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

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Comments 351 to 400:

  1. CO2 lags temperature

    Tcflood @574 ,

    if I am understanding Dana's point correctly, he means that the land surface (most land being in the NH) warmed faster than the ocean.  This affected glacial ice, to melt and discharge fresh water into the northern Atlantic Ocean.  The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation was disrupted by the "flood" of fresh water, and impeded/handicapped the north Atlantic warming — allowing time for the Southern Ocean's warming to leapfrog ahead of the northern oceans (including, presumably, the north Pacific Ocean).

    The Southern Ocean's warming being the major source of CO2 release (as oceanic CO2 solubility reduces) . . . fits in with the ~1000 year "lag" in the warming/CO2-rise relationship.  Remembering that the initial small warming from Milankovitch orbital effect does trigger the much larger planetary warming from CO2.

    So no actual discordance between the comments at SkS and RealClimate.

  2. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    jesscars @355,

    The Ice Age cycles are strange beasts. They are triggered by changes in the solar warming of the Northern Hemisphere (the Milankovitch Cycles) but the climate has to be primed and in an a-stable state for the trigger to work.

    And while the trigger is quite a gentle shove to climate, the triggered 'impacts' are big enough to raise global temperatures some 5ºC. The 'impacts' are technically feedbacks forced by the Milankovitch Cycles but it is these feedbacks that do all the work.

    Simplistically, the main instability is the polar Ice Age ice caps that begin to melt out, this raising temperatures and destabalising further ice caps. And on the back of this warming, the level of atmospheric CO2 and CH4 will rise.

    In the case of CO2, the carbon cycle requires oceans and biosphere to be in equilibrium with the atmosphere. With warming ocean waters, less CO2 can be carried by the warmer water, raising atmospheric CO2 levels which in-turn adds to the warming process. And the frozen biosphere also releases captured CO2 as it melts. (These processes will be at work today under AGW but with only 1ºC of warming in less than a century, the impact of the warming CO2 feedbacks is much less than the 100ppm CO2 Ice Age effect that resulted from much more warming over 8,000 years.) In very simple terms, that answers "Why does CO2 change over time i.e. where does it come from, where does it go?" Volcanoes do emit CO2 but it is only very exceptionally (within the billion year planet's history) that volcanism has elevated atmospheric CO2 by anything of significance.

  3. CO2 lags temperature

    Above in the third listed point of the intermediate explanation, the statement is made “The Southern Hemisphere and its oceans warmed first, starting about 18,000 years ago.”

    In a posting on RealClimate at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/07/climate-sensitivity-estimates-and-corrections/ , Gavin Schmidt discusses methods of getting climate sensitivities from paleoclimatic data. He says that “Others have identified the lags in the southern ocean (which warms more slowly than the northern hemisphere, and northern land in particular) as the source of this time dependence of feedbacks, …” and so on.

    Can someone please explain this difference in claim as to which hemisphere warmed first, or am I somehow asking the wrong question?

  4. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    jesscars - I have responded on a more appropriate thread here. Any discussion of past climate should go there.

  5. Climate's changed before

    Responding to jesscars from here:

    Sigh, "OK, so you are saying that the effect of CO2 on the temperature is only minor. "

    No, he was saying the CO2 direct contribution to ice ages is 0.5C. Mostly it is an amplifier (feedback) converting a change in northern NH albedo into global event.

    Historically CO2 can change for many reasons, depending on which events you are talking about. Volcanoes, change to sea temperature (CO2 solubility), changes to vegatation cover, long term carbon sequestration in rock, freeze/thaw of tundra swamps, operating on time periods of seasons to eons. The pliestocene ice-age cycle is driven by milankovich.

    Climate is always a response to sum of all forcings. (solar input, albedo, aerosols, GHGs). Past climates are considered by looking at what changes to all of them. Complicating matters is that temperature change triggers feedbacks - you cant change temperature without also changing CO2, CH4, water vapour and albedo.

  6. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Jesscars, I rather suspect you have been pulling my leg with your story of your plastic bag experiments.   Perhaps you just used that as an entry point for your argumentative disagreement with mainstream science.

    As Scaddenp has said, you really need to educate yourself on basic science before you can seriously start to question things.   Otherwise . . . you embarrass yourself with a Dunning-Kruger performance.

    But fear not — there is time to redeem yourself.   Why not try the intellectually-stimulating exercise of learning some genuine climate science from the articles, videos, etcetera found here at SkepticalScience & similar reputable sites.   Or if you find your dour & angry mood persisting, then try the very entertaining Potholer54 video series I mentioned — all are amusing as well as informative about real science.

    The more you learn, the more you understand reality.   It is not a coincidence that all real scientists are in consensus agreement about AGW !!

  7. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Hi MA,

    > 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.

    I agree with this. I repeated the experiment last night with about 2% CO2 or 20,000 or 5-6 doublings. (I.e. enough to get an effect from CO2 without diluting the effect of H2O.) The bag with CO2 was 0.5 degrees warmer during the night, outside. The difference disappeared in the morning.


    > 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.

    OK, so you are saying that the effect of CO2 on the temperature is only minor. If so, then what explains the correlation? Why would the other factors that contribute to temperature change move/fall at the same time as CO2? This is obviously not chance, so whatever affects the CO2 must also affect those other factors in order to get that correlation. Has this been proven by empirical research?

    (Also, what is the cause of historic atmospheric CO2 change? I've heard several contradictory answers I.e. Milankovitch Effect or volcanoes. Why does CO2 change over time i.e. where does it come from, where does it go?)

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please confine comments to the focus of the thread on which you place them.  Thousands of discussion threads exist at Skeptical Science; using the Search function in the Upper Left of every page can help you find them.  Alternatively, you can click on the Arguments Tab to find different listings of topics (like a Taxonomic Listing or by Popularity).  Area experts and knowledgeable individuals will respond to help you increase your understandings, but you must first be on-topic.  Thanks!

  8. There are genuine climate alarmists, but they're not in the same league as deniers

    Sooo, if you see that there is a fire in a building full of people, and it looks possible or probable the the fire will spread rapidly possibly causing much death and injury...if you run to pull the fire alarm, you are by definition an alarmist, right?

    Soooo, shouldn't we all be alarmists? Even the IPCC, which your own nice chart above shows is on the conservative side of accepted scientific opinion, shows really bad things coming down the pike toward us, certainly enough to be very alarmed about. And it is very likely that much of the IPCC is indeed to cautious and erring on the side of least drama.

    Of course, we should all avoid making concrete predictions that particular events will occur on particular dates or years...the system is just too chaotic for those to be anything but intelligent (or not) guesses.

  9. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Also, just to look at what you expect from your experiment, executed perfectly. Assuming you are around mid-latitude and in summer, that you use a jar of CO2 0.5m high, then changing concentration of CO2 from 100ppm to 20,000ppm should change flux from 414.8W/m2 to 415.4 if I have done calcs correctly. Not enough to change temperature by even 0.1C.

  10. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    jesscars - I explained why you cant do it with a plastic bag - it is not 55km high. You cant complain about science being wrong when the problem is with your understanding of it. You do not appear to have looked at resources posters have offered you.

    You have now raised a whole bunch of long-debunked talking points which are offtopic here. Please use the search button on top left or the "arguments" to find the appropriate myth and comment there, not here.

    eg "Climate has changed before", "Co2 lags temperature". It would seem that with a very large no. of misunderstandings about climate, that a read through the appropriate section the IPCC WG1 to get a grip on the basics. I would also reiterate the Science of Doom. Just for starters, the ice-age cycle is driven by orbital variation which primarily affect earths albedo. Once temperatures change, CO2 changes also from interactions with ocean and eurasian wetlands amplifying the effect. The detail here is huge - if you want to question the science, then please become familiar with the science first.

  11. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Hi Eclectic,

    > (A) Firstly, there is the empirical evidence from experimentation during the past 150+ years, showing CO2 absorption of (some) Infra-Red radiation. (B) During the past century there is the empirical evidence of the CO2-related global Green House Effect [GHE] : evidence provided by both expensive and (relatively) cheap experimentations & observations. (Admittedly, "greenhouse" is a poorly-named term — but historically we are now stuck with it, and it is now a widely-understood useful label.)

    Your experiment is inappropriate because of its lack of sensitivity and specificity (too many confounding variables in your experimental set-up).

    Not only do you need to address the question of IR absorption by CO2 gas, but secondly you need to address the mechanism of the planetary GHE (a mechanism which is completely unconducive to backyard experimentation, I think).

    What variables? You can't simply make a statement then not substantiate it.

    I am aware of "evidence" of the planet warming or ocean levels rising or ice caps melting, but the climate has always changed naturally. Why assume it is being changed now by human-caused CO2? If you don't know the cause, measuring the effect doesn't prove anything. You really can't realy on any empirical measurements to prove AGW, you are left with the theory alone i.e. what happens when there is more CO2 in the atmosphere?

    I have done the experiment several times. With different levels of CO2. The most I saw last night, at about 20,000 ppm, was an increase of 0.5 degrees. This is a CO2 doubling of over five times, so if this were in the atmosphere, it would be expected to increase by 5 degrees.

    Why is it not possible to do an experiment in a plastic bag to measure a response?

    I have been linked to similar experiments done to prove CO2 where they put CO2 in a fishtank, then shine a heat lamp. I pointed out that in nature, there is no heat lamp or artifiical source of radiation, so that experiment is not indicative of what will happen in reality. Why is it acceptable to do a fishtank + CO2 experiment to try to prove AGW, but not acceptable to do a plastic bag + CO2 experiment to try to disprove it? I'm happy to accept an explanation, but I don't see why, if you understand the reason, you can't simply explain it to me instead of send me to read hundreds of papers (unless you yourself do not understand it).

    Can you also give an explanation - if the correlation shown between CO2 and temperature on the Vostok Ice Core samples is assumed to be causation, with CO2 causing temperature rise - why CO2 would have a linear effect on temperature (~1 degree per 10 ppm), but now we expect a logarithmic effect (i.e. 1 degree per doubling).

    Can you explain what is going on with the molecular activity of the gas that would allow for such an unintuitive behaviour? Do all gases act this way when absorbing IR? Why? At what point do they go from linear to logarithmic and why? Has this been studied? It seems like it is fundamental to knowing whether climate science is accurate or not. How else can you come up with the prediction of 1 degree per doubling?

    My understanding is that they act logarithmically, which would mean that the Vostok Ice Core samples can not be assumed to be that CO2 causes temperature. The 800 year lag, where temperature changes first also would support that. You know what does have a linear relationship though, and could explain the Vostok Ice Core samples? The CO2 solubility of water (oceans) between 0 to ~23 degrees.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please confine comments to the focus of the thread on which you place them.  Thousands of discussion threads exist at Skeptical Science; using the Search function in the Upper Left of every page can help you find them.  Alternatively, you can click on the Arguments Tab to find different listings of topics (like a Taxonomic Listing or by Popularity).  Area experts and knowledgeable individuals will respond to help you increase your understandings, but you must first be on-topic.  Thanks!

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

    NigelJ: unless sawdust is buried deep underground in anaerobic conditions it's going to decompose into CO2 or methane eventually. Wood pellets are only neutral if they derive from plantation trees planted for production.

    I've wondered if trees planted for sequestration of CO2 need to be buried too, but that would require machinery presumably requiring fossil CO2 release. It's quite tricky putting coal back in the hole.

  13. One Planet Only Forever at 08:16 AM on 10 July 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    nigelj@10,

    Implied in my comment @11 is that it is not necessary to get acceptance from everyone. In fact, it is harmful to attempt to balance all interests.

    Those who 'grow up mere children' need to be better educated. And should not be allowed to influence important decisions until they change their minds.

    It would be (is undeniably) harmful to compromise the understanding of what needs to be done by balancing it with the developed desires of those who have 'grown up mere children, wanting to unjustifiably get away with what they would like to do - supposedly justified because it is popular or profitable or is not likely to result in legal penalty (because of secrecy, bad laws or bad law enforcement, or having sacrificial lambs to throw under the bus)'.

    That is my engineer experience speaking. Some people will resist being better informed and more correctly understanding something. And they do not get to influence the important decisions I make. They end up being disappointed. And they deserve to be disappointed.

  14. One Planet Only Forever at 07:54 AM on 10 July 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    nigelj@10,

    I would add the following items to your list:

    • reduce the amount of energy consumption per person and maximize the percentage of the consumed energy that is sustainably sourced and delivered for consumption, with the richest being expected to lead by example toward the most sustainable lowest energy consumption ways of good enjoyable living.
    • Achieve all of the Sustainable Development Goals, not just the Climate Action goal. This is actually Number 1, by a lot. It covers the other points and so much more. It may even be the only required point. Achieving this point would mean that many other corrections of what has developed, including ending the ability of undeserving competitors to win via misleading marketing campaigns, are effectively achieved (no more winners acting as they do because they can get away with it - to paraphrase a quote from "Our Common Future"). It would also mean a dramatic reduction of the number of people who "... grow up mere children, incapable of being acted on by rational consideration of distant motives ..." (a warning quoted from "On Liberty").
  15. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    OPOF @9,

    I agree most people have some altruism in them. I think whats happened is society has lost faith in the egalitarian 1960's, and swung towards a more self centred economy since the 1980s economic reforms, and  taken this too far. Imho the pendulum will swing back somewhere in the middle.

    Ecomomists are already admitting the Thatcher and Reagon reforms had some problems. I think the challenge is to identify their good points, and the bad points, but having an intelligent debate on it seems elusive.

    Regarding the 'Otter' article on discount rates. I found the link you posted obviously very good, but too technical for me so I hunted out a simplified version and thought it worth posting. It probably didn't go far enough on the philosophical issues we have to face.

    I think the whole matter comes down to a value judgement, or ethical judgement if you prefer. For me it's namely "do we leave the planet in good working order for future generations, or not?" I use simple term like this that hopefully anyone can relate to .

    Hopefully the answer is yes, and discount rates are part of figuring this out, but only go so far. We have to be asking what are the practical things this generation needs to do to give future generations a decent life? For me the main ones are:

    1) Reduce carbon emissions

    2) Reduce rates of population growth

    3) Sustainable farming etc.

    4) More careful and limited use of scarce resources, but without resorting to a 'sack cloth' lifestyle.

    I dont see what else would make sense, or be likely to be acceptable to people.

     

  16. One Planet Only Forever at 07:32 AM on 10 July 2018
    There are genuine climate alarmists, but they're not in the same league as deniers

    I support the focus on correcting claims made by deniers of the developed, and continuing to be improved, climate science understanding; those who wish to claim that there is little need to change or correct the way things have developed.

    As an engineer I encountered many people who promoted what they wanted as something that would be OK. But, ethically, I had to screen out the unethical/unsafe/likely harmful options, not let them even be considered, no matter how much quicker or cheaper they were. And I would try to avoid over-conservative options, because responsibly limiting the cost or time required to build something is an engineer's objective - but never compromise the ethical protection of the public, workers and environment from harm caused by what was being done.

    And my MBA education in the 1980s included warnings about the unsustainable power of misleading marketing. Misleading marketing can be very effective at delaying increased understanding, which can increase the amount of undeserved benefit obtained from an activity.

    My MBA education and work experience also exposed the way that business-minded people can consider 'risk management' to be identifying potential risks and making sure someone else will suffer the consequences if the potential risk actually occurs. The fact that climate change impacts primarily affect future generations, or affect other people who cannot negatively impact the people who benefit from creating the consequence, are a perfect 'Business Risk Mitigation' plan.

    A different way to justify less effort spent on climate alarmist claims would be to present the case as a matter of ethically evaluating how important it is to address/rebut a claim. The ethical rule would be 'To increase the awareness and understanding of what is really going on and the application of that understanding to help develop a sustainable better future for humanity'. And the trigger for something needing to be addressed, and the urgency and magnitude of effort to address it, would be how Harmful (unethical) the claim is.

    Some people may try to argue against that definition of the ethical rule, but that can lead to a very productive discussion as they try and fail to justify a different Good definition of Ethical. I think it is a very easy definition to defend. And it makes it difficult for a climate science denier to justify their desired beliefs as being worthy of consideration.

    That ethical evaluation would clearly indicate that presentations of climate consequences that are possible, but more severe than what is currently considered most likely to occur, are not harmful and may be helpful. They are therefore not needing to be addressed.

    Outside of the scope of climate science, the same evaluation would indicate that 'the alarmist claims about the (lost opportunity for/damage done to) a portion of today's population if the required aggressive reduction of climate change impacts was effectively pursued (forcing better behaviour and creating a loss of personal perceptions of superiority among the least deserving of the more fortunate)', are harmful unethical 'alarmist' claims that require serious rebuttal effort.

    And Richard Betts would appear to be deserving of serious ethical rebutting.

  17. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    jessicars - when you do the experiment outside and you want to calculate the effect of your plastic bag of CO2, then you need to consider that column of gas under consideration is 55km tall and you have changed the CO2 content of the bottom few centimeters. Yes, that CO2 will trap IR radiation and re-radiate to the surface. Because that surface is receiving more radiation, it will heat up and the surface will heat the bag.  You note that it is surface under that bag that is heated by back radiation, not the gas in bag. (hence thermometer under bag). The question is how much, and in your setup, yes, it is insignificant. To replicate the atmospheric GHE, you need  a column of gas 55km or so high.

    The experiments we pointed you to isolate other effects and applify the CO2 effect to make it measurable with thermometer. Radiation is radiation whether it is coming from heat lamp or a warm surface.

    If you are looking for empirical evidence of GHE, then that paper on direct measurement is one, but see also our reference especially the CO2 traps heat section with papers from Harries, Evans, Griggs , Philpona, Chen who all compared the calculated radiation at either top of atmosphere or surface of earth and compared it to direct measurements.

  18. There are genuine climate alarmists, but they're not in the same league as deniers

    The term 'alarmist' is indeed an annoying dog whistle and smear campaign. Some people have labelled me an alarmist for simply saying climate change is serious, or for claiming its caused by human activities. Much gritting of teeth.

    But climate change is alarming if you think of the long term consequnces. Perhaps the best retort is to tell people they should be alarmed, and then discuss the facts?

    This website should list a few genuine alarmists, but it should just be people with extreme claims well outside the IPCC, that are not supported by the peer review literature. You dont want huge lists of alarmists, because this would be shooting yourself in your own feet.

    A related example. Recently the Guardian wrote an article with claims sea level rise was doubling every seven years, and could reach 5 metres by 2100. The doubling claim was simply wrong, and only a couple of climate scientists claim sea level rise would be 5 metres by 2100. The Guradian should have said this.

    These sorts of mistakes and unexplained claims make "warmists" look stupid and excessively alarmist, and provide the denialist community ammunition to make them look stupid. I did a google search, and a couple of denialist websites attacked the Guardian article. It all provides people "sitting on the fence"  another reason to become sceptical of climate scientists. I agree with the article that these extreme fringe claims are not the main body of alarmism the denialists refer to, but it's still better not to have people making truly ridiculous claims.

  19. There are genuine climate alarmists, but they're not in the same league as deniers

    I wish Mr. Betts would stop using the term "alarmist" over and over and over. It's a common dog-whistle term used by deniers. The article he cites supposedly debunking McPherson is over 4 years old. The basic argument seems to be that the bad things predicted by McPherson, Wadhams, and many others btw, haven't happened yet. We know that. So it's an argument over how fast methane can be released, how soon all the ice melts, etc. No mention of "global dimming". To say that the "alarmists" are wrong is a little premature. There is an impressive roster at the Arctic Blogspot site, not just two people as implied in this article. And I am convinced that a great many Climate Scientists are, privately, just as concerned as McPherson and Wadhams. This is why Arctic Blogspot uses the pseudonym "Sam Carana". Anyone being publicly "alarmist" may lose their jobs! Many Climate Scientists have left the US because they and their families receive death threats! But buy them a beer, and I'd bet they don't dismiss even the most dire predictions. We simply don't know what will happen, but the temperature increase is likely to be exponential, not linear. It's getting hot out there. All over.

  20. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    Ted Franklin @5

    One might be critical about the political wrongdoings with the story of the tragedy of the commons concerning common lands.

    Besides, Hardin's proposal for pollution seems to be quite sensible and would be good if adapted in case of greenhouse gases. He proposes für pollution:

    "But the air and waters surrounding us cannot readily be fenced, and so the tragedy of the commons as a cesspool must be prevented by different means, by coercive laws or taxing devices that make it cheaper for the polluter to treat his pollutants than to discharge them untreated." (The Tragedy of the Commons by Garrett Hardin, 1968, Science, 1968)

    I hope some conservative thinktanks would think about this and adopt some of these policies.

  21. michael sweet at 03:06 AM on 10 July 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #27

    I was reading Politico and saw a paid post from Exelon mentioning climate change.  It had a picture of a nuclear reactor.  

    When I read the article I was pleasantly surprised to find it was an article in favor of a carbon fee.  It mentioned that Exelon had nuclear plants but also mentioned hydro and renewable resources.  It seemed to me that the article was pitched to conservatives as a solution to climate change.

    I thought it was a good sign that a major electric utility would pitch a carbon fee to the general public.

  22. michael sweet at 02:55 AM on 10 July 2018
    There are genuine climate alarmists, but they're not in the same league as deniers

    Can Michael Tobias diagram of professional opinion be added to the SkS graphics page?  I have wanted to cite it in the past but was not able to find it.

  23. There are genuine climate alarmists, but they're not in the same league as deniers

    Its hard not to make alarmist appeals in arguments.  For example, I've begun telling people that once we double CO2 (i.e. hit 560ppm), Earth will likely hit a 3C anomaly within 50 years (or around 2100).  At 3C we'll be hotter than pre-industrial as the last ice age was colder.  I then ask them to consider if countries would be economically impacted if they suddenly found themselves in the depths of the last ice age (according to this graph of the last 400,000 yrs of global temperature, ice ages run about 6F, or 3C, cooler than pre-industrial).  If we'd find it difficult to run our countries in an ice age, why should we think 3C hotter than pre-industrial will be any easier?

  24. One Planet Only Forever at 00:30 AM on 10 July 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #27

    Even without the potentially higher warming due to the already created increased CO2 levels, the lack of responsible leadership by the winners of competitions for power, popularity an profitability must be corrected if humanity is to have a future.

    The current richest humans, particularly the ones who got rich because of the continued burning of fossil fuels since the 1970s when the harm being done was undeniable, need to be required to pay for the reduction of CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

    Climate science is one the biggest examples of the many harmful threats, and actual producers of harm (not just the potential), that have developed because "winners" are not required to prove they have, and continue to, "behave the best".

    People who are not interested in helping to achieve a sustainable better future for humanity, people who have developed personal interests that are contrary to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, people who would lose developed perceptions of prosperity and superiority relative to others if the SDGs were aggressively pursued, Deserve To Be Losers.

    The cries that the winners deserve their status and wealth, or that their personal perceptions of superiority must be maintained, need to be replaced with demands that the winners prove conclusively, through the ethical helpful truth of their history of actions, that they deserve the impression they have developed, that their image is not just an unsustainable unjustified disguise.

    And that is the root of the problem - too many people are being allowed to grow up not caring about how their actions impact others, too many people do something beause they desire it and think they can get away with it.

    Egoism (freedom to believe and do whatever you please) is inappropriately being allowed to over-power Altruism. Egoism's limits need to be understood to be Altruism. Examples: Gender Identity freedom is OK, Woman's choice to have an abortion is OK, carrying a gun in public is not OK, driving faster than the posted speed limit is not OK, driving after drinking alcohol is not OK, disliking and denying climate science is not OK, believing in a spiritual being is OK, using such a belief to deny or oppose climate science is not OK.

  25. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #27

    I'm in the camp that says it really doesn't matter anymore. There is already enough CO2 in the atmosphere to fry us, and the only reason we haven't yet is from global dimming, the fact that all the larger-particulate pollution reflects a lot of energy back into space. If/when that pollution disappears, either from well-meaning pollution controls or sudden economic collapse due to trade wars or shooting wars, the temps will skyrocket within weeks or days. This was proven post-911 when the planes were grounded. 

    I'm sure this group isn't popular around here, but I never see any good reasons for where they get it wrong. http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/  Yahoo won't even let me post this link anymore, even though they love links to Flat Earth and NASA "hoaxes", etc, Youtube videos. 

  26. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Jesscars — as an average reader here, I am puzzled why you persevere in trying to "fix" your backyard experiment set-up intended to replicate the already-demonstrated empirical evidence of CO2 "greenhouse".

    (A) Firstly, there is the empirical evidence from experimentation during the past 150+ years, showing CO2 absorption of (some) Infra-Red radiation.    (B) During the past century there is the empirical evidence of the CO2-related global Green House Effect [GHE] : evidence provided by both expensive and (relatively) cheap experimentations & observations.  (Admittedly, "greenhouse" is a poorly-named term — but historically we are now stuck with it, and it is now a widely-understood useful label.)

    Your experiment is inappropriate because of its lack of sensitivity and specificity (too many confounding variables in your experimental set-up).

    Not only do you need to address the question of IR absorption by CO2 gas, but secondly you need to address the mechanism of the planetary GHE (a mechanism which is completely unconducive to backyard experimentation, I think).

    And your later questions indicate that you have not grasped the essentials of global-scale surface temperature changes.   Climate is a complex matter, and you must not expect to understand all the science of it, by means of a few paragraphs of explanations — You owe it to yourself to undertake basic self-education by extensive reading (and/or by some of the excellent video-tutorials available.  And if you want to be entertained humorously by videos while self-educating, then seek out the series of Potholer54 videos — they educate indirectly, by amusingly debunking the numerous scientific errors committed by the anti-science brigade i.e. denialists.   Potholer54 also does a series on evolution-deniers . . . but you probably won't have time for that sort of humorous entertainment sideline.)

    The more you learn, the better you will be able to ask appropriate questions.   Start from the basics, and then you can usefully re-visit Vostok and global warming response curves.   As MA Rodger has implied, you have been trying to put the cart before the horse.

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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)?

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

     

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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

  45. 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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

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