Catastrophic Global Warming Refuted. Data Source; IPCC AR4

A couple of posts ago I went into considerable detail on what CO2 being “logarithmic” means and how, combined with the exponential increase in radiance from the earth warming up, we arrive at very little additional warming  even if we increase CO2 emissions on a massive scale.  But those are just my amateur musings, right?  It’s not like this is what the IPCC scientists are saying, and after all, they’re real scientists.  So let’s look at the matter again with as much of the explanation as possible drawn from the IPCC literature itself.

For brief review, the commonly quoted figures from the IPCC are that pre-industrial levels of CO2 were about 280 ppm (parts per million).  Their estimate is that doubling of the CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will raise temperatures directly by about 1 degree and that feedbacks from water vapour will add another 1 to 3.5 degrees.  The consensus estimate between the various scientists is a total of 3 degrees.  Since 1920 (the date most often used as the beginning of the industrial age) CO2 concentrations have risen about 40% and temperatures have in fact increased, but by far less than what the IPCC projections suggested.  Let’s put that aside for now and assume that the IPCC projections are accurate.

The IPCC talks about “forcing” and temperature change in the context of CO2 doubling because they accept that CO2 is logarithmic.  Every doubling of CO2 has half the effect per 100 ppm of CO2 of the one before it.  If we put this on a graph it looks like this:

 

But that’s just my graph.  What about the IPCC graphs?  They show the same thing, though it is presented in such a fashion that it doesn’t jump out at you right away.  Here’s the graph from http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-10-26.html of the IPCC AR4 report.  It’s a bit of an eye chart so here’s the quick explanation.  IPCC created a number of potential unmitigated scenarios.  These are essentially a variety of economic forecasts with predictions for each of them in terms of CO2 emissions provided no formal climate mitigation policies are enacted.  All of the various greenhouse gases in addition to CO2 are estimated (they too are logarithmic).  The graphs at the bottom show their combined “forcing” in watts per meter squared, and the expected results.  The first column is the most likely scenario based on current emissions:

The logarithmic curve is easily visible in each scenario.  But cutting it off at the year 2100 is deceptive.  If we were to extend that curve out, we would see that additional CO2 over about 600 ppm just doesn’t make much difference:

Even with CO2 shooting upwards, temperature change falls off.  Keep in mind that the scales in the three graphs are different.  CO2 is being measured in 100’s of parts per million.   Our last century of fossil fuel consumption only resulted in a 100 ppm increase.  Meanwhile, the watts per 100 ppm of CO2 keep falling.  That scale only goes from 0 to 10.  The temperature increase in degrees per 100 ppm of CO2 falls even faster because the amount of heat any body gives off increases exponentially with temperature, so it takes an increasing number of watts to get any temperature change at all.  That temperature scale is only 0 to 6.  Consider what this all means in terms of the worst case scenario compared directly to the best case scenario:

In the IPCC’s worst case scenario, exponential economic growth and fossil fuel consumption results in nearly 1,000 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere by the year 2100.  This implies increasing CO2 in the atmosphere six times as much this century as last century, and results in an over all world wide increase in temperature of 4.5 degrees.  By 2100 in this scenario, our daily consumption of oil and equivalent fossil fuels would be on the order of 12 times as much per day as it is now.  In the best case scenario, we would arrive in 2100 with about 550 ppm of CO2, but we still get a full 2 degrees of warming despite adding less than a third of the CO2 (we’re at 380 ppm right now so getting to 550 takes another 170 while getting to 1000 takes 620).

The numbers may seem a bit confusing because they don’t  quite fit with the doubling of C02 standard narrative of a 3 degree increase.  The standard narrative is based on pre-industrial CO2 levels of about 280 ppm and temperature at that time which was 0.5 to 1.0 degrees lower.  The figures in this graphic extrapolate from current CO2 levels of about 380 pp and plot temperature increases versus the 1980 to 2000 mean.  In rough summary, an additional 170 ppm in the atmosphere by 2100 raises temperatures by 2 degrees over where we are already.  An additional 600 ppm adds almost four times as much, but raises the temperature 4.5 degrees, only 2.5 degrees more than that.

What scenario trajectory are we on?  We can see the CO2 concentrations being measured by NASA on line:

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html#mlo_full

We’re about on track for the best case scenario based on the last 40 years of data.  Of course we expect that our economy will grow, we expect that 2nd and 3rd world countries will also industrialise, and so the rate of increase will likely accelerate, though the worst case scenario seems very unlikely.  The IPCC of course is recommending strong mitigation strategies either way.  Just as they created a number of likely scenarios without mitigation, they created six scenarios with mitigation.  They document these in Figure 5.1 of the AR4 Synthesis report (as well as other instances throughout AR4) as follows:

 

Unlike the first set of figures, these are calculated against pre-industrial temperatures rather than the 1980 to 2000 mean, making them a bit hard to compare.    For rough comparison, let’s simply subtract 1 degree from each of them to arrive at a number that can easily be compared to current CO2 rates and the more recent 1980 to 2000 temperature range scenarios.  Using scenario I to illustrate, it calls for a temperature increase of between 2.0 and 2.4 degrees over pre-industrial, about 1.0 to 1.4 degrees over 1980 – 2000.

In order to achieve that, the IPCC estimates that we would need to cut our fossil fuel consumption by 50% to 85% by the year 2015, just five years from now.  Keeping in mind that since the 2nd and 3rd world countries are starting to industrialize and their consumption will grow accordingly, that means that 1st world countries would have to cut consumption even more to accommodate them.  Or else subsidize their use of uneconomical alternatives through massive carbon credits.

Such a massive fossil fuel reduction world wide seems unlikely without collapsing the world economy.  Scenario V on the other hand calls for consumption to peak in 50 years or so at 25% to 60% higher than current rates.  That yields a temperature increase of 4.0 to 4.9 degrees over pre-industrial, or 3 to 3.9 degrees above the 1980 to 2000 mean.  Yet scenario VI sees consumption peaking late in the century with consumption up 90% to 140%, double that of scenario V, but only adds another 1.2 degrees to the total.  CO2 is logarithmic and these IPCC estimates reflect that.  The worst case unmitigated scenarios are very little higher than the most of the mitigated scenarios!  Of the mitigated scenarios, only the last three are remotely possible without devastating the global economy, and they only result in a temperature increase 1 to 2 degrees less than the worst case unmitigated scenario.  Can another 2 degrees (or even 3) be that catastrophic? 

Edit May 27 paragraph and graphs added:

Here are the unmitigated best and worst case scenarios compared to the IPCC mitigated scenarios.  The scales are different and the unmitigated curves are calculated against 1980 to 2000 temperatures while the mitigated scenarios are calculated against pre-industrial, so be carefull how you compare them:

In brief, our current trajectory, according to IPCC data since 1940 (see above), gives us 3 degrees of warming over pre-industrial by the year 2100. For mitigation scenario III above, if we cut emissions by 30 % starting this year we will save a whopping 0.2 degrees by 2100.  To demonstrate just how small a number that is, let’s consider not the 0.2 degrees we would save by cutting our economy to shreds, let’s instead consider what the worst case scenario to see what it would actually look like.

End May 27 edit

For starters, we have to understand how the IPCC arrives at its various estimates, and then put them in their proper context.  This is not an effort to discredit the IPCC numbers, it is an acceptance of them at face value.  Despite the fact that I think they are exagerated, I will use them as stated to demonstrate the little value there is in the IPCC proposed course of action.

For starters, the IPCC refers to sensitivity in the range of CO2 doubling resulting in an increase of longwave radiance of 3.7 watts per meter squared ( 3.7 w/m2).  This in turn results in direct warming of the earth, based on theoretical physics called “black body” and based on formulas by Stefan-Boltzmann of 1 degrees C.  A detailed explanation of Stefan Boltzmann can be found at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan%E2%80%93Boltzmann_law 

Positive feedbacks from water vapour are claimed to increase this number to between 2 and 4.5 degrees, with the median consensus estimate being 3 degrees.  But a Stefan-Boltzman calculation against the mean surface temperature of the earth, 15 degrees C, yields a change of 1 degree in the region of 5.5 watts, not 3.7.  The reason for the discrepancy is that the IPCC calculates sensitivity against the effective black body temperature of the earth, which is different from the surface temperature.  Since the earth is surrounded by an atmosphere which is a lower temperature, this makes sense.  The effective black body temperature of the earth as a whole is more like      -20 C.  Interestingly, that’s about the temperature at 14,000 feet above sea level according to NASA’s AMSU-A satellite:

http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/ 

(you will need Java installed and then click on global atmospheric temperature trend and select channel 5)

So here we have our first Aha! moment.  The three degrees for CO2 doubling is calculated at a much colder temperature than the surface of the earth.  The same amount of additional energy flux (power) that would heat the 14,000 foot layer by 3 degrees only adds about 2 degrees at earth surface.  Of course that’s based on the 14,000 foot layer being an average of -20 C and the surface being about +15.  The problem is that there is nothing average at all about the earth’s surface.  It is much warmer at the equator than at the poles.  Summers are much warmer than winter.  Mid day is (usually) warmer than night time.  If an additional 3 degrees (or 4 or 5) was evenly distributed, that would be a gigantic increase.  But it is not evenly distributed by day, season, or latitude.  To understand the real impact, we need to not only understand the average temperature increase, but how it will be distributed.

We frequently hear words like “polar amplification” and references to the arctic regions heating up several times as fast as the rest of the planet.  These things are true.  The various surface station temperature records reflect this as do the satellite temperature records.  Here is the northern hemisphere temperature record since 1880 according to NASA/GISS and broken down by latitude:

 

 What we see right away is that northern hemisphere temperatures have increased by about 1 degree since 1880.  But arctic region temperatures are up by 2.5 degrees.  With all the excitement about the increase in arctic temperatures and the potential impact on the polar ice cap, we’ve forgotten that the average temperature increase of just 1 degree for the northern hemisphere is not only lower, but that the temperate zones and equatorial regions must be lower still in order for the average to be one degree.  As we look at the graph we see that this is true.  The increase since 1880 in the equatorial region is only about 0.7 degrees.  So now we arrive at our second Aha! moment.  Not only is the estimated temperature increase for the earth surface lower than that for the earth as a whole, but the warmest parts of the earth will see the least additional warming, and the coldest parts the most.  This is precisely in agreement with APCC AR4  observations in chapter 9 of Working Group 1

 http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-4-1-2.html:

Both of the graphs present the same result for two different time periods of observation.  Arctic temperatures go up more than the average, temperate zone and equatorial temperatures less.  If we return to the previous discussion of Stefan-Bolzmann, the physics upon which the IPCC sensitivity calculations rest, we see that this is exactly what we would expect.  The following are sample calculations to illustrate the point:

P=5.67*10^-8*T^4 is the Stefan-Bolzmann formula where T is temperature in degrees K.

Arctic average temperature  -20 C => +10 watts => +2.5 degrees

Equatorial average temperature  +25 C => +10 watts =>  +1.6 degrees

We can conclude from this that Stefan-Boltzman explains some, but not all, of the lower temperature increases observed when comparing Arctic to Equatorial.  Just as we expect CO2 doubling to result in a higher temperature increase at 14,000 feet than we do at earth surface, we also expect a higher temperature increase at the poles compared to the equatorial region.  But that is still not the complete story.  Earth’s temperatures also fluctuate by season, and by day.  If we go back to NASA/GISS land data since 1881, they provide northern hemisphere temperatures broken down by season.  They are not, unfortunately, also broken down by latitude, but nonetheless we can see that the same relationship applies.  The cold temperatures increase more than the high temperatures:

 

Across the range of the graph, winter temperatures increase almost 2 degrees while summer temperatures increase by only one degree.  The average temperature increase is somewhere in between.  But this brings us to yet another Aha! moment.  Since we already know that equatorial regions don’t fluctuate in temperature nearly as much as arctic regions, if we were to break this down by latitude, we would expect that winter temperatures in the arctic would fluctuate by an even wider ratio compared to summer.  We don’t have NASA/GISS data to rely on in that regard, but we do have temperature data from DMI for the arctic 80N area since 1958

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

This allows us to look at the temperature fluctuations and see what cold years look like compared to warm years.  The graphic below compares two of the warmest years, 2006 and 2007 to two of the coldest years, 1963 and 1964.  It is very easy to see that in the coldest years, most of the change was in the depths of winter, and in the warmer years, that is also where the bulk of the temperature change occurred.  To be fair, at the very top of the graph temperatures almost always converge with the annual mean almost exactly.  This is because the top of the graph is just above 273 K, the melting point of ice.  Once atmospheric temperatures reach that point, most of the additional energy goes into melting ice and there is no temperature increase until there is no ice left to melt.  However, if we exclude the top 10% of the graph to get this issue out of the analysis, it becomes clear that almost all the temperature increases seen in the high arctic have come in the depths of winter where a small increase in energy flux results in a higher temperature increase, in keeping with Stefan-Boltzman.

Yet we are still not done understanding the meaning of temperature change in the context of “average”.  We’ve already seen that the average temperature change means different things at different altitudes, different latitudes and different seasons.  It also means different things from day time to night time.  Depending on where you are, diurnal temperature ranges can vary from small to large.  In the tropics where there is high humidity, the range is small.  In a desert, the range can be very large.  Without going into a tremendous amount of detail, let’s take a quick look at what a given level of forcing means in terms of a daily temperature swing.  Consider a hot day in the north temperate zone with an average temperature of 20 degrees.  The low might be 15 and the high 30 degrees C.  But the peak of 30 lasts only a few hours while the low will be spread out over most of the night time period with some of the morning and evening mixed in.  Considering Stefan-Boltzman once more, the same physics that is reflected in altitude, latitude and seasonal variance, an increase of 10 watts/m2 (requiring over 1000 ppm of CO2 to achieve)  would mean that the low for the evening would go up by 1.8 degrees, but the high during the day would only go up 1.6 degrees. 

To review, Stefan-Boltzmann’s equations and the logarithmic nature of CO2 are confirmed by the major temperature records and by all the evidence and projections supplied in the IPCC AR4 report.  They all lead to the same basic conclusions.  The bulk of all warming from a strictly temperature perspective should happen, and is happening, in the coldest parts of the planet at the coldest times of the year.  Put in that context, we have a very different understanding of what the worst case scenario, a rapid and unmitigated economic expansion of the global economy means, in terms of the IPCC’s estimate of a 4.5 degree temperature rise over current levels.  If we consider that 4.5 degrees is calculated against the mean radiative black body temperature of the earth at 14,000 feet, we must first convert that to the mean surface temperature at 15 degrees.  This translates into a surface temperature increase of 3.2 degrees.  If we further break that up by latitude and season, we get very different numbers.  Let’s consider three scenarios.  A tropical zone with average temperature varying seasonally from +25 to +40, a south temperate zone with seasonal variation from 0 to +30, a north temperate zone with seasonal variation from -20 to plus 25 and an arctic zone from -50 to +10.  Here’s what we get:

If we look at a given zone we see that the tropics experience the least warming and also the least variance.  The warm season goes up 2.7 degrees, the cool season slightly more at 3.  At the other end of the spectrum though, the arctic warm season goes up 3.5 degrees, not much more than the tropics.  But the cold season increases a whopping 10 degrees, from -50 to -40. 

Here is a bar graph showing all the zones and their winter temperature change versus the summer.  Even in a worst case scenario, a massive increase in our fossil fuel consumption, summer temperatures don’t go up by the quoted 4.5 degrees.  They go up less than 3 degrees for most of the planetAlmost all of the temperature increase results in warmer winters in the most bitterly cold parts of our planet.

So again we have an Aha! moment.  Even at the bizarre level of world economic growth that would be required for us to reach the IPCC worst case scenario, the conclusion we should be coming to is not that the planet will somehow incinerate and kill us all.  The conclusion should be that we will see somewhat warmer tropics and slightly warmer summers across the planet, but much, much milder winters.  The 2.5 degrees of warming seen in the Arctic over the last century has been mostly in the winter, and as a consequence, the polar bear population is thriving.  Surviving the summer is not their problem.  Surviving the winter is.  2.5 degrees of warming has helped them survive the winter, but made little difference to their summers.

If we were to choose a more reasonable growth expectation like a 1% year over year increase in CO2 levels, we would arrive at about 660 ppm by the end of this century which the IPCC suggests would be a temperature increase of about 3 degrees over the 1980 to 2000 mean, which is still a higher number than the most likely scenario from the IPCC of 2 degrees.  Using the ideal black body calculation against a three degree rise from 255 K, we get 11.7 w/m2 and we can do the chart again to see how 660 ppm stacks up:

 

In this much more realistic scenario, with no mitigation, we arrive at fossil fuel consumption over double our current rates by the end of the century, and put almost three times as much CO2 into the atmosphere as we did in the previous century.  While an additional three degrees still sounds alarming on the surface, the same rules apply.  We would expect only 2 degrees or less in the summer, the bulk of the increases would be experienced mostly as milder winters.  Even the hottest days will be experienced more as warmer evenings than as high mid day temperatures.

We could take this analysis to another level still.  Consider that in northern areas, winters are long.  If you get far enough north, it is pitch black for months at a time.  Winter can be eight months long leaving only four more for spring, summer and fall to split between them.  If the temperature goes up 10 degrees in winter, the average for the year would be met with an even smaller temperature rise in the summer than what was calculated above.  The same holds true for night and day.  Even when sunlight is evenly divided between day and night, the peak temperature is brief, similar to the DMI graphs at the beginning of this article.  As a consequence the heating during the cool part of the day takes up a larger portion of the day, and the average is met with less peak temperature rise.  I like math, but that level of detail I’m not excited about.  If you’ve followed along this far, you get the idea.

The bottom line is that if we review the worst case unmitigated scenario, we only save one to two degrees against any of the scenarios that are remotely practical.  If we then take that two degrees and distribute it by latitude and by season, we find that we will have accomplished almost nothing.  Instead of +40.6 on a very hot day in the tropics, it will be +40.  A nice summer day in the north will be 15.9 instead of 15.  And instead of -36 in the middle of winter it will be -40.  And gasoline will be $22.00 per gallon.

My critics will at this point say I have left some things out and I have.  The temperature model I have presented is not valid if one takes into account snow melt.  In my example of the Arctic with a -50 winter and a +10 summer, this would imply snow melting and much of the additional w/m2 would go into driving a state change (from snow to water) rather than a temperature change when spring arrives.  This is a fair criticism and modifying these formulas to account for that is a whole study unto itself.  The point however, is that the bulk of the temperature change comes in the depths of winter, and a winter at -40 instead of -50 is certainly not catastrophic to our biosphere.  For northern temperate zones, the snow will still melt, it will just melt faster, summer will be a bit nicer and winters will be a lot milder.  Would the ice caps and glaciers melt?  There is no doubt that they would be impacted by any warming at all, but let’s note that the polar ice cap doesn’t melt any faster at -40 than it does at -50.  In addition, the IPCC predicts considerably more precipitation, so the question becomes, does the relatively small temperature increase in the summer melt season (which is very short in the first place) off set the increased snowfall in the winter (which is still long)?  I can only observe that despite large temperature increases of 2.5 degrees over the last century, ice seems within normal bounds at both the arctic and Antarctic, and IPCC predictions of sea level rise have fallen far short of estimates.  You can check Arctic sea ice extent here

http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

and you can see Antarctic sea ice extent here

http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/ice_ext_s.png

The other two objections regard rainfall and drought due to changing climate patterns, and increased extreme weather.  I will do my best with the first objection, and I will put the second to rest rather forcefully.

The IPCC AR4 report in fact includes projections for increased rainfall.  Rainfall pretty much has to increase given that the whole notion of 1 degree of CO2 forcing becoming 3 degrees due to positive feedbacks is based on substantial increases in atmospheric moisture.  That does not mean however that some areas won’t get less rain and some more.  The AR4 report takes the trouble to predict both temperature and rainfall by latitude:

As can be seen from the chart, The IPCC AR4 report suggests that precipitation will increase for most of the planet with a few narrow latitude bands seeing a few percentage points less.  How accurate is this?  I’m not the one to ask, but again, let’s look at the worst case scenario.  The areas of reduced rainfall are limited.  The great droughts of the 1930’s were followed by an extended cooling period until the late 1960’s.  The warming since then has surpassed the temperatures of the 1930’s, but the droughts have not returned, so they (or those specific ones in any event) were not driven by warmer temperatures.  True, additional precipitation could also lead to flooding and other problems.  So much of what is in the IPCC AR4 report is factually accurate, but presented to be more dramatic than it is.  I don’t know if that is the case for precipitation forecasts, but I will make this observation.  We are not animals.  We build houses to control the climate within them, we build damns to hold the water where we need it and we irrigate where there isn’t enough.  Animals run away or die when confronted with change.  We are humans and we have a much broader range of choices (almost all of them enabled by fossil fuels).  If precipitation sky rockets I think few countries will wring their hands.  They’ll be too busy building hydro electric damns to capture the cheap power.

I will close with a discussion of extreme weather events.  The IPCC narrative is that a warmer planet implies a larger amount of energy stored in various systems.  If an extra 3.7 w/m2 is being retained on the planet due to CO2 doubling, plus 7.4 w/m2 more from water vapour feedback, it by default must be stored somewhere in the system.  Since there is more energy in the system as a whole, there is more potential for storms, hurricanes, cyclones and so on to occur and draw on all that extra energy, resulting in more frequent and more intense weather events.  Of all the distortions and misrepresentations contained in the various predictions for our climate, this one is perhaps the most troubling.  Yes there is more energy stored in the system, but the manner in which it is stored suggests that extreme weather events will decrease, not increase.

Energy can be stored, but for it to move there must be a difference in potential.  If you have two lakes with water in them, but they are at the same elevation, water will not flow between them.  It doesn’t matter if the lakes are one kilometre across or ten kilometres.  It doesn’t matter if they are connected by a garden hose or an aqueduct.  One lake must be higher than the other for water to flow.  Wind doesn’t blow unless there is a pressure difference between two areas.  Hook two fully charged car batteries in parallel and nothing will happen.  In parallel the positive terminals are connected to each other and the same with the negative terminals.  Since the voltage potentials are the same, nothing happens.  If you connect them in series, positive to negative and then the second positive to the first negative… I am warning you not to do this.  The sparks could well blind you, you could start a fire, and if you actually manage to get a good connection, your jumper cables will melt and weld themselves solid.  When there is a large difference in potential energy, stuff happens.

Weather in the short term and climate in the long term are both driven by the same thing.  There are natural processes that create energy potential differences.  The earth spins, heating up each day and cooling off each night.  This causes convection as hot air rises and pulls cold air in below.  It causes pressure changes which drive wind.  It causes water to evaporate which winds up as rain that fills lakes that flow into rivers.  Every single feature there is that we call weather, is driven by natural processes that create differentials in energy potential which deplete themselves as anything from a breeze to a cyclone to a hurricane.  Our long and short term weather is driven by energy differentials that cause circulation of energy from the high temperature tropics to the poles:

I have just spent the last several pages demonstrating via the IPCC’s own data, theory, and published reports, that the arctic zones will heat up more than the tropics, that winters will heat up more than summers, and that nights will warm up more than days.  I’ve confirmed with the NASA/GISS temperature records that these things are true, and the IPCC has imbedded that very conclusion in many of their graphs and calculations.  In other words, while there may be more energy in the system, the energy potential difference is diminished by warming.  From night to day, from latitude to latitude, and from season to season the theoretical physics and the observed results show that the end result is less temperature differential daily, seasonally and geographicaly.  As those are the very things that drive weather, we must conclude that extreme weather events are less likely, not more. 

May 27 edit

Observation bears this out.  Hurricane frequency and cyclone intensity have been in decline despite warming world temperatures and increasing ocean heat content:

end May 27 edit

Given the opportunity to vote for climate change options, I shall choose the one that provides for fewer extreme weather events, milder winters, more fresh water, bigger crop yields and more arable land farther north and at higher elevations.  On a really hot day I will run an air conditioner, and if need be a diesel generator to run that.  The CO2 is good for the crops.  An extra degree in summer won’t hurt me or the rest of the biosphere in any meaningful way.  40 below on the other hand tends to wear on one as one ages.  Even the polar bears are on side.

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13 Responses to Catastrophic Global Warming Refuted. Data Source; IPCC AR4

  1. Henry Pool says:

    Thanks David. This puts it into some perspective.
    I had my eureka moment a half year ago when I realised that earth must be something like a giant water cooling plant. That is why life is possible. If global warming is possible then my point was that 70% of earth is water so most of the extra energy must go into the oceans. Eventually that extra heat would translate into evaporation . That water vapor would translate into clouds and that would translate into cooling. Where I live (in Pretoria) I noticed a difference of 13-14 degrees C from a cloudy to a sunny day in March. That is just to show you how much clouds are cooling.

    My question is: there must be a point where you will get a to maximum and then the thermostat switches and things start cooling down. Don’t you agree?

    As far as Joseph goes: I think it was his experience in life. He did work on a farm before he ended up in prison. Was there not also a story of Jacob (his father) working twice a period of 7 years for a wife? Also 14 years. Coincidence? I must look that story up again.

  2. Henry Pool says:

    PS. Could not find anything in that story, but I think in those days famines were not unusual – so they may have kept some records as to how long they lasted. I am pretty sure the ancients knew about the sunspots – afterall Ra was the God of Egypt and they build the piramids. People like that were not really that stupid and they may have put a link between sunspot activity and drier periods.

  3. When you say:
    “From night to day, from latitude to latitude, and from season to season the theoretical physics and the observed results show that the end result is less temperature differential daily, seasonally and geographicaly. As those are the very things that drive weather, we must conclude that extreme weather events are less likely, not more.”

    THAT’S wrong: in fact there are studies (e.g. Camille Li and D. Battisti, 2009) show that during the Last Glacial Maximum (Gradient North-South increased) the storminess was reduced … it’s not just the overall gradient that matters! the baroclinicity and all other aspects that I’m not gonna go in details counts! So please, do not jump to conclusions … there are thousands of scientists working on it not link to any lobby… the climate system is not linear and not that easy. And the exponential effect of CO2 is taken into account by climate models!!! moreover since the first climate model has been develop the final answer about future projected temp. ain’t changed: WARMING! the magnitude did change (but if it’s gonna be a warming of 3 or 4 degree it’s gonna be a problem anyway!)

    Then you state
    “Given the opportunity to vote for climate change options, I shall choose the one that provides for fewer extreme weather events, milder winters, more fresh water, bigger crop yields and more arable land farther north and at higher elevations. On a really hot day I will run an air conditioner, and if need be a diesel generator to run that. The CO2 is good for the crops. An extra degree in summer won’t hurt me or the rest of the biosphere in any meaningful way. 40 below on the other hand tends to wear on one as one ages. Even the polar bears are on side.”

    An extra degree won’t hurt you! a temperature increase of 1 degree has to be seen as STATISTICAL increase possibility of intense hot waves!!! (And you should know it, since you show off lots of knowledge,but then you made such a rookie mistake!!!) . Plus all the effect on the biosphere that an increase in temperature has (starting from the insects that are really sensitive and are the starting point of the food chain!! ) … anyway I could also comment on the ozone article, but I don’t have time right now! I believe everybody should try to do his own job as best as he/she could without criticizing some else job (if not your field) jumping to premature conclusions!

    Best

    • davidmhoffer says:

      Francesco S. R.
      THAT’S wrong: in fact there are studies (e.g. Camille Li and D. Battisti, 2009) show that during the Last Glacial Maximum (Gradient North-South increased) the storminess was reduced … it’s not just the overall gradient that matters!>>

      You are half right. There are many many factors that can drive weather variations up or down. I never said that warming from the CO2 was the only one. However glaciation is most related to Melankovich cycles which vary the solar input to the climate. The difference is that solar input varies by day, latitude and season. The proposed effects of CO2 are 24 x 7 x 365 world wide and so even out the fluctuations rather than exacerbating them.
      —————

      And the exponential effect of CO2 is taken into account by climate models!!! >>

      Logarithmic. COOLING response is exponential. And that’s my point. If you understand the logarithmic nature of CO2 then you understand the the bulk what CO2 is capable of doing in terms of warming is already happening. Mitigation strategies simply won’t make much difference.
      ———————–

      Plus all the effect on the biosphere that an increase in temperature has (starting from the insects that are really sensitive and are the starting point of the food chain!! )>>

      Again you missed the point. Insects have tolerance for temperature swings, but it is the LOW end of temperature range that kills them. Temperature changes 15 to 20 degrees every day in the tropics. Will 16 to 20.6 make a catastrophic difference? No. Will -50 to -40 in the arctic make a difference? No, they all died when the temps went below 0.

      • <>
        You can run sensitivity study simulating preindustrial insolation and all the rest LGM and find the same results: increased temp gradient, decreased storminess. I’m not talking about Milankovitch now! I’m just focusing on the temperature gradient thing! If 1+1 were = 2 and it was so easy we would be all happy, but the point is that the climate system is way more complex than a linear system. Moreover there are tons of study using both climate models and observation showing the increase of extreme events in a warmer world. That is kind of easy to understand since e.g. the fuel for the cyclones is the heat from the ocean, but you didn’t mention that, did you?

        I said exponential since I’m a paleoclimatologist so I look the other way round. Anyway the different between an ice age (5-7 degree cooler than now on a global) and the preindustrial values is only 90 ppm. the increase from the pre-industrial to now is about 110 ppm ( the increase in temperature about a degree), the doubling of CO2 will lead to an overall ~3 degree increase of temperature. As you can see the logaritmic nature is present and the point that another even 1-1.5 C warming is gonna be A LOT (the Little Ice Age was only 1.5 C colder than now and the winter in Europe were freezing; e.g the Venice Laguna was often frozen!)! and for more info about the effect on global scale of 1-1.5 C warming, ask bio-climatologist etc don’t draw your own conclusions.
        As a simple example: summer like 2003 in Europe are gonna be more possible and devastating with lots of deaths!

        I think that’s it.
        Take care

  4. Sorry for english typos!!! I wrote fast! :)

  5. davidmhoffer says:

    Francesco S.R. says:
    May 27, 2010 at 2:10 pm (Edit)

    You can run sensitivity study simulating preindustrial insolation and all the rest LGM and find the same results: increased temp gradient, decreased storminess.>>

    Now there is the problem exactly. People run computer models, present the results, and everyone goes ooooh.. aaaah… wow. I presented in this article actual temperature measurements to support the facts. If you will check the actual data gathered on cyclone energy world wide, you will find that it has been dropping for 30 years despite the ocean warming. Here’s hurricane frequency versus ocean temperatures:

    And here is cyclone intensity since 1979:

    > Moreover there are tons of study using both climate models and observation showing the increase of extreme events in a warmer world. That is kind of easy to understand since e.g. the fuel for the cyclones is the heat from the ocean, but you didn’t mention that, did you?>

    See cyclone intensity and ocean temperature graphs above.

    >(the Little Ice Age was only 1.5 C colder than now and the winter in Europe were freezing; e.g the Venice Laguna was often frozen!)!>

    And yet you want us to take steps to cool the planet off. Interesting. By the way, thanks for helping to make my point again. During the LIA winters in Europe were nasty cold because as a North Temperate zone they experienced much more cooling than did the tropics. Rough guestimate 3 degrees while the tropics only cooled 0.5

    >As a simple example: summer like 2003 in Europe are gonna be more possible and devastating with lots of deaths! >

    And what do you suppose happens if we cut emissions by 30% to 80%? How does food get to the grocery store? How does it get stored so it doesn’t spoil? How does it get grown, harvested, and shipped around the world? How do people in winter climates keep from freezing to death? The deaths that would result from such drastic cuts would be in the billions.

    I added an edit to the article, I suggest you take a look. IPCC AR4 Mitigation scenario number III requires that we cut emissions in 2010 (this year) by 30% to save a whopping 0.2 degrees. Let’s see, in the tropics that would be about 0.07 degrees and in the arctic perhaps 0.5 degrees in winter, possibly 0.3 degrees in summer. You want to sentence a billion people to death for that?

    • Unfortunately I do not have more time to reply to all your point since I’m working on my PhD thesis, but I’ll leave you with this video:

      I’ll try to have a look at your graph of the decrease of cyclons, anyway you know we don’t have a time series long enough to draw conclusion (too short) … moreover the intensity of cyclons is increased … anyway you are avoided to reply to what an increase of 1-1.5 C means for the world! … besides saying we turn on the air condition …
      <<>>>
      Have you ever heard about renewable energy?????????? there is no just oil!!!! but there are lobby do not want to invest on it! …

  6. davidmhoffer says:

    Francesco S. R.

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but you started out being critical of me for saying anything at all outside of my field of expertise and suggested I should leave it to the experts. May I point out that:

    1. The summation of your video is that a whole pile of people with PhD’s say global warming is real and so you should believe it. That is exactly the arrogance that is central to the debate, and is of zero value in this discussion. The video is blatant manipulation of the human decision making process and anyone trained in the psychology of persuading large organizations to make specific decisions would recognize the deceptive nature of the approach instantly. On this, you are now on MY area of expertise. Further, there are thousands of scientists with PhD’s who dispute the findings of the official organizations and I could easily make a video just as manipulative as this one, using different prestigious organizations and come to a very different conclusion. I won’t because I don’t do the manipulation thing.
    2. Confronted with data that does not agree with your position, you retreat into insisting we don’t have enough data. The IPCC predictions from AR1 and AR2 were that we would see substantial increases in these things by now, and they were wrong. They had even less data then, yet insisted they had enought to make a prediction. So now we know that they were wrong on both points. They started out predicting 3 degrees of sensitivity for CO2 doubling and they were wrong. They retreated to 1 degree of CO2 doubling and added two more from water vapour feedback, and they were again wrong. They then retreated to claiming the warming was in the pipeline and being sequestered in the ocean to come out later, and again they have been proven wrong. They predicted sea level rises for the temperature increaases we have seen so far, and again they were wrong. Polar ice caps, wrong. Snow intensity, wrong. But they have PhD’s and belong to prestigious organizations so believe them anyway. Tree ring studies based with 50% of the data coming from one tree to represent the climate of the whole planet for 1000 years. Wrong. Reconstructions with temperature data spliced over top of actual data on the theory that the tree rings were wrong for the last 60 years, but there is no reason to believe that they were wrong at any time in the previous 940. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
    3. Yes, there’s renewable energy. Biofuels rob the planet of space to grow food and have been shown to be a net contributor to GHG in a number of studies. Even the most positive studies on biofuel arrive at a net balance just barely negative to GHG levels. Solar and wind power are intermittant, cannot ramp up instantly on demand, require storage mechanism to even out fluctuations that are harmful to the evnironment themselves, uneconomical to boot, and neither can possibly scale to the levels we need. If you want to propose nuclear, we could go that way, but not practical for anything that moves like trucking, shipping and so on until battery technology improves by an order of magnitude. Renewables have value, but very limited value once you start looking at the costs and limitations of practical applications scaled to our need.
    4. You’ve asked about effects of 1.5 degrees. I’ve answered it. You pointed out that a 1.5 degree drop in temperature had ice age class effects on the planet. Yet you propose taking action to cool the planet. I also answered it above in the article itself. We’re up about 1 degree since 1880 and nothing catastrophic has happened. We’re still below the temperatures of the Medieval Warm Period and the Roman Warm Period. CO2 levels have been much higher in the geological record than they are now, and no catastrophe ensued. But since you are so insistant on taking the advice of PhD’s who belong to prestigious organizations, let’s go back to the IPCC. Look at the graphs. The most agressive mitigation scenario they propose, requiring a 50% to 85% cut in emissions starting this year, results in +1.0 to +1.4 degrees over current temperatures. That is only 0.6 degrees less than what THEY predict based on our current trajectory. Go back through the math, which by the way is THEIR math just presented in proper perspective, and you will find that translates to tropical temperature increases so small they can’t be measured and some modest warming in the artic almost entirely confined to the depths of winter. I am not substituting my opinion for theirs in this article. I am pointing out exactly what they said, I changed none of their numbers, not a single one of their calculations, I just presented their own information in context. So if you truly believe that another 1.5 degrees is a disaster of some sort, I’m sad to inform you that the most agressive mitigation scenario that IPCC could come up with arrives at almost that same number.

    • The video was just pointing out that taking action and try to have a suistainable development won’t be a bad idea, since we will never sure 100% of the anthropogenic effect and in the mean time we are here waisting time discussing we are at the same time running the experiment!!!
      Are you sure YOU ARE not the one who MANIPULATE the info???
      Really man, I wonder if you are or pretend to be!!! When you actually are the first to manipulate even what I said!!! well sorry but I might get a bit rude, because I can’t cope with those kind of people!

      FIRST: I pointed out what 1.5 C temperature cooling means in term of climatic effect, just to make people understand what 1.5 C warming could mean in term of heat waves! AND NOT that I want to cool the planet as you said!!!

      SECOND: When I say the cyclone records are too short to drawn conclusion is because they span not even 30 years, instead for temperature we have record of around 150 plus other proxy record that allow us to have a better estimate of the temperature trend!!! Moreover for your graph you can see that is not as you stated: “THE NUMBER HAS BEEN DROPPING FOR 30 YEARS” .. what are you looking at??? we had a decrease in the last 9 years… after a big jump in the 90’s; however we CANNOT draw conclusions with only 30 years!!Moreover it’s not just the number that matters but the intensity! FURTHERMORE you are showing ONLY HURRICANES!!!and not TYPHOONS and the other tropical cyclones, BUT YOU SPEAK as all show a decrease showing only the hurricanes, ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE NOT THE ONE WHO MANIPULATES?

      THIRD: I’m not saying that we need to cut the emission without having some other kind of energy to use … we need to invest on alternative energies and try to reduce as fast as we can the usage of oil etc … it does not mean that we have to cut the emission and go live like Cro-Magnon Man!!
      But just try to point towards a sustainable development more respectful towards all species!

      FORTH: reading these your sentences:
      “Insects have tolerance for temperature swings, but it is the LOW end of temperature range that kills them. Temperature changes 15 to 20 degrees every day in the tropics. Will 16 to 20.6 make a catastrophic difference? No. Will -50 to -40 in the arctic make a difference? No, they all died when the temps went below 0.” AND
      ” On a really hot day I will run an air conditioner, and if need be a diesel generator to run that. The CO2 is good for the crops. An extra degree in summer won’t hurt me or the rest of the biosphere in any meaningful way. 40 below on the other hand tends to wear on one as one ages. Even the polar bears are on side.”

      I’m seriously speechless!!! Without knowing you, I bet you are American.. you are the classical stereotype of a spoiled american!!! with all due respect for the tons of great americans! Apologies for stereotyping!
      A) “I WILL RUN A DIESEL GENERATOR …” … “WON’T HURT ME OR the other biosphere…”, have you ever thought the planet Earth is not just ours??? we are living here with other species and we need to respect other environments and try not to pollute besides warming the planet??? sustainable development !! Is it that bad as concept?! yeah probably it is, because I can’t stay with a sweater on in winter at home I need to stay in t-shirt an 25 C ops sorry ~75 F in my house … am I right? Moreover it does not hurt YOU because you do not live in an critical area where small climate changes can have big impact such as places where the economy is still based on agriculture!
      AND AGAIN you never dealt with what 1 C increase means statistically in term of heat waves!!! …
      B) THE ONLY INSECT to benefit of such an increase of temperature are mosquitos as far as I know, but since I’m not a “know-it-all” guy as someone here appears to be, I avoid to jump to conclusion!
      C) “-50 to -40 in the artic will make a difference?” what temperature are you talking about??? just made up? you know that are the summer temperature the critical one for the polar ecosystem??and the extension of the summer sea ice is fundament for the polar bears to hunt???? do you know this? Have you seen how much the sea ice shrank in the last few years in summer???

      Well I won’t change your mind but I won’t waist anymore time to discuss with a person who says to not manipulate info and then is the first to manipulate mine! Bravo keep up with that! A nickel worth of free advise let scientists do their job i think they can do the math …
      That is it!

      Francesco S.R.

  7. davidmhoffer says:

    Francesco S.R.;
    Sir,
    I was harsh and blunt but fair. If you want to take that approach, then the gloves come off.

    1. I grew up on a farm in an area known for its harsh winter climate and short growing season. I am very well versed in the effects of a small change in seasonal heat, precipitation and other factors on crop yield. I now live in a community for which agriculture is once of the top three economic drivers, and the nearest commercial crop field is less than a five minute walk for me. My family still owns and operates their original homestead quarter sections from the early 1900’s. So before you shoot your mouth off about me not understanding agriculture again consider that I know considerably more from first hand experience than any PhD would supply you.

    2. I am not an American. Your statement “I’m seriously speechless!!! Without knowing you, I bet you are American.. you are the classical stereotype of a spoiled american!!! ” suggests that you are a bigot. You are an intellectual bigot who cannot fathom that someone with no list of fancy letters behind their name is capable of providing facts and logical analysis and you are a cultural bigot who attempts to portray what were conversational side remarks to the actual analysis as the primary points and suggesting that it makes me a crass, vulger, selfish American. These things have nothing to do with the central points of my analysis, but your attempt to sideline the conversation by introducing these issues in this way suggests you are an intellectual snob and a bigot both.

    3. Francesco S. R. says “Are you sure YOU ARE not the one who MANIPULATE the info???>>

    I have provided my facts and the sources for every one of them in my article. You’ve responded with vague criticisms but no facts, studies, sources, or analysis to contradict them. Your entire rebuttal consists of mentioning you are working on your PhD in paleoclimatology and suggesting that I leave these things for the experts. Oh, and a video. I’m intimidated by your intellect. Not. I have manipulated nothing, my sources are documented and my analysis documented. If I have manipulated anything then point to the specific analysis and refute it with actual data and analysis, not snobish dismissal.

    4. Francesco S.R. ” what are you looking at??? “>>

    I posted a links to the hurricane frequency data and the cyclone data and to ocean heat content to which I referred. If you wish to dispute the conclusions drawn from those sources by all means do so, but pretending that I pulled them out of a hat when you know very well I provided them to you is bullshit. Further, these were not the subject of the article, these were an after thought prompted by you. The data and analysis stands on its own, and any contradiction that may arise from the specific issue of extreme weather events such as cyclones requires further analysis of the many, many factors that drive those weather events which you would know since YOU DID YOUR MsC IN “Evaluation of Radiative Forcing and Climate Change during the XX and XXI centuries by means of an AOGCM” Further investigation of your research reveals that it has been focused on climate modeling via computer simulation, and hence your reference to models in an earlier comment as if they prove anything, and you inability to come to grips with the fact that real world observation shows that reality trumps models every time, a fact which you computer modeling researchers have not yet allowed to pierce your arrogant belief in your models versus the actual planet.

    5. Francesco S.R. ““-50 to -40 in the artic will make a difference?” what temperature are you talking about??? just made up?>>

    Well yes, it was provided as an example for illustrative purposes. I live in a city at 50 degrees N latitude that frequently reaches -40, I have been in a city at 60 degrees N latitude that reached -50 while I was visiting and the Antarctic frequently reaches -90. So yes, I picked the number for illustrative purposes, and yes there are plenty of areas on the planet that reach those temperatures and lower every year, one would think someone with a masters degree in AOGCM modeling would know that and not pretend otherwise.

    6. Francesco S.R. “you know that are the summer temperature the critical one for the polar ecosystem??and the extension of the summer sea ice is fundament for the polar bears to hunt???? do you know this? Have you seen how much the sea ice shrank in the last few years in summer??? >>

    If you have actually read my article instead of getting your panties in a twist about the comments at the end you would know that it said we should expect summers in the arctic to change little, but that the coldest parts of the winter would be warmer. Confirmed by the temperature records from NASA/GISS. Confirmed by the temperature records from DMI. An yes I know what polar bears need for hunting, may I point out that during the period when arctic temperatures rose 2.5 degrees (almost entirely in the winter) the polar bear population has quadrupled. As to ice shrinkage yes I know, the links to satellite data of sea ice extent are in my sidebar, I check both of them every day. Artice ice just went through a sudden growth followed by a sudden decline and Antarctic is currently at a maximum and BOTH are within one standard deviation of normal. One can only wonder why someone with a MsC in AOGCM would resort to vague and misleading statements about polar bears and ice extent when they clearly have the technical background to discuss the physics and analysis I provided instead.

    7. Francesco S.R. “I won’t waist anymore time to discuss with a person who says to not manipulate info and then is the first to manipulate mine!”>>

    What data did you provide? Answer; None. You provided no facts or figures or references, so there was nothing to manipulate. Just a video to someone else’s sales pitch on risk management. No analysis of the math, no links to alternative sources of data, no explanations of why the analysis is wrong. Just vague rerences to sea ice loss and polar bears and then a complaint that what you said was being manipulated.

    8. Francesco S.R. “AND AGAIN you never dealt with what 1 C increase means statistically in term of heat waves!!! …>>

    So deal with it Mr. I HAVE A PhD in paleoclimatology and did a masters degree in AOGCM. Go ahead, tell me. What is the expected statistical change in the number of heat waves? I have already shown that the bulk of warming happense in the coldest parts of the planet at the coldest temperatures and that the least change will happen in the warmest parts of the planet during the warmest weather. If your contention is that the small amount of warming that is left will significantly raise the number of deadly heat waves then provide your data and analysis to support your conclusion. And “I have a computer model and I ran it 1000 times and here are the results” doesn’t cut it. Show me the physics, the atmospheric processes and the real world observations that confirm them. BTW, the 2003 heatwave is claimed to have killed 37,000 people. In the winter preceeding it, the UK Office of Statistics reported 20,000 deaths from cold weather in England and Wales ALONE. Nearly 40,000 in 2008/2009 and nearly 50,000 in 1999/2000, AND THAT’S JUST ENGLAND AND WALES.

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=574

    9. Francesco S.R. “sustainable development !! Is it that bad as concept?! “>>

    It’s a great concept. Unfortunately what you and the IPCC and others are proposing reveals a shockingly poor grasp of economics and sustainability.

    10. Francesco S.R. “Bravo keep up with that! A nickel worth of free advise let scientists do their job i think they can do the math …”

    Your arrogance is astounding, particularly in light of the fact that while you claim degrees in the science itself, you’ve provided not one shred of math of your own, just vague references to polar bears and ice melt and links to videos that are nothing but a sales pitch. If “scientists” were doing their job with integrity and openly discussing their data and methods, I and many others would not be in theposition of having to expose your fraud and misrepresentation for what it is. Facts, figures and sources sir, or shut up because failing to provide them renders your vaunted academic credentials void of value and meaning.

    Lastly, quick research reveals that you are a researcher at the Bjerknes Centre in Norway which had extensive input to IPCC AR4 sections one and six by its Director Eystein Jansen who also had input into the Summary for Policy makers. It is little wonder that you are defensive of criticisms of AR4 while refusing to engage in any factual discussion of AR4 while clearly having the credentials to do so. If you did the misleading and twisted representations of the data would be exposed, and your boss would be pissed with you and your next grant application would be toast. So instead you make accusations, draw the conversation into vague discussions about polar bears and what kind of ice they need, vaguely mention you have a PhD in paleoclimatology but completely skirt around the fact that your MsC was in computer modeling of atmospheric ocean global circulation and that you work for one of the cheerleaders for AR4.

    Keep sucking on the tax payer’s hind tit while refusing to explain what you are doing, how you are doing it, refusing to discuss the science or publish the data and references and waving your PhD in the public’s face as “proof” that crippling taxations systems should be implemented and the funding for your fairy tails be continued. Information and analysis of it sir, is not reserved for those with formal education only. It is available to anyone with the time, interest and ability to educate themselves. That you engaged in criticism of my article without bringing the technical skills and data that must surely be at your finger tips to the table says much about who and what you are and that you have put aside any notion of being a good scientist in favour of the politics that rewards your academic career, your grants, and keeps your alarmist IPCC AR4 gravy train boss happy.

    Pathetic.

  8. Pingback: IPCC AR4; Their Numbers. No Catastrophe. | Knowledge Drift; The Science of Human Error

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