Crisis Looms In Alarmist Climate Science

Posted: October 21, 2020 by oldbrew in alarmism, climate, Emissions, Uncertainty

How will they react if or when it turns out that ECS only exists in their imaginations anyway?

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

Climate science is dominated by alarmists addicted to the idea that increasing carbon dioxide will cause dangerous global warming. How much warming is thus the central scientific question.

This question has been surprisingly difficult to answer despite 40 years of research, costing tens of billions of dollars. Now the issue is exploding because two different answers are emerging, one harmlessly low and the other dangerously high. This divergence is a crisis for the alarmist community. How they handle it remains to be seen.

What follows is a slightly technical explanation of the situation.

The issue centers on a benchmark estimate of the impact of increasing CO2 on global temperature. This is called the “equilibrium climate sensitivity” or ECS. The basic question is what will the global average temperature be when the CO2 level is double the supposedly original level of 280 ppm? That is, what…

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  1. oldbrew says:

    ‘They may simply drop mention of the ECS altogether, it now being very inconvenient.’
    – – –
    But it’s one of the standard props of the whole house of cards.

  2. Phil Salmon says:

    A very perceptive article by David Wojick.

    There have been a number of observational studies and many are getting ECS values well below 1.5, which are harmless indeed. Values of 1.2 and 1.3 are common.

    But at the same time there has been a new wave of modeling studies and these are getting ECS values way above 4.5, which would be truly dangerous. Here values of 5.2 and 5.3 are to be found.

    How the IPCC handles the exploding ECS range will be interesting to see, at the very least. They may choose to ignore it because it has to hurt alarmism.

    FWIW I think the path they will choose is balefully predictable.
    They are all in so they will double down on the new high modelling ECS numbers.
    They have been chastened by the convergence of the empirical data-based low ECS in agreement with theoretical work by Chris Monckton, Nic Lewis, Lindzen and others. So they may well indeed try to move away from the concept of ECS. Find a modelling-only safe space.

  3. gbaikie says:

    “But at the same time there has been a new wave of modeling studies and these are getting ECS values way above 4.5, which would be truly dangerous. Here values of 5.2 and 5.3 are to be found.”

    I think temperature record disproves more than 2. If not, in another 10 years, it should be even more evident.
    But for fun is 5.3 dangerous?
    Well, obviously the warming we have already have has not been dangerous, whereas if now, or in past, we have/had .5 C cooling would have most certainly have been worse.
    I think increasing 5.3 C above current global air temperature is dangerous only in sense of why are people so stupid to imagine this could happen anytime soon.
    But perhaps part of 5.3 C increase has already occurred.
    It could be one imagining we could cooled a lot more without having 400 ppm of CO2, or we had say 2 C of warming, but it’s hidden or can’t be proven or it’s “possible”. In that case 5.3 is not dangerous, it’s a life saver.
    But if idea is from present time, it’s added 5.3 and so now, about 15 C, and at some point going to be about 20.3 C??
    Average land is 10 C, and if just average land increases to 15.3 C, it will very little effect upon global average temperature.
    So, have look at ocean temperatures, and current average ocean is about 17 C.
    To get + 5.3 C, have to warm ocean by 2 or 3 C. Let’s pick 20 C.
    The average ocean of 17 C is 40% tropics being 26 C and 60% being about 11.
    Similar to you can’t just warm the land to increase global by much, you can’t mostly warm the 40% of ocean which is the tropics, or warming the 60% which is 11 C, fits more with whole idea of global warming. So say 60% warms from 11 C to 15 C.
    If 60% of ocean surface warms by 4 C, this a huge effect on everything- the ocean currently warming Europe are much warmer. So rather then Europe having average temperature of 9 C, it could become 15 C. The Europe could have same average temperature that southern country Spain, currently has. If colder countries are warm as Spain is this somehow the end of everything?
    How is that Africa and India can have average temperature of about 25 C. And European can’t bear an average temperature of 15 C. Or America can warmed more than 15 C. Or Canada can’t survive having it’s average temperature a few degree above freezing.

    Now could argue ocean warms little and land warms massive amount. It doesn’t make any sense, but one free to be idiot.

  4. ichor0 says:

    A mainstream paper on this point, from June: with a section

    Section “Factors contributing to the larger range and higher values ECS in CMIP6” says it is probably about cloud-seeding. What a shock:)
    “Some models have prognostic aerosol schemes with large negative forcing but low ECS, while others have low values of negative aerosol forcing but high ECS”

    UPI actually wrote this up a bit more soberly than the media usually does

    with a focus on sulfate aerosols seeding. Then:

    “That increased number of small droplets makes the cloud brighter, and it’s going to reflect more sunlight and have a cooling effect . On the other hand, you’ve formed all these droplets in the sky, but the aerosols absorb some sunlight, warm the air, and evaporate some of the droplets and that reduces the amount of clouds. That allows a little more sun into the system, and now you have a warming effect”.

    It would be funny if ‘EZ-water’ turned out to be true (it’s beyond me), and that decided the fate of some clouds. The mainstream would never figure it out – and never put in a model.

  5. oldbrew says:

    ECS is linked to enhanced greenhouse effect theory. If the theory is wrong, as observational data indicates, so is ECS.

  6. Phoenix44 says:

    This is one of the most egregious errors in climate science. Alarmists claim their models produce ECS as an “emergent property” but that is utter nonsense. The assumptions in the model implicitly assume an ECS. They may not be able to work out what ECS their assumptions imply without the models but that does not make ECS an emergent property. The Alarmists claim they are modeling reality but they are only modeling their assumptions.

    The fact that they apparently can’t control the output ECS with their assumptions is proof they don’t understand what they are doing but they take it as proof of emergent properties. It’s a black is white conclusion, beyond foolish.

    This is the fundamental weakness of the theory, that the models are not what they claim or believe. They literally cannot be. Indeed, if we know what ECS is then our models can be three lines:

    Line 1: Change in CO2
    Line 2: ECS
    Line 3: Line 1 x Line 2 = change in temperature

  7. pochas94 says:

    The important thing for the alarmists is that they continue to be paid. That’s ok with the public, as long as they can continue to be ignored.

  8. hunterson7 says:

    One implication of not getting the answer one is looking for after 40 years of looking is that one is asking the wrong question.

  9. Oldbrew you have got it. There is no ECS. This can be shown be several facts
    1/ The absorptivity of CO2 (only in a tiny range at 14.8 micron wavelength) and the actual quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere ie about 400ppm mean that the amount of heat it can absorb (ie increase in temperature) is so small to be unmeasurable
    2/ the second law of thermodynamics indicates cold CO2 in the atmosphere can not warm the Earth surface but only radiate to space
    3/ The so-called base CO2 level (280ppm) is nonsense. Measurements in the recent past eg 1941 by Kreutz and someone in India were over 400ppm in addition to other genuine and accurate measurements dating back to the 1860’s
    4/ Changes in temperature lead changes in CO2 as shown by ice cores (over 800 years or so) and on shorter terms on daily and seasonal basis (shown by Kreutz and many others also in changes from the 1940’s into the 1950’s & 1960’s)
    5/ the radiation absorptivity of H2Og (ie water vapour) is much more important than CO2 while that is even less important than the effect of clouds which in turn means it is impossible to make measurements about the effect of CO2. A 1% change in cloud cover can only be guessed but has an enormous effect on the the short short and long term effect on Earth heat balance.
    There are several other issues but these are enough to make the whole hyping of CO2 issue a scam. There are a few more comments on my rarely updated blog but at least you should know I am a chemical engineer. People calling themselves climate scientists mostly have little technical understanding but are good at politics.

  10. oldbrew says:

    cementafriend says:
    3/ The so-called base CO2 level (280ppm) is nonsense.
    – – –
    Yes, the figure at the end of the Little Ice Age was always going to be on the low side, as cooler oceans absorb more atmospheric CO2.

    Likewise warmer oceans expel more CO2 [outgassing], hence the current rise, or some of it at least. This is just ‘basic physics’, unlike their greenhouse claims.

  11. Paul Vaughan says:

    Comm.IC Reelief

    I never liked the song, but it serves well as cototient orwellian thames:
    “those were the daze the saw more of….” — brane add dems

  12. hunterson7 says:

    It seems entirely appropriate that a movement based on alarmist hype would face a crisis when their underlying hype turns to crap.

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