Sea level rise discussion thread

by Judith Curry

Recently, there have been a number of interesting papers on sea level rise.  Let’s take a look.

World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0-2000) 1955-2010

Levitus et al.

Abstract. We provide updated estimates of the change of heat content and the thermosteric component of sea level change of the 0-700 and 0-2000 m layers of the world ocean for 1955-2010. Our estimates are based on historical data not previously available, additional modern data, correcting for instrumental biases of bathythermograph data, and correcting or excluding some Argo float data. The heat content of the world ocean for the 0-2000 m layer increased by 24.0×1022 J corresponding to a rate of 0.39 Wm-2 (per unit area of the world ocean) and a volume mean warming of 0.09ºC. This warming rate corresponds to a rate of 0.27 Wm-2 per unit area of earth’s surface. The heat content of the world ocean for the 0-700 m layer increased by 16.7×1022 J corresponding to a rate of 0.27 Wm-2 (per unit area of the world ocean) and a volume mean warming of 0.18ºC. The world ocean accounts for approximately 90% of the warming of the earth system that has occurred since 1955. The thermosteric component of sea level trend is 0.54 mm yr-1 for the 0-2000 m layer and 0.41 mm yr-1 for the 0-700 m layer of the world ocean for 1955-2010.

Key Points

  • A strong positive linear trend in exists in world ocean heat contentsince 1955
  • One third of the observed warming occurs in the 700-2000 m layer of the ocean
  • The warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs
 Citation: Levitus, S., et al. (2012), World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0-2000), 1955-2010, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL051106  [link] to abstract.
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Pielke Sr. has a comment on the paper [here]. Punchline:
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Thus either using the 1955 to 2010 time period, or the shorter time period from 1990 to 2010 in the Levitus et al 2012 paper, the diagnosed magnitudes of ocean warming and global warming are significantly less than claimed by Jim Hansen in 2005. This discrepancy is even larger if we use the NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory data.
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Niche Modelling also discusses the paper [here].  Punchline:

If one accepts the IPCC radiative forcing values of anthropogenic radiative forcings of +1.6 (+0.6 to +2.4) Watts per meter squared and/or the solar radiative forcing of +0.12 (+0.06 to +0.30) Watts per meter squared as correct, what the Levitus et al data shows is that the global radiative feedback is negative(and this necessarily would include the water vapor, sea ice etc radiative feedbacks). That is global radiative feedback  <  global radiative forcing.  Alternatively, the IPCC anthropogenic radiative forcings  and/or the solar radiative forcing could be in error.

Either way, the 2007 IPCC WG1 report has a serious error in it.

Model estimates of sea-level change due to anthropogenic impacts on terrestrial water storage
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Yadu Pokhrel, Naota Hanasaki, Pat Yeh, Tomohito Yamada, Shinjiro Kanae, Taikan Oki
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Abstract. Global sea level has been rising over the past half century, according to tide-gauge data12. Thermal expansion of oceans, melting of glaciers and loss of the ice masses in Greenland and Antarctica are commonly considered as the largest contributors, but these contributions do not entirely explain the observed sea-level rise1. Changes in terrestrial water storage are also likely to affect sea level3456, but comprehensive and reliable estimates of this contribution, particularly through human water use, are scarce1. Here, we estimate sea-level change in response to human impacts on terrestrial water storage by using an integrated model that simulates global terrestrial water stocks and flows (exclusive to Greenland and Antarctica) and especially accounts for human activities such as reservoir operation and irrigation. We find that, together, unsustainable groundwater use, artificial reservoir water impoundment, climate-driven changes in terrestrial water storage and the loss of water from closed basins have contributed a sea-level rise of about 0.77 mm yr−1 between 1961 and 2003, about 42% of the observed sea-level rise. We note that, of these components, the unsustainable use of groundwater represents the largest contribution.
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As explained by Zorita at Die Klimazweibel:
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As usual, I would interpret that these estimations may be better than previous ones, but I would put more confidence on these figures once they have been confirmed by other groups in the next years. This paper will be likely discussed in the next IPCC report, but any follow-up studies, confirming or rebutting these numbers, will not, as the dead line to submit articles to be considered by the IPCC is due in 2 months.
 
The new estimations of GWD may have, however, consequences for the so called ‘semi-empirical’ estimations of future sea-level rise. These methods are based on statistical relationships between global mean temperature and the rate of sea-level rise. If a larger part than previously thought of the observed sea-level rise is not climate-related, these statistical estimation may be then biased high.
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Stefan Rahmstorf at Realclimate is shocked:
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Last week the science community was shocked by the claim that 42% of the sea-level rise of the past decades is due to groundwater pumping for irrigation purposes. What could this mean for the future – and is it true?
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An aerial view of 80 years of climate-related glacier fluctuations in southeast Greenland
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Anders Bjork, Kurt Kjaer, Niels Korsgaard, Shfaqat Khan, Kristian Kjeldsen, Camilla Andresen, Jason Box, Nicolaj Larsen, Svend Funder
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Abstract. Widespread retreat of glaciers has been observed along the southeastern margin of Greenland. This retreat has been associated with increased air and ocean temperatures. However, most observations are from the satellite era; presatellite observations of Greenlandic glaciers are rare. Here we present a unique record that documents the frontal positions for 132 southeast Greenlandic glaciers from rediscovered historical aerial imagery beginning in the early 1930s. We combine the historical aerial images with both early and modern satellite imagery to extract frontal variations of marine- and land-terminating outlet glaciers, as well as local glaciers and ice caps, over the past 80 years. The images reveal a regional response to external forcing regardless of glacier type, terminal environment and size. Furthermore, the recent retreat was matched in its vigour during a period of warming in the 1930s with comparable increases in air temperature. We show that many land-terminating glaciers underwent a more rapid retreat in the 1930s than in the 2000s, whereas marine-terminating glaciers retreated more rapidly during the recent warming.

Nature Geoscience (2012) doi:10.1038/ngeo1481. Full paper available online [here].

Pat Michaels sums it up:  Such results throw a bit of cold water on alarmist ideas that rising temperatures will lead to ever-accelerating ice loss from Greenland and accelerating sea level rise.

21st Century Evolution of Greenland Outlet Glacier Velocities

T. Moon, I Joughin, B. Smith, I Howat

Abstract. Earlier observations on several of Greenland’s outlet glaciers, starting near the turn of the 21st century, indicated rapid (annual-scale) and large (>100%) increases in glacier velocity. Combining data from several satellites, we produce a decade-long (2000 to 2010) record documenting the ongoing velocity evolution of nearly all (200+) of Greenland’s major outlet glaciers, revealing complex spatial and temporal patterns. Changes on fast-flow marine-terminating glaciers contrast with steady velocities on ice-shelf–terminating glaciers and slow speeds on land-terminating glaciers. Regionally, glaciers in the northwest accelerated steadily, with more variability in the southeast and relatively steady flow elsewhere. Intraregional variability shows a complex response to regional and local forcing. Observed acceleration indicates that sea level rise from Greenland may fall well below proposed upper bounds.

Science 4 May 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6081 pp. 576-578
DOI: 10.1126/science.1219985  [link] to abstract

Rahmstorf comments at Realclimate:

The bottom line is that Greenland’s glaciers are still speeding up. But the results put speculation of monotonic or exponential increases in Greenland’s ice discharge to rest, an idea that some had raised after a doubling over a few years was reported in 2004 for Jakobshavn Isbræ (Greenland’s largest outlet glacier). Let it not be said that journals such as Science and Nature are only willing to publish papers that find that thing are “worse than we thought”!

JC comments:  When I raise the issue of emphasizing adaptation over mitigation, the response I often get is that the sea level rise issue is so global and overwhelming that mitigation is the only sensible way  to deal with the global sea level rise.  It is good to see these new data-driven analyses of relevance to sea level rise that highlight the uncertainties in our understanding of past sea level rise (and by inference, future sea level rise).

It will be interesting to see how all this plays out in the AR5.   I found the “science community was shocked” comment by Rahmstorf to be very illuminating; that is what happens when you do “consensus” science rather than focusing on the uncertainties and challenging your science.

532 responses to “Sea level rise discussion thread

  1. Guillermo Gefaell

    “….that is what happens when you do “consensus” science rather than focusing on the uncertainties and challenging your science.”
    Agree.

    • What can you point to that will lead any of global warming alarmists that are still left question to question their faith? What aren’t they willing to do to avoid facing the evidence?

      Now you know what George Bush faced. When nature fails to conform to their hopes they simply make up their own reality—manipulate data and blame skeptics for using their brains instead of having faith.

      “Although it (GW) maintains a claim to being based on science, its relation to genuine, evidence based, logically consistent, refutable science is not unlike that of Scientology, with which it shares a number of commonalities.” ~Walter Starck

      • Thanks, Wagathon, for quoting Dr. Walter Starck:

        http://www.goldendolphin.com/wstarck.htm

        AGW (alias environmentalism) is well-packaged propaganda designed to redistribute wealth in the current fascist, one-world society that nobody intended when this path was chosen in 1945 to “save the world” (and world leaders) from the fate Hiroshima suffered on 6 Aug 1945 – nuclear annihilation.

        The sad tale of deceit [1] that betrayed principles in the document that established our country on 6 July 1776 – The US Declaration of Independence [2]:

        1. http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-105

        2. http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

        I started to awaken to reality on 26 June 2008 – almost a year and a half before the Climategate scandal broke in November 2009.

        In an open meeting chaired by Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone, President of the US National Academy of Sciences, I asked members of the Space Science Board the following question (later submitted to Dr. Cicerone and SSB members individually in writing):

        QUESTION FOR THE SPACE SCIENCE BOARD

        Can the Space Science Board help NASA move away from the untruths that are wrecking our economy?

        • Earth is bathed in a steady flow of heat from Hydrogen-fusion in the Hydrogen-filled Sun.

        • Solar neutrinos from Hydrogen-fusion melt (oscillate) away before reaching detectors.

        • Earth’s climate is immune from cycles of solar activity (sunspots, flares, eruptions).

        • Therefore CO2 from our economic engines caused global warming.

        Oliver K. Manuel
        Emeritus Professor and Former
        NASA PI for Apollo Lunar Studies
        http://www.omatumr.com

        REFERENCES:

        1. P. D. Jose: 1965, “Sun’s motion and sunspots”, Astronomy Journal 70, 193-200.

        2. R. W. Fairbridge and J. H. Shirley: 1987, “Prolonged minima and the 179 year cycle of the solar inertial motion,” Solar Physics 110, 191-220.
        - – – – – – -

        Barack Obama is no more – and no less – to blame for following the path that Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, Liberals, Communists, Capitalists all followed after 1946.

        Unfortunately, Obama may suffer the wrath of other citizens who, like me, only belatedly awakened to reality.

      • JoNova, WUWT and Climate Ponderings report that the global carbon market may soon crash:

        http://joannenova.com.au/2012/06/global-carbon-market-hits-176-billion-in-2011/

        http://tinyurl.com/6vf4ako

        http://climaterealistponderings.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/689/

        World leaders are as worried as everyone else: Society’s crumbling.

        Today I hope to develop a viable solution, based on re-establishing contact with reality that was severed in 1945-46 out of instinctive fear of “nuclear fires.”

        Here’s a summary of the events that led us to this stage:

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-105

        I hope to post a solution below this comment today.

      • Wagathon, here’s another quote from Walter Strack. He speaks about crop circles.

        “All this is only a side issue. What really counts is the phenomena itself and especially its effect on and clear linkage with our own consciousness. Three possibilities come to mind. They may derive from another consciousness interacting with us, or it might be some manifestation of a higher consciousness of which we are a part, or it could be a manifestation solely of our own. Whether it is any of these or something else altogether, it clearly has profound implications for our understanding of the real nature of our own being. This is truly exciting stuff and you are to be commended for having the courage and perception to do so to bring it to wider awareness.”

      • BTW, Walter Strack’s notion of “another consciousness interacting with us” gives me the willies. Has that ever happened to you? I mean another consciousness, not the willies.

      • So… who is STRACK?

      • Wagathon, STRACK IS STARCK misspelled.

        Now that I have answered your question, how about answering mine. Since you and Starck have a lot in common, have you ever had another consciousness interacting with you? And if so, who was it or they?

      • Surely you are not suggesting you have read anything that suggests Walter Stark believes crop circles is evidence of frequent alien visitations to UK croplands.

      • Wagathon, FYI the source of the above quote fro Walter Starck is

        http://www.mightycompanions.org/cropcircles/conversation.html#walters

        You seem to be an admirer of Walter Starck. Do you know what Starck means when he says ” They may derive from another consciousness interacting with us” ?
        Have you experienced what he’s talking about?

      • It has impressed me for years that AGW true believers and UFO true believers (UFOols) have much in common.
        Thanks for bringing that up.

      • hunter, sometimes I wonder if you know which end is up Strack is an AGW denier.

      • Your thought processes seem alien to reason.

      • Speaking of aliens, have you ever had ” another consciousness interacting with you, as suggested by AGW denier Walter Starck?

      • Is Hunter OK? I dunno. I’m concerned about Wagathon, not Hunter.

      • All of this confirms quite a bit about you, Ok?

        Typical Alarmist Offerings of “Evidence” e.g., Polar Bears, Glaciers, Arctic Melt, Antarctic Ice Shelves, Storms, Droughts, Fires, Malaria, Snow Melt on Mt Kilimanjaro, Rising Sea Levels, Ocean Warming, Urban Heat Island Effect…

        Although each of these issues may say something about whether or not global warming is or was occurring, none of them say anything about the causes of global warming. It would make no difference to these issues if the recent global warming was caused by CO2 or by aliens heating the planet with ray guns.

        The IPCC Said So.

        (Dr. David Evans, There is No Evidence, July 6, 2009)

        How Many Scientists Does It Take to Expose a Hoax?

      • Wagathon I ask you a question. Please stop farting around, and attempt an answer.

      • Ok the answer is, nuts.

      • Why can’t the Leftists tell the truth. Apparently *MORE*’s ‘lion-tamers’ have not got the message: Wisconsin voted for Jay Leno not Dave Letterman, even with all of the government Union money against him. George Bush, Gov. Palin — they had it right and Walter Starck pegged it: when it comes to global waming we’re dealing with mass maniacs and logic simply does not matter because these supposed ‘lion-tamers’ cannot tell the truth.

  2. Dave Springer

    0.18 degrees volumetric warming in 57 years. That works out to 0,31 degrees per century.

    This is supposed to worry me?

    As far as GHG’s being the only possible cause that’s contemptible. A rather small change in albedo could do it. Some 1500w/m2 energy enters at TOA. Less than half a watt more at the ocean surface could be caused by change in albedo of just 0.03%. Incredible.

    • “0.18 degrees volumetric warming in 57 years. That works out to 0,31 degrees per century.

      This is supposed to worry me?”

      It depends on how much it varies naturally. You have to compare changes to the past.

      To some people 5 degrees global warming would be “nothing” as it’s just “a bit warmer”. But the planet hardly ever varies in global temperature by that amount.

      • Dave Springer

        0.31C is how much the ocean will warm in the next 100 years if it continues to warm at the rate it did in the past 50 years. That’s anthopogenic and natural causes combined. If it varies naturally by 5C in the next century then we probably don’t need to worry if anthropogenic causes makes it 5.3C instead. So, as usual, I disagree with your thesis.

    • “A rather small change in albedo could do it. Some 1500w/m2 energy enters at TOA.”

      342wm-2

      A 0.2% decrease in albedo would be needed to cause a 0.5wm-2 imbalance.

      Where’s that going to come from though? Clouds? But clouds are supposed to increase albedo in a warmer world according to skeptics…

      We must remember which page we are on. The clouds have caused the warming vs the clouds have reduced the warming.

      • Dave Springer

        A 0.2% decrease in albedo could come from, among other things, fewer clouds or less snowcover or black carbon accumulation on existing snowcover. Thanks for asking.

    • Dave Springer

      Erm… small correction. TOA peak is 1366W/m2. TOA average is 341W/m2. 0.5 Watts more at ocean surface would happen from a reduction of 0.14%. GHGs are certainly not the only possible cause of an albedo change.

      GHGs by the way are best and most simply considered as altering albedo. In effect they cause a bit more solar energy to be absorbed by the surface but in an indirect fashion. The most widely used online physics reference in the world has this to say:

      http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/phyopt/albedo.html

      my emphasis

      The term albedo (Latin for white) is commonly used to applied to the overall average reflection coefficient of an object. For example, the albedo of the Earth is 0.39 (Kaufmann) and this affects the equilibrium temperature of the Earth. The greenhouse effect, by trapping infrared radiation, can lower the albedo of the earth and cause global warming.

      The albedo of an object will determine its visual brightness when viewed with reflected light. For example, the planets are viewed by reflected sunlight and their brightness depends upon the amount of light received from the sun and their albedo. Mercury receives the maximum amount of sunlight, but its albedo is only 0.1 so it is not as bright as it would be with a higher albedo.

      In more technical treatments of albedo, such as that of de Pater and Lissauer, a distinction is made between “bond albedo” and “geometric albedo”, the numbers quoted above being geometric albedos. The geometric albedo is defined as the amount of radiation relative to that from a flat Lambertian surface which is an ideal reflector at all wavelengths. The bond albedo is the total radiation reflected from an object compared to the total incident radiation from the Sun. The bond albedo for the Earth is given as 0.29 by de Pater and Lissauer, compared to their value of 0.37 for the geometrical albedo.

      • The “new” solar TSI estimate is 1360.8Wm-2, the annual variation is from around 1321 to 1413 Wm-2. The southern hemisphere oceans benefit from the highest insolation, so an even smaller variation in albedo in the southern hemisphere can have a large impact. Natural variability can easily over whelm a few Wm-2 of gas forcing.

      • The annual variation is interesting. The aphelion is in early July (min TSI) and that’s also aproximately when maximum annual global temperature occurs. Minimum temperature is in January and the perihelion (max TSI) is in early January. ~4 degrees colder at TSI peak.

    • Willis Eschenback addresses changing solar and albedo:
      Sun and clouds are sufficient

      the value of the net sun (solar radiation minus albedo reflections) is quite sufficient to explain both the annual and decadal temperature variations, in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, from 1984 to 1997. This is particularly significant because this is the period of the large recent warming that people claim is due to CO2.

      If natural causes can explain most climate change, why do we need to worry about the uncertainty hypothesis?

  3. So you weren’t shocked by the idea that 42% of the sea-level rise of the past decades is due to groundwater pumping for irrigation purposes?

      • The Pokhrel et al. estimate for rate of groundwater depletion in the latter half of the 20th Century is more than double that of Wada et al. 2010. Combining the results from Wada 2010 with assessments of reservoir storage, as is done in Pokhrel 2012 to produce this 42% figure, we get something on the order of 0-10% contribution.

        Note that Wada et al. have published something of an update this year. It’s not shown in the abstract but reports I’ve seen suggest it finds about half as much historical groundwater depletion as in the 2010 paper.

      • Sorry, I’ve linked to the wrong Wada et al. 2012 paper. I thought it was a bit short on details. Here is the relevant one: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL051230.shtml

      • Paul, I don’t see where Wada 2010 states what surface retention would equate to. You are assuming they would use one particular value. There are many to choose from. I’m sure if I was interested in pressing the point I could find a value where there wasn’t nearly as much difference as you have selected. My view is such an argument is of no value.

        As far as AR4 goes, stating there was less than 0.5mm/year was hand waving. If they weren’t hand waving they would have included it in the attribution with error bars instead of just claiming half ice half warming, right?

      • Paul, I don’t see where Wada 2010 states what surface retention would equate to. You are assuming they would use one particular value.

        No, I’m looking at a range of recent estimates, as documented by Pokhrel et al. 2012. Their central estimates go from -0.3mm/yr to -0.5mm/yr. This compares with Wada 2010′s +0.5mm/yr figure for groundwater depletion, giving a lower and upper sum of 0 & 0.2mm/yr. With an observed sea level change of 1.8mm/yr this means an approximate 0 – 10% range.

        I’m sure if I was interested in pressing the point I could find a value where there wasn’t nearly as much difference as you have selected.

        Even if you managed to dig up an estimate that suggested reservoir impoundment had zero effect on sea level, combining with Wada 2010 would still give only ~25% contribution to observed sea level change in the designated period.

        If they weren’t hand waving they would have included it in the attribution with error bars instead of just claiming half ice half warming, right?

        You’re misreading the charts (presumably you’re talking about Figure 5.21 and Table 5.3). These are incorporations of independent forward estimates of each climatic contributor in order to determine how well they explain the sea level budget together. They are not attributing via inverse modelling. They are left with 0.7mm/yr of their observed 1.8mm/yr budget unexplained (clearly this means they don’t say anything like ‘half ice half warming’), which they suggest could be partially closed by terrestrial storage changes though that would be beyond the range of their forward modelling estimates. Pokhrel et al. 2012 includes AR4′s sea level budget exercise in their paper, presumably because they believe their results are the answer: closing the budget with the missing 0.7mm/yr.

      • Look at table 5.3 and tell me, is 1961 – 2003 a foward estimate? Is 1993 – 2003 a foward estimate? As far as the percentages go, It would appear that you are taking 0.8/3.2 to come up with your 25%. I would actually accept that as being close enough to show no suprise as compared to it doesn’t matter responses. But the Pohkrel paper is in the long term tide gauge record not the satellite record so the difference would be less.

      • Taking a punt on what you mean here but the 0.8mm/yr figure from Wada 2010 is for the final year in their estimate (2000). The average rate across their full period of consideration (1960-2000, which is slightly different from Pokhrel et al.’s comparison period 1950-2000) is ~0.5mm/yr.

        Both the 1961-2003 and 1993-2003 parts are incorporations of forward estimates for individual contributors across these periods. That may be another reason why TWS changes were omitted from this assessment: they didn’t have any forward estimates for 1993-2003.

      • I’m going to take a punt on why you are calling something that already happened a foward estimate.

      • As a way of distinguishing from estimates derived from inverse modelling. Definitionally, ‘forward’ is a reasonable word to use in this context, but if you can think of a term you’d prefer I’d be happy to use it.

      • Looks like an attribution to me.

      • ” However, indirect evidence from considering other contributions to the sea level budget (see Section 5.5.6) suggests that the land contribution either is small (<0.5 mm yr–1) or is compensated for by unaccounted or underestimated contributions."

        But if they didn't come to the conclusion that terrestrial water sources made no difference from inverse modeling, I'm not really sure how to take this comment.

      • I’ve made no comments stating that the ‘< 0.5mm/yr' figure wasn't derived from inverse modelling. I thought I'd indicated precisely the opposite in my second post:

        'They also refer to their sea level change budget from forward estimates of climatic contributors and suggest, based on the magnitude of the remainder, that TWS contribution is probably <0.5mm/yr between 1961-2003 unless there is a significant unaccounted compensating contributor.'

        Note that the '< 0.5mm/yr' statement is not definitive: they indicate a possibility of larger TWS contributions, but if that is the case there would likely have to be other factors offsetting or we'd be inferring more sea level rise than appears to have actually happened.

      • So Paul, the bottom line is they calculated the different possible contributors to SLR and decided to leave at least one possible contributor off their chart based on inverse modeling. Isn’t deciding what doesn’t go on a chart just as important as deciding what does? Having terrestrial water sources on the chart with the huge error bars they had wouldn’t have made a very convincing chart for the summary for policy makers section.

      • As I said earlier, AR4 is a report about climate change. Groundwater depletion is not climate-related. Indeed, the summing in the SPM is specifically labelled ‘Sum of individual climate contributions to sea level rise ‘.

        Not sure what you want out of the SPM in this case. For the 1961-2003 period they clearly note: ‘For the period 1961 to 2003, the sum of climate contributions is estimated to be smaller than the observed sea level rise.’

      • I want it to show the real uncertainty involved in all of this. Perhaps if it did we wouldn’t be so shocked when we find out that some estimates may be so far off base as to be meaningless, like this one:

        http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2012/02/himalayas-not-losing-ice-but-o.html

        Is that too much to ask?

      • But, as I’ve pointed out a number of times now, those glacier mass balance estimates are produced entirely independently of other factors and global sea level rise observations – they aren’t derived from inverse modelling. That means whatever will be the estimate for TWS change it will have zero effect on estimates for glacier sea level contribution, and will say absolutely nothing about the uncertainties in those estimates. If you want to understand the uncertainty in glacier mass balance estimates you need to look at the individual research papers dealing with those topics.

        At this point we seem to be going around in circles – my last four comments have mainly referred back to earlier ones – so I would suggest this discussion has run its course.

      • The glacier results may not have been derived by inverse modeling but the results were used to inverse model other things. You have already agreed to as much.

      • I am not suprised there are differences of magnitude in the estimates of ground water/terrestrial storage contribution to sea level. What does suprise me is how the subject was treated in AR4 which was nothing more than hand waving the problem away. It’s a very difficult problem to quantify.

      • You seemed to be suggesting that Wada 2010 produced a result similar to Pokhrel et al. thereby making their finding unsurprising. I was pointing out that there is actually a large difference between the two, even though Wada 2010 is at the high end of previous estimates.

        Not sure what you mean regarding treatment of anthropogenic terrestrial water storage (TWS) changes in AR4. One thing to note is that AR4 is a report specifically about climate change. Groundwater depletion is not climate related so there’s no particular reason why the IPCC would devote much space to it. The main reason for assessing it at all is to inform inverse modelling methods – determining climatic sea level rise contribution by removing non-climatic contributors.

        AR4 basically states that there wasn’t any significant development in estimating anthropogenic TWS changes since the TAR, so uses estimates described in that report (unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to directly link to a particular section of that report): -1.1 to +0.4mm/yr from 1900-1990, –1.9 to +1.0 mm/yr in 1990. They also refer to their sea level change budget from forward estimates of climatic contributors and suggest, based on the magnitude of the remainder, that TWS contribution is probably <0.5mm/yr between 1961-2003 unless there is a significant unaccounted compensating contributor.

    • Dave Springer

      No. Anyone doing a modest amount of research on the subject of sea level change will quickly find that land subsidence caused by groundwater pumping is a confounding factor. In fact I’ve pointed out in prior threads that land-use changes can do so as well. A well-known sea level study conducted in Virgina using foraminifera species distribution in tidelands where each species has a preference for a certain depth of water shows a anomaly temporally coincident with the rapid rise of tobacco farming near the Virginia coast. Vast tracts of land were cleared of forest cover and given over to tobacco plantations which changed drainage patterns and coastal aquifer recharge rates. More or less water in an aquifer causes more or less subsidence which will be reflected in local sea level without any actual change in global sea level. Given that most tide gauges, which heretofore are the usual means of judging sea level rise before satellite altimetry, the tide gauges with the longest history are in areas where there is a large amount of anthropogenic land and water use changes. I suggested the foraminifera based studies, which otherwise appear to be methodically sound, should be conducted far from any high levels of human habitation.

      • Dave Springer

        The very first use of the steam engine was to pump groundwater. The date is circa 1700. That’s when anthropogenic reduction of coastal aquifers began in earnest. Hundreds of water-intensive industrial processes became economical without reliance on being located near a reliable source of fresh groundwater.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_engine#History

        The first practical steam-powered ‘engine’ was a water pump, developed in 1698 by Thomas Savery. It used a vacuum to raise water from below, then used steam pressure to raise it higher. Small engines were effective though larger models were problematic.They proved only to have a limited lift height and were prone to boiler explosions. It received some use in mines and pumping stations. [7]

        The first commercially successful engine was the atmospheric engine, invented by Thomas Newcomen around 1712.[8] It made use of technologies discovered by Savery and Papin. Newcomen’s engine was relatively inefficient, and in most cases was used for pumping water.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        Congratulations! Delighted to see your identification of a variable (subsidence) that is missing from the summaries above. Hereabouts, subsidence accounted for about half the “alarming” rate of sea level rise along the coast as measured by tide gauges.
        Did any of the papers factor in another variable, plate tectonic “uplift”?

    • lolwot, don’t forget beaver hats. How many millions of cubic meters of water do ya think where held by beaver dams? Land use change might have had a touch of an impact doncha know :)

  4. Rob Starkey

    The rate of sea level rise may accelerate in the future, but there is no reliable evidence to suggest that we know by how much or when. The current rate of sea level rise is of little concern to humanity.

    This rate of rise can easily be adapted to over the timescales in play much more cost efficiently than could any plan to mitigate the potential future conditions. Taking actions that we have little understanding whether or not they will have the desired results makes very little sense.

  5. If there is one thing we have learned, if you are to keep the global warming hoax alive, you must personalize the Global Climate scare-stories—e.g., first you give an ice shelf a name; then, when you hear that if calved-off Antarctica to just float away and silently die alone and forgotten, it’s like hearing that a member of the family has been run over by a drunk driver in a SUV.

    “… the doyen of sea level scientists, Niklas Axel-Mörner… determined the sea level curve over the past 5,000 years based on evidence of morphology, stratigraphy, biology and archaeology supported by extensive C14 dating, and found that ‘All over the Maldives there is evidence of a sub-recent sea level some 20 cm higher than the present one. In the 1970s, sea level fell to its present position’… Our politicians (and some scientists) should base their opinions on real observations instead of alarming us with nightmares of catastrophic sea level rise based on false models of ice caps.” (Cliff Ollier)

    “Serial sovereign defaults and further severe global economic recession seem unavoidable. In these conditions, the ongoing obsession over AGW is looking more and more like a mental disorder, not unlike the mass manias of the Middle Ages… [where] angry mobs may be only too willing to accord full credit to false prophets.” (Walter Starck)

    • Rob Starkey

      The defaults will not be necessary if citizens can agree to drastically cut the rate of cost increase in “entitlement programs” both in the US and in Europe. The question is whether democracy can work or if people are insufficiently intelligent to recognize economic reality

      • At this point in the AGW hoax the True Believers no longer fear global warming so much as they are desperate for it to be so.

    • “the doyen of sea level scientists, Niklas Axel-Mörner”

      based on what? Who takes Axel Morner seriously? Doesn’t he claim global sea level fell over the past few decades?

      • The detailed Maldives sea level studies done by Axel-Mörner’s team of scientists — looking back over the last 5,000 years — found that, “All over the Maldives there is evidence of a sub-recent sea level some 20 cm higher than the present one. In the 1970s, sea level fell to its present position.”

      • Sorry can’t trust Axel-Mörner. Like David Archibald and Piers Corbyn he’s part of the bizarrely incorrect on science crowd.

      • Latimer Alder

        And you know this because???

      • You mean that compared to a geologist/physicist and former INQUA chairman of the INQUA who has been studying sea level change around the globe for 35 years you prefer Al Gore, a seminary school dropout and lifetime Leftist politician who has enoyied a life of privilege and entitlement and who hypocritically panders to the supersitions of the ignorant schoolteachers?

      • What’s that, a botched appeal to authority?

        “It has come to my attention that Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner gave presentations at the seminar on climate change organized by the Russian Academy of Sciences at the request of President Vladimir Putin earlier this month. Dr. Mörner attacked the science of climate change, while claiming that he is mission on Sea Level Change of INQUA (International nion for Quaternary Research).

        I am writing to inform you that Dr. Mörner has misrepresented his position with INQUA. Dr. Mörner was President of the Commission on Sea Level Change until July 2003, but the commission was terminated at that time during a reorganization of the commission structure of INQUA. Dr. Mörner currently has no formal position in INQUA, and I am distressed that he continues to represent himself in his former capacity. Further, INQUA, which is an umbrella organization for hundreds of researchers knowledgeable about past climate, does not subscribe to Mörner’s position on climate change. Nearly all of these researchers agree that humans are modifying Earth’s climate, a position diametrically opposed to Dr. Mörner’s point of view.

        Sincerely,
        John J. Clague
        President, INQUA”

        http://apps.edf.org/documents/3868_morner_exposed.pdf

      • Well, that should satisfy Latimer.

  6. Once again, a group of believers (Leviticus) claims that a strong change is discernable in some aspect of the AGW mythos, yet when the Leviticus paper is actually read, it is clear that as Pielke, Sr. points out,OHC is in reality not doing what is predicted, is significantly lower than the AGW prediction, and that Leviticus offers no mechanism to move this heat fromthe surface to the depths, unless one accepts arm waving as the method of moving heat content.
    Frankly Leviticus is just another in a long line of AGW promotion efforts in which it turns out the conclusion was written before and inspite of the actual paper itself.
    It is interesting to wonder why so many AGW promotion papers seem to have the same pattern of pre-exiting conclusions not supported by the evidence.

    • “Leviticus offers no mechanism to move this heat fromthe surface to the depths, unless one accepts arm waving as the method of moving heat content.”

      (Levitus) – I don’t see Pielke Sr. making the above point. Maybe it stems from elsewhere?

      I think Pielke’s statement about forcing vs. feedback is going to confuse a lot of people. He discusses the IPCC estimate of the net anthropogenic forcing of 1.6 W/m2 and the estimated imbalance of 0.3 W/m2 and concludes a negative feedback. If you used Pielke’s quoted Hansen imbalance of 0.85 W/m2 you still get a negative feedback, just a less strong one. This is the definition of feedback where if it was positive, you’d get runaway warming. Total net feedbacks are usually estimated as negative because the Planck feedback ~T^4 is the strongest.

      I think Pielke puts it better when he says ” the diagnosed magnitudes of ocean warming and global warming are significantly less than claimed by Jim Hansen in 2005″. I think in fact Hansen would acknowledge this, but has stated that a larger negative aerosol forcing is responsible.

      Either way, the Levitus calculated imbalance is “lukewarm” regardless of the attribution statement. Compared to many models (and assuming the data are correct and the radiative basics of AGW theory are correct), it suggests:

      *Stronger than expected negative aerosol forcings
      *Negative cloud feedback
      *As yet unknown forcings or feedbacks or both

    • “unless one accepts arm waving as the method of moving heat content”

      But isn’t arm waving what you deniers usually rely on?

      You arm wave plenty about the Sun and cycles in climate. You know those mechanisms you can’t explain but are sure exist.

      But when it comes to heat moving into the deep ocean…well you can’t think of how that could happen so you conclude it cannot.

      Interesting huh.

      • Rob Starkey

        lolwot

        Please try to stay on point.

        Is there any reason today to believe that sea level will rise by .6 to 1 meter by 2100? When do you expect the rate of rise to change? If it doesn’t will you agree that cAGW was much over hyped

      • “Is there any reason today to believe that sea level will rise by .6 to 1 meter by 2100?”

        What do you mean by reason? You mean a reason backed by models and/or basic physics?

        When has that stopped skeptics from believing the opposite.

        As a skeptic your primary reason to believe sea level will rise .6 to 1 meter by 2100 is that you don’t accept the models or the basic physics, and the science is very uncertain afterall.

        I was and I am on point. “Skeptics” are approaching uncertainty in science with a massive bias. They accept anything which supports their view but anything that doesn’t they decry with labels like “pal review” and “models are junk”, and “scientists are hiding the uncertainty”

      • Rob Starkey

        lolwot

        LOL–It is not the basic physics that lead to people believing that the rate of sea level rise will increase dramatically. Please get a reasonable story together to support your fear.

        It is not true that the models forecasted an acceleration in the rate of rise by now? How long does the current rate have to hold for you to agree the models got it wrong?

      • No I am questioning your belief that it won’t accelerate. What is that based on?

        Basic physics? Models? Stuff that as a skeptic you shouldn’t trust?

      • Rob Starkey

        Lolwot

        You are mistaken about my perspective. I have written that the rate may change, but that there is no relaible evidence to support that. I simply watch the data.

      • Ringo has no engineering expertise as far as I can tell. He said this :

        “I believe you are incorrect. I do not believe there is a model that predicted the observed changes in ocean heat while at the same time accurately predicting the observed changes in the air temp over the last decade”

        He has probably never designed a device with a large capacity heat sink. The piece without a large thermal mass will always be transiently hotter than the part that has a heat sink attached. So for us people with some engineering experience, that gives us an intuitive feel for why temperatures are hotter over land than what is in the average SST data.

        I can also solve the transient heat equation with some boundary conditions if you don’t “believe” this rather obvious explanation.

      • Rob Starkey

        Webby

        You make yet another in a long line of very stupid comments. Can you identify a model that accurately forecasted the changes in ocean and atmospheric temperatures or the last ten years with a reasonably tight margin of error? If you can I’ll admit an error. Put up or shut up.

        To the basic point of the feared rise in sea level, what do you believe Webby? Is it going to rise by .6 to 1 meter (or more) by 2100.

      • WebHubTelescope | June 5, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
        The piece without a large thermal mass will always be transiently hotter than the part that has a heat sink attached. So for us people with some engineering experience, that gives us an intuitive feel for why temperatures are hotter over land than what is in the average SST data.

        You left out specific heat of capacities which play a major role in temperatures.

      • “You left out specific heat of capacities which play a major role in temperatures.”

        That’s why I said a “thermal mass”. A thermal mass includes heat capacity in its definition.

        “Scientifically, thermal mass is equivalent to thermal capacitance or heat capacity, the ability of a body to store thermal energy.”

        Bunch of people acting like engineers. Phfhtt.

      • To Rob Starkey:
        I don’t have any skin in climate science. If AGW is real and is just a tiny amount, that would satisfy my scientific curiosity. For me, it’s all about following the scientific theory and evidence which can lead to a predicted outcomes, whatever the scale of the effect.

        What I can’t take is this aggressively stupid belligerence against the trail of knowledge and evidence that you garden-variety skeptics take, using all sorts of strawman arguments along the way. It’s fun to squash that crap, as my mindless variation of playing sudoku.

      • lolwot,
        Your reply to my point is to armwave.
        Instead of pointing out the mechanism to get the surface effect of the sun down below 700 meters, your drone about solar cycles.
        Of course you need to because there is no mechanism offered by Leviticus.

      • Are you claiming heat can’t get below 700 meters?

        Seems to me you have a model of ocean heat transfer in your head and you disbelieve the observations of deep ocean heat buildup because your model can’t explain it.

        Which is interesting. Who woulda thought a skeptic would put models ahead of observations?

      • It’s clear from most of your posts that you don’t understand or choose to willfully misinterpret the skeptical case. Just looking at the nuttiest posts on here is not really the fair way to go.

      • I am asking how it gets there. 700 meters is a long way.
        As to your continued arm waving, thanks. It is hot in Texas right now, and you believers are waving your arms so fast it is creating a nice breeze.

      • Neil Fisher

        That’s an, umm, interesting way to look at it. From where I sit, it is more like “Global warming done it!” – “Umm, what about factor X,Y,Z?” – “We don’t need those factors to explain it, so we have assumed they don’t matter”. Strange way to run a science discipline, innit?

  7. “worse than we thought”?

    When you remove the oscillations from the global mean temperature, you get improved correlation between the secular GMST and sea level rise as shown => http://bit.ly/KBBlN9

    This indicates the sea level rise in the second half of the 20th century is not much different from that during the first half of that century.

  8. “The warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs.”

    No other possible source. They know all. They see all. All hail our mighty climate scientists. Glory unto them all in the highest

    • “The warming”

      Our fancy charts speak for themselves. You see the hockey stick *don’t you*?

      Andrew

    • He didn’t say “no other possible source”. He said the warming can only be explained by the increase in GHGs. And that is true. No-one else has succeeded in explaining it via any other means. Speculations are not explanations.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        The thing you are looking for will be found in the last place you look. :-)

      • Pooh, Dixie

        Assuming you are allowed to look for it there.

      • lolwot – How do you explain the fact that the latest sea-level rise inflection up occurred in 1850-1870?

      • That’s when the world started warming wasn’t it?

        But as a climate skeptic why do you trust sea level data from 1850-1870?

      • Unlike some of the claims of some climate scientists, the sea level rise from 1850 is well-documented. The proof is ample, rational, and believable. I’m not anti-science by any means. I have a degree in Chemistry and love science. But climate science barely qualifies as a science as practiced today. The numbers generated by climate models are output, not climate data.

        See http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3Dlks2hh6LGsE&sa=U&ei=_EHOT7riGY-c8QSfupyLCw&ved=0CBEQtwIwAA&usg=AFQjCNFaxy-WPap_2BG0hdPTf9lqEOwlOA for a nice presentation of the data.

      • “Unlike some of the claims of some climate scientists, the sea level rise from 1850 is well-documented.”

        What you meant to say is that unlike other claims the skeptics haven’t heaped derision and smear on 1850s sea level data.

        It’s all very convenient.

      • Science doesn’t have to be “convenient” – whatever you meant by that. It’s either sound or unsound. Climate science based on computer models is unsound.

      • Also, it’s obvious you didn’t watch the vid. The data were gathered post-1850.

      • lolwot,
        I love it when you live up to your name.
        Your defense of Leviticus is worthy of not only an lol but a rofl&lmfao as well.

      • Feel free to provide alternative explanations for the warming.

      • Not my job, dude. Skeptics only need to keep doing what they have done: Show the AGW case is full of holes and fails.
        I have stated for years that the real case is that nothing of significance is happening in the climate. It is no more and no less variable and dangerous than it has been. The assertions of dramatic change fail to hold up under critical evidence based review. As claim after claim from AGW promoters dies off from lack of evidence, I see no reason to stop pointing out how full of bs most AGW promoters are.

      • The short answer: Hunter can’t.

      • Sockpuppet Greek philosopher or whichever historical figure that is that i have the least bit of interest in looking up.

        It may be the Greek god of copy & paste.

        Go Sockpuppet Team!

      • lolwot, I would say the alternate theory is that the OHC is recovering from lower than “normal” conditions due to volcanic impacts.

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/gissminusHADsstasenergy1955.png

        I like using Watts instead of temperature, the ocean’s upper layer is about 6C warmer than the average surface air temperature. using 294.2 Wm-2 for the oceans and 289K for the surface air temperature I get this plot with the giss minus sst2 plotted versus the right y axis. While both have warmed, the difference between the two has little change since 1955.

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/gissminusHADsstasenergy1972.png

        Since 1972, four years prior to the climate shift mentioned by Tsonis, Douglas and a few others, there is an increase in the difference between GISS and HADSST2. That 0.0326 Wm-2 trend may mean something.

        But with questions about the accuracy of the data, you have to be careful before jumping to conclusions.

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/gissminusHADsstasenergy1880.png

        If you look at the full record, there are some differences. The 1910 to 1940 period is different than the 1980 to 2010 period. The 1910 to 1940 should have been cooler than “normal” and the 1980 to 2010, we are pretty sure is warmer that “normal”, but by how much and why?

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/SouthernExtentreconstructionwithGISS24Sto44S.png

        Possibly because the oceans are approaching a “normal” condition that they have not experienced in over 600 years. If they are approaching “normal”, then you can figure out what impact changing the atmospheric chemistry may have on the “climate”. Still there is a lot of noise to deal with, but increasing OHC would have a similar effect as atmospheric forcing since it provides the energy to be forced, doncha know?

      • lolwot,

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/oceanenergyimbalance.png

        That is a little easier to read. If the HADSST2 or 3 where very accurate and we had an accurate air temperature record for the oceans, the difference between the two would provide an accurate indication of the ocean energy imbalance. We don’t. We do have a global surface temperature that includes land, which is 30% of the surface plus the oceans, so there is some error. The oceans have the highest heat capacity though, so that would be a reasonable ballpark estimate of the ocean energy imbalance with the atmosphere. From 1972 to 2000, the imbalance would have been in the area of- 0.5Wm-2, it was gaining energy. From 2000 to present about -0.2 Wm-2, gaining less energy.

        The accuracy of the data is questionable, the assumption of the initial conditions questionable and comparing oceans to land plus oceans also would add uncertainty, but decreasing ocean energy imbalance makes sense when you consider the change in the rate of sea level rise.

        As I said, as the oceans warm the imbalance will decrease or as Chris Close said, “…since the imbalance decays to zero as the planet gets warmer (even if positive or negative feedbacks dominate).”, so that chart should give a reasonable indication that the system is approaching a conditional equilibrium. That would be the climate has shifted.

      • Max,
        The short answer is I don’t need to.
        When you have a theory that can hold up to scrutiny without hiding declines, hiding data, rewriting history, and is falsifiable, get back to us.
        You seem to be good at making claims and not actually able to defend them.

      • The GHG explanation is only an unproven speculation.
        My Theory is much better.

      • Your “theory” is BS.

      • On a sliding scale of climate clown theories, HAP’s theory is about average in level of nuttiness.

    • pokerguy,
      That conclusion was written long before Leviticus and pals looked at the data.

    • Nah, we know the warming is from something we don’t know about. Probably, its caused by magic.

  9. Latimer Alder

    In Central London where I work, the sea/river level goes up and down about 14 feet (3.5m) every 12 hours. In my mum’s home town of Bristol the range is nearer 30 feet.

    Please can somebody please provide some reasons why a gentle rise measured not in feet per hour, but in inches per century is really something that we can’t successfully accommodate as part of the regular maintenance of our infrastructure.and ‘organic’ movements of our population?

    It seems that we have accommodated similar rises over the past centuries…and didn’t really notice that we were doing so. It wasn’t a big deal then and I cannot fathom why people think it will be a big one in the future.

    Is it because the sea level rise centre is located in Boulder, Colorado – a mile high city, – and all the gurus have no real gut feeling for the sea?

    • Pooh, Dixie

      Not to mention that Saint Michaels Mount was used as a port to ship tin to Rome. :-)

      • Latimer Alder

        @Pooh

        Interesting. I didn’t know that. I wonder if tonyb (climatereason) has also been looking at sealevel in his historical researches.

      • Latimer

        Yes, I wrote ‘Historic variations in sea levels Part 1′ carried here a few months ago

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/12/historic-variations-in-sea-levels-part-1-from-the-holocene-to-romans/

        This link below goes to the much more detailed version accessed from the first paragraph of the link above.

        http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/document.pdf

        This second versiont goes in to a lot of the background to St Michaels mount, as being a tidal island it gives some useful pointers as to relative sea levels then and now.We seem to be around 30cm lower today than in Roman times and sea levels oscillate around a mean by some 1 metre.
        tonyb

      • Thanks tonyb. Good papers that demostrate the ice age rebound plus various ups and downs based on plate tectonics and ice age sea level variations. Wow, things change a lot in nature without our help.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        The July 2011 PDF document is really informative and interesting! I missed the Climate Etc. post. Great pics. Congratulations and thanks!

      • Michael Larkin

        Mont St. Michel? In Normandy, you mean? Went to see the Monastery there once. What a totally and stupendously staggering work of human creativity–got a pile of 3D photo whatsits I still look at now and then.

        Hard to imagine it as a port!

      • Latimer Alder

        I think he means St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. Similar idea.

        http://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/

        It seems that St Michael was a great traveller, before he began his later career as a well-known brand of British underwear and lingerie.

      • Michael Larkin

        LOL. Oh right, I see – similar if not quite as staggering. Funny they should be called the same thing. Should’ve twigged it’d be in Cornwall ’cause of the mention of tin.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        Correct. Thanks.

      • Still travelling, for years I stocked up on St M underpants whenever in the UK because those made by the heavily-protected Australian industry were so bad.

    • Bill Norton

      Well said Latimer.

    • Latimer Alder

      Correction. I just checked. I’d been getting my estimate of 14 feet from counting the bricks at Putney Bridge. Seems the bricks are bigger than I thought and the true tidal range at Putney is nearer 24 feet (7.0m). So the relative magnitude of the predicted shocking rise over the next century is even less.

      • Latimer -

        Actually I think your points about accomodation and organic movement are even more important than pointing out the triviality of the rate of sea level rise (although that too is worth noting)

        One of the great misunderstandings of the Alarmist Tendency is to imagine a speculated change 100 years hence happening overnight. Al Gore is a shameless exponent (ie he does it deliberately) of this trait.

        Alarmist characterise people as ‘climate refugees’ if they move from one place to another due to climatic effects and think this is appalling. A lot of people move to Florida because of the climate – are they refugees?

        If it got to the stage that 1 million people a week were moving because climatic conditions were more favourable where they were heading, would that be a global catastrophe? I think many people would be inclined to think so.

        Well, 1.3 million people move every week…………… from the countryside to cities, and they do so for many reasons but towards greater freedom, opportunity, healthcare, social mobility, affordable energy, food and life expectancy. Most of them leaving behind the misery of poverty, subsistance farming and vulnerability to climate!

        ***
        On a more general point, the average person in hundred years time is likely to be a living longer, healthier, wealthier, and less climate vulnerable life than they are today.

        The important and dramatically changing variable is not the weather, but our ability to accommodate its vagaries.

      • Rob Starkey

        good point

    • Latimer, the tidal range in the North East is even greater, as the influx rounding Scotland from the north meets that coming up from the Channel. My (ancient) memory suggests 38 feet (11-12 metres) as being common. Here in suburban Brisbane, some distance from the bay, typical tidal movements are about 3-4 metres.

      • Correction, walked down to the low-tide mark at West End, about 5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 metres) below the bank across which high tides occasionally flow.

    • Latimer Alder

      Thanks to everybody who contributed their evidence from their localities around the world.

      There really does seem to be ample evidence that these thingies that we call ‘tides’ do actually exist and that the water level really does go up and down quite a lot every half day or so! Many feet each way. It may not be obvious to the gurus in their Rocky Mountain fastness of Boulder, Colorado, but us mortals down here have suspected it to be true for a very long time.

      So, given that we have all learnt to accommodate this phenomenon as part of life, please can somebody give me good reasons to believe that a teensy weensy extra increase in high tide over a year or a decade or a generation is going to bring about severe disruption.

      For perspective. If you are in UK, go and look at a brick built house using standard British housebricks. Eight rows of housebricks including mortar is about two feet deep…the total predicted rise in sea level over the next one hundred years. You can also think of it that by 2025, the rise will be one brick, by 2037 two bricks, by 2050 three bricks and so on. Compare and contrast with tides in London where the average rate of tidal change is one housebrick every 5 minutes. About 1.2 million times faster than the change supposedly due to sealevel rise.

      So remember folks. Every time you look at a house, ponder on the terrible consequences of a rise of one housebrick every twelve years. And tremble with fear at our complete inability to do anything whatsoever to accommodate such a huge increase.

      • Well said!

        Another perspective is that the average dwelling around the world has a life expectancy of about 30 years, give or take. So, “warning to all builders and architects” - factor in a couple of bricks worth in your calculations.

        Oh..

        Wait….

        You do any way?

        And you add another half a dozen for good measure? And another ten just to be on the safe side?

        So we don’t have to evacuate the coastal cities of the world by Friday afternoon?

        Thank f*ck for that!

      • Well said!

        Another perspective is that the average dwelling around the world has a life expectancy of about 30 years, give or take. So, “warning to all builders and architects” - factor in a couple of bricks worth in your calculations.

        Oh..

        Wait….

        You do any way?

        And you add another half a dozen for good measure? And another ten just to be on the safe side?

        So we don’t have to evacuate the coastal cities of the world by Friday afternoon?

        Thank fcuk for that!

  10. Should there be a component of ice age burden rebound in sea level variation? Both rise in some heavily sunken areas with massive glaciers and subsistence in land tide gauges in areas not covered by ice 15,000 years ago. I did not see that in either paper or discussion.

  11. Adam Gallon

    More to the point, could somebody please indicate any islands or coastal areas, that have been abandonned over the past few decades, due soley to this rise in sea level we’re supposed to be suffering from?

    • Latimer Alder

      There’s ummmm……and err…and don’t forget thingy…and the town of whatist .and those poor guys in Tuvalu – all 11,000 of them – who have been terrified about being drownded for decades. And that’s about it.

      Seems to me that we could give a million dollars to each of the 11,000 and some land elsewhere, move them out and everybody would be happy. Problem fixed.

      New Orleans was a daft place to build a city in the first place, and a three metre high island in the centre of a raging ocean is also a pretty dumb place to want to live. I see no reason why the rest of the 6 billion people on the planer should have to undergo huge upheaval to accommodate the 11,000 Tuvaluans. And that all assumes that coral reefs are static constructions…which does not seem to be likely.

      • Humans have always pushed life to the edge. Some stay back in what they consider a safe place and that does not always work. Some push as hard as they can and some succeed and others are defeated. That is who we are.

      • H.A.P, you are absolutely correct. taking risk is part of the human psychy. All our growth and progress came from that. But, the problem comes when these big brothers and nannies want to make whole everyone, and treat us all as little infants… like in NYC where you cannot buy a 32 oz drink. but you can buy 2 16oz drinks

      • A couple of 2011 papers on coral reef rise rate.
        Contemporary sea level in the Chagos Archipelago, central Indian Ocean, Richard P. Dunnea et al. Global and Planetary Change Volumes 82–83, February 2012, Pages 25–37

        Tide-gauge data from Diego Garcia (1988–2000, and 2003–2011) show no statistically significant long-term rise, whilst the rates of rise obtained from the satellite altimeter record for 1993–2011 span the range of 0.16–4.56 mm yr− 1 in the surrounding sea areas (70–74°E and 4–9°S) and are also consistent with a zero rate except in the far south of the region . . . this has been a relatively stable physical environment, and that these low-lying coral islands should continue to be able to support human habitation, as they have done for much of the last 200 years.

        Sea level rise and coastal morphological changes on tropical islands. Garcin et al.

        French Polynesia examples
        Currently we have no evidence of the impact of past (recent) sea level rise which seems to be hidden by anthropogenic effects.

        New Caledonia – Tontouta example
        Increasing of tidal surfaces from 1954 to 2003 and from 2003 to 2009. Progradation seaward up to 250 m but generally between 50 and 100 m. Indirect impact of human activities seems to be the major forcing factor of recent evolution. . . .

        Increased sea level promotes coral cover on shallow reef flats in the Andaman Sea, eastern Indian Ocean B. E. Brown, et al. Coral Reefs, Volume 30, Number 4 (2011), 867-878, DOI: 10.1007/s00338-011-0804-9

        Since 1987 . . coral cover was positively correlated with the mean sea level experienced over the preceeding months. . . .the overall picture for these shallow reefs is a positive one as they respond to increasing sea level and show rapid recovery from environmental disturbances.

        So what is the big toot?

      • Latimer Alder

        Update:

        I learn that Tuvalu was only first populated about 250 years ago. Bad decision to go there then.. Bad decision to stay there now.

      • I have two Tuvaluan connections, a friend whose ancestor was governor of the Gilbert & Ellice islands (the latter now Tuvalu) and another who married a Tuvaluan, who brought her family to Oz. As with many Pacific islands, the main income is that repatriated by emigrants. The height of such organic islands changes as sea level changes, they’ve been rising and falling for aeons.

  12. ceteris non paribus

    JC comments:

    I found the “science community was shocked” comment by Rahmstorf to be very illuminating; that is what happens when you do “consensus” science rather than focusing on the uncertainties and challenging your science.

    You are a nasty thorn in the side of “consensus” science, Dr Curry.

    But – If you “focus on the uncertainties” for too long, new information will never, ever come into conflict with your current Very Uncertain suppositions.

    If you “focus on the uncertainties” for too long, you will begin to see uncertainty as a scientific virtue – just because it can used as a handy rhetorical hammer to beat the IPCC “Team”.

    If you “focus on the uncertainties” for too long, you might forget the fact that 50% of the time things will turn out WORSE than predicted.

    All of which makes one wonder:
    Who’s “challenging your science”, Dr Curry?

    • More than 50% of all predictions are wrong. That is worse for some and better for others. During the Medieval Warm Period, life was better for more people. During the Little Ice Age, many died because life was not better for many people, yet during that same time life was good for many other people. Who gets to decide for Earth what is better and what is worse?
      The good thing is that Dr. Curry is challenging science. That means that she is still a real scientist. As a skeptic, I promote my Theory, but I challenge my Theory, Dr Curry’s Theory, not that I know what that is right now, and I especially challenge any and all Consensus Theory.

      • Latimer Alder

        ‘Who gets to decide for Earth what is better and what is worse?’

        I believe that there must have been some recent wonderful Golden Age that was ‘Perfect’ and that any change whatsoever from this climatic idyll is necessarily A Very Bad Thing. Or so many alarmists would have us believe.

        Personally I find it very difficult to believe that a Global Average Temperature of (say) 287.1K produced a Land of Milk and Honey, while an increase to (say) 287.8K will lead us all into Eternal and Terrible Peril. But some seem to think so – without any cogent reasons AFAIK.

        Climatologists and climate alarmists are a deeply conservative bunch. They are scared stiff of any change whatsoever.

      • “Personally I find it very difficult to believe that a Global Average Temperature of (say) 287.1K produced a Land of Milk and Honey, while an increase to (say) 287.8K will lead us all into Eternal and Terrible Peril.”

        What about an increase to 290K?

      • Latimer Alder

        lolowot asks:

        ‘What about an increase to 290K?’

        I’m open to suggestions. Try to persuade me that it would be overall a bad move.

      • An increase to 290K might mean I don’t have to wear a jacket in June and pay several hundreds of dollars to fly some place warm enough to wear shorts and work on my tan.

        FYI – cherry producers in the NW are worried about this years crop due to unseasonably cool and wet conditions. Bet they would be willing to try out that 290K scenerio.

      • Wheat farmers and corn farmers just love what hotter than average summers do to yields. NOT !

      • Latimer Alder

        @max_OK

        ‘Wheat farmers and corn farmers just love what hotter than average summers do to yields. NOT !’

        So did humanity’s 10,000 year experiment with crop breeding reach its final pinnacle somewhere around the time of the Land of Milk and Honey referred to above? Of course not. The entirely human-created varieties we have nowadays are best adapted to today’s climate. But as the climate changes we can adapt the varieties to it.

        Ad things may be different in your country, but iIn UK wheat farmers tend to dislike the cool wet summers we often get, so an increase in temperatures would probably be beneficial anyway. We do not grow a lot of corn as it is too cold overall but warmer climes would allow us to do so. And warmer better summers would definitely benefit our tourist industry for seaside holidays, and our small but good wine growers.

        So it ain’t all one way traffic, however much conservative alarmists are terrified of any change whatsoever.

        My point is not that one temperature regime is ‘better’ than another. But that whatever the regime we as a species can adapt to it as they have done over the course of human history

      • Latimer, mankind has adapted to floods, drought, hurricanes, tidal waves, famine, and epidemics, but that doesn’t mean we welcome the opportunity to adapt.

      • Latimer says: “But as the climate changes we can adapt the varieties to it.”

        If we can adapt the varieties, why wait for climate change. The UK could soon be growing bananas, pineapples, rice, and other foods instead of importing them. Just adapt those varieties to the climate.

        Just think of the possibilities worldwide.

      • Rob Starkey

        The choices are to adapt or to not adapt. There is no other reasonable alternative.

      • i grew up as a farm boy, and farmers are lot smarter and self confident bunch. unlike all those city bozos that feel sorry for the farmers. in the past 50 years, we have already gone through so many changes in the varieties and crops, based on the “climate” cycles. now we are planting sugar cane. when it gets colder and drier , we will go to peanuts. when it is wet and warm, we plant rice. and the rice varieties that yield now about 6-8 metric ton /hectare were not even around just 15 years ago.

        so, i don’t think the farmer needs anyone’s sympathy. they just need some longterm credit at lower interest rate, when S*it hits the fan

      • John Carpenter

        “As a skeptic, I promote my Theory, but I challenge my Theory”

        HAP, tell me how you challenged your theory because I have never read a post from you that suggesting you ever have.

      • @HAP: More than 50% of all predictions are wrong.

        More than 80% of estimates of accuracy of predictions are wrong.

      • Dr. Pratt,
        Both truisims have signficant implications for predictions of cliamte doom based on data patterns nearly indistinguishable from noise.

      • I’ve found myself in disagreement with more than 90% of hunter’s comments. :)

    • “If you “focus on the uncertainties” for too long, you might forget the fact that 50% of the time things will turn out WORSE than predicted.”

      cnp – Can you explain the background evidence or theory for this “fact”?

      • I think he means, ON AVERAGE, mutatis mutandis not ceteris paribus.

      • Even still, that statement is nonsensical. Predictions of the future have not danced around the average, ever. Especially end-of-the-world predictions like this, for obvious reasons.

      • Yes, robin, all those with an end-date prior to June 2012 have failed. It’s perhaps why CAGW scare stories often talk about 2100 – we’ll never know.

      • Predictions of the future have not danced around the average, ever.

        Excellent point. In 1939 most Brits sided with Neville Chamberlain that it was best to appease Hitler. Churchill’s warnings had gone largely unheeded during the 1930s.

        Predictions of the future tend to be strongly Panglossian, “everything will turn out for the best.” As a result the Adolf Hitlers and Saddam Husseins of the world can launch surprise attacks, and economic bubbles can burst without warning.

        Optimists are the ultimate suckers. They’re completely unable to imagine impending disasters. The fact that disasters continue to happen carries no weight whatsoever with them. They live in a fantasy world of perfect harmony.

      • robin and Vaughan Pratt

        Predictions of the future have not danced around the average, ever

        Exactly.

        Doomsday predictions all have one thing in common (by definition):

        They NEVER happen

        Has nothing to do with optimism or pessimism – it’s just a simple fact of life.

        This one is no different from all the others.

        Max

      • Doomsday predictions all have one thing in common (by definition): They NEVER happen.

        Utter rubbish. Every economic bubble in the past thousand years was predicted to burst by those who clearly saw it coming, and they were right. Those who predicted it wouldn’t burst were wrong.

        I challenge you to name any bubble in the past thousand years that was predicted to burst but didn’t.

        Regarding global warming, who exactly are you claiming is predicting the “end of the world” as opposed to a mere economic disaster? Sounds like the usual strawman argument climate deniers love to trot out.

      • If it is mere economic disaster we are trying to avoid, and proposed mitigation leads to economic disaster, then I don’t get it. Is that like trying to fight fire with fire?

        TIL the goal of the environmental movement is to put more money in my pocket. Who knew.

      • Climate deniers live in a fantasy world where (i) rising temperature can do no economic harm to the planet and (ii) any attempt to mitigate rising temperature will bankrupt the planet.

        They conveniently forget that the planet is already bankrupt to a far greater degree than weaning us off fossil fuel could ever hope to accomplish.

      • Wait, you are trying to save us from ‘mere economic disaster’, yet the planet is already bankrupt? Maybe you should stick to one argument at a time, it’s dangerous to cross hyperbole streams.

      • it’s dangerous to cross hyperbole streams

        Certainly, but it’s even more dangerous to change horses in midstream, which is what you did while riding your favorite hobby horse “proposed mitigation leads to economic disaster,” the ultimate in hyperbole, and then hopped onto your other favorite hobby horse, that those pointing out you’re an idiot must be an idiot themselves for wanting to “save us from economic disaster.”

        When I want to save anything I open a savings account, and leave the hyperbole to people like you.

      • maksimovich

        They conveniently forget that the planet is already bankrupt to a far greater degree than weaning us off fossil fuel could ever hope to accomplish.

        Actually bankruptcy leads weaning off liquid fuels,this was seen in the 70′s and at present.

        http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-blOyQ3pb8ow/T88PimXMoFI/AAAAAAAAPmw/HKv0maVGKUc/s400/wallace%2Bpetroleum%2Busage%2B2012-05.png

        Similarly in coal in the developed countries 2008-2010 emission growth were negative,which was offset by china and Indian growth eg Global Carbon Project 2011; Data: Boden, Marland, Andres-CDIAC 2011

      • Dave Springer

        With an as yet undetermined appendage Vaugh Pratt writes:

        “Every economic bubble in the past thousand years was predicted to burst by those who clearly saw it coming, and they were right. Those who predicted it wouldn’t burst were wrong.”

        Every economic bubble in the past thousand years was predictect to burst.

        You can stop right there for a second, dumbass, and figure out the implications. How did you ever get a job in computer science with such absymal logic skills?

      • Dave Springer

        A stopped clock is right twice a day and even a blind squirrel finds an occasional acorn. If he keeps it up long enough the guy on the corner wearing the sign saying “The End is Near” will be right. CAGW proponents today are quickly becoming some combination of Chicken Little and The Boy Who Cried Wolf. A betting man knows which way to bet in these situations. He’s not guaranteed to be right every time but ignoring the purveyors of FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Dread) is usually a safe bet.

        There’s always a number of marginalized groups of lunatics who thinks some global catastrophe is going to wipe out civilization. Invariably so far they have been wrong. The latest incarnation of brikenstock clad Malthusian Paul Erlich wannabes are no exception. Erlich is a Stanford nutball too come to think of it. Maybe something in the water there? LOL

    • With climate change without temperature change, by most measures, half of all regions’ climates will support more life and more diversity of life & half will support less. Since warming also improves carrying capacity and diversity of life, any climate change to the warmer will increase the percentage of regions with increased carrying capacity, and decrease the percentage of regions with decreased carrying capacity. In other words, more than half of all regions will turn out with BETTER than expected outcomes, compared to stasis.

      It’s a can’t lose bet, overall, cetnonpar; granted, there will be regions with poorer outcome. As Judy suggests in a comment late in the last thread, adaptation is local. So is politics.
      ===============================

      • Of course, the reverse is true for climate change with cooling temperatures; as in the instant case, for how long even kim doesn’t know.
        ===================================

    • Please show us the citations supporting your fact about supporting uncertainty and things turning out worse.
      Please also show us where uncertainty is not a scientific virtue, or your implication that uncertainty was somehow fabricated to stop the IPCC.
      TIA

    • John Carpenter

      “If you “focus on the uncertainties” for too long, you might forget the fact that 50% of the time things will turn out WORSE than predicted.”

      That’s really a funny way of looking at uncertainties…. the notion that half the uncertainty is ‘good’ while the other half is ‘bad’. Regardless, you really missed JC’s point. We seek to understand the uncertainties because that is the frontier of knowledge and our way of challenging or understanding of theories. We don’t sit static on what we know…. we seek to understand what we don’t know. We challenge theories by investigating at the frontier of knowledge to see if the theory still stands or fails.

    • Dave Springer

      re; consensus science

      What we have here is a failure to communicate. This is bandwagon science not consensus science.

  13. More and more, the data and images show that warming does not cause ice to retreat. The retreat of the ice allows the warming. The warm promotes snow that is going to advance the ice and cause cooling.

  14. ” I found the “science community was shocked” comment by Rahmstorf to be very illuminating; that is what happens when you do “consensus” science rather than focusing on the uncertainties and challenging your science.”

    Shocked is an interesting word choice. Looks like another psychoanalytical post is in order :)

  15. The absence of heat accumulation in deep water is corroborated by a recent study of ocean mass and altimetric sea level by Cazenave, et. al. Deep water heat should produce thermal expansion, causing sea level to rise. Instead, steric sea level (which measures thermal expansion plus salinity effects) peaked near the end of 2005, then began to decline nearly steadily. It appears that ocean volume has actually contracted slightly. (William DiPuccio)

    • DiPuccio’s arguments rely on subdecadal temperature variations, which are too variable to have any implications for long-term global climate. If he focused on 20-year phenomena and above he would not be able to argue that global warming has come to a standstill.

      • Dave Springer

        I focus on satellite data. The instrumental record before then is hideously insufficient in spatial coverage of the planet to establish a global average temperature. I’m ambivalent about whether it can even be used to get a reliable average for the continental US and Europe where virtually all the recordings were made because if you take the SHAP and TOBS adjustments out of the raw data there is no warming at all in the past century. Dig it:

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/ushcn/ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_pg.gif

        I’ve seen a credible explanation for why, beginning in 1950, time of observation bias (TOBS) and station homogeneity (SHAP) became so skewed. Remove those two adjustments from the raw thermometer data and twentieth century NH land warming disappears. It seems to me that with thousands of station changes and millions of observations that changes resulting in warmer recordings would be offset by a more or less equal number of changes resulting in cooler recordings. The adjustments should be very very fine tuning not wholly responsible for the entire warming trend. It appears the only way oil can be blamed for this is the midnight oil burned by those who pencil whipped the data into showing what they wanted it to show.

      • The instrumental record before then is hideously insufficient in spatial coverage of the planet to establish a global average temperature.

        Is this your personal opinion, or has this been generally accepted by the scientific community?

      • Dave Springer

        It’s not poltically correct to say on the climate science bandwagon if that’s what you meant to ask.

        To me it’s trivally and obviously true that I can’t measure the temperature in Cape Town using a thermometer located in Cape Cod. If you believe otherwise I’d likely question either your sanity or your integrity. Do you believe otherwise?

      • Dave, quite enough ships have sailed around the Cape since 1850 to give us a pretty good idea of the average water temperature scooped up from the ocean in that period. I see three problems with your argument.

        1. The satellite data only covers the last few decades, which is way too little to extrapolate from if one is interested in the temperature a century from now.

        2. The satellite measurements are made from hundreds of miles above the ocean while those made from ships are by direct contact with the water. I have great difficulty with your suggestion that measurements of water temperature made so far away are more accurate, more consistent, and less biased by atmospheric effects, than measurements made only millimeters from the water, the thickness of the thermometer glass.

        3. Supporting your argument with the possibility that I’m either insane or dishonest suggests that you yourself have some doubts that your argument might not stand on its own merits.

      • Vaughan

        In an ideal world where we need accurate SST’,s what would be your minimum sampling requirements in order to end up with an accurate measurement for each year in each sst grid? For example, on land we expect twice daily readings over the year with accurate instruments by a competent observer. What is the SST equivalent do you beieve?
        tonyb

      • what would be your minimum sampling requirements in order to end up with an accurate measurement for each year in each sst grid?

        There are three parameters, the error-bound s of each sample, the desired error-bound of the average a in each grid, and the number n of samples there for the year. The requirement is then s < a*sqrt(n). That is, for a desired error bound for the year it is sufficient that the individual error bounds be sqrt(n) larger.

        For example if you want the error for the year to be less than .01 C, and you are in a position to take 10,000 samples in the course of the year (which may come from many ships each day), then it is sufficient that the individual samples be measured to an accuracy of 1 degree.

      • Vaughan

        Ok, so what percentage of the historic SST record actually fits the critria of being accurate to o.1C.
        tonyb

      • Tony,

        Where did you pick the criterion of 0.1C? Vaughan just gave the argument that the accuracy of 1C is a reasonable requirement for individual measurements. Extending that to 2C would probably still keep the argument valid.

        The problem in the estimation is not in the accuracies of individual measurements, it’s in various sources of systematic error. There’s also a problem related to the poor coverage of large parts of the Pacific. When the number of measurements is low for a large area that may plausibly behave differently from the rest, that makes the estimate of the overall average less accurate. This effect is, however, important only when the poorly known area is a significant fraction of the whole sea surface.

      • Dave Springer

        Vaughan Pratt | June 8, 2012 at 3:12 am |

        “Dave, quite enough ships have sailed around the Cape since 1850 to give us a pretty good idea of the average water temperature scooped up from the ocean in that period.”

        One spot, surface temperature only, random times, uncalibrated instruments. Have you lost your mind?

        “I see three problems with your argument.”

        “1. The satellite data only covers the last few decades, which is way too little to extrapolate from if one is interested in the temperature a century from now.”

        This isn’t a problem with my argument. It’s a problem for your argument when you try to convince people that sparse or non-existent temperature over most of the globe is sufficient to establish a global average temperature trend accurate to tenth’s of a degree per decade. You’re an apologist and not a very convincing one.

        “2. The satellite measurements are made from hundreds of miles above the ocean while those made from ships are by direct contact with the water. I have great difficulty with your suggestion that measurements of water temperature made so far away are more accurate, more consistent, and less biased by atmospheric effects, than measurements made only millimeters from the water, the thickness of the thermometer glass.”

        What’s true is true whether it convinces you or not. But for what it’s worth a thermometer 4 feet off the ground inside a Stephenson Screen isn’t measuring the temperature of dirt. The instrument record is air temperature. Water temperature is seldom much different than air temperature but the same doesn’t hold true for land temperature. You appear to need a great deal more knowledge of disparate subjects to wade into the climate debate with any appreciable skill.

        “3. Supporting your argument with the possibility that I’m either insane or dishonest suggests that you yourself have some doubts that your argument might not stand on its own merits.”

        I didn’t support my argument by that. It was an admonition that I won’t waste my time with someone either incapable or unwilling of rational, reasoned arguments and blunt assessment of kind and quality of evidence available for analysis.

      • @Dave Springer: Have you lost your mind? … You’re an apologist and not a very convincing one. … You appear to need a great deal more knowledge of disparate subjects to wade into the climate debate with any appreciable skill. …. I won’t waste my time with someone either incapable or unwilling of rational, reasoned arguments and blunt assessment of kind and quality of evidence available for analysis

        It would appear I’ve found and pushed the master button. I’d apologize had you not said it wouldn’t be convincing.

      • Nature is too variable to have any role in long-term climate prediction? Same thing for the scientific method, right? Keep the faith — at this point of the hoax it’s all you got … that and a bunch of self-styled ‘lion-tamers of the government education complex who have jumped ship because they see the writing on the WALL and believe me: scientific skeptics don’t want them anymore than you do.

  16. Kent Draper

    Can anybody tell me how far out of orbit earth would have to move to make it inhabitable for humans? Or do we know? Either too hot or too cold.

    • Peter Lang

      That depends which way we turn. If we turn any further Left, we could crash into the Sun, and that WOULD result in global warming.

    • Can anybody tell me how far out of orbit earth would have to move to make it inhabitable for humans?

      This is a very nice question, which may take some work to estimate with any precision.

      However I would hazard a guess that if Earth were moved to Venus’s orbit, the additional heat would suffice to create a tipping point in which more carbon (CO2 and methane in particular) would enter the atmosphere, further raising the temperature, in a vicious cycle that ultimately put all of Earth’s carbon into the atmosphere.

      This would create a situation almost identical to what we observe today on Venus: an atmosphere 100x the mass of Earth’s present atmosphere (roughly the mass of carbon currently in Earth’s rocks after conversion to CO2), and a surface temperature of around 750 K governed by lapse rate alone just as on Venus.

      If at the same time Venus were to move to Earth’s orbit, in a few hundred million years it might become a lot more like Earth is today, with most of the carbon back underground and the temperature greatly reduced. The ratio of oxygen to nitrogen would not be the same however until emerging life on Venus made it so. The first life might well find it convenient to feed on the still-high CO2 level, eventually creating a global-cooling crisis by consuming most of it, the opposite of the global-warming crisis we’re creating by producing lots of CO2. Oxygen might then oscillate, going from near zero to say 30% before dropping back to our current 20% level, or less for a while. In due course a Venusian Einstein would discover E = mc^2 only to protest its more destructive applications by other Venusians. ;)

      • Dave Springer

        The earth is already inhabitable. I’m reminded of a line that Jules had in Pulp Fiction. “English motherf*cker. Do you speak it?”

      • What happens next in Pulp Fiction?
        I forgot, does he take out his gun and shoot everyone in the room?

      • “However I would hazard a guess that if Earth were moved to Venus’s orbit, the additional heat would suffice to create a tipping point in which more carbon (CO2 and methane in particular) would enter the atmosphere, further raising the temperature, in a vicious cycle that ultimately put all of Earth’s carbon into the atmosphere.”

        Well CO2 needs carbon and oxygen. So there is fair amount of carbon, if you had the enough oxygen. How does it get enough oxygen?

        Now, I agree you could basically bake existing CO2 out of ocean and that is a lot more CO2 than in the atmosphere. Or say, at most 20,000 times more than in atmosphere?
        20,000 times 400 ppm is 8 atm. And even 10 atm is fairly different from 92 atm.
        A Venus with 10 atm would quite different than the current Venus, it probably rain CO2- as it would be cooler.
        But seems it would take quite while: thousands or tens thousands years before it got that far.
        First, it’s going to get a lot more ocean evaporation- and ocean, lake, or mud puddle could not actually boil. But air temperature would increase significantly, and entire atmosphere could hold many factors more water, so in about century, all ice caps could be gone. And in thousand years average ocean temperature maybe as high as 20 C.
        But one still has fair amount CO2 still in the ocean even if the coolest parts are 20 C.
        So it could take longer it could take shorter, but somewhere in this ballpark, so as guess habitable for about 1000 years?
        Though temperature isn’t the problem in terms of life, it’s the increase of CO2, above say 50,000 ppm which would the be nearest in time which is the problem regarding animals life surviving.

      • @gbaikie: So there is fair amount of carbon, if you had the enough oxygen. How does it get enough oxygen?

        Sorry, what’s the problem? 30.1% of the mass of Earth is oxygen, while carbon is a small fraction of one percent. Venus is the same, with way more oxygen than carbon.

      • “Sorry, what’s the problem? 30.1% of the mass of Earth is oxygen, while carbon is a small fraction of one percent. Venus is the same, with way more oxygen than carbon.”

        There is about 46 % of the mass of earth crust which is oxygen, but it’s already oxidized.
        What mechanism could get the oxygen out of the rock?
        And why doesn’t occur now on Earth. The current oxygen in earth atmosphere is put there by plant life and it’s photosynthesis.
        It’s generally recognized as possibly indication of life on any planet if there is a significant amount reactive Oxygen in it’s atmosphere. And takes about billion years of living plants to make about the present quality.

        And if there was mechanism, 1 atm of CO2 is a massive amount CO2 to “somehow” make, not mention 80 atmospheres of it.
        Earth atmopsphere is 5.1 x 10^18 kg Or
        5,100 trillion tons. If volcanos [or whatever] were emitting 1 trillion tons per year [something we probably should assume has never occurred in the history of earth] it then takes 5100 years this constant level of CO2 emission to make 1 atm of CO2.
        Since it’s generally assume that emission from Volcanos is somewhere less than 10 billion tons per year, that would be 100 fold increase.
        It seems somewhere as close to impossible that one could get this much O2 to react with Carbon. Then if one leaps this impossible, so there is somehow enough O2, then sheer scale it, forbids this from happening in say, less than 10,000 years.

        And as said there plenty of CO2 available to kill all animals, so that is not the issue/contention, but then after this we should worry about this impossible event that could only happen thousands of years into the future?

      • Vaughan Pratt

        What mechanism could get the oxygen out of the rock?

        Much (most?) of the carbon in rocks is carbonate, the CO3 ion. Heat and time gradually turns CO3 into CO2 with an oxygen atom left over to oxidize other compounds.

        And why doesn’t occur now on Earth

        Not hot enough. At temperatures below 300 K atmospheric CO2 is very gradually absorbed into rocks in the form of carbonate compounds, particularly calcium carbonate, by processes of weathering and acidification of rainwater. Much higher temperatures reverse the process.

        It seems somewhere as close to impossible that one could get this much O2 to react with Carbon.

        Since pretty much all the carbon is a nanometer or two away from more than sufficient oxygen to convert it all to CO2, namely the O3 in the carbonate radical, I don’t see the problem here.

        Then if one leaps this impossible, so there is somehow enough O2, then sheer scale it, forbids this from happening in say, less than 10,000 years.

        Now that I can agree with. I had in mind a minimum of tens of million years, and more likely hundreds of millions. Not much happens on this scale in a mere 10,000 years, although no one’s witnessed an Earth-to-Venus style conversion event. So who knows, it could conceivably happen quite suddenly, say in a mere 100,000 years.

  17. Why doesn’t the EPA just make sea level rise illegal? That should help sir up some chaos for the chum to feed on.

    Accurate Tea Leaf Reading in a Climate of Chaos

    • John from CA

      They are doing their best with support from Greens like McKibben who game the system.

      The Obama administration’s EPA is about to kill 180,000 to 215,000 jobs by 2015 with GDP losses totaling as much as $112 billion and with additional total household disposable income losses of as much as $71 billion to implement an EPA regulation that is already regulated by other parts of the Clean Air Act.

      The EPA named the regulation “Mercury and Toxics Standards” but the regulation has nothing to do with reductions in mercury emissions. EPA admits the benefits of the rule are 99.996 percent related to particulate matter which is already regulated by other parts of the Clean Air Act. 

      How many ways can we spell stupid. The economy doesn’t stand a chance with Obama in the White House.

      TALKING POINTS from IECA
      http://www.ieca-us.com/wp-content/uploads/Talking-Points_Inhofe-Resolution.pdf

      • EPA claims based on rather shaky methodologies to determine risk from both mercury and fine particulate matter.

        I’m coming to the conclusion that it is the EPA, not Al Qaida that is the greater threat to the well being of US citizens.

      • John from CA

        Related:
        The EPA’s Unethical PM2.5 Air Pollution Experiments
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/04/the-epas-unethical-pm2-5-air-pollution-experiments/

        The EPA has completely left reality behind and is functioning outside of our laws.

        “It is illegal, unethical, and immoral to expose experimental subjects to harmful or lethal toxins. The Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, 3rd Ed. (2011), published by the Federal Judicial Center, on page 555 declares that exposing human subjects to toxic substances is “proscribed” by law and cites case law. The editor of EHP refused a request to withdraw the paper and conduct an investigation.”

      • The EPA’s labeling of CO2 as a poison is an example of pseudo-intellectual, anti-business McCarthyism a fiat government.

      • Dave Springer

        Walker’s quiet landslide victory in the recall election yesterday is a harbinger of things to come this November. Lisa Jackson will be getting a pink slip real soon now and the EPA shrunk down and re-missioned.

      • WI voted for Jay Leno over Dave Letterman and all of the Bush- and Palin-hating self-styled ‘lion-tamers’ of the Big-Ger- Government-Education Machine. It went that way in California but a much closer vote so CA beyone the pale but there is now hope for WI.

        Going Greek

      • It went that way in California but a much closer vote so CA beyone the pale but there is now hope for WI.

        Screwtape to Wormwood: A+++ on WI, now get back to CA and straighten them out.

      • Dave Springer

        *wag

        It was hilarious listening to Chris Matthews whine over the loss. All the libtards were complaining that Walker outspent whatshisface 3 to 1 proving that money wins elections. No joke. Obama outspent McCain 3 to 1. Funny I didn’t hear the libtards saying money wins elections in 2008. Asshats.

      • @Dave Springer: Funny I didn’t hear the libtards saying money wins elections in 2008. Asshats.

        DS has been firing heavier artillery lately. Shades of Bashar al-Assad.

  18. No, No, No! The ‘moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow’ was June 3, 2008.
    =================

    • They rise faster than they fall and fall quicker than they rise so the slower the rise the quicker they fall for at least as long as we have been keeping track since after it all began.

    • Wow. All of 4 years?

      Let me try to top that. Where I am, the ‘moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow’ was this morning, just between low and high tide. So there! :)

  19. “Can anybody tell me how far out of orbit earth would have to move to make it inhabitable for humans? Or do we know? Either too hot or too cold.”

    Solar constant is 1.361 kilowatts per square meter. The change of yearly distance from sun is 1.412 kW/m² to 1.321 kW/m²
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_constant
    Earth orbit difference:
    “Perihelion (106 km) 147.09
    Aphelion (106 km) 152.10″
    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/earthfact.html
    So if orbit changes to more circular: 147.09 million km one gets
    1.412 kW/m².
    If earth were further out [and more circular] to Aphelion distance
    it be 1.321 kW/m².
    And one compare it to average distance of solar constant of
    1.361 kilowatts per square meter.
    Or adding 72 watts per square meter is closer, and losing
    40 watts per square meter if further away.
    If believe CAGW then a 72 watts per square meter of forcing would
    dramatically change earth climate.

    I think an addition or subtraction of say 100 watts per square meter
    would cause a slow change in climate and global temperature, and humans could easily mitigate the long term effects fairly easier, or steps could taken
    to change our world in some manner if that was seen as needed in the future. If it was a matter of choice, I think the nearer to sun is better than further from the sun, mainly because where continental land mass are currently located- we would get more arable land.
    Wheres cooling by 40 or 100 watts per square meter probably result in losing Canada and Europe beginning within several decades- assuming nothing was done.

    • Kent Draper

      gbaikie, thanks for the extremely interesting info. I know this is asking a bunch, but distance wise, approximately how many km nearer the sun would be too close (uninhabitable heat) and how many km farther from the sun (uninhabitable cold). I agree that warmer would be better, just wondering how critical our orbit is to maintain life here on earth.

      • The Earth is about 149.6 million kilometers from the Sun

        If you do 149.6km^2 / X^2 * 1366wm-2 you get the approximate TSI at distance X from the Sun.

        So if Earth was about 1 million kilometers closer to the Sun the TSI would be about 1384.4wm-2, or about 18.4wm-2 higher.

        18.4wm-2 higher assuming the same albedo means a radiative forcing of 3.23wm-2, which is almost the forcing you get from doubling of CO2 or increasing solar output by 2%.

        No feedback warming from that would be about 1C, with feedbacks it could be 3 times higher.

        If Earth was about 10 million kilometers (6%) closer to the Sun the forcing would be about 35.5wm-2. Under no feedback that’s about 10C warming. Again with feedbacks it could be 3 times higher.

        How critical orbit is on habitability depends on feedbacks. Also the type of life might be different. Maybe 6% closer to the Sun most life on Earth today would perish, but Earth could become inhabited by the types of life that can survive.

      • Wiki:
        “Estimates for the habitable zone within the Solar System range from 0.725 to 3.0 astronomical units based on various scientific models.

        Estimation of the Solar System’s habitable zone is made difficult due to a number of factors. Although the aphelion of planet Venus and the complete orbits of The Moon, the planet Mars and dwarf planet Ceres are within the habitable zone, the varying atmospheric pressures of these planets, rather than the habitable zone, determines their potential for surface water. ”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habitable_zone

        So this metric is basically where could there be liquid water on the surface of a planetary object.
        Because it’s generally regarded that liquid water is required for life to
        evolve.

        I agree that “Estimation of the Solar System’s habitable zone is made difficult due to a number of factors.”

        If the question is where could we survive, rather than we could we evolve
        you asking a different question. Because this asking what is the limits of current human technology or technology we could develop within a reasonable time period.
        Humans could live and operate fairly easily [IMO] on the Moon, Mars, and Mercury. And large part of selecting these three destination mostly a matter of logistic considerations.
        But to survive to some degree of independence rather than some version of a camping trip, humans are going need to bring some portion of the eco-biological system- they will need to some degree to colonize mircrobial and other ecological elements which human exist in today. We have not demonstrated this capability and level of knowledge needed to think we could just do it, without expectation of failure.

        As far as wondering what kind orbits Earth could be in and humans and other life to survive for long periods of time and without various problems. It seems earth current orbit will within thousands of years return to ice age conditions, which we had +10,000 years ago.
        And such conditions would be challenging for the modern world. So seems further away from the Sun could hasten and worsen such conditions. Whereas going nearer to the sun could prevent a ice age from happening.

        In a sense the Moon is nearer to the sun, surface temperature is hotter on the Moon. Surface temperature on the Moon can reach over 120 C. Whereas on earth at same orbital distance has surface temperature can reach about 160 F or say 72 C. The atmosphere removes about 300 watts per square from reaching the surface and air convection cools surface.

        It seems the temperature that sand/dirt reaches is a limiting factor in terms how close one can have earth’s orbit is to sun.
        We already know, that earth each year in it’s orbit gets closer to the sun, that there isn’t an adverse or significant effect for that degree of change. So that has been tested over millions of years.
        Or put it this way, probably relativity little change that has occurred in terms maximum surface temperature, whereas there has been greater variations in air temperature.

        Or putting earth in Venus orbit, would be situation of having CAGW- there would be large changes, extinction of species, etc, etc. And there would be many unpredictable and large consequences.

        But humans could be capable of terraforming Venus so that one day [perhaps centuries in future] one could go snow skiing on Venus.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        Incidental information: Ward, Peter, and Donald Brownlee. Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe. Springer, 2003
        Page 15 et seq.: Habitable Zones of the Universe
        Pages 208-212: Plate Tectonics as Global Thermostat. Addresses erosion, CO2, subduction, vulcanism

      • Kent Draper

        Thanks Pooh, it’s really amazing how many things have to be “just right” for there to be life on this earth. What luck, huh :)

      • Dave Springer

        Trivia point. Professor Guillermo Gonzalez in 2001 had the cover story on Scientific American titled “The Galactic Habitable Zone”. He coined the term. Gonzalez pioneered methods used to discover planets orbiting other stars. He co-authored and astrophysics textbook used in many universities today. As a junior member of the Iowa State University astronomy department he had more peer reviewed publications in the field than the head of the department.

        In 2004 Guillermo wrote a book called “The Privileged Planet” documenting some of the great many things that makes the earth so exceedingly uncommon that it is perhaps unique at least this galaxy if not in the observable universe. The book was made into a movie a year later. The Discovery Institute (famous for promoting Intelligent Design) were involved with promotion of the movie.

        Guillermo was subsequently denied tenure at Iowa State which in academia is equivalent to being fired. There was no good reason. His academic record is sterling. It was entirely because of his association with persona non grata in the predominantly atheist halls of natural sciences in institutes of higher learning. This great young astronomer now teaches at a community college in another state.

        This is what happens when science becomes corrupted by dogma. Heretics are blackballed or worse. As an outsider it’s very difficult for me to respect institutions or employees thereof capable of such despicable behavior. There are two areas where science has become dominated by ideologically inspired narrative dogma (just-so stories) and those are evolutionary biology and climate science.

      • @Dave Springer: Guillermo was subsequently denied tenure at Iowa State which in academia is equivalent to being fired. There was no good reason.

        The main reasons were that he had made not even one identifiable scientific contribution in the eight years prior to his tenure decision, and that he had been unable to attract any funding to support the research of his students and himself during that period.

        Other reasons were advanced both for and against tenure, but those paled into insignificance in the face of the above two, which would kill the case of anyone except an immediate relative of a major donor.

      • That’s a bit outdated. What Kepler data is hinting at would tell us that rocky habitable planets might well be so plentiful that complex life might turn out to be the rule rather than the exception across the universe. It would make sense as it would be a horrible waste of space otherwise.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        May I suggest reading the book? Pages xxxi – xxxii (“Rare Earth Factors”) contain a summary of conditions conducive to complex life (read “animals”). Per Ward and Brownlee, microbes might be found plentiful.
        Consult pages 389 through 317 for a list of references by chapter.
        Lastly, an idea need not be hot off the press to be worth consideration.

    • Dave Springer

      Nope. 72 watts not enough according to what we think we know about earth’s past. Faint sun paradox. Sun put out 10% less energy in the past. Current is 1366W/m2. Ten percent less is 136W less and just about double the amount you said would make it ***UN***inhabitable for humans. We believe it was quite warm with 10% less solar energy.

      My model of climate handles this just fine. The water cycle limits the maximum temperature at the surface within a wide range of energy inputs. Turn up the solar constant and it just speeds up the water cycle and pushes clouds up higher in the atmosphere. The increased height of the clouds gives the latent heat of vaporization and easier radiative path to space from the higher altitude. Easy peasy. Really impossible to say how much is enough either way to make it unrecoverable. In the past we believe the earth has frozen up nearly if not completely from equator to poles and stayed that way for millions and millions of years. What caused a melt is unknown but best I can come up with is volcanoes over millions of years eventually blackened the snow with ash and put enough CO2 in the atmosphere to trigger a melt through a greatly lowered albedo***.

      ***I prefer to consider greenhouse gases and effectively lowering the surface albedo as, with a solid surface that doesn’t evaporate in response to DWLIR the GHG causes the ground to absorb more energy than it otherwise would. This is essentially the same thing as lowering the albedo and the most widely used online physics reference in the world explicitely states that greenhouse gases work by lowering albedo so I’m in good company with that POV.

      • “My model of climate handles this just fine. “

        Look forward to someone’s mathematical model of this scenario.
        Should be “easy peasy” as well to simulate, especially a first-order model.

  20. John from CA

    Facebook +1 with the description:

    Dr. Curry: It will be interesting to see how all this plays out in the AR5. I found the “science community was shocked” comment by Rahmstorf to be very illuminating; that is what happens when you do “consensus” science rather than focusing on the uncertainties and challenging your science.

  21. But Obama promised us all that if he was elected, the sea would stop rising. It’s still rising?

    • Pooh, Dixie

      Twice in approximately 24 hours. Ditto for falling. Consult tide tables for more precision.

  22. Fueling fears of sea level rise is the real WATERGATE and it SHOULD signal the time has come for an immediate END to all IPCC funding.

    • John from CA

      One can only hope and pray for this proper resolution.

      • How can it be a plank in the Democrat party platform to borrown money from China to fund a UN that hates America and promotes suicidal socio-economic schemes drive more American jobs to China and how long can it continue to go on? How many NextGates will there be?

    • Fueling fears of sea level rise is the real WATERGATE and it SHOULD signal the time has come for an immediate END to all IPCC funding.

      Look, forget about sea level rise. Just ask whether there has been any change in the past few decades in the rate at which icebergs have been breaking off the West Antarctic ice sheet.

      A quick glance at the Wikipedia article on that topic will show that the communists have taken control of Wikipedia and have been writing the most outrageous scare-tactic propaganda about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to suit their purposes (not that I’ve been able to figure out what those purposes might be).

      Then ask yourself whether it is more urgent to end IPCC funding or Wikipedia funding.

      • Latimer Alder

        @Vaughan

        I am not going to worry myself into a frenzy of doomsterism as you are if there are a few more – or a few less – icebergs breaking off the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

        Icebergs are big if you are the Titanic. But not if you are an ocean or a planet.

        Sorry…you’ll have to do better than that to terrify me about sealevel.

      • Icebergs are big if you are the Titanic. But not if you are an ocean or a planet.

        Point taken, Latimer, icebergs so far haven’t gotten any bigger than Rhode Island. Nevertheless they’ve been increasing in size lately. Are you claiming they won’t get as large as Northumberland, which is about twice the size of Rhode Island and larger than most other counties of England?

        For perspective, if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet breaks up entirely into icebergs it will raise the global sea level by around 15 feet. Not a huge amount if your house is 250′ above sea level, like mine is, but a big proportion of civilization lives closer to the current sea level than that. The melting of that ice sheet is not as trivial a matter as you seem to think.

      • Latimer Alder

        @vaughan

        The WAIS is estimated to hold 2.2 x 10**6 km**3 of ice. Given all we know about rates of heating, how long will it take to melt that volume? I seem to remember a little thing called latent heat being involved as well as just warming it up.

      • maksimovich

        As during the last ice age when sea levels were around 100 m lower icebergs were grounding at 44s ,these would have calved from similar size as during the 2001 event (160kmx30km) hardly evidence of change.

        http://www.niwa.co.nz/sites/default/files/imported/__data/assets/image/0005/45383/icemap_600.jpg

      • Latimer Alder

        BTW – just to put things in perspective. the state of Minnesota is bigger than all of the UK. An iceberg ‘bigger than Northumberland’ isn’t very big compared with Minnesota, Which is only the 11th biggest state of the US. And the US, I think, only comprises 2% of the land surface of the planet. And that is only one quarter of the total size of the total area. The other three quarters being water.

        If you are standing in Alnwick Castle, Northumberland seems big. But not if you are standing in Rochester Minnesota.

      • Dave Springer

        Greenland glacial retreat was at least as fast in 1930 as it is today.

        http://www.natureasia.com/en/research/index/highlight/id/1834/

        Greenland glacier retreat 1930s versus 2000s
        Nature Geoscience May 28, 2012

        Vikings had apple orchards and were grazing cattle there 1000 years ago which is not possible today because growing season is too short.

        Assigning the blame to human activity for what’s happening seems premature at best. That sound you hear is either a calving glacier or a scientific/political bandwagon. Only time will tell which one it is but my money is on the latter.

      • Dave Springer

        There is no practical way to reduce CO2 emission enough to make any appreciable difference in earth’s average temperature. However if we’re that worried about wiping out a lot of coastal cities with sea level rise then perhaps we should think about sacrificing a desert somewhere and instead of dismantling so many nuclear weapons we use them to put enough dust into the stratosphere to cool the planet down.

        Anthropogenic warming plus anthropogenic nuclear winter equals anthropogenic just right.

        Be advised that cooling the earth is a lot less costly than warming it if it should turn out we didn’t really want it colder after all.

      • The WAIS is estimated to hold 2.2 x 10**6 km**3 of ice. Given all we know about rates of heating, how long will it take to melt that volume? I seem to remember a little thing called latent heat being involved as well as just warming it up.

        Latimer, since it takes 333 joules to melt a gram of ice, that would be 2.2 x 10**6 x (10**5)**3 x 333 = 0.7 x 10**24 joules.

        At 174 petawatts from the Sun, Earth receives 30*86400*174*10**15 joules per month, or 0.45 x 10**24 joules/month. So to answer your question, around a month and half, two months if albedo is taken into account, longer still if Earth finds some other use for that heat in the meantime.

        Any other calculations I can help you with?

      • And the US, I think, only comprises 2% of the land surface of the planet. And that is only one quarter of the total size of the total area. The other three quarters being water.

        You seem to be arguing for my point rather than yours, Latimer. Melting icebergs that big would raise the global sea level by hundreds of feet!

      • If you dedicate the total solar flux to melting one iceberg, what happens to the rest of the planet?

      • Dave Springer

        Choosing one’s battles.

        There is no evidence in recorded history of any calving glacier causing a large or instant rise in sea level. Yet as recently as 1859 a coronal mass ejection from the sun caused telegraph lines to melt and auroras to be visible in Florida. It is called the Carrington Event. It is widely supposed that if such an event were to occur today that it would fry the electrical grid of whatever continent happened to be facing it so badly that it would be weeks before even emergency power could be restored. If it were the continential United States many millions, perhaps tens of millions, would die. Financial and other information systems would experience global disarray. Fuel could not be pumped at gas stations. Water and sewate systems would not be working. Hospitals would not have power after emergency generators ran out of fuel. Perishable food would all perish.

        Now tell me Vaughn, which is more likely, a massive collapse of an Antarctic glacier unprecendented in recorded history causing catastrophic rise of global sea level or a repeat of a solar eruption of a magnitude last witnessed 150 years ago?

        Adding insult to injury in the obvious misplaced priorities of the scientific establishment we can actually and practically prepare for a Carrington Event by modification of the electrical grid managment procedures, better detection and prediction of CME trajectories, and building up a stock of the large transformers which would, even with improvements in response, still be ruined in large numbers. It’s these transformers, you see, which are the weak link. They are normally exceedingly reliable devices and are built-to-order when needed rather than kept in inventory. The lead time is about 18 months with current manufacturing capacity for them which is why the electrical grid would be so long in getting it restored.

        If you want to play Chicken Little may I humbly suggest you expend a bit of due diligence in choosing battles that are more likely and more winnable. There is no practical means of warding off a glacial collapse in Antarctica.

        Repeat after me. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.

      • @Dave Springer: If it were the continential United States many millions, perhaps tens of millions, would die.

        Robin, you were complaining recently about hyperbole. No need to look any further.

        Now tell me Vaughn, which is more likely, a massive collapse of an Antarctic glacier unprecendented in recorded history causing catastrophic rise of global sea level or a repeat of a solar eruption of a magnitude last witnessed 150 years ago?

        Based on the planet’s literature prior to 1859, definitely sea level. I bet you can’t quote even one paragraph from the previous ten thousand years that documents a solar eruption that injured even a flea. Catastrophic floods in contrast have been plentiful and are by no means confined to the neighborhood of Mt Ararat.

        If you want to play Chicken Little may I humbly suggest you expend a bit of due diligence in choosing battles that are more likely and more winnable. There is no practical means of warding off a glacial collapse in Antarctica.

        My position exactly. If a grizzly and a wombat threaten me at the same time I choose to battle the wombat since that’s clearly more winnable. I also look for my car keys under the nearest lamppost since I’m unlikely to find them in the dark.

      • Latimer Alder

        @vaughan

        Thank you for your calculation of the time to melt the West Anatarctic Ice Sheet.

        But I fear that you sum may be a little over simplistic.

        I seems that you have assumed that all the solar radiation incident on the entire planet is used to do the melting of ice on this one small part, and that the ice is itself a perfect absorber of radiation. Both of these assumptions seem to be ‘adventurous to the point of foolhardiness’ to me.

        Any comments?

      • My comment would be that if only 10% instead of 100% were used, then the melting would take ten times as long. I didn’t point this out for fear of insulting your intelligence. If you’re hinting that this would be hard to do then I will take this under advisement.

      • You know it’s over when a boatload of global warming alarmist schoolteachers have to be rescued off Antarctica by an oil tanker.

      • Kent Draper

        :) Very good

      • Two geniuses who deserve each other. (Lot of that on this blog.)

      • Dave Springer

        Once cause of increased calving is increasing weight of snow inland which squeezes more off like your hand pressing on a tube of toothpaste. This also increases frictional heating at the base of the glacier which produces meltwater which lubricates the slide like you taking a tube of KY and oh nevermind you probably wouldn’t get it.

  23. Has anyone added the number of joules of diesel ship fuel effectively converted 100% to heat (water friction + engine cooling)? Clearly, adding joules of heat directly to water cannot possibly cause warming when CO2 in the atmosphere does it all.

    • This is just a back of the envelope calculation – feel free to quibble.

      If you take the amount of crude oil extracted since 1850 (estimates vary, but maybe 200 billion tonnes = 200*(10^9)*(10^3) kg) and multiply by the energy density of crude oil (~50MJ/kg) the result comes out at about 10^22 J which is an order of magnitude lower than the increase in ocean heat content in the upper 700m since the 1950s (~10^23J).

      • Quite right. The heat energy released by burning fossil fuel is only a tiny fraction of the heat energy trapped by the CO2 emitted by that burning.

        It’s truly mind-boggling how a change by a mere few parts per million of trace atmospheric gases can have such a huge effect on the surface temperature. It’s as mind-boggling as the thought that meerkats could have evolved from the primitive lifeforms of 800 million years ago.

        Fair to say that these alleged insights of science are beyond reasonable human comprehension.

      • Latimer Alder

        Is that the ‘huge effect’ of increasing GAT from 287.1K to 287.9K over a period of best part of a century?

        Doesn’t seem quite so huge to me. Indeed I doubt if anybody could actually notice it. Without climatologists we would not have detected it.

      • Latimer, the concern is less with the previous increase of around a degree than with the expected increase of several degrees. If fossil fuel consumption is to blame, and if it continues to track the exponential growth rate of the past century, it stands to reason that the temperature increase over the next century will be considerably more than over the previous one.

      • Latimer Alder

        Sorry guv..didn’t I read somewhere that the greenhouse effect was logarithmic, not linear? Which explains why people always talk about the effect of ‘doubling of CO2′ rather than the more easy to understand ‘for each extra 10ppm you get xK warming’

        If so, it doesn’t ‘stand to reason’ at all. If CO2 went up by 30% in the last umpty years you will expect to get the same warming effect for the next 30%

        Example:

        Start point 100 ppm. Increase 30% to 130 . Warming = xK. CO2 increase = 30.
        New start point 130 ppm Increase 30% to 169. Warming = xK. CO2 increase = 39
        New start point 169. Increase 30% to 220. Warming = xK. CO2 increase = 51.

        Total warming = 3xK, total CO2 increase = 120 ppm

      • Dave Springer

        @latimer

        re; logarithmic decline in CO2 LWIR absorption

        Quite right. It’s not a just a straight log curve either. The effect increases linearly for about the first 100ppm partial pressure then goes into logarythmic decrease in effectiveness.

        I equate it cherry picking. Real cherry picking. If you have a cherry orchard and a number or workers to pick cherries so long as the pickers are not crowding each other you’ll get a linear increase in number of cherries picked each time you add a worker. At some point the workers start competing with each other and then productivity per worker starts to decline. So imagine LWIR photons in the CO2 absorption bands as cherries and CO2 molecules as pickers. Up to about 100ppm there’s a linear increase in absorption per PPM of CO2 added. At 280ppm the linear range is long gone and each PPM has less absorption potential than the PPM which came before it.

        The really interesting bit for me is that when you plot the rate of increase of anthropogenic CO2 emission since 1750 against the decrease in CO2 infrared absorption capacity you find them equal. This means anthropogenic warming due to CO2 has been linear since the industrial revolution got started. Climate boffins increasingly point to the past 50 years as the beginning of significant anthropogenic emission and this is simply not true. It’s been going on with equal efficacy since 1750 not 1950.

      • @Latimer If CO2 went up by 30% in the last umpty years you will expect to get the same warming effect for the next 30%

        That’s exactly right.

        Moreover if each 30% increase took the same time, temperature would rise by the same amount each decade.

        The same would hold if we used 10%, or 50%, or any other percentage. Let’s consider 10%, and check whether the 10% increases are happening at a steady rate.

        In 1994 CO2 was at 358 ppmv, and rose 10% to 394 ppmv over the following 17 years.

        In 1970 it was 325.5 and rose 10% over the 24 years from 1970 to 1994.

        The previous 10% rise was from 296 to 325.5. That takes us well before the Mauna Loa data, which started at 314 ppmv in 1958. 296 ppmv would have been roughly 1910, so that 10% rise would have taken 60 years.

        The previous 10% rise was from 269 ppmv. The most recent ice core reading, around 2000 years ago, was 287 ppmv, so that 10% rise would have taken many thousands of years.

        Given these spacings of successive 10% rises, namely 17 years, previously 24 years, previously 60 years, previously thousands of years, it seems safe to say that successive 10% rises in CO2 are not occurring at anything like the steady rate you might have been assuming.

        With those numbers one might think we must be approaching some sort of Kurzweil singularity. Actually no. If this pattern continues, in the long run (many centuries hence) it will have settled down to a steady rate of 4 years for each successive 10% increase. This is because by then the steady natural background level of 287 ppmv of CO2 will have been completely dwarfed by the exponentially growing anthropogenic CO2.

        To achieve this we’ll have to do better than merely fracking. But five years ago fracking was barely on the horizon. In five years time something more effective than fracking will have come along, and so on until we’ve figured out how to extract even the most deeply buried fossil fuel.

        One should not underestimate either the persistence or the ingenuity of humans when planning a century or more ahead. If you are in any doubt about this, just consider the state of technology 50, 100, and 150 years ago.

      • Dave Springer

        What’s mind boggling is how so many otherwise intelligent people blindly trust just-so stories like mud-to-meercat evolution and catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. I’m not from Missouri but I still insist on show-me instead of trust-me. Too many hucksters with hidden agendas in the world for the latter.

      • **It’s as mind-boggling as the thought that meerkats could have evolved from the primitive lifeforms of 800 million years ago.**

        Actually that’s pretty straightforward conceptually — presumably colonial protozoa started forming permanent colonies. … Sponges pretty much. Sponges begat anthazoans (you can think of them as corals). Anthazoa begat bilaterans (we’re a little hazy on those as neither recognizable fossils, nor modern forms exist) and bilaterans diverged into two groups (deuterostomes and protostomes) that differ a bit in early life stage development. The deuterostomes and protostomes diverged into the critters we see today. The fossil record pretty much accounts for that — with a few modest gaps

        The real mystery is billions of years earlier when packages of chemicals apparently somehow collected themselves into self replicating packages of chemicals wrapped in a cell membane. We don’t really have that worked out.

  24. Shoot! I nearly forgot. Let’s get Giai’s heart beat going,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pack_ice_slow.gif

    Pumping all that fresh cold water down to the temperature/density boundary layer that offsets the geothermal energy from the sea floor, sequesters CO2 in a pH neutral layer and matches the pitifully slow rate of thermal diffusion from the lower thermokline. :)

  25. How do Levitus et al. do the attribution part of their study, when they claim that the warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs? (I’m guessing this is a paraphrase)
    Surely this would be a huge piece of work, especially when they effectively claim to have proven a negative (i.e. that there is nothing else that can have caused the warming)?

  26. David Wojick

    I have never believed that we can know the temp of the world oceans 50 years ago to a hundredth of a degree. This statistical model makes absurd claims of accuracy.

    • Then you don’t believe in statistics, David?

      If you make a hundred measurements to a precision of one degree, and the noise is independent and unbiased, their average will be accurate to a precision of a tenth of a degree.

      More generally precision increases as the square root of the number of samples.

      To achieve an accuracy of a hundredth of a degree, all it takes is ten thousand measurements each made to an accuracy of one degree.

      Which part of this statistical reasoning are you having difficulty with?

      • Dave Springer

        Wojick is right. We don’t have that kind of precision even today. The global ocean averages 4000 meters deep. ARGO only dives to 2000 meters. The lion’s share of the ocean isn’t even measured. 50 years ago the situation was orders of magnitude worse. Only the water temperature in shipping lanes had an regular temperature sampling and the depth was very shallow. You can make chicken salad from chicken sh*t, Vaughn, no matter how much sh*t you have.

      • David Wojick and Dave Springer have evidently never encountered the phenomenon that the average of 100 measurements of a parameter can be 10 times as accurate as a single measurement.

        As long as 99.9 % of the world’s population remains in ignorance of elementary statistics it will continue to be easy to pull the wool over their eyes in the way these two wilfully ignorant Daves are doing.

      • Dave Springer

        Willfully ignorant? That would take an exceptional amount of willpower in my case, Vaughn. For you perhaps not so much.

        Ad homs aside, my point was that you can’t average measurements that were never measured. You can average a million thermometer readings in Cape Cod and it will not improve the precision of a single measurement made in Cape Town. We have enough measurements to increase precision through quantity instead of quality in only a limited number of times and places.

        And you claim it’s ME being willfully ignorant? Physician, heal thyself.

      • You can average a million thermometer readings in Cape Cod and it will not improve the precision of a single measurement made in Cape Town.

        Had all the measurements been made in Cape Cod and none in Cape Town, your point would be a good one: Cape Town might be hotter than hell while Cape Cod is colder than hell, and our measurements might then mislead us into believing Cape Town is cold too.

        But what makes you think no measurements have been taken in Cape Town? I would have thought Cape Town had many thousands of measurements by now, whose average would be a lot more accurate than any individual one of them.

  27. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The US Navy plans that its new Ford-class aircraft carriers will remain in service to the year 2100 and beyond … foreseeably in a strategic environment in which the Arctic ice is gone, and the Greenland and Antarctic ice is melting at a pace sufficient to flood vast tracts of America’s coastal states.

    The inflexible rejection by skeptical denialists to strategic planning on these time-scales is grossly non-conservative. As Judge Learned Hand famously expressed it:

    Life is made up of a series of judgments on insufficient data, and if we waited to run down all our doubts, it would flow past us.

    Yes. Judge Hand’s principle is the essence of truly conservative vision.

    • Joyce at 6.24pm

      Citation please.
      tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason, ain’t you never heard the saying “Klingons never bluff”?  :)

        For the strategic life-span of US carrier groups, see for example Robert Haddick, writing in Small Wars Journal, “Will aircraft carriers really have a 168-year run?

        For the accelerating strategic reality of climate change, see for example Adm. David Titley, Chief Oceanographer of the US Navy, in his Google/YouTube lecture “US Navy Chief Oceanographer: I Was Formerly a Climate Skeptic” (‘http://youtu.be/T3dcc0mV-n4′).

        ClimateReason, it’s astonishing (and dismaying) to find that skeptical denialists are so deeply ignorant of present-day strategic analysis. Were you really unaware of this material?

      • I’m sure the Admiral knows how to fight a war much better than how to judge climate BS.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Jim2, we can pretty confidently reckon that David Titley know something about both climate and war-fighting:

        Rear Admiral David W. Titley – U.S. Navy

        David Titley has served more than 10 years at sea, including a tour as navigator aboard USS Farragut (DDG 37), and tours as oceanographer aboard USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3), USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Group Six and U.S. 7th Fleet.

        Titley has commanded the Fleet Numerical Meteorological and Oceanographic Center in Monterey, Calif., and was the first commanding officer of the Naval Oceanography Operations Command. He served his initial flag tour as commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command.

        Education includes a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Science degree in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography and a Doctorate in Meteorology, both from the Naval Postgraduate School.

        He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI on Foreign Politics, International Relations and National Interest, and is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

        In 2009, Titley assumed duties as oceanographer and navigator of the Navy, and director, Task Force Climate Change. In 2011, he assumed responsibility for Navy Space and Maritime Domain Awareness. In 2012, he became acting assistant deputy chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance.

        Yah know Jim2, when a guy like Rear Adm. Titley speaks up, maybe thoughtful conservatives ought to listen. Ya think?

      • Ahhh, fan of More BS. I stand corrected. Given the man’s credentials, we might as well debauch until we fry.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

          :)   :)   :)   :)   :)

        Jim2, your summary of climate-change skepticism

        “Debauch until we fry”

        is the most concise that I have ever seen.

          :)   :)   :)   :)   :)

      • @jim2 I’m sure the Admiral knows how to fight a war much better than how to judge climate BS.

        Sounds good except for one tiny detail: why would jim2 be a better judge of climate than the Admiral?

        Every climate denier claims to be the Albert Einstein of climate. There is no other scientific pursuit on the planet today with as many Einsteins.

      • Vaughn,

        Some claim to be Freeman Dyson’s too!

      • We can note that the Admiral pushing the AGW bs is more than out classed by the former Chief of Naval Operations, a Vice Admiral and a Captain, pointing out the utter waste of resources AGW driven policies on climate change and green represent.
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/06/03/former-top-usn-admiral-sees-navy-moored-in-shallow-climate-science-and-green-energy-hype/

      • Fan,

        Let me move my earlier questions here, together with some further thoughts for your “Klingon” convenience.

        You’ve tied in the new construction, estimated operational-life, and, presumably, the design features, of the new “Ford” class carriers with a “foreseeable” operating environment that includes an ice-free Arctic and the flooding of “vast tracts of America’s coastal states.” So what exactly is that tie-in? What are the design features a carrier operating in the above environment in 2100 requires that current carrier designs lack? Or did I miss it? I mean, like, maybe it’s that there is some other sort of tie-in between these new carriers and the scenario you pose other than design features? In either case, I’m all ears.

        Or possibly, Fan, is it that there is no tie-in? And the Klingon in you just wanted to sneak in a CAGW-hustle scare-booger under the cover of a faking-it, pretentious sounding, non-sequitur bit of flim-flam? Could be wrong, but I kinda think that last is it.

        With regard to a certain youtube video, Fan, I rather colorfully unburdened myself of my views on that little number in another post on this thread a while ago. So all I’ll say on the subject now is to discreetly note that there appears to be a certain, Pentagon-bound, Klingon element in the Navy, of the sort lampooned in H. M. S. Pinafore, that, metaphorically, needs a spell in the dry-dock where its hull can be scraped clean of encrusted “Beltway Barnacles”.

        And I say that last, since the only form of “climate change” planning the Navy seems committed to is a warming scenario (I’ve asked planning studies of alternate climate change scenarios and have yet to be provided even one–perhaps you can help me out, Fan). And I’m kinda of the old school which, rather unimaginatively favors strategic, long-range planning in the form of a multiplicity of potential futures–to include a world of possible, cold climate change along with a possible, warm climate change–especially when the planning horizon is more than 80 years out.

        And, let me add, the long-range strategic naval planners of 1912, looking out to the year 2000, in no way anticipated the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and much of the British Empire, the fall of the Hohenzollerens, the Soviet Union’s 60-year run, and many, many other such events. Likewise, they did not foresee the potential for advanced aviation, aircraft carriers, innovative amphibious equipment and doctrines, advanced submarines, SLBMs, and precision munitions, among other technological developments, to revolutionize naval warfare. And they most certainly did not forecast, and would have been aghast had they done so, the CAGW scam, the Y2K-make-a-buck scare, the new-ice-age-scare, Al Gore’s weight problem, the unbelievably vast sums to be made off of eco-appeals featuring heart-wrenching pictures of adorably cute and cuddly-looking baby harp-seals about to be clubbed to death for their fur, Ditto for photo-shopped pictures of forlorn looking polar bears adrift on ice-floes, universities stuffed with tenured climate science parasites, the improbable appearance of the NGO, watermelon life-form, and the like. And we in 2012 aren’t likely to get the 2100 scenario any more right, either. Hence, again, the need for flexibility in long-range planning and multi-purpose equipment designs when contemplating the operational needs of the 2100 era.

        But, mostly, sound long-rang planning out to 2100 requires that we refrain from making a bunch of pre-mature, rash decisions now that might lock us into ruinous expenditures on equipment and doctrines that later turn out to be mis-guided investments. I mean, even if those rash decisions stand to make some Big-Green biggies some big, green bucks (and even if those rash decisions move us that much closer to a launch of the lefty, gulags-galore hive-heaven you greenshirts so urgently want to inflict on us expendable, useless-eater “little people”).

        But maybe the Klingons know better.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Mike, every climate-change Klingon can quote President Eisenhower:

        In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.

        :)

      • to Mike, That was really good. 1912 plans for 100 years out are the big isssue we face. OOPS 2012 plans by Jim Hansen et al for the year 2112 By that time the petroleum era will be over. Maybe fusion, maybe lots of solar and wind. The world is full of promise if we keep our heads, remain innovative and don’t kill the economy with politically driven central controls. CA is experimenting and Texas is so we shall see. Please don’t make fun but this time fusion is 50 years away but so is solar and wind. Planning and modeling beyond the headlights are useless and costly distractions We can do this.

      • Joyce

        Small wars Journal completely passed me by I must confess. You have a distrubing choice of reading The idea that an aircarft carrier has a 100 year life span is far fetched and also rather irrelevant -not an astrologer are you? Did you see the CUA dcument I posted that warned of the impending ice age? That was wrng as well so seems to me that the defence industry knows less about historical climate than others stirring the pot
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        ClimateReason, please let me say that for American families with members serving in the war, Small Wars Journal (SWJ) is regarded the best single source of non-ideological news.

        Small Wars Journal

        Small Wars Journal is NOT a government, official, or big corporate site. The Small Wars Journal’s founders come from the Marine Corps. We do this in our spare time, because we want to. McDonald’s pays more. But we’d rather work to advance our noble profession than try to super-size your order or interest you in a delicious hot apple pie. If and when you’re not flipping burgers, please join us.

        ClimateReason, please let me agree with you too, that the deep, willful, inflexible, unreasoning, sustained, illogical, illiterate, ideology-first ignorance of many Americans regarding difficult topics like the war, and like climate change, indeed is “distrubing.”

        Fortunately, regular reading of SWJ is a good start toward remedying this ignorance. Highly recommended.   :)

    • Fan,

      Just out of curiosity, what is the difference between a carrier designed for an ice-free Arctic and current designs? Ditto for the design features of a carrier operating in an environment where “vast tracts of America’s coastal states” are “flooded” vs. current designs.

    • The brainless echoing of AGW talking points by true believers is like the buzz of small gnat.
      A Physicist (now calling himself A fan) is one of the better examples of this buzzing currently on this blog.
      The mindless acceptance of AGW by the believers of the doom hype is a current manifestation of a human failing that has plagued humans throughout history.

      • @hunter: The mindless acceptance of AGW

        My impression to date has been that hunter’s denial of AGW is even more mindless: all rhetoric with no real substance.

      • Dr. Pratt,
        What do you think I “deny”?
        Do I deny CO2 is a ghg? No.
        Do I deny that climate changes?
        No.
        I point out that AGW is a social mania and that A physicist, along with many others, are obsessed with stories of climate doom caused by CO2.
        Do you deny that?
        I also point out that many claims by AGW promoters are wrong.
        Do you deny that many peddling CO2 doom have made incorrect claims?
        As to my comment, since it got you to reduce your vocabulary to the level of an Alabama redneck confronting an uppity ni**er, I would bet that I struck a bit closer to home than you care to admit.

  28. No differences. In the early 80′s Admiral Ace Lyons, (sp) took the 2nd Fleet up north of the Icelandic gap to test the Russian responses. Big storm, lots of ice and tough environment. Warmer will not be quite so messy. In the arctic will be tough but interesting. Need new seamen & seawomen jackets. Aircraft above 30,000 feet won’t feel any difference. Quite a story at the time of the 600 ship Navy.

    • Scott,

      Of course there’s no difference, I just wanted to see Fan squirm. Lucky Fan, you bailed him/her (I think Fan’s of the distaff persuasion) out.

  29. The increased melting of Greenland glaciers in the 1930′s is entirely consistent with my paper’s rise in global atmospheric temperature 1905 to 1940, usually neglected by the IPCC. See ‘An alternative theory of climate change’ at: http://members.iinet.net.au/~alexandergbiggs .

    • John Carpenter

      Your theory doesn’t appear to account for aerosols. One theory is the decline in temperature from 1940 to 1970 was due to increased aerosols from pollution that caused a negative feedback. Pollution control reduced aerosols which in turn reduced the negative feedback. Temperatures began to rise again after that. Why does your theory neglect to account for this?

      • It would take a very large increase in aerosols to produce the dramatic reversal of heating that occurred in 1940. WW2 was not a significant producer of aerosols in 1940 and I don’t recall anything else that would do so. The most likely explanation was saturation of the CO2 line in the spectra which had caused the extraordinary rise tn the first place. After all, CO2 was certainly increasing at an accelerating rate in 1940, yet global temperature fell. We can only work on the evidence. Pollution was not an issue in 1940. Adolf Hitler was.

      • John Carpenter

        The current theory, as I understand it, says the warming prior to 1940 was not due to CO2, but due to Sun irradiance variation/increase at that time. By 1940, enough western industrialization with the resulting pollution (aerosols) changed the trend. After the war, massive industrial growth in the Western world occurred that resulted in greater production of aerosols. There is little doubt in the NH, massive amount of aerosols were generated from 1940 to the 70′s that were released into the atmosphere. Environmentalism took root in the 60′s, legislation to curb air pollution (aerosols) came to fruition in the 70′s. By the 80′s, real reductions in aerosols were achieved. Aerosols reflect SW radiation from the sun high in the atmosphere thereby reducing the amount getting to the surface of the planet, thereby reducing the amount converted to LW radiation returning to space. This is the ‘consensus’ theory. I beleive the literature will produce quantitaive studies to support the theory. You have not offered any quantification to your theory to show how the energy balance takes your path. The saturation of the CO2 band has been argued, the broadening of the band due to increased CO2 can explain why CO2 can continue to add forcing.

      • So which do you prefer: irradiance or aerosols? Something drastic happened in 1940. and no one has identified it. I have given a credible reason. If science can discredit my reason – fine. Thank you for your interest. Perhaps I should add that just over 10 years later I was working with other scientists at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Britain on ways to protect our cities from bombers. We looked at infra-red guidance and soon discovered which bands to avoid, due to absorption in the atmosphere. This work was classified so the rest of the scientific community were unaware.

      • John Carpenter

        “I have given a credible reason. If science can discredit my reason – fine.”

        Look, your theory isn’t credible until you can refute the consensus theories on why the temperature record goes up and down beyond a hand waving argument. To get others to buy in to your theory, you need to start show how it can’t be any other way. You need to make some predictions of where temperature is going next. Right now you are taking a similar position many of the alarmist ‘consensus’ scientists take. They don’t challenge their theories…. they report results and make predictions with overconfidence… they dismiss skeptical arguments. What does your theory say about the future? How do you apply it going forward? What should we expect? The theory is no good if it has no predictive ability. So if the CO2 band is saturated and the ‘long transport delay of the 1910 – 1940 injection of heat’ into the oceans caused the recent warming, how does your theory explain the last 15 years where there has been no statistical increase in GMT? The consensus theory says as atmospheric CO2 continues to increase, so will the GMT due to increased CO2 forcing. You say the CO2 forcing is at its maximum due to 100% absorption. So what does that mean for the future? The consensus theory argues over how ‘sensitive’ the climate is to CO2 forcing. Climate models produce sensitivity ‘likely ranges’ for a hypothetical doubling of CO2. They make predictions and give probability density functions of ‘how likely’ such and such temperature will be in year 2100. What does your model predict? You need to make some predictions to test the theory, so what should we expect? You have to be able to answer these types of inquiries if anyone is going to take you seriously.

      • ” how does your theory explain the last 15 years where there has been no statistical increase in GMT” Easily. The earth warms to a new equilibrium where the where the increased temperature has largely percolated through the seas and the dissipation of the extra heat has stabilized the temperature. In fact the BEST project as described on this site shows that is exactly what happened.Yes, their will be a slow increase in temperature over time related to percentage increases in CO2, but very slow because co2 saturation will still apply. In 1905 to 1940 we got nearly 0.5C in 30 years – nothing like that rate will ever apply again..

  30. Judith Curry

    Great stuff, which raises more “uncertainty” regarding rising sea levels.

    I can see why Rahmstorf at RealClimate writes that the “science community is shocked”.

    Levitus et al. shows less thermosteric expansion than previously estimated by Hansen or IPCC, but includes the standard “boiler-plate” phrase:

    ”the warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs”

    [Huh? Howdat?]

    One sentence caught my eye:

    ”correcting or excluding some Argo float data”

    [What? These are arguably the only ocean temperature data that exist, which are worth anything; they are based on a very expensive and comprehensive system that was only put into place in 2003 – why should these data be “corrected or excluded”?]

    Niche Modelling concludes from the Leviticus data that net total global radiative feedback from water vapor, etc. is negative, rather than strongly positive, as estimated by the models cited in IPCC AR4.

    [Ouch!]

    Pokhrel et al. conclude that 42% of the observed SL rise (1961-2003) is caused by human use of groundwater.

    [Oops! A “black swan”?]

    Bjork et al. tell us that Greenland glacier retreat in the 1930s was comparable to current retreat.

    [But hey, there wan’t any CO2 back then to speak of…]

    Moon et al. conclude that SL rise from Greenland may fall well below upper bounds.

    As Rahmstorf writes, some may find all this “shocking”.

    But in real science (as compared to consensus science), new data like these are never “shocking” – they are simply new bits of knowledge to help understand the whole puzzle.

    Max

  31. Peter Lang

    JC comments: When I raise the issue of emphasizing adaptation over mitigation, the response I often get is that the sea level rise issue is so global and overwhelming that mitigation is the only sensible way to deal with the global sea level rise.

    I have some questions for those who argue for mitigation, and especially for CO2 pricing as the means to mitigate sea level rises:

    1. How much difference will CO2 pricing make to sea levels?

    2. Where can I see a chart of projected sea level change attributable to CO2 price?

    3. What is the expected cost of the mitigation and what is the benefit (a profile of each over time)

    Nordhaus (2008) Figure 7-5, p 145 http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf shows that just 0.1% of world population and 0.1% of world production lies below 1 m elevation.

    So, what would be the cost (discounted) of 1 m sea level rise over 100 years?

    And how much difference would pricing CO2, at the optimal price, make to sea levels?

  32. Beth Cooper

    Fan @ 6.48pm:
    Fan, read Judith’s pertinent comments above on the new data driven analyses on sea level rise. Say, at 0.77mm yr, (1961-2003). doesn’t that amount to less than a metre per century? Being a Klingon like yourself, I’m good at math as you must be, so you’ll be able to do the sums. And while yer about it, read tony b’s paper, I find it astonishing (and dismaying) that yer haven’t already done so.

  33. The Niche Modelling statement was based on a misunderstanding, pointed out by data1981 at that site (by the way the link is wrongly pointing to Pielke). The forcing should not balance the ocean heat content increase, and it should apply over the same period anyway (1955-2010) which 1.6 W/m2 doesn’t. This is best understood by looking at the two limiting cases with the real situation being somewhere between them. If the OHC change balanced the forcing there would be no surface warming because storage in the ocean would have removed all the forcing. If, at the other extreme, the OHC had not increased at all, then all the forcing would be balanced by surface warming, and we would have had the equilibrium response already. The difference represents the delay between the transient response and the equilibrium response. It has nothing to do with feedback because you have to look at surface temperature changes to evaluate that.

    • “The forcing should not balance the ocean heat content increase, and it should apply over the same period anyway (1955-2010) which 1.6 W/m2 doesn’t.”

      True that there is little chance of forcing and OHC balancing in a dynamic system with various time constants. Solar SW is primary driver of OHC which is more strongly related to cloud, aerosol, turbidity and direct solar variations.

      “If the OHC change balanced the forcing there would be no surface warming because storage in the ocean would have removed all the forcing.” N/A

      “If, at the other extreme, the OHC had not increased at all, then all the forcing would be balanced by surface warming, and we would have had the equilibrium response already. ” This is a joke right? OHC varies on time scales from annual to millennial 1.6Wm-2 is not an energy source but a response to energy flow. If energy is flowing into the oceans at a greater than “normal” rate, the “forcing” over the oceans would be less because less energy than “normal” is available to be returned, IPCC speak, or warm the atmosphere more than “normal”. When the rate of OHC decreases, more warming would be measured in the atmosphere, like the 1998 El Nino peak, followed by the lower 2005 El Nino peak, followed by the lower 2010 El Nino peak, which indicate a change in the rate of OH uptake. The 1998 event is noted by Tsonis et al and Douglas et al as being a potential “climate shift”. The coordination with the shift in the PDO is not an accident, it is driven by the changing rate of OH uptake.

      http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/hadsstversusuahTlToceans.png

      • 1.6 W/m2 is the forcing they attribute to this period which is wrong because the IPCC 1.6 W/m2 comes from a longer period. The actual forcing might be 1.2 of which OHC might have used up 0.3, according to Levitus, leaving 0.9 to act as forcing. With a temperature change of 0.6 degrees in this period, you get a sensitivity of near 3 degrees per doubling.

      • What JimD said. I was working on a response below
        http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/05/sea-level-rise-discussion-thread/#comment-206590
        and then noticed JimD beat me to the punch.

        Like JimD said, climate scientists calculate the forcing from a longer duration end point than what amounts to an equivalent average value over the last 55 years. Assuming the forcing growth was linear, then the 0.39 W/m^2 number was an equivalent number from around 55/2 = 27.5 years ago.

        The Cap’n is usually really bad at working the fundamentals and prefers to go after some loony idea stuck in his brain.

      • That doesn’t change anything Web. If the OHC was linearly increasing the atmosphere would be linearly warming. The energy that produces the “forcing” comes from the surface. With all the noise and an approximately 60 internal cycle, there is no significant signal over the oceans at this time. There is a barely significant signal over land, the SH oceans are showing no signal at all. 0.39Wm-2 would likely likely be buried in natural oscillations since it is only 1 tenth of one percent of average for the Earth..

      • http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/comparingoceanstoatmosphere.png

        There ya go Jim D, That is GISS LOTI minus HADSST2, The oceans happen to be about 6 degrees warmer than the average surface temperature. The difference between the air and the oceans based on these data sets has increased at a 0.0002 rate since 1880. While the mighty photon can be absorbed by a warmer object, the net typically is from warm to cold. The warmer oceans have warmed the cooler air, but what caused the majority of the warming? Then there are always data questions.

      • Jim D,

        There’s a small error in your calculation. With those numbers the remaining forcing at the end of the period would be larger than by 0.9 than the forcing at the beginning of the period, not absolute 0.9. If there was already 0.4 W/m2 of 1.6, one might think that there was a net forcing of 0.3 at the beginning and we would have 0.3+0.9 = 1.2 rather than 0.9 at the end.

      • Perhaps I should add that I don’t want to indicate that the numbers I gave are correct. There are further comments lower in this thread that discuss several additional points.

        I just wanted to point out that this particular effect has essentially less influence assuming that the numbers are representative. That’s true, when the addition to OHC is only a small fraction of the total change in forcing, because essentially the same factor affects the correction.

        A more meaningful calculation should look at the historical development of the imbalance and estimate by some means the temporal development of the important variables over the period.

      • Pekka, perhaps what I was doing was simpler than it should be, but my thinking went as follows. This was my mental equation
        dF=dH/dt+lambda*dT
        where dF is the forcing change over a given period (1955-2010), dH/dt is the rate of change of ocean heat content, and dT is the surface temperature change in the same period, with lambda being the equilibrium sensitivity parameter, so the last term is the Planck response to balance the forcing in the absence of ocean storage changes. All these units are W/m2. dF is given by the CO2 change plus other forcings in that period alone which I estimated at 1.2 (less than 1.6 anyway). dH/dt was calculated for us as nearly 0.3 W/m2 averaged over this period, and I took 0.6 C as the temperature rise in this period. This is how I got lambda (1.2-0.3 divided by 0.6) W/m2/K, so the sensitivity to CO2 doubling is about 2.5 C for 3.7 W/m2. Criticisms welcome. I want to understand this.

      • Jim D, The criticism is for the equation not you. Ein=Eout – delta S, where delta S can be positive or negative for thousands of years. If you have 600 years of positive delta S, the ocean giving up heat due to any number of natural events, you would have a long period of negative delta S, recovery. Then if you select a point to use dF=dH/dt +lamba(dT) without considering delta S, you get confusion.

        As the oceans approach some conditional equilibrium, delta S would approach 0, for the oceans, delta S for the atmosphere is faster, but not instantaneous, so there would be a lag, before it reached its conditional equilibrium. It is unlikely to both the atmosphere and the oceans would reach the same equilibrium in the same time period, so there would be oscillation. Since there are several thermodynamic layers in both the oceans and atmosphere, there would be more than one oscillation. dF=dH/dT + lamda*dT is only valid if delta S is zero for both the oceans and the atmosphere. So look at dT, since 1880 it is about 0.6C per century. As the temperature increases, water vapor would increase so at some point that rate of increase in T would increase without any CO2 contribution as a forcing, but with some feedback to delta S. Water vapor would likely be the greatest feedback to delta S, but with albedo change, also a feedback to delta S, biological CO2 might be a larger feedback. All that is pretty obvious.

        If the paleo data for estimating the past ocean temperature is off by 0.2C the then the estimate of delta S would be off by 0.8Wm-2. We are trying to determine a change in forcing in the oceans of +/-0.5 Wm-2 with an error of +/-0.8Wm-2. or more.

        So your use of the formula is fine, the formula itself is incomplete.

      • capt. dallas, I am not going to pretend to understand your delta S, but I believe it is part of the way I define H, which is any storage, but almost entirely OHC. There isn’t any other energy lurking around that is comparable with OHC.
        In equilibrium dF=0, and dH/dt balances -lambda*dT. A typical case is El Nino where surface warmth (positive dT) goes with negative OHC rates of change which occur as the warm surface water radiates faster during El Nino than in an average year. This works well to explain how OHC rates of change relate to surface temperature in equilibrium and during climate forcing.

      • JimD dH is the change in enthalpy of the system. dS is the change in entropy of the system. So dS is basically the efficiency of the system. There is always entropy, it rules the universe. If the system has less entropy it is more efficient at utilizing energy which in Earth’s case is maintaining H, the enthalpy. So if the Earth were cooler than normal, H would be low. If the Earth is able to collect energy more efficiently to restore the enthalpy, the change in forcing as related to dH and lamba*dT would appear to be greater. No energy is ever transferred without some loss in transit.

        As the system approaches equilibrium, entropy would become constant at the steady state value for the condition of the system., which would be maximum entropy or minimum depending on your point of view. With the system at a fleeting steady state, it is never truly steady, portions of the system can be considered in conditional equilibrium. I use conditional because there is never a true thermodynamic equilibrium in the Earth ocean and atmosphere or you could call it local thermodynamic equilibrium.

        So if the system has less energy than average, it would be more efficient at storing energy and the change in enthalpy per unit forcing would be greater than at steady state. The Earth would be easier to warm than normal in other words.

        The 33C estimate assumes that is normal, so 288K, 390Wm-2 and 240Wm-2 TOA would be the normal conditions. There are a few degrees of uncertainty though in that estimate.

        To reduce the uncertainty of the 33C you could assume that a perfect gray body would have a maximum entropy of 50%

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/02/more-ideal-gray-body-fiddling.html

        That is my basic model of a gray body. It matches the data pretty well. I haven’t seen Vaughan Pratt’s model, but it should be close to his results and it indicates that there would be about 0.9Wm-2 imbalance without considering CO2 forcing changes with the assumed initial conditions. In other words, 33C is off a touch, which changes the equation you are using.

        I, of course can be completely wrong, but it really isn’t looking that way.

      • capt. dallas, you have not understood my equation, and are changing the subject by even talking about entropy and 33 C. My equation applies to sensitivity around today’s climate, not a hypothetical no-GHG climate. It says that a delta in forcing results in a combination of OHC rate of change and surface temperature delta. Typically the OHC rate of change occurs first and slows down to zero as the equilibrium delta in temperature is approached.

      • JimD, dF, the change of forcing you are looking for is at the top of the atmosphere. dH is the enthalpy of the entire system, most of which is in the oceans, Lamba is the sum of the sensitivities to various types of forcings and T is the temperature at the tropopause. That requires the assumption that the oceans are in equilibrium which is based on the 33C, 390Wm-2 surface and 240Wm-2 TOA and the linear relationship assumed in the equation. The simple gray body model shows the relationships.

        If the response over time of any layer varies significantly, then dF is not equal to dH plus lambda*dT of the system. The equation assumes a conditional equilibrium.

        Think of charging a car battery. You apply 14.4 Volts to a 12.7 Volts battery, You have applied 1.7 volts of forcing. The change in energy of the battery is small. You apply 1.7 volts of forcing when the battery is at 11 Volts, the change in energy of the battery would be greater for an equal amount of forcing even though the total applied force is less, 12.7 instead of 14.4. Same thing with Earth, if 33C in the design enthalpy, 1.7 Watts of forcing would more impact than if the design was 35C, even with a lower total force applied.

      • capt. dallas, I think you are just saying that you dispute that the surface dT is proportional to the top dT. If we consider small ranges of a few degrees, this linearity holds because the lapse rate is fixed by convection in the troposphere which has a well defined variation with temperature. This is why we are not talking about the 33 K issue at all here, just perturbations on the current climate.

      • JimD,”capt. dallas, I think you are just saying that you dispute that the surface dT is proportional to the top dT. If we consider small ranges of a few degrees, this linearity holds because the lapse rate is fixed by convection in the troposphere which has a well defined variation with temperature. This is why we are not talking about the 33 K issue at all here, just perturbations on the current climate.”

        That is part of it, The imbalance estimate would be off about .34Wm-2 for each degree the estimate is off because of the t^4 relationship. But there is more to it.

        The lapse rate has another feedback though. Because of the horizontal wind velocity change with altitude, heat is more widely dispersed as the lapse rate increases. The efficiency of mid to upper troposphere cooling increases as the average temperature increases. So the lapse rate is also non-linear in it impact. It is really a remarkable system.

      • capt. dallas, it would have to be highly nonlinear to show up in a perturbation of a few degrees. It would be visible between summer and winter for example, and I don’t think this effect is seen in the data. What you describe, if it happens, is in the same direction as that which reduces the size of the so-called hot spot, and we know that the hot spot would be a negative feedback, so its weakening makes the total feedback more positive. It’s worse than we thought.

      • Jim D, “It’s worse than we thought.” Not really, things just shift into a new pattern. The 1998 El Nino is a near perfect signature of a bifurcation. 2010 was less perfect, lower and the entry and exit slopes varied. You could play with some sine waves and reconstruct the signature.

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/cahargingtheoceans.png

        That is a plot of the impact of 3.7Wm-2 on a surface in temperature range from 289K to 296K. Pick a humidity ratio and see how it impacts that curve. You will get a peak at a specific temperature and humidity condition.

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/PsychrometricChart.SeaLevel.SI.svg

        There is a nice “linear” psych chart to compare with :)

      • capt. dallas, some skeptics think things are highly nonlinear and should be fans of tipping points (Google search Barnosky Nature tipping points for a recent item on that). Others think the climate has such strong negative feedbacks nothing much can happen. You seem to be variably in each camp.

      • Jim D, not really, a strong tipping point for one variable just helps locate the most likely feed back. I think it is called hyperbolic chaos. The 1998 El Nino appears to have been a radiant event. That would give you an indication of the potential magnitude of the GHE for that set of conditions, 0.8 +/- 0.2. Since it dissipated in the same time frame that it took to build, there is a negative feed back of at least equal magnitude. It seems counter intuitive, but the more variables that can build to a bifurcation, the more stable the system is in the long run. Tsonis, Douglas and other have a good start on that, but what they don’t have are the physical mechanisms to explain the shifts.

        Here is a simple example.
        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/hyperbolic.png

        It looks scarier than it is, it is just what happens as you approach equilibrium in a chaotic system. The closer to equilibrium a hyperbolic chaotic system is, the easier it is to tip in a new direction. Chief captain hydrokanga uses the balance drawing. The increase in the surface temperature of the ocean just shifts the points, doesn’t change the magnitude.

        The El Nino punched through to the stratosphere. The variation in the relative velocities between the below the tropopause and the lower stratosphere more greatly dispersed the energy. So while the energy was radiating at a colder temperature, it was radiating from a much larger area. You not only have a negative lapse rate feed back, you have a non-linear negative lapse rate feed back. With the dispersion above the tropopause, there is a reduction in ozone because of the water vapor carried through with the event. One event triggered a number of negative feed backs with different time responses.

        Complicated as all hell, but interesting.

      • capt. dallas, that’s what happens when you try to understand every wiggle in global temperature. Take ten-year running averages and things are much smoother and easier to tie to actual long-term forcing changes. if you did that, you would see that we are still in a warming spell that started in the 70′s. Solar cycle complications are removed too.

    • Yes, it’s an elementary error by Niche Modelling, and it’s amazing that Pielke is subscribing to it. Apart from the timing issues, the forcing quoted is the increased heat flux added to the environment compared to 1750. It’s amplified by feedback. Part of it is heating the sea, and part of it is represented by increased OLR (since 1750) caused by warming. Small amounts go into melting ice, heating land etc. You can’t just equate flux plus feedback to ocean warming as NM does.

      • I guess their niche is bad scientific analysis. I thought WUWT had that role covered pretty well.

      • Nick,

        I actually don’t think Roger understands the difference. See his posting of an exchange I had with him via email at
        http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/e-mail-interaction-with-chris-colose-of-the-university-of-wisconsin/

        Specifically,

        //”My Comment: The radiative imbalance = the radiative forcing + the radiative feedback. If the radiative imbalance is less than the radiative forcing, the radiative feedbacks must be negative.”//

        It’s completely wrong, and it’s no wonder he always manages to get himself lost on these sort of topics. These are elementary points.

      • CC,
        Hmmmm….Whom to listen to? The young punk (you) or the guy who writes the books and publishes the papers? It is a really tough call.

      • Unfortunately for Pielke, the radiative feedback, the way he defines it is usually opposite to forcing, so yes it is negative, and yes it is the well known Planck response that is supposed to be negative otherwise we would all be in trouble. He made a statement of the obvious, but his feedback is not the more commonly used definition.

      • This is one of the reasons I really don’t like the convention used by climate scientists. “It’s amplified by feedback” but “it” is dependent on the average energy of the source, which has a much longer time constant and alternate method of acquiring energy. It, the atmospheric forcing, is dependent on the energy flux from the surface of the ocean, which acquires its energy primarily via solar shortwave at various depths.

        “It’s definitely a confusing issue. What we’re talking about here is basically the amount of unrealized warming, whereas the radiative forcing tells you the total net energy imbalance since your choice of start date (the IPCC uses 1750). So they’re not directly comparable figures.

        The unrealized warming has been fairly constant over the past ~50 years whereas the radiative forcing increases the further back in time you choose your initial point. So if you look at the unrealized warming starting at any date from 1950 to 2010, it will be a fairly constant number. But the radiative forcing from 1950 to 2010 is larger than the forcing from 1990 to 2010, for example.

        Hopefully I got that right.” by dana1981.

        To determine what “unrealized” warming is in the pipeline you would have to know what the normal forcing “it” should receive plus the amount of additional forcing we have provided.

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/gissminusHADsstasenergy1880.png

        That gives a rough idea of what forcing “it” has received since 1880. Not perfect, but an idea.
        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/oceanenergyimbalance.png

        That gives a closer look at the period from 1972 to 2000 and 2000 to present. 1972 being before a theoretical climate shift and 2000 after another theoretical climate shift. The energy imbalance between the ocean and the atmosphere appears to be decreasing. With the ocean at some conditional equilibrium, “it” should receive the maximum energy so “it” can provide the maximum forcing and we can estimate the feedback.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics/SkepticsvRealists_500.gif

        In the Skeptic’s view, the downward slope of the short trends is decreasing which would indicate that the “source” of energy for “it” is approaching conditional equilibrium after being below its normal energy capacity for some time. LIA recovery.

        If the source were say 0.4C below its normal surface temperature during the 1880 to 1900 period, then a little over half of the warming would be natural recovery. If the source were at the normal surface temperature during 1880 to 1900, all of the warming would be due to us. Then if all of the warming were due to us, if seems unlikely that the rough estimate of ocean energy imbalance would have such a different shape during 1910 to 1940 than it does from 1980 to 2010.

        So I say, it is tough to figure out what “it” is until you know what the source was :)

      • This is a confusing reply, and I’m not sure dana got to the heart of the matter either. There are some things to keep in mind:

        - Radiative forcing is not the equivalent of radiative imbalance. The argument that negative feedbacks must be dominating simply from the fact that the observed imbalance is “less than the radiative forcing” (~1.6 W/m2) is absolutely nonsensical. This is because part of the radiative perturbation has been manifest in a increase in temperature, and thus an increase in outgoing radiation. Even if climate sensitivity were 10 degrees/ doubling of CO2, the radiative imbalance would eventually become zero. The forcing for the doubling of CO2 would still be 3.7 W/m2 by the definition of forcing.

        - We don’t know the radiative forcing very well over the industrial era, primarily because of aerosols. This can also impact the time evolution of OHC measurements

      • And impact the time evolution of policy action.
        ============

      • “The forcing for the doubling of CO2 would still be 3.7 W/m2 by the definition of forcing.” True, all things remaining equal.

        I put together a rough southern hemisphere reconstruction since there wasn’t one at the time.
        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/SouthernExtentreconstructionwithGISS24Sto44S.png

        There is no way to be confident in the maximum or minimum range, but the average does appear to be reasonably close. BTW, the Tasmania reconstruction was in degrees C with an average of 14.9, which is pretty convenient. Both Tasmania and the Southern South American should be reasonable representations of the southern ocean temperature changes. It does indicate that we are near or over previous warm periods before circa 1400 AD, nothing new there. It also indicates that since 1816, temperature were probably lower than any other time in recent history. The 1940 peak in GISS appears to be near “normal” though you do of course have the aerosol issues.

        So what if you calculate specific humidity based on 1940 instead of 1950 to 1981? You have a different baseline value that does not involve feed back or forcing. A different initial condition that would impact CO2 forcing.

        So it is easy to confuse a negative feed back with natural variability if the initial starting point is below what should be considered “average”.

        I have noticed that more of the new models considering paleo are producing lower sensitivites and more of the recent TCR estimates are lower. If the initial specific humidity was underestimate, that’s looks like what would happen.

        So as I said, you can’t tell what “It” is until you know what the source was.

      • Why use the term ‘forcing’ at all; it is never formally defined.
        The term that is used in classical kinetics is ‘flux’; influx and efflux describing the vectoriality.
        Again, you use the term ‘radiative imbalance’, but it does not mean anything.
        By ‘ imbalance’ you typically mean that the averaged, yearly, estimated photon efflux is less than the averaged, yearly, estimated photon influx.
        The jump from thermodynamics to kinetics and back to thermodynamics is disconcerting, and gets worse when you arbitrary distinguish between a forcing and a feedback.
        Thus, the phase change of water from liquid to gas, after absorbing photons, is a feedback, the absorption of photons and the emission of photons atmospheric water vapor is a forcing, but the photons released when gaseous water become liquid water is a feedback.
        Why you attempt to make these distinctions is unclear. It a cloud a negative forcing with respect to visible light and a positive forcing with respect to infrared? I know a cloud reflects high energy sunlight up, lessening the heat influx and reflects IR radiation from the surface and so increasing the IR influx.
        I know that during the day time the overall change in influx will drop in the presence of clouds, but that at night a cloud will have the opposite effect, increasing influx.
        During the day, clouds are a negative ‘forcing’ or a negative feedback and at night they are a positive ‘forcing’.
        So the term ‘forcing’ is a nonsense.

      • Doc said, “Why use the term ‘forcing’ at all; it is never formally defined.” :)
        Funny isn’t “it”?

      • Doc,
        One thing about bs science like what CC pushes is that they need special terms and never actually define them well.

      • “Radiative forcing is a measure of the influence a factor has in altering the balance of incoming and outgoing energy in the Earth-atmosphere system and is an index of the importance of the factor as a potential climate change mechanism. In this report radiative forcing values are for changes relative to preindustrial conditions defined at 1750 and are expressed in Watts per square meter (W/m2).” AR4

        It is of course a calculated value with no physical meaning – an index only. With additional CO2 in the atmosphere the troposheric temperature increases and I have been wondering for some time why there should be a ‘lag’ in warming as these molecules are emitted at hundreds to thousands of degrees. Do these molecules cool down – transfer energy to cooler oxygen and nitrogen molecules – and then absorb photons to complete the average warming of the atmosphere? Regardless – once the atmosphere warms sufficiently there is of course no flux imbalance at TOA from this source.

        The ocean and atmosphere is coupled through net IR up, convection and evaporation. When the atmosphere warms net IR up declines and heat – in Joules for God’s sake – accumulates in the ocean. Warm water rises to the surface buoyantly and there is turbulent mixing to depth. Convection dominates – most of the heat is in the top 100m. Although if you calculate heat content from absolute zero – most heat is at depth just by sheer volume. But let’s stick to liquid oceans. IR up is restored when the surface layer warms sufficiently. How long does this take? Not long at all.

      • Chief Hydrologist does word salad with the best of them. Nothing he says makes any sense, as he contradicts himself every which way.

      • Again a mature contribution to the discourse. Making sene to Webby would be a bit of a worry as he is habitually wrong about everything – but aggressively insists he is a genious. Is the incidence of bizzarre behavior increasing or am I merely the object more frequently? .

        If you want to make a point Webby I suggest you actually say something – ask a question – whatever – instead of merely asserting some off track ad hom.

        The topic is interesting – which is why I added my contribution in first of all quoting the AR4 definition of radiative forcing and then describing the relevant energy pathways as understood by informed people. A category in which you are emphatically not included.

        How does this ‘forcing’ behaviour work? When greenhouse gases accululate in the atmosphere more photons are intercepted as they make their way out of the atmosphere to space. The increase in internal energy results in warming of the atmosphere and more energy is emitted from these warmer molecules. There end up being more photons in the atmophere at any time and more of these escape the atmosphere to restore the conditional equilibrium. In other words – the flux imbalance at TOA is transient but the heat in the atmosphere and oceans remains.

        AGW space cadets find it difficult to understand this – that the planet emits in the IR at a rate that must ultimately be conditionally equal to the incoming energy. It is of course conditional on the warming and cooling of the planet.

      • Maybe Web would get the battery charger analogy.

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/05/sea-level-rise-discussion-thread/#comment-207483

        Then there is the new paper on sensitivity scaling which at least starts looking at the linearity assumption. Initial conditions are kinda important :)

      • You guys ought to quit pretending that you understand photonics and statistical physics. It is frankly embarrassing the word salad you cook up.

      • Web, the battery charge analogy is perfectly valid. The impact of forcing decreases as it approaches equilibrium or steady state. I had to consider the “approach” testing cooling towers. Anything heat transfer has considerable variation in capacity based on conditions, there should be no argument there at all. If the initial capacity of the OHC was underestimated, the sensitivity to forcing will be over estimated. How much is the only question. That is best determined by looking at the changes in the rate of change of forcing, which is tough with so many variables.

        Dr. Held has a post on it.

        The fun part is that as the system approaches equilibrium or steady state for the conditions, previously insignificant impacts grow in significance. That is where the bifurcations start. The system will have natural internal oscillations that vary with the numerous processes that become more or less important depending on the current conditions at that time. There is nothing linear about Climate.

      • Webby – if you wish to be taken at seriously you need to have a logical argument and not simply ad hom. You again make not so much an contribution but a diversion for your own ignorant purposes.

        Expand on your claims – ask questons – grow and learn – or continue to be considered an irrelevant distraction.

      • CH said “that the planet emits in the IR at a rate that must ultimately be conditionally equal to the incoming energy. It is of course conditional on the warming and cooling of the planet.”
        This, everyone agrees with. CO2 reduces outgoing IR, what happens next according to this idea? I would suggest warming, perhaps delayed by an OHC increase, but eventually to fully balance the IR change.

      • Now I have to parse Skippy’s goddam word salad to show that I can be taken “seriously”.

        Example:

        “With additional CO2 in the atmosphere the troposheric temperature increases and I have been wondering for some time why there should be a ‘lag’ in warming as these molecules are emitted at hundreds to thousands of degrees. Do these molecules cool down – transfer energy to cooler oxygen and nitrogen molecules – and then absorb photons to complete the average warming of the atmosphere? Regardless – once the atmosphere warms sufficiently there is of course no flux imbalance at TOA from this source. “

        This is plain nuts. What molecules are emitted at “hundreds to thousands of degrees”? If you think that the process of burning fossil fuels is where
        global warming starts and ends, you are very badly misinformed.

        My brain now hurts and I will stop parsing.

      • Jim D said, “I would suggest warming, perhaps delayed by an OHC increase, but eventually to fully balance the IR change.” Yes, most of the warming due to the addition of CO2 would be delayed by OHC recovery from natural oscillation or forces. That impact your estimate of the magnitude of CO2 forcing. The GHG would also decrease as the OHC increased to normal, whatever that is, but the additional CO2 would increase that conditional equilibrium by some amount. It is not an easy problem.

        Conversely, as OHC drops, the impact of the GHE would increase. That is why there is a relatively small range of ocean temperatures. The variation in air temperature would mainly be at the poles and regions where the thermal mass is lower. The faint sun Earth would have liquid water and lots of glaciers :).

      • capt. dallas, you probably know that OHC can only change by energy inputs, and its change is mostly in the direction of increasing. Given that there is no natural energy source that has been increasing like this since 1955, it doesn’t take much to realize CO2 forcing has something to do with it. Why resist the obvious explanation? Too obvious perhaps?

      • maksimovich

        OHC can only change by energy inputs, and its change is mostly in the direction of increasing. Given that there is no natural energy source that has been increasing like this since 1955,

        First you must dispel the obvious,that surface energy increases monotonically.Unfortunately independent observations from surface actinometric stations preclude a binary answer .The increase/decrease in SSR is well described in the literature eg Wild 2006 etc,Ohmura 2007 found that the decrease in ssr 1955-1985 was negative ,since 1990 it went positive eg

        During the 15 years from 1990 to 2005 the sunshine duration hours over the five sites increased by 0.4 h/d which corresponds to the decrease in total cloud amount of 4%. The present analysis shows that the increase in 2.5 W m2 in global solar radiation was caused by the reduction of the total cloud amount by 4%.

      • Jim,

        This is the full quote. ‘How does this ‘forcing’ behaviour work? When greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere more photons are intercepted as they make their way out of the atmosphere to space. The increase in internal energy results in warming of the atmosphere and more energy is emitted from these warmer molecules. There end up being more photons in the atmophere at any time and more of these escape the atmosphere to restore the conditional equilibrium. In other words – the flux imbalance at TOA is transient but the heat in the atmosphere and oceans remains.’

        You – ‘CH said “that the planet emits in the IR at a rate that must ultimately be conditionally equal to the incoming energy. It is of course conditional on the warming and cooling of the planet.”
        This, everyone agrees with. CO2 reduces outgoing IR, what happens next according to this idea? I would suggest warming, perhaps delayed by an OHC increase, but eventually to fully balance the IR change.’

        I have never quibbled with the simple ideas of molecular resonance at specific photon frequencies. I keep struggling for a linguistic precision to describe what happens next.

        With more CO2 the atmosphere is immediately warmer resulting in decrease in net IR leaving the ocean. The balance at both TOA and the ocean surface is ultimately conditionally restored. I keep saying conditionally because it tends to equilibrium but there isn’t an actual equilibrium as things always change.

        I say immediately warmer because fossil fuels are stored solar energy and the adiabatic flame temperature -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adiabatic_flame_temperature – of these fuels is in the hundreds to thousands of degrees. I am not sure what Webby’s problem is with this and am beyond caring.

        Cheers

      • “I have never quibbled with the simple ideas of molecular resonance at specific photon frequencies. I keep struggling for a linguistic precision to describe what happens next.”

        The linguistic precision is in the language of mathematical modeling. It has worked perfectly well for problem after problem through the ages, yet you can’t seem to understand that it is also perfectly acceptable for the multi-physics modeling which occurs in climate science.

        “With more CO2 the atmosphere is immediately warmer resulting in decrease in net IR leaving the ocean. The balance at both TOA and the ocean surface is ultimately conditionally restored. I keep saying conditionally because it tends to equilibrium but there isn’t an actual equilibrium as things always change.

        I say immediately warmer because fossil fuels are stored solar energy and the adiabatic flame temperature -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adiabatic_flame_temperature – of these fuels is in the hundreds to thousands of degrees. I am not sure what Webby’s problem is with this and am beyond caring. “

        I don’t have a problem, you have the problem. Everyone and their scientific neighbor realizes the heat of reaction in burning fossil fuels (your “immediate warmer” phase) only contributes a fractional amount to warming. On the other hand, the GHG properties of excess CO2 are like a catalyst that continue to contribute well beyond the one shot effect of the initial combustion.

        Everything you have said is suspect and I really don’t understand why any of your skeptic team looks up to you as some sort of authority on anything.

      • CH, no the atmosphere doesn’t immediately warm when you increase the CO2. The surface warms first, and may be delayed by the ocean sequestering some, and then the atmosphere warms via convection at the new surface temperature. The atmosphere can’t warm ahead of the surface.

      • Jim,

        The CO2 emissions start off pretty warm. That is – in a high state of internal energy being the sum of kinetic and potential energy. With more molecules in the atmosphere – the atmosphere stays warmer because more photons are intercepted in the atmosphere and on average the residence time of photons in the atmosphere is greater. This is the prime cause of source of warming in the simple model of atmospheric radiative physics. The atmosphere warms first in the standard model and this is the cause of warming at the Earth’s surface and in the oceans. You have turned it entirely about face for some reason.

        What Webby says is that ‘the linguistic precision is in the language of mathematical modeling. It has worked perfectly well for problem after problem through the ages, yet you can’t seem to understand that it is also perfectly acceptable for the multi-physics modeling which occurs in climate science.’

        But the math follows a precise formulation of the problem. Just as a problem can only be defined in words if it is understood imaginatively and hopefully correctly. Hence the importance of humility in discourse – to grow you need to listen and incorporate better ideas into your world view.

        I have previously quoted Einstein on the importance of visualisation in analysing a problem. “The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be ‘voluntarily’ reproduced and combined. …. This combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others”. Albert Einstein in a letter to Jacques Hadamard. http://www.sv.vt.edu/classes/ESM4714/methods/vizthink.html

        Unless you understand a probelm creatively there is no chance of reasonably describing it in words or in mathematical symbols.

        Cheers

      • We know what global annual energy consumption is: 0.474×10^21 J

        We know what the heat capacity of the atmosphere is: 5 x10^21 Joules/Degree Kelvin

        So the potential warming in the atmosphere from combustion is 0.1 degrees C. This seems quite significant.

      • CH,
        0.1&degC over a year, if the heat sticks around.

        A better comparison is by power. Energy use is about 15 terawatts. That’s four orders of magnitude down from insolation.

      • Thanks Nick – it is a minor thing. As greenhouse gases accumulate one might expect about 0.01 degrees C increase in atmospheric temperature per year – all things being equal. The question is about what the lag is to warming and the implications therefore for TOA radiative imbalance.

      • Skippy does not want to learn. He has been on this combustion kick since I start contributing to this comment list last year.

        The area of the earth is about 5e14 m^2, the number of seconds in a year is about 3e7 and so the thermal power emitted by combusting fossil fuels is 0.03 watts/m^2. This is a fraction of what the GHG effect is expected to be — so if people don’t believe that GHG can cause warming, then they certainly shouldn’t believe that plain combustion will cause significant warming.

        We all pointed this out to him last year, but doesn’t seem to get it, whether it is just bullying or belligerence on his part, one can only imagine.

      • CH, you have shown that energy flow is not your strong point. Direct input to the atmosphere by burning things is like trickling something into a gushing river. The flow through the system (in from the sun and out via the IR) far dwarfs anything added by burning when you do the numbers. No, the effect of CO2 is the permanent one of blocking the outflow, which dams up the river, and raises its level (the temperature in this analogy). As I mentioned before it does it via the surface temperature changing first.

      • JimD, Rubbing it in by using a hydrology analogy against the “Chief Hydrologist”.
        Masterful.

      • “CH, you have shown that energy flow is not your strong point. Direct input to the atmosphere by burning things is like trickling something into a gushing river. The flow through the system (in from the sun and out via the IR) far dwarfs anything added by burning when you do the numbers. No, the effect of CO2 is the permanent one of blocking the outflow, which dams up the river, and raises its level (the temperature in this analogy). As I mentioned before it does it via the surface temperature changing first.”

        Isn’t trickling something into a river, making a Mississippi?
        If CO2 is a dam, are saying dam is instantly overflowing?
        Would not something trickling into a dam, add to the level of water in the dam?
        If one is making massive dams, one should then also count the trickling.

        And there could be other dams other than the elusive CO2 dam.

      • gbaikie, I am not sure I need to explain the analogy further. Trickling into a river doesn’t raise its level, but blocking it, even partially, does.

      • DeWitt Payne

        Let’s see if this goes in the right place.
        Jim D,

        CH, no the atmosphere doesn’t immediately warm when you increase the CO2. The surface warms first, and may be delayed by the ocean sequestering some, and then the atmosphere warms via convection at the new surface temperature. The atmosphere can’t warm ahead of the surface.

        Umm. no. The radiation imbalance at the surface following a step change of CO2 is actually quite small. The reason being that CO2 also absorbs in the near IR. So the increase in emission to the surface from the increased CO2 is nearly balanced by decreased transmission of solar radiation through the atmosphere. Hence, the atmosphere absorbs much more from the surface than it is emitting and warms much faster initially than the surface. The surface can only warm by absorbing more than it is emitting and that can only happen after the atmosphere begins to warm and the increased emission causes a radiative imbalance at the surface.

      • @DeWitt Payne: The reason being that CO2 also absorbs in the near IR.

        Surely you’re joking. Where in the near IR and how much?

      • The surface and the atmosphere must warm together, neither one can change much without the other.

        Based on radiative heat transfer alone the atmosphere would warm first but changes in convection remove that difference almost immediately.

        An immediate effect of added CO2 is a reduction in outgoing IR at TOA. The resulting imbalance starts then to warm both the surface and the atmosphere. Atmosphere by radiation and surface through reduced convection.

      • My above comment is incomplete in the sense that also radiative effects affect immediately the surface, but that doesn’t change it’s basic message that also changes in convective heat transfer are essentially immediate and they force the temperatures of the surface and the atmosphere to move together.

      • DeWitt Payne

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Surely you’re joking. Where in the near IR and how much?

        CO2 spectrum from 1-5 μm
        Surely you looked this up before commenting? Obviously not. Did you think that the Venusian atmosphere was transparent to most of the surface radiation at a peak wavelength of 3.9μm?
        I remember now why I don’t bother to follow this site. Far more heat than light and too many people on both sides thinking they know more than they do.

      • CO2 does absorb also around 2 um (which is not really near IR anymore) but how much does that affect the incoming solar radiation

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Atmospheric_Transmission.png

        From the linked graph it can be seen that the overall absorption is affected at 2 um, but it can also be seen that so little solar radiation comes at the wavelengths affected by CO2 that the effect is very small.
        There’s very little radiation of either solar or thermal origin around 2.6 um and around 4 um it’s not near IR any more and almost totally of thermal origin.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @DeWitt Payne: CO2 spectrum from 1-5 μm
        Surely you looked this up before commenting?

        I think Pekka already said it all, but I’ll repeat it in my words anyway. This would be relevant if there were any sunlight to block there, but if you consult the second table here you’ll see that 90% of the sunlight is at a shorter wavelength than 1.623 µm and 99% is shorter than 3.961 µm. Most of the lines below 4 µm in that spectracalc spectrum are a million times weaker than the strong absorbers at 4.3 µm. CO2 blocks a negligible amount of insolation.

      • DeWitt Payne

        Vaughan Pratt,

        CO2 blocks a negligible amount of insolation.

        Small, but not negligible compared to the increase in forcing at the surface from doubling CO2. A somewhat dirty calculation using Spectralcalc shows that using a 5779K source with an emissivity of 2.16144e-5, the reduction in transmitted power from 2000-10000 cm-1 should be about 0.4 W/m² averaged over the surface of the planet when doubling CO2 from 280-560 ppmv. Most of that is from the bands near 5000 cm-1 that are not severely overlapped by water vapor. That may not seem like much, but the increase in forcing at the surface for an instantaneous doubling of CO2 for a tropical atmosphere is only 1.6 W/m² according to MODTRAN. That’s obviously not complete compensation, but it’s not negligible.

      • DeWitt Payne

        As far as the lines near 2 μm being weaker, they’re strong enough when the path length is measured in kilometers. Transmittance is nearly zero at the band peaks.

      • DeWitt Payne, as Pekka mentions, the surface and atmosphere heat together and the troposphere temperature is tightly coupled to the surface temperature via the convective lapse rate. The atmosphere will not warm without the surface. [As a sidebar, the atmosphere would cool to space more if you add GHGs and keep it decoupled from the surface, as the stratosphere does because it is]. This is also why your reply to Vaughan Pratt is not quite correct. Absorption in the atmosphere of solar radiation by CO2 doesn’t buy you any reduction in the radiative forcing which is conventionally applied to the whole atmosphere and surface. In fact some of this is absorbed instead of being reflected lower down so it is worse in the net.

      • DeWitt Payne

        Jim D,

        as Pekka mentions, the surface and atmosphere heat together and the troposphere temperature is tightly coupled to the surface temperature via the convective lapse rate.

        But that’s not what you said:

        CH, no the atmosphere doesn’t immediately warm when you increase the CO2. The surface warms first, and may be delayed by the ocean sequestering some, and then the atmosphere warms via convection at the new surface temperature. The atmosphere can’t warm ahead of the surface.

        You are technically correct that the atmosphere can’t warm ahead of the surface because both will warm. But the atmosphere does immediately warm and the surface does not warm first. And the atmosphere would likely warm faster than the surface because the heat capacity is lower.

      • DeWitt Payne, in the grand scheme of things it is the surface that is warming due to solar radiation, and that heat is transferred to the atmosphere by convection and radiation. Warming the atmosphere a little will not reverse this direction of net energy flow.

      • DeWitt Payne

        Jim D,

        But this isn’t the grand scheme of things, it’s basically a thought experiment because in the grand scheme of things, there’s no way to produce an instantaneous step change in the CO2 concentration. Obviously the atmosphere and the surface are coupled, but the bone of contention is the instantaneous heating rate at t=0.

        MODTRAN, Tropical Atmosphere, clear sky. Doubling CO2 from 280-560 ppmv causes the downwelling IR at the surface to increase by 1.57 W/m² and the emission at the tropopause to decrease by 4.43 W/m² So the troposphere retains a net of 2.86 W/m². That’s nearly twice the flux change that the surface sees. That energy must cause warming of the atmosphere independent of the warming of the surface. If the increased CO2 causes an additional 0.4 W/m² of incident solar radiation to be absorbed by the atmosphere, that ratio increase to nearly three fold. The entire mass of the atmosphere column is equivalent to about 3 meters of sea water, only a fraction of the well-mixed layer.

        I admit I was wrong about the magnitude of the increase in absorption of incident solar radiation by increased CO2. It’s not negligible, but it doesn’t come close to fully compensating for the increase in downwelling IR.

        Now it’s your turn.

      • DW, you can try the US standard atmosphere which is closer to the global average and get almost no net effect of doubling CO2, and for the arctic it reverses. This is not a general rule that doubling CO2 warms the atmosphere directly, all else being equal. The statement from CH was “With more CO2 the atmosphere is immediately warmer resulting in decrease in net IR leaving the ocean.” I was saying that is not the case. There are significant parts of the atmosphere that cool when you increase GHGs.

      • DeWitt Payne

        Jim D,
        The effect reverses for the sub-arctic and mid-latitude winter only and the reversal in mid-latitude winter isn’t very large. Oh, and that’s clear sky. There is no significant increase in downwelling IR at the surface for a cloud covered sky on doubling CO2, but there is still a reduction in emission upward. So in fact, the increase in downwelling radiation has to be reduced by about 60% to correct for the effect of cloud cover. But have it your way if you can’t even admit the possibility that you might be wrong.

      • DWP, so you are agreeing with CH that the atmosphere has to warm before the ocean can, rather than that the increased downward longwave flux from extra CO2 does the warming whether the atmosphere is warmer or not? In other words, you are saying, like CH, that the downward flux can only increase if the atmosphere actually warms, not just if you add CO2. This is the point I was correcting CH on. If so, by your reckoning, increasing CO2 in the Arctic winter under clear sky wouldn’t do anything or might cool the surface below despite the increased downward IR. I think you should see the flaw in CH’s argument now.

      • “DWP, so you are agreeing with CH that the atmosphere has to warm before the ocean can, rather than that the increased downward longwave flux from extra CO2 does the warming whether the atmosphere is warmer or not? ”

        It doesn’t seem that the temperature of CO2 or rest of the atmosphere would have much to do the radiant properties of the CO2.

        It seems the radiation of CO2 molecules would greater effect on something colder as compered to something warmer.

        But main issue is such radiation should have very little affect upon the temperature of any surface.

        If you had swimming pool of water and you wanted heat the pool. And pool was enclosed in a airtight building. Putting in a very high concentrate of CO2 should have near zero effect in terms of helping you warm up the pool.

      • gbaikie, the radiant properties of a gas depend entirely on both the amount of GHGs and its temperature, so you went against the science with that statement that they don’t.

      • DeWitt Payne

        Jim D,
        Changing the subject are we? The question isn’t what CH said, it’s what you said. You said the surface must warm before the atmosphere, which then transfers energy to the atmosphere. For most of the planet most of the time, that’s wrong. The atmosphere as a whole absorbs more energy than it emits following a step change in CO2. That condition is generally associated with an increase in temperature. The distribution of the energy imbalance and whether some areas of the atmosphere lose energy rather than gain is a red herring. It’s the average over the whole planet that counts.

      • DeWitt Payne

        gbaikie,
        Putting more CO2 in your enclosed swimming pool wouldn’t help because it doesn’t change the energy balance significantly. There’s no temperature gradient to work with. There is no greenhouse effect in an isothermal atmosphere. But putting in radiant heaters would.

      • DeWitt Payne

        Jim D,

        Let’s look at it another way. We’ll spin up the GCM and then at the same time we double CO2, we freeze the surface temperature. What do you think would happen to the atmospheric temperature? (Not a rhetorical question).

      • DWP, I am not changing the subject. My original response that you quoted was to correct CH. The point was subtle. Increased CO2 leads to more downward IR whether the air warms or not (MODTRAN shows you this). This alone can drive surface warming I am sure you would agree. Atmospheric warming is beside the point, being unnecessary to understand why surface warming happens, while CH implied it was necessary. The air temperature in the troposphere is governed by the surface, so it isn’t going to warm first anyway unless you do things like insulate it from the ground which means it is not physically the troposphere anymore. In your thought experiment, fixing the ground temperature means that the troposphere temperature is also fixed as convection will adjust to compensate for radiative changes. This is the concept of convective-radiative equilibrium that gives a lapse rate determined uniquely by the surface temperature.

      • DeWitt Payne

        Jim D,

        In your thought experiment, fixing the ground temperature means that the troposphere temperature is also fixed as convection will adjust to compensate for radiative changes. This is the concept of convective-radiative equilibrium that gives a lapse rate determined uniquely by the surface temperature.

        And we’re back to the beginning. You’re still wrong. Your hypothesis assumes that increased absorption of energy in the troposphere will be transmitted to the surface by convection, since radiative transfer doesn’t change if the temperature remains constant, and the radiative imbalance at the TOA wouldn’t change. But that can’t happen unless the lapse rate decreases. At fixed surface temperature, a decrease in the lapse rate means the atmosphere warms. QED.

        I recommend you stop trying to defend greenhouse theory in public. You clearly don’t understand it well enough. I suggest reading Petty’s A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation and Caballero’s Lecture Notes on Physical Meteorology for a start. Or if that’s too tough for you, spend some time at Science of Doom.

        Bye.

      • DWP, in this whole argument, I haven’t seen you say what you think the mechanism of warming by increasing CO2 actually is. You seem not to go with CH’s thinking because you have shown for yourself with MODTRAN that the surface does get more energy that way even without an atmospheric temperature change. What happens after that? The surface warms, n’est-ce pas?

  34. I look forward to Chief Hydrologists sanity check on the thought that ground water extraction and surface water storage could be significantly affecting sea levels. That proposition does not seem plausible to me.

    Consider ground water extraction first: If its ground water extraction that is causing a 1 mm per year rise in sea level, and the water is being drawn from aquifers comprising 1% of land area, and the average porosity is 1%, and sea surface to land surface ratio is 7:3 then:

    1mm / (1% x 1% x 7/3) = 4300 mm.

    That is, to cause a 1 mm rise in sea level would require the equivalent of a 4.3 m drawdown of ground water table over an area of 1% of Earth’s land surface. And that is every year..

    The figures are rough, but they are enough to make me very dubious about this one.

    (if average porosity is 10% and the area of aquifers is 0.1%, we het the same figure) [I reckoned I'd better add this bit to cover my backside] :)

    • “I look forward to Chief Hydrologists sanity check ”

      Captain Skippy’s sanity check is to call anyone who argues with him an insane AGW space cadet.

      • Just you tubhead. And yet denialist, sap, climate clown, idiot, moron, insane, etc, etc from you is perfectly reasonable and not bizarre behaviour at all? I think you are as wacky as anyone on the web, Webby.

      • Webster dishes much but can have dished very little.

  35. The “Greenland Glaciers — not so fast!” on Realclimate seems to by eric (steig???) not Ramsdorf

    Also the Niche Modelling link is incorrect.

    Apart from that great stuff!

    (9/10) ;)

    • Except I think you’re mis-reading the “science community was shocked” quote from Rahmsdorf.

      Having read his whole article I get the sense that he’s shocked at the quality of this paper rather than the fact that it challenges what came before. That seems to be the sentiment in his comments and replies as well.

      He’s being polite and professional and reasonable but i think he thinks the 42% from ground water is BS. Or at least poorly supported.

      The concensus still holds.

      • Michael Larkin

        “The concensus[sic] still holds.”

        In the same way that a person holds on to the edge of a cliff.

  36. The people that lived in this cave could not even read let alone understand the climate, and yet they adapted. How helpless have we become?

    http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/cosquer/

    • You make a good point, dp. It got me to thinking about the people of Japan being so adaptable, and how silly we are to worry about nukes, earth quakes, tidal waves, tornadoes, hurricanes and the like. Also famine, drought, epidemics, terrorists …. you name it, we will all pull through, so why sweat it.

  37. Peter Lang

    The average porosity of a typical aquifer is greater than 1%. Fluvial gravel, for instance, can have void space in the 5 to 20% range.

    • Rob r,

      That’s true, but fluvial gravels make up a miniscule proportion of the land surface and negligible thickness too. I also grossly overestimated the area from which ground water is being withdrawn. You need to look at both figures, not simply pick on one.

      Anyway you look at it, not much ground water is being removed (when spread over the area of the oceans).

  38. Michael Hart

    “I found the “science community was shocked” comment by Rahmstorf to be very illuminating; that is what happens when you do “consensus” science rather than focusing on the uncertainties and challenging your science.”

    Shock was not sufficient for me when I read those words. I was forced to resort to astonishment.

    Astonished that he has only just, apparently, learned that something like that might even be conceivable? Why else might he be shocked?
    I’m astonished.

    • Michael Hart

      Perhaps I’m being unfair, if he meant “the science community”, not himself.

      I’m still astonished, though.

    • The consensus on SLR does not appear to be the work of Rahmstorf. One sees a lot of skepticism expressed by climate scientists of Rahmstorf’s model.

  39. I haven’t read the Levitis paper either but from the abstract it says that the areal power density entering the ocean between 1955 and 2010 averaged 0.39 W/m^2.

    Note that this has to be an average number. There is no way in hell that this number remained the same over the last 55 years.

    Let’s do a sanity check. The abstract says that the total energy is 24.0×10^22 J.
    The number of seconds in 55 years is 1.71e9. The area of the oceans is about 3.5e14 m^2, and the power entering is 0.39 W/m^2.
    Multiplying these out :
    1.71e9 * 3.5e14 * 0.39 = 23e22 J
    This is close enough to 24e22, so you can see that the 0.39 W/m^2 is an AVERAGE over 55 years.

    Now think for a second what this means. If we assume that the excess forcing was at a minimum in 1955 and reached a maximum in 2010, it is entirely likely that the current excess forcing is much greater than 0.39 W/m^2 as of RIGHT NOW. If it started out much lower than 0.39 in 1955 and it grew linearly over time, then it would have to be proportionately higher than 0.39 now. If the forcing accelerated over this time, then the value now might even be higher. It is entirely possible that it could be between 0.7 and 1.0 W/m^2 in 2012.

    Run-of-the-mill skeptics are good at knee-jerk reactions but bad at reasoned analysis. They can never be relied on to lift a finger and do anything that would advance the state of climate science knowledge. Levitus and company are probably grinning that you all took the bait.
    Ha ha.

    • So you think it may be a hoax to draw in skeptics who are saps?

    • Dave Springer

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/31/jim-hansens-balance-problem-of-0-58-watts/

      Not much more than 0.39W/m2 lately.

      Note this is a calculated value not a measured value. There is no way to measure outgoing energy at TOA for the entire earth with anywhere near that kind of precision. We can’t even measure incoming TSI to better than a +- several watts and incoming is the easy measure because it, unlike outgoing, doesn’t vary from any one square meter to another so when you measuring TSI at any single point you’ve measured them all.

    • Web, that is reversed logic. Energy absorbed by the oceans more likely decreases as the temperature and OHC rises. The forcing on the atmosphere due to the increase in OHC would increase. If the atmospheric “forcing” had a significant impact on OHC it would be more obvious now than in 1955. RIGHT NOW, you are expecting an air mass at an average 289K to more rapidly warm a higher thermal mass of the oceans at an average temperature of 294.2K. The only significant atmospheric warming is where the local average air temperature is LOWER than 280K.

      CO2 is still not an energy source, it only returns energy it absorbs.

      • Again, and always, you completely miss the fundamentals.

        “Energy absorbed by the oceans more likely decreases as the temperature and OHC rises.”

        That’s got to be the most Orwellian line that I have ever read. You have absolutely zero understanding of thermodynamics, not to mention physics.

        I put water in the pot and place it on the stove and watch the temperature rise. Oh my, it can’t be because it is gaining energy from the gas flame, because that would go against what the Cap’n says.
        <=== BTW, that's sarcasm

      • Web, it is not, The rate of energy flow decreases as the temperature difference decreases. I should have said surface temperature, but as the oceans approach an equilibrium temperature the rate of flow decreases.

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/comparingoceanstoatmosphere.png

        I left that for JIM D, but the rate of warming of the surface air decreases as the ocean temperature increases. If there was a true equilibrium or steady state, the impact of CO2, land use etc. would be obvious, but the rate of warming would still decrease as an equilibrium is approached.

      • “… oceans at an average temperature of 294.2K.”

        Pure fantasy land. The ocean is not this hot on average. The sun’s radiation penetrates and converts to heat at depth which is not at 294.2 K and obviously much less than this. The surface will also absorb infrared and diffuse the thermal energy toward deeper waters.
        This is pretty obvious stuff. Entropy points toward greater amounts of disorder, which is essentially to disperse heat to the greatest amount possible.

      • Web, what is the average ocean temperature? :) The surface looks about 20 C to me, http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/glb8_3b/html/anims/glb/sst30d.gif

        Then if you use engine intakes, that would be lower wouldn’t it. What matters, the temperature at the true surface, or the temperature meters below the surface? Get that wrong by a few tenths of a degree and the calculations would get wonky.

      • Undersurface thermal mass is vitally important for doing the physical modeling correctly.

        Contrast that to land where below surface mass has such a low thermal diffusivity as.to be inconsequential.

      • Web, of course under surface modelling is important. That is why you would have to consider the various stratification layers. The surface though has the most data and is applicable to surface paleo reconstructions.

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/tasmaniassataymyrhadsst1880-1991from1864.png

        That is the little comparison of southern hemisphere paleo with HADSST2. I also threw in a NH reconstruction of the Taymyr peninsular in Siberia. That is not a half bad match Web.
        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/tasmaniassataymyrhadsst1880-1991.png

        That is the full length of the data.

      • Web, in case you want to do some home improvements,
        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/JohnsMansfieldAPSheathing.png

        That is a plot of Johns Manfield AP foil backed sheathing. Four inch is the largest they sell because the performance drops like a brick as you add more thickness. The Ln curve fit is exaggerated, but does give a fair representation of what you can expect. Pick any thickness, use a fixed ambient temperature and tell me the energy flow rate doesn’t change as the space temperature approaches the ambient temperature.

        You are using a fixed forcing which is not fixed, but dependent on the energy available at each ocean and atmospheric layer. Since UV and shorter shortwave have different depths of penetration, they change the energy available at the lower ocean layers which change the rate of diffusion between layers. You can use the diffusion formula, IF, you accurately consider the energy of each layer of stratification. It is not one formula fits all.

    • OK, I thought for a second.

      If we assume that the excess forcing was at a maximum in 1955 and at a minimum in 2010, it is entirely likely that the forcing is negative as of RIGHT NOW. If it started out much higher than 0.39 in 1955 and it decreased linearly over time, then it would have to be proportionately lower than 0.39 now. If the forcing decelerated over this time, then the value now might lower, even negative. It is entirely possible that it could be between -0.2 and 0.1 W/m^2 in 2012.

    • WHT

      Rather than simply coming up with a knee-jerk answer based on some arm waving, let’s do a “sanity check” on your “sanity check”.

      You conclude that the present rate of increase in forcing is 2 to 3x the average rate over 55 years of 0.39 W/m^2 (per unit area of the world ocean), as estimated by Leviticus et al.

      Let’s simplify (as IPCC has done) and assume that ALL net anthropogenic forcing = forcing from CO2 alone.

      And let’s ignore natural forcing from 1955 to 2010.

      Over the first decade of Mauna Loa measurements (1959-1968), atmospheric CO2 increased by 322.1/315 (ppmv) or 1.022x.

      Over the most recent decade (2001-2010) it increased by 390/370.3 (ppmv) or 1.053x.

      Using the logarithmic ratio, this means that the forcing in the last decade was 2.325x the forcing in the first decade.

      The average over 55 years according to Leviticus was 0.39 W/m^2 (or 0.0071 W/m^2 per year).

      So if the increase occurred linearly, as Leviticus concludes (exponential increase in ppmv with a logarithmic impact on forcing), we have:

      First decade = 0.0043 W/m^2 per year
      Last decade = 0.0099 W/m^2 per year

      This means that we are now at a rate that is 0.99/0.71 = 1.4x the average rate (not several times as you have guessed).

      If we include a portion for “natural” forcing (IPCC models estimate this at 7% since 1750), the ratio is even smaller.

      Of course, this is ALL hypothetical, since we do not have any robust attribution studies based on empirical scientific data to confirm the anthropogenic portion of the changes measured by Leviticus et al. , assuming that these are correct, despite the stated fact that (bold type by me):

      Our estimates are based on historical data not previously available, additional modern data, correcting for instrumental biases of bathythermograph data, and correcting or excluding some Argo float data

      [IOW a lot of very dubious old data with much of the more reliable new Argo-based data either “excluded” or “corrected”).

      Take it all with a grain of (sea) salt, WHT.

      Max

      • As usual, Manacker comes back bellyaching that I was indeed on the right track.
        Yet since he does not have the original article, he decides to make up stuff.

      • ‘I haven’t read the Levitis paper either but from the abstract it says that the areal power density entering the ocean between 1955 and 2010 averaged 0.39 W/m^2.’ Webby

        LOL

      • Which is exactly what JimD also inferred in the next comment.

        Perhaps we should be laughing at you? You want to shell out $30 to get the article and confirm that we are right?

      • You need to have things spelt out don’t you – you complained without any evidence of Manaker not reading the paper yet you satart by admitting that you have not read it. Is there any wonder that you are treated with derision.

      • Like I said, do you want to shell out $30 to be able to read the full paper?

        Or do you want to see how professional scientists, such as JimD and myself , infer from the abstract what the data means?

        From what I inferred from the abstract, they say that the areal power density entering the ocean between 1955 and 2010 averaged 0.39 W/m^2. The inference was that this number was an average over 55 years, and was likely higher recently.

        This figure indicates it should be around 0.7 W/m^2 now according to the model
        http://www.realclimate.org/images/ohc11.jpg
        which is within the range of how much higher it could get from an estimate of how flat the curve looks from 1955 to 1990 and then how much it deflects upward after that. It’s called acceleration.

        Unlike Manacker, we know the limitations of what we can infer. Manacker made things up by inferring with a WAG what this number was yet couldn’t bear to admit that I was right that the number is higher than 0.39 now.

      • Well I made the choice that I wasn’t going to read it. Despite Pratt’s posturing about statistics rescuing inherently inadequate ocean heat content data – there was a reason for moving to ARGO.

        I am so happy for you that you are so good at inferring from abstracts. It cuts down the reading a hell of a lot. As someone with degrees in engineering and environmental science – think of the time I could have saved.

      • The average was 0.39 W/m2. It doesn’t make sense to divide this by years because it is already energy per unit time. They take the OHC in Joules at the end minus beginning and divide by time to get this number.

  40. DO YOU HAVE DATA?
    This graph
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SeattleTide.gif
    shows the (mean monthly and annual) Seattle’s tides.
    Does anyone know of a link to a similar graph or even better data file for one of the North Atlantic (and perhaps South Pacific or Indian Ocean) location ?
    Thanks in advance.

  41. The claim of Leviticus et al “The warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs” is strange.

    I was told that infra red radiation only penetrates water by a few micron. It seems that increased energy in the boundary layer would logically lead to more evaporation.

    Alternately, visible light can penetrate water for several dozen of meters and an increase of that would increase temperatures.

    Also changes in ocean overturning processes would change mixing rate with the deep cold layers.

    As the paper is behind a paywall I wonder if Leviticus et al have assessed these alternatives, as per Richard Feynman Cargo cult ethics.

    • leftturnandre said:

      “The claim of Leviticus et al “The warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs” is strange.”
      ______
      Not strange at all. The ocean is the planet’s largest, most stable non-tectonic energy repository. If you reduce the rate of heat flux from the the planet to space by increasing the density of greenhouse gases and thus altering the thermal gradient, less heat will flow from the heat sink (ocean) to space. This physics in not complicated and obeys simple laws of thermodynamics. The cooling of the stratosphere, and reduction of Arctic Sea ice over the long-term are two other very strong indicators that the increased greenhouse gases are impacting the rate of heat flow from ocean to space. Insulate a heat sink while continuing to put heat into that sink, and the heat sink will lose heat less rapidly and warm up.

      • R. Gates

        The claim of Leviticus et al ”The warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs” may not be ”strange” (since it is a climatology “boilerplate” phrase).

        However, it is presumptive and based on ”authority from ignorance” (a basic logical fallacy) rather than on ”authority from evidence”.

        Theoretical rationalizations can be conjured up (as you have done), but Leviticus present no empirical scientific evidence, based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation, to substantiate this claim.

        It is a worthless, arm-waving statement, IMO aimed at satisfying the keepers of the PC climate dogma (who decide on grant funding).

        Max

      • R Gates, you are not getting the point. Feynmian ethics require that all possible causes for changing conditions are to be considered and on what grounds you pick the most likely one.

        In this case oceans can warm up due to several factors,

        A: by conduction of a warmer atmosphere, I guess this can be guestimated, but since the warming of the atmosphere is due to a multitude of factors, you can not isolate CO2 here.

        B: by reduced overturning with the deeper levels in subducting and upwelling areas, so that less heat is exchanged with the deep.

        C: Increased insolation due to lesser clouds,

        D: increased IR back radiation?? I already pointed out the problem here that IR does not penetrate water and is likely only to increase evaporation.

        So the question is, if Levitus et al discuss that and why they single out the only factor that makes no sense and do they mention these factors that cast doubts on their conclusions?

        If they don’t then that would have been scientifically unethical and hence the article could not be considered science.

    • “I was told that infra red radiation only penetrates water by a few micron.”

      Thermal diffusion needs to be considered.

      “It seems that increased energy in the boundary layer would logically lead to more evaporation.”

      And condensation is the inverse of that phenomenon. Phase change by itself is an energy conserving process. The net effect is actually more subtle as it has to do with upward convection of water vapor and what altitude that functions as a GHG.

      “Alternately, visible light can penetrate water for several dozen of meters and an increase of that would increase temperatures.”

      I have found cross-correlation of temperatures of near surface temperature down several hundred meters.

      “Also changes in ocean overturning processes would change mixing rate with the deep cold layers.”

      That’s called effective diffusion. See the first point.

      “As the paper is behind a paywall I wonder if Leviticus et al have assessed these alternatives, as per Richard Feynman Cargo cult ethics.”

      In turn, I am wondering if you understand any physics at all.

      • The net effect is what’s meant by the Earth’s surface evaporative cooling.

      • http://asd-www.larc.nasa.gov/erbe/components2.gif

        Those 23% (of the incoming solar) is the net phase change cooling of the surface. This is of course global average (land and ocean).

      • Thermal diffusion needs to be considered.

        Most certainly, however since we are in an inverted lapse rate at sea compared to the atmosphere the upper layers will not warm/thermal diffuse the lower layers due to a density problem induced by the temperature differences, hence the uppermost molecules will be agitated the most, which will lead to … evaporation.

        And condensation is the inverse of that phenomenon.
        Yes and? for the dynamic equilibrium at the boundary layer between evaporation / condensation only, however the excess energy still wants up, by increased convection in the atmosphere, due to a lighter density of the moister air mass.

        In turn, I am wondering if you understand any physics at all

        Thank you, most grateful for this excellent illustration of groupthink
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink

        “Type II: Closed-mindedness
        1. ….
        2.Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.”

        I guess we need a laboratory test to see how water react to various levels of IR, more evaporation, or an increae of temperature. That’s the only valid argument.

      • “Most certainly, however since we are in an inverted lapse rate at sea compared to the atmosphere the upper layers will not warm/thermal diffuse the lower layers due to a density problem induced by the temperature differences, hence the uppermost molecules will be agitated the most, which will lead to … evaporation.”

        Wow, that is quite an insane view of things. Did you actually study statistical physics or are you just dreaming stuff up to align with the rest of your team’s groupthink?

      • Here is an example of the application of that quite insane physics.

        http://www.lenntech.com/evaporator.htm
        This unit evaporates the water by using infra-red radiation (= warmth radiation). This warmth radiation only heats the surface layer of the water (till about 1 mm depth).

      • If the surface warms, then thermal diffusion has to apply. You would turn back hundreds of years of scientific knowledge if that is not the case.

        The fact that you have to refer to a marketing brochure by a company that needs to sell products, and thus doesn’t care about telling the full story, is rather telling.

      • Try this one – http://scienceofdoom.com/2011/01/18/the-cool-skin-of-the-ocean/

        There are two modes of heat movement in the ocean – neglecting conduction. This is in turbulent mixing and convection. Convection dominates with warmth concentrating to the surface.

        The cool skin is an IR phenomenon – net IR loss from the skin. This layer is continually mixed into the mixed layer – http://www.hpl.umces.edu/ocean/sml_main.htm – I think doom’s shear model a little simplistic for the open ocean.

  42. Peter Lang

    Letter to Australian Members of Parliament and Senators:

    Can you please advise what effect the CO2 tax and ETS will have on sea levels over the next 50 or 100 years?

    I’d like to see a chart showing the predicted sea levels with and without a CO2 tax and ETS. Where can I find such a chart?

    I’d also like to see what are the estimated damage costs for the predicted sea level rise.

    I’d also like to see what are the predicted damage costs, such as lost value to owners of coastal property, that will result from badly designed climate change policies that cause inappropriate responses and bad local regulations.

  43. Joe's World

    Judith,

    So now they are finally looking at our water activities?
    Little late when established policies are already in place for massive trillions of gallons of water per day….

  44. Re. Pokhrel
    More context: Wada, Konikow

    The question is magnitude.

    From the comments so far, many folks here seem to want to uncritically welcome a new study that relies entirely on model results. You know… what the same folks often uncritically reject. See the trouble?

    And Curry’s personal paragraph of commentary is unusually subjective today, for some reason revealing more about her rhetorical or ranting skills than anything else.

    Sea level rise is just one major climate change related issue of global significance, although combined with storm surges could be judged the most serious for coastal zones — obviously.

    • Better Green & With Bigger Hearts, we need to see the sea…

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jun/05/millionaires-spend-on-luxury-experiences

      so let’s grab our friends and jump in the Helo. At least we all have our skybox seats as their world dies, so they say. What a day…

    • Peter Lang

      Martha,

      Sea level rise is just one major climate change related issue of global significance, although combined with storm surges could be judged the most serious for coastal zones

      How serious?

      Do you have any figures on the economic cost of a sleow sea level rise (say 0.5 m over a period of a century, even if it comes in pulses)?

      Figure 3 here http://www.springerlink.com/content/g02124153m05410k/fulltext.pdf shows that even a 1 m rise over a century would have negligible economic impact on Australia. And this study has accumulated many extreme assumptions and loaded them on top of each other. Sure the costs to Asian citries are higher, but the Asians are just as capable of rational analysis as the Western democracies (perhaps more so recently), so if they are not consider CO2 emissions a high priority who are we to tell them they should be?

      Nordhaus (2012) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9779.2011.01544.x/full says: “we conclude that no loaded gun of strong tail dominance has been uncovered to date.

      Given these, I don’t see that sea level rise – which as you supposed is supposed to be the most carastrophic of all the proposed events – is catastrophic at all. It’s a cost, but it is a minor cost.

  45. The misrepresentation by a number of people, including Pat Michaels, Niche Modeling, Pielke, is a tad odd. I’m not surprised with Judith’s selected quotes in response to these papers, but it shows she didn’t really look at them or understand them.

    The Greenland glacier paper confirms something that isn’t all that surprising: when it gets warmer, Greenland melts back. When it gets colder, Greenland glaciers advance. The authors conclude that the there is a higher retreat-rate for marine terminating glaciers in the recent warm period; in the 1930s when there is a natural mode of variability active that caused regional temperatures around Greenland to be anomalously warm, there was a higher retreat rate for land-terminating glaciers (the lower retreat rate today is in part because they are currently smaller).

    The Niche modeling thought experiment is terribly confused. The radiative forcing is not the same thing as the radiative imbalance, and the numbers aren’t at all comparable in this way, since the imbalance decays to zero as the planet gets warmer (even if positive or negative feedbacks dominate).

    • maksimovich

      (the lower retreat rate today is in part because they are currently smaller).

      Indeed there is limit, like sandcastles eg Bak.

      The glacier problems of Greenland were a great controversy in the mid 19th century which involved the brothers Thompson eg Transactions of the rsnz 1874

      I have alluded to Phillips’ opinion, because I see in Geikie’s late work that reference is made to the fact that from the foot of glaciers in Greenland streams of water issue and unite to form considerable rivers, one of which, after a course of forty miles, enters the sea with a mouth nearly three-quarters of a mile in breadth—the water flowing freely at a time when the outside sea was thickly covered with ice.
      This flow of water, Geikie thinks, probably circulates to some extent below every glacier, and he accounts for it by the liquefaction of ice from the warmth of the underlying soil. I am sure you will find a more natural solution of this flow of water from glaciers—estimated not less than 3000 feet thick—in the suggestion first made by Professor James Thomson, and subsequently proved by his brother, Professor W. Thomson, that the freezing point of water is lowered by the effect of pressure 0.23° Fahr., or about a quarter of a degree for each additional atmosphere of pressure. Now, a sheet of ice 3000 feet thick is equal to a pressure of eighty-three atmospheres, at which pressure it would require a temperature of 19° below freezing point to retain the form of ice. In the state of running water below the glacier, it might readily, as Geikie states, absorb heat from the underlying soil sufficient to retain its liquid form, as the overlying weight gradually lessened at the edge of the glacier. In this, too, we have a safe assurance that these enormous thicknesses of glaciers can exist only where there is scarcely any or no inclination of the land to the sea board, and that no sheets of ice of such enormous thickness could possibly exist on the sides of mountains, as they would have between them and the mountain side a stratum of water; and, to use a common expression, would come down “ on the run.”

  46. There’s an entertaining post on this topic at postnormal times entitled Sea No Evil
    http://www.postnormaltimes.net/wpblog/2012/06/05/

    including a link to a clip by Stephen Colbert entitled The Word: Sink or Swim

    • Peter Lang

      Yesterday I received an email from a colleague:

      My brother, who lives in South Gippsland, tells me the Victorian Government [Australia] has quietly had all the restrictions on coastal development imposed by local councils removed.

      To which I replied:

      Well, not quite. They’ve wound it back just a little, but it is still ridiculous.
      http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/state-eases-sea-level-regulations-20120605-1zu9i.html#ixzz1wxjuprea

      Previously they had to allow for 80 cm sea level rise by 2100. Now they have to allow for 40 cm by 2040.

      The new regulation is actually more extreme than the original, given that sea level is projected to rise exponential faster as the century progresses.

      At the present rate of 2 to 3 mm per year, it will increase by 60 to 90 mm (i.e. 6 to 9 cm) not 40 cm by 2040.

  47. Peter Lang

    I made a mistake in the comment above. The new regulation is 20 cm by 2040.

    Previously they had to allow for 80 cm sea level rise by 2100. Now they have to allow for 20 cm by 2040.

  48. Peter,
    Considering that the LSLR in Victoria, Australia is ~0.5 mm/yr (with estimates ranging from 0.1 to 0.9 mm/yr), the regs are overly onerous. The local coastline could expect to see no more than a 3 cm increase by 2040, with most seeing substanitally less.

    http://members.iinet.net.au/~glrmc/RMC%20-%20aspects%20of%20sea-level%20rise%20in%20southern%20Australia%20Z.pdf

    • I would a think larger variable would be storm surge. If they aren’t allowing for a freak event that could reasonable occur within a century, large storm, and highest tide than 1 meter from sea level rise isn’t enough.
      The simple fact is regardless of any sea level rise, people tend to build house too near the ocean- or aren’t designing it in way that makes it safe- building a sea wall.
      Of course why Fed is dictating building codes is a bit crazy.

  49. DeWitt Payne

    Here’s what I would like to have explained. If I take the NODC data for steric sea level change for 0-700m and plot it vs ocean heat content data for 0-700m I get this graph: http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u43/gplracerx/OHCvsSteric0-700m.png . Why is there an offset in the curve between 1995 and 1996? IMO, it makes the data very suspect.

    The second thing is that, again using the NODC data, that the heat content of the 0-2000m layer can continue to increase at about the same rate while the rate of increase in the 0-700m layer declines substantially. Assuming the heat passes through the 0-700m layer, it would require the rate of heat transfer from the 0-700m layer to the 700-2000m layer to increase by about an order of magnitude. Or if there is a parallel path to the 700-2000m layer, that rate of heat transfer would have to increase by about an order of magnitude while the rate of heat transfer to the 0-700m layer decreased by an order of magnitude. Again, this makes the NODC heat content data for 0-2000m suspect, IMO.

  50. Beth Cooper

    Hey Judith, jest came across yer comment 16/06/ 12 ‘Sea no Evil’ …

    We fragile humans are so diverting, and entertaining, lol. If my comment is somewhat inconsequential. please be tolerant, Like other westernite beneficaries of the Enlightenment Leap Forward out of abject poverty and closed minded constraint , we’re not on the breadline and have the luxury to ponder existence… whither why.?? (had a couple of sauvignon blancs, it’s what I do at sunset to deal with the goddam duende!… Say, where’s Bart ? we miss him :-) Judith’s Salon is working. I have great respect for JC”s open minded-ness! ) H/T , Judithj.

  51. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Measured rates of rise and measured glacial advance continue to suggest a modest rate of raise over the next 90 years. When I read projections of rapid rise (Stefan Rahmstorf and his associates are most often involved) I always get the same feeling that I had listening to scary stories while sitting around a camp fire a Boy Scout Camp 45 years ago. But scary stories are not going to motivate most grownups. Time will almost certainly discredit the extreme projections…. and their purveyors, within their lifetimes.

  52. Latimer Alder

    Four days ago, upthread, I asked

    ‘please can somebody give me good reasons to believe that a teensy weensy extra increase in high tide over a year or a decade or a generation is going to bring about severe disruption.’

    and despite oodles of academic discussion about this and that and the usual suspects trying to show how clever they are , nobody has been able to come up with any practical reasons why ‘sealevel rise’ should be on my list of things to worry about at all.

    Final call…can anybody give any reasons why a rise of one housebrick every twelve years should cause me great concern?

    • Latimer,

      I worked for 5 years for the EPA as engineer in charge of beaches from Fraser Island to Mackay in Central Queensland. It was a tough gig.

      Mangroves, saltflats and beaches here adjust easily with no loss. I don’t know about you.

      Cheers

      • Latimer Alder

        @Chief Hydrologist

        This week’s legacy of ‘global warming’ has indeed been flooding throughout Southern England. But caused by unseasonable downpours and very low temperatures. Not sealevel rise.

        It seems that the hotter drier summers that we are assured will bring about our doom have decided to manifest themselves in a cold wet June. No doubt this will be seen as yet more confirmation of climatological theory. Hot & dry = cold & wet. QED. Oh and BTW we are officially in ‘drought’ because of the predicted hot dry summer caused by global warming.

        The cynic (were there to be one present which of course there is not) might however begin to wonder if climate scientists can actually tell their arses from their elbows in a darkened room.

        FYI I will not be losing sleep about a one housebrick rise in sealevel every twelve years.

  53. Jim D, here is a little chart.

    http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/smallchange.png

    The blue curve is just the Watts per degree K based on the S-B relationship. If you assume a small change, it is perfectly fine to use a linear approximation.

    The orange and yellow curves are the percentage of two forcing values relative to the temperature. The orange is 3.7W meter squared for a doubling. The yellow is the 3.7 for CO2 plus 0.8 Watts for OHC recovery which would be the approximate error if the sea surface temperature where under estimated by 0.2C. The orange has a linear regression which roughly shows the assumption of linearity. The orange LR and the yellow curve approach the same point, but the cause is different. So it would be pretty easy to assign less impact to natural variability, which seems to be the current issue in climate science.

    That is just the potential error for sensible heating. Once you include latent changes that small error in the assumption is compounded.

  54. Dave Springer

    Hey Vaughn, why don’t you stop demonstrating how ignorant a Stanford computer prof can be outside his field of expertise and finish the f*cking replication of Woods greenhouse experiment you started. Make yourself useful for a change. You’re just damaging “the cause” with your ignorant handwaving here.

    • Hey Orvile, why don’t you and Wilber stop kidding yourselves about the possibility of heavier-than-air flying machines and fix my f*cking bicycle? Make yourselves useful for a change.

  55. Dave Springer

    Speaking of Paul Erlich, he’s 80 years old and is almost certainly going to die in a sea of humanity far larger than his fevered imagination ever thought possible. And there’s still no end in sight although the general consensus is world population will stabilize at 9 billion in 2050. That’s if we don’t fall prey to academic imbeciles like Erlich and Pratt and sacrifice productivity enabled by low cost energy. If a majority keeps their heads screwed on straight and don’t become nattering nabobs of negativity then standard of living will continue to rise in the most populous nations and with increased living standards a reduction in reproductive rate to replacment level which is so univeral it’s likely a genetically programmed response.

    What poetic justice. It could only be made better by cremating his ass and spreading the ashes over Shanghai.

    • Dave Springer: If a majority keeps their heads screwed on straight and don’t become nattering nabobs of negativity

      Impressive, DS has raised himself to the level of Spiro Agnew. To get to the next level he must now spell “potato” without an “e.”

  56. Dave Springer

    re; Human energy use and global warming

    Yes, human energy release through burning fossil fuels is a drop in the bucket compared to insolation.

    That’s not comparing apples to apples, however. Insolation is evenly spread out. Human energy release to the environment is concentrated by several orders of magnitude. The sun isn’t enough to heat my house in the winter but natural gas does the trick.

    Urban heat island. Regional heating. Especially where the dipthongs comprising climate boffinry tend to locate thermometers. We’ve even found Stephenson Screens sharing the same air space as exhaust gases from taxiing jumbo jets so say nothing of being located close to air conditioning heat exchangers, parking lots, and similarly heated outdoor spaces.

    So yeah there’s no significant global temperature trend change from anthropogenic waste heat but there’s plenty of regional influence and artificial warming of poorly placed temperature sensors.

  57. There is a general failure to comprehend that the question of adiabatic flame temperature – of the energy released by combustion – goes to the ‘lag’ in warming of the atmosphere. If we are looking for a water metaphor – it is more like priming the pump than a trickle in a river. There is sufficent energy to warm the atmosphere to the higher (more CO2) energy state such that there is no delay and there is no energy imbalance at TOA. The higher energy state is then maintained by radiative flux.

    The energy state of specific molecules and the path of individual photons are stochastic properties. Some photons from the surface are emitted directly to space just by chance and some from higher in the atmosphere. The atmosphere as a whole is more energetic and there are therefore more photons bouncing around – more escape directly to space balancing more or less the incoming radiation. Because this changes as well – as day and night, seasonally and with cloud. And while we talk the average level of radiation – what we have in reality is a more or less dense cloud of photoactive molecules interacting with photons.

  58. ‘The area of the earth is about 5e14 m^2, the number of seconds in a year is about 3e7 and so the thermal power emitted by combusting fossil fuels is 0.03 watts/m^2.’

    We have already worked this out Webby. The ‘forcing’ by greenhouse gases over a single year is of the same order. So the energy from combustion is sufficient to prime the atmosphere as I explain above.

    And Jim there is not a hope in hell that the non-warming of the atmosphere can result in warming of the surface first. If you explain how adding CO2 to the atmosphere can cause warming of the surface without first warming itself – I will buy you a Nobel Prize.

    • Science advances by getting the little things right.

      You have utterly failed by suggesting that combustion matches the greenhouse forcing.

      • Huh? The numbers speak for themselves. There is enough energy in combustion to raise the temperature of the atmosphere – and this is then maintained by radiative flux. This is so obvious and goes to the ‘lag’ of warming of the atmosphere. Again you are wrong and simply want to divert from your aggressively held error.

      • The numbers are tiny and since you can’t do the math and have no source to copy&paste from, you are left to babbling incoherently.

      • ‘We know what global annual energy consumption is: 0.474×10^21 J

        We know that the heat capacity of the atmosphere is: 5 x10^21 Joules/Degree Kelvin

        So the potential warming in the atmosphere from combustion is 0.1 degrees C. This seems quite significant.’

        This is 10 times the potential warming from radiative forcing in a year – and I assume that the excess is lost to space.

        I have suggested on a number of occasions that you change your style to something that is less partisan and abusive. Again I have suggested that an pretending that an engineer and environental scientist can’t do the math is absurd. We are left only with your moronic insistance that I am saying something other than what I have clearly said. That and your one dimensional box models that are clearly physically nonsensical.

      • So unless I have slipped a decimal place – always possible – and you wish to dispute my numbers I suggest you take your idiotic hand waving and abuse and stick it somewhere.

      • Skippy apparently doesn’t know that he is talking about a 0.03 watts/m^2 signal !

        He doesn’t know how to compare that small signal against a much larger GHG forcing signal caused by the accumulation of CO2 over many years!

        He doesn’t realize the two put together (a small signal plus a larger signal) doesn’t help his cause any !

        And then he pulls the partisan abusiveness card !

        Half of the engineering class fails out of tough classes at any good school. I suppose those kids all complain about partisan abuse as well.

    • CH, CO2 emits longwave radiation, so more CO2 emits more longwave radiation, so the surface warms more even when the atmosphere doesn’t warm first. This is because the amount of IR emitted depends on the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere for a given temperature. That’s how it works, and if you care to dispute it, see radiative physics.

      • Jim,

        CO2 energy states and therefore photon emission is related to warmth. Cold CO2 emit less photons than warm CO2. So rather than just the number you need to know what the temperature of the added molecules is. To simply assume that more molecules equals more photons is incorrect.

        Both heat and CO2 are added to the atmosphere with combustion – the molecules are intially very hot for the most part. The heat in the atmosphere is maintained by radiative processes which I quite clearly described but you insist on ascribing to me something else entirely. I quite clearly keep saying that it is a minor thing but I am interested in the ‘lag’ in atmospheric warming. Nonexistent to all intents and purposes. I can only scratch my head that you think that the approximations of the global energy budget could have escaped my attention.

        It can hardly have escaped Webby’s attention either that I was one of the graduates of engineering with an honours degree (hydrologically based) and a Masters in Environmental Science. So he first of all pulls the maths card – nonsense – and now pulls the difficulty of engineering card. I don’t know what he can be getting at – but it seems just verbige without and rationale. And we all know how abusive and partisan Webby is – all I can suggest is that he pull head or accept that Captain Kangaroo will ride again. Scary I know – but hell this is the blogosphere and CK can out think and out shoot Webby while fighting a cougar with the other arm.

        You will find that I am very far from a simple radiative physics sceptic – merely ahead of the curve of the average AGW space cadet.

        Cheers

      • “I quite clearly keep saying that it is a minor thing … “

        Now Skippy says the huge effect is a minor thing, all thanks to his brilliantly articulate writing.

        “… but I am interested in the ‘lag’ in atmospheric warming. “

        Hard to find a lag in a minor thing, don’t you think?

      • CH, what percentage of heat is added to the atmosphere by burning compared to that added from hot sunlit surfaces, or the latent heat from all the oceans, or radiated heat from the ground? Do the mathematics. It is small.
        The atmosphere does not have to warm by burning things when it has all these other ways of warming. The surface stays warmer than the atmosphere on average. Adding CO2 increases IR emission by the atmosphere, even as the temperature stays fixed, which is the effect that causes downward IR to increase, and the mechanism does not rely on the atmosphere to warm faster than the ground, which is what you seem to be saying. I am not sure if you got your burning mechanism from someone’s blog or are making it up as you go along, but you need to go where you found it and correct those people.

      • You might be right, Captain Hydrologist is quite the copy&paste artist, so no doubt he is just echoing something he read, but has probably forgotten the source.

      • Well, there was Nordell who came up with this a few years ago, but it sank in the face of the numbers. Google Nordell warming.

    • CH, so you’re putting in 0.03 W/m2 by burning things, the sun is putting in about 350 W/m2, and earth is reflecting and radiating a similar amount out. This is the river of energy you are adding your flux into. Does the river level change much when you add .01% to its flux? It is two orders of magnitude less than the effect of doubling CO2, which at a 1% blocking effect can have a noticeable impact on the level (temperature in this analogy). the other thing is when you stop burning things, the effect is immediately gone out into space, but when you add CO2 blocking it stays there, so it is cumulative and not temporary.

    • ozzieostrich

      Chief,

      WebHubTelescope has explained succinctly – cut and paste from one of his posts to me :

      “CO2 does have some magical photonic properties that have experimental support and, perhaps more important, practical applications.”

      I can only assume that WebHubTelescope has a further list of CO2′s “magical photonic properties” that don’t have ” . . . experimental support . . .”

      He hasn’t provided examples of any “magical photonic properties”. Maybe they are hidden away in some distant Tibetan sacred cave, accessible only by Warmist High Priests of the 11th Degree or higher.

      Jim D may be one of the few privileged to have knowledge of magic photons. The secret is obviously closely guarded.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • You know all those satellite measurements that apparently can detect the surface temperature of the land and the sea?

        Guess what?

        They have to compensate for all these magical properties of CO2 which tend to absorb the signal that the instruments are trying to measure.

        Just ask Roy Spencer and John Christy.

  59. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/icebridge/index.html

    (From http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/)

    Quicker thickness data from NASA IceBridge

    As we discussed last month, thickness information is extremely important for understanding the state of the ice cover. It is particularly important to seasonal forecasts (such as the SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook that will be released later this month), because thinner ice is more likely to melt completely during summer.

    Sea ice age can be inferred from satellite data, and can help indicate the locations of relatively thin versus relatively thick ice. But direct measurements of ice thickness have been limited. Satellite missions such as ICESat and CryoSat, which measure ice thickness with altimeters, have been extremely valuable in better understanding overall changes in Arctic sea ice volume.

    Currently, the NASA IceBridge mission supplies both sea ice thickness and snow depth measurements in spring, providing timely information on the state of the ice cover as the melt season begins. IceBridge data are collected from aircraft that fly over the ice cover carrying a suite of instruments, including altimeters that can directly measure ice thickness above the surface. These measurements are at high spatial resolution that can also be used to validate satellite data.

    This year, the IceBridge Arctic sea ice campaign collected data in late March and early April, and provided data to NSIDC for distribution shortly thereafter. The data, collected from the North American side of the Arctic, indicate thick ice north of Greenland due to wind and ocean current patterns piling ice into thick ridges. In the Beaufort Sea, the offshore ice is fairly thin (1 to 2 meters, or 3 to 6 feet), indicative of first-year ice. Such thin ice will be prone to melt out completely this summer.

    Ice along the Alaskan coast is thicker. Thicker ice tends to have a deeper overlying snow cover. The amount of snow is an important factor in the summer melt, because the snow reflects solar energy. The snow must melt away before surface melting of the ice can begin in earnest.

  60. Impressive that Chief Hydrologist continues to believe that the direct impact of combustion on global warming is even remotely comparable to the indirect impact of the CO2 released by combustion. CH, do you have any actual numbers to back up your remarkable claim?

    • Not listening? 0.4E+21J from fossil fuels. The heat capacity of the atmosphere is 5E+21J/K.

      so delta K = 0.4/5 = 0.08 degree K/year if the heat stayed in the atmosphere.

      The adiabatic flame temperature is of the order of magnitude of 1000′s of degrees. All of these evil little CO2 molecules hit the atmosphere at high temp the little devils. The first thing they do is cool down heating the surrounding non photosensitive molecules and everything else around them.

      This seems fairly simple: hot = hot and by the second law of thermodynamcics tends to cool.

      Out, damned entropy! out, I say!–One: two: why,
      then, ’tis time to do’t.–Hell is murky!–Fie, my
      lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we
      fear who knows it, when none can call our power to
      account?–Yet who would have thought the old man
      to have had so much blood in him.

      Because of the increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere a higher average temperature is maintained through simple atmospheric radiative effects. So you see it is neither one thing or the other but both.

      If you have other questions you will have to ask Diogenes. He has a lamp to shine on honest men but has so far found nothing but rascals.

      Cheers

      • CO2 from burning hydrocarbons hit the atmosphere with about 150 deg C. Much higher than that reduces the efficiency and it’s usually avoided.

      • A ridiculous non-sequitor by Edim. Whoever reads this stuff gets dumber by the second.

      • Web, I was just addressing the claim of 1000s of degrees hitting the atmosphere. That caught my eye.

      • The flame temperature is much higher – and the this is as near as I can makre out the temperature at which the products of combustuon are produced.

      • ah…make…combustion…

      • here are some wiki answers on candle flame temps.
        http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_temperature_of_a_candle_flame
        The temp of CO2 as it ‘hits the air’ is not as well defined, but I think Chief is probably close to a reasonable take on it.
        Edim, what do you mean by what you said regarding CO2 temps from flame?

      • So write a paper and try to publish your results and the theory behind it.

        I will be waiting.

      • Webby – I am pretty sure that adding enough energy to activate the oxidisation process in an exothermic reaction is not news.

      • No, what you should try publishing is your garbage:

        “Not listening? 0.4E+21J from fossil fuels. The heat capacity of the atmosphere is 5E+21J/K.

        so delta K = 0.4/5 = 0.08 degree K/year if the heat stayed in the atmosphere.”

        So if the known radiative imbalance is close to 1.5e22 J/year, then if all that heat stayed in the atmosphere, by your calculation the temperature would rise 3 K/year. Does that make any sense?

        There is just so much wrong with everything you write as to be laughable.

      • Webby,

        The change in greenhouse forcing is 0.45 W/m^2/decade. So a small increment. You are just all kinds of an idiot. I can’t seriously believe that anyone thinks we have a growing energy imbalance. If we have a warming atmosphere the conditional energy equilibrium is restored – so the energy imbalance is transitory at best. But there is no point is describing anything to you as your bphysics are so dauntingly unrealistic.

      • Skippy, That decadal incremental response is a growth factor, and the accumulated forcing function is still there, which is what is continuing to add the bulk of the heat to the ocean, land, and atmosphere.

        You actually never took any real physics in school. You likely tried to pick it up on your own, but the talent level is not there.

      • “Not listening? 0.4E+21J from fossil fuels. The heat capacity of the atmosphere is 5E+21J/K.

        so delta K = 0.4/5 = 0.08 degree K/year if the heat stayed in the atmosphere.”

        So you saying if it stayed in atmosphere, it’s 8 C per century.
        Of course there interest in other greenhouse gases other than CO2.
        Nitrous oxide is supposed to been 270 ppb in famous pre-industrial period and climbed to 314 ppb and has what seems 1/10th greenhouse effect of CO2.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas
        So one argue that since there is interest in very small effects, the hot air could also be of interest.
        But of course, one needs a precise way to determine how long hot gas and it’s resultant heating of other gases would remain in the atmosphere.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        @CH: Not listening? 0.4E+21J from fossil fuels. The heat capacity of the atmosphere is 5E+21J/K.

        This would be a reasonable point if the atmosphere was where the heat from radiative forcing went. Since most of it goes into the ocean the relevant heat capacity is that of the ocean, which is several orders of magnitude higher than the atmosphere.

      • That is an unusual remark. There is no bulls eye on the ocean. The radiant forcing is at a layer of the atmosphere above the latent energy transfer from the surface. To impact the oceans it has to impact the 74 to 83 Wm-2 of latent cooling which will reduce the magnitude of the impact. I agree that the combustion energy appears to be small, but in a dynamic system, small can bite you in the butt :)

      • The trend in greenhouse gas forcing is about 0.045 W/m^2/year – a small effect adding incrementally to heat in the atmosphere.

      • Chief Kangaroo said:

        “The trend in greenhouse gas forcing is about 0.045 W/m^2/year – a small effect adding incrementally to heat in the atmosphere.”

        Which indicates Skippy does not understand the fundamental principles behind forcing response functions. The incremental response is an acceleration factor, and the accumulated forcing function is still there, which is what is continuing to add the bulk of the heat to the ocean, land, and atmosphere.

        There is no hope for you and your academic progress. You are simply an impediment to the rest of the students in the classroom who want to learn something.

        Grade: F-

      • Very little fossil fuel is burnt underwater. I would suggest that all of the heat of combustion is felt initially in the atmosphere. As I was interested when molecules achieved the higher energy states that comes with more greenhouse gas molecules – the energy states in which greenhouse gas molecules entered the atmosphere seemed germane.

        The energy content of the fuel is sufficient to cause the gases to have higher energy states from formation. There can be minimal lag in warming the atmosphere which then emits more photons in all directions. More photons escape the atmosphere just by change and more photons down reduce the net IR loss from the oceans. But the so called energy imbalance at TOA is transitory at best even without the combustion priming.

        This is a simple idea encompassed by the SB equation for a grey body even if some of our more obtuse friends can’t see it.

      • “Very little fossil fuel is burnt underwater.”

        Non-sequitor alert, and word salad follows.

        Give it up Skippy, you are way out of your league.

      • So tubhead – you got any substantive point other than the IR is absorbed and ‘smeared’ across the sprectrum – and other fundamental misunderstandings of radiative physics in the Earth system? Or are you limited to absurd posturings?

      • ‘Chief Kangaroo said:

        “The trend in greenhouse gas forcing is about 0.045 W/m^2/year – a small effect adding incrementally to heat in the atmosphere.”

        Which indicates Skippy does not understand the fundamental principles behind forcing response functions. The incremental response is an acceleration factor, and the accumulated forcing function is still there, which is what is continuing to add the bulk of the heat to the ocean, land, and atmosphere.’

        Let’s deconstruct this concept. Tubhead has a habit of calling it something irrelevant and then imaging that means something to anyone else. In this case an acceleration factor.

        Pekka says that the atmosphere and surface warm at the same time. Because we are talking radiative effects the delays are to all intents and purposes non existent. But if we follow in our minds a distributed ensemble of molecules and re-imagine the energy pathways there is a clear cause and effect. Greenhouse molecules in the atmosphere have been increasing at 1 or 2 ppm/year for a while. These additional molecules capture additional photons in the atmosphere leading to the idea of an energy imbalance at TOA. The additional energy warms the atmosphere and results in more photons – exponentially greater to the 4th power with temperature – cascading around and more escaping the planet just by chance restoring the conditional energy balance. There is so much energy in the system – including that of combustion – that the delay in warming the atmosphere is negligible. The warmer atmosphere also emits more photons back to the surface reducing IR losses from the surface. The question then is how long it takes the oceans to warm enough to increase net IR up, convection and evaporation to restore that conditional balance. This is not a question that has a simple answer because the major change in TOA energy flux in recent decades is in the reflected short wave.

        The simple point here that tubhead misses is that the process is incremental. Relatively few molecules are added – the state of the system adjusts and the flux imbalance that caused the response – if it existed at all and is not just polite fiction in the energy budget – disappears.
        “The trend in greenhouse gas forcing is about 0.045 W/m^2/year – a small effect adding incrementally to heat in the atmosphere.”

  61. I am interested in the estimated cost of damages that a rising sea level might cause. (I apologise if this ahs already been discussed on this thread).

    Can you tell me where I can find estimates that underpin the damage function?

    It seems to me that the damage function is perhaps the most important parameter for deciding on climate policy, yet has the greatest uncertainty (e.g. Nordhaus (2008) “A Question of Balance” Table 7-2, p130 http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf )

    It also seems to me that the damage estimates that underpin this estimate are sparse and very likely to be biased towards a high estimate for the damage costs. For example, the report which documents the projected consequences for Australia of sea level rise, and justifies the Australian Carbon Tax and ETS (Cap and Trade), is clearly an alarmist document.
    http://www.climatechange.gov.au/publications/coastline/climate-change-risks-to-australias-coasts.aspx

    It contains no proper estimate of the damage costs of a sea level rise over time.

    It’s a scare mongering document through and through.

    The report states that the high end of the IPCC’s AR4 estimate of sea level rise is 79 cm by 2100, but does not mention the central estimate. It goes further with:
    “There is an increasing recognition that sea-level rise of up to a metre or more this century is plausible,”

    And further still with:
    “Recent research, presented at the Copenhagen climate congress in March 2009, projected sea-level rise from 75 centimetres to 190 centimetres relative to 1990, with 110–120 centimetres the mid-range of the projection.
    Based on this recent science 1.1 metres was selected as a plausible value for sea-level rise for this risk assessment.”

    And
    “With a mid range sea-level rise of 0.5 metres in the 21st century, events that now happen every10 years would happen about every 10 days in 2100. The current 1-in-100 year event could occur several times a year.”

    [I understand these claims have since been refuted and dismissed]

    But, there is no proper estimate of the damages, let alone proper discounting applying over 100 years, and no allowance for the fact that infrastructure is continually renewed, upgraded and adapted for changing conditions.

    Is there any reliable, well documented estimate of the discounted damage costs attributable to increasing CO2 concentration, or to an increase in average global temperature?
    I note that the land below 1 m elevation accounts for just 0.1% of world population and just 0.1% of world output (Figure 7-5, p145, http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf ).

  62. tempterrain

    There seems to be a fair amount of discussion on Ramsdorf’s “shocked” comment. Judith’s implication that this was somehow anti-scientific, or even bad science, shocked me! He did go on to ask if it was actually true that pumping ground water had actually produced 42% or measured sea level rise. So, even though his use of the word may be surprising and I would have suggested that ‘surprised’ itself may be a better choice, I can’t see there are any real grounds for criticism.
    Certainly pumping groundwater must be partially responsible for sea level rise, and equally certainly, the building of dams and reservoirs has been responsible for preventing some sea level rise too. So it is fair to ask just how the combination of these two factors has contributed to the overall rise.

    • Burning oil contributes a few tenths of a millimeter over the last 30 years also. I’m sure if you throw in methane, a hydrogen rich fuel, and coal combustion, it might amount to more than a millimeter.

      • Suppose we use whale oil to replace fossil fuels. That would be renewable. Would it reduce the predicted sea level rise?

      • Whales displace their weight of water when they float and their volume when they sink, so it might be a net zero.

      • I suggest that as the mass is removed from the oceans and added to the atmosphere as gases that there is a negative sea level effect.

      • Maybe not but it may give certain sections of the debate heart attacks

  63. Pooh, Dixie

    Subsidence, again.

    Traufetter, Gerald. “The Mystery of the Sinking South Pacific Islands.” Spiegel Online, June 15, 2012. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/south-pacific-islands-threatened-by-more-than-just-rising-sea-levels-a-838675.html

    Environmentalist organizations have used images from South Pacific islands to illustrate the disastrous effects of rising sea levels. But a group of French researchers has found that the problem is much more complicated: The islands are also being pulled under by shifting tectonic plates.

    h/t Editor. “Climate Change or Tectonic Shifts? The Mystery of the Sinking South Pacific Islands.” Opinion. JunkScience.com, June 18, 2012. http://junkscience.com/2012/06/18/climate-change-or-tectonic-shifts-the-mystery-of-the-sinking-south-pacific-islands/

  64. Volker Doormann

    Posted on June 5, 2012
    by Judith Curry

    Recently, there have been a number of interesting papers on sea level rise. Let’s take a look.

    There was also a
    2012 Release 3 (2012-06-26) including sea level data unto the year 2012.3161 .

    Behre has published in 2003 his curve for the sea level rise for the past. Whatever the true linear increasing rate of the present global sea level rise is, a look on the data after subtracting a linear function of +3.2 mm per year from the Colorado sea level data shows a remarkable oscillation of about ~6.15 periods per year, because this is twice the synodic frequency of Mercury, Earth and Jupiter, with the frequencies of Mercury (4.15204 y^-1), Earth (0.9998 y^-1) and Jupiter (0.084317 y^-1): F = 2 * ( 4.15204 – 0.99998 – 0.,084317) = 6.1355 periods per year. If there are tide function effects on the Sun, this period is not only equal to the terrestrial sea level oscillation frequency, it is also mostly in phase with max. sea level with a solar spring tide phase and vice versa, over a couple of years.

    http://www.volker-doormann.org/images/sea_level_vs_me_er_ju.gif

    It is clear, that the function including Mercury creates a nonlinear frequency because of the great elliptic trace of Mercury, and it is not out of the question that a refinement of the tide functions can extend the phase coherence to several decades or more.

    Solar tide functions are not limited to the inner planets in the solar system. A planetary couple beyond Neptune has a frequency of f = 0.0005473243 periods per year, or one period in 1827.07 years [ f = 0.000403079 – 0.000348347 = 0.00005473243 ]. This is the half of the frequency J.R. Eddy, Dansgaard and Bond have found in samples from about more than 7 periods, and the solar tide function of 2/1827.07 periods per year added with two more faster couples show also a phase coherence to the data inclusive the ECHO data from E. Zorita et al.

    http://www.volker-doormann.org/images/bond_vs_zorita3.gif

    The main frequency in the sea level data from the University of Colorado is also visible in satellite thermometers like UAH global data, but it seems that the sea level data are not as smeared as the land data may.

    http://www.volker-doormann.org/images/climate_curves.gif

    V.

  65. Volker Doormann

    Volker Doormann | August 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    There was also a 2012 Release 3 (2012-06-26) including sea level data unto the year 2012.3161 . Behre has published in 2003 his curve for the sea level rise for the past.

    Adding missed URL’s:
    URL 2012 Release 3:
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2012_rel3/sl_ns_global.txt

    URL Behre curve:
    http://www.klimaskeptiker.info/img/behre_meeresspiegel.png

    V.

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