Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.


Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Donate

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe

Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...

Keep me logged in
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts


Climate Hustle

Recent Comments

Prev  1222  1223  1224  1225  1226  1227  1228  1229  1230  1231  1232  1233  1234  1235  1236  1237  1238  1239  1240  1241  Next

Comments 61551 to 61600:

  1. Dikran Marsupial at 01:05 AM on 16 May 2011
    CO2 has a short residence time
    drrocket wrote:

    "1. Even IPCC, which capitalizes on the sequestration conjecture, would not set U_a = 0. With its full sequestration bottleneck in effect, IPCC makes U_a = 0.55 E_a."

    No, U_a does not represent the uptake of anthropogenically generated CO2 by the environment, it represents the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere due to human activities, i.e. it represents artificial carbon sequestration. The IPCC clearly would not say that we annually sequester (e.g. via carbon capture schemes) 55% of the carbon we emit. We annually sequester a fraction of a percent of out emissions, such a small amount that it isn't currently worth discussing.

    Note that I have already pointed out your misunderstanding in this post. The fact that you are continuing in the misunderstanding suggests you are not reading the responses to your arguments with sufficient diligence.

    To be clear, anything with a _n subscript represents fluxes into or out of the atmosphere as part of the natural carbon cycle, anything with a _a subscript represents anthropogenic emissions (fossil fuel use and land use changes) or artificial sequestration of carbon (e.g. burying carbon in mines or pumping it into aquifers etc, which is to all intents and purposes effectively zero).

    Your second point is irrelevant as it is due to your misunderstanding of what U_a represents. The oceanic solubility pump and organic carbon pumps are described by U_n, not U_a.
  2. Drought in the Amazon: A death spiral? (part 1:seasons)
    Some additional explanation of the connection between ITCZ and rainfall would be helpful.
    The position of the July band in the Old World looks very suspicious.
    I haven't heard about tropical rainfalls over Sahara or Saudi Arabia yet.
    That could have been several thousand years ago, but not recently for sure.
  3. Who Ya Gonna Call???
    Hi Daniel,

    (this is off-topic please feel free to delete it)

    I am a little concerned that it seems that very little coverage has been given anywhere much to the new Arctic ozone hole.

    Wayne Davidson has a piece up on his blog ( and has posted a couple of comments about it on realclimate's May open thread.

    I'd suggest that you or others might like to write something on two aspects of this:

    1. A new hole in the stratospheric ozone over the Arctic may well cause a lowering of Arctic SAT, with possible implications for the rate of Arctic sea ice loss.

    2. People who believe in basic science might be best advised to wear some more sunscreen this summer (and apply a lot more of it to small children). Baz Luhrmann has already published something on this... but then he is an Ozzy, and the Antarctic ozone hole is old news.

    2a. (Regular readers of WUWT, etc, may of course feel free to ignore Mr Luhrmann's advice)
  4. michael sweet at 00:40 AM on 16 May 2011
    Tracking the energy from global warming
    Where did you come up with the idea that Hansens' paper is a review paper? The paper gives new data on "missing heat", concluding that there is no missing heat, and he gives a new estimate of the aerosol effect which he claims is substantially higher than the IPCC estimates.

    Your claim that it is a review paper is just tosh so that you can criticize the paper. Stay on topic.
  5. michael sweet at 00:31 AM on 16 May 2011
    The United Sates does not require news agencies to be "fair and balanced". One look at the Fox news agency shows that. It is let the buyer beware for news.
  6. Special Parliament Edition of Climate Change Denial
    well done, lets hope that it gets read, understood and acted on asap by those in power.
  7. CO2 has a short residence time
    Eric (skeptic), 5/15/11, 21:10 PM, CO2 residence

    Where I said twice in 10.1 that the natural environment was a lagging source, I should have said, of course, that is a leading source. Sorry.

    The Vostok record, being from ice cores, is a heavily low-pass filtered version of what we measure with modern CO2 instrumentation, and it has a prolonged sample interval. The integration time in an ice core reportedly is as large as a millennium or two, compared to at most one minute in the manual mode for modern measurements. The sample time for Vostok is about 1,300 years compared to a minute or less for modern instrumentation. The confidence level for the Vostok record to detect an event like the half century surge at MLO is not the usual 90% or 95%; it is about 3%. Alternatively. if Vostok were to have included an MLO-like surge, it's standard deviation would have been attenuated by the square root of, say, 1000 years divided by 1 minute (5.26*10^8), or 23,000. The Vostok record is not directly comparable to, say, the MLO record.

    If you want to compare Vostok and MLO either in CO2 increase or the rate of CO2 per ºC, you want first to filter the MLO record with a low pass filter with a time constant between 30 and 2000 years. What do you get then?
  8. Lindzen Illusion #5: Internal Variability
    chris #91

    I am aware of the story of how Willis 'discovered' his error with early Argo analysis.

    Well the reason I find Hansen's emphasis on von Schukmann interesting is that the earlier VS result of 0.77W/sq.m (0-2000m) from late 2009 was heavily criticised on this blog (BP had a big go at the bumps in the chart and the uniform error bars), and the impossible rates of heat transfer.

    Dr Trenberth later started quoting it on Dr Pielke's website.

    "For now, I'm comfortable with the evidence from Willis's analysis that the 1993-2008 ocean heat uptake is consistent with a radiative of around 0.65 W/m2."

    I am not comfortable with that at all as it splices XBT with Argo and produces the step jump of 2001-03 which we have argued extensively elsewhere.

    Recently there was heavy action on this blog re; the Knox & Douglass paper which called the VS result an 'outlier' here:

    The K&D paper uses Willis Argo data from 2009 from private correspondence with Willis. It found no 0-700m warming 2003-08 - in fact cooling.

    I agree that Willis should be publishing rather than others using his data from private correspondence to produce papers. Maybe he is worried about getting burned again.

    It he came to the same conclusion as K & D and as quoted by Dr Pielke, then it would contradict von Schukmann in no small way. BTW the Purkey & Johnson deep ocean 0.1W/sq.m was added into Dr Pielke's number of about 0.26W/sq.m globally.
  9. CO2 has a short residence time
    Dikran Marsupial, 5/15/11, 02:32 AM, CO2 residence

    1. Even IPCC, which capitalizes on the sequestration conjecture, would not set U_a = 0. With its full sequestration bottleneck in effect, IPCC makes U_a = 0.55 E_a.

    2. Sequestration does not operate by the biological pumps being connected to the atmosphere as IPCC shows in its carbon pumps. AR4 Figure 7.10, The biological pumps of sequestration must draw from ionized CO2, not molecular CO2 in the air. Nor can pumps operate as IPCC expresses in its equation for the Bern Carbon cycle. AR4, Table 2.14, p. 213. See these reproduced and discussed discussed here as Figure 10 and Equation 30.

    The equation is a model in which each of the pumps has its own, independent reservoir. The solubility pump (IPCC calls the "solution pump") has access 18.6% of the atmosphere, the organic carbon pump has access to a separate 33.8% of the atmosphere, and the CaCO3 counter pump has access to 25.9% of the atmosphere, leaving 21.7% of atmosphere not connected to any pump. The ocean is not well-represented by that configuration. The solubility pump has access to 100% of the atmosphere, a volume of the dissolved CO2 greater than that at equilibrium remains in molecular form, or nearly so, to satisfy Henry's Law and to be ionized to feed the two biological pumps.

    Established physics cannot be relied on or ignored by replacing physical terms with new definitions peculiar to climatology. That requires special treatment for novel validation. Equilibrium cannot replace steady state to extend the validity of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Replacing thermodynamic equilibrium with dynamic equilibrium invalidates equilibrium chemistry. Replacing residence time with a unique adjustment time invalidates the principles of math and physics that govern even a simple leaking pail.
  10. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    Thank you for hot linking the video. I am going to make a stab at learning to do that again in the future.

    The experiment is being run now, and has been running for approx 1 year. The preliminary results support Svensmark's theory. It does seem Mr. Kirby is quit excited about this.

    I am glad to see this happening because it will increase our understanding of climate stimuli from an experiment that can be replicated.

    The results may help fill in some of the questions that current climate models raise.

    Emperical knowledge is a very good thing to have, so that it can be used in a constructive way.
  11. Eric (skeptic) at 22:05 PM on 15 May 2011
    The National Post is Canadian.
  12. Stephan Lewandowsky at 21:37 PM on 15 May 2011
    Special Parliament Edition of Climate Change Denial
    Seriously Cool. Good luck with Senator Fielding and co.
  13. Eric (skeptic) at 21:10 PM on 15 May 2011
    CO2 has a short residence time
    drrocket, you say "10.1 The natural environment is a net, lagging source of CO2 while the climate is warming, and a net lagging sink for CO2 when it is cooling. Statistically, the climate is always in one state or the other. This is known from the Vostok record. It is the background for ACO2 additions."

    The Vostok record shows about a 100 ppm change in CO2 for a 10 C change in temperature. Our current temperature rise from the LIA (which I personally consider to be mostly natural) is less than 1C That corresponds to a 10 ppm increase in CO2. The other 90 ppm increase is man made.

    IOW, without manmade CO2 we would have seen a 10 ppm rise. With manmade CO2 we have seen over a 100 ppm rise.
  14. Dikran Marsupial at 21:08 PM on 15 May 2011
    CO2 has a short residence time
    drrocket wrote:

    "2.1 The models used by IPCC in AR4 Figure 7.3 have the natural flux between air and the surface exactly balanced. You may not like it, but its true."

    your first substantive point is demonstrably incorrect, here is figure 7.3 (click the image to go to the source):

    The natural uptake components are:

    0.2 weathering (black arrow)
    120 GPP (black arrow)
    2.6 land sink (red arrow signifying a post-industrial change)
    70 flux into surface ocean (black arrow)
    22.2 red arrow representing post-industrial change in uptake by surface ocean

    total natural uptake 215 GtC per year

    The natural emissions are comprised of

    119.6 respiration (black arrow)
    70.6 flux from the surface ocean (black arrow)
    20 post industrial change in emissions from surface ocean (red arrow)

    total natural emissions 210.2 GtC per year.

    Clearly the "natural flux between air and the surface" are not "exactly balanced" according to the IPCC as you claim. In fact the diagram asserts the natural environment to be a net carbon sink, with uptake exceeding emissions by 4.8 GtC per year. "You may not like it, but its true."

    Now lets compare that with anthropogenic emissions (labelled "fossil fuels" 6.4 GtC/year and "land use change" 1.6 GtC/year), a total of 8 GtC/year. This exceeds the natural net sink, which is why atmospheric CO2 is increasing.

    So given your first substantive point (rather than mere pedantic quibbling over English usage) was utterly wrong, there seems little point in discussing the gish gallop further unless you are able to admit you were wrong on that very first point.
  15. Rob Painting at 20:16 PM on 15 May 2011
    Drought in the Amazon: A death spiral? (part 1:seasons)
    Stevo - I'm not familiar with details of the Australian drought situation. I believe rainfall there is largely driven by changes in the Indian Ocean Dipole, a warming/cooling of surface waters in the tropical Indian Ocean, however changes in the Walker circulation with ENSO, do influence rainfall patterns in Australia as well.

    I don't know that we have a post specifically on Australia, but have a squizz at this post The Dai After Tomorrow and the paper that it references. Note the changes in rainfall projected for Australia, don't look too flash.
  16. Who Ya Gonna Call???

    1. I agree with you.

    2. I like the irony.
  17. Who Ya Gonna Call???
    With respect, chaps - this discussion of the differance between laws and theories is really rubbish; and essentialist rubbish at that.

    We quite comfortably talk of Newtons law of gravitation even though it's less "true" than Einsteins general theory of relativity - from which it can be derived. Why? Because of the language, history and metaphysics of the times each was created.
    Today we're quite happy saying that something is still only a theory - e.g. String theory - because it has not been supported or contradicted experimentally. That's all the "only" designates. Other theories - e.g. QED - have yet to fail an experimental test; but "the law of QED" sounds weird. I'll leave it as an exercise to see how many "laws" can be derived from he special theory of relativity via Maxwell...

    Fact is, language is not so precise - even more so when you're tracing the development of ideas of a long time and through substantial changes of world view.

    So far as a "theory", in C21st English, is a pretty formal model which derives measurable outcomes from well described principles - there are "only" theories, "pretty good" theories, "rubbish" theories, "rock solid" theories. Etc. Etc.

    You have to look at the thing in it's self; not the label!
  18. xy
    In New Zealand "publications should be bound at all times by accuracy, fairness and balance, and should not deliberately mislead or misinform readers by commission or omission. In addition "in articles of controversy or disagreement, a fair voice must be given to the opposition view". And where these standards are breached a complaint may be made to the offending paper or the press council.

    Does the US media have any media standards that would require apology and publication of corrections or balancing articles in these situations, as would be the case in my country?
  19. ScaredAmoeba at 16:55 PM on 15 May 2011
    How people are using the Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism
    caerbannog @ 6,
    Thanks for your reply, I accept what you say about SKS being conservative and not alarmist. That's what I like about SKS, RC and a few other sites.

    I appreciate that all science is provisional and only becomes gradually established by being tested through further research. If it survives extensive testing and confirmation, especially through multiple independent means it eventually can be considered fairly reliable - unless and until a paradigm shift occurs

    However, that doesn't explain why SKS is inconsistent about about what this particular paper means about exactly the same subject.

    I'm puzzled, that's all.
  20. Who Ya Gonna Call???
    It's quite possible to have a coherent body of scientific knowlede that's not mediated by laws (i.e. is only based on theories). It's very rare for a theory to become a law, but in the case of gravity, that's what happened.
  21. Drought in the Amazon: A death spiral? (part 1:seasons)
    I'm hoping someone can help me by answering a question about the ENSO.
    I'm not a scientist and I work in the mining and energy sector so am surrounded by heavy resistance to the science of AGW.

    According to the Wikipedia link in the article the ENSO changes from el Nino to la Nina approximately every 5 years although this varies.
    In Australia our droughts are said to be becomming longer and the interdrought periods are getting shorter.

    Where can I find data to demonstrate this? And does this have a relationship to the ENSO or Walker Circulation?
  22. Berényi Péter at 15:08 PM on 15 May 2011
    Tracking the energy from global warming
    #138 e at 05:49 AM on 14 May, 2011

    I have to respectfully disagree with your specific criticism of BP's math (having the sign wrong)

    Thanks, perhaps I could not explain it as clearly as you did.

    though note I'm not agreeing with BP's analysis in general.

    I see. But you should be a bit more specific than that. It is too easy not to agree with something "in general". It is harder (and more helpful) to explicate exactly how your analysis differs from mine, i.e. which steps do you see as problematic.

    #136 Albatross at 01:59 AM on 14 May, 2011
    Seriously, we'll see what it looks like after review, my understanding is that it is in review now, including by the public. So I'm sure Dr. Hansen would love to hear the errs of his ways from you BP.

    I hope so. Anyway, if it is in fact an open peer review process, I can only support it.

    Let's start with something Dr. Hansen has to say about satellite measurements of radiative energy imbalance at TOA (Top of Atmosphere).

    "The precision achieved by the most advanced generation of radiation budget satellites is indicated by the planetary energy imbalance measured by the ongoing CERES (Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System) instrument (Loeb et al., 2009), which finds a measured 5-year-mean imbalance of 6.5 W/m2 (Loeb et al., 2009). Because this result is implausible, instrumentation calibration factors were introduced to reduce the imbalance to the imbalance suggested by climate models, 0.85 W/m2 (Loeb et al., 2009).

    The problems being addressed with this tuning probably involve the high variability and changes of the angular distribution functions for outgoing radiation and the very limited sampling of the radiation field that is possible from an orbiting satellite, as well as, perhaps, detector calibration. There can be no credible expectation that this tuning/calibration procedure can reduce the error by two orders of magnitude as required to measure changes of Earth's energy balance to an accuracy of 0.1 W/m2."

    This brings us back to #109 where I have started to analyse the truth-value to be assigned to the proposition "Satellites have measured an energy imbalance at the top of the Earth's atmosphere" found in another thread at this site, and concluded it was false.

    As you can see, Dr. Hansen agrees with this evaluation, therefore if nothing else, but on his sheer authority one could put a red flag to all occurrences of this misleading proposition at this site (also repeated in e.g. The Big Picture).

    We could leave it at that.

    However, this time I am also tasked with a reflection on Dr. Hansen's essay.

    The first thing to note is that Dr. Hansen in his elaboration on satellite measurements of radiative inbalance at TOA hopelessly mixes up accuracy and precision.

    While it is true, that accuracy of satellite measurements is insufficient to determine a radiative imbalance, their precision is much better, that is, they are suitable to determine relative changes in this quantity. And the inconvenient fact is they show an overall upward trend during the last decade or so.

    On the other hand OHC data show the opposite, a downward trend in energy accumulation rate. The claimed error bars for both kind of measurement are such, that these results are inconsistent with each other (error bars do not overlap, by a wide margin).

    Dr. Hansen takes the easy escape route when he dismisses satellite data altogether based on their low accuracy.

    However, in a review article like this it is not the proper thing to do.

    If his opinion is such that even long term stability and precision of satellite net radiative imbalance measurements at TOA is insufficient to determine a meaningful trend over time, either because of intercalibration problems between different measurement systems (like EBAF, ES4 or FLASHFlux), detector calibration issues or high variability and changes of the angular distribution functions for outgoing radiation that make error bars wide enough to prevent such an application, then he has to say so explicitly.

    It is a perfectly legitimate stance, but in a review paper it should be supported by some evidence, that is, he should dig up the literature for peer reviewed publications arriving at a conclusion that from satellite data alone we can't even determine the sign of the imbalance trend for the last decade.

    Unfortunately he fails to do so and dismisses the whole issue based on a single study (Loeb 2009) which deals with something else, namely the inferior absolute accuracy of satellite data. That's surely not the way to go.

    If he did such an investigation, it could prove not even a weaker version of the proposition above like "Satellites have helped infer an energy imbalance at the top of the Earth's atmosphere" would stand.

    In that case we would be left with OHC measurements alone indeed, as Dr. Hansen claims, and there would be no independent measurement at all to check our OHC time series against in any way.

    I do not believe it is the case, but he may try to take such a track.

    On the other hand, if he can't substantiate the impossibility of deriving an imbalance trend from satellite data, he has no choice but fully expose the inconsistency between the two lines of independent evidence. A trend line surely can't go both up and down at the same time. This latter proposition is at the kernel of Trenberth's travesty.

    Intercalibration between OHC and satellite radiative imbalance measurements at TOA can't be done for the full period within error bounds, simply because upward and downward trends can never be aligned by adding a constant to one of them. Dr. Trenberth chooses to use the early part of CERES and OHC data for intercalibration (between 2000 and 2005) so he has a tremendous amount of recent "missing heat" in the system, possibly sequestered into an as-yet-unknown and somewhat mysterious heat reservoir.

    If we do not follow him in this respect and use the late part of data for intercalibration (between 2003 & 2009 or 2005 & 2010 perhaps), we get a different picture. There is no recent "missing heat" at all, but there used to be some missing (that is, unmeasured) heat in the system before the ARGO era. It would mean the long term (decadal) rate of heat accumulation in the system is much smaller than shown by unadjusted OHC data and certainly smaller than the 0.85 ± 0.15 W/m2 indicated by computational climate models.

    It is entirely possible that the question is still open, that is, the science is not settled in this respect, but it is impossible to pretend there is no question at all. And precisely that's what Dr. Hansen is trying to do. It goes against one of the main purposes of review papers, that is, to uncover open areas for future investigation.
  23. Donald Lewis at 15:07 PM on 15 May 2011
    IPCC is alarmist
    There is a wonderful (in the sense of frightening) piece by Roy Spencer published by the George C. Marshall Institute.
    Put on your head clamp and read it carefully. He thinks we should dump the IPCC process, altogether. And why? He argues it was instigated by politicians who "saw a way to accomplish personal goals."

    The really frightening feature, to me, is that in this letter he doesn't even mention one of those putative goals. Whatever those "personal" goals might be (sustainable society, clean air, maintenance of biological diversity, survival of great grandchildren, ...)

    At the George C. Marshall Institute, apparently, that qualifies as analysis. And that institute doesn't support any actions instigated by politicians? I think it does from time to time. I assume that institute's standards really, implicitly, involve the evaluation of the goals of politicians. So the "bad" goals are implicit in Spencer's argument in this piece. Spencer is a coward because he will not explicitly pen his specific accusations. The George C. Marshall Institute, as a research institute, is made bankrupt by passing off Spencer's rant as anything like research.

    Anyway, this note by Spencer suggests to me he is grinding out some other agenda through his "science" rather than simply doing science.

    How crazy is our world? Spencer wants to shut down the IPCC, because the IPCC was created by politicians who wanted scientists to report their understanding of the science. Meanwhile Spencer reports to the George C. Marshall Institute.

    (I also learned in that piece that Spencer's boss at UAH is Christy. That was a surprise to me.)

    [DB] Hot-linked URL.

  24. CO2 has a short residence time
    Dikran Marsupial, 5/15/11, 02:09 AM, CO2 residence

    1. On the post above, 23:19 PM, you inserted this:

    Response: [Dikran Marsupial] You appear to have misread KRs post, AFAICS he was not attributing anything to you, but directing the statement to you.

    Not at all. KR (1) addressed me, followed by (2) "colon", then (3) an exact quotation, but (4) omitted the source. To confirm that this was KR's misattribution, I pointed out that his final instruction was directed to me instead of the source. Of course, the source of this misinformation was the IPCC.

    2. You wrote incorrectly,

    No, the models of the carbon cycle used by the IPCC do not have natural emissions exactly balanced by natural uptake. If they did, the airborne fraction for their model would be 100% instead of 45%.

    2.1 The models used by IPCC in AR4 Figure 7.3 have the natural flux between air and the surface exactly balanced. You may not like it, but its true. If you want to argue that IPCC is inconsistent, I would agree, but that is a different matter. This fact of natural balance is reinforced by the IPCC text, AR4 ¶, cited for you, and which you also ignore. That passage says that the flux is out of balance expressly with respect to ACO2, implying that the natural is in balance, confirmed by the figure.

    2.2 You got the airborne fraction wrong, too, and twice. Here's what airborne fraction means:

    The relationship between increases in atmospheric CO2 mixing ratios and emissions has been tracked using a scaling factor known as the apparent ‘airborne fraction’, defined as the ratio of the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 to the CO2 emissions from annual fossil fuel and cement manufacture combined (Keeling et al., 1995). AR4, ¶2.3.1 Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, p. 139.

    2.2.1 Airborne fraction has nothing to do with the natural flux.

    2.2.2 If the airborne fraction were similarly defined for nCO2, then it would be 0%, not 100%.

    3. You repeat a minor IPCC error when you write,

    One of the things you appear to be ignorant of is that the ocean uptake is also governed by the difference in partial pressure of CO2 between the atmosphere and the surface waters.

    3.1 The uptake of a gas in liquid is determined by the partial pressure of the gas above liquid. William Henry, 1803. IPCC does not bother to use Henry's Law because it is incompatible with its claim that the surface readily absorbs nCO2 but buffers against ACO2. This is also confirmed by IPCC's attempt to rehabilitate the failed Revelle Buffer Factor.

    3.2 A dissolved gas has no partial pressure. Sometimes investigators will deem it to exist, but in doing so they mean the partial pressure of the gas that would exist above the liquid at equilibrium. The beautiful Takahashi diagram (ON WHY CO2 IS KNOWN NOT TO ACCUMULATE IN THE ATMOSPHERE, etc., Figure 1A, AR4 Figure 7.8, p. 523, modified) is based on the fictional partial pressure of dissolved CO2. This may account for the fact that the Takahashi cells have to be recalibrated to make his results consistent with the fluxes in AR4 Figure 7.3.

    4. You write incorrectly,

    The increase in uptake due to increasing atmospheric CO2 exceeds the increase in emissions due to the modest rise in temperature, which is why the oceans are a net sink. This is carbon cycle 101 stuff.

    This little gem of ambiguity as to what is due to the modest rise in temperature is (a) preposterous on the one hand or (b) woefully uninformed on the other. (a) Your writing could mean that the increase in emissions is due to temperature. But that's just too silly. (Isn't it?) (b) Water does not increase its CO2 uptake with increasing temperature. CO2 uptake increases with decreasing temperature. Where exactly did you take carbon cycle 101? I want to be sure and steer people away from that institute.

    5. Even after being instructed that you are using the term adjustment time you continue with the practice, and with no references. You are using it incorrectly with respect to the IPCC definition. See my posts above, 5/13/11, 8:06 AM; 5/14/11, 12:48 PM.

    6. You insist wrongly that

    It is not a fact that E_n =U_n … .

    E_n = 190.2 GtC/yr. U_n = 190.2. AR4, Figure 7.3, p. 515. Thus, don't you see, E_n = U_n, according to IPCC. You don't like it. I don't like it. But it's undeniably the IPCC model.

    7. You misleadingly write with respect to the Mean Residence Time = M/S that

    IPCC knows that.

    Of course IPCC knows that. It's right out of its Third and Fourth Glossaries. The problem is that in the main body of those Reports, IPCC (a) never uses its own formula and (b) uses far different values for residence time, including declaring that it can't be defined, and then defining it with a different, physically impossible formula.

    You claim that residence time has not effect on the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. All the while, IPCC goes to great and clumsy lengths to increase the residence time in order for ACO2 to accumulate in the atmosphere, so to cause AGW. If IPCC was a physician, it would practice touching up x-rays.

    8. You insist incorrectly that

    However, where the you (and Essenhigh) differ from the IPCC and I is that we know that residence time is irrelevant to the discussion of the increase in atmospheric CO2, and it is tha [sic] adjustment time that matters.

    8.1 Adjustment time is the time that the climate requires to come to equilibrium. It is of no use in determining the amount of CO2 accumulation.

    8.2 I spelled out in detail the effects of various residence times on the accumulation of CO2. 5/14/11, 9:25 AM. You have completely ignored it to make a naked counter claim. I buy you books and buy you books and all you do is eat the covers.

    9. You state incorrectly,

    [T]he residence time is dominated by an exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and oceans/biosphere that has no effect whatsoever on the atmospheric concentration.

    9.1 You repeat your lack of appreciation for residence time. See 8.2, above.

    9.2 The residence time is not dominated by anything. It is determined by the mass in the reservoir, M, divided by the rate of loss from that reservoir, S. It is not affected by replenishment, i.e., emissions. In that regard, perhaps I confused you by writing that S = dM/dt without explicitly saying that any part added to M is held constant. Only the loss function, S, not the emissions, has anything to do with residence time.

    10. You challenged this:

    Explain how the natural environment can be a net source of CO2 into the atmosphere while the observed annual rise in atmospheric CO2 is less [than] anthropogenic emissions. If you can't answer that question, your position is untenable.

    10.1 The natural environment is a net, lagging source of CO2 while the climate is warming, and a net lagging sink for CO2 when it is cooling. Statistically, the climate is always in one state or the other. This is known from the Vostok record. It is the background for ACO2 additions.

    10.2 The observed annual rise in atmospheric CO2 is apparently valid for MLO, although that record as published is reconstituted and quite dubious in any detail. Moreover, that record is (1) regional, (2) located in the intense plume of the massive oceanic outgassing, and (3) subject to slow modulation as the plume wanders.

    10.3 Current annual emissions into the atmosphere are those due to contemporary global warming, multiplied roughly by, say, 1.03 to 1.05 to account for the added ACO2 emissions.

    10.4 The accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere is (1) the ramp in emissions per 10.3 convolved with (2) the impulse function represented by the CO2 residence time. The ratio of the integral of the ramp, equivalent to MRT = ∞, and that for an MRT = 3.5 years is 5.1%. See my post above, 5/14/11, 9:25 AM.

    10.5 According to this model, and combining 10.3 and 10.4, the global CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is accumulating 5.1% of the total outgassed due to warming plus ACO2. The contribution of ACO2 is 5.1% of a figure between 3% and 5%, or 0.2 to 0.3% of the total emissions during warming. While this is well buried in the noise of atmospheric measurements and global estimations, the model explains why the observed annual rise in atmospheric CO2 is less than anthropogenic emissions.

    10.6 What is quite untenable is AGW. Of course, getting the CO2 and surface temperature right does not solve all the climate matters. It just settles that AGW is a failed conjecture.
  25. Who Ya Gonna Call???

    "Is a theory not just a simplified model of the reality described by a number of laws?"

    List the set of laws that the theory of evolution models in a simplified way ...

    "Current theory building looks a lot like how quantum theory came to a working solid theory/model. it did have quite some powerful people (Einstein) who did oppose against it because of its religious implications."

    Einstein was speaking rhetorically, not literally, when he spoke of God not rolling dice.

    And, again, could you please enumerate the accepted "laws" that quantum theory was modeling in a simiplified way?

    Please be specific and list laws that were actually accepted as laws at the time ...
  26. Bob Lacatena at 13:42 PM on 15 May 2011
    Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    104, Camburn,
    Svensmark was correct.
    And you know this because... they are planning on running an experiment at some time in the future?

    This is what qualifies for "skepticism" today? They're going to run an experiment and you'd like to see a certain result, so you're going to act as if that result has already been observed, and ignore all of the actual evidence that is currently available?
  27. Bob Lacatena at 13:34 PM on 15 May 2011
    Drought in the Amazon: A death spiral? (part 1:seasons)
    From Solomon's article:
    The short version: It’s CO2 to the rescue. The more of it in the atmosphere, the better the Amazon’s chance of survival.
    From the paper on which he based his article:
    Meanwhile, carbon gains from photosynthesis cannot rise indefinitely and will almost certainly asymptote. Thus, ecophysiological principles alone suggest that the sink in intact tropical forests will diminish and may eventually reverse. The major uncertainty is when this will occur.
  28. Drought in the Amazon: A death spiral? (part 1:seasons)
    The Cruz Jr 2007 rainfall map is meant to demonstrate the shift of the ITCZ (and associated rainfall) with seasons-- for that purpose the satellite data are more than sufficient.
  29. Drought in the Amazon: A death spiral? (part 1:seasons)
    If you want to see current and somewhat historical images of the water vapor loop that affects the Amazon, here is a great link.
  30. Drought in the Amazon: A death spiral? (part 1:seasons)
    Hate to be nitpicky, but the map from Cruz jr 2007 is based on satillite data. It then is based on cloud color, which in SA is a very undependable source of ground recieved precipitation.
  31. Who Ya Gonna Call???
    Is a theory not just a simplified model of the reality described by a number of laws? If the model can predict phenomena with a great accuracy you can see the theory is right. Newton did with gravity, except for the exact trail of Mercurius. It did not falsify the theory, that still holds but needed some refinements.

    Current theory building looks a lot like how quantum theory came to a working solid theory/model. it did have quite some powerful people (Einstein) who did oppose against it because of its religious implications. Just like the Italian guy before Newton.

    This time we are not discussing some contained system but we are right in it. We do change the conditions of the theory ourself (just as with Quantum, measuring on a system does have influence) but we are Schrodingers cats ourselfs.
  32. xy
    This is about the most depressing thing I have read in a while...
  33. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    The results of this will change the dynamics of the models as there is now cause and effect.

    Svensmark was correct.

    [DB] "Svensmark was correct."

    Based on what?  Certainly not from actually watching the video, which (although interesting) contained no new information.  Hot-linked URL.

  34. Who Ya Gonna Call???
    I saw the piece when it screened on Hungry Beast this week.
    Yes, its fun and yes, its good to see scientists stepping up but I fear that many so called skeptics will just conclude that these are a bunch of bad mannered university educated clowns.
    It never ceases to amaze me how so many [ -snip -] see university education as a disqualification.

    Anyhow, let's hope that Hungry Beast's target demographic (educated Australians under 30 years of age) reacts positively.
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] FWIW, I updated the original post with a link to the clean version of the video.

  35. David Horton at 10:58 AM on 15 May 2011
    Drought in the Amazon: A death spiral? (part 1:seasons)
    "the river populations of dolphins now exceed pre-drought levels, even in one of the hardest hit drought areas" - where does this stuff come from?
  36. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo

    "Note that we don't have to "know how much energy is coming in" and "how much energy is coming out", though we can bound these. Of course it would be great if we could define these very difficult parameters."

    Even this, though, boils down to greatly tightening the bounds. There will always be uncertainty, no matter how small, so apparently CW believes we can never rule out the possibility "...climate is completely INsensitive to changes in CO2..."

    He's just spinning the old denialist line that if we don't know everything (with absolute precision) we know nothing.
  37. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    Well yes CW. We've got lots of evidence to inform us.

    Note that we don't have to "know how much energy is coming in" and "how much energy is coming out", though we can bound these. Of course it would be great if we could define these very difficult parameters.

    but not to worry. We don't really need to know these. As far as global warming is concerned we really want to know how much excess solar energy is retained in the climate system. We've got lots of evidence on that (sea level rise; polar ice melt; surface and atmospheric temperature increase; ocean heat content and so on). As David says just above, we can see the effect.

    A couple of recent analyses of increasing ocean heat content, for example, supports a radiative imbalance of around 0.75 W/m2 averaged over the solar cycle. This is a small but empirically-accessible number that is the difference between your two large and poorly-accessible numbers.

    P.S. Situations where a parameter of interest is the small difference between two very large, and difficult to define numbers are quite common in science. It's usually the difference that is important, and the latter is often amenable to independent empirical analysis.

    Another example is defining the thermodynamics of protein folding. The thermodynamic stability of a folded protein state (relative to the unfolded state) is a tiny difference between the energies of the folded and unfolded states, respectively. Attempting to determine the free energy of folding by determining seperately the energies of the folded and unfolded states (and calculating the difference) is a hopeless task of attempting to assess the entropic and enthalpic components of the energies and how these change upon folding.

    However the free energy of the folded state relative to the unfolded state can be measured quite accurately by a number of methods. And the thermodynamic effect of specific mutations (amino acid substitutions) on the folded state stability can also be defined quite accurately even if these are a fraction of a kJ.mol-1. It's a little like trying to assess the effect of a small change in radiative forcing (e.g. the effect of the solar cycle, which is of the order of 0.2-0.25 W/m2 min to max). We might hope that we could determine this from measuring the incoming and outgoing radiation, and determining the difference. But that’s well beyond the capabilities of our measuring systems. However if this change in forcing was sustained for a sufficient length of time, we’d have a good chance of quantifying it (e.g. by measuring the change in ocean heat uptake).
  38. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo

    "so you don't know how much energy is coming in and you don't know how much energy is going out,

    but you know what the result is?"

    Great job of persistently missing the point ... we can put error bounds on the result, even though we don't know the exact result.

    In particular "...climate is completely INsensitive to changes in CO2..." is not a possibility.
  39. ClimateWatcher at 10:21 AM on 15 May 2011
    Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    99. Is it due to decreased albedo?
  40. Drought in the Amazon: A death spiral? (part 1:seasons)
    Thanks Rob for an excellent article.
    Just over a year ago I was totally confused by all the contradictory arguments about AGW.
    I'd have read an article like Solomon's and found it compelling.
    After searching around for science based information free from from political sponsorship I found Skeptical Sceince.

    To be honest I think you guys can be a little harsh and scathingly rude when addressing comments from deniers but you keep to science based argument and cite your sources.(There again, I'd lose my cool quicker than most of you when debating crackpots who don't listen and think that debating is just repeating yourself louder each time.)

    Your adherence to scientific argument is laudable. Every argument is consistant with the big picture of AGW and free from the self contradictory mish-mash of evidence or political propoganda we get from the [ - snip - ]

    I look forward to the next installment in this series.
  41. David Horton at 09:10 AM on 15 May 2011
    Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    "but you know what the result is?" - we can see what the result is!
  42. ClimateWatcher at 09:08 AM on 15 May 2011
    Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    95 - so you don't know how much energy is coming in and you don't know how much energy is going out,

    but you know what the result is?
  43. Eric (skeptic) at 07:34 AM on 15 May 2011
    CO2 has a short residence time
    Thanks, I knew that 255 years was wildly high, so I knew my flux was way too low. I have no way of calculating total flux in my very simple approach since I am only using total ACO2 and total atmospheric reservoir and a hypothetical exponential decay of the ACO2 (total minus preindustrial CO2).
  44. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo
    Good point chris. You very clearly highlighted the difference between the scientific and the naive approach to the study of "natural philosophy", as once was called.
  45. Lindzen Illusion #7: The Anti-Galileo

    Thanks for your thoughtful post Chris.
  46. Lindzen Illusion #2: Lindzen vs. Hansen - the Sleek Veneer of the 1980s
    KR@91, I have run some statistical checks (Dana not the eyecrometer) and I confirm that Dana's 3°C scenario gives good results. Almost as good as Scenario C. Therefore, I might use it for future temperature comparisons to save all the hassle about Scenario C not being "real".

    Dana@93. No I wasn't trying to, ""find a way in which Scenario C, which doesn't reflect reality, could reflect reality."" Scenario C already gives the right temperatures. I was actually trying to suggest an alternative method of getting Scenario B to reflect reality.

    I still haven't received your figures to show aerosols are taken in to account in Scenario B.

    Nevertheless, I have downloaded your spreadsheet (which doesn't show aerosols) from SkS Graphics Resource (this is a good resource and excellent FOI) and as I said to KR above your 3°C scenario gives good results. However, I make the following comments:

    • The sensitivity is actually 2.7°C because you have left the 0.9 x 3.0 factor in your calculations.
    • You splice your 2.7°C sensitivity to the 4.2°C Scenario B. This is illogical but I assume that you did this because Gavin Schmidt (2007) at RC states that you should start analyses at 1984 to avoid a "cold start". However, I see no reference to the "cold start" in any of Hansen's papers. To the contrary, Hansen (1988) explains that 1959 was chosen as his best estimate of climate equilibrium. Nevertheless, using 1959 as a start date increases the temperature projections by approximately 2% and gives you a better fit with real-world temperatures.

    [dana1981] You're mistaken.  The 0.9 is to account for the fact that the observed radiative forcing (which includes aerosols) is 10% lower than Scenario B.

  47. Eric (skeptic) at 04:33 AM on 15 May 2011
    CO2 has a short residence time
    drrocket, I'm not sure I determine the total uptake from my simple spreadsheet. I have the net flows for each year and that would give a Mean Residence Time of 1/(3400/814000) or 255 years. The 814000 is the reservoir for 2007 and 3400 is the net loss from the reservoir in 2007 based on my hypothetical exponential decay with lambda of 4.25

    But I was able to fill the spreadsheet with more rows and turn off the ACO2 starting in 2008. At that point the "extra" CO2 in the reservoir decays from 814000 to 708000 in 58 years. However, this is likely a high estimate because my lambda is constant in my spreadsheet from 1750 to present and in reality lambda increases as the reservoir increases. Englebeen thinks the half life is about 40 years.

    I posted my spreadsheet on my (brand new) online iwork account if anyone wants to look at it. It should be publicly accessible here:
    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] For the calculation of the residence time, it is the mass of the reservoir divided by the total flux out of the reservoir, rather than the net flux. You should get an answer of about four years. The use of the net flux gives you something more like the adjustment time, although that can't be calculated meaningfully without doing a differential equation or two.
  48. What scientists are saying about Skeptical Science
    I can understand the snipping of garyhemminger's comment (because it was a farce - as is what has been left), but it did provide a great example of the type of so-called skeptic (or, rather, someone deep in denial) who will trot out his beliefs whenever or wherever he can, while ignoring reality and facts. Quite sad, in a way.
  49. Lindzen Illusion #5: Internal Variability
    Ken Lambert at 00:17 AM on 15 May, 2011

    Don't really understand your point about Willis, KL! His work is abundantly described in Hansen's paper, and his Lyman et al (2010) analysis forms the basis of Hansens 1993-2008 OHC estimate of radiative imbalance. Willis's data is shown in two of the Figures and 5 of Willis' papers are cited.

    I hope you're not suggesting that since Hansen doesn't mention Willis by name (much), Willis's contribution is being downplayed. That's just silly, and seems a trifle obsessive! After all Willis contributed to the analysis of the Lyman et al data (as you can see by reading the author conttribution in the paper in Nature). So Willis clearly endorses that data.

    You should realize that in papers a scientists work is pretty much always discussed without mentioning the author by name (other than perhaps "Blogs et al determined that"...or "this is consistent with recent independent analyses (e.g. Blogs et al (2007)). I have to admit to doing a partly vanity inspection of the Web of Science update that appears on a Saturday morning to see who might have cited my own work - this morning a paper in a very similar research are to mine cited 6 of my papers. My name wasn't mention once in the text. Why should it have been?

    I'm not going to plough through your points since they really seem an attempt to over-fixate on uncertainties within sub-levels of the thermodynamic analysis of Earth's energy budget. A fascinating and important subject - when/if the uncertainties are resolved we'll have a much better handle on the Earth response to enhanced greenhouse gas levels, both in terms of nett equilibrium response and time evolution.

    For now, I'm comfortable with the evidence from Willis's analysis that the 1993-2008 ocean heat uptake is consistent with a radiative of around 0.65 W/m2. A tumble of recent papers on deep ocean heat uptake that I believe was not considered in the Lyman et al analysis (you'll tell me if I'm wrong I hope) suggest perhaps another 0.1 W/m2 "worth" has gone there. There's clearly been a bit of a slow-down in heat uptake in the last few years. Hansen's paper that you are enjoying suggests the radiative imbalance is around 0.75 W/m2 averaged over the solar cycle for this period. That also seems to be a supportable analysis.

    Note that Hansen hasn’t referred to any more recent work by Willis since Willis hasn’t published this (not in print yet or even in press apparently). Dr. Willis was rather “burned” by an earlier episode arising from artifacts in ARGO data. I expect when he’s confident in any new publishable data he’ll publish this and no doubt Dr. Hansen will subsequently cite it and then everyone will be happy!

    Note, btw that Dr. Willis is very clear that he considers that full understanding of the Earth energy budget will require further information on deep ocean heat content. He says so here. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. No?
  50. Lindzen Illusion #1: We Should Have Seen More Warming
    when you have a periodic forcing the amplitude of the response depends on the amplitude of the forcing (of course) and on the ratio of the period of the forcing and the response time of the system. You can do the calculations, they're pretty standard.

    "This much change could not occur over this short a period of time if all or most of the whole mass of the ocean had to warm or cool by this much."
    Indeed. The mixed layer depth is around 100 m. This is the relevant heat capacity which contribute to the response time. Beware that by changing the time scale you also change heat capacity and response time.

    "with most of the response occurring in the first year."
    A totally unsupported claim.

Prev  1222  1223  1224  1225  1226  1227  1228  1229  1230  1231  1232  1233  1234  1235  1236  1237  1238  1239  1240  1241  Next

COP21 LiveBlog

The Consensus Project Website



(free to republish)



The Scientific Guide to
Global Warming Skepticism

Smartphone Apps


© Copyright 2016 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Contact Us