JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Round Five: Ignore the main point, repeat the irrelevant

The debate with Paleoclimatologist Dr Andrew Glikson about the evidence for Climate change has reached a telling point.  There is a gaping hole.

Through four rounds of to and fro, I’ve been asking for evidence that the predicted (critical) “hot spot” was there above the equator, and we were drilling down to this point. It’s the weak link in the chain of evidence, and if the climate models are wrong on this element, you can kiss goodbye to the catastrophe. Everything else might be right, but there’s no major warming if there’s no strong amplifying (positive) feedback, and and there is no amplifying feedback from water vapor if there is no hot spot. Indeed, I quoted evidence from three peer reviewed studies that show that we’re headed for a half a measly degree of warming rather than a baking 3 – 6 degrees.

In Round 2 Glikson didn’t mention Lindzen, Spencer or Douglass (the three independent papers which suggest that predicted feedbacks are missing or negative). Instead he suggested “Sherwood 2008” found the hot-spot. I pointed out that Sherwood used wind-gauges instead of thermometers. To believe he is right we need to throw out thousands of thermometer readings and calculate the temperature indirectly from the wind-speed instead.

In Round 3, Glikson didn’t mention Sherwood. But he posted graphs showing the troposphere had warmed. I pointed out that his graphs demonstrated what I had been saying — the upper troposphere had warmed at the same rate as the surface. If the hot spot was there it would have warmed nearly twice as fast.

In Round 4 (in comments after round 3), Glikson didn’t mention the graph. But he pointed to Santer 2008. I replied that Santer didn’t find the hot spot, he just found fog in the data and fog in the models and stretched the error bars so wide that finally the models just overlapped with one set of observations. Santer had no new data. Nine years after the data came in, all he did was to increase the error bars and suggest that maybe our equipment wasn’t good enough to find the hot-spot. It’s rather devastating: if we can’t build weather balloons that get a useful temperature reading, how the heck can we create models that estimate the temperature from 10,000 m below based on dozens of factors that are even harder to measure? The hot-spot should have been at least 0.6°C and radiosondes are individually calibrated to 0.1°C. Somehow we’re supposed to believe that hundreds of radiosondes had missed it?

In round 5, Glikson didn’t mention Santer. It’s as if this devastating point didn’t exist. Andrew Glikson is genuinely trying to come up with other evidence, and he’s not just ducking out completely (as many would), but he is ducking the point that matters, the weak link in the AGW chain. Really, seriously, everything about the Tower of Global Warming was built on the foundation of an increasing column of water vapor. Does he realize that all the other circumstantial evidence is predicated on a guess that the Earth’s climate had net positive feedbacks, when almost all other long-lived natural systems have net negative feedbacks?

All of the other points I’ll briefly sum up here below. I’ve had helpful responses from Michael Hammer with some very original work, and also from William Kinninmonth. I will post these both soon (separately).

In brief:

  1. Water vapor has the biggest effect in the tropics (yes) but the poles heat up the most. (I guess the implication is that the poles are heating due to CO2). Wait til you see Hammer’s reply. I’ll just say that no matter what the cause of heating, the poles will always probably warm more than the equator, so the fact that they have warmed more tells us nothing whether CO2 caused it. The equator has an in built “thermostat”. Cubic kilometers of water evaporate, dump that heat in the atmosphere, rain back down, and keep the equator a fairly constant temperature. At the poles though, it takes a lot of extra heat energy to “evaporate” the near zero degree water. Thus the temperatures vary much more. There is a big evaporative air conditioner working in the tropics. It’s barely there at the poles.
  2. CO2 supposedly hangs about for centuries. This is one of the more outlandish weirdo ideas being repeated in many circles. Even though IPCC charts themselves show that a quarter of all atmospheric CO2 churns in and out of the atmosphere every year. How the human contribution is supposed to behave differently, and not just become a tiny extra part of this continuous exchange defies common sense. We add 8GT per year to an atmosphere with 800GT. About 200 GT is taken up by the oceans and plants, and about that much is released. It’s all in a kind of equilibrium. There’s no reason to suppose that a quarter of all human emissions don’t turn over each year just like all the rest. Radio carbon dating of C14 from atomic explosions decades ago confirms that there is little trace left today, and that CO2 hangs around for about 8 -10 years. [2][3]
  3. Studies from 3 million to 500 million years ago show that when volcanoes blow up or asteroids hit, CO2 levels rise and animals die. Yep. That’d be because both those events are god-awful, destructive things that dump mountains of ash in the atmosphere. The ash cools the planet. Cold times are yukky for life on earth. Animals die en masse. Tsunami’s, dust and lava are probably not too friendly either. The CO2 effect is a mere rider of correlation. All these studies that are referred to are just  stabs at correlation, and correlation is not causation. We know (as I’ve said before) that colder oceans suck CO2 out of the atmosphere. We would be shocked (shocked, I tell you) if the geological record didn’t show a correlation between temperature and CO2. Temperature drives CO2. Read the caption on Figure 1. “Dating errors are typically less than ±1 Myr.” We’re hunting for an effect that ought to happen in days, weeks and months, with some effect within decades, and the graph we’re looking at resolves things to plus or minus one million years. We’re searching for Nanotubes in a hay stack, and we’ve only got our bifocals.
  4. Fast feedbacks versus slow feedbacks. The models obviously get the fast feedbacks totally wrong. So there’s not much upward pressure pushing on the slow processes. Convince me that effects that may take hundreds of years, which depend on fast feedbacks and are calculated by faulty models are something I should pay taxes on in 2010? If there is hardly any fast feedback in the first place, doesn’t that kind of suck most of the scary part out of the slow feedbacks? What are the slow feedbacks responding too? Since they’re slow, we might have, you know, a few years (or 100) to wait before setting up a global trading scheme and redeveloping the worlds energy supply.
  5. The world is a lot like the Pliocene a few million years ago. Back then it was 3-4 degrees hotter and CO2 levels were “about the same” as today. We don’t know what caused that warming back then. We don’t have the resolution to figure it out. Which came first, CO2 or the heat? Perhaps it’s something else entirely that came first. We can’t tell. Why assume it was CO2?
  6. Yes ENSO’s are cycling. We don’t know exactly why, but they appear to switch every 30 years roughly. Figure 5 is only a 50 year SOI graph. How are we supposed to see long term trends in a 30 year cycle within just 50 years? Things were due to swing towards El Nino’s anyway, and now they are due to swing back to la Nina’s now. So? Figure 6 has the opposite problem. It’s a 5 million year graph, but we’re supposed to see an effect on the SOI from the last 50 years of human CO2 emissions? Sure maybe there is some anomalous ENSO signal lying waiting for us to find in 2050, but we can’t use this as an indicator unless we feel like waiting decades (and even then it’s not the answer). It’s the wrong tool to use for attribution.
  7. Increased ice sheet melting. We’ve already done this. Back in Round 2 I quoted Wingham 2006[1] showing that there is more ice in Antarctica. Glikson’s Figure 7 graphs show that there has been significant thickening in some places on the ice sheets, and thinning in others. This is a non-point about something that can’t be used for attributing climate change to CO2 in any case. There’s no cause and effect link. All forms of warming would cause ice sheets to change. (Do I need to keep repeating this?)
  8. Yes, there have been some droughts lately. Any cause of warming would change rainfall patterns. There is no information here about the effect of CO2 or the cause of the droughts
  9. Disasters cost more today than they did in 1950! Yeup. That happens when you inflate the money supply and is a dang useless “indicator” for anything to do with climate. Can I put a fine point on it? The M3 (that’s a broad monetary aggregate) in the US grew thirty fold from 1959 to 2005. Basically, there is 30 times as much money floating around the economy now as there was back in the fifties. How could prices of nearly everything not rise under that kind of money supply growth? The growth in the cost of disasters is not the graph to use. It’s just a poor proxy for inflation. There are better graphs of hurricanes to use[4] and other references[5] deal with hurricanes specifically and find little trend. Right now the global accumulated cyclone energy index is at one of the lowest points in thirty years.

Global Hurricane Days, Ryan Maue

(Thanks to Baa humbug and Paul M and Roger Pielke.)

What about the fingerprint of “greenhouse gases”?

There’s the usual argument that greenhouse gases should 1/ warm the troposphere, 2/ cool the stratosphere, and 3/ rising minimum temperatures and less difference between minimum and maximum in daytime and night-time temperatures.

This leaves out the major effect of the fingerprint of greenhouse gases (the missing hot spot). The warming troposphere and cooling stratosphere have happened, which confirms that there is probably more CO2 in the atmosphere. But as I  said already (repeatedly)… Yes doubling CO2 heats the planet directly by maybe as one (1!) degree. This is what Hansen et al suggest and possibly that is correct. But without the amplifying feedback of the water vapor and warming due to changes in clouds, there is no disaster. At most it’s only one measly degree over 300 years, and worse (for the scare campaign), if Spencer and/or Lindzen are right then it’s only a half a trivial, inconsequential-cancel-the-IPCC degree thanks to the negative feedback.

Other factors like extra cloud cover also cause increasing minimums by keeping in the heat. The only definitive fingerprint that would suggest impending disaster (if only it were there) is the one that isn’t mentioned: the hot-spot.

Glikson’s answer is polite and well referenced, but overall, it’s not that well organized; it wanders around, repeating points I’ve already debunked or that I’ve already pointed out are irrelevant and avoids discussing the most important point. It is a rehash of the same old, and does nothing to convince me of a threat from man-made global warming.

I’m feeling a bit sorry for him. The Schmidts, Jones, Mann’s, Hansens, Gores et al almost never “debate” — The big-name-brands in the climate-science industry know that they don’t have the goods. Instead, they let the other scientists do the front line work. There are undoubtedly a lot of expert researchers in climate related fields (but not in modelling) who have no idea that the models were based on such a flimsy assumption.

There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon’s warming is amplified by humidity and clouds and this pulls the rug out from under every other point. Will any scientist from the Pro AGW side admit they can’t provide evidence that there will be any warming above 1 degree for a doubling of carbon? It would take a big man.

Glikson is an expert in that fascinating area of major asteroid impacts from millions of years ago. He just announced a massive crater find in the Timor sea (possibly one of the largest ever). This is important research, but not the kind of information we need to know to generate models that actually work. Behind the scenes, why have people like ANU colleague Will Steffan left it up to poor Glikson to defend the climate models? Glikson has been dumped with the impossible task.

But having realized that there is no good answer (or Steffan and Pitman and others would be debating it instead), the honest but hard thing for Glikson to do would be to stand up and admit that he is unable to give any evidence that supports the catastrophic warming that the models suggest. It would also earn him kudos scientifically if he was one of the few climate scientists brave enough to say that the behaviours of people like Jones and Mann in emails from ClimateGate were not acceptable and did not reflect well on the industry.

Thanks to Dr Glikson for being dedicated enough to follow through, and making a serious effort to line up the evidence. Thanks also to the people who contributed to the comments below Dr Gliksons points. I wish I had time to summarize all the pertinent points here. Dr Glikson is most welcome to contribute more.

The Full Debate:

Part I: Glikson The Case for Climate Change
Jo Nova No Dr Glikson;

Part II: Glikson Credibility lies with experienced authorities
Jo Nova Credibility lies on Evidence;

Part III: Glikson The Effects of CO2 on Climate
Jo Nova Glikson accidentally vindicates the skeptics.

Part IV: Glikson suggests evidence for the hot spot.
I point out how weak it is. (See the UPDATE below Part III).

Part V: Glikson The planetary atmosphere and climate change
Jo Nova Ignore the main point, repeat the irrelevant.

Part VI: Dr Glikson asked to respond again. I said “please do”. So far, he has no reply.


[1] D. J. Wingham,*, A. Shepherd, A. Muir And G. J. Marshall, Mass Balance Of The Antarctic Ice Sheet, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2006) 364, 1627–1635

[2] Revelle, R. and Suess, H. E. (1957) Tellus 9, 18-27.

[3] Segalstad, T. V. (1998) Global Warm ing the Continuing Debate, Cambridge UK: European
Science and En vironment Forum, ed. R. Bate, 184-218.

[4] http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/atlantic_ace.jpg

[5] Other references about 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). 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.

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Round Five: Ignore the main point, repeat the irrelevant, 7.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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50 comments to Round Five: Ignore the main point, repeat the irrelevant

  • #
    Rod Smith

    As an ancient upper-air guy (me, not the air!) I suspect that most of the folks looking at the old radiosonde runs have any idea how the soundings were processed.

    I’m quite certain that after a very short time, the original recorder roll, the calibration sheets, the original WBAN form where mean-virtual-temperatures were determined and thicknesses computed, and wind plots/worksheets, are no longer available. Nor would one be able to see reference signals from the equipment used to correct for transmission drift.

    It seems to me that plotting the final sounding would show little, if anything, that could be used to “correct” the results, not even for experienced sounding people.

    I would also suspect that most of these analysts don’t even have any idea of how levels are selected, layers defined, thicknesses determined, winds computed, or for that matter just how much QC (in the form of near real time cross checking of all calculations) occurs during a sounding.

    Were the instruments used several decades ago absolutely spot-on accurate? Of course not. Are they better now? Absolutely. Does this make this old data useless? Absolutely not.

    In short, I doubt most of the so-called “climatologists” have the documents, background, or expertise to correctly modify sounding results regardless of their academic degrees.


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    This has been a thoroughly enjoyable debate and we still have Dr Gliksons replies to comments to come.
    So it’s round 5. Most bouts go 12 rounds.

    But having realized that there is no good answer (or Steffan and Pitman and others would be debating it instead), the honest but hard thing for Glikson to do would be to stand up and admit that he is unable to give any evidence that supports the catastrophic warming that the models suggest.

    Me thinks that may be a challenge, but can Dr Glikson last until round 12? Can he force the judges to make a decision?


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  • #
    Siliggy

    This is a question about the upper troposphere hot spot and radiative imbalance for anyone who can answer (Perhaps i just don’t get it).
    We are told that within the radiative balance equation “4πR2″ finds the surface area of the planet. While skeptics are sometimes called “flat earthers”, the fact that the earth is NOT a sphere seems to be ignored. The distance from pole to pole is less than the diameter at the equator. So the surface area presented to the sun is less than 1/4 of the total.
    Wouldn’t the hot spot if it occured above the equator effectively make this situation worse by increasing the radiating diameter as seen from the poles?
    Would that effect be a strong and fast negative feedback?


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  • #
    Adolf Balik

    Ingenuity of carbonari while finding corroboration for their radiation forcing and their cherished especially climatic sensitivity is admirable and worthy to better effort. Physical as well as paleogeological arguments crop out lavishly.

    But in business or technology no one would waste time and money finding an explanation physical model for effect of a value that cannot explain a time series in a statistical model. If you cannot prove CO2 concentration as an explanatory value of temperature time series by e. g. co-integration test, then no one should waste his time looking for explanation of statistically insignificant effect.


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  • #

    Andy Pitman unlikely to stand up this challenge, he’s run away from debates in the past.


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  • #

    What Dr Glikson is essentially saying is that if we continue with our current rates of emissions, we WILL cause mass extinctions.

    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]

    and

    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]).

    Dr Glikson truly believes this because he has made the same statement in his on-line opinion pieces of 1st March 2010 and 4th May 2010 as well as in his upcoming paper in the Journal of Cosmology June issue.
    (in fact I’m quite disappointed that Dr Glikson chose to essentially cut and paste from the above cited articles and presented them to us as his debate. No new effort, we weren’t worth it?)
    Back to my point, what Dr Glikson is saying is that past mass extinctions were accompanied by increases of CO2. (and insinuating that the rise in CO2 caused warming which then caused mass extinctions. This is a bow even Hercules would have trouble drawing)

    But surprisingly, he chose not to use a graph from Ward 2007 in this debate. I think followers of this debate need to see this graph and make up their own minds as to what role CO2 may have played in the said mass extinctions. Do I need to draw the readers attention to the prominent red stars and blue triangles depicting asteroid impacts and volcanic eruptions?


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  • #
    crakar24

    To BH in 7,

    Can you explain to me how Volcanic eruptions produced massive amounts of CO2 in the past, whilst CO2 sources from volcanic activity today is dwarfed by humans?

    Can you also explain how an asteriod impact would produce so much CO2 as to cause an ELE.

    To Rod in 1,

    I have used Radio sonde equipment for the past ten years and i can say with hand on heart that since then at least the equipment and thus the data has been very accurate, i agree people like Glikson would not know a sonde if they tripped over one.

    Cheers


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    crakar24,

    All things become possible once you become intellectually lazy, if not out right dshonest.


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  • #
    wes george

    Since nothing short of the entire future of civilization is at stake here, deciding this matter on the whimsy of a rational consideration of known facts is foolhardy indeed. This is why the real climate authorities, Gore, Hansen, Steffan, Wong et al, wisely avoid debate. They understand that just because there is no factual evidence for catastrophic warming doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen. And that’s a fact the denialists cannot deny!

    Obviously, having no real facts on your side renders rational inquiry through debate an unfair and utterly counter-productive process. It supplies all those prejudiced against fact-free arguments with just another bogus confirmation of their bias towards logic. This sort of rational oppression of irrational but emotionally resonant narratives is why we in the West still have much to learn from the Chinese about how to efficiently deal with dissent.

    Instead of appealing to reason, a venue in which CAGW has already suffered humiliating defeats, a better way to save the world is to ignore the observed data as irrelevant gobbledegook and appeal directly the reptilian mind that lies underneath all those other higher (if useless) mammalian brain structures that make us human. Climate Justice will find a welcome place in everyone’s reptilian brain, because here is where all the important decision processes -fear, power, violence and sex – are located unhindered by frivolities such as reason, logic and causality.

    My advice to Dr. Glikson is to stop inciting the silly little people to imagine they can possibly understand CAGW through a rational inquiry of the facts. As if! Better stick to producing sound-bites for the saurians on Radio National. Or hey!…how about a low-wattage celebrity sing-a-long for “climate justice!”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/green-living-blog/2009/oct/01/beds-are-burning-climate-song-review


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  • #
    Mike Davis

    Looks like a lot of SWAGing going on.They have to push this idea that CO2 in the past caused warming that lead to ELEs. Historically it was thought that these events caused drastic cooling that wiped out species. Even today it is thought that some species can not live in regions that are to cold.

    Maybe the researchers like Glickson could retreat to regions like Antarctica and show us how easy it is to survive off the land in those regions. If he wants to turn science on its head by reversing theories he can easily prove his theory by example of surviving a winter or even summer at either pole. With his background how does he explain the existence of palm trees and alligators within the Arctic circle if that much warming caused extinctions?


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  • #
    Colin Henderson

    AGW requires heat to flow against a gradient, equivalent to requiring water to flow uphill; which breaks the Second Law of Thermodynamics. And in the philosophy of science breaking the Second Law is the kiss of death to any theory.

    Man made GHG global warming has been completely, scientifically falsified, aside from the residual advertising/marketing hype AGW is over.


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  • #
    crakar24

    Wes, I dont quite understand the meaning of this statement

    “They understand that just because there is no factual evidence for catastrophic warming doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen. And that’s a fact the denialists cannot deny!”

    Yes you are right without evidence to support the AGW theory one maybe mistaken in thinking it will not happen but does a lack of evidence suggest it might happen?

    I suppose in some strange bizzaro world one might think this way but in the cold hard light of reality (the one which most of us inhabit) a lack of evidence strongly suggests something wont happen.

    Therefore there is as much chance of AGW being true as we have of being smacked by an asteroid but i dont see anyone applying a tax to pay for all the bunkers do you?


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  • #
    TA

    It’s a good post, and I generally agree with much of what you say. However, I do have to take exception to your #2 as follows:

    CO2 supposedly hangs about for centuries. This is one of the more outlandish weirdo ideas being repeated in many circles. Even though IPCC charts themselves show that a quarter of all atmospheric CO2 churns in and out of the atmosphere every year. How the human contribution is supposed to behave differently, and not just become a tiny extra part of this continuous exchange defies common sense. We add 8GT per year to an atmosphere with 800GT. About 200 GT is taken up by the oceans and plants, and about that much is released. It’s all in a kind of equilibrium. There’s no reason to suppose that a quarter of all human emissions don’t turn over each year just like all the rest. Radio carbon dating of C14 from atomic explosions decades ago confirms that there is little trace left today, and that CO2 hangs around for about 8 -10 years. [2][3]

    The 200 that is taken up by the oceans and plants and the 200 that is released from the oceans and plants is a wash, so that’s irrelevant. It is most likely this irrelevant exchange that accounts for the disappearance of the C14. This exchange, if it is about equal as you say, does not have any effect on the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    To my knowledge, there is no claim that human-contributed CO2 behaves differently than any other CO2, so this is a straw man. However, it is reasonable to believe that this exchange between the atmosphere and the oceans and plants is irrelevant in considering the total amount of atmospheric CO2, which is in fact growing. If the plants and oceans actually absorb more CO2 than they release, then the difference between what they absorb and what they release would effect the amount in the atmosphere. This may be the case, but if so you did not mention it in your argument.

    Here’s a little metaphor: Let’s say you have $1,000 in your pillowcase, all in unmarked $1 bills. Then let’s say I give you 10 $1 bills a day, each one marked with a happy face. Then let’s say every day you take those marked dollar bills to the bank and exchange them for 10 unmarked $1 bills and put those in your pillowcase instead of the marked ones I gave you. At the end of the month, you don’t have any of the marked $1 bills I gave you, but you do have 300 extra unmarked $1 bills in your pillowcase. Instead of the $1000 you had to start with, now you have $1300 in there. So how much money did I give you? $0? or $300?

    Or here’s another example: Let’s say we have bucket A containing a quart of green marbles. We have bucket B with 10 gallons of green marbles. Every day we add 10 red marbles to bucket A and mix them up. Then we take a cup of marbles from bucket A and swap it for a cup of marbles from bucket B. After a month, we have added 300 red marbles to bucket A, yet there are not nearly 300 red marbles remaining in bucket A because most of them have been swapped for green marbles from bucket B. However, there are 300 more marbles in bucket A than the quart we started with. So now, how do we figure out the effect of adding 10 red marbles a day to bucket A? Do we count just the red marbles in bucket A, OR do we count how many marbles there are in excess of the quart we had to start with?


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  • #

    TA, the 200Gt absorbed by the oceans and plants is not a “wash”. It’s an equilibrium. Your analogies miss the point. CO2 molecules are not marbles. If you put more CO2 in the air, there is a higher partial pressure of CO2 and that increases the transfer of CO2 down to the plants (which love it) and the ocean (which is vast). You are assuming the whole system won’t react to the addition of the minor amounts of extra CO2.

    Yes – I may not have explained it “in full”, though I used the word “equilibrium” which pretty much sums it up. It deserves a post of it’s own sometime, but these are side issues, and I labeled them a “brief answer”.

    As usual there is no empirical evidence supporting the models in saying “200 years”. How did such a ridiculous assertion travel so far for so long?


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    crakar24: #8
    June 1st, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Can you explain to me how Volcanic eruptions produced massive amounts of CO2 in the past, whilst CO2 sources from volcanic activity today is dwarfed by humans?

    Can you also explain how an asteriod impact would produce so much CO2 as to cause an ELE.

    Moi? You want ME to explain it?

    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]).

    The author of the above quote needs to do the explanation. If you follow the links I provided in my comment at #7 you’ll see that Dr Glikson reckons CO2 rose by only 0.4ppm at the PETM period. (so we should panick now because we are releasing at 2ppm)


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    There is another effect which is often ignored, which is the effects of plate tectonics. The asymmetry between hemispheres plays a big role in modifying the planets response to incremental energy. Today, we have a S pole which is land+ice at a 3km elevation and a N pole which is ocean at sea level. If the S pole was water as well, it would experience even more melting during the summer than the N pole and we would have a quite different climate. Another component of the asymmetry is the relative percentages of land and water in each hemisphere. This has changed quite significantly over the last few hundred million years.

    George


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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    Dang I’m in trouble. That was me who gave Jo the thumbs down. Was supposed to be thumbs UP. :(


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  • #
    janama

    How did such a ridiculous assertion travel so far for so long?

    good question Joanne – I believe it happens in all areas of one’s pursuits – in my field I watch scientific assumptions become rules, ask any gardening expert how many myths there are pertaining to plant growth and how to plant a rose.

    I run an active forum (2.5mil hits/month) on a specified subject yet in the past few years I’ve observed how well meaning, passionate people can twist and adjust simple facts into complex unsolvable problems unless you accept their distorted newly created rules.

    I believe that’s what’s happened here, peers listening and supporting peers, slapping each other on the back yet slowly losing all sense of reality and the facts.


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  • #
    Olaf Koenders

    Jo..

    TA, the 200Gt absorbed by the oceans and plants is not a “wash”. It’s an equilibrium. Your analogies miss the point. CO2 molecules are not marbles. If you put more CO2 in the air, there is a higher partial pressure of CO2 and that increases the transfer of CO2 down to the plants (which love it) and the ocean (which is vast). You are assuming the whole system won’t react to the addition of the minor amounts of extra CO2.

    Not forgetting that CO2 rises after temperature does from various natural sources, which means there’s the missing CO2 “TA” was crying over.

    To my knowledge, there is no claim that human-contributed CO2 behaves differently than any other CO2, so this is a straw man.

    They love to find a “straw man” don’t they? It’s almost as if their saying it qualifies their argument, including their intellect. But it’s not a straw man, as many CAGWists actually believe man made CO2 SHOULD somehow act differently, which is absurd as you correctly pointed out and were required to mention.

    However, it is reasonable to believe that this exchange between the atmosphere and the oceans and plants is irrelevant in considering the total amount of atmospheric CO2, which is in fact growing.

    “TA” somehow manages to consider the entire Carbon Cycle irrelevant and forgets that farmers pump CO2 into their greenhouses to maximise plant growth. As you correctly noted, greater CO2 imparts a greater partial pressure, however I would just have said greater availability or reduced scarcity for simplicity. Good choice though.

    If the plants and oceans actually absorb more CO2 than they release, then the difference between what they absorb and what they release would effect the amount in the atmosphere.

    Seasonal variation:

    http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/images/monthlyco2.GIF

    Whereby plants DO actually absorb more than they release during the seasons. However, rotting vegetation and warming oceans (we’re still climbing out of the Little Ice Age that ended in 1800) at this time will cause less CO2 absorbtion, until the planet warms some more and plants start to override current deserts, which has already begun.

    In any case, “TA”, we can’t ignore the fact that up to 5000ppm CO2 existed in the Jurassic 100Mya, where life clearly thrived and delicate aragonite corals evolved in non-acid oceans, proven by the undissolved fossils of shellfish and corals from that era we now have in our museums. Notably, even this amount of CO2 didn’t cause a runaway greenhouse or fabled “tipping point”, ever.

    Do I hear a muted waffle about solar irradiance being less back then? The Sun becomes around 10% hotter every 1Bn years. That made solar irradiance 100Mya some 90% of what it is today. Hardly much different to the 7% experienced by seasonal variation alone, and even greater under cloud cover. CO2 keeping the Jurassic warm? Consider the ice ages the planet suffered with even higher CO2 than 5000ppm. A trace gas at 0.03% of the atmosphere can’t possibly outperform Milankovich cycles and continental drift affecting ocean currents and convection, let alone the Sun. At just 3% of that 0.03%, anthropogenic CO2 is just 0.0009% of the atmosphere.

    TA – why the panic?


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    Regarding the CO2 residence time:

    CHART

    You might like this one too:

    CHART

    It shows the disconnect between temperature and CO2 levels in last 500 million years vividly.


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    Baa Humbug

    sunsettommy: #21
    June 1st, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Nice charts sunset


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    Michael Cejnar

    I agree that a whole post on CO2 by an expert would be helpful.

    Experts on both sides use many terms: short ‘residence’ or ‘turnover’ time reflecting molecular exchange without net movement of CO2 and a longer ‘perturbation’ time or ‘adjustment’ time to a step change in CO2, for which however these seems to be no physical measurement, simulated model measurement!

    BobC in previous post here argues they are one and the same; I am not qualified to say.


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    Mark D.

    Interesting link here: http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/23800

    Title is: NASA Charged in New Climate Fakery: Greenhouse Gas Data Bogus

    Shocking new evidence of a NASA scientist faking a fundamental greenhouse gas equation shames beleaguered space administration in new global warming fraud scandal.

    Caught in the heat are NASA’s Dr. Judith Curry and a junk science equation by the space agency’s Dr. Gavin Schmidt creating disarray over a contentious Earth energy graph


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    TA

    JN,

    Thank you for your clarification. You say,

    If you put more CO2 in the air, there is a higher partial pressure of CO2 and that increases the transfer of CO2 down to the plants (which love it) and the ocean (which is vast).

    Yes, this is different from your earlier statement,

    Even though IPCC charts themselves show that a quarter of all atmospheric CO2 churns in and out of the atmosphere every year…. About 200 GT is taken up by the oceans and plants, and about that much is released.

    If your argument is that the oceans and plants take up MORE than they release (which I believe is correct), then this needs some quantification. How much more, and what is the evidence? E.g. if CO2 is doubled, then how much of that extra CO2 will be absorbed by plants and oceans in 200 years, and what is the evidence?

    I would also note that unless I am missing something, your statement about C14 disappearing from the atmosphere does not in any way show that the oceans and plants take up MORE than they release. It only shows that there is an exchange, which could be an equal exchange and still the C14 could disappear from the atmosphere just as the marked dollar bills could disappear from your pillowcase by exchanging them at the bank for unmarked dollar bills in my analogy. So I don’t believe your C14 example supports your point of the oceans and plants taking up MORE than they release.

    It is true that this is a side issue. Perhaps I’m just old fashioned; in my view, to follow basic rules of good logic, it is still necessary to back up claims with evidence, especially if those claims are made with strong language (e.g. “one of the more outlandish weirdo ideas”). If you had instead said something like “The assertion that CO2 would remain in the atmosphere for centuries has not, to my knowledge, been proven” or “I believe CO2 levels would come down faster than Dr. Glikson claims, and some day I’ll prove it” then I would not have objected. If we skeptics insist that the warmists back up their claims with evidence, then I think it is only fair and reasonable for us to hold ourselves to the same standard.

    Olaf:

    Not forgetting that CO2 rises after temperature does from various natural sources, which means there’s the missing CO2 “TA” was crying over.

    Actually, Olaf, I was discussing the question of how long CO2 would remain in the atmosphere. I’m not sure on what you are basing your characterization that I was crying, but I feel it’s generally better to remain neutral about other people’s emotional states.

    But it’s not a straw man, as many CAGWists actually believe man made CO2 SHOULD somehow act differently, which is absurd as you correctly pointed out and were required to mention.

    Olaf, if you are claiming that many CAGWists believe man made CO2 should act differently, you would need to provide some quotes to back that up. More to the point, however, I did not see any place that Dr. Glikson was asserting this. Please provide a quote if I’ve missed it. If Dr. Glikson did not make this assertion, it remains a straw man.

    “TA” somehow manages to consider the entire Carbon Cycle irrelevant and forgets that farmers pump CO2 into their greenhouses to maximise plant growth.

    The carbon cycle may be relevant to many points, but it is irrelevant to the question of how long CO2 remains in the atmosphere so long as an equal amount goes each way, as was strongly implied by JN’s original argument. If the amount absorbed by plants and oceans is greater than the amount released, which is probably true some of the time, then this difference would need to be quantified in order to predict how long CO2 emissions would remain in the atmosphere. It would also need to be shown what this difference would be under various conditions. If JN is going to describe Dr. Glikson’s statement as “one of the more outlandish weirdo ideas” then I feel this should be backed up with solid evidence.

    Incidentally, I am aware that farmers pump CO2 into their greenhouses to maximise plant growth (another straw man). However, that information does not answer the question of how long added CO2 would stay in the atmosphere, and it was not a part of Jo’s original argument. I have seen no evidence that the plants in a greenhouse to which CO2 has been added would gobble up ALL of the added CO2, bringing the CO2 ppm’s in the greenhouse down to the same level as if none had been added.

    Now, it seems I have quite a number of additional straw men to address:

    In any case, “TA”, we can’t ignore the fact that up to 5000ppm CO2 existed in the Jurassic 100Mya, where life clearly thrived and delicate aragonite corals evolved in non-acid oceans, proven by the undissolved fossils of shellfish and corals from that era we now have in our museums.

    I did not argue this point, and I agree with you.

    Notably, even this amount of CO2 didn’t cause a runaway greenhouse or fabled “tipping point”, ever.

    I did not argue this point, and I agree with you.

    Do I hear a muted waffle about solar irradiance being less back then?

    I did not argue this point.

    CO2 keeping the Jurassic warm?

    I did not argue this point.

    TA – why the panic?

    I am not in a panic. I am not alarmed by AGW. Again, that neutrality toward another person’s emotional state would serve you well, I believe.

    I do, however, think it is important to be skeptical of claims made by all sides of the debate. If I was only skeptical of the CAGW side, then I would arguably deserve the “denialist” label, although I do not think name-calling contributes to the pursuit of truth.


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    Rob Mitchell

    Hey Jo, there’s something really important that your missing regarding the hot spot issue.
    The satellites record clearly shows that the water vapor in in the upper troposphere is declining over the last 30 years.
    There is no hot spot because water vapor is doing the opposite of the theory.
    That is falsification in one observation!
    climate4you has this graphed on its climate a clouds page.
    I’m amazed that knowone is focussing on this critical point!


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    co2isnotevil

    Rob,

    Yes, water vapor is decreasing. Satellites also show that the percentage of cloud coverage has also been steadily decreasing. Both of these are going in the expected direction, considering that the planet has been cooling. Lower temperatures means less evaporation, less water vapor and fewer clouds. I suspect that the global rainfall has also been decreasing.

    The only other explanation is that increased atmospheric absorption caused by incremental CO2 means that the planet needs less atmospheric water vapor and fewer clouds to be in thermodynamic equilibrium. Of course, the implication is that any of man’s CO2 emissions are completely offset by the regulatory processes controlling the surface temperature.

    George


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    Ronnell

    NASA Charged in New Climate Fakery: Greenhouse Gas Data Bogus

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/23800


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    Mia Nony

    Thanks, Ronnel. I came across this earlier. Delighted to see the link posted by you here. Hope you don’t mind if I elaborate, adding an excerpt? But first:
    Hear ye, hear ye! The world will love it, this story is such a gas!
    Looks like NASA appears to have hidden evidence that the entire hypothesis of the existence of greenhouse gases was faked. I gather NASA is being sued for hiding key info to this effect and for refusing FOI requests for three years. Well there goes that! Hard on the heel’s of Al Gore’s divorce…..All the king’s horses and all the king’s men cannot put AGW back together again.

    NEW GLOBAL WARMING FRAUD SCANDAL

    EXCERPT:

    Shocking new evidence of a NASA scientist faking a fundamental greenhouse gas equation shames beleaguered space administration in new global warming fraud scandal.

    Caught in the heat are NASA’s Dr. Judith Curry and a junk science equation by the space agency’s Dr. Gavin Schmidt creating disarray over a contentious Earth energy graph
    The internal row was ignited by the release of a sensational new research paper discrediting calculations crucial to the greenhouse gas theory.

    NASA in Internal Spat over Data

    Hot on the heels of my recent scoop that the U.S. space agency may have suppressed evidence from the Apollo Moon landings that invalidated the greenhouse gas (GHG) theory, an internecine fury among NASA employees over fudged equations is set to further embarrass the current U.S. Administration’s stand on global warming.

    Word is getting round that junk equations were threaded into the GHG theory to artificially inflate the heating effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by a factor of two.

    The spark to this cataclysmic revelation was lit in April 2007 after a public gaffe (see below) by the space administration’s Dr. Gavin Schmidt, who fronts popular pro-global warming website, ‘Real Climate.’


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    Richard S Courtney

    TA:

    You repeatedly assert (above) that the anthropogenic emission of CO2 (i.e. the emission of CO2 from all activities of humans) is overwhelming the carbon cycle. For example, at #25 you say:

    The carbon cycle may be relevant to many points, but it is irrelevant to the question of how long CO2 remains in the atmosphere so long as an equal amount goes each way, as was strongly implied by JN’s original argument.

    Your statement that I quote is very wrong.

    It is not true that “an equal amount goes each way”. If that were true then there would be no seasonal variation, but the seasonal variation is an order of magnitude greater than the annual change in each recorded year since 1958 when measurements began at Mauna Loa.

    Any assertion will be invalid when it is based on an assumption that is clearly wrong.

    And your marbles analogy in your post at #14 demonstrates that you have adopted the ‘budget’ model (used by e.g. the IPCC) that is plain nonsense. The model assumes that things do not change except for the effects of the anthropogenic emission. But we know from stomata data and the (much coarser temporal resolution) ice core data that atmospheric CO2 concentration varied before the anthropogenic emission from burning fossil fuels.

    Again, you get a wrong result by using a wrong assumption in any analysis.

    In one of our papers
    (ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005) )
    we considered the most important processes in the carbon cycle to be:

    Short-term processes

    1. Consumption of CO2 by photosynthesis that takes place in green plants on land. CO2 from the air and water from the soil are coupled to form carbohydrates. Oxygen is liberated. This process takes place mostly in spring and summer. A rough distinction can be made:
    1a. The formation of leaves that are short lived (less than a year).
    1b. The formation of tree branches and trunks, that are long lived (decades).

    2. Production of CO2 by the metabolism of animals, and by the decomposition of vegetable matter by micro-organisms including those in the intestines of animals, whereby oxygen is consumed and water and CO2 (and some carbon monoxide and methane that will eventually be oxidised to CO2) are liberated. Again distinctions can be made:
    2a. The decomposition of leaves, that takes place in autumn and continues well into the next winter, spring and summer.
    2b. The decomposition of branches, trunks, etc. that typically has a delay of some decades after their formation.
    2c. The metabolism of animals that goes on throughout the year.

    3. Consumption of CO2 by absorption in cold ocean waters. Part of this is consumed by marine vegetation through photosynthesis.

    4. Production of CO2 by desorption from warm ocean waters. Part of this may be the result of decomposition of organic debris.

    5. Circulation of ocean waters from warm to cold zones, and vice versa, thus promoting processes 3 and 4.

    Longer-term process

    6. Formation of peat from dead leaves and branches (eventually leading to lignite and coal).

    7. Erosion of silicate rocks, whereby carbonates are formed and silica is liberated.

    8. Precipitation of calcium carbonate in the ocean, that sinks to the bottom, together with formation of corals and shells.

    Natural processes that add CO2 to the system:

    9. Production of CO2 from volcanoes (by eruption and gas leakage).

    10. Natural forest fires, coal seam fires and peat fires.

    Anthropogenic processes that add CO2 to the system:

    11. Production of CO2 by burning of vegetation (“biomass”).

    12. Production of CO2 by burning of fossil fuels (and by lime kilns).

    Several of these processes are rate dependant and several of them interact.

    At higher air temperatures, the rates of processes 1, 2, 4 and 5 will increase and the rate of process 3 will decrease. Process 1 is strongly dependent on temperature, so its rate will vary strongly (maybe by a factor of 10) throughout the changing seasons.

    The rates of processes 1, 3 and 4 are dependent on the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. The rates of processes 1 and 3 will increase with higher CO2 concentration, but the rate of process 4 will decrease.

    The rate of process 1 has a complicated dependence on the atmospheric CO2 concentration. At higher concentrations at first there will be an increase that will probably be less than linear (with an “order” <1). But after some time, when more vegetation (more biomass) has been formed, the capacity for photosynthesis will have increased, resulting in a progressive increase of the consumption rate.

    Processes 1 to 5 are obviously coupled by mass balances. Our paper assessed the steady-state situation to be an oversimplification because there are two factors that will never be “steady”:
    I. The removal of CO2 from the system, or its addition to the system.
    II. External factors that are not constant and may influence the process rates, such as varying solar activity.

    Modeling this system is a difficult because so little is known concerning the rate equations. However, some things can be stated from the empirical data.

    At present the yearly increase of the anthropogenic emissions is approximately 0.1 GtC/year. The natural fluctuation of the excess consumption (i.e. consumption processes 1 and 3 minus production processes 2 and 4) is at least 6 ppmv (which corresponds to 12 GtC) in 4 months. This is more than 100 times the yearly increase of human production, which strongly suggests that the dynamics of the natural processes here listed 1-5 can cope easily with the human production of CO2.

    A serious disruption of the system may be expected when the rate of increase of the anthropogenic emissions becomes larger than the natural variations of CO2. But the above data indicates this is not possible.

    The accumulation rate of CO2 in the atmosphere (1.5 ppmv/year which corresponds to 3 GtC/year) is equal to almost half the human emission (6.5 GtC/year). However, this does not mean that half the human emission accumulates in the atmosphere, as is often stated. There are several other and much larger CO2 flows in and out of the atmosphere. The total CO2 flow into the atmosphere is at least 156.5 GtC/year with 150 GtC/year of this being from natural origin and 6.5 GtC/year from human origin. So, on the average, 3/156.5 = 2% of all emissions accumulate.

    The above qualitative considerations suggest the carbon cycle cannot be very sensitive to relatively small disturbances such as the present anthropogenic emissions of CO2. However, the system could be quite sensitive to temperature. So, our paper considered how the carbon cycle would be disturbed if – for some reason – the temperature of the atmosphere were to rise, as it almost certainly did between 1880 and 1940 (there was an estimated average rise of 0.5 °C in average surface temperature.

    Please note that the figures I use above are very conservative estimates that tend to exagerate any effect of the anthropogenic emission.

    Our paper then used atribution studies to model the system response. Those attribution studies used three different basic models to emulate the causes of the rise of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in the twentieth century. They each assumed
    (a) a significant effect of the anthropogenic emission
    and
    (b) no discernible effect of the anthropogenic emission.

    Thus we assessed six models.

    These numerical exercises are a caution to estimates of future changes to the atmospheric CO2 concentration. The three models used in these exercises each emulate different physical processes and each agrees with the observed recent rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration. They each demonstrate that the observed recent rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration may be solely a consequence of the anthropogenic emission or may be solely a result of, for example, desorption from the oceans induced by the temperature rise that preceded it. Furthermore, extrapolation using these models gives very different predictions of future atmospheric CO2 concentration whatever the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    Each of the models in our paper matches the available empirical data without use of any ‘fiddle-factor’ such as the ‘5-year smoothing’ the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses to get its model to agree with the empirical data. Please note this:
    the ‘budget’ model uses unjustifiable smoothing to of the empirical data to get the model to fit the data but each of our models fits the empirical data that is not adjusted in any way.

    So, if one of the six models of our paper is adopted then there is a 5:1 probability that the choice is wrong. And other models are probably also possible. And the six models each give a different indication of future atmospheric CO2 concentration for the same future anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide.

    Data that fits all the possible causes is not evidence for the true cause. Data that only fits the true cause would be evidence of the true cause. But the above findings demonstrate that there is no data that only fits either an anthropogenic or a natural cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Hence, the only factual statements that can be made on the true cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration are

    (a) the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration may have an anthropogenic cause, or a natural cause, or some combination of anthropogenic and natural causes,

    but

    (b) there is no evidence that the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration has a mostly anthropogenic cause or a mostly natural cause.

    Hence, using the available data it cannot be known what if any effect altering the anthropogenic emission of CO2 will have on the future atmospheric CO2 concentration. This finding agrees with the statement in Chapter 2 from Working Group 3 in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001) that says; “no systematic analysis has published on the relationship between mitigation and baseline scenarios”.

    Richard


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    TA

    Richard S Courtney:

    You repeatedly assert (above) that the anthropogenic emission of CO2 (i.e. the emission of CO2 from all activities of humans) is overwhelming the carbon cycle. For example, at #25 you say:
    The carbon cycle may be relevant to many points, but it is irrelevant to the question of how long CO2 remains in the atmosphere so long as an equal amount goes each way, as was strongly implied by JN’s original argument.
    Your statement that I quote is very wrong.
    It is not true that “an equal amount goes each way”.

    Hi, Richard.
    I was responding to Jo’s argument #2, in which she said:

    IPCC charts themselves show that a quarter of all atmospheric CO2 churns in and out of the atmosphere every year. … About 200 GT is taken up by the oceans and plants, and about that much is released. It’s all in a kind of equilibrium. There’s no reason to suppose that a quarter of all human emissions don’t turn over each year just like all the rest….

    Here Jo herself is arguing for an equal exchange. In addition, her one piece of evidence (C14) only supports an equal exchange; it does not prove an unequal exchange. If a quarter of the atmospheric CO2 is exchanged every year, that will get rid of virtually all of the C14 in the atmosphere within “decades”. I was pointing out that the equal exchange that she was arguing for does not reduce the quantity of CO2 from the atmosphere. I also have pointed out that if she wants to argue for an unequal exchange, then she would need to back that up and quantify it. In my first post, I said,

    If the plants and oceans actually absorb more CO2 than they release, then the difference between what they absorb and what they release would effect the amount in the atmosphere. This may be the case, but if so you did not mention it in your argument.

    Now, you have backed it up and quantified it. I am satisfied by your answer (pending scrutiny from the other side, of course). In fact, I think it would be great if your comment were turned into a post because your work merits discussion, in my opinion.

    At the same time, my criticism of Jo’s argument #2 remains because that has not changed.


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    BobC

    TA @ 14:

    Your CO2 model ignores physical laws — e.g., when you change the concentration in one reservoir, the transfer rate from that reservoir changes (the two are related linearly, for small to medium concentrations — currently, CO2 concentration is very small, so must be linearly related to the sink rates)

    You are assuming (without evidence) a conveyor-belt-like mechanism for CO2 exchange — one that has a fixed rate that is independent of the concentrations. Maybe subduction works like this in the long run (geological time), but certainly exchange between the atmosphere and oceans doesn’t (Henry’s law, Fick’s law), and exchange with plants is probably closer to the linear model than a conveyor, when the lag time for plant growth is taken into account.


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    BobC

    Richard Courtney @ 30:

    You state that

    …on the average, 3/156.5 = 2% of all emissions accumulate.

    Since you agree that Human-produced CO2 cannot behave differently than CO2 from any other source, an inescapable conclusion is that 2% of Human CO2 emissions accumulate (in the atmosphere)

    This is consistent with the oft-stated estimate of a 50 to 1 ratio in the total CO2 capacity of the oceans vs the atmosphere, and implies that Humans only contribute about 4.3% of the yearly increase of CO2 (0.02*6.5/3). It also implies that we could reduce the yearly increase by that amount if all Anthropogenic sources were eliminated. Hence, control of the atmospheric CO2 concentration is not possible (by reducing Human emissions, anyway).

    I admit, I’m lazy and haven’t read your papers yet — I’ll get to that next time I’m at the library.


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    Richard S Courtney

    TA:

    In your post at #31 you assert that

    Here Jo herself is arguing for an equal exchange.

    No! That is a misunderstanding. Ms Nova said, and you quoted,

    About 200 GT is taken up by the oceans and plants, and about that much is released. It’s all in a kind of equilibrium.

    Equilibrium is not “equal exchange”. Indeed, any variation in the environmental circumstance (i.e. temperature, ocean pH, biological activity, etc.) will alter the equilibrium condition so the system adjusts, and the adjustment consists of an unequal exchange to achieve the changed equilibrium.

    Richard


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    Richard S Courtney

    BobC:

    At #33 you quote me and – on the basis of that quotation – you assert to me:

    Since you agree that Human-produced CO2 cannot behave differently than CO2 from any other source, an inescapable conclusion is that 2% of Human CO2 emissions accumulate (in the atmosphere)

    No! That is a logical error: it is not an “inescapable conclusion”.

    The error is that you assume CO2 emissions “accumulate in the atmosphere”. They do not.

    CO2 is emitted to the atmosphere from various sources and is sequestered from the atmosphere by various sinks. Hence, there is a turnover of CO2 in the atmosphere. An imbalance between the amounts emitted and sequestered will result in a change to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, but no subset of the emitted molecules accumulates in the atmosphere (all the molecules are subjected to the exchanges between the sources and sinks).

    The system is easilly capable of sequestering all the emission (both ‘natural’ and anthropogenic). As I said at post #30:

    At present the yearly increase of the anthropogenic emissions is approximately 0.1 GtC/year. The natural fluctuation of the excess consumption (i.e. consumption processes 1 and 3 minus production processes 2 and 4) is at least 6 ppmv (which corresponds to 12 GtC) in 4 months. This is more than 100 times the yearly increase of human production, which strongly suggests that the dynamics of the natural processes here listed 1-5 can cope easily with the human production of CO2.

    Simply, the anthropogenic emission is observed to be so trivial a proportion of the total emission that it cannot overcome the ability of the sinks to sequester all the emission (including the anthropogenic proportion).

    Please note how trivial the anthropogenic emission is to the total CO2 flowing around the carbon cycle.

    According to NASA estimates, the carbon in the air is less than 2% of the carbon flowing between parts of the carbon cycle. And the recent increase to the carbon in the atmosphere is less than a third of that less than 2%.

    And NASA provides an estimate that the carbon in the ground as fossil fuels is 5,000 GtC and humans are transferring it to the carbon cycle at a rate of ~7 GtC per year.

    In other words, the annual flow of carbon into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels is less than 0.02% of the carbon flowing around the carbon cycle.

    It is not obvious that so small an addition to the carbon cycle is certain to disrupt the system because no other activity in nature is so constant that it only varies by less than +/- 0.02% per year.

    So, to summarise the above, nothing accumulates but the system adjusts its equilibrium in accordance with changed environmental conditions (e.g. changed global temperature). As we say in our paper:

    As Figure 2 shows, the short term sequestration processes can easily adapt to sequester the anthropogenic emission in a year. But, according to these models, the total emission of that year affects the equilibrium state of the entire system. Some processes of the system are very slow with rate constants of years and decades. Hence, the system takes decades to fully adjust to the new equilibrium. And Figure 6 shows the models predicting the atmospheric CO2 concentration slowly rising in response to the changing equilibrium condition that is shown in Figure 7.

    Thus, we showed that it is theoretically possible for the anthropogenic emission to disrupt the system by altering the equilibrium of the system despite the trivial proportion of the total emission that is anthropogenic. However, if the system is that sensitive to such a small change as the anthropogenic emission then it must be very, very sensitive to other changes (e.g. increased emission from the oceans in response to the globe warming). Hence, it is not possible to determine whether the anthropogenic emission is having any effect on the amount of CO2 in the air or not.

    Furthermore, this slow rise in atmospheric CO2 as a response to the changing equilibrium condition also provides an explanation of why the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere continued to increase at unaltered rate when in two subsequent years the flux of anthropogenic CO2 into the atmosphere decreased (e.g. in the years 1973-1974, 1987-1988, and 1998-1999).

    I hope this clarifies the matter.

    Richard


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    TA

    Richard,

    It seems you are making the case for JN based on the one word, “equilibrium”. However, this word does not have to mean an unequal exchange.

    Look at the rest of the paragraph. We have “a quarter of all atmospheric CO2 churns in and out” and “About 200 GT is taken up by the oceans and plants, and about that much is released” and “a quarter of all human emissions … turn over each year” (removing the double negative). All of these phrases indicate an equal exchange and/or similar exchange. There is nothing in this quote to convey an unequal exchange, except that one word, “equilibrium”. However, that one word is not required to convey an “unequal exchange”, it can also convey an “equal exchange”, which is what it conveys to me given the three other phrases that emphasize the equality and/or similarity of the CO2 going in and out. According to dictionary.com, a chemical “equilibrium” is “A balanced condition within a system of chemical reactions. When in chemical equilibrium, substances form and break down at the same rate, and the number of molecules of each substance becomes definite and constant.” Sounds like an equal exchange to me.

    Maybe in JN’s mind this whole paragraph means an unequal exchange. However, I stand by my original impression, this is not conveyed by her words.


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    Mark D.

    May I suggest that “equilibrium” is a momentary theoretical state and that all the other terms like sources and sinks are never stable. Therefore arguing about the use of “equilibrium” is like holding a greased pig.


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    Bush Bunny

    One can go on talking about climate, change, weather, and human adaptation. The latter is most important when you realize that human beings and the genetic ancestors have been around for at least 3.5 million years.

    However, it is only in the last 10,000 years that humans
    have turned to agriculture and bi products. This is during a warmer periods that have allowed this to be achieved.

    I would like to see and have a research project to explain who in the modern day provide most of the food for those countries who can or do not have a stable primary industries base.

    If when a full blown glacial period arrives with no help from humans, how will the Northern hemisphere feed their large populations. They won’t be able to.

    However, a family of four with a quarter acre block could
    almost keep them in vegetables and eggs. I know I have almost done this, however, depended on supermarkets for flour, meat and grocery items.

    But without electricity how can you freeze produce?

    Just reflect on the war years in UK. People grew their own veggies. They survived even with rationing, but the country folks and people with gardens were better off
    with rationing than city slickers.


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    Richard S Courtney

    JA:

    At #36 you ignore what I have written and resort to semantics. You say:

    When in chemical equilibrium, substances form and break down at the same rate, and the number of molecules of each substance becomes definite and constant.” Sounds like an equal exchange to me.

    Yes, but as I explained, the equilibrium state varies and, therefore, the exchange varies so is not equal. For example, at #34 I wrote:

    Equilibrium is not “equal exchange”. Indeed, any variation in the environmental circumstance (i.e. temperature, ocean pH, biological activity, etc.) will alter the equilibrium condition so the system adjusts, and the adjustment consists of an unequal exchange to achieve the changed equilibrium.

    Are you claiming that global temperature has not changed over the last century?

    Richard


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    BobC

    Richard @ 35:

    I like your explanation, and am more motivated to read your papers.

    In my defense, however, (and being nit-picky) I simply quoted you as saying that “…2% of all emissions accumulate (in the atmosphere)”, and made the deduction that Human emissions are included in the “all”.

    That may (does) leave out many complications and may be in error — but it’s not a logical error (in the sense that it can’t be validly deduced from the statement I quoted).

    The complete syllogism would be:
    1a: All CO2 is the same, regardless of source
    1b: 2% of all CO2 emissions accumulate in the atmosphere
    2: Human CO2 emissions are part of all emissions
    3: Therefore 2% of Human CO2 emissions accumulate in the atmosphere


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    Richard S Courtney

    BobC:

    At #35 and #40 we are into a disagreement on the definition of the word “accumulate”.

    To avoid pointless disagreement, I accept your definition for the purposes of any debate here.

    But I hold to my definition for correctness.

    I hope that is acceptable to you.

    Richard


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    Mark D.

    BobC @ 40

    3: Therefore 2% of Human CO2 emissions accumulate in the atmosphere

    Sorry, would that not be 2% of human + [and other] Co2 emissions…..?


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    BobC

    Richard: I’ll read your papers and synchronize my definition of accumulate with yours :-)

    Mark D:

    Sorry, would that not be 2% of human + [and other] Co2 emissions…..?

    That would duplicate premise 1b — I was going for a more specific conclusion.


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    Bush bunny

    I’m no scientist but my archaeology and palaeoantropology studies seem to suggest that human beings have been around during and post the biggest volcanic eruption known 70,000 years ago, that was suggested it killed off all humans. That’s Toba. Well it couldn’t or we would not be here, we don’t breed that quickly nor did the Neandertals either.

    Antarctica has been around too, and certainly before
    that asteroid impact. Anyway I am thoroughly sick of
    all this global warming stuff. We’re experiencing
    very cold weather here on the Northern Tablelands (NSW) with minus 11 and 15 C at night. My rhubarb took a hit, and it has been here for 20 years?

    Sydney suffered the coldest night for 60 years, so who is warming up eh, not us. I can recall in the early 1980s when I lived in Woolaware in Sydney, near
    Cronulla, we had to wipe frost from our cars one night.

    Climate change yes, it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Now tell the politicians? I sent a two page letter via Richard Torbay, explaining to Frank Sartor what I thought of his climate change data? (just 60 years from the CSIRO) I wonder if I will get a reply? He has to reply to Richard of course. Probably ‘Thank Ms X for her information”.

    I added I thought State and Federal Governments who don’t know what I know (First year Uni stuff actually) shouldn’t have the mandate to
    govern and make solutions to the mythical climate change dogma. Is that speaking plainly enough? LOL

    Keep at it folks, one stone won’t break a window, but lots will?


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    Bush bunny

    Just a thought, the warmer the water is in an aquarium
    the slower it is released. Hence one has to aerate it
    to make the CO2 release not build up so the little fishies won’t die.


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    [...] least these papers have the thin veneer of science. You can read a very good debate on this topic here. The fruitless effort to find what is not there has led to an egregious effort to try to fudge the [...]


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    Hi Jo,

    Just a note that the half-life of any CO2 pulse in the atmosphere is 55 years and not 5 years, which is the refresh rate.

    Compare this with a leaking swimming pool which is refreshed with pump in a day but leaks in a week. The CO2 outflow of the atmosphere into the oceans is only a function of the concentration gradient atmosphere-ocean, and so only dependent on the total CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. It is therefore decoupled from the actual annual additions.

    See also Ferdinand Engelbeen paragraph 7 http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html

    Hans Erren, lukewarmer


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    Ha ha ha – i have just read the debates. You really are a poor apology for a scientist! Your arguments are emotive and play the man rather than the the facts a majority of the time. You continually use disparaging remarks to refer to Glicksons arguments and evidence – he does not (well done him) – he simply responds with evidence.
    eg
    Glikson’s answer is polite and well referenced, but overall, it’s not that well organized; it wanders around,
    I’m feeling a bit sorry for him
    It’s as if this devastating point didn’t exist. Andrew Glikson is genuinely trying to come up with other evidence, and he’s not just ducking out completely

    These are examples of motherhood statements that have nothing to do with evidence and no supported basis in fact – they are simply emotive assertions by yourself.

    I am pleased that Glickson did not feel the need to respond in similarly immature and asinine ways

    You remind me of Janet Albrechtsen. Another blonde bimbo relying on the same old same old emotional angle. If you do indeed have any information worthy of contribution to the debate they are well and truly masked by your deplorable method of presenting them.


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    [...] raised in the Skeptics Handbook, developed in the Second Handbook; the point that Dr Glikson had no reply to; the point that tripped up Will Steffen, Deltoid, and John Cook. As a modeler there was the moment [...]


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    Michael

    Ms “Nova”,

    Thank you for providing an entertaining example of why pseudo scientists wannabe’s like yourself are ever marginalising the so called climate skeptic position. The lack of integrity you have demonstrated in your misleading, misrepresented and more often than not plain wrong attacks on science would be criminal if they were ever taken seriously by the scientific community. Your efforts have served only to ridicule you in the debate and clarify the reality that you have led a flock of scientific illiterates down the garden path. Your association with even more marginalised crack pots is making for a great comedy line up.

    The mountain of genuine science now towers above you and your colleague’s efforts to counter them. Stop wasting the time of real scientists.

    Michael Grey

    [All bluff, and no examples eh? Anyone can pronounce someone "ridiculed". Look it's easy... "Michael Grey - of hotmail, you are (insert formula insult here)". Lol. You have nothing. JN]


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