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Sun & climate: moving in opposite directions

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate Advanced

In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions.

Climate Myth...

It's the sun
"Over the past few hundred years, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of sunspots, at the time when the Earth has been getting warmer. The data suggests solar activity is influencing the global climate causing the world to get warmer." (BBC)

Over the last 35 years the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. However global temperatures have been increasing. Since the sun and climate are going in opposite directions scientists conclude the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming.

The only way to blame the sun for the current rise in temperatures is by cherry picking the data. This is done by showing only past periods when sun and climate move together and ignoring the last few decades when the two are moving in opposite directions. 

Figure 1: Annual global temperature change (thin light red) with 11 year moving average of temperature (thick dark red). Temperature from NASA GISS. Annual Total Solar Irradiance (thin light blue) with 11 year moving average of TSI (thick dark blue). TSI from 1880 to 1978 from Krivova et al 2007 (data). TSI from 1979 to 2009 from PMOD (see the PMOD index page for data updates).

Last updated on 22 February 2014 by LarryM. View Archives

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Comments 151 to 200 out of 1040:

  1. PS
    In other words Camp & Tung demonstrate that the recent additional warming is not from TSI, with which I can agree.
  2. You all said that the begining of the year was cooler due to la nina, and that this coolness trend would end July - August.

    However, August was cooler than the last few years via NOAA. Check the link:

    What do you all have to say about this?
  3. Re #160 Wondering Aloud (and many others)

    This thread shows a breathtaking absence of skepticism! It's rather awesome the nonsense that some people are willing to swallow in pursuit of a conspiracy theory.

    Let's look at the "paleorecord" ("water vapour feedback" in following post)


    The scientific analysis of paleoCO2 measurements and paleotemperature measurements are highlighted in numerous reviews and articles that are appended at the bottom of the post. These show a rather strong coupling of paleoCO2 and paleotemperature.

    Some posters are exercised over historical records described by a German schoolteacher (Beck). They apparently show CO2 measurements that go up and down in an extraordinary manner. Mr Beck assures us of the precision of historical measures of CO2 during the last 180 years.

    Why might we be skeptical of this weird data with its absolutely massive rapid jumps and falls in CO2? Here's some pretty obvious reasons for skepticism:

    (i) Beck assures us that the measures were precise (1-3%). But we're really more interested in their ACCURACY with respect to global atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We know that a large proportion of the measurements were made in individual scientists laboratories in cities (Paris, Kew gardens London, Belfast, Clermont Ferrand, Copenhagen, Vienna, Frankfurt, Giessen, Bern, Poona India, Rostock in Denmark, Ames Iowa...etc. etc. etc.). We know that if one goes to a city today and makes CO2 measurements in the air in our city laboratories, large variations in CO2 levels will be recorded, with high values relative to the true atmospheric concentrations. Just as in the 19th and early 20th century, we’re surrounded in cities by CO2 sources (pretty much all transport and heat/cooling generation). See for example point (iii) below.

    Competent scientists understand the essential difference between PRECISION and ACCURACY. A local CO2 measure may be beautifully precise but wildly inaccurate with respect to the global atmospheric CO2 value. That's where Becks "analysis" is likely to fool the unskeptical.

    (ii) We can look at this problem of accuracy in more detail by focusing on the individual series of measurements highlighted by Beck. For example, Beck highlights W. Kreutz’s series of very high CO2 measures in 1939/40. These measurements were made just S of the city of Giessen not far from the railway station. Beck fails to point out that Kreutz’s values differ by an astonishing 40 ppm between morning and afternoon (in other words measured atmospheric CO2 values are 40 ppm higher in the afternoons compared to the mornings), that atmospheric CO2 is much lower on windy days compared to windless days and so on. This is all outlined in Kreutz’s paper on the subject (translation available here: Clearly atmospheric CO2 measurements in, or near, urban centres give massively high CO2 values however precisely they are measured, the CO2 levels will rise dramatically in the afternoons when everyone and their machines are active, and on windless days when generated CO2 isn’t dispersed, measured CO2 levels will be higher still. That’s all pretty obvious. A skeptic might be expected to notice these rather obvious facts….

    It's fascinating that Kreutz identified and postulated that some of the high values and extreme variations in atmospheric CO2 levels in his measurements were due to soil sources and industrial sources...sadly, and rather typically, the data of the honest and comptetent Kreutz has been usurped to support a creepy agenda by the dishonest...

    (iii) It takes an effort to make truly accurate and unperturbed atmospheric CO2 measurements. Some early practitioners made this effort. Jules Reiset, for example, in the late 19th century, developed a methodology for CO2 measurements taken on the windy Atlantic coast, far from urban centres, and determined values rather similar to those measured in contemporaneous ice cores (around 190-200 ppm in the 1890’s). We can be rather more confident in the ACCURACY of Reiset’s measurements since he (unlike pretty much all other measurers of CO2 in the 19th and early 20th century) identified the clear signature of seasonal variation due to plant growth and decay dominated by the N. hemisphere flora.

    (iv) We have been observing atmospheric CO2 levels with extraordinary precision and accuracy since the late 1950’s from the Manua Loa observatory, as well as dozens of other locations around the world. Atmospheric CO2 levels simply do not undergo massive jumps of up to 100 ppm over a few years. It beggers belief that CO2 sources could release and reabsorb extraordinarily massive amounts of CO2 (see #4 just below) during a period when we weren’t actually monitoring CO2 levels very well, and yet just when we started to monitor levels with considerable ACCURACY and PRECISION, atmospheric levels immediately stopped jumping around wildly. A skeptic would be inclined to doubt the accuracy of early measurements from urban centres.

    (v) According to Beck atmospheric CO2 rose and fell with massive jumps/falls of around 100 ppm or more during the early and mid 19th century, and the 1930’s-40s’. Since the pre-industrial level of atmospheric CO2 (around 180 ppm) is rather similar to the entire repository of CO2 in terrestrial plantlife, the assumption is that these 100 ppm jumps/falls over a few years are associated with the rapid loss and regrowth of around half the entire plant biomass on earth? Did we really lose terrestrial plant matter equivalent to the entire Amazon and African rainforests and much of Asia during a few short years, and have these regrow again in a few years afterwards? No. We know this can’t have happened during the 1930’s and 40’s since we were monitoring the terrestrial biosphere already during these years.

    (vi) we have rather abundant ice core measures of atmospheric CO2. Since these measures of atmospheric CO2 locked within ice are in regions far from centres of CO2 sources (urban/plant growth) they are rather reliable measures of unperturbed and well-mixed atmospheric CO2. These show rather constant levels of atmospheric CO2 near 177 (+/- around 6 ppm) during the period from 1000 AD to the mid 19th century, and then slow gradual rises that merge in the late 1950’s with the directly measured Manua Loa and other modern CO2 measures. One can certainly argue that the ice core measures are averaged, since deposited snow in ice sheets doesn’t compact and trap ice for several years after deposition, such that there is exchange with the atmosphere for some time until the atmospheric sample becomes sealed within bubbles in solid ice. However one can’t really postulate massive rise of atmospheric CO2 apparently to value as high as 470 ppm during the late 1930’s and 1940’s, without some rising of ice core CO2 levels that match this time period. Even if the ice core CO2 values are averaged over several years, high CO2 values would have to appear for this period in the ice cores. They don’t.

    and so on….

    Here's some of the abundant data that indicates a rather close coupling of paleoCO2 and paleotemperature measurements right through the last 500 million years.

    D.L. Royer (2006) "CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic" Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 70, 5665-5675.
    (this is a review compiles much of the published data)

    Even more recent studies supplement the information in Royers compilation and cover additional periods with new data sets right through the past several hundreds of millions of years:

    R.E. Carne, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) "Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era" Nature 449, 198-202

    W. M. Kurschner et al (2008) “The impact of Miocene atmospheric carbon dioxide fluctuations on climate and the evolution of the terrestrial ecosystem” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 499-453.

    D. L. Royer (2008) “Linkages between CO2, climate, and evolution in deep time” Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 407-408

    Zachos JC (2008) “An early Cenozoic perspective on greenhouse warming and carbon-cycle dynamics” Nature 451, 279-283.

    Doney SC et al (2007) “Carbon and climate system coupling on timescales from the Precambrian to the Anthropocene” Ann. Rev. Environ. Resources 32, 31-66.

    Horton DE et al (2007) “Orbital and CO2 forcing of late Paleozoic continental ice sheets” Geophys. Res. Lett. L19708 (Oct. 11 2007).

    B. J. Fletcher et al. (2008) “Atmospheric carbon dioxide linked with Mesozoic and early Cenozoic climate change” Nature Geoscience 1, 43-48.
  4. Re #160 Wondering Aloud

    You state rather cryptically that "The satellite data that was supposed to prove a positive feedback from CO2 causing increased water vapor in fact show the opposite."

    but that doesn't seem to accord with the facts. The expectation is that as the atmosphere warms, the air will support somewhat higher levels of water vapour (since warm air has a higher saturation point for water vapour than colder air). This results in a feedback warming due to the greenhouse properties of atmospheric water vapour.

    So has the water vapour concentration increased during the period of massive increase in atmospheric CO2, in response to CO2-driven warming? According to the science the answer seems to be yes (as opposed to your unattributed "no"):

    Soden BJ et al. (2005) "The radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening" Science 310, 841-844.

    Abstract: "Climate models predict that the concentration of water vapor in the upper troposphere could double by the end of the century as a result of increases in greenhouse gases. Such moistening plays a key role in amplifying the rate at which the climate warms in response to anthropogenic activities, but has been difficult to detect because of deficiencies in conventional observing systems. We use satellite measurements to highlight a distinct radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening over the period 1982 to 2004. The observed moistening is accurately captured by climate model simulations and lends further credence to model projections of future global warming."

    Santer BD et al (2007) "Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104 15248-15253.

    Abstract: "Data from the satellite-based Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) show that the total atmospheric moisture content over oceans has increased by 0.41 kg/m(2) per decade since 1988. Results from current climate models indicate that water vapor increases of this magnitude cannot be explained by climate noise alone. In a formal detection and attribution analysis using the pooled results from 22 different climate models, the simulated "fingerprint" pattern of anthropogenically caused changes in water vapor is identifiable with high statistical confidence in the SSM/I data. Experiments in which forcing factors are varied individually suggest that this fingerprint "match" is primarily due to human caused increases in greenhouse gases and not to solar forcing or recovery from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Our findings provide preliminary evidence of an emerging anthropogenic signal in the moisture content of earth's atmosphere."

    Rind D et al (1991) "Positive Water-Vapor Feedback In Climate Models Confirmed By Satellite Data" Nature 349, 500-503.

    Abstract: "Chief among the mechanisms thought to amplify the global climate response to increased concentrations of trace gases is the atmospheric water vapour feedback. As the oceans and atmosphere warm, there is increased evaporation, and it has been generally thought that the additional moisture then adds to the greenhouse effect by trapping more infrared radiation. Recently, it has been suggested that general circulation models used for evaluating climate change overestimate this response, and that increased convection in a warmer climate would actually dry the middle and upper troposphere by means of associated compensatory subsidence1. We use some new satellite-generated water vapour data to investigate this question. From a comparison of summer and winter moisture values in regions of the middle and upper troposphere that have previously been difficult to observe with confidence, we find that, as the hemispheres warm, increased convection leads to increased water vapour above 500 mbar in approximate quantitative agreement with the results from current climate models. The same conclusion is reached by comparing the tropical western and eastern Pacific regions. Thus, we conclude that the water vapour feedback is not overestimated in models and should amplify the climate response to increased trace-gas concentrations."

    Allan RP and Soden BJ (2008) "Atmospheric warming and the amplification of precipitation extremes"
    Science 321, 1481-1484.

    Abstract: "Climate models suggest that extreme precipitation events will become more common in an anthropogenically warmed climate. However, observational limitations have hindered a direct evaluation of model- projected changes in extreme precipitation. We used satellite observations and model simulations to examine the response of tropical precipitation events to naturally driven changes in surface temperature and atmospheric moisture content. These observations reveal a distinct link between rainfall extremes and temperature, with heavy rain events increasing during warm periods and decreasing during cold periods. Furthermore, the observed amplification of rainfall extremes is found to be larger than that predicted by models, implying that projections of future changes in rainfall extremes in response to anthropogenic global warming may be underestimated."

    Note that this effect (atmospheric temperature-induced feedback in atmospheric water vapour concentrations) can also be observed as a result of atmospheric cooling, for example due to rapid volcanic eruption-induced cooling:

    Soden BJ et al. (2002) "Global cooling after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo: A test of climate feedback by water vapor" Science 296,727-730

    Abstract: "The sensitivity of Earth's climate to an external radiative forcing depends critically on the response of water vapor. We use the global cooling and drying of the atmosphere that was observed after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo to test model predictions of the climate feedback from water vapor. Here, we first highlight the success of the model in reproducing the observed drying after the volcanic eruption. Then, by comparing model simulations with and without water vapor feedback, we demonstrate the importance of the atmospheric drying in amplifying the temperature change and show that, without the strong positive feedback from water vapor, the model is unable to reproduce the observed cooling. These results provide quantitative evidence of the reliability of water vapor feedback in current climate models, which is crucial to their use for global warming projections."

    and so on....
  5. For thoes of you who said that recent cooling was due to la Nina and that the trend would end in the second half of the year. Take a look at this NOAA data, it tends to prove you wrong. It looks like this August is the 6th coolest in the last 30 years.
  6. Three problems wth that Truthseeker:

    (i) one can't presume trends by looking at data from single months!

    (ii) I doubt anyone would have stated that the La Nina was the sole cause of a period of relative cooling in a warming world. We're smack at the bottom of the solar cycle, so one doesn't expect record breaking temperatures for a while (the next major El Nino in a few years is likely to give us the new record).

    (iii) Your interpretation seems somewhat odd anyway. From the data you've linked to we can see that:

    a. August 2008 is the 10th warmest in the global surface record out of 129 years. Clearly therefore there can only be 9 Augusts warmer than it in the last 30 years (not 24 as you intimate).

    b. June to August 2008 is the 9th warmest summer in the global surface record of 129 years. Clearly therefore there can only be 8 summers warmer than it in the last 30 years.

    c. and so on (it's the 9th warmest Jan-August period on record)
  7. Re: "6th coolest in the last 30 years vs 10th warmest in the global surface record out of 129 years"
    Does this have any relevance whatsoever?
  8. Re #176 Quietman

    Truthseeker considered that it was relevant since he (she?)bothered to write a post about it. The data from the NOAA site just wasn't related very well (perhaps Truthseeker isn't really a truth seeker!).

    Of course (as I said in my post) one can't assess trends by examining single months. Perhaps the relevance relates to those drip drip efforts to downplay the effects of global warming!

    Or perhaps the relevance is that in a year that doesn't "seem" that warm, where we've had the effects of a strong La Nina at the start of the year, and we are additionally smack at the bottom of the solar cycle (remember that the Tung and Camp paper that you have been cheerleading supposedly gives us a 0.2 oC of cooling at the solar minimum compared to the maximum), we've had the 10th warmest Jan-August on record...

    ...that's pretty remarkable!

    ...or perhaps not.....
  9. ..sorry I meant the 9th warmest Jan-August on record.

    best to be accurate!
  10. chris
    As you are aware, I don't think the warming is from the sun alone, anymore than from GHGs. I made my arguments in the volcanos thread so I won't put an argument here.
  11. Re #179

    Well yes, the large scale global warming of the last 30-odd years hasn't had a significant solar component. If anything the solar contribution has been a slight cooling one during the last several decades. Even those that push for solar contributions such as the cosmic ray flux concede that the solar contribution has been negligible at best.

    So solar contributions to warming in recent decades just isn't a viable proposition. The evidence is flat against it.

    Otherwise it's not obvious what else can have contributed significantly to warming other than the very well characterized massive enhancement of the Earth's greenhouse effect.
  12. chris
    Re: Otherwise it's not obvious -
    Greenhouse gases yes, to some large extent. But there is still more to it in my view.

    I put a link to yet another GHG in the volcano thread that might interest you.
  13. pps
    Sorry, I put it in the "CO2 measurements are suspect" thread since I could not find a more pertinant thread for it.
  14. It is becoming more apparent that we picked either a very bad time or a very good time to screw with mother nature because the earth itself is very active as well as the sun. This is not a coincidence.
  15. FYI:

    University of Almeria (Spain): A study by Pablo Campra (published in the Journal of Geophysical Research)on the effect of greenhouses in western Almeria province reports an 0.3C/decade drop in temp over the last 25 yrs....roughly the same as the rise in temp for the rest of the world during that time.
    Western Almeria has over 30,000 hectares of plastic covered greenhouses supplying produce to European supermarkets. The plastic sheeting increases the local albedo, reflecting sunlight back into space.
    The plants grown also act as a carbon 'sink' absorbing around 10 tonnes of carbon/ annual equivalent of 300,000 tonnes of carbon.
  16. Mizimi
    That is interesting. I am planning to build a greenhouse to counteract the cooling conditions here. Is the increased albedo because of the plastic? I was planning on using tempered glass and translucent fibreglass.
  17. QM: Yes, the plastic is modified polythene which is translucent. Part of the effect is due to albedo (colour) and part due to low incident angle reflection (shiny surface). Both effects diminish with age, (darkening of the colour and accumulation of dust) but the plastic only lasts about 3 years and then is replaced. Much of the plastic is recycled ( even the plastic string used for baling and tying plants!!) and turned into garden and playground equipment. Some is even re-inforced with steel bar and used as I beams for lightweight construction.

    True greenhouses hold temps up because they minimise losses thro' convection/windage rather than trapping heat by preventing re-transmission of IR ( although you can buy IR glass which acts just like a GG...a bit expensive tho'). Translucent fibreglass will do the same but I do not know the light transmission characteristics of this might end up cutting the light frequencies the plants need. Why tempered glass? Ordinary 2 or 3mm plain window glass is perfectly OK and the cheapest. Don't forget to have vents to control the temp in don't want to cook the plants!
  18. Might the heating of the oceans (which cover 75% of the planet and are the largest heat reservoir on the planet) by a sun that has been more active over the past 60 years than anytime in the previous 1150 years have something to do with the continuing rising temps from the late 1970`s till 1998. You know common sense, err, storage radiators of the 60`s, heat them up at night get heat all through the next day. Are you dumb enough to expect all the accumulated heat in the oceans to disappear overnight just because the heaters been turned off, of course the correlation is still sound. Pity you did not show the graph ending at 2008.
  19. chris at 09:48 AM on 7 October, 2008.

    If CO2 is the driver why has the temperature declined since 1998 when CO2 is still increasing.
    It`s the sun you fool, sun warms the oceans, which warm the land mass, you know, the gulf stream, warm oceans release CO2, sun goes dormant, oceans cool, land temps decline, CO2 also begins to decline, simple.
  20. re #186/187

    rob, the sun certainly keeps us snug, but it hasn't made any significant contribution to the marked warming of the last 30 odd years!

    (i) remember that the paper that indicates high solar activity "over the past 60 years" in the context of the previous 1150 years (Usoskin 205; link in John Cook's top post), only addresses the relationship between solar output and the Earth's surface temperature up 'til 1975. Since that time the solar output has been tending downwards a tad, while the Earth's surface temperature has gone up markedly. As the authors indicate, variations in solar outputs can't have made a significant contribution to the marked warming of the last 30-odd years.

    (ii) Storage heaters once warmed up and disconnected from their energy supply do continue to release heat through the next day (they're full of bricks!), but the maximum heat release after disconnecting from the mains occurs immediately, and then drifts downwards (an exponential decay of release of thermal energy as the heater tends towards a new equilibrium temperature equivalent to ambient temperature - it's slightly more complicated since the ambient temperature isn't constant and in any case is (hopefully!) responding to the hot bricks). So the oceans may release thermal energy stored following a period of high solar output, but the maximal rate of release of thermal energy should occur pretty soon following a downward drift in solar output, and this release of thermal energy will drift downwards much like your storage heater.

    However that's completely contrary to the temperature record. The solar output maxed around 1950, and since then has been pretty constant, drifting downwards a tad in the last 20-odd years [see, for example, Mike Lockwood and C. Fröhlich (2008) "Recent oppositely directed trends in solar climate forcings and the global mean surface air temperature. II. Different reconstructions of the total solar irradiance variation and dependence on response time scale"; Proceedings of The Royal Society A 464, 1367–1385; as well as the long list of similar studies linked in John Cook's top post under "Other studies on solar influence on climate"].

    A storage heater doesn't hold onto all of its heat for a long, long period before starting to release it. Neither does the ocean.

    (ii) Another difficulty with your argument relates to the "top of the atmosphere" radiation budget. I’m pretty sure that satellite monitoring of solar irradiation and that returning from space shows an imbalance (‘though need to hunt down the relevant papers). There's excess solar energy being retained in the climate system, consistent with greenhouse gas warming. If the warming was due to some magical delayed release of stored thermal energy in the oceans, one would expect a top of the atmosphere balance of solar and re-radiated energy, or even a slight excess dissipation of energy into space. I don't think the data supports that interpretation.

    (iv) Notice that the temperature hasn't declined since 1998. The temperature has been on a rising trend from the mid- 1970's, through the 1980's, 1990's and early 2000's. The surface temperature in 1998 was lifted by around 0.2 oC above the trend by the strongest El Nino of the 20th century [see, for example:]. In such an event solar thermal energy absorbed by the ocean surface is anomalously spread over vast tracts of the Western Pacific and Indian ocean to the Eastern Pacific and the S. American coast, combined with the suppression of cold water upwelling along the Western S. American coast. This gives us a marked but transient upward jump in the Earth's surface temperaure. In 2005 we pretty much reached the 1998 surface temperature without the large temperature enhancement of a strong El Nino. So the temperature was still trending upwards through 2005...

    (v) Note also that the increased surface temperature resulting from enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations relates to the new equilibrium temperature corresponding to the Earth’s new “balance” in response to an enhanced forcing. But of course both at equilibrium, and during the “journey” towards the new equilibrium, stochastic (and non-stochastic) elements of the climate system introduces “noise”. So we don’t expect a perfect progressive increase in temperature as greenhouse gas concentrations rise. We only have to look at the temperature record to see that the marked warming of the last 30-odd years constitutes a rising trend “overlaid” with noise that takes the year on year temperature on short upwards and downwards excursions.

    (vi) Note also that while changing solar output or the very slow cyclic drift of the Earth's orbital properties that underlie the ice age cycles does cause CO2 to re-equilibrate somewhat from the oceans to the atmosphere, this effect is very, very small in the context of current rising atmospheric CO2. So while atmospheric CO2 levels rose by around 90-100 ppm during the 5000 years of the last glacial to interglacial transition (in response to a temperature rise of around 6 oC), we've had a 70 ppm rise in atmospheric CO2 since the start of the 1960's. So atmospheric CO2 is rising more than 100 times faster now than during the ice age transitions that are the best example of your scenario of heat-induced release of CO2 from the ocean. And of course we known that CO2 isn't coming out of the oceans in response to warming. CO2 is being forced INTO the oceans in prodigious amounts.
  21. Mizimi
    I was thinking of safety, my grandchildren are 6, 4, 2 years and the latest 3 weeks old. I don't want to see them fall into a plain glass pane. I had in mind green translucent fibreglass for the roof and clear double pane 3'x 5' anderson casements mounted sideways for the walls. The andersons wont cost anything as they are currently on the house and I am replacing them with something easier to maintain. It's the roof panels that I am not sure about. Any thoughts?
  22. rob
    Your comment 188 had me laughing. Not at you however. It's the way you worded your statement. I do appreciate a good jab on occasion.
  23. chris
    On CO2 entering or exiting the water. That is an assumption. There is no way to know if that is a fact.
    You like to say lets not pretend to not know what we do know. In this case lets not pretend to know what we dont know. Given the current state of tectonic activity under the surface of the oceans there is no way in hell you can know what direction CO2 is travelling. Did you actually read any of the articles that I gave links to?

    In this same argument at Live Science I was challanged to provide just 20 papers by scientists refuting AGW. When I provided links to 20 papers (not articles) I got the response that over half were not peer reviewed. They were not peer reviewed because of fear. This buddy review system means that if you don't agree you must be wrong. Rhodes Fairbridge was wrong because he was not peer reviewed. Here's a news flash for you, he was not peer reviewed because he had no peers. The man was a genius. Spencer gets knocked for his religious beliefs. I don't share his belief but I don't call him crazy for it. That is what is known as grasping at straws.
  24. Re #192

    That's quite incorrect Quietman. We know very well that our emissions are forcing up the oceanic CO2 concentration by prodigious amounts. We can measure this in a number of ways. We know quite well the scale of our emissions and can determine that around 40-50% of these have remained in the atmosphere. Much of the rest has gone into the oceans. We know that this has to occur from simple understanding of physical equilibria (Le Chatelier's principle).

    And we can measure this directly through analysis of inorganic carbon in the oceans, or via the reduction in ocean pH [see abstracts of Sabine et al (2004) and Feely et al (2004) below, for example]. There are many measures that demonstrate without question that we are pumping CO2 into the atmosphere in massive amounts and that this is disturbing the CO2 equilibrium between the atmosphere and the oceans well towards oceanic CO2 dissolution and dissociation into bicarbonate, and H+:

    CO2(air) <->CO2(aq)<-> H2CO <->HCO3- + H+ <-> CO3-- + H+

    That's very well understood and characterised in the real world. We really shouldn't pretend not to know what we do know very well!

    Sabine CL et al (2004) The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2 Science 305, 367-371.

    Abstract: "Using inorganic carbon measurements from an international survey effort in the 1990s and a tracer-based separation technique, we estimate a global oceanic anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) sink for the period from 1800 to 1994 of 118 +/- 19 petagrams of carbon. The oceanic sink accounts for similar to 48% of the total fossil-fuel and cement-manufacturing emissions, implying that the terrestrial biosphere was a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere of about 39 +/- 28 petagrams of carbon for this period. The current fraction of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions stored in the ocean appears to be about one-third of the long-term potential."

    R.A. Feely et al (2004) Impact of Anthropogenic CO2 on the CaCO3 System in the Oceans Science 305, 362-366.

    Abstract: "Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations over the past two centuries have led to greater CO2 uptake by the oceans. This acidification process has changed the saturation state ofthe oceans with respect to calcium carbonate (CaCO3) particles. Here we estimate the in situ CaCO3 dissolution rates for the global oceans from total alkalinity and chlorofluorocarbon data, and we also discuss the future impacts of anthropogenic CO2 on CaCO3 shell–forming species. CaCO3 dissolution rates, ranging from 0.003 to 1.2 micromoles per kilogram per year, are observed beginning near the aragonite saturation horizon. The total water column CaCO3 dissolution rate for the global oceans is approximately 0.5 ± 0.2 petagrams of CaCO3-C per year, which is approximately 45 to 65% of the export production of CaCO3."
  25. Re #192

    I'm don't understand the rest of your post. What articles are you referring to? As for your non-sciency assertions about Rhodes Fairbridge and "Spencer" (Spencer Tracy?!), I can't glean what you're referring to in the context of my post or this thread. Whatever you are referring to, we don't evaluate the assertions of others using hero-worship or personal preferences. Instead (if we are interested in the science), we look at the EVIDENCE that they might use to support their statements..

    Your assertions about peer review and "fear" are not very intersting, since they're just conspiracy theory bluster and without any foundation whatsoever!

    Let's try to scientific and skeptical!
  26. chris
    Nice dissertation on how CO2 can be absorved by the ocean. Now show how much is tectonic. The fact is that you can't. This is an area that is not well understood. This is indeed claiming to know what we actually know very little about.

    1) CO2 relaesed from undersea volcanos and ridges is direct to the oceans.
    2) Fertilzer entering the oceans causes algal and bacterial blooms which then die, rot and produce methane and add carbon direct to the oceans, at the same time reducing O2 production.

    There are knowns but the actual amounts are total unknowns. Go ahead, please tell me that mankind knows everything that happens under the oceans. Then go tell the scientists that are still trying to figure it out, I am sure they would greatly appreciate it. You just don't get it. As much as we may know there are many times as much things that we do not know and pretending to know will not help.
  27. Re: "we look at the EVIDENCE that they might use to support their statements."
    I don't think so.
  28. QM: Green plastic is not a good colour! better is simple translucent or the slightly 'bluish' UV stabilised pvc.
  29. Mizimi
    They might make it in blue, I know they make it in colorless, green and amber. I guess that the colorless translucent is the way to go then. PVC isn't strong enough, the snow and ice would break it before I could clear it off, in this area fibreglass is used for strength. I appreciate the suggestions, thanks.

    Just finished reading this one: Sunlight Has More Powerful Influence On Ocean Circulation And Climate Than North American Ice Sheets from ScienceDaily (Nov. 6, 2008).
  30. Re #195

    Yes, we do know that an insignificant amount of this massive amount of CO2 that is being pumped into the atmosphere and absorbed by the oceans comes from volcanic/tectonic activity. We do know that the vast bulk of this is from burning fossil fuels (with a bit from forest burning).

    Remember that fossil fuels are highly depleted in 13C, since the plants from which the fossil fuels are derived select the 12C isotope for incorporation into their (initially) generic carbohydrate [(CHOH)6].

    On the other hand oceanic subducted carbonates released by tectonic activity is indifferent to the isotopic composition of the carbon in the CO2 from which it is "fixed".

    So as fossil fuels are burned, they release their 13C-depleted carbon back into the atmosphere, and the 13C content of the CO2 in our environment drops. This is easy to measure in the real world (the 13C/12C ratio) using a mass spectrometer. The 13C content of CO2 in our environment is dropping just as expected from a fossil fuel source of CO2, as the atmospheric CO2 content rises dramatically in response to our massive rate of oxidation of long-sequestered fossil fuels

    There's lots of information on this of course! See, for example:

    Francey RJ, Allison CE, Etheridge DM, et al. (1999)
    A 1000-year high precision record of delta C-13 in atmospheric CO2 TELLUS B-Chem Phys. Meteor 51, 170-193


    D. M. Etheridge et al (1996) "Natural and anthropogenic changes in atmospheric CO2 over the last 1000 years from air in Antarctic ice and firn J. Geophys Res. 101, 4115 -4128

    and so on...
  31. chris
    I only recently posted a link to an article on how the whole 13C evidence needs a rethink. I think that I was addressing Mizimi in the Arctic Ocean thread when I posted it. Not sure now. We only thought we knew what we know on that one.
  32. No, that's not correct Quietman. Again you're using a paper to address an issue that is not, in fact, what the paper is about at all.

    The measure of 13C/12C ratios in CO2 in our environment is straightforward and shows a decrease as expected from the return of vast amounts of 13C-depeleted carbon into the atmosphere from long-sequestered fossil fuels originally derived from plant sources. That indicates very clearly that the massive enhancement of atmospheric CO2 (and that being forced into the oceans as a result) is from oxidation of fossil fuel (and a bit from deforestation) and doesn't significantly derive from tectonic activity.

    Which we know anyway, since we know how much CO2 we've produced during the industrial age, and can measure the increasing amounts in the ocean due to forced partitioning from the atmosphere. And of course we know from the high resolution 2000 year CO2 record and the lower resolution records spanning millions of years, that tectonic activity (volcanic or undersea sources)has made a trivial contribution to the net CO2 concentration.

    The paper that you cited [P.K. Swart (2008) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 13741-13745] is about something quite different. It addresses the mismatch between the apparently synchronous variations in 13C content of carbonate sediments deposited off the margins of low latitude shallow marine platforms and the pattern in the open oceans, and concludes that this difference can be resolved by noticing that the apparent synchrony relates to sea level changes and synchronous flooding of the platforms.

    So it's a paper that may have resolved an incompatibility between some marginal and deep ocean data sets. It doesn't have anything to do with the partitioning of carbon isotopes in fossil fuels and the readily measured variation in 13C/12C ratios that occur when 13C-depeleted carbon is returned to the biosphere by oxidation of fossil fuels.

    One should make an effort to find out what a paper is about before citing it in support of something on which it might have no bearing. Remember that science is all about the evidence, and the evidence should be appropriate to the issue at hand!
  33. You missed my point. So please explain how this natural source of C13 is different from the current source of C13 and how it is affected by catalysts.
  34. ps
    Re: "we don't evaluate the assertions of others using hero-worship or personal preferences"
    On the former it's not hero worship of Dr. Fairbridge but recognition of character and excellent work, and the latter is a resentment for the underhanded and demeaning treatment that Dr. Spencer receives for his skepticism.
  35. re #202

    You need to explain your request. All 13C is "natural" (unless it's produced in a particle accelerator). What do you mean by the "current source of 13C" and the "natural source of 13C"? And what "catalysts" are you referring to? 13C is a carbon isotope and isn't affected by catalysts.
  36. chris
    We use a series of catalysts inside every catalytic converter to transform HC, CO and NOx into H2O and CO2,
    starting in CA in 1974 and nationwide after 1975 depending on engine size. Almost all passenger vehicles were equipped with cats by 1978. Then there are the industrial stacks. The converters for stacks are also aimed at producing CO2 and H20. This is mandated by the EPA. So what effect does the cat have on C13?
  37. ps
    A byproduct is SO2.
  38. Or put another way, would you measure the same C13/C12 ratio in airborne HC and CO?
  39. Chemical catalysis has zero effect on 13C. There is a fundamental difference between chemistry (catalysed or uncatalysed bond making and breaking) and nuclear physics (extremely high energy transformation of the structure of atomic nuclei).

    So fossil-fuels have highly depeleted 13C relative to the natural abundance of 13C, since plants have a significant "preference" for the uptake of 12C CO2 over 13C CO2 when they draw CO2 out of the atmosphere. As the plants are "fossilised" into coal, oil and natural gas, shales, peat and so on, they retain this highly depleted ratio of 13C/12C. 13C and 12C cannot interconvert by chemical processes.

    When the fossil fuel is returned to the atmosphere by burning the 13C-depleted CO2 is at long long last returned to the atmosphere, and the 13C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2 drops. This doesn't happen to any significant extent with CO2 released by volcanoes, since (first) volcanoes and tectonic activity in general doesn't release much CO2 as we can observe by inspecting the atmospheric CO2 records at high resolution for 1000's of years, and at low resolution for millions of years. Sedimented carbonates, and even the shells of marine organisms give rise to very, very small differences in the 13C/12C ratio, and these relate more to the physicochemical "fractionation" as a function of temperature.

    Since 13C is essentially unaffected by any processes outwith particle accelerators, nuclear reactors and so on, in which nuclear transformations can take place, 13C is effectively inviolate in the Earth [***]. So as we burn fossil fuels a 12C carbon remains as a 12C isotope and likewise a 13C carbon atom. This occurs if the CO2 is produced by direct oxidation of carbon or hydrocarbon, or if a small amount of the hydrocarbon is left partially unoxidised or in the form of carbon monoxide, and is subsequently oxidised "to completion" within a catalytic converter.

    The answer to your specific question of post #207 is would measure the same 13C/12C raio in airborned hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide, whether or not these were vapourized directly into the air or fully oxidised to carbon dioxide within a catalytic converter.

    [***]The unstable carbon isotope 14C is produced in very small amounts in the upper atmosphere by the action of gamma rays, at much lower energies than required to produce the stable isotope 13C, and this provides the basis of using 14C decay as an "atomic clock" in radiocarbon dating. Note that the atmospheric 14C content can be used to distinguish fossil-fuel-derived carbon from deforestation-derived carbon, since the 1/2 life of 14C radioactive decay (a bit under 6000 years) is long relative to the life of trees (except for the most ancient of these like the bristlecone pines in the west of the USA!), but very short relative to the time that fossil fuels have lain undistrubed underground. This is somewhat complicated by the fact that just the short period of nuclear device testing in the 1940's through the 1960's has produced quite a significant spike in the atmospheric 14C content, and needs to be corrected for...
  40. chris
    That is correct. SO by removing the catalytic converter we would reduce CO2 output and lower the 12C/13C ratio.
  41. Not really Quietman. It wouldn't make a noticeable difference! And in fact you've got it the wrong way round. If we removed the catalytic converter a tiny proportion of the CO2 otherwise pumped into the atmosphere would remain unoxidised to CO2 (and left as hydrocarbon or carbon monoxide). Since this tiny, tiny amount is from 13C-depleted fossil fuels, it would RAISE the 12C/13C ratio (since we would be failing to add to the atmosphere a tiny, tiny amount of 13C-depleted CO2).

    Of course that's all academic. The point is that we know very well from at least three seperate types of measurement (including the measurement of carbon isotopes in CO2) that the massive increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, and the massive partitioning of carbon dioxide into the oceans, is the result of massive digging/pumping up and oxidation of long-sequestered fossil fuels.
  42. Re #192 and #203

    On Roy Spencer:

    Roy Spencer has spent the better part of his "scientific" career as a staff scientist engaged in analysis of satellite Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) data on tropospheric temperatures. This has been carried out for 15 or more years with a combination of incompetence (that borders on the fraudulent), and widescale propagandising for false interpretations outside of the normal channels of scientific communication.

    In recent times he's attempted to pull the wool over the eyes of the gullible and similarly misguided with a contrived mishmash of a notion relating to supposed natural internal variations in the climate system as a cause of 20th century global warming.

    The fact that Spencer is a creationist doesn't necessarily add or subtract to the fact that he's done disgracefully incompetent science for years, and that he attempts to "sell" falsehoods direct to the public through websites and the resources of anti-democratic organizations. After all there are a great many first-class scientisits that have strong religious beliefs. Unfortunately Spencers "style" of ceationism isn't really a religious belief...that class of "pseudo-Christian" fundamentalist "creationism" (wrapped up in the "intelligent design" "package") is really a political position. Sadly, it's very much in keeping with Spencer's apparent willingness to subvert scientific honesty in the service of creepy ideologies.

    My personal view is that Spencer is rather taken with the modern "pseudo-Christian" creationinist success in hiving of quite a large "rump" of the poorly educated, misguided and various assorted bullies, with what is obviously complete nonsense, and quite likes the fact that much of that same great "unwashed" are more than happy to swallow his anti-science nonsense on climate-related matters.

    As always in science it's about the evidence. Spencer has spent nearly 20 years making a complete hash of this, and that's why bone fide scientists and well-informed policymakes are less than thrilled with his "contribution"...
  43. Question: My understanding is that most 'volcanic' activity is undersea and that the CO2 thus produced would go more or less immediately into solution?
    In which case how can one quantify how much is being added...?

    Question: How much C13 has been produced by nuclear tests and accidents? And what effect has it had on the general level of C13 in atmospheric CO2 ?

    "Unfortunately Spencers "style" of ceationism ..... is really a political position."
    Well, given the minimilistic numbers on A CO2 contribution to 'global warming' one could well say the same of adherents to that belief.
  44. Question 1:

    Very little CO2 has been added to seawater by "undersea" volcanic activity. We know this from (at last) two sources.

    (i) If undersea volcanic activity resulted in significant acumulation of CO2 in the oceans, then we should see (have seen) some of this released into the atmosphere. However we have atmospheric CO2 records going back millions of years. One would have to make the rather specious "argument" that undersea volcanic activity has all of a sudden, after millions of years, started releasing large amounts of CO2 just when mankind has stared releasing vast amounts of CO2. However there's no real world evidence for enhanced undersea volcanic activity, let alone enhanced production of CO2 from volcanic activity. And we know anyway [see posts #201/208 and (ii) just below] that the massive amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere that is partitioning in massive amounts into the oceans is from fossil fuels.

    (ii) As already described, tectonic activity in general results in release of very small amounts of CO2 {less than 1% of current anthropogenic levels) and this is largely from non-organic sources. Undersea volcanic activity is by definition undersea (!), and the sources of undersea volcanic activity are at sites of nascent plate boundaries (e.g. Mid Atlantic ridge) or mantle plumes (e.g. under Hawaii). Any CO2 released from these sources have pretty normal 13C/12C compositions (around 1% 13C) since the carbon is almost exclusively from non-organic sources. In fact it may be more likely that CO2 from land volcanoes (at subduction zones on continental margins) will have a little CO2 from organic sources since these will release some CO2 from carbon previously subducted from the ocean floor, a bit of which might be organic ('though not much, since organic material in the ocean finds itself utilised within the food chain...).

    But in general volcanos (either undersea or on land) release rather small amounts of CO2, and the carbon isn't particularly 13C-depeleted.

    and so on...there more evidence from proxy measures of sea-water pH and such like...

    Question 2:

    The amount of 13C from nuclear tests/accidents is tiny in proportion to the amount of natural 13C in the environment. 13C comprises around 1% of carbon (it's naturally abundant at around 1%). The contribution from non-natural sources is immeasurably small. The situation is a bit different for 14C. Remember that 13C is a stable isotope of carbon whereas 14C is an unstable radioactive isotope, which additionally has a very short half-life (6000-ish years). The fact that there is any appreciable amount of 14C in the environment at all, is that this is being continually produced in tiny, tiny amounts by the action of gamma rays in the upper atmosphere. So the contribution from mid-20th century nuclear testing is significant, and there is a bit of a "spike" in the atmospheric 14C record...
  45. Re #212,
    On Spencer and "political beliefs"...

    Well yes, Mizimi, I suspect that your apparent missunderstanding of the nature of science in relation to religion and politics is a contrived one (played out for comedy effect?....or maybe you just like reading my posts!). I'm sure you know really that science is all about the evidence, and that's the essential difference between science and religion or political advocacy. So one would only pursue the deceit that CO2 all of a sudden has stopped being a greenhouse gas (or that the massively raised levels of atmospheric CO2 were from volcanoes), for example, if one was attempting to make some sort of political (or other agenda-led) capital. Wouldn't you say so?

    The similarities between global warming denialism and modern-style "creationism" are interesting, and Spencer provides an example of how these can induce a perversion of scientific evidence in support of an agenda. In the US these stances have a tendency to coincide, such that it's quite common for those that wilfully choose to ignore or misrepresent the scientific evidence for evolution (e.g. "hard core" neo-"Christian" chaps!) are also likely to participate in misrepresenting the science on global warming. I find it particularly fascinating that someone who's career as a staff scientist involved "measuring" tropospheric temperatures would drift down this route, but there seems to be a particularly attractive (for some people) political position in the US that induces this anti-rational behaviour...and which incidentally is catnip for those with really serious anti-science efforts to pursue (e.g. pretending that smoking isn't a strong contributory factor in lung cancer and respiratory and circulatory disease..or that aspirin taking in children doesn't enhance their likelihood of contracting Reyes syndrome...that sort of thing!).
  46. chris
    According to spencer he is a meteorologist. I posted a link to his latest article in the PDO thread.
  47. 172 chris

    The paleo record shows high CO2 during cold eras low CO2 during warm periods, in short No connection. Even the record that is supposedly the great proof of the concept, from ice cores clearly shows that for the recent past temperatures rise first followed by CO2 increasing. Which is simple to explain with equilibrium chemistry. This is what I was referring to by the paleo record not supporting CO2 as a primary driver.

    John may well be right and there is some delay mechanism followed by CO2 increasing the warming but this is, if true, at most secondary in the paleo record.

    As to the satellite record and warming of your later comment, there is much discussion of what the supposed pattern of that warming should be. I am not familiar enough with your cited paper to know what it finds but as others have pointed out above there are a number of papers that suggest the "fingerprint" is wrong. In the past we have handled this by changing what we think the fingerprint should be, correctly or incorrectly I don't know.

    Remember when models showed the warming would occur first and most dramtically at night and at the poles and that it would be greater in the stratosphere? Two examples of "definite fingerprints" of AGW that made great sense but, didn't work out?
  48. Re #216

    ONE: CO2/temperature correlations:

    I don't think that's correct WA. The paleorecord shows a rather good correspondence between paleoproxies for cold/warm periods and paleoproxies for low/high CO2. Which particular study/geological period were you thinking of?

    This subject has recently been very comprehensively reviewed by Royer, and a great slew of data highlights the strong relationship between paleoCO2 and paleo temp (high CO2 corresponds to warm periods and vice versa) right throughout the Phanerozoic (last 460-ish million years). I've reproduced citations to a number of these studies at the bottom of the post. Here's Royer's compilation:

    D.L. Royer (2006) "CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic" Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 70, 5665-5675.

    TWO: CO2/temp relationships during ice age cycles.

    I'm surprised people are still confused by this very straightforward topic. John Cook has explained this very concisely here:

    In a nutshell:

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Raising its atmospheric concentration results in enhanced warming of the Earth, all else being equal. A large amount of scientific data, indicates that the Earth's surface temperature responds to enhanced [CO2] with somewhere around 3 oC of warming (+/- a bit) per doubling of atmospheric CO2:

    It doesn't matter what caused/causes the enhanced CO2; raising [CO2] results in enhanced greenhouse warming.

    Compare the ice age glacial/interglacial transitions, and the current global warming:

    a.) ice-age transitions: Over a period of around 5000 years (around 15,000 to 10,000 years ago), predictable changes in the Earth's orbital properties changed the insolation pattern resulting in a very slow warming, and the earth transited from a glacial to the interglacial period that we now inhabit. Over a period of 5000 years the Earth warmed by around 6 oC overall, and during this period atmospheric CO2 levels rose by 90-100 ppm (from 180-270ish ppm) due probably to very, very slow temperature dependent efflux from warming oceans. The temperature rose around 0.1 oC per 100 years on average, with around 2 ppm of raised [CO2] per 100 years. The raised CO2 lagged the warming initially, but it contributed overall to the net warming, since raised CO2 "traps" more solar energy.

    b. current global warming: At present the Earth is warming at 0.18-0.2 oC per decade (around 18-20 times faster than during the glacial to interglacial), in response to [CO2] that is rising by around 2.5 ppm PER YEAR (more than 100 times faster than during the glacial to interglacial transition).

    In each case the enhanced [CO2] results in warming. During the ice age cycles, CO2 rose extremely slowly in response to slow Milankovitch-induce warming, and produced a feedback amplification of the initial warming. Now the CO2 is being released directly into the atmosphere in copious amounts at a massive rate. It doesn't matter how the [CO2] gets into the atmosphere...the Earth warms as a result. CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    THREE: Satellite record:

    The satellite record is pretty much consistent with expectations based on our understanding of the greenhouse effect. Unfortunately the record is not very well constrained (it's also very short...since 1979 only). Roy Spencer has made a dreadful hash of "analyzing" the record over a period of nearly 20 years, but others have corrected a number of dreadful blunders, and there doesn't seem to be any substantive disagreement between the record and the expectations from surface warming combined with our understanding of atmospheric physics and thermodynamics.

    Which papers were you thinking of that "suggest the "fingerprint" is wrong"?

    FOUR: warming at the the stratosphere.

    Which models are you thinking of specifically? It was prediced as long ago as the early 1980's, that warming in response to enhanced greenhouse gases should be most dramatic in the high Northern latitudes and that the Antarctic would remain "buffered" from the effects of enhanced greenhouse gases for some time. That's certainly turned out to be true. I'm not sure about the day/night expectations, although it seems reasonable that greenhose warming would certainly be effective at night. What's your evidence for a disagrement if you considerone exists?

    I'm skeptical about your point about the "stratosphere"! Evidence please. I wonder if you meant "troposphere"...

    In relation to point ONE above, more recent studies supplement the information in Royers compilation and cover additional periods with new data sets right through the past several hundreds of millions of years:

    R.E. Carne, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) "Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era" Nature 449, 198-202

    W. M. Kurschner et al (2008) “The impact of Miocene atmospheric carbon dioxide fluctuations on climate and the evolution of the terrestrial ecosystem” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 499-453.

    D. L. Royer (2008) “Linkages between CO2, climate, and evolution in deep time” Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 407-408

    Zachos JC (2008) “An early Cenozoic perspective on greenhouse warming and carbon-cycle dynamics” Nature 451, 279-283.

    Doney SC et al (2007) “Carbon and climate system coupling on timescales from the Precambrian to the Anthropocene” Ann. Rev. Environ. Resources 32, 31-66.

    Horton DE et al (2007) “Orbital and CO2 forcing of late Paleozoic continental ice sheets” Geophys. Res. Lett. L19708 (Oct. 11 2007).

    B. J. Fletcher et al. (2008) “Atmospheric carbon dioxide linked with Mesozoic and early Cenozoic climate change” Nature Geoscience 1, 43-48.
  49. Re #215

    A scientist can call himself all sorts of things. Spencer is listed under "Staff" at the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He may consider himself to be a Meteorologist or a Climatologist, and no doubt an Atmospheric Physicist and so doesn't really matter....scientists consider all sorts of different labels to be appropriate to their jobs/expertise.

    The salient point is that he's made a dreadful hash of analyzing the satellite MSU data for a very long period indeed, his "efforts" have had to be consistently corrected in the scientific literature, and he has taken to bypassing the normal scientific channels and engaged in attempting to sell nonsense to the general public via dodgy websites and suchlike!

    I've had a look at the paper you've linked to...if I have time I'll make some comments on the PDO thread where you posted the link....
  50. Chris Re:218 This is a splinter in your neighbors eye issue if I have ever seen one. Especially in light of the errors and corrections in the GISS record. Is it your contention that it is incompetance in that case or bias?

    Ice core samples show that the warming happens first, our host claims a natural delay accounts for this. I think having a reversed order of cause and effect should give anyone pause, and let's not fool ourselves that is what we have there. It most certainly does not support the correlation you claim. Unless you would also contend that I ate too much junk food because I had gained weight.

    As to the more distant past while very uncertian I don't see how anyone could get anything like a correlation from what is there, we have ice ages with high CO2 and warm eons with low CO2.

    The satellite record is to an even greater extent consistent with the hypothesis that there is no positive feeedback due to increased CO2. In fact it is also consistent with the hypothesis that human activities have no measurable effect on world temperature. I think I am saying that isn't really much of a proof.

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