Rise in CO2 has greened planet Earth

by Judith Curry

We show a persistent and widespread increase of growing season integrated LAI (greening) over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated area, whereas less than 4% of the globe shows decreasing LAI (browning). Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models suggest that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend. – Zhu et al.

New from Nature Climate ChangeGreening of the Earth and its Drivers

Abstract. Global environmental change is rapidly altering the dynamics of terrestrial vegetation, with consequences for the functioning of the Earth system and provision of ecosystem services. Yet how global vegetation is responding to the changing environment is not well established. Here we use three long-term satellite leaf area index (LAI) records and ten global ecosystem models to investigate four key drivers of LAI trends during 1982–2009. We show a persistent and widespread increase of growing season integrated LAI (greening) over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated area, whereas less than 4% of the globe shows decreasing LAI (browning). Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models suggest that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend, followed by nitrogen deposition (9%), climate change (8%) and land cover change (LCC) (4%). CO2 fertilization effects explain most of the greening trends in the tropics, whereas climate change resulted in greening of the high latitudes and the Tibetan Plateau. LCC contributed most to the regional greening observed in southeast China and the eastern United States. The regional effects of unexplained factors suggest that the next generation of ecosystem models will need to explore the impacts of forest demography, differences in regional management intensities for cropland and pastures, and other emerging productivity constraints such as phosphorus availability.

Press Release

Phys.org has published the authors’ press release: CO2 Fertilization Greening the Earth.  (Nearly) complete text:

An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries has just published a study titled “Greening of the Earth and its Drivers” in the journal Nature Climate Change showing significant greening of a quarter to one‑half of the Earth’s vegetated lands using data from the NASA‑MODIS and NOAA‑AVHRR satellite sensors of the past 33 years. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees. Green leaves produce sugars using energy in the sunlight to mix carbon dioxide (CO2) drawn in from the air with water and nutrients pumped in from the ground. These sugars are the source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth. More sugars are produced when there is more CO2 in the air, and this is called CO2 fertilization.

“We were able to tie the greening largely to the fertilizing effect of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration by tasking several computer models to mimic plant growth observed in the satellite data” says co-­author Prof. Ranga Myneni of the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University, USA. Burning oil, gas, coal and wood for energy releases CO2 in to the air. The amount of CO2 in the air has been increasing since the industrial age and currently stands at a level not seen in at least half-­a-­million years. It is the chief culprit of climate change.

About 85% of the Earth’s ice‑free lands is covered by vegetation. The area of all green leaves on Earth is equal to, on average, 32% of the Earth’s total surface area ‑ oceans, lands and permanent icesheets combined. “The greening over the past 33 years reported in this study is equivalent to adding a green continent about two‑times the size of mainland USA (18 million km2), and has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” says lead author Dr. Zaichun Zhu.

Every year, about one‑half of the 10 billion tons of carbon emitted in to the atmosphere from human activities remains temporarily stored, in about equal parts, in the oceans and plants. “While our study did not address the connection between greening and carbon storage in plants, other studies have reported an increasing carbon sink on land since the 1980s, which is entirely consistent with the idea of a greening Earth,” says co‑author Prof. Shilong Piao.

The beneficial aspect of CO2 fertilization in promoting plant growth has been used by contrarians, notably Lord Ridley and Mr. Rupert Murdoch, to argue against cuts in carbon emissions to mitigate climate change, similar to those agreed at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Paris last year under the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “The fallacy of the contrarian argument is two‑fold. First, the many negative aspects of climate change, namely global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice, more severe tropical storms, etc. are not acknowledged. Second, studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising CO2 concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time,” says co‑author Dr. Philippe Ciais, Contributing Lead Author of the Carbon Chapter for the recent IPCC Assessment Report 5.

CO2 fertilization is only one, albeit a predominant, reason why the Earth is greening. The study also identified climate change, nitrogen fertilization and land management as other important reasons. “While the detection of greening is based on measurements, the attribution to various drivers is based on models, and these models have known deficiencies. Future works will undoubtedly question and refine our results,” says co‑author Dr. Josep Canadell,  leader of the Global Carbon Project.

Roger Harrabin for the BBC

From Roger Harrabin’s article for the BBC, Rise in CO2 has greened planet Earth:

Climate sceptics argue the findings show that the extra CO2 is actually benefiting the planet. But the researchers say the fertilisation effect diminishes over time.
They warn the positives of CO2 are likely to be outweighed by the negatives.
The lead author, Prof Ranga Myneni from Boston University, told BBC News the extra tree growth would not compensate for global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, ocean acidification, the loss of Arctic sea ice, and the prediction of more severe tropical storms.

This is in line with the Gaia thesis promoted by the maverick scientist James Lovelock who proposed that the atmosphere, rocks, seas and plants work together as a self-regulating organism.

“The greening reported in this study has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” said a lead author Dr Zaichun Zhu.

A co-author Prof Pierre Friedlingstein told BBC News that carbon uptake from plants was factored into IPCC models, but was one of the main sources of uncertainty in future climate forecasts. Warming the Earth releases CO2 by increasing decomposition of soil organic matter, thawing of permafrost, drying of soils, and reduced photosynthesis – potentially leading to tropical vegetation dieback. He said: “Carbon sinks (such as forests, where carbon is stored) would become sources if carbon loss from warming becomes larger than carbon gain from fertilisation. “But we can’t be certain yet when that would happen. Hopefully, the world will follow the Paris agreement objectives and limit warming below 2C.”

Nic Lewis, an independent scientist often critical of the IPCC, told BBC News: “The magnitude of the increase in vegetation appears to be considerably larger than suggested by previous studies. This suggests that projected atmospheric CO2 levels in IPCC scenarios are significantly too high, which implies that global temperature rises projected by IPCC models are also too high, even if the climate is as sensitive to CO2 increases as the models imply.”

And Prof Judith Curry, the former chair of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, added: “It is inappropriate to dismiss the arguments of the so-called contrarians, since their disagreement with the consensus reflects conflicts of values and a preference for the empirical (i.e. what has been observed) versus the hypothetical (i.e. what is projected from climate models). These disagreements are at the heart of the public debate on climate change, and these issues should be debated, not dismissed.”

Richard Betts

Richard Betts has a relevant article at Carbon Brief, Understanding CO2 fertilisation and climate change.  Excerpts:

But while the general principles of CO2 fertilisation are known, there is still much to learn about how these processes will operate under future conditions that have not yet been experienced.

For example, how much does nutrient availability limit the response of the plants to increased CO2? How does this interact with changes in weather and climate? How do different species respond, and how does this affect the interactions between them?

The net result of these complex, interacting effects is likely to vary from place, and change over time. If we wish to assess the future consequences of our influences on the climate system, it is imperative that we understand the interaction between these process and the impacts of climate change.

Despite claims to the contrary, the conclusions of the IPCC take CO2 fertilisation properly into account in the assessment of climate change feedbacks involving the carbon cycle, and in the assessment of the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. They are also starting to account for this in the knock-on consequences for water resources, but that is more cutting-edge science and less advanced.

However, the IPCC assessments also acknowledge the uncertainties in the models. The current generation of models represent CO2 effects mostly based on understanding gained in the 1980s and 1990s, which is largely derived from smaller-scale studies in controlled conditions. So, while they are based on the best understanding available at the time of their development, they will require updating as new information becomes available.

While we are perhaps lucky that CO2 has this effect on plant physiology, in addition to being a greenhouse gas, it is not our ‘get out of jail free’ card when it comes to our ongoing emissions of CO2.

There are a wide range of consequences of these emissions. Some could be seen as positive, such as enhanced crop growth due to higher CO2, but most are generally viewed as detrimental – e.g. a warmer, drier climate leading to increased risk of forest fires. Even the enhanced growth by CO2 has its downsides, as faster-growing plants such as lianas seem to more able to out-compete larger, slower-growing species such as large trees. But whether the impacts are viewed as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, climate science is studying them all, both in models and in the real world. It’s exciting, groundbreaking science with profound consequences for society.

Comments from Nic Lewis

In response to Roger Harrabin’s query, here is the complete version of Nic’s comments:

Here are some brief preliminary comments.

1. The paper indicates that the primary cause of increasing plant productivity – which is good from a food production viewpoint as well as leading to increased land carbon uptake – is CO2 fertilisation. Estimating the sensitivity of land carbon uptake to CO2 level and to global temperature is tricky using just vegetation data, however.

2. This is not a new result, but the magnitude of the increase in vegetation, measured here by leaf area per unit land surface (LAI), appears to be considerably larger than suggested by previous studies.

3. There is some conflict between the probabilistic estimates of LAI trends (Figure 1.d). I am not comfortable with just taking (as they do) the average of the three observational dataset trend probability densities, when two of them peak at a fraction of the trend at which the third one peaks. Moreover, looking at the shapes of the probability density curves, I wonder if one or more of them has been badly distorted by use of an inappropriate prior distribution in the Bayesian statistical analysis involved. This problem has bedevilled observational estimation of climate sensitivity, typically pushing up sensitivity estimates and leading to great over-estimation of the risk of sensitivity being very high. In Figure 1.d, for two of the observational datasets their mean values are of the order of ten times as high as the trend at which the probability density peaks (the mode). Their modes may well be a better guide to the true trends.

4. I have difficulty in reconciling the LAI trend values implied by various statements and figures in the paper and the press release. And their estimate of an LAI trend increase of 0.068 m2 m-2 yr-1 over 1982-2009 seems to be 27x higher than that per Mao et al 2013 (their reference 7, which estimates 0.0025 m2 m-2 yr-1 over the same period, if I have read it right). That may be because I am misunderstanding something. It is difficult to properly understand papers from the Nature stable without reading their Supplementary Information, since Nature likes the main paper to be short. I will read the SI when it becomes available. However, it is also possible that there is some error in the paper; I have found significant errors in quite a few climate science papers.

5. The press release contains at least two scientific claims that are nothing to do with what is in the paper and that I consider highly dubious:

a) “Every year, about one‑half of the 10 billion tons of carbon emitted in to the atmosphere from human activities remains temporarily stored, in about equal parts, in the oceans and plants.” Storage in the ocean should be regarded as permanent, unless atmospheric CO2 levels fall. If they remain the same, the ocean will in fact take up more CO2 from the atmosphere, since it is a long way from chemically equilibrating to increased atmospheric CO2. Likewise, whilst carbon storage in individual plants is temporary, what matters is how much the total amount of carbon stored by the biosphere increases with increased atmospheric CO2 concentration. There is no reason to regard the resulting additional aggregate biosphere carbon storage to be temporary, unless atmospheric CO2 concentration falls.

b) “studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising CO2 concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time,” says co–author Dr. Philippe Ciais”
I have not seen any good evidence of that being the case, and it seems to me unlikely. Dr Ciais was joint Coordinating Lead Author of the Carbon Cycle chapter (Ch. 6) of the IPCC assessment report 5 (not Contributing Lead Author as stated by the press release). Box 6.3: The Carbon Dioxide Fertilisation Effect in that chapter does not include such a claim. On the contrary, it states that “Since the AR4, new evidence is available from long-term Free-air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiments in temperate ecosystems showing the capacity of ecosystems exposed to elevated CO2 to sustain higher rates of carbon accumulation over multiple years “.

6. Land carbon uptake is poorly understood, but is projected to have a significant effect on the response of atmospheric CO2 levels to future carbon emissions. An excellent, very readable PNAS paper “Carbon cycle feedbacks and future climate change” last year by one of the best known carbon cycle experts, Pierre Friedlinstein, stated that the current generation CMIP5 Earth System Models simulated current global soil carbon between 500 and 3000 GtC (the observational estimate is ~1300 GtC). This extremely wide range shows the very poor level of understanding and modelling ability. He estimated, from observational data, that land carbon storage increased about twice as fast with increasing atmospheric CO2 as the per average CMIP5 model. The results in this new paper point in the same direction, but even further away from the CMIP5 mean. Friedlinstein also estimated that the decrease in land carbon storage with increasing GMST was too high by a factor of two in the average CMIP5 model. This all suggests that projected atmospheric CO2 levels in each of the RCP emission scenarios are significantly too high, which implies that global temperature rises projected by CMIP5 models are too high even were their climate sensitivities to be correct.

7. Bear in mind that this paper only covers land vegetation. The response of marine biota to increasing ocean CO2 concentration and temperature is also important, and is poorly understood.

UPDATE from Nic after the Supplementary Information was published:

Hi Judy, from studying the SI I’ve now worked out that Fig.1 in the article doesn’t show probability density for LAI trend at all: it is mislabelled. Rather, it shows the proportion of the land surface with each best-estimate trend. There is nothing probabilistic about it. So most of what I wrote in my 3. was based on a misunderstanding.

Also, I’ve now deduced from SI section S5 and Fig.S2 that their “growing season integrated LAI” isn’t what I thought it was based on their trend units of m2 m-2 yr-1: it depends on the time measurement unit and is many times higher than the mean growing season LAI index. They define it in terms of days, implying trend units of m2 day m-2 yr-1, but it looks to me as if the integration time unit is probably months, which would mean the correct units for all their LAI trends are m2 mth m-2 yr-1. If the paper had indicated the mean growing season integrated LAI from each dataset in the main paper (this information isn’t even given in the SI) than their units error would have been evident, and it would have been possible to interpret their LAI trends properly. I’m surprised peer reviewers didn’t require this; one can’t fully interpret the absolute trends and trend differences in Fig.1 without knowing what the global-mean absolute LAI values for the three datasets are. This difference in units almost certainly accounts for the most of the trend differences that I mentioned in my point 4. However, I am still mystified how the “global greening trend” – presumably the trend in their growing season integrated LAI – that they report can be 0.068 m2 m-2 yr-1 when the average of the trends shown in their Fig.1.d is well below that.

JC reflections

Here is the complete text of the statements that I emailed to Roger Harrabin:

“This article is arguably the most authoritative examination of the greening of the Earth that I’ve seen, although I’m sure it won’t be the last word on this topic. In evaluating the policy significance this, how to balance the beneficial effects of promoting plant growth for a rapidly increasing global population, versus the hypothesized rising sea levels and more extreme weather events, is not at all straightforward. It is inappropriate to dismiss the arguments of the so-called contrarians, since their disagreement with the consensus reflects conflicts of values and a preference for the empirical (i.e. what has been observed) versus the hypothetical (i.e. what is projected from climate models). These disagreements are at the heart of the public debate on climate change, and these issues should be debated, not dismissed.”

I began digging into this line of research around the time of the Minnesota trial on the social cost of carbon [link] (last October).   At that time, an unpublished figure by co-author Myneni was hotly disputed.  Apparently that diagram was an early version of this particular analysis (lead author was a postdoc with Myneni).  The published version shows much more greening and a much higher attribution of the greening to human CO2 emissions.

This paper is arguably a ‘consensus’ statement of the primary global community of scientists that is working on this topic.  I’m sure its not the last word on this, and I look forward to Nic Lewis’ further comments on the statistical methodology.

I was highly irritated by this statement in their press release:

The beneficial aspect of CO2 fertilization in promoting plant growth has been used by contrarians, notably Lord Ridley and Mr. Rupert Murdoch, to argue against cuts in carbon emissions to mitigate climate change, similar to those agreed at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Paris last year under the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Why did IPCC Coordinating Lead Author Philippe Ciais feel the need to take this dig at Ridley and Murdoch?  Ridley in particular has made public statements about greening several years ago, which were widely criticized at the time, that are supported by this new paper.  It seems that Ciais is the only one of the authors to make such a derogatory public statement (at this point, anyways).  What’s an IPCC author/advocate to do when science doesn’t play along with your policy narrative?  Unfortunately, re-examining their premises doesn’t seem to be part of their playbook.

This paper highlights the very substantial uncertainties in our quantitative understanding of the global carbon budget. The significance of the new paper is this:

  • As Nic Lewis points out, this paper alters the RCP scenarios in terms of resulting atmospheric CO2 content; i.e. the RCP scenarios are significantly too high
  • This paper alters the dynamics of calculating the social cost of carbon, in the direction of a lower cost.

 

453 responses to “Rise in CO2 has greened planet Earth

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  3. Check out Indur Goklany’s “Carbon Dioxide, the Good News”. It has the same message as the article in Nature Climate Change, is not behind a paywall and has a reference list of some 200 articles.
    http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2015/10/benefits1.pdf

  4. Well, over 33 years the less than 4% of the globe shows decreasing LAI (browning) is comparable to the amount that has been burned down or paved over (IE ALD – anthropogenic land degradation).

    Field tests would indicate that burning down rainforest or paving over fertile land significantly reduces “leaf area per unit land surface (LAI)”.

    Do any of these studies factor in ALD?

    Does this mean that more CO2 isn’t harming anything and is only beneficial?

    • How much of it was cutting down forests to build roads for “renewables” aka “bird-mincers”? How much to grow “bio-fuels”, how much is under dams for hydro-power.

      In a way, it’s rather fortunate that we’ve produced more than enough CO2 to offset the environmental blight of the “greens”.

      • Scottish Sceptic

        “… build roads for “renewables” aka “bird-mincers”?

        Good question.

        Driving on Route 21 in Ontario Canada, the Eastern shore of Lake Huron, one now sees hundreds of wind turbines with roads to them through some of the most fertile land in Canada.

      • through some of the most fertile land in Canada.

        You mean “through what was some of the most fertile land in Canada.”

        Experiments growing crops on Wind Mill concrete foundations or on asphalt roads (or any road) generally have disappointing results. Many cities are built on top of deep rich black loam. And crop production from urban areas is correspondingly reduced to that observed on pavement..

  5. I was doing a search to find out if any Scottish media had reported this (the eco-nutters of the Scottish government are pushing climate in the current election).

    As expected, I couldn’t find any scottish news outlet – but somehow this article turned up instead.

  6. Dr. Curry:

    Your emailed statement to Roger Harrabin is excellent.

    • Absolutely.

      °°°°°Judith Curry said:

      What’s an IPCC author/advocate to do when science doesn’t play along with your policy narrative?

      The same thing the establishment has always done:

      When we look back across five centuries, the implications of the Renaissance appear to be obvious. It seems astonishing that no one saw where it was leading, anticipating what lay round the next bend in the road and then over the horizon. But they lacked our perspective; they could not hold a mirror up to the future.

      Like all people of all times, they were confronted each day by the present, which always arrives in a promiscuous rush, with the significant, the trivial, the profound, and the fatuous all tangled together. The popes, emperors, cardinals, kings, prelates, and nobles of the time sorted through the snarl and, being typical men in power, chose to believe what they wanted to believe, accepting whatever justified thier policies and convictions and ignoring the rest.

      — WILLIAM MANCHESTER, A World Lit Only by Fire

      °°°°°Judith Curry said:

      It is inappropriate to dismiss the arguments of the so-called contrarians, since their disagreement with the consensus reflects conflicts of values and a preference for the empirical (i.e. what has been observed) versus the hypothetical (i.e. what is projected from climate models). These disagreements are at the heart of the public debate on climate change, and these issues should be debated, not dismissed.”

      Yep.

      As Hannah Arendt observed in The Origins of Totalitarianism:

      The scientificality of totalitarian propaganda is characterized by its almost exclusive insistence on scientific prophecy as distinguished from the more old-fashioned appeal to the past….

      Totalitarian propaganda raised ideological scientificality and its technique of making statements in the form of predictions to a height of efficiency and absurdity of contnet because, demagogically speaking, there is hardly a better way to avoid discussion than by releasing an argument from the control of the present and by saying that only the future can reveal its merits….

      The language of prophetic scientificality corresponded to the needs of masses who had lost their home in the world and now were prepared to be reintegrated into eternal, all-dominating forces which by themselves would bear man, the swimmer on the waves of adversity, to the shores of safety.

  7. The interesting new science aside, the communication side is interesting too. As Judy notes, the new paper vindicates what Matt Ridley and others have been saying all along — yet they apparently deserve to be kicked nonetheless.

    • List the climate scientists who disagreed that the planet is greening?

      • Has the IPCC mentioned it in their assessments?

      • On physiological grounds, almost all models predict stimulation of carbon assimilation and sequestration in response to rising CO2, called ‘CO2 fertilization’ (Cramer et al., 2001; Oren et al., 2001; Luo et al., 2004; DeLucia et al., 2005). Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) and chamber studies have been used to examine the response of ecosystems to large (usually about 50%) step increases in CO2 concentration. …

      • Thank you. AR5 stuff being posted.

  8. “CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend, followed by nitrogen deposition (9%), climate change (8%) and land cover change (LCC) (4%)…”

    Note how the inextricable is not only extricated with help of “factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models” but you even get some of those ultimate convincers: percentages!

    Some cons: CC’s 8% would be better if it were an uneven number, nitrogen’s 9 is too close to 10 for a realistic sale price, 70% is too round…but a good pull-apart job nonetheless. After Libya, Iraq and Syria, balkanising is all the rage.

    Of course, “climate change” can be anything anybody wants, but I can see why Nature Climate Change wouldn’t want it figuring too large in any “greening”. Mr Burns and the rest of the cigar-chomping Repubs would just use that sort of factoid against the planet. We know what they’re like.

  9. From the post –

    “Storage in the ocean should be regarded as permanent, . . . ”

    This statement may not be true. The oceans contain a large amount of phytoplankton, which consume CO2, and produce O2 – probably a good thing for us! In addition, microbial oxygenic photosynthesis provides as yet unknown (but likely significantly large) consumption of CO2, with concomitant oxygen production. Some estimates put O2 production from the oceans at 50% of the world’s total.

    Increased CO2 availability means increased production of the lowest level of the food chain. This should lead to increased amounts of food further up the chain – krill, fish, sharks, whales and so on.

    As these are physically removed from the oceans, the remaining photosynthetic organisms remove even more CO2 from the oceans, having more room to grow, and more food available for population increase.

    More CO2 creates more protein for human consumption. Not such a bad thing, if you are philosophically opposed to starvation!

    More CO2 good. Less CO2 bad. It’s good to see some actual science, rather than Warmist cargo cult science, enter the arena.

    Cheers.

    • David Springer

      +1

    • Agreed.

    • And the degree of this phytoplankton growth is not well known and supposedly much greater than previously thought, based on satellite imagery.

    • Steven Mosher

      “More CO2 good. Less CO2 bad. ”

      more settled science from Skeptics. and simple too. must be true.

      If co2 is at 180ppm, yes more is good for plants and creature, less is bad
      if c02 is at 1000000ppm, more is bad, less is good for plants and creatures.

      at 400pm? Not settled science. hard to settled science.

      read more comment less

      be more skeptical of plant advocates and CAGW doomsayers.

      • Steven Mosher,

        At the present, given present knowledge of likely CO2 increases, (if you want to be picky), more CO2 is better, less CO2 is worse, for humanity.

        If you say it must be true, I would agree it seems like a reasonable assumption on which to plan future actions.

        I cannot understand your comment “at 400ppm? Not settled science. hard to settled science.”

        You claim the science is settled, I don’t. I’m entitled to believe something is true, and also to change my mind when new information comes to light – wouldn’t you agree?

        Cheers.

      • Steven Mosher

        At the present, given present knowledge of likely CO2 increases, (if you want to be picky), more CO2 is better, less CO2 is worse, for humanity.
        ####/#####
        More settled science from Mike who now predicts the future…too funny

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        More settled science from Mike who now predicts the future…too funny

        Its fairly obvious that some Warmists are brighter than others.

        I will try to help your comprehension by typing slowly.

        I make assumptions about the future, and base my actions on them. Even if you are a Warmist, I presume you act in a similar fashion. Maybe I’m wrong, in which case please let me know where I am in error.

        I am pleased I made you laugh. There don’t seem to be many adverse effects associated with laughter.

        Cheers.

      • For once Mosh. You need only travel as far as your local supermarket and pickup a tomato or two. These are regularly grown at 1000 ppm – that simply answers what’s good for plants. So at least one side of the question is answered or ‘settled’. The point is that at least some increase in CO2 is good. Something many warmist have disputed for years it’s nice to see that those arguments at least can now end. Lost count of the number of Sahel greening contrarians I’ve encountered.

      • I am skeptical of “plant advocates”. My point was that there is still a lot we don’t know about the uptake portion of the carbon cycle. Yet we regularly hear about CO2 emitted today lasting centuries.

        BTW – 1,000,000 PPM? What planet are you on today?

      • Steven Mosher

        Blunderbunny.
        You simply have to go into any engineering department that works with radiative transfer. They will tell you.
        Co2 warms the planet.
        As for greening in green houses it probably works.
        Outside the greenhouse? We can’t know. Cant do controlled experiments.

      • Steven Mosher

        Haha now Flynn makes guesses about the future. Too funny. Pass the only difference between a guess an assumption and a prediction is semantic

      • Mosher’s clearly losing the plot:

        You simply have to go into any engineering department that works with radiative transfer. They will tell you.
        Co2 warms the planet.

        So what Mosher? Don’t you get how that point is totally irrelevant. My heater warms my house in winter, and I am better off because of it.

        Continually repeating your mantra is irrelevant, boring and shows you have no arguments that warming is dangerous in any way. In fact, you’ve never even been able to show that GHG emissions are doing more harm than good or will in the future.

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        Haha now Flynn makes guesses about the future. Too funny. Pass the only difference between a guess an assumption and a prediction is semantic

        Thanks. Warmists tend to be mired in doom, gloom and despondency. We’re all going to fry or drown, unless we abandon our evil ways, and convert to the Warmist Church of Latter Day Scientism.

        Warmists obviously need a bit of humour injected into their lives, from time to time. I’m always glad to help.

        As to your assertion about the meanings of words, I would suggest that you might care to contact the publishers of say, the Oxford or Merriam-Webster dictionaries. Maybe you could convince them to abandon their definitions, and adopt the Steven Mosher flexible Warmist definitions.

        As you point out, the difference is semantic. I am somewhat surprised that you don’t understand why I used assumption rather than prediction or guess. I understand you claim a BA with some sort of English subject included. You might be able to get a refund, unless you are only trying to appear semi-literate.

        If you think I’m being a bit picky, I suggest you might like to read Richard Feynman’s thoughts on scientists who aren’t nearly picky enough. Apparently, they fall victim, all to easily to the allure of Cargo Cult Science.

        Picky in science is good. At least, I think so. Maybe you don’t.

        Cheers.

      • @Mosh

        Don’t dispute that CO2 warms. I dispute that a desktop can tell you how much. As it excludes the wonderfully complex heat engine that we all inhabit. A heat engine that I should point out is not playing ball at moment and there was a time in the not too distant past when you felt the same. You seemed to have progressed from luke to warm in recent times. Maybe I’m misreading you. Who knows.

      • Mosh has progressed to Denier of relevant facts.

      • Maybe I’m misreading you. Who knows.

        If you are talking about tomatoes and CO2 enrichment in glasshouses, you’re completely lost. But anyway, in a glasshouse, with plants of a sufficient size during CO2 uptake, there will be a portion of time during which plant growth stops because there is not enough CO2 in the glasshouse air (this can also happen in a glass-free cornfield, but not every day.) When I was a kid Grandpa addressed this by turning up the heat and opening the windows. Outside it was cold, and CO2 was around 320ppm. All the plants outside were either dead or dormant. This may be why Grandpa built a glasshouse and turned up the heat, but who knows. He used to pray for things like rain or no rain, and warmth, the end of winter or heat for the corn. He loved to pour the heat on corn. Never heard him pray for CO2. He was a really smart guy. I suspect he would have loved CO2 enrichment for his glasshouse. As for his cornfield, well, he often declared mankind had lost their marbles, so he was apparently accustomed to fools who could not tell the difference between a glasshouse and their only home and the cornfield that feeds them.

      • If every human puts out the same equivalent joules of heat as put out by an average 100w lightbulb, over the last 250 years, how did AGW scientists account for the increase of 5-6 Billion light bulbs when they go on?

      • Mosh sez:

        “Co2 warms the planet.
        As for greening in green houses it probably works.
        Outside the greenhouse? We can’t know. Cant do controlled experiments.”

        Same is true for more CO2 in the atmosphere, is it not? Can’t do controlled experiments, and so by your reasoning can’t know if more CO2 warms the planet.

        It looks like you are biased in your application of logic.

      • I have been thinking about this stuff Steven, and I came to the conclusion that it is even worse that I thought since each lightbulb is exhaling plumes of CO2 on average 40,000ppm fifteen times a minute. Not to mention Steven, the lightbulbs daily requirements for heating, cooling, cooking and the other things needed for life in the modern world. If you want to see our future Steven, model North Korea.

      • My God! It explains you taste in Pop, too.

    • Yup. Fertilizer run off also helps. Those “dead spots” in the ocean are localized environmental degradation, ultimately they should add the bio-sphere. Helping create protein.

  10. As Nic Lewis points out, this paper alters the RCP scenarios in terms of resulting atmospheric CO2 content; i.e. the RCP scenarios are significantly too high

    What happened to the Uncertainty Monster?

    • ATTP,

      CO2 possesses no warming power whatsoever. RCP therefore completely irrelevant. Uncertainty Monster totally satisfied.

      You still appear to believe in the magical warming powers of CO2. Good for you!

      Cheers.

      • CO2 possesses no warming power whatsoever.

        Judith, do you want to deal with this one?

      • ATTP, its all yours. When I have time to engage on the blog, i tend to comment on things that interest me, i don’t attempt to fact check or flag incorrect comments.

      • ATTP, I understand that this is just evolution at work but…

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/04/26/bright-flash-of-light-marks-incredible-moment-life-begins-when-s/

        with all your chops though I was hoping you would be able to explain the light to us?

      • stevenreincarnated

        Your link explains the light.

      • Thank you for the explanation for the Zinc spark story but does it explain the light?

      • stevenreincarnated

        It does to my satisfaction. If it wasn’t to my satisfaction I suppose I would use google and find a more complete explanation. Google is your friend.

      • I know this real old…

        Isa 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

        and written to people just like us.

      • stevenreincarnated

        I’m not a religious person but there isn’t any obligation that I am aware of for God not to use zinc in creating his miracles.

      • We feel the same way about His miracles though.

      • …and Then There’s Physics | April 26, 2016 at 8:17 am |
        CO2 possesses no warming power whatsoever.

        Judith, do you want to deal with this one?

        Perhaps I can step in and help.

        Any doubt about the potency of CO2 to change global temperatures can best be dispelled by the following graph:

        https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_RXGJAF_XL5V0Y0eU1ya3E2UTA/view?pref=2&pli=1

      • David Springer

        -1

      • David Springer

        Arch the light flashes when a mouse is conceived too. Does that mean they have immortal souls too?

      • Lions will graze, for awhile at least, you tell me? God has no problem making more space

      • David Springer

        Huh?

      • Let me step in on Mike’s behalf (although he certainly doesn’t need any help).

        I believe Mike is speaking about CO2 – BY ITSELF.

        I believe you and ATTP are speaking about CO2 in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight.

        I believe that Mike is correct – in that CO2, by itself, has no capacity to warm an object you surround it with (unless you first heat it up to above the temperature of the object you surround).

        Mike’s main two points are quite non-controversial:

        1. CO2, by itself cannot warm anything.
        2. The Earth of 4 billion years ago is presumed to be quite a bit warmer than the Earth of today (being molten lava).

        I don’t know why more people don’t agree with these points – as I believe they are both correct.

        Mike is a grammarian (I believe) – and objects to people saying CO2 causes global warming or warming – when it is CO2 + sunlight which slows the rate of cooling – not CO2 by itself.

        Mike – please correct me if I mis-speak.

      • David, who do you blame for the fallen world we exist upon? It affected all life the same at the same time. We are the man who ate from the tree of knowledge. He loves his creation, you do the math.
        What’s the chapter and verse on your clip?

      • David Springer

        Ezekial 25:17

        Thanks for asking.

      • David Springer

        @Arrett

        More CO2 causes surface warming in this era on the planet earth if everything else remains equal.

        It’s laborious to add ” in this era on the planet earth if everything else remains equal” every time CO2 warming is mentioned. The clarification is a given and need not be stated in the context of a climate blog. Flynn’s habitual, tedious objection is therefore specious. He knows it. Now you know it too.

      • June the 10th, 1967, maybe.

      • “It’s laborious to add ” in this era on the planet earth if everything else remains equal” every time CO2 warming is mentioned.”

        It’s not laborious to consistently expect important clarifications. It’s part of having a scientific discussion, as opposed to regurgitating the same incomplete lingo. Sloppy and misdirecting language is one of the problems that needs to be fixed in climate discussions.

        Andrew

      • David:

        Being correct is never specious. It wouldn’t hurt you to admit (at least once) when Mike is correct. It would clarify the discussion, which is all to the good.

      • CO2, by itself cannot warm anything.

        […]when it is CO2 + sunlight which slows the rate of cooling – not CO2 by itself.

        Sunlight not required. It would work just as well to slow cooling if the source were entirely internal. As it does at night.

        The Earth of 4 billion years ago is presumed to be quite a bit warmer than the Earth of today (being molten lava).

        Non sequitur.

      • There is also a fundamental problem with this:

        “if everything else remains equal”

        When does “everything” (not a scientific term) remain “equal”? Equal to what? Itself?

        It’s a stupid non-science climate regurgitation that some people think “sounds good”. That’s all it is.

        Andrew

      • AK:

        Ok – say CO2 plus radiation, from whatever source (cooling Earth or sunlight). But CO2, without photons hitting it, does not warm or slow the rate of cooling – right?

        I think Mike’s points are still correct.

      • I forgot to add /sarc

        https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_RXGJAF_XL5V0Y0eU1ya3E2UTA/view?pref=2&pli=1

        hint: there is no CO2 effect (except possibly at the low end)

      • But CO2, without photons hitting it, does not warm or slow the rate of cooling – right?

        Wrong.

        CO2, without photons hitting it,” as a component of an Earth-type atmosphere, is a total impossibility. CO2 emits photons, at any temperature above 0°K, and some of those photons are absorbed.

        However, even if the Earth’s surface were a total mirror, and all its heat loss was to the atmosphere via conduction , there would be heat loss to space (at 3°K, IIRC) via thermal radiation from the CO2 in the atmosphere which would be reduced by an increase in CO2, all other things being “equal”. (Assuming most of the radiation came from a layer with a lapse rate typical of the troposphere, which I would include in the definition of “an Earth-type atmosphere”.)

      • Unfortunately, aTTP also teaches a subject called “Astrobiology”.

        Do you want to deal with this one, Judith?

      • AK,

        you wrote-

        “Sunlight not required. It would work just as well to slow cooling if the source were entirely internal. As it does at night.”

        I agree that the atmosphere has an insulating effect. Insulators provide no heat. Slowing of cooling is not warming. When an object cools, its temperature drops. Warmists do not understand this, apparently.

        CO2 warms (ie increases the temperature of) nothing.

        No CO2 global warming. None.

        Cheers.

      • AK,

        You wrote –

        “However, even if the Earth’s surface were a total mirror, and all its heat loss was to the atmosphere via conduction , there would be heat loss to space (at 3°K, IIRC) via thermal radiation from the CO2 in the atmosphere which would be reduced by an increase in CO2, all other things being “equal”. (Assuming most of the radiation came from a layer with a lapse rate typical of the troposphere, which I would include in the definition of “an Earth-type atmosphere”.)”

        Specious nonsense, if you don’t mind me saying so.

        The Earth is not a total mirror, but let us assume it is. I assume you mean a perfect mirror, totally reflective, but correct me if I’m wrong. Your mirror, neither absorbing nor emitting photons (impossible, but it’s your thought mirror), has no temperature.

        Therefore, the CO2 will cool to 3 K, the temperature of the surrounding environment. So would anything else on the surface of your spherical perfect mirror. What are you trying to say? What’s your point?

        Cheers.

      • Steven Mosher

        Co2 causes plants to grow all other things being equal..but if you go from 1ppm to 2pm co2 has no effect. Therefore it cannot cause plants to grow.

        I increase the co2 in my greenhouse to 1500ppm.
        The plants died.
        Therefore…
        Co2 cannot make plants grow.

        I love skeptic logic applied to the greening of the planet.

        Quickly someone demand the data code and email of these authors.

      • Your mirror, neither absorbing nor emitting photons (impossible, but it’s your thought mirror), has no temperature.

        Of course it has a temperature. And it’s perfectly capable of tranferring (heat) energy to the overlying atmosphere: via conduction.

      • AK,

        You wrote –

        “Of course it has a temperature. And it’s perfectly capable of tranferring (heat) energy to the overlying atmosphere: via conduction.”

        No, you said it is a total mirror, which I took to mean totally reflective. It has no temperature itself, by your definition. If it could emit photons from itself (which is necessary to register a temperature), then it must be able to absorb photons in order to have a temperature. A perfect reflector, by definition, can not absorb photons. If it did, it wouldn’t be a perfect reflector.

        You might say your thought mirror emits photons anyway. In this case, its temperature would drop to absolute zero. The 3 K environment would be of no effect, as you stated a perfect mirror, which reflects all photons, even those with a 3 K energy level.

        But even so, the CO2 cools, to 3 K, under your scenario. No warming at all.

        Again, CO2 warms nothing. It possesses an insulating effect, more pronounced at certain frequencies. Tyndall has noted several of these, albeit without knowledge of EMR. Not too shabby, when you think about it.

        Cheers.

      • “CO2 possesses no warming power whatsoever.”

        Well that’s like saying a radiator has no warming power whatsoever. True statement; as without a boiler it’s just a stone cold object.

      • No, you said it is a total mirror, which I took to mean totally reflective.

        True. That’s what I said.

        It has no temperature itself, by your definition. If it could emit photons from itself (which is necessary to register a temperature), then it must be able to absorb photons in order to have a temperature.

        False. A solid (or liquid, for that matter) object does not need to emit or absorb photons to have a temperature. The temperature is related to the average energy of particles that make it up, or in the case of solid latices, the phonons traveling through it.

        As for “register[ing] a temperature”, if you mean being able to measure a temperature, the temperature of such a completely reflective object can be measured by placing the bulb of a thermometer in contact with it, so that heat energy can flow to (and from) the thermometer without any radiative transfer taking place.

        A perfect reflector, by definition, can not absorb photons. If it did, it wouldn’t be a perfect reflector.

        True, but irrelevant to the temperature, or conductive heat transfer.

        You do know the difference between photons and phonons don’t you?

      • AK,

        Second things first.

        I have some idea of the differences between phonons and photons.

        Maybe you are conflating classical ideas of heat with more modern theories. You illustrate graphically, in my view, the incorrect conclusions that might be drawn from a poorly thought out thought experiment, based on incorrect or flawed assumptions.

        Still no scientific evidence of CO2 warming in the absence of the Sun. No scientific evidence of CO2 warming in the presence of the Sun, either. At zenith, around 30% of the insolation fails to reach the surface, as opposed to a total lack of atmosphere. Seems about right. No warming, you’ll note.

        Cheers.

      • Steven Mosher | April 26, 2016 at 7:58 pm |…
        I increase the co2 in my greenhouse to 1500ppm.
        The plants died.
        Therefore…
        Co2 cannot make plants grow.

        Since 1500 PPM CO2 is used by greenhouses, sensible people would conclude that Mosher is bad at gardening.

      • Steven Mosher

        PA.
        Nope. By itself co2 has no ability to make things grow.
        Ask Flynn

      • David Springer

        Mosher’s using reductio ad absurdum i.e. CO2 0ppm bad for plants, 10000ppm bad for plants. These are far outside the domain of reasonable and possible values. He lost the debate and is resorting to his usual fallback position of being a stupid asshat.

      • David Springer

        @Arrett

        No, he’s wrong. CO2 causes warming on this planet at this point in history. CO2 doesn’t cause warming under every conceivable condition but the context is contemporaneous planet earth.

      • So to summarize:

        It is not grammatically correct to say CO2 warms anything, because when its amount in the atmosphere rises, it provides a greater insulation effect.

        Insulating something doesn’t warm it, it merely slows down its rate of cooling.

        It is more precise and accurate to say that CO2 and other GHG’s better insulate the Earth, causing it to retain more heat than it otherwise would.

        Does that sound about right?

      • “CO2 causes warming on this planet at this point in history.”

        This is still not correct. Any climate science generated graph of recent temperatures shows warming and cooling in the presence of increased C02.

        Andrew

      • David Springer

        Richard Arrett | April 27, 2016 at 12:32 pm |
        So to summarize:

        It is not grammatically correct to say CO2 warms anything, because when its amount in the atmosphere rises, it provides a greater insulation effect.

        Insulating something doesn’t warm it, it merely slows down its rate of cooling.

        It is more precise and accurate to say that CO2 and other GHG’s better insulate the Earth, causing it to retain more heat than it otherwise would.

        Does that sound about right?
        ——————————————————————
        Nope. CO2 doesn’t slow warming. It slows cooling. The end effect is a warmer object. You want the mechanism more narrowly defined in a new word or phrase is the problem. Good news is that there is a new phrase to describe it – “greenhouse effect”. In Merriam Webster:

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/greenhouse%20effect

        warming of the surface and lower atmosphere of a planet (as Earth or Venus) that is caused by conversion of solar radiation into heat in a process involving selective transmission of short wave solar radiation by the atmosphere, its absorption by the planet’s surface, and reradiation as infrared which is absorbed and partly reradiated back to the surface by atmospheric gases

      • David L. Hagen

        David Springer
        Re Ezekial 25:17 only refers to the consequences.
        The primary cause – disobedience Genesis 3:6
        http://biblehub.com/genesis/3-6.htm
        Note also a contributing actor Genesis 3:1 http://biblehub.com/genesis/3-1.htm

    • What happened to the Uncertainty Monster?

      Uncertainty is present in both versions of the scenarios. The whole PDF has been shifted.

      At least, that’s how I understand his statement.

      • Steven Mosher

        “CO2 fertilization is only one, albeit a predominant, reason why the Earth is greening”

        CO2 emissions are only one, albeit a predominant, reason why the Earth is warming.

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        “CO2 emissions are only one, albeit a predominant, reason why the Earth is warming.”

        And of course, if you had any science to back up your strident assertions, I’d believe you. But you haven’t, so I don’t!

        CO2 warms nothing. If you believe it does, provide just one scientific experiment showing this miraculous effect. I’m sure you can’t.

        Cheers.

      • Steven Mosher

        Wrong mike.
        Co2 has no ability to make things grow.

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        “Wrong mike.
        Co2 has no ability to make things grow.”

        What is it that you are claiming I am wrong about, precisely? Or are you just making another silly two word Warmist assertion, based on nothing at all?

        Where did I say CO2 has no ability to make plants grow? This seems like another silly Warmist assertion. I may have have asserted that plants grow better when supplied with more food and water, ceteris paribus, and it seems that repeatable experiments bear my contention out.

        Unlike the silly Warmist assertion that CO2 increases temperatures. Rubbish, of course, unless you are a Warmist true believer!

        Cheers.

    • …and Then There’s Physics said:

      What happened to the Uncertainty Monster?

      ATTP, didn’t you know that the Uncertainty Monster is only to be awakened from his slumber when it bolsters our team’s science, and not the other team’s science? To wit:

      CO2 fertilization is only one, albeit a predominant, reason why the Earth is greening.

      The study also identified climate change, nitrogen fertilization and land management as other important reasons.

      “While the detection of greening is based on measurements, the attribution to various drivers is based on models, and these models have known deficiencies. Future works will undoubtedly question and refine our results,” says co‑author Dr. Josep Canadell, leader of the Global Carbon Project.

      I’ll bet that’s right, that “future works” will “undoubtedly question and refine our results.”

      In order to deny the past and the present, one of the authors has already shifted the argument to the future and what might happen:

      [S]tudies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising CO2 concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time,” says co‑author Dr. Philippe Ciais, Contributing Lead Author of the Carbon Chapter for the recent IPCC Assessment Report 5.

      • What happened to the Uncertainty Monster?

        As the emissions remain near RCP8.5 and the actual CO2 level continues to lag with each additional year (it is now below RCP4.5), the uncertainty that the RCPs are flat out wrong is reduced.

    • The uncertainty monster went on a diet and lost 50 pounds.

    • Steven Mosher

      ATTP..

      its funny a factorial simulation determines that 70% is down to c02
      and Not a single solar nut comes out to argue that maybe its some
      misunderstood property of the Sun that is controlling things.

      Its funny, when we have simulations and regressions which attribute a percentage of the warming to C02, then its all about the uncertainty
      Its all about “Well you havent ruled out other causes”
      Fair enough.
      But when we have simulations that show 70% of the growth in greening is down to c02… suddenly that explaination is “good enough”. robust.
      solid.

      goal post shifting much?

      • I have yet to see anyone object to the use of modeling, to the clear bias of the authors due to their need for funding, or raise concerns about whether the satellite measurements required any “adjustments” to raw data.

      • ‘prolly just coincidence.

      • Of course, also among the missing are comments about how brave the authors must be to go against the “consensus police” in getting this article published.

        I guess they’re all emeritus?

        And how there must have been some mix-up to allow the article past pal-review? What could possibly explain that?

      • Commercial greenhouses have been using 1200-1500 PPM of CO2 for increased growth for over 35 years.

        We don’t need simulations to prove an effect that is used every day in the real world.

        The problem with global warming is the abhorrence with field testing and the infatuation with simulation. Simulation is only as good as your modeling. What they are modeling is so badly understood, and the granularity of the models is so bad, the simulations are a joke.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Commercial greenhouses have been using 1200-1500 PPM of CO2 for increased growth for over 35 years”

        Controlled experiment.

        In a controlled experiment, in the lab, we can measure the ability of c02 to block IR. And we can apply that theory to build IR telescopes, missiles, EO devices, ect.

        But we cant do PLANETARY SCALE controlled experiments of increasing c02 and holding everything else constant.

        basic Botany and basic physics, tells us.. More c02 all things being equal
        gives us a greener warmer planet.
        Duh
        How much greener and how much warmer?

        Well, that requires models.

      • “Controlled experiment” heh?

        Well, it is pretty obvious CO2 is beneficial. And even the craziest warmers can’t claim harm below 560 PPM. So lets jack up the CO2 level to 500 PPM just to see what happens.

        If we do it deliberately it is a controlled experiment. And won’t require models.

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        “In a controlled experiment, in the lab, we can measure the ability of c02 to block IR.”

        Two points.

        Somewhat correct, but totally misleading. CO2 does not block IR, in the sense that a piece of thick paper blocks IR from the Sun from reaching your face. CO2 absorbs a proportion of the EMR that passes through it, as Tyndall showed. It doesn’t block it totally, it possesses a degree of opacity, which is dependent on several things.

        Further, the atmosphere as a whole – including clouds, solids and condensing gases etc. – prevents about 30% of the incoming solar radiation normal to the surface, from reaching that surface. The surface, as a result, is cooler than it would be if 100% of insolation reached it.

        Your statement, whilst somewhat true in a semantic sense, is irrelevant. IR from the Sun reaches the Earth’s surface. IR from the Earth’s surface is emitted to space, either directly, or after a short period of time.

        You might be interested in looking up the definition of the word block. I know Warmists redefine words to suit themselves, but you might care to use a more appropriate word to describe the interaction between CO2 and insolation.

      • Steven Mosher

        Nice try PA..

      • Rising atmospheric CO2 will give the world a FREE LUNCH !

        HURRAH, something for nothing !

        Wait a minute, only a sucker believes you get something for nothing. A skeptic would be skeptical. I’m afraid PA and Mike are taking a break from skepticism

      • max1ok,

        You wrote –

        “Rising atmospheric CO2 will give the world a FREE LUNCH !”

        Warmist foolishness. Do you really imagine that all the fossil fuel just leapt out of the ground and burnt itself? It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to raise CO2 levels.

        It doesn’t just happen by itself. That’s just a Warmist fantasy, like the miraculous CO2 warming effect! No free lunch to be seen.

        I know you want to remove animal life from the face of the Earth by removing all or most of the CO2 from the atmosphere. Alternatively, you want to condemn millions to starvation by restricting the amount of plant food available, in the form of CO2.

        A distinctly Warmist point of view – but I suppose it takes all sorts. Vive la diffèrence!

        Cheers.

      • The first controlled experiment. The complicated thing is the plant, which you have not excluded from your system. So that experiment is good to go. No modelling required. You can make more generalised statements…. Yay… we call that science… The second experiment. You’ve excluded the complicated things… which I could list… but let’s just call it the planet…. These two experiments are in no way equivalent… now you need models… now you can’t make simple statements and now your ‘science’ is let’s be generous slightly dodgy…..

        Failing to understand this simple example is failing to understand science itself

      • @Arch

        Not sure how that applies to my pointing out. That those that idulge in climate studies who play the basic physics card don’t understand science. But off the top of my head. I’d go with the same. There’s no science involved and as result. There’s neither a moral nor ethical imperative either. Plus. When it comes down to it. Whilst some animals eat plants. Plants also consume animals in some cases directly. But also indirectly as the byproducts of death and decay. But hey ho… then there’s fungi to consider as well…. what’s a vegetarian to do?

      • @Arch addendum….

        Mitochondria…. Discuss…. internal animal slaves to the plant Kingdom. ..

        It’s okay just messin with ya. …

        Curiosity and science are pesky things it would be nice if more people exhibited the first and practiced the second…

      • Can only speak for myself, but I took this paper with a several grains of salt. If for no other reason than it’s reliance on modeling. Thanks to climate science I have lost trust in any research in the field which relies on modeled output.

        My only takeaway is that it appears the planet is greening. Is it due primarily to an increase in CO2 concentration? I wouldn’t hazard a guess.

      • Of course CO2 causes warming. Of course other junk we humans have poured into the hydroaerochemobiosphere influence AGW and OA. Of course CO2 provides 100% of the carbon mass of plants and animals. We Know this to be True.

        100ppm CO2 bad sure, we know that
        10,000ppm CO2 bad sure, we know that

        The dose makes the poison, we know that. 1,000ppm CO2 we don’t know if bad good or indifferent. We can’t predict if it’s bad, good or indifferent. We assume it’s either fine, or a catastrophe.

        Let’s fix it, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

        We know that techno-fixes increase with time.

        We know that the other crud we pollute can be reduced with existing proven technology that routinely operates at full scale right now

        The other crud is maiming and killing people NOW, not in some expected future.

        CO2 is not measurably killing or maiming people now..

        CO2-free is not solved yet, so quietly fund R&D until we get an economic solution.

        Since the Great Ramanathan and the Pope agree, what’s your problem?

      • Horst Graben,

        You wrote –

        “Of course CO2 causes warming.” Yeah. Right. And Uri Geller bends spoons with the power of his mind!

        Of course CO2 warms nothing. Neither you, nor anyone else, have ever managed to achieve such a wondrous feat.

        Correct me if I’m wrong. Provide evidence in the form of just one actual scientific experiment, repeatable if you wouldn’t mind. If you can’t, your statement is the utterance of a fool, or a fraud. The first if you are merely ignorant and unthinking, the second if you are attempting to deceive.

        There is another choice, of course. Maybe I am wrong – a small but finite chance. I don’t think so, but I will smartly change my views if you can demonstrate that I am – wrong, that is!

        Cheers.

      • Horst Graben said:

        CO2-free is not solved yet, so quietly fund R&D until we get an economic solution.

        Right.

        With Al Gore and his host of Twenty climate scientists and Twenty attorneys general criminalizing any R&D effort that doesn’t conform to their messianic political program, I’m sure that’s in the works.

        But hey, if you want to dream and imagine the unreal, then dream big!

      • Glenn: Getting stuff done in the public policy arena is hard work. You are implying in your post that you are willing to concede the field to Gore and the alarmists. What a coward… that’s the archetypal character trait of an “intellectual” blowhard such as yourself.

      • Hortst Graben,

        Not at all.

        I’m just saying I don’t buy into your scientism, nor your anger management problems, nor the incessant need to put other people down.

        When it comes to “getting stuff done,” I’ve always found that those who operate in the reality-based community, with a greater sense of modesty and humility, experiene greater success.

    • The uncertainty monster is a one-way ratchet, just like everything that comes from AGW is bad at best and catastrophic at worst. All feedbacks are positive. The data is under performing the models.

      • All feedbacks are positive. The data is under performing the models.

        That is sarcasm isn’t it?

        “The data is unperforming the model”. You do realize the model is supposed to match the data. Creating a model doesn’t alter the real world.

      • PA it is not satire. They are examples of how the warming exaggerators only see uncertainty in one direction, just like the deniers who are 180-degrees out of phase and just as wrong..

      • How about those who ignore the uncertainty in terms of externalities from fossil fuel usage?

      • Horst Graben said:

        They are examples of how the warming exaggerators only see uncertainty in one direction, just like the deniers who are 180-degrees out of phase and just as wrong.

        False equivalence.

        How many climate scientists, attorney generals, senators and prominent political figures have you seen demanding that the “warming exaggerators” who “have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change” be criminally prosecuted?

        Or do you believe the “warming exaggerstors” have not “knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change”?

  11. The second CO2 desert** is getting slightly wetter, the plants are growing more vigorously yet some are surprised.

    Who are these people?

    **The first was the Carboniferous with levels similar to today

    • You could always ask them my polling question, eventually they will return with the answer.

    • Negative impacts of greenhouse warming on the biosphere are undoubtedly greatest in regions where species are close to maximum temperature tolerance limits. Such impacts may be at least partially balanced by improved opportunities for productive life in other regions. Also the “fertilization” effect on crops due to increasing atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases may have impacts besides that of temperature change., – James E. Hansen, 1988

  12. I apologize for the slightly ‘off topic’ query here, however (My first post) I’ve been reading JC’s website with a great deal of interest for the past several months (thank you for sane voices admisdt the intense polar vortex known as AGW) …on to my question. I believe last week, there was a column by JC indicating the end of the alarmist movement. I have been scaning local, national as well as international news media, and have seen no indication of a reduction in all of the ‘cherping’ by those who claim we should at any moment, now or in a hundred years or so, experience ‘climageddon’. Where is the reduction in the fear mongering? The chastising of those who’s voices differ?

    Thank you for any insight you may lend in this condundrum.
    Signed,
    Lost in the Vortex.

    • David Springer

      I recall it was twilight not end of climatastrophism. The signal event this past year IMO was the lack of any binding commitments at the Paris 2015 International Conference on Climate Change and Global Warming.

    • Polar Vortex,

      The public isn’t responding the way the climatariat believes it should.

      Opinion polls show that only about a third of respondents have boarded the CAGW express. Nobody else wants to get on the train. The “re-education” campaign, therefore, has stalled out.

      Even worse for the climatariat are opinion polls and WTP (willingness to pay) studies that reveal CAGW has little salience with more than about 10% of the population.

      As it becomes more evident that most of the public isn’t buying into the prophecy of climate apocalypse, it’s full court press for the climatariat: a “Hail Mary pass” is thrown to “spread the faith.” Thus the histrionics get tuned up, not down. It smells of desperation, not success.

      A good analogy was the full court press by the establishment to sink the candidacy of Donald Trump.

      Regardless of what one thinks of Trump, it’s pretty clear that the propaganda campaign, which was unhinged over the top, didn’t work.

      • Or a change in tactic’s, hence the attempt to pull pages from the tobacco lawsuits and apply against major energy companies.

        Unfortunately (for them), borrowing from Sabrina Williams playbook is unlikely to work against Bill Belichek.

      • Thanks Glen, I appreciate your perspective, hopefully those who continue to quietly, though steadfastly, raise their hands (in the back of the class) will at last be given a chance to participate in the global conversation.

      • timg56,

        Yep.

        The cost-benefit calculus is a entirely different.

        The benefits of burning tobacco, in comparison to the benefits of burning fossil fuels, is like a fly on an elephant’s ass.

        Nevertheless, the climatariat, for some strange and unknown reason, remains blinded to this fact.

      • David Springer

        Nice photoshop detail. The transparency on the fake flashlight beam a really good touch. The dark steam coming off the elephant poo a bit over the top. The capstone on the ridiculous side is a badger, dog, and monkey pasted into the laughing crowd. Someone has too much time on their hands.

      • David,

        I missed seeing the monkey, dog and badger, but if you look again, I think you’ll see that the person performing the cavity inspection is none other than our esteemed President. Looks like it’s from one of the many shots of him bowing to someone.

      • David Springer

        I couldn’t say whether that’s Obama or not. Brown hands and charcoal gray suits all look the same to me.

      • There is a video of what looks like a zoo keeper who encountered this problem. The elephant reared back when he wasn’t expecting it. Most people have enough common sense not to stand behind a large herbivore.

        Fortunately there was a assistant in the cage that helped pull him out before it became too serious.

        The skeptics should assist the climate alarmists who suffer from a similar problem.

      • PA,

        The skeptics should assist the climate alarmists who suffer from a similar problem.

        Indeed. Move them from the elephant cage to the lion cage.

    • Polar Vortex
      There are a few levels of discussion.
      First, and most discouraging, is the cheesy media level discussion where alarmists exaggeration rules.
      This is the one in which we observe little change.
      Then there is the alarmists grant fat scientific elite that is slowly being forced to accept that Gaia is not cooperating with the end of the world and need to take little digs at doubters as they are dragged away from their conviction.
      As in the post today.
      Then there is Judith and the serious minded, smart (not me), more clear headed folk that tend to read and comment here at CE.
      When I am feeling positive about truth and science I tell myself that when the smoke clears level three will win.

      The smoke clears when the NYT catches up. Fake smart people aren’t allowed to believe anything until it’s cleared in Manhattan.

  13. There are a few interesting [at least to me] statements kind of buried in the main messages.
    1. “More severe tropical storms” – have yet to see these and the predictions are shaky.
    2. Soil drying out because of warming – well, maybe, except the humidity will increase slowing or stopping the transpiration process.
    3. The “permanence” of carbon storage in the soil, plants and the seas – even though Henry’s Law does not apply directly (systems DEFINITELY NOT at equilibrium) it does provide a driving force for increasing the amount of bound CO2 if partial pressure of CO2 is increasing. However, the only “permanent” binding of atmospheric CO2 is from what I call “phytomineralization” – conversion of CO2 to minerals by some plants (cottonwoods and mulberries for example).
    3. Limiting effects of (other) soil nutrients – while I’m no expert on photosynthesis, as a chemist I have to wonder whether phosphorus may in fact limit the greening due to increased CO2 (phospho-containing enzymes often moderate the process). After that the alkaline earths (esp. Mg, Ca) may also come into play.

    • On point three, depends where (what type of soil) and what type of plant. To a depth of about 1 meter (shallow root systems) micronutrients are mostly recycled from organic matter. Below 1 meter, they are usually produced from weathering of minerals like apatite (specific to phosporus). Studies show that in heavily and perpetually forested regions, deep soil micronutrients are seldom depleted.
      Croplands require NPK fertilizer for two reasons. 1. Crops are shallow rooted. 2. A portion of the organic matter is removed rather than naturally recycled. So arable land becomes eventually depleted in the absence of fertilizer, either synthetic or organic (like speading manure on fields).
      The essence of slash and burn agriculture is move and repeat after soil becomes depleted. Reforestation with deep rooted trees will eventually restore soil micronutrients.

  14. Nic Lewis: “The paper indicates that the primary cause of increasing plant productivity – which is good from a food production viewpoint”.

    Where did Nic see this statement in the report?

    In articles I’ve read where food was specifically addressed, the scientists talked about potential detrimental effects if increased CO2 on food nutrition (zinc, iron, and protein) for major crops.

    One other key thing to think about is what a Farmer with zero knowledge in climate science knows — the law of limiting factors. Folks should Google this term.

    Also — In reading this CO2 greening story yesterday, I saw links several times to an interesting WSJ story written by Matt Ridley on Nic Lewis and TCR: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323981504578179291222227104

    • Yeah I think it is much more complicated when it comes to the overall impact on agriculture. And CO2 fertilization can promote the growth of invasive species of plants. I found these as examples.

      How does carbon fertilization affect crop yield?
      http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/news/54347

      Temperature extremes: Effect on plant growth and development
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212094715300116

    • Stephen Segrest: In articles I’ve read where food was specifically addressed, the scientists talked about potential detrimental effects if increased CO2 on food nutrition (zinc, iron, and protein) for major crops.

      One other key thing to think about is what a Farmer with zero knowledge in climate science knows — the law of limiting factors. Folks should Google this term.

      Consider an analogy from human health: vitamin C is on the whole beneficial, but won’t cure iron deficiency anemia or syphilis.

      CO2 is on the whole beneficial to terrestrial plants, but won’t cure zinc deficiency or plagues of locusts.

      Admit it: evidence to date is that extra CO2 is beneficial to terrestrial plants, without being the mythical panacea.

  15. Reference to Ridley and Murdoch.

    “I was highly irritated……”

    I was not. I just file it away as another reason to discount efforts that should have been purely science. If this was an isolated case that is one thing. But it has become a trademark for climate/ideology/advocacy/neverputonbigboypants/science. If they want to be given respect as legitimate scientists, then they need to earn it by showing a little more class.

  16. About 2000 years ago, there was a Roman Warm Period and then it got cold. About 1000 years ago, there was a Medieval Warm Period and then it got cold. That was called the Little Ice Age. It is warm now because it is supposed to be warm now. It is a natural cycle and we did not cause it.

    When the oceans are warm and wet, it snows more and that bounds the upper limits of temperature and sea level. When the oceans are cold and frozen, it snows less and that bounds the lower limits of temperature and sea level.

    CO2 just makes green things grow better, while using less water.

      • Really? We are going with this again?

        I’m starting to peg you as a global warmer.

        If you read up on whole grain vs white flour, white flour has as much nutrition as cardboard before they enrich it. It isn’t that hard to add a teaspoon more iron or niacin to the cup of enrichment they are pouring over your cardboard.

        People eat grains for carbohydrates. If they wanted nutrition they would eat the stalks of the plants or go whole grain.

        People eat meat for nutrition. If you are going to start claiming that unenriched grass and unenriched grain results in unenriched beef I am going to be really disappointed in you.

      • http://plantsneedco2.org/
        Actual real research into CO2 agrees with me. Actually I agree with real research.
        I have read a lot of this alarmist garbage. In fact, that is what this thread is all about. More CO2 caused good things to happen. Look for traces of the alamist garbage in the wonderful news about CO2 and greening. Weeds also grow better, but one persons weeds are another persons treasure. All of it is part of nature. You don’t have a clue as to how important each of the many plants are to the total balance of nature. When we raise crops, we fight against everything that takes away from the crops. In the rest of nature, all that stuff has its part.

        They must scare us to control and tax us. That is what they do.

      • PA and Popeclimatetheory — A major aspect of Ag research on increased CO2 levels is between C3 and C4 plants. I’m not a Biology Researcher on this — I’m only reading that this is a complex topic.

      • Stephen Segrest: Many Ag Scientists would disagree with you:

        Maybes about the future versus summary of actual research to date. I am a fan of maybes. The evidence to date supports the idea that extra CO2 is beneficial to vegetation.

      • Stephen Segrest | April 26, 2016 at 4:30 pm |
        PA and Popeclimatetheory — A major aspect of Ag research on increased CO2 levels is between C3 and C4 plants. I’m not a Biology Researcher on this — I’m only reading that this is a complex topic.

        Well, yeah it is.

        And having environment zealots researching it is a waste of time. I get disgusted at the stressor experiments where they cook the high CO2 plants to slow them down.

        The crossover between C3 and C4 is stated as 560 to 750. Some claim C4 saturates at 360 and C3 at 560 etc. Some charts show C3 plants topping out at 560 and some charts show them continuing to soar upward. Growth vs CO2 charts are all over the place. It is almost like they were using different plants.

        Greenhouses use 1200-1500 PPM CO2. It is nuts to claim that there isn’t a benefit to high CO2 or greenhouses wouldn’t pay the greenbacks for the high levels they use.

        We know more CO2 means less water consumption.

        The peak photosynthesis temperature rises with more CO2 so this should confer better temperature tolerance.

        There is an interaction between light levels, CO2, crop density, and plant physiology.

        There should be a grant restriction that all “stressor” studies must be 4 plot tests with both the high and low CO2 plants stressed and unstressed.

      • There should be a grant restriction that all “stressor” studies must be 4 plot tests with both the high and low CO2 plants stressed and unstressed.

        How many grant restrictions/requirements do you want PA? Maybe if Trump wins he can appoint you as some sort of scientific grant Czar. Otherwise I see such suggestions going nowhere fast.

      • PA, +!

      • Refine, ferment, and enrich!

    • blueice2hotsea

      That there were natural cycles for billions of year before humans seems accepted by all. But some think those cycles have now either halted or are negligible in comparison to human influence.

      Others, perhaps you, claim humans have no discernible influence whatsoever.

      Me? I’m straddling the fence. And it’s a pain in the ass.

  17. “This paper alters the dynamics of calculating the social cost of carbon, in the direction of a lower cost.”

    The social cost of carbon is indeed very sensitive to the assumed carbon dioxide fertilization because the effect is instantaneous, whereas climate change responds with a delay to a change in the atmospheric concentration.

    That said, most models used to estimate the social cost of carbon ignore carbon dioxide fertilization, with one notable exception: FUND.

    • Curious George

      The social cost of carbon: Is it a pure fiction, or is it based on objective measurable criteria, or is it based on models only?

      • The social cost of carbon is the first partial derivative of the net present welfare to carbon dioxide emissions. As such, it necessarily relies on models and scenarios; and our estimates of the social cost of carbon cannot be more reliable than our estimates of future emissions, future climate change, future impacts, and future welfare.

      • Curious George

        Thank you, Dr. Tol. By that definition, anything that is beneficial has a positive social cost, anything that is detrimental has a negative social cost. Do we want to tax beneficial things, and ultimately be left with detrimentals only?

      • Now you’re swapping signs. You’d want to tax the bads and subsidize the goods.

      • Richard Tol (@RichardTol) | April 26, 2016 at 1:52 pm |
        Now you’re swapping signs. You’d want to tax the bads and subsidize the goods.

        So we should be taxing renewable energy and subsidizing fossil fuel?

        Cool beans, I’ve been advocating that for a while.

      • The bulk of the evidence has that carbon dioxide emissions are a negative externality, and should therefore be taxed. See https://ideas.repec.org/p/sus/susewp/7515.html

        Renewables are diverse, of course. Wind power, for instance, should benefit from a tax on carbon dioxide — rather than a subsidy on wind power. Wind power should be taxed for its impact on wildlife, visual intrusion, and grid reliability and stability.

      • Well doesn’t the new magnitude of CO2 greening change the balance a bit?

      • Is the portion that is completely unnecessary still a benefit?

      • The bulk of the evidence has that carbon dioxide emissions are a negative externality, and should therefore be taxed.

        I don’t accept that as a premise. Since imagined detriments are all some time in the future, it’s not any evidence that CO2 is a negative – indeed the fertilization is current evidence of benefit. Rather, it is projection ( or worse, imagination ) that contains the hazards, not evidence.

      • There is no evidence that 400 ppm are necessary to feed 10 billion people. It was around 320 ppm when I raked hay with a dump rake and Johnny Popper, and we proudly fed the world… and easily could have fed more.

      • Curious George

        Dr. Tol, I appreciate your answers. I am unaware of swapping signs; maybe there is a misunderstanding. If an increase of X results in an increase of a “present net welfare”, is X a beneficial or detrimental factor? Are we using the same definition of the first partial derivative? Or maybe I misinterpret the present net welfare…

      • My guess is you would have to increase the future discount rate to get a more shortsighted view that might show benefit. When they say net, they mean net over time for normal discount rates, and that factors in the negative effects of more warming in the future.

      • blueice2hotsea

        JCH I raked hay with a dump rake and Johnny Popper, and we proudly fed the world…

        Let them eat hay!

      • Cows like hay.

      • Dr. Tol: How is it calculated that the damages due to CO2, which are unknowable future expectations outweigh the demonstrated benefits of 150-year history of fossil fuel exploitation on wealth, health and on the elevation of women? It’s that last bit that’s most important to the elevation of modern society.

      • Horst –

        ==> which are unknowable future expectations outweigh the demonstrated benefits of 150-year history of fossil fuel exploitation on wealth, health and on the elevation of women?

        Perhaps you could elaborate on how you differentiate the benefits of fossil fuel exploitation from the benefits of antibiotics, enfranchisement, the right to own property, the right to not be the sexual property of her husband, improvements in childbirth, access to healthcare, etc., vis a vis the “elevation of women,” respectively?

      • @curious george
        Things that increase welfare are good, things that decrease welfare are bad.

        @turbulent eddie
        Agreed. By definition, the social cost of carbon is a metric of things that have yet to happen. Furthermore, it is the difference between the world and a counterfactual. The social cost of carbon can therefore never be measured.

        @judy
        Indeed. However, this is the Nth estimate of the strength of carbon dioxide fertilization, so our new assessment should not differ too much from the assessment based on the first N-1 estimates.

      • J0$hua: The industrial revolution spawned the social revolution. Wealth buys freedom from drudgery which brings reform. The carbohydrate-based energy economy was and is physically, mentally and socially toxic.

      • Richard Tol said:

        Things that increase welfare are good, things that decrease welfare are bad.

        I don’t have any objections to your value system, which looks to be materialistic, and utilitarian.

        But I believe it is, nevertheless, helpful to recognize and acknowledge that there are other value systems operative out there: in theology, in philosophy, in politics, and in science.

        A couple of assumptions also tend to get built into the utilitarian value system.

        First is the old Cartesian two-world theory that assumes man’s material existence operates in a separate realm from his spiritual existence. I won’t dwell too much on the subject, other than to point out the writings of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s where he grapples with the subject:

        Of course there were points at which I differed with Rauschenbusch. I felt that he had fallen victim to the nineteenth-century “cult of inevitable progress” which led him to a superficial optimism concerning man’s nature.

        Moreover, he came perilously close to identifylng the Kingdom of God with a particular social and economic system, a tendency which should never befall the Church.

        But in spite of these shortcomings Rauschenbusch had done a great service for the Christian Church by insisting that the gospel deals with the whole man, not only his soul but his body; not only his spiritual well-being but his material well-being.

        It has been my conviction ever since reading Rauschenbusch that any religion which professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the social and economic conditions that scar the soul, is a spiritually moribund religion only waiting for the day to be buried. It well has been said: “A religion that ends with the individual, ends.”

        http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/primarydocuments/Vol4/1-Sept-1958_MyPilgrimageToNonviolence.pdf

        Needless to say, under the overarching banner of “environmentalism” are many sects. But I think it’s pretty safe to say that some of these sects “profess to be concerned about the souls of men and are not concerned about the social and economic conditions that scar the soul.” So they have a value system which is diametrically opposed to yours.

        Second is the liberal assumption, perhaps best encapsulated in the expression popularized by John F. Kennedy, that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” As Wikipedia explains, it “is associated with the idea that improvements in the general economy will benefit all participants in that economy, and that economic policy, particularly government economic policy, should therefore focus on the general macroeconomic environment first and foremost.” Both Thomas Jefferson and Marx, as Reinhold Niebuhr explains in The Irony of American History, believed the assumption to be true:

        The idea that men would not come in conflict with one another, if the opportunities were wide enough, was partly based upon the assumption that all human desires are determinate and all human abmitions ordinate. This assumption was shared by our Jeffersonians with the French Enlightenment. “Every man,” declared Tom Paine, “wishes to pursue his occupation and enjoy the fruits of his labors and the produce of his property in peace and safety and with the least possible expense. When these things are accomplished all objects for which governments ought to be established are accomplished.”

        The same idea underlies the Marxist conception of the difference between an “economy of scarcity” and an “economy of abundance.” In an economy of abundance there is presumably no cause for rivalry.”

        However, as Niebuhr goes on to point out, Jefferson’s and Marx’s idyllic picture of human innocency is hardly realistic:

        Neither Jeffersonians nor Marxists had any understanding for the perennial conflicts of power and pride which may arise on every level of “abundance” since human desires grow with the means of their gratification.

        So the predictions, and promises, of both liberalism and Maxism failed to fully take place in the real world. They proved to be, in practice, partial truths.

        But just because the promise of liberal and Marxist thinking was not completely realized, I don’t see how this justifies the thinking of much of the climatariat, which, to paraphrase Kennedy, is that “a lowering tide will lift the boats of the most underprivileged.” For this to happen, human nature would have to undergo quite a “transformation,” to use one of the favorite words of the environmentalist faithful.

        Naomi Klein I suppose is the high priestess of this utopian vision, but I ran across another example of it just a couple of days ago:

        But the real job for affluent countries is to rein in overconsumption, profligate waste, and the use of fossil fuels….

        We need a shift that radically reconceives prosperity and how we define it.

        To survive as well-functioning, civilized communities in a static global population, there will inevitably have to be some redistribution of wealth, both within countries and across them. We might have to make do with less—certainly with less as traditionally understood—and distribute it more equitably. Just as the notion of the supreme nation-state needs modification, so, too, does our devotion to unfettered capitalism and the grail of GDP growth.

        http://prospect.org/article/our-beleaguered-planet-0

      • Horst –

        As I see it, you didn’t answer my question.

        So I’ll try again, with adding a bit more…

        In addition to what I mentioned earlier, how do you account, in your cost/benefit analysis, the effects of such things as lead poisoning from use of fossil fuels with lead additives, the impact of particulate matter and environmental damage from the mining of coal?

        http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/03/the-violent-remaking-of-appalachia/474603/

        What about the social and economic costs that have been incurred, at least partially, as a result of keeping oil flowing?

        Don’t you think that such factors need to be accounted for in your analysis?

        And if you don’t mind, what does the “carbohydrate-based energy economy” have to do with my questions?

      • Glenn sets a great example that volume is anti-correlated to density. He is the Walmart of trolls.

      • I’m going to agree with JCH on this one.

        Saying increased CO2 concentration is needed in order to feed the world is unfounded opinion.

        World food production continues to increase and it is doing so as land under cultivation decreases.

        Here is the only statistic one really needs to think about when the topic is food. More than half of all food produced world wide is lost to spoilage or tossed away.

      • From Jim D:

        “When they say net, they mean net over time for normal discount rates”

        Yeah, like 300 years.

      • Richard Tol: By definition, the social cost of carbon is a metric of things that have yet to happen. Furthermore, it is the difference between the world and a counterfactual. The social cost of carbon can therefore never be measured.

        I am glad that we got that settled!

        However, reasonably reliable estimates can be developed based on “counterfactuals” that have a lot of scientific support, such as what the trajectory of a rocket launced today to reach Jupiter in the shortest amount of time would be. Similarly, as with today’s article and some field experiments, on the net effects of increased CO2 on terrestrial vegetation. Development of reliable estimates, and improvements in the estimating procedures, is part of normal science.

        Now perhaps we can return our focus to empirical research on costs and benefits.

      • Richard Tol: However, this is the Nth estimate of the strength of carbon dioxide fertilization, so our new assessment should not differ too much from the assessment based on the first N-1 estimates.

        Considering that N and “too much” are not specified, that is a vacuous statement. Albert Michelson was the Nth person to estimate the speed of light, and his measurement made a big difference, enabling an accurate estimate of the “aether drag” posited by Maxwell. This particular study makes enough of a difference that it was published by Nature and received attention from the BBC and some other news agencies. Has it been recognized yet by WaPo, NPR or NYTimes? It will certainly be picked up in the US Congress and brought to the attention of members who are not yet opposed to urgent CO2 abatement. I forecast that it will make a difference to them.

      • @Glenn
        The welfare calculus is a narrow, discounted utilitarian one. As you may know, Jeremy Bentham’s body was preserved so that he continue to watch over economists from the hallowed halls of UCL.

    • Curious George

      The Economist calls economics a dismal science. Here it is grafted on another dismal science, climatology. What fruit can we expect?

    • I don’t think fertilization effect is instantaneous. Seems to be a lag as overall biosphere size grows and concentration grows. Bigger the biosphere gets, the more it seems to grow (and consume CO2).

  18. According to the palaeo record across the Phanerozoic, the safe range of CO2 concentrations which appear to have no effect on temperature, is about 300-7000 ppm:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_RXGJAF_XL5V0Y0eU1ya3E2UTA/view?pref=2&pli=1

    We are much closer to the low, than the high, end of this range.

    The episodes of extreme aridity and dust maxima at the glacial maxima in the ice cores, are at least partly due to acute stress to vegetation from CO2 starvation during Pleistocene glacial maxima, especially the most recent ones since the MPR.

    Thus human CO2 emissions are without any doubt pushing CO2 concentration in the right direction, upwards, towards safety.

  19. This is provides an example of a feedback that has been mostly ignored. Greening alters the albedo, the sensible and latent heat fluxes, and the long wave radiative fluxes; e.g. see

    Eastman, J.L., M.B. Coughenour, and R.A. Pielke, 2001: The effects of CO2 and landscape change using a coupled plant and meteorological model. Global Change Biology, 7, 797-815.http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-229.pdf

    The need to broaden the climate issue to include this effect when discussing policy has been presented in our papers; e. g.

    Marland, G., R.A. Pielke, Sr., M. Apps, R. Avissar, R.A. Betts, K.J. Davis, P.C. Frumhoff, S.T. Jackson, L. Joyce, P. Kauppi, J. Katzenberger, K.G. MacDicken, R. Neilson, J.O. Niles, D. dutta S. Niyogi, R.J. Norby, N. Pena, N. Sampson, and Y. Xue, 2003: The climatic impacts of land surface change and carbon management, and the implications for climate-change mitigation policy. Climate Policy, 3, 149-157. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-267.pdf

    Mahmood, R., R.A. Pielke Sr., K. Hubbard, D. Niyogi, P. Dirmeyer, C. McAlpine, A. Carleton, R. Hale, S. Gameda, A. Beltrán-Przekurat, B. Baker, R. McNider, D. Legates, J. Shepherd, J. Du, P. Blanken, O. Frauenfeld, U. Nair, S. Fall, 2013: Land cover changes and their biogeophysical effects on climate. Int. J. Climatol., DOI: 10.1002/joc.3736. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/r-374.pdf

    Mahmood, R., R.A. Pielke Sr., T.R. Loveland, and C.A. McAlpine, 2015: Climate relevant land use and land cover change policies. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., e-View doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00221.1 http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00221.1

    Clearly the climate issue is a much more “wicked” problem than presented in the IPCC Reports and in the Paris Agreement.

    Roger A. Pielke Sr

    • Greening is darkening of the albedo which is a positive feedback. Hansen has mentioned this as one of the long-term positive feedbacks, along with glacier loss. The Eocene earth was much hotter and greener, but not really very comfortable for mammals.

      • Many of the mammals we know and love (and eat) today originated during the Eocene — including primates.

      • Smaller versions can lose heat more easily. Humans do better in more temperate climates, even today.

      • The opposite of greening would also be positive feedback towards an ice age.

      • Humans do better in more temperate climates, even today.

        Humans do better in highly industrialized, fossil-fueled societies that are transitioning to the next stage of development.

        If they live in a mud hut with twigs and dung for fuel, they probably prefer the tropics/semi-tropics. The rest of us will not merely endure, we will prevail — regardless of the local climate. (nod to Faulkner)

    • Greening raises the albedo. It has long been observed in the arid lands of Western Australia that perennially green native vegetation promotes cloud cover in summer whereas cropped land does not. The rabbit proof fence traverses the land in a north south direction separating the two. The side with the rabbits (and the native vegetation has less precipitation but has more cloud.

      Leaves, by virtue of their surface area and their access to groundwater represent the prime source of water entering the atmosphere as can be observed in the distribution of H2O at 100hPa here:http://macc.aeronomie.be/4_NRT_products/5_Browse_plots/1_Snapshot_maps/index.php?src=MACC_o-suite&l=TC

      • You can compare the Amazon to Sahara on a satellite picture and determine which one is darker. It is the Amazon. Regarding moisture, these greener areas will also enhance the water vapor feedback that deserts can’t.

  20. …yes, but…

    • Yes but … it also accelerates the local hydrological cycle, increasing atmospheric water content as well as in the soil – this I would guess more than offsets the decrease in albedo, resulting in a net cooling effect.

  21. Also, greening usually darkens the surface (i.e a lower albedo). This is a radiative warming effect. Has the magnitude of this in global averaged Watts per meter squared been quantified from the new study?

    • The IPCC states land use forcing changed minimally in 1980-2011, from -0.14 to -0.15 w/m2.
      http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_AnnexII_FINAL.pdf

      I searched chapter 8 ie radiative forcing and there is no mention of ‘greening’. They discuss land use of course, mainly in the context of deforestation, but not CO2- or warming-induced greening.

      If so, it appears that this ‘greening’ or ‘darkening’ has indeed been excluded. In other words man-made forcing over the last 30 (or more years) would be higher than stated and TCR/ECS lower, though I suppose the effect would be negligible.

      • This darkening does need to be examined further in terms of its radiative effect. It would reduce warming that can be attributed to the direct radiative effect of added CO2 by some amount.

        This article I wrote

        Pielke Sr., R.A., 2001: Carbon sequestration — The need for an integrated climate system approach. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 82, 2021.https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-248.pdf

        directly relates to this issue. Here is my conclusion

        “There has, unfortunately, been no attempt to evaluate the benefit of carbon sequestration as a means of reducing the concentrations of the radiatively active gas CO2 in the atmosphere, while at the same time, assessing the influence of this sequestration on the radiatively active gas H2O, and on the surface heat energy budget. Until these effects are factored in as part of an integrated climate assessment, a policy based on carbon sequestration as a means to reduce the radiative warming effect of increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2 could actually enhance this warming.”

      • If this darkening is confined to land, could it also enhance the monsoon effect? And while we’re at it, what about eco-changes that increase the amount of evergreen growth?

      • The darkening isn’t simply captured heat though – photosynthesis has locked away some of the energy without it generating any heat. But how much this alters the impact of albedo, anyone ever studied this?

      • [… P]hotosynthesis has locked away some of the energy without it generating any heat.

        IIRC the amount of solar energy converted to chemical is around 1%. Probably trivial for first-order calculations.

      • AK, 1% is pretty big when you consider 50+% of CO2 emitted is absorbed and that a-CO2 to date is far less than 1% of radiation at the surface.

    • David Springer

      Greening usually increases evaporation which is the dominant form of surface cooling where there’s water available. Mean annual temperature is highest in deserts vs. greenbelts at the same latitude. That seems to be compelling evidence that evaporation more than counters change in albedo.

      • While increased CO2 could well reduce transpiration.

      • David Springer

        Going from brown to green never reduces transpiration.

        Point taken nonetheless. Areas already at maximum green due to constraints in sunlight or nutrients would transpire less to remain at that level.

      • With added water vapor, even with decreased dry bulb temperatures, higher heat (moist enthalpy) is expected with lower albedo from the darker surface.

      • David Springer

        Yet the fact remains that underneath a solid overhead forest canopy cooler than bare rock in the same general area. Maybe you don’t get outside often enough, Roger.

      • David Springer

        But don’t take my word for it if you haven’t the practical experience of spending a lot of time outdoors in forested lands. Here’s a Nature article stating the same thing:

        http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150325/ncomms7603/full/ncomms7603.html

        Abstract

        The biophysical effects of forests on climate have been extensively studied with climate models. However, models cannot accurately reproduce local climate effects due to their coarse spatial resolution and uncertainties, and field observations are valuable but often insufficient due to their limited coverage. Here we present new evidence acquired from global satellite data to analyse the biophysical effects of forests on local climate. Results show that tropical forests have a strong cooling effect throughout the year; temperate forests show moderate cooling in summer and moderate warming in winter with net cooling annually; and boreal forests have strong warming in winter and moderate cooling in summer with net warming annually. The spatiotemporal cooling or warming effects are mainly driven by the two competing biophysical effects, evapotranspiration and albedo, which in turn are strongly influenced by rainfall and snow. Implications of our satellite-based study could be useful for informing local forestry policies.

        Thanks for playing!

      • David Springer

        Caveat:

        Boreal forests, which exhibit a net annual warming effect (but still a cooling effect in the summer), comprise 29% of all the world’s forests. The other 71% (tropical and temperate) have a net cooling effect on local climate.

        I’m a bit chagrined, having grown up in temperate forest area and then the rest of my adult life in sub-tropical, didn’t figure on evergreen albedo effect in winter actually warming the local climate. I should have reasoned that out and looked it up before saying anything my apology. But I’m still quite correct that on a global basis plant transpiration cools the surface more than plant albedo warms it.

  22. Dr. Freeman Dyson is not alone in his belief that, “environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion,” and that scientists must rediscover how real science is done.

  23. More CO2 = more plant growth, Duh.
    But Oxygen levels keep dropping? Why?
    http://scrippso2.ucsd.edu/

    Hypothesis: Perhaps the kinds of life forms that respond to increasing CO2 do a poor job of converting it to Oxygen or the enormous quantities of Oxygen consumed while burning Carbon base fuels can not be replaced by photosynthesis alone. Either way we won’t run out of Oxygen before we run out of fossil fuels so it’s hardly a crises. Still an interesting observation.

    • Curious George

      Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased from 0.035% (see 350.org) to 0.04%. Surprisingly, a corresponding decrease in oxygen concentration – by 0.0005% – can be measured, and made into very exciting graphs.

  24. Pingback: Atmospheric Plant Food | Transterrestrial Musings

  25. Another unknown in the carbon cycle apparently is the degree of plankton growth in the oceans. Scientists recently identified large plankton blooms in new satellite imagery they were previously unaware of.

  26. > Ridley in particular has made public statements about greening several years ago, which were widely criticized at the time, that are supported by this new paper.

    Quotes might be nice.

    • Willard

      A paper from Ridley on this subject from January 2013, which also gives some history.

      http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-greening-of-the-planet/

      As mentioned below, both Arrhenius and Callendar also mentioned the beneficial effect of co2, as did Lamb

      It has been pretty well known generally for several decades surely?

      It would be interesting to know how many people worldwide this extra greening is feeding and whether the population increases expected would be harmed if levels were to go back to 350 or less.

      tonyb

      • Thank you for adding your voice to the chopping of the press release’s claim, TonyB.

      • Willard

        I am in the middle of moving house. I saw your request for the source of the quotes and thought I was being helpful by taking a few minutes from my very hectic schedule in order to point you to one of the sources.

        I make no comment as to whether I am chopping a press release or not, merely being helpful to a fellow denizen.

        tonyb

      • > I make no comment as to whether I am chopping a press release or not, merely being helpful to a fellow denizen.

        Of course not, TonyB, and handwaving to Arrhenius, Callendar, and Lamb was only there to provide extra help, no doubt.

        Here would be a better quote to substantiate the accusation of the press release:

        Meanwhile, satellite images show a spectacular and beneficial greening all across the Sahel, caused partly by better land management and partly by higher carbon dioxide levels in the air, which encourage plant growth. A German study projects that this may continue for most of the current century.

        The economist Bjørn Lomborg has been making the case that getting energy and clean water to Africans is a higher moral priority than pursuing renewable energy. He still thinks climate change is a danger, but he thinks developing new energy technologies will get far better results than rolling out expensive and land-hungry renewables today.

        For this heresy against the renewable energy boondoggle, he is being attacked by the green Taliban, which is campaigning to prevent him joining the University of Western Australia. As the blogger Andrew Montford put it: “Bjørn Lomborg argues that we should focus our spending on immediate problems, such as ensuring Africans have access to clean water. For this he is vilified, attacked and has his livelihood threatened. His critics wish to see money spent on climate change mitigation measures instead. A tragedy for the Africans.”

        http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/electricity-for-africa/

        Lots of interesting memes right there.

        In any case, if PaulM could retract his smear accusation, that’d be great.

      • Willard

        Why so ungracious? I took a minute to provide the link you wanted and having read other people on the subject over the years I merely added in what was in my memory. It may be right or wrong but was not intended as the start of a long argument, merely providing help to someone who had requested it.

        tonyb

      • > I took a minute to provide the link you wanted […]

        First, I asked for quotes, TonyB.

        Second, handwaving to Arrhenius and others is on you.

        Third, you now take another minute of your precious time raising concerns about me instead of commenting on Judy’s strawmaning of the press release.

        In any event, please rest assured of my infinite gratitude for your help.

        ***

        Here’s what a quote looks like:

        Dr Randall Donohue and colleagues of the CSIRO Land and Water department in Australia also analysed satellite data and found greening to be clearly attributable in part to the carbon dioxide fertilisation effect. Greening is especially pronounced in dry areas like the Sahel region of Africa, where satellites show a big increase in green vegetation since the 1970s.

        […]

        That’s the thing about climate change — we will probably pocket the benefits and mitigate at least some of the harm by adapting.

        http://www.spectator.co.uk/2013/10/carry-on-warming/

        Do you agree with PaulM’s claim that there’s a smear, i.e. that Ridley’s memes I quoted don’t exist?

        Many thanks!

        W

    • http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-greening-of-the-planet/

      “Did you know that the Earth is getting greener, quite literally? …”

      • Thank you. An example of criticism of that blog post would be nice. Also, if you could acknowledge that Judy has chopped the press release in half, like Richie did a bit later in the comment thread, that would be even nicer.

        Here’s the claim:

        The beneficial aspect of CO2 fertilization in promoting plant growth has been used by contrarians, notably Lord Ridley and Mr. Rupert Murdoch, to argue against cuts in carbon emissions to mitigate climate change, similar to those agreed at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Paris last year under the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

        Is there anything in the paper that “supports” the emphasized bit?

        Many thanks!

      • Are you able to read the paper yourself Willard, or do you need someone else to read it for you?
        Perhaps you can check for yourself whether the sneering smear in the press release is justified.

      • > Are you able to read the paper yourself Willard, or do you need someone else to read it for you?

        Is that how you respond to your students, PaulM, or do you prefer to send them colored graphs void of words?

        You chopped the press release’s claim and contrued a strawman. Congratulations!

    • ‘Chem-Trails’, from: Chuck Norris, not enough?

    • Willard,

      Seriously, do you really believe the climatariat would allow any good deed, or any individual who publicizes factual data which counters the one true faith, to go unpunished?

      How Fossil Fuels Have Greened the Planet
      http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323374504578217621593679506

      Ridley, Murdoch, and Lomborg Attempt to Greenwash Global Warming
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/ridley-murdoch-lomborg-greenwash-global-warming.html

      Climate Science Denialist Matt Ridley Criticised By Same Scientist He Sourced On Greening Planet Claims
      http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/10/19/climate-science-denialist-matt-ridley-criticised-scientist-he-sourced-claims-about-greening-planet

      In WSJ, Ridley presents medley of long-debunked climate claims
      http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2013/09/14/in-wsj-ridley-presents-debunked-climate-claims/

      Famine and Water Riots Are Coming, Warns New Intergovernmental Report
      http://io9.gizmodo.com/famine-and-water-riots-are-coming-warns-new-intergover-1555054047

      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a new report on the state of the global environment. One of their most important messages is that we need to prepare for famines and water shortages in the coming decades.


      Photo, above, of California’s low water levels due to drought this year, by Randall Benton, Sacramento Bee.

      The Guardian’s John Abraham and Dana Nuccitelli have a great guide to the report. They write:

      The report discusses the risk associated with food insecurity due to more intense droughts, floods, and heat waves in a warmer world, especially for poorer countries. This contradicts the claims of climate contrarians like Matt Ridley, who have tried to claim that rising carbon dioxide levels are good for crops.

      While rising carbon dioxide levels have led to ‘global greening’ in past decades and improved agricultural technology has increased crop yields, research has indicated that both of these trends are already beginning to reverse. While plants like carbon dioxide, they don’t like heat waves, droughts, and floods.

      • > do you really believe the climatariat would allow any good deed, or any individual who publicizes factual data which counters the one true faith, to go unpunished?

        Since Matt King Coal is not “publishing” any data, and is in fact spinning the data published by what you affectionately call the “climatariat,” Glenn, I’m not sure you got any leg to stand on your rhetorical question.

        If you could acknowledge that Judy strawmaned the press release, that would be great. If not, don’t worry – I’ll keep a tab just for you.

      • Willard,

        You charge that Judy “strawmaned the press release” when she stated:

        Ridley in particular has made public statements about greening several years ago, which were widely criticized at the time, that are supported by this new paper.

        Judy’s claim is not strawmanning. It is an empirical claim which, as the links I provided demonstrate, is factually true.

      • > Judy’s claim is not strawmanning. It is an empirical claim which, as the links I provided demonstrate, is factually true.

        Here’s again Judy’s claim, Glenn:

        Ridley in particular has made public statements about greening several years ago, which were widely criticized at the time, that are supported by this new paper.

        Here’s the claim from the press release which prompted Judy’s concern regarding Matt King Coal:

        The beneficial aspect of CO2 fertilization in promoting plant growth has been used by contrarians, notably Lord Ridley and Mr. Rupert Murdoch, to argue against cuts in carbon emissions to mitigate climate change, similar to those agreed at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Paris last year under the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

        Judy’s claim is about Matt King Coal’s statements on greening.

        The press release’s claim is about Matt King Coal’s exploitation of these statements to argue against cuts in carbon emission to mitigate climate change. See the difference?

        Hence the strawman, Glenn.

        ***

        Now, if you can tell me where Zhu et al argue against cuts in carbon emission to mitigate climate change, that’d be great.

      • I don’t see the difference Willard. It looks a lot to me like you are trying to argue black is white. I’d let it go if I were you.

      • It appears to me the notion that ACO2 will promote greening comes from “alarmist” climate scientists… Arrhenius to Hansen and beyond. Where – other than in the minds of the delusional – have they have ever thought otherwise?

      • > I don’t see the difference Willard. It looks a lot to me like you are trying to argue black is white.

        When Judy recalls that “Ridley in particular has made public statements about greening several years ago,” she doesn’t address the claim made in the press release:

        The beneficial aspect of CO2 fertilization in promoting plant growth has been used by contrarians, notably Lord Ridley and Mr. Rupert Murdoch, to argue against cuts in carbon emissions to mitigate climate change

        Judy chopped everything from the sentence except the subject. Intriguingly, Judy’s rhetorical question:

        Why did IPCC Coordinating Lead Author Philippe Ciais feel the need to take this dig at Ridley and Murdoch?

        can be answered by reading the full sentence: because they use greening to argue against cuts in carbon emissions to mitigate climate change. The same response may answer this other rhetorical question:

        Why has the CEO of the Climate Forecast Applications Network misread that sentence where Matt King Coal was mentioned?

        Thank you for your comment, agnostic. It makes my day.

      • The problem I have is I simply don’t get where you are coming from. Judy pointed out that in the press release the comment “used by contrarians to argue against mitigation” was unnecessary and snarky. They said what they said!

        I don’t understand how that is “chopped up” and by that I take it to mean out of context. I simply don’t understand what your problem is with it, or what your problem with Judy having a problem with it.

        Firstly, the “greening” claim made by Ridley is substantiated by this report and secondly, it was not used alone to argue against cuts in emissions. Rather, Ridley’s argues on a range of points one of which is the beneficial effects of warmer weather and CO2 fertilization which he doesn’t think has been taken into account, or properly considered.

        There is an implied and unnecessary snark in the press release which Judith was right to point out. I would have also pointed out the linking of Ridley, a science writer whose writing some find to be articulate, measured, reasonable, and interesting (unless of course you disagree with him) with Rupert Murdoch, a media tycoon who is better known for other less morally defensible things. By linking the two, the association implies that they are equally trustworthy.

        So I really don’t understand why you have a bee in your bonnet about this.

      • > The problem I have is I simply don’t get where you are coming from.

        A more pressing problem you have is that you simply don’t read the sentence properly, agnostic.

        ***

        > Judy pointed out that in the press release the comment “used by contrarians to argue against mitigation” was unnecessary and snarky.

        Not in the quote I underlined:

        Ridley in particular has made public statements about greening several years ago, which were widely criticized at the time, that are supported by this new paper.

        This concern does not respond to the claim that Matt King Coal used the “CO2 plant food” meme “to argue against cuts in carbon emissions to mitigate climate change.” It simply bypasses the anti-mitigation trope.

        You have a quote where Judy is tone policing the way you claim? I can’t find “snark” in her editorial.

      • A more pressing problem you have is that you simply don’t read the sentence properly, agnostic.

        Which sentence? The sentence that Judy was objecting to?

        If so, I did read the sentence properly. I don’t understand why you don’t think Judy shouldn’t have an objection to it? I presume it’s because you view Ridley as having done as the sentence claimed.

        But he hasn’t used CO2 fertilization as an argument against mitigation of CO2, and even if he had what is wrong with that? He argues against mitigation in the form currently proposed for a range of reasons. He also argues that the costs and benefits are not fairly assessed. That’s perfectly valid point of view even if you don’t agree with it.

        Misrepresenting Ridley in a press release about scientific paper that confirms possible benefit from increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, is worthy of being pointed out as unnecessary. There is no misrepresentation by Judy of that point and your insistence that she has is verging on calling white black.

  27. One thing is sure – the greens ain´t gonna like the greening from CO2.

    • David Springer

      I know, right? Real greenies rejoice at observations that our “carbon sin” is making the planet greener. If that’s sin we need more of it!!!!

  28. Was Arrhenius a “contrarian”?

    “He eventually made the suggestion that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide due to the burning of fossil fuels could be beneficial, making the Earth’s climates “more equable,” stimulating plant growth, and providing more food for a larger population. “

    • And what about Guy Callendar in his 1938 paper? Was he an evil right-wing oil-funded climate denier? He must have been, since like Arrhenius he said that carbon dioxide emissions were a good thing:

      “In conclusion it may be said that the combustion of fossil fuel, whether it be peat from the surface or oil from 10,000 feet below, is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power. For instance the above mentioned small increases of mean temperature would be important at the northern margin of cultivation, and the growth of favourably situated plants is directly proportional to the carbon dioxide pressure (Brown and Escombe, 1905).”

    • The northern margins are fine, but it’s in the warm-already areas that they really don’t need any more heat, and a lot more people live in those areas.

      • Jim D,

        You wrote –

        “The northern margins are fine, but it’s in the warm-already areas that they really don’t need any more heat, and a lot more people live in those areas.”

        The cooler areas both North and South might love a little extra warmth. People living there go to warmer climes for their holidays. Vast areas of the Earth are either icebound like Anractica, or non arable due to permafrost or similar cold induced difficulties. What’s wrong with making conditions better?

        Even Arrhenius thought warmer was desirable, and he’s the poster boy for the Warmists! Jeez!

        Cheers.

      • Jim: Temps not expected to rise as much in tropics. Please keep up. Most heat comes in winter, at night and in high latitudes, according to the conzenzus.
        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/01/polar-amplification/

      • …but land areas are warming fastest, and the low-latitude land is not exempt from this trend, and that’s where the people live.

      • David Springer

        CO2 warming appears more effective as evaporation rate declines.

        General rules derived from that are:

        [x] Land warms more than ocean
        [x] Higher latitudes warm more than lower
        [x] Nights warm more than days
        [x] Winters warm more than summers

        Interestingly the only exception to this appears to be the Antarctic interior. I think it has to do with the altitude there which averages 6000’msl. Maybe that’s close to effective emission altitude under conditions of extreme cold and extremely low humidity.

      • The high altitude in the south pole puts it in place where the the ghe is inverted.

  29. They warn the positives of CO2 are likely to be outweighed by the negatives.
    The lead author, Prof Ranga Myneni from Boston University, told BBC News the extra tree growth would not compensate for global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, ocean acidification, the loss of Arctic sea ice, and the prediction of more severe tropical storms.

    Again, observed and documented changes are being compared to a conjectural future.

    Next up: more surveys of changes in marine biota, such as kelp, Sargasso grass, blue-green algae, and a replication of the coccolithophore study.

    And

    continuing study of the non-increase in the frequency, duration and intensity of cyclonic storms.

    The relevant research on AGW has only just begun.

    • They warn the positives of CO2

      We should require by law that global warming harm studies be written the way that global warming benefit studies are, to wit:

      They warn the negatives of less sea ice are likely to be outweighed by the positives.

      The lead author, Prof Iam Foolingyou from Boston University, told BBC News the loss of sea ice would be more than compensated for by increased Arctic ocean CO2 absorption, higher seal population due to ease of maintaining breathing holes, greater Arctic tourism, lower shipping costs, better science access to the Arctic, and increased Eskimo sunbathing.

    • Professor Robert Carter.

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/copenhagen-and-global-warming-ten-facts-and-ten-myths-on-climate-change/16467

      Post Kyoto, still waiting for those costly climate predictions
      to come true…

  30. Among other things, I think it is important that the BBC took up the story, gave it reasonable space, and quoted Nic Lewis and Judith Curry.

  31. Interesting that there is no mention in the abstract of how a greening earth and increasing biomass will result in increased carbon fixing from the atmosphere and therefore represents a negative feedback.

    I suppose this would not fit the ‘disaster narrative.”

  32. Berényi Péter

    CO₂ fertilization is only one, albeit a predominant, reason why the Earth is greening.

    Greening is a disaster, because cheetahs go blind.

  33. Steven Mosher

    The greening is not unprecedented therefore it cant be c02.
    C02 is a trace gas, therefore it cant cause greening.
    These results (70% is due to co2) are the result of a model. Therefore I want to see the IV&V for the model. Is it fit for purpose? did it hindcast properly?
    They havent ruled out some magic X property of the sun, they should
    talk to David Evans
    The correlation between the increase and C02 is not perfect, therefore it cant be c02.

    • But everything else being equal, C02 makes it greener. Basic botany.

      Andrew

      • Steven Mosher

        Yup.

        Then comes the question, what happens when things are not equal?
        AND
        how do you figure that out when you cant do controlled experiments?

        Well, you use models.
        When the model says 70% of the growth is due to c02, you
        can accept that as the best science has to say, or build a better model
        When the model says more than half of the warming is due to C02,
        you can accept that as the best science has to say, or build a better model.

      • That is why we all have to turn our lives over to the UN, if we don’t what will the model life look like without global redistribution of our wealth? My fair weather friends, you won’t need the weathermen anymore. Steven wants a better world for your children. Everyone on his wagon board.

      • David Springer

        Great. I’m going for Lohle and Scafetta (2011) model as the best that science has on offer.

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/07/25/loehle-and-scafetta-on-climate-change-attribution/

        Thanks for asking!!!!

        Double thanks for stating unequivocally that global greening attribution is not certain and by extension that means it could be a totally natural greening. Just like global warming could be all natural.

        Not only that, it could be all good warming and greening for as long as it persists!

        You’re coming around, Mosher.

      • “you can accept that as the best science has to say”

        Or not.

        Andrew

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        “When the model says more than half of the warming is due to C02,
        you can accept that as the best science has to say, . . .”

        or you can reject it as complete nonsense, which it is. Warmists often use the word science, when they really mean climatology, or wishful thinking.

        Toy models, of precisely no use whatsoever to man nor beast. Predict nothing, explain nothing. Why would you waste your time building more of the same? Chaotic systems such the Earth’s don’t appear to be amenable to model based forecasts.

        A 12 year old child with some historical data, a pencil and a straight edge, can make a naive persistence forecast. Can you guarantee a more useful result from your model?

        Climatologists can spend their billions. I’ll spend a dollar for a pencil and a straight bit of wood. Who gets better value for money?

        Cheers.

      • Steven Mosher

        Sorry david.

        When his model can predict sea level rise and precipitation and all the other metric we use he is welcome to use it and submit.
        Plus his continental series are missing.
        Codes not posted either.

      • Steven Mosher

        Sorry mike.
        You don’t have the power to reject it.

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        “Sorry mike.
        You don’t have the power to reject it.”

        Of course I do, and I just did.

        Cheers.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Steven Mosher
        Experiments are being done. See the AGFACE literature, where controlled plots are enhanced by added CO2 in their immediate atmosphere and compared to adjacent non-enhanced plots.
        Some processes happen in fields of science not linked to global warming, remember.
        Geoff.

      • Here is a paper that does all the modelly things, statisticy things that Mosher likes:

        http://www.nature.com/articles/srep04978

        Yield enhancement for soybeans.

        The tropics benefit the most, I guess the heat isn’t killing off the plants yet.

        And a study that US corn and soybeans are becoming more drought tolerant.
        http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/54147/2/09-WP_500.Yu-Babcock.pdf

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | April 26, 2016 at 11:34 pm |
        Sorry david.

        When his model can predict sea level rise and precipitation and all the other metric we use he is welcome to use it and submit.
        Plus his continental series are missing.
        Codes not posted either.
        ————————————————————–
        You don’t get to decide which model I choose. GFY you arrogant ass.

    • Have a dog in this fight, do we?

    • Actually, the greening is overtaking poor abused Gaia at an unprecedented rate (except for all the other times). Clearly the use of motor fuels will cause plant growth to rise exponentially daily (except when it doesn’t, of course). Only a religious zealot or corrupt capitalist would deny that by 2030 New York will be inundated by feral dandelions, juniper bushes and escaped heirloom vegetables!
      This catastrophic vegetation growth is certain to have the greatest impact on less developed countries. We must- MUST – have a $30 billion UN-managed adaptation strategy (Weed-Whacker Distribution) immediately. We must also have instant mitigation in the form of banning all carbon-based fuels (starting with a large tax on them which, by pure coincidence, exactly covers the social spending I want). We must also have a plan for the science of greening:
      1. Immediate and unlimited funding for any grant proposal with the words: “..to study the negative impact of greening on…”
      2. Unlimited travel budget for jet plane tickets for all “Greening Scientists” to attend UN conferences to be held monthly beginning in Rio, Paris, Tokyo, Bali, Sydney, London, Cancun, Hawaii, Rome…
      3. Assert that all scientific journals must print only studies by Sierra Club certified “true Greening Scientists” and only academic or government agency Greening Scientists (on a list approved by Michael Mann) may be used for peer review.
      4. Double the number of Greening Science chairs, fellowships, and faculty positions at all Universities.

    • The Sahara was green 5000 years ago with lower CO2 levels, so there are other factors sometimes.

      • Jim D,

        Yes. There are are other factors, all the time. CO2 warms nothing. Plant food, puts the sparkle in sparkling wine, all part of the great circle of life.

        Warming ability, zero, I’m afraid.

        Cheers.

      • Steven Mosher

        The Sahara was green with lower co2.
        Therefore skeptics logic says co2 can’t green the planet

      • @Mosher

        “The Sahara was green with lower co2.
        Therefore skeptics logic says co2 can’t green the planet”

        No, skeptics say it can’t be the only factor. And it isn’t. Nice try. Thanks for playing.

      • The skeptics here seem to have bought into the CO2-does-it all deal when it comes to greening. If you find even one who doesn’t, let us know.

      • The skeptics here seem to have bought into the CO2-does-it all deal when it comes to greening. If you find even one who doesn’t, let us know.

        I don’t. I remember when the Sahel was drying out during the cooling from ~’45-~’70 or so. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s increased moisture from precipitation. The Southern Sahara is getting more precipitation as the summer monsoons move north, while the drying out of the Mediterranean caost of Africa is countered by increasing irrigation.

        All that just a guess, of course. I don’t care enough to dig into it. Anyway, the advantages of increased CO2 for growth accrue to weeds as well as crops. So I’m skeptical how much benefit it really offers.

        Besides, by the time it gets enough to make a difference, I’m guessing many/most of the major crops will be grown in semi-isolated greenhouses. At some point, the use of isolation against insect and fungal pests will be cheaper than insecticides. And in an isolated greenhouse, the CO2 levels can be pumped up as far as is beneficial.

      • You are learning Jim.

        Now apply that new found logic to your other arguments.

      • We are returning to conditions 5000 years ago when the world was warmer and wetter, but also with projected BAU forcing we will quickly overshoot that into more like Eocene conditions 50 million years ago, when the world was an iceless hothouse.

      • The Eocene could go hothouse because of open seaways around the world. The ocean heating system was switched to a cooling system by plate tectonics between 15-20 mya. The fantasy that CO2 is a geologic temperature control knob is like saying the cart is pushing the horse.

      • I think that even some of the skeptics would attribute the CO2 decline since the high levels of the Eocene to the rise of the Himalayas like the paleoclimatologists do, but maybe some think it was something else as yet unnamed.

      • CO2 does it all:
        This first formula shows photosynthesis.
        Creation:  6 CO2 + 6 H2O + light → C6 H12 O6 + 6 O2
        The process is pushed by light energy. C6 H12 O6 above is carbohydrates. Which are the basis of almost all life on Earth.
        The second formula shows use of the stored energy.
        Use:  C 6 H12 O6 + 6 O2 → 6 CO2 + 6 H2O (energy is released)
        I call the above, the equations of life. Water also contributes and I suppose the study can be interpreted to be tracking water in plants. Land use is important, I’d say it’s not a minor thing. Echoing others, this trace amount of gas does miraculous things.

      • but also with projected BAU forcing we will quickly overshoot that into more like Eocene conditions 50 million years ago, when the world was an iceless hothouse.

        No, just no. It would take millenia just to melt the Antarctic ice cap even if it wasn’t growing.

        The Andes and the Himalayas reject into space about 10 times the projected CO2 forcing. And parts of the Andes are growing and the Himalayas are growing 5 mm/y. The claim that with the Andes, Himalayas, the Antarctic and the rest of the current tectonic arrangement we could return to Eocene temperature levels is an absurdist fantasy.

        When the “target” for warming has to be lowered from 1°C to 0.5°C it is pretty obvious that some warmers are afraid there won’t be any significant future warming (and the artificial 1°C target was just pulled from the air). There isn’t any mystery about why the CO2 level dropped. With 38000 GT of carbon in the ocean post Eocene CO2 levels have followed ocean temperatures like a puppy dog.

      • This was an answer to people on the cause of the CO2 reduction, which you did not mention. Eocene CO2 conditions lead to rapid sea-level rise, implied by the instability of all the remaining glaciers, but you don’t seem to want to consider that. Even just 5% of the glaciers melting gives several meters of sea-level rise, and this could be the century rate.

      • Jim D | April 28, 2016 at 3:12 am |
        This was an answer to people on the cause of the CO2 reduction, which you did not mention… some nonsense follows

        When the sea gets colder the CO2 level in the atmosphere drops. When the sea gets warmer the atmospheric CO2 level rises. The ocean has 50 times more or less the carbon of the atmosphere so it wags the atmospheric CO2 level like a puppy dog’s tail..

        Further, over long periods CO2 is lost to the environment as evidenced by coal mines or the Cliffs of Dover, or through subduction of ocean sediment.

      • Turns out the geology has the largest long-term effect on CO2. There is an alternation of volcanic and mountain-building phases that goes with continental drift which governs the CO2 content on long time scales (see Richard Alley’s rock-weathering cycle).

      • The skeptics here seem to have bought into the CO2-does-it all deal when it comes to greening. If you find even one who doesn’t, let us know.

        AK replies: I don’t.

        Nor do I.

        Nor do I think CO2 is responsible for most of the 20th century warming, nor do I think it is the main “control knob” for the climate.

        Like most sensible skeptics, I think climate and greening are affected by a complicated range of factors.

      • There are lines of evidence that lead to the conclusion that it does dominate the current warming (the imbalance and forcing argument that I have reiterated here many times).

      • JimD: Please provide a link showing the locations of melting Eocene glaciers causing SLR.

      • The Eocene climate did not support glaciers so sea level remained very high. It was far too warm the whole time. We are reversing CO2 levels to those in that period. The Eocene ended with the first Antarctic glaciers and its lowest CO2 levels.

      • There are lines of evidence that lead to the conclusion that it does dominate the current warming (the imbalance and forcing argument that I have reiterated here many times).

        There are lots of lines of “evidence” that on closer examination are very poor. Lots of poor evidence does not justify a conclusion. Another way of characterising the “lines of evidence” argument is “confirmation bias”. It’s very easy to sift through a complex subject and find examples, or “lines evidence” that support your argument.

        I have looked long and hard at the forcing and imbalance argument and have concluded that it is weak. I can’t be certain that it is wrong, but given that the climate has rather blatantly not followed the theory that the imbalance and forcing argument implies, I think I can fairly confidently state that it is wrong – at least in terms of it being a dominant factor.

        Here is an example of how your “lines of evidence” without closer examination looks like confirmation bias. In the next reply regarding the Eocene, you state that we are returning CO2 levels to that which existed during this period. The implication there is that this will cause warming that existed then. But ice cores clearly show that changes in temperature preceded CO2 levels and NOT the other way around. Its temp that drive CO2 levels. Therefore, that “line of evidence” does not support CO2 being a key driver of temperature.

      • Volcanic periods in the past have increased CO2 and warming, but somehow I didn’t expect you to know that at all. Positive imbalance, which even “skeptics” agree with, means that all the warming to date has not been enough for the forcing change which is dominated by GHGs. If “skeptics” only made a little effort to understand this they would finally understand why the consensus exists, why all the scientists have moved on to what to do about emissions, and why their own argument is counterfactual.

      • Volcanic periods in the past have increased CO2 and warming, but somehow I didn’t expect you to know that at all.

        I DID know that, but not all periods of increased vulcanism can explain increases of atmospheric CO2.

        You are aware of ice core data that show that CO2 and temperature are tightly correlated? It was used in Al Gore’s movie. However, what Al Gore didn’t mention is that the changes in CO2 LAG temperature. Ie it is the temperature changes that drive changes in atmospheric CO2 and NOT the other way around.

        You continually insist that the forcing change must be caused by the GHG’s -I am familiar with this argument – it is argument from ignorance. It is NOT well quantified and since there has been no warming consistent with the expected forcing change then there are clearly other factors not known to climate science (or as yet fully understood) that have not been accounted for.

      • Changes in CO2 should lag temperature for the ice cores, as is well known, because in that case CO2 is not the driver, but just an amplifier. The driver for the Ice Ages is the Milankovitch cycles.

  34. Informative post. The greening described above was also true in the geological past:

    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c011572416077970b-pi

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

  35. ““Somewhere on earth, on land, one-quarter of all our carbon emissions released through fossil fuel emissions is disappearing,” said Crisp. “We can’t identify the processes responsible for this. Wouldn’t it be nice to know where?””
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/30/3454554/nasa-satellite-carbon-measuring/

  36. Greening means less albedo and more energy absorption.
    https://judithcurry.com/2014/04/15/forest-climate-and-condensation/
    There may be the biotic pump. Causing a sped up hydrological cycle which may cause more vertical heat transport. A negative feedback.
    If biotic pumps can move vegetation inland into dry areas, then I’d argue they would also move ocean water inland. From where it’s not needed to where it is.

  37. This is in line with what happened during the Carboniferous Period when the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere was more than double what it is now and the global average temperature was also double. At that time the Planet flourished with life and was Green just about everywhere.

  38. The universe is wider than our views of it. ~Henry David Thoreau

  39. Some plants actually free CO2 from rock. The roots exude organic acids. The plant does it to suck phosphorous and iron out of the rock, but in the process, dissolves the limestone matrix which binds the elements, freeing the CO2. I’m sure they benefit from the increased CO2 concentration they themselves create. From the article:

    The nature and quantity of low-molecular organic acids (LOAs) exuded by the roots of nine species of calcifuge and nine species of acidifuge wild plants from northern Europe were determined by ion chromatography. Particular attention was paid to differences between the calcifuge and the acidifuge species in the proportions of different LOAs in their root exudates. Great differences in mol% root exudation between the calcifuge and the acidifuge species were found in some acids. The calcifuge species exuded more acetic acid, the acidifuge species more oxalic acid and much more citric acid. In three calcifuge species, however, root exudation of oxalic acid was appreciable, whereas acetic acid exudation was low in these species. The phosphate- and Fe-solubilizing ability of eight LOAs in a rhizosphere limestone soil was also tested. Oxalic acid was the most efficient phosphate solubilizer and citric acid, by far, the most efficient Fe-solubilizer at the concentration (10 mM) tested. It might be hypothesized that acidifuge species use oxalate to solubilize phosphate and citrate to solubilize Fe, in limestone soil. The inability of calcifuge species to grow in limestone soil might, therefore, be due to low root exudation of these acids and, as a result, inability to solubilize phosphate and Fe in limestone soil.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00007950#page-1

  40. Judith,

    Thank you for this really interesting post.

    Can anyone post a link to an analysis of the LIA during the warmer periods in the past, e.g. Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary periods?

    Can anyone post a link to an analysis of the mass of carbon tied up in the biosphere in the warm periods compared with the current ‘Coldhouse’ phase we’ve been in for the past 10 million years or so?

  41. About 85% of the Earth’s ice‑free lands is covered by vegetation. The area of all green leaves on Earth is equal to, on average, 32% of the Earth’s total surface area ‑ oceans, lands and permanent icesheets combined. “The greening over the past 33 years reported in this study is equivalent to adding a green continent about two‑times the size of mainland USA (18 million km2), and has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” says lead author Dr. Zaichun Zhu.

    I am very alarmed. I foresee an imminent ice age. If the trend continues the increasing plant coverage of the globe will gobble up all the CO2 faster than we can replace it. We doomed. We’re all gonna die. Humanity could become extinct.

    • Quick! Quick! No time to lose!

      Burn hydrocarbons as fast as you can! More CO2 desperately needed!

      Get rid of dirty filthy evil coal! Burn it all! When we run out of coal, pile the faggots high and burn a few Deniers! Save the World!

      Cheers.

  42. “The fallacy of the contrarian argument is two‑fold. First, the many negative aspects of climate change, namely global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice, more severe tropical storms, etc. are not acknowledged.

    “Not acknowledged” should read “not demonstrated” These are simply Alarmist’s unsubstantiated assertions. My responses to these:

    1. “Global Warming” is not a problem unless it can be shown the consequences are significantly detrimental and this has not been demonstrated

    2. rising sea levels are a trivial issue – economic cost for a 0.5 m sea level rise by 2100 is estimated at $200 billion (that’s for the whole world over 90 years)

    3. “melting glaciers and sea ice” – so what? The consequence is trivial. We have unlimited water and effectively unlimited energy so we can meet our needs for water in the future.

    4. “more severe tropical storms” – Is this demonstrated and is it significant? I understand it is not. It will be balanced by less wind in higher latitudes, less volatile climates and more plant growth, meaning more food.

  43. CO2 fertilization is only one, albeit a predominant, reason why the Earth is greening.

    Did I misunderstand this? Is this author actually admitting that climate changes is beneficial?

    “While the detection of greening is based on measurements, the attribution to various drivers is based on models, and these models have known deficiencies.”

    Bu presumably only when they don’t give the answer the Alarmists want them to give.

    “Future works will undoubtedly question and refine our results,” says co‑author Dr. Josep Canadell, leader of the Global Carbon Project.

    The quote might more correctly read:

    “Future works will undoubtedly question and adjust our results,”

    • Peter, as I mentioned, the article is careful to make a distinction between CO2 fertilization and climate change. It even gives us a percentage breakdown, with a lame single-digit result for climate change (which really must not be seen as “greening” or beneficial) and a whopping 70% for that disruptive gas. It’s a bit like saying the egg yielded only eight feathers while the chicken gave 70. (Publish or perish, thought the heavens should fall!)

      Of course, the authors use the term “climate change” in the highly technical and scientific sense of…er…you know…stuff…er…whatever.

  44. It’s exciting, groundbreaking science with profound consequences for society.

    Wow. That’s a change of heart from “the science is in”.


  45. I’d suggest the cycle reverses direction with cooling. With sustained cooling the oceans vast reserves of warmth are something to consider. Cutting down forests would make the land give off less water vapor that seems needed to drive the desired large circulations. The water vapor seems to be a medium to transport heat to someplace else. Jim D has frequently mentioned land versus SSTs. Seems there’s a non-CO2 component as to why this is so. Land that is plowed each year, has nothing like what we need. It hardly resembles a natural environment.

    • Ragnar,

      Burn more coal. It produces both more CO2 (to grow more trees), and also more H2O (to replenish the amounts lost by cutting the trees, or even putting the H2O removed from the atmosphere by the coal, back into the atmosphere).

      Damn, this is complicated!

      Seriously however, it seems the warmth in the oceans beyond say, 1000 m, comes from the Earth, rather than the Sun. As the Earth cools, so the deep oceans. I assume it will be many millions of years before the oceans freeze. I might be wrong.

      Cheers.

  46. You mean carbon based life forms benefit from carbon dioxide?
    Who’d have thunk.

    Most people don’t stop to reflect that the glucose in their Latte and doughnut was once airborne carbon dioxide emitted by the Wright Brothers.

  47. And then there’s this, from the article:

    Temperatures are set to be well below average, with highs of just 3C (37F) in Edinburgh and Aberdeen yesterday, compared to 9C (48F) in Tomsk in Siberia and 8C (46F) in Greenland.

    Temperatures in parts of Britain are expected to sink to -5C (23F) in the coming days with further icy gales and snow on the way.

    Unseasonable cold weather is expected to last at least until the weekend with some forecasters predicting bitter conditions throughout next month.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/664636/Britain-blizzards-snow-April-weather-forecast-temperature-climate-Siberia-Greenland-Asthma

    • Jim2

      Correction:

      “Unseasonable cold climate is expected to last at least until the weekend”

  48. UK chillier than Siberia as blizzards strike

    PARTS of Britain are set to be colder than Siberia and Greenland this week – with snow, sleet, hail and ice forecast.

    By Nathan Rao

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/664636/Britain-blizzards-snow-April-weather-forecast-temperature-climate-Siberia-Greenland-Asthma

    • Blame it on the trees

      • And that dude on the bike thought he was doing everyone a favor with his low carbon footprint. He forgot he still has to exhale.

      • ordvic,

        I hope his bicycle doesn’t have any steel. It’s an alloy of iron plus dirty filthy black carbon. Actually, producing iron usually involves reduction of the ore by burning dirty filthy carbon (in the form of coke), eventually producing iron, impurities, and – wait for it – CO2,

        Ban iron! Ban steel! Ban all metals smelted by reduction of ores! Even most sulphide ores are eventually reduced using elemental carbon, with the production of CO2.

        What to do? Back to the Stone Age? Paleo diet? Maybe the climatologists haven’t thought things through?

        Cheers.

    • What is the point of this? There are always places experiencing cold weather. NE Canada is cold. So what?

      • “What is the point of this?” Just to get you to comment! Easy pickings.

      • And then it gits hot… so what?

      • Warmists can be sooooo sensitive.

      • Because physics indicates it is going to get a lot warmer, and only fools believe it is about to get colder, or to even pause again.

      • JCH,

        You wrote –

        “Because physics indicates it is going to get a lot warmer . . . ”

        Really? Is this your friend jim physics, or his sister mary physics?

        Sounds very sciencey, but means very little. Maybe you could consider moving to a cooler climate. The Antarctic used to be ice free. It might stay cool enough for you, for the foreseeable future.

        Cheers.

      • Steven Mosher

        This place is becoming wuwt

      • Mosher said,

        This place is becoming wuwt

        And your lead the way, with your stupid, gibberish comments for the past 5 years or so.

      • JCH | April 26, 2016 at 11:09 pm |
        Because physics indicates it is going to get a lot warmer …
        *****
        Ah! The weather is anti-science. Call in the climate police! Jail that weather!

      • What is the point of this? There are always places experiencing cold weather. NE Canada is cold. So what?

        Exactly.

        This doesn’t disprove that global warming is occurring – record warmth.

        This does prove that global warming is irrelevant – natural variation is much larger and much more significant than global average change.

    • Speaking of bicycles, here’s the logic the climatariat uses to secure theirs:

  49. AR5
    “Box 6.3 | The Carbon Dioxide Fertilisation Effect
    Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations lead to higher leaf photosynthesis and reduced canopy transpiration, which in turn lead to increased plant water use efficiency ‘and reduced fluxes of surface latent heat.’ The increase in leaf photosynthesis with rising CO2, the so-called CO2 fertilisation effect, plays a dominant role in terrestrial biogeochemical models to explain the global land carbon sink (Sitch et al., 2008), yet it is one of most nconstrained process in those models. Field experiments provide a direct evidence of increased photosynthesis rates and water use efficiency (plant carbon gains per unit of water loss from transpiration) in plants growing under elevated CO2. These physiological changes translate into a broad range of higher plant carbon accumulation in more than two-thirds of the experiments and with increased net primary productivity (NPP) of about 20 to 25% at double CO2 from pre-industrial concentrations (Ainsworth and Long, 2004; Luo et al., 2004, 2006; Nowak et al., 2004; Norby et al., 2005;Canadell et al., 2007a; Denman et al., 2007; Ainsworth et al., 2012; Wang et al., 2012a). Since the AR4, new evidence is available from long-term Free-air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiments in temperate ecosystems showing the capacity of ecosystems exposed to elevated CO2 to sustain higher rates of carbon accumulation over multiple years (Liberloo et al., 2009; McCarthy et al., 2010; Aranjuelo et al., 2011; Dawes et al., 2011; Lee et al., 2011; Zak et al., 2011). However, FACE experiments also show the diminishing or lack of CO2 fertilisation effect in some ecosystems and for some plant species (Dukes et al., 2005; Adair et al., 2009; Bader et al., 2009; Norby et al., 2010; Newingham et al., 2013). This lack of response occurs despite increased water use efficiency, also confirmed with tree ring evidence (Gedalof and Berg, 2010; Penuelas et al., 2011). Nutrient limitation is hypothesized as primary cause for reduced or lack of CO2 fertilisation effect observed on NPP in some experiments (Luo et al., 2004; Dukes et al., 2005; Finzi et al., 2007; Norby et al., 2010). Nitrogen and phosphorus are very likely to play the most important role in this limitation of the CO2 fertilisation effect on NPP, with nitrogen limitation prevalent in temperate and boreal ecosystems, and phosphorus limitation in the tropics (Luo et al., 2004; Vitousek et al., 2010; Wang et al., 2010a; Goll et al., 2012). Micronutrients interact in diverse ways with other nutrients in constraining NPP such as molybdenum and phosphorus in the tropics (Wurzburger et al., 2012). Thus, with high confidence, the CO2 fertilisation effect will lead to enhanced NPP, but significant uncertainties remain on the magnitude of this effect, given the lack of experiments outside of temperate climates.”

    “Latent heat is the heat moved by water evaporating and condensing higher up in the atmosphere. Heat is absorbed in evaporation and released by condensation – so the result is a movement of heat from the surface to higher levels in the atmosphere.” – SoD

    What? More greening means reduced latent heat transport? Because something grows more, that something is mostly water and carbon, there’s less water evaporating? Might be at odds with a biotic pump I mentioned elsewhere. I should stick to accounting.

    • This discusses mineral limits in the tropics, but the article under discussion states: “CO2 fertilization effects explain most of the greening trends in the tropics”

  50. Pingback: Green Pants On Fire | PA Pundits - International

  51. Reblogged this on ClimateTheTruth.com and commented:
    Surprise surprise…more CO2, more green planet. The alarmists seem to be quite upset about all the new greenery growing around the world as it doesn’t fit well with the IPCC-generated hysteria about harmful AGW.

    • Upset? Nah, amused by chumps who think rising CO2 means a free lunch.

      • max1ok,

        Good for you. Very few adverse effects from amusement, as far as I know. I certainly get lots of amusement, even to the point of uncontrollable laughter at times, from the attempts at mental gymnastics from the Warmists.

        As to chumps, British useage refers to the “thick end . . . “.

        I’m not implying you’re a thick end, of course. You may not even be British.

        Cheers.

      • Hello, Mike “something for nothing’ Flynn.
        What made you trade your skeptic hat for a sucker hat? More CO2 means a free lunch. Yeah, ha ha.

        I’m not a Brit, but I am a descendant of Vikings who settled in Scotland and Yorkshire. Their idea of getting something for nothing was to steal it.

      • max1ok,

        The title of the post was “Rise in CO2 has greened planet Earth”.

        If you don’t agree with the statement, maybe you should complain to the editors of the journal which published the original paper. I believe the journal is called Nature Climate Change, or similar. The paper was apparently “Greening of the Earth and its drivers.”

        It might be a load of Warmist rubbish. You are probably better qualified than I to judge.

        Please let me know how you get on.

        Cheers.

      • So what? What does it mean for the future, if CO2 continues to rise?

        As greenhouse operators know, more CO2 increases yields up to point, providing they control everything else plants need, including temperatures favorable to growth. Greenhouses rely on both artificial heating and cooling. Yes, cooling. If plants did better and better as temperature got warmer and warmer, greenhouses wouldn’t need cooling. So if you can figure out how to keep raising atmospheric CO2 without also making the climate warmer, you might have something. I say might, because what looks good at first, doesn’t always turn out well. For example, the increase in Ireland’s food supply and the related population increase in the 1800’s, made the country very vulnerable.

      • Max, why aren’t people able to water ski in the winter at Mammoth Lake, CA? It should be OK with your SCUBA gear on and so hot you won’t believe it.

        http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs172-96/

        Outlaw magma and you could stop all this silliness today.

      • David Springer

        Happily, the optimum temperature for plant growth rises as CO2 level rises.

        http://www.co2science.org/subject/g/summaries/temp+co2ag.php

        This makes sense in light of adaptive evolution. For most of the 500 million years that land plants have been around they’ve been in an environment much warmer and with high CO2 levels. They’ve evolved to do best in that environment.

        Why does it upset you so much when it turns out that fossil fuel consumption is not only good for human health and welfare but good for the planet and other forms of life too? This should be cause for celebration, little buddy. It’s like if you’ve been living with a gun pointed at your head then discovering that the gun has no bullets. Of course you might be a little depressed that you’d been worrying for nothing all those years but really happy that the threat is gone.

        The only thing I can figure is that you never believed the gun had any bullets in it and you pretended like it did because it was actually keeping you safe from some other perceived harm.

        What are you REALLY afraid of, little buddy? Just set that fear down like a bag of bricks. You’ll feel much better not having to carry it around anymore.

      • David Springer,

        Andrew M. Lobaczewski touched on the phenomenon you speak of in Political Ponerology:

        Many people suffer an inevitable shock and react with opposiiton, protest, and disentegration of their human personality when informed…that they have been under the spellbinding and traumatizing influence of a macrosocial pathological phenomenon, regardless of whether they were followers or opponents thereof. Many people are awakened to anxious protest by the fact that the ideology they either condemned or somehow accepted, but considered a guiding factor, is now being treated as something secondary in importance.

    • Indeed. Mosher is really upset. He knows he’s lost the debate. But can’t admit it. He’s in deep denial.

      • Nah, Mosher handles the false skeptics without breaking a sweat. He makes
        them look foolish, and they just keep coming back for more. It’s fun to observe.

      • David Springer

        +1

      • Go to Google Scholar. Search as hard as you can. Look high and low and wide and deep. Come back with a big list of scientific papers claiming AGW means less greening, or that greening won’t happen, or that greening isn’t happening. See if you can find the name of the skeptical hero scientist, and the conservative politicians who helped him, who started the FACE experiments.

        You folks are less skeptical than the sukked-in followers of Charlie Manson.

      • JCH

        Atmospheric concentration of co2 had increased some 30 ppm from pre industrial times- around 1750 – to 1940. The decades just prior to that first period were notably warm, the latter decades also notably warm. An abundance of crops and good harvest were noticed in that earlier period, coming presumably just from additional warmth. The latter decades were typified by rising co2 levels AND additional warmth. Is the greening noticed in this latter period (and today) down to increased co2 AND warmth or just one or other factor? Here are some relevant extracts from my recent article on historic variations in Arctic ice, which observe the warming and the greening.
        —– ——–

        The references concerning the long established retreat of the glaciers-and the specific reference to Alaska- can be put into its context and given a useful time frame here:

        “Glacier Bay was first surveyed in detail in 1794 by a team from the H.M.S. Discovery, captained by George Vancouver. At the time the survey produced showed a mere indentation in the shoreline. That massive glacier was more than 4,000 feet thick in places, up to 20 miles wide, and extended more than 100 miles to the St. Elias mountain range. By 1879, however, naturalist John Muir discovered that the ice had retreated more than 30 miles forming an actual bay. By 1916, the Grand Pacific Glacier- the main glacier credited with carving the bay – had melted back 60 miles to the head of what is now Tarr Inlet.” http://www.glacierbay.org/geography.html

        Practical on the ground observations are a useful adjunct to scientific papers, with here noted a comparison of warmer seasons from as far apart as Disko island (Baffin Bay off west coast of Greenland) and Alaska, over as much as a 50 year comparison period.

        Historical note; George Vancouver was a renowned English officer of the British Royal Navy, best known for his 1791-95 expedition, which explored and charted North America’s northwestern Pacific Coast regions, including the coasts of contemporary Alaska. He gave his name to the city of Vancouver.

        .‘Similar (warming) changes have occurred throughout the Arctic in the natural vegetation… Thus, in 1937, when approaching Disko Island in Bob Bartlett’s schooner Morrisey, I noticed that the flat tops of mountains west of Godhavn that formerly showed no green vegetation above the 2000-foot level were distinctly green from several miles away. During the summer of 1926, which I spent in Alaska, I noticed that on Seward Peninsula the vegetation was fully one month farther advanced that in 1879 when the Swedish botanist Kjellman collected there.”
        http://www.thearcticcircle.ca/pdf/Arctic%20Circular%20Volume%202%201949.pdf

        —- ——

        tonyb

      • JCH,

        Maybe I’m wrong, but the haters of filthy, black, dirty coal, and its devil-spawn, CO2, give the impression that the effects of CO2 are unalloyed evil, with no redeeming features at all.

        Unfortunately, humanity seems to have suffered not a jot from the presence of increased CO2 in the atmosphere, and may have even benefited. This is anathema to mad Warmists of the Hansenite persuasion.

        The world doesn’t seem to be warming much, (not that CO2 has anything to do with it anyway), CO2 cannot be shown to be poisonous or dangerous, and attempts to classify it as a pollutant don’t seem to be going too well.

        All that is left, apparently, is to complain bitterly if someone actually does a bit of real science (not realclimate science, obviously), showing that CO2 is an essential plant food. Skeptics everywhere!

        All that Warmists are left with are the ever less useful tactics of deny, divert and confuse. Keep it up, maybe you’ll find something better, although I doubt it.

        Cheers.

      • JCH

        JCH | April 27, 2016 at 6:14 am |
        Go to Google Scholar. Search as hard as you can. Look high and low and wide and deep. Come back with a big list of scientific papers claiming AGW means less greening, or that greening won’t happen, or that greening isn’t happening.

        Its not at all hard – results found in seconds:

        1. CO2 warming means more drought (not greening):
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/JD095iD07p09983/full

        2. “Wet regions get wetter and dry regions dryer” (no mention of greening):
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/jcli3990.1

        3. “weakening the hydrologic cycle through reduced evapotranspiration” (no greening):
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI3989.1

        4. “This reduction of evaporation, in turn, causes a corresponding decreases of precipitation in middle latitudes. keeping the soil dry throughout the summer.” (No greening):
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0442(1995)008%3C3096:TMOSDI%3E2.0.CO%3B2

        5. CO2 warming will accellerate desertification (not greening):
        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00138852

        6. “Global warming is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of droughts in the twenty-first century” (not greening):
        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-014-2075-y

        7. “A recent interpretation of climate model projections concluded that “warmer is more arid.”” (Not greening) – although the authors contradict this consensus (that makes them skeptics) and conclude “less arid”.
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015WR017031/full

        A vast body of AGW research is unanimous that CO2 warming means more aridity and droughts.
        Greening per se is not mentioned. Perhaps you will jump on this factoid as a little “victory” for you.
        But the real question should be inverted: please show the published climate projections that show worldwide significant greening caused by CO2 and related decrease in aridity. A bonus would be ones willing to admit that this was a good thing.

        Over to you.

      • ptolemy2, greening from rising CO2 is no surprise to climate scientists.

        A quote From IPCC AR5: “ Elevated CO2 could benefit crops yields in the short term by increasing photosynthesis rates; however, there is big uncertainty in the magnitude of the CO2 effect and the significance of interactions with other factors.”

        In the long-term, however, the affects of a continuing rise in CO2 are expected to do more harm than good to crop yields.

        For more see

        http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg2/WGIIAR5-Chap7_FINAL.pdf

      • It’ also real easy to read:

        A global greening trend is simulated primarily due to the physiological effect, with an increase in photosynthesis and total tree cover associated with enhanced water-use efficiency. In particular, tree cover is enhanced by the physiological effect over moisture-limited regions. …

      • max10k: Mosher handles the false skeptics without breaking a sweat.

        Mosher ignores most of the evidence.

        Before empirical research on the topic, it was reasonable to be skeptical of claims that increased CO2 would be harmful to plant growth. Now we have actual evidence, and it is reasonable to point out that the evidence supports the idea that extra CO2 will be good for plant growth. That is, the evidence does not support a claim of which skeptics were skeptical, and indeed supports the opposite.

        Warnings of the negatives of AGW and campaigns to reduce CO2 emissions began when there was not much evidence beyond the absorption/emission spectra of CO2 and H2O, and the seeming end of the “cold warnings”. As more and more evidence has been accumulated, it has tended to support skeptics’ skepticism of the extreme claims, even some modest claims, of damage to be expected from increased CO2.

        Consider cyclonic storms. The accumulated evidence to date supports the proposition that the distributions of the intensity, duration, and frequency of cyclonic storms has hardly changed since 1880.

        How about atmospheric temperatures? The prediction that increased CO2 would reduce the mean temperature of the stratosphere is confirmed by evidence. The prediction that tropospheric CO2 would cause the troposphere to increase its mean temp faster than the Earth surface mean temp would increase is not supported by the evidence accumulated to date.

        You like GCMs? I like GCMs. Evidence supports the claim that the GCMs are “running hot”. People who were skeptical of GCM-based warnings of disastrous warming were correct to be skeptical.

      • matthewrmarler | April 27, 2016 at 3:42 pm

        “Mosher ignores most of the evidence.”
        ____

        Matthew, Mosher knows elevated CO2 enhances plant growth. You must have misinterpreted his sarcasm.
        “Before empirical research on the topic, it was reasonable to be skeptical of claims that increased CO2 would be harmful to plant growth.”
        ____

      • max10k: Mosher knows elevated CO2 enhances plant growth. You must have misinterpreted his sarcasm.

        Given the opportunity to express what he knows on the topic, or is willing to agree to now, Mosher chose a sarcastic/mocking expression instead. You can not infer what he “knows” from that. If this is a case of a “revealed preference”, he would prefer not to agree that CO2 enhances growth.

        Mosher frequently cites “the science” without citing particular propositions. Perhaps he’ll clarify in future what he thinks the evidence supports.

      • Mosher has been unable to provide persuasive argument or relevant facts showing that the benefits of mitigation would exceed the costs of the mitigation policies.

  52. That’s very good news indeed but of course it does not imply that using more fossil fuels will make the earth greener yet because there is no empirical evidence to relate changes in atmospheric CO2 to fossil fuel emissions.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2770539

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2642639

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2725743

  53. David Springer

  54. David Springer,

    There once was a chap, David Springer,
    Who thought he’d delivered a zinger,
    But it fizzled and died.
    Dave blubbered, and cried –
    “Flynn’s still the best epithet flinger!”

    Over to you.

    Cheers.

  55. The strong argument that Dr. Curry makes is that all things being equal, increased CO2 has a warming effect. But in Climate, all things are not equal — resulting in a “Wicked Problem”.

    Yet when I present a same type of perspective from what I’m reading on Ag and CO2 just look at the negative reception here at CE.

    Some of the topics Ag/Biology Researchers are looking at are C3 versus C4 plants, law of limiting factors, nutrition levels, etc.

    I’ve seen a lot of mixed-bag pro’s and con’s on this. I’ve listed some of the concerns but there are also pro’s — like the increase in below ground biomass on some crops (root systems) to favorably impact limiting factors; increased growth of legumes (rotation crop) that is a soil nitrogen “fixer”.

    You talk about a “Uncertainty Monster” — Boy, you sure have this in Ag — things that we don’t even know that we don’t know.

    Of course for the majority of Denizen Commenters here at CE — research like the below link is just either “junk science” or irrelevant: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140507-crops-nutrition-climate-change-carbon-dioxide-science/

    • Stephen Segrest,

      I wonder if you have more information on the following-

      “Conducted over six growth years on field sites in Japan, Australia, and the United States, the study compared crops grown in normal conditions with ones grown in nearby experimental plots where the air is enriched with CO2 via open-air sprayers.”

      Do you know what is referred to by “open air sprayers”? I assume the experiments were carried out in controlled conditions, in a fully enclosed setting. The “open air sprayers” doesn’t sound correct, if this is the case.

      Can you help out?

      Cheers.

      • Mike — While I’m heavy into Ag, I’m not a Ag/Biology Researcher on COw.

        As best I know — do a Google on “FACE”.

      • The free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) method and studies are very interesting (new to me).

        It could be possible to test the effect of increased CO2 on the surface temperature and heat fluxes with this method.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-air_concentration_enrichment

      • I don’t normally post in these blogs, but I am an experienced (nearing retirement) public agronomy researcher and extension specialist in Canada. There are several methods to study plant response to environmental variables such as CO2. I have learned over my career that field experiments, greenhouse and indoor growth chamber studies each have certain strengths and weaknesses. I will try to be brief for this blog. My ranking of methods with the most relevance to actual crop response on farms:
        1. Well designed field studies at many locations over many years. Weather and site conditions are by far the largest variables between farm fields and years, and this is the biggest challenge for agricultural research. Free air concentration enrichment or free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) and open top chambers (OTC) are both placed in actual fields and thus are most relevant. The “open air sprayer” study would be a FACE experiment. However the current FACE data has limited site years and methods are not standardized (for example CO2 enriched only during daylight or over 24 hours) so more work is definitely needed. A couple of very recent papers on crop response to elevated CO2 in FACE and OTC’s that I recommend are:
        Kimball, B. A. (2016). Crop responses to elevated CO2 and interactions with H2O, N, and temperature. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 31, 36-43.
        Bunce, J. A. (2016). Responses of soybeans and wheat to elevated CO2 in free-air and open top chamber systems. Field Crops Research, 186, 78-85.

        Although FACE forest studies are really challenging there have been some and a couple of references are:
        Norby, R. J., & Zak, D. R. (2011). Ecological lessons from free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments. Annual review of ecology, evolution, and systematics, 42(1), 181.
        Norby, Richard J., et al. “Model–data synthesis for the next generation of forest free‐air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments.” New Phytologist 209.1 (2016): 17-28.

        2. Greenhouse and growth chamber experiments are second in my opinion. Their results always need to be verified under field conditions. The website http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/plantgrowth.php does have a decent database of plant growth responses based on mainly growth chamber and greenhouse trials.

        3. Models come in a distant third for practical application or relevance for farm decision making. I always have to remind people that computer models produce simulation results which is not the same as observational data. Although modelers contend that their utility is long term projections, I find any process that attempts to predict long term future trends is fraught with a huge amount of poorly quantified uncertainty and assumptions.

        A couple of last points that I feel strongly about:
        A much bigger obstacle for growers than climate change is the lack of accurate detailed medium term to seasonal weather forecasts before planting and in the growing season, and thus little capability to adjust practices that would be beneficial in drought, heat, flooding etc.

        In agriculture, plant nutrients are often classified into micro or macro-nutrients based on the relative concentration within the plant and corresponding scale of crop uptake. Micronutrient uptake is generally measured in oz/acre, macronutrient uptakes are a magnitude higher –pounds to hundreds of pounds per acre. In my talks to other researchers and growers, I have started to use the additional term “meganutrient” for nutrients such as CO2 that have crop uptake another magnitude higher – tons/acre.

      • Murray, thanks much for your comment. If you have any specific interest in the following topic, pls shoot me an email, we are working on this

        A couple of last points that I feel strongly about:
        A much bigger obstacle for growers than climate change is the lack of accurate detailed medium term to seasonal weather forecasts before planting and in the growing season, and thus little capability to adjust practices that would be beneficial in drought, heat, flooding etc.

    • SS:

      Part of the problem arises from a tendency among some to perceive any and all change in nature as “harmful” by definition. Even if you skip over the fact that humans cannot flourish in unaltered environments, they have great difficulty identifying the year that displayed the optimal, natural climate. This underlying premise makes it difficult to rationally discuss climate change, whether natural or AGW.

      The irony, for me, is that individual Trump voters seem to rely on a similarly idiosyncratic premise as the answer to “when was America greatest?”
      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/26/upshot/when-was-america-greatest.html

      Try arguing with them.

    • The warmunistas paint CO2 as”Chaotic Evil”. The warmunistas really don’t have a choice, mostly of their arguments rely on the catastrophe claim. Their claims amount to: “Your good hearted but absent minded uncle who leaves his teeth lying around is the source of all evil”.

      The painting of CO2 as “Chaotic Evil” by the warmunistas really rubs some people the wrong way.and perhaps caused the more fair minded when opportunity presents itself to rub the warmunistas nose in it with more enthusiasm and duration than is strictly necessary.

      There are some anti-warmunists who paint CO2 as lawful good. We don’t usually get that lucky.

      At worst CO2 is Chaotic Good.

      National Geographic is not a peer reviewed journal so the strength of the “junk science” claim is the science not the junk.

      The claimed drop in nutrition is vastly less than the gain in yield. Many of the people that are pointed to as not getting enough nutrition, aren’t getting enough calories. If you don’t get enough calories after a while nutrition can become irrelevant.

      Fair and balanced studies of the effects of more CO2 are to be encouraged and should clarify the picture.

      But insufficient nutrition is a more manageable problem than no food. And without the gains from past CO2 many of the current poor would not be worried about nutrition.

      • PA, why do you think the greening affect of more and more atmospheric CO2 would mean less and less famine? Food scarcity usually results from extreme weather related events, such as drought and flooding, which could occur with greater frequency and severity as rising atmospheric CO2 causes changes in climate.

      • Max1ok:

        We do not see more famine over the last 65 years, even though CO2 has risen steadily over that time.

        Food production is at an all time high and famine is down dramatically.

        There was a spike in China during the famine of 1958 – 61 (30 million died), but famine as a percentage of total population seems to have gone down.

        With your theory – how do you explain that?

      • From max:

        “Food scarcity usually results from extreme weather related events, such as drought and flooding, which could occur with greater frequency and severity as rising atmospheric CO2 causes changes in climate.”

        You are getting good. Or at least more efficient.

        One sentence – two factual errors.

        1) Food scarcity in the modern world is more often a result of human actions in the political arena. Example: the drought in Somalia led to local crop failures. However the rest of the world was able to quickly ship sufficient stocks of food to the country. It was the breakdown of a functioning government, with warlords stepping into the vacuum, which caused the actual starvation, as they prevented food aid from reaching the population.

        2) To date there is little to no evidence that drought and flooding will occur with greater frequency and severity with increased CO2. This is one of those fact free claims that CAGW’ers seem to think repeating endlessly will make it come true.

      • such as drought and flooding, which could occur with greater frequency and severity as rising atmospheric CO2 causes changes in climate.

        Are droughts and floods related to global average temperature?

        I don’t think they are.

      • Re Richard Arrett | April 27, 2016 at 3:41 pm
        “Food production is at an all time high and famine is down dramatically.”

        “With your theory – how do you explain that?”
        ____

        More population + better ag methods = food production at all time high. Rising CO2 may or may not have been a contributing factor.

        Improvements in ways foods are stored and transported, plus aid from wealthy nations to poor nations, reduced famine.

        ====

        Re timg56 | April 27, 2016 at 3:46 pm |

        “Food scarcity in the modern world is more often a result of human actions in the political arena.”

        “To date there is little to no evidence that drought and flooding will occur with greater frequency and severity with increased CO2.”
        ______

        Yes, human actions (wars, revolutions, etc) can cause food scarcity) and food scarcity alone can result in human actions that make the scarcity worse. But the context of my comments was CO2 and climate change.

        There’s evidence global warming contributes to extreme weather events.

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-ExplainingExtremeEvents2014.1

        ======

        Re Turbulent Eddie | April 27, 2016 at 4:26 pm |

        “Are droughts and floods related to global average temperature?
        I don’t think they are.”

        There’s evidence they are related to rising global average temperature. See above link.

      • Regarding floods and global warming, here’s why that’s probably nonsense.

        If you examine US twentieth century floods, you’ll find no particular seasonal distribution of major floods. An unofficial count of floods by month looks like:
        Jan ******
        Feb *****
        Mar ******
        Apr **********
        May *****
        Jun *****
        Jul ******
        Aug ***
        Sep ******
        Oct ****
        Nov **
        Dec *******

        If temperature were significant, one might expect flooding to be markedly more prevalent during summer, but that’s not the case.

        Now floods occur from numerous different conditions ( tropical storms, heavy thunderstorms, persistent patterns, snow melt, etc. etc. ).

        But dynamics are more important than temperature with respect to flooding.

      • max,

        Did you read any of the papers in the link you provided?

        I quit after the first one, as it was garbage. It basically talks about how they analyzed and modeled 2014 fire season and determined it was one of the biggest on record. Then they state it is likely due to human induced climate change. No actual causal link, just the statement. Like believe us, because we say so.

    • Stephen Segrest,

      A few points –

      What has ozone impact got to do with CO2?

      With regard to your link –

      Much panic about O3 levels below 100 parts per billion. But “It is almost impossible to tell whether foliar chlorosis or necrosis in the field is caused by ozone or normal senescence.” At least they are slightly honest.

      However –

      “The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends an upper limit of 0.10 ppm, not to be exceeded at any time.”

      Which indicates levels below 100 ppm are acceptable, at least for humans.

      Actually –

      “Underwriters Laboratory’s UL Standard 867 requires household electrostatic air purifier ozone to be no more than .050 ppm.”

      So 500 ppb is approved by the US Govt for air breathed by humans. Maybe plants are more sensitive. Seems to be a bit of confusion between Government bodies, eh?

      Cheers.

  56. Mosher said,
    This place is becoming wuwt

    Nowhere to run now, baby
    Nowhere to hide

    Andrew

  57. The press release is obviously an excercise in CYA, but I’m not sure where the authors are going with it. I see two possibilities:

    1) The empirical evidence of AGG (Anthropogenic Global Greening) is just so overwhelming that it can no longer be denied.

    However, the authors are doing everything in their power, including the unabashed use of rhetological and scientific fallacies, to show that:

    a) AGG is not beneficial, and
    b) AGG is ephemeral

    Or

    2) CAGW is no longer defensible, given the existing political, economic, moral and scientific realities.

    The authors wish to back down from their previous no-holds-barred advocacy and emotional commitment to CAGW, but in a way that is gradual and face-saving.

  58. Curious George

    Does this mean that the Greenpeace is anti-green?

  59. Judith Curry

    “It is inappropriate to dismiss the arguments of the so-called contrarians, since their disagreement with the consensus reflects conflicts of values and a preference for the empirical (i.e. what has been observed) versus the hypothetical (i.e. what is projected from climate models).”

    Possibly, in the big picture, you are correct. Yet, I wonder if the warmists agenda; i.e., not the environmentalist agenda to reduce atmospheric CO2, rather, the one world agenda, the agenda of control, control over the levers of wealth and power, control over the dialectic: “… the criticism of the contradictions that arise from supposing knowledge of objects beyond the limits of experience,” (Wiki).

    I wonder if empirical knowledge would have had more sway than the abstract; i.e., people experiencing more tornados, hurricane, droughts and plagues, compared to the present litany of what might have been. That the difficulty the warmists have to explain their stance, demand sacrifice and people to give up their freedoms, is because their non-science (models) conflicts with people’s reality.

    Atmospheric CO2 is a global gas, and, one would expect, from what has been said out loud and on graphs and in mathematical formulas, there should be global calamity, and their isn’t . Regional impacts of both good and bad are not a manifestation of a global cataclysm such as a meteor strike; rather, a manifestation of how little we know.

  60. How much of that “greening” was the result of invasive species occupying interspaces, i,e, Bromus spp, Erodium Spp. in the Mojave and Great Basin, which has increased dramatically the last 50 years? That comprises an enormous area in North America alone. Then we have wildfires which have amplified this effect.

    I see no mention of that, so I assume they included a whole lot of greening that HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH CO2.

    • crypto66,

      You may be right. Or you may not be right. It appears to be settled science that photosynthetic plants require CO2 to survive.

      Limits on CO2 and H2O limit the amount of carbohydrates that can be produced by plants. It sounds reasonable to me that providing additional CO2 and H2O enables additional carbohydrates to be produced, ie. more or bigger plants – or both.

      As to weeds, a weed is only a plant in the wrong place, or one that you don’t like. Invasive species are only species you prefer were elsewhere. The plants go where they will, and Nature appears to agree with them.

      Maybe increased food availability allows plants to move into areas where they could not previously survive, and vice versa. Nature doesn’t seem to stand still.

      All part of the rich tapestry of life, but declaring that increased biomass has nothing at all to do with an increased food supply (CO2), seems a bit of a stretch.

      Cheers.

      • Mike Flynn wants more CO2 because he believes it would increase the world’s food supply. Of course a greater food supply likely would increase the world’s population, and he knows that. Flynn also knows a larger population means more people would suffer the misery of starvation in the event of famine, but he believes the more misery the better. Obviously, Mike Flynn is evil.

      • Hmm. So the global warmer philosophy is starve them now so we don’t have to starve them later?

        That isn’t very charitable.

        It is pretty clear that we can feed the world if we farm all of it and get rid of the dirty and dangerous wildlife. That is the alternative.

        I’m fine with getting rid of the dirty and dangerous wildlife. People are worth more than animals. We should start expanding the area under human management if the global warmers succeed in limiting CO2.

      • “Mike Flynn wants more CO2 because he believes it would increase the world’s food supply. Of course a greater food supply likely would increase the world’s population, and he knows that. Flynn also knows a larger population means more people would suffer the misery of starvation in the event of famine, …”

        Sounds like a rock and a hard spot. Let’s see, if we “necessarily” make energy more expensive so all prices increase we can get the starvation problem out of the way quicker and if the right bunch get’s POed enough could start whittling away at that over population issue from another front. Heck, just the fast attack plan on harmful emissions should save a few million lives a year so they can reproduce and enjoy blissful golden years worrying about starvation.

        Much too deep for me Max, think I’ll just have to go fishing.

      • max1ok | April 27, 2016 at 8:14 pm |
        Mike Flynn wants more CO2 because he believes it would increase the world’s food supply. Of course a greater food supply likely would increase the world’s population, and he knows that.
        *****
        Max ignores the fact that populations of developed countries stabilize and those same countries have more food than they can eat. Nice try, though, but no points.

      • Re PA | April 27, 2016 at 8:45 pm |

        “It is pretty clear that we can feed the world if we farm all of it and get rid of the dirty and dangerous wildlife. That is the alternative.”
        ________

        PA, you should know there’s already enough food to feed the world’s population most of the time. If there wasn’t, the population would be smaller. The problem is an occasional war or extreme climate event temporarily causes local shortages of food, resulting in suffering and death.
        ========

        Re jim2 | April 27, 2016 at 9:17 pm

        “Max ignores the fact that populations of developed countries stabilize and those same countries have more food than they can eat.”
        ________

        jim2, I don’t ignore population stabilization in developed countries. I’m just not sure what it has to do with climate and extreme weather events that cause famines. I can understand why the poor in both developed and undeveloped countries may regard having lots of children as insurance against poverty in their old age, particularly those in the poorest countries. The motivation to have large families can also be motivated by religion and traditions. The increase in the Irish population in the early 1800’s probably resulted from both the abundance of potatoes (a relatively new crop) and their religion.

        As you may know, it generally is the warmest countries that have the most poor, the most population growth, and are the most affected by famines. This makes me wonder why you want countries to get warmer.

        BTW, if you think having plenty to eat necessarily eliminates poverty, consider that in America obesity is most prevalent among the poor.

        http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/are-low-income-people-at-greater-risk-for-overweight-or-obesity/

        ========

        Re captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.3 | April 27, 2016 at 8:49 pm |

        “Sounds like a rock and a hard spot.”

        “Much too deep for me Max, think I’ll just have to go fishing.”
        ________

        Good idea, capt. !

      • Invasive species i the mojave and great basin is not a subjective matter or matter of preference.

        when the plant interrupts ecological processes that have persisted more eons, it is a problem.

        You missed the point entirely, the point being foliar cover has increased in these two major biomes because of invasive species, not co2. If you want to claim co2 cause the invasives, then you better get to work, you have a lot to do to prove that.

  61. Oh, almost forgot, the increase in pinion-juniper in western North America likely skewed the “greening” as well. Again, nothing to do with co2.

  62. I’ve found Biotic Pumps to one of the most interesting areas:
    http://blog.cifor.org/13658/forests-as-rainmakers-cifor-scientist-gains-support-for-a-controversial-hypothesis?fnl=en
    “Because the model is contrary to existing climate models, the authors have faced roadblocks getting support from colleagues in the field or finding a publisher.
    “It’s hard to convince people that a radical idea like this based on simple physical principles could have been missed for so long,” Sheil said.
    “People are certain it is incorrect and don’t want to waste time dealing with it.”
    “The challenge is to survive this initial period of hostility — when you are an alien and the whole community is against you, because you want them all to discard some major concept they believe in,” said Makarieva and Gorshkov.
    “But thanks to our friends and co-authors we feel that we are no longer alone in this fight.”
    “This paper is really trying to bring the physics to formal attention of the climate scientists,” Sheil said.
    “We are asking them to disprove this theory and so far no one has been able to do that.””
    Because it rains, there are large forests.
    Because of large forests, it rains.
    It be nice to know which statement is correct?
    Weather happens to a place because of stuff that happens elsewhere and is distributed to the place.
    A place contributes to its own weather.

  63. Judith ended this post with this:

    The significance of the new paper is this:

    – As Nic Lewis points out, this paper alters the RCP scenarios in terms of resulting atmospheric CO2 content; i.e. the RCP scenarios are significantly too high

    – This paper alters the dynamics of calculating the social cost of carbon, in the direction of a lower cost.

    I suggest Judith missed could have added a third, which to me is the most policy relevant point of all. That:

    The most important policy relevant point from this paper is: it is another piece of evidence demonstrating that the damage function (the damages per degree of warming) is too high. It needs to be adjusted down.

    [The damage function is used in the Integrated Assessment Models and other economic models to estimate the damage cost per degree of warming, the costs/benefit of the proposed mitigation policies, the optimal carbon price and the social cost of carbon.]

    The damage function is one of the most important and perhaps the most uncertain of all the important inputs used int the Integrated Assessment Models.

    Could someone who has the capability please run the Nordhaus DICE-2013R Integrated Assessment Model (links below) to calculate the net-benefit to 2100 with updated inputs for:
    – climate sensitivity (e.g. use ECS=1.75C or TCR= 1.35C)
    – GHG emissions rate (e.g. use RCP4.5 or RCP6 instead of RCP8.5)
    – damage function (appropriate updated values)
    – participation rate (e.g. use 1/2 the Copenhagen ‘Optimistic’ rate which is the default rate in DICE-2013R as downloaded)

    I’d like to see the updated net benefit per 5 years for the Copen and 1/2 Copen scenarios compared with the chart below (which assumes ECS = 3.2C, emissions rate ~RCP8.5, high damage function, and unrealistically optimistic participation rate).

    Explanation here: http://anglejournal.com/article/2015-11-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed/

    The DICE-2013R model can be downloaded here (in Excel or GAMS): http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/

    Introduction and Users’ Manual is here: http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/documents/DICE_Manual_100413r1.pdf

    Glenn Stehle, is this something you could do? Send me an email through Judith if you’d like to discuss it.

  64. Let me understand this —

    There exists a consensus of opinion among global warming believers as to the validity of AGW theory — despite an easy observation that global warming is more political than scientific (e.g., it’s a Left versus right issue) — and yet, there is no consensus on a rationale that would explain, for example, the biblical distinction between clean and unclean foods?

    I think the answer may be right in front of us. When it comes to global warming, we are not dealing with a scholarly matter at all. Rather, there are many explanations for the global warming belief system that are totally outside observable reality, ranging from a capricious and whimsical obedience to arbitrary commands to a mad a adherence to totemic explanations by a suicidal cult society.

  65. David Springer,

    You wrote (presumably referring to me) –

    “No, he’s wrong. CO2 causes warming on this planet at this point in history. CO2 doesn’t cause warming under every conceivable condition but the context is contemporaneous planet earth.”

    If CO2 doesn’t cause warming under every conceivable condition, maybe you could list some of the conditions where it doesn’t, and why. Warmists seem to be of the opinion that CO2 increases the temperature of a body which it surrounds, regardless of conditions. Of course, this has never been scientifically demonstrated, so it appears the conditions under which it doesn’t cause warming are every condition ever investigated.

    For example, CO2 doesn’t raise the temperature in an enclosed space filled with 100% CO2. CO2 doesn’t raise the temperature of a gas bottle containing it, regardless of pressure. CO2 doesn’t increase the temperature of the Earth’s surface at night. CO2 does not cause a temperature rise in anything under laboratory conditions.

    Your list may be far more extensive.

    As to contemporaneous planet Earth, you might like to propose an hypothesis explaining why the planet managed to cool for four and a half billion years, but has just now decided to supposedly warm – that is increase its temperature.

    I believe Richard Arrett has summed up the situation. I believe you may be confused about the role of an insulator. They provide no heat, and do not stop a body without an internal heat source from cooling. An example might be to put a very hot beverage into a vacuum flask, fill any void with CO2, and observe that the beverage cools regardless. More slowly than an uninsulated beverage, granted, but it cools nevertheless.

    Just as the Earth, which has the benefit of external and internal sources of heat. Slow, but inexorable. To believe otherwise is wishful thinking – one might also believe Uri Geller bends spoons with the power of his mind, but it doesn’t make it fact.

    Warmists wish to impose fact by fiat, but Nature doesn’t work that way. I await your list of conditions under which CO2 doesn’t warm things it surrounds.

    Cheers.

  66. The fears about CO2 are just as irrational as the fears about nuclear power. Those who have those fears are gullible and incapable of objective research and rational analysis.

    • Exactly, Peter.

      While wasting fossil fuels (eg Australia’s utter reliance on coal it refuses to modernise) and incorrect siting and implementation of nukes (Fukushima) make for poor conservation, the mood of fear over these things seems largely generated by the posh to keep the average down…or the posh won’t be posh any more.

      Most people worry about lack of wealth and energy; our Green Betters are worried about the democratisation of wealth and energy. The Salon and HuffPo perusers of this world are just the old Tally-ho set with a lofty and charitable plan for the poor…who need to stay suitably poor.

    • David Springer

      Just for the record I don’t fear nuclear power. The two problems I have with it are cost and necessity.

      I don’t believe the cost is competitive with other forms of electrical generation and I don’t believe that regulatory burdens are to blame for the excessive costs. If some new technology can change this and be successfully commercialized I’ll believe it when I see it. Otherwise cheap electricity from nuclear generation is a dream that the public was given 65 years ago that isn’t any closer now that it was 65 years ago.

      Secondly I don’t believe that cost competitive nuclear power solves any major problems. Conventional liquid hydrocarbon fuels diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel are the problem. Finite reserves of economically recoverable oil is the problem. Electricity isn’t a replacement for those.

      A caveat. I couldn’t possibly care less about reducing carbon emissions so nuclear power holds no appeal at all in that regard. I consider atmospheric fertilization and warming from CO2 emission to be beneficial side effects of fossil fuel consumption. Observations are proving that the climatastrophists were wrong on just about all counts. There is little if any of the so-called water vapor amplification happening which means a CO2 doubling will have little if any more effect than the calculated direct effect of 1.2C rise in surface temperature. Moreover, due to the heat transport mechanisms working on the planet the 1.2C per doubling is asymmetric in spatial and temporal distribution with it happening more over land than water, at night more than than day, and in winter more than summer. If people were to ask for warming this is how we’d want it distributed. In other words nobody worth mentioning in the higher latitudes are complaining about milder winters and longer growing seasons. Just the opposite. And nobody elsewhere has anything to complain about. Sea level rise, which isn’t great enough to cause problems, is the only legitimate complaint and it’s happening slowly enough so that it can be dealt with by movement to higher ground.

      So there.

      • How do you explain the abrupt reversal in the learning rate of nuclear power in the late 1960’s in USA and during the 1970’s in other countries (Figure 2: https://judithcurry.com/2016/03/13/nuclear-power-learning-rates-policy-implications/ ). Learning rates changed from fast positive before the inflection point to very fast negative after the inflection point. No other electricity supply technology incurred this massive change. The timing coincided with the successful anti-nuke protest movements. Here are some examples (there is much more for those who want to research it):

        1. Allowable radiation limits were reduced by a factor of 100, but that was based on fear, not fact. The cost consequences are enormous. One consequence is about 5 million additional fatalities since 1985.

        2. Bernard Cohen, 1991, ‘The cost of nuclear power plants – what went wronghttp://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html

        3. Origins, Goals and Tactics of the US Anti-Nuclear Protest Movement https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/notes/2005/N2192.pdf

        No one is saying costs can come down abruptly if the regulatory impediments are removed. It’s recognised that 50 years has been lost due to the success of the anti-nuke campaigns. What I am suggesting is that if the fast learning rates were achieved in the past and can be again (and inevitably will be at some time when the bulk of the population realises what an enormous mistake their predecessors made by blocking progress.

      • Finite reserves of economically recoverable oil is the problem. Electricity isn’t a replacement for those.

        Electricity generation consumes fossil fuels so it is part of the problem you refer to. Cheap electricity, as we could have had now if not for the anti-nuke protest movement, can potentially produce effectively unlimited petrol/gasolene, diesel, jet fuel. There is no currently known prospective alternative that could supply effectively unlimited transport fuels. Solar certainly cannot. Realistically, it could supply a negligible proportion of current global transport fuels, let alone as consumption rates continue to increase in the future.

        For those who don’t care about CO2 emissions, the benefits of nuclear power are:

        1. Avoid about 1.3 million fatalities per year caused by pollution from fossil fuel electricity generation.

        2. Greatly increased energy security for most nations

        3. Effectively unlimited supply of energy

        4. Potentially much cheaper energy – providing enormous benefit to humanity.

      • Just for the record I don’t fear CO2 or human caused global warming.My key issues are:

        1. I want energy to be as cheap as possible for the whole world. The cheaper energy is the better humanity (and the environment) will be.

        2. There is a political movement that wants to impose command and control policies to force higher energy prices. This movement is a reality and cannot be denied, Those who believe in the cause cannot be convinced (or don’t care) that the policies they advocate will do great harm to humanity (in fact they will continue the harm the anti-nuke movement has done over the past 50 years).

        3. Given this reality, my approach is to try to persuade rational, objective, open-minded people there is an alternative approach to satisfy their stated concerns about CO2 and CAGW and CO2 emissions. The alternative approach is to reduce the cost of energy. The technology with by far the greatest potential for cost reduction is nuclear power.

      • As calorie production goes up and population growth slows, biological fuel may become. Increased CO2 may be what brings the cost of biofuels down, rather than fossil oil prices rising.

        I think you’ve also come to the conclusion that we are far more likely to see serious problems with people taking too much CO2 out of the air than we are to see bad weather from high concentrations.

        Peak oil and peak coal are serious century scale problem, emissions reductions (particularly capture and sequester ) and removal are not efficient ways to manage our resources.

  67. As I scanned thru the comments (altho I may have missed it, as I do skim past the usual same ol’, same ol’ from the usual suspects) I did not read one from an aquarium enthusiast. Those who have known for some time that a CO2 injection kit does wonders for their aquarium plant life. Perhaps those that know better can shed some insight into the dangers of increased CO2 into an aquarium that some of us aren’t aware of?

    I realize this is small scale (mine is 4′ x 2′ x 2′) compared to oceans, but the effect should be similar, no?

    Just wondering . . .

    -barn

  68. ordvic,

    Sorry about the position, but the threading was getting a bit much.

    You wrote –

    ““CO2 possesses no warming power whatsoever.”

    Well that’s like saying a radiator has no warming power whatsoever. True statement; as without a boiler it’s just a stone cold object.”

    As much I usually avoid analogies, I rather like yours.

    If one places a cold radiator in front of a roaring open fire, the radiator will heat up. You may then decide to warm yourself in front of the radiator, at a comfortable distance. If some swine whips the radiator away, all of a sudden you’re too hot. The radiator was preventing some of the fire’s heat reaching you.

    So you put the radiator back. Nice again. Now you extinguish the fire. Pretty soon, the radiator loses its heat, and you and the radiator may well get very cold indeed. Now light the fire again. The radiator warms up again, and so it goes.

    I recollect that at one time NASA had a colourful graphic showing lots of little CO2 radiators in the atmosphere, between the surface and the Sun. Quite apt, really. Pity they didn’t understand the physics involved.

    If you like my treatment of your radiator analogy, feel free to take it. If I’ve made a mistake, I’d appreciate your correction.

    Cheers.

    • David Springer

      So CO2 causes the earth to be warmer only if the sun is shining on it.

      Most people consider the earth orbiting the sun as a given. But you object to that being unstated.

      Duly noted!

      Ding!

      Next!

      • David Springer,

        You wrote –

        “Most people consider the earth orbiting the sun as a given. But you object to that being unstated.”

        Your mind reading abilities appear to be defective. I expressed no such objection, to my knowledge. It seems that you are unable to support your CO2 warming assertions with anything resembling a repeatable scientific experiment. This might be why you have to resort, yet again, to the Warmist tactics of deny, divert and confuse.

        Do you think Richard Feynman’s words from his Cargo Cult Science address might apply to you? –

        “And now you find a man saying that it is an irrelevant demand to expect a repeatable experiment. This is science?”

        No, of course not – it’s climatology!

        Cheers.

      • David Springer

        Proofs are only done in math you big dope. Science is about giving the best explanation for things that we can observe or demonstrate. Laboratory experiments demonstrate that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation from a point source and re-radiates it in all directions. Classical and quantum mechanics explain why. The result is more energy is retained by the illuminated matter. It’s been measured. The classical explanation dates back to the 19th century with physicist John Tyndall.

        I suggest you start with 19th century physics before moving on to anything more advanced such as early 20th century quantum physics.

        Questions about the greenhouse effect magnitude are not in the realm of radiative physics. That much is purely formulaic and tractible. The water cycle and the condensing greenhouse gas H2O are the unknowns. Absent water vapor the only feedback of concern is the Planck Feedback and it’s a simple situation then in a well-mixed atmosphere. Water vapor is not well mixed, varies dramatically, and moves energy insensibly in copious quantities. It is the prime mover in the earth’s present condition and climate models aren’t up to the task of tracking it in all its phases each of which uniquely changes the system being observed. Biology then complicates things even further.

      • David Springer,

        You wrote –

        Laboratory experiments demonstrate that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation from a point source and re-radiates it in all directions. Classical and quantum mechanics explain why. The result is more energy is retained by the illuminated matter. It’s been measured. The classical explanation dates back to the 19th century with physicist John Tyndall.

        Unfortunately, your conclusion that more energy is retained by the illuminated matter is completely incorrect. I don’t believe you have actually read John Tyndall’s accounts of his experiments. He explicitly stated the exact opposite, and, as well as providing numerical results, provides a graphic (no bright colours, unfortunately) to explain why this occurs.

        This, amongst other physical facts, including the classical and QED explanations, are commonly ignored by Warmists. Likewise optics. You will notice that Warmists portray the Earth as flat, and evenly illuminated in the majority of their attempts to buttress their nonsensical assertions. This de facto membership of the Flat Earth Society enables them to avoid inconvenient facts to do with Fresnel’s equations and suchlike.

        One other point. You may have overlooked the fact I have never asked for proof of global warming. I merely asked you to provide an experiment showing the alleged warming effects of CO2. You can’t, so you revert to the Warmist tactics of deny, divert, and confuse.

        Welcome to Mosherville!

        Cheers.

  69. No Peter Lang, they are not nearly as gullible as those who believe that global warming will have net benefits. Common sense please, when has putting a strain on the environment ever had net benefits? Ever? But maybe wishful thinking is a hallmark of climate change skepticism …

    • Hans K Buhrer,

      Is removing native vegetation, and planting a crop putting a strain on the environment? Digging some ore, cutting down trees, smelting the ore to make tools? Using the tools to clear more land, build a house, a road, kill off the wild predators in the area?

      How are you measuring the benefit or detriment? Or is it just more Warmist assertion, without objective basis?

      I might agree with you if you could provide good supporting facts. Have you any?

      Cheers.

    • Hans, don’t mind Mike Flynn. He’s gone CO2 crazy, thinks the more the better. If he had his way we would all be back in the CO2- rich early Carboniferous Period sweating like pigs while gathering mangoes and dancing around 6 ft. long poisonous centipedes. My home State, Oklahoma, was positioned down by the equator back then, not that Mike cares.

      • max1ok,

        You’re correct max1ok. My care factor about where your home state used to be, or where you used to be, is precisely zero, in this context.

        Not that you’d care, I suspect.

        Cheers.

    • Hans K Buhrer (@RetrogradeOrb) | April 28, 2016 at 2:00 am |
      No Peter Lang, they are not nearly as gullible as those who believe that global warming will have net benefits. Common sense please, when has putting a strain on the environment ever had net benefits? Ever? But maybe wishful thinking is a hallmark of climate change skepticism.

      Are you arguing that more CO2 isn’t beneficial?

      Or are you arguing that a 0.5°C-1.0°C temperature increase which is still below the interglacial maximum isn’t net beneficial?

      How much of the 60% increase in plant growth since 1900 isn’t beneficial?

    • Hans K Buhrer (@RetrogradeOrb) said:

      …they are not nearly as gullible as those who believe that global warming will have net benefits.

      But that’s not the issue, is it?

      The issue is a realistic cost-benefit analysis when it comes to competing energy technologies.

      And when it comes to fossil fuels, the climataritat minimizes the benefits while at the same time greatly exaggerating the costs.

      Conversely, when it comes to renewables it does just the opposite. It greatly exaggerates the benefits while at the same time minimizing the costs.

      Just how gullible and bereft of common sense are the devotees to the secular apocalyptic religion, CAGW?

      So yes, by all means, “Common sense please.”

    • David Springer

      Hans you’re a m0r0n.

  70. The greening of planet Earth, coincident with a Rise in atmospheric CO2 levels, supports the greenhouse analogy –i.e., a greenhouse with the roof off and all of the windows open, so… a cold greenhouse.

    • To be run by even colder vegans, see a parallel?

      The news has come as a shock to many vegans, who have been regular customers of the restaurants and claim the Engelharts have built their brand on not just serving vegan food but clearly wrapping themselves in the righteousness of the vegan cause — which they argue has now been undermined. “The reason we’re so upset is that veganism is a belief system,” says Carrie Christianson, who started the Facebook boycott group. “You are patronizing a restaurant that you think has that philosophy, and it turns out it doesn’t.

    • Wagathon,

      You wrote –

      “. . . so… a cold greenhouse.”

      Just so. Heats up during the day, cools down at night. Worry factor – zero.

      Cheers.

  71. Pingback: Airborne fraction | …and Then There's Physics

  72. What I find surprising in the paper and similar papers is the low effect attributed to nitrification. From the Nature article, “Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models suggest that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend, followed by nitrogen deposition (9%), climate change (8%) and land cover change (LCC) (4%).”

    9% seems low when we have dramatically increased sources of bioavailable Nitrogen..
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1890/1051-0761%281997%29007%5B0737:HAOTGN%5D2.0.CO;2/full

  73. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #224 | Watts Up With That?

  74. Dr. Curry, Subj; CO2 GH physics.
    Please comment critically to this approach to analyzing CO2 AGW physics. My hope is to attract attention and agreement to this energy approach to analysis of AGW effect with the hope of you and the other luminaries in the struggle will form a coalition to cooperate in a definitive technical paper to set the narrative in the CO2 greenhouse question.
    Exploring the IPCC  AR-5 CO2  Greenhouse (Yes Virginia, there may be a greenhouse effect)
     
    Introduction
     
    Theme:
    Doubling CO2 which may have an IR blanketing effect on the upper atmosphere adds no energy to the earth system and therefore will cause essentially no change in the shape and function of the natural random chaotic atmosphere in balancing a constant solar energy input with the IR radiation output to space.
     
    Assuming the latest ‘greenhouse’ conjecture put forth by the IPCC specifically; that the increase altitude at which the CO2 portion of the IR spectrum is colder than before the CO2 doubling is valid:
    An AGW thought experiment is proposed to investigate the climate effect of doubling atmospheric CO2 in a century:
    It must be a thought experiment which isolates the change in CO2 and holds all energy inputs constant since we cannot control for all of the unknown variables which confound our attempts at verification measurements and attributing measured temperature changes such as:
     
    “The problem with AGW  is that climate models have to deal with many more variables than weather models. They have to model all of the variables that weather models should contain including for instance Solar activity including  cosmic ray cloud effects and minor changes in radiation intensity, plus: (for instance)
    • Land biology
    • Sea biology
    • Ocean currents
    • Ground freezing and thawing
    • Changes in sea ice extent and area
    • Aerosol changes
    • Changes in solar intensity
    • Average volcanic effects
    • Snow accumulation, area, melt, and sublimation
    • Effect of melt water pooling on ice
    • Freezing and thawing of lakes
    • Changes in oceanic salinity
    • Changes in ice cap and glacier thickness and extent
    • Changes in atmospheric trace gases
    • Variations in soil moisture
    • Alterations in land use/land cover
    • Interactions between all of the above
    • Mechanisms which tend to maximise the sum of work and entropy according to the Constructal Law.”
     
    However we can devise a simple thought experiment which holds all other ill-defined  as well as unknown energy modulation variables constant to evaluate the effect of the CO2 input variable on an otherwise constant earth energy climate model.
     
    CO2 Greenhouse:
    In this reference the IPCC Figure SPM5.1 as well as others published by the IPCC AR-5 WG-1 attributes a reduction of~1.85 watts/m2 IR radiation to space due to a doubling of the CO2 blanket thickness at the top of the troposphere.  Although there may be reasonable arguments about where exactly in altitude and temperature lapse rate curve some or all of the CO2 spectrum is effectively radiating, assume for purposes of this discussion that  100% of this conjecture is true . It therefore represents the maximum CO2 “greenhouse”  quoted from the latest effect calculated by NASA .
     
    A Constant input Power Model:
    How does the climate respond to the conjecture of this blanket effect of CO2 doubling at the top of the troposphere where it will radiate 1.85 watts/m2 less IR to space from the edges of the 15 u band?   Obviously the earth must heat up to provide a temperature increase in the water vapor to increase its radiation by this amount to drive the earth energy toward a steady state average balance. While the driving force is the increase in CO2 of 1%/year, the earth  will always respond to catch up with a required atmospheric temperature increase, otherwise the earth’s  mass temperature would continue to rise without any compensating  energy balance in radiation to space.  A warming scenario based on the steady state solution is described here.
     
    Paradigm shift:  To isolate the CO2 GH effect from all other variables, remembering the Law of Conservation of Energy, in this scenario nature has no additional (or reduced) energy to work with and thus will continue with the hydrologic solution which has evolved over the millennia to balance the constant solar power by  shifting the missing CO2 GH radiation over to a compensating increase in water vapor radiation.
     
    Model approach:
    Since CO2 increase adds no additional energy to the system:
    Our challenge is to understand how the climate will adjust to the absolute energy balance requirement.  Calculating changes the spatial and temporal changes in conduction, convection and radiation in the random chaotic atmosphere have proven to be more challenging than we can ever hope to address with our limited computing power not to mention limited understanding of the detailed spatial and temporal physics of cloud formation in the hydrologic cycle.  Perhaps the correct approach is to let the natural system recalculate and re balance as it has done for millennia  and observe the result.
       As the CO2 accumulates blocking the  calculated reduction in IR spectrum by an increment of ~20 milliwatts/m2 each year over the coming century, the earth will accumulate this energy raising its surface temperature  and the surface strata atmosphere temperature by dT/year . Thus the atmospheric water vapor will increase its radiation an average 20 milliwatts/m2 each year to the some 235 watts/m2 which it is already radiating to space.
     
     Since in this experiment the solar input to the earth including cloud effects, volcano and all other energy inputs (some of which are listed in the introduction) to the earth are held constant to allow us to concentrate on the effect of CO2  ‘forcing’ alone,  the energy flux into the earth and from the surface to the atmosphere is thus constant. This requires that the average surface/atmosphere temperature gradient is constant and unchanged as required by a constant energy flux albeit at an increasing temperature of both surface and atmosphere of dT/year.  Most of this energy transfer remains the constant evaporation rate of water containing its latent heat of vaporization.   The surface radiation which remains constant through the constant surface/atmospheric strata temperature gradient  continues to be captured at the same constant rate and is immediately thermalized by the GH gasses.    The atmosphere temperature lapse rate curve moves ‘to the right ‘ by dT each year along with the surface temperature increase so that by the end of the century it will be displaced by 100dT higher temperature causing the constant water vapor pressure will radiate an additional ~1.85 watts/m2 to space.
     
    Climate physics:
    Since the lapse rate is constant, the cloud behavior/conformation, water content, vertical temperature profile, energy release ed not change and indeed will have no additional energy(water vapor) input to do so.  Since its condensation level is a function of temperature, clouds will start at an average altitude increasing by dz=dT/6.5C/km each year so that by the end of the century the clouds need not change in form, size. extent, temperature or temperature gradient but be 100dz=100dT/6.5C/km higher occupying exactly the same temperature gradient as before the 100 dT shift in atmospheric temperature started.  Since the clouds have no  change in energy or in temperature gradient they will radiate IR in exactly the same fashion but into an atmosphere which has a reduced water vapor pressure(increased altitude) and so radiate upward more efficiently.  The clear atmosphere water vapor will have exactly the same water vapor pressure gradient as before but each year will radiate at a temperature dT higher throughout all altitudes.  In other words nothing need be changed except the altitude of the clouds which have exactly the same temperature profile and conformation as before except at an increased altitude dz.  We see that the natural atmosphere solution (that we have described as random chaotic) which nature has developed over the millennial to maintain energy balance will require no  change except that cloud height will rise by dz each year to maintain their vertical temperature profile and that clear air fixed water vapor pressure gradient will be radiating at an increased temperature, dT each year.
     
    For illustration; some calculation of the average energy flow and temperature changes of a one dimensional average temperature and radiation model is shown.
     
    A very minor energy balance adjustment;
    Since the surface temperature will increase by 100dT by the end of the century, the radiation through the IR window will increase thus requiring slightly less (~10%) water vapor energy radiation reducing the overall atmospheric temperature increase requirement to slightly less than that  described below.
     
    Temperature increase;
    Raising a 255K black body atmospherewhich seems to be favored by NASA) by 100dT= .5K will increase the radiation to space calculated from the Stephen-Boltzmann radiation equation by 1.886 watt/m2 which will suffice to balance the loss due to the CO2 blanket at the end of the century .
    Thus the 20 milliwatts/m2 yearly increase in water vapor radiation will require an increase of dT=5 millideg C/year * for a century to balance the CO2 blanket accumulation over the century. (* Yes, we know that dT is a 4th root function of power  but at these small incremental of the base temperature of 255K it  is within ~5% of linear and matters little in understanding the big picture)
     
    Change in nominal cloud base (and top) altitude is; dz=.005/6.5 = .77 m/year or 100dz= 77 m/century.
    To state the obvious, the earth  need not employ any new different or complex physics (indeed there is no increase or change in energy flux (vaporization rate) to power any change).  The earth and atmosphere temperature will increase by the required 0.5K over the century to shift the required 1.85 watts/m2 missing from the CO2 blanket to the water vapor radiation budget.
     
    Stating the law of conservation of energy in this context:
    Again stating the obvious; (although the back radiation/positive water vapor feedback is disproven physics) for those who  choose to retain this paradigm in their thinking,  there is no additional energy flow (constant gradient) therefore no additional water vaporization  and thus whatever the present day situation re. water vaporization/radiation is, there can be no change,  whatever one might believe re. water vapor/radiation feedback there is no additional power to drive an increase in such a  ‘loop’.
     As always, any tendency to raise the  surface strata temperature  above(below) normal would reduce (increase) the temperature gradient thus limit any change in energy flow(most importantly WV).   With a constant energy flow available this is a self-limiting and unchanged constant average surface strata gradient at the new nominal steady state average earth  surface and atmospheric temperature of 288 +.5 K. (15.5C) and average atmospheric radiation temperature of 255+.5K.