CO2 ‘control knob’ fallacy (?)

by Judith Curry

Previous IPCC reports — and much of the debate over how to react to them — have appeared to treat the Earth’s climate as if it were a domestic central heating system, with carbon emissions analogous to the dial on the thermostat: a small tweak here will result in a temperature rise of precisely 0.2°C and so on. – The Spectator

The Spectator has a really good piece entitled  Finally, the IPCC has toned down its climate change alarm.  Can rational discussion now begin?  The whole article is well worth reading, but here I want to focus on the above quote.

This issue of CO2 as a climate control knob has always bugged me, I’m not sure how/what to think about this.   Several years ago Andy Lacis did a post at Climate Etc. discussing his paper Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature.  The paper argued that Without the radiative forcing supplied by CO2 and the other non-condensing greenhouse gases, the terrestrial greenhouse would collapse, plunging the global climate to an icebound Earth state.

From the perspective of comparative planetology, I think that Lacis makes a plausible argument, from which I infer that without CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate would more closely resemble the climate of its moon rather than the current Earth’s climate.  For reference, the surface temperature of the moon can swing between  -150°C during the night and 120°C during the day.  (pay attention, greenhouse effect deniers).

But on what time scales does it make sense to think of CO2 as a control knob?  That is a very relevant question in context of CO2 mitigation policies  that doesn’t seem to get asked.  The conventional (IPCC) ‘wisdom’ has been that there is a time lag in the climate system of nominally 50 years, after which time the impacts of different emission scenarios would be felt on the Earth’s climate (surface temperature, sea level rise, extreme weather, and all that).

The time lag in the system is a conceptually useful but unfortunately overly simplistic way of thinking about this.  I think a better way to think about all this is in the context of feedbacks on different time scales.  Most of the reasoning about climate feedbacks is in the context of the fast atmospheric feedback processes (e.g. water vapor, clouds, lapse rate), and the slightly slower feedbacks associated with sea ice and seasonal snow cover.  The feedbacks on glacial time scales are obvious from plots of time series of CO2 concentration and inferred surface temperature, whereby surface temperature variations leads the variations in CO2.  On geological time scales, there are presumably a whole host of other relevant processes, not to mention the sequestration of carbon into fossilized organic materials (otherwise known as fossil fuels).

So, how should we think about all this on decadal to century time scales, which are the timescales of most relevance for CO2 mitigation policy making?  Well, the ‘pause’ should give pause to anyone who thinks that CO2 controls temperature/climate/weather on the time scale of a decade.  What about multi-decadal to century timescales?  On these time scales, the big issue is the natural (unforced) internal variability.  Two recent guest posts at Climate Etc. provide insights here:

If the climate is dominated by internal variability on these timescales, then external forcing causes only a small deviation in the climate, and the climate on these timescales is on a very long ‘leash’ with regards to external forcing.

For me, the fundamental and most burning question in climate change dynamics is the unforced internal variability, and its relative importance to external forcing  and its interplay with the external forcing.  The IPCC all but dismisses the importance of natural internal variability in its explanation of 20th century climate  attribution, as it provides an explanation of 20th century climate variability almost.  Political pressure to explain the pause is forcing them to pay  some attention to natural variability.

Until we get get past the IPCC’s paradigm paralysis that climate change on multidecadal time scales is completely externally forced, there won’t be much progress on really understanding climate change.

The following figure was sent to me by Roger Pielke Jr:

climate_change

399 responses to “CO2 ‘control knob’ fallacy (?)

  1. “Previous IPCC reports ….. treat the Earth’s climate as if it were a domestic central heating system, with carbon emissions analogous to the dial on the thermostat: a small tweak here will result in a temperature rise of precisely 0.2°C” –

    Yeah a really good piece – of horsesh!t.

    Where does anyone claim such a thing as stated in the above quote???

    “Until we get get past the IPCC’s paradigm paralysis that climate change on multidecadal time scales is completely externally forced…”

    Oh, FFS!

    “The IPCC is not simply a research body…..”

    In fact, not even.

    More horsesh!t.

    If this is “really good” what does cr@p look like?????????

    • Very cerebral, mikey. Your moms would be proud of you.

      • Unintentionally ironic, one presumes.

      • Wow, David Appell. Several jumps needed there to get to that position.

        First, since CO2 has not had the effects predicted thus far on a 20-50 year time scale, what makes you think we could get it to work at all let alone on a shorter time scale. 2. We have been increasing it at a good clip. What would we have to do to increase that by an order of magnitude. 3. If it is as dangerous as you think, what about the tipping point some are worried about?
        4. If we did increase CO2 by a lot, it may not have as large effect since you have diminishing returns due to Beer’s Law. So, No – I don’t believe that we know if this would be a good way to quickly raise the temp. of planet. It might be one of the few we can think of right now though to try.

      • First, since CO2 has not had the effects predicted thus far on a 20-50 year time scale, what makes you think we could get it to work at all let alone on a shorter time scale. 2. We have been increasing it at a good clip. What would we have to do to increase that by an order of magnitude.

        That’s simply false. Earth’s anomalous radiative forcing has been rising throughout that period. Climate science still has difficulties determining how that extra heat will be distributed throughout its many systems, but, hey, it’s a _very_ complex system. But using ocean warming (which *should* be the metric used to discern “global warming”) shows an energy imbalance is there.

      • David,

        That ocean heat data is very new and sparse and would imply that we can measure the temperatures to very high precision. Even if that were true in the few spots we have measurements, it is vastly under-sampled. It is difficult to say yet (but hopefully in another ten years we will know better) if there has been an effect we can definitely assign to CO2 based on either ocean or atmospheric temperature data. I’m not saying it isn’t possible or that there aren’t suggestions that it is there. I’m talking about solid evidence. Like the kind I would publish in my field.

      • David, just take all the catalytic convertors off cars to increase N2O??
        Can’t remember if this is one the the cat. conv’s remove or one they introduce.

      • David Appel : Earth’s anomalous radiative forcing has been rising throughout that period.

        What measurements are you referring to?

    • Michael, the howls of a pissant progressive in his death spiral. Get over it Michael, our wonderful little non-condensing polyatomic life giving molecule, albeit one of the important GHGs, is not the dominant control knob for climate. Empirical data is a bit_h, eh Michael.

    • Very cerebral?

      • orphaned via comment deletion.

      • Kropelin says he’s been criticized by some fellow scientists who accuse him of spreading optimistic views that run counter to mainstream climate scenarios. “I keep telling anyone who will listen, come to the desert and see for yourselves,” says Kröpelin. “But they’re too busy with their computer models and don’t seem to be very interested in what’s going on in the field.” If Kröpelin and his fellow geologists, botanists, and biologists are right, then a warmer planet might not be quite as bad as we’ve been taught to fear. (Ibid. @ World News)

      • Wagathon, Thanks for the link. Wouldn’t it be great if increasing rain could help the sahara to restore water in those dry lands. Used to be a lot in that belt from the west coast of Africa through Saudi Arabia. Wow. Increase food supplies and animal recoveries across a wide belt of arid lands.

        Scott

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Judith Curry asserts [simplistically and fallaciously] “Surface temperature variations leads the variations in CO2″

        Your assertion is fallacious, Judith Curry!

        What the science says

        “When the Earth comes out of an ice age … about 90% of the global warming occurs after the CO2 increase.”

        Please correct your essay’s fallacy, Judith Curry!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Brave soul, Fan, arguing with J.C. on her home turf. My question is, if she explains why you’re wrong, will you change your mind? Because as smart as you are Fan, even you can’t be right about everything. And yet I’ve never seen you back up the smallest fraction of an inch. On anything. How can that be?

        Question for FOMD: Have you ever decided you were wrong, about anything? In even the smallest degree?

        The whole world waits, and wonders ….

      • FOMD responds [fatuously and flatulently] to pokerguy: I thought I was wrong once but turns out I was wrong about that.”

      • David Springer

        Skeptical science, regardless of having ‘science’ in the name, is not a reputable reference. It’s a blog. Digital graffiti. Write that down.

      • SkepticslScience.com partly exists because a site such as WUWT is considered the best science blog according to mass motivated reasoning based polls.

        SS is a bit of rational counterweight to balance the absurdity.

      • What Web of course means, is that the motivated reasoning of government shills – aka the Consensus – has as its activist popular wing the SS – aka The Greenshirts.
        It is neither skeptical nor scientific, hence its attraction to committed alarmists like Web.

      • They aren’t even government shills. They are more like the volunteer fire fighters that set fires so they can be heroes.

      • They set straw men on fire, and get third degree burns putting them out.
        ==============

      • Science isn’t a popularity contest. WUWT is a blog not a peer reviewed journal or textbook. It’s authors can write whatever the phuck they want. Peer reviewed literature is already lacking in accountability due to tribalistic gatekeepers but it’s still better than blogs.

      • Always quote when making quips, Michael.

      • Compare and contrast my comment above with this one:

        > orphaned via comment deletion.

        Always quote when making quips, Michael.

      • Climatology is the bastard child of real science, Michael.

      • I will let you off this time due to your quick retraction Willard. Interesting times we live in.

    • David Appell, of course you would use methane and perflourocarbons, not CO2.

      • OK, yes. But they also have short lifetimes in the atmosphere, which means you would need to keep replenishing them (or wait for feedbacks to kick in).

      • This concept of sensitivity is scientifically bogus, as there is no such relationship.

        I’m almost afraid to ask, but…why not?

    • The whole concept of climate sensitivity is that there is a simple quantitative relationship between CO2 levels and global temperature. This concept of sensitivity is scientifically bogus, as there is no such relationship.

      • How much co2 sensitivity can there be when the co2 gain in 1998 was 2.93, while the gain for 1999 was 0.93? The same amount of co2 emissions was generated worldwide, yet look at the difference in the result from Mauna Loa. This seems to show that temperature has everything to do with co2 rise and fall in the atmosphere. The hot years over the last 30 years probably account for at least an extra 40 ppm of atmospheric co2. If it was the co2 driving the warming, why would it ever slow down?

    • Bill, in what way is the ocean data “undersampled?” Last time I checked, there were about 8 million temperature profiles used to determine it. Like all scientific data, the results carry a certain uncertainty, which the ocean scientists have worked extremely hard to determine and incorporate. So I’m wondering what specifically you think is missing.

    • Bill, I like the idea of taking all catalytic convertors off cars to increase N2O. One would have to run the numbers, of course…. Did you ever read “Red Mars” by Kim Stanley Robinson. Martian settlers tried to thicken the atmosphere by dropping thousands of thermal heaters on the frozen CO2 at the poles…though I think in that end that didn’t work out.

      • I remember the brown in the 60s. That wasn’t nice. I could feel that stuff affect my energy level and mood.

      • David Springer

        Red Mars is fiction, dumbass. I’ll concede that 20-year old science fiction is a source superior to Skeptical Science blog articles but still…

    • John Carpenter

      But… But… But… Deniers!

  2. Helpful overview.

    From the perspective of comparative planetology, I think that Lacis makes a plausible argument, from which I infer that without CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate would more closely resemble the climate of its moon rather than the current Earth’s climate.

    I also accept this but it’s hardly testable science.

    The conventional (IPCC) ‘wisdom’ has been that there is a time lag in the climate system of nominally 50 years, after which time the impacts of different emission scenarios would be felt on the Earth’s climate (surface temperature, sea level rise, extreme weather, and all that).

    Nor will that be for a while yet. But it’s a crucial foundation for the rational policy debate the Spectator is rightly concerned for.

    …the ‘pause’ should give pause to anyone who thinks that CO2 controls temperature/climate/weather on the time scale of a decade. What about multi-decadal to century timescales? On these time scales, the big issue is the natural (unforced) internal variability.

    You’re virtually the only practising climate scientist prepared to talk publicly about the gross uncertainties where they really count. But the media and policy makers seem to be waking up. AR5 and its aftermath will not look like anything we’ve seen before.

  3. Try: Until we get rid of the IPCC, there won’t be much progress on really understanding climate change.

    • The IPCC just collects and summarizes, the increase in understanding climate will continue with or without the IPCC.

      • David Springer

        re; The IPCC just collects and summarizes.

        Yeah. That’s all Heartland and The Global Warming Policy Foundation do as well.

  4. Semantics at work:
    http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/17/consensus-denialism/#comment-382773
    “The “control knob” paves the way for the issue of who controls it.”

  5. “Until we get get past the IPCC’s paradigm paralysis that climate change on multidecadal time scales is completely externally forced, there won’t be much progress on really understanding climate change.”

    From what I have read of leaked drafts, the latest IPCC report will say that it is “highly probable” (90% confidence?) that more than half of 20th century warming was caused by human activity. Is that the same thing as saying “completely externally forced,” or not?

  6. I thought that ice cores showed that CO2 went up hundreds of years after temperatures increased? Kind of like how statistical charts show that ice cream sales in NY City drives up summer temperatures there.

  7. Bruce Cunningham

    Lacis stated at the time that the reason CO2 was the control knob, was because water vapor precipitated out whenever it rains, leaving only CO2 in the atmosphere to control the temperature. This is incorrect, as rainfall merely reduces the water vapor content of air to a lower equilibrium value. The amount of water vapor in the air is always many times that of CO2. Lacis’s statement is incorrect, period.

    • Lacis (and Curry) could be wrong about this yet still right that the earth is unlike the moon primarily because of CO2. That’s how Judy’s using the Lacis piece here. But as she makes clear that proves nothing either way about what our emissions will cause on a 50-year timescale. The biggest arguments against alarm for me remain the modest levels of warming since we had thermometers covering the earth, coinciding with industrialisation and thus emission increases, and the stability of climate, including temperature, for the whole four billion years of earth’s existence. Every policy maker should have these two facts in the forefront of their mind and consider the IPCC’s contribution since 1992 as the strongest possible counter-argument that can be mounted. Which isn’t amounting to much.

      • The climate of the moon can be simulated to high fidelity, using only the empirical parameters of insolation, albedo, and heat capacity.

        The level of sophistication required is equivalent to an intensive homework problem.

        Translate that to the earth, and CO2 acting as a control knob is still the only working theory to explain the 33C discrepancy. Deniers are desperate to disprove this and it explains why there are dozens of krackpot theories that they use, yet to no avail.

        Richard Alley was clever in using the paleoclimate evidence to come up with the “control knob” phase and Andrew Lacis confirmed it with his atmospheric physics models and simulations.

        Where is the evidence to refute the model?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Water vapour and CO2 will persist in the atmosphere as long as there is biology. volcanoes and oceans.

        In this removal hypothetical the temperature would be some 100 degrees cooler as ice sheets spread in snowball Earth.

        e.g. https://www.math.duke.edu//education/prep02/teams/prep-15/

        Plug in A=0.8 for snowball Earth and you get 186K.

        In reality albedo leads glacial/interglacial changes in the Quaternary. Yet Webby persists with his simplistic 33 degree nonsense as if it meant anything at all.

      • Fine Chief of Oz, have it your way.

        The earth would be 100C cooler without CO2 is what you asserted.

        Now how much hotter will it be with DOUBLE the CO2?

        You dug yourself another one of your deep holes.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The correct answer for climate sensitivity is …. ta dah … γ in the linked diagram.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=0

        From – Michael Ghil (2013) – A Mathematical Theory of Climate Sensitivity or, How to Deal With Both Anthropogenic Forcing and Natural Variability?

        Now we need 1000′s of times more computing power to find out what the question is.

        The world is not warming for a decade to three more, there was very minor recent warming that was almost certainly mis-attributed, the world is greening and – yet – no one serious is arguing for inaction. Merely practical and pragmatic action.

      • “The correct answer for climate sensitivity is …. ta dah … γ in the linked diagram.”

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=0

        Unless I missed it, this paper didn’t actually calculate a numerical value for climate sensitivity. So what’s “the correct answer”?

      • Sensitivity varies.

      • What do you think of this?

        Linear: Noise is stuff you want to get rid of. To see things more clearly.
        Non-linear: Variability is not noise, it is the system.

        Do you think it applies to Climate Science?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Sensitivity depends on the proximity to tipping points. You want a single value? Odd indeed.

      • “sensitivity varies” “Sensitivity depends on the proximity to tipping points”

        What do you claim is the climate sensitivity at the present?
        What do you claim is the closest “tipping point”?

      • Chief argues both for AGW and against it, oftentimes in the same sentence.

        He now claims that without CO2 the earth would be 100C cooler, but he also claims that the continued increase of CO2 will not lead to warming for 1 to 3 decades, if ever.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is obvious that no entirely hypothetical idea has any bearing on the real world. Webyy doesn’t know that.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘In a truly nonlinear setting, indeterminacy in the size of the response is observed only in the vicinity of tipping points. We show, in fact, that small disturbances cannot result in a large-amplitude response, unless the system is at or near such a point.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        Unless we are near such a point the system is not non-linearly sensitive. Tipping points occur with decadal frequency – the last in 1998/2001.

      • Here are estimates of climate sensitivity by plotting land temperatures against CO2 concentrations
        http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/4135/jj5e.gif

        Note that the values hover around an ECS of 3C.

        Also note that the temperature at 1 PPM (near the linear regime of the Beer-Lambert law) is about 30C less than the current temperature. This is not surprising as it is part of the interlocking theory behind GHG warming.

      • “Tipping points occur with decadal frequency – the last in 1998/2001.”

        Silly question I know, but if tipping points occur with decadal frequency, why haven’t we already tipped into CAGW?

        Stop beating around the bush and answer the question: What do you claim is the climate sensitivity at the present? [or a probable range of numeric values for γ at the present ]

        “Here are estimates of climate sensitivity by plotting land temperatures against CO2 concentrations”

        That’s nice, but unfortunately assumes no contribution from internal variability or natural forcings.

        Has Judith taught you nothing?

        “But no matter what, I am coming up with natural internal variability associated accounting for significantly MORE than half of the observed warming.”

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/28/pause-tied-to-equatorial-pacific-surface-cooling/

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You’re a prize dingdong webby. You should at least use multiple linear regression.

        e.g – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Lean2010.png.html?sort=3&o=85

        Even then it hardly seems credible what with CFC’s, clouds, PDO, AMO, etc.etc.

        One I am catching up with at the moment.

        http://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/global-warming-caused-cfcs-not-carbon-dioxide-study-says

        But there are many others.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The point is that there are others factors causing warming and cooling – including solar and MOC both heading south this century.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The question was answered – not much between tipping points and a finite possibility of extreme variability. Paleoclimatically as much as 10 degrees C in places in as little as 10 years.

        ‘The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual, and multiple equilibria are the norm.’ http://www.unige.ch/climate/Publications/Beniston/CC2004.pdf

        ‘Large, abrupt climate changes have repeatedly affected
        much or all of the earth, locally reaching as much as 10°C change in 10 years. Available evidence suggests that abrupt climate changes are not only possible but likely in the future, potentially with large impacts on ecosystems and societies.’ http://www.nap.edu/download.php?record_id=10136

        What’s the sensitivity for a 10°C change in 10 years?

      • CO2 acting as a control knob is still the only working theory to explain the 33C discrepancy. Deniers are desperate to disprove this and it explains why there are dozens of krackpot theories that they use, yet to no avail.

        Only in the imagination of desperate truebelievers like Mr Web, who here attempts to mischaracterize skepticism as to the certainty of the overall effect of CO2 within a complex climate system, as denial of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. And skeptics of course vastly outnumber deniers.

      • Chief Hydrologist | September 21, 2013 at 4:20 am |
        The question was answered – not much between tipping points and a finite possibility of extreme variability.

        After the Chief proclaims “The correct answer for climate sensitivity is …. ta dah … γ in the linked diagram,” it is now apparent that neither the Chief nor the author of the paper cited have calculated a range of probable values for γ at the present to put the work in any practical context or to compare with other estimates. Odd indeed.

        In addition, your “decadal tipping points” are not supported by temperature observations.

        “not much between tipping points” could mean very different things to different people. So answer the question Chief:

        What do you claim is the probable range of numeric values for climate sensitivity at the present time assuming we are between tipping points?

      • “What’s the sensitivity for a 10°C change in 10 years?” – The Chief.

        If we assume 1 C change was normal then 9 C would be caused by man, making it 9.
        If we assume 0.1 change was normal then 9.9 C would be caused by man, making it 99, but that seems a bit extreme.

      • There was a response to the Lacis paper from Tim Curtin of the Australian national University back in 2011. I don’t think it got much exposure.
        Applying Econometrics to the Carbon Dioxide “Control Knob”

        http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2012/761473/

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Mr Schtick,

        Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation (see ref. 26).

        The correct answer for climate sensitivity is …. ta dah … γ in the linked diagram.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=0

        From – Michael Ghil (2013) – A Mathematical Theory of Climate Sensitivity or, How to Deal With Both Anthropogenic Forcing and Natural Variability?

        Now we need 1000′s of times more computing power to find out what the question is.

        In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.
        http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/505.htm

        By this they mean perturbed model ensembles – still in their infancy.

        Do you expect simply because you demand a simple minded answer the the universe must needs respond? Odd way of doing science one would have thought.

    • The amount of water vapor in the air is always many times that of CO2.

      It’s not the absolute amounts that matter, it’s their radiative effect, and how that effect adjusts as atmospheric components are added or taken out.

    • Bruce, you have misquoted or misunderstood Lacis to say he is wrong. Water vapor is limited by the temperature. Reduce the temperature and some, not all, water vapor is lost in accordance with the surface saturation relation known as Clausius-Clapeyron. This is a positive feedback to the cooling, the same as it is to warming with rising CO2.

  8. “without CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate would more closely resemble the climate of its moon”
    Is that true? I thought the greenhouse effect was approximately the effect of Water vapor (50%), Clouds (25%), CO2 (20%) and other gases (5%).
    But then we really dont know exactly how much each contributes because the models just dont seem to effectively model for all those including clouds.
    So maybe the earth’s climate would be more like Siberia. Of course humans are plenty capable of existing in temperatures ranging from -30 to 110 degrees. What’s an extra 1 or 2 degrees on average? Jeesh. Big to do about nothing.

    • willaim,

      It’s a bit like body temp.

      As you point out, peolple can easier survive in a wide range of external temps, but alter your core body temp by just a few degrees…..

    • Heat capacity and day length as well! And even an atmosphere that doesn’t absorb IR can redistribute heat across the surface by conduction.

      The moon is far drier, and has a slower cycle from day to night, than any place on Earth. If we span the moon up to a 24-hour day, the swing in temperature would be less – and if we loaded it with vast amounts of high heat-capacity water, then the temperature swings would be further damped (compare Tucson AZ [average diurnal swing 27 degF] with San Diego, CA, – [12 degF]).

      Back-radiation plainly plays a large part, but it’s not the whole thing.

  9. The Vostok ice cores cover some 400,000 years and have info on CO2 and methane. A tight correlation can be found by running a simple regression. See, for example, Figure 3 in Kirchner:
    http://seismo.berkeley.edu/~kirchner/reprints/2002_55_Kirchner_gaia.pdf
    With those relationships, the present CO2 levels correspond to a +10°C and a +40°C for methane.
    If we assume the atmospheric concentration of methane and carbon dioxide flat-lined at their present levels and stayed there for 800 years, would we expect global temps to equilibrate at 10+40=50°C warmer? That seems highly unlikely. If so, the question is, why is the earth so cool?

    • The answer to this is that the intrinsic climate sensitivity of CO2 is ~1.2 K only if you assume that the spectral distribution of OLR is constant with changing CO2 level. Add in the fact that the very low emission temperature of CO2 means it creates very high radiation flux entropy, and the 2nd Law minimises that, real CO2 climate sensitivity can’t be >~0.1K.

      This is obvious to an engineer or physicist with a good education but has been completely missed by Climate Alchemy’s brightest and best who might be good at Fortran but are pretty poor at science.

      • Another would be Nobel Laureate!

      • Maybe if the mechanism I propose is verified experimentally.

        Oh, it has been verified….:0)

      • Hmmm, that CS of not >0.1K does cause some difficulties in explaining stuff like the end of the ice ages.

        Perahps you have an alternative?

      • Yes, the paper is written.

        Sagan got his aerosol optical physics wrong because he made an assumption about van der Hulsts’s experimental work that it was from one optical process when there are two.

        The claim by NASA in 2004 that the higher surface area of smaller droplets increases albedo is wrong;high albedo is a large droplet phenomenon.

        Look at any cloud developing rain for proof.

        That 2004 claim by NASA was to replace Twomey’s partially correct physics to get AR4. The non-existent missing heat is to get AR5. The effect of aerosol pollution is the reverse sign: in other words that (Asian aerosols) caused AGW in the 80s and 90s then saturated.

        It also explains the ice age warming and the cyclical behaviour of the Arctic, the same ice mechanism.

        My second paper corrects the other 12 IPCC physics mistakes and puts in the irreversible thermodynamics.

      • linky please.

      • Difficult to get published. The first paper was handed back by Nature in 48 hours stating had to get the ideas published ib=n a physics’ venue.

        The second paper was too scary to be considered by even a rebel outlet because it destroys so many shibboleths.

        My route now is to put it all together as a monograph and blast open the entire Climate Alchemy logjam of control by the team and their pet editors.

      • Michael, Ignore AlecM as he is the sockpuppet also known as SpartacusIsFree and MyDogsGotNoNose.

        These kranks that also use various sockpuppet handles are the bottom feeders of the internet.

        However, deniers love them because they add to the FUD.

      • AlecM should read Baez’s Crackpot Index and see how he scores.

        By posing his research as a crusade and using the word “shibboleth” he can accumulate lots of points.

  10. CO2 is the control not.

    • CO2 is more like a pilot light than a control knob. It is a non-condensible gas that keeps a small flame alive to ignite the prima donna: Water.

      • This would only be true if water vapour did not self-absorb at very low concentration.

      • So you think CO2 doesn’t self-absorb?

      • At very cold temps, water vapor only exists at a few ppm. Probably not enough to warm things up significantly.

      • What you must realise is that there is no such thing as ‘back radiation’, confusing a radiation field with a real energy flux, which is from the vector sum of radiation fields.

        At self-absorption and equal air and surface temperature, all self-absorbed ghg bands annihilate the surface IR in the same wavelength range.

        The operational emissivity of the surface is 63/396 = 0.16 and most of it is in the atmospheric window.

        The claim that CO2 controls water vapour IR absorption is baseless above self-absorption 100 ppmV water, 200 ppmV CO2. Below that I can envisage a mechanism.

        Hence there is zero change in absorbed IR in the atmosphere’s GHG bands > self-absorption as CO2 exceeds 200 ppmV.

        There would be warming from the upper atmosphere effect if the spectral distribution of OLR did not change as CO2 increases. It does change so virtually no CO2-AGW.

      • AlecM – I’m trying to be nice here, but what you say appears to be bunk.

      • A radiation field implies an energy flux. Geez.

      • Reply to David Appel:
        Sorry but you are one of the great majority who fail to understand basic radiative physics. What you have written is a scientific howler of the first rank.

        Maxwell’s Laws describe the Law of Conservation of Energy applied to radiation interacting with matter. In Goody and Yung ‘Atmospheric Physics’, the equation is: qdot = – Div Fv. qdot is the monochromatic heat transfer rater per unt volume of matter and Fv is the monochromatic radiation flux density per unit volume.

        Integrate this over all wavelengths and you get the difference between two S-B equations.

        The Radiation Field of an emitter is the potential energy flux to a body at absolute zero emitting the Zero Point Energy of Space. You need two bodies in radiative equilibrium for the radiation fields to interact vectorially.

        In have also never met anyone who quotes the negative sign. The explanation is a bit of physics beyond where Planck left off. My view on t is that the net radiation field is a carrier for photon holes. A photon does not exist except at the moment of transfer to or from mechanical energy.

        So, unlearn you dodgy physic s. Bodies do not emit on their own streams of heat or photons; they have to form a net field. And the S-S two stream approximation works in space because the errors cancel. It cannot be applied at an optical discontinuity.

        In time Spencer and Curry will come round to thinking the correct Physics!

      • Bodies do not emit on their own streams of heat or photons; they have to form a net field.

        That sounds like gobbleygook. Matter emits radiation (photons). Photons carry energy, which implies an energy flux.

      • A photon does not exist except at the moment of transfer to or from mechanical energy.

        Even more gobbleygook. Photons exist. They travel at the speed of light and carry energy, and they interact with matter according to well-established physical laws.

        I’m not interested in discussing quack physics. Good luck.

      • Alec,
        Your basic problem is with the Standard Model which allows only three degrees of freedom for a photon, so radiation fields do not have enough information to condense into a single field, they remain separate because a photon can’t carry more information than its energy and the direction it is going.

        So vector summing two radiation fields to one net field is bunk.

      • “James Clerk Maxwell, in 1861–64, published his theory of electromagnetic fields and radiation, which shows that light has momentum and thus can exert pressure on objects. Maxwell’s equations provide the theoretical foundation for sailing with light pressure. So by 1864, the physics community and beyond knew sunlight carried momentum that would exert a pressure on objects.”

        “Pyotr Lebedev was first to successfully demonstrate light pressure, which he did in 1899 with a torsional balance;[5] Ernest Nichols and Gordon Hull conducted a similar independent experiment in 1901 using a Nichols radiometer.[6]”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_sail

      • Bottom line – photons carry momentum – aka energy.

      • AlecM is worse than a gibberish-spouting krank.
        He is a gibberish-spouting krank who happens to be a multiple sockpuppet abuser.

        See SpartacusIsFree and MyDogsGotNoNose for how he tries to get grassroots appeal for his krank theories by adopting other identities.

        A true bottom-feeder.

      • Reply to various people. I am and engineer who has measured coupled convection and radiation . ‘Back radiation’ is bunkum from misunderstanding radiation physics.

        This triples the energy into the system and the offsets to this are fascinating to observe. Houghton assumed the atmosphere is a grey body. This is used to justify Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation applies at ToA,. halving the extra energy. This with the false claim of 33 K ghe gives the imaginary positive feedback. The temperature rise is then corrected by assuming double real low level cloud optical depth in hind casting.

        In short, the models are based on junk science and the corrections in hind casting are cheating.

        So, we have to start from first principles. Don’t quote demonstrably incorrect science at me to prove ‘I’m wrong’, it won’t work!

      • David Springer

        jim2 | September 20, 2013 at 10:15 am | Reply

        “CO2 is more like a pilot light than a control knob. It is a non-condensible gas that keeps a small flame alive to ignite the prima donna: Water.”

        Bingo!

        Give the man a cigar.

      • I like this one also

    • What’s FUD, precious?

  11. But…Arctic ice!

  12. Judith, ” For reference, the surface temperature of the moon can swing between -150°C during the night and 120°C during the day. (pay attention, greenhouse effect deniers).”

    No one disagrees with that Judith, but the title of your post relates to CO2. What would the moon’s climate be if it’s GHG profile consisted of water vapor, nitrous oxide, methane, and perflourocarbons, but not CO2. Recall that N2O is 300x more potent than CO2, CH4 is at least 21x more potent, and some of the perflurocarbons are much more potent. While you did not say it directly, you infer that the climate of the moon would be more earth-like if it contained CO2 is not warranted it light of earth’s other important GHG’s.

    • The ghe is the difference in temperature between the no ghg case with 43% more SW energy to the surface, about 4-5 deg C, and the present 15 deg C. That makes it ~11 K.

      Because 1981_Hansen_etal.pdf ‘forgot’ the 43% increase, the 3x positive feedback does not exist.

      At the last glacial minimum, the average temperature was 6 deg C so the ghe was ~2 K then. The difference of 9 K is from biofeedback. CO2 has no effect because it is used as the working fluid of the heat engine that minimises temperature excursions.

  13. Previous IPCC reports are now… Junk Science, right?

  14. I would like to mention that the trends for the last 16 years do not provide evidence either way as they do not exclude a trend of zero nor a trend of about 0.2 C per decade and thus should not be used for policy decisions either way.

    • You are correct that the trends (or pause) of the past 16 years are not indicative of what the climate is doing. But it is proof that the models are both wrong and seriously over hyped. I think that is the reason it has gotten so much attention, even to the extent of being suppressed by governments.

      • How are they wrong, can you be specific?

        Or do you mean they are wrong because individual model runs do exhibit natural variability but do not get the timing of ENSO and AO and the rest correct, and thus ensembles of models are used, which naturally average out the natural variability, and which therefore will not match the analog model precisely?

        If we put a number on the swing of natural variability, say +/- so many tenths of a degree, then we can do a valid model to reality check, but as to my reading of the skeptical blog postings, this isn’t being done.

        If an extended period of the cool PDO cycle can drop global temps 0.2 degrees, then what does that do to model reality comparisons?

      • Simpler than that Bob. The models did not predict (or project for Appell’s purpose) the extended pause/hiatus/plateau that has occurred. Does that mean warming has stopped? No. It just means the models are wrong.

      • So what is a pause philjourdan?

        How can skeptics conclude that the models are wrong, due to the extended pause/hiatus/plateau when they won’t even define the pause.

        are these trends and uncertainties indicative of a pause or continued warming?

        0.078 +/- 0.131
        0.042 +/- 0.121
        0.049 +/- 0.126
        0.163 +/- 0.289
        0.132 +/- 0.202
        -0.009 +/- 0.225
        0.093 +/- 0.230

        5 of 7 metrics surveyed do not exclude the about 0.2 C per decade for the last 16 years.

        And is “the models are wrong” what you have conclude after extensive research?

        And how can you exclude the PDO and La Nina’s as the cause of the so called pause?

      • Bob, I do not discount anything as the cause of the “pause” (or hiatus, delay, procrastination – whatever the semantics of the day demand). My research reveal that the “models” did not project it, and cannot account for it. I am not defining WHY the pause (or whatever, I tire of trying to use synonyms) occurred, or even if the pause proves AGW right or wrong.

        I merely stated they disproved the models. And that they did.

      • Well then, congratulations for your astute observation that the models are wrong. You still did not put a number on how wrong they are and thus your opinion is worthless.

      • Since I was not asked for a number, I felt no need to clutter up the thought with extraneous and worthless trivia. Had I been writing a paper for peer review, I would surely have included it along with the supporting documentation.

        I fail to see why I should hold your opinion in such high regard when apparently you want to ensure every comment is a peer reviewed paper.

  15. > The Spectator has a really good piece [...]

    You may ask yourself if that is an endorsement of the Spectator’s piece.

    Or you can ask Judy.

    Are you endorsing that piece, Judy?

    • When I endorse something, i will say “I endorse this.” Otherwise I am suggesting something as worth reading, to those people who like to read intelligent and well argued writing from a range of perspectives (my definition of good, in this particular context).

      • I like “intelligent and well argued”.

        Do you have something for us?

      • nothing for you, i’m afraid

      • Pity.

        Oh well, let’s continue to look at this Spectator garbage…

      • That went right over Michael’s head, Judith. But most of the rest of us will have got it! ;-)

      • Thank you, Judy. It’s not that you agree with the piece, just that you find it well-argued. Glad you cleared that up.

        So we may surmise that the Spectator article mainly (O, the joy of adverbs!) provides a useful hook to some disagreements you have with the IPCC, which seems to be the underlying object of your recent inquiries. After all, it does lead to connect with the conventional (IPCC) ‘wisdom’, the IPCC’s dismissal of natural internal variability in its explanation of 20th century climate attribution, and IPCC’s paradigm paralysis.

        There’s also the idea that the IPCC has toned down its alarm, but I’m not sure you agree with this. You also refer to “political pressure” that seems to be related with the toning down. But it’s tough to be sure you make the connection, as the two ideas are mentioned on the two opposite ends of your op-ed.

        ***

        You have to admit that the Spectator’s cartoonist has an interesting to represent the result of this pressure. It reminds me of a famous scene from Pulp Fiction, which ends up with:

      • Judith,

        you dont understand. In willards world and Micheal’s world you are not allowed to recommend anything you don’t agree with 100%.

        There is subtle reason for this. When you want to drive a crowd to consensus and one way of thinking its important to control the message.

        If you recommend any text that contains foreign thoughts or ideas that may open the door to disagreement, and we dont want that.

        And further if you do recommend parts of a document it is vital that you indicate which parts exactly. if you are ambiguous about this you can also disrupt the re inforcement of key messages.

      • > In willards world [...] you are not allowed to recommend anything you don’t agree with 100%.

        A quote to substantiate that claim might be nice. I don’t think that I hold that belief. But hey, that’s just me talking.

        Since Judy’s seems to be applying for the job (her mentions of the IPCC becoming more frequent than what we can read at Junior’s), one may ask why she would not try to do something more than hook her concerns on an op-ed she finds interesting by telling why she finds it interesting.

        In a mediated world, honest brokers would say which arguments from Spectator’s op-ed they consider strong, which ones they consider less strong, and which ones they considered weak, overplayed, suboptimal or whatnot.

        In the actual world, honest brokers do indulge in some victim playing, and when they don’t they can always count on white knights.

        ***

        One does not simply hook one’s concerns on one’s way to a mediated Mordor.

      • Judith -

        Are David Rose’s pieces “well-argued?” Or are they just more same ol’ same ol’ – i.e., poorly-argued partisan rhetoric that does little other than degrade the noise to signal ratio?

        Related to Rose’s dreck, here’s more that you may consider well-argued? Consider the cause-and-effect between Rose’s dreck and this kind of nonsense – from David McKinley – who sites on the Congressional subcommittee for energy and power:

        But here’s the reality of temperature changes over the last 40 years… Actually we can say over 40 years there’s been almost no increase in temperature – very slight – in fact […] even with increased greenhouse CO2 level emissions, the Arctic ice has actually increased by 60 percent. Also that the Antarctica is also expanding… most experts believe by 2083, in 70 years, the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the harm.

        Here’s a nice take down of the McKinley’s dreck that is, arguably, an outgrowth of Rose’s dreck:

        http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/09/19/climate_politics_congressman_parrots_climate_change_denial_errors.html

        How do you expect to build bridge, Judith, if you don’t step up to denounce dreck on both sides of the fence? This is as bad as RPJr promoting McKitrick’s dreck.

        It sure is easy for you to say that the partisanship is “asymmetrical” if you flat out ignore the dreckiness on one side.

        Remember, Judith, selective reasoning is selective.

        Oh, and by the way, Mr. Uncertain T. Monster has called. He is holding on line #2. He wants to discuss with you royalty payments on the use of his name.

      • Probably this: pretty good for a non-scientist writing in a non-science journal is what Judith meant.

      • John Carpenter

        “Probably this: pretty good for a non-scientist writing in a non-science journal is what Judith meant.”

        Yeah, or she is just saying she found it interesting… And you might too. The usual suspects want to press her for much more…. why she would make such a suggestion without providing detailed explanations about what she means….. how that suggestion relates to some another suggested piece of dreck……. what does ‘well argued’ mean?… But but David Rose…. But but but… What is you motive? But but but… You’re biased. As Mosher pointed out, they seem to have a problem with her wanting to discuss different views or letting people read what she has found interesting and make their own conclusions about it. Appeal to not this authority comes to mind.

      • John -

        ou’re biased. As Mosher pointed out, they seem to have a problem with her wanting to discuss different views or letting people read what she has found interesting and make their own conclusions about it. Appeal to not this authority comes to mind.

        Well, it obviously seems that way to you. But you are wrong.

        I have no problem, none whatsoever, with her wanting to discuss different views.

        I have a problem that her criticism is so selective. She, essentially, acknowledges such with her justification of some “asymmetry” in the existence of, and impact of, tribalism.

        I disagree with her determinations about that asymmetry, and ask her, as a scientist, to validate and quantify her argument. I ask her to specify her terminology, to define her terms, etc.

        Given that she chooses not to do any of that, then I will continue to criticize the selectivity of her arguments.

        It is what it is. It isn’t, in any way, that I have “a problem with her wanting to discuss different views.”

        Consider this. You and I have had different views on a number of issues. We have always engaged in predominantly respectful dialog – with respect for the fact of having different views. I voice disagreement with you and you respond in kind. If I am less snarky with you than I am with Judith, it is because, IMO, you engage in dialog with better faith than she does.

        But despite our past history of exchanging views in good faith, in that comment above you attribute bad faith to me. You argue that my criticism of her is not what I say it is – a criticism of the selectivity of her reasoning – but instead because I “have a problem with her wanting to discuss different views.” So you get snarky with me.

        So should I then, as you have done, assume that the reason for your snark is because you have a problem with me voicing an different view than yours, and wanting to discuss those different views?

      • It’s right here, John -

        How do you expect to build bridge, Judith, if you don’t step up to denounce dreck on both sides of the fence? This is as bad as RPJr promoting McKitrick’s dreck.

        Now maybe you know me better than I know myself – and I was lying there, and the real problem that I have is that Judith wants to discuss different views.

        It is here, also:

        It sure is easy for you to say that the partisanship is “asymmetrical” if you flat out ignore the dreckiness on one side.

        Am I lying, John? Do you have some vision through a “window into my soul,” as mosher has claimed?

        Perhaps you do. Who knows? I sure don’t.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua,

        Well, it’s always a problem to generalize. Sometimes words get spilled that miss the targets in the ways intended. Using a term like ‘usual suspects’ was, i admit, snarky. I too enjoy our dialogue and unlike many others I genuinely read your comments with an intent to understand your position. I agree with some positions and disagree with others. Over the last several years I have come to understand mostly what you want from JC. I don’t mean to belittle what you have to say any more than you would to me. I try not to personalize comments, though I don’t succeed at times…. Case in point. I certainly don’t pretend to know who you are, though reading many many of your comments does give insights, I don’t think you want to prevent discourse. And so, Joshua, I apologize for throwing you under the bus in that comment. It was a miss fire…. But please, don’t tell anyone else.

      • Thanks, John –

        When some folks misinterpret what I say it basically rolls off like water on a duck’s ass. They seem fully intent on misinterpretation and uninterested in correcting for such errors. As such, trying to correct their misinterpretations would be a waste of time; better to laugh at and ridicule their facile thinking.

        But because I respect your opinions and our dialog, I wanted to clarify. I figured the specific use of “dreck” was a direct reference to me, since I have used that word, specifically, to describe Rose’s articles. It would matter to me if you interpreted my position to be as someone who is intolerant of Judith exploring various views.

        The question of how to distinguish “Yes, but David Rose,” from “Yes, but Michael Mann,” or “Yes, but ‘denier’” is an interesting question. One I’ll have to think about. I’m not sure there is a legitimate distinction.

  16. So, how should we think about all this on decadal to century time scales, which are the timescales of most relevance for CO2 mitigation policy making?

    How about, the greening of the Sahara, cannot happen too soon?

  17. Weird that someone as professional as Judith seems to think that atmospheric mass has little or nothing to do with the temperature that can be achieved by the surface beneath it when subjected to insolation.

    If all our GHGs were replaced with, say, Nitrogen would the Earth’s surface temperature behave the same way as that of the moon?

    I think not:

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/earths-atmosphere-is-warmed-primarily-by-molecules-that-are-not-greenhouse-gases/

  18. When the warmists wake up around noon, we will get a spate of comments on: “We never said CO2 was the short term control know;” or “There is no pause;” or “Here’s a carefully tailored WfT graph that shows warming is a direct and immediate result of ACO2 emissions.”

  19. Looking back to the last IPCC report the prediction was for, “a decline in rainfall across large swaths of Africa of 20 percent or more, leading to deadly famines like the one raging in Somalia now. Millions of ‘climate refugees’ might one day roam the earth.

    “[Stefan] Kröpelin is not the only scientist chipping away at these scenarios. An increasingly rich trove of data suggest that in large parts of the world, the more likely outcome is that warmer temperatures lead to more rainfall, richer plant growth, and the re-greening of areas that have been inhospitable for many centuries.” (World News, Aug. 26, 2011)

  20. Dr. Curry:
    Sorry for the long post. I usually skip these!
    The greenhouse gas effect certainly is the reason our planet temperature is warm and also relatively stable. That being said, the logarithmic nature of the effect means that CO2 is NOT the control knob. In engineering calculations (generally associated with combustion and metallurgical engineering), the impact of increasing CO2 becomes trivial beyond a path length of 100 to 500 bar-cm, depending on the required accuracy of the calculation. These numbers are based on Leckner’s approximation of solutions of the RTE’s from 0 C to 2000 C. See page 618 of “the heat transfer handbook by Bejan and Kraus. To get to an emissivity of 0.1 the path length needs to be 10 to 20 bar-cm. To get to 0.2 . . . well the curves don’t show us getting that high. They top out at about 0.18 at a path length of 500 bar-cm. So to double the impact of CO2 from a path length of 20 bar-cm which is about 30 ppm, you need to increase the concentration 25 to 50 times. You can’t get a 4X impact at any concentration. This is true in other fields, so I’m not sure why it isn’t in climate. If you use these curves to generate a forcing curve, it is remarkably similar to the curve for the simplified equation of forcing=5.35Xln{[C]/[Co]}. They begin to diverge at about 100 ppm (a path length of about 67 bar-cm). It is also interesting that, if one uses the values engineers use, you get higher absolute absorption of radiant energy than if you use the simplified equation. Yes, yes, I understand that the curves don’t “top out”. However they do appear to resemble a hyperbolic relation with an asymptote nearly parallel to the x axis rather than a logarithmic relation.

    • “Dr. Curry:
      Sorry for the long post. I usually skip these!
      The greenhouse gas effect certainly is the reason our planet temperature is warm and also relatively stable.”

      No one think CO2 increases tropical temperature by more than 5 C, and tropic average temperature is around 25 C. So without CO2 the tropics average temperature would still be around 20 C.

      According to greenhouse theory, greenhouse gases are suppose to warm
      blackbody to higher temperature, then it would be without greenhouse gases. At earth distance a blackbody is suppose to have uniform temperature of 5 C. And according this theory, if ideal blackbody had as much clouds as Earth reflecting sunlight, it would have uniform around -18 C.
      So you in the tropics, the sun is out and blue skies. And one this magical ideal blackbody sand, and put themometer on it, and it’s -18 C.
      If magical sand in in shade, it’s -18 C. And everything everywhere entire planet is -18 C.
      Enter the greenhouse gases, they suppose to increase the average temperature [note not the uniform temperature] by 33 C.
      In fantasy land the percentage of the 33 C of increase *average temperature is:
      “Water vapor and clouds H2O 36 – 72%
      Carbon dioxide CO2 9 – 26%
      Methane CH
      4 4 – 9%
      Ozone O
      3 3 – 7% ”
      According theory CO2 is responsible for 9 – 26% of the 33 C.
      So, let’s see: 9% of 33 is 2.97 C and 26% is 8.58 C
      And lowest imagined range to H20 is 36%: 11:88 C
      And btw, Tropics has same amount CO2 as anywhere else, but remarkable
      amount water vapor [H2O].

      Btw, In fantasy ideal blackbody world, the Antarctic which has average temperature of -50 C, would be -18 C.
      So apparently greenhouse gases *must* somehow cool the Antarctic.

    • Eggert,
      Here is a simple derivation based on the log sensitivity of GHGs which shows how CO2 can be the control knob.

      http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/climate-sensitivity-and-33c-discrepancy.html

      This demonstrates how a weak log dependency can still amplify due to thermodynamic outgassing, leading to the current control knob view.

      One solution is the snow-ball earth temperature and the other solution is the elevated 33C. The sensitivity drops out due to the outgassing feedback.

      I find it humorous that you and AlecM claim to understand the radiative physics. So why dont you take the Modtran code and modify it so it meets your theory?
      That way other engineers can use it to do satellite tracking, GPS algorithms, and other applications that require precise knowledge of the atmosphere’s radiative properties, including that of CO2?
      Eh?

      • WHT:

        That isn’t a very good reference. I prefer scienceofdoom. His work is much more comprehensive. The Leckner work is better referenced to HITEMP. A much higher resolution analysis than Modtran. Hitran is the source of the IPCC material as I understand it. This too is a higher resolution analysis than Modtran. I don’t claim to be an expert in radiative physics. (I am an expert in the engineering application of radiative physics.) However, I do know that the radiative physics of combustion engineering and metallurgy is the same radiative physics of climate. I understand this sufficiently to design using it. There is a significant disconnect in the reported response to CO2 between these two fields. There are three possibilities. First, combustion engineers are wrong. Given that these were the people (Hottel and others) who first created models one could use for design, that doesn’t seem likely. Second, climate scientists are wrong. Again, not likely. Third, something interesting happens as temperatures and pressures drop. My question to Dr. Curry was can she provide some insight into what that interesting thing is.

        By the way, if I win the lotto, one of my todo’s is to get the Hitran data and see if it can replicate Leckner’s curves. Also, the path lengths for CO2 in metallurgy are often much more variable than satellite tracking etc., and they are often much higher as well. As such, the solutions are per se, more complicated. Application of radiative engineering in terms of satellite tracking would appear substantially less complicated than a blast furnace design where CO2 can change from (over distance) and also vary by (at any particular point) 400 ppm to 20% or more.

        Cheers

        JE

      • Ha ha, Eggert. I wrote that post. You are so single-minded in your delusion that you can’t even make an observation as simple as authorship of a blog post.

        Hint: the author is at the bottom

        And forget about winning the lotto. Get off your lazy but and do something with your engineering experience instead of dreaming about the physics that you just admitted you don’t understand.

      • To WHT. You wrote:
        Ha ha, Eggert. I wrote that post.
        Not sure why you thought I thought you didn’t.
        You actually didn’t address anything in either of my posts.
        Given the rather nasty nature of your reply, I’ll leave it at that.

      • I didn’t address anything in your “posts” because you just admitted that you are not “an expert in radiative physics”, yet you claim that the atmosopheric physicists are wrong.

        Go home Eggert, you hoser.

    • So. There is indeed something interesting happening here. The total gas EMISSIVITY for CO2 will indeed flatten. In engineering calculations we usually let ABSORPTIVITY equal emissivity as this is, over the relatively short distances associated with engineering applications, close enough. Over the very long distances associated with climate calculations, this assumption leads to the divergence I have been on about. So this is why the approximation of Myrhe et. al. from 1998 for calculating the impact, all other things being equal, of increasing CO2 (5.35ln(C/Co) AND the emissivity derivations as determined by Leckner are both valid. So yes, the atmosphere of the blast furnace does indeed behave in the same way as the atmosphere of climate. In a blast furnace there is a point where saturation can be assumed. In climate, that point is far higher than anything ever seeable on earth. And the temperature increase caused by doubling [CO2]that results from this, all other things being equal, is 1.2 C. So we get back to feedbacks. It is interesting that the engineering assumption of equality leads to a result so close to the results from the solution of the RTE’s. Shows that, for most things, it is indeed valid.
      Thanks for the pedestal Dr. Curry and
      Cheers
      JE

      • It is a rarity here to have someone persuaded by the scientific evidence. This shows a truly scientific, non political, ‘let the facts fall where they may’ attitude. Great to see. It restores my faith in the humanity here to see this.

      • That 1.2C for CO2 doubling is for a dry surface that can only reach equilibrium through Planck response i.e. a sensible rise in temperature. A wet surface can reach equilibrium through insensible heat loss i.e. latent heat of vaporization in water vapor.

        Therein lies the big problem with models in that they presume 100% thermalization of DWLIR from greenhouse gases. I have seen no experiment demonstrating the supposed 100% thermalization. If only 33% of the earth’s surface exhibits a Planck response to DWLIR this handily explains why a theoretical sensitivity of 3C appears as 1C in the real world.

      • Jim D
        It is a rarity here to have someone persuaded by the scientific evidence. This shows a truly scientific, non political, ‘let the facts fall where they may’ attitude. Great to see. It restores my faith in the humanity here to see this.

        So why do *you* practice the exact opposite?

  21. “From the perspective of comparative planetology, I think that Lacis makes a plausible argument, from which I infer that without CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate would more closely resemble the climate of its moon rather than the current Earth’s climate. For reference, the surface temperature of the moon can swing between -150°C during the night and 120°C during the day. (pay attention, greenhouse effect deniers).”

    Other fact the Moon day is 2 weeks, as compared to 24 hours.
    And 120 C isn’t cold.
    In a sealed pot with 14.7 psi pressure, in the sun, water easily boils on the Moon.
    If the Moon has global ocean as deep as Earth’s there no reason to imagine it would freeze.
    To prevent an atmosphere of H20 gas, one could seal the ocean with glass lid and it be as warm as ocean with atmosphere of H2O.
    With ocean the Moon 2 week day, wouldn’t have much effect cooling the ocean.
    With the Moon during daylight most the hemisphere is warmer than earth and obvious radiating more energy. If Moon had global ocean, the daylight surface would be much cooler, therefore radiating less energy. And obviously storing vast amount of heat in the ocean.

    Now instead of ocean lets give the Moon atmosphere of CO2.
    Now the CO2 would not increase the surface above 120 C.
    Obvious. Right?
    Certainly an atmosphere of CO2 would warm up by being a surface which was above boiling, but so would atmosphere of N2. A warm surface will warm any kind gaseous atmosphere. But no reason that surface could warm any gas higher than surface temperature, nor has any greenhouse
    made any surface hotter than the amount sunlight is capable of warming the surface.
    So you have warmed atmosphere which like Earth, 1 atm or less atmosphere and then the sun goes down. There is no reason to assume the CO2 would do much to prevent it becoming cold after week of darkness.

    It’s what would happen is the CO2 would freeze out of the atmosphere during the long nite, giving CO2 snow to greet the lunar morning. Or the night would get temperature colder than anywhere on Earth [CO2 doesn't freeze on Earth].

    • There’s an elephant in the room regarding diffence between the earth and its moon. Several elephants actually. Their names are Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern. These have far, far more influence on the earth’s climate than its wispy atmosphere.

  22. Happens that I well remember 1998, the year we have yet to surpass. I was attending a creative writing workshop at Harvard Extension School at night. I recall wearing short sleeves in the middle of February in New England. The golf courses were overrun with golfers all winter. I played half a dozen times myself. Flowers were blooming. People strolled in the Boston Common. It was absolutely delightful.

  23. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


    Until we get get past the IPCC’s paradigm paralysis that climate change on multidecadal time scales is completely externally forced, there won’t be much progress on really understanding climate change.

    Until Dr Curry can get past the assumption that climate change can be scientifically validated by vaguely musing upon silly opinion pieces in the Spectator, there won’t be much progress on her really understanding why rational people accept the scientific consensus.

    • John Carpenter

      What the Reverend doesn’t get is it’s rational people questioning why observations don’t match prediction that will move the consensus to have to think about that part of the problem harder so as to be able to explain why. I’ll take a stab that the rational public in general don’t read climate science journals for fun. So where else will they get counter arguments? Or maybe rational people shouldn’t read those types of counter arguments in those kinds of periodicals? Funny, I don’t see the Reverend jumping all over someone like McKibbon for all his silly opinion pieces in Rolling Stone about the end is near when such pieces equally pollute the consensus message.

    • Stupid and/or uncritical groupthink tribe members accept the scientific consensus. Write the down.

  24. At best, ‘control knob’ is highly imprecise, because a thermostat implies a feedback loop that regulates temperature counter to other forcing. As used in this context, CO2 as ‘control knob’ is used the same way the hot water valve is used on a sink; it has some influence, but it doesn’t regulate, and the temperature will drift as other things change.

    I think it was always more of an attempt to be poetic than precise.

  25. I think you are right about the importance of variability.

    The IPCC is focussed on the question of how much warming for how much CO2. They treat natural variation like “noise” that gets in the way of the “signal” they are interested in. They don’t pay much attention to it and try to average it out or ignore it wherever possible.

    But the climate is a chaotic system which means natural variation is the main event. It isn’t random noise, it has a fractal structure. The shape of the natural variation characterises the underlying processes. A good first step in understanding the climate would therefore be to understand the natural variation – map the shape of the strange attractor in multiple different ways.

    Once you have done that, you can try to model it. A model cannot be used in a chaotic system to accurately predict the future path. How then do you know if your model is any good? I suggest you should look at the shape of its internal variability. A model which does not exhibit the same variability that we measure in the real thing should be declared a dud.

    • Focusing as Andy Lacis does on CO2 and the other non-condensing greenhouse gases — condensing versus non-condensing — is simply drawing attention to a distinction without a difference. The atmosphere could hold a lot more water vapor than it does. But, it doesn’t. Water vapor is the ‘control knob.’

      • Water vapor is the ‘control knob.’

        And how are you going to get more water vapor into the atmosphere, and keep it there?

      • That is known: nominally, it’s the Sun, stupid.

      • And how are you going to turn up the Sun’s luminosity?

      • How indeed can can anyone believe the Left can control the sun? It is a mystery.

        A study of the Earth’s albedo (project “Earthshine”) shows that the amount of reflected sunlight does not vary with increases in greenhouse gases. The “Earthshine” data shows that the Earth’s albedo fell up to 1997 and rose after 2001.

        What was learned is that climate change is related to albedo, as a result of the change in the amount of energy from the sun that is absorbed by the Earth. For example, fewer clouds means less reflectivity which results in a warmer Earth. And, this happened through about 1998. Conversely, more clouds means greater reflectivity which results in a cooler Earth. And this happened after 1998.

        It is logical to presume that changes in Earth’s albedo are due to increases and decreases in low cloud cover, which in turn is related to the climate change that we have observed during the 20th Century, including the present global cooling. However, we see that climate variability over the same period is not related to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

        Obviously, the amount of `climate forcing’ that may be due to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases is either overstated or countervailing forces are at work that GCMs simply ignore. GCMs fail to account for changes in the Earth’s albedo. Accordingly, GCMs do not account for the effect that the Earth’s albedo has on the amount of solar energy that is absorbed by the Earth.

      • What??

        The question was, how do you plan to increase the water vapor content of the atmosphere (since you claimed IT is the “control knob.”)

        That can only be done by increasing the atmosphere’s temperature. You suggested doing that with the Sun. I asked how.

      • Outside Western CO2-phobia the Earth’s climate is seen as the result of a holistic process; we don’t really understand it so we call it nature and we know that nominally it’s the Sun that is the cause of it all and there is nothing we can do about it.

      • Svensmark asks us consider “history and recent research” and “take a closer look,” as follows:

        “Solar activity has always varied. Around the year 1000, we had a period of very high solar activity, which coincided with the Medieval Warm Period. It was a time when frosts in May were almost unknown – a matter of great importance for a good harvest. Vikings settled in Greenland and explored the coast of North America. On the whole it was a good time. For example, China’s population doubled in this period.

        “But after about 1300 solar activity declined and the world began to get colder. It was the beginning of the episode we now call the Little Ice Age. In this cold time, all the Viking settlements in Greenland disappeared. Sweden surprised Denmark by marching across the ice, and in London the Thames froze repeatedly. But more serious were the long periods of crop failures, which resulted in poorly nourished populations, reduced in Europe by about 30 per cent because of disease and hunger.

        “It’s important to realise that the Little Ice Age was a global event. It ended in the late 19th Century and was followed by increasing solar activity. Over the past 50 years solar activity has been at its highest since the medieval warmth of 1000 years ago. But now it appears that the Sun has changed again, and is returning towards what solar scientists call a “grand minimum” such as we saw in the Little Ice Age.

        “The match between solar activity and climate through the ages is sometimes explained away as coincidence. Yet it turns out that, almost no matter when you look and not just in the last 1000 years, there is a link. Solar activity has repeatedly fluctuated between high and low during the past 10,000 years. In fact the Sun spent about 17 per cent of those 10,000 years in a sleeping mode, with a cooling Earth the result…

        “That the Sun might now fall asleep in a deep minimum was suggested by solar scientists at a meeting in Kiruna in Sweden two years ago. So when Nigel Calder and I updated our book The Chilling Stars, we wrote a little provocatively that we are advising our friends to enjoy global warming while it lasts.

        “In fact global warming has stopped and a cooling is beginning. Mojib Latif from the University of Kiel argued at the recent UN World Climate Conference in Geneva that the cooling may continue through the next 10 to 20 years. His explanation was a natural change in the North Atlantic circulation, not in solar activity. But no matter how you interpret them, natural variations in climate are making a comeback.”

        (While the sun sleeps, Translation approved by Henrik Svensmark)

      • Outside Western CO2-phobia the Earth’s climate is seen as the result of a holistic process….

        CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas in the East? Now there’s a mystery….

      • Western academia harbors irrational fears about CO2. I wish it wasn’t so. But, the government-education global warming alarmism industry has sacrificed reason on the altar of Leftist ideology.

      • In a few years, David, IF it cools significantly, many warmists will be pointing to the “unprecedented” low solar activity/sunspot cycle. Much as they point to the ocean ate my heating now. Then they will forget that they said only TSI matters and never address it at all. Rather than admit that they must have been wrong about part of it. At least if they continue to behave as they have recently.

    • They will only point to TSI if TSI is the cause of any future cooling. Scientists just don’t go around making up claims — they look at what the data says, and implies.

      By the way, the ocean always “eats” the heating. The Earth’s surface is a tiny sliver of the climate system, subject to many factors.

  26. by Judith Curry: “For reference, the surface temperature of the moon can swing between -150°C during the night and 120°C during the day. (pay attention, greenhouse effect deniers).”
    =========================================

    Judith, in terms of denying you can be called “physical impossibility of greenhouse effect”-denier.

    I can’t believe that you seriously promote the “greenhouse effect” by comparison to the Moon, where there is no atmosphere at all, and that is spinning very very slowly, thus having much much more time to cool on the dark side, than the Earth.

    Besides, the highest ever recorded air temperature on Earth is 69°C, this is much <b<lower than 120°C on the Moon, so how can in your understanding a lower maximum temperature on Earth be somehow an evidence of warming “greenhouse effect”?

  27. Shorter post:

    The earth has a huge thermal capacity which means it has a large inertia built up.

    A large inertia is difficult to reverse.

    We can not do anything QUICKLY about that via adjusting CO2 emissions.

    Therefore it is arguable that we do nothing.

    There is also the irrelevant discussion about internal variability

    I can conclude that mankind got us into a predicament, and long time constants both defer the pain, and then prolong the pain.

    • yup.

    • I don’t believe that the discussion of internal variability is irrelevant. What if the ~60yr cycle is due to the overshooting/undershooting of SST equilibrium? That would imply that SST’s are near equilibrium and that the ocean equalizes quickly. If that were true, it would hardly be irrelevant.

      • Tell you what. Go to WoodForTrees and load the northern hemisphere LAND temperature records for the last 15 years. Compress the data into 1 point per year.

        What do you see?

        Draw a trend line through the points.

        What do you see?

        This is what happens when you don’t have an ocean nearby to sink excess heat.

        Hansen and others have known about this for years.
        Why haven’t you?

        Could it be that you were not paying attention to the scientific research?

      • Tell you what. Go to Mongolia and you’ll surely see that the forcing has not subsided. But when talkin’bout global temperatures, the ocean is most important. Mongolia can equalize at +4C and the globe can do the same at +1C (or there abouts, just pulling numbers out of a hole).

        My point is that there is reason to believe that the oceans might equalize quickly. But, then there’s ice sheets and consequent albedo which I haven’t expressed an opinion on, but I wouldn’t disagree is a learned individual who stated it was much slower.

        I guess, as in politics, all climate change is local.

      • The problem is that the ocean’s heat sink does not extend anywhere close to the interior of a continental land mass.

      • David Springer

        Idiot. ENSO effects continental interiors.

    • So what you are saying is: Something, poorly understood and still un-quantified, which may render the impact of CO2 changes immeasurably small, i.e. internal variability, is irrelevant to the discussion of the impact of CO2 changes. Interesting.

      Cheers

      JE

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Yet the facts remain that the world is not warming for a decade to three at least, what minor warming there has been has been almost certainly mis-attributed, the likely warming this century is likewise minor (all else being equal – which it never is), the world is greening and – yet – no one serious is arguing for inaction. Merely effective and pragmatic action.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Chief hydrogenator said:

        “Yet the facts remain that the world is not warming for a decade to three…”

        —-
        By “world” of course he means troposphere, and by “facts” of course he means his opinion.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

        Too bad reality – and any semblance of actual science – evades you.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Should provise the link – although I have many times.

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Chief Hydrogenator confuses less energy flowing from ocean to atmosphere for the “world” cooling. Between this painful to witness gross confusion and his painful to listen to Vogon poetry, I guess this the lessor of two evils.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Longer term there is ice and snow. Short term there is cloud. It is not just idiotic to expect these to be constant – it is utterly and demonstrably wrong. So how does albedo change? It seems a pretty dumb question.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=25

        ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

        ‘Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        As for decadal variation – honestly did you miss the memo? I guess you are too far gone to give up being a nasty little dweeb with not a clue about anything much. Especially not poetry. I was simply in passing having some fun with words with Beth. Vogon from you and FOMBS was simply unfunny the first time – by the 20th it is just tedious.

        Poetry is an exploration

        A framework for bridging the rocky
        crags of experience and emotion.
        It is a child’s green jungle gym in a sandy
        playground by the ocean. The grass
        worn thin beneath the arch of the ladder.

        Can I swing and somersault and twist
        never fearing to fall? No.
        Unless it is a ladder that reaches to the moon.
        That’s not this ladder.

        This ladder spans the abyss between feeling,
        impulse, emotion and the world.
        Between life and living in the world.
        That was the plan but it never occurs.

        You always twist and somersault and fall.
        The nature of the game dictates the terms
        until destiny succumbs to love
        and arms reach out to clasp you
        safely to their breast.

        Without love all action is daring.
        With love no daring is fatal.

        Tell you what why don’t your regale us with some more Vogon verse? That will make about as much sense as anything you say – but you seem much more the Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent type with his poem “Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning”.

        Douglas Adams was the funniest guy around. And Vogon poetry is pretty funny. But I doubt your intent was literary criticism – more just being a nasty little dweeb for the sake of it.

      • David Springer

        R.Gates summarized: The ocean at my global warming.

      • David Springer

        R.Gates summarized: The ocean ate my global warming.

  28. …without CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate would more closely resemble the climate of its moon rather than the current Earth’s climate.

    Without water the Earth’s climate would more closely resemble the climate of its moon.

  29. JC - …the surface temperature of the moon can swing between -150°C during the night and 120°C during the day. (pay attention, greenhouse effect deniers).

    Thanks. Some may not be aware that “greenhouse effect deniers” includes those who deny dramatic reduction in extreme daytime high temperatures.

    GHG causes both delay in surface warming and surface cooling.

  30. I’ve always been vaguely insulted by the “control knob” idea. For one thing, at least in the short term, it’s manifestly untrue. For another, it reminds me of some sort of “science for kidz” dumb down. Just couldn’t believe the natural world would prove to be so simple, at least in this one area.

  31. “Always quote when making quips, Michael.

  32. JC wrote:
    …from which I infer that without CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate would more closely resemble the climate of its moon rather than the current Earth’s climate. For reference, the surface temperature of the moon can swing between -150°C during the night and 120°C during the day.

    I don’t think that’s what Lacis et al said at all, nor is it what Pierrehumbert writes in his textbook. They say that without Earth’s atmospheric CO2, the greenhouse effect collapses as the average surface temperature falls below the freezing point of water, so any water vapor snows out (collapsing the GHE even further) and that Earth is left in an ice house condition. (That is, the water vapor wouldn’t have gotten into the atmosphere in the first place.) But it would still have an N2/O2 atmosphere that would provide overall temperature equilibrium; it’d just be much colder. But nothing like the Moon, where there is no atmosphere and so no equilbrium, so the temperature at any point is determined by the solar irradiance _at that point_:
    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2012/04/norfolk-constabulary-made-wrong-charges.html

    • David, at -18 C ice has a vapor pressure of ~1.4 mb. The peak difference between the saturation vapor pressure of water and ice is at -15 C, that is why clouds below -15C have lots of ice. At around -40C you would only consider the saturation vapor pressure of ice. Between -15C and -40 there can be a mixture of water and ice. Just because it is cold doesn’t mean there is no water vapor in the atmosphere and it is a strong GHG.

      • Ok, sure, there wouldn’t be *no* water vapor. But it would be a great deal less than there is now.

      • David, “Ok, sure, there wouldn’t be *no* water vapor. But it would be a great deal less than there is now..”

        Right, but you need to compare apples with apples. Water vapor has a non-condensible radiant gas effect plus the condensible effect. CO2 fills a gap in the H2O (vapor) radiant spectrum making each more effective. They regulate each other. That is why Callandar assumed that water vapor would remain roughly at 7.5mb as a radiant gas. The same ln(Cf/Ci) relationship would apply for water vapor only in the dry portion of the atmosphere. The 33C “discrepancy” is an analogy requiring lots of assumptions that produces plenty of “paradoxes”. .

      • Pierrehumbert does a simplified version of the Lacis et al calculation (section 4.5.3 of his textbook) for a gray gas. With not a lot of code, he finds that, if water vapor were the only GHG in the Earth’s atmosphere, the surface temperature would be 268 K (-5 C), and this doesn’t take the ice-albedo effect into account, which would drive the temperature still lower, which, he writes, “would most likely cause the Earth to fall into a frigid Snowball state.”

        With no CO2 in the atmosphere, he calculates that the Sun would have to be 13% brighter to get to the 14 C baseline we’ve had now.

      • David, Ray Pierrehumbert is in the right general ballpark but neglects the water liquid impact. With current salinity water can remain liquid to a lower temperature. 0 Fahrenheit was based on the freezing point of brine after all. Liquid water with its high thermal capacity and latent heat of fusion would be more likely to keep the equator liquid meaning slush ball with liquid extending to the 45 degree latitude range. With liquid water on the surface, the subsurface would approach 4C, which kicks water saturation pressure up to 8 mb at the surface over the liquid water. If there is any imbalance into the oceans, the liquid area will expand and ice is an insulator.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Capt said:

        “David, Ray Pierrehumbert is in the right general ballpark but neglects the water liquid impact.”

        Capt, you obviously don’t understand what Ray has said related to this. Really.

      • R. Gates
        Capt, you obviously don’t understand what Ray has said related to this. Really.

        And Gates obviously cannot substantiate this assertion. Really.

    • Captdallas:

      “…likely to keep the equator liquid meaning slush ball (Earth) with liquid extending to the 45 degree latitude range.”

      “…and ice is an insulator.”

      Looks like a defensive position with an energy uptake lane still open.

      Here’s a graph involving ice on a lake and temperatures:
      http://www.waterontheweb.org/curricula/bs/student/water/temp.gif
      The layers invert in the Winter after the ice forms. I think a sign change.
      Looks defensive to me. Hoarding its lessor amount of heat in the Winter.

      • Ragnaar, right, salt water is a little less like that since it is not locked into the 4C maximum density. With salt water the energy released with fusion tends to prefer 4C, 334 J/g, but is not restricted to 4C. You still have heat flow opposed to convection though.

  33. Beguilingly simplistic
    The Spectator provides a key summary:

    There is not much doubt that the planet is warming, and man is at least partially responsible. But the failure of the old prediction models make it clear that there is not a simple relationship between carbon emissions and global warming.

    Much of the “CO2 = control knob” rhetoric appears to assume a linear cause and effect.
    However CO2 absorption is logarithmic with concentration (Beer’s law) while natural radiative temperature feedback varies as T^4. Just those together give an inherently stable system.
    Earth temperatures are generally bounded below by major glaciations and above by warming water vapor.
    However, Water and consequently cloud feedback are the great unknowns contributing 97% of uncertainty. While saturated water vapor increases exponentially with temperature in a closed system, how does the atmosphere respond?
    Do clouds increase or decrease with higher CO2?
    Are warmer temperatures due to rising CO2, or to higher Total Solar Insolation (TSI), or to lower clouds? How do we begin to differentiate those interactions?
    Appeals to CO2-temperature correlations in ice cores ignore the CO2 lagging temperature, and ignore diffusion – with an order of magnitude error of apparently smaller CO2 for lack of doing the math right. See Murry Salby’s breakthrough math is sorting out that puzzle.
    So CO2=control knob is beguilingly simplistic – highlighting an incredibly complex climate system that we have barely begun to explore, and currently have great difficulty in modeling – as shown by the gap between the “pause” vs model projections.

  34. I have not seen scientific evidence of the “CO2 control knob”. The earth’s atmosphere is a complex system, which nonetheless is relatively stable over the long term. Geologists undertstand that is has not been a flat line.

    The radiative equilibrium temperature of earth according to Postma’s description is as expected if one measures the temperature from space – ie closer to the depth-integrated temperature of the entire atmosphere.

    From a physical perspective, I am not convinced that any GHG does anything to earth’s temperature. As the earth rotates, parts that are in the sun in the daytime are in space at night. Anything that warms more in the sun cools more at night. Therefore, no changes in material properties will change mean temperature of anything subject to radiative heating and cooling. That means GHGs and anything that changes albedo (ice coverage, etc) will not alter mean temperature of the heating/cooling cycle. What goes up must come down – everything that enhances radiative heating also enhances radiative cooling. Maxwell’s demon does not exist. One can easily prove or disprove my statements with simple physics experiments. I have not found anyone has done any.

    As far as I can figure, there are two things which keep the earth warm within the bounds of the atmosphere. 1-a molten core as internal heat source, 2-clouds which reflect outgoing heat from the core. Rememebr that a theoretical earth with no sun and no ability to radiate heat to space by IR would have a hot surface at core temperature, because it would be isothermal.

    So, IR radiation is essential for surface cooling. Ground level temperature I believe to be adequately explained by the existence of an atmosphere and complex atmospheric thermodynamics.

    • I heard that the nobel committee is considering your nomination…

      not.

      • Steven, Suppose you were offered one, would you accept it?

      • last I looked there was no Nobel prize for calling out idiots, but when they establish one, i’d certainly accept the cash and prizes.

      • Postma = SkyDragon

        BLouis makes the same omission as many of the krank deniers. He does not acknowledge that radiation is spectrally distributed and so the emission temperature will depend on how the various wavelengths are filtered.

        If one reads Postma’s kook articles, nowhere does he mention the spectral properties.

        Ploink, into the rubbish bin.

        The title of this post sure has attracted many of the usual suspects comprising the climate clown list.

    • Geologists undertstand that is has not been a flat line.

      Geologists live on a completely different planet than do climatologists, where time is measured in millions of years and not decades.

  35. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Curry’s Wrongheaded Axiom “Decadal to century time scales [are] of most relevance for CO2 mitigation policy making”

    Judith Curry, you state this not as a hypothesis-to-be-tested, but as a restrictive axiom-not-to-be-questioned!

    Yet how can this too-restrictive axiom be rationally justified?

    The “decadal-to-century” timescale is scientifically wrong-headed  because ocean-mixing times are of order one millennium (and ice-sheets equilibriate over even longer periods).

    The “decadal-to-century” timescale is culturally wrong-headed  because human cultures, cities, and artifacts endure for millennia.

    Conclusion  Judith Curry, the asserted “decadal-to-century” climate-change time scale is objectively too short by one full order-of-magnitude (or more). Humanity’s most foresighted leaders plan ahead wisely on millennial timescales, and it is the professional duty of scientists to advise these foresighted leaders responsibly, in light of “the best available climate-change science.

    Scientific silence in regard to millennial climate-change time scales is inexplicable and unjustifiable, Judith Curry!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  36. The issue of the time delay for C02 forcing is under appreciated.

    we’ve been turning the knob up and temperatures stayed flat.

    Some folks will conclude that we can continue to turn the knob up.

    Suppose, however, that natural variation had driven temps up by .3C per decade. you can well imagine that some folks would call for twisting the knob to off sooner.

    Any actions we take today on C02 will be fundamentally de coupled from the weather we will see in the next 30-50 years. Within many peoples lifetime the climate policy will necessarily look dis connected from reality.

    In short C02 is a control knob but if you turn it today you wont see the response for 30-50 years. Imagine flying a plane where the plane response to yanking on the stick didnt happen for minutes.. ( see PIO )

    If you’re concerned about the next 50 years, then focus on adaptation.
    If you are concerned about the climate in 2100, then you’ll need to ditch democracy.

    • Steven, Suppose you are wrong?…

      • suppose monkeys fly out of your butt.

        Our best science tells us that what we do with C02 today will have zero effect for at least 30 years. Think about what that means..

      • Tom: He isn’t wrong. The equilibrium temperature of the surface will increase, given an increase in CO2, all other things being equal. This isn’t just “climate science”. The first work on estimating this was done at MIT in the 1940′s for a number of fields, non of which was climate. The surface in this case is 70% ocean that is mixed and deep. Not sure how 50 years was calculated, but I’ll take his word for it.

        Cheers

        JE

    • Steven Mosher, sounds like we need to bring in a team that actually knows what it is doing. How’s, the seasonal cycle impact study coming btw?

      • blueice2hotsea

        Steven Mosher -If you are concerned about the climate in 2100, then you’ll need to ditch democracy.

        Hawking predicts a global police state for current millennium.

        Police state goons predict high-tech climate solution failure.

        It’s unanimous!

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Steven Mosher appreciates “If you are concerned about the climate in 2100, then  you’ll need to ditch democracy  science-minded conservative voters will ditch faux-conservatism and short-sighted libertarianism

      Fixed it for yah, Steven Mosher!

      `Cuz FOMD-style conservatism respects public discourse and voters informed by it!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Sorry Hansen agrees with me on this.

        If you want to control the climate on a 1000 year time scale then you need an authority that spans that time scale

    • “If you are concerned about the climate in 2100, then you’ll need to ditch democracy”

      Thank you. This is as well and succinctly put as anything I’ve seen in a while.

      • Yup and I said it years before the pause.

        Its a simple control systems insight.

        If you think like FOMD, if you think that we must take action today to control the outputs for 1000′s of years, then you need to make sure that
        NOBODY can mess with the setting you make on a dial. Put another way
        intergenerational justice requires intergenerational control: global intergenerational control, and enforcement.

        This is not a political argument. This is a control theory argument.

        you want to control the climate 100 to 1000 years out? Well then you need a system of goverance to match that time constant and an enforcement mechanism to ensure nobody messes with your control.

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


        you want to control the climate 100 to 1000 years out?

        You see, the thing is – we already do.

        Many rational people were saying this years before the non-existant pause.

        It’s a simple physics insight.

      • “If you are concerned about the climate in 2100, then you’ll need to ditch democracy”

        Why? We didn’t have to ditch democracy to deal with water pollution, or air pollution, or to require people to use a waste hauling service instead of dumping their trash in the street.

        Why is carbon pollution any different?

      • you want to control the climate 100 to 1000 years out? Well then you need a system of goverance to match that time constant and an enforcement mechanism to ensure nobody messes with your control.

        Do we need such a governing system to curtail water pollution 1000 years from now? No.

      • David A writes: “Why? We didn’t have to ditch democracy to deal with water pollution, or air pollution, or to require people to use a waste hauling service instead of dumping their trash in the street.

        Why is carbon pollution any different?”

        David,
        Res Ipsa loquitur. Look at the current political landscape. Do you see the possibility of coming to a worldwide, practical agreement any time soon? If anything, we’re moving further away, not closer. Take a look at what just happened in Australia. And even if we could pass what would be modestly described as draconian laws with profoundly far reaching impacts (and I might add much collateral suffering), what makes you so sure those laws wouldn’t be overturned at a later time?

      • What makes you think water pollution laws won’t be overturned at some point?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Stricter pollution laws are just like managed health-care laws and also nuclear non-proliferation treaties: history shows us that nations that experience their progressive benefits *NEVER* go back to the old polluting, inhumane, inefficient, catastrophically destructive systems.

        Uhhh … why is that, that world wonders?

        Perhaps Climate Etc libertarians, too, should ask themselves these common-sense Ronald-Reagan questions?

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • we’ve been turning the knob up and temperatures stayed flat.

      Not at all.

      We’ve turned the knob up and *surface* temperatures appeared to stay flat for about 15 years. The ocean is warming strongly, and that is happening because the Earth is in energy imbalance, which all signs point to being due to an enhanced greenhouse effect, because we’re turning up the knob.

      Surface temperatures appear flat in a short period because there was a large El Nino in the front of that period and two La Ninas in the back. And the PDO going cool.

      • david

        ‘We’ve turned the knob up and *surface* temperatures appeared to stay flat for about 15 years.”

        DUH, thats no different than anything I’ve said.

        Here is a clue. Long ago a bunch of us argued that air temps were a poor metric. Guess what. We we argued that OHC was better, idiots like you shouted us down. maybe because Pielke was making the same argument. who knows.

      • We we argued that OHC was better, idiots like you shouted us down.

        Idiots like me? F.Y., buddy.

        If you thought OHC was the best metric, you should have had the courage of your convictions and stuck to it.

      • I agree that ocean warming is a better metric of the TOA radiational imbalance. But now that we see that is isn’t global warming of the atmosphere that is the problem, we have more issues. First, we don’t really have a good handle on how much the ocean is warming, if it is in fact warming, or if in the short time we have been getting fairly good measurements of the ocean at depth, the signal we observe is due to natural variation.

        Also, some will say the alarmists just change the target to a new potential catastrophe when the current one doesn’t pan out. If it isn’t global atmospheric warming, it is ocean warming; if not that, decreasing alkalinity of the ocean is the putative problem.

        It would be better if they just STFU until they have definitive evidence of … well … SOMETHING!

      • First, we don’t really have a good handle on how much the ocean is warming, if it is in fact warming, or if in the short time we have been getting fairly good measurements of the ocean at depth, the signal we observe is due to natural variation.

        http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

      • There is no ‘strong ocean warming’. Except as an artifact of AGW fevered wishing.

      • You quote yourself to prove a point? But even yourself does not agree with you! Claimed is not proven.

      • Hansen was using the argument of the ocean as a heat sink in 1980 if not earlier.

      • Yes, DA, they “found” the missing heat via reanalysis. Sure they did.

      • Yes, DA, they “found” the missing heat via reanalysis. Sure they did.

        With what details of their work do you take particular issue?
        Or would you just like to throw it out altogether?

      • Measurements will convince me, reanalysis will not.

      • Measurements will convince me, reanalysis will not.

        What do you think reanalysis is based on?

      • david

        If you thought OHC was the best metric, you should have had the courage of your convictions and stuck to it.

        ##########
        I’ve actually not dropped the conviction. but its so nice for you to finally join the team. Where were you when guys like me were being called deniers for focusing on OHC? Ah ya, you were one of the dolts touting air temps. Good to see you accept our position. Now STFU.

      • Reanalysis is at heart a computer model augmented with observations. So:
        1. You don’t know if the model accurately represents ocean behavior.
        2. You have no deep ocean measurements for much of the period under study.

        You’re too easy DA. Question more, panic less.

      • Mosher: where did I call you a denier for focusing on OHC?

        If you want to name-call, I’m not interested. If you want to lump me in with some imaginary, stereotypical enemy you’ve created in your mind, I’m not interested. I came here to discuss the science, not argue about whose team is going to win on Sunday, and if you can’t discuss that rationally then the hell with you.

      • DA, it pays to read:

        Where were you when guys like me were being called deniers for focusing on OHC?

        He never said YOU called him a denier.

        Another DA straw man.

      • 1, You don’t know if the model accurately represents ocean behavior.

        You can’t compare a model’s OHC to observations? These modelers just did with the GISS E2 model (see Figure 17):
        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/notyet/submitted_Miller_etal.pdf

        2. You have no deep ocean measurements for much of the period under study.

        There is data (with uncertainties) down to 2000 meters, and a few studies that go much deeper, such as Azaneu et al JGR 2013, Kouketsu et al JGR 2011, and references therein.

      • Argo was implemented in 2007. So now you call 6 years enough to read the tea leaves? I don’t think so. You can have a billion measurements over the 6 years – it’s still 6 years, nonetheless.

      • Don’t forget we also have sea level records.
        http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

        Sea level rise continuing = oceans still heating up.

        The evidence that the world continues to warm is quite overwhelming.

      • Sea level isn’t due only to heat.

      • so you are proposing that greenland and antarctic melt have sharply accelerated?

      • Are you proposing that heat and ice melt are the only inputs to sea level?

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Steven Mosher said:

        “Here is a clue. Long ago a bunch of us argued that air temps were a poor metric. Guess what. We we argued that OHC was better, idiots like you shouted us down. maybe because Pielke was making the same argument.”

        ——-
        The fundamentals have always pointed to the oceans in looking for the best metric. The troposphere was only the most convenient metric but its low thermal inertia and reliance on the oceans for such a large part of its energy meant that natural variability could cause the troposphere to be an exceptionally poor proxy for AGW over certain time frames. Pielke Sr. Has suggested that moist enthalpy be used over simple sensible heat for atmospheric energy changes, and this at least helps to take some of the noise out of the tropospheric signal and gives a better idea of how much more energy even the troposphere has been adding. But overall, OHC is of course the most stable and relatively noise free proxy for energy gain in the Earth system.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist | September 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
        “But overall, OHC is of course the most stable and relatively noise free proxy for energy gain in the Earth system.”

        But since the mechanism of AGW is warming of the troposphere, if the troposphere isn’t warming, any increases in OHC during that period cannot be attributed to AGW.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Steven Mosher claims “Intergenerational justice requires intergenerational control: global intergenerational control, and enforcement.”

      Ronald Reagan’s farsighted brand of conservatism is far wiser than your shortsighted brand of libertarianism, eh Steven Mosher?

      As for Judith Curry’s unilateral short-term restriction of climate science’s horizon, that restriction has no rational justification at all!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Steve

      Can you show how you derived the 30-50 year system delay? I am skeptical that you can something that more than supposition on those figures but mybe I am wrong

    • Steven, “If you think like FOMD, if you think that we must take action today to control the outputs for 1000′s of years…”

      Fortunately, none of us think like FoMD. And even those among us who think CO2 is a control knob don’t believe that a (benevolent) dictatorship would be able to intelligently turn it up and down at will and on time.

      To be honest, I can’t be sure that FoMD isn’t an A.I. Senior Thesis that’s been left running. There’s certainly no there there.

    • Any actions we take today on C02 will be fundamentally de coupled from the weather we will see in the next 30-50 years.

      Well, any 50 years not just the next 50 years, but +1 anyway.

      If you are concerned about the climate in 2100, then you’ll need to ditch democracy.

      Completely unproven speculation, presented as fact without due skeptical diligence let alone a comprehensive attempt to present validating and supporting data. Thus, -1

      Net result = 0, or in other words, same ol’ same ol’.

      • 1. all speculation is unproven, hence “unproven speculation” is redundant.
        2. my supposition is supported by, but not proved by, an understanding of control theory.
        3. There is no proof in these matters, there is only evidence for and evidence against.

      • 1. all speculation is unproven, hence “unproven speculation” is redundant.

        Well, now, there is a meaningful response. Internet grammar nannies the world over are standing to give you an ovation, steven.

    • “If you are concerned about the climate in 2100, then you’ll need to ditch democracy.”

      And since the problem is global, we need a thousand year empire.

      I hear Germany is getting bored with just paying all the EU’s bills….

      • yep. a thousand year empire with the ablity to impose ultimate sanctions.

        Now I dont think that people Like FOMD or Joshua actually believe this totalitarian control is

        A) needed
        B) desireable

        But, from a practical standpoint if you think you need to control the temperature over a 1000 year period, then of course you want entities and mechanisms to enforce this control. This is just an engineering perspective of the problem.

        Note. Im not arguing that warmists WANT this. Im not arguing that they are closet totalitarians. I’m arguing that if they thought about the problem as an engineer, they ditch the idea that the controls could be reset on a democratic basis.

      • “I’m arguing that if they thought about the problem as an engineer, they ditch the idea that the controls could be reset on a democratic basis.”

        Well that would take all the fun out of it. The whole point of being a default progressive is being able to feel superior without actually, you know, thinking about anything.

        The new Thousand Year Climate Reich would just be the ultimate authority to whom they could appeal.

      • steven -

        I’m arguing that if they thought about the problem as an engineer, they ditch the idea that the controls could be reset on a democratic basis.

        Thanks for the charity. But there are quite a few problems there.

        The first question is whether “thinking about the problem with an engineer” would be sufficient. There are more than one way to think about problems, and one way to think about a problem is rarely sufficient. The second problem is proving that everyone who “think[s] about the problem as an engineer” would agree with your conclusion. And the third problem is that, IMO, you aren’t really thinking about the problem as an engineer because you are claiming certainty when, (1) you haven’t done the due diligence of validation that a good engineer would require and, (2) certainty is, in fact, impossible in this situation even if you do your best at due diligence.

        I think of an interview I heard recently that discusses the different perspective on the “deterrence” value of the death penalty as broadly seen among economists versus criminologists. I think of it because it is another situation where people seem to be mistakenly think that they can draw conclusions from empirical evidence when, at best, they should be talking about quantifying uncertainties:

        http://www.npr.org/2013/09/19/221451565/years-after-historic-ruling-execution-still-a-random-justice

      • steven -

        Well that would take all the fun out of it. The whole point of being a default progressive is being able to feel superior without actually, you know, thinking about anything.

        And as if on cue, GaryM steps right up to manifest the fallacy – generated out of his elitist attitudes – that were intrinsically embedded in your comment. He mistakenly shows that the alternative to your well-meaning charity implies a lack of thought – when in reality the best that you might validly argue is a lack of thought from an engineer’s perspective. (But as a noted, even there you are on shaky ground unless you can somehow prove that all engineers would agree with your perspective. If you have some evidence to support that conclusion, please link).

        When you have demagogues like Gary, you have to close up all the loopholes, because they gravitate to them like water seeking low ground.

        Please note – I am singling out Gary in this regard. The categorizing word is demagogues. Not “skeptics.” Not “conservatives.” Generalizing about “skeptics” or “conservatives” in such a regard would be, essentially, nothing other than a manifestation of motivated reasoning. Just as is Gary’s incessant generalizing about “progressives” and about, in fact, anyone who disagrees with him about basically anything. Even people who self-identify as “conservatives,” Gary, in his elitist wisdom, explains aren’t “conservatives,” but in fact “progressives” who, of course fit is demeaning generalizations.

      • Joshua

        ‘The first question is whether “thinking about the problem with an engineer” would be sufficient.”

        Who argued that it was?

        ‘The second problem is proving that everyone who “think[s] about the problem as an engineer” would agree with your conclusion. ”

        Their agreement or disagreement is immaterial. And, I dont think you could prove or disprove anything here. Proof is for math or logic. This isnt either.

        “And the third problem is that, IMO, you aren’t really thinking about the problem as an engineer because you are claiming certainty when, (1) you haven’t done the due diligence of validation that a good engineer would require and, (2) certainty is, in fact, impossible in this situation even if you do your best at due diligence.”

        Well, wrong on several counts. First, I’m not making any knowledge claims. This is a practical problem not an epistemic one. My practical experience with control systems says that if I want to control my cars speed, I better not let anybody else touch the pedal. That if I set the cruise control and let my kids play around with the pedal, that my goal of control is not safe.

    • Steve:

      What do you propose in place of a democracy? Theocracy? Dictatorship? Some kind of platonic neverland run by philosopher kings? Who gets to choose the leader? What happens if the new leader decides to kill all the climate scientists? What happens if the new leader decrees that the earth is flat and to disagree is a capital offence? What makes you think the general population is not capable of determining truth?

      Cheers

      JE

      • Im not reccommending anything. I’m merely noting that if you are committed to a 1000 year time horizen that democracy is probably not an optimal control system.

        My own view of the proper time horizen is immaterial

      • Steve:
        You said:
        “I’m merely noting that if you are committed to a 1000 year time horizon that democracy is probably not an optimal control system.” Fair enough. I disagree. I think it is the only control system that can’t be coopted by vested interests. I guess we are at an impasse as there is no way to prove either view.
        Cheers
        JE

    • Steven Mosher:

      “Imagine flying a plane where the plane’s response to yanking on the stick didn’t happen for minutes.”

      It’s an interesting subject.
      Can you imagine trying to land that plane in a gusty cross wind? In order to fix the problem, you’d increase the effects of the control surfaces. Without a fix, you could have a plane that is stable, but nearly un-flyable. However it may be that the Climate will not be asked to execute a good landing, and can just fly around higher up where it’s safer. Perhaps another consideration is that with a delayed response is that control inputs will be held against the stops too long, waiting for enough to change. A very stable aircraft will minimize the effects of such pilot errors. The problem of a pilot trying to stay ahead of the plane. Pilot induced oscillating behavior.

    • I had not expected the motivation to surface so quickly. As I wrote above at http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/20/co2-control-knob-fallacy/#comment-383141
      Semantics at work: “The “control knob” paves the way for the issue of who controls it.”

      Steven Mosher at http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/20/co2-control-knob-fallacy/#comment-383260
      “If you are concerned about the climate in 2100, then you’ll need to ditch democracy.” And later, “NOBODY can mess with the setting you make on a dial. Put another way, intergenerational justice requires intergenerational control: global intergenerational control, and enforcement.”

      Control by political bureaucracy has an amazing track record: Solyndra, LightSquared, A123 (bankrupt, sold to China), Fisker, Fast And Furious, General Electric, GM suspending Chevy Volt production due to low demand (3/2/2012), BrightSource Energy Inc. (back-scratching loan guarantee 1.2 billion).

      And the “global” government wants 1% of the take (UN Agenda 21).

      Control according to a political agenda engenders favoritism: Strassel, Kimberley A. “Washington’s Latest Special Favor.” Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2013, sec. Potomac Watch. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324522504579000792763966698.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_BelowLEFTSecond

      And destruction: EPA/DOE E85 gasoline: extortion, prices, destruction of cars, drive citizens into cities, corporate favoritism, corporatism, scarcity.

  37. Willie writes with his usual solid sense of fair play, “Thank you, Judy. It’s not that you agree with the piece, just that you find it well-argued. Glad you cleared that up.”

    This could have been written by Josh himself, so gratuitously nasty is it. Except it would have taken him at least 3 unspeakably tedious paragraphs.

    So Willard, you honestly can’[t see how both things are possible?

    • Except it would have taken him at least 3 unspeakably tedious paragraphs.

      As always, PG, thanks for “accidentally” reading.

      You have no idea how much it means to me.

    • It would be nice if Joshua could mail his stuff to Willard for editing beforehand. They are both insufferable, but at least Willard has the partially-redeeming quality of brevity.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Poker.

      You ask:

      > So Willard, you honestly can’[t see how both things are possible?

      Yes, I do see the possibility. Why would you think otherwise? You seem to presume that my question was rhetorical. It was not.

      I know that people do that all the time. In the twitterverse, there’s even a saying: “retweets do not constitute endorsements”. Or something like that.

      And please bear in mind that I come from philosophy. If I had to agree with everything philosophers say, I would not have much to quote, would I? I just had a Denizen jump at me because I quoted Bertrand Russell, because, well quoting Russell was quoting an eugenicist.

      What’s up with that, Poker?

      ***

      Besides, you do seem to wish to understand why else would I ask. That I can tell. First, I was showing Michael a way to proceed before calling BS. He presumed that this article was endorsed by Judy. By asking her the question, it was made clear that it was not. Perhaps my philosophy background helps me appreciate that Judy is the best authority to clarify what she means, and that I don’t have to read all her books, her articles, her notes and her private correspondence to do some hermeneutics on what she would answer to that question.

      ***

      What you may not appreciate is that there’s another reason why I asked that question. The reason got clarified a bit later: Judy does not tell what she liked about that Spectator op-ed. She only says that she finds it interesting, and that it contains good arguments.

      But she does not say which arguments are worthy of our consideration. I see a problem with that. It’s the same problem as with citing Ed Hawkins without mediating properly what she thinks of the graph, and what Ed himself thinks about that. This goes against the idea of having mediations.

      If I really wanted to know about which arguments Judy finds notewhorthy, I’d ask her. But I don’t. What I find most interesting is how, in the end, this op-ed only serves as another hook to excoriate the IPCC, which is the running theme of the blog these days.

      I may also suggest that Judy mediates her way out of the Spectator op-ed. But I won’t. Judy knows best what’s best for her, just like in respone to Richard Betts’ question:

      > What do you think about this?

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/15/leaked-ipcc-report-discussed-in-the-msm/#comment-380434

      which was to let us hear the sound of crickets.

      ***

      As you can see, I can be quite fortright. I owe this to Taylor Mali:

      Somehow, I prefer not to be, as it against what I’ve been told to do in e-salons. But it may happen that it’s needed. Perhaps now was such a time, considering the spite your comment seems to contain. Come what may, if that kind of answer does not please you, I suggest you should stick with your usual whipping boys.

      Thus I sincerely thank you for your question.

      • This is easy.

        Lets take some sample arguments from the piece

        ‘And while we are constantly reminded that ‘most scientists are agreed on climate change’, it is remarkable how many of the most prominent figures warning of climatic Armageddon are not themselves scientists. The chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, is a railway engineer. Al Gore, who shared a Nobel prize with the IPCC for his film of climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, is a failed US presidential candidate. Lord Stern, whose 2006 report provoked the then environment secretary David Miliband to say ‘the science is settled’, is an economist. Few scientists would make such a claim.”

        Long before his ‘two cultures’ lecture, C.P. Snow explained that science is a work in progress. The scientific mission is to take the best information available, ‘take some pointer readings, make a mental construction from them in order to predict some more’. If the prediction turns out to be right, he said, ‘the mental construction is, for the moment, a good one. If it is wrong, another mental construction has to be tried.’ So it is with climate change science. There is not much doubt that the planet is warming, and man is at least partially responsible. But the failure of the old prediction models make it clear that there is not a simple relationship between carbon emissions and global warming.

        Joshua? Willie? do you have issues with anything here?

      • Issue here?

        “As things have worked out, carbon emissions in the rich world have been falling anyway — not due to green taxes but to better technology, like fracking. Global warming is still a monumental challenge, but one that does not necessarily have to be met by taxing the poor off the roads and out of the sky. Sanity is returning to the environmental debate. Let us hope that, before too long, it also returns to British energy policy.

        1. emission have been falling in the US
        2. Fracking is playing a large role, but its not the only cause
        3. Global warming is a challenge
        4. It doesnt NECESSARILY have to be met with taxes on the poor.
        5. Sanity is returning. ok cheap shot.

        So, as afr as arguments go this is a good argument. Doesnt settle the issue of course. But I find no chewbacca here, a hint of ad homin, some over generalization. It could be tightened up and purified, heck willy could turn it into symbols.

      • issues here?

        ‘The failure of its predictions undermines the certainties which have been placed upon the science of climate change. Previous IPCC reports — and much of the debate over how to react to them — have appeared to treat the Earth’s climate as if it were a domestic central heating system, with carbon emissions analogous to the dial on the thermostat: a small tweak here will result in a temperature rise of precisely 0.2°C and so on. What is clear from the new IPCC report is that the science is not nearly advanced enough to make useful predictions on the future rise of global temperatures. Perhaps it never will be.

        1. the failure of predictions— undermine the certainties. well, lots to argue about this fralming game

        2. Previous reports APPEARED to treat C02 as it if were a fine control knob. If you read any of the literature you’ll see people make these sorts of claims.. 350, 450, focusing on black soot wont work, held optimization studies.. the very SRES themselves are founded on this dream of control.

        3. The report makes clear we cannot make useful predictions. A fair enough argument, wrong, but a fair take on things. The onus of course is explaning how useful our predictions are.

      • Always the groomer willard.

        It is obvious that few of the team ever took a class from taylor

        I make the kids wonder, ( wonder about the pause)
        I make them question. ( question those bristelcones)
        I make them criticize. ( criticize Mann)
        I make them apologize and mean it.
        I make them write.
        I make them read, read, read. ( the whole blog)
        I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful
        over and over and over again until they will never misspell
        either one of those words again.
        I make them show all their work in math ( HAHA)
        and hide it on their final drafts in English.
        I make them understand that if you’ve got this,
        then you follow this,
        and if someone ever tries to judge you
        by what you make, you give them this.

        Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
        Teachers make a goddamn difference! Now what about you?

      • > It is obvious that few of the team ever took a class from taylor [...]

        Look! It’s a bird! No, it’s a plane! No it’s the Kyoto Flames!

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/thekyotoflames

        ***

        My favorite sentence from the Spectator’s op-ed was:

        As Lord Lawson, former editor of this magazine, once pointed out, the time to be most fearful in politics is when a consensus emerges.

        http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-week/leading-article/9027511/a-climate-glasnost/

        ***

        For the unsuspecting reader, here’s where we can find Lord Lawson these days:

        http://www.thegwpf.org/who-we-are/board-of-trustees/

        ***

        Now, does that mean all the arguments in the op-ed are good ones?

      • “Now, does that mean all the arguments in the op-ed are good ones?”

        look a squirrel.

        I didnt see judith make that argument.

        This is pretty simple willard. Looking through all the arguments i’m trying to find some that I would call bad, or that you would call bad.

        Why? Because then I can ask Judith, ‘what did you think of this one?”

        You keep pretending that you can teach her something. Maybe make her read read read ( haha ), but you’re not a teacher. Shrugs

        In anycase there are a finite number of arguments in the article. I havent found a bad one yet. maybe you should count them.. twice.. and show your work

      • > look a squirrel.

        Huh?

        I thought this point was clear enough:

        In a mediated world, honest brokers would say which arguments from Spectator’s op-ed they consider strong, which ones they consider less strong, and which ones they considered weak, overplayed, suboptimal or whatnot.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/20/co2-control-knob-fallacy/#comment-383312

        Note that this point does not commit me to any analysis of the Spectator’s editorial, contrary to what Mosphit presumed above.

        ***

        This “mediation” point was repeated in another comment:

        [J]udy does not tell what she liked about that Spectator op-ed. She only says that she finds it interesting, and that it contains good arguments.

        But she does not say which arguments are worthy of our consideration. I see a problem with that. It’s the same problem as with citing Ed Hawkins without mediating properly what she thinks of the graph, and what Ed himself thinks about that. This goes against the idea of having mediations.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/20/co2-control-knob-fallacy/#comment-383496

        Our emphasis. One can also see why the mediation point matters.

        ***

        These two quotes explain why I ask: does that mean all the arguments in the Spectator’s editorial are good ones? Because, well, if Moshpit says “this is easy”, the “this” should refer to an analysis that determines which arguments Judy believes are worth our consideration, right? At least from the standpoint of her most lukewarm fan.

        Maybe Moshpit is as good as keeping note of the topic as he is good at counting questions and answers.

        Or maybe it’s just a vocabulary thing [1].

        [1] http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/31268600509

        ***

      • > You keep pretending that you can teach her something.

        Huh?

        Since I reminded Judy that she’s no Denizens’ teacher, that would be troublesome.

        And coming from someone who tried to mansplain medians, that is pure gold.

        The point of referring to Taylor Mali was because Poker appealed to honesty.

        Your whiteknighting is getting silly, Moshpit.

  38. After reading through the aforementioned and at the risk of being too simplistic, I wonder if some readers are missing some of the basics (or is it just me)
    It was known 100 years ago that the IR frequencies absorbed by CO2 were all being absorbed by the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Thus CO2 would definitely be a control knob until the point of that saturation.

    Then came an understanding of quantum mechanics and related to that another fact, CO2 is a homogeneous gas and water vapor is about the only atmospheric gas that is not, and is in fact highly variable.

    Now a point which I seem to never see mentioned is that if there is an increase in CO2 then the Saturation point will be reached at a lower altitude which from the radial emissions from the CO2 should increase the strength of the downward radiation striking the earths surface (like having a closer sun) thus increasing the radiation from the earths surface.
    Which in turn might increase the amount of water vapor in the air the principal GHG.

    Now, at the same time we know that solar radiation contains the entire EM spectrum minus a little absorbed by the suns outer surface.
    I have never read of any consideration of the fact that in like manner the increased CO2 concentration may effect incoming solar irradiance by absorbing the those same frequencies at a higher altitude and having a greater amount emitted back into space.

    I know of no way, when measuring intensity of some radiation from some direction at some point, of determining from where that radiation originally
    came. So help me out, is this foolish thought? It is just the image of it all
    that I see.

    • CO2 on Earth isn’t close to saturation. It isn’t even saturated on Venus.

      The question about the IR component of sunlight is a good one, but if you calculate its strength from the Planck Law, using the Sun’s emission temperature, you’ll find it’s very, very small.

      • David, A — I was referring to lab experiments done by some of the CC forefathers that an amount of CO2 equivalent to that in the atmosphere blocked all the frequencies in the absorption spectrum and that was without considering overlapping with the H20 spectrum. So no mention of the Beer-Lambert Law or optical depth. It was at that point that the conclusion was that an increase in CO2 would have no effect.
        Perhaps there is confusion as to what the actual nature of the greenhouse effect really is, but I am sure you realize that it is quite evident that there is a parabolic decrease in warming with an increase in CO2. Going back almost 100 years there were suggestions made of a 2 deg C increase with a doubling of CO2 something which I mention because the whole debate seems to have boiled down to just what the climate sensitivity really is.
        From that decisions which effect our world need to be made and
        beyond that there is not much real importance as to who may be right or wrong.
        The more I study, the more I am in agreement with those who think the doubling figure is both small and unknown.
        RE solar radiation, I will have to do the calculation and learn something.

      • Darryl, I don’t know what experiments you’re bringing up, but decades and decades of careful work by many scientists have created a very good understanding of CO2′s spectrum (and other GHGs), and it is not saturated. Measurments show it absorbing more IR over the years:

        “Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997,” J.E. Harries et al, Nature 410, 355-357 (15 March 2001).
        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html

        “Comparison of spectrally resolved outgoing longwave data between 1970 and present,” J.A. Griggs et al, Proc SPIE 164, 5543 (2004). http://spiedigitallibrary.org/proceedings/resource/2/psisdg/5543/1/164_1

        “Spectral signatures of climate change in the Earth’s infrared spectrum between 1970 and 2006,” Chen et al, (2007) http://www.eumetsat.int/Home/Main/Publications/Conference_and_Workshop_Proceedings/groups/cps/documents/document/pdf_conf_p50_s9_01_harries_v.pdf

        “Radiative forcing – measured at Earth’s surface – corroborate the increasing greenhouse effect,” R. Phillipona et al, Geo Res Letters, v31 L03202 (2004)
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003GL018765/abstract

      • I think you mean, instead of “parabolic,” logarithmic. But the logarithmic response of CO2 only holds in a certain range. In fact, in Hansen’s famous 1988 paper he used a more complicated relationship (see the first equation in Appendix B):

        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1988/1988_Hansen_etal.pdf

      • David, It will not be the first time that I am thinking one thing and type another.
        I believe it was also in 1988 that Mr. Hansen predicted part of New York would be under water by now—and not from a hurricane.
        Also, I am sure you know that (as I recall)he predicited temperatures based on three emission possibilities. The lowest possible increase in temp would be if there were no more CO2 emissions at all. The observed temps have been below that scenario. Of course one can go talking of Hansen predictions, a good number of them outlandish, but IMHO in the end he will have hurt the study of climate change more than he has helped it because of the cry wolf effect.
        I have given a cursory look at his work you referred to before and a little more now, but in the end what reason should I have to believe some of it (and thereby anything from Mr. Gore) when a good part of it is so drastically wrong?

  39. Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy Alert!

    I think that Lacis makes a plausible argument, from which I infer that without CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate would more closely resemble the climate of its moon rather than the current Earth’s climate. For reference, the surface temperature of the moon can swing between -150°C during the night and 120°C during the day. (pay attention, greenhouse effect deniers).

    (Thinking along the lines of gbaikie 10:57 am, Greg House 11:15 am)
    What would be the climate on Earth with 1 atm of N2 and O2, Plus 400 ppm of CO2, 70% covered by ocean 4 km deep if its solar day was 655.7 hours? The only places on earth that I know that experience an unbroken 328 hours of night are brutally cold and great the dawn with high albedo.

    There would be 328 hours of straight sunlight, but that would fight high morning albedo, cooling convection, cloud formation from surface-hot, cold bottom melt-water pools. On the whole I think we would be looking at a snowball earth with spectacular melting processes and weather 100 hours either side of solar noon.

    None of these changes are GHG related. It is a function of surface composition, abundant water, a modest atmosphere, and physical heat transfer and heat capacity. What would be interesting to investigate is whether an increase in CO2 would make such a world warmer (greenhouse) or colder from greater heat transport on the night side convection storms from the freezing hotspots.

    The night side terminus would be a stormy place indeed! There would be a small croriolis force, but an incredible temperature gradient in the hours of dusk. Would permanent twin counter-rotating cyclonic storms set up from 0 to 60 deg N and S latitude drifting west with the slowly setting sun? Winds may prevent ice from forming a roof over a relatively warm melt basin. Instead of an smooth ice cap of water, you might get ice dunes from blown drift ice and snow.

    Earth with the same greenhouse atmosphere but a month-long solar day…. I don’t think we’d recognize the place.

    • And Rasey has just constructed a strawman.

      The reason we compare against the moon is because we wish to characterize the parameters, not because we want to create an equivalent environment.

      BTW, ask your oil industry benefactors for more money. You are probably not being compensated enough to offset the damage it iis doing to your scientific credibility.

      • Anyone who wants to use the Moon to characterize parameters in support of the greenhouse theory had better be prepared to explain why the Moon’s length of day is irrelevant. Otherwise, you argue from a false cause.

        If the Moon, with no atmosphere or water, with it’s current albedo, had a 1-hour day, its surface would experience temperature swings much more mild than it has now. If it had a non-GHG atmosphere, it would be different still.

        Do not attribute to GHG Theory properties and capabilities it doesn’t rightly deserve.

      • Rasey, You do not seem to understand how diffusional flow into a heat sink interacts with radiative heating and cooling. Wow.

      • @WHT
        … had better be prepared to explain why ….
        You are unprepared.
        We are not talking about a divide by 4 constant temperature surface. Radiant Heat Transfer is a function of temperature among other things.. Temperature is a function of heat conduction, heat capacity, thermal gradiants, and time. Time in the dark, time in the daylight is a function of the speed of rotation. Therefore Radiant Heat Transfer is a function of the speed of rotatin.
        I’ve explained my reasoning.
        You have not.
        You haven’t even explained you ad hominem — which is increasingly all you seem to contribute.
        .

      • Rasey,
        Modeling the moon’s temperature is a moderately involved homework problem. You call me unprepared, yet I document all my work, and you do nothing but supply disconnected rhetoric.

      • JCurry: I think that Lacis makes a plausible argument, from which I infer that without CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate would more closely resemble the climate of its moon rather than the current Earth’s climate.

        I have done nothing more than make the counter plausible argument that speed of rotation, the length of day and night, also plays a part, a big part, in the climate of the Earth. If the Earth with its GHG’s unchanged had a month long “day-night” cycle, the same as the Moon, the Earth climate would be “unrecognizable.” I made a plausible argument that the Earth’s max and min temperatures would increase in difference; a Snowball Earth (cold), with spectacular daily melting (warm daylight) and “brutally cold” nights.

        Does the Earth global average temperature change if we change the Earth’s rotation period from 24 hours to the Moon’s 655.7 hours? This is a real easy question WHT. Possible answers are:
        a) No. Global Temperature is only a function of GHG’s. Speed of rotation is irrelevant.
        b) Yes. Albedo increases, average Global Temperatures drop. With Higher daily maxes, Lower Minimums.
        c) Yes. But I don’t know which way or why. But GHG’s aren’t the whole story.
        d) I haven’t a clue.
        e) I choose throw more insults instead of answering the technical question.

      • The moon’s climate is a moderately involved homework problem and it has the same insolation as the earth but different albedo and rotation speed, so it can be used to destroy most of the krank theories that seem to reappear with regularity. These are the “climate zombies”, as Richard Alley is fond of noting.

        BYW, I never said the CLIMATE would be the same on a no-GHG earth and moon but that the time-averaged temperature would be about the same. It appears that you were quote-mining this paragraph and attributed it to me:

        “JCurry: I think that Lacis makes a plausible argument, from which I infer that without CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate would more closely resemble the climate of its moon rather than the current Earth’s climate.”

        Rasey, I suggest you take your beef up with Curry or give it a rest.

      • @WHT: Rasey, I suggest you take your beef up with Curry or give it a rest.

        I did. My first post referred to Curry’s top post.
        In contrast to gbaikie, you chose to inject holier-than-thou ad homenem and not contribute constructively to the argument. Go back and read the thread tree from from 9/20 1:10 pm. Reflect. Then give it a rest.

    • (Thinking along the lines of gbaikie 10:57 am, Greg House 11:15 am)
      What would be the climate on Earth with 1 atm of N2 and O2, Plus 400 ppm of CO2, 70% covered by ocean 4 km deep if its solar day was 655.7 hours? The only places on earth that I know that experience an unbroken 328 hours of night are brutally cold and great the dawn with high albedo”

      Mercury has 4222.6 hour day.
      “The temperature of the surface of Mercury changes fromday to night. Before the sunrise the temperature on the surface of Mercuryis as low as 100 K (-170 °C) and by noon the temperature on the surfaceof Mercury rises to about 700 K (400 °C). ”
      http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/OlesyaNisanov.shtml
      Mercury gets as cold as our Moon. Does that mean that Mercury is cold?
      Certainly gets cold.
      It doesn’t matter how long the sun shine on one side of the Moon, it will
      not get much higher than 120 C.
      What determines this highest temperature is the solar flux [watts per square meter]. If Moon had same amount sunlight that mercury gets it
      would have a surface temperature about 700 K, also.
      But how cold it gets depends on length of it’s day. If the Moon had 24 hour day it would have a higher average temperature- it’s nights would not get as cold.

      As for your question about Earth if had long say.
      It seems tropics would more variation in temperature, the tropics with our 24 hour day, do not have much temperature variation. It seems probable
      that is earth had day was 655.7 hours, that in the tropic there would more cooler nights- it could drop to near freezing.

      “During the different seasons, the temperature in the humid tropics changes only very slightly: The daily maximum temperature during the warmest month reaches usually approx. 28 – 31 °C, in the coolest month approx. 24 °C. Also the fluctuations of the average yearly temperatures from year to year are only between 0.3 and 0.6 °C. Only the differences between the day and night temperatures are somewhat more pronouncedly: the fluctuation reaches 5 to 10 °C. ”
      http://www.meteoblue.com/en_GB/content/485
      It can’t get much warmer because of evaporation, but the night is long enough the air temperature could drop to freezing, and therefore significant lower what we call average global temperature. So instead this vast area having average temperature of around 24 C, it’s average could around 12 C. If 40% of Earth surface area [the tropics] average temperature lowers by 12 C, that alone is going lower global temperature by about 5 C.
      But this will not have significant effect on ocean temperature- it’s even possible ocean average temperature could increase- because this could reduce clouds in tropics. So as guess one lower average global temperature by 10 C or more and increase ocean average temperature by few degrees.
      So air temperature decreasing significantly and ocean temperature staying about the same, or even getting warmer.

      • It can’t get much warmer [in the tropics] because of evaporation, but the night is long enough the air temperature could drop to freezing, …
        But this will not have significant effect on ocean temperature- it’s even possible ocean average temperature could increase- because this could reduce clouds in tropics.

        I did not follow that logic. I agree that evaporation will limit tropical temperatures, but clouds must form. The daylight oceans, assuming they are oceans and not melt pools over thick ice, would I think be heavily populated by thunderstorms, increasing heat flow via convention and increasing over-ocean albedo. So I see a net average temperature reduction for tropic land and sea. Couple that with an equator-ward advancing ice sheet. Steady state is a melting-freezing Snowball Earth.

      • @gbaikie 2:22pm
        It seems tropics would more variation in temperature, the tropics with our 24 hour day, do not have much temperature variation. …. in the tropic there would more cooler nights- it could drop to near freezing.

        Yes. I agree. Kiss the jungles good-bye. Pine forests might make it near the equator.

        Good point about the day-night aspects of Mercury.

      • “It can’t get much warmer [in the tropics] because of evaporation, but the night is long enough the air temperature could drop to freezing, …
        But this will not have significant effect on ocean temperature- it’s even possible ocean average temperature could increase- because this could reduce clouds in tropics.

        I did not follow that logic. I agree that evaporation will limit tropical temperatures, but clouds must form. The daylight oceans, assuming they are oceans and not melt pools over thick ice, would I think be heavily populated by thunderstorms, increasing heat flow via convention and increasing over-ocean albedo. So I see a net average temperature reduction for tropic land and sea. Couple that with an equator-ward advancing ice sheet. Steady state is a melting-freezing Snowball Earth.”

        So I mean entire ocean temperature not just top 100 meters.
        So our average temperature of ocean is around 4 C.

        So saying our 4 C ocean may increase in temperature by few degrees.
        I don’t think requires something as dramatic as significantly decreasing the rotational spin of the Earth to increase the temperatures of our ocean.
        As most of the Earth’s history over last billion years has had warmer oceans.
        And ocean requires thousands of years to change it’s temperature by couple of degrees. So not having sunlight for few weeks isn’t going to change it’s temperature. Though it will change the top few meters of water. In our short days the top few meter is not changed by day and night cycle, but with much longer days it would vary.
        But main thing is the cloudiness- does the longer days make it more or less cloudy over the tropics. If it made it less cloudy, then I believe the ocean would get warmer.
        One thing to note seems one is not going to get a hurricane lasting more than one of this long days. And hurricanes aren’t going to start in the morning, if you get them they will a late afternoon thing.

      • @gbaikie 8:56 pm
        One thing to note seems one is not going to get a hurricane lasting more than one of this long days.
        I’m not so sure about that. I postulated that there would be a large temperature gradient on the sunset terminus. The earth turns with a speed at the equator of only 33 mph. The Eye of the storm will be at 30 deg north and south. The eye just has to move westward at only a little under 30 mph to stay with the sun. This is possible. If it happens, then it is a perpetual cyclonic storm walking with the sunset. A stiff westerly wind at the equator between paired North (counerclockwise) and South (clockwise) cyclones on the sunset terminus.

        As most of the Earth’s history over last billion years has had warmer oceans.
        Do we really know this? The oldest ocean crust is Jurassic. Most of it Cretaeous and Tertiary.
        The Paleotemp Geologic record seems to show two states of the climate and more warm time than cold times. But even it it were true that most of the time the ocean was warmer than now, does that tell us what we’d have with slowly rotating Earth?

        So not having sunlight for few weeks isn’t going to change it’s temperature.
        We are talking two weeks of night, followed by two weeks of day, followed by two weeks of night, over and over. The oceans the could gain or loose a lot of heat every month. We do have thousands of years in this scenario. I think it will be a net loss, resulting ultimately in a Snowball. I could be wrong… maybe we become a cloudy hot house. But take a lesson from the tropics today. Afternoon thunderstorm are common after the surface is heated by the sun. In the discussed scenario, there are thunderstorms most of the day when we have liquid water in the sunlight. Clouds will regulate the daytime temperature.

        But little modulates the night time temperature loss. If the ocean ices over quickly, it might be a wash, but that’s when I thought that perpetual storms might stir up the oceans enough to a) prevent an early ice cap and b) turn over cold surface water and the deeper warmer water. Cold sinks, anyway. I think a cold ocean develops, icing up as ice caps grow from the poles.

      • “@gbaikie 8:56 pm
        One thing to note seems one is not going to get a hurricane lasting more than one of this long days.
        I’m not so sure about that. I postulated that there would be a large temperature gradient on the sunset terminus. The earth turns with a speed at the equator of only 33 mph. The Eye of the storm will be at 30 deg north and south. The eye just has to move westward at only a little under 30 mph to stay with the sun. This is possible. If it happens, then it is a perpetual cyclonic storm walking with the sunset. A stiff westerly wind at the equator between paired North (counerclockwise) and South (clockwise) cyclones on the sunset terminus.”

        It seems wild enough to be plausible:)
        If not perpetual hurricane, it’s possible that is a way to have storms last a long time.

        “As most of the Earth’s history over last billion years has had warmer oceans.
        Do we really know this? The oldest ocean crust is Jurassic. Most of it Cretaeous and Tertiary.
        The Paleotemp Geologic record seems to show two states of the climate and more warm time than cold times. But even it it were true that most of the time the ocean was warmer than now, does that tell us what we’d have with slowly rotating Earth?”

        I don’t know that ocean would be warmer.
        I think cooler air in tropics would tend to have less clouds.
        Though one might tend to get more low clouds, fog. But with a long day such fog should burn off well before noon.
        I point is it possible the ocean could be warmer despite “average global temperature” being cooler.

        Do know for certain the global climate of the past hundreds of millions of years?
        I am pretty certain there will be new things we will discover in the future, and such things can upset current understanding. But believe that it’s generally accepted that we are in unusually cold period for last few million years, I am not aware of anyone having evidence which disputes this.

        “So not having sunlight for few weeks isn’t going to change it’s temperature.
        We are talking two weeks of night, followed by two weeks of day, followed by two weeks of night, over and over. The oceans the could gain or loose a lot of heat every month. We do have thousands of years in this scenario. I think it will be a net loss, resulting ultimately in a Snowball.”
        Earth ocean gains or loses energy very slowly.
        Earth’s ocean heat is similar to Venus’ massive atmosphere- even if sun magically blink out of existence they would retain the heat for years.

        As mention previously [weeks, months ago] I don’t think snowball Earth is possible.
        I don’t even think Snowball Earth is possible if Earth were at Mars distance from the Sun.
        Nor do think Earth can become Venus like, even if at Venus distance- not while the Earth has oceans of water.

        Both Venus and Mars lack plate tectonics, and continuation of plate tectonic essentially allows the continuation of earth having oceans- in terms of a timescale up to few billions of years.
        I suppose since we imagining a slowing Earth rotation, in that context such a slow down could be factor in inhibiting plate tectonics.
        But I am generally assuming the level of plate tectonics we currently have, is uninterrupted.

        [Of course understanding regarding plate tectonics is *relativity* new, and perhaps surprising aspects will be discovered in the near future. Perhaps it not cautious to assume Earth has always had plate tectonic at same level we observe today, and will continue to have it billions of years into the future [assuming Earth and Sun as we know it, has more a 1/2 billion year future].

      • @gbaikie 1:52 am
        I think cooler air in tropics would tend to have less clouds.
        Let’s not mix average temps with maximum temps.
        With 330 hours of sunshine, there will be many more clouds to hold the max temps down in the topics. There are 330 hours to dissipate the clouds and get a cold night, even in the tropics. Average temps could be colder, but max temps could be higher, if only a little be higher thanks to modulation by more clouds.

        But I am generally assuming the level of plate tectonics we currently have, is uninterrupted.
        So was I. For simplicity, I was assuming no changes.
        I don’t know that Venus doesn’t have plate tectonics. Do you? Some of the Magellan topography leads me to suspect it does. I think plate tectonics are important for making dry land and topography to fight erosion. Were plate tectonics to stop on earth, we’d still have oceans, it is the continents we’d lose.

        As mention previously [weeks, months ago] I don’t think snowball Earth is possible.
        I am not familiar with your arguments. Were it not for the geological record, I would not think it possible either. But the geological record is clear that Ice Ages happened. The Geologic record points to an Oxygen Catastrophe, the biggest climate change in 4 billion years. I accept the possibility that one or more “lack of CO2-catastrophe” could cause Snowballs during 2 billion years of Pre-Cambrian evolution of life. I should note that my definition of “Snowball” is the weak one, liquid oceans under ice, probably equatorial band of daily open water. Maybe 90-99% ice cover.

  40. @D.A. “What makes you think water pollution laws won’t be overturned at some point?”

    Where did I say anything like that in my reply to you?

    MOre importantly, that’s the extent of your response? It would be pathetic if it weren’t so typical. You guys are your own worst enemies.

    • You wrote about carbon emission laws, “..what makes you so sure those laws wouldn’t be overturned at a later time?”

      I have the same question: what makes you sure water pollution laws won’t be overturned at some point? The questions have a lot of similarity….

      • David, Let’s back up (although I know I’m going to regret this.) You asked with respect to Mosher’s contention about ditching democracy if we’re worried about the year 2100: ““Why? We didn’t have to ditch democracy to deal with water pollution, or air pollution, or to require people to use a waste hauling service instead of dumping their trash in the street.

        Why is carbon pollution any different?”

        I answered that the thing speak for itself, explaining that by that I mean all one has to do is survey the political landscape to see that limiting so-called carbon pollution (It’s co2, a life giving trace gas, not a pollutant. ) in anything like the degree needed to effect a meaningful difference is simply not feasible. In fact, it’s looking less feasible by the month. I mentioned the turnaround in Australia. I might also mention that the pause is now being openly discussed in the MSM. That is *not* friendly to those lusting for draconian measures. Recent peer reviewed papers arguing less sensitivity are equally unfriendly

        So you presumably read my answer and all you seem able to come up with is a question that if you think about it for a second, only bolsters my point. I *agree* that it’s possible those other laws may be overturned, certainly in theory. Laws by definition can be overturned in democratic societies. That’s the worry, even if we could pass such laws concerning Co2 (the passage of which would be much more painfully disruptive that say, cleaning up the water.)Hence the need to in Mosher’s words, “ditch democracy.” Of course that begs the question whether such laws could be passed in the first place (to which I refer you to my discussion above).

        Do you see now?

        The essential difference is that WRT to the other problems you mentioned there was broad agreement. That agreement continues, (although there’s no guarantee it will in the future) There is no such agreement among todays voters concerning Co2. In fact, Obama is attempting to circumvent democracy right now, with his end run through the EPA.

        Please, David. I appreciate your willingness to engage. Explain what’s so mystifying about this.?

    • DA’s specialty is straw men.

  41. Well I laughed at the title, Judith. Perhaps it’s funnier in the British vernacular.

  42. Schrodinger's Cat

    The long term excellent temperature stability of the planet suggests that positive feedbacks are relative rare. Such feedbacks can spiral out of control and contradict the idea of a stable climate. Negative feedbacks are more likely.

    I support the idea of natural factors or processes that come into play and have the effect of stabilising the climate and countering change. I agree with
    Willis who talks about a climate governor not connected to forcings.

    The idea that carbon dioxide drives up the temperature and aerosols drive it down is true in isolation, but simplistic nonsense in a complex system with so many possibilities, with many of them cyclical and others completely random.

    The suggestion that carbon dioxide controls our global temperature is probably the single most influential factor in making me a sceptic. Now, many years on, I am beginning to feel that decision is vindicated.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      You need to consider rates of change in your analysis of positive and negative feedbacks. When natural negative feedback systems get overwhelmed by the rapidity of any given change, then a strong potential exists for positive feedbacks to dominate on shorter time scales.

  43. Multivariate observations prove (in the mathematical sense) that decadal-to-multidecadal natural variability is NOT “internal”. Suggesting otherwise ignorantly &/or deceptively (dark either way) asserts (implicitly) violation of at least 1 of the following laws:
    a) conservation of angular momentum.
    b) large numbers.
    There’ NO sensible way to evade this.

  44. “If you are concerned about the climate in 2100, then you’ll need to ditch democracy.”

    This comment deserves its own thread. Which is what makes it worth wading through the 90 percent of Mosher’s comments that are mere obscurantism. (OK, not “mere” obscurantism, he’s actually pretty good at it at times.) It is a concise and accurate distillation of the questions the warmists never discuss.

    What do you do to make the Russians, Chinese, Indians and African decarbonize? How do you keep the Australians, Canadians, Germans and other non-suicidal polities from reversing their carbon taxes and trading schemes, and “green energy investments”? How do you get the Americans to adopt the decarbonization policies the rest of the western world are already starting to back away from?

    And most important of all, once you get the CAGW wet dream of world wide control of the energy economy, how the hell do you keep it when the real, massive, immediate costs start to be paid by the people who are allowed to vote?

    The run of the mill default progressives have never even thought about these problems. They have been busy regurgitating the policy prescriptions of the real (movement) progressives, without a clue of what even the intended consequences are.

    An inconvenient truth indeed.

  45. “Until we get past the IPCC’s paradigm paralysis.”

    Quote of the week.

  46. So we ask the Magratheans to build us two duplicate Earths to the same blueprints as they used last time, but, we get them to give one a day-length of exactly one year and the other one we have rotating with a one hour day.
    In the first new-Earth we will have a similar temperature profile to the moon.
    On the fast-rotating Earth the poles will never freeze, there will be no ice cold saline falling to the bottom of the oceans, and this planet will be a lot warmer than our own.
    This whole Earth/Moon ‘GHG’ calculation is bogus.

    • Such control of everything (such as a control knob), is certainly comforting. But in the case of a very large negative feedback, its best to remember:
      Don’t Panic

  47. they can do miracles on paper; but in nature-zero. Climate is same as it was 5-10-20y ago. ZERO GLOBAL WARMING!

  48. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    Some weeks ago, I contacted Mr. Lacis and I asked him about his CO2 control knob. I was interested in knowing the scientific logical deduction that let him to publish that 2010 paper. He explained me some things but he couldn’t tell me that step-by-step deduction.
    He told me that: “I just completed and submitted a paper addressing this issue [...] This paper is written to describe in detail the physical basis for identifying atmospheric CO2 as the dominant control knob of terrestrial climate (water vapor and clouds are feedback effects that only magnify the CO2 effect)”.
    I have not found: in climatic papers, in books or in blogs that step-by-step deduction. May be he publishes that paper and I have to change my mind, but so far, I have to say that CO2 control knob is a fallacy.

    • It is difficult to know someone’s level and where to start with step by step explanations. For example, do you know what happens to earth’s radiation balance when you remove all the CO2 from the atmosphere?

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Jim D.,

        This is not a difficult question, nor one requiring very advanced physics to answer. The noncondensing nature of CO2 under conditions found on Earth makes it easy to understand how it gives support for the overall GH warming involving water vapor. Lacis did an excellent job explains this, and why CO2 is critical for keeping Earth from returning to an ice planet condition.

      • R Gates, it is hard to know where to start because perhaps this person doesn’t even know there is an energy balance. Obviously if he really read Lacis’s paper, he would have had a more specific question than this generality he posted, because there it is very clear why removing CO2 causes the earth to cool by 30 C. If there was a specific part of that reason he doubted, he should have asked that. As it is, we are guessing.

      • Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

        Hi Jim D, my level is much superior than the average. So, please, do not hesitate … if you can explain that step-by-step deduction, demonstrating that CO2 as the dominant control knob of terrestrial climate: just do it. (You can create a pdf file and post it in a blog or in google’s docs).

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Water vapour and CO2 will persist in the atmosphere as long as there is biology, volcanoes and oceans.

      In this removal hypothetical the temperature would be some 100 degrees cooler as ice sheets spread in snowball Earth.

      e.g. https://www.math.duke.edu//education/prep02/teams/prep-15/

      Plug in A=0.8 for snowball Earth and you get 186K.

      In reality albedo leads glacial/interglacial changes in the Quaternary and CO2 is a feedback. Yet people persist with this simplistic 33 degree nonsense as if it meant anything at all.

      • Earth’s radiative temperature to space is 255 K. Earth’s surface temperature is 288 K. The difference is 33 K. This difference is a real physical quantity whether you like it or not.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Earth’s radiative fantasy.

      • Jim D, Earth’s LWIR radiation is mostly atmospheric radiation (~90%) and a small fraction (~10%) is surface radiation. What’s Earth’s effective temperature got to do with the surface temperature? Apples and oranges.

      • The point is that they are different only because we have GHGs between them, 33 C worth, in fact.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Congratulations Jim – you have discovered greenhouse gases. I doubt that it is 33 degrees or directly measurable at all. The important facts are how this changes and what other factors change at the same time.

      • Jim D, they’re different because we have an atmosphere, which insulates the surface. An atmosphere with higher emissivity insulates less efficiently.

  49. The consistency of earth’s temperature over the centuries is due to the natural thermostat provided by the oceans, mostly in the southern hemisphere. I refer to latent heat of evaporation. For those vwho say that is cancelled out by the latent heat of precipation, I saynot so, because condensation occurs high in the troposphere where the heat can dissipate more readily into space, Although this helps to maintain the ‘pause’ I am not suggesting it is the cause. The cause lies in the trajectory and properties of the hot CO2 molecule.

  50. Dr. Curry:

    Please accept my apologies. I read your blog daily though rarely the comments. I had a question and I asked it. In asking, I was baited and responded. Badly. Please accept my apology. Won’t happen again. The responding to bait, that is. I’ll keep asking questions.

    JE

  51. If CO2 could be a control knob, the much more common water vapor would have been a feedback to itself and driven us into melt down aeons ago during some natural warming period..

    Seriously folks, did no one ever consider this before??

    • Water vapor is a positive feedback but it is not a runaway positive feedback because of the way that Arrhenius rate laws are activated with temperature. It goes as exp(-a/T), which is a weak positive feedback.

      This post describes the feedback:
      http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/climate-sensitivity-and-33c-discrepancy.html

      • Webbie you moron,

        how is that pezk Big Orl working out for you??

        CO2 is a very weak forcing also. You just described virtually the same scenario. Don’t you pay any attention to the Peer Reviewed Papers??

        Oh, right, you get your talking points from Alarmist blogs I guess!!

        The hilarious part is that you may be immensely smarter than me, but, you have decided to tie yourself to lying liars!!

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

      • kuhnkat,
        Did you get your higher education yet? Or are you just high?

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      No, because scientists understand the rock-carbon cycle, and know that eventually through rock weathering CO2 will be brought back down– the problem is the human carbon volcano has overwhelmed these natural feedback processes.

      • RGASW,

        uh, aren’t we talking about the IPCC projection period of 100 years??

        Rock weathering would take longer than Webbies Peak Big Orl to make a serious contribution.

    • David Springer

      Correct. I’ve never seen a credible explanation of what prevents a runaway greenhouse effect in the presence of so-called water vapor amplification. It’s nonsense. The hydrologic cycle is self-limiting via clouds which reflect the energy that causes water to evaporate and form clouds in the first place. This can be seen in the beginning of each interglacial period where temperature shoots up like a rocket each time then hits a ceiling temperature where the rise stops. The ceiling temperture is the same each time and is never again attained during that interglacial period. I believe the most credible explanation for that ceiling is that cloud cover reaches an equilibrium point where shading of the surface by the clouds halts any further temperature increase and any further increase in total cloud cover. Simple, elegant, and very likely correct IMO.

      • Right. There is lip service about how water vapor is a weak positive feedback and CO2 outgassing is a weak positive feedback with little effort to determine how weak and why. With water vapor already experiencing super saturation and CO2 forcing suppose to cool the upper atmosphere, it is a bit like a Chinese fire drill. It occurs to me that they may possibly have no clue what they are doing.

      • David, you have to consider the proposed ‘equilibrium’ of CO2 dissolved in the ocean surface too. One volcano means a rise in CO2, heat enters the ocean, water vapour and atmospheric CO2 both rise, so ocean heating increases until he oceans boil away.

  52. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    Of course CO2 is the “control knob”. As the primary noncondensing GH, is has long residence time in the atmosphere and won’t create as the rapid cascading positive feedback effect that water vapor does when temperatures start to cool, but (like all control knobs), CO2 can preserve it’s best effects through negative feedback UNDER APPROPRIATE GEOLOGIC TIMEFRAMES. Without CO2, the planet would very quickly return to an ice planet situation. On the other hand, when CO2 gets very high, the hydrological cycle is enhanced (yep, we get more and heavier rain) and the frock weathering from this reduces CO2 through thr rock-carbon. The problem here is that this process takes thousands of years and the human carbob volcano has overworked the natural negative feedback process.

    • “Without CO2, the planet would very quickly return to an ice planet situation.”
      Well, with 400 ppm we are without much CO2 in atmosphere and we are in a ice planet situation.
      But think CO2 is the effect rather than it’s lack making Earth into ice box with large polar ice caps.

      With Mars one has a very cold planet, with little agreement on it’s exact average temperature, but it’s somewhere around -50 C. It’s atmosphere is very thin- that one could mistake it for a vacuum is understandable for Earthling living on a planet with more than 100 times the amount of atmosphere. Mars atmosphere is similar to Earth at 100,000 feet elevation, and above 45,000 feet on Earth you need a pressure suit to breathe. So if Mars had 50 times more atmosphere, humans could mistake it for a vacuum- they can’t breathe- hence must not be any air.

      On Mars if the atmosphere were to freeze out, you would get a bit more than 3 inches of CO2 snow covering the surface.

      With Earth, you get about 40 feet of liquid or solid nitrogen and 400 ppm of CO2 amounts to less than .2 inches of CO2 snow covering the surface.
      Very unlikely we could get significantly less CO2 in Earth atmosphere- in terms purity of 99.9%, we are nearly completely free of CO2 in our atmosphere.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Take out the CO2 and Earth begins to cool. During that cooling, more water is condensed from the atmosphere and then the atmosphere cools even more. Eventually ice forms over the ocean from pole to equator. At this point, nearly all heat exchange between ocean and atmosphere and sun to ocean is eliminated. We have something much like Antarctica with ice covering the whole planet. Ice with a very cold and dry atmosphere. Welcome to ice-house Earth.

      • RGASW,

        yes you get cooling, until the reduction in water vapor significantly reduces the amount of clouds and you get more insolation you MORON!!!

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

      • kuhnkat,

        Did you forget about the increase in albedo from increased snow/ice by any chance?

      • “Take out the CO2 and Earth begins to cool. ”
        Taking out a hundred of billion of CO2 is not an effective way to cool the Earth. Nor is adding hundred of billion of CO2 an effective way to warm Earth.
        Just as requiring people to jump and down is not an effective way to move Earth.
        Having government force people to remove CO2 is simply bad government. Just as having a government require people to jump up and down in order to move the earth would a bad government.
        Having a government controlling Earth temperature without the public agreeing that this is something a government should doing is a bad government.
        Good government has allowed it’s citizens to be wealthy and free, bad government has done the opposite. There is a lot of bad government on Earth, and there is serious shortage of good government.

        If the people on Earth could be given a choice, it’s not clear that most people would want a warmer or cooler world. The best solution would be that people in different regions could get either warmer conditions or cooler conditions. It seems that Canadians or Russians would want a cooler climate.

        But if start from the premise that what this world needs is for there to be cooler conditions in general. And if some entity were charged by the public to take action to cause the world to cool. Then removing CO2
        from the atmosphere would be very poor and uncertain way to cause global cooling. It doesn’t even have get down to how exactly it is done, and what specifically wrong with it [such pumping it underground- or taxing poor people to discourage activities related to CO2 emission].
        If it was cheap, such 1 cent a ton of CO2 ‘safe, and completely secure”
        removal of CO2- it still would a bad way to cool earth. It would be ineffective, expensive, and not result in cooling,

      • Yep, CO2 is the pilot light, not a control knob.

    • RGASW,

      do y’all ever THINK about the BS you spew??

      Let me try and make clear the fallacy of your “elegant’ residence time BS.

      If you have one CO2 molecule that lasts until the heat death of the universe or googles of water vapor molecules that only last for one day, which have more effect on the planet??

      DUUUUUUUUUUH!!!

      We have quite a bit of non-condensed water vapor in the atmosphere ALL the time. Trying to tell me that adding a tiny bit more CO2 is going make a significant difference greater than the natural variations of water vapor only goes to show what kind of loons you people are!!

      You ever hear the term, Special Pleading??

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

      • David Springer

        Literally water *vapor* isn’t half of it. The global ocean is The Big Kahuna. Where it goes the atmosphere follows.

    • David Springer

      What would happen without an ocean?

      Has anyone tried removing the global ocean from GCM model to see what would happen?

  53. Control knobs are redundant in automated systems but there is plenty of scope for dynamical influences to impact on the trajectory of climate. Humans are not mere on-lookers, however, and they should minimise their footprint on this planet as much as economics and morals allow.

  54. Cook and Nuccitelli have had one of their papers rejected in what is a large spanking.One of the foremost and fatal issues was the absence of science in their paper (usually a prerequisite for a science paper) eg

    First, I do not think the structure of the paper works. The long, didactic introduction is not appropriate for this journal and all the meat of the paper is currently in the appendix which is a strange place for it. Indeed, as currently structured there is no paper in this paper, i.e. there is no actual science (hypothesis, testing of a hypothesis) in the main body. The historical lessons and systemization of error may be scholarship, but not in this (ESD) field and may be more appropriate for a different audience (I’m thinking Physics Today or a philosophy of science journal)

  55. Most of the WUWT contributors and regulars are math illiterates. Contributors such as Willis Eshenbach are certainly talented in a self-taught kind of way but he obviously uses that talent to manipulate the readership in bizarre directions. Have to give Leif Svalgard credit for trying to squash all the misconceptions regarding solar activity.

    • Your maths leave much to be desired. You’re like Otto in “A Fish Called Wanda”. Yes, monkeys read Nietzsche. But, they don’t understand it.

    • Your mathematical skills leave me with a profound understanding of the ability of humans to find form in confusion, clouds look like camels or weasel’s or whale’s.

      • Well, one of us is right, and the other wrong. Right now, the wind is blowing in my direction. Watch and see what happens.

    • WebHubTelescope
      Most of the WUWT contributors and regulars are math illiterates.

      Seems then math illiterates are better than math literates in seeing that models are out of whack with measurements, and getting more so.

      • Well, yes and no. The problem is the self-styled math “literates” actually have poor “grammar” skills, but like some Ozarks mountain men, they never travel outside their own community, and have never heard the language spoken properly.

  56. It is very simplistic to go from “Without the radiative forcing supplied by CO2 and the other non-condensing greenhouse gases, the terrestrial greenhouse would collapse, plunging the global climate to an icebound Earth state” to “a small tweak here will result in a temperature rise of precisely 0.2°C and so on.” This kind of thinking implicitly assumes a linear, or at least monotonic, sensitivity of the function which relates CO2 concentration to surface temperature.

    The global function could be anything, with local maxima and minima. The statement that the Earth is warmer with greenhouse gases than it would be without them is undoubtedly true, but this is a global, bulk property. It does not imply that an incremental increase in greenhouse gases from a particular level will definitely result in an incremental increase in surface temperature. The function could look like this, in which an increase beyond a local maximum might even induce cooling of surface temperatures.

    It is the difference between drawing a secant line and a tangent line. Given a function in which the secant is always positive in slope, it does not follow that the tangent line also will necessarily be positive in slope at every point. We appear to be at a point on the curve in which the tangent line, i.e., the partial derivative of surface temperature with respect to CO2 concentration, is effectively zero slope. There is no discernible warming from incremental increase in CO2 at all.

  57. I am not so sure that an atmosphere without GHGs but with O2 and N2 would resemble the moon. Sure, ground temperatures would swing wildly, but air temperatures would be warmed by convection and not cool so easily without the GHGs to radiate the heat. The air would only lose heat to the ground by conduction at night, an inefficient process, and should stay at the day-time value. Generally everything would be ~33 C colder, however.

  58. Without the radiative forcing supplied by CO2 and the other non-condensing greenhouse gases, the terrestrial greenhouse would collapse, plunging the global climate to an icebound Earth state.

    Wow. CO2 is listed first and the influence of CO2 is very small compared to Water Vapor and Water. What are you alarmists smoking?

  59. For CO2 to be the control knob, a *necessary* condition is that the atmosphere needs to keep warming, as CO2 is warmed by reflected longwave, and conducts this heat to the remainder of the atmosphere.

    But it hasn’t done that for some 17 years now.

    This means that the CO2 effect – which noone denies – has not been in control for some 17 years now.

    It also means that any claimed warming of the deep oceans during these 17 yearsperiod, also cannot be an effect of CO2.

  60. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  61. @ R.Gates 9/21 10:34 pm:
    But overall, OHC is of course the most stable and relatively noise free proxy for energy gain in the Earth system.

    By what measure?
    To what precision?
    Over what time frame?
    What is the justification for such a statement?

    To my eyes, that statement if true damns Climate Science with faint praise. The measure of OHC is through temperature profiles. From where do they come and for how long? See: Ocean Heat Content and History of Measurement Systems (WUWT 7/24/13)

    Here is a chart of Ocean Heat content from 1955 to 2012, with an overlay of measurement program history:
    http://i41.tinypic.com/2rrwj5u.jpg
    Y axis (left) in Joules and Y axis right in deg C. Measured range is 120 ZetaJoules[1] and 0.05 deg C based upon 0-2000m water column). Three series: 0-100m, 100-700m, 700-2000m.
    The image is from Willis Eschenbach, May 10, 2012 (Source NOAA/NODC) where I overlaid the temp scale and the phases of ocean temperature measurement programs. The warming recorded on the chart is largely the product of attempting the merge of 5 hopelessly under-sampled measurement programs with 3 phases of under-sampled ARGO over too short a history with unrealistic precision.

    Only since 2007 have we 300 profiles a day for the entire ocean surface down to 2 km — which is barely 50% of the water column. We averaged 100 profiles per day from 2004-2007 while the ARGO fleet was growing. From 1988 to 2004 the ALACE program provided maybe 50 profiles per day down only to 1 km and its primary mission was ocean circulation, not temperature measurement. Prior to 1988, the measurement of ocean temperatures was experimental and very clustered. Honest error bars priors prior to 2004 are gigantic and swamp any measured signal.

    Even today, we ask each ARGO float to give us the average temperature of 240000 km^3 of ocean, reporting once every 10 days. Does that sound well sampled to you? George E Smith thinks ARGO doesn’t pass the Nyquist test. I think it fails Nyquist in at least 5 dimensions. (2/3/12)

    OHC trend studies don’t have an accurate leg to stand on. They have not been measured long enough, nor widely enough, nor with enough precision for the phenomena measured. If OHC has “the most stable and noise free” temperature proxy in Climate Science, then neither does any other proxy.

    [Note 1: always convert (at least in your head) OHC numbers like 1.5×10^22 Joules into 15 ZJ
    1 ZetaJoule (ZJ) is 1.00E+21 joule
    Heat to raise upper 2km Ocean 1 deg K = 2730 ZJ / deg K
    Or 27 ZJ raises the upper 2km of the ocean 0.01 deg C.

  62. A thought experiment. Imagine a planet the size and mass of the earth with a surface similar to that of the moon. Now imagine the atmosphere is pure nitrogen gas. Now calculate the max and min temperatures. Remember a transparent gas can be warmed by surface contact. How does it cool?

    • “A thought experiment. Imagine a planet the size and mass of the earth with a surface similar to that of the moon. Now imagine the atmosphere is pure nitrogen gas. Now calculate the max and min temperatures. Remember a transparent gas can be warmed by surface contact. How does it cool?”

      Surface radiates heat.

      Assuming rotates like earth.
      It would extremely unlikely to be pure nitrogen- as in 99.999 pure.
      And the lunar surface is formed in vacuum and due to billions of years
      of various size impactors. An atmosphere would prevent small impactor crashing onto the surface at average velocity of 20 km/sec.
      Rather than like the Moon it’s surface would more similar to Mars- billions year erosion caused by the wind.
      But if one ignores dust and the wind which could quite substantial and one assume the atmosphere is 99.999% nitrogen.
      Oh, is there plate tectonic and is the world similarly volcanically active as earth?
      Assuming it’s not and more like the Moon, but does have day around 24 hour and axis which is tilted around 20 degree.
      Hmm. Well say at equator. It would have more sunlight reaching the surface as there is no H20, or O3 blocking the sunlight, so on calm day
      would have temperature similar but slightly hotter than deserts on Earth, and the nights could reach temperatures near freezing.
      The surface can’t be like the Moon since there isn’t a vacuum, therefore the surface would absorb more heat and therefore would take longer to cool down. And therefore beneath the surface of sand [there would be a lot of sand and little bare rock due to no volcanic activity- no mountains on Earth have been standing for billions years, and so the mountains are mountain like Mars, Olympus Mons [so some volcanic activity], or formed by impactors, or built by the wind.] So beneath the sand the temperature should well above freezing.
      The tropic area of this planet same size of earth would still be region which gets the most solar energy, this energy would transferred to colder regions.
      In higher latitudes the sun would at lower angle and the sunlight would warm each square meter less. So as you go poleward [as on Earth] it gets
      cooler and a beneath the sand gets colder. If there was water to freeze the frostline on this planet would much nearer the equator as compared to Earth. And the poles would be colder than on Earth.
      One would have a lot wind, mainly the cold polar air flowing towards the equator.

      • That’s fair enough. Let’s accept a surface like mars. Rotation is 24 hours. The main point of my imaginary planet is that the nitrogen atmosphere will absorb heat via conduction from the surface. The impurities in the nitrogen do not have the capacity to radiate much, if any, of the thermal energy slowly building up in the nitrogen atmosphere. Surface radiation at night will be as for no atmosphere and will drop rapidly cooling the lower few centimetres of the nitrogen atmosphere. Sure, due to thermal pressure differences winds will develop to move warmed atmosphere pole wards etc. etc.. But when all is said and done the transfer of heat energy from a warm atmosphere to a cooler surface is nowhere near as efficient as heat transfer from a warm surface to a cooler atmosphere. So my claim is that the nitrogen atmosphere of this imaginary planet will eventually acquire thermal stability far above the equilibrium radiation level of the planet. No GREENHOUSE EFFECT needed.

      • An interesting thought experiment, Richard111.

        No H2O, No other GHG’s.
        The surface cools in the night, the atmosphere cools next to the surface, but density works against convection. A strong inversion layer sets up.
        Daylight heats the surface and contact lower atmosphere. Convection starts up. Winds. And DUST.

        Dust becomes a critical element in atmospheric temperature control. Dust will stay isothermal with the atmosphere in which it is suspended. Dust can radiate heat that the N2 atmosphere cannot. Dust substitutes for H2O as the albedo variable and as the radiator.

      • What Richard111 writes agrees with what I have proposed a couple of times both on this site and at Science of Doom.

        Heat transfer from the hot spot at the surface to the atmosphere is efficient as long as the near surface atmosphere is significantly cooler than the surface. In time the atmosphere will warm, because there will be a temperature inversion almost everywhere near the surface, and because that means that no efficient mechanism will remove heat from the atmosphere. When the temperature difference is small enough even the immediate neighborhood of the hottest spot will become calm. Ultimately the heating will not be any faster than heat transfer from the atmosphere trough the inversion layer to the surface that can radiate the extra heat to space.

        Calculating quantitatively the properties of such an atmosphere would require an atmospheric model built to work for this kind of atmosphere. I don’t think that any of the existing models could do that, the situation is too different for that.

        Without radiative heat loss from the top of the atmosphere, the circulation that maintains the lapse rate would also stop or at least be reduced very much. That would lead to a stratified atmosphere similar to stratosphere rather than troposphere. Ultimately we might have a hot atmosphere surrounding a cold planet. Temperatures would be equal only near the hot spot of the surface.

      • @Pekka
        The wildcard in Richard111′s model is that there is a temperature gradient in the daylight from equator to pole. Would that be enough to keep the atmosphere from losing a tropospheric lapse rate? Our stratosphere has winds and Mars has dust storms, but both have GHGs.

        Without surface winds the atmosphere won’t have dust except from micrometeorites. What then would limit the temperature of the atmosphere?

        There is a huge heat engine potential that builds between an ever increasing warming atmosphere and a cold ground. “Nature abhors a vacuume.” I think Nature is none to friendly to positive potential energy stores, too. But I cannot think of a natural process that would use that potential heat engine.

  63. Pingback: Actually not true | wholeygoat

  64. Pingback: The CO2 control knob fallacy? | And Then There's Physics

  65. Pingback: The heart of the climate dynamics debate | Climate Etc.