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Comments 551 to 600:

  1. CO2 effect is saturated


    Unfortunately I do not have much time.

    1) The number of collisions at the surface is about 1 million times faster than the relaxation time.  The change in temeprature to 10 kmn is about 40C.  That is about a 20% change in speed and collision rate.  The pressure change is about 40 kPa.  About a 40% change which changes the collision rate a little more than 40%.  Combined they change the collision rate less than a factor of 5.  At the escape altitude there are 200,000 times as many collisions as emissions.

    The atmosphere is a black body.  At a lower temperature it emits less energy.  Science of Doom will have a graph of energy emitted compared to temperature.  Black body radiation changes relative to T to the fourth power so small changes are a much larger effect.

    Complex models can exactly calculate the emission spectrum of the entire atmposphere at any level or all combined but are not needed to explain the greenhouse effect.  They demonstrate that scientists know what they are talking about. (I do not have time to find a reference, sorry)

    2) Most of the UV light is still absorbed.  There is not that much energy in the UV remaining (it can be calculated and is considered by climate scientists).

    The Stratosphere is a completely different situation than the Troposphere.  The Troposphere is heated by energy coming up from the surface.  CO2 blocks this energy from escaping (until it reaches the escape altitude) so the Troposphere warms.

    The Stratosphere is warmed by UV light from the Sun.  Increased CO2 causes increased emission of IR energy.  Since the Stratosphere is above the escape altitude (as discussed above) the increased IR emission results in increased loss of energy and cools the Stratosphere.  The key understanding is the escape altitude (which is very complicated but we simplify to 10 km for these discussions)

    Scientists predicted this effect in advance.  It is a key signature of the greenhouse effect.  Post hoc explainations about unknown "global oscellations" do not hold the same weight as predictions made in advance.  I know of no alternate explainations for how the Troposphere could warm as the Stratosphere cools.

  2. CO2 effect is saturated

    LTO @472 &475,
    I think I should add to the message from Tom Dayton @473.
    You talk of "unknowns in the system" and "taking someone else's word for it."
    I appreciate that getting a grasp of AGW can be frustrating. I remember when I first encountered the Greenhouse Effect and the idea that there could be some equivalent to a sheet of glass allowing light in but preventing IR escaping seemed a bit much to accept. What you tend not to find, even now, is convincing explanations as to why the Earth's atmosphere is more hermitically sealed than any greenhouse or blanket. So I'll say it here. The atmosphere is incredibly well balanced vertically. Outside hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and other relatively rare events, the day-to-day reality is the motion of the Hadley Cells, They are responsible for most of the up-down movement in the troposphere and they take about two weeks to rise from surface to tropopause. Yet this is not something you will readily learn if you start asking folk. I share with you here my own frustrations from a few decades ago.
    Yet there are some (probably very many) apparent incongruities that can be expressed about AGW that are not readily answerable in a simple way using non-scientific argument. This SkS site addresses many but there are always different flavours of incongruity to consider in such a complex system.

    Yet such incongruities do in no way support the notion of potential "unknowns in the system" where we have to "tak(e) someone else's word for it." And in particular here we are discussing an aspect of AGW that is in no way in dispute as, despite the complexity, there are absolutely no "unknowns in the system."

  3. CO2 effect is saturated

    LTO @477 ,

    we seem to have cross-posted at 21:54 PM.

    Your first paragraph shows that you are still a long, long way from understanding the Greenhouse Effect.

    The "complexity in escape altitude" does not require a "model" of mathematical ingenuity & tour-de-force.  You can do a good approximation on the back of the proverbial envelope, using a blunt pencil.   Basically, use the temperature lapse rate of around 6.5 degrees per 1000m altitude.   (Of course, the escape altitude is not a razor-thin layer, but a fuzzy zone . . .but your can treat it as one particular altitude (as described in some of the comments upthread) . . . while always remembering that other Greenhouse gases have different escape altitudes.

    The stratospheric cooling is interesting, in that it demonstrates that modern global warming is not of solar initiation.   But in practical terms, the stratosphere is so low density, as to have minimal effect (and similarly with the thermosphere).

    Better for now, to focus your thoughts on understanding the GHE.   Think about the transient condition, where (as right now) there is a nett inflow of heat into our planet . . . compared with future condition, where the Greenhouse influence has stabilized at a higher surface temperature.

  4. CO2 effect is saturated

    Michael: fantastic thank you

    1. I find this a little difficult to believe in its face (which isn't to say it isn't true!) for two reasons.  First, while the number of collisions is high, the relaxation rate of an excited co2 molecule is presumably quite fast, and so the net effect could be considerably more than it appears from the raw collision rate itself. Second, and more importantly, if temperature and pressure don't make much of a difference then why is the increase in escape altitude so important? I'm still not clear on why the relatively small decrease in temperature as the escapeealtitude increases affects the emission of a discrete photon so significantly.

    On the ppm point, difficulty isn't a great excuse in my view! The constancy of co2 in ppm is a bit of a red herring, if i'm understanding things correctly, because really it's the molar concentration combined with pressure that gives effect to the phenomena. For example, both venus and mars have comparable (very high) co2 ppm levels, but clearly completely different effects, at least in psrt because of the difference in atmospheric pressure (as I understand it).

    2. That's really useful re the troposphere thanks. The complexity in escape altitude mustmmake things very difficult to model.

    That link is really interesting for  two reasons. First, it implies that actually the hole in the ozone layer should uave been responsible for a significant portion of troposphere warming, as opposed to CO2. Presumably the UV light that would otherwise have warmed the stratosphere warmed the troposphere instead.  Do we know how much troposphere warming is attributable to this?

    Second, the point on CO2 cooling the upper atmosphere really didn't make sense to me. The argument appeared based on an assertion that the earth is always radiating the same amount of heat so an increase in troposphere temp must lead to a decrease in upper atmosphere temp, but I thought the whole point was that the earth was retaining more heat. Why isn't the increasing CO2 conc in the stratosphere leading to increased heat retention of photons released by co2 in the troposphere and concomitant warming? Could be related to the pressure point above, but in that case why isn't it a relevant consideration for increasing escape altitude?

    3. I will do! May take a while - hopefully will get answered here first.

  5. CO2 effect is saturated

    LTO @472 ,

    I must say I am puzzled by your assessment of the Science of Doom website.   The Greenhouse Effect is understood through observational studies combined with well-established basic physics.   Any usage of models came much later, and is certainly not foundational to the science of it all.

    Please do not be discouraged.  The CO2/Greenhouse Effect is actually quite simple & straightforward ~ once you have gotten your head around it.   But it is not immediately intuitive.

    Just like the Galileo/Tower-of-Pisa/falling-weights tale . . . and like the concept of Gravity . . . and Newton's Laws of Motion.   All these things can be "unsimple" to explain in a few paragraphs ~ but are quite simple and obvious, after you have grasped the concepts.   But for previous thousands of years, they were not intuitive at all !   And still are not ~ until you take a scientific approach and think things through.

    As Tom mentioned in #463 : in air, the molecular collisions occur at a rate many orders of magnitude above the "relaxation times" of a CO2 molecule (where a CO2 molecule accepts the energy of a 15um InfraRed photon, and later "relaxes" to emit an equivalent IR photon in a random direction).    Even where you reduce that collision rate by a hundred-fold (by reducing density & temperature, e.g. in the upper troposphere), you still get the situation where the collision rate is still vastly greater than the IR relaxation rate.   When you think it through, you see that the end result gives a negligible difference in the actual effect [ e.g. comparing the bulk difference between 99.99% and 99.9999% ].


    ** And LTO ~ a word in your ear.  While I myself am sweetly naive and unsuspicious that you might be uttering some phrasing of words which is alas too often heard coming from the mouths/keyboards of trollish science-deniers . . . nevertheless you have managed to cause Tom's ears to vibrate, by your using terms of the type: "incredulity / hoax-like / too-complex-to-be-an-honest-description / etcetera [obviously I am harshly paraphrasing your comments]."

    Those sorts of phrasings are common among science-deniers [= faux-skeptics] who subconsciously wish to reject reality ~ and who summon all their powers of distraction & rhetoric, in order to deceive themselves.

    ( I do read the WattsUpWithThat website, for entertainment.  Half the posters commenting there, are angry-crazies & political-extremists who are still in complete denial that CO2 & other Greenhouse gases have any global warming effect at all . . . and many of the other half are intelligent but so deeply affected by their Motivated Reasoning, that they distract themselves by using rhetorical smoke & mirrors ~ basically for deceiving themselves into a viewpoint that "there's nothing really unusual going on, and there's little or no global warming happening . . . and even if it is happening, then it's gonna be good for us, and with no major downsides". )

  6. CO2 effect is saturated

    Tom: I'm not sure what I did to attract your ire, but I apologize. The point I was trying to express is that the actual theory behind co2-induced global warming is significantly more complicated than I'd thought for a long time. To the extent that I genuinely wonder how many people would really claim to fully understand it, scientists (of which I'm one, albeit not a physicist) included. Is there anyone on this site who would put themselves in that category?

    The impression I get (which may not be accurate) from that science of doom website is that the theory is based on modelling of complex interrelated agonistic and antagonostic phenomena, which makes it somewhat different class of scientific theory. Models are necessarily simplifications, and in highly complex systems hidden variables can often lead to very unexpected effects in the real world, which therefore leaves room for reasonable skepticism and uncertainty. Anyway, I'm on a journey of discovery here and have already learnt a lot, in part thanks to you, so once again thank you for your help and I'm sorry you feel you wasted your time.

  7. CO2 effect is saturated


     I thought I could chime in since the original question  was about my post.

    I think you want a lot of detail and Science of DOom and And Then Theres Physics are good sources of detailed information.

    For your questions:

    1) The number of collisions is so great that the temperature and pressure do not make much difference. (I found an on line calculator once and was amazed at how many collisions there were and how small the temperature and pressure affected the colision rate). 

    It is probably too difficult to specify the temperature and pressure since it varies so much  in different places.  The ppm of CO2 is relatively constant through most of the atmosphere. 

    2) 10 km is commonly used as the escape altitude.  This is a simplification for a basic explaination.  The actual escape altitude would be different for different wavelengths,  different in the tropics and the Arctic, different in deserts than over water and different over storms versus calm weather.  Think of how much warmer it is at night when  it is cloudy.   Only the temperatures in the troposphere matter to the surface temperature.  Increasing CO2 causes the stratosphere and the mesosphere to cool at the same time the troposphere warms!  source 

    3) I think the altitude of escape is the key figure but you should check at Science of Doom.  Come back here and post if you find out exactly what the explaination is.

  8. CO2 effect is saturated

    LTO: Oh, so no one should ever believe or act on any science in any field unless one completely understands everything about it? I’m sorry I wasted the time to answer your questions, because I strongly suspect that you never had any genuine interest in the answers.

  9. CO2 effect is saturated

    Thanks Tom - that site looks good, but will take some time to work through before can divine anawrrs to those questions. This is clearly very complicated physics - complicated to the extent that I'm wondering how many people really understand it well enough to be completely confident they have taken account of all complexities given the unknowns in the system, as opposed to just taking someone else's word for it.  MA may have the answers!

  10. CO2 effect is saturated

    LTO: ScienceOfDoom has excellent explanations of the greenhouse gas effect.

  11. Philippe Chantreau at 12:49 PM on 4 January 2019
    Arctic sea ice has recovered is where the acutal Stein paper is located.

    I'll elaborate on the Stein et al (2017) paper since it is relevant to Arctic sea ice. Lowisss13 did not refer to the paper itself but to a blog post about the paper.  A few things are surpsising in the blog post. There is a graph of sea ice that I could not locate anywhere in the paper. The blog post mentions solar activity but the paper has very little about that, only a mention of obliquity in the conclusion section. It uses a fairly novel proxy analysis and ther eare inconsitencies with already existing work. The authors are very careful to qualify the scope of the results. They point to summer sea ice coverage in conditions significantly warmer than today and ascribe it to major differences in the AMOC, not solar activity.

    Here is part of their conclusion:

    "Finally, we have compared the Arctic sea ice conditions of the LIG and simulated future climate projections for 2100 and 2300, based on two different IPCC scenarios2, the RCP4.5 (583 ppm CO2eq) and the RCP6 (808 ppm CO2eq) (Fig. 8). Both scenarios show a severe reduction in sea ice coverage in the late summer, i.e., summer sea ice concentrations are significantly lower than those of the LIG. With increasing atmospheric CO2, however, the reduction of sea ice in the central Arctic Ocean is more rapid and disproportionately high in comparison to its margin. Whereas the mid-LIG summer sea ice concentrations were still around 60 to 75% in the central Arctic Ocean, but only around 20% or less along the Atlantic-Water influenced Barents Sea continental margin, nearly ice-free conditions might be reached in the entire Arctic Ocean in 2300. The number of ice-free summer months is increasing with higher atmospheric CO2. Under these high CO2 concentrations, the winter sea ice may start to melt as well (Fig. 8). Furthermore, the higher obliquity during the LIG (Supplementary Table 6) may suggest an insolation forcing during the LIG, whereas for the climate scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP6 the additional heat fluxes are induced by increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere."

    Not much ground for optimism there.


  12. CO2 effect is saturated

    LTO: Sorry, i’m Not knowledgeable enough to answer those questions.

  13. CO2 effect is saturated

    Graph of temperature and pressure by atmospheric height here:

  14. CO2 effect is saturated

    MA, Tom: really appreciate your replies, explains some points but also raise a few things I don't quite follow.

    1. How significant is the effect of temperature on the likelihood of excited CO2 photon release? At higher altitude the atmospheric pressure is also decreased, which means that the length of time between molecule collisions is also increased. Similarly lower temperatures will decrease the rates of collision. Part of the issue here is the reporting of CO2 in ppm only - given the changes in pressure and temperature I'd have thought you needed accompanying concentration /pressure / temp data to really makes sense of how the competing phenomena interact.

    2. Do you know what altitude range the CO2 photon to space release currently happens, how its changed and how sensitive this is to CO2 concentration? As I understand it the temperature actually increases between the tropopause (~11 km) and stratopause (~50 km). It decreases again to the mesopause (~85 km) and then stays pretty constant. The pressure by contrast drops 10 fold every 15 km or so. (see attached)

    3. Is it only the altitude of escape atmospheric layer that is the relevant metric here in determining warming, or is it the depth of the envelope from ground to the altitude throughout which warming occurs. I'm trying to understand where exactly in the atmosphere the warming actually happens, and how this is then reflected back at ground level.


  15. Philippe Chantreau at 11:23 AM on 4 January 2019
    Arctic sea ice has recovered

    My remarks are entirely warranted. What's in your eyes is irrelevant, and most likely what you want to see. Proper statistical analysis is what allows to determine whether there is a stabilization, a recovery or a continued trend. There is no stabilization in the PIOMAS data, the period you are considering is too short to yield any trend without a margin of error so large that no information can be extracted. There are multiple periods in the data where there appears to be a stabilization, and even increases, but the trend remains, as it does in the temperature escalator. There is no sign  of stabilization in the sea ice extent either. Having an open mind does not equate to fooling oneself with wishful thinking.

  16. Arctic sea ice has recovered

    WOW! You're all so agressive!!!

    Please keep your mind open.

    -Recovery is maybe not the right term to use at these point. In my eyes, the last decade is more a stabilisation on term of arctic sea ice extend. There is always an stabilisation before a change of slope in an oscillation.

    You all seem to see a strait line in the graphic of ''Arctic sea ice volume anomaly from PIOMAS''. For me it's a curve or rather the 1/4 of an oscillation.

    Here's one source of reflection:

    -Yes, 30 is the ''magic'' number in term of statistic. But considering the long climatic history of earth, we should consider a sample of 30 years, 30 centuries, 30 milleniums, etc. If you study the climat of the last century, 30 years is effectively more than sufficient. But the point is to determine what's the best gap of time to consider for climate variability.

    -Solar activity is slowing and sunspot # 24 was smaller than expected. Now they have made a prediction for the next sunspot:


    Small Solar Activity variation can have huge effect on earth climate.

    To me it's sound logical considering the size of the sun vs the size of the earth.


    Co2 is certainly part of the climate change. But at what level?


    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Off-topic and baiting snipped. Note that Stein et al 2017 supports that the recent loss of Arctic sea ice extent is unusual in the context of the Holocene, and does not detract from the anthropogenic nature of the current warming and the ongoing losses from the Cryosphere.

    If you wish to discuss other aspects of climate change, such as solar levels and/or CO2, numerous other, more appropriate threads exist here.  Use the Search function to find a more appropriate thread to discuss those.  Also, please review the Comments Policy and ensure that comments adhere to it.  Thanks!

  17. CO2 effect is saturated

    LTO @462,

    Regarding the altitude issue, I think the explanations you see as being at variance is due to them being part-explanations.
    To explain:- if atmospheric CO2 levels increase, the altitude at which CO2 can emit photons dirctly into space increases. This results in the temperature of the space-emitting CO2 being lower and this lower temperature reduces the number of photons emitted and thus the global energy being lost to space.
    These CO2-emitted photons are all in a small part of the IR spectrum with ~15 microns wavelength.
    As the global energy is now out-of-balance, global temperature will rise, this temperature rise increasing the photons lost to space over all of the IR spectrum. When the energy balance is restored through this warming, the CO2 emission altitude will still be cooler than the emissions altitude prior to the increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.

    And I feel your "other query" hasn't been fully addressed.
    A photon at the right energy (ie wavelength) can be absorbed by a CO2 molecule and set it into a bendy wobble. In almost all these occurances, the CO2 molecule will then be involved in a collision with another air molecule and the photon's energy will be absorbed within the gas, it being transferred to other modes of gas energy. You ask what then happens to this energy. It will be passed around the gas, this constituting a temperature increase. But a temperature increase will also mean more CO2 molecules are being walloped by the air molecules about them and this will result in more of them being in that bendy wobble which allows them to emit a photon. So more temperature also means more photons emitted by CO2, this cooling the gas, this providing an energy balncing mechanism. And note that if the number of absorbed photons increases because of more CO2, there is also more CO2 to go into a bendy wobble and then to emit photons, which also balances out the energy equation.

    Of course, those are still much-simplified descriptions.

  18. CO2 effect is saturated

    Eclectic @465,

    I think your response to the trolling is appropriate. I would perhaps add that the fool cannot even provide the numbers in his first point correctly. The date since which peak monthly surface temperature anomalies exceeded later lower anomalies in duration and in temperature difference was 2008 not 1995. This should be no surprise given the 2010 El Nino wasn't as big as the 2016 or 1998 versoins.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Inflammatory snipped.

  19. CO2 effect is saturated

    Geologist-for-a-change [of pseudonym? ]  @464 , 

    Attention !

    # You have posted on the wrong date.  It is not yet April 1st.

    # You have posted in the wrong thread.  This thread is for "CO2 Saturated"-related comments.

    # You have posted on the wrong website.  You should be on WattsUpWithThat ~ the home website for commenters who have the deluded belief that the scientists are all wrong about everything.

    # And you appear to have posted 27 years prematurely.  If you have (as you say) studied climate science full-time for 3 years, and have not yet disentangled yourself from (almost) every piece of climate crackpottery known to man . . . then it sounds like you have stepped out no more than 10% of your journey from ignorance to knowledge.

    Please return in 2046, and let us know how your education succeeded.

  20. Geologist for a change at 20:43 PM on 3 January 2019
    CO2 effect is saturated

    Goodbye man-made global warming? As an independent (i.e. impartial) consulting geologist (doctorate in sedimentary geology) with 35 years of experience, having conducted an unpaid (impartial) full-time 3-year (since Nov 2015; continuing) review of the literature from ALL scientific disciplines relevant to climate- and sea-level change (geology, archaeology, physics, astrophysics, oceanography, meterorology, etc, etc), here are my main conclusions:

    (1) There's obviously no doubt that Earth has warmed since thermometer measurements began in the 1800s (HadCRUT data; and online NASA/GISS online charts [yearly, monthly, and others], updated every few weeks). However, Earth began COOLING in February 2016 (NASA/GISS monthly chart). This cooling already exceeds all other measured coolings since 1995, in both duration (nearly 3 years so far) and magnitude (0.5 degrees C, fully one-third of IPCCs dreaded '1.5 degrees C by 2100', but in the wrong direction) ...

    (2) Warming was driven by increasing solar-MAGNETIC output (controlling cosmic rays, therefore cloudiness; Svensmark's breathtakingly elegant theory), nothing to do with mankind's CO2 emissions which just happened, by pure (bad) luck, to grow during a solar upswing (rather than downswing), a ghastly coincidence; the reverse was about equally likely, 50:50.

    (3) Changes in temperature are lagging about 25 years behind changes in solar-magnetic output, due to ocean thermal inertia (google it), dismissed by IPCC.

    (4) Sea level is about to rise about 3 metres (sic), before 2100, driven by the increase in solar-magnetic output (up until its 1996 peak), its effect on sea level delayed a further 20 years (approx.; i.e. total sea-level lag is about 45 years) due to ocean 'conveyor-belt' circulation (also ignored by IPCC) delaying the arrival at Antarctica of 'solar-overwarmed' Atlantic surface water, via downwelling and southward mid-depth flow (AMOC). The floating ice shelves buttressing Antarctic on-land glaciers are NOW disintegrating at an accelerating rate (led by Pine Island, Thwaites and Totten), so catastrophic glacier failure by MISI and/or MICI is likely to begin within a decade, raising sea level by at least 3m within about 50 years. It's unstoppable.

    Am I right? We'll know very soon. Regarding solar control of global temperature, the next two years will tell: I predict continued cooling, so keep a close eye on that NASA temperature chart. Regarding sea level, we'll know within 10 years, possibly much sooner: I predict the rate of sea-level rise, currently a trivial 3mm/year, but already increasing exponentially, will be at least ten times higher (3cm/year) by 2030, if not 2025. Watch NASA's online sea-level chart, updated every few months.

    See my 20 ResearchGate contributions, mostly one-page items or single figures, fully self explanatory ...

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] "Earth began COOLING in February 2016"

    Statistical significance testing shows that, for climate related changes, 17 years (Santer et al) are the bare minimum, with 30 years or more being typically used.

    For ANY of the instrumental series, over ANY time span ending in the present:

    • There is NO period where warming is invalidated, against a null hypothesis of no warming. NONE.
    • Against a null hypothesis of the long term warming trend, there is NO period where a "no warming" hypothesis is validated. NONE.
    • Over ANY period with enough data to show statistical significance, that data shows a statistically significant warming trend. ALWAYS

    Ergo, the warming continues, unabated.

    Note that commenting here at Skeptical Science adheres to the nature of the OP of the thread upon which you comment.  Please follow that rule.  Thousands of comment threads exist here upon virtually every topic related to climate change and the denial of it.  Use the search function to find the most appropriate thread for your expansion of your knowledge of the science.

    Off-topic snipped.

  21. One Planet Only Forever at 15:12 PM on 3 January 2019
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #52

    It has been almost 20 years since Mark Hertsgaard explained that a Global Green Deal would be required to achieve the corrections that climate science has exposed are required for humanity to develop a sustainable and improving future on this planet (more info in WP Opinion piece by Katrina vanden Heuvel "Why the time has come for a Green New Deal")

    A recent update of that understanding is the USA Green New Deal. And the WP Opinion piece ends by stating that Green New Deals are required in every nation (it needs to be global).

    I reviewed the Green Party's detailed presentation of their Green New Deal. The GP Green New Deal has many similarities to the Leap Manifesto that was developed in the spring of 2015 in Canada. So Global action is happening.

    A significant problem is how easy it is for misleading marketing to convince people that the system corrections identified in the Leap Manifesto or Green New Deal would not be personally advantageous (compared to their incorrectly developed perceptions of prosperity and opportunity).

    Through the past 30 years most of the supposedly more advanced nations, and supposedly most rapidly advancing nations, have developed in the incorrect direction. They have developed an increased requirement for correction (and more future climate change harm).

    Too many people are easily tempted to try to get away with more incorrect activity while avoiding suffering negative consequences. And their exposure to potential negative consequences from the required correction has increased as they prolonged or increased their development in the wrong direction.

    That is the insidious damaging result of the deliberate misleading marketing efforts of undeserving wealthy people. An increasing number of people incorrectly develop larger required corrections that they will have to suffer the consequences of. And their increased resistance to being corrected (to avoid those consequences), just makes things worse (except for a few craftier rich people who manage to evade suffering significant negative consequences for their incorrect harmful actions)

    Correcting popular and profitable activities is very difficult. It is more difficult the more popular and profitable they have been allowed to become.

    The Leap Manifesto and Green New Deal contain many elements that would substantially correct the systems that so incorrectly developed unsustainable and harmful activity.

    But to get to that corrected system, the undeserving winners in the existing systems need to be exposed as being the harmful people they actually are with real potential negative consequences for how they have behaved (the threats of law suits by young people are a good start).

    As Naomi Klein titled her book that was associated with the development of the Leap Manifesto "No is not Enough". It is necessary to do whatever is required to correct or limit the behaviour of the undeserving rich (and wanna be rich) likes of Trump, not just tell them No. Don't just explain that they are incorrect and hope they will behave better (because they won't change their mind unless they sense that they really need to behave better to avoid personally suffering a worse consequence as a result of stubbornly refusing to correct their thinking and actions).

  22. CO2 effect is saturated

    LTO: Contrary to your second sentence, the temperature at the altitude of escape decreases, not increases. That is not because the temperature at a given altitude (of the troposphere) decreases. Instead, it is because the altitude of escape increases, and higher altitudes have lower temperatures. Increase in temperature of a given altitude due to greater CO2 absorbing IR from below, is insufficient to counteract the lower temperature due to the higher altitude of escape. The altitude of escape increases because of the larger number of CO2 molecules between a given altitude and outer space.

    Regarding your second query: A CO2 molecule collides with other molecules--CO2 or other--about 100,000 times more often than that CO2 molecule emits a photon. So the vast majority of the time, the energy a CO2 molecule acquires from absorbing a photon is transferred to other molecules. That is part of the reason why Mars is so cold despite having so much more CO2 than the Earth does. Mars has so few molecules of anything in its atmosphere, there are few transfers of energy to other molecules, so much more of the energy remains in the CO2 molecule until it is emitted as a photon.

    Yes, photons are emitted from CO2 molecules in random directions.

  23. CO2 effect is saturated

    Hi all, i'd like to follow on from Arf @459 above. It doesn't seem his query on why the temperature of the upper atmosphere matters when we're talking about discrete emission of a photon has been adequately addressed. The comment at 461 seems contradictory, as if there is an increase in temperature at the altitude of escape then this will increase black body radiation to space...

    My other query relates to how the co2-absorbed photons actually contribute to warming, if the re-emitted photons are of the same energy as the absorbed ones. Is it that through a kinetic effect where a proportion of high energy absorbed co2 molecules vibrate surrounding air molecules, losing the absorbed energy and therefore never re-emitting the photon? Or is it because a proportion of the re-emitted photons are absorbed by something else (water, the ground etc). Or both?

    I assume the photons we're talking about make their way out pf the atmosphere through a random walk type process

  24. Philippe Chantreau at 12:43 PM on 3 January 2019
    Arctic sea ice has recovered

    To substantiate my previous post, the trend for September Arctic sea ice, when the minimum extent takes place, is -12.8% per decade, plus/minus 2.3%. 2017 and 2018 were above the trend line but within, or very close to the margin, not significant. Not a single month has 5 or more consecutive years above the trend line, within the margin or not. The trends for summer months are the higest. There is no way to interpret any of this data as even a beginning recovery.

  25. Philippe Chantreau at 11:59 AM on 3 January 2019
    Arctic sea ice has recovered

    Lowisss13 "Arctic sea ice should continue to recover." In order to continue, it would have to start. There is absolutely no sign of a recovery on the NSIDC data. The trend over the satellite record is down for every month of the year. No recognizable sign of a reversal is visble in the data. The trend in ice volume in PIOMAS is even more pronounced. See applicable sites for reference.

    Right now, NSIDC is showing over 500,000 below median, far below the interdecile range and below 2012 levels; interestingly, Antarctic sea ice is also quite low, close to a million square kilometers below median, with enormous missing chunks in the Weddell, Amundsen and Ross seas. Someone facetious could use a typical denier method and draw a line between the beginning of the record and the latest data point to show a tremendous decrease in Antarctic sea ice.

    Perhaps Lowisss13 wants to use only a few years of Arctic data following the 2012 record low summer Arctic ice, which would be ironic following his remark that 70 years is a blink of an eye. A funny variation on the defunct "no warming since 1998" nonsense.

  26. Arctic sea ice has recovered


    If you read my post you will see that I spported my claims with actual data and links to scientific studies.  Please provide links to data and scientific studies to support your ridiculous claims.

  27. Arctic sea ice has recovered

    Lowisss13 @103 ,

    you seem to be trying to pull Michael Sweet's leg.

    You offer some vague fluffy rhetorical comments, but you offer nothing based on factual evidence & scientific understanding.

    Perhaps you could start by showing the (alleged) significant reduction in solar activity [ TSI ] which you claim has caused a reduction in arctic temperatures and hence a long term "sea ice recovery".

    Then demonstrate all the other factors which you say are proving all the scientists wrong.   Or will you retreat into another dose of empty rhetoric?

  28. Arctic sea ice has recovered

    To Michael Sweet

    Excuse me Michael but I have a little problem with your logic. You said that a decade of relative stability is not enough to contredict the mathematical models. But you refer to the 70 years as a ''long term decline''. Excuse me, but 70 years, it's a blink of an eye compare to the climatologic history of the planet. It's a very short term. With all the datas on climatologic history of the earth, how can you be so convinced about the accuracy of the models? All in nature is related to cycle, oscillation, pulsation and variation. Linearity is pretty rare in nature and climatology is not an exception!

    I was a believer (10 years ago), but now  I have to admit that I'm Skeptical. Mainly because of the cyclic behavior of the earth. For me, the question is not to determine if climat change exhist, it does. The question is; What part the human activity is responsible of. In my point of view, just a few.

    And with the actual low solar activities cycles, Arctic sea ice should continue to recover. But it's just my point of view!!! 

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] "You said that a decade of relative stability is not enough to contredict the mathematical models"

    Statistical significance testing shows that, for climate related changes, 17 years (Santer et al) are the bare minimum, with 30 years or more being typically used.

    "70 years, it's a blink of an eye compare to the climatologic history of the planet. It's a very short term"

    Here's over 1,450 years of Arctic Sea Ice Extent:

    Kinnard 2011

    "the cyclic behavior of the earth"

    The Earth's climate only changes in response to warming or cooling forcings. No known natural forcing fits the fingerprints of observed warming except anthropogenic greenhouse gases.  See here for more.

    "What part the human activity is responsible of"

    All of the observed warming since 1950 is due to human activities.  See here for more discussion.

    Please keep your comments constructed to adhere to the topic of the post on which you place them.  Thousands of posts exist.  Use the Search function to find the best post on which to place your concerns.  Thanks!

  29. citizenschallenge at 02:11 AM on 3 January 2019
    Portuguese Translation of The Debunking Handbook

    Now all you need is figuring out how to get people interested in digesting the information you've gathered for our edification.

  30. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    "However, drawing conclusions on short-term trends is ill-advised because what matters to climate change is the decade-to-decade increase in temperatures rather than fluctuations in warming rate over a few years. Indeed, if short periods were suitable for drawing strong conclusions, climate scientists should perhaps now be talking about a “surge” in global warming since 2011, as shown in this figure:"

    Which makes sense seeing as how climate is weather averaged over time.

    And to understand climate does in fact require looking at decadal and centuries of change. And the trend is clearly towards a warming Earth as most of the warmest years on record are in this century which is now 19 years old.

    An entirely consistent with the fact that carbon dioxide has been recognized as a heat trapping gas for a century and a half.

    As is explained by the evidence over and over, there is no pause in warming, just misrepresented short term variability in weather that when included in a longer term graph of temperature is cancelled out by a greater presence of above average points.

  31. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Climate change issues clearly have a huge impact on subjective politics, the opposite cannot be said of politics influencing in the slighest the physical mechanisms of warming the entire globe by steadily increasing the atmospheric concentration of the most important persistent GHG.

    But that is exactly how this issue has been treated for decades, as if slick political games for short term gains have somehow "solved" this growing catastrophe. There have been multiple international summits over the last 30 years with a progressively clearer political consensus that climate change must be mitigated to avoid unsustainable costs and impacts. And non-binding agreements to do this. There is the UN IPCC which although it deals with many scientific issues is still part of a political body and there is no question that climate change is highly political in many places as we experience every day here in Canada.

    But as I've already said, none of that changes in the slightest the physical nature of fossil fuels driven climate change. Something that still is not being addressed as human CO2 emissions are still massive and most of the main contributors are still engaging in functional denial as they claim to be working for solutions.

    And the main reason this is the case is the continued use of politics and religion to cause as much confusion and resistance to change as possible.

    Belief and adamantly defended ideology aren't going to get us through this rapidly accelerating nightmare. Acceptance of reality is.

    And being led down ideological and spiritual alleys where the destinations are always highly subjective and open to a vast range of interpretations is a luxury we no longer have.

    We have no time left to trade for space.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Please, please, please move this to an appropriate topic - see comment to sunspot below.

  32. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    I think there is a huge intersection between the climate issue and politics, and some level of intersection with religion as well. We cannot escape this, and ignoring it doesn't make sense to me.

    Yes politics and religion can become divisive shouty subjects. Generally discouraged at dinner parties! But this is an analytical website and Im a bit wary of putting any subject out of bounds because where would you stop?.

    We just dont want politics and religion getting out of control and dominating all discussion  and becoming shouty. Isn't that the key thing?

    I suggest maybe keep such discussion on appropriate threads, so articles that refer to political issues, or the weekly news roundup thread which is general. And keep discussion on it restrained, and not finger pointing. Discussion above was restrained.

  33. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Sunspot @42

    The internet has been around for decades and was used by academics long before it went universal in the early 1990s with the introduction of the WWW.

    Internet History Timeline: ARPANET to the World Wide Web


    When it comes to science there are guidelines that date back centuries and allow an exchange of empirical evidence and agreed means to test it and place it in a meaningful context. You seem to be creating obstacles where none really exist.

    The line is clear, if you lack the data and what you have doesn't fit in with already very well established theories then the burden of proof is on your shoulders, not someone else's. That's what scientific skepticism means, an open mind in an informed context always testing new data in the context of what we have already assimilated into the overall body of evidence.

    The is no "problem" with the science of fossil fuels forced global warming and associated climate change. We don't need to understand how humans feel about it and what their beliefs are to understand the physical dimnersions of global warming. We just need data and a consistent structure to place it in.

    And we have that going back centuries all consistent with the theory of global warming and the real world evidence we are seeing as it unfolds.

    In your last paragraph you are entering into almost entirely hypothesis not theory. Geostatic rebound takes place over thousands of years, North America is still in the process of rebound from the melting of the massive ice sheets over 10,000 years ago.

    There are other much more immediate concerns with global warming and climate change and it is important to place all these factors into a context based on the best evidence in the clearest context.

    Which is why it is essential to leave politics and religion out of this discussion. These are based far more on internal subjective reality than objective testable data.

  34. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Ok one more:

    I don't have a complaint with this site or the way comments are moderated. The problem is a combination of the nature of the internet and how humans are interacting with it. This is a new form of communication we are trying to cope with. On sites with few rules - Yahoo Comments, for example - it's frequently just ridiculous, with people putting up all sorts of garbage. So some form of moderation is needed. I heartily agree.

    Of course the problem becomes where to "draw the line". The problem with a subject like Global Warming, and any other big existential subject. is that it is intimately connected with all forms of human thought and activity. I find it impossible to have an honest discussion about human reactions to anything scientific without discussing the role of religion in society. And I can't have an honest discussion about Global Warming without discussing the science presented at the Arctic Blogspot. But this site has been dismissed here I assume because of a few "predictions" that haven't panned out.

    But carry on. I'll be reading. I won't stir up any more "controversy". When the Arctic belches up a huge gasball of methane from a massive glacial rebound earthquake and the resulting tsunami washes over half of the cities in the Northern Hemisphere, it will be a big surprise to most. Or maybe that won't happen and it will just get hotter - EXPONENTIALLY - until it is too hot to grow food anymore. But I do know the heat can't be linear. Not with over 70 feedbacks adding to it. But this site doesn't yet acknowledge that reality. And if you don't understand the role of Global Warming feedbacks on our atmosphere, then you simply don't understand Global Warming.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Off-topic snipped.

    [PS] Let me try to explain. SkepticalScience is setup to respond to climate misinformation by reporting what the science says instead. It is organized into topics, and someone interested say the Global warming "hiatus" can explore that topic, preferably without encountering a lot of offtopic comments. If you want to comment about AGW, find the appropriate topic and comment there. All topics are live - the community uses the "Recent comments" menu item to see where new comments are made.

    Climate politics and religion can be discussed on this site here for instance.

    If you cant find an appropriate topic, the Weekly digest is a place for more general discussion.

    People interested in discussing science and religion are hardly going to look at SkpSci as an appropriate forum. When a discussion veers totally offtopic, it is best to find a more appropriate forum (on or off this site), make a comment there and then post a link on this comment thread to where interested parties can continue the discussion. The Search function and the "arguments" item in the menu are good resources for finding appropriate topics on this site.

    The comments policy is not optional and not up for discussion. Can I ask all commentators to please stick to topic.

  35. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Sunspot @38

    It was a great book and Carl Sagan was making an appeal to reason, not belief and emotion.


    In my long experience in discussing science and empirical evidence based topics on anonymous formats such as this, the moment that religion and politics are introduced a rational discussion ends.

    People stop sharing their common views and start defending their personal belief systems.

    Skeptical Science has been such an important resource on this most important of issues because of the guidelines that allow rational facts based discussion. Not primal chest beating with the "win" going to the most aggressive and persistent, not the best informed and coherent.

  36. CO2 increase is natural, not human-caused


    Thank-you.  It has been a few years.  I was confusing the area and volume formulas.

  37. CO2 increase is natural, not human-caused


    Area wrong.  Should be pi times 4 , not pi times 4/3 .

  38. One Planet Only Forever at 12:38 PM on 1 January 2019
    Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    Nick Palmer @16,

    I agree with the ability of increasing the cost of a harmful activity to terminate it. But it is important to understand that this is not just a matter of competing alternatives. And the objective is not reducing the harmful activity. The objective is rapidly terminating the activity to reduce the harm done.

    The harmful ultimately unsustainable burning of fossil fuels has to be terminated, but not just be 'replaced'. Part of the problem is the increasing energy demand, and other resource consumption, of 'supposedly more advanced people'.

    Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires more than a conversion of energy sources from harmful non-renewables to renewables. Every energy system and its consumption/use requires other resources/materials. To achieve the SDGs the more advanced people need to require less energy for their pursuit of profit or lifestyle and use less resources, with all of the non-renewable resources they use being fully recycled. And the more advanced also need to help all others develop to be more like them.

    Getting a reduction of energy use (or reduction of any resource use) by the wealthiest is not accomplished by pricing the harm done by an activity. The richest can choose to afford it. The correction requires the richest to not want to do it. Pricing also does not get the richest to help others.

    A rebate of the collected fee would sort of discourage the richest, but it would not develop the requirement for the richest to truly act as leaders to a better future for humanity.

    A related problem is the way that Pricing Carbon has already become a game to be gamed.

    People have evaluated their perceptions of the future costs of climate change (incorrectly discounting the future costs to make them appear to be smaller). And they use those evaluations to argue what the Carbon Price should be (or even claim that there should be no effort made to tweak the free market).

    That game is simply incorrect. What is required is for the Carbon Price to be as high as is needed to terminate the activity.

    And the game has been gamed even more by already more fortunate, and supposedly more advanced, people who tried to incorrectly develop economic activity since the 1980s when it was undeniable that the burning of fossil fuels had to be terminated, not prolonged or expanded.

    So now we face the reality that Greta has bluntly pointed out. The failure of leaders in business and politics to responsibly respond to the understanding that the burning of fossil fuels needs to be rapidly curtailed has developed a more harmful required correction to limit the harm done to future generations. Popularity and profitability of an understandably harmful activity is no excuse for allowing it to continue. Continued failure to choose to personally suffer the pain of the required correction will result in painful future consequences.

    Greta's observations put today's current leaders on notice that they may be the ones to suffer consequences in the near future (she was speaking to political leaders, but the same message applies to business leaders). And the young Green New Deal people in the USA are pointing out something very similar.

  39. CO2 increase is natural, not human-caused

    I'm having a little trouble getting some math to come out right.  CO2 concentration is rising by 2 ppmv/year.  The net flux is given as 15 gigatons/year.

    For the surface area of the earth I take a radius of 6.4e6 meters to get an area of 171e12 m2.  I convert 14.7 lb/in2 atmospheric pressure at sea level to a metric value of 10.35e3 kg/m2 or 10.35 ton/m2.  When I multiply those together, it comes out to 1.771e15 tons for the total weight of the atmosphere.  One ppm of that would weigh 1.771e9 tons or 1.771 gigatons.

    The atmosphere is primarily molecular nitrogen.  Each molecule has a weight of 28.  The weight for CO2 is 44.  This brings the weight of one ppm by volume up to 2.78 gigatons.  The increase of concentration given in the article, 2ppmv/year would represent a weight of 5.56 gigatons.  This is low by a factor of almost three from the value of 15 given in the article.

    What am I missing?

  40. Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans

    One can also look at the ice core CO2 data and isolate the rate of change per unit time, as a method to isolate slug inputs to the atmosphere from carbon reservoirs.

    Here's a personal try:

    CO2 vs the natural range

  41. Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans

    michael sweet@299

    so, the Santa Barbare study does put the end of the glacial about 10,000 years after the eruption.  If there was any change in CO2 levels, it would be a tiny blip that may or may not barely stick out of the noise.

    I am not sure if I can link to a specific yahoo comment of mine, but here is a paste from this article Anak Krakatau Volcano Erupts in Indonesia.

    Measurements from ice core samples show no significant change in CO2 levels after either the Krakatoa or the Tambora eruptions. Volcanoes do inject sulfur into the stratosphere that cools the climate for a few years until it drops out. CO2 has a much longer lifetime in the atmosphere. It takes geological processes thousands of years to stabilize carbon levels.

    I could now add to that something like:

    There was a massive eruption at Yellowstone 630,000 years ago.  It caused massive destruction as it left ash deposits up to 600 feet thick over much of North America.  If there was a change in CO2 levels from that, it is barely visible, if at all, in the ice cores.


  42. Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans

    Ancient Nerd:

    In fact I did read the graph incorrectly.

    The increase in CO2 is still about 10,000 years after the eruption date.

    Reading more background information, I found several articles (BBC Forbes GOOGLE search) that mentioned volcanic winters caused by supervolcanoes but none that mentioned CO2 effects.  Several mentioned the Santa Barbara study referenced up thread.  The Forbes article suggested that the supervolcano might have delayed the interglacial that was beginning around that time.

    I see no supporting information for the idea that CO2 from the volcano caused an increasse in global temperatures.

  43. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Sunspot @39, thanks for the tip on the book. I admire Sagen as well. But come on you know religion is getting off topic, especially on an article about the Pause. I hope you comment further on other matters.

  44. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Clearly your commenting rules, and, frankly, your views of Global Warming are too restrictive for me. I won't attempt to comment on this site anymore.

  45. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Just one more quick point - for the best discussion I know of on the perspective of the non-believer, you can't beat Sagan's "Demon-Haunted World". It was the last book he wrote, his last message to humanity. He sent James Randi an early draft, and when the final version was published Randi noted that much of the language had been strengthened even more. During the final edit, at least, Sagan knew he was dying. He had things he needed to explain to us. For want of a better word, this book is my "bible". If I was going to start a humanistic "religion", I think I'd call it "Saganism". Carl would be appalled, lol...

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] While I heartily admire Sagan's book too, enough please of offtopic comments.

  46. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #52

    nigelj @3

    Also large stands of timber that can be utilized for lumber and other products. Unfortunately much of that will be destroyed by pine bettle infestations that are no longer controlled by very cold Canadian winters that no longer exist.

    And the tar sands themselves contain large amounts of thorium and uranium, Alberta would be far better off investing in Gen IV molten salt reactors in the slow and fast spectrum which would provide centuries of energy at current demand from the tar sands alone.

    It's not the lack of options that prevents real change in Alberta, it is the total lack of willingness of private and public sector policymakers who lack any independence from the oil and gas sector.

    Rachel Notley only got elected to office after decades of Conservative rule because of how arrogant they had become. It was revealed that billions of dollars in royalties had been lost due to Conservative government mismanagement over years in Alberta.

    Royalty Miscalculation Cost Alberta Billions, Expert Says


    And as a response to this huge boondoggle the Conservative running for Premier told the people of Alberta that they should blame themselves for this loss.

    Prentice says Albertans must 'look in the mirror' for the province's financial crunch


    The way the oil and gas sector perpetually screws Albertans which will eventually leave the entire province broke and likely a wasteland you'd think there would be a revolution there. But the opposite is happening, people getting behind the oil and gas lobby like it offers some kind of salvation.

    Totally irrational.

  47. Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans

    The Gerlach 2010 calculation still stands. The amount of CO2 an eruption can produce is constrained by the solubility of CO2 in magma. This is a hard limit. 

  48. Models are unreliable

    AFT - based on a comment izen in this discussion,  I believe this has been attempted but it is anything but straightforward because of changes to compilers, hardware and the state of the data files. There is more about the veracity of the model in this article here and perhaps further comments about Hansen 1988 belong there. In short, the model produces a climate sensitivity that is on the high side compared to modern models for a variety of interesting reasons. However, the article also points out a number of ways in which the model has been misrepresented by deniers. Continued work on reproducing the model is unlikely to help with those who determined to deceive. 

  49. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #52

    Alberta appear to rely on fossil fuel exports, but they have vast metals based mineral wealth, mostly unexploited, so its not as if they have to rely on fossil fuels. I would have more sympathy for countries whos only natural resource is fossil fuels.

  50. Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    Something relevant: The book Dark Money, on the influence of money from people like the Koch brothers in the politics of climate change. This is 20 pages from the book.

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