How the temperature datasets tell us extra CO2 has little effect

Posted: September 20, 2012 by tallbloke in Analysis, atmosphere, climate, Clouds, Cycles, Forecasting, Measurement, Ocean dynamics, weather

It came to me this morning that the trends in the surface and lower troposphere datasets contain information about the strength of the ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’ caused by the extra co2 in the atmosphere which has been building up more rapidly over the last five decades of measurement at Mauna Loa. Here are the trends since mid 2006:

The reason the satellite gathered lower troposphere trends are rising over the last six years while the surface temperature trends are falling is due to the phenomenon I first identified around five years ago by examining the sea surface, land surface and lower troposphere datasets and comparison of the Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR)dataset, and the solar activity dataset tells us about the rate that energy is headed back into space compared to the rate it is coming in at. I’ll go through some background for new readers, so bear with me.

One of the first things I discovered was that land surface temperatures mimic sea surface temperatures a few months later. The ocean is therefore the big dog in the Earth’s climate system not the atmosphere. It can contain as much heat in the top six feet as the entire atmosphere above it. The Sun heats the ocean because it’s rays penetrate 300 feet down into it. The ‘back radiation’ from greenhouse gases can’t directly heat the ocean because it is long wave radiation emanating from a cooler sky to a warmer sea. There is more upward radiation from the sea surface than downward from the sky. The net flux is up.

Of course the warmies say this doesn’t stop an atmosphere that has more greenhouse gases in it from slowing down the rate the ocean cools at by ‘trapping outgoing radiation’ thus making the air warmer and therefore harder for the ocean to shed heat into, and indeed this is what most of the blogging warmies think has happened. But there’s an obvious problem with their theory, which is that the amount of radiation leaving Earth’s atmosphere for space increased over the global warming period 1978-2004, rather than being increasingly trapped and partly redistributed downwards.

The logical explanation is that the diminished cloud cover (as verified by ISCCP weather satellite data and now two new ground based studies from Spain and China) over the period allowed more sunshine into the oceans, thus raising their temperature. This of course raised the temperature of the near surface air over the land as well, and so made it have a stronger differential to the coldness of space leading to faster loss. That’s why the more sophisticated explanation of how the ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’ is supposed to work fails.

In that explanation, the ‘effective altitude of emission’ rises due to the extra co2 making the atmophere more opaque to outgoing radiation, and since the higher altitude is colder, the surface has to rise in temperature to get the atmosphere to warm and emit at a higher temperature so it can lose as much energy back to space as arrives from the Sun. But the atmosphere is already at a higher temperature at a higher altitude because of the additional energy it has been soaking up from the sun via the oceans.

So this theory is back to front. The increased OLR proves that more energy from outside the system must have been getting in. Otherwise the increased OLR would mean that the system would have been cooling rather than warming. CO2 doesn’t create energy, it just slows down its transmission outwards from Earth. But since the surface warmed while OLR increased too, additional energy must have been reaching the surface from outside.

Since the Sun only varies by around 0.1% over the 11 year cycle, and increased by around the same again over the C20th, it’s additional output must be amplified by changes in cloud cover, and this is indeed what prof. Nir Shaviv of Tel Aviv university found in his study on using the oceans as a calorimeter to measure the effect of increased insolation at the surface. His findings were published in a paper at the Journal of Geophysical Research, but you can read it for free here:

The increase in OLR proves that this must have had a bigger effect than an increase in co2 can have, and so less cloud and more sunshine must be the majority cause of the warming we saw in the late C20th. That this is so is also backed up by studies which compare changes in sunshine hours to changes in surface temperature. The correlation is much closer than that between temperature and co2 levels.

But things have changed. The ISCCP weather satellites have measured an increase in cloud since the turn of the millennium and this is confirmed by another method of measuring how much sunlight is being reflected back into space. The Earthshine project measures the brightness of the light being reflected by the Earth onto the moon’s surface, and this has increased over the same period, showing that more sunlight is being reflected away before it can get to the surface.

So what has all this got to do with why it is that the lower troposphere temperature has increased over the last 6.5 years while the surface air temperature has fallen?

Since the sun went quiet and cloud cover consequently increased again, not as much sunshine has got into the oceans, and consequently they have started cooling slightly since 2004. This makes the sea surface has cool down, and since land surface temperatures mimic what the sea surface does a few months later, they have cooled too. But the lower troposphere higher up above the ground has warmed, because the excess energy stored in the oceans while the sun was very active and cloud diminished between 1975 and 2004 is now being emitted back out, warming the atmosphere at cloud level, and from there heading out to space.

But how come this energy being emitted into the atmosphere from the oceans isn’t being trapped by the extra co2 and then re-radiated back down to the surface and warming it up?

The answer is that it is trying its best, but the effect is much less powerful in relation to the effect of a more active sun in the warming period and a less active sun now, than the warmist theoreticians believed. This is because they didn’t take into account the effect of the active sun causing diminishing cloud cover, and so the sea surface and ground is cooling and the heat is escaping back to space now the sun has become much less active, but is keeping the troposphere at cloud level warm on its way.

Solar cycle 24 is very low, even though it should be near maximum now, and if the methods the talkshop research team has developed for predicting solar activity are correct, then solar cycle 25 won’t be any stronger.

And that’s the memo, as our dear friend Luboš Motl will, I hope, be saying for many years to come.

  1. Doug Proctor says:

    By the Pelle 2009 graph (above), between 1997 and 2007, the albedo changes were approximately 1.4 W/m2. As albedo is about the reflected 1/2 of the surface area of the Earth, I take it that the effect of the albedo change over that 10 years is 1/2 of this, or 0.7 W/m2. (Please advise if this is incorrect.)

    CAGW proponents consider three things: 1) any temperature change induced by CO2-related heat retention causes additional H2O vapour that triples or quadruples the heat-retaining effect of the CO2, 2) that a doubling of CO2 by itself and its water feedback mechanism has about a 3C change in global temperatures, 2) that the the equivalent in heating power of both the CO2 and the H2O vapour is about 3.4 W/m2. (IPCC material, right?).

    Water vapour in the above scenario doesn’t care where the extra initial heat comes from, CO2-caused retention or solar. So if the solar power goes up by 0.7 W/m2, the net effect on the lower atmosphere by IPCC/warmist theory is more like 2.1 – 2.8 W/m2. At the 3C/3.4 W/m2, temperature/power ratio, this would cause a 1.85 to 2.5 C temperature rise.

    Which obviously has not happened. Which calls into question the feedback mechanism.

    In a prior posting here, there was a graph (I commented on that, I think) that showed a 0.72 W/m2 increase in TSI since 1880 (I’m a little hazy on this number), which would translate to 0.18 W/m2 on a global scale. The same multiplier effects as per warmist narrative would then (as worked out above) give a 0.5 – 0.6C temperature increase since 1880. Which is crudely what we have seen.

    Squaring the circle here. I’d go with a 10-year period being inadequate to show the temperature rise due to the large heat capacity of the oceans and land relative to air, but the 130 year record being long enough to show an effect. Regardless, unless I have made some major error, what I see is that taking IPCC thermal models as a basis, a small increase in sub-cloud SI has enough of an effect to invalidate most of the claimed CO2 effect.

    Of course, I already came to that conclusion, but from a different angle.

    It all comes down to received SI changes, either directly through TOA or at-surface measurements or indirectly through cloud cover observations. Feedback is key to CAGW, but unless the SI can be shown to be have increased less than 0.1 W/m2 since 1880, the last 130 years of increases in global surface temperatures can be modelled by IPCC considerations to be due to changes in solar insolation.

  2. tallbloke says:

    Yours is a reasonable analysis IMO Doug . SI, or solar insolation, is the key to it all. I didn’t try to put figures on it in my post because they are open to endless dispute over sensitivity etc. The key point I’m trying to get across, which may have got a bit lost in my unpolished presentation, is that the argument that the solar/cloud effect is stronger than any purported co2 effect is not derived from numbers, but logic.

    The simple fact that Outgoing Longwave Radiation increased, and surface temperature increased, and ocean heat content increased, means that extra energy MUST have come from OUTSIDE the system.

    The greenhouse effect can’t create energy. In order for it to cause ocean heat content to increase, and the surface temperature to increase, and the troposphere to warm the OLR would have to drop, for an extended period. But this is not what has been observed.

    And now that there’s been a slight drop in OHC, and surface airTemp, while lower troposphere Temp has increased, we can see what is really going on. The excess solar derived heat in the oceans is leaving now the sun is weak and the increase in cloudiness is absorbing that departing energy before it heads to space.

    Clouds absorb lots of OLR from the surface, but the downwelling component isn’t enough to keep the surface warm. Therefore the sun/cloud factor MUST be stronger than the extra co2 factor.

    Do you agree with my logic?

  3. tallbloke says:

    Besides, talking figures to the people from thebadly misnamed doesn’t get you far, as Anthony Watts quote of the week from SS gruppenfuhrer Dana Nuttijelly shows:

    …the amount of warming caused by human greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is known to a high degree of certainty, and these same studies have all found that GHGs are responsible for over 100% of the observed warming over this timeframe.

    I mean, how do you argue with that??

  4. J Martin says:

    Thankyou for publishing those wonderful Tim Channon cycles analysis graphs once again.

    But please please please ask Tim to extend the second graph further into the future, where the two longest and largest frequency curves will pretty well bottom out together showing that temperatures may well get significantly below the Maunder Minimum round about 2100.

    Am I going too far in describing those graphs as a seminal work ?

    And an additional please, can we have some analysis / explanations of the numbers at the bottom of the graph ?

    Are some of those frequencies astronomical ?

  5. tallbloke says:

    Hi JM: We pushed the graph as far into the future as we have any confidence in the underlying data. The TSI reconstruction won’t be perfect, and the further out we go, the more those imperfections will manifest in prediction error. The periods of the identified cycles are close to astronomical periods in some cases, but again, the fact they don’t match exactly is an indicator that the TSI curve isn’t exactly right.

    So a project which was mooted, but not yet undertaken is to set the periods to the exact astronomical frequncies, generate a curve, and see how much different to the Lean curve it is.

    Tim is busy with other stuff at the moment, so it might be a while yet. But given that we have confidence in the prediction for the next 30 years or so, there’s plenty of time.

    Another factor though, is the non-linear effect of sudden slowdowns in solar activity which happen from time to time due to an effect identified back in 1989 by Theodor Landscheidt. These are not captured by steady sinusoidal cycles and so there will always be inaccuracy in this technique.

    One of those sudden slowdowns is happening now, so solar activity may decline more sharply than out graph indicates over the next 20 years. It should be a reasonable indicator overall though so we are content to let it stand for now.

  6. Stephen Wilde says:

    “During the warming spell global cloudiness decreased as did global albedo
    (reflectivity as seen from space) which is consistent with poleward shifting jets
    but the Earthshine project now shows us that both global cloudiness and global
    albedo are increasing again since the late 90s:

    Click to access Palle_etal_2006_EOS.pdf

    Increased cloudiness and albedo are indications that the climate system is
    receiving less solar energy overall and is therefore a sign of reducing energy
    content for the system as a whole contrary to AGW theory.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to ocean heat content over the next
    few years. There are suggestions that it recently peaked and may start to trend
    down and if does turn downwards that will confirm the significance of the
    cloudiness and albedo changes.

    from here:

    Click to access How%20The%20Sun%20Could%20Control%20Earths%20Temperature.pdf


  7. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Stephen.

    For my explanation of why global warming in the late C20th occurred it doesn’t really make any difference whether the more active Sun caused the cloud to diminish or not. It is still an observational fact that cloud diminished. That it had a bigger effect than increasing co2 is a simple logical deduction, as my post explained.

    The reason I think there likely is a causal connection is that indications of solar variation over the long term derived from such things as 10Be (Beryllium isotope) proxy reconstructions match up quite well with temperature variation reconstructions (from many different proxies). Since cloud variation will have a stronger effect on surface temperature than solar variation can directly, it seems likely that there is a causal link, becuase otherwise random cloud variation would destroy the correlation between the 10Be proxy and temperature proxies.

    Variation of the overall envelope of TSI (Sotal Solar Irradiance) over the 11 yearcycle is small, around 0.1% or 1.36W/m^2 at the TOA (top of atmosphere). The longterm variation is a matter of much dispute between different groups of solar scientists. We know it rose, but the questionis how much. However, variation of some of the component wavelengths such as extreme UV vary a lot more, up to 25%, and this has poorly understood but quite large effects on the chemistry of the upper atmosphere, particularly ozone. More research needed.

    But we also have to remember that the variation in surface temperature of the Earth is quite small too. We’ve seen maybe a 1.5C rise since the little ice age. People tend to think “well if the average surface temperature is around 14C, then 1.5C is quite a big percentage of that”. But this is a misunderstanding, because what we actually need to consider for scientific purposes, is the difference in absolute temperature, which is measured in degrees Kelvin. 1 degree Kelvin is the same as 1 degree Centigrade. But whereas Centigrade starts from the temperature of the freezing point of water, 0C, the Kelvin scale starts from absolute zero -273C.

    So in fact, since the little ice age, the Earth’s surface temperature has only increased around 0.5%, from around 287 to 288.5K.

    Prof Nir Shaviv found that something (most likely cloud cover change) in the terrestrial climate system acts as a positive feedback on solar variation, amplifying it around five to seven times over a solar cycle. . From this, we can conclude that even if solar variation over the last three hundred and fifty years is only around the same as the variation over the 11 year solar cycle, then along with the amplification found by Nir Shaviv, it would be enough to account for the warming since the LIA ended around 1700.

    So, onto possible mechanisms for a solar variation effect on cloud cover.

    One possible effect is the Svensmark effect, which posits a link between the number of cosmic rays entering the lower atmosphere and the number of cloud condensation nuclei in the air above the oceans. This has received support form experimental work at CERN lately. A stronger Sun and solar wind prevents so many cosmic rays getting in to the inner solar system, so less cloud seeding – less clouds.

    The other is Stephen’s hypothesised effect of a stronger Sun’s radiation on the general circulation, forcing the jet streams polewards. This in effect widens the subtropical regions, and that leads to a reduction in cloud, letting more sunlight into the oceans, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere. Again, more research needed.

    But whatever the status of these hypotheses, the brute fact of observation is that the Sun got stronger in the latter part of the C20th, and cloud cover did diminish. There is solid observational evidence for both of these facts.

  8. Stephen Wilde says:

    I think it is going to boil down to a choice between the Svensmark hypothesis and mine or possibly a combination of the two.

    However I’m pretty sure it is the change in net jetstream latitudinal positioning leading to more meridionality or zonality that is the main effect.

    There is a large difference in the length of the lines of air mass mixing between times when a zonal jet is pushed poleward and times when a meridional jet is free to wander more freely in large meanders across the world’s surface.

    Apart from basic local convection clouds mostly form where air masses of differing characteristics mix together and more mixing produces more clouds so I don’t think we really need the Svensmark hypothesis at all.

    Simple observaton of varying jetstream behaviour is enough, in my opinion.

    The range of temperature difference between, say MWP to LIA and LIA to today is indeed small because the changes reflect a redistribution of energy flowing through the system and not a significant change in system energy content for reasons I have explained previously.

    A faster flow of energy through the system will result in more equatorial air flowing across more surface sensors whereas a slower flow of energy through the system will result in less equatorial air flowing across those same sensors.

    TB’s reference to the observed chnges in outgoing OLR is very important in this context because it provides empirical evidence that energy does indeed flow through and out of the system faster in a negative system response to any forced warming that might occur from any cause.

    In a cooling world one sees both less energy into the oceans and less OLR because of the increased insulation effect of clouds but the reduced OLR only slows down the cooling and cannot prevent it because energy that never gets into the oceans in the first place is lost forever whereas reduced OLR is only a temporary effect.

    If reduced energy into the oceans lasts longer than the increased delay in losing energy from reduced OLR then overall system cooling is inevitable.

    In contrast the widening of the equatorial air masses not only lets more solar energy into the oceans but additionally the reduced insulation resulting from less clouds lets more energy out too in the form of that outgoing OLR such that the latter pretty much offsets the former subject to modulation by internal ocean cycles.

    So less clouds doesn’t significantly increase system energy content merely the speed of throughput due to surface pressure constraints which I went into previously but more cloudiness does significantly reduce system energy content if it lasts long enough.

    Fortunately, during interglacials such as the Holocene, the sun perks up again soon enough to prevent large falls in system energy content from reduced solar activity but outside interglacials the Milankovitch cycles change the longer term balance so that cooling spells prevail over warming spells with increasing glaciation.

    The whole climate change scenario boils down to a shifting balance between the amount of energy that global albedo allows into the oceans as compared to the amount of insulation that those same clouds can provide at any given moment and it is timing that is critical.

    I think that provides a hypothesis to explain the difference between glaciations and interglacials. During the latter, the changes in solar activity are just fast enough to prevent spells of quiet sun from significantly reducing system energy content. During glaciations the effect of the Milankovitch cycles means that the changes in solar activity are not quite fast enough to prevent gradual net energy loss.

    The relative stability of the satellite record compared to the larger changes apparently recorded by the surface sensors would be expected in my proposed scenario though I also think that the surface sensors are reading too high overall due to an inadequate compensation for UHI effects.

  9. tallbloke says:

    Thanks again Stephen, some interesting ideas about glacial/interglacial shifts and their causes there worthy of a new thread.

    I think the main thing your hypothesis needs now is a clearer explanation of the mechanism. How does a 0.1% increase in solar output start something terrestrial pushing (or pulling) the jet streams polewards? Why does this diminish cloud amount?

  10. Stephen Wilde says:

    Yes I do need to firm up on the glacial/interglacial transitions. I have the concept but not yet the right form of words. Will work on it.

    As regards the 0.1% that is clearly insufficient. As per my linked article and the comments of you and Nir Shaviv there is an amplification factor.

    To summarise, what happens must be that a change in the particle and wavelength mix from the sun (especially in the UV) alters ozone amounts differentially at different heights and that is what initiates the latitudinal shifting. The vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere changes as per my article.

    A cooling stratosphere at a time of more active sun results in a change in the slope of the tropopause height between equator and pole which allows the jets and climate zones to slide poleward beneath the tropopause becoming more zonal in the process.

    A warming stratosphere at a time of less active sun changes the slope the other way to allow the jets and climate zones to slide equatorward becoming more meridioal in the process.

    The process occurs most strongly at the poles to make the AO and AAO more positive for an active sun and more negative for an inactive sun.

    That is what pushes or pulls the climate zones towards or away from equator / poles.

    The result is poleward / equatorward shifting climate zones and / or changes in jetstream zonality as compared to meridionality.

    It is the changes in zonality / meridionality that alters cloudiness and albedo to produce the observed changes in the global energy budget and then the ocean cycles modulate the outcome.

    So there are much bigger changes in the amount of energy able to enter the oceans than one would expect from a simple TSI change of 0.1%.

    The test of all that is whether the stratosphere really has become warmer as a result of the quieter sun since around 2000.

    We do know that the stratosphere did stop cooling and warmed a little from 2000 to 2007 but to be sure we need to know whether there has been any more warming of the stratosphere since 2007.

  11. Stephen Wilde says:

    Here is more detail about stratosphere temperature trends:

  12. So let me see if I have got this right. We are debating competing hypotheses about a net surface atmospheric warming of 0.5degC during the 30 year period from 1970 to 2000.

    The hypotheses are that the warming may be due to one (or both) of the following:

    (1) A permanent change in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere due to mankind’s sinful behavior.

    (2) A cyclic change in the Sun’s energetic output, affecting cloud albedo via cosmic ray modulation, or a warming stratosphere, or whatever.

    It is not obvious to me that there is any way in which this issue can be resolved by qualitative discussion, however entertaining (and this one is: great article TB, and great responses from SW and others). But what is sorely needed is hard data.

    In the absence of any obvious method of quantitative experimentation, the only way I see this issue being resolved is by waiting another decade or so to see whether the thoroughly unalarming long term instrumental temperature trend of only 0.4degC/century – see…

    …either (i) changes alarmingly upwards or (ii) stays within the distinctly unalarming bounds of the red dotted ‘tunnel’ shown at the above link.

    In any normal important scientific debate (think plate tectonics; think relativity; think quantum mechanics) the hypothetical discussions simply rumble on for decades until the empirical data become sufficiently strong to decide the issue.

    But the climate debate is not normal. It is a politicised pseudoscience. It is largely devoid of hard empirical facts. It is overstocked with ignorant opinions. And those facts that are available, such as the thoroughly unalarming instrumental temperature record, are studiously ignored.

  13. tallbloke says:

    Hi David. Good graph. And I agree, though I think the fact that the OLR curve is pretty flat apart from some wiggles associated with Pinatubo and the ’98 El Nino despite the dip and increase in cloud cover and increasing co2 tell us that Earth has plenty of ways of regulating it’s temperature via negative feedbacks which are plenty strong enough to overcome the effects of both external and internal variations, man-made or otherwise.

  14. Entropic man says:

    The temperature record shows an average increase of 0.7C in 60 years.

    The variabilty in the data is around =/-0.1C, so it would be reasonable to suggest that the change is probably more than 0.5C and less than 0.9C.

    Your view of the severity of the long term consequences is likely to depend on how you interpret the science, and the IPCC reports derived from it., The noise level has become considerable as each political or economic interest group pushes its agenda.
    This leads to policy oddities such as New Orleans deciding to spend $10billion upgrading its flood defences while North Carolina decides that no upgrades are needed.
    David Socrates, having described climate change as politicised pseudiscience, will presumably side with North Carolina.
    Since serious problems from climate change, if they happen, are likely to occur in the latter 21st century, most of us will be dead before knowing for sure whether we were right or wrong.

  15. Entropic man says:

    Mr. Wilde, thanks for the paper. Unfortunately you are pulling out by inspection possible trends much smaller than the variability of the system would allow you to justify statistically.
    We’re going to need a much longer baseline before our childen can settle this one.

  16. tallbloke says:

    Entropic man says:
    September 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm (Edit)
    The temperature record shows an average increase of 0.7C in 60 years.

    Ah. Aha. Ahahaha.

  17. Stephen Wilde says:


    I don’t think so .I’m pulling out actual changes in trend not possible ones.

    5 years, tops.

    Either I’m right or I’m wrong and I know exactly what observations would invalidate my propositions.

    None of them have happened yet.

  18. Entropic man says:

    “ah. Aha. Ahahaha.”

    Here we go cherrypicking again.
    Between 1964 and 2010 the anomaly changed from -0.2 to 0.62, an increase of 0.82.
    Between 1963 and 2008 it went from 0.08 to 0.42, an increase of 0.38.

    Which is more valid?
    This is why I prefer to work with 5 year averages and 95% confidence limits. It is too easy to pick individual dates to suit your argument, the classic being to start with that outler 1998, and use it to “prove” that warming has stopped. In this case, since the 1960s the data mostly bounces around inside the +/- 0.1C tunnel in David Socrates link. If warming has genuinely stalled, it will become apparant when the 5 year average drops out the bottom of that tunnel in about 5 years time. If we are seeing a blip like 1967 or 1992, then the 5 year average will start to rise again.

    Shall we come back to both stratospheric and surface temperatures in 2017?

  19. tallbloke says:

    It just amused me that you called it ‘THE’ temperature record. Given the number of times Jim Hansen has diddled with it, I don’t even call it ‘A’ temperature record. The underlying adjustments to the GHCN records Jim’s fairy story are built on are a joke too.

    I was most impressed ith the animation Bob Tisdale created which shows the way Jim drops cooling stations for a couple of years then re-includes them when they start warming again. Roger Andrews will be making a major post here on GHCN adjustments soon, keep your powder dry for that.

  20. Entropic man says, September 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm: This leads to policy oddities such as New Orleans deciding to spend $10billion upgrading its flood defences while North Carolina decides that no upgrades are needed. David Socrates, having described climate change as politicised pseudiscience, will presumably side with North Carolina.

    This is specious rubbish.

    Whether or not North Carolina needs to upgrade their flood defences, and their reasons for deciding not to do so, are matters outside my knowledge or concern and have no bearing on the discussion here.

    In point of fact it was not climate change that I described as politicised pseudoscience but climate debate.

    You have just provided us with a copy book example.

  21. Doug Proctor says:


    Your logic is unassailable. GHGs cannot create heat, they can only cause a time-delay in the loss of otherwise provided thermal energy. In order to do this there has to be a decrease in OLR concurrent with an increase in temperatures. You would think, however, that thermal equilibrium would be fast; it is possible that the time-delay would not identifiable within the noise.

    A time-delay would show up if CO2 increases were faster than the ability of circulation to mix the lower atmosphere – where the anthropogenic CO2 is created – with the upper atmosphere. The time required for this to occur should be known by now from accidents like Cherynobl.

    It is disturbing that you feel that using simple math to bring uncertainty into the CO2 frenzy is useless. I have argued that the debate is political, ideological and not technical, so I suppose I am arguing against myself here, yet it is disturbing. All we can do is point out the inconsistencies with predictions from the “settled” science and observations. The politicians will (or not) be the ones ultimately to quench the witchcraft fires (as historically they did at Salem, with a post-trial public apology for their errors) but they will need public knowledge to back them up. This is what we have to contribute to the situation.

    The minimal change of TSI, said to be 0.1%, has always struck me as a fundamentally questionable but fundamentally important assertion. But only as I have done the math since your recent posts have I seen how a “minor” variation in incoming energy has a major impact – under the feedback mechanisms of the IPCC. Like others, I see the feedback to be negative in principle as stability and energy balance is an intrinsic property of the universe even if catastrohic events do punctuate the time-line.

    In a purely deterministic universe one might think that a change in one parameter could lead to all sorts of catastrophic outcomes. I’m familiar enough with chaos theory to understand the dire consequences of slight changes in a Mandelbrotian world, but I’m familiar enough with geolgical history to understand that long, long stretches of sameness (within bars) is actually the norm. The nature of a probablistic universe which we now think we live in says that ordinariness is maintained by a competing sea of pluses and minuses that cancel each other out. It’s like when you are driving down the highway in a fluctuating wind: the butterflies flapping their wings in China don’t have much effect on how your car handles.

    Over the last 3 years I have been following the Gore/IPCC Global Warming panic, I have seen a lot of reasonable objections determinable to any one with a basic ability to understand mechanical properties and hold a three-point string of logic for thirty seconds. But I’ve also seen that much of the humanistically-oriented part of society cannot do this: equations seem to occupy a part of the brain that is not accessible when images of cuddly polar bear cubs have been uploaded. As time has gone by it does appear, however, that the elemental disconnect between IPCC theory and observation has not escaped the likes of Gore et al. The absolute refusal to debate publicly scientist-a-scientist strikes me as based on legitimate fear, not just ego or money. Once “out there”, simple math as I just did with the TSI graph would be impossible to deal with in a “settled” science world-view.

    The breakdown with time of the climate debate teams into technical and non-technical sides is interesting in its own right. There are the political sides, the pragmatic sides, and, like here, the technical sides. Truth is inescapable – human-created CO2 either will or will not cause global temperatures to rise to catastrophic levels within the lifetimes of those born today. But the determination of truth prior to its image in the rear-view mirror is such a difficulty! Leif, Archibald, Svensmark, the Tallbloke taggers, each has a take on elements isolated (though important) from the stew in which the planets exist. What is the result of the totality? Clearly our individual intellects are not up to the challenge of figuring this out, and, to those who have failed to deify the digitally designed brains of IBM, it would seem our computers are not up to it, either.

    As I said, with time the truth will out. Until then I suppose those being dragged along, holding on to the reins of a runaway horse, can only console themselves with the thought that someone has to do it before the horse charges into a crowd and kills somebody.

    The warmists think that altruism is the highest ideal. They should ask that of the guy getting beat up for the groups’ benefit.


  22. Entropic man says:

    Altruism and getting beat up for the group’s benefit are linked. Why else would we take our little pink bodies off to fight for queen and country, or even a local football club?
    My Northern Ireland home is full of people hating and fighting the other guy because he worships the same God using a slightly different ritual.
    I wonder sometimes how much of our climate change debates are actually about the science. If the two sides are thought of as social groups or tribes, we may just be fighting for the faction to which we have given loyalty. If that is the case most of this is wasted effort.

  23. Entropic man says:

    “It just amused me that you called it ‘THE’ temperature record. Given the number of times Jim Hansen has diddled with it, I don’t even call it ‘A’ temperature record. The underlying adjustments to the GHCN records Jim’s fairy story are built on are a joke too.”

    Most of us prefer one or other of the five global temperature analyses, for various reasons.Unfortunately, from the sceptic viewpoint, four are produced by the opposition and therefore must automatically be suspect.
    I find the fifth, the BEST analysis, intriguing for its back story. The sceptics welcomed it in advance as independant, with input from sceptics. When it produced the same pattern as the other four it was dropped like a hot brick. One sceptic scientist involved repudiated scepticism, another remained a sceptic, but repudiated the analysis.
    Of course, from your viewpoint GISS, CRU, etc are wrong whatever they do.. If they use the raw record it is unreliable. If they attempt to adjust for deficiencies in the quality of the station data they are “diddling” with it.
    I’ve looked around, but failed to find a full global temperature analysis from a reputable sceptic scientific source.Could you suggest a link?

    [Reply] Not sure I’d describe Roy Spencer and John Christy as “the opposition” from a sceptical viewpoint. 😉

  24. Entropic man says:

    Sorry, Mr. Socrates, I read your sentence as describing the science as specious rubbish.
    I would agree that much of the rest of the debate is rubbish, though the sceptics and I would show different examples.

    Regarding North Carolina, ( )it may go down in history along with the politicians who proposed to pass a law making pi equal to 3.0. You could also include the Leicester council which tried to turn the city into a free electron plasma by declaring themselves a nuclear free zone.

  25. Brian H says:

    Edit: “This makes the sea surface has cool down” ??
    And numerous “it’s” violations. The possessive of “it” is “its”.

  26. Entropic man says:

    “Not sure I’d describe Roy Spencer and John Christy as “the opposition” from a sceptical viewpoint.”

    Fair enough. But with them working on correcting errors in the satellite data, why are you still so unhappy with the datasets?
    The satellite data seems to have suffered its own teething troubles. The early data showing little warming has had to be adjusted to overcome analysis problems. Now that UAH and RSS are agreeing with each other and other sources of data, this may have been overcome.
    To quote John Christy

    “Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human induced global warming. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. While these data are consistent with the results from climate models at the global scale, discrepancies in the tropics remain to be resolved.”

    Click to access sap1-1-final-execsum.pdf