I keep on saying that the “forcing” effects of CO2 are logarithmic while the cooling response of the planet rises exponentially. I’m not the only one saying this, serious heavy weight skeptics like Lindzen are saying the same thing. So what do these terms really mean? OK, a bit of background and then onto the pictures.
What is often quoted is that CO2 doubling causes an increase in radiance to earth’s surface of 3.7 watts/meter squared, which in turn raises temperatures about 1 degree Celsius. Why the reference to “doubling”? Because we’re talking about light and filtering materials. Consider that you have several pairs of sun glasses, each of which blocks 50% of the light. If you put two pairs in a row, do they block 100%? Of course not. The first pair blocks 50% and the second pair blocks 50% of what is left, which is 25% of the original light. The third pair would only block 12.5% of the original light. CO2 suffers from the same law of diminishing returns. What keeps getting left out of the climate discussion is what happens after the first doubling. The pre-industrial levels (1900 AD or so) of CO2 are commonly quoted at 278 PPM (parts per million) and the current levels are at about 385 ppm. If we look at this graph, it becomes pretty clear that we would have to generate a LOT of CO2 to get much more effect than we are already: Continue reading
After decades of debate, with neither the skeptics nor the warmists prevailing in the global warming debate, a decision was made to settle the matter once and for all in a poker game, winner take all. For the historical record, a microphone was placed on the dealer. Following are excerpts from the tournament which took place in 2035 AD:
No Mr Jones, you CANNOT erase the cards and draw your own numbers on them.
GreenPeace has called for violence: http://weblog.greenpeace.org/climate/2010/04/will_the_real_climategate_plea_1.html
The true sign of a failed belief system is when its adherents, having failed to persuade the populace by reasoned debate, resort instead to violence. It matters not if we are speaking of the millions who died under Communism’s jackboot while their economy disintegrated, or of those murdered by Fascists determined to establish order through racial superiority, or of the brutal repression of the Dark Ages or of Islamic extremists raising their children to become suicide bombers.
I heard about the iPhone App and its list of over 100 global warming skeptic arguments that is supposed to be a tool for the regular person to carry with them and help show skeptics how wrong they are. I only recently actually saw it, and was amazed at how see through and misleading the App is for anyone with actual familiarity with the issues. Below are responses to the first 25 which show just how misleading they are:
1. Its the Sun
iPhone app response: In the last 35 years of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate have been going in opposite directions.
It is unlikely that any well informed skeptic would blame global temperature increases on the sun and the sun only. That said, the answer above is one of the best examples of a half truth and missing information designed to mislead the reader. The sun has in fact been showing a cooling trend the last 35 years, and the app links to graphs showing that slight cooling trend. What they don’t show you is that the sun’s intensity has been increasing since the 1700’s, as has the earth’s temperature:
As can easily be seen, the “cooling” of the sun in the last 35 years is minor in comparison to the over all trend. In fact, a more reasonable assessment is that the sun’s steadily increasing intensity over the last 300 years began to level off about 35 years ago. If you put a pot of water on a hot stove burner, it does not heat up instantly. You can even turn the burner down a bit, as long as it is putting more heat into the pot than is coming out, the water will continue to heat up. So the last 35 years of the Sun’s intensity is meaningless in the big picture. That said, we have seen the upward temperature trend of the earth’s temperature slow down and become flat for the last 15 years, possibly even declining slightly, despite CO2 levels being at their highest point.
Buried in my basement is a 1974 copy of Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Tipped off by an article on Jo Nova and Watts Up With That about National Geographic 1976 showing a much different temperature graph in 1976 than what CRU publishes, I thought I would dig out Brittanica 1974 and compare. Here is the graph from National Geographic 1976 with CRU temperature data superimposed. It is easy to see that they begin to diverge about 1950 or so despite (supposedly) being drawn from the same historical data:
National Geographic 1976 versus CRU
Encyclopaedia Britannica 1974 also has some historical temperature graphs. Theirs run from 1880 to 1960, but are broken up by latitude and are in degrees Fahrenheit. Only a brief perusal reveals some very interesting results:
Temperature by Latitude; Brittanica 1974
Interestingly, not one of the latitude bands shows an increase in temperature data from 1950 to 1960 while CRU data does. The thought crossed my mind when I saw the article about National Geographic that there was some plausible explanation. National Geo has a good reputation, but it is plausible that they made a mistake. That their graph agrees with Brittanica’s, an organization famous for meticulous checking of sources, calls into question what data CRU used and how they used it to arrive at their graph.
The tree ring debate faded from the news as has CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere while everyone analyses and over analyses the ClimateGate e-mails and who knew what when. New CO2 evidence however suggests we might want to take a look at those tree rings again.
The tree ring kerfuffle, if you will, was over an e-mail string indicating that data had been manipulated. using a “trick”. A good detailed explanation of the “trick” can be found at http://www.theclimateconspiracy.com/?p=354
In brief, there were TWO “tricks”. The first was to simply omit some data from the tree rings. The second was to fill in the missing data with actual temperature readings. Here’s how the final temperature reconstruction from tree ring data looked:
But here is how the original graphs of the data looked:
The decline they had to "hide"
Some time ago I noticed that temperature varied in the arctic regions far more than in the equatorial regions. This lead to my theory that the poles act like a thermostat regulating the earth’s temperature. The post just prior to this one looked at the absorption spectrum of the atmosphere versus the emission spectrum of the earth and atmosphere to show that CO2 is largely irrelevant as it is either overwhelmed by water vapour or in a temperature zone where its effects are largely reduced. In examining two articles on Watts Up With That by Willis Eschenbach, I realized that his theories and evidence, meshed with mine, provide for an enhanced theory for which there is considerable evidence. The four relevant articles can be seen at
None of these completely explains why the earth’s temperature has been so stable long term, but each is part of the puzzle, and taken in combination, they result in an even stronger theory that is demonstrable using even limited current data.