300 was much warmer than today. That’s in the Northern Hemisphere of course.

    I would predict bar some asteroid impact that this globe
    by 3000 will be in the grip of another bad ice age, as suggested by Stephen Schneider in the 1970s, who changed his tune when one of Al Gore’s chief scientific
    advisers with James Hansen suggested the opposite to make the “Inconvenient Truth”.

    Sustainability yes. But don’t throw your Ugh boots away yet, it will get cooler. Oh, we will still get summers etc., but we will have to adapt accordingly in the future.


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    Bush Bunny

    I hope I haven’t appeared too disrespectful to Dr G. However, I see the motivators and driving forces behind of these AGW beliefs as being politically motivated, as well as philosophically too for example the Green faction, who believe in material equality, global governance etc. But also mainly to make money out of Carbon trading permits and also clean energy or green energy.

    Their so called AGW science is so flawed, and CO2 alone has no impact on the weather. Let alone the climate! Well yes, when pollution is involved and atmospheric conditions favor the development of SMOGS etc. We all know this has happened in the past, like the London pea soupers and SMOGS in the 1950s. But it only effected
    inner Londoners.

    Anyhow, I’ve said enough, now it’s up to those of you more scientifically knowledgeable than me to take up the batten and go forth further.


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    Barry Woods

    118Bush Bunny:
    May 27th, 2010 at 8:07 pm
    Unless one is killed off by viruses, and bacteria or warfare or an angry Mammoth”

    surely ‘angry polar bear’ would be more appropiate ;)


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    Bush Bunny

    LOL, Unless polar bears were in Southern Europe, that I doubt, there was the giant cave bear though. They were around in numbers. They stood 12 feet high on just their hind legs.
    I only mentioned the hairy elephant being the cold weather version of the African elephant.

    After the last glacial period ended lots of megafauna disappeared, partly due to climate change. There is evidence of a giant buffalo in Northern America? Probably humans had some influence on their extinctions, but very small I think, climate change would have been the main reason evidence shows.


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    Barry Woods

    mammoths were very much around in the northern hemisphere…..


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    MattB

    Speedy in 111 I’ll have to dig mine out but I’m pretty sure it was MathsIII A, MathsII B, Physics A, Chemistry A, French A, English Lit B. Plus the French award… but I’ll not put too much weight on that after Brian gave me a keyboard lashing last time I posted any French here.


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    http://pgosselin.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/mammonth-junk-science/

    Mammoth Junk Science

    11,500 years ago, man supposedly helped kill off the mammoth.
    So, methane emissions fell,
    and of course the earth was plunged back into an ice age because of reduced GHG’s according to AGW “theory”…

    Quack, Quack………Oooooops.


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    Olaf Koenders

    Speedy:

    As an aside, it is interesting that people are concerned about oceanic acidification in the present climate. As you indicate, CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been around 8000 ppm during the evolution of oceanic life. I’m assuming corals and shellfish coped.

    What nobody can understand, is why CAGWists either have forgotten, don’t know or completely ignore the fact we have the un-dissolved fossils of corals and shellfish from these eras in our museums. Paleontologists globally should be very disturbed by AGW “hype-othesis” and current governmental agendas.


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    MattB

    As an aside, there are fish in the ocean but how come they die if I put them in a lake. As an aside there are bears living in the Arctic how come pandas die if they go live in the arctic.

    Message to Olaf and Speedy. Different species… evlolution… take your pick. non arguments based on nonscience. Again how can any serious skeptic ask such stupid questions?


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    Bernd Felsche

    Bush Bunny:

    Financial driving forces. Keep in mind those names when dealing with the politics of the companies.

    If you’re going to be e.g. interviewed by the BBC, then be aware that their pension fund depends on the promotion of the CAGW myth.

    My superannuation fund didn’t take my investment out of the stupid stuff in April 2008 when I told them, so by September, it was all gone. The fund “managers” really aren’t interested in the verity of the investment; nor are the other large corporates. To them, it’s the microsecond profits that they reap. They cannot after all allow themselves to understand that it’s a fraud. Knowing makes them criminally liable, whereas (feigned) ignorance continues to be rewarded.

    With easily-digestable material such as the Sceptic’s Handbook, one can make sure that those responsible can be shown to have been reasonably aware; especially in the light of Climategate and revelations of the hodge-podge IPCC Reports.


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    Olaf Koenders

    MattB:

    As an aside, there are fish in the ocean but how come they die if I put them in a lake. As an aside there are bears living in the Arctic how come pandas die if they go live in the arctic. Message to Olaf and Speedy. Different species… evlolution… take your pick. non arguments based on nonscience. Again how can any serious skeptic ask such stupid questions?

    I see you failed to note that corals and shellfish are made of aragonite, which is chemically no different to their shells of today.

    Further, you failed to realise oceans can’t become acidic as they constantly brush against alkaline shores. Currently, the oceans have a PH of 7.9 – 8.3, which is alkaline (each 1.0 is 10x higher than the last). The only change oceans could make in the negative is to become anoxic. I mean, they’re not even neutral yet. Parts of the oceans are anoxic (where no current exists to infuse oxygen) however, bacteria survive.

    I’m well aware of the CAGWist argument stating that the oceans are becoming too acidic for life, however if their math is taken into account they expect Jurassic oceans to have a PH level of battery acid, which is impossible. Drinking soda water isn’t classified as dangerous yet and, the bottle’s under pressure, containing far more CO2 than the oceans ever could.

    CO2 levels have been known to drop sharply in past aeons, which would have killed off those corals and shellfish if current beliefs are to be adhered to. That hasn’t happened, since we have their direct descendants happily paddling round the oceans today, which are a huge buffer compared to our measly atmosphere.

    To argue the difference between saltwater and freshwater fish via atmospheric CO2 is stretching the rubber band. I can see your point, but oceanic climate has changed little compared to terra firma conditions.


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    MattB

    Olaf I’ve not heard of aragonite before, but it took me 30 seconds of internet research to call your bluff:

    “Aragonite forms naturally in almost all mollusk shells, and as the calcareous endoskeleton of warm- and cold-water corals (Scleractinia). Because the mineral deposition in mollusk shells is strongly biologically controlled, some crystal forms are distinctively different from those of inorganic aragonite. In some mollusks, the entire shell is aragonite; in others, aragonite forms only discrete parts of a bimineralic shell (aragonite plus calcite).” wiki

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/326/5956/1098
    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2010/01/graph-of-day-aragonite-saturation-in_07.html
    http://www.teachingclimatelaw.org/2009/11/23/new-article-on-aragonite-undersaturation-in-the-arctic-ocean/


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    BobC

    Michael Cejnar: @ #93
    May 27th, 2010 at 9:51 am
    CO2 ‘lifetime’ or ‘adjustment’ time or ‘perturbation’ time is the time it takes for a step increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration to be absorbed into reservoirs and its time will be longer than the residence time, but the question is how much?

    This graph, previously linked in post #5, answers this question with a direct experiment (the relaxation of nuclear bomb-produced C14-containing CO2).

    The answer is: a half-life of about 10 years.

    The claim that “residence time” and “lifetime” are somehow fundamentally different is an attempt to wiggle out from under the actual CO2 measurement studies. Basic chemistry tells us that the “lifetime” (of a concentration pulse) and “residence time” (of an individual molecule) are related simply by the sizes of the respective reservoirs and the rates of creation/destruction. This graph demonstrates that hypothetical long “lifetimes” are not viable.


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  • #

    May I add for comparison that the plot I linked to in post 87 shows what the IPCC actually models,
    care of the Bern Carbon cycle model.

    It could be said to be a fifth permanent life – unbelievable.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Glen,

    The Beer-Lambert law (absorptivity = log of intensity ratios proportional to concentration)

    is derived in the limiting case for infinitely dilute mixtures. There are innumerable reasons for the strict proportionality falling off, suffice to say, at concentrations less than order E-03 in most mixtures (with non-interfering species at the wavelengths of interest i.e. maximum intensity of absorption of the portion of the spectrum used to make the measurements) the errors of the measurements exceed the theoretical deviations anyway and so there is no way (in practice) to account for non-linear deviations in any case.

    Rube Goldberg would have been so proud of Greenhouse Gas theory of warming the Earth!


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    Brian G Valentine

    “Whac-a-mole” approach to making the “greenhouse” idea work, despite all the internal contradictions inherent in it:

    *GAME OVER*


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    Speedy

    Glenn @ 114

    Thanks for your thesis! Last night we had friends around from Canada. The chateaubriand was magnificant, the wine was pleasant and the company was excellent. Unfortunately, it also meant that your post dropped off my list of priorities.

    But it isn’t forgotten.

    I’ll get back to you when I have time on the weekend but in the meantime perhaps you would like to consider the global temperature when the sun’s luminescence was 75% of today and ALL of the earth’s oxygen was present as CO2. (Pre stromatalite (spelling?) days.)

    How much CO2 does it need for a runaway greenhouse?

    In the context of Henry’s Law, I might also point out that the formaiton of chemical associations (such as the “H2CO3″ you mention) REDUCES the activity of a component in a solution and thus INCREASES the driving force for transferring CO2 from the atmosphere to the oceans. In exactly the same way as locking CO2 up in corals, crabs and shellfish.

    Again, thanks for your comments.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Speedy

    Mattb @ 123

    That’s amazing. To think – you used to be smart!

    I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.

    Cheers

    Speedy


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    Glenn Tamblyn

    BobC

    “This graph, previously linked in post #5, answers this question with a direct experiment (the relaxation of nuclear bomb-produced C14-containing CO2). ”

    Using this graph to determine CO2 half life for absorption by the ocean isn’t really valid. It isn’t taking into account C14O2 take up by plants.

    “The claim that “residence time” and “lifetime” are somehow fundamentally different is an attempt to wiggle out from under the actual CO2 measurement studies. Basic chemistry tells us that the “lifetime” (of a concentration pulse) and “residence time” (of an individual molecule) are related simply by the sizes of the respective reservoirs and the rates of creation/destruction. ”

    You are overlooking the time taken for a slow mixing ‘reservoir’ such as the ocean to equalise concentrations across the ‘reservoir’. If this equalisation time is much lower than the times associated with the transfer across the air/water interface then the component of water reservoir close to the interface is unable to ‘clear’ additional CO2 to the rest of the reservoir, thus making the effective size of the reservoir much smaller. And CO2 release isn’t a single concentration pulse. It is an on-going release.


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    Glenn Tamblyn: Post 136

    ” then the component of water reservoir close to the interface is unable to ‘clear’ additional CO2 to the rest of the reservoir (1),
    thus making the effective size of the reservoir much smaller(2).
    And CO2 release isn’t a single concentration pulse. It is an on-going release(3). ”

    1) Planckton can and do, the water does not have to do it on it’s own as such. A bloom will reduce the level of dissolved CO2, so allowing the water to dissolve more CO2.

    2) Planckton get eaten by lots of things that move throughout the reservoir in life and death. The food chain increases the size of the available reservoir.

    3)Particularly dependent upon SST variations, and seasonal Artic / Antarctic sinking of cold water. The amount the oceans can (and do – using IPCC figures) absorb, if left unchecked would strip the atmosphere of all CO2 in about 7 to 8 years only.


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    Speedy

    Glenn @ 136

    Residence time distribution is a well-used tool in chemical engineering, useful for describing all types of physical and chemical systems – including big ones.

    Typically, a residence time distribution is measured by introducing a pulse or step change to the system (typically some sort of tracer) and then watching the decline in the tracer value over time as it either reacts or is physically displaced from the system. A good text such as Leibenspeil will show you how this works, for both step change and pulse input changes. For the purposes of this current argument, the atom bomb tests were a very handy pulse input, from which people who know what they’re doing can calculate the take-up rate by the rest of the system.

    BobC is right.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Mark D.

    Speedy, a word of advice; if you take Glenn on in comments, limit yourself to two or three individual points at a time. No one can out-type Glenn Tamblyn! I still have to find the time to break down his last reply here: http://joannenova.com.au/2010/04/no-dr-glikson/ take a case of beer or wine and settle in for some insight.

    Glenn, I have not forgotten.


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    Brian G Valentine

    you take Glenn on in comments, limit yourself to two or three individual points at a time.

    For what purpose, Mark?

    You aren’t responding to Glen, you’re responding to Wiki, which Glen is throwing at you ad libitem. That’s pointless.

    Here, I’ll prove it:

    Glen, explain to us the physical basis of Henry’s and Beer-Lambert law.

    What assumptions are made in their derivation?

    [no Wiki]


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    Speedy

    MarkD @ 139

    He’s definitely not a man of few words, is he?

    But seriously he did make a meal of his post. He’s agreeing that solar dimming gives us 4 K of cooling, but that that’s enough to give us the Ordovician Ice Ages, even with the CO2 levels in the 1000′s of ppm. To create his ice age in the first place, he has had to invoke the conditions present during an ice age, and even those assumptions are speculative. The effect of extreme elevated CO2 was clearly so weak that it could not offset a even modestly cooler sun than we have today.

    And, as has been pointed out earlier in this thread, atmospheric oxygen all began as CO2 until the stromatalites converted it to oxygen. This was around the period that the Banded Iron Formation (BIF) deposits were forming in the Pilbara – the oxygenated atmosphere caused the ferrous iron in solution to precipitate as ferric iron (strictly speaking, it was probably a magnetite, Fe3O4, which is a mixture of ferrous and ferric iron).

    I read his response as supporting the basic premise that CO2 concentrations (beyond, say 200 ppm) have only a minor role in the climate. This is demonstrated by the elevated CO2 levels during the Ordovician Ice Age, notwithstanding the minor cooling effect of diminished solar luminesence.

    He’s a sceptic, he just doesn’t know it yet.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Speedy

    Brian @ 140

    Are you suggesting they could just replace Glenn with a bit of Google-style software, a connection to Wiki and a computer log-in?

    Say this hasn’t happened already! Please!

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Mark D.

    Speedy said:

    “He’s a sceptic, he just doesn’t know it yet.”

    I say he’s a denier and denies it yet!

    Brian, your point is taken. However Glenn has been more polite than any other die hard. Persistent, ideological, fearful and religious, yes.

    I have just the smallest hope that we can change him (call me a fool)


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    co2isnotevil

    Speedy,

    At perihelion, we get about 80 W/m^2 more from the Sun than during aphelion and should expect the global average temperature to be about 4C warmer than at aphelion. The signature we see in the global average temperature is opposite to this where the globes average temperature is about 4C cooler instead. The reason for the 8C swing is the increased reflectivity from the N hemisphere snow pack, which, coincidentally, is near it’s maximum at perihelion.

    During ice ages, the snow pack is no longer seasonal, and this 8C offset is more permanent. While linearly adding temperatures is not really valid, it’s a reasonable approximation over small ranges. Add 8C to 4C and we have the 12C swing we see in the ice cores.

    The warmists will claim that this illustrates the positive feedback from ice, which of course it does, but more than that, it quantifies it. Moreover, being in an interglacial period, the planet is relatively close to minimum ice. What happens at minimum ice, is that the positive feedback stops, simply because there’s no more ice to melt and decrease the planets reflectivity. Similarly, the feedback drops in the other direction as the planet reaches maximum ice. This illustrates the concept of clamped feedback, which ice certainly is, yet the warmists seem to think that it’s effect extends indefinitely, long after all of the ice has melted.

    George


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    Brian G Valentine

    Didn’t you hear about that, Mark?

    It’s called “Troll-Bot”

    It was developed by the NASA. The program goes after “denialist” web sites, seeks out certain phrases, and responds with the collection of statements and meaningless questions used ad nauseam by the global warmers until anyone foolish enough to attempt to defeat it gets sick from exasperation.


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    MattB

    Hey Speedy – and to think I first studied AGW and wind power in year 10! Imagine how smart I was before that…


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    Mark D.

    Brian, Really? NASA? …….line error…. does not compute does not compute does not…I’m sorry Dave I can’t do that…..does not…no proof….natural solar variation….not….does…comp ….Pffffffffffft.


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    Brian G Valentine

    … and to think I first studied AGW and wind power in year 10!

    Were these undertaken in conjunction with studies in dialectical materialism, Matt?


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    MattB

    Um no – I’ll have to look that up on Google Brian. Oh I see Marxism… sorry you must have me confused with a Green Left Weekly seller.


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    Speedy

    Mark D @143

    And I bet that once the penny drops for him, he won’t be a happy camper…

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Lennart of Sweden

    Dear all,

    What is the true (total) temperature forcing of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere? This is the main point to answer.

    The misconception in the whole (C)AGW-meme is that all the temperature difference of 33°C between the mean surface temperature of earth (~15°C) and the BB radiation of earth (~ -18°C) is attributed to greenhouse gases.

    This is NOT true.

    The sensitivity in temperature from GHG is only a fraction of this temperature difference.

    The adiabatic lapse rate in the atmosphere due to gravity of the planet(compression of air) is the main explanation for the 33°C that make the earth habitable. Lapse rate in the atmosphere is also the main reason for the surface temperature of Venus (~460°C) as well (not any runaway GH-warming there). The GHGs contribute only slightly and, together with the suns heating of the surface, maintains the convection of the atmosphere in order to upheld the heat due to the lapse rate compression.

    Why is this seldom discussed or recognised?

    With this in mind: AGW can NOT be true – it is not measurable.

    For an extensive discussion on this I recommend WUWT and .

    Regards/LS


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    Lennart of Sweden

    The links didn’t follow as expeced, hera they are:

    For an extensive discussion on this I recommend WUWT
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/06/hyperventilating-on-venus/#more-19270
    and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/08/venus-envy/#more-19311.

    Regards/LS


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    Olaf Koenders

    MattB @ #129..

    Olaf I’ve not heard of aragonite before, but it took me 30 seconds of internet research to call your bluff:

    You may try, but failed again on that point. Your quote from Wiki doesn’t at all allude to evolution being the contributing factor in saving aragonite-based mollusks from acidic oceans past to present. It merely points out that all species have aragonite shells of some form or another, in which case, the aragonite never dissolved.

    Further, you should understand it’s proven that temp change precedes CO2 change by some 800 years or so, right?

    Right.

    At any time in Earth’s past, temp goes up, so does CO2 after some 800 years. If CO2 were the bad guy, its rise would create more temp, creating more CO2, more temp, more CO2, more temp.. You’re basically saying that we should have had a Venus atmosphere and climate AT LEAST 500Mya. This hasn’t happened. The reason being, most CAGWists think that CO2′s effects are linear, which they’re not. Co2 in atmosphere as well as ocean has a logarithmic function:

    http://joannenova.com.au/globalwarming/graphs/log-co2/log-graph-lindzen-choi-web.gif

    Notably, oceanic CO2 is further buffered by PH value, for every whole number increase or decrease requires 10 times the concentration. The oceans have a current PH of 7.9 – 8.3. They’re alkaline and 10 times concentration from even becoming neutral. The oceans also constantly brush against alkaline shores containing carbonatite rocks. Further still, the oceans have FAR greater CO2 capacity than atmosphere. I urge you to become an autodidact (look it up) by understanding the following paper.

    http://sppiblog.org/news/new-sppi-paper-on-nrdcs-ocean-acidification-scare-film

    It doesn’t take extreme knowledge and argument regarding forcings, feedbacks and mathematical minutiae to understand that historical evidence provides most of the answers. You might call our bluff, but you can’t win by holding the wrong deck of cards. I applaud you for holding on to your beliefs, however.


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    Speedy

    Olaf @ 153

    Olaf, please try to be nice to MattB. He used to be a genius.

    As to the paradox you mention, I think it is an elegant destruction of the AGW theory. To my simple mind, it reads as follows: The solubility of CO2 decreases in water (pressure being fixed of course) as temperature increases. (MattB, Glenn, etc, consider consult Wiki if you think this is wrong! :) )

    If, Olaf, as you mention, we take the premise that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere increases global temperatures, I suppose the temperature of the oceans will increase as well. This, after all, is what the arm-waving is all about.

    Which causes the oceans to release CO2. Which causes the global temperatures rise. Which makes the oceans hotter. Which causes the oceans to release CO2.

    Which causes global temperatures to rise. Which makes the oceans hotter. Which causes global temperatures to rise. Which makes the oceans hotter. Which causes the oceans to release CO2….

    And so on, ad infinitum until we are all nicely broiled. Our embarrassing habit of ongoing respiration pretty well nullifies this theory, I would suspect, eh?

    Funny enough, the earth has been around for 4.5 billion years and we haven’t had a runaway greenhouse. We’re either very, very lucky or there’s something we’re not being told. Maybe we’re not being told that changes in atmospheric CO2 have a miniscule effect on the
    global climate.

    Unfortunately, the people whose jobs rely on propogating the AGW theory seem to disagree… I don’t know why. Perhaps their belief in science is only second to their belief in a pay packet next Thursday?

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Speedy

    Olaf @ 153

    Beg to differ on one point, however. The best you could do is applaud their faith or their (supposedly good) intentions, however misguided they may be. Propogating lies is not commendable, even when it is done by the most noble of individuals.

    For this reason, I find it very hard to feel sympathetic to the Taliban or to AGW fundamentalists as a group.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Colin Henderson

    I have finally gotten around to taking a close look at the logic behind this article – or the lack thereof. At the end of the first paragraph is this unreferenced “belief” statement:

    “Modulation of the atmosphere by trace greenhouse gases (H2O, CO2, CH4, N2O, Ozone), exchanged with the hydrosphere and the biosphere, constrains surface temperatures in the approximate range of -89.4oC to +58oC.”

    Do we have blinders on? What about the influence on global temperature of: 1) The Sun, 2) The thermal inertia of the oceans, 3) Weather, etc. etc. etc.

    This entire diatribe is based on the unproven assumption that global temperature is solely mediated by water, bad breath, cow farts, noxious gas and OZ.


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    Olaf Koenders

    Speedy @ 154..

    Olaf, please try to be nice to MattB. He used to be a genius.

    Sorry, I was desperately trying to be humbled with honour.. ;)

    As to the paradox you mention, I think it is an elegant destruction of the AGW theory

    Elegant? Damn! I was hoping for an instantaneous crushing impact with lots of guts etc. Failed again.. :P

    Colin Henderson @ 156 also adds crushing weight to the argument, whereby oceanic oscillations are pretty much ignored. However, Solar forcing is considered by AGW hype-othesisers which still doesn’t hurt the Jurassic’s 10-15x today’s CO2, with approximately 1% less solar irradiance back then as well, which is insignificant.

    Further things not considered (which I’m sure Colin had eluded to) are Milankovich cycles and continental drift. All the puzzle pieces are there but CAGWists seem to be stuck on one minor piece. No matter how powerful their Playstations they can’t get it to fit another. As Colin said “Do we have blinders on?”, the sheer lack of actual PHYSICAL measurement, observation and lateral thinking is why AGW fails. They get so caught up in the numbers they forget the obvious and their arguments are as accurate as the weekly astrology prediction.

    As for the actual AGW scientists, who more resemble politicians these days, payday is a weekly reminder to invent another doomsday scenario in order to avoid unemployment.

    In Mann’s case, hopefully that’s just round the corner going by his latest work (a bit off topic and shouldn’t be discussed at length here, just wanted others to know):

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/MannetalScience09.pdf


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    Speedy

    Glenn.

    In response to your thesis, some very quick comments, see below. I’m not even sure you are still on thread, but I did say I’d respond – here it is.

    My algebra was wrong. Correction accepted, thank you.

    So. Global dimming was only good for 4 degrees. And this is somehow expected to explain away both the Ordovician Ice Age and the high to very high CO2 levels at the time. Looks like CO2 didn’t matter much did it? Even better when we consider that when life began, (refer stromatalites) the atmospheric oxygen was present as CO2. The stromatalites converted the CO2 to oxygen. Obviously, 29% CO2 in the atmosphere did not create a runaway greenhouse. How much is required for goodness sake?

    You bring in other effects (cloud cover, albino differences) to add more cooling. Might be true – might not. But why don’t those same effects have any effect on today’s climate and why are they only loosely considered by the IPCC?

    Also, you seem to be assuming ice age albedo conditions to generate the ice age in the first place. These are a necessary part of your calculations in ESTABLISHING the ice age. Chicken and the egg issue here.

    There was a bit of sleight of hand in this, (more than doubling his original solar dimming effect) so your calcs have a bit of sea room to assign some temperature increases to the CO2. Sort of contrived, isn’t it?

    I don’t follow your “False Logic” assertion. I was considering (in isolation) how much heating we’re supposed to be getting from 3.65 doublings of CO2 – it works out to be about 11 degrees Celsius if you believe the numbers used to scare the children. Add that onto the negative 4 degrees from solar dimming and you finish up 7 degrees warmer than today. Hardly the stuff of ice ages. Even at 1.5 degrees per doubling, it’s still warmer then than now. The “solar dimming” argument is a red herring.

    You don’t address the fact that Royer used the CO2 data to help calculate his temperatures (as an input to the pH “correction” of his oxygen proxy.) No wonder he got a correlation and the results he wanted!

    Glenn, you don’t agree with the Vostoc ice core data even though the resolution of this data is far better than the proxies used by Royer.

    You then dispute Beer-Lambert, mentioning that it was developed in the 1800′s. I could also point out that Isaac Newton developed the Laws of Gravity in the 1600′s and they still work dandy. There have been some modifications by Einstein (1905) but these don’t
    have a measureable impact on our daily life. So it is with Beer-Lambert. There is some widening of the absorption spectrum under certain conditions (e.g. high pressures) but the quantitative effect is small. (Sort of like Einstein’s fiddling around the edges of Newton’s gravity.) The differences he describes are similar to the differences we encounter between engineering and pure science – the science is strictly correct but the engineering is good enough to build bridges etc with.

    You might also have a read of Brian’s comment at 132:

    at concentrations less than order E-03 in most mixtures (with non-interfering species at the wavelengths of interest i.e. maximum intensity of absorption of the portion of the spectrum used to make the measurements) the errors of the measurements exceed the theoretical deviations anyway and so there is no way (in practice) to account for non-linear deviations in any case.

    More Beer-Lambert. Myhre is presumably used by IPCC 2001, who cite Delta T = lambda delta F, where F is the forcing mentioned and lambda is assumed to be 0.3. So it means 1.6 K per doubling of CO2 (without any other feedbacks). (Monckton would disagree with the underlying calculations, by the way.) I could then use this change in temperature due to CO2 alone (3.65 doublings x 1.6 degrees/doubling) to get a temperature increment of 5.8 degrees. So, going back to our solar dimming effect of -3.7 degrees, we still
    finish up 2 degrees warmer than the present. Dear oh dear.

    As I mentioned before, you really make a meal of Henry’s Law. One basic problem is failing to distinguish between concentrations and chemical activities. (e.g. sea water at the surface has an oxygen concentration of 10 ppm, whereas the atmosphere has a concentration of 209,500 ppm. Yet both are at the same chemical activity in their respective phases at the interface.)

    Chemical association in a given phase REDUCES its chemical activity, and hence increases the driving force to transfer (say) CO2 from the atmosphere to the oceans.

    The rest of it is where you confuse equilibrium end point with kinetics of mass transfer. We all know CO2 transfer will happen, and the
    kinetics of the transfer can be estimated by the C14 decay rates, as BobC mentioned.

    You also seem to suggest that only “Climate Scientists” (argument from authority, yawn) can understand the practical application of
    Beer-Lambert or Henry’s Law. I disagree.

    But I do take offence at being accused of using some of the basic rules of chemistry to try to sound impressive. My intention was to demonstrate that AGW needs to defy some basic principles that govern the way this planet works for it to be credible.

    I also note, Glenn, that you are still grappling with the paradox implicit in global warming – that if CO2 does drive global temperatures, then the ample supply of CO2 in the earth’s oceans, released on the first pulse of warming, sets up a chain reaction of increasingly high CO2 concentrations and higher temperatures.

    There is no life on earth, Glenn. Never was. It’s all a figment of your imagination! ;)

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Bush bunny

    I don’t know where to start:

    MattB. Gee mate you don’t ‘alf prattle on. You noticed
    why some animals don’t live in the artic? And marine fish don’t live fresh water. Well actually some can, they have evolved like Salmon to breed in fresh water, and that’s where they eventually die too. Because of the predators that would eat their young.

    Not many humans live in the arctic either never in the Antarctic. Only the Inuits or Eskimos before western diets were introduced had a metabolism completely different from the rest of us. My lecturer told me this in a lecture. We humans can live in most places in the world, except the arctic. (Naturally that is). We depend on Carbohydrates for energy and protein secondary. Arctic dwellers eat protein and fat, like the people living in Siberia. The nomadic ones.

    So what’s that got to do with the price of eggs, MattB!
    If a living organism can reproduce it survives. If it can’t it dies off or becomes extinct. Or it evolves to adapt to its environment. Culturally as well as physically.


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    Bush bunny

    I nearly got ejected from the local Sustainable Living
    group. I mean they are soft gentle people (in someways, so long as you don’t contradict them). They want to go
    organic of course. But ban motor vehicles 5 km from
    the CBD, have solar charged electric cars, deliver free food to elderly people, wind turbines, and invited to their delight Dr Robyn Gunning who was trained by Al Gore. To talk. I was then given the opportunity to object.

    Anyway after an exchange of emails, where it was expressed that I wanted to join their group after my stance on climate change in the paper, but they accepted me as I supported what they were doing locally.

    After threatening to resign, I reneged but added “Would you be so kind to make my apologies, and if you care add tongue in cheek, “This member thinks Al Gore and Pachauri belong in jail..”.

    I bet they don’t …. I wonder why.


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    Bush bunny

    O/T This is a funny survey. I had great fun with it.
    It is about sea level rises and people buying cheap land
    but signing some agreement with the government.

    Run by the CSIRO Australia. Where waterfront homes either
    on estuaries, ocean fronts or man made water ways, tidal or not. They are very expensive to buy. Millions.
    Anyway, who would be mad enough to buy or build a house
    on flood plains, your insurance would be astronomical.

    Have fun on this

    http://www.cse.csiro.au/coastal-survey


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    Barry Woods

    if you have a debate with an audience, doesn’t the speaker usually answer the questuions that are put to him!


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    Charles

    I find the paper by Andrew Glikson quite disingenuous, but unfortunately also quite familiar in its style and tone. Like many of his colleagues in various fields of public science, he has chosen the low route with this paper by putting in a large series of highly technical assumptions, placed in a time where it cannot be independently verified, and therefore is open to endless argument.

    This is the traditional methodology for how public scientists try to exclude the layperson from the debate, and also to gain a usually beneficial outcome for themselves.

    As a person who has practised in the private science arena for nearly 30 years (not climate science), I have seen similar scenarios repeated over and over again by public scientists I was working alongside of.

    My ideal method for working through scientific and technical issues was always to reduce the argument to the simplest possible empirical terms where possible, in order to solve the issue and move onto the next one. This was because I never needed to milk an issue the way public scientists like to.

    So, coming back to climate, the deal breakers for me are:

    a) CO2 of anthropogenic origon only comprises ~3% of atmospheric CO2

    b) The paper by Beck showed empirical measurements of atmospheric CO2 over the last 160 years or so, oscillating mostly between 300-430 ppm.

    c) There was a Medieval Warming Period, a Greco-Roman Warming Period and a Bronze Age Warming Period.

    Therefore, given these three facts, AGW is falsified, and no further correspondence need to be entered into.

    However, there still remains Andrew Glikson and his colleagues who have systematically destroyed any trust or faith anybody has in most scientific fields, and through their venal pursuit of money and power have brought was previously a respected position in society, down to the level of used car dealers and real estate agents, or maybe even worse.

    The question is not how Glikson is going to defend the indefensible, but how he is going to rectify the destruction he has brought upon society and community, simply to advance himself and his friends at everyone else’s expense.


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    Bush bunny

    Charles @ 163. Spot on. I think our CSIRO are still going on about urgent reappraisals of what the government
    must do about rising sea levels. I kid you not. If you look at the survey look at what they are attempting to introduce? Irrespective to the fact the projected sea level rises caused by climate change are not only false but down right politically charged.

    If we have a full blown ice age, eventually we will but when no one is too sure. But any glacial increase will
    decrease sea levels, that are far more hazardous than any
    small rises.

    Those of you who know England, and the beaches there,
    remember all the break waters. I remember them in Bournmouth where I holidayed when a child. (Southern coast near the Isle of Wight)

    Those beaches or estuaries on the River Dee, near the peninsular the river would or estuary at low tide would go out miles like it does in other areas of UK.

    Yet this CSIR0 survey is ignoring the fact that the sea level rises like Rudd, Wong and Turnbull predict are based on false data. A lie.

    What are they going to do… qualify to make insurance for waterfront home more expensive? Charge higher rates
    by local councils, to eventually depreciate the value
    of water front homes.

    Just that most water front or estuary fronting homes like around Sydney Brisbane and main tourist areas are
    extremely expensive to buy.

    Thing is have you seen the land reclaimed from the sea
    in Dubai. Built on sand??? How are they going to cope
    eh? Or around Bermuda.

    Someone is making a fortune on the climate change fraud. And they still are reluctant to step back and reassess their scientific data.


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    Glenn Tamblyn

    Speedy

    A few points in response.

    Runaway Greenhouse.
    To have a ‘runaway’ positive feedback in any context the feedback must not only be positive, it must have a ‘gain’ greater than 1. Meaning that for every change in the base quantity due to the feedback, each feedback change must be larger than the previous one. If the gain is less than 1, it does not run away

    Mathemetically, If you have an initial value I, a perturbation P and a Gain g, the Final value F is the series sum F = I + P + Pg + Pg^2 + Pg^3 + Pg^4 ….

    Such a series will runaway if g is greater than 1. It will stabilise at a value if g is less than 1. At g = 0.5 for example it stabilises at F = I + 2P, at 0.9 at F = I + 10P

    Since the radiative forcing effect of CO2 diminishes logarithmically, ever more CO2 has a diminishing effect.

    For example at CO2 being 29% of the atmosphere way back at the dawn of the Earth, up from the current 389 ppm, that is around 9.5 doublings. 5.35 ln(9.5) is around 12 W/M^2 higher. Solar was 70% of current. Assuming Albedo the same as now, as you have gives us around 1366 *.7*.7/4 = 167 W/M^2, down from the current of 1366 *.7/4 = 239. 12 W/M^2 doesn’t really add up to enough to compensate does it? So the problem is how the Earth was warm enough to have liquid water which geological evidence says it did. As I am no doubt you are aware, this has been dubbed the Faint Young Sun problem. Even with the known GH effects of all the gases assumed to have existed then – Carbon Dioxide, Ammonia, Methane, there is still an energy shortfall. So the question isn’t whether the GH effect drops to nothing, it is that it seems to be too weak. This is still an area of active research.

    Now to the Ordovician. If you look at the graph from Royer, or if you prefer the graph from Jo Nova, page 19 of her second handbook sourced from http://www.geocraft.com (this seems to be a common source for this graph amoung the sceptic community by the way). So presumably Jo concurs on the accuracy of the graph.

    Some BOTE calcs again
    For a substantial period leading up to the Ordovician Ice Age CO2 is trending down through 5000 ppm and Temps are 22 DegC – 7 deg above the current level. As you calculated, assuming the same Albedo as now they should be 4 degrees lower, so 11 Deg difference. 5000 ppm is around 3.5 doublings from current levels. So temperature difference divided by number of doublings – 11/3.5 = 3.1 DegC per doubling. Hey Presto, right bang in the middle of the current range of estimated Climate Sensitivities.

    Go forward to 300 Myr ago during the Carboniferous Ice Age. CO2 of around current levels (by mark 1 eyeball), Temp 12 Deg C, 285 K. S/B temp should be about 287 * (.97^0.25) = 284.8 0 doublings, temperature on the money.

    Go forward to around 200-250 Myr ago. Around 2000ppm and 22 DegC. Around 2.2 doublings. S/B temp should be about 287 * (.98^0.25) = 285.5, 1.5 deg cooler, 8.5 Deg difference. 8.5/2.2 = 3.8 Deg C per doubling. A bit bigger this time.

    But during the Ordovician Ice Age, real Ice Age temp’s and seemingly high CO2. This is the only serious anomaly. Unless of course CO2 wasn’t that high then. So to the studies I have cited. I have a link to one of the earlier ones, Young et al 2009 – http://www.geology.ohio-state.edu/~saltzman/young_et_al_2009.pdf. There are other studies out there. The general theory is that a burst of major vulcanism associated with the creation of what would later be called the Appalachian Mountains resulted in CO2 outgassing balanced at the same time by increases in weathering driven removal of CO2 due to this burst of mountain building. Then the CO2 outgassing stopped but weathering driven CO2 removal continued, driving CO2 down. At the same point in time, the southern continent of Gondwana had drifted south and was over the South Pole, providing the polar land mass needed to enhance an ice age. So the Ordovician Ice Age was triggered. Why does this not show up in Royer or Jo’s graphs? As Young points out, The GEOCARB program that calculates past CO2 levels normally is used with time steps of 10 Myr. In his later paper, Young attempts to demonstrate that the onset of the CO2 drop and then the Ice Age was quite rapid and happened in less than 10 Myr, so it doesn’t show up on the graph

    My point here Speedy is that apart from the Ordovician Ice Age, the record shown in thes graphs is quite consistent with CO2 as a major driver of warming to compensate for lower solar output. The ratio’s are broadly consistent with current mainstream estimates of Climate Sensitivity. And the only anomaly in all of this, the OIA, may not be an anomaly after all. In which case a consistent picture. And note also, supporting evidence for the idea that CO2′s heating impact continues on up into the 1000′s of ppm range at least. Not infinitesimal at all.

    “You bring in other effects (cloud cover, albino differences) to add more cooling. Might be true – might not. But why don’t those same effects have any effect on today’s climate and why are they only loosely considered by the IPCC?”

    Who says they are loosely considered? Albedo is taken into consideration, and cloud cover as well. The IPCC admit that our ability to consider clouds is the weakest part of the current knowldge, but they are considered as well as currently possible. You might be interested in this, now somewhat old, lecture on various aspects of Climate science. http://www-ramanathan.ucsd.edu/RamAmbio.pdf Note the section on pages 193 to 196 on clouds, aerosols etc, including satellite studies of cloud effects.

    “Also, you seem to be assuming ice age albedo conditions to generate the ice age in the first place. These are a necessary part of your calculations in ESTABLISHING the ice age. Chicken and the egg issue here.” No, as I said above, my assumption is that the studies I cited are showing that the OIA was triggered by a CO2 decline.

    “You don’t address the fact that Royer used the CO2 data to help calculate his temperatures (as an input to the pH “correction” of his oxygen proxy.) No wonder he got a correlation and the results he wanted!” As you will have noted Royer, citing many other papers, by many other geologists, is using multiple proxies. Some are based on O18 and provision must be made for PH. Others use other methods such as Mg/Ca ratios, glendonite carbonate nodules, geological evidence for the presence of ice etc.

    “Glenn, you don’t agree with the Vostoc ice core data even though the resolution of this data is far better than the proxies used by Royer.” Wrong. I do agree with it. I disagree (as do most climate scientists) with the simplistic interpretation put onto it as a strawman argument that because CO2 lags Temps, Temps drive CO2. The better explanation is that several factors drive what the ice core shows with CO2 a lagging factor initially. Then CO2 becomes an additional factor driving change. The figure I have read for CO2′s contribution to the scale of change seen in the cores is around 40%.

    And so to Beer-Lambert
    Firstly some questions:
    Have you heard of the work of Gilbert Plass?
    Have you heard of the HITRAN Spectroscopic Database?
    Look at Jo’s 1st handbook. There on page 8 is David Archibalds now widely disseminated graph of the logarithmic nature of CO2 warming. Look at the caption “Archibald. Modtran calculations”. What is MODTRAN?
    A computer program used for performing ‘Radiative Transfer Calculations’. Calculations that add up the effect of each absorption/emission line for all the gases, spectral line by spectral line. 1000′s of them. Who owns the Patents to the MODTRAN algorithms? Spectral Sciences Inc & the US Air Force. Why do the US Air Force have an interest in a program that calculates radiative energy transfer through gases?
    Hint. Its got nothing to do with Global Warming.
    And HITRAN? This was originally created at the US Air Force from work at the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories. This in turn is from work dating back to WW II. Gathering data on the spectroscopic characteristics of gases. In the Lab. From the ground looking up. From the air looking down. From satellites looking down. With ever improving spectroscopic technologies.
    And calculations using this data from 60 years of research. And this is only 1 source. Here is a link. To Wiki (shock horror. Not definitive but a damn fine place to start looking from.) Databases of spectroscopic data. Programs for analysing it and calculating the result. Which obviously David Archibald, & Jo thought valid and appropriate. There sure seem to be a lot of people out there who don’t think B/L alone is an adequate description. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atmospheric_radiative_transfer_codes

    What does Beer-Lambert tell you about Downwelling Longwave Radiation?

    “There is some widening of the absorption spectrum under certain conditions (e.g. high pressures) but the quantitative effect is small” Really! Care to back that up with some calc’s? And which spectral line are you referring to? How does the Temp/Pressure effect on spectral line spreading impact on transfer in bands where CO2 & water bands overlap? Does this mean that when the lines are ‘fatter’ at low altitude they overlap more but at high altitude there is less overlap and thus they affect each other much less? So this changes the dynamics of where radiation transfer occurs. What aspect of B/L predicts that?

    Answer to the question of why the US Air Force is interested in spectroscopy. They have a real keen interest in how IR radiation actually, really, gets transferred through the Air. Not simplistic 19th Century explanations. Why? Something to do with making sure that IR Air-to-air missiles are reliable, that satellites don’t miss ICBM launches or confuse Lightning over Siberia with an ICBM Launch. Something to do with making Airborne Laser systems to shoot down missiles really actually work. And astronomers have a keen interest in how they should analyse light from distant stars after it has made its way through the atmosphere. All Climate Change Unrelated!

    So to Henry’s Law
    First to a question. In a post to MattB you cite a figure of 49 fiftieths of CO2 transferring to the oceans. Would you care to give a citation or calculation to back that up.

    “The rest of it is where you confuse equilibrium end point with kinetics of mass transfer. We all know CO2 transfer will happen, and the kinetics of the transfer can be estimated by the C14 decay rates, as BobC mentioned.”

    You seem to have missed my key point.

    Various posters have used the term ‘Reservoir’. Henry’s Law as we are discussing it here describes the equilibrium that will pertain between 2 reservoirs, one gas, one liquid and the relationship between the partial pressure of say CO2 in the gaseous reservoir and the CO2 concentration in the liquid reservoir at equilibrium. However, the relative sizes of the reservoirs is a central factor. If the liquid reservoir is large compared to the gas reservoir then a major pulse to the gas reservoir will ultimately be absorbed by the liquid reservoir and the level in the gas reservoir will drop significantly. If the liquid reservoir is small relative to the gas reservoir, the equilibrium will be very different.

    However you seem to be talking about the ‘kinetics of mass transfer’ of the INTER-Reservoir Transport Gas Liquid. My point was about the ‘kinetics’ of INTRA-Reservoir Transport. If CO2 is transferring from Air to Water through the established processes, what is happening within the liquid reservoir? Is it magically just equalising concentration changes in the liquid across the entire liquid reservoir at a rate faster than the Air to Liquid transfer rate. If yes, then the water is staying ahead of the air. If not, then the water near the air/water interface starts to build up CO2 concentration faster than it can be cleared to other parts of the reservoir. Ultimately the question is ‘Is the INTRA-Reservoir Transfer rate the limiting factor, or is the INTER-Reservoir transport rate the limit’?

    So when the liquid reservoir is a soda bottle, or a reaction chamber in a chemical plant, I can easily accept that the INTRA aspect is trivial.

    But when the liquid reservoir is 3-4000 metres deep on average, with major pressure gradients through the reservoir, salinity gradients, horizontal and vertical temperature gradients, currents and multiple mixing regimes, I think that the INTRA-reservoir aspects need to be well understood before any attempt can be made to apply the far more simplistic question of the kinetics of the INTER-Reservoir behaviour.

    And until proven otherwise I would assume that the INTRA mechanics need to be well understood before we can start to apply the INTER mechanics.

    “You also seem to suggest that only “Climate Scientists” (argument from authority, yawn) can understand the practical application of Beer-Lambert or Henry’s Law. I disagree.”

    Speedy. My reference was not to ‘understanding the practical application of So and So’s Law’ It was to understanding whether So and So’s Law could be applied at all. Or whether a deeper unerstanding was needed. We all learn’t the ‘Laws’ during our undergraduate degrees. The Postgraduate/research world requires an understanding of whether the ‘Law’ applies at all or whether it is invalid, perhaps because it is too simplistic or it’s underlying assumptions do not apply in this context.

    You referred in your post to the difference between Newton & Einstein. Classical Mechanics vs Relativistics. Then seemed to assume that ‘Newton’s’ version was good enough.

    I put it to you that systems on the scale of the climate system, Henry’s law applied to whole oceans, complex radiative transfer through the atmosphere, etc require the Relativistic equivalent. That trying to judge climate science based on the Newtonian equivalent is inadequate and amateurish.

    That is like saying Einstein was wrong because Newton said….

    My reading of the ‘debate’ on climate sceptic sites vs the more intelligent AGW sites is that it is like comparing Newton to Einstein. Climate Sceptic sites seem to operate in an information vacuum. Well intentioned perhaps, but still a vacuum.

    And it seems that too many people running the sceptic sites prefer the vacuum.


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    MattB

    Sheesh Glenn you pipped me to the post I was just about to say the exact same thing:) That was, sir, a terrific post.


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    Olaf Koenders

    Glenn..

    There’s still no scientific proof that CO2 has ever caused, or ever will cause any catastrophic warming, since temp drives CO2 in the first place. Arguing about forcings and feedbacks is largely irrelevant considering the past evidence.

    The planet has had ample opportunity to destroy itself with gargantuan levels of CO2 but has failed dismally. Our 3% contribution of 0.03% atmospheric concentration is a piffle that, based on the evidence, shouldn’t be charged to the planet’s residents as yet another fraudulent tax. It’s no wonder that people expect imminent planetary destruction when they somehow think anthropogenic CO2 magically behaves differently to nature’s own composition.


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    co2isnotevil

    Glenn,

    A few more points. First, all of the proxies that are sampled at a fine enough resolution to discern cause and effect show that temperatures change first and CO2 levels change later. The lag is also asymmetric, depending on whether temperatures are increasing or decreasing. Neither the lag nor the asymmetry is consistent with AGW theory. The very old measurements do not have samples fine enough to discern cause and effect, so any presumption is premature, especially considering that the only cause and effect that can be established with any certainty is that temperature changes first and CO2 levels follow.

    I’m glad you understand MODTRAN and the hitran data base. If you run this using the latest HITRAN 2008 data, doubling CO2 increases atmospheric absorption by about 3.6 W/m^2 (close to the IPCC claim of 3.7). You should notice that the IPCC claims that the 3.7 number is the reduction in energy at the top of the atmosphere, which while technically correct, fails to account for the additional energy emitted by the atmosphere and directed back into space (half of the 3.6 W/m^2).

    My next point is that if the surface temperature increases by 3C, the total energy emitted by it increases by about 16 W/m^2. To increase the 1.8 W/m^2 directed back to the surface into the 16 W/m^2 requires a gain of about 8.9. We can measure the post feedback gain in several ways. If we consider the surface to be the output and the input to be solar energy, we can divide the 390 W/m^2 of average surface energy by the 341 W/m^2 of average incident solar energy, and the measured gain is 1.14. If instead, we calculate the post albedo gain, the 341 from the Sun becomes 341*.7, resulting in a post albedo gain of about 1.6. I should point out that the gain is very dynamic and is significantly higher when it’s cold and seems to approach unity at about 310K. The fact that it is higher when it’s cold is why basing climate sensitivity estimations on transitions between ice ages and inter glacial warm periods is fundamentally flawed.

    I will ask you the same question that I asked Glickson (yet to be answered). What possible physical mechanism can provide a gain nearly 8 times larger than that we measure in order to amplify the 1.8 W/m^2 of incremental surface ‘forcing’ from doubling CO2 into the 16 W/m^2 required to increase the surface temperature by 3C.

    George


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    BobC

    Glenn Tamblyn:
    May 28th, 2010 at 10:14 am

    BobC

    “This graph, previously linked in post #5, answers this question with a direct experiment (the relaxation of nuclear bomb-produced C14-containing CO2). ”

    Using this graph to determine CO2 half life for absorption by the ocean isn’t really valid. It isn’t taking into account C14O2 take up by plants.

    The graph determines CO2 half life for all decay mechanisms, known and unknown. That is it’s strong point — it is not dependent on any model or theory, it is fact. Any viable models or theories must explain this graph, not the other way around.

    You are overlooking the time taken for a slow mixing ‘reservoir’ such as the ocean to equalise concentrations across the ‘reservoir’. If this equalisation time is much lower than the times associated with the transfer across the air/water interface then the component of water reservoir close to the interface is unable to ‘clear’ additional CO2 to the rest of the reservoir, thus making the effective size of the reservoir much smaller.

    Again: The graph shows how fast CO2 is removed from the atmosphere. Arguing that some particular reservoir model might cause it to be removed slower is irrelevant to the real world, where its removal rate is measured

    And CO2 release isn’t a single concentration pulse. It is an on-going release.

    For a linear system (and we’re talking about very low absolute CO2 concentrations where the transfer rates are nearly perfect linear functions of the concentrations), everything you need to know about the continuous system is given by the impulse response function. This is pretty basic – Linear Systems 101.

    And, your post # 165: An impressive collection of correlations between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperature. It doesn’t, however, prove that CO2 atmospheric concentration drives temperature — it might just as easily show that temperature drives CO2 concentrations. Your argument is logically incomplete.

    Finally, if Humans are incapable of significantly affecting atmospheric CO2 concentrations (as is implied by the CO2 lifetime measurements), then the whole agenda of the AGW warmers is moot.


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    Mark D.

    George and Bob C: That (those) was (were) , sir (s), terrific post (s) !.


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    Mark D.

    Deserves special attention:

    And, your post # 165: An impressive collection of correlations between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperature. It doesn’t, however, prove that CO2 atmospheric concentration drives temperature — it might just as easily show that temperature drives CO2 concentrations. Your argument is logically incomplete.


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    Mark D.

    And further:

    I will ask you the same question that I asked Glickson (yet to be answered). What possible physical mechanism can provide a gain nearly 8 times larger than that we measure in order to amplify the 1.8 W/m^2 of incremental surface ‘forcing’ from doubling CO2 into the 16 W/m^2 required to increase the surface temperature by 3C.

    Thank you George.


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    Michael Cejnar

    BobC @130
    Thanks for response – I admit I am struggling, with only biochemistry and electrochemical gradients to draw on.

    I absolutely agree with you @ 169-observation covers all CO2 sinks and (hopefully still) trumps models.
    However are you sure about the resident vs adjustment times?

    (Interestingly Prof Glickson seems himself confused, using the term ‘Residence’ time as lasting hundreds of years, he must have at least meant adjustment time).

    Consider this – if you suddenly replaced a volume of CO2 with C14-CO2, i.e. only marked some molecules without changing partial pressures, CO2 would remain in equilibrium. However, there would obviously be a decay in the C14 CO2 as it diffuses & exchanges with reservoir CO2 without any change in concentrations.

    Would this curve however be the same as the decay in CO2 concentration following a step increase in CO2 partial pressure, considering this curve may come to depend on buffering capacity (or ‘compliance’) of the reservoir and not just solubility? If step change remains in linear range of the system then perhaps yes, but do we have evidence that, say, doubling of CO2 (much larger step than the C14 step) would remain within the linear range?

    To be clear, whether there is a longer adjustment time or not, I have not seen any evidence that it is very long, as assumed by climate models.
    Regards


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    BobC

    Michael Cejnar @ 173:

    You ask some good questions:

    I absolutely agree with you @ 169-observation covers all CO2 sinks and (hopefully still) trumps models.
    However are you sure about the resident vs adjustment times?

    This is an updated data set (to 2001) of the C14 atmospheric concentration. As you can see, the concentration continues to follow an exponential curve, decaying to the equilibrium level (labeled in this graph as “1.0″). As of 2001, about 95% of the pulse has disappeared. (This corresponds to a half-life of about 8 years: (2^(-4.3) ~ 0.05; 4.3 half-lives in 37 years gives a half live of ~8.6 years.) This data doesn’t deviate significantly from a true exponential curve to date — if a “long adjustment time” fraction is going to show up, it better hurry. The data as it currently stands constrains any long-lived residual to significantly less than 5%.

    Consider this – if you suddenly replaced a volume of CO2 with C14-CO2, i.e. only marked some molecules without changing partial pressures, CO2 would remain in equilibrium. However, there would obviously be a decay in the C14 CO2 as it diffuses & exchanges with reservoir CO2 without any change in concentrations.

    Would this curve however be the same as the decay in CO2 concentration following a step increase in CO2 partial pressure, considering this curve may come to depend on buffering capacity (or ‘compliance’) of the reservoir and not just solubility? If step change remains in linear range of the system then perhaps yes, but do we have evidence that, say, doubling of CO2 (much larger step than the C14 step) would remain within the linear range?

    You are right: If the linear approximation is good, then the impulse response gives us all the data about how the system behaves (if not exactly why, and what is causing it — that’s what models are for, as long as they are made to match reality). As to your second question, I am not aware of any such evidence (of where the practical boundaries of the linear approximation might be, in the short term) — it seems to be a subject of no interest to the “climate science community”. While real knowledge of Earth’s climate system is at a primitive stage, “Climate Scientists” seem to be only interested in creating unverified models, producing scary scenarios, and collecting grant money.


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    Baa Humbug

    I’m afraid I’m really hung-up on the following statement of Dr Glikson.

    A perspective on current carbon emissions arises from factors underlying the big mass extinction of species, including the end-Devonian (359 Ma; 450 – 1275 ppm CO2; 40% extinction of Genera), Permian-Triassic (251 Ma; 3550 ppm CO2; 80% extinction of Genera), end-Triassic (216.5 Ma and 199.6 Ma; 1300-2200 ppm CO2; 18 – 34% extinction of Genera) and Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (65.5 Ma; 2300 ppm CO2; 46% extinction of Genera) (Keller, 2005 [16]).

    Surely, surely, as a paleo scientist and a teacher, he cannot honestly be ascribing mass extinctions to climate change, let alone CO2 levels.

    And if he is keeping up with the current literature and letters to journals by paleo researchers, he must;
    A-) Be aware that there is an almighty heated debate going on about the cause(s) of mass extinctions.
    B-) Be aware that climate change is the LEAST cited reason for mass extinctions.

    If he is not aware, then I strongly suggest he CLICKS HERE and digests a summary of the current heated debate.

    I would further suggest that it is unbecoming of an educator to be freely insinuating that if we continue with current rates of emissions we will cause mass extinctions akin to those in past eras. THAT’S BEST LEFT TO ALARMISTS, ACTIVISTS and RENT SEEKERS, not educators.
    I would also suggest the professor take strong note of how heated, controversial scientific debate is conducted, IN HIS OWN FIELD NO LESS.


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    Glenn Tamblyn

    Baa Humbug

    There is a thrid theory, that gets less attention. That the extinction at the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary may have been caused by the asteroid AND the Deccan Traps. The general hypothesis is that significant impacts can set up vibrations on the earty, it rings like a bell, and at resonant points in other locations on the planet this seismic shocks can trigger vulcanism. 65 Myr ag, where was the Yucatan. Where eas India – still making its way up through the Indian Ocean. Almost on opposity sides of the Earth. Could the asteroid have triggered the Deccan Traps. Just another theory to add to the pot.

    Now, to your statements
    “A-) Be aware that there is an almighty heated debate going on about the cause(s) of mass extinctions.”

    The article you cite is only discussing ONE extinction event yet you generalise this to ALL mass extinctions.

    “B-) Be aware that climate change is the LEAST cited reason for mass extinctions.” And your sources for this statement are…? My reading of this, admittedly ad-hoc, is that the extinction at the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary is the ONLY one being ascribed to Asteroids/Vulcanism. The Extinction following the Ordovician Ice Age for example is strongly ascribed to that Ice Age. Unless you have sources to the contrary…


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    Glenn Tamblyn

    co2isnotevil

    To your question about ‘Gain’. Firstly You are making a basic error. The 3.6/3.7 figure is the Radiative Forcing due to doubling CO2 in W/M^2. Here is the definition of Radiative Forcing as used by the IPCC:

    “Radiative forcing is the change in the NET (my emphasis) vertical irradiance (expressed in Wm-2) at the tropopause due to an internal change or a change in the external forcing of the climate system, such as, for example, a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide or the output of the Sun.”

    The calculation already includes the net effect of re-radiation up as well as down.
    Thus the downwards figure is not 1.8 but 3.6/3.7.

    Next, the first major additional factor to be considered is water vapour. Water vapour is a powerful GH Gas, its radiative effects have a similar logarithmic variation to CO2. Heating the air results in greater water holding capacity. Across a range of Climate Models the mean value obtained is a doubling of the effect of other forcings due to the effect of water vapour. Some models have put it higher at 3.5. And I would stress, these feedbacks are the result of the calculations done by the models, not an assumption built into them.

    These two take your ‘gain’ down to more like 2.1. Only about 8 W/M^2 missing

    However I would disagree that looking at the question as one of ‘what is the gain?’ is valid. Gain suggests some process that acts as a multiplier and that you can calculate a ‘gain’ for different temperatures and observe something meaningful.

    Rather this should be looked at as a problem of addition & subtraction, not multiplication. Different fluxes of energy that must be added or subtracted to arrive at the balance and each may vary separately depending on how the climate changes. You might be able to talk about a ‘gain’, or multiplying factor for each individual flux but looking for a gain for the aggregate of all the fluxes is incorrect.

    You might like to look at the following figures, taken from Trenberth, Fasullo, and Kiehl 2008, of the major energy fluxes during 2000-2004, all in W/M^2

    Incoming Solar 341
    Incoming absorbed by the atmosphere 78
    Reflected from Clouds & Atmosphere 79
    Reflected from the surface 23
    Sensible heat up via circulation 17
    Latent Heat up due to Evaporation 80
    Radiated from the surface 396
    Back Radiation down to the surface 333
    Longwave Radiated to Space 239

    Look at some of the fluxes and how they might change. Reflection from the surface is 23 out of (341-78-79) = 12.5% How much reduction in sea ice will change Albedo enough to add a few W/M^2 less reflection from the surface. Thermals and evaporation will transfer more heat to the upper troposphere by means other than radiation. This will heat the upper troposphere further so it radiates more heat including downwards. Look at the size of the Back Radiation. This is re-radiation from GH gases but also just the general radiation due to the temperature of the upper atmosphere. How will the geographical distibution of the strength of these fluxes vary?

    I can’t answer these questions and I doubt you can either. This is the problem trying to look at this in terms of some thing like the ‘gain’ for a whole system. The appropriate tool for attempting to estimate the changes to these values is computer Climate Models. All that is needed is a few changes in each of these factors and the ‘missing’ 8 W/M^2 is found. For all their limits Climate Models are still a better tool than looking for something like a Gain. That is too simplistic.

    Now to your comment “considering that the only cause and effect that can be established with any certainty is that temperature changes first and CO2 levels follow”.

    Obviously you are referring to the Ice Cores. Since this is an old chestnut thrown up by sceptics repeatedly. here is a challenge. Please cite one scientific source that actually makes the prediction that “AGW Theory Predicts CO2 will closely follow or lead Temps in the Ice Core record” or words to that effect. Note, comments such as “Climate Scientists say…”, “Al Gore said….” or even “Lord Monckton said…” do not count as citation. Science, not commentators.

    As to the following statement you made at the start of this post

    “The first statement that CO2 is a long lived atmospheric gas is incorrect. From the Mona Loa CO2 measurements, we see seasonal variability on the order of 2-3 ppm, in both directions, over about 6 months. Man is estimated to put about 5ppm per year into the atmosphere, which sets the natural sequestration rate (primarily from biology) at about 4-5 ppm. Biology would consume all of the CO2 in the atmosphere within about 80 years. Of course, once the CO2 drops below about 200 ppm, biological sequestration would slow way down.”

    You know that is nonsense right? The variation being recorded over the annual cycle is the seasonal variation of plants, mainly 2 components. 1, the annual slow down of plant metabolism in the Northern Winter and speed up in Summer and 2, the rise and fall of plant Biomass due to the growth and shedding of leaves by decisuous plants, primarily in the Northern hemisphere. That is why the CO2 variability is strongest in the Northern Hemisphere.

    BUT. It has nothing to do with long term sequestration rates by the biosphere. Not unless you can permenantly abolish Autumn and have trees growing ever larger leaves indefinitely.


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    co2isnotevil

    Glenn,

    Yes, I know what the IPCC definition is and it’s wrong. If you do the simulation, the incremental absorption from doubling CO2 is 3.6 W/m^2, which is close to the 3.7 claimed by the IPCC as the forcing value. However, only half of this absorbed power is redirected back to the surface. My point is that the IPCC quantification of forcing from incremental CO2 is fundamentally incorrect by a factor of 2. Have you actually run HITRAN based atmospheric simulations? I’ve even duplicated the functionality of MODTRAN (and a lot more) as a high performance, multi-threaded C program and I’m using the latest HITRAN 2008 data. I stand by my assertion that the net forcing power directed to the surface from doubling CO2 is about 1.8 W/m^2.

    Water vapor is indeed a strong feedback influence, but the data tells us unambiguously that this is a negative feedback, not a positive one. I suggest that you study control theory, specifically as it relates to system stability. The nature of the system required to support CAGW would be so unstable that the probability that it has not already latched up in a runaway state is almost zero. Control theory will also provide you with the understanding of why gain is an appropriate measure and why my measurement of gain, at least relative to surface forcing, is correct. Examining fluxes as you propose introduces too much uncertainty, too many free variables and too many places to fudge the results. The closed loop gain can be measured and includes the effects of all feedbacks, positive, negative, known and unknown eliminating the requirement to understand all of the feedbacks. While we may not be able to answer the question ‘What is the nature and magnitude of all the feedbacks’, we can certainly answer the question ‘What is the net result of all these feedbacks’ and I have done this.

    I suspect that the feedbacks you misunderstand are due to evaporation. Just as we sweat to remove excess heat, the Earth sweats to do the same. When water evaporates, it sucks heat away from the pool of water it evaporated from, cooling the pool, As the temperature increases, more evaporation occurs and more surface cooling results. While the latent heat of evaporation is often accounted for, it’s treated as a constant and not as the strong feedback term it represents. Furthermore, the water acts as the refrigerant in a giant Carnot engine driving weather. The water gives up it’s heat in the clouds and falls as rain as it condenses. Rain is cooler than either the original pool of water it evaporated from and the surface. This is a double case of negative feedback. Not only does increased surface temperatures increase the amount of heat removed via evaporation, rainfall increases which further cools the surface. If you doubt that increased temperatures increase rainfall, look at the ice cores. You should take notice that during glacial periods, the individual years are far thinner than during interglacial periods which indicates that less snow fell.

    The primary mechanism of biological sequestration of carbon is microscopic marine life, which sucks up CO2, water and solar energy and if it is not eaten by another organism, dies and falls to the bottom, where it anaerobically decomposes to form CH4 in the form of a methane ice. This process slows way down at lower CO2 levels. Tree leaves, while they are constructed from CO2, decompose back in to CO2 when they die, unless they get buried in a peat bog.

    BTW, you still haven’t answered my question. Even if you subscribe to the flawed IPCC quantification of forcing power, there’s still not enough gain to amplify 3.6 into 16 and the most that would happen is about a 1C increase in surface temperature.

    George


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    Glenn Tamblyn

    George

    To the points you have made.

    Firstly, have you published your work anywhere? Simply making assertions about your conclusions isn’t enough if you don’t allow others to see how you have arrived at them and then critique you methods and analysis.

    If you have written your own equivalent of MODTRAN, have you benchmarked its results against MODTRAN and against any other radiative transfer models. Where is this published? Because 2 possibilities come to mind. You have discovered something fundamental that all other workers dealing with radiative transfer have not. Or your conclusions or the algorithms you use in your program are faulty. How is anyone to differentiate between these two possibilities if your work has not been scrutinised. For your “assertion that the net forcing power directed to the surface from doubling CO2 is about 1.8 W/m^2″ is something I have never heard from any other source. Possibly it is true. But the basic principle should be that Extraordinary claims require Extraordinary proof.

    As to Control Theory, yes I have studied some Control Theory during my Engineering Degree 30 years ago. So it is all a bit rusty. However the primary question I would raise is not what Control Theory supposedly shows, but whether it is applicable at all. A principle I have expressed in several posts here is that all analytical techniques must remain rooted in the underlying physical processes, and if they are to be extended into realms beyond their original formulation the underlying physical processes need to be understood to determine the extent to which they are applicable at all. And this point was enforced strongly during my Control Theory lectures. The components used in a Control Theory analysis must have some relationship to the underlying physical reality. Or the analysis, no matter how sophisticated, will ultimately be worthless.

    You reject my point that we need to look at the behaviour of the individual fluxes separately as having too many complexities. But that is exactly the point. The description I have given is still grossly simplistic. It doesn’t address fluxes of matter as well as energy. It doesn’t address the magnitude of reservoirs of matter and energy. It doesn’t address the fluid mechanics of climate. It doesn’t address the locale specific variations in all these factors – latitude, longitude, altitude, depth. Time specific behaviour on multiple scales.

    To suggest that all this can be ignored and:
    “The closed loop gain can be measured and includes the effects of all feedbacks, positive, negative, known and unknown eliminating the requirement to understand all of the feedbacks. While we may not be able to answer the question ‘What is the nature and magnitude of all the feedbacks’, we can certainly answer the question ‘What is the net result of all these feedbacks’”
    is with all due respect, bollocks. You have no doubt performed an analysis of something, but what relationship those results may have to actual physical reality is anyones guess.

    If you look again at the figures I quoted from Trenberth et al, there is 80 w/M^2 of evaporative transfer from the surface to the upper troposphere. This is very well known to the entire Meteorology and Climatology professions. And yes, increased heating increases precipitation. This is something that many people don’t understand; in polar regions warming can actually produce increased snowfall and more ice. Right up to the point where the warming means that the increased precipitation starts to fall as rain instead, at which point it starts to melt the snow & ice.

    So your comment “If you doubt that increased temperatures increase rainfall,look at the ice cores. ” should refer to snowfall in this context. A nitpick but that second phase change also has energy implications.

    You also haven’t made any reference to the elephant in the room. The Back Radiation down to the surface of 333 W/M^2. Increased evaporation will probably increase the 80 evaporation up, but CO2, Water vapour from the evaporation etc will also increase the 333 down. As will the increase in heat content of the upper Troposphere – warmer air will radiate more heat in all directions including down. If we were to apply your simple ‘Gain’ approach to this one would expect both these fluxes to grow by the same percentage and the growth in the down radiation component would dominate.

    However, as I have said, I don’t believe that your Control Theory approach to analysing this is anywhere near adequate. If Control Theory provided a superior analytical tool for this problem, don’t you think Meteorology & Climatology would use it? I could use all sorts of Statistical analyses of Climate and produce all sorts of results. That doesn’t mean that they will have any relation to reality whatsoever.

    All the process you describe, that I have mentioned, and many more are applied in the major Climate Models, including mass & energy conservation principles, spatial and temporal factors and many more things. They aren’t perfect but I can’t think of any other analysis tool that will get closer to reality than they do.

    A couple of small points

    “While the latent heat of evaporation is often accounted for, it’s treated as a constant and not as the strong feedback term it represents”. HOW DO YOU KNOW? How many climate models have you studied, in detail, to determine this. Or are you simply speculating without basis. The anonymity of the Blogosphere makes it easy to do that.

    All your descriptions of the feedback mechanisms you describe are given in qualitative terms. Then you assert that negative feedback for water is greater than any positive feedback. A Quantitative conclusion. If you want to make a quantitative conclusion you need to supply some numbers George. AND How you calculated them, AND the underlying assumptions they are based on.

    “BTW, you still haven’t answered my question. Even if you subscribe to the flawed IPCC quantification of forcing power, there’s still not enough gain to amplify 3.6 into 16 and the most that would happen is about a 1C increase in surface temperature.”

    I have answered this substantially. 3.6 times 2 for the increased GH effect of increased water vapour. After that we are dealing with a range of effects that cannot be modelled using your simple Control Theory approach. For example, Albedo change due to reduced Sea Ice, changes in ocean circulation patterns, changes in soil moisture content and its effects on albedo, changes in vegetation patterns, changes in sulphate emissions from phytoplankton in warmer water, the effect of the lowering of the Tropopause, changes in flows such as the Jet Stream imapcting on the distribution of moist vs dry air, etc etc …

    Let me suggest that if your ‘gain’ is down to around 2, that is as close as you can come by your analysis before taking a host of other factors in to account… Oh… Wait a minute. Thats called a Climate Model

    Your comment:
    “While we may not be able to answer the question ‘What is the nature and magnitude of all the feedbacks’, we can certainly answer the question ‘What is the net result of all these feedbacks’ and I have done this.”

    should perhaps read

    “While we may not be able to answer the question ‘What WILL BE the nature and magnitude of all the feedbacks’, we can certainly answer the question ‘What WILL BE the net result of all these feedbacks’ bUT I have NOT done this.”

    Might I suggest also that since the subject matter you are discussing, including questions about how current climate models actually work is quite technical in nature and well beyond the scope of a laymans Blog such as this, you should be addressing you questions to the experts. I am not a Climate Scientist. Andrew is a Paleoclimatologist, not a Climate Modeller. Perhaps you should address your questions to those who have the answers or are at least knowledgeable enough to discuss this subject with you technically, agree with any points you may have that are valid or show you what might be wrong with your analysis. As you may have noticed, I am someone who believes AGW is real arguing on a AGW sceptic site with people I think are wrong. Why don’t you do the same. Start putting your case to the climate modellers over at RealClimate.

    As to my comment about the CO2 cycle and plants. I was referring to what seemed to be a conclusion you were drawing about what the annual CO2 cycle says about longer term sequestration of CO2 by plants which as far as I can tell it says nothing. The short term cycles aren’t related to longer term sequestration. If you meant that or something else, what you said was unclear.

    Glenn


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    Speedy

    George

    I see what you mean about our Glenn. He is a very prolific writer. I could easily (time permitting) engage in a tit-for-tat with him on the various points but time does not permit. And, in any case, I suspect that it would become a puerile collection of contradictions instead of a reasoned and rational debate.

    Instead, I will cut to the chase. As Einstein once said – “A thousand experiments won’t prove me right, but one will prove me wrong.”

    Glenn – do you not agree that there is a very large tonnage of CO2 dissolved in the earth’s oceans? Do you not agree that some of this CO2 is released into the atmosphere when the earth’s oceans are warmed? Can you not see that, if atmospheric CO2 were a signficant driver of global temperatures, this would set up an unstable climate system, as increased atmospheric CO2 warmed the oceans, released more CO2, which caused more warming, more oceanic CO2 release etc?

    The earth has had ample opportunity to do so in the past, and has not done so. Why should mankinds minor inputs be a concern?

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    co2isnotevil

    Glenn,

    Have you looked at this?: http://www.palisad.com/co2/eb/eb.html
    It should answer some of your questions.

    To address a few of your points.

    Radiative transfer codes are almost trivial and yes, I have tested them extensively. What’s more complicated is going from HITRAN line data to an optical depth and ultimately to a transmittance. This too has been thoroughly tested. One of the innovations I added was logarithmic wavenumber steps which produces very accurate results very quickly over a virtually unlimited dynamic range. This was also heavily tested.

    Regarding the feedback effects of the latent heat of evaporation, the physics tells me how strong this is and the data confirms the strength.

    The problem with the GCM’s is that they attempt to predict climate by simulating weather. We can’t predict that out more than a few days, so there’s no change of accurately predicting climate years or decades in the future.

    Regarding the gain. the 1.6 value is both calculated and MEASURED.

    Regarding control theory, it certainly applies to the climate. If it didn’t, why are you talking about feedback? Feedback only makes sense in the context of control theory.

    Your back radiation of 333 W/m^2 is incorrect, or at least it’s not properly described. The back radiation from the clear sky is half of the total surface energy captured, which turns out to be about 100 W/m^2. The back radiation from cloud covered surface is half of the captured energy plus radiation from the cloud, which is about another 150 W/m^2. For 66% cloud coverage, the total would be .33*100 + .66*250 which is about 200 W/m^2.

    The 333 Wm^2 seems to be calculated without accounting for the fact that the atmosphere radiates both up and down. If don’t count this, you get, .33*200 + .66*350, which is equal to about 300 W/m^2. I suspect that the 333 number also assumes a higher average absorption which is why it’s a little higher that the data suggests. BTW, I get my water column and ozone column data to calculate absorption from the satellite data.

    You are still assuming that water vapor feedback is positive. To me, this is an extraordinary claim that you need to supply some extraordinary proof for, especially when the data contradicts this by showing that the net feedback acting on the climate system is indeed negative.

    If you read the link I sent you, pay special attention to the top level constraint, Pi(t) = Po(t) + dE(t)/dt, where Pi is the power entering the system, Po is the power leaving the system and dE/dt is power entering and leaving the earth’s thermal mass where E(t) is the total energy stored in the system. This is a simple differential equation that must be absolutely true at all times. Pi and Po are relatively easily quantified as functions of data measured by weather satellites and when the numbers are plugged in, the equation is always satisfied. What this means is that the temperatures (surface and cloud) change as expected based on energy entering and leaving the thermal mass, as quantified by dE(t)/dt. While I have a model, I understand the limitations. However, my model works to the extent that satellite data is always consistent with it, moreover; I don’t need the model to explain itself. Instead, my model is built upon first principles physics as constrained by the above equation.

    George;


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