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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.

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Climate Hustle

Does CO2 always correlate with temperature (and if not, why not?)

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate

Surface temperature measurements are affected by short-term climate variability, and recent warming of deep oceans

Climate Myth...

There's no correlation between CO2 and temperature
"Twentieth century global warming did not start until 1910. By that time CO2 emissions had already risen from the expanded use of coal that had powered the industrial revolution, and emissions only increased slowly from 3.5gigatonnes in 1910 to under 4gigatonnes by the end of the Second World War. 

It was the post war industrialization that caused the rapid rise in global CO2 emissions, but by 1945 when this began, the Earth was already in a cooling phase that started around 1942 and continued until 1975. With 32 years of rapidly increasing global temperatures and only a minor increase in global CO2 emissions, followed by 33 years of slowly cooling global temperatures with rapid increases in global CO2 emissions, it was deceitful for the IPCC to make any claim that CO2 emissions were primarily responsible for observed 20th century global warming."
(Norm Kalmanovitch).

Why doesn’t the temperature rise at the same rate that CO2 increases?

The amount of CO2 is increasing all the time - we just passed a landmark 400 parts per million concentration of atmospheric CO2, up from around 280ppm before the industrial revolution. That’s a 42.8% increase.

A tiny amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, like methane and water vapour, keep the Earth’s surface 30°Celsius (54°F) warmer than it would be without them. We have added 42% more CO2 but that doesn't mean the temperature will go up by 42% too.

There are several reasons why. Doubling the amount of CO2 does not double the greenhouse effect. The way the climate reacts is also complex, and it is difficult to separate the effects of natural changes from man-made ones over short periods of time.

As the amount of man-made CO2 goes up, temperatures do not rise at the same rate. In fact, although estimates vary - climate sensitivity is a hot topic in climate science, if you’ll forgive the pun - the last IPCC report (AR4) described the likely range as between 2 and 4.5 degrees C, for double the amount of CO2 compared to pre-industrial levels.

So far, the average global temperature has gone up by about 0.8 degrees C (1.4 F).

"According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)…the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8°Celsius (1.4°Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade."

Source: NASA Earth Observatory

The speed of the increase is worth noting too. Unfortunately, as this quote from NASA demonstrates, anthropogenic climate change is happening very quickly compared to changes that occurred in the past (text emboldened for emphasis):

"As the Earth moved out of ice ages over the past million years, the global temperature rose a total of 4 to 7 degrees Celsius over about 5,000 years. In the past century alone, the temperature has climbed 0.7 degrees Celsius, roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming."

Source: NASA Earth Observatory

Small increases in temperature can be hard to measure over short periods, because they can be masked by natural variation. For example, cycles of warming and cooling in the oceans cause temperature changes, but they are hard to separate from small changes in temperature caused by CO2 emissions which occur at the same time.

Tiny particle emissions from burning coal or wood are also being researched, because they may be having a cooling effect. Scientists like to measure changes over long periods so that the effects of short natural variations can be distinguished from the effects of man-made CO2.

The rate of surface warming has slowed in the past decade. Yet the physical properties of CO2 and other greenhouse gases cannot change. The same energy they were re-radiating back to Earth during previous decades must be evident now, subject only to changes in the amount of energy arriving from the sun - and we know that has changed very little. But if that’s true, where is this heat going?

The answer is into the deep oceans. Here is a graphic showing where the heat is currently going:

 

The oceans absorb most of the heat from global warming 

From Nuccitelli et.al (2012)

The way heat moves in the deep oceans is not well understood. Improvements in measurement techniques have allowed scientists to more accurately gauge the amount of energy the oceans are absorbing.

The Earth’s climate is a complex system, acting in ways we can’t always predict. The energy that man-made CO2 is adding to the climate is not currently showing up as surface warming, because most of the heat is going into the oceans. Currently, the heat is moving downwards from the ocean surface to deeper waters. The surface gets cooler, humidity reduces (water vapour is a powerful greenhouse gas), and air temperatures go down.

The rate at which surface temperatures go up is not proportional to the rate of CO2 emissions, but to the total amount of atmospheric CO2 added since the start of the industrial revolution. Only by looking at long-term trends - 30 years is the standard period in climate science - can we measure surface temperature increases accurately, and distinguish them from short-term natural variation.

Basic rebuttal written by GPWayne


Update July 2015:

Here is a related lecture-video from Denial101x - Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

 

Last updated on 17 July 2015 by MichaelK. View Archives

Printable Version  |  Offline PDF Version  |  Link to this page

Comments

Prev  1  2  3  4  

Comments 151 to 180 out of 180:

  1. Regarding the energy budget shown by Tom Curtis at 140 I have a question.  The IR radiation from the earth is 398.2, and the back radiation is 340.3, for a delta of 57.9 into the atmosphere.  But the total outgoing IR radiation from the atmosphere is 239.9.  So where does the additonal 182 (239.9-57.9) come from?

  2. 151 rkrolph:

    You have to include all the energy fluxes into and out of the atmosphere!

    The energy input includes absorbed incoming solar radiation (77.1), absorbed radiation from the surface (358.2), thermals (18.4) and latent heat in water vapour (86.4), totalling 540.1.
    The energy loss includes back radiation to the surface (340.3) and radiation to space (169.9 + 29.9), again totalling 540.1.

    The atmospheric window (40.1) represents radiation that passes directly from the surface to space without being absorbed by GHGs or clouds, and should not be counted here.

  3. 152 HK:

    Thanks for clarifying that.  I missed the 77.1 solar absorption number. I think then I would have figured out how the numbers work.  That's my excuse anyway! :)

  4. rkrolph @151, you probably have picked this up, but it is important to the budget that it contains three layers, the TOA, atmosphere, and Surface.  In order, the budgets are (with all values in units of W/m^2):

    TOA:  340.4 Solar in - (77.0 Solar reflected from clouds and atmosphere + 22.9 Solar reflected from the surface + 239.9 IR out) =  0.6

    Atmosphere: (77.1 Solar absorbed by atmosphere + 358.2 Surface IR absorbed by atmosphere + 18.4 thermals + 86.4 latent heat) - ( 169.9 upward IR from atmosphere + 29.9 IR upward IR from clouds + 340.3 back radiation) = 0

    Surface: (163.3 solar absorbed at surface + 340.3 back radiation from atmosphere) - (398.2 IR emitted from surface + 18.4 thermals + 86.4 latent heat) = 0.6

    In addition, it is very important that the energy imbalance (right hand term in the equations) in the atmosphere plus the energy imbalance at the surface equals the energy imbalance at the TOA.  If it did not, we would have a violation of conservation of energy.  As a side note, it is also important that solar energy in equal solar energy reflected plus solar energy absorbed.

    Some AGW deniers look at this diagram and say some element should be completely excluded as non-existent - most typically the back radiation.  In doing so they merely show they do not consider conservation of energy to apply in climatology.  You cannot remove a major element without creating an unaccounted for imbalance.

    john warner has made such a suggestion (in his deleted coment @146) that:

    "The total air at all altitudes combined radiates to space at the rate of 199.8 W/m2. That is the only energy that needs to be replaced to maintain all of the temperatures of the temperature gradient"

    Again, that fails the conservation of energy test.  The total energy that needs to be replaced in the atmosphere is the combination of IR radiation to space from atmosphere and clouds (199.8) and the total value of the back radiation (340.3), but as the budget shows, that is indeed what is replaced.

    Finally, it should be noted that many values in the graph are determined by a combination of observations plus the knowledge that they balance.  Thus, due to calibration errors of absolute values, space born instruments show an imbalance of 1 - 2 W/m^2 between incoming and outgoing energy.  The far more accurate observations of changes in ocean heat content are known to effectively identical with the actual TOA imbalance (within error), and are used with the knowledge that total surface plus atmosphere absorbed must equal the TOA imbalance to calibrate the actual TOA imbalance.  Thus the precise concordance of the values is not evidence of anything but the researchers knowledge that the budget must not violate conservation of energy.  The values are, however, sufficiently well constrained from observation that the removal of an entire form or energy transfer would violate not only conservation of energy but known observations.

  5. Tom Curtis @150 No I never said anything like that. [snip] Why RH snipped the comment is beyond my ability to comprehend.

    What I said in John Warner @ 146 is: Since the earth atmosphere radiates 199.8wpsm to space, 199.8wpsm has to be added to maintain the attained air temperature. 199.8wpsm is sufficient to maintain the entire vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere.
    I don’t think either of Tom’s options were adequate and I had two comments prepared to defend my statement [snip] before the moderator suspended my privilege to speak. An email I sent to the Washington Free Beacon, based upon the NASA 1998 Solar Energy Budget, to remind everyone that the air temperature is based upon the joules of energy in the air. Furthermore, the 199.8wpsm represents the radiation to space of the entire atmosphere. In order to use the 1976 Standard Atmosphere Calculator Digital Dutch I had to enter 5,891 meters altitude. The temperature calculated by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law Calculator is a representative average annual global temperature for the entire atmosphere. The vertical temperature structure of the Troposphere up to 11 Kilometers is explained by the Ideal Gas Law. Tom incorrectly added that the temperature differential was the standard theoretical greenhouse effect. My second comment addresses Tom’s linear regression of the carbon dioxide sensitivity coefficient, using the Earth Air Budget, the Solar Energy Budget, the Standard Atmosphere Calculator and the Stefan-Boltzmann Law Calculator.

    In short my belief is consistent with my reading of option 1 but is not limited by an unreasonable reading of option 1.

    Response:

    [RH] Moderation complaints snipped.

  6. Tom Curtis @ 150 No I never said anything like that. [snip]  It is beyond my capability to imagine what the moderator thought I meant. It would be nice if he would repost it.

    What I said in John Warner @ 146 is: Since the earth atmosphere radiates 199.8wpsm to space, 199.8wpsm has to be added to maintain the attained air temperature. 199.8wpsm is sufficient to maintain the entire vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere.

    I don’t think either of Tom’s options were adequate and I had two comments prepared to defend my statement [snip] before the moderator suspended my privilege to speak. An email I sent to the Washington Free Beacon, based upon the NASA 1998 Solar Energy Budget, to remind everyone that the air temperature is based upon the joules of energy already in the air. Furthermore, the 199.8wpsm represents the radiation to space of the entire atmosphere. In order to use the 1976 Standard Atmosphere Calculator Digital Dutch I had to enter 5,891 meters altitude. The temperature calculated by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law Calculator is a representative average annual global temperature for the entire atmosphere. The vertical temperature structure of the Troposphere up to 11 Kilometers is explained by the Ideal Gas Law. Tom incorrectly added that the temperature differential was the standard theoretical greenhouse effect. My second comment addresses Tom’s linear regression of the carbon dioxide sensitivity coefficient, using the Earth Air Budget, the Solar Energy Budget, the Standard Atmosphere Calculator and the Stefan-Boltzmann Law Calculator.

    In short my belief is consistent with my reading of option 1 but is not limited by an unreasonable reading of option 1.

    Response:

    [PS] You are permitted to continue to defend your position here so long as you don't suddenly switch to another tack as you did over the question of ocean outgassing, and so long as follow the comments policy.

    [RH] Moderation complaints snipped. Once again, John, we want you to focus in on one single issue here before gishgalloping in 16 other directions. It has been explained to you that your ideas are in contradiction with thermodynamic law relative to atmospheric air pressure. Set everything else to the side and deal with this one thing and then you can move onto others. If you cannot address this issue then you're going to have to relinquish your posting privileges. Nothing you've stated here or in the previously snipped comment have sufficiently addressed this and therefore, as warned, was deleted.

  7. Tom Curtis @ 150 No

  8. john warner @ 155/156.

    Your first paragraph is undoubtedly incorrect.

    Firstly, the atmosphere is insensitive to up or down. So in addition to radiating 200W/sq m upwards, it also radiates 200W/sq m downwards. It thus requires 400W/sq m to maintain a temperature of theoretically -40ºC (as Stefan-Boltzmann)

    Secondly, it is incorrect to assert that even this 400W/sq m is sufficient to maintain "the entire vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere" unless you have some extra information to share with us. Your second paragraph does not suffice. Note this temperature you consider to be the average for an atmosphere with higher density (& thus thermodynamically averaged) at lower altitudes: such a theoretical atmosphere you imply has a temperature much closer to the tropopause than the surface.

    Consider the simplest 'structure' possible, a two-layer atmosphere comprising a 'top' atmosphere and a 'bottom' atmosphere both opaque to the IR they absorb/radiate. The 'top' radiates 200W/sq m into space and thus has an average temperature of -40ºC, the 'bottom' radiates 340W/sq m back to the surface and thus has an average temperature of +5ºC. The imbalance at the interface between 'top' & 'bottom' atmoshpere would be (200 x 2) - 340 = 60W/sq m. The imbalance between the 'bottom' atmosphere and the surface woud be (340 x 2) - 200 - 360 = 120W/sq m. These two imbalances require further atmospheric heating which is provided by the absorbed solar radiation (75W/sq m) and the convection-driven energy flux (105W/sq m sensible & latent heat). As the tropopause marks the point where the convective process ends, the 60W/sq m required by the 'top' atmosphere cannot be solely solar in origin. Indeed the solar heating is predominantly below 6km and thus would not be predominantly heating the 'top' (see for instance Lacis & Hansen 1973 'A Parameterisation of the Absorption of Solar Radiation in the Earth's Atmosphere')

    Of course, what this simplest of model is beginning to describe is the "standard theoretical greenhouse." but which is described within the second paragraph @155/156 as being incorrect. Perhaps my description here will allow the reason for this claim that "Tom (@149) incorrectly added that the temperature differential was the standard theoretical greenhouse effect." to be justified, which is certainly required as it is looking mighty wrong without it.

  9. john warner @155 (156 &157 being redundant):

    1)


    "Since the earth atmosphere radiates 199.8wpsm to space, 199.8wpsm has to be added to maintain the attained air temperature. 199.8wpsm is sufficient to maintain the entire vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere."


    What is necessary to maintain the vertical temperature structure is that the net energy balance of the atmosphere, ie, energy inputs minus energy outgoings, should equal zero.  Given that, let's look at the energy balance again:

    The energy input into the atmosphere is 77.1 Solar absorbed by atmosphere + 358.2 Surface IR absorbed by atmosphere + 18.4 thermals + 86.4 latent heat, for a total of  540.1 W/m^2.  Given that, it is very clear that the 199.8 W/m^2 of upward IR emission from the atmosphere is insufficient to maintain a constant energy content in the atmosphere, and consequently a stable temperature structure.  Without the 340.3 W/m^2 IR radiation from the atmosphere to the surface, that energy balance cannot be maintained, and consequently neither can the stable temperature structure.

    This is so basic, and so simple, a point that if you are not able to acknowledge it, no further discussion with you is warranted nor capable of being fruitful.

    2)


    "Tom incorrectly added that the temperature differential was the standard theoretical greenhouse effect."


    That the temperature differential, ie, the convection induced lapse rate in tropospheric temperatures is a corner stone of the standard theory of the greenhouse effect is seen in the seminal paper by Manabe and Weatherald (1967).  David Archer and Raymond Pierrehumbert introduce that paper in their collection of seminal papers on global warming by saying (in part):


    "Three more building blocks had to fall into place before a proper, quantitative estimate of the effect of CO2 changes on temperature could be carried out. ... Second, a means had to be found to represent the effects of convection on the temperature structure of the atmosphere. ... This[*] was achieved in the remarkable 1967 paper by Manabe and Weatherald ... Manabe and Weatherald (1967) can with confidence be described as the first fully sound estimate of the warming that would arise from a doubling of CO2."

    (* The "this" that they refer to was the inclusion of all three additional elements, not just the lapse rate which had been addressed by Manabe and Strickler (1964), and also by the apparently forgotten Hulbert (1931))


    It is fair to say from that, that in their opinion without "a means ... to represent the effects of convection on the temperature structure of the atmosphere", a sound estimate (ie, one with an adequate theoretical grounding) is not possible.  Therefore that temperature structure is fundamental to the basic theory of the greenhouse effect.

    Indeed, absent that knowledge, it is impossible to predict event the sign of the effect of increased greenhouse gas concentrations on surface temperatures.  If the lapse rate were negative (ie, temperatures increased with altitude), increased GHG concentration cools the surface, as in fact happens on Titan.

  10. MA Rodger @158:

    "Firstly, the atmosphere is insensitive to up or down. So in addition to radiating 200W/sq m upwards, it also radiates 200W/sq m downwards. It thus requires 400W/sq m to maintain a temperature of theoretically -40ºC (as Stefan-Boltzmann)"

    Any body of gas which has the same temperature throughout will radiate the same amount up and down, as emission is indifferent to direction.  The atmosphere, however, has a distinct vertical temperature and density structure which results in a substantially greater downward emission at the bottom of the atmosphere than the upward emission at the top.

    I am very certain you know this, but as written, your comment is likely to cause confusion, IMO.

  11. Tom Curtis @160.

    Suffice to say that we two surely are in agreement concerning the physics of the atmosphere but purely differ in how best to describe that physics for those who are easily confused by that physics. (I would ordinarily here set out my understanding of that difference-in-description but that may not be helpful in the circumstance.)

  12. "...radiate the same amount up and down, as emission is indifferent to direction"

    It is even so indifferent that it emits at the same intensity in all directions: up, down, left, right, etc.

    Think of each point in space like a light bulb: casting radiation in all directions, shining outward onto an increasingly large sphere. The emission is then per unit solid angle (think of a cone facing out, with the tip at the source).

    When you then want to know how much is arriving at a point, you need to think of it coming in from a sphere to the centre point, from all directions (not just up/down). The half-sphere (aka a hemisphere) that faces up is the downwelling radiation; a hemisphere facing down is the up-welling radiation.

    The up/down division is the simplest way of focussing on the climatologically-important sums. Straight down, down at an angle, etc is all still down, and the same goes for up. Once you get one of your best mathematics friends to do the two-dimensional (in spherical coordinates) integration, you can divide the process up into what radiation climatologists call "the two-stream approximation" to get your up/down terms.

    (Make sure its a good friend: the math is ugly for the amateur. Did I mention it's two-dimensional? And in spherical coordinates? That means trigonometry...)

  13. In 2010 NASA published the Earth Energy Budget based upon the Clouds and the Earth Radiation Energy System mission. The surface air emits 358.2wpsm at a temperature of 281.93 degrees Kelvin. This is 158.4wpsm more than the solar power heating the earth air, 199.8wpsm. And 38.29 degrees Kelvin hotter than the 243.64 degrees Kelvin of the earth’s total air. The ideal gas law fully explains why increasing the pressure of a gas can increase the density and temperature. The 1976 Standard Atmosphere Calculator Digital Dutch confirms the correspondence between the theory and reality. Unlike the total air radiating to space and requiring an equal influx of solar energy to maintain the temperature, the surface air is radiating to the surface below and the air above. When the surface air is in equilibrium with its surroundings the temperature does not change because they are radiating equally against each other. There is no net flow of energy into and out of the surface air. So where does the energy come from to radiate in the first place. Temperature is a measure of the kinetic energy in matter. The coefficient of heat content in air is one joule of energy for each degree Kelvin for one gram of air. Therefore each gram of air has the 281.93 joules of energy necessary to radiate at 358.2wpsm. In short, I don’t have to prove anything. The temperature of the air is sufficient proof that it has the energy to radiate at the rate specified by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. Therefore 199.8wpsm is sufficient to maintain the attained total air temperature and to maintain the vertical temperature structure of the air. And even more important the ideal gas law description of the adiabatic lapse rate proves that greenhouse gases absorbed energy does not transfer through the atmosphere any differently than thermals or latent heat.

    Response:

    [RH] This scattered comment does not sufficiently address your current task at hand, which is to clearly address how your ideas contradict basic thermodynamics. I'm setting this as a warning so folks can continue to read what you've written. Patience for your ramblings has grown very thin here. Either clean up your act by more clearly and effectively explaining your position or you will have to relinquish your commenting privileges.

    MA Rodger is very patiently pointing out errors. Carefully look through those and try to understand your errors.

  14. john warner @163.
    I highlight the task set you by the moderators. They said “It has been explained to you that your ideas are in contradiction with thermodynamic law relative to atmospheric air pressure. Set everything else to the side and deal with this one thing and then you can move onto others.”
    Working backwards through your comment.
    ♣ - 1 - The lapse rate does demonstrate that upwards sensible heat transfer is a net flux resultant from the vertical temperature/pressure profile as is the radiative heat transfer. However, the latent heat transfer is not. Also I am at a loss as to why any of this is considered important.
    ♣ - 2 - Temperature does set radiant heat transfers.
    ♣ - 3 - You do not have to prove anything but without proof we will consider your statements as worthless.
    ♣ - 4 - The energy content of a gram of air may be (will always be) sufficient to radiate at a certain wattage for a certain period of time but this is not relevant to any physical process occuring in the atmosphere.
    ♣ - 5 - Yes, atmospheric temperatures can be considered in equilibrium but you leave unanswered what is maintaining the atmospheric energy.
    ♣ - 6 - There is a web-calculator of atmospheric temperature-pressure. What its calculations demonstrate/confirm is not described but is presumably not controversial.
    ♣ - 7 - Ideal gas laws do concern P, T & D.
    ♣ - 8 - The Earth Energy Budget does require satellite measurements but it employs a far broader set of data.
    ♣ - 9 - The graphic up-thread @159 (which does not date to 2010 but rather 2013/4) shows the atmosphere absorbing “358.2wpsm” which has no relation to any temperature calculated using S-B as it is absorbed radiation not emitted radiation. The “358.2wpsm” is greater than the sum of atmospheric heating (direct solar and net atmospheric heating) but the “358.2wpsm” is balanced by a “340.3wpsm” flux in the opposite direction.

    john warner, given the task set by the moderators, I see no progress @163. Perhaps the individual points I make here will allow some direction to any forthcoming explanation.

  15. 164. MA Rodger

    "♣ - 3 - You do not have to prove anything but without proof we will consider your statements as worthless."

    I guess that applies to all of us. So, can you provide the proof for the claim that co2 can increase the temperature of the heat source heating it?

    Not proof of absorption, proof of temperature increasing from only co2. Experimental data. There is lots of data from experimental studys of co2, I have still not found anything in there supporting that claim.

    Absorption is well documented.

    Increasing temperature, nope.

    Would you please provide the scientific proof of the foundation of your claims? Where are the experiments showing how co2 increase temperature?

    If you don´t have any, I guess your statements is a bit weak as well. Since the only thing you have is a weak and very short correlation of doubtful quality. That is the only argument you have, a correlation. That is hardly science.


    If I put a bowl of Ice in a warm room, it will absorb and emit energy. Do you mean that it also increase temperature?

  16. Tom Curtis at 23:49 PM on 15 December, 2016

    "The energy input into the atmosphere is 77.1 Solar absorbed by atmosphere + 358.2 Surface IR absorbed by atmosphere + 18.4 thermals + 86.4 latent heat, for a total of 540.1 W/m^2. Given that, it is very clear that the 199.8 W/m^2 of upward IR emission from the atmosphere is insufficient to maintain a constant energy content in the atmosphere, and consequently a stable temperature structure. Without the 340.3 W/m^2 IR radiation from the atmosphere to the surface, that energy balance cannot be maintained, and consequently neither can the stable temperature structure."


    Seriously, have you heard of heat transfer?

    Don´t you know that the difference is found in the rate of transfer?

    If you have 200W at tropopause and 400W at the surface, the difference of 200W is accounted for in the heat transfer. The surface uses 400W for it´s own temperature and on top of that it transfers 200W/m^2 to the atmosphere. That is basic heat transfer physics.

    Where in the litterature do you find support for the claim that a decreasing flux from the atmosphere (a few watts) caused by co2, can affect the surface temperature? All I can find is that it is the other way around.

    You know that increasing absorption, what you call an increase in radiative imbalance, always means that the absorber has gotten relatively colder? Also basic heat transfer physics.

    Decreasing absorption and increasing flux from the atmosphere, that would be a sign of warming. You  are making an argument about how co2 cools earth.

  17. HK at 06:01 AM on 14 December, 2016

    "You have to include all the energy fluxes into and out of the atmosphere!

    The energy input includes absorbed incoming solar radiation (77.1), absorbed radiation from the surface (358.2), thermals (18.4) and latent heat in water vapour (86.4), totalling 540.1.
    The energy loss includes back radiation to the surface (340.3) and radiation to space (169.9 + 29.9), again totalling 540.1."

    And yet you use a fudge factor called albedo. Trenberth himself makes no secret of how they adjust albedo to cover up for imbalance.

    How can anyone make an argument of "540.1" when ~~~~30% is yanked from the input value without justification from real measurements?

    540W/m^2, that is a really low value for incident radiation. I want to see how the greenhousemodel calculate instantaneous radiation. In reality we have a real sun heating the surface at closer to 1000W/m^2 than 500.

  18. HB @167 claims:


    "And yet you use a fudge factor called albedo. Trenberth himself makes no secret of how they adjust albedo to cover up for imbalance.

    How can anyone make an argument of "540.1" when ~~~~30% is yanked from the input value without justification from real measurements?"


    In fact, the outgoing Short Wave radiation at the Top Of the Atmosphere is measured by the CERES instrument flown on the Terra and Aqua satellites.  Together with Total Solar Irradiation (TSI) data from the TIM instrument, that allows the direct calculation of the energy balance and albedo as:

    Energy balance = TSI/4 - (OLWR + OSWR)

    Albedo = (TSI - 4 x OSWR)/TSI,

    where OLWR is Outgoinging Long Wave Radiation, and OSWR is Outgoing Short Wave Radiation.

    TSI is divided 4 in the energy balance equation as it is measured relative to a flat plane perendicular to the incoming radiation, and needs to be averaged over the sphere to match the measured values of the other two products which are measured as averaged over the Earth's surface.  Likewise, to convert the OSWR to the equivalent of the TSI, it needs to be multiplied by 4 in the Albedo equation.

    For CERES best product (syn1deg), the values are:

    OLWR:  237.2 +/- 10 W/m^2

    OSWR: 97.7 +/- 3 W/m^2

    Incoming Solar (=TSI/4): 341.3 +/- 0.2 W/m^2

    That yields an energy imbalance of 6.4 W/m^2, which contradicts the far more accurately measured energy imbalance from ocean heat content measurements.  Knowing the large errors in absolute magnitude of the values, they are therefore adjusted by 27%, 73% and 450% of the 2 sigma error values respectively (for the values shown in the figure shown @159 above).  Note that graph is from a slightly different time period from the error values and absolute values I have shown, so that part of the discrepancy may be a difference in the observed values.

    The upshot is that the adjustment to the albedo term in the energy budget amounts to approximately 3 W/m^2.  HB instead describes it as a greater than 100 W/m^2 fudge.  His fudge on the adjustment amounts to a factor of >33.  At the same time he describes the OSWR as unobserved which is blatantly false, and neglects that the reason for the fudge is to bring the energy balance into line with observed changes in surface heat content, ie, a decision to use the more accurate determination of the total energy imbalance in preference to one whose inaccuracy due to instrument limitations was an order of magnitude greater.  In HB's version of science, scientists should always place greatest weight on their least accurate observations.

    I need only add that Trenberth describes the above sources of data, and the reasons for the adjustments at the same place as he mentions them.  Given the standard etiquette of quotation and citation, if you are relying on somebody else's word as to what somebody said, you need to quote them rather than the original source.  As HB mentions Trenberth directly, he should be assumed to be referencing Trenberth directly, and hence has demonstrated a complete inability to understand the cited source, or a breath taking dishonesty.  Perhaps, however, he is as uninformed about the etiquette of citation as he is about climate science, and has merely demonstrated an abominable lack of desire to fact check any factoid he gleans which supports his bizarre theory of what science is.

  19. HB @165.
    You dispute the very idea that CO2 in the atmosphere results in an increase in surface temperatures. Yet your use a bowl-of-ice in a-warm-room as an analogy for atmospheric-CO2 above a-warm-surface suggests you are not really thinking through your position. And perhaps you are not entirely clear about what it is you are arguing against. You talk of an absence of “experimental data” to support what you call “the claim that co2 can increase the temperature of the heat source heating it,” this specific to the warming of a surface by the warmed CO2. Yet you go on to suggest that there is after all actually some data but which you consider inadequate, saying:-

    “Since the only thing you have is a weak and very short correlation of doubtful quality. That is the only argument you have, a correlation. That is hardly science.”

    What is this "correlation"  you mention?
    (Note this discussion is not on-topic here and should move to somewhere more appropriate. Indeed, you may even find there your missing “experimental data.”)

  20. 168. Tom Curtis

    "In fact, the outgoing Short Wave radiation at the Top Of the Atmosphere is measured by the CERES instrument flown on the Terra and Aqua satellites. Together with Total Solar Irradiation (TSI) data from the TIM instrument, that allows the direct calculation of the energy balance and albedo as:

    Energy balance = TSI/4 - (OLWR + OSWR)

    Albedo = (TSI - 4 x OSWR)/TSI,

    where OLWR is Outgoinging Long Wave Radiation, and OSWR is Outgoing Short Wave Radiation."

    Then you can provide a reference where we can find an exact definition of albedo? With a description of the included parts and how much they each contribute to reflected radiation?

    And how does it relate to the fact that more than 50% of TSI is IR that won´t be reflected?

    "The upshot is that the adjustment to the albedo term in the energy budget amounts to approximately 3 W/m^2. HB instead describes it as a greater than 100 W/m^2 fudge."

    TSI=1360W/m^2

    After albedo=~960W/m^2

    More like 400W.

    I hope you are aware of that sunlight is much more intense than 340W/m^2?

    Do you realise that there is a very large difference between reality where the sun heats the surface at an intensity between 700 and 1000+W/m^2, and your "budget" where you use 340W/m^2?  

    One is reality and one is your imagination. If the sun only would provide 340W, where is your heat pump connected to an indestructible heat source, that can add energy that isn´t there from the beginning?

    I think it is you who need to provide references for your claims about how albedo is an exactly measured factor, with well known and well defined ingredients. While you are at it, provide a reference for the science showing how adding a cold gas to a hot surface can increase the surfacetemperature.

    Otherwise you just have a correlation. There are lots of correlations to temperature rising the last century. I claim that increasing obesity in the states is the cause of global warming, it correlates nicely with the temperature. It is as valid as your co2-theory.

  21. MA Rodger at 19:57 PM on 28 December, 2016
    HB @165.
    "You dispute the very idea that CO2 in the atmosphere results in an increase in surface temperatures. Yet your use a bowl-of-ice in a-warm-room as an analogy for atmospheric-CO2 above a-warm-surface suggests you are not really thinking through your position. And perhaps you are not entirely clear about what it is you are arguing against. You talk of an absence of “experimental data” to support what you call “the claim that co2 can increase the temperature of the heat source heating it,” this specific to the warming of a surface by the warmed CO2. "

    I dispute the claim that a cold gas sitting on top of a warm surface heated by a hot star can cause the temperature to rise beyond what the hot star can cause. I dispute the claim that co2 can increase the temperature of its own heat source, especially when it has a mean temperature of -18C in the atmosphere.

    I dispute the claim that you can increase the temperature of anything by adding a cold gas, or fraction of a gas, without adding more energy.

    I dispute the claim that in the atmosphere, the gasses and water vapor have the opposite effect to what we experience in our daily lives.

    Have you ever increased the temperature of anything by adding water vapor that was not pre-heated, or by adding air flowing over it?

    I dispute the claim that you have any science to back your claims, aside from hindcasting temperature graphs  and showing a doubtful correlation with temperature.

  22. 158. MA Rodger at 23:31 PM on 15 December, 2016

    "Firstly, the atmosphere is insensitive to up or down. So in addition to radiating 200W/sq m upwards, it also radiates 200W/sq m downwards. It thus requires 400W/sq m to maintain a temperature of theoretically -40ºC (as Stefan-Boltzmann"

    Do I understand you correctly?

    Are you saying that air at a mean temperature of -18C contains enough energy to radiate 400W/m^2?

    To radiate that amount of energy, ignoring the nonsense "photons in all directions", any radiating body has to have a temperature of  289.8K.

    It doesn´t matter if it is an atmosphere, it has to have that temperature. Radiating bodys radiate according to their temperature, nothing else.

    Where do you find these fairytales?

    If your claim is "200W up and 200W down", the atmosphere would have to have a temperature of 243K. You cant add them to get 400W, since you only have one m^2. If your claim is that a cubic meter holds enough energy to radiate 200W in four directions, then you have to explain it much more carefully.

    Why do you not divide by four like you do with solar radiation? the same rule applies for cold air as a planet when you treat it as a separate radiating body. 

    Do you really mean that air chooses to only radiate up and down? How does that work?

  23. HB @171.

    Your difficulty seems to stem from an overly simplistic principle you apparently are wedded to - the idea that a cold object cannot warm a hot object. Given such a profound level of misunderstanding, it is best to to simplify the situation by ignoring the external source of heating for the system.

    Imagine a hot body (heated magically) and radiating out into space. As space is close to absolute zero, the warm body will receive no energy flux from space, no downward radiation.

    Now an atmosphere becomes formed around the hot body which is warmed by the hot body (this atmospheric warming you apparently have no problem with), the atmosphere reaching a chilly -18ºC = 255K at equilibrium. Being warmer than absolute zero, the atmosphere will radiate upward into space and downward back to the hot body. So will the extra energy flux back to the hot body not have a heating effect? Note - if it doesn't we will have to rewrite the laws of thermodynamics and we are not very keen on doing that.

    HB @ 172.

    If a hot body is flat in form, like an atmosphere surrounding a planet (if you ignore the curvature), it will have a top and a bottom, it will thus have to radiate up and down. Its surface, top and bottom, will be double the surface area of the planet it surrounds. Temperature and surface area dictate the total energy flux. Double the surface and you double the flux. The 400W/sq m was being presented in terms of sq m of the planet beneath, not in sq m of the atmospheric surface which has a top & bottom and thus double the radiation. As you imply in your rather confused final statements, air does not choose a particular direction to radiate to - it radiates in all directions but the sideways stuff has no net flux as that is just the atmosphere heating itself, leaving top and bottom radiation.  (By the way, a cube has six sides - (1) top,(2) bottom, (3) left, (4) right, (5) front, (6) back. And the ratio 4:1 to convert discal area (πR2) to spherical area (4πR2) only applies to spheres.)

  24. with refernce to there being a 0.8 deg increase in average global temp since 1880, NASA states, "Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade".

    It's true that the temp has increased by approx 0.53 deg since 1975, which is two thirds of 0.8.  However, the temperature had been higher in the 1940's than in 1975, so the reality is just over half the gain has been since the 1940's, not since 1975. Meaning we've had approx 2 x 60 year periods of 0.4 gains.

  25. strop @174,

    The quote you cite from the OP is a little out-of-date today and even back when it was written by NASA, it perhaps was niggardly with its "two-thirds ... since 1975." Three-quarters would perhaps have been closer to the mark.

    Today the GISS global temperature record is risen another 0.2 deg warmer. Note that the rise 1880s-to-the-1940s was never 0.6 deg (unless you are not talking global). Even cherry-picking a single year the rise to 1944 was 0.47 deg. But a better measure would be 0.3 deg which is just 0.1 deg above a temperature by 1975.  (For the record, the cherry-picked 1944 anomaly was bested in 1981.) So today you can say that more than 70% of the warming since the 1880s has occurred since 1980 and less than 30% before 1940 with a dip of 0.1 deg (10%) between 1940 and 1975.

  26. MA Rodger @175. 

    I didn't suggest there was a 0.6 increase 1880 to 1940's. My figure was 0.4 (Based on Global).

    Your "three quarters would perhaps have been closer to the mark" is not representative of the timeframes the NASA statement refers to. I'll assume you've added the 0.2 you referred to.

    Point was, NASA was talking about a portion of a total increase in a shorter timeframe than that overall gain was actually made, when looking at the total period.  They have done this to create a narrative and the OP has seized on that to further that narrative.

    There's no point selecting a short period to further a theory when the previous short period contradicts that theory.  Being selective with data to illustrate a point doesn't work and raises the question of objective credibility.

    There may have been some relevance to a rate of gain if a trend was always gaining.

  27. strop @176.

    You fail to describe this "theory" you mention @176. As it appears as a fundamental consideration of what you describe as "point was..." it does appear to be an important part of your comment. Can you describe what you mean by the "theory"?

    You did indeed set out @174 a 0.4 deg warming in the period 1880s-1940s, this 50% relative to the warming in the period 1880s-2010. And if your argument is made for you, the topic under discussion is the correlation between CO2 and global temperature (specifically here the Gistemp LOTI) and thus the comparison you suggest is not in principle unmerited. My apologies. I was paying little attention to your comment as it is somewhat banal.

    You still fail to explain properly your derivation of the numbers you set out and how you obtain the 50% result so I will do this analysis for you. To achieve a more fruitful outcome, I will not expend apples and oranges within this analysis. Rather than mix period-averages with cherry-picked period-maximims, I will use period-maximums throughout.

    If we consider the maximum annual LOTI temperature within the start period (1880-1900, sometimes considered a measure of pre-industrial temperature) and the intermediate period (1940s) and the end periods (1) 1970s-2010 and (2) 1970s-2017:

    This yields a result of (1) 38%  and (2) 28% of the warming occuring by the 1940s (specifically in 1944), a time when the industrial-period CO2 forcing had reached (1) 34% and (2) 30% relative to the end periods. Thus the level of warming is reasonably reflective of the CO2 forcing (and indeed also if all positive forcings are included in the analysis). It should be noted that the 38% value relies solely on the 1944 annual anomaly. If multi-year averages are substituted for annual temperatures, something that should be done given the nature of the data, the percentage drops markedly.

  28. MA Rodger @ 177

    I am somewhat confused by the discussion between MA Rodger and strop regarding what the temperature rise has been since the 1880's.  My understanding is that MA Rodger suggests that it has increased from .8C to 1C as of now.

    But on Feb 4, MA Rodger on the "There is no empirical evidence" blog, he stated the following for 2016:

    "Using a modern global surface record to fill in recent decades (BEST was to hand) and aligning it with the tag end of the Loehle and McCulloch data (1850-1935), the temperature for 2016 would be plotted at +1.2ºC which is plainly off the graph."

    If the yearly temperature can jump up and down by .2C per year then do we not really have to use a minimum 10 year period in anything we talk about?  I appreciate that El Nino's and La Nina's, as well as volcanoes, complicates looking at what temperature rise we have had over this period.  But is even an average over a 10 year period relevant?  Look at the famous "hiatus". 

  29. NorrisM @178.

    You are famously confused, so you better concentrate.

    The recent BEST & GISS global temperature anomalies are in close agreement, their maximum annual values (2016) within 0.02ºC of each other. So the bulk of the 0.2ºC discrapency will likely be due to the other end of the record.

    There are a couple of other factors which cancel each other out. Here in this thread you will note I was using 'period-maximums' (which thus includes 2016) but the 'Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming' comment was using BEST 'period-average' values (1850-1935) to align the BEST data with the Loehle & McCulloch data  (covering 11,700BC-1935AD with their zero equal to their full 'period-average'). Not using 'period-maximums' increases the measure of rise-in-temperature-since-pre-industrial by about 0.1ºC,  but this is canceled out by the re-basing to the Holocene 'period-average' which is warmer than pre-industrial by a similar amount.

    At the early end of the two temperature records, there is more of a discrepancy between BEST & GISS (with BEST -0.17ºC cooler than its GISS equivalent) which, coupled with BEST extending back to 1850 with even lower temperatures, this providing adjustments that tot-up to the bulk of the extra +0.2ºC above the zero to yield +1.2ºC on the Loehle & McCulloch graph.

  30. MA Rodger @ 179

    Thanks, I see the difference between the comparison of maximum annual values and average values.  I learn by asking questions but, as per strop's comment above,  I do not appreciate being insulted.  Take the edge off.

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