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Comments 601 to 650:

  1. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    jesscars @343,

    The relative strength of CO2 as a GHG is dependent on the logarithmic nature of its forcing. The first doubling will, molecule for molecule, be twice as 'forceful' as the second doubling and a thousand times more 'forceful' than the tenth doubling. So the 'forcefulness' you measure in the High-CO2 bag will be mainly a thousand-times weaker than the CO2 'forcefulness' involved in AGW. And while the ten doublings of CO2 together will provide a very 'forceful' GHG effect at 15 microns, (By-the-way, I note my 12 microns @340 is wrong - it is 15 microns.) this is achieved by stripping all GHG from everywhere else. This one-step-warmer-one-step-cooler effect for the bag world could well explain the non-result although there could be many other contributing reasons.

    jesscars @347,

    Your comparison of the 1ºC of warming for double CO2 (without feedbacks) with the Vostok Ice Core temperature/CO2 graph doesn't properly hold. Firstly, the Vostok temperatures will be subject to polar amplification and Ice Ages result from other non-CO2 'forcings' (CH4, ice albedo) and their feedbacks. The direct CO2 contribution (without feedbacks) to the Ice Age cycles (which are globally some 5ºC) is probably something like 0.5ºC, which fits in with the logarithmic relationship. With feedbacks, the CO2 'forcing' is responsible for about a third of the Ice Age wobbles.

    The logarithmic nature of CO2 forcing holds certainly for 180ppm to 2,000ppm. (See for instance Etminan et al 2016.) At very low concentrations it will presumably be more linear (like CH4) but the point of change from logarithmic is not something I have met. Persumably the level is well below any CO2 levels ever seen on Earth.

  2. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Hi scaddenp,

    My understanding is that CO2 molecules absorb terrestrial IR then reradiates it as heat. I'm not sure why it should matter if that's a bag with a higher concentration of CO2 or CO2 molecules in the atmosphere. I don't see why there should be a difference. Are you able to explain this to me? I will also check the papers.

    OK, so you acknowledge that the warming, when under natural sources of radiation is insignificant. I understand that adding radiaton would increase temperatures, but the GHG of the atmosphere will only ever face natural sources so it doesn't represent what will ever actually happen.

    I have tried the experiment at night, indoors, and outdoors, and with differnt concentrations of CO2. There is never a significant difference - definitley not 1 degree per doubling.

    Also, can you please confirm the 1 degree per doubling and where this comes from? This is not matched on the Vostok Ice Core samples, which show a linear relationship of about 1 degree per 10 ppm. I am not sure why the discrepancy in the science.

    Thanks,

    Jessica

  3. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Hi All,

    I have another question re. temperature predictions.

    If the expected warming is an increase of 1 degree per doubling of CO2, why is this not matched by the Vostok Ice Core samples? These show about a 1 degree per 10 ppm linear relationship. 

    Why would the historic linear trend be replaced by a logarithmic one? At what level of CO2 does this happen?

    Thanks,

    Jessica

  4. TornadoWarning at 16:50 PM on 9 July 2018
    Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    After reviewing the comments posted by JeffDylan@267 regarding the rebuttals written by James Frank and John Cook to the concept of water vapor being the controlling greenhouse gas, I fail to see how JeffDylan misunderstood the explanation as indicated by moderator TD. In his rebuttal, Frank states (in the fourth paragraph)

    "So even though water vapour is the greatest greenhouse gas, it is relatively short-lived."

    and JeffDylan states (in the second paragraph of @267)

    "... H2O vapor may be the strongest greenhouse gas, but it is much more "short-lived" in the atmosphere that [than] CO2."

    It seems to me that these statements by James Frank and JeffDylan are exactly the same. So what is the misunderstanding?

    The statement made by TD@267 that the residence times (or atmospheric lifetimes) of individual molecules are irrelevant is correct but in conflict with the rebuttals posted by both Frank and Cook and numerous peer-reviewed modern climate science articles. Many such articles can be found by doing a keyword search on "condensable greenhouse gases" as suggested by Eclectic@290. [Please note that I am supplying evidence for my claims from credible sources.] From these statements and articles, it appears that in modern "climate science", the radiative forcing strength of a greenhouse gas (GHG) is highly dependent upon the atmospheric lifetimes of the GHG modecules whereas in fundamental physics, the greenhouse effect associated with any GHG is totally independent of atmospheric lifetimes of its molecules. In other words, according to basic first-principles physics, the greenhouse effect of any gas depends only on its concentration, IR spectrum, and to some extent its location; and is the same whether the individual molecules recently emerged from a condensed state via CO2 greenhouse heating, or if they had been in the atmosphere since the formation of the earth. The terms forcing and feedback do not appear anywhere in the laws of physics governing the greenhouse effect.

    From the alleged dependence of the radiative forcing strength of a GHG on molecular lifetimes, climate science arrived at the general "principle" that no condensable GHG could be a radiative forcing, no matter how strong of a GHG it is. This then becomes the justification for disregarding the possibility of a water vapor radiative forcing and considering only the CO2 greenhouse heating as the radiative forcing which controls temperature. If there is a rise in temperature as a result of more CO2 being added to the atmosphere (causing more greenhouse heating), then more water (or ice) will be evaporated into the atmosphere as a result of this temperature change. At this point, the new climate science says that since this additional water vapor was introduced as a feedback to the rise in temperature, its contribution to the greenhouse heating is not disregarded on the basis of short molecular atmospheric lifetimes. Instead, this feedback H2O greenhouse heating is what's asserted to amplify the CO2 greenhouse effect. The laws of physics, however, do not distinguish between forcing and feedback GHG molecules in the atmosphere.

    This result is what's called the CO2 "control knob" effect. Even though H2O vapor is the stronger GHG, CO2 is still believed to control the greenhouse effect. We have shown, however, that this is merely a prediction, or should I say artifact, of our new "climate science". Other artifacts include bazarre, highly anti-intuitive frozen world scenerios if all of the CO2 were removed from the atmosphere. Unfortunately, such predictions generally seem to be regarded as new discoveries rather than contradictions resulting from faulty assumptions.

    In summary, we have shown a great departure of the newly discovered climate science from the fundamental laws of physics. Not only that, but this "science" isn't even consistent within itself. It would be total folly to base important environmental decisions on this version of "climate science".

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Post currently embargoed pending sock-puppet investigation

  5. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Why not?

    Perhaps you should tell us how you think the GHE works? Check those references. An isothermal column will not have a GHE.

    Any scientific experiment depends on controlling the variables in the experiment. As has been pointed out to you, your design has all sorts of issues with that. If you want to do this outside, then you need to do it at night really. The radiation that the CO2 is interacting with (IR) comes from heat re-radiating from the surface and that being re-radiated from GHG in the atmosphere all the way up. Not easy to control. Direct measurement of the GHE in the atmosphere is a complex experimental design, not for amateurs. See this paper for instance on how to really do it.

    Using heat lamp as proxy for IR being irradiated surface allows you some control and at level which makes it measurable.

  6. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Hi scaddenp,

    Thanks for the response.

    > 1/ what you are trying to do is demonstrating the radiative properties of CO2 which is central to the GHE, but you cannot demonstrate the GHE in a simple column of gas.

    Why not? I am not sure why the warming effect of CO2 would not be seen in a local pocket of high-CO2 air.

    > 2/ Getting the experimental setup right is difficult as it is easy to overwhelm the CO2 radiative effect with other spurious influence. Have a look at this setup to make a better attempt.

    Thanks for the comment. I have seen a similar experiment done on youtube, but my problem is that CO2 is what's being added to the atmosphere, there is no additional radiation other than what is there naturally. So using a heat lamp, unless it emulates only natural radiation variations does not a represent what will happen when CO2 is in the natural atmosphere.

  7. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for your response:

    > The air-filled bag would have water vapour in it - in whatever amount is present in the air at that time. (Probably at most a few percent.)
    The CO2-filled bag would be dry - i.e. no water vapour.
    As water vapour is also a greenhouse gas, the comparison is actually between two bags filled with different amounts of two different IR-absorbing gases. My first guess is that the CO2 would be a considerably greater IR absorber, due to its greater concentration, but You'd have to do the math. It does illustrate that there are a lot of fine details that need to be tracked.

    H20 appears to be a more effective GHG by comparing at the infrared spectrums, here and here. The CO2 filled bag would have approx 1/4 the amount of normal air. I suppose I would have to do the maths, though I would have to know how effective the additional CO2 is and how effective the H2O is at creating heat. It does seem strange though that there is no real noticeable difference in the temperatures either indoors or outdoors or at night - it seems unlikely that these would always balance out.

  8. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Hi MA,

    Thanks for the response.

    > CO2's main absorption wave-length is at 12 microns. This is at the peak of the Earth's IR emissions but is an irrelevant part of sunlight. Thus a High-CO2 bag would be pretty-much transparent to sunlight as well as to the Earth's IR except at that 12 microns wavelength. This transperancy is because in the bag world, the CO2 has purged all the other GHGs and thus reducing the warming from those other GHGs. This one-step-forward-one-step-back doesn't happen under AGW. Indeed, a CO2-warmed world results in elevated water vapour, another GHG. AGW is operating day & night but the night-time temperatures will be boosted more than the day-time ones.

    I can agree that the bag purges the other gases, so doesn't experience warming from those gases, but if they have a higher heat-producing capacity than the CO2 that replaces them, why would the net effect of adding more CO2 to air be to increase temperatures? I repeated the same experiment at night (indoors) and again, there was no notcieable difference in temperatures.

    > The actions of CO2 as a GHG is not that of a simple insulation layer (although the circulations in the atmosphere are far less leaky than the leaks in any greenhouse). One (simplistic) mode of warming concerns the altitude at which the IR at 12 microns can get a clear-shot out into space. As more CO2 enters the atmosphere, the clear-shot altitude increases and the temperature at that clear-shot altitude drops. The lower the temperature, the less IR energy the clear-shot gases can shoot out into space. The bag world cannot demonstrate such AGW mechanisms.

    I agree with this too, that if CO2 has a warming effect, the effects of CO2 in the bag do not represent what will happen in the atmosphere. But why wouldn't the bag show any warming at all? I don't see why adding more CO2 to the atmosphere should effect temperatures, but adding CO2 to the bag has no effect on temperature. If there is a global or atmospheric effect of adding CO2, why isn't there a local one (in the bag)?

  9. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #27

    Wood pellets used as a climate mitigation tool would have to be the most monumentally stupid idea known to humankind, apparent to me within a nano second. There is perhaps just one exception, third world countries with limited other options.

    If Scott Pruitt approves of them, that is also instant proof it's a bad idea.

    Even if you are burning sawdust, you are at best in a carbon neutral situation. Not burning the sawdust means less carbon, which is what we really want.

    Most countries have other options such as wind power etc.

    It's going to be next to impossible to police wood pellet production, and make sure the right sources of wood are used.

    The trouble is theres just too much risk of the idea becoming "normalised" that we use existing forests, (not just a few fallen branches) and even if new forests are grown, this only creates a carbon neutral situation. The idea of new forests should be to provide a carbon sink.

  10. One Planet Only Forever at 11:28 AM on 9 July 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    nigelj,

    Your comment@2 prompted more thinking about my understanding of the best explanation for what can be observed to be going on (using abductive reasoning).

    There is some repetition in what I say below. I am still exploring different ways of expressing the same point (and I have not included 'Otter Breaks').

    The many different challenges faced when trying to get more people to be more aware and better understand climate science appear to fall under the umbrella of what I will currently choose to refer to as “Passionate Beliefs excusing unacceptable selfish behaviour - a version of Egoism” over-ruling “Thoughtful Consideration leading to Altruistic pursuits” (First time this specific wording has come to mind - all of my thoughts continue to be a work in progress).

    And the challenge is to overcome unwitting lack of awareness and understanding that is being aggravated by misleading marketing that appeals to people who are easily impressed, liking what they have developed a desire/preference for, disliking anything that appears to be contrary to their developed preferences, desires and interests. The related challenge is to over-power those who deliberately abuse misleading marketing to tempt people to become passionate resisters of becoming more aware and better understanding climate science.

    That is another way of expressing John Stuart Mill's warning about the damaging results of allowing people to 'grow up mere children'. And it is supported by (aligned with), the presentation by Susan Cain in “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking”, specifically her reference to the American transition from a Culture of Character (valuing, admiring and rewarding altruism - based on the real helpful substance of what a person does) to a Culture of Personality (valuing, admiring and rewarding egoism - based on the potentially unjustified impression a person can create) that started in the late 1800s (cultural historian Warren Susman's work identifying that America went through a culture shift from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality in the late 1800s and early 1900s).

    And the blunt understanding of the attitude developed by global leaders/winners (in business and politics) as a result of egoism/image over-powering altruism/substance was presented in the 1987 UN Report “Our Common Future”: “... We act as we do because we can get away with it ...”.

    And what is clear to me is that allowing egoism to over-power altruism is a choice. It is not the inevitable nature of humans (based on reading many books including Sean Carroll's “The Big Picture” and Guy P. Harrison's “Think” and “Good Thinking”). But it is easy to see how it can develop. And it is also easy to see how it can ruin anything, including free marketplace competitions, by encouraging the development of unjustified impressions of winning in any sub-set of humanity (any society or organization). It can also tragically ruin or set-back all of humanity in the collective pursuit of a sustainable better future for humanity.

    The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a robust emergent truth of what is required for humanity to have a future. All the SDGs need to be achieved for humanity to have a future. And climate action is a major goal; It significantly impacts so many other goals. Less urgent action to achieve the climate goals undeniably creates bigger challenges to be over-come in order to achieve most of the other SDGs. Those climate change impacts are alluded to in many discussions about discount rates used to evaluate climate action. But, of course, they are a complexity that is not included in game theory models (or the thinking of many economists).

    With the above being established, I fully support the potential for the free action of people in an open market to effectively identify and reward deserving winners. But there are restrictions/limits on good results developing in such a system. Those limits are not addressed by using a lower discount rate (or even by using a zero discount rate). Most important is the consequences of any of the participants in the system 'growing up mere children' (John Stuart Mill's warning), and being able to get away with having a competitive advantage by behaving less ethically, less helpful (or actually harmful). Those actions in pursuit of private interests are detrimental to the development of a sustainable better future for humanity (they act as they want to because they expect to get away with it, at least for a little while, for as long as they can get away with).

    The article you linked to was an easy breezy read, helped along by 'breaks for Otter time'. But in spite of its length, the closest it came to saying that 'it is unacceptable for a portion of the current generation to do something that is harmful to the future generations no matter how much benefit they think they will personally get' was near the end with the quote from “... Frank Partnoy, a professor of law and finance at the University of San Diego, [who] makes the right point: “Ultimately, we can’t rely on only numbers — we have to make really hard value judgments,” Dr. Partnoy said. “We should stop pretending this is a science and admit it is an art and talk about this in terms of ethics and fairness, not what we can observe in the markets.””

    For me, that quote would have led to the conclusion I continue to try to seek out the best way to explain: It is simply unacceptable (ethically unfair) for any portion of humanity to benefit by creating negative consequences Others have to deal with. Instead of that conclusion, the author left it as if even a zero discount rate is OK (which I showed to be unacceptable by the simple person-to-person presentation I provided at the end of my comment @1).

    A particularly egregious action is allowing people to get away with passion triggering misleading marketing appeals to selfishness (like greed or intolerance or laziness). Those appeals tempt people to develop harmful egoist attitudes excusing unjustified beliefs in defence and support of unacceptable actions.

    An example of that type of misleading marketing is attempts to claim that it is appropriate to excuse harmful behaviour by doing a 'balanced evaluation' of the perceived lost opportunity if the harmful behaviour is not allowed, with the negative consequences Others will likely suffer if the harmful actions are allowed (all from the likely to be biased perspective of the ones wanting to benefit from the activity - overstating the lost opportunity, understating the negative impacts on others).

    And a more egregious version of that unacceptable type of evaluation is to discount the future costs when performing such an already inexcusable attempt to justify something undeniably unacceptable.
    I admit that 'correcting what has developed is a significant challenge'. But as an engineer I learned that successful problem solving required identifying what the real problem was. And I encountered many people who did not like to hear what the problem was and the actions/corrections required. They wanted to believe that something 'more suited to their interests' would suffice. And some of them actively sought out someone who would tell them what they wanted to hear. And if they thought they found something supporting what they wanted to believe (even though they were wrong because of confirmation bias) they became even more difficult to deal with, more difficult to correct.

    And that comes full circle to the challenges of raising public awareness and understanding regarding climate science. The reality of the way that people develop their thinking and desires in 'competition to appear to be a winner with popularity and profitability as justifications for the acceptability of something' is a major part of why it is so difficult to get broad acceptance of climate science. The understood properly identified problem and the required corrections are contrary to the developed interests of the people who need to be corrected. And the most harmful members of the population are very powerful due to the popularity and profitability of their developed interests. And those harmful people can get support from people who are easily impressed by passion triggering misleading marketing. And the result is unsustainable harmful development of impressions of winning in the competitions for popularity and profitability.

    Ultimately, humanity's only viable future is a robust diversity of humanity fitting as sustainable parts of the robust diversity of life on this, or any other amazing planet. Artificial attempts to correct for unsustainable human activity are destined to fail. Climate science, and the developed resistance to its acceptance and identified corrective action for the benefit of the future of humanity, has exposed how unjustified, deeply flawed and ultimately unsustainable many of the supposedly most advanced aspects of humanity actually are. It has exposed that the games people have been playing have developed unsustainable activities that are creating harmful consequences for the future of humanity.

    The answer appears to be: Activities that are not sustainable developments for the future of humanity must not be allowed to compete. Making that happen is the challenge that needs to be solved for humanity to have a future.

    Climate science needs to carry on improving the awareness and understanding in its field. And it may help to have each summary of climate change impacts to open and conclude with something like: It is simply unacceptable (ethically unfair) for any portion of humanity to benefit by creating negative consequences Others have to deal with.

    The leaders/winners in the games people play need to be held accountable for the results, with climate science helping to expose/explain how the accounting needs to be done, no more excuses, especially not the excuse that harming future generations is OK because: they will develop brilliant solutions to the problems that were created, or they will be super rich - because that is how economics always work out, or they cannot get even with the ones who harmed them. The first two are likely to be poor excuses. The last one is more likely to be the reality.

  11. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Another point about Tristan/jesscars experiment that has only occurred to me reading the later comments. In the orignal description, the comparison is between a bag filled with normal air, and a bag filled with CO2.

    • The air-filled bag would have water vapour in it - in whatever amount is present in the air at that time. (Probably at most a few percent.)
    • The CO2-filled bag would be dry - i.e. no water vapour.

    As water vapour is also a greenhouse gas, the comparison is actually between two bags filled with different amounts of two different IR-absorbing gases. My first guess is that the CO2 would be a considerably greater IR absorber, due to its greater concentration, but You'd have to do the math. It does illustrate that there are a lot of fine details that need to be tracked.

    In experimental design, you really have to make sure that the variable of interest is indeed the main variable.

  12. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    Ted Franklin@ said: "The commons in England was destroyed by a series of Enclosure Acts enacted at the behest of powerful interests, not by overuse by the peasants."  Oh, so I guess that makes it OK?  If there were just a few 'powerful interests', why didn't the commons speak up for itself and fight them off?  Surely that was simpler that fighting the entire peasant class.  You've presented an argument, and provided evidence that clearly works against it.  Way to not make your point.

  13. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    Ted Franklin @5, interesting history. I agree privatisation has been used as a way to resolve 'some' tragedy of the commons issues, but this would be unlikely and unacceptable if applied to the oceans and atmosphere or conservation land. We would have to fight anyone suggesting such things.

    The tragedy of the commons issue has a more modern economic meaning as well, and its based on empirical observations of how people treat the public realm, so I think it does have a scientific basis.

    From wikipedia "The tragedy of the commons is a term used in social science to describe a situation in a shared-resource system where individual users acting independently according to their own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting or spoiling that resource through their collective action." So I would say physical assets like the land, rivers, oceans and atmosphere can become dumping grounds for waste, whether originating with the "peasantry" or corporate interests.

    Competitive market forces and personal goodwill do not resolve this issue for various pretty obvious reasons, and the normal solutions have included court processes suing for damages based around the fact we all owe as duty of care, taxes, or environmental legislation perhaps with either fines or criminal penalties, and other processes.

    However make no mistake powerful people, political ideologues and people with vested interests have a long history of fighting all of these solutions. And this is the very problem we have with the climate issue. I once read a history of attempts by lobby groups to undermine environmental legislation and its mind boggling.

    Personally I think court processes are the worst way of resolving tragedy of the commons issues and envirnmental issues generally,  as vast resources are wasted on lawyers, it takes forever, and its hard for small interests to take on the corporates, so regulatory and standards systems with penalties are better where possible.

     

  14. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    I would emphasis what others are saying here:

    1/ what you are trying to do is demonstrating the radiative properties of CO2 which is central to the GHE, but you cannot demonstrate the GHE in a simple column of gas.

    2/ Getting the experimental setup right is difficult as it is easy to overwhelm the CO2 radiative effect with other spurious influence. Have a look at this setup to make a better attempt.

    Spend some time looking at the basic mechanics of how the GHE really works. Eg here or Science of Doom It's a lot more subtle in the full mechanism than a naive approach would expect. I would throughly recommend Wearts history of discovery of the global warming for its insight into the how experiments have helped and hindered the development of the science.

  15. Ted Franklin at 07:37 AM on 9 July 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    The scientific validity of this application of game theory is only as sound as the decidedly political "Tragedy of the Commons" premise on which it is based.  For a sophisticated critique of the unscientific nature of this premise, I recommend the article by Ian Angus entitled "The Myth of the Tragedy of the Commons".  https://mronline.org/2008/08/25/the-myth-of-the-tragedy-of-the-commons/  It should be of interest to those with a scientific bent that Garrett Hardin offered no evidence to support his thesis about the causes of the historical destruction of the commons.  The commons in England was destroyed by a series of Enclosure Acts enacted at the behest of powerful interests, not by overuse by the peasants.  Beware of "science" that assumes facts about human nature that conveniently align with the interests of the powerful in any given era.  Slavery was justified by the science of racial superiority.  Now game theory explains the failure of our present economic system to protect the Earth.  The powers that be are always aided by pseudo-science that makes claims about the natural order of things, how "people" behave or what they are capable of.  Scientific skepticism should enable us to sniff out the unproven ideologically-based premises at work.

  16. One Planet Only Forever at 04:21 AM on 9 July 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    More climate science related reading regarding discount rates, in The Economist.

    That 'less breezy' more 'Yawn Inducing' item highlights other reasons that many evaluations regarding climate change are underestimating the harm being done. But it also fails to clearly bluntly make the point I believe undeniably needs to be made: It is simply unacceptable for any portion of humanity to benefit by creating negative consequences Others have to deal with.

  17. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    jesscars @337,

    CO2's main absorption wave-length is at 12 microns. This is at the peak of the Earth's IR emissions but is an irrelevant part of sunlight. Thus a High-CO2 bag would be pretty-much transparent to sunlight as well as to the Earth's IR except at that 12 microns wavelength.  This transperancy is because in the bag world, the CO2 has purged all the other GHGs and thus reducing the warming from those other GHGs. This one-step-forward-one-step-back doesn't happen under AGW. Indeed, a CO2-warmed world results in elevated water vapour, another GHG. AGW is operating day & night but the night-time temperatures will be boosted more than the day-time ones.

    The actions of CO2 as a GHG is not that of a simple insulation layer (although the circulations in the atmosphere are far less leaky than the leaks in any greenhouse). One (simplistic) mode of warming concerns the altitude at which the IR at 12 microns can get a clear-shot out into space. As more CO2 enters the atmosphere, the clear-shot altitude increases and the temperature at that clear-shot altitude drops. The lower the temperature, the less IR energy the clear-shot gases can shoot out into space. The bag world cannot demonstrate such AGW mechanisms.

    One mechanism (the significnt one, we are told) concerns the breadth of the 12-micron band. At the flanks, only whizzy-whizzing CO2 molecules can catch the IR and as CO2 levels increase, so the whizzy-whizzing CO2 becomes denser & the flanks expand. This is the logorithmic 1ºC of warming for double CO2 (without feedbacks). With the High-CO2 bag, there are perhaps 10X doublings? and if we run with this back-of-fag-packet calculation, that would suggest the High-CO2 bag would see 10X 1ºC warming while the Atmosphere bag would have the planet's GHG warming which is usually reckoned to be about 30ºC. This suggests that the extra warming from the High-CO2 bag would not compensate for the GHG warming purged relative to the Atmosphere bag. Mind, the humidity will play a big big part in any such calculation.

    And under the bag? was simply to mirror the atmosphere being above the AGW-warmed surface. In the bag? would do as well if the position of the thermometer can be precise.

    Hope this blather has addressed your queries.

  18. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for your response. 

    >When the CO2 is released from the spritzer, the gas will come out somewhat cooled, so that may explain the lower CO2 temperature in the bag. How good an insulator is the plastic, that may impact how easily any temperature difference due to this corrects?

    The temperature did drop immediately (by about 1 degree) as you suggested as the CO2 comes out colder. I monitored the two bags for probably an hour or so so I imagine that would have corrected - also, when I took them outside, the temperatures of each rose by about 5 degrees, so I assume this would not have happened if the bags were good insulators.

    >Next, although CO2 absorbs infrared, most of that absorption in the atmosphere takes 100's to 1000's of meters to be 100%. How much will be absorbed over inches?

    Do you mean that it takes 100s to 1000s of meters at present CO2 levels to absorb all of the radiation available to it? I don't think this should matter. I am simply increasing the amount of CO2 in one particular point which will have a given amount of radiation, this should theoretically have a temparature effect (if the mechanism is as simple as add more CO2, absorb more radiation, get more heat).

    > Next, what is the transmissivity of the plastic - how much radiation passes through the bag? The bags may be transparent to visible light (very high transmissivity) but most materials behave very differently for infrared light. Most naturally occuring materials have extremely low transmissivity to infrared. You would need to research the properties of the plastic involved. Otherwise you are effectively carrying out the experiment with an opaque (to infrared) bag.

    Here is the infrared spectrum of polyethylene:
    https://azom.com/images/Article_Images/ImageForArticle_12386(1).jpg

    As you can see, here:
    https://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cgi?Spec=C124389&Index=1&Type=IR
    The infrared spectrum of CO2 is different, there may be some overlap, but the bulk of what CO2 absorbs should pass thorugh the polyethylene plastic.

    > The greenhouse effect depends on the behaviour of the entiure atmosphere over vertical distances of many kilometers. Extra absorption by CO2 at the surface is only a small part of any change in the GH effect. The big changes involve how much emission by CO2 changes at high altitude - 10 km or so. It is very hard to model the GH effect with small, surface based setups.

    I can see that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere would have an overall effect if CO2 causes temperature to change. For example, if CO2's primary source of heat-producing radiation is terrestrial IR, and you add more CO2 to the atmosphere generally, the CO2 might absorb more of the IR closer to the Earth's surface, leaving less to be absorbed at higher altitudes, so temperatures might be warmer at low altitudes and cooler at high altitudes (at, say, 10 km up). But this is a prediction of how the atmosphere would respond given that CO2 has this effect. It's jumping the gun because I'm trying to prove the effect to begin with. I don't see why a pocket of air with more CO2 (as in the experiment) would not generate any noticable heat difference. The radiation available to it is the same, you are simply adding more CO2, which should theoretically result in a higher temperature locally (just as if you added CO2 at any particular point in the atmosphere, you should generate a higher temperature locally).

    Thanks for your response,

    Jessica

  19. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Hi MA,

    FYI, I am repeating the study again, at night, as you suggested. So far there is no noticeable difference.

    Thanks for the advice,

    Jessica

  20. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Hi MA and Bob,

    Thanks for your responses re. my "plastic bag" study.

    I have a few follow-up questions:

    MA:

    I agree with the general point that there is no calibration. It is backyard science - I did it to try to understand what the effect is at all, not to measure it accurately.

    > However, to expect the High-CO2 bag to absorb more radiation is asking a bit much. ... while sunlight-in & IR-out will balance over a 24-hour period, sunlight operates for a shorter time than IR so at midday the sunlight could be four-times more powerful than the IR.

    Let me clarify that what you're saying here is that the other gases are better absorbers of sunlight, but CO2 is a better absorbed of terrestrial IR. Does this mean that you believe that the effect of adding CO2 would be a negative effect on temperature in the day and a positive effect at night?

    > While the experiment isn't ever going to properly reproduce the mechanisms that result from higher CO2 in the atmosphere, as a measure of CO2 absorbtion of IR, the experiment would have a better chance if conducted at night with the thermometers under the bags.

    Can you please explain why the effect would be different with the CO2 in the atmosphere as opposed to in the bag? Is there more to it than simply more CO2 content in the air in a specific location? Are there additional macro-effects whe the CO2 is in the atmosphere that the bag experiment would not be able to emulate?

    Also, please clarify "under the bag", not "in the bag"?

    Bob:

    Would the fact that both thermometers are enclosed in the bag act as a control?

    If there is a difference to the thermometer reading itself, due to it's being enclosed in CO2 rather than air, how significant do you think that would be? I.e. How many degrees influence?

    Also, if there is an influence, isn't it highly unlikley that it would be exactly equal to the influence that the CO2 is having on warming the bag, resulting in a net zero reading?

    Thanks for taking the time to return your answers.

    Regards,

    Jessica

    P.S. If someone caould confirm what the expected temperature change per increased unit of ppm of CO2 (or "doubling of CO2") is, that would be great. Thankyou.

  21. Glenn Tamblyn at 18:30 PM on 8 July 2018
    Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Tristan, adding some points.

    When the CO2 is released from the spritzer, the gas will come out somewhat cooled, so that may explain the lower CO2 temperature in the bag. How good an insulator is the plastic, that may impact how easily any temperature difference due to this corrects?

    Better would be to set up the entire setup outside in the same environment, and take measurements before you add any gas. Then look at how the temperatures change immediately after you add the gases. Then monitor how they change subsequently after that.

    Next, although CO2 absorbs infrared, most of that absorption in the atmosphere takes 100's to 1000's of meters to be 100%. How much will be absorbed over inches?

    Next, what is the transmissivity of the plastic - how much radiation passes through the bag? The bags may be transparent to visible light (very high transmissivity) but most materials behave very differently for infrared light. Most naturally occuring materials have extremely low transmissivity to infrared. You would need to research the properties of the plastic involved. Otherwise you are effectively carrying out the experiment with an opaque (to infrared) bag.

    The greenhouse effect depends on the behaviour of the entiure atmosphere over vertical distances of many kilometers. Extra absorption by CO2 at the surface is only a small part of any change in the GH effect. The big changes involve how much emission by CO2 changes at high altitude - 10 km or so. It is very hard to model the GH effect with small, surface based setups.

  22. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    Easy to read article on climate change and discount rates here. Have to agree its very hard to see how a high interest rate is justified, and how we can morally restrict our economic and social evaluation to just this generation.

  23. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Thanks a ton MA And Bob. I appreciate it. I don't have the physics comprehension to address queries regarding that aspect of climate change.

    Hopefully my friend pops in herself if she has any follow-ups to your repsonses.

  24. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    Regarding the tragey of the commons issue, the good news is societies do want to implement renewable electricity. Opinion polls by Pew research and others show quite good public support, even although people appreciate there will be costs.

    What has slowed the process down is not so much lack of reasonable agreement on cooperation but 1) the denialist campaign has persuaded a significant minority to be obstructive,  and 2) money in politics and political campaigns: He who pays the money calls the tune.

    And 3) we have some powerful people dedictated to maintaining the curent situation where they have prospered and gained personal status, and sadly many of these people fail to see the opportunities of a renewable energy based economy, and seem to have little regard for the wider intrests of society and future generations of people, other than their own immediate family. This will only change with push back from society as a whole.

    But despite this, lower costs of wind and solar power are now gaining an unstoppable momentum anyway. This will be hard to resist, as its partly due to free market forces, the very thing the climate denialists tend to value. So we see the White House making well known absurd decisions to try to stop the use of renewable electricity and "bring back coal",  things that conflict completely with their alleged  economic ideology of free markets. If it wasn't so serious, it would be hilarious.

    You then come to our personal carbon footprints, and issues like electric cars, and reducing use of concrete, and energy inefficient appliances and so on. The tragedy of the commons would suggest we "should"cooperate for the public good, however this isn't happening, except for a few people and relatively small things like led lightbulbs.

    The problem is nobody wants to make lifestyle changes, unless everyone does, because its not going to make much difference to the climate for just one person to do something,  and its not in their personal self interest, so because everyone doesn't make changes, nobody does. The only way to practically resolve this impass is a carbon fee and dividend scheme that creates pressure for everyone to change more or less in unison.

    The Ozone issue was a relatively simple issue compared to climate change, and didn't have such a concerted pushback from industry. I think the slower ressponse with climate change is just thhe scale and complexity of the issue.

    I have always said it might take an abrupt climate change to galvanise people. Hopefully it doesn't require this, but I'm reminded of the way governments only moved to clean up the Thames River in London when the stench was so vile that it reached the Houses of Parliament, and MP's held handkerchiefs to their noses and vomited.

  25. Getting involved with Climate Science via crowdfunding and crowdsourcing

    Heads-Up: The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) is currently running its summer fund raiser where its trustee Charles Zeller is matching all donations up to $50K. If you'd like to contribute, you can do so via their donation page.

  26. One Planet Only Forever at 02:36 AM on 8 July 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    This updated application of game theory is not a new understanding for policy makers regarding climate science and the required corrections of what has developed.

    The fundamental understanding of the problem was clearly presented in the 1987 UN Report “Our Common Future”:
    “25. Many present efforts to guard and maintain human progress, to meet human needs, and to realize human ambitions are simply unsustainable - in both the rich and poor nations. They draw too heavily, too quickly, on already overdrawn environmental resource accounts to be affordable far into the future without bankrupting those accounts. They may show profit on the balance sheets of our generation, but our children will inherit the losses. We borrow environmental capital from future generations with no intention or prospect of repaying. They may damn us for our spendthrift ways, but they can never collect on our debt to them. We act as we do because we can get away with it: future generations do not vote; they have no political or financial power; they cannot challenge our decisions.
    26. But the results of the present profligacy are rapidly closing the options for future generations. Most of today's decision makers will be dead before the planet feels; the heavier effects of acid precipitation, global warming, ozone depletion, or widespread desertification and species loss. Most of the young voters of today will still be alive. In the Commission's hearings it was the young, those who have the most to lose, who were the harshest critics of the planet's present management.”

    And that understanding can be understood to be explaining the developed result of the failure of the winners of the competitions among humans for wealth and power to ensure that all members of humanity are well educated about what really matters, about how to help develop sustainable improvements for all of humanity far into the future.

    John Stuart Mill included a warning in “On Liberty”.
    “If society lets a considerable number of its members grow up mere children, incapable of being acted on by rational consideration of distant motives, society has itself to blame for the consequences.”

    So the problem is not that policy-makers are not well aware of what is going on. The problem is that the socioeconomic-political system has encouraged people to be more egoist than altruist. Competition to appear to be better off measured by materialist consumption, with popularity and profitability being deemed to be proof of acceptability, can completely ignore the ethical need to responsibly act to be helpful to the future generations understanding the limitations of the system (the system undeniably being this, or any other, amazing planet that humanity should be striving to sustainably enjoy thriving on for hundreds of millions of years).

    A related developed problem is the incorrect thinking of economists. They are incorrect in their evaluation of the acceptability of a portion of the current generation of humanity continuing to try to benefit from activities that are undeniably creating negative consequences for others, particularly the harm done to future generations by:

    • reducing the ability of future generations to benefit from non-renewable ancient buried hydrocarbons (developing sustainable ways to use them, or having them available for an emergency)
    • the environmental degradation caused by current day actions in pursuit of benefit from burning up that resource
    • the challenges and costs of the climate change impacts of burning fossil fuels

    Economists evaluating the acceptability of the burning of fossil fuels pretend that Others negatively impacted by the activity are not actually Others. They pretend that all of the impacts are experienced by the same person or group. They need to do that to justify an evaluation that balances the negative impacts with the positive impacts.

    And most economists perform even less correct evaluations by 'discounting' the future negative impacts. Even Stern did that in his evaluation which used a lower discount rate than Nordhaus, but still balanced the future negatives with the current day positives.

    That type of evaluation is only valid if the same person or group of people will experience all of the positives and negatives. When a business or individual wants to compare optional actions it is appropriate for them to use discounting of future costs or benefits to determine the best option, for them. However, corporations and individual investors should only compare options ethically/altruistically. They should only be considering the options that do not create negative consequences for Others.

    Governments need to do a different evaluation (governments should not simply be run like businesses). And detailed comparisons of the climate change economic evaluations like “The Choice of Discount Rate for Climate Change Policy Evaluation” by Lawrence H. Goulder and Roberton C. Williams III perpetuate the misunderstanding by only comparing the business magnitude discount used by the likes of Nordhaus to the lower rate used by Stern.

    The power of the Stern evaluation was not that it used a discount rate 'more appropriate for government evaluation' than the higher business-style discount rate used by Nordhuas. The Stern evaluation showed that even though it is simply unacceptable for the current generation to be negatively impacting the future generations, even an evaluation that balanced discounted future negatives with current day positives proved the unacceptability of what was going on.

    Governments, and everyone in the chain of support for policy making, must ethically strive to guide the development of a sustainable better future for their regions in ways that do not negatively affect any other region. That cannot be done if future negatives can be discounted or be excused because of the 'amount of benefit (perception of prosperity) obtained today that would have to be given up to not be creating those negative future consequences'. Without clear proof, not some made-up model analysis results, that what is beneficial today will continue to be a benefit into the distant future, there is no justification for leadership failing to aggressively acting to end the damaging ultimately unsustainable activity.

    Many economists fail to incorporate the reality that unsustainable pursuits of benefit will not last as future benefits in their evaluations. Unsustainable activity may be regionally temporarily popular and profitable. But that is only a temporary perception of prosperity. As long as new unsustainable developments can develop 'All is Good', until it inevitably isn't. Tragically, the ones who enjoy 'The Good Time' the most are seldom the ones to suffer severely in the inevitable damaging future reality. And when the reality that too much unsustainable damaging activity is occurring, it is already 'Too Late'. The popularity and profitability of the damaging undeniably unsustainable activity resists being corrected. And it can result in understandably undeserving winners getting significant power to do even more damage to the future of humanity, regressing progress that humanity had been making, before the unacceptability of their unjustifiable but popular false advertising loses its ability to significantly influence/impress people.

    Policy makers have little excuse to be unaware of all of this. Their only excuse is to claim that leading more responsibly would be less popular and less profitable. And that is a poor excuse, not a rational justification. The fact that so many of them continue to pretend that they can excuse 'what they understand is harmful to the future generations of humanity' is proof of the damaging power of the developed socioeconomic-political systems to harm the future of humanity (and the debilitating ability of false advertising appeals to basic emotional instinctive desires to over-power human thoughtful consideration).

    The 'legality' of false advertising in politics, the lack of consequences for failing to most fully inform everyone and failing to help everyone better understand what is really going on and what corrections are required to develop a sustainable better future for humanity (including developing truly sustainable perceptions of prosperity) is the real problem. It is the reason so many policy makers choose to be unreasonable. It is the reason so many people 'grow up mere children' to the detriment of the future of humanity.

    All of this has been unwittingly exposed by climate science. Many other unsustainable harmful developments have occurred. But climate science has undeniably exposed the way that the developed socioeconomic-political systems have tragically encouraged more people to choose to become competitive egoist rather than collaborative altruists, to the undeniable detriment of the future of humanity, all for the benefit of a portion of the current population.

    The socioeconomic-political systems that like balancing the benefits that a portion of current day humanity gets from burning fossil fuels with the negative consequences that Others have to try to live/deal with need to be corrected. The unacceptability does not need modifications of complex game-theory modelling in order to be understood. It is common sense that no one can justify doing something that harms another person by balancing 'the benefit they think they get' with 'the harm they think they are doing'. And it is even less acceptable to 'discount' the harm being done to the other person when evaluating the acceptability of a choice of action.

  27. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    I will try to add to MA Rodger's commentary.

    Tristan:

    Keep i mind that the only thing that the thermometer tells you is the temperature of the thermometer. Although this may seem a triviality, it is essential to start with this understanding. The next stage in trying to use the thermometer for any practical purpose is to try to get the temperature of the thermometer to match the temperature of the thing you are really interested in. In your experiment, you are interested in the gas inside the bag (comparing air-filled vs. CO2).

    A good way to think of the behaviour between the thermometer and its surroundings is to describe the energy balance of the thermometer. What are all the energy flows in and out of the thermometer, and under what conditions will the temperature of the thermometer match the gas in the bag?

    The thermometer can have three methods of energy exchange with its surroundings:

    1. Radiation. It can absorb visible (solar) radiation, absorb IR radiation, and emit IR radiation. The end result can be either a net gain or a net loss, or zero if all radiation terms balance.
    2. Exchange of thermal energy with its surroundings. If warmer than its surroundings, the thermometer will lose heat. If colder, it will gain heat. The goal is to get this term to zero, to match the gas in the bag.
    3. Loss of energy through evaporation. Changing liquid water to gas requires energy (latent heat of vaporization). That energy has to come from somewhere, and it will tend to cool the thermometer (energy loss). This is easily avoided by keeping the thermometer dry.... keeping it wet turns it into a psychrometer.

    So, in your experiment, you want terms 2 and 3 to equal zero to make sure you have the thermometer at the same temperature as the gas in the bag. This only happens if the radiation term is also zero.

    If the radiation term is positive, and the evaporation term is zero, then the positive radiation input will make the thermometer warmer than its surroundings. It will heat up until the radiation input is exactly matched by the thermal loss (energy moving from warm thermometer to cooler gas).

    Now, how can you get the radiation term to zero when your goal is to see the effect of increased absorption due to CO2? If the CO2-filled bag is absorbing IR radiation in greater quantities than the air-filled bag, then initially it will warm, but after it has warmed the bag/thermometer will also be emitting more IR - which you hope will balance the extra absorbed IR.

    There are two catches to this:

    1. The bag also has an energy balance. It's really the bag absorbing more IR that you want to detect, so you need to double-up on the energy balance description, tracking both the thermometer and the bag.
    2. The radiation term also includes absorption of sunlight (visible light). In order to isolate the IR effects, you need to make sure that the two bags/thermometers are not absorbing different amounts of solar radiation. Any solar absorption messes up the energy balance, creating an error (higher temperature) in the thermometer, but at least if the two bags are exactly the same, the error will be the same in both and you can still make a comparison.

    Catch #2 is the experiment-killer. You said you performed this out "in the sun". You haven't mentioned a time of day or location, but direct beam solar radiation usually approaches 1000 W/m2 on a nice clear day, and very slight differences in absorbed solar radiation will overwhelm the IR effect you want to see (maybe 1 W/m2?). My guess would be slight differences in the angle of the thermometers, or reflectivity of the system. Perhaps the plastic bag surface reflects a bit of sunlight at certain angles, so slight differences in shape or orientation alter the amount of solar radiation hitting the thermometer.

    Controlling for solar radiation error is a critical factor for weather observations of air temperature. Thermometers are usually housed in a Stevenson Screen or other radiation shield. They are also typically well-ventilated (strong air circulation).

    You can't "well-ventialte" the air and CO2 in your bags, because that defeats the purpose of getting the elevated CO2 to absorb IR. That leaves a very large factor of solar radiation error, which makes it difficult in your experimental setup to know if you are looking at an IR effect. (You are most likely not.)

  28. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Tristan @331,

    I'll hav a bash at an explanation for you.

    If we ignore problems of calibration & measurement errors (hearing of the shading of one of the samples is a bit of a worry), the flaws in the as-described experiment are surely quite profound.

    If we consider that a bag of gas in a transparent (to visible light) plastic bag will be heated through radiative transfer and thus measuring its temperture will give some indication of that radiative transfer, we are this comparing an Atmosphere bag heated both by sunlight plus terrestrial IR with a CO2 bag containing predominantly CO2. If one bag absorbs more radiation than the other, if the experiment is sensitive enough to show the effect, the more absorption would therefore register a higher temperature.

    However, to expect the High-CO2 bag to absorb more radiation is asking a bit much. The sunlight will be warming the oxygen/ozone and any water vapour in the Atmosphere bag. And additionally terrestrial IR will also be warming the atmosphere's CO2, CH4, N2O and again any water vapour in the Atmosphere bag. With the CO2 having replaced pretty-much all these absorbing gases and with all but a small part of sunlight absorbed by CO2, the comparison is asking whether the narrow CO2 IR absorption band when saturated with CO2 will absorb more or less than the atmospheric gases. In full sunlight, I would be surprised if CO2 was that absorbent. This graphic (usually 2 clicks to 'download your attachment') gives some indication of the absorbtion of various atmospheric gases. (I'd doubt whether the scales allow the various areas to be totted up.) But note that, while sunlight-in & IR-out will balance over a 24-hour period, sunlight operates for a shorter time than IR so at midday the sunlight could be four-times more powerful than the IR.

    While the experiment isn't ever going to properly reproduce the mechanisms that result from higher CO2 in the atmosphere, as a measure of CO2 absorbtion of IR, the experiment would have a better chance if conducted at night with the thermometers under the bags.

  29. 10th run of Denial101x starts on July 10!

    aemilius89 @3

    Thanks for your feedback - happy to read that you liked our MOOC!

    I don't have a defnite answer to your question but at a guess, Denial101x is fareing as well (or bad!) as many other MOOCs where the average completion rate is just a fairly low percentage of around 5% according to various articles a quick Google-search brings up. It also depends on how you define "complete" as it's quite possible for students to work through the material like watching the videos or reading forum threads while never really leaving a trace as far as surveys, quizzes or other activities counting towards completing a course goes. Even participants who just poke around a bit, watch some of the videos or read some of the materials will - hopefully - learn something, which is also important as far as I'm concerned.

  30. Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

    Dcrickett, thank's for the comments. I agree about exports.

    I will support carbon fee and dividend (all given to consumers) because it's the only thing likely to get enough political support in America, and its at least a good scheme.

    However I still have some doubts about how the carbon fee is ideally best spent / handed back, and whether it can totally substitute for regulations, but as I said different countries can and probably will fine tune the scheme. I have just done a google search, and my views are not unique. I think you guys are wrong to dismiss subsidies in principle, or philosophically.

    Some interesting debate on J Hansens carbon fee and dividend scheme. I I just found this with a random search, and I don't support all that's written there.

  31. Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

    #9 John S ― Your points are all well taken. In particular, regarding embedded carbon emissions.

    nigelj ― Like others, I value your thoughts, how you express them, and the regularity of your offerings. This time I disagree heartily… but respectful disagreement and debate are famously effective.

    Separately, there is another (and major) advantage to a wisely implemented US carbon tax (I prefer to call it a "tax" instead of some euphemism). It has to do with worldwide CO₂ emissions. Refund the carbon tax embedded in US exports. Apply this to imports, in proportion to what the foreign exporter's country has NOT  CO₂-taxed and hence is NOT embedded in the cost of his product. In view of the massive imports entering the US, foreign countries would certainly find themselves loath to see money they could collect as revenue ending up in the US Treasury and not in their own.

    Thus (shades of Iosev Jughashvili!), we could have "Control of Global Warming in One Country!"

  32. Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

    John S @9, ok I accept adding subsidies for electric cars wasn't a great idea. I'm planning on purchasing one fairly soon, and perhaps this was subconsciously colouring my view.

    Just to be clear on my position: I completely 100% support carbon 'fee' and dividend, and have done for some considerable time, more or less for the reasons you have outlined, and it was just the details of how it is implemented that concerned me on whether all or some of the levy should go into the dividend.

    But I would add these points to think about:

    Theres also the psychological issue with electric cars. Carbon fee and 100% dividend makes them pretty viable if you do the maths, but who does the maths? I suspect electric cars will need to be more competitively priced to really take off.

    Maybe its best to keep the carbon fee and dividend scheme simple and with a 100% dividend for practical and political viability purposes. But it could also be a decision for individual countries, and in America a purist scheme would probably be the only politically acceptable thing, but Alberta in Canada appears to have a scheme that uses part of the levy to fund a range of projects, and perhaps this is what the population wanted?

    And heres a problem for you. Electric cars rely on a network of recharging stations, and the economics of recharging stations rely on a significant volume of electric cars, so implementation of recharging stations has sometimes been slow. A carbon levy would resolve this over time, but I suggest it would be a slow process. It still seems it would need some form of subsidy, perhaps funded in another way other than from the carbon levy?

    I'm aware of the danger of governments subsidising things and picking winners, however there's a pretty obvious economic case sometimes, provided the decisions are kept out of the hands of politicians as such, and are made by some state agency, and are based on recognised market failures. We subsidise science research for example, and the film industry to attract projects to our country, and it has worked well. I confess I'm a bit of an "economic pragmatist".

    Much of the wind power in the UK and Europe has been funded with subsidies. I doubt it would have been built without something like this. However the base prices of wind and solar power have dropped so much I suppose subsidies are not as necessary now, and a carbon levy and dividend could possibly replace this. It would however need to be carefully analysed.

  33. 10th run of Denial101x starts on July 10!

    What are the amount of students that actually have completed the course? I have done the course and completed it and I noticed that the people starting the course where a lot more than those completing it. Which is a whole lot more important than the people who started it. 

    The course btw was awesome and I learned what I wanted to learn from it.

  34. Animal agriculture and eating meat are the biggest causes of global warming

    @ wideEyedPupil #4: Your points remain unchallenged. I read thru the ZCA report (linked HERE), and I was unable to find any statement that substantiates your text from #4: "The Zero Carbon Australia Land Use Report found that a proper and full accounting of GHG emissions pegs Land Use at 55% of emissions using 20 year GWP". In fact, when I read the summary to this report in the 1st paragraph of the site linked above, I read the following text: "The UNFCCC National Inventory Report suggests that sources of land use emissions, such as land clearing for agriculture and enteric (intestinal) fermentation from digestive processes in livestock, contribute 15% of national emissions." If I am reading this correctly, this seems to disagree with your statement. In addition, I glossed over the body of the whole ZCA report, and was not able to find any text indicating that land-use & agriculture accounts for "55% of emissions". The ZCA report link you provided in #5 no longer works. Could you provide an updated link with location of page to back up your "55% of emissions" text. Thank you very much!

  35. Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

    Nigelj: I usually enjoy your (admirably frequent) comments and find myself in agreement with you 90% of the time. On this occasion, Vector@2 was justified in saying you are missing the point about carbon fee and dividend. I’ll try to explain it. You noted people could spend the dividend on petrol and that would cancel the point of the scheme and that problem could be resolved by using part of the revenue to subsidize electric cars (EV’s).
    But the point of the scheme goes way beyond end consumers buying petrol. It would affect every nook and cranny of the economy. And not returning all the revenue to citizens would undermine long-term political viability. As an illustration of the latter problem, here in Ontario we have a new government that says the first thing it will do is scrap the Cap-and-Trade scheme that was brought in by the previous government. Alberta, in fact the whole country, may soon face the same as there are opposition leaders who say they will “axe-the-tax” (their words). I believe a carbon tax in Australia was rescinded.
    Do I even have to ask why a carbon tax is almost universally unpopular? (Hint: it includes the word “tax”). To further make this point, let me give you my perspective. Like many city dwellers, I don’t even own a car and rent an apartment. These are my preferences; but, in any case, I can’t afford to buy a house, or run a car, on my meagre retirement income. So how do you think I would feel about my tax dollars subsidizing much more affluent individuals who can afford EV’s or put solar panels on their lovely big houses? It’s a reverse Robin Hood. Plus, EV’s don’t necessarily help in areas where the grid is high carbon and solar panels don’t in areas where the grid is low carbon (like here in Ontario).
    In the words of George Shultz, “it’s not a tax, if the government doesn’t keep the money”. You’re wrong to suggest that ear-marking the funds for specified green projects will satisfy a lot of people. It doesn’t alter the fact that the government is still making the decision about what to spend the money on and a lot of us simply don’t trust it to make sensible decisions (in this area), and with good reasons, which are obvious from a review of the Ontario Auditor General’s critique of Ontario’s Climate Action Plan to be funded from the proceeds of selling allowances under Cap-and-Trade.
    Let investment decision be made by those who know their industries, who have (figurately speaking) dirt beneath the finger-nails type experience of actually making physical things work, who have skin in the game. These are those who will be encouraged to invest in making available low carbon products and services when they see how high the carbon fee is going to go because they’ll see they have a chance of competing with fossil fuels when the carbon fee is high. And it can’t, politically, go high enough if it is a tax.
    It’s a truism that, initially, motorists will continue buying more or less the same volume of petrol, especially if they use the car mostly for commuting to work. They’ve just got to get there and in the early years the carbon fee doesn’t increase the pump price to an extent that will overly bother many people. But a large part of the point is the affect of increasing prices not so much on the short-term purchasing decisions of end-consumers but rather on the long-term planning decisions of the commercial interests planning what type of cars to manufacture. As a case in point, Sweden has a carbon tax of about $200/tonne. Can it be totally unrelated that Volvo will not manufacture any more petrol driven cars?
    A broader point I’m glad you’ve given me the opening to express is that reductions in greenhouse gases will be to a large extent the result of commercial, not consumer, decisions. For example, what type of car to manufacture, how to make steel, how to make cement, how to make fertilizers, whether to develop a district heating system, how to design a major commercial building complex. These include public-sector decisions like whether to expand transit, how to handle solid waste etc. Long-lead time, capital intensive decisions will be affected not only by the contemporaneous carbon fee, but much more so by the carbon fee expected in future years.
    Hence the value of continually increasing the fee every year. For example, currently, in Canada the fee increases 10$ per tonne each year. But there is so far no commitment to continue increasing past $50/tonne. That’s a crucial mistake. $50/tonne will still not get the gas (petrol) guzzlers off the road (although it will shut-down coal fired power stations). The fee should continue to increase until the goal of near zero emissions is achieved. And such future increases can be virtually carved in concrete politically by way of the popularity of the dividends. Once those Electronic Funds Transfer amounts start appearing every month in everybody’s bank accounts or debit cards, people will build their household budgets on them and no future politician will dare to mess with them. We will enjoy policy stability. That, above all, is what is craved by business, to get on with the transformation. That’s the point.

  36. sophiewilson0191 at 22:04 PM on 6 July 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #26

    Some people consider climate change a big threat .

    Do you think it is better to fix Earth than exploring space and using billions of cash just to have a picture of some planets. It is not like we can easily build an empire of than planet.

    We still lack technology to explore more of that planet.

    Climate Change May Have Claimed A Significant Victim – The Barents Sea

  37. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    (Thanks to anyone with the time to respond)

  38. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    One of my friends conducted this backyard experiment.

    Could anyone explain what the error was with her approach, and whether or not there is a backyard-style experiment that she could do to observe the reradiating properties of CO2.

    "So, what I did was take two clear 6L ziplock bags, two cheap thermometers, 2 CO2 cartridges, and a seltzer bottle.

    The first bag, I taped the thermometer to the upside of the bag, then filled with normal air using a balloon pump, then measured the temperature (19.4 deg).

    The second bag, I taped the thermometer to the upside of the bag, then measured (19.8 deg - remember, they're shit $2 thermometers - note slightly warmer than "control"), then I filled it by releasing two CO2 chargers into it. I then measured the temperature again (19.0 deg) and again a few minutes later (18.7 deg).

    I then took them outside and placed them in the sun and measured each over a ten or so minute period. The bag containing CO2 was always colder - between 0.4 to 1.0 degree (it measured 1.4 colder, but I reject that because I was blocking the sun just before I measured).

    Each of the two CO2 cannisters has 7.8 g. The density of CO2 at STP is 1.98 kg/m3. For the 2 x 7.8 = 15.6 g, this equates to a volume of 7.88 L. The seltzer bottle holds 1.25 L. So total 7.88 + 2 x 1.25 = 10.38 L Total. The proportion of CO2 in that mix is 7.88/10.38 = approx 76%.

    So as you can see, I significantly increased the CO2 content of the air, and the results came back slightly negative re. its effect on temperature."

  39. Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

    OPOF, I approve of Alberta's plan on whole and long term I would think more effective than subsidies on buying electric cars. I think the rich are more of problem than poor, because while they can afford to buy electric cars and poor cant, they can also afford SUVs, diesal central heating, regular air travel etc. The old I=PAT formula.  When carbon pricing bites, its the low-carbon version of anything that should be the cheap affordable option.

    The other way I like making the expensive capital items associated with property affordable (solar heating, PV, insulation etc), is loans paid back through rates.

  40. One Planet Only Forever at 14:28 PM on 6 July 2018
    Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

    scaddenp,

    Review the Alberta plan in the link I included in my comment. It indicates what the non-dividend levy is directed towards, including spending on transit and the reconfiguring of roads to reduce car lanes to include safer bike lanes. It is not trying to 'pick winners'. It is supporting the transition to alternatives to burning fossil fuels and improving energy efficiency.

    However, I would support a version closer to what you are indicating. A larger portion of the collected levy rebated, but still only given to the lower income portion of the population.

    The richer people can afford to behave better. They always have been able to behave better. Many of them just choose not to, because doing so would reduce their ability to be richer (they would still be richer, just not as richer as they could be). Their lack of interest in leading the transition to better behaviour needs to be corrected. They need to be encouraged to change their minds.

  41. Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

    Well I have close to ideological objection to subsidy. Picking winners when several horses in the field. Carbon tax and dividend gives wins to all competitors against carbon including public transport, cyclists and who knows what tech down track.

  42. Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

    OPOF, yes thats exactly the sort of thing I mean. A carbon tax, but with some of the levy as targeted encouragement.  

  43. One Planet Only Forever at 12:28 PM on 6 July 2018
    Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

    nigelj,

    I share your understanding that making fossil fuels more expensive through a 'levy that is fully rebated to the entire population' would not bring about the required rapid end of their use, particularly among the wealthier portion of the population. The already more fortunate humans, the ones who can afford to just keep on buying fossil fuels (and can actually afford to most responsibly transition away from benefiting from burning fossil fuels - can afford a Tesla), know they would get some of the extra cost back in a rebate.

    What was done in Alberta (Alberta Carbon Levy and Rebate) is more effective. About half of the total collected Carbon Levy (a more appropriate term to use when the collected money does not go into General Revenue) is rebated to everyone earning less than a middle income (household earning less than $95,000, individuals earning less than $47,500.

    The remainder of the collected levy is used to do targeted encouragement and support of the type of changes that need to be developed (what you indicate also needs to happen).

    That program makes the wealthier people more wary of just carrying on the way they want 'because they can afford it'. As the levy increases they would appreciate they would get significant personal benefits from behaving more responsibly (dumping the Hummer).

  44. 10th run of Denial101x starts on July 10!

    Breaking news: Scott Pruitt resigns from EPA. One less denialist in a position of power.

  45. Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

    Vector @2, yes I appreciate all that, and  I didn't say a carbon tax and dividend idea was a bad thing. I was simply making the point that we could resolve the problem I mentioned  by making electric cars more attractive with a subsidy. Currently they aren't "cheaper" than the alternatives. Do you have any ideological objection to a subsidy, or something? 

  46. Johnny Vector at 08:36 AM on 6 July 2018
    Declare energy independence with carbon dividends

    nigelj: You're rather missing the point. The important bit is that the petrol will cost more than it does now.  Yes, people can just spend the dividend on the petrol, but this means people who can't afford the capital expenditure currently needed to buy solar panels or whatever other type of clean energy are not penalized. Those of us who can, will. And with a reasonable sized carbon tax, renewable energy will be cheaper than fossil energy in all cases, without further incentives. Thus anyone who has the ability to make the choice will choose renewable. 

    Sure, you can just go about as you were, getting money back and using that to offset the higher cost of petrol. Or you can switch to renewable energy, which is now cheaper than fossil, and spend the rest of your rebate on whiskey and chaw (or however you prefer to spend your extra cash).

    The idea is this will drive investment in renewable energy, which of course it will, and that will accelerate the continuing drop in cost of renewables. It may or may not be sufficient, but given how fast the costs have dropped recently, I'm willing to believe it would be.

  47. 10th run of Denial101x starts on July 10!

    "Occam's razor (also Ockham's razor or Ocham's razor; Latin: lex parsimoniae "law of parsimony") is the problem-solving principle that the simplest solution tends to be the right one. When presented with competing hypotheses to solve a problem, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions. The idea is attributed to William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), who was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian."

    Let's apply this to understanding climate denialism. Many things are correctly "implicated" in climate denialism:

    1) Everyone has at least some healthy scepticism of new scientific findings, but with some people the scepticism becomes absurd and stubborn, they don't learn or won't learn, and the end point is they resort to  conspiracy theory ideation.

    2) People who have vested interests in fossil fuel companies or other businesses who could be impacted by reduced use of fossil fuels, so they perhaps deny the science as a strategy.

    3) You have political, ideological and tribal influences who resent carbon taxes and similar  government solutions,  so they attack the science.

    4) Dunning Kruger, confirmation bias.

    Yet if you look at the common factor here, its stupidity, and often deliberate stupidity, because its educated people who are often in denial.

    So the fundamental cause of climate denialism is stupidity.

  48. Future projections of Antarctic ice shelf melting

    Riduna, I think what they are saying is in the past we typically had lot of sea ice so a very salty top layer of water, but with less sea ice typically forming now the surface is less salty compared to the previous historical pattern, so the circulation pattern has changed for part of the year at least. I could be wrong, its complicated to get ones head around.

    I think Hansen is talking about something different about ice shelves around the base of glaciers and glacier flow, so a different mechanism that is also ultimately producing a fresh surface water layer.

    Fwiw I think there is a substantial risk of this glacier discharge producing accelerated melting in the Antarctic with multi metre sea level rise this century, maybe 2 metres is my pick. The paleo climate record shows its happened before at similar warming to what we expect this century, so I ask people, why wouldn't it happen now?

  49. Future projections of Antarctic ice shelf melting

    The author, Dr Naughten, states that: ‘In our simulations, warming winters caused a decrease in sea ice formation. So there was less brine rejection, causing fresher surface waters, causing less vertical mixing, and the warmth of Circumpolar Deep Water was no longer lost to the atmosphere. As a result, ocean temperatures near the bottom of the Amundsen Sea increased.’ If there is less brine rejection how can this produce fresher surface water? Surely the converse would be true.

    I am inclined to the view held by Dr Hansen et al 2016, that a combination of ice-shelf disintegration producing faster glacier discharge and increasing ice sheet surface temperature at its margins produces a fresh water lens on the sea surface, inhibiting overturning circulation, as the cause of warming bottom water formation.

  50. Climate's changed before

    In my comment 594, I suggested that 'the climate's changed before' or 'climate always changes' is really only half an argument, with two possible misleading inferences, and only one of these is really covered in depth here (although they are both enumerated in the blob points of the intermediate article). I'm hoping this comment might be useful if revising, clarifying or expanding these pages.

    Dr Richard Milne, University of Edinburgh biologist, makes exactly this point and puts these fallacies more clearly and entertainingly than I can in his lecture 'Critical Thinking on Climate Change: Separating Skepticism from Denial', covering both in two minutes, before employing the Scotese graph of temperature over geological time(!), and moving on to his next myth, http://sks.to/chaos.

    The first implication is 'the climate's changed before... therefore it must be natural', is covered a bit in the intermediate article, and the logical fallacy is deconstructed in very similar terms by John Cook, Peter Ellerton and David Kinkead in their fun video. (By the way, does the assertion that there's no lag actually run counter to the usual explanation of lag but feedback? Probably mentioned elsewhere in these comments.)

    Their paper on critical thinking could equally be applied to the second  implication: 'the climate's changed before ... so it's nothing to worry about'. Milne characterises this as 'A didn't harm B, when B was not present, therefore A cannot harm B'. I'm suggesting that as some people move from 'phase 1' dismissal (it's not happening), through 'phase 2' (it's not us), most dismissives are moving to 'phase 3' (it's not bad), so this second implication is worth clarifying.

    So I think having articles from knowledgeable people on the following would be great, and then they could be hold the findings and be linked from a general page about the fallacies:

    • Previous warming during the Holocene hasn't adversely affected civilisation (in some cases it did, warming was smaller and slower and local, the Optimum was before settlements, we caused some of it through deforestation, the pattern of warming was different, larger future warming is projected to adversely affect ecosystems, food supplies etc.)
    • Previous hyperthermal events like the PETM (or P-T boundary) didn't necessarly lead to mass extinctions or runaway climate change and the Earth was 'resilient'. (Sometimes it does lead to mass extinction, depending on rate of change as well as absolute temperature, weathering will reduce CO₂ only over millennia, most extinctions involved climate change, solar radiation has increased, and our perturbations are on the scale of these extinctions, tended to wipe out megafauna, we have some idea of the extinction and range shift rates, this is a long-term change; much as in the basic article here)

    Tangentially related because I can't think where else to suggest it, probably under 'it's not bad' or 'it's too hard':

    • The projections are imprecise and there are lots of uncertainties about impacts, therefore we shouldn't act until these are resolved, or it might turn out OK (risk management principles; uncertainty means range, not doubt; some range is inevitable; we know more than might be thought; climate change is non-linear and affects some regions more severely than others)

    Finally, I note there's nothing under the 'it's too late' heading in the taxonomy, which is related to the opposite idea, that size of warming is completely unprecedented in the Cenozoic. I occasionally meet overstatements of the kind 'boreal forest will collapse; there will be a permanent El Niño', although these seem individual and not as repetitive as the climate dismissives. Climate Feedback deals with these when they happen, and if there's time, it may be worth seeing how a sceptical analysis looks at those.

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